It’s Time to Launch your Mobile & Tablet-Friendly Website!

ImageWhether you’ve gone mobile or are just gearing up for the mobile leap, we’ve got 10 quick tips to you take the much needed plunge. Google notes that by 2013, more people will use their mobile phones than PCs to get online and since 2010, mobile searches have grown by 4 times! Customers expect your mobile website to be just as useful as your desktop site and bad mobile sites can cost you customers by pushing them to your competitors. Adobe has also mentioned that customers prefer to make purchases on mobile websites rather than apps!

These are also helpful hints to customize email for mobile use!

Hubspot reports that:

  • Nearly 10% consumers use a mobile phone or tablet to read emails
  • 39% of respondents said they open emails from trusted brands on their mobile phones
  • 49% respondents said that they have signed up for emails from 1 to 10 brands
  • Main reasons customers signed up for emails are offers/sales (61%) and discounts (59%) followed by being a regular customer (42%) and linking the brand (40%).

Keep It Quick

  • Make sure it loads fast
  • Compress your images (or eliminate some)
  • Prioritise your information
  • Keep content simple & to the point

Make the Layout Responsive

  • Aid discussion online
  • Add product details
  • Keep forms short
  • Make sure phone numbers are click to call & emails redirect to send an email

Be Thumb Friendly

  • Simplify Navigation
  • Use a clear website hierarchy and minimize scrolling
  • Keep links to 7 or less per page

Go Local

  • Include maps (Google), addresses & locations

Make it Seamless

  • Keep key site features & product/service information consistent with your desktop website

Use Mobile Re-Directs

  • Make sure your website redirects to your mobile website when searched on a mobile device (don’t worry your developer will do this)
  • Use large centered buttons

 Design for Visibility

  • Remember mobile screens are usually dim and users may be in low light
  • Use a contrast between foreground & text
  • The ideal font size is 12
  • Use negative space appropriately
  • Reduce zooming

Make it Accessible

  • Make sure your mobile site can be used on all devices
  • Find alternative to flash!
  • Implement vertical and horizontal use

Live & Learn

  • Ask your desktop users what they are looking for and what they would like to see on the mobile set
  • Always test before launch
  • Definitely use web analytics

Final Checks & Reminders

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Website 101 – Your Website Credibility Checklist

 Website 101: These 30 quick tips can help improve your website and exposure online!

