Designing the perfect website for your business

Designing the perfect website can be a challenge, your business needs a good site that can draw in your customers and help them to spend money. However, along with all the good sites, there are also some bad ones. A bad site can be almost as bad as not having a site at all, so you want some tips to make your page stand out in a good way.

These ideas should help you to develop an engaging and inspiring website that will be attractive to your viewers.

What do you need?

As a start, you need to write down what you want from your website. Look at your business and think about how your site will fit into it. Different requirements will be needed for different business types, for example, a restaurant’s site will be very different to that for a landscape gardening business, so look at the different elements. You also want to think about what pages you need, and what would benefit the customer. Try to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think about what they would want to see.

You also want to think about what pages you need, and what would benefit the customer. Try to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think about what they would want to see.

Design your site

When you have created a plan for your website, it is a good idea to draw out the design on paper first. You can draw each page with the content you want and a rough idea about pictures and buttons. This will help you to visualize the site and may lead you to change your plan when you try to fit it all in.

The thing to remember is that there is no need to make your page overly cluttered. You want your customers to be able to find their way around without getting lost.

Laying out the contents

Now is the time that you should start piecing together the elements of your site to see how they look. If you are doing the site yourself, then you need to use a good web design software. Dreamweaver has been a favorite for many years, but if you are not confident at coding, there are many sites such as Wix and WordPress that can help you.

If you don’t have the time to devote to designing the site yourself, you can enlist the help of a web designer. They can use your plans and drawings to create the site you want.

Security

Security needs to play a big part of your web design, especially if you are dealing with customer data. It is a good idea to add security measures to your site so that people cannot hack into it and steal your information.

It is also a good idea to have a backup plan in case the site in compromised, using a firm like Secure Data Recovery can help. They have a Secure Data Recovery Center to assist in restoring your data, whilst you may feel that your skills are adequate to find your data, you can easily do more harm than good.

These are a few of the things you can do to design and build a website that your customers will love. Remember though, that you must make it easy to update for you as well or it will eat your time.

June 14th Google Partner’s Livestream

The Google Partners event on June 14th was about finding ways to get your business online and how to optimize your web presence to reach more customers. Some of the important things we learned today were how mobile influences purchases, how consumer behavior is changing, and how to grow your business from there.

With the increase of mobile usage in the past few years, it is more and more important for your business to make use of digital platforms. Searches from mobile are more common than searches from desktop computers.  People are doing more local searches for services or products around them. In the last four years, a 34% increase in Google searches included the phrase “near me”. Mobile makes up 84% of ‘near me’ searches, and there is a strong purchase intent after a ‘near me’ search as 3 in 4 people who searched on mobile visited a business within 24 hours. This is why it is so important for a business to be up-to-date in the digital world, and be very mobile-friendly.

Consumer behavior has changed drastically over the past few years. People are reacting on a more immediate basis, consumer expectations are higher, and there is less brand loyalty involved in immediate purchases. Businesses are now forced to adapt to the in-the-moment decisions of consumers in order to keep up with the times. Years ago, purchases used to revolve around physical location and consumer knowledge was limited. Today people can go shopping and compare prices and features of products that aren’t in front of them but they may be interested in.

In order to grow your business, Google shows us how to win by taking business digital. In the past year, revenue growth was 4 times higher for business who used digital marketing. Online shopping is increasing 120% every year, so make sure your website is easy to access.  A couple of tips from Google’s presentation on how to grow your company included creating a free business listing on Google, creating a website that clearly states what your business offers and advertise through display ads, re-marketing, and use demographics to find new customers.

 

Missed the Livestream? Watch it below!

 

Panera Bread - Order Catering Online

Finding The Best eCommerce Solution for Your Catering Business

WooCommerce POS - Point of Sale IntegrationIf you’re looking to bring your catering business online, and provide ordering through your website, there are many options to consider for the best solution. 3PRIME recently started working with two local caterers to help them offer their food and platters to customers. We researched the latest technologies and came across popular platforms such as WooCommerce, Magento, Shopify, and BigCommerce. Read more

Google Partners Livestream from 5/17/2017

For those of you who haven’t yet seen the Google Partners live stream event from May 17th, we’ve provided the video down below.

Today’s event focused on how to reach your customers at the right moment to maximize your marketing dollars. Reaching customers right when they are searching is crucial. Site speed is critical in reaching a potential customer. If your site will not load in 3 seconds, customers will go to one of your other competitors. Being there when your customers need you is the best way to ensure your place above your competition.

