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English-only websites – are you breaking the Toubon Law?

As an entrepreneur in France I have my own business website which is currently only available in English, and my service offerings include a comprehensive website review. So I can only apologise because I have only recently found out about Toubon Law, and how it impacts business website owners. 

Even though I didn’t find anything when I searched on ‘Do I need a French version of my website?’, a native French web designer has pointed out my error. So I am now frantically trying to squeeze in translating my complete website, in between my client work. Because I live and work in France I need my business to be totally legal and compliant, so I’m not worrying about the internet police.

It might take me some time to translate the blogs, so unless one specifically advertises my services, I will do them as and when. A bit like this particular article, which has now been added to my ever-growing ‘To Do’ List.

Sign saying Wait paint instead of wet paint Translation Toubon Law
Make sure someone checks your translation

What is Toubon Law?

Although the law does not explicitly mention websites as an example, it does state that French must be used for publicly displayed advertising. The reason for the law was partly to protect the French language from the increasing use of Anglicised terms in marketing publications, for example ‘le web’ or ‘le marketing’. It’s also to ensure that French customers fully understand all the commercial advertising jargon that they see. So I can understand why this would be important, especially if there is no French definition for a particular word or phrase.

… a law of the French government mandating the use of the French language in official government publications, in all advertisements, in all workplaces, in commercial contracts, in some other commercial communication contexts, ….

Toubon Law – Wikipedia

Toubon Law or ‘Loi Toubon’ was named after the Minister of Culture at the time the law was passed in August 1994. But it also has the nickname ‘Loi Allgood’ (All good – tout bon) which shows the French do have a sense of humour.

Does this impact all websites in France?

If your business is registered in France then yes, the law applies to your business website. It doesn’t apply to personal sites, such as blogs though. So if you are not selling or promoting something on your personal website, then you can keep it non-French. 

“l’emploi du français est requis dans le cas où une entreprise présente, sur quelque support que ce soit, des biens ou des services dans le but de les commercialiser sur le territoire français”

Translating your website

If you already have a website in English, the page layout, content, images, meta descriptions, etc. are already there. And it doesn’t need to cost a lot of money to have a French version of your existing web pages. Your website manager should be able to recommend and install a good translation plug-in. The actual plug-in or app shouldn’t cost a fortune either. Most of them are free, but if manual translation is required then it’s worth employing a native French speaker. I would definitely not recommend using Google Translate unless you really have to, because it translates literally and using old-fashioned terminology. It’s fine if you need to get directions to your favourite restaurant – ah, those were the days! – but not so good if you want to professionally promote your products and services to French consumers. 

If you can’t afford an official translator then why not ask a French friend or neighbour if they can help you out? Or translate it using DeepL or any tool other than Google Translate, and then ask them to review it for you. You’ll be surprised how many anomalies they will find. Personally, I get my French teacher to check my business translations as part of my language course. It’s a win/win situation – she is paid to review my site and teach me French. At the same time, I’m learning the correct business lingo to promote my services.

Boost your business

Toubon Law is not all bad news and you should look on the positive side. If your website is in French and English you are potentially increasing your customer base and boosting your sales. Now isn’t that a good enough reason to get your website translation completed tout de suite ?

Thanks for reading. If you have any questions about this, or any other article please get in touch.

Shirley Atkinson

Website Usability Testing & Content Writing Services

 

Location

Shirley Atkinson

SAA IT Test Consultant

79120, Sainte Soline, France

SIRET – 835 373 515 00013

Contact

Need some advice? 

saa.it.testing@gmail.com

FR: +33 (0)7 83 16 61 11

UK: +44 (0)7940 435970

Hours

Mon: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Tue: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Wed: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Thu: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Fri: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Sat: Closed
Sun: Closed

How To Make Your Content Readable


If like me you spend a lot of time reading from a screen you will appreciate well written content. And I’m not talking about potential eye-strain. This is about your content being readable. Whether it’s email, website text or a blog, reading from a screen can be difficult.

Let’s talk about blogs first, because generally they will be the longest and most frequently written. As well as being relevant and interesting, your blog posts have to be readable. If they’re not, then your audience probably won’t even finish reading them. 

Child holding his face in his hands

Know your audience

First of all, make sure your text is at the right level for your target audience. For example, when I prepare instruction manuals for system users I keep it simple. I write them as if every reader is a new user, and that way everybody will understand it. User Guides are a good example because they’re not just for trainees. Experienced users will refer to them too, especially if there is an area they’re not familiar with. 

