Expert Tips For When To Redesign Your Small Business Website
Designs keep on changing. Website designs too. To cut it short, design matters a lot when it comes to any website, along with the functionality. Design elements are essential for small-business websites as they provide the necessary pull that a small business needs in the ever-growing digital world.
If any business website is off-color in terms of design or even design functionality, it can definitely hinder a business’s growth and impede the overall construct of the brand. If the website design is poor, a website redesign is an important step to building a successful enterprise!
That being said, it is not an easy task. Website redesign involves changing the overall look and feel of the pages on your site and how information flows, improving user experience, and optimizing site performance.
Website redesigns are like redesigning or renovating your home to create an everlasting impression and creating a great living space. Website redesigns help small businesses take the leap, improve performance, and bring more leads, sales, & better conversions.
Why is Website Design so important?
A website is essentially the identity of your business and requires you unprecedented attention, dedication, investment, time & important design updates to keep you ahead of the curve. When you redesign your website, it can result in massive benefits for your business, although it is not as simple as it seems. Redesigning includes the whole makeover of the website and small changes in functions that can help make the user experience better.
No website is perfect and therefore continuously requires improvement. It is your job to evaluate the performance of your website regularly and identify weak areas. No matter how high profile a business is, a dull online presence can be an obstacle to winning over more clients. The game is about engagement and essential functions and design elements that contribute towards that goal, especially when it comes to small businesses.
Here are a few of the reasons to redesign your website. Understanding you have a problem but not knowing where to start is standard. Because of this common challenge, we have created seven quick reasons why you should consider a redesign.
It’s outdated – Users expect websites to be clean, simple, and pleasing to the eye. With so many options to choose from, your website must be unique. If you haven’t updated your website in the last 24-months, chances are it is out of date. If you are unsure, ask your colleagues for an honest opinion. Build a beautiful site that you can be proud of.
NO CTA – Is it clear what you want website visitors to do once they are at your website? You need a call to action on each page of your website. A CTA could be about making a phone call, subscribing to an email list, downloading a document, and more.
No credibility development – Let’s face it, most websites are created to establish credibility. Are you showing customer testimonials? Are you sharing the logos of your clients? Do you explain the reasons people should trust your business? Any industry developers from healthcare and retail to body shop and law firm web design companies can attest to how critical this element can be.
SEO isn’t part of it – If you rank higher on the search engines, your website must be search engine optimized. You have to use the proper keyword phrases within your content. Optimize your images with the correct alt tags. Use the appropriate web page titles to include your target keywords.
You made it out of Flash – Similar to an outdated design, Flash ages your website. Flash is not compatible with all devices or search engines, and this can hurt your traffic. Because of these reasons, more website designers are moving away from Flash.
It’s slow – You don’t want a website that is frustrating to use. Due to the increasing internet speeds available, users have lower tolerances for wait times. This is crucial on mobile devices. People want sites that load quickly when they are on the move.
It’s not optimized – Review your site on multiple devices: laptops, large monitors, phones, tablets, etc. If your website does not run well on all of these devices, you miss out on traffic and customers.
It doesn’t sell your products – Focus on your return on investment (ROI). All the traffic in the world won’t help you if it doesn’t create money. Reconsider how you advertise your products and services. Make it easy for customers to make a purchase. If you do have a high number of views, consider additional advertising.
Your brand isn’t visible – Are visitors connecting with your company? Do some research to see if people walk away with your intended message.
It’s hard to maintain – Fresh content drives more traffic! If you don’t update your website, people won’t have a reason to come back. Frequent updates start with simple processes. If your site is hard to update, updates will take more time. Content Management Sites (CMS) such as WordPress have built-in solutions to make updating a website easier. If you have a complicated website with few updates, consider simplifying your process.
If some of these factors apply to your website, you have taken the first step to improve your business! But you’re not done yet. You will need to conduct additional research to find the root of your website’s problems. Website updates may seem challenging, but they are worth all the effort in the end.
Your Dallas Web Design Experts.
Agency Partner Interactive (API) is the Best Custom Web Development and Design Agency in Dallas, TX providing the best-in-class web design solutions inclusive of design tips, insights, small business web development, web-redesigns, WordPress development, & customized redesign solutions. We can help your website be a true source of business intelligence, your sales machine that never sleeps. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s go the distance through unparalleled web design solutions from Agency Partner Interactive.
Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “When To Redesign Your Small Business Website” instead. Using the power of Artificial Intelligence, we turned this blog into a video for you. Check it out below!
Expert Tips For Top 10 SEO trends you need to know in 2021
It’s time to empower your website & brand with proper SEO-Optimization. For starters, search engine optimization is the most critical aspect of digital marketing for any online business in these times. Every web designer or digital marketer should understand SEO, how it works, and how the traffic potential it can generate for a brand’s website.
SEO has two main goals. The first is to help you understand what users are searching for online so that you can create high-quality content to satisfy their intent. The second is to help you create a website that search engines can find, index, and understand its content.
The most important SEO tasks have to do with identifying what users are searching for related to your products and services, creating content that will make users happy, providing the right signals to search engine crawlers, and algorithms through various SEO techniques.
In today’s competitive market, SEO marketing is more important than ever. Search engines serve millions of users per day looking for answers to their questions or solutions to their problems.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most effective ways to attract potential customers to your website. But here’s the thing: you need to use it in the right way. According to stats, there are an estimated 3.5B searches on Google each day. But while only 0.78% of Google searchers click on results from the second page, the #1 result in Google’s organic search result gets an average CTR of 31.7%.
The important part.
Many brands and businesses know — or maybe think they know — that they need SEO for their digital brands and websites and the benefits they will receive from that SEO expedition being implemented on their behalf. But in reality, things are way more complex than people think.
