Eight Things To Consider Before Building Your Website

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In this digital age, there are a lot of individuals and businesses on the Internet offering services for building your website. For someone new to the idea of setting up a website, the sheer number of available options can be confusing. It’s no wonder many people end up finding little to no satisfaction in running their own website.

You bring out your hard-earned cash and pay for a web development package, but then what you get in the end is a website that makes you frown.

Whose fault is it? Yours or that of the people you paid to do the job?

A wise man once said that knowledge is power. When you have the right information, you avoid pitfalls, you make the right decisions, and your chances of success increase. Therefore, why not equip yourself with the right information before jumping into building your website?

First, ask yourself the following questions:

What’s the Purpose of My Website

This should be the first question you ask yourself. If you can’t answer the question, then you probably don’t need a website.

Do you need the website:

  • For your business? Perhaps you want to open an online store or set up a page where people can make inquiries about your bakery.
  • For your career? Maybe you want to publish your CV and professional profile for employers from all around the world to see.
  • For blogging about a topic you are very conversant with? Or perhaps you want to set up a forum where like minds can discuss various topics?
  • Or something else?

Once you have determined the purpose of your website, then you are ready to go.

Is There a Market for What I Want to Do on My Website

That business you want to showcase with your website. Those skills on your CV. The topic you want to blog about. Is there a market for it?

How do you know whether or not there’s a market for something? You do a market research. If your website and the business/career/idea behind it don’t solve a major problem or add value to the lives of a good number of people, then maybe you don’t need a website.

Do I Know My Target Audience

What’s that saying? Jack of all trades, master of none. No site can meet all needs, just as no business can solve all problems. It’s just not feasible. Thinking your website is for everyone simply translates to setting yourself up for failure. It’s like shooting an arrow blindly and expecting to hit the mark. First, you need to discover who needs what you are selling the most and then target them.

What Will Make My Website Stand Out

It’s highly likely that someone already has a site similar to the one you plan to build. Therefore, before you start, you need to first find out who and who is already doing what you want to do. Once you have done that, then it’s time to brainstorm and give your own idea extra value, a unique selling point. This will give you a competitive edge.

How Far Are You Willing to Go for Your Idea?

People get great ideas every day, but very few ideas become successful. The question is: how dedicated are you to your idea? How far are you willing to go to see it through? This is where passion comes in. When your website idea is something you are passionate about, chances are that you will go the extra mile to keep it alive.

Who Will Manufacture the Content of My Website

A lot of work goes into a website. For starters, you need a copywriter who will discuss with you and help you produce compelling written content for your site. Then you need a competent web designer and developer who will help translate your idea into a visual design that will appeal to your audience. Our honest recommendation is that if you can’t do the work, outsource it to experts that can.

Who Will Run My Website

Websites don’t run themselves. You don’t just publish them and that’s it. Nope. Someone has to log in every day or week to run software updates and add to or change the content. If you don’t have the skill or time to do this yourself, then you will need to pay someone else to do it for you.

Expect Ongoing Expenses

Running a site is an ongoing commitment. After the expenses that come with the initial setup, you still have to pay for yearly web hosting subscription. Websites don’t sit in the air. They live in servers, and since you don’t own a server, you rent one from a web hosting company for your site. There are other ongoing costs like yearly domain and site backup subscriptions, depending on the features of your web hosting package. If hire someone or a company to manage your website, then the ongoing expenses will go into the yearly amount they charge you for management and maintenance.

There you go. Equip yourself with ample information pertaining to the above-mentioned points and you are ready to begin work on your site. Of course, if you need any help setting up your website or if you want to make the process seamless, then talk to one of our staff at Macaulay Gidado and we will get you started.

Online Ads Success: Eight Unobstructive Ways to Get Them Noticed

MACAULAY GIDADO makes it easier for entrepreneurs to do what they love.

The way we do business is rapidly shifting from physical to online presence. So it can be tempting to launch a website with the intention to make money overshadowing the need for quality content or services. Very often than not, we all bump into sites whose idea of making money via online ads borders on ferocity.

Banners in the middle of posts. Several monetized pictures inside a post. Misleading links. They all rank among the top reasons visitors click away as soon as they land on a site. You, of course, want those visitors to stay long enough to see your online ads and click on them.

Here are eight simple, non-technical tips that will ensure your online ads get a firm amount of attention.

