4 Functionality Problems That Are Ruining Your Business Website

Every business needs a website these days, otherwise, you’ll struggle to find new customers. But having a website isn’t enough, you need a good website that potential customers can use easily. The most important thing when building a website is functionality because a website that isn’t user friendly isn’t going to get many conversions. If people enter your site and they can’t work out how to navigate the pages and find the products that they’re interested in, they’re quickly going to leave. If your website isn’t getting that many conversions, you might be making one of these simple functionality mistakes. 

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Not Making A Mobile Version 

The majority of websites are accessed on mobile devices and tablets rather than laptops or desktop computers these days. If you only have a browser version of your website, it will be incredibly frustrating to use on a mobile device because the proportions will be all wrong, and that means that the majority of users aren’t experiencing the best version of the website. It’s so important that you make a specific mobile version of the site so it runs smoothly on all devices. If you’re having trouble with this, you need to get in touch with a professional digital marketing agency that specializes in website building. They will be able to help you create a website version of the site that functions properly on all devices. 

Too Much Going On 

When you’re creating a website, you need to consider the 3 I’s; inform, invite, and intrigue. You need your website to look good and it needs to have enough information, but still leave room for people to explore the website. But you won’t be able to achieve that if you have too much going on. It also means that people can’t easily spot what they’re looking for. It’s good to have pictures and videos on the site as well, but if the front page is filled with them, it becomes overwhelming. Less is more when it comes to website design so only include things that are absolutely necessary and cut the rest. 

Tiny Hyperlinks 

Hyperlinks are there for a reason, to be clicked on. So why would you make a website with tiny hyperlinks that are hard to spot and frustrating to click on? You’d be surprised how many people make this basic mistake and it makes navigating the website very frustrating for the user. You don’t have to put giant buttons on everything but when you’re adding hyperlinks to your website, make sure that you’re not making them too small. 

Too Many Pop-Ups 

Pop-ups can be useful on your website, especially for things like building your email list or advertising deals and offers. However, you’ve got to remember that people hate pop-ups and they can quickly become annoying. If somebody goes on your website and they are met with a pop-up, they’ll close it down and it won’t bother them too much. But if they have to close down 5 separate pop-ups before they can even see the homepage, that is going to be a problem. You can still use pop-ups, just use them sparingly. 

If your website isn’t converting very well, it’s likely that you’re making some of these simple functionality mistakes.

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9 Common Mistakes Website Owners Make

There’s a lot that goes into making a website. You need to have the initial idea, the time to make it happen, an idea of how to make the site profitable, and so on. Even if you do all of these things, however, it’s always possible that you won’t quite hit the heights that you expect to hit, purely because of some fundamental errors that hold the website back from reaching its full potential. If you’re not quite reaching the number of visitors that you’d like to reach, then take a read below, where we outline some of the common mistakes that website owners make. 

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Overcomplicating the Text

You know what your website is about and why it’s there, what it should provide for your visitors, and so on. But your visitors don’t. They’re just turning up. In their quest to fill their visitors in on all the necessary information, some website owners go overboard, and try to explain everything. The text on your website should be readable, succinct, and to the point. People online have short attention spans, and they’re not going to sit through a convoluted essay that explains your website. If you find the art of writing too difficult, then hire a third party to do the job for you.  

No Focus on SEO

You could have the single greatest website in the world, yet it wouldn’t count for anything if you’re not also focusing on the SEO side of things. Building and curating the website is one half of your job; the other is in the marketing. As such, it’s recommended that you spend some time reading up on the best modern ways of spreading the word about your site. Without it, there’ll be an upper limit to how much success you will find. 

Too Much Social Media

Some website owners don’t spend enough time marketing their site; others spend too much time, and especially so when it comes to their social media channels. Now, let’s not make any mistake: your Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram pages are important. But they are not the end goal — your website should be the end goal. You should essentially be using your social media pages as a vehicle to drive visitors to your website. Don’t make the mistake of putting all your best content on those channels — all you’ll be doing is boosting the other website’s revenue. Save it for your own site. 

