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SEO vs SEM vs PPC – The Bedrocks of Digital Marketing

By | Digital Marketing, SEO

In the 21st century, the success of a firm depends on its ability to market its products and services online. But the digital marketing landscape is by no means simple. There are all kinds of concepts that companies, both new and old, must learn if they want to have success.

As with anything, it’s best to start with the basics. In this article, we’re going to discuss some of the key terms that people use to describe marketing online – namely, SEM, SEO and PPC. Once you know what these acronyms mean, you’ll be in a much better position to decipher articles on the subject that you read in the future. So without further ado, let’s get started.

SEM – Search Engine Marketing

Search engine marketing, or SEM, is a term which covers a broad swathe of online marketing strategies. Search engine marketing can involve paid advertising, where companies pay search engines like Bing, Yahoo, Google and Duckduckgo to appear in search results, and “free” marketing, where firms generate content designed to rank highly in search results.

There are other forms of online marketing that do not fall under the umbrella of SEM, but they are few and far between. The vast majority of digital marketing dollars go on SEM-related activities, whether they cost money directly or not.

PPC – Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Pay-per-click marketing most closely resembles the marketing most companies are familiar with – advertising activities where the firm pays for the space they need directly. In the case of PPC marketing, the business pays for advertising to appear at the top or bottom of the page in search engine results, or to appear in banners on websites that are members of the advert network. PPC marketing makes it much more likely that your advert appears at the top of search results and is particularly useful for companies just starting that don’t have an established digital presence.

Of course, none of this is free. The “pay” part of PPC tells you that much. But how payment in PPC works is a little complicated. Essentially, you pay for advertising space related to specific keywords. Most PPC marketing platforms, like Google’s Adwords, allow you to select the keywords that you’d like to target with advertising and create advertisements around them. Other people may also want to advertise for those keywords, and so businesses must engage in competitive bidding against each other to secure the space. The firm that bids the most wins the right to appear in the advertising results and the others get relegated to subsequent pages or out of the results entirely.

PPC advertising is good in the sense that you don’t have to build up an online presence to benefit. If you’re a new business and you’ve got the money, you can pay to get to the top of search results without having to go through the much longer process of getting there “organically” – a concept we’ll explore next. But the downside is that you must pay each time a person clicks an advert, whether they ultimately decide to buy something from you or not.

SEO – Search Engine Optimisation

The aim of search engine optimisation, or SEO, is to boost the visibility of the pages of your site without paying advertising dollars directly to a search engine. Companies with effective SEO can climb the ranks in search results without paying for every click and eventually reach the first page, generating leads for free.

SEO involves many specific strategies designed to convince search engines that the content on your pages is more useful for users than the content on other sites. Google and others evaluate the merit of your web pages based on links from other websites, whether they contain useful content, images and videos, and the amount of traffic they receive from social media. Search engines take this information and use it to infer the quality of your web pages and how high up in the ranks they should appear for a given keyword.

The benefit of SEO is that by the end of the process, you should be able to generate traffic to your website organically, without paying every time a person clicks on an advertisement. Prospects will see your pages at the top of search results and then simply click through, no payment required.

The cost of SEO is that it can be both expensive and time-consuming. Rarely do new companies get to the top of search results for particular keywords in less than six months. What’s more, SEO is not free: you have to dedicate time, writers, and SEO professionals to the task.

How to Make your PPC & SEO Campaigns Work Together

By | Digital Marketing, SEO

PPC (or pay-per-click) and SEO are often characterised as two mutually exclusive digital marketing strategies. Businesses either use PPC, or they use SEO: they don’t use both.

But, with a little thought, it’s easy to see that SEO and PPC can work together, boosting the overall effectiveness of your marketing budget.

Both SEO and PPC cost money. It doesn’t make sense, therefore, to focus on one or the other. What firms care about is the effectiveness of their marginal marketing dollar: how much bang for the buck can they get from their digital marketing for each additional dollar they spend? Managers and entrepreneurs shouldn’t commit to one strategy or the other; they should choose to use both in a way that maximises their return.

