By Author admin

7 UX Rules To Create The Best Website Design

Turned on MacBook Pro beside gray mug - AcidgreenAs web developers, we want to give our clients the best website design possible, one that suits their needs and their budget. To achieve this goal, our designers focus on creating a website that enhances customer loyalty and optimises conversion rates.

This is what UX design is all about – connecting with consumers and building positive relationships with a target audience. The better a company can make these connections, the greater their customer loyalty, conversions, sales and profits.

We have all visited websites that are not user-friendly and it’s usually due to poor UX design. When the user’s experience isn’t considered in the design process of an eCommerce website, for example, traffic slumps and conversions decline (or never take off). This is a concept that some business owners find hard to grasp because if your website doesn’t leave a positive impact on your visitors, your only recourse is to improve the site’s UX design.

You can pay for more traffic, but if the UX design is the problem, the few sales that result from increased traffic aren’t likely to turn into long term loyal customers. On the other hand, you can turn things around and improve your conversions, if you put some serious effort into improving the user experience (UX design) of your website.

The best website design doesn’t need a host of bells and whistles, it just needs to make it easy for visitors to find what they want. So keeping eCommerce website design in mind, let’s take a look at seven rules that our web developers keep in mind when they are creating a site for one of our clients.

1. Don’t get too creative

Whilst our clients want a unique design for their eCommerce website, visitors expect some form of consistency when they visit a website. They expect to see a header along the top of the page with a menu underneath. They expect a logo in the left top corner and a search box on the right. They expect to see a sign-up box and social media icons in the footer, along with social sharing buttons on every page or post.

They also expect to see your contact details on the footer, which can also include links that are less frequently needed such as Privacy, T&Cs, Shipping, Refunds, and so on. Keeping to a recognised layout for your website makes it easy for visitors to navigate around your site and find what they want. Your creativity can be used in other areas that don’t negatively affect UX.

2. Focus on clarity

Too many colours, popups and disorganised content all result in a cluttered eCommerce website that confuses visitors and results in poor UX. Whilst your website needs to be aesthetically pleasing, it also needs to function. For example, don’t fill your pages with images and text, instead organise your content into clearly defined sections with enough white space to allow visitors to quickly focus on the content.

You can delineate or highlight specific sections on a page with different coloured sections, but it must be done in a logical way that doesn’t create confusion. In the same way, if a link or button needs to be clicked, make sure that this function is obvious, and keep the look of these links and buttons consistent throughout your site.

Another aspect of clarity is to let visitors know exactly what you offer, the instant they land on your website. If a visitor needs to search for the answer to the question, “yes, but what do you do?”, or needs to search the page to find out how to buy your product – then you have lost them immediately. It’s all about clarity, which involves removing as many obstacles in your sales funnel as humanly possible.

3. Design for short attention spans

You need to focus on the most important aspects of each page because people scan down pages. A study in 2015 by Microsoft found that our attention span has dropped from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to 8 seconds in 2015. So you have 8 seconds to attract a visitor’s attention before they become bored or frustrated and leave. This means that you need to remove all unnecessary content on each page, where this content doesn’t enhance your sales funnel.

Of course, your eCommerce website design needs to include product images, prices, options, colours, and any other details that contribute to converting visitors into buyers. Any other content, however, needs to be assessed for its contribution to your sales funnel. This approach is called functional minimalism, where all the content on a page should be relevant to achieving one goal – making a sale. With only 8 seconds to attract a visitor’s attention, you need to critically assess the content on your website and decide what is and isn’t needed.

4. Know your target audience

The best website design focuses on the needs of visitors. This means that you need to understand the needs of your customers and your target audience and then design a website that fulfils their needs.

Using these elements as a base, you can differentiate your site with some judicious creativity. Another proven strategy is to actually ask your target audience what they want in an eCommerce website and then incorporate their feedback into the design. You can identify the needs of a customer through user interviews via phone or face to face, or some prefer a digital method of user-generated recording.

