5 Tips – Converting Visitors to Customers

So you’ve put your business online and opened the doors to shoppers of the internet. Bravo! You’re definitely headed in the right direction. However, creating an online shop may have given you some sales expectations that haven’t been met. So why aren’t the fish biting? I’ve come up with a list of 5 common mistakes that might be standing between you and your customers. Whether your site is live or under construction, applying these tips just might get you the client conversion you’re looking for.

1. Your Users are Experiencing Information Overload
Do you remember your English teacher drilling the K.I.S.S. method into your brain? If not, here’s a reminder: Keep It Short & Simple. These are words your site’s content should live by. You definitely don’t want your potential customers to feel weighed down by the amount of text and info they need to sift through. Prevent this by keeping your content and product descriptions short and to the point. Your most important content should be kept above the fold where it’s most likely to be seen and your CTAs (call to actions) should be strong and obviously clickable. For example: instead of giving users a simple link, show them a big, clear button. Your users just may thank you by making a purchase.

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2. Your Shopping Cart is Hard to Find
It’s happened to everyone. You’ve spent the last 25 minutes carefully selecting your items on a site only to throw your hands up in the air and scream when you can’t find that little checkout button. If your site is hard to navigate and your shopping cart is not in clear view, you could be missing out on an untold number of sales. Try to put yourself in your shoppers’ shoes and make sure that your site is user-friendly and has a clean layout. A quick fix includes making sure that a Shopping Cart button is always visible to your clients, no matter which page of your website they’re viewing.  All of Wix’ eCommerce templates are designed with conversion in mind and guarantee a quick and intuitive shopping experience for your clients.

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3. You’ve Underestimated the Power of Testimonials
Half the online sales battle is just making your potential customers feel comfortable enough to make a purchase. User testimonials can go a long way when it comes to the topic of trust. Invite feedback by adding a testimonials and/or comment section directly to your site and watch as the quality content comes in. A couple of Apps we love for their ease of use are Testimonial Builder and Comments. Giving your users the option to speak their minds shows that you have confidence in your service and products and are open to criticism. Sometimes all it takes to win over a new client is one positive comment from another satisfied customer.

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4. Your Contact Info is Lacking Crucial Details
If you look at any successful online store, big or small, you will notice they all have something in common: an easy to find phone number. A simple touch that can go such a long way is making your phone number a fixed element on all of your site’s pages. This will give your customers the feeling that if they have a question or need any kind of assistance, help is just a phone call away. Be sure not to skimp on details like your physical address on your website’s contact page either. Finally, add an interactive Contact Form. This is a major draw for clients who prefer to get in touch digitally. Wix has recently revamped this feature and it’s more customizable and appealing than ever. You can easily edit which fields you want to ask people to fill in, define what info is mandatory, change text, and even color coordinate it to match your site.

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5. You’re Not Highlighting your Unique Selling Point
There are a lot of websites out there with products to sell, and some of them may be pretty similar to yours. What sets you apart from the competition? Your Unique Selling Point (USP) is what you need to play up in order to show a potential customer that your product or service is better than the next guy’s. Maybe you have strong imagesthat capture your products beautifully, or you’ve put the LiveChat support App on your site. Your strength could be a number of things – a hassle-free return policy, friendly customer service, free delivery, or one of a kind items. No matter what your USP is, your business and sales will benefit from making your assets known. Once you’ve convinced a user of this, they’re likely to go from potential client to loyal customer.journal-loving-me-myself-i-09-27-w3bwy

 

We would love to hear from you! To schedule an appointment for a free consultation, please contact us by either giving us a call at 604-866-5800 or by filling out the form below. One of our courteous and knowledgeable staff members will contact you to arrange an appointment.

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10 Responsive Web Design Do’s and Don’ts

Responsive web design (RWD) seems very appealing but venturing into the world of multiple screen sizes, media queries, and mobile-first can be daunting. Fear not, however. JDM Digital has put together a list of the top 10 Do’s and Don’ts to guide you through the treacherous waters of modern responsive website and email design.

The Responsive Web Design Backstory
“Make my site mobile-friendly!” It’s a pretty common demand in today’s post-PC world. For the first time in 2014, comScore reported mobile web browser had eclipsed desktop browsing globally.

google-responsive-devicesSure, you could build an iOS app, an Android app, and a Windows 8 app to browse your site, but each of them will cost around $8K and you still require users to download said app. Get real.

Responsive Web Design (or RWD, for short) is all the rage precisely because it’s just good old fashioned HTML with the CSS you’ve come to know and love and a little magic using something called “media queries”, introduced in CSS3. Media queries simply allow you to query the screen size (the ‘media’, if you will) and update the style (CSS) in real time.

