5 WEBDESIGN TRENDS FOR 2018

5 Updates Your Website Needs In 2018

Follow These 2018 Website Trends To Dominate Your Competitors

HTTPS

Having a secure website is no longer negotiable.  It’s what Google wants.  It’s what your customers want.  By getting an SSL certificate and switching to HTTPS, you will also enjoy a boost in search rankings.  It will also improve consumer confidence in your website and brand.  Google Chrome is the world’s most popular browser with a 58% market share, recently rolled out an update to actively warn customers that your site isn’t secure.  Unless you can afford to lose at least 58% of your customers, you need HTTPS.

SSL not secure warning

MOBILE FRIENDLY

Is your website still not mobile friendly (test it here)?  This too is not negotiable.  Mobile is the not the future of the internet. Mobile is the present, and you need to be mobile friendly right now.  Google has already rolled out its mobile-first algorithm. Mobile-friendly websites rank better.  More importantly, they convert better.  With over 50% of Google searches coming from mobile devices, you have to be mobile friendly.  The best solution?  A responsive website.

ANALYTICS & CONVERSION TRACKING

Do you know who’s visiting your website?  One of the reasons why online marketing is so powerful is because it is predictable, measurable and scalable.  We’re not talking about installing Google Analytics and then checking the limited demographic information available.  We’re talking about finding out which visitors actually convert to customers on your site.  With conversion tracking, you can set specific actions you want visitors to make and optimize your site to convert more of them into. You can use this information to take a proactive sales approach rather than waiting for them to call you.

Conversion Tracking with Google

DIGITAL ADVERTISING

Are you using Google AdWords or Adwords Express?  What about Facebook or LinkedIn ads?  If you’re not, you should be; a modest investment can yield valuable insights into your target audience and buyer intent.  You might think that AdWords costs too much (why pay for clicks when I can get them for free) or that your customers don’t use social media.  But I implore you to test a more data-driven conclusion.  A properly optimized AdWords campaign makes you a lot more money than it costs, and your customers are using social media on a daily basis.  No matter what you may have heard, social media ads do work.  If you’re already advertising through AdWords and social media channels, then think about how you can optimize your ad spend or expand your reach.  Maybe you haven’t invested in display ads or remarketing yet.  If that’s the case, you’re missing out on some highly effective ways to grow your business.

AN UPDATED WEBSITE

RESPONSIVE-WEBDESIGNIf it’s been more than a couple years since your current website launched, then it’s most likely time to start planning the new one.  Yes, it is a big expense.  But it’s a necessary one and the hidden cost of lost conversions and customer experience outweighs the expense.  Technology changes rapidly, as do design trends, so even a site that’s only two or three years old can look incredibly outdated.  Customers are less likely to buy from an outdated site.  That means they’ll be more likely to buy from your competitor who recently updated their site.

Some of these are quick and relatively inexpensive fixes. Some of them are urgent. All of them are investments that will pay off quickly. Make 2018 the year of the new and improved website—the website your business deserves.

 

 

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How to Choose Your Ideal Customer

How To Identify Your Ideal Customer

As a new entrepreneur, you have big dreams. You want the entire world to know your products and services are available to everyone.

You easily blow your marketing budget trying to attract the world to your products and services, only to find that you’ve overspent your money and you don’t have any new customers to show for it.

It’s hard to get noticed in this clutter filled world, but attempting to reach everybody with your product or service is not only inefficient, it’s also very expensive. That’s why it’s important to narrowly define your target customer and meet them where they are.

Russell Brunson uses the analogy of fishing which describes this well in his book DOTCOM SECRETS.

  • Identify Who is your ideal client
  • Find out Where they hang out online
  • Test What bait you can give to them

Who should you market to

Let’s Get Started

Who are my ideal customers? (Use demographics such as age, annual income and education level. Use psychographic information such as behaviours, hobbies and values.)

What are their pain points? (Efficiency, ease of use, time, etc.)

Why should they buy from me (and not my competitor)?

What are their most common objections to doing business with me? (Cost, time, etc.)

Who is NOT my target customer? (It is also important to identify who is not your target customer, e.g., is there an age restriction, maybe financial or location limitation etc.)

Choosing Your Ideal Customer

Let’s Build Your Target Customer

Many advertising platforms like Facebook and Google allow you to target customers based on the demographics and psychographics data they can collect from their users.

Demographics: the average or typical characteristics of your target market.

Psychographics: what motivates them to take action.

