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GDPR Compliance & The Northern Ireland Business Community

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GDPR Compliance – be aware!

The manual for GDPR compliance will be open to scrutiny in May 2018. It will have a serious impact on sales and marketing strategies and the handling of personal data. Marketing teams will have to deal with implementing GDPR ( General Data Protection Regulation) going forward ensuring they make the necessary changes and adjustments to their ‘modus operandi’ in order to comply fully with regulation requirements.

The new model of personal data will define and elucidate the concept of consent versus legitimate interests. The legalities of the new paradigm will focus the minds of all those involved in sales and marketing on the creation and implementation of future methodologies and strategies they will use in promotional programmes.

A critique of the latest developments in GDPR will raise more questions for the business community as a whole, with particular relevance to Digital Marketing Companies whose lifeblood centres around the collection, use and storage of client-personal data. The onus will be on them to quickly adapt and change in line with regulation. They will have to decide what to automate in their privacy programmes taking into account all aspects of data mapping and vendor risk management. Understanding the new rules of consent and judging how ‘legitimate interests’ compares with other lawful means of handling personal data will be paramount in regulation compliance. Trust will be a major factor with GDPR and eprivacy post GDPR legislation. This will have to be factored into Companies’ policies going forward – including resolving breaches. Cyber security will undoubtedly be intrinsic to GDPR compliance and Digital Agencies will have to adhere to rules and regulations defining technology’s role in compliance. The whole principle of ‘data minimisation’ will require an in-depth examination so solutions and best practice can be garnered to provide the greatest compliance. In reality, Companies will have to formulate strategies preempting and preventing any possible obstacles to their business. The most effective strategy in this scenario is to create a practical and actionable model for implementing GDPR.

In terms of Digital Agencies it will provide  a roadmap for sales and marketing. Personal data will be defined in this context from both a historical and new developments perspective. The whole idea of ‘Subject Access Requests’ in view of the Data Prevention Act versus GDPR will need to be scrutinised closely re developing a policy or strategy to comply with the data rules and regulations. Savvy Companies or Agencies will avail of the opportunity afforded by GDPR to build customer engagement through trust and by creating marketing strategies that will be most productive in customer engagement under the new data legislation. In terms of breaches of compliance digital agencies will have to be fully aware of their responsibilities in ensuring full acquiescence so not to attract penalties and fines for potential breaches.

Marketing departments will need to clearly define and implement transparent marketing strategies and formulate how to sell them to the Company chiefs so they are fully on board. Probably the greatest challenge in this area is how to improve their marketing ‘return on investment’ through implementation of ‘transparent marketing’. Companies will also need to construct efficient measures such as privacy-enhancing technologies to conform with and consolidate GDPR implementation. Specifically, digital agencies will have to embrace those digital tools that will help marketers deal most effectively with the impact of the new legislation on their proposed marketing strategies and methodologies.The most salient issue will be digital agencies ability to use GDPR as an opportunity to development through trust. This is the positive angle on how to manipulate a set of regulations that might seem at worst tergid and oppressive and at best simply more bureaucratic meddling with the existing PDA.

Another area of concern is the new rights  regarding data portability. Companies will need to quickly get up to speed with creating best practice in situations where consumers request the portability of the data. They can comply most effectively by maintaining an efficient compliant marketing data-base. Good data management can prove an asset in preventing GDPR from becoming a potential barrier for effective marketing.

GDPR will have a global reach forcing every organisation to audit how they collect and deal with the personal details of employees, clients and customers. Most Companies are probably already on the road to compliance but will have to ensure their marketing strategies conform to the culture of consent – the essence of GDPR. The key issue of consent which will no longer be simply a box ticking exercise will be a transparent process of specifying all data being collected and informing clients of the real impact the new data can have. The data subject must consent in full awareness to requests for access otherwise the data processing stops. Individuals will be given more power and choice over what information they share and how it is shared. A good word of advice to all business owners is to ensure they make every effort to implement ‘privacy by design’. It is their responsibility to make certain that the handling process of all data protects the higher levels of consent.

In brief, the Key element of GDPR is the necessity for Company awareness of the overarching need for customer/client consent in collecting, using, storing and retrieving their personal data and the ensuing obligation to comply with all regulatory requirements in pursuing and implementing that process.

If you have any questions about GDPR compliance contact our Belfast GDPR training consultants.

 

How Google’s Rank Brain Update can DAMAGE your CTR and What You Can Do About It

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The latest RankBrain update uses data and human research to help improve user experience. It does this by interpreting the real intentions behind a user’s search term.

What do we mean by ‘real intentions’?

Google found that most users clicked on pages containing variations of their key term.

For example:

When searching for “women’s jeans”, users clicked on sites containing other related key terms. The most common of which include ‘skinny jeans’, ‘high waist jeans’ and ‘boyfriend jeans’ etc.

Google made the wise decision to rank these pages higher than others. After all, why show a list of web pages that are of no interest to the user? Wouldn’t it be more beneficial to display results that receive the most clicks for those specific key terms?

However, this method of thinking also works in reverse.

If your site has a high CTR and low bounce rates, your ranking position is likely to improve. On the other hand, sites with low CTR’s and high bounce rates will travel further down the ranks.

How to Improve CTR

 

48239-O5KKU7An easy way to make sure the RankBrain update takes note of your site (in a good way) is to focus on improving your CTR rate.

First step? Improve your meta data.

Your meta title must grab people’s attention and make them want to click on your organic listing. E-Commerce stores can improve quality signal by using modifiers at the beginning of their meta titles. Some common options for online retailers include Shop, See, Buy and Best Value etc.

Your meta description should be just as intriguing as your title. Include terms that will entice your audience and arouse interest. You can do this by implementing value propositions that are just too good to resist. These include FREE Shipping, 50% Off and Local Produce etc.


How to Reduce Bounce Rate

 

digital composite of hands using notebook with graphicsIf users are always clicking away from your site, RankBrain will take notice. Since your site has quite a high bounce rate, it will not rank as well as competitors with lower bounce rates.

So, what can you do to reduce your bounce rate? And how can you keep visitors on your site long enough to convert?

Bounce rates usually depend on the usability of your site. When a visitor reverts back it’s usually because they were not satisfied with their experience. Perhaps the page took too long to load, or there was no free delivery available. Whatever the reason, you’ve lost a valuable potential customer due to poor UX Design.

Improving your UX design is the best way to keep customers on your site long enough to convert.

Do you need to redesign your site?

 

site migration newry and belfastYour website may have been the coolest site on the web back in 2006, but a redesign is probably long overdue. Sites as young as three years old often require a complete make-over to keep up with trends and advances in the industry.

But how can you tell if your site needs a redesign or just a few minor tweaks?

Take a closer look at the fluctuating patterns of your bounce rate. A tell-tale sign your site is lacking usability and needs to be redesigned, is if the bounce rate has been increasing over time. If this is the case, you need to breathe some life back into your website. This will bring your website back into the modern era, making it more appealing to this generation of tech-savvy customers.

 

If you want to avoid the harsh effects of RankBrain on your site’s SEO and CTR, give us a call today and we can come up with a creative and effective strategy that will keep you on the top of search engine ranking pages, no matter what Google has in store for updates in the future!

Newry : 028 3026 1861 | Belfast : 028 9099 8106

 

 

site migration newry and belfast

How to Make Sure Site Migration won’t Lose Customers!

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Site migrations occur for a variety of reasons. Yet, one factor usually remains the same and that is the fear of losing traffic and revenue as a result of site migration. This fear stems from the fact that it’s all too easy to mess up your sites ranking performance during the migration process. Site owners must understand the risks involved with site migration, and the impact of a recently changed domain name. If done incorrectly, your site may not rank as well as your previous one. This can result in decreased search visibility, traffic and even sales. Thankfully, we know just how to deal with such an intricate process. Here are some of the best techniques to ensure your site migrates as smoothly as possible:

What to Consider

48239-O5KKU7It is important to create a detailed migration plan. This will help ensure that each business target is met accordingly. It will also be worth taking essential factors into consideration, such as legacy site architecture, the architecture of the new site and the platform technical limitations.

Incorporate SEO from the Beginning

Don’t leave SEO until the last minute of the site migration. For some reason, many companies believe that SEO can be touched upon at the end of the migration process. They think that it can act as an add-on once all the heavy lifting has been done. However, this is completely false. SEO should be implemented by an experienced SEO provider from the very start of the migration process. This should be someone who knows what they are doing and who can direct your site towards success.

Redirects and Mapping

Many business owners simply forget all about their redirects and mapping when it comes to site migration. This process involves quite a lot of testing through each phase of the migration process. Old subdomains must be checked and the sites need to be crawled in order to ensure a flawless transition. Without doing so, your company’s older pages may still be indexed. This will unfortunately pose as a serious problem when you try to recover lost authority.

increase customer retention rates

How to Increase your E-Commerce Repurchasing Rate

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Acquiring a new customer costs five times as much as reselling to an existing or previous one. This reason alone should be enough to convince any business owner to start paying closer attention to their retention rates. According to a recent study carried out by one of the world’s leading marketing companies, 82% of business owners agree that retention proved to be a lot cheaper than the cost of acquisition. In fact, the likelihood of selling to a new customer is around 5 – 20% whilst the probability of re-selling to an existing customer is 60 – 70%.

As you can see, spending more time and effort on retention rates is more likely to increase your online conversions. Here are some of the best practices used by ecommerce websites to increase retention and conversion rates:

Award loyal customers with great discounts

One of the best ways to draw people back to your site is by awarding their loyalty with special offers. It helps if these offers are exclusive and given to your loyal customer base BEFORE making them available to the general public. This will make your customers feel as though their loyalty has been awarded, encouraging them to continue to purchase from your company.

Use Customer Accounts Effectively

Imagine yourself as a new customer about to make a purchase on your site. Before your checkout is complete, you are given the option to either set up an account with your company, or checkout as a guest. The majority of first time customers will click on the guest checkout option because it is less time consuming, whereas setting up a whole new account can come across as being an unnecessary and lengthy commitment. The best way to utilise customer accounts is to prompt consumers to create one AFTER the order has been completed.

Implement an Email Marketing Strategy

Encouraging your customers to sign up with their email addresses will provide you with the unique opportunity to re-target previous customers with personalised emails. This will help you to build a closer relationship with your online consumers. You may wish to seek professional assistance when it comes to email marketing. Getting it right can result in massive improvement with regards to your site’s conversion rates, but getting it wrong can be a horrific mistake. Bombarding your customers with too many emails can tempt them into deleting their account with your company, or blocking your emails altogether. You need to make sure your email campaign has the right balance.

Utilise social media to better connect with customers

As a business looking to boost retention rates, social media is one of the best tools at your disposal. It enables you to reach out to your customers and connect with them on a more personal level. You are no longer a giant corporation with a blurry face to your customers, instead, you transform into a living and breathing organization. Post to your social channels often and take time to connect with your followers. Update your channel with news updates, promotions, new products and upcoming events etc. to help generate excitement and enthusiasm around your brand.

 

SEO violations to avoid

6 SEO Violations to AVOID

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There are some SEO violations that are best avoided if you want to evade Google’s harsh penalties. These desecrations are quite difficult to perform without prior intention, so don’t panic if you feel that you may have stepped on a few toes! In fact, a search engine will consider a number of signals before deciding to smack you with a penalty.

But to stay on the safe side, check out these 6 most common SEO violations to AVOID:

 

1. Cloaking

When it comes to SEO, it’s best to keep Harry Potter’s cloak of invisibility in Hogwarts. Cloaking refers to the process of tampering with the presentation of your website. Usually this involves showing humans and search engines two entirely different versions. Since accidental cloaking is close to impossible, search engines will view it as intentional.

 

2. Thin Content

Google’s Panda update targets thin content with no foreseeable backbone or structure. It’s lack of substance makes it unattractive in the eyes of search engines. Use content that search engines approve of and consider to be both useful and valuable.

 

3. Stuffing Keywords

You may assume that filling your content with keywords will make search engines take notice. And you’re right, search engines WILL notice, but not in the way that you perhaps hoped. Instead of awarding you for your genius efforts, you will be penalised for it.

 

4. Invisible Text

The tactic of hiding text by blending it with the same coloured background of the web page is referred to as “hidden text”. This is often carried out after stuffing keywords and is one of the most commonly used SEO violations to avoid. Unfortunately, search engines are not so easily fooled. They will treat it as spam and you could be penalised for it.

 

5. Too Many Ads

There is a specific algorithm that deals with sites containing too many ads. This is referred to as the Page Layout Algorithm, otherwise known as Top Heavy Layout. A site containing way too many ads is incredibly frustrating for the user and search engines alike. This is because search engines such as Google strive to give users the best possible user experience. Websites containing too many ads will not meet these high expectations, which is why they will be targeted by the Page Layout Algorithm.

 

6. Copied Content

A Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) take-down request should be addressed as soon as possible. Google are coming down hard on sites that have breached the copyright law. This is referred to as the Pirate update. It is present to ensure that nobody has stolen work or content etc. belonging to someone else.

 

So there you have it, the top 6 SEO violations to AVOID.

 

SEO newry

Using Simple HTML to Achieve SEO Success

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Web pages are created using a fundamental HTML code. This is a type of mark-up language referred to as a “Hyper Text Mark-up Language”. In other words, it is a “machine readable” language. HTML tags describe a specific document of content. They allow users to organize, change and link text with various data online.

There are certain HTML elements that can help you to display your site better on search engines. Perfecting these HTML factors can even improve your ranking position on SERP’s.

 

Title Tag

Search engines use HTML title tags to find out what the web page is all about. The <title> tag is extremely important for SEO because it defines the essence of the page. Search engines use this HTML signal to decide if your web page is relevant to a specific search query. If your HTML title tags are not descriptive enough, Google will edit them.

A good HTML title tag will describe what the specific web page is about. Think about it this way: what do you hope each of your pages will be found for? For example, if one of your web page’s sell children’s books and another sells fantasy novels, your HTML title tags should reflect this.

Each title tag should be different and unique to the content included on the page. Use keyword research to gain insights that will help you to write informative title tags.

 

Meta Description Tags

A meta description tag is a 160-character snippet of information used to describe the content of a web page. When you search for a specific term, your search results feature a meta description underneath the main title and page link. This allows users to find out what the web page contains before they click.

Keep in mind that your meta description will not directly affect your SEO. However, SEO experts often refer to meta description tags as “display factors”. If your search keyword appears in the meta description, it will appear as bold text. This grabs the user’s attention and helps the user decide if the web page is relevant to them or not.

The meta description tag must convince the user to click onto your site – so put on your thinking cap and get to work! Don’t forget to make sure that each page contains a unique HTML meta description.

 

Structured Data and Rich Snippets

Structured Data is highly organised information using mark-up codes. These HTML codes are written specifically for search engines to read. It reveals important details about both the content and structure of web pages.

More often than not, this structured data translates to what we know as a “rich snippet”. Rich snippets can be added to existing HTML’s. Adding rich snippets allow search engines to better understand what a web page contains. This information is then presented in an appealing and useful way to users. For example, common rich snippets include site reviews and ratings.

If your webpage contains a rich snippet, it is more likely to get more clicks than a webpage without rich snippets.

 

Header Tags

Included in the HTML coding of a web page are Heading tags, which are defined by number. For example, H1 tag refers to the lead heading of a page and the rest are usually sub-headings (such as H2). These usually range from H1 to H6 tags.

Search engines use header tags to identify web page sections. If you include your desired keywords in header tags, it is more likely that your page will show up when user’s search for those exact keywords.

Whilst these HTML factors are not defined as ranking elements, they WILL help improve your SEO efforts. Using simple HTML factors such as those mentioned above will make your site easier to find and more “clickable”.

ipad website version

5 Creative Web Design Trends to Watch in 2016

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Web design seems to go through just as many trends as the fashion industry. Whilst some of these trends are nothing more than quick flashes in the pan, others stick around for the long haul. The main purpose of each new trend is to give internet users a more polished user experience. But since this is an ever-changing medium, keeping tabs on the best trends can prove to be quite a challenge.

To help you decipher the “best from the rest”, we have combined a list of five of this year’s most influential web design trends of 2016:

1. Hover Animations

Animations of all kinds have been “bang on trend” this year, but perhaps none more so than the classic “hover animation”. Have you ever moved your cursor over a certain element on a site only to have it jump to life right before your eyes? This innovative and lively trend provides immediate feedback. It’s also a great way to stir up interest in your brand and reach out to potential customers using simple but effective graphic and animated techniques.

2. Artistic Typography

Who doesn’t love mixing up their typography patterns every once in a while? Web designers can’t seem to get enough of artistic fonts. Branching off from traditional styles gives sites a creative boost and helps to set them apart from their competition. Eye-catching typography will grab user’s attention and make your site more memorable.

3. Long Scroll Navigation

Internet users desire FULL CONTROL of scroll navigation. They tend to get fed up with websites that don’t allow them to control the scrolling option at their own pace. Enter long scroll navigation, a simple scrolling option that enables users to navigate as they please in a smooth, easy and uninterrupted format.

4. Hero Styled Imagery

A hero image is an eye-catching photograph or piece of content that will instantly capture the user’s attention and urge them to find out more. This trend is particularly popular with visual based sites such as photography pages or even hotel booking pages etc. Use HD quality images to get the best results and don’t forget to include a relevant call to action!

5. Background Videos

YouTube is currently the second largest search engine online. It is owned by Google, which is conveniently the first largest search engine. It makes sense then, that video would make it onto this list. Recently, there has been a dramatic increase in the amount of background videos and animations included on web pages. It’s important to get this done right. You don’t want to irritate or distract the viewer. Instead, your videos should drive engagement and interaction. It’s a great way to increase your site’s visibility on SERP’s as well, since Google tends to favour sites that include video!

 

 

successful ecommerce

7 Things Successful Ecommerce Websites Have in Common

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E-Commerce is the single fastest growing retail market in Europe. 78% of the entire population have made at least one purchase online via an eCommerce site such as EBay or Amazon etc.

But what makes a successful eCommerce site propel whilst others plummet? Any eCommerce store can grow in success – you just need to know how to get it there!

Here are 15 things every successful eCommerce store has in common:

1. Responsive Design

CAMHS responsive website PortadownIt’s no surprise that mobile devices have quickly become the main internet portal for millions of users around the globe. In fact, mobile devices are expected to generate 68% of all internet traffic by 2017. Successful eCommerce sites are responsive, meaning that they operate across all devices including mobile and tablet. Google even favours mobile-friendly sites over non-responsive designs, so if you want your eCommerce store to succeed the first step is to get it on mobile.

2. Smooth Checkout Process

ecommerce Northern IrelandCustomers prefer a smooth and hassle-free checkout process. Studies show that the most sales online come from eCommerce stores that allow customers to complete a purchase without having to register. Simple forms without any distractions or unnecessary “gibber jabber” are more likely to persuade a customer to complete a purchase rather than making them register for an account. Keep the checkout process smooth and clean!

3. Flawless Product Pages

Magento Ecommerce wholesale websiteProduct pages should be clear and straight to the point. Sites that offer various sorting options tend to show an increase in sales. For example, many shoppers like to sort product pages by price, size or popularity. Another great feature is the ability to view a different number of products per page. Many shoppers enjoy flicking through countless product pages as part of the online shopping experience, but others prefer to see products in larger batches. HD quality images are also more likely to grab people’s attention, especially when it comes to online retail.

4. Social Proof

ecommerce BelfastPeople are more likely to trust a site that isn’t afraid to show off their reviews and testimonials – good or bad! Using social proof is a great way to add a sense of authenticity and credibility to your site. Popular eCommerce sites, such as Amazon, include reviews on each of their products. This helps customers to gain a better insight into the product, helping them along in their decision making process. This can also be accomplished via Facebook or Twitter etc. Facebook mentions can do wonders for your site’s performance, so encourage your followers to leave feedback as much as possible.

5. Sense of Urgency

Advertising and digital marketing northern irelandHow many times have you been convinced to buy a product online because there was only one left in stock? Successful eCommerce sites are genius’ when it comes to creating a strong sense of urgency. They do this in order to create the “fear of missing out” in their customers, which inevitably convinces them to complete a purchase. You can do this with various limited time only offers or by using count downs for certain products and offers etc.

6. Quality Product Images

ipad website versionWhen it comes to product images, it’s not just about the high definition. Your product images should present the item in an honest and truthful light. This means that you should never use fuzzy or highly pixelated images. The photographs MUST be true to the product or you will receive a lot of returns and negative reviews as a result. Incorporate a wide range of angles or better yet, a short video of the product in use to give customers a clearer insight.

7. Site Search

wholesale seo website design ecommerceWebsites offering site search allow customers to find products in a few short seconds. This saves a lot of scrolling time, making the buying process a lot simpler and user friendly. It’s also a great way to navigate a site, simply type in your search keyword and you will find the associated products within seconds. A website that has mastered the art of site search is of course Amazon and EBay. These sites make the shopping experience enjoyable, easy and efficient for their users.

 

 

ecommerce statistics

20 Ecommerce Statistics That’ll Keep You Up at Night

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E-Commerce has its advantages. It offers users the opportunity to buy or sell online 24/7, making shopping for specific products easier than ever. BUT there are still many aspects to eCommerce that business owners are completely oblivious to.

Since we like to keep things exciting here at RYCO, we’ve included 20 of the most shocking ECommerce statistics (you can thank us later):

1. Surprisingly, it’s 7 times MORE EXPENSIVE to attain a new customer than it is to keep a current one.

UX Design Planning2. When it comes to shopping on mobile devices, men take the lead at 22%, whilst only 18% of women currently shop via their smartphones.

3. 73% of customers prefer businesses with friendly staff members – even via online communications.

4. After experiencing a negative customer experience, over 89% of customers will never shop from the same store again.

5. Customer experience will be the most influential online purchasing factor by 2020.

6.  Loyalty members will spend 13% more than not one, but two non-members.

7. The most popular time for online UK sales is after 6pm.

8. Tablets take the lead as the most popular online shopping device. Tablet users are three times more likely to spend online than both desktop and mobile users.

9. 45% of online shoppers take to social media to help influence their buying decisions.

10. 75% of consumer’s shop online because they believe online stores offer better deals than their local stores.

11. Online reviews influence 55% of shoppers, helping them to decide whether they want to make a purchase or not.

web design Newry Statistics belfast12. If users are prompted to make a new user account before making a purchase, 23% will give up.

13. According to recent ecommerce statistics, 28% of online consumers abandon shopping carts when shipping costs are higher than expected.

14. Shoppers aged 18 – 34 buy online more than any other age group.

15. From 2016 onwards, online sales will grow 93% each year.

16. Posting 1 to 4 times a day on Twitter will give you the best CTR.

17. Adding a simple smiley face into your Facebook post can increase post shares by 33%.

18. 30% of mobile users will not complete a sale form a non-responsive site.

19. If your site doesn’t load within 3 seconds, 57% of internet users will abandon it.

20. Emails from companies influence over 70% of mobile purchases.

We hope you enjoyed these surprising but true ecommerce statistics. If you’d like to learn more about how to manage a successful ecommerce store, get in touch with RYCO today. We are ecommerce specialists based in Newry, Belfast and Dublin:

CALL US: 028 9099 8106

magento ecommerce developers belfast northern ireland

website upgrade

7 Signs Your Website Needs Upgraded

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If eyes are windows to the soul, your website is the window to your brand. So ask yourself, what is your company’s site saying to potential customers? Is it time for a website upgrade?

