News Updates

Does Your Web Design Have More Problems Than Visitors? Top 10 Signs Your Site Needs An Overhaul

Has it been more than a few years now since you’ve taken the time to update your website?

Whether you maintain a personal site with a blog on it or have a site set up for your business, it probably looks old and outdated right now if you haven’t done anything to bring it up to speed. You need to call on a web designer to obtain web design services right away to bring your site back to life.

You also need to keep a close eye out for some of the other signs that will indicate it’s time to give your site a makeover. Here are 10 signs that’ll let you know you need to overhaul your website immediately.

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1. Takes Too Long to Load

Does it take your website more than two or three seconds max to load up when people visit it? If so, you have a big problem on your hands.

Google released a report a couple of years ago indicating that more than 50 percent of people will abandon a website before it even loads simply because it takes more than three seconds to do it.

If you find that your site is loading slow, there could be a number of reasons for it. It could be because of all the stuff you have on your site, or it could be because of a web hosting issue.

Either way, page speed is absolutely essential to the success of your site. So if your site is too slow, you need to consider working with someone who understands the ins and outs of web design.

2. Looks Awful Compared to Your Competition

Check out some of the sites that you consider to be your competition. Click around on the sites and see what their web design looks like and how it all works together.

Do you get the sense that your site simply doesn’t stack up?

If you think that, imagine what all of the people who visit both of your sites must think. It’s time for you to be honest with yourself and to take steps to improve your site so that you can compete with other sites.

3. Isn’t Mobile Friendly at All

In 2018, more than 52 percent of all the website traffic in the entire world is generated through smartphones. And that number continues to grow larger and larger every year with it jumping almost 40 percent in the last five years alone.

It’s not going to be long before almost all website traffic is generated through smartphones. So if your current site isn’t mobile-friendly enough, you need to change that.

By working with someone who knows a lot about web design, you can make your site function a lot better on mobile devices and avoid turning your website visitors off when they attempt to access your site on their phones.

4. Features Categories You Don’t Use Anymore

Are there several categories listed across the header on your website that you don’t use anymore?

Every so often, it’s a good idea for you to go in and get rid of the ones that you don’t need and add ones that will work better for you. This way, you won’t have people clicking through categories that don’t have any fresh content on them.

5. Opens You Up to Hacks and Other Security Issues

Studies have shown that as many as 30,000 websites are hacked every single day. It’s why it’s so important for you to take web hosting seriously and choose the right host for your site.

If you’ve been hacked before or if you’re simply worried about how a hack could affect your website, it’s great to have someone by your side who understands how to keep a site safe. With the right web hosting, you can put your security concerns to rest and spend more time focusing on improving your site as a whole.

6. Doesn’t Take SEO Into Account

When people search for a topic that’s covered extensively on your website through Google, does your website pop up?

It probably doesn’t if you haven’t made search engine optimization a priority. By boosting your SEO, you’ll start to see your website show up in more searches and generate more traffic as a result.

There are lots of website auditing hacks you can use to improve your SEO. But if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, a person with web design experience can lead the way for you.

7. Includes Old Logos

If you run a business and have a website for it, your logo should be featured prominently in different areas of the site. At least, it should be featured prominently if it looks great and represents your company well.

Otherwise, you should scrap your old logo and design a new one. You should also rework your website to fit your new logo, which might mean changing everything from the placement of it to the colors used on your site.

8. Fails to Sync Up With Social Media

These days, it’s almost impossible to run a successful website without taking advantage of social media. You need people to share content from your site on social media to increase your traffic.

If you have a site that’s on the older side, it probably doesn’t sync up directly with social media in a seamless way. Change that by overhauling your web design so that it’s easy for you and your readers to share your website posts on Facebook, Twitter, and more.

9. Discourages People From Purchasing Anything From You

Do you sell products and services on your site? You need people to feel confident about placing orders with you over the web.

They’re not going to do that if you don’t make it easy for them to put in orders. They’re also not going to do it if there are any security issues with your site at all.

By overhauling your site, you can instill a sense of trust in those who come to buy things from you.

10. No Longer Represents What Your Brand Is All About

When you look at your site, you should be proud of it and happy to show it off. It should be a strong representation of what your brand is all about.

If that’s no longer the case, it’s time to move on from your old site and embrace a new one. It’ll help redefine your brand and let others know what you stand for.

Rethink Your Web Design to Improve Your Website

Stop cringing every time you visit your own website. Make the necessary changes to it and fall in love with the way it looks again.

When you make an investment in web design by hiring an experienced web designer, you’ll also make an investment in both yourself and your business. You’ll put your best foot forward and make a great impression on others again.

Would you like to see what you can do to overhaul your website? Hire us to be your web designer. Based out of Savannah, Georgia, I can help anyone, anywhere with their web design needs

How to Sell Digital Products? 5 Best Product Ideas and Tips to Increase Your Sales

We are living in a digital world and people are already using many digital products and adapted to digital shopping. Digital platforms are performing great and are making huge revenue.

If you are planning to sell digital products, then you are having a revenue generating platform to increase your sales. Let’s discuss the basics.

Digital Products: 

Digital products or digital downloads are a part of online industry that you can sell online to your customers in return for money. Some of the best examples or format of digital products are audio or video files, gif or animated files, plugins, software, pdfs or documents, etc. that are only accessed by online medium.

 

Advantages of Selling Digital Products: 

1.Minimum Cost:

Rather than hardware or physical goods, it’s easy to sell digital products as it costs lower than physical products.

2.Ease of Selling:

You don’t worry about the shipping process of the products, as the digital products need an email-id and website to deliver them.

3. Huge Traffic:

Since all are available online and people are looking for many products, you can easily reach many people and get customers quickly.

