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The Importance of Offering a Mobile Website

Published on March 15, 2013
Tags: Web Design London

Having an easy-to-navigate glossy website which includes all of your company information is essential for any business; everyone knows this and it’s certainly nothing new. And yet it’s amazing how many firms effectively throw away frequent business because they don’t pay as much attention to offering a mobile version of their site. 

With smartphone users on the rise – as well as the popularity of other phones and mobile devices such as tablets – it is vital to offer people a quick, easy-to-use mobile website that they can look at while on the go. Depending on your type of business, a good mobile site could drastically improve your profits: for example, if you run a café and someone in the vicinity searches on their phone for somewhere to eat. If you don’t have a mobile site or have a very slow one, you could miss out on their custom. With many people using their mobile devices to shop online, having a simple but effective ecommerce mobile site will also help increase your sales.
So what are the most important things to consider when it comes to mobile platforms?
1. Make It Easy To Load
No one is going to give your site a second look on their phones if it hasn’t loaded in the browser within ten seconds, so make your site as simple as you can. Get rid of any videos or large graphics: you don’t need them. When users are looking on their phones, they generally want useful information, not a beautifully-designed website with hundreds of images. 
2. Make It Easy To Find The Important Information
Ensure that all your important business information – name and type of company, phone number, address, email address, hours of business if needed – is displayed in clear text at the top of your page. Text is better than an image not only for the load time but also because on mobiles, clicking on a phone number will let the user phone the company, and the same for email addresses. You want to make it as easy as possible for your site visitor to contact you.
3. Go Responsive
Responsive layouts are website designs that work on all devices – from laptops to netbooks and tablets to phones – without losing any of the integrity of the site. It isn’t just about scaling down your existing website; this will result in mobile users having to pinch and zoom the browser, which they won’t put up with for long before closing the window. Responsive design often starts with the minimum required for a mobile site and then builds its way up to a full-sized monitor version. Mobile sites will include less images and just the important information, with more elements being added for bigger devices with bigger screens. It also means you don’t have to pay for two separate website designs.
Whatever you do to improve the mobile version of your site, test how it looks and works on a variety of different devices and networks to ensure maximum potential custom. 

By Chelsey Evans

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Online Marketing Tips for 2013

Published on March 8, 2013
Tags: Web Design London

The area of online marketing is constantly growing and changing, and businesses need to keep on top of the most effective marketing tools in order to keep attracting visitors to their websites and, in turn, convert them into buyers or users of their services. 

But with so many options out there, how do you know which ones to focus on? Here are some of the main marketing tips that businesses will be looking at this year.
1. Create Engaging, Useful Online Content
The need for online content is nothing new, but there are still so many businesses out there who have websites that offer nothing new or interesting to potential customers. While it’s vital to have a clear, easy-to-navigate site which includes all of your company’s information, you should be offering more: this can be in the form of a frequently updated blog based around your chosen industry which will attract users in your target market. The more original, thought-provoking content you can offer them, the more time they’re likely to spend on your site; build a relationship with your readers, and they will be more likely to stay loyal to your company.
2. Keep Up With SEO Developments 
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) has always been important when marketing your site, but make sure you’re up to date with the best way to implement keywords into your content and other SEO techniques. Download an SEO plugin for your blog or hire a company that specialises in search engine optimisation to help you out.
3. Go Responsive For Mobile Platforms
Smartphones are more popular than ever before, and with more and more people relying on their mobiles to surf the net and shop online, it is imperative that your website is formatted to be able to work on any sized device, including laptops, netbooks, and tablets, as well as phones. The easiest way to do this is to choose a responsive layout for your website. This is a single design theme that works on screens of all sizes and dimensions, and actually adds more to the site when a bigger screen is in use. There’s no need to pay for two separate designs, and offering a quick and easy mobile version of your website will encourage custom from people using all kinds of devices and platforms.
4. Make The Most Of Social Media Marketing
The popularity of websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest shouldn’t be underestimated, especially if your business site includes a blog. Whereas in the past, blog posts relied heavily on SEO to attract readers, social network websites are now helping in this area due to their sharing abilities. It’s quick and easy to add social media buttons onto the beginning or end of every blog post, and this encourages readers to share their favourite articles with their online friends. It is word of mouth for the internet generation, and every blog should take advantage of it.
There are many more marketing tips for increasing your website visitors, but following just a few of these should result in a more prosperous 2013.

By Chelsey Evans

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Tips On Creating Effective Marketing Videos

Published on February 22, 2013
Tags: Web Design London


Every business – no matter what type and what size – relies on a carefully planned marketing strategy to promote their company online, including writing blogs, creating a social media presence, running competitions, and setting up effective email campaigns. One technique of digital marketing is sometimes left out, however: that of creating online videos.

So what are the main points you need to consider when creating an effective marketing video?

1. Include Video In Your Existing Marketing Campaign

Due to your usual marketing, you will already know the demographics of your current clients, so tailor your video to these types of people. You’ll also need to decide what kind of video you want to make: examples include product demonstrations, interviews with employees, testimonials from clients, and a general overview of how your company works. Choose your objective and your target audience and create a plan for your video that will slot in with your existing marketing campaign.

2. Focus On Quality

uality is key. This may mean hiring a producer to film your video, or investing in some professional equipment if you plan to make several marketing videos in the future. If you do purchase your own set of tools, ensure you buy all of the accessories as well as a top-quality camera; a tripod is essential to stop amateur-looking shaky camera work, lights will ensure good visual quality, and microphones will help with the audio. If doing everything by yourself, you’ll also need to invest in some top-quality editing software if you want to give your video a polished look. Also, consider shooting in HD for a quality picture, and make use of close-ups for people who will be watching your video on a small screen.

