Top 3 Live Chat Options for WordPress

Option #1 – LiveChat – https://livechat.com

Pricing is:

  • Starter Plan – $16/month/agent – billed annually
  • Team Plan – $33/month/agent – billed annually

Features:

  • Each agent logged in to chat can serve multiple visitors at the same time, also there is an option for multiple agents to be logged in and serve chats. 
  • As for the queue option, it is described here: https://www.livechat.com/help/queue-configuration/
  • Attachments can be sent both ways in every plan except our Starter plan
  • Transcripts of the chats are available for you at any time so you can save them, sent them to your email, etc.

Option #2 – Olark – https://olark.com

Pricing is:

  • Self-Service Plan – $29/month – billed annually
  • Pro Plan – includes copilot chatbot that we can customize for non-live chat situations – need to call to find out price.

Two week free trial – https://www.olark.com/signup/create_new_account/trial

Features:

  • Automation
  • Live chat analytics
  • Chat transcripts
  • Custom chatbox forms
  • Real-time chat
  • Chat team management
  • Robust software integration
  • Attachments

Option #3 – Kayako – https://kayako.com/pricing/

Kayako is a full service help desk solution developed in 2001. They also have a live chat software..

Pricing is:

  • Growth Plan – $30/agent/month
  • Scale Plan – $60/agent/month

Growth Plan includes these features:

  • Live chat, Facebook, Twitter and email
  • Help center
  • Basic performance reports
  • SingleView™
  • Agents log in with Google
  • Standard support plan
  • Workflow automations: assign tickets to agents
  • Advanced reporting
  • Multiple brands, multiple languages
  • Time-saving macro powered responses
  • Custom fields for capturing critical information
  • Slack integration
  • 700+ Zapier integrations
  • Organization Profiles for Agents
  • Agent collision prevention

 

Best Chatbots for WordPress

If you’re interested in adding a chatbot to your WordPress website, there are many viable options. Here are seven of the best chatbots for WordPress.

1. Intercom

Intercom is one of the most well known chat and support platforms. Intercom is very sophisticated and while there are less expensive options for startups, it is geared towards larger businesses.

2. Drift

Drift is another very well known chatbot platform that easily integrates with WordPress sites. There’s a free version that you can use for starters but the first tier for paid customers is $400 per month.

3. Chatbot.com

ChatBot allows you to easily automate customer service. The all-in-one platform lets you build and lunch conversational chatbots without coding. You can sign up for a free 14-day trial and no credit card is required. ChatBot comes loaded with ready-to-use templates that you can customize to fit your needs. ChatBot costs from $50 per month, which includes 1 active chatbot and 1000 chats per month.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Chatfuel

Chatfuel is a powerful chatbot platform for Messenger, Facebook, and Instagram. Many big brands – Adidas, T-Mobile, LEGO – use Chatfuel. You can use your bot to increase sales, qualify leads, or to provide answers to frequently asked questions. Chatfuel costs from $15/month, with no user limit.

5. Zendesk Chat

Zendesk Chat is part of Zendesk, a customer support platform for businesses. Zendesk has features that let you handle support tickets and chat live with your customers.

You can use automated messages within Zendesk Chat, such as triggering messages based on what your customers are doing. You can also optimize your messages by testing which ones have a high engagement rate. Zendesk Chat costs from $19 per agent per month, billed annually. There’s a 14 day free trial with no credit card required.

6. Quriobot

Quriobot is a very simple chatbot that has a free plan, making it a good option for small businesses on a tight budget. If you want to remove the Quriobot branding, you need to pay approximately $10/month.

7. TIDIO

TIDIO is another easy to use chatbot platform that offers both live chat and virtual AI chat. Like many of its competitors there are customizable templates and free trials.

