For a real estate agent (or agency), being visible and getting leads and conversions online is largely dependent on the kind of website they have.
A real estate website is a sales tool that never sleeps, and it’s a real estate agency’s main hub online. However, it’s imperative to understand that not all real estate websites are made equal, nor will they all yield the same results.
Having the right real estate website is critical for any agency looking to stand out and get ahead online, but what does it mean to have the “right” real estate website?
The world of digital marketing has certainly changed over the years, and real estate websites are no exception. Today, we’re going to break down the basics of what every great real estate website needs in 2020.more
When it comes to nurturing leads and customers, almost no other medium is quite as effective as email marketing. Thanks to smartphones, most people’s inboxes are right in their pockets, and emails are often checked almost immediately.
Not only does email marketing give you direct, almost-instant access to your customers and leads, but it gives you a much more personal, targeted way to connect. Nine times out of 10, the more personal and targeted the campaign, the better the results, which may explain why email marketing has such a high ROI.
You can do almost anything with email. Request reviews on previous product purchases or services, recommend additional, complementary products or services, follow up after appointments, send birthday wishes and exclusive offers, announce sales and upcoming promotions and a whole lot more.
When done right, email marketing is incredibly effective for a variety of goals and objectives. It can help you get repeat business, build a strong reputation, drive sales and more.
It’s important to realize, though, that not every...more
Content marketing is a key part of visibility online. But, unfortunately, not all content is made equal, and the wrong kind of content can actually hurt your online visibility.
In order to figure out how to create the right kind of content online, you need to learn how to avoid creating the wrong kind of content.more
Thanks to COVID — and the social distancing restrictions necessary to stop its spread — more and more retailers have had to make the transition to ecommerce.
Ecommerce has been the saving grace for small retailers across the country, but in order to make that transition online as smooth as possible, retailers need the right payment processing provider on their side.
The fact of the matter is that there are many, many different payment processing providers out there, but not all of them are made equal.
With something as important as processing payments, the last thing you want is to choose the wrong one. Luckily, there are a few things all great payment processing providers have in common.more
Organic visibility is critical for successful small business websites. And, one of the best things you can do to make your website more visible in the organic search results is to start creating more content on your site.
Content creation is far from the only aspect of search engine optimization (SEO), but it’s an essential piece of the puzzle. One of the best ways to create more content on your website is to start blogging. Here are a few things you can do to make your blog more enjoyable to read.more
According to Inc., 91 percent of people are reading online reviews, and what’s more is that 84 percent of them trust reviews just as much as personal recommendations.
People rely on reviews to help them gain some kind of understanding of what a product is really like in person. When people are shopping online and can’t touch or experience a product first-hand, they rely on the experience of others to guide their purchasing decisions.
And, it’s typically not enough to have one or two reviews for each product. You want as many reviews as you can get, because potential customers want to read them, and they want the reviews they read to be current.more
Having a beautiful website can go a long way for any small business, but only if the site is visible enough that potential customers will see it. That’s where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes in.
SEO is all about helping your site rank higher in the organic search results for relevant keywords, and it’s a critical aspect of a business’s long-term success online.
SEO isn’t the only way to make your website more visible. You could (and should) increase your visibility through search advertising, social media marketing and management, and by getting listed on the applicable review sites and directories, but a focus on SEO is the key to affordable, long-term visibility.
Although SEO is incredibly important, it’s also one of those things that’s highly misunderstood. Part of the reason for this is that Google’s search algorithm is always changing in an effort to continually improve the experience for its users. That means what worked to get your website ranked a month ago may not fly today.
The other big reason why there’s so much about SEO that’s...more
Having a great business website is a good start when it comes to building your online presence, but it’s just that — a start. A website is only as valuable as it is visible, and to make it visible, you need to promote it with digital marketing.
In addition to making your website more visible, you also want to establish a presence anywhere your potential customers are looking.
There’s a lot of competition online. Sometimes, the difference between securing a lead or not simply depends on being visible in the right place.more
A local business’s online reputation is a critical part of its success online and off. People want to know that they can trust you before they decide to hire you, and they’ll look to your online reputation to determine whether or not you’re worthy of that trust.more
When it comes to ecommerce marketing, a little know-how can go a long way. Ecommerce marketing is far from rocket science, but not everything about it is common sense, either.
In fact, there are a lot of misconceptions about ecommerce marketing that are widely believed and that can, unfortunately, end up hurting your bottom line.more
There are a lot of things that go into building an effective website, but one of the most important factors is how engaging a website is.
Think of engagement as action. When someone comes to an engaging website, they feel more compelled to take action.
If all of your visitors come and go without taking action, it doesn’t do you much good. That’s why, at the end of the day, an effective, successful website is also an engaging one.more
Although fewer people own desktop computers or laptops these days, far more people are on the internet than ever before. That’s due, in large part, to the rise of smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices.
The fact that most of your website visitors will be on a mobile device means that you need a website that can meet their needs. And, these days, that means that you need a website with a responsive design.more
Whether you install air conditioners or sell shoes online, chances are, there are probably many other businesses in your industry that offer the same things, and for a comparable price.
Finding success — both online and off — largely depends on your ability to differentiate yourself from the many other businesses that are similar to yours. One way a business does this is by creating a memorable brand.more
According to Google Analytics, a bounce is simply “a single-page session on your site.” In other words, if someone visits your website, maybe from a search ad or a link from a review site, and they only visit one page and then leave, it’s a bounce.
It’s not always a bad thing when someone bounces. If you’ve got a single-page website — a blog, for example — it doesn’t matter that you have a high bounce rate, because your visitors don’t have the option to visit subsequent pages in the first place.
But, for most business websites, the homepage is the introduction to the other pages of the site, where purchases can be made or appointments can be scheduled. For websites like these, success depends on getting your visitors to visit more pages and stick around — in other words, it depends on a better bounce rate.more
These days, almost every business could benefit from building a mobile app. Though they’re often one of the last things a business thinks about when it comes to digital marketing, mobile apps are effective in many ways and help small businesses accomplish many different goals.more
With in-person business severely limited or suspended altogether in many states, local restaurants across the country have been hit hard by coronavirus. Luckily, there are lots of things local restaurants can do to boost their revenue.more
On most ecommerce websites, a lot of thought goes into product pages, and rightly so. But unfortunately, with such a heavy focus on product pages, many businesses end up overlooking the product category pages, which are arguably just as important as the product pages themselves.
Today, I hope to help you get your product category pages right.more
These days, there are a lot of ways you could be approaching marketing. Lots of businesses take the approach of marketing their products or services directly, but more and more are seeing the huge benefits that come from marketing their brand.
Brand marketing is just that, marketing that’s centered around your brand. And, it can be beneficial to businesses in many significant ways.
The benefits of brand marketing:
- It creates customer recognition - When customers start to recognize your brand, it goes a long way toward also building trust in your brand.
- Gain an edge on your competition - Your brand helps to instantly set you apart from your competition, and the more people recognize your brand, the more competitive it will be.
- It leads to customer loyalty - When customers feel like they really know your brand, it makes them feel more loyal to it. Loyalty is a powerful thing, because it creates lifelong customers.
- Get a better marketing ROI - The more people start to recognize your brand, the more effective all of your marketing...
Times, they are a-changin’, and as any successful marketer knows, your business’s online strategy needs to change with them.more
We’re proud to say that, with the Websites 360® website builder, it’s easy for anyone to build a beautiful business website. But, the hard truth is that, no matter how great your website is, it only matters if you people can find it online. Suffice it to say, if your website isn’t showing up in the organic search results, it spells trouble for your online presence.
If you website isn’t ranking, before you can fix it, you need to figure out why. There are many things that could cause your website not to rank organically. Today, I’m going to cover just a few of them.more
There’s no doubt about it, every local business needs an online presence, and that’s true no matter what size your business is, how long you’ve been operating, and what industry you’re in. It’s especially true now, in the midst of a global pandemic that has thrown a wrench in in-person operations in many different industries.
However, knowing why an online presence is important and actually building one are two very different things, especially if you’re new to operating online. Today, I hope to help you get it right.more
Gone are the days when you had to have a design degree to build a great website for your business. These days, there are plenty of DIY website builders out there that make it possible for anyone to build a website, but not all of them are made equal.
Websites 360® is your go-to website builder, and our easy-to-use platform is user friendly and designed to help anyone — no matter how much or how little design experience they have — be successful in building their own website. Here’s how!more
There’s an old philosophical thought experiment that goes, “If a tree falls in the woods, and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” But, I think the real question is, does it matter? The same could be said of your website. If your website isn’t visible, does it even matter if it exists at all?
