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Ecommerce Web Development Agency – 7 Things to Note before Hiring One

Ecommerce Web Development Agency – 7 Things to Note before Hiring One

Ecommerce Web Development Agency – 7 Things to Note before Hiring One

Are you looking forward to hiring a web development agency as your business needs one? But wait for a minute and think, is that as easy as you think? Regardless of the size of your business, hiring a web development agency is a big decision.

In regards to this statement, let me tell you around 38% of the visitors stop visiting that website which is facing some development issues. So, keeping this in mind and in order to increase your customer base, it’s better to hire an eCommerce web development agency than trying yourself.

However, when you get yourself in the market, there is a large pool of web development agencies, but it becomes quite daunting to choose the best that aptly meets your needs.

Thus, to lend you a helping hand in choosing the best eCommerce web Development Company or get more info about the best eCommerce software, we have listed some of the most vital factors which you must consider before hiring one: –

First, know what you want from a web development company

Web development is much more than signifying the company’s name, address, and services to potential clients. Instead, it means building a unique interface that links the customers to your products and services.

So, in order to know what you need, start your journey by evaluating your business process and structure. Moreover, consider the products you are offering and your target audience. Keeping all these things in mind, order a web solution that simplifies your interaction with your clients.

Know your web development budget

Whether you hire a small web development company or a big one, everything comes under a budget. No matter if you are looking for an agency for a website or mobile application, all will be done via money. However, a website is indeed a company’s identity, so before hiring any of the companies, check out the company that meets both your budget and the needs of the business.

Moreover, while hiring a web development company or get more info about the best eCommerce software, you must talk to them about your plan as it will lead to the discovery of the best procedure that will boost your online sales.

Ask for the time they will take for web development

Well-organized and reputed web development agency takes their own time to process the plan. However, if you come to know the estimated time, it will be beneficial for you as you are paying them on an hourly basis. Apart from that, it also offers an insightful view of the development project.

The reason to ask this is that most companies do their work in phases and take around a month or two or sometimes a year to complete the project. Overall, the whole thing depends upon the size of the project.

Web Design Process Listen
AFFORDABLE WEB DESIGN PROCESS Starts with Listening

What is their web design process?

The process is all about streamlining work by which all the goals and deadlines are met. Whichever company you choose for work, ensure to have an idea of their process. If you ask this, they will offer you a timeline for significant work so that you are available for your approval and review.

As it is said that an agile and repeatable process saves a lot of time and delivers high results. However, if there is no path on which the company must move, it will lead to a delayed launch with lots of frustrations.

Learn about our web design process here.

Request the profiles of the website eCommerce developers

Your experience with any web development company will go best with the person you will work with, no matter how much credit the company is? So, while hiring a web development agency for your eCommerce site, request them to show the list of developers and designers who will be working on our project for validation.

However, make sure the profiles will suit your project requirements. Apart from that, if you have some technical knowledge, ask them a few questions related to your project to validate their skills and experience.

Communication is the key to a successful website design

While doing the evaluation, make sure to validate the technology partner’s communication skills and their medium of communication. For example, there are times when personal meetings are not possible, so check whether they have alternate channels for communication like Skype chat, Google hangout, etc.

Remember, one key person from the development team should always be available during your working hours to discuss things.

ecommerce website design support
Web design support is a must have

Post-go-live support for your website

The agency you have hired must be able to offer support after the launch of the project. The reason is sometimes you need support for server management or digital marketing after the site is launched, so for this, you need an all-in-one company. Apart from that, have a single vendor to handle all of the issues related to the site as it will act as a boon to your business and also reduces the operational hassles.

Bonus Tips for Hiring a Website eCommerce Designer

Some of the bonus tips before hiring a web development agency or get more info about the best eCommerce software.

  • Don’t forget to check the size, experience, track records, credit rating, etc., of the company.
  • Also, check out testimonials, online reviews, etc social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, etc.
  • Apart from the above, also check references in case you have hired the company via referrals, who have already worked with the company in the past.
  • Ask for the company’s contact details with whom they have worked to get the clear picture of a web development company.

If you need help with eCommerce website design you can learn more here.

The bottom line

If you want to excel in your business, then only a top-rated web Development Company can help you get a fully customized and competitive eCommerce site design. Apart from that, while hiring any company, make sure to ask the right questions to get a reliable technology partner.

We hope these above tips for hiring a suitable eCommerce web development agency will be useful. So, take the right decision after considering various points mentioned above and take your business to a new height. For more information, get more info about the best eCommerce software.

About The Author :

Hermit Chawla

Hermit Chawla is an MD at AIS Technolabs which is a Web/App design and Development Company, helping global businesses to grow by Global Clients. He loves to share his thoughts on Web & App Development, Clone App Development, and Game Development.

Facebook:- https://www.facebook.com/aistechnolabs

Twitter:- https://twitter.com/aistechnolabs

Linkedin:- https://www.linkedin.com/in/hermit-chawla-lion-82b6513b

Responsive vs. Mobile-First Design

Responsive vs. Mobile-First Design

Responsive vs. Mobile-First Design: How is One Different from the Other?

Over the years, mobile phone usage has increased dramatically. Case in point: in 2011, more people owned mobile phones than toothbrushes! In 2021, the number of smartphone users has grown to a staggering 3.8 billion. This translates to over 48.20% of the population.

The World Advertising Research Center (WARC) report indicated that close to 2 billion people use their phones to browse the internet. People also use their smartphones to access social media, emails, music, games, and others. By 2025, a projected 72.6% of people will use their phones to access the internet.

The statistics above highlight the importance of creating web pages that function well on mobile devices. Clearly, you need more than just creative web design to ensure your site visitors have a pleasant browsing experience. It’s safe to assume mobile browsing is here to stay. That said, you need to keep mobile users in mind in your web marketing efforts.

Responsive Web Design vs. Mobile-First Design

How is responsive web design different from mobile-first design? Which approach is right for your business? To answer this question, you need to first determine your target audience. You also need to factor in the actions you want them to do and how they access your website.

Are they accessing your site on their desks, or are they on the move? Are they using a 3G connection or WiFi? Once you know the answers to these questions, it’s easier for you to figure out which of the two suits your needs best. Unfortunately, there is a bit of confusion when it comes to these two concepts.

Many assume the two are the same. However, they are two different things. For starters, while a mobile-first website is always responsive, a responsive site is not always mobile-first. Mobile-first is a technical approach, while responsive web design is a deliberate design choice focused on how people interact with mobile devices.

Learn more about our web design services here.

Our team working on a mobile first web design
Our Team Working on Web Design

Responsive Web Design in a Nutshell

Responsive web design will respond to changes in device display sizes. So when your website is displayed on a smartphone, you will see different dimensions compared to when you view the site on your laptop, desktop, or tablet.

You can liken responsive web design to water—it fits into whatever you pour it into. Since it shifts content to fit other devices rather than focus on the visitors’ experience on those devices, the mobile experience is deemed lacking.

A website is of the utmost importance to your business.

Mobile-First Web Design in a Nutshell

On the other hand, mobile-first is considered a proactive approach to web design. It is not only about creating a website that works on mobile devices, it is also about creating a design that’s primarily for users on mobile devices.

Key Features of Mobile-First Design

1. Expandable “Hamburger” Menu

When browsing using your phone, it would be annoying to open multiple tabs. Unfortunately, many responsive websites will require you to click multiple times just to navigate a single interior page. A mobile-first design can improve the navigation process significantly.

For instance, some websites use an accordion-style navigation menu to give visitors a preview of what they can find in each section. It is also more user-friendly since they can simply scan the sections and directly access the information they need.

2.  Larger Buttons

Mobile phone users navigate websites using their thumbs. That said, the mobile-first design pays special attention to anything the visitors are supposed to click. This means hyperlinked sections are larger, buttons are more prominent, and items in a clickable list are spaced further apart.

3.  Consolidated Content

When it comes to the mobile experience, less is more. While responsive websites will condense all content on a desktop, it is not typically conducive to those visitors who use their mobile phones. Mobile-first websites will simplify bulky content and present information in a way mobile users will find engaging.

4. Larger Font Sizes

The text size is also crucial in reading comprehension. To further improve readability on mobile-first websites, font sizes are no smaller than 16 pixels. This is important, so mobile users won’t need to zoom in just to read the content.

When it comes to header texts, going larger is recommended. The bottom line is to make information and content easy to scan to find what they are looking for right away. Large headings can also be used to separate content into scannable sections.

The key differences? Mobile First vs Responsive Design
The key differences? Mobile First vs Responsive Design

Responsive vs. Mobile-First Design: Key Difference

The primary difference between the two is how the designer approaches the website. A mobile-first design is created and executed in tandem with the desktop site. In other words, it involves making proactive changes to the website’s overall design to ensure the mobile experiences can mimic the desktop experience. On the other hand, a responsive design is reactive. This means the design moves fluidly to fit devices.

Need a Quote on a Website that Works? Click here
Need a Quote on a Website that Works? Click here

Final Thought

While both designs can make websites more accessible on various devices, a mobile-first experience is considered better as it provides a more favorable user experience. This can be attributed to the fact that many important factors are considered during the design process, including load time, font size, and the use of white space. If unsure which of the two your site and brand needs more, invest in the services of an expert so you can be guided accordingly.

