7 Ways Mobile First Web Design Will Benefit Your Online Marketing

In short, mobile first web design has and should become an essential part of your digital marketing strategy today. In addition to simply accounting for the majority of your audience, it also benefits your online marketing in more ways than one. In many ways, it acts as the catalyst to making…

It’s no longer enough to be mobile-friendly. In 2018, your website should be mobile first. That means your entire online presence should be built with the fact in mind that most of your audience will view it from a mobile device. When you get to that point, the advantages for your business can be significant. In fact, here are 7 ways in which your mobile first web design will benefit your online marketing efforts.

1) Mobile First Improves Functionality

What do you need your website to accomplish? It’s a seemingly simple question that can quickly become complex. You probably want to raise your brand’s profile and credibility, while also encouraging conversions to leads and customers. Keeping all of these goals unified and prioritized becomes more difficult the more complex your site gets.

In that case, functionality is key. You need to make sure that each user’s experience is as positive as possible in order to maximize your progress to goal. We already mentioned navigation as an important part of that effort above. But it goes much further. A mobile first website accounts for your visitors’ click behaviors and eye movements, making their experience as intuitive as possible throughout the buyer’s journey.

2) Mobile First Increases Conversions

A mobile-first website loads more quickly than its desktop counterparts. That, in turn, significantly decreases your bounce rate, and positively impacts your bottom line. In fact, faster landing page load times have a significant impact on your conversions. Account for mobile load speed, and your leads and customers will trend upwards.

In eCommerce, that emphasis becomes even more important. Users who get confused and frustrated with your site’s functionality will abandon their shopping cart quickly. Considering that almost 40 percent of all transactions now occur on mobile devices and that share continues to grow, you need to build your eCommerce website with mobile users in mind.

3) Mobile First Lets Your Content Marketing Shine

Chances are your brand is using at least some kind of content marketing to elevate its profile, build credibility, and garner conversions. But how successful can that content marketing be if you don’t account for what is or will soon become the majority of your audience. Mobile-first design, on the other hand, allows your content marketing to shine.

Now, your blog posts are designed to be read easily on even the smallest smartphone screens. Your readers find intuitive ways to convert, should the content convince them. Meanwhile, contact forms are simple to fill out to build content conversion effectiveness.

4) Mobile First Enhances Customer Relations

Don’t underestimate the importance of a mobile-first approach as it relates to your existing customers. Through all of the above, you can grow your conversions and customer base. But you also need a strategy to retain them for maximum revenue. To get to that point, you need to emphasize your customer service and relations operations.

Mobile-first is not the only factor in that effort, but it can be a significant help. Existing users should be able to easily find your contact information, find your brick and mortar address, or add loyalty discounts to their shopping cart. These existing customers are even more likely to use mobile devices than first-time searchers. Build your website with them in mind for maximum long-term success.

5) Mobile First Keeps Your Audience Engaged for Longer

Simply put, your audience stays on your site for longer if you don’t frustrate them. But too often, desktop-oriented navigations do just that for their mobile audiences. Meanwhile, long paragraphs that condense to walls of text on smartphone screens invite clicking away rather than reading.

A successful mobile-first design accounts for these potential drawbacks. Scrolling is minimized, but encouraged through visual content. Meanwhile, a streamlined and simplified navigation encourages users on any device to browse rather than bouncing after only viewing a single page.

6) Mobile First Accounts for All Users

The first benefit of mobile-first web design comes in the drawbacks of its alternatives. Unlike a design optimized for desktop users, building with mobile users in mind means optimizing your online presence for all users.

That’s because, at its best, mobile-first design is responsive to all screen sizes. Desktop users will be able to see an expanded version of your site. They will also benefit from the streamlined navigation and visual content that is the signature of most mobile-first websites.

7) Mobile First Elevates Your SEO

Search engine optimization is an essential part of any digital marketing strategy today. Through mobile-first design, you can increase your ranking today while also preparing your brand for the near future. In short, it’s an essential step toward enhanced and sustainable SEO for your website.

