Techniques To Humanize Your Website and Connect With Your Audience

Have you ever visited a website and wondered if anyone was working round the clock behind the scenes to make sure that your user experience feels personal? A lot of business owners are using their websites as a way to connect with their prospective clients, especially if they cannot personally communicate with them. This is the reason you need to go to great lengths to humanize your website.
In this article, we will look into the importance of making your websites more human, and some effective tips and tricks to pull this off.

The website represents you and your business
The success of any business involves a lot of factors to consider. Some of these include having the right mindset on how to take care of the business, and having enough resources to start the business. Meanwhile, other companies focus on hiring the right people who can do the job, as well as providing products and services that people are likely to patronize.
All of these factors are key to making any business achieve its goals. But have you realized that you can accomplish all of these things by positioning your website properly?
The website lets people know more about your company
Years ago, promoting a business was done mainly through advertisements on TV, radio and print media. However, with the technology that we have today, the internet has become central to marketing – whether for brick-and-mortar stores or online businesses. These days, practically every business owner wants to take advantage of online media to promote its brand across the globe with just a few clicks.
Putting up a website has become one of the best marketing tools to reach out to consumers. Although earlier iterations webpages focused solely on content, functionality and user experience are now considered some of the key ingredients to make a website viral or popular.
Nevertheless, more than providing vivid colors and extraordinary web design, there are two important features that most consumers look for in a website: instantly available information, and customer satisfaction.
The website should give your prospective clients what they need
The content of the website plays a vital role in the success of any business. Website owners should stop beating around the bush and just go straight to the relevant information that a site visitor may want to have. Giving your site visitors high-value content propels them to browse through all of your site’s pages to check out what you can offer.
No matter what kind of content you provide, for as long as it is reader-friendly, then you can absolutely capture anyone’s attention.
Sure, you can configure your website to follow every detail in the SEO best practices rulebook. However, you need to remember that you are writing for humans – people who will potentially find your business on search engines. Do you think people would even bother to stay on your page for more than 5 seconds if they notice that you’re flooding them with repetitive keywords?
In other words, although using the right keywords in your site content is helpful in terms of SEO, you need to construct your website to satisfy your site visitors (and not the search bots).
Give your readers informative, interesting, and engaging material. Make sure that from the title, you already can excite their minds to read the rest of what is written on the page.

Tips to Humanize Your Website
One of the fundamental strategies to humanize your website is to make the content friendly and engaging to your intended audience. You want people to be interested in what you can offer them. Therefore, your goal is to create content that your target market likes.
It’s important for your site visitors to feel that they are being valued. They want to feel that their needs are being met by a real person, and not by a chatbot or a computer that’s running 24/7. In short, people want information with a heart.
Here are more techniques to humanize your website in order to connect with your target audience better:
Use human emotions

You’ve probably come across some websites where you feel like you’re reading your college professor’s lecture noes. That’s common among a lot of business websites, wherein they use a strictly formal tone by default.
While doing business is something to be taken seriously, not everyone may be interested to read technical jargon or overly serious content. That is why adding human emotions is effective – it can trigger a positive response among your visitors.
To achieve this, you may start listing down the products that your company offers, and identifying each of the product’s features that the people will probably appreciate. Be creative in using words that can trigger the user’s emotions and think about how it makes a user feel.
This can be successfully done by incorporating a story that everyone can relate to. People are fond of reading stories that they see themselves in. This kind of emotive or affective content (to humanize your website) will push them to action, whether it’s buying your products or signing up for your weekly newsletter.
Make use of creative content tools

It may be difficult to constantly update your website and provide new stories to tell your online visitors. The solution is simple: Search for apps that can help you create compelling headlines to keep your online visitors returning for more.
People generally like unique content along with high-quality images that can tickle their imagination as they read along. Once a visitor feels that the content is worth reading, he will likely become a regular follower of your website. This kind of following may even produce a lead or a sale.
Create unique content

How can you provide a weekly update without having the right materials to use? Get inspiration or ideas by checking what is trending. Discover what other people are talking about. and share something that is interesting and engaging.
Searching for trending hashtags can give you some ideas on how to create your content that will grab attention. Letting your followers realize that you’re updated with the latest trends is an effective way to humanize your website.
Find the right balance in terms of posting frequency

You may feel obliged to constantly update your content. But realistically, posting bi-monthly is ideal as you let your online viewers have time to read your latest post.
If you feel like sharing some more thoughts, you may do so by sharing shorter posts of about 500 words. Just make sure that everything that you share with your audience is carefully researched and written in high quality.
Initiate a call-to-action

Sometimes a website visitor may need a little more convincing before finally making a purchase. It can be helpful if you leave a question for readers to get them into thinking, or give them a direction (or call-to-action) to let them have an opportunity to decide.
For instance, you can offer them to sign up for a weekly update, or leave them a question to answer. This does not only make them feel that there is a real person behind the website, but it also helps in generating leads wherein they can be given priority in enjoying member-only promos.
Provide an opportunity for discussions

Some websites make use of a community board wherein visitors/consumers leave their comments, suggestions or opinions. This can help others in deciding to buy a certain product or service.
As a website owner, make sure that you take part in the discussions as well. By doing this, users are able to get first-hand information from you, in order to help them come up with a decision. In short, you can already humanize your website just by personally engaging with your followers.
Tap someone to check on your content

