Monday, 1 August 2016

How to Redesign Your Website Without Losing Traffic or Sales

According to an report, the average marketer will redesign his website once every two years. Judging from this information, it’s safe to assume that he won’t even have time to settle into his new design before he will have to change it again. Redesigning a website is no easy task, especially since the requirements of a great one are almost unfair: optimization for mobile devices, seamless navigability, good ROI, parallax scrolling or God knows what devilish features.

And there are so many things that could go wrong. As a matter of fact, everything that can go wrong will probably go wrong if you don’t hire a transition and planning execution SEO strategist or conduct extensive research.

You’re right to be worried about losing the SEO value that you’ve worked so hard to achieve for your site during a redesign. The good news is that you can successfully launch your new website without forfeiting SEO progress, sales or traffic, through careful planning.

The benefits of this time-consuming ordeal are hard to resist: lower bounce-rate, better engagement, increased sales and improved conversion rates. The following tips will help you redesign your site without murdering your Traffic or Sales.

  •  Create a plan of attack.
  • Crawl and audit your old website.
  • Prevent search engines from crawling your site during the redesign.
  • Create a back-up of your site.
  • Check your content and inbound links. Delete unnecessary pages and use 301 redirect plans.
  • Improve old content that was performing well.
  • Improve non-ranking pages.
  • Implement the new design and crawl your new site.
  • Allow the search engines to crawl your site again.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Color Tips that Will Improve Your Website Conversions

1. Women don’t like gray, orange, and brown. They like blue, purple, and green.

In a survey on color and gender, 35% of women said blue was their favorite color, followed by purple (23%) and green (14%). 33% of women confessed that orange was their least favorite color, followed by brown (33%) and gray (17%).
Other studies have corroborated these findings, revealing a female aversion to earthy tones, and a preference for primary colors with tints. Look at how this is played out. Visit nearly any e-commerce site whose target audience is female, and you’ll find these female color preferences affirmed.

2. Men don’t like purple, orange, and brown. Men like blue, green, and black.

If you’re marketing to men, these are the colors to stay away from: purple, orange, and brown. Instead, use blue, green, and black. These colors — blue, green, and black — are traditionally associated with maleness. However, it comes as a slight surprise to some that brown isn’t a favorite pick.

3. Use blue in order to cultivate user’s trust.

Blue is one of the most-used colors, with good reason. A lot of people like blue.
Read the literature on blue, and you’ll come across messages like
  • The color blue is a color of trust, peace, order, and loyalty. 
  • Blue is the color of corporate America and it says, “Chill . . . believe and trust me . . . have confidence in what I am saying!” 
  • Blue calls to mind feelings of calmness and serenity. It often is described as peaceful, tranquil, secure, and orderly. 
There is wide agreement in the research community on the psychological effects of the color blue. Its subtle message of trustworthiness and serenity is true. You can use this to your advantage on your website and landing pages.

4. Yellow is for warnings.

Yellow is a color of warning. Hence, the color yellow is used for warning signs, traffic signals, and wet floor signs.It seems odd, then, that some color psychologists declare yellow to be the color of happiness. Business Insider reports that “brands use yellow to show that they’re fun and friendly.” There is a chance that yellow can suggest playfulness. However, since yellow stimulates the brain’s excitement center, the playfulness feeling may be simply a state of heightened emotion and response, not exactly sheer joy.

5. Green is ideal for environmental and outdoor products.

Perhaps the most intuitive color connection is green — the color of outdoors, eco-friendly, nature, and the environment. Green essentially is a chromatic symbol for nature itself.
Apart from its fairly obvious outdoorsy suggestiveness, green also is a color that can improve creativity. Labeled “the green effect,” one study indicated that participants had more bursts of creativity when presented with a flash of green color as opposed to any other color.

5. Orange is a fun color that can create a sense of haste or impulse.

The positive side of orange is that it can be used as the “fun” color. According to some, orange helps to “stimulate physical activity, competition, and confidence.” This may be why orange is used heavily by sports teams and children’s products.