Build Trust With Good Website Design

build trust with web design

5 Tips to Build Trust With Website Design

Did you know that most people form an opinion of a website within 0.05 seconds (50 milliseconds) of landing on it? With that first glance, people decide whether they can trust you or not — often based on the design of your website alone. A good website design builds trust. That’s why it is so important to focus on building trust when designing your website.

This article will go over five tips to help you build trust with website design.

1. Keep Your Design Professional and Modern

An outdated design immediately brings up feelings of distrust and suspicion. If your website looks like it’s out of the 90s, it’s going to be hard for people to trust it. That’s why you need to get a modern, professional theme that looks great, is easy to navigate, and is clean and professional.

Let’s go over some things to pay attention to in this regard.

First, your website needs to be clean. That means you need to cut down on the number of pop-ups and advertisements on your site. You’re probably only getting a few cents per click from those ads, so ask yourself if they are worth it.

self playing videos are not good for user experience

You also need to avoid self-playing videos, flashy colors, distracting animations, and anything else that adds more clutter than value. Use black text on white background, not white text on black background — the latter is just too hard on the eyes. In general, try to include plenty of white space.

You also need high-quality media. Use professional, premium photos in your posts, and use a great logo. Avoid public domain stock photos you found on the web or Google Images — many bloggers use the same public domain images, and it looks lazy.

Finally, your website needs to be responsive on all devices of all sizes. A mobile-responsive theme is a must. You need to make sure mobile users can access your menu, fill out forms, click call-to-action buttons, and read the text — the text shouldn’t be too wide for the screen.

We specialize in digital marketing, which includes web designs that work and convert. Get a quote below.

2. Build Your Brand

A strong brand helps build trust, and a strong brand requires consistency. While there are many things you should be consistent with, there are two main aspects that will stand out the most: your color palette and your tone of voice.

The colors you use in your branding should be consistent across all branding materials. That includes your:

  • Website
  • Social media profiles
  • Emails
  • Advertisements
  • Offline flyers
  • Television ads
  • And so on

You might not have thought about it much, but there are specific color palettes that you usually associate with particular brands. Let’s go over some examples:

  • Green, lime green, yellow, and white — Sprite
  • Red, blue, and white — after the US flag, you’d probably think of Pepsi
  • Red and yellow — McDonald’s

Of course, context matters. If you are buying a soda in the store, and you see Pepsi’s colors, you’ll automatically think of Pepsi; in another context, you might think of the US flag. The specific shades of those colors matter as well.

Color palettes help increase brand recognition and help people remember you.

You also need a consistent tone of voice. Keep a consistent tone of voice:

  • On your blog
  • On social media
  • In your emails
  • In your messages and conversations with consumers

That way, people will know what to expect from you. They will know you are consistent and stick to a certain set of values.

build social proof to increase website design trust

3. Highlight Social Proofs

Social proof is important when building trust. When people come across a business online, the first thing they often look for is what other people are saying. People trust other people’s opinions online.

One way to highlight social proof is by showing awards or certifications you received. It doesn’t matter if the certification was big or small — most consumers don’t know the difference, and just having a badge affirming your award will often do wonders for your conversion rates.

If you did not receive any awards or certifications, you can always add simple trust badges to your website. Many WordPress plugins will help you do that. For example, you can add a Visa or Mastercard icon, a GoDaddy trust seal if you host on GoDaddy, or a DigiCert Trust badge if you have an SSL certificate from DigiCert.

Testimonials are important too. Try to get a few testimonials from customers and display them on your site. You can make a separate page with testimonials that you link to, or you can display a testimonial or two in your footer or sidebar.

Important: Make sure to include pictures and names with your testimonials, so people feel that the testimonials are coming from real people.

The reason testimonials work so well is that people put a lot of trust in online reviews. Testimonials on your website might seem somewhat less trustworthy, so consider linking to or highlighting reviews you have received on other platforms as well, such as:

  • Google
  • Facebook
  • Yelp

Since those reviews are on third-party platforms that you do not control, people tend to trust them a little more.

In addition to text testimonials, consider embedding a video testimonial. In a video testimonial, the speaker can tell a story and connect with their audience more. Videos by actual people often seem more real than a short paragraph with someone’s picture next to it.

Case studies on results you have achieved for your clients are perfect as well. You can make all kinds of claims and promises, but nothing beats real results, backed up with real data.

4. Make It Easy to Get in Touch

A good website design will make it easy for visitors to get in touch with you will drive more sales, as people will be able to ask questions and relieve common pre-purchase doubts and hesitations.

However, by making it clear how people can get in touch with you, you also help build trust. It shows you are transparent with your customers and that you are ready and willing to answer any questions. It also shows you are confident in the value of what you have to offer.

Some things to highlight on your website include your:

  • Address
  • Email
  • Phone number

Your address is especially important as a local business. Consider also embedding a Google Maps widget, so people can find directions to your location in Google Maps. Need help? Contact us today.

Having an email address is the bare minimum, but having a phone number that people can call to talk with a real person builds even more trust.

You can display your contact information in your header, sidebar, or footer. You can also add a contact page to your sidebar menu, but people shouldn’t have to look around your website for a way to contact you. You want your contact information to be clear and visible from the get-go, as soon as customers land on your site.

Make sure any contact information on your website is consistent with the contact information listed on your local citations.

5. Show Authority

Finally, you need to show that you are an authority in your niche and that you know what you’re doing. If you offer plumbing services, for example, or you are an HVAC technician, how will people know that you are any good at what you do?

A great way to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise is to offer valuable information on your blog. A blog allows you to not only help people but also show that you understand common problems and have the solutions to fix them. You can also talk about common mistakes that people make — including other professionals in your field — so people know you are unique and provide a better service.

Building a social following is another effective way to show authority. That goes back to the social proof aspect we talked about — when a lot of people follow you, it shows that others value your opinions and trust you, which builds trust in new visitors.

It’s not enough to have a lot of followers, however. You need your followers to engage with your content. If you have a lot of followers but no engagement, it will seem as if you bought followers, which is terrible for building trust.

Here are some tips for building up a social following and showing authority on social media:

  • Fill out your bio and upload a professional logo or photo
  • Post helpful content consistently
  • Mix up your content
  • Post images and videos
  • Consider posting helpful links to resources published on other websites (as long as they are not competitor websites)
  • Like and share posts made by others in your niche
  • Encourage discussions and comments
  • Respond to comments

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, it all boils down to trust. Can consumers trust you enough to give you their money? If you can build trust, you will increase your conversion rates, improve your online brand and reputation, and get more sales. You will also get more word-of-mouth referrals. A good website design will build the needed trust if you follow the steps outlined above.

In addition to these five tips, always provide excellent customer service, both before and after a sale. Providing professional support is an integral part of building trust. Be attentive and make your customers feel heard. Accept feedback, including constructive criticism, and use it to improve your services.

Importance of Web Design To Your Business

importance of web design for business

Importance of Web Design To Your Business

Are you wondering why many businesses are willing to pay top dollar for web design work? Consider this: most consumers nowadays search for product information online before purchasing. This type of consumer behavior highlights the importance of having a content-rich, functional, and modern web design.

With competition becoming increasingly fierce, creating a basic website for your business would no longer suffice. Since it is considered one of your online presence’s critical elements, it must be designed right. If your site leaves much to be desired, you won’t be able to convert potential leads into paying customers.

Why Website Design Matters

Here’s an interesting statistic: A staggering 75 percent of online users make judgments about a company’s credibility based on visual design alone. Understandably, when you come across a website with an outdated design, more often than not, you won’t think highly of the company it represents.

It is possible that you may even question the quality of the products or services they are offering, doubt their legitimacy, or visit a competitor’s website to find what you are looking for. It is important to remember that first impressions are powerful, and their first impression of your site can either make them stay or drive them away.

just how important is web design to your business

The Importance of Web Design for Your Business

While unfortunate to note, poor design will not only hurt your credibility, it can also drive potential customers away. Below are other reasons why you need to make good web design a top priority:

It can help create a favorable first impression.

It takes just a few seconds for visitors to form an impression of your website. That said, you need to ensure you can create a great first impression in the first few seconds your visitors will land on your site. This is something your web design can help you accomplish.

It is also crucial that you update your site when needed to ensure it stays relevant and to guarantee a remarkable user experience. Fortunately, your site does not have to be brought down for updates to be patched. Nowadays, many expert web developers and designers can integrate updates seamlessly.

It can make it easy for visitors to find what they are looking for.

Your web design has a massive impact on how easy it will be for your visitors to find what they are looking for. Some research indicates that 86 percent of site visitors are looking for service or product information, 65 percent are looking for contact information, while 52 percent want to read the About page.

It is recommended that your web design should make finding those crucial elements easy. Otherwise, you can end up frustrating your visitors and, worse, driving them away. In line with this, consider placing primary services in your website’s main navigation. It would also be a good idea to feature the contact number in the upper right-hand corner.

amplify your conversions with a great website for business
amplify your conversions

It can help amplify your conversions.

Want to increase your conversions significantly? Your website design can help! Start by creating a design that highlights calls to action and draws attention to special offers. It is reassuring to know there are various ways you can optimize your web design for maximum conversion. Let us examine two different but equally powerful examples:

One of the foolproof ways you can draw attention toward the desired action is to use open or white space around the call-to-action. One established brand that employs this technique is Apple. The brand is known for its bold images and simple and clean designs surrounded by lots of white space.

