Design a hero image to make your website stand out

Almost every website has a hero image design, the big prominent image that you see first when landing on a website. It functions as both a banner and an introduction to your website and in turn, your brand. It also plays a larger role in keeping your visitors on your page, turning them into potential clients.

So how do you design a hero image that can do all of these things? In this article, we are going to discuss what a hero image can do for your website and five factors that you need to consider when designing one for your website.

What can a hero image do for your website?

Visitors will see your hero image every time they land on your homepage. This is the perfect place to create brand engagement and hook visitors’ attention to keep them scrolling.

A well-designed one will showcase your brand clearly. It can be animated, clickable, with or without text. What’s most important is that it catches attention and reassures the visitor that they are in the right place and can get what they want. To help you get this right, we have created a guide on how to design a successful hero image.

How to design the perfect hero image for your website.

A great hero image will show what your website is about without telling. Even the ones with text. They display your brand in a different way to your logo by offering a peek of the experience that a visitor can expect from the rest of the website and your brand.

To get you started on designing a hero image for your website, here are our five factors that need to be incorporated every time:

  • Use relevant images.
  • Set the tone for your website.
  • Work with your heading.
  • Work with a clear CTA.
  • Hero image size for mobile design.

Use relevant images.

The image you use for your hero image needs to be relevant to your website and your brand. This doesn’t matter if it’s a photo, video or an abstract image. It needs to speak for your brand and remind the visitor why they want to buy from you.

Quality is critical. This is not something you can cheap out on when planning your website. You need a high definition image that will look great on big and small screens. Trust us, people will notice an image that is too low in quality. This will immediately sell your brand as low quality and they will bounce.

While there are restrictions you have for the image, you can still make a lot of unique choices for your website. Photo, animation, video and even interactive design are all open for choice. So long as they support your brand, you can consider them as an option.

Set the tone for your website.

From the moment of landing, there are only a precious few seconds to hook the visitor before they make the decision to stay or leave. This time can be less than 15 seconds, so the experience your hero image gives needs to be convincing.

It should set the tone of your website and what you offer. Make sure to incorporate the way you want your clients to feel when they experience your brand. If your hero image can make your ideal customer feel excited, happy or inspired, you have a winning formula.

Work with your heading.

While not all hero images incorporate a heading into their design, many do and it’s important to make them work together. When done successfully, the two can work synergistically to create an even stronger message.

The heading in turn needs to work with the image. Just like it, it must show and not tell. You can do this by talking about what your client will feel about your product or service instead of what it is they are getting. Instead of “High-quality development,” you can say “Develop your future.”

Make sure that the heading is placed in a logical position and can be easily read over the image.

Create a clear CTA.

The call to action (CTA) is the text that tells the viewer what they need to do next. It can often be found on a button but depending on the functionality of your website, it can come in many different forms. What is important is that it shows visitors what to do after landing on your home page to continue their journey.

It is important that the hero image is designed in a way that makes that next step obvious. To do that, you must consider the hierarchy and balance of the design to have it all lead to where the call to action is. Put careful effort into this step and you will have a clear path for your visitors’ eyes to travel.

It is also important to make sure that there is no excess clutter in the hero image around the call to action. It needs to stand out and the hero image needs to help that.

Hero image size for mobile design.

It’s no secret that most internet browsing is done from mobile phones. This means that it is reasonable to say that most of your website traffic comes from mobile and you need to design for it. Included in that design is your hero image.

Responsive website design makes your website look great, no matter how big or small the screen viewing it is. When it comes to the hero image, you need to make sure that your design responds to different sizes just as well as the rest of the website. It needs to keep its effectiveness and message, so be sure to test multiple screen sizes.

Have your home page taken care of by our experts at Web2Web.

Your website is an extension of your business, so making sure it functions at its best is important. With an expert team of designers and developers, you can rest assured know that your website is in the best hands that will allow your business to soar online.

If you want results from your website, contact Web2Web and you will be put in touch with one of our experts.

5 tips to design an event page that converts

A successful event needs people and to get those people, you need to design an event page on your website. This type of website page provides people with all the information they need to know, the vibe and why they should be going. If done right, you will have a page that draws in people and gets them to register.

It might be tempting to just create a Facebook event or something similar and call that a day. But that doesn’t give you a realistic number on who will join. It also excludes everyone who doesn’t use Facebook. While social media should not be ignored for your event, a website page can be shared on those events.

Make an event page that converts with these five tips.

A website page can take viewers directly to conversion with no other distractions. Furthermore, this page opens up the potential for other types of advertising. From physical posters to Google Ads, a dedicated event page doesn’t limit you.

To make sure your event page performs at its best, we have put together five tips that will give your design process a boost.

  • Design an easy-to-read layout.
  • Engage your audience with visuals.
  • Pick the perfect colour palette.
  • Craft a strong and direct call to action.
  • Make your event page mobile-friendly.

Design an easy-to-read layout.