Having an amazing website should not only be based on visual aesthetics or effective social media sharing. There is also a need to make the content as perfect as possible in terms of grammar and spelling.
You may feel that you have made a well-written content, but it might be best to ask someone to review your work. This gives you better assurance that your text is 100% error-free.
At times, when we have a lot of things in our mind that we want to write about, we tend to think faster than we can write. As a result, we unknowingly miss out some punctuation marks, the plural forms of some words, misspelled words, and the like. Hiring a proofreader can help you create excellent content in which people can feel that you really know what you are talking about.
Besides, bad grammar may appear as if you used article spinning software to create your content. Aside from turning off your readers with weird text, article spinning also gets you penalized in terms of SEO.
Readers these days are very meticulous when it comes to browsing websites. Although web design continues to have importance in terms of catching attention, failing to humanize your website may turn off your potential clients.
The best way to connect with your prospects online is to make your website feel as human as possible. Nobody wants to experience talking to a robot while they’re browsing your site – unless if they’re huge fans of the Terminator’s Skynet!
Make your business flourish by making a website that can do more than merely enumerating your products or services. Humanize your website by telling a story to keep your online audience more engaged. People will become your loyal customers when you are able to strengthen your brand through sharing great content, providing high quality products and services, and establishing human communication that encourages interaction.
The post Techniques To Humanize Your Website and Connect With Your Audience appeared first on Web Designer Hub.

Make Your Website Fresh Again With These 7 Tips

Back in the day when websites were all about content, web design wasn’t too much of an issue. As long as you had amazing content, the overall look of your website wouldn’t matter. Of course, times are a-changin’, and keeping your website fresh and updated is now a default strategy for any site owner.
Site visitors have become more meticulous in choosing the company and brand to patronize, based on the websites that they visit. More than textual content and aesthetically pleasing web design, keeping your website fresh is of utmost importance to retain customers and encourage potential clients.
If your website has been around for a while – and you’ve been using the same design and theme for years – maybe it’s time for a little upgrading. Especially when your site begins to get a steady increase in traffic, returning visitors may want to see the same outstanding features in your site, but would also expect to have some changes that would make them more interested.
How Often Should Websites Be Updated?

Whether you own a personal blog, a corporate website or an e-commerce store, it is essential to keep your website fresh by updating it on a regular basis. The frequency of updating the website can be based on many factors.
For instance, it may be a waste of your effort to update a corporate website as often as you would an e-commerce store. If you are running an online store, you may have products posted online that are no longer offered, or you may have new products to sell.
This holds true for personal blogs, in which followers may want to receive new and fresh information from the blogger. As a general rule, publishing three new blog posts in a week is enough to keep your followers coming back.
Corporate websites are a bit difficult to update once the website has been published. However, some websites incorporate news releases and blog posts within their site, all of which can help increase the interest of online visitors.
Why Some Websites Fail to Capture a Good Following
The reasons why corporate websites fail may be due to the following reasons:

Not allocating enough resources to make it work (both money and time)
Article titles not strong enough to catch the attention of online visitors
Lack of useful, unique and informative content
Lacking the knowledge of using the right keywords
Not giving it enough time
Not measuring the effectiveness and ROI from blogging
Wrong choice of blogging platform

Tips In Making Your Website Fresh
In order to captivate the attention of online visitors – especially the ones who are returning and expecting more – you should create a website that is not only pleasing to the eyes, but is also full of information that they need.
If you want to make your website fresh like the morning dew, here are some tips to freshen up your pages:
1. Add a blog
What makes a website come alive is the amount and quality of information that makes visitors come back frequently. For instance, if you are running a business consultation firm, you may add articles that can help visitors understand about business and other topics related to it. This is on top of citing the services that you can provide.
Your online visitors would want your website to be a one-stop shop where they can receive tips on how to start and maintain a business, the sacrifices that an entrepreneur may face, the qualities of a good entrepreneur, and more.
While you may have created a list of topics that you want to feature on the blog, make your articles as concise as possible. A long article can bore out users, which can then eventually lead them to leave the website. On the other hand, a brief article piece may turn off search bots due to lack of authority in the topic.
2. Provide opportunities for discussion
Online visitors are not satisfied with merely looking at the products or services on a website. Some of them may have questions that they would want to be answered.
For this purpose, putting up a forum allows them to talk to other customers who have bought your product or sought your service. The forum will become a lively channel for people to exchange ideas, product reviews, and other experiences.
3. Add videos
We are in the age where videos play a very significant part of our life. For instance, adding tutorial videos for DIY websites can encourage online visitors and existing clients to view the video files.
As for other types of businesses or industries, marketing campaigns using videos are extremely powerful forms of media to hype up your company or business.
Of course, in order to pull this off successfully, you need a team solely for generating video content. This group of people may include (but is not limited to) camera personnel, videographers, video editors, segment directors, cinematographers, writers, and actors.
4. Repurpose old content
Old blog posts or articles may still be considered valuable for the current generation of readers, and the best way to put it back into circulation is by updating or repurposing the old content.
Here are some techniques in bringing life back to your old articles:

Write a spin-off article from a subtopic in the original post
Put links to your popular posts on the sidebar or as a list on a new page
Convert your old articles into a downloadable whitepaper
Reformat your old content into new forms of media, such as an infographic or a video
Post your links on social media, and use a throwback reference
Change the post date to today, and add new content

