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[ February 8, 2020 by Jade Bezuidenhoud 0 Comments ]

ULTIMATE WEB DESIGN CHECKLIST – 128 TASKS TO CREATE AN AMAZING WEBSITE

3sixt5.co.za/the-ultimate-web-design-checklist-things-to-do-when-launching-a-website

Following our awesome list of 101 tools for web designers and developers, it was time for actually figuring out every step needed to get a web design project done – from start to finish. So here it is – the ultimate checklist for the web designer/freelancer/agency starting a web design project. We’ve covered all the steps you need to do, from the technical and development focused, to those involving client meetings, designers, copy-writing, and everything else in between.

What have we missed? We’d love to hear your opinion!

Hey web designer + creativehuman! Need a live web design checklist?

Have you heard about 3SixT5 Design?!

It’s a tool to help web designers and creatives manage their design projects by keeping track of all tasks which you’ll need to do to get a website launched or a design project completed.

Check out 3SixT5 Now (FREE!) and see whether we can help you out!

Not sure about 3SixT5 yet? – let’s just show you the list of tasks you’d expect to find within a 3SixT5 web design project and see whether you like it a bit more…

Stage 0 – Project Start – Preparation

Is web design only about design? Not really! Although most of us love the creative part of designing and developing a website, there are quite a few things we need to do before we actually get to that. Before we get down to the nitty-gritty – we’ll need to lay the groundwork and set a few rules.

1. Setup first meetings(s) with client

2. Define and collect briefing document from client

3. Define and send project questionnaire to the client and wait for the client’s response. Iterate on doubts you have until everybody is in agreement. Finalize project questionnaire from client

4. Research client’s company to understand their brand, the way they communicate, their demographics, target audience

5. Research client’s industry to find ways of communicating specifically to the industry, strengths and weaknesses, trends and other industry specifics

6. Get quotation(s) for development effort for project

7. Get quotations(s) for design or estimate design work with your own designers

8. Get quotation(s) for copy/content or estimate work with your copywriters

9. Get quotation(s) for photography / video production or estimate effort involved

10. Get quotation(s) for Hosting / Domain, particularly if specialized hosting is involved such as VPS hosting, cloud hosting, or special hosting or environment requirements

11. Prepare and send a great web design proposal to client – use the web design quotation tool to send an itemized quotation

12. Get approval from client of proposal and features to be implemented

13. Create the Project Acceptance Form, and propose timeline with milestones

14. Send Project Acceptance Form, with timelines to client and wait for client signoff

Once we’ve agreed with the client on the definition of the new website project, we start doing the dirty work. Developers, designers, copywriters, beautiful photography or stock imagery, privacy policies and legal texts, you’ve got lots of stuff to set in motion when you kick off the project. If you’re still not sure which developers you’re going to work with, there are plenty of things to take into consideration when finding WordPress developers for hire.

 

Stage 1 – Project Kick off

15. Kick-off email to developers, designers, and other stakeholders

16. Create sitemap of website with proposed sections, pages

17. Research and buy template used as a basis for design

18. Create wireframe of specific pages which require custom designs

19. Allocate time and effort for a designer to create the wireframes based on the estimates sent to the client and brief designers on wireframe designs.

20. Allocate time and effort for content creation/copy

21. Research, buy and tweak stock images or find free images you can use

22. Allocate time and effort for photography (based on estimates sent to client)

23. Allocate time and effort for video productions (based on estimates sent to client)

24. Define privacy policy and other legal text required for website

25. Send design(s) to client for approval and wait for approval from client

26. Get designers to perform any required design changes

27. Send designs to web developers including template, together with designs, for start of research and development

28. Send specifications and updates to client and wait for client sign off

Once the designs have been completed and you’ve set the stage for what you want the final result to be like, it’s time to start developing. Besides the developers per se, you’ve also got to set the environment, ensure the domain is in place and set up correctly, create databases and ensure the production environments are ready.

How are you managing with your web design projects?

If you’re like us – we’re always concerned we might miss that small but crucial step, or that we ‘re falling behind on our schedule.

Stage 2 – Development

29. Send finalized designs to developers

30. Allocate development checklists to the various developers

31. Agree with all developers + client on a date for Alpha

32. Reach out to content creators and ensure they are on target

 

Stage 2.1 – Set up Hosting Account

33. Ensure you’ve bought hosting or created a hosting space for your website

34. Create new database(s), and database users as necessary if you are using a CMS, or a website which requires a database

35. Upload the website source files

36. Install / configure the CMS to use the database you have created

37. If your website has been created already and you need to migrate it, export the database from the testing/staging server and import it to the production server

38. Change the nameservers of the domain you will be using to the nameservers of the hosting server you will be using

Stage 2.2 – Set Up Website Content

39. Create the website site map and structure you had defined with the client via your favourite CMS or the framework / technology you have chosen to develop your website

40. Collect all content from the various content creators you have outsourced

41. Quality assure each piece of content you have outsourced or bought – and ask for changes where necessary

42. Populate the website content with the various content items you have agreed with the client

43. Define a Contact Us page with correct client details and a map

44. Populate links / icongraphy with links to relevant social media details

45. Create a link to your website in the footer (if agreed with client to do this)

46. Send current iteration to client and request feedback

47. Fix and change any requests by client

48. Send updates to client and wait for client sign-off

There is nothing more important than ensuring the developed product is fit for purpose through several types of quality assurance. After all this is what will keep your clients coming back for more. An eye for detail here will ensure you will keep getting recommendations and repeat business. Most of all, the things which might not be immediately apparent, but make a significant difference, need to be given due importance.

Besides providing the required functionality, ensure the website you are designing is fast, maintainable, provides an optimal User Experience free from errors and glitches, and make sure it is fully responsive on various types of devices.

Are you able manage all project interactions in one place?

There’s typically a lot of people involved in a web design project. You. The client. The devs. The designers. And anybody who has been commissioned to provide bits and pieces of the project.

Keeping them all in sync is a bit of a hassle unless you’ve got the right tool to do so. That’s why we run each project with a website design checklist – to make sure we don’t forget any step. 3SixT5 does all of this – as a service which can be accessed by all your team members.

With 3SixT5 – everybody logs in to the same project and keeps everybody else updated with what’s going on with their part of the project.

Stage 3 – Quality Assurance

Stage 3.1 – Code Quality

49. Validate HTML using W3C HTML Validator, or your preferred Browser extension such as Validity Chrome Extension, or Html Validator plugin for FireFox

50. Validate CSS using this CSS Validator, Validity for Chrome, or Html Validator

51. Lint your CSS to make it better

52. Use JSLint and JSHint to make your JavaScript better

53. Check whether your website is internationalization ready here

54. Ask for changes from developers based on the results of the above tests

Stage 3.2 – Page Content

55. Make sure web copywriting has been proofread and ran through a spelling and grammar checker to check for correctness. Use online tools such as Reverso, or Spellcheckplus.com

56. Check that generic content, such as lorem ipsum, has been properly removed and replaced.

57. See that all images are in the correct places, smushed, formatted, width and height specified and working on all devices.

58. Confirm that videos and audio files are in the correct places, formatted and working on all devices.

59. Test all linked content, such as case studies, ebooks, and whitepapers, and verify that they are correctly linked.

60. Test to see that all internal links across web pages are working properly

Stage 3.3 – Optimized User Experience

 

61. Ensure that Contact Us and other forms are submitting data properly. If the form is sent to an email address ensure that email is received on a mailbox that is monitored, or ensure that content is correctly stored in your database.

62. Verify the Thank-you message or page displayed after form is submitted

63. Check that Auto-responders are working properly and text in emails has been proofed

64. External links across web pages are working properly, and open in a new tab (Fix any broken links using this tool)

65. Ensure that Social media share icons are working properly – that there is a good image for sharing and that the description for sharing is appropriate.

66. Correct your metadata as necessary to ensure social media sharing is working ok.

67. Use the Facebook linter to ensure your Facebook sharing will work well

68. Implement Twitter Cards and confirm it works well on the Preview tool

69. Ensure that company logo is linked to the homepage.

70. Check that load time for site pages is optimized (confirm with multiple sources) such as GTMetrix and Pingdom tools. If not – do the following steps to make your WordPress website load faster

71. Try a non-existing address on your page to check the 404 page and 404 redirect pages are in place

72. Integrations with third-party tools, such as your CRM, e-commerce software, and/or marketing platform should be tested to ensure they are running smoothly

73. Choose www vs no-www and make sure that ONLY one of them is working to ensure you don’t get penalized for duplicate content. After choosing one, make sure one redirects to the other.

74. Check on multiple browsers using browsershots or browserling

Stage 3.4 – Responsive and Mobile Friendly

75. Make sure you are using the viewport meta tag: <meta name=”viewport” content=”initial-scale=1″>

76. Check that your website is mobile-friendly with at least a MobileOk score of 75 and Google sees your page as Mobile-Friendly.. You should have fixed most of the Google Mobile Insights problems here

77. Use correct input types for email, phone and URL input form fields to ensure these are rendered correctly on mobile phones

78. Check how the site looks on emulators such as ipads, screenfly, mobilephonesimulator.

79. Test the site using real devices you have accessible to you or use opendevicelab.com

80. Send the finished site to your client and get feedback

81. Fix and change any requests by client

82. Send updates to client and wait for client sign-off

Once you’re happy with the site you have developed you can start thinking about the Launch process and of course how to get the maximum value out of the launched site. There are many tools out there to help you reap maximum benefit for yourself and for your clients.

Besides actually monitoring your site, make sure you’ve thought well about Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Marketing. Although this is an ongoing process, you need to ensure you’ve got the basic set up right.

Also remember – a fast website is a pleasant website. Make sure your site has been optimized for performance.

Social – if you do it right, Social traffic will be the best source of traffic for your website. Spend enough time on it to get it right the first time.

Are you sure you’ve ironed out all the kinks?

 

The few days of testing before a website launch is always a bit hectic (at least it used to be for us). So many small things to change and test and confirm and re-confirm. Sometimes we sort of lose track of what’s done and what isn’t.

We believe we’re not alone. However, we’ve now made a major step forward and fixed many of our communication problems with a simple, easy to use tool which has given us lots of peace of mind.