Has your website seen better days?

Have you been keeping it up-to-date or have you let it slide back to the stone-age?

If you are experiencing low conversion rates and slow traffic, your website may need a few tweaks (or a complete makeover). Here are 7 signs that show it might be time to upgrade your website:

1. Your website is over 3 years’ old

Three years might not sound like a long time, but in the digital universe, three years may as well be 300. Since web development is constantly progressing, you need to make sure your site is moving right along with it. New opportunities are always arising to make your site better, faster and leaner. By upgrading your website and making it more user-friendly, visitors will be more likely to stay on site long enough to convert.

2. Your website includes zero links to your brand’s social media sites

Businesses utilise social media channels to spread word about their services and products. It’s an easy way to create interest and reach a broader audience. 80% of online consumers are more likely to purchase from a business they follow on Facebook or Twitter. Linking your website to your social channels will help your customers to better relate to your business, increasing their trust in your brands credibility.

3. Your website’s content hasn’t been updated in lightyears

If your website contains the same content every time a customer visits your site, you risk losing their interest. Out-of-date content will also have a negative impact on your SEO efforts. If your website does not allow you to update content, it may be time to upgrade or switch to a different platform. Content management platforms such as WordPress and Magento, allow users to edit content as often as they please. Platforms such as these, are easy-to-use and enable you to keep tabs on how optimised your web pages are.

4. Your website is non-responsive

Mobile devices will generate 68% of all internet traffic by 2017. Therefore, your website MUST be mobile friendly. If your site is not mobile friendly, you will need a website upgrade or risk losing up to 27% of potential traffic.

5. Your website’s UX Design is Poor

A user friendly website is guaranteed to perform much better than one lacking usability. For example, a website that makes it difficult for customers to navigate is likely to lose customers rather than gain any new ones. A website upgrade will allow you to look closely at the design, layout and usability of your site. Take some time and learn more about your customers. Once you know what your customers want from your site, you can give it to them via the web upgrade process. For example, would customers be happier with a site map? Maybe you should incorporate one into your website. Is your site difficult to navigate? Make it easier for them, etc.

6. No Clear Call to Action’s

As soon as a potential customer visits your site, it’s up to you to grab their attention straight away. Show off all your brand has to offer and don’t be shy. If your website doesn’t include any call to actions, you miss out on potential sales, email sign-ups and written testimonials etc.

7. Slow Loading Web Pages

The faster your website loads, the better. Internet users are impatient and over 50% of them expects your website to load within just 2 seconds! If your site takes too long to load on the screen, visitors will click the little red “x” before they have a chance to be impressed by your brand.

If you feel like it’s time for a website upgrade, give RYCO a call today:

Newry : 028 3026 1861

Belfast : 028 9099 8106

SEO Strategy

Why your SEO Strategy Isn’t Working Out the Way You Planned

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No matter how much we plan, prep and plot, sometimes things just don’t work out the way we thought they would. Building an effective SEO strategy seems like a piece of cake. You’ve done your keyword research and you know exactly how to climb up the rankings. Several months have passed and your site has crept closer to the top BUT it still hasn’t made it onto the first page. Why?

SEO is changing, which means you must adapt your strategy or risk falling behind. However, it can be difficult to see exactly where you are going wrong. Here are a few reasons that might explain why your SEO strategy isn’t quite as “googlised” as it should be:

 

Stuffing Keywords

 

Keyword stuffing goes a little something like this:

Web Design Northern Ireland, Web Design Northern Ireland, Web Design Northern Ireland etc.

This is of course an extreme example of stuffing keywords. This tactic is used to try and fool Google in order to rank higher on search results. Instead of noticing this and boosting your position on SERPs, Google will see what you’re doing and punish you by dragging your site to the bottom. You can thank the Penguin update for this!

 

Using Repeated Meta Tags

 

Each page on your website needs its own title tag and meta description. They should be descriptive and relevant to the content on the said page. Focus on specific keywords that are relevant to certain pages.

For example, an online clothing store should include unique meta tags for each page. These are usually divided by the type of clothing available on each page such as blouses, jeans, skirts and coats etc.

Using original meta tags will persuade people to hit the “click” button and improve your SEO.

 

Neglecting Broken Links

 

The links on your page may have been added back in the stone age and have since broken. The only way to find out if your site includes broken links is to double-check each one to make sure it still works.

Replace those that no longer work and update your content if needed. In addition to this, some of the links that were once considered high quality may have lost their original “kick”.

If you find that your site links to poor-performing sites, it may be time to update them!

 

Using Low Quality Content

 

Updating your website with poor content won’t do your SEO performance any favours. Avoid using dodgy content services that produces “optimised” content for low prices. Yes, you will probably receive a batch of content but the poor quality of this content will not get people’s attention – or Googles, for that matter.

If you don’t have the time to produce content yourself, seek out professionals. They will be able to not only write your websites content and articles, but optimise them for Google.

 

Preventing Google from Crawling your Site

 

It’s up to you to make sure Google can find your content. If you don’t do this, Google won’t be able to index OR rank your website. You can leave your site open to Google’s wandering eye by configuring Google Webmaster Tools to your website.

The best way to ensure that your SEO strategy is performing at optimal level is to seek help from a professional SEO agency who specialise in the matter.

Don’t hesitate to give RYCO a call today to discuss how we can help improve your SEO strategy and take your site to the first page of Googles search results:

Newry : 028 3026 1861
Belfast : 028 9099 8106

 

online retail trends

Future Online Retail Trends: Have they gone too far?

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Online shoppers are more demanding than ever. They want quick check-out purchases, fast delivery (you’ll get brownie points if it’s free) and exceptional customer services without any unnecessary “jibber jabber”.

New online retail trends are expected to come into play within the next five years. Here are just a few online retail trends that are likely to make an entrance sooner rather than later:

 

1. Brands will Know A LOT more about You

Receiving personalised emails is nothing new, we’re well used to curated email marketing ploys. However, in the next few years’, brands will be able to take it a step further. E-Commerce brands will use Bluetooth low energy technology to find out more about your shopping habits.

Examples of the kind of information recorded includes: when (and where) you browsed for specific products and for how long your spent on each page etc. This is followed up by a reminder sent straight to your mobile or email address. Some reminders may persuade you to buy the product by using a special offer you simply can’t refuse.

 

2. Virtual Shopping is HERE

Virtual reality isn’t just for gamers. Online stores will soon implement augmented reality to give their customers an “immersive experience”. This means that you can try on clothes to see what they will look like on you before making a purchase. Such tools will decrease the chances of returning items to the store due to wrong fitting’s etc.

 

3. Advertising goes Mobile – again.

Mobile advertising will be the “norm” by 2019, with desktops expected to take the back bench. Texts with relevant and highly targeted messages will be a common sight in our future inboxes.

This type of in-app advertising will improve delivery services and customer satisfaction, making it easier to get in touch with brands to make queries and suggestions etc. Mobile payments are also expected to rise to over 2 billion by 2019.

 

4. Have your own Digital Personal Shopper/Assistant

Most online shoppers will have their own digital assistant to help them shop online. They will be able to filter our shopping experience in a more strategic and filtered approach.

For example, if you are shopping for a pair of jeans, your digital assistant will filter out incorrect sizes and pairs that are unlikely to be of interest, leaving you with a refined and targeted line up of potential products that are most likely to appeal to you.

 

Contact RYCO Marketing today to stay ahead of online retail trends and get the most out of your ecommerce store:

Call Us TODAY: 028 9099 8106

 

 

ecommerce Northern Ireland

How to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment

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The shopping cart abandonment rate for online retailers, on average, is 67.91%. This rate is the ratio of the amount of online shopping carts abandoned to the number of completed transactions. Despite the average abandonment rate being 67.91%, it isn’t unusual for this rate to fluctuate, often reaching up to 80%.

So, why are so many customers abandoning their shopping carts and failing to cross the checkout finish line?

According to recent studies and surveys carried out in the industry, 57% of customers failed to complete an online transaction because they didn’t want to pay the shipping fees. 41% of online shoppers only added items to their cart for research purposes whilst 48% said the overall cost was a lot higher than they initially expected. With so many potential customers turning away from their shopping baskets, it can be a headache thinking of ways to make them stay. Here are a few of Ryco’s suggestions to reduce shopping cart abandonment rates:

 

Reveal Shipping Costs ASAP

The cost of shipping is the number one reason why most people give up on their online shopping spree. To help avoid this, it is best to make shipping fees as clear as possible and as soon as possible.

The cost of shipping should be revealed before the customer is prompted to give their payment information. By providing your customers with estimated shipping costs, you’re letting them know exactly what they are getting themselves into.

An even better option is to calculate the overall cost of the shopping cart (with delivery included), so that the customer instantly knows the total cost of purchased goods plus dilvery

 

Reinforce your Website’s Credibility

When buying online from an unfamiliar ecommerce website, it can be daunting to click the “complete purchase” button. Questions begin racing through your mind. Can I trust this company? Will they misuse my personal information? Etc.

To ensure your customers that your site is both trustworthy and dependable, it is a good idea to communicate the privacy and security of all of your customer’s information. This will not only help to reduce shopping cart abandonment rates, but it will also increase the credibility and reliability of your brand.

Make sure that your website includes relevant contact information so that customers can easily get in contact with you if needed. Don’t forget to communicate your return policy to your customers to help build trust.

 

Offer Special Discounts and Coupons

Shoppers are always looking for ways to save money and online shopping isn’t any different. If you want to persuade buyers to complete the checkout process, offer them something they can’t refuse.

Many websites offer free shipping or discounts to be applied when the customer has reached a certain milestone in their shopping spree. For example, “10% Discount when you spend over £50” etc.

These types of special offers and discounts will give your customers a nudge to complete their purchase.

 

Provide Guest Payment Options

There’s nothing more frustrating than wanting to make a quick purchase online and then being asked to fill out a registration form to sign up an account with the website.

Provide customers with a guest option and you will quickly reduce shopping cart abandonment.

To improve your online sales today, get in contact with RYCO (ecommerce Northern Ireland)

For Ecommerce Northern Ireland services call: 028 9099 8106

online marketing for small business

Cheapest Online Marketing Strategies for your Small Business

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As a small business trying to break into the online marketing sphere, it can be easy to feel disheartened, especially when you start comparing yourself to existing established brands such as Amazon and eBay.

Does your business even stand a chance against such steep competition?

YES, of course it does. Never doubt yourself or your business’ potential for success.

Remember that your business offers customers something that they will not find anywhere else. Whether that be in the form of unique and authentic products, exceptional customer service or the fact that you offer bespoke furniture – if you’ve got it, flaunt it.

When it comes to online marketing for small businesses, it is important to choose methods that will work best for your business but remain within your budget. And with such a wide variety of marketing channels available, it can be hard to pinpoint exactly which one will be your diamond in the rough.

To help you make a better decision for your business and your budget, we have included a list of the cheapest and most effective marketing strategies for small businesses:

 

Leverage Email Marketing

Engage with customers via email marketing. To get maximum potential from email marketing, make sure to integrate with other marketing campaigns. email marketingFor example, if you decide to host a special offer for a limited time only, send customers an email reminder. This will be even more effective if you send out personalised emails. According to recent studies in the effectiveness of email marketing campaigns, emails with personalised subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened. Keep this in mind and try to implement such factors into your outgoing emails instead of sending every customer the same repeated message.

 

Blogging

People are often put off by “salesy” content and prefer to read more personal and entertaining content. cp-1Welcome to blogging. Providing customers with informative and interesting content can help to promote your own products, services and brand. Blogging is one of the best marketing strategies for small businesses because it can do wonders for your SEO efforts. By updating your website with fresh content on a regular basis (twice a week is recommended), you can improve your website’s visibility on search engines. Since your blog is constantly updated, your website stays above the radar and Google will notice it. Guest blogging is also advised. This will help to spread brand awareness and drive extra traffic back to your website.

 

Leverage Social Media Channels

Social media can double the number of marketing leads obtained by direct mail, telemarketing or trade shows, so it really shouldn’t be ignored. Once you’ve set up an account for your business, you need to start engaging with the community. Instagram for BusinessJoin discussions, share original content and update your followers regularly.

Facebook business pages and Facebook advertising can help spread word about your business. Encourage fans to share and engage with your content in order to reach a wider audience. Invest in Facebook advertising to have one of your own ads appear in the right hand side of the news feed. This is great for small businesses because it can help you reach your target audience as your ads appear to the right people (the same can be said for the likes of AdWords, for example.)

Don’t forget the more visual social media platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram. These channels are ideal for business who sell incredibly visual products or services. Drive traffic to your site by using hashtags to build awareness and interest.

 

Utilise PPC Campaigns

Pay-per-Click campaigns can be a great way to broadcast your business online. Google AdWords allows you to fine tune your campaign to suit your business objectives. For example, if you want to target a local audience then you can implement location based factors to your PPC campaign. This also ensures that you don’t waste money with your PPC campaign. You will only pay when someone genuinely clicks on your ad. Focus on targeted keywords that are relevant to your business and consider branching out to other PPC advertising, not just on Google but on other search engines such as Bing.

Aecommerce web design belfast northern Ireland Magento expertsll of these online marketing methods are useful for small businesses because they are affordable and direct. You may not see results immediately, but (if implemented correctly), you will begin to notice an improvement over time which will do wonders for your company’s presence online and it’s overall success.

If you are unsure and would like a professional’s opinion on the best online marketing strategies for small businesses, get in contact with RYCO today:

Call Us: 028 9099 8106

Email: [email protected] 

Are You Ready for Google’s Mobile-Friendly Algorithm this May?

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If your website isn’t mobile-friendly by now, you’re in for a whirlwind of changes to your site’s performance on Google SERPs this May. Google has announced that it will be boosting it’s mobile-friendly algorithm with a slow but gradual update. The update will not impact you if your site is currently mobile-friendly. However, if you have yet to go responsive then this new update will hit your SERP rankings like a digital atomic bomb.

 

Google’s original mobile-friendly algorithm was released last year (21st April 2015) and has since had a dramatic impact on mobile search results. It wasn’t long before it became known as “Mobilegeddon” and had e-commerce owners running for the hills. This sudden change to Google’s algorithm meant that mobile responsive sites were being prioritised in search results whilst non mobile-friendly sites faded into the background.

 

This new mobile-friendly algorithm update is not thought to be quite as dramatic as Mobilegeddon, but that doesn’t mean it won’t make an impact. The update will involve the current factors of the Mobilegeddon update to have even more drive and effect than they ever have before.

 

Google announced that the update will take place at the start of May 2016. Its main mission is to increase the overall effects of the original mobile-friendly ranking signals. It will be a gradual rollout at first, targeting non-mobile sites and pulling responsive ones towards the top of SERPs. Professionals in the industry remain unsure as to whether or not this update will take weeks or even months before we begin to see any noticeable results.

 

Since the mobile-friendly algorithm works on a page-by-page signal basis, it is likely that it will take Google time to complete the assessments. Whilst this new update won’t be as dramatic as the Mobilegeddon last year, it will still have a considerable effect on non-mobile friendly sites.

 

Worried that your site will be affected by Google’s recent mobile updates?

 

Get in contact with RYCO, today to discuss your options:

Newry  028 3026 1861

Belfast 028 9099 8106

Ryco Marketing – the responsive web design experts based in Belfast and Newry

Instagram for Business

15 Tips to Use Instagram for Business

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There are over 400 million active users on Instagram each month (over 20% of internet users). It’s a great way to connect and engage with your customers. Knowing how to use this app for marketing purposes (Social Media Optimisation) can help to increase customer engagement, brand awareness and generate online sales.

But how is it done?

Isn’t it enough to make a business account and post a few relevant photos every now and again?

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. To give you a helping hand, we put Instagram under the DMM (Digital Marketing Microscope) to find out exactly what works for businesses…and what doesn’t.

Here are 15 ways to market your Business on :

 

1. Get the Basics Right

Before diving into the deep end you need to make sure your account uses an appropriate username. If your brand name is already taken, don’t lose hope. Choose an alternative that links to your business. Don’t forget to include a descriptive bio and a link to your main website. A branded photo is another necessity. Connect your Instagram account to your Facebook Business page to get the best out of both worlds.

 

2. Don’t forget to use Hashtags (#)

Hashtags may originate from Twitter, but Instagram has perfected the use of hashtags for business and marketing purposes. The good news is that there is no character count limit, so you can use as many hashtags as you like. Don’t overdo it though!

 

3. Brand Specific Hashtags

There’s no point throwing out just any old hashtag. Use relevant and brand specific hashtags to target the right audience. Try using your company’s name as a hashtag to get people talking about your brand. It’s also a good idea to use different tags for individual marketing campaigns. This will help to promote your business.

 

4. Jump on the Hashtag Contest Bandwagon

In addition to using trending hashtags to stimulate traffic flow, users can take advantage of Instagram’s Hashtag contests. This involves starting a hashtag trend where your followers upload photos with a specific hashtag. These contest entries are then displayed in a type of photo gallery to help you vote for your favourite entry. It’s a great way to encourage viewers to engage with your brand. You can also offer an award to the lucky winner.

 

5. Engage with your Followers

If you’re followers aren’t engaging with your posts as much as you’d like, consider making the first move. Share your followers posts and photos posted on your own social networking sites. This shows that you have not only seen their posts, but you appreciate the time they have taken to engage with your brand.

 

6. Like, Comment and Respond!

Nobody likes to be ignored. Turning a blind eye to your followers is a huge mistake. Make sure to pay close attention and acknowledge your customers by liking their photos, commenting on related product photos and responding to any comments left on your photos or posts. This shows your customers that they are important to you and it also raises your credibility as a trusted brand.

 

7. Post Creative Photos

Take advantage of Instagram’s creative features. Enhance photos by experimenting with different angles, lighting techniques and filters. Update your account with creative photographs to grab people’s attention and encourage them to double tap your pics.

 

8. Use Videos to Entice Viewers

Learning how to use Instagram for business means making the most out of both photo posts and video updates. Instagram allows users to post 15 second videos. This is a great way to showcase your business in a new light. Make product videos of your products or services in use to share with your followers.

 

9. Make it Personal

People trust businesses with personality. Post uplifting and laid-back videos of your staff members to make them seem more real. Customers like people they can relate to. You don’t want your business to look as though it is a building of lifeless robots – make your Instagram posts personal to generate interest.

 

10. Use Instagram to Create Pre-Launch Momentum

Before launching a new product, Instagram is a great way to build excitement and momentum. Release tease videos with sneak peek glimpses into the new release.

 

11. Don’t be Afraid to Ask Questions

Get people talking about your products or services by asking insightful questions. Find out what customers think about your products by asking them when was the last them they used your product and ask them to post a photo of it in use etc.

 

12. Host Events

You can use Instagram for Business by spreading word about an upcoming event. For example, hosting an Instagram meet-up can help engage your customers with your brand even further. This is also a great way to meet potential customers. Don’t forget to promote a hashtag for any events hosted by your business.

 

13. Keep your Updates Consistent

Make sure that your Instagram for business account is updated with posts on a consistent basis. Don’t let it gather dust. Even if you don’t have many followers, it’s better to keep posting to build brand awareness.

 

14. Monitor Results

You can use analytic tools to monitor your Instagram results and progress. This will help you to keep track of likes, comments, followers and the overall effect of your Instagram account.

 

15. Stay Alert

Instagram for Business trends come and go as fast as lightning. A post can go viral in just a few minutes which is why it is important to keep on top of these new and exciting trends while they last. Improve your posts as your follower base grows and don’t be afraid to try new and creative ways to connect with your followers.

 

 

eCommerce Store web design belfast

What do Customers really want from an E-Commerce Store?

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How often have you felt overwhelmed by the continuous stream of “eCommerce trends” put forth by thought leaders, industry publications, external stakeholders and even your own team members? It’s enough to give even the most collected business owner a pounding headache. Whilst the majority of this advice is probably quite useful, it derives from people “on the inside” and not from the most important advisers – your customers.

Who knows what E-Commerce customers want from an online store better than the customer themselves? Paying closer attention to them can give your eCommerce store that extra dose of fuel it needs to please customers and keep them coming back for more.

Ways to Learn more about your Customers:

  • Feedback Boxes
  • Following User Activity via user journeys and heat maps
  • Usability Tests
  • Reach out Directly
  • Online Surveys
  • Post-purchase survey emails
  • Onsite fly-in-polls

Now that all of that is out of the way, it’s time to get stuck into the good stuff. Here are the things customers want more than anything from their e-commerce shopping experiences:

Personalised and Clever Shopping Recommendations

Provide your website visitors with personalised shopping experiences to increase the likelihood of a full sales conversion. Gathering insights about your customer’s shopping habits can help you to catch their eye with relevant offers, related promotions and visual emphasis on the items most likely to be of interest. Customers prefer this kind of online shopping experience because it saves time and gives them new purchasing ideas. In fact, 54% of customers prefer to engage with an eCommerce store that caters to their individual preferences and personal tastes.

Access to Honest Customer Reviews

People appreciate honesty. When your website only shows the positive reviews and keeps all of the critical ones hidden, people will know there is something up. No website can be that good, right? Plus, it makes it look as though the reviews that you do show on site have been intentionally generated. Instead, publish user product reviews on your eCommerce store to improve your site’s credibility and trustworthiness.

Free Shipping Available

Who doesn’t like free shipping? There’s not much worse than hitting the “continue to checkout” button, only to find that the cost of delivery is nearly as high as the item you want to purchase. Paying for shipping is one of the main disadvantages of online shopping. Why pay extra online when you can probably find a similar item a lot closer to home? This is where qualifying for free shipping opportunities come into play. Interestingly, 68% of online shoppers admit that they would increase their order total in order to qualify for the free shipping deal. By offering free shipping to consumers when they reach a certain bench mark cost, you’ll attract a lot more customers.

Easy Product Returns

Shopping online means relying on pictures, videos and size charts etc. to determine if the desired product is right for you or not. Once it arrives and you find that it does not meet your expectations (perhaps it doesn’t fit or the online store delivered the wrong colour etc.), you may wish to return it. The rules and regulations surrounding product returns varies from store to store. The more difficult the return policy and process, the less likely it is that a browser will make a purchase. 65% of online shoppers say that they are more likely to buy from a site offering free returns. Make returning items as easy and hassle-free as possible for your customers. Broadcast this on your site and make buyers aware of how easy it is to return items.

 

ecommerce Belfast

How to Use Social Media for Business Development

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With over 2.1 billion people active on social media, it makes sense to utilise these online communal channels for business. People use social media for business to communicate, engage and share content. It brings forth a means by which business’ can develop a two-way dialogue with their customers. Your social media strategy and campaign will depend on the premise of your business, your target audience and the social network channel in use.

Below we have each of the big social media channels listed, along with ways in which they can be utilised to help grow your business:

 

Facebook

 

As the #1 social media platform worldwide, Facebook can drive a traffic jam of potential customers to your business’s fan page. Cross-promote your fan page and business website by inserting a Facebook widget.

Leverage Google’s Social Search feature to have your Facebook content indexed by Google and drive traffic from search engines. To do this effectively, link your fan page to your website.

Engage with potential customers on a daily basis. Customers can reach out to you and you can even target specific groups by defining your preferred audience by factors such as gender, age, city or country etc. This enables you to hone in on your target audience.