There are many ways in which SEO and PPC synergise. Take a look at some of these ideas to get your PPC and SEO campaigns working together.

Gain Shared Insights

Although search engine optimisation and pay-per-click advertising are treated as separate entities, smart businesses know that they can use data derived from one to enhance the other. For instance, companies can collect data from their PPC advertising, see what works, and then implement similar strategies, keywords or H1 and H2 in their SEO content.

Use Landing Page Data

Companies can use their landing pages in a similar way by collecting data on the preferences of PPC-derived prospects. Firms can track which content, CTAs, and images are effective for PPC prospects and then utilise these insights in their organic SEO content.

Achieve Search Results Dominance

Some companies find that there are advantages of being both at the top of the advertising results and the organic search results. Being at the top of both signals to the customer that you’re a leader for their particular search query, making it more likely that they’ll trust you and click through to your site.

Build Customer Confidence In Your Brand

One of the best ways to build trust with your customers is through repeated exposure. People tend to trust what they see as familiar, and so businesses who can get their message in front of customers regularly are more likely to convert. Combining SEO and PPC is one of the best ways to do this because both can be used during different stages of the customer journey.

Most customers do not convert the first time they interact with your firm. Instead, they come into contact with your digital marketing content on several occasions before committing to buy. The first time they encounter you, they may click a PPC advertisement at the top of search results and get forwarded to a landing page. Next, they might do another search and click one of your blog posts high up in the rankings, thanks to effective SEO.

Then they may make several more visits, viewing product pages or making additional searchers and consuming more SEO-related high-ranking content, before finally converting. Using SEO and PPC together helps you attract and retain customer interest through multiple channels.

Use Competitor SEO Analysis In PPC

Competitor SEO analysis is fast becoming the norm for companies wanting to boost the effectiveness of their SEO. What’s the point of starting from scratch when somebody has already found a strategy which works? But what most firms don’t realise is that they can use competitor insights to drive better PPC. Competitors may be drawing people in using specific keywords or targeting a particular audience.

Use PPC Search Intent Data

Although certain keywords might be related to your business (and they may be popular), they still might not be associated with sales and conversions. People searching for “history of plumbing,” for example, may be more interested in researching plumbing than hiring a plumber. As a business, you want to target customers who have “intent to buy.” Tools like Google’s search query report can tell you the rate at which people converted after typing in specific keywords compared to others. Not only do you want to design your PPC around these particular keywords, but also use them in your SEO too. SEO content build around keywords that prospects use before converting are likely to yield higher returns than generic keywords

Leverage Your Display Network

Not all websites in your display network offer the same rates of conversion. Some sites will be popular among your customers, while others not. As a business, it’s in your interest to use your PPC data to find out which websites bring the most traffic to your site and generate the most conversions. Once you’ve got these data, you can pass them on to your SEO team who can approach these sites and offer to create lead-generating content.

Cloud Cartel’s Guide to Branding for Small Business

By | Branding, Design

Small businesses depend on their brands to attract customers and achieve long-term profitability, but many are confused about what a brand is and, more importantly, why they should have one.

It’s clear that being a small business is not a disadvantage when it comes to branding. In fact, many larger companies will deliberately position some of the brands in their portfolio as being “small brands” because of the positive associations that customers have with them. Customers like small brands because of their association with uniqueness, eco-friendliness, and quality, among a range of other things.

What Is A Brand?

Although most entrepreneurs understand the importance of branding, many do not fully grasp what a brand actually is. A brand is more than a logo, a theme or a slogan: it’s a way of communicating the story of your company, one that should contain important information about your values and purpose. Customers want to align themselves with brands that they feel reflect their own values, whatever they happen to be.

Effective branding is a tool for gaining customer loyalty and advocacy. When customers believe in what you’re doing and love your products, they instinctively return for more and share their excitement with the people around them. As a consequence, you gain new customers for free through word-of-mouth.

How To Build A Brand

Brand development can be a complicated process, but by using the following principles, you can get on the road to a fabulous, instantly-recognisable corporate image.