You won’t magically improve your memory and start remembering things you’ll need to do – but if you just list them down together with our pre-defined list of tasks, we’ll take that load off you and keep them safe for you in 3SixT5 until you’ve sorted them all out.

Stage 4 – Launch

Stage 4.1 – Analytics

83. Register and verify site with Google WebMasters aka Google Search Console

84. Create a new property and implement Google Analytics code.

85. Make sure you link Google WebMasters and Google Analytics to be able to get better insights from within Google Analytics

86. Exclude relevant IP addresses (such as office IP) from analytics tracking to ensure your own company’s and the client’s company do not inflate their website hits

87. Set up any funnels, goals or tracking events which have been properly created in your analytics software

88. Implement visitor tracking software such as HotJar, CrazyEgg, or Optimizely

89. Implement any site uptime monitor such as Pingdom

90. Implement a website backup service as necessary

91. Sign-off the deliverables and invoice your client 🙂

Stage 4.2 – Search Engine Optimization

92. Check that all pages have unique page titles (with a recommended length of fewer than 70 characters, including any keywords).

93. Check that all pages have unique meta descriptions (with a recommended length of fewer than 156 characters, including keywords) – the meta description should be human-friendly – not optimized for search engines. Think about it this way: “If you wanted to use 156 characters to describe exactly what that article contains, what would you say?”

94. Verify that pages have your chosen keywords included without any keyword stuffing (do not over-emphasize particular keywords)

95. See that all pages have metadata which is properly in place (with correct spelling and grammar) for any content which you want to be shared via Social

96. Ensure that relevant Alt tags have been added to every image.

97. Make sure that a dynamic XML sitemap (which gets updated with every post you make) has been created and verify that the XML sitemap has been submitted to search engines via Google WebMasters.

98. Ensure that Google is able to read it correctly.

99. Submit to Bing and possibly Yandex WebMasters too.

100. See that all page URLs consistently reflect site information architecture.

101. If you have had another older website, make sure you have 301 redirects in place for all old URLs (redirecting old pages to new ones).

102. Where necessary ensure that rel=”nofollow” tags are in place on applicable links and pages.

103. Use schema creator to insert Microdata into your pages (or tag your content in google WebMasters Data Highlighter)

104. Check the semantics of your site using this

For more tips, check out our SEO post!

Stage 4.3 – Speed and Performance

105. Try to get a PageSpeed score of 90+ – this PageSpeed Insights guide from Kinsta will surely help.

106. Minify your javascript

107. Minify your CSS

108. Add Expires Header – Leverage browser caching to ensure that files which don’t change often are fetched from the browser cache rather than downloaded again

109. Ensure a Yslow score of 85+

110. Optimize the size of images using Y! Smush.It and replace the existing images with the optimized images

111. Specify image dimensions for each image

112. Enable gzip compression on your hosting server

113. Ensure there are no bad requests, such as missing images or files

114. Combine images using CSS Sprites (use SpriteMe.org to help you generate the sprite image)

115. Reduce the number of HTTP requests by combining the CSS and JS files into as few files as possible

Stage 4.4 – Usability

116. Check for HTML5 compatibility using modern.ie, modernizr, and Compat Inspector

117. Create a Favicon generator for each platform here

118. Enable user and search engine friendly URLs

119. Set up a print stylesheet

Stage 4.5 – Social Media

120. Check Facebook Audience Insights to see how people are interacting with your website on Facebook

(Update: Facebook is no longer accepting Facebook Domain Insights applications)

121. Link your website to your Google+ Brand page via instructions found here

122. Add humans.txt

123. Create new cover images for other Social Media you use such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn company page, Pinterest, Instagram or others as necessary

client feedback wed design

124. Send the finished site to your client and get feedback

125. Fix and change any requests by client

126. Give access to client to all accounts created on their behalf

127. Send updates to client and wait for client sign-off

128. Close project

Want to download the website design checklist?

You might want to file away a copy of the checklist, for your next website launch. Download it from here.

If you always have that nagging feeling at the back of your mind that you’ve missed out on something – we’ve got a way for you to rest easy. 3SixT5 Design helps you keep track of all you need to do for your next web design project – the good thing is that it takes minutes to set up your next project because we’ve added task templates for you already.

Congratulations! Your project is now done, give yourself a pat on the back – you earned it! For more tips and tricks check out our 101 Tools for Web Designers! 

BlogDigitalseoStartupWebsiteWorkshop
[ February 5, 2020 by Jade Bezuidenhoud 0 Comments ]

Complete SEO questionnaire

Whenever starting out on your SEO prospecting journey you will inevitably come to the client discovery stage. Although it may seem like a cumbersome process to force your client to go through, in the long run it will become your best friend in qualifying your clients and saving you time and money. It should help you clearly understand your clients needs, goals, and expectations. The thoroughness of your SEO questionnaire should also highlight your knowledge and professionalism. This is the questionnaire that we use internally for our Cincinnati SEO company.

Our SEO questionnaire is broken down into several parts. It starts off by collecting some general company background and technical aspects of the SEO project. Afterwards, we ask for specific client content requirements and expectations. We finish up by exploring other opportunities that can help the client achieve their online goals.Table Of Contents

GENERAL INFORMATION

Fill out our SEO Questionnaire

1. What Is The Name Of Your Company?

For legal reasons, it is important to know if the company operates as an LLC, Corp, Inc, or under any DBAs (doing business as). Get this out of the way to save yourself and the client any problems in the future.

2. What Does Your Company Do?

Having the client describe their business can be very helpful in determining keywords to target and find any disconnects between marketing messaging and intentions. You will notice that this is a common theme in this SEO questionnaire.

3. What Sets You Apart From Others?

The unique value proposition (UVP) or unique selling proposition (USP) is something that every business should be using to differentiate themselves from the competition. Knowing this up front can set a clear tone for the marketing content.

4. What Is Your Target Demographic?

By knowing the ideal customer that the client wants to target, we are able to set up our Google Analytics tracking to see if we are achieving their goals.

5. Who Are Your Main Competitors?

This information collected with this SEO questionnaire can be very useful in the competitor research stage. It can tell us how competitive the clients niche is. It can also let us create backlink profiles for some competition to see the amount of work that lays ahead.

6. Is Your Business Online Only?

Online-only companies include SaaS, eCommerce, and digital goods and services. Settings up SEO campaigns for these business types will be very different then local clients.

7. Do You Interact With Local Customers?

If the business operates locally then there are many low-hanging fruit that can be used for link building. This also impacts things like schema implementation and on-page optimization for local terms.

8. Do You Have Multiple Locations?

Multi-location customers like chains and franchises can benefit greatly from local SEO. An extra emphasis has to be placed on site architecture.

TECHNICAL INFORMATION

9. Have You Worked With An SEO Company Before? (And Did They Have You Fill Out An SEO Questionnaire Like This?)

If the client has worked with other SEO companies, its valuable to know what work they have done in the past. There is a chance that they have already filled out some version of an SEO questionnaire in the past that they could provide. If the on-site optimization was done well then you could spend your time focusing on other things. On the other hand, if they failed to do this correctly then there rest of the work will suffer greatly. Also, this could tell you about metrics that may have been established previously. Knowing the target KPIs can greatly help at the start of the project.

10. Has Your Site Been Penalized By Google In The Past?

Another important piece of information to have before evaluating the clients website. If there were penalties in the past then it could take a lot more work to get them removed. It also signals potential underlying issues that may have not been addressed.

11. What Type Of CMS Does Your Website Currently Use?

Using a content management system such as WordPress greatly reduces the time necessary to set up all the on-site optimization. There are various SEO and caching plug-ins on the market that make it much more efficient to work on the site. Just as important, most of the current WordPress websites come mobile optimized.

12. Do You Have An In-House Developer Or Designer?

Certain technical aspects of SEO may require significant design or structural changes to the site. If the client has an in-house developer, it can greatly reduce the time it would take to implement these changes. It is important to have their contact info from the start. On the other hand, if the client does not have an employee in place then this can be an opportunity for a long-term maintenance plan.

13. Do You Have Access To Google Analytics, Adwords, And Search Console, And Are You Willing To Share It?

Google provides these tools for free and they are extremely valuable. They can help analyze traffic to the website, help in keyword research, and help track some keyword rankings. We implement these tools on all of our customers websites if they do not have them already. Having historical data is extremely helpful in showing results of all your marketing campaigns.

14. What Website Would You Like To Promote?

This question may seem obvious but some clients can have multiple brands, domains or product websites. Use this SEO questionnaire to get a clear understanding from the start.

15. Do You Own Other Domain Names?

If the client has multiple related domains then it may be helpful to combine your SEO efforts. Also, it is important to check that the other websites are not doing any harm to the main domain.

Backlinks are still the most important SEO factor when it comes to ranking a website for a specific keyword. If the client had previously had this done to their site, it is something that needs to be evaluated based on their current goals.

17. Which Keywords Would You Like To Focus On?

Some clients may know the high value keywords that matter to them. This will give you a great starting point when you start your own keyword research.

CONTENT REQUIREMENTS

18. Do You Have Any Content For The Website?

This portion of the SEO questionnaire should give you a general idea of potential content problems. If the client has an established website then most likely it has some copy and images on the site. The quality can vary greatly and may need to be tweaked or redone completely.

19. Has Your Content Been Optimized For SEO?

Just because the content exist does not mean that it is properly optimized for SEO purposes. Keywords may need to be added or removed, images may have to be compressed, or entire pages can end up being created all together.

20. Does Your Company Have Branding Guidelines?

This can include logos, color schemes, and fonts and are especially important to keep in mind when optimizing website images. Since images are not as easily editable as plain text, getting this right from the start is extremely important.

21. Do You Have A Desired Writing Style?

Another thing to consider is the tone that the website copy will take. Brands can have strict requirements for the tone they want to have for their site content.

BUDGET AND EXPECTATIONS

22. What Is Your Level Of Understanding When It Comes To SEO?

If the client has very limited understanding of SEO then it is crucial that the basic process is explained. Hopefully, this SEO questionnaire can help them to start considering the different aspects of SEO. You can’t ask someone to pay for a service when they don’t know what they are paying for and you certainly can’t ask them to appreciate the results either. Just as important, you can not set clear expectations if the person doesn’t understand the process.

