What value do you place on designing your website to be accessible for those with disabilities and special needs? Is it something that you have already done and continue to keep a close eye on, in line with the latest government guidelines?
Or do you feel that you lack the time to bolster your site’s accessibility, or that it’s something that would only benefit a tiny proportion of your prospective customer base regardless?
There is certainly a moral argument for ensuring that everyone – and we mean everyone – can access your business’s website.
There is also a legal one, as if your website fails to meet certain design standards, you could be sued for discrimination. Such legal action isn’t something that many companies have faced so far, but it also isn’t unheard of, with several such cases having been initiated in the past by the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB).
Given the relative lack of legal repercussions so far for organisations that fail to make their websites accessible, it may seem that ignoring this aspect of web design is something you can ‘get away with’. However, there’s another, potentially much more powerful argument for boosting a site’s accessibility: the financial one.
Yes, the number of visitors to your site who are blind may be very small... but there will be many others who have some level of visual impairment, while others may be trying to view small screens in bright environments. By following accessibility guidelines for those with low vision, you can therefore boost the profits that your business gains from all of the above people.
It’s a similar situation when you optimise your site to be easily understood by those with dyslexia. There may be only a small proportion of people visiting your site who are actually dyslexic, but there will be many more people who are non-dyslexic and highly academic, but who might not understand certain specialised terms that you have used on your site. A site that is accessible for dyslexics therefore potentially benefits a much wider range of people.
Or what about designing your site to be more usable for those with physical disabilities? Again, it’s worth thinking here about all of the people who are not physically disabled, but who have previously had to grapple with website buttons and sliders that are so small, it takes five attempts to tap them on a touchscreen device. A website that is easy for a physically disabled person to use is also easy for everyone to use.
In fact, many of the guidelines that you may have read on how you can design a more accessible website – and the Government Digital Service has released some great ones here – overlap with the advice you may have previously read on how you can make your website easier for the entire population to use.
So, why not join the accessibility revolution? Talk to our team here at Piranha Designs about your concerns, and we’ll bear them closely in mind when providing you with a website design that will enable your company to grow among all of the segments of its target audience.
Some of you with widely-held views of the situation between small firms and ecommerce today may be rubbing your eyes at the title of this piece. After all, isn’t every retailer selling online these days? Are there even any genuinely successful brick-and-mortar retail businesses around these days that have no ecommerce presence at all?
The answers to those two questions are no and yes – you probably only need to look around your town or city to see some retailers still exist that apparently do just fine without an equivalent ecommerce portal.
Such a firm may continue to thrive on account of the standard of customer service that it provides, an enviable local reputation or simply the lack of an alternative retailer for its given products anywhere in the immediate area.
Alas, while companies fitting the above description may seem to be doing perfectly well for now, there’s no guarantee that this will remain the case forever. Indeed, pretty much all of the relevant statistics point to online sales still growing at a much swifter pace than general retail sales.
Yes, your average neighbourhood pet shop or hardware store may have fared alright outside the ecommerce world until now, but their task of competing is probably getting stiffer every month and year.
However, it’s also understandable that if you are such a retailer, you will likely have legitimate concerns about the wisdom of developing an ecommerce presence at all.
You obviously won’t have the resources of the big enterprises to give you the luxury of incurring losses or taking on the additional financial burden of ecommerce staff as you get your ecommerce site up and running. Nor may you necessarily have the low overheads and agility of the start-ups that begin life as ecommerce firms while never having to maintain a high-street presence.
Even simply the costs of delivering goods across the country or beyond can seem crippling if you are a brick-and-mortar retailer looking to enter the ecommerce space for the first time. So why not simply offer a ‘click and collect’ service to begin with, whereby customers can order from you online and then collect their purchased item in person from your store?
Alternatively, you may be able to get some of the suppliers from which your retailer already purchases to deliver their products directly to your online customers on your behalf. Or what about starting out on an existing trusted online marketplace, such as Amazon.co.uk Marketplace? This will enable you to select just a limited number of products to sell online initially, as you get to grips with the basics of ecommerce and as a result, minimise the risk of poor customer service.
Would you like to gain a more in-depth appreciation of your retailer’s many options for venturing into ecommerce? Here at Piranha Designs, we have professionals in ecommerce website design that will be more than happy to speak to you, taking into account the specific circumstances and needs of your business.
Given how long online shopping has been a routine element of commerce, you could be excused for thinking that most people know exactly what they want, and how to get it, when they arrive at an online store. However, you should be wary of any unwarranted complacency about how informed your store’s customers really are.
Even decades after the World Wide Web came into being, you can't entirely rule out the possibility of your company's online store attracting people who have never previously shopped online. However, there is another, quite different kind of uninformed shopper...
Whatever your store actually sells, there could still be too much jargon attached to your product descriptions. If you sell smartphones, for instance, you shouldn’t be too quick to assume that all of your shoppers know what "GB" and "RAM" mean. If, on the other hand, it is flooring that is on offer, not everyone visiting might understand what "laminate" means in relation to certain products.
