14 Jan 2022

Understanding Google’s product review update

In April 2021, Google announced that it was releasing a product review update via its search central blog1. The update was rolled out in the month of December. The goal of the update was to make it easier for users to find insightful reviews about products that help them make purchase decisions.

In their announcement Google mentioned that the update would only impact English language websites and would eventually expand to other languages. However, many experts believe that the update has already impacted websites with different languages. Product reviews are particularly important for e-commerce websites and those who use affiliate links. If you have an e-commerce website in Guyana, you should talk to your digital marketing agency about overhauling your product review strategy.

Why are product reviews important?

79% of customers give as much importance to online reviews as they do to personal recommendations. Customers are more likely to purchase a product from a website that has customer reviews. On an average, reviews can lead to an 18% increase in sales2. Recommendations from other people have always had a significant impact on people’s buying decisions. When shopping online people look for such recommendations. This is why product reviews matter and if you have an e-commerce business you need to pay attention to the type of reviews you have on your website. If you have an affiliate website, your product reviews need to align with Google’s update so that you do not lose out on ranking, traffic and sales.

Why are product reviews important

What changes with Google’s product review update?

Google’s product review update gives more importance and higher rankings to in-depth product reviews that provide users with information on specifications, user experiences, pros and cons, etc. Reviews that are thin and simply summarize a bunch of products will be shown lower in search results. This means that users will be able to quickly see high quality reviews from trusted sources.

In their blog post Google has given a lot of insight on what information a good product review should include. Google has advised digital content creators to include more multimedia content in their reviews and to provide more than one link where users can purchase a product. By including multimedia like images and videos, Google is encouraging content creators to include more proof that the product being reviewed has actually been handled and used. Including more than one purchase link will give users more choice on which seller to choose from and encourage reviewers to be more impartial.

How to write a good product review?

Your digital marketing strategy development needs to contain updated guidelines on how to create a good product review. Along with including more multimedia content, a good review should include: detailed product specifications, pros and cons of the product, information on the best use cases for a product, information on comparable products that could be used in certain situations.

Give your customers images and product videos that they can use in their reviews. Encourage them to provide more information and make it easy to find product details and specifications. If you have internal pages on your website that talk about your products, add more content to them. A robust review will rank high in search results and generate high converting traffic.

Good product review will rank high in search results and generate high converting traffic

In their search central blog, Google has given a list of questions that content creators can ask to check if their product reviews are of high quality. Some of these questions are mentioned below.

Content creators should ask if their reviews:

  • Express expert knowledge about products where appropriate?
  • Show what the product is like physically, or how it is used with unique content beyond what’s provided by the manufacturer?
  • Provide quantitative measurements about how a product measures up in various categories of performance?
  • Explain what sets a product apart from its competitors?
  • Cover comparable products to consider, or explain which products might be best for certain uses or circumstances?
  • Discuss the benefits and drawbacks of a particular product?
  • Describe how a product has evolved from previous models or releases to provide improvements, address issues, or otherwise help users in making a purchase decision?
  • Identify key decision-making factors for the product’s category and how the product performs in those areas? For example, a car review might determine that fuel economy, safety, and handling are key decision-making factors and rate performance in those areas.
  • Describe key choices in how a product has been designed and their effect on the users beyond what the manufacturer says?

It is important for businesses to partner with a digital marketing firm with an in-depth understanding of how to effectively create content keeping both users and search engines in mind. If you are looking for a digital marketing company for your business in Guyana, contact us at WebFX. We can help you create content for your site that is search engine optimized and user friendly. WebFX offers complete web solutions which include website design and development services, mobile app design and development, social media marketing, and digital marketing and advertising solutions.

Source:

  1.  Apr. 21, ‘What creators should know about Google’s product reviews update’, Google Search Central Blog, [available online], available from: https://developers.google.com/search/blog/2021/04/product-reviews-update [accessed Jan 2022]
  2. N.d., M. Loiselle, “3 Important Statistics That Show How Reviews Influence Consumers”, Dixa, [available online] available from: https://www.dixa.com/blog/3-important-statistics-that-show-how-reviews-influence-consumers/ [accessed Jan 2022]

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10 Jan 2022

Why you need to invest in local SEO for 2022?

Nearly half (46%) of all searches on Google have some form of local intent1. 72% of people who run a local search visit a business establishment within a five-mile radius2. Optimizing your local search presence can have a significant impact on your business. If you have a business in Guyana that requires people to visit a physical establishment, you should talk to your digital marketing agency about local SEO.

