Topic: Development

Free SEO Tools: Optimizing Your Website

Posted on October 2, 2015 by - Development, Websites

If you haven’t already learned about Conversion Rate Optimization, now is the time to start. Testing different versions of your website is one of the easiest ways to maximize a website’s ROI. Whether you are writing new content, using new pictures or changing button colors, your website can always be improved to bring you more revenue, clicks, etc.

While Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) sounds complex, implementing it can be easy. Try it for yourself right now!  Optimizely is one of the most well-known CRO appliations available for free. The tool makes it easy for users to make basic edits to their website, then test those edits to see if it boosts conversions. Just type in your website’s URL in the tool to begin changing your website around.

Optimizely is free if your website receives less than 50,000 monthly visitors. This isn’t an advertisement for Optimizely though, this is a way to show business owners that CRO is for everyone. The tool is very user-friendly and makes it easy to start editing your website right away.

Take the picture below as a prime example of easy CRO. This is an edit to Thoughtwire Media’s homepage that took less than 2 minutes to perform. The products have been rearranged and the hosting column has been eliminated entirely. Let’s suppose that if we tested this new homepage that we saw a 15 percent increase in traffic to Thoughtwire Media and a 2 percent decrease in bounce rate. You can bet that we would implement this new page design as quickly as possible.

Thoughtwire Media Edited Page

Edited Thoughtwire Media Homepage

Thoughtwire Media Home Page

Original Thoughtwire Media Homepage

 

Basic changes like this to your company’s website can cause small 2 and 3 percent increases in goal completion per page. If you add up those small increases on every page, you may find that after a few months of CRO, your website is generating much more revenue. Even if changing button colors only increases revenue by 1 percent, isn’t it worth it? In the world of CRO, a little bit of testing can truly go a long way.

Interested in optimizing your website and increasing revenue? Contact Thoughtwire Media today to talk about how your website can make you more money.

Lessons Learned from CRO Case Studies

Posted on September 18, 2015 by - Development, SEO

Conversion Rate Optimization

 

Testing different versions of your website’s design and content is an important step in improving your website and increasing revenue. Unfortunately, most people do not have a site that generates enough traffic to run these tests easily and quickly. In the world of Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), there are plenty of lessons to be learned by the experiments ran on other websites. Look below for some of the lessons you can take away from CRO case studies.

Advertise Your Most Appealing Offer

Every company wants to know what they have to offer customers to maximize their revenue. By using different versions and offers during an experiment (read more here), Electronic Art’s The Sims™ was able to identify which of their offers appealed most to their customers. By displaying that offer prominently, they were able to increase their game registrations by 128 percent. The lesson here: performing a simple content-switch experiment can lead to great results.

Pricing Page > Prices

In this study for Basekit, a redesign of their pricing page led to a 25 percent increase in purchases. They were not testing a new pricing model or seeing how a new offer might perform. All the company had to do was change their pricing table to a more modern, clean structure in order to increase sales. If you have a basic spreadsheet-like design for a pricing table, consider a heavy redesign to increase sales.

Never Doubt Color Psychology

Button color tests are one of the easiest and most profitable tests to run. Take this test for example. By switching a sign-up button’s color from green to red, Performable was able to increase sales by 21 percent. If someone told you that you could earn 21 percent more money by changing a color, you might break a finger trying to change that color so fast. There is no single best color to increase profits, but button testing takes minutes to set up and can potentially have huge payoffs.

The point to all of these tests is to demonstrate how website experimentation tools like Optimizely can unlock the potential of your site. If changing a button’s color earned you more money, wouldn’t you do it? If advertising “Offer B” instead of “Offer A” increased your revenue, wouldn’t you rewrite your website? With each experiment you run, there is a chance to increase your revenue.  Those hidden increases are spread across every page on your site. If you are interested in getting the most out of your website, contact Thoughtwire Media today to discuss how to optimize your website.

Is Parallax Right for You?

Posted on September 14, 2015 by - Development, Websites

Apple's Parallax Website

 

One of the most notable trends in modern website design has been the shift to Parallax. If you aren’t sure what Parallax designs are, it’s probably because you haven’t heard the name, but chances are that you have seen a Parallax site. These types of sites use scrolling in place of the standard navigation style. This way, a user can see the entire site simply by scrolling down. To see examples of Parallax sites, check out the Apple or Lexus websites.

The big question, however, is whether or not you should switch to a Parallax design. The design has its pros and cons, but its usefulness relies heavily on what type of website or business you are running. We are not here to break down the pros and cons of Parallax in general, but instead we want to focus on which websites are/aren’t well-suited for the design.

Large E-Commerce Websites

If you run an E-commerce website that focuses on selling hundreds of products, you may want to steer away from using a Parallax site. Firstly, the key to any large E-Commerce site is making it as easy as possible for your customer to find what they are looking for in your sea of product offerings. Parallax sites are notoriously confusing for first-time visitors because the design is so new. Secondly, the design does not work well with categorizing and organizing multiple elements into an easy-to-navigate manner. If your user is browsing, a Parallax site might work well for keeping them navigating throughout the site, but if they are searching for a specific category or product, the design may cause confusion and frustration.

Blogging or News Websites

Even though Parallax might not mesh well with large E-commerce websites, it has the opposite effect for blogging or news-based websites. Check out this free parallax theme designed for bloggers. You can see that navigating through the website is an experience. Many users may want to keep scrolling to see the new animations pop up. The reason Parallax works so well for these sites is because their goal is to engage users and increase the time spent on the website which is precisely what this design does well. If your blog or news website focuses on a specific industry, the shift to Parallax could bring a new level of user engagement to your site. If you focus on general news, however, then this design is less useful.

