UX & Web Design

10 Best E-commerce platforms for your online store

  • Rohit Uttamchandani
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  • 19 January , 2019
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    • 8 min read

Updated in Feb, 2019

With the global & Indian ecommerce market growing at a rapid pace, we are seeing a lot of new trends. When starting out a new ecommerce venture, there are a lot of elements that need to be figured out - right from the ecommerce platform (which this post explains in detail), payment gateway to integrate with your ecommerce site, product photography, social media strategy, customer acquisition, customer retention, search engine optimisation & a whole lot more. There are a whole lot of specialists out there who can help you with each of these elements or you could take a digital marketing course or buy a book on digital marketing to familiarize yourself.

The first step when starting out is the ecommerce platform and the number of such platforms and content management systems available has grown over the years. In such a scenario, figuring out which platform to use when you’re looking to build your online store can be a fairly confusing task - especially if you aren’t from a technical/ecommerce background.  This post intends to make your research work easier by helping you choose the platform best suited for your needs.

Managed e-commerce platforms vs. Content Management Systems (CMS)

There are two options available for building an e-commerce website – one can either use managed (hosted) e-commerce platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce or open-source Content Management Systems (CMS) like WooCommerce or Magento.

As the name indicates, a hosted ecommerce platform is hosted on a server that you will not have access to, while CMS-based websites are self-hosted on server space (such as Bluehost) you will have to purchase. Which option to choose will depend a lot on your specific needs as well as your level of technical involvement. Below is a list of benefits of both which could help you make a choice between the two based on your business’ current requirements:

Benefits of using Hosted ecommerce platforms

  • Lower development and maintenance – There is no coding expertise required, thereby eliminating the need for a development team. Also, the hosting is shared, which lowers the server costs.
  • Better technical support – Most online store creators have a strong tech-support team to assist users with any issues that may arise.
  • Less complex to work with – The back-end for most of these platforms is user-friendly and is built for ease of use keeping in mind users with limited technical knowledge.

Benefits of using a CMS

  • Better functionality – Multitude of plugins, add-ons and themes available for content management systems allow the addition of advanced functionalities that would not be possible in the case of self-hosted platforms.
  • Better customizability – Content management systems allow the freedom of adding/modifying features as well as building a customized design unique to one’s brand. They also allow for constant improvements and enhancements to the user experience on the site, which plays a major role in today’s highly competitive ecommerce space.
  • Can support large stores and sophisticated websites – Content Management Systems, being self-hosted do not have a limit to the number of products or categories allowed, so they can handle much larger stores as well as sophisticated websites.

The server can also be an important aspect of how your ecommerce site is built and we usually use the Linux based servers being provided by Bluehost or Amazon Web Services. We usually refrain from using Windows based servers.

You could use this flowchart below (Click on the flowchart to enlarge) to help you arrive at a decision on whether you should go ahead with a hosted ecommerce platform or with a CMS, based on your requirements:

Once you’ve made your choice on going ahead with either of the two platforms, here is a list of the 5 best options you could explore in each niche:

5 Best Content Management Systems

If you’ve decided that a CMS is what will suit your needs best, then below are the 5 best ecommerce CMS available in the market at the moment. The most important factors which will come into consideration when zeroing in on the CMS would be the availability of extensions, availability of support, functionality, customizability and the cost of development and maintenance. All of them are open source and have free community versions and paid enterprise versions.

WooCommerce:

WooCommerce is a Wordpress platform used for building ecommerce websites and now almost 22% of the top 1 million ecommerce websites are hosted on it, making it the most popular platform. A large number of Wordpress themes have the WooCommerce functionality built-in. The plugin provides almost all the features that are available in the other open-sources CMS’ listed here. WooCommerce might work out more user-friendly and cost-effective for smaller businesses as well as for those familiar with Wordpress.

Pros:

  • Easy setup - Wordpress requires very little time to get familiar
  • Runs on Wordpess – so does not have powerful servers requirements
  • Good number of lower-priced add-ons and themes available
  • Huge Wordpress support community
  • Easy Integration with emailing platforms such as Mailchimp so that you can stay in touch with your customers

Cons:

  • Might not work for mid and large size businesses or for businesses looking to scale up soon

Magento:

With nearly 13% of the world’s top 1 million ecommerce sites (in 2015 21%  of the websites) are built on the Magento platform*, it is a popular and one of the best ecommerce CMS’ being used today. Its biggest advantages are the large number of plugins and extensions available which allow the addition of any new functionality, the ease of availability of experienced developers as well as a lower overall development and maintenance cost.

Pros:

  • Robust platform with a high level of functionality and customizability
  • Large number of marketplace extensions available
  • Highly active community for assistance with tutorials and troubleshooting options
  • More SEO-friendly as compared to most other platforms
  • It is highly-scalable – no need would arise to upgrade to another platform while scaling up in future
  • Easy Integration with emailing platforms such as Mailchimp so that you can stay in touch with your customers

Cons:

  • It requires sufficient server space to operate efficiently at high speeds. Smaller servers may cause speed and other related issues
  • Might be too complex for businesses that are too small

osCommerce:

osCommerce is one of the earliest open-source platforms available, it has a huge support base and a very active forum, though some users find that updates to the platform have not kept up with the times.

Pros:

  • Easy installation and an easy-to-use interface
  • Active forum with a large support base
  • Large number of plugins and add-ons allowing the addition of most functionalities

Cons:

  • Some users find that the software updates and designs have not kept up with times and remain slightly outdated

Top 1 Million ecommerce websites using Open Source technologies - Source - Builtwith.com

Drupal Commerce:

Drupal used to be a popular open source website content management system after Wordpress and Drupal commerce is the plugin for ecommerce sites built on this platform. Its seamless integration with Drupal makes creating a blog or forum much more convenient than most other ecommerce content management systems.

Pros:

  • Seamless integration with the Drupal CMS framework gives it an edge over other platforms when it comes to blog integration and content marketing
  • Allows for easy implementation of SEO strategy

Cons:

  • The support community/forum is not as large or active as Magento or osCommerce.

Opencart:

Opencart is another open source CMS for ecommerce. Though it has one of the easiest to use backends, its support systems are not as comprehensive as compared to the other platforms listed.

Pros:

  • Easy to use back-end
  • Feature rich with large number of plug-ins
  • CSS can be edited from within the admin

Cons:

  • Some users report difficulty in installation of some themes
  • Support documentation is not comprehensive enough

Magento vs Woocommerce vs Drupal Commerce vs Opencart vs osCommerce

5 Best hosted ecommerce platforms

If you’ve decided that an online store creator would better suit your business, then below are the 5 best platforms available for you to choose from. Two of these – Zepo and Kartrocket have been chosen with the Indian market in mind, as being mostly domestic players, they might have a better understanding and feel of the local market.

Shopify:
Shopify is one of the first names that comes to mind when one thinks of an online commerce platform. With close to 7,75,000 sites using Shopify*, it is the most popular hosted ecommerce platform, coming second only to WooCommerce.

Pros:

  • Large number of add-ons as well as beautiful and professional templates to choose from for a beautiful storefront
  • 24/7 customer support – Can be reached by phone, online live chat or email.
  • SEO Compliant

Cons:

  • May work out slightly more expensive as compared to other platforms
  • The back-end UX is slightly complex to understand in the beginning

Pricing**: Basic - $29/month, Professional- $79/month, Unlimited - $299/month.

BigCommerce:

Bigcommerce is another popular platform, with 17% of the top 100,000 sites using hosted ecommerce solutions; and 51,977 sites overall*, being built on Bigcommerce.

Pros:

  • A large knowledge base – The Bigcommerce university provides extensive help resources
  • Easy-to-use interface

Cons:

  • Some users claim that customer support is a little unreliable at times

Pricing**: Silver - $29.95/month, Gold - $79.95/month, Platinum - $249.95/month

Volusion also has nearly as big a share of the top 100,000 sites using hosted ecommerce solutions – nearly 17%*; with over 90% of its market share is in the United States

Pros:

  • Wide variety of features
  • Personalized service from account specialists
  • Easy to use interface

Cons:

  • Volution stores use a mobile site as against a responsive design
  • Add-on store is not as large as Shopify or BigCommerce
  • No Blog setup available

Pricing**: Personal - $29/month, Professional - $79/month, Business - $299/month

Zepo:

Mumbai-based Zepo supports more than 1200 ecommerce stores at the moment and has also raised an undisclosed amount of funding in December 2014 to drive its expansion plans.

Pros:

  • Local brand – local support as well as a better understanding and feel of local market
  • An easy interface, especially for newbies
  • Hosted on Rackspace servers - so you can expect a better speed as compared to most platforms.

Cons:

  • Limited Images per product on the lower priced plans

Pricing**: Custom Pricing based on requests

Kartrocket:

Delhi-based KartRocket has powered over 1900 stores via its platform and snapped up close to $2 million investment in January 2015 to fund its expansion as well as develop innovative and India-focused product solutions

Pros:

  • Good choice of storefront templates
  • Usability – Clean backend interface
  • Local brand – better understanding and feel of local market

Cons:

  • Comparatively new player in the market as compared to the others above

Pricing**: Essential – Rs. 3500/month, Premium – Rs. 7000/month, Platinum – Rs. 12,000/month

Top 100000 websites using Hosted Solution technologies - Builtwith.com

 

Conclusion

Every platform and CMS has its plus and minus points and choosing the right one depends on your business model and requirements. If you are going in for a hosted platform, Shopify or Zepo (if you prefer a local player) might be the best options, while if you are looking for a Content Mangement System, then WooCommerce would most definitely work best. This, however, is based on our experince and we would love to hear what your experience says.

As the last word, switching platforms or content management systems after a store is up and running is not really a straightforward process and can truly be a nightmare. So, make sure you take a prudent and informed decision with a good amount of foresight.

If you’re a retailer looking to get onto the e-commerce bandwagon, please feel free to contact us and we would be glad to assist you.

Once you've zeroed in on the right platform for your ecommerce business and need to decide on the best payments solution you could use, you can check out our blog on the top payment gateways for e-commerce websites.

*Statistics from builtwith.com
** All price data is from the respective websites as on 5th January, 2019


Best payment gateways in India for your E-Commerce website

  • Varun
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  • 9 September , 2018
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    • 6 min read

No matter how great your business idea is or how efficiently your e-commerce store may look and function, achieving your ROI goals depends on the ease of transaction experienced by a customer. A payment gateway is a powerful way to ensure hassle-free payments and to reassure the visitors of your e-commerce store about your trustworthiness.

In short, a payment gateway is an e-commerce element that allows a customer or merchant to use internet transactions via credit or debit cards, securely. A bad payment gateway results in bad payment options, ultimately leading to a decline in the total sales. Your server can also pose a challenge in having a smooth payment gateway.  To counter this, we usually use Bluehost or Amazon Web Services.

Here are the best payment gateways in India which can aid your e-commerce business.

Instamojo

Instamojo powers more than over 2,20,000 small businesses in India is one of the largest multi payments networks in India. One thing that sets them apart is the 2 mins set up and it is completely free. Set up Instamojo for free today!

Here are some key highlight and features about Instamojo:

  • No Setup Fees
  • No Annual Maintenance cost
  • Simple API’s
  • Start collecting payments instantaneously.
  • Collect Payments using links via Whatsapp/Facebook/Twitter/SMS
  • Free Online store to sell items
  • On-Demand Payments App for Android phones to collect & track your payments

CC Avenue

Launched in 2001, CC Avenue is one of the oldest as well as one of the biggest payment gateway providers in India. CC Avenue offers 200+ payment options including major credit cards like Visa, Mastercard, Amex, DIner's CLub, etc. It also includes other payment options like Multiple Currency Processing, Retry Availability & Customization, Audit, Analytics and a large window for active users. If your website is already live, you can integrate the CC Avenue payment gateway for free.

Citrus Pay

Incepted by Satyen Kothari and Jitendra Gupta, Citrus makes online payment quick and effective. We have signed up with Citrus Pay for our product, Influencer, but were quite disappointed with the onboarding process. Citrus Pay has a long list of documents and they first need a scanned copy of the documents and then a hard copy, all of them attested. This is actually more cumbersome than CCAVenue, which would send a hard copy of the documents. While it would be fine for an SBI to have such a bureaucratic process, one would have expected a company like Citrus Pay to have simplified the process.

Direcpay

Direcpay is an arm of the Times Group. It is essentially the safest payment gateway in India. The PCI DSS certified and Norton Secure gateway offers easy integration to e-commerce business, a simple registration and a flexible payment process, besides providing EMI options. However, Direcpay requires 5 days for account activation, after the documents are verified by concerned authorities.

Google Pay

Google pay (formerly Google Wallet) is an online payment and system and digital wallet platform. It allows in-app and tap-to-pay purchases on all mobile devices. As of May 218, Google Pay also supports boarding passes and event tickets. Google Pay work on NFC or Near Field Communication to initiate transactions and transfer funds to the retailer. All you need to do is download the Google Pay app, take a picture of your debit or credit card or enter the information manually. As most of the digital audience has gone mobile, Google Pay is a prudent gateway for an e-commerce business.

Juspay

Juspay was founded in 2012 with an aim to redefine online payments by providing 1-click payments for the web and mobile. However, like the other mentions on this list, Juspay is not a payment gateway, although it does work with any gateway or aggregator with no interference in Merchant-PG relations. Juspay processes more than 4 million transactions monthly for a number of notable merchants like MakeMyTrip, Yatra, Amazon, Snapdeal, BookMyShow, MobiKwik, Freecharge, etc.

BillDesk

Billdesk was incepted in 2000 in Mumbai and provides payment gateway solutions to customers and merchants in e-commerce, retail, financial services, etc. While the setup is free, merchants have to pay a commission charge on each transaction and the amount differs across modes of payment.

PayPal

Processing close to 8 million payments every day, PayPal is one of the most widely used payment gateways in the world. Request and transfer of payments are very easy, as the platform has over 200 million active accounts across 200 markets, compatible with 100 currencies around the world. PayPal also offers perks like uploading cheques through your smartphone’s camera and completion of transactions without having to exit the website. PayPal is a natural choice for Indian e-commerce businesses that have a large number of international customers.

PayU India

Marking an impressive conversion rate of 12% and worldwide presence, PayU is one of the biggest payment gateways in India. With noteworthy customer service, PayU has roped in e-commerce biggies like Jabong and Snapdeal into their clientele. The platform offers four pricing packages that vary in covering aspects like Risk Management System, Multi-Currency Gateway, Mobile optimised payment page, IVR Payment, Store Card Feature and Payment Analytics.

PayUBiz

PayUBiz is a part of Naspers and is a $25 billion media and internet company that is listed in the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges. This payment gateway is used by over 70 e-commerce companies including Jabong, Snapdeal, Ola, Bookmyshow, Cleartrip, Zomato, etc.

MobiKwik

MobiKwik is another popular payment gateway in India and it offers services for online debit and credit cards and other internet baking processing transactions. It takes only two days to set up an account with MobiKwik and they are compatible with Android, iOS and Windows platforms. In addition, MobiKwik is also a mobile phone and digital wallet. You can check out our blog on the top 10 mobile wallets in India.

PayTM

PayTM currently holds the top position for India's most popular payment gateway. It is a semi-closed wallet, approved by the RBI and offer payment solutions to over 7 million merchants. PayTM is available for download across all major platforms and allows its customers to make payments from debit and credit cards, bank accounts and digital credit. PayTM Cash is India's largest digital wallet with over 15 million active users.

Razorpay

Razorpay is a relatively new member to the payments ecosystem in India and is backed by notable Silicon Valley investors and mentors. Founded by an IIT Roorkee alumni, Razorpay aims to revolutionize the online payments process through secure and easy-to-integrate APIs, which makes it easy for businesses to integrate and process transactions. It is an India-focused company that offers 24*7 customer support and a simplified experience to the customers.

Cashfree

Incepted in 2015, Cashfree is the country's only bulk payouts and payment company. With Cashfree, businesses and merchants can collect and disburse payments. This is done through an extensive range of payment options including debit and credit cards, net banking as well as through popular mobile wallets like PayTM, Airtel, MobiKwik, etc. Cashfree also supports PayPal, IMPS, UPI and NEFT transactions. The payment gateway also boasts the lowest transaction charges in the country - 1.95%

Here's a quick glance at the pricing:

Payment GatewaySetup Fee (INR)Commission Per TransactionPopularity (In India)
InstamojoFree2% + Rs.3High
CC Avenue Free - 40,0002% + Rs.3 High
Citrus PayFreeCustomModerate
DirecPayFreeCustomModerate
Google PayFreeCredit fee - 2.9%, Debit, bank transfer - FreeLow
PaypalFree2.2% - 2.9% + $0.30Moderate
PayU India4,900 – 29,9000.75% - 2.90%High
PayUBiz4,9002.95% - 3.70%High
PayTMFree1.99% + taxesHigh
MobiKwikOn request1.90% (+GST)  - 2.90%High
JuspayFreeCustomLow
BillDeskFreeCustomModerate
RazorpayFree2% - 3%High
CashfreeFree1.95% - 3.5% +Rs.7Moderate

 

Your choice between the above-mentioned payment gateways may vary depending on your e-commerce business field, size, and location. Though all of them have the capacity to adapt to various requirements, we would like you to share your personal experiences with payment gateway providers in India. Let us know if we have missed out anything, or which one is the best according to you.