On the other side of the spectrum, we have Amazon. While most Amazon pages are crowded with product options and information, one thing always stands out: the yellow Add to Cart button. Even if the page is busy with contrasting colors and different styles, you are still drawn to the ever-important conversion button.

It can make your site look and function on all devices.

Nowadays, most online searches occur on mobile devices, and the trend has no signs of slowing down. With Google now encouraging a mobile-first approach, a web design that’s mobile-friendly is recommended if you want to stay relevant. Many users also think a mobile website design should be just as good as a desktop website design.

Unfortunately, some web designers focus too much on making the website visually appealing that they forget about mobile friendliness. In today’s mobile-friendly world, a superior website design should go beyond a single screen. Ideally, your website should be responsive and should function accordingly on all devices regardless of size.

You can learn more about common web design mistakes here.

It can help strengthen your search engine optimization efforts.

A well-rounded website design is not about the visual elements on the front end alone. However, it is essential to remember that how the design comes together can significantly impact your search engine optimization efforts.

For instance, if your website design has too many large images or loads slowly, it will drive visitors away and impact your SEO efforts negatively.

If you would like a free SEO site audit just message us today to get on the schedule.

user experience is key to making a great website

It is easy to maintain.

While it can be an expensive investment at the beginning, a well-designed website is worth every penny. Aside from the fact that they are way easier to develop, well-designed websites are also straightforward to maintain.

Not only that, maintaining a website that’s properly designed will also cost much less. With less maintenance work and cost, you can focus your time on other aspects of the business that need your immediate attention. We specialize in website design for businesses to get started simply fill out a quote request.

Conclusion

Your website design is one of the most powerful tools you can use to take your business to the next level. That said, it’s safe to assume it is one of those investments that will provide the most bang for your buck.

It is also recommended that you invest in professional help to ensure your website design is optimized accordingly so you can enjoy all the benefits it has to offer.

Is Your DIY Website Design Causing You Problems with SEO?

SEO Hero

Is Your DIY Website Design Causing You Problems with SEO?

The most commonly discussed element in SEO is backlinks. For a long time, backlinks were the central feature of SEO, determining whether your website design would achieve top rankings. Backlinks are still a crucial factor in the process, but there are other parts that play a key role. How does a DYI Website Design stand up against a Custom Web Design?

On-page optimization has grown in importance in recent years, with a negative user experience damaging any chances of long-term success. If your website has not been optimized properly, Google can detect this both through their crawling and the response of searchers who visit your pages. So, what are the website factors you need to consider for effective SEO?  Want more info on On-Page Optimization?

Speed

Website loading speed is not as commonly discussed as it should be. The time it takes for a page to load has a huge impact on reported user experience, with a matter of seconds between a positive and negative impression. Google have a page speed tool for testing loading times, while there are additional alternatives helping to get a broad picture. In the result of a problem, look at image optimization, quality of hosting, and using a CDN like Cloudflare.

You can check your websites speed over at GTmetrix and then check out the 6 reasons why website speed matters.

Content is King Bill Gates

Content

The content on a page is of great importance, but it doesn’t need to be the same style in every instance. The best type of content for SEO will provide the bulk of searchers with exactly what they are looking for. This concept is called search intent.  For example, some keywords will require a detailed article that goes into a lot of depth or niches only require a step by step guide that can be short and to the point.  At the end of the day what is the traffic to your website looking for in return?  Do they want quick answers?  Or do they want to gain a deeper and thorough understanding of a specific subject.  Get to know your traffic and your target.

Other queries, though, might only require a short answer to satisfy the search query. It is helpful to use your target keyword within the title and copy, while also including related terms. Dwell time is another SEO factor, so elements like video content can help increase the time spent on site.

mobile-first-design

Mobile First vs Responsive

Google has switched to mobile-first indexing, reacting to the increasing popularity in mobile usage. If your site does not offer an optimal experience for mobile users, you will struggle to maintain a great ranking. Most modern sites will offer responsive design, so they work across all types of devices. It is important to test your site using different devices, though, and run pages through the Google Mobile-Friendly tool. A great mobile experience won’t just replicate the desktop, but will instead be catered to the mobile browsing experience.

Here at Green Thoughts Consulting we find many clients have out dated and non-mobile friendly websites.  Having a website in this state is hurting you more than you know.  It’s simple really.  How much do you make on  your average sale?  If a client ready to buy comes to your site and can’t see it due to issues with mobile etc they bounce or leave and then find a competitor.  If we can redesign your site and get you just 2-5 new customers due to the design changes and optimization what is the worth to you based on your average sale?

Test your websites mobile friendliness with Google’s very own test here.

Social

Social media is a useful tool for promoting your website and blog content. Users might like and share your posts, leading to others seeing your content. This process can lead to greater visibility and engagement, creating backlinks for your site. The importance of social media for SEO is still debated.

However, the level of importance Google places on social links is not worth worrying about as there are plenty of indirect benefits to social promotion. The targeted backlinks you can gain on other platforms like industry blogs, often resulting from social media marketing, will play a huge role in ranking a page.

Nice post on how to use social media to promote your site.

internal and external seo links

URLs

The URL structure might seem minor, but it can have a high impact on SEO and click-through rate. Some content management systems use an awkward URL structure that isn’t optimal. These URLs might be long and feature dates or random digits to make them unique. This type of URL can negatively impact click-through rate, with the search engines lowering your ranking as a result. Various tests have shown shorter URLs are most effective, so try to use a keyword phrase that sums up the article content.

Bruce Clay has a classic post on SEO Siloing.  It’s a must read really.

Linking

Internal linking helps to pass authority around your site, increasing the rankings of certain pages. Wikipedia is the best known example of effective internal linking, with related pages helping users navigate around the site. This process also helps lower the bounce rate, avoiding a common SEO issue. Outbound links can be used to show the topical relevance of your content, with links typically going to authority sites within your industry.  If you are looking for a great primer on internal linking vs external linking look here.

 

Conclusion

On-page optimization can play a key role in an SEO campaign. Many site owners focus exclusively on the off-page factors, attempting to gain increased numbers of backlinks. Some quick changes to the way a site is set up, along with adaptations on individual pages, can often be enough to satisfy the search engines and individual visitors. When you can offer an exceptional user experience that satisfies the point of the original search query, you stand a great chance of maintaining top rankings into the future.

More on internal and external link significance for your site and SEO.

If there’s anything we can do to help you out on your journey and increase your Return on Investment reach out to us.

Why you need Custom Web Design in 2020

Green Thoughts Custom Web Design

Why you need Custom Web Design in 2020

It’s 2019, and you need custom web design now more than ever. Having a customized website instead of a cookie-cutter version can make all the difference for your company. We’ve noticed tons of reasons why customization is the way to go, but we’ve listed a few of our favorites below.

The traffic to your website, those are actually potential customers, make a decision about your brand and company in seconds, you can read more about that here.  Therefore it’s more important than ever to have a unique and well laid out web design.

In what follows we will hit on four areas:

  1. Everyone has a website…
  2. Beyond Basic Choices
  3. Improve SEO
  4. Flexibility and Room to Grow

Everyone Has a Website. Not Everyone Has a Good One.

Number of Websites World Wide

Years ago, having a website meant that you were a professional. You knew exactly what you were doing. These days, everyone has a website. Simply having your own domain isn’t enough anymore. Lots of people have their own domains because it’s easier than ever to get one. If having your own website won’t set you apart, then what will? Custom web design. Customization will give you the competitive edge that you need to stand out from the crowd.

It’s true.  I can identify a website template do it yourself site in seconds and so can your visitors.  It was good enough to have your cousin or brother design your site when it was a startup, it was good enough to have a WordPress do it yourself template when you were a year or so in, but now things are getting serious.  If you want to impress and take your game to the next level it’s time to get a custom design for your web presence.

Go Beyond Basic Choices

You’ve probably had some experiences with premade site design. These services let users choose from a bunch of premade templates. Once you’ve picked your template, you don’t have much room for customization. You can make a few changes here and there, but that’s as far as your options go. Nowadays with custom web design, you get all the choices you could possibly want. From your overall design to your tiniest changes, custom web design lets you tailor your website to your exact needs.

Make good choices picture

This is an important point because it allows you to find out what your audience wants and customize your web design to that audience.  A template is made to meet the needs of the masses, but your audience isn’t just the masses, unless you are Walmart or the New York Yankees.  Rather, your audience and your targeted visitors are qualified traffic based on the key words you have worked hard to rank for and the social media presence you have grown over time.  Don’t waste all that effort on a design meant for just anybody.

Get a professional to help you out so that the qualified traffic you are gathering converts at a higher rate through the use of custom design techniques.  Time and time again I have seen a custom site convert almost 25 to 50% better when optimized properly.

Improve Your On Page SEO

Did you know that having a customized website helps your search engine optimization? It’s true. Search engines have to decide which website is more relevant than others for any given search. Customized websites do better with the algorithms, primarily because the designer is aware of the on page SEO best practices. To a search engine, a custom website has more professional power than a standardized website. Plus, you’ll also get more control over your keyword placement, which boosts your SEO even more.

