TotalWeb Partners Blog

Why Retailers Need to Care About Web Development Platforms

Brands are struggling to build and grow customer loyalty in an increasingly complex omnichannel environment. According to Wanda Cadigan, VP commerce, Sitecore, many are struggling with mobile enablement, in addition to the ultimate vision of delivering a uniform experience over every customer channel imaginable.

For example, in the UK, there might be a really cool and exciting mobile app that allows customers to shop with one click, personalises their recommendations, and allows them to organise returns easily, possibly built on a proprietary platform. But in the U.S., perhaps this same platform either doesn’t exist or a similar experience is built on a completely different platform. And when you deal with that in two markets, imagine what complexity emerges when you’re active in 30-40, or 130-140 markets around the world?

What if a brand worked differently in every market? The customer experience wouldn’t be universal and would cause many frustrations for both the brand and its customers. The more platforms that are used, the more difficult it is to provide your customers with the consistent, high-quality experience they demand across all your markets.

How does this problem emerge? Well, often siloed systems are deployed in a market to meet specific needs. You want to do something specific in France? You buy and deploy a service locally, which unfortunately may or may not talk to the system that runs the rest of the business’ operations, and may not be available in the UK, Germany, the U.S., or other markets. In many cases, the systems deployed may only support specific countries, due to limitations in currency support, language support, local tax frameworks, and more. This makes scaling a consistent brand experience difficult.

Even more challenging is the fact that often brand experiences that are tailored and owned in-market (only sometimes abiding with global brand guidelines) can be impacted by being delivered on different systems or platforms.

Read more: Why Retailers Need to Care About Web Development Platforms

 

5 ways to enhance your marketing images on social media

Humans are visual creatures. Half of the human brain is designed to process visuals, more than the other senses such as touch and hearing. The brain is able to identify images in as fast as 13 milliseconds, and humans are able to remember more than 2000 pictures with at least 90% accuracy. So if someone sees a beautiful or a haunting image, they’ll won’t likely forget it.

In the age of social media, a picture is truly worth a thousand words. If you want to stand out, you must have really compelling visuals in your arsenal. Online consumers are said to retain only 10% to 20% of information, but when plain text is paired with visuals, they are able to remember 65% of the information. Another study revealed that content with photos or infographics registered a 94% increase in page views compared to non-visual content.

With billions of social media content out there, it is important that as marketers and content producers you are able to draw attention to your social media images, or people are going to forget about you.

Here are the best practices for visual content to get you started on improving the overall look and feel of your social media channels.

Use dynamic colour schemes
Using key colours that enable consumers to easily identify your brand or company is great, but that doesn’t mean you are stuck with blues or reds. Colours convey not just your logo, but also warmth and emotion. They set the mood and the atmosphere. While key colours help make branding more consistent, you don’t want to risk being too predictable.

A study on the impact of colour marketing found that 90% of snap judgements are made based on colour alone. This shows just how important colour is in social media design.

Instead of the flat colours, use light and dark gradients for a more unique feel. Evaluate whether you should go bold and bright or a little subdued. The key here is to be dynamic, allowing your brand to surprise even your most loyal fans. In order to get someone’s attention on social media, you must always keep it fresh and relevant. Keep your visual content consistent and exciting, and let your choice of colours do the trick for you.

Read more: 5 ways to enhance your marketing images on social media

 

5 Best Online Front-End Web Development Playgrounds

As much as I love offline web development editors and IDEs, I hate the inconveniences which come with having to edit code, then open a browser to test changes. Even when a browser tab with the test file is open, you constantly have to jump from editor to browser and refresh the tab before any changes will show in the output. I have the preference of working on sites where the output is shown in real-time.

As soon as the code is written, the test-ready output is delivered within seconds. Conveniently, editable code and testable output are shown side-by-side. Another joy of these online playgrounds is the huge community of web designers and developers publishing code snippets for the world to take a look at.

