squarespace

Re-Release | Improving Your Website Today with 5 Easy Updates

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Today on Process to Profitability, it’s just me talking about improving your website today with 5 easy updates that you can make. This is a subject that I am so passionate about because I believe that you don’t need a brand new website or a total redesign to start seeing more results from your website.

Take these updates and check out your own website. See if you can make some of these changes today to improve your design or if these are things you can put on your to-do list if you think they will take a little longer.


Need help with your website design?

Get 5 Updates for Higher Converting Website

Learn more about how I use your information in my Privacy Policy.

Samantha Mabe is the owner and designer at Lemon and the Sea. She loves empowering creative women with a heart to serve to grow their business through brand and website design. Her background is in design and architecture, but she’s been creating since she could hold a pencil. Samantha is a Pittsburgh native now living in Richmond, Virginia where she spends her days designing brands and websites and her evenings watching Netflix with her husband and their dog #gambittheweshi.

Connect with Samantha:

Topics Discussed:

  • The importance of having your email address on your website

  • Where to put your email address

  • What you need to include in your terms & conditions and privacy policy

  • Why you need return, refund, and warranty policies if you sell products or courses

  • Why these policies are important

  • How to update your portfolio to attract more of your dream clients

  • How to include images, testimonials, and client stories in your portfolio

  • Editing your content to keep your design simple

  • Why it’s important to guide visitors through your website

  • Adding calls to action to each page of your website

  • They types of calls to action you can use on each page

  • Why you need to map out your website like a journey

Resources Discussed:

Understanding Analytics - Website Analytics Basics

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Today I’m going to be talking about understanding analytics – website analytics basics. This episode is an overview of analytics, so there are a lot of topics I don’t cover, but I wanted to introduce this topic and give you information about analytics, what it’s good for, and what you use.

I’m going to give an overview of website analytics, what you should be paying attention to, and the 7 most important analytics to look at for your website. I’m also sharing some questions that can help you as you evaluate your analytics, why you need to set up Google Analytics, and what Squarespace analytics are most useful for your website.

I’m including a lot of information in this episode, so I recommend that you check out the shownotes where you can find all of this written down in case you don’t want to take notes while you’re listening.

Topics Discussed:

  • An overview of website analytics and what you should pay attention to
  • Good and bad ways to use your website analytics
  • The 7 most important analytics to look at, what they’re good for, and how to find them in Google Analytics
  • Questions to help you evaluate your analytics
  • Why you need Google Analytics and how to set it up
  • Finding the keywords people are finding your website on
  • What Squarespace analytics are most useful
  • Other tools you can use to collect analytics data

Resources Discussed:

Action Steps:

  1. Install Google Analytics on your website
  2. Find your top exit pages and add a call-to-action to each
  3. Find your keywords and evaluate if they’re what you want to be known for

Analytics Overview

What are website analytics?

Website analytics is the collection, reporting, and analysis of website data according to usability.gov. Basically, they are numbers that give you information about your website and that you can use to make informed decisions. The goal of collecting and examining  your website’s analytics is to measure the success of your website at meeting your pre-determined goals. For more information about setting goals for your website, check out episode 25 all about setting goals and planning your website.

Why should you pay attention to your analytics?

The goal of looking at your analytics is to give you information that helps you make informed decisions about your website. You can use these numbers to help you change the design, write content that will resonate with your audience, know what kinds of products or services to offer, or who it would be beneficial to network with.

While analytics can give you data about your website and can be useful if you’re using them over time, they shouldn’t be used as a comparison tool. Your website is your own – it doesn’t matter if you have more or less website visits than someone else, only if your website is serving your business and your audience the best it can.

How can you use the information you’re gathering?

There are good and bad ways to use the information that you gather from your analytics.

Good:

  • Using analytics to test and change things on your website and evaluate what’s working
  • Use the data as information about the past and trends you might see in the future

Bad:

  • Only looking at traffic to evaluate how your website is doing
  • Gathering data over the short-term

What are the most important analytics?

