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Ecommerce website CMS with stock control and access control
Ecommerce website CMS with stock control and access control

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“69.23% - average documented shopping cart abandonment rate" - Baymard Institute
Abandoned carts have always been a problem for ecommerce sellers It is difficult to find out the exact reason why customers abandon their cart so recovering the sale can be a difficult task. Statista did a survey to find out the different reasons people abandoned their carts. Some of the reasons were;

Presented with unexpected costs;
When customers abandon their cart due to unexpected costs, they're usually referring to shipping costs or tax. Reducing these unexpected costs should help to reduce your abandoned cart rate. The first thing that you can do is to be more transparent with your pricing. You could have your prices listed as tax inclusive and some information on your product page notifying your customers that there could be shipping costs.

Customers have been given the pleasure of free shipping from a lot of the bigger ecommerce companies and now, it's almost an expected service. Your best bet to compete is to try to offer free shipping. A study from Retention Science shows that free shipping is a 2x more effective incentive than percent-off offers. When people abandon their carts, sending them an email with a discount code or an offer for free shipping will really help to reduce the total cart abandonment rate.

I was just browsing;
Some customers will use online shopping carts as wishlists. When someone visits your website for the first time, they're often just browsing your products. It can take multiple visits and some time before a customer decides to actually buy from you. "Only 0.25% of new visitors to your site will make a purchase. If you can get them to visit again, your chances of making a sale increase nine-fold." - SAP Hybrid
You could entice your new customers back with multiple techniques. You could use retargeting ads. If you base them on the product page that your customer spent the most time on so that when they leave your website, they will see your ad as they visit other websites and will likely come back to finish their purchase. IAdRol does a really good job of explaining how it works. You could also use limited time offers targeted at first-time customers on your website, you can offer a discount, free shipping or another offer to help them decide to make the purchase.

Found a better price elsewhere;
People will very often comparison shop around many different ecommerce websites to try to find the best deals. Researching your competitors and matching their prices is a good place to start. One of the most successful techniques that you can use to secure a sale is a price guarantee. Asda is competing with other big supermarkets like Sainsburys and Tesco, they use a price guarantee to secure their customers.
Customers still shop with Asda's competitors. This is because they have good loyalty programs, like Tesco Clubcard, that gives the customer an incentive to buy from them. Introducing a loyalty program to your ecommerce website could be a good alternative to lowering your prices.

Website navigation too complicated;
If your website navigation is too complicated for a customer to not be able to figure out how to buy from you, you're doing something wrong.
You need to have clear call-to-actions with appropriate text that stand out on the page. The text should show clearly what users of your website will expect to happen when they click. For example, An "Add to Basket" CTA that adds your product to the basket or a "Checkout now" CTA that brings the customer to the checkout.
Streamlining your checkout is another way to simplify your website. This is done by removing the website navigation in the checkout to make sure that your customers don't get lost as they go to purchase.
You could also think about adding a chat widget to your website so that if customers are confused or find your navigation to be too complicated, they will be able to contact you so that they can sort out the problem that they're having.

How can we help?
iPages provide multiple options for how to address your cart abandonment and usually, we'll start by looking at your webstats and deciding which approach is best for your customers. Cart Abandonment emails come as standard with iPages.If you'd like further information about how iPages could help you reduce cart abandonment, do not hesitate to get in touch.

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Why is search so important for your eCommerce website?

Including a search for your eCommerce website has many benefits, one of which is the valuable information that you can gain from the users of your website. You can find out what products are being searched for the most and what pages have the most interest. This information is helpful to know so that you can push these products and pages more in related tabs or on the homepage and gain more sales. Also, people who use site search are more likely to purchase as they are shopping with intent compared to customers who are browsing using standard navigation.

Website navigation is also easier for your customers. Search improves navigation and is more specific than just using category links, tags and related posts. By improving the navigation, the overall shopping experience will be better for the customers and they will be able to find what they're looking for faster and will be more likely to complete their purchase with you.

