A Guide To Creating The Perfect Office Environment

Have you ever worked in a horrible cubicle office space? The strip lights seem to suck your energy away, don’t they? This is an example of a poor office environment. It lowers productivity and dampens morale. On the other hand, there are some offices that pride themselves on productivity.

The Google offices, for example, are known all over the world for their wonderful work spaces. Some have climbing walls while others have breakfast facilities. This might be a step too far for your average startup, but there is something to be learned here. The office environment has a huge effect on your employee’s work ethic. Here are just a few things you can do to help.

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Natural light

Studies have proven that natural light has a powerful effect on productivity. Natural light has provides an organic energy that helps workers keep going. It gives the entire office a warm glow and a burst of energy. It’s a big difference to harsh strip lights or other forms of artificial lighting. These light sources have a negative effect on productivity and energy. Aim to open up your windows and skylights as much as possible. Doing this can even lower your business costs by reducing reliance on energy.

Air conditioning

Keeping the air clean and at a reasonable temperature is key to effective working. A stuffy office will quickly lead to low productivity and drain the energy from your workers. Try upgrading your air conditioning and duct systems throughout the office. Use a Norfab qf pipe to keep the office free of dust too. This will create a healthy, pleasant environment to work in. It’s all about getting the temperature and ambience just right to encourage the best work.

Let employees personalise their space

Google have a famous policy for new employees. They are each given $50 on arrival to personalise their desk. They can then go out and buy whatever they like to make their space their own. Doing this instantly makes employees feel at home. There are lots of benefits to making workers feel comfortable in their own space. They’ll work harder, faster, and more effectively. They’ll enjoy coming to work, and feel a little happier in their surroundings.

 

Make it fun and comfortable

As well as the working space, you should create comfortable break areas. It’s essential that your employees take regular breaks throughout the day. It helps keep their energy up, and keeps the business ticking over. Provide a fun and comfortable break area to aid this. For example, introduce a ping pong table or comfortable kitchen. It will also encourage your employees to collaborate and communicate better.

 

Open plan and closed rooms

A lot of modern offices instinctively opt for the open plan layout these days. It’s great for collaboration and spontaneous working. However, not everyone benefits from an open plan space. Make sure you offer some closed rooms for those who need to get on with quiet work. Having a balance creates space for both types of work.
That’s all for now, folks! Don’t forget to check out the other business blogs before you leave.

The Connection Between SEO And Social Media: Using Social Media To Boost Your Web Presence

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Believe it or not, but your social media presence has a direct impact on your search engine rankings. Whether you’re a small business, a blog or a giant corporation, the same is true. The world wide web is essentially a giant game, and it can be mastered. As long as you have an understanding of how all the pieces work, you’ll be sure to dominate.

How are SEO and social media connected?

For years and years, a company website was really the only way to find that company online. Twitter wasn’t even launched until 2006, and Facebook was two years earlier.

As such, these social media platforms are still… well, new, for lack of a better word. They’re very early on in their life cycles and have a long way to go.

In short, we use social media to follow those businesses and personalities we care about, but we rarely find them through social media. Have a quick Google of ‘Coca-Cola’ or ‘AMC’ and the first result will always be their site.

Their social media will be a bit further down the page, and that’s how we should think of the two. The website is the tree, and social media is the branches.

Those websites aren’t the top result by accident, either. They’ve been optimized to within an inch of their lives! In terms of SEO, there are a ton of basic tips that can go a long way. Jeff Millett at TheSEOWhiz.com has some great general SEO advice that can help you boost your web presence.

And, what’s more, a lot of these link right back into your social media pages. It’s important to think of your Twitter and Facebook as little side projects, and start prioritizing them. Use them in conjunction with effective website practices to get the best results.

There are several key ways that social media can give a boost to your SEO, and several key ways that it will define your SEO. Social media is changing our world, so don’t get left behind.

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Social media shares count as link building

When you post something to Instagram or Twitter, there’s a chance it will be shared. Link building is a way for companies to place links back to their website all over the web, creating a widespread presence.

When somebody shares a post you created, this is effectively another ‘link’ back to you and your page. Social media sites are arguably the most credible in existence as they rely on user satisfaction. So, a ton of shares will be looked upon favourably by search engines.

