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How to build and earn customer trust

How to build and earn customer trust

What are the things you do before you decide to purchase a product from a new brand? The usual and most common thing to do is to read on the reviews from the past customers about the brand, the quality of the product, customer satisfaction, and most importantly if it is a legitimate brand. However, what if it is so brand new that there is not even one sale yet? This means there are no reviews and nothing for you to leverage.

How do you earn and build the trust of your customers? It is the hardest to earn when there aren’t any customers, to begin with. Don’t worry, this does not mean that it is impossible to gain their trust. Fortunately, there are several ways to establish this trust between your customers and your brand.

establish-this-trust-between-your-customers-and-your-brand

Add Human Touch To Your Business

What do you do when you met someone for the first time? You introduce yourself! Introduce yourself to your customers the way you met someone for the first time. 

This is why the “About Us” page is so important in every business website. It is the window for you to tell your story of how your business begins and why it began. It doesn’t have to be too formal and serious, in fact, people love to read about personal stories. You can write about the story of how your grandmother inspired you to start your business, or perhaps the history of how it all began. 

Stories like these give a personal touch and the human side of your business. This makes your customers feel emotionally connected to you and might even make them grow attached to you because of your touching, beautiful story of how you started from the bottom. It reminds them that there is a human behind this business.

personal-touch-and-the-human-side-of-your-business

Write Till Your Heart’s “Content”

Without being too pushy, good content is an essential tool to relate to your customers who have no idea who you are. A way to create content to slowly introduce your products is by blogging. Constant blog contents can show that you are invested and passionate in your business and that you also care for your customer’s issues. Customers love it when their issues are addressed, especially in a non-commercial way.

Content marketing is a way to demonstrate your specialty and expertise in your product and industry. Consumers will be able to see that you know your stuff and that they can believe in your quality and services. 

What kind of content can you write? You can write content such as tips on utilizing your products, benefits of the ingredients of your product, and many more. 

Your content has to be consistent, relevant and high-quality to actually earn the trust of your consumers. Add a Blog page to your website and start writing away!

 

“Excuse Me, What’s Your Return Policy?”

When it comes to trying out new stuff, consumers would want to really try new things but are worried it might not work. This is when they will check out if there is a return policy in your products. One of the most commonly searched and asked question is “Is there a return policy?” or “What if I decided I don’t want it anymore?” 

This is when you sweep your customers off their feet with your awesome return policy. Good return policies are the best way to let consumers know that you value their experience and to show that you are confident with the quality of your products. 

It immediately gives a sense of security to your customers because they know that if there’s anything they’re not satisfied with, you have their backs, no questions asked. Return policies actually make consumers even more tempted and willing to click on the checkout button. They know for a fact that they don’t have to worry that they are wasting their money on something they might not like.

Make sure that your Return Policy page is clear with the terms and conditions and it is linked to your FAQ page at the footer of your website.

Customer service

Live Chat Made Available

Consumers are just like the insecure significant other of yours that constantly need reassuring that their money is not duped. They want to speak to you immediately when they have doubts so why not be the good “partner” and be there for them when they need you?

Have a live chat or inquiry form for consumers to ask questions and make sure you respond quickly enough to earn their trust. Speed is really important when it comes to customer service. Customers want their questions answered almost immediately and having that live chat pop-up just adds brownie points to your new brand.

Chatting in real time and addressing their concerns encourage them to make the final step to purchase your item because customers feel valued and that they are talking to a real person and not a robot. It is almost as if they are shopping in a retail shop because there is a person behind the live chat answering all their questions and issues.

There are many other ways to earn the trust of your consumers. It is all about taking the first step and initiative to connect with them that will change their perspective of your brand. 

For more digital marketing inquiries, reach out to us at Weave Asia. 

Attracting Paid Traffic That Converts in 6 Steps

Attracting Paid Traffic That Converts in 6 Steps

With SEO and content marketing being a ‘long game’ that rarely generate results overnight, driving traffic to your website can be a challenge. In addition to that, social media marketing can also be pegged back by constant algorithmic changes. This can lead some marketers to prioritize paid web traffic (PPC) if they are launching campaigns and seeking quick results.

However, paid traffic generation certainly doesn’t guarantee quick results, as you’ll face a wide variety of factors from audience behaviours to advertising platforms. Each paid traffic source has its own price policy and requirements for the ads it presents, which means you can end up generating countless versions of ad copy, getting clicks that never convert into leads and sales, and overpaying for customers that don’t offer a good return on your investment.

These challenges can be overcome by creating and implementing a calculated and considered paid traffic strategy that relies on a combination of manual planning and AI automation. 

Hence, this article will explain how paid web traffic works, and how you can make it effective for your business with a comprehensive approach.

What is Paid Search Traffic and How Does it Work?