5. Don’t overcomplicate functionality

Websites with poor UX often overwhelm or confuse visitors, who have no idea what steps to take to find the information they want. When a visitor has difficulty interpreting certain steps involved in achieving a specific goal on your website or when they need to put a lot of thought into their actions, they lose interest. The steps that they need to take should be intuitive, not complicated.

In other words, the higher a visitor’s cognitive load and the less intuitive it is to find what they want or follow instructions, the more likely they will leave your site and go to the competition. So if you want to provide a guided shopping experience on your website, make sure that the steps are short and easy to follow. Remember the term functional minimalism mentioned above and all will be well.

6. Personalise & differentiate your eCommerce website design

After starting with the admonition not to get too creative with your sites’ design, there has to be some flexibility to allow you to differentiate your website from the competition. You don’t want your site to look like everyone else’s website, so it clearly needs to reference your brand messaging and build a connection with your target audience. Personalising your website so that it appeals to your customers is a good first step, particularly if they can relate to the company, as this builds customer loyalty.

The best website design is one that makes your company or product memorable, not forgotten amongst a wash of other sites. Creativity needs to be intentional with the goal of increasing a visitor’s interaction with your site and making them want to spend more time learning about your products or services. It doesn’t mean overwhelming them with popups and a page crammed with as much content as can be packed into space.

Instead, the colours, layout, font and style should all represent your brand, offering an aesthetically pleasing user experience to your customers, whilst being simple to use and eminently functional. Clarity and simplicity don’t need to equate with boring and uninteresting, however, it takes a very talented web developer to master functional minimalism, whilst still being creative.

7. Understand the design process

The design process can be overwhelming for business owners and inexperienced developers. The solution is to know exactly where you are in the design process so that you don’t miss anything important or get too far ahead of yourself. The steps would be identifying user needs, identifying business goals, competitors research, sketching, creating wireframes, designing a prototype with the final design. So for example, there’s no point in worrying over the colour, shape and size of a BUY button, if you haven’t finalised where it will be placed on a page.

It’s easy to get caught up in the details and lose sight of the big picture. We are all aware that ‘the devil is in the details’, but there is a time and a place for these details! Feedback from users is most effective when it is used to optimise the aesthetics and functionality of the entire site, rather than nit-picking over where to place a button.

For professional help with eCommerce website design, call the team at Acid Green on 1300 139 658 or ask for a free quote today.

By Author admin

How To Use Google AdWords Effectively For Your Business

Google ads symbol on a phone with data on computer in the background - AcidgreenYou can set up Google AdWords in the morning and be taking sales by the afternoon, it’s that good! Knowing how to use Google AdWords effectively for your business, however, is a little more challenging.

Basically, AdWords is a PPC advertisement model that’s so popular 95% of Google’s revenue comes from AdWords and more than one million businesses use it to increase their revenue! Whilst you might have problems ranking organically at the top of Google’s search result pages, you can use AdWords and jump right to the top of the page. Small players can easily outrank the major players if they know how to make Google AdWords more effective than their competitors.

AdWords is a great way to maximise the ROI of your advertising budget, but it takes time to master and many businesses lose money before they learn enough to tap its potential. Let’s take a quick look at Google Ads first, before we address the popular question, ”how do I set up a Google AdWords campaign?”. We will then move on to using Google AdWords effectively for your business.

What is Google AdWords?

Google AdWords Banner - Acidgreen

This is an online platform owned by Google and is used by companies to advertise their products or services, and to generate leads. It provides two avenues for these ads – the Search network and the Display network.

Search network: This is the PPC model where you bid on relevant keywords (as in an auction) to use those keywords in an advertisement on Google’s search pages. The price you bid is how much you are willing to pay for each click on your ad (given that the keywords are typed into Google by users as a search query). However, if other companies bid higher, on average, their ads will be shown preferentially.