The fact of the matter is that you can spend millions of dollars building the most beautiful website that’s ever existed, but if no one ever finds it, it may as well not exist at all. That’s why visibility is the single most important part of your digital marketing strategy. Luckily, though, there are lots of things you can do to make your website more visible online.more
Having a website is essential for every local business, but it’s just the first step toward building the right kind of presence online for your business. When someone finds your local business online, chances are, they’re also going to find many others that offer similar services. Your online reputation is what makes you stand out from the crowd, which is why it’s so important to get it right.more
Here at Websites 360®, we’re proud to say that our one-of-a-kind website builder makes it possible for anyone to build a great website for their business, regardless of how much or how little design experience they have under their belts. And, while having a website is a must for any small business these days, it’s just the first step for businesses that are serious about getting their name out there.
Once you’ve built the right business website, you need to start marketing your business, and there’s one marketing channel that’s commonly overlooked but shouldn’t be — SMS marketing.
SMS marketing is one of those most misunderstood marketing channels, which is a shame because it’s something that many small businesses could benefit from. Today, I hope to help you understand the truth about SMS marketing and how you could use it to your advantage.more
With the right design template and website builder, anyone can build their own business website, even if they don’t have a lot of previous design experience. But, that doesn’t mean that you should leave your design template as-is. Here are a few things you can do to maximize it.more
You don’t necessarily need to work with a professional website designer to build a professional website. In fact, when you start with a professional, customizable design template, like the ones you’ll find here at Websites 360®, it’s easy to build a great business website.
But, even when you start with the right design template, there are a few things that you need to be aware of when building your own website. Here are a few things you need to know before you get started.more
An easy-to-use checkout process is essential to your site’s ability to convert.
Have you ever painstakingly read dozens of reviews and picked out the perfect products to add to the cart, only to encounter a check-out process that’s so long and complicated that you’re tempted to just give up? If so, then you already have a pretty good idea of how critical it is to have a quick and easy checkout process.
If your checkout process isn’t what it should be, and your customer isn’t totally gung-ho about the purchase in the first place or it’s a product they can find elsewhere, they’re probably not going to have the patience to make it through to the end.
Having a quick, uncomplicated checkout process can only help your conversion rate, and today, I’m going to help you learn how to get it right.more
A successful website is a visible one.
With the Websites 360® website builder, anyone can build a professional, effective business website. And, thanks to our many beautiful design templates, you don’t have to be experienced in website design to get it right.
At the end of the day, though, the harsh reality is that it really doesn’t matter how great your website is if no one sees it.
When you build your website with Websites 360, you’re already doing something right from a visibility standpoint. Our templates are built for search engine optimization (SEO) with structured data, as well as microdata and rich snippets. But, SEO isn’t a one-time thing.
SEO is a long-term, ongoing process, but since we’ve already handled the technical SEO for your website, it doesn’t have to be a complicated process. The truth is that there are a lot of easy things you can do to help your site rank higher in the SERP (search engine results pages). Today, I’m going to touch on just a few of them.more
There are a handful of states that have started reopening some of their businesses; however, this doesn’t necessarily mean that business has resumed as usual. Social distancing requirements are still in place, even if a business is open. Figuring out how to help customers and employees stay safe and keep their distance is something many businesses are struggling with at the moment.
The fact of the matter is that it will probably be at least a while longer before things go back to normal and businesses will be able to fully open their doors to in-person business once again. But, that doesn’t mean that businesses can’t be generating revenue while their operations are restricted or their doors are closed.
With a little out-of-the-box thinking, businesses can stay afloat and protect their bottom line.more
Businesses in many different industries could benefit from offering online classes.
A handful of states are starting to reopen, but that doesn’t mean that it’s too late to start offering online classes. Even though people will soon be able to go out in certain states, many people will still prefer to do as much as they can online, and that will likely be the case for the foreseeable future — at least until some sort of vaccination becomes available or testing becomes more widely available.
It’s easy to see how fitness centers, martial arts centers, music instructors, and other businesses, that already offer classes, could benefit from moving them online. But, businesses in many different industries could also benefit from offering classes for the first time in a digital format.
Restaurants, massage clinics, barber shops, and other businesses that largely operate face-to-face are likely to see a reduction in in-person business, even in states that have reopened, or will soon. These types of businesses could all make up a little bit of that revenue by offering...more
The coronavirus pandemic has made it difficult if not impossible for many small businesses to operate in person. For many businesses, the answer to staying afloat has meant moving their operations online.
This, of course, looks different for businesses in different industries, and each industry has its own unique challenges that go along with it. For example, a restaurant that starts offering online orders must also create a carry-out and/or delivery system, and a retail store that starts selling its products online in an e-commerce store must also determine the logistics of delivery or curbside pickup.
Suffice it to say, moving a business online can be complicated. However, coronavirus is just one of the many reasons to do so, so if you haven’t made the leap already, it’s still worth doing, even as some states are starting to loosen restrictions on activity.more
You don’t want to build just any website for your business; you want to build the right website for your business. After all, what good is a website if it’s not visible in the organic search results, not accessible to smartphone users, or provides such a poor user experience that no one sticks around to learn about what you have to offer?
Don’t get me wrong, building your own website is a great option that’s right for many business owners. And, thanks to professional, easy-to-use design templates, like the ones you’ll find with Websites 360®, anyone can build their own website, even if they have little to no website design experience.
When you’re designing your business website, it’s important to get it right. That means learning what to do — and what not to do — while building your website.more
Restaurants of all shapes and sizes have had to close their doors for their dine-in customers all over the country, and in many places across the world, as well. Many have had to figure out how to start offering carry-out and delivery on the fly, and some have even had to create these systems from the ground up.
Lots of business owners are facing new challenges amidst the coronavirus pandemic, and the transition to carry-out and/or delivery has been one of the biggest for restaurant owners everywhere. Many have relied on third-party companies, like DoorDash and Uber Eats, but even with their help, you should make it a point to start offering online ordering on your website.more
With social distancing requirements, more people are online than ever before, and many of those people are on social media. Social media offers a powerful platform for people to stay connected, and that’s something we could all use right now.
There’s no doubt about it; people are active on social media these days, and that means that your business needs to be active, too. If you’re not currently using social media, it’s time to start.
There are many different aspects to a successful social media marketing strategy, but one aspect that should never be overlooked is posting regularly.
How often you should post on social media depends on the platform you’re using. With some platforms, you can get away with posting weekly, but with others, like Twitter, for example, you’ll want to shoot for a daily strategy.
However, knowing that posting regularly is important and finding content to post that often are two very different things. After all, some industries are more ready-made for social media than others. For businesses in the service industry, like...more
If you were to ask most people what the second largest search engine is behind google, most people would probably guess that it’s Bing or Yahoo. But, believe it or not, it’s actually YouTube. That means that getting it right on YouTube is incredibly important these days.
In addition to building a website, your small business needs a presence on YouTube, and this is best accomplished by building out a YouTube channel. However, simply having a YouTube channel isn’t enough. You also need to take steps to grow that channel, and one of the ways you can do that is by using hashtags.
Lots of people are familiar with hashtags, but not many people know how to make the most of them. Here are a few tips to help.more
Video is a powerful thing to include on your website. There are a lot of musts when building your website. It needs to have a responsive design and be mobile-friendly; it needs to have keyword-rich, informative, easy-to-read content; it needs to have a simple, user-friendly navigation, and it needs to include video.
In the world of inbound marketing, video is an incredibly powerful tool, and it’s something every business can and should harness on their website.
A few great reasons to use video on your website:
- Videos boost conversions - Adding a video to a landing page has the potential to boost the conversion rate by as much as 80 percent.
- Videos increase visibility - A website that includes video is 53 times more likely to be ranked on the first page of Google’s organic search results and can increase a site’s organic traffic by more than 150 percent.
- Videos make your products and services easier to understand - Video provides information in a way that people can understand, which may be why most consumers would rather see videos more...
Instagram marketing is a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes these days, and if your business isn’t currently active on Instagram, it’s time to change that. Instagram gives businesses a free way to connect with their audiences, and with a billion users and counting, it’s where their audiences are.
There’s no doubt about it, your business should be active on Instagram. But, that means that you need content to post on Instagram, and that’s where many small and local businesses hit a snag. What you post on Instagram helps to establish your branding message and has a direct impact on the impression you make on your audience. It’s important to get it right.
It’s essential to post regularly on Instagram, but finding what to post can be easier said than done. Here are a few tips to help.more
To say that product pages are important is akin to saying that Andre the Giant was tall. It’s technically true but also a huge understatement. The fact of the matter is that your product pages may be the most important aspect of your e-commerce website. If your product pages aren’t effective, your website won’t be, either.
Getting your product pages right is one of the most important aspects of building a great e-commerce website. It doesn’t matter how attractive your homepage is or how revolutionary your navigation is, if your product pages aren’t up to scratch, you won’t find the success you’re looking for.
