Shopify Rewrites

June 22, 2020

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Easy Ways to Design Attractive Home Banners

Home banners are a prominent feature of most modern websites. You’ve probably already seen one! They are a large image or a series of images with an attractive headline and call-to-action button displayed at the top of a page to capture a reader’s attention.

 

Let’s go over the important features of the home banner, and how you can get each of them right to create something attractive for your business.

 

The Hero Image 

Also called the banner or carousel image, the hero image takes up the most real estate on your homepage and is the most eye-catching element of your banner. Aim for big, bold and bright high-resolution images to put your business in the best light.

 

If you’re planning to use multiple images, you’ll want to keep a consistent style across all images so you don’t confuse your visitors. File sizes should be compressed and as small as possible without sacrificing the quality of the image so as not to slow down the load time of your website.

 

Now, not everyone is able to afford a professional photographer to capture hero images, so here are a few royalty-free stock image resources you can use instead.

 

 

If you’re willing to invest a little bit of money, there are also paid stock image websites like:

 

 

The Copy

Partner to your hero image, the copy is the words you use to communicate your message. Your banner copy must be concise, to the point and easily digestible to anyone who reads it.

 

Depending on what’s featured in your hero image, your copy can be used to describe your brand, feature a product, showcase your brand’s philosophy or even make an announcement like a sale.

 

The Call-to-Action

The pièce de résistance and cherry on top of your home banner is the call-to-action button. Just like the copy, it needs to be short, sweet and entice people into clicking it. It also needs to be prominent and very visible, so you might want to consider using a colour that contrasts against your hero image.

 

Here are some strong call-to-action phrases you can use:

 

  • Shop Now
  • Find Out More
  • Start Your Journey Now
  • Get It Today
  • Subscribe Now

 

Putting It All Together

Once you have all your three elements, it’s time to put them all together. If you’re not a Photoshop wiz, don’t worry, there are plenty of free options available on the web to help you piece together image and copy to create your banner:

 

 

There you have it! An easy way to create attractive marketing banners for your home page. Make sure your website has one to keep visitors interested and drive them to take action on your page.

 

What Should Be Featured in a Landing Page

Landing pages are a must-have in any modern marketing toolbox. They are a page on your website specifically designed to convert visitors into leads. They are made to impress and entice potential customers to take an action, such as ordering a sample, downloading an e-book or subscribing to a newsletter. 

 

Every successful landing page is made out of a set of core features to help meet the objectives mentioned above. Let’s go through what they are.

 

Powerful Headlines, Visual Elements and Attractive Images

We’re all visual creatures. When it comes to landing pages we scan rather than read. This is why concise, easily understandable headlines and sub-headers are a must so visitors can understand things at a glance. 

 

If you have information or statistics to convey, try to tell them through infographics, charts or diagrams instead of text. The use of visual elements will keep visitors interested and understand your message clearly.

 

Visually appealing images are also a big part of your landing page. They set the overall tone of your landing page and are responsible for making your website pleasant to look at. 

 

Clear Benefits and Features

Every product/service has a set of features that you want to advertise, but benefits are what customers truly care about. 

 

For instance, your phone might feature a 4200mah battery, but the benefit is that you can use it for the whole day on a single charge. Landing pages communicate the benefit of the product/service first, before supporting their benefit statement with a relevant feature. 

 

Social Proof

Until now your landing page has been all about you touting the benefits of your product/service. While there may be no one else who knows as much about your product/service than yourself, nothing is more powerful than word-of-mouth from your existing customers.

 

This section illustrates to visitors that others have bought, used and are actively recommending your product/service — elevating its status in their eyes. There are several ways to incorporate social proof into your landing page, here are just a few examples:

 

  • Customer testimonials
  • Customer reviews
  • A count of how many customers you’ve served
  • Awards from reputable organisations

 

Clear Call-to-Action (CTA)

A simple, clearly defined call-to-action button that tells the visitor what to do. This can be positioned at the top and at the end of your landing page. The idea here is to make it as convenient as possible for visitors to take an action after they read your headline or have gone through your entire landing page pitch. You can also put call-to-action buttons after a convincing selling point.

 

Conclusion

While you might use a landing page for a variety of different campaigns and purposes, these core elements stay the same throughout. They are tried and tested ways of making a landing page easy to understand and communicate your message in the most effective way possible.