Things to think about when adding a search;

The search function should bring up results for more than just products. Many users will use your search function to look for blogs and information pages such as contact, delivery information and help pages. Although products should be the primary results that the search displays, it is important that other results show too. It's also important to make sure that the speed of your search is fast. Some customers will come to your website with a product in mind and will want to find it and check out as soon as possible. Your search should be fast to match their needs. A perfect search will find results for related products and pages in milliseconds. If your search takes too long, your potential customers could become frustrated.

In the same way that it is important to design the rest of your website, you should think about how your search bar looks. When designing the search bar, the position, size and style should all be taken into account. For the position, centralised search bars are the most popular among the top 15 retailers, followed by the top right. When a customer comes to your website, they instinctively scan these areas to look for a search bar. For size, there are advantages to having both bigger and smaller search bars, but you should ideally find the right size to match your design and for what would be most helpful for your customers. Bigger search bars have more prominence on the website and are more easily noticeable by customers and also shows them that you're confident in your search features and it's functionality. Smaller search bars are good for fitting in with more complicated designs and for being included in the navigation bar. The search bar should be consistent with the style and design of the rest of your website. You should also take your product offering into account; with a wider range of products it makes sense to have a more prominent search, while a smaller range of products should focus on creating a conversion funnel with clear calls to action to be more effective.

Autocomplete is an almost vital feature for a good search bar. As the customer types, the autocomplete should start to display related products and pages under the search bar. This reduces the number of clicks that your customer will take to get to your product and will also give your customer a look at more of your products that they might be interested in. In a perfect search bar, these relevant products and pages should start to display as the user begins to type so that the product that they're looking for will be displayed before they've even finished typing the word. Having a user-friendly search on your website leads to a higher conversion rate.

iPages search

The search function on iPages implements all of the things mentioned above that make a search a great search. If you're interested in learning more about our search or have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

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What is Structured Data?

Structured data is objective information with a high level of organisation, and in web-terms "describes things on the web, along with their properties." When data is structured it is easier for search engines like Google to organise and display it in different creative ways. Site profiles that you see for businesses on Google search results are examples of structured data.

According to Google structured data markup is a text-based organisation of data that is included in a file and served from the web. It is this on-page markup that helps search engines to better understand the information that is on your website. For example, if your website has news posts, you could use structured data to describe the properties for each news post, such as news content, the URL to the photo used on the post, comments, etc. Search engines use the information from your structured data to improve your search results listings.

When Google creates their listings and their site profiles, structured data is helpful as it is easier for Google to find the relevant information about your business. Google provide a comprehensive Introduction to Structured Data, should you wish to learn more.

With iPages, it is simple to ensure that your website contains structured data, without any technical knowledge. Within the iPages Site Settings section, you can upload a site icon, link to your social media pages and add contact information.

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Google are making changes to their search listing by using a new 'mobile-first index'. This means that the rankings of websites on the listings will be based primarily on the mobile version of their content. The new index will change the listings that are shown to both mobile and desktop users. Google wants their search index and results to show content that is most useful for the majority of users and most searches are now being performed on mobile devices.

What is a Search Engine Index?

A search engine index is a collection of pages and documents that a search engine has found by crawling the web with search engine spiders. It is the search engine index that gives you the results for searches. Without a search engine index, the search engine would take a longer time to find results for search queries.

How will the Mobile-First Index change the rankings?

We are being told that the rankings won't change too much. However, if there is a mobile website that has considerably less content compared to its desktop version, its ranking will be lower because Google will be using the mobile version first before the desktop. A quote from Google's blog post, "Our search index will continue to be a single index of websites and apps, our algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site", tells us that content not deemed mobile friendly will not rank as well. This is one of the reasons why Google recommends that you upgrade to a responsive website so that there won't be a need for multiple websites and all of the content will be the same across all devices.

When will the changes come into place?

