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Website Design & Development

It might surprise you to learn that there are approximately 2 billion websites on the Internet. At first, standing out from your competition might seem impossible. The good news is that there are steps you can take to help your small business cut through the clutter.

Proper website design will help maximize your online presence, and we’ve put together a brief guide of web design best practices that you can leverage. Let’s take a closer look at what you should know.

Minimize Loading Times

This is one of the most important attributes to consider.

The longer your website takes the load, the less likely it is that your visitors will stay on it. In context, pages that take more than even a few seconds to load will likely drive visitors away. Don’t be alarmed, though — optimizing loading times is relatively straightforward.

Compressing images, enabling browser caching, and minimizing redirects are all important steps to take.

Optimize For Mobile

Mobile devices account for approximately 70% of web traffic.

To take advantage of this, you’ll need to optimize your website’s formatting for this type of browsing. By default, sites that have only been formatted for desktop computers will not display correctly on mobile devices.

They will feel clunky and difficult to navigate. When it comes to lead conversion, this is a death sentence. You can’t expect someone to make a purchase or sign up for the newsletter if they can’t find the button to do so.

Instead, ensure that your site runs fluidly on mobile devices while also remaining aesthetically appealing.

Search Engine Optimization

No matter how well your site runs or how pretty it is to look at, it won’t mean much if nobody can find it.

Leveraging search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial when it comes to maximizing your website traffic. This involves having a comprehensive understanding of your audience, researching user intent, understanding the nuances of linking/indexing, etc.

For many people, this is a complicated process that is also difficult to learn. Working with a professional can help ensure you avoid mistakes you may have otherwise encountered.

Simple and Unique UI

It may be tempting to add plenty of detail to your website. However, this can be counterproductive in practice.

People want a website that is both easy to look at and easy to navigate. The simpler the user interface of your website, the easier it will be for your audience to understand. Keep in mind that this is not free reign to neglect site aesthetics.

Using the appropriate font and color choices for your brand is crucial when it comes to providing the best experience.

Proper Organization

Your site needs to be organized in a way that is intuitive.

This means that your users should be able to find what they’re looking for even if they have never used the site before. For example, let’s assume that they were looking to learn more about a specific product or product category. They might look for a segment on a menubar called “Products” that they can click on.

Or, they might look for a search bar at the top of the page. Understanding these consumer behaviors will help you resolve problems before they even arise. By extension, this will also lead to higher conversions and better site performance.

Develop Killer Content

If you want people to come to your website, you need to have something of value to offer them.

There’s a catch, though — people don’t always know what they’re looking for at first, and they don’t always want to pay for it. Offering useful information for free is a great way to drive traffic to your website. This comes in the form of developing a killer content strategy.

Not only does this provide informative content to your audience, but it also gives you the opportunity to promote your brand. Having a blog full of useful information will help get your audience on your website and establish an opportunity for them to see what you have to offer.

You’ll need to develop a content schedule, however. Search engines prioritize websites that frequently upload new content.

Consistency

It can be jarring to navigate through a website that has a handful of different formats, aesthetics, etc. Many users will find this offputting and may choose to visit a competitor site instead.

In a case like this, it can be almost impossible to get them back.

This doesn’t mean that every single page needs to look the same. You can have different layouts for different types of pages. It’s common for websites to use the same layout for all of their product pages, for instance.

They might then use a different layout for their landing pages.

In general, the layout should be consistent among related segments of your site. If you have a “Help” section, it wouldn’t make sense for each topic to have a completely different type of page layout.

Don’t Overlook Web Design Best Practices

The aforementioned web design best practices could mean the difference between whether or not you meet your goals for your site. As long as you keep them in mind, you’ll be sure to hit your target metrics and create the best user experience possible.

Feel free to get in touch with us at Forge Digital Marketing today. Our team has all the required tools and resources to help you hit the ground running.

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Marketing

The global cannabidiol (CBD) market could reach $22.05 billion in 2030 as more people turn to its perceived health benefits. If you’re starting a CBD business, you need to develop a strong marketing strategy. Otherwise, your CBD brand might not stand out from the rest.

Here are a few marketing strategies you can use to attract shoppers to your new business. With these tips, you can set your CBD business up for lasting growth.

Start marketing with these tips today.

Gather Research

Before applying these marketing strategies, gather research. Consider your:

  • Customers
  • Competitors
  • Industry

Look into the latest cannabis marketing laws and regulations, too. 

Researching your customers will help you determine how to appeal to those customers. Determine their age, gender, income, and other demographics. Consider the pain points they’re experiencing to position yourself as a solution to their needs. 

