5 Common Website Conventions to Apply

Sure, you are free to design your website the way you want it to be. However, there are website conventions you should NOT shove aside. We all want our website to be unique and different, but there are website standards we should always pursue. If not, the website will appear unfamiliar and difficult to navigate.

Person Holding a Cup of Coffee Beside Macbook

Here are 5 common website conventions that you should consider when creating a website:

  1. The Arrangement of the Company Logo.

  • With the all the different websites you have browsed, the logo is always placed at the topmost portion of the website. Am I right?
  • The common placement is usually placed on the top left region of the page. Well, there are site that place the logo on the center. If you are unsure where to display the logo, stick to the left alignment.
  • Since it is one of the first things a user sees when accessing your website, there is no need to make it extremely obvious. Just make sure that when one clicks the logo, it should always redirect back to the website’s main page.
  1. The Website Navigation.

  • Navigation is an essential component of a powerful website. When a user is specifically searching for something, navigation should be understandable without much explanation.
  • Typically, navigation options should be at the top beside the logo. If not, it should be place right below the logo.
  • Also, don’t provide many web pages. Limit it to only 5 pages. You can add more options by adding sub pages. This way, your navigation won’t overwhelm your users. Remember, your task is to help them find the information they need. If you add more options, it will just add confusion. So, don’t bombard them too many areas to explore.
  1. The Content Placement.

  • Your website won’t be complete without its contents. With that being said, your content should have the appropriate title and heading. There should also an introductory paragraph, main body, and concluding paragraph.
  • If you wish to highlight important details, use heading tags. H1 is, of course, the biggest and H6 is the smallest. Apply the different heading options as you see fit.
  • Make sure that essential keywords are emphasized to help increase your page ranking, and draw in interested web visitors.
  1. The Use of a Grid System.

  • You might wonder, “Why are grids important?” The truth is that a grid helps to attain consistency. You are sure the placements of the texts and images are symmetrical.
  • The horizontal and vertical lines of the grid give you an idea where to put certain elements on a web page. It will help in perfecting the overall look of the website.
  • Ultimately, the website will be pleasing to the eyes, knowing that the web elements are in order.
  1. The Use of Hyperlinks.

  • You will provide your customers links to crucial parts of your website. When you are selling products online, you need to remind them about the shipping fees and options. So, these links should be visible. The users should be able to differentiate a normal text and an anchor text.
  • Clickable links should be obvious. The web visitors should know that this link will redirect them to the FAQ page; this link will go the gift cards & coupons; and so on.

What You Need to Know About 301 Redirect

In the world of web design, there are 2 kinds of page redirection. There’s a temporary redirect and there’s also a permanent redirect. From a user’s point of view, there is no distinction between the two. However, search engines classify a 301 redirect as under permanent redirection.

Red and Three Blue Jigsaw Puzzles

Let’s take a step back first. What is redirection? For those who do not know, a redirection occurs when you clicked a link, and then, you are guided into another web page. When you move page A to page B, that is what you page redirection. This blog post will mostly focus on 301 redirect.

What’s so special with it?

A 301 redirect will divert web visitors from one site to another. Once you type the web address and hit enter, the search engine will redirect you to another address. This website is different from the one you initially inputted. All the 301 redirects belong to one main address. So, when you type any variation of the website, you will still arrive at one uniform website.

  1. I know it’s confusing when there’s no concrete example. For instance, take the website Google. It is spelled with 2 o’s, but if you accidentally typed in, gooogle with 3 o’s, it will still redirect you to Google’s homepage. Go ahead and try it for yourself. Click the gooogle with 3 o’s and see for yourself if it will automatically lead you to Google.com.
  2. Another example is the blogging service, Blogger. If you have an account, you know that the default blog address gets a blogspot.com URL. Whether you use blogger.com or blogspot.com, both addresses will redirect you to the same website.

Both examples cited above are examples of a 301 redirect. I hope it is all clear now. Let’s move on the next question…

Why do we need a 301 redirect in the first place?