23. Define Your Desired SEO Results And KPIs?

Goals always have to be put in place so that you know what you are striving for. Asking for KPIs will give you an opportunity to track them and present your results back to the client.

24. What Is The Desired Time-Frame For SEO Results?

Since many factors of SEO are beyond our control, it is imperative that realistic expectations are set from the start. If a client has set unrealistic results and an unrealistic time-frame to achieve them then this is a big red flag. Unless you are able to educate the client before taking on the project, you will have an uphill battle for the duration of your SEO relationship.

25. What Are Your Reporting Requirements?

Monthly reports are the industry standard but some clients may like to receive weekly or biweekly reports instead. This is the time to set clear expectations on the frequency of the reports.

26. What Is Your Monthly SEO Budget?

This may be the most important question when it comes to the scope of what can be achieved for the client and whether you can work with them at all. SEO is a long and time consuming process and requires a long-term commitment if you are serious about real results.

FUTURE OPPORTUNITIES

27. If Necessary, Are You Open To Website Redesign?

Sometimes a website may need to be updated to keep up with the times and sometimes it is almost mandatory. The user experience matters now more than before so if the website no longer looks trustworthy, behaves slowly, doesn’t work on mobile devices, or has other performance issues, then the only real solution is a complete design overhaul.

28. What Is Your Design Budget?

Unfortunately, many SEO clients don’t expect that they would need to redesign their website so they do not budget for it. This can make it nearly impossible to achieve great SEO results since it is difficult to get the website optimized. They may potentially have to spend a budget that is worth several months of SEO services to get the new website up to the latest standards. Hopefully, this SEO questionnaire helps them to reconsider.

29. Will You Need Us To Maintain And Update Site And How Often?

Once the site is up and running, the client needs to decide if they will take care of the updates, security, and site maintenance or if they need to outsource it. If the site requires frequent updates like price changes, schedule updates, media uploads or anything else then training an internal employee may be the best option.

30. What Is Your Maintenance Budget?

As previously mentioned, frequent site updates can get expensive so employee training may be the most cost-effective route to take. However, if the client wants basic site security, hosting, and updates, then this is something that can easily outsourced.

BlogBusinessDigitaldomaineCommerceHostingmarketingStartupWebsiteWorkshop
[ January 25, 2020 by Jade Bezuidenhoud 0 Comments ]

A Complete Guide To WordPress Multisite

WordPress Multisite is a popular feature of WordPress, which enables you to create and run multiple websites using the same WordPress installation on your server. In other words, you can manage several different WordPress websites from a single dashboard.

However, people are sometimes unsure of how to use this feature. This guide will help to clear up questions related to what WordPress Multisite is, who needs it, and how to install it.

Let’s start with the basics.

1. What Is WordPress Multisite?

WordPress Multisite is a feature that allows you to create and run multiple WordPress websites from a single WordPress dashboard. It was previously called WordPress Multi-User or WPMU. WordPress Multisite is not a new feature. It is an advanced feature on the WordPress platform that has been around since the launch of WordPress 3.0. You can use it for a variety of purposes, such as updating all of your websites with a single click or charging your subscribers to create a website on your Multisite network.

2. Key Features Of WordPress Multisite

WordPress Multisite comes with various unique features. For starters, you can run a network of blogs and websites from a single WordPress installation. It enables you to create a network of subdomains, like http://john.example.com, or directories, like http://www.example.com/john/. Alternatively, you can also have a separate domain for each website on the network. It is also easier to replicate functionality across a network of websites.

In WordPress Multisite, you can control the entire network as a Super Admin. As a regular website admin, you can control only one website on the network. As a Super Admin, you control the accessibility of users who want to create an account and set up WordPress blogs or websites of their own.

A Super Admin can install new themes and plugins, make them available to the websites on the network, and also customize the themes for all websites. Another feature is the ability to create websites and online shops intended for specific languages, regions, and currencies.

Both the Super Admin and the website admin can control content. While this control extends over the entire network for a Super Admin, the website admin has the right to choose which content from the main domain gets displayed on their respective website. Plugins are also under the control of a Super Admin. However, a website admin can activate and deactivate plugins on their website if required.

3. Who Should And Shouldn’t Use WordPress Multisite?

Although WordPress Multisite offers several features, it is not always the right choice. The main concern is that the websites on a Multisite network would share the same database. In other words, you can’t back up only a single website. That’s why all of the websites on a network must belong to the same principal domain.

Let me explain with an example. A university could use WordPress Multisite to build different websites for each department, for student and faculty member blogs, and for forums. Because the websites would share their database with the university’s main domain, they would be easier to manage on a Multisite network.

Likewise, banks and financial institutions with a national or global network of branches, digital publications with multiple content sections, government offices with multiple departments, hotel chains, stores with multiple outlets, e-commerce companies, and website design companies such as Wix could also use a Multisite network to their advantage.

However, a web designer couldn’t use Multisite to manage several unrelated client projects. If one of the clients decided to move their website elsewhere, it would be a problem because the website would be sharing its database with others on the network. Multisite makes it difficult to back up an individual website on the network. You would be better off using a single installation in this case.

4. Pros And Cons Of WordPress Multisite

Now that we know who should and shouldn’t use WordPress Multisite, let’s look at the technical pros and cons. You’ll need to weigh them carefully before making a decision.

PROS

  • The main advantage is the ability to manage multiple websites from a single dashboard. This is useful if you are running multiple websites managed by different teams under one parent domain, such as an e-commerce store with different country-specific sub-sites.
  • However, you can also assign a different admin to each website on your network.
  • With a single download, you can install and activate plugins and themes for all of the websites on your network.
  • You can also manage updates with a single master installation for all of the websites on your network.

CONS

  • Because all of the websites share the same network resources, they will all go down if the network goes down.
  • A sudden increase in traffic to one website will affect all others on the network. Unfortunately, beginners often find it difficult to manage traffic and server resources on a Multisite network.
  • Similarly, if one website gets hacked, the entire network will get compromised.
  • Not all WordPress plugins support a Multisite network.
  • Likewise, not all web hosting providers have the tools necessary to support a Multisite network.
  • If your hosting provider lacks the server requirements, you won’t be able to use the Multisite feature. For example, some hosting providers might not allow you to add a domain to the same hosting server. In that case, you might need to change or upgrade your hosting plan or change providers.

5. Requirements For WordPress Multisite

Knowing the technical pros and cons, you must have decided whether Multisite is the right option for you. If you are going to use it, you will need to meet a few technical requirements first.

One of the first things you will need is a web hosting service provider that can handle multiple domains in a single web hosting plan. Although you could use shared hosting for a couple of websites with low traffic, you should use VPS hosting or a dedicated server, owing to the nature of the WordPress Multisite network.

You will also need to have the fundamental knowledge of how to install WordPress. It would be an added advantage if you already have a WordPress installation. However, you will need to back it up. You will also need to deactivate all of the plugins.

Make sure you have FTP access. You will need to know the basics of editing files using FTP as well. Finally, you will need to activate pretty permalinks. In other words, your URLs should look not like http://example.com/?p=2345, but like http://example.com/my-page.

6. Multisite Domain Mapping

By default, you can create additional websites on your Multisite network as subdomains or subfolders of the main website. They look like this:

subsite.network.com

or like this:

network.com/subsite

However, you might not always want this, because you will be required to create a unique domain name for each website. That’s where domain mapping comes to the rescue. You can use this feature within the Multisite network to map additional websites to show as domain.com. Using domain mapping, this is what you will see:

subsite.network.com = domain.com

or:

network.com/subsite = domain.com

Prior to WordPress 4.5, you had to use a domain mapping plugin to map the additional websites. However, in version 4.5+, domain mapping is a native feature.

7. Multisite Hosting And SSL

As you probably know, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) enables you to transport data over the internet securely. The data remains undecipherable to malicious users, bots, and hackers.

However, some hosting providers offer free SSL certification for the main domain only. You might need to buy it separately for each subdomain. If one of the websites on your multisite network lacks SSL certification, it will compromise the security of all the other websites. Thus, ensure that all websites on your WordPress Multisite network have SSL certificates.

8. Installing And Setting Up WordPress Multisite For New And Existing Websites

First, you will need to install WordPress. Once it’s installed, you will need to enable the Multisite feature. You can also enable it on your existing WordPress website. Before doing so, however, back up your website.

    • Use an FTP client or the cPanel file manager to connect with your website, and open the wp-config.php file for editing.
    • Add the following code to your wp-config.php file just before the /*:
/* Multisite */
define( 'WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE', true );
  • Now, save and upload your wp-config.php file back to the server.
  • That’s all!

Next, you will need to set up the Multisite network. If you are already logged into your WordPress dashboard, refresh the page to continue with the next steps. If not, you will need to log in again.

    • When setting up the Multisite network on your existing website, you will need to deactivate all plugins. Go to the “Plugins” » “Installed Plugins” page, and select all plugins. Select the “Deactivate” option from the “Bulk Actions” dropdown menu, and click “Apply”.
How to Deactivate Plugin
Deactivate Plugin. (Large preview)
    • Now, go to “Tools” » “Network Setup”. If you see a notice that you need Apache’s mod_rewrite module installed on your server, don’t be alarmed. All leading WordPress hosting providers keep this module enabled.
How to Create a Network of WordPress Sites
Network Setup. (Large preview)
    • Choose the domain structure for websites on your network, either subdomains or subdirectories.
    • Add a title for your network.
    • Make sure that the email address for the network admin is correct.
    • Click the “Install” button.
    • You will see some code that you have to add to the wp-config.php and .htaccess files, respectively. Use an FTP client or the file manager in cPanel to copy and paste the code.
Add code to wp-config.php and .htaccess file
Complete Setup. (Large preview)

The set-up is complete. You will need to log in again to access your Multisite network.

9. WordPress Multisite Configuration And Other Settings

Hold on! You still need to configure the network settings, for which you will need to switch to the Multisite network dashboard.

