Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Why and How to Do a Content Audit?

How to do a website content audit Perhaps you’ve already heard and read on several resources that Content matters and that from time to time you have to do a content audit.

You’ve also must have heard that content must be qualitative. Due to the recently appeared Google Panda and Penguin, black hat and grey hat SEO practices are obsolete now and will yield only penalties for you.

Another topic that is currently hot is the responsiveness of your website. Earlier it was only a trend, but now it’s a must– how else will you reach your audience that uses mobile devices to browse your website?

Making your website responsive is much easier than making a separate mobile version. You won’t have to pay as much for responsiveness and the content of your website will have only one URL, which facilitates sharing and discussing the content.

While all of it is true, no word was mentioned on what to do with the heaps of content that already is on the websites, especially if we are talking about websites of well-established businesses. You may redesign your website for it to be squeaky clean and new, but old and obsolete content may show its ugly head through incompatibility with the new design or in any other way.

That’s the main reason why it’s essential to do a content audit before uploading it to the redesigned website. Thus, you’ll get the chance to get rid of the outdated and unnecessary content, leaving more place for a new one. This problem may appear unexpectedly while designing a mobile version of your website. If you don’t get rid of the old and obsolete content, it may appear on the pages that were never meant for it.

Thus, it may clog the access to your multi-layered content, leaving only 2 out of 4 or 5 layers accessible. Due to this, other layers of content will be accessible only through search and you definitely don’t need that.

Conducting a Website Content Audit is a MUST

There is no way around it – it has to be done, despite the fact that no one is willing to do it because raking through piles of obsolete content is no fun. However, content is the what people interact with on your website, which is why it must correspond to modern trends and be absolutely relevant.

Every company can conduct this content audit for different reason. Some browse through it to find outdated information and remove it. Others want to restructure it and present in a way that is better for understanding.

In any case, managing the content you already have can set realistic expectations of the new website design, as well as help you choose the right direction for it.

How to do a content audit?

The best way to conduct a website content audit is to take every single page separately and review all the Website content audit template to use elements that it includes. Start with the text, see if it's relevant, contains useful, concise and up-to-date information.

Define its purpose – is it a story, a guide, a featured article or simply a block of information with instructions on using certain sections of your website. Delete and modify it to correspond to the recent changes if such changes took place.

Further on you might want to look on the banners, promotions and button inscriptions. Perhaps you’ll have a great idea for updating it – go ahead, because any new element is more exciting than the one your visitors saw a thousand times already.

Besides, you’ll have a better structure of your page in general if you take time to learn how the type of text that you defined information on your page to be, must look like professionally.

What content audit tools to use?

The very process of reviewing your website’s content has been around for a long time. However, recently there has appeared a wide row of tools that you can use to help you analyze the content. One of the best this Content Analysis Tool (CAT).

This content audit software costs just a couple of dollars, but will provide you with detailed reviews of each page of your website. This is extremely useful, considering that in such way you’ll be able to notice and weed out bad content.

Tough Decisions

Remember that there is no way around it and there is no right way to conduct the content audit. Your purpose is to find what is called a “golden mean” – a structure and meaning of the content that will be convenient and appealing both to users as well as for designers, who’ll be working on updating your website to make it a responsive one with positive UX.

Try to make the content on your website brief and concise – straight to the point. People don’t like to work hard to obtain something and they will definitely won’t be doing any additional reading.

If your website has many pages, overloaded with info – it just won’t be supported in the responsive version. Make it short, interesting and scalable.

Have you recently done a content audit on your website or you are planning one? What you think is the toughest part in the whole content audit process?

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Increase Click-Through Homepage Carousel by Avoiding these Usability Mistakes

Increase conversion through proper format of homepage carousel. In compliance with the recent research– only 1% of 3 million visits to the website’s home page results in clicks on homepage carousel.

The majority of clicks are made on the first slide and after that the click rate drastically drops with every following slide.

It’s quite surprising,considering the fact that it’s an important widget, found on many websites.

Apart from that, it’s a colorful and engaging graphic element, which must attract a lot of attention.

So why users tend not to engage homepage carousels? The problem is not the beauty of the carousel itself, but in its navigation and several other structural mistakes that designers unknowingly commit.

