Tuesday, February 16th, 2021
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If you have bad personal credit, you may find yourself struggling to get a business credit card. The key to getting a business credit card, bad credit or not, is business credit.
You Can Get a Business Credit Card, Bad Credit Not Being an Issue
You’re likely aware business credit is a good thing. You know you need it to help you fund your business. But do you know how it helps you specifically get credit cards, even if you have bad personal credit? Furthermore, do you know how to get it?
Business credit doesn’t just happen like personal credit does. You have to work to build business credit intentionally. While not hard, it is a process, and a time consuming one at that. The sooner you start the better, especially if you need a business credit card, bad credit being an issue.
Business Credit Card Bad Credit: Separation is Key
First thing’s first. You have to establish your business as an entity separate from yourself the owner. This means not using your own name or address. That doesn’t mean you have to get a separate phone line, or even a separate location.
You do need separate contact information however. You can get a business phone number pretty easily that will work over the internet instead of phone lines. In addition, the phone number will forward to any phone you want it too so you can simply use your personal cell phone or landline if you want. Whenever someone calls your business number it will ring straight to you.
You can use a virtual office for a business address. This is a business that offers a physical address for a fee, and sometimes they even offer mail service and live receptionist services. In addition, there are some that offer meeting spaces for those times you may need to meet a client or customer in person.
Learn more here and start building business credit with your company’s EIN, not your SSN.
Business Credit Card Bad Credit: EIN not SSN
The next thing you need to do is get an EIN for your business. This is an identifying number for your business that works in a way similar to how your SSN works for you personally. Some business owners used their SSN for their business. This is what a lot of sole proprietorships and partnerships do. However, it really doesn’t look professional to lenders, and it can cause your personal and business credit to get all mixed up. You can get one for free from the IRS.
This step is vital. When you apply for a business credit card, bad credit can get in the way mainly because your SSN signals a look at your personal credit. If you use your EIN instead of your SSN, the lender will only be seeing the credit attached to your business.
Business Credit Card Bad Credit: Incorporation is Not Optional
Incorporating your business as an LLC, S-corp, or corporation is necessary for separation of business from the owner, and many other things. . It lends credence to your business as one that is legitimate. It also offers some protection from liability.
Which option you choose does not matter as much for these purposes as it does for your budget and needs for liability protection. The best thing to do is talk to your attorney or a tax professional.
Business Credit Card Bad Credit: Separate Bank Account
You have to open a separate, dedicated business bank account. There are a few reasons for this. First it helps solidify the separation between yourself and your business. Also, it will help you keep track of business finances. This is important for tax purposes.
There’s more to it however. There are several types of funding you cannot get without a business bank account. Many lenders and credit cards want to see one with a minimum average balance. In addition, you cannot get a merchant account without a business account at a bank. That means, you cannot take credit card payments. Studies show consumers tend to spend more when they can pay by credit card.
Learn more here and start building business credit with your company’s EIN, not your SSN.
Business Credit Card Bad Credit: Starter Vendors
Now, once you have these things in place, you need to get accounts that will report your payments to the business credit agencies. It sounds easy enough, but the catch is, you have to find vendors that will extend credit without you first having credit.
We call these vendors starter vendors. They will extend net terms on invoices with little requirement. They don’t check credit. Typically, they require a certain number of days in business, a minimum average balance in a business bank account, minimum annual revenue, or some combination of these things.
Extending the credit isn’t enough however. There are some that do this, but there are far fewer that will actually report those payments. You need vendors to report payments to the business credit reporting agencies, thus building your business credit score.
The Snowball Effect
Of course you are wondering what any of this has to do with applying for a business credit card, bad credit being in the way. Here’s how. Once you have several of these starter vendor accounts reporting, your score will be strong enough to support store credit.
A business store account is usually issued for that specific store or website specifically. Their limits are usually on the lower side as well. However, after you get a few of them and use them responsibly. Your score will grow even strong. These are cards from places like Home Depot, Staples, or Best Buy.