  • Open the “My Sites” menu in the admin toolbar. Click the “Network Admin” option, and then click the “Dashboard” option to go to the Multisite network dashboard.
  • Click the “Settings” option in the admin sidebar. You will see your website’s title and the admin’s email address. Make sure they are correct before moving on to a few essential configuration settings.

A. REGISTRATION SETTINGS

This setting enables you to open your website to user registration and allows existing users to create new websites on your network. Check the appropriate box.

If you check the “Registration Notification” box, you will receive an email notification whenever a new user or website gets registered. Check the “Add New Users” option to enable individual website administrators to add new users to their own websites.

Use the “Limited Email Registration” option to restrict registration to a specific domain. For example, allow only users from your company to register with your website. Likewise, you can also prevent some domains from being registered.

How to Register New Sites
Registration Settings. (Large preview)

B. NEW WEBSITE’S SETTINGS

Here, you can configure the default options, such as welcome emails and the contents of the first default post, page, and comment, for every new website built on your Multisite network. You can update these settings anytime.

Make Settings For New site
New Site Settings. (Large preview)

C. UPLOAD SETTINGS

You can limit the total amount of space each website on your network can use for uploads. This will help you to delegate server resources judiciously. The default value is 100 MB. You can also set the type of files that users can add to their websites, such as images, .doc, .docx, and .odt files, audio and video files, and PDFs. You can also set a size limit for individual files.

Assign space for uploads of each site on your network
Upload Settings. (Large preview)

D. MENU SETTINGS

This setting enables the administrative menu for the plugins section of your network’s websites. Once you enable this setting, users will be able to activate and deactivate plugins, but won’t be able to add new ones. Click “Save Changes” to apply the changes you have made.

10. Resources: Setting Up Themes And Plugins

Because individual website administrators can’t install themes and plugins on their own, you will need them to set up on the network.

A. THEMES

Go to “My Sites” » “Network Admin” » “Themes”.

On this page, you will see a list of the themes currently installed. Use the following settings to make your desired changes.

  • “Network Enable”: Make the theme available to website administrators.
  • “Network Disable”: Disable a theme that you have previously made available.
  • “Add New”: Install a new theme on your network.

CHANGE A DEFAULT THEME

Add the following code to your wp-config.php file to change the default theme for new websites (replacing your-theme with the name of the theme’s folder):

// Setting default theme for new sites
define( 'WP_DEFAULT_THEME', 'your-theme' );

B. PLUGINS

Go to “My Sites” » “Network Admin” » “Plugins”.

Click the “Network Activate” option below each plugin to add it to your network. Remember that if you have already enabled the “Plugins Menu” option for website administrators in the “Network Settings”, then admins will not be able to delete or install new plugins. However, they will be able to activate and deactivate existing plugins.

11. How To Add A New Website To The Multisite Dashboard

Go to “My Sites” » “Network Admin” » “Sites”.

How to to enable Administrative Menu for Plugins Section
Add Sites. (Large preview)

Click the “Add New” button.

How to Add New Site to the Multisite Dashboard
Add New Sites. (Large preview)

Fill in the following fields.

  • Add the address (URL) for your new website.
  • Enter your “Site Title”.
  • Enter the email address of the new website’s administrator.
Add New Site Button
Add Site Button. (Large preview)

Click the “Add Site” button to finish the process.

12. Google Analytics On WordPress Multisite

You can also generate Google Analytics code for all pages on all of the websites on your Multisite network. If you haven’t already done so, create a Google Analytics account, and sign into it.

  • Start by creating a property to set up a Google Analytics ID. You will need this ID to install your global site tag (gtag.js).
  • Next, find your Google Analytics ID in the “Property” column of the relevant account in the “Admin” section of your Analytics account.
  • Now, you can copy and paste the global site tag on the relevant web pages. Add the gtag.js tag right after the opening <head> tag. You can have different analytics code for each website on the network, and the Super Admin can manage all of them if needed.

13. Setting Up On Local Host

You can use any WAMP or LAMP software to set up WordPress Multisite on a local system. You’ll need to follow the same steps you did to host a website. However, take care with the domain mapping. You can easily set up a subdirectory website in the local system, but to set up a subdomain or a different domain, you’ll need to set up virtual host on the WAMP or LAMP server.

14. Useful Plugins For WordPress Multisite And How They Work

You can use a variety of plugins to ensure the smooth operation of your Multisite network.

A. Domain Mapping
This plugin enables you to offer each website on your network its own domain name.

B. WPForms
Create different forms using a simple drag-and-drop tool.

C. Yoast SEO
Optimize the websites on your network for better search engine results. Yoast is a well-known name in the SEO world.

D. Pro Sites
Offer paid upgrades, advertising, and more, thereby monetizing your Multisite network. You can restrict the features of the free website, encouraging users to upgrade.

E. SeedProd
Add customized “Coming soon” and “maintenance mode” landing pages. This will jazz up the network while administrators work on their websites.

F. WP Mail SMTP
Fix the “WordPress is not sending email” issue with this plugin. It allows you to use an SMTP server to send crucial Multisite registration and notification emails.

G. User Switching
Using this plugin, you can switch user accounts as network admin to see what your users are experiencing when working on their websites. It can help you to troubleshoot some functionality issues.

15. Troubleshooting And FAQs

A. TROUBLESHOOTING

When setting up a Multisite network, you might encounter a few common problems. Let’s see how to troubleshoot these issues.

I. Login Issues

You might encounter a wp-admin login issue If you are using WordPress Multisite with subdirectories, rather than subdomains. If you are not able to log into the WordPress back end for individual websites with subdirectories, you can try replacing the define ('SUBDOMAIN_INSTALL', true); line in wp-config.php file with define ('SUBDOMAIN_INSTALL', 'false');.

II. Find Unconfirmed Users

Sometimes, you might not be able to find registered users who haven’t received an activation email. Usually, poorly configured mail settings are responsible for this problem. You can use SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) to send activation emails. The PHP Mail function might send emails to the junk folder due to unauthorized email sending. Instead, you can use SMTP with proper domain authentication to get emails delivered to the inbox. Use any SMTP service provider, such as MailGun or Gmail.

B. FAQS

1. Can I install plugin “X” in my WordPress Multisite?

Yes, you can install any plugin in Multisite. However, not all plugins support Multisite. Check the plugin’s support before installing it.

2. Can I share user logins and roles across a Multisite network?

Yes, you can share user logins and roles across multiple websites. This comes in handy if you want website admins to manage the content on their own websites in your Multisite network.

3. Is it possible to display the main website’s posts on all websites on the network?

Yes, you can show your main website’s posts across the network.

4. If I am a Super Admin, can I log into all network websites with a single ID?

Yes, Super Admins can use the same credentials to sign into all network websites.

5. As a Super Admin, can I log into another network’s websites?

No, you can’t sign into networks other than your own.

6. Can I add more websites to my network later?

Yes, you can add as many websites as you want, anytime you want.

7. Can I use different plugins for each website, such as Yoast for one and All in One SEO for another?

Yes, you can use different plugins with similar functionality for different websites. However, you must set the plugin for the specific website you want. If you activate it for the entire Multisite network, it will work on all websites automatically.

8. Can I install a plugin on an individual website?

No, you cannot install a plugin directly on an individual website. You have to install it on the network. However, you can activate or deactivate it for a specific website.

9. Can I create a theme and apply it to a specific website?

Yes, you can create as many themes as you like. You can also activate or deactivate themes as a website’s admin.

16. WordPress Multisite Examples

Here are a few well-known brands using a WordPress Multisite network.

  • OpenView Venture Partners
    OpenView Venture Partners is a venture capital firm. The company uses a Multisite installation to run three different websites, including the corporate website, the corporate blog, and a multi-author blog called Labs. The company runs the last two websites under the subdomains blog.openviewpartners.com and labs.openviewpartners.com. Each website has a centralized theme that works perfectly.
  • The University of British Columbia Blogs
    The University of British Columbia (UBC) also uses WordPress Multisite. The purpose here is to enable professors to create course websites, build blogs with multiple contributors, and create portfolios for students as well as staff members. The WordPress Multisite installation gives teachers complete control over their online communities. They can add as many students as they like and take teaching beyond the walls of the classroom.
  • Cheap Flights
    Cheapflights is a travel website, offering flight tickets, hotel bookings, and vacation packages. The website uses WordPress Multisite to power its Travel Tips section. The section covers the latest travel news, tips on flying, information on the best places to travel to, and more.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, WordPress Multisite comes with several advantages. You can control and manage several websites from a single dashboard. It can certainly reduce your legwork and make your website monitoring hassle-free. Hopefully, you now have enough knowledge on installing, troubleshooting, and working with applications on a Multisite network to take the plunge.

Have you ever used WordPress Multisite? Will you consider using it for future projects? Let us know in the comments section below.

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[ December 5, 2019 by Jade Bezuidenhoud 2 Comments ]

What is a Domain Name? Domains Explained for Beginners

Domain name is essentially your website’s equivalent of a physical address. In the same way that a satellite navigation needs a street address or a zip code to provide directions, a web browser needs a domain name to direct you to a website.

A domain name takes the form of two main elements. For example, the domain name Facebook.com consists of the website’s name (Facebook) and the domain name extension (.com). When a company (or a person) purchases a domain name, they’re able to specify which server that the domain name points to.

Domain name registrations are overseen by an organization called ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). ICANN specifies which domain name extensions are available and keeps a centralized database of where the domain names point to.

Every website that you visit effectively consists of two main elements: a domain name and a web server.

  1. A web server is a physical machine that hosts the files and the databases that your website is made from and sends them out to people across the internet when they visit your site from their machine.
  2. The domain name is what people type in to access your site, and it points the web browser to the server that stores those resources. Without a domain name, people would need to remember the specific IP address of your server — and that’s just not going to happen.

How Do Domains Work?

Domain names work by acting as a shortcut to the server that hosts your website.

Without a domain name, anyone who wanted to visit your website would have to enter the full IP address. But the problem is that an IP address is difficult for people to memorise or to include on advertising materials.

In our case, 3sixt5.co.za is the domain name. Let’s say it points IP address is 100.90.80.70. The IP address points to a server, but it doesn’t resolve the website if visitors try to use it. That’s because for an IP address to resolve a website, the remote server needs to be using port 80 with a default page (i.e. index.html) stored in its web-apps directory.

