Is It Too Late To Upgrade? Websites in 2020

website upgrade covid

Our blog earlier this year, ‘Redevelop and Remain Productive‘, was intended to remind people that it’s never been more important to have an up to date website. The opening line reads:

“If you find yourself debating how you will remain productive during this difficult period, we suggest you start with your website.”

As we head into 2021, I am confident your business will continue to face new challenges with the same resilience that so many of our clients have. However, if you did not get round to your website, perhaps your competitors did?

It might be time to take a look over your competition online and check you’re still on the cutting edge. If you aren’t providing sufficient opportunity for your customers to help you through this difficult period, your business and Google ranking will suffer. We have been helping our clients analyse their competition from around the country in order to help keep them focus their priorities. While different sectors vary greatly, there has been a huge uptake in instant engagement systems.

Businesses that had previously focused their attention on social media adapted incredibly well, with many find opportunities for higher engagement. Examples of this were offerings of support into their communities. These contributions to support causes and charities were exposed to a captive audience over the lockdown and for many this was perfect advertising. That heightened engagement carried over to websites, with many more businesses using integrated social media messaging and live chat systems.

Businesses that had not previously used social media or had neglected it are finding their customer engagement is still not returning to normal. Expanding your online offering could be one of the simplest ways to adapt to the changing times. We can take care of all of your requirements and make it as simple as possible for your team to adjust to.

“We might not be running if our website wasn’t ready before the lockdown and we just wanted to say how thankful we are. You took us out of the dark ages!”

A live chat facility offers a simple faceless contact window for website visitors to acquire quick answers to their questions. If you are not available to answer these live chat queries, you could opt for an Automated Chat Bot. These are growing very popular on websites and Facebook pages. The information you can capture from these passing customers may be very valuable to your business. It will also help you improve your website as customers will inform you where your content could be improved.

If you rather speaking to your customers, there’s an option for that too. Smartphone users are very unlikely to scroll down and read a whole load of content wording and then send you an email, especially if there’s a lengthy form to complete. Because your mobile visitors are already holding their phone, allow them to call you with one simple touch of the button. No more copy-and-pasting or memorising the phone number for your customers.

Here To Help

If you’re short of ideas, we’re here to help. The generic advice we post on our blog relates to as many businesses and organisations as possible. We can provide highly specific advice based on your customers needs and competitor analysis. Contact us for more information on how you can enhance and improve your website.

Website Designer Spalding

Boston Website Development

Redevelop and Remain Productive

covid-19

COVID-19 has put immense pressure on businesses. If you find yourself debating how you will remain productive during this difficult period, we suggest you start with your website.

Generating Money

It’s an important time to consider whether you have maximised your potential website earnings. Both to acquire new business and also to directly generate income.

Cloudfare is a very powerful page cache and content delivery network. This system will deliver your content faster than your competitors and help maintain a higher website ranking.

If you are selling on your website, expand on your product content. If not, you can expand on your service pages with new content. Stuck for ideas? Testimonials are easy to acquire and can provide many paragraphs of new relevant content.

No products? You may not realise the opportunity exists but there are lots of original ways to generate income directly from your website.

  • Merchandise
  • Service Deposits
  • Advertising Space
  • Used Equipment

Customer Service

You can improve your customer service offering with a live chat facility to encourage faceless contact and allow people to acquire quick answers to their questions. If you are not available to answer these live chat queries, you could opt for an Automated Chat Bot. These are growing very popular on websites and Facebook pages. You can read more about them here:

https://drivebywebsites.co.uk/2020/02/05/automated-chat-bot/

Smartphone users are very unlikely to scroll down and read a whole load of content wording and then send you an email, especially if there’s a lengthy form to complete. Because your mobile visitors are already holding their phone, allow them to call you with one simple touch of the button. No more copy-and-pasting or memorising the phone number for your customers. Read more here:

https://drivebywebsites.co.uk/2019/05/23/click-to-call-the-single-best-feature-for-mobile-viewers/

Community Support

During this difficult period, if you feel you have something to announce to your clients or surrounding area then get it online. Here are some examples:

  • Product/Service to support the vulnerable
  • Discounts
  • Closing down until further notice
  • Changing opening times
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Service changes (avoiding contact etc)

Here To Help

Contact us for more information on how you can enhance and improve your website.

Automated Chat Bot for your Website and Facebook Page

drive by chat bot

In 2018 we heavily promoted the benefits of Live Chat facilities on website. At the time, research had found that customers respond very positively to the idea of a live chat over a contact form on a website. As well as this, employees using live chat features can productively engage with far more people at one time. But how can we top this in 2020?

Talking to multiple customers over the phone is clearly more time consuming than holding multiple live chats with your website visitors. However, the next productivity feature is here and it could make live chat boxes redundant in time.

 

Automated Chat Bot

Predefined questions and automated responses on your Website and Facebook Page.

 

We’ve written out a summary of what this interesting new trend actually offers to your business.

An automated chat bot can converse fluidly with website and Facebook users. Google’s Natural Language Processing allows the chat bot to provide realistic small talk and natural interaction that mimics the real world. Not only can they be programmed to manage your enquiries but It can also search your website, send contact details and provide user feedback.