Then, you should qualify for fleet credit. These are cards from places like Shell that are used specifically for gasoline and automotive repair and maintenance.
After a few of those are reporting your consistent, on-time payments, you should have a strong business credit score and be able to apply for standard business credit cards that are not limited by where you use them or what you use them to buy. By using your EIN and not your SSN, you can get a business credit card, bad credit on your personal credit report and all. It’s all a big snowball effect.
Learn more here and start building business credit with your company’s EIN, not your SSN.
In the Interim
In the meantime, you can give your business credit building efforts a kickstart with a card like the Brex card for startups. It is one of the few true options if you are looking for a business credit card, back credit not being an issue. Even a FICO as low as 300 may qualify. There is no annual fee, and you can apply with your EIN rather than your SSN. There is no personal guarantee requirement.
The only catch is, not all industries qualify, and some industries require more paperwork than others.
You could also try getting accounts that you already have a relationship with to report to the business credit reporting agencies. This could be vendors you work with already. Maybe ask them if they will consider net terms and reporting payments. If you already make your payments consistently on time, they may be willing to do so without a credit check.
You could also consider asking utilities that you already pay regularly to report your payments. They may say no. They don’t have to do it. But they might, and if they do it can only help your business credit grow faster.
A credit line hybrid can be another great option to help speed things along. You have to have a 680 or better personal credit score, but you can take on a credit partner if you don’t meet that. The account still reports to your business credit, so you can keep building your score. And, you can get up to $150,000 unsecured financing for your business.
An Expert Can Help You Through the Steps
It sounds easy enough to do all of this on your own. However, there are some steps that are easier than others. Specifically, it can be very difficult to find starter vendors that will report to your business credit. For this and other difficult steps, it can be very helpful to have a business credit expert help you out. It’s definitely worth considering.
The post 5 Steps to Get a Business Credit Card, Bad Credit or Not appeared first on Credit Suite.
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Beacon technology has completely revolutionized both business and marketing.
As one Business.com article put it, with “Retail going digital and digital media coming to retail,” this technology is completely changing the marketing game.
The key to the versatility of this location-based mobile technology lies in its size and function.
It relies on small devices, often the size of a postage stamp, using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) signals to transmit information to mobile devices via mobile apps.
What does this mean for marketers?
It means this technology can make your job easier and make your marketing efforts much more effective.
These tiny devices are full of robust insights and data. They’re virtually a one-stop-shop.
Plus, they remove many hurdles associated with traditional marketing efforts.
All a customer has to do is download one little app and — BOOM!
You have the ability to deliver timely, relevant, highly specific information to them at opportune moments.
It takes personalized, dynamic marketing to an entirely new level.
I’m here to get you up to speed on the technology, its growth, and its potential impact on your business. Ready to get started?
Here’s a five-step guide to getting started with beacon technology.
Step 1: Learn About The Growth of Beacon Technology
Beacon technology first gained popularity back in 2013 when Apple unveiled the iBeacon.
Since this release, Google has created its own version specific to its user base, which is called Eddystone — to keep up with the Joneses, of course.
Retail is the most popular example of an industry that is rapidly adopting beacon technology.
It doesn’t end there.
It is showing up in practically every vertical due to its versatility.
While the technology was slower to catch on, studies predict the industry will grow by more than 75 percent by 2026.
When commenting on beacon technology, the Harvard Business Review coined it as “the missing piece in the whole mobile-shopping puzzle.”
According to one recent report by Markets and Markets, the location-based services (LBS) market is projected to grow to as much as $77.844 billion by 2021.
Proximity.Directory’s Q1 2017 Report also noted that beacons are the most popular proximity technology in the industry.
So, now that you know beacons aren’t going away anytime soon, let’s move on.
Step 2: Understand The Basics of Beacon Technology
To appreciate the marketing potential of beacons, it’s important to understand what beacons are and how they work.
Location-based mobile customer communication enables businesses to communicate information in a timely manner via mobile apps to consumers within range of a beacon.
Beacons communicate with these mobile apps via BLE signals, which as I mentioned above, stands for “Bluetooth Low Energy.”
