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.

WebsiteStandOut

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.

One reason why WordPress has become the most popular website development and content management platform is the sheer number of plug-ins available for you to choose from. 

More than 55,000 plug-ins! 

With so much to choose from, how would you know which plug-ins will work best for your website and help you achieve your business goals?

What Is A Plug-In?

A plug-in is a software program that is designed and developed to carry out specific functions, improve the performance of your website, or add features to your website’s current program. 

Plug-ins are written using the PHP language and are easily integrated into WordPress. 

You don’t need an IT professional to install a plug-in. The good people at WordPress saw to it that those without knowledge of coding can add plug-ins on their own. 

The reason for this is that most WordPress plug-ins are for free and are not covered by Tech Support. As long as you are the administrator of your website, you can install a plug-in.

Plug-ins are important because they allow you to improve the functionality and performance of your website. As we like to tell our clients at Mountaintop, “Whatever your business needs, there is a WordPress plug-in for it.”

Do you want to add contact forms? Are you looking to speed up your website? Is an e-commerce portal something you’re considering for your business? 

There is a WordPress plug-in for that!

What Are The Best WordPress Plug-Ins For Your Business?

1. Yoast SEO

You can have the most beautiful website on the Internet with content written by award-winning writers but unless your website is optimized for search, no one will find it. 

Yoast SEO is perhaps the most popular plug-in for optimizing your website. What can Yoast SEO do to help give your search ranking a boost? 

  • Enhance your brand building strategies by providing you with the best templates for title and meta descriptions.
  • Take advantage of Yoast SEO’s innovative Schema implementation which helps search engines understand your website and improve your chances to contend for the high volume search results.
  • Access to tools that improve the searchability of your content such as SEO analysis and Readability analysis.
  • Use Yoast SEO’s Snippet Preview to get a peek into how your page will appear in the search results.

And much more!

Yoast SEO is like a do-it-all plug-in for your website. In addition to optimization, Yoast SEO has features that allow you to manage your website and ensure it can perform at its best all the time.

2. Ninja Forms

The great thing about having a website is that it can do everything for your business. 

If a prospective customer wants to find out more about your products and services, he can simply fill out an inquiry form.

If someone wants to attend a seminar you are hosting, he can sign up via your website’s event registration form.

These are the advantages of having forms on your website. And one of the best plug-ins to use is Ninja Forms. 

How good is Ninja Forms? It has been downloaded more than 11,000,000 times!

3. WooCommerce

So you started out with a standard business website but have decided to sell some products. Should you pay for a new e-commerce website?

No need! All you have to do is download the WooCommerce plug-in!

WooCommerce is an e-commerce plug-in that has been designed and developed for WordPress. This amazing plug-in is fully customizable to fit the needs of your business. 

WooCommerce is fast and easy to set up. Within minutes, you can have an e-commerce feature with payment and shipping options that are 100% safe and easy to use.

If you plan to use WooCommerce on your website, you will be in good company! WooCommerce is used by Google, PayPal, MailChimp, and Facebook among other big-name companies. 

4. OptinMonster

Email marketing has been proven to be one of the most effective digital marketing strategies for converting interest into paying customers. According to a study by eMarketer, the average ROI on email marketing is 122%.

With these in mind, you should have email marketing as part of your digital marketing toolbox. One of the best plug-ins to optimize your email marketing strategy is OptinMonster. 

OptinMonster will provide your site with high-performing and easily customizable opt-in forms that allow you to target specific segments of your audience. 

Are potential customers abandoning their shopping carts at your e-commerce site? Don’t worry! OptinMonster can convert the visitors who abandoned their carts into email subscribers.

5. Updraft Plus

Part of your website’s security and protection protocols should be an automatic backup of your assets. Without backup, if your website gets hijacked by cyber-criminals, your assets will be hard to retrieve. 

Updraft Plus is one of the most popularly downloaded plug-ins for WordPress because it triggers an automatic backup of your system. You can keep your assets safe in secured sites such as DropBox, Google Drive, or Rackspace.

If your website goes down, you can easily get it back on the Internet because your assets have been held safe and secure. 

