52 Power Up Part 4

We’re excited to roll out ten more tips in Part 4 of this 52 Power Up collection. Apply them and get your site looking incredible and performing better in no time.

52 Power Up. Part 4. All Killer. No Filler.

TIP 31: Considerations for e-commerce

Having an online store has never been easier. But if you are planning on building one or getting a developer to do it for you, take the time to think through how it will function.  What do you need your website to do?  There are always more considerations that you might expect. For example:

SHIPPING: what’s the plan?  This details stops many dead in their tracks – so it is good to think it through to create a shipping matrix – and you may need to purchase an extra plugin to get the shipping functionality that you want.

PAYMENT: How will people pay?  Paypal is easy – but if you are going to have people make payments on your website, you need to make sure that you have an SSL certificate and there are extra considerations.

INVENTORY: are you managing inventory between both brick-and-mortar and online?  Can you sync those together in the e-commerce platform that you will choose?

PARTIAL PAYMENTS: Do you sell a large ticket item (ie, a retreat) that you want to divide into payment options?  This is extra functionality and will require more than your basic shop.

WHOLESALE PRICING:  Again, extra functionality

EXTRA PRODUCT OPTIONS: Does you product have extra options that you need gather information for?  There is amazing functionality for this – but again, it is not going to be part of your entry level store.

Those are just a few – but you get the idea.  If you take the time to think through what you want your customers buying process to be, you will start to see the functionality that you will need to have to make that happen.

TIP 32: DIY photos, for more engagement

Photos on your website will engage your visitor 80% more than any other element. The bottom line is, you need to have them! Hiring a photographer is not always an option so why not DIY them. Photos of yourself, your service or your products make your website personal, relatable and memorable. Grab your cell phone and keep these tips in mind…

LIGHTING: Shoot in soft light, nothing too bright or dark. Take your shots outside if you can and on an overcast day. Shooting by a window works well too.

CLEAN LENS: It would be a waste if you work hard on your images only to discover a spot in your shots from goobers on your lens.

BREAK THE MOLD: Take your shots from above or below; add an interesting background or a pop of brand colour; be casual instead of posed – anything to break the standard will make your images far more interesting.

ADD SPACE: If you play to use your image as a background for text on your website, shoot with that additional space in mind. Keep your subject to the left or right and shoot with additional background in the space where you’ll add text later.

NO FLASH: Flash adds stark contrast to your shots that are not appealing. If your shooting in the right light, you wont need your flash.

DON’T ZOOM: The zoom feature on your phones adds a grainy effect to your images. This tends to make the image look poor quality. Instead crop your photo later using an editing program.

EDIT FOR APPEAL: Once you have your shots, use a free online editing tool to add filters, edit and enhance. These programs really give your photos a pro finish. Instagram is amazing for this (although you will be forced to crop your images to a square format). Other editing programs that we love are listed below.
.
www.pixoto.com
www.picmonkey.com
www.canva.com

TIP 33: Love it. share it!

If I find something in the world that I love: an article, an image, or whatever it is – I love to share it. And I’m not the only one.

When you create great content on your website, people will want to share it. So it makes sense to make that ‘share’ as easy as possible for them. Don’t force them to copy/paste a URL. There is simple functionality that you can add to your site. It’s called social sharing functionality. It is a great thing to offer because:

1. Having others speak of your value is WAY MORE VALUABLE than you telling them that you are valuable. And..
2. The sharer will choose which social network to share on, and it will be the one that they are most active on. This means that your content is being shared with a similar community who probably holds the same values as the person who liked your content to begin with. You are reaching the right kind of person for your content.

And you can add this social share functionality easily with a plugin.
Here is a free plugin: http://bit.ly/2dIr9nr
Here is a paid plugin: http://bit.ly/2cJLqXD

 

 

TIP 34: Make your blog work harder for you.

An easy, but effective, way to make your blog work harder for you is to add blog snippets to your home page that auto refresh every time you go live with a new post. A “snippet” includes a blog’s feature image, caption and link to “see more”. Here’s why its important to have at least 3 snippets on your homepage:

62% more of blog articles are read when their snippets are found on a home page. It encourages visitor to link to your actual articles directly from the homepage.

Your website will rank higher on search engines. Why? Search engines visit your site every 30 days looking for new content. Even if you’re blogging only once a month AND you have your most recent blog snippets on your homepage, this acts as new content. You’ll be rewarded on the search engines.