Home Services Business Model Being Challenged

Home improvement searches have been steadily increasing over the last few years. People are now adding to their searches “near me”, to find local home improvement services. This search has spiked in the past 5 years, showing costumer interest in local businesses. Reaching customers for services when they need you can be difficult.  Maybe a person is calling about a roof leak in the middle of the night, but your roofing business only works 9-5. The Google event today explained that when you are not there for your customer when they need you, they will find someone else. When reaching customers, you want to know what moments matter and what times of day they will call. Some moments matter more than others, so you will need to find out when these moments happen most in order to maximize your marketing dollars.

 

Anticipate Consumer Behavior Changes

Millennials are now the largest group of heads the household and make a lot of the buying decisions including household services. From 2013 to 2018, millennials becoming the head of the household is projected to increase by 8 million. In order for millennials to purchase your products, you need to get their attention. By creating stimulus for your products, customers will remember your product when they need you. Now, customers are using mobile devices for most of their searches and relying less on reviews to decide what company to hire. Around 61% of customers use search engines to find a business while only 15% rely on business reviews. As the consumer behavior changes, your business model should change as well.

 

Winning Over Customers

It is important for your business to have a presence on search engines. Being found on Google is a great start to capturing the demand people have for your services. Owning your Google My Business Listing will not only let customers know you’re reliable but also will give insights about what customers look for on Google My Business. Be there when the customer needs you: choose the right keywords, connect with the target audience, and find out what people in your area are searching. One of the last ways to win over customers is to have a great mobile experience and keep up with the latest ad formats. For example, 75% of millennials prefer texting over calling and adding a text feature to your ad is a great way to connect. YouTube videos are another great platform to find millennials and are great for companies to engage with potential customers. By keeping up with the ever-changing business models of today, your company is guaranteed to win over the new age of buyers.

 

  • Home Service business models are being challenged
  • Millennials are now considered the head of households
  • Only two percent of companies measure home service moments

Advice to 3PRIME Network related to WannaCrypt/WannaCry Windows vulnerability

Last Friday, many companies were affected by an online attack via the software called WannaCrypt, also known as WannaCry. The attack included ransoming of important information by encryption. This attack has reached over 150 countries and approximately 10,000 companies. While this attack has been halted, precautions must be taken to prevent future similar attacks.

The most important things to be aware of:

1) If you are not using Windows, you are safe.

2) If you are running Windows 7 or Windows 10, you should be safe, but you can check here.

3) The specific attack from last week has been nullified, but the vulnerability in older Windows remains.

 

If you use Windows 7, Click Start > All Programs > Windows Update to check if there are updates available.

For Windows 10  users, in the Search Box type “Windows Update” > Check For Updates and see if there are updates available.

We recommend you run these immediately!

Resources

  1. AskWoody.com – This contains of lists of windows versions and how to check machines if they’re vulnerable.
  2. Security patches are available for download and installation. This is a step by step instruction of patching https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4012598/title.
  3. Catalog of direct downloads from Microsoft: http://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/Search.aspx?q=KB4012598.

 

Highlights from the Google Partners Livestream on 4/19

After watching the Google Partners Livestream, we were able to gather some of the important tips for companies to help their business this year. Technology is now at the heart of business, and everything around us is connected to the web. As trends are continually impacting industries, it is important to follow them in order to still be in business in the near future. Many companies are closing their retail stores, but many people do not realize that they are doing this to enter the digital world. Online shopping has become so prevalent that stores are closing down in order to put their focus on where  consumers spend their time.

Traditional Business Models are Being Challenged

With changing consumer behavior, our industries are being challenged. Traditional business models are changing, and we must be aware of technology shifts in our field. For example, Blockbuster used to be the place that everyone bought their movies. People took their car to a location to browse through VHS and DVDs. Nowadays, movies can be streamed through TVs, laptops and cell phones with just the click of a button. Now people are using companies like Netflix, which allows you to watch shows and movies without leaving your couch. Talk about a business model that changed pretty rapidly within the past 15 years!


Consumer Behavior is Changing

Consumers behavior is changing along with technology. They have 24/7 access to mobile devices, which means that they have access to an unlimited amount of information. So what does this mean for companies? It means that consumers are more informed and aware, creating higher expectations. This is creating more pressure for companies to meet the demands of consumers. All companies today are being challenged, and it is up to them to do something to stand above the competition.