Create A Story

Customers not only want to know what you sell but why you’re selling it. The best brands give customers something that they can believe in, whether it’s a noble purpose, a desire to do something different from the competition or to improve people’s lives.

Be Bold And Follow Your Beliefs

Firms rarely achieve greatness through timidity. Instead, they boldly go out into the world and stand up for what they believe in. Companies that can do this generate an air of authenticity, demanding respect from customers, even those who may not believe in their core mission.

Stop Repeating Yourself

Although repetition can help cement ideas in customers’ heads, it can also get boring. Ideally, you want to create marketing content – especially digital content – which reflects your values but from different angles.

Create Long-Term Relationships With Customers

It’s much easier to retain and sell to an existing customer than it is to find a new one. The longer you keep a customer, the greater the trust, and the more likely they are to advocate your business to other people.

Stop Mimicking The Big Brands

If you’re branding in Perth, then there’s a lot of competition from established companies. Rather than go toe-to-toe with them and mimic their marketing approaches, do something different. Customers are looking for companies that can stand on their own as unique offerings, giving them something that they want. Independent brands often seem more authentic and bespoke than those of the larger chains.

The future of branding is personal and authentic. As customers become more savvy, branding needs to mature.

 

The Fundamentals of Search Engine Optimisation

By | SEO

If you want your business website to be a success, ranking well on Google is paramount. By now, you’ll probably know that SEO (search engine optimisation) is the key to getting it right. The real struggle, however, comes from understanding the finer details.

Let’s take a closer look at the fundamental features that can be used to give your business the boost it deserves.

On-site SEO

The on-site SEO features provide the foundations from which to build a successful website with strong SEO. It covers each of the following; unique text content, internal link architecture, bot accessibility, sitemaps, URL structure, and server response codes.

Unique content

Duplicating content (including multiple home pages that simply have the location changed) will penalise your site’s SEO ranking. On a similar note, unnecessary pages (such as subcategories that aren’t needed) can bring negativity to the table. Focus on the pages that actively gain traffic.

Title tags

The title tag for your homepage is one of the single most significant elements of any SEO strategy. If your company provides multiple services, it’s important to choose a title tag that revolves around the primary source of revenue. After all, this is surely where you want to rank highest.

Backlinks

Gaining links to your site from external platforms is a great way to become an authoritative site on any given keyword. Gaining quality links from big websites is the best solution, and can be achieved via social media, although smaller sites still offer some value.

Spam

It’s equally important for your business to disassociate itself from spammy links. If an audit shows that spam sites are linking to your site, it may be worth filing a disavow case. Fewer backlinks from trustworthy and respected sources is better than having many from dodgy sources.

PR

Getting the business out there in the digital world can be achieved through a number of PR stunts. They range from providing expert quotes or guest posts to giving testimonials and becoming a partner on another site.

Google My Business

Google My Business is a tool that provides details of the business along with customer reviews. Accurate details and updated photos are a great starting point while actively encouraging happy clients to leave positive feedback should fire you up the local rankings.

Local Business Listings

Checking the legitimacy of local businesses is a priority for search engine algorithms. Getting the company added to a local listings site can go a long way to confirming this while also gaining a valued backlink.

Marketing

The website needs to be blessed with real traffic. Moreover, Google wants to see that the site is active, which is why continued marketing is key. If you fail to drive visitors to your site, the SEO ranking will soon start to fall.

Analytics

It’s one thing to make positive additions to your SEO strategy, but knowing whether you’re succeeding or failing is another altogether. The use of regular monitoring and professional analysis will pinpoint the good and the bad, allowing you to adjust your plans accordingly.

 

How your Social Media can Improve your SEO

By | Digital Marketing, SEO, Social Media

In the world of digital marketing, achieving a strong ranking on Google is one of the most important challenges of all. Search engine optimisation, otherwise known as SEO, is the key ingredient in the recipe for success. While there are many ways to increase your SEO ranking, a strong social media game could be the secret weapon that leads you to success.

Here are just five ways in which social media marketing can actively influence your SEO in a positive manner.