The 3 main reasons why the leading websites use a 301 redirect:

  1. To combine common spellings to demonstrate domain authority. Like the first example, maybe Google realized the users usually make a mistake by typing 3 o’s! The company decided to buy that domain too so both of the spelling are acceptable. It will redirect to the same Google website.
  2. To rename your website. For example, you decide to move to another domain name. So, once your current users will type your old address, the search engines will automatically update with your new web address.
  3. To redirect to a specific website especially if the URLS are under one company. For example, in terms of film production, Pixar, 20th Century Fox, Marvel Studios, and Blue Sky Studios are all a subsidiary of Disney.

 301 redirect vs. other redirects.

A 301 redirect is the ideal kind because it is a permanent redirect. Whatever the user will type, it will always go to the specified URL. This is important particular in search engine optimization because it will retain your website rankings.

Of course, it is also helpful in web design because 301 redirects avoid navigation errors. It is definitely convenient for your users to jump from one web page to another. You are certain that they will arrive at the correct URL because you have installed a 301 redirect.

My Top Picks: Project Management Tools

When you are working on a project, of course, you need a team of reliable people. Don’t forget you also need to use an adequate project management tool. These tools will help you manage the current workflow, keep tabs on the task at hand, and most importantly, it will keep you in the right track on what’s need to be done ASAP!

Blue Printer Paper

On this note, I am writing this post to list my personal list of project management tools. I’m sure you all are familiar with Trello. By the way before, I mention more brands, I will put a disclaimer that this blog post is not sponsored in any way. Like I said, I’m just sharing my personal list. Anyway, let’s get started.

  • First on the list is: Trello.

    • It’s my personal favorite because it’s free. You can upgrade and get premium functions and tools for $9.99 a month.
    • Manage your task with Trello. You can easily organize your project depending to your preference. It is very adaptable and responsive so it’s pretty easy to make necessary changes.
    • Companies such as RedHat, Fender, Adobe, Google, Kickstarter, British Red Cross, and National Geographic are proud users of Trello.
    • With Trello’s boards, you can conveniently collaborate with people. It’s an interactive way to update your progress. You can simply drag and drop the Trello cards. You can also add comments and dates to each card created.
    • Dive into the details by adding comments, attachments, due dates, and more directly to Trello cards. Collaborate on projects from beginning to end.
  • Number 2 on the list is Paymo.

    • The free account is perfect for freelancers. Once you sign up, you get a to do list, project boards, a time tracking feature, a desktop app, an Adobe extension, file sharing capabilities, and 1 GB free storage.
    • The paid feature starts at $9.56 a month. It includes all the free features plus 50 GB storage, cutting-edge invoice and reporting tools, and many more.
    • More 100,000 businesses trust Paymo. Whether your priority is to plan, schedule, or manage a task, Paymo can surely help you getting your social media, blogging, marketing, web design tasks done in no time.
  • The last on my list is MeisterTask.

    • If the name seems familiar to you, it is because MeisterTask is a sister company of MindMeister, a mind mapping app.
    • Anyway, MeisterTask, like the previous 2 tools, have a basic account. You can get a free account with a set of limited task managements features. The pro version starts at $8.25 a month and it includes multiple project members, checklists, and to do list.
    • The MeisterTask dashboard is straight to the point. You will immediately get an overview of what to expect for the today’s tasks. You get to see what’s done, what’s current open, what’s in progress, and what’s for review.

With these tools, there’s no reason for you to be stressed in managing a project. Lesser chances of making a fatal mistake. It’s time to say yes to better planning, and ditch the unorganized ways of collaborating. This is now the modern and smart of doing tasks. You are certain that you are on the same page with all your team members.

Increase Conversion Through Emotional Appeal

As I am writing this article, the current world population is more than 7,692,000,000 people already! We now live in a digital age that makes us very dependent with our gadgets. We heavily rely on Facebook to communicate with friends. In 2018, over 1.8 billion people shopped products online. So much has changed with how we live our lives.

Emotional Beings.

In spite of the advancement in technology, there are still things that remain the same. At the center of it all, humans are still predictable. We love good food, we are afraid of alone, we long to be with other people, and we cry every time we watch a sappy romance move. Being emotional is a characteristic ingrained within us.

Woman Wearing Black Eyeglasses

Humans haven’t changed.

