This Is Why Your CTA Is Not Converting (and How to Fix It)

The calls to action (CTAs) on a website can make or break company revenue goals. Driving visitors to a page is only half the battle. Once people are there, the site must be engaging enough to move them toward the ultimate objective of converting from shoppers to buyers. If a brand has a CTA not converting, it’s time to check out the following factors and determine what changes are necessary.

Here are some of the principles designers should follow for the highest chance of success with CTAs.

1. Use Actionable Language

Vague phrases such as “Info” or “More” don’t encourage action. Instead, use actionable verbs, such as “Get Free Report” or “Sign Up” to drive engagement.

Stick to simple phrases or risk losing visitors with shorter attention spans. Try to come up with something that explains what the user will get when they take the action and why it’s specific to the brand.

Some strong action verbs website owners can use include:

  • Buy
  • Shop
  • View
  • Subscribe
  • Try
vrbo web page screenshot

Source: https://www.vrbo.com

VRBO uses a simple “Book Now” command to encourage site visitors to place a reservation with one of their host locations. The button is blue, which pops against the backdrop of black, white and gray. Each property has a CTA button that follows the user down the page, as they look at photos of the property or interact with the listing.

2. Check Placement

Is the CTA still not converting? Where it’s located on the page can have a huge impact on how successfully it sends users down the buyer’s journey path. Try different locations and use A/B split tests to determine which location on the page works best with a particular audience.

Some users want enough information to make a decision before seeing a CTA button. Others are ready to act as soon as they land and need an option near the top of the page.

3. Make an Offer They Can’t Refuse

Get people to click on the CTA button by making an attractive offer. Give them something free, for a limited time or offer a perk if they convert to a customer.

There are two schools of thought on offering free items to collect leads. Some believe it gives the brand a direct connection to people already interested in what they offer. Others think freebies just attract people who want something for nothing and won’t convert into buyers.

Try different offers and see how the results shake out.

inhub website screenshot

Source: https://inhub.thehenryford.org

A good example of offering something free so people can see what a brand offers is found on inHub. Note the “Join for Free” CTA button right at the top of the page. If the full signup process is rather lengthy, brands may take action to make a free signup for a trial or download simpler. Collecting only crucial information to stay in touch, such as a first name and email address, encourages users to complete the signup.

4. Increase the Size

For a CTA not converting, increasing the size of the button might improve conversions. A mere increase of 20% in size can draw user attention and improve sales. Try making the button easier to find. Move it around, make it larger, make it smaller and see what users respond to.

Every site and every offer is slightly different. What works for one site or even page on that website, may not work for another. Testing is critical.

5. Create a Sense of Urgency

Once users leave a site, they aren’t as likely to return. They may intend to but a million other things distract them from coming back. Whenever possible, create a sense of urgency to drive conversions while having their attention.

Utilize words and phrases such as:

  • Limited time
  • Ends soon
  • X left
  • Buy now
  • Hurry

One note of caution — if the CTA says something is only available for a limited time, don’t extend that time indefinitely. Users should trust a brand to stick to its word. If the CTA or text surrounding it says there are only two hours left to get an offer, it must disappear after that time. The company can create a new offer, but it should not be the initial one.

hulu website screenshot

Source: https://www.hulu.com

Hulu adds a CTA to the top bar of their site to really drive home the point that the offer is for a limited time. They even list the end date so users know exactly when the cost goes up. If one looks at the CTA buttons further down the page, they’ll see in small letters it shows how much the price is going up and why users shouldn’t delay in signing up.

6. Add White Space

One big mistake people make with CTAs is not adding enough white space around them. A bit of negative space sets a button apart and shows the user it’s something important they should pay attention to.

For mobile users, adding white space makes it easier to click on the button on a smaller screen. Since over half of internet traffic is now via mobile devices, it makes sense to create a responsive design.

Figuring Out Why a CTA Is Not Converting

The CTA may not be converting for numerous reasons. Running tests to figure out what works with the brand’s audience is the number one way to improve conversions. Try changing the color of the button, the size, the placement and even the wording. With a bit of trial and error, designers will find the best combination for their audience and wind up with a high-converting landing page that drives growth.


Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.