Paid web traffic consists of visitors who land on your website after clicking on an advert. It can come from a variety of sources:

  • Display ads: Banners, texts, images, etc. placed on third-party websites;
  • Paid search: Ads that search engines like Google and Bing will show on their results pages (SERPs);
  • Social media ads: Ads served to users on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc;
  • Sponsored content: Advertisers’ content that publishers are paid to distribute; and 
  • Native ads: Ads that appear on a platform in a similar fashion to its existing media.

According to The State of PPC in 2019-2020 by Hanapin Marketing, 74% of marketers consider paid traffic generation to be a huge driver for their business. We need to recognize the key differences between paid and organic traffic from search engines to understand why that might be: 

 Where your content appearsHow you can get more visitsHow long the results takePrice
Organic trafficYou can occupy different positions on SERPs depending on how relevant your content is considered to be by the search engine, but some of the ads on the first page will always be higherBy optimizing for search engines in a way that outperforms your competitorsIt is different for everyone, but strategies can take months or years to have a significant impactYou don’t have to pay to appear in organic SERPs, but you do have to pay to create and optimize content, and invest in building links to increase your domain’s authority
Paid trafficAt the top and the bottom of search results pagesBy managing bidding options, targeting options, and tweaking ad copy to outperform your competitorsYou can start getting visits and conversions on the day that you launch your ads, if properly optimizedYou pay based on the chosen model, e.g. cost-per-click (CPC)

It’s tempting to think that a switch to PPC will help you get more visits, especially when you can essentially buy them, but basic traffic is not what you need. Paid traffic needs to generate leads and transactions.

This is known as ‘relevant’ or ‘converting’ traffic, which means that the visitors you attract should be more likely to make a purchase. To get such visitors from your paid traffic sources, wherever they are placed, you can follow a 6-step system that covers each stage of the customer journey, from clicking on an ad to becoming a paying customer.

As part of a longer-term strategy further down the line, you’ll be able to leverage other digital marketing tactics to encourage these customers to stay with you.

How to Get Converting Paid Traffic to Your Website in 6 Steps

Step 1: Create a Smart Paid Traffic Roadmap

People who say that PPC doesn’t work might have tried to run their ad campaigns without planning them first. To avoid common pitfalls like little or no impressions, huge overspend, and low click-through rate (CTR), you should start by creating a detailed roadmap based on reasonable KPIs, thorough audience research, a clear marketing message, and a list of eligible channels to disseminate it.

Step 2: Plan Your Budget Wisely

One of the biggest mistakes in launching a PPC campaign is failing to conduct proper research in preparation.

Depending on the industry, the CPC can vary significantly. For example, in electronics, a click can cost an average of just $0.74, which is almost nothing compared to the insurance industry, where the average price is $14.50.

Another problem is that failing to do your calculations – i.e. working out not only how much money you are going to spend, but what you are going to spend it on, and what you want in return – can result in an increased ad spend that only brings a few low-quality leads to your site.

Here are 3 main questions to answer to help you properly plan your budget:

  1. Which keywords are you going to target? Depending on your goal (brand awareness or conversions), keywords may vary greatly in terms of price and competition. Start with the Keyword Magic Tool, which offers plenty of data about keywords and their potential, to find your targets.
  2. Which locations will you cover? CPC can change significantly between states and regions. Start by checking your industry using the CPC Map, and see which locations might be the best fits for your advertising, as well as which you need to exclude to make savings in your budget.
  3. What is your main KPI? Keywords that create brand awareness don’t necessarily drive conversions, as your audience is far less likely to be ready to buy. They are more curious than anything, so set only one KPI for each campaign.

Step 3: Create Winning Ad Copy

Have you ever felt like you have been misled about a product or a piece of content after clicking on an ad? Your audience won’t forgive you if you do this to them. Make a fair promise and deliver on it, and you’ll be more likely to encourage the actions you want.

Any compelling ad copy is made up of a targeted headline and a triggering description. The first tells your prospects what is in it for them, and the second explains how they can get it there and then.

How do you create targeted ad copy to attract relevant traffic?

  • Start with your target audience in mind. Think about what they need and how your solution can help;
  • Look at your competitors and try to understand their targeting and how to outperform them; and
  • Generate enough material for A/B testing: Write at least 3 unique headlines and 2 descriptions to develop an understanding of user preferences.

Step 4: Launch an Effective Landing Page

Now, imagine yourself clicking on your ad. Is your landing page worth exploring? Does it deliver on the promise you made?

Take a look at Fovitec’s landing page. It is supposed to be selling photography lighting kits, but it looks more like a warning sign, or an eviction notice:

To avoid wasting your precious paid clicks, check your landing page bounce rate, time on page, heat map, and form abandonment rate; this is one way to know exactly how appealing it is to visitors.

If they leave immediately after landing, the page probably doesn’t align with the keywords it’s displayed for, and you’re talking to the wrong people. If they stay for a while but never click the call-to-action (CTA), your offer doesn’t excite them – we could go on.