How AMP landing pages produced 33% lower CPL for a healthcare provider

  • Nandita Raman
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  • 3 August , 2018
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    • 3 min read

India Home Health Care (IHHC) is a leading provider of home nursing and other Healthcare services. They work in partnership with BAYADA Home Health Care to provide patients with registered nurses, visiting doctors, physical therapists and more from the comfort of their home.

The challenge

Mobile devices account for 90 per cent of total traffic to IHHC’s website, with most users accessing the landing page through 3G and 4G connections. However, the landing page loaded much more slowly than other pages on the site, negatively impacting lead generation. To maintain their foothold in the extremely competitive healthcare space, the IHHC team set out to increase their mobile leads by improving the landing page load time. They also hoped to increase conversion rates and reduce cost per conversion.

Goal: India Home Health Care (IHHC) wanted to generate a higher number and quality of leads at a lower cost-per-lead (CPL).

The approach

To make the most of high mobile traffic to the landing page, the IHHC team wanted a faster, more seamless experience for potential clients using their smartphones and tablets. Their digital marketing partner Social Beat (a Premier Google Partner) recommended Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), an open-source library that helps developers easily create fast-loading, mobile optimized web pages that scroll smoothly and look great on both mobile devices and desktops. Working with Social Beat, IHHC began to develop AMP landing pages for their Google ads to improve campaign performance. Implementing AMP was very straightforward, with each page taking only a day or two to build. Soon after the January 2018 launch, IHHC modified their AMP code to more easily monitor the pages’ effectiveness and track leads from their Google Ads campaigns. First, they added the <amp-call-tracking> tag, which automatically replaces static phone numbers with dynamically- generated numbers used for call tracking. Next, because some people prefer to submit a contact form, IHHC used the amp-analytics component to automatically sync form submissions with their Google Analytics account. Whether potential customers contact IHHC by phone or through the website, each new lead is automatically incorporated into the company’s CRM system. This enables them to accurately measure the impact of their AMP landing pages and Google Ads campaigns on final sales.

The results

Within three months of launching their AMP landing pages, IHHC had reduced their average cost per lead by 33 per cent, while total conversions grew by 20 per cent. Meanwhile, the bounce rate was cut nearly in half for potential customers who reach an AMP page compared to those who visit the regular website. IHHC attributes these significant improvements to faster load times that help visitors get the information they need so they don’t grow frustrated and leave. AMP’s call-tracking support has proven particularly valuable, spotlighting ad messaging strategies that resonate with prospects.

Market impact

“Our AMP pages load nearly instantly, which means that customers get a better user experience and they can focus entirely on learning about the high-quality services that IHHC and BAYADA provide.” —Revathy Sankaran, IT Manager, India Home Healthcare.

Since using AMP to optimize their ad landing pages for mobile, IHHC has generated more high-quality leads at a lower cost. Next, the team intends to create an AMP version of the entire website for mobile visitors who don’t find the company through a Google ad. They also plan to experiment with AMP HTML, which allows advertisers to build ads that load just as quickly as an AMP page on mobile, and Progressive Web Apps, which work with AMP to create immersive, full-screen experiences that don’t require installation.

We are also happy to inform that the case study has been published by Google.

Download the full case study for more details.

As the number of mobile internet users in India and around the world continues to grow, making pages more mobile-friendly will become one of the biggest objectives for brands to reach the next billion users.  Implementing AMP could be one of the most effective ways for brands to become more discoverable and ultimately, gain higher conversions, whether you are a Real Estate Giant or a leading FMCG Company. So do try it out and let us know the results you get!

 


Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP): Everything you need to know

  • Rhea
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  • 25 June , 2018
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    • 6 min read

With almost 80% of search queries coming from mobile platforms, Google has been implementing new ways to make the mobile search experience more streamlined and convenient for its users. One of the most drastic moves to facilitate this was the introduction of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).

On an average, pages take longer to load on mobile than they do on the desktop. This is especially significant in the Indian context as Indians have the highest amount of data consumption in the world and access the internet primarily through their phones. If brands want to engage India’s next billion internet users, implementation of AMP will become one of the most crucial differentiators.

How do Accelerated Mobile Pages work?

Unlike its direct competitor (Facebook Instant Articles), AMP is an open-source framework which is very easy to access. A page can be AMP-enabled by modifying the website’s HTML code with certain specified tags or by implementing a specialised JavaScript framework. But even if you don’t have any experience with coding, you can still implement AMP if you use a CMS platform like WordPress. Just by installing a Google AMP WordPress plugin which is easily available, you can make your page AMP-optimised and help it load faster.

AMP for better Blog UX

Google initially launched AMP for static content-heavy sites such as blogs. Since an AMP page is a stripped down version of the original version, it improves readability for the user. Implementing AMP on blog pages can have several benefits for the reader and the site owner.

Why should brands use AMP for a content heavy website?

  • Lower bounce rate & better time on site

According to a study by Kissmetrics on How Loading Time Affects Your Bottom Line, loading time is one of the biggest factors contributing to bounce rate. Over 40% of those surveyed said they would leave a page if it took longer than 3 seconds to load. A study by Tractus looked into the effects just a 1-second delay in page load time can have on several key metrics. They found that bounce rates increased by 8.3% and page views decreased by 9.4%. This clearly shows that for a successful blog, you need more than just great content. You need an optimised page that improver a reader’s overall experience.

Implementing AMP on blog pages can be one of the most important ways to help your website perform better. When a page loads almost immediately, users are less likely to abandon the page. They are also more likely to explore your site further and click on other links within it. Below is a quick glimpse of one of our blogs, where you can see significant improvement in terms of time on site – just because of the AMP blog page.

  • Better mobile SEO rankings

When a website implements AMP, they are very likely to see an increase in page speed, page visits, dwell time and a reduction in overall bounce rates. Incidentally, these are also some of the main factors Google takes into consideration when ranking a page. In addition, ever since Google’s algorithm started prioritising mobile-optimised pages, the implementation of AMP could further help improve your website’s SEO.

Implementing AMP will also help your website gain more visibility. AMP-enabled pages have a lightning icon next to them which helps them stand out from the other results displayed. Users are also likely to seek out pages with this icon, knowing that it will load faster. All of these factors can help a website rank high on a search results page.

  • Tracking is made easier

For content marketers, analytics is one of the best tools to understand user behaviour, what kind of content is working and where traffic is coming from. Tracking AMP pages is very easy as there are analytical tools available to help you track page visits, link clicks, conversions and more on AMP versions of your pages.

AMP for Landing Pages to get better Conversion Rates

Page load speed is a critical factor in improving a user’s experience, especially when you are trying to drive conversions. Understanding the importance of this, Google launched AMP for landing pages. Brands can significantly improve the performance of their landing pages by implementing AMP.

Advantages brands can gain through AMP-enabled landing pages

  • Higher conversion percentage

If you run an e-commerce site or any other online business, leads or sales are most likely your number one priority. But if your website doesn’t load quickly, then you could be losing out on valuable customers. The same study by Tractus found that 30% of shoppers who have a bad experience with an online shopping website say that they will never visit that site again and that they will not wait more than 2 seconds for a website to load. So if you want to improve the quality of leads generated via digital, optimising your page speed is crucial.

Implementing AMP could be one of the best measures to create a landing page that converts. There has been shown to be a direct correlation between page load time and the number of conversions. If a page loads quickly and the customer is satisfied with their experience on it, they are much more likely to purchase a product or complete any other call to action.

  • Greater monetisation from ads

If one of the main goals of your website is to monetise through ads, then implementing AMP could help you achieve this. This is primarily due to the difference in the way ads are showcased on an AMP-enabled page as compared to a regular page. Since implementing AMP trims all the unnecessary elements of your page and streamlines it, ads are displayed more prominently and with fewer distractions. This can increase the number of clicks on an ad displayed.

Case Study: How AMP landing pages for India Home Healthcare produced 33% lower CPL than other pages

Background: India Home Health Care (IHHC) is a leading provider of home nursing and other healthcare services. They work in partnership with BAYADA Home Health Care to provide patients with registered nurses, visiting doctors, physical therapists and more from the comfort of their home.

Goal: India Home Health Care (IHHC) wanted to generate a higher number and quality of leads at a lower cost-per-lead (CPL).

Strategy: In order to achieve higher leads for IHHC, we decided to implement AMP for their landing pages. Since a majority of the leads for IHHC came through mobile, enabling AMP would have a strong impact. Google ads targeted towards potential clients redirected them towards an AMP-implemented landing page. As this would significantly reduce the load-time of these pages, we predicted that it could generate higher leads for IHHC.

Results: The implementation of AMP led to a higher number of leads generated as compared to any other pages on the site. The two most important results from this were:

  • As the page loading time dropped, there was greater engagement on the page, which led to a 20% increase in leads generated.
  • The implementation of AMP on landing pages also led to a 33% decrease in cost-per-lead (CPL).

As the number of mobile internet users in India and around the world continues to grow, making pages more mobile-friendly will become one of the biggest objectives for brands. Implementing AMP could be one of the most effective ways for brands to become more discoverable and ultimately, gain higher conversions, whether you are a real estate giant or a leading FMCG company. So do try it out and let us know the results you get!


Personalised home pages – the secret ingredient to lead conversion

  • Ayesha Rafeeq
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  • 30 December , 2017
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    • 6 min read

As dramatic as it may sound, generic home pages are dying. Gone are the days when websites welcomed visitors with the same page whether you are a millennial in South East Asia or a retired businessman in Mexico. Just like how old-school drip marketing is being replaced with customised emailers and native apps are getting substituted by new-age progressive web apps, universal home pages are being upgraded to pages that are personalized as per the demographics of the audience, and nothing in the online space is the same anymore!

Ever since we hopped on to the bandwagon of the Internet, digital marketing has taken over the world of branding and advertising. The ease in which you can showcase your company and literarily reach out to the palms of viewers across the world is unfathomable. Keeping this strategy in mind, why would you want to show the same webpage to all your visitors when each one of them has different needs and expectations from your brand? Let’s take a look at the benefits of personalising your homepage and the different ways in which you can wow your website traffic till you ultimately convert them into loyal consumers.

Benefits of personalising your home page

Procuring quality leads

A tailor-made home page will help in generating premium leads as the page will display what you specifically have to offer for each visitor. Attracting potential clients by showcasing types of content they will find engaging is the basis of digital marketing and personalised web pages do exactly that.

Creating unique experiences

Through customised home pages, brands can welcome their online visitors with a personalised message. This triggers a unique user experience as you add a personal element to your page, assuring viewers that you have already hand-picked your services as per their preferences and requirements.

Widening your reach

Personalised homepages also add value to your marketing strategy by widening your global reach. Since you can personalise pages based on the location, you can now easily target consumers with what is trending in that particular locality. This makes the content on the homepage more relatable for the visitor and adds to the possibility of them converting to your brand.

How do personalised home pages work?

Apart from showcasing the brand and attracting target groups, websites also provide business owners with a plethora of other useful information to understand online traffic. From the location of the viewers and the time of peak traffic to the type of content most-consumed on the website, marketers can observe the patterns of activity and use this to their advantage. Let’s understand this concept better with a hypothetical situation. Consider yourself to be the owner of a B2B organisation which provides end-to-end HR services. A potential client has recently visited your website through a Facebook carousel ad and spent seven minutes going through your HR packages. The next time the individual visits your website, they will either have to manually search for the packages they were interested in or bounce back with a last minute change of mind. However, through a personalised homepage, the visitor will be welcomed with a customised message. This message will showcase the services and packages they had clicked through with an effective CTA to either buy the package or know more about it. The unique user experience will draw the user into your website and boost the lead generation of your B2B organisation.

Personalised homepages as per content consumption

Adobe India is one of the first Indian websites who has upgraded their website with a personalised homepage. Visitors around the world are initially welcomed with a homepage that displays a blurb on their next-gen Creative Cloud segment. There are two CTAs – one for individuals who are interested in the concept and the other one for businesses.

In order to explore the effectiveness of the personalised homepage, we clicked on the “Creativity and Design” tab and ventured into the field of photography by scrolling through the Creative Cloud Photography plan. After spending a good ten minutes on the website and surfing through the various plans available for individuals, businesses, students and universities, we clicked on the Adobe icon in the top left corner to go back to the homepage.

If the Adobe website had a generic homepage, one would expect the same page to show up as discussed above. However, since the website has a personalised home page, we were welcomed with a customised page which helped us continue from where we left. In this case, since we had browsed through the various Creative Cloud Photography plans earlier, we were welcomed with the blurb “Ready to buy?” followed by a CTA which helps us with choosing a plan as per our preferences.

As you can see in the above image, the blurb about the Creative Cloud is still present, but you also have a personalised message on the plans you were interested in earlier.

Personalised homepages as per location

Personalised home pages work as an excellent marketing strategy for B2C companies and social media platforms as well. In a quest to provide consumers with what they are searching for, personalised home pages read the IP address of the visitors and categorise them as per the location. The visitors are then welcomed with topics and concepts that are trending in their locality or that are the most searched for in the region.

Let’s take the example of Youtube to understand this theory better. Youtube has personalised their homepage as per the location of the visitors and showcases all the trending videos in the region.

As you can see in the image above, Youtube viewers in India are welcomed with a series of trending videos that include snippets from the regional entertainment industry. The ads on the page are also targeted to the audience based on the location of the guest.

The image above is the same homepage viewed from Dubai. As you can notice, the URL entered is the same, but the content on the page is different. In this homepage, the trending videos are based on the popular activities of the region. They also include videos in Arabic – the regional language of Dubai. Additionally, the advertisements on YouTube are entirely different from the ones displayed on the homepage when viewed from India.

Personalised homepages – one step at a time

Big names in the digital space like Adobe and Youtube are already leveraging the benefits offered by the adaptive nature of personalised homepages. But, what about small-scale businesses and start-ups? The best part about this new-age concept is that you can personalise your homepage one step at a time. It is not a go-big-or-go-home kind of situation.

For example, we, at Social Beat, recently explored the idea of personalised home pages by customising our website as per location. With our headquarters in Chennai and regional offices at Mumbai and Bangalore, we decided to start by customising the address in the “Get in touch” tab as per the location the visitor is at.

As seen above, if you visit our homepage from Chennai, the “Get in touch” tab in the footer will display our Chennai address.

The same homepage displays the Bangalore address when you log in from Bangalore.

Top personalisation tools for your homepage

There are a wide range of tools available out there to personalise your homepage based on a multitude of integrations like Google Analytics, Hubspot and Wordpress. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

Personyze

With this tool, your homepage will be personalised based on a variety of factors such as geographic location, data from their social media profile and CRM information, to name a few. You can also opt for a free trial or schedule a demo as per your preferences.

Evergage

Evergage focuses on enhancing visitor engagement by providing them with a tailor-made user experience. Visitors are welcomed with more relevant offers and appropriate content which is guaranteed to help in lead conversions and customer success stories.

Apart from these tools, you can also check out Bound, Convert and Optimizely that are brilliant in examining your traffic and providing visitors with unmatched customer experience.

Now that you have a better idea about personalised homepages and the vital role they play in visitor engagement and lead generation, its time you upgrade your company’s website with this ground-breaking technology and stay ahead in the ever-lasting race of digital marketing.

Contact us at Social Beat and leverage the multitude of benefits a personalised homepage can bring to your business.


Digital Marketing by Real Estate Developers in Mumbai

  • Gautham Nagaraj
  • |
  • 23 November , 2017
  • |
    • 13 min read

Considered one of the biggest property markets in India, Mumbai has many real estate developers trying to reach their target audience online. Digital Marketing is one of the primary channels to connect and engage with customers online and generate quality leads. The best real estate marketing companies in Mumbai have noticed this trend are willing to go the extra mile to help real estate developers tap the online space. Here’s a detailed report on the digital marketing strategies of the top real estate developers in Mumbai.  

Lodha Group

Lodha Group is one of the leading real estate developers in Mumbai and the most profitable players in India. They are known for making landmark developments in residential and commercial spaces and pioneering new trends.

Website

UX Audit:

They have an interesting design of image slider that showcases all the project launches and  promotions. The project locator is a nice filter functionality to find project developments. Project page showcases the projects based on their location and has the information about the price too. This leads to the enquiry page with project brief and lead generation form. The website is, however, not mobile-friendly as the text is too small to read and the contents are wider than the screen.

Key Features:

  1. Projects are well showcased.
  2. Each project has a separate landing page with enquiry form.

Web Insights:

Total VisitsAvg. Time on SitePage ViewsBounce Rate
148.60K 00:01:30 2.1775.20%

SEO:

Moz rank: They have a Moz rank 42 for Domain Authority.

