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This is a headshot of Sanj Rajput.

Woman talking into mobile phone and smiling.

 

Voice search once promised to be the next big thing — a whole digital revolution with Alexa, Siri, and Cortana leading the charge.  

 

The reality? It hasn't quite taken the world by storm. Not yet, anyhow.  

 

But that doesn't mean that voice search optimization is a dead end. Far from it. In fact, it's a path rich with potential. 

 

This post aims to unpack the current landscape of voice search and what that means for SEO. Then, we'll show you how to make your website play nice with voice search, all while keeping your overall SEO strategy solid. 

 

 

The State of Voice Search Today 

Voice search isn't just a tech fad, but it isn’t a daily necessity, either. It’s somewhere in between. 

 

The world of voice search is, indeed, huge. It’s not just on the smart speakers in our homes and phones in our pockets, but also the tech in our cars, cameras, and thousands of other smart devices.  

 

Right now, over 60% of Americans over 18 use voice assistants and more than a third have smart speakers at home.  

 

As of 2022, about half of U.S. consumers say they use voice search every day. This trend, however, hasn't been steady. A 35% decline in voice search usage between 2018 and 2021 suggests that although adoption is widespread, day-to-day use is not.  

 

And while many people use voice search on the daily, they’re not necessarily using it the same way they use traditional text-based search. Most of the action for voice search seems to be in the simpler joys: things like keeping the kids entertained, uncovering new tunes, or catching up on podcasts. Not doing business. 

 

But don't be fooled. The potential for voice search in commerce is only set to grow.  

 

As voice tech becomes an even bigger part of our lives, its influence on shopping and finding services is sure to grow, creating ripe opportunities for businesses to tune in. And optimizing your website to be more voice-search-friendly also tends to boost its visibility across the board.  

 

As we dive into how to finesse your website for voice search, remember this: what's good for voice is good for your digital footprint at large.  

 

 

How Voice Search Works 

Voice search technology combines sound, data, and AI. At its core is Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR), which converts spoken language into text that computers can grasp. This magic starts the moment you decide to talk to your device instead of typing. 

 

Here's how it all comes together: 

 

  1. Once activated (often via phrases like, “Hey Google” or “Hey Siri”) your device ‘listens’ intently, tuning out everything but your voice. 

  2. Next, your words are digitized, transforming from sound waves into a digital format that's ripe for analysis. 

  3. Then, your spoken words are dissected and understood. The device checks its external data sources (like Google Search) to pull up information that aligns with your query. 

  4. Thanks to machine learning, every voice search refines the system's ‘brain.’ It learns from patterns, digs through language databases, and gets better at guessing what you're really asking for. 

  5. Finally, the device serves up an answer that hits the mark, whether you're after a quick fact, a local restaurant, or the day's headlines. 

 

When it comes to steps 3 through 5, each different voice assistant — Google Assistant, Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa — plays by its own rules, using specific algorithms and data sources to fetch answers. 

 

  • Google Assistant taps into Google's extensive search database and Google Maps for those "near me" questions. 

  • Apple's Siri relies on Apple Maps and Yelp to dish out suggestions. 

  • Amazon's Alexa uses Microsoft Bing for its searches. 

 

This means your approach to voice search optimization needs to be versatile. For businesses, it's about shining on the right platforms, like sprucing up your Google Business Profile for Google Assistant fans or buffing up your Yelp reviews for Siri users. 

 

 

Voice Search vs. Text Search 

Voice search and text search might aim to conquer the same mountain — fetching the most relevant and useful information from the internet's vast terrain — but they take different routes.  

 

These paths diverge thanks to the quirks of human behavior and tech preferences. 

 

1. The Device and Search Engine Landscape 

A user's choice of device significantly impacts the voice search experience.  

 

With mobile devices accounting for over 60% of internet searches, and about 20% of these being voice searches, it's clear we're witnessing a shift.  

 

The rise of smart speakers has turbocharged this movement, with a notable spike in ownership around 2017, primarily driven by Amazon's Alexa.  

 

While Google remains the king for typed searches, voice searches often swing towards Bing, thanks to smart speaker preferences. And as smart speakers become more common and Amazon continues to lead the pack, Bing's role in voice search is becoming more and more important. 

 

2. Different Search Intentions 

There's a clear preference for using voice for specific types of queries, especially local ones, like finding the nearest pizza joint. Voice search relies heavily on local SEO.  

 

On the flip side, more private or sensitive searches still predominantly lean towards typing. It seems not everything is ready to be spoken aloud, with concerns over privacy likely steering this trend. 

 

3. Query Structure 

The most noticeable divide between voice and text searches is how questions are asked.  

 

Voice searches often take on a more conversational tone, mimicking natural speech. Because, well, they are natural speech.  

 

For businesses, this calls for a strategic pivot towards long-tail keywords and content that directly answers spoken queries.  

 

As search engines get better at picking up on user intent, tailoring your content to these conversational questions can significantly boost your SEO efforts, connecting you directly with users on the hunt for immediate solutions. 

 

 

Voice Search Optimization: Tips to Elevate Your Digital Presence 

As voice search becomes more commonplace, tailoring your website to the nuances of spoken requests is a smart move to boost online visibility.  

 

Here are a few actionable tips to get your site voice-search ready without pivoting your entire SEO strategy: 

 

1. Prioritize Speed and Mobile Compatibility 

Voice assistants and users alike have zero tolerance for websites that drag their feet. A speedy, mobile-optimized website is a must-have. This enhances user experience and meets the fast-paced demands of voice search technologies. 

 

2. Embrace Conversational Content 

Since voice searches mirror natural speech, your website's content should, too. Craft your titles and body content to reflect how real conversations flow.  

 

Questions and direct answers should form the backbone of your content, aiming for a natural, engaging tone that aligns with voice search queries. 

 

3. Leverage Long-Tail Keywords 

Long-tail keywords are less crowded and more specific, perfectly aligned with voice searches. Ditch the generic in favor of niche, question-based keywords that voice search users are likely to utter.  

 

Dive deep with your keyword research to fish out these specific phrases that resonate with your audience’s real-world queries. 

 

4. Strengthen Your Local SEO 

Voice searches are often local, with users seeking information on the go. Ensure your business shines in local search by keeping your listings accurate on Google Business Profile, Yelp, and Bing Places. These directories are goldmines for voice assistants sourcing local information. 

 

5. Implement Speakable Schema Markup 

Google’s Speakable schema helps earmark content that’s well-suited for speech conversion. Though still evolving (aka, still in beta), Speakable schema markup can help set your site apart in voice search results. 

 

6. Acknowledge Bing 

Google may be the giant, but Bing plays a vital role in powering voice searches, especially through Alexa and Cortana.  

 

While Google-centric optimizations generally translate well to Bing, keeping an eye on each search engine's quirks can give you an extra leg up. 

 

7. Utilize FAQ Pages 

FAQ pages are gold for voice search optimization. They naturally cater to the question-and-answer format prevalent in voice searches. Compile and answer queries collected from customer interactions and online searches in a well-structured FAQ page.  

 

Enhancing these with FAQ Schema Markup can further elevate your chances of securing a prime spot in search results. 

 

 

Your Path to Voice Search Success 

Don't be intimidated by the intricacies of voice search optimization. Reach out to us to see how our SEO services can help your website thrive in a voice-activated world.  

 

Together, we can create a digital strategy that responds to the needs of today's search engines and anticipates tomorrow's trends. Let's transform the challenge of voice search into your strategic edge. 

 

 

 

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This is a headshot of Sanj Rajput.

Web developers on tablet and desktop computers. "Cybersecurity in Web Development" REM Web Solutions

 

Your website is your business’s digital storefront. But what if you came into work one day and found that this beautiful storefront has been burglarized, vandalized, and slathered in offensive graffiti? 

 

It would be a real punch in the gut. An expensive punch, at that. 

 

Maybe it's a data leak so big that it spills customer details across the dark web, causing nightmares of identity theft, legal battles, and a reputation in ruins.  

 

Or let's say you've toiled for months to climb the search engine ladder, only to wake up one day to find yourself essentially invisible. Malicious code has infected your site, poisoning your SEO and dragging your reputation through the mud.  

 

Or, during a peak day like Black Friday, your website crumbles under the relentless weight of a DDoS attack.  

 

These aren’t made-up stories. Incidents like the above happen each and every day. For example, in the past year alone: 

 

  • 23andMe faced a data breach where 20 million records were compromised due to credential stuffing attacks, leaking genetic data profiles. 

  • MGM Resorts experienced a cyberattack that shut down many of its internal networks, impacting services across its global casinos and hotels. 

  • Duolingo saw data pertaining to 2.6 million users leaked, including names, email addresses, phone numbers, and social media information (Duo the Owl was cleared of involvement in this nefarious scheme). 

 

From sites knocked offline to the horror of data breaches, the web is a veritable battleground. And cybersecurity is the shield for your online presence against this arsenal of threats. 

 

For small business owners, cybersecurity is a major concern. There is a sense of fear when it comes to safety and security, of course, but also for lost dollars and damaged reputations.  

 

Yet, within this daunting challenge lies a silver lining: the chance to shine by leading the cybersecurity charge, reassuring every customer and partner of your unwavering commitment to your customers. 

 

In this article, we’ll introduce you to the role of cybersecurity in web development and how choosing the right web developer protects your digital presence from the get-go. 