While it may sound like the same thing, BLE is a variation of the Bluetooth standard and differs from the traditional Bluetooth you and I both know in a few ways:
- BLE uses much less power than Bluetooth.
- It constantly remains in sleep mode except for when a connection is made.
- Unlike Bluetooth, BLE is not made to handle large amounts of data.
Check out this in-depth chart for clarity on the differences:
In order for a beacon to communicate via BLE with an individual, four things must happen:
- The user must download an app that supports the technology. This usually comes in the form of a rewards app such as Shopkick. Some view this need for action as a potential hurdle. However, an estimated 90 percent of smartphone users have at least one subscription to a rewards program.
- They must have Bluetooth enabled.
- Location Services must be activated.
- They must be within the beacon’s signal range. This enables the technology to ping a mobile app within range with pertinent information and services.
Step 3: Understand The Core Benefits of Beacons
While there is a variety of benefits that beacons deliver, there are five in particular that are worth mentioning here.
1. They Are Versatile
First-generation beacons were about the size of an apple.
Now, beacons come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Some are even UV and water-resistant, so they can withstand the outdoor elements.
One beacon manufacturer, BlueCats, creates cat-shaped beacons.
Others let businesses customize their orders by size, as well as adding their name and/or logos.
Some come in the form of a USB, and others are as small as a postage stamp.
Beacons can be made to fit the needs of almost any business.
Think about it: a beacon the size of a stamp can be placed practically anywhere — like a retail store wall, inside a car on an auto lot, or in the entryway of your local coffee shop — and used for virtually anything.
2. They Are Secure
One thing that differentiates beacons from similar technologies such as Wi-Fi, RFIDs, GPS, or NFC is the level of security they have.
Beacons primarily broadcast outbound signals, so they are far less of a security risk.
They also send a unique code that can be read only by certain mobile apps.
This code must be authenticated with user permission (AKA with your knowledge and consent), which means you have to manually accept it.
Technically, beacons with weaker security could have a higher potential for hacking.
The good news is most manufacturers have put measures in place to prevent this from happening.
In fact, the risk lies less in beacons and more in the apps that are transmitting these signals.
So as long as you are using secure apps, you should be in the clear, and generally speaking, much better off in terms of security than a public Wi-Fi network.
3. They are Precise and Have Great Range
Perhaps the best selling point of beacons is their ability to reliably target mobile devices inside buildings.
While GPS is great for location tracking in general, and Wi-Fi comes with all the benefits of cell towers, they aren’t quite as precise as beacon technology when it comes to targeting consumers in-store, in specific areas, and in front of specific products.
GPS needs to be used with other location-based services (LBS) due to its line-of-sight issues when it comes to indoor use. It’s much better suited for the outdoors.
Wi-Fi only has a range of about 46 meters when used indoors, and NFC (near field communication) can only operate well within a range of about four centimeters.
Beacons, on the other hand, come in a variety of ranges and have been specifically designed to work well both indoors and outdoors.
They can transmit from 1 to 70 meters and up to 450 meters in some cases.
Generally speaking, the smaller they are, the lower the range.
4. They are Efficient
Beacons are known for their efficiency.
Proximity.Directory noted in a recent report that manufacturers who use the technology can cut costs and improve efficiency by tracking material flow as well as queue and cycle times.
The report also noted that hospitals can save hundreds of thousands of dollars every year by using beacon technology.
Beacons are equally as effective whether the partner app is active or not, because it’s always on and constantly transmitting a signal.
Other advantages to this technology include:
- It’s less expensive, on average, than traditional Bluetooth or RFIDs — around 60-80 percent, to be exact.
- It’s more energy efficient than Wi-Fi, GPS, traditional Bluetooth, or NFC.
- It doesn’t require pairing.
- It works accurately indoors, eliminating the need for supplemental LBS devices.
5. They Offer a Variety of Insights
Among other things, beacons can monitor temperature, humidity, weight, traffic, and interactions.
They are literally information sponges.
