Web tools can turn your site into a dynamic business driver
According to Oberlo.com, E-commerce will have 1.92 billion global digital buyers this year, with E-commerce accounting for nearly 14 percent of retail sales worldwide.
Which means websites, and how they are designed and function, will continue to be a major force in the growth of E-commerce.
There are two major elements to the effectiveness of a website: the design and function of the site and the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of the site.
These two elements go hand in hand. Your site won’t be effective if it does not look and operate as a window to your business and it won’t be effective if users cannot find it.
Fortunately, there are steps website owners can take to enhance their site’s design and boost sales:
Optimize your website load speeds
Your E-Commerce business will live or die on the strength of your website. If the site is poorly designed and has slow load speeds, it will not last. Seventy-five percent of Internet users make a judgement about a site based on a first impression. If it takes longer than four seconds for your page to load you will lose 25 percent of potential viewers. Many first-time E-Commerce businesses fail because they skimp on upfront website development.
A website with large graphic files and photography will not load as fast as a clean website design with minimal graphics. For maximum efficiency, use design elements that provide faster load speeds.
Your existing customer base deserves attention
It’s more cost-effective to sell to your existing customer base than to acquire new customers. Remarketing ads and email campaigns to existing customers should be part of your marketing strategy.
Google tracks users who are repeat visitors to your site. You have already established your brand with these customers. Make them a value offer and they will come back to your site.
Optimize your eCommerce business for mobile access
Market research indicates that mobile is now king. Mobile devices have surpassed all other devices as the most popular way to access the Internet. Your website design should reflect this reality. Make sure your design is responsive. That means it has to be designed to display correctly on whatever size and shape screen is used.
If your site is intuitive and easy to navigate, it will be more effective.
Harness the power of the landing page
Landing pages, especially those dedicated to a specific product or service, must include a call to action and be designed to convert a casual browser into a customer.
Savvy markers create landing pages for specific audiences. This targeted approach to web marketing is pushing sales through the roof.
Consider the social aspect of your marketing
People are social creatures. As of March 31, Facebook had 2.38 billion monthly active users, an eight percent increase from the previous year. There is a need for people to be part of something bigger than themselves, especially when it comes to an investment of time and money. When designing your website, accommodate customer testimonials and reviews.
Invest in solid web design. The return on investment will be well worth it.
The app marketplace is teeming with applications that can help you improve the design and function of your site, as well as its SEO capabilities.
Let’s start with the design of the site.
There are a multitude of web design apps out there. Here are some of the apps that showed up on our radar:
Adobe XD is a vector graphics editor and prototyping tool for UX designers. First launched in 2016 as part of the Creative Cloud, the app is now free for everyone.
Adobe XD enhances collaboration with multi-person teams.
A powerful editor, Bluefish was designed for programmers and web developers. The multi-platform application supports many programming and markup languages.
It runs on Linux, FreeBSD, MacOS-X, Windows, OpenBSD and Solaris desktop operating systems.
Although Bluefish is a smaller web design tool, it packs a punch. The installer, at less than 53MB, loads quickly. The text only interface was created for ease of use, featuring clear-cut toolbars, user customizable menus and syntax highlighting, according to the company.
Practitest is a QA management tool for both manual and automation testing of your site. It enables full visibility in the testing process. Practitest features third-party integration, bug trackers, and automation tools.
Practitest can do the following:
- Create manual tests and organize them based on cycles, sprints, etc.
- Integrate manual testing with your automation and CI processes.
- Customize fields, views, permissions, issue workflows and more.
- Create a better user experience when it comes to search capabilities.
- Slice and dice all your information using hierarchical filter trees.
An online database platform that allows sites to use predefined solutions to gather, share and manage business information.
Their online database software is scalable to allow for businesses to grow without having to change their database platform.
This open source editor was developed for designing, developing and editing code. Using an integrated packet manager, this editor accommodates add-ons from Github, which developed the app.
Like Adobe’s Dreamweaver, using the Atom Text Editor requires some coding, which will scare off the non-coders in the room. However, coders will tell you this is the only way to get your site exactly the way you want it.
This app from Google Chrome Labs is designed to fight the problem of bulky, large file-size images that tend to slow your site’s loading speed. Squoosh lets developers compress and reformat images using codecs and is available on all browsers.
Similar to bit.ly Linksplit allows you to take your Url and condense it into a smaller more trackable link. Linksplit can distribute traffic evenly to any number of destination URLs, according to the company.
The company says you can easily “split, rotate, and distribute traffic to multiple destinations evenly via one simple, powerful link.”
Canva tells us that with their product you can:
- Design anything.
- Publish anywhere.
- Use Canva’s drag-and-drop feature and professional layouts to design consistently stunning graphics, design presentations and social media graphics.
Canva offers millions of images, stock photos, vectors and illustrations, or you can upload your own. With Canva, web design becomes a simpler process, allowing for ease of use for resizing, adjusting and cropping.
PixelModo helps even beginner level graphic designers create visually appealing graphics.
The easy-to-use design tool allows you to draw on a deep databank of images that can be customized to your site.
The user interface is intuitive and will make even a novice feel like a seasoned graphic designer.
With so much content floating in the cloud, making sure your content is original and not lifted from another source is an important part of website management. Quetext, a plagiarism checker and citation assistant, makes it easy to check the originality of a document.
Quetext’s plagiarism prevention technology features fine-tuned algorithms that dive deep into the Internet to check millions of content sources. Quetext can crawl the Internet in seconds.