4. Easy Payment:

Since the products are sold online, the payments are also received safely to your bank account via online. So, you can earn at anywhere irrespective of time and location.

How to Sell Digital Products? 

1.Understand Your Audience: 

Customers are everything on your online business. You have to understand their problems and requirements, so that you can deliver the right products (as a solution) to your customers. Customer support and satisfaction are key factors for every successful business. You have to remember this always and focus on customer queries and their feedback.

Providing 24/7 customers support is a necessary step as you are selling online and people will reach your website from different regions. Hence your website should be open 24/7/365 to solve your customer queries from anytime and anywhere.

2. Sell Trendy Products: 

Even if you are interested in old product ideas, you have to check the latest and trendy products that are liked by the customers. It’s important to sell the products in which you have the knowledge and interest, but customer’s thought is also necessary. So, the only way to achieve these two goals is that you can sell your interested products in a trendy way. These goods are always encouraged by the people and your business will also make sales.

 

3. Choose the best platform: 

You can use the prebuilt platforms like Amazon to sell your products but you have to pay vendor subscription fee to make your sales.

So, without losing any amount, you can have your own ecommerce website to sell your digital products. This method will need starting investment and you don’t even need to pay a subscription fee every month.

Delbimax Websolutions is a leading provider of e-commerce marketplace platform with which you can create customer friendly ecommerce website. Also, we provide customized Angular made ecommerce templates to design your website beautifully with all the latest features.

You can also use some other platforms to sell your products, but remember always choose the best to get best outcomes.

4. Friendly Designs and Features: 

A lot of customers are easily disappointed with your website design if it is not up-to-date. So, before choosing the platform, check whether it is made of the latest technology and able to include all features that a website needs.

Likewise, your website software should have features like unlimited product listing options, unlimited categories option, multiple payment methods, separate vendor and buyer dashboard, interactive UI designs, various product filter options, secure payment process, etc.,

These features will improve your loyalty to your customers which in return will get you more new customers.

5. Use Social Media: 

Marketing is the essential part of every business. Use all the social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn (If you are selling professional goods), etc., to draw the attention of new people. These media platforms help you to find the targeted customers easily and you have to post your products consistently to connect with your customers.

Other than social media, you have to use email marketing methods to update your new product releases with your customers. For that, you can use email marketing software like Get Response to send emails to many customers at the same time. You can also provide free digital downloads to get emails from your customers.

Finally:  

I hope this article helps you to find your digital products and gives you some tips to increase your product sales. Digital products and digital downloads are always having some traffic and you can start this ecommerce business without any doubt.

If you’ve decided to start this ecommerce business, then gave us a chance. Let’s build your ecommerce website together. Contact us now!

Photoshop Toolbar and Tools: How to Use in Photoshop C6 – CC 2019

If you are new to Adobe Photoshop (and even if you are not) the plethora of editing tools available can be quite daunting. This article explores each tool and how to use them.

But first, let’s look at Photoshop itself. It is a very in-depth application. Photoshop was designed for photo editing, image creation, and graphic design. The software provides many image editing features for raster (pixel-based) images as well as vector graphics. It appeals to photographers, graphic designers, video game artists, advertising, and meme designers.

With depth comes complexity. So that a lite version called Photoshop Elements was created for those users who did not need all of that image power. And in 2013, Adobe came out with Lightroom which was designed specifically for photographers.

A Beginners Guide: Photoshop Toolbar and Tools

Photoshop Toolbar and Tools

Photoshop has many useful keyboard shortcuts. In this case, instead of right-clicking on the tool, you can press “W” and then “Shift-W” to toggle between the two tools.

Another useful feature in Photoshop CC is that when you select a tool, a little video pops up showing how the tool works. It’s a nice way to reinforce the fact that you have the correct tool.

How To Customize Photoshop Toolbar

From the Edit menu, you can select the Tools… option. The Customize Toolbar window displays to allow you to customize the toolbar depending on your workflow.

Photoshop Customize Toolbar

You can:

  • Group tools together
  • Hide little-used tools
  • Display a tool on the Photoshop Toolbar instead of it being nested
  • Change the keyboard shortcut for a tool
  • Save the customized Photoshop Toolbar to a preset to use at another time

The Photoshop Toolbar can be displayed as a single row or a double row by selecting the two arrows at the top of it.

Photoshop Toolbar

You can also grab the top bar and drag the Photoshop Toolbar wherever you wish on the Photoshop canvas. We will look at the Photoshop tools in no specific order.

Drag the Photoshop Toolbar

How to Get Toolbar Back in Photoshop

But what happens if I somehow lose the Toolbar? To show the Photoshop Toolbar, simply click the Window menu and then Tools.

How to Get Toolbar Back in Photoshop

Most commonly used Photoshop tools at a Glance

  1. Move Tool – To move a part of any image.
  2. Marquee Tools – To give any particular shape of an image.
  3. Lasso Tools – To make any selection on an image.
  4. Quick Selection Tool/Magic Wand Tool – To make a quick selection.
  5. Crop Tool – To crop any part of an image.
  6. Eyedropper Tool – To sample a color from any image.
  7. Spot Healing Brush/Healing Brush/Patch Tool/Content-Aware Move Tool/Red Eye Tool – To fill or remove in any area in an image.
  8. Brush Tool – To retouch the image.
  9. Clone Stamp Tool/Pattern Stamp Tool – To clone of copy image information.
  10. History Brush Tool – To undo any tool used earlier.
  11. Eraser Tool/Background Eraser Tool/Magic Eraser Tool – To remove any section of an image.
  12. Blur Tool/Smudge Tool/Sharpen Tool – To blend color in various ranges.
  13. Dodge Tool – To highlight in different tone on any image.
  14. Text Tool – To write text anyway.
  15. Pen Tool – To draw paths around objects.
  16. Shape Tools – To give various shapes.
  17. Hand Tool – To move any area of an image.
  18. Zoom Tool – To zoom in and zoom out.