 

At REM Web Solutions Inc., we thrive on helping our customers grow their businesses in tangible and impactful ways. If you need support with your digital marketing efforts or website design and development, don’t hesitate to reach out. Our skilled team is always here to support you in navigating the digital landscape!      

 

 

Understanding Cybersecurity in Web Development 

Cybersecurity touches every part of your digital presence, from the code behind your website to the networks and devices that store your data, and the company policies that dictate how you use them.  

 

In short, cybersecurity is a serious matter. 

 

Yet, shockingly, over half of small businesses operate without any cyber defenses, even though 43% of cyber assaults target small businesses specifically. This absence of cybersecurity measures is a chasm with potentially catastrophic outcomes.  

 

In fact, up to 60% of small businesses that are hit by a cyberattack go out of business within six months.  

 

Often, the exposure or theft of sensitive info is only the beginning. What follows a cyberattack can be a costly cleanup, potential fines for data protection failures, and compensating the victims.  

 

But perhaps the most corrosive consequence of a cyberattack is the erosion of trust between a business and its customers. A single slip in security can drastically dent your reputation, turning customer trust into doubt and deterring future business. 

 

Legal hurdles add to the ordeal. Small businesses could face lawsuits and hefty penalties for lax security practices, not to mention the operational gridlock from downtime. This subsequently slices through revenue, especially for online-dependent entities.  

 

Plus, losing intellectual property to breaches can weaken your competitive position, diluting the innovations that set your business apart. 

 

It's natural to feel overwhelmed or anxious in the high-stakes world of cybersecurity. Yet, within this complexity lies potential — the potential to turn cybersecurity into a competitive advantage over. And it all starts with a secure website. 

 

 

Cyber Threats You Should Know (Because Knowledge is Power) 

We started off this post by likening your website to a storefront. Now, picture that storefront as part of a bustling marketplace — busy, vibrant, and full of potential, yet at times a bit chaotic.  

 

And like many real-world marketplaces, in this digital bazaar, there are a few shadowy figures lurking in corners, eyeing your assets, ready to pounce on any slip-up.  

 

From malware schemes to sneaky vulnerabilities, the range of cyber risks is wide and the stakes are high. The bigger threats include: 

 

  • Malware: Malware is malicious software aimed at stealing, damaging, or hijacking your digital space. For small business sites, malware could steal data, take control of certain website functions, or spy on users’ computer activity without permission. Often, the culprit is something as innocent-looking as an outdated plugin or an old content management system, which rolls out the red carpet for cybercriminals. 

  • Ransomware: Imagine your data locked away in a digital vault, and the key is in the hands of extortionists. That's ransomware for you, a cyber shakedown that hits small businesses hard, blocking access to crucial data and shutting down operations. Ransomware is especially prevalent in sectors like healthcare, but can happen to anyone. 

  • DDoS Attacks: A DDoS attack drowns your site under a tsunami of bogus traffic, and because it’s not all that difficult to pull off, it’s not just reserved for the big players. Small businesses face disproportionate fallout, especially if your site crashes at an important time (like during a big sale, or when you just launched a new product or feature.) 

  • Weak Passwords: A flimsy password is akin to leaving your front door unlocked in a bad neighbourhood. Using the same password for your website and other things is a recipe for disaster, since if the password leaks once, bad actors will also have access to your site. 

  • Patch Problems: An unpatched system is a neon sign for cyber predators, signaling an easy mark. The patch management struggle is real for small businesses, leaving vital systems open to attack, from ransomware onslaughts to data breaches. 

  • Insiders: Not all dangers come from shadowy outsiders. Insider threats, whether malicious or just clumsy (we all know one), can unleash havoc, leaking data, or granting unauthorized access. 

 

Too many small businesses are cyber-defenseless, prime targets for digital predators. The aftermath is a financial drain, operational chaos, and a tarnished reputation. 

 

 

Merging Cybersecurity with Web Development 

Cybersecurity and web development go hand-in-hand. They're two sides of the same coin, working together to create safer, more resilient online spaces.  

 

From the early drafts to the final touches of code, making cybersecurity a priority is the key to transforming your website from a potential target to a digital fortress. 

 

When it comes to designing and developing your secure website, we put cybersecurity first. Here’s how we do it: 

 

  • Building with Security in Mind: Integrating cybersecurity from the get-go means coding with vigilance and encrypting data to shield against threats. This multi-layered strategy ensures that every aspect of your website, both front and back, stands guarded against unauthorized access, laying down a comprehensive defense that spans the entire digital spectrum. 

  • Security by Design: At the core of this approach is Security by Design, a philosophy that focuses on reducing vulnerabilities and building a strong defense from the outset. We take time to understand what needs protection, identify potential threats, and work to prevent them in the first place. By crafting a security architecture that preempts risks, minimizes exposure to attacks, and enforces strict access controls, your website becomes a digital fortress. 

  • Custom Tools for Custom Safety: Our commitment to security shines through our proprietary Content Management System (CMS), WebWiz@rd. Steering clear of third-party platforms that might hide vulnerabilities, we lay the groundwork for your website on territory we know and trust. Our philosophy of Taking Ownership extends to our CMS, demonstrating our commitment to protecting your digital world. 

  • Hosting with Assurance: Our involvement doesn’t end with development. We also take pride in hosting the websites we craft. This stewardship ensures a secure habitat for your site, safeguarded against the digital predators waiting in the shadows. It’s not just about building with excellence but also about maintaining a bastion for your online presence. 

 

With so many threats out there, protecting user data and online assets can be daunting. However, this is an excellent opportunity to take your brand to the next level, assuring your customers and partners that their security is our top priority. 

 

We want you to be confident that your online space reflects your business's ethos and stands as a bulwark protecting all who gather within. By merging cybersecurity and web development, we will make your digital transformation both successful and secure. 

 

At REM Web Solutions Inc., we thrive on helping our customers grow their businesses in tangible and impactful ways. If you need support with your digital marketing efforts or website design and development, don’t hesitate to reach out. Our skilled team is always here to support you in navigating the digital landscape!      

 

 

 

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This is a headshot of Sanj Rajput.

Illustration of a man using a laptop with screens of product descriptions around him

 

Are you ever stuck, staring at the screen, not knowing what to write for your product description? Or maybe you're having trouble figuring out what kind of information would make someone go from just browsing to becoming a loyal customer? You're not the only one.

 

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but in the world of ecommerce, using the right words strategically can make a big difference in the success of a business. The average person only spends about eight seconds on a website page, so it's really important for a business to be able to write short, clear, and helpful product descriptions that can convince customers to “add to cart”.

 

Strong product descriptions serve as the bridge between your digital storefront and the delivered products, providing customers with essential information about the items they're considering.

 

Product descriptions are powerful sales tools that can captivate, inform, and compel potential buyers. They have a direct impact on conversion rates, influencing customers to make purchasing decisions, while also encouraging customer engagement and loyalty.

 

In this blog post, we will further explore the importance of effective product descriptions in ecommerce, understand how to write compelling copy, as well as understand their significant impact on conversion rates and SEO strategies.

 


 

Why Are Product Descriptions Important?

 

They Increase Your Revenue

Product descriptions have a direct impact on increasing sales and revenue for online businesses. When customers visit an ecommerce website, they rely heavily on product descriptions to understand the products they are wanting to buy. A well-written product description goes beyond providing basic information. It creates an immersive experience that engages customers and highlights the unique features, benefits, and value of the product.

 

They build connection and trust

Compelling descriptions can evoke emotions, address customer pain points, and showcase the product's benefits in a way that resonates with the target audience.

 

Detailed and accurate product descriptions instill confidence and trust in customers. Being transparent and clear helps a business gain trust from customers and makes it less likely for them to give up on their purchase because they're unsure.

 

They enhance the user experience

Product descriptions contribute significantly to enhancing the user experience for online shoppers. When a customer visits your online store, they are looking for detailed information about the products but also a seamless and enjoyable shopping experience. Here are some ways product descriptions can accomplish this:

 

  • Clear and Concise Information: A well-written product description ensures that users can quickly and easily find the information they need. By presenting key details, such as product specifications, dimensions, materials, and usage instructions, in a clear and concise manner, businesses enable users to make informed decisions without having to search further.
  • Addressing Customer Concerns: Product descriptions address potential customer questions and concerns by providing comprehensive information right off the bat, avoiding customer hesitation.
  • Engaging and Informative Content: Product descriptions can be used to evoke emotions, create a connection with the user, and help them visualize how the product can enhance their lives.
  • Consistency in Brand Voice and Messaging: Well-written product descriptions align with the overall brand voice and messaging, creating a cohesive and consistent user experience. This consistency helps build brand recognition and reinforces the brand's values, making users feel more confident and familiar with the brand.
  • Supporting Visual Elements: Paired with the right visuals, product descriptions become strong tools for generating revenue. While images provide a visual representation of the product, descriptions offer a deeper understanding. Effective descriptions complement visual elements by highlighting key features, providing usage examples, or explaining product benefits that may not be obvious from the visuals alone.

 

They help build trust

In the online world of ecommerce, trust plays a crucial role because customers can't physically interact with products before buying them. That's why well-written product descriptions are important for building trust and credibility.

 

When product descriptions are transparent and accurate, they give customers the information they need to make informed decisions. By clearly presenting details like specifications, features, dimensions, and other relevant information, businesses show that they are committed to providing accurate and reliable information.

