Are you thinking about setting up a website for your construction company? You’re already a step in the right direction. Having a website for your construction business will help potential clients find your company faster and more efficiently. 

For your business website to deliver the desired results, its design and development must be strategically thought out with intent and purpose. A website is not just an address on the Internet with pages that show the client who you are and what you do. 

An effective website is one that answers the question: “Why are we the best construction company for your project?”

4 Reasons Why Your Construction Company Needs A Website

If you’re still on the fence about getting a website for your construction company, here are 4 reasons you should give us a call so we can set one up for you right away:

1. Market and Promote Your Construction Business

Building property, whether a residential home or a commercial establishment, will entail a huge investment. Your clients are prepared to shell out thousands or millions of dollars to develop their property. 

What will it tell them if the construction company isn’t even willing to invest in a website for its business? 

Your competitors have websites. If you don’t have one for your business, it definitely will put you in the back of the line as far as the potential client is concerned. 

Think of your website as an Internet-based company brochure. There’s no need to bring hard copies wherever you go. A prospect can simply click on your URL and learn everything about you and your business from the website. 

A construction company website that looks amazing, mobile responsive, highly informative, and extremely functional will greatly impress prospective clients. 

2. Grow Your Business

But a website is more than just a company brochure. It can be equipped with different functions and features that will help your business grow. 

For example, a website can have forms for newsletter signups and contact listings that will collect information about your visitor. The collected information becomes leads that can be used for email marketing campaigns. 

Web Pages can be fitted with social sharing icons to enable site visitors to share your content with their community. 

An e-portal can be added so you can sell products and services from the website and create another stream of revenue. 

As a construction company, your e-portal can sell products such as power tools, safety equipment, and flooring materials. You might also want to include services for pest control and disinfection. 

These products and services will enhance the value proposition of your construction business and diversify it into other markets. 

3. Highlight Your Accomplishments

The answer to “Why” can be found in your portfolio. Potential clients want to see what you’ve done in the industry. 

Having a web page that functions as a gallery of the projects you’ve done will certainly help the client make an educated decision of which company to hire. Likewise, include the awards and citations that you’ve received in the industry. 

4. Improve Customer Service

You might have site visitors who are one click away from hiring your services but have nagging questions that need to be answered. 

Integrating a live chat agent on the website will give the final push to convert interest into a new client for your construction company. 

You can also include email support services on your website by adding fill-out forms. Not only will these forms resolve the customer’s concerns faster but they will give you key information that will help you develop a better understanding of who your customers are. 

WebsiteSecurity.Protection.Monitoring

5 Best Website Design Elements For Your Construction Company

When it comes to website design, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. And the beholder is your audience. 

For a construction company, you need a website design that best represents your approach to construction and at the same time accurately captures what you’ve done in the industry, how you’ve performed, and who the company is. 

Because of the amount of investment involved, chances are the potential client will be talking to multiple construction companies. Therefore, the objective of the design is to at least get the site visitor interested and consider you for the project. 

Here are 5 of the most important web design elements that your construction company website must possess. 

1. User-friendly Design

Clients may have different needs and requirements in mind but one thing they share in common is that they don’t want to spend time accessing and figuring out your website. 

Designing a website that’s friendly and easy to use for your potential clients should be a top priority. 

What are the qualities of a user-friendly website?

  • Mobile-responsive – Your construction business website must set up and function properly on mobile devices regardless of screen size. 
  • Fast-loading time – If your website takes longer than 3 seconds to load, your potential clients might click out and visit your competitors’ websites. 
  • Highly navigable – Site visitors can easily find their way around your website. The menu, social media icons, CTA and signup buttons, and contact forms are properly located and immediately visible. 

A business website that’s not user-friendly might create the impression you’re difficult to deal with or that you’re not concerned with the needs of the client.  

2. Content Built and Optimized for Mobile Devices

According to a study by Statista, 54.8% of Internet traffic originates from mobile devices. 

People who are looking for a construction company to handle their projects could be searching for a business such as yours from their smartphones, laptops, or tablets. 

Content that’s built and optimized for mobile devices means they’re easy to read and access:

  • No zooming-in or out just to read your content.
  • The paragraphs and sentences are short to make them more scrollable.
  • The images are relevant, high-resolution, and do not slow down the page loading time. 
  • The menu is easily found and the drop-down content is well-organized. 

Having a website that’s optimized for mobile is a sign that you’re a business that cares for your customers. 

3. Customer-centered

Yes – the website is about your business and what you can do for your customers. But that doesn’t mean it should only be about you. 

Customers already know that you’re a company that’s in the business of doing construction, just like the other websites they’ve visited. 

What a customer is looking for is a company that can provide the solution to his/her problem. This is different from hiring a company that meets his/her construction requirements. That matter will be discussed in #5. 

The customer has probably visited multiple websites that have the same qualifications as your company. The question you have to answer is why the customer should choose you over others assuming all qualifications are equal or similar. 

This is why it’s important to have a customer-centric website. 

Designing a customer-centric construction business website starts at the homepage. It must feature a unique, relevant, and compelling value proposition that best captures the message of your brand and the needs of your customer. 

When a customer clicks on your URL, he/she will land on your homepage. The first group of text that he/she will come across is your BVP – Brand Value Proposition. 

The BVP has fewer than 6 seconds to capture the interest of the customer. It must be strong, concise, and leaves no time for second-guessing.

The next important page is the About Us page. 

A 2015 study by Huff Industrial Marketing, KOMarketing, and Buyer Zone revealed that 52% of website visitors checked out its About Us page after landing on the homepage.

Instead of writing about what your key people accomplished in college and the industry, share stories on why they got into construction. 

Here are a few good examples of storytelling:

  • You got into the business of construction because you wanted to build homes that accurately reflected the personality of the owner and the needs of his/her family.
  • The company introduced a flexible payment system because you understand as a homeowner, the massive investment required to put up a home. 
  • You ventured into commercial property development because you wanted the opportunity to introduce designs that rectified the flaws of the current commercial properties. 

Customers understand that this is a profit-making business. What they want to know is who has their best interests at heart so they can comfortably and confidently entrust their hard-earned money to build their property.

4. Strong Call-to-Action

What do you want the website visitor to do next? That’s the objective of your Call-to-Action (CTA).

Time is a crucial factor for a business website to be successful. You can’t allow the site visitor to think of any other option except to pursue his/her interest in your website. 

Once someone lands on your website, you have to direct that person to do what you want.

Do you want the site visitor to:

  • Book a virtual appointment?
  • Take a virtual tour of your website?
  • Fill out a contact form?
  • Sign up for a monthly newsletter?
  • Share your content on social media?

Your website can have multiple CTAs. The most important thing to remember when creating a CTA is to be concise and direct:

  • Book an Appointment NOW.
  • Click and Take a Virtual Tour of our Projects.
  • Fill Out a Form Now – Hear From Us in 24 Hours.
  • Stay Updated – Sign Up for our Monthly Newsletter.
  • Share With Your Community.

For your CTA to be effective, it has to be strong and definitive. 

5. Creates a Sales Conversion Funnel

A good way to look at your website is to view it as a sales conversion funnel. 

And this is why you need Digital Marketing.

Digital marketing works to drive traffic to your website by using different strategies, processes, tools, tactics, and channels. The greater the traffic that flows into your website, the larger and wider the opening of your sales funnel.

When your digital marketing efforts have done their job, it’s time for your website to go to work by converting interest into income. You can do this by designing a website with features that create a sales conversion funnel:

The Homepage

As discussed earlier, the homepage is where visitors first land when they click on your URL. The motivation to click on your URL stems from a need to find answers to their questions. 

The answers have to be provided by your BVP. If the BVP answers the questions to the visitor’s satisfaction, there’s a good chance that he/she will explore your website further by scrolling down the homepage. 

What types of content can be included in the homepage to heighten the interest of the visitor?

  • Company’s Qualifications – Licenses, Certifications (LEED, ISO-4001, ISO-14001).
  • Industry Awards and Recognitions.
  • Ratings (Better Business Bureau)
  • State and Industry Organization Memberships and Affiliations.
  • Testimonials from Clients
  • Service Reviews
  • List of Clients

The homepage is a key section of your website. It has to impress the site visitor, not just with its design but also its contents.