Understanding the User

It’s your website, sure, but it’s not for you — it’s for your visitors. As such, you should be looking at all the site decisions through the lens of “what is best for your visitor?” One way to do this is to make the most of UX research software. With that, you’ll be able to create your website with the user experience at the forefront of your mind. They’re the ones who will be interacting with the front facing aspect of your website, so it’s in your — and their — best interests to make it as enjoyable an experience for them as possible. 

Trust Issues

The internet has done a lot of good for humanity, but it would be wrong to pretend that there are no issues. Cybercrime, for example, is increasingly common, and it’s rightly making people less trusting when it comes to the online world, and the websites that they choose to interact with. When it comes to your website, it’s important that you’re not allowing your visitors to have any doubts about your overall credibility and trustworthiness. To begin with, make sure you have all the latest security certificates (this is non-optional if you’re selling items/handling sensitive data). Another way to build trust is to have as much contact information listed on your site as possible. People will feel much more relaxed about using your site if they know that they can get in touch with you via email, live chat, phone, and so on. 

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Lack of Value

We said earlier that your website doesn’t exist for your benefit; it’s for your visitors. So take a look at the type of things you’re putting on there, and ask yourself who it benefits. If it’s all for you, then it’s time to mix things up. You have to provide value to your visitors, otherwise, why would they come? Things like blogs, tutorials, and interesting content will all give them a reason to visit your site. You shouldn’t only be asking strangers to grow your site or business — you should give something back. 

Checking Out Processes

It takes a lot of effort to make a sale online. If you have someone who is interested in buying from you, then please, please, please, make it easy for them to complete the process. Some websites take for granted that if someone puts something in their virtual shopping cart, then they’re going to check out — in actual fact, this isn’t true. Shopping cart abandonment rates are high. Can you really afford to lose business for something as silly as a complicated checking out process? Your goal is to make it streamlined and fluid. If there are multiple steps and only one payment option, then you run the risk of them changing their mind. Don’t let it happen.

Lack of Updates

It’s always important to remember that a website owner’s work is never really done. You can sit back and admire your good work, but not for long! To stay relevant, you need to keep things updated. There’s always something questionable — and a little sad — about visiting a website that hasn’t been updated in a couple of years. Once you’ve got the fundamentals of your website in place, it’ll just be about tweaking things here and there, and also adding a regular blog — it makes a big difference!

Simple Mistakes

Finally, take the time to ensure that you’re not making any simple errors that undermine your site. Spelling and grammatical errors, as well as low-quality videos and photographs, bring down the quality of your website more than you might think. 

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Entrepreneurs: You Don’t Have To Do Everything

Entrepreneurs who have decided to quit their jobs to become their own boss tend to share a common story. They grew bored of their workplace.

For young parents, it’s often a matter of flexibility. Some companies fail to offer flexible working hours, which can impact on the relationship of families with young children and babies. As a result, launching a home-based business often feels like the best option to make a living while caring for the kids.

For others, the cumulation of frustrations drives them to quit. Whether it’s a bad boss or an unpleasant colleague, more and more individuals decide to take matters in their own hands and create a safe and welcoming job for themselves.

Regardless of the reason behind your independent career, you are likely to find yourself battling with the challenges of your solitary position. Indeed, when you launch a solo-business, you need to be smart to make it work. You can’t only focus on your expertise. You need to establish the necessary process to run your business as effectively as any other company. Ultimately, your clients expect the same level of professionalism and reliability than they would from bigger firms. While you might be tempted to spread your work across multiple fields, you should stay away from multitasking. Indeed, you’re unlikely to have the necessary skills to manage multiple business processes. Besides, you will soon run out of time if you try to do everything! Instead, you need to find effective alternatives.