The Art of Meeting Project Deadlines: Essential Practices for On-Time Delivery

One of the most challenging aspects of running a successful company is meeting project deadlines. With multiple players on a project and clients throwing new due dates at you, developing strong practices for on-time delivery is difficult at best.

Meeting due dates is crucial to the growth and success of your business. You will build trust with clients so they turn to you for future projects. When you are more productive, you will also get more work done and be able to take on new clients.

Fortunately, making a few changes to how you approach projects can make all the difference. Here are the top ways of meeting project deadlines on time.

1. Get Input From Staff

Gartner reports 82% of employees want their organizations to understand them as a person, but only 45% feel their employer tries. Before embarking on any big process changes or productivity improvements, gather everyone together.

Ask workers for ideas to improve time management. Most of them probably already have hacks they use and everyone can learn from one another. Also, ask for feedback for project managers on the things that might need improvement when it comes to dispersing work and setting deadlines.

2. Set the Foundation

Come up with a template you can utilize that defines the scope of the project and the end objective. Knowing the typical milestones for projects of a similar type enables you to streamline the process of setting up the job.

You can use tools such as online project management to make the process easier and save other workflows. With a plug-and-play type system, you simply add in the specific details for the exact project of the moment.

3. Use a Paper Planner

When you are first laying out your projects, put everything on paper. You never know when third-party software might go down. With a paper copy, you can pull out the original notes and keep moving forward until systems come back online.

Studies also show writing things out in hard copy improves retention. People will not have to continually refer to online notes if they better remember the next task. Although it is an extra step to mark off completed work and change things along the way, it is minimal compared to the headache you might have if a digital copy gets hacked or the server goes down.

4. Be Smart About Project Deadlines

It is tempting to make deadlines extremely tight to encourage staff to strive for better productivity. However, the stress of meeting impossible due dates could have the opposite effect and cause people to feel like failures.

Consider what a reasonable deadline is and how difficult the task might be. Something simple — such as emailing the client — might only need a few minutes to complete. On the other hand, creating a style guide is much more intensive and requires multiple hours of work that often must be broken down to avoid burnout.

5. Assign Tasks to the Right People

The creation of a website or app should go to your best web developer staff members. If you begin assigning tasks and realize you do not have enough people to complete highly technical or skilled work, you will need to hire someone or allow time for other team members to train.

Look at what is time sensitive and push those jobs to the people you know meet deadlines without fail. At the same time, get those workers to mentor others who might not be as adept at finishing tasks when they should.

Although meeting deadlines and working productively are important, your employees are learning from each project. Factor in time for education and building new skills so each project becomes a bit more efficient.

6. Rate Tasks by Priority

For any project, some tasks are more crucial than others. If the marketing department is waiting on a graphic design, they cannot schedule advertisements.

Look at which elements impact other elements when choosing the priority of tasks. Then, rank the most vital things so the team knows they should complete them first. Make it a daily habit to organize things a second time as milestones change and different variables enter the picture.

7. Conduct Frequent Progress Checks

As the project progresses, take the time to see if you are meeting major milestones and what deadlines might fall behind. If you are having a hard time coordinating everything or need a professional set of eyes on a job, hire one of the estimated 781,400 project management specialists in the U.S. You might want to get their input on how well your plan is working and any tweaks that would make the process more efficient.

8. Say No

It is common for clients to throw a bunch of new tasks or widen the scope of a project after you begin. You have to learn how to manage such requests without overwhelming your staff or not meeting crucial deadlines.

You do not want to tell a customer no constantly. However, sometimes you must explain why something is outside the original agreement, and additions will require more time and resources.

Deliver Quality Projects on Time

Clients expect you to meet specific deadlines but keep the lines of communication open and assure them you understand what they want from the experience. Setting goals before you begin a project helps keep things on track. If you run into problems, go back to the objective and strategize. When you focus on the project as a whole and then break it down, you will be better able to manage project deadlines and keep your clients happy.


Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.

How Do Businesses Create Unforgettable Experiences that Span the Entire Buyer’s Journey?

Today’s savvy consumers look for more than just price or quality in the products they buy. Shoppers also want a positive and engaging user experience (UX) that spans the entire buyer’s journey and beyond.

It’s natural to focus on finding new leads and getting them to make a purchase, but there are many steps before, during and after the sale that can impact how the user feels about your brand. The goal is to engage with them in a way that leaves them walking away with such a positive impression that they tell everyone they know and sing your praises via reviews and social media posts.

