The digital marketing specialists at FTx 360 publish a lot of content each month in the form of blog articles. These articles are designed to help business owners like you implement effective digital marketing strategies that benefit their brands.
In case you missed them, the informative marketing articles we posted this month were:
You can click to read any of these full, original articles to learn in-depth information about the specific digital marketing topic listed above. Otherwise, check out the summaries of each article below.
Instagram has not stopped evolving since it was launched over a decade ago. Today, Instagram users can shop, video chat, watch IGTV channels, and engage with other users on the platform in countless ways. Businesses can advertise and interact with potential customers, all while building their brand and social media presence.
Instagram has launched many improvements throughout the first half of 2021, and more features are yet to arrive as summer turns to autumn later this year. There are upwards of twenty Instagram updates, upgrades, improvements, and new feature launches to watch out for in 2021—far too many to cover in one article. So, we focused our first August article on the following five new Instagram features that are most relevant to your business account:
● Messenger API Update
● Professional Dashboard
● Option to Hide “Likes”
● Suggested Posts
● Interactive Stickers for Stories
This back-to-school season, retailers like you want to deliver a marketing campaign that actually resonates with consumers. Your current customers, as well as potential ones, aren’t interested in hearing about your products and services unless your campaign messages speak to them personally and address their wants, needs, interests, and pain points.
Though it may seem counterintuitive to place your products and services in the background of your ads, this adjustment will help you convert consumers into paying customers. Your promotional content and messages should focus on personalization with the aim of conveying relevant offers that speak to the unique needs of each shopper.
With that in mind, try one, some, or all of these back-to-school campaign ideas:
● Email Marketing Campaigns
● Google Pay-Per-Click Ad Campaigns
● Facebook & Instagram Ad Campaigns
● SMS Text Message Marketing Campaigns
● Responsive Web Design Landing Page Campaigns
● Referral Code Campaigns
Integrating social media into your business strategy will afford your brand countless benefits, including helping you to spread brand awareness, expand your customer base, encourage online engagement with your brand, and increase the virality of your business.
Social media is such a powerful tool for business growth, in fact, that you don’t have to use every platform under the sun. Simply maintaining accounts on one or two social platforms will be enough to support your business needs and social media goals.
But how can you specifically utilize social media for your business? In our third August article, we suggested the following strategies:
● Schedule Organic Posts on Social
● Provide Customer Service Options on Social
● Run Sponsored Content on Social
● Cross-Promote Your Social Media Accounts
● Alter Your Social Content for Different Platforms
If you run a pet company, you understand that the love pet parents have for their furry friends is boundless. Pet parents delight in doting on their dogs and cats, taking photos of their pets, and connecting with other pet lovers online.
You can also connect with pet lovers online, boost your brand, and build your customer base, which is what this FTx 360 article was all about. To summarize, here are the best marketing strategies for pet companies that you can start using today:
● Create Educational Posts About Products
● Make Sure Posts Sound Personal and Not Promotional
● Ask Customers to Leave Reviews on Facebook
● Create Carousel Posts to Increase Viewing Time
● Launch a “Caption This!” Challenge to Boost Engagement
● Use “Insta Grid” as Tiles to Create a Bigger Picture
● Use Branded, Trending, and Location-Based Hashtags
● Encourage ReTweeting to Get the Word Out
● Tweet Photos of Adorable, Adoptable Dogs
● Create Grooming How-To Videos Featuring Your Customers’ Pets
● Use “Before & Afters” in Your Pet Care Tutorials
● Feature a Series on How To Register Pets as Service Dogs & Emotional Support Animals
● Cover Relevant Health Topics & Common Pet Health Issues
● Publish Articles Featuring Your Customers’ Pets
● Include a Newsletter Subscription Sign-Up Button
Customer experiences culminate in either satisfaction or disappointment. The result that ultimately follows is either increased business revenue or dismal eCommerce sales. Customer experience, or CX, is that critical.
You want your customers to have positive experiences when engaging with your brand online, but you might not necessarily understand what eCommerce elements will contribute to providing your website visitors with such an excellent customer experience that they successfully complete the online checkout process.
In this original article, we supplied in-depth steps and went into detail about the following five strategies you can implement to improve your eCommerce site’s customer experience.
● Offer Personalized Website Navigation
● Provide Customized Browsing Experiences
● Feature Customer Reviews & Testimonials
● Enhance the Checkout Process
● Build Brand Affinity with Valuable Content
There’s no alternative to getting serious about professionally marketing your business online, but what if you have no idea where to start?
Should you hire an in-house marketing team? Should you outsource your digital marketing to an agency? Most importantly, what is it really going to cost to launch digital marketing campaigns that successfully expand your customer base, retain loyal customers, build brand presence, increase revenue, and ultimately deliver a worthwhile return on investment?
If these critical questions have crossed your mind, then you’ve come to the right place.
