5 Elements of An Effective Website

Mei Ping Mak

With the coming of age of the digital revolution, it is now a requirement for businesses to establish its presence in the Internet. How to grow your business with an effective website? With consumers increasingly searching for information online and ecommerce being the norm for retail transactions, having a website is no longer enough, the crux is to build an effective website.

By being effective, a website has to first provide enough information for consumers, then engage and lastly encourage consumers to purchase the product or service.

There are 5 elements of an effective website.

1. Build Credibility

Whether it is a brick and mortar business or an online business, the foundation for any business is still trust and credibility. It is only when trust is built, will the consumer becomes a recurring customer and this can further enable a brand to expand its reach. Thus, the essence of a website is to enable the business to connect with and establish an impression of trustworthiness with its customer online.

How can you build trust in the digital landscape?

You need to show your potential customers what your business is about and get testimonials/reviews from other customers. The information presented needs to be as close to reality as possible. As such, a sincere and humble copywriting style tends to build more rapport with your potential customers.

 

2. Encourage interaction

When you have built trust with your potential customers, the next natural progression is interaction. Get your potential customers to do something with your business! Start with something small. For example, download an eBook. Get their email address and you can start a newsletter or organize an event to meet your potential customers.

 

3. Generating Traffic

Most business websites basically just provide information and a certain interaction with customers. However, this is not enough. The key focus of an effective website is to generate traffic. Without any visitors to your website, any good content from the website is wasted.

There are two ways to generate traffic. They are paid and organic.

Paid traffic involves Google AdWords, Facebook marketing or Pop-up ads and etc. Organic traffic involves submitting sites to popular Search Engine, Link building, word-of mouth and etc.

 

4. Know who are your visitors

Once you are generating traffic, the next important thing is to track your website’s pages. This is to help you analyze your website so that you can improve on it. By tracking your website, you will know vital statistics such as who are your visitors and how they get to know your website.

 

5. Continuous update

A website is only good if it is current. When a website’s information becomes outdated or irrelevant, it is hard to build credibility with visitors. Always update at least once a year to refresh information.

 


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How To Brick and Mortar Stores Go Online?

Mei Ping Mak

Consumers buying habit are changing. More people are buying online and visits to brick and mortar store are becoming less often. (source) To stay relevant in the digital age, traditional brick and mortar business needs to appear visible on the Internet.

How to brick and mortar stores go online? Here are 3 ways to stay visible online.

1. Start a Facebook page.

There is zero cost in starting a Facebook page. A website needs to pay for hosting and domain but creating a Facebook page is free of charge. Upload pictures of your store and products onto Facebook and invite your friends to share and like your post. Join Facebook groups and interact with them to share about your products. Ask your customers to like or follow you on Facebook to expand your following.

2. Create a mini website or landing page

A mini website is normally three to five pages and a landing page is only one page. For a small business, it is sufficient to build a presence on the Internet without paying sky-high for a full-blown corporate website. A mini website can help introduce your product and direct real foot traffic to your brick and mortar store. Using your mini website as the main url address, you can list your business on Google Plus, Business Listing, Yellow Pages, Greenbook and other classified market place.

3. Email Marketing

This is the most important marketing method for any businesses. To direct consumer from offline to online, you can collect email addresses of your customer and engaged with them at zero cost. For brick and mortar business, this is a good strategy to get potential customers’ email address so that you can send them e-flyers anytime you have a promotion. This will save the cost for physical flyers. But do remember the data protection act. You need to get their permission to send them marketing materials.

 

Digital transformation is important for a traditional brick and mortar business as more people are searching for products and services online. To answer this question: How to brick and mortar store go online? There are many low cost ways to stay visible on the Internet and your business digital transformation need not be complicated.

 


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What Is A Good ECommerce Platform?

Mei Ping Mak

There is no “one-size-fits-all” option in choosing an eCommerce platform. Depending on your needs, each eCommerce platform has it’s strengths and weaknesses. Below are the 3 most common eCommerce platforms used by business owners.

1.  Shopify 

Shopify is a monthly subscription based eCommerce platform. They have unlimited web hosting and bandwidth, provides CDN (content delivery network) that increase the loading speed of your website and also have a 24/7 support. However, domain name need to be purchased. There are free and premium themes available and website builder to add image and text. In order to customise the design, some programming knowledge are needed to code Shopify’s own programming language (Liquid), html and css. Shopify has always market itself as a store builder thus additional features like blog or landing page are only with basic functions.

 

2. WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a free eCommerce plugin for WordPress. It is self-hosted and thus need to pay for hosting and domain name. You can combine other WordPress plugins to build up your store. As WordPress is mainly for blogging, thus it’s blogging features are more advance. The loading speed of the site will depend very much on the type of server you selected. Since WooCommerce is a open source platform, most of the support are based on the community and forum.

 

3. Magento

There are two versions for the Magento eCommerce platform- Magento Open Source  and Magento Enterprise. Magento Open Source is a free eCommerce platform while Magento Enterprise License cost around $18000. Magento was built with marketing, SEO, reporting and the customer in mind first.

