sturtups

What You Need to Know for Starting a Small Business

Not all small businesses are created equal. Nevertheless, whatever the offer is; new entrepreneurs need the same information and tools to get the business up and running. Here’s what you need to know for starting a small business.

Business Startup: The Struggle is Real

The startup phase is exciting yet very challenging. Like proud parents or mad scientists; startups & small business owners get that giddy feeling of being able to bring something to life.

However, this happy, exhilarating feeling can be accompanied by frustrations and roadblocks. Here are just some examples:

  • cash flow issues
  • time management
  • task delegation
  • marketing strategy
  • poor management
  • self-doubt

Here are some things every business startup owner must know in order to keep the business in a steady and consistent growth path.

business startups

What You Need to Know for Starting a Small Business

  1. Give customers a voice.

Startups & small businessenterprises need regular content. Customer-created content is free and publishing it is an effective marketing strategy, turning users into loyal customers.

  1. Have a solid growth path.

To succeed in the long term, business startupowners should have a SMART growth path. This is to ensure stakeholders know how to overcome roadblocks and understand the direction the business will take as it grows.

  1. Relationships are gold.

All relationships must be treasured. Remember, it’s not who you are; it’s who you know.

  1. Give stuff away for free.

Giving free samples of products or services or discounts will do wonders for your business. Just look at Zappos! and Warby Parker; they understand the lifetime value of customers and they’re better for it.

  1. Use robots.

Automate your business to save time and money. Email, content marketing, bulk SMS, etc.; all these can be placed on automated; mode, freeing up valuable time and energy.

  1. Don’t be a martyr.

For small business startups, time is money so delegate tasks to the pros. For example: tax stuff should be delegated to an accountant; graphic design and web development should be done by designers, etc.

  1. Know what’s going on.

What you need to know for starting a small business is simple: keep track everything. Monitor everything from employee activities, productivity, and what and where traffic and revenue are coming from. Tools like Google Analytics is great for this task.

  1. Use social media regularly.

People visit social media more than company websites. Ergo, social media posts are crucial to engage with the customer base regularly. It also helps with building brand identity and recognition and proving the business is alive.

  1. Use tools.

There are many tools to help manage day-to-day business activities. This includes  Trello, Slack, etc. for workflow automation; email marketing tools, Hootsuite and Buffer for social media automation; and other cost-effective platforms for different tasks.

  1. Encourage feedback.

start business

Proactively asking for feedback helps improve a business’ product and services and tells customers the company actually cares. Feedback and improvement are the keys to a sustainable growth.

There will be obstacles as one starts a small business. Additionally, as days turn into weeks and months, operating small business startups will become harder and more challenging. Understanding what you need to know for starting a small businesswill help business owners anticipate problems and prepare solutions as they go through this exciting journey.


Graphic Design Trends 2019

Trends come and go and they often do so very quickly. In the world of design, trends are born and die even faster. You can either keep up or give up. Here is a comprehensive roundup of graphic design trends 2019.

Graphic Design; Keep Up or Give Up

Competition is tough these days. Whatever product or service a business is offering, chances are, another company is offering the same. Both graphic designers and business owners know that a company's visual branding should not be an afterthought but a very important priority.

This is why branding including logo design and a professionally designed website among others have become necessary to start and operate a business. Therefore, graphic designers must move fast and stay on top of trends if they want their work to stay fresh and relevant.

graphic design services

What's going on in graphic design this year? Spoiler alert: It's all about life, movement, and vibrancy.