Blogging is the same. It’s easy for me to be enthusiastic about website testing because it’s my job. But if I’m going to write an article about how to improve your website, it has to be interesting and readable for my target audience. 

Plan your paragraphs

When you’re starting any blog make it clear from the beginning what the topic is, then go into more detail as you continue writing. This helps the reader understand the concept of your article from the outset. Try not to make your paragraphs too long, and keep your sentences short as well.

Writing in a notebook

How many times have you started to read something and had to start again because the sentences drag on? Sentences containing more than 20 words are considered to be too long. Also, if they are shorter there is less chance of you making grammatical errors. 

Check out the example below. This paragraph is an extract from a Yoast.com blog post. I have edited it to show you how not to write a paragraph.

If you really want original pictures that fit your post you should make your own photos. Taking your own photos ensures that you’ll show an original picture; one that can never be found on another blog and on top of that this allows you to shoot a photo that truly fits the content of your post so if you’re blogging about your day-to-day life taking your own pictures is definitely the way to go. That also goes for food blogs or for a company blog or a technical blog or anything else for that matter, it’s much harder to take pictures that actually fit the content of the posts you’re writing.

Punctuation

Even with a few commas in there to break up the sentences, it is still very difficult to follow. The sentences are far too long. Think about how you have a conversation. You don’t talk without taking a breath, so why would you expect someone to read without punctuation?

This is the original, unedited version of the same paragraph. 

If you really want original pictures that fit your post, you should make your own photos. Taking your own photos ensures that you’ll show an original picture, one that can never be found on another blog. On top of that, this allows you to shoot a photo that truly fits the content of your post. If you’re blogging about your day-to-day life, taking your own pictures is definitely the way to go. That also goes for food blogs. For a company blog or a technical blog, or for Yoast.com for that matter, it’s much harder to take pictures that actually fit the content of the posts you’re writing.

Simply put

The other thing to consider is vocabulary. Try to limit the use of long words because if they have four or more syllables they are considered difficult to read. I have read articles where the author appears to have deliberately thrown in long words. It puts me off a bit because then I start to wonder whether they are just trying to be clever, or if they are trying to confuse me?

Of course, depending on your blog topic you might need to use advanced vocabulary and terminology. But if your paragraphs and sentences aren’t too long, then it should still be readable. 

Transition words

My business website is on WordPress, and there is a really useful tool that you can use to help create readable content. Yoast SEO checks the sentence and paragraph lengths as you’re writing. It also checks whether you are using enough transition words and sub-headings. These are all elements which make your content more readable.

Great article with good readable content

It annoyed the hell out of me to start with, because I just could not grasp ‘transition words‘.  But I’m fairly happy with this article at the minute, because I can see I have got two green traffic lights for SEO and Readability.

You probably use transition words quite naturally when you are speaking. However, it can be difficult to use them in the right place when you are writing. And when you are trying to include enough transition words to improve the readability, it’s very tempting to use the same ones. This is another ‘No-No’. Try to avoid repetition and using the same words over and over and over again.

Because I draft my blogs in a word or Google document, if I’m struggling to come up with an alternative word I use the inbuilt grammar and spell-checking tools. So to find a similar word I ‘right-click’ in my document and check out the synonyms.  This will give you other examples of words that have the same or nearly the same meaning as the word you have highlighted. It’s really useful, and is yet another way to keep your readers happy, joyful and elated. 

If you want your readers to get to the end of your blog post, make sure that your text is easy to read. Don’t make your text more difficult than you have to. Avoid long sentences and write clear paragraphs.

Yoast SEO

Finally

My top tip though is read whatever you have written out loud before you publish it. Reading on screen is difficult and it’s easy to miss spelling and grammatical errors. If you read it out loud it will also help you find sentences that are too long. 

If you have enjoyed reading this article please ‘like and share’ to support a small business.

Sharing is Caring! 

Location

Shirley Atkinson

SAA IT Test Consultant

79120, Sainte Soline, France

SIRET – 835 373 515 00013

©2020 SAA-IT-Test.com

Contact

Need additional assistance? Please contact us:

saa.it.testing@gmail.com

FR: +33 (0)7 83 16 61 11

UK: +44 (0)7940 435970

Hours

Mon: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Tue: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Wed: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Thu: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Fri: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Sat: Closed
Sun: Closed

Business Blogs – When is the best time to blog?