The idea here is that On Page Search Engine Optimization is most often done for you with a custom website where as a do it yourself design will undoubtedly lack some of the on page SEO nuances that experts are familiar with and in the end you cost yourself traffic and thus leads and eventually customers.

Improving your SEO can be done on your own, but let’s be honest it’s a technical field for someone that doesn’t understand web design to be charging into.  Plus the time it will take you to learn the technical search engine methods and best practices is probably better served by making money for your business in the area you love and know.

You can check your SEO right now in the box below.

SEO Site Audit Tool

Flexibility and Room to Grow

serious flexibility

We already mentioned that custom web design gives you options. Well, it also gives you scalability. Premade templates don’t give you much room to grow. Perhaps they’ll update their templates once every few years or so. Customization, however, can give you all the flexibility that you need.

Your web design team can help you anticipate business growth and increased traffic. When you discuss your goals and concerns with your team ahead of time, you can make the most of your website.

While the average website is redesigned every 2.67 years having a team in place that can easily scale your existing site and keep the backend of that site together is important.  It’s a value added that should not be overlooked.

What if I can’t afford a custom web design?

This is a common question we get.  It usually goes something like, “how much is this gonna cost me?”.  When it comes to a custom design the answer is usually a lot.

If you would like to explore other options for affordable web design just follow our link to the overview we wrote on that topic.

3 Best Affordable Web Design Options

Custom Web Design with Green Thoughts Consulting

Looking for the best custom web design? Let Green Thoughts Consulting help. We’ll work with you to create the best website for your company.

When you’re ready to get started, we’re here to help. Contact us today.

3 Best Affordable Web Design Options

3 best affordable website design options

3 Best Affordable Web Design Options

One of the most common questions I get asked is “how much will it cost me?” or something akin to that sentiment.

The underlying question is can I get a quality web design that is affordable, meets my needs, and is easy to use.

Just last week a woman named Debbie from Texas called and asked if there were any affordable web design options.

She explained she was running a small business that sold plants to local vendors and needed an online presence. She was disheartened by the price of web designers and likewise overwhelmed by using a website builder.

One of her grandchildren had made a valiant attempt at designing her website, however, as is often the case it was lacking in technical skill and common web design must-haves.

The above story may change names, locations, and other variables, but it is all too common. I want you to know there are solutions. We have listed the three primary options below and detailed them throughout this article.

Here’s the tl;dr version of the affordable web design options available to all.

Key Article Takeaways

What are the Affordable Web Design Options?

In the past I’ve written about the value of custom web design, however, there is a time and place for affordable web design. 

It may be during particular times in a business’s life cycle such as during a startup phase.  It’s really not smart to spend more than you have.

A Word to Web Designers

For my website designer friends and colleagues out there I would encourage you to embrace website builders and do it yourself WordPress for some of your lower leverage clients. 

By being honest with a startup or small business owner that doesn’t really have the resources you are building a relationship that may flourish once they have a need for high-end development.  

In the meantime, I encourage you to provide free and paid help to those using website builders and WordPress.org installs.

Article Goals

It’s my goal in this article to touch on the 3 best options available when looking for affordable web design. 

In particular, I’m hoping I can solve a few common problems in the contact questions I received regularly, namely:

common website design contact questions

4 Common Website Design Contact Questions

Let’s start with a simple definition of what is meant by affordable web design.

Affordable Web Design Defined

Creating a working definition of affordable.

My goal is to get us on the same page.  We, you the reader and I the author, need to use the same language to understand one another. 

What do I mean when I say affordable web design?

It’s a bit of a fluid definition. Inherently, affordable varies from person to person based upon that individual’s means and station in life. 

Affordable doesn’t mean cheap.

Rather, it’s a closer fit to reasonably priced or the vague inexpensive. 

Essentially, it doesn’t hurt when you buy it and you feel happy with the value you received in return to the affordable item. 

It’s something you can afford.

Merriam Webster dictionary Affordable defined

Source (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/affordable)

How does an affordable item differ from a cheap item? 

In this case, what is the difference between affordable web design and cheap website design? 

Cheap carries with it a sense of inexpensive and thus affordable, but also of poor quality.

No one wants a cheap web design, read as a poor yet inexpensive design because having a poor yet inexpensive design will merely turn away your visitors.

Mark Brinker has a well written and thoughtful article on this subject in a post called Research Shows Having A Bad Website Can Hurt Your Business

In his roundup style article, one source notes that 75% of consumers admit that they judge a business’s credibility based on their web design.

Another article on Sweor.com titled 27 Eye-Opening Statistics About User Experience, Website First Impressions, and Website Design That You Should Be Taking Very Seriously notes that “As common as it is to say “don’t judge a book by its cover,” websites are subject to an extreme level of snap judgments that immediately influence perceptions of credibility.” 

Don’t just go for cheap as you may cost yourself more than you saved.

Remember a web design is an asset for your business or startup.

The Importance of Your Website

How important is your website to your business or your potential business launch? 

This question must be asked when evaluating what is meant by affordable web design. 

For example, an online business that sells items via eCommerce will undoubtedly require a website that does what it is required to do, which sells a product.

On the other hand, a consultant that is just starting out like Blankenship Process Improvement Consulting may need nothing more than a one to three-page website design that is both affordable and easy to update.

When you sit down to decide what affordable web design means to you it is imperative to take into consideration the importance of your website and its image to your customers.

According to the eCommerce Foundation, 88% of consumers will research product information before they make a purchase online or in the store.  This is huge.

percent of consumers searching for a product online first

In the end, a web design for any business or individual wishing to sell, motivate or be seen is essential and important as 93% of business decisions start with a search engine.

93% of businesses decisions state with a search engine

5 things a website can do for you:

  • Creates a Sense of Professionalism
  • Ease of Access for Potential Visitors
  • Low Cost per Impression Marketing
  • Positive ROI (if done right)
  • An Asset to your Company

What does an Affordable Web Design mean?

Affordable web design will differ for us all. 

If you are a serial entrepreneur and you are looking to create your 17th website affordable web design will have a completely different meaning than a local small business owner that sells craft beer, owns a bar, or paints houses for a living. 

Additionally, if you are a startup consultant that needs a one-page website with very little else, then affordability should and will mean something different for you. 

However, if you’re average sale price is high you might want to spend a little more for a higher quality website than a do it yourself design. 

Elon Musk on Affordable technology improvements

Either way, we’ve got you covered at Green Thoughts.

The increase in technological website design advances and improvements to builders has opened a lot of doors.

In what follows affordable means there are varying levels of options that will have a range in price from zero dollars in the case of some free website builders to a few thousand dollars in the case of one-time fee affordable web design by an agency.

So what are your options when looking at affordable web design?

Options for Affordable Web Design

  1. Website builders
  2. WordPress.org
  3. Hire an Affordable Web Design Company

Website Builders

Website builders are growing in popularity in recent years and why not as these website builders provide an affordable way to build a website.

These builders include options like Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly just to name a few. 

The appeal of a website builder is you do not need any HTML, CSS, or other design coding skills to create a website.

The various builders have a WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) interface that is usually a drag and drop, such as in the video below, that enables literally anyone to create a website in a matter of minutes or days. 

example of a plug & play Website Builder

My suggestion to those that find these website builders the right affordable option is to take advantage of the various trial periods they offer and use them to simply play around.

Best Website Builders Aggregated

Website BuilderOverall RatingEase of UseDesign OptionsPrice
Wix.com4.74.54.0Free-$35/mon
Squarespace.com4.43.55.0$12-$40/mon
Site123.com4.24.03.1Free-$12/mon
Weebly.com4.23.54.0Free-$38/mon
Sitebuilder.com3.73.73.2$10-$18/mon
Jimdo.com3.64.02.5Free-$40/mon

While I feel you can’t go wrong with any of the builders on this list I encourage you to try Wix.com as it is by far the best overall Website Builder on the market.

Best of all you can get a free trial with several of these website builders.

Best eCommerce Website Builders Aggregated

Website BuilderOverall RatingEase of UseDesign OptionsPrice
Wix.com4.64.04.0$23-$49/mon
Squarespace.com4.43.55.0$18-$40/mon
Shopify.com4.44.04.0$29-$299/mon
Weebly.com4.23.54.0Free-$38/mon
BigCommerce.com4.03.53.4$30-$250/mon

If you find that a website builder is the best and most affordable web design option for you. 

If you are in the market for affordable web design this first option, the website builder group is a must to check out.

I would encourage those interested in this option to click through above and check the products out for yourself.

WordPress.org Do it Yourself

WordPress.org is used by over 60% of the content management solution websites in the world according to Is it WP

Further, WordPress makes up over 35% of all websites according to Kinsta

WordPress powers 35% of websites quote

Thus, WordPress, like the website builders mentioned above, deserves a post all its own in this discussion. 

However, WordPress too has some of the favorable features you will find with website builders and it can be just as if not more affordable as an affordable web design option. 

  • WordPress requires another level of computer expertise as you will need to install WordPress yourself (free). 
  • Purchase hosting for the website ($2-$30 a month).
  • Purchase a domain name ($15 to $20 a year). 
  • Pick a theme or design type for the site (free and paid).
  • You will also need to maintain and secure the site with WordPress plugins (cost varies).

