Author Archives: Dev Team

UX Tools To Create A Seamless Shopping Experience

Ease-of-access, and mass availability of products, has turned online shopping into a proper lifestyle. The convenience of not having to step out allows people to order pretty much everything online – and get it delivered right at their doorsteps. According to Statista, 40 percent of internet users in the US make several purchases online in a month. Furthermore, around 20 percent admitted to shopping online on a weekly basis.

However, despite the increasing popularity of online shopping, eMarketer reports that many customers still prefer the brick and mortar experience, i.e., physical stores. For example, a survey conducted on back to school shopping reports that 56% of respondents planned to continue buying items in-store – compared to only 20% who said they would prefer to shop online.

Why Opt for Online Shopping?

The answer is simple; in-store shopping is an experience that allows you to use all five senses to make a decision. With in-store shopping, you get what you pay for – without the need to cross your fingers and hope that the products you ordered online meet your expectations.

According to a survey in June 2018, 70% of female internet users chose to shop in-store solely because they can see or touch the items. Approximately 41% of women also choose physical stores for pleasant shopping and browsing experience. After all, window shopping never gets boring!

While online retailers can’t do much to combat these issues, what they can do, is provide a great user experience. Focusing on personalized recommendations, and a great browsing experience, through the application of UX tools can really attract online shoppers –and in-store shoppers – to your e-commerce store.

What is UX Design?

UX tools can help create meaningful and relevant experiences for users. They are designed for multiple purposes – including user-friendly designs and interfaces. A UX designer focuses on different aspects of the user experience, such as utility, and ease of use.

UX design revolves around providing users information in a clean and intuitive manner. Designers are typically in control of a number of tasks – starting from product research, to creating user personas, prototyping, and product testing.

With the increased demand for a seamless shopping experience, and multiple options available to online shoppers, design work can prove to be difficult. UX tools save the day by easing this burden on designers. The below list of tools is part of the normal arsenal of UX agencies.

Here are the four main categories that UX tools can be divided into:

Analytics Tools

The entire point of a high-quality UX design is to provide user satisfaction. Without proper means to gauge what the user likes, there would be no point in putting forth a particular design. These analytics tools help designers understand exactly what users are looking for, and how to provide a great browsing experience. Additionally, analytics help designers identify elements that need to be changed for better user experience.

Some of the best analytics tools include:

·       Google Analytics

·       Keen

·       Woopra

Tracking and Heat Mapping Tools

These provide insights by recording and tracking user sessions, and the activity taking place on specific pages. Tracking tools capture mouse movements, mouse clicks, and other on-site interactions by visitors. Heat mapping tools take it a step further by recording user patterns on different pages, thus providing insights into how users interact with specific on-page elements.

Popular tracking and heat mapping tools include:

·       HotJar

·       Inspectlet

·       Mouseflow

 

A/B Testing Tools

From the font of your titles to the color and placement of your CTA buttons, A/B testing tools allow you to test everything. These tools help optimize your e-commerce site, by allowing you to test different variations of all elements on a specific page.

Some of the most effective tools for A/B testing include:

·       Adobe Target

·       Unbounce

·       AB Tasty

Prototyping Tools

With insights gained through analytics, designers can start working on prototypes and wireframes through specific tools. These prototyping tools allow you to easily showcase your design ideas while reducing project costs.

Here are some popular prototyping tools that UX designers love:

·       Pidoco

·       Gliffy

·       Figma

If utilized properly, the application of UX tools can make your design workflow increasingly efficient – while allowing you to match, or even exceed users’ expectations.

What is Google Tag Manager and It’s Avantages?

Google Tag Manager is a free tool offered by Google that allows you to deploy, manage, and analyze the performance of marketing tags on your website.

The distinguishing feature of Google Tag Manager (GTM) is that it allows you to deploy such tags without having to modify your website’s coding.

In simple words, Google Tag Manager allows information gathered from one data source (in this case, your website), to be shared with another data source (for example, Google Analytics).

So, what are the advantages of using GTM? Let’s take a look:

Rapid Deployment Of Tracking Codes

In a world without GTM, tracking codes (aka tags) were managed through a long and complex process – this process included the person who wanted to deploy the tags, a developer, and a plethora of back and forth emails with specific instructions. Since this task usually comes under the domain of marketing heads, to manage the task without interference from a developer, they had to spend time learning coding skills.