It occurred to me this morning that I hadn’t posted a business blog in a while. With so much going on with coronavirus, self-isolation and people disobeying the distancing rules, why would anyone be interested in a blog about websites? Or website testing? 

So then I started thinking about the reasons why I should do a blog and it got me thinking about optimisation. It sounds like a random train of thought doesn’t it? But I’m talking about ‘optimisation’ in a business blog kind of way. And at 6 am on a beautiful Sunday morning I’m sat at my desk researching ‘Business Blog Scheduling’. 

I know the reasons why I should be submitting regular business posts. It’s so that it keeps my website fresh, helps with SEO and search traffic, helps build a good relationship with clients, etc, etc. But doesn’t how often we need to publish a blog and the optimal blogging frequency vary, depending on the type of business you have?  

 

top part of a round white clock face showing numbers and the words Prime time

Image Credit

General Blogging Guidelines

So as a result of my early morning research I did actually come up with a few general guidelines.

  1. Publish a new business blog at least once a week
  2. Always publish on the same day
  3. Focus on creating high-quality content

Great. Now I have my guidelines all I have to do is find a way to make user testing sound interesting. That’s the hard bit. But then, reading different articles this morning, I noticed that Guideline #1 isn’t strictly correct. It doesn’t always have to be new content. If you have posted something previously about a topic that is still relevant, or has come back in fashion, re-use it. There’s nothing to stop you giving it a bit of a tweak – re-cycling! – and republishing it. It counts as a new business blog, just don’t keep re-using the same one every week.

Identify your audience

Guideline number 2 is about being consistent and routinely publishing your blog on the same day. This is where I think we need to experiment to find out what works best for our own business and for our customers. But the first step has to be identifying your business blog audience.

My services are not going to be required by everybody. To be honest I probably have a very limited audience – owners of small and medium sized business enterprises – SMEs. And it doesn’t really matter what line of business my ‘audience’ is in. If they have a business website then they are a potential customer, even web design businesses.

I regularly work with a couple of web designers, reviewing their work during and after publishing, because catching bugs earlier means it easier and less expensive to fix. When you’re busy it’s easy to miss little things, such as broken links or poor navigation. Lots of little things can lead to one big, bad customer experience. So sometimes, it just helps to have a fresh pair of eyes look over the content and usability. 

There you see, I have drifted off into my own little testing world when I should be focusing on the task in hand and telling you about the ultimate goal.

The goal, of course, once you have identified your target audience is to successfully maintain a business blog that will increase website visitors. Making new connections and continuing to engage with existing customers or clients, will hopefully start generating new sales. 

Experiment

Different audiences will have different needs. If your business blog is a tool for providing up-to-the-minute information about products that you sell then you probably need to publish short, promotional blogs on a daily basis, or even several times a day. Whereas if you provide technical services, like testing for example, then that requires a longer, more detailed blog. So I think for me personally, once a week should suffice.

If you’re not sure what your blog readers need then you might have to experiment and see what formats and frequencies get the best reactions. See which format is a consistent favourite and continue with that. 

Now comes the hard part – creating high-quality content.

Avoid Burnout

This came up in several of the articles I read this morning and probably made the most sense. We all start off with so much enthusiasm, especially when people like or share our posts. But trying to consistently write something that’s interesting, in whatever line of business you are in, can be exhausting. There are a couple of ways to overcome this and avoid burnout.

First of all, why not share the load? Try inviting a guest blogger to write for you occasionally to add a bit of variety and a different personality. (This could work for me, and I have already got a couple of people in mind). Alternatively, if you really don’t like writing content and this is what puts you off blogging then you could hire someone to do it for you full-time.

Second, try writing and stockpiling articles for when you haven’t got time to keep to your business blog schedule. I have started adding articles or other blog sites to a ‘Favourites’ folder for future inspiration. I also check out Google search trends and try to use them as topics or keywords.

Timing

A lot of research has gone into analysing blog post timing data. Which Social Media platform is best for your business depends a lot on your target audience. I doubt many of my potential clients would be on TikTok for example. Pinterest is another one I don’t bother with, and I only have an Instagram personal account, not a business one, and even that is rarely use. You don’t need to have a business presence on all of them if it isn’t going to do anything for you. It just makes it harder to manage.