1.  Website Traffic

  • What it Does: tells you how many people are visiting your website in a given period of time.
  • What it’s Good for: It’s useful for knowing if your web traffic is growing, stagnating, or decreasing over time, as well as seasons when you might get more traffic than others to help you plan promotions and launches. You shouldn’t use it as a comparison metric.
  • How to see it: Audience > Overview

2. Traffic Sources

  • What it Does: tell you where people are coming to your website from. There are a few different locations including organic search (people who find you on search engines), referral (coming from a different website via a link), direct (people typing in your website directly), and social (coming from a social media platform). You can also dig into which referral, social platform, and search engine terms someone is using to find your website.
  • What it’s Good for: This metric is good for knowing how people find you and referral sources you can take advantage of.
  • How to see it: Acquisition > All Traffic > Source/Medium and Acquisition > All Traffic > Referrals

3. Bounce Rate

  • What it Does: tells you how many people leave your website after visiting only one page.
  • What it’s Good for: This is useful for knowing if your website is giving people the information they want and expect to find and can give you an indication of whether you’re directing people to other pages on your website.
  • How to see it: Audience > Overview

4. Top Pages

  • What it Does: tells you the most visited pages on your website.
  • What it’s Good for: This is good for focusing your efforts on adding calls-to-action or other conversion events and for knowing what people are looking for when they come to your website.
  • How to see it: Behavior > Site Content > All Pages

5. Top Landing Pages

  • What it Does: tells you where people are first landing on your website.
  • What it’s Good for: This is good for determining where to add a call-to-action to move people forward and where you should include information about what you do and who you help.
  • How to see it: Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages

6. Top Exit Pages

  • What is Does: tells you which pages people leave your website from most often.
  • What it’s Good for: This is a good starting point for places to add calls-to-action that keep people on your website. It’s also helpful for knowing if there is content that isn’t popular or relevant that you can update or remove.
  • How to see it: Behavior > Site Content > Exit Pages

7. Audience Affinity Categories

  • What is Does:  tells you what interests your website visitors have based on their past behavior
  • What it’s Good for: This can help you see the types of people who are visiting your website and if they fit with your dream client avatar. It can also help you focus on your content, and potentially ads, on the people who are most likely to visit and stay on your website.
  • How to see it: Audience > Interests > Affinity Categories

Guiding Questions

Here are some questions to ask as you evaluate your analytics. You can use these as a starting point to help you determine which analytics to focus on and make decisions about changes you might want to make to your website.

Who is coming to my website?

Are they my dream clients?

Where are they coming from?

How can I take advantage of those sources to bring more people to my website?

What are people doing while on my website?

How can I keep them on my website longer?

What are some ways I can help them move toward my goal?

What content is most popular?

How can I add a call-to-action or next step to help meet my goals?

How can I create more content like this?

What pages have the highest bounce rates?

How can I improve these pages to keep people on my website longer?

Are my pages loading slowly?

How can I reduce the load time?

Google Analytics

Do I need it?

Google Analytics is a free tool that can give you in-depth insight into many things about your website. It’s worth taking the time to set up even if you’re only looking at a few items right now because it can build with you as you grow. Plus, Google Analytics only starts gathering and storing information after you install it, so if you want to look at it in the future, you need to set it up now.

How do I install it?

Setting up Google Analytics is fairly easy. All you need is a Google login (either with a Gmail address or your regular email address). You can set up a Google Analytics account for any domain that you own and have access to and then confirm that you own the domain by adding the tracking ID to your website. On both Showit and Squarespace, there is an easy location to add your tracking code without having to add any code.

Where do I see my analytics?

To see the data gathered by Google Analytics, log into your account and navigate to the property that goes to your website (if you have more than one). From there, you can explore all the data that Google Analytics collects by navigating the menu on the left side of your screen.

How can I get the information I need without being overwhelmed?

The most important things to prevent overwhelm is to focus just on the analytics that will serve your business. I’ve already mentioned the most important analytics you can look at and you can always add others that are relevant to your business goals and audience.

How do I know what keywords people searched to find me (setting up Search Console)?

In order to see the keywords that people are coming to your site after searching you have to set up Google Search Console. This is another free tool that you can connect to your Google Analytics account. Log into Search Console using the same username and password that you use for Google Analytics. From there, click Add a Property to add your website’s URL. You’ll be asked to verify your website ownership, which you can do easily via your Google Analytics Tracking ID. While you won’t see any information right away, you will want to make sure that you submit a sitemap. Squarespace and Showit both automatically create sitemaps for you. For information on building and submitting a sitemap to Google listen to episode 38 or read this tutorial. Once you have Search Console set up, you can see your keywords in Google Analytics under Acquisition > Search Console > Queries.