In the full article, we went over how you can plan a marketing budget that will work for your brand. We strongly suggest you check out the original blog post if you want to specifically learn about:
● Why You Need a Marketing Budget
● How To Plan Your Marketing Budget
● Specific Digital Marketing Campaigns to Fund
● The Benefits of Hiring In-house Marketers ss. Working with a Marketing Agency
● How to Determine Your Overall Marketing Budget
A/B Testing, also called Split Testing, is a digital marketing method that uses two different versions of a single campaign to determine which content version performs better in terms of increasing social engagement and improving conversion rates online.
One version of the campaign content, called the A group, is the “control,” and the other version of the campaign content represents the B group, which contains the variation content. Testing different campaign content in this manner can inform a marketer like you which campaign version we should focus on and invest our marketing budget in.
In the world of digital marketing, the desired result is usually conversion, whether it be converting website visitors to newsletter subscribers, newsletter recipients to monthly subscription customers, or monthly subscription customers to brand ambassadors who use word-of-mouth marketing to successfully refer their friends and family to sign up for monthly subscription packages. You get the idea.
The use of A / B Testing can help you achieve tangible business goals, such as:
● Increasing Website Traffic
● Increasing Conversion Rates
● Lowering Bounce Rates
● Lowering Cart Abandonment
Our full article went over the steps you can follow if you want to ensure the best A / B Test results. To summarize, those steps are:
● Identify the Problem
● Identify Your Goal
● Pick One Variable to Test
● Create the Control Campaign (Test A) and the Challenger Campaign (Test B)
● Split Your Sample Groups Equally & Randomly
● Monitor the Results Throughout the Test But Do Not Alter Anything
One of the most powerful marketing tools you have is your website. Whether you have a B2B website, a B2C eCommerce site, or an SaaS platform that’s meant to target both B2B and B2C consumer groups, your website should be designed to pull in web traffic and keep visitors engaged long enough to do business with you.
Older, outdated websites simply won’t serve your digital marketing needs, and you’re probably aware of that. But what you might not be aware of is that your website could be outdated even if it isn’t that old.
In our final August article, we laid out how you can determine whether or not your website is up to date, and we also included the measures you can take right now to update your website if you determine that it’s outdated. But in summary, here’s what your business website or eCommerce site must include in order for it to be considered up to date by today’s standards:
● A Responsive Web Design
● A Call to Action On Every Web Page
● Fast Website Speed & Easy Site Usability
● Social Media Integration
● An Active Blog
Are you interested in partnering with a digital marketing agency? FTx 360 offers a wide array of digital marketing services at affordable costs. Whether you need web design & development, eCommerce marketing services, social media marketing, content marketing, blog articles and blog management, organic and local SEO, email marketing, marketing automation, PPC marketing, or reputation management—we do it all and love every minute of it! Contact us to learn more about what FTx 360 can do for your business and brand!
Using smartphones, tablets, and mobile devices to surf the net might seem like a no-brainer today, but that wasn’t always the case.
As recently as eight years ago, desktop computer internet usage far surpassed that of mobile devices. In fact, the shift from desktop computer internet usage to mobile-device internet usage didn’t occur until 2014, which is relatively late in Google’s evolution.
The history of mobile devices, internet usage, and Google’s ranking algorithms unfolded as follows:
2007 – 2008: Apple’s iPhone hit the market in 2007 followed by Android’s smartphone in 2008
● These smartphones featured web browsers, which introduced mobile-device web browsing to the world.
● Web developers coded the first generation of mobile-friendly sites using m.website.com addresses that were separate from the original desktop computer websites. These mobile-friendly sites did not compare to their desktop counterparts due to limited navigation, “tall and skinny” layout formats, and significantly pared-down functionality.
● Though these mobile-friendly sites existed exclusively for mobile devices, mobile users didn’t readily access them, preferring instead to use their desktop computers when they wanted to go online.
2009 – 2011: Google developed and distributed techniques and guidelines for web developers to help them build mobile-friendly sites that are discoverable.
● Google published an article on their Webmaster Central Blog about how to make mobile-based websites faster.
● Google published an article on the same blog listing helpful tips webmasters can use to properly index their mobile-specific sites so that Google elevates the ranking of those sites.
● Google proposed additional tips about how webmasters can “run” both desktop computer websites and mobile-specific website versions together.
● Google published its first in-depth guide on how to make websites mobile friendly.
● Mobile website speed testing was developed by Google, which they released as a tool in conjunction with their “first page speed tool” in 2011.
2012 – 2014: Google introduced, adjusted, and refined its algorithms, updated its ranking factors, and provided webmasters with a new Mobile Usability Tool.
● Google altered search results for mobile-friendly websites using the final smartphone destination URL in search results.
● Google introduced ranking factors that penalize misconfigured mobile-specific websites.
