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Irritating or effective – do website popups work?

Irritating or effective – do website popups work?

I know, I know, everyone hates website popups. They appear at the worst times and make you want to shut the site down completely rather than carry on reading. So the question “do website popups work” seems like a no-brainer right? Well it may surprise you that the answer to that question is yes, popups do work. You do however need to use them properly to make them effective.

So what is an effective website popup?

If someone’s reading a blog article you may have a popup to get them to sign up for your email newsletter. So as the person gets to the end of the article they are reading – up pops your email newsletter popup. But if someone’s on your product page, you want them to buy your product, not distract them with a popup. Having a newsletter signup popup on your product page is both annoying and detrimental to your product sales.

So both the context and placement of the popup are important. In the first example the context is that this person is reading a blog article and may be interested in having access to more of your articles via email. Then we get to placement towards the end of the article (you can use a scroll-activated popup here). Think about a shop, if the salesperson greets you at the door and immediately pushes a product in your face – you’ll be annoyed and walk out the door. The same principle applies to your popup. Wait for the person to read the blog post first. If they’ve read to the end they probably enjoyed the blog post and would likely want more. Then you ask them to sign up for your newsletter. And don’t forget to set frequency rules, so readers don’t keep seeing the same popup on every blog post they read.

What are the different kinds of website popups how do you use them?

1. Entrance Popups

Entrance popups come up immediately when you open a website and can be considered rude. They appear as soon as a webpage has loaded, blocking the webpage until the person has engaged with it. One way you could use these are if your are having a sale and want to make people aware of it immediately. Like having sales banners in the window of a shop.

2. Timed Popups

Timed popups appear after a person spends a certain amount of time on your website. Less rude as the person has had a chance to look at your website’s content and may like what they see enough to opt in to your popup’s offer. Tricky to get the timing right though, so test your pop-up timing very carefully. You don’t want it appearing too soon or too late.

3. Scroll-Activated Popups

Scroll-activated popups appear when a visitor reaches a particular section of your webpage. In the blog example mentioned above, it appears when you reach the bottom of the post. Your visitor has had time to get to know what you have to offer and they are more likely to become a subscriber.

4. Exit Intent Popups

Exit intent popups track when a visitor to your website is planning on leaving the page. So about to close the tab, open another tab or click on the “back” button on their browser. Best used to encourage them opt-in to something they may have missed or an offer they didn’t know about. Make sure you’re not spamming people with your exit intent popups, they don’t want to see the same popup on every page.

So what do you think now – do you still hate website popups? If you still hate them, let us know why you think they won’t work for you. Or have you tested them and found that they annoy people and have decreased your conversions? We’d love to know about your results.  

If you’d like some help adding popups to your website get in touch, we’d be happy to help you.

Who do you think you are talking to?

Who do you think you are talking to?

UX, or user experience, in its simplest form can be defined as human interaction with systems. Every interaction people have with your website or app is UX – your users experience of interacting with your digital property. When it comes to your website, you may be telling people what you want them to know about your product/business and getting them to do what you want them to do (eg Hit that “Buy now” button). However, the ultimate goal of good UX is to understand what users want when interacting with your site and then to help them to complete those tasks in the easiest and most intuitive way possible.

So, should you care?

Well if any of you have had to renew your driver’s license in South Africa in the last few month’s I’m sure you can relate to what bad UX is. The Licensing Department’s new online booking system is a nightmare (read about a journalists experience). When people are unable to do the one thing that the system is designed to do – that results in a VERY bad UX. Something you should not be subjecting your users to.

HINT: If you confuse or frustrate your users – you’ll lose them.

How does this relate to you and your website? Although you may not be providing a UX anywhere near as awful as the licensing department’s, something as simple as not adding a button where users are expecting to see one – may be losing you customers. You need to make sure that something as simple as a misplaced button isn’t frustrating your users and we have some tips for you that should help.

Here are some simple rules that help to enhance any site’s UX:

1. Create easy to understand navigation

The simpler the better. For eg. don’t use “Give us a shout out” for your Contact Page link, call it Contact us. Don’t use symbols for things that need explaining – the only time changing a name to a symbol worked was for Prince in 1993.

2. A clean layout with neatly laid out content and design elements

This one doesn’t really need much of an explanation, if people cant find what they are looking for due to clutter – you’ve lost them. Remember that less really is more.

3. Proper use of video/animation

When it comes to video/animation, it should always have a clear and logical purpose – and no, advertising your product is not a clear, logical purpose. Video can be heavy, and internet speeds are not always optimal, so this is where you need to ask “do we need a video, or are we just trying to look cool”?  Trying to look cool never works.

4. Avoid “click here” links

People automatically know that a link is meant to be clicked on but what they don’t know is where it leads, or if it will result in a dodgy NSFW popup. If your link explains what the link does and where it will take them (download a pdf, take you to a contact form etc.) people are more likely to click on it. For example, this link will take you to a Youtube video on the power of suggestion makes it pretty clear that the link will take you to a video on the power of suggestion on Youtube.