Mobile phone and tiles spelling Social Media

My business networking focus is on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. To get the best from these platforms for my business I need to look at the research.

Well, I have looked and basically the answer seems to be ‘it’s complex’ because it depends on your industry and your audience. Fortunately, I know my audience and thankfully. the research does confirm that these are the best platforms for my industry sector. That’s a bonus. 

However, I don’t intend to make this post any longer than it needs to be, so I’ve added a link to an easy to follow Info-graphic. Under normal circumstances it provides all the optimal posting timings for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. It also includes data for business sectors such as B2B, B2C, Higher Education, etc. 

Best Time Scheduler

Unfortunately, at this moment in time, there is nothing remotely normal about what is going on around us. Schools and the majority of businesses are either closed or employees are temporarily working from home. Our travel, work and home schedules are different, which means that our access to the internet and social media is different. 

In a few months there will be more data analysis on the best times to post a business blog, based on the lock-down period.  So I’m going to put creating an all-singing, all-dancing ‘Best Time Scheduler’ on hold for the time being and write some new content for my once-a-week business blog. 

I’m sure my audience will let me know if they want more from me, but for now, I think it’s time for another cup of vanilla chai before I go out in the garden and pull a few weeds. Happy weekend everyone!

Stay Safe and Stay Well

Shirley Atkinson, SAA IT Testing 

Location

Shirley Atkinson

SAA IT Test Consultant

79120, Sainte Soline, France

SIRET – 835 373 515 00013

©2020 SAA-IT-Test.com

Contact

Need some help? Please contact us:

saa.it.testing@gmail.com

FR: +33 (0)7 83 16 61 11

UK: +44 (0)7940 435970

Hours

Mon: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Tue: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Wed: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Thu: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Fri: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Sat: Closed
Sun: Closed

Take care of your business, your customers and YOU

People are referring to the covid-19 pandemic as a war and that we are fighting an invisible enemy. Maybe there are some similarities, but however we view this period of confinement there is no doubt that it is changing lives now and in the future. And because people are forced to spend more time at home it is also changing our relationship with the outside world and our online search behaviour.

According to data recently published by Google, search and consumer behaviour is changing on a daily basis. So what can we do in these difficult times to take care of our business, our customers and, most importantly, ourselves? 

Can we use this new search behaviour to create content that will help others find the information they need? Yes we can, because we are also consumers and we are changing too. 

Trust written in blue pen on a clear board

 

 

 

 

Credible Information

Just the Facts wording displayed on a computer monitor with blue background

Because consumer search behaviour is changing, the way businesses write and present their content needs to evolve with it. To do this we need to understand the 5 relevant shifts in consumer search behaviour identified by Google.

1. Assembling critical information

We’re all searching for new critical content to help us get by and adapt to changes in lifestyle. Home-schooling, home deliveries and home-working are just a few of the key areas where searches are now focused. So businesses and organisations need to provide clear, credible information about their services and where, how and when people can get the things they need.

Fact not Fake

Reinforce that you are here to help. Keep in regular communication across your website, blogs, social media and Google My Business page. Most importantly, make sure that what you communicate is factual – there is so much fake news being distributed and most of it causes more concern and heightens emotions and anxiety. Your customers need to be able to trust what you are telling them.

Try to be flexible by helping customers with cancellations and refunds. Providing a good customer service is something they will remember you for. Poor customer service is what they will tell their friends about.

2. Making New Connections

With social distancing people are nurturing their existing relationships, whether it’s with family, friends or businesses. But they’re also making new virtual connections and search interest is spiking on YouTube for topics such as ‘Cook with Me’, ‘Study with me’ and ‘Disinfect with me’. But also for multiplayer games and virtual happy hour!

Are there any ways your business can virtually connect with consumers locally and globally? What experiences or services can you create and share with them?

3. Changes In Routines

Our online habits are changing as we adjust to new routines and schedules brought about by self-isolation. As well as spikes in search interest for D.I.Y and dumb-bells, there is also more interest in watching other people adapt to new routines, with some late-night show hosts broadcasting from their own homes.  

Google’s recommendations for helping consumers adjust to their new confinement routines is to let people know that your business is available whenever and wherever. Update and publish content that is interesting, entertaining, informative and promotes wellness. And publish it often. 