Improve brand credibility and awareness. Facebook is a breeding ground for shares and likes. Viewers can share your Facebook posts with their friends, spreading and displaying your brand’s name in front of their connections.

90% of Facebook users expect businesses to have a Fan Page, emphasizing how important social media for business can be. Whilst most don’t appreciate business’ trying to sell to them on Facebook, you can still connect and strengthen customer relations via Facebook. Post relevant and persuasive content to drive clicks to your main website.

 

Twitter

Twitter accumulates over 500 million Tweets each day. It’s a quick and easy way to connect with customers in a social environment rather than a serious business one, which many people find uncomfortable and off-putting. Many business’ now use Twitter for branding.

Gain valuable customer feedback and insights to help further improve your services or products. Listen to your customers and they will appreciate you for it.

Market your product or services to thousands of potential customers with a simple persuasive tweet. You can also utilise Twitter to keep your followers updated with your company’s latest news or achievements etc. Spark interest with promotions and coupon code giveaways.

Promotional and business tweets are just as likely to go viral as a cute Panda video. This can lead to an increase in sales and ROI.

Twitter is a great way to improve brand loyalty. Engaging with your customers via Twitter and helping them with any queries they may have, will increase their loyalty for your brand. They will be more likely to follow you and re-tweet your content.

 

Google+

Google+ may not be as popular as Facebook, but it would be foolish to ignore it and its 363 million users. Content posted on Google+ is indexed instantly. You could say Google is a little biased here, but who cares when it will do absolute wonders for your SEO efforts? Google+ can be used to rank your business higher in search results, so it’s definitely worth the time!

The Google+ Business Page is one of the main influential ranking factors when it comes to Google’s local search results. By having an active Google+ account posting relevant content regularly, you will see your business climbing the list of local search results.

Collaboration opportunities are available for free. These include video chatting with colleagues and customers via the Google Hangouts feature.

You can have your message reach the right audience with a simple click. It’s an easy way to share content to the right people. In fact, the +1 button is hit 5 billion times per day! So feel free to promote brand awareness, advertise promotions and speak to thousands of potential customers.

Improve B2B marketing with Google+. You can use this channel to engage and establish relationships with other businesses and potential customers. Google’s SnapKnot tool is excellent for B2B marketing as it has an impressive member conversion rate.

 

LinkedIn

As a professional social networking channel with over 347 million registered members, LinkedIn is the ideal place to search, find and promote business and marketing opportunities.

Generate new leads by making connections. Joining relevant LinkedIn groups in your industry can also help to not only spread brand awareness, but to make contact with valuable like-minded individuals who may be seeking your services.

Connect with potential clients and even customers by making personal contact with them. Create personalised messages, avoid seeming too “sales pitchy” and speak to the individual.

LinkedIn can make you and your business easier to find. Implanting a social strategy via LinkedIn will help to gather more quality leads. The possibility of creating inbound leads is more consistent with LinkedIn than with other social channels because it focuses on business above all else, making it perfect for B2B marketing especially.

Build brand credibility and awareness by hosting a LinkedIn event. This will help you to gain more leads by inviting LinkedIn influencers to attend.

advertising and PPC Belfast Northern Ireland

Google Confirms Changes to Ad Positions on Desktop Search Results

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Google has confirmed text ads will no longer appear on the right sidebar of desktop search results. The giant search engine broke the news of this drastic change on 19th February 2016. Rather than appearing at the top, bottom and right side of search results, ads will be positioned above and below them instead.

In addition to this, the number of text ads shown above organic listings will be increased to four, not three. This will occur for those considered to be “highly commercial queries”.

Advertisers are dying to know how these sudden changes to ads on desktop search results will affect their own ad performance. Factors such as CPC (PPC), CTR and average position etc. are at the top of the growing list of concerns executed by online advertisers.

 

Here’s what Google has confirmed so far about the recent changes:

·         Text ads will no longer appear on the right side of desktop search results.

·         For “highly commercial queries”, four text ads will be served above search results instead of three.

·         A maximum of seven text ads will be displayed on a SERP.

·         No more than three text ads are to be shown below SERPs.

·         Relevant queries will display Knowledge Panels and Product Listing Ad Blocks on the right rail of SERPs.

·         All of these recent changes and updates will be implemented worldwide (regardless of language), on both Google.com and each of its search partners. These changes are permanent.

 

Should We Have Expected This Shift?

Back in 2010, when Google first began to test the notion of four ads shown directly above search results it appeared to be just that, a notion. However, those experiments continued for an additional several years. So, should we be kicking ourselves for not seeing these changes coming sooner?

No, not exactly.

Whilst slight changes were seen by users in the past, this was by no means expected to be permanent. In the beginning, Google experimented with simple mortgage queries. Users noticed that instead of having three ads on top of their organic results, there were four. In some instances, no ads appeared in the right sidebar whatsoever. This was perhaps the first clue that there were bigger changes to come.

So why didn’t any of us see it coming?

Google denied these changes were going to be permanent. As a result, people turned their attention elsewhere and desktop ad changes were put away in a tiny box at the back of our minds, never having to be dealt with. That is, until Friday 19th February happened.

 

More about Highly Commercial Queries

Highly Commercial Queries (aka, the ones where four ads will show instead of three) are seen by Google as being queries where the user is intent on making a purchase. For the time being, this is unlikely to affect ad tests in Knowledge Panels or Product Listings. Instead, Google will continue to run various experiments in Knowledge Panels and with Product Listing Ad layouts, despite the recent changes to the right rail of SERPs.

 

What Does all of this Mean for CPC?

Many are worried that the cost of CPC will rise as a result of there being less ad space available. However, there may not be as much interest to place ads at the bottom of organic search listings as there were for having ads on the right side of SERPs. Until more data is available on the subject, we can do nothing but speculate according to prior knowledge and the information that Google has currently provided us with.

We can guarantee, however, that advertisers running bid-to-position strategies are likely to need to make relevant updates. These updates may cause an auction fluctuation period. This will settle once advertisers become accustomed to Google’s changes to ad layout on desktop search results.

Keep an eye on our blog for more updates as this story unfolds.

 

 

SEO newry, belfast northern ireland search engine optimisation

10 SEO E-Commerce Rules your Business Should Abide By

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SEO should be at the top of your business’ online strategy. You need it to build a firm customer base, boost organic traffic and climb the search engine ladder. But for an SEO strategy to work, you need to learn what NOT to do.

Follow these 10 SEO Rules to avoid being smite by the big guy…who in this case, happens to be Google.

 

1. Don’t Use Duplicated Content

 

In the digital sphere, stealing content is a crime against Google. To avoid penalisation, evade duplicated content at all costs. Ensure that your site uses original, relevant and useful content. Don’t bombard your web pages with pointless jargon.

Develop high quality content strategies and update your content regularly. An on-site blog can help with this. Google will punish sites that don’t abide by this rule, so take heed and listen.

 

2. Don’t Cram Keywords

 

Yes, your website needs relevant keywords to attract customers. However, this doesn’t mean it’s okay to stuff your content with them. In the past, cramming keywords into the content of your E-Commerce site may have helped your sites performance. But times have changed and you need to keep the number of on-site keywords to a minimum.

Only use relevant keywords that will help search engines see the value of your site. Avoid cramming keywords as this will be seen as an attempt to fool Google’s algorithms.

 

3. Don’t Use Black-Hat SEO

 

The battle between Good and Evil has been going on for centuries. On the internet, this battle is alive in the form of White Hat and Black Hat SEO strategies.

Avoid the dark side and try to use white hat SEO tactics to improve your website’s performance. This will help to make your website more valuable and relevant to users. Your site will be more likely to perform better as a result.

 

4. Don’t Include Too Many Ads

 

A good user experience means giving customers what they want. If your website is crowded with ads, this can be extremely irritating to your site’s visitors. Loose and “scrawny” content alongside all these ads is even worse.

Make sure that your site keeps ads to a minimum. Google will pick up on low quality content, which does not bode well for its online performance.

 

5. Don’t Install Hidden Text

 

Many sneaky business owners have tried to hide SEO text from the Google bot. These tactics include putting white text on a white background with the aim to show different text to site visitors and Google. However, this method of improving organic traffic will not work as well as you might think.

Algorithms can detect cloaked and hidden text. This results in the immediate drop of your site down search results listings.

 

6. Don’t Use the Same Meta Descriptions and Title Tags

 

Avoid using the same title tags for each page of your website. Focus on the specific details, services or content included in specific web pages.

If you use the same title tags throughout your site, this can prove to be damaging towards your SEO efforts. The same goes with meta descriptions. Make them unique and persuasive to encourage viewers to click on your link.

 

7. Don’t Choose Link Quantity Over Quality

 

Too many websites are focusing on how many links they have rather than the quality of these links.

A single link from a high performing blog for instance, can do wonders for your site. Whereas having many links from low quality directory links won’t do you any favours. Google sees high quality links as a reliable measure of website quality.

 

8. Don’t Create Microsites

 

Once upon a time (before the Panda algorithm came along), the creation of microsites were used to boost rankings and traffic. The sites usually contained thin content and where used to link back to the main site.

However, Google’s Panda algorithm update has swept these mini sites off the face of the internet, making them completely redundant.

 

9. Don’t Use Link Farms

 

One of the best SEO tactics is to have links coming to and from your website. You’re more likely to get noticed if your content includes links. These should be from outside sources such as quality blogs or social media pages etc.

However, this only works if it happens organically. Never use link farms or link-swapping methods which will trigger a red flag, resulting in the possibility of finding yourself on Google’s black-list

 

10. Don’t Spam Customers or Google Maps

 

Spamming will send you so far down the ranks that it would take God himself to pull you back up into the first page of search results. Just don’t it. Also, don’t bother creating a false listing on Google Maps either.

Many businesses have done this AND paid the ultimate price for it. This is seen as an attempt to fool Google, which (as you probably gather from the other 9 rules) will result in the harsh punishment of your website.

 

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The ABC’s of Digital Marketing Acronyms

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The digital marketing sphere is bombarded with tons of acronyms. At first, it may seem like a little much. After all, how can one industry have that many abbreviations? It’s a bit excessive, to say the least.

You’ve probably come across some of the most important ones already. Terms like SEO, CTR and ROI roll off the tongue so often that you begin to pick up on them early on. However, their definitions seem to get lost in the mail.

To save you the hassle of ‘Googling’ each Digital Marketing acronym, we have taken the time to compile this handy guide for all the newbies out there:

 

API – Application Program Interface

The API is a set of tools used for building software applications such as routines and protocols.

 

ASP – Application Service Provider

This allows web page scripts to be implemented by internet servers.

 

B2B – Business to Business

B2B is when a business approaches another business to make a commercial transaction.

 

B2C – Business to Consumer

B2C refers to the process of a business selling directly to consumers.

 

CMS – Content Management System

A CMS allows the convenient management of content such as modifying, deleting, editing and publishing etc.

 

CPA – Cost per Acquisition

An advertising method whereby the advertiser is required to pay when an advert acquires an acquisition.

 

CPC – Cost per Click

The CPC refers to the individual cost you will pay each time a user clicks on one of your ads.

 

CPL – Cost per Lead

Cost per Lead is the cost an advertiser pays for a sign-up from a customer. This is otherwise known as online lead generation.

 

CPM – Cost per Thousand

The cost an advertiser pays to reach one thousand people.

 

CR – Conversion Rate

The conversion rate measures the percentage of people who convert. This could a desired action such as signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase.

 

CRM – Customer Relationship Management

CRM is a type of customer and company relationship strategy that can help to increase loyalty.

 

CRO – Conversion Rate Optimisation

Want to increase sales and conversions? CRO is the system used to increase traffic that is more likely to convert.

 

CTA – Call to Action

A CTA is a clear instruction to encourage an immediate and desired response such as “Buy Now” or “Go to Checkout” etc.

 

CTR – Click-Through Rate

The click-through-rate measures the number of users that clicked on an advert or link. It is used in online advertising campaigns to help measure success.

 

DNS – Domain Name System

The DNS allows domain names to be both located and translated into Internet Protocols.

 

ESP – Email Service Provider

Your ESP is the company you use to market via email or one that offers various email services.

 

HTML – Hypertext Mark-up Language

This is a mark-up language used for labelling web pages.

 

HTTP – Hyper Text Transfer Protocol

An application protocol used for collaborative, distributed and hypermedia information systems.

 

IP – Internet Protocol

The procedure of sending data from one P.C or laptop to another via the internet is referred to as the IP. An IP address is given to each computer to identify it from the rest.

 

ISP – Internet Service Provider

Your ISP is the company providing your internet access and related web services.

 

KPI – Key Performance Indicator

A KPI is used to measure the performance or success of a specific activity.

 

OS – Operating System

An operating system is present in every computer and used to run applications and programs.

 

PHP – PHP Hypertext Pre-Processor

A PHP is HTML-embedded scripting language. This is used to write web pages.

 

PPC – Pay per Click

This is a type of internet marketing and refers to the price paid by an advertiser each time someone clicks on one of their online adverts.

 

ROI – Return on Investment

This is used to determine a company’s profitability as well as how cost efficient various investments are.

 

SEM – Search Engine Marketing

SEM is used to increase a sites performance and visibility on search engines through paid advertising.

 

SEO – Search Engine Optimisation

SEO, otherwise known as search engine optimisation, is used to increase a websites visibility and success on search engines organic search results.

 

SERP – Search Engine Results Page

The list of results that show up after a search term is entered is referred to as the SERP.

 

SMM – Social Media Marketing

This is a type of internet marketing via social network sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

 

SSL – Secure Sockets Layer

In order to establish an encrypted link between a web server and a browser (client), an SSL is used which acts as a type of security technology.

 

UI – User Interface

The User Interface is the way in which a computer system and the user can interact.

 

UX – User Experience

UX means User experience and basically refers to the experience a user has when using a certain service, system or even a product.

 

 

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Why is My Site Not Seeing Immediate SEO Results?

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The main purpose of SEO is to drive high quality traffic to your website, so why is it taking so long to see any results?

 

Speedy SEO is Suspicious

Google does not take too kindly to links that have gained remarkable popularity in a short space of time. This flares up a red flag warning that there could be something more devious going on.

Now, that’s not to say that lots of links will send your site to the dumpster. It’s all about finding the right links and avoiding “link spam”. This is why an SEO provider will gradually build links instead of gathering hundreds for you at once.

Unnatural links to your site doesn’t look good, especially not to Google who can hit you with a penalty.

 

Building Quality Links is Time Consuming

Finding backlinks with authority is a time consuming and often difficult pursuit. The main aim is to find links that will help boost your site’s ranking. To find these hidden treasures, the usual process involves creating a type of database. This should contain all the links connected to the top pages ranking for your chosen keywords.

Having this information is just one step towards discovering and obtaining credible backlinks. Only those with enough authority can boost your sites rankings. However, this takes time because most high quality sites are already undergoing heavy use.

 

Eying the Competition takes Time

Analysing your competitors requires a great deal of time and effort. Most of your competitors who rank well have been working on their business for years or even decades. The problem lies with getting your site on the same level as your toughest competitors.

Your competitors have probably focused on the best performing keywords, making the competition for these even more difficult. Overcoming this and similar competitive issues takes time.

 

Getting Everything Together – a Team Effort

Obtaining necessary information and content from site owners can drag out the process. Procuring links can be done in different ways. These include guest posts, link bartering, content creation, paid link placement, site creation etc.

Gathering all this can take time because there could be many people involved which could lead to delays in obtaining the required data.

 

Changing Algorithms

Google and other search engines are constantly changing their algorithms and SEO needs to change with it. The Penguin and Panda updates are the most recent and dramatic of Google’s updates.

Sites have either stayed the same, dropped or climbed as a result of these and other changing algorithms. Therefore, it is important that your SEO keeps up with these changes.

For more information on search ranking factors that were important back in 2015 view SEO MOZ Ranking Factors.

 

 

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20 Creative ways YouTube can Help Grow your Business

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YouTube receives over four billion views a day, making it the second largest search engine online. Thousands of businesses have leveraged its grand popularity to promote their brand and services. You too, can use YouTube to expand your business and target a wider audience.

 

Visual Stimulus

Whilst written content helps to engage customers, people just can’t say no to videos. We are visual creatures by nature. Most customers will watch a related product or service video before deciding to make a purchase. Videos are well worth the time and effort it takes to make them. Trust us.

 

Social Network

YouTube is a social networking site. It allows potential customers to interact with your brand and leave feedback. This helps you to build a larger following.

 

YouTube Ads

Advertising on YouTube is fairly straightforward. There are even a few paid options available which work in a similar way to PPC campaigns. This mode of advertising opens your business up to a larger audience.

 

20 Creative ways to utilise YouTube for Business

 

1.      Demonstrate your expertise by uploading videos containing useful tips to potential clients. “How to” videos do particularly well on YouTube.

 

2.      Upload presentations and share the slides to help showcase your public speaking skills.

 

3.      Bag yourself an interview with a specialist in your market.

 

4.      Expand your reach by converting podcasts into short videos.

 

5.      Get yourself and your brand out there. Engage with the online community. Upload video responses and comment on relevant media.

 

6.      Don’t hide customer video testimonials, show them off to boost credibility even further.

 

7.      Explain the basic concept of your business with a unique video. The best way to sell a product is to show it in action!

 

8.      Has your business hosted an event? Promote it by uploading its video content.

 

9.      Make the most out of YouTube’s special features. These include audio swap, quick capture and annotations.

 

10.  A Staff introduction video will expand your brands credibility and trustworthiness.

 

11.  Give your viewers a glimpse into life at your office. A mini tour will promote your business in the best light. It will also help to increase the connection between your company and its customers.

 

12.  Cross-promote with others via video product placement agreements etc.

 

13.  Ask your staff members to share video content on their social networks.

 

14.  Consider hosting a competition or contest on YouTube to encourage customer engagement.

 

15.  Use Google Analytics and YouTube Insight to keep track of your channel’s performance.

 

16.  You can earn some extra money if you enter into a YouTube partnership.

 

17.  Include CTA’s in your videos and provide basic contact information.

 

18.  Include a video in a blog entry to give your written content more ground to stand on.

 

19.  Consider embedding relevant and useful videos on different web pages.

 

20.  If your customers have a problem, give them the solution via an insightful video.

 

 

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Algorithms: How to Stay on Google’s Good Side

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Over 40,000 search queries transpire on Google every second. That’s over 3.5 billion searches per day! It’s become a shared theory that if you have a question, Google has the answer. This search engine seems to be an all-knowing entity, but where does it get its power from?

Does it have access to a secret pool of wisdom?

Is there an alien base unit hiding at the Google HQ feeding out info to the giant search engine?

Nope, not even close.

syour queries into answers. Each of these algorithms rely on over 200 different signals to best judge which web pages contain the most relevant data.

So, how can you make sure Google’s algorithms pick up on your web pages?

Remember those 200+ signals we discussed before? Those are the secret ingredients of algorithms. In their core essence, they are basically a range of unique ranking factors.

Below we will go through 10 of these important ranking influences:

1. Domain Existence Period – Google can predict the legitimacy of a domain judging by how long it has been used. Valuable domains are usually booked years in advance whilst the less beneficial ones fade away. The expiration date plays a huge role in determining a domain’s legitimacy.

2. Keywords in Domains – Keywords in a domain shows that the webpage is relevant. Google hasn’t been favouring this one as much as it used to but it is still effective. If you are going to do this, try to have your keyword appear as the first word in your domain because this gives your page an advantage.

3. Content Length – The longer your content is, the better. Google favours web design that uses more words because they offer a wider pool of information and are seen as being more relevant.

4. Keyword Density – This is a tricky one. You don’t want to go overboard with keywords but you still want just enough to grab attention. Google uses keyword density to evaluate a website’s topic.

5. Page Loading Speed – Google uses the time it takes for your page to load as a factor towards ranking. A page’s code and file size are just two components measured by Google’s algorithms to help determine the speed.

6. Duplicate Content – Avoid duplicated content like the plague. This can have a seriously negative impact on your website and it’s search engine ranking placements.

7. Optimised Images – Images play a role at determining how relevant a webpage is to the search query. Make sure that your images are optimised and include a file name, alt text, title, description and image caption.

8. Outbound and Internal Link Quality – The links connecting to and from your website are important. With regards to SEO, linking to high quality and influential sites will help to establish credibility and trust signals to Google. Internal links are also essential to Google’s algorithms. Internal links from sites with low PR or none at all won’t do your site any favours.

9. Usability – Your site must be user friendly. The main content should also be immediately visible. These are the sites that tend to rank higher on Google’s search results.

10. Mobile Optimised – Google ranks sites that are optimised for mobile higher than others. If your site is not mobile friendly, Google may penalise it in mobile search.

Follow these SEO guidelines and you will have a better chance of staying on the good side of Google’s strict algorithms. Algorithms change all the time though so it is important to change right alongside them to stay on the top of search results.

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3 Easy Steps for Ecommerce Success

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There are currently 3.2 billion internet users worldwide – that’s almost HALF of the entire population! So what is it about the internet that has all of these people so intrigued? Most are either scrolling through their social media accounts, watching videos on YouTube or shopping online.

The ecommerce industry is booming.

The temptation to shop online is just too great and who can blame them? The allure lies with the simplicity of it all; no need to carry heavy shopping bags around town, the expedient home delivery system (and it’s even better when it’s free), the large range of products and the validating customer reviews and testimonials to help put our indecisive minds to rest. Shopping online is a blast.

In 2015, 7 out of 10 adults in the UK purchased goods or services online. 80% of these consumers (57% of the UK population) carried out the transaction via their smartphones. These figures are expected to rise in 2016, skyrocketing ecommerce profit margins to figures never thought possible.

With so much potential still to come, ecommerce owners have the opportunity to retain even more customers. All it takes is a few easy steps to implement a simple ecommerce strategy that will increase online sales and yield best possible results.

So here they are, the top 3 steps for ecommerce success:

 

Step 1: Bring it to the Little Screen (Mobile Optimisation)

Four out of five people use their smartphones to shop online. In fact, mobile sales account for over one third of global ecommerce. By adapting your strategy and the usability of your site to accommodate mobile users, you will be able to access this whirlpool of mobile shoppers.

A responsive design will automatically rank higher in search engine result pages, which is an added bonus of going mobile. When we say ‘mobile optimisation’, we aren’t just talking about mobiles. The responsive design must cater to other small screen devices such as tablets and smartphones etc.

A consistent customer experience is essential because over 30% of mobile shoppers abandon a shopping cart if the experience proves to be frustrating, slow or simply not fully optimised. The checkout process must be seamless and simple. Users should be able to purchase from your site just as they would be using a laptop or computer. Alternative payment options will make the experience more pleasing to many users. Some people prefer to shop online with credit cards whilst others prefer to use PayPal. Cater to all possibilities to reach each potential customer.

 

Step 2: Speak to the Individual (User-Focused)

Adopt a user-focused approach. Shoppers aren’t looking for something to suit everyone else. They want something that suits themselves. Speaking to the individual rather than the masses will help to keep your strategies focused and less ‘flimsy’. Connect to your customers on a more personal level and accommodate their shopping experience to reflect their preferences.

According to recent studies, 45% of online shoppers prefer buying from a website that offers them personalised offers. Make your customers feel special and they will reward you for it. So, how is it done effectively without seeming too ‘pushy’?

