10 Steps to Optimizing Your Website According to Google’s New Standards

If your business operates primarily online—like any eCommerce website—visibility is a priority. And the page experience update will affect that visibility. Plus, the user experience (UX) factors it includes, like the time it takes for your page to load and how smooth it is to navigate, play a crucial role in the customer journey. If the buying experience is seamless, people are more likely to complete their purchase, and even come back for more. This is Google’s primary focus with the last big update in May 2021. Our Calgary Web Design team has broken down and summarized in laymen terms, some of the main changes and how this affects our web designs going forward.

Prioritizing above the fold content (Largest Contentful Paint (LCP))

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) is a measurement of the time taken for the main element of a page to fully load. LCP is one of the metrics used to evaluate perceived website responsiveness and is an important component in determining first meaningful paint, which takes into account the time taken to download all of the critical resources required to render above the fold content. Ideally, this should load under 2.5 seconds.

Image optimization into webp

The newest update to Google’s Page Experience Update, has a big focus on speed and UX. One big change is the image optimization into webp images. This is an important aspect of website optimization in general because page speed plays a major role in SEO rankings. Google’s latest announcement is all about making pages faster by reducing the length of time it takes for a page to load and how easy it is for users to navigate through your site. This includes things like removing ads that are not relevant for each user’s device and creating a smoother transition from one page to another.

Prioritizing speed when choosing a web host

One of the biggest changes with this update is prioritizing speed. Webmasters should always prioritize speed when choosing a web host, but now it’s more important than ever. Sites that load quickly are ranked higher by Google and will have an increased chance of winning over their prospective customers.

Reducing animations, transitions and video

Great transitions and animations can serve many purposes. When used appropriately, they can help users understand what’s changing and why, improve the look and feel of your design, and make navigation more intuitive. But when in doubt, speed comes first and may override the desire for creating trendy, modern looks. Our apprach to animations and video is to only use them if they serve an evident purpose, otherwise images will always load faster. Even when using video, we recommend hosting offsite to reduce storage use.

Implementing lazy loading

Lazy loading is a new way to improve the UX on your site. Instead of loading all the content, like images and videos, at once, it loads them as you scroll down. This means that people don’t have to wait for content to load when they’re scrolling through your website if there are a lot of images and text. Lazy loading decreases page load time by up to 50%, so it’s important for SEO.

Reduce any unexpected page movements (Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS))

Google considers any unexpected scrolling or movement through your site as a change in layout. This can result in pages not loading, which can be frustrating for the user and make it harder to understand where they are on your site. In order to reduce CLS, keep the top of your page free of links, buttons and other elements that may cause unexpected changes in page layouts. Be sure to have an easily accessible navigation bar that you know will not introduce any of these problems.

Near perfect mobile and tablet responsiveness

A key update to the page experience is that pages need to be more responsive on mobile devices, and Google will rank higher pages with great UX. Google anticipates traffic coming from mobile devices, so it’s important that your website is a seamless user experience when viewed on any screen. To achieve this, Google recommends designing websites with a responsive web design. To get a sense of what this looks like, imagine if you had an app for your website—all content should flow easily and take up the entire screen. Web layouts that are not responsive will be penalized by Google.

6 Steps to turning your website design into your 24/7 salesperson

Your landing page is the face of your business. It represents the first impression that your customers will have of your brand and it’s the only way to get them through the front door. If you’re like most businesses, your landing pages are a critical part of your marketing strategy. They’re designed to do one thing: drive people towards a conversion. While it’s important for your landing page to be eye-catching and informative, it’s just as important that it answers any questions and responds to specific queries.

1. Strong Call-to-Action

Your landing page needs to have one thing: a strong call-to-action. Your potential customers need to understand what the next step they need to take is without confusion or ambiguity. If they aren’t immediately presented with an option to purchase, sign up, register or learn more, then you aren’t doing your job correctly.