During the pandemic there was a change in consumer’s buying behaviour and how they interact with their local business. Google adapted quickly to these changes and has made noteworthy updates to their search results. In this article we will look more closely at updates to local search that you should consider when planning your local digital marketing strategy for 2022.

Google Business Profile

Google has rebranded, Google My Business to Google Business Profile. Google Business Profile made it easier for businesses to claim their listings and update business information. Google Business Profiles can be edited directly from Google Search and Google Maps. This has simplified the process of adding business information like opening hours, contact details, business images etc. Google also added new attributes to Business Profile such as attributes related to health and safety that can help businesses stand out.

Google Business Profile for local digital marketing

Updates on local news

With the uncertainty caused by the pandemic and constant changes in recommended guidelines and local restrictions, many people turned to Google to find local news. Google made it easier to find local news by making changes to how local news is displayed in search results. Google also launched two projects to help journalists create local news content:

  1. The Census Mapper Project made is easier for journalists to gather, analyse and visualize data collected by The Associated Press.
  2. The Common Knowledge Project gave access to geographic comparisons, charts and structured data. It made it easier to create visualizations for data at a county, state, and national level.

In search results, Google added a local news results carousel at the top of result pages to make it easier for users to find information about their area. Google also started to show local tweets in their result pages.

If you have just started working on your business’s online presence then you can get some valuable tips on how to do it right here – 5 things to consider when building a digital presence.

What you need to know for your 2022 Local SEO Strategy?

If you are new to local SEO in Guyana, below are some important things you need to know for your local digital marketing strategy development for 2022.

1. Use the business profile messaging feature

Businesses can message customers directly from the business profile and maps app. This is a great way to increase conversions. Users are more likely to visit your establishment if they have a chance to get their queries resolved quickly.

2. Add images to street view

You should add images of your business to Google Map’s Street view. This will allow you to showcase your business in the best light and will make it convenient for customers to find your establishment. People are more likely to visit a place if they have a sense of what it looks like. Therefore, adding business images to street view will also help improve conversions.

Google Map’s Street view lets people find your business easily

3. Leverage Business Profile insights

Google Business Profile provides insights into what queries visitors are using to find your business. You can use this information to improve your marketing messages and shape your business strategy.

If you have a physical business in Guyana, you need the expertise of an experienced digital marketing and web solutions company to make the most of your local marketing investment. Contact WebFX for your local SEO and digital marketing needs. We offer full-service digital marketing solutions to businesses in Guyana and the Caribbean.

Sources:

  1. n.d., “What Percentage Of Google Searches Are Local?”, Hennessey Digital, [available online] available from: https://hennessey.com/seo/local/what-percent-of-google-searches-are-local/ [accessed December 2021]
  2. n.d., L. K. Cox, “16 Stats That Prove the Importance of Local SEO”, Hubspot, [available online] available from: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/local-seo-stats [accessed December 2021]
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28 Dec 2021

What can app developers learn from the 2021 Material Design Award winners

What is material design?

Material design is a design language created by Google for Android oriented devices back in 2014. It is a comprehensive guide for visual, motion and interaction design that can be applied across devices. It is backed by open-source code. By adhering to material design principles, app developers and designers can optimize user experience that are rich in motions, 3-D effects and realistic lighting. It allows for android devices to have a cohesive and consistent graphical user interface. It is thanks to material design that Android apps are able to have a familiar feel despite being created by a wide variety of developers and creators.

What are the material design awards?

The material design awards are conducted on a yearly basis. It is an occasion to celebrate the work created by app designers and developers using material design. Each year the awards recognize the best work in particular categories. For 2021 the categories were: Motion, Large-screen design experiences, and expressive implementations of Dark Theme. If you think your product or design deserves to be recognized, you can talk to your mobile design and development agency in Guyana and ask them to nominate your product.

Mobile design and development with material design principles

What we can learn from the winners of 2021

If you are a mobile app development and design agency in Guyana, learning more about the winners of the material design awards from the past few years would be a valuable investment of time.

1. Motion

The winner in the category of motion was the app Post-it. According to the description on the PlayStore, the Post-it app brings the simplicity of post-its to your smart phone. The app design and development team used the principles of material design to create digital interactions in their app that mimic realistic motions of the physical world. For example, users of the app can crumple a post-it note in the app, a deeply satisfying feeling in the real world. Motion is an important design trend for the coming year. App designers and developers should give more thought to how they can use subtle motions and animations to create more engaging user experiences. 