5. Add event calendars
Want to let your site visitors expect something from you at specific days of the year? Send them alerts on key events of the year for your website – say, your company’s founding anniversary or an upcoming event. This technique keeps your website fresh and new, without having to add too much content (and only by using your existing calendar).
This strategy can be helpful for schools or non-profit organizations where they can have several activities lined up every month. This helps students, officials or members to be updated with the latest events.
6. Adding high-quality images or cinemagraphs
Online users usually stop at websites with attractive and colorful images. Lately, cinemagraphs have been trending in web design, since it can create a visually striking story that increases the interest of online visitors. These cinemagraphs has been found to have a positive impact on the click-through rate (CTR).
In other words, keep tabs with the latest image design trends, so that your site photos won’t look stale and obsolete.
7. Change the overall website design
Over time, the design of your website may look outdated. Because of this, there is a need to be aware of the latest trends that can help encourage online visitors to stay and browse through the whole website. Being left with a design that has been in existence for more than 10 years may not encourage people to stay, since recent web designs provide a more pleasant experience to the users.
On the flip side, it may be necessary to retain the style of the page where the customers have been accustomed to. It’s up to you to decide where your site visitors are leaning towards, in terms of changing your web design.
However, if your website is recently plagued with errors and threats of malware, then it may be time to update your website design, both on the front and backend. More than aesthetics, one of the biggest reasons to change your site design is security.

Updating a website requires time, effort and money. But instead of looking at this as a burden, it should be perceived as something worthwhile. Not only will it help to increase the traffic on your website, but it may also increase the revenue for your business.
We hope you find these tips on making your website fresh again helpful. On a final note, your motivation for updating your website should be customer satisfaction – that your site visitors will be happy browsing through your site and getting an amazing user experience.
The post Make Your Website Fresh Again With These 7 Tips appeared first on Web Designer Hub.

Tips In Choosing Website Color Schemes (With BONUS Online Tools)

When you create a website, one of the first things that you need to focus on is web design. Aside from picking the right layout for your pages, your choice of color schemes can make or break the whole package.
Color scheme is about considering the interplay of colors in three major aspects: complementation, contrast, and vibrancy. Choosing the right colors is one of the most difficult phases in web designing and the process can be very challenging especially for those who are new in the field. You should not worry too much, though, because there are available online tools that you can use to help you select the perfect color schemes to use for your page.
What is the importance of colors in websites?

Here are some of the reasons why choosing the right color schemes is extremely important:
1. Creates an emotional connection
Colors generally trigger moods or emotions to your target audience or market. Therefore, whatever color scheme you choose makes all the difference.
2. Sets your company’s direction
A good website design is grounded on the use of the right colors. For example, picking too many colors for your site might create an image that your company is too informal and might not be taken seriously by your target market. Meanwhile, using conventional color schemes might make your website too forgettable like the others.
3. Establishes branding
Your website is an effective representation of your company, and the colors you choose for your website create your company or brand identity. This goes without saying that websites play a major role in online marketing and branding, and colors put life to whatever information you put.
When choosing a color scheme for your website, always put in mind that the right one leads to a strong brand especially when a certain color gets associated with your company.
4. Creates a visual statement
Words are powerful, but colors make your catchy phrases livelier as they emphasize words and statements with the right tones and hues.
Colors are not only a requirement in web design. They also serve are the soul of your website: they create a mark in people’s minds that will later on set the difference of your company from all others who offer similar services or products.
Colors create character and personality—two of the most important factors in branding. Web design, therefore, puts stress in the importance of choosing the right color schemes especially with the idea in mind that the game of online marketing is quite competitive.
If you want to leave a mark on your market and audience, make sure that your goal is supported with meaningful colors that represent who your company is.
Factors in Choosing Website Colors

Selecting color schemes is not considered as one of the pillars of web design for nothing. Colors are carefully and intricately selected depending on the need, style, and image being conveyed.
Here are the common factors that website designers consider in choosing between color schemes:
Demographics and the product you are selling
The demographics of your target audience plays a major role in analyzing what types of information you wish to convey through your color schemes.
For instance, your website sells organic products, and your target audience are people who are health conscious. The best color scheme to use in this product line revolves around green and other earth colors to convey the message that you support your clients’ advocacy or their goal of living a healthy lifestyle.
In the example above, it would be inappropriate to use shades of black and gray, or red and yellow in this type of website. That will definitely blow your target market away, and might even give them the impression that you do not understand the products you are selling in the first place.
It is always helpful to base your color scheme on the gender of your target market. If your company is selling cosmetic products or clothes for women, there are certain colors and shades that will easily draw their attention to your website. Take the time and extra effort to research on the usual colors that men and women dislike because their initial take on these things matter a lot.
Kissmetrics released an infographic showing some of the color preferences by gender:

While blue is the most preferred color in both genders, men like bright colors while women opt for soft or pastel colors.
Men like black, white, and shades of gray more than women.
Men like brown the least, while women generally don’t prefer orange.