You have a very limited amount of time before a visitor to your website decides to stay or bounce. Less than 10 seconds. This is why creating a layout before we start adding visuals is crucial. For your event page to get the essentials across in such a short amount of time, you need to put the key information top and centre.

Here is a brief list of everything you want to be able to see on landing.

  • Event name and description.
  • Cost, date, time and location.
  • Sign up button with clear CTA.
  • Engaging images or video.

To keep these elements clear and easy to read, you need to make use of white space. It’s no good if people can’t find information or the sign-up button and white space will help you with that. Take time with the layout to get the use of white space just right. Too little will clutter the page. Too much will disconnect the elements.

The goal of your layout is to make the event page scannable, legible and lead the reader to the sign-up.

Engage your audience with visuals.

People are going to look at the visuals to judge the tone and how much fun your event will be. So stay away from bland, low-quality and stock images. They will hurt your event page and in turn, your event.

Source high-quality images and videos that both represent the event and your personal brand. Through proper target market research, you will be able to narrow down the search for that perfect image.

Consider including 3D elements and interactable design if it would boost the goal of your event.

Pick the perfect colour palette.

Different colours evoke different emotions. We could create a whole blog post just on how certain colours and combinations of colours affect us.

Chances are, your brand already shares a similar tone or vibe that your event will have. Pick a palette that will use your brand colours and bring out the emotions you want readers to feel for your event.

Before you finalise your colours, consider how they will impact the colour of the text. Dark backgrounds need light text and vice versa. If not planned properly, your important text could annoy people struggling to read it.

Craft a strong and direct call to action.

The goal of every event page is to get people to sign up. To encourage this action, you need a strong call to action (CTA). When writing, think about what the next step in the registration process is, the target market and your brand’s voice.

Write many different versions and after a while, pick the one that gives the clearest instruction in your brand’s voice.

Make your event page mobile-friendly.

Most people browse the internet on their mobile devices which means that most of them will also see your event page on their smartphone or tablet. A mobile-friendly event page needs to prioritise the layout on a smaller screen and make the registration easy to do with thumbs.

To help you out, we have a whole blog to make a website more mobile-friendly. You can use that advice on your event page too – 5 tips for a more mobile-friendly website.

Make your next event page successful with Web2Web.

Every page on your website serves a purpose and an event page serves one of the most important ones, conversions. Because of this, it’s all-important that the design and development for that page are on point. This is where the expert team at Web2Web comes in.

Our designers, developers and copywriters have years of experience with creating website pages that convert. If you want your next event to speak to your audience on your website, contact us.

How to check and update PHP for WordPress

Something that can easily be overlooked, but is key to the security and functionality of your WordPress website, is having to update PHP. All websites that run on WordPress also run on PHP, an open-source programming language that is used on the server. Without it, your website wouldn’t exist, so it’s important to make sure it is up to date.

Why you should check and update the PHP version of your website.

Since PHP is the core of your WordPress website, everything about your website gets held back if the code isn’t at its best. The developers of the code are constantly working on the language supplying regular updates and improvements. This allows PHP to become more secure, faster and take less space.

Right now, the only versions of PHP that still receive support are 7 and 8. The latter having been released in November 2020. If your current version of PHP is not at least 7, we highly recommend making the upgrade for your website’s safety and performance.

But how would you check for that?

How to check your version of PHP for a WordPress website.

As with most things on WordPress, there are many ways to find the version of PHP that your website is using. For the sake of simplicity, we are going to cover the easiest method that isn’t just installing a plugin. Although there are several plugins that will do this for you like Display PHP Version.

Using the hosting management panel.

The easiest way to find your PHP version is to look right at the source. In the back end of your hosting account, there will be a menu with a name like PHP Settings, PHP Version Manager or something else along those lines. Find the menu for PHP.

It’s here that you can check with version your website uses. You can also update to another version, but there are a few more things we need to do before that.

How to update your version of PHP.

Whenever updates are made, there are always risks, but they way outweigh the risks of having a website with old code. Updating PHP will most likely run the risk of causing problems with WordPress core, themes, plugins or other scripts as they might not be compatible yet. To fix that you will need to update everything before you begin updating PHP.

Now we can start the process of updating PHP:

  • Back-up everything.
  • Double-check with a plugin.
  • Update PHP.
  • Test your website.

Back-up everything.

Any time any change is made to your website, it is crucial to back it up. The last thing you want is for things to go wrong and lose your whole website without something to recover it.

Ideally, before upgrading PHP, you should also create a copy of your website to test offline. That way you can test the changes and avoid the downtime that recovery would cause.

Double-check with a plugin.

Even though we have just updated everything else, things can still go wrong. To avoid that, WP Engine has made a free plugin. PHP Compatibility Checker.

This plugin will find parts of your website that are still not compatible with the new version of PHP. Still, there is a chance that this plugin may report a false positive. Fortunately, WP Engine has provided a list of plugins that are known to be flagged for compatibility issues when there aren’t any.

