Category: How To


8 Simple Ways to Improve Your Website

October 22nd, 2014 — 3:12pm

 

Whether you are just getting started with a new website or are looking to improve the website you have had for years, deciding where to begin can often be a daunting task. Here are eight simple tips to get you started in getting the most out of your small business website.

1) Keep your homepage simple

Your homepage will be the deciding factor in whether someone will venture further into your website or leave, so make sure it’s good! Although information is important, your homepage does not exist to overwhelm the visitor. The homepage is there to provide basic information about your business and should address criteria such as name of the company, phone number, range of services/products offered, and area served. Any further information about these topics should be answered in subsequent pages of your website.

2) Make your contact information easy to find

It shouldn’t be difficult for potential customers to get in touch with you. Other than your business offering, your contact information should be the easiest thing to find on your website. When your website visitors have a difficult time locating the information they need quickly and easily, they often leave with no intention of returning. For this reason, your contact information, including phone number, location, and email address, should be available and clearly labelled on a contact page. Your phone number should also be listed in the header of the website so that it is clearly visible regardless of the page the user is currently on.

3) Include quality pictures 

Whether you are selling handmade jewellery, homemade cupcakes, or whatever else, a good photograph will sell your product more effectively than anything else on your website. Even if you have very limited resources and you are therefore just taking pictures with your phone, ensure these pictures are clear and of high quality. They should show off your products and make them look as good as possible. If you are providing a service, such as dog walking or house cleaning, include pictures of the dogs or before-and-after pictures of your latest projects. The only thing that is important is that the images look professional (even if they aren’t) so that your business looks professional.

4) Include relevant information

Whilst this might seem very basic, people often provide far too much or not enough relevant information. Think like your customer to find the right balance and provide information that is relevant to them. This includes pricing options, product/service features, delivery speed and cost, business hours, and anything else a customer might consider before buying from you. Pricing is the most pertinent; people like to know what they’re getting themselves into financially and a clear pricing structure will shorten the time they spend figuring out if your business meets their needs. If your website is starting to look cluttered or messy, review what information you have included and ask yourself if it is relevant and helps you get custom.

5) Add customer testimonials

Customer testimonials can add a lot of credibility to your business. However, as with the website pictures, these are often done in a very amateur fashion. Your testimonials should be detailed and well written, thereby giving potential customers confidence in you and your business. It helps if the testimonials include reviews about different aspects of your business. For example, include one review about the quality of your product or service and another about your professional and timely manner. If you are already using testimonials on your website, think about updating them or adding new ones to reassure repeat visitors.

6) List the benefits of your products of services 

Give potential customers a quick overview summarising the reasons to choose you. These can include time of delivery, quality of service, qualifications or awards you’ve achieved and anything else that is relevant to your business. They should be easy to read, preferably bullet points. People don’t like to read long blocks of text online. They want to find what they are looking for, complete the action and move on to something else. And while it’s tempting to include every single benefit you can think of, too much information can confuse or overwhelm the reader so remember to be concise.

7) Link to your social media profiles 

Include links to your Facebook, Twitter and any other social media you use (and regularly update) for your business. Your social media can give potential customers more information about you and the service you provide. You likely have more pictures and content about your product or service on social media and you want users to be able to find these easily. Furthermore, people like to see how businesses interact with their customers through social media; this is an opportunity to showcase your customer service.

8) Insert a clear call to action

Call to actions should be on every page of your website. Use call to actions like “call now” or “order here” to guide the customer through the process of completing the transaction. But make sure you vary them and that they are relevant to the content of that page. For example, use “Get in touch!” on your contact page but “Order Now!” on your product/service page. The purpose of your website is to sell and this is an easy way to remind visitors to buy.

 

These eight tips give you a starting point to help you improve your small business website. Remember to also ask for feedback from friends or family to continuously improve what you’ve got. The more honest feedback you are able to collect, the better your website will be. Good luck!

How can you attract and keep users on your website? Follow these five tips.