#1. Content promotion

Publishing links to your blogs, videos, and content can have a minor impact on your SEO through those direct links. Significantly, though, the fact that the content will be optimised on keywords will mean that the content reaches the right audience. As they click the links and read the on-site content, the associated traffic statistics will have a very positive impact as search engines will see this as confirmation that your site brings value to the visitors.

#2. Social link building

Links to your website work wonders for the overall SEO strategy, and posting via your social media channels is a great way to do it. When other websites link to your site and content through social media, it can give the SEO a serious boost while also winning over new audiences. Getting this type of link from influencers is almost impossible without strong and active social media channels. On a separate note, it’s an ideal way to diversify the types of links you gain.

#3. Increased engagement

Social media thrives on the engagement between users, and this includes the relationship between company and client. While the shares themselves won’t influence your SEO, the added engagement certainly will. As the engagement and leads from the content grow, it will make your content (and, therefore, website) become a voice of authority in the chosen topic and keyword. This is something that the search engines algorithm will love, which will result in a better ranking.

#4. The Google-Twitter bond

Google is now partnered to Twitter, which means that popular Tweets are now displayed as a part of the search results. This makes posting relevant content on Twitter a particularly good way to cheat your way to the top of page one. When added to the impact of the added engagement and retweets, a strong Twitter account can be a very useful asset to possess. Given that the partnership is still quite new, it’s likely that the influence will continue to grow over the coming months.

#5. Brand awareness

When consumers search for your brand on search engines, it will slowly but surely increase the presence when dealing with non-branded keywords too. A strong social media game will lead to far greater awareness, not least because consumers spend so much time on social media platforms. Getting the brand known on social media ultimately has a snowballing effect that will subsequently start to recruit new clients thanks to the actions of your existing clients.

Social media helps the business grow in many other ways, but the SEO influences are certainly among the best.

 

Approaching the Customer Journey in the Digital Age

By | Digital Marketing, SEO

Digital marketing is an essential feature for any modern business as the online arena is where millions of consumer interactions take place every single day. When handled in the correct fashion, this environment promises to generate some truly fantastic results. However, this is only made possible when you approach it in the right way.

Here’s how to ensure that your online marketing strategies are met with the right responses time and time again.

Leaving the traditional route behind

In years gone by, there was a linear route. The consumer would first be exposed to the brand before becoming familiar with it thanks to regular marketing. The consideration stage would hopefully be followed by a purchase and a repeat customer.

Nowadays, consumers have greater expectations while they additionally interact with brands in a completely different manner – this includes where they shop and how they make consumer decisions. With a more sophisticated and customer-centric approach, however, it is possible to win over the online audience.

Marketing teams must now embrace two-way conversations, find innovative ways of pushing the brand as well as the products, and know how to strike at the moment where consumers are most likely to complete an impulse buy.

Approaching the customer journey in the digital age

It’s also worth noting that consumers now follow a four-stage cycle. After creating an ‘initial consideration set’ of brands, the consumer gathers information in the ‘active evaluation’ stage before choosing a brand with what is known as the ‘moment of purchase. Finally, their ‘post-purchase experience’ is where their future decisions will be influenced one way or the other.

Following the four steps below should put you on the pathway to success.

#1. Consumer-driven marketing

Modern consumers are influenced heavily by the views of their friends and family. When dealing with the online audience, this can extend to strangers that are past customers too.

User-generated content (including testimonials, customer reviews, and blogs) from impartial third parties carry a lot of weight due to their authenticity. In truth, those reviews and responses are likely to have an even greater impact than any marketing campaign.

While the user-generated content is important at every phase of the journey, the impacts are heightened during the active evaluation phase. The reviews and testimonials can make all the difference by confirming or contesting those initial first impressions.

Google My Business is a particularly good solution for local businesses, not least because it boosts the SEO status too. Other platforms including Trustpilot are very useful too.

Still, you will need to give your customers a reason to provide positive reviews. The last thing you want to do is let them down. So, set realistic expectations and surpass them. When customers gain a quality service that is even better than promised, the positive reactions will lead to great results.