With the right analytics in place, you can gather solid user-generated data and insight.
For example, you can measure the number of beacon hits over a certain period of time.
You can also create heat maps to measure foot traffic and the length of time spent in a specific area.
Beacons data can also be used to power paid search and social campaigns.
These are just basic examples of how you as a marketer can use beacons to gather targeted and very specific information about foot traffic.
The possibilities, however, are endless.
It really all just boils down to creativity and application.
Step 4: Embrace Advanced Benefits of Beacons
Now that you understand the foundational benefits, it’s time to dive into a few of the more advanced benefits.
Beacons Promote Effortless Engagement and Data Transmission
Once the mobile app is downloaded, you can push messages to your audience without having to jump through hurdles.
This translates into less work for you and less work for the consumer.
Many people have voiced concerns about the downside of a mandatory app download.
It is a legitimate concern since it could very well be argued that the average consumer places a higher value on their mobile device than they do on the benefits they receive from a retail mobile app.
To combat this, you’ll need to have a well-planned content strategy that includes engaging multimedia to create an invaluable experience that people will want to be a part of.
Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) decided to use a SnipSnap coupon app to promote offers and messages to customers in-store.
At first, it may seem a bit odd to use a third-party app.
In reality, it’s quite genius.
- It was cheaper than developing their own app and marketing it.
- SnipSnap was established and widely used. Consumers were more likely to already have it installed on their mobile devices.
- Their decision helped them acquire new customers via the in-store beacon program. It was targeted toward consumers who already had the app installed but weren’t existing customers.
So, as you’re evaluating your options, keep in mind that it may be better to use an established third-party app as opposed to creating one on your own.
By doing this, you’ll side-step unnecessary hurdles and improve your conversion rates.
Beacons are Dynamic, Highly Personalized, and Can Increase Engagment
When you can track where a customer is, you can promote specific products and information at just the right time, which can boost engagement significantly.
This increases the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and takes “personalized” to a whole new level.
For example, let’s say you have a customer approaching a jewelry counter at a local department store.
With beacon technology, relevant content about certain items for sale can instantly be sent to their smartphone via the mobile device app, which can help to generate more leads and drive sales.
Beacons Help Marketers Adapt to the “New” Buyer
Perhaps one of the most difficult hurdles many marketers face is figuring out the “mobile shop-and-compare strategy.”
With endless information available at their fingertips, consumers are savvier than ever with their purchasing decisions.
I’m not saying that this is a bad thing, however.
Quite the contrary — it’s great for a number of reasons.
Not only does it protect consumers by keeping them well-informed, but it also facilitates healthy competition.
In doing so, it simultaneously drives quality while shaping savvier marketers who bring more dynamic strategies and tactics to the table.
So to help you brainstorm ways in which you can use beacons, I’ve listed a handful of examples of how other businesses are using them successfully to drive engagement and sales.
Step 5: Understand the Creative Ways Businesses Use Beacons
Organizations ranging from Major League Baseball to Hillshire Farms are all taking advantage of the amazing power of beacons.
Promotions in the form of offers, deals, and giveaways are the most readily available examples of use that come to mind when thinking of beacon technology.
But it doesn’t end there.
One company that yielded pretty amazing results using a different strategy was NOMI.
They measured new customers acquired through a music festival sponsorship by tracking check-ins via beacons.
With the help of beacon insights, they were able to track 1,300 new customers based on the data provided.
Prism is another great example of how beacons can be used.
They were able to track which areas of a store customers gravitated toward by using heat maps generated by beacons.
As a result, they reassessed merchandising strategies and placed slower moving products in higher traffic areas to generate more sales.
When Hillshire Brands decided to use beacon technology for the release of American Craft link sausages, the response was over-the-top.
Their agency did an analysis of the event and found that purchase intent increased twenty-fold, and the number of in-store engagements hit 6,000 in the first 48 hours alone.
The travel and hospitality industries are embracing the power of beacons as well.
Virgin Atlantic used them to remind passengers to have their boarding passes ready when approaching security checkpoints and to notify them of entertainment specials before boarding.
