Category Archives: Web Design and Development

Your Site’s URL Structure

Throughout the big launch, one important thing might be forgotten. While the aesthetics may have been addressed, there may be far less regard for the project’s fundamental core: its URL structure. And this goes a long way to determining the way your site is structured, which has an effect on how it performs in search engine rankings.

  • Better organization leads to easier crawling. For any website, a logical and easily mapped out structure is desirable. If you were to sketch out how your website’s pages are connected to the home page, you would ideally end up with something that looks like a pyramid, with an increasing number of pages the further down you go. This top-down approach can be seen on a number of very successful websites. In almost all cases, the next level beneath the home page will be represented visually in the navigation menu. See this approach on the dermatology website amiea.com. Visit any of the menu navigation categories or subcategories; the URL structure is logical and easy to match with the menu item without knowing too much about the site. You could even guess the URL of a page just by looking at the navigation menu.
  • Logical mapping leads to themed content. By keeping a clear and logical navigation structure, you will make your site more accessible for users to explore, but the organization of the site’s directories will also enable search engine spiders to easily crawl your site. Everything can be contained easily within categories. Inside these categories will be content and pages that are similar and organized around the same theme.

  • Avoid hiding your lower pages. Despite the fact that I’ve been preaching about the importance of a pyramid style of website pages, don’t go too far. It would certainly be a bad practice for you to start including buried treasures beneath your pyramid. Retailers with a large portfolio of products face a challenge in requiring various levels of categories. If your online presence is lucky enough to not have this problem, then make every effort to minimize the number of directories your site has.

You can easily keep track of this by examining your URL structure. Each time there is a forward slash after the main domain, this denotes a new directory, adding an additional layer. It isn’t wise to have too many. I believe a maximum of five layers should be sufficient. My website, Trip Tipping, has four layers after the main domain: domain/content type/continent/city/article. This is possibly one layer too many, and I intend to test out having one less layer.

 

Reasons Your Website Will Never Be Finished

Your company’s website will never be finished. You will never sit back, breathe a sigh of relief, and say, “Finally! We’ve got this thing wrapped up; now we can move onto other things. That is, this will never happen if you’re doing all you should with your website. And this adds up to some good news because if you’re constantly updating your site, you’ll develop an advantage over your competitors who aren’t.

Here are three reasons you should never stop working on your website:

1. Web design trends are evolving. Compare websites designed within the past few months with those designed a few years ago, and you’ll notice some differences. Web design trends can sometimes be mere fads, but often they are driven by changes in technology. Two modern trends in web design are flat design and responsive design. Gradients, drop shadows, bevels and elements designed to resemble real objects have no place in flat web design. Proponents of flat design eschew the fancy in favor of simplicity, clean lines, bold colors and a focus on content and usability. Flat design also means cleaner code, faster-loading pages (good for SEO) and greater adaptability, which factors into the next trend.

2. Consumer preferences are changing. Customers expect something different from your website now than did two, five or 10 years ago. When high-speed internet became widely available, users started to anticipate rich content, such as high-resolution photography and HD videos. As desktop screens grew larger and wider, consumers looked for sites that would take advantage of the additional real estate. Today’s consumers don’t want to waste time. Everyone is busy and wants to get to the point as efficiently as possible. Many companies have understood this to mean that content should be clear and concise. Design agency Teehan+Lax embraces long-form content in its portfolio section, in a post about working with client Krush. The segment delivers value, by helping potential clients understand what the process of working with the company would be like. Long-form content is also good for  SEO.

3. Search engine optimization rules. The premise of SEO is that if a company sells widgets and its site shows up No. 1 in a Google search for the term “widgets,” then viewers will be drawn to that corporate site. But it may not be the only company desiring to market widgets. Therefore, the company’s task is to convince Google that when someone searches for widgets, any user arriving at the company’s website will find it especially appropriate for the search term. If users aren’t happy with Google’s search results, that’s bad for Google. It used to be that a lot of SEO firms would trick Google into sending traffic to their clients’ websites. But Google employs thousands of people with doctorates to systematically filter out search engine spam. Google’s search algorithm updates like Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird have forced websites to provide real value to visitors or see their rankings in the search engines fall and traffic dry up.

Big Changes to the Internet

To keep up with the fast paced changes of the internet, web-hosting company Weebly used its own site to show how even in just the past 10 years, web design and the internet have come a long way.