Squarespace Analytics

Squarespace has its own built-in analytics that can give you useful information without digging into Google Analytics. To see these, navigate to Analytics in the menu on the left side when you log into your account. While I don’t recommend relying completely on Squarespace’s analytics and ignoring Google, Squarespace can offer a quick overview without as much setup. They automatically gather data like sales, traffic, popular content, purchase funnel and abandoned cart information without you needing to create goals or conversion events in Google Analytics. When looking at Squarespace’s analytics, these are the things I would focus on:

  • Site Search Queries: Part of what is useful about Squarespace’s analytics is that you can see exactly what people are searching for within your site through the Site Search Queries section. You can see what keywords people are searching on your website and the pages they’re being directed to.
  • Form & Button Conversions: This new feature allows you to see which Squarespace buttons are being clicked and the forms that are being completed. This only applies to Squarespace Forms and Buttons (not those you add via code). You can see what was clicked and how many times, as well as how many other views the button or form got. This information can help you improve calls-to-action and see what content is driving the most conversions.
  • Sales overview, Purchase Funnel, Abandoned Cart: If you are using Squarespace as an eCommerce platform to sell goods, services, and digital products directly through your website, these analytics can help you see what people are buying, how they’re moving from just visiting to checking out, and where they might be getting lost in the process.

Other Tools


Need more help?

Get the Guide to see example questions, tasks, and my tips for conducting a successful UX test.

Learn more about how I use your information in my Privacy Policy.

Why Your Website Needs to be Mobile Responsive

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Today I’m talking about why your website needs to be mobile responsive. I’m going to be giving you some statistics about mobile use, talking about the different types of mobile design, and then going over the benefits of having a mobile responsive design for your website. We’re also going to talk about how you can make your website mobile-friendly and some of the common mistakes that Google lists as problems that can hurt your search engine ranking with them and your overall user experience.

If you have a website, you need to listen to this episode to make sure that your website mobile responsive or mobile-friendly so that you’re not missing out on any of these big benefits.

Plus, a big thanks to Jodi Graham who walked through my website with me!

Topics Discussed:

  • Why having a mobile responsive website is important
  • The difference between mobile-friendly and mobile responsive design
  • The benefits of having a website that is mobile-friendly
  • How you can design a website that is mobile responsive
  • Common mistakes to avoid when designing for mobile

Resources Discussed:

Read Full Transcript


Stats about mobile use

  • There are more mobile devices than people in the world
  • Mobile use has grown 400% since 2011
  • 20% of users between ages 18-34 spend all of their online time on a mobile device
  • In 2017, mobile traffic made up 52.64% of all online traffic
  • 50% of ecommerce purchases were made on mobile devices in 2017
  • 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load
  • 47% of consumers expect a web page to load within 2 seconds

The difference between mobile-friendly and mobile responsive

Google defines responsive website design as “Responsive web design (RWD) is a setup where the server always sends the same HTML code to all devices and CSS is used to alter the rendering of the page on the device. Google’s algorithms should be able to automatically detect this setup if all Googlebot user agents are allowed to crawl the page and its assets (CSS, JavaScript, and images).”

Responsive websites respond or change based on the needs to the user and the width of the device they are viewing the website on.

  • Move from multiple column to single column layout
  • Changes the layout instead of shrinking everything to fit and making a user zoom in
  • Dynamic content that changes
  • Navigation is condensed
  • Optimized images
  • Correct padding and spacing

Friendly websites work the same way on any device. This means that nothing moves or changes (or becomes unusable on mobile devices)

  • Static content that doesn’t change
  • Simplified navigation
  • Images display smaller

Benefits of having a mobile-responsive design

  • SEO - In April 2015, Google changed their algorithm so that if your website is not mobile-friendly, it would not rank as high in mobile search results
  • Social media conversions - in 2015, 80% of the time people spent on social media was on a mobile device
  • Increased sales - In 2012, 67% of people said they are more likely to make a purchase from a website that is mobile-friendly
  • It’s an expected practice - 8 in 10 website visitors will leave a website that doesn’t display well on their device
  • Builds credibility - 57% of internet users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed website on mobile
  • Increased revenue and location visits - 88% of consumers who search for a type of business on a mobile device call or go to that business within 24 hours

How to make a website mobile friendly

You don’t need a separate website anymore, instead your website should change based on the device it’s viewed on. In fact, having two websites could hurt your Google ranking, as Google doesn’t like duplicate content

Instead, you should choose a platform that allows for easy mobile responsive design. Showit allows you to design the mobile version of your website separately from the desktop version, so you have control over every piece.  Squarespace is mobile-responsive and lays out the mobile version of your website based on where content blocks are placed. More and more templates are also allowing for style changes only for mobile devices. Whichever option you choose, make sure to test your design across all devices and as new updates are released.