With a little know-how, you can ensure that your product pages are effective and built to convert.more
Having a professional-looking, SEO-friendly, responsive website is the first step toward connecting with new and existing customers online, which is something that is an absolute must amid the coronavirus pandemic. However, it’s just the first step.
Your website is your business’ main hub online, and it’s where you send people to learn more information about your business, learn about the goods and services you offer, and learn more about your industry as a whole. However, it doesn’t do a lot when it comes to maintaining strong connections with customers.
If your small business is like many, you’ve had to adapt to coronavirus in more ways than one, and you may have even had to temporarily close your doors. But, even if you’re not actively in business at the moment, it behooves you to stay relevant by staying in touch with your customers, and that’s where email marketing comes in.
Most forms of digital marketing, like paid ads and SEO, are about getting your name out there in front of new customers and building more awareness around your brand. But, email...more
With more businesses — and consumers — online than ever before, visibility is the name of the game these days. There are lots of ways that your business can be more visible online, including paid advertising and content marketing.
Paid ads are probably the most direct and quickest way to get your business more visibility online; however, paid ads are always going to be just that — paid. With paid advertising, there’s a price to pay every time someone sees your business online. But, not to worry. There’s a much more cost-effective way to increase the visibility of your business.
Content marketing is the key to SEO (search engine optimization), which is an essential part of getting your website to rank organically in the SERP (search engine results pages). When your site ranks organically, you’ll have greater visibility without the cost, and every click you earn will be free.
From a visibility standpoint — especially one where cost is a consideration — content marketing is a definite must. But, it’s not something that happens overnight. SEO is the long game,...more
Conversions can mean many different things. A conversion might be the sale of a product, or it might be a signup for your newsletter. Someone filling out a contact form, calling you for an estimate, or scheduling an appointment are also examples of conversions. But, no matter what conversions mean to you, they’re the one goal of any landing page.
There are all kinds of different landing pages out there, but they’re all built for one purpose and one purpose only — to convert. If your landing page isn’t converting, then it isn’t effective. Luckily, there are a lot of things you can do to make your landing page more effective.more
The world of web design and digital marketing is constantly evolving. Your business’ ability to change with the times and stay up to date directly relates to how visible it is online. Knowing when to update your website is incredibly important these days, and there are many reasons why you might want to consider it. Here are the top seven:more
If there’s one thing you want out of your website, it’s conversions. Conversions for you might mean product sales, calls, contact form fill-outs, or even email sign-ups. Whatever they mean to you, they are why you built (or are building) your website in the first place, which means that you need to keep them in mind in everything you do.
There are a lot of things that affect conversions, and too often, people only think about them in terms of advertising. However, getting conversions starts long before you start advertising; it actually starts with how you design your website.
The way that you design your website from the beginning will play a role in how well it converts in the end. And, from a design standpoint, there are plenty of things you can do to get more conversions out of your website.more
These days, there are many different website builders out there that can make building a website for your business possible, even if you have little to no experience with web design. But, even if it’s easy to make a website for your business that looks great, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easy to build a site that sells.
At the end of the day, there’s only one thing that you want out of your website — you want it to convert. However, there are many different mistakes business owners and web designers alike commonly make while building websites, and in order to get your site right, you need to know what they are so that you can avoid them.
Today, I’m going to help you learn how to build an effective, attractive website that converts web visitors into clients or customers by helping you avoid the most common website issues.more
There’s one question that’s been around since the first website builder was created. Should you build your own website or hire a professional to do it for you?
This question has been asked time and time again by SMBs across the world. Every business needs a website, but knowing whether you should build it yourself or hire someone to do it for you is a whole other matter entirely.
The truth is that there’s no one right answer, and whether or not building your own website is right for you will depend on a long list of factors. Today, I hope to clear up the issue for you just a little bit.more
When people search for a local roofing company online, they have no shortage of options to choose from. With so many roofing companies out there, you need to give people who visit your website a reason to stick around. And, unfortunately, if your website doesn’t meet their needs or can’t catch their attention within the first few seconds, they’ll just move on to the next roofer in the search results.
Having a website is an essential first step, and ensuring people find it is also a must, but none of that matters if people aren’t willing to stick around and learn more about your business. The whole point of having an online presence is to encourage people to use your services, and in order for your website to accomplish that goal, it needs to be effective.
There are a lot of awesome roofing websites out there, and many of them have unique designs and layouts. However, there are many common elements that the best roofing websites share, and it’s important to keep them in mind while building your own.more
The great thing about website builders — like Websites 360® — is that they make it possible for every business to build its own website. For one, it’s much more affordable to build your own website than it is to hire a designer to do it for you, and two, you no longer need to have years of experience in web design to get it right.
With a plethora of incredible website templates to choose from and a user-friendly website builder, every business can have a great-looking website. However, that doesn’t change the fact that some websites are more effective than others at meeting certain goals or providing a pleasant user experience for visitors.
No business owner wants a website just to have a website. You want a website to build awareness in your brand, convert, help you capture data about your customers, among many other things. In order to build an effective, user-friendly website, you’ll need to keep a few best practices in mind while designing it.more
With the right website builder on your side, anyone can build a website for their business that’s mobile-friendly, convertible, and professional. However, as I mentioned in my last blog — How to Choose the Right Design Template — any website builder you choose should allow its templates to be customized for your brand and your needs.
Although website builders, like the one we offer at Websites 360®, should make it easy for you to customize whatever template you choose. However, just because you can easily customize your website, it doesn’t mean that it won’t take a little out-of-the-box thinking.
Let’s face it. Designing a great website that’s all your own will take a little creativity on your part, and if you don’t consider yourself to be an overly creative person, finding that creativity might be a challenge. But, you’ll be glad to know that a little inspiration can go a long way when it comes to creativity.more
It used to be, when you wanted a great website for your business, you had to hire someone to build it for you. Depending on who you hired and what kind of site you were looking for, it would cost thousands of dollars. Luckily, these days, there are a lot of website builders out there that make designing a website something anyone can do.
The first step to building your own website with Websites 360®, or with any website builder, is to choose your template. Website templates make it easy to choose a basic design for your website, and from there, you can customize yours as much or as little as you’d like.
But, how do you choose the right template? After all, there are a lot of options to choose from, and if you haven’t given much thought as to what your website should look like, it can be an intimidating decision to make.more
Choosing the right images for your website is of the utmost importance. The images you choose — and how they are saved and uploaded to your website — can have a huge effect on the way your website looks and feels, as well as how it performs.
When your average business owner is building their own website, they’re thinking of one thing and one thing only when it comes to the images — how they look. Don’t get me wrong, how the images look on your website isn’t a small matter by any means. It’s a huge deal. However, as we’ve established, images are about more than just how your website looks.
If you’re not careful and only focused on how images look, it’s all too easy to end up making mistakes that can damage the user experience and the functionality of your website.more
Whether you’re building your own website with the Websites 360® website builder or you’re hiring someone to do it for you, you need to learn why and how to optimize your images. But before we go into why image optimization is important and how to go about doing it, let’s talk about what it is.
There are two main aspects of image optimization. The first involves resizing images while maintaining quality, and the second involves optimizing the image for search engines with relevant keywords.more
The colors you choose for your website have an impact on how it looks and how it feels.
With a DIY website builder, like the one you’ll find with us at Websites 360®, anyone can build a beautiful, functional website. However, there are a lot of ins and outs to building a website that many business owners don’t even think about, and one of those is the psychology of color.
Color does more than just affect how a website looks; it affects how people feel when they visit your website and the decisions they’ll make. In fact, one study found that, by adjusting color (as well as changing other elements), you can increase conversion rates by up to 24 percent!more
Believe it or not, website typography is an important part of a great design.
Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of aspects of web design that play a huge role in how your DIY website will look and function, from the images you choose to the number of elements you use and how they’re laid out on each page. But, typography — which includes font size, font style, line spacing, etc. — is one of the most overlooked aspects of web design.
The truth is that the typography of your website makes a huge difference in how it looks and how it connects with your visitors. Typography is about legibility and emotion; it’s about personality, professionalism, and practicality. There are lots of things to consider when it comes to typography.
The more you know about web typography, the more effectively you’ll be able to implement it on your own website. I hope that this quick guide will help!more
When you decide to build your own website with the website builder from Websites 360®, you’ll have lots of beautifully designed templates to choose from. And, although our templates are stunning on their own, they can — and should be — customized for you!
Website templates have a reputation for being cookie-cutter, but it’s only because many business owners make the mistake of leaving the template they use as is. With the ability to fully customize your website, you can make your Websites 360 site truly your own.
There’s a lot of competition online, and it’s important to ensure that your business’ website will stand out among the crowd. That means that you need a little bit of creativity on your site.
