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5 Easy Ways to Improve Your QA Testing

Quality assurance testing (or QA for short) is a crucial part of the process when developing a website, app, or custom piece of software. Unfortunately, this is also a step many clients don’t particularly understand or appreciate. Many are so eager to see their new project put to work that they want to rush through this step.

If anything, we have learned over the years that creative teams and their clients could use more QA, not less. So today we want to give you five easy ways you can take to help your vendor deliver error-free programming that works exactly the way you expect it to.


#1 Leave Plenty of Time for QA Reviews

The most important thing you can do, as a business owner or executive, is to stress the importance of QA testing to your development team and leave them enough time to do their work. In other words, make sure you don’t hire a vendor who would agree to rush the process even if you wanted them to, and then be patient as they perform detailed checks and stress tests.


#2 Expand Your QA Testing Team

Often, a programming team will do their first round of QA testing in-house in a controlled environment. However, it’s never a bad idea to get some of the people who will actually be using the resulting app or website in on the act. Let them test it just as they would in a real-world setting and you might find needs or repairs that weren’t immediately apparent.


#3 Log Every Error or Instance

Whether it’s during the testing phase or in a real-world application, you should document any errors you come across when using your new piece of programming. Pay attention to what occurs, when the problem creeps up, any error message that's displayed, and any other details that you can recall. The more information your programming team has to work with, the easier will be for them to find the problematic bits of code that need to be removed or rewritten.


#4 Double Check on Different Devices

One challenge for programmers is that a given app can work perfectly in one environment – say a certain device or browser – but not function on another. The best way to discover issues of compatibility is to simply try your software out within a number of different platforms. The more narrow your QA testing profile, the greater your odds of coming across hidden issues later.


#5 Revisit QA After Changes or Updates

Naturally, the most comprehensive QA testing is going to be undertaken prior to launching your application or website. However, that doesn’t mean you should forget about it after you go live. It’s a good idea to continue QA testing at regular intervals, and particularly after major changes, upgrades, or updates to your custom programming project.


Thinking About Web Programming or Software Development?

It’s entirely possible that the tool you need to take your business to the next level would be easy and inexpensive to create. But, you’ll never find out if you aren’t willing to meet with an expert programming team. Why not contact Kinetik IT in Phoenix today to learn a little bit more about the ways we can help save your company time and money with custom development?

A Simple Guide to Beautiful Web Design

Every business owner wants to have a website that’s a beautiful and effective marketing tool. So, why is it that so many companies have put up layouts that look plain, or just plain bad?

In some cases, they are probably following poor advice from creative teams who are rushing through the web design process. In other situations, they may be giving in to instincts that are counterproductive. We don’t want you to make either of those mistakes. That’s why we want to give you a simple, usable guide you can follow to ensure you get a great web design.

Let’s start with a straightforward step a lot of business owners and web designers overlook…


Pick an Aesthetic Theme

If you’ve ever searched for a new home, you’ve undoubtedly noticed that realtors talk about different properties in terms of distinct styles. They might show you something that’s Ranch, Victorian, or even Tudor. These terms serve as shorthand for a particular architectural philosophy. You should begin your business website with the same type of concept. Decide what kind of look you’re going for and then let that guide subsequent inspirations.


Choose a Clean and Engaging Layout

Even when a website is built from scratch there are going to be mockup designs to choose from. As a business owner, one of your most important roles in the web design process is to make the final decision on the overall look and layout. Don’t fall for the trap of choosing something that’s too cluttered and confusing just because you want to put more apps and content on every page.


Keep Colors and Fonts Simple

Go to a museum and you’ll see many different styles of art, ranging from the strikingly simple to more complex mixtures of colors, shapes, and textures. On the web, though, your visual medium is more limited – people can only see what you put in front of them on a flat screen. Knowing that, you should stick to simple color and font schemes that work well together. It’s usually better to be a bit understated online than it is to go over the top and annoy website visitors.


Only Use High-Quality Images

No matter how strong your website layout and visual plan is, your pages aren’t going to look their best if you have low-quality images. Ideally, you would fill your website with lots of custom photos that had been shot by a professional photographer. If you don’t have those, however, consider using stock photos (where appropriate) rather than trying to convey your credibility with grainy or outdated images.


Keep One Eye on Utility

The look of your website is important, but it isn’t the only thing that matters. That’s important to remember when considering things like layouts and color choices. You only have a few seconds to impress a first-time visitor who is arriving on your site for the first time. Make sure they can understand what you do instantly, and can find the information or resources that will lead them to give your business a try.


Looking for Web Design That Goes Above and Beyond?