Display network: This is where you place banner ads on a huge network of sites across the internet. This is a more passive form of advertising than the Search Network, but since it reaches 90% of internet users, it’s an effective strategy. Your ads are shown on carefully chosen websites where it can reach consumers who are already interested in your products or services.

Since most businesses start with Google AdWords, let’s take a look at the first option – using the Search network for your business. We will cover the Display network in a later article, but for the moment, we will look at setting up your Google account and how to use Google AdWords effectively for your next campaign.

How do I set up a Google AdWords campaign?

Google Adwords Campaigns Banner - Acidgreen

First of all, you need to open a Google AdWords account. You can either use an existing Google account or set up a new account specifically for use with AdWords.

      1. Go to the Google Ads Homepage to set up an account. It’s at this point that you can either use an existing account or create a new account
      2. Click on your preferences and set up your time zone and select a permanent currency for the account.
      3. Add your payment details, bearing in mind that most people use credit cards for this purpose. You also need to choose between automatic and manual payments.

You now have your AdWords account set up! To set up a new campaign, you need to understand about ad groups, keywords, ad text and landing pages. This information is relevant because to set up your campaign, you will need to decide how much you want to spend, choose a target audience, set your bid, and write your ad.

How to use Google AdWords effectively

Your next step, before you start to run any campaigns, is to set up your new account correctly. The more campaigns you run, the more you will appreciate a logical structure to your account. So each Ad campaign will have its own stream that can contain multiple ad groups. Each ad group will be characterised by keywords that tie into your ad and link to your landing page. A disorganised account can hamper your results, causing you to spend money that doesn’t lead to a solid ROI. Knowing how to use Google AdWords effectively will help you to achieve a positive ROI and increase your leads, sales and revenue accordingly.

Campaigns: Each campaign should cover a broad theme. These themes can be certain types of products, services or geographic locations. Your decision will most likely depend on your budget and your marketing strategy.

Ad Groups: The fewer number of ad groups you have under each campaign, the better, otherwise it can become quite confusing and expensive. Don’t include more than 20 keywords in each ad group and only have a maximum of three text ads per group. Each text ad will link to a landing page.

Keywords: You will need to bid on keywords that are relevant to your business, creating a text ad and landing page that matches these keywords. These ads will be shown to users when they type the relevant keywords into Google’s search box.

Ad text: Each ad group needs a maximum of three text ads that are all linked to the same landing page. You need to use your keywords in the headlines and text and make sure that it adheres to Google’s guidelines. Otherwise, it won’t pass muster and Google will reject your ad.

Landing pages: Your keywords and ad text must match with your landing page so that when visitors land on this page, they see what they expect. It must be well written and provide all the relevant information that a visitor needs as part of their buying decision.

How to make Google AdWords more effective than your competitors

Many companies don’t pay too much attention to the structure of their ad account, pay little attention to determining their budget or selecting keywords, and don’t really understand the bidding process. These are clear mistakes because a haphazard approach to Google AdWords usually results in a poorly performing campaign. So it pays to attend to the details and truly understand what’s necessary to master Google AdWords.

We have already covered how to structure your account effectively, so let’s take a look at how to make Google AdWords more effective than your competitors by determining your budget, researching keywords, and finding out why the Quality Score can make or break your campaigns.

How to determine your budget: Many ad budgets are based on what a company can afford or are willing to spend on a strategy that is new to them and little understood. On the one hand, that’s fair enough, but it’s also disingenuous. The best way to calculate your ad spend is to multiple the profit per sale x the commission Google charges x your conversion rate.

A hypothetical case might be that you make a $50 profit per product, Google takes a 30% commission, and you expect that for every 1000 views of your landing page, 10 people will buy your product, giving you a 1% conversion rate. The result is that you can spend 15 cents per click on Google AdWords and still make a $50 profit per sale. So if you only had 20 clicks per day, that’s $3 per day. So you can run your campaign for 5 days and spend a maximum of $15 or for 10 days and spend $30. Obviously, the more clicks and the better your conversion rate, the greater your ad spend, but the larger your profits!