Always Put Content First; Not Your Online Ads

There’s nothing more satisfying than great content. When your content is of stellar quality and serves your audience’s need, you gain reliability. And when your visitors find you trustworthy, they want to linger and check out more of what you have to offer. By spending more time on your website, they are bound to notice those unobtrusive strategically-placed online ads on your sidebars and footers, and they will click on them because you have already made them believe that everything on your website serves their needs.

Don’t Start Out Desperate for Income Through Online Ads

This is one of the biggest mistakes new website owners make. They launch a site and a day later, they have plastered every part of it with online ads. This can be very damaging to the reputation of a website, because it doesn’t serve the site’s audience. If you have ever stumbled upon one of those websites whose daily posts are monetized lists of products from Amazon, you begin to understand how frustrating a site riddled with adverts can be.

First build your content. Let your audience flow in. Gain their trust. Then start out with a few online ads placed in the right corners of your website.

The Reputation of Your Hosting Company Matters

Before choosing a web hosting service, it’s essential to make sure the uptime percentage of your favorite hosting company is as close to 100% as possible. A low uptime percentage means a host is likely to develop issues more frequently than ones with higher percentages. And whenever the issues arise, the websites hosted under them will become unavailable to visitors. This can be very detrimental to the reputation of a website, as readers are unlikely to return. This in turn translates to fewer eyes to notice your online ads.

So be wise in choosing a host.

A Good Design Can Go a Long Way

If your website is a product or service, then its design is the packaging. And in today’s world, packaging has become as important as content. Purchase a professional theme, one that suites the concept of your website. Hire a good designer—maybe an illustrator also.

It, however, isn’t all about how beautiful you make your website. It’s rather about whether the beauty complements the purpose. A tech site with lots of flowers and pink in its design can be a huge turn off for visitors, especially male ones—you have to consider that the tech world is dominated by men. If your design turns your visitors off, then be sure those visitors aren’t going to bother noticing your online ads. They, however, will surely turn away.

There’s also the issue of navigation. It’s paramount for visitors to easily find what they are looking for in your website. Any confusion brought by poor structure can most certainly scare them away. Thus your online ads become meaningless.

Update Your Site Regularly

Regular fresh content is what pulls visitors back to your site. No-one wants to read or watch the same thing over and over again. Post new tips every week, or better still twice a week. Make them relevant and interesting. Is your site an online store? Then update the images of your products and services with more creative images. Make your audience salivate with the promise of new, tasty content.

The more people that return to your website, the more likely your online ads are going to get noticed.

Don’t Stick Online Ads Everywhere

This is very simple. Don’t place online ads on every part of your site. Not in the middle of a post—this is very bad when it comes to image ads. Also not on pages like the ‘Contact’ and ‘About’ pages. And certainly not as a pop-up—this one can be especially annoying. Some very successful sites today know to limit their online ads to the sidebars and sometimes to the bottom of posts. You should learn from them.

Focus each content on one topic

By focusing each post on one topic, you help google Adsense easily learn which ads are relevant to your content and which ones are not. That way, you avoid the mistake of letting your readers, who visit your site to, perhaps, get your pig farming tips, see ads about first-class airline tickets.

Don’t Slow Your Pages Down with Ads

Too many ads, especially image ads, on a single page can slow the page down, and reader don’t have the patience to wait for a page to finish loading. If you make them wait, they might turn away to a faster website, and this defeats the purpose of you putting up all those ads in the first place.

So why not limit the number of ads on your pages. Make it reasonable. Two ads that get a hundred clicks per day are more profitable than ten ads that slow down everything to the extent that nothing gets clicked.

There are, of course, many other tips that can help you guarantee your ads get noticed. With these ones, however, you are on your way to safely making money with your adverts without annoying your precious audience.

Four Ways to Keep Your Content Marketing Blog Up-to-Date

4 ways to keep your content marketing blog up-to-date

Every serious content marketer knows this truth. It’s getting harder to conceptualize original ideas pertaining to content marketing. This makes regular blog updates a Herculean Task.

The truth is: there are still a lot of untapped compelling ideas. It’s not just about using your imagination and putting more creativity into your posts. No. It’s also about your passion for content marketing and the reason behind your content marketing strategies.

Here are four ways you can maintain frequent updates of your content marketing blog without succumbing to despair.

Rediscover Your Passion for Content Marketing

Lack of passion. That’s where the problem lies.

They say content marketing generates leads and drives sales, but this isn’t true for most people in the business. Many are struggling unavailingly to come up with new ideas to talk about on their blogs.

A question you should ask yourself is: if you lack the passion to write a compelling post, how do you expect you audience to find the passion to read and enjoy it?