2. Clean Design

Your landing page needs to be clean and uncluttered. You want it to be easily accessible for computers, tablets and smartphones. Visitors shouldn’t have to scroll left or right at all times in order to see everything on the page (in fact, I’d suggest that you limit scrolling as much as possible). Keep everything important above the fold when possible. Customers are more likely to buy from you when they aren’t distracted by flashy images or too many colors. The more work they have to do just to figure out what it is you want them to do, the less likely they are going to do it.

3. Clarify the Message

Make sure there is no doubt about what you are selling: don’t confuse them with multiple offers or choices. Keep it simple, straight forward, and focused on what you do best. When you try to be everything for everyone, you end up speaking to no one. The more confident people feel about your offer, the more likely they will be to take action. That means having compelling copy that communicates exactly what you do, why you’re better than your competitors, and why people should buy from you today. The copy must have a clear headline that describes what you’re offering and why it’s so great. 

4. Identify Your Value, Not Your Deal

Another thing to remember is that you don’t want to be too salesy when designing your landing page. Don’t use words like “offer” and “special,” because that can turn people away. Instead, focus on benefits instead of features, because this is what people are looking for. Identify how you’ll solve their problems and address their particular needs instead of flashing a sale sign.

5. Create Sustainable and Scalable Customer Journey Entry Points

Trying to create sustainable and scalable customer journey entry points for your audience is crucial to maintain consistent new visitors and grow your business. Depending on your industry and online behavior of your specific demographics, either SEO or social media might be the best lead generation tool. As soon as you find a process that works, putting rocket fuel on it through time or money invested must be possible to scale the business.

6. Search Engine Optimization

The search engine optimization (SEO) process involves optimizing a website so that it ranks higher in organic search results for relevant keywords and phrases. This is done through the various elements of a website including its content, links, online reviews, social media activity and more. Optimizing for search engines can be very complicated and time-consuming. It is also one of the best ways to attract new customers to your website. Google is constantly changing their algorithms, with 2021 updates prioritizing for internal page experience and speed.

Conclusion 

If your goal is to generate more leads and traffic for your business, then you need to start thinking from the customer’s point of view. You need to understand who they are and what they are looking for. Our Calgary web design company, JYZ Design, specializes in content messaging, professional design as well as conversion optimization when we develop websites.

Top 10 Features to Create a Successful Mobile First Website Design

As a business owner, you know how important it is to have a website. And with most prospective customers starting their search online, it’s important that your website is quality and reflects the brand of your company. In order to ensure that you choose the right design company for your business, there are ten things you should consider when selecting a website design company. These considerations include having a clear vision of what you want for your website, understanding your budget and project scope, looking at previous work from the web design company, considering what type of site you want (mobile-friendly or not), checking references from past clients, and more. Using this handy guide will make the process of finding a web designer much easier!

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Top 10 Things to Look for When Selecting Your Website Design Company in Canada

As a business owner, you know how important it is to have a website. And with most prospective customers starting their search online, it’s important that your website is quality and reflects the brand of your company. In order to ensure that you choose the right design company for your business, there are ten things you should consider when selecting a website design company. These considerations include having a clear vision of what you want for your website, understanding your budget and project scope, looking at previous work from the web design company, considering what type of site you want (mobile-friendly or not), checking references from past clients, and more. Using this handy guide will make the process of finding a web designer much easier!

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The Top 18 Things You Need to Check Before Launching a Website

Branding is a visual and written company’s identity. The particular words we associate with colours, logos and a companies’ key mission all play a part in creating a brand. These features stabilize advertising and marketing to powerfully impart the “face” of your business. How you brand will be how customers view you and the loyalty they attach to what you offer.

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JYZ Design Launches Kananaskis Nordic Spa Website

After the long winter and brutal spring we’ve all had to endure, Kananaskis Nordic Spa is reopening and our Calgary web design company was excited to launch their new website. The success of KNS has made it crucial to present information clients were looking for easily, as well as integrate operations technologies to streamline the customer experience. We made information really easy to find, streamlined the booking system and represented the brand with a more warm and welcoming design. Here are some main concerns that we addressed. 