When discussing the cost associated with WordPress remember that there are similar costs with a website builder as mentioned below. 

In the case of website builders and WordPress, you will still want to purchase your own domain name. You may need to pay for apps and/or plugins to increase functionality. 

Finally, don’t forget the website builder monthly fee.

I personally love WordPress and design in it frequently for small business clients that are seeking an affordable web design option.

In the end, a WordPress.org website will cost you less than a website builder over a 2 to 3 year period.

However, this presupposes that you will not be spending loads of cash on plugins and customized themes. Let’s take a closer look at these numbers. I’ve taken the liberty of saying the average person will buy a customized theme and utilize at least one paid plugin on most platforms and I’ve chosen the middle plan on most builders.

It’s important to remember our topic is affordable web design so I’m not including customizations in this option that might make a website far nicer and more user-friendly.

So keep in mind you could swing this for less.

One and Three Year Total Cost of Each Solution

TimeWordPress.orgWix.comSquarespace.comSite123
1 yr Cost$222$341$378$257
3 yr Cost$316$624$660$518

While these are interesting numbers the question of quality and finished product still lingers. Can you or one of your associates build a website that converts and looks “good enough”?

Let’s turn to our third final affordable web design option.

Hire an Affordable Web Design Company

One-time fee Affordable Web Design

Yet another affordable web design option is hiring a one-time fee web design company or freelancer. 

I would encourage you if you go this route to avoid the average freelancer and instead find a quality website design company.

I have run into far too many clients over the years attempting to salvage a web design that an overseas freelancer took on and left the business owner in a state of disarray. 

My advice is USA/UK Designers with a track record.

Freelancers aside, what is a one-time fee affordable web design? 

Essentially you will hire a company to provide you with a complete end to end website design that is cost-effective as you define it. 

These sites will usually range from$500 to $3000 give or take.

In the end, you will receive a fully functional and completed website design with a “how to use it” discussion from the designer. 

The website may or may not be coded in WordPress and thus may or may not have a content management system. 

I implore you to request a CMS or content management software in your affordable design.

 I also encourage you to request training before signoff on the project. 

You will need a website that you can easily update and care for. You will need to add and remove content from time to time.

Here’s a list of things you should ask for in a One-Time Fee Website Design

  • Require a content management software
  • Is there Training on the use of the CMS
  • Questions about Length of Maintenance Help
  • Questions about Ongoing fees such as hosting
  • Does the company provide installments?

Most website design companies will not provide ongoing maintenance for clients aside from a window of help after the design is complete. 

However, digital marketing agencies will often provide an ongoing website maintenance package for a monthly fee. 

It never hurts to ask and search the web for quotes on maintenance packages. 

What to look for in a maintenance package?

  • Backup and Automation
  • Fixes and Regular Repair
  • Security monitoring
  • Content Updates/Images
  • Responsive User Interface Changes
  • Code Updates
  • Performance Measures

These packages can vary wildly in price based on numerous options such as your specific content needs, changes to headers and images, the addition of landing pages or simply other pages, code updates, number of plugins, etc. 

However, most packages for an affordable web design that is smaller and in the starter site category will range from $75 dollars a month to $150 a month. 

If you would like a quote on your website maintenance please contact us.

Monthly Subscription Design Services

Yet another affordable web design option is that of hiring a website design company that will then charge you an ongoing monthly rate or subscription for the site.

There are pros and cons to the affordable web design subscription approach.

Pros:

  • A lower initial outlay of cash
  • Better website design than a DIY design
  • Often no need for a maintenance package
  • The company has a vested interest in your ongoing satisfaction
  • You can test your business idea without going all-in
  • Varying payment terms (i.e. monthly, quarterly, etc.)

Cons:

  • The website design company owns your website for X months
  • Higher long term price point than a one-time fee
  • Contract Issues: increase in monthly rate etc.

As you can see this affordable web design option is not for everyone, however, it is a valid choice that can save money during the early phase of a business and in doing so improve cash flows to other vital marketing channels.

Expect to pay anywhere from $75 to $200 per month for a subscription website plan. 

These plans should include hosting, some form of maintenance, onboarding, and training with the companies content management software. 

There’s a lot to like about this option for those short on capital.

One consideration to think through with an affordable web design that is subscription-based is the true cost of a monthly subscription.

These subscription website design agreements have the potential to lock you out of your site if you can’t make a payment.

Most companies will create a monthly price point for you based on a term of payments prior to you actually “owning” the site contents.

Affordable Web Design Subscription Example

For example, a website design firm that regularly designs websites that are in the $2000 dollar one-time fee range.

In a subscription plan, we would for this type of site the total cost before ownership would carry an increase in the total price. 

The $2000 one-time fee site would become a $2750 to $3000 dollar site with terms of 12 to 36 months depending on where you wanted to be per month.

Hypothetical Price Points for Monthly Subscription Plans

TermsPrice/MonTotal Cost
Net 30$0.00$2000
12 mon$200.00$2400
18 mon$146.06$2629
24 mon$120.00$2880
36 mon$97.22$3500

While $97 dollars a month looks good for a higher quality web design over time you are paying for a much more for the same website.

Essentially, you are being charged interest; however, it provides a more affordable monthly payment.

Imagine a scenario where you become cash strapped and you can’t pay the subscription vendor you will have no recourse aside from working things out with the website design company. 

My advice would be to read, or have a lawyer read, the terms carefully before signing an agreement. 

Make sure you understand your obligations and your installment payment terms. 

Request detailed documentation on maintenance plans and what will or will not trigger price increases.

A monthly subscription website design can prove to be a very affordable option that balances risk and reward for a company that is unable to do it yourself and is not able to outlay the cash to pay all at once.

The cost of an affordable web design

How much will an affordable web design cost?

Obviously the answer to this question will depend on your needs. However, you should be able to get a website up with anywhere from 0 dollars to 999 dollars when starting out. 

TimeWordPress.orgWix.comOne Time Web Design12/mon Subscription Design
1 yr Cost$222$341$1000$1200
2 yr Cost$269$483$1138$1338
3 yr Cost$316$624$1276$1476

Balancing Trade-Offs

As you can see it is not impossible to find affordable web design. It’s also important to remember these prices include intangibles such as less time burden on your part with an agency one-time design or a subscription plan.

In my own business, I know how much money I can make in an hour of work. When I am considering doing something myself or outsourcing it I simply ask if the number of hours it will take me to do it is more or less than I can make in that time period.

If it is even close I outsource it most of the time.

The balance between cost, ease of use, and need.

When considering your needs for website design and particularly so when looking for an affordable web design option one must consider the related concepts of cost, ease of use and website need.

One should aim to find an area on the chart that will satisfy all three needs the most optimally, however, we don’t live in a theoretical Venn diagram world.   

So I’m providing a few insights below to help you find the sweet spot for your need. 

How to know if you’re getting a good deal- Cost

I’ve already discussed cost and price to an extent in the charts above.  However, I’m asked regularly if x or y is a good deal. 

Just last week a blog reader asked if I thought a college student’s proposal for a WordPress site was a good deal at a particular price point. 

As I’ve mentioned above affordable is about more than just cost

Yes, it involves the question of can I afford the cost at this point in my life/business, but it also involves asking if the quality of the provided outcome or in this case web design will be high enough.

Sadly, no one can truly answer this question for you.

It’s something you will need to sort through using the charts and tools listed above. 

In the end, if you are comfortable with the price, you feel good about the business or person you are thinking of hiring, and have a real need then go for it.

affordable web design & ease of use

Which affordable web design option is the easiest to use- Ease of Use

Ease of use can be a very subjective concept.  However, this is another question I’m asked regularly.  The problem with the question is what’s easy for one may not be easy for another.  There are website builder sites out there that have run studies on ease of use with volunteers to provide statistical data on the outcomes.

Interested in a data-driven approach to ease of use? Check out Website Builder Expert for an overview of how they conduct research.

In our own rankings and reviews of website builders, we took the approach of taking an average for particular indicators as ranked by 15 such websites.  Essentially we aggregate ease of use across multiple sites.

5 steps to find affordable web design ease of use

Five Steps to Find Affordable Web Design Ease of Use

  1. Get a free or trial plan or watch tutorials of Website Builders/WordPress
  2. Rate the Ease of Use on a scale of 1-10
  3. Take Notes and write down what you liked and didn’t like.
  4. Test another product.
  5. Repeat until you feel comfortable with a solution.

There is just no replacement for testing and trying out a product on your own.  It’s why people lay on mattresses before making a purchase.

That being said in my personal opinion the average internet user will be fine with Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, or WordPress.  I believe they all have comparable ease of use.

The relative importance of a website & need

The Relative Importance- Need

Your personal or businesses need to have a website and the importance of having one that does a particular action or provides a particular feature is important to consider when balancing cost, ease of use, and need.

This need will influence the level of help or DYI you may be able to go forth with as a purchaser. 

Once again I would encourage you to get clear on what features are absolutely necessary for you and then play around in test as mentioned in the Five Steps to Find Affordable Web Design Ease of Use above.

Does the feature exist within the product for free? Yes, great.  No? Well, you attempt to identify solutions with plugins or apps to add that feature. 

Try to identify how difficult implementing the said feature will be in relation to your level of expertise. 

Can you code using a tutorial? Maybe that will work. 

