Tuesday, 26 November 2013

The instant way to improve leads and sales - conversion optimisation.

There are several reasons for having a website for your business. One of these is for the purpose of showcasing your products. Another is to provide a medium to which your customers can be readily directed to obtain more information about your business and what it has to offer them. For both of these reasons, it is essential that your website is constructed and maintained in an optimal way. However, another equally important reason for having a website, which makes the need to ensure that it  is efficiently organised and managed all the more important, is to utilise improve your business’s leads and, ultimately, its sales. This process, known as conversion optimisation, relies heavily on how your website works and in this article we will provide several ways in which you can instantly improve those all-important conversion rates.

Site Monitoring


One of the most irritating experiences of any website visitor’s experience is to encounter errors on the site and perhaps the most annoying of such errors are what are known as “404″ errors. This type of error most commonly occurs when a link to a web page cannot be found by the site’s server. The website’s server will deliver a report to advise the site visitor that the page that they are attempting to access is not available. This type of report, which is usually due to an incorrectly coded link, is likely to have a damaging effect on even the most professional and creative sites for two main reasons.


Firstly, the fact that a user has tried to visit the page in the first place means that he wants to access the information that it contains. Finding that the page is not available is therefore likely to be disappointing and to cause your potential customer to leave your site and, more likely than not, go to the site of a competitor.


Secondly, an unprofessionally managed website, which contains one or more broken links, is likely to reflect adversely on the overall impression of your business that a site user will gain from a visit to the website.


The constant monitoring of a site for broken links and error reports and the rapid elimination of them is therefore vital if you want to put the website into a position where it is best placed to improve your leads and sales, rather than having the opposite effect!


The instant way to improve leads and sales conversion optimisation.


Improving Calls to Action


A call to action, which may consist of a banner, a button, a widget or some other type of text that tempts a visitor to click on it, is an important way of improving leads and sales. The aim of a call to action (CTA) is to take the visitor down a carefully constructed path, which has the effect of transforming their site visit into a lead and, if the lead is successful, a sale. As the main goal of any CTA is to attract a click from the sites visitors, it is essential to optimise it in a way that encourages them to do so.


Its positioning on your site’s pages should be carefully thought out. It should be designed with your specific target-group in mind and the click must take the visitor exactly where it says that it will.


Conversion rates on calls to action should be carefully tracked and, if your rate is not up to scratch you should take measures to improve it if you want to have a rapid improvement in your leads and sales.


 Bug Checking


We have already mentioned how annoying it can be for a site visitor to encounter bugs, like broken links, on your site. In addition to these visible issues, however, websites can contain a whole host of bugs which, whilst they may be invisible to the user, are all too apparent to the search engines. Without entering into the complexities of the specific types of on-site issue that may fall foul of the search engines, we need only state that their existence on a website is likely to result in penalisation. This will quickly mean that your site is receiving less and less visits and, not surprisingly, a decreasing number of leads and sales.


Constant bug checking and fixing is, therefore, another vital component in the effective management of any commercial website.


 Summary


If you are going to spend time and money in constructing a website you will want it to perform as efficiently as possible in terms of its impact in increasing your business. As with your business itself, things that might adversely affect its performance can sometimes go wrong for no reason. Equally, your business and its website may simply need to continue to develop to meeting the changing needs and demands of your customers


If you want to ensure that your website is a commercial success, taking the measures set out above will go a long way towards achieving that aim.


 


 Image Credit: MaGIc2laNTern




The instant way to improve leads and sales - conversion optimisation.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Why Your Blog Needs To Be On Your Own Website


When it comes to creating and managing a blog to help to generate increased traffic to your website you have two basic choices.


The first is to create the blog using a tool such as Blogger or WordPress. These two, and other, dedicated blogging platforms are often free and easy to use, with straightforward content management systems and hosting services, and it can be quite tempting to create your blog using one of them.


The second choice, which is the one that we prefer, is to incorporate your blog into your website. This means that your blog will be created as a sub-directory of your site, with the same primary website address.


There are certain distinct advantages to the latter approach, which, we believe, will make the decision about how best to ensure that your blog boosts the profile of your website, a fairly easy one.


The Advantages of Incorporating Your Blog Onto Your Site


1. Site Content


The first advantage of putting your blog on your own website, rather than on an external platform, is that your site will receive direct benefit from the search engines (which will lead to a greater internet prominence, and, in turn, an increase in the number of visitors to you website) because of the new content that you add to the blog. Every time you add new, original content to your blog it will be credited as new website content, a very important factor in the evaluation of your site by the search engines. If your blog is on a separate platform your site will simply not receive the same rewards for the content that is posted on it. 


