Four Main Factors Every New Website Owner Needs to Consider

In today’s digital age, making money online often comes with the requirement of having your own website. Whether you’re starting off in a new career as a freelancer, making money through affiliate marketing or starting your own online business, your website is central to your online presence and should be made a top priority.

Your website will help you to develop and maintain your online reputation, and give your customers a central port of call to visit when they need to get in touch. However, since it’s hard to find a business today that’s not in some way online, there are some things to keep in mind to help you achieve success.

#1. Search Engine Optimisation

You could have the most amazing website in the world, but if it is not optimised for search, then your target audience is going to have a difficult time finding it. Search engine optimisation involves a range of strategies to make your website appear higher in the results page of Google and other search engines. However, be aware that without the right knowledge and experience, it can be easy for a novice to mess SEO up and cause unnecessary issues for a website. So, if you have little experience and would rather dedicate your time to growing your business, you can outsource this work to a reputable digital agency UAE.

#2. Web Hosting

When you start a business website, the hosting service that you select is perhaps one of the most important decisions that you are going to make. Choosing the right web hosting provider will help ensure that your website performs well; cheaper, low-quality hosting services often lead to slow page speed, downtime, and other issues that will frustrate your visitors and lead to a bad business reputation. When you choose a web hosting service, it’s important to choose a company that offers 24/7 customer support; this will allow you to get in touch to have any issues dealt with as soon as they arise, rather than having to wait until opening hours and risk losing business.

#3. Mobile-Friendliness

Regardless of the type of business that you are starting, one of the most important aspects of your website is how mobile friendly it is. As smartphones and tablets rise in popularity, more and more people are using these devices to browse the web, instead of the traditional desktop or laptop PC. Failing to provide your visitors with a mobile-friendly experience on your site will not only frustrate them, it will also be picked up by Google, who could knock your website down the rankings as a result. A responsive design that works well on any type of device is the best choice for any website.

#4. Layout and Design

Lastly, when putting together your business website, you should consider how your users will find the layout and design. Aim to provide a simple to understand and easy to use interface that includes a clear navigation system and a search tool for visitors to find exactly what they are looking for quickly. Minimal designs are also a good choice as they are less distracting and allow customers to get straight to the point.

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Simple Web Design Tips for Ecommerce Websites

Ecommerce web design should have a strong focus on user experience. Everything, from aesthetics to components, should aim to make navigation and shopping easy for visitors. The site should be speedy and uncomplicated to ensure high conversion and retention rates. Most of these qualities should be taken into consideration during the website design process. Here are several rather simple tips that will help you design a highly effective ecommerce website:

Use a Minimalist Theme

One of the first things to do during the web design and development process is picking out a theme. For ecommerce websites, it’s highly recommended to choose a theme optimised for online shopping, rather than getting a generic theme. Minimalist themes are also highly recommended. Not only do minimalist themes simplify the browsing experience for potential customers, minimalist sites also load faster. To ensure that your ecommerce site has a high retention rate and lower bounce rate, choose the best minimalist theme available with the CMS you use.

Offer Filter Options

Online shoppers highly prefer to refine their options on websites. If you go to Amazon.com, there’s an entire bar on the left of the site dedicated for letting customers refine their options by brand, price, colour, size and so on. Likewise, your site should also offer similar options. Create categories to make browsing easy. For example, if your site sells shoes, you can create categories in advance for women’s shoes, men’s, kids, oversize, costume, and so on. This improves the user experience on the site and directly offers features that online shoppers actually need.

Place Search Bar on Top

The search bar for the site should be prominent and very visible. Place it on top of the page above the fold where customers can easily see it. Design it in a manner that enables customers to conduct a search as soon as they visit the homepage. Do not include text in the search bar that customers have to manually delete. Keep the box empty and ready for typing. You can take inspiration from how search bars are designed and placed on sites like Amazon and eBay.

Keep Pages Clean

The pages on your website, especially the product pages, must be kept clean. Clean here means free of unnecessary ads, popups, text and other distractions. Never, ever promote ads on your shopping site. If there are deals or discounts you need to promote, show them on the homepage in an unobtrusive manner. Clean pages are crucial for driving conversions. You won’t compel visitors to buy anything by constantly distracting them.