Update PHP.

Now that everything has been made ready for the update, it’s time to actually do it. Once again, there are several ways that you can do this. And once again, we are going to show you the simplest way of doing it.

Remember the Admin dashboard of your hosting provider? We went there to check the version of the PHP. Here you need to find a menu named PHP Version Manager and then find your website’s location. Once here, pick the version you want to change to and press Save.

If you are unable to find these menus or options, your hosting provider may have disabled them. In that case, get in touch with them.

Another way to do this is through SSH commands, but that is a much more complicated process. For more on the installation and configuration of PHP, visit their official page here.

Test your website.

At this point, the updates are done and your website has never been more secure, but our work isn’t quite done yet. There is still a chance that an issue has slipped through the cracks. To make sure everything is running just as it should, visit every page and inspect all their features. Test the plugins and theme features too.

If everything is running smoothly, then congratulations! Your website is now running on the latest version of PHP.

Keep your website at its best with WordPress maintenance from Web2Web.

Every website has many moving parts that need to be kept up to date to ensure your company stays safe and secure online. This means regular checks and backups as well as major updates like PHP. This is why we offer WordPress maintenance at Web2Web.

With us, you get an expert WordPress development team based in Cape Town that can make this process smooth and simple with minimal downtime. If you want your website to be at its best, contact us today and we can find the best solution for you.

Get your website brand image right (5 tips)

A good website has a strong brand image. When done successfully, opening your website feels like walking into a well-planned store. It’s immersive, reassures the client that they are in the right place and most importantly, reminds them why they chose you to solve their problems.

If your company has a real-life shop front and your website gives you the exact same feeling, you are doing something right. If you only have an online presence, fret not, we are going to finish this article with five ways that you can improve your website brand image.

What is branding for websites?

Everything about your business website expands and represents your brand. Some examples are:

  • Images & Colour.
  • Typeface & Copy.
  • Layout & Shapes.

They all come together to form an experience that your clients will get. When done successfully, this will be immersive and enjoyable. Something people will want to experience again.

In the same way that you would go to a lot of effort to make a physical store look great, your website needs that too. We would even argue that your website is even more important because most people will look for a company online before travelling to their shop.

Using the three points we detailed above, you should work with a strong design team to create a brand identity that can be used as a reference with the tips that we will are giving you below.

5 core tips for your website brand image.

Keeping your website brand image accurate to your company is crucial for online success. If a client lands on your website and doesn’t feel like they are in the right spot, they could bounce and find other solutions. To help you keep your website on point, here are our 5 core website branding tips.

1) Get the functionality.

What does your website do? Is it a blog, e-commerce shop or a lead builder?

Whatever the purpose of your website is, you need to single that down and make sure it does it well. This means making e-commerce websites have a simple and straightforward path to secure purchase.

Every company does something and your website informs how well you can do it for your clients. If your website isn’t up to par, it can let your whole brand down. On the contrary, if your website reflects the purpose of the brand and what it does, it can set you apart from the competition.

Take time with this tip. Note everything your website does and how that interacts with your brand. You can come up with some really creative answers that clients will love.

2) Strategise your content.

Your company exists in a bigger place than a physical store and a website. It’s in every place that your brand appears on. A content strategy will position what gets seen and where to communicate about what your brand is and what it offers. You can:

  • Make people familiar with your brand.
  • Create more solutions for clients.
  • Expand your digital footprint.

If you haven’t considered social media platforms and an emailer, now is the time to do so. Give your clients that want to engage with your brand a way to do so by extending your website. This gives you the perfect opportunity to show why they should choose you over the competition.

3) Take a look at the layout.

Something that can easily be forgotten when looking at colours and images is the layout. This key part of website branding is needs careful attention to ensure that the website is user friendly and has clean navigation.

If your website has a focus on visuals, make the images the hero. If you need to convey a lot of information, make the text clear and break it up to help the reader’s out. There can be many different aspects to consider here, but whatever you do, keep it easy to understand. Clients should be able to do what they want without any holding back.

4) Clean up the UX and UI.

While both user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) work together, they are whole topics on their own. Both of which we have discussed individually before. To get each of these parts to your website that much better, we recommend you take a look at these two blog posts:

5) Consistency is key.

None of the above will help if it does not remain consistent. This means that every page on your website should have the same template, share the same visual feel and speak with the same voice and tone. If your brand has more than one website or uses more platforms, There should be a consistent look and feel there too.

Creating a very clear brand identity guide will help you and everyone in charge of your website and content out. We have written a whole article on brand identity which includes advice to making the guide.

We start with your brand’s mission and core message. Then … the colour palette including the hexadecimal code for each colour. Next, the fonts your brand uses … Following the font is the brand voice and guidelines for the copy… Lastly is the imagery and how it is used.

For the whole article, read ‘Why you should keep your Brand Identity consistent.’