3. Include A Call To Action

Like with other online marketing methods, you should always include a call to action in your video (or written underneath) to tell people what the desired next step is. Even if this is obvious – if you’re promoting a single product all throughout the video, for example – giving people a link or a specific instruction on what to do next is the best way of ensuring a sale, a mailing list sign up, or whatever else you wish the user to do.

4. Market Through Social Networks And Other Channels

Once your video is ready to go, it isn’t enough to simply upload it to your business website and wait for people to see it. Like with any marketing material, you need to distribute it through as many different channels as possible. By all means, place it on your website and on your company blog, but include social media badges and share buttons to encourage interaction on social media websites. Put the video on YouTube and post the link to your Facebook fans, your Twitter followers, your blog readers and on any other social media site you use.

You can also promote your video in printed publications; just add a QR code so that people can instantly watch the video on their phones or other mobile device.


By Chelsey Evans

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Marketing With Social Media Badges

Published on February 22, 2013
Tags: Web Design London

Social media marketing is nothing new, and neither are social media sharing badges, but how do you utilise these links to make the most of what you’re trying to promote? A lot of it, of course, depends on your type of business, but if you use a blog for SEO or other marketing purposes, knowing when to – and when not to – use social media badges can help you to attract more readers to your website.

So what things do you need to consider before using these badges on your blog or site?
1. Deciding Which Social Media Sites To Choose
There are hundreds of social media websites out there, and you need to choose which ones will be most useful for your business. For example, if you have a technology or science blog which will be of interest to many people, using Facebook and Twitter could help attract more visitors to your site. If it is a very specific business article, LinkedIn or Google + might be better. If you’re a photographer, Pinterest will be of great use to you. 
Just make sure that you limit yourselves to two or three: too many icons will make your website slow to load, which will put visitors off and will also damage your search engine listing. Speed aside, too many social media buttons will overwhelm your readers, and if they’re being asked to share on too many different sites, they might end up not sharing at all.
2. Deciding On The Type Of Sharing Button To Use
There are two main types of sharing buttons for social media: ordinary sharing icons and counter buttons. Counter buttons are becoming more popular, but if your article or blog post has no or only a few shares or likes, it could hinder rather than help you in promoting your site. People could see the small amount of interest and decide against looking at the article. An idea is to use ordinary sharing icons, and then change to counter buttons when your blog is getting more visitors.
3. Integrating The Buttons Into Your Site Design
Most social media sites will come with generic buttons you can use on your website or blog, and while it’s good to use images that are instantly recognisable to your readers, it doesn’t mean you have to be exactly the same as every other blog out there. Getting creative with your social media buttons can set your site or business apart from the rest and can help to attract more visitors. Adapt the button to your website’s colour theme, or include it in the actual design instead of having the buttons as separate elements. Anything that makes your site different will intrigue visitors and encourage them to read what you have to say.
In deciding on the most relevant sites for your business, the types of buttons to use, and how to integrate them into your website in an interesting way, you will be able to make the most of social media sharing.

By Chelsey Evans

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Effective SEO For Ecommerce Sites

Published on February 8, 2013
Tags: SEO


SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is important to all business websites, but when you have an ecommerce site, there are several reasons why you might not be getting a high search ranking. Here are a few tips to consider when optimising your online shop for popular search engines.

1. Be Aware Of Duplicate Content

One of the biggest issues for ecommerce sites is that of duplicate content; it can lower your search rank and present a big problem for owners of online shops. This can happen when products in the store are linked via multiple distinct URLs. Fortunately, there are many ways you can combat this issue.

Canonicalization – if your website does include identical or similar content over several pages, you can tell Google your preferred (canonical) URL. You can do this by setting your preferred domain, using 301 redirects, featuring your canonical URLs in a sitemap, or by specifying the preferred link for each version of a page.

If your content is actually being used by a third party on a different site, against your permission, you can ask for the page to be removed by Google. This will come under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

2. Make Quality of Content A Top Priority

With the introduction of Panda (an update to Google’s search algorithms), the popular search engine now discriminates against pages written specifically for spiders (such as relying on keyword density). This means that the content of a website has to be both unique and of a good quality. If you’re having trouble making your ecommerce site unique, it can be easily achieved by asking customers to provide comments and reviews of your products and services that are specific to your company.

3. Prioritise Your Products

Visitors generally don’t spend too long on ecommerce sites if they can’t find what they’re looking for. Therefore, you should put all of your most popular products in a clearly visible place on your homepage. Put most of your marketing effort into promoting the few items that regularly sell well, and if there isn’t room to include them on your homepage, make sure you link to those products directly.

4. Get Social

As with any business, expanding your brand to social media websites will help to reach out to a wide range of potential customers. Getting a discussion going on your Twitter or Facebook page can help you to engage with and attract new customers, and it will also give you the chance to interact with people on a personal level. In terms of SEO, Google+ can help you with your search rankings; users are able to see images and other content from their friends as they are actually integrated into their search results.

5. Promote Your Physical Store

If you have a physical store, then make the most of promoting it online using Google Places. By including your business address, hours of trade, photos of the outside of your shop and more, you can use Google to not only drive virtual traffic to your website, but also physical traffic to your actual store. Google Places allows visitors to rate and recommend their experience, enabling discussion and allowing your business to stand out from the rest.


By Chelsey Evans

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