 

They help build brand credibility

An effective way to establish credibility is by including social proof, such as customer reviews and testimonials, in product descriptions. Positive reviews and testimonials from satisfied customers validate the claims made in the descriptions and give potential buyers reassurance. When ratings, reviews, and testimonials are included with the product descriptions, it builds trust by showing that others have had positive experiences with the product.

 

Taking the time to write a well-crafted product description is worthwhile. A poorly written or generic description can undermine trust and credibility while well-written, error-free, and engaging descriptions demonstrate attention to detail and a commitment to quality.

 

They help your online business stand out from the competition

Writing effective product descriptions is a valuable way to make your business stand out in the competitive world of online shopping. Since there are many other stores offering similar products, it's crucial to grab the attention of potential customers and leave a lasting impression.

 

Well-written descriptions play a key role in communicating what makes your product special, highlighting its unique qualities compared to competitors. By emphasizing the benefits and advantages your product offers, you can showcase its value. By incorporating storytelling techniques and a distinctive tone of voice that reflects your brand's personality, you can create an emotional connection with customers and set your brand apart.

 

Developing a unique language and writing style further establishes a memorable and recognizable brand identity. By using these strategies, you can differentiate your business, attract customers who resonate with your brand, and provide a remarkable and distinct shopping experience that sets you apart from the competition.

 

They boost search engine visibility (SEO)

Well-written product descriptions go beyond engaging and informing potential customers – they also play a crucial role in boosting search engine visibility and ecommerce SEO. Here's how:

 

  • Keyword Optimization: By strategically incorporating relevant keywords and phrases into your product descriptions, you can enhance the SEO value of your pages. Optimizing descriptions with targeted keywords helps search engines understand the relevance of your products and display them in relevant search results.
  • Unique and Original Content: Creating distinct and original product descriptions sets you apart from competitors and improves your chances of ranking higher in search results. Unique content demonstrates to search engines that your website provides valuable and credible information.
  • Increased Page Relevance: Well-written descriptions improve the relevance of your product pages to specific search queries. Accurately describing the features and benefits of your products helps search engines match your pages to relevant user searches.
  • Longer Time on Page and Lower Bounce Rates: Engaging and informative descriptions can keep visitors on your product pages longer, indicating to search engines that your content is valuable. This can potentially improve your website's ranking in search results. 
  • Backlink Opportunities: Compelling descriptions can attract backlinks from other websites, further boosting your website's SEO. When other sites link to your product pages, it enhances your website's authority and credibility in the eyes of search engines.

 


 

How To Write Powerful Product Descriptions

Writing powerful product descriptions is essential for capturing the attention of potential customers and persuading them to make a purchase. Here are key strategies to consider:

 

  • Understand your target audience by researching their needs, preferences, and pain points. Tailor your descriptions to address their unique concerns and desires.
  • Highlight key product features and benefits, showcasing how your product solves problems or fulfills specific needs. Emphasize what sets your product apart from competitors.
  • Use persuasive language and storytelling techniques to engage your audience emotionally and create a connection. Paint a vivid picture of how your product can positively impact their lives.
  • Incorporate relevant SEO keywords throughout your descriptions to improve search engine visibility and attract organic traffic.
  • Format and structure your descriptions for readability, using bullet points, subheadings, and short paragraphs. Highlight important information and key features.
  • Leverage social proof by including customer reviews and testimonials. Positive ratings and endorsements build trust and credibility.

 


 

SEO Strategies for Ecommerce Product Descriptions

To enhance the visibility of your ecommerce product descriptions and attract organic traffic, it's crucial to implement effective SEO strategies. Here are key tactics to optimize your descriptions for search engines:

 

  • Improve visibility and click-through rates by optimizing product titles and meta descriptions with descriptive and keyword-rich content.
  • Enhance search results and generate rich snippets with additional information by implementing schema markup, which provides structured data.
  • Improve website navigation, user experience, and establish credibility by incorporating internal and external linking.
  • Track important metrics and identify areas for improvement by utilizing analytics tools to monitor and analyze the performance of your product descriptions.

 


 

The Takeaway

We’ve learned that well-written product descriptions are a powerful tool for driving online businesses towards success in the world of ecommerce. A strong product description can be the bridge between a casual browser and a loyal customer. The average individual spends roughly eight seconds on a website page, so it’s vital to a businesses’ success in their ability to convert a customer to write short, succinct and powerful product descriptions.

 

At REM Web Solutions, we understand the value of a well-written piece of brand collateral and encourage our clients to pay special attention to the messaging they share with their customers and audiences. Get in touch with us and let’s explore ways in which you could leverage your content writing to align with your business goals.

 

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This is a headshot of Sanj Rajput.

Illustration of three people gathered around a web browser with SEO in it

 

Owning and operating a small business has many fulfilling aspects ­— connecting with your customers in a meaningful way, being able to keep a finger on the pulse of everyday activity and providing a personalized product or service. That being said, if you’re looking to grow and scale your business, taking advantage of digital tools such as Google Business Profile can help you optimize your local SEO presence and appeal to a larger pool of prospective customers.

 

In today's digital age, having a strong online presence is crucial for the success of small businesses. Google Business Profile allows business owners to utilize Google’s power as the most popular search engine to broaden their local reach.

 

This powerful tool not only allows you to create and manage your business listing but also plays a significant role in improving your local SEO performance.

 

In this blog post, we will explore the importance of Google Business Profile and provide an overview of key terms that will help you optimize your local SEO presence. By understanding these concepts and implementing effective strategies, you can enhance your online visibility, attract local customers, and gain a competitive edge in the digital marketplace.

 


 

Let's dive in and explore how Google Business Profile can benefit your small business.

 

Google Business Profile Insights – How Does It Work?

Google Business Profile Insights is a powerful analytics tool provided by Google that offers valuable data and metrics about your business listing's performance on Google Search and Google Maps. It provides you with key insights into how customers are finding your business, interacting with your listing, and engaging with your brand.

 

Why is this a tool worth your time? By analyzing this data, you can gain a deeper understanding of your target audience and make informed decisions to optimize your local SEO presence.

 

Accessing your Google Business Profile Insights is simple.

 

  • Log in to your Google Business Profile account and navigate to the "Insights" section. Here, you'll find a wealth of data presented in an easy-to-understand format. The insights are categorized into different sections, including visibility, engagement, and audience.
  • In the visibility section, you'll discover how customers discovered your business listing, whether through direct searches, discovery searches, or through Google Maps.
  • Engagement insights provide valuable information on how customers interacted with your listing, such as the number of clicks, calls, and website visits.
  • The audience section provides demographic information about your audience, including age, gender, and location.

Interpreting the insights data requires a holistic approach. Look for patterns and trends in the data over time. Identify which areas are performing well and which need improvement. For example, if you notice that a significant number of customers are discovering your business through direct searches, it indicates a strong brand presence. On the other hand, if engagement metrics are low, you might need to optimize your listing to encourage more interactions.

 


 

Understanding Local Presence in Google Search Results

Local presence refers to the visibility and prominence of a business in local search results on Google. When users search for products or services with local intent, such as "restaurants near me" or "plumbers in [city name]," Google provides the most relevant and geographically appropriate results. Local presence ensures that your business appears in these relevant local search results, increasing the chances of attracting local customers.

 

Google utilizes various factors to determine local relevance and presents results on its search engine results page (SERP) accordingly. Several key factors influence local search rankings. They include:

 

  • Google Business Profile Listing: A well-optimized and up-to-date Google Business Profile listing is vital. This includes accurate business information, proper categorization, and a compelling description.
  • Relevance: Google assesses the relevance of a business to a particular search query. It considers factors such as matching keywords, category selection, and content relevance across your website, Google Business Profile listing, and online citations.
  • Distance: Proximity between the searcher and the business location is a crucial factor. Google considers the physical distance of the business from the searcher's location or the location specified in the search query.
  • Prominence: The prominence and reputation of a business play a role in local search rankings. Factors such as the number and quality of customer reviews, online ratings, backlinks, and citations from authoritative sources contribute to prominence.
  • Website Quality and SEO: The overall quality, relevance, and optimization of your website also influence local search rankings. Factors like mobile-friendliness, page load speed, structured data markup, and relevant content contribute to a better ranking.

 


 

Enhance Your Local Presence in Google Search Results

To enhance your local presence in Google search results, consider implementing the following strategies:

 

  • Optimize Google Business Profile: Create a complete and accurate Google Business Profile listing. Ensure that your business information is consistent across all platforms, select relevant categories, and regularly update your listing with photos, posts, and offers.
  • Localize Your Website: Optimize your website for local SEO by incorporating location-specific keywords, creating location-based landing pages, and including your NAP (Name, Address, Phone) information on every page.
  • Online Reviews and Reputation Management: Encourage customers to leave reviews on your Google Business Profile listing. Monitor and respond to reviews promptly, addressing both positive and negative feedback. A positive online reputation enhances your local presence.
  • Local Citations and Directory Listings: Ensure consistent NAP information across online directories, industry-specific listings, and citation sources. This helps Google associate your business with specific locations and improves local relevance.
  • Content Localization: Create high-quality, locally-focused content on your website and blog. Incorporate local keywords, showcase local events or partnerships, and highlight your involvement in the local community.
  • Earn Backlinks: Build relationships with local influencers, bloggers, and community organizations to earn backlinks to your website. Quality backlinks from local sources help establish credibility and enhance local search rankings.

 

Remember that local SEO is an ongoing process, and consistency is key. Regularly monitor your performance, adapt your strategies based on insights and algorithm updates, and continue to provide excellent products or services to your local customers. By focusing on local presence in Google search, you can effectively target and attract customers in your area.