Google Tag Manager has now simplified this process, by eliminating the need for intricate coding knowledge. In turn, this has also significantly streamlined the process of tag management and deployment. According to a study by Lunametrics, clients have reported up to 600% improvement in their tag implementation time with the help of GTM.

Hence, with GTM, marketers can easily add, change and remove tags – speeding up the launch time as they can test each change by themselves, and deploy changes as per schedule.

Organized Tag Management

The previous approach to tag management dictated that all codes were integrated into the website’s source code. This meant that these tiny lines of code were scattered around different files, and even minor tweaks required hours of work. Add in the chances of human errors, which are abundant during such tedious tasks, and we have a recipe for disaster.

With GTM, marketers now have a well-structured management system, where they can view all tags in one place. A minor tweak to any one of the tags only requires minutes to do.

Test Before You Launch

‘Test before you launch’ is the marketing world’s take on the famous adage ‘prevention is better than cure,’ – and GTM is the perfect tool for it.

Google Tag Manager simplifies the process of troubleshooting and corrects any errors in the tracking codes. GTM’s ‘Preview and Debug Mode’ allows marketers to analyze which tags are placed (or ‘fired’) on a page, and which are not.

GTM also has information crucial for firing tags, and the data contained inside tags. This information serves to ensure that the tags are working perfectly before they are added to the site.

Gain Valuable Insights

GTM eliminates the need for integrating customized codes to track website events, through a feature called auto-event tracking.

Once you have enabled a certain trigger in GTM, it automatically records all interactions that occur throughout the website. Setting up such triggers is also fairly easy for marketers, especially since Google has published guides that deal with every aspect of GTM.

What events can be tracked through GTM? Well, for starters, you can track basic events such as:

  • Clicks
  • Clicks on specific links
  • Form submissions
  • Time spent on a page

That is not all. The number of auto-tracking events has increased over the years, allowing marketers to include customized features such as:

  • Scroll depth
  • Comments
  • Video plays
  • Actions that denote the intention to leave a page or exit intent

If you want to set up triggers to track custom events, you will need at least basic coding knowledge and skills. However, even basic events that can be automatically tracked through GTM provide marketers unprecedented insights into visitors’ behavior. Over time, GTM has become one of the most efficient tag management tools – if you are not using this excellent tool, immediately head on over to the Google Tag Manager site, to see the various benefits you can gain from this platform.

5 Tips To Increase Conversions on Your Ecommerce Store

It doesn’t matter if you are new to ecommerce or an already established business; the fast moving online business world is going to challenge you.

The ecommerce industry has seen tremendous growth worldwide, with total online sales amounting to more than 3 trillion US dollars in 2018 alone.

However, with the sharp increase in growth, there has been a significant increase in competition as well. And as the owner of an online store, you will have to incorporate expert conversion rate optimisation strategies into your marketing plan – or risk high cart abandonment and bounce rates.

What is Conversion Rate and How it Works

An ecommerce conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who have completed a certain transaction within a specified time on your online store. Conversion rate, therefore, is an important metric and it is also used as a KPI to measure the success of an online business.

As per data collected by Smart Insights, the average conversion rate for ecommerce stores in 2018 was 2.86% – if yours falls below this, then it is safe to assume that you need to work on your website and marketing strategies.

Tips to increase your Conversion Rates

Here are some actionable tips that could help you optimise your conversions:

Simple Navigation

Having a simple navigation allows your website to appear more organised and easy to use for customers. In other words, when each product category is easy to access through your navigation bar, visitors can quickly find the right page or product.

The more products you have, the simpler navigation you need; this will not only save your customer’s time, but also enhance their shopping experience.

An important point to consider here is that visitors expect your website to have horizontal navigation on the top or a vertical one down the left side.  You can also increase your conversion rates by using ‘descriptive’ product labels instead of generic ones.

Excellent Product Photography

The first thing that a customer notices about the products in your online store is the image – as such, they must be of high quality so that customers can get a clear idea of the texture and the colours.

Photographing your product from different angles i.e., having multiple images is also a good way to highlight your products.

Allow Shopping Via Social Platforms

Being an ecommerce store, you might already have an average to strong social media presence. Hence, making an effort to sell your products directly on platforms like Instagram and Facebook could increase your conversion rates.