● Google launched Webmaster Tools, which included a tool to diagnose mobile crawl errors.
● Google expanded the “organic search performance feature” in Webmaster Tools to specifically aid separate mobile websites.
● Google expanded its Webmaster Tools yet again by adding a new Mobile Usability tool.
2015 – Present: Google shifted from only indexing desktop computer internet websites to evaluating website mobile friendliness as the sole ranking factor.
● Google announced that site usability will affect mobile search results ranking, meaning that mobile-friendliness will be an official ranking signal.
● Google announced ranking penalties for mobile-specific sites that used traditional desktop computer website features, such as pop-up boxes, because these features interrupted and frustrated mobile site users.
● Google officially switched to indexing mobile sites to rank web pages, crawl content and SEO, and display snippets of sites in the search results.
● This mobile-first ranking structure rendered desktop computer websites less important in the world of Google’s ranking algorithms since indexing desktop computer websites was gradually phased out.
● Finally, Google completely dropped desktop computer website indexing, which means that currently Google only indexes and ranks mobile-specific sites.
Today, mobile friendliness is the only ranking factor that Google now uses.
Is your website mobile friendly?
In this article, you will learn how to keep your website visible in Google’s search engine ranking by improving the mobile-friendliness of your site.
As crucial as it is to please Google by adhering to their algorithmic changes, improving your SEO tactics, and following their guidelines so that Google bots crawl and promote your website, it’s far more important to please your website visitors.
If the history of Google and mobile-friendliness that we laid out in the introduction of this article proved anything, it’s that today’s consumers prefer to use their mobile devices to surf the net, browse websites, and even buy products. Given the evolving consumer demand for mobile-friendly sites, over time Google developed web guidelines to accommodate mobile users, which culminated in a new mobile-only indexing system.
As a business owner, you also have a responsibility to meet consumer demands and ensure that your website is mobile friendly.
A mobile-friendly website will not only get crawled, indexed, and ranked by Google, but it will also ensure that consumers can visit your site from their mobile devices, encounter an excellent user interface, and have a wonderful experience while navigating from one web page to the next. When visitors have a positive experience on your website using their mobile devices, they will be far more likely to become repeat visitors, first-time customers, social media followers, and even lifelong loyal customers.
Put simply, offering a mobile-friendly website will help you gain the appreciation and loyalty of mobile device users who quickly convert into customers. Additionally, mobile-friendly websites also ensure:
● Higher page views per visit
● Lower bounce rates
● Increased customer loyalty
● Elevated search engine rankings
Not all handheld internet-accessible devices are created equal. In fact, Google categorizes devices differently depending on their size and uses. The primary reason for offering a mobile-friendly version of your website is to ensure that visitors are able to read your content and properly interact with your brand. Due to the fact that smartphone screens are remarkably smaller than desktop and laptop computer screens, redesigning your web content so that it displays correctly on mobile devices is imperative. You don’t want visitors “pinching” and “pulling” your web content whenever they view your website from their mobile device. Ideally, when a visitor lands on your website, they will encounter easy-to-read fonts, an accessible navigation toolbar, and a clean presentation overall.
Here are the four main device types and the breakdown of how Google regards each of them.
The term “mobile device” refers to all smartphones, such as iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone. These smartphones include mobile browsers that use HTML5 specifications and function similarly to desktop browsers. Due to their smaller screen size, their default orientation is vertical. Google considers these mobile devices the most popular and therefore requires that website presentation on smartphones meet their guideline standards.
Google places tablets in their own category due to the fact that tablets typically display large screens that are comparable to desktop and laptop computer screens. For this reason, tablet users assume the websites they visit will appear the same as the desktop browser version. While you could offer tablet-optimized web content, it really isn’t necessary. Plus, Google does not place tablets in the same category as mobile devices, and therefore any tablet optimization you perform will not impact the search engine ranking of your website.
Google also considers “feature phones” to be mobile devices. The browsers of feature phones cannot render normal desktop computer web pages that have been coded with standard HTML. For this reason, feature phones rely solely on mobile-friendly websites, which means that if your website is not mobile-friendly, feature phone users will not be able to find your website, period.
With the exception of tablets, all mobile device browsers, including the browsers found on multimedia and feature phones, rely on mobile-friendly website design.
Creating a website that displays beautifully on all mobile devices might not seem easy, but it can be done. You will need to configure your website for multiple devices, which will help Google and other search engines understand your site, as well as ensure that mobile users properly experience your website.
There are three configuration techniques you can use to ensure your website will be mobile friendly. Those techniques are, using a responsive web design, offering dynamic serving, and providing separate URLs. In very simple terms, each offers the ability to use a template to create a mobile-friendly experience, but not all configuration techniques are the same. Let’s take a look.