Looking through the lens of Weebly’s website, here are 11 things we forgot we knew about the internet:

1. 2006: MySpace and Internet Explorer were on top.

In 2006, the web was a whole different beast. Weebly says that there was little desire for intricate web design in 2006. “MySpace was still a thing, and Weebly’s headquarters was a Penn State dorm room,” Weebly told The Next Web.

At this time, most internet users accessed the web through Internet Explorer, Facebook extended beyond educational institutions and Jack Dorsey sent his first tweet. MySpace was king of social media platforms, with more than 75 million users.

2. 2007: Apple releases the iPhone, and the mobile-friendly seed is planted.

In 2007, the idea that websites should become mobile-friendly came into play, with the release of Apple’s first generation iPhone.

Blackberry was the phone of choice at the time, with 36 percent of Americans in 2007 saying they would have a hard time giving up their Blackberry devices, according to Pew Research Center.

3. 2008: Mobile-friendly considerations continue.

In 2008, the web was available via Android smartphones and iPhones, and website owners began to realize the value of becoming mobile-friendly.

4. 2009: The web turns to “at a glance” content.

Weebly had a drastic website makeover in 2009.

Also in 2009, 69 percent of U.S. residents turned to the internet for information on the recession, rivaling print and television media; Twitter had a breakout year, earning a valuation of $1 billion; and Facebook added more than 200 million new users.

5. 2010: Photos start to make an entrance.

In 2010, photo-sharing social media is introduced. Both Pinterest and Instagram launched, signaling the importance of photos online. Web users also became interested in apps, as 35 percent of adults had cell phones that featured apps in 2010.

6. 2011: LTE allows for faster access.

In 2011, LTE began to take hold, which allowed for faster internet speeds and gave designers the opportunity to add more details to websites.

Also in 2011, Google Plus launched and LinkedIn hit 100 million users and its stock is offered on the New York Stock Exchange.

7. 2012: The year of Facebook.

While Weebly’s website shows little change between 2011 and 2012, this was the year of Facebook.

In 2012, Facebook reached 1 billion users and bought Instagram, again showing that photos are becoming important online. The social network also debuted on the NASDAQ.

8. 2013: Photos officially take hold on the internet.

In 2013, full-bleed photos started to become popular, according to The Next Web. To match this trend, Weebly’s website changed drastically to include more visual elements and prominent photography.

9. 2014: We’re introduced to the immersive experience.

In 2014, Weebly made its website immersive. Having an immersive experience — one with transitions, graphics that tell a story and layers — became commonplace.

Also in 2014, mobile devices accounted for 25 percent of all web usage and tablets shipments increased by 53 percent.

10. 2015: Scrolling and interactive sites take over.

In 2015, websites began to abort the “above the fold” mentality (important content is all placed in the top sections of the page so you don’t have to scroll) and truly became interactive.

Weebly’s website followed this trend, becoming much more immersive, forcing visitors to actively scroll down to find content.

The 2015 trend of having interactive formats and scrolling websites also stuck around into the first parts of the year.

The Most Deadly Mistakes in Website Design

 Avoid these gaffes, and your site will be far better than much of the competition.

1. Disabling the back button. Evil site authors long ago figured out how to break a browser’s back button so that when a user pushes it, one of several undesired things happen: There’s an immediate redirect to an unwanted location, the browser stays put because the “back” button has been deactivated, or a new window pops up and overtakes the screen.

2. Opening new windows. Once upon a time, using multiple new frames to display content as a user clicked through a site was cool–a new thing in web design. Now it only annoys viewers because it ties up system resources, slows computer response and generally complicates a visitor’s experience.

3. Failing to put a phone number and address in several easy-to-find locations. If you’re selling, you need to offer viewers multiple ways to contact you. The smartest route is to put up a “Contact Us” link that leads to complete info–mailing address, phone and email address. That link should be on each and every page of your website. Even if nobody ever calls, the very presence of this information adds real-world legitimacy and transparency to your site and comforts some viewers.

4. Broken links. Bad links–hyperlinks that do nothing when clicked or lead to “404” error pages–are the bane of any web surfer. Test your site–and do it weekly–to ensure that all links work as promised. Include a “Contact the Webmaster” link in your site’s footer so users can quickly let you know if they find a broken link or other mistake on your site–and fix those errors immediately.

5. Slow server times. Slow load times are inexcusable with professional sites — it’s an invitation to the visitor to click away.