Look Out: Graphic Design Trends 2019

  1. Art Deco - Eclectic meets opulent, Art Deco bings a powerful visual pop. This year, expect rich colors, metallics, geometric patterns, bold curves, complex lines, intense symmetry, and movement. Think The Great Gatsby and the Roaring 20s!
  2. Asymmetrical Layouts - Say goodbye to rigid grids and say hello to thinking outside the box. People want to feel alive and asymmetrical layouts give off that kinetic vibe. Additionally, asymmetrical layouts spark curiosity, making users stay on the site longer.graphic trends
  3. Complex Gradients and Duotones.
  4. Glitch Style - Nothing says "I'm alive" better than making a mistake and then making something beautiful out of it. That is what the Glitch Style is, a mistake that turned into something great. Different colored layers, deformed and distorted images, and a lack of regularity suggest depth and movement.
  5. Isometric Design - Unlike flat design, isometric designs have depth and detail. In addition, isometric designs and icons come across as warm and tactile.
  6. Open Compositions - For years, structured grid, frames, and boxes were the standard. Gone are the days when design elements were placed in a strict and organized order, with every element visible. Nowadays, and in the foreseeable future, graphic design professionals in Sydney and beyond have started using open compositions hinting at mystery; like there is a secret part of the picture beyond what viewers can see.
  7. Vivid Colors - It's a well-known fact that colors have psychological powers over those who see it. Colors can send subtle messages, catch the attention of the audience, and convey a message. And nothing can catch the attention and convey a powerful message than vivid colors.
  8. 3D Objects - Life, movements and depth are key graphic design trends in 2019. Designers are now creating compositions with so much depth; they quite literally jump out of the page making users feel like they can almost touch them.

In the world of technology, there is a common saying, "Move fast and break things." That saying is also true for the graphic design trends of 2019. One must move fast to stay ahead of the pack and one must break the current standard to make their design alive, moving, and vibrant.


SEO Tools for Startups

Most startups start small and can't blow thousands of dollars for marketing and to grow their customer base. Therefore, business owners must boost their online presence to get the business noticed gradually. Enter SEO. SEO is necessary to grab people's attention and get a chance to tell the world who the brand is. To take the business out of the shadow and into the limelight; check out this starter pack of the best SEO tools for startups.

SEO optimisation services

Go High and Fly

Getting SEO services is a vital element of every startup venture. Anyone wanting to rank higher on search engines like Google must have a solid SEO plan. After all, the higher you rank, the better chances of being seen and the better chances for the business to take off.

Top 5 SEO Tools for Startups

  1. Ahrefs - Many professional SEO optimisation services providers used Ahrefs because it is one of the best SEO tools for doing backlink analysis. But, wait, there's more; it can also:
  • effectively analyze the competition's SEO and website strategy;
  • help build authority links to a business' site;
  • evaluate the site's Google ranking for the each keywords used, and;
  • do keyword research and give keyword ideas for new content.
  1. Buffer - Operating a startup can be time-consuming. Using Buffer can significantly free up time. With Buffer, you can:
  • schedule social media posts practically hands-free, and;
  • set up and publish content on time regularly to meet SEO requirements.
  1. Moz - Aptly called Moz; this tool is one of the MOZ useful, MOZ widely-used, and MOZ feature-packed one out there. This tool is all you need to make any website rank well in search engines. But it's not all it can do. It also has the following features:SEO and STARTUPS
  • keyword research
  • backlink research
  • crawl
  • Rank tracking
  • SEO audit
  • SEO toolbar
  1. Rocket Ranking - Small business and startup owners love Rocket Ranking because it helps them increase web traffic. This on-page optimizer:
  • has a keyword profit calculator to help find out which keywords drives more traffic;
  • has a backlink builder for the link counts;
  • has a follow tool for different social media channels which helps with ranking, and;
  • is free. (Who doesn't love free stuff?)
  1. Screaming Frog - Since we're on the subject of SEO tools for startups, Screaming Frog is one of the best. It can:
  • "spider crawl" through websites, links, apps, and codes and gather useful data to optimize the startup's website;
  • fix any errors that affect the website's ranking using the data it gathers;
  • provide inbound and outbound links report, and;
  • provide info on what competitor's are doing to make their sites rank higher.

P.S. No frogs were harmed in the making of this tool.

Startups and seo optimisation services go hand-in-hand. SEO is a Startup' BFF. Without SEO, startup companies and small businesses don't stand a chance. This list of SEO tools for strartups will help small businesses and startup ventures rank higher in search engine pages, increase traffic, maximize marketing strategy, expand the site's reach, and apply the best SEO strategy; all of which help the business get out the oblivion and into the spotlight and become profitable.


good graphic design

The Influence of Good Graphic Design on the Customers

Graphic design for small business owners is like the artwork for homeowners. They know they need it, but it’s not at the top of the priorities list. Instead, they only invest on infrastructure, people, products, and service delivery; completely ignoring the fact that without good graphic design - a logo, for example - people won’t even come through the door to experience the business’ people, products, and service delivery. Graphic design matters. In fact, it can send a powerful message to clients. What’s the influence of good graphic design to the customers?