How can you improve the buyer’s journey and turn browsers into loyal customers and current clients into raving fans?

1. Know the Phases of the Buyer’s Journey

Before you can create an amazing experience, you must fully understand the path a consumer walks before they buy. In general, there are three phases to the process.

  1. Awareness
  2. Consideration
  3. Decision

Within each of those phases are various touch points to focus on if you wish to create a memorable encounter. Walk through the sales funnel as though you are a user at each phase. Does anything make you want to leave the site? Is there anything unclear or that could be easier to use?

2. Get Personal

It’s particularly crucial during the awareness phase to create content that speaks to the audience. Create buyer personas based on pain points the user has that drives them to you for a solution.

Once you understand your audience’s demographics, you can address the emotions behind each pain point. Create content that relieves fears, makes them laugh or helps them overcome the issue at hand.

Videos are one tool to engage new users and begin to move them from the awareness to the consideration phase. You must first teach them about what you do and why it would help them.

3. Improve Checkout

Zippia reports that the average shopping cart abandonment rate is 69.82% across all industries. Anything you can do to improve checkout will improve your revenue.

Users entering your checkout process are likely already in the decision stage and ready to make a purchase. Prevent any reasons to bounce away. Test the system, retest it and simplify things until closing the sale is as natural as clicking a single link.

Add features such as a one-click checkout and integrate with third-party payment providers like PayPal and Google so information is already stored and the user doesn’t have to think before hitting the checkout button.

4. Onboard New Visitors

Many experts now recommend taking a total experience (TX) approach with users. With TX, you have to look at every tiny detail. The way the colors on the page impact users emotionally may seem minor but can make a difference in the way the audience perceives your brand.

Take the time to welcome new visitors and teach them how to use your website or software. Break things down until even a small child could understand the next step and why to take it. Ensure call to action (CTA) buttons are easy to spot and the result is clear.

Don’t forget how many mobile interactions there are, as the numbers increase annually. Many shoppers may visit your site from smartphones, tablets and other devices.

5. Create Interactive Experiences

When the buyer’s journey reaches the consideration stage, focus on creating content that draws the user in and engages them. You might add a flip card, where you ask a question and the user clicks on the card for the answer about your product or service.

You might also host a webinar, offer online product demonstrations or tap into the power of augmented reality (AR). Ikea takes AR and adds it to their app for an immersive experience that sells furniture. The user points their cell phone at the room and plops the item into place. Instantly, they can consider how it looks and if it is the right item for their needs.

People move very quickly from consideration to decision when you give them the tools to do so.

6. Build Customer Loyalty

CX is a roughly $641 billion industry and growing. Companies are starting to understand why the steps a buyer goes through to become a customer are so crucial to building a loyal fan base.

One thing you can do to better understand your customers and create positive associations with your brand is to build a customer journey map. A map is something you should build as you walk through your site or shopping experience. Write down every touchpoint.

Next, ask if each interaction is all it can be or you should ramp things up. If something isn’t working, change it. Talk to customers and find out what they love and dislike about their experience.

7. Improve Multichannel Communication

Have you ever gone online and engaged a chatbot to fix an issue with a product or service? Perhaps you phoned and explained the issue only to be transferred and have to explain it all over again.

If you want to make a good impression on the buyer, you have to lessen their frustration when something does go wrong or they have a question. The best way to improve your customer service is by integrating all customer service channels into a single database.

Let’s say John went into the chatbot and tried to troubleshoot his new flashlight. Unfortunately, no live agents were available, and the bot couldn’t help, so the system asked him to phone.

John makes the call but has to explain the entire issue once again. The agent he reached isn’t in technical support and apologizes and transfers him to the correct department. Once there, guess what happens? John has to explain the entire problem yet again and hope this person can help him.

If you’re frustrating your customers like this, stop now. Train agents to look up the chain of communication and already know what the problem is so they can hit the ground running. “Hello John, I see that you tried to resolve this with our online live chat but were asked to phone in. Your new flashlight you just bought isn’t turning on and you want to know if you should return it. Is that correct?”

John is now less frustrated and you’ve improved the CX for him, making his experience unforgettable in a positive way.