 

About Us

What Should Be Featured in a Company Profile

Every website needs an About Us page. Besides your Home page, your About Us page is the second-most visited page on your website. Whether it’s called Your Story, Your Mission or whatever it’s called — your company profile is something that needs to be written no matter the industry.

It’s a shame then that most of the time the profile is treated as an afterthought instead of an opportunity to connect with potential customers and tell them why they should choose you. To transform your About Us page and build a compelling company profile you’d be proud to show off anywhere, here’s what you should be featuring.

 

Your Unique Value Proposition

Was your company founded to solve a problem? Do you have a unique business model nobody else has? Putting your unique value proposition front and center is key to strike a chord amongst your readers.

 

Perhaps you’re able to offer your products at a cheaper price because you sell directly to the customer. Or maybe you ensure your entire supply chain is environmentally sustainable. Whatever it is, this transparency is more likely to endear you to your readers than an overly formal introduction. 

 

Media Features, Testimonials or Awards

Social proof sells. Nothing is more authentic than a glowing review or recognition of the quality of your product/service. 

 

These are user-generated-content that share how you’ve impacted your customers or industry. You can choose to embed logos of prominent awards, or feature a select few customers with their quotes and pictures of their faces for greater credibility.

 

Introduce Your Team

This isn’t applicable for all companies, but those in the services-based industry will benefit from humanizing your brand by showing the people behind your company. It communicates your company culture, and gives visitors a way to see who is behind their projects. 

 

Even if it’s just a story of the founders, having a space to build your personal brand never hurts.

 

Strong Calls-to-Action

Your company profile is not just a space for information. Use it to funnel visitors to other parts of your website via links and calls-to-action. Make it convenient for visitors to jump from your page to your shop or anywhere you want them to go.

 

Articles/Blogs/News/Recipes/Tutorials

The Art of Writing Articles

If you’ve ever spoken to a digital marketer, SEO expert, or anyone who works in the online space you’ll often hear the phrase — “content is king”. Before the arrival of Instagram, YouTube and other video-based platforms, people on the Internet read blogs and articles on websites to entertain themselves.

 

While they might not be as popular as videos now, there is still value in a well-written article in its ability to hold a reader’s attention and build on SEO. So how do you create high quality written content? Here’s what you need to do before writing an article:

 

Determine Your Audience and What They Want to Read

Writing an article for everyone to read means nobody will read it. This is because they’ll sound general, boring and not appealing to anyone. If you want to write something people will read and share, you must be clear who you’re writing for and what information they’re interested in. 

 

Research Your Topic

If your writing process involves sitting down and hammering out your stream of consciousness, then that’s exactly what your article will sound like. 

 

Compelling articles are formulated and well-researched covering a specific topic and fleshed out points. It backs up statements with research and identifies gaps in the topic to reveal potential areas of discussion or unique perspectives.

 

Write in a Conversational Tone

The type of writing most of us are familiar with — academic writing used in schools and reports, is not enjoyable to read. Formal writing will turn most readers off and is sorely out of place on the internet, unless you’re writing for a large corporate blog in a business-professional environment.

 

Most of the time, we connect best with writing that reads like how we speak. Informal, and without flowery or overdone language. 

 

Make Your Content Scannable

We’ve all encountered a long paragraph when reading online. What did you do? Chances are you skipped it. When putting a lot of information on the page make sure you break it down into bite-sized chunks for your readers.

Research shows typically read the headline and scan sub-headers before they decide to read an article, so make sure yours are attractive and to the point. Make use of bullet-points, short paragraphs and bolded words to break the monotony of large blocks of text.

 

Follow these tips and you’ll drastically improve the quality of your web articles for more compelling reads.

 

How to Catch Your Reader’s Attention

In an age of videos and short attention spans, capturing your reader’s attention with text can be a big ask. Yet despite the ease of sharing pictures, videos and all kinds of content across the Internet, we still rely largely rely on reading text to understand what’s presented before us — whether it’s website copy, an advertisement or an article, here’s what you need to do to catch your reader’s attention.

 

Write a Provoking Headline

Your headline is what people read before they decide to click-in. So it not only needs to inform the reader, it also has to draw intrigue for them to click.

 

Make It Personal

When you make your writing personal, people will find it important. Particularly in web copy, you want to communicate a clear benefit your audience can relate to, rather than something general. For example, a backpack targeted at hikers will sell better if the copy highlights its rugged nature, rather than its aesthetics.

