12 Days of Christmas Landing Page Ideas


12 Days of Christmas Marketing Ideas

There are 15 days until Christmas and that means there’s still time to make a holiday marketing plan. My previous client campaigns to promote your items to your customers are a great resource!

The Twelve Days of Christmas campaign 2012 for Paula & Chlo was so fun and colorful! I helped her come up with the best products to promote and how to present them for each one of the daily deals. There were also coordinating email newsletters that went out daily to remind her customers of the daily deals. This campaign consisted of a website landing page with flip calendar numbers and multiple marketing images.

12 Days of Christmas

Next, a 12 Days of Surprises Campaign at Paula & Chlo. This consisted of a responsive website landing page with hover boxes that were activated for each daily deal. There were also coordinating marketing emails, homepage graphics, social marketing media graphics

12 Days of Christmas Surprises

This 12 Days of Giving campaign was a fun one to design and code. It consisted of a responsive landing page with circle coin flip offers for each day. Each circle when hovered on revealed a new deal and link to the product or category to shop. I made a super cute and fun holiday vector background in Illustrator.

12 Days of Giving

These are fantastic ideas for a 12 Days of Christmas or 12 Days of Giving campaign for an online retail shop. If you’re short on time or don’t have that many promotions to offer, you could certainly drop some days off and make it a “7 Days of Giving” or “5 Days of Deals” promotion. There’s no hard and fast rule about how many days you need to have a sale for during the holidays. But, from experience, customers expect coupons and deep discounts throughout the whole shopping season until right after the new year.

Christmas Sale Collage Graphics

Another great way to market your holiday sale prices and products to your customer is with marketing graphics. If you don’t have time for the landing page or big plan, make graphics. A grouping of products with a holiday theme placed in a newsletter or social media post will work too!

Hire Me to Make Your Next Marketing Plan

Clients can hire me  to help plan your holiday or any other time of the year marketing plan. I will consult with you about your business needs, what products you’re selling, the sales you’ve previously ran, keyword research, graphic design, landing page coding and optimization, web graphics, email newsletter creation and graphics and social media graphics and post planning. Contact Me if you’d like to start your own marketing plan for promoting your discounts, sales and products!

 

 

 

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Magento Vs. BigCommerce


magento vs bigcommerce

I get so many questions about which shopping cart my clients should choose. You have so many options to sell your products online. I used to recommend Prestashop to all my clients but so many of them grew out of the software and upgraded to Magento. With Prestashop, I was noticing that if there were more than 200 products, it was really hard to manage the shop. The database was too large and making the back end run super slow. The same thing was happening with a smaller amount of products with tons of product options. Those clients that were having those issues moved over to Magento. Which was always a huge production, but I was more than glad to oblige and help them. That involved setting up temporary servers, installing Magento locally, then to the new server then transferring all of their data (customers, orders, products) to the new server. And, to top it off, making a new theme for Magento.

I’ve found over the years, Magento is fantastic to work with. A developer’s dream! I was able to customize and create fantastic options for the themes, custom landing pages, custom extensions for the exact need for my clients. But, again, as time went on, my clients expenses and resources grew with Magento. Now, when I say resources, I don’t necessarily mean money. Magento is very intensive. You literally need a team to handle one shop with it. If one person is managing it and uploading products, managing orders, etc. you need at least one other person to maintain the back end of the site (that’s the role I usually end up with – not a bad role either). Some have hired me for ongoing maintenance and some haven’t. Basically, if you have Magento, you need a support package. Whether it’s from me or someone else qualified to maintain your site on a regular basis, you need a Magento support package.

And, Magento and BigCommerce are set up for optimal SEO. Google loves both carts for their great built in SEO. Many high profile brands use Magento (Rebecca Minkoff, Vizio, Alex and Ani, etc.) and BigCommerce (Bulk Apothecary, Josie Maran, Martha Stewart Cafe, etc.).


This is How You Decide What To Do

I’m going to make this SUPER easy to decide whether or not you should use Magento OR BigCommerce to run your online shop. Ask yourself these 2 questions?