What’s the Big Deal About Graphic Design?

Most small business owners start their entrepreneurial journey thinking they’re unique. That’s an inherent mistake because according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, as of 2017, there are already 2.24 million actively trading businesses.
One can only survive this surplus of competition by catching the audience's attention, creating intrigue, and engaging them. That’s what graphic design is for. It’s a major part of a company’s branding strategy. High-quality graphic design, especially professionally done by graphic design businesses, does more than differentiate one business from another.

Good graphic design also:

  • creates a good public perception;
  • promotes brand familiarity;
  • encourages the customers to buy.

graphic design influence

The Influence of Good Graphic Design on the Customers

  • Brand Familiarity.

The market is overcrowded. A small business can offer high-quality products and exceptional service for less and be completely overlooked. People have a tendency to buy from the most familiar brands.

How can a small startup compete? They have to do branding right. The right aesthetic - one that says, “We offer high-quality products. We have exceptional service. You can trust us.” - can catch people’s attention, raise their awareness of the brand’s offerings, develop customer trust, and improve conversions.

  • Visual Psychology.

The most pronounced influence of good graphic design to the customers is perhaps “in the mind”. A child’s storybook has more images than words and has colors only bees and art students can see. It’s because the human brain process images faster than text.

Every color, shape, and symbol triggers distinct emotions. Blue, for instance, evokes tranquility and reliability. Yellow is fun and exuberant. Green is nurturing and earthy. Black indicates power and precision. Red makes people feel dangerous and hungry, making people upsize their fast food meals unwittingly. Circular shapes tell people the brand is sensitive; while angular shapes give off a tough and durable message.

Long story short: a brand can subtly influence people and send them a message before ever meeting them face to face.

  • “Feel Good” Feels.

There is a growing number of brands going retro these days. With the many horrible things happening in the world today; it’s no wonder people are drawn to products that make them feel sentimental and nostalgic. Graphic design businesses call this nostalgia marketing.

But it’s not just nostalgia. People gravitate towards an aesthetic that makes them feel happy, excited, hopeful, etc. Brands can influence customers through good graphic design that gives them the “feels”.

Graphic Design Tips for Small Business Owners

  1. Simplicity. Use clear images and typography.
  2. Versatility. The design should easily translate to all forms of media.
  3. Relativity. Ensure the graphic design is related to the product and services offered.
  4. Memorability. Need we say more?
  5. Durability. The design must endure because brand familiarity relies on consistency and longevity.

Owen Gingerich once said, “Our brain the most complex physical object known to us in the entire cosmos.” The mind is mysterious, elusive and, often, too complex to understand. However, it doesn’t mean it can’t be nudged in the right direction with subtle hints. With the right graphic design, any business can influence their customers to make them a part of their lives.


trends in seo

Most Useful Upcoming SEO Trends to Get Traffic and Leads

Marketing tools and strategies advance at a dizzying pace. What worked last year may not work again this year or may not work as effectively as it did. And take note that last year was less than 30 days ago. Marketers and SEO optimization services experts may still be still recovering from the end of last year’s marketing campaigns. Nevertheless, there is no time to waste. They must always look forward and onward; thinking about the most useful upcoming SEO trends to get traffic and leads so they can work around them.

Most Useful Upcoming SEO Trends to Get Traffic and Leads

  • Don’t just “Google it.”

Google has become the first point of contact for people who need answers. Nevertheless, there is an increased awareness that other search engines exist. While Google has search dominance, search presence must be established in every other platform that has search functionality. Providers of SEO services must also make sure that sites are optimized to show up practically everywhere people are looking. This includes but not limited to other search engines (Yahoo, Bing, Ecosia, Duck Duck Go), app stores (Android and iOS), video streaming sites, shopping sites, social media sites.

  • Speak up.

The future is Alexa, Google Assistant (whatever its name is) and Siri. So far, there are still more text queries than voice queries. Remember, though, that changes happen so fast. Smartphones are getting smarter, sometimes to a surprising degree. Amazon Echo and Google Home now allow users to interact with web content in incredible ways that make people feel like Tony Stark. As a result, a lot of companies have already started working on voice optimization strategies because it is projected to be a total game changer.

recognition of the voice

  • E-A-T up!

Another trend this year is E-A-T: Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness. SEO optimization services providers should understand that creating great content means providing correct, complete, and useful information; and not just publishing content for the sake of publishing content.