Play store URL: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mmm.postit

2. Large Screen

Smartphones, tablets, laptops, smart-TVs and desktops, users today are interacting with applications on a variety of screen sizes. It is crucial for applications to be able to adapt to these various screen resolutions. In this category the criteria was to find a product whose layouts and components adapt well across screen sizes while still maintaining the unique identity, personality and functionality of the product.

The winner in this category was the product Todoist. Todoist is a popular app that allows users to organize, plan and collaborate on projects. The app was praised for its ability to adapt to various screen sizes. The design team took care to ensure that various layouts margins and content regions are properly adapted. They have also implemented column-based layout grids which allows them to test different layouts in one section of their app without disturbing sections that are already optimized.

Play store URL: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.todoist

App design must adapt to all screen resolutions

3. Dark Theme

One of the biggest trends to emerge from the past year was the use of dark themes and dark interfaces. Dark themes are designed for users who need to use products in low light environments. Dark themes make it possible for batteries to last longer as the designs use less backlight. The winner in this category, was Meetly. Meetly recently went through a redesign and implemented a dark theme. The app was recognized for its use of colour across the new theme that helped reinforce its unique identity.

Play store URL: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=aculix.meetly.app

Good design principles are eternal and stand the test of time. Good work can be source of inspiration for your own development and design projects.

Are you are looking for a mobile design and development company for your business in Guyana to help you build a product that complies with material design principles? Contact us at WebFX. We are a full-service web and app development company with the knowledge and expertise of the latest in web and app development trends and technology.

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04 Dec 2021

Types of Website Hosting you should know about

Since 2010 the number of people using the internet in Guyana has increased by over 30%. As of 2017 internet penetration stood at 37%1. Mobile Money Guyana, a mobile payment wallet has been gaining popularity in the country, the pandemic has also helped accelerate the development of local e-commerce services2. As the online economy grows there are more opportunities to launch an online business or to expand your existing business online. To take proper advantage of the opportunities online, you will need to build a website. This is where the services of a website development company in Guyana will be required.

A web development agency will help you design, build and launch your website. One important decision where professional advice can be crucial is determining what type of hosting you should choose for your website. In this article, we explore the different types of hosting available for websites, so that you can have an informed discussion with your website developers.

What is hosting?

What is web hosting

For a website to be available on the internet, it needs to be ‘hosted’ somewhere. This means that all the files, images, text, icons, etc that make up a website need to be stored on a physical server somewhere. When someone opens a website on a browser, the server sends the files to the browser which then loads the site. A web hosting service is a company that provides the facilities and infrastructure required for clients to host their sites. The amount of space a website takes up on a server can vary greatly. It will depend on the number of pages the site has, the size of the image files, etc. Mentioned below are the different types of hosting you can choose from.

Types of web hosting

1. Shared Hosting

As the name indicates, in this type of hosting you share a server with other websites. This is a great option for smaller websites that are just getting started. Websites that are hosted on a shared server will share resources like RAM, CPU power, etc. The big benefit of this type of hosting is that the cost is relatively low. If you anticipate that your website will get large number of visitors, then this may not be the best option for you. Shared servers generally can’t handle large surges in traffic.

2. Dedicated hosting

The other side of shared hosting, in this type of hosting a website has its own dedicated physical server. This type of hosting will afford you a large amount of control over the server on which your site is hosted. If you have a dedicated server, your website design and development team can help you decide what is the best security for you to use, what operating system the server should run, etc. This type of hosting is typically the most expensive option. To maintain this type of hosting you need to have the required technical knowledge, hence you will need to work with a professional agency. A dedicated server can handle large amounts of traffic and will not be impacted by the performance of other websites as there are no other sites using the same server.

Website development agency will guide you on what hosting your website needs

3. Virtual Private Hosting (VPS)

VPS hosting is the mid-point between shared hosting and dedicated hosting. In this type of hosting a certain amount of space on a dedicated server is allocated to your site. This provides webmaster with more control over their sites’ performance and storage. VPS hosting is also less expensive than getting a dedicated server but is more expensive than shared. This type of hosting can handle more traffic than shared hosting but will not be able to keep up with very large volumes of traffic.

Some other hosting options you can consider are cloud hosting and managed hosting. Contact WebFX, a web development company for Guyana businesses and get the right advise on what type of hosting is right for you.