They even use data to monitor cabin temperatures and alert staff to pass out blankets when it gets too cold.
Concierges at Starwood Hotels & Resorts use beacons so that they can greet guests by name upon arrival.
They are also used to notify housekeeping when guests are in their rooms.
Starwood even lets guests skip the check-in process and gain keyless entry via smartphone to their rooms, which is possible because of beacons.
All a guest has to do is download an app, then open the door by “tapping or gesturing with their device once they arrive at the door.”
Another creative use example is the dating app Mingleton. The company uses the technology to share dating profiles with other users when within a certain radius via a “See Who’s Nearby” feature.
The possibilities truly are endless and extend far beyond traditional push marketing strategies.
These innovative and functional usages of beacons can help with branding and better engage a specific customer base.
Step 6: Formulate a Beacon Marketing Strategy
There’s no better time than now to start strategizing how you can use beacons to market your business.
Now, more than ever, people have a strong preference for dynamic and highly personalized content.
In fact, a study by Epsilon found that 80 percent of consumers are more likely to buy from brands that offer a personalized experience.
So be proactive, stay on top of trends, and take advantage of the many ways in which you can make it work for you.
To start, develop a well-thought-out strategy.
Much like marketing in general, you can tackle this task in one of two ways.
You can wing it.
For many, winging it seems exponentially easier and a much more effective use of time.
After all, time is money, right?
The reality is that when you simply “wing it,” you’ll end up disorganized and scattered.
The end result?
You’ll waste valuable time and energy trying to tie everything together.
Or you can be prepared.
Savvy digital marketers are much like savvy writers.
They understand that planning is the key to a fruitful and effective strategy.
While planning takes time and energy that could initially be spent on action, the end result is measurable, calculated, and completely within your control.
If you take the time to plan out your steps to a T, you’ll wind up with effective results that deliver serious ROI.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to implementing beacon marketing strategies:
Beacons can be invaluable tools for gathering information, analytics, and outreach.
Don’t just jump toward your end goal. Take time to strategize and plan for both short-term and long-term gain.
Placement is perhaps the single most important factor when it comes to beacon technology.
Strategic placement and well-planned messaging mean an increase in relevancy, timeliness, and effectiveness.
So be sure to get all of your ducks in a row and think in terms of context when it comes to your marketing strategy.
Think Like Your Target Demographic
Put yourself in their shoes. What content would you want to receive? What messaging would you find useful and effective?
Stay away from aggressive and overzealous tactics.
Otherwise, you’ll come across as spammy.
Give people useful and engaging information instead.
Check out this video where I discuss some quick and effective strategies that will help any marketer generate a solid marketing plan.
There’s no doubt that beacon technology can revolutionize your marketing strategy.
Based on the positive returns businesses like Hillshire Farms and Starwood Hotels & Resorts are already seeing, I think it’s safe to say that they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
I’ve given you a step-by-step guide to get you caught up on the beacon technology trend.
Step 1: You understand how the tech has grown.
Step 2: You know the basics.
Step 3: You understand the benefits.
Step 4: You understand the more advanced benefits.
Step 5: You’re up-to-speed with creative ways other businesses are them.
Step 6: You know how to create a beacon marketing strategy.
So, the question then remains — are you going to take action?
The ability to diversify and adapt to an ever-evolving climate is essential to your success as a digital marketer in the business world.
By learning how you can harness this trend to fit the needs of your unique situation, you can remain one step ahead of the game — which means you’ll stay one step ahead of your competition.
Are you currently using beacons in your marketing efforts? If so, what’s working for you? What’s not?
Every business needs to have an online presence.
Whether you’re in the B2B or B2C space, you need to build a website to showcase and sell your products or services.
However, slapping together a website using a free platform, with themes and plugins, isn’t enough. To see real results, you should invest in professional website design.
A whopping 93% of people say they’d leave a website if it’s poorly designed, so the cost you incur from designing a quality website design is worth it.
Why is Website Design Crucial for Your Business?
