This page has been created to answer the most common website development and digital marketing-related questions that we are asked.
If you have a question that isn’t answered here, please get in touch with us and we will be glad to help.
- Content Marketing
- Online Marketing
- Split Testing
- Technical SEO
- Web Development
- Website Development
Like with many decisions, the burden of choice can prove to be overwhelming when it comes to building an eCommerce website. We know that you want a functional, user-friendly and obviously mobile-optimised site and together we can find the best option for your needs.
More importantly, we will also help you find the most cost-effective solution.
The first step is to decide what you really need from your website:
- What do you want your eCommerce website to do?
- How many products/services do you need to display?
- What are your conversion goals?
- How will you attract visitors?
- What sort of shopping cart will you need to sell products?
Unlike some agencies, we like to start by thinking about how your eCommerce website will fit into your business (especially if it IS your business) and how you will drive traffic and sales. Spending a little bit of thought on the marketing now will make your business more successful later.
Oh boy, this is the fun bit! It’s also the stage that is the most subjective. We start by agreeing what the basic layout of your eCommerce website is going to be and from there we can add styles and images.
Things to consider here are:
- What pages will the website have?
- Which pages will go into the main navigation?
- What menu structure will you use?
- Do you need categories for products?
Taking the time to plan how the website will look will allow us to produce a website with a consistent brand image. Consistency is important because if your style isn’t consistent your website will not look professional and customers may have a hard time finding your products.
This is is the stage where all the elements come together nice. Once we know what you need us to build, we can build it. This stage will vary in complexity depending on the eCommerce website that needs to be built. eCommerce websites can take a little longer than simple sites and this especially true if you have a vast catalogue of stock, but if you have a tight deadline, we can usually do our best to work to it.
Our approach to working is flexible, so it is always possible to make small changes along the way as needed, although of course major design elements will be agreed in advance to avoid delaying or over-complicating the build.
Some eCommerce businesses may get by with a few simple pages and an email address, but most sites need a few extra bits to make them more useful and effective. So, the next step is to think about what features your users might need:
- Do you want a contact form or just an email address?
- Do you want an integrated blog?
- How about social media sharing buttons?
- Perhaps you want to display your latest Tweets in a widget…
Extra features don’t need to cost a lot, but it’s a good idea to plan them in advance so that they are all nicely integrated.
Once your site is finished, we hand over the reins. We know that eCommerce websites can often seem complex or daunting, so we can provide training on how to use and upkeep your new site, or if you prefer we can handle it for you.
We usually build sites in WordPress, which means that once it is complete, it should be reasonably easy for you to continue the maintenance on your own without the need for any coding.
However, if you require help and ongoing maintenance we can provide that too, either on an ongoing basis or just as and when needed. Making semi-frequent updates is a great way to keep your site fresh and relevant and it’s also good for your SEO too!
Yes, absolutely. For every website we use an appropriate CMS (usually WordPress, but this depends on the requirements of the site) which is “SEO Ready”.
As standard your site will have the capability to use:
- SEO Friendly URLs
- Page titles
- Meta descriptions
- Clean, easy to read code
- Fast response times
- Search engine friendly navigation
We can offer full SEO advice and planning and help to ensure that your site is launched with all of the on-page SEO taken care of. We can also help you to create a traffic generation plan so that your business hits the ground running.
Yes, if needed we can design a website to be mobile friendly or fully mobile responsive. The requirements of different websites are different, so if this is important to you, we can discuss various mobile responsive solutions.
In its simplest terms “mobile responsive” means that a website’s layout will adapt intuitively to the size of the viewing device. This is something that we naturally consider whenever we design a website, but for some websites it is a more important than for others.
We can provide content if required, or we can take your content and upload it to the site. Most websites will also be built in a way that you can add your own content if you wish to (no coding required).
If you want us to provide content we are happy to do so. Being an experienced SEO and content marketer we can advise on how to best position your content to attract visitors and customers.
The time taken to complete a website will depend on a lot of different factors such as:
- What type of site it is (ecommerce or simple website)
- How quickly you can provide any required information
- How quickly we can agree a design and layout
- How many pages and the complexity of the site
Depending on availability I can usually complete a simple website (optionally with blog) in about a week. If there are other limiting factors it can take a little longer and a very complex ecommerce website might take upto a month or two to launch.
If your project is urgent, let me know and we will always do my best to make it happen as fast as possible.
Your website needs to exist somewhere where it is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so that your customers can always find it. A web host is essentially a computer somewhere that is set up to provide this facility, with the correct software and management to keep it secure.