If you don’t have a landing page for your ads but you plan to create one, use these three pillars: relevance, attractiveness, and drive. This will mean that it is relevant to the user query, the content and visuals are created with your buyer persona in mind, and the title and the CTA emotionally resonate with your audience so much that they convert. Here are a few tips:

  • Title: Check the searches related to your seed keyword to collect more creative ideas;
  • Content: Make sure the data your prospects are looking for are on your page and easy to find and understand. Don’t clutter the page with too many deals and offers;
  • Visuals: Use good quality, enticing images, not the free stock pictures everyone has seen a thousand times before; and
  • CTA: Match it with the search intent. For example, people looking for tours tend to visit dozens of websites and accumulate a lot of information before making the final choice. So, “Get free quotes” will work better than “Buy a tour now”, as they’ll get an email and use it to remind themselves about your great offers when they might be more inclined to purchase.

Step 5: Utilize All the Platforms

According to this Smart Insights study, Google controls 67.78% of the search engine market, which makes Google Ads highly competitive. This means that the CPC there can be so high that your return on investment (ROI) will be minimized. Besides that, Google is probably not the only place your target audience visits. For example, the professional-focused platform LinkedIn might be one of the best places for business-related ads if you are a B2B company.

Reaching out to people across all the platforms they use, not just Google and Facebook, is a great way to make the most of your ads by placing them in front of potential customers more frequently (within reason).

When it comes to brand safety and technical issues, utilizing several platforms also reduces your risk because you will still be visible on others even if one fails or goes down.

Step 6: Introduce Automation

By this point, you might be wondering exactly how much money you need to budget to keep getting results, or which channels will be the most effective in your long-term paid strategy. What will the optimum bid become for each channel? What should you do if you have never created ads before? What if you followed all the steps and still don’t have any leads or conversions? Answering these questions requires a lot of research, or, alternatively, a bit of AI help.

PPC automation technology uses AI and machine learning to boost your paid traffic wherever possible, from selecting the channels to reporting on results. However, some tools only automate bids, whilst others only optimize ads, and you’ll need at least one more to match your ads to likely prospects.

It is possible to fully automate the traffic acquisition and lead generation processes, though, by way of Traffic Jet. This tool creates, manages, and optimizes paid campaigns across various platforms based on your goals, budget, targeting, and competitor analysis.

It’s important to note that Traffic Jet can’t do your strategic planning and landing page creation for you; it’s designed to be employed as part of your own comprehensive plan according to the steps outlined above, so you can continue to optimize performance with the help of insights from AI.

Here’s how Traffic Jet can help you:

Budgeting

There is a simple PPC calculator​​​​​​​ that analyzes your objective, area of interest, average CPC in your industry, and KPI, and estimates the ad spend in one click.

Ad Copy

Traffic Jet can build your ads based on your ad copy and the creatives you upload, or extract the images, text, metadata, and keywords from your landing page, and use them to create thousands of ad combinations for testing.

Platforms and Optimization

Traffic Jet will analyze hundreds of paid traffic sources, including Google Search & Display, Microsoft Advertising, Facebook, Amazon, Instagram, Quora, and Reddit, to find the most relevant platforms based on your goals (awareness or lead generation). The algorithm monitors the effectiveness of each platform, and optimizes your campaigns accordingly.

Monitoring and Reporting

The tool checks how much traffic each ad sends to your website, verifies its quality, experiments with channels and creatives, and delivers the results to your Google Analytics and internal Traffic Jet dashboard, so you can monitor and analyze performance.

Building a Paid Traffic Strategy for Your Business

As you can see, a paid traffic strategy can be effective if you are concerned with not simply increasing the number of visits to your site, but attracting the kinds of visitors who are interested in buying your products and services.

If you follow the steps listed above (develop a roadmap, plan your budget, create winning ad copy, launch an effective landing page, and leverage multiple platforms), and combine that with PPC automation technology, you will stand a better chance of converting this traffic into leads and sales.

Using tools like Traffic Jet will help you refine the plan, get quicker results with the power of AI, and free up some time for you to focus on other more demanding aspects of your advertising strategy.

Source: 6 Steps to Attracting Paid Traffic That Converts

The Importance of having a website

The Importance of having a website

When you are searching for something on the internet, you usually hope there’ll be an official website for you to look for more information about. A website is a platform where your brand lands the first impression on your potential customers. 

It’s shocking that a lot of known brands and big companies still do not have websites. There are so many benefits to owning a website for your business.

If you’re still not convinced that having a website is important for your business and brand, then read on and let us convince you otherwise. 

why-you-need-a-website

As we were saying, every second, people around the world are searching for something on the internet. Having a website makes your business and brand seen and it is basically promoting your brand all around the clock. Your website stands a chance to be seen when people are searching for an item or anything related to what your business and brand have. 