Sources:

  1. Jul 2021, “Percentage of population using the internet in Guyana from 2010 to 2017”, Statista, [available online] available from: https://www.statista.com/statistics/1055477/internet-penetration-guyana/ [accessed Dec 2021]
  2. n.d., “Guyana – Country Commercial Guide – eCommerce”, International Trade Administration, [available online] available from: https://www.trade.gov/country-commercial-guides/guyana-ecommerce [accessed Dec 2021]
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27 Oct 2021

The Future of IoT Devices and Mobile Apps

The way we use the internet has evolved with time. Thanks to increased penetration of smartphones, we have seen a clear shift from desktop websites to mobile first design and mobile applications. In recent years, due to the advancements in AI technology, software, and manufacturing of components like chips, there has been a sharp increase in the types of devices that are capable of connecting to the internet. Dubbed the ‘internet of things’, IoT is a term used to refer to a network of devices that have their own IP addresses, are able to connect to the internet and communicate with each other. Perhaps the most familiar example of IoT would be its use in smart homes. Smart devices like refrigerators that are capable of going online, smart lighting, and smart home temperature control systems are slowly becoming more common.

What does this have to do with mobile apps? The most common way these smart devices are controlled is via the use of mobile applications. According to Statista worldwide, spending on IoT is expected to reach USD 1.1 trillion by 2023[1]. Apart from mobile apps being built to control and interact with IoT devices, there is a whole new world of opportunities in the data that is being collected from these devices.

For example, if you have a smart refrigerator and a smart washing machine that maintain data on their use, an application can be built that will use this data to automatically order detergent, fabric softener and groceries based on predictions of when these supplies will be required. Mobile app developers in Guyana, should take note of the changing landscape for mobile applications and prepare to develop apps for the future. Mentioned below are some predictions for the future of IoT and mobile applications:

Wearables present new opportunities

Mobile applications can take smart wearable tech beyond smartphones

Wearable technologies like smart watches will give app developers a whole new way to improve user experience and interaction. Most wearable gadgets are already connected to a smartphone. Mobile applications can increase the types of inputs to accept and incorporate the outputs available on smart wearable tech to expand the IoT experience beyond smartphones.

Hybrid Apps will become more common

Traditionally, mobile apps worked only with specific platforms. This is not ideal for IoT, as IoT devices work on different platforms. As hybrid apps are able to function on multiple platforms, they will be more effective and successful when it comes to IoT devices. If you want to ensure your offering is compatible with the highest number of IoT devices, talk to your mobile app development agency in Guyana to learn more about hybrid mobile application development.

Automotive applications

Cars and vehicles are another domain that will see an increase in the need for IoT mobile application. Soon we will see smart cars that can connect to mobile apps and communicate with other vehicles on the road. This will make it possible to add a plethora of new features to our vehicles such as; the ability for cars to automatically call roadside assistance, get real time information on traffic, and reduce the likelihood of collisions and accidents.­­­­

Retail industry

Retail industry will benefit greatly from IoT mobile applications

The retail industry is another area that will benefit greatly from IoT mobile applications. A great example of how IoT mobile applications, and an array of sensors can radicalize a conventional shopping experience are the Amazon Go convenience stores. These stores use cameras, barcode scanner and weight sensors to automatically add the items customers take off a shelf to their virtual carts. The goal is for the visitors to simply walk into the store, get the items they want, and leave. The purchases are automatically added to the Amazon app and users can pay for their purchases without the need to wait at the checkout line or interact with employees in the store.

As technology advances, mobile applications will play a key role in creating a futuristic environment for our day-to-day activities to fit in smoothly. Therefore, for a mobile app design and development company, it is crucial to incessantly upgrade their technical skills and keep track of the changing tech scenario.

If you are looking for mobile app design and development services for your business in Guyana, contact WebFX. We are a full-service web solutions firm offering multiple digital solutions such as web development and digital marketing along with mobile app design and development services for Guyana businesses.

Source:

  1. Jan. 21, L. S. Vailshery, “Internet of Things (IoT) spending worldwide 2023”, Statista, [available online], available from: https://www.statista.com/statistics/668996/worldwide-expenditures-for-the-internet-of-things/ [accessed Oct 2021]
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19 Oct 2021

5 things to consider when building a digital presence online

According to data collected by the world bank in 2017, 37% of individuals in Guyana use the internet. This is an 8% increase since 20101. We can assume that the percentage of the population in Guyana using the internet is significantly on the rise. The restrictions resulting from the Covid 19 pandemic have forced a lot of businesses to fast-track digital adoption. Today, people are more familiar and comfortable with making purchases online. A study conducted in 2019 revealed that 70% of B2B buyers do their research online before making a purchase2. It is clear from these statistics that whether you are in a B2C or B2B business in Guyana, you need to have a strong online presence.

If you are not familiar with digital marketing, finding the right digital marketing service provider in Guyana is crucial. The right digital media and marketing partner can help you build an effective online presence which can lead to a higher return on marketing investment (ROMI), higher brand equity, a better understanding of your customers, and a longer customer lifecycle.