Summary

Chatbots are still a relatively new tool for engaging with potential customers and clients but many businesses are already seeing the benefits of incorporating chatbots into their WordPress websites. Using a website as an effective sales tool requires being able to offer fast responses and assistance whenever your audience needs it. Chatbots can deliver this 24/7. They can address questions and needs within seconds and direct them to the right person when they require assistance from sales or support staff.

And although chatbots used to only be a productive option for large businesses with the budget and developers to build them from scratch, there are now plenty of options that make integrating a chatbot into a WordPress site easy — making a chatbot an addition worth considering for any company.

What is a Chatbot? Which One Should You Add To Your WordPress Website?

You’ve probably already heard of a chatbot – and if you spend any time online – you’ve also probably used one. They usually appear in the lower-right corner of your computer screen while browsing online.

What is a Chatbot?

A chatbot is a computer program that interacts with human users via a chat interface. A chatbot can either be powered by rules using if/then statements or artificial intelligence or a mix of both.

For example, Dominos Pizza has a Chatbot named Dom – Domino’s ordering assistant bot.

This chatbot mostly relies on multiple-choice menus and basic input to help customers but it’s extremely user-friendly and serves its purpose of helping users place online orders effectively and easily.

7 Ways a Chatbot Can Help Boost Conversions on Your WordPress Website

Chatbots can serve a ton of different purposes on a website. Here are 7 of the most valuable:

1. Collect Leads

The most important goal for many websites is collecting information your sales team can use to contact new prospects. Chatbots are perfect for this purpose.

2. Qualify and Prioritize Leads

Collecting quality leads is challenging but what’s even harder is evaluating and prioritizing the leads. Chatbots can simplify this process by identifying high quality leads. A user lands on your website and the chatbot asks the user to choose from a variety of options about why they are there – 1) looking for information 2) just browsing 3) ready to make a purchase decision.

3. Put Visitors in Touch With Your Team

Many people think that chatbots are designed to replace human support staff but that’s not the case at all. In fact, one of the best roles a chatbot can play on a website is a connection between your customers and your staff. Many chatbots start with a question asking whether the visitor would like to speak directly with a sales analyst. If they need to speak to billing instead, the lines aren’t clogged and visitors are able to get directly and reliably in touch with human support staff.

4. Increase Newsletter Subscriptions

Because they are automated chatbots can save you a lot of time and effort when it comes to building your list of email subscribers. The key is to use chat as a lead capture opportunity. Occasionally a lead will need more incentive to provide their email address. One effective way to get an email address out of a visitor is to offer a special discount in return.

For example, the chatbot could be set up to recognize when a user is shopping on an eCommerce page. The chatbot can then be used to offer a discount off their purchase. To get the coupon code, the visitor would need to provide their email address and then you can send a one-time promotional code directly to their email.

5. Direct Visitors to Helpful Resources

If you’ve already created lots of content on your website, you can make the most of this content by training a chatbot to direct visitors straight to the resources that are relevant to their interests and questions.

6. Personalize the Browsing experience

A chatbot can make the browsing experience personalized by utilizing a landing page sized chatbot that immediately interacts with website visitors.

7. Reduce Your Employees’ Workloads

Many of the chatbot capabilities on this list are typically handled by customer service teams. By integrating a chatbot, you can eliminate these tasks from your employees’ workloads and help them focus on more meaningful activities.

 

15 Reasons Why Websites Matter in 2022

Over the past ten years, there’s been an enormous focus on social media and businesses of all sizes have had to make decisions on how and where to spend marketing dollars. With all the focus on Facebook, Yelp, Google Business, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and whatever this year’s newest social media phenomenon is, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that maybe a business doesn’t need a website anymore. However, there are many reasons why websites still matter in 2022. If you don’t have a website, it’s time to hire someone to design one for you. And if you have a website, it might be time for a website redesign.

1. A Website Gives You Instant Authority

A well-designed, user-friendly, responsive website with informative, quality content establishes trust between author and audience. A website demonstrates expertise, authority, and permanence. While social media sites come and go, your business website should be the central focal point of your online presence. Think of the website as a businesses marketing hub and the social media sites and backlinks as the spokes.