Follow Up for the Best CX Imaginable

Creating an unforgettable experience happens when you stand out from the competition. You must show customers you care about them as individuals and give them a reason to trust you with their hard-earned dollars.

Following up after you have their money is one of the top ways to signal you care about more than just profit. You want them to be happy with their purchase and trust you in the future. Send an email checking on them and make sure they’re completely satisfied. Most will ignore the email, but a few might reach out for help or with a complaint. If they do, you now have the opportunity to solve the problem and secure your reputation with them.

With a little added effort during each part of the buyer’s journey, you’ll wind up with a skew of loyal fans who tell others how amazing you and your products are.


Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.

6 Advanced SEO Tips & Tricks to Boost Website Traffic

What Is SEO and Why Is It Important?

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It is the process by which webmasters make their websites appear higher up on the SERPs to drive more traffic.

SEO is important in the current era due to the immense marketing potential of websites. Businesses and service providers alike have websites through which they try to increase their exposure. SEO is crucial to these parties since they have to make their website as popular as possible.

Normal methods of marketing are still viable, but online marketing is more or less essential nowadays. Hence SEO, by extension, can be considered indispensable as well.

Now that you know why SEO is important, let us take a look at some tips that can help you improve your site’s SEO.

6 SEO Tips and Tricks to Boost Website Traffic

SEO tips are always changing because search engines do not stick with the same algorithm for too long. The algorithms for ranking sites get updated every now and then. This makes it almost impossible to know what kind of SEO you need to do to rank high.

Google alone rolls out 500 to 600 updates annually.

However, some methods always show results and we are going to be going over some of them in order.

  1. Have a Good UI/UX for Your Website

UI/UX stands for “User Interface and User Experience”. You need to have a website that is easy and intuitive to use. People who visit your website must have a good user experience.

Too often it happens that users get confused when visiting a new site and they leave instead of exploring it further. This increases the ‘bounce rate’ of the site.

‘Bounces’ can also happen if a site is too slow to load. So, you will need to make sure that it loads very fast. This counts towards “User experience”.

If a site’s bounce rate is too high, search engines will think that it does not contain the content relevant to its target keyword. Subsequently, they will rank the website lower in the SERPs.

A well-designed website will decrease the bounce rate, thereby contributing to SEO.

  1. Target a Specific Niche

Your website should have a clear direction. It should not be a website that contains a random blend of different topics.

You need to have only one type of content on your site. For example, if you are a programmer, you will probably make a site that has tips for budding program, or posts about some new trick that you have found to utilize certain functions or libraries.

There is a catch, though. Programming is a huge field, and there are tons of programming languages out there with lots of frameworks and libraries. You cannot possibly target all of them.

Your site will need to be only about the specific language you are an expert in, and the various libraries and frameworks for it that you are skilled at.

By keeping things tight like this, search engines get a clear message what topic a particular site is about.

This helps them rank you higher for the correct keywords.

  1. Feature Quality Content

A website needs to have some good content on it. Content plays a major role in SEO.

Search engines check if websites are producing a steady stream of new and unduplicated content. If they are, their ranking in the SERPs increase (provided the content is relevant and of good quality).

If the content is found to be duplicated or written poorly, the ranking in the SERPs falls. Plagiarism in particular is very detrimental to SEO.

Search engines typically punish websites that have duplicated content by lowering their ranking or removing them from the listing altogether.

You can detect plagiarism in your content by using a free plagiarism checker. There are a lot of such tools available that can help you optimize your content.

  1. Meta Description and Page Titles

Your page title is the first thing that people will see when they find you on the search results page. That’s why it needs to be impactful and attention-grabbing.

Meta data i.e., Meta tags and Meta descriptions help to define the relevancy of your website to the search engine crawlers.

Adding a Meta description also helps people see what your site is offering while they are on the search results page.

This can attract people who are looking for what you offer. The Meta description gives a small but concise explanation of what the page is offering.

You have to make sure to use your target keyword in the Meta description. Another tip is to make the Meta description unique for each page. Remember to keep the Meta description under 160 characters.

  1. Make High-Quality Backlinks

For good SEO, you must have a good number of high-quality backlinks. This number is an important ranking factor that search engines consider when assigning a rank to a website.