SEO in these modern times requires clarity and proper strategic implementation to help your brand leap. With Agency Partner Interactive, you can get the key insights about the best SEO trends and SEO Tips 2021 and use certified SEO experts to curate your SEO digital strategy that performs off the charts.
Focus on the user & the search intent.
In 2021, it’s time to focus on the user and the search intent. While this is barely a new trend or concept, it’s important to refocus every year because searcher intent and behavior change, especially after the year 2020, when so much rapidly changed due to the ongoing pandemic.
Hiring an expert.
Search Engine Optimization requires a lot of time. Apart from this, you must be aware of the current trends, algorithm changes, and strategies. Today, many marketers are aware of the fundamentals of Search Engine Optimization.
Therefore, they can perform the optimization of their website themselves. However, most of them go on this adventure without being aware of the basics. This is where they end up making grave mistakes. If you don’t have the right skills and tools, we suggest that you hire the services of a professional instead.
Believing in unrealistic promises.
If you are going to hire a professional, make sure you go with one that uses safe methods. There are no shortcuts when it comes to getting your website ranked. Remember that you cannot trick major search engines, such as Google, to gain better rankings for your desired keywords. Today, search engines are brilliant.
In other words, you should never try to cheat the system, or you may get penalized. So, you may want to hire a provider that makes realistic promises.
Before you go with a service provider, make sure you know the method they will use. What you need to do is follow only white hat practices. On the other hand, illegal SEO involves tips and tricks that violate search engine guidelines, such as keyword stuffing, buying backlinks, exchanging links, and hidden text.
Although you can get quick gains through illegal SEO, you will be taking a lot of risks. So we suggest that you follow only white hat methods to improve your search engine rankings. This includes updating your website with quality content and optimizing the content for search engines.
Don’t ignore the google algorithm changes.
Today, search engines are changing their algorithms to improve the way websites are ranked. The idea is to identify cheaters that manipulate the system. Over the past five years, Google algorithms have gone through many major changes, so Google follows a different method of ranking websites these days. With that in mind, you may want to follow the recent updates if you want to achieve great results. If you don’t have the time to read about this change, we suggest that you hire the services of an SEO expert.
Opt only for the precise keywords.
Lastly, one of the most common mistakes is to follow non-strategic keywords when it comes to SEO. You may not want to waste time optimizing your content for the wrong keywords. For example, you may not want to use overly competitive keywords. Instead, it would help if you used low competition keywords to get a lot of traffic.
According to statistics, at least 70% of customers that buy online are drawn to personalization on blogs and sites. For instance, when someone buys something from you, you may send them an email with their name in the email. The good thing is that personalization is not a costly or complicated process. The whole purpose of personalization is to make the buyers realize that you value them.
Visual search features & YouTube SEO.
According to statistics, visual search is quite effective these days. What do we mean by “visual search”? Let us explain: If a user clicks a product photo of their choice, websites such as Pinterest and Google show the buying options right under the picture of that product. That way, the buyers have the ability to buy the product by simply clicking the photo. Through this method, YouTube videos provide one of the most engaging platforms available for consumers.
Post video content.
Video content is quite popular on social media platforms, such as Facebook. If you look at consumer statistics, you will know that 52% of buyers feel more confident when buying products after watching a video. At least 68% of buyers like to watch short videos to find out more about products instead of reading long articles, manuals, or infographics.
Utilize Google My Business.
Google My Business helps small business owners stand out in search engines. Whether through a search result or a maps query, over five billion searches are made each day globally through Google. That means that a large audience can find your product or service quickly and easily. Not only does it increase your visibility, but it’s also a free way to optimize your website for local search.
Let us show you how to convert your visitors into lifelong customers with custom, perfectly suited web features. We can help your website be a true source of business intelligence, your sales machine that never sleeps. What are you waiting for?
Let’s go the distance through precision SEO solutions with Agency Partner.
Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “Top 10 SEO trends you need to know in 2021” instead. Using the power of Artificial Intelligence, we turned this blog into a video for you. Check it out below!
Agency Partner is pleased to announce that it has been honored by UpCity as one of the top 400 service providers in the United States and one of the top 20 digital agencies in Texas.
UpCity is a business marketplace that utilizes a proprietary “Recommendability Rating” to assess B2B web design and digital marketing agencies based on customer reviews, project success rates, the impact of their business solutions.
“Here at UpCity, we are always very proud to announce our Excellence Award Winnings. We are fortunate to work with the best, most trustworthy partners across the U.S. and Canada,” said UpCity SVP of Product and Marketing Heidi Sullivan.
UpCity is an online marketplace that helps businesses find B2B service providers they can trust. UpCity’s Local Excellence Award winners are proven digital agencies that have proven themselves as the most reputable, capable business service providers in their respective markets.
As a company, Agency Partner Interactive specializes in helping businesses create impactful online experiences. Whether the team is devising technology or digital marketing solutions, the project solutions teams work tirelessly to help businesses accelerate growth and add efficiencies where they otherwise do not exist.
“This is our second time to be granted this honor, and it is a great feeling that our team very much deserves,” said Muhammad Younus, CEO of Agency Partner. “We work tirelessly to help our clients achieve specific, measurable business goals and we look forward to ‘one-upping’ ourselves time and time again. It’s all about continuous improvement.”
UpCity helps businesses find service providers they can trust. Our Marketplace creates and empowers successful relationships between businesses and service providers from marketers to accountants to HR professionals. We provide transparency and insights to dramatically improve the B2B partner selection and purchase experience.
Over 225,000 businesses visit UpCity each month seeking services from over 35,000 providers in over 600 cities in North America. UpCity helps partners in the Marketplace grow their business and build their digital recommendability.