Website Speed:

    1. For Mobile Site their Speed is 63/100
  1. For Desktop Site their Speed is 69/100

Social Media Presence:

Twitter: They have an active Twitter account with around 8000 followers. They do 20+ tweets a week and have no promoted tweets. They tweet about a wide array of topics ranging from their projects to the general industry based news. In spite of these, engagement is low on tweets.   

Facebook: They have an active page with around 100000 followers. The engagement is good, highlighting the use of promoted posts. Their content includes customer testimonials and event invites.

LinkedIn: They are very active on LinkedIn and have around 47000 followers. Below is a recent post about demonetisation, which received a good response

Youtube: They have 720+ subscribers with not-so-engaging videos

Google+: Their Google+ account is active having 35 followers.

Instagram: The account is active and has 1500+ followers.

Content Marketing: Though the blog page is not very attractive, they are posting at least 4 articles per month. They have a live chat option on their blog.

Godrej Properties

Godrej Properties develops residential, commercial and township projects across 12 cities in India. They provide imaginative and extraordinary spaces keeping customers’ needs in mind, making them one of the top real estate developers in Mumbai.

Website

UX Audit:

They have a well-organised menu catering to different kinds of website users (buyers, investors, NRIs etc.) They also have a nice hierarchy for project menu, leading to different property projects. Individual project pages include features like project overview, highlights and enquiry form. Their page is mobile friendly.

Key Features:

    1.   Mobile Responsive
    1.   Enquiry Form
  1.   Live Chat Option

Web Insights:

Total VisitsAvg. Time on SitePage ViewsBounce Rate
206.40K 00:02:081.8977.91%

SEO

Moz rank: They have a Moz rank 46 for Domain Authority.

Website Speed:

    1. For Mobile Site their Speed is 46/100
  1. For Desktop Site their Speed is 82/100

Social Media Presence:

Twitter:  They don’t have a twitter account for Godrej Properties.

Facebook:  They are not very active on Facebook but they still have around 58000 followers. Below is a recent video post, which has received some responses and views.

LinkedIn: They are active in LinkedIn with around 36000 followers. Compared to other social channels they are more active on LinkedIn. 

Youtube: They have 740+ Subscribers and videos in their channel are pretty engaging, having a decent number of views.

Google+: They have an active Google+ account having 474 followers.

Instagram: They have 400+ followers on Instagram.

Content Marketing: They have been blogging since May 2016. They have 15 articles as of now, and they have a separate domain for blogging.

Tata Value Homes

Tata Value Homes is a subsidiary of Tata Housing. It is one of the larger real estate companies that focus on low-cost housing with modern amenities.

Website

UX Audit:

They have allocations to provide a quick filter for the audience based on the city/location of the user. The quick search option leads to a map with property locations highlighted for user convenience. Showcasing their featured projects on the homepage with prominence is an interesting feature. Laying out interesting blogs on the homepage is another noteworthy feature.

Key features:

  1. Enquiry Form
  2. Mobile Responsiveness
  3. Drop Down for selecting the appropriate city

Web Insights:

Total VisitsAvg. Time on SitePage ViewsBounce Rate
70.50K 00:01:122.51 68.56%

SEO 

Moz rank: They have a Moz rank 30 for Domain Authority.

Website Speed:

  1. For Mobile Site their Speed is 78/100
  2. For Desktop Site their Speed is 87/100

Social Media Presence

Twitter: They have around 6000 followers. They aren’t tweeting on a regular basis and they use the same content across social media platforms.

Facebook: They have around 250000 followers and have boosted some posts a few months back, but recently they are not very active. Below is a boosted post shared a few months back which has a large number of likes and responses.

LinkedIn: They have only 110+ followers, and the page has no posts till date.

Youtube: They are current not active. Their last uploaded video was 4 months ago.

Google+: They have an active Google+ account with 85 followers.

Instagram: They are also active on Instagram having 1300+ followers.

Content Marketing: They have posted only 3 blogs in 2016, highlighting the missed opportunity in content marketing.

Mahindra Lifespaces

Mahindra Lifespaces is the real estate company of the Mahindra Group. They are one of the top real estate developers in Mumbai and the first Green Home Developer with Green Design & Healthy Living as their main focus across their projects.

Website

UX Audit:

The web page has nice project filter on the home page following the banner. Sticky enquire now button to provide constant CTA is an interesting feature. A section to attract NRI investors is also present. Menu dropdown feature is quite interesting, especially the categorized submenu for projects.

Key features:

  1. Enquiry Button
  2. Mobile Responsiveness

Web Insights:

Total VisitsAvg. Time on SitePage ViewsBounce Rate
43.50K 00:01:341.65 76.17%

SEO

Moz rank: They have a Moz rank 39 for Domain Authority.

Website Speed:

    1. For Mobile Site their Speed is 55/100
  1. For Desktop Site their Speed is 73/100

Social Media Presence

Twitter: They are active on twitter with engaging tweets. Below is a public awareness tweet.

Facebook: They are very consistent in boosting posts and are active on Facebook, having around 125000 followers.

LinkedIn:  They have an active LinkedIn page, which has around 26000 followers. They are posting engaging contents on a regular basis.

Youtube: They have only 160+ subscribers. They upload two to three videos per month.

Google+: They are not active on Google+ and have only 6 followers

Instagram: They are active on Instagram having 50+ followers.

Content Marketing: They don’t have a company blog.

Sobha Ltd

Sobha Group is one of the largest real estate organizations in India and the Middle East. They focus on delivering the highest levels of quality, with no compromise, making them the top real estate developers in Mumbai. 

Website

UX Audit:

The premium images rolling in the banner connects the user to the luxury of the brand. The main menu could have been more prominent instead of being placed against the sliding banners. Apart from that, the site has a very nice organization of the project information – presented state-wise and sorted by price.

Key Features:

  1. Mobile Responsiveness
  2. Enquiry Form

Web Insights:

Total VisitsAvg. Time on SitePage ViewsBounce Rate
259K 00:01:23 2.1074.75%

SEO

Moz rank: They have a Moz rank 35 for Domain Authority.

Website Speed:

    1. For Mobile Site their Speed is 87/100
  1. For Desktop Site their Speed is 74/100

Social Media Presence

Twitter: They are very active in Twitter having around 5000 followers and they do 3 to 6 tweets a day which is a lot compared to other developers. They have a diverse set of tweets ranging from new project launches to general industry based news. Despite these, engagement is low on tweets.

Facebook: They have an active page with around 7 lac followers and they have been posting at least twice a day and the engagement is good. Below is an organic post which had a good response.

LinkedIn: They are very active in LinkedIn having around 16000  followers.

Youtube: They have an Active Youtube account with 570+ subscribers and they have interesting Testimonial videos.

Google+: They have an active Google+ account with 554 followers.

Instagram: They are active on Instagram with 3100+ followers

Content Marketing:  They have a blog, which is not active.They do not have any mention about their blog on their website.

Kolte Patil Developers Ltd

Founded 2 decades ago, Kolte-Patil has built residential, commercial, retail, and integrated township projects till date.

Website

UX Audit:

Interesting zoom in feature on the banner images attracts the users. Well organized menu putting out all the necessary information is a great feature. Book Online page showcases all the projects with the quick facility to book. They also have live chat option in all the pages.

Key Features:

  1. Live Chat
  2. Mobile Responsiveness

Web Insights:

Total VisitsAvg. Time on SitePage ViewsBounce Rate
15.70K00:05:085.1 37.32%

SEO

Moz rank: They have a Moz rank 34  for Domain Authority.

Website Speed:

    1. For Mobile Site their Speed is 46/100
  1. For Desktop Site their Speed is 61/100

Social Media Presence

Twitter:  They have around 10000 followers and are highly active on Twitter. Their tweets are very engaging.

Facebook: They are having around 67000 followers and post twice a week.

LinkedIn: They have around 6000 followers and are moderately active on LinkedIn with 3 to 4 posts per month. Below is a post, which got pretty good responses.

Youtube: They are not very active and have only 367 Subscribers. Their videos have a decent number of views.

Google+: They are active on Google+ with 114 followers.

Instagram: They are also active on Instagram having 1100+ followers.

Content Marketing: Though they do not have an attractive blog page, they are posting 2 articles every month.

Hiranandani Developers

Pioneering new technologies & bold design, Hiranandani Developers have created residential townships & commercial complexes meeting the expectations & lifestyle of the people.

Website

UX Audit:

Their Homepage design focuses on all the launches/promotions. Placement of a common enquiry form across all projects, to make enquiries for the visitor easier is appreciable. The website is mobile friendly.

Key Features:

  1. Mobile Responsiveness
  2. Enquiry Form

Web Insights:

Total VisitsAvg. Time on SitePage ViewsBounce Rate
11.40K 00:02:352.8532.53%

SEO

Moz rank: They have a Moz rank 32 for Domain Authority.

Website Speed:

    1. For Mobile Site their Speed is 35/100
  1. For Desktop Site their Speed is 45/100

Social Media Presence

Twitter: They have around 1400 followers and are highly active on Twitter with at least 4 to 5 tweets every day.

Facebook: They do have an active page with 71000 followers. Below is a Selfie contest post, which was engaging and had good responses.

LinkedIn:  They have only 190+ followers in LinkedIn and they haven’t posted anything until now.

Youtube: They have 630+ subscribers on Youtube. Though they are not active on YouTube, they have decent views for their engaging videos.

Google+: They are not active on Google+ and have only 29 followers.

Instagram: They are active in Instagram having 300+ followers.

Content Marketing:  They have their blog in Weebly and actively post articles about real estate, their ongoing projects, and latest industry related news.

K Raheja Corp

K Raheja is one of the most trusted real estate developers in Mumbai and the Indian subcontinent. From residences to workplaces, hotels to retail destinations, they have made a meaningful impact on the evolution of modern-day living.

Website

UX Audit:

They have a Minimalistic home page with user engagement focussed to the menu. Explore our Projects feature introduces users to all the brands, where each brand project page comes with details of the project and enquiry provision. Their website is not mobile friendly because the text is too small to read and the content is wider than the screen.

Key Features:

  1. Minimalistic Design
  2. Enquiry Form

Web Insights:

Total Visits

Avg. Time on Site

Page Views

Bounce Rate

9.70K 00:01:14 2.60 19.55%

SEO

Moz rank: They have a Moz rank 30 for Domain Authority.

Website Speed:

  1. For Mobile Site their Speed is 51/100
  2. For Desktop Site their Speed is 62/100

Social Media Presence

Twitter: They have only 180+ followers, and they have good quality tweets with no engagement. If they promote their tweets, they can get results.

Facebook: They have 4500 followers on Facebook. They are consistently posting 6 to 7 contents per week all are organic, so they are getting low responses and engagements. Below is an interesting post with not much engagement.

LinkedIn:  They are not active on LinkedIn but have around 10000 followers and they haven’t posted anything till now.

Youtube: They are not active on Youtube and have only 11 Subscribers, and their last upload was a year ago.

Google+: They do one post a week in Google+ but still they have only 8 followers.

Instagram: They have only 8 followers in Instagram.

Content Marketing:  They don’t have a company blog.

Rustomjee Spaces

Rustomjee Spaces have transformed 10 million square feet of the city into premium townships, corporate parks, retail spaces, and 8,500+ homes with a special focus on Mumbai Metropolitan Region.

Website

UX Audit:

The web page has a simple banner with prominent CTA and Project locator. There is a showcase of featured properties, and they do have an enquiry form. Project Explorer has filters that would help the user to find properties easily and closer to their choice and their website is mobile friendly.

Key Features:

  1. Enquiry Form
  2. Mobile Responsiveness

Web Insights:

Total VisitsAvg. Time on SitePage ViewsBounce Rate
16.10K00:02:11 6.0855.04%

SEO

Moz rank: They have a Moz rank 32  for Domain Authority.

Website Speed:

    1. For Mobile Site their Speed is 73/100
  1. For Desktop Site their Speed is 89/100

Social Media Presence:

Twitter:  They are active having 1400 followers on Twitter, and they have been consistently tweeting 6 to 9 tweets per week. They have no promoted tweets so there is only little responses. Below is an interesting tweet with little engagement.

Facebook: They have around 13000 followers posting 5 to 6 times per week with little response. All their posts are organic. They might get good engagements if they boost their quality posts.

LinkedIn:  They aren’t active past 3 months, but they have decent engagements in their previous posts.

Youtube: They have 220+ subscribers, and they are uploading 3 to 4 videos per month. They have decent views. All the videos are real estate Industry related.

Google+: They are not active on Google+ for the past 2 years.

Instagram: They do not have an Instagram account.

Content Marketing: They are maintaining 2 blogs and have been posting their project related and educative articles at least once per month.

Adani Realty

Adani Realty has been developing residential, commercial and social club projects across Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Gurgaon, Kochi & Mundra.

Website

UX Audit:

Their web page has an interesting single scroll homepage design, which focuses on two utilities - one showcasing all their launches and promotions and the other leading the visitor directly to projects/gallery/other information via the menu. Elegant project showcase with the project overview and CTA's leading to individual project websites are some of the noteworthy features.

Key Features:

  1. Enquiry Form
  2. Mobile Responsiveness

Web Insights:

Total VisitsAvg. Time on SitePage ViewsBounce Rate
2.40K 00:01:451.6 37.01%

SEO

Moz rank: They have a Moz rank 16 for Domain Authority.

Website Speed:

    1. For Mobile Site their Speed is 67/100
  1. For Desktop Site their Speed is 86/100

Social Media Presence

Twitter: They have 50+ Followers in Twitter and are moderately active. They do 4 tweets per month. Below is an interesting post having low engagement.

Facebook: They are active in Facebook having around 4k followers, and they do at least one post per day and have boosted a contest campaign, which had a good response

LinkedIn: They have 785+ followers and are not that active. They do 4 posts per month and the engagement is low.

Youtube: They don’t have a Youtube channel.

Google+: They are not active in Google+

Instagram: They are not active on Instagram

Content Marketing: They have an active blog in their website itself, and there are around 300 articles.  

Oberoi Realty

Oberoi Realty has developed over 39 projects at strategic locations across the Mumbai skyline. Over the past three decades, they have been consistently providing high-design and quality residential, commercial, and retail spaces.

Website

UX Audit:

The banners and featured projects provide prominent information to the audience coming to their site. Individual project pages are organized state/city wise to make the navigation easier for the users. Schedule a visit is a useful provision for interested buyers/investors.

Key Features:

  1. Mobile Responsiveness
  2. Enquiry Form

Web Insights:

Total VisitsAvg. Time on SitePage ViewsBounce Rate
148.60K00:01:302.1775.20%

SEO

Moz rank: They have a Moz rank 27 for Domain Authority.

Website Speed:

    1. For Mobile Site their Speed is 46/100
  1. For Desktop Site their Speed is 68/100

Social Media Presence

Twitter: They are moderately active having only 50+ followers, and they do 2 to 3 tweets per day mostly about their ongoing projects.

Facebook: They are active on Facebook with around 13000 followers posting 3 to 4 times a week. Their posts are organic and have decent engagements. Below is an interesting post about their project.

LinkedIn: They are moderately active with around 10000 followers. They do post 3 to 4 times per month, and the posts are engaging with good responses.

Youtube: They are not active this month but have 80+ subscribers. They have many testimonial videos which are having a good number of views and response.

Google+: They are not active on Google+.

Instagram: They are highly active on Instagram having 700+ followers.

Content Marketing:  They don’t have a company blog.

There is no doubt that the best real estate marketing companies in Mumbai are on the lookout to help leading real estate developers leverage the power of going digital. Make sure you read through our blog on Digital Marketing by Real Estate Developers in Bangalore and our detailed Case Study of How a Real Estate Company grew via Digital Marketing for better insights.

You can also check out our blog on how Casagrand generated a record 190 crores in revenue via Facebook for a detailed understanding of digital marketing for real estate.


Are Mobile Apps close to extinction?

  • Vikas Chawla
  • |
  • 12 November , 2017
  • |
    • 3 min read

Digital technology has taken the world by storm. The labyrinth nature of the Internet has engulfed us with a blanket of convenience, making the world a much smaller place to live in. From booking a cab to ordering pizza, we have been spoilt for choice with the number of apps available in the market. Ever since the concept of applications was invented, these tiny widgets have evolved from the phone and tabs to laptops and even smart TVs.

In the past few years, there has been a drastic increase in the number of apps; however, the number of active app users have remained stagnant. According to a study, the average mobile app retention rate is just 20% after 90 days. Even if they have stayed on and not deleted the app, on an average, more than 75% of users fail to return the day after first use. These figures make us wonder – are mobile apps close to extinction?

While some of the essentials apps such as Whatsapp and Facebook will remain an active app on the phone, the rest of them will predominantly disappear. So, what is the future?