As an online business owner, we try to use psychology to market our products, and convince people to purchase whatever we are selling. Whether the items groceries, fashion accessories, or electronic devices, we aren’t in charge of our decisions. As humans, we are still under the mercy of the id, ego and super-ego.

According to Sigmund Freud, our personality has 3 main parts: the id, the ego, and the super-ego. The id refers to our primal instincts. So, online marketers subtly suggest ideas in our minds. They analyze our strong and weak points to urge us to buy the latest products.

When you have a business, it’s important to enhance your website for better conversion rates. Consider these 2 methods that influence the potential customers’ process of arriving to an ultimate decision.

  • Emotions Reduce Self-consciousness.
    • The thing is… emotions are powerful thing. When you market your products and appeal to human emotions, it will always win.
    • No matter how humans claim that they are intellectual beings and they aren’t ruled by emotions. Deep down, humans are. We all are.
    • A recent study showed that the human brain favors emotion appeal over logical reasons, facts, and evidence. Well, the facts presented help people decide, but this analytical approach also raises inhibitions. In short, when we take into consideration logic and rational information, our guards are up!
    • On the other hand, the emotional appeal affects greatly affects our behavior. The surprising part is we do NOT question these ads.
    • You probably just went on it and bought everything you saw because you felt excited. Perhaps, you shopped too much because you got heartbroken. In these instances, it really proves that, sometimes, logic is thrown out the window! We decided to buy a product simply because it made us smile.
  • The Power of a Human Face.
    • The study not only proved the power of an intuitive ad, but also the power of a human face. In the study I mentioned, photos of beautiful people were used to entice customers in buying.
    • In addition, if you also include a face – particularly a smiling face – conversion rate will most likely increase exponentially.
    • Whether it is a royalty free photo or a professional stock photo, just as long as the image features a human face; it will surely attract potential customers.
    • A customer has an instant connection to the photo. It is now easy to convince him to go through the conversion and sales funnel. (And yes, that’s why I added a human face as the post’s featured image.)

8 Tips in Writing the Quintessential List Post

For sure, when there’s a list post, people will devour it quickly. As I mentioned previously, readers favor this type of post. In fact, a list post is the second most preferred post format. However, not a lot of people have perfected the proper procedure of doing things.

White Ruled Paper

There are still some who terribly fail at organizing a fun list post. With that being said, I decided to list down a few tips in crafting the best list post. It’s not easy as you think. Nevertheless, if you apply these tips, I’m sure you will grasp the precise way of constructing a list post. Here are the 8 tips you need to know:

  • An effective list post gets rid of the flowery and euphemistic words. It should elaborate each bullet point explicitly.
  • Yes, not all points may be something new and refreshing for your readers, but at least, they take away a thing or two. They might say to themselves, “Hey, I already know 1 and 2. However, numbers 3 to 5 are something I didn’t know about. I should apply these tips right away!”
  • A prime list post should also be relatable to the general public. Give concrete examples that are all around you, and something almost everyone uses on a daily basis. If you have a wide demographic of followers, just go with the general scenarios and explain it in great detail.
  • Of course, it would not be a list post if you don’t number your items! This is crucial when you are formulating a long list. The numbers help the audience calculate their reading progress as they can through your article. For instance, you can remind your readers that “We are on the 4th point now” or “You have reached the 2nd to the last tip.”

Related: Blogging 101: How to Construct Your Blog Post

  • Just because you made a list post, it does NOT mean that the article should not follow a certain flow. Like your other published post, there should be a unique story to it. You can sort your list by relevance; you can also do it alphabetically, or chronologically.
  • Another related tip is to start and end your post with your strongest and most impactful piece of advice. For the middle part, it’s up to you to rearrange the points. Just think of it as a sandwich. You would need the perfect bun to hold also the tomato, cheese, lettuce, and the meat all together.
  • Lastly, a list post can only entice the audience if it is able to tell the readers what to expect by just reading the title. Because the readers know exactly what they will get upon reading, there are no mind games and no beating around the bush.
  • On this note, look at your post title and check if they are concise and direct to the point. If you indicate 5 tips, make sure you are able to give 5. If you put there “tutorial,” ensure that your instructions are clear. Stick to what you indicated on your title!

Related: What Makes a Product Page Effective?