#2. Engaging content

As a modern business, you don’t merely want customers to love your products. You need them to become loyal to the brand too. Thanks to digital marketing, this can be achieved before a product has even been purchased. You’d be a fool not to take advantage.

People buy into people. Even without face-to-face interactions, the use of engaging online content can make prospective clients feel closer to the brand than you ever thought possible. Blogs, behind the scenes videos, and opinion pieces are all great options. Essentially, you need the content to bring value to the consumer’s life while getting them familiar to the brand.

When a consumer loves the brand, they will be far more likely to look at its products with a positive outlook. In turn, this can lead to instinct purchases. Furthermore, the fresh content is a great way to keep the brand relevant – especially for existing clients.

Engaging and entertaining content is also the perfect way to celebrate the personality of your brand. The fact that you’ll enjoy it too should spread to the customers. Given how their mindsets can alter everything, the value of engaging content cannot be emphasised enough. Be sure to embrace it.

#3. Mobile strategies

The exponential growth of smartphone and mobile technology has changed the game forever as clients can now access valuable information at any time, any place, anywhere. In fact, over 50% of all online interactions now take place via handheld screens. Targeting this marketplace is no longer merely an option; it is essential.

Media consumption through mobile devices is an amazing thing, not least because it offers a real-time interaction between client and company while consumers can interact with each other too. Over 7 in 10 customers use their smartphone during the research phases of the purchasing journey. Therefore, your business needs to incorporate mobile strategies into its marketing endeavours.

If the mobile browsing experience is inadequate, it makes the business look outdated and unprofessional. Over half of the potential audience will suffer as a direct result. Conversely, when the site is optimised, the engagement levels will be far greater. Mobile search engine results will show your website in a more prominent position too.

#4. Communicate

Given the opportunities for real-time engagement with consumers, it’s vital that you learn to embrace a two-way dialogue. Participation will keep the business fresh in their minds, which will give you an advantage as they handle the decision-making process.

In addition to encouraging participation, it gives the business a chance to collect valuable information. This client insight (both individually and demographically) can then be used to tailor the brand accordingly.

Better still, the interactions will be held with people that actively show an interest in the brand. In turn, it can be assumed that they will be likely to show an interest in the products too. This prevents you from falling into the trap of wasting time and money on online users that won’t realistically buy your products.

When supported by the other ideas mentioned above, great communication that leaves consumers feeling valued is sure to guide them to the desired destination.

Creating Compelling Content for your website

By | Digital Marketing, SEO

As a business, it’s up to you to sell who you are to your customers, as well as selling your product or service. A part of this process is having an updated website that is easy to read, easy to see and easy to use. The other part? Having compelling website content that people love to read.

Why is it so important?

The information on your website promotes not just your products or services, but who you are as a company. Being a new business consumer engagement is vital for your future success. It allows you to build a relationship with your audience, and the better you do that, the more they will come back looking for more.

If you are providing regular, catchy content, your business is going to continuously have visitors looking for your words. You need to know the following so that you can create the best content:

  • What people are looking for on your website
  • Whether the content is relevant to the audience
  • The best way the content should be presented to the audience

You need to create that engaging content after you have budgeted for affordable web design to make your business website look good. Below, you’ll find some of the best tips to building that content for your business site.

You need a target market

You can’t write excellent, targeted content without a consumer group to target in the first place. Once you know who your target market is, you can learn their interests and needs so that you can personalise your information to them.

You need excellent quality

Let’s be honest: you are a business leader, you may not have any idea about writing the actual content for your site. You can choose to outsource this content elsewhere, or you could learn how writing in short, concise sentences engages people. You can learn the benefits of the active voice and you can write content that is original and accurate. All of this is vital for the SEO process on your site

You need the right structure

Structuring your content is important. People need to know exactly what you’re trying to say in the first few sentences of your content. This can help you to grab reader attention immediately. Think about bullet points and tables, photos and visuals and keywords scattered through the content to up your search rankings.