WordPress Security 

The next 2 plug-ins – WordFence and iThemes Security – are some of the best security plug-ins you can install on your website. 

We have written about WordFence in our article “Why You Need WordFence For Your WordPress Website.” 

For its part, iThemes Security has a lot of security features that can protect your website from different forms of cyber-attacks.

6. WordFence

We cannot understate the importance of security for your website. It’s estimated cyber-criminals launch 30,000 attacks every day. Because WordPress is the most popular CMS on the Internet, it’s a safe bet these attacks are centered on WordPress websites.

One of the best security plug-ins for WordPress is WordFence which functions as a malware scanner and firewall. The app is designed by Defiant.

The objective of Defiant in developing WordFence was to address cyber-attacks that were coursed through flaws in the website’s Cross-Site Scripting program or XSS. 

If a visitor landed on a compromised home page, he would be redirected to a malicious website.

According to Defiant, WordFence has been downloaded more than 150 million times. 

7. iThemes Security 

Your WordPress website can become vulnerable to cyber-attacks due to faulty plug-ins, weak passwords, and the lack of adequate security. Unless your website is covered by round-the-clock security, you could become a cyber-security statistic while you’re sleeping. 

iThemes Security is a high-level security plug-in that does not fall asleep on the job. It will give you more than 30 ways to protect your website from various threats. 

Some of the plug-in’s security features include:

  • Two-Factor Authentication
  • Scheduling of Website Malware Scanning
  • Assistance in Creating Stronger Passwords
  • Integrate Google CAPTCHA
  • Immediate Scanning of Your Website to Identify Vulnerabilities

When it comes to your website’s security, it’s a good idea to have more than one plug-in. 

Website Speed And Performance

To move up the search rankings, your website has to ensure top-level user experience all the time. For this reason, website speed should be a priority. 

According to Google, 53% of mobile users will abandon the search if the page fails to load within 3 seconds. 

Your website has to be user-friendly. This is very important if you have an e-commerce website. Similar to shopping at a high-end mall, you want to make sure the shopper is having a great time inside your store. 

8. JetPack

If you must have only one WordPress plug-in for your website – surely, JetPack should be on the shortlist. 

JetPack is an all-in-one plug-in that can provide multiple amazing features for your website:

  • 24/7 Security for your website
  • Use built-in tools that can improve your website speed, optimize images for search, and reduce bandwidth usage so you can save more money.
  • Thinking of selling merchandise? Add PayPal buttons to your website.
  • Use JetPack’s SEO tools to optimize your content in your various social media sites.

9. WP-Optimize

WP-Optimize is an important plug-in to have for your WordPress website because it will help speed up download time. 

How? WP-Optimize offers you 3 benefits that focus on improving site speed and performance:

  • Removes unnecessary data to clean up your database and retrieves space that was lost due to fragmentation.
  • Compresses large image files that slow down your website.
  • Caches data and stores it in a temporary storage space for quick retrieval.

WP-Optimize also has a unique “minification” feature that minimizes the size of your assets. This results in fewer requests to your server which improves performance and the loading time of your website. 

10. WP Rocket

WP Rocket is a plug-in that helps improve the performance of your website and speed up its loading time through a host of features:

  • Caching the web pages for faster viewing
  • Caching for logged-in subscribers and for mobile users.
  • Reduces the volume of http requests.
  • Incorporates a GZIP Compression system that reduces the amount of bandwidth usage.
  • Concatenation and minification of CSS and JS files.

And many more!

WP Rocket is compatible with WooCommerce which is a big plus because many performance-optimization plug-ins aren’t. 

Conclusion

The great thing about having a website for your business is that you can introduce improvements any time you wish without shutting down, unlike a brick-and-mortar location. 

There are free versions of these plug-ins that give you access to the basic features. For a small fee, you can acquire the more advanced versions with upgraded features and more tools to improve your website. 

The fees are reasonable and if you think about it, are justifiable if the additional features will significantly contribute to the protection and performance of your website and eventual success of your business. 

What about you? Do you have a favorite plug-ins? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

And if you want to improve your website’s performance and security, please feel free to give us a call or an email. 