These facilities are being improved all the time and already offer a significant competitive edge. Ultimately, it does a better job at converting visitors than your website does alone. It will still not replace manned live chat facilities for many companies but the limited time required makes the chat bot feature a serious consideration for overnight/weekend enquiries. With a chat bot you can sit back and collect more leads, conversions and satisfied customers without any effort.

Even predefined questions and answers alone will still generate more conversions than the ‘No one is Available to Chat’ message that can often be seen on a live chat box. So if you are considering an upgrade, give us a call on 01775 761512 or email [email protected]

Our Highest Performance Servers To Date

Upgrade server

We’re introducing a waiting list for our upcoming server upgrades. Clients can change over their existing annual hosting arrangements for an upgraded monthly arrangement on brand-new high-performance servers.

We’ve made some comparisons of single sites on both server specifications and found that the upgraded servers are clocking in at over twice the speed of standard hosting. The cost of owning and managing these systems is substantial so we’re preparing a waiting list to kickstart this service upgrade.

Performance and value are always our priority. The best prices are available from hosting multiple sites. However, the price is not always our client’s priority. If you are ready for a step up in speed and security, then transferring to a high-performance server is the next step you need to take.

How To Upgrade Your Hosting

If you’re interested in this upgrade and would like to be added to the waiting list, please contact us.

The WooCommerce App – More Mobile Advancements

The WooCommerce App could allow you to save time and effort by allowing you to manage your online shop at any time while on the move. The app is powered by Jetpack and has a lot of useful features. If you don’t have an online shop yet, this could be enough to tempt anyone over to WooCommerce.

woocommerce appMonitor Your Online Shop

Find out which products are performing best

Check your total income

View order/visitor data by day, week, month and year

Mobile Sales Facilities

Filter through specific orders and order details

Expand on order information such as product(s), value, customer data, shipping details, and notes.

Simple order fulfilment

Mobile Order Notifications

Get notified about activity such as new orders and product reviews on your products (including a cha-ching sound!)

Drive By App Review

Effective across multiple types of devices. Quite a simplistic app overall but if you’re looking to be informed of orders as quickly as possible then this would be a great option. If you’re looking to replace the dashboard of your website completely, it’s not there yet in our opinion. I am happy to recommend an app that doesn’t do everything if it does what is claims to. Once the app evolves, we might need to revisit the review.

Connect Your Shop

We’re going to be testing out these new features with existing clients. If you’re not an existing customer and you’re interested in finding out if your website is compatible then call us on 01775 761 512.

Mobile-First Indexing For Lincolnshire Business Websites

Google Hosting

Mobile-first indexing is how Google crawls and indexes the web. Instead of indexing the desktop version of the page, Google looks at the mobile version of the page. Simply put, Google is indexing your web page based on how it renders on a mobile phone. Now over 50% of what Google indexes is indexed over mobile-first indexing. Any new websites that Google is crawling for the first time, will be indexed using mobile-first indexing by default. But older sites not yet migrated will continue to be indexed the old-fashion way until those sites are ready.

It’s now more important than ever to make sure your website goes live with a mobile ready design. Though we usually design the site with mobiles in mind, we do start by designing the desktop view first. Is this a sign that we may have to start working the other way in future?

At least for the time being that doesn’t seem to be necessary. Mainly because there is no demand for it. Clients rarely ever want to see their design on mobiles until it’s ready. Just as we urge our clients to be as critical as possible on their design and content, we now must start pushing them to consider their mobile design as a standalone from the desktop site.

You can read more about what this means for you and your websites by reading Google’s latest blog. You can continue to check for mobile-first indexing of your website by using the URL Inspection Tool in Search Console.

If you have any questions or want to transfer, redesign or create your Lincolnshire Business Websites with us, call 01775 761512. You can also contact us on our website.

Click to Call – The Single Best Feature for Mobile Viewers

Click to Call Button

Remember, converting Smartphone visitors to a responsive website is very different from converting customers using desktop websites. Smartphone users are very unlikely to scroll down and read a whole load of content wording and then send you an email, more especially if there’s a lengthy form to complete. Because your mobile visitors are already holding their phone it will allow them to call you with one simple touch of the button. No more complicated copy-and-pasting or memorizing the phone number!

If you want to add some text to your button we can also do this, to help make it more obvious to viewers. However you would like it to look, a “click to call” button could make all the difference between getting a new client or losing them forever. We can even help demonstrate this by integrating the Click to Call button with Google Analytics in order to collect statistics on the button usage.

Mobile Vs Desktop in Spalding and Surrounding Areas

Spalding, Pinchbeck, Holbeach, Crowland, Long Sutton, Surfleet, Swineshead, Kirton, Donington and Boston

Drive By Websites’ choice of platform to use for mobile friendly websites is WordPress because:

  • ease of user – you can easily make updates.
  • sites can be managed from any computer or device
  • search engines love WordPress sites
  • there’s no HTML or FTP software required (for the end user)
  • websites are designed to be future-proofed and grow along with the development of the business.