How do you find your passion?

The phrase, content marketing, alone suggests we are all in it for the money. That’s true. But there has to be a supporting reason, one that pulls you through the bad times when the money isn’t coming. It could be your need to get heard. It could also be your desire to help people.

Rediscover that reason. Perhaps it can help you restart your passion for content marketing.

Help People

If your passion is to help people, then leverage it. If not, learn to care about more than what you get out of content marketing. Why? Because focusing on just your gains can quickly turn into despair when your content marketing efforts aren’t yielding your expected results—this can hamper your zeal.

Content marketing concerns helping people. You help them acquaint themselves with certain subjects in the hope that the knowledge you pass on spurs them to make a decision about your product or service.

If you have knowledge or experience about a certain subject, share them. Use them as post ideas. If your expertise is beneficial, people will always show their appreciation, perhaps, by purchasing what you are selling.

Also, helping people comes with fulfillment, which can serve as inspiration for conceptualizing more post ideas.

Outsource Your Content

A lot of content marketers outsource their content. It’s just reasonable. Sometimes you may be overwhelmed or too busy with work to write. Forcing it can lead to further stress and frustration, and even when you manage to produce some content in that condition, the quality may be in question and would only jeopardise your readership.

This is why it is ideal to have another content writer on speed dial for emergencies.

Also, by hiring another content writer, you take advantage of other people’s expertise and introduce a new voice to your blog.

However, be sure to properly vet whoever you hire to ascertain they are passionate about your niche and are professional enough to follow your guidelines.

Do you need help with your content marketing, Macaulay Gidado is here for you.

Welcome Guest Posts

Publishing guest posts from other bloggers in your niche is another way of keeping your blog up to date even when you feel uninspired to write.

In addition, welcoming guest posts will not only help you introduce your readers to new voices and views. It will improve your site’s authority through link building too, since the guest writers will obviously link from their blogs to their guest posts on yours. This in turn channels more traffic to your website.

Still, you ought to have a ‘submission guideline’ page detailing the requirements you want guest posts on your blog to fulfil. That way you maintain a certain level of control over what appears on your blog and ensure they don’t go against your niche as well as your blogs goals and objectives.

Whatever you do, never fall below standards. Always aim to offer value, for it’s mostly with content that is valuable to your readers that your content marketing can yield the desired result.

Nine Ways to Boost Your Company Website’s Credibility

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Trust will always play an important role in the purchase decisions of consumers. The questions are: How reliable are you? Do your prospective customers trust you? What does you track record say about you? And ultimately, does your website engender trust in your leads?

When consumers don’t trust you, good luck selling your product, and it doesn’t matter if the product offered on your site exudes quality. Here is a good example of lack of trust in business.

You are an avid computer user on your morning jogging routine. Then a stranger stops you and offers you a brand new laptop for £50 but only if you can pay immediately. Assuming you inspect the laptop and it’s good, and you also have the money on you, would you buy it?

The truth is that most people wouldn’t buy it, and that’s where trust comes in. This instance is a close depiction of what online store owners do. They set up products for sale and expect consumers to part with their hard-earned cash when these consumers don’t really know anything about who is selling the products.

This is why people would rather buy from big ecommerce sites like Amazon rather than from a small or new e-store.

According to the sales expert, Zig Ziglar, “Every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust.”

In business, you might not be able to do much concerning the first three. But as you can incite desire for your product, you can also build trust. Do this on your website by using these simple trust elements.

1. Let Consumers Know There’s a Genuine Person or Outfit Behind Your Site

This is among the simplest ways to build trust, and there are four main ways you can achieve this:

  • List your physical business address on your website.
  • Display at least two photos of your office. If the photos offer different views of the same place, then better.
  • List your membership with a governing organisation in your field. For instance, a membership with the chamber of commerce.
  • Depending on the product or service you offer, you can also display a picture of you and, perhaps, those of top members of your establishment.

2. Make It Easy for Consumers to Confirm the Information on Your Website

You can do this by reinforcing the information on your site using testimonials, citations, or by linking your source material.

This is why relevant outbound links are an essential part of website content. By linking to credible external articles with authority in your topic, you are basically providing evidence of the correctness of your content.

3. Don’t Hesitate to Emphasize the Expertise in Your Company, Content, and Services/Products

If you have experts in your establishment, by all means show them off alongside their qualifications. If you are connected to a renowned body, make sure that’s also visible on your site. The same goes for if your sponsors are authorities in their field.