Here are some of the more commonly used ones:

  • Age: how old is my ideal customer?
  • Children: does my ideal customer have children? How many? How old are they?
  • Region: are my ideal customers located in a particular region, country, province/state or city?
  • Sex: what gender is my ideal customer?
  • Marital Status: Is my ideal client married, single, divorced etc?
  • Education: How much schooling did my ideal customer obtain; high school, college, university?
  • Values: what values do they share; family, business, success etc.
  • Income: How much does my ideal client earn? What is their net worth?
  • Hobbies: Do they have any hobbies e.g.,  fishing, sports, music, etc.

Final Thoughts

Your ideal customer is someone who satisfies their exact needs or wants to buy the product/service you offer.

Customer Avatar WorksheetIdentifying your ideal customer can seem like a daunting and sometimes overwhelming task. The reality is that most entrepreneurs aren’t clear about their ideal customer. For this reason, they waste a lot of time and money trying to sell their product to people who aren’t good potential customers. Identifying your ideal customer and advertising where they will notice your brand is an important step in growing and improving your business. The process doesn’t need to be overly complicated; download our free worksheet to help you. Follow this plan and you’re well on your way to not only reaching new customers—but the right ones.

Online Sales Funnel for Businesses

Sales Funnels | The Missing Piece to Your Online Marketing Efforts

You’ve probably heard that “You Need A Website For Your Business” and while that is true it’s so 2008. Having a website is just a part of the puzzle, a foundational part — but you need to have more than just a website in order to have people know, like & trust you enough to do business with you.

What is an Online Sales Funnel?

Online Purchase Funnel
An example of a typical purchase funnel

Your online sales funnel is the process your potential website visitors go through when they turn from your visitors out on the internet into paying customers.

“From the girl walking in the street to the other girl walking into your coffee shop to buy.”

Think of it like a traditional sales process, where the term sales funnel comes from the visual representation of narrowing a broader audience into actual customers similar to what a funnel looks like. It’s like having a 24/7 salesperson working for guiding potential customers through the sales process on autopilot.

This staged process is summarized below:

  • Awareness – the customer is aware of the existence of your product or service
  • Interest – actively expressing an interest in one of your offers
  • Desire – aspiring to a particular brand or product
  • Action – taking the next step towards purchasing the chosen product

Should You Have A Funnel?

Just like a traditional brick & mortar business would have trained salespeople, your website should have a purchase funnel to guide visitors to your desired goal.

An empty storefront with no salesperson will probably only at best convert a very small percentage of people who walk-in. Your website without a funnel will most likely only convert a small percentage of visitors.

If you are actively trying to grow your business or investing in marketing your business through your website this could be the difference between a positive return on your investment versus a loss.

What Makes Up A Funnel?

In the digital world, this can be as simple as a click to call button or a form submission. These are great for hot leads. An emergency plumber site for example probably does not need much more than that to convert lots of website visitors. However, if your product isn’t as time-sensitive or your visitor is a warm-lead then having just one funnel will leave lots of money on the table.

This is where slightly more complex funnels come into play. Say for example you are advertising on social media or other paid advertising platforms like Google but not getting a good enough return on your investment for it to be sustainable. It’s most likely because you don’t have a good sales funnel.

Example of a Sales Funnel

A good online sales funnel will have at a minimum:

Landing Page Exmples

 

  • A Traffic Source: whether you choose word-of-mouth, blogging, social media marketing, SEO, pay-per-click marketing or a combination of these, you will need visitors to your website. Another great traffic source is through retargeting where you try to get previous visitors back to your website. Get my 303 traffic sources here.
  • Squeeze Page: this is a great way to pre-qualify leads and give them chance to start a relationship with you by offering them something of value in exchange for their email address. Click here to download my ebook with great ideas of lead magnets you can use for your squeeze page.
  • Lead Magnet: A lead magnet is an incentive, a compelling offer to your prospective customers in exchange for their contact details mainly their email address. Examples of lead offers include pdfs, checklists, whitepapers, video, report, a discount, a free trial, an entry to a contest or an e-book.
  • Landing Page: most people send all of their traffic to their homepage; this will capture some traffic. A landing page or sales page will do a much better job at moving your visitors to become customers. Unlike the homepage, a landing page will have one or two call-to-action for your visitor to take. Click here to see an example of the top 15 landing pages that generate the most leads. From Instapage
  • Thank You Page: the main purpose of a thank you page is to measure conversions and see which traffic sources brought you the most amount of visitors and who completed your desired actions.

Some funnels can get a lot more thought out but I recommend starting simple and build from there. This is what one of our current sales funnels blueprints look like.

Example Funnel

This way growing your business becomes a science; analyze your data to see where you should spend more time and money.