Tailor content to target the user. This means having dynamic product pages that speaks to the user rather than reading like the back page of an instruction manual. Imagine yourself as the shopper. You’re in need of a brand new handbag but you don’t want just any old handbag, you’re searching for one to take to the beach this summer. So, you come across the perfect product. The images are clear and it all looks perfect until you read over the robotic copy and immediately feel deflated. Personalised product descriptions will generate more interest in the product. Cater to the needs of your customers. If you are selling a beach bag, describe it in a way that will intrigue and entice consumers.

Consider using personalised recommendations to target customers based on location or buying and browsing history. This again is a method of user-focused targeting online and it works exceptionally well. Big ecommerce sites such as Amazon use personalised recommendations throughout the user shopping experience to accumulate even more sales and it works extremely well.

 

Step 3: Bring it Together (Social Customer Experience)

Provide users with a superb customer experience to set your brand apart from your biggest competitors, increase brand loyalty and to encourage customers to return to your site. If you own a small company, customer services should be one of your main priorities. People talk. Stories of disastrous customer service experiences have gone viral in the past. It’s the kind of publicity you definitely DO NOT want to provoke. Treat your customers like they are the most important people in the world and they will be more likely to buy from you.

Social media is an excellent way to establish a consistent brand experience. Many people contact companies via social media channels. It’s a convenient way of communicating with a brand so make sure that you provide fast responses and don’t keep them waiting for too long. Remember that a customer has emotions. You want to solve their problems and do so with courtesy and respect.

Many successful ecommerce sites have embedded a live chat function to allow customers to get in contact whenever they like. The great thing about this is that it provides instant customer service when it is needed most. Communication is important. Listen to your customers and your profit margins will thank you for it!

 

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Want to Boost Conversions? Ask yourself these Questions First!

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What should I do if my website is generating traffic, but visitors aren’t converting? We hear you. It’s a frustrating problem for any business to endure, but an easy one to resolve.

Instead of looking to your competitors for the solution, you should start a little closer to home. You may be surrounded by a dedicated team of intelligent individuals, but how much do they really know about optimising a website?

Are any of them ecommerce specialists?

Do they understand how to fine tune SEO campaigns to adhere to the constant changes of search engine algorithms?

If you’re running an ecommerce business, it helps to seek out professional advice from an ecommerce specialist. Whilst your employees may be geniuses in their own fields, it takes a different kind of genius to optimise an ecommerce website.

Before putting the life of your entire business on the line, you might want to ask yourself the following questions:

 

Are your CTA’s Attention Grabbing?

 

A CTA is a Call-to-Action trigger. It can be in the form of a button or a piece of text that provokes a visitor to “click!”

The secret to a stop-what-you’re-doing and pay attention CTA is simple. Use words that ignite interest in your audience and tells them exactly what to do next.

Your words must be action-orientated and concrete.

A direct statement such as “Click the Button Below” or “Buy Now” will encourage visitors to convert.

Give them a little nudge in the right direction and they will respond quicker. You can do this by implementing the fear of missing out. For example, “On Offer for a Limited Time Only” or consider including a countdown clock that will get shoppers reaching for their wallets and purses a lot faster.

 

How Easy is your Product Page to Navigate?

 

Shoppers are busy people. A confusing product page design is frustrating to customers. They want clear direction, not unclear labels and multiple tabs etc.

A poorly navigated product page will encourage shoppers to give up on their will to splurge. Avoid this clutter and stick to a simple design.

Use relevant information and forget excessive blocks of text that don’t explain your service. Make it easy for customers to navigate your product pages and you will see a rise in sales.

 

Can Customers Trust your Website?

 

To improve your site’s credibility, incorporate examples of social proof on your ecommerce website.

You can increase sales by 34% just by including real testimonials for visitors to read. This helps to build trust in your brand and shows that other shoppers have purchased your goods in the past.

Reviews allow customers to gain a deeper insight into the products or services offered. Social proof can do a lot for your ecommerce website, so make sure that you don’t let it slip off the radar.

 

 

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Defining the Perfect Landing Page

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First impressions count. This is true with people and it is true with landing pages. A landing page exists with the intention to maximise conversions, aka SALES.

A high quality landing page will perform each of the following:

 

– Display the core values of the brand.

– Learn more about the site visitor and deliver relevant subsequent marketing communications.

– Succeed in the aim to obtain registration which will lead to a sale.

– Ensure that visitors questions are answered.

– Provide traditional contact details such as a phone number. A landing page should display alternative contact options.

– Provide and allow visitors to ‘take action’. This can be in the form of signing up for an account or engaging with a special offer etc.

 

A good landing page will give its visitors a reason to CONVERT.

 

Visitors to a landing page have derived from various origins. These include sources such as an online ad, an email campaign, an affiliate site or a search engine. This means that prior expectations are established. Therefore, it is critical that your landing page delivers on the referral source’s promise.  For example, if a visitor clicks on an ad offering “50% off Designer Jeans”, your landing page must reinforce this promise.

A landing page must fully integrate with the associated referral sources. Both the landing page and the outside source need to project the same message, otherwise your website will be seen as a waste of time.

 

The 3 types of Landing Pages:

 

1. Integrated: This type of landing page is integrated into the structure of the site. It remains similar and consistent with the sites original templates, architecture and navigation.

 

2. Bespoke: This variation has been specifically designed for the campaign. It holds a unique web design or appearance and feel to it in comparison to the original site.

 

3. Tabbed: This is a micro-site, a “tabbed landing page” created to provide additional information.

 

Landing Page Success Checklist (Get your pen ready!)

 

– Usability

– Accessibility

– Persuasion

– Brand Trust

 

Now we’re going to get our fingernails dirty and dig into the real goldmine of landing page creation! To achieve landing page success, ensure that the following features are used:

 

Compelling Headlines

Headlines are the first thing that people see on a landing page, so make yours stand out. It must define the goal of the page and showcase a strong message that tells a visitor what to expect from the page.

The supporting headline should engage readers. Keep it short and persuasive. People tend to scan a webpage so make sure that your headlines are appealing. You don’t want to bore your viewers, you want to entice them and arouse curiosity for your products or services.

 

Images and Videos

Images can be even more compelling than words. They offer a visual representation of your offers and gives people a clearer understanding of your company. Embedding videos and images into a landing page can reflect positively on viewers.

Visuals help potential customers to better visualise themselves with the associated product. Use clear images and high quality video for ultimate effect.

 

Gripping Content

Content must grab viewers’ attention. Ensure that your landing page includes impeccable grammar. Any mistakes will make your brand seem unprofessional and amateur. Focus your content on showing why your offer will assist the buyer. Your copy needs to speak and answer your visitor’s queries.

Content should be split up to make it easy to read. Consider using bullet points to help with this and detailed feature descriptions. Detailed content will help potential customers to make a more confident decision.

 

Immediate Call-To-Action’s

Use keywords that you know your potential customers will be likely to use. This will ensure that your landing page is visible online. Next, you need to use immediate call-to-action words such as “Download Now”, “Buy Now” and “NEW” etc.

Conversion buttons need to stand out and should be placed directly beneath a call-to-action. The call-to-action itself can also act as the conversion button. The button should be big, bold and “attention grabbing”. Many online retailers use bright colours to provoke a desired reaction in customers.

 

Social Proof

Nobody likes to be the first ever buyer of a product or service. We prefer to know that our money is going into something that is reliable, trustworthy and useful. So, how can your landing page assure visitors that your offers have been well-received?

Use social signals such as customer reviews, testimonials, customer count, trust seals and awards. This will show that other shoppers have bought and engaged with your offerings. People are likely to convert if they have proof that others have done so before them. So make sure that your landing page displays relevant social proof.

 

Need help designing a landing page that converts?

 

Contact us today: 028 9099 8106

 

 

 

 

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E-Commerce Mistakes that can Damage your SEO Efforts

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If you thought that optimising your eCommerce site would be a piece of cake, you’re sadly mistaken. It is much more difficult to optimise an eCommerce website than it is for a simple blog or a 3-page website. Yet that’s not to say that it is impossible to achieve – you just need a helping hand.

E-Commerce websites with a large number of product listings require more attention to detail. This is because of the constant shifting of these products on and off the website. Constant changes such as this, can prove to be problematic with regards to SEO.

So, how can you improve the SEO of your eCommerce site?

The first step is to fix any present errors. To help with this, we have compiled a list of the most common SEO mistakes to AVOID (you can thank us later).

 

Mistake #1 – Using Manufacturer Product Descriptions

Manufacturers distribute product descriptions to online retailers who sell their products. It can be tempting to use the descriptions provided, but this won’t do your site any favours. Upon scanning your website, Google is alerted to the presence of duplicate content. This ensures that your site is dragged down the rankings. It might even get banned altogether from search engines if Google sees fit.

The solution? Create unique and compelling content. Yes, it may take some time, but in the end it will be worth it. A website containing unique product descriptions ranks higher. It’s as simple as that.

In some cases, there may be some products for which you are unable to write unique content for. Reasons for this include products that will be exiting your inventory soon. For products like this, it is better to take them out of search engines altogether. You can do this by putting a ‘No Index’ meta tag on these product pages. If you write unique content for only half of your products, search engines may flag your site as spam. It is better to keep your website as search engine friendly as possible.

 

Mistake #2 –  Missing Product Descriptions

This is a major error across a wide range of eCommerce sites. Pictures is a must, but it is also important to include an adjoining product description. Keep in mind that Google is blind to images. Search engines need content to read and analyse. Without content, your website will be swept under the rug. A product page without any text will not have a chance of reaching anywhere near the top 10 results of a search query.

Use descriptive text when writing product descriptions to increase customers interest in the product. Never copy content from another website. Do this and search engines will penalise you.

 

Mistake #3 – Failing to Optimise based on Keywords

Be aware of your target audience and your keywords. Use keywords that people are searching for. Make sure to include these in your product descriptions, title pages and headlines. The more specific your keywords are, the better. A few tips to better optimise product pages is to use brand names and model numbers. Many shoppers know exactly what brand and item that they wish to buy. Give them what they want and make their shopping experience as convenient as possible.

It is also a common mistake among eCommerce websites to neglect the image alt tag. Try not to forget this little golden nugget which helps search engines to see your images. Another big error is to overload your pages with repetitive keywords. Keep them to a minimum!

 

Mistake #4 – Absence of Keyword friendly URLs

Lack of keyword friendly URLs, otherwise known as “speaking” URLs, is a huge eCommerce mistake. It basically refers to the name of the product being present in the URL address. This is extremely important for SEO. A unique URL helps your pages to stand out. It’s advised to create unique URLs for each of your products. One advantage is that it makes finding your products easier for the customer because the URL tells users what to expect before landing on the associated page. This sets your website apart from the rest and makes it appear more reliable and relevant at the same time. You can also get lucky with keywords and anchor links because the chances of another website picking up on your URL and re-posting it increases.

 

Mistake #5 – Missing Product Reviews

Product reviews make a website more trustworthy and credible. 70% of online shoppers read product reviews before deciding to make a purchase. A website missing product reviews will be quickly replaced with one containing honest and useful insights. By having reviews enabled on your website, it will be much easier for you to climb to the top of search results. Reviews also help to create unique content for your online business and it keeps the product page ALIVE.

 

Don’t let simple mistakes like these stop your eCommerce business from climbing the search results ladder.

 

Get in Touch!

Newry  :  028 3026 1861  |  Belfast  :  028 9099 8106

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Top 3 Common SEO Issues Found in Magento Sites and their Solutions

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If truth be told, Magento isn’t the most SEO friendly e-commerce platform available. This is largely due to its complex codebase, its intricate rewrite engine and its requirement for dynamic content. Despite these apparent drawbacks, Magento still holds the crown as being the strongest and most efficient e-commerce CMS in the digital universe.

However, many people are under the misplaced illusion that the SEO issues related to Magento are unresolvable when in fact, the solution is to work with a SEO company that specialise in Magento.

Ryco Marketing are SEO and Magento specialists. We have attended Magento retailers of all sizes and across every sector, solving any technical SEO issues to ensure flawless results.

Where Magento has setbacks, Ryco has the solutions:

 

DILEMMA #1: Filter URLs  

Filters are present to make the shopping experience much more convenient for users. However, a common issue for multiple Magento websites is having duplicated parameter-based pages whenever these attribute filters are in motion.

This is incredibly frustrating, especially since these filter URLs produce duplicate problems for search engines, which can have a negative effect on a websites SEO performance.

 

SOLUTION:

Google may class pages as separate if the category page content varies whilst filters are live. Tackling this issue works best using the Canonical Tag solution. This tag has been built into the latest editions of Magento and it works by assigning canonical tags within your elements.

This encourages Google to turn a blind eye to the current page and instead directs the search engine towards the master version. Since search engines will view duplicated filter URL’s negatively, it’s best to guarantee that similar patterns are canonicalised to category pages.

 

DILEMMA #2: Multiple Categories containing Same Product

Sometimes online retailers want to show a product under more than one category, which results in two different forms of the product URL. While this may not seem like a very big problem at first, two pages containing the same product manifests duplicated issues that search engines will pick up on.

This a huge disadvantage, especially singe Google is coming down harder on sites that publish repetitive content on multiple pages.

 

SOLUTION:

Set canonical tags to prevent Magento from creating duplicate content. This will allow Google and other popular search engines to choose the most desired version in the mix of similar URL’s for the exact same product. This will subsequently banish any duplicated content issues and allow you to display the same product in as many categories as you please.

 

DILEMMA #3: Sort URLs

Sort URL’s are viewed as duplicates by the major search engines which can be a bit of a nuisance. Sort allows users to organise a page of products based on desired attributes such as price, popularity and those most relevant etc. Magento then reorders the products based on this action and automatically produces a new URL which is affixed with a query string parameter. Google then determines this to be duplication, which is bad news for SEO.

 

SOLUTION:

To solve this problem, you need to ensure that variations of your original URL is not indexed by Google. The easiest way to do this is to use the canonical tag once more which will direct Google to the prioritised page.

 

Seek Professional Assistance

The main reason why online businesses experience Search Engine Optimisation difficulties is due to their immense size. Optimising your Magento site can be difficult for someone who is inexperienced with such matters. Your best option is to seek professional help from a SEO company who knows exactly what they are doing.

 

Get your FREE SEO Audit today.

Call us NOW on:

Newry  :  028 3026 1861  |  Belfast  :  028 9099 8106

 

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The Top 8 SEO Trends of 2016

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The new year has begun and with it comes significant shifts in the way SEO influences search engine rankings. As an online business, you must adapt your SEO strategy to better accommodate these changes. Fail to do so and you will be placing the success of your entire company on the line.

So which SEO trends can online businesses expect to see during the course of 2016?

 

1. Internal links

2016 is the year to optimise your link structure and page information to make things easier for users to navigate your content. The use of internal links, particularly on high-ranking webpages, has increased significantly over recent years. Your online business should make the most out of this trend if you want to see a steady climb in conversions.

 

2. Mobile-Friendly

A responsive design is crucial, especially if you intend to reach mobile users on the go. Sites that are optimised for mobile rank higher on search engines than those who have yet to jump on the mobile bandwagon. To benefit from this ‘digital movement’, your site should be responsive in terms of design and interaction. Having an app in place is also extremely awarding, especially where SEO is concerned.

 

3. Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)

Where would ecommerce be if it weren’t for CRO?

Whilst the basic SEO tactics reel in the traffic, conversion rate optimisation is needed to convert these visitors into paying customers. 2016 is set to use CRO in a more sophisticated and fine-tuned manner.

Web tracking in Google Analytics will also become a necessary and common procedure to help web managers better understand their customers and learn which CRO tactics are most effective.

 

4. Speedy Loading Times

A slow website will be abandoned by impatient users. Nobody is going to sit around and wait for a site to load when they can simply click on a faster option instead. Not only should your pages load fast on desktops, they should also load quickly on mobile devices. Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to learn more about how your loading times compare to others. 2016 is all about speed!

 

5. Keyword Research

Businesses must perform keyword analysis in order to find out what are the best words and phrases that are currently being used by internet users who are actively seeking their specific products or services.

In 2016 the easiest way to carry out such research is to use tools like Google’s Keyword planner that will reveal the most relevant keywords (those most likely to generate traffic). It is also wise to structure your website content around these keywords to help gain further interest in your business. Avoid overloading your content with keywords however and instead slip them into the body of the text as naturally as possible.

 

6. Optimal Content Structure

Providing your users with a good user experience is very important. For this reason, it is advised to ensure that your website’s content is logically structured. Trends in this area include content that has been broken up into more manageable sections by using bullet points, for example. Interactive elements will also play a huge factor towards achieving those top ranking positions in 2016.

 

7. Tidy Mobile Ads

When it comes to ads on mobile-optimized content, less is more. Mobile pages show fewer ads for obvious reasons and it seems to be that sites with few ads rank higher than those overflowing with too many. Keep your ads to a minimum!

 

8. Guest Blogging

Blogging is an effective content strategy for reaching your target audience and improving brand credibility etc. Content marketing is of course extremely important. Content in 2016 will be most successful when it is published in a comprehensive format that provides value and relevant information for its users. It is also worth gaining a proper distribution strategy for your content to achieve additional traffic, links and social shares etc.

 

So there you have it, the most ‘trendiest’ 2016 SEO movements that will have a huge impact on your online business over the next 12 months.

So what are you waiting for? Give us a call today on: 028 3026 1861

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How to Shed the Cloak of Online Invisibility

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Building brand awareness online may seem like an endless uphill battle. The likes of Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Nike are well-known for their services and products worldwide. Achieving such brand recognition and success seems impossible. Hell will freeze over by the time your brand becomes a household name, right?

WRONG.

Lifting the cloak of invisibility and generating a larger online presence takes time, effort, skill and above all – dedication. You won’t get anywhere without putting the work in (or letting an e-commerce specialist do it for you).

Fortunately, we have come up with a handy list of ways in which you can improve your brands visibility online and boost brand awareness.

 

Consistency is Key

Your branding must be consistent across all online channels. Focus on what your business is really about and use this to reinforce the core essence of your brand to potential customers. Consistency will build brand recognition and credibility. There is no point claiming something on one channel and having your social media page tell a completely different story altogether. Make the most out of the various online channels available to your business such as your company’s website, your social networking sites (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc.), blogs, document sharing sites and so on.

 

PPC Campaigns

Investing in PPC and search ads will help to get your brands name out there, branching out to people who are most likely to be interested in your products or services. In some cases, you can even boost consumer awareness of your brand by up to a quarter. Search ads drive traffic to your site but they also improve your online presence. If your website just missed out on the top positions on search results, PPC Campaigns can bring you right to the top of the screen.

 

Optimised Website

An optimised website is a definite must if you want people to take your business and brand seriously. Everything needs to be perfect, down to the very last keyword. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the constant process of making necessary and relevant changes to your website to enable it to appear as high as possible on search engine result pages. A website that has been professionally optimised will attract quality traffic and improve both their online credibility and visibility.

 

Social Media

One of the quickest and easiest ways to increase brand recognition is to take it to the biggest social media networks available, such as Facebook and Twitter. A post can go viral within minutes, reaching thousands upon thousands of potential customers in the blink of an eye. Social Media Marketing is cost effective and can be used to accurately promote your business. You can use this marketing tool to promote brand loyalty, recognition and increase sales.

 

Quality Content

Have you ever heard of the saying, content is king? Producing and distributing high quality content is an easy way to gain online visibility. It must be precise, grammatically correct and as interesting as possible. Skip the boring old product descriptions pulled from a manufacturers website and give your own spin on the subject – it will pay off in the long run (we promise). Making product descriptions more personal will also dramatically improve the chances of a sales conversion as customers will be able to better visualise themselves with the product. An onsite blog will also help to enhance brand awareness because it establishes brand validity and credibility.

 

Online Video

YouTube is now the second largest search engine online, so it is well worth making the most out of this useful channel. Making a video to promote your products, services or brand, will help to create decent exposure to the right people. Reaching your target audience with a video will appeal to many viewers who may not have the time to sit and read large chunks of text. Build a deeper connection and bond with your customers by giving them effective and entertaining videos. This will also encourage them to get talking about your brand and before you know it, your video could go viral overnight!

 

For more information about  SEO and building your Brand Awareness online, Give Us a Call On: 028 3026 1861

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Tis the Season to Prepare your PPC Campaigns for Christmas!

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Tis the season to glaze your PPC Ad Campaigns with Christmas spirit to drive maximum sales and conversions. Search advertising drives over half of all online sales transactions that take place over Christmas, so it is important that e-commerce providers make the most out of this unique opportunity.

But how can you ensure that your PPC Ad Campaigns are ready for Christmas and the January Sales that follow?

 

Create Festive Landing Pages

Don’t forget to update your landing pages with some seasonal cheer! Make the most out of seasonal offers by including relevant images and promotions on your landing pages. Create a strong sense of urgency with phrases such as “Offer Ends…”, “Free Delivery Before…” and “For a Limited Time Only…” etc. to help drive conversions.

 

Seasonal Ad Copy

Use holiday focused phrases and keywords such as Gifts, Stocking Filler, Boxing Day etc. to reach your target audience. With one-quarter of Christmas spending taking place online, it is no surprise that online retailers experience their best sales over the festive Holiday period.

Your ad copy should contain descriptive holiday related promotions which will catch shopper’s attention. Although time consuming, it is worth creating new ads for each campaign in order to reach a more qualified audience, thus leading to high quality traffic.

Use Google’s Keyword Planner to carry out keyword research and analysis. This will enable you to add high search volume keywords to your PPC Campaigns, helping you to gain additional traffic and to see a steady boost in conversions during this festive season and beyond!

 

Take a Second Look at your Budget

You may need to consider increasing your PPC ad budget to make the most out of the holiday season. Christmas is the most profitable time of the year and online retailers are competing for customer’s attention, so you need to make sure that your ads will spark interest and encourage those all-important clicks!

Increasing spend on PPC can lead to an even bigger ROI this Christmas. Google AdWords can put your business in front of the right people. With such a large audience potential, you may have to spend a bit more on your ad campaigns than you did in previous months.

 

Take Advantage of Seasonal Sales

It is worth remembering that right after Christmas comes the huge sales. Boxing Day sales are a huge deal in the UK with thousands of shoppers hitting the high street and their favourite online ecommerce stores in search for great bargains and deals. According to a recent study, online shoppers spent a massive £519.000 each minute on Boxing Day 2014, estimating a total of £784 million spent in total.

 

Contact us today on 028 3026 1861 to begin preparing your PPC Campaigns for Christmas, Boxing Day and the New Year!

 

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3 of the Most Common SEO Mistakes to AVOID

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SEO will either send your e-commerce website skyrocketing to the top of search result pages or send it plummeting to the bottom of the barrel. Don’t let your e-commerce website fall victim to common SEO pitfalls which will not only drop your rankings but can drop your online revenue.

Here are five of the most common SEO e-commerce mistakes that are best avoided:

1. Un-Optimized Product Pages

Changes to the site, such as adding new pages or products, can dramatically influence your organic search engine performance. One of the biggest SEO errors made by e-commerce sites is having poorly optimised product pages. For example, having no product reviews, missing image ALT tags, low quality content and poor keyword targeting are all factors that make up low ranking product pages.

Product descriptions play a huge part in the buying process. After all, people rely heavily on detailed descriptions before deciding to make a purchase.

So where can you go wrong with your product descriptions?