  • Snippets? You’ll love it.

What are they? Snippets are text that shows up on top of search results to quickly answer the user’s questions. They have become increasingly present these last few months and as search engines become more advanced and interactive; snippets are projected to become more popular. With their rise comes the fall of websites whose contents are not optimized to appear in the snippets. Because why would anyone scroll down if they already what they need at the top of the page?

  • The machines have risen.

Machine learning will be huge in 2019. Search engine giants have shown people the true capability of machine learning but that’s just a sneak peek. This year, engines are scrambling to push out certain layouts and strive to answer people’s intents before they even ask the questions. To stay in the game, it’s imperative for companies to harness the capabilities of machine learning so they can develop unique SEO content.

Because search engines can do a 360 on their algorithms in a snap. The most useful upcoming SEO trends to get traffic and leads today may not be applicable tomorrow. Anyone not paying attention will get left behind; relegated to the second page of search results and buried in oblivion. Today, keeping pace all day, every day is the name of the game.


trends of web development

Best Frameworks and CMS for Web Development in 2019

Frameworks and CMS (Content Management Systems) have become integral and indispensable partners for web developers. Web applications standards change every day and expectations become higher. As such, the technology needed to keep up becomes more complex. Thankfully, web developers don’t need to reinvent functions to develop apps or develop sites. They simply rely on a framework’s already-created functions and a CMS’s accessibility. This helps them create web apps and sites faster, cheaper, and with more optimized features. Why reinvent the wheel, each time? Here’s a look at the best frameworks and CMS for web development in 2019.

Frameworks and CMS: Defined

A framework is a tool that is designed to make web application development faster and easier. It works by providing a standard way to build web apps. Frameworks help automate the web development process by reusing codes that other developers have already created, instead of reinventing them.

CMS, on the other hand, makes hand-coded HTML websites obsolete (sort of). CMS provides an easy way to manage your website’s content such as texts, фотос, and other media, user accounts, and files. It also allows the user to view stats and analytics and integrate other business processes into the website.

frameworks for web development

Best Frameworks and CMS for Web Development in 2019

Part 1: The Best Frameworks

  • Symfony 4

A favorite of many providers of web development services in Sydney and beyond; Symfony 4 is super flexible and is loaded with components that can be used and reused. It also includes a built-in testing function to make sure that apps behave the way they were designed. Additionally, compared to version 3, Symfony 4 has considerably less code and files which makes it easier to learn, configure, install, and launch.

  • Laravel

Laravel, an MVC framework using PHP, the web’s most used language; has made a name for itself, despite being relatively new. It’s easy to use and flexible with many add-ons. It also allows developers to work quickly because they can skip many of the groundwork and skip ahead to functions like caching, session management, user authentication, among others. On top of all that functionality, Laravel integrates seamlessly with third-party platforms like Amazon Web Services, helping website development companies build apps that are highly scalable. The best part, perhaps, is it’s supportive community sharing help and information to new and experienced developers alike.

  • CakePHP

CakePHP is an oldie but goodie. Although, it’s 19 years old, it’s still one of the best and most widely used PHP frameworks in the market. Over the years, CakePHP has been improved with a lot of added components along the way. Nevertheless, what made developers love this framework is its set of conventions which, when mastered, allowed them to focus on the development itself.

  • CodeIgniter

CodeIgniter is another PHP framework using a Model View Controller architecture. It has different components to do different tasks; something appreciated by developers because it helps them develop highly-scalable web apps using a smaller footprint. CodeIgniter packs a solid performance that’s easy to learn and master.

  • Rails

Rails uses the programming language Ruby. It’s so popular that it’s a favorite among household sites like Shopify, Airbnb, Hulu, and GitHub. Rails is amateur-proof and, despite debates on its advantages and benefits, it is a very good framework for beginners. Other than the ease of use, Rails also has a friendly community of geeks ready to help developers with tutorials and resources.

  • Django

This Model View Template framework is written in Python and provides excellent security and authentication measures. Django is also capable of protecting a site from weaknesses such as clickjacking, cross-site scripting, and SQL injection. It’s no wonder Django is used by the giants of the industry like Instagram, Youtube, Disqus, Google, and NASA. A firm believer in the ‘Don’t-Reinvent-The-Wheel’ principle, Django ensures the components can be reused.