With over 1.8 billion active websites in existence, your site needs to be unique to stand out.
This, among a few other reasons discussed below, is why it’s so important for your website to have a quality design.
How Web Design Contributes to Your SEO
Search engine optimization is an essential aspect of digital marketing, and the way you design and build your website impacts the effectiveness of your SEO strategy.
A poorly designed website can lead to crawling issues, broken links, slow load speeds, and many other technical errors resulting in poor SEO. You can use an SEO analysis tool to check for and rectify errors on your website.
Web Design Helps You Build Trust With Your Audience
Another reason website design is essential to your business is that it sets the tone for how your customers perceive your brand.
The way your customers regard your brand is crucial because it determines whether they like or trust you enough to do business with you. If your website’s look and feel aren’t up to the standards your customers expect, they’re likely to turn to your competitors.
On the flip side, a well-designed website helps drive your customers’ confidence in you. The result is that they’ll not only buy from you, but they’re likely to turn into repeat customers.
How UX Affects Website Design
When embarking on a website design or redesign, you must consider user experience (UX). UX refers to the overall experience your visitors have as they navigate through your website. It’s an important aspect of website design as it contributes to your customers’ overall customer journey.
You should design your website in such a way that it’s easy and pleasurable to use. Failure to do so could result in high bounce rates. After they’ve left due to an unpleasant experience, getting them to revisit your website is next to impossible.
On the other hand, website design also influences UX. A poor design results in negative UX and vice versa.
As we look at the website design principles to help you drive sales, keep UX in mind. And make sure to avoid website design mistakes that could cause your conversions and sales to plummet.
7 Website Design Principles That Drive Sales
Ready to design a website that delights your customers so much they’ll loosen their purse strings? Let’s dive into the seven website design principles to help you drive sales.
1. Keep It Simple
One of the most essential website design principles you must follow is to keep everything simple. It must be easy to scroll through and the content easy to read. Example:
Don’t overcomplicate your website in the name of being fancy. The point of a website is not to impress visitors. The main point of good website design is to convert visitors into customers. To do so, your website must present information in a simple and easy-to-understand way.
Adding too many elements, colors, or images only provides distractions that could potentially make your visitors forget the main reason they visited your website. Keeping it simple helps your visitors easily find their way around and helps increase your website’s conversion rates.
2. Consider White Space
An aspect of web design that’s easy to overlook is white space. Also called negative space, it’s the area between elements on a webpage. This could be elements like visuals, typography, icons, sections on a page, and more.
Research shows one of the biggest website design mistakes small businesses make is to overcrowd their web pages. Poor use of white space also topped the list.
White space balances the elements on a page and helps users better navigate the content.
However, one of the most significant benefits of white space in web design is that it gives your website a clean, minimalist look if used well. It’s aesthetically pleasing, easy on the eyes, and makes it easy for the brain to process the information on the page.
Another strategic use of white space is to help direct the flow of your content. White space is an active element of your pages that you should consider when designing your website.
Like all good things, however, too much white space can negatively impact your UX. Your website visitors won’t be too happy to scroll through half a page of nothingness. Not only can it be confusing, but it can also be frustrating. Both can result in high bounce rates.
3. Include Minimal Distractions
As much as you may want your website to stand out from your competitors’ websites, be careful how you do it.
Instead of enhancing UX, some design elements and features do more harm to your website than good, and these distractions can cause your conversion rates to plummet.
- Auto-playing sound and video: Nothing distracts (and startles) website visitors more than loud audio unexpectedly coming from their speakers. Instinct will move them to close the tab playing the audio. Consequently, you’ll lose a lead.
- Excessive pop-ups: While the jury is still hung on whether pop-ups impact UX or not, one thing is sure: Excessive pop-ups are annoying. A pop-up every 10 seconds is frustrating and distracts your visitors from accomplishing what they came to do.
- Loud background images: Use background images judiciously. If your visitor’s eyes are drawn more to the background image than to your content, they’ll soon forget what they’re supposed to do there.