Gives a boost to relevant keywords

There are only so many places you can place keywords on your website, but social media gives you another place to do so. Most companies will have a short description of themselves in their bio, with relevant terms embedded in it. In addition, all the tweets and posts they write are another way to embed search terms, meaning your power is relatively unlimited.

So, hopefully, this article has cleared the subject up for you. If you’re new to social media and SEO, they can both be daunting tasks to take on. In reality, they’re simple and effective tools on your web utility belt. So get out there and get building!

Starting Your Own Business: Top Tips For Success

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Deciding to start up your own business is a massive step to take in life. However, it is one which you are unlikely to regret – provided that you follow certain pieces of advice. Many people try their hand at business every day, and success stories are common enough as to be pretty encouraging. However, it doesn’t take too much research to also find accounts of the opposite occurring. Unfortunately, people fail in business just as much as they succeed. The good news for any budding entrepreneur, however, is that these failures can be used as inspiration. There are few more effective means of getting going in business than by learning from the mistakes of others. If you are currently starting your own business, it might be a good idea to look into the things that commonly go wrong for business owners. That way, you know what to watch out for. This short guide will help to get you started on that journey. Here are some top tips for success in your new business.

 

Don’t Rush Anything

This is absolutely the number one piece of advice for those starting out in the world of business. There is no part of the entire process that is improved by rushing it. The problem that many business owners face is that they get too excited too early on. This is common, and understandable. After all, the reason you are starting a business is because you have a fantastic idea which you are passionate about. It makes sense to want to get the ball rolling as fast as possible. But the truth is, this does not make for a successful venture. Learn from others’ mistakes: take it slow. There really is no rush. Before you do anything, sit down and draw out a detailed business plan. You will be grateful that you did.

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Embrace Outsourcing

In the early days of business, you want to spend as little money as you can. This should be obvious to anyone wanting to run their own company. The less you spend, the better. One of the best ways to keep a tight budget early on is to outsource as much as you can. Much has been written on outsourcing, of varying opinions. But the fact is, outsourcing is a fantastic way to get the work that you need doing done without paying through the nose. Certain areas of business really suit outsourcing in particular. Managed IT services are, for example, ideal for this. Don’t be afraid to embrace the power of outsourcing as early on as possible.

Hire Decent Staff

Finally, there is nothing more important to your business than the people you hire. Your employees are the central core of your business. There is an old saying that says that looking after your staff is tantamount to looking after your clients. It’s true: hire passionate people who really care about what it is that you are doing with your business. Then, ensure that they are well looked after. This is a short and simple recipe for business success, so you would be wise to consider this above all else.


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Find Out What A Digital Agency Could Do For Your Business

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If you are trying to get your business noticed in 2016, we suggest you hire a digital marketing agency. You can think of a marketing agency as a huge promotional force like an ocean wave, surging your business forward into the market. They don’t just promote your company on one level. They will use every tactic you can think of to make your business a hit. Here’s why you need the help of a professional marketing team if you want to ensure your business comes out on top.

 

Marketing Isn’t Easy

There’s a common misconception among new businesses that marketing a new company is easy. This assumption is derived from the fact that marketing and promotion can be completed entirely online. While this is true, it hasn’t made the situation any easier. If anything, you’re facing more competition than ever. You can’t just put a few links on your business site and hope for the best. You need to run a complete and orchestrated marketing campaign. A digital agency can help you with this.

 

Modern Marketing Is Submersive

You might have noticed that modern marketing isn’t just about SEO. It’s about connecting with an audience through social media and other forms of interactive promotion. Businesses make this look easy every day. They make it look like it could be completed by someone in their spare time. But working behind the scenes of that promotion, there’s a busy staff completing constant updates. You can hire a marketing agency, or you can hire extra staff in your business. The choice is yours, but it is a decision you’ll have to make. It’s too much effort for someone else in your business to add this role on to their already busy schedule.
Outsourcing Is Cheap

By hiring a marketing agency, you are outsourcing the issue of marketing in your business. That’s a good idea because hiring a full-time marketing team is going to cost your company a fortune. You can save on costs by hiring a marketing agency and getting the same, full benefits. At the same time, a marketing agency will have more resources for your campaign that you don’t have to pay for. If you want the same benefits in your business, you’re going to need to buy the additional software marketers will be using.
The Marketing Industry Is Booming

If you’re worried you won’t be able to find a professional marketing team that suits your business, think again. The marketing industry is booming right now, and that means there are plenty of agencies available to hire. CandidSky provides a full marketing service for your company at a price you can afford. It’s the big marketing service a small business might need to expand their reach.