Why Your Blog Needs To Be On Your Own Website


2. Keywords


The strategic placing of keywords on a website, especially long-tail keywords, with a view to generating increased traffic, is an essential part of any present-day search engine optimisation policy. One of the main advantages of placing keywords on your onsite blog is that they are immediately recognised by the search engines as being directly relevant to your site’s overall content. When long tail keyword linking is managed skilfully, it can be an invaluable source of traffic to your site. The particular advantage of long-tail keywords on your onsite blog is that you will be able to direct your visitors seamlessly to another page, or pages, on your website that directly relate to the search terms that brought them to your blog content in the first place, whilst keeping them on the same internet domain. Whilst it is possible to achieve this through an external blog platform, it is less likely because of the “distance” between the blog and your site. 


3. Internal Links


Search engines are no longer interested in just the home page of a website. They are now far more likely to value a website by reference to its overall content and the quality of the in-depth site experience that it offers to its users. Internal links, which direct visitors to and from relevant pages, are a vital tool for raising the profile of your website. Equally importantly, many internet users who access a blog as a result of an internet search that they have made, are more reluctant to click on a link that takes them to an external site than to one that takes them to a new page on the same site.


Summary


It can be tempting to choose an external platform for your blog. Without doubt, platforms like Blogger and WordPress, have many qualities and we would not argue with their suitability for those who simply want a standalone blog.


However, for anyone who wants to create and maintain a dynamic blog to complement and enhance the presence of a commercial website, placing and managing the blog “onsite” is the best strategy.


  


Image Credit: Thomas Schimdt


 




Why Your Blog Needs To Be On Your Own Website

Thursday, 14 November 2013

The 100 Oldest Domains Names Of All Time

If you are launching your website you might be thinking about domain names.  It is fascinating to look at which domains were first registered back in 1985, and what their potential value would be in today’s market place.  Some of these domains would now be worth millions, but back in 1985 could be registered for just the cost of a phone-call!


A few highlights are apple.com registered in 1987, think.com in 1985, and Tandy.com in 1986 (who remembers them?).  The overall cost of registering these in 1986 would have been around £20, and in todays market the estimate worth over all 100 would be well over £100m!  If only we had a time-machine……. 


 


















































































































































































































































































































The 100 Oldest Domains Names Of All Time
RankRegistration DateDomain Name
1March 15, 1985Symbolics.com
2April 24, 1985BBN.com
3May 24, 1985Think.com
4July 11, 1985MCC.com
5September 30, 1985DEC.com
6November 7, 1985Northrop.com
7January 9, 1986Xerox.com
8January 17, 1986SRI.com
9March 3, 1986HP.com
10March 5, 1986Bellcore.com
11March 19, 1986IBM.com
12March 19, 1986Sun.com
13March 25, 1986Intel.com
14March 25, 1986TI.com
15April 25, 1986ATT.com
16May 8, 1986GMR.com
17May 8, 1986TEK.com
18July 10, 1986FMC.com
19July 10, 1986UB.com
20August 5, 1986Bell-ATL.com
21August 5, 1986GE.com
22August 5, 1986Grebyn.com
23August 5, 1986ISC.com
24August 5, 1986NSC.com
25August 5, 1986Stargate.com
26September 2, 1986Boeing.com
27September 18, 1986ITCorp.com
28September 29, 1986Siemens.com
29October 18, 1986Pyramid.com
30October 27, 1986AlphaCDC.com
31October 27, 1986BDM.com
32October 27, 1986Fluke.com
33October 27, 1986Inmet.com
34October 27, 1986Kesmai.com
35October 27, 1986Mentor.com
36October 27, 1986NEC.com
37October 27, 1986Ray.com
38October 27, 1986Rosemount.com
39October 27, 1986Vortex.com
40November 5, 1986Alcoa.com
41November 5, 1986GTE.com
42November 17, 1986Adobe.com
43November 17, 1986AMD.com
44November 17, 1986DAS.com
45November 17, 1986Data IO.com
46November 17, 1986Octopus.com
47November 17, 1986Portal.com
48November 17, 1986Teltone.com
49December 11, 19863Com.com
50December 11, 1986Amdahl.com
51December 11, 1986CCUR.com
52December 11, 1986CI.com
53December 11, 1986Convergent.com
54December 11, 1986DG.com
55December 11, 1986Peregrine.com
56December 11, 1986Quad.com
57December 11, 1986SQ.com
58December 11, 1986Tandy.com
59December 11, 1986TTI.com
60December 11, 1986Unisys.com
61January 19, 1987CGI.com
62January 19, 1987CTS.com
63January 19, 1987SPDCC.com
64February 19, 1987Apple.com
65March 4, 1987NMA.com
66March 4, 1987Prime.com
67April 4, 1987Philips.com
68April 23, 1987Datacube.com
69April 23, 1987Kai.com
70April 23, 1987TIC.com
71April 23, 1987Vine.com
72April 30, 1987NCR.com
73May 14, 1987Cisco.com
74May 14, 1987RDL.com
75May 20, 1987SLB.com
76May 27, 1987ParcPlace.com
77May 27, 1987UTC.com
78June 26, 1987IDE.com
79July 9, 1987TRW.com
80July 13, 1987Unipress.com
81July 27, 1987Dupont.com
82July 27, 1987Lockheed.com
83July 28, 1987Rosetta.com
84August 18, 1987Toad.com
85August 31, 1987Quick.com
86September 3, 1987Allied.com
87September 3, 1987DSC.com
88September 3, 1987SCO.com
89September 22, 1987Gene.com
90September 22, 1987KCCS.com
91September 22, 1987Spectra.com
92September 22, 1987WLK.com
93September 30, 1987Mentat.com
94October 14, 1987WYSE.com
95November 2, 1987CFG.com
96November 9, 1987Marble.com
97November 16, 1987Cayman.com
98November 16, 1987Entity.com
99November 24, 1987KSR.com
100November 30, 1987NynexST.com