6. Outdated information. Again, there’s no excuse, but it’s amazing how many sites include old, dated content. Make sure to keep your site fresh and updated daily for best results. You can’t afford the loss of credibility that can come from having dated content. Also, make sure your content is accurate, and if you should find a single error, fix it immediately.

7. Poor navigation. The internet promises speed. If surfers can’t figure out where to go next quickly and get there easily, they’ll simply surf on to the next website–your competitor’s!

8. Too many font styles and colors. Pages ought to present a unified, consistent look, but novice site builders–entranced by having hundreds of fonts at their fingertips, plus dozens of colors–frequently turn their pages into a garish mishmash. Use two or three fonts and colors per page, maximum.

9. Orphan pages. Memorize this: Every page in your site needs a readily seen link back to the home page. Sometimes users will forward a URL to friends, who may visit and may want more information. But if the page they get is a dead end, forget it.

10. Failing to link with your social network sites. Most businesses have their own Facebook pages, others use Pinterest with boards full of photos, while some broadcast their latest activities on Twitter. The point is that social media is here to stay and businesses are benefitting from having a presence in it. Forgetting to link to your social media platforms is a big no-no. People should be able to go from one to the other effortlessly.

Infinite Scrolling Right for Your Website

Facebook and other social networks such as Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram are perfect examples of this. Other examples of infinite scrolling include Google images, Mashable, The Chicago Tribune, and small business blogs like Uberflip and CopyPress.

The pros

  • It’s great for mobile phones. Clicking small “next page” links make it hard to browse on your mobile phone. Simply scrolling up or down is much easier.
  • It helps keep readers engaged. It’s easy to keep scrolling without realizing it, whereas a “see more” link breaks up the experience.
  • It works well if you’re dealing with a lot of data. You can show more content at once, so it’s great if you have a lot of information to produce.
  • Real-time information is easiest to manage. Infinite scroll will update content immediately, so websites that count on real-time information (such as social media sites) do extremely well with infinite scroll.

The cons

  • Users can’t search for anything specific. You have to keep scrolling if you’re looking for something specific or something you saw earlier.
  • Users also can’t skip information. On that same note, you can’t skip down to new information because it hasn’t necessarily been loaded yet. Again, you have to just keep scrolling. For some, this can become very annoying.
  • Your website won’t have a footer. This means you will have to put most of that standard footer information into some sort of heading, which either may not fit or look strange. If you leave out the information, users might be confused about where to go to find your Contact or About Us page.
  • Infinite scroll uses JavaScript. This isn’t a big problem just yet, but if you’re trying to get away from JavaScript or are nervous about its future in terms of Google rankings, infinite scroll isn’t ideal.

How to tell if infinite scroll is right for you

Whether or not infinite scroll is a good thing depends entirely on your type of website/company and not on infinite scroll in general. For some it works great, for others it’s a nightmare. Here are some typical winners and losers

Winners: Entertainment websites. If all of your information is essentially the same level of importance and you aim to entertain, you want to keep people scrolling through your website as long as possible (not moving through any sort of sales funnel). There is no searching involved. This is why websites that focus on images do so well with infinite scrolling.

Losers: Ecommerce websites. Ecommerce websites wouldn’t do well with infinite scrolling because they want readers to research and jump around the site. Searching and skipping information is important, and not everything is of equal importance.

Of course, your website probably won’t fall into exactly one of these win-or-lose categories. In some situations around the web, you see sort of a mix. For example, a website that isn’t heavy on images can still make infinite scrolling work if the site includes a menu option to help people search. There is no right or wrong answer with infinite scrolling unfortunately, so it’s ultimately up to you.

Top Professional Website Builders

 To give you an insight into some of the options available, this guide is going to show you some of the top picks that you should consider. With 77 percent believing a poor website is a weakness, you need the right builder.

Which of these top professional website builders will you use for your small business website today?

1. Website Builder.

The Website Builder platform will help you to build a professional website in just three steps. Despite the simplicity of this platform, there are thousands of templates to choose from. And you don’t have to stick with the templates available. Every template is freely open to editing, so you can do what you like with it and make a completely unique website.

2. Wix.

Wix is one of the most well-known website platforms in the world. Other than WordPress, this is one of the best free website builders available. You can create practically anything using Wix, but it tends to work best with fashion and apparel websites.

3. Weebly.

Weebly is another one of the more well-known website builders on this list. It’s ideal for practically any type of business because there’s a website template for practically any niche. Weebly automatically comes with mobile friendly designs, along with compatibility with multiple browsers. One feature that you get with Weebly that you don’t get with other website builders is a personalized domain name.