In this article we explore certain factors that you should keep in mind when planning for digital marketing for your business in Guyana.

1. Highlight your local presence

If your business has a location in Guyana, you should highlight this on your website. You should also create a Google business listing for your business’s physical location. This is essential to improve your local SEO performance. This is particularly relevant for businesses that cater to specific regions, for example restaurants, clinics, hospitality services, etc.

If you provide a service in Guyana but do not have a physical presence in the area, you should still highlight the fact that you cater to the country. Strategies such as creating a subfolder for Guyana on your website and using local images and information will help your business establish a connection between your website and the country you are targeting, even if you do not have a physical presence there.

Highlight your local presence in Guyana for better local seo performance

2. Invest in paid ads

If you are a new business, investing in paid ads will help you get the desired results much faster. This is an excellent way to build awareness about your brand in a short amount of time. Paired with SEO, the combination of paid and organic marketing efforts can be a very effective strategy. This is why it is a good idea to hire a full-service digital marketing agency that will be able to manage your paid ad campaigns, SEO campaigns and help build a 360-degree online presence.

3. SEO is the way to go

As mentioned above, SEO is an important part of creating an effective online presence. If you do not have the budget for paid ads, and must choose between the two channels, SEO would be the way to go. This is because SEO delivers long term results. With paid ads you pay to play. While this has its advantages, it also means that the online presence you create through them is temporary and will disappear as soon as the ad budget is spent. With SEO the results may take longer to manifest, but once you achieve good rankings you will continue to enjoy organic traffic even if you do not continually invest in SEO.

4. Emails are still important

Email marketing continues to be a very impactful digital marketing strategy. You should ensure that your website has well-structured contact forms and clear call to actions that enables you to build an effectual email list. The effectiveness of the email list can be further increased through proper segregated by audience type. For example, having one list of people that have already purchased your product or service and a separate list of people that have shown an interest by filling a form. The more effectively you segment your lists, the more effective your email marketing strategy can be.

Email marketing is an impactful digital marketing strategy

5. Have an iterative approach

A good digital marketing agency will tell you that online marketing is a continuous process. Therefore, it is important for you to have an iterative approach. An iterative approach needs to be combined with continuous monitoring and tracking to understand which marketing activities are giving you results so you can continue improving your strategy with each iteration.

The great thing about online marketing is that it allows you to have a data driven approach to your marketing decisions. If you are looking for a digital marketing agency for your business in Guyana, contact WebFX. We are a full-service website and digital marketing solutions firm that will ensure you get the best results for your investment.

Source:

  1. N.d., “Individuals using the Internet (% of population) – Guyana”, World Bank, [available online] available from: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/IT.NET.USER.ZS?locations=GY [accessed October 2021]

Sep 2019, “B2B Buyers do 70% of their research online”, Passle, [available online] available from: https://blog.passle.net/post/102fqjl/b2b-buyers-do-70-of-their-research-online [accessed October 2021]

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11 Oct 2021

Website Design for High Performance: 3 Essential Metrics to Track

Ecommerce revenue in Guyana is expected to increase to USD 118 million by the year 20251. In order to get the most from your business website, you need to ensure it is properly optimized for search engines and is designed to be user friendly. In order to make logical decisions on how you can improve your website performance, you need data. You need information on how users are finding your website, what they do once they land on a page, and details about their journey that leads to a final conversion.

You can use this information to identify areas of improvement and make data driven decisions that will have real impact on your sales. When engaging with a website design company, businesses in Guyana should ensure that performance tracking is baked into their website’s design. Your website development agency should be aware of what conversion actions matter to your business, so they can create a design that will be able to provide you with actionable insights as well as useful data for future improvements.

For example, if you rely on email marketing and newsletters to generate sales, your website should have clear call to actions that encourage users to subscribe to your newsletter. You should also be able to track which of these CTAs get the most clicks. There are a lot of tools, and software available for website analysis and data tracking. It can be difficult to understand how to cut through the noise and make a choice. In this article we will explore 3 essential metrics that you should track, and will also recommend the best tools to do so:

i) Search Queries

It’s important to know how users are finding your website. What are they typing into search engines when they find your business? Knowing which search queries are driving your website’s traffic will allow you to ensure you have the right information on your website. You can optimize content, create blogs, and even improve your product offering if you know what people are looking for.

