Things to Avoid When Building a New Website

Things to Avoid When Building a New Website

No matter what industry you’re in, your website is a world view of your business. Whether you’re currently working on a redesign or building it from the ground up, there are a variety of things you’ll need to make sure it’s successful. 

Your website is crucial to the sales process for your prospect to move through the buyer’s journey from awareness, consideration to decision-making. Businesses need to combine online and offline activities to attract, convert, close and delight their potential customers. 

Research has shown that there are a number of different mistakes that business owners and organizations make, and thankfully we have done the research so that when you create your own website, you don’t have to make the same mistakes.

Not making it easy for people to connect with you

When visitors come to your website they are looking for a few things. They want to know who you are, what you are doing, and most importantly, how they can get in touch with you. 

Make it easy for your customers and potential clients to reach you by including a contact page which gives them the best way to connect with a real person. Many companies use contact forms, which is fine, but when you include your email address and/or phone number (especially a phone number!), or a chatbot, you’d be surprised how much more accessible you appear. 

Not keeping it up to date

There’s not much worse than a website that’s completely out of date. If the most up-to-date entry in your “events” list is 4 months old, you’re sending a message that you really don’t care about anyone coming to the website. Or, if your blog hasn’t seen a new post for more than a week or so, visitors are beginning to wonder what’s happened.

Make sure your contact information is correct, and make sure that your website has your current operating hours if you are a retail establishment. Think like a customer, and make sure that the information is not only available but up-to-date with any of the details they might be trying to find on your website.

Not knowing your target

Your website is intended to serve a function. The aim of most companies is to direct potential clients into a partnership with your company. Think about the things that matter to them, and just about ignore all else. You’re not the customer. You already understand your company, or your business, or anything. If the website is for insiders only, don’t use language that makes sense to outsiders. Consider every page on your site, graphics, links, and text, and be ruthless about making sure it’s geared towards your target.

That means calls to action should be clear to your potential customers and relevant to them. Remember, everything on your website must serve a purpose – connecting with your potential customers.

Not making it mobile-friendly

More than 52 percent of all web traffic is from mobile devices. If your website design doesn’t fit into mobile browsers, you’re missing the opportunity to meet half of your potential clients. You’re telling users that you don’t really care about their business, that you’re not capable to have a mobile-friendly website, and/or you couldn’t be bothered to use one of the many mobile-responsive themes that are available from basically every content management platform out there. 

Difficult to Navigate

If links are difficult to find, not available, or placed in the wrong section. Such a scenario can be extremely frustrating for your guests to check for the details they need when they come to your site.

Navigation of the internet involves reasoning, insight and a lot of common sense. Easy-to-use and intuitive navigation bars help the guests find everything they need. Most notably, adding too many images and sounds do not make the interface too glamorous. The user’s experience should be as smooth as possible because each point of confusion will lower their willingness to continue through your website and choose your company over a competitor’s. 

If you’ve decided to build a new website the above points are critical to its success after launch. If you’re looking for more information on building high quality, successful website visit us at wavesdigitalcanada.com If you’re looking for redesign help or are looking to turn your digital presence entirely in 2020 – Waves Digital is right for you! 

Web Design Strategies That Will Dominate 2020

Web Design Strategies That Will Dominate 2020

It’s absolutely vital to update your website consistently to stay relevant in today’s ever-changing digital landscape. We at Waves Digital believe a new website design is an excellent way to start your 2020 online marketing off right.

Here is a list of tips to help rejuvenate your website design!

Mixing Photography with Graphics

Overlapping original graphics on real pictures produce an unforgettable image that encourages your imagination to go wild. This collage-like pattern is versatile; you can use it to add a touch of branding to otherwise bland product images, or you can use its more serious qualities to better convey complicated or abstract concepts such as software or finance. It’s a way of customizing your imagery and adding more personality to your web design (a recurring trend in 2020).

To make the most of the flexibility of this trend, make sure that the style of the illustrations and images matches your brand personality to maximize the flexibility of this trend. Their style can influence how people interpret the photograph — caricatures for something more playful, or geometric illustrations and detailed images for something sophisticated. 