However, be mindful not to link to, or display your connection with, disreputable websites or organizations. That would only discredit your website.

4. Can Consumers Easily Contact You?

Some people might like to call in or email to verify whom they are doing business with. Therefore, list your contact information on your site. While some other people may not check in, your phone number, email address, and physical address being on your site enhances your website’s credibility.

5. Ensure that Your Website’s Design Is Professional

They say ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, but the issue is that people will always do that. If your website’s design is the cover of your content, product, or service, then ensure that it looks professional.

This means that the design must complement your purpose, and make sure the typography, images, layout, and other aspects don’t look amateur. Otherwise, your website too will be considered amateur, and trusting it would be like trusting a rascal.

6. Regularly Update the Content of Your Website

Regular updates don’t only suggest that your company is still active, but also provide visitors with more useful content with improved quality. Site visitors will assign more trust to your content when they see this.

7. Is Your Website Easy to Use? Also, Is It Useful?

Usefulness and ease of use will boost the credibility of your website. Why? Because people love simplicity and quality—traits that could imply that your site not only has nothing to hide, but is also beneficial to users.

Always remember that you are in business because of consumers. Don’t make your site and thus product or service difficult to access.

8. Display Promotional Content Judiciously

Adverts, popups, blinking banners, hypes—nobody likes them. In fact, they are spammy. If you can’t entirely avoid ads on your website, show them sparingly and clearly tag them as sponsored content.

9. Watch Out for Errors

Whether it’s a typographical error, a mistaken link, or a misquote, errors will make you appear careless and does not echo credibility at all.

Your website is where your leads funnel and are converted to sales. Why not take care to build trust so that you don’t miss the opportunities that those leads brought with them?

How to Keep Your Marketing Emails Out of Your Subscribers’ Spam Folders

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Many businesses incorporate email marketing in their promotional and marketing strategy. But very few are seeing tangible results.

Why is that?

The simplest and most reasonable answer is that your targeted audience isn’t engaging with your emails. And when a subscriber doesn’t find your emails engaging, the easiest way to get rid of you is to mark one of your emails as spam. Then straight to the spam folder all of your subsequent emails will go. You obviously don’t want that. It would defeat the purpose of sending out marketing emails in the first place.

What can you do about this?

Simple. Give your emails a better chance with your audience by trying out these powerful tips.

Ask Yourself The Following Vital Questions

The first step to solving a problem is by identifying its cause. Therefore, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are my subscribers’ email provider diverting my emails to spam?
  • Are my emails delivering or not? Find out by checking your deliverability and spam score using this tool.
  • Do your subscribers think you are spamming them? This typically happens when your subscribers don’t find your email content engaging enough, when your emails arrive too frequently, or when they are too focused on making sales.
  • Are people unsubscribing from your mailing list?
  • Are your subscribers marking your emails as spam?

Remember that merely identifying a problem doesn’t magically solve it. Don’t just ask questions. Don’t just try to identify the causes of your email marketing failure. You need to address and solve the problem. Otherwise, your email marketing campaigns will keep failing.

Try Email Content Filtering

This simply helps your filter both your outbound mails so as to help you avoid dispatching spammy emails, depending on your filtering parameters. When you don’t send out spammy emails, you lower the chances of your emails getting tossed into the spam folder. Services like Every Cloud Tech will even help you generate reports detailing how your emails fares out there.

Don’t Hide the Unsubscribe Link or Button

You might think that hiding the unsubscribe button or making it difficult to find will help you lower the rate at which you lose subscribers. But trust me, it’s a mistake. It would only frustrate subscribers. And when frustration sets in, the easiest way out is to toss the email causing that frustration into the spam folder–problem solved.

Why is this bad?

When a user marks your email or address as spam, their email service provider (ESP) automatically begins to divert subsequent emails from your address into the user’s spam folder. Now, when a lot of users under the same ESP mark your email or address as spam, the ESP could blacklist your address. This means the ESP will begin pushing emails from you into everyone’s spam folder. That’s including the spam folders of people that are actually interested in your emails.

Therefore, always make the unsubscribe button visible and easy to find.

Avoid Sending Emails to Non-Subscribers

Mining the web for email addresses is a shady strategy scammers and spammers use. Therefore, avoid sending newsletters or marketing emails to people that don’t want them. Doing so would only undermine your brand’s reputation and increase the chances of your emails landing in the spam folder. Also avoid sending emails to people that have already unsubscribed from your list.