For instance, if you are a clothing retail store, then Instagram can serve as a direct channel as people could likely make a purchase decision while scrolling through their feed.

Out of all the social media platforms, people spend 53 minutes on average on Instagram while 62% of users say that stories create an interest in the product or brand.

Product Videos

Product videos are a great way to increase your conversion rates, especially if your product is complicated to use.

Consider this: video marketing is a $135 billion industry in the US alone, while American businesses plan to spend $20,000 on it this year.

A 30-second video is found to be more effective as it can showcase the various aspects of a product. Additionally, using promo videos on your landing pages can raise your conversions by 80%.

As an added benefit, it can also lower your return rate as consumers are less likely to be dissatisfied by the actual product after a detailed video.

Social Proof

Having product reviews and testimonials on your social media and product pages can lead to more sales than ever. According to data gathered by Nielsen, people are 84% more likely to use a product based on friend’s and family’s recommendations.

Social proof can take many other forms such as celebrity endorsements, customer testimonials and reviews of thought leaders. Studies have shown that almost 92% of consumers search for reliable reviews before making a purchase decision.

If you want to see how effective your marketing is, you can gain some good insights from your website’s conversion rate. Although considering this one metric in isolation might not give you a complete picture, it’s sure to provide some very valuable information. For instance, it helps you get an idea about who your potential customers are and where they stand in the conversion cycle.

 

 

Email Marketing Statistics To Guide Your Strategy In 2019

Email marketing is an evergreen strategy that has been there since the advent of the internet – and it is here to stay.

Consider this: with this channel, marketers can see an ROI of 4400% or $44 for every $1 spent.

Here, we have compiled a list of all the major email marketing statistics that will help you achieve your marketing goals this year and beyond.

Stat #1: 68% Of Millennials Have Reported That Promotional Emails Influence Their Purchase Decision

In this report by Fluent, different advertising methods were analysed, including Facebook and Instagram ads, text messages and emails.

The results showed that more than two out of the three millennials said that promotional emails influenced their decision most of the time.

Key Takeaway: Promotional emails can be personalised for better results as they were found to be 10% more effective with millennials than older consumers.

Stat #2: 55% Of Consumers Are In Favour Of Email Messages That Contain Relevant Products

As per a study by Liveclicker, personalised email marketing messages fare much better than the blast strategy.

With so many emails bombarding our inbox every day, personalising them to include products from the customer’s browsing history can boost your sales.

Key takeaway: Consumers don’t mind revealing their behavioural patterns and purchase habits if they get personalised suggestions. Fine-tune your email marketing strategy to include an element of personalisation.

Stat #3: 56% Of Emails Are Read On iPhones Or In Gmail

This study by Litmus analysed various platforms to understand which is better for email marketing.

They found that Gmail and iPhone were the two major email clients that were being made use of, which indicates that mobile-friendly email templates and content are an absolute necessity now.

Key Takeaway: For marketers to gain maximum return out of their email strategy, they need to understand how Gmail works – for example, people could use the snooze function to get rid of unnecessary emails. And so, it’s important to add a tone of urgency to increase open rates within your subject line and avoid lengthy content or large images.

Stat # 4: 82% Of Marketers Keep Their Subject Lines Within A Character Limit Of 60 Or Less

A study from 100 top marketers on their sending patterns by AWeber revealed that 82% of them prefer emails that have precise and crisp subject lines – and the main reason is that email service providers do not show the entire subject line if it is longer than 60 characters, especially on smartphones.

Key Takeaway: In a mobile-first world where people usually view content on-the-go, it is imperative that no element of the email drives them off. Keep in mind that long subject lines can be a hindrance to people when viewed on mobile devices.

Stat # 5: Emails Checked At Work Account For 2.5 Hours Per Weekday

Source: SEOTribunal

Emails have become an indispensable part of our personal and work routine; when Adobe carried out a study on the use of email by white-collar workers, they found that people spent approximately 2.5 hours checking emails every day.

Key Takeaway: Marketers do not need to worry about their target audience not checking their emails within work hours only. Keep in mind though that they are likely to take action after business hours.

Stat #6: By 2022 More Than 347 Billion Email Will Be Sent and Received

From 269 billion in 2018, the number of email sent and received is expected to surpass 347 billion by 2022.