Abstract illustrations

The use of a personalized illustration style is popular and a great way of distinguishing a brand. Competitors can copy your colour scheme, but not your illustration style. In recent years, the focus has been on digital illustrations. We saw an illustration boom in 2019. However, it has recently become clear that illustrations do not have the same attractive power as before. It is difficult for users to adopt a certain style to a particular organization with so many illustration types around.

Designers began to use more abstract styles of illustrations in an effort to make illustrations more effective, which is going to be more prevalent in 2020. However, when working on abstract graphics, there is an important thing designers should remember. It is important to ensure that your audience can understand what you want to say.  Illustrations that are too abstract will have little business value and will be more like a work of art, rather than a functional element.

When it comes to implementing abstract illustrations to your website, they can be extremely useful for adding page textures, sprucing up buttons, and a way to direct visitors to specific information.

Bold Fonts

If you visit the websites of industry leaders, you may notice that the text, not imaging, is the first thing to get your attention. Did you notice that many of the headlines have large bold fonts? Heavy fonts give the message more visual weight and guide the reader into the first place. Bold fonts provide a modern, contemporary feel from an aesthetic point of view too. With Apple iOS 13, audacious headlines are an integral part of iOS applications. When we assess this usability decision, it will be clear that heavy fonts are good at creating contrast (enhancing text readability) and visual hierarchy of the elements (enhancing the comprehension of content). That’s why web designers use bold fonts. At the same time, it is vital not to overuse them when using a heavy or bold font. Here is something you need to consider: bold typography can be a bit overwhelming if there is a lot to read. Therefore, only for short texts or Headings / Subheadings should you try using this bold font. Don’t forget the contrast-when contrasting with a neutral background, a heavy font will have a greater impact.

Use simple font. The first thought should always be readability when it comes to text elements. Sans Serif fonts are recommended because they are good at scale. Search for letters of round shape when you are picking a bold sans-serif font.

Geometric Shapes

Geometric shapes are commonly used for visual divisions between sections. In 2019 however, designers began to find interesting ways of using geometric objects. Many product teams are using geometric forms to convey a particular sensation. Soft geometric forms can, for example, help create a futuristic appearance. This trend works well with other design trends, like gradients and daring fonts.

You can find perfect shapes in nature if you plan to add geometric shapes in your design and seek inspiration.

Data Visualization

Human beings are visual beings. It is easier for many people to understand the information when it is provided not just in text format. Data visualization rapidly becomes an important tool to create inviting stories. This is why people are more likely to watch video tutorials, and read info-graphics rather than read a product manual.

Dark UI

You may have noticed that some of the biggest companies add light and dark modes. A dark mode is a low-light interface, most of which has dark surfaces. User experience benefits from the two-coloured design trends.  The dark theme contributes to eye stress, therefore by adjusting the screen brightness to existing lighting conditions and reducing the use of light pixels, not only is eye stress reduced but the power of batteries on mobile devices is preserved. If you are working on the dark topic design, be sure to review guidelines for material design that provide specific guidance on how the product is built with a dark topic. Make sure your dark UX is the right fit for your target market.

We at Waves Digital believe that when used in the correct timeframe, these techniques and tactics are important in keeping your brand new, relevant and ahead of the pack. So if you are looking for redesign help or are looking to turn your digital presence entirely in 2020 – Waves Digital is the right place for you! 

Why Webinars Work Within Your Marketing Strategy

Why Webinars Work Within Your Marketing Strategy

According to InsideSales.com, 73% of marketing and sales leaders say webinars are one of the best ways to generate quality leads. Today we are going to go through why webinars work and should be included in your marketing strategy.

1. Webinars have numerous benefits – one of the most important is that they’re location flexible. Making it easy for registrants to tune in from anywhere in the world. 

2. Webinars work across the entire buyer journey! 

From thought-leadership panel discussions to live demonstrations on specific software or products – webinars are a dynamic and effective way to move prospects down the funnel from awareness to closed deal and beyond. 

3. Webinars can be repurposed into Youtube videos, IGTV videos, blog posts, and more making it an easy way to multiply quality content. If your business is struggling to create content for every platform then a webinar may be a perfect way for you to do that.

4. Webinars come with a ton of information about your registrants, making it easy to identify high-quality, sales-ready leads. With each webinar registrant, you can collect lead and engagement data that your sales and marketing teams can use to develop customized touchpoints.