About Us 

We discussed the importance of the About Us page in #3, so we won’t delve into the topic much further. 

However, we’d be remiss if we didn’t discuss the key points in coming up with an effective About Us page:

  • Include a brief history of your company. 
  • Share your Mission and Vision.
  • Feature only the key decision-makers of your company but include an image of your team or personnel.
  • Use only high-resolution images.
  • Include a link to press mentions; if any.

It might also help to be less formal when it comes to writing. 

We’ve come across good About Us page designs where the key decision-makers share information to their readers about their hobbies and interests. The purpose is to make top management more accessible to potential customers.

The Portfolio Page

Proof of your experience and expertise can be found on the Portfolio Page of your website. This webpage functions as the showcase gallery of the projects your company has completed. 

The important details to keep in mind are as follows:

  • Use high-resolution images only and if possible, give a 360-degree virtual tour of some locations. 
  • State the name of the client and the address of the project. Make sure you get the approval of the client before posting these types of information. 
  • Mention the floor area, lot area, and the inclusive period of completion. 

Don’t mention the cost of the project. If the site visitor is interested, he/she can ask these confidential questions during your meeting. 

Contact Us Page

If the site visitor becomes interested, he/she will head over to your Contact Us page. 

Your Contact Page must have the following information and features available:

  • Contact email address.
  • Name of contact person(s).
  • Office number – landline and mobile.
  • Business address.
  • Location map.
  • Client information fill-out form.
  • Fill-out form for questions.
  • Chat support box.

Lastly, always keep the information on the Contact Us page updated. 

VERY IMPORTANT: Provide Value in Return for Opt-ins for Email Addresses

Despite all of these features and pages, a site visitor might not pursue – for now. He/she might need some time to review all of the websites visited, evaluate the findings, and get third-party opinions before making a decision to move forward. 

In the meantime, your website’s opt-in features can contribute to the sales conversion cause by providing value in return for the visitor’s email address. 

Here are a few ideas you can consider to entice your visitors to actively participate in your site’s opt-in features:

  • Free 30-minute consultation.
  • Free estimate.
  • Discount on construction materials.
  • Special invitations to projects that are pre-selling. 
  • Informative e-books and materials about construction, interior design, landscaping, and other related topics. 

Getting your website visitors is one thing. Convincing them that they’ve come to the right place is another. When it comes to your website, it’s all about User Experience.

Conclusion

Designing a website for your construction company is pretty much like designing a house for your client.

You want to design a house that provides for the needs of the client as well as one that best represents who he/she is. When visitors step inside your client’s home, they will say “This house is so you!”

The same can be said for your construction business website. It must be designed to provide for the needs and requirements of your clients and at the same time give the visitor a good idea of who you are; the people behind the company. 

So if you’ve decided to put up a website – give us a call or drop an email. You’re the experts in construction, we’re the experts in designing websites! 

And if you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it with your community.

In Part 2 of the series, we will focus on how to make your website design more relevant and useful to your audience. Effective website design isn’t just about aesthetics and functionality. 

You want one that serves the interests of your audience. You want a website that will resonate with your visitors and make them feel comfortable – and confident – about patronizing your business.

1. The Website Is For Your Audience

We touched on this item briefly in the previous section. However, we feel this point must be addressed in detail because, in our experience, it has become a persistent problem for many clients.

We get it. The website is about your business and you, are your business. It will not do your business any good if the customer cannot see any value in it for him/her. 

A person visits your website because he wants to see if you have the answers to his questions and or problems. If your content only shares information about:

  • Your accomplishments in the industry.
  • Your academic achievements.
  • Your list of high-level clients.
  • The awards you received as a professional,
  • The citations your company received.
  • Business and professional licenses and certifications.

These types of information are impressive and validate your qualifications – but do not provide the answers to the customer’s questions or problems. 

The website is about your customer. It isn’t or shouldn’t be about you. 

A case in point is the “About Us” page.  Yes, the webpage is self-explanatory but writing strictly about you isn’t going to benefit the customer – or you.

Instead of writing about you, write about:

  • The experiences that have given you a great understanding of what your customers go through. 
  • How your skills, knowledge, and experience can help your customers solve their problems. 
  • Your purpose – the “Why” of choosing this career and setting up this type of business. 

Where your logo is located will give customers an idea if your website is about you or about them. 

The most important location for your logo is the home page. If you wish, you can put it on the upper left corner of every page to maintain consistency in design. But if your logo is plastered everywhere – even in small areas on your sidebar – then it becomes like a nuisance ad to your customers. 

Think about your experiences watching a compelling video on YouTube then the “Ad in 5 seconds” warning comes up. 

How do you feel about the brand on the ad? Does it make you feel like patronizing the brand? 

These ads can ruin the customer experience. It’s obviously an attempt by YouTube to sign up for a paid monthly subscription to its channel. Sign up or get annoyed by these ads while watching your videos. 

YouTube can get away with it because it’s the biggest video streaming service on the Internet. If you have a small business website, you have to prioritize the customer experience by designing a website for them – not you. 

2. Your Business Branding

Visuals are very important to your brand. Specifically, your logo. Not only must it be visually appealing but your logo must immediately communicate with your target audience what your business is all about.

Other than the design of your logo, here are 2 other visual elements that can support your business brand:

  • Images – What are your images about? What message will they convey? Will you use stock images or original images? 

The last thing you want is to put your audience into an art gallery and let them figure out what the images are about. You should choose images that support your UVP and are relevant to your business. 

Using unique images is always a good idea. If you choose stock images, another website might have used them already. When it comes to Google’s search ranking algorithm, uniqueness always scores a lot of points.

  • Colors – Psychologists have long theorized that colors affect consumer behavior. According to studies, 62% to 90% of first impressions on a business are influenced by the establishment’s colors. 

Whether you believe in psychology or not, why take chances? You can view it from a position of aesthetics. 

If Psychology dictates Yellow is the best choice for your retail website, let the web designer come out with combinations that meet your satisfaction.

Lastly, your text content. Here are some simple guidelines to keep in mind about writing web copy:

  • Include high-ranking, high-volume keywords in your web copy.
  • Keep your webpage copy short and concise.
  • Write in a conversational tone; avoid using technical jargon. 
  • Review your copy and make sure there are no spelling and grammatical errors.

3. The Design Layout

How would you feel if it took you an hour to find toilet paper in your neighborhood supermarket? Your website should be beautiful and functional – yes – and it should be navigable. 

When a visitor lands on your website, he wants to know where to find what he’s looking for right away. If he can’t find the drop-down menu or if he gets confused about the content on the homepage, trust us, he will leave your website. 

What makes for a good website design layout?

  • Clean and simple layout; use a lot of space by incorporating white with the main colors of your website.
  • Organize the webpage; make sure the CTA buttons and social media sharing icons are easy to find.
  • Follow conventional reader orientation of moving from left to right. 
  • Limit the number of images and text content on the web pages. 

4. The Website’s Calls-to-Action

What do you want your visitors to do when they land on your website? There must be a good reason or a singular purpose why someone would click on your URL. 

Your Call-to-Action or CTA button summarizes the course of action that you want them to take:

  • Buy Now
  • Sign Up For Our Newsletter
  • Click to Get Discounts
  • Shop Now
  • Become a Member Now

The CTA buttons must be definitive. They shouldn’t give the website visitor a moment to second-guess. The command must be clear and to the point – What do you want them to do?

Secondly, the CTA button must be easy to find and strategically located to support the course of action. 

For example, a “Buy Now” CTA button could be located near a video explainer about your products and services. The social media sharing icons could be below the title of the blog or at the bottom of every web page.

5. Website Security

Website security isn’t exactly a design element but if you can’t assure visitors that your site is safe, they might leave right away.

A potential client who clicks on your link and upon arriving at the homepage notices that the URL doesn’t have SSL certificates or the padlock symbol and is marked “Not Secure” might not do business with you. 

SSL certificates encrypt all data that are transmitted from the webserver to the browser. This is especially important for e-commerce websites and other sites that require visitors to provide confidential information. 