Age group
Similar to gender, age groups have varying tastes in their choice of color. There are studies proving that a person’s taste in color changes with age. Website designers should also pay attention to this and must consider doing their research, especially if the websites that they are trying to cater to a specific age group.
How long the website will be used
Choosing from a wide array of color schemes should always consider how long the website will be used. Will it be for a specific season or will it be for long-term project duration? Seasonal usage will require color schemes that will speak of the events being celebrated, say orange and black for a Halloween-themed page.
Your company profile
Your website is for the consumption of your target audience, and it is just right to consider the background of your clients. However, you also need to consider the profile of your company. Once you get to know the objectives of your company through the products or services you are selling, then it will be easier for you to understand how you can build a connection with your market.
How to Choose the Right Color Schemes

After you have put into consideration the factors for the possible color schemes that you will be using, make sure that you create a shortlist of the ones that could possibly work for your company’s website.
Here are three things you should do to ease your selection process:
1. Decide what dominant color you will use.
Your dominant color is your company or brand color. This is what makes a mark among your clients. This is where the factors for choosing website colors (e.g. age group, gender, company profile) become crucial, because your dominant color keeps your company standout as it creates the first impression.
In choosing your dominant color, you need to know that different colors and shades have their own meanings. Before choosing which one to use, make sure that you strategically pick the best one that will effectively represent your brand.
2. Pick the accent colors that will blend and go well with your dominant color.
Website design becomes equally exciting and challenging when you are already in the process of picking the colors that will go well with the dominant color you have chosen to use. Of course, it will be really dull to stick to just one color all throughout. Accent colors will solve that.
You may use your accent colors for your tabs, subheadings, or information boxes, depending on which ones you want to further highlight. Using accent colors is a fun way of making your page livelier, but do not overdo it. Make sure that you choose one to two accent colors for page to avoid confusion.
3. Choose a good background color.
One of the most challenging tasks in choosing the right color scheme for your website is picking the background color to use. Before choosing a background color, know first the purpose of the website you are designing or developing to easily pick the best one to use.
Online Tools to Generate Color Schemes
There are a number of good online tools that you can use in selecting the right color schemes for web design. Here are some of the tools that are highly recommended:
Also known as Adobe Color, Kuler is a reliable online tool that can help you decide on the color palette to use for your pages. It is Adobe’s color theme application that allows users to sync the color palettes they have created in other Adobe applications like Photoshop and Illustrator.
If you want an app that comes with an advanced but user-friendly features and interface, then Kuler is for you. However, this app can only be enjoyed by iOS users.
Color Rotate
Color Rotate is similar to Kuler, only that it looks like a 3D version of the latter. The way humans interpret colors is a complex system, and Color Rotate is an effective tool that puts your choice of colors in 3D space to create a representation that will show how human minds perceive color combinations. This app helps the website designers find the right color scheme that will suit that taste of the target market by showing how colors mix and match in a three-dimensional perspective.
Instant Color Schemes
There are times when it becomes difficult to look for the right hues or tones to use for a single image in mind. If you have the same issue in the process of designing your website, then this app can help you in resolving that.
Instant Color Schemes allows the user to type keywords and will instantly suggest the top colors that are commonly associated with the keywords typed.
Color Explorer
As one of the most commonly featured apps online, Color Explorer offers advanced features that allow the user to try different color palettes in convenient ways. The app also allows the user to search for color schemes that can be directly used or edited based on the needs of the website.
If you already have an advanced knowledge in mixing and matching colors in web design, then this app is highly recommended for you.

Final Word
While there are a lot of online tools that can be used in selecting the perfect color schemes for websites, the number one rule is to know the taste of your target audience to make your strategy work.
Pay attention to details like how your company profile and your target market can relate through catchy phrases, icons, and colors. Put in mind that although your website is just part of the equation to make your product or service memorable, it pays to maximize its use.
It is highly recommended that before you select the possible colors, make sure that you have tried the abovementioned online tools and similar ones that you can access online.
The post Tips In Choosing Website Color Schemes (With BONUS Online Tools) appeared first on Web Designer Hub.

Develop Locally, Use Images from Production

Working on your website locally means having the files that make your website tick right there on your computer. It's common those files live in a version control repository. You work on them, and push them up to the repo when you are ready. Other people work too, and you pull their changes back down.
What might not be in that repo, are images files from the CMS. WordPress is a classic example of this. When you upload an image in WordPress, it does a whole song and dance. It gets uploaded to the `uploads` folder, multiple versions are created, even the database is updated and attachment meta data happens. What doesn't happen is that a version control commit happens with all those files.

There are ways to make sure you have those files. You could write a script to pull them down. You could manually FTP it once in a while. In WordPress land, there are plugins that help, like WP DB Migrate Pro, which not only does the database but can move images as well.
But you might not even want to deal with images. Perhaps:

You don't want the images in your repo. Maybe the repo is just a theme folder and it makes sense to leave it that way.
You have like 10 GB worth of images and it's impractical and unnecessary to move them around.

I think that's totally legit. A publication-style site probably doesn't need every single image they've ever uploaded as part of their main repo.
OK, enough explanation. You get it.
Sean Lange talked about this exact thing in his 2013 article Using Remote Image Files When You Develop Locally. His solution was to rewrite local URL's at the web server level to point to the production files:
I found my answer in Apache URL rewrite rules. When the Apache program handles incoming web page requests, rewrite rules allow it to change URLs matching certain patterns -- for example, they can turn requests for the 'files' directory on your local machine into requests for remote URLs on the production server.
Here's his Apache rewrite rules:
RewriteEngine on
# Force image styles that have local files that exist to be generated.
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^/sites/([^/]*)/files/styles/[^/]*/public/((.*))$
RewriteCond %{DOCUMENT_ROOT}/sites/%1/files/%2 -f
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ $1 [QSA,L]
# Otherwise, send anything else that's in the files directory to the production server.
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^/sites/[^/]*/files/.*$
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/sites/[^/]*/files/css/.*$
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/sites/[^/]*/files/js/.*$
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1 [QSA,L]
He's working with DrupalCoin Blockchain through MAMP, but so long as you're using Apache locally it's all just a variation on the same idea. Match URL's that point to the assets you want to target, rewrite them to the live site.
He was able to paste those rules into a little box in MAMP that handles it. I'm running WordPress locally through a little Docker setup, so I went for just editing my `.htaccess` file directly, and kinda simplified it for my needs:
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^/wp-content/uploads/[^/]*/.*$
RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1 [QSA,L]
Works great for me! Here's a visual explanation:

