Tuesday, August 15, 2017

6 Ways To Harm Your Business When Updating Your Website

Updating and redeveloping an organisation’s website is almost an inevitability these days. Whether the aim is to add new content sections, comply with legislation, provide a new ‘look & feel’ or because of business changes (such as merger & acquisitions)… a web presence is likely to go through some form of significant change or two in its lifetime.

But the way in which you upgrade and rebuild your site can have a big effect on your business, and more specifically how your rank organically in the major search engines. Organic traffic for most sites makes up between 30% to 50% of all visits and applying changes that affects this traffic means you get less visits, leads or conversions.

So here are 6 of the biggest ways to harm your online search traffic and therefore your key online business metrics in the process:

  1. Change the domain
    Your organisation’s domain is a brand asset and changing it means losing all the search engine reputation it may have built-up over time. On the flip-side, if your domain has been significantly tainted by bad (black hat) SEO practices in the past, it may be best to start from scratch again with a fresh URL. 
  2. Change the user experience
    A change in the site design, the navigation, the directory structure you use and many other factors can influence how your site ranks. 
  3. Change the content
    Not all online content is created equal. The way your copy is written can have a major influence on how your site is indexed and then ranked online.. from its relevance to the search term(s) to the way the text is structured. However, a new web presence is an opportunity to review all of your content (including your images and the meta content behind the scenes). 
  4. Change the hosting platform
    Migrating from one website host to another may seem like a simple task. But where and how you host your website can have an effect on how you rank in Google, Yahoo, etc. especially if the hosting is slow or not located in the country / region where your customers (and target search engines) are. 
  5. Ignore web standards
    It takes hard work and determined effort to deliver a new website, especially if you have tight timescales to deliver to. And the area that can get compromised include: the quality of the code, the compliance to accessibility, the use of ‘alt’ tags for image alternatives, etc. In other words, a failure to follow web standards can have a negative impact on your site’s rankings in search engines.
  6. Re-launch it incorrectly
    Sites fail to launch properly in all sorts of ways, from failing to cut-over all content correctly through to not getting the new site indexed in Google as quickly as possible… you are never going to get a second chance to make a first impression on the main search engines.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Product & UX Quote for the Day

I am at Turing Fest, the tech & digital conference in Edinburgh.
There is unsurprisingly a lot of presentations and chatter about improving the product & user experience.

I was therefore reminded about this quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupery:

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Pay Your Amazon Marketing Costs With Your Amazon Revenue

It is now possible to automate your Amazon Marketing Services payment in a new way... with your own Amazon revenue.

Amazon offers those customers who advertise on their global eCommerce platform the ability to deduct their marketing costs from the payment that Amazon makes back to them.

Yes, this can be a double edged sword... in that you don't need to separately fund your AMS spend, but it is also a lot easier to spend money on marketing in Amazon.

Monday, June 19, 2017

User Maps - a better tool to help you build better products

Personas, customer journey maps and other such tools are useful... but how do they really help you build a better product or service?

In this video user research expert Laura Klein demonstrates a tool called a User Map to help product owners answer important questions they need to answer about their customers.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Is IT using the wrong names?

It must be hard for those following the IT Industry as it grows and errrr.... develops.
Recruitment agents, journalists, senior managers, HR / Talent people, etc. They must all think we make up terms just to baffle them.

Let's take a few:

A technology for automatically deploying servers to an environment.
Not a doll or a Thunderbird pilot.

A continuous deployment devops tool for groups.
Not a Sweedish muppet (see above) or a cleaver wielding ego maniac who now sells stock cubes.

An approach to software development where which pieces of code are packaged in a standardized way for subsequent reuse.
Not a metal box you see by the docks.

However.... perhaps us technologists make life more difficult for ourselves and should actually give things new names, rather than appropriating terms from outside the industry?

Friday, February 17, 2017

Android & iOS Have 99.6% Of All Smartphone Sales

Figures published this week from Gartner show that in the last quarter of 2016 the two major smartphone operating systems of Apple's iOS and Google's Android made up 99.6% of all global smartphone sales.

Android shipped 352,669.9 units, making that 81.7% of the market
iOS shipped 77,038.9 units, making that 17.9% of the market

Yup, that's correct. The remaining operating systems, which include Windows, Blackberry and others made up just 0.4% of all smartphone sales in the last 3 months of 2016.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Digital First Doesn't Mean Digital Only

You still read lots of blogs and white papers on the Internet that cite the typical "Digital first" mantra or equivalent phrases such as "Drive all our customers to self-serve", "Provide everything online by default", etc.
And personally I've helped to either put companies online, transform their business models to the always-on world or improve their digital proposition.

But through all of this we really need to occasionally take a step back and consider those prospects or existing customers who are:

- Not able to get access online
E.g. because their internet service is not working or even not good enough

- Not able to fully use the service
E.g. for those who have accessibility needs beyond those met by WCAG compliance (or at least beyond the basic compliance level that is typically aimed for by most websites)

- Not their preference or natural choice
E.g. those who have never used online technologies or feel confused and even frightened by the concept of using something as simple as a browser interface

So when transforming the user experience and building other interactions whilst sitting in your 'cross-functional' agile teams of user experience, product managers, designers, developers, testers and content specialists... take a moment to consider those who are not digitally enabled and how they might get on. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

More payment options could improve eCommerce conversions

According to a recent survey by PayPal, the average consumer in the UK has abandoned a purchase twice in the last month because they couldn’t pay the way they wanted to.

When businesses introduced a new payment type, a quarter saw an increase in sales.