How to Buy XLM (Stellar Lumens)

Step-By-Step Tutorial On How to Purchase XLM

Buying cryptocurrency can be a confusing process for first-timers. But it doesn’t have to be with the right instructions. We make it easy with this step-by-step tutorial on how to buy XLM. Follow along to get started today.

how to buy xlm

How to Buy XLM: Step by Step

Since it’s not possible to directly buy XLM with US currency, we have to do it in a roundabout way. This involves purchasing another type of cryptocurrency first and using it to buy Stellar Lumens (XLM).

As a side note, this method can be used to purchase any digital currency on Binance. Once you get the hang of it, you might want to invest in other types as well.

USD > Coinbase > ETH > GDAX > Binance > XLM

Step 1: Create an Account on Coinbase

A free account at Coinbase allows you to buy, sell, transfer, and store digital currency. Their platform is secure and insured. Coinbase users have exchanged over 50 billion in digital currency.

The first step is to create an account and then link your bank account to it. You can use a credit card too, but they incur credit card transaction fees. Using a bank account lets you avoid the fees.

Using the Coinbase smartphone app makes this entire process more manageable. If you’d like to use it, look for it in your phone’s app store.

Step 2: Buy Ethereum on Coinbase

XLM is not available on Coinbase yet, so you’ll have to buy Ethereum (ETH) first. We will then exchange it for XLM in the next steps. Ethereum is a better option than Bitcoin because it has lower transaction fees and faster processing times.

On Coinbase, or using their app, buy the USD amount of ETH that you want. Your balance will appear in the ETH Wallet soon.

Step 3: Transfer ETH to GDAX

You’ll be using GDAX to avoid all transfer fees from Coinbase to Binance. Log in to the GDAX exchange using your Coinbase account. You’ll have to verify your identity with a photo ID before being able to transfer anything.

After verification, deposit your ETH from Coinbase. In the source field, choose your ETH Wallet.

GDAX is a regulated US-based digital asset exchange service. This is Coinbase’s exchange service, and they’re FDIC insured.

Step 4: Create an Account at Binance

Next, you will need to create a free account at Binance.

Step 5: Transfer ETH to Binance

Once in your Binance account, click on the “Funds” link at the top and choose “Deposits & Withdrawals.” Look for ETH in the “Coin” column and click on the deposit button on the right side.

Copy the ETH deposit address shown. Go back to the GDAX Order Form and choose the withdraw option. In the ETH address tab, paste the ETH deposit address you just copied into the destination field.

Choose the maximum button so the amount will pre-fill for you. Click on “Withdraw funds.”

Now you’ll have to wait for the ETH to transfer to Binance.

Step 6: Buy XLM

After the transfer is complete, buy XLM at the bottom of the ETH to XML exchange page. You’ll want to choose the 100% option.

You are now the proud owner of XLM digital currency.

What’s the Bottom Line?

Learning how to buy XLM isn’t hard. There are a few necessary steps to follow, but once your accounts are set up, it’s easy. You’ll be a pro in no time!

Try your hand at buying Ripple XRP next.

What is XLM (Stellar Lumens) Cryptocurrency?

Learn More About the Stellar Network and Lumen Coin

The finance, banking, and tech sectors have all been whipped into a frenzy over the last year by cryptocurrency. Some believe it is the most important technological invention since the internet, while others think it is a fad that will be nothing but a memory in 10 or 15 years. While researching various cryptocurrencies, you may consider the question, “What is XLM?”

What is XLM?

XLM is the currency symbol for Stellar Lumens, one of the most intriguing cryptocurrencies of today that is backed by some major players in tech and business. It’s considered similar to Ripple (XRP) because of its focus on banking and finance, but Stellar is a different animal.

What Is XLM?

Without diving too deeply into the technical aspects of the coin, Stellar is a platform that was designed to facilitate the transfer of funds instantly, anywhere in the world. Through the use of their XLM cryptocurrency, the Stellar network is able to facilitate even multi-currency transactions.

How can XLM be used?