If you already have a hosting account then great, we can install your website directly. If not, I can set up web hosting for you at no extra cost. Again, this is a very simple process.
Yes, you will need a domain – such as: yourbusiness.co.uk (for example)
Don’t worry though, if you don’t have one already, we will help you to choose a name that is appropriate and we will organise buying it and setting it up.
So long as the domain name is available, it won’t cost very much at all (~£10) and it will automatically be pointed to your new website once it is built.
If you already know what you want and just want a little help with the technical bits then great, send us an email and let’s talk!
If you want a website but you don’t know where to start, send us a message and we will be happy to talk you through the options in an easy to understand way. We will ask you the right questions so that we can discover exactly what you need and make it happen.
The process really doesn’t need to be complicated and we will be happy to answer any questions and explain things in a way that makes sense.
If you want to do business on the internet then yes. But even if your business only exists in the offline world a website is like the modern equivalent of a business card.
A website is an opportunity for your business to be found. You can everyone about it and encourage people to find you online and learn more about what you do. You might be amazed by how much business a website can drive.
Of course, if you want to actually sell products or services online then a website is a must because quite simply your business won’t look professional without one.
In practical terms, the difference isn’t huge. A losing test would generally mean that the new design performs worse than the original. That means that the original version wins.
If the test is inconclusive it means that neither version wins. The test wasn’t able to gather enough data to say for sure whether either version was a winner.
Inconclusive tests happen when there is little difference between the conversion rates of the two versions.
When this happens, it is likely that even if the new version were to eventually win the improvement would be marginal. So it makes more sense to just end the test and move on to the next one.
In either scenario, the result is that drop the test variation and start a new test.
Statistics is a vital part of CRO. Don’t worry though, you don’t need to understand the minutae of how the numbers work – we handle that. That said, here is an overview (read our blog post on statistical significance for a more detailed answer):
If we test 2 pages against each other (version A and version B):
Let’s say that in our test, version A seems to convert at 10% and version B at 11%. Now obviously version A could “get lucky” and get a couple of sales at just the right time so that it appears to be converting at maybe 15%.
As the test goes on, probability (or luck) will cause the apparent conversion rate of each page to go up and down – but the more data we collect, the more accurate these measurements become.
When we talk about significance we are referring to the likely hood that version B is indeed better/worse than version A – rather than simply that one version has had some fluke conversions that have skewed the results.
Generally, the bigger the difference between the two conversion rates, the faster you will reach statistical significance – which is part of the reason that we normally try to test large changes or changes that we think will have the biggest impact.
This is a valid concern, the first thing to consider is who you want to run the test on. In most cases what you really care about is how well your site converts new customers (although not always).
It is entirely possible to segment your traffic and only run a split test on new visitors (or existing ones), and if you are concerned about visitors being used to your design then this is a good strategy.
Once you have found the winning design that you want to keep then you can always decide to phase in the new design gradually if you want to avoid upsetting current customers. Whatever the case, there are ways to ensure the validity of the split test and minimise disturbance.
This is a very difficult question to answer without adding a lot of caveats but the lame, coverall answer is that “it depends”. In particular it depends on what your website does and what your goals are.
Generally, the things that will have the biggest impact are the things that are most important to your conversion funnel. This is fairly common sense of course.
Try not to focus too much on things like button colours, and where you position page elements. It is generally bigger changes that produce the biggest results (try to start by getting an insight into your users’ behavior). This includes things like:
- Changing your marketing message
- Testing different product promotions
- Changing which features and benefits you promote
- Improving ease of navigation
Which pages you test really depends on your business and how your website is currently performing. This is exactly why we dedicate time at the start of each project to understanding how your website is performing and your visitors are using it. Read this post on the basics of CRO for a more detailed answer.
For instance, if your home page is terrible, and you are losing 99% of your traffic before it gets any further, then you should test your home page as a matter of urgency.
On the other hand, testing pages further down the conversion funnel is likely to produce more tangible results sooner. For instance, improving the conversion rate on your checkout page by 10% will likely improve your revenue by 10% – but improving your conversion rate on your home page could just increase the exit rate on your product pages.
The deciding factor is normally traffic. Testing your critical conversion pages (checkout, contact form etc) first is ideal, but they probably get less traffic than say your home page, which means that testing will take longer.
On the other hand, a successful test on your home page may or may not directly produce an increase in revenue, but it will mean that more traffic gets to your contact form, which means that you can test that page more successfully.