Mobile factors already influence your search engine ranking today. In the future, that becomes only more important. As Google prepares to roll out its Mobile-First Index, only websites with a plan in place to account for this shift can sustain and even improve their ranking over time.

Start with Mobile First Web Design to Elevate Your Online Marketing

In short, mobile first web design has and should become an essential part of your digital marketing strategy today. In addition to simply accounting for the majority of your audience, it also benefits your online marketing in more ways than one. In many ways, it acts as the catalyst to making sure that the rest of your digital efforts work smoothly and effectively. As a result, your mobile first website is an effective first step toward elevating your online marketing for 2018 and beyond.

Website SEO Optimization: 5 Trends to Look For in 2018 & Beyond

The only constant in search engine optimization is change. Seemingly every month, search engines like Google update their algorithm, accounting for changing user behaviors and sometimes requiring massive updates to branded websites…

The only constant in search engine optimization is change. Seemingly every month, search engines like Google update their algorithm, accounting for changing user behaviors and sometimes requiring massive updates to branded websites.

The best strategy for change, of course, is preparation. If you know what’s coming, you can take the necessary steps ahead of time in order to remain successful. That is especially true for SEO, which should remain one of your core digital strategies to attract and retain your audience while growing your business.

We’re now almost three months into 2018, making this a perfect time to parse just where we stand on this topic. What recent changes have we seen, and what changes will occur in the near future, that your online presence needs to account for? Consider these 5 website SEO optimization trends your road map to 2018 and beyond.

1) Focus on mobile

Anyone even slightly invested in digital marketing knows about the importance of catering to the mobile market. Mobile devices have long surpassed their desktop counterpart as your audience’s internet vehicle of choice. In 2018, it looks like search engines – and Google specifically – are finally and comprehensively adjusting.

In late 2017, we saw the first signs of Google’s Mobile First Index, which ranks every website as if it is viewed on a mobile device. In other words, your site’s mobile friendliness will no longer matter only to mobile searches, but will impact all searches across devices. Some steps you can take to account for this trend include:

  • Responsive web design, which dynamically adjusts your site according to screen sizes.
  • Short, bullet point content with plenty of visuals that avoids the dreaded ‘walls of text’ on smaller screens.
  • Calls to action near the top of the page, avoiding endless scrolling for mobile users.
  • Intuitive menus that allow for quick navigation on both mobile and desktop.

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2) Voice-Based Search Begins to Dominate

The rise of mobile, alongside the increasingly common digital assistants like Google Home and Amazon Alexa, have also led to another SEO trend: voice search. By the middle of 2016, Google already saw 20% of its searches come via voice rather than keyboard commands. By 2020, ComScore predicts that number to surpass 50 percent.

Naturally, users searching for content and website like yours on their voice have a profoundly different experience than those typing words on a keyboard. Your website SEO optimization has to adjust accordingly. Here’s how you can prepare your strategy for the already-coming voice search revolution:

  • Focus on more natural, full-sentence and question-based keywords.
  • Claim your Google My Business listing, even if your business is based online.
  • Make your website mobile friendly, which is where most voice queries are coming from.
  • Structure your data to optimize for featured snippets (more on that below).

3) Link Building Shifts to Quality

The days of simply accumulating a database of links to improve your website SEO optimization are long gone. Starting in 2011, Google began to rank the quality of inbound links alongside the quantity, eventually punishing websites that engaged in unethical or ‘black hat’ link building techniques. In 2018, the quality of your link is becoming more important than ever before.

Rather than simply building a link database, focus on building relationships with other pages. Seek out natural partners, and encourage multidirectional backlinks. At the same time, you might have to adjust your guest post strategy, which Google has taken a closer look at. Some other tips to account for the emphasis on quality links include:

  • Focus only on relevant links that can actually enhance your audience’s user experience.
  • Try out ‘linkless backlinks,’ which Bing and Google are already using as a ranking factor.
  • Regularly disavow your links of shady quality to avoid a rankings penalty.

