Have you ever been scrolling through a website and suddenly your view is blocked by a huge advert? Even worse, have you ever been forced to watch at least 10 seconds of said advert before it’ll show you the website you wanted to visit?

If you have found yourself irritated by these intrusive adverts, you’ll be pleased to know that Google Chrome recently launched a built-in ad blocker feature. However, by Google’s own admission, this is more of a ‘filter’ rather than a complete blocker, as adverts that comply with the Better Ads Standards will be able to continue advertising.

If you do advertise your business on the web, this may strike a little fear into your heart. However, this ad blocker is designed to only stop the most annoying adverts which aim to distract users from the website with hard to click exit buttons and other un-user-friendly experiences.

Website operators were given a few months prior to the Chrome ad blocker launch to comply with the new rules and have been given 30 days after the release to conform. If they do not, Google will block both publishers and websites which display annoying adverts from all advertising.

So, what type adverts does the Chrome Ad Blocker stop?

Google is working by the standards set by the Coalition for Better Ads which has identified through testing the ‘ad experiences that fall beneath a threshold of consumer acceptability’.

On desktop, these include:

  • Pop-up Ads – these adverts pop up as you scroll down a webpage and block user’s view of the content. 
  • Auto-playing Video Adverts with Sound – this type of advert starts playing with sound without any sort of interaction. 
  • Prestitial Ads with a Countdown - appearing before the page has fully loaded, these adverts force a user to wait a set amount of time before they can close the advert. 
  • Large Sticky Ads – these adverts stick to the bottom of a webpage, taking up 30% or more of the screen.

On a mobile, the blocked adverts include:

  • Pop-up Ads – these adverts are the same as the desktop version and block part or the entire screen.
  • Prestitial Ads – showing before the content has fully loaded, these adverts stop users reaching the content they’re looking for right away.
  • Adverts with a Density Higher than 30% - if an advert is larger than 30%, it will be blocked by the ad blocker.
  • Flashing Animated Ads – this type of advert animates or flashes in an attempt to distract users from the content on the page.
  • Auto-playing Video Ads with Sound – same as the desktop version, any advert that auto-plays sound without a user’s interaction will be blocked.
  • Postitial Ads with Countdown – this intrusive format forces a user to wait a number of seconds before they can see the content on the page.
  • Full Screen Scroll over Ads – this advert type hovers on top of the pages main content and hides it from view. They often take up more than 30% of the page and force a user to scroll past it.
  • Large Sticky Ads – this advert also blocks the user's view of the page's content and takes up more than 30% of the pages real estate.

You can read more about each of these advert types in the Coalition for Better Ads Standards.

Why was the Chrome Ad Blocker introduced?

So, you may be wondering how blocking adverts could benefit a company who received an eye-watering £95.4 billion US dollars in advertising revenue last year.

Vice President of Google Chrome, Rahul Roy-Chowdhury, said in his recent blog that Google has ‘seen more and more people express their discontent with annoying ads by installing ad blockers, but blocking all ads can hurt sites or advertisers who aren’t doing anything disruptive.’

In simple terms, Google does not want users downloading third-party software to block the adverts. They believe providing a better user experience is more important than losing money from these intrusive ad formats.

However, as one of the tech superpowers of the world, it’s highly unlikely Google introduced the Chrome ad blocker without their best interest at heart.
As hundreds of thousands of people have installed ad blockers over the years which block all adverts, not just the irritating ones, Google’s introduction of their own ad blocker could actually benefit advertisers.

If users feel less inclined to install an ad blocker because Chrome is already sifting away the most irritating ones, more people will see the advertisers who actually fulfil the advertising standards. The companies who rely on ads to make money may also benefit from this update, as their revenue will not be annihilated by the growth of third-party ad blockers which block all of their adverts.

If Google has control over which adverts are blocked online, both advertisers and Google may stand to benefit from this change.

Adblock, the most popular third-party advert blocking tool, actively blocks all adverts on the web. However, Adblock still allows ‘whitelisted’ adverts, which publishers have to pay to use. Unsurprisingly, Google is one of those publishers who choose to pay a fee which allows their adverts to surpass the block. This fee could be part of the reason Google introduced this update, alongside their ambition to make the web more user-friendly.

Furthermore, the whitelisted format Adblock uses could potentially be part of Google’s long-term plan with this update. If a website or publisher is blocked from advertising entirely due to one bad advert, would there be a type of ‘whitelist’ feature introduced to allow them to advertise again? Only time will tell if Google plans to introduce a feature like this.

Will the Chrome Ad Blocker affect me? 

If your website does not advertise or display adverts in the aforementioned formats, you will be unaffected by this update. Websites which only use the acceptable standards of advertising may even find they benefit from this update as their adverts are more likely to be seen.

