You start a business and realise that most of the visitors are leaving your website just after landing! Wondering why? Maybe your website seems boring, or not attractive. 

Good web design is the most effective growth tool for a business. Everything from the company’s logo, website’s appearance and usability, to marketing brochures must be smartly designed, as a poor design may be the reason that your business gets killed.

Hence, here we have given you 10 effective web development tips that would improve your website’s success.

Have a plan

The most basic thing to keep in mind is having a plan. You should know about your current customers. In order to do so, interview them, research how they went from a visitor to becoming a customer, map the buyer’s journey. Design your UX and UI accordingly. Consider a few questions like what pages will they view? What content would interest and attract them? And what offers can convert them? All these questions will provide you with the data that you can use to map out your strategy. A web development company takes care of all these plans for your website. They have the resources and experience of getting this research done professionally.

Optimise your website loading speed

Keep your website’s loading speed in check. Slow speed makes the users leave even before the website’s content can make an impression. Some factors that slow the loading speed of the website include data-intensive photos and graphic elements. Compression without losing quality is possible if you design your graphics and motion graphics properly. Use them smartly for maximum impact and quick loading speed.

Remove anything that is unnecessary 

Certain elements are going to detract from the actual message and value you’re trying to convey. These include complicated animations, long and preachy content and stocky website images. The audience only has an attention span of 8 seconds. Hence you need to get the main points across in the first impression. Therefore, you must use short and powerful sections of content and appropriate pictures/ icons. Jargons and ambiguous terminology should be avoided in order to make your content widely understood by all. 

Include follow and social share buttons

If your website lacks social share buttons, you could be missing out on a lot of social media traffic generated from the users who are already reading your blog. They allow you to share the page directly on any social media channel like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or even another website of yours. They act as tools that are non-pushy but still encourage social sharing. So, if your website lacks some social sharing and follow buttons, go add them now! 

Add call-to-action buttons

When a visitor lands on your website you have to provide them with some sort of direction so as to follow a pathway of operation. Call-to-action buttons indicate the next step the user should take on a page. Many projects and designs aren’t accurately successful to use them to guide the users through a website. Some example of call-to-action buttons include- click here for information, sign-up, watch the video, check price, etc. Also, different colours evoke different messages, so think about the message you want to convey and use those colours in the buttons on your website. 

Navigation

Navigation is the key when designing your website. A confusing or disorganised navigation interface is the worst part of any website. Visitors should be able to find what they are looking for easily. Hence the content of your website should be streamlined with a hierarchy of navigation. Your website should have a responsive design. If the users are not able to find what they are looking for, they will leave your site and go to a competitor that offers a better user experience. 

A detailed homepage

Don’t be scared of a slightly longer homepage. Your homepage should include 3-5 sections that help direct new and recurring users both to proper areas of your site and this helps create a seamless experience.  Some of the crucial elements include- intro video, an overview of services, product features, about us, testimonials, case studies, resources, etc. After all your homepage is the heart of your website.  

Optimise for mobile access

Your website MUST be optimised for mobile access. Facts say that 80% of internet users own a mobile. And most people search on a mobile device. So if you have a website that keeps lagging on smart-phones, you should be concerned. Optimise your website so that it can be accessed through a mobile device as well. Adjust it to the size/shape of the screen and make it intuitive and easy to navigate. 

Remove your 404’s

Even though search engines don’t punish you severely for soft 404 errors, users definitely will.  When users click on a link or an image, they are expecting it to take them to the next place. And encountering a 404 error page annoys them! After slow page loading time, a 404 error is highly frustrating for the user. A 404 error page means that the webpage they were trying to reach could not be found on the server. So, check if your website has any 404 error landing pages and remove them. You can do so by visiting the Google Index, login by your domain and give the URLs of the 404 error pages to Google. Google will take care of it! Additionally, make sure that when a user lands on such a page, it provides them with an option to get back on track. 

Have white spaces 

White spaces are an essential design element that help you break up the page and increase readability. They are also called as ‘negative spaces’ and refer to the areas around elements on a page that are empty and lack visual or content items. These spaces give your website a polished look and increased graphic captivity. Hence use these whitespaces to your advantage! 