It is also a cost-effective and 24-hour ad in the digital world. Sure, there are newspaper advertising, billboard advertising, radio and TV advertising but those actually cost more than owning a website. The former advertising methods are only temporary for a certain limit of time, however, owning a website means you get to have it for as long as your website is active.

website-as-a-24-7-salesperson-for-your-business

Not only that, it is also a 24/7 salesperson for your business. With a website, you can display all your products and services and sell or promote them at any hour of the day from people around the world. You save on labor costs and with FAQs on your website page, your customers are able to get their questions answered. You can also add an inquiry page on your website for customers who have further questions and you’ll be able to answer them when you’re available.

 

“The future of retail is the integration of Internet and digital services with the retail network.” -Charles Dunstone

 

A website provides convenience to your customers. With just a few keywords in the search bar, they are able to search for things they are looking for. And with e-commerce in your website, they can easily purchase the stuff they need with just a click away. Online shopping is the most popular shopping method these days. You can even buy groceries online and have them delivered to your doorstep in just an hour.  Even if the customers are not clicking the checkout button on your website, at least your products are made known to them, which increases the chance of customers coming back to check it out again. It’s a retail shop in the digital world.

 

What else can a website do your business? It builds credibility for your brand and business. Think about it. When you heard of a brand or a product, you want to know more about it. You will go on the internet to search for more information and details, hoping to see its website. Now, if you don’t see a website, you somehow feel a little skeptical of the brand immediately. A website is like the ambassador of your brand in the digital world. 

 

“You can’t sell anything if you can’t tell anything.” -Beth Comstock

 

You might think it is a hassle to own a website, especially if you’re not a tech-savvy person. What if we told you, it is the easiest and most convenient way to do your online marketing and ads AND branding for your brand. You can easily edit and update your website content at any time you need to. 

importance-and-benefits-of-owning-a-website

Now that you know the importance and benefits of owning a website, do you have a business that definitely needs a website? Keep in mind that owning a website solely does not miraculously help with your brand and business sales. A bad website is better off with no website at all. 

A good website means your website is user-friendly and contains good content and photos. A good website brings more opportunities to your business, but a bad website leaves a bad impression and drives away your opportunities as well. A bad website makes your brand look tacky and run-down.

In conclusion, it is important to have a website for your business as it not only drives more sales and opportunity, it builds up a good reputation for your brand. Always remember that a good website that looks professional will buy the trust of your customers. Also, it makes your brand look confident and trusting.

If we have you convinced about getting a website for your business, and you’d like to start, reach out to us, Weave Asia. With our team of experienced web designers and developers, we are sure to design a professional website that suits the nature of your business. Contact us for further details and we’ll be happy to give you advice on how to help build your business in the digital world.

 

Six ways to reach your brand’s target audience

Six ways to reach your brand’s target audience

Before you even start your business, there are a few things you’d list down a couple of important things to focus on. These are the things that will help your business grow and get your brand out there to the people and potential customers. Amongst the many important points to build your business, one of the main focus is your demographics or also better known as your target audience. Certainly, every brand has their target audience as it defines your brand. There is no such thing as a one-for-all brand.

Why is a target audience an important aspect? As mentioned beforehand, these are the people who define your brand and product. They are the core of your sales in your business. They are the one driving your business because they buy your products or services. They are the ones that your business and brand serve and seal a deal with.

So how do you reach your target audience? What are the vital steps to take to make sure the right target audience is attained for your business and brand?


Define your target market:

A few important questions to note down when defining your target market for your business. This will easily help you filter out the people who “will”, “maybe” or “never” purchase your product or services. With these people being filtered out, you will know how to curate your marketing strategies in the most targeted and cost-effective way.

Sit down and focus on these few points that will help narrow down your target audience:

Demographics: Who are your buyers? What is the age of your customers? Are they females or males, or both? What is their general income? What is their profession? 

Behavioral: How do they use the internet? How do they consume media? Do they prefer online or offline marketing?

Psychographics: What do they like? What do they dislike? What are their interests, attitudes and values? How do they think?

When all these are narrowed down, you will know who your target audience is and how your product can appeal to them.

Now that you know your target audience, how do you reach them? Let’s say for an example that your company is a beauty brand that sells products ranging from skincare, makeup, hair and body products, then your target audience will be mostly female buyers aged 18-65. How do you reach female buyers who are 18 to 65 years old? Here’s how.

 

Know where they spend most of their time online

There are dozens of social media platforms out there that can reach to your potential customers. Women are spending a lot of their time browsing websites and online stores. Some would also check out blog shops on Facebook and Instagram pages that they follow.

Create content that will appeal to your customers

According to our example of beauty products business, we have a target audience of females aged 18-65 years old. So, what content will draw their attention? They are probably consumers who like a new makeup range, or a skincare product that could reverse aging, or probably a hair product that makes your hair soft and bouncy like A-list celebrities on the red carpet. Creating enticing content with relevant information is bound to get some clicks into your website or online store from your potential customers.