 


 

Optimizing NAP Consistency for Better Local SEO Performance

Maintaining consistent NAP information across all online listings is crucial for better local SEO performance. Inconsistent or inaccurate NAP information can confuse search engines and customers, leading to a loss of trust and lower search rankings. To optimize NAP consistency:

 

  • Audit Existing Listings: Conduct a thorough audit of your current online listings. Identify any inconsistencies or outdated information that needs to be corrected.
  • Standardize Format: Use a standardized format for your business name, address, and phone number across all listings. Avoid using abbreviations, variations, or alternate phone numbers.
  • Update Citations and Directories: Ensure that your NAP information is consistent across online directories, review sites, social media platforms, and other citation sources. Update or claim your listings to make necessary corrections.
  • Monitor and Correct Inconsistencies: Regularly monitor your listings and correct any inconsistencies or inaccuracies as soon as possible. Utilize automated tools or services that can help identify and manage your online citations.

 


 

Local Marketing and Customer Engagement

Local marketing refers to the strategies and tactics businesses use to promote their products or services to a specific local audience. It focuses on targeting customers within a specific geographical area, typically within a certain radius around the business location. Some key local marketing techniques include:

 

  • Location-Based Targeting: Utilizing location-based advertising platforms and tools to target customers within a specific area through online ads, social media campaigns, or geotargeted search ads.
  • Community Involvement: Engaging with the local community through sponsorships, partnerships, and participation in local events, fundraisers, or charity initiatives. This helps build brand awareness and establishes a positive reputation.
  • Local SEO: Optimizing your website and online presence to rank higher in local search results. This includes using location-based keywords, creating location-specific landing pages, and building citations and backlinks from local sources.
  • Local Content Marketing: Creating and promoting content that is relevant to the local audience. This can include blog posts, videos, or social media content that highlights local events, news, or customer stories.

 


 

Engaging with Local Customers and Managing Customer Reviews

Engaging with local customers and managing customer reviews is crucial for building a strong local reputation and fostering customer loyalty. It has several benefits, including:

 

  • Trust and Credibility: Engaging with customers and responding to their inquiries or feedback demonstrates that you value their opinions and are committed to providing excellent service. This builds trust and credibility for your business in the local community.
  • Positive Online Reputation: Actively managing customer reviews allows you to address any negative feedback promptly and professionally. By resolving issues and showcasing exceptional customer service, you can enhance your online reputation and attract more customers.
  • Word-of-Mouth Marketing: Satisfied customers who have positive experiences are more likely to recommend your business to others. By engaging with them and providing excellent service, you increase the chances of generating positive word-of-mouth referrals.
  • Competitive Advantage: Local businesses that actively engage with customers and manage their online reputation stand out from competitors. By leveraging platforms like Google Business Profile for customer engagement, you can gain a competitive edge in the local market.

 

Remember to respond to customer reviews in a timely manner, whether they are positive or negative. Express gratitude for positive reviews and address any concerns or issues raised in negative reviews professionally and constructively. By actively engaging with local customers and managing their reviews, you can foster a positive brand image, build strong relationships, and attract more local customers to your business.

 


 

Leveraging Online Business Directories

Online business directories play a significant role in local SEO by providing businesses with additional online visibility and increasing their chances of appearing in local search results. These directories act as online platforms that list businesses in specific categories and locations, making it easier for potential customers to find relevant products or services in their area. Search engines often consider information from these directories when determining local search rankings, making them an essential part of a local SEO strategy.

To effectively list businesses in relevant online directories, consider the following strategies:

 

  • Research and Identify Relevant Directories: Start by researching and identifying online directories that are specific to your industry or location. Focus on directories that are popular and trusted by your target audience.
  • Optimize Business Information: When listing your business, ensure that you provide accurate and consistent NAP (Name, Address, Phone) information. Optimize your business description by including relevant keywords and highlighting unique selling points.
  • Choose the Right Categories: Select the most appropriate categories for your business listing within each directory. This helps ensure that your business appears in relevant search results and increases its visibility to potential customers.
  • Include High-Quality Visuals: Enhance your listing by including high-quality images that showcase your products, services, or premises. Visuals can attract attention and make your listing more appealing to potential customers.
  • Monitor and Update Listings: Regularly monitor your listings in online directories to ensure the - information remains accurate and up to date. Update any changes to your business details promptly to maintain consistency across all directories.

 

Owning and operating a small business requires you to juggle many tasks, often dream big and execute said dreams at the same time. As a business owner, you have plenty to do in your day to day. Leverage digital tools like Google Business Profile to do some of the heavy lifting for you while you focus on providing your customers with the attention and care they deserve.

 

If you’re unsure on where to get started, reach out to our Digital Marketing team at REM Web Solutions and let’s figure out a way to optimize your Google Business Profile page to reach more local prospective customers.

 

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Have you ever navigated a website, looking for a way to reach out to a company, clicking on every tab available with no luck? This interaction likely left you feeling frustrated and not confident in the company’s ability to create an easy path of communication.

 

Now you understand why creating effective call-to-action (CTA) buttons is an integral element in your website design and function.

 

Websites are powerful tools that, when well-designed, have the ability to convert casual browsers into loyal customers. But in a digital landscape that is experiencing a landslide of content, how do we do that? How do we attract someone’s attention and empower them to take an action on a website?

 

Simple. We draw them in with the use of a well-designed and easy to access CTA button.

 

Essential for any successful business website, CTA buttons serve as a powerful tool that guide visitors towards desired actions, whether it's making a purchase, subscribing to a newsletter, or signing up for a service.

 

In the world of web design, CTA buttons play a pivotal role in driving conversions and achieving business goals. Their strategic placement, compelling design, and persuasive copy have a direct impact on user engagement and conversion rates. In this blog post, we'll further explore their importance in web design, better understand their significance for conversion optimization, and outline key principles for designing effective CTA buttons.

 


 

What are Call-to-Action (CTA) Buttons?

CTA buttons are interactive elements on a website that prompt users to take a specific action. They are typically designed as buttons, links, or clickable graphics, and their purpose is to guide visitors towards a desired conversion or engagement goal.

 

CTAs can include actions like "Buy Now," "Sign Up," "Download," "Learn More," or "Contact Us." These buttons serve as clear and direct invitations for users to perform an intended action, ultimately helping businesses achieve their objectives, such as generating leads, making sales, or increasing subscriptions.

 

How important is website design, really? The short answer: very.

Website design plays a crucial role in maximizing the effectiveness of CTA buttons. The way CTAs are designed and integrated into the overall website layout significantly impacts user engagement and conversion rates.

 

Effective website design elements, such as layout, colors, typography, and visual hierarchy, can draw attention to CTAs and create a seamless user experience. Well-designed CTAs that align with the website's branding and visual style enhance user trust and credibility, making users more likely to click on them.

 

At the crossroads of website design and user experience

The effectiveness of call-to-action buttons on a website is closely connected to how easy the website is to use and how enjoyable the user's experience is. Website usability refers to how simple and user-friendly a website is, making sure that users can easily find and interact with the things they want. User experience (UX), on the other hand, is about the overall experience a user has while using a website, including how they feel and how satisfied they are. When it comes to call-to-action buttons, both website usability and UX are important to consider.

 


 

How to Design Effective CTA Buttons

 

Consider button placement

When designing CTA buttons for websites, it's important to consider where to place them. Button placement means putting them in spots where people can easily see and use them. By understanding how people look at a webpage and where their attention goes, we can put the buttons in noticeable spots. It's a good idea to place buttons near the top and on the left side of the page because that's where people usually look first. This helps grab their attention.

 

Button placement also helps guide people's eyes to the buttons we want them to click. We should make sure the buttons are easy to find and use, so people don't have to search or scroll too much. It's also important to place buttons where they make sense based on what the webpage is about.

 

Lastly, we need to consider how the buttons will work on different devices, like phones or tablets. We want to ensure they're easy to tap with a thumb and don't cause any problems.

 

Consider colour psychology

Button colour psychology plays a significant role in creating effective CTA buttons in web design. Colours have the power to evoke emotions, influence behaviour, and convey messages.

 

Different colors carry specific associations and meanings that can influence how users perceive and interact with CTAs. For example:

 

  • Red: Often associated with urgency, excitement, and importance, making it suitable for encouraging immediate actions like "Buy Now" or "Sign Up."

  • Green: Symbolizes growth, freshness, and harmony, commonly used for positive actions like "Go" or "Start."

  • Blue: Conveys trust, reliability, and calmness, making it suitable for actions related to trust-building or informative choices.

  • Orange: Represents enthusiasm, energy, and creativity, often used for CTAs that promote engagement or encourage exploration.

 

Contrast and Visibility: High contrast between the button colour and the background helps CTAs stand out and increases their visibility. It's essential to select colours that contrast well to ensure that the buttons catch users' attention and are easily distinguishable on the webpage.

 

Brand Consistency: Consider incorporating brand colours into the CTA design to maintain visual consistency. When users associate specific colours with a brand, using those colours in CTAs can strengthen brand recognition and reinforce the trust and familiarity users have with the brand.

 

Cultural Considerations: Keep in mind that colour associations can vary across cultures. It's important to research and understand the cultural meanings and interpretations of colours in your target audience's demographic and adapt your colour choices accordingly to ensure they resonate positively.