1. Replace navigation arrows with label navigation

After a couple of clicks without finding what they are looking for, customers look at the right navigation arrow that shows if any more slides are available. If they are, customer simply looses interest as he gets tired of endless line of slides and thinks that he will not find what he is looking for on your website. Thus, customer never gets to see the other slides of the carousel.

However, this situation drastically changes when navigation labels are used instead of small and hardly visible arrows. The results improve even further, when you add clear and comprehensive inscription on labels.

Thus, customer immediately sees if the product he’s looking for is on the website. Besides, you can place navigation buttons in a clearly visible area, increasing the engagement rate and amount of clicks on all the slides.
Use descriptive labels on carousels

2. Remove auto-sliding, when user has already taken control 

Auto-sliding is a very frequently used technique on the majority of websites that have homepage carousels. It helps users to engage with the most important content.

However, users will loose interest if auto-sliding doesn’t stop when they’ve taken manual control and are trying to get to the slide that's the most interesting for them or stay and read the slide.

Stop the auto-sliding as soon as they engage and you’ll see the considerable improvement.

3. Show new additions by rows, not one by one

Researches show that people like to browse new items in batches, because this way they can see multiple items at once. Despite of this, some website owners tweak their carousels in such way that allows items to be shown one at a time.

It’s very inconvenient and irritating and is fully capable of considerably reducing the engagement with the carousel. People don’t like to work more than they have to, which is why they will more likely convert if they will be able to see all the new items in several clicks.

What else can be done to improve homepage carousel?

Make items progression clear and compressive

People like to be in control - knowledge of how many items are there to see gives a feeling of confidence and control. If your carousel shows this progression in a non-intuitive way visitors on your website will get irritated.

Such situation occurs when a certain number of items is shown out of the entire number. Much better option is to show how many rows of items are there and which row the visitor is on.

Click targets must be bigger

When you design homepage carousel, you need to take into account that your visitors come from various age groups. Some people have better vision than others, which is why click targets on your carousel must be bigger.

Sometimes the size of the arrows is smaller than the cursor and this is unacceptable, because your visitors will get irritated and will quit your website, begin unable to find what they are looking for.

What's you experience with homepage carousel? We would like to hear your opinion from both points of view - user and business owner.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Button Design Techniques to Improve User Experience (UX)

Button design principles for creating attractive websites
Principels of successful button design
It’s not a secret that currently one can create a button via multitude of ways. The majority of these methods are quite similar, nevertheless in rare cases you see a button that is very different from the rest of them.

These unique buttons were simply created with a little more time, attention and effort.
Was it worth it to spend time on button design? Definitely, otherwise, no one would have paid any attention to them.

The most widespread methods of buttons creation are CSS3 and special tools. But before you get down to creating a magnificent button that everyone will like – you need to take a minute and think about the purpose you’re designing this button for and how it will fit the overall look of your website.

If you’re creating a button just for the sake of it – why would you take a trouble of creating something unique? You can just download a free button set that somebody uploaded and be done with it. However, if your goal is to deliver an award-worthy design, it’s worth to consider several button design aspects that are outlined below:

Consistency with the brand

Your button design must be consistent with the context you’re creating them for. What does this mean? It means that your should pick corresponding color scheme and graphic style, maybe even use the brand logo or borrow its form if possible.

You are not limited by anything: play with fonts, colors, pattern and shapes. Let your creativity run wild. If you see that website design is flat – create buttons in the same style.
It won’t be wise to use shiny gibbose buttons – just make sure that your button will blend seamlessly into the overall design of the website.

Ask yourself: Is my button contrast enough?

Considering that at the moment people want simple, yet visually pleasing website designs, web designers are forced to include lots of eye-candies. This means that the page will have a lot of vivid and attention-grabbing elements.

Make sure buttons have enough contrast
Use different colors, size and shapes for button design
However, you need to make sure that the button design is clearly visible and can be easily found. The higher the contrast, the better. You can outline it with different colors, shades and fonts, just remember to make it stand out without sacrificing overall UX.

Is your button design compatible with the content?

You need to keep in mind that buttons must match not only the logo of the company, but also the overall UI. For example, buttons can be buttons on the mobile version of the website, but on the desktop website they can be replaced with something unusual and interesting.