  • Spring

Java is the most popular programming language ever. Spring is one of the pioneering Java frameworks and its adaptability and continued improvements make it one of the best. Spring is modular which makes it easy to write clean and very accessible code. It also has app development and security feature toolkits for software engineers, amateurs and experienced, alike.

Part 2: The Best CMS Platforms

  • Wordpress

Wordpress does not only dominate the market share, as far as CMSs go; it’s also one of the easiest and most customizable to use. It’s gone beyond its blogging days to provide users, both experienced web developers and amateurs alike, with the best content management experience. With its simplicity, powerful features, and countless plugins and themes, no wonder, it’s one of the best CMS for web development in 2019 and possibly beyond that.

wordpress

 

  • Joomla!

Up there with Wordpress, is Joomla!, another household name in CMS software. Although, it may be a bit more complicated than Wordpress for amateurs, Joomla! boasts of more flexibility on things like custom post types and more options on user management like those used in membership-based websites. Joomla! Also has built-in multilingual support and allows users to use different themes simultaneously.

  • Magento

Magento might be tagged as a professional e-commerce CMS but it can work for all store types and all sizes. In fact, Magento has three editions - namely Enterprise, Cloud Enterprise, and Community - to suit the business’ size or requirements. It also offers power-packed features like a library with countless extensions, built in SEO functions, order management tools, and a thriving community for support.

  • OpenCart

Another e-commerce CMS platform is OpenCart; and it was designed for convenience. Any business can quickly launch stores that are highly-customized with this CMS. From a single dashboard, a business owner has the ability to manage and track multiple stores. It also allows them to track the metrics like sales and other analytics easily. The makers of OpenCart really paid attention to detail giving the owner the ability to accept different payment methods, differentiate the products according to their attributes, among other neat functionalities. It truly does not get much simpler and easier.

There it is, the list of the best frameworks and CMS for web development in 2019. Frameworks and CMS are important partners for web development in Sydney and all over the world. And website development companies rely a lot on them to create websites and applications quicker and more customized to fulfill their client’s needs.


web design services

Pros and Cons of Hiring a Graphic Designer for a Small Business

With the world connected like never before and competition multiplying faster than germs; every brand needs to wow; visually, above all. This is why big corporations spend a lot of money on branding; a considerable part of the budget spent on graphic design. On the other end of the spectrum, a small business owner with a limited budget is asking if getting professional graphic design help is necessary. The short and honest answer: YES. Here are the pros and cons of hiring a graphic designer for a small business.

But first — the cold, hard truth

Here is a fun experiment. Ask any small business owner what their priorities are when starting a business. Chances are, graphic design will appear somewhere on that list. Now, for a simple follow up; ask them to arrange that list based on spending priorities. It won’t be surprising to find that most entrepreneurs would spend very little to no money for graphic design.

Graphic design is often relegated to an afterthought. Small business owners would often say they or someone in their team can do it themselves or they can get an image from a stock photo site or search engines. More often than not, these shortcuts lead to unsatisfactory, and costly, consequences.

Why High-Quality Graphic Design for Small Business is a MUST

A small business owner might not have enough on their capital to pay for professional graphic design services, or they may just be reluctant to pay for it. However, the value of a professionally designed website, logo, and other graphic materials is much more than the costs.

What can a small business owner get out of their graphic design investment?

  1. Professional results - Essentially, you get what you pay for. DIY-ed graphic designs look cheap and unprofessional. No business wants to be associated with those adjectives.

  2. Specialized experience - A graphic design pro isn’t just an expert in making things look pretty. Their knowledge of design trends, elements, colors, structures, and, yes, even psychology will help any brand stand out and make a solid first impression that can convert to sales.

  3. Time Savings - Delegating the crucial job of graphic design to pro will give the business owner more time to focus on the daily operations and growing the business.

great idea

The Pros and Cons of Hiring a Graphic Designer for a Small Business

Still not convinced that graphic design is a great investment for a small business?

Let’s start with the pros.

  • A Great First Impression

A brand’s visual appeal portrays its quality. In a split second, visitors, based on what they see, will either label the brand as cheap and unprofessional or sleek and credible. If the visual appeal is of the latter kind, visitors are more likely to stay long enough to see the company’s offers.