We will be using the following image whenever possible to demonstrate each tool.

Demonstrate Photoshop Tool

1. Move Tool

Move Tool

The Move Tool allows you to move part of a layered image to a new location. The very first thing that you need to know about the Move Tool that it only works when there is something to move inside the image. If your image has one layer and it is locked, the Move Tool cannot do anything to move the image. You need at least two layers to use the Move Tool. You can also use Move Tool with a single layer provided the single layer is unlocked.

In the image below, the window to the left of the model is in its own layer.

Demonstration of the Move tool

Select the Move Tool and drag the window to another position.

Demonstration of the Move tool

2. Marquee Tools

Photoshop Marquee Tools

There are several marquee tools that allow you to select areas in an image.

NOTE: With any of the selection tools, you can hold shift to add to your selection, and hold option/alt to subtract from the selection.

I. The Rectangular Marquee Tool

The Rectangular Tool

It makes a rectangular selection on your Photoshop image.

II. The Elliptical Marquee Tool

It allows you to make a round selection.

III. The Single Row Marquee Tool

It makes a 1px horizontal selection that spans the total width of your image. This can be used to create a 1px repeating pattern for your website content.

IV. The Single Column Marquee Tool

It makes a 1px vertical selection that spans the total height of your image. This can be used to create a 1px repeating pattern for your website content.

3. Lasso Tools

Lasso Tools

There are several lasso tools that also allow you to make selections.

I. Lasso Tool

The Lasso Tool lets you make loose selections around anything on a layer just like a lasso. It has the same options as the marquee tools.

II. Polygonal Lasso Tool

The Polygonal Lasso Tool allows you to make selections, but only in a linear way. That is, you can only draw straight lines for your selections.

III. Magnetic Lasso Tool

The Magnetic Lasso Tool

The Magnetic Lasso Tool allows you to drag your mouse over the edges of an image, it determines where the edges are, and anchor points are placed at regular intervals. This gives you a very close and controlled selection.

4. Quick Selection Tool/Magic Wand Tool

Quick Selection Tool and Magic Wand Tool

These two tools allow you to make quick selections in slightly different ways.

I. Quick Selection Tool

Demonstration of Quick Selection Tool

The Quick Selection Tool makes a selection based on the edges of objects. As it is with the name, it makes selections quickly, and you can just drag over the areas that you want to select.

II. Magic Wand Tool

The Magic Wand Tool makes a selection based on where you click your mouse. As with other selection tools, you can hold Shift to add to the selection and hold Option/Alt to take away from your selection.

5. Crop Tool

Crop Tool

As we mentioned before, you can also see a short video of each tool to make sure you have the correct one for your workflow as seen above.

I. Crop Tool

Demonstration of Crop Tool

The Crop Tool allows you to crop an image to the sizes that you want. You can input a set ratio, such as 4 x 6 in the ratio, or you can also set a fixed size and resolution for your cropped image.

II. Perspective Crop Tool

III. Slice Tool

IV. Slice Select Tool

How to Use Crop Tool in Photoshop?

6. Eyedropper Tool

Eyedropper Tool

I. Eyedropper Tool

Demonstration of Eyedropper Tool

The Eyedropper Tool allows you to sample a color from any image so that you can use it in your work. You can control the color area that it samples; it can sample a pixel, or it can sample a range of pixels. Also, you can sample the current layer or all layers.

II. 3D Material Eyedropper Tool

III. Color Sampler Tool

The Color Sampler Tool allows you to sample up to four areas of color within your image so that you can have information about those colors. Like the Eyedropper Tool, you can determine the range of pixels that it samples.

IV. Ruler Tool

V. Note Tool

VI. Count Tool

7. Spot Healing Brush/Healing Brush/Patch Tool/Content-Aware Move Tool/Red Eye Tool

Healing Tools

I. Spot Healing Brush Tool

Before and after using the Spot Healing Tool

The Spot Healing Brush is a great tool for removing blemishes from images. It works with a simple click of the mouse by sampling the surrounding areas and blending the blemish away.

II. Healing Brush Tool

The Healing Brush Tool allows you to brush out blemishes and areas that aren’t desired in your images. Unlike the Spot Healing Brush, the Healing brush requires you to select a reference point.

How to Use the Healing
Brush Tool in Photoshop

III. Patch Tool

The Patch Tool is a great tool where you can make a selection that is similar to the Lasso Tool. Once the selection is made, you can click and drag it to the area to fill it with and when you release it, it patches that area with the selected content.

IV. Content-Aware Move Tool

The Content-Aware Move Tool intelligently tries to fill in any moved content with what it perceives to be there. For example, a rowboat on a beach can be moved, and Photoshop will try to fill in the sand that would be behind the boat.

V. Red Eye Tool

The Red Eye Tool is a quick way to click on portions of an image that have red-eye and remove them instantly.

8. Brush Tool

Brush Tool

I. Brush Tool

The Brush Tool using the color selected by the Eyedropper Tool

The Brush Tool is one of the most important tools that are in your Photoshop toolbox. You will probably use the Brush Tool more than any other tool in Photoshop, especially if you are retouching images. You can change the size of the brush, how hard it is, its shape, texture, opacity, flow, and more.

II. Pencil Tool

The Pencil Tool allows you to draw on an image like you were using a real pencil, hence the name.

9. Clone Stamp Tool/Pattern Stamp Tool

Stamp Tool

I. Clone Stamp Tool

Demonstration of Clone stamp tool

The Clone Stamp Tool is used to clone or copy image information from one area to another. You can hold the Option/Alt key and click an area of an image. Then, click the image to brush with the color and image information that you sampled.