At Kinetik IT in Arizona we think a business website should impress customers, support your marketing goals, and have a positive impact on your bottom line. If you’re looking to build a web presence that helps your company grow and compete in the digital age, contact us today so we can set up a free consultation.

3 Tricks To Massively Increase Conversions

Your website probably has a lot of different purposes. You might use it to recruit talent for your team, for example, or to spread news about events. However, its primary purpose is likely to generate sales, leads, and subscriptions. In other words, you likely judge the success or failure of your online marketing efforts on your ability to generate conversions.

Despite what a lot of marketing gurus might want you to think, pulling those conversions out of thin digital air isn’t always as simple as they make it out to be. It often takes a substantial investment of time and/or money to make an impact on your bottom line.

There aren’t any shortcuts to this process, but there are some proven practices you can follow. Today, let’s look at three tricks top online marketers use to generate massive conversions…


#1 Tailor Your Content and Campaigns

The classic mistake business owners and web designers make when trying to generate conversions is building a site (or ad, landing page, etc.) that is supposed to appeal to everyone. That just leads to the site promoting a generic marketing message that isn’t particularly effective for any group of buyers.

If you want to generate massive conversions, your first step is to figure out exactly whom you want to convert from your website and what it is they really need from a company like yours. Then you can tailor your content, and all your campaigns, in a way that feels like a meaningful one-on-one interaction between you and the customer.

Don’t market your products or services to everyone. Instead, zero in on the buyers who are most likely to respond to your offers and remain loyal customers for years to come.


#2 Mix Hard and Soft Offers

It’s no secret that different buyers respond to different cues. That’s why you should have a mix of so-called “hard” and “soft” offers on your website, your social media accounts, and other marketing platforms.

In this context, hard offers are ones that force your prospect to make an immediate choice. A pop-up ad is a good example of this: your visitor can either do what you’ve asked or click away. A soft offer, on the other hand, is an embedded link, a button, or an image that takes them to a targeted resource. It remains in the background, ready to be used, but isn’t intrusive.

If conversions are your goal, you should implement and experiment with both types of offers.


#3 Create Multiple Conversion Opportunities

No matter how well-designed your website is, you aren’t going to win most of your conversions on the first attempt. The majority of online searchers and buyers are going to require multiple exposures to your offers or brand before they’ll respond.

Luckily, you can give yourself second and third chances to generate conversions by using tools like retargeting and email autoresponders. By putting them to use you can not only improve your conversion rates, but also generate subsequent conversions (such as turning an email download into an in-person appointment).

When you create multiple conversion opportunities, your results will almost always improve significantly over time.


Need to Generate More Online Leads or Conversions?

If you aren’t getting conversions from your website, then your website isn’t doing its job. And neither is your web design and online marketing team.

In this business results matter more than anything, and the team at Kinetik IT in Arizona knows how to get them. Contact us today so we can schedule a free consultation and evaluate your current website and approach to online marketing together.

5 Web Design User Experience Rules to Live By

Many marketers think about web design in terms of what they want potential customers to see. That perspective is important, but it’s equally important to consider what it is you want prospective clients to feel and do. That’s where user experience (or UX for short) comes into play.

UX is a huge topic in web design, and there have been a lot of books, videos, and even entire seminars devoted to the topic. Assuming you are a business owner or executive who just wants to improve online results, though, most of what you need to know can be boiled down to five simple rules…


#1 Audience Awareness Gives You a Big Web Design Advantage

Good UX, like good web design, is highly subjective. The way you would build a page for a group of executives might differ very much from the layout created for an audience of teens.

Knowing that, it’s important that you and your design team think very carefully about your target audience. In fact, you should be aware that there might be several audiences (including decision-makers, researchers, and influencers) who all have their own distinct needs and preferences. Then you can create pages and content that appeal to your specific prospects.


#2 Website Loading Speed is a Top Priority

One thing that is virtually universal about providing a pleasant online user experience is the need for webpages that load quickly. This is underscored by the fact that numerous surveys have shown that the average visitor will leave your page in just a few seconds if they don’t see what they’re looking for.

There are a lot of ways to speed up your website, including upgraded web hosting, more efficient website coding, and image optimization. If yours aren’t moving fast enough, you should take steps to correct the problem.


#3 Your Most Important Information Comes First

In the old days, newspaper editors knew that the lead story had to fall “above the fold” so people passing by could see the headlines and decide whether to make a purchase. The same principles apply to your business website.

Whatever is most important for visitors to know about your company should fall within the areas that will load immediately on a user’s screen – even (or especially) if they are using a mobile device. That’s not a lot of space, so you should use it wisely.


