Category Archives: Tips and Tricks

10 Tips for Successful Copywriting

Category: Tips and Tricks
October 21, 2014

content writingWhen working on their websites, many companies find the task of copywriting quite daunting. However, there are some straightforward tips you can follow to help your page rank highly on Google with good SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and clear, readable content.

  1. Write content with your customer in mind. Obviously you should have Google rankings in mind when creating new copy on your website, but bear in mind that your customers will read your text – and you don’t want to put them off by having a website littered with indecipherable gobbledegook.
  2. Avoid needless repetition. Having pages littered with the same keyword over and over is not really much use any more. You should use keywords prominently, but putting the same word or phrase in the one page dozens of times can be penalised.
  3. Use related terms and phrases. Remember, all customers may not use the same words in order to describe your product or service. So, dig out that thesaurus and add in a few synonyms as you’ll constantly be amazed by how people find you! Just don’t do this…
  4. Don’t be afraid of writing too much. Your customer might not read every word on your website, but having plenty of content is never a bad thing. In fact, statistics show that the majority of pages that are in the first 10 results for any term on Google have an average of 2,000 words. That’s about six pages of your average paperback!
  5. Optimise your page titles. Every website has a Contact Us page. The contact of this page is not going to make you stand out from your competitors. People clicking on Contact Us know exactly what to expect. However, you can give it a customised title to help you rank better in Google. So instead of About Us, you can include your keywords e.g. Contact 2Cubed Website Design and App Development.
  6. Give the customer what they want. Some customers coming to your website will have questions about your service. You should always try to be transparent on your website and answer their questions and their problems. This builds trust, and also highlights your insider knowledge. It also marks you out as a better alternative than your competitors.
  7. You don’t have to sell everything. Not every blog post or article you write needs to be about one of your products. Customers appreciate getting hints and tips or like to know that they are not always getting the hard sell. Do link back to products and services you provide where applicable, but having news, events, and even commenting on current trends or events can get you a lot of important traffic.
  8. Use the CMS software to make parts of your content stand out. Bold or italic words can make a statement and draw in the reader’s eye. Bullet points help divide up lists like this one. Images and Videos won’t do much for your Google ranking, but they can make content more visually stimulating.
  9. Treat every page like a landing page. Unlike a bricks-and-mortar shop or business, not every customer will arrive at the front door. The homepage will be the first port of call for many customers, but if you’ve tailored your SEO properly, all your pages should rank highly for various terms – this means that the customer might never see your homepage. Thus the content should welcome them in and help them find exactly what they need – even if it’s a different section of your website.
  10. Research. Click around other websites – your competition, other businesses, even totally unrelated pages – this helps you learn what works for other people. If it works for them, it can work for you. Notice the stumbling blocks where other sites fall short, and try to better them.
  11. Avoid needless repetition. Remember what you were offering in the first place…

2Cubed offers full Copywriting and Content Writing Services. Contact us on 01-9055874 or 051-440425 or at hello@2cubed.ie to discuss or for more information.

Web Design Trends for 2014

Category: Tips and Tricks
January 31, 2014

Webdesign-1It’s only a month into the year 2014, but already website users and eCommerce shoppers are starting to notice small changes in the websites they use each and every day. Like every other industry, web design changes regularly, so here are some of the trends to keep an eye out for in 2014.

Windows 8 and Apple’s new iOS7 have firmly implanted the idea of a Flat User Interface in users’ minds. Once, 3D designs with the illusion of depth were all the rage in web design, but 2014 will see slicker, more grid-like designs, that are extremely functional and thus very, very user friendly.

Whereas it used to be an afterthought for many companies, mobile is now key when it comes to web design. Responsive and adaptive websites have been popular for many years, but now many websites are being designed specifically to fit devices of all shapes and sizes, not just web browsers.

Scrolling is making a comeback! When bandwidth was a premium and most of us were still on dialup, bigger or longer websites were often a cause of hardship, but now everyone is used to swiping on their phones and scrolling on their laptops, so it’s not as much of an issue. Expect to see more side-scrolling websites too, but it’s far more practical to ask the user just to scroll in one direction.

An overabundance of images and less text. Just because they’re trends doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Garth Brooks may be back in Ireland, but double denim will never make a return! Many sites are now using images instead of text, but this can be hugely detrimental for search engine optimisation (SEO). User interfaces may be changing, but when it comes to Google Ranking, text is still king.