However, if you use the Display Network for prospecting or remarketing purposes, you may find some of your adverts could be blocked due to where they are placed. For example, if your adverts usually display on a website which Google decides shows too many annoying adverts via Adsense, your ads may be blocked on this website.

Alternatively, if you let publishers advertise on your website, you may want to check they comply with the Better Ads Standards. Google has introduced a way you can check on the new and updated search console, called the ‘Ad Experience Report’.

You can access your Ad Experience Report here to find out if your website displays any adverts users deem annoying. If your website does not pass this test, you have 30 days to sort out any non-compliant advertising and you can request a re-review.

Here’s a video from Google to help you use the Ad Experience Report.

With the introduction of the Chrome ad blocker, it’s more important than ever to ensure your advertising is done right. Our experienced PPC team specialises in this subject and will ensure your adverts comply with the standards. Find out more about how our PPC team can help you here. 

Voice Search: Has It Changed SEO?

Do you have a voice assistant in your home? If you do, you’re not alone. It is estimated that around 8.2 million people own an Amazon Echo device and Google Home is not too far behind, selling more than one Google Home device every second since October 2017.

Furthermore, a study found that 40% of adults now use voice search at least once per day. Voice search has managed to find its way into every aspect of our lives, from finding out the age of a film star to sourcing the cheapest flights. With a reach this large, it is inevitable that the world of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) would edit and improve its techniques in order to stay on top of the changes voice search has brought.

Voice search and the skills of voice assistants are constantly changing as the teams behind them aim to improve their usability. Recently, debate surrounding advertising on voice assistants has started to heat up, so we thought we would take a look back at how voice search has affected SEO, and where we think it might go in the future.

More...

Bespoke Online Solutions

Truly successful online businesses don't just need a website that's user-friendly and optimised for search engines. More often than not, they need specialised functionality, a significant level of automation, comprehensive administration portals, integration with other business solutions...the list is long, and of course, every business has its own specific requirements.

In this post, we'd like to show you 10 quick and simple examples of the bespoke online solutions that we've created and implemented for our clients.

More...

When past apprentice winner Ricky Martin came to us asking for help on a new project we were more than happy to help. We originally designed the Hyper Recruitment Solutions website back in 2012 and have been working closely with them ever since to make sure their website continues to grow alongside their business. 

Hyper Recruitment Solutions is a recruitment agency that specialises in scientific and technological jobs, aiming to pair talented and passionate job seekers with the latest job opportunities in the science industry. 

Ricky came to us with the idea of creating a fun and useful quiz that will answer the question "What Type of Scientist Am I?”. So, he gave us full autonomy over the format, design and questions, which our team relished.

We planned the quiz, wrote the questions, designed the characters and developed the website, and frankly, we thoroughly enjoyed it!

We designed the quiz based on a personality test, with 10 questions and 5 potential answers for each. Based on the answers chosen we would suggest which type of scientist they would be most suited to. This would not only give people an entertaining way to see what job they may be well suited for, but also create more brand awareness for HRS. 

The task included creating a lot of content from scratch, which included:

  • Researching the scientific roles and developing appropriate questions and answers for the quiz
  • Designing the algorithm for determining the result of the quiz
  • Writing content for each scientist profile 
  • Designing 20 characters for the scientist profiles 
  • Designing the host of the quiz, in the likeness of Ricky himself
  • Developing the code for the quiz

If you want to try the quiz for yourself you can follow this link:

What Type of Scientist Am I?

Following the design and development of the quiz, we also helped with marketing once live. This involved creating a social media plan that would extend its reach by making use of the quiz's share functionality. We also utilised Facebook advertising and Twitter to get the quiz out into the industry. 

If you would like to talk to us about quirky marketing techniques for your business then we’d love to hear from you. We are not only high-quality bespoke website designers, but we also have over a decade of experience in the world of online marketing and advertising techniques. Contact us today to discuss what we can do for your business.

Top .NET and Ecommerce Developers

We at Designer Websites are very proud to announce that we've been featured in not one but two lists of the UK's very best web developers. Clutch, who describe themselves as a 'data-driven field guide to business buying decisions', included Designer Websites Ltd in the following lists:

As ecommerce specialists, we were particularly pleased to learn that we'd made Clutch's list of the UK's leading ecommerce developers. Our experienced designers and developers work hard to provide high-quality ecommerce solutions that are tailored to each individual client, and it feels great to be recognised for the quality of the work we do.

Visit our Ecommerce Web Design page to find out more about the bespoke ecommerce solutions we provide here at Designer Websites.

More Useful Links:

UPDATE 30/01/18: We have also been named among Clutch's Top UK Inbound Marketing Agencies!