Create a website that speaks your brand image with Web2Web.

As the digital storefront to your company, your website is often the first place that clients will experience your brand. It’s in these precious moments that you need to stand out and let your client know how exactly why they are visiting you. This is why you want to get it right and you can do that with Web2Web.

Our expert design and development team will apply your brand to every part of your website. To build a new website or update your preexisting one, get in touch with us today.

5 landing page tips that convert

Your marketing efforts are only as strong as your landing page, so it comes as no surprise when tips for making them successful are so valuable. In this article, we are going to discuss five tips that you can use right now to make a landing page that converts.

You have put a lot of effort into the marketing that has gotten people onto your website, but where do you go from there? A landing page is crucial for online marketing success. to give you more information about them, here is an excerpt from our article ‘Make a more successful landing page‘. We recommend that you give that one a read too.

A landing page is the web page a user goes to during a marketing campaign… Landing pages keep the user’s attention and increase conversions way better than a home page can. This is because they are centred around one call to action (CTA). It removes unnecessary distractions for your goal. With other links and information out of the way, you can reinforce your message which can increase your conversions.

5 landing page tips that convert.

So now that we are all caught up on landing pages, let’s dive right into our five tips that you can use to get more conversions. These are:

  • Neat and clean UI.
  • Avoid scrolling.
  • Pick engaging visuals.
  • Use minimum text.
  • A/B test the design.

Tip 1 – Neat and clean UI.

You want the path to conversion to be very clear to the people who land on your website. Keeping things simple improves clarity and makes it much easier for a visitor to take in the value of your product or service.

You can achieve this by keeping lots of white space, structuring the copy in an easy to read way and minimizing the amount of input a visitor needs to put in. If your landing page strays too far away from these points, there’s a good chance that there is too much clutter for maximum conversions.

Keeping in line with a clean user interface (UI), another way to minimize the input a visitor needs to make is to use the next tip.

Tip 2 – Avoid scrolling.

You should aim to have a landing page that doesn’t need any scrolling to convert. People can make their mind up on whether they want to convert in a matter of seconds. If that time is taken away by scrolling, you could be losing out. That’s if the visitor scrolled at all. People might not scroll, so if the key information is below the fold, they won’t get it.

On the first page of your landing page, you want a strong headline and a call to action (CTA) with a clear button that can be pressed to convert. If your visitors can learn what they need to and convert without scrolling, your landing page will be more successful.

What if your product or service is very complex and requires a more detailed explanation? You can still follow the advice above and put that information in. First, consider other forms of education other than reading. This could be images or video. If those don’t work, then put that information below the fold and indicate to the visitor that they can scroll down for more information.

If you do use scrolling, remember to repeat the CTA at the bottom so that the reader doesn’t need to scroll back up.

Tip 3 – Pick engaging visuals.

Having a visual element on your landing page is very important to keep your visitors engaged. These visuals should follow Tip 1, follow your brand identity and look good. This will break up the text, making it easier to read.

If what you are offering is not a physical product, find a way to represent it via one. For products like software, you can create a logo specifically for that product. If it’s a service, take an image of that service being performed.

Tip 4 – Use minimum text.

The text, or copy, on a landing page is incredibly important, but it can very quickly overwhelm visitors when it is too long. You want to provide convincing details about your brand while keeping your copy short. A rather delicate balancing game.

Write down the most important information that you need to convert and condense that as much as possible into a strong headline and supporting text. If you can turn the features you wrote down into the feeling your product services gives, even better.

Tip 5 – A/B test the design.

We have discussed different ways to test a landing page using tools and data, but that doesn’t compare two different pages directly to find the best version you have made.

What we think and how people act can sometimes be very different, so it always helps to make more than one version of your landing page. With A/B testing, you can test different versions at the same time and find out which ones convert best.

On average, landing pages convert at a rate of 9.7%. The pages that achieve that or get higher are very good options. Obviously, your goal should be above that.

Create the perfect landing page with Web2Web.

Let the fruits of your marketing efforts come to fruition. Make your landing page with the design and development team at Web2Web and get a page that supports your goals, draws the attention of your visitors and most importantly, gets them to convert.

Get the boost to your online marketing today and contact us today.

Starters guide to voice search optimization

As Google develops it, voice search is growing in popularity and so does the need to optimize your business website for it. But how would you do that and where on your website should you do it? In this article, we are going to answer those questions so that you can prepare your online presence for it.

What is voice search?

Voice search is the feature that many devices use that allow their user to interact with a search engine with their voice rather than text. Often with a question put in this way, “Hey Google, what are fairy penguins?”

According to the statistics from The Search Review, around 50% of all searches were made via voice search last year. Keep in mind that this is a growing statistic. Most of these searches are for facts, businesses and finding products or services. The latter two could include your brand if you have optimized your online presence correctly.

Google’s voice search, in particular, will usually supply answers from the featured snippet. If not that, then it will find the best result from the top-ranking websites for that search. If you want your website to be the answer, you will need to either be on the featured snippet or rank within the top five websites.