Adam Rizzieri joins Carmine Mastropierro To Discuss Entrepreneurship
Carmine Mastropierro is a Toronto-based content marketer that works with agencies and businesses to tell compelling stories. He is the founder and host of The Wise Business Podcast and has worked with brands including GoDaddy, Marketo, and Neil Patel.
Adam and Carmine kick things off by exploring various topics related to entrepreneurship, building a company, learning, growth, and achieving big goals. The two discuss what Agency Partner does to help its clients accomplish specific business objectives while also digging into what makes the API team special.
Originally recorded in December 2020.
First Air Date February 2021.
Are You Struggling With Your Digital Presence or Online Marketing Decisions?
Agency Partner’s award-winning team works to align business needs with the market. We utilize the power of digital marketing to measure consumer behavior, test advertising concepts, and optimize a technology and marketing budget around a specific set of business goals.
Google algorithms are the key to every single search — expedited, run, & executed every second. These algorithms are complex systems used to retrieve data from its search index and instantly deliver the best possible query results.
The search engine uses algorithms and numerous ranking factors to deliver web pages, ranked by relevance on its search engine results pages (SERPs). Google possesses a long history of famous and functional algorithm updates, search index changes, and refreshes.
In its early years, Google only made a handful of updates to its algorithms. Now, Google makes thousands of changes every year. Most of these updates are so slight that they go completely unnoticed. However, on occasion, the search engine rolls out major algorithmic updates that significantly impact the SERPs.
At Agency Partner Interactive, we leverage your brand through precision digital marketing and help you take full advantage of Google’s core updates. We are not your average digital agency. We work to understand your business and leverage technology and marketing solutions to generate revenue and increase profits. To do this, we don’t hire just anyone.
Like Silicon Valley’s most impressive tech firms, we take ownership in everything we do, and our fully distributed business model enables us to offer the absolute best digital marketers, software developers, and designers on Earth.
To top it off, our clients enjoy an average 40 to 60% reduction in their cost of investment without any compromises, and our SEO digital marketing experts provide the key insights, core web-vitals, search index changes, and Search Engine Optimization while catering to Google search visibility seamlessly.
Google’s core updates, 2017 to present.
As far back as 2017, Google has started to refer to bigger updates as Google core updates. Since then, there is even less transparency about what those updates are and which parts of the search they are intended to improve. SEOs would often track post-update ranking shifts and figure out what exactly had changed, but there is rarely a conclusive observation. Google core updates are likely just improvements on previous Google updates or perhaps bundles of smaller updates tied together.
Since the effects of Google core updates are often unknown, one thing you can do is track SERP history for the keywords you are targeting. Once the update happens, you can check which of your competitors have moved up or down in rankings and make an educated guess about the contributing factors.
To start tracking your SERP history, launch Rank Tracker, Target Keywords > Rank Tracking > SERP Analysis, and click Record SERP data. The tool will start tracking the top 30 SERP positions for each of your keywords.
Understanding the BERT update.
Hazards: Poorly written content, lack of focus & lack of context.
This Google algorithm update uses natural language processing technology to understand search queries better, interpret text, identify entities and relationships between entities. We’ve seen Panda, Hummingbird, and RankBrain updates move away from keywords, and the BERT update is the culmination of this effort — it allows Google to understand much more nuance in both queries and search results.
We’ve finally lived to see the day when Google is actually rewarding good writing. Like never before, it is important to strive for a meaningful copy. It means you should go easy on fluff words and adopt an expository style of writing.
It is also a good idea to do entity research when creating copy — including relevant entities helps create a context for your content. We at Agency Partner Interactive provide you the level-playing field you need to advance your digital website and brand through good SEO content and marketing.
Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “Google: Algorithm Updates 2021” instead. Using the power of Artificial Intelligence, we turned this blog into a video for you. Check it out below!
WHY ARE CEOs SUDDENLY TAKING STANDS ON POLITICAL ISSUES
Activist Groups Are Blurring The Lines of Business and Politics
What happened to the days when CEOs would dodge politically divisive issues? There was once a time when any discussions not related to the core operations of a business were left to PR and marketing teams… or they were just avoided entirely! However, since the corporate social responsibility movement of the 1980s, things have been changing from one issue to the next.
Thank mobile technology, social media, and 24-hour news cycles for that! But don’t stop there. Work to identify who is in control at the boardroom level and ask what sort of outside influences may impact their decisions.
On Saturday, Yale management professor and civic activist Jeffrey Sonnenfeld led more than 120 business leaders to discuss action against new voting legislation nationwide.
This same group of business elites consisting of labor leaders, CEOs, investors, and attorneys also met on January 5 to demand that Congress certify then-President-elect Biden’s campaign victory. In November of 2020, again, Sonnenfeld led this group to plan a collective response to President Trump’s lawful challenge of the 2020 election results.
While Sonnenfeld and his clique of like-minded business leaders attacked the presidency in 2020, now the group has focused their attention on state and local governments that seek to promote efforts that expand access to voting while also ensuring election integrity.
Isn’t it logical to say that one fraudulent vote can effectively cancel out a totally valid, fair one?
The fact is that there is overwhelming support for an “easy to vote, hard to cheat” system.
Actions taken by Georgia lawmakers to enact SB 202 do just that and now other states are rapidly following suit. So why are business leaders suddenly standing up against election reform?
Delta CEO Ed Bastian calls the new law “unacceptable” and argues that SB 202 harms the company’s black employee base and their ability to vote. If that were true, then it would not make sense that the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. Alveda King is standing up in support of the new law. She went so far as to mention that the new law may actually be “too little too late” when it comes to protecting the integrity of elections.
Could the truth be that well-funded progressive activist groups are just really good at marketing?
The reality is that progressive activist groups are working to blur the lines of big business and politics to gain money and power. In Texas, 10 activist groups coalesced to purchase full-page newspaper ads that pressure corporate leaders to express disapproval of these new laws. At the heart of the issue is a demand for verifiable voter identification.