As you can see, messing around with server defaults and IP addresses can be both confusing and time-consuming. That’s why the vast majority of website owners opt to use a service like 3sixt5 which offers bundled domain names with annual web hosting packages.

Domains can also use redirects, which essentially allow you to specify that if people visit your domain, they’re automatically forwarded to another. This can be useful for campaigns and microsites or for forwarding people to dedicated landing pages on your main site. They can also come in useful for avoiding confusion around spellings. For example, if you visit www.fb.com, you’ll be forwarded to www.facebook.com.

Different Types of Domains

Not all domain names follow the same formula, and while .com domains make up for 46.5% of all global websites, that still leaves plenty of room for other domain name types like .org and .net. Overall, the most common types of domain names include:

TLD: Top Level Domains

A top level domain is exactly what it sounds like: a type of domain name which is at the top level of the internet’s domain name system. There are over a thousand TLDs available but the most common include .com, .org, .net and .edu.

The official list of TLDs is maintained by an organization called the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) and can be viewed here. IANA notes that the list of TLDs also includes ccTLDs and gTLDs, which we’ll talk about next.

ccTLD: Country Code Top Level Domains

ccTLDs use just two letters and are based upon international country codes, such as .us for the United States and .jp for Japan. They’re often used by companies which are building dedicated sites for specific regions and can be a good way of signaling to users that they’ve arrived at the right place.

gTLD: Generic Top Level Domain

A gTLD is essentially a TLD that doesn’t rely on a country code. Many gTLDs are intended for a specific use-case, such as .edu which is aimed at educational institutions. That said, you don’t have to meet any specific criteria to register a gTLD, which is why .com isn’t only used for commercial purposes.

Other examples of gTLDs include .mil (military), .gov (government), .org (for non-profits and organizations) and .net, which was originally designed for internet service providers (ISPs) but which is now used much more widely.

Other Domain Name Types

While the above-mentioned domain categories are the most frequent, there are other variations that you can run into.

Second Level Domains

You’ve probably seen these domain names before. We’re talking about a domain that sits directly below a top-level domain name. We’re not going to get too technical here because it’s easier to show with examples, particularly when it comes to country codes.

For example, British companies occasionally use .co.uk instead of .com, and it’s a perfect example of a second level domain. Another second level domain is .gov.uk, which is often used by governmental institutions, and .ac.uk, which is used by academic institutions and universities.

Subdomains

Subdomains are useful because they don’t require webmasters to purchase an additional domain name to create divisions within their site. Instead, they’re able to create a subdomain which effectively points to a specific directory on the server. This can be super useful for campaign sites and other types of web content that should be kept separate from the main site.

For example, Facebook uses developers.facebook.com to provide specific information for web and app developers who want to use the Facebook API. Another great example is support.google.com

How to Register a Domain Name

Different name providers use different systems and so while this answer covers what the process typically looks like, it may differ slightly depending on the provider.

You’ll usually start by running a domain name search. Most domain name providers will allow you to type in your desired domain name and to see whether it’s available. Here on 3sixt5, we also provide plenty of suggestions for other potential domain names, which can be useful when the domain that you searched for was already taken.

Searching for a new domain name using domain checker tool

From there, it’s just a case of completing the checkout process and paying for your new domain name. Once it’s registered, you’ll be given access to a control panel with all the essential management tools.

How to Transfer a Domain Name

Domain names can also be transferred between registrars. Though there are a few special conditions that must be met:

  1. 60 or more days must have passed since the registration or last transfer.
  2. The domain must not be in Redemption or Pending Delete status.
  3. You should have your domain’s authorization code (also known as EPP code).
  4. Domain’s ownership details must be valid and privacy protection services must be disabled.

While it is not mandatory to transfer your domain, having all services in a single place can greatly simplify the management process.

Here on 3sixt5, you can perform a domain transfer from any registrar. The process can take somewhere between 4-7 days to be fully completed. However, our dedicated customer success team will be there to assist every step of the way!

Difference Between a Domain Name and Web Hosting

Going back to the start of this article, if the domain name is like your physical address then web hosting is like the physical building and the contents stored within.

Domain names are used to create a handy little shortcut to link what visitors type into an address bar to the server that’s used to host the website. They’re entirely digital and stored in a centralised database.

Hosting is a little different because it requires a physical server that’s located somewhere in the world and connected to the internet. It’s essentially like a computer hard drive that stores all of your website’s files and databases. It’s called a server because it literally “serves” your website to your visitors.

When you type a URL (i.e. www.3sixt5.co.za) into your web browser, it sends a request to the specific server that your site is hosted on. The server then uploads the files and transmits them across the internet to the device that you’re using, which downloads the files and displays them.

So, What is a Domain Name?

Domain name is essentially the web hosting equivalent of a postal address. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. A domain name is your website’s equivalent of a street address.
  2. They consist of a website name (i.e. 3sixt5) and a domain name extension (i.e. .com).
  3. All domain name registrations are overseen by ICANN.
  4. Domains work by forwarding visitors to the appropriate server.
  5. .com domains are the most popular, powering 46.5% of the web.
  6. ccTLDs use country codes and designate geographic areas (i.e. .cn or .es).
  7. gTLDs tend to be designed for specific use cases (i.e. .org for organizations).
  8. Every domain name registrar has a different signup process.
  9. You can use domain search engines to find available domain names.
  10. Domains can be transferred from one provider to another.
  11. Servers are physical machines which store your website’s files.
  12. If you need help, our support team will be more than happy to help.

Final Word

In this tutorial, we’ve learned all there is to know about domain names and how they work. We have also covered the basics of domain transfer and registration process.

If you have any extra domain name related questions, feel free to submit them in the comments below!

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[ November 28, 2019 by Jade Bezuidenhoud 0 Comments ]

Why Sell Online? The Importance of eCommerce in Your Sales Strategy

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[ October 4, 2019 by Jade Bezuidenhoud 0 Comments ]

8 Reasons Why Your Website Needs Search Engine Optimization

Today’s consumers rely on search engines to help them find everything from restaurant recommendations to B2B software providers.

This means that regardless of what your business offers, your target audience is likely searching for products or services like yours on search engines like Google.

And if you want to attract them to your site, you need search engine optimization.

But if you’ve spent much time researching your options with digital marketing, you’ve probably heard that before.

Once you’ve accepted this, though, the next logical question is how to do search engine optimization.

That’s why on this page, we’ll explain exactly what makes SEO so important, as well as a few search engine optimization techniques and search engine optimization tools you can use to increase your online visibility.

An Introduction to SEO

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a strategy for improving your site’s rankings in search engine results.

It involves identifying which keywords and phrases your target audience uses when looking for products or services like yours, then working towards ranking well for those searches.

Of course, this is a simplified explanation — and you can check out our resource on “what is SEO” for a more in-depth look at search engine optimization.

8 Reasons Why Your Website Needs SEO Optimization

Today, SEO is an essential part of any effective marketing strategy.

But to fully illustrate its importance, let’s go over a few of the reasons you should be optimizing your site.

It can help you build your brand

Although branding is often considered a more traditional marketing strategy, while SEO falls firmly into the digital category, the two involve similar steps.

Building a brand requires considering both what you provide, and what others say about it.

brand building

And when you look at the steps involved in optimizing a site, the factors are similar. You need to create content that’s in line with your audience’s needs and interests, then find ways to earn links to that content from other sites.

If you keep this relationship in mind as you develop your SEO strategy, you can select keywords and create content that’s in line with the image you want your brand to have.

Then, your online presence will reflect your ideal branding — and help you establish it with your target audience.

An optimized website earns more traffic

On the surface, the goal of SEO optimization is to improve your site’s rankings in search results.

But beyond that, the purpose of achieving high rankings is to attract more traffic — and ideally, to convert that traffic into customers and leads.

And in case you were wondering, it works.

For example, just take a look at the following organic traffic report from a Siege Media case study.

3sixt5 seo case study

Over the course of one year, this brand new site’s traffic increased from zero to 100,000 visitors — entirely from SEO.

If you want to bring more users to your site, SEO is the best way to accomplish this goal.

SEO doesn’t require you to pay for ad space

One of the biggest advantages of SEO is that it doesn’t involve paying for ad space.

Consider how traditional ad campaigns operate.

You determine a location you want your brand to appear, whether that’s on a particular TV channel or radio station, or in the pages of a magazine or newspaper.

Then, you pay the company that owns that media for placement. You might pay for your ad to run for a certain length of time, or within a certain number of issues. As soon as that period is up, your ad stops appearing — and stops generating results for your business.

Now, consider the various pages that appear in search engine results.

organic results ad-dictions and 3sixt5

The top two listings in this screenshot are pay-per-click, or PPC, ads, as denoted by the small “Ad” tag.

Much like traditional ad campaigns, earning one of these spots involving ongoing costs.

Of course, if you’re familiar with PPC, you know that advertisers only pay when a user clicks an ad and visits their site. This certainly gives it an edge over traditional methods.

Still, every visitor involves a cost — and the minute an advertiser pauses their campaign, they stop showing up.

But the sites appearing in the organic results, directly below those ads, aren’t paying a cent for those rankings.

While they likely invested a significant amount of time and money into creating the pages that are ranking in those spots, they appear on page one because Google’s algorithm thinks they provide value to users.

As a result, they’re earning traffic without spending a cent.

It helps your target audience find your site

SEO can help your business get in front of your target audience as they’re actively searching for information.

And considering how common it is for consumers to use search engines to find information about products and services, this is a huge opportunity.

In fact, 62% of consumers turn to search engines first when they want to learn more about a new business, product, or service — and 41% use them when they’re ready to buy.

SEO organic reach marketing and design

This means that if you want your business to be part of a user’s online research process, it needs to show up in search results for keywords related to the products or services you offer.

Plus, according to that same survey, 48% of consumers prefer to visit a business’s official website to learn more about them.

So having a strong online presence will not only help you reach your marketing goals but will also enable your target audience to research and buy in a way that works for them.

It boosts your credibility and authority

The Internet has drastically changed what the sales process looks like for many businesses.