The term “responsive web design” refers to websites built with HTML code that are able to render the original HTML code differently depending on the screen size of the device. Meaning, the webmaster only needs to build one website, but the code itself will dictate how content is displayed from one device to the next. Responsive web design is the most cost-effective, time-effective configuration technique because it has the easiest design pattern to implement and maintain. For this reason, Google recommends responsive web design over the other available configuration techniques.
Dynamic serving is slightly different from responsive web design. Though dynamic serving uses the same URLs on the mobile version that appear on the original website, it generates a different version of HTML code depending on the device the site is being displayed on, as well as specific users’ browser data. Dynamic serving enables a website to be fully accessible, however, Google bots tend to crawl this configuration differently than how they crawl responsive web designs, which means you would have to invest in server-side rendering as a temporary workaround for these crawlers.
This configuration method is as manual and tedious as it sounds. “Separate URLs” is a configuration technique that provides different code to each device category, each using separate URLs. First, the user’s device type is detected. Then, the configuration uses HTTP and Vary HTTP Headers to redirect users to the appropriate page. In the case of separate URLs, the mobile site will utilize a mobile-specific URL, such as an “m-dot,” “dot-mobi,” or even a separate folder altogether. A common myth is that this configuration method causes duplicate content that Google will penalize, but this rumor is completely untrue.
While Google claims it doesn’t favor one particular configuration technique over another, Google does place a high premium on ensuring that all web page assets are accessible to their Google bots. For this reason, the safest configuration technique to implement is a responsive web design.
However, implementing a responsive web design is only the beginning. Before your responsive website goes live, it’s a good idea to check, double-check, and triple-check that all of the mobile-friendly elements on your site will perform optimally.
Here is a checklist you can use to evaluate the mobile-friendliness of your website:
● Test Your Website at Multiple Resolutions
● Make Sure Your Menus, Toolbar, and Navigation Display Properly on Smaller Screens
● Check If Your Images Look Clear or Pixelated at Smaller Resolutions
● Test the Readability of Your Content
● Ensure Your Site’s Elements Provide Easy User Interaction
● Resize or Eliminate Your Pop-Ups
● Test Your Website’s Loading Speed
Now that you’ve been introduced to the basic rundown of what it takes to make your website mobile friendly, it’s time to actually test your website.
Google has developed excellent tools to help you evaluate the speed, usability, and flexibility of how your website is presented to mobile users. Let’s take a look at each tool and examine what it can do for you.
Google’s Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool allows website owners to analyze their home page URL, or any web page URL from their site, for a mobile-friendliness evaluation. This tool is free and will measure how easily a mobile user will be able to access, read, and navigate the website. The test results will include a pass-fail score as well as improvement suggestions that will help the website perform better on mobile devices.
Google’s Mobile Usability Tool can be found within the Google Search Console of any browser. The Google Search Console is a web service that Google developed to provide a way for webmasters to check the indexing status of their website. By offering transparent indexing status information, webmasters can make improvements to optimize the visibility of their websites. This mobile usability tool informs webmasters of the site’s crawl rate among other helpful metrics.
Remember, optimizing your website for mobile provides the following benefits:
● Improves SEO
● Improves mobile website indexing
● Elevates search engine rankings
● Offers a more streamlined user experience across all devices
● Increases mobile user conversion rates
● Offers faster download speeds
● Eliminates the cost of mobile app development
● Allows for continuous user experience improvements
Does your website pass Google’s mobile-friendly test? If not, contact us and our web development and SEO team can implement front-end and back-end modifications that will ensure Google is able to properly index and rank your site.
Our web development experts build customized web solutions with the mobile user’s experience in mind. When you work with FTx 360, the web applications and web portals of your mobile-friendly website will be stunning, streamlined, and impactful. Build a smarter brand for your business with FTx 360’s responsive web development.
Have you ever walked into a house and fallen in love with the atmosphere? Everything from the home furnishings to the stylized decor to the archways that connect each beautifully laid out room contributed to the wonderful experience you had while there. At the time, you might not have been aware that an architect had to draw up blueprints and contractors had to construct the home, first and foremost, in order for the interior design team who came in next to paint, furnish, and decorate. You see, your experience at the house, which left a lasting impression on you, would not have been possible without the architect and the contractors who built according to the blueprints.
In the same way, the specific experience you have on any given website would not be possible without the architect of the website, otherwise known as the lead web developer, and his or her team of builders who are the web developers that actually construct the website by writing coded language.
Producing a final website is not possible without a web designer, or website design team, just as a house would never go on the market until the walls had been painted, the floors tiled, and the overall decor arranged to give the best impression to prospective buyers. Today, we are going to focus on web developers, but if you would like to learn more about web designers, check out Web Design Trends, which goes into detail on the subject.
In this article, you will learn about website developers, what they’re responsible for, and what they can do for your business. Frontend, backend, and full-stack web development skills are just the beginning of what professional website developers bring to the table. They also create the basic structure and presentation of a website using website scripting languages. All-in-all, their work greatly impacts SEO, inbound marketing, and even revenue increases. Keep reading to discover everything there is to know about web development and what hiring a web developer can do for your company.