If you’re a retailer, shifting to or integrating an online business model such as setting up an e-commerce website is a smart move. Consumers are increasingly becoming more dependent on mobile technology to fulfill their everyday needs. 

From US $2.3 Trillion to US $3.5 Trillion global sales, e-commerce is projected to hit US $6.5 Trillion in 2023. In the United States, e-commerce accounts for 10% of total sales in retail. 

What this means is that e-commerce is still a growing industry!  

It must seem that an entrepreneur can just close his eyes, open an e-commerce site, and wait for the cash to start rolling in. Unfortunately, that is not the case. For all the hits your website is getting, many visitors end up abandoning their carts at the checkout counter. 

According to data compiled by Baymard Institute from 41 cases on e-commerce websites, 69.5% of consumers abandon their purchase at the checkout counter. 

Therefore, if 100 people visit your e-commerce site, close to 70 people do not complete their purchase. That’s a lot of dollars left at the checkout counter! Instead of the cash register ringing, your alarm bells are sounding off.

We’re here to tell you that it’s not a lost cause. You can still turn things around and convert interest into income. First, let’s find out why consumers are abandoning the items at the checkout counter.

6 Reasons Why Shoppers Are Abandoning Carts At The Checkout Counter

If you’re at the local grocery store, you would probably abandon your shopping cart if the queue was too long, an emergency came up, or if you realize that you don’t really need the items.

The situation is not as simple when it comes to e-commerce websites. 

Shoppers have different personalities. When they’re online, their behavior changes somewhat because they are not seen. In a grocery store, psychological factors can come into play that prevents a shopper from foregoing a purchase. 

For example, abandoning the sale means moving the cart out of the queue which may become an inconvenience for other shoppers within the vicinity. It’s easier to click out of an e-commerce store. 

So what are the common reasons shoppers abandon their purchase? Here is a list of 6 reasons that were compiled by Statista:

  1. Unexpected costs in buying the item such as shipping and delivery – 56% of respondents.
  2. Site visitor had no intention to actually buy as he was merely “browsing” – 37% of respondents.
  3. The shopper found another e-commerce site that offered him a better deal – 36% of respondents.
  4. The shopper found the navigation process of the e-commerce site “difficult” – 25% of respondents.
  5. The process from selection to purchase took too long – 21% of respondents.
  6. The shopper was concerned about the security and protection of his personal information – 17% of respondents.

Now, there could be other reasons that made a shopper change his mind. But having knowledge about the major factors that resulted in the abandonment of the cart will help you come up with the necessary improvements to address the problem.

8 Ways To Fix Cart Abandonment Problems

You might be surprised to learn that the solutions to address the cart abandonment problem are not complicated. Yes, these 8 simple solutions can turn foregone sales into actual cash if done correctly.

1. Be Transparent with Your Shopping Costs

Have you ever gotten excited about finding the product you’ve been looking for in an e-commerce store only to have shipping costs – to borrow the title of a popular TV show – curb your enthusiasm? 

Market analysts refer to the condition as “Pricing Shock” and the same thing will happen to your customers if you aren’t transparent about your hidden charges. Pricing Shock is one of the leading causes of cart abandonment but can be easily fixed with these 2 adjustments at your checkout counter.

  • Include a shipping calculator so the shopper can have an idea of the total cost of purchase before adding the item on his cart.
  • Provide attractive discounts based on the volume of purchases.

2. Make Site Security a Priority

According to a 2016 study conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, 45% of Americans cut back on online shopping because of fears their personal information would be stolen by cybercriminals.

Even though the U.S. government has stepped up its drive versus online theft, the truth is that you cannot stop cybercriminals. You can only hope to slow them down by constantly improving your site’s defenses. 

As evidenced by the continued growth of e-commerce, consumers will continue to shop online. However, consumers will be more cautious about the sites they visit. 

  • Secure your e-commerce site with SSL or Secure Socket Layer certificates. Google has included SSL certificates as a ranking factor in its search algorithm. 

If your website does not have SSL, you will see the words “Not Secure” before your URL. 

You can learn more about SSL certificates in our blog “SSL Basics: Why You Need It To Protect Your Website From Hackers”.  