Develop Locally, Use Images from Production is a post from CSS-Tricks
Source: CssTricks

How to Get Your eCommerce Store Selling Products in 30 Days

Every online store faces the same challenge when it first opens. You’ve already invested a good chunk of time and money into getting your website running, but it all counts for nothing until you start selling products.
In many ways, those first few hundred sales are the hardest ones to get, but once you build that initial traction, things start clicking into place. The key is reaching that first landmark as soon as possible. Aside from bringing in some vital revenue, those early sales (and the marketing you conduct to get them) will lead to your next batch of customers and beyond.
So let’s take a look at the marketing essentials to get your store selling products in 30 days.
The challenge: Selling products in 30 days
Back in November, Shopify published an article on how to get your first sale in 30 days and this partly inspired out blog post for today. I’ll be covering a number of the same points but I wanted to expand on some of them and make a few bold assertions about where to invest your time and money in those first 30 days (and first few months really).
So have a read of both articles and take what you can from both of them.
The point is you absolutely can start selling products in the first 30 days and this should be the target you set yourself. It’ll take some work and capital to get things moving but it’s better to invest these resources early on so your site can start paying for itself (and more) as soon as possible.
So let’s get cracking!
Start with Google AdWords

The Shopify article I mentioned earlier also recommends paid advertising, but it talks about getting organic/free traffic first. However, I want to talk about PPC first – and specifically Google AdWords – because it’s the best way to guarantee traffic from day one and opportunities to sell.
Meanwhile, organic traffic takes more time to generate and turn into sales. So my recommendation is to start paid advertising and organic search marketing from the day you launch. Paid ads will get that essential traffic you need in the first few months while you build your organic search presence – it’s the ideal combination.
The reason I recommend Google AdWords specifically is because it tends to come with a higher purchase intent than Facebook or other social advertising channels. People use Google to actively search for products so they’re already interested in – which gives you a higher quality of lead and more chance of turning them into paying customers.
Here are some general tips for your AdWords strategy:

Set your targets and stick to them (keywords, budget, etc.)
Focus on your most desirable products first
Tempt people with a special introductory offer and create campaigns to promote your deal
Create specific landing pages (never send PPC traffic to your homepage)
Set up AdWords remarketing so users who don’t buy first time continue to see your ads after they leave your site
Run Google Shopping campaigns alongside regular text ads
Capture emails from users to send them promotional messages later on

In terms of budget you have a decision to make. Do you invest more in the first few months and take a loss for the sake of building traction, or do you set a profit target to reach? This depends on your budget and how quickly you need to start making money from your business.
Just remember that any good PPC strategy starts paying for itself within the first few months. It should certainly be bringing you traffic from day one and get you selling those first products within the first 30 days.
So invest what you can into paid advertising now (time, not just money) so you can grow faster. Each new customer is another person you can use to tempt with future purchases, fill up your social pages with positive feedback and help you build your brand further.
Use SEO as your long-term strategy
I don’t want to downplay the importance of SEO and organic traffic for new eCommerce stores. You want to get your search marketing strategy up and running right away but understand it will take time to start seeing results.
There’s no need to panic – this is the nature of SEO and taking shortcuts only comes back to bite you later on. So use PPC as your quick fix and allow your SEO strategy to do its job, gradually building up your online presence and bringing in “free” traffic to your store.
So what does an SEO strategy look like for a new eCommerce store?
Make yourself useful
The first thing you need to do is decide how you can create a blog that really solves the problems your target customers face. It could be buying decisions, technical issues with products, general users queries or any combination of things.
The goal is to make your website a place where consumers interested in your products want to come, even before they’ve decided to buy anything. Doing so will not only generate leads from the people already visiting your site, but also raise your online profile and bring new traffic coming to your store.
Reach out to users where they already are
While you’re waiting for your on-site SEO to take off, you can do your best to generate organic traffic from other sources in the first 30 days. Find user forums related to your industry or generic sites like Quora where people go to ask questions.
These are great places to introduce yourself to potential customers. Answer their questions and show them you’re a genuinely helpful brand. Forget about selling for now and focus on establishing connections.
You can do the same on social media, too. Find groups on Facebook, LinkedIn and trending topics on Twitter. Make your presence known and offer your expertise to everyone who needs it.
Your goal is to build a reputation as a brand that helps people out rather than trying to force products down their throat. You’ll find more people buy if you take a less aggressive or sleazy approach – and always remember there’s value in engaging with people who don’t buy from you, too.
Get yourself published on other websites
Another way to reach out to communities is to publish content on other websites. It could be a simple case of publishing on Medium and LinkedIn or targeting industry websites – eg: TechRadar if you’re selling consumer tech goods.
Again, the aim isn’t to sell products but get your content and brand seen by a wider audience. These sites get huge streams of traffic on a daily basis and the more niche their content is, the more targeted this traffic will be to your product (and more likely to buy).
Depending on what products you’re selling, you could even reach out to review sites to give their verdict. These are a favourite tool for consumers who haven’t decided which product to buy yet and you’ll often get links to your product pages in return.
If you have physical stores, go local