As important as creativity is when designing your website, the ability to actually find the spark of creativity can sometimes seem out of reach. We all have the ability to be creative, but some of us are more creative than others. It’s also not something that comes naturally to all of us.more
A common misconception about website footers is that they’re pointless and totally worthless. In fact, the footer is probably the most underrated part of your entire website.
The reason the footer is so undervalued might be because it’s located at the very bottom of the site, and most people focus the majority of their attention above the fold. But, there’s something to be said for a good website footer.
The reality of the situation is that your footer is actually one of the most important pieces of real estate on your website. Why? Because it appears on every page of the site. That means that anything you put in your footer is virtually guaranteed to be seen by anyone who visits your website.
Not only do your visitors see the footer of your website over and over again on every page of your website, but so do search engines. Information that’s exposed to search engines repeatedly will be prioritized over other information on your site.more
From a user experience standpoint, almost no other aspect of your website design is quite as important as the navigation. How you design your site’s navigation will affect how people search for the information they need on your website, how easy your website is to use, and how easy it is for website visitors to become clients or customers
Not only does the navigation of your site affect the user experience; it also affects how your site ranks in the organic search results. This, of course, affects how many people have the potential to see your website.
There’s no doubt about it, having the right navigation design is an important part of getting the design of your site right. In this blog, I hope to help you learn what you need to in order to design the kind of navigation that will please users and search engines alike.more
There are so many reasons to use landing pages on your website. A good landing page could be used to drive more conversions, gather information about visitors to your website, test the effectiveness of your digital marketing campaigns, grow your email list, and improve your organic rankings.
To learn more about the why of creating landing pages, make sure to check out yesterday’s blog.
Understanding why it’s important to create landing pages is one thing, but learning about the many types of landing pages to choose from — and when to use them — is quite another.
The fact of the matter is that there are many, many different types of landing pages to choose from. Each type has its place and can be an effective choice depending on the circumstance, and understanding which landing page type to use for the circumstance is an important step toward getting the most out of it.more
For those who are new to the world of digital marketing, a landing page is a static page that appears when someone clicks on an organic search result, online advertisement, marketing email, or other marketing promotion.
If you’re like many business owners who have just gone through the process of building their own website, you might be thinking to yourself, “I’ve designed a killer website, so is it really worth my time and energy to create a whole separate page for ads?”
The short answer is yes. You absolutely need to create a landing page for your online promotions; in fact, most businesses could benefit from creating multiple landing pages for each promotion or campaign.
If you’re now asking yourself, “OK, landing pages are important, but if I invest my time into building them, will it be worth it in the end?”, not to worry. There are many benefits of using landing pages and many ways you can use them.more
When a business is in the process of building its website, it takes precedence over almost everything else, except, of course, the day-to-day operations of the business. It makes sense. A business’ website is a big deal, and it’s the hub of its online presence and reputation.
There’s a lot on the line when you’re building your business’ website. If the website is too cluttered or busy, if it doesn’t get your message across quickly and clearly, or if it takes a million years to load, people will immediately click away without giving you much of a chance.
Now that you’ve built your business’ website with the Websites 360® website builder and it’s everything you’ve ever imagined it would be, it’s easy to believe that your job is done. But, the reality is that building your website is just the first step to building the kind of online presence that will get your business noticed.more
How you design your product pages can make or break the success of your e-commerce store. On websites for service-based businesses, there’s nothing more important than a spectacular homepage and effective landing pages, but when it comes to e-commerce, almost no other part of your website matters quite as much as your product pages.
The whole point of your e-commerce store is to make sales, and although your home page and landing pages can entice visitors to check out your products, it’s your product pages that make the final sale. That means that you need to get them right.
When you build your website with the Websites 360® website builder, you’ll have all of the tools you need to design product pages that convert. And, in this blog, I hope to provide you with a little know-how on getting it right.more
If there’s one thing you need from your e-commerce website, it’s to convert. After all, what’s the point of having it if it doesn’t lead to sales? No one designs an e-commerce website for fun, but unfortunately, many people design e-commerce websites that aren’t effective and don’t convert.
Although website builders, like the one from Websites 360®, make the process of building an e-commerce site easy and painless, like with any website, there’s still room for creativity. That also means that there’s still room for error.
But, regardless of whether you build your website yourself or work with a designer who builds it for you, it’s important to be in the know about what can hurt its success and convertibility.more
Your logo can be anything you want it to be. Whether you want your logo to consist of your business name, the initials of your business, or even your mascot, it’s entirely up to you. However, no matter what color, style, or type of logo you choose, you want it to be effective.
There’s nothing more representative of your business than your logo. It will be on every aspect of your marketing, including every page of your website. That’s why, before you start building your own website with the Websites 360® website builder, you need to nail down your logo.
In yesterday’s blog, I went over a few tips on how to design a logo for your business. If you haven’t had a chance yet, check it out.
With so many different types of logos out there to choose from, it can be difficult to figure out what will work best for you. But above all else, you want your logo to be effective, and although there are all kinds of logos out there, there are several things that the most effective ones have in common.more
Building a website for your business is an essential step toward establishing an online presence for your business. And, luckily, you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to get your website professionally designed. With Websites 360®, building a DIY website is easy enough for anyone, even small business owners who have little to no experience with web design.
Before you start building your own website, there are a number of steps you should take. These steps include identifying the goal of your website, identifying your target audience, and figuring out your budget. But one of the most important steps is designing the right logo for your business.
Your logo says a lot about your brand, and it will eventually be the most recognizable aspect of your business. Consequently, it should also be on every page of your website, which is why it’s important to design the right logo for your business before you start building your site.more
Every business needs a website. Regardless of whether you actually do a lot of business online or not, your business needs to be where people can find you, and these days, that happens online more than anywhere else. There are so many reasons why having a website for your business is essential — and you can learn more of them in a previous blog — but merely having a website isn’t enough.
Unless your business is incredibly niche, it’s not the only one of its kind online, and you need to give any visitors to your website a reason to stay and hang around instead of moving on to the next business on the list.
Building a website takes time out of your busy schedule, even when you use a user-friendly DIY website builder, like the one you’ll find with Websites 360®. So, it’s important that you get it right, and with a little knowledge on your side, you can build an effective website from the get-go.
There are all kinds of different websites out there, and what’s effective and...more
Are you looking to build a website for your local business?
These days, every business needs a website. It’s simply non-negotiable. Word of mouth is still an incredibly powerful way to get your name out there, but these days, fewer people are asking their friends and family for recommendations. Instead, most of those people are looking for local businesses online. And, when they do, you need to be there.
However, having a website for your local business online isn’t the same as having an effective website. The sad truth is that not all websites are equally effective, and since there’s more than a little competition online, you need to learn how to make your website effective.
Thanks to the Websites 360® website builder, building your own website is easy and pain-free. But, even with such a user-friendly way to build a DIY website, local business owners need a little know-how in order to get it right.more
Your website is your business’ main hub online. It’s understandable that you might have a lot of information you want to share on your website, and you certainly want it to stand out online. However, no matter how much information you have to share online, it’s important not to let the design of your site get too complicated.
When it comes to web design, simplicity is the name of the game. But, simplicity doesn’t have to mean a boring design or an overly basic site, and simple also doesn’t have to mean minimalist. Simple websites still need to have all of the essential elements, and they still have to get your message across.
Building your own website is a great way to save money and own your business’ online presence, and when you do, it’s important to keep it simple.more
These days, it’s far more common for people to have a mobile phone than a desktop computer. There are 3 billion smartphone users out there, and only 1.3 billion people own a desktop computer. These numbers make it easy to see why having a mobile-friendly site is more important than ever before.
It’s essential that your website is designed to provide the best possible experience regardless of what device it is being viewed on. No matter whether someone finds the site on a laptop, desktop, tablet, or mobile phone, you want your site to be equally as functional and accessible.
One of the most important aspects of a mobile-friendly site is responsive design. With a responsive design, your site will automatically reconfigure itself for the optimal experience on any device, and you’ll have no need to have a separate site for mobile.
Responsive design is the first step toward mobile-friendliness, but it’s a mistake to believe that it’s the only aspect of mobile optimization. In fact, there are a number of other best practices to consider when optimizing your site...more
Design your website so that it ranks!
It doesn’t matter how much money you spend on hiring a professional to design your website, nor does it matter how much time and energy you put into designing your own website. If it doesn’t rank well in the SERP (search engine results pages), no one is going to see it. And, if no one sees it, why have a website at all?
A lot of people are under the misconception that SEO (search engine optimization) is only about producing content regularly and strategically using the right keywords. These things are undoubtedly important to the online visibility of your website, but true SEO success starts with the design of your website.
There are so many aspects of your website that can affect its ranking in the SERP. If you had a chance to read yesterday’s blog, then you already understand a few of those aspects.