Use a Reputable Hosting Service to Improve Your Email Marketing

Where do you host your email server? Make sure the IP address is not blacklisted by top email service providers–learn more here. Better still, use a reputable hosting services.

The above-mentioned tips may not entirely save your email marketing campaign. But they will go a long way in increasing your chances of finding success. They will help you keep your marketing emails from your subscribers’ spam folders.

6 Reasons People Leave Your Website

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The Internet is swarming with information—some great, some not. With a few keywords and a click of the mouse, a reader can easily compel the search engine to display thousands of results related to their research. Each result, belonging to one website or another, is competing with the others for the reader’s attention.

This means the reader has plenty of options to go through. Should they land on your website, you have around fifteen seconds to convince them to not leave. Even if they linger for more than fifteen seconds, you have to also worry about engaging them and making sure they return next time.

To understand how to make your site visitors to stay, you must first understand why they leave. Below are some of the notorious reasons that make people leave a site.

Misleading domain name

6 Reasons People Leave Your Website

It’s very unlikely that your domain name will make your visitors click away from your site as soon as they land there, unless your domain name or site title are misleading—then it’s very likely. It would be like a tech geek looking for Wi-Fi tips visiting a website with, say, ‘hotspot’ in its domain name, only him to discover it’s a site about sex toys. He will most likely leave the website.

Therefore, it’s important that your domain name depicts the content of your website so that you don’t attract the wrong people who would only leave as soon as they come.

Monotonous Content

6 Reasons People Leave Your Website

When you get visitors and ask them what they want to drink, some may say tea, some others may ask for coffee, another may request for a beer, and others may choose water. Likewise, every one of your website visitors cannot be interested in the same way of digesting information.

Some may prefer sliding through pictures to reading, some others may be into watching videos, while a few others may love reading but only when words are integrated with graphics.

It’s all about preference.

Experiment with new ways of presenting your content. Use slides, infographics, videos, reviews et cetera to capture and keep the attentions of different types of visitors.

Too many adverts on Your Website

6 Reasons People Leave Your Website

There is nothing more annoying than ads appearing everywhere, nagging to be clicked, obstructing visitors from acquiring the information that brought them to your website.

The worst types are popup ads. They are in the same league as mosquitos. Try visiting a site with lots of them and you will understand why anyone would click the ‘back’ button as soon as they start emerging.

As a general rule, avoid using them in places they will obstruct your visitors’ view. Also avoid large picture or banner ads—if you must use them, they shouldn’t be the first thing your visitors see. And be subtle with your monetisation efforts.

Disruptive videos and audios

6 Reasons People Leave Your Website

While videos and audios are viable ways to diversify your content and the ways you present it, they can be disruptive if not used properly. They can make a visitor turn around and leave.

Instead of videos that play automatically, give your visitors a choice to play or not play your videos. Humans love free will. Taking it away from one is like pushing the person away. Also, sometimes a visitor might come across your website while in a library. If your website’s background sound is loud, then the person will definitely leave.

Bad Navigation

6 Reasons People Leave Your Website

A bad navigation is like a washed-out map. And a washed-out map is so useless that we often crumple it up and toss it into the wastebasket. A main navigation scattered all through a web page, hidden, or designed with unclear images will only frustrate your visitors. Or, worse, make them leave.

Also, your main navigation should entail links to the essential pages on your website. Those pages should be easy to find. For instance, if a visitor that wants to use your service can’t find a link to your ‘about’ or ‘contact’, the opportunity they brought will be lost to you when they leaves.

Your main navigation should be well-grouped, well-placed, and should list your major pages. Ideal positions for your main navigation are the top of the page and the sidebars. Those are the places people look first.

Other navigations should also be easy to find. If you are selling a product, then the ‘buy’ button had better be under the image of that product. If you want people to subscribe to your newsletters, the ‘subscribe’ link or button should be very easy to find and should be present on your landing page.

Read more about navigation pitfalls.

Bad content and design

6 Reasons People Leave Your Website

The purpose of designing a website and filling it with content is to engage visitors. But then you can’t engage them if your content and design are neither helpful nor coherent.

Your design is like the packaging. And, much as it has to be appealing, it will be defeating your purpose for it if it obstructs the content—a good example of this is a website design that favours beautiful fonts and colours over readable texts.

Your content, on the other hand, will be defeating its own purpose if it’s chaff and not updated regularly.

Perhaps you have examined your website and believe it has none of the flaws mentioned above. Well done. But to be sure or to discover other reasons (general ones as well as those unique to your site) that push visitors away from your site, check out this list of helpful tools.