What Does The Facebook Newsfeed Update Mean For Marketers

Aah Facebook, from fake news to dog memes you have been keeping us on our toes.

Recently Facebook has been ruffling feathers of its advertisers, which seems strange considering the huge amounts of revenue it creates for the social media mogul. But how much will this affect the way we use Facebook to reach out to our customers? Why the sudden change?

Well, a recent Facebook announcement explains how this isn't a random change, it's their attempt to return to their roots. Mark Zuckerburg announced how:

 

"We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us"

 

But Mr Zuckerburg explains that this is something that Facebook has lost sight of, and it's time to change that. He goes on to explain how they would like to make a positive platform where its users share 

 

"relevant content [that's] helping you have more meaningful social interactions."  

 

So what does that mean for the newsfeed?

"As we roll this out, you'll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard -- it should encourage meaningful interactions between people."

 

That's apparently enough to have marketers and advertisers shaking in their boots. Sharing useful, meaningful content that people want to see and share? That doesn't sound very us? To an extent, it's not.

Most Facebook users are used to seeing brands flogging their products and services and most users have grown accustomed to scrolling away from this newsfeed clutter. But what about the occasional conversion this can encourage? Is it really as bad as everyone seems to think?

As usual, the Facebook announcement itself is quite lengthy, but lacking specifics that many marketers are waiting for. For instance, none of the official announcements have specified if this will this affect paid ads. Presumably in some shape or form, but no one has actually mention paid advertising, so maybe those who use paid Facebook ads won't notice too much of a change.  However, for those who use Facebook to reach out to people for free, it seems like we'll have to take a different approach.

This video may clear things up a bit more for us all:

 

 

 

Okay, so Facebook plans to rank content depending on how useful and meaningful this post will be to you, with person to person posts ranking more highly above business and brand posts. Facebook has previously brushed off criticism about its influence during elections and other news scandals and have avoided accusations concerning social media's negative effect on people's mental health. However, this change seems to be an attempt to combat the negative influence Facebook can have and instead become a more positive platform

What does this mean for marketers? 


Honestly? We can't be 100% sure. As with most announcements concerning the digital marketing world, there a rush of panic before we receive all the information. Until these changes roll out at some point this year we won't know the full effect. However, we can prepare in a few ways:

  • Quality over quantity seems to be key. - Posting lots won't matter if it’s useless spam. Facebook will value posts that will encourage meaningful interactions, with other people and the post itself. Start creating content that not only shows off your brand but really helps or interests the reader. It something we should all be doing already, but now it's time to really put your back into it. 
  • No more clickbait - It just won't work, it won't show up on a newsfeed so there's really no use in it. Besides, titling your blog "You'll NEVER believe this!" to reveal something mundane and misleading is just going to bother readers and do your brand more harm than good. Time to stop with the "Share/like/comment for your chance to win!" posts too, Facebook will just outsmart this transparent tactic.  
  • Use the "Prioritise Friend" feature - you'll have to encourage followers to use this tool, we imagine it will take some convincing but if you can it means you'll still show up first in all your most valuable customers feeds.

Although this may complicate how easy it is to get your brand out there on social media, it may result in more meaningful responses for marketers too. Long has it been difficult to prove that social media leads to conversions, so perhaps better quality content will help you connect with those with a genuine interest in your business.

In theory, this change will value genuine interactions between people, so that when a happy customer of yours recommends you it will actually count for more.

As we've said, the other online marketing experts and ourselves can only make educated guesses as what is to come, you'll have to watch this space to see the real impact. As always, when we know, you'll know.


If you need any help with your online marketing strategy we are more than happy to help. Call our team of friendly experts for advice on your website design or digital marketing. Please get in contact with us today by clicking here

 

Whether you're a Millennial, a Generation Z, or just someone who spends a lot of time online, in this day and age we now expect to be able to get what we want almost instantly. Need somewhere to eat? Google it. Need new headphones? Amazon it. Need to get hold of someone? Facebook them

The internet has given us all the expectation that instant gratification can be had at the push of a button, but how impulsive are we when it comes to parting with our money? How has the online search game changed the way we shop?

Well, although it is much easier now to shop online than it is to elbow your way through in-store January sales, many will still choose to research a product before buying. This will vary between shoppers; some will choose to look at a product in a shop and find it cheaper online, and others will do some online research before going into stores. Either way, online research and instore/online shopping now come in hand in hand and that's something to keep in mind when creating your online marketing campaign.

Here are some of the ways search effects the buying process and what you can do to capture this traffic: 

Online Inspiration

People want, but they don't always know what they want. It's human nature; we get an idea but we want to know what everyone else is doing before making a final decision. So to start the research process we turn to a search engine; "cool room inspiration", "Secret Santa ideas", "hair inspiration", sound familiar?