4. Sitey.

Sitey comes with the drag and drop system that makes building a website to your specifications so easy.  Primarily, this is a network that sticks to using plugins and extensions to make up the bulk of its functionality. The customer service available is another plus point for Sitey.

5. IM Creator.

IM Creator uses something called “Stripes,” which are pre-customizable. This website builder is one of the easiest builders to use because you can have a professional website up and running in a matter of minutes. All the templates provided by IM Creator are retina ready, which means they are programmed to be used immediately with a live audience. All these designs can be placed onto websites that utilize hundreds of pages. With IM Creator you don’t have to worry about hosting because you automatically gain access to guaranteed unlimited hosting and bandwidth.

6. Jimdo.

If you need an ecommerce builder, Jimdo is an option that you should seriously consider. Create an online shop without all the issues associated with making your shopping cart work by downloading one of the dedicated ecommerce themes presented by Jimdo. It even caters to heavyweight ecommerce stores. You can check all the various options and features to make sure you have the functionality you need. While this is a free website builder, you do have a paid option available, which comes with a ton of additional features. However, the free version is more than capable of fulfilling your needs.

 

Protect Your Design Work on the Internet

Web designers are faced with a “catch 22” situation. To attract new clients, they must showcase their work and put it on display on the internet. Yet, by doing so, they are more vulnerable to thievery. The possibility of people taking their work and re-publishing it or using it for their own gain without giving the author attribution is a grim reality.

It’s all too easy for internet users to click and save a graphic and insert it into a blog or website without the creator even knowing it is happening.

Many people who re-post graphics are not aware of the illegal nature of their actions. People think that the internet and its images are available to anyone who wants them.

In other cases, people will “steal” designs that don’t have any copyright information stated. They do not realize that an image is copyrighted material once it is published, regardless of the lack of statements surrounding it.

Do you have a team of legal experts ready to prosecute people who steal your work? Unless you have the budget of Amazon.com, this is not a likely scenario. Most freelance web designers do not have thousands of dollars to spend on legal assistance should anyone steal their content, so they must devise ways to protect their work and prevent it from misuse.

Copyright disclaimers – Consider posting a notice of copyright or “all rights reserved” on your website where visitors can see it along with a statement describing the illegal nature of stealing your work. It may not stop every perpetrator, but it will notify those who are unaware of copyright laws about stealing content and also scare others into submission. It’s similar to posting an alarm sign in front of your house to deter thieves from entering. Even if you don’t have an actual alarm system, the thought of possibly getting caught is enough to deter them.

Watermarks – Watermarks are a good deterrent and can prevent people from stealing your images. Designers typically do not like changing the look of their designs with watermarks, but many feel they are the best deterrent to theft. Some resort to a small signature and website logo on the bottom of the design as well.

Take Charge With Licensing

When you post your creative work online, copyright laws help to prevent the copying of your work and control its distribution.

If an individual steals your design and uses it for an ad, it is a direct violation of copyright law. The action is also in question if the individual incorporates the copyrighted work to create a derivative without your permission.

When you use licenses to protect your work, you still own all the copyrights, but you allow people to use your work as you deem acceptable.

The Licenses

1. Attribution

Attribution is the most lenient of the licenses. It allows others to use and distribute your work and create derivatives as long as they give you credit.

2. Attribution NonCommercial

Under this license, people can use and tweak your work and copy it only for non-commercial use provided they give you credit.

3. Attribution-ShareAlike

This license is similar to the open source software license in that any new work created from your original work must be licensed in the same manner. People who use or revamp your work for commercial purposes must credit you and all derivatives will carry the identical license. Wikipedia uses this license.

4. Attribution-NoDerivs

When you opt for the “no derivatives” license, you permit people to redistribute your work as long as they do not change it or modify it in any way. The graphics and images must remain unchanged and the publisher must give you credit.

5. Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

This license is similar to the Attribution-ShareAlike; however; it prohibits the use of your work for commercial purposes.

6. Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs

For those web designers seeking the most restrictive license, this one is ideal for you. It prohibits the use of your work for commercial purposes. People can download and share your images if they credit you, but they cannot alter them.

 

 

Steps to Optimizing Your Website

The goal of search engine optimization is to have the search engine spiders not only find your site and pages but also specifically rank the page relevance so that it appears at the top of the search engine results. The process of optimization is not a one-time process but requires maintenance, tuning, and continuous testing and monitoring.