There are several exciting use cases for XLM:

  • Microtransactions. Right now the cost of making small transactions can be cost-prohibitive, which is why you see things like credit card minimums at your local store. With Stellar, a fee of $0.01 is enough to handle 600,000 transactions. This would allow merchants who sell low-dollar items to not have to worry about the cost of selling their goods.
  • International money transfer. Sending currency to a recipient in another country is an arduous process that involves several layers and lots of fees. With Stellar, transactions can happen instantly. Stellar uses its native lumen asset to move money from one currency to another.
  • Mobile money transactions. Platforms like Venmo and Cash are popular apps for easily sending money to other people. But these apps are simply more convenient forms of the current banking and money transfer systems. Stellar is already being used for this purpose in Nigeria.

As developers continue to learn more about the network, it is doubtless that more use cases will be created.

Who supports XLM?

A few of the major names that are either planning to work with XLM or already are include:

  • IBM
  • Deloitte
  • KickEx
  • Stripe

These companies are using Stellar to do things like reduce transaction costs, transfer money between departments, and move currency between business units in different countries.

How to purchase XLM

To buy XLM if you live in America, you’ll first need to purchase Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Litecoin using Coinbase. From there, create an account on the Binance exchange and send your cryptocurrency to your Binance wallet. You can then convert your coin into XLM.

Final Thoughts

Though there are many exciting coins in the crypto space, few of them have the kind of bright future that Stellar lumens should be set for. With huge names supporting its development, lots of practical use cases, and a high level of public interest, Stellar could be one of the key cryptocurrencies in the coming years.

Want to learn more about today’s most promising cryptocurrencies and how to buy them? Check out our recent guide on purchasing Ripple (XRP).

How to Buy Cardano (ADA) Cryptocurrency

Step-By-Step Guide on How to Purchase the 3rd Generation of Blockchain: Cardano (ADA)

Feeling the FOMO and itching to learn how to buy Cardano? Cardano (ADA) is a relatively new decentralized blockchain project released in September 2017. Since then, the team has shown a considerable stride from the Daedelus wallet and ADA coin to their Ouroboros mining proof of stake.

How to Buy Cardano

Since its launch, Cardano reached Rank 6 on CoinMarketCap.com. More than 25 billion ADA is in circulation from a 31+ billion total. The coin’s seen a more than 13k+% increase and climbing!

Feeling FOMO yet? Read on to learn how to get in on the Cardano action.

How to Buy Cardano: Exchanging USD to ADA

Big banks are betting against crypto and have already begun restricting users from buying with their credit cards. You could attempt a P2P exchange or use a Bitcoin ATM if you’re lucky to be near one, however, the easiest way to get behind Cardano is through the Binance exchange.

Binance has become one of the leading crypto exchanges. Their platform supports dozens of alt-coins with variable exchange types (BTC/ETH/BNB/USDT). Their low trading fees, 2FA, and easy-to-use interface is perfect for beginners like you.

Ready to buy ADA (Cardano)?

Let’s begin!

Step 1: Buy BTC on Coinbase

There’s no direct way to buy ADA at the moment, but you can exchange other major cryptocurrencies like BTC or ETH for Cardano on exchanges.

The easiest way to buy BTC is on Coinbase, so sign up for a free account, get yourself verified, and link your bank account or credit/debit card once your account is set up and secured.

After everything’s been verified, purchase an allotted amount of BTC.

Step 2: Transfer BTC to Binance

The next step involves transferring BTC to Binance to do the exchange.

Follow these steps:

  1. Sign up for Binance (and verify your account)
  2. Copy the BTC address from Funds > Balances > BTC Deposit
  3. Open Coinbase
  4. Go to Accounts > BTC Wallet > Send
  5. Paste the BTC address from Binance
  6. Verify the amount sent to Binance by viewing the BTC Deposit page again

Your Coinbase wallet will now send BTC to your Binance account. This will go through 4 verifications before completing the deposit, so it may take a bit before you receive your BTC.

Step 3: Exchange BTC for ADA

With BTC now deposited into your Binance account you are now able to purchase Cardano (ADA):

  1. Go to Funds > Balances
  2. Search for “ADA”
  3. Go to Trade > ADA/BTC on the right side of the page
  4. Exchange your BTC for ADA

Protect your crypto coins by transferring the ADA to a Daedalus wallet or using a dedicated device like Tether.

Congratulations! You’ve successfully purchased ADA!

Disrupt the System, Embrace Blockchain

Want in on other blockchain projects now that you know how to buy Cardano?