Progressive Web Apps – The future of apps

The newest trend observed on the Internet is the emergence of websites with app-like behaviour in a browser. A shortcut to these websites can then directly be added to your device home screen based on how frequently you visit them. The progressive functions of these app-like websites have coined the term Progressive Web Apps, which is the next big thing in the effervescent digital world.

Features of Progressive Web Apps

  • A Progressive Web App integrates the experience of an app in a website, providing you with the best of both worlds.
  • They look like normal websites that can be accessed from your browser. Based on your usage, the website will prompt you to add it as an icon on your home screen for direct access. With a direct shortcut, you can skip the process of visiting the website from your browser every time you log in.
  • These websites are typically displayed in full-screen without a website frame, giving the user an app-like experience.
  • With the progressive usage of these websites, you can experience full-fledged app behaviour by granting permissions to access your device camera and contacts, as per the functions of the page.
  • PWAs run on a javascript embedded with application shell architecture. These codes run in the background of the page and pre-load frequently visited images and information in the cache memory. This provides higher speed in loading the page with the combined benefit of easy offline usage.
  • A PWA requires minimal page refreshes as it works like an app and not a conventional web page.

Advantages of PWAs

  • A Progressive Web App eliminates the need to search for the native app in an app store and download it, consuming mobile data and time.
  • It will send you notifications over time only after repeated usage, living up to its progressive nature.
  • It loads very quickly, even in places of low connectivity, due to its exquisite application shell model.
  • Contrary to native apps, it does not take up as much space on the phone. It just provides you with a shortcut to the website which will behave like an app.
  • It does not hamper your privacy settings or permissions. Even if it does, it will be over a span of time, based on your usage.
  • The PWA does not need to be customized for iOS and Android platforms.
  • It caters to feature-phones and entry-level smartphones that do not have enough space for multiple apps.
  • While digital marketing is evolving in tier 2 and 3 cities, 4G connectivity is still an alien concept. PWA is the perfect alternative to an app in Tier 2 and Tier 3.
  • It also caters to the generation who are new to the Internet world for whom downloading an app is a tedious process.

How can PWAs benefit brands?

Apart from the plethora of advantages an app user faces, a progressive web app can widely benefit any brand or organization. Gone are the days when websites were merely developed for desktop usage and apps for mobile phones. Considering the fact that most of the organic traffic comes through mobile, it is now mandatory for organisations to take their digital game up a notch to cater to their target audiences. A PWA fills in the gap between an app and a website and is the perfect solution for increased sales or leads.

Furthermore, the cutting-edge application shell architecture used in progressive web apps makes it ideal for e-commerce websites. It eradicates the need to download the app and provides the user with the added benefits of higher page loading speed and enhanced performance in places of limited connectivity.

A lot of leading organisations have already incorporated the concept of Progressive Web Apps in their digital space. Flipkart and Ola are few of the early adopters of this technology. So, its time for mobile apps to move on and welcome PWAs.


How to transform your lead generation via a landing page?

  • Nandita Raman
  • |
  • 24 October , 2017
  • |
    • 6 min read

If you are running a business online, you should know by now that generating leads is everything. Lead generation is the single most important aspect of digital marketing that helps your business grow.

If you are looking to capture more targeted leads through digital media, one of the main things that you would need is a well optimised, highly targeted landing page. Still not convinced? Here’s an example!

Conversion Rate Experts, world's leading agency for conversion rate optimisation (CRO), helped Moz, then SEOmoz, generate $1,000,000 million with just one landing page that had an alluring call to action. What's more? This revenue was generated by the fantastic landing page and few emails within four months.

You can read the complete case study here.

One of the takeaways from the above case study is that improved user experience helps in lead generation.

So, are you looking to improve the user experience of your landing pages and, in turn, increase your lead generation? Read on!

Designing and managing the perfect landing page

Consider your landing page as a system that will convince your page visitors to become your customers. A well-designed landing page, by itself, can help increase lead generation and conversion. Here are some tips to create an appealing landing page.

Use a captivating headline which increases the curiosity of the visitors

Instead of a typical headline, which screams "buy me," use an enchanting headline that would garner your visitors' attention.

For example, a landing page headline like this – Your One Stop for a Beautiful Kitchen – would interest the visitors a lot more than headlines that talk only about selling.

Understand your audience

This is easier said than done. How can you possibly understand someone whom you hardly know? However, understanding your prospective audience and designing the page keeping them in mind is absolutely necessary.

In terms of design, a good idea would be to have a quick A/B testing done and experiment with heat maps on your site. Analyse the results and rework on the design perspective if necessary.

If you are creating a landing page to get your visitors to download your content,  one way to do that is to research on what people are searching for in your domain and offer them that. Keeping the target audience in mind, we built a landing page for one of our esteemed clients, Casagrand. Casagrand is one of Chennai’s leading real estate developers with premium projects completed in and around the city. Since their target audience mainly consisted of potential home buyers, we created a handy e-book titled, “Chennai Home Buyers Guide” which consisted of useful tips and suggestions to make the process of buying a home easy and hassle-free. We created a landing page in which visitors had to fill in their details for a free copy of the e-book. This strategy was a win-win for both the customers and our client as the customers walked away with a detailed e-book on buying a home and Casagrand just got a lead of a potential home buyer who is looking for projects to invest in.

Be precise in your stand

You might be tempted to put all the information you have on the landing page. However, you must understand that the landing page design has only one purpose to serve - to get users to click on your call-to-action (CTA).

When you overload the page with too much information, it might have an adverse effect as it might become daunting to someone reading it for the first time. Understand that most users are going to read your landing page content and see the design for the first time. They must be able to grab the information they are looking for from the website. That’s when they will become potential customers for your business.

Furthermore, highlight the major benefits of your service or product on the landing page in a significant and striking manner. This will appeal to visitors and persuade them to become your customers.

Here’s an example of a landing page that is to the point.

This landing page scrolls through six sections with each section describing information that users would like to know. In the image shown above, the section project info has listed all the efficient and important project information in the form of bullets; this would be easy for people to read and understand quickly.

Opt for the right tools

To accomplish a task efficiently, you must use the right tool. As the good old saying goes, “You can use a screwdriver to pound in nails, but it's a lot harder.” You don’t have to do it the hard way always. Understand that sometimes the right way can be easy too.

There are lots of simple landing page creation tools out there, and each one is unique. You must analyse and pick the right tools for you. Some of the tools that we recommend are:

Instapage – it’s a simple, hassle-free landing page tool. It’s a drag-and-drop software tool that has a lot of professional web design templates.

Unbounce – This is another drag-and-drop software tool. It’s quite simple and recommended for beginners.

LeadPages – One of the most well-known landing page creator tools available online is LeadPages. Most top bloggers and businesses use this tool.

Use relevant and alluring visuals

“A picture is worth a thousand words” – This good old saying holds good, especially while creating high-converting landing pages.

Imagine reading the below-mentioned blog page with zero visuals! Tough, isn't it? Even a blog needs images and other forms of visual support, so landing pages must definitely be visually intense.

It is always a good idea to use images, videos, 360-degree photos/videos, infographics, maps, etc. Visuals help users to understand your page quicker. Additionally, having an image or video on your landing page leaves a more enduring impression on users’ minds than written content. Check out our blog on the type of content your target audience will find engaging for a detailed understanding of how content marketing can make your brand trend.

Another visual element that matters a lot is the font that you use; use fonts that are catchy and don’t come across as too overpowering.

Optimize your call-to-action/sign-up section for conversions

If you think that you can simply use some opt-in or CTA form and gain leads, you are absolutely wrong. The type of information you put in your CTA form and the way you design it play a major role in increasing conversions. For example, instead of simply asking someone to sign up to your page, you can ask them to sign up to get newsletters or sign up to get daily tips. Also, captions like “connect with us for…” may work well in increasing sign-ups and conversions.

Use customer testimonials

Using real-time customer testimonials is a great way to increase the credibility of your business. Reviews by customers will definitely create a positive image about your business to first-time visitors of your page, and this might, in turn, help in converting them into your customers. It's a proven fact that customer testimonials improve sales. This option could be left out, for the time being, if you are a new business.

Follow-up emails

Last but not the least, following up with your leads or subscribers is important. Once you have designed a landing page by keeping all these aspects in your mind, you can definitely expect quite a significant number of leads generated from the landing page. Once that happens, the next step is to convert your subscribers into customers. One way of doing that is to call them up on the numbers provided and talk to them about your business. A subtle way is to send them emails.

However, while sending emails, you must not restrict to sending promotional emails or regular newsletters. Alternatively, it is advisable to send your subscribers a series of crafted emails that will appeal to them. At times, include details about deals and offers, but don't make this a practice. For more insights, check out our blog on the different ways email marketing can work for you.

Never be afraid of sending more emails. However, refrain yourself from sending emails that follow a standard template. The more you send personalised or crafty emails, the more are the chances of converting your subscribers into customers.

Managing your business and marketing it digitally consumes equal, or at times, even more, time, money, and energy when compared to its traditional counterpart. By creating an influential and captivating landing page, you are investing in a driving force to convert your visitors to potential clients.


Vikas Chawla featured in Times of India

  • Ayesha Rafeeq
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  • 1 September , 2017
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    • 1 min read

There is no doubt that digital technology has engulfed our world with a blanket of convenience. There is an app in our phones for literally every day-to-day activity, from booking a cab to ordering pizza. However, the lack of storage space and increased consumption of mobile data and time has led to stagnation in the number of app-users worldwide.

To address this issue, websites are now being re-designed with app-like behaviour. Frequent visits to these websites will lead to a pop-up in your phone prompting you to add a direct shortcut to the website in your main menu. The progressive functions of these app-like websites have led to the emergence of Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). This new technology has taken the digital world by storm and is here to stay. Social Beat is one of the few digital marketing agencies who has incorporated this technology in our website. Following is an article from Times of India in which Vikas Chawla, our co-founder, has given us a closer insight into the benefits of Progressive Web Apps and their impact on the consumers.


App Store Optimization Cheat Sheet

  • Srilakshmi
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  • 24 January , 2017
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    • 4 min read

So you’ve developed a mobile app, excellent, but what next?

There are more than 4 million apps in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store and this number will only increase with the coming years. While each app is exclusive to the developer, only a few get the deserved recognition from users. To be precise, the fate of your app after its development depends on how many users download and use it. According to research, 63% of apps are discovered through app store searches, so it is highly essential to optimize your app for the app store.

Here are some best practices to get more app downloads and to increase your rankings in the app store.

The App’s Name should be creative and informative

No, naming your app after you or your business won't work well. A good idea would be to choose two to three keywords and using at least one of them in the title of your app. According to data, apps with keywords in the title rank 10.3 per cent higher than those without a keyword in the title. This way, your app will show easily in the search results. However, make sure that you don't make the app name look like a spam by overstuffing keywords. The title needs to be short because that’s what users can read in a single screen. Obviously, you don’t want your title to get cut.  Titles are usually cut after the 23rd character (including spaces) in the App Store and the 30th character in Google Play. The first thing that the users see about your app is the name and icon. This is the first and the best chance to impress your users. Therefore, be cautious and creative when thinking of a name for your app.

Always include a description

Most of the times, users may need an app for some particular function, but they may not be sure which, app to download for the same. In such cases, the description option in the app store comes in handy. Reading the description of the app will help the users know what your app does, and it will also decrease the chances of uninstalls as the users know about the app well before downloading it.

Make sure the description is precise and concise and brings out what the app does exactly. Use bullet points wherever required and avoid dense paragraphs.

Also, read our blog on "10 Free Apps for Productivity, Social Media & SEO.

Have an original app icon

As we said before, an app icon and the app’s name are the ones that catch your users’ eyes easily. Make sure that your app’s icon is designed from scratch. Also, do not make it too elaborate or complicated. Keep it simple, unique, and attractive and make sure the icon breaks through the clutter. Do remember that the play store and the App Store have both varying standards in terms of size, geometry, and color scheme of app icons, so design the icons accordingly. The iOS icons should be sized to at least 1024×1024 pixels and the Google Play requires a 512×512 icon.

Use Screenshots tactfully

Have you noticed those screenshots that are shown in the app store when you check out an app? Well, that’s your next chance to capture the attention of your potential app users. To make a visitor download your app, you must place screenshots tactfully in this section. You can upload up to five screenshots for an iOS app and eight for an Android one, however, only two or three screenshots will appear in the gallery when the page loads. Only use screenshots that will differentiate your app from other similar apps.  For the best results, you could A/B test various screenshots to see, which drives the most downloads. Read our blog on “How Design Can Help Tell a Brand Story.

Update your app regularly

Like any other software, your mobile apps will also need regular updates and upgrades. If you launch your app and forget it, your users will download it and forget or uninstall it. Release periodical updates with relevant release notes explaining what’s new in the update.

Encourage your users to review and rate you

You don’t have to urge them to review or rate you with pop-ups every other minute, but gently nudge your users to rate your app. This will always help in increasing your views. Furthermore, do not ignore negative reviews, but pay attention to what was wrong in the users’ experience and try to fix it. The apps with high ratings are all ones that keep their audience engaged and take customer feedback positively. You can also make use of influencer marketing to get your app reviewed by top digital influencers.

Price it right

If your app is something that needs to be bought, set a competitive pricing. Instead of making your app more expensive than other similar apps, set a nominal price and improvise on making your app the best in the category. If your app is free, then add it to the in-app purchases category to improve its listing and visibility.

Make your app language and device compatible

When your app is available in various languages and is compatible with different OS versions, it is bound to get more view and reach than an app released only for one OS and in English. Both the iOS and the Play store allow you to localize your listings to make discovering your app easier for customers in other countries.

We hope by now you have understood the various best practices that must be followed to improve your app download. Comment below some of the other tips that you would like to add to our app store optimisation cheat sheet.


How UX can make or break your business – Digital Chai Pe Charcha

  • Sneha Balasubramaniyan
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  • 12 October , 2016
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    • 3 min read

The seventh edition of the Digital Chai Pe Charcha was held in Workafella, one of the best business centres in Chennai on 8th October, 2016. The event saw over 25 participants who were a mix of entrepreneurs, digital marketers, and professionals. User Experience, an important element in any website or app these days, the entire session was insightful, engaging and very informative!

What is UX or User Experience?

UX or User Experience is exactly what the name suggests – the overall experience one has when they land on your website or your app and the interaction with the company, its services, and its products throughout.  In short, the way a website or an app works plus the look and feel of it all together making your user want to come back to your site.

Benefits of good UX –

Research shows that the overall experience of a user right from landing on your site, navigating and scanning through your pages till moving out of your site to another, the emotions that the user feels throughout – satisfied or unhappy – plays a major role on how your brand performs online in comparison to your competitors.

It helps in converting a user into a potential customer and not just that – but converting them at a low cost.

What makes a good UX –

  • Security & Privacy of its users handled with attention
  • Feedback & reviews from real buyers that connects with new users
  • Company is reliable & trustworthy - Transparent information on the roots & founders of the business

Building a new website 

  • Research and Analyze

Do a quick study on who your competitors are and analyze their digital mediums. Understand what they do to provide their users with a great experience on their site. Work on your content, have collaborative discussions and put down the necessary inputs to go on your site.

  • Strategize

Have a good idea on the different elements you would like to add on to your site – be it a revised sitemap or navigation flowcharts by analyzing user personas and scenarios.

  • Product Design

Work on your website with a neat and clear wireframe that should include digital touch-points further building the virality loop.

  • Test and Iterate

After your new website is ready to launch, have a quick A/B testing and experiment with heat maps on your site. Analyze the results and rework on the design perspective if necessary.

Evaluate the UX of an existing website

  • Functionality of your site / app

The speed at which a new user navigates on your site, understands your business and moves through different pages says a lot about the flow of your site.

  • Navigation & Information architecture

The user needs to have a smooth experience while navigating through your site, moving from page to page and gathering all the information required.

  • Forms

If your site has a landing page with a form, make sure the form is simple with limited fields keeping in mind to not ask for information that is too personal to the user or fields that will require the user to go back and forth too many times.

  • Trust and Credibility

Your user’s information should remain confidential and should not be hampered with.

  • Aesthetics

How good is your site’s layout and balance? Is there a consistency in the font? Are the clickable items clear to the user and is the entire page pleasant and easy to navigate?

UX can be improvised with the help of some efficient tools. To improve the overall look and feel of your site, make use of customer surveys, user interviews and case studies. To track your customers’ behavior on your site, experiment with Zarget, Inspectlet, CrazyEgg, Optimizely, Google Analytics and MouseFlow. To understand prototyping, try Balsamiq, Axure, Invision and Pen & Paper.

When the site’s design and flow is focused on establishing a good user experience, the bond between the company and your customer grows building the brand as well as the overall experience of the user with the company.