It’s important to note that the answer Google gives will differ depending on the device used. For example, a search for “chocolate chip cookie recipes” might display multiple options on a mobile device while on a Google Home device, the search engine will pick a recipe for you.

Should you optimize for voice search?

While using your voice to find answers online is becoming more popular, it might not be what’s right for your business right now. It’s a good idea to list the things that optimizing for voice search can offer and then see if they match your current and future business goals.

Right now, most voice searches are made to answer simple questions. While Google may use your website for the answer, it will not draw in traffic. What it will do is bring more brand awareness since Google does mention its source. This could put the name of your brand in more peoples minds but might not lead to a direct conversion.

How to optimize for voice search.

Optimizing for voice search is particularly difficult right now since search engines have not given data on which questions are coming from it. Third-party tools can’t find this information either. What we do know is that the searches made are simple and are mostly questions. So search engine optimization (SEO) for voice search is about finding those questions and answering them in the most effective way.

Here is our checklist for getting your business optimized for voice search:

  • Get on Google My Business.
  • Find the right questions.
  • Choose your questions.
  • Create the best content.
  • Practise basic SEO.

Get on Google My Business.

One type of voice search that your business is going to benefit from are the searches about your brand or its industry. The best thing you can do for these searches is to create a Google My Business (GMB) profile.

Google will pull answers about your business directly from this profile and boost your local SEO. Of course, GMB is important for more than just voice search and should be something your business has regardless. To find more of the benefits GMB offers and how to set it up, read our article; How to use a Google My Business account.

Find the right questions.

There is no point in going in blind and answering questions that nobody is asking. You need to do some research into what questions are being asked first which we can use keyword research tools for. With those tools, you should cover three categories of questions, your website, your competitors, your industry.

It’s a good idea to discover what questions your website already answers. If you find that a page ranks for a question keyword, mark that page down for further SEO review. You can optimize it to rise above your competition.

Next, look at that competition and find what questions they are answering. Write down what those questions are for use in our next step. You will do a similar thing for industry-related questions. You can search for more question keywords and look around forums to find common questions that search engines aren’t able to supply good answers for yet.

Choose your questions.

By now you have a list of questions that you can answer on your website. That list could just be a handful or a whole page, but it’s important to focus on the ones that are more important. It’s worth starting on the ones that your competitors rank for, but choose ones with higher search volume and lower competition.

Create the best content.

Google tries to find the best answer to supply for a voice search, so you need to have the best content for Google to pick you. Answering a question in your industry is, fortunately, a straightforward step, but there are guidelines you should follow.

For one, keep your answer short or make it a list. Google rarely picks an answer that is longer than 30 words and will pick a list if it can. Just make sure it reads well and is still engaging for readers who are on your website too.

Practise basic SEO.

Now your website has answers to questions that the world is asking, but that’s not the last step. You want to make sure that the pages that have your answers are optimized for basic SEO as well. This means meeting the page speed recommendation, getting high-quality backlinks and having a strong user experience (UX).

Our blog is filled with SEO guides that you can use but we recommend you take a look at these five important ranking factors to start with.

Improve your SEO and rank higher with Web2Web.

Since Google takes voice search results from the top pages, a lot of what you need to do to rank on voice search has to do with improving your SEO as a whole. This means optimising your website, setting up a GMB profile and providing content that answers the questions your clients are answering.

Our digital expert team at Web2Web do exactly that. From the backend of your website to the targeted content on your pages. Don’t wait for your competition to overtake you, get in touch with us and we can give you the online boost to keep you ahead.

5 steps to prevent data loss

Data loss is no joke and it’s something your company needs to prevent as much as it can. Unfortunately, many only learn to prevent it after data loss has happened. You don’t want to be in that situation and with these tried and true methods, you hopefully won’t have to.

When data loss happens, your whole business can be put on hold, especially if you rely heavily on eCommerce. It can be costly to recover data and it’s even possible to lose important data forever, so it’s vital that you take the steps needed to protect your data as much as possible. To get started, here are 5 steps that you can take to prevent data loss.

1. Perform regular updates.

Updating your website, its plugins and all your computer’s software can feel annoying, but we cannot stress enough how important it is to do it.

These updates very often patch weaknesses that previous versions had. Weaknesses that expose your data. It’s a good idea to work them into your schedule so that you can avoid the thought of, “I have to finish this work before I can do the update,” because that can lead to you forgetting them. Especially after a long day.

2. Backup backup backup.

In one of our earliest blog posts, we discussed how to maintain a WordPress website and this step was one of the most important. Backing up your data regularly can save you a lot of time and money.

It’s important to have more than one backup of all your data. We recommend keeping one locally and one in the cloud. That way, if all else fails, one of those two backups can save you. Much like the previous step, it’s best to schedule backups so that other work doesn’t get in the way of this very important practice.