May 29th, 2014 — 2:53pm

You’ve poured over each page of your website. You’ve checked and double checked keywords, grammar and punctuation. Online libraries have been scoured for the finest, high resolution images. You’ve obsessed over colours and fonts to the point of distraction. So why aren’t users hanging around long enough to bask in its glory?

Experiencing high bounce rates on a website – that is, having a large numbers of visitors fail to engage with more than one page – can be an immensely frustrating, and for businesses which rely on online trade, an immensely costly problem.

In order to check your own stats, simply visit the designated Google Analytics control panel for the website. Although there will always be some amount of traffic that, for whatever reason, visits your site in error, any bounce rate higher than around 50 per cent is worth looking at and, where possible, tweaks made in an effort to increase engagement and create “stickiness”. Continue reading »

5 things to consider when designing a great logo

May 9th, 2014 — 1:32pm

Mention the names, Coca-Cola, Nike, Starbucks or McDonalds and instantly the logos representing those iconic global brands will be thrust into your mind, complete with your own personal associations and emotions around the products they sell. Such is the power of a small snappy image or piece of text that, once established, it can communicate a message and produce an emotional response almost instantaneously. Continue reading »

Do you like Webeden enough to leave us a review?

December 5th, 2011 — 11:06am

We would love to know exactly what how you feel about the service that Webeden provides, whether you are a FREE customer or a Max customer we would love to know.

If you have ever been helped out seriously quickly or just found the tool easy to use it would be great if you could leave an honest review on Review Centre.

You can go to Review Centre direct here or you can visit our Forum and and click on the Write a Review on the right hand side panel.

Why not get a badge for your site. You do need to have had a review on the Review Centre site so you will need to get your customers/visitors to leave a review.

Once this has been done and published you can go to your listing in Review Centre and click on Get your own Star Rating badge!

Choose a design you would like to display on your site.

Then you can choose your colour.

Then you will be given the HTML code to place with your site.

Next step is to go to your site and paste in the code using the HTML snippet which you can find when you click INSERT and then HTML SNIPPET on the left hand toolbar.

… and paste your code into the Setup tab on the Editor Box and click Apply.

That is it.

If you need any further help with this then please check out the Forum for free advice.

How to explain computer stuff to your less tech-savvy friends

February 25th, 2011 — 4:05pm

Last month we let you know how to explain the Internet to your, well, less interested friends. And here’s another way you can help with their computers.

Do you – as someone who takes an interest in computers, the web, building websites and all that stuff – get asked tech questions by your friends and family all the time? Do they always want to know why ‘it won’t print’ or ‘where is that file’ and ‘how do find that website’?

Well here comes Google to the rescue with a website designed to help people (well, kids) teach others (erm, parents) about computer basics.

It’s called TeachParentsTech.org, and it lets you choose from over 50 how-to videos to send to people who don’t know how to do stuff. It’s all the way from basic copy and pasting onto other things like how to share a big file. You can customise an email and thend send the video off to the person who needs help.

Here’s a video with a bit more detail:

So no longer will you spend half your evening and weekend helping others with their computer problems!

How to explain ‘this internet thing’ to friends

February 1st, 2011 — 3:15pm

It’s now twenty years since a chap called Tim Berners-Lee first published his concept of the World Wide Web.

And where are we now? 47 bn web pages, 350 million different websites 500m domain names; a place where one company alone (Google) adds more than 20,000 servers a month to their data centers. We’ve got websites, blogs, photo sites, video, apps, email, Facebook, browsers, clouds, collaboration, open source, cookies… the list goes on. How can you explain all of that to someone who – up to now – has turned their back to the web?

Google have tried to do just that as easy chapter sized chunks in their new guidebook ’20 things I learned’ about browsers and the web, in collaboration with illustrator Christoph Niemann. It’s not just for beginners, but for anyone who wants to ‘better understand the technologies we use every day’.

Google wanted to give the guide the same feel as reading an actual book – holding the cover, flipping a page – and have used some very smart HTML5 programming to come up with it.