There were announcements from Google back in November that they're testing the new mobile-first index. Google have said they will announce on their blog when they're pushing the changes out which is expected to be in the near future.

How can you keep, or even raise your Google search ranking with the new changes?

Google's blog post on Mobile-first Indexing has a lot of information on what you should change or even if you need to change anything at all. One of the main points made is; "If you have a responsive site or a dynamic serving site where the primary content and markup is equivalent across mobile and desktop, you shouldn’t have to change anything." This shows that Google is encouraging everyone to upgrade to a responsive website and that they are likely to favour websites where the content is the same on both mobile and desktop as this gives the best experience for the end user. Google also recommends that you add structured data to your mobile website but you should avoid adding tags that aren't relevant to the content.

Google also recommends that you add structured data to your mobile website but you should avoid adding tags that aren't relevant to the content. If you would like to learn more about structured data and just how important it is, check out this blog post. If you want to learn how to easily add structured data to your iPages website, have a look at our support pages.

"If you only have a desktop site, we'll continue to index your desktop site just fine, even if we're using a mobile user agent to view your site." - Google's blog post on Mobile-first Indexing

iPages offers a design solution for your website so that your content will stay consistent, responsive, dynamic and look great on all different screen sizes. We have designed many responsive websites so if you're interested in or have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us. 

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3 Steps to Using Facebook for Marketing

1. Build your page

When you build your Facebook page you should pay attention to how your branding and design looks. You should make an effort to keep the design professional and consistent. When a user visits your page, they decide if they are going to click like in the first couple of seconds so it's important to make sure that the first impression that you make is a good one.

Editing the 'about' for your Facebook page is very important. You should write a short and relevant description of your business and you can also link your website and other social media, which is a good idea for improving your branding. Adding your address and contact information helps potential customers find you easier.

You can also set your 'Preferred Page Audience'. Facebook lets you choose the location, age, gender, interests and languages of the audience that you would prefer to see your page. You should set this to represent the target audience of your product/service.

Add a button to the front of your page. Facebook gives you the option to add buttons for many different things like 'Contact Us', 'Call Now', Send Message' and 'Shop Now'. Adding buttons will make it more likely for people who visit your page to engage with you.

2. Creating content

There is a lot more to posting content to Facebook than originally meets the eye. The first thing that you should look into, before posting any content, is to find the best times to post. If you can find the peak times to post, you will be more likely to get more engagement and post reach. CoSchedule Blog summarised 16 studies about the best times to post on Facebook and reading it will give you a good idea for when best to publish your content. You should also do some research into the type of content that appeals to your target market and then make and share content that they would be interested in.

Keep to a schedule and post content consistently. When someone likes your Facebook page, your content starts appearing on their main home feed. This means that if you post too much or too little, they could think you're filling up their timeline with too much content or that you're inactive and unlike your page. You should also make sure to use mixed media (links, videos and images) when you post on Facebook. Mixed media posts are a lot more likely to get engagement. Make sure that you post original content (content you created) so that you can avoid any copyright problems and so you can give Facebook users content that they can't get anywhere else. When posting your content, you should keep the 80/20 rule in mind. 80% of your content should be social and have nothing to do with selling/promoting your products/services. This is because Facebook users wouldn't want to like a page that is just an advertisement.

You can build engagement by posting questions and hosting competitions/giveaways. You can give your followers a chance to win one of your products/services through your Facebook by asking them to like, comment and share the competition post. Then, after a set period of time, go through the comments, choose a person, check that they have liked everything and shared the post then send them a message alerting them that they won. Competitions on Facebook will help your Facebook page gain more likes and will get more people aware of your page through sharing the post. Make sure to engage your new members and not put them off immediately with advertising. You could also post a "success story" from the competition to encourage current members to partake in any future competitions that you host.

Make sure that you respond to comments that users leave on your posts and messages that you receive. This not only makes your business seem more human but will encourage more people to engage with your posts. Knowing you read what they have to say and that you're likely to respond to them increases customer loyalty.