“The last thing you want is for that hard work to disappear.”
Stuart Smith, Junior Digital Communications Co-ordinator at Web2Web

3. Get protected by an antivirus.

A virus can come from a number of sources which makes them a very serious threat to your data that can also slow your business operations to a halt.

Preventing this one from happening is very simple, all it takes is investing in an antivirus program. These will scan new data and programmes for potential risks. You can still run into a virus, even with an antivirus. That is why it’s important to update the antivirus and have backups, just in case.

4. Take care of your hardware.

One of the most important part to prevent your data from loss is by taking care of the hardware that stores it. This means keeping it away from areas with dust, in areas that don’t get very hot and most importantly in South Africa, avoiding high voltage and power surges.

With an unpredictable load-shedding schedule, it can be very easy to leave your hardware exposed to a power surge that can damage it. This, dust and heat can lead to breakdowns that could have been avoided. Put a backup system in place to avoid interruptions in power and keep your desktop computers unplugged when load-shedding could happen.

5. Create a disaster plan for your business.

When an emergency like data loss happens, it can get even worse when nobody knows what to do. This is why it is very important to create a disaster plan that everyone learns and can take action on if something like data loss happens.

This practice will minimise the damage done and allow for an easier and faster recovery process. It’s best to make this plan with experts that can teach everyone in the company what to do when an emergency happens and set a system in place that everyone can follow.

Make your website a safer place for business with Web2Web.

You don’t need someone to tell you how important your data is, so we know you understand how important it is to prevent data loss. Your business website, just like everywhere else, needs to have this same level of protection.

This means updates, backups, security like antiviruses and someone who can assist you when the worst happens. Web2Web offers enterprise-level website maintenance and management to supply those exact services.

If you want your data to be safer than ever, contact us today and we can find the solution for you.

7 tips to improve your business blog

Running a blog for your business can be intimidating but it doesn’t have to be with these seven tips to improve it.

Your company can really benefit from having its own blog. From search engine optimization (SEO) to gaining brand trust from your clients, it’s not an aspect of your online footprint that you want to ignore. But how do you run one successfully?

In today’s blog, we will be discussing our top seven tips for writing a business blog so you can use it to improve your brand.

1. Define your company’s niche.

If you are a well-established company, you likely already know what you want your content to be about. But even if you are just starting out, it’s a good idea to define your niche in the field of your industry.

A very important step to remember when choosing your topic is that you will be able to spend time writing about it and be happy. There’s no use in choosing a niche that you will give up on in less than a year.

Find the niche that your company addresses, you can write about without getting bored and has a lot of readers. You can find out about the latter by looking for existing communities and blogs that discuss the topics you want to. This competition is good because it means you will be entering a popular space.

2. Keep your target market in mind.

Whenever you write anything, you should be keeping your target market in mind. Your content’s success relies on resonating with your clients and forms a stronger connection with them.

Define who your target market is and find out what other content they read or listen to and what challenges they face. Then make the kind of content that they are interested in and will solve their problems.

If your company happens to supply that solution, you can very seamlessly add in your own products and services. But be warned, don’t make your company the only remedy the reader can get, otherwise, your content could be seen as an incredibly long ad that doesn’t add value to the reader’s life.

3. Give easy to lean value in your business blog.

You want a business blog post that both offers value that your readers can take away and for that value to be written in a way that is easy to learn.

Even if your business tone is incredibly formal, start by writing in a conversational tone, as if you were talking to a friend. Being too formal makes reading difficult and you don’t need to sacrifice the tone to be conversational.

Next, use subheadings and avoid large walls of text. This will help your readers scan your content to see if they want to invest in reading it. This will also make your content more impactful and easier to read. Qualities you want to have throughout all of your blog posts.

Lastly, use images and examples to break up the information. Creating breathers from learning will help your reader absorb what you are saying. The more they remember, the more your brand stays with them.

4. Write a killer headline.

With the knowledge of what you want to write about and who you are writing for. You now need to practise writing a headline that will grab the attention of readers.

Headlines should be very specific, directed at your target market and give insight into what the article will be about. To help you get better, try the FBR method Ali Abdaal speaks about. The acronym stands for Fast Bad Wrong (let’s forgive that the word wrong doesn’t start with an R).

If you are just beginning to get into writing, your headlines are likely not going to be as strong as they could be. FBR says that is what is suppose to happen. Your first drafts are always going to be fast, bad and wrong. Make many headlines for your blog and from your list, pick the strongest one.

You can use FBR for your blog writing too. Then apply the next tip to make it much stronger.

5. Never forget to edit!

After you have made your blog content, you need to plan to edit it. This works best if you wait for at least a day before you edit to let your brain rest. This needs to happen before you decide to publish for every blog post.

It will help to get a basic grammar checker to iron out the obvious mistakes. But be aware, they can very often miss errors or make incorrect suggestions. Nothing beats a human editor but having the extra help is nice.