 

You Need To Avoid Penalties

Of course, the most important reason to hire a marketing team is to avoid penalties. A trap business owners who self-market fall into is using low standard marketing methods. Marketing agencies would never consider using these because they know the result. Blackhat marketing will cause your business search ranking to plummet. It’s the last thing you want, and that’s why you should get a professional behind the keys of your marketing campaign.

How I Hack A Conference With #SocialSelling by Peter Strid

You can’t attend every industry conference.  But you can make it seem like you are there…you can join digitally…you might even find a new deal like I have!

There was a recent industry conference, let’s call it “SocialSlam15!” being held in California an exclusive resort.  A great opportunity for me to rub elbows with my peers and prospect audience of marketing and sales leaders interested in Social Selling!  I had one problem; for those who know me, I broke my leg a few months ago and had a date with an orthopedic surgeon I couldn’t miss, so I couldn’t physically attend.  I decided to do the next best thing…Hack it to make people think I was there!  (I also saved thousands $ in airfare, hotel 😉

My #SocialSelling Conference Hack was accomplished primarily using Twitter, LinkedIn, Email, Text Messaging and, yes, Periscope.  My outcomes were better than anticipated.  I attracted a bunch of new Twitter Followers and unsolicited LinkedIn Connections.  I had 4 existing clients and 3 net new prospects literally reach out to me wanting to get together with me while I was “at the event” because they thought I was sitting in the resort with them!

Evidence:

I even received an unsolicited job offer from an attendee of “SocialSlam15!” (Thanks but no thanks).  The best part of it all;  I anticipate closing at least one Net New Deal because of my activity there!

Here are a few examples of the type of activity during the “SocialSlam!” Event that made my presence known:

1) I start with a post on LinkedIn…a simple screen capture of a picture of the key note speaker that I borrowed from another attendee’s tweet.  Here’s a simple example of a conference being held right now in NYC called “Uncubed”.  Looks like I’m sitting in the front row.  Some people on my team even thought I was in NYC today after seeing this post!  

2) I tweet the same content to take advantage of the many attendees referencing the #hashtag throughout the event.  I also “tagged” the Uncubed team.  I’m starting to get noticed!  And I could continue with more tweets and posts… 

With the rest of this post I’ll describe how I can “attend digitally” without physically being present and while saving $5000 and 4 days away from my office. I am engaging with peers and prospects not in an attempt to trick them, but an important observation is that when people gather physically at a conference, they also gather digitally. This creates an opportunity to engage – whether you are there physically or virtually.  I’ll use an awesome upcoming Conference that I’d like to attend as an example: Selling Power Magazine’s “Sales 2.0” Event in Philadelphia!

Make Yourself Known!

1) Your best results will come if you get a head start.  Before the kick off of the conference you are targeting, do some research. Review the website of the conference for basic details…Location, Timing, Agenda, Speakers, etc…

2) Find the twitter #hashtags associated with the event.  Usually the conference website will have point you to their twitter handle where you might find some info.  In the case of this upcoming Selling Power “Sales 2.0” conference the #hashtag is: #s20c.    3) Follow as many of the speakers and conference affiliates on Twitter that you can find…this will help you get them to notice you and set you up for tweeting about them when they are on stage. 4) Make your excitement and anticipated presence known by tweeting that you will be there!  A few tips…add an image such as the logo of the conference, use the event #hashtag, tag the speakers (you can tag up to 10 people). Every time someone interacts with the tweet they will be notified!  

5) Along with that tweet, make yourself known on LinkedIn as well.  Here I have re-purposed that tweet on LinkedIn by uploading a photo…again making sure to tag the key note speakers.

6) Be sure to retweet, “like” and engage with some of the current activity from the speakers…especially if they are already tweeting about the event!  Also pay close attention to the #hashtag in the days leading up to the event…you might find something to take advantage of.