3. Growing your Page

Now that you have your Facebook page all set up and have a nice stream of content, you'll probably want to gain a few more likes. One way to do this is to make sure your content is optimised. You can use the Facebook Insights to find out which posts are doing the best with engagement and reach and which posts aren't doing so well. Then you can change your content by posting more of the good stuff and less of the bad stuff. It would be smart to check this at least once a week to make sure that your content is getting optimal engagement.

Interact with other similar pages by commenting on and sharing their posts. This means that they will be likely to share your content too and the both of you will benefit from the others following.

Use the followers that you already have. Invite your Facebook friends to like your page. Add a Facebook like button or a link to your Facebook page on your website and on your email signatures. You could also embed your posts and videos from Facebook into your blog or website. 'Shout out' your Facebook on your other social media channels, this works especially well if you have a Facebook exclusive discount code that you can offer to people who visit your page.

Use paid promotion. Unfortunately, Facebook does seem to be a little bit 'pay to play'. You can boost your page and advertise it on Facebook with a set daily budget that will give your page increased growth. For £5 a day, Facebook estimates 3-10 daily likes. Buzzfeed, one of the biggest pages on Facebook, had some of their financial information leaked by Gawker and it shows that they spent 5.9million over 6 months in 2014 for Facebook advertising. That's almost million a month!

Overall, make sure that your Facebook page reflects your brand and releases consistent quality content. Learn your audience and produce content that meets their needs and engages them. The more people feel connected to your brand and your store, the more likely they will be to buy from you and increase your web traffic. 

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3 Ways to Effectively Increase Your Market Reach With Twitter

As one of the most popular online social networks, Twitter is very powerful tool for marketing. Geared to create conversations, users can post, read and engage with short messages known as Tweets. This makes Twitter a great place to generate leads, build connections with potential customers and extend your brand voice. How do you get started on Twitter and grow your social presence?

1. Getting Started: Build your following

The first step to building your following is optimising your profile. You should have a good quality profile picture and banner that accurately represents your brand and looks professional. You should also optimise your bio so that it includes relevant keywords and your city/region so you will rank higher and so that you attract local users. Plus make sure you include a link to your website to help direct traffic to you,

Then, get networking by following lots of relevant accounts. Often people will follow you back. It would be a good idea to follow your competitors and other local businesses.

Looking at Twitter directories like Twiends to find newer users to connect with is another suggested way to grow on Twitter. You can use these directories to find local users, the most active accounts and users that share the same interests who you can then follow and engage with. However, although using Twiends can be helpful when you want to build an initial following, a lot of the people who find you through these directories aren't the most engaging followers. There is a right hand column on Twitter showing suggestions of people to follow and we have found this the best place to find good people to follow and who are likely to engage with you to follow back usually generating a few likes or replies to your account. Remember, it's not the number of followers you have which matters but the amount of engagement with your followers which is measured by Google and which ultimately creates the best experience of your business for your customers.

Once your following begins to grow, keep up with quality Tweets. You can use tools such as Hootsuite to schedule your tweets to peak times when the most people are on Twitter. This means that it's more likely for your tweets will be seen by more people. You can also set up Hootsuite so you can see live feeds of different topics that are relevant to your business so that you can tweet and engage with those people.

2. Growing Your Presence: Promote your Twitter

If you promote your Twitter on your other social networks and channels, you can bring some of your existing followers over to Twitter. This will work especially well if you post Twitter exclusive content that your current followers will be interested in.

You can also include a follow button and embedding your Twitter feed on your website, this will show people visiting your website that you're active on social media and if they see something interesting on the feed, they may even follow.

Linking your Twitter in your email signature is another great way of promoting your account, especially if you send a lot of emails.