Passive and Active Product Reviews

You might think passive and active may only apply to grammar. I’m here to tell you that there’s also passive and active in the world of online shopping. As a consumer, you probably haven’t heard of the 2 type of merchant reviews. Well, online businesses usually gather: “Passive” and “Active” reviews. It is imperative to know the distinction between the 2 reviews because it will help you make a better decision.

Two Man and Two Woman Standing on Green Grass Field

Passive vs. Active: The Difference

  • Passive reviews are written by anyone; by anyone, I am referring to the fact that there’s no restriction. Literally, anyone can post a review without verifying the purchase.
  • Additionally, passive reviewers can leave a review anonymously. Thus, it’s easy to leave a biased review. It’s definitely vulnerable to hate or rant reviews. Customers can complain endlessly without harming their reputation, but the negative review they left will surely harm the online business they’re pertaining.
  • Meanwhile, active reviews are written by the customers. Businesses earnestly gather product reviews from ALL the verified buyers. Customers can only review after they have successfully bought a product or service. Moreover, once a customer posts a review, the review is visible to the public for other interested buyers to read.

Does it really matter?

Of course, the kind of review provided by websites is significant. You decide what to buy and what not buy based on the reviews you see. If you don’t know the difference between passive and active reviews, you could be making a fatal mistake. You may end up believing a product review that’s not even verified.

So, when you are reading reviews online, remember these tips:

  1. Since active reviews are verified, you are sure that these reviews are authentic. It reflects the true nature of the product and the company.
  2. Yes, we all make mistakes, but when a company gets mostly passive reviews, their average rating decreases. Then, people would automatically assume that the company provides a terrible service.
  3. Don’t easily believe what you read because when you actually go over active reviews, the average product rating is higher. Not to mention that the active reviews are more detailed compared because each customer gets to share their experience.
  4. Passive reviews, on the other hand, are mostly negative. We don’t make an extra effort to leave positive review, but we would surely make an effort to share a negative experience. Why is this? It’s human nature to talk about the negativity. It is easier to complain and whine rather than giving praises.
  5. That’s the problem with passive reviews because anyone can just leave a review. For all we know, that reviewer could just hate the company for no particular reason or it could be a disgruntled employee’s revenge.

 

The bottom line is to check whether the review is passive or active. Websites, nowadays, have a way to tell whether a review is from a verified customer or not. When you are looking at company reviews and ratings, make sure they are from credible websites. Most importantly, trust rating companies that compile active reviews rather than passive reviews.

Why List Posts Work Better

Why do web visitors love reading list posts? For those who don’t know, a list post is an article written in a list format. The list could be anything under the sun; it can be a list of: life hacks, useful shortcuts, product recommendations, movie suggestions, video tutorials, beauty tips, fashion trends, and many more.

Someone writing a to do list.

Someone writing a to do list.

A list post is the second most favored type of post among readers. Basing from the most number of social media shares and likes, infographic tops the list. However, the list post comes close, and it’s no surprise why many list posts go viral all over the internet.

Why is this?

It is want our brains want. Of course, the human brain processes millions of information every single day. It is tiring to constantly deal with heaps of information and convert them to something understandable. The brain wants things easy and direct to the point so that it won’t waste too much energy on deciphering everything.

In short, list posts are everyone’s favorite because:

  • it grabs the readers’ attention.
  • there are no unnecessary details.
  • it is helpful and convenient.
  • lastly, it is straightforward and easy to understand.

Just a little trivia for you: One Mashable article gained more than 1,100 social shares in just the first 7 hours after it was published. Isn’t that amazing?

A list post is an entertaining and pleasant read for 5 main reasons:

  • If you are blogging within specific field of expertise, then it is imperative to do a list post – as it is extremely helpful in explaining complex topics. This is your chance to share what you know by imparting valuable tips and giving your readers a heads up on what’s in and what’s not.
  • Plus, list posts are easy to scan and easy to read. You  will spare the wandering eyes from scanning through huge chunks of information. A wordy paragraph will definitely bore people.
  • You get to inspire other people to do the same. My personal favorites are: Top Ten Techniques a Hacker May Have Already Tried on You15 Undeniable Truths About Book Nerds, and YA Books for Gamers! So, write away because you might just inspire someone to blog.
  • A list post will always cater to people who love to multitask. Even if you are busy with other things to do,  going through a list post will just be a breeze for you.
  • It’s a win-win situation for both the reader and the writer. The reader gets an easy to understand post filled with bullets and numbers while the writer won’t have to conjure complex sentences. Simple sentences are fine. Even phrases are okay too!