Having SSL certificates is a ranking factor for Google. In fact, the search engine giant requires ALL websites – not just e-commerce sites – to have SSL certificates. 

6. Include Social Proof

Social proof is a testimony or review from a third party that your product or service is worth spending money on. 

You can post testimonials from customers who love your products on the homepage as a vanishing slide or as static images. You can post 5-star reviews about your product below the UVP to give your brand a boost. 

Presenting social proof can strongly influence consumer decision-making. It functions as an immediate validation of the quality of your product or service. 

Conclusion

If the Internet is a shopping mall, the websites operating in it are the tenants. It’s not enough just to set one up for your business. To succeed, your website must be easily found and resonate with your target market. 

An effective website is not just beautiful; it must be functional, navigable, and provide all the information a visitor needs. Every time a visitor lands on your website page, that becomes an opportunity to establish a relationship or generate revenue. 

As a professional web designer, there are more than 10 things to consider but the ones listed in this article are enough to give you an idea of the process that goes into developing a website. 

If you want to know more, give us a call or email. We’ll discuss how a website designed by Mountaintop Web Design can help take your business to the next level.

And if you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it with your community!

Website.Protection.CustomersSafe

Your website represents the brand of your business on the Internet. This is where prospective customers go to learn about your company; its products and services and whether you can provide the answers to their questions. 

But your website has competition from other businesses in your industry. The challenge for you is how do you design a website that will make your target market choose you over your competitors?

If you’re planning to put up a website for your business, here are 12 things you have to consider in its design to make it more effective and attract more customers.

Because we wanted to go into more detail, the article will be published in 2 parts. This article will cover the first 6 items you should consider when designing a website for your business. 

1. Mobile Responsiveness Is Top Priority

Making your website mobile responsive should be a top priority. According to a survey conducted by Statista, more than 90% of Internet searches or over 4 billion originated from a mobile device. 

Mobile responsiveness is making your website fit on various screen sizes. If you visit a website from your smartphone and have to zoom-in in order to read its content, then you are not on a mobile responsive website.

A mobile responsive website is one that sets up nicely on screens of various sizes. Think of Facebook. 

The structure of Facebook will look different on your mobile device compared to your PC. But there’s no need to zoom in. When you enter Facebook from a mobile device, the sections of the social media network will break down and stack up vertically. 

You can see all the content – images and text -clearly. You can easily find the buttons to navigate in and around the site. 

If you access Facebook from a laptop or tablet, it will look different from how it’s presented on a smartphone or a PC.

How to go about this is to NOT design the website from the perspective of viewing it from a really large screen. You have to consider how your web pages will set up on a variety of mobile devices and not just the smartphone. 

During the design process, think about creating a website that is functional and navigable for laptops, notebooks, and tablets. 

Likewise, mobile responsiveness is a significant ranking factor of Google. So in order to contend for the search engine giant’s SERP, your website must be accessible to all mobile devices. 

2. Identify Your Target Market

Who will be the primary users of your website? If you’re putting up an e-commerce website to sell fashion apparel, what would be the demographics of your target market? Who your target market is will have an influence on the design of your website. 

For example, if your main product is athleisure wear, then you would want a website design that appeals to a younger demographic. To come up with design ideas, create a Buyer’s profile to learn more about your potential customers. 

If you have a Facebook business page, review its analytics. 

  • Are your followers mostly women or men?
  • What is the predominant age bracket?
  • Which types of content are generating the highest engagement? 

With a bit of information, the website designer will have a good basis for developing mock-ups for you to review. 

3. What is Your Content Management System?

There are many Content Management Systems (CMS) to choose from such as Drupal, Magento, Wix, Squarespace, and JOOMLA. But WordPress appears to be the obvious choice because it’s used by 39.6% of websites on the Internet.

Choosing WordPress as your CMS is an example whereby the popular choice is the best choice. At Mountaintop, WordPress is the CMS we use for our client’s websites for a number of reasons:

  • Preferred by Google.
  • Easy-to-Use, Highly-Intuitive Interface.
  • Website Design is Customizable.
  • Built-in Blogging Platform.
  • Availability of Plug-ins to Improve Functionality.

You simply can’t go wrong with WordPress. And to make sure nothing goes wrong, you can sign up for one of our Extreme WordPress Care plans! 

4. Scalability of Your Website

Since the website is for your business, you must also think big. The obvious goal you have for your business is to grow it, right? Therefore, it only makes sense to prepare your website for future growth by designing a scalable structure. 

In the future – which could be in a few months – business might be so good that you decide to add it to your list of products. 

Your blogs might be generating a high level of traffic that you increase your publishing schedule from 4 postings to 8 postings per month. 

You might decide to increase your business online presence by adding social media platforms or including videos to your web pages.

These are assets that will need more space on your website. If you load up on assets, then you’ll have to consider where to store the data and how often to back them up. 

And WordPress is a CMS that is highly scalable!

Lastly, before you include the latest “fun” piece of technology, think about how that bit of tech can affect the functionality of your website. 

For example, you want to have a video embedded on your website to function as an explainer or a vanishing slideshow that presents testimonials about your products. 

These types of tech are great and deliver the goods as expected but the trade-off is that they will slow down your website. 

A better option would be to set up a YouTube channel with a complete video archive then install the link on your website. 

You can even create a carousel or a playlist on the home page where the visitor can choose the video they want to watch. 

As for the slideshow, we recommend going with static images because moving images can distract the viewer from the more important pieces of information on your website. Plus, static images won’t slow down your website. 

5. The Quality and Effectiveness of Your Content

Content isn’t just the blogs published on a weekly basis or the copy found on the different web pages. It also includes the images and videos used on your site. 

Your website has a message – the Unique Value Proposition (UVP) that answers the “why” of your target market. Thus, your website content must align and support this message. 

Secondly, the site’s content is how it communicates with your audience. The text copy and the images used must connect and resonate with the site visitors. Content must be relevant to the needs and concerns of your market. 

When creating content for your website, always keep in mind that you are the expert, not the customer. The reason why the customer clicked on your website is that he/she wants to learn from you. 

For this reason, write in a conversational manner – avoid using technical jargon. You can’t have a conversation with a person who doesn’t understand what you are talking about. 

The information you provide on your website must be easily understood by someone who doesn’t have experience in your field or by someone who isn’t at your level in terms of knowledge and expertise. 

Lastly, the content must be optimized for search so it can be found by potential customers. Incorporating the principles of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on your website will help it contend for the top ranking in the SERP.

6. Be Open To Feedback

You’re probably happy with how your website is turning out. It looks amazing and the content feels great. However, don’t pat yourself on the back and believe that this is the best website on the Internet. 

Solicit feedback from other people particularly experts in web design, content writing, graphic design, and your customers. 

Feedback is a wonderful source of information because you get inputs from people who view your website from a different filter. 

They are not invested in your website – financially or emotionally. You can be assured of receiving inputs from a clear perspective.                                       

For example, specific content on your website can be misunderstood by your customers. If someone shares an opinion that runs contrary to the intended message of your content, don’t react right away.

Read the specific content that was alluded to. Change your filter and try to view it from a different perspective. You did not intend the information to be received this way but remember that people read content from different perspectives. 

After you’ve evaluated the content and have come to an understanding of the differing position, try to come up with a version that will reduce the risk of the message getting misinterpreted.

Conclusion

In the second part of this article, we will discuss the remaining 6 things that you have to consider when designing a website for your business. 

If the first part dealt mostly with the technical aspects of web design, the second part will focus more on how to make your website more relevant and useful to your audience. 

And if our first 6 points already got you excited about setting up a website, give us a call and we’ll take you through the next 6 AND help you get started in getting your website up and running. 

Feel free to share this article with your community as well as with anyone who is planning to put up a website. 

WebsiteSecurity.Protection.Monitoring

For more than a decade, UpCity’s mission has been—and continues to be—to help businesses find B2B service providers they can trust. The UpCity Recommendability Rating was developed to determine a service provider’s credibility and recommendability, giving UpCity the confidence to recommend them to the more than 1.5 million businesses that visit their site. 

Each year, UpCity analyzes and scores more than 70,000 service providers based on their UpCity Recommendability Rating and acknowledges the top national and local providers with an UpCity Excellence Award. The results are in, and we won!