Once downloaded the book can be read offline too.

So next time one of your friends says to you “so, I hear you make those web wotsits” you know where to refer them to!

Take a look and let us know what you think.

Create a word picture for your website

January 18th, 2011 — 2:55pm

Do you have trouble finding images for your website? Are you able to find a good matching image for your carefully crafted text?

If you’re anything like me, it’s a real challenge and part of the challenge is in the choice.

You can choose an image that you have taken, but the chances are that it lacks the right lighting and setting of a professional shot. You could also resort to searching on Google images, but of course run the risk of infringing someone else’s copyright. And then there’s buying images – I like fotolia.com – but you may not want to shell out each time.

Wordle is a fun way to create a relevant image without actually resorting to an image. This online service creates a word-based masterpiece from a paragraph of text on your (or any) web page.

You can choose from a basic cloud image popular on WordPress blogs, or something a little more artistic. Just go to Wordle.net/create and paste your text into the box.

Here’s a something made from the text of this post

Take a look and share with us what your image looks like!


Can’t open a file? You can now!

January 10th, 2011 — 2:15pm

Do you ever get sent email attachments that you can’t open? This is usually because the original file was made with a program you don’t have on your PC.

Sometimes you can ask the sender to resent in a different format, or as a last resort you can download the program in which the file was made. But what if neither of those are an option?

Thanks to some format wizardry, new website fileminx.com can solve your problems. It’s a web based too that open documents in all sorts of formats and let you have a look at the content.

For normal office files it handles DOC, DOCX, Word 6, Word ’97, PDF and WPS.

When it comes to music you can unscramble iPhone, iPod, MP2, MP3, WMA and WAV.

And as for video it can reveal what DIVX, iPod, MOV, Flash, MP4, WMV, XVID and MPEG files inside.

Take a look at Fileminx and let us know what you think.

How to boost your website conversion rate in 7 easy steps

July 5th, 2010 — 1:07pm

Did you know, the average visitor spends just 5 seconds on your website before deciding whether to stay or leave?

This make it so important to grab their attention, and get them to do something, using a ‘call to action’. This ‘action’ could be reading an article, clicking a link, leaving their details or buying a product.

Here’s my top 7 ways to improve your web pages so that visitors respond to your call to action. You can do ‘em all with the WebEden Website Builder!

1. Make sure your buttons are BIG!

Seems a bit Alice in Wonderland, but if you want someone to do something, give them a great big button to press. Make sure the big button is:

*above the fold
*a contrasting, bold colour
*Includes some action text like ‘buy’, ‘order’, ‘sign up’.

Don’t be worried about repeating your call to action elsewhere on the page. Keep it the same size, and in the same vertical line if possible.

2. Give your visitors a reason to act

If you’re selling a product, or want your visitors to do something else, make sure you let them know why they should! A picture of a product won’t sell it alone, you need to list the benefits.

*Sell it with a headline
*Use a supporting image
*Add benefits in bullet points
*consider adding customer testimonials
*Make good use of white space
*Avoid blocks of text – 50 words max

But make sure these benefits don’t compete with the call to action for your visitors’ attention

3. Don’t give your visitors a choice

If you give your visitors a choice between two or more calls to action, many will dither, and some would sooner leave your site than make that choice.

Simplify your pages so that you funnel visitors towards your desired action, and don’t let them consider alternatives.

4. Create a unique page for every product

Not only does this give you a chance of grabbing more traffic from the search engines, it also lets you showcase each product in the best way, and without choice.

5.    Have to have more than 1 product per page?

If you can’t get away from offering more than 1 product per page, help your website visitors decide by highlight 1 product with extra benefits. This might be ‘most popular choice’ or ‘best value’ or it might be the product with the biggest discount.

6.    Let your users buy from every page

If you list your products on the homepage, a category page and an individual page, make sure visitors have the option of buying them from every one. Make it easy to buy – not hard.