6. Black adds a sense of luxury and value.

The darker the tone, the more lux it is, says our internal color psychology. An article from Lifescript describes black as “elegance, sophistication, power,” which is exactly what luxury designers and high-end e-commerce sites want you to feel. The article goes on to describe black as the color of “timeless, classic” which helps further explain the use of black in high-value products.

8. Don’t neglect white.

In most of the color psychology material I read, there is a forgotten feature. Maybe that’s because color theorists can’t agree on whether white is a color or not. I don’t really care whether it is or not. What I do know is that copious use of white space is a powerful design feature. 

Friday, 15 July 2016

15 Startup Mistakes Everyone Should Know About

Starting a business is difficult. Launching a startup is even more challenging. Aside from facing challenge of attempting to build a company from the ground up, many entrepreneurs have little prior experience in the business world. Even when they have an incredibly awesome idea, complex problems arise, such as managing the young enterprise, handling finances and hiring employees on a budget.

Due to a lack of experience, many startups endure the misfortune of failure -- if they launch at all. Be sure to not add to their tales of disaster. Here are 15 startup mistakes to avoid at all cost:

1.      Single Founder – as a single founder you have almost zero chance of getting funding from Paul Graham. Why? It’s not a coincidence, he says, that founders who succeeded did so as a team of at least two.
2.      Bad Location – you can change everything about a house but its location. Likewise, if your startup is in a bad location, you can’t change the nature of that location. It’s easier to move the startup. Where to? Silicon Valley.
3.      Hiring Bad Programmers – knowing a good programmer from a bad one often takes being a good one yourself, or having a trusted one on your team. Exceptional programmers are always in short supply. So the odds are stacked up against hiring good ones.
4.      Choosing the Wrong Platform – how fast you can scale will determine whether your startup lives or dies once you get traction. On the wrong platform scalability will be the bottleneck. And users often don’t wait for you to figure it out.
5.      Slowness in Launching – before you actually launch you are in the dark about whether your startup should even exist. The longer you delay the launch the more you delay getting the answer. If you are afraid to know what the answer is, you might want to ask yourself why.
6.      Launching Too Early – launch too early, though, and you may be completely unprepared to handle your growth, or worse yet to present a usable product.
7.      Having No Specific User in Mind – somewhere someone will for sure be interested in your product, you just don’t know who yet? Sounds like those people may not exist. Be sure to check.
8.      Raising Too Little Money – you get what you spend on. With too little money you may not be able to flesh out your product in to its full potential.
9.      Spending Too Much – spending too much before you grew enough to have the numbers to raise the next round, and you are out of cash, which often spells the end.
10.  Raising Too Much Money – raising too much will likely make you feel like a huge success even before you made anything useful. At the end of the day it’s users, not investors, you want to impress the most.
11.  Poor Investor Management – if the choice is between making investors happy or making your users happy, always choose the users. If the user is happy your investors will make money eventually.
12.  Sacrificing Users to (Supposed) Profit – you can always make money later. This however, cannot be said about making users happy. You need to make something they want now.
13.  Not Wanting to Get Your Hands Dirty – you can’t solve all your problems with coding. Businesses are built on relationships. Go out and meet those people.
14.  Fights Between Founders – founder conflict is too common. Founders being ambitious people are almost bound to disagree.
15.  A Half-Hearted Effort – a lack of determination to see the startup through to the end is not rare. If you feel like you have other options in life than building your startup, you will probably mentally hang on to them.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Tips To Get More Leads From Your Website

 It is highly recommended that you bond with your leads – get to know a little about them and by doing so, you will know the right approach to take when selling to them. However, you need a strategic plan of getting leads from your website – there are many ways to do so but the top 3 effective ways are:
  1. Social Media Login
  2. Post Forms On All Your Pages
  3. Freebies