Monday, 11 November 2013

How a Free Tool From Google Can Double Your Sales

Everyone who uses the internet has heard about Google. However, most people are aware of it simply as a search tool to help them find websites or information that they are interested in accessing. However, there is much more to Google than simply a search engine and in this article we highlight one of its most useful tools, Google Analytics.


What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is an entirely free tool that is supplied by Google to assist website owners to keep track of information relevant to the performance of their sites. The type of information that Analytics allows you to access is extremely detailed, is designed to help with the optimisation of your website and includes reports on the following performance factors:
• The total number of visits to your site over a specified period
• The total number of unique visitors to your site, enabling you to track the number of people who have visited your site for the first time during the same period
• Your most popular landing pages, allowing you to keep track of the priority of the website’s page that are visited
• Your website’s bounce rate, which indicates the percentage of visitors to your site who visit only one page.
• A detailed set of audience demographics
• Geographical data, so that you can be sure that your targeted audience is being reached
• Traffic sources information, enabling you to ascertain how your visitors are getting to your site
• Error reporting, which helps you to pinpoint and rectify those site errors that visitors to your website will find so annoying!


This is by no means an exhaustive list of the data that can be accessed via Google Analytics but the bullet points give a clear idea of some of the invaluable information that can be readily sourced on a daily basis. The identification of this type of information about your site can be an invaluable tool, especially when the website is in its infancy, in tracking its progress, reacting to visitor behaviours, improving on performance and rectifying issues that may adversely affect the quality of your users’ on site experience.


How a Free Tool From Google Can Double Your Sales


How do I Install Google Analytics and How Will It Help My Site’s Performance?
The installation of Google Analytics is a straightforward task for anyone who has experience in adding code to web pages. Google provides a snippet of code, to add to the pages of your site, which will enable Google’s Analytics tool to track the site’s performance so that the types of data referred to above can be collated and published. Importantly, the published data is personal to you and can only be accessed by those who have the necessary credentials to sign into your Analytics account.
The SEO team at MakeUsAWebsite can provide you with our assistance in the installation of Google Analytics. We have also accumulated a wealth of experience and expertise in the monitoring and interpretation of Analytics data. Using Analytics data, we are able to identify the strengths and weaknesses in the performance of your website and to provide you with rapid, reliable and realistic advice as to how to build on those strengths and eradicate the weaknesses.


With the help of Google Analytics we can help your website go far!


 



How a Free Tool From Google Can Double Your Sales

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Why one Unlicensed Photo Could Cost You Thousands

There are literally millions of photographs on the internet, most of which are easily downloadable. Many people download images for their own use but some do it with a view to publishing the images on their own website or social media pages. The fact that an image is readily available on the internet does not mean, however, that anyone other than its owner has the right to reproduce it and, as this article will demonstrate, there can be some quite severe consequences of using a photo without some form of license to do so.