Conclusion

Now that you know the 10 web development tips to improve your website’s success, you just need to implement them! Make sure that you don’t skip the design aspect! Work with your web designer and graphic designer to find the best strategies to execute web development without losing your touch and sense of the business. All the best!

Author Bio: This is Sanket Pawar, a full-time professional blogger.  Working at Web Ratna LLP from last 2 years.  He also loves to blogging on trending topics that prove helpful to others with their personal and the business works.

 


My name is Melissa Stevens, I’m an entrepreneur and this is the story of how I bought a dropshipping e-commerce site and doubled its monthly sales to $10,000 in just one month.

Lightingshoes.net is the site. It sells light-up shoes to consumers of all ages and walks of life. For toddlers, kids and adults too, we offer sneakers, low tops and high tops in various designs and colors.

Last month we attracted 11,000 visitors to the site, and earned $10,000 in sales. This month we’re on target for $15,000, and I’m confident we can continue to increase sales as the business and our marketing develop.

How I Came To Own lightingshoes.net

I’m a software developer and I was exploring the idea of a SAAS product to sell to users on a recurring monthly plan to bring in some passive income. A friend recommended I check out Shopify. He believed there were great opportunities to create plugins for the Shopify market. I really liked Shopify, but it wasn’t clear to me what Shopify users wanted or needed from a new plugin.

I decided the best option was to become a Shopify site owner myself, and I searched for a Shopify business for sale that was already established and getting orders. The next day, I was the proud owner of lightingshoes.net.

Solving Problems

I jumped on the site quickly because I felt it was such as good deal. I’m sure you want to know why. The owner was asking only $8,000 for it, and average monthly sales over its 6 month lifespan were $5,000, with a profit margin around 20%.

The reason the price was so low was the amount of work needed to make the site a proper business, and the issues that had to be fixed after I bought the site.

1. Unreliable suppliers

Dropshipping from our supplier in China was by far the biggest issue. It was taking over 2 weeks for the shoes to arrive, and customers weren’t happy. I found a supplier with a warehouse in the US that would ship shoes directly to our customers in 3-5 days. It was no easy feat, and took well over a week to research suppliers and eliminate bad or expensive ones.

2. New merchant account needed

There were too many chargebacks due to the issues with the previous supplier. So I needed to get a new merchant processor set up when I bought the site.

3. Poor site design

It’s the details that really make a site, and lightingshoes.net was missing all the refinements needed. The site loaded extremely slowly, there were spelling errors in the logo, the footer was inaccurate, and many other problems needed fixing. I did a good amount of redesign to make it look like a real business and a site that people would trust.

How I Doubled The Conversion Rate And Sales

Now, the juicy part. The site was converting at 1.10% when I bought it, and within one month I’d increased conversion to 2.07%. This doubled the number of sales and the value of the asset. Here’s how I did it.

Before:

After: 

1. Added Discount Pop-Ups

When a visitor first arrives on the site, I added a pop-up 10% discount if they share or like us on social media. I also added an exit popup, advertising $10 off if they stay on and shop with us. In the month of March, 14 people used the intro popup coupon, and 23 used the exit offer. That’s more than worthwhile, assuming just 50% of them are customers we wouldn’t otherwise have sold to.

Shopify Plugin used: Better Coupon Box.

Intro Pop:

Exit Pop:

2. Added Sales Pop

I added a little pop at the bottom of the user’s screen showing them “Person so-and-so from such-city just bought these…” I don’t have the numbers, but this helps build trust with customers who can see others are buying from us.

Plugin used: Sales Pop.

3. Improved Product Images

With Adwords, anything that differentiates you from your competitors is a good thing. An image of your product on a white background converts best. That’s common knowledge with Adwords, and what I and every other LED shoe site was using. So I hired a Photoshop expert to change the images and make them stand out.

Before:

After:

4. Added an Abandoned Cart email series

I added marketing directed at visitors who had come to the site, started the checkout and abandoned before completing it. The previous owner missed the opportunity to follow up on these visitors, despite having their emails! We got 12 sales in the month of March from this.

