Category Archives: Tips and Tricks

2cubed-GDPR

What The GDPR Means For Your Website

Category: Tips and Tricks
November 9, 2017

What is GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a series of principles designed to strengthen the protection of data for EU citizens and residents. Having been ratified in April 2016 it will be enforced by every EU state from the 25th of May 2018 onward and represents the single greatest advancement of EU data privacy in more than two decades.

While many of the legislative principles that make up the GDPR are similar to those found in the current Data Protection Act (DPA), there are a series of new measures and significant enhancements involved.

Introduced in order to protect individuals from potential future data breaches, the GDPR will allow individuals to wield far more control over the personal data companies retain about them and place significant emphasis on businesses ability to demonstrate data control and security.

Who will be affected by GDPR?

These changes will impact any company that collects their clients personal data whether it’s through a website, an app, email or any other means that results in personal data being retained in an internal database.

This means that many businesses will have to adjust their approach to data retention and transparency in order to ensure they don’t incur a non-compliance sanction of up to €20,000,000 or 4% of annual worldwide turnover.

Make sure you are GDPR compliant 

Data transparency between companies and individuals is a cornerstone of the GDPR. Companies will be required to inform individuals:

  • What personal data are being retained

  • How their personal data are being used

  • Who is using their data

  • How long their data will be stored for and,

  • Who to contact with regards to obtaining further information on the company’s data processing procedure

In conjunction with data transparency, data security is paramount to maintaining GDPR compliance. In order to ensure this, firms will be required to carry out an online review, answering the following questions:

  • Does our target market include EU citizens? (Check currency listings, etc.)

  • Does our website contain a comment section?

  • Does our website facilitate newsletter subscription?

  • Does our website gather and retain personal information or online identifiers such as IP addresses via analytics?

Following this, it will be beneficial to carry out a review of the personal data being collated and retained, under the following headings:

  • Why are these data being collated?

  • Why are these data being retained?

  • How long will these data being retained?

  • How secure are these data?

Over the course of these reviews, any potential weak points in a firm’s data protection protocol should become clear and allow the company to take the necessary steps to maximise data security and minimise their risk of GDPR non-compliance.

Suffice it to say, this is a highly simplified guide to GDPR compliance.  If you have any questions or concerns about the potential impacts of GDPR on your firm please contact 2 cubed here and our web development experts will be happy to help.

 

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Website Maintenance Tips & Tricks

Category: Tips and Tricks
October 5, 2017

Your website is often the first point of contact between your business and your clients. It impacts all stages of the customer journey from initial enquiry through to completing a purchase and potentially forming a long standing customer relationship.

In order to effectively reflect the fluidity of your brand position and business offering, your website must be maintained regularly. If potential customers visit your website only to find outdated information on services and products you no longer offer, you might find it’s about as useful as a brolly in a hurricane!

So, how do you ensure your website is maintained to the highest standard without it taking up your entire week?  

The best bet is to create a maintenance checklist and schedule each task into your calendar for completion. This way, you can ensure that your website remains regularly updated while minimising your maintenance time pressure.

The following are five of tasks that should be included in any maintenance calendar.

Review Your Website Analytics 

Analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, are your friends. They allow you to track how visitors find your website, which pages are particularly successful and which are not. Having a grasp of these figures is essential to the success of your website and overall online marketing strategy. They should be reviewed on a weekly basis to keep you fully informed and allow you to augment your content strategy to maximise success.

Fix Broken Links

When it comes to navigating a website there are few things more annoying than coming across a 404 error page. It’s thoroughly off putting as a potential customer and gives the impression of a lack of professionalism. That said, broken links can appear quite easily. If you forget to update a link after making even small changes to your website’s files, you could be left with a horrible assortment of 404 pages.  

The good news is that there is no shortage of tools at your disposal to help fix these issues. Google Search Console is a free to use service, provided by Google, that allows you to check for and fix indexing errors that lead to 404 errors. Alternatively the wordpress plugin ‘Broken Link Checker’ will continually scan every page on your website for broken links and email you if/when a new one appears.

Optimise Website Navigation

It is imperative that visitors to your site end up where you want them as quickly and as easily as possible. Navigating to your key pages and contact forms should require as few clicks as possible. If navigating through your website proves an arduous task, you’ll likely see your bounce rate fly right through the roof.  

Deliver Effective Relevant Content

Content is king. Not only does compelling content add pages to your website, it attracts visitors and allows you to position yourself as an authority in your area as well.

Keep your content posts relevant to the services you provide as well as the needs of potential customers and you will be on track to turning your website visitors into valuable customers. Not only that but, consistently posting relevant content will keep you in Google’s good books, making sure that your website ranks higher in search results. Set a schedule, brainstorm content ideas in advance and stick to it.

Assess Your Website Goals 

What is your website for? What metrics are you using to measure website success? Are you hitting your targets? Business and Online Marketing Goals are fluid, they don’t exist in a vacuum. Equipped with your latest analytics feedback, you should reassess your website goals on a regular basis. These goals should be written down and set for each quarter allowing you to measure successes and failings on an ongoing basis and implement adjustments where necessary.

Developing and following an intuitive website maintenance plan is a key step on the path to ensuring that your website remains professional, user-friendly and accessible to your current and potential customers.

If you’d like to improve your website, social media, brand identity, or want a Digital DNA assessment and overhaul, contact 2Cubed today!

 

dna

How to improve your Digital DNA

Category: Tips and Tricks
July 5, 2017

Every business in 2017 has its own unique Digital DNA. This encompasses every single aspect of your business identity online. Sure, you may have an amazing bricks-and-mortar business, but in the 21st century this needs to be accompanied by a thriving online presence.

Improving your Digital DNA can start with small tasks and gradually work its way into shaping your complete online presence. Your website and social media accounts should reflect your branding and users should have a streamlined experience going from one medium to another.

The simplest factor in refining your user’s online experience is to have a strong company logo that is used at every opportunity online and offline. Your logo should work with your brand identity to ensure that your colour scheme and feel is used everywhere. This gives you a professional identity online.

Having accounts on the various social network sites also forms part of your Digital DNA. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter have been traditionally the most popular, but more and more enterprising companies are using Instagram and Snapchat to promote their products and services. Setting up social media accounts is usually a straightforward process, but keep in mind that your personal accounts and business accounts usually should be separate. Nobody wants to see 100s of photos of your cat – unless you’re a business selling products for our feline friends!

A strong website and regular blog updates are crucial to your Digital DNA. People will look to Google when searching online and your website is often the first time a potential customer is introduced to your company. Therefore your website needs to be professional, user-friendly, and accessible – this is especially true if you are selling goods or services through an eCommerce website or a mobile application.

If you’d like to improve your website, social media, brand identity, or want a Digital DNA assessment and overhaul, contact 2Cubed today!

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

wexfordceblogo

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

online-sales

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

ecommerce

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.