Improving Content Organization

A challenge that we had was dealing with the high demand of customers and finding strategic ways to help avoid future long wait times that often left angry messages or bad reviews. The new consumer facing digital presence has drastically changed the staff experience of answering repeat questions, time consuming booking methods like phone or email and created a new brand more representative of the company culture. The new access section we created addressed many common issues. It gave customers the answers to the questions they had, addressed ways to avoid crowds and made pricing simple. 

Modernizing Look and Feel

The nordic spa’s core values include being inclusive, welcoming and social. Our design choices of imagery and color present this feeling, while balancing traditionally nordic elements with modern web trends. The subtle image movements, hover effects and load animations come together to make the website unique and innovative.

We are very proud and excited to see the successful launch, easy ongoing maintenance working with the team and growing consumer traffic of the website. Check out the New Nordic Spa Website, they are launching a few different specials for locals!

JYZ Unveils New Explore Kananaskis Tourism Brand & Website

An Explore Kananaskis tourism website has launched that details all the wonder of this natural, mountain paradise. Developed by Calgary web design company JYZ Design, this web portal was designed with the majesty of the area in mind, to give the viewer an intimate feel of what to expect when they visit. For those more local, it serves as a reminder for the endless natural wonders right at their doorstep.

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COVID-19 Business Trends and 4 Different Ways to Take Your Business Online (Infographic)

Adapt to COVID-19, Not Just React

It is clear now that the economic landscape has probably changed and shifted forever because of the COVID-19 pandemic and correlated business shutdowns. Many businesses have chosen the resiliency to adapt quickly, and we want to support with as much guidance as possible on all the ways we can make it through this difficult time, even thrive with some new opportunities. 

Here are some immediate steps: 

1. Craft appropriate messaging 

Make sure you are clear on how your business is operating and if you are open, during the crisis. Customers want to hear an acknowledgement of the crisis and an awareness of health policies so they are protected. Are you offering curbside delivery? Are you lowering delivery costs? Are your staff instructed to maintain physical distance? Be clear, and get the message across all your channels. 

2. Demonstrate how your business can help

Customers will remember how your business chooses to act or not act, to the extent it can, during the crisis. As a community, we will celebrate those that shut down appropriately, those who retooled operations to support the crisis and those in support of front line workers.  

3. Plan for long term shutdown 

No one has an exact answer how long shut downs will last, and for which industries. Consider worst case scenarios of a year or longer. If your products and services are still needed by customers, plan for a future where it can be offered. Likely these operations will involve some kind of digitalization, so see what tools are options are available for your business.

Current Consumer Trends to Consider

No doubt, consumer behavior predictions are out the door. During these unprecedented times, what people are buying and how they’re conserving limited funds is completely novel. Here are some trends to consider. 

Source: Visual Capitalist

1. Stay at home activities 

From dumbbells to paint sets, people are investing in products that enhance their stay at home living situations. New hobby trends are evolving to reflect what can be done from home. Small businesses like art studios are finding innovative ways of offering DIY kits to provide activities for people to do at home.

2. Cooking accessories 

With time on their hands, many people are turning to DIY cooking. Bread makers are now sold out across Amazon. Appliances, accessories and kits that help these activities have seen a surge of demand.

3. Self development 

As schools and higher education institutions close for the school year, self improvement inclined individuals continue to look for avenues to stay productive. Most bigger software companies offering a marketplace of courses are expensive, meaning there is opportunity in smaller, niche courses especially if the teacher already has an online audience. 

4. Online shopping

Existing online shops and delivery apps have seen surges in usage. Business experts are speculating that this might have been the push a lot of late adopters needed to finally embrace technology as a means for purchasing products, meaning that a wider audience will either have had experience with online shopping or are a frequent online shopper. 