Consider Ripple (XRP) or Verge (XVG)!

There are thousands of alt-coins. Many are posed to disrupt industries. It’s no longer a question of “if” blockchain will change the world…it’s “when”.

Perhaps Cardano is your entry into this game-changing technology.

Use this guide to get “in” while it’s hot!

What is XRP (Ripple) Cryptocurrency?

Ride the Wave and Discover What Makes XRP (Ripple) a Unique Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrencies are all anyone is talking about today. While Bitcoin is still king, there are other currencies out there that may be worth owning. XPR is definitely one of them.

What is XRP

XPR has slowly gained the attention of more investors. Not only has its value increased over the years, but it also functions differently from other cryptocurrencies. But what is XRP?

Read on for everything you need to know about XRP and whether you should invest today.

What is XRP?

XRP refers to the tokens that are used in a transaction. These tokens are exchanged via a network called Ripple. XRP simplifies transactions across different currencies, reducing the processing time and allowing you to get your money faster.

While XRP is considered a cryptocurrency, it works much differently from the many others out there.

Ripple (XRP) was launched as a cryptocurrency back in 2012, but its roots can be traced back to 2004. Its original use was for banks to complete large, global money transfers with ease.

XRP’s low fees and speed made it ideal for banks to exchange digital assets. Though Ripple wasn’t intended for normal transactions, it may be more flexible than you’d think.

Ripple Versus Bitcoin

Ripple (XRP) is unique from how other cryptocurrencies operate. Understanding the differences between Ripple and Bitcoin is important when trading cryptocurrencies.

One of the differences is their purposes. Bitcoin was made as a way to pay for goods and services. Ripple, on the other hand, was made for settling global transactions between banks.

Because of this, the number of places that accept XRP payments is limited.

In addition, the supply of XRP tokens is regulated rather than created. This means that the creators have control over how many tokens are available on the market.

Bitcoin relies on blockchain mining to make more coins available. Ripple’s supply is dependent on what creators make available.

This is not to say that supply will run out, but it does make it less profitable.

However, Ripple has the advantage when it comes to completing transactions. Bitcoin exchanges can take hours while XPR takes mere seconds.

Plus, given Bitcoin’s current high price it may not be as accessible to buyers. While XPR is still growing, its value has increased significantly.

Both have their own positives and negatives. But how do you know which is the better buy for you?

Purchasing XRP

As the market begins to take notice of Ripple, many are eager to see how it grows and buy XRP for themselves. But whether or not its the right buy depends on your personal financial situation.

Like any cryptocurrency, there are no sure-things with XRP. While it’s possible to estimate the prices, they are always subject to change.

With that said, XRP’s value has grown over the years. While its value still floats around 1 USD, there are other signs that there is more to come.

As more institutions begin accepting and implementing Ripple into their systems, it will make it a more usable crypto coin.

The Future of XRP

What is XRP going to be worth in the future? It’s hard to say.

A big part of buying cryptocurrencies is predicting how they’ll change. Doing your research and paying attention to trends is important to making the most of it.

Looking to buy XRP for yourself? Check out my in-depth tutorial on how to buy XRP.

What is Cardano (ADA) Cryptocurrency?

Learn About the 3rd Generation of Blockchain

Are you looking for a reliable cryptocurrency that’s likely to be around for a long time? Cardano (ADA) is one of the most interesting projects out there right now. It’s not only a smart contract platform but also offers top-class security. Since it’s based on academic research and scientific philosophy, its foundation is a lot more solid than its competitors.

What is Cardano?

Curious about where you can buy it, current predictions, and what Cardano is all about?

Keep reading, you’re about to find out exactly what Cardano is and how you can get some yourself!

What is Cardano (ADA)?

So, what is Cardano (ADA) anyway?

Similar to Ethereum (ETH), Cardano is both a technological platform used to create decentralized applications that run on blockchain and also a tradable cryptocurrency (ADA).

The main difference between Ethereum and Cardano is that Cardano’s technology is built in layers meaning additional security for the applications.

As mentioned, what also makes Cardano unique is that it is supported by scientific philosophy as explained in this video here:

Cardano’s History

Cardano is being developed by three major entities: IOHK, whose CEO Charles Hoskinson founded Ethereum, Emurgo, and the Cardano Foundation.