Getting the design of your website right is an important part of the SEO puzzle. But, how do you design a website that pleases both search engines and users? I’ve come up with a few tips to help.more
The whole point of your website is to be found!
There are so many different kinds of websites that you could build to represent your business online. But, whether you decide to pay thousands of dollars to have someone build a fully custom site for you or you decide to save money by building your own website, at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what kind of website you have if it doesn’t show up in the organic search results.
You can put all of the time, energy, and money in the world into your website, but if no one sees it, what’s the point? But, how do you ensure that your website is visible online? Through SEO (search engine optimization)!
SEO is the process of increasing the visibility of your web site by improving its ranking in the SERP (search engine results pages), therefore, increasing both the amount of traffic to the site and the quality of that traffic.
When most people think of SEO, they think of writing keyword-rich page content. Content is king when it comes to SEO, and I’m not debating that, but content also isn’t everything....more
Websites have changed a lot over the past several years.
The first website was created in 1991, and in the 30 years that websites have been around, they’ve evolved numerous times. And, the reason websites have evolved is that the way people use them and how they look at them have also evolved.
It used to be that the only way someone might encounter your website is on a desktop computer, but these days, everyone has a fully functional computer in their pocket that they can check your website out on. It used to be people would only search by putting keywords into Google, but now, people can search by asking Siri or by saying, “Hey Google.”
Your website is your business’ main hub online, and it needs to be effective. However, because websites are changing and evolving at such a rapid rate, it’s also important to recognize when your site is no longer effective.more
With Websites 360®, designing your own website has never been easier or more user-friendly. Best of all, your new site will already be structured for SEO (search engine optimization) domination and will be completely responsive and scalable across all devices.
However, even with such an intuitive website builder and so many built-in features to ensure success, there’s still a lot of creativity and personalization that goes into building your own website, which means that there is still some room for error.
The design of your website can affect everything from how visible your website is online and how much exposure it gets to the rate at which people immediately click away from it (which is called your bounce rate). Suffice it to say, there’s a lot on the line when it comes to the design of your website, and your success online largely depends on getting it right.
Unfortunately, not everyone has an eye for design, and even fewer people have gone through formal training in order to learn how to get it right. But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t build a...more
When it comes to website design and digital marketing, consistency is key.
Regardless of whether your business is brand new or has been established for years, there’s almost nothing more important than staying consistent in your branding.
One of the main reasons why consistency is such an important piece of the marketing puzzle is that it helps to make your brand more familiar and recognizable to your audience.
Take Target as an example. You’d think that with such a simple, straightforward logo that isn’t exactly uncommon, Target would have a hard time differentiating themselves. But, most people can instantly recognize that they’re seeing a Target ad without ever actually seeing the name. And, it’s all because of the familiarity they’ve built with their consistent branding efforts.
Another big reason to always be consistent with your marketing is that it builds trust in your brand. The more people are exposed to a consistent brand, the more they’ll start to put their trust in it.
How do you ensure that your branding stays consistent while your...more
Decision fatigue is what happens when there are too many choices.
Life is all about making decisions. From the time the alarm starts going off in the morning, and you either decide to face the day or press the snooze button, you’re making decision after decision, and it never seems to stop.
Most of us have been told that choice is good, and most people believe that the more options they have, the better. However, having too many choices doesn’t necessarily translate into having better choices, and all of those options can leave us feeling exhausted and paralyzed about which choice to make. This is called decision fatigue.
What harm could offering an overabundance of choices do to the success of your business? Turns out, decision fatigue can be a killer when it comes to your conversion rate. The reason for this lies in the Hick-Hyman law, which says that the more choices you present someone with, the longer it will take for them to make a decision.
Having too many options can also make it difficult for your customers to find the best option for their...more
Every business needs a website, but before you start building yours, there are a few things you’ll need to consider.
For businesses of all sizes and in all industries, having a website is non-negotiable these days. It’s easy to see how businesses in retail can benefit from having an online presence, but even local businesses can’t survive without a website nowadays.
Instead of asking a friend or a neighbor to recommend the right painting contractor or carpet cleaner, most people will do a quick Google search. And, instead of relying on personal referrals to help them decide which company to go with, they’ll read the business’ online reviews.
The bottom line is that, these days, if your business isn’t visible online, you’re not going to grow because people won’t know where to look for you and aren’t going to be able to find you.
However, before you dive in and start building your own website, there are a few things you’ll want to think about.more
The whole point of a landing page is to convert, but not every landing page is effective.
The main difference between a landing page and any other page on your site is how it’s found. Typically, your homepage will be found through a social media page, a listing on a review site or a directory, or through word of mouth. Landing pages, on the other hand, are typically found organically while searching for a specific keyword.
Different pages on your website exist for all kinds of reasons. For example, some pages are merely informational and designed to educate your readers. However, a landing page has only one purpose — and that is to convert.
“Converting” can also mean different things for different pages. There can even be more than one type of conversion you’re shooting for with a single page (although, it’s in your best interest to choose just one). So, when you set out to create a landing page, you first need to identify what a conversion means to you. Is it a conversion when someone signs up for your newsletter, or is it when someone fills out your contact...more
Site speed not only affects how visible your website is, but also the kind of experience users have when they get there.
People don’t want to wait around for your website to load. They probably have better things to do with their time, and one of those things may include turning to a competitor with a faster website.
A slow load time can lead people to click out of your website without ever going past the homepage or landing page, or to abandon their cart even after they’ve added products to it. It reduces the number of pages Google is able to crawl and can hurt your organic search rankings, which can greatly reduce the number of people you are visible to online.
If you’d like to learn more about how site speed can affect your business’ visibility online, check out my last blog — Site Speed and How it Affects SEO.
It’s clear that having a fast website is important for many reasons, but how can you ensure that your website is up to the test?more
Organic visibility is everything nowadays.
Visibility is essential to the success of any business online, and although there are a lot of ways that you can pay to make your business visible online, your long-term success depends on your organic visibility.
Organic visibility, which is earned through SEO (search engine optimization), means ranking on page one for relevant search terms without having to pay an arm and a leg for ads. When you have organic visibility, every click is a free lead.
These days, when someone searches online for a business or a product, the chances of them looking past the first few listings are small, and the chance of them looking past the first page is practically nonexistent. This means that if you’re not on page one of the SERP (search engine results pages), your business may as well not exist online at all.
There are so many things that can impact the SEO of your website and your organic rankings online, from the relevancy of your keywords to the frequency at which you publish new content. But there’s one thing that’s often...more
For an e-commerce store, there’s nothing more important than having a great product page.
There are so many reasons to make creating great product pages a top priority when building your website. Not only do your product pages inform people of what the product is and why they should buy it; when done right, product pages are powerful in terms of SEO (search engine optimization).
When built correctly, your product pages will help to increase your conversions as well as your website’s ranking in the SERP (search engine results pages). However, if you do it wrong, you’re not likely to get the results you want, no matter how many marketing dollars you throw at it.
To put it simply, when it comes to designing product pages, there’s a lot on the line, and it’s important that you get it right.more
Designing your own website has never been easier.
It used to be, that when a business wanted its own website, it had to hire a developer to build one from the ground up, which ended up costing thousands of dollars for many businesses. Luckily, those days are in the past, and there are plenty of affordable options out there, with the most affordable being a DIY website.
The Websites 360® website builder gives businesses a better way to build websites, and best of all, it’s so easy to use that anyone can do it. However, not everyone knows how to get it right.
Having just any website is not enough; you want a website that converts and gets you results, and there are a lot of web design mistakes that you could make along the way that could hinder that potential.more
White space — is it a waste of space or a valuable design tool? It really depends on who you ask. A lot of website owners see it as the former — a missed opportunity for more images, videos, or text that’s left empty for no real reason. But, designers know differently. They know that white space can be an essential tool for creating an effective web design.more
Stock photos are great, but not always the best choice.
Images are an important part of any great website, and when you’re designing your own website, it’s important that you choose the right ones.
Earlier this week, I went over a few tips for finding the right images to use on your websites. One of those tips was that you should tread carefully when using stock photos.
When you’re in desperate need of quality images for your website, stock photos are a great option. However, a cheesy stock photo can be spotted a mile away, so when choosing stock photos, it’s important to choose unique, high-quality images that won’t be found on every other site across the web.
Even better than stock photos, though, are real photos of your business and other original photos. As long as the quality of these images is up to par, they make a much bigger impact than stock photos. But what types of photos should you choose?
#1. Photos of your facility or signage
If you have a brick and mortar location, give potential clients a...more
Not every HVAC website is made equal.
Having a website for your HVAC company opens you up to a whole new world of possibilities when it comes to marketing your business and getting your name out there. However, it’s important to know that not every HVAC website is made equal.