 

Consider button shape and size

Button size and shape are critical considerations when designing CTA buttons. Optimizing these elements is essential for ensuring clickable and creating touch-friendly interfaces, particularly on mobile devices. Here are some things to keep in mind:

 

  • Clickable: The primary goal of a CTA button is to encourage users to click or tap on it. To achieve this, the button should be large enough and have a size that allows users to easily interact with it. Smaller buttons may lead to accidental clicks or difficulty in accurately targeting the button, resulting in frustration and potential loss of conversions.

  • Touch-Friendly Interfaces: With the prevalence of touchscreen devices, it's crucial to consider touch-friendly design for CTA buttons. This requires buttons to be sized appropriately to accommodate touch input. A small or cramped button may lead to accidental taps or difficulty in accurately tapping the button, leading to a poor user experience.

  • Responsiveness: CTA buttons should be responsive to different screen sizes and devices. In a responsive web design, the buttons should adapt to various screen resolutions, ensuring that they remain easily clickable and accessible on different devices. This includes considering different orientations (portrait and landscape) and accommodating users with varying screen sizes, from large desktop monitors to smaller smartphone screens.

  • Shape: The shape of a CTA button can also impact how clickable and touch-friendliness. Rectangular or square-shaped buttons are commonly used due to their simplicity and familiarity. These shapes provide clear boundaries and make it easier for users to tap accurately. However, other shapes can be explored, such as rounded corners or circular buttons, depending on the design style and overall visual aesthetics.

  • Consideration of Accessibility: Button size and shape are particularly crucial for accessibility purposes. Users with motor impairments or visual impairments rely on assistive technologies or alternative input methods, such as screen readers or switch devices. Ensuring that buttons are sufficiently large and distinct helps improve accessibility, making it easier for these users to interact with CTAs and navigate through the website.

 

 


 

Testing CTA Buttons for Optimal Performance

 

A/B Testing

A/B testing is a helpful method for making CTA buttons better. Designers create different versions of CTAs with different designs or words to compare how well they work. A/B testing lets them analyze the results and make decisions based on data. It shows which design elements or words users like more and which ones lead to more people taking action. By testing different CTAs, designers can keep making them better and more effective over time.

 

Analyzing the data

To understand how CTAs are performing, it's important to look at click-through rates (CTR) and conversion metrics. CTR measures the percentage of users who click on a CTA compared to the total number of users who see it. It shows how interested and engaged users are with the CTA.

 

Conversion metrics track how many users complete a specific action, like making a purchase or filling out a form, after clicking on a CTA. By keeping a close eye on these metrics, designers can learn how effective their CTAs are and find areas to improve. Analyzing CTR and conversion data helps identify patterns, trends, and any issues that might affect how well CTAs work.

 


 

Final Thoughts

After learning more about CTA buttons and their performance abilities, you can better understand why at REM Web Solutions we’re highly passionate about designing and developing websites that are intuitive and cover all key design principles to convert individuals from casual browsers into loyal customers. Sometimes, it’s as simple as a strategically-placed CTA button to form that connection.

 

If you’re interested in having your website audited for CTA performance or would like assistance with designing a website that will draw your customers’ attention, reach out to us and we’d be happy to start that conversation.

 

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In the age of technology, having a website as a small business is almost essential. Websites help you showcase products, draw in new customers, spread the word about your business and why you do it, share news about upcoming events, and it can help link people to your socials and bring them into your physical store. Websites are often seen as the heart of a company; they link everything together creating one working system or company.

 

However, what most people don’t consider is the hidden costs of website development. How much does it genuinely cost you as a small business to create a website? There are many factors to consider when you think about the cost of a website. What do you need out of your website? Are you making it yourself? Hiring a company? A freelance developer? Are there any additional features outside of the norm that you want to include? And most importantly, how much are you willing to spend? All of these and more can influence how much your website is going to cost.

 

The Most Common Expense and Features

When it comes to web design there are some basic features and expenses you will need to consider, as most if not all websites have them. The most basic of features are the ones people often forget about most. When it comes to beginning to decide what you want for your website and how big your budget is, keep these main features in mind, as they are the most important and unavoidable. Most of these are often included in a basic package price, however they can also sometimes come at an additional cost depending on what you are looking for.

 

Template, Themes, and Design Costs

First, when you are designing a website, you need to consider the actual design itself. Whether you are using a pre-made template from a do-it-yourself web design website or having a custom design made by a company, there are going to be costs. If you are using a pre-made template or theme, it can cost you anywhere from $0-$300, it can cost more though depending on how many pages you want. If you are going with a custom website, then it is up to the individual company and may be included in a package cost. It is all up to personal preferences and the costs may vary depending on what you want, how complicated it is, and what company you go with.

 

This is typically a one-off payment made when you begin the design process. However, it is good to keep in mind that updating your website’s design every few years is a good idea, as it allows you to keep up with on-going trends. This can then come with additional costs. However, because it is simply an update to the existing design the cost will be lower.

 

Ecommerce and Secure Payment Costs

This does not apply to every website, but if you plan on using your website to sell online, then this is an expense you need to consider. When you set up a shop on your website there are additional costs that go into making sure your website is secure and able to process payments. The last thing you want is to have your customer’s credit card information stolen because you didn’t remember to consider secure payment. Including ecommerce is also generally considered an additional cost because not every website uses it, so it may come at an additional fee, however, make sure to check when looking into different companies. Including ecommerce and secure payment features can range greatly depending on who you are going with to manage it, just make sure it is a reputable company.

 

Mobile-responsive Website Costs

With everyone using a variety of different devices these days, including laptops, phones, desktops, and tablets, it is highly recommended to ensure your website is responsive. This means that when you switch between devices the website adapts to the new screen size to ensure it works and continues to look nice. Most web design companies will recommend that you include this feature or automatically include it in their basic package. There is no one set fee or cost for this, it is all up to the individual company as it may require them to do more work.

 

Website Hosting Fees

When you create a website, the website will have what is called a Hosting platform or Hosting server. This server manages your websites files and applications, making it viewable to your customers online. Essentially it ensures that people can see your website and that the website will run correctly. When it comes to hosting platforms, every web design company has a preference of their own. If you are using a pre-made website from a company such as WIX, then they will use their own hosting platform and have control over it. If you go with a custom website from a web design company, then they may use their own or partner with a third party to host your website. However, you need to be careful. If your hosting platform is unsecure, then it can cause security breaches and potentially lead to hacking.

 

Domain Registration Expenses

The number one feature or expense that people forget about, is domain registration. When you choose or create your website’s domain, you will need to register it to ensure no one else is using it and pay a fee. The fee is not very high, but it will need to be renewed annually so you need to include it in your budget.

 

Content Management System Expenses

Content management and creation is one of the major costs with web design, as it is a continuous cost. When it comes to content creation and management, you have two options. You can either write and create all the content yourself or within your company, or you can outsource it to the company creating your website or an additional freelancer. It is all up to you, however, it is recommended to ensure that you are conducting regular management of your content. As in updating it, checking for any errors, removing old content, etc. There are also website content creation and copywrite fees to consider as well.

 

Additional Features and Fees

On top of the most common or unavoidable fees and expense of web design, there are also additional features that you can include depending on what you are looking for. These additional features, however, will also come at an additional cost, that however, is dependent on the company you choose to go with. These features can include:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO)

  • Website security and SSL certificates

  • Website analytics and tracking expenses

  • Integrating social media on your website

  • Website loading speed optimization

  • User experience (UX) design expenses

There are countless other features as well that you can include, it is simply all up to you and what company you go with offers.

 

DIY V.S. Professional Website Design

Now that you know the basic features you need to keep in mind, and maybe even some extras, you need to consider whether you are going to DIY your website or hire an outside company to do it for you. There are pros and cons to both options, but in the end it all comes down to what you think is best for your company.

 

Affordable Web Design Services

If you are creating your website yourself, you may decide to go with an affordable web design service, such as WIX or Squarespace. These can be great options, as they are often very affordable and easy to use. However, they lack the ability to be individual. Because you are purely working off pre-made templates and features, you lose the ability to create a unique website that stands out from the rest. You also become reliant on a very large company to fix your problems if they arise, which can be a headache.

 

The other problem is the site will be proprietary and you will most likely have to abandon the site if the company ceases operations or if you want to change designers. However, it may be what works best for you.

 

Choosing the Right Website Design Agency

If you decide to go with a custom website, you can go through a freelancer or specialized company, such as REM. Custom websites can be a lot more money and can often take more time as you will need to be in contact with the company, giving feedback and providing them with important information to include. However, they are a lot more customizable. You can have whatever design you want. Include as many or as little features as you want. And if something goes wrong or you need help, they are there to help you, quickly and easily.

 

Most companies generally also allow you to continue updating and managing your content through them for a yearly or monthly fee. This can also make the process easier. Not everyone is versed in how to make a website, nor do they have someone within their company to do it for them. By hiring outside, professional help, you are ensuring that your website will look good, work, and be optimized for the customer experience.

 


 

We hope this was helpful for you when considering what you want out of your small business website. For more website and small business content, check out the rest of our blog page.

 

If you are interested in creating a custom website, call us, email us, or come into our office today and we can get you started.

 

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Marketing has been around for centuries since people began to sell and trades goods with one another. It is a way of getting the word out about what you are selling and for how much. As the times have changed so has the way we market. When the radio was invented people began to use radio ads. When the TV began appearing in every household, TV ads and commercials became a thing. And when the internet became mainstream in the 1990’s the invention of digital marketing came about.