Simpler colours. You’ll also see a lot of two colour or three colour websites this year. Clean, crisp, and simple works well with business brands, and means that your website can be another part of your brand identity.

Short video content. Vine was a huge success in 2013, and is only going to get bigger this year. As a result, you’ll see many businesses dotting their websites with short snippet videos. These can be extremely useful for tutorials and informing your customers of your products.

To stay on trend in 2014, and to ensure that you get the most from your website, please contact 2Cubed today to discuss your options!

eBusiness Website Grants for Wexford

January 8, 2014

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Once again, the Wexford County Enterprise Board has announced details of their eBusiness Grant, helping companies save up to 50% on the cost of building a new website.

For the past few years, the Wexford CEB have provided financial assistance for small and medium enterprises in the county to help them launch their websites, online shops, and help them build an online presence.

The board is now offering up to €1,000 or 50% of the costs towards developing an eBusiness website, which 2Cubed Web Design and Web Development can design and build to your requirements.

We have worked with lots of businesses from County Wexford – from Gorey to Rosslare, Bunclody, Enniscorthy, Wexford town, and most other towns and villages.

We provide online shop development services, using customer-friendly platforms like magento, wordpress, as well as bespoke eCommerce platforms helping you expand your business online.

Find out more information about the eBusiness Grant here:
http://www.wexfordceb.ie/ebusiness-grant/

Or give 2Cubed a call at 051-440425.

Planning your eCommerce Website

Category: Tips and Tricks
October 2, 2013

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Moving into online sales can prove a daunting task for any business. It can be difficult to go from the well-known surroundings of physical sales into the eCommerce world of selling your products online. However, when planning your eCommerce website, there’s a few rules to keep in mind to ensure you get the best success, and don’t fall at the early hurdles. We have worked with dozens of Irish companies to help them launch eCommerce websites and maximise revenue from online sales, so can help guide you in the right direction.

Devote time to your new website

Many companies fail in their online endeavours simply because they don’t put enough effort into the running of their website. There is much work involved in creating a new online shop, but there will also be regular tasks that need to be performed in order to keep your website not just ticking over, but bringing in revenue. Many businesses think that they can just throw up any old website and expect the sales to come rolling in, but this doesn’t work in the online world, just like it doesn’t work offline. Think of all the work that gets done on the floor of your shop or factory each and every day. eCommerce can help ease that workload, but you also need to put the effort in to make it successful. Time should be devoted to keeping an eye on stock levels, dispatching orders and contacting customers where needed, as well as regularly updating content to keep your site fresh – both for the customer and for Google. The website at the top of the rankings gets a lot more sales than the one that doesn’t appear at all.

See what others are offering

When planning your own website, have a look at your competitors’ websites. You will quickly notice what works and what doesn’t work on other websites – and what you may find will work for you as well. Offering a better product than your rivals is the best way to success, while ensuring that the process to buy that product is hassle-free will help maximise sales. There’s nothing worse for a customer who wants to buy something online than being forced to jump through hoops to get what they want. Also, speak to your own customers to see what they think works or doesn’t work on other websites as well as your own. Find out what your target customer needs, and present them with exactly that.

Know what you want to sell

Some companies want to put everything they have on their eCommerce website, others want to promote specific products to specific markets. Once again, time is an issue when it comes to populating your online store. If you have thousands of products, it can be extremely time-consuming cataloguing and writing a description for them all as well as getting a picture or photograph for each one. In addition, keeping track of this stock offline and online often requires implementation your EPOS system, so keep this in mind. You’ll need to work out how much time and what kind of resources you can devote to get your website off the ground, and to ensure it all runs smoothly once it goes live.

Sell your products

Just firing up your stock online isn’t going to earn you a lot of money. You need to convince the customer that this is something they need. With online shopping, it’s much easier to check out alternatives – whether it be comparing prices or competitors’ stock – so you need to make sure the customer stays on your website and buys it from you rather than somebody else. When writing product descriptions, try to get in all the necessary keywords, but at the same time you’ve got to describe the merits of what you’re selling – don’t be afraid to use a few adjectives to give your item a positive disposition. High-quality photographs can also help sell your items, particularly if you’re selling clothes –  as people like to know exactly what they’re getting. It also cuts down on any time spent refunding unhappy customers later!