Below is a broad four-step process for a strategy for search engine optimization. Use this as your top-level checklist.

Step 1: Target Market Business Analysis

  • Website analysis. Analysis of meta sets/keywords, visible text and code to deter­mine how well you’re positioned for search engines. For example, how much code do you have on a page compared to text?
  • Competitive analysis. Examination of content keywords and present engine rank­ings of competitive websites to determine an effective engine positioning strategy. Pick the top five results in the Google listing results to begin this process. Expand as necessary. Use tools such as Semrush.com and Keywordspy.com.

Step 2: Keyword Research and Development

  • Keyword analysis. From nomination, further identify a targeted list of key­words and phrases. Review competitive lists and other pertinent industry sources. Use your preliminary list to determine an indicative number of recent search engine queries and how many websites are competing for each key­word. Prioritize keywords and phrases, plurals, singulars and misspellings. Please note that Google will try to correct the term when searching, so use this with care.
  • Goals and Objectives. Clearly define your objectives in advance so you can truly measure your ROI from any programs you implement. Start simple, but don’t skip this step. Example: You may decide to increase website traffic from a current baseline of 100 visitors a day to 200 visitors over the next 30 days. Or you may want to improve your current conversion rate of one percent to two in a specified period. You may begin with top-level, aggregate numbers, but you must drill down into specific pages that can improve products, services, and business sales.

Step 3: Content Optimization and Submission

  • Place strategic search phrases on pages. Integrate selected keywords into your website source code and existing content on designated pages. Make sure to apply a sug­gested guideline of one to three keywords/phrases per content page and add more pages to complete the list. Ensure that related words are used as a natural inclu­sion of your keywords. It helps the search engines quickly determine what the page is about. A natural approach to this works best. In the past, 100 to 300 words on a page was recommended. Many tests show that pages with 800 to 2,000 words can outperform shorter ones. In the end, the users, the marketplace, content and links will determine the popularity and ranking numbers.
  • Submit website to directories (limited use). Professional search marketers don’t sub­mit the URL to the major search engines, but it’s possible to do so. A better and faster way is to get links back to your site naturally. Links get your site indexed by the search engines. However, you should submit your URL to directories such as Yahoo! (paid), Business.com (paid) and DMOZ (free). Some may choose to include AdSense (google.com/adsense) scripts on a new site to get their Google Media bot to visit. It will likely get your pages indexed quickly.

Step 4: Continuous Testing and Measuring

  • Test and measure. Analyze search engine rankings and web traffic to determine the effectiveness of the programs you’ve implemented, including assessment of individual keyword performance. Test the results of changes, and keep changes tracked in an Excel spreadsheet, or whatever you’re comfortable with.
  • Maintenance. Ongoing addition and modification of keywords and website con­tent are necessary to continually improve search engine rankings so growth doesn’t stall or decline from neglect. You also want to review your link strategy and ensure that your inbound and outbound links are relevant to your business. A blog can provide you the necessary structure and ease of content addition that you need. Your hosting company can typically help you with the setup/installation of a blog.

Tips to Design Newsletter Layouts

Newsletters still offer the best way to reach your audience directly and increase sales. But if you’ve never managed an email list before this can be an intimidating process.

Once you have a list you’ll need to send out emails that connect with subscribers and offer real value. This means great content and great design all wrapped up in a pretty bow.

  • Single-Column Layouts

Emails need to be designed smaller because email readers like Outlook have more restrictions than web browsers. This means your average newsletter is rarely larger than 600px wide, so it’s best to use a 1-column layout or at most a 2-column layout.

1. Create a header

No question, your newsletter needs a header. It’s the equivalent of a magazine, newspaper or website name. It sits at the very top of your newsletter and should include the newsletter title (if you have one), your company name and your logo.

Fortunately, there are online DIY tools to help you with your headers, such as Stencil or Pixlr. With these programs, you don’t need any graphic design experience to create and save graphics to your computer. Just create your header once, and use it again and again.

2. Let your logo dictate color scheme

Your newsletter needs a color scheme. Because your logo is part of your header, consider using its colors throughout your email newsletter as font colors, borders or other elements. After all, your logo’s colors should already be the color palette for your entire branding.

3. Stick to standard fonts

When selecting fonts for your newsletter, the top priority is legibility. Stick with basic fonts like Times New Roman, Helvetica or Arial. Refrain from using several different fonts in one newsletter: Too many fonts together gives a cluttered, disorganized look that can easily distract the reader. Pick one or, at the most, two fonts for your entire newsletter — and consider sticking with them for each newsletter you create.