Social Media Login – Allows you real time chat with your leads. Your readers get a one and one chat with you and this says a lot for you, meaning your leads will see that you are for real and you are what you blog about. You and your leads will get to know more about yourselves – any queries or concerns will be addressed and most likely you will be contented with whatever information received.
Post Forms On Your Pages – Being consistent on your website, blogging regularly about your products and services and posting forms on all your pages, will eventually get the attention of your target audience. They will start taking you seriously and overall, it will reflect good on you because your target audience will develop trust in your products and services.
Freebies – I like freeness, do you? Offering something free in return of getting someone’s contact information is a fair trade in my opinion. People do not give out their information just by you asking them for it – Though in most cases, people like to be told in a direct way, what to do – but giving them the choice to sign up, most likely won’t work. Freebies can be, free tutorials, gifts, give-aways, free access to live webinars and more.
In Network Marketing there isn’t any such thing as having enough leads – If you are familiar with MLM Network Marketing, then you will understand the importance and necessity of generating leads from your website. Though Network Marketing boils down to making money online, one should NOT priorities it. When you consider money the number one priority in your online business, you’ll lose focus of what’s most important – Attending to your customers need and making sure that they are satisfied with your products and services will play a great deal of good on your part. Hence, the benefits of generating leads from your website are, customers and satisfied customers will generate more sales into your online business.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Importance of Website for Small Business

These days, almost any small business should have a website. With costs being extremely low at the entry level, it's becoming difficult to imagine a reason for any company of any size not to have a website. Many user-friendly, free and open-source content-management systems are available to assist with Web design, so it is even possible to build a basic small business website without a professional Web designer.

Facebook is a great tool. It is free for a small businesses, but it is not a search engine. Because of this, most people would not use Facebook to search for a hairdresser or a plumber for instance. The majority of the public use Google when searching for things they need.

The Web has a far wider reach than any other form of advertising. While it takes time to build up enough traffic to your website to make a worthwhile impact on your company's marketing campaign, it costs next to nothing to do so. Your website will be the center of your company's online presence; through it, you advertise your business around the Web on social networking sites, forums and through pay-per-click advertising programs.

A website is online and accessible 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Because of this, your customers and potential customers can visit your site for support or information about new and upcoming products and services whenever it is convenient for them. Your website will act as an invaluable and always-available resource for information which would otherwise only be accessible during your company's business hours.

Your website can sell products at any time. Potential customers are not restricted to business hours. Instead, they can go online and purchase products whenever they want. A website with an online shop can provide a dramatic boost in sales.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

How to protect your WordPress site from hackers

 Millions of websites are powered by WordPress software and there’s a reason for that. WordPress is the most developer-friendly content management system out there, so you can essentially do anything you want with it. Unfortunately, that has some downsides as well.
For example, if you don’t change your default configuration, hackers and some pesky users with too much curiousity immediately know where to log in to get into your admin area. In WordPress, you can just type in and it will take you right to the login screen. At that point, it’s all about trying to crack your password. The most common method hackers use is brute force, which allows them to test millions of login combinations in a short amount of time.

Do not use defaults
Do not use the default username and password you are given for both your hosting account and for your website content management system. Change your username and password as soon as you have purchased your package and installed WordPress.

Change your details even if the hosting company allowed you to enter your own details when you signed up (i.e. your username and password were not a defaults) because you cannot be sure how secure the hosting company’s servers are or who else has access to the information you entered into the system.

Have a long password and change it every 72 days
The password you choose should be over 8 characters long. It should be a mix of letters and numbers and should not feature any words. It should be a random mix of numbers and letters. Do not write your password onto anything electronic except for the small encrypted password box on your WordPress system. If you cannot remember your password because you are not Stephan Hawking, then write it down on a notepad that you store somewhere safe in your home.

Change it every 72 days because it makes a hacker’s life a little more difficult. It means the hacker has to start from square one again if he or she has a brute force program running on your website.

Use secure hosting
This should go without saying, but you should find a host that puts security as a top priority. Many free hosting packages cannot afford to spend a lot of money on security, though that doesn’t automatically mean a big and expensive company spends a lot of money on security either.

It is up to you to find a hosting package that takes security very seriously because gaining access to your website via your servers is the ultimate backdoor pass. Done correctly, by getting into your website via hacking a server, the hacker may be able to overcome almost all of your security measures with ease.