 

Digital marketing is the new way to spread the word. Rather than having to flip through the pages of a newspaper, people can simply open Google or go on Facebook to find ads. It can be a great way to reach a wider audience and cut down on a lot of traditional marketing costs. Digital marketing is bringing us into the future of marketing as more and more is being added to the internet every day. Here is what digital marketing is and the role it plays.

 

Digital Marketing Explained

First and foremost, what is digital marketing? Digital marketing is just as it seems, marketing on a digital platform. This means rather than having print, radio, or TV ads you have virtual ads on the internet. This can be anything from a pop up on another website, a column on the side of a website, an ad at the top of a search page like Google, or an integrated ad on Facebook. As long as it is online, it is digital marketing.

 

Digital marketing isn’t just for young people who are chronically online, it is used by everyone. Since the pandemic, more and more people have shifted to using the internet more, which means they are online at least once a day if not more. People with smartphones are online even more than that.

 

Digital Marketing V.S. Traditional Marketing

Now you may be asking, but what is the difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing? The main difference is that digital marketing reaches a wider audience. Print, radio, and TV ads are all focused on a local audience. With digital marketing you aren’t restricted to certain areas that will support your radio station or newspaper. Digital marketing can reach everyone in the entire world, if they are interested in what you are selling.

 

The next big difference is the fact that most people no longer use traditional media anymore. very few people still buy the paper or read flyers, instead they get them online. Rather than watching cable with ads, people use streaming services like Netflix. And rather than listening to the radio people use Spotify. Digital marketing is now often the only marketing people see or look at.

 

Importance of Digital Marketing

Now that you know what digital marketing is, you may be asking, why do I need it? You may be thinking, I already have a website, why do I still need to advertise online? Well, it is very simple. Without advertising no one will find your company or website, or at least very few people will. Just because you have a website doesn't mean people will find it. Or even if you use traditional ads, digital ads as well can spread the word even more. Digital marketing is just as important today as traditional marketing was 50 years ago. Without marketing you have no sales.

 

Digital Marketing Channels

When you think of digital marketing channels your mind might go to Google ads, or Facebook pop ups. But there is so much more you can do in the world of digital advertising. These are the most common and useful digital marketing channels to help you get started.

 

Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the oldest and best ways to market online. It is so popular as it allows you so many different marketing options in one easy package. You can use it to email your newsletter to subscribers. Reach out to people with ads for your company. Advertise to existing customers by sending out promotions. There are so many ways you can use emails to market to new and old customers. It is also very easy to use as most people have been using email since the 1980’s. It can be a great way to ease into digital marketing or a more cost-effective option for small businesses.

 

Social Media

Social media marketing has begun to become mainstream in the past decade. Now a days when you open Facebook or Instagram you can find ads disguised as posts hidden within your feed. Encouraging you to buy a product because someone you follow uses it. Social media has become such an important part of everyday life for people, so why not take the opportunity to use it for your gain.

 

These days Millennials and Gen Z live on social media. Checking it multiple times a day, posting regularly, and using it to find new products to buy and places to shop. So, it would only make sense to take advantage and begin using it to advertise. There is also way more than just Facebook and Instagram that you can use. It is all up to you though which platform you want to use.

 

Creating a social media page for your company is also a great way to advertise without having to pay for an ad. You simply make the account and post about your company. You can post product photos, promotions, or just what it’s like to hang out in the office. It is all up to you as long as post regularly.

 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization or SEO is a great way to digitally market without having to create ads. SEO for those that do not know, is optimizing your website to appear within search engines, such as Google. This means when someone searches for a product or service you sell, your website will appear close to the top of the page. You can have good SEO by including and repeating keywords that you want the search engine to flag. This can be anything if it relates to your company or product.

 

For example, if you sell water bottles, you can include words and phrases like, “water”, “bottles”, “water bottles”, “easy to carry water bottles”, “hiking water bottles”, etc. Essentially anything you want the search engine to reroute back to your website.

 

This can be a cost-effective way to market online. It doesn’t require you to pay extra to a company to feature your ad on their page, design an ad, or monitor an ad. Instead, you simply include the keywords you wish the search engine to flag for each page.

 

Content Marketing

Content marketing can also be a great way to advertise right from your website. Content marketing includes blogs, newsletters, promotions, a products page, etc. It is essentially advertising through the content on your website. Including a promotional banner on your home page can be a great way to advertise an ongoing deal or new product. A products page allows you to show off what your company sells.

 

Blogs can be a great way to bring attention to stuff your company does, specializes in, focuses on, features, or cares about. It can honestly be about anything if it relates to your company. It can also be a great way to drum up attention for an upcoming event or promotion. For example, if your company makes and sells chocolate, a blog about Easter or one published right before, can be a great way to get more people to buy before the Holiday.

 

Newsletters are very similar to blogs as they allow your customers to learn a little bit more about the company and its products. However, they can often be a better way to spread word about promotions. Having a subscription newsletter that gets emailed to people every month, is an easy way to get people to buy more during promotions or Holidays.

 

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is not a new concept; however, it is just now being done within the digital marketing world. Affiliate marketing is when you pay or get paid to advertise a company. It can also be done in exchange for other things, such as free products, mutual advertising, or company exposer. For example, if you are a bake shop, you could pay a florist to advertise for you during wedding season. They get business and then send the same business your way.

 

If you already partner with another company for products or services, you can also advertise for one another. If you use a company’s packaging, you can include a note or message like “packaged with X company”. It can be a great way to build relationships within the community, while also advertising for your company.

 


 

We hope this has been helpful in introducing you to the world of digital marketing. Whether you are a small business, entrepreneur, non-profit, local business, or professionals, digital marketing matters and should be used. For more website content or further information about advertising, check out the rest of our blog page.

 

If you are interested in beginning digital marketing for your company, we here at REM Web Solutions would be happy to help, give us a call, email, or come into the office today.

 

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What is Local SEO?

Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) refers to the practice of optimizing a website to increase traffic, visibility, and brand awareness from local searches. Local searches could include certain geographical keywords or phrases, such as the name of a city or a neighborhood. For example, "best coffee shop in Brooklyn" or "plumbers near me".

 

Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a subset of the broader SEO practices focused on improving a website's visibility in overall search results. Local SEO is particularly crucial for businesses that operate in specific geographical locations or serve customers in a specific area.

 

The search engines can tell when queries and content are local to the user who is making the search. Search engines like Google are sophisticated enough to understand when a user is performing a search with local intent, even if it's not explicitly stated in the search query.

 

For example, if someone searches for "coffee shop," Google will likely show results of coffee shops in the user's area, despite the query not specifying a location. This is because Google infers that the user is probably looking for a coffee shop nearby based on the nature of the search.

 

Furthermore, Google will also scan your website's content to understand if it's relevant to local search queries. So, if your website clearly indicates that you operate in a particular area, Google is more likely to show your website for searches relevant to that area.

 

By optimizing your website for local search, you make it easier for Google to understand where your business is located and what areas you serve. As a result, Google can better match your website with relevant local search queries, increasing your visibility among local customers.

Before we jump into the criteria for optimising your website for local SEO, let’s take a quick look at why local SEO is important for your website.

 

Why is Local SEO Important for Small Business?

Optimization of local SEO can help your small business maximize its marketing efforts, improve your visibility, drive more traffic, and ultimately increase your sales. This makes local SEO a crucial aspect of digital marketing for any business with a physical location or a local service area. Here are some of the key benefits:

 

Increased Visibility

Local SEO helps to boost your visibility in the local area. When your business shows up in local search results, you have more opportunities to reach potential customers and clients who are in the vicinity of your business.

 

Location-Based Searches

The advent of mobile technology has changed the way people search. More people are searching "on the go" using their mobile devices, and Google takes location into account. Even if a location qualifier isn't used in a search query, Google might still serve local results that are relevant.

 

Increased Traffic and Sales

Effective local SEO can help to drive more traffic to both your website and your physical location. People searching locally are typically looking to find an immediate solution, which often translates to an in-store visit. According to Google, 76% of people who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a physical place within 24 hours and 28% of those searches result in a purchase.

 

Beat the Competition

Many small businesses have not yet recognized the importance of local SEO, so it's a chance to get ahead. If your business shows up in Google's local three-pack or in top local search results, you have a competitive edge over your rivals.

 

Google My Business

One of the key tools for managing your local SEO is Google My Business. By optimizing your Google My Business listing, you can improve your chances of showing up in Google's Local Pack, Local Finder, Google Maps, and organic rankings in general.

 

Cost-Effective

Unlike paid advertising, local SEO is organic, making it cost-effective. The only cost is the time and effort it takes to optimize your online presence.

 

Online Reviews

Online reviews are a big part of local SEO. The quantity and quality of your business reviews on Google is one of the most important ranking factors for local SEO.

 

Businesses with numerous high-quality reviews often rank higher in local search results. These reviews also enhance a business's trustworthiness and authority from a user's perspective, improving the click-through rate and indirectly boosting rankings.

 

Additionally, reviews provide fresh user-generated content, often incorporating relevant keywords and local references that enhance local SEO efforts. Specifically, reviews on a business's Google My Business page can help the business appear in the prominent "local pack" of search results.

 

Lastly, positive reviews can boost conversion rates, indirectly benefiting overall SEO by attracting more site visits and potentially generating additional reviews.

 

Now that you know what local SEO is and how it benefits your business, let’s review the criteria for how you should determine if your company needs local SEO.

 

How do I Know if My Business Needs Local SEO?

