5 reasons to redesign your website

 

Introduction

With the rapid evolution of technology and software, a website can quickly become outdated and in need of an update. In some cases, an update of the software is all that’s needed, however in others, a full redesign may be better suited to your needs. We’ll go through a few of the reasons why you may need a website redesign rather than a software update.

Not mobile friendly

Many websites built prior to the introduction of responsive design are not mobile friendly. When visiting these websites, you may need to zoom in to view the content or the technology is so outdated that you’re unable to perform any actions on these websites. This makes for a poor user experience and often leads to people leaving the website resulting in a bounce. In this case, a complete redesign is essential as the website will look outdated and doesn’t perform well on mobile devices.

You’ve rebranded

It goes without saying that if you’re busy with a rebrand, your website will need to be redesigned to align with your new brand’s look and feel. Depending on how much has changed in the rebrand will determine how much of the website needs to change.

You aren’t getting any leads

If you aren’t getting any leads from your website, then it’s safe to say that your website isn’t performing the way it should. There could be any number of reasons why your website isn’t performing… It could be something as small as the colour of a button or something as large as the user journey. The main goal / objective of the website should be taken into account during the redesign to ensure you are getting the results you want.

To improve usability

People use websites in many different ways, and oft times it is forgotten that assistive technologies are also used by many people. It may be necessary to redesign your website to ensure that it is user friendly and can be used by assistive technologies as well.

To improve SEO & site performance

As with generating leads, if your site isn’t performing properly, is slow or people can’t find you, then people are likely leaving your site without converting or possibly not finding it at all. Which means you’re missing out on a large market. With a redesign, it is important to take into account the devices people use as well as their internet connections, and to optimise it properly so that it can be found, and ultimately convert visitors into customers.

Conclusion

If your website meets any of the above, it’s definitely time to consider a redesign, and there’s no better time than now. So get in touch with us to discuss your website needs.

Online Meeting Etiquette

Hear what Kyle & Cass have to say about the do's and don'ts about virtual meetings! 🙋🏻‍♀️💻

Posted by Innova - The Creative Techs on Friday, 19 June 2020

 
Hear what Kyle & Cass have to say about the do's and don'ts about virtual meetings!

  1. Be Prepared (Connection and platform)
  2. Be Punctual
  3. Dress appropriately
  4. Check your lighting
  5. Be mindful of your camera level
  6. Don't use Zoom background option unless you have a green screen
  7. Ladies, you can make use of Zoom Touch up function
  8. Turn notifications off or on silent
  9. Lock the room door, so kids or other people don't walk in
  10. Use Headphones
  11. Don't eat or drink or even smoke in a meeting
  12. Don't sniff into the mic
  13. Mute your mic when you're not talking
  14. Be aware of Zoom fatigue

GMB.mp4

Hear Novi's tip about ???? Google My Business (GMB): How you can create a shortcut link that you can send to your clients for reviews. ????

Posted by Innova - The Creative Techs on Wednesday, 13 May 2020

 

In today’s video, I want to talk about the great benefit of using Google My Business and one of its features. The one benefit of using Google My Business is using a short name, basically, a way to have your name on Google but to assist in getting your users to find you a lot quicker.

The benefit of it would be if you are trying to increase your reviews of your business. We all know the importance of online reviews, for when users search products, services or a company. The way to use this feature to your benefit is to create a short name link and send it to your customers that you have previously interacted with, by sending them a thank you email and pasting this link into the email and asking them to give you a review by clicking the link provided.

This URL, which is your short name on your Google, would take your customer directly to the review block on GMB instead of asking the user to go through and search for your GMB page.

Keep an eye out for my upcoming Google tutorial and for more marketing tips see our website or follow us on social media.

Social Media Updates - May 2020

Five new features that are available to us on Social Media.

Posted by Innova - The Creative Techs on Tuesday, 5 May 2020

 
It has been a crazy month for businesses adapting to working from home. Social media platforms have responded to this by adding a few new features available to users, businesses and marketers.
 