The Fruits Of My Labor

The result of my work was doubled revenue to $10,000 per month, and a profit margin around 25%. The business is essentially hands off for me – about 2 hours per week – since I hired a VA to handle customer support and work with the vendor. All in all, a nice asset for generating passive income.

Moving Forward

My immediate plans are to increase the site’s SEO and social media reach. I want to establish it in the top rankings for all searches related to its keyword.

I’ve already been approached by some potential buyers. When the time is right I will turn the asset over to the right buyer. I’d expect a possible 7x return on my investment.

My Top Advice For Passive Income Seekers

Do your due diligence. Really investigate every little detail, do your research thoroughly and use expert help. In all the excitement and optimism for making money and that the project is going to be easy, be sure to think through how much hard work it’s going to take before launching into your business.

Reinvest the income from your site back into the business. For the future return I’m expecting, I’ve been pouring a significant amount back into SEO.

 

Melissa Stevens is an entrepreneur in pursuit of a passive-income lifestyle. She is part-owner of lightingshoes.net, a dropshipping Shopify store selling light-up footwear for everyone, specializing in light-up yeezy inspired shoes. You can see an example of their adult shoes here.


This is the second post in our “Things to ask” tech series. Click on the link to read the previous article about “Three things to ask… Your software developer“.

Whether you’re a freelancer, a consultant, a business owner, or even someone in the arts, a website is one of the most important parts of selling yourself. In our always-connected world, a lot of the time your website is the first impression you’ll make on your potential clients or audience, and we all know that first impressions matter.

Your website will be your calling card, the front page to you and what you stand for. But for many of us who don’t have the skills to develop a website ourselves, we need to hire someone else to do it. There are many people who claim to be competent web developers, but far less who can actually back up that claim. How do we know that we’re not going to be taken for a ride?

Here Kasia Gospos, the founder of Leaders in Heels, shares four things you should ask your website developer.

Can I see your previous work/contact your previous clients?

…ask them specifically what part of the website they builtWhen looking at a developer’s portfolio, be sure to ask them specifically what part of the website they built. Websites are often built by multiple developers, sometimes over a long period of time. Don’t simply assume that the websites in a developer’s portfolio were completely built by them–they may have come in much later and only worked on a small area.

This links in to contacting the developer’s previous clients. A developer can easily make their look more glamourous than it actually was, so chat to others who have worked with them and ask how effective and reliable the developer was. Someone who’s not willing to give any references should be a bright red warning flag!

How many changes can I make?

Don’t forget to ask about ongoing costsNo matter how glitter-eyed you are over a particular theme or design, there will be changes. Most of the time, there will be a lot of changes. Confirm upfront how many rounds of changes are included in the price, and whether the changes allowed are large ones or small ones. Changing the size/colour/style of text or adding a button is a small change. Adding more features to a page such as transition animations or a shopping cart functionality is a big change.

Don’t forget to ask about ongoing costs. If you discover a change you missed during the initial build, how much will it cost to fix the problem?

How can I make the build more cost-effective?

It’s easy to get carried away with great ideas for features and page designs, but custom builds will take more time and, of course, cost more money. There are many standard website themes and plug-ins that will give you the functionality you need, if you’re willing to compromise. Ask your developer whether there are existing templates or code that can be used instead of building from scratch, and how much that will save on the final bill.

What are your payment terms?

The best approach is to agree on payments scheduled by agreed milestonesIt’s important to be clear on this from the very beginning. Does the developer require payment upfront? Half now, half when complete? The best approach is to agree on payments scheduled by agreed milestones such as implementing a new style, additional pages, a shopping cart, or SEO tools.

Also ensure that the contract enables you to pull out easily in case you realise the developer has a different vision to yours that they’re not willing to budge on, or if their work isn’t up to the quality you expected. There’s nothing worse than getting halfway through a build, realising it won’t work, but having no way out until the end when the entire site has been built and invoices paid.

Do you have any other questions you think are important to ask your software developer? Share them in the comments below!