5. Local delivery apps

Instacart saw an 150% increase in recent weeks. Food and other local delivery apps have been relied on now more than ever. Their convenience clear, they set the bar for fast, efficient, contactless delivery for consumers. 

4 Ways to Take Your Business Online

1. Ecommerce websites

DIY Skill Level: 7/10
Cost: $$$

Offer your merchandise, menu items or food products as ecommerce products. Try to offer free shipping options and offer discounts once in a while, a lot of customers visit websites like Raise every day in order to find the best coupon codes. Take payments online with a payment processor like Stripe. Make sure you answer as many questions upfront as possible like size, contents, ingredients and any other questions from customers you usually get. In order to do this you need to consider looking for a good internet provider that will boost your business to the next level. Eatel business announced that with an extensive high-speed fiber network your business will do more in less time,

DIY: Use Shopify or Squarespace to create an online shop. Keep it simple, include good quality photos, pricing and descriptions.

Ecommerce Website Design: $3200-$6800 (depending on number of products)

Tips for Specific Industries: 

  • Restaurants & Food
    • Offer curbside pickup and fast delivery options
    • Try to keep costs of delivery low
    • Consider frozen or reheat-able meal options
    • Get photos with good lighting
    • Clarify ingredients and menu item contents
    • Avoid high delivery app fees 
  • Retail 
    • Offer curbside pickup and fast delivery options
    • Offer free delivery with minimum purchase requirements
    • Offer financing options for more expensive productions with financial partners
    • Make sure photos are high quality, show multiple angels if relevant

2. Booking/Order Form Websites

DIY Skill Level: 4/10
Cost: $

Have a simple order form on your website with custom fields for customers to choose from. Offer pickup or delivery options. Try to take payments online if possible to streamline the process. If you’re creating something from scratch, keep it a simple landing page to link people to.   

DIY: Use WIX or Squarespace to create a simple landing form with a menu and photos. Have the form at the bottom of the page.

Landing Page Cost: $2200-$4000 (depending on number of pages)

Tips for Specific Industries:

  • Caterers
    • Great for bulk order dinner options 
    • Allow input of specific options (type of meat, etc)
  • Retail
    • Fast, flexible alternative to shop
    • Great for custom products, add fields for customization aspects
  • Services
    • Book free online consultations 
    • Use forms to collect deposits

3. Video Conference Sales

DIY Skill Level: 4/10
Cost: $

Most classes such as tutoring, workouts, coaching, etc. can be offered online through video conferencing. Create custom links through Zoom, Go-To Meeting, Google Hangouts and make them available on payments through a website. Many existing instructors already have existing customers that  know and love them. Simply offer an easy way to pay online and a virtual delivery. To optimize profits, offer an ongoing subscription for continuous clientele.  

DIY: Use Shopify or Squarespace to make a landing page where you use Stripe or Authorize.net to accept one-time and ongoing payments.

Payment Website: $2800-$4000 

Tips for Specific Industries: 

  • Education
    • Emphasize value adds for students no longer in school
    • Enforce turning on video for a in-classroom like experience
    • Create community through engagement encouragement
  • Fitness Instruction
    • Offer no equipment and apartment friendly exercise options 
    • Create scheduled live class for optimal participation
    • Charge a similar amount to in class exercises 

4. Digital Downloads/Membership Portal

DIY Skill Level: 9/10
Cost: $$$

Have videos, ebooks and worksheets that could be available for download? Create an online portal where students can login and access it after making a one time or ongoing subscription payment. You can create different tiers of memberships, support chats and even discussion boards for your special niche. 

DIY: WordPress membership plugins are available but require some knowledge to implement and customize.

Calgary Website Development: $6000+

Tips for Specific Industries: 

  • Professional training
    • Offer certification in area of expertise
    • Create timed digital assessments
  • Community forum
    • Allow social profiles and forum discussion to share resources
    • Build free platform, then offer premium memberships
  • Tutoring
    • Premium worksheets, materials 
    • Cater to parents looking to fill up free student time