We are ecstatic to announce that the Mountaintop Web Design team has been recognized as one of the top B2B service providers of 2021 in the Denver area by UpCity! 

Mountaintop Web Design offers a full suite of digital marketing services to our clients around the globe. Many small businesses lack the time and expertise to build marketing that works. We have developed solutions that get your business found so that you can quit worrying and start growing your business. 

Mark Tepper, SVP of Sales & Customer Success at UpCity, had this to say about Mountaintop Web Design:

“Mountaintop Web Design loves when their customers succeed and accomplish a new goal; they thrive on it. This drive to do more and be more is how Mountaintop Web Design was able to achieve the UpCity Excellence Award.”

– Mark Tepper, SVP of Sales & Customer Success

This recognition has been driven in large part by our 5-star review rating on UpCity. Here are a few of our favorite pieces of feedback we’ve received from our incredible customers:

“I have been very pleased with Josiah and his team. He was very responsive – actually impressed me how quickly he responded every time! His team worked well with us every step of the way to pretty much redo our entire website. Offered great suggestions when needed. They made the little tweaks I wanted until I got it just how I wanted it. I’d highly recommend them and will continue to do business with them in the future!”

-Rayna McGill, Mountaintop Web Design customer

“Josiah and his team did fantastic work in helping my company with a website overhaul. From my initial meeting with MWD, I was confident they were going to be able to help me achieve exactly what I was looking to accomplish. Josiah was able to answer all my questions and was also able to ask the appropriate questions to help me craft and create exactly what my company needed from a website. We’ve maintained their service package and they’ve been able to help us keep everything updated on our site and running without any major disruptions. I would highly recommend MWD for your website needs!”

-Brad Schoenthaler, Mountaintop Web Design customer

At Mountaintop, we take pride in giving our clients the best value for their money. We don’t just craft digital marketing strategies and websites, but we help clients save money along the way. Thank you to the UpCity team and our Mountaintop Web Design customers for this tremendous award and honor. 

For sure you’ve read all the stories about the number of businesses around the world that have closed down because of the economic effects of the global pandemic. 

The media tends to report more “gloom and doom” because it sells. The truth is, there were a good number of businesses that made money – even generated record-setting profits during the lockdown.

What was the common denominator among these businesses? They all invested in building an online presence and the foundation of their Internet-based model is the website. 

How The Pandemic Highlighted The Need For A Website 

If there’s a lesson that can be learned from the global pandemic that put even the world’s most powerful economies on lockdown, it’s the importance of having a presence on the Internet for your business. 

While many brick and mortar businesses closed down, those that invested in e-commerce and simple business websites continued to ring in the cash registers. 

Think about it. When you needed food and supplies delivered to your home, all you had to do was place your orders at an e-commerce website or arrange for home delivery via a courier app. 

And when economies opened – it didn’t change anything. 

Many people still preferred to stay at home to work or run errands through the Internet. People discovered that working from home was not just more convenient – it was also more productive.

Of course, the threat of getting infected remains real. More so now that the virus has mutated into 2 strains as of this writing: the United Kingdom and South African variants.

The combination of these factors has led to a surge in online spending. Here‘s a shortlist of countries that experienced an increase in e-commerce transactions at the time of the new normal:

  • United States – 18%
  • Russia – 45%
  • Brazil – 66%
  • Mexico – 79%

Analysts expect a significant increase in the volume of online traffic in the United States as the rate of infections continues to climb. 

If you don’t have a website, the good news is – it’s not too late to set up one for your business. Consumer behavior has changed. Your business has to accommodate changes in consumer behavior to survive the new normal.

10 Reasons Why Your Small Business Needs A Website In 2021

A survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management COVID-19 response revealed the following results on how the pandemic has changed the business environment:

  • 43% of respondents started to rethink their business strategies.
  • 32% of respondents focused on finding new ways to deliver products and services.
  • 22% of respondents have asked their employees to learn new skills that are transferable to the business.

Having a website ticks off all the boxes. 

It’s a new business strategy that gives you another avenue for delivering products and services to your customers and generate income. To maximize the benefits of having a website, you’ll have to learn new skills such as SEO, Social Media Marketing, email marketing, and content writing.

Sure, engaging in social media marketing is great for promoting your business. However, when it comes to running an online business, the website should be the cornerstone of your strategy.

Here are 10 reasons why your small business should have a website in 2021.

1. Hedge Your Business Versus Uncertainty

The threat of a lockdown is still there despite the availability of vaccines. The virus can still mutate and more study needs to be done on the effectiveness of the vaccines that are currently being used. 

If you don’t have a website, what will you do if another lockdown happens because COVID-19 mutated into a deadlier, more infectious strain? 

With a website, your business is protected versus uncertainty. If another lockdown is mandated by the government, you can get a good night’s sleep knowing that your business has another address on the Internet. 

2. Keep Your Business Open 24/7

The mall and commercial office spaces have closing hours. The Internet doesn’t. Long after you’ve locked up the doors of your establishment, your website remains open to attend to the needs of your customers. 

Your website can still accept and process orders for your merchandise. Are you a consultant or a service provider? Your potential customers can still book appointments on your website. 

Lockdowns, weekends, and holidays won’t matter either because your website will remain open 24/7. 

If customers place their orders on a Sunday, you’re already assured of business on Monday. All you have to do is to deliver the goods first thing Monday morning!

3. Accommodate the Needs of Your Customers

According to a study conducted by Omdia, Internet usage has increased by 70% since the pandemic. Omdia which is the research arm of Informa Tech believes that the surge in Internet usage is clear proof that consumer behavior has changed.

Consumers preferring to transact online is no longer a trend – it’s the current reality. 

And having a website is not only for people who want to buy. People have different reasons for clicking on a URL:

  • Request for customer assistance or support
  • Learn more about the company
  • Read your blogs
  • Research relevant information to address a specific need
  • Find out the products and services that you offer
  • Conduct competitor research
  • Find out the location of your store(s)
  • Find out your contact information

A website will make work and life easier for your customer. It will accommodate the changing behavior of consumers. 

4. Competition Has Gone Online

With so many businesses closing down, you might think there’s less competition. On the contrary, competition has become tighter. 

Customers have become more discerning about their choices in order to get more value out of their money. You’ll need to have every advantage over your competitor. And if you don’t have a website, your competitors have a big advantage over you!

Given the increased amount of time spent by consumers online, you can be assured that more small businesses are realigning their budgets to fund their websites. 

Your potential end-users are all searching for information on the Internet from their mobile devices. If you don’t have a URL, you’ll never be found. 

5. Level the Playing Field With the Big Boys

The Big Boys in Business – Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba – all made money during the pandemic. Likewise, other big companies that were in struggling industries such as Fender and Gibson guitars, earned record-setting revenues. 

They survived and made money because the Big Boys invested in e-commerce websites. Their customers were able to place orders safely and conveniently from their homes while on lockdown. 

A website will level the playing field with the Big Boys. If you’re a retailer of guitars but your products are priced competitively, you might drive customers away from Fender and toward your e-commerce website. 

If you’re a retailer of consumer goods and electronics of the same brands sold by Walmart or Amazon but have a wider selection of budget brands, more people may prefer to do business with you. 

Keep in mind that with the continued innovations in digital technology, more consumers will be dependent on their mobile devices to conduct research before purchasing. 

It’s no longer automatic for the Big Boys to generate a sale. In the end, consumers want more value for their money.

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6. Capitalize on Opportunities

Think about this scenario.

You’re in the business of making homemade jam, jellies, honey, and condiments that are sourced from local, indigenous materials. Someone comes across your website and sends you an inquiry – if you can export to the European market. 

These are opportunities that happen every day on the Internet because the businesses are discovered through their website. 

When you’re operating 24/7 in a market where close to 5 Billion people are constantly searching for information, engaging with businesses, and sharing opinions, opportunities will always exist. 

7. Find New Customers

If your business is located inside a mall or a commercial building, the bulk of your market will consist of consumers residing within a 5-mile radius. 

But if you’re on the Internet, there are no jurisdictions to worry about. Any consumer or business that has access to the Internet and has a need for your products and services can become your new customer.