Messenger for Desktop

Just like WhatsApp for desktop, Messenger is now an app you can download on your desktop. It can allow for up to 50 people on a call, with 6 of them using video and the remainder on audio-only. Great business CRM tool.
 

Instagram has released ‘resources for businesses to use during COVID-19

An example of this would be the order now button, for business to link their Uber Eats account to their images on Instagram.
 

Facebook is bringing live guests back

They removed this feature in December but have since brought it back for users to invite people to join them on a live video without having to use a plugin tool. Live videos in the last month have had 800 million people engage with them. As you’ll always hear us at Innova say, Live Videos is the way to go, it’s the style of video done the least, but it receives the most engagement.
 

Quiet mode

Just like plane mode, it silences notifications to our phones. This is Facebook’s way of looking after its users' mental health and making their time spent on the app more engaging and intentional.
 

Rooms

A video call space hosted in Messenger, in response to all of us using Zoom and Teams etc. Facebook has created a space where users can spontaneously get together for an unlimited time. Calls can be scheduled too. Rooms is still in its testing phase but it will eventually live above stories in our newsfeed.
 
It is no surprise that these platforms are making these changes to the user experience, as we all shift to the new norm. It’s important for you as a business to stay up to date so you can update your marketing strategy accordingly and make sure of these features.

Let’s talk about #hashtags ✌🏼 What social media platfroms should you use them on and how many should you use?

Posted by Innova - The Creative Techs on Thursday, 23 April 2020

 
Hashtags were used for the first time on Twitter, in 2007. Since then Twitter has remained the most valuable platform to use hashtags on. The purpose of using a hashtag would be as a discovery tool or to participate in a conversation and something known as trending. When people search a specific topic they can search using that specific hashtag.

How many hashtags should you use?

Every business is fighting for a space in their audiences newsfeed, so the more specific your copy and hashtags are, the better it will be for your brand.

Be mind of keeping your hashtags relevant to the topic you are speaking about because Instagram users can actually report accounts that are using hashtags incorrectly.

If you would like help to create a hashtag campaign or decide what hashtags to use for your brand specifically, get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to assist you.

Please be aware of this 'page like invite' post that is doing the rounds on Facebook.Hear why this could be damaging for your brand and below see our suggesting alternative text: COVID-19 is going to have an affect on us all and a lot of small business. I would like to ask a HUGE favour. It will only take a minute of your time 🙂Go to my business page: (Insert you business page link)Scroll across the top to the right, go to 'COMMUNITY' Click 'INVITE FRIENDS' Select those who you think would be a potential customer of my business. - it’s as simple as that -COMMENT DONE & I’ll do the same for your business! Supporting small businesses doesn’t require spending money. It’s as simple as sharing, liking and promoting us to the RIGHT people! Your intentional referral really means a lot! Thank you very much!!!

Posted by Innova - The Creative Techs on Friday, 17 April 2020

 
I’m sure by now you have seen the post making its rounds on Facebook, where business owners are asking their friends to invite people to like their business page. We would just like to warm you of how this could be damaging to your brand, although the idea behind the posts may be good, we want to encourage you to be mindful and be intentional about who your business is engaging with on Facebook.

If you do this, you are in fact watering down your Facebook following, your page likes is a vein metric and an inflate sense of accomplishment. At the end of the day it’s not about how many people like your page on Facebook, it’s about who you are talking to. So for example, if you’re a service provider in the Eastern Cape or Port Elizabeth and you are now inviting your old High School teacher who lives in England and does not require and would not be able to make use of your services, the request is irrelevant.

If you’re spending money on your digital marketing you will be aware of Facebook’s Relevance Score after boosting post or campaign, if you have random people like your Facebook Page, this score will not be what you want it to be. Ideally you’d like it between 7-10 out of 10, if you have random people following your page, it will be difficult to achieve this.