4. Use subheadings

Your newsletter should have several different pieces of content that are broken up by subheadings. It should look a lot like a newspaper. The subheadings should be in one of the clear fonts that you selected. The size of the subheadings should be smaller than what’s used in your header, but larger than the text you use for articles.

5. Stack content

If you’re using a newsletter template through an email service provider like VerticalResponse, you’ll be able to add content easily. For a layout that looks good to readers and scrolls smoothly on mobile devices, stack your content.

6. Use pictures

A well-designed email is a good balance of text and images. When a recipient opens your email, images instantly grab his or her attention. By adding a few pictures, you pull in your reader and enhance the effectiveness of your message at the same time.

When you create your next newsletter, add pictures that are easy to snap with your digital camera. For example, take a picture of an employee that you plan to highlight or grab a shot of your newest product to include in the next edition.

Increase Your Website’s Conversion Rate

Getting traffic to your website is great, but if that traffic doesn’t convert, it’s almost useless. This article will outline  strategies for getting your visitors to take action, whether that’s filling out a form, handing over their email address or making a purchase.

1. Include as few fields as possible.

When asking for information in an email opt-in form, ask for as little information as necessary. Here’s an example of how using one additional form field decreased conversions by 11 percent.

2. Add a guarantee.

Include a no-questions-asked refund policy on all purchases. This reduces risk, and increased sales will usually more than make up for any returns.

3. Use tangible action verbs.

When testing out different calls to action, try using action language that spurs visitors to take action (for example, “grab yours,” “reserve your seat”)

4. Use testimonials.

Testimonials reduce risk and provide social proof. Use them on product landing pages as well as on your email opt-in landing page.

5. Clearly state the benefits of your product or service.

Listing the features of your product is important, but it’s even more important to tell potential customers exactly how your product will help them or solve their problem.

6. Pay careful attention to your headline.

Your headline is perhaps the single most important element of your landing page. Brainstorm at least 10 possibilities before choosing the strongest one.

7. Keep conversion elements above the fold.

Opt-in boxes and other conversion elements should be above the fold for optimal results.

8. Use video to humanize your brand.

Include a simple video on landing pages to show there’s a real person behind your brand.

9. Create dedicated landing pages for pay-per-click ads.

If you’re using AdWords or another form of PPC ads, be sure to send these visitors to a dedicated landing page (not your home page!).

10. Include subscriber or social-media follower counts.

Just like testimonials, including social proof helps reduce risk and increase conversions.

11. Incorporate strong calls to action (CTAs) into every piece of content on your site.

Let your readers know exactly what you want them to do next, whether that’s click a button, read a blog post or fill out a form.

12. Recommend related products.

Include links to related content or products to keep visitors engaged and on your site.

13. Include stock numbers.

If you have a tangible product, include the number of remaining stock with your product descriptions (for example: “Order now … only 3 left in stock”).

14. Lose the hype.

Most consumers are too savvy to fall for hype-based copywriting. Lose the hype, and focus instead on writing clear, compelling copy that helps your visitors make a purchase decision.

15. Test variations of your CTA button.

Your “buy now” or “order now” button may perform quite differently depending on where it’s placed, what color it is and how big it is. Test out several variations to see which ones perform best.

16. Tell visitors exactly what they’re going to get.

Provide visitors with absolutely everything they need to know about your product: What are the features and benefits? What does it look like? What are the possible uses? Who will benefit most from it? How will it be delivered?

17. Include a clear value proposition.

Tell potential buyers what’s special about your product. How is it different and better than every other, similar product on the market?

18. Give your visitors tunnel vision.

When creating a landing page, remove anything that could potentially distract your visitors, such as a navigation bar and other CTAs. Your landing page should be 100 percent about getting your visitors to take one, specific action.

19. Include a privacy statement on opt-in forms.

Your privacy policy can have a huge impact on your email conversions. In one experiment, changing the wording just slightly resulted in a 19 percent increase in conversions.

20. Get your visitors excited.

Use emotionally-charged language and amazing storytelling to get your visitors eager and excited to try your product.

Bonus tip: Remember that the key to a highly converting website is to test, test, test. What works for one website, audience or niche may not work for another, making it difficult to offer a one-size-fits-all strategy for achieving optimal conversions. Figure out what works best for your business, and then run with it.