On the  Internet, there are no barriers or walls or closing hours. Your marketing efforts will not be limited to a locality. Your digital marketing campaigns can reach a wider audience. 

You can reach customers who have not heard of your products. If they like what they’ve read or heard about your products, you have the potential of creating new customers in different markets. 

8. Professionalize Your Business

If you think having social media pages is enough to properly represent your business, the majority of your customers will disagree with you.

A survey by Verisign showed that 84% of consumers shared the opinion that a business with a website is more credible than a business with just social media. 

A website is a one-stop-shop for consumers who want to know more about your business and the products or services that you offer. The standard website has 5 web pages with each one having a specific function.

  • Home – Contains the Brand Value Proposition; “Why we offer the best solutions for your needs/concerns/problems”
  • About Us – Gives the visitor unique insights about the people behind the company; builds familiarity and confidence that there are real people running the business.
  • Products and Services – A virtual showroom of the products and services offered by the company. 
  • Blog – Provides the visitor with fresh, unique, and engaging content developed to highlight the expertise and value of the company.
  • Contact Us – Provides all the information needed to reach out and connect with the company. Your website will be fitted with buttons that can improve sales conversion and generate valuable leads you can use email marketing:
  • CTA Button – What do you want the visitor to do? “Buy Now – Click Here!”
  • Sign Up Button – Capture leads by enticing visitors to sign up for monthly newsletters in exchange for their email addresses. 
  • Social Sharing Buttons – Make it easier for site visitors to share your blogs on their social media pages.

9. Increase Customer Engagement

A website can also be used to increase customer engagement. Oftentimes, a customer might visit a website to address a particular issue. 

The customer will go to the “Contact Us” page which provides him with various means to get in touch with the company:

  • Phone Number
  • Fill-Out Form
  • Email Address
  • Chat Support

With a website, customers no longer have to be “put on hold”. They have different ways to relay their problem or concern.  If both phone and chat support have a queue, the customer can opt to send an email or fill out a form.

This is a great way of mollifying an irate customer! 

The next step is to address the concern within 24 to 48 hours. Even if you can’t arrive at a resolution, at the very least keep the customer informed and updated.

 10. Support Your Brick-and-Mortar Business

Another way to view the website is that it’s like having a second branch of your brick-and-mortar business. Only this time, it’s located on the Internet and not inside a commercial establishment. 

With a website, you have a second source of revenue. Customers who are located far from your business will have the option of buying online rather than be inconvenienced by the long drive. 

Your business website will remain open whether it’s snowing hard outside or if your city is experiencing inclement weather. 

In fact, if weather conditions are too risky to go out, you can keep your brick-and-mortar store closed and just direct customers to your website via multiple high traffic social media channels.

Conclusion

We can all agree on one thing.

Business today is more uncertain than ever. 

When faced with uncertainty, you need to have more options. A website will give your business multiple options that you can use to overcome the various challenges coming your way.

If there’s another lockdown or if people continue to prefer working from home, your website will give them the most convenient and easiest way to reach you. On your part, you continue to generate income for your business.

Promote your products via social media but give your followers a venue they can visit to learn more about your business – the website – where you can generate leads, build an audience, and potentially convert interest into sales. 

Assure your customers that you’re concerned about their satisfaction and value their opinions by creating multiple points of contact between you and them through your website. 

If 2020 was a disappointing year for you, let 2021 be the turnaround year. 

Get a website for your business right now!

Give us a call or send us an email and we’ll set up a mobile-responsive and optimized website for your business. We can do different types of websites to suit your business needs. 

And if you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it with your community.

When designing web pages for your site, it’s essential to understand that different goals require different solutions. So, if you’re putting together a landing page, you’ll want to optimize it for conversions. Creating product review pages, on the other hand, calls for a different approach.

Instead of adopting a sales-oriented tone, these online assets must remain objective and informative. That is, they need to offer value to your customers. More importantly, they have to include different trust signals to be considered a reputable source of information and shopping advice.

With this in mind, it becomes evident that product review pages need a unique, user-centric strategy for them to be effective. The following are some of the top tips for putting together pages that inspire trust and conversions.

1.  Be Diligent About Research

The first tip for creating product review pages is to be extremely careful when conducting research. Seeing that these types of pages are supposed to present you as an authority on a subject, the last thing you want is to be giving your customers poor shopping advice.

For this reason, you will need to go above and beyond when studying your product recommendations. If you’re searching on Amazon, the biggest problem you need to be aware of will be the (many) fake reviews. To avoid these, you can use a tool such as ReviewMeta, but relying on your deductive skills will do in most cases.

Another faux pas would be to collect information from anywhere but reputable sources. Yes, you should definitely start with official website data. But take everything with a grain of salt, as they’re very likely to sugarcoat each selling point. If you don’t have the opportunity to try a product out for yourself, your safest bet will be to look at actual user experiences. Look either on niche forums, Reddit threads, or YouTube reviews. This way, you won’t be giving poor advice to people who put their trust in you.

2.  Source Ratings from Authority Websites

Another great tip for creating product review pages is to take actual user reviews into consideration and give your readers easy access to various opinions.

Most website building platforms allow for integrations and plugins. So, the easiest way to display actual user reviews on your website would be to source them from Trustpilot, Reviews.io, or Google. If you have the means, you can also enable web visitors to leave direct reviews on your website. This is sure to add a whole new dimension to your content.

RunningShoesGuru, for example, invites readers to leave comments and ratings on their posts. The opportunity allows buyers to share their opinions. All the while, interested consumers get the chance to go deeper into the characteristics of each shoe.

Source: runningshoesguru.com

3.  Include Multimedia Content

Although words are great at describing most types of products, consumers undoubtedly prefer visual and auditory content. Not only is it quicker to consume, but it also allows for better understanding – especially when it comes to complicated, highly-technical concepts.

With this in mind, adding multimedia to your product review pages is a natural decision if you’re after great UX. It’s very likely to boost content engagement and positively impact your conversions, considering how beneficial videos and images can be to websites.

Now, the best possible course of action for using multimedia would be to create your own. There’s a good reason why YouTube channels like JerryRigEverything are popular. It’s because they offer original and informative content that’s based on real-life experience.

However, you may not have that kind of production capacity available to you. In these cases, you can add copyright-free images to your posts. Still, make sure you’re using high-quality pictures and that you’re crediting the original publisher.

4.  Include Educational Content

Seeing that product review pages often make a part of one’s content marketing strategy, it’s an excellent idea to use them as a way to share your insight with readers.

For one, this will give context to your reviews, ensuring that each of your website visitors has a sufficient command of the subject before making a purchase decision. But, perhaps, more importantly, adding educational text to these assets will make a great addition to your SEO strategy. It will drive organic traffic and cement your site’s position as an authority on the subject.

Taking this into consideration, explore the best ways to structure and write your articles. Pay attention to keyword use and readability. Additionally, consider breaking long paragraphs up into bulleted lists. Furthermore, in line with the advice we’ve given here, add plenty of images or videos to your pages, as you can see in the example by InductionPros. This will make them as digestible as possible, which will ensure that readers stay on to read the full text.

Source: inductionpros.com

5.  Showcase a Variety of Criteria

Of course, while text and images do great on product review pages, don’t forget that you will need to go into a bit more detail. With this in mind, do not shy away from providing technical information. Moreover, try to put together lists of pros and cons for each product.

If possible, add filtering and sorting options to your pages to allow readers to find their ideal product more easily. Or categorize the items you’re reviewing in different manners.

For example, this page from Top Fitness Magazine categorizes rowing machines based on price range. They do this knowing that their readers will likely need to take costs into consideration when making a buying decision.

Source: topfitnessmag.com

You don’t necessarily have to go into much detail, as long as you know that your customers have a basic knowledge of the products you’re describing. This page by TechRadar, for example, simplifies the decision-making process by offering only the essential information. This way, it avoids tiring consumers with too much information and urges them to make a purchase sooner rather than later.

Source: techradar.com

6.  Provide Multiple Purchase Links

Last but not least, if you’re linking to marketplaces other than your own, it’s highly recommended that you allow your customers to choose between stores.