4. Praising Everyday Heroes

I’m sure we have all seen or heard of Captain Tom Moore, the 99 year old World War 2  veteran raising money for the NHS. At the time of writing, over 600,00 people had contributed to his Just Giving fund. What an amazing gentleman. A true inspiration for us all. Before the end of this isolation I’m pretty certain there will be more everyday heroes that we will want to support.

Look for people who are helping and find ways to support or celebrate them. Are there any everyday heroes in your business – employees or customers – or in your local community?  Support and share their achievements.

5. Taking Care of Themselves and Others

people holding hands, taking care of business and ourselves

I think we are all looking for ways to take care of the physical and emotional needs of ourselves and others. We are looking for activities that will help to ease the boredom, anxiety and restlessness. They can be virtual or real-life activities. And because of this growing need for stimulation, there has been a surge in virtual tours of galleries, museums, chateaux and even online music festivals!

If your business has an interest in any of these areas, that’s fantastic. Get involved and facilitate some virtual collaboration. If you’re not, there’s nothing to stop you sharing some of your favourite virtual tours or creating some of your own. Focus on ways to enrich peoples lives. Join conversations about home-based health and well-being, share links to home-based yoga sessions. 

Don’t just take care of your business

Some businesses will survive, others will adapt, re-invent themselves and come up with bigger and better business ideas. But if you are going to take care of your business, then your number one priority has to be taking care of yourself

These are bleak times but we will all get through this, one way or another.  Just remember to stay connected. Keep in touch with your family, friends, the local community and other businesses. Please, stay safe and stay in touch.

If you can dream it you can do it – Walt Disney

Click here to read the full Google Search Trends and coronavirus article

Location

Shirley Atkinson

SAA IT Test Consultant

79120, Sainte Soline, France

SIRET – 835 373 515 00013

©2020 SAA-IT-Test.com

Contact

Need some help? Please contact us:

saa.it.testing@gmail.com

FR: +33 (0)7 83 16 61 11

UK: +44 (0)7940 435970

Hours

Mon: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Tue: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Wed: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Thu: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Fri: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Sat: Closed
Sun: Closed

Social Media & SEO

Do you promote your business on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter? Did you know that boosting your postings on social media could help your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)? 

 

“…it’s a fact that social media properties do dominate the front of the search engine result pages for brand names. Which means, social media profiles indeed have the power to rank in the top 10 results. Social media profiles are a great way to connect to your prospects and customers”

Kyren Smith, Lyfe Marketing

 

So, does social media impact SEO? Well, yes, there is a tenuous link between although it may not be immediately clear or easy to explain. Boosting your postings could improve your search engine rankings and bring traffic and visitors to your website. More traffic means higher visibility in search rankings and ultimately more customers. 

How does it work?

If you write a blog and post the link to this on your Facebook page then it will get liked and shared. If not, then maybe you need to brush up on your blog-writing skills, but that’s another story. Social media is built for sharing, so the more people like and share your blog, the more people see it and your business gets more visibility. Make sure your post settings are public, so if friends of friends see your post they will click on the blog link (the URL), like and share it.. The blog URL is linked to your website so by clicking on the blog link takes traffic to your website. So you are linking the blog to the site and that link is an important factor in  SEO ranking .

According to Google, social media is NOT a factor that directly affects your SEO ranking, but there is evidence that things like ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ are somehow related to your ranking. However, social ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ are definitely a direct ranking factor for Bing.. 

Optimise your Social Media sites

If you have several social media sites…Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest…are they consistent?

  • Make sure you have a profile image so you are more recognisable. Complete the profile section, making it relevant to your business, and appealing to your audience. 
  • Wherever possible make sure your profiles include a link to your website and if you have any offers or promotions then try and add a link to those as well. 
  • Be consistent with your posts and blogs and provide regular updates. But bear in the mind the post guidelines for each site because you don’t want it to look like your spamming. For example on Twitter you should post several times a day, but you don’t need to do this with Facebook or LinkedIn. 
  • Posts do better with images. Use eye-catching photos to attract attention. Catchy headline. Great content. And ask people for a share – it’s good, proven optimisation.
  • Use Hashtags because they are Keywords. They help categorise your content and help people find it. Just don’t over do it and use them correctly on the different platforms. Register a brand-specific hashtag and use it on all your posts
  • Review your website and make sure your content is optimised for social media sharing. Add social media sharing buttons. Videos show up in search results so add some into your content. 
  • Interact with people. If someone comments on your post, respond. Join groups and take part in conversations.
  • Keep posting – stay professional, unbiased, credible, approachable, and most of visible.