 

Collaborate with niche bloggers or social media influencers

Here is the part where you would need to do some scrolling and “following”. Look out for key opinion leaders (KOLs) or social media influencers who specifically focus on a certain category or topic. In our example case, it would be getting someone who is a beauty guru, makeup guru or a styling guru. Get in touch with them to work on a campaign with your brand. There are a lot of ways these bloggers can help promote your brand and reach your target audience. Some of the many ways are getting them to do an “unboxing video” of products you sent them. These products will be the products you want to market to your customers and buyers. These bloggers can also do reviews of your products and perhaps introduce a new range of skincare your brand has. 

 

Create targeted ads

With quality content that will captivate your target audience attention, what do you do with the content? Where do you display this content? With Facebook Ads of course. Facebook Ads will be able to reach the target audience you want by simply clicking the demographics you’d want to reach and these ads will appear to your target audience. We’ve talked about Facebook Ads in our previous articles that you may find helpful.

 

Ensure your content is mobile friendly

With great content and Facebook Ads running your campaigns online, it is vital to make your content mobile friendly as well. Most of your customers are browsing through their phones most of the time, especially when they’re on the go and want to just quickly scroll through their social media. 

Your content has to be able to access every platform and fit perfectly on mobile devices. 

 

Partner with other brands

It doesn’t necessarily have to be a competitor to be your partner. Look for a brand that complements your products and that can fall right in place with your brand without looking too forced. For beauty products, especially hair products, partnering with a well-known hair salon will help get your brand exposed to your target audience. You just have to think out of the box and find a good complement for a partnering brand.

 

We hope this article has helped you understand better about how having a target audience is important to your brand and company. A target audience in a way helps you survey your products whether it is something they’ll be repeating their purchase on, and whether or not they would recommend a friend as well. 

Best SEO Practices to Boost Your Searchability

Best SEO Practices to Boost Your Searchability

A survey by HubSpot found that 75% of searchers never go past the first page of search results. Therefore, if you are not ranking in Google’s top 10 results for your target keywords, your website might as well be invisible on Google. Hence, it is important to do everything you can to rank on the first page of Google.

There are several strategies and techniques you can follow to rank higher on Google, but if you don’t get the basics right, your chances of ranking on page 1 of Google are minimal. 

By following these best SEO practices, you will be laying the groundwork for your site to increase its visibility in search. Once you have laid the groundwork, you can move on to more advanced keyword research and link building strategies.

To get you started, here are the 9 best SEO practices that you should follow to achieve higher search rankings in 2020.

 

1. Get Your Content Aligned with the Search Intent

 

Search intent (also called “user intent”) is the purpose behind every search query. Understanding and satisfying search intent is Google’s ultimate priority. Pages that rank on the first page of Google have all passed Google’s litmus test on search intent.

There are four common types of search intent:

  1. Informational: A search falls under informational intent when the user is looking for specific information. It can be a simple search like “what’s the weather today?” that provides instant results or something complex like “best SEO strategies” that requires a more in-depth explanation. 
  2. Navigational: In this case, the searcher is looking for a specific website or app. Common examples of navigational searches include “Facebook login,” “SEMrush,” and “Amazon.”
  3. Commercial: The intent behind a search is commercial when the user is looking for a specific product but hasn’t made the final decision yet. For example, searches such as “best SEO tools” and “best DSLR cameras” are all commercial searches. 
  4. Transactional: Here, the intent is to buy. The searcher has already made a decision to buy a specific product or tool. Examples include searches such as “buy Nikon d500,” “buy Macbook Air,” and “buy groceries online.”

An SEO best practice is to always keep the search intent in mind while creating content for your website.

For instance, if you would like to rank for the keywords “best DSLR cameras,” you need to realize that the search intent here is commercial, not transactional. The user is still undecided on which DSLR brand to choose.

There is no point in optimizing your DSLR landing page with those specific keywords. Google understands what users want when the search query is “best DSLR cameras.” They are looking for options. They are looking for a blog post or video which lists down the best DSLR cameras, not product pages or eCommerce pages.

Bottom line: Create content that aligns with the search intent of your target audience. 

2. Provide a Title Tag and Meta Description

Your page title and meta description are two of the most important meta tags on your page. Let’s cover title tags first. 

Title Tags

Title tags are clickable headlines that appear in search results and are extremely critical from an SEO perspective.

According to Google

“Titles are critical to giving users a quick insight into the content of a result and why it’s relevant to their query. It’s often the primary piece of information used to decide which result to click on, so it’s important to use high-quality titles on your web pages.”

Search engines like Google typically display the first 50-60 characters of a title. Google will display the full title to your page as long as you keep your title tag under 60 characters.

Here are some other best practices to keep in mind while creating title tags:

  • Include your target keywords.
  • Write a title that matches search intent.
  • Avoid creating duplicate title tags.
  • Avoid keyword stuffing.
  • Keep it descriptive but concise.

Meta Descriptions

The second most important meta tag on a page is the meta description. A meta description is a brief summary of a page in SERPs it displayed below the title tag.

Meta descriptions do not directly impact search rankings, but they can influence click-through rates.