Tracking search queries to optimize website content

Google Search Console is an excellent tool for this purpose. Search Console tells you which queries your website showed up for in search results and highlights which queries are driving clicks to your website. Google Search Console also gives access to Google’s Core Web Vital metrics. Read more on the importance of Google’s Core Web Vitals in website development.

ii) Website Traffic

Users can find your websites through multiple channels. They may land on your website via a business listing, or they can type in a search query and click on your website when it shows up in the search results. They can also come through social media platforms as well as paid ads. It is important to track and analyze the traffic coming to your website. Is there a particular day in the week when you receive more traffic? Are there particular months where traffic naturally increases? You can use this information to optimize your marketing communication on the website.

Google Analytics is a great tool for tracking and analysing the traffic coming to a website. Google analytics also offers information on the incoming traffic’s behaviour on the website. By studying traffic behaviour, you can gain better understanding of which webpages are most and least visited and how the flow of the website should be. Such valuable data when combined with website design can yield outstanding results in terms of website conversions. The one-two punch of Search Console and Analytics can provide you with a lot of information to extract meaningful insights.

iii) Conversions

A desired and defined action that users take on your website is referred to as a conversion. The most coveted form of a conversion is a sale. However, depending on your service offering, there might be other actions that users take on your website that are important. For example, if you provide a custom service, then users filling out an inquiry form would be a useful conversion. Similarly, users scheduling a consultation call or downloading a free eBook in exchange of their email id are all forms of a conversion. Clearly defining a conversion on your website and closely tracking it will help you make smart design upgrades that focuses on effective design flow built for optimum conversion rates.

Defining and tracking website conversions for smart website design upgrades

Google Analytics also has the ability to track conversions on your website. Google’s Tag Manager is useful for websites that have a complex conversion process.

Search queries, website traffic, and conversions are metrics usually associated with digital marketing campaigns. However, in the evolving digital landscape, these metrics provide crucial input to website design and development teams so they are able to successfully create high-performance websites.

Contact WebFx, a website design and development agency for businesses in Guyana to help you build a website that delivers high quality UX, is pleasing to look at, and can track the performance metrics you need to know in order to make the most from your online presence.

Sources:

  1. Jul 21, ‘eCommerce Revenue. Region: Guyana’, Statista, [available online], available from: https://www.statista.com/outlook/dmo/ecommerce/guyana#revenue [accessed Oct 2021]
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04 Oct 2021

3 simple ways to incorporate AI into your website development

According to data from the world bank, the number of people who accessed the internet in Guyana, has been steadily increasing since 2010. As of 2017, 37% of the population accessed the internet1. As of April 2020, there were over 113 300 Instagram users in Guyana2. As internet usage increases so does the potential for digital marketing and its ability to generate leads. If you run a business in Guyana and do not have an online presence, now is the right time to get started.

There have been a lot of exciting innovations in website design and development over the past decade. These developments in technologies have made it possible to build websites that deliver a better user experience and lead to higher ROI. One such technology is artificial intelligence. There has been enough development in AI to make this technology more accessible. In this article we take a look at 3 simple ways you can use AI to improve your website development.

1. Voice Search

AI powered voice search is a great way to improve the user experience of your website. Users utilize search to find information they need. The goal is to make it simple and quick to find information. This is where voice search can be very useful. Particularly for people visiting your website from mobile phones. Search experience becomes faster and easier for such users through the use voice commands via their smartphone’s microphone. The good thing about AI powered voice search is that it gets smarter with use. Hence, as more people use the functionality on your website, the tool will get better at delivering accurate results, quickly.

Improving user experience of website with AI powered voice search

2. Chatbots

When they were first introduced, Chatbots were a novelty. A curious expression of what AI and machine learning could accomplish. Things have come a long way since then. Chatbots today can hold much more realistic and human like conversations. Thanks to software like Freshchat, ManyChat, etc, you can easily integrate the Chatbot feature into your WordPress website. If you are developing a website in Guyana, talk to your development agency about chatbots at the start of the project. Selecting the right CMS can make it easier to integrate such features into your site later down the line.

3. AI for Inventory Management

AI has been extremely effective in managing inventory and stock. It can help reduce inventory cost, storage costs, and maximize profits. The software can help predict consumer demand and recommend when its time to re-order certain products and helps optimize stock levels. By understanding when it is time to place certain products on discount AI powered inventory management technology can help maximize sales and conversion for e-commerce platforms. AI used in such a way can significantly increase your revenue and give you an edge over competition. It is particularly useful for start-ups that want to offer a wide variety of products without locking large amounts of their cash flow.

Read more of website design trends in 2021.

AI for ecommerce Inventory Management

One of the most commonly used CMSs in the world is WordPress and combined with WooCommerce it can be very helpful for creating an effective online store. Mentioned below are some of the best AI powered plugins for WordPress and WooCommerce. Based on your business needs, you should discuss these plugins with your website development agency in Guyana.