If you’re a purely online retailer then this won’t apply to you. But if you have physical stores then you’ll want to put a sting focus on local SEO. Get yourself on Google My Business and claim your business in Google Maps. It’s also a good idea to register with online directory listings like Yelp, even though their influence has declined somewhat.
Again, don’t worry if your SEO strategy doesn’t directly sell any products in the first month. Focus on making AdWords do the selling for you (that’s what it’s designed for) and start using SEO to build your audience – precisely what it’s supposed to do.
Set up email marketing right away
When traffic comes to your site the aim is always to keep them involved with your brand. If they buy a product there and then, great. If not, then you need to find another way to connect with them again at a later date.
Email marketing is key to this and it doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive to do. Ask blog readers to subscribe and prompt other users to sign up for special offers and other incentives.
Shopify integrates with MailChimp for easy email marketing
Run this alongside AdWords remarketing and you’ll be able to reconnect with a wide range of visitors who don’t buy the first time around. They’ve still shown an interest and still have potential to buy – your job is to give them the extra push.
Aside from this, email marketing is by far the best performing marketing strategy at turning previous customers into repeat customers.
Resist the urge to advertise on social (for now)
Plenty of marketers would slap me for saying this and you’ll have to weigh things up for yourself. However, there are a few reasons I think you should forget about advertising on social media for the first months:

Social leads come with a lower buying intent than AdWords
You already have PPC and SEO to spend your time on as it is
Producing social content, managing accounts and running ads is demanding
You can make progress on social for free

Let me be clear: social advertising is a great marketing tool for eCommerce stores and I recommend you get involved – just not now. You have enough to be doing in the first few months of running your store and you should focus on getting the absolute highest quality of leads.
I would focus your time and budget on AdWords to get the maximum amount of traffic with buying intent. This will be the key to selling as many products as possible in the first month and once things are picking up I would suggest social advertising.
In the meantime, use your social channels to promote your content, build your audience and cater to any customer services needs. Go back to the point I mentioned earlier about reaching out to groups and discussions on social, too. Use this to get a feel for whihc networks are most suitable for you and build whatever presence you can for now.
The time to pay up for social ads will come soon enough.
Good luck!
So that’s it for today but be sure to check out the Shopify article we mentioned earlier. There are some suggestions in there I didn’t cover today so it’s certainly worth reading. I just wanted to give my two cents on where your time and money might be best spent in the first 30 days of running your online store. It’s results that count after all and getting those early sales really will kick things into action for you.
Good luck!
The post How to Get Your eCommerce Store Selling Products in 30 Days appeared first on Web Designer Hub.

Best Image Editors To Generate Amazing Visuals For Your Site

Websites often use image editors to enhance or transform images or photos, the most popular of which is Adobe Photoshop.
The need to have high-quality images for any website cannot be dismissed. Images are on the page not for the sake of filling up space but rather to enhance the overall content. When images and photos are clear, visitors are most likely to check the content in its entirety. Apart from having a great layout, images should be related to the text and should be of the best possible quality all the time.
Benefits of Using High Quality Images
Below are the advantages of putting high-quality images on your website:

1. They make the content more interesting to read.
Most often than not, when people come across a website with colorful and vivid images, they will be curious to check out what the website is all about. Bad images will automatically turn off any online visitor.
2. They help readers understand the topic better.
Some websites may use terms that are too technical for ordinary people to understand. By using images, you can perfectly describe the text, making the site visitor understand what is written on the page. There is a need to use relevant photos to help people understand the context better.
3. They encourage people to share your content to different social media sites.
If photos used for a story are of the highest quality, viewers become more emotionally invested in what your website has to say. As a result, the likelihood of your content to be shared via social media becomes higher. Besides, social networking sites are now encouraging the use of excellent photos to be used as featured images to the links shared.
4. They are generally easier to understand than plain text.
Photos on websites can help visual learners understand the topic better, rather than tire themselves understanding the texts.
Some blog posts or articles use different images. Not only do they capture the attention of readers through the beautiful imagery, but the photos can also serve as a break from having to read long texts.
5. They make your website look professional.
Using professional quality images somehow encourage people to trust you and your company. It’s pretty much similar to you represent yourself to others. If you show up untidy or disheveled, what do you think will people think of you?
6. They contribute to your site’s SEO ranking.
Posts with photos make readers stay longer on the page. This creates a natural and organic increase in the time-on-site index of your page, which is a good metric to improve your site SEO.
Uses of a Photo or Image Editor
Some of the photos we take may not come out the way we want it. In order to have a perfect picture, a photo or image editor is used.
Here are some of the ways that a good image editor could be your savior:

To make the image of a person look blemish-free, an image editor can remove unwanted spots and flaws that distract the audience away from your content.
The color, contrast and brightness can be adjusted.
You can also make use of different settings like, blurred effect, sepia, night settings, and filters.
Photos can be stretched, cropped or transformed into its mirror image.