Can you hire a website designer just for that feature? This may be close to the cost of hiring an affordable web design company for WordPress. 

Just let Google be your friend. 

Feel free to reach out to us if you have specific questions.

Conclusion

There are 3 main avenues you can follow to find an affordable web design option for your business, startup, or just because. 

There are three main category options for Affordable Web Design:

  1. Website Builders
  2. WordPress.org
  3. Hire an Affordable Web Design Company

These three options are filled with lots of possible solutions, however, to find your best option just pick an option and dive in based on your current level of expertise and knowledge.

Once again reach out to us if you need a designer that can work within your budget. 

We offer both subscription installments and one-time fee website designs that are affordable.  We can also help you with most any website builder if that’s something you need help with.

5 Simple Steps to Setup Author Tracking in WordPress with Google Analytics

5 steps to author tracking with MonsterInsights

5 Simple Steps to Setup Author Tracking in WordPress with Google Analytics

Are you interested in tracking your blog authors in google analytics it can happen with MonsterInsights?  This is an important metric for those that have multiple authors posting regularly.  You will be able to identify and those that stand out from the crowd and really produce.

In the article that follows I’ll show you how to setup Author Tracking in WordPress with Google Analytics in 5 Simple Steps with MonsterInsights Pro Plugin.

5 Simple Steps to Setup Author Tracking

Step 1 Install & a Word about MonsterInsights

MonsterInsights has over 2+ million active installations on WordPress installs at the time of this writing.  It comes in over 23 languages and is, of course, updated regularly.

You download the plugin for free here from the WordPress.org plugin site or by searching in your plugin section of the WP dashboard by searching Google Analytics.

download & install monsterinsights plugin

After searching select the below:

MonsterInsights Plugin Download Screenshot

Simply click Install Now and then Activate from the WordPress Plugin menu. Now that you have the free version of MonsterInsights installed continue to step 2.

Step 2 Activate the MonsterInsights Pro Plugin

While the free version of MonsterInsights is a wonderful tool that provides a dashboard view of your Google Analytics, see below for a screenshot, the various paid versions are much more powerful.  In particular, you will need the pro version or higher for author tracking. However, it comes with so much more than just author tracking!

Dashboard widget for MonsterInsights in WordPress

Additionally, the Pro Version, which is needed to track author posting, however, it includes features such as a dashboard widget, page insights, date range history, search console reports, scroll tracking, EU Compliance, Affiliate Links, Ecommerce Reporting, Custom dimensions, category/tag tracking and more.

In order to activate the MonsterInsights Pro Plugin follow our link below to purchase the plugins and return here to follow the setup.

Welcome back!  You’ve made a great choice. I’ve have used MonsterInsights for several years on numerous agency and individual accounts I work with and find the ease of obtaining insights well worth the fee.

Verify Google Analytics in the MonsterInsights Pro Plugin

Go to Insights on the left WordPress Toolbar and select Authenticate with your Google Account.

MonsterInsights Pro Plugin Authentication

Your next step is to select the google account that your Analytics resides with as in the screenshot below.

Google Account Selection

Finally, allow MonsterInsights to manage your account.

Allow MonsterInsights to view Google Account

After allowing the above you will be taken back to your WordPress dashboard and into the MonsterInsights home. 

Simply select from the drop-down the property you wish to completely authenticate on this site.

Finish Authenticating Google with MonsterInsights

After you have completed this task you will be able to review your Google Analytics tracking data in your dashboard and by going to Insights >> Reports.

It’s time to finish the MonsterInsights Pro Plugin install. 

After installing and activating, go to Insights >>Addons to reach and install the Dimensions addon. 

Next, go to Insights >> Settings and in the License Key field, paste the key and click on the Verify Key button.

Once verified it’s time to move to step 3 of our author tracking setup.

Step 3 Setup Custom Dimensions Tracking in the Plugin

Click the Tracking tab and choose Custom Dimensions from the left menu.

Tracking Tab for MonsterInsights Pro Plugin

Finally, click on custom dimension you will then need to add a new custom dimension by clicking and choosing the appropriate dimension from the drop-down.

For our purposes in this tutorial, you will need to select Author from the drop-down.

Custom dimension MonsterInsights

Remember to save changes before moving forward to the next section.

Step 4 Setup Custom Dimensions Tracking in Google Analytics

First of all, navigate to Google Analytics in another browser window and login in and move to Admin >> Custom Definitions >> Custom Dimensions.

It should look like the below screenshot.

New custom dimension in Google Analytics

Furthermore, click New Custom Dimension, then add Author to the Name field once open and note the index number in your google analytics.

Next, go back to your MonsterInsights Pro Plugin interface.

Add the noted index number to Custom Dimension ID as below.

Add Noted Custom Dimension ID from Google Analytics to MonsterInsights

Back to Google Analytics again

Go back to the open tab in your browser with Google Analytics open and find Customization >> Custom Reports to add a report to track your blog authors.

In the Report Content field add Author in the Dimension Drilldowns and save.

MonsterInsights report content field from Google Analtyics

You will now be able to track authors in Google Analytics for metrics such as bounce rate & page views.  If you want to view other reports you can add the author dimension as a secondary dimension.

Step 5 View the data regularly in the MonsterInsights Plugin

It’s always nice to take the time to enjoy your work.  Now you can view authors in your MonsterInsights Pro Plugin.

Live author tracking in MonsterInsights Pro Plugin

I hope this brief tutorial has helped you to learn the value of MonsterInsights Pro and the process of setting up the plugin for author tracking in WordPress.

Therefore, if you are still on the fence about MonsterInsights Pro I would encourage you to check out the ratings on WordPress.org!

I can personally say that I love the product and have found it useful for many of the client-based projects.

If you have questions please comment below.  If you liked our post please share it on social as sharing is caring.

PPC Landing Page That Converts

PPC Landing Page That Converts

Introduction to PPC Landing Pages

A PPC landing page is where all the action takes place.

If you are new to PPC landing pages and using them as an advertising vehicle you may not be familiar with the vernacular, a landing page is where your customers are redirected to when they click on your PPC ad. It gives them the details of the offer your ad pitches and hopefully is so well-crafted that customers feel encouraged to take the desired action.  I’ve written about high converting landing pages in the past so check it out.

The keyword in that last paragraph is well-crafted. How do you craft a landing page that entices your customers to take action – sign up to your email list, download your app, or buy your product?

That’s what we are going to discuss today. Five true and tested ppc landing page design strategies that are easy to implement and will enable your ad landing page to turn incoming visitors into converted sales.

Clean PPC Landing Page Design Example
Clean landing page design

Keep the PPC landing page design clean, concise, and consistent

Clean Landing Page Design

A design should never be cluttered, least of all a landing page design connected to ad money. Keep the distractions to a minimum (read: none). Only include information that is necessary for the customer to take the intended action. 

Concise Landing Page Copy Writing

The information needs to be to-the-point with no unnecessary fluff but also not too dry and cold. Keeping in line with your online brand identity, make the design and copy approachable, effective, and interesting.

Consistent PPC Landing Page and Ad Connection

It is of vital importance that you keep the design, as well as the overall feel, of the pay per click landing page consistent with the advertisement. There was something in the ad that enticed your customers, give them more of it on your landing page. You want your landing page to be filled with the same exciting copy, same aesthetics, same feel where and when possible

Mobile Friendly PPC Landing pages

Make your PPC landing page mobile-friendly

More than half of all Internet traffic comes from mobile devices – 51. 65%. Google has already started mobile-first indexing of web pages, and penalizing sites that don’t optimize their pages for mobile viewing.

You can check your landing page for mobile-friendly design with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.

It is therefore essential that you create a mobile-friendly landing page. It involves making the design (shapes, features, colors, and typeface, etc.) suitable for mobile-viewing. Using fonts that can be easily read on smaller screens, forms that are easier to fill without having to repeatedly poke the screen, and most importantly, placing links with adequate distance between them so people don’t click the wrong one by mistake.

If you find you are having trouble creating a mobile-friendly landing page please reach out to us and we can help.

Add a tracking code to your landing page

To make sure your landing page is performing up to the mark, you need to put it through vigorous testing. One of the ways to test its conversion capabilities is to embed a tracking code in it. The code will help you see how your customers are engaging with different areas of the landing page if they are feeling any hindrances, which areas are performing the best and which the worst. Having this hard data at your disposal will make your A/B designing and testing effective for conversions.  

There are numerous options out there for A/B testing if you are interested in learning more Copy Blogger has a great article about getting started with spilt testing.   Other great tools that aren’t as do it yourself include Google Website Optimizer (free), or Optimizely and Visual Website Optimizer are paid a/b testing options.  Another great tool for those using WordPress is MonsterInsights, which works with Google Analytics (free) to make your data easy and powerful.

At the very least you should have Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Google Website Optimizer installed along with social media pixels to track users.

Pay per click call to action

Magnetic Call to Action

The design, size, wording, and placement of your Call to Action, CTA for short, is one of the most important parts of the landing page. Your CTA button is what you are asking your customer to do: join a mailing list, read more, download a file, create an account. It needs to be prominent, extremely specific, interesting, and (for the love of good advertising!) original.