Anyone can build their own website — especially with Websites 360®’s super easy-to-use website builder — but not everyone knows how to do it well. And the fact of the matter is that, while having any website is better than no website at all, if you want to actually get a return on your investment, you need to figure out how to make it convert and stand out online.
Here are a few tips to help you build an effective HVAC website:more
The images you choose can make or break your website.
Images are an essential part of any website. The simple fact of the matter is that, if people are given the option, most would much rather look at an image than read a paragraph. Images also help to grab the attention of your audience, and they can trigger their emotions, creating more meaningful and memorable connections. In short, images create an atmosphere for your website.
There’s no denying that images are important, but just as important is using them correctly. Just as using the right images can increase the amount of time people spend on your website or how many conversions you get, using the wrong images can have just as much of a negative impact on your website.
Finding the right kind of images is an essential piece of the web design puzzle, and there are a few basic rules to keep in mind when choosing images for your website.
7 Rules for Choosing the Best Images
Rule #1. Don’t overuse stock photos.
Stock photos can be a great option for many businesses that don’t have the time...more
These days, having a website is nonnegotiable for any successful business.
Although businesses vary in how much they actually do online — with some running their business entirely through their website and others using their website to simply inform people about what they do — one thing that all businesses have in common is that they all need a website.
No matter what industry you’re in, how much of your business comes from word of mouth, or how loyal your clients are, you need a way to connect with people online, and the number one way to do that is by having a website.
5 Reasons Having a Website isn’t Optional
#1. Be found where people are looking.
Did you know that search engines are the first stop for 93 percent of all online experiences? And what’s more, almost half of those queries are for local businesses. Whether someone wants to shop for the perfect engagement ring for that special someone or they’re on the hunt for a memorable place to pop the question, chances are, the first place...more
Use the “so what?” test to make sure your content hits on the points your customers care about most.
One of the fundamentals of sales is to focus on benefits instead of features. The classic analogy is that of the drill:
People don’t buy drills to own a drill, they buy them to make holes.
The drill – its fast motor, comfortable handle, and sharp bits – are all product features. In and of themselves, they don’t really have any value.
The benefit is that the drill gives you the ability to make holes in things.
But imagine a person who doesn’t really get why they need to drill holes. If you say to this guy “buy this drill because it makes it easy to drill holes”, he’s going to say “so what”.
You need to take it a step further. He needs to picture himself quickly getting that shelf up – which makes his wife happy and frees up their time. Now owning a drill results in the benefit of an enjoyable weekend.
Getting at the benefits your customers truly care about involves an extra step most businesses don’t take.
Franchise website redesigns can seem like a daunting task.
After all, it is a lot to take on. There are typically multiple stakeholders (each with their own design preferences), folders full of brand assets, and the pressure to create a website solution that caters to individual franchisees and the brand as a whole. At Websites 360®, we've helped many multi-location businesses own their web presence and have created eye-catching, functional franchisee website templates that can grow as franchisees expand.
Whether you're starting completely from scratch or looking to overhaul your existing franchisee website structure, there are a few key items to keep in mind. Read on to see the top considerations for a successful Franchise website redesign and tips for how to prepare for the redesign process.more
What are the benefits of owning a franchise? When starting a franchise, business owners can run a business that already has an established template for success. They have the power of a strong, established brand, a pre-delivered set of tools to start their business, as well as the peace of mind that comes with a corporate team that is there to help.
The franchise formula has been proven to work. However, many franchises struggle with creating and maintaining the online presence of their locations. Some franchises have one website that has little input from the individual franchisees. Others do not have guidelines for creating websites, which leaves franchisees on their own to build a website that may not work as well as it should. By utilizing a franchise website builder, both franchise owners and franchisees can utilize a website that strikes a balance between brand consistency and individuality.more
Your website has an important job: communicate your brand’s message and get users to convert. How you define a conversion might differ; you might classify a conversion as a direct purchase, or by a user clicking through to another page.
No matter what your ultimate marketing goal is, you want to do everything in your power to make sure your website is doing its job effectively. Have you considered adding video content to help drive conversions? If not, then read on.
Video is not only changing the way websites are built, but also how users interact with websites, browse, convert, and more. The number of people watching videos online only continues to grow. In fact, video is predicted to make up approximately 80 percent of all global traffic by the end of 2019. More people are interacting with brands that create video content consistently, and many consumers now expect to learn about products or services through a brand video. Forty-three percent of consumers...more
Google Analytics is a helpful way to understand how your website is performing online. It is often intimidating to log into Analytic and see tons of buttons, tabs, charts, and numbers. We’ve narrowed down some of the most basic, yet important metrics for you to look at to get an idea of how your site is working.
Once you have set up Google Analytics on your website, you can log in by visiting analytics.google.com. Use your Gmail or G Suite email address and password. In this guide, we will go over four reports: Audience, Acquisition, Behavior, and Conversions. Once you’re in, you will navigate between each report through a column that’s located on the left-hand side of the screen.more
When it comes to attracting online customers you want to start with an attractive website that is fast, secure, and optimized for search engines. However, that is only the foundation for a successful internet presence. Outside of your website, there is a whole network of third-party local listing sites and directories which provide information about your business.
These third-party directory sites are beneficial because they display your business information at no cost to you. However, this information may be incorrect or misleading, and some websites may not realize your business exists at all. In fact, the information on these sites can directly influence your business’ exposure in the search results! Do you know how your business is listed on the internet? To ensure that you are making the most out of these business listings, it is important that you practice NAP consistency and take control of your information.more
Originally published November 2019
As a business owner, you are likely constantly looking for ways to improve your experience for customers.
Luckily, the increasing presence of online reviews makes it easier than ever to learn what your customers do (and don't) like about your products or services.
One way that customers can provide feedback online is through first-party reviews.
In this guide, we'll outline what first-party reviews are, why they are important and how they can help improve your business's reputation.more
If you want your business to have a strong digital footprint, then you want to make sure that you are making the most out of your Google My Business listing. One step you can take to optimize your listing is by taking advantage of Google’s attributes to describe your business.more
Websites 360®'s website solution offers user-friendly tools that make it easy to manage image libraries and image blocks. Websites 360® has released a number of performance enhancements, dynamic image capabilities, and opportunities for SEO improvement so that users can easily build and customize their website.more
Make the most out of local profiles
If your website is for a business, then you should make sure to have profiles on major local listing sites. At the very least, having listings on major aggregate sites like Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook, are essential. These local profiles are important because they provide space for users to leave reviews. These websites also have a very high domain authority, so they appear prominently in search engine result pages. You should also create local profiles on industry-specific sites, like Angie’s List for home services or The Knot for wedding-related venues or services.
Of all the local aggregate sites, Google My Business is likely the most important. The information on your Google My Business listing displays in Google’s “local 3-pack” in the search results and on the map listings. If you want your business to have a strong online footprint, then you should make the most out of these listings by adding posts,...more
Does your business or organization have a verified Google My Business profile? If you want your business to have a strong digital footprint, then a robust Google My Business listing is essential. The information in your Google My Business profile is what appears in Google’s “3-pack” and the map listing. Optimizing and verifying your Google My Business listing is important, especially after Google’s recent algorithm changes that favor local results
Luckily, the Google My Business interface is easy to use and customize. You can access via desktop or download it to your smartphone through iTunes or the Google Play store. It is also completely free to use. While it is easy to use, it does take some effort to live up to its full potential. Read on to see how to optimize your Google My Business listing.more
In the early days of Google over a decade ago, search engine optimization (SEO) strategies were very different. In those times, the best way to drive traffic to your site was to show up on the first page of search results. Over the years, especially recently, Google has made many algorithm changes. This means that search rankings are not the same as they used to be.more
Many business owners are aware of how important online reviews are when finding new customers, but many struggle with actually getting people to leave reviews. We all know that the best way to get 5-star ratings is by perfecting your customer service, but actually getting that review can be a bit trickier. We’ve put together a few ways to get positive reviews, faster, so you can grow your online authority.more
As a business owner, you work hard to provide excellent customer service for your clients. Your may have perfected your customer service on the job, but what about on the internet? Your online presence is essentially an extension of your business, and online reviews bring extra opportunities to build relationships, solve problems, and also improve your business’s reputation.more
At Websites 360®, we're constantly looking for ways to improve our website building platform, and we're excited to announce that all Websites 360® websites can now take advantage of HTTPS, the most secure protocol available for websites today. Read on to learn more about SSL web hosting and HTTPS, and discover the benefits it can provide website owners and visitors alike.
What Is SSL?
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) creates a private session between a web browser and a website. During the session, the browser and the website use a cipher to encrypt data before sending it to the other party. The website, and the browser being used to view it, use a decryption key to decipher the data. Without the key, the data looks like a random jumble of letters, numbers and symbols.
What Are the Benefits of SSL Web Hosting?