Indicate Low or Out of Stock Items Clearly

If an item is out of stock at the moment, or is only available in a limited quantity, indicate it clearly on the product pages and in product descriptions. You can use a contrasting text colour, like red, to make sure customers see the information. Otherwise, your site will only attract complaints and overall ratings will go down.

Use Top-Quality Images

Use the best quality images as much as possible, particularly for products. Images add great visual appeal for the site only if each can be loaded onto any screen without distortions. For products, use multiple images showing the product from different angles. The customers must have a good understanding of what they buy to keep satisfaction rates high.

Use the above tips to ensure that your ecommerce site is as appealing as possible to all potential customers.

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Tips for Designing the Ultimate App for Your Business

The best way to reach the stunningly growing mobile market is to design an amazing mobile app. Most companies are now aware of the dos and don’ts of web design. However, many are still new to the world of app design and this is where app development comes in.

App development is significantly different from web designing. You will need a specialist app designer for your expansion efforts, as a web developer cannot normally code for apps. In case you are developing the app in-house or with a partner, here are several useful tips to follow:

Responsiveness Should be a Priority

Responsiveness generally refers to a website or software’s compatibility on a wide variety of devices. Keep in mind that there are different types of smartphones available on the market with widely varying screen sizes. Your app should be easily visible and navigable on all screens regardless of the size. Therefore, pay close attention to how the app is displayed. It’s one of the crucial aspects that determine the success of an app.

Keep the Design Simple

Remember, you are designing an app, not a website. The design should be simple enough to fit the capabilities provided by a phone. Make clickable buttons and links large so they are easy to tap with a finger. Do not fit numerous components onto one display page of the app. Make use of tabs. The overall design should be very easy to navigate even when the user is travelling or walking.

Design Should be Accessible

It’s equally important to make the design accessible to all age and capability groups. Keep text large, so users with eye trouble don’t find it hard to read the text. Do not use colour coded buttons or a system that a colour-blind person will not be able to use. Do your best to make the design accessible to everyone.

Make the App OS-Specific

Obviously, you will have to make the app compatible with Andoid, iOS, and other operating systems. However, mere compatibility is not enough. Users dedicated to these operating systems expect certain advantages associated with those systems. For example, an Apple user might want a sleek looking app, while an Android user might prefer more functionality. Research other OS-specific apps. See what the apps do to remain popular with a user group of a certain OS.

No Pop-Ups

It is possible to insert pop-up window links and so on to an app, but don’t. It will give your app less credibility. Your users will tire out and seek a better app that doesn’t annoy them with redirects. Keep the app as clean as possible.

Security is Paramount

If you have read the tech news lately, you’d know that hacking and identity theft are serious problems. Most devices are hacked via emailed links and apps that users otherwise would trust. You must make sure that your app is as secure as possible. You can’t risk even a minute security threat, especially if your customers provide financial transaction data through the app. You must safeguard the app with the latest security protocols. Minimise or completely eliminate third-party material. Routinely test the app for security issues.

The above tips should help you design a killer app for your business. Don’t hesitate to make use of the special capabilities only smartphones offer, like constant connection. You should also routinely collect customer feedback to improve the overall design.

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Want to read more about mobile marketing strategy? See https://www.urbanairship.com/blog/building-your-first-mobile-marketing-strategy

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Four Things All Small Businesses Should Be Doing to Protect Their Data

Data back-ups and safety are hugely important for businesses. With an ever-increasing number of new files being created every single day, the need for secure data storage solutions has never been greater. As your business continues to generate more information, can you really afford to lose it all?

Terrible things can happen to a small business due to data loss; a bad reputation, lost customers, or even worse are all common results when this situation occurs. So, as a small business owner, what can you do to keep your business data secure and prevent this from happening? Here are our top four tips.

Tip #1. Schedule Backups:

Since many small businesses are creating some new form of data almost every day, the need for regular backups is so important. Making sure to schedule a monthly, weekly or even a daily backup of your files ensures that your extra storage is always kept up to date.