Too many landing page CTAs ask you to ‘Submit’, ‘Join’, or ‘Click’- which for some reason make them sound so ominous. I mean all of the language at your disposal and you had to use ‘Submit’. Why?  Get creative with your Calls to Action and split test them as mentioned in number 3 above.

Make your CTA conversational, inject it with something of value to the consumer, and don’t be afraid to be humorous. Being relatable sells.

Catch Attention with a Video

Did you know that our attention spans are now reportedly even shorter than a goldfish’s? Yes, a ridiculous 8.25%. Don’t force these distracted people to read about your product – instead, show them through an exciting video!

According to the latest research, people like watching videos about a product more than they like reading about it. Content marketers are therefore turning towards video marketing as part of their regular content marketing strategy, especially for landing pages.

To make your landing page video convert for you, produce it in high-quality, use humor, animation, and emotion, and add authenticity to drive the engagement.  Wondering how you are going to produce that video?  I’ve used InVideo in the past and it works great.  It’s essentially a template based drag and drop video creation tool that literally anyone can use.  You can learn more about InVideo here.

PPC Landing Page example for InVideo

Talk to us!

A PPC landing page design is a fluid being. It needs constant changes until it is perfected. These constant changes will require a ton of A/B testing to see which version of the page works best. And what works for one industry may not work for another – so be ready to test, adapt, and evolve.

If you need help getting your A/B testing running or just have a general question reach out to us.

High Converting Landing Page Design

high Converting Landing pages

High Converting Landing Page Design

Landing Page Design Introduction

A best practices landing page design can greatly increase conversions for your business’s lead generation campaigns. High converting landing pages are an extension of your online marketing campaigns and to maximize conversions, landing pages should be geared to the reason the person has clicked-through. Here are the four key elements of a successful landing page.

Above the Fold

Above the fold refers to the part of the page that a visitor will see when the “land” on the page from another source.  When traffic first land without scrolling that’s the above the fold area under discussion. This area will change depending on the device the individual is using, such as cellphone, iPad, desktop etc.

The average person spends only about 15 seconds on a landing page before leaving it.  This means you have just a few seconds to get your point across. Due to this fact clean and simple information is imperative above the fold.  Keep this in mind as you design or communicate with your designer.

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Typically, I recommend a clear Call to Action with a big ass button that says what you want the user to do along with a clear Value Proposition and quick subheading to give some detail. Here’s a great example from HubSpot.

landing page design

The High Converting Call to Action (CTA)

Before you begin to draft the design of your landing page, determine what you want visitors to your site to do. Depending on your online marketing goals, you need to create expectations and a method for measuring results. Are you trying to increase newsletter subscribers? Do you want them to test-run your service with a free trial?

Speaking of methods for measuring results on your website this is imperative for you to get setup with NOW.  I’ve worked with far too many website redesigns that have no Analytics and no Tracking.  At a bare minimum you need Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, LinkedIn Insight Tag, and Google Search ConsoleIf you need or want help setting these up reach out to us.

Your actual call to action should be directly tied to your goals.

It may seem obvious, but some businesses forget to ask for what it is they want. If you want someone to download a program you offer, having a download button is necessary to a successful landing page. Keep it simple but let people know exactly what they are downloading, subscribing to, etc.

This discussion of goals being tied to design is very important.  It means that your business needs to be clear about where it’s going, how it wants to go there, who it is targeting and how to best do that BEFORE designing.  A discovery session or a call with a consultant can help clarify this so you aren’t constantly requesting website and design changes unnecessarily. A qualified landing page design agency can take your site to the next level and protect your asset.

Call to Action for landing page design agency

A call to action by itself isn’t enough if people don’t know what they are getting from entering their information. You should usually only ask for the vitals; otherwise, too many fields may scare off potential conversions. Vitals might include only an email address or name at the top of your funnel.  However, to qualify leads and when quoting it is often better to add requests such as budget, phone # etc.  This can impact your conversion rate tremendously and save your sales force time and money.

Landing Page Design and Your Content

“Clear, concise and persuasive” should be your mantra for landing pages. Provide enough information so that people who have never heard of your company, or are unsure of what you offer, can get a handle on just how much your product will benefit them.  This is where the Value Proposition I mentioned in the opening fits in and really helps your landing page shine.

How long should the Value Proposition be? It depends. While a single sentence or two may work for some; it doesn’t work for all. You want to provide enough interesting information to warm up visitors and encourage them to continue in the direction you want, following the CTA. Always have at least one picture for eye-catching appeal. If possible, have a below the fold video.  I don’t recommend video or sliders on landing pages as they slow load times and just mess up the user experience.  However, a well done and professional video can work, but this isn’t something a DIY web design can pull off in my opinion.  You really need a custom designer working on this.

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However, if you just don’t see yourself as a web designer that’s ok too.  We can provide you with help and many of the website builders are great at helping a newbie design site. One popular builder is Beaver Builder and iThemes has designed a course just for those looking to build there own website with the builder.

landing page design agency Steve Jobs

Design that Works: Landing Page 101

Design is very important when it comes to landing pages. Too much noise in the way of images, wording and such in the design can feel overwhelming and unclear. However, a page without enough elements can bore visitors. Keep your landing pages consistent with the design of the email or PPC marketing campaigns that led the visitor there; this includes fonts and colors. Studies have shown that single, centered-column landing page is the most effective, but you can test out other layouts to match your marketing campaigns.

Keep in mind where the page fold occurs. Have your call to action clearly stated and above the line. Of course, you don’t want to lose people who scroll down so scattering your calls to action is beneficial as well.

Provide the essential information above the fold, and if you need a longer page, include additional information below the fold. Making sure your call to action is a flattering, color contrast to the rest of the page is a great way to draw attention to that section of the page.

Conclusion

Simple, well-designed landing pages can increase your conversions from marketing campaigns but remember that testing is the key.  I believe that businesses should be A/B Testing landing pages and the source of these landing pages regularly. Be consistent with the design that has led people to the page and make the call to action clear.

High converting landing pages are about extending marketing campaigns, and in order to have a successful conversion rate, these pages should provide just enough interesting and informational content to show the visitor just how this product/service can benefit them. Pay attention to your CTA, content, and design to improve your landing pages and boost conversions.

Business Web Design

Business Web Design

Must Have Business Web Design

What are the MUST HAVES for your business web design

There are things that will work for a business web design and things that will not work for a business website. It will be our goal to outline a list of must haves and sprinkle in a bit of don’t do it comments. There are always exceptions, however when people visit a web design and particularly a business web design they expect to find a certain look or type for particular categories of business and/or sites.

With all of that said let’s get into the must haves:

BUSINESS WEB DESIGN MUST HAVES

Business Web Design Must Haves

Clear Calls to Action

Your business web design needs a clear call to action. The call to action button will and should stand out for your visitors as soon as they hit the page. It should be visible upon landing (exception to mobile browsers) and should be an attention getting color. I prefer reds and oranges. It should lead the way to what you want your visitor to do. What action do you want the individual to take? Use that text. Contact us. Get a Quote. Learn More.

Here’s an example.

Get a Quote Call To Action Button

Good Design

I think it goes without saying that your business web design needs to be attractive to your target audience. You want the colors to inspire trust and to work together. This also means you need a modern style for your website. You need a site that looks like it was built in the last 1 to 2 years. As a side note the average business updates and redesigns there website every 18 to 24 months. Make it look good and update it every few years.

Don’t do this.

Bad Web Design for your business

Mobile Friendly

This one is huge and should be one of your top goals. You MUST HAVE a business web design that is Mobile Friendly and works on all platforms and browser types. For example your site should resize appropriately for Desktop, Tablets, and Mobile Phones. If not you are putting yourself and your business at great risk. Google has stated they are giving the Search Engine Rankings preference to Mobile First Ranking and over half of all website traffic is mobile!

Going Mobile First for your Business web Design

Clear Contact Form

It’s absolutely necessary that you have a clear area on your website for visitors and clients to contact you. This area should include your NAP. Name, Address, and Phone Number. Bonus for local phone numbers, but if you do world wide business a toll free number will work.

You should include a contact form for the visitor to fill out his or her name & email at a bare minimum, however for most businesses adding a phone number field is a good followup idea. Finally, leave an area for the visitor to write a message to you.

I believe it’s best to include your NAP and contact information at the bottom/footer on each page aside from landing pages.

Clear Contact Form Example for business website

About Page

A business website design must have an about page, which is sometimes known as Our Story, or About Us. The point here is that those visiting you need to get to know you. They need to see real people and real office space or work stations. They need to connect with you on a human level. This may sound too much but it’s important. It builds relationship and connection when someone sees you instead of a model.

Keep the page short and sweet, tell a story or two about how you got where you are, and speak to the benefit or working with your business and how it differentiates you from other companies. Not too salesy though just to the point and honest.

Social Icons

Social Proof

Add social icons and links to your various social profiles. I guess it goes without saying that a quality business web design must have a social profiles behind it. Try to stay consistent with your branding across platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter. For many companies these are the must have profiles, however in some instances you may wish to have a Pinterest or Snapchat depending on your industry.

Business website social proof and Reviews

Google Reviews Embedded

People are moved by Google Reviews, Yelp Reviews, etc take advantage of this and embed your reviews with an api or third party software to show proof of what others are saying about there experience with your business. This will elevate you and create a sense of trust.