A website developer is a skilled programmer who specializes in building “World Wide Web” applications, i.e. websites.
The anchor of a website, which is the bedrock that web developers build upon, is a URL. In today’s competitive market, all websites use “custom domains.” A custom domain, also referred to as a vanity URL, is the branded website name that appears in the address bar of every web browser. Custom domains are not free and must be purchased by a qualifying provider and registered.
There are three primary types of web developers who build out custom domain URL websites. These are frontend developers, backend developers, and full-stack developers. Let’s take a look at what each of these three types of developers do.
As you might have guessed, just as the “frontend” developer is responsible for everything website visitors will see, the backend web developer is responsible for everything that happens behind the scenes in order to make a website function. Their territory is often referred to as the “server-side,” because backend developers work on the “guts” of the website within the server, application, and database. In order to ensure excellent UX, or user experience, backend developers collaborate with frontend developers as they develop code.
Highly experienced web developers generally go beyond offering either frontend or backend development services. Instead, these developers learn both sides of the development equation. Any website developer who offers frontend as well as backend web development is called a “full-stack web developer.” Known in the industry as development geniuses, full-stack web developers do it all because they know it all.
Whether you hire front-end and back-end developers or hire a single full-stack developer, your web developers should be mindful to build MarTech into your site for you. Shorthand for “marketing technology,” the term MarTech refers to any marketing software solution that helps marketers research, strategize, execute, analyze, and optimize their campaigns across all digital platforms. MarTech combines marketing with technology, and oftentimes marketers will consolidate multiple MarTech solutions into a stack, known as a MarTech Stack. The purpose of utilizing MarTech is to improve engagement with customers and drive sales, and yes, really smart web developers will build your website with your future marketing strategies in mind.
Short for “cascading style sheets,” CSS directly impacts the experiences visitors have when they interact with a website. CSS programming language modifies and enhances HTML to define the website’s layout, formatting, and overall presentation. This programming language is considered a cornerstone technology for the World Wide Web. Like HTML, web developers are experts in CSS due to the fact that reliable, functional, well-performing websites cannot be built without this essential language.
Website developers have a massive responsibility—to provide the best user experience, or UX, possible. Since web developers construct the layout of a website, which involves working closely with website designers, they are responsible for creating visually interesting and experientially engaging web pages that load fast and perform excellently. This means that web developers take extreme care when developing landing pages and optimizing websites for their inbound marketing potential, which includes coding opt-in forms and other marketing CTAs right into the web pages
themselves. Let’s take a look.
Landing pages have many synonyms, such as a lead capture page, squeeze page, and destination page, to name a few. Whichever term is used, this type of page refers to a single web page that’s
used as part of a digital marketing CTA for lead generation. For example, when an internet user clicks on a SEO search result, marketing email, or online advertisement, they are directed to the landing page that the web developer has set up. Landing pages typically display content that’s relevant to the user’s search or the ad the user clicked. And yes, a savvy web developer will be your best bet for including lead generation capabilities like this on your website.
A savvy web developer is also your best bet for connecting effective inbound marketing channels to your website. Inbound marketing strategies include content marketing, SEO, social media, blogs, and other digital marketing methods that draw consumers into a business’ marketing funnel. Inbound marketing campaign content places an emphasis on personally connecting with consumers and solving consumer pain points, which indirectly promotes the business’ products and solutions. Put simply, inbound marketing is any strategy that helps potential customers discover a business or
As we mentioned, opt-in forms and other CTAs are coded right into your web pages by your web developer. These forms and CTAs appear on websites and function as data collection tools. When a lead fills out an opt-in form on your website, information about the lead is automatically gathered and stored for you to leverage in the future during your marketing campaigns.
Web developers, as you can see, are truly responsible for the fate of the websites they develop.
SEO, or search engine optimization, refers to the objective of driving online user traffic to a website by elevating the website’s standing with search engines such as Google. Ideally, businesses want their websites to appear on the first page of Google’s search results whenever a user is looking for a company like theirs. Using relevant keywords within web content optimizes search engine ranking. Keywords are words, phrases, or questions that a Google user might type into the search bar in order to generate a list of possible websites relevant to their search topic. The term SEO only applies to non-paid, organic search results. Web developers contribute to the SEO of the websites they develop.
As a business owner, you want to maximize your daily site visitors. A “site visitor” is any internet user who lands on or navigates through your website. Websites collect valuable visitor data, including IP addresses and cookies, to determine how many unique site visitors have visited each web page, where those site visitors came from, and what actions they took while visiting the website. This is data you want, which means optimizing your website for SEO is a must. What can you do with visitor data? A lot. By analyzing the number of visitors that land on your website, you will learn important metrics such as the overall visitor frequency along with crucial demographic information. This information can then be leveraged during the creation and publication of additional website content to improve website traffic and increase sales revenue.