To generate good backlinks, you need to reach out to other bloggers in your niche and ask them for collaboration or ask them to allow you to guest post.

You also need to go to various forums that are related to your niche and participate in questioning and answering.

This will put your name out in the open. Giving good answers can be an opportunity to link your site (as a reference for more detailed answers).

Once people start noticing you, they will be more inclined to link your articles on their sites, or in comment sections in response to other people.

One thing you need to take care of is to only reach out to sites that have high authority. Backlinks from high authority sites are more valuable and pass on more ‘link juice’…as the community likes to call it.

  1. Target Proper Keywords

Keywords are the life and soul of SEO. Targeting the correct keywords is essential. If your site is showing up for the wrong keywords, it will drastically increase the bounce rate.

That is because people are not looking for your site in the first place. After all, it is showing up for the wrong keywords.

Keywords can range from general to specific, and the more general they are the more volume they have. Conversely, they have a less specific search intent.

Targeting specific keywords might sound scary, as you are intentionally reducing traffic. However, targeting specific keywords helps the search engines realize the purpose of your website very clearly.

This will make the search engines place your site closer to the top whenever they detect the same intent from a search.

Conclusion

These were some tips for the SEO of your website. These tips will help you rank higher in the SERPs and make your website stand out from the competition. In 2022, optimizing websites for both humans and crawlers is very lucrative.

When a human has a good experience on your website, they may link it on other platforms and help you generate more organic traffic.

On the other hand, when bots/crawlers are easily able to discern what your site is about, it helps them index it correctly and match it to the correct search intent. This makes them rank your site higher in the SERPs.

With these tips, you will be well on your way to making your website rank high in the SERPs.

5 Ways to Streamline App Development

The app market is booming. The building, deploying, and marketing of your app is a great investment — if you have the right tools and if after that, you promote your app on social media. For example, there are companies such as Growthoid.com user ratings that can help you increase the number of your social media followers. Thus, more and more people will find out about your recently launched app. 

Streamlining the app development process is about approaching the process with an open mind and a lot of research. 

Too many app developers today face structural and organizational challenges that prevent them from creating their best work. 

Here are five ways to streamline your app development processes:

1. Use agile principles

Building software can be quite a daunting endeavor. It’s important to have some of Agile’s best guiding principles to help you cut costs and improve your team’s effectiveness.

Additionally, getting the most out of your developers is much simpler with the agile method where constant communication and cooperation guarantees that everyone gets involved. The platform you choose to use will also greatly affect the app’s performance. 

Some important agile principles are:

  • Product-based progress 
  • Simplicity is paramount
  • The customer always comes first
  • Improvements are made each cycle (cyclical design vs waterfall or cascading design)

2. Choose a feature-loaded platform

There are several platforms like Ionic and BuildFire that make creating apps a simple process and take out a lot of the menial coding that would simply slow down development. 

Larger teams may be more willing to create from scratch but even though it is not recommended due to these services making life so much easier. 

Try platforms like:

  • Ionic
  • BuildFire
  • BuildBox
  • Android Studio
  • Xcode

3. Leverage UX consultancy

UX consultants are indispensable assets for any app development team as they can accurately assess the experience of the app as a whole. Unfortunately, there are many great ideas hidden behind a gauntlet of bad taste and poor execution. 

Avoiding these pitfalls is as simple as consulting with a UX professional who will give you the tips you need to make your app a truly enjoyable experience. 

UX consultants can help awesome mobile developers get:

  • Better screens
  • Optimized ease of use
  • Effective test cases

4. Tweak based on user feedback

Even though it may feel like an uncomfortable endeavor you should always be open to feedback and ask for it as much as possible. Feedback Is the only way companies know if they have developed a star or a dud. 

That is why it is so integral that you test your product’s vision and design before committing to a final product. 

App development teams that are open to tweaking will almost always find success because they will always be seeking improvement. 

Update your app continuously instead of holding on to an app shy of perfection:

5. Automate testing

Developers should also use their fair share of automation tools to get the job done in a great time and with incredible precision. Developers can use automated applications that will accurately assess the responsiveness of the app while testing their technical features. 

App developers now can test on-demand allowing for a constant cycle of testing and improving that will result in a perfect product and a highly skilled development team, which will help a business thrive. 