II. Pattern Stamp Tool

The Pattern Stamp Tool gives you the ability to use a brush-type tool to paint a pattern or texture on your image.

III. Color Replacement Tool

IV. Mixer Brush Tool

10. History Brush Tool

History Brush Tool

I. History Brush Tool

Demonstration of History Brush Tool

With this tool, you can paint with an image snapshot in a different layer. This lets you bring in details from a previous point in your work. It’s like an Undo feature.

I. Art History Brush Tool

11. Eraser Tools

Eraser Tool

I. Eraser Tool

Demonstration of The Eraser Tool

The Eraser Tool removes pixel information from your image just like a real eraser. You use brushes, which you can specify just like any other brush-related tool in Photoshop such as hardness, shape, texture, opacity, and flow.

II. Background Eraser Tool

The Background Eraser Tool is an awesome tool for removing the background from an image. Click and drag the eraser along the edges of an image and its background and it will remove the background. This isn’t perfect but it goes a long way toward the goal.

III. Magic Eraser Tool

The Magic Eraser Tool removes a section of the background of an image and is based on the area that you click on. It does a good job, but sometimes it removes areas that aren’t necessary, requiring some trial and error.

12. Blur Tool/ Smudge Tool/ Sharpen Tool

Blur Tool, Smudge Tool and Sharpen Tool

I. Blur Tool

The Blur Tool lets you blur parts of an image, which can help with harsh contrasts between images. Like the Sharpen Tool, it behaves just like a brush and gives you accurate results.

II. Sharpen Tool

The Sharpen Tool gives you the ability to sharpen areas of an image by painting on them. This gives you a lot of control and accuracy when sharpening images.

III. Smudge Tool

Demonstration of The Smudge Tool

The Smudge Tool works like a brush too, but it “smudges” pixels and allows you to push them around. It allows you to blend and transition colors easily.

13. Dodge Tool/Burn Tool/Sponge Tool

Dodge Tool

I. Dodge Tool

The Dodge Tool lets you paint in highlights in the different tone ranges of your images.

 

Demonstration of Dodge tool

The Dodge Tool. Note how the hair and dress are lighter and brighter colors.

II. Burn Tool

The Burn Tool lets you paint to dehighlights in the different tone ranges of your images.

III. Sponge Tool

The Sponge Tool lets you paint in a grey color.

14. Text Tool

Text tool

The Text Tool is the main tool for creating your type in Photoshop.

I. Horizontal Type Tool

The Horizontal Type Tool lets you type horizontally for normal text.

II. Vertical Type Tool

Demonstration of Text tool

The Vertical Type Tool lets you type vertically instead of the traditional horizontal method.

15. Pen Tool

 Pen Tool

I. Pen Tool

With the Pen Tool, you can draw paths for use in your work. Print designers use the Pen Tool in Photoshop to draw paths around objects for their projects. Many print design software such as Quark and InDesign allow you to use clipping paths embedded from Photoshop so that there are no backgrounds around your images.

Demonstration of the pen tool

II. Freeform Pen Tool

III. Curvature Pen Tool

IV. Add Anchor Point Tool

V. Delete Anchor Point Tool

VI. Convert Point Tool

How to Use Pen Tool in Photoshop to Make Clipping Paths?

LEARN MORE

16. Shape Tools

Shape Tools

Different shape tools allow you to draw different shapes based on paths or vector shape layers, which gives you well-defined lines.

I. Rectangle Tool

The rectangle shape tool allows you to create a rectangle shape.

II. Rounded Rectangle Tool

The rounded rectangle shape tool allows you to create a rounded rectangle shape.

III. Ellipse Tool

Demonstration of ellipse shape tool

The ellipse shape tool allows you to create a perfect rounded shape.

IV. Polygon Tool

The polygon shape tool allows you to create a polygon shape.

V. Line Tool

The line tool allows you to create a straight-line shape.

VI. Custom Shape Tool

The custom shape tool allows you to draw custom shapes.

17. Hand Tool

Hand Tool

I. Hand Tool

Demonstration of hand tool

The Hand Tool lets you move to any area of an image without accidentally dragging around a layer of an object on a layer. You can quickly switch to the Hand Tool any time just by holding the space bar.

II. Rotate View Tool

18. Zoom Tool

Zoom Tool

I. Zoom Tool

Demonstration of Zoom Tool

The Zoom Tool is used to zoom in and out of your image. It is most commonly used when you want to zoom in on a specific part of an image. You simply click and drag a selection of an image and Photoshop will zoom in on that area.

So there you have a discussion of the more commonly used tools. Take some time with your favorite images to explore these tools in Adobe Photoshop. Happy Practicing 🙂

12 Reasons Why Your Business Absolutely Needs SEO

SEO is important for greater searchability and visibility, but offers more real value than that. Here are 12 reasons why businesses need SEO to take their brand to the next level.

Many brands and businesses know (or think they know) that they need SEO for their digital properties, and the benefits they will get from that SEO work being implemented on their behalf.

SEO will certainly improve a website’s overall searchability and visibility, but what other real value does it offer? Why is SEO so important?

These 12 reasons should offer some clarity, regardless of the industry or business size, as to why businesses need SEO to take their brand to the next level.

1. Organic Search Is Most Often the Primary Source of Website Traffic

Organic search is a huge part of most business’s website performance, as well as a critical component of the buyer funnel and ultimately getting users to complete a conversion or engagement.

As marketers know, Google owns a significantly larger portion of the search market than competitors like Yahoo, Bing, Baidu, Yandex, DuckDuckGo, and the many, many others.

That’s not to say that all search engines don’t contribute to a brand’s visibility — they do — it’s just that Google owns about 75 percent of the overall search market. It’s the clear-cut leader and thus its guidelines are important to follow.