Small E-Commerce Websites

We talked earlier about large E-commerce sites, but what if you only sell a handful of products or services? Take a look at this parallax theme that focuses on small E-commerce sites. You can tell that the simplicity of the site makes it easy for users to compare products in a fun, interactive way. For a site that sells three to five distinct products or services, a Parallax design could work well.

With that being said, your website’s design should reflect your company culture. There are Parallax designs that work amazingly for large E-commerce sites like this one. If you believe your site could use a fresh coat of paint, contact Thoughtwire Media online or by phone at (800) 367-2570.

Why Every Website Needs Google Analytics

Posted on August 20, 2015 by - Development, SEO

The SEO process

If you are currently running a website, but are completely foreign to Google Analytics, your website is underperforming. Put simply, Google Analytics is possibly the single most important tool in any site owner’s arsenal. We aren’t here to admire the tools of Google Analytics; however, we are going to explain how tracking your website’s data can keep you from missing out on important opportunities.

Understanding Your Real Market

Every business exists to fulfill some sort of want or need. Most business owners believe they have a firm grasp on what their customers want, but the truth is that customers’ wants are constantly changing. Let’s pretend that you are a catering company who only caters weddings. What if you began tracking the search terms your customers use and discovered that 15 percent of your traffic comes from people searching for “corporate event catering” and other related terms? You would realize that you are alienating 15 percent of your customer base by having a site made exclusively for wedding catering. Understanding what people are searching for gives you a direct line to both current and potential customers.

Maximizing Revenue Opportunities

No matter how your business makes money, your website should exist to help you make money. It is likely that our catering company would have some sort of contact form for visitors to fill out and through those forms, the website is helping to generate revenue. What if you noticed that 50 percent of visitors who began the form left before completing it? You would consider shortening the form or using clear language to maximize the amount of visitors who fill out the form. There are hundreds of ways to maximize revenue opportunities through a website, but you miss out on all of them without Google Analytics.

Seeing the Future of Your Website

By keeping track of your website’s visitors, clicks, etc., you are able to spot trends early. For site owners without Google Analytics, there is a huge gap between when customers are/aren’t buying and when you notice it. Knowing where your site is and where it should be helps you constantly be aware of how your company is doing. Google Analytics removes the gap between what your customers are/aren’t doing and when you know about it.

Even if you have Google Analytics installed on your website, you may not be using it to its full extent. Call Thoughtwire Media at (800) 367-2570 to start making the most of your website.

What is Conversion Rate Optimization?

Posted on July 31, 2015 by - Development, Marketing

Website making moneyEvery business starts with a goal in mind and a bottom line.  If your website is designed well, it should reflect your goals and steer visitors towards performing an action that benefits your business. Whether you want visitors to make a purchase, submit contact forms or visit a page with directions, any of these goals can be monitored and optimized. This is the world of Conversion Rate Optimization, or CRO for short. Even the most basic CRO techniques can mean the difference between paying for your website and your website paying for itself.

Understanding CRO Basics

To start work with CRO, there are a few terms that you need to be learn:

  1. A “Conversion” is simply the term used when someone completes a specific task. Making a purchase is an easy example of a conversion. When the customer finally pays for their item, they have officially made a conversion.
  2. Conversion Rate refers to the percentage of visitors to your site that converted, compared to the amount of visitors who did not. So if one out of every 100 customers submits a contact form, then your website has a conversion rate of one percent.
  3. Conversion Rate Optimization is the process of editing or testing your website in order to increase your conversion rate. This process ranges from testing new home pages to using different wording for a title.

How Can CRO Help My Business?

So why do companies spend hours on CRO? The answer is simple: CRO directly ties to your company’s goals. Let’s say you are a catering business and want to get more people to request quotes for your events. Here are a few CRO techniques that might be implemented:

  1. Alternative Calls-to-Action and content could be tested to see if a specific phrase might trigger more visitors to request a quote
  2. A shorter request form might be tested against the current one to see if fewer fields might lead to less visitors leaving before completing the contact form
  3. Multiple variations of your home page could be tested to see if any new design might lead more visitors to stay on your site and fill out a request

If you are not tracking your website’s conversions, then you are missing a huge opportunity to make your website work for you. Call Thoughtwire at (800) 367-2570 or contact Thoughtwire here to start optimizing your website.

Learn to Code for Free

Posted on December 9, 2014 by - Development

521px-Html-source-code

As the digital universe continues to grow, the more you know the better off you will be and the easier it will be for your company to be elite. That’s one of the reason Thoughtwire Media was created—to make sure you have the absolute best digital support so your brand and presence online is above the competition and in line with the latest technologies.

For the unfamiliar, code, or computer coding, is basically the set of instructions the computer follows in order to perform certain tasks. The code is composed in some kind of human-readable language of the computer, such as HTML.

Coding allows you to create webpages and content from scratch and gives you more operational freedom. Since having the ability to write code is so important and intrinsic to computer function, more and more people want to learn how to do it.

President Obama, for example, became the first U.S. President to write a computer program.

“It was a very simple program—all it does is draw a square on a screen—but that’s the point. All programming starts simple. No one starts by creating a complicated game,” said Hadi Partovi, co-founder Code.org.

So, are you ready to get started or want to get some employees, interns or your kids going on writing and understanding computer code?

A great place to start is at studio.code.org. You can begin instantly, ask questions, watch how-to videos and more.

Want to get your children involved? How about having them code with Elsa from the hit Disney movie “Frozen?” Visit http://studio.code.org/s/frozen/stage/1/puzzle/1 to make the Disney characters do what you want them to do.

Do you have coding or any other digital questions? Thoughtwire Media is here to help and we want to connect with you: 800-367-2570.