Click here to understand more on how UX Can Make or Break Your Business

Those of you who missed the first six editions of the Digital Chai Pe Charcha can check them out below:


User Experience – Getting back to Basics & Filling The Gaps

  • Administrator
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  • 3 August , 2016
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    • 4 min read

The principle of User Experience has not changed in the past few decades; our approach to UX, on the other hand, is constantly evolving. User experience is the means, not the end to a problem; the process is never ending. The art of balancing user needs and brand message is an important element. We already have many trends rolling out in pace with the technology, and it all boils down to knowing what to use when.

Truly understanding your user

In the race to catch up with the latest trends and continuing to do what exists, we forget the most important aspect – users. It sounds like UX 101, but this is where many designs lose vision. We forget to find out what the users need and instead assume what they want. As a result, most websites look alike and most experiences feel the same.  One may argue that it is efficient and gets the job done. I agree, but what you haven’t tried out may get greater results. Grab the better one, always.

Do you really need a compulsory registration, does your customer have to go through 5 pages before buying a product, and does that information about the company founders on the home page help in any way? Your average user probably does not. The definitive answers to these can be found with some user research, but it’s important to ask these questions. One such case in point was when we designed a simple, no-scroll landing page for a real-estate client. The users had only the most important information presented to them without the frills. The main CTA on the mobile version was a callback feature, which encouraged users to drop just their numbers, without giving out much personal information in an enquiry form.

Rather than add a feature because the competitors do it or because it helps with ROI, we need to achieve the same without turning off the user. Find creative ways to add new dimensions to the user journey, a perspective for every type of user.

Satisfying the outliers

With technology advancing each day and the number of devices multiplying, we have a greater challenge to cater to every member of the community. Crafting experiences that are inclusive to all can be a challenge, and the key to achieve that is by understanding that there is no single approach to every problem.

There are plenty of avenues to bring in more users, increase conversions and make more money for the clients. The need of the hour for many businesses is to take it further and this is where UX fits in nicely. Instead of concentrating on what the majority of the customer base is thinking; we need to start looking at what the minority wants. In many mobile versions of our websites, we come across devices that are used by less than 15% of the users but we have ensured that they have a similar experience of browsing as the rest. Customizing to each device size is a little work, but it yields good results in the long run. Begin by understanding how the bottom 20% of the users behave and find ways to enhance the experience for them. Tap into all of your demographics and include the lesser-used browsers; the aim is to have a consistent user experience for all.

Personalization is important; users want to feel that businesses are directly talking to them. A good design gives them that without compromising on brand message and end-goal.

Decluttering without handholding

The last few years saw design minimalism in websites and apps – hamburger menus, single color & typeface, flat icons and hidden sections (the footer especially). This approach clearly works because the style is simple without distracting the user. It is a linear thought process, taking the users from Point A to Point B without making them think about anything else.

While minimalism will be around for a long time, it needs to be handled without being overdone. In the name of de-cluttering many websites and apps have dumbed down their journey so much that users feel powerless. No one likes to be told what to do and it is something that we should avoid. It is crucial to let the users decide how they want to fulfill their needs; the job of user experience is to ensure that the process is coherent and seamless. Gently push, don’t shove.

It can be as simple as having more options during the checkout process – can the customer continue as a guest user, can the customer login through any of social media accounts instead of a compulsory registration or Gmail signup? Test different options to see what works for your business and implement them in the longer run.

We are surrounded by best practices and latest trends that come out every week. They are good to implement but don’t get too caught up in them, always ask if it’s the right one for your user base. We need interfaces that are efficient & data-driven, not just what is in. Create memorable experiences that would bring a user back and make them remember you for a long time.


Digital Marketing by Real Estate Developers in Bangalore

  • Shobhana Rochwani
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  • 28 June , 2016
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    • 18 min read

The real estate industry in India and Bangalore in particular is growing rapidly with real estate companies establishing new developments in and around the city. Real estate developers are also using digital marketing to update their clients and potential clients on the new projects and any exciting news that they may have.

From opting for a responsive website to having engaging social media content across channels, real estate developers are including digital marketing as part of their marketing and sales strategy. Keeping this in mind, we have put together a detailed report on the digital marketing strategies of some of the top real estate developers in Bangalore.

Mantri Developers

With developments ranging from residential to retail, from commercial to hospitality sectors, Mantri Developers are one of the few real estate businesses that have provided high-quality properties that match the current trends and future needs.

Website:

Mantri Developers have a descriptive website that covers details of all their projects elaborately.

Key features:

  1. Live chat
  2. Email Sign-up and Newsletter Subscription
  3. Mobile responsiveness

Website Insights:

Total visitsAvg time on sitePage viewsBounce rate
46.2K0:02:573.849.58%

span style="font-weight: 400;">UX Audit: From a user’s perspective, this website has a lot of useful information.  However, a more organized and spacious layout would connect better with the users and improve their experience.

SEO:

Moz Rank: They have a Moz Rank 40 for Domain Authority.

Website Speed:

  1. For Mobile Site their speed is 47/100.
  2. For Desktop Site their speed is 59/100.

Social Media Presence:

Twitter: They have an active Twitter account with around 3k followers. They do 4 to 5 tweets per week and have many promoted tweets too. The tweets are good from the users’ perspective. However, the engagement is low.

Facebook: They also have an active page with only organic posts and around 20k followers. Although they have tried interactive posts like the one shown below,  the engagement is quite low. However, they can try to boost their posts to make it reach masses.

LinkedIn: They have a LinkedIn business page with around 4k followers. No recent updates are there in the page, but the older posts have good engagement. They respond to the comments on posts, which gives really good impression to the audiences.

YouTube: They have an active YouTube account with 164 subscribers. They post one or two videos every month which has good engagement.

Their Google+ and Instagram Pages are not active.

Content Marketing:

They have a Wordpress blog, but the last post was in August 2013. Blogs can give them a lot of traffic, so they should start posting at least one blog per month.

 

Prestige Developers

Prestige Developers is a real estate company that has triumphantly built a lot of residential, commercial, retail, leisure & hospitality based properties.

Website:

Prestige Developers have a common website, which covers detail of all their projects across all the cities they are serving currently. Their website is mobile responsive.

Website Insights:

Total visitsAvg time on sitePage viewsBounce rate
147.7K0:02:562.8954%

UX Audit: The elite images rolling in the banner connects the user to the luxury of the brand. The main menu could have been more prominent, instead of being placed against the sliding banners, but that apart, the site has very nice organization of the project information - presented state-wise and sorted by price.

SEO:

Moz Rank: They have a Moz Rank 42 for Domain Authority.

Website Speed:

  1. For Mobile Site their speed is 63/100.

Social Media Presence:

Twitter: They have an active Twitter account with around 2.5k followers. They do 10 to 12 tweets per week and have no promoted tweets. The tweets are mostly about their projects or on reasons to buy property. And the engagement on tweets is decent.

Facebook: This is also an active page with around 4 lac followers. All posts are organic and the engagement is low. They have almost same posts on Facebook as the ones they have posted on Twitter.

           

LinkedIn: They have a LinkedIn business page with around 3.5k followers. The page is active and engagement is also decent but they are posting same content on all the channels. They should differentiate the content as the audiences are different in different channels of Social Media.

YouTube: They have a YouTube account with 867 subscribers but it is not active. The last post was posted a year ago.

Their Google+ is not an active account, and they don’t have Instagram Page.

Content Marketing:

They don’t have any blog linked to their website. Blogs are a very good source of traffic and link building, so they should start a blog and link it to their website.

 

Tata Housing

Tata Housing is one of India's leading real estate developers. It is a closely held public limited company and is a subsidiary of TATA Sons.

Website:

They have a website that covers details of all their current projects. Website has many tools like EMI calculator, Property finder, etc. and has a payment option as well.

Key Features:

  1.   Enquiry form
  2.   Mobile responsiveness

Website Insights:

Total visitsAvg time on sitePage viewsBounce rate
144K0:01:472.7265.56%

UX Audit: The website comes with a clean layout and a very neat color scheme. One of the hugely useful utility – Search, is well planned here. User experience could be enhanced by placing the search in the primary top portion of the layout – so that it is easily discoverable. Every internal page corresponding to a project, has a different color scheme suited to the image. Even though the common practice is to maintain color consistency across pages, from the UX perspective this is indeed appealing.

SEO:

Moz Rank: They have a Moz Rank 39 for Domain Authority.

Website Speed:

  1. For Mobile Site their speed is 80/100.
  2. For Desktop Site their speed is 82/100.

Social Media Presence:

Twitter: They have an active Twitter account with around 14.5k followers. They do 3 to 4 tweets per week and don’t have promoted tweets. They have a diverse set of tweets ranging from customer testimonials to the initiatives they have taken in general. The engagement on tweets is good.

Facebook: This is also an active page with around 2 lac followers. All posts are organic and the engagement is good. They have interesting posts like the one shown below:

LinkedIn: They have a LinkedIn business page with around 12.5k followers. The page is active, and the engagement is also good. Content is exactly same as what they have posted on Twitter.

YouTube: They have an active YouTube account with 1187 subscribers. They post 1 video every month mostly about their new projects.

Their Google+ is active with around 600 followers, and their Instagram account is not active.

Content Marketing:

They have a blog which is linked to their website. The blog is not active as last post was on 6th Jan 2016.

 

 

Sobha Developers

Founded in 1976, Sobha Group is one of the largest real estate organisations in India and the Middle East. Today, they have presence in 24 cities and 13 states across India and throughout the Middle East.

Website:

They have a website that covers detail of their current project in all the cities they are serving in India, and they have an option to go directly to Dubai site.

Key features:

  1. Email Newsletter Subscription present
  2. Mobile responsiveness

Website Insights:

Total visitsAvg time on sitePage viewsBounce rate
226.8K0:03:103.359.85%

 

UX Audit: The submenus on the main menu are very interesting, with an image and well placed submenu items. Even for mobile, the menu is optimized well. The banner is the most informing entity of their website. It covers all the deals, promotions, new launches, etc. Usually extensive sliding banners don’t work, from user perspective. However, since the information below the banner is very minimal, the user has a better opportunity to focus on the extensive banner.

SEO:

Moz Rank: They have a Moz Rank 32 for Domain Authority.

Website Speed:

  1. For Mobile Site their speed is 67/100.
  2. For Desktop Site their speed is 75/100.

Social Media Presence:

Twitter: They have an active Twitter account with around 2k followers. They do 5 to 6 tweets per day, which is a lot as compared to their competitors. They have a diverse set of tweets ranging from their new projects to the general industry based news. Despite these, engagement is low on tweets.

Facebook: They have an active page with around 5.5 lac followers. All posts are organic, and the engagement is good. They have interesting posts like customer testimonial which is shown below:

           

LinkedIn: They have a LinkedIn business page with around 15k followers. The page is active and engagement is also good. Content is almost same as what they have posted on Facebook.

YouTube: They have a YouTube account with 466 subscribers but it is not very active. The last post was 8 months back.

Their Google+ is active with around 515 followers, and their Instagram account is not active.

Content Marketing:

They have a blog which is not active. They do not have any mention to their blog on their website.

 

Century Real Estate

Century Real Estate prides itself on being an integrated, full-service landholdings development company that offers the best real estate & property developers in Bengaluru.

Website:

They have a descriptive website, which covers detail of their current project in all the cities they are serving in India.  

Key features:

    1. Live chat

 

  1. Mobile responsiveness

Website Insights:

Total visitsAvg time on sitePage viewsBounce rate
20.5K0:04:48346.54%

 

UX Audit: The elevation overview image used in the banner is very attractive. It gives a very detailed idea of the luxury and environment of the residential project. The location sorter-tab is a good utility to filter residential projects in specific areas. The slide-in enquiry form looks neat and works comfortably.

The section ‘Bangalore - the place to be’, is well aligned with the idea of living in a place overlooking green luxury – the strength of their residential project.

SEO:

Moz Rank: They have a Moz Rank 27 for Domain Authority.

Website Speed:

  1. For Mobile Site their speed is 69/100.
  2. For Desktop Site their speed is 70/100.

Social Media Presence:

Twitter: They have an active Twitter account, but the followers are very less; it is around 50 only. They do 5 to 6 tweets per week, but the engagement is very low. Some of the tweets are interesting which give emphasis on Call-To-Action as the one mentioned below:

Facebook: They have an active page with around 47k followers. Some posts are organic, and some are boosted, and the engagement is good overall. They have interactive posts like the one shown below:

           

LinkedIn: They have a LinkedIn business page with around 1.2k followers. They don’t have any post on their  page till now.

YouTube: They have a YouTube account with only 13 subscribers and it is not very active. They post once in around 3 months.

Their Google+ is not active, and they don’t have Instagram account.

Content Marketing:

They have an active blog which is linked to their website. And they have newsletter sign-up option for their blog.

 

Puravankara Group

The Puravankara Group commenced operations in Mumbai and has established significant presence in the metropolitan cities of Bangalore, Kochi, Chennai, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Mysore and overseas in Dubai, Colombo and Saudi-Arabia.

Website:

They have a website with categories for cities they are serving in India and then cities have description of their current projects.  

Key Features:

    1. Live chat

 

    1. Email Newsletter Subscription present

 

  1. Mobile Responsiveness

Website Insights:

Total visitsAvg time on sitePage viewsBounce rate
91.4K0:01:442.267.51%

 

UX Audit: They have a very interesting drop down menu with all their residential projects listed. The supporting icons plus location information makes way of navigating to residential options more convenient.

SEO:

Moz Rank: They have a Moz Rank 35 for Domain Authority.

Website Speed:

    1. For Mobile Site their speed is 53/100.

 

  1. For Desktop Site their speed is 48/100.  
  1. For Mobile Site their speed is 47/100.
  2. For Desktop Site their speed is 59/100.

Social Media Presence:

Twitter: They have an active Twitter account but the followers are very less, it is around 360. They do 5 to 6 tweets per week but engagement is low. Most of the tweets are themed around investment like the one shown below:

Facebook: They have an active page with around 37k followers. The posts are organic and have decent engagement.

LinkedIn: They have a LinkedIn business page with around 4k followers. They don’t have any post on their page till now.

YouTube: They have an active YouTube account with around 400 subscribers.

Their Google+ is not active, and they don’t have Instagram account.

Content Marketing:

They have a blog, but it is not active. It  is also not linked to their website. The last post was in 2014.

 

 

Ozone Group

Ozone Group one of the top builders in Bangalore & Chennai among the real estate construction companies.

Website:

They have a website with description of their projects on the banner images, which is very visual and catches the attention.

Key Features:

    1. Enquiry Form

 

    1. Email Newsletter Subscription is Present

 

  1. Mobile Responsiveness

Website Insights:

Total visitsAvg time on sitePage viewsBounce rate
72.2K0:01:231.7672.22%

 

UX Audit: The information architecture of this page is very well-planned. Banner information with different projects and their status, makes it a valuable source of information. The website has a very well-built footer with latest news, enquiry form, and contact us.

SEO:

Moz Rank: They have a Moz Rank 35 for Domain Authority.

Website Speed:

  1. For Mobile Site their speed is 69/100.
  2. For Desktop Site their speed is 85/100.

Social Media Presence:

Twitter: They have an active Twitter account with around 1.5k followers. They do 2 to 3 tweets per week, but engagement is low. Most of the tweets are informative, like the one shown below:

Facebook: They have an active page with around 1 Lac followers. The posts are organic and have decent engagement. They have many images posted for different occasions.

LinkedIn: They have an active LinkedIn business page with around 800 followers. They have posts related to their achievements and activities on their page.

YouTube: They have an active YouTube account, but the subscribers are less. They have almost one video upload every week.

Their Google+ is not active, but the Instagram account is active with similar posts as Facebook.

Content Marketing:

They have a blog which is active, and it is linked to their website. Content is mostly about their projects.

 

 

Total Environment

Architect led design company in real estate development, Total Environment creates luxury apartments and villas for sale in India.

Website:

They have a website with very less content. They have put images of all their projects and every image has a small description of the project.

Key Features:

    1. Enquiry Form

 

  1. Mobile Responsiveness

Website Insights:

Total visitsAvg time on sitePage viewsBounce rate
10.7 K0:04:4211.8622.30%

 

UX Audit: The image slider is very different from the usual websites. It focused on every facility that the residence provides, thereby giving the user an entire perspective of what they’re signing up for.

On the con-side, there is no evident attractive information about their residential projects; the user might lose out on the purpose of the page

SEO:

Moz Rank: They have a Moz Rank 21 for Domain Authority.

Website Speed:

  1. For Mobile Site their speed is 91/100.
  2. For Desktop Site their speed is 96/100.

Social Media Presence:

Twitter: They have a Twitter account with only 100 followers. The account is not active, last tweet was in April.

Facebook: They have an active page with around 15k followers. The posts are organic and have good engagement. They have interesting posts like the one shown below:

LinkedIn: They have a LinkedIn business page with around 2k followers. They have very few posts that are about job openings only.

YouTube: They don’t have an YouTube account.

Both their Google+ and Instagram are not active.

Content Marketing:

They do not have a blog.

 

 

Nitesh Estates

Nitesh Estates is the luxury real estate brand, which has developed state-of-the-art homes, hotels, office buildings and shopping malls in India.