With so many options to browse through its no wonder that people look online for ideas when they at a loss as to where to start.

Pinterest has built its empire on people's desire to be inspired. Losing the need for any written information, this visual platform gives us everything we need to get inspired all in one place. Social media is a great way to capture customers in their research stage. For visual inspiration, Pinterest and Instagram are great. To extend your reach and try to inspire those who didn't know they wanted to be inspired, Facebook and Twitter are very helpful too. Use hashtags to appear on relevant searches and capture this attention.

For more product specific searches, such as "flooring inspiration" a blog is a fantastic way to inspire and inform at the same time. Blogs are a vital way of not only inspiring customers but also for getting them to the products you actually sell, which is often where social media can fall short. 

Relevant, well-ranking blogs don't only attract organic website traffic, they can also give the customer examples of options they can get from you. Although they still may not be ready to make an actual purchase, your brand will be in their mind when they do.

Research and Rethink 

We want answers and we want them now, and luckily it's actually as easy as that. Of course, the internet is full of bias and misguided articles, but we still seem to trust a lot of what Google tells us. For instance, let's look at two of the biggest searches from the Christmas period:

"Which is better, Android or Apple smartphones?"

"Should I get an Xbox or a PlayStation?"

So following my initial search of "which is better, Android or Apple smartphones", Google gives me three relevant, recent articles. However, none of which give me my answer in the visible description, I could click but with my need for instant gratification my eye quickly goes to the "People also ask" snippet which gives me an instant answer: 

The top result in the snippet box actually seems a lot more bias, with a leading question of "Is an iPhone better than an Android". It seems like the same question I asked originally, but before i've even read the description it gives me the impression that Apple has the edge, later confirmed by the description, so I don't even need to read the full article. Despite this being an older article than the top result, it answers my question quicker. 

Without even searching for my next question, Google anticipates that I'm also needing advice regarding my Xbox/PS4 dilemma, another 2016 article lets me know that PlayStation comes out on top. So there we go, I'm getting an iPhone and a PlayStation 4 for Christmas (lucky me, right?). 

Of course, it's not as simple as that, many people will do further research before parting with the money particularly for these pricey items. Which is exactly why blogs are still so important for capturing organic traffic for those who do want more information.

However, it does highlight how important Google featured snippets have become, which is why we have previously written a blog about how to capture a snippet. With any of these products, a large part of it is personal preference, but for those with no opinion formed already, search research may be the thing that swings them either way. 

It's important to find out what your target audience is trying to research and create useful content that answers their questions, remain informative and interesting to get your opinion across - and do it quickly.  

Browse before you buy

In a way, search does also make the selling process far more competitive than when people shop in person. Although you may be able to find a product a couple of quid cheaper somewhere else, half the battle is won by the time you're in the store. Often, it's easier to be slightly unaware that a product is available for a couple pounds cheaper in a different store than to physically go store to store checking, and having to go back to find wherever the cheapest one was. 

But that's easy to do online so can make all the difference. It takes seconds to whip out your mobile phone and find out where to find the cheapest deal can be found. Amazon even makes a point of pointing out to you that you can find it cheaper somewhere else, which is great for me as a consumer as I look for that new PlayStation 4 of mine: 

Now I can see the cheapest option, the reputation of the seller and the delivery cost. If I'm quick I can pay a bit extra and get it tomorrow - instant gratification indeed.

Clearly, this puts pressure on ecommerce websites who now need to stand out in an over-saturated online market. Be sure to compare your prices and deals with your competitors, ask yourself: How much am I charging for my product/service? Is it still a good deal after delivery? Does my website make the product/service stand out from my competitors?

We recently did a blog on how to make your ecommerce website stand out, which you may find helpful. You can find it by clicking here

In Conclusion

The way we research online before means that creating relevant content is more important than ever to not only attract traffic to your website but to inform potential customers that what you're selling is worth buying, whether they buy from you instore or online.

Inspiring them to aspire to have your product/service is the first step, then its time to explain why you're the best place to make that purchase. Keep an eye on your competitors, the quality of your website and products, and what your customers need from you in order to make the most of search

If you want any advice on your online marketing, from website design to SEO we can help. Contact us today to get help from our friendly specialists.

New Label Source Website

Label Source are a UK-based business who supply a comprehensive range of labels, tags and signs to customers all over the world. Their product range is too diverse to list in full right now, but here are just a few examples of what they offer:

  • Asset tags
  • Electrical warning labels
  • Workplace safety signs
  • Pipeline identification tape
  • Quality assurance labels
  • Warehouse markers
  • Shipping labels

Label Source recently asked us to give their old website a new, more modern-looking design; more specifically, they wanted to make it easier for smartphone and tablet users to view Label Source's products and make purchases online.