Personal Identification and Businesses
Without a personal identification issued by some level of government, there is no way to board a Delta plane or ride an Amtrak train.
Without an ID you cannot prove your identity to pick up your Rangers or Red Sox tickets at the Will-Call booth.
An ID is required to open a bank account at Chase Bank, enter many public and private office buildings, explore the contents of Yale’s library, purchase alcohol or tobacco and obtain certain prescription drugs. You cannot even qualify for public welfare programs like Medicaid without a valid ID.
Why Did the MLB Move the All-Star Game?
So why did Major League Baseball move the All-Star game away from Atlanta? Why are Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines issuing public declarations of disapproval for these new election reforms? Why are President Biden and others calling these voter reforms “Jim Crow 2.0?”
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred caved to the megaphone of progressive activists and awarded favor to a state that is less diverse and more strict about voter ID requirements.
The reality is that big corporate CEOs are engaging in social issues that they know little about. In their haste, measurable harm is being waged against the same groups of people that they claim to be standing up for.
The New Social Demands of Business Leaders
Even for issues that don’t directly impact how a company delivers its products or services, customers and employees expect CEOs to share in public discourse. It’s also within their constitutional right to do so as individuals.
For the most part, social media platforms and 24-hour news cycles demand responses within 48 hours or less. The trouble is that big companies were not designed to offer such quick opinions on cultural, social, or political issues. This makes it problematic when a CEO is tasked with responding on the behalf of their entire employee base.
Smaller businesses, however, are much more capable of doing this for the simple fact that fewer people are involved in such decision-making.
The fact is that it is impossible to presume that a leader like Ed Bastian, a person that earns $67,000 per day, can effectively speak for the social and political inclinations of an employee base of 50,000 people that earn an average of $35,149 per year.
The people that come together to operate an enterprise often come from diverse backgrounds and live daily realities that are staunchly different from these 120 to 200 business elites that were not elected to speak for the country.
The Right Way To Respectfully Agree AND Disagree
This does not mean that a corporate CEO should shy away from cultural and social issues. Even with that title, every American is entitled to free speech and civil liberties.
With that said, it is true that social issues impact productivity and employee engagement. At an individual level, they also impact well-being and the pursuit of happiness. Social issues can impact hiring and retention, noting that younger employees prefer to work for businesses that share their values.
But as we have seen with Coca-Cola and Delta, too strong a position can lead to a hostile work environment.
Among a large and diverse workforce, it is impossible for a single leader to represent the diverse thoughts of their entire employee base.
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in a note to employees, Walmart is “not in the business of partisan politics” and from a high level, he supported the need to protect democratic processes by adding that “broad participation and trust in the election process” are paramount to election integrity. McMillon may have his own opinion on the topic of election reform and that’s okay. It also sounds like he respects that his colleagues may respectfully disagree with him, and that’s the American way. And then there is Ed Bastian and Delta.
The only way for an enterprise to take the right political position, one that does not alienate its diverse employees and customers, is to be genuine and explicitly separate the individual viewpoint from the collective brand.
For an enterprise, this means that statements are made not as the CEO of ABC Corporation, but as an individual citizen. This also means that the workplace ensures mutual respect for the diversity of thought that may exist within the workforce and that employees are given the space and respect they require to exercise their First Amendment rights.
It is exceedingly easier and more realistic for a small business leader to represent a workforce of 20 than it is for the CEO of an enterprise to speak for employees they’ve never met.
How We Do It
In our office, the only approach is one that focuses on these two words: Mutual Respect.
The best course of action for any business that loves its employees, customers, and the country is to actively respect the diverse viewpoints of employees and customers.
Diversity of thought is part of what makes our country such a special place.
It yields faster, better decision-making, innovation, and value creation.
At Agency Partner Interactive, we believe in allowing our colleagues the freedom, respect, and trust to work as citizens toward creating a social and political impact on our society.
As a business, we strive to deliver outstanding online experiences that help our clients achieve specific business goals… Like 99.9% of the businesses out there, we are far from being a public policy think tank and we won’t pretend to act like we read every line of every piece of new legislation. As a business, we don’t! But as individual citizens, some of us at the office are definitely paying attention!
During election cycles, we know that as a company, our role is to sit back and facilitate a democratic process. Management does not impose or indoctrinate beliefs about who the team should or should not vote for. That is an individual, not a team decision. We believe that our role is to give each employee the Paid Time Off they need to make a thoughtful, unhurried voting decision.
Are You Struggling With Your Digital Presence or Online Marketing Decisions?
Agency Partner’s award-winning team works to align business needs with the market. We utilize the power of digital marketing to measure consumer behavior, test advertising concepts, and optimize a technology and marketing budget around a specific set of business goals. We love to help businesses grow and we specialize in helping small businesses over $2M in annual revenue double within 12 to 18 months.
Your website is a magnet for judgment when it comes to your prospects and your targeted market. And this judgment isn’t limited to the website functionality itself. It carries over into the user’s tendency to perceive the brand or the company as a whole. All of the stats, all of the elements, contingencies, loading time, content, navigation, and especially the design can be detrimental to the chances of turning your visitors into leads and customers.
In the contemporary world of digital marketing and digital solutions, web design & web design trends are both factors for a brand’s success. A flushed, well-designed, & super-functional website can help the company extend its overall sphere of influence as the first impression is the last impression of website design elements.
The difference between obtaining a lead and losing a lead may be as simple as making minor adjustments that change the way users perceive your website the first time they interact with it. With the best ideas and the best delivery mechanisms, coupled with seamless design trends of 2021, you as a digital marketing agency or a stand-alone digital marketer can help your business or organization soar.
Web design defined.
