Many factors determine the success of a business but a booming enterprise usually boasts of a highly productive team. An organization can likewise attribute their achievements to having a strong and positive relationship with their clients. In this ideal scenario, the team stays passionate about the work they do and your target clients stay interested in your products. The challenge for any firm is, therefore, to attain and maintain a high level of motivation and engagement both for its staff and customers.
This is a herculean task since a Gallup survey indicates that majority (50.8%) of U.S. employees do not consider themselves engaged in their work. So how can a firm ensure their people stay driven to perform their best? How can a business discourage a client from switching to competitors? Gamification is a new creative scheme that a firm’s management can apply!
What is gamification?
The term “gamification”, which was coined by a computer programmer and writer from Britain named Nick Pelling, means applying game mechanics and principles in areas where play is not typically used. According to a 2002 description provided by Pelling, gamification is applying a game-like user interface design to devices such as mobile phones and ATMs. The game element in the said devices makes processes easier and more interesting for the users. Today, gamification can be seen every wherefrom the workplace, product marketing and in school settings.
How can gamification be an effective business tool?
Work and play are commonly seen as contradicting concepts. Work is seen as hard and boring while play is interesting and fun. This explains how someone can bear to spend hours playing an online game but will lose energy after an hour of studying or working on a task. You have probably heard people lament that if only everyone can devote the same intensity and concentration while playing their favorite games on their work, then all projects will have amazing results.
Thankfully, gamification makes it possible to merge work and play on any platform you choose. Firms and organizations alike have discovered the great wonders that gamification can do in increasing user engagement and generating profits. A press release by Markets and Markets even predicts that gamification will be an $11 billion industry by 2020. Some of the benefits of gamification are the following:
Gamification can liven up a workplace.
In an organization, an online portal where employees can create profiles and post updates can hasten communication and information sharing within a network. The interface can also include a reward system that can encourage competition and boost productivity.
Gamification can educate.
If you want to enhance the skills and knowledge of team members then continuous education is a must. It is a good thing that game elements of scores, rewards and recognition can also be applied in e-learning courses. While the word studying can sound tiring and difficult, digital training materials can become enjoyable with gamification.
Gamification can increase profits.
Adding games is a reliable tactic for firms that want to increase sales and revenues. A study by Gartner, a research consulting company, proves that companies who implement gamification results in an estimated 250% revenue increase as compared to competitors who do not use gamification.
Gamification can attract and retain clients.
Gamification is a great way to connect to clients and keep them hooked. A company can gamify a software to introduce and market a new or existing product or service. Some of the giant companies who use gamification in their strategies include Samsung (that has a loyalty and rewards program for those who purchase their products) and Domino’s Pizza (with pizza maker training course with elements of simulations and rewards).
Basic Gamification Reminders
Gamification promises many benefits but only if done the right way. Do not waste your attempts at gamifying your systems by avoiding the following mistakes.
Make it challenging enough.
Games can be anything under the sun: a quiz, board game or a puzzle. It can also be a simulation game with virtual reality elements. Whatever the game format, it should provide enough challenge to pique interest. If the game is too easy, players will be bored whereas other players will leave if it is too hard.
Games should lead to learning.
If you added game elements to your workplace in order to combat boredom, make sure you do not forget that your main purpose is to enhance work performance. To maintain your goal, make sure that game mechanics lead to lessons that will lead to the growth of the firm.
Gamification offers a myriad of possibilities to help your business grow. Birch River Design Group can be your guide if your firm wishes to customize a user-interface design that incorporates interactive and game-like elements. If you are ready to try this hot trend and implement gamification in your marketing strategies, get in touch with our staff today!
At a glance, search engine optimization (SEO) appears to be difficult and complicated. To achieve a high Google ranking, implementing SEO strategies such as keyword research, content marketing and link building is necessary. Nevertheless, the search engine algorithm posts updates and changes at such a lightning speed that your SEO efforts can become obsolete and useless right before your eyes. Maintaining a high search engine visibility regardless of ever-changing SEO rules can be frustrating.
Yet, a closer look reveals that some SEO elements remain important factors on a website’s ranking despite various updates on Google’s search engine algorithms. SEO experts say that prioritizing these factors in web development will continue to positively impact a site’s success no matter how many updates happen. Therefore, a web developer who wants to shield a website from a sudden drop in traffic and ranking from any future updates should apply these core elements for an effective SEO strategy. Below are some of the factors that should always be part of your SEO efforts.