But the remaining 25 percent of the market owned by other engines is obviously valuable to brands, too.

Google, being the most visited website in the world (as well as specifically in the United States), also happens to be the most popular email provider in the world (with more than 1 billion users). Not to mention YouTube is the second biggest search engine.

We know that a clear majority of the world that has access to the internet is visiting Google at least once a day to get information.

Being highly visible as a trusted resource by Google and other search engines is always going to work in a brand’s favor. Quality SEO and a high-quality website take brands there.

2. SEO Builds Trust & Credibility

The goal of any experienced SEO is to establish a strong foundation for a beautiful website with a clean, effective user experience that is easily discoverable in search with thanks to the trust and credibility of the brand and its digital properties.

Many elements go into establishing authority regarding search engines like Google. In addition to the factors mentioned above, authority is accrued over time as a result of elements like:

  • Quality backlink profiles.
  • Positive user behavior.
  • Machine-learning signals.
  • Optimized on-page elements and content.

But establishing that authority will do more for a brand than most, if not all, other digital optimizations. Problem is, it’s impossible to build trust and credibility overnight — just like real life. Authority is earned and built over time.

Establishing a brand as an authority takes patience, effort, and commitment, but also relies on offering a valuable, quality product or service that allows customers to trust a brand.

3. Good SEO Also Means a Better User Experience

Everyone wants better organic rankings and maximum visibility. Few realize that optimal user experience is a big part of getting there.

Google has learned how to interpret a favorable or unfavorable user experience, and positive user experience has become a pivotal element to a website’s success.

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Customers know what they want. If they can’t find it, there’s going to be a problem. And performance will suffer.

A clear example of building a strong user experience is how Google has become more and more of an answer engine offering the sought-after data directly on the SERPs (search engine results pages) for users.

The intention of that is offering users the information they are looking for in fewer clicks, quickly and easily.

Quality SEO incorporates a positive user experience, leveraging it to work in a brand’s favor.

4. Local SEO Means Increased Engagement, Traffic & Conversions

With the rise and growing domination of mobile traffic, local search has become a fundamental part of small- and medium-sized businesses’ success.

Local SEO aims at optimizing your digital properties for a specific vicinity, so people can find you quickly and easily, putting them one step closer to a transaction.

Local optimizations focus on specific towns, cities, regions, and even states, to establish a viable medium for a brand’s messaging on a local level.

SEO pros do this by optimizing the brand’s website and its content, including local citations and backlinks, as well as local listings relevant to the location and business sector a brand belongs to.

To promote engagement on the local level, SEO pros should optimize a brand’s Knowledge Graph panel, its Google My Business listing, and its social media profiles as a start.

There should also be a strong emphasis on user reviews on Google, as well as other reviews sites like Yelp, Home Advisor, and Angie’s List (among others), depending on the industry.

5. SEO Impacts the Buying Cycle

Customers do their research. That’s one of the biggest advantages of the internet from a buyer perspective.

Using SEO tactics to relay your messaging for good deals, groundbreaking products and/or services, and the importance and dependability of what you offer customers will be a game changer.

It will also undoubtedly impact the buying cycle in a positive way when done right.

Brands must be visible in the places people need them for a worthy connection to be made. Local SEO enhances that visibility and lets potential customers find the answers, and the businesses providing those answers.

6. SEO Best Practices Are Always Being Updated

It’s great to have SEO tactics implemented on a brand’s website and across its digital properties, but if it’s a short-term engagement (budget constraints, etc.) and the site isn’t re-evaluated consistently over time, it will reach a threshold where it can no longer improve because of other hindrances.

The way the search world evolves, basically at the discretion of Google, requires constant monitoring for changes to stay ahead of the competition and, hopefully, on Page 1.

Being proactive and monitoring for major algorithm changes is always going to benefit the brands doing so.

We know Google makes thousands of algorithm changes a year. Fall too far behind, and it will be extremely difficult to come back. SEO pros help to ensure that is avoided.

7. Understanding SEO Helps You Understand the Environment of the Web

With the always-changing environment that is the World Wide Web, it can be a challenge to stay on top of the changes as they take place.

But includes being in the loop for the major changes taking place for search.

Knowing the environment of the Web, including tactics being used by other local, comparable businesses and competitors, will always be beneficial for those brands.

8. SEO Is Relatively Cheap

Sure, it costs money. All the best things do, right?

But SEO is relatively cheap in the grand scheme of things, and the payoff will most likely be considerable in terms of a brand’s benefit and bottom line.

This isn’t a marketing cost; this is a true business investment. Good SEO implementation will hold water for years to come. And, like most things in life, will only be better with the more attention (and investment) it gets.

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9. It’s A Long-Term Strategy

SEO can (and hopefully does) have a noticeable impact within the first year of action being taken, and many of those actions will have an impact that lasts more than several years.

As the market evolves, yes, it’s best to follow the trends and changes closely. But even a site that hasn’t had a boatload of intense SEO recommendations implemented will improve from basic SEO best practices being employed on an honest website with a decent user experience.

And the more SEO time, effort, and budget that is committed to it, the better and longer a website stands to being a worthy contender in its market.

10. It’s Quantifiable

While SEO doesn’t offer the easier-to-calculate ROI like that of paid search, you can measure almost anything with proper tracking and analytics.

The big problem is trying to connect the dots on the back end since there is no definitive way to understand the correlation between all actions taken.

Still, it is worth understanding how certain actions are supposed to affect performance and growth, and hopefully they do.

Any good SEO is going to be aiming at those improvements, so connecting the dots should not be a challenge.

Brands also want to know and understand where they were, where they are, and where they’re going in terms of digital performance, especially for SEO when they have a person/company that is being paid to execute on its behalf.

There’s no better way to show the success of SEO, either. We all know the data never lies.