Web design is a process of iteratively strategizing, conceptualizing, and delivering information and overall business functionality in an aesthetically appealing layout.
Visual components of web design encompass the text content, images, videos, colors, fonts, and different elements and shapes like buttons, forms, icons, the spacing between these elements, and the overall layout itself. Design functionality comprises website speed, navigation, animation, user experience, user interaction, general site’s tech architecture, SEO, cross-browser, cross-platform, cross-device design consistency, and responsiveness.
Why is there so much hype around web design?
It’s no secret that website dynamics coupled with functional designs are the backbone of every business these days. In the post-COVID-19 digital economy, having a well-furnished and well-designed website is the key to success for every business.
A well-designed website can help you grow your business as a flawless design creates a great impression on your potential customers inducing them to take the desired action. Common web design mistakes, however, can quickly derail even your best efforts. And while you hear a lot about what to do when designing your website, do you know what not to do?
To give you an edge, we at Agency Partner Interactive have outlined the ten most common website design mistakes that can cause many businesses’ consequences. As your go-to full-service digital agency, we provide you with the industry-leading insights, dynamics, processes, and information along with trends you need to sail your business swiftly in the world of digital marketing.
Here are the top ten most common slip-ups against users and potential leads that visit your website regarding website design.
Ignoring the design-thinking approach.
One of the most notoriously common web design mistakes that web designers make is that they never realize design-thinking as an approach. Today, websites are all about functional and attractive designs with engaging content. However, designers often assume users’ things instead of carrying out extensive user research to understand user needs.
Understanding the design-thinking approach is the key to designing addictive experiences for users. Not sure what design-thinking is? It is a process that understands and identifies customer needs and motivations. It’s a mindset to empathize with the customers, detail their problems, and build solutions to solve them.
Aesthetic design mistakes.
Another web design mistake that most designers need to avoid is not strategizing the visual hierarchy of content, including CTAs. Well devised user journeys can be efficiently implemented by designing efficient visual hierarchies. This can be achieved by using appealing words, colors, images, and small animations.
Not enabling the right functionality.
Skipping the essential step of brainstorming, site mapping, and wireframing is the basis of several web design mistakes—one of the most prominent ones being the poorly configured menu and navigation layout. An improper navigational structure can drive away your website visitors as it’s a pain to scroll through randomly structured websites.
Not adhering to security first, responsive design approach.
Though website security is more of a technical architecture-dependent aspect, to an extent, it is also related to website design and user journeys. How designers depict the user journeys greatly influences how developers implement the designs. If website security is prioritized right from the design stage, many security loopholes can be avoided. For example, putting the business-critical data behind authentication and payment walls.
Too much content.
You run the risk of not delivering the solution your user is looking for with too little information. With too much information, you may end up building a solution that is hard to understand, consume, or access. In their sheer desperation, designers can overwhelm the visitors with resources and end up delivering a highly cluttered website. This approach continues to be successful because it has been trendy since the early days. And maybe to maintain consistency for its users, they still haven’t changed the website design. But you shouldn’t make the same mistake.
One of the common web design mistakes to avoid is not building scalable designs from the very beginning.
Not having a clear CTA is another common web design mistake. Websites are like marketing and sales funnels or pipelines. Your website visitor traverses within that funnel to go from the prospect stage to the converted client stage. Not giving a clear “call to action” at the appropriate places may lead to not converting many hot prospects.
Unconnected images & graphics.
We all know that images and graphics are a critical part of web design. When done well, images can clearly convey the message to the visitor. Done wrong, they can confuse the reader. Many businesses are still not paying attention to their images and are using low-quality and irrelevant images. Don’t make this mistake, as low-quality images will muck up your website and turn off your visitors, which will hurt your conversions.
Today it is possible to build websites in multiple languages and even add voice interface-based functionalities. But not many designers and website owners are utilizing these web capabilities. If a business has customers in different countries, then websites can be developed in multiple native languages to appeal to target customers. To boost accessibility, a voice-based interface can be added to the website.
Not embracing the power of analytics.
The design, like content, is a creative work that can be improved iteratively. Using sophisticated analytics tools, your website analytics administrator can give you data on how users navigate your website. Also, analytics testing can help you discover broken links. Based on the analytics input, you can find out the flaws in the user journey.
Page titles with low search engine visibility.
Search is the most important way users discover websites. Search is also one of the most important ways users find their way around individual websites. The humble page title is your primary tool to attract new visitors from search listings and help your existing users locate the specific pages they need.
At Agency Partner Interactive, we provide you with the insights, ideas, designs, and delivery flow you need to take your business further.
We are not your average digital agency. We work to understand your business and leverage technology and marketing solutions to generate revenue and increase profits. From SEO and PPC to WordPress and Magento, our web design, website development, branding, e-commerce, and marketing solutions are custom-tailored to suit your business strategy. Experience the best-in-class web design solutions, digital marketing services, and web designs from Agency Partner.
Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “Top 10 Mistakes in Web Design” instead. Using the power of Artificial Intelligence, we turned this blog into a video for you. Check it out below!
When you think of the internet today, you think of “social media,” don’t you? They weren’t always so interchangeable. One came before the other, but one forced the other to evolve. And with that, so did we.
Current Social Media Platforms in Order of Popularity:
As of Jan. 2021, according to a report published by Statista, Facebook alone recorded at least 2,740,000 active users. Not far behind were Youtube and WhatsApp, with Messenger, Instagram, and WeChat trailing behind. Tik Tok ranked seventh.
Where we can now find limited storage online for free due to services like cloud computing, there was a time when intellectual property as we know it, used to be stored somewhere physically, and there were costs associated with that, too. So much has changed since. Our livelihoods and businesses now depend on social media as a tool to keep bread and butter on the table, especially evident after the year that we just had.