  1. Facebook messenger chat with bot: This is a great way to automate replies on Facebook when you are out of office. Or if you are caught up in other work.
  2. WooCommerce Dynamic Pricing and Discount with AI: This plugin makes it very easy to optimize your discounts and pricing. It also makes it easier to add discount codes to various products.
  3. Wootomation: This plugin learns from the purchasing data of your website. Similar to Amazon’s ‘you may also like’ section, based on what users have added to their cart, Wootomation can recommend products to them.

If you are interested in building a modern, well designed, SEO optimized website in Guyana, contact WebFX. We are a web development agency for Guyana businesses that also provides digital marketing service. Contact us to learn more!

Sources:

1. n.d., “Individuals using the Internet (% of population) – Guyana”, World Bank, [available online] available from: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/IT.NET.USER.ZS?locations=GY [accessed Sep 2021]

2. Apr 20, “Instagram users in Guyana”, NapoleanCat, [available online], available from: https://napoleoncat.com/stats/instagram-users-in-guyana/2020/04/ [accessed Sep 2021]

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20 May 2021

4 Trends in Website Design for 2021

During a national workshop on Electronic Commerce last year, Foreign Secretary Carl Greenridge said that Guyana cannot ignore the potential of E-Commerce. There are more than 294 thousand internet users in Guyana and internet penetration in the country stands at 37% [1]. A number that will continue to grow over the coming years. Greenridge pointed out that changes triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic were “symptomatic of a paradigm shift” in global business. E-Commerce is revolutionizing how the world trades [2].

Whether you plan to enter the E-Commerce space to cater to domestic customers or for international trade, you will need a website. A website plays a crucial role in the success of an online business. It gives the business legitimacy, authority and acts as a digital storefront. It is important for a business’s website to be well designed and feel modern. Web design has changed significantly over the years, a poorly designed website can feel dated and customers feel less confident interacting with such businesses. In this article, we explore four website design trends that businesses should consider in 2021.

 

1. Large Typography

Fonts are a big part of a business’s brand identity. A unique font can help customers distinguish your business from its competitors. Typography is the use of fonts as an element of design. By playing with font type and size, you can give your website a unique look and feel. Using large typography to highlight key points and buzzwords is a great way to create visual impact and catch a customer’s eye.

Once you have selected a font, make sure you keep it consistent across all your materials and assets. Using Google Fonts on your website is highly recommended. There are over 900 fonts to choose from, they are free to use and can help boost your website’s page load speed and performance.

 

2. Flatish Design

Before 2013, when it came to UI design, the approach was realism, also known as skeuomorphism. In this approach to design, the interface of a website or app is meant to mimic real life. Icons and elements are 3 dimensional, with lots of shadows, depth, and highlights, ‘it should look real’. In 2013, Apple changed all of that with the release of the iOS 7 update that embraced 2-dimensional, flat design. Flat design became the standard.

However, an emerging trend is the evolution of flat design i.e. flatish or semi-flat design. An approach that combines the best of realism and flat design. Instead of overdoing shadows, highlights, and overlays, semi-flat design strategically uses a few of these elements to create depth and add character to the UI. When it comes to modern website design, the world is no longer flat but not realistically round either, it’s somewhere in the middle.

 

3. Large Product Images

Both B2B and B2C businesses have recognized the power of images. Modern website development and design incorporate large product images. 90% of information transmitted to our brains is visual, the human brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text [3]. Using multiple large images makes it easier for web designers to communicate the features and benefits of a product. This is why quality images are an essential part of modern web design. Paired with concise text, visuals can have a powerful impact on users.

 

4. Card design

Instagram has over a billion users worldwide and Pinterest has approximately 478 million. These are two of the most widely used social media platforms in the world. The popularity of these platforms has increased the use of card design in modern websites. Today, cards can be seen in the UI design of both B2B and B2C websites. Cards allow designers to break information into bite-sized chunks. They can be used to show multiple products and solutions, side by side in an organized manner that does not overwhelm the users. The layout feels familiar and comfortable.

It’s important to ensure that the card layout is responsive. This means that depending on the size of a visitor’s screen, the number and size of the cards will automatically adjust. To help ensure that these types of important considerations are not overlooked, you should consider working with a professional web design and development company like WebFX.

 

WebFX provides digital media and website development services to businesses in Guyana. They have a team of experienced designers and developers who stay up to date with the latest trends and will build a modern website for your business that is attractive as well as functional.