2.You Don’t Own Your Social Media Pages

If you rely exclusively on social media sites, what happens when your entire audience hinges on a social media network and that network starts making decisions that negatively affect you, your customers’ experience, your brand image or identity, or all of the above? We have seen this recently with Facebook. Social media sites change algorithms without warning, create new rules that may restrict your ability to communicate with your customers, or even disappear altogether. Former President Trump knows this all too well. Anyone remember MySpace or Friendster? If you drive traffic from the social media spokes to your own website, you are and will always be in control.

3. You Get A Huge Return On Your Marketing Investment

Consider the cost of online advertising (which is constant – if you want to keep advertising you have to keep paying) or the cost of creating print materials which are out of date as soon as you print them. Then compare those costs to the $4,000 required to create your own business website. It almost always makes sense to invest in a website.

4. Your Local SEO Relies On Your Website

Good search results require a solid internet presence. A website is a fundamental part of that internet presence. You need your own domain and your own content. It’s far more difficult to rank in Google’s local pack listings without your own website.

5. Consumers Expect It

Most consumers expect a business to have a website. As a business owner – if you want customers – make it easy for people to find you online.

6. A Website Showcases Your Expertise

Nothing shows off your expertise better than your own website. You can create any kind of content you want, publish portfolio pages, blog posts, informative articles, and select which customer testimonials to highlight. The content on your website gives you a chance to show potential clients that you understand their problems and their needs.

7. Your Website Can Hold And Keep A Visitor’s Attention

When a visitor lands on your website, your are not positioning yourself next to a bunch of other social media sites all vying for attention. When people get to your website, it’s up to you to hold and keep a visitor’s attention. You can do that by anticipating their needs and writing content that answers their questions.

8. Without A Website, Customers Will Consider You Less Professional

On average Americans spend 23.6 hours online per week. People tend to spend 5 hours a day scrolling on their phones. If you don’t have a website, potential customers won’t take you or your business seriously.

9. Your Customers Need Answers

Both your current customers and potential customers are looking for information. Don’t you want to be the one to give them answers rather than having a search engine point them to someone else’s answers? During your website design you will want to answer three questions:

  • What is your business?
  • What services or products do you offer?
  • How can customers reach you?

Make sure that function and communication are as important as aesthetic design.

10. Be The Leader Online

The answer to the “Do I need a website?” question revolves around being the leader of your field. A high-quality, user-friendly website that answers your customers questions will make you the leader of your field online. If your competitors already have websites, make sure yours is better. Show customers why your company is better and why they should buy your products or services.

11. Websites Are Essential For Building Your Brand

It’s impossible to create a professional image for your brand without a website. Anything short of a website looks cheap and unprofessional.

12. Websites Are Great Customer Service Tools

Modern customers look to social media for customer service when a website doesn’t meet their customer service needs. The problem is that by that point most customers are angry and they aren’t turning to social media to be productive. If you have your own website, you can control your customer service process and direct customers to up-to-date FAQ pages or customer service contact info simply by sharing a link.

13. Websites Are Important For Link Building

Links are essential for SEO but they are even more important for referrals. A business website has greater authority and is of greater use when promoting your brand.

14. Increase Your Working Hours

Website visitors can access your online marketing material at any time of any day at their leisure if you have a website. Being available at all times helps with marketing and sales and is also a step towards optimal customer service. If you have chatbots on your site that can help clients with simple issues when they need it most, you can take this idea one step further.

15. Provide Social Proof

Customer behavior is influenced by what others have said about your company. People expect to check your website to learn more about your company regardless of whether it has a 5-star rating on review websites. Customer recommendations on your websites are a terrific method to impress potential customers and give social proof.