Be mindful of asking friends to invite their whole communities to like your business page, because like we know the point of Facebook is to connect us with friends and family all over the world and unless your service and product is available worldwide and everyone is your target market, then this is a waste of time for you.

We’ve drafted alternative text for you to use, should you wish to do this, asking your friends to invite the right people to like your page, so that the referral is intentional.

Suggested Text:

COVID-19 is going to have an affect on us all and a lot of small business. I would like to ask a HUGE favour. It will only take a minute of your time ????
Go to my business page:
(Insert you business page link)
Scroll across the top to the right, go to 'COMMUNITY'
Click 'INVITE FRIENDS'
Select those who you think would be a potential customer of my business.
- it’s as simple as that -
COMMENT DONE & I’ll do the same for your business!
Supporting small businesses doesn’t require spending money. It’s as simple as sharing, liking and promoting us to the RIGHT people! Your intentional referral really means a lot!

What is Facebook Business Manager?

What is Facebook Business Manager and why should you be using it?

Posted by Innova - The Creative Techs on Thursday, 16 April 2020

 
Today I’m going to do a quick chat about what is Facebook Business Manager and why you should be using it if you’re a business.

So Facebook Business Manager is Facebook’s tool for centrally managing all your business pages, ads as well as permissions for people or agencies who assist you with running your Facebook marketing efforts. Many people are confused by what and how it works so I think the best way to explain it is to see it as a container that wraps around all your Facebook pages and ads for your business and separates it from your personal Facebook profile.

Why should you use it?

Firstly - access. When onboarding clients we have encountered a few issues such as
Someone in the company initially set up the Facebook page, was the only person with admin rights, they leave the company and no one can get hold of them OR
Admin access is granted to someone in the company who assists with running the Facebook page then things go sour with that employee and they remove all other admins from the page and take it “hostage”. We’ve had similar situations where a marketing company sets up and runs your page for you and refuses to give you access when you are no longer happy with their services and want to move on to another provider.

With Facebook Business Manager you have full ownership of all your pages and associated assets and even if you assign someone as an admin on your page, they still won’t be able to remove you because you own the page through business manager.

It is also designed to work with marketing agencies so you can grant access to your marketing agency’s Business Manager so you don’t have to worry about adding individual people with different roles. If you decide to stop working with that agency, you can just simply remove their access.

Secondly on why you should use Business Manager – if you are currently doing any boosting or thinking about running ads on Facebook, Business Manager has much more flexibility, control and insight when it comes to different ad types, placements, objectives and audiences.

Thirdly, if you are serious about your digital marketing efforts you are more than likely to have a website which you want to send people to. Business Manager allows you to create what is called a Facebook Pixel which is small piece of code you load onto your website which helps to keep track of all the visitors to your site and allows you to create audiences for retargeting them later based on what they viewed on your website. Facebook Pixel can give you some very detailed insight into the types of customers visiting your website which is always very handy to know for future marketing efforts.

These are just some of the reasons you should be using Facebook Business Manager and it is capable of doing a lot more than just the things mentioned today.

If you have any questions, get in touch with us. Also check out our blog for more bits of information like this. And please don't forget to follow us on Facebook & Instagram. Cheers.

What is a Watch Party?

What is a Watch Party? Cass shares how you can use this feature as a brand or personally during lockdown.

Posted by Innova - The Creative Techs on Thursday, 9 April 2020

 
A Facebook Watch Party is a feature offered to users to watch either one or many videos together at the same time. So when a business page or a personal profile has gone Live, you as the user will see a button underneath the video saying ‘Start Watch Party’.

As a personal user, this allows you to ‘host’ this video and invite either a group that you’re apart of or friends to watch it in real-time with you and creating a private space to message and chat with one another while you watch the video together. You can also create a watch party by creating a playlist of your favourite videos on Facebook, either videos that you have uploaded or videos from pages that you follow and then you can all watch them together.

As a business page on Facebook, you can make use of this feature by creating a playlist of videos that you have uploaded and group them according to topics, for example How To, Tutorials or Virtual Tours etc and then invite clients and followers to watch them with you. A Watch Party is just another way Facebook is trying to connect friends and users via video.