Website:

They have descriptive and visually appealing website, which tells about their projects and promotional activities in detail.

Key Features:

    1. Email Newsletter Subscription is present

 

  1. Mobile Responsiveness

Website Insights:

Total visitsAvg time on sitePage viewsBounce rate
17K0:04:303.929.11%

 

UX Audit:

    1. Convenient categorization of content along the home page.

 

    1. Nice clear images of the property, enhances the look of the page.

 

  1. The content of the page really communicates trust via sections like ‘Ambassador banner’ and ‘Commitment to Excellence’.

SEO:

Moz Rank: They have a Moz Rank 31 for Domain Authority.

Website Speed:

  1. For Mobile Site their speed is 52/100.
  2. For Desktop Site their speed is 65/100.

Social Media Presence:

Twitter: They have an active Twitter account with around 9k followers. They do 5 to 6 tweets per week, but engagement is low. They have tried engaging in campaigns like the one shown below:

Facebook: They have an active page with around 42k followers. The posts are organic and have decent engagement. They have many posts that talk about the facilities they have in their projects like the one shown below:

LinkedIn: They have an active LinkedIn business page with around 3k followers. They have posts related to their projects and the engagement is good on their page.

YouTube: They have an active YouTube account with around 1.2k subscribers. They have almost 2 to 3 video uploads every 2-3 months.

Their Google+ is not active but the Instagram account is active with similar posts as Facebook.

Content Marketing:

They have a blog which is active and it  is on their website. Content is very diverse ranging from general topics of real estate to specific topics like tour of their property.

 

 

Brigade Group

Brigade Group is a  real estate and property developer in Bangalore & the rest of South India since 1986.

Website:

They have very colorful website, which tells about their projects across various cities. Their website is Mobile responsive.

Website Insights:

Total visitsAvg time on sitePage viewsBounce rate
99.7K0:01:552.2258.56%

 

UX Audit: Quick Finder turns out to be an excellent feature and well-placed to a user’s visibility. Categorizing their properties based on  Commercial, Retail and Hospitality is very thoughtful. However the second half of the website could have maintained a more prominent and vibrant color theme like the first half of the site.

SEO:

Moz Rank: They have a Moz Rank 40 for Domain Authority.

Website Speed:

  1. For Mobile Site their speed is 55/100.
  2. For Desktop Site their speed is 69/100.

Social Media Presence:

Twitter: They have an Twitter account with around 150 followers. The account is not active, and the last tweet was in 2015.

Facebook: They have an active page with around 13k followers. The posts are organic and engagement is low. They have tried interactive posts but still the engagement is low as the one shown below:

LinkedIn: They have an active LinkedIn business page with around 9k followers. They have posts related to their projects and the engagement is decent on their page.

YouTube: They don’t have YouTube account.

Their Google+ is not active, and they don’t have an Instagram account.

Content Marketing:

They have a blog, which is on their website. It is not active; last post was in December 2015.

 

 

DRA Group

3 decades of delivering Quality Homes has made DRA a name synonymous with quality apartment constructions in Bangalore.

Website:

They have a website with good description of their ongoing as well as upcoming projects.

Key Features:

    1. Enquiry Form

 

  1. Mobile responsiveness

UX Audit: Each of the individual projects has a set of features that can viewed by a simple click, and all changes being reflected in a single space. This is a very simple navigation.

SEO:

Moz Rank: They have a Moz Rank 19 for Domain Authority.

Website Speed:

  1. For Mobile Site their speed is 39/100.
  2. For Desktop Site their speed is 47/100.

Social Media Presence:

Twitter: They have an active Twitter account with around 300 followers. They do 4 to 5 tweets per week but engagement is low. Most of the recent tweets are about their new project.

Facebook: They have an active page with around 25k followers. The posts are organic and have decent engagement. They have most recent posts only about their new project.

LinkedIn: They have an LinkedIn business page with around 80 followers. They have no posts till now.

YouTube: They don’t have a YouTube account.

Their Google+ is not active and they don’t have Instagram account.

Content Marketing:

They don’t have a blog.

  

 

Casa Grande

Casa Grande defines designs and develops quality livings spaces and operates in niche residential segments like luxury villas and apartments in Chennai, Bangalore, Coimbatore and Cochin. The company also sells plotted development spaces. Projects in the pipeline are to the tune of around 2500 crores in the luxury apartments and villas category across these 4 geographies.

Website:

They have a website which is visually appealing with big banner images, info-graphics and video testimonials from clients.

Key Features:

    1. Live Chat

 

    1. Email Newsletter Subscription is present

 

  1. Mobile responsiveness

Website Insights:

Total visitsAvg time on sitePage viewsBounce rate
76K0:05:293.2143.02%

 

UX Audit: The semi-parallax look adds a luxurious feel to the general theme of Casa Grande. The well laid-out contact information at the top of the page facilitates easy contact. The feature that shows the number of completed, ongoing, and upcoming projects. Clean color theme of the website and well organized layout is a great advantage.

SEO:

Moz Rank: They have a Moz Rank 22 for Domain Authority.

Website Speed:

  1. For Mobile Site their speed is 69/100.
  2. For Desktop Site their speed is 76/100.

Social Media Presence:

Twitter: They have an active Twitter account with around 2k followers. They do 4 to 5 tweets per week, but engagement is low. Most of the tweets are same as the ones posted on Facebook.

Facebook: They have an active page with around 1.2 Lac followers. The posts both organic as well as sponsored posts have decent engagement. They have some engaging posts like the one shown below:

LinkedIn: They have an active LinkedIn business page with around 490 followers. They have posts related to their offers but the engagement is very low on their page.

YouTube: They have an active YouTube account but the subscribers are around 200 only. They have almost two video uploads every month.

Their Google+ is active but engagement is low, and they don’t have a Instagram account.

Content Marketing:

They have a blog which is active and it  is linked to their website. They post almost twice per month which is good as compared to their competitors.

 

 

Asset Builders

Website:

They have a website with description of their projects and  lot of content related to their mission/ vision. They have videos of testimonials by their clients.

Key Features:

    1. Live Chat

 

    1. Email Newsletter Subscription is present

 

  1. Mobile Responsiveness

UX Audit:

    1. A long scroll page with all information laid out in a very appealing manner.

 

  1. A very different set of visual elements like project details in tabs, featured works in the slider, and various testimonials from client builds trust as a brand from the user perspective.

SEO:

Moz Rank: They have a Moz Rank 24 for Domain Authority.

Website Speed:

  1. For Mobile Site their speed is 43/100.
  2. For Desktop Site their speed is 54/100.

Social Media Presence:

Twitter: They have an active Twitter account with around 150 followers. They do 4 to 5 tweets per month which is low as compared to competitors. The engagement is low on their posts.

Facebook: They have an active page with around 8k followers. The posts are organic and have decent engagement. They post once a week mostly.

LinkedIn: They have an active LinkedIn business page with around 100 followers. They have posts related to their achievements and activities on their page but the engagement is low.

YouTube: They have an active YouTube account but the subscribers are less. The last video they uploaded was 9 months back.

Their Google+ is active, but they don’t have Instagram account.

Content Marketing:

They have a blog tab on their website but after clicking it is re-directed to their home page only.

 

 

Mahindra Lifespaces

Mahindra Lifespaces is one of the most reputed real estate property developers and they provide a one stop solution for NRI investment in India.

Website:

They have a website which is very colorful and interactive.

Key Features:

    1. Enquiry Form

 

  1. Mobile Responsiveness

Website Insights:

Total visitsAvg time on sitePage viewsBounce rate
56.6K0:02:191.7665.56%

 

UX Audit: Using green as a theme is very impressive to an audience in real-estate. The simple and clean design appeals to the user’s experience. Sticky enquire and book now buttons, really serve the purpose of contacting, comfortably.

SEO:

Moz Rank: They have a Moz Rank 41 for Domain Authority.

Website Speed:

  1. For Mobile Site their speed is 66/100.
  2. For Desktop Site their speed is 79/100.

Social Media Presence:

Twitter: They have an active Twitter account with around 1k followers. They do 2 to 3 tweets per week but engagement is low.

Facebook: They have an active page with around 1 Lac followers. They have both organic as well as sponsored post and have decent engagement. They have some video posts that are quite interactive.

LinkedIn: They have an active LinkedIn business page with around 22k followers. They have posts related to their projects mostly and the engagement is decent.

YouTube: They have an active YouTube account but the subscribers are less. They have almost 2 to 3 video uploads every month.

Their Google+ is not active and the Instagram account is active but engagement is low.

Content Marketing:

They have a blog which is active and it  is on their website. Content is diverse which ranges from general real estate topics to specific topics like their projects.

 

Godrej Properties

Godrej Properties has been instrumental in the construction of Residential, commercial and township projects across 12 major cities in India & continues to be.

Website:

They have a website with all the information needed but it is very simple in terms of design. They have all the information on the banner images which is very visual.

Key Features:

    1. Enquiry Form

 

  1. Mobile responsiveness

Website Insights:

Total visitsAvg time on sitePage viewsBounce rate
209.2K0:01:202.0572.01%

 

UX Audit:

    1. A very simple design layout without any cluttering elements, garners user attention.

 

    1. The information in menus is very well organized, promoting navigational convenience.

 

  1. Their ‘Book Online’ feature is a well built utility.

SEO:

Moz Rank: They have a Moz Rank 46 for Domain Authority.

Website Speed:

  1. For Mobile Site their speed is 41/100.
  2. For Desktop Site their speed is 57/100.

Social Media Presence:

Twitter: They have multiple Twitter accounts according to projects.

Facebook: They have multiple Facebook accounts according to projects.

LinkedIn: They have an active LinkedIn business page with around 33k followers. They have posts related to their activities and the engagement is good.

YouTube: They have an active YouTube account with around 550 subscribers. They have almost one video upload every week.

Their Google+ is active and in Instagram account they don’t have any posts.

Content Marketing:

They have a multiple blogs for various summits and projects.

 

~Other contributors to this blog post are Allan William, Pournima Balasubramanian, Nandita Raman, Rohit Uttamchandani, Srilakshmi Indrasenan, and Akila Priyadarshini.


How UX can break or make your business sales or revenue

  • Pournima Balasubramanian
  • |
  • 13 May , 2016
  • |
    • 7 min read

 Understanding User experience and its importance

The father of UX - Don Norman defines user experience as a science that encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services and its products. User experience takes more than just defining it. Let's relate it to the real model.

What makes shopping fun? Most of you would say - ‘buying the product’. I agree, but not entirely. Buying the product is the last step of the shopping process. What led to buying is your positive experience at the store, walking down the different sections, stacked with a variety of designs and then finding the perfect take away. Not to forget, the billing experience!

Let us map the real-world model to your online experience on a business website – right from getting to your website through a certain landing page, to reading your content; from navigating the site to finally taking a conversion action, everything counts as user experience.

Research studies on UX and A/B tests on websites have led to pointing out thrust factors that impact the experience of a user on your website.

UX Factors that lead to conversion

Let us see below why product pitch, good navigation and aesthetic content form the crux of your website:

1) Product Pitch: The pitch of a website sketches out the business identity. Content that speaks out about how the business goals are intended to benefit their customers, caters positively to the user’s experience. This is the part of experience where tone of the website builds trust and communication with the user. A strong selling pitch can boost your sales.

2) Comfortable and Intuitive navigation:

Comfort and intuitiveness are key factors that lead a user to conversion.  Even if you perfectly speak out how good your product is, if a user fails to see the interface as friendly, intuitive and quick - they are likely to bounce.

3) Content & Aesthetics:

Neil Patel says that great content is definitely the reason behind returning visitors and he quickly adds that good content is valuable only when it's readable and engaging. That’s where aesthetics comes in. Content becomes friendlier when the formatting stands out in a way that grip the user's attention. A good use of contrast colors for backgrounds and text can make a piece of content interesting to read; adding images that are crisp and meaningful, makes your content 10x; visual cues using text formatting, colors, icons  can guide the user about your site;

Everything that brings about a conversion like important content, call to action, contact information etc. should be made to stand out by using principles of aesthetics.

In addition to SEO, Google algorithm is emphasizing on returning results that have an excellent user experience. So it's important to always look back at how your website is doing from the UX perspective.

Here’s an excellent example to demonstrate how the thrust factors contribute to providing an experience that builds a trust relationship between the customer and the product.

Gehna, a brand that sells stunning unique Indian jewellery have made their online presence valuable by providing a user-friendly platform for online shopping and jewellery customization.

 

Some of the reasons why Gehna’s landing page User eXperience ticks:

1) The first impact this website makes, is with its aesthetics. Clean layout with enticing images, interesting fonts and color balance, which ultimately leads to a pleasant experience.

2) The content on this page is kept optimum without distractions and has excellent customer value. Studies in cognitive psychology state that a user is prone to action whenever he finds all the necessary information around a CTA. The banner on this page impresses the user by laying out their available services in a dignified way. This is the point which engages the user and leads to conversions.

3) By giving their users an insight into their work, customization process and user testimonials, they have built trust with their prospective customer.

4) They also maintain a user-friendly blog with design ideas and jewellery trends. This shows that Gehna is not just a business but also a work of passion at customer interest, there by bringing out the personality of their brand.

To sum it up, with their unique propositions, well organized content and evident CTA’s, they have provided the customer an impactful experience that bags conversions. I urge you to remember, a great landing page UX leads to the quickest conversions.

If you notice in entirety, it’s the little things that tend to add up in the big way. What demonstrates this is the power of a well-designed form with a proximately placed CTA

Every CTA leads a step closer to conversion. Once a prospective customer decides on a product/business, the only thing in between, is the experience of making it happen. Be it a registration, purchase checkout or a reservation - more often, the last step towards a conversion is completing a web form. UX is indeed impactful here.

To understand this better, let’s take a look at a few insights from conversionXL’s  Peep Laja

  • Less information request = more conversions

The key is to ask only for relevant information and skip the research questions. This means that a 5-field form out performs a 9-field form by approximately 30%. Research studies based on usability ROI, has seen that every time a form was simplified, businesses saw huge increases in their conversion rates.

  • Provide necessary information on the form. Missing information leads to confusion, frustration and no conversion.

With a great service pitch, an eye-catching image and simple fill-out form, Pamperazi clearly tells you what you’re up to.

UX is so impactful that it can break or make your business revenue

   Statistics from experiments conducted by various organizations has shown the tremendous impact that UX has had on sales/revenue. Let us explore a few examples & case studies

Call to Actions

According to Jared M Spool, founder of user interface engineering, changing a CTA button on a checkout form increased a major e-commerce website’s annual revenue by $300 million. In fact studies even show that a prominent CTA button right next to some related content can increase conversions from 2.78% to about 19%.

Here is a great example of Casa Grande’s Aldea. It adds prominence and proximity to the CTA.

1) Providing sliding images of the exteriors and interiors of the apartments.

2) Displaying the amenities and perks of the apartments, evidently

Having given a perfect picture of what the user is signing up for, a CTA is provided right in place for users to make further enquiries. This is a high-converting UX.

Visual Design

A well balanced design is about proper use of page elements and colors. Visually balanced designs have a positive impact on the user experience.

LaundryBoy is a winning design that puts together a great visual balance. With their website themed around blue shades, they’ve made their CTA completely stand out in a balanced contrast. Would you ever believe that a visually balanced design could lead to a 25% higher conversion rate.

Practice of Decluttering

Your landing page will always face a 5 second test to grab the user’s attention. The impact made here brings about the conversion. The Weather Channel wanted to turn people into premium subscribers. They decluttered their homepage and had a single subscription action with their features enlisted

Listen to the Users voice

Users, be it retained customers or prospective customers, have come into the habit of letting businesses know what is causing the friction. Valuing their feedback yields huge difference in your conversions.

Creating a new sign up page based on user feedback, raised the revenue for SEO Moz by additional $1million.

 Your users are adapting to trending designs, which is why your designs has to update as per contemporary standards or be even better. 

With a great UX - make them an offer they can’t refuse

A lot of research has been done around the impact of design on content. Recent studies on cognitive psychology states that people are moving from text-driven content towards visually mediated content.

Content is more strong and easily assimilated, when accompanied by informing design/images.

Olympia Grande makes the right use of content and images to showcase the strength of their residential project. By placing prime information like project overview, cost and enquiry in a compact space of the user focus, they’ve got the user’s attention. That's a winning strategy for quick conversions!

UX impacts SEO which in turn impacts your sales

A good UX makes your website accessible, useful, usable, findable, credible and valuable. All of this impacts the SEO positively, leading to a good ranking on search engines. A website that is optimized with quality content and good experience, will gain customer traffic and succeed at customer retention.

It is wise to learn from others mistakes; it’s a faster path to move ahead. Bad UX is mostly about doing the basic functionalities wrong. So in addition to demonstrating what works, let me point out what doesn’t.