 

To read more, go to: How does Social Media Impact SEO? And if you need expert help with Social Media marketing, in my opinion there is no-one better than Micala Wilkins at Alacim Social Media Marketing. She has been in the marketing business for several years and has helped me enormously. Remember Social Media does impact SEO but only if you get it right! 

First published 22nd Feb 2020. Updated 9th April 2020

SAA I.T Test Consultant

 

‘Sharing is Caring’

If you found this useful then let me know – and let your friends know!

 

 

Creating Great Visual Content

Let’s be honest. Do you think that posting the occasional out of focus photo on Facebook or Instagram is a very effective marketing strategy? I have even seen photos uploaded that are not the right way up and have to tried to tilt my phone and my neck to see what it is. 

Apart from being a fool for twisting my neck, more importantly, if someone can’t spend a few minutes preparing a quick post I don’t want to do business with them.

I’ve posted a few blogs recently about improving content with professional photography, planning your content, etc. And when the following article landed in my mailbox it tied all of these topics together and also provided some ‘Visual Best Practices’. There’s not only information on how to define your content marketing strategy, but a great visual of a mind-map to go with it! 

Read the article – Visual Content Best Practices

Tell a Story

If you put in a little thought, time and effort into what you publish, people are going to remember it more. They will link great visual content to your business and you will stand out over your competitors. Think of it as telling a visual story. 

What images can you use to help to improve your text content and make it more memorable?

great visual content

If you have enjoyed reading this article please like and share.

Sharing is Caring!

 

Location

Shirley Atkinson

SAA IT Test Consultant

79120, Sainte Soline, France

SIRET – 835 373 515 00013

©2020 SAA-IT-Test.com

Contact

Need some help? Please contact us:

saa.it.testing@gmail.com

FR: +33 (0)7 83 16 61 11

UK: +44 (0)7940 435970

Hours

Mon: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Tue: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Wed: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Thu: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Fri: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Sat: Closed
Sun: Closed

RESULTS: Good Quality Images Will Capture Their Attention

A picture paints a thousand words

After 18 months of testing, 56% of usability testers said that it was good quality product images that captured their attention first, and then they read the description. 

Although the Hotel News article’s user testing results are based on a booking system, the No.1 response can be applied to practically any enterprise that sells products – quality photos matter.

People remember 80% of what they see

Let’s stick with hotels for the time being and imagine you want to book a romantic weekend for 2 in or around Dublin, Ireland.

In Google Search for ‘romantic weekend Dublin room service’. Click on TripAdvisor’s ‘Ten Best Romantic Hotels in Dublin‘. 

I pick one from the list ‘The Marker Hotel’. It’s a bit out of my price range but the room photo has piqued my interest. There are over 1000 photos, but check out the Room/Suite ones and tell me which ones you prefer. Scroll through them and it’s pretty obvious which are professional and which are guests photos.

If you’re looking  for a hotel you don’t just want to see a hotel room. You want to see the bathroom, the dining room, the pool and spa facilities. But they have to be captivating, good quality images in order to entice you in, like The Marker Hotel. 

Now apply that principle and search for your product. Better still get someone else to search for your product and give you their honest feedback.

Regardless of what you are ‘selling’, good quality images are going to catch the shopper’s attention before they read the description. You need to showcase the whole product, from different angles, and in different settings if possible. Think about what you would want to see as a potential buyer. 

 

“We are highly visual creatures and repeatedly buy with our eyes. This is especially true when it’s time to book a hotel room. Potential guests want to see where they will be staying”. 

Read the full article: Creating a picture perfect booking experience Secondary Link

Hiring a professional photographer might sound like an unnecessary expense but, if you want to boost your sales, your photos need to be good quality images. High resolution digital photos will give sharper results, and hiring a professional photographer may turn out to be the best business investment you ever made. Ask for recommendations, check out their website portfolio and chat with them about your product requirements.

If you want to boost your sales, think like your customer or ask someone else to. Then act on their feedback.

Most buyers are looking for inspiration so good quality images will capture their attention and help to create a picture perfect ordering experience! 

 

I hope you found this article useful.

If you think there is anything that could have been better, let me know.