  1. How much money can I spend each year on my website to keep it up? (including website hosting, and hiring a developer to maintain my site)
  2. How much time can I devote to maintaining my own website above and beyond uploading products and processing web orders?

If you answered “Small Budget” for #1, use BigCommerce

If you answered “Large Budget” for #1, use Magento

If you answered “No extra time for I’d be doing it in my sleep” for #2, use BigCommerce

If you answered “I have tons of free time and lots of help from my staff or team” for #2, use Magento


 

Just so you don’t have sticker shock with Magento, these are the things you must buy to run your site:

  • Dedicated server ($1200+ per year)
  • Domain name (s) ($15 – hundreds of dollars a year, especially if you’re a domain name junky like me and buy up every variation of your business name)
  • SSL Certificate ($100-$1200+ per year)
  • Payment processor extension ($75-$200+)
  • Payment processing (authorize.net, PayPal, etc.) ($25+ per month)
  • Extra extensions to run your site if you need special features (up to $1000+)
  • Web developer who can maintain your site ($500+ per month) THAT’S ME
  • Extra support costs for priority support from you web hosting company ($$ monthly fee)

About a BigCommerce site:

  • BigCommerce is self hosted, so your server, SSL, payment processing are all in one bill and a fraction of the cost of Magento ($29.95 per month to $199.95+)
  • You do have to pay for most good apps (monthly fees of $10-$15+) On the downside, the apps leave a lot to be desired.
  • Product filtering is only available on certain plans (sidebar searching and filtering by brand, prices, color, etc.)
  • No real blog. Yes, there’s a blog that comes with it, but it’s not a WordPress blog and it’s not customizable and it’s not that great.

In conclusion, just to make this somewhat short and sweet and easy to understand, it’s all about money. It always is. They are both fantastic carts to work with. I personally love to work with Magento because it’s so customizable and I can do whatever I want with it. BigCommerce, not so much. But, it will still do a lot for your business! I go with what is the best option for my clients. If you’re tight on budget and manpower, go with BigCommerce.

Want to see what a site on BigCommerce looks like VS Magento? Check out Paula & Chlo! We started with Prestashop, moved to Magento then to BigCommerce. BigCommerce suits their needs perfectly and there’s no sacrifice of design and functionality.

case-study-PC

 

Continue Reading…

New Boutique Website for Beau & Stella


Marcie from Beau & Stella came to me with a shop that she had on Big Cartel. She needed a more robust platform with more control over her site. I developed a responsive theme for Magento that was lightweight and had all the features she needed. Client: Beau & Stella Website: www.BeauandStella.com Platform: Magento

Desktop Version of Beau & Stella

Desktop Version of www.beauandstella.com

Product Page

Desktop Version Product Page - www.beauandstella.com

Website Graphics

Boutique Graphics

iPhone &Mobile / iPad & Tablet Version

Mobile and Table Version of www.beauandstella.com

BEFORE

beau-stella-before  

Is Your Website Mobile-Friendly?


mobile-google-friendly

Starting April 21st, Google will be rolling out their next algorithm update and it’s a very important one. They will be using mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This will have a HUGE impact on search results for your website.

So, what should you do?? I’ve made quick list of how you can check if your site is mobile-friendly and what you can do about it,

  1. Go to Google’s Guide to Mobile Friendly Sites (tons of info is on this page to get your started)

mobile friendly test

  1. Test your website using the Mobile-Friendly Test.
  2. In Google Webmaster Tools, get a full list of any mobile usability issues on your website with the Mobile Usability Report.

Remember the date is April 21, 2015 you need to have your site in compliance or risk losing your ranking on Google.

 

DIY – How to Create a New Email Account in Cpanel


How to make email in cpanel

Never Fear! Now you can add email addresses to your hosting account easily!

Here’s a quick tutorial right from cPanel Documentation to add an email address to your hosting account. This will only work if you have cPanel based hosting (A2 Hosting, Host Gator, etc.)