Retail is Changing in the Digital Age

Retail visits are declining as more business moves to eCommerce. From 2013 to 2016, retail visits dropped in half, which is a significant loss. So what can your business do to survive in this new digital age? Instead of using the old mantra “Do whatever to get the customer to the dealership,” imply a new mantra, “Do whatever  to bring the dealership to the customer.”

 

How Can I Prepare for the Digital Future?
One way to keep up with the digital age is to keep ad spending in sync with consumer behavior. Are you using ads on platforms that have been surpassed by digital ads – such as TV ads? Another thing to consider is being open 24/7.  Making ads profitable is key by knowing when consumers visit your company.  For example, consumers may visit a lawn service company mostly in the Spring and Summer months, which means your companies ads should run according to the influx of customers. Being available for your customers when they are looking for you is a crucial way to get customers.  If you are not available at the time your customers need you, they will look for another company in the same industry that is available. Other things to incorporate to make your business tech-savvy in the future are: keyword research to target your customers, using ad extensions and forms, creating a great mobile experience and using a Google my Business page.

From the Google Livestream, we learned that technology is changing the way we do business. Businesses must keep up with the times in order to engage more customers and generate more sales. Since 1 in 3 adults watch at least one Youtube video per month, it’s safe to say that engaging online with customers – especially through social media outlets – can help to increase your website traffic. To make sure your company is up-to-date with the digital world in 2017, contact 3PRIME today!

If you wanted to see what Google had to say, watch the Livestream below. Be up-to-date with the latest in business and find out how to connect your business to the ever-changing world.
 

How Important is Website Content Layout?

 

A common mistake that people make when they first set up a website is neglecting the importance of their content in terms of both quality and layout. People can get distracted by trying to find website features/plugins that will make their website look attractive, but fall short when it comes to creating high quality content.

For example, there are websites that have sliders positioned strategically to sell their main products or services. However, the banners that they upload fail to sell the content. If you are going to go to the effort of building great features within your website, you need to invest even more time in making sure that the content is good quality.

When we say good quality, there are a number of factors that come into this. Is the content useful? Is it relevant to the target audience? These are two big questions that you need to look at whenever you are creating any content. From then on, you also need to think about how your content will look it terms of text size and readability. If you are using text that doesn’t stand out or colours that don’t contrast well together, then your content will not be nearly as effective as it could be and can cause unlikability.

Another huge element of having a great website is to have your content placed in the most effective places. Your call to action button is going to play a large part of converting website visitors into customers, so this needs to be placed somewhere that is highly visible and will compel your visitors to take the action that you require. You should also remember some of the other important content positioning techniques such as placing a logo and tagline in the header of your website homepage.

When visitors arrive at your website it is because they have either searched and found you via a search engine, clicked on a PPC ad, or you have directed them to your website through effective marketing channels such as email marketing. Therefore, if you are seeing an influx of people to your website, it means your marketing campaigns are proving effective. However, if your vast volumes of traffic amount to nothing and perspective customers do not sign up for newsletters, enquire about your services or purchase any products, then there may be an issue with your content.

Usually, the problem will stem from one or two things – either people can’t find your content because your layout/navigation is too complex, or your content simply isn’t strong enough. If your stats are showing that you are getting high volumes but only a tiny percentage turn out to be business leads, then you need to look at your content. Therefore, turn to sites such as Forbes for advice on how to create suitable content. However, make sure to thoroughly research how to produce and market effective content for maximum effect.

What Mobile Does for Customers?

The recent Google Partner’s event explained the importance of companies connecting with the digital world. Tom Ferry, one of the presenters at the Google partners event, talked about how the real estate industry can greatly benefit with from the new digital era. People respond more to digital content, then print, TV or ad outlets. With the opportunity waiting with digital outlets, don’t wait to get your business involved!

Ferry showed the importance of companies using the ‘RND’ method. This is what many of the other top companies in the world are using. It is a simple process, standing for ‘rip off and duplicate.’ Basically, if a company is successfull with something that they are doing, your business can take that strategy and copy it. As this method works in the real estate world really well, it also turns out to be a genius strategy for the digital world. In the digital world, if you see a strategy that is working, then this is your chance for RND.