6. Understand the basics of SEO.

If you want your business blog content to be discovered online, you will need to learn how to have it appear on search engines. When it comes to search engine optimisation (SEO) for blog content, your focus should be on keyword research.

This is the process of figuring out what people are typing into the search engine to look for information. You can use this to find high-quality topics to talk about. To get even more out of this research, you will need to understand searcher intent. This is what they are truly looking for when they make a search.

Gear your content to answer the questions people are asking about and you will start getting organic traffic to your website.

7. Carefully select plugins for a CMS.

Content management systems (CMS) are incredibly useful ways to run a blog. These are services like WordPress that make website creation and management very easy to understand. Another fantastic feature about CMSs is their ability to use third-party code called plugins.

Plugins can boost the functionality of your website and blog but you will want to choose them very carefully. Otherwise, you could unintentionally break your website. This is why we wrote a whole blog post about choosing the perfect plugin.

Don’t let your next plugin ruin your WordPress website.

Improve your business blog with Web2Web.

Your blog content is a great way to get more people to notice your business organically. It also opens up ways for other content creators to link to your website. If you want blog content that can draw in this organic traffic, get in touch with Web2Web.

Our website management and content writing teams can set your business blog up for success and keep it running with consistent high-quality content.

Make a professional Instagram grid layout

Your Instagram grid is a peek into your company and the layout is what sells the personality. Every Instagram page has all of that account’s posts lined up into a grid of three images at a time. For influencers, it shows off their style, but for your company, it can bolster your brand’s image.

In this blog post, we are going to cover ways that you can use the Instagram grid layout to your advantage. Changing individual posts into a schedule that creates a bigger picture and grabs your clients’ attention.

Why does your Instagram grid layout matter?

As we just mentioned, your Instagram grid layout can show brand personality. From this perspective, all of your current and past posts can be seen, creating what will often be the first impression of your brand, especially if you use Instagram for marketing. In an instant, people will decide whether or not your brand might suit them, and an unorganised mess can lead to them turning away.

This is especially true if your company focuses on an aesthetic or a particular type of lifestyle, but it applies to everyone. Below, we are going to discuss how you can plan your Instagram grid layout for success and then go over popular strategies.

How to plan your posts for Instagram.

The best Instagram accounts start with a plan. To get you started, here are 4 steps that you can follow to get going.

  • Create a mock-up grid.
  • Prepare for consistency.
  • Keep the brand profile on hand.
  • Find a way to schedule posts.

Create a mock-up grid.

The first step to creating a good looking Instagram grid is to map out the images and test the layout. You can use photo-editing or design tools to put your images in a grid to preview the layout before you go live. Use at least nine images and make sure they are all square. Even though you can post slightly different sizes, a square is what Instagram is optimised for and the shape your images will have on the grid.

Prepare for consistency.

A beautiful grid won’t happen if you are not consistent with your plan. Just one photo with the wrong colours, filter or order can ruin the whole look off-balance. You can use a photo-editing tool to keep the colours in check but remember to keep on track.

Keep the brand profile on hand.

As a company, the whole goal of your Instagram grid is to have the layout speak your brand language. You want to carry a unified look and message throughout your whole profile for success. Having your brand profile on hand when planning your Instagram grid will allow you to reference it and stay on brand. You don’t want to slowly drift away from your goal.

Find a way to schedule posts.

Having a way to schedule posts in advance can save you a lot of time and make consistency easy. There are many different tools that you can use online. If you are unsure of where to start, Facebook (the owners of Instagram) have made Creator Studio to do just that. It’s not the easiest tool to use but it is free and can get you used to scheduling your posts well in advance.

Creative plans to design and Instagram grid layout.

With the sheer amount of people on Instagram, there are many tried and true methods for making a grid layout look great. Before you make yourself start from scratch, let’s take a look at them and learn from their success.

Colour.

By picking a colour palette or tone to stick too is probably the most common way companies style their Instagram grids. This makes your entire gallery look like a matching set, no matter what the content of the photos are. Many higher budget Instagram accounts might use built sets for their photos, but using the same filter on every image can do the same thing too.

You don’t need to put yourself in a box with this one. Play with the colours, make them gradually change or combine the next few styles with colours. As long as it matches your brand.

Checkerboard.

If you alternate the style of the photos you post, your grid layout will become a checkerboard. You can use different colours or alternate images filled with text with photos, way your checkerboard is up to your brand. As long as your stick to the back and forth pattern, your grid will stay on point.

Rows and columns.

A grid lends itself to being the perfect way to post in rows or with consistent columns. Using matching images for each row or column can create a strong impression on the viewer and allow you to convert bigger messages with squares.

If you post in rows, you will need to post three images at a time, otherwise, the rows will break. Panoramic or longer messages can be displayed very well like this. Columns require a pattern of three to keep consistent. What’s great about columns is that you don’t have to make three posts at a time if your layout is ok with rotating the columns.

One continuous image.