Launching a blog is easily the most worthwhile strategy in terms of integrating new SEO into your business website, so be sure to ask your web developer to include a blog on the site they develop for you. By featuring a blog on your website, you will organically begin to build brand awareness, improve SEO, drive website traffic, and increase revenue. Short for “web-logs,” blogs are actually considered an original social media platform for two reasons. Posts can be published frequently to immediately engage an audience, and discussions are often triggered based on the articles’ content. These discussions unfold in the comments section beneath each post. By including opt-in forms within your blog posts and automating the publication of each article, you can effectively convert website visitors into loyal customers.
Another effective SEO strategy involves using “dynamic content” on your website, and any web developer worth his or her salt will program your site using dynamic content. Also called adaptive content, dynamic content refers to the component on web pages that changes the page’s content based on visitor data, behavior, and preferences. Because these content changes can be automated, dynamic content keeps site visitors engaged while freeing up marketers to focus on other tasks. Changing the content naturally updates the web page’s SEO, which can improve search engine ranking.
Business owners who want to avoid hiring a web developer and who are not prepared to learn how to use HTML editors and in-line coding themselves might opt to use a WYSIWYG website building platform instead.
Instead of writing web page code and building your website from scratch all on your own, you could opt for a What You See Is What You Get, or WYSIWYG, website building platform. These user-friendly platforms come with rich text editors, drag-and-drop editors, and point-and-click editors. In other words, a WYSIWYG platform will enable you to quickly build and edit your website once you have chosen a template from their CMS. Let’s take a look.
CMS, or content management systems, provide users with technologically simplistic templates. These templates can be edited with drag-and-drop features, as we mentioned. The user-friendly nature of website builders with CMS allows the user to construct a fully functional website or eCommerce store without the help of a professional web developer. This is due to the fact that the CMS platform itself handles all of the basic backend infrastructure. Once your WYSIWYG website is established, the CMS software platform will help you create, manage, modify, and schedule all of your content in an organized, easy-to-execute manner.
Let’s take an in-depth look at “point-and-click” editors, “drag-and-drop” editors, and mobile-optimized responsive website design so that you’re fully informed in case you choose to go the WYSIWYG route.
Point-and-click editing is a design feature that empowers the user to add elements of code into web pages without having to formally program that code into the backend. Point-and-click editor allows the user to easily add plugins, source buttons, and code snippets among other widgets to the pages of their website or eCommerce store without having to rely on a web designer. Businesses can also invest in free-standing point-and-click editors to create, write, and revise their Wikipedia pages and other online business encyclopedias.
A drag-and-drop website builder enables users to create a website without having to learn CSS commands or write code. The user simply selects a basic layout theme from a library of professionally designed templates and proceeds to drag-and-drop widgets, fill in text, and make other alterations to personalize the site for their business. Drag-and-drop website builders give business owners the freedom to build their websites exactly as they want and easily update their web content without having to rely on a web designer or agency.
A mobile-optimized responsive website design template is a build-your-own-website template that has been designed to display correctly on all devices for optimal viewing. The templates themselves are coded to automatically adapt to any screen size and orientation so that the website looks great, functions well, and is easy to read on computers, smartphones, and tablets. If you opt to build your own website instead of hiring a professional web developer, then be sure to choose a web building platform that offers mobile-optimized responsive web design templates.
At the end of the day, your business website has the potential to be your most powerful digital marketing tool. When visitors land on your website, they read the home page, navigate through the entire site, and decide whether or not to purchase your products and services based on their experience interacting with your website. For this reason, making sure that your website performs excellently is the most important thing you can do for your business.
Is your website performing as well as it should? Our article, What Do Customers Look For in a Website? can help you determine where your site stands in the eyes of consumers, so be sure to give it a read.
If your website or eCommerce store isn’t performing as well as it should, you could try your hand at constructing a new site using a WYSIWYG web building platform like Squarespace, Wix, or Weebly… Or you could have the website development team at FTx 360 handle your site for you. Our web developers work hand-in-hand with artistic website designers to produce stunning websites that strike a perfect balance between beautiful and functional, and our websites always load properly on mobile devices. Contact us to check out our portfolio or get your project started with our web development services today.
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On a global scale, approximately 547,200 new websites are created every single day. As of the publication of this article, 24 million eCommerce sites across the world are actively selling products. According to data compiled from IBISWorld, U.S. eCommerce sales reached $211.5 billion in the second quarter of 2020, which represents a 44.5% increase compared to the second quarter of 2019.
The eCommerce sector, regardless of industry, is extremely competitive. The market is growing exponentially. But don’t worry. Your eCommerce business isn’t automatically doomed to get lost in the fray. There are plenty of marketing strategies you can implement today that will increase sales tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year.