How can you assist shoppers who might clock particular descriptions in your product listings, only to leave because they can't comprehend the vital terminology? One option is inserting brief explanations where a description uses what could come across as bewildering jargon.
Still, when you use this tactic, the descriptions could become too wordy if each one has more than two points that require clarification. If this is indeed the case, you could instead put together a separate article to list and provide definitions for potentially problematic terms.
Another reason for you to widely use easy-to-understand words and phrases is that this could make it easier for potential customers to find your site and its product listings through the search engines.
This is because, when conducting searches, many people are likely to use such simple terms as "memory" rather than "RAM" or "shiny" instead of "laminate". That doesn't mean you have to do away with specialised phrases or acronyms completely - just add the simpler terms as well, which is one of the many ranking-boosting measures that we can help you to implement as part of our renowned SEO services here at Piranha Designs.
Turning as many of your website’s visitors as possible into actual customers has never been more important – and here are just five reasons why.
Even without spending a single penny on SEO or advertising, if you can improve your site’s conversion rates, you will be able to enjoy more customers, and therefore make more money.
Think of the average sporting competition, where it’s a case of ‘winner takes all’: does the actual margin of victory matter? The football team that wins 1-0 thanks to a scrappy own goal in the 90th minute still gets all three points, while the loser ends up with nothing.
Internet marketing works similarly. Even the most modest improvement in your conversion rate could make a huge difference to your company’s profitability and success. You don’t have to be twice as good as your competitors to make twice as much profit as they do, because even just a ‘slight edge’ makes you the winner regardless.
Remember that for every additional conversion you get, you’ll make money that goes straight to your company’s bottom line, and nowhere else. That is why upping your conversion rate by a mere 50% could boost your profits by an incredible 500%.
The better your conversion rate gets, the more revenue your firm will generate, meaning more money is available to plough into such other marketing efforts as SEO, social media marketing, print and radio.
These measures will help to give your site even more visitors, boost your brand’s profile and generally make your business more robust so that its fortunes do not hinge on the next Google algorithm update.
Let’s face it: whether or not you’re working to optimise your site’s conversion rates right now, your competitors will either be doing it already or set to do it in future.
Wouldn’t you rather your firm be the one that is already ahead? After all, the company that is ahead is the one making money, while the one that is behind is effectively losing money due to the sales on which it consistently misses out.
Take advantage now of website design, SEO and other services that will enable you to bolster your online business’s conversion rates. Talk to the Piranha Designs team today, and we can discuss your most specific needs with you.
Erm, no, not really – especially given how difficult it can be to constantly think up great new ideas for your content. You might just, instead, use certain content repeatedly to reach many more people and boost your company marketing’s all-round effectiveness.
You’ve probably seen certain content ideas used again and again – maybe initially in a blog post, then in an infographic, and perhaps later in a podcast or YouTube video. This might have been the case across several different companies, but you can easily do it within your own business – and there’s nothing wrong with it, as long as you do it well.
In an age in which organisations seem to be spending more and more time and money on their content marketing, the astute reuse of your content can help you to extract more value from each and every content idea you have.
If you have any doubts about the ethical side of reusing content, think of it this way: when you tell a famous bedtime story like The Very Hungry Caterpillar or The Cat in the Hat to your children, you don’t feel guilty about not being the original source.
In fact, to do so would miss the point. Great stories deserve and indeed, need to be told time and time again, and great content tells such great stories. It’s why you should create your content from the outset with the potential for its reuse specifically in mind.
Furthermore, the effective reuse of content brings many real benefits to your business, including the ability to spin off more pieces of content given the fewer ideas you will need overall, as well as the scope to promote a single piece of content across many mediums, including your blog, email newsletters and social media.
So consider today how you might create and then reuse content on a ‘multiplication’ schedule that will help to keep it relevant and effective for longer. Could that new blog article you’ve just posted be given an extended lease of life when you share pictures from it on Instagram, grab a quote from it for your company’s next Facebook status update or post a YouTube video based on it?
Whatever anyone tells you about reusing content, it isn’t just ‘lazy’ – indeed, it could be one of the most powerful ways of telling and retelling your company’s most compelling stories, and generating more traffic, sales and revenue in the process.
Check out Piranha Designs’ wide-ranging online marketing services to discover just how far your company could go with our help.
Who remembers Flash? The plugin was certainly ubiquitous once upon a time, to the point of downright notoriety. However, it seems that the freeware software that has been with us since 1996 – and reached a peak of popularity in the late 2000s – will finally be phased out by 2020.
That is according to an announcement by Adobe, which said it was planning to “end-of-life” the plugin, ceasing to update and distribute the Flash Player by the end of 2020 and encouraging content creators to migrate any existing Flash content to new open formats.