Even the slightest distraction could result in your visitors losing focus and leaving your website without converting.
4. Create Good Content
Content plays a crucial role in successful website design.
After all, that’s the main reason people visit your website: they’re looking for information.
For your content to aid in giving your website visitors a positive UX, it must be formatted well, relevant, and valuable.
Keep your keywords in mind when you create your content. Research and select which keywords you want to rank for, and optimize your content accordingly. Take care not keyword stuff, because Google can penalize you for it.
If you aren’t comfortable creating your own content, here’s a guide that can help. In the meantime, some basic content principles are below.
Format Your Content Well
No one wants to read a wall of text; it’s intimidating and off-putting.
To make your content easier to read, format it well. This includes using the following elements to break up the text:
- bullet points and numbered lists
- short sentences and paragraphs
- using an easy-to-read font
Well-formatted content not only makes it easy to read and digest your content, but it also aids in giving it an aesthetic appeal.
Be Relevant and Valuable
Content that looks good is still useless if it’s not useful to the reader.
You must invest in creating content your readers find relevant and valuable. To create such content, consider the following tips:
- Understand your audience: Audience research helps you understand your target audience’s pain points and aspirations.
- Conduct keyword research: This helps you know what kind of content your readers are looking for. It also helps you create content that’s SEO optimized.
- Use expert writers: Written communication is not child’s play. You must use expert writers to create content that easily conveys your message and moves readers to action.
Remember, the point of website content is to showcase your expertise and authority in a way that moves your readers to action. For them to trust your content, it must be relevant and valuable.
Over time, you should use heatmaps and other tools to track how your website performs. Take note of conversions and bounce rates for each page and improve each page that doesn’t perform well.
5. Ensure It’s Easy to Use and Navigate Your Website
One of the most important design elements of your website is your navigation. It helps visitors find their way around.
You don’t want your visitors to struggle to find the information they’re looking for on your website. Instead, you want to make it as easy as you can. Try as much as possible to keep all your essential information within three clicks.
Users must be able to flow from one page to another easily.
Before we look at navigation best practices, let’s quickly look at the different website navigation elements you can use:
- Header: This is the type of navigation that features a menu at the top of your pages.
- Sidebar: These menus are placed to the right or left of website content.
- Footer: Footer menus appear at the bottom of a web page and contain links to your website’s most important pages and resources.
No matter the kind of navigation, they all must be simple, self-explanatory, and descriptive. Your website visitors shouldn’t have to look around for the way to the next step; it must be obvious.
What’s more, when they click on a tab or link, it must take them exactly where they want to go. In short, make sure every link works perfectly.
6. Focus on Your Conversion Rates Across Your Website
A big mistake many businesses make when they design their websites is to leave them running on autopilot. They don’t check how the website is performing.
Everything you do on your website, from how it looks to the content you publish, is meant to do only one thing: converting your visitors into customers.
A conversion simply means a website visitor performs an action you have intended for them to take on that particular web page. The conversion rate is the percentage of website visitors performing the action intended for that page.
Analyze every page of your website and make sure it’s converting well. Use conversion optimization tools like Google Analytics, Crazy Egg, and others to track how your website is performing. The data you get can help you optimize underperforming pages.
7. Follow Best Practices for UX
The main objectives of UX on a website are to give users an experience that will keep them on your website. This includes factors such as:
- Usability: Make sure your website is easy to access and simple to use on all devices.
- Aesthetics: The way your website looks contributes to how your customers perceive your brand. It inspires trust and confidence.
- Information architecture (IA): Use UX design practices like sitemaps to keep your content organized and easy to navigate through.
User experience is one of the biggest components contributing to your website’s performance. Your visitors may not remember everything they read and see on your website, but they will remember the experience they have. That’s what will encourage them to take action and keep them coming back.
To have an effective web design, you should follow the best practices we’ve outlined above. Doing so will help draw in new leads, keep existing customers, and give you an edge over your competitors.
If you need help with your website’s design and your overall digital strategy, we are here to help.
Which web design principles have you discovered work best for you?