Common Issues in UX that break sales

  • slow loading time of websites
  • lack of content hierarchy
  • cluttered and confusing navigation
  • lack of basic functions or information that a majority of the users expect
  • exhaustive user engagement for simple tasks
  • falling short of an impressive personality
  • lack of responsive design .

Research studies in UX have shown that 88% of the visitors do not visit a website that has given them a bad experience.

As you see, UX is an integral part of a business website bridging your customer to your business. Understanding the usage pattern of your users gives an insight into their experience, learning what part of your website frustrates or confuses them helps incorporate some necessary changes to the website to get better conversions.

With a lot of companies investing in UX, it is evident that the user’s experience with a website is having a soaring impact on the sales and revenue.

Here’s wishing your user eXperience a good health!


Top Websites for Buying Royalty Free Images in India

  • Nandita Raman
  • |
  • 6 May , 2016
  • |
    • 3 min read

Have you written a blog post or a great story but have no idea where to look for pictures to accompany the same? Or are you looking for some high quality images for your design project?  Well, worry not! We have put together a list of best websites for buying royalty free images in India.

Images Bazaar

Owned by Mash Audio Visuals Private Limited, Images Bazaar provides creative professional images under different categories. Founded by Sandeep Maheshwari, Images Bazaar has the world's largest collection of Indian images, with over 10 lakh photographs, videos, illustrations and 3D imagery shot by over 10,400 photographers.

Photoconcierge

Bangalore based Photoconcierge is a collaborative digital marketplace for photographs, illustrations and videos. The company provides a stock repository of photos, vectors and videos to marketers and individuals. With a wide range of photographs and network, the company is a perfect resource-pool to help you find photographs that match your every need.

Photosindia

Photosindia.com is a premier stock image agency that combines the entire processes of stock photography to bring you high quality and wide variety of pictures. With a team of highly enthusiastic and creative visualizers, photographers, software professionals, photosindia is a one stop solution for all your image requirements.

Thinkstock

Thinkstock offers user generated premium royalty-free images, vectors and illustrations selected from Getty Images, iStock and other worldwide image partners. The unique thing about Thinkstock images is that you can download and use any image at any file size without affecting your price. It is also the only subscription that offers images from over 40 collections.

Shutterstock

Shutterstock is the largest and most exciting platform for creative professionals to license content - including images, videos and music - as well as innovative tools that power the creative process. Founded in 2003 by Jon Oringer, they have millions of royalty free tock photos, illustrations, and vectors for all your needs.

Imagedb

Imagedb has a collection of high quality, diverse range of over 80,000 Indian stock images. Apart from this, Imagedb also has footage and other services including image key wording, retouching, masking or clipping path, Image filterization etc. The company also arranges for commercial shoots for clients, depending on their needs.

FreeDidgitalPhotos.net

FreeDigitalPhotos.net offers pictures and illustrations for free of charge, for business, personal, charitable or educational use. The pictures that are available for free are small in size however, the website also lets you download larger size images but it comes with a cost. Once you have chosen the image you want, the portal lets you download them without even registering.

ImagesKart

 ImagesKart was founded to provide advertising and communication agencies visual content key to researching, purchasing, and downloading of Indian Images. The company has more than 5000 contributors spread across India and aboard.

Unsplash.com

Unsplash provides free and high-resolution photos that have been submitted, free of any usage restrictions, by established and up and coming photographers. Every 10 days, 10 new images are added to the website. All photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero so you can copy and modify them at your will.

IndiaPhotoStock

IndianPhotoStock has a unique mix of stock images and fine art photography by Sanjay Marathe. The website hosts more than 20,000 images of India and USA and has pictures of travel, monuments, people, culture, festivals, infrastructure, agriculture, cities, villages, rural life and many more subjects.

Getty Images

An American stock image company, Getty Images has an archive of over 80 million images and illustration and more than 50,000 hours of stock film footage. They have a large central repository online where you can browse for images and buy the rights. Cost of the images varies from the size and resolution of the image. Apart from this they also offer custom photo services for their corporate clients.

Dreamstime

 Dreamstime is one of India’s leading stock image companies that provide high quality digital images and illustrations at an affordable price. Currently the website has around 15,000,000 registered members, more than 300,000 contributing photographers and over 44,000,000 photos, illustrations, cliparts and vectors.

StockImagebank

If you are looking for Indian contemporary stock images, then Stockimagebank is the place to go.  The company provides high quality images to agencies such as JWT, O&M, Leo Burnette, Lowe Lintas and clients such as Sony, Microsoft, Nestle, P&G in India & across the globe.

Dinodia

Dinodia has all pictures relating to India including historic pictures from 1980 onwards. They also house, paintings, illustrations, black and white images and contemporary color images. With a total archive of over 50 million images online, Dinodia, paintings, illustrations, black and white images and contemporary color images. They also have over 100 contributors who take pictures for clients in case they don’t have images a particular client is looking for.

Think we have missed out something? Let us know by leaving a comment!


7 Ways to Improve Your WordPress Website Speed

  • Vimal Michael
  • |
  • 22 February , 2016
  • |
    • 3 min read

“Page abandonment increases with every second longer it takes for your website to load”

 

You just created the sleekest website on WordPress that has a super responsive user interface and killer content, but you’re not getting any conversions! It all boils down to page load time at the end of the day. No matter how wonderfully you craft your website, if your page loads slowly, your visitor will navigate away. They’ll navigate to an uglier website with terrible content but that loads quicker. You don’t want that.

Page abandonment increases with every second longer it takes your website to load. All hope is not lost, however. With just a few simple and easy to implement ideas, take your tortoise of a webpage and give it a turbo boost.

First of all, test your website’s load time with this handy tool from Pingdom or pagespeed from Google. Does your website pass the 2-second rule? According to several surveys that a Kissmetric article researched, most web users look for a website that loads within 2 seconds. The longest they’ll wait is 3 seconds! Any longer than that and your page needs heavy optimizing.

Before reading any further make sure you have a good server and has servers based in India (if you are targetting the Indian market. We would recommend Bluehost for a shared Linux hosting or a Wordpress optimised hosting if your site is on Wordpress.

So you’ve run the test for your website and it’s pretty slow. What next? Check out these scientifically-backed tips to improve your website’s speed.

1. Be lazy

Yes, implement LazyLoad into your website design to improve the amount of time it takes for your site to load. With LazyLoad, you can cut back on the page load time, and allow users to save their bandwidth. Win-win for all!

2. Compress images

Images (in sizes) are indirectly proportional to any website speed. Bigger the image, slower the loading, best solution is to compress images without losing quality. You can use free image compression tools like Caesium to compress images without losing much of its sharpness & clarity. In wordpress, there are plugins like Smush.It or Ewww Image Optimizer which use lossless/lossy method to optimize the images. The great thing about these plugins is that they work in the background every time you upload a new image you can also run it retrospectively on all of the images uploaded to your media library. They come with limitations that the base image should not be more than 1mb in size (so Caesium can be used to compress initially).

3. Free it Up

The WP-Optimize plugin allows you the freedom to optimize your MySQL database with just a click!

4. Cache them all

Want to be a cache-all master? With the W3 Total Cache, make caching a breeze. This will let your website load at blazing hot speeds, and ultimately lead to better conversions and leads. It can take care of elements like browser caching, Javascript, CSS & HTML Minification, setting expiry headers etc. Be careful in using the tool as it can affect your design & CSS files too.

5. Divide and conquer

Are your images, content, Javascript code and CSS in the same location? Consider having them on external files via a Content Delivery Network (CDN) like Cloudflare for the same.

6. No cookies for you

Want a winning idea for speeding up your website? Reduce or get rid of cookies altogether. Your visitor will also be thankful that cookies don’t bog their system down.

7. Don’t Send them away

Don’t redirect. When you redirect your visitor to another page, you’re only adding an additional HTTP which makes your page load slower.

Go all out and give your visitor a faster website today!


Top-5 Content Management Systems for your website

  • Abhishek Kumar
  • |
  • 18 June , 2015
  • |
    • 3 min read

If you are planning to build a website in the near future, you might be confused on which platform to use. While there is a whole bunch of content management systems (CMS) in the market, you might want to use the platform that allows you to do it without worrying too much about the technical aspects like coding.

What is a Content Management System?

In simple terms, a Content Management System is a software tool that allows you to create, edit, publish and manage web content. The main objective of a CMS is to provide an intuitive interface to manage your content on the web.

There are many good content management systems like Wordpress and Drupal; and they are all fantastic. But choosing one among them can be difficult because you do not know if the website is suited for the needs of your website. The server can sometimes be a challenge in having an effective CMS and we usually recommend the Linux based servers being provided by Bluehost or Amazon Web Services.

This article shall make you aware of the different aspects of the Top-5 Content Management Systems in the market and help you make an informed decision.

  1. WordPress

Homepage: www.wordpress.org

One of the world’s most popular content management systems, Wordpress started out as a blogging platform, but has grown and advanced significantly over the years. Based on PHP & MySQL, Wordpress is used by almost 23% of the top 10 million websites around the world. Examples of Wordpress websites are Social Beat, ithought, etc.

Advantages:

  • It’s free and the easy installation offered does not require complex technical know how to maintain the website
  • User friendly dashboard for managing content
  • Multi-user and multi-blogging support
  • Wide number of plug-ins and themes, both paid and unpaid, for customizing your website
  • A large developer community and plenty of tutorials and documentation available for support
  • Easy linkage to your email platforms such as Mailchimp to allow you to keep in touch with customers

Disadvantages:

  • Standard installation can have security issues and is vulnerable to attacks. Needs to be addressed with continuous updates and monitoring of the website

 

  1. Drupal

Homepage: www.drupal.org

Drupal is the 2nd most popular PHP-based content management system. It’s a powerful, developer friendly platform that can be easily used for building complex websites. In the latest releases, database management modules have been added that allow managing SQL operations without writing SQL queries. Many big companies like General Electric, Time Warner and Sony Music, are using Drupal.

Advantages:

  • Less resource intensive than WordPress
  • Technically advanced in comparison to peers like Wordpress and Joomla
  • Very flexible; has the feature to even edit the root files of the program
  • Easily customizable with numerous plug-ins & 6000+ modules available for easy extension of functionality
  • Powerful taxonomy & ability to tag and organize complex content
  • Faster load and response time
  • Powerful use cases available

Disadvantages:

  • Basic knowledge of HTML, PHP and other common programming languages is required
  • Theming system is complex along with a lack of high-quality plug-ins
  • Site complexity beyond a simple website or a blog requires technical know-how to keep it running

 

  1. Joomla

Homepage: www.joomla.org

Joomla is quite often, an intermediate choice between Wordpress and Drupal, having the power of a Drupal website and at the same time managing the user-friendly nature of a Wordpress website. Joomla has a lot of plug-ins and themes available to choose from, so you can easily customize your website based on your requirements. It’s suitable for creating back-end networks for a wide range of purposes like inventory control and reservation systems to online commerce websites.

Advantages:

  • Faster and easier to setup an online store; has more native support online commerce
  • A great platform to create social networks
  • Long history of development and an active developer community
  • Tons of plugins and add-on tools available
  • 7000+ plus extensions and an extensive help portal

Disadvantages:

  • Not easy for beginners
  • Modularity & expendability puts greater demand on server parameters
  • Lack of high-quality themes when compared to Wordpress

 

  1. SilverStripe

Website: www.silverstripe.org

SilverStripe is another open source content management system, best serving the needs of developers slightly comfortable with coding. Built on an object-oriented framework called Sapphire, it has multiple platform modules allowing it to support a content formats like blogs as well as forums / communities. SilverStripe code is bound together through independent frameworks; thus providing it the capability to support any CSS Style Sheets and HTML codes.

Advantages:

  • Open standards for development leading to high development versatility
  • Easy back-end functions
  • Powerful content authoring tool with ability to publish/unpublish content on specific dates
  • Differential permission levels for different parts of the site to manage your own editor/author network
  • Strong developer community SilverStripe LTD to fall back for technical support

Disadvantages:

  • Less intuitive back-end in comparison to peers like Wordpress
  • Less than 200 extension modules and not many high-quality themes available
  • Lack of documentation support

 

  1. TextPattern

Website: www.textpattern.com

A highly flexible content management system, TextPattern is a free, PHP based CMS that is more often skipped when looking at the top CMSs for websites. It leverages Textile to quickly convert plain text to XHTML, making it user-friendly for beginners.

Advantages:

  • User-friendly for non-technical users
  • Suitable for websites of varied sizes
  • Great documentation; complete manual available online

Disadvantages:

  • Minimal variety of themes (~120 front end themes available)
  • Fewer plugins
  • Small developer community

Top 10 live chat softwares for your website

  • Suneil Chawla
  • |
  • 4 May , 2015
  • |
    • 5 min read

Live Chat is an efficient communication medium for proactively engaging customers and converting them into leads. This can be done at ease with the help of well trained agents using some of the many Live Chat tools avalable. However, deciding which one to pick be a bit confusing. Hence, we have put together a list of the 10 best live chat softwares for your website that can help boost sales and service your customers.

Before we go into the details and the USPs of each of the live chat softwares available, here's a quick comparison of the features these platforms have to offer and their pricing:

 

SNAP ENGAGE

USP: Social Discovery to help better understand the customer

Facebook ,Twitter and LinkedIn icons are bound with the chat option and if the agent feels that he/she can connect with the potential customer through social networking sites the customer can give a friend request or follow the customer directly from the chat area. This feature is called as ‘social discovery’, which is a unique feature and it also helps the agent to know about the customers better and further chats can be made more customisable. The details of the customers can be seen only after accepting the chat requests. Apart fom this, Snap Engage also allows the agents to remotely control the user's browser and help them navigate to the right pages quickly. Also, tthere are blogs written in their website which helps the agent to enhance his/her skill to be a star agent. Unlimited access to sites is provided by Snap Engage. CRM and help desk can be integrated.

PRICING

The basic price is $60 in which 4 agents can be employed.

ZOPIM

USP: Competitive Pricing

Zopim is an affordable, easy to use Live Chat option. When you engage with a customer, a separate pop up doesn’t appear on the screen for every customer, instead all the windows and controls are integrated with the dash board they offer, unlike many other chat options. Automated chats are possible so that you can reach out to customers, before they complete their conversation. Integrating with Zen Desk can help in multi-channel support like emails and social media. Chat history is available by which it becomes easy for the agent to know the customer.

PRICING

Free version is available and the basic version costs for $11 (single agent) per month.

OLARK

USP: Customizable GUI 

The customisable graphical user interface GUI makes Olark stand out from the rest. When it is Christmas time, it gets updated to the Christmas theme. Every celebration can be more fun with the GUI it offers. The logo of the organisation can also be incorporated in the paid versions of Olark. After every chat, rating can be given for the chat from which instant feedback of the conversation through live chat can be noted. Another noteworthy component of Olark is ‘savethecart’ feature by which the agent can know what is the product that is stored in the cart and based upon this the chat can be done and targeting becomes easy.

PRICING

The basic version costs $15 (single agent) whereas the free version limits in the number of chats.

VELARO CHAT

USP: Geo targeting and content targeting

The geographical location of the website visitor can be tracked along with the content what they are looking for so that even the greeting by the agent can be of the language which the viewer  follows which gives a personal connect to the user and the user is more likely to buy the product. Keeping track of the content can also help in product that can be promoted through chat as a follow up.  Unlimited access to sites and can be managed centrally. There are three versions like other chats that include basic business, smart business and enterprise Omni.

PRICING

The basic price is $29.95 and free version is available with limited features

OGG CHAT

USP: Integration with G-talk and Instant Messenger

Ogg Chat can be integrated with G-Talk and Instant messenger. Separate desired departments can be created and operators can be added to the chat. Every operator can include a schedule chart to keep a track on the pending schedule. Some data are available that can be used to analyse like brief chat history but however real time monitoring of the viewers, usage of canned messages is a considerable setback.

PRICING

The basic version of the product costs $9.95 and all plans include a 14-day free trial

LIVE HELP NOW

USP: Real time translation

Internationalisation is possible as it offers real time translation feature. Languages are translated instantly which makes it easy to use in non-English speaking nations. The admin interface isn’t much cluttered. It is a simple, user friendly admin which the consumer may like to use. Prioritising the mails become easy with the email management system that is offered. All the information about the clients can be viewed in one click, but a separate window opens up every time which may be tough to view for a series of clients.

PRICING

A 30 day free trial is available with constraints and the basic version of LiveHelpNow chat costs $21 per month

KAYAKO

USP: Quick response through the Mobile application

Users find the mobile application very useful as the agents can respond to the queries from any place. However, the user interface doesn’t support any other language other than English which is seen as a drawback. Live Chat tickets can be administered through e-mail. Service Level Agreements are complex when compared to other chat options. Kayako allows the user to create a macro which enables automatic response to some of the basic and repeated queries as it reduces the response time of the agent.

