Monday, 11 February 2013

Website Redesign Tips For Better Conversion

Websites are redesigned for a reason. Big brands and small business don’t do it just for the sake of beautification. They’re in it for growing traffic, converting leads and increasing sales. Last year, two trends compelled webmasters to redesign: Google’s new search algorithms (Penguin and Panda) and the growth of mobile traffic.

Before anything else, there are at least two things to consider when planning for a site redesign. First, optimize for mobile devices. Second, pay careful attention to redesign issues that may affect site traffic or search engine optimization.

Here’s a further exploration of what it takes to redesign for better conversion.

Have Clear Goals and Redesign Expectations

It’s easy to claim that the current website design simply doesn’t work. It’s difficult, however, to prove that a redesign will lead to better conversions. That’s why it’s important for business to invest a good amount of time brainstorming what the redesign is for. What gaps or issues are being addressed?

What has changed in terms of priorities or focus?

Clear and specific website development goals make up the foundation of any solid Internet marketing strategy. “To increase conversion rate” isn’t as clear and specific as “to increase conversion rate by 20%.” Redesign for measurable goals.

Website Redesign

Make it Easy for Visitors to Respond to an Action

Almost every marketer knows the importance of a call-to-action (CTA). A CTA is any type of content that urge visitors or readers to take a specific and immediate action. Not all CTAs are effective. This is especially true in cases of poorly designed websites with “buy now” and subscription buttons and cluttered navigation options.
The key to better conversion is in crafting an effective CTA. For it to be effective, webmasters have to make it easy for visitors to take an action, such as clicking the “subscribe now” button or completing a subscription form in no time. This explains why minimalist websites that thoughtfully utilize whitespace convert better than cluttered and image-heavy websites.

Convey Unique Selling Proposition Clearly and Effectively

Dropbox and Salesforce’s does this best by using explainer videos on their landing pages. These are short videos that effectively explain a company’s story, its product or service, and what benefits users can get from it. Since redesigning their websites to include explainer videos, Dropbox and increased conversion rates by 10% and 20% respectively.

The best selling propositions are simple yet engaging content. Many of them are visually appealing images and videos since users are known to retain information better through visual cues. Besides explainer videos, visual tweaks such as the use of appropriate color and font, compelling buttons, and positive verbs can help boost conversion rate. Be sure to brief web designers of the company’s goal to convert more leads.

Optimize Website for Better User Experience

The web as early adopters know it used to be accessible through big-sized computers. Today, more and more users access the Internet through laptops, netbooks, smartphones , tablets and gaming devices. Their number continue to rise rapidly worldwide. And businesses looking to attract and convert more leads could not afford to miss the mobile web.

Redesigning for a better user experience necessarily means embracing responsive web design. It’s the best way to deliver content both to large screens and portable devices.

These are just some redesign tips for raising conversion rates. For webmasters who have already completed a redesign or CMS migration, check for any coding problems and crawling issues. Remember, a great web design is just a part of a bigger picture. Plan for the long-term by considering web design, search engine optimization and social media marketing.

Website Redesign Download

Friday, 14 December 2012

5 Tips For Hiring Web Design Agency

If you are starting a website soon, then you will want to trust in a web design agency with experience and skill. While many will make promises, fewer deliver. To help you figure out the ones that do, so to avoid any setbacks or disappointments, follow these five tips for hiring a web design agency, and you will be glad that you did.

Look at past work.

Every agency worth anything should have work that it is proud of. Ask them to see some of the examples of their work. Better yet, wait to see if they offer up the information first. If they are truly good at what they do, you should not have to ask for samples of what your site could look like with a little hard work and creativity in the design department. If nothing excites you, move on to another web design agency.

Talk to former or existing customers.

Any business has its share of supporters and detractors. You won’t have any problem at all setting up a meeting with existing customers. The agency itself will be more than happy to place you in contact with someone. But if you want a more unbiased viewpoint, then you may have to do a little more legwork and ask around. Once you find someone, who severed the relationship ties, it doesn’t hurt to ask why. It could simply be a matter of hard times for the business, or perhaps something more sinister.