Research the best keywords: There are plenty of free keyword tools online and lots more paid options, but if you are using Google AdWords, it makes sense to use Google Planner. Your first step is to forget about the keywords you think are relevant and put yourself in your customer’s shoes. If you were searching for your products or services online, what would you enter in Google’s search query box?

Look at the average monthly searches and the CPC (cost per click). Your best keywords will be those with medium to high monthly searches and a low suggested bid. Also, look for branded keywords and other longtail keywords that might not have big monthly searches, but are cheap and add up over time. An example of a longtail keyword with a low CPC is ‘how do I set up a Google AdWords campaign?’. It’s relevant to our topic on this page and is something that searchers may type into Google’s search box.

A range of high and low converting keywords and a range of prices is always best. If you want to know how to make Google AdWords more effective, keywords need to be at the top of your list.

Understand the meaning of the Quality Score: The Quality Score affects the performance of your ads and how much you pay for each click. Essentially it’s a metric created by Google that gives a combined score for a number of factors. These include the relevance of your keywords, ad text and the URL of your landing page, plus the user experience (CTR). It also depends on your historical ads account performance. This means that if more people like your ads (high CTR) then Google responds with higher ad rankings and lower costs per click.

Now you know more about how to use Google AdWords effectively for your website, if you want professional help with your AdWords campaigns, call the team at acidgreen on 1300 139 658 or ask for a free quote today.

By Author admin

Top 5 Best Magento 2 Extensions For Your Ecommerce Store

 

Best Magento 2 Extensions

Are you in the market for the best Magento 2 extensions? Magento is a powerful opensource eCommerce platform with world-class features and a mobile-friendly interface. Features such as cross-sells and up-sells help to make Magento a world-wide phenomenon with more than 400,000 websites actively using this platform to enhance their sales and revenue.

Thanks to its recent acquisition by Adobe, Magento has become more user-friendly, integrating recognisable CMS tools for handling both the customer experience and brand messaging. The latest version of Magento goes even further by allowing merchants to manage their inventories across multiple physical locations within Magento’s admin page. For example, tracking inventory, assigning inventory to different fulfilment sources (distribution centres, stores, warehouses, etc.), and prioritising these inventory sources to fulfil online orders. You can even keep track of your inventory in real-time as online customers add products to their cart.

Best Magento 2 extensions – Check Out Progressive Web Apps

To create next-generation shopping experiences, Magento is now exploring PWA technology (Progressive Web Apps). PWA enables merchants and developers to create powerful mobile interactions that offer lightning-fast app-like browsing experiences that boost conversion rates and increase customer engagement. PWA has been hailed as the future of mobile shopping, in fact, it is set to revolutionise mobile-driven eCommerce.

PWA allows merchants to rethink their customer’s mobile experience, offering improved performance and usability, whilst at the same time eliminating the massive developmental costs of native apps. This technology will have a big impact on businesses of all sizes, more so, however, for small to medium-sized businesses that don’t have the resources to develop their own native apps. Some of the best Magento 2 extensions will use PWA technology.

For customers, these apps mean faster browsing experiences, access to app functionality via a browser – rather than downloading an app and push notifications with opt-ins. They are search engine friendly and can be used on both mobile devices and PCs.

Must-have Magento 2 extensions

Extensions increase the functionality of Magento for both merchants and customers. They allow merchants to customise their online stores to suit their products and brand messaging. There are lots of extensions available on the internet – here are seven of our favourite must-have Magento 2 extensions for 2020.

1. One Step Checkout

This OneStepCheckout solution allows customers to navigate through checkout without multiple slow page reloads, making it a fast and efficient process. This extension was designed to reduce abandoned carts by providing customers with a seamless checkout experience. In contrast to the default Magento checkout process, this one step checkout experience streamlines all checkout steps into one page, markedly reducing checkout times.