Back up your website
Let’s not forget that if someone is motivated enough to get into your website, then that person is going to do it. A 15yr old hacked NASA, a 16yr old London boy Richard Pryce hacked American military systems and was noted as the biggest threat to US security at that current time, and Gary McKinnon managed to hack the USA’s most secure military computers that include Area 51. So, if you think your plugins and security protocols are a match for hackers, then think again.

Your best defense is to backup your website and if you are hacked you can wipe the slate clean, restart your security, change all your access passwords, improve your passwords, and re-upload your website data all within one day. Manually back up your website unless your hosting company offers the service for free and doesn’t charge for the extra space the backups take up. You only need the last 2 versions of your website. Do not keep all your backup copies as they will take up space on your servers, which is space you are probably paying for.

Keep things up to date
This goes for all your technology, software, and accounts. Keep up to date with WordPress updates, and if your security plugins come with free updates you should update as soon as they are released. Do not stick with old versions of WordPress because the longer a WordPress version exists, then the higher the chances are that hackers have found a way to break into it.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Why SEO is Important for Your Business!

SEO is one of the most misunderstood and misinterpreted terms in the world of marketing. That’s right, folks: I said marketing. While SEO has been painted as some sort of black-magic secret that requires an internet illuminati membership to learn the ways of, at its core, it is a marketing method. SEO’s unfair characterization as a kind of alchemy over the past decade has caused many otherwise savvy business people to devalue its importance as part of a good, solid marketing plan for small, mid-sized, and large businesses.

I find this extremely unfortunate, because SEO is a very viable marketing outlet that can, in concert with effective landing pages and content, bring your business qualified leads and customers. Moreover, studies have shown that SEO can have a better ROI than traditional forms of marketing like TV and print ads. It isn’t magic, and SEO alone is not going to transform your business from a shop in your parents’ basement to a Fortune 500 company. But neither is any other single form of advertising. What it can do is provide a business visibility, branding, traffic, a high ROI, credibility, and insight into customer behavior. Let’s discuss each of these in turn.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

When to Redesign your Website

When to Redesign your Website

While redesigning your website isn’t something you have to do often, there comes a time a redesign becomes necessary. This is especially true of business websites in competitive, dynamic industries where trends change all the time. The reason for a redesign may not be a purely aesthetic one, although it often is.

Whether you have a small or a large website, whether it’s new or old, pay attention to the
following signs. If you notice one or more of them, you should seriously consider a redesign.

Your website loads slowly
Many factors can contribute to a slow website, including poor hosting or images and video content not optimized for the web. The problem may also lie with the web design itself, the structure of your website and the HTML and CSS coding behind your theme. 

Your website isn’t optimized for mobile devices
Having a mobile-friendly website isn’t enough. Mobile traffic has overtaken computer traffic on the web, and businesses that fail to provide smartphone and tablet users with a hig
h-quality mobile experience lose valuable leads.

Your website looks dated compared to the competition
Customers are naturally attracted to engaging, visually pleasing, and easy to navigate websites. If your competitors have newer, better-designed sites than yours, it’s time for a redesign.

Your website ranks poorly in the Google search results
An SEO expert in Houston such as Square Melons can redesign your website with an emphasis on search engine optimization (SEO), ensuring that all your web pages and content is optimized not only for Google, but also for Bing and Yahoo.

Your website has low conversion rates
A website that fails to generate leads and has low conversion rates in spite of the traffic it receives is in bad need of a redesign. A complicated website structure, missing calls to action, and a general lack of focus, all of these can have a significant impact on its power to convert visitors into customers. Professional website development in Houston with Square Melons aims not only to provide your  audience with an engaging website experience, but also to boost your conversion rates.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Our Web Design Process


             Our Web Design Process

Many people ask us, how we can deliver such great quality service consistently at such affordable rates. The answer is very simple: We do everything in our power to understand your requirements thoroughly before we start writing a single line of code. So, in other words, we spend considerable amount of time with you, understanding your exact requirements. This upfront investment of time on our part ensures that we have very solid plan of action – whose chances of failure become negligible.