Developers can also use automation for some app-related technologies like marketing and organizing to make the entire experience less stressful without being less fulfilling.

One of the first things to pinpoint for improving the process is the management style of the app development team. If on small teams of developers the agile method works wonderfully as it helps developers feel connected and heard without the draconian overhead of constant management. 

Agile is much more focused on making the product the best that it can be for the client or market without sacrificing developers or losing ideas. 

Many app development teams will begin to steamroll ahead without much thought often leaving behind a slew of ideas that may have improved the product immensely. Using the agile method will also allow the product to flourish naturally as its development should respond to certain market changes or client demands. 

Applications are built on ideas and services that could genuinely help someone and no amount of tedium should stand in the way of a great idea. 

6 Key Components of an Effective B2M Website

A business to many (B2M) website must serve multiple functions and reach two distinct audience types. Juggling the different users and meeting their needs isn’t easy, but it can be done quite effectively with a little forethought and tweaking.

According to Internet Live Stats, there are 1.87 billion websites in the world. While they aren’t all active at the same time, and some simply park on top of other domains, you’re still competing for customer attention with a ton of other pages. Spending a little time on site renovations will pay off with more sales.

However, what works for one business model may not work for the next. The needs of your buyer personas are unique to your industry and perhaps even your company. How can you ensure your B2M website is effective for your users?

1. Find Common Elements

What are some of the needs and values your business and consumer customers share? Perhaps they both like quality products that stand the test of time. Maybe they have a need for speed. Perhaps you solve a similar pain point for both, but on different scales? Look for the similarities and showcase them on the main pages of your site. Think about the values all your customers care about.

When you land on the Chase.com website, you’ll see an option for personal or business options. As you browse through different offers, such as checking or savings, you’ll see a comparison of different types of banking accounts. Since many B2B clients might also want a personal account, shifting back and forth between the options is a matter of clicking a tab at the top of the page.

2. Segment Your Audience

How well does your navigation work to get your users to the section related to their needs? When serving both consumers and other businesses, it requires a smart and streamlined navigation to get the user from Point A to Point B without any detours.

Consider separating your site into two parts or more. When people land on your home page, do you direct them to the next step or do they feel lost? If you aren’t sure, hire some testers to go through your site and point out any weaknesses.

3. Choose Relevant Images

Be cautious not to focus on photos of only one type of work you do. If you serve consumers and businesses, your images should reflect how you help both. If you direct someone to a page specifically for companies, you would focus on pictures to relate your ability. However, if the page serves both B2C and B2B, you must mix things up.

Note how ADCO Garage Doors highlight images of modern homes, traditional homes and commercial spaces. By varying the photographs, they show they’re capable of a wide range of styles and options. The landing page speaks both to homeowners and business owners.

4. Check Your Headlines

The first impression a user has of your site is often via the headings. When they do a search, they’ll see your heading in the SERPs. They’ll also see it when they click and land on your page.

Do your headlines effectively pull in both consumers and businesses? How can you tweak them to make them work better for all your buyer personas? If you separate your site into pages for both B2C and B2B, then you should have varied headlines for each.

5. Revamp Your CTAs

Does your CTA make sense for both segments of your buying audience? If not, either separate out the landing pages further or tweak your CTAs. Run the words, color, placement and size of button through the filer of your buyer personas.

You may need to adjust the language or colors to better meet the psychographic profile of each customer type. Don’t be afraid to segment your pages even more if it means you can create a more personalized experience for your users.

Lamps Plus serves both commercial spaces and homes. Rather than trying to come up with separate CTAs for the landing page, they create a bright box to highlight a current sale and invite all users to “Shop Sale.”

Business owners and consumers want to save money on shipping and costs, so the CTA works for all segments of their audience. They get a bit more specific on product pages, depending on the offer.

6. Study Heat Maps and Traffic Patterns

What do users do when they actually land on your page? You can track the journey of a business owner as they stop by your home page, click on the business section and move through your site. Where do they linger? Is there a point where the majority bounce away? What can you improve?

Once you know where users linger and convert into customers, it’s easier to repeat those elements and delete clutter that isn’t serving your needs.

Experiment and Test

Every effective B2M website has some of the components above, but what works best for your site is dependent on your individual customers. Try different tactics and test each one via A/B or multivariate testing to see what performs for your business.