Google explains it best: 

“A meta description tag should generally inform and interest users with a short, relevant summary of what a particular page is about. They are like a pitch that convinces the user that the page is exactly what they’re looking for.”

Google typically truncates meta descriptions to 155–160 characters, so make sure you provide an accurate summary of your content while keeping it under 160 characters.

Here are some best practices to follow while writing your meta descriptions:

  • Write unique meta descriptions for each page.
  • Use action-oriented copy.
  • Include your target keywords.
  • Match search intent.
  • Provide an accurate summary.

3. Optimize Your Images

Images play a crucial role in improving the user experience of visitors on your site. Chances are you spend a lot of time selecting the right images to enhance your blog posts, product pages, and other important pages on your site.But do you spend an equal amount of time optimizing the images on your site? When used the right way, images can contribute to your site’s overall SEO and boost organic traffic. Below are four things you can do to optimize your images.

Choose the Best File Format

Site speed is an important ranking signal, and images are often the largest contributor to overall page size. As a result, you need to optimize images for speed in order to improve the overall performance of your site. The first step involved in optimizing images is picking the best file format, so let’s look at JPEG vs. PNG. vs. WebP.

The most commonly used image formats on the web are JPEG and PNG. Both of these formats use different compression techniques, which is why the file sizes between these two can be dramatically different.

Looking at the difference in file sizes, it would be easy to declare JPEG as the clear winner. But it would be a mistake to use JPEG as the de facto image format for your site.

While JPEGs look great for photographs, PNGs are best suited for images that contain text, line drawings, etc. This illustration by Digital Inspiration proves my point.

WebP is another option, which Google breaks down here. They state, “WebP is a modern image format that provides superior lossless and lossy compression for images on the web.

  • WebP lossless images are 26% smaller in size compared to PNGs.
  • WebP lossy images are 25-34% smaller than comparable JPEG images at equivalent SSIM quality index.”

Learn more about how to use WebP in this Google guide.

Compress Your Images

The larger your image file size, the longer it takes the web page to load, which is why it is imperative that you compress your images before uploading them on your site. 

Luckily, there are several free tools out there that can help you compress your images. 

  • TinyPNG: TinyPNG uses smart lossy compression techniques to reduce the file size of your PNG and JPEG files.
  • ImageOptim: If you’re a Mac user, you can download and use this free tool for all your image compression needs. ImageOption is a tool recommended by Google as well. It’s by far the best tool for compressing JPEGs, but not for PNGs. For compressing PNGs, you’re better off using TinyPNG.
  • ShortPixel: If you run your site on WordPress, you can install this plugin to compress your images. ShortPixel’s free plan allows you to compress 100 images per month.

Provide Alt Text for Images

Despite advances in Google’s abilities to understand images, adding alt text to images is still a necessary step. Adding alt text to images improves web accessibility and helps browsers better understand the images on your site.

Here is what Google says about writing alt text:

“When choosing alt text, focus on creating useful, information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and is in context of the content of the page.

Avoid filling alt attributes with keywords (keyword stuffing) as it results in a negative user experience and may cause your site to be seen as spam.”

When writing alt text for images, be concise in your description, and avoid stuffing your target keywords.

Lazy-Load Your Images

Lazy loading is a technique that defers the loading of non-critical resources (images, videos, etc.) at page load time. Instead, images and videos are loaded only when users need them.

Here is how Google explains the link between lazy loading and site performance:

“When we lazy load images and video, we reduce initial page load time, initial page weight, and system resource usage, all of which have positive impacts on performance.”

Learn more in Google’s resource guide for lazy-loading images and videos.To lazy load your images and videos on WordPress, you can use the free a3 Lazy Load plugin.

4. Optimize Your Page Speed

If your site takes a long time to load, you are going to have a lot of frustrated users, and your rankings will drop. 

There are several free tools that can help you check your page speed, including Google’s very own PageSpeed Insights; you can learn how to improve your Google PageSpeed Insights score here on SEMrush. 

The tool I recommend for this task is GTMetrix. This free tool provides insights on your page speed and gives recommendations on the steps you can take to improve your load time.

You can also use SEMrush to perform a site audit and fix all the performance issues with your site. Here is how:

  • Login to your SEMrush dashboard and navigate to Projects > Add New Project > Enter your domain.
  • Enter all the details here and hit “Start Site Audit.”
  • Within a few seconds, SEMrush will generate an audit report showing all the on-site errors you need to fix to improve the overall SEO health of your site.
  • From the audit report, navigate to Site Performance and click on the “View details” button.

Now you can view all the performance issues on your site that are preventing it from loading faster and take steps to fix them. In addition to image compression, here are some other things you can do to help your pages load faster:

  • Enable browser caching.
  • Delete unnecessary plugins.
  • Reduce server response time.
  • Reduce the number of redirects.
  • Minify CSS and JavaScript files.

5. Use Internal Linking

Internal links are important because they establish an information hierarchy for your website and also help Google get a deeper understanding of the content on your page. Internal links can significantly boost your rankings when used the right way. 