Benefits of Using an Image Editor
Companies make use of photos to help them “sell” their products and services. The following are the reasons why photo editors are of great importance to any website or company:

Companies enhance photos according to the requirement needed in advertising campaigns.
You may want to take a photo depicting the summer season, but you don’t need to go to the beach to capture that picture. An image editor can be set in such a way that the background would exude a beach vibe.
Notice how models and celebrities look perfect on billboards? Thanks to a good image editor, all of the fine lines, wrinkles and other blemishes can be removed.

Best Image Editors
Eager to edit your snaps to elevate their quality? Here are some of the best image editors in the market that can turn your drab pictures into digital works of art:

This freeware is an image converter program for Microsoft Windows, and is designed for both beginners and professionals. Apart from editing images, it can also play audio and video files and has painting and image creation features.
Irfanview comes with a 32-bit and 64-bit version. It is free for non-commercial use, and requires paid registration for commercial use. Irfanview has become known for its ability to handle a wide variety of graphic file formats, its ease of use, and its speed.
[source]Although intended for non-professionals, Pixlr offers a variety of features that any visual artist can freely play with to enhance photos. Using Pixlr would turn your photos into a work of art.
This software can be downloaded on desktops, smartphones and tablets. It was founded by Ola Sevabdersson in 2008, and was acquired by Autodesk in 2011.

Aside from enhancing photos to produce better images, Fotor also gives you the ability to add text, put frames and borders, adjust contrast and brightness, and perform basic image editing functions such as blur, shift and crop.
The best part? You don’t have to download the app, because Fotor is an online image editor and collage maker.
Photo Editor from Aviary

This image editing app has advance features and editing tools, and is referred to by some of its users and supporters as a simpler version of Photoshop.  It is easy to use, and allows you to create wonderful images that look like they have been captured by professional photographers. You can make use of the different effects and have fun sharing your photos with your friends.
The app is available in Android and iOS devices.
[source]GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) is a freeware and open source image editor that is available on Windows, GNU/Linus, OS X and other operating systems. Using this software can make your photos look very professional because of its sophisticated features to help you get the job done easily. Third-party plugins are also available to further enhance productivity.
[source]Regarded as one of the most reliable programs that many companies trust, ACDSee comes with advance features that perfectly capture the vibrance of photos. Its Ultimate version is comparable to Lightroom, PaintShop Pro, and Capture One, and is designed for people with intermediate to advanced image editing skills.
Adobe Photoshop
[source]From simple image editing to 3D designs and illustrations, Adobe Photoshop continues to be known as a premiere graphic and photo editing program used by thousands of professionals. Adobe Photoshop CC, the latest version, supports all image formats (including BMP, GIF, JPG, PNG, and TIF). It allows images to be imported, edited, and customized into almost anything imaginable.
No matter which kind of photo editor that you use, for as long as you carefully make your photos as beautiful and captivating as possible, any website will definitely be an attention grabber. It takes more time to learn some of the advanced features in the image editors, but it would definitely make a huge difference once you implement the changes in your upcoming photos.
The post Best Image Editors To Generate Amazing Visuals For Your Site appeared first on Web Designer Hub.

Effective Strategies to Boost Traffic To Your E-Commerce Website

Online stores have become very popular these days to the point that traditional business owners have started to join the trend. Considering how relatively cheap it can be to put up an online store instead of installing a physical store, the right online marketing and advertising strategy should be carefully thought of.
Making use of online techniques enables business owners to reach far more places. Businesses now are no longer limited to sell within a locality but can now as well do business even as far as the other end of the globe.
Whether it’s a Shopify store or any other kind of e-commerce site, it’s not enough to create a website and leave it as is without making the necessary steps to boost traffic into your online store. No matter how spectacularly creative your website design is, you might find your online business losing a lot of money, if you don’t use the right online strategies.
Is social media the answer?
It’s pretty much common knowledge to consider social media as a great opportunity to promote practically anything. Whether it’s about the latest events, an upcoming sale promotion, or a store opening, social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter have greatly influenced the way our customers choose the products and services that they intend to buy.
To answer the question, social media may be an effective technique to bring traffic to your e-commerce site, but that’s just one of the many available strategies that you can use.
More traffic-boosting strategies for online stores
How can you boost traffic to your website when there are so many online stores that possibly offer the same products as you do? There is such stiff competition in the world of online selling that has prompted business owners to do whatever it takes to direct their target customers into their websites.
Here are a few things that business owners need to be aware of so that they can potentially increase traffic to their website and eventually turn visitors into paying customers:
Look for online forums

Imagine that your online business is about children’s costumes. Your target market would definitely be mothers of school-age children. Luckily, there are forums and chat groups for mothers who want to talk about their families, marriages and children. They would ask fellow parents about opinions on dressing up their kids for special events. Having your store URL placed on any of those forums can already be an effective ad strategy.
Make sure that the forums where you plan to post your site links are aligned to your store’s niche. Otherwise, you might put off potential clients who might think that they’re looking at a spam link.
Invest on online ads

Placing ads about your products on online channels will increase your chances of getting noticed. However, you must focus on a single product that you want to sell, rather than advertising the landing page of your website. How do you do this?
Suppose you have an online tutorial for school children as your online business, as well as sell review books in Math and English for different grade levels. You may want to get in touch with a group of mommy bloggers who have a huge following. You may ask these bloggers if it’s possible to place your ad on their website so that their blog followers – who are most likely interested in your services – will get the chance to click your ad and eventually get redirected to your website.
Be aware that placing ads would mean additional cost on your end. Fortunately, there are several options to make your ad more cost-effective – say, adjusting the ad size or regulating the visibility period of the ad on the page. Although you may need to shell out for this, think of its long-term effects especially in terms of bringing your service to your target market.
Make use of hashtags