  • Great Design = Great Results

Professional websites compel visitors to buy the offered products or services. From the trustworthiness of the site’s look and feel to the different colors that evoke certain emotions to the structure, a website that is well-designed will direct visitors to the purchase button.

  • Great Distinction

Every business person knows that competition is fierce these days. What can set a business apart could be as simple as their logo. Creativity and uniqueness can make any brand stand out from the sea of competitors.

  • Great Consistency

A graphic design pro will deliver precise and consistent results to make sure the customer’s experience is the same across the board. This consistency is important for a brand’s credibility and recognisability.

  • A Great Investment

Investing in professional graphic design services may cost the business owner upfront but, as discussed, the value outweighs whatever cost is incurred. On top of that, investing now will most likely save the company money in the long run because design changes, which are costly and harmful to the brand, will be unnecessary.

As for the cons, there’s only one: finding the right graphic designer can be difficult. But even that is a small inconvenience compared to the benefits they can provide. To find a good graphic designer, simply look at the company's:

  1. portfolio of past work;

  2. proof of life;

  3. client reviews, and;

  4. communication style.

Graphic Design for Small Business: Final Thoughts

According to Princeton psychologist Alexander Todorov, people see a face for one-tenth of a second and immediately make judgments about that person. These snap judgments, in today’s very visual age, also apply to graphic design.

As with anything in life, there are pros and cons of hiring a graphic designer for a small business. However, it’s safe to say that the pros far outweigh the cons. With a small investment and a little bit of effort, any small business can have professional-looking and high-quality graphic design that can make the brand stand out.


The Most Exciting Trends of 2019 in Web Development

The world today moves at a dizzying pace. Trends in fashion, education, business, and, most of all, web development also move so fast; it is sometimes hard to keep up. Competition on the web is fierce. A brand’s website must get with the times or be left behind. So how does one stay ahead of the pack? Well, it helps to know what’s going on to accurately predict what’s coming up. That said, here are the most exciting trends of 2019 in web development.

Everything happens on the web now. Anyone wishing to stay competitive in 2019 must have a website that’s not just functional; but also attractive, innovative, and convenient. Here are the top 10 web development trends to look out for this new year.

  1. Motion User Interface

As the world becomes increasingly online and the need for instant gratification heightens; people’s attention spans are becoming shorter. People gravitate towards simple but fascinating interactive graphics. Motion User Interface, like animations, interactive transitions, and video backgrounds will take over static and data-heavy flash-based graphics.

  1. Cyber Security

According to a report by the Australian Cyber Security Centre, 90% of organizations experienced cybersecurity threats - big and small - in 2016. This includes malicious cyber threats like phishing emails, data privacy infringement, and confidentiality and data breaches.

Experts in web development in Sydney and across the world experience and warn organizations of the same scenario. Because of this, most companies’ are taking steps to keep cyber attacks at bay. Cybersecurity is projected to stay a top priority in web development for the foreseeable future.

security of the web

  1. Blockchain

Speaking of cybersecurity, Blockchain, made popular by cryptocurrencies, has emerged into the front line of web development trends. Since data in the Blockchain technology is stored in distributed ledgers and not in a single server, it’s safer from cybersecurity compromises.

More companies are predicted to use Blockchain in 2019 as major technology giants, like Amazon, develop their very own Blockchain platforms.

  1. Push Notifications

Push notifications have become crucial elements of an increasing number of websites. Easy to manage than email newsletters; they are fast becoming the norm for new content, announcements, and special offers, among others.

  1. Low-Code Development Platform

Thanks to LCDPs, more people, with or without programming training, can design and develop applications and websites. Since LCDPs are faster and easier, they lower the setup, training, and preparation costs. LCDPs are becoming the preferred platform by web developers so expect a lot of low-code websites in 2019.

  1. Single Page Applications

These days, it’s all about convenience. That is the reason single-page applications have grown in popularity. SPAs have one long web page that is free from complicated navigation keys and confusing menus, are simple and fast. Plus, they work and look excellent on desktops and mobile devices. What’s not to like?

  1. Artificial Intelligence

The list of the most exciting trends of 2019 in web development won’t be complete without artificial intelligence. AI is at the heart of digital transformation strategies. The adorably named Chatbots is just one example.

development of AI

With the advances in artificial intelligence, chatbots are becoming smarter and smarter. Experts estimate that this new year, 4 out of 10 websites will use new and improved AI technology. AI will now be able to do processes like reasoning, sensing, predicting, inferring, assessing, and controlling actions.