Why do I Need Permission to Publish Photos on my Website?
The creator of a photograph or a person or body to whom the taker has assigned the rights in that photograph is entitled to assert copyright over it. This means that the person owning the copyright in a photograph has the exclusive right to use it. If anyone else wishes to use it the permission of the copyright holder has to be given. Obviously, it is likely that the copyright holder will require some form of payment in return for allowing the use of his work.


What if I use a Photo Without the Copyright Holder’s Permission
In simple terms, if you publish a copyrighted photograph on your website you will be liable for breach of copyright. The consequences of this can be financially severe, as you may be sued for damages and an injunction to force you to remove the image from your site and to prevent you from publishing it again. In some cases, you may even be asked to account for any profits that you have made as a consequence of using the photograph. Of course, you are also likely to have to pay a considerable sum in legal costs, both for your own lawyer and the one who is representing the person whose copyright you have breached. For those reasons, publishing photos without a license is not a very good idea at all!


Why one Unlicensed Photo Could Cost You Thousands


So How Do I Avoid Breaching Copyright for the Photos I Want on my Website?
The easiest way of ensuring that you do not place unlicensed photographs on your site is to use images that you have taken yourself. However, this is not feasible for most commercial websites, where a wide range of high quality photographs is required. In such cases, the easiest way to obtain photographs that can be safely published on your site is through a stock photograph agency, such as Getty Images. On their website you can search among its collection of over eighty million stock images and purchase the right to use them before downloading them and adding them to your website. There are also sites, such as Wikimedia and Flickr, which have a collection of photographs that are subject to a Creative Commons License. By uploading their photographs to these sites, the copyright owner grants a general license for them to be republished, subject, in most cases, to them receiving appropriate credit for the photograph on the page in which it is published.


Summary
There is no doubt that professional-looking, high quality photographs enhance the appearance of a website. The risk involved in using photos without a license, when free commons licenses are available or where the right to use suitable images can be purchased from Getty Images for a reasonably small amount, is really a risk that is not worth taking.


 


Image Credit Oxyman



Why one Unlicensed Photo Could Cost You Thousands

Friday, 1 November 2013

Keeping Up With The Kids


Keeping Up With The Kids

Is Your Website Putting People to Sleep?


It can be discouraging when a visitor to your website tells you, in no uncertain terms, that they find the site boring. It can also have a negative effect on their perception of the product that your site is showcasing, resulting in a lost business opportunity. In reality, the subject matter of many commercial websites, particularly those that feature complicated, technical or industrial goods and services can make it difficult for them to be interesting but there are several techniques that might be employed to highlight what is essentially an unexciting product in a way that does not put your site visitors to sleep.


Here are a few basic tips that may help keep the visitors to your website awake!


• Structure your site in a way that is pleasing to the eye. A website that is too regimented can lose the attention of a site user very quickly indeed. Employing interesting and varied layouts to the site’s pages will make it more likely that visitors will find it interesting to explore.


• Make sure that your site is different to that of your competitors. It is possible that your visitors will have been to a competing site already. They won’t want to see a repetition of the content of someone else’s site.


• Use original and eye-catching banners and logos that will attract the attention of the visitor immediately. First impressions are lasting and if the immediate reaction of a visitor to your site is positive, their interest is likely to remain throughout the rest of their time on the site.


• Use imaginative colours and mix them up a little. Too much dark content may turn many people off, whilst the same goes for too many white spaces.


• Create original, informative, non-repetitive content. Few things are more annoying or tedious to a site visitor than reading the same thing over and over again.


• Incorporate visual content into the site to keep the attention of your visitor. A variety of professionally produced and skilfully placed images, sliders, picture galleries and videos all combine to make your site more appealing.


• Add social media content to your site, with easy links to your Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Linkedin and You Tube pages.


• Create a blog on your site so that your visitors are able to see new and different content whenever they visit it. The addition of a blog also has the additional benefit of attracting more visitors to the site.


• Think about adding a news feed to your site, so that your visitors can receive up to date news that is relevant to your particular industry and its products and services.


Summary
These tips by no means represent an exhaustive list of ways to avoid having a less than exciting website. When you are developing a new site or redeveloping an existing one, the essential thing is to work closely with an experienced web developer. Together, you and your website developer should envision the type of website that will attract your visitors. Using their experience and expertise, your website developers should then able to design and create a site that offers the best possible user-experience for your visitors – and keeps them awake!


 




Is Your Website Putting People to Sleep?