Here are 6 list posts that I wrote:

By the way, keep your eyes peeled for part 2 because I will share tips in writing the perfect list post for your blog.

 

Psychology and Web Design (Part 3)

On my last blog post, I talked about the importance of setting parameters and labels. This time, I will add more in-depth analysis regarding other consumer behavior studies. I will discuss whether it is okay to reveal your mistakes or not. Also, I will talk more about creating a sense of urgency.

Person Writing On Notebook

  • Acknowledge your weak points.

  • You might say that’s suicide! No one likes the word “mistakes.” We have to avoid the committing mistakes, right? Customers won’t love a faulty brand.
  • Fiona Lee, a social psychologist, shared that admitting deficiencies is actually a tremendous way of focusing on your effectiveness and ableness.
    • In one study, there were 2 sets of fabricated company reports. Both reports had detailed explanations on why the company business had performed incompetently the precious year.
    • The 1st report cited that some strategic decisions are the root cause while the 2nd report indicated external factors such as the dwindling economy, the powerful competitors, and so on.
    • Upon reviewing both reports, the readers favored the first report compared to the second one. By admitting that the company miscalculated the strategies, it was admirable that they were honest about their shortcomings. It gave an impression that even though the performance was not good; the company is still in control despite the chaos.
    • What is more surprising is that the stock prices of the companies, who owned up to their own shortcomings, went up. This is a clear indication that people don’t like blaming external factors. It seems like it’s just an excuse if you do so. However, if you know that there is a problem, you can address it right away.
  • The moral lesson here is that IT IS OKAY TO MAKE MISTAKES. It is part of life. The important thing is that you admitted that you made a mistake and you are doing your best to correct the mishap. Be quick to admit mistakes because it means that you are in control of things.

Related: How to Create an Urgent Need for a Product?

  • Create a sense of urgency.

  • According to Dr. Robert Cialdini, urgency is one of the 6 critical pillars of influence. Of course, when prices of a product go down, the demand for it will go up. Since the product is now cheap, people will hurriedly buy it.
  • When there’s a huge demand for the product, it would also imply more money for you! Thus, creating “scarcity” is probably the oldest psychological trick yet it is still the most effective.

Related: How Limited-Time Offers Boost Sales.

  • There should be a set of instructions given to maximize the effect of the perceived “scarcity.” The sense of urgency can be intercepted if you don’t give specific details on how to take action. Tell your customers what to do when there’s a sale or limited-time offers on your website.
  • Make the “add to cart” button visible and obvious. Also, let them know the time limit of the promo to emphasize the urgent need to take advantage and buy the products while they are on sale.

Psychology and Web Design (Part 2)

Previously, I discussed about the different types of buyers. Now, I will continue talking about psychology and web design. I will expound on the topic of the importance of setting parameters, and grouping your customers. The effective way of converting web visitors isn’t just merely creating a visually appealing website, but you also need to study the consumer behavior.  Let us begin discussing some important findings below.

  • Set parameters.

    • Dr. Robert Cialdini, a best-selling author and an esteemed professor at the Arizona State University, studied the product descriptions of the American Cancer Society website. He used two similar sentences in asking for monetary donations.
      • The first sentence: “Would you be willing to help by giving a donation?”
      • The second sentence: “Would you be willing to help by giving a donation? Every penny will help.”
    • There’s not much difference. Only four words were added to the second sentence. However, the sentence “Every penny will help.”  made a drastic change to the site’s activity.
    • It was clear that people gave generous donations when the second sentence was used. Only 28% were convinced to donate on the first sentence. There was huge leap from 28% to 50%!
    • What can we take from this study? People will lend a hand if parameters are set. The sentence “Every penny will help.” was the parameter, and it was able to emphasize that no money is too small. You can donate .50 cents, $1, $20, or any amount would do.
    • Start small because people will most likely voluntarily take action because it’s easy to do. They will be willing to take action because a parameter was set. It was apparent that any monetary donation is acceptable even if it’s only a dollar or so.