11. SEO Brings New Opportunities to Light

High-quality SEO will always find a means of discovering and leveraging new opportunities for brands to, not just be discovered, but to shine.

Offering quality SEO to brands means submersing an SEO team in everything that is that brand. It’s the only way to truly market a brand with the passion and understanding that brand’s stakeholders have for it: becoming a stakeholder.

The better a brand is understood, the more opportunities will arise to help it thrive. The same can be said about SEO.

12. If You’re Not on Page 1, You’re Not Winning the Click

It’s no secret in the world of SEO that if you’re not on Page 1, you’re likely not killing the organic search game.

A recent study shows that the first three organic search ranking positions result in nearly 40 percent of all click-throughs, while up to 30 percent of all results on Page 1 and 2 don’t get clicked at all.

What’s this mean? Two things:

  • If you’re not on Page 1, you need to be.
  • There are still too many instances when a user types a search query and can’t find exactly what it’s looking for.

Conclusion

Implementing strong, quality SEO on a brand’s website and digital properties is always going to be beneficial to that brand and its marketing efforts.

It’s considered a “new age” marketing technique, but it’s critical to a brand’s web presence in this day and age, especially as available data and rivaling competition continue to increase and grow.

 

The Ultimate Guide to Running Effective Facebook Ads

Social media has become one of the most effective digital marketing channels for businesses to get relevant leads. Of all the channels, Facebook is proving to be the most effective advertising channel to get more impressions, clicks, and conversions.

As you make heads or tails of Facebook ads, read our ultimate guide that has all the necessary information related to these small yet robust revenue generators and how you can use them to make a killer Facebook ad strategy.

Before delving further into the topic, let us first understand why is it important to use Facebook ads, its different types and the pros and cons of using it.

Top four reasons to use Facebook ads

With over 3 million businesses advertising on Facebook, this social media network has gained popularity over the last few years, mostly because of these four reasons (Facebook):

Data size: Facebook has more than 1.13 billion daily active users, of which 1.03 billion access it through mobile devices.

Time spent: Most people spend an average of 50 minutes daily on just Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger (The Guardian).

Declining organic reach: There has been a steady decline in organic reach of the Facebook post due to recent changes in the algorithms. Facebook has been all about pay-to-play social network ever since it introduced an algorithm that knits paid advertising into the feeds of its users.

Focused targeting: Facebook provides incredible targeting options within Facebook Ads, including behavior, age, location, demographics, interests, gender, etc.

Different types of Facebook ads

There are 11 different types of Facebook ads, giving users versatile options to solve a range of business problems from increasing traffic to a web page to targeting people in your locality. Here is the list of 11 ads options that advertisers can use:

  • Boost posts
  • Promote page
  • Drive traffic to the website
  • Alleviate conversions on the website
  • Get app installs
  • Boost app engagement
  • Reach local audience
  • Increase event attendance
  • Motivate people to claim an offer
  • Get more video views
  • Garner leads for your business

Pros and cons of Facebook Advertising

One last thing to consider before we delve into Facebook ad strategy and copywriting is understanding the pros and cons of it.

Pros

  • Easily track campaigns
  • Instant traffic influx and ROI
  • Total control of the daily budget
  • Maximize Cost-per-click
  • Extensive targeting options like age, income bracket, towns, regions, age, etc.
  • Can target people who are at an early buying stage as well as later stages
  • Allows uses of images and videos to grab the audience’s attention to sell more products or services
  • CPC is relatively cheaper  (On average, up to $0.61 per click)

Cons

  • Advertising on Facebook can be expensive if set up and managed incorrectly
  • A majority of your target audience can be irrelevant based on your target market
  • Lacks the option to target ads during certain times within the day unless opted for a lifetime budget
  • Works for B2B but more suited for B2C
  • Reaching a potential audience early in the buying lifecycle can sometimes lower the goal conversion rate

 

Designing a Perfect Facebook Ads Strategy

Well at this point let’s learn how to best define your Facebook ad strategy.

Define Your offer

Before you define your Facebook ad strategy, you need to first ascertain what your offer is. An easy way to determine your offer is by asking a few questions to yourself, including the purpose of your promos, such as driving traffic or increasing brand awareness or downloads.

The objectives and ad style would greatly depend on whether your offer is online or offline. For instance, if you want people to subscribe to your email newsletter, then you may want to try a lead generation form. If you want people to get an in-store visit, then maybe doing a campaign with an offer will be a better option than a single photo post.

Ascertain your business goals

Once you know your business goals, pick the kind of Facebook ad that aligns with it. If your aim is to reach new customers, then having a lead generation ad should be your objective. In case you have retail locations, then having Store Visits’ objective makes more sense. All these instances show that it is extremely important to determine your business goals before you start any Facebook ad campaign

Ways to measure results

Before starting your campaign, we recommend that you have your Key Performance Indicator (KPI) in place. Whether it is the number of sales you made, the total revenue you generated, or the total form submissions you got, measuring the results of an ad campaign will help you improve your future campaigns. The best way to measure the results is by putting a special tag at the end of your URL called a UTM code.

Copywriting for Facebook Ads

The initial step to writing a fantastic copy for a Facebook ad is to optimize the image. According to Consumer Acquisition, the image of the ad is responsible for 75-90% of the ad’s performance. Therefore, it is important to optimize the images along with the text of the ad.

It is always a good idea to pick multiple images while keeping the copy consistent to find out which images work for you the best. Make sure to use the UTM code to track the ad copies and see which one brings the maximum results.

Text message on the image

You should also be mindful of the messaging on your ad’s image to get at least one key messaging across the target audience. Even though Facebook only allows 20% of the image to be text, how you place the text on the image and what text you put will eventually matter the most in converting leads into sales.