If you don’t get much traffic it will take longer to reach statistical significance (see below), which means that testing can take longer.
This is certainly frustrating, but it’s still worth pursuing split testing, you just have to adapt your strategy accordingly. We have covered this in more detail in a few blog posts (why your split test is going to take forever), but here are some good strategies:
- Only test one new page version at a time
- Run tests on your highest traffic pages
- Test big changes that are likely to yield big results
- Test multiple pages at once
- Be patient
Yes, there is every chance that conversion rate testing will impact your SEO in a positive way.
This is because, by definition, conversion rate optimization is all about making your website better for your users (read my full split testing methodology here). This sort of activity is exactly what search engines like Google want you to do.
In fact, Google openly encourage conversion rate optimization.
Link bait doesn’t mean one particular type of content per sae, it is simply the process of intentionally trying to make content that will attract links. This isn’t easy, and pulling it off takes a lot of hard work and a lot of trial and error, especially for newer sites with relatively small volumes of traffic.
Essentially, the process of creating link bait is the same as a well designed content marketing process. You can use short-term and gimmicky tactics to try to get a quick win, but we prefer long term thinking, since the results are generally better anyway. Here are a few things to think about:
- Who are the influencers in your niche?
- What sort of content do they often link to?
- What are you most knowledgeable about?
- How can you create a peice of content that appeals to those influencers?
- How can you get them to notice your content?
- How can you drive qualified traffic to your content?
If you try to include different types of link bait as a part of your overall content marketing strategy, and if you work hard and consistently at it, eventually you are likely to be successful.
There are 2 aspects to content marketing and at the risk of stating the obvious, they are:
- Creating great content
- Marketing it to the right people
The aim is to develop content that actually deserves links and rankings. There is a lot more to this than just pushing out article after article. You need to plan your content and go the extra mile to make something that people want to link to.
If your website is relatively new you will need to go out and spread the word about your content.
5… Just kidding. How many links you need doesn’t really make sense as a question. Google is getting incredibly good at being able to see through artificial link profiles, so if you focus onbuilding links to rank you are doomed to fail.
Our advice is not to worry about link building for SEO purposes, instead focus on generating traffic in order to earn links. Use link building to support your content marketing with the end goal being to generate links naturally.
This even applies to brand new websites, so don’t fall into the trap of thinking that just because your website is new you can’t generate links naturally – this is a myth that can hurt your business and your traffic.
There are many schools of thought to this, but the reality is that Google is pretty good at understanding synonyms and what phrases mean, so the specific keywords that you use are less important these days.
The most pragmatic approach is to focus (as usual) on the users. So for us for instance, for this website we might wonder whether we should target:
- Search engine optimization
- Digital marketing
- Traffic generation
The answer is that you should target whichever phrase your customers feel most accurately describes what you do. And of course you should trust that if you use the phrase “SEO” in your content, Google will “know” that your content is about internet marketing – even if you never use that specific phrase.
You need the bits which give the biggest benefit for the time you put in. Getting too bogged down in the details can be risky, but as a starting point there are a few basics that are worth thinking about.
- Title tags
- Meta descriptions
- Using H tags appropriately
- Ensuring your code is well written
- Ensuring your pages load fast
Other than that, your on-page SEO should mostly focus on what your users need. As it happens these needs often overlap what a search engine needs, but focusing on the SEO rather than the visitor is risky.
So your next step should be to think about how well written your content is, how useful it is and whether you have used keywords and links appropriately.
This is probably the commonest question any SEO gets asked and also the hardest to answer. The honest answer is that it depends on many factors. Generally though, you should expect results to take up to a few months.
For smaller sites, or brand new websites things might be a bit slower, since the hardest part is simply getting the ball rolling and building some credibility / authority.
If you have a larger site on the other hand, then making a few small improvements might produce a noticeable result faster. It also depends a lot on your niche of course, the strength of your competition and many other factors that are hard to predict.
No, SEO isn’t the only possible way to drive traffic to your website. However, if you want to be successful online you do need some sort of traffic generation strategy. Furthermore you need that strategy to bring you a positive ROI in terms of the amount of revenue it generates.
The great thing about SEO is that in the long-run it has the potential to provide a very good ROI, particularly when compared to more expensive tactics such as pay per click advertising (PPC). One big advantage is that once your site is established, SEO has the potential to bring in ever increasing volumes of traffic, so it can really snowball, and if you stop doing the work, although the traffic may gradually taper off, it will not immediately cease as would be the case with paid advertising.