1. Codepen

CodePen is one of the largest communities for web designers and developers where users can test and showcase user-created HTML, CSS and JavaScript code snippets. It functions as an online code editor and open-source learning environment, where developers can create code snippets, named “pens”, and test them. Codepen’s editors come with some common functionality like normal ones, with respect to code indentation and colorful syntax highlighting. It also supports a huge array of preprocessors for HTML, CSS, and JS, including but not limited to, Pug, Slim, SCSS, TypeScript. The collaboration mode is also very helpful. You never have to lose your work, because it is automatically saved, and you can resume whenever you please. With similarities close to Github, feel free to fork and edit other user’s code as you wish.

2. JSfiddle

JSFiddle is a vibrant online community for testing and showcasing user-created and collaboration HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code snippets, most appropriately known as ‘fiddles’. It allows for simulated AJAX calls. Just like with Codepen, the clean interface puts the code and the result side by side, and results are applied immediately after clicking the run button. It features support for SCSS, as well as JavaScript libraries such as TypeScript, CoffeeScript, Vue and React. It keeps on improving, and recently rolled out a code hinting feature which will suggest some common CSS property and value names, same for JavaScript. Collaboration with other developers supported too.

Read more: 5 Best Online Front-End Web Development Playgrounds

 

Enjoy web development success with the best UI/UX design

Without an excellent UI or user interface, a website fails to deliver a better user experience that is crucial for the impending success of any business. However, keeping up with the latest and best UI and UX design trends as well as implementing them in web development, custom website development services face various challenges. They have to adapt according to changing realities and demands of the users. Now they have to visualize the importance and scope of UI and UX design in business websites. To obtain better results, web designers have to make significant efforts to create an entirely new and appealing website.

They have to look for best UI/UX design trends as well as layouts in mind to meet the needs of the customers. Here we present the best tops for web development with best UI/UX design.

1. Mobile friendliness

Well, you have certainly heard about responsiveness concept. It is the most significant part of offering a better user experience. As a UI and UX designer, you need to follow certain UI design principles and also consider the preferences and choices of the users. However, it isn’t necessary that all of the users can only access your site from their own desktops. They might access them on their mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. In this mobile age, the users like to access almost anything on their smartphones. Hence, when you are deciding to design a business website, you need to create mobile-friendly features. With this important addition to your own website, you can certainly see significant changes in the business results.

2. Using appealing images to attract user’s attention

We are quite aware that attractive layout, as well as content, significantly improve the user interactivity with the website. Images are another aspect which plays a vital role in achieving the user’s attention at first look. Hence, having unique images is among the best ways to get users attracted to your website. It also enhances the visual hierarchy as well as increases the users. You can easily manage it by inserting relevant text on the images that clearly mention the actual purpose and meaning of your business service.

Read more: Enjoy web development success with the best UI/UX design

Top 5 Easy Web Design Tricks for Marketers To Boost Conversion Rates

Maximizing website conversion rates remains one of the single biggest challenges for marketers today. Effective SEO and PPC can significantly increase website traffic. But raking high on search engines and driving website traffic is just the first step. Your site needs to keep visitors’ attention, convey the value of your offer and compel them to take a desired action — complete a form, download a document, or call your business.

If your website conversion rates are lacking, your landing page design may require an overhaul. The question you have to ask yourself is: how many leads or sales are you losing due to sub-par landing page design?

The good news is website conversion rates are something you can directly impact and improve. Even small landing page design changes can dramatically impact visitor engagement and conversion rates.

In the second version, a simple change produced big positive results.

By choosing a photo of a baby “looking” at the ad’s headline, users’ eyes were drawn to the text. Our eyes are naturally drawn to look where others are looking. Even if it’s a picture of a baby in an ad.

What subtle improvements could you make to your company’s landing pages to increase conversion rates? Here are our top five examples:

1. Choose an image that supports the call-to-action.

It’s easy to simply slap a header image from a stock photo site on your landing page and call it a day. But it can pay off to use an image that works in tandem with your headline and call to action. The right image isn’t just eye candy. It’s there to convey an important message to the user, and to provide important context.