The copy and the image

Once you’ve determined the image text and optimized the image of the ad copy, you’d want to create a compelling copy. How you create the copy will be dependent upon your target audience and where they are in the funnel stage. If it is top of the funnel, then having a copy that compels the person to down a report, sign up for a webinar or subscribe to your newsletter is suited the most to start a new relationship. However, if the ad targets the bottom of the funnel audience, then having a free trial or promo offer will be the offer that will close the deal and increase sales.

5 Rules To Write Compelling Facebook Ad Headline

  1. Include CTA in headlines by using an imperative form of the verb as the first word.
  2. As part of storytelling, tell them why they should take the action you’ve asked them to take in the CTA. By connecting the “what” to “why”, you give your readers a direction and a strong reason to act.
  3. Don’t have multiple ideas in the headlines. The headline should be crisp and should not convey multiple thoughts.
  4. Use numbers and special characters to make the headline more eye-catching.
  5. Keep it short by restricting it to 5 words, because this is what mostly works, according to AdEspresso.

Understanding the data gathered

Once your ad campaign begins on Facebook, you will be provided with a generous amount of data along with its analysis. You can access the data by clicking on an individual ad campaign, ad set, or data just for a particular ad copy. All the data provided by Facebook ads can be sorted by clicking on the heading and this data can be exported into an excel spreadsheet using the Export button. The stats for each set of data has basic information such as delivery, cost, reach, relevance, and more to help you see if your campaign is working or not.

Final Thoughts

Facebook ads are a great way to drive traffic to your website or a targeted landing page made exclusively to get the best results from your campaign. As you begin advertising on Facebook, you need to understand your goals, your offer and more particularly, your results.

With a strong image and a copy, you can derive maximum results and become a pro at Facebook advertising. If you are wondering where to get started, then we recommend experimenting with ads with a small budget. After all, as the saying goes, an opportunity not taken is an opportunity lost! Over to you now.

Top 10 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Website in 2020

Consumer behavior has changed over time to adapt to the evolving technologies in the digital era. For instance, the thick yellow pages, which were popular not so long ago, have been replaced with online directories with the advent of the World Wide Web.

Today, the number of people who use the internet to find businesses has increased manifold and yellow pages have nearly been reduced to dust. According to Adaptive Marketing, in 2017, 97% of people searched online to find a local business near them. Therefore, if you want to grow your business by being in front of the right audience, you need to be found online – implying you must have a website. This blog talks about the top 10 reasons why your business needs a website in 2020 regardless of the industry you are in.

Reason #1: Your Customers Expect It
Taking upon the previous point, your tech-savvy customers expect you to have a website to find more information about your business. As for you, your website can help you generate business, increase brand recall value, promote goodwill in front of customers and target audience, as well as deliver strong marketing messages. Think of it this way, your website delivers your marketing message 24 hours, 365 days in a year! Apart from e-commerce websites, most professional websites are information-oriented and try to solve visitors’ pain points.

Reason #2: Offers Social Proof
Customer behavior is driven mostly by what others have to say about your business. No matter, if your brand is rated 5-star on review sites like FourSquare or Yelp, people expect to see your website to get more information about the brand. Since prospective buyers are already looking for you online, including customer testimonials on your site is a great way to impress potential buyers and provide social proof.

 

Reason #3. Control the Narrative
While it is difficult to control what people say about you, you can influence your brand perception by writing your own story on the website. A website is a far more efficient way than print ads or snail mail brochures when it comes to helping brands spread their message, vision, and mission. According to SEOTribunal, there are 5.6 billion searches on Google per day, and 63,000 searches per second on any given day. Imagine, with that kind of search volume, there might be someone online right now looking for your exact service. If you don’t have a website, guess who will get the business? Definitely, not you! But that competitor next door, who has a great-looking search-optimized website.

Reason #4: Maximize ROI
In the digital transformation era, creating a website on free tools such as WordPress.com doesn’t cost a lot of money, but provides more bang for your buck. A search engine optimized website lets you be in front of thousands of more potential consumers without spending much. It can help you reach a wider target audience for promoting your services or products. The content on the website also influences buying decisions and commercial transactions, no matter which industry you are in.

Reason #5: Website Adds To Company’s Credibility
If you want to show the world that you take your business seriously, then it is time to invest in a professional website. In an age when more than 50% of smartphone users discover a new company or product while searching on their smartphones, not having a website can damage your credibility. According to a study, 75% of online users accepted to judge a company’s credibility based on its website’s design. In the end, people are likely to engage with a company they can trust, and the website is the stepping stone towards building that relationship.

 

Reason #6: Have More Constructive Conversations
The website is your platform to answer all basic questions your potential customers may have about your business and brand. This is especially true for B2B companies. When people visit your website, they seek answers to basic questions like what you do, your products/solutions, your location, contact details, etc. Once they are satisfied with all that, they decide to either follow up or not. Just remember, when you provide such information, keep it simple and short since consumers these days expect immediate gratification.

Reason #7: Compete With Other Industry Goliaths
Did you know that having a website gives you a fair chance to compete with the giants of your industry? When an optimized website is created, it can rank higher and be at the right place at the right time. Bidding for the right keywords can increase your website traffic and influence your consumer’s journey, which typically begins with research, recommendations, and reviews. Having a prominent position in the search results page is one of the many ways to challenge your industry Goliaths. Therefore, if you don’t dominate the Internet, you are giving your customers a reason to buy from the competition.

Reason #8: Fading Social Media Reach
If you think having a page on social media is enough to attract new customers, think again. It is not enough to have a Facebook page, because every other business has it. Facebook claims that people in 2018 spent 50 million fewer hours on Facebook than they did the year before. Therefore, many companies are now switching to building websites instead of relying on social media networks only. While social media networks have the potential to increase business, banking just on them can be a huge mistake that can cost in the years to come.