The most valuable thing you get from including a variety of purchase links on your product review pages will be transparency. This will be the key aspect of gaining consumers’ trust and becoming their go-to when looking for shopping advice.

For an example of how you can achieve this on your website, take a look at the product comparison pages on OutdoorGearLab. You’ll see that products are smartly displayed in a table for easy viewing, with each one including two to three links to various online shops. Thanks to this solution, consumers can not only compare prices. They can also take shipping costs and times into considerations to get the ideal service for their needs.

Source: outdoorgearlab.com

Conclusion

As you can see, there’s plenty to take into consideration when creating product review pages. On the whole, the most significant ingredient for success is going to be user experience.

So, try to approach the design and writing process from the consumer’s point of view. Do your absolute best to provide valuable information that will turn your website into a credible resource. This way, you’ll be on your way to becoming not just an authority but also a successful business that rests on helping buyers find the perfect products for their needs.

Once you’ve set up a website, the next step is to drive traffic through digital marketing. We can assure you with 100% certainty that a strategic, well-thought-out digital marketing campaign WILL bring people to your website. The bigger problem is when people land on your website, what would you want them to do?

Entrepreneurs are often so focused on blogs, videos, and images as the primary forms of content that they overlook one essential element of web copy – a button that can deliver the desired results. 

This button is called the Call-to-Action (CTA) button; a key feature of your website that tells the visitor what you want them to do upon landing on the page. 

The CTA button is small in size and does not occupy a lot of real estate on your website. But when properly designed and located, the CTA button can yield big results for your business.

Call-To-Action: What Is It Really?

A Call-to-Action is a command, instruction, or a specific course of action that you want the audience to take. On a website, the CTA is typically presented as a button, usually on the home page which is the landing page when someone clicks on its URL. 

In website design, all the elements of a webpage must work together. For a home page, the Header carries the business’ Brand Value Proposition (BVP). 

As we discussed in our article “One Simple Hack to Get More Website Engagement”, a Header that captures the interest of the visitor within 6 to 8 seconds is critical to cause the visitor to explore your website.

He may scroll down and find your CTA button. The next few seconds will determine if the visitor will move further down the sales funnel – or abandon the search and click out of your website.

The CTA button must answer this question:

“What do you want the visitor to do NOW?”

Why You Need A Clear-Cut CTA On Your Website

Let’s assume you’re really hungry and badly craving a burger and fries. You enter a restaurant with a slogan (think of it as the website Header) of serving the biggest, juiciest burgers in the world. 

When you enter the restaurant, you have no clue where to sit and how to order. No one’s attending to you and there are no signs on the entrance detailing the next steps. 

With your stomach grumbling, chances are, you’ll forego the biggest and juiciest burgers in the world and just opt for the regular, fast-food burger next door – perhaps 2 or 3 orders this time!

A vague, lackluster, and drab CTA will have the same effect on a potential customer who lands on your home page.

We defined CTA as a form of command or instruction and these descriptions might seem too forceful or aggressive. But an effective CTA is one that is crystal clear; there’s no second-guessing on the action you want the website visitor to take. 

With a consumer needing only a few seconds to make a decision, you can’t afford to be cute with your CTA. It has to grab the visitor by the collar, get in his face, and tell him with absolute certainty what he needs to do next. 

If your CTA is unclear and leaves the website visitor wondering what he’s supposed to do next, he will leave and you will end up leaving money on the home page. 

Examples Of Good And Bad CTAs

Let’s start out this section by giving you examples of CTAs that won’t get the job done for your website:

  • Learn More
  • Get Started
  • Ask Me How
  • Take Part in the Journey
  • Click to Believe

These CTAs will fail to deliver because they’re ambiguous to the visitor. It’s not clear how taking the action will help the visitor find the solution to his concern. The CTA does not convince the visitor that you’re the answer. 

A CTA might as well be called Compel to Action because that’s what you want the button to do – act or move according to your command.

Why? Because by following the instruction of the CTA, the visitor will find what he’s looking for. Whether it’s solutions, answers, or information – by clicking on your CTA button, he will get it.

Here are 10 examples of effective CTAs that will compel the visitor to act:

  • Buy Now
  • Book an Appointment
  • Sign Up For Free
  • Get 1 Month Free NOW
  • Click for FREE Access
  • Click for FREE Consultation
  • Get Free Estimate Now
  • Download Free Copy
  • Claim Your Free Gift
  • Click For BIG Discounts

When you go over these examples, the CTAs are crystal clear on what they want you to do.

How do these CTAs work or deliver results for your website?

Example 1: A Pharmaceutical Company that sells insecticides and disinfectant products engineered to kill mosquitos, cockroaches, other insects, and green chemicals proven to destroy a wide spectrum of bacteria and viruses.

Header: Keeping Homes and Offices Safe From Diseases, Bacteria, and Viruses For Over 50 Years.

CTA: Buy Now

Example 2: A roof repair company with extensive experience fixing leaks and other forms of damage.

Header: One-Stop Shop For All Your Roofing Needs

CTA: Book An Appointment

As you can see, the CTA is aligned with the Header and the company’s overall value proposition. It answers the question:

“What can we do for you?”

Answer – Click our CTA!

6 Rules For Creating A Good CTA For Your Website

Creating a CTA that works wonders for your website is not as hard as you might think. Here are 6 rules you need to keep in mind when coming up with a good CTA for your website.

1. Support the Header

Yes, we’ve mentioned this quite a few times in this article. But it’s worth stating again the importance of having a CTA that clearly aligns with your Header. The CTA must help push the visitor further down the sales funnel.

2. Be Bold and Clear

A General isn’t vague when he gives the Private an order to “drop 10”. The Private has to drop down right away and knock out a set of 10 push-ups. 

With the CTA you have to be bold and tell the visitor what you want him to do. Buy, sign up, try, subscribe, claim, or download – be clear in telling the visitor what he needs to do next.

3. Make it Emphatic

Assume that the visitor who landed on your page wants a solution NOW. He clicked on the right URL, it’s up to your CTA to push him to act by creating a sense of urgency. 

4. Keep it Short

If you noticed from our examples of good CTAs, the maximum word count is 4. Can you go over? Sure, but it should not compromise the effectiveness of the 3 previously discussed tips for a good CTA. Too many words and the message can get lost. 

5. Visually Appealing Design

The CTA should stand out on the webpage. Ideally, it must be brightly-colored and creates a wonderful contrast with the background. 

6. Location Must Be Visible

The CTA usually comes after the Header. It must be clearly seen and easily identifiable to the reader. The font size must be large enough to be visible with enough spacing between the words to make it highly-readable.

Conclusion

If your website isn’t delivering results, the CTA could be the problem. We recommend to our clients that they run A/B testing among possible CTAs to have an idea which one has the best chance of generating the desired outcome. 

The CTA accentuates your sales pitch to the visitor. Take your time in coming up with one for your website. 

Better yet, give us a call and we’ll create a CTA that will meet your business goals. We’ll run the A/B tests so we can assure you that our CTA is the right choice for your website.

And if you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it with your community.

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When someone clicks on your URL, he will end up on your website’s Home page. The first 6 seconds after a visitor lands on your Home page is crucial. In that space of time, he will decide on whether to explore your content or click out. 

Of course, you want him to stay. The longer the time spent on your website, the better the chances of achieving your goal. He could read your blogs, find out more about your business on the About Us page, or check out the list of products available on your e-commerce portal. 

The question is: How can you make the visitor stay longer and generate more website engagement?

One simple hack to get more website engagement is to add a slider to your Home page.

What Is A Slider?

It’s sometimes referred to as a “carousel” or a “slideshow” because a slider is in a constant state of motion. A slider runs a series of images that give the visitor an idea of what the website is about. 

Images that are well-conceptualized and thought-out are effective vehicles for your message. Visuals, whether static images or videos resonate faster to the viewer compared to text. 

For this reason, a slider is located at the Home page which is the primary landing page of your website. 

To find out more about a slider, read our article “Why a Slider Image on Your Website is More Important Than Your Logo”.

What Kind Of Slider Would Deliver Best Results For Your Website?

Visit any website with a slider and you’ll see different ways in which it’s used on the Home page. 