Create useful content.
Useful content is something that never goes out of style — even in the online world. If you put prime importance on making your business website a source of high-quality content, you never have to be scared of any of the changes that the search engines will roll out. Make an effort to regularly produce content that people cannot find elsewhere or provide an answer to a question that people are searching for. You may need the help of SEO tools such as Google Trends or Google Search Console to determine popular topics. People are bound to share your content and will likely go back to your site if your content is unique andinformationn. Increasing traffic and link building will be much easier, too.
Build good backlinks.
Link juice is one of the factors that search engines use to assess the quality of your website. The more quality links that are pointing to your site, the more link juice you have and you have a greater chance to get a higher search engine ranking (depending on your target keywords). It is important to remember that link building should be done with caution because you cannot just link to as many sites as you want. According to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, a site is likely to be penalized for link building practices that are obviously done to manipulate a search engine’s ranking. Links that will complement your SEO efforts should come from authentic and relevant sites. To improve your website ranking, you should also ensure that any internal and external links on your site do not lead to broken or error pages.
Provide title tags & meta descriptions.
Title tags and meta descriptions that accurately describe what your website or content is about will help search engines in ranking your sites. Your target keywords should be present in your tags and descriptions to increase your chances of ranking for a particular term. In a search engine’s page result, users will likely click the website that perfectly describes the information they are searching for, thus improving your site’s click-through rate. To take advantage of the benefits that your website can get from title tags and meta descriptions, remember to abide by the rules set by Google.
Optimize with the user in mind.
Search engines exist to help the users discover relevant content fast. This means that your SEO strategies should primarily be directed with the user and not the search engines in mind. To enhance usability, examine your website and determine the areas that you can fix. Page speed, interesting content and homepage layout are some of the important elements to take note of. If your website is slow, has boring content and the homepage does not readily explain what the site is about, a user is likely to leave your site quickly.
According to an article from Neil Patel, search engine algorithm announces frequent updates to keep up with the changing needs of people. This factor implies that is necessary to watch out for the latest SEO trends to further make your website user-friendly. For example, the forecast for SEO trends for 2019 now puts more importance to voice search and mobile-based search. Therefore, to maintain good standing on Google’s search result, remember to include an efficient mobile friendly version and add a voice search feature on your website.
The core SEO elements listed above have been deemed valuable since the earliest days of search engine history. Yet, their importance never diminished and they will continue to be important determining factors in Google’s search engine rankings. With so many websites being created every day, the competition in the land of search engines is getting tougher. To keep up with the competition, seeking the services of SEO experts will greatly help. Our team in Birch River Design Group offers SEO packages that can greatly boost your visibility on the web! Contact us today to learn more about our professional SEO services!
Ideally, a business builds their website with a list of goals in mind. Firms or establishments would usually target brand promotion and customer acquisition. It will, however, be hard to maximize the advantages of a business website if your online portal looks bland and outdated. It is important to ensure that the website looks smart and modern to enhance customer experience.
To create a positive impact and outshine your competitors, paying attention to the latest trends in website design and development will greatly help.
Go for the clean and minimal look.
Too many colors and content are bound to distract and confuse your audience, and web designers are now seeing an increasing preference for sites with minimalist themes. So in a custom website, you want to display just the basic essentials and remove all unnecessary features. Basic essentials means the website’s goals are clearly displayed on the homepage and the structure allows a user to easily navigate a site. Of course, you want to remove unnecessary features such as irrelevant images and content.
Aside from the aesthetic appeal of a simple and sleek look, a minimal design will also result in easy website navigation and faster page loading.
Pick vibrant color schemes.
Light color schemes are still a great choice because of the bright and clean vibe it evokes. A mostly white background will also draw attention to the products or features that you want to emphasize in the website. Nevertheless, unconventional color schemes are the trend nowadays. So web designers are encouraged to freely experiment with more vibrant and striking color palettes. You can choose the color schemes that best define the vision and image of your brand.
Opt for unique typography and crisp images.
Your choice of font size and style is important because it can make navigating your site and reading your content a lot easier. Typography can also be used to make a statement about your brand or convey the mood of your website. Large and bold fonts are on trend because they are eye-catching. Web developers are also noticing the comeback of the serif font. Meanwhile, some firms may want to use unique font styles as a part of their marketing efforts.