The idea behind Cardano was to create what is being called the “third generation” of blockchain technology.

The first generation was the decentralized, peer-to-peer transfer of wealth (Bitcoin).

The second was smart contracts which made for a seamless, transparent process for exchanging anything of value (Ethereum).

Cardano and the third generation aim to build off of the first two generations and solve issues of scalability, sustainability, and interoperability.

The goal of its engineering is high assurance code, which is able to be formally verified.

Current Predictions About Cardano (ADA)

Cardano’s focus on scrutinizing code and security measures, as well as having Ethereum’s founder involved, is a good sign.

Its unique nature is seen as a plus that protects it from frauds and scams, and growth is expected to continue.

Its peer-reviewed papers following the scientific method give it a unique edge over its competitors.

Cardano also has a five-stage plan that will eventually see smart contracts, performance improvements, and a treasury system added.

Overall, there’s a strong potential that Cardano could be the next Ethereum due to its innovative technology and savvy team of developers.

Where to Buy Cardano

Approximately $62 million was raised with the Cardano ICO (initial coin offering). Its ADA coin was named after the world’s first computer programmer and is available on only a few exchanges.

The easiest way I’ve found to buy Cardano is to first purchase either BTC or ETH on Coinbase, send the currency to Binance, then exchange it for Cardano (ADA).

How to Buy Ripple (XRP) Cryptocurrency

Step-By-Step Tutorial On How to Purchase XRP

Wondering how to buy XRP and why? Ripple (XRP) has risen in popularity placing it in the top 3 according to CoinMarketCap.com. Firm believers of its decentralized transaction network are betting big on its adoption.

How to buy xrp

What started as 1/1000th of a penny is now trading near a dollar. This has many investors excited. And, has XRP die-hards expecting its survival in a market with thousands of alt-coins.

Want in on the action? Read on to learn how to build a small holding of Ripple.

How to Buy XRP: The Easiest Way

The easiest way to buy XRP is by exchanging BTC/ETH/LTC to a popular crypto exchange like Binance. There are 70+ exchanges Ripple is found on. But, let’s focus on Binance since it’s one of the more popular and easier ones.

Let’s begin!

Step 1: Sign Up for Coinbase

Coinbase (and their GDAX exchange) are the leaders in crypto for everyday consumers. You won’t find XRP on Coinbase or GDAX.

What you’ll do is buy a popular crypto coin (like LTC). Then, use their exchange to send funds to Binance ultimately converting to XRP.

So, to begin, simply sign up for an account at Coinbase if you haven’t already.

Step 2: Buy LTC on Coinbase

Litecoin (LTC) is the better option with this conversion – for two reasons:

  • Faster transfer
  • Lower fees

Using BTC will eat up a significant chunk of the exchange when factoring Coinbase’s cut. Stick to LTC for this exercise.

Step 3: Transfer LTC to GDAX

You could buy LTC through GDAX since it links your Coinbase account. However, let’s keep this user-friendly since you may want to use the Coinbase app to buy and track investments.

Do this:

  1. Open the Coinbase app
  2. Buy LTC
  3. Visit GDAX and log in with your Coinbase account
  4. Go to Accounts > LTC Account
  5. Click the small down arrow in the LTC Account area
  6. Deposit LTC funds from your Coinbase account

You now have LTC in your GDAX account.

Step 4: Sign Up for Binance

Binance is one of the largest crypto exchanges featuring hundreds of alt-coins.

Account setup is easy though sometimes blocked depending on popularity. Keep trying until you’ve created an account.

You’ll need to upload basic profile information during this process. It’s recommended you set up 2FA (2-Factor Authentication) to protect your account during this time as well.

Step 5: Transfer LTC to Binance

It’s recommended you send a small amount to test the transfer. Why? So you don’t inadvertently mess up the transfer and lose everything.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Go to your LTC Account on GDAX
  2. Click the UP arrow to bring up the withdrawal options
  3. Go to Binance
  4. Visit the Funds > Deposits page and select LTC from the drop down
  5. Copy Binance’s LTC address into the LTC address on GDAX
  6. Set a small LTC deposit and click ‘Deposit Funds’

Go back to Binance and wait until your LTC transfer processes (about 10-30 mins). Once verified, repeat this process to send the remaining LTC.