That’s because today, consumers have access to a wealth of helpful resources that can help them learn about their options before they speak with a sales representative.

And with SEO optimization, you can become part of that learning process.

That’s especially true if you combine your SEO efforts with content marketing. When you create informative, valuable content, you have the opportunity to build trust and credibility with potential customers early in the research phase.

Here’s a general overview of how this works:

Content Marketing

First, a user finds your site by searching for information related to your industry and seeing one of your resources in the search results.

Then, they read that resource. If they like it, they might share it with their friends and subscribe to your email list.

This is where the process slows down a bit.

That user might return to your site several times and read your email content regularly over the next few months without taking action.

And if you’re used to the traditional sales process, this can be frustrating.

But with each piece of content they read, you’re establishing your brand as a credible, authoritative source of information.

Then, when they’re finally ready to make a purchase or speak with a sales representative, they’ll know exactly which company to turn to — and be extremely comfortable doing so after all of the helpful information you’ve already provided for free.

It can help you stay ahead of your competitors

As you optimize your site, you’re not just working to improve where your site ranks on results pages.

You’re also moving above your competitors.

Just consider that the first result on any given results page gets an average of 20.5% of the clicks. From there, the second result gets 13.32%, and the third gets 13.14%.

Click through rates

This means that as you move up in search results, you’ll earn a larger percentage of the clicks for your target keywords — and your competitors will earn less.

It improves user experience

Google’s ultimate goal is to provide the best possible results for their users.

As a result, many of their algorithm updates focus on making sure that they’re directing users to sites that not only provide relevant content, but also a great user experience.

That’s why today, technical factors like mobile-friendliness, usability, and site speed play a much bigger role in rankings than ever before.

While this means that optimizing your site might require a bit more professional help, it also means that you’ll be continuously improving the user experience your site provides.

And when you consider the impact that user experience has on conversions, this can have a significant impact on your sales and revenue in the long run.

It’s easy to measure

Finally, one of the biggest advantages of SEO is that you can measure virtually every aspect of your results.

Unlike traditional methods, which often rely on looking for correlations between ad campaigns and sales, it’s easy to see the return you’re getting from your SEO investment.

You can use tools like Google Analytics to monitor your traffic, referral sources, conversions, and any other metric that matters to your business.

This way, you can accurately evaluate what’s working — and what isn’t — and be confident that you’re allocating your marketing budget to the strategies that have the biggest impact on your most important goals.

How to Do Search Engine Optimization In 2018

The basic premise of SEO has always been the same: Improve rankings in search results.

But as Google continues to update its algorithm, the exact steps required to achieve this goal have also changed over time.

So although the general idea remains the same, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind as you optimize your site in 2018.

Focus on the user

Google’s algorithm updates are almost impossible to predict.

The company is highly secretive about the changes it makes to its algorithm, sometimes even after they happen — so it can be difficult to keep up with those changes.

Still, every update has one thing in common. They’re all designed to help the search engine provide the best possible results for searchers.

So as you work on improving your site, always remember to keep your focus on the user.

Choose topics that are relevant to their needs, write content in a way that’s helpful and straightforward, and make sure that your site is easy to navigate and engage with.

This way, even though there’s no way to tell what Google’s next move will be, you’ll be working with the same core goal in mind — and that can only work in your favor.

Use keyword optimization

Search engines have used keywords as a consideration in how they rank pages from the beginning, and they’re still an important factor today.

You can learn more about the role they play in our resource on on-page SEO.

Optimize your site for the mobile-first index

One of the biggest changes in how people browse the Internet over the past few years is the devices with which we access online content.

In the early days of SEO, the only way to access a search engine was on a desktop computer.

Today, an increasing number of users browse on smartphones, tablets, and other devices. In fact, mobile Internet usage surpassed desktop for the first time in 2016.

Internet usage www

It makes sense, then, that Google would take steps to make sure that their results prioritized pages that were accessible on mobile devices.

Their first step, in April 2015, was to boost mobile-friendly pages in search results. This change was so significant that many SEOs referred to it as “Mobilegeddon.”

But in 2016, Google took things a step farther by announcing that it would be switching to a mobile-first index.

This represented a reverse in how they’ve historically categorized and ranked pages, a shift illustrated nicely by this graphic from Moz.

Google Crawl Desktop and Mobile

Essentially, Google has always indexed and ranked pages based on how they appeared on desktop computers. This meant that their results typically reflected the best pages for desktop users — which made sense when these users made up the majority of their audience.

But if any of those pages performed poorly on smartphones, they’d be delivering a poor user experience for mobile users.

So to keep up with the increasing number of users accessing online content on smartphones, tablets, and other devices, Google reversed the process.

With this shift, they’ve started to rank pages based on the best results for mobile users.

This means that if a site doesn’t perform well on smartphones, its rankings will suffer — even in desktop results.

SEO Optimization Tools

As you work towards improving your site’s online visibility, there are plenty of tools you can use to simplify and improve the process.

Tools to improve your keyword research

Keyword research is the first step in any successful SEO strategy, and there are several tools designed specifically to help you identify the best possible keywords for your business:

You can learn more about each of these tools in our resource on how to do keyword research.

Tools to simplify on-page optimization

Optimizing a page’s on-page elements is an essential part of the SEO process, and the following tools can help you ensure that you do so correctly:

For more information on each of these tools, take a look at our guide to on-page SEO.

Tools to improve off-page optimization

Another essential part of SEO is off-page optimization, which primarily involves earning backlinks.

Competitor research is one of the best ways to identify new opportunities for link building, and these two tools are both excellent choices for that process:

You can learn more about these tools and how to use them in our resource on off-page SEO.

Tools to monitor your results

As you make changes to your site, it’s important to measure the impact those changes make. These are two of the best tools for monitoring your results:

You can learn how to utilize these tools in our guide to seo metrics.

Tools to improve your conversion rate

Your goal with SEO isn’t just to attract traffic — it’s to convert that traffic into customers and clients for your business. As a result, you’ll need to make sure that your site is in line with your visitors’ needs and designed to encourage conversions.

The following tools can help you measure your performance and identify opportunities for improvement:

For more information, check out our resource on CRO and SEO.

Conclusion

Optimizing a site is a complex, and often challenging, process.

It takes time, planning, and a lot of patience to achieve the results you want with search engine optimization.

But if you’re willing to invest the resources it takes to create and carry out a well-planned strategy, the results you’ll see in terms of sales and revenue are entirely worth it.

It can help you boost your credibility, earn more traffic, and improve your online visibility.

Plus, you’ll achieve all of those results with spending a cent on ad space.

Beyond that, SEO is a great way improve the overall experience your target audience has with your brand. When you create content that’s in line with their needs, then make it easily accessible on a user-friendly site, you position your company as a helpful resource.

Finally, as you work on your site’s optimization, it’s easy to monitor and measure your results — meaning you’ll never have to worry on whether you’re allocating your digital marketing budget effectively.

So if you’ve been wondering why your site needs search engine optimization, the answer is clear: it’s one of the best ways to reach your marketing goals.

What motivated you to start using SEO for your website?

adwordsBlog
[ October 2, 2019 by Jade Bezuidenhoud 0 Comments ]

Why use google adwords? heres 10 reasons why

 

Unseen auctions happen at lightning speed nearly every time you search a product or service in Google. And behind those auctions are advertisers at war for your click.

Why are so many of them fighting for you like this? Because the tools from Google AdWords tell them that your click may eventually lead to a sale.

If you’re an advertiser who wants to start capitalizing on the astronomical number of searches that take place on Google daily, and quickly earn the attention you need to grow your bottom line, there’s no better way to start than by signing up to use Google AdWords.

What is Google AdWords?

Taken directly from our all-inclusive guide to Google AdWords:

Google AdWords is Google’s online advertising program, the program allows you to create online ads to reach audiences that are interested in the products and services you offer. The AdWords platform runs on pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, i.e. you have to pay every time a visitor clicks your ad.

But there are so many advertising mediums and methods out there, and it can be hard to determine which is a good fit for your business. Blog posts and influencers and salespeople are always telling you to invest in this and invest in that without actually explaining why.

10 Google AdWords benefits

So you want to know the answer to “Why use AdWords?”

There are plenty of big benefits. Here are just a few.

1. Google’s massive reach

Today Google has elevated itself beyond a brand to a verb. The term “Google” is actually defined in the Merriam Webster Dictionary

why use Google AdWords

And that’s because, now, when people have a question that needs answering their first stop is usually Google.

Want to know if there’s a solution for that back pain you’ve been having?

Google it.

Want to know if there’s a tool that makes collaborating on a post-click landing page easier?

Google it.

The search engine handles an obscene 2+ trillion searches like these per year. That’s over 5 billion searches per day.

Among those are people looking for solutions to problems that your business can offer. If they’ve ever used the internet, chances are they’ve Googled the answer to something. And if you can help them find the answer, even if it’s with an ad, they’re more likely to choose you than your competitor.

2. Capabilities that allow for a range of targeting

With AdWords, there’s something for every business and every prospect at every stage of the buyer’s journey.

Bidding on broad keyword search terms like “accounting software” will show your ad to prospects at the earlier stages of the product research process and allow you to fill the top of your funnel with two really simple but powerful techniques:

  • Capture their information with your post-click landing page and start sending them informative content that proves your authority.
  • If they don’t convert, use retargeting software to draw them back until they do.

Another powerful technique for adding to your customer base is bidding on long-tail keyword search terms like “accounting software for freelance marketers.” These generally are less expensive, and they’re worth it for capturing the attention of people who are looking for exactly what you offer. Most times people who search long, specific strings of keywords have more intent. And intent is what makes the people you reach on AdWords so valuable (more on that next.)

3. Harness intent

The biggest difference between the people you’re reaching with Google AdWords and the people you’re reaching with other forms of advertising is their intent.

On social media, for example, people aren’t looking to be advertised to. They’re not looking for solutions to the issues that plague their everyday lives. They’re looking for baby pictures and vacation photos and family updates. And when you advertise to someone who doesn’t want to be advertised to, there’s a better chance you get tuned out.