Google Partner’s wants your company to increase customers and up your business with these strategies. Since Real Estate in similar to the corporate world, your business can effectively copy their strategies. With real estate, many clients say yes and many say no. This is also true in the corporate world, where there are many customers but also many leads that don’t go anywhere.

Many companies also get enough traffic but don’t know how to lead them. Marketing turns out to be a lot like math. If you get a lot of traffic, but don’t get a lot out of it, you have to find out your objective. Do you want your brand known, or do you want to get more business? Traditional marketing methods look great, but are difficult to measure performance. New marketing ways can tell us right away if we are doing well. They can also let us know how we can change our performance. The number of clicks and leads can be shown through digital marketing methods. Numbers in business show the math aspect to marketing; you need to know your ideal numbers to succeed in marketing.

Creating content is also necessary if you want to be the winner in your market. Developing frequent, great content on multi-channel sources can help. Content is king which is vital for getting people early in the search process. Video is one of the best methods to connect with people. If you answer question, and put out frequent content, you will beat competitors. Put videos out on all your channels and be the market leader. Identify your target customers, and spend time each week to answer their questions through a video. Put them up on all your social media channels. People will then expect routine videos from you, and they will soon connect with your company. Through multi channel distribution, you can create content, email, put on website and out on channels.

Become trusted in your market. Don’t be a generic site, which are not designed to convert new clients. Landing pages are the new thing, and they are designed to direct customers. Directing customers to your landing pages will determine whether they bounce or fill out the contact form.

Make it easy to make appointments, and have auto appointment setting schedule on home or landing page. You can say “book 10 minutes with me”. Companies have to chase people that fill out a contact form due to their schedules. When you pre-book an appointment, it will show the calendar and times. The customers will decide when to come in to your business. 85 percent of people who fill out the form with the appointment, show up.

With marketing, you need to speed to lead. You should call right away when you see that customers want to book an appointment. Connect right away, because they will go to someone else. When the lead comes – in the faster you reach them, the higher the chance they will connect with you. When you get a lead, you should connect within 5 minutes.

Mobile is quickly growing. 50 percent of real estate searches on Google were from a mobile phone. This has changed the course of a person looking to buy a home in 3 ways: They can act immediately, they have more expectations and they act more in the moment than being loyal to a particular brand. Take intent into consideration. Is the customer trying to get something accomplished, or does the customer have no intention of buying a home anytime soon?

Since most growth is coming from digital marketing and less from TV, radio and print, for the real estate industry it means online is where you get leads and expand your business. Mobile has altered the buyers path to buying a home. You can now effectively alter your business to the digital world to grow to new heights.

 

Comparing Google Pagespeed Insights and Test My Site with Google

 

Our score from The new Test My Site web application by Google.

Google Insights analyzes web performance, gives feedback and suggestions to improve your web page. This test lets you enter your website URL and gives you your performance on both mobile and desktop. If there are problems that need your attention, a yellow exclamation point will pop up telling you to ‘consider fixing’ and will show a list of the things to improve on. A checkmark in green will highlight the aspects about your website that you have passed. Google released a new site performance application called Google Test My Site. As both interfaces provide advice to website users, there are still many differences that separate both website apps apart.

 

With both the pages, the scores remain the same. Test My Site has the option to email your test results, but Google Insight does not. Test My Site also has pretty visuals, such as bright colors and interesting videos, making it user friendly. It also displays your results on one page, where Google Insights displays results on 2 different tabs – one for mobile and one for desktop. To test if your site is mobile friendly on Google Insights, the website will have you click on a link and send you to another page.

Our results from Google Insights with scores and explanations of how to fix results.


What was nice about the old site, Google Insight, was that it displayed all of your scores right away, and was not separated by large tabs and graphics. They also explain how to fix the issues they identified on your site, where the new site does not. This can be frustrating to any user wanting to get right to the changes Google is recommending, like
implementing browser caching, but not having ready access to resources and recommendations. Insights will show you, for example, if an image is too large what size to make it.

This highlights that the new Test My Site web app is for non-technical users, while the pagespeed insights is the more useful resource for developers, so we hope they don’t take it away!

Since more people everyday are using the internet, page speed is becoming increasingly important. Page speed can determine if a user stays or leaves your website. Whether you have large graphics and videos, or issues with Javascript, you need to consult to consult with a high-end tool like these that monitor your website performance. Once you find out that your website is lagging with page speed, the next step is developing a plan to improve issues.