 

Location

Shirley Atkinson

SAA IT Test Consultant

79120, Sainte Soline, France

SIRET – 835 373 515 00013

©2020 SAA-IT-Test.com

Contact

Need some help? Please contact us:

saa.it.testing@gmail.com

FR: +33 (0)7 83 16 61 11

UK: +44 (0)7940 435970

Hours

Mon: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Tue: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Wed: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Thu: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Fri: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Sat: Closed
Sun: Closed

Tattoo parlour shopfront

Key Design Components

  • Business Logo – if you’ve got one try and place it in the top left corner so it’s the first thing people see. Don’t surround it with clutter, let it stand out. but don’t make it the size of a billboard. Think Quality not Quantity.
  • Site Menu – keep it simple and use familiar terms, like About Us, Services, Accommodation, Gallery, Contact, Location, etc
  • Main Image or ‘Hero Shot’ – this should be the most important aspect of your homepage so make it good. Select your image carefully because this is the focal point of your window display and helps tempt customers into your shop.
  • Headline – place it above, below or within the main image. Keep it short but make it about reader – what can you offer them?
  • Call to Action (CTA) button – It’s called an Action button for exactly that reason, but what do you want them to do? Don’t just say ‘Click here’, be intentional – ‘Show me’, ‘Get a Quote’, ‘Find out more’.
  • Blog – having a blog increases engagement with your visitors so include links to recent posts. Hopefully if they like them they’ll sign-up
  • Introduction – start your conversation with your visitor but keep it concise, informative and friendly. What can you offer them?
  • Portfolio – if your business offers products or services that can be showcased with images or descriptions then add them, but don’t overdo. If there’s a lot direct them with a CTA ‘Show Me More’.

Everybody loves a freebie

  • Offer – feature an offer, maybe a free trial or money off. Everybody loves a freebie and it will help generate leads which can turn into more business, more referrals, more income.
  • Social Proof – Reviews, ratings, number of satisfied customers, awards, press releases. If you’ve got it, flaunt it!
  • Subscription – encourage visitors to sign up for your email newsletters so they’ll be first to hear about offers and new products. And make your Privacy Policy clear so that they know how you will use their personal data.
  • Footer – always create a footer and consider which elements you’ll include – contact info, social media icons, email subscription, links to latest blog, awards (Social Proof).

 

pizza by the slice window sign key design components

Business Website Homepage

Whether you already have your own business website, or you are creating a new one, think carefully about the homepage design and how you are going to entice customers into your online shop. Certain key design components should be included but overall it’s best to keep the page small, but strong.

The best window displays aren’t accidentally designed and chaotic. They’re carefully intended to highlight the business’ best products and services in a way that is pleasing to the eye and tempts us to go inside.

Before we look at what key design components should be included on your business homepage, let’s think about the content and the purpose of your homepage. 

Think ‘Shopfront’

Wherever you share the link for your business website inevitably it will navigate the visitor to your homepage, so imagine it’s your shopfront. When we’re window-shopping there has to be something of interest to encourage us to go into the shop. Visually or verbally you need to have something on display which is going to entice the customer in.


  1. What do I offer? 
  2. What will make someone choose my business over my competitor offering the same products or services? 
  3. What kind of business image do I want to portray – honest, reliable, trustworthy, value-for-money, family-friendly?
  4. If I advertise myself as a professional – define ‘professional’ – what do I do that I consider to be professional? 
  5. What time is the shop open?

Sign saying less is more - key design components

 

Less Is More

If you are not confident in writing your content then hire someone to write it for you, because poorly written content is bad for your image. You want people to remember your business for your products, not your spelling mistakes. If you decide to do it yourself then write it in a word or google document first and make sure the spell-checker is on. There are other free tools you can use, such as Grammarly, which will even suggest ways of re-wording sentences too.  Be careful though, because sometimes tools can suggest incorrect changes, e.g. if the term you want to use is in French, such as place names.

 

Unbiased Review

I would also recommend you ask an outsider to review your content. Let them view the page and tell you what their first impressions are and give you honest feedback.

Is it clear what you do?

Too much or too little information?

Is it easy to read?

 

Remember

Include as many of the key design components as you can. Keep the whole page short, strong and to the point. Sell yourself but don’t over-exaggerate. Don’t lie about your experience and definitely do not belittle your competitors.

 

 

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