Some of their outstanding features are:

  1. Multiple Stores – Magento Community allows you to have multiple stores, with one common back end system. For example, you have 3 different website brands and you are selling the same items on these 3 websites. Instead of going to 3 different admin page, Magento allows to have one common admin page for these 3 websites.
  2. Flexible Pricing Rules – With such inbuilt function like – create discount, free shipping and other offer, this can greatly impacted the way eCommerce store is run.
  3. API integration – If you need other software eg. CRM and need to extract database from your eCommerce platform, then you will need API integration. Magento allow API integration to other software.

Although Magento has many great features, however do note that you will need knowledge of programming language to customise anything. If you need to hire a developer, the cost will be an additional factor to your expense.

 
 


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History of Digital Marketing

Mei Ping Mak

To understand digital marketing, let’s go back to the past and see how it started.

It began with the increasing use of the internet in the 1990s. This became opportunities for businesses to advertise and market their products and services directly to consumers through the web.

On October 27, 1994, HotWired invented the web banner ad. (SINGEL, R.(2010, October 27). (Source). This was followed by Google starting its AdWords platform in October 2000 with 350 customers. (Source)

Traditional marketing soon gave way to digital marketing because it is more cost-effective and more targeted, with a wider reach if the right marketing channel is chosen.

Digital marketing is still a new era for businesses and marketers. The growth for digital marketing is enormous, with total media ad spending increasing by 5 to 7 percent globally, according to eMarketer. (Source) The rules of the game are being written as we move along.

Businesses are moving onto this digital band wagon and had taken notice of the way transactions are made.

 
 


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Pros and Cons of Top 5 Marketing Channels

Mei Ping Mak

This post describes 5 popular marketing channels. Choosing the right marketing channel is crucial. As the late media analyst Marshall McLuhan said, “The medium is the message.”

1. SEO

The full term for SEO is search engine optimization. A site’s usability, relevance and authority are key to getting a good SEO ranking. This can be free traffic, or you can hire a SEO consultant to boost the webpage ranking.

Pros: Consumers looking for information will arrive at your website with least resistance. Most clicked on if your website ranks top of the page.

Cons: Need at least 3 to 6 months to see actual results. A monthly cost is involved for an SEO consultant. Do thorough research to find a good SEO company, as an irresponsible one could do damage to your site.

 

2. Facebook

Most businesses now have a Facebook page. Do you need one? It will depend on your customer demographics and nature of business. If the marketplace you deal with isn’t using social media, there’s no point in being there. (Source)

Pros: There are over 1 billion users on Facebook and when a post is shared by a lot of people, your webpage will generate lots of traffic. When you added a backline in Facebook, your SEO will also get a boost.

Cons: Need constant updates to be effective. Reputation management is also important. What you post will reflect what your business stands for. You’ll need to frequently review the comments on the page if your Facebook page becomes popular.

-> Facebook Advertising is a paid platform. Having good visuals attracts user clicks. Compelling copy and a clear call-to-action button will boost your click-through rate.

 

3. Video marketing

There is a lot of demand for videos. They are entertaining yet informative. High production value and good content is needed to capture audience interest. The latest trend is to distribute video on Facebook.

Pros: Very high audience interest. Entertaining. It’s good for engagement and customer retention.

Cons: Need time and effort to think of good content and translate it into moving images. Need to scout for venues, talents and crew. If you have expertise, cost can be kept to a minimum.

 

4. Ebook

An ebook is an electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or a specifically designed handheld device. (Source) Sales of ebooks are gaining momentum to overtake traditional books. More and more authors are choosing to publish their works in an ebook format rather than printing a physical book. Consider hiring a good editor and designer to make the book look professional.

Pros: Low cost. More downloads if it is a free ebook. Good for businesses looking to raise their profiles.

Cons: Depending on the length of the ebook, it will take time to prepare and format the book. This probably will not have a huge impact on your sales. This is more for brand building and awareness.

 

5. Mobile Marketing

This is the latest trend in digital marketing. More and more people are using mobile to go online, and are downloading apps. The opportunity presented is enormous. Prepare your website for mobile to gain more views.

Pros: Mobile marketing is a relatively new marketing strategy. It is fast gaining momentum as more people search for products and services through mobile. The playing field is level as both big and small companies learn how to use this marketing platform. It’s convenient to pay for products or services when the payment mechanism is the SIM card. Mobile wallet is popular in developing countries. Creating a mobile app that helps solve a problem or fulfill a particular need will encourage more downloads from mobile users.

Cons: There are different screen sizes, operations and browsing among mobile phone. Ad campaign needs to be targeted according to different platform, thus testing budget needs to be bigger.

 


For more information on how a digital agency based in Singapore can help your internet marketing needs,
book a consultation
with us or call 94315723 today!

We specialize in SEO, SEM, digital marketing, facebook marketing & advertising and web design & development.