Step 6: Buy XRP

With your LTC on Binance:

  1. Exchange LTC for BTC
  2. Click on the XRP/BTC listing
  3. Buy your XRP with BTC

What to Do With Your XRP

Congratulations! You now know how to buy XRP!

The general idea is holding to earn money as XRP price increases. Though, there are lots of ways to add it to your everyday routine:

  • Accept XRP payments with your web development services
  • Browse P2P crypto marketplaces and buy items with the currency
  • Try day trading crypto or use it as a market learning tool

A lot of people have an irrational fear of cryptocurrencies and blockchain. This is the same fear people had with the early Web. There’s a chance this is just a bubble ready to burst, but crypto could cause a massive impact as we saw with the advent of the internet!

Ready to explore crypto? Use this guide, buy XRP, and join the hype!

What is Verge (XVG) Coin and is it the Next Big Cryptocurrency?

A Cryptocurrency Focused on Decentralization, Anonymity...and Porn?

In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, cryptocurrency has seen a massive explosion in popularity in 2018.

What is Verge Coin?

According to some, one of the next big breakthroughs on the horizon in digital currency is Verge (XVG).

Verge (XVG) is one of the latest digital currencies that has had a big upward trend in its value thanks to exciting partnerships, news, and speculation.

This article will take you through all of the finer details and help you understand what Verge (XVG) is, why its value has spiked, and why you might want to get in on the action.

What is Verge (XVG) Coin?

Verge (XVG), like many cryptocurrencies, is a currency focused on decentralization and privacy.

It moves through the Tor network allowing users to guard their transactions, a move which improves security via a private network.

Verge founders released XVG as a concept back in October 2014. Their founder Sasha Kolupaev, who regularly puts out content on his medium blog, explained in the black paper they released in September 2017 some features of the XVG coin.

Verge (XVG) works as a Wraith Protocol, which helps direct Verge through the Tor network and gives users the option of hiding their transactions.

The Appeal of Verge (XVG) and Why it Might Be a Viable Cryptocurrency

Verge (XVG) has actual real-world capabilities that make it a viable candidate for an impressive cryptocurrency to have in your arsenal.

Their main goal is to improve on the old blockchain technology that Bitcoin was founded on through focusing on creating transactions that are both more decentralized and anonymous.

This, along with their constant push for privacy and anonymity, is why Verge (XVG) is seen by many to be a viable cryptocurrency.

Verge’s Partnership With Mind Geek, aka Pornhub

Wrapped in orange balaclavas, pornstars stormed the streets of Wall Street with sacks of plastic coins that could be redeemed for real XVG cryptocurrency.

This stunt was Verge’s way of announcing that XVG was now a real payment method on adult entertainment website Pornhub.

With an average of 81 million visitors per day, this is a huge partnership for Verge. It’s also considered a defining moment for the industry as this is a massively profitable partnership.

Global Verge users or “#vergefam”, as they are affectionately known as, have raised 75 million XVG or 5.2 million dollars in donations for the partnership.

Where to Buy Verge (XVG)

One of the best places to buy Verge (XVG) is Binance, however, in order to purchase the cryptocurrency, you must have BTC or ETH to trade with.

These can be purchased at Coinbase using either your bank account or a credit card.

Once you have purchased your BTC or ETH, you can then send these cryptocurrencies to Binance and use them to trade for Verge (XVG).

4 Reliable Signs That Your Business Needs an SEO Agency

Pagespeed, Local Listings, Content, and More!

As you compare this month’s numbers to last’s, your heart sinks as you see that your profit is slipping month-over-month. You know that it has a lot to do with your website, but you’re not entirely sure what the issues are (other than you don’t like the design anymore). These four reliable signs are great indicators that it may be time for you to hire an agency to improve your website’s online performance.

SEO Search Engine Optimisation Availability Concept

Your website is slow

Studies have shown that 47 percent of people expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less. In other words, the longer your site takes to load, the more likely people will leave it. Google’s search algorithms look at how users interact with your website, and if a lot of people are leaving with no interaction it will likely negatively affect your rankings. There are several different ways to improve your page speed, but it can be difficult to fully diagnose the root cause of your site’s slow performance as there are a lot of factors at play. An SEO agency is usually best equipped to both diagnose and solve this issue as it is, in many ways, a cornerstone of overall SEO health of a website.