We're pleased to announce that Label Source's new and improved website is now live - visit www.labelsource.co.uk now to see how it looks.

What's new?

In addition to the clean, professional new look that we created for the Label Source website, we also made the following changes:

  • Responsive Design - As mentioned above, one of this project's key aims was to ensure a good user experience on smartphones and other mobile devices. The new Label Source site has a fully responsive design that looks great and is easy to navigate on screens of all sizes.

  • HTTPS Encryption - The entire Label Source website is now under HTTPS (as opposed to HTTP). This means that all information entered on the Label Source site is now sent securely, so the company's customers can place orders safe in the knowledge that their data is encrypted.

  • Improved Back End - We also updated the back end of the Label Source website to make it easier for the company to manage their product options and category pages.

Do you have an ecommerce website that's in need of a redesign? Contact Designer Websites for a quotation!

A successful ecommerce business is a complex collection of business processes, automation and manpower. This varies significantly among industries, but one thing is for certain, you need to rank well in the major search engines in order to achieve high-volume sales. Otherwise, you’ll be dependent upon advertising platforms like Google AdWords or Bing Ads.

However, ranking on page 1 of Google or Bing is not as simple as it might sound - especially if your products are very popular e.g. mobile phones. The fundamental requirements to rank well are a high-quality, user-friendly, very fast and mobile friendly website. Once you have these in order, you can then utilise SEO techniques to further optimise your website for higher ranking.

If your website is built on an old platform, loads slowly or is not secure, then you need to address these issues before wasting time trying to optimise your site any further. Here are some tools for testing the quality of your website:

Now, let’s go ahead and assume you have a good quality website and you just want to focus on the further optimisations. Below you will find a few simple techniques that you can utilise to enhance your chances of higher rankings for your ecommerce website.

Research and use unique keywords per page

You can and should research keywords for your industry, products, services, etc. Find out how your potential customer searches for your products or service by utilising tools like:

Once you have your list of keywords it’s a good idea to map each keyword phrase to a specific page on your ecommerce website. For this, we would recommend that you use a spreadsheet as it can get lengthy and disorganised unless in some sort of manageable order. 

Now, a big no-no in the world of optimisation is duplication, whether that’s duplicate paragraphs or just duplicate keywords. If you’re targeting the same keyword with multiple pages then Google will likely choose to only display one of those pages in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page), which may mean you miss out on opportunities to be seen.

For example, let’s say that you have an ecommerce website that sells safety harnesses. You could just label all of the products a “safety harness” and still be factually correct, but the chances are you likely have a “Climbing Harness”, a “Rescue Harness”, a “Fall Arrest Harness” and so forth. Therefore, in order to capitalise on a wider number of searches, you should first find out how your customers search for safety harnesses. Look at how they phrase their search and even the types of questions they ask surrounding that product. The next step is to make sure you address each of those searches with a page for that product, using the keyword phrase that you’ve identified. 

I know the question you’re about to ask... in those examples, isn’t the word harness repeated? Well-spotted. Yes, it is, but rest assured that Google is not that pedantic and will be able to tell the difference in your meaning (they’re quite clever in that way). Duplication is usually picked up from repetition of the same words in the same format. So, if you try to rank 2 pages for the keyword “Rescue Safety Harness” then you would be better off setting the copy on one page as “Confined Space Harness” and the other as “Rescue Safety Harness”. This way, Google will see the difference and potentially rank both pages, whereas if both are just set as the latter then it is highly likely that only 1 of those pages will be indexed.

Ecommerce websites quite often have hundreds of pages for each of their products, so this may seem like a tedious task. However, you should see this as an opportunity to rank for hundreds of different keywords. If you optimise your copy well enough, you may find your website reaches first page positions for a wide range of searches, which will result in much higher volumes of traffic.

Depending on the amount of copy on the page, it is usually recommended to stick to just one keyword per product page. This will allow you to target that keyword more efficiently, than if you were attempting to target multiple keywords at once. If you are instead writing a category page or a home page which usually has more content, you can try to target 2 or 3 keywords if you feel it’s necessary.

Ensure every page has a unique title tag/meta description

When looking at the SERPs, your title tag is your first opportunity to get your consumers attention. The meta description is then the snippet of information which will convince your consumers to click through to the website. This is why it is so important to get these aspects right. 

Google specifies that it is ‘important to have distinct, descriptive titles for each page of your site’. This is because it needs to be clear to the consumer what that page entails and shouldn’t be too similar to a page displaying an entirely different product. It is also important to try and include your chosen keyword in your page title and meta tag as this will clearly show Google what your page is about. 