I’ve outlined the basics of the beginning of my activity.  Leading up to the show I will continue to follow the #hashtag and “like” and retweet select posts.  It’s important to be creative and have some fun with it.  Some events post updates to their blog or website, some even live broadcast.  Use these to your advantage…listen and pull sound bites that you can retweet and credit the speaker.  Speakers love being on stage and they LOVE when people boost their egos with tweets of their presentation content.  People will retweet you and you will be on your way to being there. (Almost!)

This strategy can be incredibly fruitful.  I have literally closed deals because of this type of behavior.  For more detail on how I proceed on “gameday”, reach out to me. I have a lot more tricks…too many to list here; things like how to use Periscope for live action or even YouTube. If you’d like me to teach you or your sales team how to do this in your industry, please reach out to me…I’d love to help.

Have any hacks of your own that are similar…please share them below!

If you found this post useful…send it to your friends.  Nothing better than a nice share to your followers!  Thanks!

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Small Business Mistakes That Can Be Fatal

You are a small business, and you are going to make mistakes. It is all part of owning and trying to build a successful company. The problem is that there are some mistakes you can’t afford to make. If you do, you could put your entire business in jeopardy. Because small businesses make big mistakes the most, your business is the most culpable. The only way to make sure that you don’t make fatal errors is to avoid them at all costs. And, to avoid them, you need to know what they are.

A Can-Do Attitude

For the most part, a can-do attitude is a good attitude because it helps you overcome lots of obstacles. However, you can’t take it too far and do everything alone. There are some things that you should never attempt on your own because they are out of your comfort zone. Instead, you need to outsource them to a team of professionals. That way, your business can flourish.

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Not Paying Tax

Of course, most businesses pay what tax they think they owe. But, that is an important distinction. What you think you owe and what you owe are two different things. Your business could have payroll tax problems and not even realize it until the IRS knock on the door. Tax is complex and hard to understand, which is why you need an accountant. With their expertise, they can keep you up to date and out of jail.

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Borrowing Money From Employee Withholding

The money that your employees pay you in tax and as part of their pension is not your money. It is their money, and you should never touch it at any time. There are business owners that think they can dip into it for a short while until they are back on their feet. And, it may work. But, you are personally liable if it doesn’t work. Not only can your employees sue you, but they can sue the business too. In simple terms, they can take everything you own. Forget about employee withholding and take out a business loan instead. It isn’t as cheap, but it’s much safer.

 

Paying Yourself Whatever You Please

As the big boss, you can pay yourself as much as you want, right? Wrong. You can’t increase your wage without giving the IRS a good reason. Otherwise, they will view it as unreasonable compensation and take it off you. Or, they might distribute it as a dividend so that you’ll have to pay corporate tax on the dividend. Then, the extra money won’t seem like much after they get their hands on it.

 

Trusting Everyone

Sorry to sound cynical, but you shouldn’t trust people because everyone has an agenda. And, even though you are the boss, your position isn’t safe. Don’t just take people’s word when they tell you their story – demand proof. Otherwise, they could take you for a ride.
Mistakes like these cost businesses a lot of money as they are big mistakes. Please don’t go down the same route

Is It Time To Sell Your Business?

It’s always a hard decision when thinking about selling your business. In fact, you’ll probably go through a range of emotions throughout the process. While it’s a sad decision, it’s also an exciting way of making money, and gives you the chance to do something else with your life. I don’t need to tell you that this is a massive decision for you to make. You’ll need to consider the pros and cons before you commit to selling. Here are a few things to think about.

How Much Can I Make?

Let’s not kid ourselves here. This is the most important thing for you to consider, so you need to have a good idea of what your company is worth. The amount you stand to make when selling your business depends on a number of factors. You can get quotes easily so get on the internet and find out what it’s worth.

Are You Still Passionate About It?

The longer that you stay in a business, the harder it becomes. You’ll grow, taking on new employees and new tasks along the way. Suddenly, it outgrows the small, exciting operation that it used to be when you started it. Some people relish this and love the success and growth that businesses can bring. Others lose touch and start to lose interest in their own company. If you’re a business owner, you really need to be dedicated to what you’re doing. If you aren’t; it’s time to think about selling.