Notice how well the agency listens to your ideas.

What are meetings like when you sit down with your consultant? Do they appreciate and value your input, or does nothing seem to be getting through? While you may not be a design expert, you are an expert on your customers, so make sure your voice is heard, and make sure you don’t have to try very hard to make your voice heard.

Accept nothing less than your satisfaction.

If there are problems near the end of the job, don’t accept anything less than what you truly want. Allowing a business to cut corners now will end up stiffing you with a design you don’t like at a price you can’t afford to pay.

Choose only the most accessible.

There may be a lot of worthy web design agencies out there, but accessibility is important. Whether the agency does good work or not, if you can’t ever get through to them, then what good are they doing you? Give your business only to the people, who make you a priority.

As you launch your site, a great design can work wonders, so it is important to put your faith in a web design agency that deserves it.

Vadim Kotin is the founder of Vancouver based Digital Marketing Agency VN Web Group

Saturday, 10 November 2012

What is Responsive Web Design?

The internet and its technologies are changing rapidly, as are the device we use to access it.  In the past, the dynamic nature of the World Wide Web was somewhat handcuffed by the fact that we could only access online technologies from our home computers.  Today however, mobile devices, laptops, and tablet computers allow us to surf the web from nearly every corner of the planet.  Subsequently, the way we use the internet and the way we develop websites has also changed.  And that brings us to responsive web design.

So, what is responsive web design?  In the simplest terms, responsive web design (RWD) is an approach that endeavours to craft a site in such a way that the end user experiences optimal viewing without the need for constant resizing, panning, and scrolling regardless of what type of device they are using.  Whether customers are accessing your site from a desktop computer or a mobile phone, the site’s layout is automatically optimized for the user’s screen.  RWD is exciting since it constitutes a completely different design mentality than traditional web design. 

Responsive Web Design is a very new concept, and is recognized as one of the top web design trends in 2012.  A site designed with RWD utilizes fluid proportion-based grids and flexible images in order to adapt to the viewer’s device layout.  Unlike traditional forms of web design, RWD uses different style rules that are based on characteristics of the viewing device and the width of the browser.  Page element sizing is more fluid as it relies on ratios or percentages rather than absolute units such as pixels.  Flexible images also rely on relative sizing so that they will display correctly regardless of the user’s device.

Learn how to Redesign website with this simple Step-by-Step Redesign Guide.
Website Redesign Download
Ultimately, responsive web design is bound to become a powerful tool that will allow us to think beyond the restrictions of the printed page.  Web sites are not bound by the same rules as print medium, so our designs are considerably more flexible.  Moreover, web design is almost defined by transience, and our technologies are constantly being refined, replaced, or revised.  RWD is the forefront of web design, but in just a few years it has the potential to be the standard of design.  As devices and input methods become more dynamic, companies want to build customized websites that function efficiently for all devices.  Responsive web design will allow a developer to make one page that functions seamlessly across devices.

Many web developers already see responsive web design as the future of their art.  Instead of developing separate, device-specific sites, forward thinking designers seek progressive solutions.  RWD is redefining web design in such a way that rewards creativity and flexibility. 

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

VN Web Group Donate Proceeds To GABA Children’s Society.

VN Web Group is Excited to Announce their Partnership with Above Autism and the ABA Learning Centre to Help Families and Children Affected by Autism and Related Developmental Disorders. As the Number of Autism Cases Continues to Rise, VN Web Group Recognizes the Importance of Funding for Autism Treatment and Research.

Vancouver, BC – VN Web Group, a Vancouver Internet Marketing Company is raising funds to benefit ABA Learning Centre during Autism Awareness Month in December. VN Web Group will donate 10% of all sales for the month of December to the GABA children’s society for ABA Learning Centre.