Use shades with caution

Remember that any shades look much better, when they are darker than the element itself. Which is why, when your element is darker than surrounding, you need to be very cautious.

Conceal secondary elements

You should always keep in mind that secondary elements, such as menu elements, controllers and bars can be similar (same corners, shape), but with different shades, borders and gradients.

Shape of the buttons

Change the button shape from square to round.
Round vs square button
In case the interface of your website includes too many buttons of the same shape – it’s definitely time to change that.

You need to make at least the most essential buttons stand out. You can change their shape from square to round. It will definitely attract the attention of users.

Outline of the buttons

Always remember: under no circumstances can the button’s outline be lighter than the button itself. Moreover, the outline of the button must be darker than the background – it’s a golden rule that needs to be followed.

Make use of icons

When working on action button design, icons can be your best friends. For instance, in case you’re designing a “Next Page” button and don’t know how to go about the buttons inscription – just use an arrow, pointing to the right and users will understand that this button is for going to the next page. Such button will look better than overused “Next” or “Next page” buttons.

Indicate the importance of the buttons with color saturation

In case your website has lots of functions and options it’s recommended to focus the attention of the user on the most important ones from the very start. For this exact purpose, you can make the most important buttons the most color saturated.

Apart from that, you can use association. For example, if a set of buttons is related – make the most important one – deep blue and the less important ones blue and then light blue.

You can also make use of the buttons’ size and make the most important buttons big and clearly visible.

The last, but not the least button design technique

Indicate button’s state

Design professionals can easily distinguish the state of the button, however, that is not the case for the rest of us. User will try to click the button whether it’s active or not and will get frustrated if it’s inactive.

To avoid the unpleasant situations like that – you can simply use CSS instruments, such as shades, gradients and borders to show that the button isn’t active yet.


As a web designer, you have you own approach to button design. It's nothing bad in re-using predesigned elements or UI styles, as they are a great way to save time and money. But if you want to add a dose of uniqueness to your website, crafting you own web buttons is the path to go.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Market Research Methods for Developing Successful Marketing Campaigns

Market research methods for designing successful campaigns. Marketing campaign cannot be properly organized without conducting a detailed market research. It’s like stepping in bathtub, without knowing the temperature of the water.

Besides, you don’t need a big funding to conduct market analysis – you can always use some market research methods always at hand. Be it human or financial.

Below are a few market research methods, vital for the success of your marketing plan.

E-mail Surveys

You can always use the old and secure method – conducting research via e-mail.
The only thing you need to keep in mind is that no one likes and no one will read and participate in a survey if it’s going to be long and tiresome. Try immediately getting to the point.

In addition, you can use a lot of online tools for surveys, such as Smart Survey, Survey Gizmo, SurveyPlanet and so on.

Personal meeting with the top clients

Words cannot describe what we can feel and see in person, which is why nothing beats actual conversation with your best clients over lunch. Invite them to join you for a lunch in a respectable establishment and ask them what they do and don’t like about your company.

Make them say what they would like to see as additional features, what aspects they consider better than yours in regards to your competitors. You can also find out what is their favorite thing about your company and make a point of stressing this feature in your future marketing campaign.

Your aim is to make them feel unique and valued. Treat their ideas like they are the best they ever had.

Social Media

Use social media as a market research method. Where can you find and discuss the latest news of your industry?

On social media of course! Forums and chats are used by users to discuss the best and the worst features of this or that company.

Register as a user and try to discuss your company. You will get a lot of valuable information on the subject. You’ll find out what customers value in your company and what needs to improve.

Social media will provide a better scope on the image of your company in the wide row of companies from your industry. Use this as one of the basic market research methods to get precious feedback on your company.

Google Alerts

If you want to hear the real opinions about your business, you should definitely make use of Google Alerts. Using it will give you a chance to receive updates anytime someone mentions the name of your company online.

Just imagine how much you’ll learn of what the competition and customers think about you.

Personal Attention to Your Customers

In case your business is dealing with corporations or some major companies – take time to visit them in person. Nothing beats the pleasure of personal attention. Not even phone calls.

Visiting clients will help you create an image of caring and attentive to its customers company. This is how you win a positive reputation and build long-lasting relationships.

The oldest of market research methods still being used - Ask for Feedback

Asking your clients for feedback is a sort of personal interaction. It creates the impression that you truly care about their opinions, suggestions and wishes.