Google recommends branding your titles with your company name, but this is optional and certainly doesn’t have to be done on every page. We recommend including this at the end of the title if you have enough space for it (we recommend no more than 63 characters including spaces), and also separate it with a delimiter such as a hyphen, colon or pipe. This means a good title tag will look something like this:

SEO Tips for Ecommerce Websites | Designer Websites

Your meta description also needs to clearly explain what your page is about in a couple of sentences. In previous years, meta descriptions were only allowed to be around 160 characters before they were truncated by Google. Now, new SERP changes mean meta descriptions can now be displayed up to 278 characters. This should be more than enough length to include at least one instance of your keyword and create a unique and concise description of the contents of the page. 

Utilise an integrated blog to its full extent

A blog on your ecommerce website is not only good for keeping your customers updated, it’s a great way to target more keywords. When you’re planning each page of your website and choosing unique keywords, there are sure to be a few that don’t make the cut. These can be targeted with blog posts.

Plan ahead and write blog posts around these keywords in an attempt to bring more users through to the website. Try to provide informative content which will help your customers in some respect. This will not only help bring customers to the website, it will also create a level of trust between your company and the consumer.

Another way blog posts can be utilised is to try and achieve the ‘featured snippet’ on the Google SERPs. Even if you’ve not heard of featured snippets before, you’ve most likely come across one. This is the result that usually appears at the top when you ask google a question.

Here’s an example:

To achieve a featured snippet, you need to answer the question better than anyone else. It needs to be clear to Google that you have answered the question as accurately and concisely as possible. That means getting straight to the point and no filler writing (or keyword stuffing).

Featured snippets have been referred to as search position #0 as they come above the search position #1. It has also been found that achieving the featured snippet can increase traffic to your ecommerce website by as much as 500%, in some cases.

Utilising your blog to target keywords and attempt to achieve the featured snippet is a great way of increasing traffic to your website and improving ranking through the use of SEO techniques.

We hope these SEO tips for Ecommerce websites have helped you plan your next steps in the digital marketing world. If you are looking for professional help with your ecommerce website, then please get in touch anytime. 

 

Ecommerce Website Design Ideas

When you're trying to succeed in the world of ecommerce, there are lots of different factors to consider. Nowadays, most online shoppers expect ecommerce websites to meet each of the following criteria:

  • Secure checkout system
  • Appealing, mobile-friendly design
  • Minimal loading times
  • User-friendly site navigation
  • Extensive product information (so that people know exactly what they're buying)
  • Competitive prices
  • Positive feedback from other customers
  • Ability to contact the seller with ease

Consumer trust is key to the success of any ecommerce website, and you will probably need to tick all of the above boxes in order to earn the trust of the average online shopper in this day and age.

With this in mind, here are three helpful ecommerce website design ideas from the ecommerce experts here at Designer Websites:

Use engaging, good-quality product images.

Most people won't purchase something online unless they're certain of what they're paying for. Detailed product descriptions are important, but a picture is worth a thousand words, and a few good images will generally sell your product a lot more effectively than a few paragraphs of text.

Both quality and quantity are important here. You need detailed images that make your items look enticing, but you should also try to offer a variety of images for each product. Try to cover all bases: one no-frills image that clearly shows what the product looks like; one or two photos of the product in use; a picture to show what the product looks like in its packaging, and another to show what's actually inside the box. You get the idea - your product images should aim to answer every question the average customer might ask.

Of course, you should also ensure that the images on your website aren’t so large that they slow the whole page down. Loading speed is a critical issue for Internet users these days, and even an extra second or two can have a disastrous impact on your website’s conversion rate, so make sure those beautiful images are optimised for a smooth, speedy browsing experience!

Put lots of emphasis on customer reviews.

We all seek approval from other people, and this tendency can be clearly seen in the behaviour of online shoppers: by and large, we're far more likely to buy something if several other people say they did the same and had a good experience.

For this reason, you not only need to gather reviews from your satisfied customers, you need to put those reviews right where everyone will see them. Your ecommerce website design should ensure that every potential customer sees all the 5-star ratings and positive comments that your other customers have left. It should also be clear how many people have reviewed each product, since a 5-star average rating is a lot more persuasive if multiple people have given the product full marks.

Shoppers see positive reviews as seals of approval - they have a hugely reassuring effect on the potential buyer, so make sure those ratings and recommendations aren't buried way down at the bottom of the page.

Make it easy for users to find what they're looking for.

The modern Internet user is an impatient creature, and the more barriers you put between them and what they're looking for, the more likely it becomes that they'll leave your website and shop with one of your competitors instead. As we mentioned before, it's important to ensure that your pages load quickly, but it's just as important to make the journey from one page to the next as seamless as possible.