I hope you found this helpful. Feel free to leave me your comment below. Now I know that there are technical aspects of building out a funnel that may make it intimidating but you shouldn’t let that stand in the way of you growing your business.

Funnel Hacking Experts

 

Great Business Plan, Website Development Ottawa, Web Design Ottawa

Tips for writing a great business plan

Are you planning to start a new business? Or maybe you already have one, but lack a website? It is vital to understand your position, goals, and opportunities. So, where do you begin? This article will give you a few quick tips on what you can do to create a great business plan.

The very first steps

The first and probably most important step is to ask yourself “Is it possible”? Is it worth it? Chasing the impossible will waste your time and efforts. After that, you must set specific goals. Do not be overly optimistic or pessimistic. You need to create a plan with a strong structure.

A video from Business Wales gives a quick explanation on how to write a business plan.

Creating both a business plan and a website are essential for success. You must decide on a few important steps. There are many strategies for you to choose from, but we will leave them for another time. Today, we will focus on a few tips which are amazing for growing your new business.

Most beginnings are tough. You will need to make sacrifices. Customers won’t trust you just yet, but many obstacles will arise. The competition might be ruthless, or the government might impose strict rules. Whatever the trouble, there are ways you can ease or complete avoid it.

Here are a few good tips to help you write a great business plan:

Great Business Plan, Affordable Website Design Toronto, Web Design Newfoundland

1. Observe the market for a while. Make sure to stand out. Being specific won’t attract many customers, but they won’t be few either. And they will be loyal. It is just what you need for some steady development.

2. You need to be honest. These days, people value honesty a lot. With so many cheaters on the world market, honest companies stand out.

 

3. Choose the right model. There are many, and you can pick pretty much whatever you want. One good example would be the Business Model Canvas. It has a total of nine elements, and they are precisely defined. You will need to create a small plan for the partners, activities, costs, resources, revenue, value proposition, the relations with customers, different channels, and the customer segments.

4. Add a website to the plan. This is the information age. Every business needs a website. And make sure its design can attract visitors.

5. This is not a tip, but a rule. You must calculate your finances to the last cent. One of the worse things that can happen to a new company is unwillingly violating the law.

6. Take some time and think of an amazing company mission and vision.

7. Make sure to write a summary. Potential partners will always ask for one.

 

Java Logix is a leading company in online marketing services in Ottawa and Toronto.

We can offer you a free consultation and help you by building an amazing website. Feel free to browse our offers and learn more about web design.

website rfp

How to Write a Website Redesign Request For Proposal (RFP)

If you have already received approval from your board of directors, set a budget, and acquired grant funding for a new website, it is now time to send out a request for proposal or RFP. A website RFP is sent out by your organization to dozens of web design agencies in order to determine the best agency for your needs.

Webdesigner Request for Quote

We get an RFP, or Request for Proposal, about website redesign pretty regularly. A number of projects are simple and straightforward. Others have much more potential for miscommunication as the term Web Design RFP. A lot of the time, we’ll open up an initial contact from a form submission and see questions along the lines of “We need a new website; how much do you charge?

It’s crucial you comprehend how web design projects range from basic things like static sites created for less than a thousand to complicated, such as something with a website budget in the six digits. If you’re not able to clearly communicate your specific needs and wants, then no design company could possibly quote it accurately.

Something else we find equally frustrating is an RFP the size of a handbook when one lands in our email’s inbox. These are almost always the product of some committee brainstorm that went off the rails. If a web designer needs a Ph.D., rocket scientist, or lawyer to figure out your RFP, or a few dozen hours are needed for the compilation of a spec response, then you’re not doing it right. Generally, we don’t even respond to such requests. It’s not because we fear hard work, but more because we know how an RFP sets a standard tone for the following project. If you’re not able to respect our time with concise communications when you first reach out to us, what’s going to happen in the middle of a project?

If a client and designer are going to figure out how they can work together, much less if they even can, then they need clearly defined project expectations and requirements.

The right web design RFP clearly and neatly establishes what you all are trying to accomplish with a website, as well as find alignment between the designer and a client’s objectives and goals. It might seem intimidating writing your RFP at first, but it need not be that way. Taking precious moments now can spare you many more hours, later on, ensuring your designer is able to develop a proposal with accuracy about your particular project.

So, prior to even contacting any designer, you should take some time to not just write a request for proposal, but an appropriate one. To give you a hand in this, we’ve assembled a simple guide you can use to go through this process.

request for proposal template

A Web Design RFP’s Top 10 Crucial Components

1) Provide A Business Overview:

This is the section that introduces us or someone else to your business. As such, think of content more befitting an introduction than a thesis. Tell us briefly just who you are, what it is you do, the size of your business, your current URL, and what overarching corporate mission or vision statement you might have.