 

Reason #9: Expand Your Working Hours
Having a website means that your content is available to users anytime during the day, as per their convenience. So whether someone visits your website in the dead of the night or during the day, in some way you’re always interacting with them, and can say goodbye to that ‘closed for business’ sign. Being accessible at all times supports marketing and increases sales dramatically, and this is especially true for e-commerce companies. It also is a step towards effective customer service and relationship building, especially if you have AI-powered chatbots enabled on your website that can solve basic problems of your customers when they need it the most.

Reason #10. Showcase Your Offers
It cannot be stressed enough that a website is the first interaction of your target audience with your brand. How you position your business is totally in your control. Add to it, you can not only display your offerings with features but also provide short video tutorials or downloadable PDF instructions. You can also highlight your awards, testimonials and all the features that can alleviate your visitors’ pain points. This increases the average time your customers spend on the website and perhaps influence their decision to contact you.

Final Takeaway
The Price of Being Left behind Is A Lot More Than Having a Website
Having a professionally designed, brand-differentiating website is critical to increasing sales, boosting the bottom line, and growing your business. It gives you a chance to be in front of the right target audience with your brand’s story. Moreover, having a basic website costs some pennies and can provide huge returns over the long run.

So instead of asking why your business needs a website, ask why not!

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— and we’re always adding more. Many of our IT courses are offered as online training as well as in a classroom environment, giving you the flexibility you need. Either way, you’ll gain access to elite instructors and an unmatched hands-on experience built on over 7 years of training expertise. So, let’s get ready to grow your career.

15 tactics to keep your food business running during COVID-19

A 6,000-word playbook for food business owners in Nigeria and Ghana. Here’s how restaurants and bars in 8 countries are boosting sales during COVID-19.


Photo by Rumman Amin on Unsplash

Food businesses such as restaurants and bars have been some of the hardest-hit during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this 6,000-word deep-dive, we’ll explore 15 tactics that have kept food businesses across the world in business, with specific examples from South Africa, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Ghana, and Nigeria.

We understand that the challenges faced by food businesses in Africa are unique in many significant ways. Kindly consider this article to simply be a convenient, comprehensive reference of interesting ideas to potentially explore.

Offer online ordering, delivery, and pickup

When customers can’t come to you, you go to them. This is the most obvious strategy for selling during a lockdown, and we’ve seen several businesses, from the Eko Hotels and Suites in Lagos, to storied fine dining establishments like Chicago’s Alinea, pivot to selling online and delivering directly to customers.

When it goes well, some businesses can make a significant percentage of their pre-lockdown sales through online ordering and delivery, as is the case with Alinea, which is making up to 75% of its regular revenue through online orders.


Photo: Chefs at Alinea Restaurant

But there are big questions to think about. If you’re a food business in Ghana or Nigeria that’s new to selling on the internet, how do you get started? Do you piggyback on the discovery and delivery networks of third-party platforms like Jumia Food, or do you cut out the middleman and sell directly to customers? Here’re some broad factors to consider.

Listing on food delivery platforms vs. self-delivery

Here are some pros and cons of using a third party delivery company as compared to owning the delivery process:

Pros of third-party platforms

  • A food delivery platform gives you unparalleled distribution. Their apps and websites see a lot of traffic, and they could give you access to a broader audience, thereby increasing your chances of receiving orders
  • You get to focus on your domain expertise — making food and drinks — while you outsource the expensive business of deliveries to an experienced establishment
  • You could theoretically spend less energy on customer acquisition because the ordering platform does a lot of that for you already

Cons of third-party platforms

  • A delivery company sits between you and the customer. As a result of this, they own the customer relationship, not you. If you owned your delivery, you could potentially collect these customers’ contact details, and build enduring relationships over time
  • Once the food or drinks leave your establishment, you no longer control the customer’s experience. How long does it take to get the food delivered? How courteous is the delivery person? How well does the meal travel, and is the food still in good shape when it arrives?
  • You pay a commission that could be anything from 10 – 30% per order to the delivery platforms. Depending on your profit margins, this could be expensive.

From a broad point of view, a lot of the decision making boils down to: can you afford to invest the resources necessary to build the infrastructure that allows you to own the entire customer relationship, or do you want to plug into an established system that gives you almost instant distribution?

Here’re a few of our favourite podcast resources to help you make a considered decision:

How to list your food business on Jumia Food

If you’re a food business in Ghana or Nigeria, Jumia Food is one of the most popular food ordering and delivery companies to consider.

To get started, send an email to the Jumia Food vendor acquisition team, informing them that you’d like to list your food business on their platform. You should share the following details with them:

  • The name of your food business
  • The location of your food business
  • The types of food you sell
  • A contact address — phone number and email address.

Here’s a sample email you can copy and use for yourself:

——-

SUBJECT LINE: Looking to list {YOUR RESTAURANT NAME} on Jumia Food

Hi team,

My name is {YOUR FULL NAME}, and I’d like to list my restaurant on Jumia Food.

Name of restaurant: {NAME OF RESTAURANT}

Location: {YOUR BUSINESS’ ADDRESS}

Type of food we sell: {LIST ALL THE TYPES OF FOOD YOU SELL}

My contact phone number: {YOUR PHONE NUMBER}

My contact email address: {YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS}

Warm regards,

{YOUR FULL NAME}

——-

If your food business is in Ghana, send the email to: restaurant.food@jumia.com.gh

If your food business is in Nigeria, send the email to: restaurant.food@jumia.com.ng

According to the Jumia Food team, you should receive a reply within 7 days. In Ghana, they’re operational in Accra and Tema while in Nigeria, they have a presence in Abuja, Ibadan, Port Harcourt, and Lagos.

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