Related: Psychological Tricks to Apply on Your Website

Four People Holding Green Check Signs Standing on the Field Photography

  • Labels are essential.

    • No, I am not talking about brand labels here. What I mean is that you should be labeling your customers.
    • According to research, people like labels. Generally, if they are part of the group, they will be honored to be part included in a list.
    • There was this study that questioned 133 voters. The researchers said that they were included on the study because they were perceived as “politically active.” The truth is that no of it was true. The participants were just randomly selected, and they were made to believe that they were part of the “politically active” group.
    • The labeled group had a higher voter turnout. There was 15% difference over the unlabeled group of voters. We, humans, are more welcoming and approachable when we know we belong to a group. Being the outcast is never a happy feeling.
    • Thus, when you have a loyalty program, group your customers. Being a premium card holder is a prestigious distinction. “VIP” customers will, most likely, shop more because they know that they are highly regarded than “ordinary” customers.
    • At the end of the day, whatever the status, they are all your customers. From a business perspective, there’s no difference. However, from the consumers’ point of view, they feel elated to be part of the “first-class” customers.

Psychology and Web Design (Part 1)

Web design is more than just the art of bringing designs to life. In order to create an effective website, you also need to apply psychology. Web design and psychology go hand in hand in converting mere web visitors to actual customers. You need to figure out how consumers behave and how they make their decision.

Woman Putting Red Apple on Green Shopping Basket

The 3 Kinds of Buyers

If you read Tightwads and Spendthrifts by Scott I. Rick and Cynthia E. Cryder, they have classified consumers into 3 main categories: the average spenders, the tightwads, and the spendthrifts.

  • The average spenders are those in the middle. However, the tightwads are those people who spend less than the average. Meanwhile, the spendthrifts are the quite opposite, and they would spend more than the average. They follow the principle, “Shop ’til you drop!”
  • The tightwads and the spendthrifts are polar opposites. Whatever business you may have, you will surely encounter consumers that are both tightwads and the spendthrifts.

Related: Psychological Tricks to Apply on Your Website

Which is more challenging to convert?

The short answer: The tightwads!

The long answer: Almost 1/4 of web visitors of your web visitors are tightwads. So, you should formulate ways to convince these penny punchers to buy from your website. These people are naturally doubtful and suspicious so you should accommodate their concerns and alleviate their worries.

According to the neuroscientists who have studied the different spending patterns of consumers, you can successfully convert the tightwads (and other web visitors) by integrating these 3 easy to do strategies to your web design.

  • Change the perspective.
    • Of course, if you stumble upon a product that has a staggering price of $1,200 per year, you would certainly have second thoughts on buying it! After all, spending $1,200 each year is no joke! That is a humongous amount even for the average spenders.
    • However, if you reframe the product price to just $100 a month, it seems affordable now. People would consider the product now because spending $100 each month gives an impression that it is inexpensive.
    • The truth is: when you multiply $100 by 12, it is still $1,200 a year. A monthly fee of $100 seems reasonable compared to $1200. So, if you are selling something that is a yearly subscription, I suggest breaking down the fees into smaller amounts.
  • Bundle items together.
    • George Loewenstein, a renowned neuroeconomics, shared that consumers generally choose to buy products in one go. Extremely frugal customers, like the tightwads, are not fond of buying multiple items separately.
    • Customers prefer to pay for fees all at once, but they are apprehensive in upgrading each product individually. It’s a pain dealing with each item, whereas when you a bundle, you just have to deal with a one-time fee.
  • Word choices matter.
    • Adding a single word can drastically change your conversion rates. According to a study by Carnegie Mellon University, changing product descriptions greatly improved the response of many web visitors.
    • The researchers offered a trial program. At first, it was indicated that “a $5 fee” was needed to enroll. When they changed the description to “a small $5 fee,” they were surprised that the page clicks and user engagements were up by 20%.
    • So, think carefully of what words to use (and not use.) A slight change can crucial to your business.

Related: Tips in Writing Product Descriptions