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Is The Market Right?

It’s always good to have one eye on the market when you’re a business owner. Not only will it help you to project your potential finances, but it’ll also allow you to understand how much you could make from your company. If you work in marketing, and suddenly there’s a boom in digital marketing, it’s definitely worth considering a sale.

 

Can You Cope With Changes In Your Field Of Work?

By this, I don’t mean changes in personnel or even in the sale of your company. I mean new technologies that are set to play a big part in your company’s future. For example, tech like social media and SEO have become crucial to some businesses’ success in recent years. If you can’t keep up and you have no intention of doing so, it might be worth getting out. Think about whether your ways are becoming outdated.

Would You Be Willing To Stay On If Asked?

Sometimes, when you sell a business, you’re asked to stay on for a while. This is because the new owners will need some consulting help while they get settled in. You might have already decided that you want out as soon as possible, though. By staying on, you’ll get a better deal in most cases. Consider your options and think about whether this could work for you.

Use our tips when planning to sell your business, and they should help to make things a bit easier. At the end of the day, it’s your decision. Don’t let anyone sway you if you’re not completely happy with your choice.

5 Top Tips For Creating A Successful Building Business

Just like any other business practice, construction and building requires meticulous planning. Everything from your brand to your attitude needs to be nigh-on perfect, or you won’t see results.

The building industry is booming, and there’s never been a better time to jump on board. The personable nature of contractors is appealing to folks who are looking for a job to be done, and that’s where you come in. If you’re looking to start a successful building business, you’ll need to be smart and hard-working.

This post will run down the five biggest tips for those people looking to make their mark on the construction industry. Whether you’re a DIY pro or can’t even put a shelf up, everybody starts somewhere!

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Don’t attempt it alone

It’s mostly common sense, but it’s true; businesses are meant to be collaborative efforts. Building, more so than any other industry, relies on the hard work of several individuals, not just one. You’ll have to plan jobs, buy equipment, then actually do the job itself.

It could be raining outside or the sun could be scorching, but you still have to work. Having some reliable colleagues by your side will make some of that physicality a lot easier for you.

Building is also a skilled art form, and there will always be something you don’t know. Find the people that do, and bring them on board!

 

Be sure to cover your costs with the fees for your jobs

There’s nothing worse than approaching the end of a job only to realise you’ve gone over budget. This could be due to the weather, poor planning or just an underestimation of how hard it would be. You have to be 100 percent sure you’ve covered your overheads when you first set your asking price. If you don’t, there’s no going back!

Protect yourself and your workforce

Building can be dangerous, especially if safety procedures aren’t followed. Even if they are, accidents can still rear their head. Make sure you and your staff are covered in the event that the worst should happen.

 

Tradesure Tradies insurance can cover you and your employees in the event of an accident. In the building industry, these are (understandably) quite common, so it’s a good idea. Besides this, make sure everyone wears helmets and high-vis vests. You should be doing everything your power to make the work environment safe for them. After all, the guilt of having caused an accident would be overpowering.

 

Make sure you and your employees are fully trained

Another area that can help stop accidents is full employee training. If they know what they’re doing, the risk of failure is reduced. This also extends to you; you have to be sure to satisfy a client to ensure they’ll speak highly of you and recommend you.

Again, building and construction is a skilled art form, so surround yourself with the most qualified people. Consider enrolling in a training course of you aren’t confident. There’s no shortage of help for you.

Marketing and building a reputation

You might think that just because you’re a builder, you’ll market yourself. After all, there’s always a need for some type of construction job to be done. Well, I’m here to tell you this attitude is wrong. Just like any other business, you must market yourself. You could be missing out on a ton of clients. Make sure you have built a solid brand, and then put it everywhere. Facebook, Twitter, the local newspaper – the possibilities are endless.

Similarly, don’t be afraid to ask your clients if they’ll help you in this regard. Ask them to tell their friends about you and hand out business cards. You may live or die by word of mouth, so make sure it’s positive!