TIP 35: Keep your site updated.

WordPress releases updates for three reasons:

1. to improve features + make it easier to use
2. to add security from hackers and
3. to fix any bugs in the programming.

People often ask if they can just click update button and call it completed? My response is – it’s not so cut-and-dry. Updating can definitely be a simple and painless process – but the click of that update button can also kill your website instantly.

Best Practice:

1. create a backup right before you update (and know what you’ll be doing with that backup if you need to restore your website from it
2. Update plugins one-at-a-time, so that if something goes wrong – you know which one caused the problem
3. Update every single plugins & theme that you have installed, even if they’re no activated
4. Test your site functionality after the update (forms, navigation, shop, etc…)

I’ve written a blog post with some finer details in terms of updating your website, check it out!

 

TIP 36: Picking the perfect colours.

So, we all know that colour is pretty important for branding – right? It should be use consistently in everything we do to promote our businesses. Picking the perfect palette isn’t always easy either. And if you’ve ever tried to design a website, you’ll also know that its not just about the colour, its about knowing the code that colour represents as well. So how do you make this all happen? Introducing  >> COOLORS.CO << the best little tool for not only picking colour, but knowing all of the codes associated with them (for web and print too).

TIP 37: Lighten up! It’s only technology 🙂

If you feel stuck in the middle of a big tangly website project – give yourself this simple pause.  Lighten up, it’s just technology!  If something goes wrong, the world will not end – in fact, things probably will go wrong – and that’s not a problem.  Approach it with humour, and give yourself a break.

Done is better than perfect, that’s our motto every day around here.  Don’t get stuck in a rabbit-hole of indecision – because, my goodness, that’s is simply no fun!

You have the power to move past that feeling of overwhelm.  Look at your obstacle, then choose your route to get over it.  Do you need to move past it, get through it or shuffle around it?  Whatever you choose – take the route that will move you along to happier pastures.  You’ll certainly learn a little through the process, and you are transcending the problem.

Once you’ve done all that, you deserve that cake.  Enjoy!

TIP 38: Resources to up your visual game!

Did you know that 40% of website visitors will STAY LONGER on a site that uses great photos? A great stat to know, but unless you’re a photographer or designer, where do you get amazing photos and graphics? These are some of our faves…

https://www.pexels.com/
http://www.freepik.com/
http://www.flaticon.com/

Be sure to comment below with your favourite resource sites!

TIP 39: Having a budget does not equal a bad website.

Just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you have to compromise your website. The main components are having a website that is responsive, engaging and easy to navigate.  And we are fortunate that these days technology allows for the rest to relatively simple.

The main conflict is that it can be distracting and time consuming to figure it all out yourself, but expensive to get a professional site built for you.

This is exactly why we started our Website Bootcamp –  because DIY-ing it on your own is a lot of searching, finding wrong answers, skewed answers, complicated answers, and too many Just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you have to compromise your website. The main components are having a website that is responsive, engaging and easy to navigate.  And we are fortunate that these days technology allows for the rest to relatively simple.

In our course we provide years of insights that come only from experience. We believe deeply in the power of small businesses, and we are working hard to help small businesses get off on the right foot.

We offer affordable workshops to get your website done the right way, And give you the knowledge to maintain it your self.  Join us!

TIP 40: Your Terms and Conditions page.

Are you doing all that you can to protect yourself and your business? Terms and Conditions are crucial because they form a contract between your business and everyone who visits your website. They are an excellent way to protect your brand and your business. Here are just a few reasons why you should add a T&C page to your site:

  1. If you have an online store, you can protect your online transactions by having return, cancellation, shipping and other guidelines clearly outlined.
  2. Disputes can be easily resolved with customers by outlining clear-cut rules.
  3. If visitors can post on your website, you can specify that you have the right to remove an account or comment – protecting yourself for others posting inappropriate content on your site.
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Niki Campbell

I am Niki, the web developer behind all that is Brand Brilliant. When building sites I always ensure that they are well thought-out and structured with a decisive strategy in place.If you're interested in what brought me here? I have now been building websites for 19 years. I am a strategist, screen-printer, graphic designer and (of course) web developer.During my 19 years I've taken many tangents. Creating my own retail shop, raising my son Arlo, and always keeping my hands dirty in my screen-printing business.I believe in the simplification of complex concepts and I love helping others to learn to simplify as well.

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