  • Include a Guest Checkout Option so that the visitor won’t be required to open an account. Likewise, a Guest Checkout Option will shorten the buying process.

3. Send an Email to the Shopper

When a visitor is serious about buying products from your e-commerce store, chances are he will provide his email address as part of the purchase process. 

You can set up an autoresponder that sends out an email to the shopper notifying him that he has items left in the cart. 

The email must have the following details:

  • Description of items left in the cart including quantity and price.
  • Date when the items in the cart will be completely removed. 
  • Instructions on how to resume the purchase.

If the shopper does not act on your email in 24 hours, send out another one.

computer graphic - curious about the website services we offer

4. Take the Personal Approach

Having an autoresponder system in place will help you keep track of the incidents of cart abandonment. However, by itself, an auto-generated email may not succeed in completing the sale.

An effective way of complimenting your autoresponder system is to incorporate a personal approach to your customers. 

Once you receive a notification that a shopper has abandoned the purchase, reach out, and send a personal email. Find out how you can help. 

The reason may not be any of the 6 described earlier. For example, there may have been a problem with the shopper’s credit or debit card. 

If you can find another way for the shopper to complete the purchase, he may just go back to your e-commerce site and finish the transaction.

5. Review Your Site Analytics

To get a more accurate picture of why shoppers are abandoning their purchase, review your site analytics. It will give you a data-based description of your shopper’s online behavior. 

Google Analytics has a Users Flow report that tells you the path your visitors took when exploring your website. The Users Flow report will give you information on where the bulk of your site visitors are coming from and data on the amount of traffic experienced by each page.

You will see if there are potential bottlenecks in site traffic and where volume is falling off before the visitor starts to click on items for his shopping cart. 

The information provided by your site analytics will help you and your webmaster find ways to improve the lagging pages so that the shopper will feel more encouraged to complete the purchase. 

6. Improve Site Navigation

Too many clicks spoil the experience.

If the process of completing the purchase takes longer than expected, you will find more items abandoned in the carts of shoppers. When it comes to online activity, consumers are not very patient. 

Improve user experience by implementing the following improvements:

  • Organize the products in a manner that makes it easier for the shopper to find them. 
  • Add a “Quick Preview” feature that allows the shopper to view the product in greater detail. Incorporate a “Zoom In” feature and give complete product descriptions.
  • Limit the number of clicks it takes to complete a purchase down to three: Choose Item – Add to Cart – Checkout

7. Use Better Product Images

As the old saying goes, “Customers shop with their eyes”.

A good product image can mean more than a thousand words. The shopper might base his decision to buy your product on the image that’s posted on your site. If the image is not of good quality, it will not entice the shopper to complete the purchase.

  • Use high-resolution images for your product shots. 
  • The images should show the shopper the best way to enjoy the product.
  • Take photos of the product from different angles.

Lastly, make sure the shopper gets what he sees on your website. 

8. Highlight Social Proof

Social proof includes positive product reviews, testimonials, and other forms of quantifiable evidence that prove the value of your product. 

Before making a purchase, many shoppers undertake research by browsing through product reviews and testimonials. 

For example, when you are looking for a specific product to buy at Amazon, most likely you will choose the brand that has the highest number of stars and the best reviews. 

  • Invite your customers to post product reviews.
  • Ask your loyal customers to give testimonials.
  • Highlight positive reviews that your products may have received from other sites such as Google Reviews or Yelp. 

Social proof will make the decision-making process easier for the consumer.

Conclusion

As you have read, a few simple adjustments can protect your e-commerce business from losing potential sales. 

Remember that consumers’ online behavioral patterns will always be in a constant state of change. The adjustments that you made today may have to undergo tweaking in the next few months or years. 

The bottom line is to keep your e-commerce website updated in design and function. Similar to the consumer’s tastes and preferences, your website design must remain current, relevant, and dynamic. 

If your site is experiencing cart abandonment problems, give us a call or an email and we will take a look at it right away. 

We are a one of Denver’s Top Web Design Companies that are known for our results.