PRICING: The basic version of the Kayako Live Chat costs $24 and three versions of Kayako are called as Case, Fusion and Engage

CASENGO

USP: Ease of file sharing

Casengo has one inbox for all the chats, emails and social media posts. The cloud based application allows the responders to post their answers in a quicker phase than other options. The customers of online retailers and other small businesses have the response in a very fast time period.  Most of the live chats, attachments can be sent only through downloadable links, where as the file itself can be sent as an attachment, however sending multiple attachments is not an easy task using Casengo.

PRICING:

The basic version costs $9.65 (9Euros), Free version can be used in which enables only the chat option

COMM100LIVECHAT

USP: Guaranteed 100 percent uptime

Comm100livechat, as the name suggests this live chat claims to produce 100 percent uptime. A typing indicator allows agents to see what their customers are typing before they submit their message. With 'MaximumOn' technology, the software also ensures that your live chat program runs continuously without interruptions, despite failures at both server and data center levels. Chats can also be extended onto mobile platforms; including on iOS and Android devices.A drag-and-drop file transfer feature allows agents to share a file that provides all the requested information. However, no real time translation is available and no co-browsing option is available.

PRICING

The basic version of the live chat costs $29 and there are different versions based on the Shared Server and dedicated Server

WEBSITE ALIVE CHAT

USP: An all in one live chat with email integration

If your business is a small firm and is looking for a one stop solution that integrates e-mail with your live chat options, website live chat can serve your business. It supports till 20 multiple chats with quick tabs to enable swift performance.  The user interface helps to edit the interface without coding. Internal operator chat that helps to interact internally when a query hard to manage by an agent can be used to clear his doubts.

PRICING

The basic version of the live chat costs $20 and there are different versions available with different pricing.

 


Are you going to be hit by Google’s Mobile Friendly Update

  • Abhishek Kumar
  • |
  • 21 April , 2015
  • |
    • 3 min read

Almost a year back we had created a list of top Indian Websites that were not responsive. A lot has changed since then. Myntra has moved to an App Only approach and closed down their mobile site. In the same context, Google’s next update is expected to be rolled out on April 21, 2015 and will concentrate largely on positively impacting sites that are mobile responsive. There will also be a marginal negative impact on mobile search results for websites that are not responsive.

So the question to ask here is, whether you site is mobile friendly? Google has its Mobile Friendly Testing Tool which can help you check. If you get a message "Awesome! This page is mobile-friendly.", then you have little to worry as you will most likely be on the safer side of the line.

However, for those who haven’t made their site responsive this Google update is going to put in jeopardy the search traffic and eventually ranking. Here are some tips to help you get started on this front.

  1. How to Ensure You Site Is Mobile Friendly 

Creating a mobile responsive site will be the key step towards being in tandem with the Google update. This was Google’s announcement earlier this year which clearly indicates Google’s focus on mobile friendliness. “Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.” 

The main reason behind the update taking this path is Google’s consistent stand on giving users the best online experience. With mobile traffic having significantly overtaken PC traffic in the past two years this update seems all the more relevant. Google even has an extensive guide on creating mobile friendly sites. If you have Google Webmaster they have a new Mobile Usability feature to showcase if there are usability issues that still exist.

If you are using a Content Management System (CMS) To make your site mobile friendly here are a few essential tips:

For Word Press Sites: If you own a word press site you can simply use a plugins available online. The three best plugins available are 

  • WP Touch: This plugin converts your website automatically for mobile devices. The admin panel of the plugin allows you to modify various aspects of the site’s appearance enabling you to provide a simpler yet stylish version of your website. They have a free theme which works wonders but they also have premium mobile themes if you are looking at something more specific. It essentially takes your existing content on wordpress and embeds it into the mobile theme.
  • WP Mobile Detector: This plugin works by automatically detecting whether the browser being used is from a normal phone or smartphone. Once detected it loads a compatible version that suits the particular browser.
  • Mobile Press: Renders a mobile friendly version of the site when accessed via a phone. It also provides options to use other custom themes for better user experience. 

For Magento Sites: Using existing mobile responsive themes is one option that many are considering. If you have an existing theme which is non-responsive then there are plugins to help with this.

  • ShopGate: This plugin allows you to launch your own mobile website or native app with your existing magento installation. The look and feel may not be identical to your existing desktop design but its a quick fix.
  • SimiCart: Another way to handle this issue on Magento is to have a native Mobile App connected with your existing Magento installation. Simicart is an amazing tool to accomplish this.

The last option would be to adapt the existing theme to being responsive, but it requires extensive changes to be made at the code level.

  1. Increase Speed of your Mobile Site

The time your site takes to load plays a strong role in improving your page rankings. Despite the best mobile data connection, sites sometimes take a while to load and the reason behind it could be due to complex codes, slow server and other factors. Analyzing these problems and addressing them quickly can help give your site an advantage.

Using tools like Google PageSpeed Insights or Pingdom Speed Test tool can help give you an insight into the changes you can make in your site to make it speedier.

Once these changes have been made appropriate modifications have to be made in the Google Webmaster Tool as mentioned in the steps below.

  • Sign into your Google Webmaster account and add your site if you haven’t already.
  • Once done click on the crawl option in the sidebar and then click on the ‘Fetch as Google option’
  • Select the mobile and desktop options one by one and click ‘fetch and render’.
  • Once rendered you will then have to click on the ‘submit to index’ button to let google crawl your updated site.

With the update coming out today, it would be prudent to make these changes to your site as early as possible. Making changes sooner will help your traffic remain higher after the update. If you are having difficulties in making these changes, hiring good developers to make them is always a recommended option.

We would love to hear from you if you have seen any positive or negative mobile traffic from today. Please do share it in the comments below.


Google PageSpeed Insights to make your website mobile & SEO friendly

  • Abhishek Kumar
  • |
  • 9 June , 2014
  • |
    • 2 min read

The Internet Era has now given way to the Mobile Internet Era, with 15% to 35% of traffic coming from mobile devices, and this is only slated to grow. Inspite of the fact that already about 1/4th traffic is from mobile, many top Indian websites are not mobile compatible (read our article on 10 Indian websites that are not mobile responsive). If your website is not optimized for the mobile, you are definitely losing out on leads and customers and also on search engine rankings.

So how do you go about optimizing your website for the mobile? Google PageSpeed Insights is a useful tool that helps you identify issues, rectify them and make your website mobile friendly. Below is a summary of the key recommendations to make your website mobile friendly:

  • Object Scaling

It can be really frustrating to click or tap on a link / button on a phone or tablet and accidently, hitting on the wrong button because your finger pad is larger than a desktop mouse cursor. The tap targets should be scaled such that they are large enough to press / click easily.

  • Viewports

If your webpage does not have a meta-viewport tag, mobile browsers will consider you page to be not mobile friendly and hence, fall back on a desktop viewport. Moreover, it might apply font-boosting which can interfere with your intended page layout. The first step in configuration should be width = device – width. It should be kept in mind that not all mobile devices have the same width. Also, users prefer mobile sites scrolling vertically rather than horizontally.

  • Fonts

Check the font sizes. They should be legible to mobile users across devices. Google PageSpeed Insights checks the font sizes on whether it is enough to be read comfortably by most users.

  • Plugins

If you want to attract users who are using their mobile, avoid plugins, as most smartphones do not support flash and other plugins.

If you have a website already and are thinking of making it mobile friendly, it's possible. But in many cases, a complete redesign, factoring in user experience and website analytics will help increase your website's conversion rate and boost web and mobile traffic. If you are using Wordpress or a CMS then there are quick fixes to make your site compatible - for example in Wordpress there is a mobile solution called WP Touch.

We would love to hear your thoughts on mobile/tablet compatibility and how do you see it evolving.


Mobile Responsive Web Design: 10 Indian websites that are not mobile responsive

  • Abhishek Kumar
  • |
  • 12 May , 2014
  • |
    • 3 min read

 

 

At a networking meet last week, I was not surprised to hear a couple of interesting questions thrown around. Some of them which I got hold of, are as follows:

  • Does your company have a mobile website?
  • Do we need a responsive website as we already have a mobile website in place?
  • We are not an e-commerce company so is a mobile responsive website critical for us?

Firstly, let me start off with the difference between the mobile website and a mobile responsive website.

A mobile responsive website design means that no matter what the screen size is, the content always optimizes for the corresponding screen size. Thus, the website can be viewed using any device with any screen size like mobile, tablet, etc. This eliminates the need for cumbersome panning or resizing the website when viewing on different devices.

Alternatively, a mobile website means that you have a separate entity built for a specific devices’ screen size only. Try opening it in a differently-sized device and you would immediately want to check out other competitors in the industry with a better user-friendly website rather than suffering anxiety, eye-strain and blood pressure trying to work your way through the website.

This inspired me to have a look at the Indian companies that do not have a mobile-responsive website and I was pretty surprised to see that a lot of the big names also, do not have an optimized mobile web strategy. Some of them are discussed below:

  1. Pantaloons
    Pantaloons
  2. Mom & Me Mom & Me
  3. Groffr Groffr
  4. Apple India Apple India
  5. Tata Docomo Tata Docomo
  6. Shoppers Stop Shoppers Stop
  7. Café Coffee Day Ccd
  8. TCS Tcs
  9. Reliance Communications RCom
  10. Groupon Groupon

The advantages of moving to a responsive web design are many, right from getting mobile traffic to your website to making the website adaptive to the future devices. There are companies that do have dedicated apps but again, not everyone is expected to have the app installed on their device. Instead, a responsive website can allow them to browse without frills. Companies can either opt to brace up for the future or be ready to lose up to half of their traffic in the future in the absence of a mobile responsive web design.

Feel free to reach out to us in case of any feedback or comments at team@socialbeat.in.

 


Infographic: Digital Marketing by Real Estate StartUps

  • Rohit Uttamchandani
  • |
  • 20 December , 2013
  • |
    • 3 min read

 

As per the Indian Brand Equity Foundation report on the Indian Real Estate industry, Real Estate is India’s second largest employment generation sector after agriculture and contributes about 6.3 per cent to India’s gross domestic product (GDP). Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Indian Real Estate is expected to touch US$ 25 billion in the next 10 years from its current US$ 4 billion while the sector’s projected annual revenues is expected to be US$ 180 billion by 2020. This enormous growth potential seems to have lured a good number of startups to the industry.

Web Design and User Experience Perspective:

Most of the startups in the space seem to have invested a lot of time and attention in Web Design and User Experience to differentiate themselves from the bigger and more established players.

Housing.com, for instance, has an excellent interface with the property-search button in the centre. The interface is map-based and all property-search results turn out as places on a map. It also has a Shortlist button enabling the user to shortlist options and come back to them later to take a final call. While they have scored well with their interface, what sets them back is the fact they have yet to garner a large number of listings, leaving the user with very few options to choose from.

PropTiger differentiates itself by providing a portfolio tracking tool which enables the end user to know the status of their property investment in terms of pricing, construction progress, project and locality updates, price trends and market talk, which is intended to help them decide the right time to sell their property.

HomeShikari, a TTK services company started in 2011 and currently operating only for properties in Bangalore, is trying to crack the real estate problem by shunning the brokerage model and embracing complete transparency. HomeShikari too allows the user to search for properties via a map-based interface and has worked on a neat ad-free website with a good user Experience.

RealtyCompass claims to be a consumer centric property portal focused on providing the consumer with the information of every new project in the city. Started in July this year and based out of Chennai with a presence in 4 cities in South India, they are looking to expand rapidly to 10 cities pan-India.

Metroplots, also started out of Chennai in 2009, has witnessed good success in 3 major markets of Chennai, Bangalore and NCR where it currently operates and is on an ambitious expansion spree to 20 more cities. They have a strong online interface which offers investors an array of options to choose from while looking for deals and have also created a proprietary SAAS tool called Sales Desk to enable builders & agents grow their business.

Social Media Strategy Perspective:

All startups in the space have been actively using social media platforms to build their brands and engage and acquire customers in an attempt to revamp the industry.

Facebook seems to be the favorite tool with all startups to interact with their customers and promote their services. Housing.co.in, now Housing.com has over 236,000 likes, Commonfloor over 115,000 while HomeShikari, RealtyCompass and PropTiger have about 25,000, 22,600 and 10,000 each.

Amongst the other platforms, Twitter seems to be used more than the rest with Commonfloor being the most active of this pack with over 6500 Tweets and 3500 followers. Metroplots with over 3000 tweets and Proptiger with over 2800 seem to be catching up.

The use of Google+ and LinkedIn as social media platforms is just beginning to catch up while YouTube as a marketing platform has not been used much by either of these startups, with PropTiger being the lone exception. PropTiger has begun uploading videos of the projects listed with them on YouTube and currently has over 40 videos.

With big players such as Magicbricks and 99acres already established in the space, these startups are taking their Web Design, User Experience and social marketing strategy seriously and working on capturing a big chunk of this growing market.

Are you taking your Web Design, User Experience and Social marketing strategy seriously? Call us for a discussion. in the meantime, read our comprehensive guide for digital marketing for real estate.


Key Takeaways from the GDayX Chennai Conclave

  • surendhar
  • |
  • 6 December , 2013
  • |
    • 3 min read

Anuradha Nair and Sunil Elango from Social Beat attended the GDayX event organized by Google Business Group - Chennai last month. The event which was held in Hindustan University, Padur included inspiring sessions, business presentations, a panel discussion and an unconference on latest trends in digital marketing and internet technologies from various speakers including Sunil Rao, the country head of Google Outreach programs. The conclave had a good mix of entrepreneurs, social media experts, SEO professionals and web developers. Below is a partial list of key takeaways from the day-long conclave.

GDayX Logo

  • Google Web Academy: The most important announcement from Google was the launch of Web Academy for Small Businesses for India. The academy currently has five modules on Communicate across Platforms, List Your Business Online, Survey Your Customers, Create and Share your Newsletter and Meet Virtually for Business. “In the next 6 months, 25 – 30 modules will be added to the academy,” said Sunil Rao.
  • Make your site crawlable: Search engines use some programs called “crawlers” to index web pages. If the search engine can crawl through the entire content of your website without any difficulties, it means your website is crawlable.
  • Images & Flash: If your web page is loaded with images, ensure that you use the alt text attribute and title in HTML. Avoid designing your website with flash content. It makes it difficult for the Google bots to index your website.
  • Google Plus Authorship and Rich Snippets: Applying for Google Authorship is the best way to gain credibility to the content you create/write. Once your authorship is approved, the author’s name and the profile picture start to appear in search results. Rich Snippets are nothing but displaying author’s name and the byline in search results. So, authorship adds certain value to your content and of course, the search results.
  • Fresh and Unique Content: Create unique contents in order to gain good visibility in search results. Invest more time in content creation than chasing the SEO trends.

Hindustan University Auditorium - GDayX Conclave

  • Use Resources Effectively: Regular updates on SEO trends and tutorials on various topics are available at Webmaster Central Blog and the Support websites of Google. Glance through the sites and update your knowledge on the recent trends and optimize your business results.
  • Site Speed: It is one of the important ranking factors that Google pays attentions to. Site speed is crucial since a slower site speed means a bad user experience and ultimately belittles the customer satisfaction. So, pay heed to the site speed of your website.
  • Responsiveness and UI: Creating unique content is not sufficient to achieve your goals. It needs to be recognized and shared across the web to yield satisfying results. Websites which are more responsive allow users to look for contents on your page. If you want your content to be shared broadly, making a user-friendly website is a prerequisite.
  • Google Plus Integration: The integration of Google Plus with search results was not unexpected. But it culminated three months back when Google announced hashtag search options. To cut the long story short, when you search for a keyword with the # symbol, you are expected to see Google Plus posts related to the keyword on search results. Get on Google Plus and build your community if you already haven’t.
  • Keywords under “Not Provided”: The number of keywords listed under “Not Provided” is increasing day by day in Google Analytics. It makes it difficult to identify the keywords which are helping organically.  Running Adwords campaign seems to be only solution, at least for now.

Digital Analytics Course from Google

  • surendhar
  • |
  • 25 October , 2013
  • |
    • 2 min read

Google launched a course on Digital Analytics earlier this month for analysts and digital marketers to understand the fundamentals of digital analytics. The course includes expert video tutorials on digital measurement landscape and descriptions of key concepts, terminologies and analysis techniques. It has 6 units in total and each unit has 4 chapters on an average. In addition to the tutorials, each chapter has exclusive resources from digital analytics evangelists for more detailed knowledge and reference. Also, each chapter is available in the text version as PDF files to download and read later.

There are short quizzes and practice exercises at the end of each chapter and a final assessment once you complete all six units. On clearing the final assessment, you will be awarded with a certificate from the Analytics Academy of Google. Find out the certificate of Vikas Chawla, the Co-Founder of Social Beat to know how exactly it looks like.

The course is open till Oct 30th, 2013. You can take up the final assessment any time before that in order to receive the certificate of completion. After 30th October, the content will still be available on the website of analytics academy for future learning.

If you have doubts on the course or need assistance in understanding the lessons, you can visit their Community page to join in group discussions with fellow learners and analytics experts from Google.

Begin Learning


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