Using the manufacturer’s product description is the most common mistake that e-commerce sites make. This description is likely to be used by dozens of other retailers who also sell the same product, thus resulting in duplicated content. This is a huge disadvantage for e-commerce sites because search engines rank pages containing copied content extremely low. Writing unique product descriptions for each of your products may be time consuming but it will solve this problem and improve your website’s SEO.

2. Incorrect Keyword Research

Your website will only appear in search engine results if it uses relevant keywords. It is important to carry out proper keyword analyse and research to define which words will best benefit your business. Relying on broad keywords such as “Laptops” will help drive basic traffic to your site but you may want to target a more specific audience to drive solid sales. For example, if you sell specific laptop brands such as Apple, Lenovo or DELL, you can include these as keywords in order to reach searchers who already have a clear idea of the product that they want.

Failing to use both broad and specific keyword targeting appropriately will only result in your potential traffic being drastically narrowed. Long tail keywords should not be neglected. Make sure that your keywords target specific products and try to include relevant information such as brand name, colour, size and model number.

3. Sites that can’t be indexed

A website must be indexed before it can appear on search engine result pages. A search engine has its own ranking algorithm which web pages must adhere to if they wish to appear on Google, Bing or Yahoo, for example. If your ecommerce website cannot be indexed properly, it simply won’t make it onto the list. Some of the most common reasons why a website can’t be indexed include using too many images with important text embedded (search engines cannot read this text) and flash animations.

If you are worried that your e-commerce website may contain potentially harmful SEO mistakes, contact RYCO Group today for the solution at 028 3026 1861

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Why Magento is KING of Ecommerce Platforms

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If E-Commerce had a monarchy, Magento would take the crown as the king of E-Commerce platforms. It is the reason why millions of online businesses are constantly migrating away from their current website hosts in favour of Magento. This unique eCommerce platform offers its users a series of rich features and powerful inbuilt functionalities. As the leading online platform, Magento can take your business to the highest levels of digital success.

When choosing the right platform for your business you must accurately define your individual business goals, objectives, vision, target audience and a USP of relevant products/services offered. Once you have gathered this information and you have your sights set firmly on the advancement of your company, it is then time to choose the perfect E-Commerce development platform that will get your business to where it needs to go.

Magento is, without a doubt, the BEST E-Commerce platform, especially for business that require a large amount of products on their listing pages and need an ultra-fast hosting system.

Why Choose Magento?

1. CMS customisation is simple and hassle-free.

2. Advanced supplier management modules.

3. The amount of additional modules that you can use to further customise your pages are endless.

4. You have freedom when choosing your hosting service.

5. Mobile Friendly.

6. Store integration across multiple devices such as smartphones, desktops and tablets etc.

7. Customer Segmentation.

8. As an open source platform, you can download Magento for free.

9. Use one system to manage and run multiple websites.

10. Scalable platform allows you to mold Magento to suit your individual business needs.

11. Advanced shipping options – great news for E-Commerce websites and their customers!

12. New features are constantly being added by the professional designers of Magento.

13. Strong and powerful security and 100% stability.

 

With so many advantages, it’s hard not to see why Magento is the ideal E-Commerce platform. With a sales focused Magento design, you can boost conversion rates, improve user experience, increase site loading times and market your brand in new and inspiring ways online.

Once you have a Magento E-Commerce website, the next step is to optimise its functions and speed. Full site analysis ensures that you obtain the best advancements as possible in accordance with your business objectives and desired outcomes.

In terms of SEO, Magento is a gold mine. Reach top search engine rankings and watch your traffic numbers rise as a result. With Magento’s ability (paired with the specialist knowledge of a professional E-Commerce development company) your business website can offer potential customers with the luxury of fast express checkouts and detailed shipping information.

Choose Magento if you want your business to achieve advanced TRAFFIC, CONVERSIONS and SUCCESS.

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Local SEO Success Checklist – Tick them off as you go!

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Since Google’s ‘Pigeon’ update first spread its wings over a year ago, businesses (both big and small) have seen it as a unique opportunity to fine-tune their SEO techniques according to location. The main focus of the Pigeon algorithm update is to provide more relevant, useful and accurate search results.

According to Google, businesses who adapt local SEO techniques into their existing strategies, automatically improve their distance and location ranking parameters. For businesses aiming to target local customers, investing in local search engine optimisation tools will enable you to reach the top of local business listings on search engines and subsequently improve the visibility of your store.

…Think of local SEO as a checklist to success:

 

1. Relevant and Unique Landing Pages

Each store should have its own original landing page, optimised with relevant content. An effective store landing page will include localised SEO elements such as:

  • Services/products provided by the store.
  • Opening times
  • Contact Details: Address, Phone Number, Email, Contact Form and Social Media Icons.
  • Promotions and Offers
  • High Quality Images ONLY (no blurry or pixelated photos)

 

2. Add Business Reviews

Your local SEO can benefit from displaying positive reviews. Google reviews that are updated frequently and are consistently optimistic, will help to build the reputation of your brand which in turn, will attract new customers.

 

3. Optimised Business Listings

Online set-up forms allows companies like yours to add relevant business listings to search engines such as Google and Bing – for FREE.

Having a business listing is one thing, but having an optimised store listing is in a league of its own. Include essential content such as name, category and description so that your business page will be visible in relevant searches. By optimising content for your business listing, you will receive greater SERPs dominance for brand searches which can dramatically increase your overall click-through rate.

 

4. Provide a Useful Store Locator

A store locator will help potential customers to find your store from any device. User experience and page performance will have a direct effect on bounce rate – so make sure that it is fast, user-friendly and responsive across all devices.

 

5. Register your Business with Reliable Directories

Referral traffic is incredibly useful for businesses seeking local customers. Building citations in relevant directories will help get your business NOTICED. Use the same business listing for each directory for consistency. The most well-known UK directories include Yell, Yelp, Central Index and Factual etc.

 

6. Invest in Local PR

PR can impact your SEO, so it is worth investing in a good local PR strategy that will get your brand out there in order to reach more people. PR can benefit SEO by increasing social conversation based around your brand as well as improving the credibility and reputation of your website/company. There are many other beneficial factors of having PR established in your local community, so it is well worth giving it a shot.

 

Whilst expanding your brand to reach audiences further afield can be a great business move, more often than not, it’s the people closest to you that are the most important – A life lesson that you can take for your business as well as your personal life.

 

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Is your E-Commerce website ready for Black Friday & Cyber Monday??

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Black Friday is fast approaching and we as techy folk, are caught up in the digital sales universe and we all know what that means – Cyber Monday is COMING!

This is a fast and busy time for eCommerce websites and online retailers, who will need to be able to keep up with the dramatic increase of online traffic and conversions seen at this time. What began in the U.S has now ventured over to the UK and taken the entire country by storm!

Sales are expected to top £1 billion this year as Cyber Monday is predicted to dramatically out-sale Black Friday. People love grabbing themselves great deals and bargains in the month of November (and throughout the entire year for that matter). It’s the run up to Christmas and this exciting time provides us with great opportunities to save on Christmas shopping bills. Some major brands that are likely to be taking advantage of this climax of sales include John Lewis, Argos, Asda, PC World/Curry’s, Tesco and Apple etc. Despite the fact that these are ‘BIG BRANDS’, small online business can also reach the peak of their sales records on Cyber Monday.

With so much expected sales coming in, your website needs to be up to speed – literally! There should be no lagging and all pages, including product pages, should load up within a few short seconds. An E-Commerce specialist agency can help you to prepare your website so that by the time Black Friday and Cyber Monday gets underway – your site will be more than ready!

Many E-Commerce businesses underestimate the power of sales and special offers. People are automatically drawn to sales. Think about your weekly shopping trip to the grocery store. Now, picture yourself walking up and down the aisles, tossing various products into your trolley as you go. The event is tedious, normal and a little repetitive until – low and behold! – A huge red SALE sign grabs your attention. You end up saving a large chunk from your shopping bill and you leave the shop with a huge grin spread from ear to ear. THIS is the very same action that you want your online customers to take when they visit your website. Dish out the sales and reel in the customers, that’s how it’s done.

Black Friday occurs on 27th November whilst Cyber Monday commences on 30th November – your window of opportunity!

When customers visit your website on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, you want them to feel as though there is a lot of intense competition surrounding the sales purchases. How can you stimulate this perception? You need to use expert marketing strategies for E-Commerce sites that guarantee increased sales and profit margins. Companies who specialise in SEO and E-Commerce success will be able to help you provide exceptional customer experience that drives conversion rates and ensures that your E-Commerce website dominates your online market place this Cyber Monday.

A responsive website will help you to gather mobile shoppers, who make up more than 70% of the sales not only carried out in November, but throughout the entire year. The sales frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday will carry on through to December, followed by traditional January sales. On Cyber Monday itself, online sales are predicted to increase by 90%! You need to make sure that your business website can compete with its competitors.

To reap the benefits that Black Friday, Cyber Monday and any other kind of sales opportunities can have on your E-Commerce business, contact us today on 028 3026 1861.

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Why Does My Small Business NEED Search Engine Optimisation?

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SEO is at the forefront of E-Commerce success. You may already have a website with great products, clear images and the best prices in your area but unfortunately this is all worthless without SEO to increase brand awareness, improve search engine ratings and drive quality traffic to your site.

Small and local businesses often have the false assumption that their websites don’t need any ‘fancy SEO’ because word of mouth and traditional advertising methods are enough to meet their business objectives. However, this couldn’t be any further from the truth. Search Engine Optimisation leads have an impressive close rate of 14.6% whereas outbound leads such as print advertising have a close rate of only 1.7%.

If your business site uses poorly calculated SEO or none at all, you may as well have set up your store in the middle of the Sahara Desert because the only traffic heading your way will be in the form of a dried out tumbleweed!

Here’s just a few of the ways in which SEO can benefit your small business:

Accessible Web-Pages

Google and other search engines take into account your online credibility, authority and trustworthiness. They base their findings by discovering who links to your site. You can help move this along by ensuring only high quality and credible websites are linking back to your site. Incoming links help people and search engines to find your web-pages which in turn, can help you to generate more qualified traffic to your site.

Quality Keywords

Keyword research is vital to any SEO campaign. You need to use the right keywords to target your audience. There is no point using a keyword if it’s not doing anything to move your business forward. An SEO specialist agency will be able to help you discover and pinpoint the exact words or phrases that is most relevant for your business and which will target traffic and increase sales.

Website Speed

Fast loading times is crucial for online success. A slow website is a dead website. User experience concerns itself with the speed of your website. If a web-page takes a long time to load, users will become frustrated and click the little ‘x’ on top left corner of the screen. SEO can help you to achieve a faster website that is efficient and easy to use which leads us onto another advantage of SEO – Usability.

Easy Website Navigation

SEO specialists will tell you that you need a functioning site that is easy to navigate. This is important because if a user finds your site difficult to explore they will leave and find one that functions better. Simple aspects must also be clear and ‘to the point’ such as titles, headlines and the body of your site content. High quality pictures are also a must.

A website without any SEO is like an empty well without water. Nobody will be able to find your website if you don’t make your site known to search engines!

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5 Key Advantages of Email Marketing

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Email marketing is a useful online marketing channel that enables businesses to reach their target audience from the comfort of their trusted inbox – an ability worth mastering!

Email marketing can increase business opportunities that will help to drive a healthier return on investment. Another huge factor that comes with email marketing is the fact that they can be used to dramatically improve customer engagement metrics more effectively than other forms of traditional marketing techniques.

But why should your business invest time and money to develop an email marketing campaign? Here are the top 5 key advantages of email marketing:

1. Increase Brand Awareness

Email Marketing essentially means that more customers are exposed to your company and brand. Without boundaries, you can develop a strategic design with appropriate content that can reach a global audience. Consumers will begin to remember your business and associate it with credibility and trustworthiness which in turn, will improve your businesses chances of transforming ‘email readers’ into loyal customers.

2. Personalised Messages

You can control who will see your emails and you can segment your receivers in accordance with their demographics, location or any other relevant factors and insights that could help you to better target your emails. You can send personalised emails based on purchase history for example, which will enable you to speak directly to your customers and foster a higher conversion rate in the process.

3. Measurable Results

Unlike the majority of other advertising techniques, you can easily measure the success of your email campaigns. By evaluating metrics such as delivery rates, open rates, subscriber retention rates and click-to-deliver rates, you can use these insights to adjust and improve your campaign and help move it towards brighter success.

4. Reduced Advertising Costs

Email marketing is an extremely cost effective advertising technique. It comes with a very low overhead cost as you will not have to pay for printing, postage costs or additional employees and designers etc. All you need is the right marketer with sufficient knowledge and experience on the matter to be able to provide the best possible results and a greater Return on Investment. According to recent research in the industry, email marketing brings £40 in for each £1 spent. This is an incredible profit waiting to be grabbed, which is why so many businesses have chosen to implement an email marketing campaign to boost sales online via their website.

5. Information is shared

Emails are easy to share with just a click of a button which can help your business to gain more credibility and exposure. If someone opens your email and likes what they see, there is a good chance that they will want to share this new information with their friends. Before you know it, your email has been sent to dozens if not hundreds of new potential customers and you didn’t even have to lift a finger.

 

 

 

Pay Per Click PPC

Improve Online Sales with an Effective PPC Campaign

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Pay-per-Click (PPC) is a crucial part of a company’s digital marketing strategy in which the advertiser pays a set fee each time a user clicks on one of their ads. Search engine advertising is one of the most effective types of PPC with AdWords being the most popular online advertising platform. On average, businesses using AdWords make £2 in revenue for each £1 spent on PPC ads.

The core essence of PPC is fairly straightforward. You know exactly where your money is going and you only pay a fee when your ad generates genuine clicks. With AdWords, you are in control of your budget. It is up to you to decide how much those all-powerful clicks are worth to you and how much you are willing to spend. You can choose your budget on a monthly basis, daily basis or on a per ad basis.

AdWords enables you to SHOW your ads to the people who are most likely to be interested in your products or services.

You can target these fine-tuned ads to reach audiences with specific interests that are directly linked to your products and services. Your PPC ads are targeted using keywords, ad placement, age, location, language, days, times and frequency.

Unlike traditional advertising methods where there is no clear way to determine whether or not your ad actually reaches your target audience, PPC advertising enables you to accurately measure your success.

When someone clicks on your ad, you will know about it. You can also track when a visitor carries out a valuable action on your website such as downloading your app, making an enquiry or purchasing a product. Being able to measure success allows you to see exactly where to invest in your campaign which can increase your ROI.

Placing your business ad on Google search results ensures that your brand is gaining relevant exposure and visibility. If your site struggles to reach top rankings on Google, PPC advertising gives you that all important stepping stone to soar your website to the very top of search results.

If your business objective is to attract customers locally, you can target your ads and carefully craft your campaigns which will enable you to drive the right people to your website. You can even reach people on the go with PPC by targeting mobiles!

PPC ads are launched quite quickly which can help to bring in qualified leads to your business site. The quality of this traffic is likely to be extremely high because PPC adverts can be assigned for specific demographics and keywords – increasing the relevancy of high targeted traffic groups.

Using various methods of testing, you will be able to determine which aspects are working the best for your business and which ones are not delivering results. For example, poor performing keywords can be done away with whilst the highest performing ones can be honed and improved on even further.

Before launching a PPC campaign, it is wise to establish clear business goals.

What is your main objective with regards to your campaign? Do you want to improve your brands visibility and get your name out there? Then you will want to use CPM bidding. If you want to increase website views then CPC is the way to go. If you are confused about PPC campaigns, methods of bidding and other aspects then it may be worth seeking out professional help from a Google Certified digital marketing agency who will be able to guide and design specific campaigns that exceed your objectives, improve your ROI and most importantly – ensure that your business gets the most out of its PPC advertising campaigns.

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Why Should Your Business Implement Conversion Rate Optimisation?

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At the very heart of Conversion Rate Optimisation lies the pursued objective to discover what users are searching for when they visit your website and to use this data to create a landing page that meets these high expectations.

 

But how can you do this when you lack the necessary telepathic powers to reach into a potential customers mind and pull out their innermost desires?

 

CRO uses a successful blend of user feedback and analytics to provide customers with the best possible user experience. CRO can improve the most important metrics on your website. These ‘metrics’ are essentially key performance indicators (KPIs) and tend to be the aspects of your site that you wish to advance further – with the aim to transform submissive browsers into paying customers.

 

So, is it time for your online business to invest in CRO?

 

You know your website requires CRO if it gains a lot of traffic but you notice that, low and behold – nobody is converting!

 

Instead, site visitors are looking at your website without taking any action. They don’t bother signing up for your newsletter, they turn away from an email sign-up, they avoid creating an account or choose not to download your app – ultimately, they FAIL to make a purchase.

 

CRO is the method used to optimise your business site to improve the probability that visitors will take a desired action on your webpage (such as making a purchase or calling to make an enquiry). Seeking out a professional eCommerce development company to successfully implement CRO is your best chance towards gaining higher conversion rates and a better Return on Investment (ROI).

 

A series of effective investigation methods will be used to determine the best possible CRO strategy for your website. They include:

 

A/B Testing

A/B testing involves setting up two different versions of the same landing page which will then be used to discover which variation provides the best customer experience and produces the most conversions. Website elements such as Call-to-Action (CTA) buttons, headlines, image size, layout, text, font, product copy and other features will all be implemented to test the quality and effectiveness of a web page.

 

Customer Testing & Analysis

One of the most valuable testing methods that a company has at its disposal is customer journey analysis, which is currently used by 58% of online businesses. It follows a customers journey and their interaction with your website. By using customer testing you will be able to use relevant data to enable you to more accurately tailor customer experience on your website which will increase profitability and revenue.

 

Optimising landing pages relies heavily on the knowledge of customer behaviour, paired with an effective marketing strategy. Online surveys, heat mapping and customer feedback can all be used to improve customer experience, increase conversions and improve ROI. Gaining valuable insight into the mind of your customers is incredibly beneficial to aid with the advancement of your business because you can seize their compliments and criticism to deliver a better customer experience.

 

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How to Design Product Pages that CONVERT

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Product pages will either attract new customers or motivate them to hop into the shopping cart of another website.

So, how can your product pages turn a visitor into a paying customer?

Headlines

The headline and titles of your products need to immediately grab the attention of your visitors. They must be clear, concise and descriptive. Keep in mind that potential customers have come to your site in search for an answer to a problem, let your titles be the solution!

Descriptions

Product descriptions should be informative and assure your readers that your products are exactly what they have been looking for. Highlight the positive features of the associated product and a touch of personality. For example, if you’re selling high heels then you know your target audience are female, so your product descriptions can reflect this by adding in a few how-to style tips. By doing so, you can help potential customers to better visualise owning and wearing the product as well as encouraging them to check out the rest of your website in search for great match up items.

Images

Your product images must be high quality which means having them clear, sharp and LARGE. Blurry images are a huge turn off. The best images are usually the ones showing the said product ‘in action’. For example, if you are selling football boots online, an image showing a player wearing the boots will be a lot more effective than a simple image of the boots. Incorporate both types and customers will be more inclined to make a purchase.

Videos

Increase sales by including videos of your products in use. This enables you to show how your products work as well as their features and appearance from all angles etc. This gives customers a better idea of what the product is like in ‘real-life’, giving them the opportunity to witness it in action which can help them to make a decision with regards to purchasing.

Call-to-Action Buttons

Call-to-action (CTA) buttons are needed to encourage conversions. These include buttons such as “buy now”, “add to cart”, “continue shopping” and “proceed to checkout” etc. These should be clearly displayed and easy to spot on the screen. Try using bold colours like red to grab viewers’ attention on your ecommerce website.

Reviews

User reviews can drive sales and increase all kinds of conversions. According to recent studies, before making a purchase a massive 61% of customers read online reviews and 63% are likely to buy from a website that includes these reviews. The reason for this is because people like to know what they are getting into and are inclined to trust REAL customers over companies simply claiming the authenticity of their products without any real proof.

Delivery and Shipping Info

Customers take delivery and shipment costs into consideration when making an online purchase. Display shipping information clearly to establish trust between your business and its customers. Hiding such information will lead to an abandoned shopping cart. If shipping costs are more expensive than the product itself, customers are unlikely to make the purchase. Offer free shipping if you can or consider offering it only when a customer reaches a certain buying amount, for example, “Free Shipping when you Spend £50 or More!” etc.

 

 

 

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5 Signs it’s time to Redesign your Website

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Redesigning your website is necessary to keep up with ever-changing technologies. Your website is your best marketing tool, acting as a public persona to reflect your brands vision and concept. As a vital partner in the growth and success of your business, your website needs to remain relevant and effective to increase traffic, conversions and profit. A neglected website won’t do your business any favours and instead will work against the growth of your company.

Redesign isn’t all about appearances either, it also concerns itself with the functionality and performance of your website. As your business’ primary sales agent, it is essential that your eCommerce site is kept up to speed with web design trends, social media interactions, search engine algorithms and new technology.

So, how can you tell if it’s time to redesign your website?

 

1. Your Site is NOT Responsive

You can reach a wider audience by adapting your website to operate across all devices such as mobile, tablet and desktop. A responsive website still isn’t enough though. It must be user friendly and perform at optimum level. Your web design should not hinder user’s experience, no matter what device they are using. If your site is difficult to navigate, potential customers will inevitably turn away from your page and look elsewhere. Aim to adapt a website that is both responsive and user friendly.

 

2. Your site has an Outdated Appearance

Like a book, many people judge a website by its cover. The cover in this case, refers to your websites appearance. A website made in 2005 for instance, will be considered extremely out of sync in these modern times. People want crisp, clean and fresh content on an ongoing basis, so if your website is outdated it will damage your business more than you might think. A site with old graphics and content will not grab anybody’s attention. A clean site design and regular updates is essential to keep your website at the top of the search engine leader board. An outdated website will not be able to compete with competitors with a better design.

 

3. You’re in Need of an Upgraded CMS

If you find that it is difficult to update your website, it is most likely due to the fact that you are using an outdated and poor performing Content Management System (CMS). A redesign will be needed to ensure a top quality CMS and a contemporary and technologically advanced finish. Hiring a web developer is the easiest solution because they will be able to install a professional CMS and redesign your entire website if you feel it is necessary. An updated and fully functional CMS is important to reduce the chances of hackers or unwanted third parties from entering your site.

 

4. Your Business is headed in a New Direction

Taking your business in a new direction or undergoing re-branding will inevitably require a thorough website redesign. Your website needs to reflect these new changes and incorporate aspects such as a new logo, new colours, fresh and updated content. Basically, your website should confirm this change and showcase it in a way that is relevant and effective. You may need changes made to simple aspects of your site such as font, layout or colour scheme. Bigger changes can also be made and implemented to reflect your business’ re-branding process.

 

5. You’re Competitors Website Outperforms Yours

If you feel that your competitor’s website looks and performs better than your own, it may be time to redesign. Signs that competitors sites are doing significantly better than yours includes faster loading times, higher quality content, more useful features and sharper images etc. Search engines such as Google will rank a well-performing site higher than one in need of a serious refurbishment. If your competitors are outranking you on search engine results pages, it is probably due to the fact that they have correctly incorporated SEO best practices. You can keep up with your competitors by implementing SEO as a part of the redesign process.

 

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How to Create an Effective Content Marketing Strategy

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Adapting an effective digital content strategy can help your business website to develop brand awareness, increase organic search engine results, drive high quality traffic to your website and increase click-through-rate (CTR).

But what is a digital content strategy?