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

Extreme WordPress care - what types of plans we offer

In the world of Software as a Service (SaaS), first impressions often matter more than you would think. With so many other companies out there working on solving the same problems, you usually have a limited window to impress your visitors. This is where the importance of clever and converting landing page design in SaaS comes in.

Here are our 7 tips to help you craft a page that works:

Include explainer videos

Understanding exactly what a tool does is often the challenge potential leads face when first coming across a product – and not many of them will take the time to read your copy to learn more.

However, if you manage to include a short but to-the-point explainer video on your landing pages, your chances of getting your value across will increase.

Here is an example from Forms on Fire – they provide mobile data collection software – where a minute and a half is all it takes to get to know the product and determine whether you are interested or not.

Invest a lot of creativity in your header

You are often told how important headers are in content writing – the same is true for landing page copy, as the impact your header will have on a visitor is crucial.

You want to represent your brand, you want to get your main point across, you want to showcase your value, explain what you are really about and get people to convert: in no more than a sentence or two.

Which is where the challenge lies.

Take the example of Crazyegg, who provide an unspecified website improvement service – and have a very attractive header to show for it.

Since they offer a 30-day free trial and promise to instantly improve your website, there isn’t much a visitor could lose. So their header works like a charm.

Your calls-to-action are also key

However, you don’t need to be as creative with them as with your headers: a simple “get started”, “start your trial”, or a “sign up now” will work – but what’s important here is how you preempt the CTA.

Most international, huge, famous companies have simple CTAs – Netflix, Hulu, Dropbox, Evernote, etc. – they don’t have a catchphrase or a funny saying slapped onto their pages.

What they do have is a clear list of benefits (what it is you are getting from the service) and a straightforward way of signing up for the service.

Extreme WordPress care - what types of plans we offer

Make it easy to access

Which leads right to our next tip: don’t make signing up very complicated.

You may want to make credit card data compulsory, but even if you do, make it as easy as possible to fill in your form and move on to the next step.

Whether or not you are offering a free trial, or have something like the Ahrefs 7 days for $7 trial period, you still want your leads to be able to accomplish their goal (sign up), in as little time as digitally and humanly possible.

If you are seeing a lot of uncompleted sign-up forms, try making the form simpler, and eliminate some of your required fields: we understand you want to gather as much data as possible about your leads, but maybe spread data collecting out over a longer period of time.

Show the process

If you don’t feel the use of your tool requires an entire video, still try to explain how to make it work, especially if the tool in question does something essentially simple, but very useful.

TimeTackle, a software designed to pull your calendar off of the cloud, has a great four-step explanation of the process users will need to run through once they have the tool, making it very easy for users to decide whether they want to give it a go or not.

Always remember that while some of your users will be very tech-savvy, others might have more of a hard time understanding even the more basic concepts. That’s why you need to try to figure out a language that will speak to your target audience, as well as all its variations and levels of understanding.

Offer social proof where it makes sense

A lot of landing pages incorporate social proof – which is essentially a great move, but does not always make sense.

You don’t have to repeat the same testimonials on every page, nor do you have to showcase different satisfied customers on every corner.

When talking about the benefits of your product, or when showcasing use cases and success stories, social proof is more than welcome.

Here is the example of Gusto, who make payroll, insurance, and a whole host of other tasks easier– who have added in plenty of social proof, yet have not made it sound like they are bragging, or like they have solicited recommendations from their users.

The basics: webpage design

Of course, there is another important element you should never forget: webpage design.

And we are not just talking about the colors and font you choose (although it is in itself very important). You should also think about the emotions you want to elicit, the value you want to portray, and the target audience you are aiming for.

Naturally, navigation, user experience and user-friendliness, responsiveness, and a whole host of other webpage optimization tactics should also all play their part. If you have elements that don’t load properly, don’t work on certain screen sizes, or if your pages are cluttered and crowded, all the other good work you may have done won’t be worth a dime.

Final thoughts

Hopefully, these tips will help you design better SaaS landing pages in the future – but remember, there is no bulletproof design formula that will work for every website. You need to keep your own target market and product in mind when designing sales pages, rather than just considering what has worked for others in the past.