Create email in cpanel

To add a new email address, follow these steps:Continue Reading…

How to Add Users to Google Webmaster Tools


tools-users

You can add users to your Google Webmaster Tools account after you’ve set it up and verified it. I went over in a previous post How to Set Up a Google Webmaster Tools Account –> http://www.designeditstudio.com/how-to-set-up-google-webmaster-tools/.

How to Add a user to Google Webmaster Tools:

  1. On the Webmaster Tools home page, click the site you want.
  2. Click the gear icon , and then click Users & Site Owners.
  3. Click Add a new user.
  4. Type the email address of the user you want to add, and select the permission level you want. More information about user permissions.
  5. Click Add.

If you’re wondering why you would add a user, this is a very important step if you have a developer or someone who is knowledgeable on how to fix the errors and read the reports in webmaster tools (like me). If you’re cool with fixing any errors in your webmaster tools account yourself. You will need to have access to be able to do 301 redirects on your site and change or modify your robots.txt file, preferably, ftp access.

Need someone to fix your errors on your website? Contact Me and I will set up a time to discuss what needs to be done on your site and help you fix it.

How to Set Up Google Webmaster Tools


google-webmaster-tools

Okay, so you have a new website or even an older one. Do know how Google is seeing your website? With Google Webmasters tools you can check the health of your website and keep your site from major errors with Google Search.

The most important part of having a webmaster tools account is to make sure your robots.txt file is searchable by Google and view any crawl errors and 404 errors. Those can be fixed easily by your developer who is knowledgeable in redirects and how to fix those errors in webmaster tools (like me).

How To Set Up a Google Webmaster Tools Account

  1. Where to Sign Up for Google Webmaster Tools: https://www.google.com/webmasters/. You need a Google account to do this.
  2. After you sign in, click on add a site.
  3. Verify that you’re the owner of the site by doing one of the following: (this step is where I have my clients send me the file to upload to their server).
    1. Upload a file to your server
    2. Add a meta tag to your website’s HTML
    3. Add a new DNS record
    4. Use your Google Analytics or Google Tag Manager account

Once you’ve done this, you can start to manage and monitor your website!

 

How To Find What’s Been Pinned From Your Website To Pinterest


des-pinterest-pins

Ever wonder if any images from your site have been pinned onto Pinterest? Did you know there’s a quick & SUPER easy way to see what’s been pinned? Also, this is a wonderful way to track what is really popular on your site (other than with Google Analtyics- but that’s another post).

All you have to do is use this URL –> https://www.pinterest.com/source/yourwebsiteurl.com/  and replace the text that says ‘yourwebsiteurl’ with your own site url and then copy and paste that link into your browser. You’ll see the pins that have been made from your website! Easy!

You can find me on Pinterest at https://www.pinterest.com/designeditgirl/

Facebook Call to Action Button


Create a Call to Action on Facebook

Did you notice something new on your Facebook business page?? There’s a new option to add a call to action button. It’s a great way to drive people from Facebook to take actions that are important to your business like booking appointments at your salon or shopping now at your eCommerce website.

The seven calls to action available are:

  • Book Now
  • Contact Us
  • Use App
  • Play Game
  • Shop Now
  • Sign Up
  • Watch Video

To add a call-to-action button to your Page:

  • Go to your Page’s cover photo and click Create Call-to-Action.
  • Choose your call to action and the destination URL that you want to link to. We’ll automatically choose the best destination based on your specified web address, but you can edit these suggested destinations.
  • Click Create.

create-a-call-to-action-2

How to Calculate Retail Sales Goals


Retail Sales Goals Help

Whether you’re an online retailer or you have a brick and mortar shop, figuring your daily sales goals is a must. This is an easy way to track what your daily sales are and compare it with your sales from last year. If you don’t have sales from the previous year, then you only need to figure how close (above or below) you are to your weekly goals.

I’m assuming that you’ve already figured out what your yearly sales goal is. If you haven’t, that is a must. These formulas are for online shops as well as brick and mortar shops. Continue Reading…