The Internet is a dangerous place; you shouldn’t go alone there

If digital plays a role in your business activities – whether you’re using online storage options or interacting with your customers online –, you need to consider the safety of your IT solutions. As surprising as it might sound, many independent entrepreneurs put their business at risk by failing to introduce online safety measures. More often than not, the idea is that hackers and other cyber attacks are more likely to target large corporates. In reality, while big firms can be the victim of a hacking attack, cybercriminals prefer small businesses. Indeed, the absence of adequate protection makes them an easy target. Admittedly, it would be foolish to expect you to become an IT expert on top of your other skills. Therefore, it’s a good idea to entrust your digital protection to a specialist, either by using a software tool that does all the hard work for you or by finding an IT security consultant.

Find an IT consultant

Wait, how much tax do I owe you?

Preparing your taxes is never easy. But when you manage a business, there are many regulations, exceptions, and calculations that you may not be aware of. It’s not uncommon for small businesses to over- or underpay their taxes as a result of miscalculations or lack of knowledge. The worst thing that can happen is to get in trouble with the tax collecting organization, which is never a good thing for a small business. Instead, you should find professional expertise that you can trust in your day-to-day activities. Solo-entrepreneurs on a tight budget tend to prefer using cloud accounting software tools that let them keep track of their budget, invoices, and other financial transactions and duties in real time. Alternatively, if you don’t have any time to dedicate to the matter, you should let an accountant manage your books and your taxes.

Google Analytics is free, but I still don’t get anything from it

Collecting customer data is an essential part of your business growth. For solo-entrepreneurs, the abundance of free and cost-effective tools offer a strategic advantage, whether you need to check your web visits on Google Analytics or your keyword rank. Unfortunately, while data are easy to access, analyzing them a lot more challenging. Countless amateurs waste precious hours reviewing Analytics dashboards without being able to find pertinent information. In fact, the situation is so dire that Google decided to provide free support sessions to entrepreneurs via the Digital Garage initiative. But, the truth is that unless you’ve got time to invest in learning a new skill, one-to-one Analytics sessions are not going to be helpful. Instead, a dedicated consultant who can provide regular data reports and highlight threats and opportunities can be the best solution to encourage you to grow your business.

I’m not too sure about this strategy

Ah, designing your business strategy is not for the faint-hearted. It takes excellent data knowledge and analytical skills, which, if you haven’t invested in a data collection and interpretation solution, is going to be difficult to achieve. Many entrepreneurs fall in the trap of bad strategy approaches, which force them to accommodate conflicting factors as they occur without giving their business a chance to focus on a long-term goal. At its core, your strategy needs to serve as a response to a market challenge. As a result, you need to know and understand the problem to provide the best-suited response. Working closely with a consultant is a preferable solution.

You may be knowledgeable, but you’re only one person

The truth is that even with the best of will, you can’t tackle all the challenges of your business. Running a business is not a one-person job. You need all the support you can get to be able to stick to your professional goals. Indeed, too many new entrepreneurs get trapped in a situation where they spend the majority of their time managing their business instead of using their expertise to deliver income-generating services. There is no point in learning the skills if the cost of your doing the work in-house is too high. That’s where outsourcing can help you to maintain your market position by freeing up valuable time.

I’m ready to hire someone… but how do I do it?

Are you ready to bring a new employee on board? Hiring your first employee is one of the most difficult things you’ll have to do, especially if you lack recruitment experience. However, mistakes can prove devastating for your reputation and your finances. It’s always a good idea to hire a recruitment specialist for the task.

Know how to recruit

The image of the multitasking and hard-working entrepreneur is, unfortunately, wrong. When you are ready to launch your own business, you need to accept that you can’t manage on your own. Finding consultants to support you and outsourcing specific jobs can help you to build a profitable and sturdy business.

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Easy Steps To Protect Your Business & Secure Your Website

Business and your website security will extend far beyond protecting any sensitive data behind a particular firewall. Hackers are looking more and more at attacking websites and as a result, can be a threat to an entire business system. The goals that they have range from small disruptions to the day, to large and costly takedowns that can really impact the website and then the business as a result (through like data hacks and breeches). Cyber attacks can lock you out of a website, until you pay a ransom, sadly are things that are on the rise. But there are steps that you can take to protect the website that you have the data that you have. You can keep customer information safe and clear, and protect online assets with smart security choices.