4) Content Matters More Than Ever

The content you actually post on your website has long been a core part of successful SEO strategy. It should not be optimized just for increased rankings, but with your user experience in mind. In 2018, that tip rings more true than ever before. That content matters is in large part due to RankBrain, Google’s internal AI powerhouse.

RankBrain evaluates not just how many searchers click on your website after seeing it in their results page, but also what happens after they do. It’s a deep learning algorithm that seeks to evaluate relevance and user experience in more depth. A blog post with fewer clicks but greater post-click engagement on your website can significantly outperform one that only sees minimal engagement and high bounce rates after large volumes of initial traffic. That means optimizing your content in a number of ways:

  • Increase the length of your content to maximize relevance for your audience.
  • Combine visuals and text for ideal audience engagement.
  • Ensure consistency between page title, meta description, and actual content to avoid cognitive dissonance.

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5) Featured Snippets are Taking Over

Finally, don’t underestimate the potential power of featured snippets in search engine results pages (SERPs). We’ve come a long way since Google’s SERP was just a collection of blue links. Now, users can see answers to a commonly asked question featured at the top, tweets related to the topic, and in-depth business-related content on the side.

Featured snippets become especially important for voice search, where a digital assistant tends to only read the first answer to a commonly ask question. Feature your content in one of these boxes, and your SEO results have the potential to take off. To get to that point, consider:

  • Structuring your data in a way specifically designed to appear in an answer box.
  • Claiming your Google My Business listing.
  • Aligning your social media and SEO strategies.
  • Performing strategic keyword research to find and optimize for the most popular featured snippets around your industry.

Building Your SEO Strategy With the Future in Mind

Imagine reading about voice search, mobile dominance, and featured snippets in 2011. We’ve come a long way from traditional SEO tactics since then. So naturally, your SEO strategy needs to adjust as well.

All of the above trends require their own steps and tactics to account for current trends. But ultimately, successful website SEO optimization does and will come down to a few basic tenets: effective keyword research, quality content, and some technical on- and off-site optimizations. With these four core principles in hand, you can significantly enhance your search optimization efforts.

When that happens, the result tend to be significant. Better SEO means more web visitors, who stay on your website longer and become more involved. That, in turn, increases the credibility of your brand and builds conversions. Ultimately, these conversions lead to more sales, more customers, and business growth. In fact, SEO might just be the single most sustainable digital marketing tactic available today.

To get to that point, you have to keep the future in mind. As you optimize your SEO, make sure you account for the above 5 trends. But when you do, the possibilities for marketing success and business growth are almost infinite.

7 Proven Strategies to Optimize Your eCommerce Website Marketing

For any company running an e-commerce website, it’s crucial to stay up to date with leading marketing strategies and techniques to maintain and grow online sales. It is important to develop strategies and tactics that line up both with your audience and with your stated goals…

For any company running an e-commerce website, it’s crucial to stay up to date with leading marketing strategies and techniques to maintain and grow online sales. It is important to develop strategies and tactics that line up both with your audience and with your stated goals of selling goods and services through your website. To help in that regard, consider implementing these 7 proven strategies to optimize your eCommerce website marketing.

1) Leverage the Power of Product Reviews

We cannot state it enough: in eCommerce website marketing, product reviews are absolutely essential. They lend a crucial air of third-party credibility to the products you claim to be beneficial for your audience in a variety of ways.

These reviews should be prominently displayed on your product pages and throughout your website. The more thorough and comprehensive a review is, the better. You might even want to share a few negative reviews (if those exist) to further increase credibility and belief in the positivity surrounding it.

Almost 85 percent of online consumers trust product reviews from strangers as much as they would personal recommendations from friends. The takeaway: use this strategy, and use it everywhere. This might just be the single most important strategic change you can make to your marketing efforts right now.

2) Offer Special Offers and Discounts to Gather Audience Information

In eCommerce as in most digital marketing, lead generation is the name of the game. Once you have received some contact information for interested would-be shopper, you can build more targeted marketing campaigns to convert them to customers.

One way to achieve that goal is by strategically using special offers and discounts. You might include them as banner ads on your website, or pop-ups related to content your visitors are reading at the moment. The goal is not to offer a discount code up for nothing, but ask for your audience’s email address in return.