You need the right format

This is a personal choice for you and what you want for your business website. You need to present your content in a way that makes sense for you, whether this is in blog posts, short stories or featured articles. Infographics and visuals are also important!

 


If you think that you need some help with writing your website content, look into the services of a professional to help you out. Compelling content catches the customers – which is exactly what you would be investing in. Be expressive, be clear and be effective, and you’ll see the difference in your bottom line.

Simple Steps to a Successful Brand Building Process

By | Branding

There is one major thing that your company owns that makes you lovable – your brand. As a new company on the market, you need to be able to carve out a brand image and reputation that people are going to want to buy from. Whether you offer a product on the shelf or a service you can provide, people prefer to buy products from brands that are familiar.

How do you get familiar? You build a brand.

A brand is not just a logo or a set of snazzy colours. You’re already in an uphill race by being a small business in a big ocean of large businesses. You’re going to be in competition with everyone from day one because these larger companies already have their names set, their customers loyalty and a marketing budget that’s bigger than yours. You need to be different; standing out from the crowd is your new job. Building your brand isn’t going to be an overnight process, not when building it up can take months – depending on how tenacious your marketing team is, of course! Your customer’s perception of your business is going to define your brand, so the real question that you need to ask yourself is this:

How on earth do I get started?

Well, you’re in luck. Below, you’re going to find some steps to building the best brand you’ve ever imagined. Good luck!

The Who

Not just a band, you need to know who you are aiming your product towards. You cannot build a wall without a location of where to get started, right? Your brand needs a starting point, and your starting point is who your target audience is. You can’t be everything to everyone, but you can know who you can be everything to. Always keep your brand message tailored to exactly who you are trying to reach. Create a brand that they can relate to, and you’ll be successful!

The Why

You need a mission statement; a written exclamation about what you are passionate about and make that your reason for pushing your brand. You can’t build your brand without letting people know what you are about, and your mission statement defines this about you. Your entire visual brand should also reflect what your mission statement is.

The What

So, you know you’re starting as a small fish in a big pond, and you’re going to have a lot of competition out there. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but that doesn’t mean that you should ever imitate exactly what the big brands in your industry are doing. The whole idea of building a trusted brand is to differentiate from the competition and convince the customer base you are targeting to choose you over them. This means research!

Look into what the competition are doing and instead of copying the ideas, beat them out. You have the chance to really create an effective brand name, and you can then work out how you look better to your customers over them.

The How

Next, you need to figure out how you’re going to look better than the rest. You’ve done the research, you know your audience and you have your mission. You now need to outline all your qualities and benefits that you offer over the other competition out there. The way to show them what they are missing out on is to show them how you plan to win their business and then retain it afterwards, too. This doesn’t mean just listing all your features on your products, it means showing customers how you plan to provide an improvement. Customers buy products based on solutions to their problem; if you can show them that your solution is better than the other brands, you’ll win the business.

The Where

Your brand needs a website, a logo and a tagline. These three things together are what is going to set you apart from the rest, and visuals of your brand are vital for success. Your logo will appear on everything, and if you want people to know who you are, you need it to be easy to interpret. Invest your money here, because once you pay a good brand development company for their service, you’re going to see the difference.


 

Building your brand doesn’t have to be as hard as you think. All you need to do is follow the steps and you will be able to enjoy customer loyalty and company growth that you didn’t anticipate.

7 Website Mistakes Small Businesses Make and How to Avoid Them

By | Website Design

As a small business, there are a few common mistakes that are made when it comes to having a website. In this article, we are going to discuss what these mistakes are and how you can avoid them.

Waiting To Write Content

One of the mistakes that small businesses make is waiting to write the content for the website until the design has been delivered. The content is going to help the person designing the website to create one that highlights your strategy. So, there is no point in hiring an expensive website designer without first having at least an example of the copy that will be on there.

Not Having A Promotion Plan

A lot of small business owners make the mistake of thinking that just because the website has been put up, this will automatically draw traffic. This isn’t going to be the case. Launching your website is not going to be enough to bring people in, especially if they don’t know about the website. So, what you need to do is to make sure that you have sat down and come up with an idea about how you are going to promote your website once it has launched.