Ask your clients to leave feedback for services and/or products on your website. If you receive one and the same advice over and over again – you’ll know for sure what you need to improve.

It’s also important to keep in mind that issues aren’t a bad thing (that is if they are small and can be easily solved). Research shows that customers are more satisfied with those companies that handled their small issues with products or services quickly and efficiently, than with those, where they had no issues at all.

This happens because in case there is no issue– there is a doubt in competence of the company to handle it quickly and efficiently if there appears one.

That's our list of market research methods which proved their effectiveness in designing successful marketing campaigns. Do you know other techniques? Let's discuss them in the comment section below!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Improve Customer Satisfaction by Tweaking Mobile

Improve customer satisfaction by tweaking mobile Mobile devices play an important role when we talk about how to improve customer satisfaction, as more and more people use them for searching info in Google and making purchases.

Recently studies confirmed that the number of people, using Google search on mobile devices is already greater than the number of people u sing Google search from their personal computers or laptops.

Mobile devices are the bridge between the real world and e-commerce online stores.

They allow customers to browse your website and read reviews, make purchases and use the help of your customer support agents while being in another part of the world in the convenience store or taking a ride in a bus.

Nevertheless, the way people are using their mobile devices to contact the customer support of the online store they want to make a purchase in is gradually changing.

And if you use it incorrectly now, when it's all about customer satisfaction, your conversion rate will plummet and you won’t get positive marketing.

In the majority of cases, when a customer requires help, he uses Live Chat, available on almost every e-commerce website. In case, he doesn’t find the answer he was looking for he calls the store.

Thus, one customer is now connected to two different customer support operators, taking twice more time and resources to resolve the issue. What is even worse, in some cases online stores have a different database for each channel of communication, which is why customer needs to fill out the form twice and the 2nd customer support operator knows nothing of the customer’s interaction with the first one.

This results in irritation of the customer, who is on the verge of quitting his attempts to reach customer support and convert. Moreover, he may even leave a bad feedback on forums or website, specific to your nature of business.

Proactive websites are now using new way to improve customer satisfaction, forcing customers to call and talk to a live operator. Thus, more meaningful relationship is formed, where customer will feel much less irritation, while calling because he’ll be hearing a polite and positive voice, asking for the details of his account and calling him by name.

Given the situation described above, proactive websites need to consider the following customer experience strategies for 2016 to have an edge over the competition.

Key drivers to improve customer satisfaction


Keep in mind that customers need their experience to be consistent. You can achieve it by giving operators from various channels of communication an option to see the information client provided on any channel. This will spare customer the trouble of entering the same information over and over again, as he moves around the communication channels, trying to solve the problem.

Updated Technology

We are living in the era of ever-evolving technology, which is why we already have the option to keep other customer support operators apprised if one of them is already on the line or in live chat with a client. This will help you to avoid spending twice as much resources on the same problem.

Better Database

You need to create one database, which will be accessible to customer Support Operators from all departments. Thus, voice operators and live chat operators will see all the account information and e-mail of the customer.

This will greatly facilitate the issue resolution and your customer support operators will be instantly able to have an intelligent conversation with the customer, knowing exactly who he is.

IVR technology
Improve customer satisfaction with IVR technology

Interactive voice response (IVR) has been around for a while now. It can be successfully used for those customers, who use voice channels to get an answer. Clear understanding of the customer’s problem or desire, obtained via will allow you to redirect call to the operator, that is best suited for answering it.

Use mobile apps to avoid data sharing

At the moment, there exist a lot of apps, using which client provides personal details to get easier access to the accounts or profiles that he needs. These are great tools to improve customer satisfaction. You can also make use of this apps, integrating them in your customer support system.

Thus, all the customer’s information will be immediately passed to the customer support operator, while the customer himself will only have to push one button to contact your company. Just imagine how pleasantly surprised he will be, when he hears: “ How do you do, Mr. Johns? May I help you with anything today?” instead of “please provide your order number”.

These are some of the simple ways to improve customer satisfaction with minimal expense. Implement them and soon you will be pleased to see great results.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Digital Marketing Outsourcing vs Hiring Locally: Pros and Cons

Digital Marketing Outsourcing Pros and Cons. Marketing is a cornerstone of every company's success, which is why it’s crucial to thoroughly plan time and resources that you can allocate for it. In case you’re a startup and don’t have much funds and free time on your hands, internet marketing can be a very tiresome task.