Key Takeaway: Marketers need to think of strategies to stay on top of their game by creating content that stands out. Additionally, your subject lines need to be hard-hitting to ensure maximum open rates and click-through, especially since the number of emails being sent is only going to increase.

Equipped with these email marketing statistics, you can implement the relevant strategies to optimise your marketing campaign and increase brand awareness, drive conversions and encourage customer loyalty.

What are automated bidding strategies?

There are more than 3.5 billion Google searches every day. This means search engine marketing (SEM) is a great way to drive traffic.

In fact, Google Ads – the pay per click (PPC) marketing strategy by the search engine giant – is now more popular than ever. In 2018 alone, it generated revenues of $116.3 billion.

Despite all this, ensuring that your campaign pays off can be very difficult, considering all the factors that constantly affect it.

The solution? Automated bidding strategies to efficiently manage and optimise your ad campaigns.

Read on to understand all the benefits you can reap out of automating your Adwords bidding.

What Is Automated Bidding?

Simply put, this allows Google to automatically decide bid amounts for your ads – instead of you manually setting them.

But why is using automation more efficient than manual bidding?

If you own a small business and run one ad campaign at a time, using the standard – single campaign – strategy is a good choice.

However, most of these automated strategies are primarily portfolio bids. This means that advertisers who run multiple simultaneous campaigns can group their campaigns, keywords and ads into a portfolio and apply the same strategy to all.

When you let Google decide how much to pay for a search ad, it essentially uses all of the data it holds on its users to set your bids.

Its automated system can analyse information such as location, demographics and even search frequency to determine how many clicks and conversions your ad is likely to get. – If the numbers don’t look good, the automated bidding can help you save a lot of money.

This potentially answers two of the biggest questions that every marketer – even you – has had at some point:

  • Is my bid high enough to beat the competition and land buyers?
  • Am I over-bidding and attracting low-intent traffic?

What is better is that the system keeps analysing all incoming data to set your future bids with even more precision for better CTR and ROAS.

What we’re saying is, unlike manual bidding, you no longer have to keep track of all the analytics to update keywords and ad groups. Google will automatically calculate and set bids for your ads at every auction.

The Benefits Of Automated Bidding

While we’ve already discussed so many of the benefits that come with Google Ads’ automated bidding, here’s a breakdown.

Maximize Clicks

It automatically sets your bid to optimise the number of clicks you can possibly get within your budget.

Benefit: increased website traffic – CTR.

Target Impression Share

The goal of this bid automation is to show your ad at the top of Google’s SERPs. This too can be used for multiple campaigns as well as a standard strategy.

Benefit: increases ad visibility.

Target CPA

This strategy was previously called the ‘conversion optimiser’ which is an apt description of what it aims to do. This helps you to achieve maximum conversions at the cost per action (CPA) you set.

Benefit: helps maximise customer acquisition.

Target ROAS

This strategy is similar to Target CPA, but instead of optimising conversions, this tries to achieve your return on ad spend (ROAS) goal. This is done by increasing the conversion value.

Benefit: helps achieve the set ROAS.

With Google Ads’ automated bidding strategies, you can streamline your ad campaigns to be more efficient, cost effective and profitable. This can be done without having to manually keep track of your ad bids and overall campaigns.

Google’s New Link Building Guidelines

Link-building lies at the heart of SEO. Google has accredited link building to be an indispensable part of a business’s SEO strategy by citing it as amongst the top three ranking factors. Many SEO technicians believe it’s the number one ranking signal.

If we dig deep, we realise that the art of link building is in fact a multi-faceted process. It takes many years of research and experience to even begin to understand the intricacies.

This post will give you an overview of the most recent link-building guidelines set by Google.

Google’s New Link Policy

Google thought it was quite essential to introduce new link attributes as the World Wide Web has evolved a lot since the ‘no follow’ attribute was introduced in 2005.

Until the new update was released, Google considered no follow links to be of little value or authority and simply disregarded them for ranking purpose.

With the new guidelines, Google intends to refine this process by instructing webmasters to add “hints” to these no follow links so that they can be used for ranking purposes if necessary. This will help Google “better understand unnatural linking patterns” and will have huge ramifications.