ABA Learning Centre provides a wide range of exemplary services to families of children and youth with autism spectrum disorders and other complex developmental disabilities. Professionals at ABA Learning Centre are dedicated to providing quality services based on procedures validated in scientific literature. Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) is the foundation of intervention. Treatment programs are designed to each child’s developmental needs in order to help the child reach his/her full potential.

ABA Learning Centre provides high quality, effective intervention programs including intensive behaviour intervention, social skills and play groups and, one-to-one direct instruction in academic skills development. The staff of ABA Learning Centre are skilled professionals who work together to support families by tailoring services that address their unique needs.

Above Autism is focused on increasing awareness of autism and raising funds for autism treatment. There are many specialized education programs that can help autistic children learn new social skills. Studies show that early intervention with treatments like Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) lead to the best results.

According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 1 percent of children have been diagnosed with autism and related disorders, and this number is expected to continue to rise. Autism is a complex disorder of neural development characterized by impaired social interaction and communication; the first signs of autism begin before a child is two or three years old.

VN Web Group is a leading internet marketing company in Vancouver. They provide Internet marketing, search engine optimization and website development services to businesses throughout North America. Furthermore, VN Web Group is dedicated to community involvement and supports a variety of initiatives in addition to raising autism awareness. For more information about how VN Web Group is supporting the community, please visit

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

How To Improve Seo

There are two main schools of thought on the subject of search engine optimization. Some feel that you have to be conjuring up as much content as humanly possible with the keywords in all the right places, and that can be the end of it. Others feel that posting less frequently and simply pouring a lot of effort into a post that will hopefully connect with readers is the way to go. Add a few tags at the end, and you’re done. The reality is somewhere in between these two schools of thought, and if you really want to stand a chance of improving SEO, then you have to find that right spot.

Step One: Commit to daily posts

Your competitors are already doing it, and they’re also trying to gauge topics that their audience will want to read about. You can learn a lot from your competitors, but make sure that you are LEARNING from them and not STEALING from them. Bring your own unique vision. Write in a clear and legible manner using short sentences. And make sure that you can keep the items coming every day of the week.

Step Two: Tag appropriately

To make life easier on the search engines, you will certainly want to do the best you can with appropriate tags of your material. What is the post about? What keywords would a user have to search for your post to score well? Whatever the answers are to those questions are what your tags should be. Try to include 5 to 10 for every post.

Step Three: Keep it coming

While search engine optimization should have a focus on quality – after all, you want your audience and your potential audience to believe that you’ve got something compelling to say – you can’t hold their attention if you’re not using frequency of posts to your advantage. Depending on the niche market you’re trying to fill, and you should be trying to fill one, you are going to have to give them a reason to come back for more.

Step Four: Use social media

Social media is now as much a part of the SEO process as writing articles and tagging correctly. When using social media sites like Twitter, you can actually find your target audience through keyword searches. Including keywords in your tweets is also a good way of driving people to your site. Just make sure that once they’re there, you’ve got material that is worth their reading time.
When you get ready to launch your SEO campaign, make sure that you have covered the bases above. You can make SEO work very powerfully to your advantage, but first you have to put forth the effort and commit to your own success.

Vadim Kotin is the founder of Vancouver based Digital Marketing Agency VN Web Group

Monday, 11 July 2011

Twitter for SEO

Links Tweeted on Twitter Matter for SEO

It’s official. Google and Bing include social signals – namely, links that get tweeted on Twitter – when determining rankings in their search results. This was confirmed by Danny Sullivan in his December 1, 2010 post on Search Engine Land, and it was likely a factor for a while before that.
To put this new factor in perspective, Google uses hundreds of signals to determine how it should rank a website. These include inbound links to the site, the title tag of a web page, and site speed.
Getting people to link to your site is really all about having great content that people want to share, whether on their blogs or websites, or on Twitter. As Google and other search engines increasingly take note of social activity and the links shared on sites like Twitter, having a good social media presence will become increasingly important for ranking well in search results.