Remember, each and every online shop is different. What works for a bicycle retailer might not work for a gift shop, so research your market to see what works, and what you’ll need to do. These tips should be a guideline to help you start off, and hopefully turn your eCommerce website into a huge success.

How to get the most from your eCommerce website

Category: Tips and Tricks
August 22, 2013

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With so many online retailers emerging each and every day, it can be difficult to make your eCommerce website stand out from all the competition. Getting people to come to your online store is an achievement in itself, but then you have to convince them to stick around and make a purchase.

The online retail world is very similar to the high street. Every shop will get window shoppers, who come to browse, but never actually buy anything. This is going to happen to every single website. How many times have you popped on Amazon to have a browse, but not actually buy? Your own website will suffer a similar fate, but there are a few things you can do to help increase your online shop conversion rate.

  • Make your contact information clear and visible. Having an email address hidden away in the corner of your website won’t really help your customers feel secure on your website. It’s always best to make it obvious, so if a customer is having problems, they can simply send you an email to ask for assistance. Even better is a phone number. Many customers, older web users especially, like the fact that you’re just a phone call away. They may never ring you, but they know they can if they need to. In fact, some customers might even see something on your website, but feel more comfortable buying over the phone than entering their credit card details online.
  • Have an easily accessible shopping cart/basket/bag. When shopping online, it can often be difficult to keep track of what you’ve added to your shopping list. Therefore, it’s extremely beneficial if you can check to see what exactly you’ve selected so far, and more importantly, how much it all costs. As well as keeping track of what your customer has put in their basket, it’ll also help them know what they still have left to add!
  • Try to keep your pricing consistent throughout. If a product says €10 on the product page, try to make sure that it still costs a tenner when your customer gets to the checkout (before shipping of course). There’s nothing worse than reaching the payments page only to find extra taxes and charges added on later. If your prices are excluding VAT, which will be added at the checkout stage, try to explain that clearly, so the customer won’t abandon their cart at the final step.
  • Make paying straightforward. A lot of people hate registering for sites and setting up new accounts just to purchase something online. Most people have no problem entering in their name and address when buying something, but setting up an account and remembering a particular password can be a nightmare for many customers. A simple screen where you enter in your details before being sent to the payment gateway is easiest for most customers, and can be extremely helpful when you’re tracking your orders too.

There are many, many tricks and tips to getting the most from your eCommerce website. If you’re considering expanding your business to sell online, or merely want to increase your online sales, 2Cubed can help you through every part of the process. Find out more on the eCommerce section of our website.

Adaptive and Responsive Web Design

Category: Tips and Tricks
July 26, 2013

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With so many Irish people using smartphones and tablets to browse the internet, it’s extremely important that companies have websites that can be viewed across a variety of screen sizes. There’s a few ways this can be implemented for your website.

Adaptive website design sees your website built to work at a number of sizes. So there will be a tablet version which will look the same whether you’re using a 7 inch Google Nexus or a 10 inch iPad. On the other hand, responsive web design is more fluid and changes depending on the device, the resolution, and the screen size.

Both of these are extremely effective when done properly. However, some sites may not work too well with adaptive layouts as large images or numerous blocks of text can be shrunken or look out of place. Responsive websites will work effectively across the board, and change depending on your device. This means that a three column website may become a two column site when viewed on a smartphone, making everything much cleaner and user-friendly.

Each method has its own champions, and rightly so. Some companies have brand identities that they want carried across all platforms. With 30-50% of web traffic now coming from mobile devices, it’s becoming more and more important that your company’s website adapts or responds to your client base.

Building your own App for iPhone or Android can be extremely expensive, but making sure your website works as well on your phone as it does on your laptop need not be.

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What is Multi-Channel eCommerce?

Multi-Channel eCommerce

Every week there seems to be new buzzwords floating around. A few weeks ago, no-one was using Vine, but now you’ll see their short video clips popping up everywhere. Staying on trend is extremely important for web developers, but it’s also a necessity for all businesses, especially if you’re selling goods or services online.