3. Sustaining Your Account: How to keep your followers

Getting a bunch of followers is great but how can you make sure that they don't leave? One way to keep your followers is to keep them engaged with you. Creating quality content with relevant and interesting information will show your followers that you're worth keeping. Also, engaging content like open-ended questions that encourage replies and Twitter contests will show your followers that you care.


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With over 1.2 million businesses advertising through Google Adwords, this has become one of the key online marketing channels. Businesses make an average £2 of revenue for every £1 spent on Adwords and, with over 1 million websites are part of the Google Ad Display Network, it is understandable that Google provides a significant marketing reach for any business.

However, it can be a challenge to get to grips with the Google Adwords tool and, for many businesses, the time involved does not make this effective.

What is Google Adwords Certification?

Khoo Systems recently completed and passed all of the Adwords specialism exams in the areas below, along with the Adwords Fundamentals:

- AdWords Search certified
- AdWords Mobile certified
- AdWords Video certified
- AdWords Display certified
- AdWords Shopping certified

Different specialisms will be relevant for helping different businesses. However, Khoo Systems are now well positioned to give guidance and support for each target market.

Can we help?
If you are thinking of using Google Adwords to grow your business then using a Certified Specialist is essential if you want to make the most of your investment. We are happy to work within in any budget and will let you know what is best for your business. So please don't hesitate to get in touch if you'd like to venture into the realm of advertising on Google as we'd be happy to support you. 

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iPages have been busy ensuring all websites' loading speeds are optimised. This has involved a fair bit of testing and measurement against Google's criteria and, although it is a challenge to achieve fast page load speeds for all websites without compromising quality, we are proud of the high speeds we have obtained.

Why are page load speeds important for SEO?

Firstly, page load speeds are important for people using your website. If viewers or customers cannot properly browse your website quickly, their experience will be hindered and this can lead to high bounce rates and low conversions.

Secondly, site speeds have a direct impact on your SEO. In their own document, Google includes site speed as a new signal within their search ranking algorithms:

'You may have heard that here at Google we're obsessed with speed, in our products and on the web. As part of that effort, today we're including a new signal in our search ranking algorithms: site speed. Site speed reflects how quickly a website responds to web requests.'

How have iPages increased page load speeds?

iPages are well placed to optimise page load speeds, being a hosted solution. Earlier this year iPages made extensive efforts to increase site speeds including the automatic optimising of images.

However, we are always looking to improve our site speeds and recently continued these updates to include amending javascript handling and further work to improve image sizes.

What does this mean for you?

This means that, if you are an iPages customer, your website will have been optimised for site speed. You can check your site speed using the Google PageSpeed Insight tool.

Should you have any questions, do not hesitate to get in touch.


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How many people visit your website each day? How long do visitors spend on your website? What content are visitors engaging with? Everyone has questions about their website performance and would like to know various metrics.

iPages websites all link with PIWIK webstats as standard, giving website owners instant analytics. PIWIK is the leading open-source analytics platform which can help you gather and analyse important information about your users. With rich insights from standard visitor metrics to geolocation, real-time data and historical values on all metrics, PIWIK satisfies both the curious and the data-driven website owner.

The PIWIK webstats are displayed on the iPages dashboard to provide an instant view of your website performance. 

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iPages are pleased to announce the arrival of the 'waterfall' view for pages. Alike the photo sharing platform, Pinterest , the 'waterfall' allows your content tiles to 'fit' around each other, creating a mood board look.

This view is particularly effective for displaying volumes of visual content on mass as it gives the visitor an overview of your brand. Pinterest use the view to engage their visitors visually and promote click-throughs to the content.

For galleries, blogs or even a folder of pages, this view is simple to implement and a validated tool for promoting visual engagement.

Features of the 'waterfall' view

- Reorganise different-sized content into block areas and position in grid
- Responsive and cross-browser
- Custom max/min columns (as with the tile-view)
- Can be set to display a pagination when scrolling

Should you wish to benefit from this view, simply get in touch and we'll be happy to help. 
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