In the meantime, security updates will still be made available for Flash in Apple, Mozilla, Microsoft and Google browsers. After that, though, Adobe will no longer offer any new Flash features and the plugin will be, for all extents and purposes, dead.
This announcement isn’t, in many ways, a major shock. After all, Flash is no longer the force in web design circles that it once was, and even in its heyday, the combination of its wide distribution and outdated versions of it helped to make it a key target for hackers.
The death knell for Flash may have been sounded as early as 2010, when – in a famous letter – then-Apple CEO Steve Jobs criticised the software for falling “short” in a then-emerging mobile era that he described as being “about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards”.
Apple never did support Flash on its iOS devices, and even Adobe in recent years has made noises suggesting that it would like to phase out the plugin. After years of declining popularity – accelerated by such developments as Flash support being gradually dropped from Adobe applications and Google making it a ‘click-to-play’ plugin that users must explicitly enable if they wish to use it – it seems that its death is finally coming to pass.
Adobe’s VP of product development Govind Balakrishnan has declared that the company remains “very proud of the legacy of Flash and everything it helped pioneer”, and so it should be – after all, it played a key role in bringing video and gaming to the web.
However, the world of web design is also a fast-moving one now embracing many alternative formats – and here at Piranha Designs, we can help your own organisation’s online presence to do the same. Whether you seek the complete CMS, ecommerce or mobile-friendly website for 2017, our web design professionals can use their up-to-the-minute expertise to show you the way.
‘Voice search’, in case you could possibly be unfamiliar with it, refers to the practice of speaking commands into a device to perform an online search.
Voice search technology is advancing and becoming ever-more relevant, so what can you do to suitably optimise your site to drive ever-greater traffic and sales from it?
Use language that people actually use
Being ‘natural’ is the key here. What questions and phrases would your target consumers say when they are talking to their friends and family? You’re less likely to get great voice search results out of the ‘marketing speak’ and promotional ‘buzz’ terms that are used a lot more often by those within your industry than actual customers.
Keep an eye out for natural phrases in your keyword research. They’re the phrases that tend to be longer and not searched as often, but which are also less competitive and thus easier to win.
Account for mispronunciations
It’s only natural that many online searchers for particular brands will read about those brands a lot more than they hear them spoken. They may therefore mispronounce a brand in a voice search – unless you account for such mispronunciations in optimising your site.
However, you will need to be creative in how you achieve this goal. Simply including misspelt words in your standard product content will simply give the impression that you are not professional enough to even bother to proofread your site content, and consumer trust in your brand will diminish as a result.
Aim for descriptive, textual content
Ecommerce sites typically consist of a lot of filter and category pages that do not exactly lend themselves well to voice search. This is why it is so crucial to produce descriptive textual content for your site – such as FAQs sections and how-to guides – that actually contains the type of words and phrasing your company might use.
You should also ensure that you use such natural phrasing on pages of your site that are linked to other parts of your site, in recognition of the fact that search engines are more likely to lead voice searchers to pages that use natural language.
Would you like to learn more about how you can optimise your site for all of the forms of search commonly used today? Simply get in touch with Piranha Designs today about our highly regarded SEO and marketing services.
When you are looking to boost conversions for your ecommerce site, it can be so easy to overlook the most seemingly obvious, but also simple details. Certainly, many website owners don’t put enough effort into ensuring their product images are truly conversion-worthy.
Here are at least five things that you can do to make sure your product images play their own part in boosting sales from your ecommerce site.
This might seem to be very generic advice, but there are certain ‘conventions’ followed by the big ecommerce stores that are worth following for your images. Amazon, for example, sets out a list of requirements for images, including that they must be professional images of the actual product being sold, as well as in focus, in frame and with no confusing additional objects.
For many products, your ecommerce store will be competing with physical stores that give the customer the luxury of handling the item and examining it from several angles. While the former is not possible with online product images, you can give your customers a measure of the latter experience by simply showing photos taken from multiple angles.
When a product is shown against a white background, it isn’t always obvious what size the product is, or how it would look in context – so why not show at least one image that gives a sense of this? While a depiction of your product against a neutral white background is probably still the best choice for your main image, an in-context image – such as a TV on a stand in a home setting – could make a great second photo.
This is an especially relevant option for items of clothing, where it may not be clear how the given product actually looks in a certain colour when being worn by someone. Show your customers a separate image of the product for each colour in which it is available, and they may well be surprised by how that product truly appears.
Does the product that you’re selling have certain features, finishes or detailing that may influence the customer’s buying decision? If so, don’t leave them struggling to zoom in on your image to examine such aspects of the product – just take separate close-up images of those areas so that they don’t need to make the effort.
As we are well-placed to realise here at Piranha Designs, even the finest details can make a big difference to the impression made by your ecommerce site on the people that matter. Learn more about our ecommerce website design solutions today and what they could mean for your firm.