On the search network, though, you’re not advertising to people who don’t want to be advertised to. You’re advertising to people who are looking for something specific, like the best post-click landing page platform for agencies:

why use Google AdWords agencies

And when your ad appears, it helps them find the answer instead of interrupting their online browsing experience.

Some experts even consider search ads a form of inbound marketing as opposed to outbound advertising because they assist someone who has taken the first step to look for it. Using AdWords, let prospects come to you, then help them find answers, and you’ll put yourself in the best position to earn their business when they’re ready to pull out their wallet.

4. Maintain full control of your campaigns at all times

You used to have to jump hurdles and bust through thick red tape to run ad campaigns that reach as many people as AdWords can. Beginning and ending those campaigns would take time and resources that could be better used elsewhere.

On the other hand, buying ad space with software — also known as “programmatic advertising” — is easy for even one properly trained employee to do. With some education, they’ll be able to start and stop campaigns, reach the right people for the right price, and do it all instantaneously. That way, you can allocate your resources and your time to other pressing initiatives.

5. Bring any budget to the table

Winning a click can cost some businesses hundreds of dollars. In the legal industry, there are long-tail keywords reaching around $1,000 per click:

why use google adwords most expensive keywords

But most keywords don’t cost so much. And even if they do, an advantage to using AdWords is able to put constraints on your daily budget, maximum bids, and more. That way, you can be confident that even if you’re not monitoring your account like a hawk, you’ll never spend more than you want to. Says Dinesh Thakur:

With AdWords, you have full and through control over the budget of your AdWords campaigns. You can control everything starting from the maximum bid on the ad to the daily budget of the campaign.

You can also decide how much you want to spend each month and adjust the budget based on the performance graph. When an ad is performing extremely well, you can increase the ad spend on it to increase the desired results. It works in reverse to decrease ad spend on an underperforming ad, but you can also stop it instantly before losing another dime.

6. See results laid out in an easy-to-understand format

You’ll have no idea how to improve if you don’t know what you’re doing wrong, and some analytics dashboards make it near impossible to figure out what that is.

Luckily AdWords makes everything straightforward and easy to understand. Find out basic information like clicks, impressions, keywords budget, etc., or get even more granular with a Google Analytics integration that allows you to see exactly how visitors are behaving on your website — right down to what they clicked, where they went next, and how long they’re spending there.

7. Get quicker results than with SEO

Search engine optimization is still the backbone of most highly visited sites. The posts and pages you see on page one aren’t just well-written with carefully researched keywords; they’re also on sites that have amassed a large number of backlinks over time (still the number one ranking factor for web pages).

It can be years before you get to see one of your own pages in the coveted first position for a broad keyword search term. Some businesses will never see it.

When you get started with AdWords, though, your chance of leapfrogging all the organic results on a search engine results page grows exponentially, and it grows easier too. There’s no endless search for links that will bump your page up just a little bit; there’s no poring over keyword density on your post-click landing page. Start running ads and boost the odds people see you first thing, on a page like this, where organic results don’t even appear until below the fold:

why use Google AdWords first results

8. Build brand awareness

When people hear “Google AdWords,” they think mostly of driving traffic through pay-per-click ads on search engine results pages. But, Google’s ads are more versatile than that. They can also be a great tool for building brand awareness — something that research shows is what the highest performing marketers prioritize:

why use Google AdWords brand awareness

Before we explain, let’s explore briefly what the word “brand” means. Decades ago, David Ogilvy offered maybe the best definition:

”The intangible sum of a product’s attributes: its name, packaging, and price, its history, its reputation, and the way it’s advertised.”

Reinforcing your brand name, personality, reputation, etc., are all necessary to build trust with your visitors. The more you repeat these things consistently, the stronger your brand becomes, and the more trust you earn with prospects. And trust is what will ultimately earn you purchases and loyal customers.

Through the AdWords search network, even if potential customers aren’t clicking, they see your brand, your tagline, what you offer, and whatever else you use your copy and extensions to showcase. And through the AdWords display network, you can even prioritize brand awareness by choosing to show your ad to more people than focus on clicks or conversions (more on bidding strategies in a bit.) Both strategies allow advertisers to reinforce their business’s critical attributes, and in turn, strengthen its brand.

9. Earn more conversions

When Google decides which ads get seen by browsing prospects, they take post-click landing page experience into account. According to an AdWords support page:

post-click landing page experience is AdWords’ measure of how well your website gives people who click your ads exactly what they’re looking for–quickly and effortlessly. Your post-click landing page is the URL people arrive at after they click your ad, and the experience you offer affects your Ad Rank and therefore your CPC and position in the ad auction. Your ads may show less often (or not at all) if they point to websites that offer a poor user experience.

Ad networks that don’t prioritize post-click landing page experience will let you direct internet users to any old page — a homepage, an “about” page — and that will drain your budget quickly since visitors do not want to hunt for what you promised them in your ad.

But to even get your ads seen on Google’s network, you’ll need a highly persuasive post-click landing page behind them. And when you build a highly persuasive post-click landing page, you’ll maximize ad spend because of two things in particular:

  • Message match
  • Focused design

Learn more about them in chapter 2 of the most comprehensive post-click landing page guide on the web.

10. Maximize ROI with different bidding strategies

A persuasive post-click landing page built to appease Google isn’t the only thing that will maximize your advertising ROI. To help you reach specific marketing goals while draining your budget the least, the AdWords team has created several different bidding strategies:

  • CPC bidding is what Google recommends if your goal is to drive website traffic. It’s short for “cost-per-click.” When you use this method of bidding, you set a maximum bid you’re willing to pay for a click, and you only pay when your ad gets clicked.
  • CPM bidding, which stands for “cost per thousand viewable impressions,” is what Google recommends if you’re trying to build brand awareness. With this strategy, you choose an amount of money you’re willing to pay for 1,000 people to see your advertisement in full view. It’s only available on the Google Display Network, not the search network.
  • CPA bidding is what Google recommends advertisers use when they’re focused on conversions like purchases or sign-ups. With this method, you’ll bid based on how much a particular conversion goal is worth to your business.

This way, if your primary goal is to boost brand awareness, you’ll be able to show your ads to more people than you would if Google was trying to serve your ads to only people that have the best chance of clicking or converting. And it works the other way around, too.

If your goal is an action further down the funnel like a click or a conversion, you can bid for that, and Google will cut down on spreading your ad to the masses and instead show it to people who will be more likely to convert.

Why use Google AdWords?

If you were asking “Why to use Google AdWords?” right now you should be asking “Why not?”

The network has something for businesses of all sizes with different budgets and different advertising goals and different target audiences — most of whom have used Google at least once in their life to find the answer to a problem. So in a sea of seemingly endless searches — 2+ trillion per year — why wouldn’t you drop a bucket in to see how much revenue you could bring up?

Additionally, Instapage has just added an all new Advertising Attribution Solution, where you can track the cost per visitor and cost per lead within Instapage, on each variation.

why use Google AdWords ad attribution

Start leapfrogging the organic search results and earn clicks and conversions with the help of Google AdWords and a delightful post-click landing page experience.

Credits – Ted Vrountas (instapage.com)

BlogHosting
[ October 1, 2019 by Jade Bezuidenhoud 0 Comments ]

Why you need your own domain email

Purchase your domain and hosting from us Click Here

There are a lot of businesses out there that still use a free email service and have an email address like bizname@gmail.com. However, if you have invested money in hosting a website with your own domain name, you should also at least have an email with your company name on it.  The reasons for this include:

Memorability

Free email addresses are often long and confusing, and easy user names on these impersonal and generic domains, like@Hotmail and @Gmail are often already taken. In business, it is vital to create the right impression – you need an email address that is both unique and memorable. Using your own domain name makes it easy for others to email you and remember your website.

Professional Impression

Prada_Marfa_Toms_Vandalism

Your domain name is your online brand. Your domain name gives you’re a presence on the Internet. Many people will look for your website when they receive an email from you. When your website appears, it validates and authenticates you and your products or services. Having your own domain name for email establishes and reinforces your online identity and lets your customers know you mean business. It helps establish credibility and legitimacy by showing you invest in your business and make you look on par with large professional organizations and less fly-by-night or shoestring.

Don’t Look Like a Spammer

Authentication is very important because of the amount of spam each of us receives from many free email service providers, such as @Hotmail.com. Say you have a business named “Widgets For You” and have an email address “widgetsforyou@gmail.com.” How It would be very easy would it be for someone to fake being you by creating an email account “widgets4you@gmail.com?” Because those emails are free, they can be created by anyone. If you are a business, clients may not recognize john.smith@gmail.com as the same John Smith they order from. They may even think you’re a spammer.

Futureproof and Portable

When you have your own domain email you have an email address that’s as portable as your cellphone number—meaning you can switch email providers without losing your current address if you decide to change ISP or if your free email provider loses its edge. You won’t have to send out that dreaded “hey everyone I have changed my address” email and hope that everyone you notified will take notice and update your contact information.

Not Hard or Time-Consuming to Set Up

Even if you are very comfortable with your current way of doing things and want to stick with accessing your email at gmail.com, for example, you can still use your own domain name email. All you would need to do is to set up email forwarding. Here’s what it takes: Step 1: Buying a domain name (if you have already done this skip to Step 2). Step 2: Creating a forwarding account or email account with the right name (e.g. user@yourname.com). Step 3: Connecting that domain and that account together. (5-10 minutes, depending on your current email provider)

No More Ads

If you ever do decide to get rid of the advertising in your email experience then the best thing to do is to use your domain email outside of the free email provider. Even the best free email provider has ads and use your personal email information to feed you advertising. Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail all do it — they all read your email to better serve relevant ads that you are likely to click on. If you don’t want to read ads along with your emails, then you will have to stop using these free email services and use email hosting. More on this in my future post.

BlogBusiness Cards
[ September 13, 2019 by Jade Bezuidenhoud 0 Comments ]

23 Business card statistics that may surprise you

We can design and print your business cards, contact us.

Even in the world of smartphones, tablets, and laptops, 27 million business cards are printed daily. They still hold an important part in the business world, no matter how advanced we get.