So with all of that in mind, here are some of the ways that you can protect your business, as well as your website, and all of the data that comes along with it.

To start with, you have to think about the basics. And some of the basics of website security starts with having preventative measures in place that will help to keep the hackers out in the first place; there are a few things that can be simple to do. For example, start off with the following:

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  • Automate any of the operating systems that you have and auto-updates for your website, so that ‘human error’ is eliminated.
  • Make sure that you use strong passwords, change them regularly, and even use two-step authentication if needed.
  • Keep email systems secure and make sure employees know what to look out for (such as not opening attachments from people that they don’t know, and so on).

Security Protection

Malware is a term for all  threats that are used to attack computers, online data, and other online systems. These things, like viruses, can get into a system and cause a lot of problems, as well as steal vital information. They can lock systems, websites, and even bring down a network. So steps need to be taken to make a difference to reduce the threat of this. So maintaining up-to-date software for viruses and firewall systems, will help to add another layer of protection from attacks. The whole thing around computer security systems can cybersecurity can feel really overwhelming as you don’t know where to start. So if that sounds like you, then you could click here to learn more about how you can get started with your IT services and how to manage them.

Secure Hosting Service

If you are able to use the right web hosting service then it can be a great way to reduce the risk of any security worries. This is definitely of importance when it comes to have an ecommerce platform, so it is worth doing your research to make sure that you choose a secure host for your website. You’ll have the added back-up and help from them a host too, so it is worth having.

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5 Common IT Issues In Small Businesses

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When running your own business there are lots of different issues you can come across, especially when it comes to your IT services. Whether it’s a problem with your hardware or a security breach, you need to ensure you have as little downtime as possible when it comes to your business. With that in mind, here are 5 common IT issues small businesses should avoid:

– Unpredictable System Outages

Although it’s hard to avoid unpredictable system outages, making sure you’re using reputable companies is a great way to ensure this happens as little as possible. Whether it’s the company you use for your server or the people who host your website, you need to sure it’s not going to stop all of a sudden. For a guide to choosing great service providers, you can visit this site here.

– Endless Computer Issues

One of the most common issues people face when running their business revolves around their computer or laptop. Although you may have a little bit of experience when it comes to IT, often the issues that arise are too complicated to fix on your own. In that situation, it’s always best to ensure you’re asking an IT support team or professional for help. Not only will they be able to help you fix your issue, but they’ll also be able to tell you how to prevent it happening again. For more information about preventative maintenance, you can visit this site here.

– Problems With Cyber Security

Cybersecurity is another important issue when it comes to IT within your business, and it’s important you’re doing everything you can keep your computer safe. This means using secure email systems, password protecting files and ensuring you have trusted antivirus software on your computer. For more tips and tricks when it comes to keeping your IT systems safe, you can visit this guide here.

– Difficulty Accessing Files

Although this isn’t as common, people often experience difficulties accessing files. Whether it’s because they don’t have the recommended software or they have corrupted the file, not being able to open an important document can result in complications within your business. If this happens, the best options it to contact someone who knows how to regain access to files or to search online for the best possible solutions. Whilst you may find tools that claim they can change corrupted files, be careful of what you’re downloading.

– Slow Computers And Software

Finally, the most common issue people will face is a slow computer or slow software on their computer. Whilst this is often due to the quality of the computer, maintenance also plays a big part. Keeping on top of the filing systems and the programmes on your computer is the best way to ensure everything runs as it should. Keep things clutter-free and your computer will run as smoothly as it did when you first bought it.

Are you facing a lot of IT issues as a small business? What can you do to help prevent them? Let me know in the comments section below.

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Are You Ready To Launch Your Digital Business from Home?

If you have been thinking about owning your own online business for a while, you will need to know that it can be a bumpy road, and you cannot expect results immediately. Instead of just doing what others are doing, you will have to come up with a strategy that is similar to the one you would create if you were to launch a brick-and-mortar business. Below you will find a few tips to increase your chances for success.