Kyle talking about Google and what your options are to get your business in the results....

Posted by Innova - The Creative Techs on Tuesday, 7 April 2020

 

Introduction

Today I want to talk to you about Google and how it works because we're often asked "why isn't my business appearing on the first page of Google's results".

Internet Browser

So the first thing I would like to clarify is what an internet browser is.

This is the software programme that is installed on your computer or phone which allows you to connect to websites on the Internet.

The most popular Internet browsers are Safari on Macs, Internet Explorer on Windows machines, Firefox or Google's very own browser Google chrome.

The problem is that with only a browser you would either need to know the exact website address or have the link in order to go there, such as https://www.news24.co.za.

Think of the browser as an empty classroom at school. It would be pretty pointless unless you knew what you want to learn and knew where the textbooks were. So all your browser is is the infrastructure or technology.

As you can imagine, this is not very practical since many of us don't actually know what we're looking for and this is where Search Engines come in.

Search Engines

In the past you looked in the phone book when you needed a product or service, but these days you either ask for a recommendation on Social Media or head straight to your internet browser and use a search engine such as Google to find what you want.

A search engine is actually another website which knows everything there is to know out there. The way it works is search engines send web crawlers all over the internet and build up an index of what is where and how relevant the information is to search terms so that when someone opens the search function and asks them something, they know what and where the answer.

The most popular search engines are Google, Yahoo and Bing.

Think of the search engine as your school teacher entering your classroom who has been to Varsity and knows pretty much everything you could possibly ask or could send you to the right place for that information.

Search Engine Results Position

In South Africa Google owns the market outright with a 96.65% search engine market share and this is why we have our very own in-house Google Guy, Novi, who is a Certified Google Expert. His job is to stay on top of the google algorithm and keep our clients on the 1st page of Google.

So what does this mean for your business?

Well, there are so many companies with great products and services, but if your company is buried in search results to the point that potential customers can’t find you online, you essentially don’t exist. In fact, some say that the 2nd page of Google is the best place to hide a body as nobody ever looks there 🙂

By now you must be wondering what your options are in order to appear on the first page of Google?

Well, there are 3 different options in order for you to achieve this which we'll look at below.

Option 1 is Google Ads

Think of it as "bribing" Google as the way it works is we bid against your competitors for the search terms that you want to rank for.

So Google Ads is like paying your teacher to makes sure they give you great marks and here is why…

Known as PPC, Pay-Per-Click is a form of Paid Advertising with Google where you buy your way onto the 1st page of Google search results. It appears at the top or bottom of the first page with a little block around it displaying the word ‘Ad’ in it.

To begin, we set up an amount that you are willing to pay each time someone clicks on your ad to go to your website.

The company with the biggest budget will always win the bid for that keyword, so it's important to check your market to see if Google Ads are feasible for you.

The benefit of choosing PPC is that it works pretty much immediately, unlike the free alternative, Organic SEO.

Next option up is the Teachers Pet… Organic SEO

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. Search engines rank websites based on specific parameters they deem most important and they do so at no cost to the website owners. These organic search results appear between Google Ads and is the best option for long-term results.

Where Google ads can be seen as "Bribing" for your teacher or Google, Organic SEO is like that teacher's pet we all had in class who did everything perfectly for the teacher and in turn always got great results. Google loves it when you listen to its algorithm and this results in higher rankings for your website.

What this service includes is us making sure that your website is always ticking all the boxes that are needed to get you on that 1st page organically.

Although this is often thought of as the free alternative as you are not paying Google, it actually does work out more expensive as it involves a lot of input from the person running it.

In some cases where you have a niche market it happens quicker than others but SEO is all about the long run for the win, where results can take up to 3 months to start showing. So it is not a quick fix but more so a long term investment.

This service would start off at around R3500 and goes up with the amount of keywords you are wanting to rank for.