Hashtags – terms or keywords that start with a hash (#) or number sign – became popular because of Twitter. These days, more and more people are using hashtags to describe their posts on different social media sites.
Aside from the obvious purposes of the hashtag, some business owners have been using these lucrative terms to get visitors into their websites. Hashtags that are correctly created for a certain business will allow people to find exactly what they are looking for, without the need to look for their desired contene elsewhere. Hashtags should contain exactly what the product or service that you want to advertise, so that the target audience identifies the hashtags with your company.
Here’s a good example: an online shop that sells black leather shoes may use the hashtags #BlackShine and #LeatherIsBetter on its social media posts.
Improve keyword use for better SEO

Search engine optimization continues to be a standard for people who want their websites to appear at the top of search results. In the case of e-commerce websites, choosing the keywords that perfectly describe your products will increase your chances of appearing on search engine pages.
Make sure that you use engaging and original product descriptions. Well-chosen keywords are easier to be found in product information pages, especially when you change their font styles (say, making them bold or underlined). When you create unique descriptions, you enable search engines to index these keywords pertaining to your site.
Connect with similar stores and niche accounts on social media

Search for accounts in Twitter, Facebook or Instagram that focus on the same niche as your online store.  Once you have spotted them, send the account owner a message either through the email address provided on their page or through direct messaging. Tell them that you would appreciate it if they can endorse your product on social media.
You should choose the right words when sending messages to them. You wouldn’t want to sound like you are demanding your products to be featured on their future social media posts, would you? Here are some tips to make the request a little less insistent:

Inform them that you came across their profiles and saw that you have the same interests.
Provide details of the product that you are selling, including its benefits and standout features.
Ask if it would be possible to have your product mentioned in their social media posts.
Ask how you can send free samples so that they may be able to try your products themselves.

Another way to influence people to help in your social media promotions is by letting them know that they can earn commission of some form. In short, make the social media promotional strategy a win-win situation for both parties.
Tap your family and friends

In starting up a new online business, you may want to save as much as possible. For some, placing ads on other sites may not be an option yet. The most cost-effective way of promoting your store is through the help of family and friends.
For starters, inform close friends and family members that you are about to launch your online store. By sending them free samples, they will be encouraged to help you out in spreading the word through their friends and acquaintances. Have your relatives share your online shop as well as your products and services on their social medial accounts so that their own friends will know about it.
In other words, treat your friends and family as your “virtual angels” to put the word out for your business. You don’t need to spend too much to advertise online because you have already earned their trust even before starting your business.
Create a user-friendly platform

You may want to impress your visitors by creating a website that is extremely complex and can showcase your amazing skills in web design. However, if your visitors find it difficult to navigate through your store to view products and services, this would probably lose your potential customers.
You cannot expect all of your online store visitors to know exactly how to navigate your website. Some may be used to seeing websites with static pages. Using flash images may be attractive, but ensure that clickable links are always visible for them.
In addition, make the checkout process easy for your online buyers. Otherwise, the complexity of the process may turn them off and eventually beg off from their intended purchase.
Make your pages load fast

When your website’s page loading takes several seconds, prospect buyers may abandon your site and look for another online shop that offers the same products and services that you have. Your customers may not want to go through a long process of ordering, shipping and checking out. You wouldn’t want to lose the interest of your visitors, would you?
Find way on how you can shorten the process without eliminating vital information that the customer needs to know when buying a product, such as paying additional cost for shipping or offering free shipping for those who buy in bulk.
Make your website mobile-friendly

The tremendous decline in the use of desktop computers occurred with the creation of tablets and smartphones. Web access through mobiles and tablets have increased significantly, which means that your website should be able to adapt to these smaller screen sizes so as not to alienate your mobile clients.
They don’t have to wait to go home and sit in front of their desktops just to order an item from your store. They should be able to access your e-commerce website wherever they are and whatever time of the day using their handheld devices.
Create a blog

Posting interesting information and being visible online regularly will naturally increase your followers. The fastest way to do this is by creating and maintaining a blog.
Most online businesses don’t just showcase their products or services, but also share valuable information related to what they are offering. Instead of just repeating the description that goes with each product that you sell, write about something related to your niche. If you limit your blog articles only to promote your products, there’s a big chance that you will lose your online audience.
If you’re selling organic health bars, for instance, you may discuss health issues such as the adverse effect of not having sufficient amount of Vitamin C or the latest drug discovered to stop a certain skin disorder.
Feature popular social media accounts on your blog

When you want to seek help from others, as earlier mentioned, people engaged in similar products or services that you may have are the best guys that you need to be around with. By searching specific keywords related to your products, you can get to those people that might help you.
You may start by searching niche-specific people through social media sites, and write about them. Let your blog readers know what is special about these online influencers or what they are passionate about. Then, inform your chosen social media influencers that you have featured them on your latest blog and emphasize why you think they deserve to be given such importance.
Next, ask them how you can send some samples of your products, and politely ask them to share the information about your product on their social media accounts.
Final Word
Properly engaging with followers and promoting quality products and services through the help of online strategies will definitely help your business to success.
The post Effective Strategies to Boost Traffic To Your E-Commerce Website appeared first on Web Designer Hub.

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