This grid layout requires the most amount of preparation for a company. Similar to rows, three images need to be posted every time to create one large image that can span over the whole grid. The benefit of this layout is the impact it will leave on the viewer. It can very quickly become the talking point of people if done right.

Set up your Instagram account for success with Web2Web.

Creating a plan and staying on top of it can be complicated and it’s very easy to mess up a beautiful grid layout. That is where our digital marketing team steps in. With Web2Web, you will have a well planned and beautifully executed Instagram grid that will speak your brand’s language and draw in new clients.

Get in touch with us to find out how we can boost your social media presence.

Instagram logo vector created by starline on Freepik.

Google Core Web Vitals for SEO guide

Google will be making Core Web Vitals ranking factors for search engine optimization (SEO) in May 2021. But what are they and how can you use them to improve your website? In this article, we are going to answer that and provide you with actionable steps that you can use on your website.

With over half of all online traffic coming from organic search and most of that organic traffic going through Google, it has always been important to optimise your website for Google SEO. With the upcoming changes, it is vital to use the new ranking factors to keep your SERP position or overtake your competition.

The Core Web Vitals is Google’s way of testing UX.

Google has several ranking factors that test the user experience (UX) of a website. The Core Web Vitals form part of them. This is Google’s way to determine if a website offers a good experience, no matter what device is being used. This means that if Google views your website’s pages to have a better experience, it will rank them over competitors with similar content.

This won’t replace the importance of quality content. Content is still king, so a website with great UX and poor content is not likely to outrank a website with an average experience and fantastic content.

As we just mentioned, if you have a competitor with similar content, these new ranking factors will become part of the deciding factor for who ranks higher. Since most people don’t go past the first page of Google and the top results gain much more organic traffic than the ones below, these factors can be very significant for your online success.

What are Google’s Core Web Vitals?

Google wants to measure how people feel about the speed, responsiveness and stability of your web pages. To do this, it will use these three Core Web Vitals:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
  • First Input Delay (FID)
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

LCP times how long it takes for the largest element on your website to render on the page. Waiting for content to load can be frustrating so you ideally want the LCP to be as low as possible. For your SEO, you need an LCP of 2.5 seconds or less to fulfil this ranking factor.

FID is the amount of time it takes for the browser to respond to someone’s first interaction on your website. Again, this is something you want to be as low as possible and Google wants that too. To satisfy this ranking factor, the FID needs to be less than 0.1 seconds.

CLS is the number of unexpected layout shifts during the page loading phase. An animated loading screen is fine, but if the elements on a page shift positions while loading, Google will mark your website down. CLS is rated from 0-1 and will rank websites that get a measurement of 0.1.

It is important to take advantage of these three factors before May 2021. Right now, most websites don’t pass a Core Web Vital assessment which means, come May, you will have an advantage over your competition. There is a chance that Google will give visual indicators on the SERP to indicate that Google endorses the UX on your website and these new factors will play a part in that.

How to take advantage of the Core Web Vitals.

If you want to rank higher on Google and get more organic traffic, you need to make sure your website covers all three Core Web Vitals before May, but how can you do that? There are three steps that you can take to improving your website’s Core Web Vitals.

Step 1: Perform a UX and performance audit.

Google has made UX and performance audits easier and since it’s their ranking factors that we want to meet, it makes sense to use their tools. This tool is called the Core Web Vitals report and it will evaluate your website’s performance on all three of the new Core Web Vitals.

The report will rank each page of your website as Poor, Needs improvement or Good with a breakdown of how well it performs on different devices. It’s important to address all poor and needs improvement pages with special attention to how mobile-specific issues.

Step 2: Use CrUX to analyze your website.

Chrome User Experience Report (CrUX) is a dataset from people who use Chrome. This was created by Google BigQuery as a public project that updates monthly. You can use CrUX to identify how well your website matches the expectations of FID and LCP.

By using CrUX in addition to the Core Web Vitals report, you will increase your chances of finding UX issues. Since this data comes from real people, it will also help you analyze the experience of those real people.

Step 3: Consider AMP.

Accelerated Mobile Pages is an open-source framework created by Google to optimize mobile browsing. Google naturally recommends using AMP for optimising Core Web Vitals since it creates a faster and mobile-focused version of your website.

Most websites that already use AMP already fulfil the Core Web Vitals factors and can test their website even further with AMP Page Experience Guide. This can evaluate your websites using PageSpeed Insights, Safe Browsing and the Mobile-Friendliness Test.

AMP might not be the solution you want to use. But now is a very good time to consider using it for your website.

Get ahead of the Core Web Vitals with Web2Web.

To take full advantage of the new ranking factors, you need to get your website ready before May. With Web2Web, you will have a team of SEO experts and website developers that can get you ahead of your competition on Google and claim more organic traffic on your website.

Don’t wait around for May to come. Contact us today.

Email: info@web2web.co.za
Tel: 021 551 2060

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