You’ll have 2 choices: either to research marketing campaigns and try to create one yourself or to hire freelancers as they’ll take much less money and time.You can also hire a local agency, but that’ll cost you pretty penny and may not yield the desired results.

If you choose to stick to your guns and create marketing campaign by yourself, you’ll need to look through a couple of qualitative tutorials on the matter and decide which strategies are affordable and suitable for you, disregarding the rest of them.

However, if you o with freelancers, check out popular freelance websites, such as Guru or UpWork.com You’ll be able to find various people, offering to create a magnificent campaign for you.
Always remember that there is a connection between price and quality of work, so in case you hire someone for $5 per hour that work won’t make you happy. Go for the middle because thus, you may find a talented individual or agency that will be able to build a strong and efficient marketing campaign for you.

Key Advantages of Digital Marketing Outsourcing:


If your business if well-established and flourishing, it’s only natural that you hire a big team of marketologists. They won’t be limited by budget and will be capable of exploiting every possible way of advertising.

However, if you’re a startup and your resources are limited – digital marketing outsourcing is a good idea. It will allow you to find people, who are competent in what they do, but are ready to work for a smaller sum than those professionals, whom you can hire locally.

Chance to set a deadline

When you are looking into such freelance websites as Guru.com or UpWork.com, chances are that lots of people will bid on your project no matter the deadline. Naturally, there will be not only those, who can truly accomplish your project with a decent quality and within the set deadline, but also those, who bid on everything, regardless of their abilities.

You can quickly weed them out by looking through their portfolio, giving them a small task and see how are their results. Besides, price can also indicate the level of knowledge, a person, who is a professional in his sphere of work will never agree to work for a small sum.

Advantage due to the time zone difference

The difference in time zones opens magnificent opportunities: for example, if you’re located in the US, but hire someone from Germany – they will work, while your business is closed.

Thus, if there exists any kind of problem and you want it fixed overnight, just hire freelancers from the opposite part of the world and the job will be done, while you’re sleeping. It’s a huge advantage that needs to be exploited.

More time to focus on main task of the company

In case you know nothing about marketing and have no time to learn about it – digital marketing outsourcing is the right solution. Why would you spend the precious time, necessary for the development of your business, on something utterly uninteresting for you and time consuming.

Delegating this work to professionals is a much better option. In time, freed by outsourcing you will be able to create new services, products or work on perfecting the existing ones, increasing the revenue and possibilities of hiring an entire digital marketing team.

Risks of Digital Marketing Outsourcing

Nothing is perfect in this world, which is why it would have been unwise to assume that outsourcing has no negative aspects. If you outsource your digital marketing, you must be absolutely confident that the freelancer or team you’re hiring is truly capable of delivering the expected results. Below are a couple of risks, associated with digital marketing outsourcing:

Sharing of confidential information
Risks and benefits of outsourcing digital marketing
It’s only natural that you will have to share a portion of your confidential information with freelancer or freelance team you’re hiring. Information like that may contain company’s secrets.

This is the main reason why you need to examine the team you’re hiring thoroughly and draw up a contract for work, where this will be indicated.

Non fulfillment/Partial fulfillment of Obligations

It’s not a secret that some freelancers or freelance agencies may furnish their portfolio with the items they didn’t create. It’s extremely disappointing, especially if you’re hoping that the result of their work on your project will resemble clean lines and strong skills you saw in their profile.

This is the main reason, why you should always choose freelancers or agencies that have their personal website, where their works are displayed. Thus, you’ll know for sure that the works, they’re showing are real.

Communication Gaps

When you’re located on the other part of the world from your employee it’s not a secret that you’ll experience problems in communication. There are less chances for talking via Skype, which is why your only option is e-mail.

This may lead to a row of problems: for example if your employee needs to get your feedback on certain elements of your marketing campaign and you’re not available.


Carefully analyze the pros and cons of Digital Marketing Outsourcing before making up your mind. If there’s anything you can do in-house and you have the right skills and time, then maybe it’s worth to give it a try. If not, start researching digital companies.

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