In this article, we’ll show you how to promote your eCommerce website using 5 marketing ideas that work.
Search engine optimization is a marketing method that uses targeted keywords and longtail keyword phrases to elevate a website’s ranking on search engines such as Google. SEO typically refers to organic, non-paid keyword strategies. The desired result of any SEO effort is to increase a website’s online visibility and traffic. Check out What Is SEO? to learn specific SEO strategies, including how to generate relevant keywords.
49% of marketers report that organic search engine optimization has the best ROI of any marketing channel, according to Search Engine Journal.
Devising an SEO strategy for your eCommerce site includes three areas, each with its own steps:
● First, you’ll have to do a little research to figure out the frequently searched words, terms, and phrases that search engine users typically type into the search bar. You can identify these SEO keywords by using Ahrefs, Amazon, Google, or any SEM tool.
● Next, you’ll need to create new content with the keywords you’ve selected. You could revise your eCommerce Home Page using keywords, or spruce up your product descriptions with them. This second step of plugging fresh keywords into your site should become a periodic practice.
● Finally, you’ll need to analyze the impact of those SEO keywords, using Google Analytics or another tool that measures the success of your SEO strategy.
Multichannel marketing for an eCommerce company refers to diversifying your sales platform. Yes, your eCommerce site is obviously your primary sales platform. But in today’s competitive market, businesses succeed online when they meet their customers’ wants and needs, including their preferences for where they want to shop. Facebook has made buying online extremely convenient, and the same can be said about Amazon. By opening a Facebook Store, you can cater to consumers who want to shop there, and others that prefer to visit your website can access it through Facebook via the URL you provide.
By the year 2040, an estimated 95% of all purchases will occur online through eCommerce, according to Nasdaq.
Spread your brand across multiple channels to diversify your sales and income streams. Follow these steps to get started:
● Research where your potential customers are congregating online. Are they on Instagram the most, or do they fill up the comments sections of YouTube? Find out so you’ll know where to focus your efforts.
● Focus on the top 3 channels where your potential customers spend their online time, then develop posting strategies on those platforms. By engaging users, they will begin to view and interact with your brand, which will lead to sales through those platforms if not your eCommerce site.
● Since multichannel marketing is all about creating different paths for consumers to travel in order to get to the purchasing stage of their shopping experience, it’s okay to start small, as long as the customer journey is easy and rewarding.
If you have an advertising expense budget, the best way to allocate your funds in 2021 is into podcast advertisements. Yes, it’s true. Regardless of the overall popularity of a podcast, the fact of the matter is that podcasts garner very loyal audiences, and those audiences tend to be comprised of specific demographics. This means that the podcast itself has already corralled your ideal customers, and by buying ad space, you can speak to all of them at once.
54% of podcast listeners will lean towards buying products that were recommended on podcasts, according to Edison Research.
Narrowing down the best podcast to invest in requires a little research. Start with these initial steps:
● Contact podcasts that are relevant to your industry to find out the size of their listenership and the costs for different ad spots. The ad sales department should be able to send you a demographic report that organizes their audience by categories such as age, gender, location, and interests, among other variables.
● Choose the most affordable ad spot. This could be a shorter pre-roll or post-roll spot, which will play at the beginning or end of the podcast episode. Pricier spots typically play in the middle of the podcast when listenership is the highest.
● Lastly, you’ll need to record a high-quality audio ad that meets the technical requirements and standards of the podcast.
In terms of regularly generating fresh, targeted, relevant keywords that harness the power of SEO and directly impact your eCommerce site’s Google ranking, nothing beats a blog. Launching and maintaining a blog is a highly effective promotional strategy. Blogs expand brand reach and online presence, as well as help to validate the business as a credible authority. All of which will lead to consumer trust. For detailed tips on blogging, be sure to read Creating a Remarkable Business Blog.
63% of online consumers in the U.S. have made a purchase based on recommendations from a blog, according to the Content Marketing Institute.
Summarizing the article on blogging referenced above, here’s how you can promote your eCommerce site by adding a Blog tab and posting on a regular schedule:
● When creating the content of each blog post, aim to follow the “information, inspiration, call-to-action” format. This means that the content should inform the reader by first addressing a “pain point” they’re experiencing and then suggesting solutions to fix that particular pain point problem. The suggestions should “inspire” the reader. And finally, the article should wrap up with a call-to-action that encourages the reader to purchase the product that will “solve” their problem from your eCommerce site.
● Be sure to work your keywords into the written content. Keep the paragraphs short so that the article is easy to read. Use headings, subheadings, and bullet points to list information, all of which ensures easy reading.
● Break up the text even more with images, photos, and graphics. Include a “subscribe” button at the bottom of each post, and as you collect email addresses, be sure to use them wisely when you promote your recently published blog posts.