 

Use Emotion in Your Writing

While we often try to lead with our rational thoughts, purchase decisions are often triggered by emotions first. That is why your writing has to hit their heart before their brain. In the previous paragraph we talked about making your benefits more personal — you can strengthen this by tugging on emotional heartstrings like the fear of missing out or a sense of belonging.

 

And there you have it. Three simple points to catch your reader’s attention. Remember that if you want to see results with your copy, appeal to the heart first, and let the mind follow!

 

Choosing Pictures for Articles

Crediting Article Sources

How to Take Beautiful Product Photos

Beautiful product photos are possibly the most important detail to pay attention to for any e-commerce website. The more appealing your products look, the higher the chances of customers buying them.

 

It’s a common misconception that you need to pay for an expensive studio session to get your products professionally shot. But with a small budget and some practice, you can take some great e-commerce photos that look a million times better than what you shoot on your phone.

 

Camera

Fancy cameras are nice, but not needed. If you’re not a professional photographer you might even be better off with something simple with fewer settings to fiddle with. Start with what you have. Modern smartphones have the ability to take polished and professional-looking photos in the right environment.

 

Get a Neutral Background

Your backdrop should be white or light in colour. A large piece of craft paper that you can hang up and sweep from the wall right down to your table or floor is a great low-budget option. It’s an easy way to highlight your product and make it look presentable.

 

Pay Attention to Lighting

Alright, you’ve got your camera and background ready, the next step is lighting. If you don’t have access to a softbox, use natural, indirect light from a window for a soft shadow effect. Be sure to avoid direct sunlight as that can create unsightly, harsh dark shadows.

 

Stabilization and Focus

If you’ve taken a picture before, you’ve no doubt experienced a shaky hand that caused your photo to turn out blurry. A tripod is a must to keep angles consistent across multiple products and blur out of your photos. Even a cheap one is better than taking photos by hand.

 

Post-Processing

This is a more advanced step you can take once you’ve mastered the three basics mentioned above. Post-processing can make up for any imperfections in the photo such as touch-ups, colour correction and even removing the background altogether.

 

Even if you’re a complete beginner with no experience, following these basic tips will up your photography game. Keep at it, and soon, others will be asking how you got such beautiful shots!

 

How to Write Good Product Descriptions

Ah, the product description. Quite often an overlooked and undervalued tool on your product page. Just describe the product in words, easy right?

 

Not quite. Well-written descriptions don’t just explain your product to visitors, they help them understand why it’s worth purchasing and compels them to do so. Follow these simple tips to write some killer product descriptions that help you sell:

 

Write for an Ideal Buyer

If you write your product description for everyone, it’s going to sound boring to everyone. Your copy needs to make people feel like it’s addressing them personally. 

 

When you sit down to write your descriptions, imagine yourself as a salesman selling your product to a potential customer face-to-face. Then craft your description around the words and energy you would use in that conversation to make what you’ve written sound more enticing.

 

Follow Features with Benefits

Imagine you’re buying a laptop and you have no knowledge of computers. I tell you that the laptop is running the latest and greatest processor money can buy. Sure, that sounds nice, but it’s not something that’ll make you go “Wow! That’s amazing, I’m definitely buying this!”. 

 

The problem with selling products we know well is that we’re excited about its features and specifications. Your potential customers, however, are more interested in how your product improves their life. So instead of telling them about the processor in the laptop, tell them that the processor makes their laptop run faster for a smoother user experience.

 

Avoid Exaggerated, Over-the-top Claims

Throwing a bunch of adjectives and claiming how your product is amazing, award-winning, the best, etc. only makes you sound insincere and tooting your own horn. 

 

If you want to advertise a feature that makes your product stand out, stick to one or two adjectives and provide specific proof. Not only does this make your sentences more clear, it’ll also be more believable to someone who reads it.

 

Use Social Proof

Speaking of making things more believable and genuine — make use of reviews and what your existing customers have said about your product to sway potential buyers who might be on the fence to your side. 

 

Put a face and name to the quote to add further credibility. Word-of-mouth is just as strong online as it is offline. 

 

The next time you’re about to sit down and write a product description — take a minute to think about what you’re saying. Don’t worry if it takes a while the first time, as you write more, you’ll soon be extracting benefits and putting together a compelling description in no time.

 

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