On an e-commerce website, a slider is used to present a number of its most popular products. Click on a real estate website and you’ll see the houses that the agency is offering on the market. 

A business that deals in a service such as consulting may have testimonial videos on the carousel. 

At Mountaintop, we recommend the use of a slider on the Home page. It will definitely capture the attention of the visitor and get him to stay on your website longer. 

We have done different types of slides for our clients. Based on analytics, the slider has definitely helped our clients achieve their marketing goals. 

However, there is one type of slider that works better than others. 

Our One Simple Hack To Get More Website Engagement

To get the best results and generate more active visitor engagement, your website should only use one image for its slider.

You can easily get over-excited with the idea of running a carousel that features a lot, if not all, of your top-selling products. The more the merrier, right?

Not when it comes to website functionality and marketing purposes.

Clients often give us a puzzled look when we advise them that one image on the slider is all they need to generate greater website engagement. We understand their viewpoint because they have different products to offer. 

However, based on our experience and on the performances of clients who followed our advice, one slider is all you need. 

Why does one slider work the best for your website?

1. Multiple Slider Images Will Slow Down Your Website

High-resolution images are more compelling and enticing to website visitors. However, high-resolution images consume a lot of bandwidth and will slow down your website. 

Likewise, if you use large-sized, high-resolution images then scale them down, this can lead to the webpage increasing unnecessarily in size and slow down your website’s speed. 

Rather than have 3 to 6 high-resolution images rotating on your slider, just have one high-resolution image. According to Yoast, website visitors tend to click on the first image only. Thus, having multiple images may not carry out their intended purpose.

2. Multiple Images Create Multiple Messages

The header plays a very crucial role in your website. It’s the first thing the visitor sees when he lands on your website. 

The header is located at the top of the webpage. On your Home page, the header includes the logo and the categories of the pages on your site such as “About Us”, “Contact Us”, “Blogs”, and “Products and Services”.

But the key function of the header is to captivate the visitor with your website’s Brand Value Proposition. With only a few words, the BVP can tell the visitor who you are, what your business is about, and why you offer the best solutions to his problems. 

A slider is an effective way of reinforcing the message of your BVP. As you know, how images are interpreted is a matter of perception. Thus, having multiple images can create multiple interpretations that deviate from the main message of your BVP. 

At Mountaintop, we go over all the images with our clients and choose one image that best represents the business and captures the BVP on the header.

3. Multiple Sliders May Affect Your Site’s Search Rankings

From a professional web designer’s perspective, having multiple images on your slider can create havoc on the webpage.

The position of the slider and the amount of real estate the images occupy tend to push content further down the page. An image slider can be so big that it can occupy the entire space of your webpage. 

A site visitor may not come across content until after the fold and this may lead to a no-so-pleasant experience. Likewise, image sliders may not set up well on mobile screens and affect its level of responsiveness. 

As you well know, Google is big on user experience and if your site presents functionality problems, the search engine giant may penalize you in the search rankings. 

4. Messaging Is Clearer And More Focused

We touched on the value of clear messaging briefly in #2 but we feel it’s important to devote a section about the key role your header plays on the website. 

When you’re at the newsstand, what compels you to choose one newspaper over another? The headline, right? A headline that’s catchy and enticing enough to make you want to read through the entire newspaper will influence your choice of publication. 

The decision-making process only takes mere seconds. 

The same can be said about the header of your website. If you have an e-commerce website, your header should compel the visitor to buy your products. If you have a business website that offers consulting services, you want the header to entice the visitor to hire your company. 

A person clicks on your URL because he thinks your website may offer the answers he needs. However, if all he sees on your Home page is a collection of text that has no meaning or relevance for his purpose on clicking on your URL, he will leave. 

The header must offer the visitor something clear and tangible. What will the visitor get if he decides to choose your business? That is your BVP – clear, resonant, and will not cause the reader to second guess.

The slider can support your header – if the image is aligned with the message of the BVP. 

For example, you own a bakery that sells freshly-baked Red Velvet cupcakes online. Your header has the following BVP:

“Order Now For the Best Oven-Fresh Red Velvet Cupcakes You’ll Ever Have.”

Now, if your slider ran images of cakes, croissants, pies, salads, and Club sandwiches along with the Red Velvet cupcakes, the site visitor may get confused and distracted from your message.

Will he buy your other products? Probably not because he clicked on your URL for your cupcakes. 

The best approach would be to use one slider image – that of the signature Red Velvet cupcake – and offer a pullout menu for the other items you sell.

Conclusion

Despite the opinions of its naysayers, the slider is an effective addition to your website. Have it placed on the Home page to support the BVP on the header and watch your website’s engagement levels blow up!

The keys to the effectiveness of the slider are to use only one high-resolution image and to make sure the image is relevant and best represents your site’s BVP. 

If you’re thinking of using a slider for your website, give us a call and we’ll give you more insights on how to make it work wonders for your business. 

And if you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it with your community.

WebsiteSecurity.Protection.Monitoring

What makes a website successful? What metric determines whether a company’s central online representative does the job it was designed to do?

That’s a surprisingly easy question to answer. A successful website gets the visitor to do what the site owner wants them to do.

This is called “conversion.” The term most typically refers to converting a visitor into a paying customer, but there are other types of conversion as well. For instance, if a website offers a newsletter, a conversion also occurs when a visitor subscribes to the mailing list.

There are many ways that smart visual design can improve conversion, and you can implement these without much fuss. In this article, we’re going to take a look at four of our favorite design-based conversion rate optimization strategies.

Just a quick note before we get started: all of these design tips relate to web pages where the conversion call to action (CTA) is placed. 

1. Get Rid of Unnecessary Distractions

You want your visitors’ eyes to fall on the UI elements that promote conversion. This means doing away with distractive clutter.

An important part of this trend is embracing negative space. Don’t be afraid to leave large sections of visual real estate empty. 

Your primary goals are to:

  • Communicate the reasons why a visitor needs to convert.
  • Make the CTA mechanism as clear as possible.

Have a look at what Lyft does on their “Sign up to drive” page. Their goal is clear. They want potential drivers to provide their mobile numbers. The page is a textbook case of design simplicity. Visitors instantly know what’s expected of them. They don’t have to wade through walls of text to understand the signup process. 

Source: lyft.com

What’s more, Lyft resisted the temptation to show distracting imagery on this page. There’s a message explaining what they want from the visitor, a conversion CTA, and virtually nothing else. 

2. Use Multiple CTAs

This tactic is especially useful for affiliate marketing sites, where visitors typically interact with a ton of information. 

Most product-review pages use CTAs that redirect visitors to the retailer’s product page, where the actual transaction happens. A design trend that’s becoming increasingly popular is to offer a summarized view of all the products, along with their respective CTAs, at the top of the screen. 

This way, visitors don’t have to go through the hassle of reading every line of text on the page before clicking through to a page where you can earn your commission.

BestSpy is a site that nails this tactic. Take a look at this page as an example. As you can expect with an affiliate site, there’s a lot of info on each product being reviewed. In the past, the trend was to follow the introduction with the reviews themselves, each with their own CTA.

What BestSpy did here was to include a handy visual element of five products, each under a heading that differentiates them from one another. They’ve also included a very concise comparison matrix for the same purpose.

Source: bestspy.co.uk

Essentially, BestSpy understands that some visitors don’t need to read every single line of text before making a decision. For some, just a quick comparison is all that’s required.

3. Be Very Clear About Value

Telling a visitor about how qualified your staff is or how much research went into developing your product will go a long way towards buying credibility. But is buying credibility the primary goal of your conversion page?

Wherever you have a conversion-focused CTA, you need to communicate what value you bring to your customers. Value isn’t the quality of your support staff. Value isn’t the number of subscription options you offer your potential customers.

Value is how you are going to solve their pain point. If your visitor notices only one thing on your conversion page, this should be it. If someone asks them: “What is it that this company does?” they need to be able to recite the answer without giving it a second thought. The design of your conversion page should support this level of clarity.

OptinMonster is a terrific example of a site that communicates value concisely and clearly. Their homepage has a clear CTA that takes visitors to the signup page. Directly above this CTA is a large headline that simply reads: “Convert and Monetize Your Website Traffic.” How easy is that to understand and remember?