Over the course of 2020 and into 2021, the use of “chatbots” has risen as a prefered method of customer relationship management and customer service. Meaning, your eCommerce site visitors would probably appreciate being able to ask straightforward questions and get fast answers via a chatbot box. There are two kinds of chatbots—purely robotic or a live person. Depending on the size of your eCommerce business, you may opt to use one or both types of chatbots. A live person might not be able to accommodate a great volume of inquiries. Remember, consumers expect fast responses, so if there’s any chance your employee will take longer than 5 minutes to reply, then the safer route would be to integrate a machine-learning A.I. “robotic” chatbot.
Roughly 50% of consumers have ended up making an eCommerce purchase after interacting with the site’s chatbot, according to Drift.com.
The success or failure of an A.I. chatbot completely depends on whether or not your eCommerce site visitor can tell they’re talking to a machine-learning robot. The point being, even if you use an A.I. chatbot, you want your website visitors to believe it’s a real, live person. Here are some tips to keep you—or your hired chatbot developer—on track:
● The chatbot should exhibit a discernable degree of empathy when appropriate. Firstly, the bot must be programmed to use language properly so that it can smoothly speak with the customer typing on the other end of the box.
● In order for the chatbot to function properly, i.e. provide appropriate, relevant, and accurate answers to customer questions, the chatbot first must be programmed with all the necessary information. Also, it should be “trained” to ask the customer to provide more details when required. Remember, better answers equal better service.
● Train the chatbot to answer frequently asked questions. Depending on the nature of your business and the products you sell on your eCommerce site, you’ve probably noticed that customers tend to have a range of specific questions. Chatbots can, in fact, be trained to answer those specific questions.
Additional marketing methods that can greatly enhance your efforts to promote your eCommerce website include:
Are you ready to get your eCommerce marketing strategy started? FTx 360 offers SEO marketing and optimization plans for eCommerce businesses. Contact us to speak with a professional marketing strategist today.
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The web design industry has experienced dramatic changes throughout 2020 due to massive shifts in the way customers browse, shop, and interact online. Unexpected consumer demands led to rapid innovations in the digital design sphere, and the web design and development team at FTx 360 has been at the forefront of implementing, adjusting, and improving trends as they emerge.
Want to know how distinguished designers plan to build their clients’ websites in 2021? The web design and development team at FTx 360 compiled a list of the latest trends that are sure to make a big splash across the internet this year.
Asymmetrical grids and layouts offer visitors a stimulating browsing experience. When a web page displays asymmetrically, visitors have to slow down just a bit to really take in the layout, the content, and the visuals. Want to try this trend yourself? There are a few simple techniques you can use that will make a big difference in the overall presentation of your site, such as collapsing the gutters, overlaying multiple elements, and embracing empty space.
Parallax scrolling brings a great deal of depth to a website. This technique originated from traditional cartoon animation for the purposes of making 2D drawings appear 3D in motion. When it comes to websites, parallax scrolling animations create the illusion that foreground images are moving faster than background images. Pretty cool, right? Parallax scrolling goes hand-in-hand with virtual reality technologies and can greatly enhance a visitor’s website experience.
Oftentimes, less is more. For this reason, websites that present minimalist designs tend to succeed at prolonging each customer’s visit, which in turn positively impacts the site’s ranking on Google and other search engines. Abstract art compositions, when integrated into a website’s design, can lend a splash of color and texture without compromising the minimalism of an entire web page. Geometric primitives like squares and circles can be arranged in complex patterns on the page so long as the colors used don’t overwhelm the content you want your visitors to focus on.
The word “skeuomorph” refers to a derivative object with decorative embellishments that mimic the original object it was derived from. Digital Post-Its for desktop and laptop computers are an example of skeuomorphs, because the digital version imitates the original. Likewise, Amazon’s Kindle is a skeuomorphic version of printed books. If an object copies the material-look and shape and functionality of the original object it was derived from, then it is legitimately skeuomorphic. Skeuomorphic imitations are used to make a new product or technology seem familiar to consumers. When skeuomorphism is incorporated in the User Interface design of a website, the visitors experience a kind of textured realism that draws them in.
What else should you and your web designer take into consideration as you revamp your business website and ECommerce store?
● Customized Content According to User Geolocation & Browser History
● Progressive Lead Nurturing Forms with Built-In CRM Integration
● Virtual Reality Tours to Maximize Interactive Content
● Digitalized Representations of Physical Products & Services to Enhance UX
● Intuitive Chatbots for a Personalized Shopping Assistant Experience
Is your website’s current design on trend? Does the layout support the best UX possible? Have you optimized your entire site to promote visitor engagement and interaction?
If not, let the website design and development team at FTx 360 revamp your business website. Our developers design sites that strike a perfect balance between beautiful and functional. Using SEO, social media integration, excellently written content, and stunning graphics, the digital marketing strategists at our web design company can take your website to the next level and beyond. Contact us to get started.
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