Why Are Webinars Useful? 

If it wasn’t already clear, webinars are truly unlike any other content; if done right, you can keep your audience engaged for hours on end and that’s something that other videos, struggle to do. Not only that, but your audience can also ask questions and get real-time feedback on the training.

  1. Webinars Give You Reusable Content
  2. Webinars Are Engaging 
  3. Webinars Expand Your Audience
  4. Webinars Integrate With a Variety of Your Marketing Strategies
  5. Webinars Position Your Business As An Expert In The Field 
  6. Webinars Allow You to Communicate With Hundreds of Potential Customers Globally
  7. Speed Up Your Sales Process
  8. Webinars Generate High Quality Leads For Sale

What Should I Sell During Webinars?

This can vary from business to business, while listeners are putting aside 1-2 hours out of their days to listen to you, you shouldn’t be overly pushy.

The content should teach your audience WHAT they should be wanting. The “what” can be an actual product or overcoming a struggle or pain point they have. By the time you make your product offer, the entire audience already wants it. This makes the sale after the webinar a natural transition, and no hard selling is required.

What Webinar Service Should I Use?

There are tons of webinar tools out there for example, there’s ClickMeetingGoToWebinar, and Zoom

When you’re looking for the right tool, think about your objective for the webinar. How many viewers does it support? What’s the cost? How easy is it to use? 

Finding the right tool will essentially come down to your overall goals for the webinar. 

Webinars are not just an effective marketing tool, they’re high-quality sales tools!

In short, webinars allow your business to develop authority and gain the trust of prospects. They help your business build relationships and get to know your prospect’s needs first hand. Webinars generate brand awareness at a very minimal cost. They allow you to repurpose the webinar into multiple variations of social, blog, and Youtube content. Most importantly, they help your business generate qualified leads!

This is exactly why you should integrate webinars into your Marketing & Sales strategies in 2020!

If you’re looking for marketing support or transforming your digital presence entirely in 2020 – Waves Digital can help you! 

Perfecting Pinterest

Perfecting Pinterest

Pinterest is the most underrated social media platform ever. The truth is its a huge traffic generator when used correctly and can get your content in front of new audiences. Understand that Pinterest is used as a search engine so you can start to think of it in terms of keywords, links etc. Perfecting Pinterest can be daunting at first but with this guide, you’ll be set up and making waves in no time.

Setting Up Your Pinterest

STEP ONE

Install Google Analytics immediately. Google Analytics generates detailed statistics about your site’s traffic and measures conversions and sales. You may be surprised about how much Pinterest is doing for you with no effort on your part at all. Install it before you’ve done anything that way you can see how you grow!

STEP TWO

Switch to a Business Account. You need a business account in order to take advantage of Pinterest’s analytics feature and apply for rich pins. If you haven’t already, convert your account to a business account, just click “convert now” and follow the instructions on this page: https://business.pinterest.com/en

STEP THREE

Apply for Rich Pins. Now that you have a business account, you need to apply for rich pins. A rich pin includes your name, icon and a link to your website when someone pins from your site. This adds credibility to your pins. Here’s how to apply:

First, make sure you have the “Yoast” SEO plugin installed and activated on your WordPress site. Then head over to their “features” tab and make sure the “Advanced settings pages” is enabled, most times this is already enabled.

Next, head over to Pinterest’s rich pins validator at the link below, enter any valid URL from your site and hit “validate”: https://developers.pinterest.com/tools/url-debugger/

STEP FOUR

Update Your Profile. Let’s get your profile not only bringing in new traffic with keywords but keeping them around to check you out once they arrive on your page. Choose a picture of you for your profile. Showing face will help people see the brains behind the biz so stop hiding behind your logo! Your description should include keywords that tell people what you’re all about and where you’re located. Invite your new followers to interact with you off the app by including a link in your description to an opt-in on your website.

STEP FIVE

Clean Up Your Pinterest Account! If you already had an account and you are not starting from scratch, rearrange your current boards so that the most important ones are at the top and easy to find. Give preference to:

  1. Boards with links back to your own website
  2. Popular topics your target audience is interested in
  3. Move seasonal boards, current promotions, etc. to the top.