Last but not least is Google My Business

Google My Business, which is often referred to as GMB, is Google's tool for you to manage your business's Google listing. You would probably know it as Google maps which shows your location and contact details, as that is what it started out as but has since grown to include features such as reviews, operating times, promotions, images and recently even the ability to post things.

Think of this as the classroom register that has the information which your teacher or Google needs.

Now by default, this information gets assumed by Google but the great news is that you can actually confirm this by doing a once-off setup. All you need to do is Google your business and then in the GMB result it will have an option that says "Own this Business"?

This will allow you to follow the steps which involve a verification process where Google sends a code to either your number or your physical address.

So that's an overview of what your options are when using Google as a salesperson for your business.

Introduction

For your website to succeed online and convert users into customers, it needs to be feature-packed for an excellent user experience. In this article, we take a look at the various features your website needs to be successful and we've included a few of those annoying website features which should be avoided as well.

Domain Name & Hosting

The first thing to look at would be the domain name and hosting for your website. The domain name needs to be short and easy to remember as you will be using it for email addresses as well. Registering a domain name should be done as soon as possible to avoid it being taken by someone else.

Company Name

When a user visits your site for the first time, they're going to look for some form of identification. So having your company name visible at the top of the home page will help the user identify that they’re in the right place.

Search Bar

Having a search bar in an easy to access place, such as the navigation bar, will allow the user to find exactly what they’re looking for within a short period. This improves user experience and leads to conversions.

Logo

As with the company name, your company logo is another identifying factor that assists the user in knowing they’re viewing the right website. This is usually placed with the company name in the navigation bar at the top of the website.

Description

A brief description of your company above the fold is another piece of information that a user will look for in identifying the website. If a user is unable to tell what you do from a glance, they are more likely to leave the website and continue their search until they have found what they’re looking for.

Navigation Bar

The navigation bar is where all the links to the most important parts of your website can be found. Since it has become standard practice to put these links at the top of the website, users expect to find those links there. It provides for great user experience, makes finding information quick and easy, and leads to conversions.

Call To Action

A CTA (Call to Action) is another great way to convert a user into a customer. These CTA’s can be found throughout the site at various key points, calling a user to take some action. Whether it be in the form of a "buy now", "call now", or "request a quote" button, without these CTA’s, many users will not take any action.

Images

Images should be used to enhance your message in a useful way, which in turn provides for better user experience.  They can be in the form of photos, icons or graphics and should be used to emphasize a message.

Internal Links

Internal linking is another feature your website needs to be a success. Apart from having links in the navigation bar at the top and bottom of a website, spreading links throughout relevant pages will also assist a user in finding exactly what they’re looking for.

Testimonials

Testimonials are a great way to provide users with social proof. And we’re not talking about fake reviews, we’re talking about real testimonials from people submitted via Google or Facebook. These kinds of testimonials provide credibility and peace of mind to users when dealing with a company they’re unfamiliar with.

Live Chat

Having live chat on your website isn’t a necessity as it requires someone to be available to assist users throughout the day. However, it is a fantastic tool and bolsters customer service and support. So, if you do have the time or are able to employ someone to handle live chat, definitely consider it as an option for your website.

Subscriber Opt-in

Even if you don’t have a newsletter ready to go, consider adding an opt-in form to your website to start building your email database. This way, when you are ready to send your first newsletter, you will have a subscriber list to send it to. Another great opt-in tool for keeping users up to date with your company news is to use push notifications.

Social Media Icons

If you have a social media page, which is another fantastic way to keep in touch with your followers, you should have those links on your website. When a user visits your website, a lot of the time they’ll want to find you on social media as well, so adding those links enhances the user experience.

Map

If your company operates from a physical premise where customers can visit, it is essential to include a map on your website. This makes it easy for customers to find you and increases conversion rates.

Operating Hours

Another feature your website needs to be a success is to include your operating hours. There’s nothing more frustrating than going to a website to see whether the business is open during a certain time, only to find out you need to phone them to ask.