1. We learn your requirements 

We spend as much time as necessary with you to understand your requirements. Often, clients have a very good understanding of their particular project and business goals. However, the same client may or may not have the technical expertise to implement the business plan into practice. That is where we come in, through interviews we determine your business goals and help you understand the various ways (technically) those goals can be put in practice.
It has been our finding that the more time we spend on this step, our project becomes more and more streamlined – saving you money and time.

2. We create a draft and get your sign-off

We specialize in taking your requirements and creating a technical road-map that complements your concept.Depending on how complex or extensive your requirements are, this process can last 1 to several interviews. We prefer meeting you face-to-face but often we conduct these interviews by phone or online. Once we get a sign-off on the draft, we are ready to move to the actual physical design.

3. We work with you to get the design “just right”

We work with you to keep polishing the design till you are satisfied. Usually, this is the longest process and depending on how quickly you can settle on the design, your project can gain significant time-advantage from this. It is not uncommon for revising parts of the design several times (within reason) until you can sit back and say, “This is it.” Your investment of time in this phase will impact the entire project positively. We suggest that you take several opinions from your partners and colleagues because a fresh set of eyes always discovers things that you may miss.

4. We work on writing the code that will bring your concept to life

So we have a design that we all like. But that is just the shell. Without the back-end engine propelling your project to success a good design is merely that. This is the phase where we start putting meat and substance to the website. Every part of the design comes to life with dynamic content with the use of various server side and client-side technologies – e.g. Javascript, Ajax, PHP and of-course databases whenever applicable.
Just because this is server side work, does not mean that we develop this in a vacuum. We involve you in every-step and whenever possible as you to QA the site and ensure that we are on the correct path.
Depending on the project scope this can take few days to several months. But don’t worry, before you sign up with us, we will provide you with a detailed project paln of the website design process.

5. Once you test our work, we upload your site and make it live

We have worked with you to understand your business needs. We have explained our design process. Created a draft and got your sign off. Created the physical design and code to power your site. What remains is the webmaster tasks to get your site live.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

How a Website can Improve Your Business ?

 Websites are good for business – everyone knows that! But have you ever stopped to ask  yourself – what are the ways that a website can help my business? If not, you are in luck  – we have listed some of them below.

  1. Interact and communicate with your customers regularly -- People will keep you in mind if you keep in touch. It’s much easier to sell to customers who already know and trust you, so keep in touch and stay top of their mind. Regular email newsletters and updates to your website will help you better communicate with your customers. Additionally you should spend time setting up your online profiles on networks you belong to (eg Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+) – these are a low cost way to get more of YOU online!
  2. Always available -- Your web site is open 24/7 so your customers can interact with your business when it’s convenient for them. Everyone is on a tight schedule these days. They may really appreciate the convenience of finding what they need without having to stop, call, and ask -- filling in a form, signing up for a newsletter, reading your blog, getting a quick quote, booking online, downloading your e-book, or reading your case studies, all in their OWN time!
  3. Share your expertise -- It’s not enough to provide just information about your products and services. Your expert advice may give you the edge over the competition and potentially even make the sale. Think of your website as an employee, presenting your customers with help and knowledge about your company’s area of expertise.
  4. Increase your customer reach -- There is no other way that provides the geographic reach of a website, and internet usage continues increase year after year. If you don’t have a well placed website someone else will get your business. Your website puts your business out there to be found by anyone anywhere who is already looking for what you offer.
  5. Strengthen your credibility -- A well designed website will add credibility to your business and strengthen your brand. On the other side of that, a poorly designed or outdated website may portray your business as amateur or disorganised. By providing customers with information in an organised and well-presented manner, you can show customers you anticipate their needs and set an excellent impression for all transactions to follow.
  6. Save on marketing spend -- With website content, you incur no printing, shipping, or postage expenses, and updates are quick and easy. It can be tailored to suit the size of your business and your budget.