There are four main criteria you should consider before investing in local SEO for your business:

 

1. Physical Location

Your business has a physical location where it serves customers, or you go to clients in a specified service area. This can include businesses like restaurants, retail stores, law firms, medical practices, and more. Even if you serve a larger area, optimizing for the city where your office is located can help build brand awareness locally.

 

2. You Depend on Local Customers

If a significant portion of your customer base is from a particular locality, city, or region, then local SEO can help increase your visibility among this target audience.

 

3. You Have Local Competition

If you're vying for customers with other similar businesses in your local area, local SEO can help give you a competitive edge and ensure your business shows up in local search results.

 

4. Your Business Serves Multiple Locations

If your business has multiple locations or serves multiple areas, you'll want to optimize for each of those locations to reach as many potential customers as possible.

 

Does your business meet one or more of the above criteria? If so, you should speak to your marketing team to make sure they are optimising for local SEO. If you don’t have someone working on your digital marketing, reach out to our digital marketing team here at REM and we can help!

 

Before we finish, and you speak with us about getting local SEO started for your business, let’s look at how Google (and other search engines) determines if you are local or not?

 

How does a Search Engine Determine if you are Local?

For a search engine to consider a business as local, it examines the information available about your business online, such as:

 

NAP Consistency

NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone number. Search engines like Google use this information to determine where your business is located. It's crucial that your NAP information is consistent across all platforms and listings.

 

Google My Business Listing

Your Google My Business listing is a key factor in your local SEO. This listing provides Google with information about your business, including your address, service area, business category, and more.

 

Local Keywords

If your website content includes location-specific keywords (such as the name of your city or neighborhood), search engines can use these clues to understand where your business is located.

 

Local Links and Citations

Links to your website from other local businesses, or mentions of your business on local websites, can help signal to search engines that your business is part of a specific local community.

 

Customer Reviews

Reviews on Google, Yelp, and other platforms not only provide user-generated content with potential local keywords, but also signal to search engines that your business is operational and serving customers in the location.

 

Social Media Signals

Information and engagement on your social media profiles can also provide search engines with information about your location and the area you serve.

 

Keep in mind that any business with a physical location or that serves a specific geographic area can benefit from local SEO. It's all about making sure you're visible and attractive to your potential customers who are searching for your product or services locally.

 

In Conclusion

Local SEO is a fundamental strategy for any business with a physical location or servicing a particular geographic area. It aims to optimize your online presence to attract more business from relevant local searches on Google and other search engines.

 

By optimizing your website and Google My Business listing, incorporating location-specific keywords, securing local links and citations, and fostering a robust collection of online reviews, you can increase your business's visibility, traffic, and sales from customers in your area.

More than just boosting your rankings in search results, local SEO builds your business's credibility and authority, setting you apart in a competitive market. With the significant role of mobile technology, Local SEO has become even more critical, as more people are conducting location-based searches "on the go."

 

While local SEO is cost-effective, it does require a dedicated effort. If your business meets the criteria for needing local SEO and you're ready to reap its benefits, it's advisable to engage with an expert digital marketing team, like the one at REM Web Solutions. With professional help, you can efficiently navigate the nuances of local SEO and unlock its full potential for your business's success.

 

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Designer creating wireframes and planning a website design

 

In our fast-paced digital world, web design and usability play a crucial role in creating extraordinary user experiences. A beautifully designed website goes beyond grabbing attention; it captivates visitors, guides them seamlessly, and leaves a lasting impact.

 

Whether it's a personal blog, online store, or business website, embracing the best practices of web design and usability is essential for creating amazing user experiences.

 

Web design combines style and functionality to craft an interface that is visually appealing and intuitive. While usability focuses on making the website user-friendly and easy to navigate, ensuring users can find what they need effortlessly. By finding a balance of both of these elements you can create a well-structured website that enhances user experience and encourages return visits and positive word-of-mouth of your brand.

 

Follow these best practices to see the benefits for yourself; such as higher conversion rates, a stronger brand image, and the achievement of your website's goals!

 

Fundamental Principles and Guidelines for Effective Web Design

When it comes to creating exceptional web design, there are fundamental principles and guidelines that serve as the backbone of a successful website. Follow these steps to get started:

 

1.Define Your Purpose

First and foremost, purpose and clarity are paramount. Clearly defining the purpose of your website and communicating it effectively to users is crucial for engaging their attention and guiding their actions.

 

2.Think About Your Audience

A user-centric approach is equally important, as understanding your target audience's needs and preferences allows you to design with their goals and expectations in mind.

 

3.Keep it Simple

Embracing simplicity and minimalism in your design not only enhances the visual appeal but also ensures that users can navigate your website effortlessly, without feeling overwhelmed.

 

To create exceptional web design, remember to define your purpose clearly, understand your audience, and embrace simplicity throughout your website.

 

The Importance of Cohesive Design in Branding

Consistency is a very important aspect of a successful brand. A visually appealing and cohesive design is essential for capturing and retaining users' interest, establishing credibility, and showcasing professionalism. It instills trust and confidence in your brand or content, leaving a lasting impression on visitors.

 

Consistency in branding elements throughout the website, such as colour palette, typography, logo, and visual style, is crucial for creating a cohesive and memorable user experience. It fosters trust, professionalism, and brand recognition, enabling users to easily recognize and connect with your brand.

 

Your website's design acts as a powerful tool in conveying your brand's essence, establishing a distinct identity, and shaping users' perceptions and engagement.

 

Colour and Typography in Web Design

The choices you make regarding colour and typography in web design can have a significant impact on the overall user experience.

 

Colours evoke emotions and set the tone for your website. Selecting a colour scheme that aligns with your brand identity and resonates with your target audience is crucial. Consider the psychology of colours and how they can influence user perception and behaviour.

 

Typography, on the other hand, affects readability and the visual appeal of your content. Choose fonts that are legible and appropriate for your brand image.

 

Carefully choosing colours and typography in web design can greatly influence the user experience, evoking emotions, setting the tone, and enhancing readability and visual appeal.

 

User-Centric Web Design

While the overall look and appearance of your website are important, you also need to think about how your audience will navigate through your website. By prioritizing the needs and preferences of your users, you can create an experience that resonates with them and guides them seamlessly through your website.

 

Intuitive Navigation

Intuitive navigation ensures that users can find what they're looking for quickly and effortlessly, reducing frustration and increasing engagement. A well-structured and organized website enhances usability, encouraging visitors to explore further and delve into your valuable content.

 

To achieve this, it's essential to employ user-centric design approaches. Understanding user behaviour and preferences is key to tailoring your design effectively. Techniques such as conducting usability testing allow you to observe and gather feedback from users interacting with your website.

 

This valuable process helps identify pain points, uncover usability issues, and make informed design decisions based on real user insights. By understanding how users interact with your website, you can make adjustments to create a more intuitive and user-friendly experience.

 

Incorporating a Visual Hierarchy

The effective use of visual hierarchy is essential for guiding users through your website. By strategically arranging content elements using size, colour, contrast, and positioning, you can create a visual hierarchy that leads users through the page and highlights important information. This helps users easily navigate your website, find the content they're seeking, and engage with your website more effectively.

 

Call-to-Action Elements

The proper placement and design of call-to-action (CTA) elements play a significant role in guiding users toward desired actions. CTAs should stand out visually, using compelling copy and design to encourage users to take the desired action, whether it's making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or exploring further. By strategically placing and designing CTAs, you can drive conversions and achieve your website's goals.

 

By implementing user-centric design approaches, intuitive navigation, visual hierarchy, and effective CTAs, you can create a seamless and engaging website that prioritizes user needs, allowing visitors to effortlessly navigate, find information, and engage with your content effectively.

 

How to Improve the Usability of Your Website

Now that we’ve thought about how the user will navigate through our website, it’s important to further explore ways to improve usability on a larger scale. Improving website usability is a crucial aspect of creating exceptional user experiences. To enhance usability, it's essential to focus on a couple of key areas.

 

1.Basic Usability

First and foremost, ensure that your website content is clear, concise, and easily digestible. Users appreciate straightforward information that is presented in a way that is easy to understand. Avoid jargon and excessive technical language, and use headings, subheadings, and bullet points to break down content into scannable chunks.

 

Additionally, pay close attention to the usability of your forms. Make sure they are easy to use and require minimal effort from users. Simplify form fields and only ask for essential information, reducing friction and increasing the likelihood of form completion.

 

Implement helpful error handling by providing clear error messages and suggestions for correction. This way, users can easily identify and resolve any issues they encounter.

 

2.Responsive Design and Mobile Optimization

With the prevalence of smartphones and tablets, it's crucial to ensure that your website provides an optimal experience across all devices and screen sizes.

 

Responsive design allows your site to adapt seamlessly, delivering a consistent and user-friendly experience regardless of the device being used.

 

Mobile optimization goes beyond responsiveness and involves optimizing loading speed, simplifying navigation, and prioritizing essential content for smaller screens.

 

Now that we've covered the fundamentals of usability and responsive design, let's dive into a helpful checklist to get you started reviewing your website.

 

Web Design Usability Checklist

  • Optimize page load speed to ensure a seamless user experience.
  • Implement responsive design for consistent usability across different devices.
  • Compress images, minify code, and use caching techniques to improve performance.
  • Embrace inclusive design and follow accessibility guidelines for a website that accommodates all users.
  • Provide alternative text for images and prioritize proper heading structures.
  • Simplify navigation and prioritize essential content for mobile optimization.
  • Create an efficient and user-friendly form by reducing fields and providing clear error handling.
  • Use clear and concise content to enhance readability and understanding.
  • Break down content using headings, subheadings, and bullet points for easy scanning.
  • Prioritize user-centric design and consider the needs and preferences of your target audience.