  1. Web design counts. Visitors will ‘judge’ your website so be sure to make your website attractive, trustworthy and professional. I liken your website homepage to a handshake – it’s your first introduction – make it count.
  2. Make it very easy to contact you. ‘Contact’ link should be always in your navigation menu as the very last link. If your business depends on incoming calls be sure to have your phone number easily visible as well.
  3. Be relevant and current. A website that displays relevant information to the visitors is instantly more credible. Tailor content to your visitors and consumers and if possible their profile and behavior.
  4. Use simple language. People need to understand what is written on your website. Write how you talk using the same language your customers do.
  5. Correct spelling. Grammar is a must and incorrect spelling certainly makes you seem less credible.
  6. Link to external websites that reference you or your organization. If CBC, the Globe and Mail or the National Post has written about you, link to the stories. Having outlets (even small ones) feature you is always a good thing.
  7. Provide staff bios and photos. People don’t trust anonymous websites.
  8. Avoid cheesy stock photos. Be sure all photos on your website have a purpose.
  9. Visible return and refund policies. What happens if I’m not happy with your service? People want to know the answer in advance before making a purchase.
  10. Don’t ask for too much information on web forms. Web forms are a natural part of a website, but only ask for information you need. Every extra box reduces participation.
  11. Support your statements. Use third-party evidence, neutral experts or verified (scientific) studies. Sources and testimonials are key.
  12. Avoid superlatives. Don’t say you’re the best, no one is going to believe you. Be more descriptive and specific (e.g. “Fastest pizza delivery in town” vs “We deliver your pizza in 10 minutes”).
  13. Explain your products. Make sure visitors have enough information to make a reasonable conclusion about your product and/or service.
  14. Show prices. Many companies decide not to display their prices and encourage customers to contact instead. Prices can help drive sales.
  15. Show your client list. Customers don’t want to be the only one. Numbers and names can help build credibility.
  16. Show a link to a reputable organization. Are you connected, partnered or networked to a university, a governmental agency, a research lab, or another reputable organization? Perhaps you’re service provider, reseller, partner, sponsor, advisor, etc.?  
  17. Testimonials are money. Not literally, but testimonials work well if they’re by real people. This means photos, full names, what they do, and their employer. Celebrities or well-known people are better and video testimonials are the best.
  18. Case studies & portfolios are great examples of your work. Use these to demonstrate your benefits, expertise and explain why you’re different.
  19. Bring on the reviews. People trust reviews and look for them; take Amazon as an example.
  20. Are your payments safe? Provide the information about your secure payment options.
  21. Maintain your news sections and blog.  It shows that you keep your site updated and provide free recommendations and expertise. If you can’t regularly update your news or blog you should either not have one, or remove the dates.
  22. Guest blog. This is basically the same as the previous point. If your users have come across your posts on blogs they read, you’ve more credible to them. Also, you can mention and link to the blogs that have your posts.
  23. Add a career page. A must have if you need new staff, want to expand, or build credibility.
  24. Make sure it works. Dead links, non-functional forms or pages and anything else that might seem ‘broken’ will decrease credibility and the number of visitors.
  25. Build a social community. Use social media and blogs to encourage commenting and conversation online. Having an active Twitter account or Facebook page will show that there are real people behind the organization.
  26. Keep Ads, and blinking banner ads to a minimum. Too many ads kill the experience and make the visitor feel second place. Remember loud sites and pop-ups scary away visitors.
  27. Website speed. If your website is slow and seems to takes forever to load (10+ seconds) visitors will doubt and leave.
  28. Google Counts, Literally. Search engine optimization (SEO) is key. Search yourself and see where you rank with Google. Being on the 1st page counts and so does anything else that comes up about your company.
  29. Don’t put too much content on one page. Don’t describe everything you do, and you can’t optimize more than 3 search keywords per site.
  30. Just don’t overdo it. Keep it simple. 

9 Click Worthy Tips

  1. Call To Actions – Use these! CTA’s answer: “What’s in it for the subscriber?”
  2. Personalize the click – This is targeting at its finest and can make a huge difference on encouraging participation.
  3. Provide multiple places to include offers – This helps increase conversion rates. Examples in eMarketing include the first paragraph, sidebar and closing sentiments.
  4. Over-communicate what you want your readers/subscribers to do – Don’t leave it to chance, explicitly state what action you want your readers to do.
  5. Make your Call To Actions visible – Basically don’t hide your CTA’s, especially behind images.
  6. Remember important dates – People always like when you remember their birthdays. Triggered emails and a detailed database can help, which also helps with #2.
  7. Know your audience – Engage your audience through effective segmentation and re-engage with special offers. When in doubt, just ask your audience what they want.
  8. Give people a reason to click – Find the appropriate balance between content and design.
  9. Create triggered and sequential campaigns – Delivera stated that sequential emails, over a set period of time, have the highest click through rates and can help engage post-purchase behaviour. 

5 Tips for a Killer Start-up Name

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It’s simple – a great name says it all. Better yet, a killer company name doesn’t just sound right it exemplifies the company. What you call a new start-up can be one of the most important decisions you will make in the early days. The business name dictates web domains, trademarks and is the first step to developing your brand identity. Here are 6 tips to keep top of mind.

1. Be unique.

This means you need to watch out for sound-alike companies. If customer can’t Google your name and find you, your leads will never amount to much. Also, if another company has a similar name people may very easily type that domain into their browser and find the wrong brand.

2. Let the name tell your story.

This may not be completely necessary, but this can easily help with branding, advertising and generating buzz.

3. Make it personal.

Think of it this way, the company name is your handshake when you meet someone. It is personal and is an extension of the passion and drive it took to create the company. Having a personal name can help make the company memorable and relatable.  

4. Being practical is overrated.

The name needs to do more than just describe your product. Some companies use a name that says exactly what is does, but it’s important to find a creative and effective balance. The name, just like the company, needs to be bigger than itself.

5. Aha! That’s it!

Make sure you love the name and wait until you feel that the name is completely right! You will get a gut feeling when the company name fits the feel of the start-up. Be sure to brainstorm a long list of names, and say them out loud – trust me you will be saying it a lot in the future.