Think of it as your online business plan.

Essentially, it refers to the creation of quality branded editorial content that is used throughout all types of devices, platforms and media channels. It provides measurable success for brands and assists your marketing goals to provide direction towards a fruitful outcome.

The first step is to define your objectives. Consider what form your content should take. Should it be in the form of a blog? Or perhaps it will be an app, video or website etc. Once you have defined your objectives and overall goal that you wish to achieve, you can begin to implement these changes into your existing content strategy.

 

Forms of Content:

Published Content: This refers to anything that has been published online by your brand such as social media posts, articles and blogs etc.

Reactive Content: When you post content and someone directly responds or reply’s to it, this is reactive content and provides a great way to develop trust and communication with your customers.

Proactive Content: Promoting your brand or business via other people’s networks. Includes re-tweeting, guest posts and sharing content etc.

 

Next, you need to define your target audience.

These are the potential customers who are most likely to be interested in your product or service. This may require some research to help you understand your market and what it is that they are looking for in a brand. Creating quality content is useless unless you know who your audience is.

Use online discussions, surveys, focus groups, competitor’s audiences’ and carry out interviews with various consumers to help you develop a better understanding about your ideal customer. You can then adapt and steer your content strategy towards pleasing your target audience.

You will likely need to appoint a digital marketing agency that will be able to provide expertise and relevant resources to help create effective and powerful content. They will also be able to help you establish your distribution strategy. Your agency will advise you on the strengths and costs of various content strategies, campaigns and formats.

How will your content reach customers?

A web design firm will be able to assist with this matter and provide ultimate solutions that will drive traffic to your eCommerce site, increase brand awareness and help you to strive ahead of your competitors.

Content topics and ideas must attract potential customers and encourage them to convert to your brand. Your header or title needs to be simple and to the point. Titles that include numbers, such as “10 ways to add creativity to your home” tend to drive a lot more traffic than long-winded titles. The body of your text should be clear, precise and use simple language. Avoid jargon and filler text that will send your readers to sleep before the second paragraph. Keep it light, entertaining and informative. Developing your brands voice will take time but after some practice, you will begin to see what kind of content drives the most traffic to your site and which have a poorer performance rate.

 

Create consistent and relevant content.

 

People have short attention spans, especially when they are online. Therefore, it is important to keep your reader engaged. Clear and concise language is a MUST. Use conversational wording to establish a personal connection with your readers. Evoking emotion is also a great element to content writing. Appeal to your customers by making them feel excited about your brand and you will definitely see a growth in conversions.

Once you have adapted and experimented with your content strategy over the course of a few months, you will have enough data to analyse and evaluate its performance. Content that performs well should be improved upon even more in the future whilst under-performing content should act as building blocks. Learn from your past mistakes and adapt changes to your content until you are pleased with the outcome.

Be patient. Developing an effective digital content strategy takes time. It’s mainly about trying new things, seeing what worked and what didn’t, and then adjusting content accordingly.

 

 

 

 

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5 Ways Psychology Can Be Used To BOOST Conversion Rates

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Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) is ultimately about influencing more visitors to take a desired action on your website. Understanding the psychology of persuasion and learning what influences human behaviour can help you to better understand your customers and their decision making process. This can then be leveraged and implemented into your digital marketing strategies to further improve conversion rates and increase revenue.

 

1. Encourage Users to Commit with Consistency

 

Provoking a form of commitment in potential customers as early as possible in the buying process is highly recommended. People desire consistency. They don’t like abrupt changes in their lifestyles and they certainly don’t like changes in their bank accounts. For example, if your brand offers a monthly payment service (think about the likes of Netflix) and a customer signs up only to discover hidden costs arising further down the line – they aren’t going to be happy!

Its human nature that whenever we make a commitment, we feel somewhat obligated to finish what we started. With regards to increasing conversions, encouraging a customer to make an actual commitment on your website will compel them to take action.

 

2. Attract Attention with a Clear Hierarchy

 

People tend to step back from a complex problem and search for a simple solution. This notion takes root in our basic survival instincts. Complex things often result in unpleasant or even dangerous surprises which is why we look favourably on clear and simple alternatives.

How can you take advantage of this basic human instinct to increase eCommerce revenue?

Use orderly web pages that are easy to comprehend. The way that a customer interacts with your website should be fairly straightforward. Avoid any unnecessary obstacles and present product listings and purchasing information clearly on your webpage. Make life easier for your customer and you will see a steady improvement of conversions.

 

3. Monkey See, Monkey Do

 

As with children, adults also enjoy doing things that they have seen others do. This is referred to in the online market as “social proof”. There is something comforting in the knowledge that you are not the first person in the history of time to use a service or to purchase a product which is why, when a customer sees testimonials and reviews, they are more likely to make a decision regarding your service or product.

We find security in numbers, a principle known as “Wisdom of the Crowd” and because the majority of people seek out some kind of community, whether that be in the form of supporting a football team or reading tons of product reviews before buying something, people need security.

E-Commerce is no different which is why it is worth taking advantage of this basic human nature to increase sales by showing potential customers that your brand has been used by many customers in the past. You can achieve this by publishing reviews and testimonials on your website and expanding brand awareness via social media.

 

4. Create a Sense of Urgency and Scarcity

 

If people feel rushed to buy something, there is an increased chance that out of fear of missing out, they will make an impulse buy. The same idea can be said for buying things that are seen as rare or difficult to find. This is all explained through ‘Loss Aversion’ which is a cognitive bias and states that a person is more willing to gain something than risk losing it.

Adapting this into your internet marketing strategy is fairly simple – create a sense of urgency. You can do this by presenting limited time offers, countdown clocks, limited free delivery offers, 24 hour sales etc.

 

5. BIGGER is BETTER

 

Conversion rates are effected by page loading times. For example, studies have shown that if a web page takes longer than three seconds to fully load, viewers will grow impatient and are likely to leave your site and seek out your competitors instead. To increase conversion rates even further, it is worth thinking about the time that it takes to take a desired action on your website.

The time that it takes for you to move your mouse to a specific target area (for example, a BUY NOW button) is the product of two relevant time factors: Size of target + distance to target. This is referred to as Fitt’s Law.

Having a larger target to encourage users to take action is recommended because it will take less time and increases CTR. Choose interactive buttons rather than text. People are likely to glimpse at text and shift their eyes elsewhere, whereas having a large attractive button on the screen will help to improve conversions and encourage users to take action.

 

 

 

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10 Best SEO Practices for Ecommerce Websites

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Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial for eCommerce sites to drive uphill traffic and convert customers. Reaching those precious top positions in search results is something that every eCommerce site should strive to accomplish. The average click-through rate (CTR) of websites ranked on the first page of Google search results is 71.3% with the number one position receiving the highest average CTR of 31.24%.

Your eCommerce website needs to reach high ranking positions (preferably on the first page of search results) in order to see any real changes to traffic and sales.

Here is a list of the top 10 best SEO practices for eCommerce sites.

 

1. Cleanse your Site

Identify current SEO drawbacks by carrying out an all-inclusive audit of your website. Possible SEO issues such as duplicated content, missing tags, redirects and other errors could be present within your script, CSS, images and links, which in turn can pose as a real threat to your website’s performance. Once you have cleansed your website, you can begin to implement a more tactically suitable SEO strategy.

 

2. Research Keywords

Long-tail keywords are favoured by Google algorithms. These are specifically targeted phrases that contain three or more words and are used to attract customers who are more likely to be interested in your products or services. Use this tool to attract quality traffic.

 

3. Original Product Descriptions

Avoid using manufacturers’ product descriptions and instead create unique alternatives. Duplicated content is a major concern for eCommerce sites because it ultimately lessens the value and status of your website.

 

4. Use Social Media

Add social media sharing buttons to your product pages to encourage customers to share and rave about your fantastic services. SMO (social media optimisation) influences Google rankings who look at a highly shared piece of content/web page etc. and attribute its growing popularity as being the result of a relevant and high quality website.

 

5. Optimise Page Loading Times

Boost Google rankings by optimising fast page loading times. 40% of internet users will leave your product page if it fails to load within three seconds. This is particularly true with regards to the mobile version of your eCommerce website because mobile sales are on the steady increase and when people are on the go, they are also in a rush and have no time to wait for slow loading product pages.

 

6. Interesting Metadata

Include your keywords in unique Meta titles and Meta descriptions. Your Metadata must entice your audience and encourage them to click on your website and view your products.

 

7. Easy Navigation

A complicated site structure will drive traffic away from your site. Highly ranked sites are clearly organized and presented in a way that enables visitors to easily navigate, understand and search through your site without any complications or added hassle.

 

8. Quality Product Images

Quality product images and videos are necessary to help customers get a better idea of the products that you are offering. Ensure that each picture is tagged with appropriate metadata to allow them to appear on image-based Google searches.

 

9. Search-Friendly URL’s

URL’s must be optimised for important keywords and titled appropriately to give not only customers valuable information but also to alert Google to the content of your eCommerce page and to showcase its relevancy.

 

10. Mobile Optimisation

A responsive website is crucial. 80% of internet users search online with their mobile phones before searching on their desktops. Google ranks mobile-friendly sites higher than non-responsive sites, so make sure that your eCommerce website provides a great mobile shopping experience.

 

 

 

 

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How to Choose the BEST Digital E-Commerce Agency in UK and Ireland

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A website is one of the greatest tools that a business can have at its disposal. When choosing an eCommerce development company, it can be tempting to go with the option that claims “low prices and fast results”. However, these types of companies are usually amateurs in the business and their services are unlikely to deliver neither positive nor productive results. Choosing a professional and experienced web design firm will ensure that the essence of your brand is captured and successfully executed.

Recent research has revealed a 25% increase in online sales. This number is likely to increase, which is why it is so important that you choose an eCommerce agency that not only offers you value for money, but delivers on their promises.

Think of it as a long term investment.

You are likely to be working with your provider on a long term basis for ongoing support, additional services and help with the future expansion of your eCommerce website. Because websites have so many different functions and features operating all at once, it is useful to have a professional ear willing to listen to your ideas.

You need an agency that you can TRUST.

So, how can you differ the good firms from the bad?

You must determine their credibility. Have they won any awards? What have their previous customers said about their services? Are they able to provide relevant analytic reports and evidence of previous successes?

Years of experience is usually a tell-tale sign that the company is successful, established and stable. A range of clients from different sectors will ensure that the company is familiar with various website projects and are therefore more eligible to cater to your individual eCommerce needs.

In the same way that an artist or animator uses a portfolio to showcase their skills, a website development company should have an impressive portfolio to show to potential clients. It should outline their experience and enable you to better define their professionalism and evaluate their functionality and usability (regarding previous solutions provided to clients in the past). You can obtain better knowledge of the agency’s skills, experience, expertise and overall success rate by simply viewing their portfolio.

A trusted company is a flexible company. This means that if you feel that changes are needed to the design or content of your website, a professional web design firm will be open to these changes and will offer their own ideas, solutions and possible concerns with regards to certain aspects of your site.

One of the best ways that will help you to differentiate the best firms from the rest is to meet them face to face. This obviously poses as a problem if you have chosen a company based abroad. What is the solution to this dilemma?

KEEP IT LOCAL.

Choosing a trusted LOCAL web design company will allow you to get a better feel for the firm and its staff members. Being able to negotiate ideas and possible solutions for the success of your eCommerce is a HUGE advantage. Instead of blindly trusting a company through emails, you will be able to speak to them in person, bounce ideas off one another and speak to them over the phone and via video conference etc.

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E-Commerce: Expanding to a Global Market

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Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple Inc. and Pixar Animation Studios predicted in 1996 that global eCommerce “is going to be HUGE”…and he was right.

Reeling in customers from the other side of the world can be challenging but it can also be the key towards achieving an eCommerce site that EXPLODES with success. Think about sites such as Amazon, EBay and even MAC Cosmetics. These eCommerce sites have successfully broken into the global market and have made millions as a result.

The competitive world of online sales makes up 30% of the UK’s economy, so you can imagine the mass potential that could arise if you were to expand your business internationally. Retail eCommerce sales worldwide are expected to rise to almost £2.5 trillion by 2018.

So how can your business benefit from this enormous growth in global eCommerce?

A solid platform and an effective global business strategy MUST be set in motion. Your international customers need to interact and convert with your business without any hassle or inconvenience. The purchasing process has to be as simple as it is when the consumer makes a purchase from their local online retail stores.

But how can your eCommerce site provide this if it is based on the other side of the world?

LOCALISATION.

Understanding the international market is crucial. The opportunities for success abroad are readily available, but before you dive your business into a new region, appropriate research must be conducted to access the potential demand for your services using various performance indicators. This will help you to govern the need and performance of your business within foreign regions and gauge its success.

Your eCommerce site must be localised to adhere to the specific currency and language of foreign visitors. Think about a foreign buyer stumbling across your eCommerce site. What is their frame of reference as a buyer? Well, they are probably accustomed to seeing their own language on webpages.

What else?

They will expect international delivery services. If you are a UK company expanding into the U.S market, seemingly small dialect and spelling changes such as colour (UK) and color (U.S) plays an important role. Ensure that your website takes into consideration these and other key differences between the UK and international markets and then apply your findings to your global business strategy – TAILOR the experience.

Payment methods also vary in different parts of the world. For example, Germany favours direct debit transfer whilst Spain has seen an increase with PayPal. Cater your payment options accordingly and make sure that your eCommerce provides a range of different payment routes for international customers to choose from.

The importance of currency and rounded numbers plays a keen psychological role with regards to consumers deciding to take action or turn away from a payment. For example, showing an EU visitor a product priced at €34.87 is likely to put them off making the purchase, whereas if you round off this number to €35.00 instead, you have a better chance of encouraging conversions because you have simplified the purchasing process.

Succeeding in a global market has a lot to do with efficient shipping. A special offer or Free Shipping will enable your eCommerce site to remain above the surface in this competitive foreign territory. Import and export laws vary in each country so your business must comply with these before promising a sale and your return policy for international buyers must be both clear and precise.

 

Global eCommerce can help you to reach a much wider audience. E-Commerce is essentially about selling products or services online instead of in person, so remember:

 

If you can’t sell with a smile, sell with a click.

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10 Advantages of Using a Magento E-Commerce Platform

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1 out of 4 businesses choose Magento as their eCommerce platform. The average server response time of this E-Bay owned brand is less than 100 milliseconds with page loading times taking less than 500 milliseconds to respond. No other eCommerce platform can compete with the high speed and performance delivered by this leading open source eCommerce platform.

 

In case you need more convincing, here is a list of the top 10 advantages of using Magento:

 

1. Mobile-Friendly

A responsive design allows users to interact and engage with Magento services on any device such as desktops, smartphones and tablets etc. With over 80% of internet users owning smartphones, this mobile-friendly development accommodates everyone.

 

2. Adaptable Content Control

This sophisticated content management system features a visual-based intuitive page editor that permits retail owners to build rich content that can be customised and amended as needed.

 

3. A HUGE Community

When 800,000 developers and 240,000 businesses use your services world-wide, you must be doing something right. Magento benefits from having a massive community base. This provides users with a great deal of additional support and the possibility of making new connections within acquired fields of interest.

 

4. Advanced SEO

Magento caters to SEO and improves your product/service chances of appearing higher on search engine result pages. Custom SEO features enables business owners to enhance organic traffic numbers whilst reducing the cost of digital marketing.

 

5. Global Audience

You can save a great deal of time and money with Magento because the platform allows you to both create and manage multiple eCommerce stores with multiple currencies and languages. Reaching a global audience couldn’t be easier.

 

6. Simple Third-Party Integrations

Third-party integrations can be added to your business site to improve data analysis. You can connect your site to other established companies such as Google Shopping, PayPal and EBay.

 

7. Well-Built Security System

Magento is extremely strong in terms of stability and security. Users are able to customise the levels of security on their websites, guaranteeing that there is always strong walls of defence against unwanted intruders.

 

8. Increase Conversion Rates

Multiple payment options can be incorporated on your online business store which enables customers to make purchases via their most preferred option.

 

9. Filtered Search Options

A unique search items cloud makes searching for specific elements of a website easy and less time-consuming. Users can filter search options to receive the best possible and most relevant results.

 

10. Powerful Platform

Up to 500,000 products can be supported with a Magento platform. There is masses of space available, allowing for future growth and continuous expansion of your eCommerce website.

 

If you want your online business to succeed, choose the software that has actively proven to uplift sales and increase conversion rates.

As your business grows, Magento grows along with you.

 

Web Analytics for web design and ecommerce

How can Web Analytics Enhance your Business Strategy?

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Web Analytics refers to the intricate process of analysing, monitoring and reacting to activity on your website. This involves tracking important aspects of website traffic such as where visitors are coming from, how they engage with your site, what their common traits are and how long they spend viewing your website.

Despite its obvious value to online businesses, only 17% of brands are able to fully analyse their customer journey. The main reason for this incredibly low percentage is due to the fact that they merely lack the means to execute such gradations of data analytics.

A professional Digital Marketing Agency can accurately use analytics to encourage businesses to make informed marketing decisions. Incorporating professional analytics into your online business strategy will enable you to define and improve upon specific elements that have a negative influence on your return on investment and profitability.

However, simply obtaining data is NOT enough. A Marketing anthropologist is needed to bridge gaps, implement essential changes and slash through the clutter of collected data to pinpoint exactly what is needed to transform your company into an online profit making enterprise.

 

You NEED analytics to determine:

 

Demographics – site analytics can be accurately combined with remarketing data to discover gender, age and the keen interests of your viewers.

Geographic Location – Reveal exactly where in the universe your viewers are from such as country, state and the precise city etc.

Time – Which time of day is your highest peaking point? Is there is an explanation for this?

 

Key Analytics allows your business to drive direct traffic to your website, build brand awareness and establish a loyal customer base. As a result, web analytics helps you to develop a superior business strategy and as a result, a better understanding of your customers.

Your marketing campaigns can be closely followed to gauge their success. You will be able to see the amount of clicks that your ads received and how this effects generated traffic.

Your business should integrate online marketing campaigns with web analytics to optimise campaigns and to help determine which segments of your campaign produced quality traffic and which aspects are better left in the trashcan.

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Leading Web Design Trends of 2015/2016

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Web design is a modern art form that strives to provide an excellent online user experience. When your website speaks to the individual, taking into consideration their wants, needs, preferences and demands, you immediately have a competitive advantage.

 

First impressions are CRUCIAL.

 

Your website needs to give potential customers the best possible first impression in the limited time frame of just 10 seconds. Within these short seconds, you must accurately express what they will get out of your website. If you fail to give them a reason to stay, you’ll lose them forever.

Whilst some design paradigms never go ‘out of style’, trends do change with each passing year. 2015 trends are likely to last well into 2016 and beyond because they have proven to be influential and effective web design traits. Below are three of 2015’s most popular and effective web design trends:

 

Flat Design

Flat design is a prominent trend this year and focuses on using simple user interfaces and smaller sized images which results in increased page loading times. This functional design is ideal for smartphones, speaking directly to the contemporary web user. Responsive web design has come to be expected as recent studies have indicated that a massive 40% of people will choose a different search result if the first option is not mobile friendly.

 

LESS Clutter equals MORE Conversions

Our society has become more impatient and time conscious. People simply do not have the time to waste admiring a website that is packed with clutter. Keep it simple and you will attract a larger customer base. This trend involves using better typography and a stronger visual hierarchy which allows visitors to view the content that matters. Drawing the eye to the most important features of a web page is extremely important. Simple but powerful text will do a lot more for your conversion rates than a web page filled with too much clutter.

 

Multimedia is a MUST-HAVE

Moving images, sound and user interaction are all expected to be included in any good website. Aspects such as widgets, menus that follow your scrolling habits on the page and other multimedia features is now considered as being standard practice in web design. Use only high quality images that are clear, big and visually appealing/relevant. Future web designs in 2015/2016 are likely to continue this trend with particular focus on bigger and bolder images.

 

There are many other growing trends within the web design industry but these three seem to be the most prominent trends that are likely to become lasting marks of web design.

Social Media Optimisation

Why does your Business NEED an effective Social Media Optimisation Strategy?

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Social media networks have had a massive influence on how we both share and discover content online. The main goal of adapting an effective social media marketing campaign is to drive targeted traffic to your ecommerce site. Incorporating core aspects of current successful marketing and SEO plans whilst considering social media influences will give your online business increased levels of online visibility and wider branding influence.

 

Promoting your website content with social media should be implemented by all online businesses, especially in this digital age where over 100 billion global searches are conducted each month.

It is essential that your business website does not wash away with the tide of ecommerce sites that fail to implement an effective Social Media Optimisation strategy. Your ecommerce site needs to be the golden one in a sea filled with schools of derivative websites that foolishly believe that their business does not have use for Social Media Optimisation. If you possess this interpretation, you are setting yourself AND your business up for failure.

Your social media influence will play an important role towards determining whether or not Google and other leading search engines such as Bing and Yahoo will rank you highly. Factors such as reach, relevance and resonance will all be judged and used to define your credibility as a dependable source.

Boost your authority as an author by building trust with your audience. Your content must be relevant and reachable. With Google’s updated algorithm, only the highest quality content will have hopes of reaching top ranking positions, so keep this in mind the next time you’re tempted to post a piece of content which uses tons of grammatical errors and babbling ‘filler text’.

Search engines often use link building to help them determine the quality and reputation of your website. This method of building links online has never been simpler than with social media which can develop and share content across a wide range of platforms such as LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook and Twitter etc. If websites who are deemed ‘less than credible’ (the ‘bad influences’ of the internet) link back to your site, this will not do your online reputation any favours. Always make sure that the sites linking back to your website are trustworthy, relevant and credible.

A highly re-tweeted link will be noticed by search engines and lead to higher visibility. You can cut indexation time by up to 50% with high quality content that has been tweeted multiple times. Social media allows you to build connections with other businesses and potential customers, broadening your horizon with social media will help you to develop brand awareness and turn viewers into paying customers.

Developing a social media optimisation strategy will attract new enquires, especially if you outsource content through Facebook and Twitter etc. on a regular basis. Ensure that your business site makes the most out of social media and you will soon find that new customers are flowing in, sales are increasing and your brand will soon become a household name.

 

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Ecommerce: Boost Conversion Rates

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The quality and effectiveness of your ecommerce site has a direct impact on sales conversions. The average conversion rate for UK ecommerce online stores is around 3.3%. On-site optimisation drives performance which is why it is worth optimising your web pages appropriately following a close assessment of site performance using web analytics reports, user testing and online surveys. A poorly optimized website will drive potential customers away from your domain which is why you need to be aware of the different ways that your ecommerce site can boost conversion rates.

 

Create Urgency

If you visit your local supermarket you will notice that the delicious sweets and chocolate bars are situated close to the checkout tills, tempting you at the last minute of your shopping trip. The placement of these items is no accident. They are there to encourage impulse buys. In the same way, your ecommerce site can speak to the impatient buyer and tempt them into making a purchase by building the classic ‘fear of missing out’ feeling in their wallets.

You can increase this sense of urgency by using time-sensitive shipping which means having a countdown in place to indicate when certain offers or delivery times end. If you are selling a lot of single items then let your customers know just how popular they are by including a low stock indicator.