Many companies have been employing social media as a part of their marketing strategy, and for good reason. Now that social activity has so much impact on search engine optimization (SEO), companies that take SEO seriously know they must use social media as part of their strategy for getting onto the first page of search results.
Note for those who are not familiar with Twitter: “tweets” are the 140-character (or less) messages that people post on Twitter. Twitter offers help for new users on its site.

How Can I Use Twitter To Help My SEO?

The ways of search engines are mysterious, and people are always trying to figure out which specific tactics will help more than others. But just as we know that other ranking factors are considered in light of giving searchers the best information for their queries, you can bet that search engines will elevate the best content on the social networks – especially the content that’s shared by real people who have influence.
Based on case studies, the more quantity and quality of tweets that link to your website, the more of a lift you can expect to see in your search engine rankings for the linked-to page or pages.

1 – Mind the Text

When you tweet a link, it’s likely that search engines use the text you enter to determine what your link is about. It’s very similar to the way that search engines regard anchor text on web pages – the text on which a link is built tells the engines what the linked page is about. This in turn can help the linked page rank better for the keywords contained in the anchor text.

2 – Who Says?

Who links to you on Twitter matters. You probably know already that it’s more beneficial if influential tweeple – “people” in Twitter-speak – tweet about you, or retweet your tweets, because they will reach a wider audience. The same is true for the SEO value of Twitter. Google and Bing both say they look at the author’s authority or quality when evaluating links that appear in tweets.
The search engines are mum on how they determine author quality, but here are some indicators of authority that SEO experts think search engines consider:
Presence of an avatar or portrait. Spam accounts often don’t have one.
Has the account been verified? Did the person confirm their email address? (People can’t see this, but Twitter has this information, and the search engines may be able to get it.)
  • More followers.
  • Quality followers. (This means people who follow someone for a good reason – NOT purchased followers!)
  • Ratio of following to followers.
  • It may be better if the URL in someone’s profile doesn’t match domain they’re tweeting about, because then it’s certain the person isn’t engaging in self-promotion.
  • Twitter handles that don’t have numbers. (Many spam accounts on Twitter have user names like Name8765.)
  • A bio with complete information.
  • Engagement. (Accounts that never reply to other people certainly seem spam-y to me.)
  • Included in lists created by quality tweeple.
  • The PageRank of a Twitter profile.
Think of it this way, who would you rather have link to your website?
The idea of author quality is much like PageRank for web pages. If a web page has 100 links, each from a different page with a PageRank of 0, they probably provide the same SEO value as a single link from a web page with a high PageRank. A link tweeted by a respected and well-followed person on Twitter will be worth more – both for your reputation and your SEO – than 100 tweets from spam-y bot accounts.
Something to keep in mind is that using bots or cheap labor to create a ton of Twitter accounts and tweet links to your site would be nothing but a spam-y waste of time and money. You won’t get any SEO value, and you could be identified as a cause of Twitter spam.
If you notice a spam-y Twitter account, click “report [username] for spam”.

What Can I Do To Encourage Tweets and Links?

  • This should be pretty obvious – I hope. Create great content that people will want to share.
  • Make it easy for people to tweet and share your content. Consider including a Twitter button, a call to action, or some simple way for people to share a link to your website.
  • Engage with your followers and attract new, quality ones. See our Twitter Marketing 101 article for guidance.
  • Keep tabs on who has mentioned or linked to you and thank them. You can also ask them to link to the newest thing you’ve created.

What Do We Know About Twitter and SEO?

Case Studies

The people at one website noticed the site suddenly ranked on the first page for a particular keyword right after the site was linked to by a prominent Twitter account – one with more than 350,000 followers – and that tweet was retweeted more than 100 times. In a recent experiment, people were asked to link to one page from their website, or tweet a link to another page. The results so far? The page that was linked in 522 tweets outranked the page that was linked 646 times across 36 different websites. It showed up as the first result for a specific keyword search.