That means, you can have two columns that are 50% of the width of a screen floated side-by-side until that screen is smaller than, say, 768px. At widths smaller than 768px, the columns are both 100% wide and stacked one on top of the other. That’s responsive web design in a nutshell.

10. DON’T Do it Because it’s Trendymobile-image
Responsive web design is all the rage, but don’t do it just because it’s trendy. Think about how your user will browse your site on their mobile device and, perhaps more importantly, WHY. Are they looking for your dinner menu, your office location, your phone number, reading your awesome blog, looking for examples, researching vendors?

Whether mobile, tablet, or desktop, your website visitors don’t care about trendy whiz-bang. Get to the point.

09. DO Use Large Fonts
On a desktop, you’re used to reading content in 12-point font on a 22-inch monitor. Mobile users can’t read that tiny font on their phones. You need to use much larger font sizes. In fact, increase your smallest font size to something you think is borderline TOO big. Then, add 1 more point. As a rule of thumb, yourfont size should be no smaller than 16px (if you’re still using pixels for responsive typography).

08. DON’T Hide Content for Mobile
There’s no need to punish mobile users by hiding some of your content or, worse, showing a stripped-down version of your website. Stick to a mobile-first design strategy (design for mobile, THEN scale things up for tablet, laptop, and desktop devices). More on that in #1, at the bottom.

07. DO Keep User Experience (UX) in MindMobile-Vs-Standard-Websites
Just because you “can” do something, doesn’t mean you “should.” Keep the user in mind. Would this functionality be beneficial to THEM? Remember, your visitors don’t give a sh*t that your site is responsive. They may not even know what that means. For a little extra credit, check out Google’s 3 Things.

06. DON’T Clutter the Design
From garbage sidebars to multiple navigation planes, you’d be surprised how much of your website’s UI you can do without. It’s a painful process (trust us, we know), but try to remove HALF of everything on a given page. Then, remove HALF of what remains. That’ll keep you designs clean and clear.

05. DO Keep it Light and Fast-Loading
Even with 4G mobile networks covering most of Canada and the U.S., mobile devices are still far slower and bandwidth more expensive than desktop. You need to keep your responsive site as light as possible. Keep in mind, the biggest problem with responsive is that it’s not (yet) adaptive. In other words, that giant background image on your home page is the same if I’m viewing it on my 35-inch HD desktop display as on my tiny iPhone 5. A truly optimized asset is an asset never downloaded.

04. DON’T Use Tiny Links
A mouse was DESIGNED for great granular control and a finger is a pretty horrible pointing device. Keep your line-height at least 1.4 and your body font size at least 16px. Buttons and navigation links should also have at least 8 pixels of padding and 15px of margin around them, for those of us with fat fingers.

03. DO Test, Test, Test
Designing a mobile site requires prioritization. The only way to prioritize is by measuring and testing your design to ensure they support these critical tasks. Look into User Experience testing for real-world tests on your designs while still on a staging server. One of my favorites is UserTesting.com. They also have a free trial version called “Peek” for those of you a little apprehensive about UX testing.

02. DON’T “Build the Lily”
Something as beautiful as a Lily doesn’t need to be recreated. Try to adhere to certain design conventions whenever possible. That’s what people are used to seeing and interacting with. Google, for one, came up with their own UI design convention they named “Material Design.” Not that “Material Design” is the end-all and be-all. Just stick to the classics, unless you’ve got a really good reason to depart from those conventions. Even then, remember, the Lily was perfect before you tried to improve it.

01. DO Design “Mobile-First”
We’ve mentioned this before, but I think it bears mentioning again. Don’t start designing your new mobile-friendly site for desktop and then try and cram it into a mobile device. You need to do it in reverse, ergo, “mobile-first.” Start by designing a full-featured responsive website for mobile and then scale it UP for tablets, netbooks, and desktops. As you move up, your images could get larger (loads a separate, larger image src), your page could get a little heavier (if it must), and your navigation could return to something a bit more “mouse-friendly.”

love your website

4 Steps to a Seductive Website

Make visitors love your website by using these 4 expert tips

Illustration by Ben Jordan: https://twitter.com/benjordan

Illustration by Ben Jordan: https://twitter.com/benjordan

The arts of seduction and interaction design go hand-in-hand. Your goal, after all, is making the user fall in love with your website or application.

The same principles of courtship apply: trying too hard repulses the user, while not trying enough will make them pass you over.

In this article, we’ll show how to take advantage of human psychology and emotional design to create an alluring charm to your interface.

1 – Create an inspiring flow

An alluring interface is designed to put the user in a state of flow — a mindset in which they are so focused on interacting with your product, they forget the rest of the world. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, in his book Flow, explains that this is the optimal experience because the user focuses on their work, and the interface becomes only an invisible hand guiding them along.