2) Establish The Project Overview:

Write down in a simple to understand language what your current situation is regarding your website, so you can provide us with some overview of just what this project needs to entail. There’s no need to go overly formal or even politically correct in this part, as corporate semantics sometimes muddle this message. Write this just like you would if you were describing your project to a family member or friend.

3) State The Project Objectives And Goals:

This is the section to list out both short- and long-term objectives for this project, and your motivations for investing resources into your website.

It aims to answer the question: “why are you here?”

  • Is your website outdated?
  • Have you expanded your services/product line?
  • Are you marketing to a different target audience?
  • Are you trying to attract job candidates?
  • Or are you finding your existing site isn’t converting to enough sales?

Tell us what you want to achieve.

4) Define The Technical Parameters:

This is the part where we often see our client’s eyes start to glaze over. If you already know what your technical requirements entailed in the project will be, you should tell us here.

These parameters range from the basics:

  • how many pages and unique layouts do you need
  • do you need hosting
  • do you need a domain name

To more advanced questions:

  • do you require programming in one specific language over another
  • is your current site in .PHP, .net, asp, HTML etc
  • do you need databases
  • do you have license or preference for a given e-commerce platform

If it doesn’t matter, tell us that too – giving your designer the option to work in their preferred language will save you money and time. Our common recommendation is WordPress, given the cost-effectiveness and flexibility it provides.

5) Determine The Usability Requirements:

Usability testing is, unfortunately, a step that is often overlooked in terms of the design and development of a website. You’re surely familiar with how companies put a new product through a focus group, or even multiple focus groups as part of the research and development process. Consider that any website also needs to undergo a minimum round of basic usability testing in order to figure out just how strongly the design-build holds up in actual use. This is where you should tell us about user research or persona development. Even if you’re not into such specifics, we still have to know about your target audience. Any relevant statistics you have regarding the demographics of existing website visitors should be referred to here. Run us through the specific flow you’d like any visitors to your site to follow.

6) Illustrate The Functional Parameters:

In the most basic terms, this section needs to pose the question of:

What you actually want your website to do.

This is where you outline functionality and features such as a secure members area, file uploads, content management, newsletter opt-in forms, news sections, an FAQ, e-commerce, discussion forums, blogs, custom admin areas, database development, or contact forms.

7) Write Down Proposal Directions:

This is the spot to ask questions you have for us and let us know how you’d like your proposal to be laid out. Many RFPs we get to ask our designers to talk about professional experience, demonstrate sample work, outline the project process plan, give bios of the essential personnel, and provide references. Many of these are basics that you would think would already be on a designer’s website, and so is likely included in their boilerplate proposals. However, if you have specific questions, toss them in here. Not long ago we got an RFP asking for us to list out our top 10 favourite musicians or groups. That project was pretty standard, but we found the question so delightful, we couldn’t resist responding in person.

8) List Your Contact Information:

This is where you should let us know who the primary contact point is or the project leader. Give us the phone number, name, email, and billing address of that individual. Also, tell us how you want the proposal to get submitted.

  • Do you want it emailed?
  • Faxed?
  • Posted?
  • Courier?

Give us your timeline.

9) What’s Your Budget?

This is a part that quite a few clients just gloss over initially. We know that you’re human, and it’s human nature to get the most you can for as little expense as possible, but we also know from personal and professional experience that some unscrupulous designers pad their quotes to the max in order to stretch your wallet as much as they can. We’re not like that, so we don’t do that. Be honest with us about how much you can afford, and we’ll return that respectful honesty with what we’re able to do with those dollars. Even should your budget lack a little, we know how to make compromises here and there that make things more accommodating. If you have no budget at all, then you’re not ready. Corporate identity and development and marketing should both have existing budgets in your business plan, and they apply here.

10) What’s Your Timeframe?

This one should be easy. Do you have a general idea when you’d like this done? On the other hand, do you have hard deadlines we need to know about? Keep in mind that many designers charge premiums for a rush job, as you’ll be bumping out other paying customers in line to provide you priority status.

When it all comes down to it, each RFP winds up being its own thing. The list provided here is really just a guideline to help you out in getting an honest, robust, and accurate project estimate from a designer. You might need to scale your own RFP to suit the size and scale of your own website, but you’re not likely going to need much more on top of what is outlined in this content.

Whether you choose us or not, we’re always ready to help anyone wanting assistance in putting together their RFP.

request for proposal template