Moreover, people are drawn to beautiful visuals, so your website should provide adequate photography. To use the website to increase sales, it is best to add crisp and clear pictures that allow a user to connect with a product online.
Design with the user in mind.
You want a business website that will improve your relationship with your clients. While it is important to create a search-engine friendly custom website, make sure you do not forget to prioritize the needs of your users. To do this, you can install applications that help with functionality that will ultimately enhance the user experience.
Add slides, illustrations, and videos.
Interesting content will capture attention and help you stand out among your competitors. Illustrations that relate to your brand or slides that contain useful data will give you an edge over others and will encourage your website visitors to visit you again. You can also add a background video about your product lines, company history or recent events.
The appearance and functionalities of your website reflect your commitment to provide quality services. Our team at Birch River Design Group will be happy to create a custom website that will prove to be an asset to your business. Send us an email or give us a call so we can discuss your web design and development needs.
Even the best marketing strategies will fail to achieve results in an organization with a chaotic and inefficient system. Thankfully, technology has made business management a lot easier with the introduction of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems.
An ERP software promises to increase productivity, enhance services and automate processes. It can also be used to strengthen security measures and improve internal communication. Nevertheless, a firm can enjoy all of these potential benefits only by purchasing the right business software that will meet the specific needs of an organization. To end up with the perfect ERP tool for your business, it is advisable to be meticulous and carefully consider the following important factors.
Will the strategic goals coincide with the services of the ERP tool?
An ERP software is supposed to dramatically improve business operations, so the benefits that this technology can offer should be one of your primary concerns. Thoroughly study the specifications of the ERP tool to see if it matches the objectives and goals of your firm.
One way to do this is by taking into account the current issues and problems of your business. The top-level management can seek recommendations or suggestions from the employees/ departments that will actually use the ERP system. This practice helps ensure that the ERP software of your choice will provide solutions and streamline functions in your organization.
How does it compare with other ERP vendors in the market?
With so many ERP packages in the market today, signing up on the first software supplier you come across is not a very wise move. You want to purchase the best, so feel free to canvass several ERP vendors. Go ahead and weigh the pros and cons of each software option on your list to make a smart decision. Take your time to compare prices, services and specifications.
How will the ERP implementation affect operations and the organization?
An effective ERP tool should aid operations, not disrupt or slow it down. The business software supplier should therefore assure a smooth and fast integration with the organization’s business model. To avoid being a burden on a company’s time and resources, the ERP vendor should have a detailed implementation plan with a specific time-frame for completion.
What are the training and support services available?
Another important factor is the type and length of training that the ERP vendor will provide the organization. To ease the adjustment period to the new system, the ERP package should offer thorough training and support. Technical glitches may happen even after the implementation is complete, so choose a vendor that offers long-term support. Aside from errors, it is also possible for the ERP system to malfunction, so contingency measures for cases like this should be in place.
Is the ERP software supplier reputable and credible?
A background check about the company history of the ERP vendor will give clues to the quality of services they can provide. You can also check out feedback from companies they have worked with in the past. To know that an ERP supplier has been around for years and has many positive reviews will give you confidence that you are dealing with a reputable and trusted supplier.
Is the ERP software worth the investment?
An ERP package may appear costly, but it will be worth the investment if it can successfully automate and hasten a business system. Assess the services that come with the purchase to maximize the benefits of buying and implementing an ERP software solution.
Do they offer a free trial period? Can they customize the tool according to your requirements? Do they offer flexible payment terms? These are just some of the questions to ask if you want to ensure the ERP software will save the business money in the long run.
The many advantages of implementing an ERP software to an organization makes it one of the most important purchases that a firm will make. At Birch River Design Group, we offer ERP implementation packages that will prove to be an asset to your organization. Get in touch with us today to get started!
A high search engine ranking can do wonders to the digital marketing efforts of a firm as it is a surefire way to increase web traffic and, therefore, revenue opportunities. This explains why the first page in Google’s search result is a much-coveted spot for all web developers and marketers.
However, people who are new to search engine marketing are likely to be advised that search engine optimization (SEO) is not an area where you can expect immediate results. With this in mind, planning SEO strategies and patiently waiting for positive results which can take several months may sound frustrating. Still, carefully implementing SEO tactics may surprisingly get you ranking in your chosen keywords in no time at all.