Here’s an exercise to try: look at your header image without the headline, or the text to explain it. Does it still “say” anything about your product or service? If not, consider looking for something that compliments the text. Netflix does a great job of this on their signup page:

Read more: Top 5 Easy Web Design Tricks for Marketers To Boost Conversion Rates

 

Social Media Marketing for Small Business: What You Need to Know?

Only a handful of technologies could measure up to the internet in terms of the impact it had on the way small companies operate. All of a sudden, the majority of these locally-operating businesses were transported onto the global market, where they now had to struggle for survival against others of their kind.

Luckily, the world wide web has also given these companies a some new of means of dealing with this new competitive environment. Among the tools at their disposal, social networks are the ones that are seeing the most use. Companies of all sizes utilize social media to enhance their online standing in a number of ways, allowing them to acquire a more significant share of the market.

Not all companies have managed to leverage the power of social media to their advantage. Usually, this is due to limitations in terms of time, staff, and resources that are common among small businesses. With that being said, even a small business operation can find a way to utilize social media in their favor.

If you want to know more about this topic, you can scroll down and check out our short guide on social media marketing basics for small business.

How to Develop a Social Media Marketing Strategy
One of the main selling points of social media is the relative ease with which you can get an account up and running. Social media has been a mainstay of internet culture for a while now – I would be hard-pressed to find a person who hasn’t used an account on some social network at some point in their life. While this kind of knowledge is certainly a useful place to start, it is not sufficient for running a social media campaign for a business.

In order to use social media marketing for business, you first need to develop a strategy. Doing so involves figuring out what you hope to accomplish by promoting your business on social media. For instance, you might want to improve the conversion rate of your landing pages, increase overall website traffic, strengthen your brand, or get in touch with your most loyal customers.

Read more: Social Media Marketing for Small Business: What You Need to Know?

 

Winning the social media marketing game

Thousands of years ago, clans gathered around fires to share their day’s experiences and to tell stories that established group norms and shaped social organization. Today, the fire’s embers have been replaced by the glow of internet-connected devices, but the communal exchange of stories and perspectives remains a fundamental force in social development.

From a business standpoint, a few important differences emerge from this evolution. Social media users can now publicly discuss their experiences with brands or products, forming large coalitions of interest that exert vast social pressure on brands and other organizations. From the presidential election to the newest cereal, everything is now a matter of public interest.

The essential principle, however, of shaping our world by sharing stories remains the same. The connections we build with others around us are the infrastructure of social change. Understanding how these connections are formed on social media, the purpose of these connections and how they can be leveraged is foundational to social media marketing.

Read more: Winning the social media marketing game

 

How to defend yourself against an ongoing negative SEO campaign

You know what negative SEO is (and isn’t). You know how to audit your site to determine if you’ve been hit. You know how to protect yourself to limit your exposure. Now it is time to discuss how to defend yourself against an ongoing negative SEO campaign.

Who is attacking you?

There are a variety of ways to unmask the people targeting you and your site with a negative SEO attack. Some depend on the type of attack you’re experiencing. No matter how they are coming at you, you will need to collect some information in order to shut them down.

Let’s look at common attack methods and see how we can turn the tables and use what they’re doing to us — against them.

Inbound links
Using your favorite link analysis tool, you will need to segment the links you expect to have (your old links) to the new ones you believe are coming from an attack. This step is very easy to oversimplify because link scoring varies significantly, depending on your philosophy of links, risk tolerance and which tool you use to score links. The end result of this step is a list of links you think are part of an attack.

Check to see if the links being used against you are related or follow similar footprints:

  • Are you seeing a lot of links from low-quality blogs, scraper sites, bookmarking sites, wikis or directories?
  • Did a large number of new inbound links pop up at the same time?
  • Are a lot of your new links coming from the same IP address or countries?
  • Are the new links using the same anchors over and over?