Contact Info

If there’s one feature that must be on your website, it’s your contact information. Even if it’s just an email address or telephone number. Imagine going to a website only to find there’s no way to get in touch with someone. You’ll probably leave and look elsewhere. I know I would.

Contact Form

While it isn’t necessary to have a contact form on your website, it has become a standard, and users expect it. It adds to the user experience by making it easy to get in touch with you and increases the success of your website.

Biography/About

The about us section is often overlooked and given very little thought, however, can be one of the deciding factors behind every conversion. A well thought out, well-written biography about your business adds a bit of personality to your website, and since people like dealing with people, it often turns a user into a customer.

Team

I love going through team photos and reading about the people who work for a business. It puts me at ease knowing who I will be dealing with, very much like meeting people in real life. So, having a “Meet the Team” section with a little blurb (two sentences) about the person adds a lot to the overall user experience of a website.

Videos

People love videos, so where possible, add them to your website. Whether it’s a little intro about the company, a review from a client, a ‘how-to’ tutorial or even a product showcase, it adds value and often tends to convert a lot of users.

Products/Services

This feature is a must if you want your business website to be a success. If you provide a service or sell products, you’ll want to display them on your website so that users can see what you have to offer. You don’t necessarily need to sell your products or services online, just display them and provide as much information about them as possible. The more information that’s displayed, the better the conversion rate.

Features/Benefits

It is also a great idea to showcase your products/services features and benefits in an easy to read way. Keep in mind that people don’t buy a product or service, they buy the benefits.

Case Studies

An often overlook website feature is the case study. If your product or service has helped clients in some way, showcase this with case studies. Not only do case studies add credibility, but they are also more likely to convert, especially with B2B.

Customer Logos

As with case studies, displaying your customer’s logos (if you are a B2B) also adds to your credibility and is another great feature to make your business website a success.

Blog/Articles/News

A great way to increase traffic and provide users with more information is through blog posts (or articles). Not only does this increase traffic, but it also boosts your search engine ranking which makes it easier for users to find your website.

FAQs/Knowledgebase

You can also add further value to your users by anticipating any questions they might have and answering them on your website through the use of an FAQ section or Knowledgebase.

Documents & Guides

Documents and guides can be uploaded to your website, providing a consolidated, online place to keep these files for use by employees. And the more active your website is, the better for search engine rankings.

Infographics

Infographics are a fantastic way to display data and stats in an easy to read way. Not only do they make data easy to understand, but they also provide a visually pleasing aesthetic to any website.

Mobile Friendly

One of the most important features of any website to be a success is that it needs to be mobile-friendly. With the vast majority of people using their phones to browse the web, you’d be cutting out a large chunk of the market if your website isn’t mobile-friendly.

Site Caching & Speed

An often-overlooked feature is the proper caching of a website and the speed at which it loads. Caching refers to the saving of a website’s pages and images to a server or browser for quick accessibility and faster loading times.

SEO & Analytics

On-page SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is extremely important if you want your website to be found online. It is just as important to be able to track your efforts via the use of an app like Google Analytics or similar. This way you can continue to refine your efforts to attract the right users to your website.

Microformats (Schema)

A relatively new form of SEO is the use of Microformats to markup website information so that search engines can serve the right content to a user when they search for something. This improves your search rankings and leads to a more successful website.

Website Features to Avoid

Conclusion

While the list may seem long, when everything is put together, it can enhance the user experience of your website tenfold. And while not all website features are necessary, many of them add to the success of your business website and shouldn’t be overlooked.

FAQs

What are the features of a good website?

Clear Navigation
Business Information and Contact Details
Viewable on Mobile Devices
Quick to Load
Well Designed
Security

What makes a website a good website?

A good website has a clear purpose and message, is easy to understand and navigate, looks good on all devices and has quality, relevant content.

What does a website need to include?

A relevant, easy to remember domain name.
Information about the business
Customer testimonials
A clear call to action
Quality content