Final Thoughts

It’s absolutely vital to have a professional, high-quality, user-friendly, responsive, brand-differentiating website in 2022 if you want to increase sales, increase your bottom line, and expand your company. Business websites in particular help customers make purchase decisions. A simple website costs pennies but can yield huge rewards in the long term.

 

 

What to do if your website home page now say’s ‘The Site Ahead Contains Malware’

If you get to a website and you see the warning “Site Ahead Contains Malware”, you need to act fast.

If it’s not your site, you need to turn around because there could be malware on the website you are trying to access.

If the site ahead happens to be your own site, you need to act fast to fix the situation. This message indicates that your website is either infected with malware and/or has been hacked. Google crawls websites regularly to add new or updated content to the search index. These crawlers also can detect if your site has a malware infection.

If Google or other search crawlers find malware on your site, they immediately flag your site and display this warning to protect users from accessing the web site. This warning has detrimental effects on SEO, site traffic, and your credibility. It can also lead to your web host suspending your hosting account.

Why did your WordPress website get hacked?

Websites get hacked for the following reasons:

  • economic gain
  • drive-by downloads – malware injections
  • black hat SEO
  • system resources
  • hacktivism

How did your WordPress website get hacked?

Malware can infect your site in a number of ways:

  1. Plugins – An infection could have come through the plugins installed on your website. This can happen for several different reasons – a) old plugins without recent updates are prone to vulnerabilities; b) pirate software is free but often contains malware; c) you may have installed a plugin from an untrusted source.
  2. Your Computer Might Have Malware – Often when a computer is infected with malware, uploading a file to a website can lead to a website infected with malware.
  3. Brute-force attacks by hackers – Hackers can use a brute-force attack to guess your username and password and break into your website.

What do you do if your site now say’s “The Site Ahead Contains Malware”?

It’s important that you act fast. You will have to remove the malware from the website and then submit your website to Google for review. Google’s safe browsing policies that you need to follow before you submit your site for review are:

  • You need to log into Google Search Console and prove you are the owner of your website.
  • You need to make sure that your website is clean and free of any malware infections or backdoors.
  • You need to fix the vulnerability that led to the hack. We recommend installing the premium version of Wordfence.
  • If your host has suspended you for malware, you need to contact them and request they remove the suspension. Your website needs to be back online prior to submitting it to Google for review.
  • Call Connect4 Consulting at 202-236-2968 so we can help you with these steps.

How do you prevent “The Site Ahead Contains Malware” from happening again in the future?

If you’ve ever had the misfortune of finding yourself in this situation, it is imperative that you do everything possible to prevent it from happening again. To do that, implement the following procedures:

  • Make sure someone is actively managing the hosting of your website. That means you need to make sure that all plugins and WordPress are updated as soon as updates are available. You can’t just rely on hosting alone.
  • Install Wordfence or Wordfence Premium to protect your website.
  • Update WordPress regularly.
  • Only use trusted themes and plugins – stay away from free plugins or themes – particularly if there have been no updates in the last 3 months or more.
  • Remove inactive themes and plugins – the more elements you have on your website, the greater the opportunities a hacker has to break into your website.
  • Update website passwords, remove inactive users, limit login attempts, install an SSL Certificate.

 

 

 

Top Website Development Trends for 2020

Each year new trends and technologies are adopted by website owners and developers. Some of these trends have more to do with advances and changes in design and others have more to do with advances in technology. Over the past few years, the dominant website trends have been WordPress, static sites, mobile responsiveness, video content, and chatbots.

If you have a website or manage a website, you may want to think about either incorporating some of these concepts in your own site now or thinking about it now for a redesign in the future.

Responsive Design and the Rise of Mobile Users

In 2020, responsive design is a must-have. In 2015, 35% of website traffic was attributed to mobile devices. In 2016 that figure rose to 43%. In 2019 that increased to nearly 53%.