Researching your competitors will ensure you create a unique brand. Otherwise, consumers might confuse your business with another that’s already available.

Completing a SWOT analysis and researching your industry will help you remain informed and compliant. You can eventually position yourself as a CBD expert. Becoming an expert and thought leader can help you gain credibility and brand trust.

As people learn to trust your brand, they might start turning to you for advice. They’ll feel more inclined to make first-time and repeat purchases. In time, you’ll gain loyal customers who will refer your brand to friends, boosting your reach and ROI.

Develop Brand Guidelines

To ensure your CBD brand stands out from the rest, develop brand guidelines. A documented branding strategy will ensure consistency. If your branding looks different between materials, it could confuse customers. 

Steady brand promotion can help you increase revenue by 23%. It can take five or more attempts before people become aware of your brand.

It only takes 10 seconds for someone to form an impression of your business based on your logo.

Your brand guidelines include your:

  • Logo
  • Color palette
  • Mission statement
  • Vision statement
  • Voice
  • Tone
  • Personality
  • Font style
  • Imagery/photography style

Choose brand colors based on the message you’re trying to convey. For example, green is balanced, prosperous, and relaxing. A distinct color can raise brand recognition by 80%.

As you begin using these CBD marketing tips, make sure your branding remains consistent. 

Create a User-Friendly Website

Make sure you have a functional, eye-catching, user-friendly website ready before launching your business.

First, make sure the pages load quickly. Slow load times might encourage visitors to leave. Your bounce rate will rise, hurting your organic search engine rankings.

Low rankings will make it more difficult for consumers to find your brand when they search for CBD products online.

Confirm your website is mobile optimized by running it through Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. Most users explore the internet from their mobile devices. Google also uses mobile-first indexing (meaning it checks the mobile version of your site first).

To ensure your site is user-friendly, follow Google’s Core Web Vitals. Make it easy for consumers to check out from your online store. If they experience issues, they’ll leave, costing you sales. 

Share Engaging Content

High-quality blog content can help demonstrate your expertise as a thought leader in the CBD industry. Use keyword research to determine what questions your CBD customers ask while online. Then, create content that answers their questions.

Diversify your content marketing strategy with:

  • Infographics
  • Articles
  • eBooks
  • Polls
  • Quizzes
  • Videos
  • Testimonials

Different content formats will appeal to consumers at various points in the buyer’s journey. 

Include EEAT (experience, expertise, authority, trustworthiness) within your content to gain credibility. Link to relevant resources to support any claims you make. 

Use SEM

Search engine marketing (SEM) can help consumers find your website and CBD products online.

Optimize your blog posts for online searches using search engine optimization (SEO). Cannabis SEO best practices can help your site rank at the top of relevant pages. 

Use platforms like Google and Facebook ads to create eye-catching digital advertisements. Make sure you follow CBD advertising guidelines.  

Stay Social

Share your content on social media to engage and attract customers.

Consider working with influencers or using affiliate marketing to build your online audience. Choose influencers who already engage your ideal customers.

Create interactive content (such as polls and quizzes using Instagram Stories) to boost engagement. Generating engagement can make your brand more memorable. 

Nurture With Emails

Create an email subscription form on your website and encourage visitors to subscribe to your newsletter. Consider enticing them with a lead magnet (such as 10% off their first purchase).

Continue nurturing your leads by creating a drip email marketing campaign. Share exclusive deals to bring one-time customers back for more. 

Reward Customers

Reward your customers by creating a loyalty program. For example, you can reward them with a freebie for every 10 purchases.

You can also create a referral program. Offer discounts or free products each time a customer refers you to a friend or family member. 

Avoid Advertising Mistakes

Avoid boasting CBD’s medical benefits when advertising your products online.

Remain informed of local, state, and federal laws regarding CBD legality. Keep track of cannabis news and advertising restrictions, too.

For example, you shouldn’t attract buyers using unsupported claims. When creating blog content, always support your claims with reputable sources. 

Outsource

You don’t have to apply these marketing strategies on your own. Instead, consider outsourcing your CBD marketing needs this year. Working with an experienced agency can save you time and money.

They’ll use the most effective tactics to ensure your campaigns are a success.

Look for an agency with experience working with CBD companies. They’ll understand the laws and regulations involved. 

Start Marketing Your CBD Brand Today

Marketing your CBD brand can help you stand out in the industry. Use these marketing strategies to get started. Don’t forget to consider outsourcing to a marketing agency this year.

With their help, you can boost sales, gain a loyal following, and boost your ROI.

Got marketing on your mind? We’re here for you.

Contact us today to get started.

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