This pressure to hop on the bandwagon that is the internet today has only grown since it’s debut, and it’s not stopping anytime soon.
Last it was recorded, about five million people were actively using social media, and that number continues to rise at exponential rates.
But, fret not. As your friends who keep constant watch over the digital market, we’ve compiled a list of tips, tricks, and tools for making social media work for you. Before we go on to overwhelm you with the facts, allow us to first remind you that everyone, every company, every small business that influences us today, had to start from somewhere.
Where to Begin:
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be everywhere at once. Start with where you are and with the audience you have today.
Say you’re on Instagram and it’s where you’ve found the most potential thus far, develop that before you branch out and add another network under your management. Professionals will go ahead and secure usernames and URLs in advance to not have to deal with the hassle of obtaining them later on. It’s also good marketing as it shows consistency across platforms.
Some general rules to keep in mind (maybe your bylaws, too):
Do Not: Treat people as leads.
Do: Yes, you want the close, you want the deliverables, the hard sell, but don’t miss out on the social aspect of social media. People hop online to take a break from their day, to find inspiration in a quote, a meme to share with loved ones.
Think: How are we engaging with our followers? What tone do we have online? Is there a big holiday coming up that we can prepare content for in advance, maybe a “Happy #NationalBringYourCatToWork Day?” tweet for the Twitter feed?
Do Not: Leave leads unattended.
Do: Follow through on the conversations you’re having. Socializing is important, but so is the service you’re providing, and studies show that 71% of users are more likely to buy from a company following a positive online experience. The whole appeal behind social media is the instant gratification that it delivers; you don’t have to wait to hear back from your audience. Set up a poll, they’ll tell you exactly how they feel and how they want it. Study those interactions.
Consumer data adds to any company’s intelligence, especially if they can make sense of it.
Think: Are we user-friendly? What’s our response time online? Where are we getting the most impressions for? Where are we seeing the least amount of engagement? Should we be allocating our resources elsewhere?
Do Not: Post to post.
Do: Create S.M.A.R.T. goals.
Social media can feel like a chore to the best of us, especially when we’re scrambling at the last minute for content or guilt-posting for not being active enough. And the smaller you are, the more hats you might find yourself wearing at work. Sales and general business goals are good to keep, but neglect creating a social media strategy and you’ll feel disconnected, unaligned with your goals.
Posting for the sake of posting is like shooting in the dark, but having a SMART outcome in mind will help keep you on track to achieve your desired goal.
Think: Do we have a digital marketing strategy in place? How much time can we afford to put aside for social media use each day? Is there a minimum and maximum we can set for day-to-day interactions? For example, one might choose to devote 15 minutes of their day to like and respond to 10 comments in total, with 5 re-shares spaced throughout. Is there a system here that I’m missing, that I could maybe automate for ease of use in the future? Would templates come in handy here?
These are all great questions to have answers to, especially as resources tend to trim down the smaller a business goes.
When was the last time you clicked on ‘Page 2’ of a Google search? Exactly. The web has a variety of algorithms at work, all unique to the browser or search engine you have running, not to mention that those backend formulas are also constantly undergoing updates.
Think: Are we using the right hashtags? Is our meta data clear and concise? Have we claimed our Google My Business (GMB) listing yet? What’s our page download speed looking like? Can we do better?
Next, as promised, the toolkit!
“A big business starts small.”
Since small businesses come in different shapes and sizes, each unique to the solution they’re offering, it’s only fair that we offer a few selections for you to explore in case one or even two out of four of our options don’t fit. Frankly, the internet is full of amazing resources just like these ones, but we hope this serves as a place for you to start…
We’re also on standby if you’d like to chat! Okay, here we go:
For Content Inspiration or Social Media Monitoring:
Most of these programs come free or low-of-cost, so they’re perfect for entrepreneurs with a tighter budget, but as your business grows, you might find that these tools no longer deliver due to their limited capabilities. At that point, it might be time to look at marketing ROI instead.
As always, we’ll be here for that conversation. In the meantime, feel free to explore our resource pool here.
Adam Rizzieri is a marketing expert, small business owner, and big tech critic. With over 15 years of experience in digital marketing, Rizzieri was one of the first media buyers on Facebook and among the first to work in the SAG-AFTRA New Media (WebTV) industry, serving the online advertorial needs of major advertisers.
He regularly contributes to national radio and television programs. Weekly, he can be heard speaking about big tech, Section 230, and small business topics on Fox, Entercom/CBS Radio, Cumulus Media, and iHeartRadio news stations.
Agency Partner Interactive became the 28th fastest-growing privately-owned company in Texas, according to Inc. Magazine. In 2021, Agency Partner was honored as part of the SMU Cox-Caruth Institute “Dallas 100” list of high-growth businesses.
What would you say is unique and/or challenging about the Amazon SEO industry?
The world of SEO includes consideration for three primary types of searches: navigational, informational, and transactional. The interesting challenge with Amazon SEO is that almost every search is transactional. To win the Amazon SEO game, marketers must know how to optimize product pages for relevance and performance.
Success depends on an artistic ability to utilize the right combination of keywords on the front- and back-ends of the product pages alongside expertise in choosing the best product pricing relative to the competition.
How does your agency stand out in a crowded market?
Our cross-channel marketing strategies help boost sales for Amazon sellers. But it’s not just about that one sale from a customer – it’s about how we help Amazon sellers get better access to their customers. One of the biggest complaints that we hear from most Amazon sellers is the fact that they do not get much access to their customers who purchase products through Amazon.
Our goal is to help Amazon sellers find creative ways also to acquire the customer data that Amazon typically keeps to itself. By offering certain things at the time of fulfillment, sellers can incentivize loyalty from existing customers and also open the door to future, direct sales that cut Amazon out.