  1. Aesthetic Overload

Less is more is a thing of the past. More is more is the web development motto for 2019. Now it’s all about vibrancy - flamboyant images, interactive animations, and creative typography. Prepare for sensory overload this year.

  1. Progressive Web Applications

As more and more people become attached to their smartphones, web developers have started making progressive web apps, websites that function like mobile apps. This gives users a consistent experience across multiple devices. Brands like Virgin America, Forbes, the Washington Post, and even Twitter have made the switch from traditional websites to PWAs. So far, they have seen improved conversion, speed, performance.

  1. Adaptability

Adaptability is the name of the game. Websites that look attractive, are easy to use, and accessible to a wider range of devices get more visitors, have higher conversion rates, and have happier users. Therefore, web pages that have optimized and uniquely developed templates for each device will continue to be at the top of the list of the most exciting trends of 2019 in web development.

Keeping Up with Web Development

The line between real life and online life is now gone; because real life is online life. Websites are the consumers’ first point of contact with organizations like businesses, banks, schools, among others. Establishing and maintaining a working website is merely the first step. Visual appeal, accessibility, and convenience are also necessities.

It goes without saying that hiring a web development team is one of the most important investments a business needs to make. The advantages of hiring a web developer include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Trends and Techniques. Trends come and go but expert web developers are always in style. These pros know what’s hot and what’s not, as well as the latest techniques and strategies when it comes to web development.

  • Professional Results. A professional web developer will produce a professional-looking and high-functioning website that can increase the brand’s credibility.

  • Customized Solutions. An expert web developer can integrate the brand’s vision and the latest trends seamlessly to ensure the website represents the brand and does the work the required perfectly.

 

Final Thoughts

Twenty years ago, the rest of the world was just starting to get connected to the world wide web. In some parts of the world, people have not even heard of the world wide web. Now, according to a survey by Netcraft, there are more than 200 million active websites, with more being created every minute.

That’s a mind-blowing shift in such a short period. Yes, twenty years is not a lot of time. For context, twenty years ago, The Simpsons was on TV, Bon Jovi was on tour, and Jennifer Lopez looks exactly the same. Twenty years ago is pretty much today.

With the speed and enormity of the change taking place; big corporations, small businesses, and everything in between must rise up and never stop innovating to meet the challenges of the 21st Century. After all, the most exciting trends of 2019 in web development may not so exciting in just a few years’ time.


search engine optimization and customer experience

The Interaction Between Customer Experience and SEO: Newest Tips of 2019

Traditional businesses succeed when they can get people through the door and give them the best experience. Websites are no different. After all, websites are the businesses of the 21st Century. Websites use SEO to get people through the virtual door and try to give their users the best experience. The website’s success rests on these 2 intertwined concepts. Thus, it’s just fitting to discuss the interaction between customer experience and SEO: newest tips of 2019 as the one year ends and another begins.

Customer Experience in the 21st Century

Delivering a great customer experience is at the heart of every business since the beginning of time. However, as technology advanced, so did the demands of customer experience. Expectations are insanely high. For instance:

  • The way users search for information used to require only typing a few keywords on a search engine. Now, searches are made by voice, through mobile, etc.

  • Users used to be satisfied with reading text-only results from their searches. Now, they want a sensory overload of some sort - pictures, animations, interactive graphics, videos, etc.

  • Web users also used to be okay with simple web pages as long as they receive the information they ask for. Now they want websites that are vibrant, good-looking, high-functioning, convenient, and accessible on different devices.

  • On top of that, as artificial intelligence dominates the web; consumers expect that recommendations, promotions, and offers are personalized for them.

With these changing demands, SEO optimization services, which used to be the simple process of bringing in traffic organically through keywords, are not enough anymore. Now it’s all about customer experience optimization (CXO).

The interaction between customer experience and SEO is more important than ever before. Here are some tips to boost search performance and give customers a great experience.

  1. Get to know your audience. As with any business, knowing who the audience is the first step to ensuring a personalized customer experience. From which demographic do they come from? When a business understands who their target buyers are; they can ensure that content, marketing, and sales are all aligned to the target customers.