Make SEO a Big Part of Web Design & Development
The technical aspects of SEO (or on-page SEO) may seem like a broad topic to tackle but basically, you just want to make it easy for search engines to find and crawl your web pages. To ensure that the overall website design and architecture fit the requirements of an SEO-friendly website, you want to avoid broken links, crawl errors, and slow-loading web pages. Relevant keywords in your URL structure, meta descriptions, and title tags will also improve your website ranking.
Another way to improve website quality is by using (or switching to) the secure version of HTTP which is the HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS). To allow users to access your site anywhere and anytime, your pages should also have a mobile version. Using free tools such as PageSpeed Insights, Google Webmaster, and Google Analytics can greatly help in your SEO campaigns.
Take Time to do Keyword Research
If you want to gain clients, presence and availability greatly matter. The way to ensure this in the online realm is through keyword research. Without knowing the right keywords to use in your chosen niche, achieving your SEO goals will be very difficult.
There are many free SEO tools to utilize if you want to improve your Google ranking through keyword research. Nevertheless, purchasing a keyword research tool to discover the best keywords to use will surely be worth the investment. A list of keywords with high search volume is like a gold mine that you can use all throughout web development because it gives ideas of what keywords to input in choosing a domain name, providing meta descriptions, and in crafting web content. Basic guidelines in best SEO practices though says that balance and relevance should be in mind to make the most out of your keyword research. Putting in too many keywords (keyword stuffing) may result in a lower SEO score.
Get Insights From Your Competitors
Competitive analysis is the next logical step once you know the perfect keywords to target. When you check out the business websites that are currently enjoying the spot you are aiming, you get clues on what to follow and avoid regarding your SEO strategies. The insights you will get in studying the approach of your competitors will prove to be valuable in laying out your SEO strategies.
Get Noticed in Local Listings
You are missing big opportunity if your firm is not yet in local listing pages such as Google My Business, LinkedIn Company Directory, and Yelp. You are online because you want to be seen and discovered, you better take advantage of these local directories so prospective clients can easily contact you. It is free advertisement and can improve your SEO score because you earn links in reputable authority sites.
Maintain a Blog with Useful Content
The challenge in SEO does not stop even after landing in the first page of the search engine results. You have to maintain your high web ranking to prevent numerous websites from stealing your spot. One way to keep your site content fresh and relevant is by creating a blog. Regular posting of useful content with the right keywords will help you gain subscribers and will further boost SEO ranking.
Link to Experts & Authority Sites
Search engines determine a page’s quality by the number and quality of links that are pointing to a website. You can request link exchange from experts in your field by manually reaching out to them. Sharing links in social media sites can also be part of your link building strategies.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is essential in web development because no one builds a website only to have it hidden under thousands or even millions of web pages out there. To enjoy the many benefits that come from having high-ranking websites, firms are naturally on the lookout for the best SEO companies out there.
Birch River Design Group can implement the best on-page SEO strategies so you don’t miss a valuable click. Give us a call today to learn how we can help drive more traffic to your business website!
Firms today are well aware of the importance of having a strong online presence. However, not all websites deliver the intended results. The ever-growing and changing digital landscape is likewise increasing the competition. In fact, the Small Business Digital Marketing
Survey for 2017 report from Clutch, a research agency, reveals that 91% of small business owners plan to improve their websites in 2018.
So how can you create a sleek and impressive homepage web design that represents your business? What are the factors to ensure that a web page is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)- friendly? Sound and up-to-date web design and development strategies must be in place to enjoy the numerous benefits of an official-looking online page and to stand out among countless websites out there.
Prioritize Speed and Ease of Use
You are bound to lose sales if your web pages are slow to load and laden with broken links and other technical errors. Page speed and usability are therefore some of the top concerns for a great website. So take time to craft a web page that allows a potential client to find needed information, place orders smoothly, and in less time. Aside from making it easy to navigate your website, fast loading times and good usability are also factors that can help your E-commerce website enjoy a higher search engine ranking.
Make Sure it’s Mobile-Friendly
Nowadays, almost everything can be done with the use of a smartphone so a mobile-ready version of your site is surely a must. More people will get to know your products and services if the website can be easily accessed through mobile devices.
Google even confirmed back in 2015 that searches made in mobile platforms exceed the searches done using desktop computers. If your web page is not designed to adapt to various mobile operating systems, you are wasting a chance to reach out to more consumers.