5. Improve page load speed

Web users have a need for speed and expect a website to load within three to four seconds. If your website is slower than that, people will be bouncing left, right and centre. An ugly site with a zippy UX will always have a lower bounce rate than a glamorous, slow one.

These are just a few UX principles of web design to get you thinking about the UX on your website. If you aren’t sure what to improve on your site – ask your site users what they think. Actual user experience feedback is the most important feedback you’ll get.

If you’re looking for some prectical guidance on the UX of your website we’d be happy to do an in-depth UX analysis and let you know if you have mastered the art of UX or if you can improve. 

What is UX and should you care?

What is UX and should you care?

UX, or user experience, in its simplest form can be defined as human interaction with systems. Every interaction people have with your website or app is UX – your users experience of interacting with your digital property. When it comes to your website, you may be telling people what you want them to know about your product/business and getting them to do what you want them to do (eg Hit that “Buy now” button). However, the ultimate goal of good UX is to understand what users want when interacting with your site and then to help them to complete those tasks in the easiest and most intuitive way possible.

So, should you care?

Well if any of you have had to renew your driver’s license in South Africa in the last few month’s I’m sure you can relate to what bad UX is. The Licensing Department’s new online booking system is a nightmare (read about a journalists experience). When people are unable to do the one thing that the system is designed to do – that results in a VERY bad UX. Something you should not be subjecting your users to.

HINT: If you confuse or frustrate your users – you’ll lose them.

How does this relate to you and your website? Although you may not be providing a UX anywhere near as awful as the licensing department’s, something as simple as not adding a button where users are expecting to see one – may be losing you customers. You need to make sure that something as simple as a misplaced button isn’t frustrating your users and we have some tips for you that should help.

Here are some simple rules that help to enhance any site’s UX:

1. Create easy to understand navigation

The simpler the better. For eg. don’t use “Give us a shout out” for your Contact Page link, call it Contact us. Don’t use symbols for things that need explaining – the only time changing a name to a symbol worked was for Prince in 1993.

2. A clean layout with neatly laid out content and design elements

This one doesn’t really need much of an explanation, if people cant find what they are looking for due to clutter – you’ve lost them. Remember that less really is more.

3. Proper use of video/animation

When it comes to video/animation, it should always have a clear and logical purpose – and no, advertising your product is not a clear, logical purpose. Video can be heavy, and internet speeds are not always optimal, so this is where you need to ask “do we need a video, or are we just trying to look cool”?  Trying to look cool never works.

4. Avoid “click here” links

People automatically know that a link is meant to be clicked on but what they don’t know is where it leads, or if it will result in a dodgy NSFW popup. If your link explains what the link does and where it will take them (download a pdf, take you to a contact form etc.) people are more likely to click on it. For example, this link will take you to a Youtube video on the power of suggestion makes it pretty clear that the link will take you to a video on the power of suggestion on Youtube.

5. Improve page load speed

Web users have a need for speed and expect a website to load within three to four seconds. If your website is slower than that, people will be bouncing left, right and centre. An ugly site with a zippy UX will always have a lower bounce rate than a glamorous, slow one.

These are just a few UX principles of web design to get you thinking about the UX on your website. If you aren’t sure what to improve on your site – ask your site users what they think. Actual user experience feedback is the most important feedback you’ll get.

If you’re looking for some prectical guidance on the UX of your website we’d be happy to do an in-depth UX analysis and let you know if you have mastered the art of UX or if you can improve. 

Can you get more conversions using the psychology of colour?

Can you get more conversions using the psychology of colour?

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could change the colour of your “Buy Now” buttons on your website and immediately double your conversions? If only it were that simple…but it’s not.

One of the most interesting and controversial aspects of marketing as it relates to persuasion is the psychology of colour. Lots of people have tried to classify consumers responses to specific colours ie, yellow = optimism, blue = trust, purple = creativity etc. However, most don’t take into account the fact that personal preference, experience, cultural differences, context and even colour blindness all influence the affect colours have. So the idea that certain colours elicit certain emotional responses is about as reliable as today’s weather report.

When it comes to choosing the “right” colour, research has found that predicting your customers reaction to the colours appropriateness is far more important than the individual colour itself. Does the colour fit the product. For example, if you are selling vegan soy-based meat replacement products, using blood red on your packaging may be a little disconcerting.

Our brains also show preference for easily recognisable brands – which makes colour an important element when creating a brand identity. This is know as the isolation effect. So, your hot pink financial services logo is likely to stand out quite vividly in a sea of blue competitor logos – all created in the belief that blue instills trust in financial service customers. In this example, Virgin America chose to stand out with the design on their site and in their app. While it seems highly unusual for an airline website, it is definitely memorable:

So where does this leave us when trying to get more conversions? Well, you likely already know the answer to this question. There is no ‘best colour’ for conversions. Make sure that your colour choice is appropriate for your product/service and then make sure that your buttons and CTA’s stand out. Colour contrast is the most important element to catch the eye of your potential customer’s so you’ll need to select a highly contrasting accent colour (complementary or triadic colours) for your buttons and CTA’s.