7.    Test your theories

If you’re not sure which layout works best, try them all and then:

*Ask a friend what they think
*Submit your alternatives to our forum to get feedback
*Submit your website to 5 second test to get feedback
*try to test which version sells more products

That’s it

If you want your website visitors to do something on your site, then make it clear what that is, give them no choice, and make it easy for them to do.

Got an experience of changing design and improving (or ruining!) results? Leave us a comment below.

How to integrate your WebEden website with Blogger

April 8th, 2010 — 11:39am

A few weeks ago we had a guest blog from Alison Cross from AlisonCross4Webs.co.uk about how to set up a blog with blogger.

Now its time for the second part of that blog – how to integrate your WebEden website with your blogger blog. Over to Alison!

In this second and final instalment about setting up a blogger account, I’ll show you how to make your blog look professional by personalising the domain name and setting up your google analytics to run on your blog.

Y’see, when you set up your free blog, it will be called something like myblog.blogspot.com with EVERYONE who has a blogger account sharing that ‘blogspot’ domain name.

How much more professional would it look to have your blog showing as blog.yourdomain.com. Much more top drawer, don’t you think?

Here’s what you do

First of all, you need to tell your domain name to hold out its hand to hook up with the incoming info.  To this end, you need to create a CNAME record.

If you have purchased your domain name via webeden, they can set this up for you.

To request these changes, please send an email to ken@webeden.net

All you need to supply them with is the name that you want to call your blog (something short like ‘blog’ will do, but for illustration purposes I’m going to use ‘mymusings’) and from where to expect the incoming info.  For Blogger, this is ghs.google.com

The boffins at webeden will do this for you and thereafter the technical bit is down to you.  Relax.  I’ve done it so YOU can do it too.

Go to your blog and open it up.  Under the Settings tab, go to Publishing and there, you’ll see a link that allows you to publish to a custom domain.

Type in the details of the new domain name.  Whatever name it is that you submitted to webeden (in the case of the illustration provided above, that was ‘mymusings’) type in here:

Mymusings.yourdomainname.com

Type in the word recognition box and save and you are good to go!

Some of us own domain names via other suppliers, such as 123-reg.  In this case, you need to set up your CNAME record yourself. Again, don’t worry, it’s easy!

Go to your domain account with 123 or 1and1 etc and open up your control panel for that domain name.  There will be a section that allows you to footer about with the DNS records.  Click on that tab.  Somewhere on that page – possibly as a drop down menu option – there will be the option to add a CNAME record.

For 123 Reg it looks like this.

Underneath ‘Add new entry’ select the CNAME option and in that first box, type your blog name mymusings and in the end box type ghs.google.com.

Save your changes and then go on to your Blogger account and make the changes there as shown above.  Give it a couple of minutes for your domain name and your blogger account to ‘shake hands’ and voila! Your blogger account will have its new name!

Nearly there!

If you have google analytics set up on your website, get the SAME code as you used for your website and insert it into the HTML of your blog. To grab the code, just go to your Google Anayltics account and click on Edit (far right)  next to your report details. When that page opens up, there is a text link called ‘check status’ in the top right hand corner, click on that and you will see, half way down page, a box with all your coding in it. Copy it.

Then open up your blogger account. Under the Layout tab, you’ll see an Edit HTML option. Don’t panic! First of all you should ‘download the full template’ just in case you make a mess of things! Scroll right to the bottom of all the code until you reach the </body>  tag.

Paste your google analytics code above the </body> tag.

Save your changes!

And that’s it!  If you HAVE made a mess of fiddling about with the HTML, then just upload the template again :- )

If you have any problems or queries that my burbling hasn’t answered, please give us a shout here on the webeden blog or in the forum.

About Alison

Alison Cross is a self-confessed Twitter addict who occasionally tears herself away from the world of social-networking to build or revamp websites, to design logos and website banners, to blog shamelessly about the joys of the intertubes and who sometimes even manages to factor in some light housework. She also runs alisoncross4webs.co.uk

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