The way to inspire flow is to constantly and rewardingly engage the user — “seducing them,” in other words. To create such an experience, at least two factors are needed:

  • Control — The user must feel in control the entire time. This is why seduction favors subtlety over aggressive approaches.
  • Achievement — Obviously, the user needs a purpose for using your product, whether business or pleasure. Beyond the main goal, the sense of achievement can be bolstered by positive and well-placed feedback from the system.

While a simplistic viewpoint of the much more complex field of interaction design, creating this “flow” in your users is a nice, simple goal to chase throughout the rest of the design process.

2 – Understand your users

banking_misconception2The first step is understanding as much as possible about people.

This list of observations about individuals as a whole leads the way to interaction designs that give people what they want. From this list, we can derive a list of elements that will make your website or app more attractive to the common person.

  • Social Proof — Most people follow popular opinion, so if your product seems popular, its perceived value increases. If you don’t have the numbers to parade openly, even a few considerate testimonials will help.
  • Scarcity — Just like an exclusive club, scarcity adds the allure of something not everyone can have. Offering limited promotions or even a private, invitation-only beta version of the product can generate more excitement from non-users than the users themselves.
  • Recognition over Recall — As we explained in Interaction Design Best Practices, the more the user must think, the less they’ll enjoy the product. Design your interface with recognizable patterns so users don’t need to relearn basic controls. For example, link text should be labelled the same as the headlines of the linked content.
  • Sensory Integration — Stimulating more of your users’ senses will engage them deeper. Aside from visuals, this can only apply to audio effects/music, or some creative use of gesturing in mobile devices. For example, the Wunderlist app plays a pleasant bell chime when you complete a task.
  • Visual Superiority — While sensory integration is welcome, vision remains the dominant sense. Design your interface along a solid visual hierarchy so that it looks as good as it functions.

Because so much of interaction design concerns human experiences, you must design for what the brain cares about (which is different than what the conscious mind cares about). To design for a brain that’s evolved over a long period of time, you’ll need to incorporate beauty, visual variety, and of course emotion.

While we’re on the topic of the human element, let’s explore emotion in interaction design. First we’ll explain the difference between usability and enjoyment, and then we’ll discuss some practical tips for designing emotional experiences.

3 – Balance usability and enjoyment

Emotional stimuli make the difference between a product that’s loved, rather than simply usable. Anders Toxboe, Designer for Bonnier Interactive, makes the case that, while usability will satisfy your users, the satisfaction will be short-lived. To be loved, an interface requires more than functionality.

As you can understand, a homeless person who comes into some money will likely spend it on food or shelter instead of a psychologist appointment — physiological needs hold more weight than self-actualization needs.

Evidently, usability goals are still core to interaction design. But once they are fulfilled, there remains a lot of room for improvement.

Don’t make the mistake of designing only for usability. Make sure you design experiences that also fulfill the user’s emotional needs.

4 – Focus on delight

One of the reasons a lot of designers miss the top part of the pyramid is because it’s difficult.

JoyfulSliderLeftFaceKnowing whether something is usable is relatively easier — a test can determine if it works, and some troubleshooting options can solve the problem if it doesn’t. But how can you determine if your interface creates an emotional response or not? That’s a little trickier to test.

Here are a handful of helpful tips discovered by the experts that can guide you into developing the UX your users want:

Appealing Visuals — While a delightful mascot may seem cheesy to some, its appeal to users is well-known.

Discoverables — People generally enjoy surprise treats more than expected ones.

Trust — This should go without saying, but if users don’t trust you — i.e., product pictures don’t match descriptions — they will turn off emotionally. It’s best to be honest with your content and media, albeit with your best foot forward.

Reciprocation — When the user feels like they were done a favor, they’re more likely to return the favor. If your design permits, try to give away small gifts (like a sample chapter for a book).

Personalization — When your interface responds to a user without them disclosing information, you can create an immediate rapport.

sifi-vs-fantasyNovelty Surprises — The core functions themselves should be predictable (e.g. a popup form shouldn’t redirect users after clicking “OK”). Surprise only works to your advantage when it adds delight rather than affect the function.

Just as with human interaction, the more personality you show, the more it will polarize you. This means if you make a statement like, “Fantasy is better than sci-fi,” fantasy fans will love and appreciate your site much more, but you will lose some sci-fi fans.

While eliciting an emotional response can occasionally backfire, it’s better to stir something in your users than nothing at all.

Conclusion –

Seductive design isn’t about tricking your user into behaving a certain way. It’s about getting them to want to behave that way on their own.

You shouldn’t be deceitful or manipulative — it’s just a matter of creating an interface that’s enjoyable enough so that users want to use it. Words and phrases like “engaged” or “in the flow” are just synonyms for “having fun.” If you want users to keep coming back, you need to incorporate the foundations of any good human relationship: be helpful, reliable, understanding, and interesting.

Our goal is to help you understand that interaction design isn’t just about creating interfaces. It’s about mastering human-to-human design, because your goal is to make the black box of technology feel as empathetic and alive as possible.

 

 

The Relation between Web Design and Online Success

A company that is looking for a way to launch their business in a sure hit way should consider building a strong presence in the worldwide web. And why is this vital? The answer is simply because the internet has become a great equalizer in the field of marketing and communications. It has paved the way for almost anyone to easily market their offers to a wider audience without having to pay much on advertising and marketing fees.

Now the first step towards achieving this goal is by having a website that is appealing and could catch the attention of the readers quickly. Site building involves a lot of steps; one of them involves web design which plays an important role in order to draw an audience to check out your website. With a carefully planned and well executed web design, internet users can easily be attracted hence it will generate more traffic to the site.

Coming up with an excellent web design brings a company a step closer to online success. Here are some ways on how your company could utilize web design as a way to reach your goals:

  1. Design a site with a clear header and sub headers. Well defined titles are not only part of web design but are also a way to enhance the site’s SEO. Now every company is aware of the keywords that they need to use in order to increase their presence and land on the first page of various search engine results. The use of such keywords in a manner that is consistent to the entire content is also a good way to engage to your readers.
  2. Keep your articles and other information interesting. Placing them on various sections and carefully organizing the home page does not only make the site look pleasing but it also provides the customers with an easy way to access your website. Set some guidelines when it comes to the content. An article that is too long could make readers lose their interest while a short one might seem to be lacking relevant information.
  3. An efficient web design is one that is user friendly. Remember that not everyone ever tech savvy and only has limited knowledge about how to use the internet. In order to draw more prospective clients, a company’s website should be easy to understand and use. Any reader should immediately have a clear understanding as to what your company offers and the links to click in order to get more information.

Web design is not only for a site’s aesthetic purpose but it should also help in maximizing its SEO potential and aid in making your business an online success.

What You Should be Tweeting

Many businesses are jumping on the Twitter bandwagon. They are excited by the prospect of this free marketing tool, and all the success stories they have seen in the media. They eagerly anticipate the traffic spikes and hoards of followers that will help them promote their businesses. But it doesn’t happen. The traffic doesn’t come. The visitors that do come don’t stay. The number of followers doesn’t budge.

One of the biggest mistakes that businesses make in the Twitter world can explain what is going on. Instead of engaging and interacting, businesses are strictly self-promoting. Only sharing their own news and information. Creating what is essentially an advertising stream on Twitter. And the majority of people on Twitter are not interested in that. That’s not what they are there for.

How to break out of this cycle of constant self-promotion? Here are some ideas for what you can tweet about to help boost engagement and visibility for your company on Twitter.

  • Share industry news that is not specifically about your company, but is related and would be of interest to your followers.
  • Share tweets from others in your industry or from your partners. This helps to foster relevant relationships.
  • Respond to @ mentions. Even a simple “thanks for the retweet” goes a long way.
  • Ask questions. You can gain some valuable insight and maybe get some conversations going.
  • Reveal a more personal side to your business. Share information or comments that are in line with your values and mission. Give people a peek inside the day to day workings of your company.
  • Participate in conversations. Create lists with your customers, partners, industry contacts etc… and then interact with them as appropriate. You’ll boost your visibility and help establish a stronger connection.

By keeping the above tips in mind when managing your Twitter account and avoiding only self-promotion, you’re sure to see more activity and interaction. When tweets come to your Twitter stream, they’ll see a company that is interested in engaging and building relationships. And that will make them that more likely to click that follow button.

Hartland Ross on September 06, 2011

2011 Worldwide Social Network Ad Spending

In social network advertising, all roads lead to Facebook. eMarketer forecasts that it will have $4 billion in ad revenues worldwide in 2011. Twitter is expected to attract $150 million in spending. In total, worldwide social network spending is expected to reach almost $6 billion this year.

In social network advertising, all roads lead to Facebook. eMarketer forecasts that marketers will spend $4 billion worldwide on Facebook in 2011, with $2.2 billion of that in the US. The company will receive 68% of all social network ad spending worldwide. In the US, it will garner 71% of social network spending and 7.7% of total US online ad spending.

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6 Ways to Attract Visitors to your Website

We at Coast Internet know that you need to be able to attract visitors to your site in order to be successful on the internet. We also know that this can be a tricky process since the web and search engines on the web are constantly changing. If you are new to owning your own site or are in the process of starting one up there are several steps and tips you can learn in order to help drive and increase visitor traffic to your site. If you follow these steps and learn how to expand from us you will ultimately have a well established website on the internet.

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