Google still doesn’t intend to use these links for crawling and indexing at the moment but after March 1, 2020 it will do so.

Below are the specific updates in the link building guidelines by Google.

Image source: Moz

Rel= “sponsored”

Google requires all links that are bought or part of any advertisement campaign, sponsorship or being compensated for, to be clearly marked as “sponsored.” These are alternatively known as ‘paid links.’

Image source: Seroundtable

Rel= “UGC”

As we all know UGC stands for ‘User-Generated-Content,’ sites using such content are required to mark their links with this specific attribute. An example could be comments on posts.

Webmasters would want to remove this attribute from links posted by members who have a consistent history of contributing high-quality content over time.

Rel= “nofollow”

The nofollow link is to be preferably used when no other values apply. This is also when webmasters don’t want Google to attach any meaningful association with your site or use links from your site for indexing or crawling purposes.

A combination of two, such as Rel= “nofollow sponsored” is also acceptable when you have a paid link.

Previously, Google’s algorithm did not pick up any signals from nofollow links. However, the scenario is different now. The hint model equips Google to not miss out on important information that links give to the content.

Impact Of Link-Building Guidelines On SEO

A 2019 study shows that there is a strong positive association between links and rankings. And the future landscape for links being a central part of the Google algorithm seems even more promising now.

Here’s how Google’s algorithm will pick cues from the link-building strategies deployed by webmasters and SEOs:

  • Easily identify the types of links and the context in which they are used
  • Rel=“ugc” indicates that these links need not be counted for since they are created by random people and not webmasters
  • Help increase accuracy and transparency by tightening controls on potential loopholes in UGC content
  • Make relevant decisions on how much weightage to assign to each link whether sponsored or UGC.

The purpose of link building is not to just rank the website higher on SERPs, but also to optimise content to make it user-friendly. Even if they are user-generated links, they will only convert into profitable leads and sales when they are relevant and add value.

How To Survive Algorithm Updates

With the vast majority of search engine users opting for businesses that show up on the first page of search results, wouldn’t you want to be one of them?

But it’s certainly not easy, especially considering how often Google updates its algorithms. Just last year, the search engine giant published 3,234 updates which comes to an average of almost nine a day!

While most minor ones do not really impact your website’s ranking, major ones can really impact your position.

Here’s how you can survive all the algorithm updates that Google throws your way:

Focus On Content Quality

As per Google, the best way to rank consistently on the first page is through quality content. Here are some tips for this:

Tip #1:

With so much content being created and published on a daily basis, it’s tough to differentiate yourself.

What can set your content strategy apart from the rest is the ability to quote original research and analysis – and not just curated content from third-party websites.

In fact, as per Social Media Examiner, around 81% of marketers write more original content as they believe it can raise their brand image and authority.

Tip #2:

For visitors to actually click on your link and read your content, it is important that the headline/title is optimised to provide a comprehensive overview of the content. But remember, you can’t write long titles; Hubspot identifies titles with 6-13 words as ideal for generating maximum web traffic.

Establish Your Expertise

With approximately 72% of marketers increasing the amount of content they churn out on a daily basis, it is important that you establish yourself as an expert in the niche/domain you are operating in.

The best way to do this is to support your claims with research, statistics and facts.

Similarly, if you are calling yourself an expert on a certain topic, make sure you have the relevant experience and proof to legitimatise this claim. To start off, write articles and blogs and publish them on affiliate sites and other publications. This will enhance your image as authority.

Presentation Matters

The way your content is presented can make or break your image online. Properly formatted and grammatically correct content is the cornerstone for your success, especially since noticeable mistakes can undermine the user experience.

Hence, from the content layout right down to your images, everything goes into formulating a good content strategy.

Additionally, a recent 2019 survey revealed that 51% of marketers put in extra effort to develop visual assets as part of their content strategy. After all, images send important relevancy signals to the search engine crawlers through their alt text, captions, description and file name.

Stay On Top of The Rankings With These Google Updates

As much as these updates might frustrate you, there is a reason that Google is the #1 search engine in the world. With a laser-focus approach to improving user-experience, it aims to help business owners up their game, and create relevancy and authority around their brand.

Lastly, the most important step you can take to keep up with algorithm updates is by reading the Google Webmaster Blog; this is normally where they post all their official updates and information to help users.