This streamlined checkout extension not only increases your conversion rates by 30%, but it is mobile friendly. It also auto-updates prices and totals when customers make changes during the checkout process sets a default shipping and payment method, auto-updates available shipping rates dependent on address, and much more.

Extension One Step Checkout

2. Upsells & Related Products

Upsells and related products are proven strategies for increasing sales and revenue. This extension makes it very easy to configure upsells and related products automatically, simply by setting a few rules based on dynamic conditions. They can be located almost anywhere on the page and on any pages (product pages, category pages, shopping carts and checkout). They can even be displayed in popups, and you can also include discounts offers. You can decide to show different upsells to specific groups of customers based on location, set start and end dates for the upsells, specify categories or products that will display these upsells and much more. This extension is one of our more popular must-have Magento 2 extensions for eCommerce sites.

3. Review Reminder & Incentives

Product reviews increase a merchant’s credibility and online presence. Many customers check product reviews before making a buying decision, so they also help to increase sales and revenue. Manually emailing customers to write reviews is time-consuming and long-winded, but with the Review Reminder & Incentives extension, merchants can quickly and efficiently automate this process. Email reminders can be sent to customers at specified time intervals, requesting a product review, and customers who have already provided a review excluded from these emails. Default emails can be customised to suit brand messaging (including brand logos), schedules created and emails can be previewed prior to sending. Coupons can be sent to customers who have written reviews and time limits set for receiving these email requests.

Review Reminder & Incentives

4. Order Manager

One of the biggest limitations for many eCommerce stores is managing orders. What you need is a fast, clean and simple extension that allows merchants to quickly handle their orders, which is why the Order Manager extension is so popular. This extension not only makes the order process much faster, but it also enables address and billing changes to be quickly accommodated into this process, ensuring that orders still go out on time. Payments can be authorised inside Magento without returning to the payment gateway and secure payments can be made with Authorize.net making checkout faster. Order Manager is one of the best Magento 2 extensions for optimising the ordering process and building a base of repeat customers.

5. Special Promotions

Increase customer loyalty with special promotions, based on their name, DOB or purchasing history. For example, you can use customer details to create exclusive deals related to prior purchases, offer three for the price of two, or offer discounts when displaying cross-selling promotions. With a Special Promotions extension, certain products can be excluded from these promotions using specific rules and only fulfilled orders taken into consideration. You can even create banners to promote a ‘Buy one get one free’ promotion, ‘Buy two and get a third at 50% off’, and so on.

Extension Special Promotions

How to add extensions in Magento

Once you have found an extension that you need for your eCommerce site, purchased it and downloaded it to your computer, you need to upload it to your online store. Adding Magento 2 install extensions is a fairly simple process if you know what you are doing. The first step is to duplicate your eCommerce store and then back up all the files and database (including themes and other extensions). Knowing how to add extensions in Magento is a good skill, but some extensions require different setups and others require the assistance of a developer. Essentially, however, they all follow a similar setup process, as follows.

      1. Login to your eCommerce site as an administrator.
      2. Go to system > tools > web setup wizard.
      3. Click extension manager and then sign in.
      4. Enter the licence keys as requested.
      5. Click the ‘review and install’ button.
      6. Select the extension to install and click ‘install’.

How to add extensions in Magento

An additional step before the installation actually commences is to check that the extension is compatible with your version of Magento, so click on ‘start readiness check’. Once this is completed, the extension will install, but your store will be offline during the install, which should not take too long.

Next, you need to clear the cache and finally, you can configure your new extension by going to stores > settings > configuration.

Reading about how to add extensions in Magento, doesn’t always help when this isn’t your strong suit. This is why it is helpful to have a developer on board who can customise your eCommerce store to your exact needs, and do it quickly and efficiently. For help creating or customising your online store, as well as for professional Magento development, call the friendly team at acidgreen on 1300 139 658 or ask for a free quote today.