In fact, a lot of these tips were once novelties that have since been proven to work by countless websites. So why not come up with the next one?

learn more about website design with orange banner

As a Consulting company, businesses come to you for advice. You are recognized as an expert in your field. Over the years, you have built a reputation for building businesses – navigating them through periods of difficulty before finding success. 

The Consulting company represents the years invested in the industry; a venture that gives you the opportunity to share your experience and knowledge with other businesses hoping to find success in their respective fields.

It must be exciting to see your first calling card as a Consultant! 

When you distribute your calling card to friends, associates, and potential clients, you are confidently telling them that if they need help with their business, all they have to do is to call the number on the card.

A better calling card would be a website. Not only can a potential client find your contact information on your website, but he can find all the information he needs to make a decision about hiring your services as a Consultant.

Why Does A Consulting Company Need A Website?

For the same reason that every other company in any industry needs a website – to grow their business by capitalizing on opportunities available on the Internet.  If your company does not have a website, you are undermining its potential for success. 

Businesses look for consultants who can help them get over periods of economic difficulties. A company can have MBAs and Ph.D.’s on their payroll or hire the best CEO money can buy and still – it may not find solutions to pressing concerns.

Consultants have the advantages of experience and viewing the situation from an unfiltered lens. There are no biases to overcome and consultants can draw upon years of experience to come up with the best possible solutions as well as alternative courses of action.

How will a company find a consultant for its business?

Its key officers can ask for recommendations from friends and associates who have hired business consultants. Perhaps one of the company’s directors knows someone who runs a consulting firm.

Or a designated officer can run a simple online search.

Internet searches using the keywords “top consulting companies in my area”, “consulting company in my area”, “best consulting company in my area” or “Consulting company in (the type of industry)” will yield the top URLs for those searches in the SERP or Search Engine Results Page.

How many searches can there be? 

Depending on your state, the search for the keywords “Consulting Company” or “Consulting Business” could amount to hundreds of millions of searches per month. 

If you don’t have a website for your Consulting Company, how can your business be found when it can’t participate in the searches that happen for your services on a daily basis?

Thus, it’s important for your Consulting company to have a website in order for your business to be found on the Internet. Otherwise, you will be missing out on the opportunities that take place every single day.

However, it’s not enough just to have a website.

You must have an amazing website!

3 Reasons Why Your Consulting Business Should Have An Amazing Website

According to a survey by Devrix, 60% of small businesses don’t have a website. 35% of small business owners surveyed said they feel their business is “too small” to merit a website. 

Thus, 6 out of 10 small businesses cannot take advantage of the opportunities available on the Internet:

As a business, you don’t want to miss out on these opportunities that can help grow your enterprise. 

As a company offering business consulting services, you know how important it is for businesses to have a website. 

One reason why your client’s sales are lagging is because he does not have a website for his business or if he does, there’s a good chance the website is not performing well.

To send out a strong message to your client, you must show that you practice what you preach.  If you believe that having a website is important for business, then for a Consulting company, you must have a website for your business!

Here are 3 good reasons why your Consulting company should have a website:

1. Build Your Business Brand

Let’s face it. Digital is the current reality. It is not a passing fad. Life and work are heavily influenced by the Internet and the latest innovations in digital technology. 

If you are not involved in the digital world, you will be left behind by your competitors.

Out of the 7.75 billion people in the world, 5.17 billion own a mobile device and 3.5 billion are smartphones. 

More than 4.5 billion people are on the Internet daily – searching and sharing information. 

Review our stat from the previous section:

80% of consumers – 8 out of 10 – feel more confident dealing with a business that has a website.

Think of your website as your online office or business establishment. Potential customers who want to learn more about your business will click on your URL. 

Having a website builds credibility, trust, and confidence. It shows consumers that you are heavily invested in your business. You’re not going to “go cheap” on your business by settling for a Facebook business page. 

If you don’t have a website, you don’t have an online presence. 

Having a business website also shows potential customers that you are actively engaged and updated with technology. You’re current; in with the times and recognize the importance of being accessible to customers 24/7. 

As a Consulting company you have to be in with the times because the business environment is in a constant flow of change. 