In 2019 mobile-first indexing arrives. Search Engine Watch describes this as:

Currently, Google looks at the desktop version of a site and then bases how it will rank the mobile site according to that information. Once this update rolls out, the opposite of that will happen. Google will begin looking at your mobile site and from that, will rank the desktop site.

This means that mobile websites are officially the most important aspect in terms of search results. This also means that you better have a responsive site. If not, your search results and ranking will be negatively affected.

Voice User Interface

Thanks to Voice User Interfaces (VUI), a movement is slowly starting to capture a similar experience on a website that we have with Alexa, Siri, or Google Home. A VUI makes spoken human interaction with computers possible. It uses speech recognition to understand spoken commands and answer questions, and typically text-to-speech to play a reply.

While voice control is becoming a bigger part of our everyday lives, the technology still can’t completely control our web experience. That’s why the big five tech companies (Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Apple) have all recently invested billions in developing and improving their AI assistants.

Let this sink in. Voice will power 50% of all searches by 2020. In fact, some people think that the need for keyboards will be gone in five years because of voice control. (Though I don’t share this opinion.)

Video Content

The power of video as website content is not going away. Businesses should continue to put video at the forefront of their brand and engagement. However, don’t just put a video in your hero or request a demo section and call it a day. You need to think about the user experience and how video throughout will help answer the visitor’s questions and fulfill their needs.

Consider trying the following:

  • Walk people through very specific questions on products or services. If you have 10 FAQs, create 10 videos to answer each.
  • Don’t just talk about your company culture, create videos the show it in action
  • Create a product video. Just seeing a photo of a product is no longer the norm. People want to see what it looks like in real-world situations.
  • Have a video on your careers section with interviews of employees and all that your company has to offer.
  • Once visitors get to thank you pages after filling out forms, have a thank you video!

Transparent Pricing

People visit websites to have their questions answered and the biggest question for many customers is “What’s the price?!?”

Showing your price is a sign you are trustworthy. You’re not trying to mislead people or waste anyone’s time.

AI and Chatbots

People expect to be able to get in contact with a company 24/7. Chatbots can field questions at all times of the day that live chat can’t and guide people to specific pages to complete desired actions.

Large B2C companies already use the technology to service their customers. A bot could be integrated into progressive web apps, business websites, professional or household equipment, and any internet-connected app developed by a commercial company. The most important advantages of AI-based bots are 24/7 problem-solving potential, human-like experience, and consumer behavior analytics.

Ten Things Your Website Should Have in 2020

If you own or manage a website or are planning to develop a new website, there are ten things that your website should have in 2020. The website is the fastest and (often) least expensive way to build and boost credibility. If you already have a website, take a look at it from outside eyes and take note whether it adequately reflects your products and services, your value-added, your knowledge, opinion, perspective, etc. If it doesn’t reflect these things, then it’s time to review and possibly redesign your website.

Implement these tips and tricks to generate more leads from your online presence and your website in 2020.

1. Responsive/Mobile-Design

There is no excuse for a website that is not responsive. The average American spends 5.4 hours a day on their phone and picks the thing up nearly 60 times a day! If they happen to look at your website, it must be responsive and fit to the screen.

2. Fast Page Speed

If it takes ages for the website content to load, visitors might leave your site for a better website. Google also now takes page speed into consideration as a ranking factor.

3. Clear Calls to Action

Be sure that the goal of your website is obvious to your users. If you sell products, encourage users to browse and check out. If you offer services, ensure users can browse your offerings and contact you when they are ready to engage.

4. Backlinks

One often-overlooked search engine ranking factor is the number and quality of other sites linking back to you. This is usually overlooked because either people don’t understand its importance, or they don’t have time to do anything about it. While both are valid reasons, consider this. While Google takes into consideration everything on your own site when determining where to rank you, it also considers what other sites think about you. One of the best ways for them to determine that is if lots of high-quality sites have linked to your site. It can take time to identify sites that might link to yours and to contact each of them individually, but the payoff can be huge.