Through this opt-in method, you can improve your lead generation efforts organically. Now, you can build a database of potential customers you know to be interested, which you can use for future promotions.

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3) Adjust Your Marketing for Mobile Devices

In the world of eCommerce, mobile optimization is no longer optional. Almost 35 percent of all online shopping occurred from smartphones and tablets. By 2021, conservative estimates expect that number to rise about 50 percent. Your customers are mobile, so your marketing should be as well.

That means making sure that your website looks equally beautiful, and functions equally well, regardless of screen size. Responsive design is an absolute must, but the same concept applies throughout the funnel. Even your conversion and payment pages need to be optimized for smaller smartphone screens.

Your mobile optimization should also expand beyond the website. All of your digital channels, from social media to email, need to keep mobile in mind. The better your optimization, the better you will be prepared for current and future success.

4) Optimize Your Website for Conversions

Any eCommerce website marketing plan must include website optimizations in order to increase conversions. While taking all the above information into consideration, it is still important to remember that your website is still your top marketing tool. To successfully market your ecommerce website, it must first look and act the way shoppers want it to. Start by asking yourself: Where does your website lead? From the homepage on, this is a crucial question to answer. Every piece of content on it should gently nudge your audience toward your final goals: getting shopping cart conversions from your product pages.

Achieving that goal can seem difficult. Your homepage, for instance, will tempt you to tell your audience more about your business and keep the information general. But even there, linking to a few featured products should be your goal.

There are many strategies you can implement to increase sales on your website. Some tactics may include reducing the amount of filters available to sort through your inventory, adding a search bar for easy guidance, or designing a minimal page altogether that highlights beautiful product photos.

5) Maximize the Potential of Your Product Pages

Of course, everything about your website navigation, content, and search still doesn’t lead to a direct conversion. A visitor who follows a call to action won’t immediately and automatically purchase a product. Instead, they land on the product landing page. And for ultimate eCommerce web marketing success, this landing page needs some serious optimization.

The design needs to be simple, without distracting from the actual product information and conversion point. Visuals are actually crucial, and will significantly increase your conversion rate. The text should be optimized for search engines, focusing on terms specifically related to your individual products.

Finally, pay special attention to the details on this page. An easy contact information option or live chat helps potential customers get their questions answered quickly. Displaying multiple payment options, meanwhile, allows you to minimize friction with customers who want to pay through PayPal and other options.

6) Reduce the Impact of Abandoned Shopping Carts

Getting your audience to add items to cart is not enough. Across industries, almost 75 percent of shoppers abandon their carts even after they’ve added items to it. Your goal in eCommerce needs to include reducing that rate to increase revenue. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Reduce checkout fears by making clear that your payment system is secure.
  • Minimize shipping and handling costs wherever possible, and be clear about these costs from the product page on.
  • Offer multiple shipping options to balance urgency and price fluctuations.
  • Retarget cart abandoners through remarketing and emails specifically designed to guide them back.

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7) Consider All Marketing Avenues

Finally, we’d be remiss not to mention that your marketing should go beyond your website. We already mentioned email as a potential tool to engage your audience. But ideally, your strategy should start long before that.

Social media helps you gain brand awareness. Paid pay-per-click efforts on Google, Facebook, and other major platforms allow you to reach a targeted audience of potential customers. Content marketing builds credibility, taking a more subtle approach than trasditional promotions. It also helps to maximize your SEO and lead generation efforts as you build lead magnets designed to answer pressing audience questions and pain points.

Position Your eCommerce Website Marketing for Success

In 2018, it’s time to recalibrate. Simply running some ads to get attention toward your eCommerce products is no longer enough. To position your business for success, you need to be strategic about how you approach your marketing.

The above seven strategies can help you get started. But of course, they’re only part of the equation. Ultimately, you need a comprehensive, integrated strategy that drives awareness, conversion, and retention through your website. With a plan in place, you can sustain and grow your eCommerce business even in the face of rising competition.