Case in point: NinjaOutreach boosted their organic traffic by 40% by optimizing internal links.

An SEO best practice is to add internal links from top-ranking pages on your site to pages that need a boost. 

You can also use SEMrush to identify and fix internal linking errors on your website. The Internal Linking Report within SEMrush’s Site Audit tool can be extremely useful in identifying problems with your site’s internal link structure.

  • Run a site audit for your site on SEMrush to generate an audit report.
  • Navigate to Internal Linking and click on the “View details” button. 

Now you can view all the internal linking issues on your site and go about fixing them.

6. Improve the User Experience on Your Website

Google keeps a close eye on how users behave with your content. As such, user experience is one of the key factors in improving your search rankings. 

Page speed plays a vital role in improving the user experience of visitors on your site (see #4).

Here are a few other tips to ensure that users have a good experience when they visit your site:

  • Use subheadings: Proper use of subheadings (H1, H2, H3) helps Google understand your content better and makes your text more accessible to readers.
  • Make your content visually appealing: Several studies indicate that visuals help people understand your content better. Use relevant images, videos, and screenshots to illustrate your points.
  • Avoid using intrusive pop ups: Popups are not just bad from an SEO perspective, but they also end up annoying your visitors. Since 2017, Google has been penalizing sites that use intrusive pop ups. So use popups sparingly. If it is absolutely necessary for you to use them to grow your email list, use exit-intent popups, or display them to users who have spent at least 5 minutes on your site. 

Use white space: White space is a fundamental aspect of good design. According to Crazy Egg, white space between paragraphs and in the left and right margins increases comprehension by 20%. So consider using white space to make your content more legible and grab user attention.

7. Include Keywords in Your URL

URL structure is an often overlooked aspect of SEO. A good URL structure provides both users and search engines an idea of what the destination page is all about. 

Google explains it best: 

“A site’s URL structure should be as simple as possible. Consider organizing your content so that URLs are constructed logically and in a manner that is most intelligible to humans (when possible, readable words rather than long ID numbers).”

With that in mind, here is how you can create a well-structured URL:

  • Use short URLs: A study conducted by Backlinko found that short URLs tend to outperform long URLs in SERPs.
  • Use keyword-rich URLs: Always include your target keywords in the URL to increase your chances of ranking better in search results. 

Remove unnecessary stop words: To make your URL look clean and succinct, consider removing stop words.

8. Focus on Getting More Authoritative Backlinks

Despite several changes to Google’s search algorithm and ranking system, Google still considers backlinks to be a key ranking signal. Google recognizes backlinks as votes of confidence.

If your web pages have a high number of backlinks, it increases your chances of ranking higher in search results. As a result, it is important that you focus on building backlinks for your website.

That said, not all backlinks are created equal. Some backlinks can boost your ranking for specific search queries exponentially, while others can derail your rankings, which is why you should prioritize authoritative backlinks over other types of backlinks.

You should focus all your efforts on building high-quality backlinks that can improve your chances of ranking higher for your target keywords. One of the most effective ways to obtain authoritative backlinks is by replicating your competitors’ link building strategies.

You can use SEMrush’s Backlink Gap Tool to analyze the backlink profiles of up to five competitors to unravel untapped link building opportunities.

To get started:

  • Navigate to Gap Analysis —> Backlink Gap.
  • Enter your domain as well as four of your top competitors’ domains, and hit “Find prospects.”

The Backlink Gap tool will return a graph and a table depicting the comparison between the five domains’ backlink profiles. The graph provides a quick glimpse at the most recent link building activities of your competitors. 

To identify link building opportunities for your site, you need to select your domain in the drop-down menu just above the table.

This list will include the websites that are linking to your competitors’ domains, but not yours. Armed with this knowledge, you can kick start a campaign to steal your competitors’ most authoritative backlinks.

9. Publish Long-Form Content

Here is the truth, long-form content ranks better on Google. This claim is backed by several studies, including the most recent SEMrush study on top-performing articles

A key finding in the research suggested that long-form articles (posts with 3000+ words) get 3x more traffic, 4x more shares, and 3.5x more backlinks than articles of average length (901-1200 words).

Long story short, there is a strong correlation between content length and search performance. 

For that reason, you should aim at publishing 1-2 thoroughly researched, long-form articles that include helpful information to Google users. Google wants you to focus on the needs of the user over SEO, and it is the best way to keep readers and convert. However, we all know SEO is important as well. 

When creating long-form content on your blog, target keywords that strike a good balance between search volume and keyword difficulty.

Long-tail keywords tend to have low search volume, but in some cases, they could help reach the customers you need. If the search volume is just too low, aim for mid-tail keywords with low to medium keyword difficulty. 

You can use SEMrush to determine the keyword difficulty score of all the keywords you would like to use in your content. 

  • Enter your keyword(s) in the SEMrush search bar and hit the “Search” button. 
  • The Keyword Overview report will provide key data, including total search volume, keyword difficulty score, and more.