The latest key idea for online stores is Multi-Channel eCommerce. This method of trading has been around for as long as the internet, but it’s only recently that companies are starting to get up to spend with selling their products through a variety of methods. To understand how to harness Multi-Channel eCommerce for your business, you’ll have to know what each of the channels are.

Direct Traffic
This involves people seeking out your website by typing in the URL, and is the way a lot of major brands make their online profits. However, for smaller companies, getting direct traffic to your site often involves a lot of offline marketing and advertising, which can prove extremely costly.

Search Engine Optimisation
Honing in on your audience through good SEO is the most effective way to reach your customers and sell your services. Getting your website in the first page of Google rankings, or even better, at number one, will increase your sales exponentially. Populating your site with the right keywords is a surefire way to get your website up the rankings, increasing your sales in the process.

Online Advertising
Paid advertising on search engines can also be great for gaining exposure and gaining sales. Banner advertising isn’t always effective, while it’s often difficult to judge the success of radio, newspaper, or television campaigns. On the other hand, Google Adwords can be tracked and analysed to see exactly what works to reach your target audience.

Marketplaces
A few years ago, eBay was synonymous with online shopping. While eBay isn’t as big a name as it once was, many Irish businesses find success selling their products through third-party websites, such as online retail giant Amazon or specific online marketplaces like The Fashion Shed – keep in mind, however, these third-party sites will take a share of your profits if you use them, but they can be an excellent way to reach more customers that you might ordinarily reach through your own eCommerce channels.

Mobile
A lot of bigger stores have their own apps for iPhone, Android, and other mobile and tablet devices, but if your brand isn’t a big name already, it will be difficult to convince people to download your app, and very expensive to develop it in the first place. A responsive Online Shop will be much more effective for small to medium enterprises, as all smartphones come with an inbuilt web browser, making it convenient to purchase products straight from your phone. It’s also very useful if your live website looks the same across all devices, which creates a sense of familiarity for your customers.

Social Media
Social Media can be great for connecting with your customers, receiving feedback, and providing assistance. As well as that, you can use social media to promote individual products, and even sell directly to your customers through apps on Facebook and Pinterest. Having thousands of likes on Facebook or followers on twitter not only leaves you with a guaranteed audience to target, but also helps build your brand reputation when it comes to winning over new customers.

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How to increase your Facebook engagement

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Marketing your business has never been cheaper. Instead of spending hundreds or thousands of euro on newspaper, radio, or on television advertising, you can now promote your brand effectively online for little or no cost.

Facebook advertising can be hugely effective for Irish companies, and we work with many of our customers to help them plan their online marketing strategies. Targeted paid advertising and competitions will bring in new likes for your Facebook page, but there’s no point in buying likes without keeping those likes engaged.

Update frequently

If you allow your Facebook page to go stale, then don’t be surprised if you never get any likes, shares, or comments. Anyone who has liked your page already is interested in what you have to offer, so don’t be afraid to discuss anything new in your industry. If some new stock comes in, tell your fans about it.

Talk about the weather

You don’t always need to talk about your business on your business page. Current events are always a great way to get people talking, whether it’s this weekend’s big GAA game or last night’s Coronation Street cliffhanger, people like discussing what’s in the news – and Irish people especially, we love talking about the weather!

A picture paints a thousand words

Getting people to share anything other than a competition is a tricky task, but not impossible. An amazing photograph will get people talking, but also get plenty of shares – especially if it’s something funny that they might want to pass on to their friends.

Create an opinion poll

Use the Question option (under Offer/Event) when creating a new status to get your fans engaged. You don’t even have to keep it on topic, just make it interesting enough that people will want to give their opinion. Every time someone answers your poll, it’ll show up on their own wall, which will encourage their own friends to participate as well.

Don’t be afraid to ask

If you look at American companies on Facebook, you’ll see they always try to encourage interaction from their fans. You can be direct on Facebook to build engagement – a call to action can really help get your fans talking. If you tell people to do it, don’t be surprised if they actually follow your instructions!

Schedule posts in advance

It’s far better to stay up-to-date with your status updates, but there’s many things you can schedule posts for – such as upcoming events, special offers, and even new stock announcements. Online tools like Hootsuite are great for planning ahead, ensuring that your page stays active, even if you’re away. Remember, you can always edit an update before it’s posted, so keeping on topic is never much of a problem!