Try different colors, segments, language and images. Offer incentives to entice people to sign up for your mailing list. Experiment and see what works best. Once you have an idea, it’s much easier to repeat those efforts and grow your business into a B2M powerhouse.

Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.

How to Design a User-Focused Hero Image

A hero image should grab the attention of site visitors instantly. However, it’s easy to get so caught up in using beautiful images and grabbing attention you forget to make sure the photos are user-focused. Each hero shot should serve a specific purpose and meet customers’ needs.

According to Netcraft, the number of websites is constantly in flux. The billions of domain names don’t truly reflect how many live websites there are at any given moment. For example, the internet gained 6.28 million sites in May 2021, but also lost 4.87 million domains.

If you want to be certain your hero image hits on all the points needed for a potential customer landing on your website, follow the tips below to ensure you’re selecting the right layout and options for your users.

1. Show the Product

One of the top ways to focus on users is by using your hero image to highlight the product site visitors want to see. If you’re an e-commerce store, you’ll need to choose a category or share new arrivals.

On the other hand, if you sell a service, you can show the product in action or offer a before and after side-by-side. Think about what you’d most want to see if you were the customer. Put yourself in the user’s shoes.

Ditto Residential is a real estate firm with a focus on revamping and creating healthy, beautiful spaces. To show some of what they offer, they use a hero shot of one of their luxury living spaces. The photo helps people see their overall design concept and get a feel for the light airy look to their style.

Another advantage to the placement of their hero image is they can swap out the look for one of their other properties. If they notice a sudden uptick in consumers looking for larger homes, they might highlight an airy space, for example.

2. Choose Stellar Typography

Your hero image should capture the user’s imagination, but you also need to think through the headlines and other details on your page. To enhance the user experience (UX), choose a color and font size that stands out from the background.

Choose the hero image that allows your text to show up. You may want to overlay a solid transparent color over the entire photograph or choose a different picture with some darker or lighter areas where text will pop.

3. Gain User Trust

Your hero image can go a long way toward showing you’re knowledgeable and trustworthy. Choose an image if your technicians in the field or some other expert insight no one else provides. When people think about your product or service, you want to be seen as the go-to authority.

D.E. Gemmill chose an image of their traffic control marking experts hard at work. The employees look capable and the photo also highlights the brand’s equipment. The truck moves off to the left of the screen, creating a sense of motion and work ethic.

4. Choose High Quality Images

You may know the exact photograph you’d like to use, but when you blow it up to full screen width, it’s a bit fuzzy. Always choose sharp, high-quality photos over anything else. You may need to reshoot the photo in a higher resolution, or go with a completely different selection.

At the same time, you must optimize pictures so your site loads as quickly as possible. Use a high resolution, but compress the image. Test your pages load times to ensure your speed is up to par.

5. Add a Video

A still shot grabs interest, but a video hero image tells an entire story. You can share moments of action, inspire users with what they might gain from a product and set a unique tone for your site.

As with any image you choose, make sure the footage is relevant to your industry and your business in particular. Ideally, you’ll hire a videographer to shoot and edit a clip to use in the background of your website’s header.

Ag America offers lending to farmers. They take a moment to highlight some of the hard work farmers do in a day, showing tractors, a farmer walking the field and a close look at crops. Their target audience will see they understand the business at hand and be much more likely to trust the company with their business.

6. Remember the CTA

Your call to action button (CTA) must stand out against the hero image. You can choose the most interesting photograph in the world but if you don’t ask users to take the next step, you risk losing them to the competition.

First, your CTA button should be a color varying from the rest of your color palette. Many companies use a vivid orange, red, blue or green for their CTAs. Second, you should tweak the size, position and language on your button to see what performs best with your target audience.

Test and Retest

Try different images, headlines and CTAs on your website. Conduct split testing to see what performs best with your audience. Even a change of the wording on your CTA can make a difference in your conversion rates.

Try different options and test after each change. Over time, you’ll find the perfect selection for your users. If you want your site visitors to respond with action, you must tweak every tiny aspect of your page, starting with your hero image and moving on to what sits atop it.

Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.