The 80/20 Rule

A lot of times Pinterest confuses first users and you can find yourself asking “how much of my own content should I be pinning vs. other people’s content?”

Your Pinterest page is not about you, it’s about providing a resource to your perfect client and every board and pin needs to be focused on them and their needs. At Waves, we recommend sticking with pinning 80% other people’s content and 20% your own. This will help to build knowledge, trust, and likability. Using this rule will have you perfecting Pinterest in no time!

Pinnable Content Ideas

  • Areas of Interest for your customers
  • Instagram
  • Seasonal Updates
  • Group Boards
  • FAQ
  • How-to articles
  • Your Products

A Basic-Pin Structure

  • Design – Use Canva (it’s SO easy)
  • Keep titles large and simple
  • Vertical
  • High-quality image
  • Make it a rich pin so your website is included
  • Use keywords in your description
  • Include a call to action inviting people off the app and onto your website

Group Boards

Pinning to them exposes your content to everyone following that board. That’s why these are a quick way to grow your following. Collaborating with pinners that have a huge following immediately gives you access to their audience. Every time you pin to that board, their followers see your content.

Finding the Right Group Boards

Perfecting Pinterest requires using all aspects of the product.
Use the site http://pingroupie.com which allows you to filter and sort existing group boards to find ones that might be a good fit.

  1. Many boards have instructions/conditions for joining, so be sure to read the rules before you start pinning.
  2. Don’t forget to think locally if that is your target market! Local pin-boards brings people together and creates a sense of community.
  3. If there isn’t a group board you’re looking for, create one and invite others to participate! You’ll have others contributing content to your boards which saves you time and energy.
The Holy Grail of Instagram

The Holy Grail of Instagram

Use #makewaves so that we can see all of your awesome Instagram content. We’re all about creating a tribe over here.

Here are FIVE RULES to live by on Instagram to grow your brand and increase your exposure!

RULE ONE Always have a plan

We know, Instagram is always in the back of your mind. Is it right for you? Is it right for your business? Are you connecting with the right people? Are you sharing the right content to engage with your followers? We’re here to help! The secret? Planning!

Before you share your post, make sure to ask yourself, “Does this post fully capture my personality or my brand’s personality?”. Each post is a step in developing your digital presence. Your brand and business are designed strategically, and your digital platforms should too.

RULE TWO Show your face

Once a week you need to show your face. Some of you might be camera shy and we TOTALLY get it but it’s super important for people to recognize you and be able to put a face to your Instagram account.

RULE THREE Share your work

Don’t be afraid to share your work. You don’t want your feed to be completely filled with your work but share it intentionally with a purpose or goal.

RULE FOUR Share your work environment

You’re HUMAN and your followers are too! Don’t be afraid of sharing a behind the scenes look of your life, it can be awkward and we get it but more importantly, it allows you to better connect with your followers.

RULE FIVE Captions

Captions, captions, captions… One of the most time-consuming parts of sharing a post is coming up with a caption. If you’re ever stuck ask yourself, “How would I explain this photo to my friend? What would help them understand why it matters?” Your tone of voice should be consistent everywhere the more personal the tone the better.

The 5 Instagram Pillars

AESTHETICS

How do you want your posts to feel as a whole? it’s not just about the colours. The appearance of your feed will evoke a response from someone scrolls through your feed. What do you want that to be?

BRANDING

There’s more to your brand than your logo, colours, and font. How do people perceive your products and services? Is the tone easily communicated through a scroll on your feed? Make sure every photo and caption embodies the personality of your brand.

CONSISTENCY

Let your creative juices flow! But be consistent! Make sure your images, tone, and writing are consistent. The goal is to have people recognize your post immediately.

DIVERSITY

You’re more than just your product or service. Your feed shouldn’t be the same thing over, and over, and over again. A simple way of diversifying your feed is choosing five different categories to focus on. Keep your feed diverse, fun, and interesting.

QUALITY

Quality will always trump quantity, especially when it comes to the Instagram algorithm. Make sure every post is the quality someone could expect from you should they hire you or purchase from you!

One Month of Instagrammable Content

We know how hard it can be coming up with your next social post. We wanted to make this month easy for you!

What is SEO?

SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization. It is commonly referred to as a strategy, however, at the most basic level it is simply setting yourself up to be recognized by any search engine as relevant to a specific search.

What is a Search Engine?

A search engine is “a program that searches for and identifies items in a database that correspond to keywords or characters specified by the user, used especially for finding particular sites on the World Wide Web.” as defined by the Google Dictionary.

Google is an example of a search engine. And so is Youtube!

Wherever there’s a search bar and the user receives relevant information is considered a search engine. The results you get are always based on the most relevant content to your search. This is where optimization comes into play.

Optimization?

In order for search engines to produce a list of the most relevant results for any search, they must search through their own database and determine which items are relevant. They do this by running the searched term through titles, paragraphs, image descriptions, essentially anywhere and everything that can be named. 

The practice of optimizing doesn’t have to be complicated and actually doesn’t require a confusing or unique strategy to succeed. By simply not making any mistakes, you’re already more than halfway there. Optimizing just means making it the best you can, and having your website in a position to be picked the most often. This means avoiding uploading any images named “capture.png” or “download.jpg”. Also avoiding leaving any page titles blank, and/or using the heading 5 tag for all of a page’s headings. 

For Example…

Let’s say you own an online business for dog food. When a user goes onto Google and searches for ‘Dog Food’, Google then searches through every website looking to create a list of the most relevant websites for that user. If the title of your website doesn’t include ‘dog food’, then you’re most likely already out of the race, and this is because your website title isn’t optimized for this search term. After website titles, Google is now going to look through your website’s subpages, and see how many of those include ‘dog food’ as well. Then Google will index how many of your entire website’s headings include ‘dog food’ giving more importance to H1 than H5. Long story short, every piece of content, media, and item on your website needs to be named correctly and formatted correctly to look it’s best so that Google has no problem ranking your website for the user’s searching for your keywords.

Why it’s important

Optimizing your website is important because organic search (ranking on search engines based on keywords and not from paid ads) accounts for 73% of all website traffic on average.[1]

Additionally, 71% of all website clicks are on Google’s first page and has been as high as 92% in recent years.[2]

This shows how crucial it is to rank on Google’s first page of results, which is usually in the top 10. Of course, this isn’t easy to do. Most keywords you want to rank for, a lot of other businesses also want to rank for. If you want to beat out the competition for those top 10 positions, you have to make sure your website is not only flawless but that your website is also a proven relevant website for the keyword. This is where backlinks, traffic, and content marketing will give you an edge on your competitors. If other reputable websites are linking to your website, it tells Google that your website is also reputable, and that will help you climb the rankings. The same goes for traffic! The more traffic your website gets, the more helpful Google views your site to be.

Every search is like a new competition. Your website always needs to be as perfect as possible to catch the attention of search engines every time, to be chosen for a high ranking. If you’re below the top 10 rankings, you’re missing out on traffic and leads.

How it’ll grow your business

Improving your SEO results in users finding your website when they search for terms related to your business. The increase in traffic will be exponential because the more visitors your website gets, the more search engines see your website is reputable. This will, of course, increase your leads which leads to an increase in revenue. If your website isn’t optimized, you’re simply missing out on traffic and leads, which is not the way to grow your business. Make sure to make SEO the main focus for your marketing team and to have regular checks to ensure everything is set up the way you want it to be. Google and YouTube can’t read your mind, so make your website and channel obvious as to what they’re relevant towards and begin your journey to the top of the rankings!

What we do

At Waves Digital, we offer an SEO package that includes website analysis, keyword research and planning, and quarterly reports packed with info and recommendations to improve your SEO. We’ll identify aspects of your website that need tweaking, fixing, and rebuilding to be optimized, as well as plans and strategies to compete with keywords of your choice. And our reports? They’ll give you an update on where you’re at right now, the progress you’ve made, and recommendations on how to continue to improve.

There is a lot of different aspects that affect your SEO and depending on what you’re looking to be ranking for, there are likely changes you need to make to get your business in a position to rank for those terms. We simply help you identify those changes and help implement them to get your website or channel on track to climb up the rankings.

If you’d like to learn more about our SEO package, click here!

  1. https://searchengineland.com/study-organic-search-drives-51-traffic-social-5-202063
  2. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2017/10/30/the-value-of-search-results-rankings/