This massive influx of inbound links can be the work of an individual or group using spam software. Spam software tends to leave some telltale traces, such as a high number of links using the same anchors or a concentration of links from a single specific footprint. An example of this might be links inserted in footers like this: “Powered by phpBB © 2000.”
If you were to look at your backlinks in your favorite link analysis tool, you might not immediately notice specific patterns or certain types of links. Look for unusual patterns such as adult and pharma anchor text phrases in new links, or a high volume of links you cannot attribute to any of your marketing activities. These types of links may indicate a negative SEO attack implemented by someone using a spam tool, or possibly someone using a network of sites.

Read more: How to defend yourself against an ongoing negative SEO campaign

 

Insights on Social Media Marketing: Scoop the Best for B2B Marketing 

Did you know that 71% of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others?

Not long ago, businesses would focus on newspapers and advertising through print. They still do, but clearly, digital media has taken over a major share of the branding budget in 2018. Now with smartphones and social media technology, businesses prefer to surf the tide of customer service using new-age marketing technologies. Social Media Marketing clearly demonstrates how technology amplifies brand messaging and meets new benchmarks in customer service benchmarks.

B2B marketing insights incorporated in social media are effective methods for traffic generation, interactive engagement and brand association.

  • IBM Watson worked with the US open to deliver real-time insights on Instagram of new engagements and experiences for millions of online fans. Customers form associations with the event and the brand, thus being an effective real-time marketing scenario.
  • A video is often named as the tool which has helped gain traffic in various areas of businesses. In the area of video marketing for B2B marketing efforts, 97% of marketers believe that videos have helped increase user understanding of a certain product/service.
  • Real-time responsiveness plays a critical role in customer experience. A great example of this is the Facebook page of Bluehost. Bluehost is one of the leading web hosting services company and boasts of a strong social media presence. The unrelenting efforts of their social media team provide opportunities to the brand in coordinating with their audience on real-time concepts.

Read more: Insights on Social Media Marketing: Scoop the Best for B2B Marketing 

How to Solve 3 Major Social Media Marketing Pain-Points That Continue to Exist

Social media marketing has immense potential in the areas of customer engagement, lead generation and sales. Using social networks, you can not only identify new customers, but also engage your current customers and expand their customer lifecycles. Yet, few social media marketers ever boast of having experienced these benefits. Why? Pain-points. Here are 3 major pain-points that you probably continue to experience and how to fix them permanently.

  1. Securing resources and time

According to an eMarketer survey, 46% enterprise companies find securing internal resources extremely challenging. That’s not very surprising. When was the last time you asked your boss to hire an extra hand for social media marketing? If it wasn’t too long ago, you’ll remember the sting of being turned down after ineffectively sharing your workload issues. Everyone assumes that social media managers simply tweet. Why should any company need more than one of those employees?

Solution

The simplest solution to this problem? Subscribe to a reliable social media management tool. Choose one that automates/organizes your most time-consuming tasks, so you can make room for tasks that actually contribute to your goals. Here are a few great examples of tools.

DrumUp for social media and content marketing

Using DrumUp, which a social media manager tool, you can schedule social media posts in advance, store drafts/completed ideas in organized folders, schedule across multiple accounts, curate content that your audience will appreciate, automate content sharing from RSS feeds (of your blog or interesting websites) and automate content sharing from libraries or pre-filled folders of your best evergreen content.

Canva for easy social media graphic designing

Using Canva, which is a graph designing tool, you can choose from optimized templates for sharing graphics on different social platforms. The tool also stocks templates for infographics, blog graphics, and so many other purposes, so you design-time is significantly reduced. If you have standard colors and fonts for your brand, you can also save your work on Canva and reuse the same templates to create quick social media graphics.

Read more at https://www.business2community.com/marketing/how-to-solve-3-major-social-media-marketing-pain-points-that-continue-to-exist-02079682

Read more: How to Solve 3 Major Social Media Marketing Pain-Points That Continue to Exist

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