On a similar note you need to work hard for your reviews and reply to all reviews you are given both good and bad. Build a process of followup with your clients were you request a review after service/etc and again 14 and 30 days later if you haven’t received it.

Closing Business Web Design Remarks

Follow the advice above to get on the right track with your small business web design. If you are feeling overwhelmed reach out to us for a free consultation. We provide full service affordable business web design and Search Engine Optimization.

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Dalton Web Design- An Affordable Example

Affordable Dalton Web Design

Dalton Web Design- An Affordable Example

Dalton Ga Web Design Complete for Blankenship PIC

We were approached by a small startup to provide them with an extremely affordable business web design in Dalton Georgia with a very quick turnaround. The client wanted a CMS (content management system” so they could self update and publish there own content via the site and blog. In other words there was no content or wording added by us.

The turnaround time and scope was 24 to 36 hours. The price point was under 600 dollars. This goes against some of the rules we wrote when discussing Custom Web Design, however for this instance this solution worked best.

Due to these constraints, which varies from our normal designs, we choose a simple yet attractive WordPress template that was cost effective and quick to edit with a WYSIWYG editor (“What you see is what you get”) like Beaver-builder or Elementor.

This format worked well because of it’s price point and the numerous free resources available to our client such as YouTube tutorials and the like.

Web Pages Requested for the Web Design

The client requested a home page that would showcase the services he offered along side an about page and a contact page.

Dalton Ga Web Design for Blankenship PIC

1- Home Page

Dalton GA Web Design for Blankenship PIC Home Page

The goal of the homepage was to first get the point of the site across concisely with a call to action above the websites fold. In other words we were seeking to create a landing page feel for the home page.

Per request social media icons were created along the top right menu bar and email/phone on the left above the clients logo.

The header for the page, also known as the H1, was chosen for On-Page SEO and optics. The client added the sub text under the H1.

The call to action although in attention getting red was weaker than we had hoped for with the type “contact us”, however this was again a client request. They felt get a quote was too strong.

The H2 “Identify and Reduce Costs” in the below the fold type attempts to provide context to what the client in fact does and hopefully solves a problem that potential clients and web traffic are considering.

The three prong division of the site provides an overview of the services this particular business offers.

2- About Page

Blankenship PIC About Page

This affordable web design was provided to the client within 18 hours of request and an approximate 1 hour conversation. The about page was entirly left for the client to optimize and fill in text sections per our video instructions.

3- Contact Page

Dalton GA Web Design for Blankenship PIC Contact Page

With the contact page we setup a simple auto-responder using mailer lite and a forward to the owner of the business so that they would be aware of requests.

Aside from this the business worked within the builder to update text and images.

Request for Blog within the Web Design

We simply set up the post page and provided video tutorials of how to upload blogs to the site. In doing so we explained the importance of keywords On Page SEO.

Dalton GA Web Design for Blankenship PIC Blog Page

Each post shows up and is highlighted, grey overtone, as you scroll down. These are merely “featured images” for the that the user uploads. Each post has a a comment section and a call to action for the reader to contact the business owners.

An Affordable Web Design is Possible

I’ve included this post of a lower budget Chattanooga Web Design by Green Thoughts Consulting to illustrate that an affordable web design is possible with a quick turnaround.

Obviously, this site could be improved, however it cost the client less than the yearly and monthly fee for a Shopify, Wix, or Squarespace site and was completed per there request in less than 24 hours.

Even with an affordable web design option like this we include a discount on our other services such as SEO, PPC, and Hosting.

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5 Common Web Design Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make

Web Design Mistakes

5 Common Web Design Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make

Today we will be speaking out about web design mistakes entrepreneurs make.  We have seen a few over the years and once upon a time we were there too.

As an online business, it’s understood that website traffic is one of the biggest factors in your success. Making sure that search engines find you and push customers to your site is of utmost importance. The real question, however, is what happens when people land on your page?

Getting prospects to your site and converting them into customers are two different things. If people have made it your website, it’s your duty to keep them interested. A professional, well-designed website will build their trust in your brand and make them take action. Unfortunately, there are a lot of turn-offs that may be running rampant on your website right now, if you’re like most first-time site builders.

Here are the five most common web design mistakes entrepreneurs make that should be avoided and/or fixed:

  1. Building a Flash website, a common web design mishap

Flash looks, well, flashy, but it’s not business-friendly. About 40 percent of users will be unable to view a Flash website because many hosts will disable Flash to decrease spam advertising. If a visitor can’t see your content, your site is essentially useless.

Wondering what a “Flash” website is?  See the quick video below to learn more and see if this is the type of design you are… or were interested in prior to this post.

Search engines likely won’t even drive people to your site based on your Flash content since the information embedded in Flash cannot be read. A recent article, however states otherwise.  The Search Engine Land article here disputes the aforementioned.

However, Flash is high-maintenance, and after all your hard work, you may not be able to even pull accurate website reporting on any of your Flash-driven pages or sites. All in all, Flash is not worth the time you’ll put into it.

There are of course exceptions to this rule, but generally a strong online presence for a business or entrepreneur should not have items that “move around”.  Things should load fast and get to the point you only have seconds before a visitor bounces an analytic term used to reference how long people stay on your site before leaving. All and all keep it simple.

Wondering what you should have in a website? Wondering if you need a custom design in 2019? You can read more here Why you need Custom Web Design in 2019 or If you want more direct help or a consultation schedule a discovery session with us here.

  1. Having a weakly defined brand

Your website needs to convey a strong sense of your company’s brand. Good graphics and a harmonious design are visually appealing. Your logo should be right in the banner, and people should quickly be able to determine what you do and who you are. An emphasis on information, rather than sales pitches, lends credence to your brand.

What doesn’t have a positive impact on your brand? Fuzzy graphics, blurry fonts, and loud colors all hurt your image. Each of these items is an eyesore, and most prospects will view these details as the trademarks of a fly-by-night company. Invest time and effort in making your image match your expertise.

branding-is-important

That being said it’s hard to boot strap your way to a well defined brand when you are just starting out in the world of business or growing your idea into being.  It’s for reason like this that we have affordable web designs and you can learn more there.  No matter what you do you need to create a strategy and an inexpensive set of tools to do what needs to be done to make the brand talk across all social media and presences on the web.

Tools like Canva are inexpensive and useful when starting out.  Other helpful links such as Fiverr and Upwork allow you to inexpensively hire contract worker to do work for you.  That being said be careful have you ever heard the term you get what you pay for?  I’ve had several clients that came to me to fix the work a contractor did online.

  1.  Call-to-Action message and Common Web Design Mistakes

Calls-to-Action specifically communicate with your clients. These links direct people to take action (“Contact us,” “Post a comment,” or “Buy now!” are common examples). It eliminates any confusion on your visitors’ parts, and it also compels them to do something rather than passively read.  Calls to Action are essentially like a web designs road map that tells visitors what to do, when to do it, and how to do it.  Click here, Get a Free Copy Now.

Determine the cohesive message your calls-to-action will communicate. You should be targeting your audience so you’re pulling in the people who will most benefit from your services or products. Don’t ask visitors to do something that doesn’t help meet this end goal.

As an example here’s a call to action and you can take action on it 🙂

call to action button

  1. Hosting third-party ads on your site that have no relevance

Allowing third parties to borrow real estate on your site isn’t the mistake here – having ads from companies that may enhance your product, or meet an additional need for your customer, is great. It elevates your standing in your clients’ minds, as they begin to brand you by association.  It also provides a helpful asset to your visitors and clients as you provide them with the answer to there problems (especially the answers you don’t hold).

The mistake is bombarding your prospects with advertising that feels random. If it has nothing to do with their interests or business needs, they’re wondering why you would offer it to them. This lets them start questioning your motives, your expertise, and your financial standing as a company. Don’t start that line of thinking.

In brief advertisements are great on a site if and when the time is right, however for most small businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs selling a product or service the ads have no place until you are really raking in the coin.  Focus on building your brand and your products before pushing others away to spend there hard earned money on another site.

one-man-show-do-not-do-it

  1. Running a one-man show

As a a small business owner and/or entrepreneur, it’s your business to know your stuff. But just because you’re an expert on one thing doesn’t mean you can handle every aspect of your company solo. Having a website built by one person who’s dabbling in web design is easy, but it’s not efficient for maximizing your business prospects. You’ll want your site to be clean and accessible, even for your mobile visitors.

Check out our guide on the 3 Best Options for Afforadable Web Design.

I find many clients who have walked down the do it yourself path to save money.  It makes sense, but once your business grows up a bit it’s time for your web design to grow up as well.  Please don’t miss the next point. It is one of the biggest and most important web design mistakes entrepreneurs make.

You are best at doing what you do.  If you can make more money doing what you do you should do that.  If an expert can help you let them. End of story.

-Jeff@green thoughts consulting

You do you and let the other experts do them. I can almost guarantee you a higher and better satisfaction level along side a higher return on investment that way.

Wrapping it up

Conveying a strong business image and providing the right information to convert your prospects is essential to your company’s growth. You may be a rule breaker in your approach to the business world, but don’t break these five rules when building your site. Your bottom line, and your visitors, will thank you.

If you would like to learn more about why we do not recommend a Do It Yourself strategy read this post about the effect of DIY Web Design and Search Engine Optimization.