SSL creates a safer web browsing experience, which is a great thing for you and your website's users, especially if your website gathers personal information such as credit card information, phone numbers, passwords, or...more
At Websites 360®, we're constantly adding new features to our platform based on client feedback, and we're excited to announce our brand new reporting tool. Quickly check your website's traffic right from the Websites 360® dashboard. You can also see what devices your viewers use to browse your website. Best of all, there's no code to implement this new reporting functionality - we've already set it up for you. Website Only and Website + CRM & Email customers can simply click on the reporting tab within the dashboard overview page. From there, you'll see your unique website's stats automatically. Interested in boosting your website's traffic? Check out our marketing packages. With Websites 360®, it's easier than ever to create, manage, and promote your online presence within one simple platform.
Real-time analytics are only available on our Website Only and Website + CRM & Email plans. Basic and Premium customers can upgrade through the Websites 360® dashboard. To learn more about this new feature, contact us today.more
Now that you've launched your beautiful new Websites 360® website, it's time to start thinking about how to get more website visitors that you can convert into customers. The right approach to increasing online traffic can push your site higher in search rankings and put your business ahead of the competition. As you build your web presence, you'll notice that there are many ways to advertise your business online. At Websites 360®, we offer marketing services that incorporate three common tactics for attracting more search traffic. Read on to learn the basics of these online marketing methods, and contact us today to see what kind of online marketing is right for your unique business.more
Your website content plays one of the most important roles in creating your online presence. It can tell the story of your unique brand, illustrate your service or product, and drive potential customers to purchase. Now that you've chosen the perfect website template, the next step is to figure out what types of content your website needs most. From blog posts to logos, there are many kinds of content you'll need to consider if you want your website to accurately communicate your product, services, and brand. Whether you're redesigning your website or starting a new website from scratch, gathering and creating your website's content can quickly become overwhelming. To help make this process a bit easier, our designers have created an overview of the types of content you'll need when starting your website design, as well as some best practices to use when placing content on your website. Save valuable time by reading these tips before you start building your website.
How Many Pages Do You Really Need?
Before you start typing,...more
The complex task of putting together a website for your small business becomes easier when you know how to choose a website template. A template provides a foundation to work with when establishing your web presence and makes building and maintaining a site easier than starting from the ground up.
Ready to build your own website, but don’t know where to start? Check out our tips for how to choose the best website template for your business.more
Some companies believe websites are simply a tool for advertising their services and telling potential customers about themselves. While having a website to communicate your unique brand and services is the first step to broadening your company’s marketing efforts, online marketing is an ongoing task, and many companies fail to realize the importance customer feedback has on their online presence. Customer feedback and reviews can make or break your reputation both online and offline, and are a critical part of your online success. Read on to learn more about the importance of customer feedback, and why you should make online reviews a focus in your marketing plan.more
If you've been watching your website's search engine performance, you know how important mobile-friendly web design is to Google. In fact, Google now processes more searches made from mobile devices than from PCs -- so providing great search results to mobile users is the company's priority.
Google recently announced a fundamental change to the way in which it will handle search queries in the future. The company plans to create two entirely separate web indexes -- one for mobile pages and another for desktop pages. Google will prioritize the mobile versions of pages on its search results pages, and it will display the desktop versions when no mobile pages are available.
Following the change, websites without mobile-friendly designs will likely receive significantly reduced search engine traffic. Is your website ready?more
At Websites 360®, we're proud to offer websites that are completely responsive and scale across all devices seamlessly. While these mobile-friendly features come standard on all our websites, we also want to give our customers the ability to easily edit the design on every version of their website. We've been working hard on improvements to our mobile navigation styling options to give our customers the power to easily change their website's navigation structure across desktop and mobile devices. While other website building platforms may require an expensive developer for these types of mobile navigation changes, our user-friendly CMS lets even those with no coding experience take back the reins on their website management. Learn more about our exciting new mobile navigation styling features!more
At SpaceCraft, we're constantly looking for new and innovative ways to help our customers improve their web presence. We're excited to announce our new video gallery functionality that gives you the ability to add multiple videos on one page in a visually pleasing way. Engage your website visitors by adding various video resources onto one page, and let your video content take center stage.more
A landing page without a powerful Call to Action (CTA) is like a boat without water - it will get you nowhere. CTAs encourage consumer engagement and prompt your customers to take action. Not just any action, but the specific action you want them to take when they land on your website.
Without a clear call to action, your website visitors are left in limbo not knowing what step to take next. Ultimately, this is where many online sites lose their potential customers. Why spend time designing a wonderful, dynamic landing page, without putting the same effort into creating a CTA that will help you gain more customers?more
Ready to get started building your online presence with Websites 360®? We created a short video to help you navigate our easy to use website building tool. From choosing a template as your starting point to adding a custom domain, we'll walk you through the basics so you can start designing your unique website.
Watch our Getting Started video today, and sign up for our 14 day free trial to start crafting your space online.more
Your website looks best when you hire a photographer to get great shots of your workspace, products, and staff. However, we realize this isn't always possible. If custom professional photos aren't an option for your business, you can still get access to high-quality photos for your website through stock photography sites. Learn more about recommended image sizes and formats for the web, and try out some of the Websites 360® design team's favorite stock photo resources.
Recommended Stock Photo File Formats and File Sizes for the Web
When you incorporate images into your site, you should favor JPGs. This file format is ideal for photos because they are "lossy", meaning additional data is not saved, so you end up with a smaller file size. The only exception to this rule is when you need a transparent background for your images. In this situation, you should use PNG files. We recommend minimizing the number of PNGs used, as this format is lossless and retains all color data. Using more PNGs results in a larger file size, which may slow down your website...more
So you've just launched your brand-new website, and you're anxious for new customers to start rolling in, or want to make sure your existing customers can still find you online. What some business owners don't realize is that web users need to be able to find you online before they become a customer. Since the very beginning, web users have favored websites that show up higher in search results, as they want to find the information they need fast. Showing up on the first page of search results has become even more difficult as search engines have adapted to increased browsing on mobile devices, more ad space, and tougher competition as more and more businesses are getting online. That being said, following SEO best practices is critical to building your online presence and attracting customers to your newly launched website. Below are six critical SEO actions to take before you launch your new site or as soon as possible afterwards to give your website the best chance to rank against the competition.
Action 1: Redirect Old URLs
If you have an existing...more
“How are you different than WordPress?” has become one of the most common questions that our team seems to get these days.
For some people, WordPress is synonymous with the word website. At Websites 360®, we are quickly trying to change that mindset. Don’t get us wrong, WordPress is a good platform if you are a serious blogger, experienced developer, or have an in-house IT team.
Unfortunately, with a WordPress website, your site is only as good or optimized as the person who is building it. There are many creative shops building WordPress websites, but they’re certainly not all created equal. Our biggest warning to any client weighing their options is to make sure that they understand that choosing WordPress as their CMS won’t magically give them or their business a leg up on the competition.
We might be biased, but in our eyes Websites 360® is a superior solution for small businesses needing a turnkey solution with beautiful designs, great support, and fantastic SEO, all while breaking their dependence on developers. (Don’t take our word for it, give it a...more
Our Image Galleries are becoming extremely customizable with the series of updates we have been putting together for you this quarter. A wide selection of gallery arrows are now available for you to choose from, 45 total options to be exact! That includes the option to add one of three colored shapes behind the arrow along with other detailed controls.more
We are launching some fresh effects for your photos and image galleries today! A big request from our customers was to include Title and Descriptions as a feature for their images. We consider this a great option for photographers or businesses who are looking to add more descriptive content to their portfolios.more
The Websites 360® team is constantly cooking up fresh new features for you to use on your website! We are also always listening to our customers in an effort to keep our platform one of the leading website builders available in the market. This week, we are happy to include Parallax scrolling and Carousel slideshow options in our rich selection of design options: two new features in line with the advancing world of responsive and beautiful web design.more
The customer experience is spoken of constantly. We are reminded everyday that this is the era of the customer. Their journey matters more than anything else. Their impression of your company can make or break your business, and one of the first impressions they may get is from your website. First impressions are important, right? So why isn’t your website doing it’s job?more
The Websites 360® team has been hard at work building amazing new features and functionality for our platform. You can now drag and drop images and update your website copy on the fly with our latest release. These powerful new features save you time and make it a breeze to update your website.more
You asked for it...we listened. Check out Websites 360®'s new image editing features. Now it's even easier to customize your image shapes, styles and sizes right from our design panel. You no longer need Photoshop or a separate photo editing software to make basic image modifications. This fantastic new toolset will save you time and allow you to customize your images for a professional look.more
So you want to set up your first website. You have a great idea: a product to sell or a service to offer. You know exactly what you want your website to do, but you don’t know how to code.