Making It Harder Than It Is

If you don’t understand what certain terms mean when it comes to a website such as SEO, or HTML, the best thing you can do is keep the whole thing simple. Register your host and domain name with your credit card, and don’t hire anyone to help who makes the project hard.

Not Using WordPress

A lot of small business owners just assume that all web hosting sites are created the same. But, WordPress is going to be the easiest one to use because it isn’t locked into anything and it easy to change. If you use a different service, you might end up having to pay someone who understands the software to make a small change for you.

Not Understanding The Use Of The Website

You might have overheard someone say that a website is just something that a business needs. If you don’t understand what your website does for the company, then you need to set yourself some goals so that you know why it’s there. To avoid this, you need to identify at least three things that you want from your website, so that you fully understand the benefits it has for your business.

Too Much, Too Fast

Some small business owners get caught up paying for add-ons and services for the website that they simply don’t need. Just because you have seen it on another website, it doesn’t mean that yours needs it. You don’t want to pay a fortune just to have features that add nothing to the strategy of the site. So, you need to keep it simple and only pay for what it is that you know you need.

All The Focus On The Traffic

The final mistake that some small businesses make is that all the focus goes on the traffic of the site. While the number of people you have visiting your site is important, you also need to be focusing on conversions. Just because people have clicked onto your site, there is nothing stopping them coming on and off without actually using your service. To avoid this, you need to keep an eye on the conversions that are coming from your website.


We hope that you have found this helpful and understand 7 of the biggest mistakes that small businesses make when it comes to their website.

 

7 homepage must haves for your website design

By | Website Design

Is your homepage the most important page of your site? It’s a debatable question. Although it’s usually the page that generates the most visits, more often it’s just an entry point leading the user to what they’re really after on your site. Regardless, your homepage website design still plays a vital role in telling your story.

Your homepage is like the equivalent of what a window shopper is to a retail store. These days not all of your visitors will enter your site via the homepage, but for the majority that do, first impressions count. You wouldn’t step foot into a store if it didn’t look appealing from the outside, and the same applies to your website home.

Your homepage should answer a few obvious questions like what your business is about, what can users do on your site and why should they be on your site. With less than 3 seconds to make it count, here are 7 homepage elements to consider when reviewing or creating your website design.

Guide the user journey

Your homepage needs to take into consideration your target audience and their preferences. Look at your analytics to see where your visitors spend the most time on your site, to understand which content is appealing to them. Then capture an easy pathway to those inner pages via your homepage.

What’s your promise?

How can your products or services solve their problems? Show the user you understand their challenges. You don’t need to offer a complete solution to their problem upfront, but your homepage should entice the user to find out how you can.

Make it visually appealing

Your website isn’t all about the looks, but a professionally designed website does help to draw attention and further establish your visual branding. Video content is highly effective and a great way to engage your audience and tell your story. And never underestimate the power of high quality images to enhance the appearance of your homepage.

Include a strong call to action

What action do you want out of your visitors? Having a strong call to action (CTA) helps guide the customer journey and the steps you would like them to take. It doesn’t need to result in an immediate conversion but it should lead them to this.

How to get in touch

Provide contact details on your homepage so visitors can reach out to you if they need to. Depending on the nature of your business, it may seem like a no brainer, but even if your business doesn’t need to generate leads through enquiries, it’s good practice to have a way for users to contact you.

The trust factor

If you can show visitors your business is credible and build on their trust, then you’re onto a winner. This can be as easy as including testimonials, logos of your clients or adding a sprinkle of social proof to your homepage.

Add dynamic content

Highlight your industry know-how with blog or social feeds. It’s an easy way to generate fresh content on your homepage and demonstrate that your business has a finger on the pulse and is a great source of information.

By having a solid homepage design, you’re telling visitors that there’s more to you than just your shopfront. So invite them in!  

 


 

Think your website homepage could do with a makeover? Contact the web design specialists at Cloud Cartel today for a free consultation.