Your listings have the wrong address or phone number

Have you ever gotten a phone call from an angry customer who can’t find your business because you have the wrong address on one of your business listings (Yelp, Google My Business, Facebook, etc.)? Or, worse yet, have you had to deal with an angry customer in person who tried to call your location but couldn’t reach you because you have the wrong phone number on one of your listings? Unfortunately, if your business has multiple locations and you don’t have an aggregator in place to monitor and update these listings, then you could very easily run into one of these scenarios if you have a change of address, phone number, etc. According to Yext.com, after looking at 40,000 business listings they discovered that 43 percent of them had at least one missing or incorrect address. Since having correct information on listings not only gives customers a better experience with your brand but is also a ranking factor in Google, it is essential that you have the correct information listed. Thankfully, SEO agencies have the capability of aggregating this information for you so you don’t have to spend hours rummaging through hundreds of listing websites making sure all the information is correct.

People have trouble navigating your website

If in between your phone calls dealing with complaints about your listings you also take calls complaining about how hard it is to find things on your website, then you’ve got a serious problem. A website’s layout should be simple, intuitive, and have a clear path laid out for the user so they’ll know where to go without having to think. If a user has to rack their brain trying to find your contact page, then your layout might need updating. User experience is a big ranking factor for Google, and hiring an agency that can perform effective user experience testing and deliver recommendations to improve your site’s layout can have a very positive ROI.

You don’t have a content strategy

Blogging is not just a fad, it’s a proven marketing strategy that works. Having a consistent flow of content helps fuel SEOgenerates more traffic, and makes you 13 times more likely to enjoy a positive ROI. If you don’t have a documented content strategy, you’re not alone. 55 percent of B2B marketers don’t have a content strategy in place while 32 percent say they do. This means that there is still a huge opportunity for your business to implement a content strategy and get ahead of the competition. If you’re unable to find the time to write content for your business each month, hiring an SEO agency to handle it can prove to be an effective long-term strategy.

Partner with the right agency today!

As a business owner, if you’re honest with yourself you know that you can’t do it all. When signs like these start to creep up on you, it might be time for you to partner with an agency that is just as interested in improving your business’ profitability as you are.

Originally published on Go Local Interactive

Who Are You Writing For?

A Simple Philosophy for Writing SEO Articles

A big component of SEO is having the right words on the page. Specifically, if you want to rank for a keyword then you need to have content on your site that relates to that keyword. This is a no-brainer for anyone with basic knowledge of SEO, but there is a much deeper concept that needs to be explored in order to clear up any misconceptions people may have about why their content isn’t ranking well.

Close up hand writing on paper. Close up people writing on paper.

Lose the Litmus Test

When creating content for a website, a common mistake people make is thinking they have to write articles that pass some sort of litmus test with Google. They think that they need to write an article that crosses all the t’s and dots all the i’s such as having the right keywords on the page, having the right amount of links on the page, having the right metadata implemented, etc.

While these aren’t things you should avoid thinking about entirely when creating content, there’s just one vital piece of the pie you’ve forgotten about during the creation process: the person reading your content! Google, like any company, wants their platform to best assist the people who use it, so it’s safe to assume that they would only want content ranked well that answers its user’s inquiries. A well-written, informative piece of content has a much better chance of doing this than a thin, keyword-stuffed piece of…*ahem*.

“Welcome to My Storage Website! We Have Storage Units, Storage Rentals, Storage California, Storage New York…”

Let’s be honest, it’s very obvious when you come across content that has only been written for the search engines. It tends to be thin, unhelpful and crammed together with lots of keywords making it hardly readable. If you came across a page like that, you would likely leave and look for something more useful, right? Google wouldn’t want pages like these to receive a lot of traffic from their site if users aren’t finding it helpful. They want their own users to think of Google as being the best tool to use when searching for things.