 

Sources:

  1. Feb 2021, S. Kemp, “Digital 2021: Guyana”, Datareportal, [available online] available from: https://datareportal.com/reports/digital-2021-guyana [accessed May 2021]

 

  1. Aug 2020, “Guyana cannot ignore the potential of e-commerce, Greenidge says”, Stabroek News, [available online] available from: https://www.stabroeknews.com/2020/08/02/news/guyana/guyana-cannot-ignore-potential-of-e-commerce-greenidge-says/ [accessed May 2021]

 

  1. Jul 2014, “Studies Confirm the Power of Visuals to Engage Your Audience in eLearning”, Shift, [available online] available from: https://www.shiftelearning.com/blog/bid/350326/studies-confirm-the-power-of-visuals-in-elearning [accessed May 2021]

 

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20 May 2021

The importance of Google’s Core Web Vitals in Website Development

Google is the largest search engine in the world. 90% of search queries worldwide are handled by Google. In Guyana, it has an 87% market share [1]. Recent studies have shown that online research also impacts how users purchase in-store. A study by Bazaarvoice showed that 82% of smartphone users will check their phones and research online about the purchase they are going to make in-store. They check prices, read customer reviews, and even visit brand websites. Therefore, ranking well on Google’s search results is essential for continued business success.

How does Google rank websites?

Google considers a variety of factors when determining how to rank websites. These factors are referred to as ranking signals. There are over 200 signals that Google’s algorithm takes into consideration. In the early days, these signals were focused solely on website performance and technical factors, but increasingly Google is paying attention to user behavior. How users interact with a website, gives Google information about the quality of the website. If a user visits your website and then leaves without taking any action or scrolling on the page within a few seconds, this can indicate a negative experience for users. On the other hand, if a user visits your website and makes a purchase, this indicates a positive user experience.

To ensure top rankings in Google’s search results it’s important to optimize your website’s technical and performance factors. A professional web development company will have to know how to optimize for search engines and increase your chances of ranking high. In recent years Google is focused on encouraging website owners to deliver a quality user experience on their website.

What are core web vitals?

In early 2020 Google introduced Core Web Vitals, a set of metrics that aim to improve user experience. These updates are expected to come into force this year. Before 2020, Google evaluated the page experience of a website based on the following factors: Mobile-friendliness, safe browsing, HTTPs, and no intrusive interstitials. With Core Web Vitals Google has added the following factors to evaluate page experience:

  1. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
  2. First Input Delay (FID)
  3. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
  1. LCP | Largest Contentful Paint for page load speed
    This metric measures the amount of time it takes for the largest image or text block on a page to load after a user clicks on a link. LCP is a metric designed to encourage faster load times. 2.5 seconds for LCP is considered good, between 2.5 to 4 seconds means there is room for improvement and above 4 seconds is considered poor.
  1. FID | First Input Delay for interactivity
    FID measures how long it takes a website to respond after a user interacts with it. For example, if a user clicks on a menu option how much time does it take for the browser to process that event. For pages that do not have interactive elements, like a blog post, scrolling would qualify as a measurable interaction. 100 milliseconds or less for response time is considered good, between 100 to 300 milliseconds indicates room for improvement, and above 300 milliseconds is considered poor.

    Note that FID only considers input delays, hence if all of the interactions on a webpage are less than 100 milliseconds and there is no delay, you will not see an FID score for that page. This is a good thing.

  1. CLS | Cumulative Layout Shift for visual stability
    CLS measures how stable a page remains as it loads. The goal is to have visual stability as the page loads its resources and elements. This means, users should not see unexpected movements in the page’s layout, like links and menu options shifting positions.

    Layout shift can take place because of a variety of reasons such as; Images, ads, iframes, etc. being used without defined dimensions. The layout is considered to shift when elements that have loaded on a page, shift their start positions. A score of 0.1 or less is considered good for CLS, 0.1 to 0.25 indicates a need for improvement, and more than 0.25 is considered poor.

    You can find your Core Web Vital scores via Google Search Console. Once you have the Core Web Vitals report, you can make necessary optimizations to your website to improve your scores.

Working with a web design and development company like WebFX will ensure that your website is built optimally from the start. This reduces the chance of coding issues or poor development causing problems with CLS scores down the line. WebFX provides professional website design and development services in Guyana. If you are looking for a partner to build your website, contact WebFX today.

 
 

Sources:

  1. April 2021, ‘Search Engine Market Share Guyana’, Statcounter, [available online] available from: https://gs.statcounter.com/search-engine-market-share/all/guyana [accessed May 2021]
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