Imagine how terrible you’d feel if your work laptop were to break, only for you to realise that the backup you thought you’d had is actually months out of date? Make sure that doesn’t happen by scheduling an automatic backup on a regular basis. If it’s too late for that now, don’t worry – Technetics Data is a hard disk recovery service which can help.

Tip #2. Use Cloud Solutions:

Today, everybody is using the Cloud for data storage, and for very good reason! When you back up all your data to the cloud, not only will you be able to share files with your team and collaborate better, you can also access your documents, videos, pictures, spreadsheets, slideshows and more from any device with an internet connection simply by logging in.

Using the Cloud means that even if your laptop is thrown out of the window of a 50-storey building, your data will remain safe and intact online.

Tip #3. Have a Recovery Plan:

Although some data can only be recovered by a trained professional, it’s imperative for all businesses to have a data recovery plan set up for if the worst should happen.

Once you’ve set up your data recovery plan, you should then test it out regularly; this gives you a chance to find any faults and put them right before you need to use it for real.

Tip #4. Protect Your System:

It goes without saying that your business should be using whatever resources available to protect the system from viruses, malicious malware, and cybercriminals. Making a daily endeavour to ensure that your security system is up to date will not only lessen your risk of a cyberattack, it’ll protect your important files from being damaged, lost, or worse!

Most importantly, it’s vital to always check your system before you install any new software or applications. Whilst doing this, create backup files of any information you can’t afford to lose. Additionally, when installing a new program onto any of your business devices, ensure you have a reputable antivirus program ready to scan for any potential risks.

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Agency or DIY? 5 Questions to Ask Before You Decide Who Does Your SEO

When starting your new business, you will need to decide which tasks to delegate elsewhere and which to handle yourself. If your company has any sort of online presence, there’s a high chance that you’ll need to determine whether to handle your own search engine optimisation, or outsource it to the experts.

But, how do you know which is the best option? With so many great SEO tools and plugins out there today the DIY route can look tempting. On the other hand, working with an agency is usually less risky and takes a lot of the responsibility off your hands. Ask yourself these questions to determine the best route.

Question #1: How Much Do I Know?

How much do you already know about SEO, SEM, and other internet marketing strategies?

If you have very little knowledge of the industry, hiring a professional SEO company is probably going to be a more efficient option for you than having to learn all about it yourself. Bear in mind that since Google and other search engines are constantly updating their algorithms, effective SEO techniques and strategies today vary a lot from in the past. So, even if you have some past knowledge of optimising for search, be aware that it may no longer be relevant.

Question #2: Do I Have the Time for It?

Do you have the time to conduct search engine optimisation for your business?

On the surface, SEO can seem easy, however a successful optimisation campaign utilizes an assortment of strategies and is constantly updating to stay in line with recent trends. Be honest with yourself; do you have the time to commit to a plethora of tasks, including building relationships with bloggers, creating fresh content, researching keywords, and more?

Question #3: Are My Skills Needed Elsewhere?

Do you have another skill-set that will be useful elsewhere in the business?

If you’re a skilled accountant, an awesome customer relations specialist or a dab hand at social media marketing, then why waste your time learning the ins and outs of SEO? If you have skills that can be put to use to develop other areas of your business, focus on these and leave search engine optimising to the professionals.

Question #4: Does My Budget Allow It?

Is hiring a professional SEO agency in your budget right now?

When it comes to SEO, you really do get what you pay for. So, when considering outsourcing your company’s search optimisation campaign, you will need to ensure that your budget allows for a top-level service. Anything less, and it really isn’t worth paying for!

Question #5: Have I Found the Right Company?

So, you’ve decided that you want to go ahead and outsource your company’s SEO. Great! But, don’t rush away just yet – you’ll need to make sure that you are choosing the right company.

Today there are thousands of people marketing their services as SEO ‘experts’ online. You may have even been contacted by some of them already! Like many online services, finding a reputable SEO agency often takes a lot of research; you’ll need to carefully weigh up your options to minimise risk.

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