You can scroll down to see keyword variations, questions, and related keywords. Click the “View all” button under each of these sections to see different variations of your seed keyword(s) alongside useful keyword metrics.

With the help of this data, you can determine which keywords are worth targeting while creating long-form content.

Conclusion

The SEO best practices outlined above are a great starting point to achieve higher search rankings. That said, the competition for the coveted first page on Google is intense, regardless of the niche you operate in. Once these best practices are in place, make sure you are sufficiently up to speed with the latest SEO trends and follow other SEO techniques from time to time to stay ahead of the game.

Source: 9 SEO Best Practices That You Should Follow in 2020

Drive more e-commerce sales with discounts

Drive more e-commerce sales with discounts

There is always a few times in a year when it’s the festive season where everyone is ready to shop. It is also the time when business owners contemplate whether or not to offer discounts for their online store. You may think that offering discounts may do damage to your sales and profit, that could be true given you are doing it too carelessly. 

However, if done in the right way at the right time, offering discounts and coupons will retain your relationship with your customers. When running an online business, the most important thing you want from your customers is their loyalty. Customer loyalty is when the customers pick your brand over the other brands available. There are many reasons why a customer stays loyal to your brand- the products you sell, the reasonable price, the interaction they’ve had, or customer service. One other way to build the loyalty of your customers is through discounts and deals offered by your brand.

 

Pros of having online discounts and coupons offer:

  • Increase customer loyalty
  • Increase conversions
  • Stock can be moved quickly
  • Increase sales goals

 

What are the types of discounts and coupons you can offer:

There are a few types of offers you can give out to get the attention of your repeat customers and here are a few common ones-

  • Percentage-based discount
  • Dollar value discount
  • Free shipping
  • Free gift
  • Buy one get one

 

Percentage-based discount

Percentage-based discount is the most popular and most-liked discount among the customers. Your online store can offer a small number of discounts like 5%, 10% or 15%, a bigger amount like 20% or 25%, or even significant percentages like 50% to 70% discounts for products that are old or slow moving. This is a great way to get those products that have been sitting in your inventory for a long long time.

 

Dollar value discount

This discount plays tricks on the customer’s minds. By giving your customers a value discount, they will feel like it’s a waste if they are not redeeming this discount. It almost feels as though they have this extra money that they need to spend just to feel like it did not go to waste. Even a discount as low as $10 can tempt potential customers to purchase items from your online store.

 

Free shipping

Did you know that one of the factors shoppers abandon their online shopping cart is because of shipping fees? Don’t lose on potential sales just because of shipping fees. Offer free shipping to your customers once in a while to get them coming back for your brand. However, don’t just offer it lightly. Get customers to spend a minimum amount on purchase in order to qualify for free shipping. This will also increase sales and avoid cutting your margins.

 

Free gift

Who doesn’t love a free gift? Increase your customer value by including a free gift when they purchase something from your online store. It does not have to be an expensive gift, customers will appreciate the little gift regardless. You can give out any product that isn’t moving in your online store as a free gift. This will help introduce the slow moving product to your customers.

 

Buy one get one 

Another discount that is popular among online shoppers is the buy one get one offer. A buy one get one offer can be either a “buy one get one free” or a “buy one get one 50%” offer that will definitely catch the attention of shoppers. This offer does not do damage to your sales margin as it requires the customer to buy an item at its original price while the second item is of a lower price.

 

When to offer discounts?

Keep in mind that offering too many discounts will damage your brand. Here are some occasions that are fitting to offer discounts to your customers-

 

Holiday and seasonal offers

Since there are so many holidays and festive season throughout the whole year, it is the best opportunity to spoil your customers with discounts and promo codes. Offer them with relevant discounts especially if your online store has special edition products during festive seasons.

 

First-time shoppers

Providing a discount to first-time shoppers of your online store will give a nudge to them to click the check out button that they were hesitant of.

Entice these first-timers to come back again by giving them a discount code or a dollar value discount. This will get them to come back again to make full use of the discount. 

 

Customer loyalty offers

Maintaining a bond and a good relationship with your customers is vital when it comes to securing their loyalty. Why not reward their loyalty by giving them discounts or special offers? If you have a membership program, you can send them a discount code for spending a certain amount of purchase as a reward.

 

Abandoned cart offers

This is when the free shipping offer comes to rescue. As mentioned above, a lot of times, customers did not proceed to the checkout page because they’re hesitant to pay for shipping. Get them to complete their purchase by offering free shipping to them. This will definitely change their minds.

 

Conclusion

Discounts and offers work differently for different online businesses. Once you get a clear idea of what discounts to offer at the right time, your online store will be flooded with loyal and returning customers. Discounts and offers can effectively drive more sales to your online business and increase revenues as well. Use them the right way and watch your revenue skyrocket!

 

For more digital marketing inquiries, reach out to us at Weave Asia. Contact us via phone at +60 088-718 418 or email us at hello@weave.asia.

 

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