This can be achieved in a number of different ways:

  • Make sure your website's search function works properly, and ensure that the search bar is easy to find no matter what page the user is on

  • List 'related products' (or similar) on your product pages. That way, if the user decides that the product they're looking at isn't quite what they need, it's easy for them to find a suitable alternative.

  • Put important information - your delivery options, your returns policy, and so on - somewhere that's reasonably easy to spot so users don't waste time trying to find it.

  • When designing your site hierarchy (i.e. your categories and sub-categories), put yourself in the shoes of your average user and try to come up with a sensible structure that's easy to navigate even if you've never seen it before.

  • Make your homepage as helpful as possible. It may be tempting to simply fill your homepage with the products you're most keen to sell, but this may not be best for the user. Again, you should endeavour to put yourself in their shoes: if someone arrives on your homepage, are they looking for a specific product or piece of information, or are they just browsing for ideas? Do they want to know about your company, or do they want to see the newest additions to your range?

Essentially, your aim should be to minimise the number of clicks / actions the user has to perform in order to achieve their goal.

If you need a bespoke ecommerce website designed by professionals, we at Designer Websites are the people to call. Request an ecommerce quote here!

Should facebook advertising be part of your marketing strategy

With so many different advertising platforms available, it’s easy to not consider your everyday social media network as an efficient method of generating revenue. After all, Facebook is just for funny dog videos, right?

If you thought that you would be wrong. In fact, just this month, Facebook’s advert revenue topped $10.3 billion with their revenue per user reaching more than $5 for the first time. These figures are especially impressive when you consider Facebook also marked 2.07 billion monthly active users in their third quarter of 2017.

With Facebook publicly hitting milestone after milestone this year, many businesses are considering the prospect of adding Facebook advertising to their marketing strategy, but is it right for your business? To help you make that decision, we’ve put together a few things to consider.

More...

Slide Candy's new website

Ski season is upon us once again, and with many thousands of people set to hit the slopes between now and the spring thaw, Slide Candy - a ski equipment rental company serving the Méribel and La Tania resorts in France - wanted to make sure that their online presence was in peak condition.

The Slide Candy team asked Designer Websites to give their site a modern new look that would appeal to skiers and snowboarders of all ability levels. Their new and improved website is now live - visit www.slidecandy.com to view it.

Here are just a few of the features that we built into the new Slide Candy site:

  • Responsive Design - Slide Candy were concerned that their old site was difficult to use on mobile devices. Our designers came up with a stylish new design that (in addition to looking great) is totally mobile-friendly, making it easy for skiers to book equipment and make use of Slide Candy's call-out service while out and about.

  • Improved User Interface - The Slide Candy site allows snow sports enthusiasts to reserve their equipment in advance via an online booking system. While overhauling the website, we made this booking system better-looking and simpler to navigate, making it easier than ever to get the right equipment for your French skiing holiday. You can even choose whether to pay in pounds or euros.

  • Product Information - On the new website, the products that Slide Candy sell (including skis, snowboards, boots and helmets) are conveniently sorted into four different categories: Blue, Red, Black, and Kids. This makes it easy to find the right ski equipment for your ability level, and the high-quality product images make sure you know exactly what you're hiring.

If you like the look of the new Slide Candy website and you want the Designer Websites team to create a responsive ecommerce site for your business, please get in touch today to request a quote.

Optimise Your Ecommerce Website This Christmas

Phew, Black Friday is finally over! So now it’s time to relax, right? WRONG. 

Do you run an ecommerce website? Well, you can sleep when you’re dead, my friend. Okay, perhaps we are being a little bit dramatic, but when you’re this close to Christmas it’s actually time to put more energy into your website, not less.

It’s the busiest time of the year for most retailers, and ecommerce has seen a huge increase in sales over the last few years. So if you are trying to make the most of your ecommerce website this Christmas, here are some tips.

Make it Mobile Friendly

These days it’s not uncommon for people to have multiple devices, and different people will favour each for different things. In fact, last year there was evidence to suggest that many people used their mobiles or tablets to browse and research products before making a final purchase using their desktops.

Whatever way someone chooses to access your website, you need it to perform perfectly - if your website doesn't work well on a platform it's not likely that someone will check if it does on another.

Be sure that your website is responsive across all devices, allowing everyone to have a good shopping experience whatever way they decide to buy. 

Deals on Delivery

We’ve all done it, one second you’re trying to get a new hoover and the next your shoulders deep in impulse buys including a TV you don’t need and gadgets that you won’t be able to work. But there they are, all ready for checkout… then suddenly, you’re struck by a delivery charge that snaps you out of your hypnotic-shopping-trance.

Willing to spend hundreds of pounds of stuff you don’t need? Perhaps… Willing to spend £5.99 on delivery for said stuff? I think not.