#4 More Clicking Means Less Engagement

There are a lot of different ways to organize information on a website, but you and your web design team should pay close attention to the “depth” of your content. That term refers to the number of clicks or layers a visitor has to navigate in order to find the information they want.

As a rule of thumb, the deeper a website is, the less engagement you’re going to have. You don’t necessarily want to put everything on one or two pages, but you also have to be careful that things like product details or event registrations aren’t difficult to locate.


#5 Visitors Should be Guided in the Right Direction

If you have a conversion goal you want to achieve, you should do everything you can to guide website visitors in the right direction. Make sure all of your pages and calls to action lead to a specific point.

This is good for your marketing efforts, of course, but it’s also good UX. When you funnel visitors in the right way, you show them what they can do to get more information and never leave them stranded.


Is It Time to Boost the Results from Your Business Website?

If you feel like your business hasn’t been making the most of trends like UX, mobile marketing, or custom web development, it’s time to start getting the personal advice you need. Talk to the creative minds at Kinetik IT in Phoenix today to see how we can help with web design, online marketing, technology management, and so much more!

Why Choose Kinetik IT For Your Outsourced Technology Needs?

We get the chance to meet with new business owners and executives every week. Often, they have been referred by their friends and colleagues. That gives us a big edge over the competition, of course, but many still ask the question that’s really on their minds: why should they work with Kinetik IT instead of another Arizona technology service provider?

There are a lot of answers we can give based on a client’s needs and situation. However, the most compelling answers can be summed up into four major benefits we bring to the table. Today, we are going to tell you why we think you should choose us for your outsourced IT needs.


We Keep Your Business Running Smoothly

The biggest reason clients go looking for outsourced IT provider is that they are tired of dealing with hardware and software problems, along with unplanned service outages. In other words, they just want their technology to work the way it’s supposed to.

Our team of specialists knows how important it is for you to be able to concentrate on your company, not the latest software update or cybersecurity threat. So, everything we do is designed to make your life easier and stress-free.


We Do More Than Fix Hardware and Software

While there are other IT companies and in and around Phoenix with similar technical skills and qualifications, few can match the consulting services we provide. That’s because they are used to fixing IT problems rather than seeing the big picture in a client’s business or organization.

You want an IT firm that can understand your goals, help you plan for the future, and even establish accurate technology budgets. With that kind of help you can turn IT from an expense to an opportunity and not only get exactly what you need to move your business plans forward, but do it while saving money.


We Offer Plans For Every Group or Need

Some IT companies will try to lock you into a much bigger monthly contract or agreement then you need. Or, they’ll charge big fees if you find your company is growing or shrinking and your technology needs change.

Our business has been around for decades, meaning we’ve gone through those same changes ourselves. Along the way, we’ve learned that everyone is happier when our clients have the flexibility to add or scale back services as needed. And, we make a point of customizing plans and billing options for every situation. That’s the way we would want to be treated, so it’s what we give our clients.


Kinetik IT Has an Unmatched Reputation in Arizona

One of the big challenges business owners have in choosing an outsourced IT company is that so many pack up and go every year. That’s unfortunate, because there is nothing enjoyable about having to bring in a new team of technicians, get them familiar with your hardware and software, and explain the ins and outs of your business or industry.

The Kinetik IT team has been serving clients around Arizona for a long time, and we don’t plan on going anywhere. That stability, along with an unmatched reputation for service has made us the choice for business owners who want real value in a tech support vendor.


Ready to Work With the Best?

If you’re tired of working with technology support companies that charge too much, play games with their pricing, or don’t deliver on their promises then we would love to hear from you. Contact Kinetik IT in Phoenix today to learn more about our work and get a free estimate for the maintenance, advice, and security services you need.

How to Jumpstart Your Ecommerce Conversions

Amongst new ecommerce entrepreneurs, there is a sense that the big challenge of getting an online store off the ground has to do with generating traffic to the website. They tend to think that if you just find enough buyers you’ll be bound to sell lots of products.

That’s certainly accurate in the sense that you need lots of targeted traffic to your website if you want to generate sales. However, simply having visits won’t ensure a healthy bottom line. In order to get profits month after month you have to have plenty of conversions from that traffic.

In this article we are going to give you a handful of tips you can use to jumpstart your ecommerce conversions starting today. Let’s begin by defining a successful website visit…


Figure Out Which Conversions You Need

The first step in boosting ecommerce conversions is defining what a good outcome looks like on your website. More often than not, that’s going to be a finished sale. However, if your customers make decisions in stages then a “conversion” might mean downloading a buying guide or getting them to watch a demo video.