In consulting, a proposal summarizing the changes that need to be in place to initiate the rehabilitation plan is usually submitted after a business audit is conducted and evaluated.

Why will a business trust your company if you’re resistant to change?

Before anything else, sit down with a web designer such as Mountaintop and start planning the website for your Consulting company!

Extreme WordPress care - what types of plans we offer

2. Achieve Your Business Goals

To be clear, you need a solid digital marketing campaign to achieve your business goals. 

Digital marketing is the process of using Internet-based tools, platforms, and strategies to market and promote your business.

Social media marketing is an example of a platform that can be used to distribute information about your business, its products and services. 

The website is the center of your digital marketing universe. It is the destination point for the interest generated by your posts. 

A good analogy would be a flyer that you receive inside the mall. If the content of the flyer interests you, chances are you would visit the establishment featured in the flyer. 

If not, the flyer will end up in the trash receptacle.

In digital marketing, your post will only be read by those who are interested in your content. Those who are not, will merely skip through it. Nothing gets thrown in the trash can. 

The interested reader will ask “Where can I find out more about the company?” if your post has a link to your website, all the reader has to do is click on it. Within a few seconds, he will land on your home page.

From there, you can work on the reader and apply techniques that will help you achieve your goals.

  • Is your goal to build your business reputation? Include a link to your Blog page.
  • Is your goal to create trust? Add client testimonials on your home page.
  • Is your goal to trigger interest? Create a Call to Action (CTA) on the home page that directs the visitor to your Services page.
  • Is your goal to generate leads? Have a Sign Up Button on the home page and inform the visitor that if he signs up for the newsletter, he gets a free whitepaper. 
  • Is your goal to get the visitor to start the consulting process? Include a button on the home page that takes the visitor to the Contact Us page where he can fill out a questionnaire or a Request for Information (RFI) form.

With a website, everything that you want done can be done. The design of the website should make it easy for visitors to navigate through the website and complete the required processes.

The site visitor who is serious about getting your services will greatly appreciate the convenience provided by the website. 

3. Challenge Other Consulting Companies in the Search Rankings

As we mentioned earlier, if your Consulting company does not have a website, you will be left behind by the competition. There is a greater probability of getting discovered by your potential clients if you have a website because you will have an online presence.

With a website, you can present a challenge to your competitors in the search rankings. 

Again, this is the domain of your digital marketing campaign. A smart and purposeful digital marketing campaign that strategically uses processes such as SEO, content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, and paid advertising can help your website rocket up the search rankings. 

The higher up the search rankings, the greater becomes the traffic heading to your website.

A study by Chitika revealed that the number one position in the search rankings got 32.5% of all search traffic and the top 3 websites garnered 61.5% of total search traffic. 

Therefore, a website gives you the means to challenge your competitors for the consultancy market. 

The battle will shift to which company delivers well-written, highly-optimized, and engaging content on a consistent basis. Which Consultancy company can maintain a regular schedule for social media marketing? 

Which website is mobile responsive, faster, more accessible, navigable, more beautiful, and  offers more informative content?

Conclusion

Starting a Consulting company is a great idea. With the failure rate among small businesses at 20% for the first year, 30% for the third year, and 50% by the fifth year, there will always be a steady demand for your type of services. 

Business owners will rely upon your experience and expertise to help them navigate through rough economic times, survive, then thrive beyond year 5. 

To get discovered by these businesses, you should have a strong online presence and that all begins with having an amazing website. 

If your business does not have a website or if it does but you’re not happy with it, give us a call or drop an email. We will build you a website that delivers results.

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

desktop with coffee cup - learn more about website design

Before we dive into ecommerce landing pages in more detail, I would like us to do a brief experiment.

I’d like you to try and think about all the websites you’ve seen today. Or in the past seven days. How many newsletters did you receive? How many did you open, and how many did you click on?

Can’t remember them all?

Given the sheer volume of pages we are all exposed to every day, it’s no wonder we can only remember a tiny percent of them. This fact should drive my point home nicely – if you want your landing page to stand out and be memorable, you need to make it, well – what is it that you need to do?