We aren’t saying delivery should always be free, but make sure you compare with your competitors. Up to 61% of people abandon during checkout because of extra costs. If they have seen your competitors offering better deals on delivery, it may be just the thing that gets them clicking away from your website.

Deals & Discount Codes

Similarly to delivery, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on what your competitors are doing here. Everyone loves a bargain, some people shop purely for the satisfaction of getting a good deal. 3 for 2 deals, discount codes, free next day delivery deals - all of these (and similar deals) give customers the impression that buying now is getting them the best value for money. Around Christmas this is particularly important, if you have a lot of people to buy presents for you'll feel particularly thankful for anywhere you can make a saving.

Another thing to remember is with SO many brands having deals on this time of year, you don't want to stand out for the wrong reasons. 

Email Marketing

T'is the time of year where your inbox is full of Christmas themed emails, but it really is a great way to remind customers that your website is worth visiting. Whether you're letting them know about a deal you're running, products coming back into stock, or sending a notification about an abandoned shopping basket (which have a 40% open rate), emails should attract attention and hopefully website traffic. 

It's important not to be too spammy, no one likes being bombarded with emails, but reminding customers your sale ends in a few days for example, is a great way to encourage them click directly through to your site. Make sure your emails are useful, engaging and to the point

Reward Loyal Customers

Everyone loves being rewarded, the satisfaction of a job well done! What did your customers do to deserve a treat? Well probably nothing in particular, but it's still nice, isn't it? Giving exclusive codes to those who have shopped with you before or perhaps those who follow you on social media reminds customers that it's worth being interested in your brand.

Ideally, you want to keep customers coming back and this is easy to do when they share good experiences with you. Peer to peer recommendations is also one of the best ways for your brand to gain trust, we appreciate our friends and family's opinions so it's always worth making sure every customer you have is happy with their service. 

If you need help creating an ecommerce website we are more than happy to help. Our team of specialists are experts in creating bespoke websites that best represent your brand and services. Request an ecommerce website design quote here.

New Sandison Easson Website

With offices in both Cheshire and London, Sandison Easson & Co. are among the UK's leading medical accounting firms. Catering exclusively to clients in the medical and dental fields, the Sandison Easson team provide a wide variety of specialist services, including:

  • Annual accounts
  • Tax declarations
  • Bookkeeping
  • Business structure advice

The firm's clients include GP practices, consultants, registrars, and dental clinics.

Why did Sandison Easson come to us?

The Sandison Easson team got in touch with Designer Websites because their website was old, dated, and not particularly representative of the highly professional service they provide. We were asked to design and develop a responsive brochure website that would meet the following criteria:

  • Design tailored to Sandison Easson's target audience (doctors, dentists, practice managers, etc.)
  • Information about the firm's services presented in a clear, easy-to-digest format
  • Emphasis on Sandison Easson's status as highly knowledgeable and experienced specialists

In addition to the mobile-friendly design and easy-to-use enquiry form, the new Sandison Easson website features a professional-looking 'Meet the Team' page, a client login function, and a blog where the firm will be able to share all their latest updates and insights. See the site for yourself at www.sandisoneasson.co.uk.

If you need a professional-looking website for your business, please don't hesitate to get in touch with the team here at Designer Websites. Request a free, no-obligation quote for your project here.

One Wales Energy website

The people of Wales spend approximately £1.4 billion on electricity and gas every year. Very little of that money stays in Wales, with most of it going into the coffers of large energy suppliers based in other parts of the UK.

But a new Welsh energy company called One Wales Energy / Un Ynni Cymru are looking to change that. All of the company's operations (including their contact centre) are based right here in Wales, meaning that their customers' energy fees will be going back into the Welsh economy instead of leaving the country. One Wales Energy / Un Ynni Cymru have also pledged to improve the wellbeing of Welsh communities via a Charitable Foundation and a Community Affiliate Scheme that allows local groups to raise funds by recommending One Wales to their members.

As a proudly Welsh company, we at Designer Websites were very happy when One Wales Energy asked us to create a new website for them. Their goal was to drive pre-registrations from people who are interested in changing energy suppliers (the company are planning launch their service in early 2018), so we knew that the site would need to communicate the company's key selling points - competitive rates, simple tariffs, a commitment to working towards sustainability, and of course the benefits for Wales and its communities - in a clear, appealing fashion.

The new One Wales Energy / Un Ynni Cymru website is now live - click here to view it. The site features:

  • Responsive, mobile-friendly design
  • Bilingual content (site can be viewed in English or Welsh)
  • Blog engine for sharing news and updates
  • Search engine optimisation to improve the site's online visibility
  • User-friendly enquiry form for those interested in changing suppliers or becoming an affiliate

Does your business need a new website? Contact Designer Websites today to request a quotation.