Can you share a success story from a local digital marketing campaign centered around your area?
At the start of the pandemic, March 2020 is when things in our region shut down. One of our clients, a home services company, relies on a very local marketing target. A services provider, the client visits the homes of its customers to service their property. As other businesses shut down, we realized that our clients could still serve the needs of their customers in a way that was safe.
By combining a local SEO campaign with an aggressive pay-per-click (PPC) campaign, we were able to help our client gain the number of clicks, impressions, and conversions to gain record-high sales for four months in a row!
From 50 leads per month to 200 leads per month, measured through calls and form submissions, we helped to double our client’s business despite COVID-19.
What is the best advice you ever received in business?
Seek to understand every conflict as aggressively as you seek to understand every success. Working to understand ‘how we do it instead of looking back on ‘what we did’ has helped me improve our process and boost the quality of our work.
What do you think is the most important quality that makes an agency truly great?
Agility and experience are what make an agency great. To have experience implies that you have a team assembled of industry veterans that have ‘been there, done that, and who know what it will take to make a campaign be successful.
To be agile means that you can quickly adapt to a changing market, and you are able to rapidly create the right kind of value when it matters.
Any predictions for the future of SEO?
The future of SEO concerns me. There are some changes that are being discussed in Congress that may impact how and when private companies are able to make changes to what their search algorithms give preference to.
While I do not anticipate this happening in the United States anytime soon, legislation in Australia recently passed that dictates how companies like Google and Facebook can update their algorithms.
What is your reaction when you hear that “SEO is dying”?
When I hear “SEO is dying” I assume that it either came from a content writer who is seeking to utilize a provocative headline, or I assume that it is being spoken by an uninformed marketer or business manager.
The fact is that SEO is far from dead and it continues to be driven by great content and the pursuit of providing great user experiences.
What do you think is the most important contributor to keeping clients happy?
Aligning around shared goals, measuring success and discussing marketing campaigns during monthly strategy and analytics calls, and ensuring that marketing is considerate of all stakeholders contribute to keeping clients happy every month.
We like to set annual performance goals and then use our monthly meetings to measure our progress and make campaign updates as necessary. At the end of each year, the data doesn’t lie, and marketing’s success should be completely measurable.
COMPANIES FACE BOYCOTT THREATS AMID NEW VOTING LAWS
How Big Brands Address Social and Political Issues
This week, a few of the world’s largest companies are being pressured to express their opposition to a new voting law in Georgia.
Known as SB 202, Gov. Brian Kemp signed this 96-page bill into law in an effort to streamline elections at the local level while also ensuring integrity behind absentee ballots following concerns of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.
SB 202 requires an identification number to apply for an absentee ballot, cuts off absentee ballot applications 11 days before an election begins, limits the number of absentee ballot drop boxes, and makes it illegal for political campaigners to try and influence voters by handing out food or water as they stand in line.
While the bill passed with ease by Georgia state legislators, left-leaning activists are furious.
Now in Texas, Senate Bill 7 is on the table to prohibit efforts such as drive-thru voting and to place limitations on mail-in voting. While progressive activists point to this with alarm that it suppresses voters, state legislators like Senator Bryan Hughes indicate that SB 7 “standardizes and clarifies” voting rules to ensure “every Texan has a fair and equal opportunity to vote, regardless of where they live in the state.”
“Overall, this bill is designed to address areas throughout the process where bad actors can take advantage, so Texans can feel confident that their elections are fair, honest and open,” Hughes said.
As a digital agency, we are not in the business of public policy and we don’t intend to hash out or litigate the details of these new laws. We’ll simply emphasize that the voting laws have been met with controversy and now some of America’s largest brands are being pressured by activists to take a position on the issue. Some of those companies include Delta Airlines, Coca-Cola, Aflac, and The Home Depot, all of which are now facing boycott threats.
Back Office Political and Social Conversations
Companies have to navigate a fine line when responding to controversial political and social issues. There is always a risk of taking the wrong position and for some, it’s a nightmare come true when social media is raging with demands for a boycott of your products or services.
Company CEOs, CMOs, or Vice Presidents of Communications are tasked with coming up with a suitable public response. In most cases, the goal is to mitigate any threats of actual or perceived loss. In extremely rare cases, companies like Nike find a way to leverage a social issue to exploit the market for massive growth.
The truth is that in 2021 brands are penalized for saying the wrong thing, but they are also penalized for saying nothing at all.
Inside HR departments, there is always pressure to not alienate the viewpoints of employees or expose the company to avoidable legal risks. Among the marketing teams, degradation to conversion rates or falling sales numbers spark a series of white-boarding sessions to brainstorm new messaging that may send that growth chart up and to the right. The reality is that sometimes there is no win and none of us are Nike.
The Rise of Politics and Business
There was a time when businesses stayed out of politics, for the most part, donating equal sums to both Democrats and Republicans more so as a gesture of support for our democratic process than as an endorsement of policies.
Starting in the 1980s, the “corporate social responsibility” movement brought attention to the sourcing and fulfillment of products, pushing for ethical trade and commerce. Corporate social responsibility is a management concept that companies follow to integrate social and/or environmental issues into their business operations.
Often this includes a dedicated business effort concerned with promoting philanthropy, environmental conversation, diversity and fair labor practices, and charitable giving or volunteerism.
For most of the 1980s and 1990s, however, the public focus was on how businesses did things to fulfill their core value proposition and improve their communities, less so than their explicit endorsement of political policy positions.
Influence of 24 Hour News and Social Media
There was once a time when CNN actually reported the news.
In fact, CNN’s 24-hour coverage of United States foreign policy late into the Cold War transformed how the public was informed of world and domestic events. News coverage kept an hourly focus on politically divisive and polarizing topics.
There was also a time when Facebook was for keeping in touch with friends and family.