5. Reviews

Word-of-mouth is a timeless technique for driving customers to your business. And one of the best ways to do that is by getting reviews online. Having a large number of positive reviews signals to potential customers that your business/products/services are good. This social proof can convince someone who’s on the fence to take a chance on you. Depending on the nature of your organization, you might seek reviews on Google My Business, Facebook, and/or Yelp. Other niche sites could also work, but don’t spread yourself too thin! It’s better to aim for a high number of positive reviews rather than a scattergun approach of a few reviews all over the place. Be sure to display any particularly good testimonials on your website and make it easy for people to read all your reviews by linking to the site(s) (e.g. Google My Business) where you have the most reviews.

6. Security

One of the most important components of internet presence is creating a trusted environment where potential customers or clients feel confident about making purchases or providing you with personal information. SSL certificates create a foundation of trust by establishing a secure connection. To assure visitors their connection is secure, browsers provide special visual cues – anything from a green padlock to a branded URL bar. Websites with an SSL certificate have https:// instead of http:// before their domain name.

7. Privacy Policy

Remember all the GDPR hubbub last year? Well, that’s not going away anytime soon and it’s not just for Europe anymore. California is already adopting similar privacy and data protection regulations, and other states will surely follow soon. It’s important to keep up with the trends and make sure your site is compliant. A good starting point is to get a privacy policy on your website. It should use clear language and outline all the ways in which you use and store your customers’ information. It should be linked from the bottom of each page of your site so that no matter what page a user lands on, they can access the information.

8. No Flash

Adobe Flash is finally going away this year and will no longer be supported so you want to replace any Flash animations on your site with something more up to date. If you were previously using a Flash intro to load your site, consider removing it. Use a visitor’s time wisely.

9. Email Signup

People may complain about spam, but spam only refers to emails you don’t want in your inbox. Think about the emails you do like to receive: a weekly deals email from your favorite store, a daily email with the latest news, a community newsletter updating you on events in your area. As long as the content is right for you, you’ll look forward to getting those emails. Which means your website’s audience is likely looking forward to emails from you. Make it easy for them to sign up on your website (you’ll only want to email people that you have explicit permission to contact), let them know what they can expect to receive from you and how often, then deliver on that promise by providing quality, timely content via email.

10. 508 Compliance

508 Compliance is shorthand for a law (Rehabilitation Act of 1973) that requires Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities. Section 508 doesn’t only apply to federal agencies. It also impacts any company that does business with a federal agency. This includes private contractors, the financial industry, healthcare, many legal organizations, and others. Web designers and developers play a critical role in ensuring websites and digital tools are accessible, and conform to the Revised 508 Standards and the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA.

 

2020 is Here. Are Websites Still Relevant?

The average American spends 5.4 hours a day on their phone. Millennials spend slightly more time on their phones (5.7 hours). Most people check their phones 58 times a day!

In 2018, people spent 20% more time using Apps than browsing the web through browsers from their phones. These numbers reveal major challenges for 2020 and pose the question: do websites still matter, or will Apps control the mobile world?

Websites are still very important because:

  • Google doesn’t search the content of an App. When you search on Google, you see results related to search terms “read” by Google on the content of websites, not Apps
  • Apps require download, authentication, login and not everyone is willing to do it
  • 77% of time spent on Apps by users is spent on market giants like Facebook and Instagram

Websites with relevant content attract visitors, promote actions, and turn visitors into satisfied customers who can become your best promoters.

Three Reasons Why Websites Are Here to Stay

1. Tell Your Story the Way You Want It to Be Told

Websites allow complete control over how your story is narrated through elements such as words, icons, drawings, photos, and videos. These elements contribute to creating a platform that is identifiably and functionally your own. No social media site completely allows for this since your brand will always be one of many.