Rather than focusing so much on trying to fit a lot of keywords into your content, try to write your content in a way that would be both engaging and helpful to the reader. As you write, you’ll end up naturally using keywords that are related to the content’s topic. You can, of course, go back and tweak some of the wording if you want to add a keyword here or there, but always be sure that it sounds naturally placed within the content. As Google shifts its focus more toward topicality and LSI keywords, it may not even be necessary to try and fit certain words into the content over time if you want it to rank well.

Always Write With the User in Mind

When creating content for your website, a good motto to live by is, “always write with the user in mind.” The best course of action when creating content is to create something that solves a user’s problem, provides them with invaluable information, or both! The content should be written in an easy-to-read format, have good grammar, and exude the kind of quality anyone would be proud to share.

If you insist on wanting some kind of litmus test to determine if your content is following SEO best practices or not, then use the following question: “What sort of content would I want to read?” Thin, keyword-stuffed content or high-quality, helpful content? I think the answer is obvious.

Originally published on Go Local Interactive

How Not to Go Into a Web Design Project Blindly

4 Questions to Ask Clients Before Designing a Website

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing after I spent weeks building my client’s website.

Data Logistics

“Uh, I don’t really like it. Can you rebuild it?” the client told me over the phone.

My heart sunk as I struggled not to drop the phone.

I realized at that moment that I didn’t even consult the client on what they wanted the site to look like, I just went with what I thought it should look like.

I begrudgingly agreed to rebuild the site and made a simple promise to myself from that point on:

I will always send my clients a list of questions so I can get a better feel for what they want their website to look like.

Since I made myself this promise,  I have yet to run into problems like the aforementioned debacle.

Here are a few of the most important questions I always ask my clients before building them a website.

What is the Tone of Your Brand?

As a web designer, it’s important to get a feel for your client’s brand.

Understanding their tone will help determine the writing style on the site as well as the overall design.

If your client describes the tone of their brand as fun, warm, inviting, etc., then you’ll want to have content written on the site that isn’t overly serious and invites people to learn more about their brand.

The overall design of the site should also feel warm, inviting, and fun.

If they describe the tone of their brand as more serious, you’ll want to have content and a design scheme that looks and sounds more professional and serious.

Generally, content that is warm and inviting tends to feel more personal while serious content tends to feel more distant.

Also, brighter colors tend to give off that fun and inviting feeling while darker, grayer colors tend to be more serious and professional.

Consult your client on your content and color choices to see if they feel like it fits in line with their brand’s tone.

What Do You Want Users to Accomplish on Your Site?

Whether it be to give people information, have people sign up for a newsletter, or purchase something it’s incredibly important to structure a website so that it allows users to easily perform the desired action.

A great book to read on structuring websites so users can easily perform actions is Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug.

His philosophy is simple: make performing tasks on a website so simple that users don’t have to think about it.

In other words, if you want people to find information make it extremely easy to find on the website by keeping it only one or two clicks away.

Also, if you want people to sign up for something or purchase something, have sign up forms or purchase buttons brightly colored and hard to miss on a page.

I recommend grabbing Steve Krug’s book if you plan on taking web design seriously as it will help you out a lot.

Who Are Some of Your Competitors?

Get a list of your client’s competitors and look at their websites.

Ask your client what they like or dislike about the competitor’s website, and see if there’s anything on the competitor’s website that you could improve on with your client’s website.

For example, maybe the competitor’s website has a menu bar that looks like it’s straight out of the 90’s, you could easily use a WordPress theme that has a menu bar that looks way better than that!

Or perhaps they don’t have an About Us page or a Blog page, you could easily create those for your client making their website much higher in quality.

Spying on competitors is a great way to both get ideas and ensure your client is outperforming them.

What Features Would You Like Your Site to Have?

Maybe your client wants a sexy slider on the homepage showcasing all of their services, or maybe they insist on having an About section on the front page.

Whatever the case may be, it’s always best to ask them if they have a specific design in mind or want specific features on the website.

That way you have a good foundation to build off of making it easier than simply building from scratch.

What I like to do is show my clients 3 different demos WordPress themes that are within their industry, whether it be dentistry, auto repair, etc.

You can find these theme demos at Themeforest.net.

Conclusion

Coming up with a design can be tough without guidance, so always be sure to ask your clients questions like these so you’ll have a much clearer idea of what kind of website they want you to build.

Also, be sure to never go into building a website blind – you should always consult your client before beginning a web design project.