Points of Order

  • Search engines take note of public Twitter accounts only. If you see the lock symbol, and you have to request to follow someone, their tweets won’t help anyone’s SEO.
  • Websites still matter. You must continue to build good backlinks to your website to guide more people to your site and rank well in search. Links from Twitter are a new tool to help your SEO, but they can only do so much.
  • Links from Twitter are still NoFollow. That’s because Twitter can’t possibly monitor them all, and judge which ones should be followed – that is, confer some link juice. However, when search engines look at the entire stream of public tweets to evaluate what’s being discussed, there are no rel=nofollow tags present on those links. Search expert Danny Sullivan believes that means links in Twitter do carry some weight, and help the links rank.
  • Google and Bing look at links on Facebook, but they can only do so in profiles that have their status updates set as public. Most people have their Facebook accounts set to be private (the opposite is true of Twitter), so search engines see mostly just the information that’s on public business pages.

What We Don’t Know

How long will the SEO boost from Twitter links last? Most SEO experts believe the boost in rankings from a tweeted link diminishes over time. That’s because tweets are constantly replaced with new tweets, unlike a web page. So tweeted links don’t have the persistent presence of a link on a web page.
If you’re going to get X amount of tweets linking to a given page, is it better if they’re retweets of the same content, or uniquely written tweets? Not enough is known about this yet, but people can certainly get tired of looking at the same tweet over and over again in Twitter feed. That’s not going to help you get more clicks.
I expect that we’ll know more about Twitter for SEO as more information is gained from experiments and studies.
Taking note of social activity makes SEO and search engine algorithms more complicated than before, and hopefully better equipped to produce search results that really matter to people.
For website owners, it makes sense to think about earning links in the social networks, as well as on websites and blogs. Don’t leave the benefits of sharing on the social Web on the table.

Vadim Kotin is the founder of Vancouver based Digital Marketing Agency VN Web Group

Sunday, 3 July 2011

How Much Does It Cost To Build A New Website?

Thinking of starting your own website but afraid that the cost of building a site may be over and above your budget? Well, there are many different types of websites and the cost of building these sites are different. In other words, there is a range of pricing and you can easily choose a price that you are comfortable with and start from there. Here are some examples of the different types of sites you can build.

Basic static html sites. – These are the simplest sites to create. They are basically just static pages that contain some content such as texts and images. You will need to pay for a template though. The template design is basically what you are paying for if you hire a web designer to create a static website. You also need to hire someone to write the content if you are not going to do this on your own. This is the most basic type of site and may cost between $100 to $200, depending on the designer you hire.

Site with Content Management System. – If you intend to maintain the site on your own and do frequent updates, then you will need a content management system (or CMS). Most CMS are open source and you don’t need to pay for them. Here are some recommended CMS: WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. However, do need to pay for a custom template, as well as any customizations or configurations done on the CMS. This option is slightly more expensive, and may cost you $500 or more. The price is still highly affordable for most business owners and till today, this remains the most popular option. The use of a CMS means that the webmaster don’t have to spend money on updates in the future.

Custom built site. – If you want to build everything from scratch, you will need to hire a web developer. Choose a programming language that is popular, such as ASP.NET or PHP. It’s easier to find servers that support these languages. It’s also easier to hire freelancers due to the popularity of these programming languages. A custom site is expensive because the script is only meant for you. You are paying for exclusivity, and the developer will build everything based on your personal requirements. The more features you want to have on the site, the more you must be prepared to pay. Most developers charge based on their time spent on the site. So if you want them to do more work, you have to pay them for their time. A custom built site can range from $800 to thousands of dollars. Pick this option only if you have very specific requirements (e.g. a custom application that you really need), and if you have a big budget. The advantage of having a custom site is that you have the freedom to create any feature you want on the website.

Vadim Kotin is the founder of Vancouver based Digital Marketing Agency VN Web Group