Produce Quality Content with the Right Keywords
In spite of all advancements happening in the online realm, the term ‘content is king,” still holds true. The need for high-quality content will never go out of style so an effort to make relevant information part of your website services will be worth it.
Nevertheless, even the best content will be worthless if no one can see it so it is a must to follow best SEO practices in content development. For one, doing keyword research to identify high-volume keywords will go a long a way to ease the indexability of content.
Keep Up with the Trends to Outshine Competitors
Just like your actual business, your website should also learn to adjust and adapt to the changing times. So even if your website already looks perfect, it is still advisable to aim for continuous improvement. Study the latest updates from web designers and developers to know what new plug-ins and software to use to be a step ahead of competitors. Some of the latest trends today include installing chatbots, adding audios, and using videos.
Effective web design and search engine optimization (SEO) tactics are important elements if the goal is to successfully build a functional and interactive website that will drive sales and enhance services. A business website also serves as the company’s digital home where they can welcome clients, entertain inquiries, and process transactions.
The said goals are within reach with the help of the Birch River Design Group. We are here to help you build an impressive business website from the planning stage, design process, promotion, and maintenance. Reach out to our staff today so we can take care of your web design and development services needs!
To maximize the benefits of an ECommerce site, it is essential to come up with a plausible marketing strategy that will successfully gain clients and keep them coming back. Consumers value a great purchase experience as confirmed by a survey report published by MarketingSherpa in 2017. Therefore, an ECommerce platform should allow the customers to experience speed and convenience in making an online purchase.
Implement SEO Strategies
It’s not good advice to start a brick and mortar business in a remote location because you want to be found and be of service to as many people as possible. The same logic applies to ECommerce sites. If you want more people to flock to your site and discover what you have to offer, implementing smart search engine optimization (SEO) techniques is the key. Some of the ways to boost organic traffic and search engine ranking is through content marketing and link building.
Invest in Paid Advertisements
Your ECommerce website needs exposure to thrive but getting attention is not so easy when many similar sites targeting the same types of clients. Advertising is essential in any marketing strategy so allocating a portion of your budget on paid ads will give you an edge against others. You can study the various ad networks online such as Facebook Ads and Google Ads to know what platforms will most effectively send visits that will lead to actual sales.
Focus on Web Design & Usability
Visual appeal and easy navigation are some of the basic elements in E-commerce website development. You want to make a good impression so the web design should appear sleek and professional. To convey a trendy and modern vibe, web developers can check out the latest trends in web design. A clear perception of your buyer’s persona can give clues in choosing the right typography and color elements to use.
In terms of functionality, an E-commerce website should have a landing page that showcases the best products and services that the business offer. The whole website should give clear messages and simple instructions so as not to confuse or frustrate the end user. Avoid long and complicated purchase and checkout process as it will surely turn off customers.
Validate Positive Content With Good Photos
Your ECommerce website may be filled with content that praise your products and services but without good photos, your write-up will not be convincing. Quality pictures that highlight the best features of your products have great potential to increase the conversion rates of visits.
A Background Video is a Great Addition
It is a must for an ECommerce site to have a well-written ‘About Us’ page or product descriptions. Nevertheless, everyone knows that it is easier to watch than to read so creating a short video about your business is likely to get the results you need.
Encourage Reviews and Feedback
It’s normal for a customer to repeatedly weigh all the pros and cons before making an actual purchase. For a customer to feel confident about the purchase and to establish trust, a feature that allows clients to post and read product reviews will greatly help.
Take Advantage of UpSelling and Cross-Selling Tactics
Upselling (offering a more expensive version) and cross-selling (offering related products) are strategies that you can use to introduce other services to the client. Sometimes it is difficult to decide on what products to purchase if there are so many to choose from. Implementing upselling and cross-selling tactics can be an effective way to boost revenues because you help clients focus on certain products that will really be of value to them.
Understand Consumer Behaviors With Analytics
A competent web marketer should be able to explain why an ECommerce site is performing well or doing badly. To do so, it is important to regularly monitor and analyze the metrics and data regarding your consumer’s behaviors. By doing this, you can maintain a website’s great conversion rate and apply immediate fixes to a site that is suffering from low visits.
Technology has made the digital world a massive marketplace, explaining the proliferation of online shopping sites. To enjoy the full advantage of having an ECommerce website, you need expert assistance from a team that genuinely wants to see your digital marketing efforts succeed. We are Birch River Design Group— contact us today.