Luckily, some really smart people know how to code, and they’ve built some awesome tools for us non-coders.
When it comes to websites, this tool is called a CMS, or content management system.
Using a CMS means that you can create the website of your dreams, all without using any code!more
With the new Websites 360® website building platform now fully launched, it’s even easier to manage and design your responsive mobile-friendly website. We have incorporated years of research and feedback from Websites 360® website owners to make the platform better in every way.
There are hundreds of new features and enhancements in the platform, all designed to make your website management easier than ever. We’ve put this guide together to highlight and walk through a few of the most user-requested updates.more
Google has announced that a "significant" change is coming to their search algorithm. According to Google Webmaster Central, this change is starting on April 21, and will expand on Google's use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal.
A Googler even noted that this algorithm change will impact more than 40% of websites on the internet. This means that it will be the most significant mobile algorithm change to date.more
The holidays are quickly approaching, and with them come more and more customers starting to search for Christmas gifts. While these searches do occur year-round (albeit in minimal numbers), according to data from Google Trends, searches including the term “Christmas gift” tend to rise exponentially starting in late October and early November.more
Today’s Search Engine Optimization efforts have grown to include much more than entering a website’s keywords and meta-data. Providing fresh, interesting content has become the key to great SEO. Every website owner should be creating new content and analyzing it over time to ensure a truly optimized user experience. But, if you aren’t skilled at SEO, the data can be difficult to find, understand, and act upon. The good news is that if you’re lucky enough to have a Websites 360® website, many of your SEO concerns have already been addressed!
Our platform auto-generates rich, clean micro-data vital for search engine crawlers, is completely responsive across all devices (and browsers), and easily integrates with data analysis tools including Google Analytics. Taking a holistic approach to SEO can seem overwhelming, but even if you aren’t an experienced SEO (Search Engine Optimizer), there are still simple steps you can take to improve your current search rankings and create buzz around your website and brand.
Creating a conversation with customers through your social...more
Our designers have put together a list of their favorite places out there to find stock photography. These sites make it easy to grab fresh images to take your website to the next level, and we use them every day to find awesome shots, including the ones you see in our new templates. Whether you're looking for a specific photo to complete your design or in need of a new look and feel, these sites will help you find what you're looking for.
Unsplash: We like Unsplash for their landscape and cityscape photography. If you need a photo of a far-off mountain path, a quaint corner bakery, or a sprawling skyline, Unsplash has you covered - plus they mix it up with some awesome abstract shots.
Picography: This feed is filled with interesting outdoor shots and city scenes, all downloadable and hi-res.
Foter: This collection is huge, and entirely...more
Let's dig into a hot topic for businesses with multiple locations. Franchises and multi-unit businesses have struggled to choose between having one website with a page for each location and having separate websites for each location. It’s tough to say if there is a right or wrong answer that will work for everyone. However, at Websites 360®, we agree with Matt Cutts (Head of Webspam at Google) that having location-specific websites is best in most scenarios.
"Make a web page for each store location. If you want your store pages to be found, it’s best to have a unique, easily crawlable url for each store” - Matt Cutts
Cutts even goes so far to say that neglecting to give your franchisee or local dealer their own website positions your business at a severe disadvantage against the competition.
Giving each location its own website provides the opportunity for each location to tell their own story. With Websites 360®, each location can have their own blog and integrate their unique social feeds. They can add events and promote specials. And they’ll be set up to work...more
As mobile phone and tablet usage continue to surge, so does the importance of having a mobile-friendly website. At the onset of our platform's development, we had two directions that we could have gone in to provide our customers with websites that worked across all devices.
The first option was to create a separate mobile website, in addition to the desktop version, for each customer website. This approach required having separate URLs and managing unique content for the mobile-specific website.
The second option was to leverage responsive design. Responsive design is an approach aimed at building sites that provide optimal viewing experiences across all types of devices. There is only one URL and one set of content to manage. A site designed with responsive design adapts the content to the screen size available by using fluid grids and images. Here’s a Websites 360® customer website showing a responsive design in action:more
Window shopping on Main Street is something that we’ve all probably experienced. It’s also something we take part in hundreds of times a day, but more on that in a minute. A store’s or parlor’s front window displays were some of the first examples of marketing and advertising. For a business owner, a display was an invitation for customers to come on in. If the glass was not smudged with handprints of onlookers, the display was probably not tantalizing enough.
A display needed to be inviting and pleasing and clearly communicate the shop’s purpose. Customers wouldn't dare enter an establishment if a front window display was overwhelming and confusing. A front window display was a business owner’s first interaction with a potential customer, occurring even before the handshake.
Sadly, fewer people shop on small-town Main Street in 2014, but the idea remains the same. Main Street has expanded into every one of our offices, living rooms and phones. Even if they are unaware of it, all small business owners still have a front window display. In 2014, websites must...more
Schema.org provides a collection of shared vocabularies webmasters can use to mark up their pages in ways that can be understood by the major search engines: Google, Microsoft, Yandex and Yahoo! Webmasters can use the schema.org vocabulary, along with the microdata format, to add information to their HTML content. While the long term goal is to support a wider range of formats, the initial focus is on Microdata.
At Websites 360®, we’ve done all the work for our customers on the backend of our platform to be ready to take advantage of this movement. Our software is built with structured data so we can serve up our customer's content the way search engines prefer. Take a look at this example for ASTI, one of our favorite restaurants in Austin, Texas. When you search for "ASTI menu” the search results display the actual menu data from the ASTI website. Too cool!
Here's to smarter search results!more
We started Websites 360® to help small businesses and individuals have a great web presence that works on all devices AND one that has great search engine optimization (SEO). So, of course, we love Jay Taylor's article, 3 Reasons Why Responsive Web Design is the Best Option For Your Mobile SEO Strategy. His 3 reasons center around things we talk about all the time with our customers:
- a responsive website is recommended by Google
- a responsive website provides a great experience across many devices and screen sizes
- a responsive website is easier to manage since you are only managing one website and one SEO campaign
Check out Jay's article here. And if you don't have a responsive website, then give us a call. We'd love to help you...more
We recently installed a slew of new Typekit fonts in our design panel. We added whole families of multipurpose fonts, like Brandon Grotesque, some fun handwriting fonts like Kremlin Pro Web, decorative fonts like Hotel Open, as well as varying weights and styles of our most popular existing fonts like Futura and Museo. We’re enjoying trying out all these fresh options and finding new ways of pairing and contrasting on websites we’re currently working on.
Remember, when picking out your fonts, it’s worthwhile to do a little digging to find out what it was meant for originally. Typekit makes that easy to do with its font library, which gives helpful info about the font designer, makes recommendations for the kind of content the font is suitable for, and offers the...more
If you're like me and sometimes can't decide on one background, or if you just like changing up your website constantly, then adding page-specific backgrounds is the perfect design option for your Websites 360® site. This is also another great way to keep your website updated and fun!
Just follow these few steps and you will be set.more
You use Facebook to share photos of your kids, Twitter to share opinions about the latest news (or your latest snack), and Google+ to…wait, what’s Google+ again? A recent study by respected analytics software firm Searchmetrics suggests you better find out – and start using it and other social media platforms to promote your website. Researchers collected massive amounts of data on search engine rankings and released their findings in an eye-opening whitepaper detailing correlations between high-ranking websites and various factors such as social media activity, backlinks, and page load speed. Since 2012, Google has substantially changed the algorithm it uses when crawling the web to deliver the best content to searchers, and this research helps us understand what are the best things to focus on if we want our websites to get found.more
Ariel Hyatt, founder & president of Cyber PR®
Calling all bloggers!
Blogs are essential for small business today, mainly to create a connection with their community. Whether it's a personal journal, product income, or just a talk about what's going on in your business today, there are all types of bloggers and readers. But once you start building a community around your blog, interaction is bound to take place. Your readers want to have a say in your topic, tell you how much they enjoyed your post, or just give a commentary!more
Pinterest, the visually-driven social media website with over 25 million users, is a powerful (and fun) way to generate buzz around your business, drive traffic to your website, and engage your visitors. We make it easy to optimize your Websites 360®website for Pinterest users so you can reap the rewards of this quickly-growing social platform.more
Bringing your personality to life in a website can sometimes seem a bit daunting, especially when you’re a small business. How do you take all your personality and place it into your website? With a little bit of thought and few key design decisions, it can be done quite well.more
Owning a website that's optimized for mobile gives your business a decided edge. Whether you're a roofer or a restaurateur, more and more consumers are using smartphones and tablets to search for your services and products. If you can provide a superior mobile experience, you're on your way to gaining their loyalty.more
We've been working on some new enhancements that we're excited to introduce to you.more
Some of our favorite Websites 360® websites are the ones restaurants have built...and not just because we like reading over the menus.more