 

Entice Quality Traffic

Keyword optimisation should be a prioritised aspect to your inbound marketing strategy. It must be incredibly simple for customers to find their desired items on your site. If you make it too difficult and time consuming for them to find such items, they will look elsewhere. Simplicity is an important part of user experience. The product page for example, must be easy to navigate with important features such as the ‘Buy’ and ‘Basket’ buttons standing out from the rest of the site’s content. The pricing of your services or products must be fair. Customer reviews will entice visitors and provide them with more confidence to purchase from your ecommerce site whilst displaying credentials and awards will maximise their trust in your company.

 

Business to Customer Communication (and vice versa)

Your customers must be able to contact your business in a timely manner. Many ecommerce sites use a live chat option as 63% of customers are more likely to return to a website that offers this function as the main source of communication. Relevant contact details such as telephone numbers and email addresses should also be included on your website. It would be even more beneficial if your site offers a free phone call service as people will be more likely to trust a company that does not charge them for calls.

 

High Content Quality

Following the impact of Google’s Panda algorithm, poor content is no longer up to the high standards set by leading search engines. Give your visitors intriguing and informative content. When it comes to product descriptions, avoid simply stating the various facts about the product and instead focus your content on why and how your products are suited for potential customers. High quality images are also immensely important. Make sure that your product images are clear and of good quality, avoid posting pictures that are heavily pixelated or blurry. SEO services are now a very specialised service that must be carried out with only the highest quality content and integrated with professional social strategies.

 

Use a Responsive Design

Responsive websites produce higher conversion rates. It’s as simple as that. Your ecommerce site must be able to operate properly on all devices such as desktops, tablets and mobiles. You will be able to reach a greater target audience if you offer the same features and functions of your original desktop site across all devices.

 

User Interface, Usability Design

Create a Powerful Website with User Experience Design (UXD)

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User Experience Design (UXD) refers to the central process of successfully improving user experience and satisfaction by addressing each individual aspect of a website and honing them in a way that will increase the usability, accessibility and enjoyment delivered to the consumer from a functional and visual perspective. According to Tech Infographics, 68% of users leave a site because of a poorly designed UX. If your site does not meet the necessary standards of a good UXD, it will ultimately fail to provide excellent user experience and therefore is more likely to lose the interest of current and potential customers.

An improved UX Design will help to increase sales (for e-commerce sites), site productivity, customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. An example of a thriving e-commerce site is Amazon which is currently one of the largest online global retailers in the world. Amazon saw a huge leap forward in the business with gains of £300 million a year thanks to the new and improved UX Design strategy that they recently acquired. Many businesses are following Amazon’s lead and hope to improve their customer’s experience by incorporating a UX Design that provides:

  • A clear visual hierarchy – the site should be designed in a way that ensures that the viewers eyes are immediately drawn to the main focal point of content. This could be anything from the login form to the main title on the page etc.
  • Functioning buttons and links – there should be no broken links or errors on site.
  • A seamless experience – all devices should be able to provide the same features, functions and design that is present on the original desktop version of the site.
  • User-friendly navigation – incorporate an easy-to-use navigating system so that customers/users can operate and browse the site however they please.

UX Design is a wise investment that will enable businesses to reap its benefits long into the future. A successful and productive UX design will decrease costs connected to training, maintenance and support because customers will no longer need assistance to navigate and interact with your site. For each £1 invested in UX, up to £100 is returned. This proves that User Experience design is an essential aspect to any website.

There are five essential aspects to a successful UX Design:

  1. Market Research – You must be aware of your customer base and target audience. Achieving this requires a deeper understanding of customers experience on your site and with your acquired software.
  2. Visual Design – The visual presentation of your site is vital towards conveying the right message to your customers. You want the design of your site to encourage decisions to be made that will result in action, such as making a purchase or signing up for the monthly newsletter etc.
  3. Interaction Design –Accurate and sufficient research should be carried out to assess user needs before incorporating them into the site.
  4. Data Planning – The architectural aspect of your sites information must be structured accordingly so that data is easy to locate, navigate and to find online.
  5. Usability & Accessibility – Improve the overall usability of the site so that customers can access all features of the site in the easiest way possible.

 

 

 

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SEO: The Ultimate Key to Higher Rankings

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Discovering the secrets of SEO is a little like opening the internet’s version of Pandora’s Box – you never quite know what you might find. Google Algorithms are constantly changing and improving which means that it can be difficult to accurately pinpoint which factors of SEO will have the most effect on your rankings. However, there are a few key components that act as the fundamental basics of SEO and will continue to have a huge impact on the ranking successof your site. Those within the SEO industry constantly change and improve upon theirskills in order to keep up to date with the evolution of search engines. 70% of links that search users click on are from SEO, but how can your e-commerce site get the most out of SEO?

Consider the various aspects and information on your website that search engines such as Google will collect and distinguish in terms of relevancy and quality. Once you have pin-pointed these features, you will be more capable of rendering a SEO strategy that will propel your site to the top of the rankings list.

Words

The words on your site are extremely vital towards having your site ranked highly on search results. Take time to optimise for the right keywords and use onlyrelevant, engaging and high quality content. 93% of all online experiences start with a search engine and ends with the click of a button. Having the right words on your site will help to ensure that your website never falls below the search engine algorithm’s radar.

Titles

Titles are usually one of the first aspects to a site that people will see. It summarizes the content of a page which is why Google’s algorithm collects such information when providing accurate search results.According to Inside Online, the first 50 – 60 characters of your title is likely to be displayed by Google. To ensure that at least 95% of your titles display correctly on search engines, aim to keep your titles under the 55 character mark and avoid longer titles which will not be displayed fully.

External Links

When a domain contains a hyperlink that links to a different domain, this is called an external link. You can have external links within your own site that point to other relevant domains or another website could use an external link to point to your own domain. Either way, whenever a website has many different links attached to it, this will impress Google because it gives the impression that your site has quality information that viewers will want to read.

Google and other search engines such as Yahoo and Bing use various metrics to help them determine the external links overall value including the popularity of the page, the anchor text used within the link and the number of domains that link to the same website etc.

Reputation, Relevance and Regularity

How frequently you publish quality content to your website will play a vital role towards getting your site noticed by search engines. Sites that regularly post fresh content that includes optimised keywords and quality links may be seen as a successful domain and appear more likely to attract a larger number of viewers. The reputation of your site is extremely important to Google and other big search engines. For this reason, the sites that backlink to your domain should only be those that are considered high ranking and relevant.

 

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Responsive Design Encourages E-Commerce Growth

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Over the last year there has been a growing trend edging towards a more responsive approach to the design of ecommerce websites. This is largely due to the fact that 67% of online shoppers are more likely to purchase from a site that is compatible with a range of devices including mobile and tablet. This has had a positive impact on SEO and E-Commerce as Google ranks such sites higher than those which are deemed less usable, resulting in increased conversion and sales rates for sites that have employed a responsive web design.

Responsive design generates a positive user experience as consumers will be able to browse your website at home, in the office or on the go. This efficient approach is able to keep up with the fast movement and evolution of customer demands and Google algorithms (which now prioritize responsive sites above all others).

Gaining loyal customers who will recommend your ecommerce site to other users should be one of your top priorities as the owner of an ecommerce website. Enabling a responsive design can help you to achieve a loyal customer base. According to this infographic, 74% of internet users said that if a site works effectively on their mobile phone, they will be much more likely and willing to re-visit that same site again in the near future.

The three main principles of an effective responsive design includes:

  • A simplified user interface. This will help to drive visitor’s attention towards the most important factors of the site by using effective progressive disclosure.
  • Consistency in website functions, features and tools across all devices including desktop, mobile and tablet and to do so without sacrificing the screen resolution.
  • Provide device specific user interactions, allowing visitors to decide what kind of experience they wish to have whilst on your site (simplified or advanced, for example).

With 4 out of 5 smartphone users shopping online with their devices, it is evident that there is a mass potential of possible customers just waiting in the palm of your hand. 70% of mobile searches lead to online action within just one hour and the same can be said for other hand-held devices such as Kindles and Tablets. Adapting your ecommerce site to function across a range of devices will encourage sales growth and increase traffic to your website.

 

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Google Unleashes a ‘Slow Rollout’ of Panda 4.2

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In February 2011, Google introduced a brand new search filter entitled Google Panda with the aim to dramatically reduce the chances of sites containing poor quality content from reaching the top of the ranking system. Since its creation, Panda has updated Google’s algorithms on multiple occasions with one of the most significant updates occurring on September 23rd 2014, which included an algorithmic component.

The most recent Panda update sent shivers down the spines of SEO and content marketers who, following the impact of the September 23rd 2014 update, could actively notice how their sites had been affected by the vivid change. This update has been referred to by Google as the Panda 4.2 which commenced earlier this summer on the weekend of July 18th 2015. This update was barely noticeable upon its time of release and is expected to take up to several months to come into full swing, affecting around 2-3% of English search queries, according to Search Engine Journal.

The term Panda derived from Navneet Panda, one of the talented engineers from Google who developed the incredible technology that enabled Google to implement the Panda algorithm. This technology has allowed Google to focus more accurately on the quality of the content that appears high in their ranking system.

Studies have shown that 75% of search engine users never scroll past the first page of search results and because of this, it is crucial that the sites ranking high on the list do not include any irrelevant content or spam. Panda 4.2 eliminates these sites from appearing on Google’s index. Changes through the Panda algorithm affects the entire domain which means that they are site-wide.

But how can you tell if your website has been directly affected by Panda Updates? And if so, is there any way to improve or retrieveyour original rankings?

Unfortunately, it is still too early in the Panda 4.2 updating process to actively notice much change to your sites ranking scores. However, some sites may begin to notice an increase or decrease in their ranking position over the next few months. If your domain has been negatively affected by Panda, it can be extremely difficult to recover from and it may take some time and effort to climb back up the ranking ladder.

Panda’s main purpose is to prevent low and poor quality websites from gaining more exposure and higher rankings than good quality sites. For this reason, it is important that your site focuses primarily on high quality content because whilst real life Panda’s may becoming gradually extinct, Google’s Panda has ditched the bamboo and set up a permanent camp within Google’s algorithm system.

 

 

 

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Search Engines: Helping your SEO Strategy Keep Up with Changing Algorithms

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Think of an algorithm as a data recipe. This recipe holds all of the essential ingredients that search engines require to provide people with the best possible search results.

But what does a search engines algorithm have to do with your website?

It’s simple.

If your website does not contain the necessary ingredients to meet the standards of a search engines algorithm, it will not rank highly on the results page because it will simply go unnoticed and undetected by the adjoining algorithm…this is where Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) steps in.

SEO is a term used to sum up all of the different tactics and procedures that are used to increase the ranking of websites on a search engines result page (SERP). According to Search Engine Journal, SEO leads have a close rate of 14.6% whilst outbound leads (such as print advertising) have a reduced close rate of 1.7%. SEO and online marketing have surpassed the effectiveness of outbound marketing which is largely due to the fact that E-Commerce is the fastest growing retail market of 2015.

Of course, in order for your e-commerce site to benefit from this movement in the market, it needs to incorporate the right methods of SEO for your site. There are several major aspects to a website that an algorithm will scan and use in order to determine how valuable your site is and where exactly in the rankings list it should be placed. These include the Words within your site (including keywords), Titles, Links (both inbound and outbound), Words within Links and the search engines overall Reputation.

Incorporating each of these relevant factors accurately and effectively into your SEO strategy will help to ensure that your website never falls under the radar of any search engine, leading your site towards a brighter future that is less vulnerable and no longer restricted by the ever-changing conducts of search engine algorithms.

 

 

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The Importance of Adopting a Mobile-Friendly E-Commerce Site

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With over 100 billion global online searches carried out each month, it is no surprise that Google and other search engines such as Bing and Yahoo, have amended their algorithms to give better search results for consumers by prioritizing mobile-friendly sites. After all, the vast majority of internet users first begin their search engine explorations via their mobiles, with 80% of users choosing to access the internet using their smartphone rather than a desktop.
But what does this mean for your ecommerce site? Is it time for you to make the switch and develop an effective mobile marketing strategy?
The answer is YES.
Mobiles are an essential part of every-day life and if you cannot reach your audience via mobile, you give up those potential customers to your fierce competitors who ARE able to provide them with a pleasing mobile experience. To put it more accurately, there are currently seven billion people on this earth and 6.8 billion of them own or have access to a mobile phone.
There is vast market potential for businesses who have embraced mobile friendly sites that are both effective and responsive, but in order to take advantage of this mass potential your mobile ecommerce site must enable consumers to both engage and interact with your site.
Google ranks sites that use responsive design solutions higher than those who don’t because responsive designs provide consumers with quicker page loading times, shareable content and a single URL. To guarantee that your website performs optimally on any device, including mobile and tablet, you must implement a responsive web design solution which will drive traffic and provide the ultimate mobile-user experience.
Your mobile site must include the same usability, design, features and content that is available on the desktop version of your site. This is to ensure that both versions are parallel to each other. According to CMO Council, mobile devices will account for at least 87% of the total sales of Internet-enabled technology by 2017, which means that if you want your ecommerce site to succeed you must have it optimized for mobile to enable you to:
Keep up with your customers.
Keep up with your competitors.
Keep up with change.

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Advantages of SEO for Small Businesses

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Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) helps to build a business’ online presence using effective, fast and user-friendly websites that automatically rank higher in search engines such as Google and Bing. The higher your website ranks within the long list of search results, the more likely it is that your website targets the right audience,leading to a steady increase in conversion rates and an amplified number of sales. With help from a professional Web Design company such as Ryco Marketing, small businesses can reap huge benefits from using SEO, enlarging their customer base and increasing traffic to their website.

Increase Traffic

As a race, we humans tend to be a little on the lazy side and this couldn’t be more evident than with our online search engagements. People rarely click onto the second or third page of Google and are far more likely to trust that Google has given them the most relevant findings on the first page which is why SEO is so important to small businesses especially. The main reason why businesses, small and large, choose to incorporate SEO into their online marketing strategy is to increase the sheer amount of traffic that visits their site on a daily basis.

It has been proven that a business that uses SEO will expand and grow twice as fast as a business who has not invested in SEO. If you own a small business or your company is fairly ‘new’ it is worth considering using SEO to help your business hit the ground running. Effective SEO will enhance your business’ rankings on search engines, resulting in more regular visitations to your site and subsequently, more customers.

Strive Ahead of your Competitors

Increase your brands credibility and awareness with a successful SEO strategy. Internet users tend to automatically trust that Google will deliver accurate, relevant results and that the most relevant of those results will be right there on the first page of the search. SEO can help your website to be continuously present on search engines whilst dramatically increasing the likelihood that it will reach top rankings. Chances are, your current competitors in your industry have already turned to SEO to deliver fast and effective results for their businesses. A small business will do much better for itself if it uses an optimised site whereas a business who has yet to jump on the SEO bandwagon will have less customers and less opportunities for advancement.

Provides Ultimate User Experience

Investing in SEO is a powerful way in which to deliver high quality user experience for your consumers. A user-friendly website will invite visitors to your site and by using a clear structure with interactive and visual stimulations such as pictures, quality content, blogs, videos and numerous engaging pages etc. customers will want to remain on your site for a longer period of time and be encouraged to take action because of the enthusiasm that your website has generated using effective SEO. Small businesses must adapt SEO into their marketing strategies if they want their business to succeed as an online ecommerce.

 

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How a Secure E-Commerce Solution can help you Reduce Scam Risk

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Using a secure e-commerce will help to ensure that your site is never at risk of being hacked or invaded by members from a third-party. Valuable data must be protected from harm and intrusion and the only way to ensure constant protection from such scams is to use a safe e-commerce provider who will use their expertise on the matter to guarantee permanent safety and security. Here are some ways in which a secure e-commerce will reduce the risk of scam:

Providing a Secure E-Commerce Platform

Choosing a secure platform from which to host your e-commerce is the first step towards ensuring online safety. Ryco Marketing uses Magento as a secure E-Commerce Platform that is trusted by the world’s leading Brands. It is built to deliver high performance and is compliant with PCI (Payment Card Industry) and DSS (Data Security Standards) which helps to ensure that both your business and customer data is protected.

Protects your E-Commerce from Invasion

Avoid loss of important and essential data by using a secure e-commerce that allows you to constantly check the condition of your website for viruses that may have seeped into the site. A secure e-commerce site will reduce the chances of this occurring in the first place which means your site remains protected from threats. Ryco Marketing for instance, uses professional software packages that carry out regular vulnerability assessments to determine how exposed your site is to potential hackers, thus allowing for immediate action to take place in order to stop unwelcomed third-parties from entering the site.

Highest Possible Security Measures

Having a secure e-commerce in place ensures that only the highest quality of security measures are in place. Regular software updates are carried out to confirm that the site is continuously updated with the latest and best forms of security software. The use of high tech encryption software secures all types of data, most importantly financial information and confidential data. Putting up firewalls is perhaps the most basic mode of security and any e-commerce site worth its name should be expected to have a powerful firewall in place to stop attackers dead in their tracks before they have a chance to breach your network and get their hands on essential information.

Employ Additional Security Systems

Using various levels of security is something that a good e-commerce will do to provide you with the highest possible mode of onlinesecurity. They employ a security alert system that will instantly alert you to any suspicious or strange behaviour on your site (such as multiple transactions coming from the exact same IP address). Installing a card and address verification system will also give your e-commerce that extra layer of security to reduce the chances of having any deceitful charges.

 

 

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E-Commerce: Necessity for Businesses on the Web

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E-commerce is an essential requirement for businesses who wish to broaden their brand via the web in order to increase sales and expand their reach to a wider audience of potential consumers. E-Commerce, otherwise known as electronic commerce, is the term given to an online system that allows businesses to trade through the internet selling their services, goods or information to online customers. Today’s business world is extremely competitive which is why many businesses are benefiting from having an online presence which enables them to reach masses of potential customers from around the globe.

Encourage a ‘Take Action’ Approach

Having an e-commerce site for your company allows you to better connect with your target audience. Your website will showcase your business in the best light, allowing potential customers to understand why they not only want but need your service or product. When a customer decides to buy something, the first step that they usually take is to find it online, hence they end up viewing your website to determine whether or not they want to make a purchase. Having an e-commerce solution will influence customers to take action which will result in an increase of sales.

Expand your Business Brand

One of the most advantageous aspects of having an e-commerce site is being able to extend your reach to not only your target audience, but beyond that. Choosing Rycoweb to design your website will ensure that your brand reaches top Google rankings so that when a potential customer seeks to purchase a specific product or service via the web, your e-commerce site will be one of the first options that they will see. Developing an effective ‘social media strategy’ will also help your brand to grow. By updating your social media accounts with good content, special offer notifications and competitions, it not only raises the company’s profile but encourages traffic to your e-commerce site, resulting in an increase of sales and an expanding consumer base.

Convenient and Less Time Consuming

In today’s busy world, people no longer have the time or the patience to head out shopping after a long day in the office which is why so many customers appreciate the convenience of online shopping. Rycoweb enables businesses to better connect with their consumers because when your business has its own e-commerce website, customers are able to make a purchase with a few simple clicks.This is an extremely efficient solution because payment and sales are completed quickly whilst ensuring customers that their payment information is kept safe and secure.

Cost Effective Solution

In comparison to traditional methods of trade, e-commerce provides the ultimate cost effective solution to all of your business and sales needs. E-commerce marketing has proven to be able to achieve a higher customer to cost ratio because the cost of advertising online is evidently less expensive than marketing via a TV commercial, for example. The long-term advantages of having an e-commerce website for your business is irrefutable, sales will continue to grow as your brand expands to reach a wider audience. E-commerce is the more cost effective solution to allow for online movement between business and customer, permitting the ability to buy and sell goods and services without having to set one foot outside the door.

 

 

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Ecommerce – Gateway To Global Trade Domination

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Doing business online is now accepted as a means of business growth potential on a global scale. Many entrepreneurs are now recognising the value of virtual stores and are convinced that this is where business of the future will be conducted.

The potential is unlimited and with cost effective and credible ecommerce applications, businesses are being taken to an area where they can best flourish. With an enormous catchment of buyers and sellers online you need an ecommerce platform to grow your business and reach out to your potential market. Every conceivable product and service is now available to buy or sell online and ecommerce is the in word and concept. A well designed and built website will help launch your enterprise on a sound platform, and an effective marketing strategy and campaign will assist online growth. To sustain this growth you will have to consider search engine optimisation campaigns which creates awareness of your business and products online. Initially it is essential to ensure that your website build includes integrated SEO modules to give you an immediate boost in the search engine rankings and to put your business on the world map.

Parochial or regional targeting is not a sole option for growing businesses online. You need to open your business to as wide a market as possible in other words the global markets. If you manage to secure sales of 3% for example in a regional area, you can increase this a hundred fold at least by opening up to a more densely populated global market. To achieve this standard of online trading success your ecommerce web design must be fit for purpose, so ensure you have a solution that is professionally designed, coded and marketed before attempting to engage world markets. Language is no longer a barrier to international trading as your ecommerce website can be presented in any language you choose. Security of payment is a highly rated priority for customers so this must be a prime consideration when having all the required features integrated technically in your ecommerce application. Merchant accounts should work smoothly with secure transaction tools and shopping cart reliability. If you have all these integrated facilities and a highly visible website then your ecommerce solution will prove a valuable gateway to global trade domination.

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Ecommerce – Ecommerce Solution For All Businesses

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The basic premise is that an ecommerce solution is a necessity for anyone who wishes to do business on the web.
It can be defined in various ways, but it is essential that you understand the concept and appreciate the requirement to bring your business to life and sustain its growth and profitability. The concept can be defined broadly as the activity of selling products or services on the internet, with the integrated facility of online payment by credit card and other payment forms. Historically ecommerce solutions were the platforms for large companies such as Amazon and eBay but realistically anyone with a good business plan and vision can implement an ecommerce solution to drive their online business forward. What is most important is the need to have a business acumen and have all the business processes in place before implementing an ecommerce solution. In its concrete form it enables the online entrepreneur to operate a complete sales or purchase enterprise providing the customer with all the software tools to follow through a transaction from ordering the product to paying online and to delivery. A professional ecommerce solution enables a smooth online transaction without any glitches. It means that the consumer can shop from their armchair and receive delivery of the ordered product direct to their doorstep. All the intermediary processes such as the shopping cart, payment gateway, delivery process, customer services and returns are integrated automatically in the system.

Ecommerce solutions are provided by many companies who often guarantee ease of set up, customised applications and positive results with powerful marketing tools and add ons. These facilities are all included in a set price or at least that is what you will negotiate with prospective ecommerce website developers. The secret to acquiring a responsive, reliable ecommerce solution is constant communication with your website provider. This ensures that you get the customised platform consistent with the requirements to drive your online business into prosperity.

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Ecommerce – Planning For A successful Ecommerce Website Design

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Deja vu is a very useful experience to draw from when planning to design your ecommerce website. The pitfalls are many for the uninitiated and for the entrepreneur looking for a quick fix design set up the mistakes made in haste are humbling and very often irredeemable.

The message to anyone thinking of creating a design for their website is to consider the challenge in terms of (a) finding the right designer to create the desired solution and (b) communicating effectively with that designer so they know exactly what you want and can implement the requisite system to deliver your requirements.