8 SEO Marketing Trends in 2020 That Entrepreneurs Should Know About

Every entrepreneur should already be familiar with the concept of SEO. Optimizing websites for search crawlers has become a crucial part of marketing for businesses both online and offline. It’s especially important if much of your business is done through online channels. Marketing trends are constantly evolving and it can be difficult for entrepreneurs to keep up with all the different SEO strategies being applied to modern business websites. To get a good idea of what you need to check out to prepare for next year, here are a couple of the most important trends coming up.

Quality over quantity

Ask any SEO expert and they’ll tell you that content is the single most important thing for your marketing strategy. When it comes to what that content should look like, opinions are divided. Some will advocate for spreading your content far and wide across many different websites and blogs. This strategy isn’t without its benefits. You’re able to reach a large number of websites and create a ton of useful links for your own.

On the other hand, this strategy also dilutes the quality of your content. Search engines are adapting to an increased amount of content and they’re curating it by quality. You need to show users that your content is top tier so that they’ll keep coming back to it. Search engines will recognize this and rank your page higher.

Website speed and UX

User experience is one of the most important metrics for SEO. It has a direct impact on the traffic of your website and how users perceive it. It’s also something that search engines account for when scouring websites.

Website speed is a big part of UX optimization and it’s something that every website should focus on improving. Google’s crawlers value website speed highly, which is why so many pages are optimizing for fast loading times this year.

Voice searches

While once a pretty niche part of SEO, voice searches have become an integral part of any SEO strategy. With the rise of smartphones, voice searches have stopped being considered a novelty. Now they’re considered just as important as any other form of search.

Optimizing for voice searches is a little bit harder than regular keywords. Searches aren’t treated the same way by search engines. They don’t lead to search pages, but rather the search engine prioritizes the top answer and displays it immediately.

Keywords tend to be shorter and more colloquial, to better match the way people talk, as it’s pretty different compared to the way they type into their phones.

Structured data

Data takes many forms on your website. When search engine crawlers scour your website for relevant information, they take every little bit of readable data into consideration.

To make it easier for search engine crawlers, your website features structured data in various different forms. Information that’s located alongside the metadata is a good example. It’s there to make crawling quicker and more efficient. Including more of it in your metadata and meta descriptions is a good way to get more attention from search crawlers.

Video content

Videos are becoming an increasingly popular form of content. Unlike written content and sponsored blog posts, users are much more likely to sit through an entire video and watch it all the way to the end. This gives digital marketers more opportunities to make use of clever strategies and product mentions.

Search engines are being adapted to work on finding videos through metadata and meta descriptions. They are quickly placing more value on high-traffic videos and properly optimized websites that can host them. You should strive to increase the number of videos you utilize in your marketing strategy and work on making your website more attractive for crawlers in this area.

Content length

While it’s true that content quality is more important than quantity, the individual length of a piece of marketing content is crucial as well. You can look at the length of a blog post and see it as a kind of quality. People want to be invested in the content that they’re consuming.

Longer pieces of quality content get far more views than their shorter counterparts. However, the difficulty comes from creating adequate content which will stimulate users long enough and keep them occupied and engaged. This is not easily accomplished by the average website owner. Instead, they often employ writing experts from digital marketing strategists like GWM to achieve better rankings. Creating ideal content that attracts search crawlers requires quite a bit of experience and knowledge.

Search engine snippets

Getting to the top of the search pages is a priority for websites. But what if you could get your page featured above the first result? This is Google’s “featured snippet” in a nutshell. It lets websites with exact answers get to the very top of search results.

Optimizing for featured snippets is going to be a crucial part of digital marketing strategies going forward. Have your content provide concise and direct answers to user’s queries and you’ll find that your pages will be getting a lot more traffic.

Influencers

The impact of influencer marketing is an often-underestimated part of digital marketing. Influencers have an enormous amount of power when it comes to brand creation. They’re able to exert their influence over countless fans of your brand and encourage their viewers to try out new products and services.

By reaching out to influencers and having them link to your website and its products, you can very quickly reach a much wider audience and signal that your brand is even more attractive to consumers.

Conclusion

If the past couple of years are any indicator of things to come, digital marketing is going to continue to flourish more than ever before. SEO strategies are constantly evolving to meet this expansive demand as businesses scramble to get their websites to the top of search results. Because of this, it’s important that you and your businesses remain on top of the latest and most effective tactics that will help your website stay relevant.