2. Make the Most of Your Marketing Spend

Websites allow you to track the movement of your guests. What platforms are visitors coming from? What do they want? Where do they live? With this analytical gold mine, you can hone in on your marketing strategy and convert more for less.

3. Get Found Online

More than 80,000 Google searches are submitted every second. Ranking highly on Google is no easy task, especially if your only weapon is on social media accounts. With a website in the mix, you are giving yourself a fighting chance. Just remember that getting someone to click on your website is only the first step. You and your landing page have just 7 seconds to convince them they should stay. Make sure your content and call to action are relevant.

Conclusion

The takeaway here is that websites are still relevant in 2020 and will continue to be relevant for years to come. There is no other communication medium that gives you as much control over your content and message as a website. While apps and social media might work for niche groups or price-points, the relatively small investment in your own website pays off immediately.

10 Mistakes Websites Still Make in 2019 – You Need To Fix These Now!

It’s 2019 and many websites are still making the kinds of mistakes that have had a huge negative impact on internet presence, search results, authority, brand image, and the bottom line.

These mistakes directly lead to lost business opportunities and money.

Thankfully, these are all things that can be fixed. Some take more time than others, but if your website has any of these mistakes, you should hire someone to fix these as soon as possible.

Mistake #1: Your Website Isn’t Mobile Friendly

If your website isn’t optimized for mobile, this results in a horrible user experience. You’ve probably experienced this yourself – having to do pinch and zoom to read text or trying to tap on tiny links. Usually this just annoys visitors – and almost always ends in someone leaving a website unsatisfied.

If your website is frustrating to use on mobile phones, people will leave your site and you will lose business.

In 2015 Google announced that websites that aren’t mobile friendly would be penalized in the search results. If you website isn’t mobile friendly you need to speak to a web designer about responsive design. With responsive design, your website will resize and adjust to whatever screen size it’s being viewed on. Responsive design offers the visitor the best possible user experience on both desktops and mobile devices.

Mistake #2: Your Website Takes Too Long to Load

The speed at which your website loads is incredibly important.

It’s important for both user experience as well as SEO.

According to Kissmetrics:

  • 47% of consumers expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less
  • 40% abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load
  • A one second delay decreases customer satisfaction by about 16%

A slow website is frustrating for users and Google has also said load speed is a factor in website ranking.

Fortunately there are many ways we can help you improve your website loading time.

Mistake #3: Your Website is not user friendly

Too many websites in 2019 are still confusing to use. Take a look at your website now and ask the following questions:

  • Can people easily find what you want them to look for?
  • Do your visitors know what to do after visiting your home page?
  • Is it easy for people to find your contact information?

Each page of your website should be as simple to use as possible. There should be clear calls-to-action explaining exactly what you want your visitors to do.

Mistake #4: You still use pop-ups

Pop-ups are annoying – always.

A much better option is to use a slide-in that appears only when a user scrolls to the bottom of the page.

If a pop-up is absolutely critical, make sure that it:

  • is relevant and you don’t use the same message for every visitor
  • only appears once and not immediately
  • uses pleasant language
  • is easy to close
  • you can track them to see that they work and who uses them

Mistake #5: Audio that plays automatically

It’s hard to believe there are still websites that play music automatically. If someone visits a website and audio starts playing immediately they’ll leave. If you have to have some sort of media that plays automatically, make sure that the audio is muted and it’s obvious how to turn the sound on if you want it.

Mistake #6: Plastering Keywords All Over Your Website

Stuffing your website with keywords may have been something that worked 20 years ago but Google is far more sophisticated now. It’s critical that your website text be written for humans. Keywords within copy are still important, but writing a paragraph about how you serve a city and throwing in keywords for every single community in that city is something that actually hurts your SEO now.

Mistake #7: Not including social sharing buttons

If you have a blog, it’s critical that you make it easy for your visitors to easily share that content. Getting shares means more people will see your content, visit your site, hire you, buy your product, etc. Make sure that when someone reads your blog, the buttons are there at the bottom so they can easily share it while it’s still top of mind.