The company’s DeepSearch algorithm goes beyond simple word matching, looking for “contextual plagiarism,” which scans sentences or phrases in context.
Adobe’s Dreamweaver allows you to code your website design directly with a minimal amount of programming experience. The software uses visual and HTML editing.
By coding your own site, owners can customize the look and feel of their site rather than rely on a template.
With websites, and their design, now making more of a difference in a company’s bottom line, web tools out there can make your website hum like a well-oiled engine.
It’s all about efficiency, effectiveness, creativity and optimization of resources.
Search Engine Optimization
Once you have ramped up the look and functionality of your website, it’s time to consider what web tools could optimize the search ability and findability of your site.
We looked at some of the top apps to strengthen your SEO:
Google says the Search Console tools and reports help you “measure your site’s search traffic and performance, fix issues, and make your site shine in Google Search.”
And isn’t that what every site owner is seeking?
According to Google, the Search Console will help you accomplish the following:
- Optimize your content with Search Analytics
- See which queries bring users to your site.
- Assess impressions, click and Google Search position.
In addition, you can submit sitemaps and individual URLs for crawling, review index coverage to make sure Google has the most up-to-date view of your site and finally, understand how Google Search sees your pages.
Ahrefs is quickly becoming the leader in the SEO field. Ahrefs allows you to track keywords, preform keyword research, monitor rankings, track the ranking of your competitors in organic search and disphers what kind of traffic they are generating.
Ahrefs has data for more than 150 million keywords and uses a Top Pages report to track which pages send the most traffic and a Content Gap feature to uncover keywords you don’t rank but your competitors do.
KWFinder finds keywords that can drive your organic web traffic through Google.
KWFinder touts a strategy of low SEO difficulty and high search volume. They claim to have the most accurate keyword SEO data.
KWFinder is a leader in identifying relevant keywords to drive traffic to your website, Youtube channel or blog.
SEMrush is a keyword research tool that tells you what things people are searching. It also provides information on ads, product listings and other marketing-related data.
According to the company, SEMrush not only helps you perform day-to-day tasks, but also provides a clear, in-depth analysis that can be incorporated into your digital marketing strategy.
Umit Yilmaz, SEO engineer at Ebay, said the following: “With SEMrush we are able to identify opportunities and react to them in less time by having a trusted source of data that is extremely easy for the whole team to access.”
Ubersuggest’s SEO pages report reveals competitor’s page rankings for organic keyword phrases. The report also indicates which ones are scoring high on Facebook and Google.
Ubersuggest can find hundreds of new long tail keywords in minutes. It aggregates data from Google Suggest. Ubersuggest says it can reverse engineer your competitor’s SEO, content marketing and social media marketing strategy.
SpyFy exposes your competitor’s search marketing strategies. With SpyFu, you can search for any domain and see every place they have shown up on Google, every keyword they have purchased on Adwords, every organic rank and every ad variation over the past decade, according to the company.
SpyFu can do the following:
- Drive clicks to your SEO or Adwords campaigns.
- Keyword ranking tracking.
- Monitor SEO rankings on Yahoo, Bing and Google.
- Provide contact info to help build partnerships or generate sales leads.
WooRank says its in-depth website analysis app can help website owners learn how to improve website rankings and online visibility through SEO, social media, usability and much more.
You can download reports or presentation slides in one click, according to the company.
WooRank’s integrated marketing checklist provides a prioritized set of tasks and provides a full report card on your site. It then launches a list of things you can do to improve its SEO and mobile friendliness.
BuzzStream is web-based software that helps marketers promote their products, services and content to build buzz for their brands, according to the company.
They want to speed up the research process by making it easier to navigate prospect lists, add contacts to a campaign and automatically gather website and social metrics.
BuzzStream specializes in the following:
- Campaign management
- Outreach templates
- Finding contact information
By helping you target the right keywords to creating custom reports, Moz Pro removes some of the complexity often associated with SEO.
Moz Pro helps site owners better understand their customers. How are people searching for your products/services? What keywords are being used and what questions are they asking? Moz Pro says knowing the answers to these questions can help site owners create higher quality content.
Moz Pro offers a Chrome extension that enables site owners to get information from any domain that is visited.
According to its site, Yoast believes in Open Source. Yoast wants to give everyone the opportunity to rank in the search engines. Its SEO plugin, blog posts, and online courses enable both large companies as well as small websites to attract the traffic they desire.
Yoast, originally the WordPress SEO plugin, later rebranded to Yoast SEO, went through an evolution.
Today, Yoast features the following:
- The most advanced XML Sitemaps functionality at the push of a button.
- Control over site breadcrumbs.
- Set canonical URLs to avoid duplicate content.
- Meta and title description templates for better branding and more consistent snippets.
Because E-Commerce has emerged as such a critical element in business, the design, functionality and SEO strength of your site has never been more important.
In this blog, we highlighted two groups of web tool apps: those that enhance the functionality of your site, including load speeds, analytics, graphics and images, testing, databases, editing code and plagiarism, to name a few; and our second set of web tools focused on SEO, making your site searchable and findable. We featured web tools that track keywords, provide analytics and drive clicks to your site.
These lists do not capture all the apps out there and there are new ones emerging on a regular basis.
All the apps on the market, however, are designed to make your website design the most efficient it can be while giving your enterprise optimal chances to drive new and repeat business.