Primarily, finding an empathetic, skilled designer with a proven track record is your first challenge and there are a number of ways to secure the best. You can contact successful ecommerce businesses and ask if they could recommend their designer or design team. Very often the best designers are referred from one customer to another, as long as your business is non threatening in the competitive commerce arena. You basically require a designer who can create a customised system to drive your business. At the point of selecting and commissioning your website designer it is necessary to know exactly what you want them to do for you. Most entrepreneurs will want the designer to create the web design and work through a complete process with continual consultation throughout the project. This eliminates anomalies, buts and maybes and enables the designer to deliver exactly what you want. From initial designs to completed project the key concept is engagement. The more consultation the more successful the outcome and the more economical the process will be. Be careful to select your designer on past results and not necessarily price. You can find affordable designers with flair and integrity who will give you what you want as long as the second challenge is fulfilled. Constant communication between the ecommerce entrepreneur and the website designer will negate any disasters that might otherwise arise in the design process. Designers are not mind readers and can only work with the remit they are given – so the more detailed and precise the design concept is in the planning stages, the more successful will be the outcome. With your feedback your designer can review their designs and provide you with a selection of designs for your consideration. Your final choice can then be made so the design sign off stage of your project is accomplished to your total satisfaction. This pre empts the horror stories you hear about other disastrous website designs.

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Ecommerce – The Advantages

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Ecommerce or Electronic Commerce is the system whereby the consumer can buy or sell goods and services over the Internet and transfer payments or funds through digital media channels. It is undoubtedly one of the most coveted facets of the Internet to have developed over recent years.

Through a network of computers the operative can fulfil a transaction in a matter of minutes from the comfort and convenience of the consumer’s home. With security of payment methods having improved immeasurably in recent times and more on line transactions being conducted more speedily than ever, the customer has increased reassurance of successful outcomes. The virtual business environment that can often be intimidating and off putting has become so user friendly that online transactions are a simple process from start to finish.

Within this process people can carry out business unhindered by the constraints of distance or time. You can log onto the Internet at any convenient time – day or night – and sell or purchase anything your heart desires at the click of a mouse. A very basic working knowledge of keyboard skills and Internet Surfing experience are the basic requisite skills for enabling online shopping or selling. The direct cost-of-sale for an order executed on a website is more economical than traditional methods of paper based retail, as there is no human interaction during the online electronic purchase order process. However, for the customer who may find the virtual world of online trading too impersonal or desires to complete a transaction with the help of a human intermediary, there is normally a Telesales Service to help complete the purchase or sale. This service should be standard with any reputable professional online Ecommerce Business so to avert the possible difficulties that might confront potential customers and to provide the backup service necessary to guarantee successful customer transactions.

A benefit of electronic transactions is eliminating processing errors as well as providing faster transaction times and making the procedure more convenient for the customer.

Ecommerce is also an excellent platform for selling niche products. The customer base may be smaller but in the expansive market place of the Internet even specialist products could generate sufficient volume sales to render the business worthwhile.

Ecommerce has proved that it is the most economical way of doing business and with thoughtful effective SEO campaigns can improve their competitive standing in the market place. Climbing Google Rankings and Increasing Brand Awareness can lead to growth in sales or purchases, so the opportunities of Sustained Growth are greater than traditional marketing methods, which are costly and time consuming.

Ecommerce Businesses benefit from the reduced costs of selling online. Product prices can be checked and maintained at competitive rates without compromising profit margins.

There are many tangible advantages from the Buyer’s point of view including a reduction in the time taken to sort out purchases. Improved decision making is promoted by Ecommerce Business Sites with precise navigation to find the product required and quicker payment gateways to complete transactions and expedite the ordered goods. Unlike conventional buying, less time is wasted on resolving invoice and order mistakes. The customer also has greater opportunities for buying alternative products such is the wider availability of choice on the Internet.

There are also wider benefits to changing to an Ecommerce Business solution. Delivery times can be reduced as can labour costs and expense related to such considerations as preparation of documents and error detection and resolution. Other strategic advantages include savings on mail preparation and telephone bills, staff salaries and overtime and supervision expenses. Business processes are completed with less personnel and in reduced time frames.

With all these savings on Time, Energy and Capital, Ecommerce Enabled Businesses can thrive on suitable E Business Solutions Platforms, offering turnkey quality to Ecommerce Websites.

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Ecommerce – Misinformation On Creating Effective Ecommerce Websites

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There is a plethora of information on the Internet advising how to create effective ecommerce solutions. Such is the amount of advice available that the good gets lost with the bad, and bad practice is encouraged during the process of the ecommerce build.
To avoid the obvious pitfalls or disastrous decisions that might be incorporated in the development of an ecommerce solution it is necessary to remember certain points and dispel the myths.

There is a common belief that you can never provide your customers with too much information. The reality based on consumer testimonials is that simple product information is sufficient and that being overwhelmed can be a purchase turn off. Avoid ambiguity and confusion so as not paralyse potential buyers and present technical data if necessary as separate downloadable documents.

Inspiring consumer confidence in your website requires more than a security badge on your checkout pages. Security online is vital but the objective should be to convince potential buyers of the reliability of your website through effective website written content. In High Street shops cross-selling works very well but does not work effectively online. Checkout protocol online needs to be decisive, focused and fast so the least distractions there are the better. Customers who are bombarded with too many extra choices may find it off putting and may be driven to your competitors’ websites. The lesson is not to litter your checkout with cross-selling products. Another element worth remembering is that your sales success online does not depend on your web design alone. There are equally important factors that make up the full experience such as returns policies, customer services, order fulfilment and dispatch and enquiries handling. It is as important to provide good customer services online as off line especially when it may be the first human interaction in the purchase process for the customer.

The myth that launching and sustaining an ecommerce business is easy needs addressing. It takes business acumen and many other skills to grow the business so do not fall for the premise that a 16 year old can create and sustain an ebusiness.

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Reducing Fraud Risk Through Secure Ecommerce

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If your business accepts credit card payments then you are susceptible to credit card fraud and computer hacking. High Street retail stores and ecommerce businesses acknowledge this danger and have taken measures to address this growing problem.
They have reset their credit card processing systems to integrate secure technologies and protocol that effectively blocks card fraudulence. Though not totally fool proof these protocols have dealt quite successfully with the threat that faced retail businesses, accepting the fact that they practically all use the credit card payment system.
Ecommerce websites are also susceptible to being compromised by fraudsters and hackers and it is imperative that they protect the business and their customers. To do this ecommerce business should ensure they are PC1 compliant with industry best practices for credit card payments. The council governing PC1 security standards are endeavouring to simplify the process of protecting customer information from fraudsters and website hackers. This will regulate PC1 data security standards on ecommerce website software solutions and ensure minimum level of security attributes in database archives on the Server and the physical premises of the Server. Non compliance with PC1 standards can nullify a company’s sanction for processing online transactions. No ecommerce website owner can afford to lose the online transactions of their business. Customer security demands that businesses adopt the appropriate initiatives to stamp out fraudulence and protect their integrity. The outlay of any fines for non compliance would be better spent on a skilled website design team in the first instance.
The problem arising from a hacked ecommerce website is that the fraudsters can validate card numbers with small purchases. Once validated the card can be used at a later date to withdraw large sums of money. These criminals can even convince merchant accounts to credit back funds to a stolen card account. The card holder in this way does not notice the changing account balance in the short term. Another fraudulent practice in ecommerce websites that have been compromised is to replace the payment data. While ecommerce business orders move towards completion criminals can divert payments to their own forged accounts instead of the merchant account. There is always a question of responsibility regarding securing ecommerce websites. Is it the website provider or the payment gateway agency who takes responsibility of credit card transactions? This issue will undoubtedly be resolved in the future with tighter security all round.

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Ecommerce Requirements

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Ecommerce website development has streamlined and smoothed many functions either individually or in an integrated fashion, that in effect has revolutionised online business.
The transfer of money over the Internet in a secure system has enabled shoppers to pay for their purchases with confidence online. The following operations also signal more professional online sales and create a shopping environment where the potential customer can complete a transaction ranging from product choice to payment online and delivery, without any glitches; automated data collection systems, electronic data exchanges; inventory management packages and supply chain management packages.

Internationally people are making transactions on the World Wide Web. Ecommerce businesses are a global phenomenon outreaching the boundaries of geographical and national limitations and open 365 days a year. The reservations you may have about Internet Trading are very often the product of a hastily and randomly created website which like any business without a business plan or marketing strategy will fail before it even begins. A strong business model is necessary to generate and sustain revenue in the ecommerce world. We only have to look at the big successes such as Ebay and Amazon to ascertain the need to have a credible business model to begin with.

It is therefore essential to consider the many facets of developing an ecommerce business. Building an effective website to sell products or services requires primarily a good business plan and then a Technically Cohesive Solution that integrates all areas of the online business model to provide the customer with a happy shopping experience. The system needs to be good enough to secure customer loyalty so they return for repeat purchases. Ensuring positive outcomes on any ecommerce website requires strong market research and effective marketing strategies, supported by a professional management and technical team. Providing complete information about products and services is paramount as is a common sharing of the information by customers, business associates, suppliers and shipping agents.

Technically the website system should be secure in every facet; it should also be reliable and stable and capable of responding speedily to new technical advances, as well as social and economic changes and innovation.

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Top Tips To Ensure Maximum Performance For Your Ecommerce Solutions

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If you have done your research and can pinpoint times when your business online is most busy, then you can take corrective steps to ensure optimum performance at these pressure sales times. It may be that coming up to the holiday seasons, both Winter and Summer, your website can avail of a facelift appeal and more importantly ensure your online store works seamlessly for your customers. There are a number of elements you should check out to effect optimum sales.
As online merchants face a shopping deluge the weakest point will be emphasised. To pre-empt this situation test your ecommerce application for maximum traffic and the fastest loading times it can cope with. It is imperative to provide a bandwith that is sufficient so your online business does not depend entirely on your server. The most efficient online stores must be open 24/7 with customer service always available.

Your website design should not only provide attractive images of the products being sold but also fast downloading times. Ensure you have categories for age, interests and gender and highlight the discounts and special offers, such as free shipping. You want to entice your potential customers to not only browse but to engage, stay on your site and make a transaction. Any tweaks you make must sustain your customers interest sufficiently and provide the smooth transition from product order to payment online.

There are a variety of reasons why customers abandon the shopping cart and quit shopping midway on an ecommerce store. These can be addressed and corrected to avoid customer loss. To reduce the likelihood of this you should ensure that the processes in the purchase chain are flawless and easily navigable. Such details as shipping schedules, cut off dates, ordering deadlines, product page information, product availability and pricing should be double checked and working smoothly. The other big issue of course is the payment methods and policies that are available to the online shopper.

Taken in the round all these elements are inextricably related to your website design which ties in with your hosting process. Your shopping cart is enmeshed with your ecommerce merchant account features and it is at this point that your customer is looking for alternative payment methods other than credit card. It behoves the online entrepreneur to make sure that the payment processing method is secure and not susceptible to online fraud.

These pointers are worth bearing in mind and enacting to ensure a smooth ecommerce shopping experience for the potential customer.

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Ecommerce Getting the Best Out of Your Ecommerce Website

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To get the best out of your ecommerce web solution, “it must do as it says on the tin” – to coin a cliche. The internet world of buying and selling online is changing and developing exponentially over recent times. There is a world of difference between running an ecommerce business and making it successful. An ecommerce website that is not strategically designed and operated will experience little advantage in trading in a cyber environment.

If you are serious about operating a professional, powerful captivating and effective ecommerce website then you need a solution that has all the essential ingredients to provide the desired outcomes. There are a number of aspects that you must integrate into a successful solution to give you a return on investment.

 

Your ecommerce website design must not only appeal visually to your potential customers but must provide the navigation and layout that takes the purchaser quickly with ease from the ordering stage to the payment check out stage. It is therefore imperative that you commission the best designer possible to create this platform – you will literally get what you pay for so research this area before making any decisions and select the best at the most affordable price. It is essential that the designer is conversant with market trends so that your website can be designed according to the market standards expected by your potential customers online. Careful planning and execution of the design elements will give you the desired return on investment.

 

Another feature that is of paramount importance in giving your website that credibility and reliability that instils confidence in your customer is your choice of web hosting. It must be secure and you can research this side of your hosting very easily to acquire the best hosting provider available. Your online shop should be accessible from anywhere in the world, with integrated features such as fast internet speeds, good uptime and responsive customer supports. Only consider a web hosting package that can offer all these traits.

 

Implement an advanced shopping cart software integration that provides good product displays, dependable payment gateway solutions, reliable and fast admin. support with add-on benefits. These features are an essential part of an effective ecommerce solutions and must be in place to effect smooth purchase processes and transactions.

 

The other area requiring indepth attention is your website marketing. If your online store cannot be seen or found easily then business will simply pass you by. Customers have to be aware of your availability in the market and an effective marketing strategy to highlight this is ‘de rigueur’. Again choose the right ecommerce design company to integrate all this software into a lean selling machine. To disregard any essential aspect of creating an effective ecommerce website will be at your peril!

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Ecommerce Defining an Ecommerce Consultant

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A consultant is normally someone who is expert in their field or speciality and becomes a professional adviser to those who require their expert or specialised skills and help. In the world of ecommerce the same applies and for those unacquainted with the technical and business know how of setting up and maintaining an ecommerce website, they are an indispensable assistance.
All too often entrepreneurs try to go it alone with ecommerce and the savings on spend they think they are making becomes a total loss due to their lack of specialist knowledge and skills surrounding the development and operation of an ecommerce website. If you recognise the need to consult someone at the development stage you will ultimately save money by avoiding costly mistakes that will certainly detract from your business’ profitability and success.

 

Experience is an essential element in creating a successful platform and choosing a credible consultant can prove a financial saving in the long term. We can quantify the advantages of using an ecommerce consultant. Their experience avoids mistakes you might have made yourself if you had gone it alone. Their knowledge can make your site successful as they have helped others before. They know what to implement to create success. They can help you navigate the stormy seas of being an internet entrepreneur and they will help you to market your ecommerce website so to drive in traffic that will provide an almost instant profit. They have the skills to ensure time saving features to make your business more efficient.

 

The money you lay out on an ecommerce consultant will make you money in the long term, so it is a positive decision to seek this help. If you desire the gold standard then a consultant of this standing will be expensive but you must give your ecommerce business the best chance possible to grow, succeed and become profitable.

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Ecommerce Evolution

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What began as a highly competitive ecommerce sphere has evolved into an arena where ecommerce software providers are providing the complete package for aspiring online entrepreneurs to establish Internet e businesses. They bundle their software to incorporate all the needs of the website from Home Page, Products to shopping carts and marketing services. For many entrepreneurs online there was a steep learning curve in the beginning – coming to terms with a market that knows no regional limitations.

Information availability increased exponentially for a few years and then at a much faster rate until by 2010, with increased broadband speeds and download times, deployment of second generation websites is now necessary to provide a more professional customer experience.

The online entrepreneur’s primary need remains a credible online presence that meets the demands of an increasingly educated, aware online consumer base. The ingredients of a good effective site were historically an effective design, a user friendly shopping cart, the appropriate products, a successful SEO and a cost per click marketing campaign. The service providers required to help the Internet entrepreneur make money were also profiting from their skill areas of ecommerce coding, web development and web marketing. Since its inception the Internet rose like the ‘phoenix from the ashes’ and the technology has developed at a mind boggling rate. However it has not been a successful vision for many budding ecommerce businesses, due to many factors including failure to plan properly or complete lack of vision in the first place. A lot of web mavericks have jumped on the bandwagon and impressionable entrepreneurs have in many cases opted for the cheap web application which does not “do what it says on the tin”. A lot of frustration and bewilderment has grown amongst those unsuccessful online business that took advice from ill chosen web developers who could not deliver on their promises.

With too many people doing the same thing the competition can be financially suffocating. Choices made during the crucial growing stage of a ecommerce business will be the decisive factor in their ability to jump to the next level or drown. Some investment is necessary in up to date web applications to maintain their credibility and sustain their growth. Business acumen and experience are just as important as the technical know how in creating successful online ecommerce businesses. For those ecommerce combatants who continue to survive and prosper the interest is now in the new breed of ecommerce providers who offer complete services – hosting, design, stock control software, shopping cart, product category and range management software, analytics, SEO marketing, SSL certificates at an affordable price. Again the overriding factor is finding ecommerce providers who have a proven tract record of fulfilling their promises – at the end of the day cheap is not always cheerful – you will get what you pay for.

There are a number of reputable ecommerce companies who will deliver on their promises and it behoves any aspiring online business to choose their system provider with care, having done their homework in advance. There is a bright future for ecommerce businesses who are savvy enough to make the smart choices that guarantee successful outcomes.

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Web Design Belfast

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The evolution of digital initiatives has brought down the risk involved in business promotional activities. Many creative and professionally versatile Belfast based Website Design companies are there to help rejuvenate your online business platform.

Creating a new Web design is an ideal opportunity for your business to increase its online visibility and profile. A well-built ecommerce website can propagate your products and services across the world using simple electronic connections.

Web design agencies can give a new dimension to your business. They engage themselves to creating a highly informative and visually astonishing finished product that invites local and international audiences to take note of your offerings.

Belfast web design agencies aim to increase your sales rates and will embed all necessary software modules to ensure your maximise your ROI. Web design professionals deliver bespoke web design solutions that enhance customer expereince, increase traffic and that ensure best possible Google rankings. Additional off-site Search Engine Optimization, may be required to target very competitive keywords.

A professional web design company will build a site that drives traffic, increases ROI, reduces abandonment, secure payment portals and generate sales and leads by executing integrated strategy. They just make use of cut-throat technology to track and analyze the market trends.

 

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Ecommerce (Online Sales)

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Try to quantify global sales and the statistical analysis becomes difficult if not impossible. The variables governing the results are so prone to change that daily, weekly or monthly data analysis can reveal ever changing quantities, based on the most prevalent factors and figures at any given point of time.

Ecommerce has become the lightning conductor in dictating expanding global trade. Online sales have increased exponentially over recent years and continue to outgrow all other retail and wholesale sales right across the economic spectrum. The shrewd entrepreneur has not only initiated an ecommerce website to up sell their products but has implemented a second generation ecommerce application to enhance the customer experience and improve online sales. The success of ecommerce marketing and sales is clear to all who browse the Internet and take time to look at Google or other search engine rankings.

 

Those companies who have embraced effective search engine optimisation campaigns over a period of time are reaping the rewards with high ranking places in the top pages. Consequently we find that these are the companies that outperform their competitors, in the sales arena and are continuing to grow their sales year on year. Having an awareness and appreciation of the growing trend towards ecommerce business, is the launch platform for future entrepreneurial success through ecommerce application.

 

Ecommerce has revolutionised the way in which people buy and sell products. What historically was a High Street transaction has become a purchase or sale over the Internet. With the establishment of such sales websites as E Bay and Amazon, the general public have been drawn into the intrigue of trading in a cyber environment that operates in real time and has replaced the cyber virtual world.

 

In plain terms, almost any transaction involving buying or selling goods or products is possible on the Internet and with the evolution of payment gateways, a complete service stretching from purchase to delivery is available to any customer. There are no restrictions on the types of business that can avail of ecommerce trading and while the larger ecommerce operators are the retail/wholesale conglomerates the independent trader has proven that ecommerce trading outperforms the traditional Sales methods of across the counter sales.

 

The concept opens up a world of global trade encompassing every industry, from the cottage to the multinational. Some operatives have actually abandoned the traditional High Street sales pitch for the online sales of ecommerce. This burgeoning industry not only provides the trader with video market access but provides many useful services for the business such as providing data for market research, attracting traffic for ecommerce store fronts and performing market research for online ordering and delivery systems. There are even integrated software packages to control stock levels and ordering systems.

 

Ecommerce business also introduces new media channels, such as VOIP telephone systems, video streaming, online marketing and brand awareness. These all contribute to making online business successful. Ecommerce offers the customer a one stop shop. You can browse, pick, order and pay for your purchase without leaving your armchair. It will even be delivered to your doorstep with a clearly defined returns and exchange policy to complete the transaction and reassure the potential customer. Ecommerce systems are ‘de rigueur’ the platform to increasing your sales.

 

Globalisation demands that companies wishing to outperform their competitors must embrace these latest technologies to sustain growth and survival in the commercial world.

 

Wider audiences create wider demand for your products and services and you ignore at your peril the role of ecommerce business solution providers, whose systems dictate the real success of your online ecommerce business application. Bespoke packages are the driving force behind user friendly, effective website applications. These can range from simple brochure sites to high-end database driven applications. The future of online trading in products and services is undoubtedly ecommerce.

 

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Ecommerce – Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail

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Opening any type of business requires a business plan and failing to do a plan will most often see the demise of the business before it gets started. The same principle applies to starting an ecommerce business, where the most overlooked process is planning.

 

The success of your ecommerce business can be defined in terms of proper planning, target setting and market research. Unfortunately many online e-commerce businesses, eager to get going without any real thought or consideration fail to deliver and end up on the refuse heap. When stepping into the arena of e-commerce there are many pitfalls awaiting the uninitiated. It is often a two edged sword.

 

A beautiful website can fail as a sales tool if the business side is neglected. No matter how dynamic technically an ecommerce website is, if not designed in tandem with sound business principles, it will flounder. The risk of a virtual loss as opposed to a bricks and mortar loss may be more tolerable but no one starts a business with the premise that it will fail. If you have a niche product that is competitively priced why would it not sell? Failing to answer this question suggests that they do not have the basics of business planning. Without understanding the challenge of e-commerce business you cannot plan for the predictable let alone the unpredictable ahead.

 

To plan for an ecommerce business you must start with the end in mind. You need to set acceptable profit targets based realistically on what is possible. Establish a competitive selling price for your products. Converting visits to your site to sales depends a lot on how the customer gets to your site. If the search terms on which your site rankings are based, are closely connected to the products or services being sold, your conversion rate will likely be higher. In creating a conversion rate keep to a conservatively low number so you can work out how many visits are needed on your site to meet revenue targets. Your task is how to achieve the required number of visitors to use your products or services in order to meet your planned revenue targets. You are now planning to succeed rather than fail – you have to implement the required measures on your website to attract the requisite footfall and transactions for a profitable outcome.

 

It is also necessary to budget for an on-going search engine optimisation plan. Without an effective SEO campaign your website development spend will probably be in vain. If you build SEO into the marketing plan of your ecommerce site your online business should be profitable and predictable.

 

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Email Marketing Pointers

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As Email is an increasingly important technical tool in online communications, it is vital that we take cognisance of the fact that it is also one of the most effective marketing tools available to ecommerce business. Its fast efficient economic status signifies how essential it is to any online business.

If difficulties arise during the purchase of goods or at the payment level, the email is probably the most popular form of communication in resolving issues between supplier and customer. It is fast replacing telephone messages as a means of fast communication and the fact that users can send and receive them on mobile phones adds to their popularity as a communication channel.

There are some ecommerce email marketing pointers that can prove useful to the ecommerce business, if applied. Firstly it is essential that the Company conduct an opt-in email campaign and invite users to sign up to your newsletter after a sale. Take care to avoid spam words like free in the subject line and ensure you have an unsubscribe option on your email content. You could also include tell-a-friend functionality and provide a proper mailing address on your email content. During the course of normal business you should from time to time carry out email campaigns. By using E Zines you can make multiple drops at a low cost rate.

Another interesting email tip is to offer special discounts on an exclusive basis to opt in customers and include compelling call to actions in your email message. On a practical level make sure any offers are visible above the fold in the email. You may come up with some of your own tips through experience but once implemented these email pointers should improve the integrity of your email capability.