Once you know what your goal is, it’s easier to set up your online store in a way that funnels visitors towards that outcome.


Upgrade Your Marketing Tools

In some ways, we seem to be entering a golden age of ecommerce. Not only are there tools for advanced analytics and mobile-friendly programming, but also content management systems that allow you to track buyers on a contact-by-contact basis.

You can use these platforms to streamline your marketing, customize offers, and refine your landing and product pages over time.


Offer Social Media Specials

Social media sites haven’t exactly replaced search engines, but they are influencing buyers more than ever. If you can build a strong following on Facebook or Twitter, for example, you’ll have the ability to broadcast coupon codes, live events, and limited-time offers to your audience.

Each of these can generate fast sales at high margins, particularly if you create a sense of urgency in your social messaging.


Make Use of Reviews and Testimonials

Buyers like reading about product specifications and seeing informational videos. When it’s time to share their credit card number, though, they want to know what other customers like them thought about your products. That’s where real-world reviews and testimonials can carry a great deal of weight.

By making it easy for buyers to leave their feedback, and for shoppers to find verified reviews, you increase your own credibility and make your product pages more persuasive.


Remove Any Barriers to the Sale

Most customers will be a little bit nervous placing an order with you for the first time, even if they feel good about your products and prices. So, sharing information like industry awards or money-back guarantees can go a long way towards easing their minds.

The biggest barrier between you and a new customer is one of doubt and skepticism. When you put trust indicators in your online store to show that purchases are safe, you take away a big mental stumbling block that could otherwise keep buyers from submitting an order.


Need More Ecommerce Firepower?

At Kinetik IT in Arizona we have helped dozens of entrepreneurs to launch – and even revive – their ecommerce websites. Whether you need help with design, programming, or online marketing, our team of creative experts is here to help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and online store review!

5 Ways to Get Customers to Recommend You on Google

Surveys show that almost 90% of buyers will read an online review before they make a purchase, appointment, or walk-in visit to a business they don’t already know. And, Google currently gets more than three-quarters of all search traffic in North America. Put those two facts together and it’s obvious that Google reviews should be a cornerstone of your online marketing effort.

That’s straightforward enough, but gathering feedback from customers isn’t always so simple. Even though buyers like reading reviews, they rarely take the time to leave them. When they do, it’s usually because they are dissatisfied, not because they want to share a great experience with others.

Knowing that, how can you get customers to recommend you on Google? Today, we are going to share five simple tips you can use to boost and improve your Google review profile right away…


#1 Ask Them for Their Testimonials

Sometimes the clearest solution is the most effective one. Often, even your most committed customers might not realize just how important it is for your company to get good reviews and testimonials. By simply asking them to go online to your Google business profile and say something nice, you might be able to convince some of them to take a moment to do so. This can be especially effective with your happiest customers, who in turn tend to leave the best reviews.


#2 Give Them Hassle-Free Customer Service

If you’re smart you can turn a negative into a positive by handling any customer service request quickly and efficiently. Make it a point to correct every problem and clear up any misunderstandings within a very short period of time. Buyers won’t just be impressed when you exceed their expectations; they’ll often tell the world about it.


#3 Hold a Contest or Raffle

You can get into a lot of trouble paying for positive reviews for your business. However, there’s nothing unethical or problematic about incentivizing buyers to leave honest feedback. You could hold a raffle, contest, or drawing for reviewers so long as there isn’t any necessity for them to give up a certain star rating or perspective in return. People love free things, and a giveaway can be great for your review profile.


#4 Make Your Google Business Page Prominent

Sometimes, the easiest way to get more reviews is to simply make sure buyers know where to leave them. In other words, by filling out your Google business page with details like photos, logos, current addresses, and website links, you make it easier for customers who have worked with you to find your business and share their opinions. At the same time, taking these steps makes it more likely new customers will find you, too.


#5 Add Links to Your Google Business Page

Even when you aren’t necessarily making a big push to get more reviews, you should have lots of links to your Google business page for customers to find. You might include them on the home page of your website, and your social media feeds, and even in your email signature. You don’t want buyers to have to hunt for your information, and some of them might decide to leave a testimonial after they’ve been prompted to do so a half-dozen times.


Is Your Online Reputation as Strong as it Could Be?

If you get the feeling that your online reputation – the reviews and feedback buyers have left about your business – isn’t helping your business as much as it could be, then it’s time to make a change. Contact the online marketing experts at Kinetik IT in Phoenix, Arizona today to see how we can help!