Mistake #8: Not making your website the central hub of your marketing strategy

Your website is the most important part of your marketing strategy. All of your advertising, social media work, networking, lead generation is designed to get people to come back to your website where they will see what it is you do.

Mistake #9: No SSL Certificate

Not having an SSL Certificate wasn’t a big problem a few years ago, but today, it is like telling search engines “just go ahead and ignore me”. It does not matter if you are asking for personal information, or selling products on your website. Google and several other search engines rank you lower if you do not use an SSL Certificate. Even worse, they may pop-up the dreaded “The site you are to trying reach is not secure” message. Using an SSL Certificate is essential.

Mistake #10: Your website doesn’t have contact information that is easy to find or access

Once on a company’s homepage, 64 percent of visitors want to see the company’s contact information, and 44 percent of visitors will leave if there’s no contact information or phone number available. The end goal of the user experience on your website should be to create a conversion by having a user get in touch with you. If they cannot find your phone number, address, contact form, contact page, email or other forms of contact, they will become frustrated and a lost opportunity.

When choosing your web design partner, be sure it’s someone with a proven track record of success in your industry or for your size of company. Look for case studies that document the success. Read testimonials of past clients. And above all, choose a partner that bases all creatives they do on hard data.

10 Reasons Why Websites Still Matter in 2019

In the age of Instagram, Facebook, Yelp, and Google Business, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that maybe you don’t need a website anymore. As a business owner, you have may be thinking that the website is a waste of money and time and it makes more sense to focus efforts exclusively on social media. However, there are still many reasons why websites still matter in 2019.

1) A website gives you instant authority. A well-designed, user-friendly, website with informative, quality content goes a long way towards establishing trust. A website demonstrates that expertise, authority, and permancence. While social media sites come and go, your website should be the central focal point of your online presence that connects everything.

2) Your social media pages aren’t really yours. If you rely exclusively on social media sites, what happens when your entire audience hinges on a social media network and that network starts making decisions that negatively affect you, your customers’ experience, your brand image or identity, or all of the above? Social media sites change algorithms without warning, create new rules that may restrict your ability to communicate with your customers, or even disappear altogether. Anyone remember MySpace or Friendster? When you drive traffic to your own website, you are and will always be in control of these factors.

3) Your Local SEO depends on your website. If you want good search results, you need a solid internet presence. A website is a fundamental part of that internet presence. You need your own domain and your own unique content. While it isn’t impossible, it’s far more difficult to rank in the local pack listings without your own website.

4) You get a huge return on your marketing investment. Consider the cost of printed marketing materials and then think about the cost of designing a website. It almost always makes sense to invest in a website.

5) A website is the home base that connects all of your other marketing efforts. Your website is the true hub of your online presence. You can display products, provide educational or informational materials, and demonstrate your industry expertise.

6) Consumers expect it. While people are increasingly able to find the information they need and take action directly from search results, most consumers expect a local business to have a website. In The Digital Consumer Study, the Local Search Association found that 63% of consumers used the website to find a local business or interact with it.

7) Websites are important for link building. Links are essential for SEO but they are even more important for referrals. A business website has greater authority and of greater use when it comes to promoting your brand.

8) Websites are essential for building your brand. It’s impossible to create a professional image for your brand without a website. Anything short of a website looks cheap and unprofessional.

9) Websites are great tools for customer service. Modern customers look to social media for customer service, but that isn’t always practical or efficient. Having your own website allows you to take control of your customer service process and direct customers to up-to-date FAQ pages or customer service contact info simply by sharing a link.

10) Your competitors have one. If you don’t have a website, then you need a fully SEO optimized responsive website.

If you don’t know where to start, we can help you build a fully SEO optimized, mobile responsive website and get you ranking in local search results on Google, help you run ads, build and boost credibility online, and get more business.