The Best Business Security Advice For 2016

Protecting your business from threats should be a top priority in 2016. Company bosses have never faced as many issues from criminals and hackers. That is why we wanted to present you with a page of information that helps to highlight the most crucial areas. If all commercial outfits followed the advice on this page, the number of incidents would reduce. In most instances, you just need to use some common sense and employ the latest technology. The last thing anyone wants if for their operation to suffer due to security breaches. So, pay attention!

Purchase the best antivirus program on the market

When it comes to selecting an antivirus program, you shouldn’t rush into the decision. There are hundreds of different packages on the market today to suit all manner of industries. You need to find something that solves all your cyber security issues with a single piece of software. Don’t make the mistake of using multiple solutions because they often interact and reduce the level of protection. Read online reviews from other business owners to ensure you make the right choice. Also, consider the adoption of physical firewalls for your network. They should help to stop any attackers before they reach your computers.

Consider your physical security options

Company bosses have to worry about a lot more than cybersecurity these days. Criminals are everywhere, and most of them will happily steal from your business. The number of break-ins decreased last year in the UK, but that’s no consolation. You still face the possibility that someone might try to gain access to your premises and steal valuable assets. With that in mind, it’s wise to ensure all areas are locked using electronic systems that require passcodes. The Fascia Graphics Membrane Keyboard linked to a secure bolting device should suffice. That would mean burglars have to break through many different obstacles to achieve their ambitions. Most of them won’t make it all the way inside your premises until the police arrive.

Link your alarm system to the local police station

For a small fee, most companies can connect their alarm systems to local police stations. That means officers are alerted to any issues the moment your sensors detect a break-in. It helps to make sure they are on the scene as soon as possible. It also means you should manage to obtain cheaper insurance packages for your premises. CCTV is a great way to identify and catch the suspects. However, making sure they are arrested while in the act is preferable. It means the police don’t have to spend as much cash on their investigation. It also results in better conviction rates.

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No matter how your business makes a profit, follow the advice on this page. You’ll regret ignoring this information if a criminal targets your operation during the next few months. The processes we’ve explained are simple and straightforward. So, there’s no excuse for not implementing those ideas right now. Time is of the essence because you never know when someone is planning to steal from your company.

How You Can Increase Sales for Your Online Business

Increasing sales for your online business is possible, whatever stage you’re at at the moment. Whether you’ve hit a plateau or you just want a faster increase in sales, there’s something you can do. Check out these tips for increasing your online sales:

Make Sure Your Site is User Friendly

You absolutely must make sure your site is user friendly. Take a look at your navigation and assess how easy it is to use. Could there be a way you make it easier and more accessible to your clients?

Always Consider Your Target Market

You must consider your target market when building your site and doing other online activities. What do they want? What don’t they want? What language do they respond to? Make sure you’ve thought about them and you know the answer to lots of important questions to make them feel more compelled to buy.

Make Check Out as Simple as Possible

The easier you make the checkout process, the more likely people are to buy whatever it is you’re offering. People have been known to quit buying something half way through because the checkout process is just too difficult. Make sure each step is quick and simple, getting people to the buying stage as easy as possible.

How to seo a website in Google

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Be Honest and Specific

You must be honest and specific about what it is you’re selling. Don’t mislead people, or it could backfire on you in a big way.

Focus on Great Customer Service

The better your customer service, the more you can expect your sales to increase. People love companies with a good customer service ethic, and they will usually return to work with you again. If they’re really happy with your service, they might even recommend your business to others.

 

Optimise Your Site

Optimise your site for the search engines so that people are actually finding what you have to offer. You might have the best site design that functions like a dream, but if it isn’t optimised, what’s the point? Magento web design ensure you have a great design that works well in the search engines.

 

Free Delivery

Free delivery can be difficult, especially if something you’re providing is particularly large and heavy. However, people are really attracted to free delivery. It can make the buying process seem like a no brainer! Try it for a while, or consider having offers where loyal customers can get free delivery with a discount code.

 

Make it Responsive

Having a responsive site is really beneficial, because this means it can work on all kinds of platforms. People don’t just use computers these days, they use tablets, phones, and other devices. If your site can be viewed on each platform, then it’s better for business!

Are you making sure you’re doing these things for your online business? If not, you could be missing out on so many online sales. Try including some in your strategies as soon as possible to see what a difference they can make for you. Good luck!