Improve Your Skills

There are certain skills entrepreneurs need to succeed. The first one is more like an attitude; self-discipline. You will need to focus on making the most out of your time, so managing your calendar and prioritizing your tasks is going to go a long way. You should make the most out of your existing skills and focus on the development areas; take responsibility for your own personal development.

Enroll In a Course

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If you have been working for an employer for a long time, you will need to change your attitude and become an entrepreneur. You will have to take responsibility for your own learning, and this means that you might need to enroll in a college course to get an IT qualification that will make you more effective in creating content or building websites. After all, you will have a limited budget, and every cent you save will help you invest more in your business.

Consider Affiliate Marketing If You Are Just Starting Up

When you are starting a digital business, chances are that you will not have a product or service yet. This doesn’t mean that you cannot make money, though. You can start affiliate marketing on a zero budget, provided that you can generate enough traffic to get conversions. After all, you should first get to know the industry and avoid investing a lot of money into developing your own product or service.

Create an Action Plan

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If you would like to succeed in affiliate marketing, it is important that you create an action plan that will help you stay focused on the end goal; profits. You should identify the steps you have to take to make it work for you; not enough traffic will kill your business, and offers that don’t convert will kill your profits. Consider building a sales funnel that will automate most of your marketing processes.

Set a Target for Everything

If you want to manage working from home, you will need to develop a high sense of responsibility and discipline. Track your productivity throughout the day, and make sure that you are able to optimize it through implementing technology and marketing automation. After all, you are not setting up a business to sit in front of the laptop 24/7.

In case you have been itching to get started and build your own business from home, you will need to consider investing in your skills and personal developments, and create a detailed plan of action.

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The Essential Guide To Becoming An Ebay Entrepreneur

If you are struggling to work out where your strengths lie in terms of going it alone and launching your own startup, why not consider the lucrative world of eBay entrepreneurship? The synonymous online auction site has been around since 1995 and was one of the very first real successes of the Silicon Valley dot-com bubble of ideas. Fast forward over two decades and eBay is the number one platform for all sorts of goods and products ranging from the second-hand to the brand new. While it was once seen as a nifty way of getting rid of your unwanted bits of junk, eBay is now viewed as the ultimate online platform to launch your very own retail empire. So, how can you make a success of your new foray into online shopping? Read on to find out.

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Descriptions And Photos

The most important aspect of your eBay business are the product descriptions you utilise. It doesn’t matter whether you are importing the latest piece of flexible tubing for gas engineers or whether you sell custom-made tee shirts, you need to make all of your descriptions uniform and consistent. Use subheadings and bullet points to make them easy to read. Point out any flaws and be honest about your product. A vintage item isn’t going to be a hundred percent perfect but it will be authentic so sell this aspect of it.

Another key aspect of your sales pages will be the items themselves. Take photographs from all angles and point out the flaws (if there are any). Make sure that you utilise your photograph allowance. If you are allowed twelve, don’t just put up three. Make sure they are in focus, the background is plain and you have a range of close up shots to show detail and wider angle compositions.

Customer Service

It’s important that you present a professional outfit if you are planning to make your eBay empire your full time profession. Consider using some packaging design software to brand the boxes you place your items in before they are shipped. This creates a more formal and professional image and your logo can be consistently applied across all merchandise and online platforms.

Implement a strategy of under promising and over delivering. If you know that you can deliver an item in two days, state on your delivery policy that you will get it there in three. Then, when a product arrives a day early, your customer will be pleasantly surprised and will be more inclined to leave positive feedback for your startup. On eBay, your reputation is vital, so make sure you limit any possibility of negative reviews.

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Link To Social Media

By utilising the power of social media, you can direct people to the relevant product pages of your eBay listings. Giving your eBay site greater visibility online helps you to maintain a strong online presence for your brand. By linking directly from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, you are easily broadening your potential customer base.

Ebay is a fantastic platform from which to launch a retail business. Follow this guide, and begin your e-commerce empire in the most successful way.

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