 

By implementing key strategies such as clear content presentation, user-friendly forms, responsive design, and mobile optimization, you can greatly enhance the usability of your website and provide exceptional user experiences for a wide range of users.

 

Having implemented all the necessary steps thus far, you are now prepared to effectively connect with your target audience and align your brand with their needs. Let's delve into the strategies for optimizing your site and successfully reaching your intended audience.

 

SEO and Web Design Synergy

The relationship between SEO and web design goes hand in hand when it comes to creating an exceptional online presence. Web design elements play a significant role in optimizing your website for search engines, ensuring that your valuable content reaches your target audience effectively.

 

By optimizing web design elements such as responsiveness, mobile-friendliness, loading speed, and strategic use of heading tags and keywords, you can improve your website's visibility and accessibility to search engines.

 

Effective use of heading tags, meta descriptions, and relevant keywords within your web design elements can enhance your website's visibility in search engine results. By incorporating these elements strategically and naturally, you provide search engines with valuable information about your content, making it easier for them to index and rank your website appropriately.

 

Synergizing SEO and web design best practices, you create a website that not only looks visually appealing but is also optimized for search engines. This ensures that your valuable content reaches your target audience effectively, driving organic traffic to your website.

 

Web Design Trends and Maintaining Usability

Staying informed about current web design trends and best practices is essential for creating exceptional user experiences. While new trends offer innovative ways to engage users, it is crucial to prioritize usability. By striking a balance between incorporating trends and ensuring usability, you can create a visually appealing and intuitive user experience.

 

Evaluating trends through the lens of usability allows you to enhance aesthetics and functionality. Combining current trends with timeless usability principles enables the creation of a visually stunning and user-friendly website that provides an exceptional experience for visitors.

 

At REM, we understand the significance of following best practices in web design. By incorporating purposeful and user-centric design, we create websites that capture attention and seamlessly guide users, resulting in increased satisfaction.

 

Our expertise in intuitive navigation helps us build well-structured websites that reduce frustration and improve engagement. We prioritize visual hierarchy, carefully arrange content elements, and maintain a cohesive design that aligns with brand identity and fosters positive brand perception.

 

Our team stays updated with the latest design trends while prioritizing usability, enabling us to create visually stunning and user-friendly websites. Through these practices, we have helped numerous clients achieve their website goals, increase conversion rates, and elevate their online presence.

 

Partner with REM to explore the world of effective web design, where aesthetics and functionality converge, and together, we can create exceptional user experiences that drive success!

 

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Purple and teal illustration of computer screen with web elements around it

 

One of the most important things for any business is their website. It draws in new customers and gives visitors the basic information they need to do business with your company. However, it is still surprising how many small businesses don’t have a website. There is so much that goes into creating a small business that the website often gets overlooked. Your website can be one of the most important assets to getting your small business off the ground.

 

Ensuring that you have a good looking, easy to navigate, and informative website can give you the leg up you need in the business world. Here at REM, we pride ourselves on creating great websites that will reflect your great business.

 


 

Here are our top 12 most important features all small business websites should include:

 

1. An Excellent Domain Name

Before you even begin to design the website itself, you need to come up with a good domain name. This is the first thing any potential customers will see when clicking on your website. So, it is very important that your domain name is good.

 

First, it should be easy to spell. The last thing you need is for someone to give up going to your website because the address is too difficult to spell. Make it something simple and intuitive. If possible, you should try to include some keywords in your domain if they are easy to spell as well.

 

Second, it should reflect your company. Don’t make it something entirely unrelated to your business. Start with your business name if that domain is already taken then try modifying it. For example, your business may be called “Dog Beds” however, “DogBeds.com” may already be taken. So next try “Dog-Beds.com”. Any small change can work, just as long as it is still a reflection of your company.

 

2. Informative “About Us” Page

You should always include an “About Us” page. It may seem redundant at this point as most websites include them, but they do that for good reason. It gives any potential customers vital information about who you are as a business and what you stand for.

 

It should include basic information such as the owner of the business, when and why the business was started, what the company’s motivations are, and your current mission or progression track. This will give your customers a good sense of who you are and can influence them more to buy from you.

 

At REM we believe in creating an About Us page that rewards your visitor for reading it. If someone cares enough about your company to want to learn more about it, you should give them an amazing About Us page.

 

3. Easy to Find Contact Information

Contact information may seem obvious to most people; however, it also needs to be easy find. It can be one thing to include your contact information, but it’s also just as important to make sure it is located on several areas of your website. People have short attention spans and don’t like to spend a lot of time looking for things such as contact information. Placing it in an easy to locate spot can be very useful.

 

The best places to put it are typically at the end of every page or on its own separate page that is clearly labeled. It should also include all your information such as, phone number (with extension if necessary), email address, office hours, link to all social media pages, location with map if possible, and finally a contact form they can fill out with all important information if they are unable to get in contact now.

 

REM has a great guide on “How to Write a Great Contact Us page." This guide will help you create a page that converts visitors into clients. Contact us if you would like a copy!

 

4. Products or Services Page

Including a product and services page allows your customers to get a look at what they will be paying for. This doesn’t have to be big or include all your products, just a good and simple overview so people know what you sell. This can also be a way to include an online buying feature. People like to know what they are buying especially if it means they don’t have to leave their homes to find out. Including it on your website can drive in more customers, even if you don’t sell online.

 

5. Customer Testimonials

Consider including customer testimonials or reviews. When people are visiting your website, it can be comforting to see customer reviews right on the website itself. First, this shows them that people genuinely like your products and will entice them to buy from you. Secondly, it shows potential customers that you’re an open and transparent company that is not afraid to hide what people have to say about you. This will continue to instill confidence in your customers.

 

6. Call to Action

Include a call to action right on your home page. A call to action is a simple way of drawing people in to make a purchase or check you out in person. It doesn’t have to be anything big or flashy, in fact the more sublet the better. This way people don’t know you’re the ones getting them to buy.

 

Putting it on your home page as well is a great idea as it is going to be one of the first things people see. However, feel free to put wherever you want. It should be something like, “come check us out in store today!” or “for more information feel free to give us a call or come visit us in person and we will happily answer any questions.”

 

7. Good Search Engine Optimization

One of the most important parts of having a website is making sure people can find it, because if they can’t then what’s the point in having one? Make sure you have good search engine optimization (SEO), this will ensure people can easily find your website.

 

SEO can include everything from making sure you have the right key words present in your content, properly and appropriately labeled pages, headings and subheadings for your content, and a good domain name. These all affect your SEO and how your website presents in search engines such as Google.

 

The last thing you want is for your website to show up on the third or fourth page when your products are searched. REM has an amazing monthly SEO service as part of our Digital Marketing offerings. Reach out to your REM representative today to get more information about getting your website noticed online.

 

8. Secure Hosting Platform

Making sure your website is up and running constantly can seem like a daunting yet important task. However, it can be very easy if you make sure you have a secure hosting platform. This can often be overlooked as most think any old hosting platform will do.

 

However, it can be the most important part of having a website. The last thing you need if your website to suddenly crash or crash constantly, or even get hacked. So, make sure to invest the time and money into making sure you have a secure hosting platform.

 

All REM clients are hosted on our own secured servers in a local data centre. We keep all of our data on Canadian soil, with redundancies and back-up servers ready-to-go in case of a problem.

 

9. Good Device Scaling

In the current age of the Internet people have become very impatient, especially when it comes to websites. If I am looking at a webpage on my computer but want to switch to looking at it on my phone for ease of transport but it doesn’t work, I am just going to give up and look at a different website. This is true for most other people as well.

 

However, this can be avoided if your website is responsive. This means that your website looks good and functions no matter what type of device or browser people are using. Whether it be a laptop, desktop, phone, tablet, projector, Google, Firefox, or even Bing it should work smoothly on all of them.

 

10. Up to Date Content

Once people are actually on your website, they are going to want to look at your content, blogs, promotions, your home page, upcoming events, etc. All this information needs to be up to date and relevant. What you don’t want is for someone to visit your website in June and you’re still advertising your Christmas promotions from last year. You want to make sure they are seeing your latest deals, reading your latest news, and visiting your website constantly to see what’s new.

 

11. Photos and Videos

Photos and videos may seem obvious as most people tend to be very visual, we like to see what we are buying. However, photos and videos can go beyond just your products and services. Include photos of your company volunteering for charities you support or show the outside of your building so it is easy to find, or even employee photos so people know who they will be dealing with at the company.

 

It can also be nice to include videos of your products being used, or an office tour, or even your employees or the owner talking about the company and its journey. This can all help sell your company and its products.

 

12. Design and Style Easy to Scan

Finally, you should make sure that you not only have a nice good-looking and professional design and style for your website, but also one that is easy to scan. People these days get bored very easily, so they tend to scan websites for the information they need. If they can find it, then they will slow down and keep reading more. If they don’t, they tend to leave and try to find a different website. Include things like headers, highlight important information, bullet points, and all-important information in standout places like a banner or on the home page.

 


 

We hope these tips were helpful for you in creating an amazing website for your small business. For more website and small business content check out the rest of our blog page. If you’re interested in a new website, give us a call, email, or come into the office and we can get started.

 

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