So, what do you think, do you find that colour psychology works for you? Or have we raised more questions than answers here? Please let us know what you think in the comments section below.

If you’d like some help optimising your CTA’s for more conversions, we’d be happy to help you out with some UX and AB testing to find out what is working and what not.

Does your website spark joy?

Does your website spark joy?

If not, then maybe it’s time to “Marie Kondo” it. Just like a home you’ve been living in for a couple of years, your website can also get cluttered. Perhaps when you started out you only had two or three pages with nicely laid out images and copy, but as time went on it probably became a bit of a Frankenstein monster with bits bolted on in a haphazard way. For example, you may have noticed that your home page gets the most traffic, so you started adding additional services, features, explanations, products, customer reviews etc… and now have to scroll for days to get to the bottom of the page. Then you added a blog, because every business needs a blog, right? You added to your About Us page as new people joined the company – and forgot to remove those who’ve left. You heard that videos are the new in thing so you added videos, secretly hoping at least one of them would go viral. Does any of this sound familiar? Most people associate clutter with the feeling it triggers, the sense of being overwhelmed, so your visitors will appreciate, and reward, a freshly tidied, updated site.

Here are 4, Marie Kondo-style tips to help you declutter your site.

1. Start with your home page

Type in your site url and close your eyes while it loads, now, open your eyes. Is there something that immediately catches your eye, or is your page cluttered and unfocused? New visitors should immediately see what you offer and how it benefits them. They will not go on an easter egg hunt to figure this out. Does the first thing you see help you achieve your primary goal? If not, it’s time for a redesign.

2. Let’s get navigating

Pretend to be a first-time visitor on your site, is it easy to find what you want? Or is it an Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole experience. As time went by, you likely added sections and pages to your site and your navigation structure probably got scrambled with sub-menus within sub-menus within menus. Clean it up.

3. Now the sub-pages

Each sub-page should have its own primary goal, such as, explain a service, sell a product, provide information… make sure your sub-pages are specific and focused. Any rambling into multiple objectives needs to be split into separate sub-pages. Not only does that help your users find things, but it enhances your SEO too.

4. About's and Contact's

If your About Us page isn’t a goal-oriented sales page that focuses on highlighting your unique selling points, your story and your brand, you are missing out on making a strong impression on curious prospects. Next, make sure your Contact page provides all of your contact information (but drop that fax number) and make sure that the process of getting in touch with you is simple. If your form is too long, your prospects won’t want to fill it out. Ain’t nobody got time for long contact forms.

So, what do you think, will these tips work for you? We’d love to hear about it so if you are going to give any of them a try, please let us know in the comments section below. 

If you’d like some help decluttering your website get in touch, we’d be happy to declutter it for you.

“If you build it, they will come”, doesn’t work for website traffic

“If you build it, they will come”, doesn’t work for website traffic

You’ve invested blood sweat and tears in your beautiful new website, celebrated with a launch party, and now you sit back in expectation of all the new customers that will come rolling in online.

While it’s true that a website can sell for you 24/7, the harsh reality is that just because a website is online, it doesn’t mean people will find it.  It’s a bit of a catch-22 because traffic to your website helps to improve your rank which in turn generates more traffic. But you need to ensure that the increased traffic comes with an increase in engagement in your site too.  To do this you will need to attract the right traffic, the right way.

5 tips to generate traffic and get your business noticed – by the right people!

1. Be like a honey bee.

Content marketing is still your BFF and really not as difficult as you think. You only need to write one or two articles a month and then promote these articles everywhere and as much as possible. You can share news, trends, and top resources your market needs and like a bee collecting pollen from 100’s of flowers you will collect traffic from multiple sources.

2. Get influenced.

Reach out to influencers and ask them to try out your products/services in exchange for mentions and/or reviews. Once their review is posted, there will be a link directly to your site and that will give you a nice SEO boost on search engines and will drive traffic to your site.

3. Call a friend.

Partner with an established business/brand that offers a complimentary product/service to yours and already has a loyal following. For example, if you provide wedding videography, you could partner with a wedding photographer to co-promote your services as a package to prospective Brides and Grooms. They promote the package on their website and that drives traffic to yours.

4. Get more social

Comment on blogs and social media posts, answer questions people are posting, and take part in conversations about your industry. The more you engage with your community, the more exposure and profile visits you get and if your social media profiles contain a link to your website, then you’ve turned your engagement into another channel for website traffic.

5. The power of a crowd

Start an online movement by allowing customers to upload photos of themselves using your product onto the product page of our website. This has multiple benefits, people will love feeling like one of our models, they will share with their friends and you will get loads of extra traffic to your website.

So, what do you think, will these tips work for you? We’d love to hear about it so if you are going to give any of them a try, please let us know in the comments section below.