© OSDE8INFO (CC BY-SA 2.0) VIA FLICKR

AVERAGE BUSINESS CARD STATISTICS

  1. How many business cards are printed daily?
    Even in today’s digital age, 27 million business cards are printed daily. The economy continues to grow with new small businesses. Today, there are 28 million small businesses, but that number is forecasted to keep growing.
  2. How many business cards are printed per year?
    27 million business cards printed daily turns into just under 10,000,000,000 business cards printed annually.
  3. How many business cards are thrown out within a week?
    Of the 10 billion cards printed each year, 8 billion will be tossed within a week. That’s 88% of the cards printed.
  4. What percentage do sales increase for every 2,000 business cards handed out?
    Despite the 8 billion cards being tossed, a company’s sales increase 2.5% for every 2,000 business cards handed out.
  5. What’s the number one reason people throw business cards away?
    People today live in the moment. They throw business cards away because they don’t need the service now. Unfortunately, 63% of people feel this way, and throw the card away without a second thought.

BUSINESS CARD COSTS

  1. What is the average cost of a business card?
    The average business cards cost anywhere from R2,30 per card or bulk cards from R100. The average spent nationally is R394. The cost of a business card depends on the quality and complexity of the card itself. The range varies based on who makes the cards.For example, 3SixT5 offers free designs for business cards to new customers.
  2. What is average cost of having a graphic designer design business cards?
    Many graphic designers charge per hour. The average per hour rate in SA is R450. The amount charged varies based on location and complexity of the work.
  3. What is the world’s most expensive business card?
    The Black Astrum Signature Card, coming in at $1,500, is the world’s most expensive business card. Studded in 30 carats worth of diamonds and made of Swiss metal, the cards are sold in packages of 25. The $1,500 cost is per card.

CREATING THE BUSINESS CARD

  1. What information should you include on a business card?
    The business card should be a physical extension of your business. At a minimum, each card should include:

    • Name (personal and business)
    • Job title
    • Email
    • Phone
    • Website
    • Social media sites
  2. What is the average size business card?
    A standard business card measures 3.5″ x 2″. The outer 1/8th-inch of the card is the “bleed” area. It allows for the design or background to complete the card, minimizing any white space.
  3. Should you have white space on your business card?
    The cardinal rule of business cards is to keep it simple. Overcrowd it and clients will toss it in the trash. You want balance, readability, and comprehension. Each of these is only obtained with the right amount of white space, even if it’s not “white.”
  4. Should you use more than one font on your business card?
    Choosing the font can be overwhelming. With hundreds to choose from, you may want to choose more than one. While acceptable, make sure you only choose one serif font and one sans serif font.Designers use serif for headings and sans serif for the body. Mixing up more than one of each can create clutter.
  5. What’s the importance of a QR code on a business card?
    QR codes instantly provide information that you couldn’t fit on the business card. They can point clients to an app or your company’s website. Almost 50% of businesses use QR codes in some component of their marketing plan.
  6. How can a photo on a business card help your business?
    If you don’t want your business card to be one of the 88% tossed, add a photo. It makes the card more memorable.Of course, that photo must tie into your business somehow. It can be a photo of yourself. It can also be a photo that signifies your business. The goal is to make the card as enticing as possible.
  7. What is the most common business card mistake?
    Don’t choose cheap paper. That’s the number one mistake. People judge your business on your business card. It’s often their first impression of your business. If you choose low quality paper, they may assume you provide cheap quality products/services.

THE IMPORTANCE OF A BUSINESS CARD

  1. What are the most common types of businesses using business cards?
    The corporate world is still filled with business cards. It’s the number one networking tool. It’s the icebreaker during a meeting and the branding when you part.Small businesses, however, need business cards just as much. If nothing else, it gives a small business a professional appearance. It lets potential clients know your business is “real.”
  2. What is the number one reason to carry business cards?
    Even in today’s technologically advanced world, it’s a breach of etiquette to not have business cards. People expect them. Attempting to network without them is a big mistake.
  3. How do business cards continue to market for you after personal interaction?
    Business cards continue to network for you long after you part ways with a potential client. It lets the other person know you have a legitimate business. It also lets them know you encourage future contact.
  4. How much longer do people hold onto colored business cards than white cards?
    Studies show that prospective clients hold onto colored cards 10 times more than white cards. But again, they have to be attractive, uncluttered cards for them to be effective.

ECO-FRIENDLY CHOICES

  1. How can using recycled paper for your business card help your company’s image?
    Using recycled paper lets clients know you care about the environment. Given the fact that 88% of business cards are thrown out, you can show your support by using recycled paper.

THE FIRST IMPRESSION

  1. How do business cards change a person’s impression of you?
    Business cards make you look prepared and not “cheap.” A quality card with a great design gives potential clients a good feeling about your business. Handing out a cheap quality business card makes the other person feel as if you don’t care about your business.

DIGITALLY SAVING BUSINESS CARDS

  1. How do people save business cards in a digital file?
    Even though it’s common business practice to hand out business cards, not everyone saves them. Before the 88% of recipients throw them out, though, many scan the card into an app like Evernote. They can then add notes and even follow you on LinkedIn.
  2. How many Americans have a smartphone?
    Today, 77% of Americans have a smartphone, which is 42% more than 5 years ago. But the business card is still alive today. It’s a way of acknowledging professionalism, even if it gets thrown out or scanned into a smartphone. It’s the act of handing out the card that matters.

BOTTOM LINE

Business cards continue to hold an important role in a business. Creating the right business card can help your business thrive in today’s cutthroat world.

Sources and References:

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[ August 26, 2019 by Jade Bezuidenhoud 0 Comments ]

15 Reasons why your business needs a website ASAP!

why business needs a website

Are you starting a business and got confused about the fact that why business needs a website? You’ll be shocked to know that around 46 percent of small businesses didn’t have a website in 2016 but within a year the percentage dropped to a staggering 29 percent.

 So what made people change? Why does customers are showing lot of interest in online stores?

 Here are 15 reasons that will tell you why your business need a website

 1 .Open 24 x 7

 You won’t ever have to put up a closed for the business sign after you have a business website. Customers can take a look at your products and buy them even when you aren’t available. It means you are selling your services and products 24 x 7. However, you need to have a support of a experienced and skilled web development team for assistance.

 2.  Target a Larger Market

 When you have an offline business, you only cater to a limited number of clients, but when you are online, you can target a larger market. Your working hours are longer than the usual and no matter what you sell, products or services; you are doing so at the place at very minimal costs.

 3.  Global Presence

 Nowadays, it is all about putting your company on the global map. The more countries you cater to the more successful your business will become. And that is exactly why your small business needs a website. You have a small price to pay to cater to clients all across the seven seas without being there physically.

 4.  Capturing the Attention of Youth

 Young people spend a lot of time online and prefer online shopping than actually visiting the shopping centre. Having an online business means you can attract the youth, who spend on gut instinct rather than doing their research.

 5.  Educate Customers About Your Brand

 Customers are always interested in knowing what inspired your company to start. When you are in charge of publishing about your company, you have a better chance of impressing the client because no one knows your business better than you. It doesn’t mean you brag about your brand, but you can help engage your clients and increase their interest. Add a blog to your website so that your customers feel that you are giving them something and not only interested in making money.

 6.  Social Proof

 If you are running a business, it is obvious that you will need to have social media presence on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. It increases your brand’s value, especially if you upload creative photos, interact with your customers, and host giveaways and competitions that will attract you quality attention.

 7.  Marketing Plan

 Websites are the step one of any marketing plan and come before designing brochures and business cards.

 why business need a website Make sure that every marketing campaign you start should be on the landing page of your website so that visitors see it when they open your website. Design your website in such a way that you convert these visitors into clients.

 8. Improves Credibility and Legitimacy of Your Brand

 Having a business website makes your business more credible and legitimate. We live in a digital world, and it is a common notion to think that if you have a website for your business, your company is real and isn’t fooling people, just like a couple of decades ago it was important to have a physical address. However, it is essential that you present your business in an attractive and glamorous but a well-structured manner.

 9.  Customer Support

 Improve your interaction with your clients by having a customer support page on your website. It helps especially when catering to more than one country. It is beneficial for businesses that can’t afford a phone service. You can also upload an FAQ page for customers so that they can get their queries solved before bothering you.

 10.  Achieve Business Goals

 A business website brings you closer to your business goals. You need to be true to your work and profess quality and value to make your business a success. To feel accomplished and stay competitive, create smaller goals rather than a large one. It also gives a structure to your business, and you get a clear idea about how to run the company.

 

11.  Online Sales

 Report says in 2016, the e-commerce industry in India was $675 billion, which means if you don’t have a website you are losing out on a lot of money. Percentage of online sales is growing exponentially every year. You don’t need to give up on your physical store because it is important as both combined together will give you maximum revenue.

 12.  Test New Ideas

 Develop your business website with CMS that allows you to test new ideas and visitors can tell right away if it is working or not. You aren’t wasting any money because you can try the ideas free of cost. Planning to introduce a product? Put it on a website for a couple of days and make it look as attractive as possible and see if people are liking it or not.

  13.   Free of Cost

 You can open a free website on WordPress initially if you are low on budget. See how it works, earn some money, and when you have enough money, contact a e-commerce web development company and seek their assistance in making a robust full-fledged website.

 14. Competitor Business Websites

 It is simple. Because your competitor has a business website, you need to have one as well. Customers research a lot before buying a product, and if you don’t have a website, you are helping your competitors gain traffic. It also means that you are failing to keep up with the latest technology and giving up on making your business a success.

 15. Resource Centre For Staff

 Website is not only for your customers but employers as well. Create a subdomain for your employees, which they can use to upload pictures, instructional videos and guides to help customers. It will also make your employees feel valued. Your staffs are not an expense but an investment that will reap you long-term benefits when treated right.

 Conclusion 75% of people judge a company’s credibility by going through their website. 85% of B2B customers check online regarding price of a commodity before buying them. It has been estimated that soon, more than 60% of internet traffic will be through mobile phones. And moreover, people spending their time on social media is increasing day by day. So if you wish to be successful you can’t avoid your company’s online presence. It’s high time that your business should have a website as a beacon of your online presence be it for business or a company website.

Credits – www.probytes.net

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