Common Mistakes of mobile design

  • Blocked javascript, css, and image files – you want search engines and users to see all of your content so that it can index it correctly
  • Unplayable content – some types of video (such as those constrained by a license or that require Flash) won’t work on many mobile devices. If a video can’t be played, the visitor will see an error, which can be frustrating. To get around this you can either use HTML5 tags or embed the video content through a player that’s available on all devices (like YouTube). You can also include a transcription for those who can’t watch the video.
  • Faulty redirects -If your mobile site is designed so that you have separate pages from desktop and mobile devices, you need to make sure the every page has both versions and they are correctly set to redirect based on the device information.
  • Pop-ups - Many websites use pop-ups to encourage people to perform a certain action, like subscribing to an email list. These tend to have high conversion rates, but can frustrate users on mobile devices because they aren’t easy to close and block the content someone is trying to read. If you are using a pop-up, either turn it off on mobile devices or redesign it so that it’s easy to close.
  • Small font size - Font size should be at least 14px so users don’t have to zoom in. Readability studies suggest that columns should ideally be 8 to 10 words per line.
  • Touch elements too close - Make buttons large as well to avoid users clicking on the wrong thing. Apple recommends buttons on mobile be at least 44px by 44px. Any touch elements should be at least 32 pixels apart, both vertically and horizontally so that a user’s finger can easily touch the element.
  • Low resolution images - Use high resolution images – all mobile devices, like most desktop monitors, display images in high definition. Having hi-res images means that your images won’t appear blurry or pixelated
  • Slow page speeds - 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load, 47% of consumers expect a web page to load within 2 seconds

Need more help?

Get the Guide to see example questions, tasks, and my tips for conducting a successful UX test.

Learn more about how I use your information in my Privacy Policy.

Squarespace Integrations and Customizations

Today I’m talking about Squarespace integrations and customizations. If you’ve listened to the previous episode where I’ve discussed Squarespace, you know that there is a lot more to the platform than meets the eye. One of the big things they have done is to create a lot of integrations with different platforms and programs to help you get the most out of your website and make it really easy so you don’t have to worry about finding plug-ins for inserting code.

Topics Discussed:

  • Built-in integrations with Squarespace blocks
  • Other integrations that work with the back-end of Squarespace
  • Connecting the programs and software you already use for your business
  • Other options for making the most of your website
  • Custom updates I use frequently in designing for Squarespace
  • Where you can find customizations for your own design

Resources Discussed:

Website Platforms and Squarespace Myths

Today I’m going to be talking all about website platforms and covering some Squarespace myths that you might be buying into if you have just been reading blog posts online or getting your information from people who haven’t’ used Squarespace.

The reason I want to cover these topics is because not every website platform is going to be the best option for every business. While I work solely in Squarespace, there are potential clients who come to me who might be better served by a different platform.

I’m going to be going over some of the most popular website platforms, including who each is best for, the average cost, and some pros and cons of each. There are lots of other platforms out there, but I don’t cover all of them.


Popular Website Platforms:

Squarespace

  • Best For: Creatives and small business owners who want a great looking, flexible website that doesn’t require coding knowledge.
  • Cost: $12-$26/month for personal & business websites, $26-$46/month for eCommerce extra benefits
  • Pros: 24/7 customer service, variety of templates included, drag-and-drop builder for easy updates, no coding required, can grow with your business, great security – no plug-ins, no additional monthly costs, one-stop show for domain, hosting, email (G Suite), blog, and eCommerce
  • Cons: less flexible than WordPress in design and functionality, templates focus on imagery

WordPress

  • Best For: Those who want a lot of flexibility in design and larger online retailers
  • Cost: Free to use, with plug-ins and hosting paid separately
  • Pros: flexible in design and development, can easily back-up website, thousands of plug-ins for variety of functionality
  • Cons: coding knowledge may be needed, no security through WordPress, some plug-ins aren’t safe or updated regularly, basic content management system can be hard to use