Compounded by the sharing and commenting that takes place among daily active users, the frequency of politically charged discussions happens by the second.
Blame It On Social Media Marketing
With the market now conditioned for a high frequency of incoming updates, brands turn to social media platforms to stay relevant and connected. But even well-intended social media marketing teams face unexpected backlash.
For example, immediately following the election, Gap, Inc. released a social post that intended to show solidarity with both Democrats and Republicans with their “unity hoodie” Tweet.
Social media was intended to build loyalty and boost sales for businesses. Thankfully, it is still very capable of doing that. Unfortunately, it has also clouded the lines of “church and state,” and “business and politics” in such a way that presents business leaders with increasingly impossible, sometimes unfair situations to navigate.
Boycotts Don’t Really Hurt Big Brands
All too often we hear advocates from the Left and the Right demanding the boycott of a big brand.
Activists want to use commerce and weaponize consumers to hurt their opposition. That is exactly what is going on in Georgia right now, and we may also see it come to Texas and other states in the near future.
But this is nothing for companies to pay too much attention to. All sides are guilty of calling for boycotts and they are often short-lived and counterproductive.
In fact, some companies even see revenue growth amid the usual hysteria that might exist on MSNBC, CNN, and social media.
Goya Foods is a great example of this. In July of 2020, Goya CEO Robert Unanue praised former President Trump at a White House event, sparking backlash from Democrats such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. As social media was set ablaze with demands to #BoycottGoya the company enjoyed $92 million of free publicity and Mr. Unanue went so far as to call AOC his “employee of the month” for their spike in product sales.
Most of the time, such as in the case of former President Trump’s call for a Goodyear boycott, these situations are short-lived. Why? Because we have a 24-hour news cycle and social media.
It doesn’t take long for a newer, juicier topic to start trending on social media.
Companies That Do Not Want To Be Political
Companies that do not take a position expose themselves to some degree of risk.
They may be victim to the internet trolls that live on Twitter, the keyboard of a journalist, or the demands of an activist. The truth is that the larger your company is, the less concern you should have about any long-term impact.
By not taking a position, leadership may be viewed as having flexible values or none at all.
The Goodyear boycott may be viewed as an example of this and there was no significant or long-term impact to the company’s financial performance.
So if your business strives to be excellent at whatever your product or service is, if you choose to stay out of politics, just keep delivering great customer service, quality, and do so at a reasonable price. Do that and studies show that you will be fine to the extent that your employees are well-taken care of.
Companies That Take a Side But Are Not Authentic
Companies that take a side but do not practice what they preach face degradation to their credibility.
The NBA is an example of this. On one hand, the NBA painted “Black Lives Matter” on their court and ran campaigns centered on social justice. On the other hand, the NBA continues to do business with China despite rampant human rights atrocities, child exploitation, and a state-sanctioned genocide against Uighur Muslims. There are so many bad things to point to, but the truth is that following government-mandated shutdowns, fans are eager to return to normalcy and want to attend and view games.
Nike is another enterprise that has made some exceedingly terrible decisions, yet the company is more valuable than ever. Today, the social justice warriors that run Nike preach of their commitment to fighting “against discrimination in communities worldwide” but the fact is that since the 1970s, the company has been accused of relying on sweatshops and slave-labor to produce their products in China and other developing nations.
Big brands seem to frequently take policy positions but they easily fail the authenticity test.
Unlike small companies, enterprises employ hundreds or thousands of people with diverse backgrounds and viewpoints. When something that is unjust is being mandated or discussed in a meeting, big companies should expect that a whistleblower will share this type of information with the public. We saw that with Goodyear and we also saw that with racist diversity training that was being imposed by Coca-Cola in February.
In addition to the natural diversity of thought that exists in larger groups of people, big brand leadership also has to report to shareholders and bankers during quarterly earnings calls. They face a great deal of scrutiny to drive monthly financial performance and make decisions based on that pressure. Sometimes business decisions are made in the best interest of performance metrics, excluding the goals of social initiatives.
Given the size and nature of these businesses, it is completely unrealistic to expect an entire employee base to share the same values and opinions as those who live an alternate reality in upper management.
The truth is that a big brand has a much more difficult time hiring around shared values and/or political and social inclinations.
Does Advocacy Change Consumer’s Minds About You?
So the question then is: “does political advocacy have the power to change consumer’s minds, employer hiring abilities, and influence the long-term success of most businesses?”
Recent history would say “yes and no.”
The truth is that corporate advocacy is much less impactful than you might think.
Data shows that Millennials and Gen-Zs will prefer to do business with companies that share similar social and political positions but when it comes down to it, people will almost always purchase whichever product is most convenient, available, and well-priced.
How We Do It
In our office, the only approach is one that focuses on two words: Mutual Respect.
The best course of action for any business is one that respects the diverse viewpoints of its employees and customers.
We believe in allowing our colleagues the freedom, respect, and trust to work as individuals, as citizens, toward creating a social and political impact on our society. As a business, we strive to deliver outstanding online experiences that help our clients achieve specific business goals… Like 99.9% of the businesses out there, we are far from being a public policy thinktank and won’t pretend to act like we read every line of every piece of new legislation.
We hope our legislators do, but we know they also do not in some cases.
During election cycles, we know that as a business, our role is simply to sit back and facilitate a democratic process. This means giving our team a half-day of Paid Time Off to make a thoughtful, unhurried voting decision.
Management does not impose or indoctrinate beliefs about who the team should or should not vote for. Leave that to the campaigns and thinktanks!
Are You Struggling With Your Own Product & Branding Decisions?
Agency Partner’s award-winning team works to align business needs with the market. We utilize the power of digital marketing to measure consumer behavior, test advertising concepts, and optimize a technology and marketing budget around a specific set of business goals.