Drive By Websites securely hosts and manages over 150 mobile friendly websites mainly around Spalding and South Lincolnshire but nationally too. Drive By Websites offer a fast turnaround, we are affordable and easy to get along with.  Please feel free to get in touch by calling us on 01775 761512.

If this isn’t for you, there are plenty of other simple enhancements you can make to your website. Don’t miss out on these easy next steps for your business:

SSL Certificate

It is inevitable that with enough time your website ranking will suffer without an SSL Certificate. These addresses technically start with https:// instead of http://.
Read More: Safer Websites and Higher Rankings

Fresh Content

Don’t be one of the many people that uses too few words in their website pages or blog posts. You can maximise your SEO potential by exceeding the recommended minimum of 300 words.

Read More: Writing Content For Your Website
Read More: Refreshing a Site with Content

Ecommerce – Moving Lincolnshire Magento 1 Sites to Magento 2

magento2 update lincolnshire

Switching to Magento 2

If you’re running an ecommerce website in Lincolnshire, it might be time to check with your hosts that you are future proof. We regularly have new clients in Spalding approach us with older ecommerce systems, unaware that their business and their customers are at risk. If they stay on an old system without receiving security patches, hackers will be more capable of gaining access to the hosting and website. The most prominent example we are seeing now is businesses running on Magento 1 systems. Now is the time to abandon Magento 1. The Magento 1 platform will reach ‘End of Life’ in June 2020. This means that all updates will cease, and your system will be considered expired. We advise you to invest effort in the migration to a newer platform, sooner rather than later.

Whether you’re working from a market town like Spalding or a city like Peterborough, Magento 2 is a costly build for lots of companies and this may be a big barrier to taking the next step. It’s not the only option. Magento is a very good platform but it’s often overkill. There are alternative platforms that offer security and stability long term. If you’re unsure where to look next then give us a call.

We use a variety of systems depending on their intended purpose. This includes using Magento on larger ecommerce sites or scalable sites with larger intentions. The countdown to 2020 can be an opportunity to explore the features, performance and security enhancements provided by the range of future proof platforms, including Magento 2.

For more information on how to get moving, contact us on 01775 761512 or email [email protected]

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SEO News: Record Daily Searches On Privacy Search Engine

DuckDuckGo – the privacy-enhanced search engine – reaches record daily searches

DuckDuckGo has been on our radar for a few years as we believe internet users deserve privacy. Companies are making money off of you, your search data  and your private information online, without your consent.

Since the recent Facebook data scandal, we are not surprised that a browser like DuckDuckGo is making growth. What you search for should be your own business. Getting the privacy you deserve online should be as simple as closing the blinds.

The privacy driven search engine recently posted that it has reached a new high, at 30 million searches per day on average. The company said: “It took seven years to reach 10 million searches in one day. To get to 20 million searches, it took another two years. Now, less than a year later, it is now at 30 million searches per day.”

What does this mean for SEO?

DuckDuckGoDuckDuckGo is an important competitor to Google, Bing and other search engines that actively collect user data for advertising.

Compared Google’s billions of daily searches, DuckDuckGo doesn’t need to be a priority for website ranking. However, with the Facebook data Scandal and the new General Data Protection Regulation, privacy-centric services could be appropriate for the right business. Businesses dealing with security, adult services/products and legal services could all benefit from considering the value of a privacy enhanced search engine.

We’ll be keeping our eye on this developing search engine territory. If our would like to know how to enhance your browsing privacy or prioritising your website ranking in this search engine then contact us.

Maximise Website Marketing with Google Analytics in Lincolnshire

google analytics

Businesses in Lincolnshire generally opt for marketing stratagies including:

  • Local Press
  • Print Materials
  • Facebook/Instagram/Social Medai Campaigns
  • Google AdWords
  • Mailshots

Analysing your Marketing Stratagies

One of these five will generate the best results for your business. Once correlated to the cost of the marketing, knowing which is most effective is invaluable. Most companies spend years wasting money on bad advertising. Sometimes this is in the interest of saving money but other times it is simply that they don’t know what forms of advertising work best for them.

The ultimate solution to this recurring problem is ‘Google Analytics’. Once integrated into your website, Google provide high level analytics detailing audience acquisition, audience behaviour and audience conversions. The detail is unparalleled in the industry and provides invaluable marketing and progress data. Google Analytics can be found in 57% of the 10,000 most popular websites, and that percentage is even higher for smaller websites! We find that businesses in Lincolnshire have been slower to adopt systems like Google Analytics but that does offer our customers a competitive edge against other companies in the same industry. Let them waste their money on ineffective marketing while you maximise you continually improve your marketing potentail.

We’d love to list all of the features of the analytics reporting available in this system but it’s genuinely too big! Put it this way, it’s everything you’ll need and more.

Cookie Compliance with Google Analytics in Lincolnshire

You will need to notify your visitors to comply with GDPR/EU Cookie Law. An analytics code is not as intrusive as other software available that track users over multiple sites, but you still need consent. Website owners do have to seek consent for the use of cookies that acquire Google Analytics data.

For more information or to get Google Analytics added to your website, give us a call on 01775 761512.

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