Let’s explore!

Divulge the benefits

As ecommerce pages are clearly meant to convince a visitor to make a purchase, finding the right balance between sales and value can sometimes be a bit of a nightmare.

Let’s look at this page by Herbal Dynamics Beauty:

Source: herbaldynamicsbeauty.com

The hero part of the page clearly lists the most important feature: that the product is free of all sorts of harmful materials. Then, when you scroll just a bit down, you are greeted with a whole lot of information about the benefits of each ingredient, and the page ends by going into even more detail, explaining what you, as a consumer might get by choosing this product.

Customers don’t want to feel like they are being sold a product – they want to be offered a solution. By explaining the benefits and actual value of a product, you will be doing a great job at just that.

The power of design

Your pages need to be easy on the eyes and structured in a way that not only attracts attention, but is also very clear about what is what.

Here is an example by Ultimate Meal Plans:

Souce: ultimatemealplans.com

While their landing pages stick to the minimalistic use of plenty of white space, they have also integrated plenty of imagery, along with all kinds of informational boxes that detail things like pricing and benefits. 

And while they were at it, they’ve managed to stick to a clever color story, too. The fact that they have also made green their main pop of color is evocative of the actual product, providing a clear association between it and the page.

No matter how good your product or message is, if your page is cluttered and hard to navigate, you won’t be making all that many conversions. 

The power of a story

Storytelling is an incredibly powerful tool you should be reaching for when writing copy for your landing pages.

Let’s take a look at the landing page of an actual story, Danielle, a novel by Ray Kurzweil.

Source: danielleworld.com

The hero is catchy, gives you plenty of information without actually giving anything away, and the rest of the page provides all you need to know: enough to get you interested. This kind of hook is not reserved for literary ecommerce pages alone – you can tell a story about your product regardless of what it is.

Make sure you take your target audience and their preferences into account when writing out your story. And write for them, not for yourself.

Provide plenty of detail

Home pages can be hard to design. Not only are they often the first thing people see, but they also need to provide plenty of information, yet not overlap too much with other pages.

Pergola Kits USA have done a good job here:

Source: pergolakitsusa.com

Their hero showcases the product they sell and will instantly draw the attention of those looking to buy a pergola. Scrolling further down, a visitor can find all the information they need in one place, without having to navigate between several different pages.

This is an all-in-one page that is easy to read, provides enough imagery to keep you interested, and provides real value. You won’t need to read another one to understand what kind of product you need for yourself.

Sometimes it’s best to give your visitors what they are looking for in one place – and make sure they have clearly got the message you’re trying to convey.

Social and other proof and why it matters

People like to be a part of a group, and they like to explore products others have tested and approved. That’s why you’ll want to display all the proof you can find: social proof in the form of testimonials, big companies you have worked with, as well as award buttons, and any other achievements you may have under your belt.

Real Thread does that right in the middle of their homepage:

Source: realthread.com

They have incorporated a section that includes some of the major companies they have worked with. This instantly gives their product a boost and makes them stand out. Even though you may not have heard of the brand, you might be more tempted to give their shirts a try, now that you know which other companies they have worked with.

Be careful what kinds of awards and badges you list, though. Too many of them can cause an adverse effect, leading people to perceive you as bragging or to wonder what you’re trying to hide by listing all of these positive reviews so prominently.

The power of the hero

Your hero image is incredibly important. It should explain in one glance what the product is about, yet do it in a way that’s not boring or too showy.

The Farmer’s Dog does a good job with this image:

Source: thefarmersdog.com

It shows the product, as well as a satisfied customer enjoying it, and you’ll understand right away what the food they’re selling looks like and whether it might be something that your pet would enjoy.

The image is of a high quality, but more importantly, it is also optimized well, so as not to slow the page down and take up unnecessary space – a very important feature to bear in mind when thinking about the imagery you want to use.

When choosing your hero, make sure it is not only an accurate representation of your product, but also catchy and unique.

Final thoughts

When designing a landing page, make sure you have your target audience in mind, and stay in line with the product the page is trying to sell. Add to that a bit of creativity, and you should have a standout page on your hands.