  2. Get to know the customer. Once there is an understanding of the target audience, it’s time to get to each individual customer. What does she/he want? What are his/her consumption habits? How does it compare to that of the other customers? By understanding these minute details, the business can then begin the intricacies of truly personalized customer experience.

  3. Start mining. Using AI and other technology to analyze the data gathered from the customers’ interaction with the website, businesses can identify the patterns and habits of their users. With this information, they can understand and adapt to the changes in the audience, the competition, and the market in general.

  4. Move beyond the rank. A business that truly wants to get ahead of the pack must not rely simply on the rank and click data. They must also use other measurement channels to ensure that the website does not only rank well but that it also provides the users a delightful experience.

  5. Always up to the ante on SEO optimization services. Everything these days moves at lightning speeds. Failure to innovate and update the site’s SEO strategy can result in the failure of the organism.

 

Final Thoughts

The 21st Century has witnessed a major shift in the way people do business or conduct their daily activities. And in 2019, the opportunities to improve SEO services and strategies are limitless. Now, businesses must integrate the interaction between customer experience and SEO to ensure the best possible experience for their customers.


SEO audit and analisys

SEO Audit for Small Businesses

Everyone who operates a business online is probably familiar with SEO. SEO is hugely responsible for bringing in people through the (virtual) door. However, those familiar with SEO may not be familiar with an SEO Audit. It is very important to conduct an SEO audit for small businesses to ensure they stay on top of search engine rankings.

ORDER YOUR SEO AUDIT

The Basics

An SEO audit is just that: auditing a website’s SEO.

It is a process of evaluating the website’s search engine friendliness, so to say. An SEO audit is done to identify problem areas and then identify a set of action items to correct them. The goal, of course, is to improve the website’s search engine performance.

There are many tools available to conduct an SEO audit. Some businesses do it themselves by following a guide while others choose to hire an SEO services agency to do the job for them.

Why hire external SEO Optimisation Services?

  • Save time.

SEO audits take a while to conduct, especially for first-timers. With a hired auditor to conduct SEO audit for small businesses, the owners could focus on running their business, instead.

  • Nitty-Gritty.

No tech background? No problem! An SEO services team will take the data, break it down, analyze it, and explain it to the business owner in English. It is then easier to understand the opportunities for improvement and then come up with a fix.

  • Stay up to date.

The SEO industry changes quickly. Google updates its algorithms all the time. What worked a few months ago, may not work anymore. SEO services, have access to the most current and most effective tools, programs, and systems; making the cost of SEO services totally worth it.

  • Insights.

No matter how awesome an SEO auditing tool is; it can never provide some things only a human can provide: powerful insights and advice.

  • Tools.

There are various tools used to analyze and monitor SEO. These tools can be found free of charge, but those would only give you a glimpse of what is actually available. SEO optimization agencies have many tools that are used daily (and for an SEO Audit) and they aren’t cheap. Paying for all of those tools just to audit one website? Not a great return on investment.

Still, Want to DIY?

While it’s advisable to call in the big guns for such an important job; some might still want to strike out on their own.

Simple SEO audits and improvements, albeit time-consuming and tedious, can be done by businesses themselves. How? Follow these steps:

    1. Get an SEO auditing tool.

    2. Using the auditing tool, crawl the website.

    3. Start the audit using a comprehensive checklist:

      • Google Penalties - Find out if the website was penalized by Google and when and why. Then, create an action plan to fix the issues and get the penalty removed.

      • Search Appearance - Do a Google search of the brand name and review the results.

      • Technical SEO - Do a thorough check of the website’s technical SEO. This makes sure search engines can access the pages of the website properly.

      • On-Page SEO - Do a thorough check of the website’s on-site SEO to help search engines comprehend the site’s content.

      • Off-Page SEO - Review all incoming links and remove bad links.

      • Social Media - Check the brand’s presence in social media channels and if it’s easy to find and follow.

SEO optimization and analisys

  1. Check the results.

In Conclusion

As businesses become increasingly competitive online, their owners must do more to help improve their results. While SEO, undoubtedly, is a huge driver for website traffic; users have to remember that it is a sum of many moving parts, changes hyper fast, and is, like any other system, not perfect. That’s where an SEO audit comes in.

Whether the business chooses to do it on its own or hire SEO optimization services; an SEO audit for small businesses is necessary to make sure SEO is doing its job to bring in as many people through those virtual doors.

Can’t be bothered doing it yourself?