Source: optinmonster.com

4. Give Credibility to Your Social Proof

Most e-commerce sites understand the importance of social proof. Illustrating that other customers have purchased your product and are happy with it is critical to improving conversion rates.

However, many designers are beginning to realize that shoppers need to see some form of proof that reviews and testimonials are authentic. 

One of our favorite ways of generating confidence in social proof is to show the number of reviewers who left a star rating for a specific product. Amazon is undoubtedly the best example of how to do this right. Their star ratings are displayed not only on the product pages themselves but also in category pages and search results.

Source: amazon.com

Wherever a product, or a link to a product, appears, you’ll find its star rating along with the number of people who contributed. The larger the number, the more confidence your visitor will have in the review aggregation.

In Closing

Web design plays a critical role in driving conversions, whether you’re selling a product or harvesting email addresses. Web pages that want visitors to do something specific must bear this in mind. 

On these pages, form is in the service of function. Always think about content and layout from your visitor’s perspective. This is the cornerstone of improving your conversion rates.

When you have a WordPress website for your business, it’s easy to fall into complacency. After all, a WordPress website can do everything for your business. WordPress has the best Content Management System (CMS) to help build your brand. You might have chatbots or an outsourced remote team to manage customer service. Your e-commerce portal assures you that the cash registers can ring 24/7 and a database that collects valuable customer information. 

With all of these benefits – and more – you’d think people would be more strict when it comes to backing up their WordPress website. One slip is all it will take to set your business back and cost you several years of hard work. 

Why Do You Need To Backup Your WordPress Website?

It’s human nature for us not to think of the worst-case scenarios. Let’s take, for example, medical insurance. Not many people think they would ever acquire a form of life-threatening disease or debilitating health condition. 

So they set aside the need for any type of medical insurance; viewing it as an expense not an investment to their future health and well-being. 

Only when they get afflicted with a condition that requires hospitalization and a slew of medications do they realize they should have gotten medical insurance. The lack of foresight has led to a situation where they have to deal with serious threats to their physical and financial health. 

Think of backing up your WordPress website as a form of insurance that functions to protect your business from future attacks and other potential risks.

If you don’t have protection now, it will be too late to retrieve your data and other assets if your WordPress website gets hacked. 

How serious should you take the threat of hacking? 

Here are 3 statistics that should raise your level of concern about hacking:

  • 30,000 – The number of websites hacked every day
  • 75 – The number of records stolen by hackers every second.
  • 39 – The number of seconds it takes to launch a hack every day

Some cyber-security experts warn that it’s not a question of “if” but “when” your website will get hacked. Unless you take the threat of hacking seriously, your website could be a statistic waiting to happen.

How Often Should You Backup Your WordPress Website?

Keeping your security protocols updated is a good idea. But backing up your website data is a process that is often overlooked by entrepreneurs. 

So how often should you backup your WordPress website?

Generally, the rule of thumb is that whenever you update or introduce changes to your website, you should immediately run a WordPress backup. 

Updates and changes to a WordPress website may include the following:

  • Update to the version of WordPress
  • Theme updates
  • Plug-in updates
  • Changes in the site’s programming
  • Publishing a new blog
  • Adding an infographic
  • Adding videos
  • Adding audio files

Chances are, updating the version of WordPress, the theme variation, and plug-ins don’t happen daily. The same can be said for changes in your site’s programming. 

These updates – or upgrades – only happen upon notice or after a site audit has been done by your website manager. In these situations, the backup is done after the changes have been implemented. 

However, if your website is active, performing WordPress website backups should be more frequent.

For example, to increase search rankings, you decide to implement a blogging strategy that requires you to post new content 16 times a month. This type of blogging schedule translates into a posting frequency of 4 times a week. 

Given such activity, we recommend performing a WordPress website backup every time you post a new blog – 4 times a week.

The same can be said if your WordPress website experiences a high level of engagement from its visitors. 

For example, if you have an e-commerce site that encourages customers to post product reviews, testimonials, and comments. Or if your WordPress website that regularly has forms filled out – these are interactions that are automatically stored in your site’s database.

At this activity level, backups have to be performed on a daily basis – or more!

If you just let out a groan – think of the alternative. 

If your website gets hacked and you did not perform a backup prior to the hack, then you will have to repost the content that was lost. Worse, you might have to rewrite and then, repost all of your previous content. 

The problem would be much greater for e-commerce sites and other types of websites that collect confidential information from customers. Not only will your website be branded as “untrustworthy” but you face the risk of customers going after you.

A single hack might be the end of your business.

Don’t worry about the tediousness of performing a WordPress website backup. It is not hard or time-consuming at all!

How To Perform A WordPress Website Backup

Since you made it this far in the article, we are assuming that you have committed to running WordPress website backups as often as needed.

You could be asking yourself, “What if I forget?”

The cool thing about running a WordPress website backup is that you don’t have to think about it. There are WordPress website plug-ins that will run the backup automatically whenever it is needed. 

Here are some of the best backup plug-ins you can consider:

1. UpDraft Plus 

More than 2 million WordPress websites are protected by UpDraft Plus. It is easily the most popular backup plug-in. The basic version is for free while the premium subscription will cost you $70.

With UpDraft Plus, you have the option to run scheduled or on-demand backups of your website. The data can be stored in the cloud or in your computer.

2. BackUp Buddy

BackUp Buddy is installed on more than 500,000 websites and makes it easy for you to schedule frequent backups. 

Similar to UpDraft Plus, you can store your data in the cloud but BackUp Buddy has the unique Stash feature that lets you do backups in real-time. 

In terms of cost, BackUp Buddy does not follow a monthly subscription model. You can avail of a specific option such as the Blogger Plan which costs $80 per license.

3. VaultPress

What makes Vault a wonderful backup plug-in is not only its ability to allow you to perform automatic backups but that it’s one of the easiest plug-ins to set up and use. You only need to make a few clicks to have your assets backed up or fully restored.

To avail of VaultPress, you have to get JetPack. This is because Automattic, the company that developed VaultPress also designed JetPack and packaged it as such.

Not a problem as JetPack is one of the best all-in-one plug-ins you can find in the market. In our opinion, JetPack is a must-have plug-in for your WordPress website.

VaultPress can be yours for $3.50 per month or $39 for a one-year subscription.

4. BoldGrip Backup

BoldGrip Backup is an amazing and proven effective backup plug-in with the following features:

  • Customize your website backup schedule
  • Immediately restore your website after it shuts down
  • One-click process to run an automated or manual backup
  • Thinking of switching web hosts? BoldGrip Backup will migrate your site for you

The best feature of BoldGrip is that it has a “Plan B” in case the automatic update does not run – it will initiate the most recent backup. 


Call it the “Backup Plan” for your backup!

5. BackWPup

With BackWPup, you can come up with a complete backup for your WordPress website and have it stored in a cloud-based facility such as DropBox and RackSpace or to your email and computer.

BackWPup is very easy to use and you can have it installed on your website for free. Of course, like the other backup plug-ins featured here, you can get more features by availing of a paid Premium subscription.

How good is BackWPup? More than 600,000 websites have their assets backed up by BackWPup.

Conclusion

All of these backup plug-ins are great but which one is for you? Choose the backup plug-in that fits your business needs.

For small and medium-scale businesses that want to manage cash flow better, getting UpDraft Plus keeps you from paying monthly subscription fees.

For larger businesses, VaultPress could be the perfect plug-in for you intermittent backups can be scheduled. Thus, instead of backing up every hour, VaultPress will only run a backup of your website when you have performed an update or have posted new content.

However, if you want to make things easier for yourself, give us a call! 

At Mountaintop Web Design, we offer clients our Extreme WordPress Care Plans. There are 3 plans to choose from – each one has been designed to fit your business needs and budget. We’ve included a daily cloud backup of your website in all plans!

No worries, no more sleepless nights. We’ll take care of your website for you. 

If you need to learn more about backups, give us a call or drop us an email. We can run a quick audit on your site and give you our professional recommendation.

And if you enjoyed reading this article, feel free to share it with your community.