Wix

  • Best For: business owners who want a pre-made design
  • Cost: free- $25/month
  • Pros: drag-and-drop website builder, collection of professional templates
  • Cons: can’t change templates without completely starting over, limited design updates depending on template

ShowIt

  • Best For: More advanced business owners with lots of images who want control over everything
  • Cost: $19-$34/month
  • Pros: Drag-and-drop platform that requires no code, can customize every part of the design, can be unique to your style – doesn’t look like a template, great customer service,
  • Cons: no blog included - must set up on WordPress, no eCommerce

Squarespace Myths:

Squarespace isn’t good for SEO

Squarespace is simple to use, but it plays well with Google. They make it easy to link with Google Analytics and include an automatic sitemap. You also have control over your image names, URL names, and built-in SEO. They also make it easy for your content to be SEO-friendly through pre-set heading types.

Check out my post about Squarespace SEO tricks you should be using.

You can’t upload more than one image at once

Many photographers stay away from Squarespace because they can’t upload all their images to their blog or gallery at once. While the Image Block does require you to upload images one at a time, there are ways to upload many images at once. You can create a gallery – either in a blog post or as a separate page – and put it on any page of your website.

You are limited to only using Stripe for payment processing

Squarespace originally only offer payments through Stripe, but now supports PayPal.

You don’t own your content

Domain – you can purchase a domain through Squarespace or connect your website to a domain you already own. Either way, you can always transfer it. You can also export your content as an .xml file, but you will lose the CSS that controls how the content is styled. What you don’t own is the template – if you transfer away from Squarespace, you can’t upload your site as-is to another host.

There isn’t a way to back up your website

There is not one simple back-up button, but you can export all your blog content, design style, CSS, and website. It is easy to then add to a new SS website or update a site you want to restore, but to transfer to WordPress, you would have to update the layout.

There are limited or no integrations with the other programs I use in my business

The next episodes is going to be all about Squarespace integrations, including what is already set up through Squarespace and other integrations you can create on your own. Squarespace integrations include G Suite, Xero, MailChimp, Acuity Scheduling, and YouTube. Many of these integrations have their own blocks, making it even easier to place on your website.

You don’t have enough control of ecommerce

You can set shipping rules with flat-rate shipping, depending on weight, or allow shipping to be calculated by FedEx, UPS, or USPS. You can also connect Squarespace to ShipStation to make shipping products easier.

A recent update to the eCommerce side of Squarespace now allows you to create tax rules by county, state/province, and specific Zip Codes.

Resources Discussed:


5 Updates for a Higher Converting Website

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Learn more about how I use your information in my Privacy Policy.

Improving Your Website Today with 5 Easy Updates

06-Improving-Your-Website-Today-with-5-Easy-Updates

Today on Process to Profitability, it’s just me talking about improving your website today with 5 easy updates that you can make. This is a subject that I am so passionate about because I believe that you don’t need a brand new website or a total redesign to start seeing more results from your website.

Take these updates and check out your own website. See if you can make some of these changes today to improve your design or if these are things you can put on your to-do list if you think they will take a little longer.


Need help with your website design?

Get 5 Updates for Higher Converting Website

Learn more about how I use your information in my Privacy Policy.

Samantha Mabe is the owner and designer at Lemon and the Sea. She loves empowering creative women with a heart to serve to grow their business through brand and website design. Her background is in design and architecture, but she’s been creating since she could hold a pencil. Samantha is a Pittsburgh native now living in Richmond, Virginia where she spends her days designing brands and websites and her evenings watching Netflix with her husband and their dog #gambittheweshi.

Connect with Samantha:

Topics Discussed:

  • The importance of having your email address on your website

  • Where to put your email address

  • What you need to include in your terms & conditions and privacy policy

  • Why you need return, refund, and warranty policies if you sell products or courses

  • Why these policies are important

  • How to update your portfolio to attract more of your dream clients

  • How to include images, testimonials, and client stories in your portfolio

  • Editing your content to keep your design simple

  • Why it’s important to guide visitors through your website

  • Adding calls to action to each page of your website

  • They types of calls to action you can use on each page

  • Why you need to map out your website like a journey

Resources Discussed: