Website Design Ltd https://www.websitedesign.co.uk Wed, 31 Oct 2018 10:01:42 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 Custom Landing Pages For Your PPC Campaigns https://www.websitedesign.co.uk/custom-landing-pages-for-your-ppc-campaigns/ Fri, 19 Oct 2018 10:02:40 +0000 https://www.websitedesign.co.uk/?p=10659 The post Custom Landing Pages For Your PPC Campaigns appeared first on Website Design Ltd.

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The Importance of Professional Web Design https://www.websitedesign.co.uk/the-importance-of-professional-web-design/ Thu, 18 Oct 2018 09:57:34 +0000 https://www.websitedesign.co.uk/?p=10617 Why is it important to have a professional website? According to a 2017 study, 94% of web users make their first impressions of a website based on the design. Even more surprising, is that 94% of web users have used design as a reason to reject or mistrust a website. These figures reiterate just how... Read more »

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Why is it important to have a professional website?

According to a 2017 study, 94% of web users make their first impressions of a website based on the design. Even more surprising, is that 94% of web users have used design as a reason to reject or mistrust a website. These figures reiterate just how important it is that your website portrays your company professionally.

“94% of web users have used design as a reason to reject or mistrust a website”

Information Architecture

Simply put, IA (information architecture) is the blueprint for a website. You can liken it to an architect’s plans for a house. Most IA projects will include the building of a wireframe prototype. The IA suggests design layouts, the types of content that can be included and how the website will function. For example, the links in the menu will function, and a hero image may be shown through a greyed out box and text.

How does IA affect professional web design? Well, web design isn’t just the look and feel of a website, but how it functions. Just because a website looks good, doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll work well (which I’ll cover later on in Functional Design).

Coming back to IA… IA maps out the design, suggesting where the content will sit, and the different types available. It allows designers to plan where key content will sit based on how important it is. For instance, you’re not going to put an important call to action (CTA) to a sale landing page in the footer.

IA allows us to distinguish the users’ key journeys. A really good example is e-commerce websites. When we design an IA for one of these, we want the user to have a seamless experience. So what’s needed? Firstly, a functioning menu and CTAs between pages in a methodical order such as home -> product category -> subcategory -> product page -> basket -> checkout -> order summary.

You need to make the user journey as simple as possible in order to ensure user retention is high. This ensures that users find the site easy to use (meaning they are more likely to return and use the website again).

High-Quality Imagery

It’s cliche but they say “a picture paints a thousand words”, which despite some protesting, you can’t really disagree with. The same statement applies to web design.

But why is it important to have high-quality imagery?

Firstly, you want to look good, don’t you? But more importantly, first impressions matter and high-quality imagery will present your business as professional and caring. In addition, it also creates a sense of trust because people notice that you have taken the time and effort to get high-quality imagery. This will give prospective customers a sense that you’ll do a good job for them, too, even if photography isn’t the service you’re providing.

In most cases, images on websites are of products and teams. I’ve picked out the Nikon website, which one could argue, needs professional looking imagery more than most. Think about it. If a brand like Nikon, Canon or Hasselblad had poor quality imagery, would you really purchase their products? After all, you would assume whoever took their photos, was using one of their own products.

That being said, what is ‘professional imagery’? Is it a RAW pixel perfect image? Or is the subject matter and composition that makes a company appear professional? Well, it’s actually both.

As a business striving to appear professional and stand out in the market, you cannot afford to have one without the other. You could have a really sharp and technically amazing photo, but at the end of the day, if you have a wonky horizon and poor lighting, you’re going to appear unprofessional and potentially turn customers away.

In addition, the images you use can even have an impact on your sales, since, research has found that images of human faces have been shown to double conversion rates.

Typography

A great design needs great typography. You may have heard that ‘content is king’ but you present that content is equally as important. Typeface usage and choices make up a key asset of typography. Typeface usage and choices make up a key asset of typography. There are no real ‘rules’ as such here, but you want to avoid using too many typefaces as this can often appear clumsy and unprofessional. Using one typeface family can be just as successful as using four, especially as you’ll find most modern fonts come in numerous weights.

Using a mixture of font weights to divide up content and make key content stand out helps make information easier to manage and skim-read if necessary for the user.

Referring back to typeface choices, using contrasting fonts can be effective, but it all depends on what your branding allows for and how you want your business to be portrayed.

If you use a classic serif font like (boring) Times, you’re going to appear a lot more traditional than if you used an (overly) popular sans font like Helvetica (every designer’s first love). You also have to consider your industry as there are type styles that relate and suggest particular industries, and you don’t want to look out of place. While you may look professional, it may not reflect your brand and what a user would expect, so you may turn some away.

However, typography isn’t just about choosing a font, you can go to Hell[vetica] if you think otherwise. Kerning, spacing, and line height all play a part in legibility, and at the end of the day, how professional you come across. Something that is equally as important is font size. Obviously, you don’t want to make the text too small as it won’t be readable, but you also don’t want to make it too big because you might appear amateur.

That being said, you need headings, pulled quotes and the like to stand out, which can be achieved with a change in font size and weight.

Most of these principles will only apply to content and paragraph sections on a website. In some instances, typography can be used as a graphical asset or a branding element, and in which case, the rules will change to suit. At the end of the day, your branding and idealistic portrayal of your business will determine the usage of typography on your website.

Functional Design

While it’s important that you follow these principles if you want to have a professional looking website, you must ensure it works. You should walk before you run. Make it work before making it look good. If your website has a specific purpose or function, you want to ensure that the actions you want the user to take are clear and obvious. A great example of this is Amazon – it may not be the most aesthetically pleasing website in the world, and up until quite recently, had an even more basic design, but it does what it needs to do.

The checkout process on Amazon is robust and straight to the point. No distractions, obvious CTAs, and clearly displayed information make for a stress-free checkout experience.

To provide you with a metaphor (who doesn’t love a metaphor), functional design can be likened to video game characters. Consider something like Destiny or Assassin’s Creed (a few office favourites). The best gear doesn’t always look the nicest, but it works better than the glittery ones. It’s about finding the balance between looks and functionality that make you successful. It is very much the same when it comes to websites.

As you can see, your website is an important gateway between you and your customers, and it’s important that you get it right. Our expert design team at WDL has years of experience, creating unique websites for clients throughout the UK. We know what it takes to make a website stand out, and can help you establish your online web presence. Contact us today for more information.

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Why You Should Avoid Website Builders https://www.websitedesign.co.uk/why-you-should-avoid-website-builders/ Thu, 04 Oct 2018 14:26:26 +0000 https://www.websitedesign.co.uk/?p=10595 Should you be building a website from scratch? Wix. Weebly. Squarespace. There are a plethora of website builders available now, that supposedly make it really easy to build a website. Above all, they pride themselves on being cheap, simple, and quick. Sounds perfect, right? Well… not quite. They might be affordable, and easy to use,... Read more »

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Should you be building a website from scratch?

Wix. Weebly. Squarespace. There are a plethora of website builders available now, that supposedly make it really easy to build a website. Above all, they pride themselves on being cheap, simple, and quick. Sounds perfect, right?

Well… not quite. They might be affordable, and easy to use, there’s a pretty high chance they’re not right for your business.

So, why then, should you NOT use a website builder?

1. You Want To Stand Out

When you use website builders, you’re going to be provided with a list of templates that everyone else has access to. While you may be able to customise these templates and put your own content in them, you’re not really going to get the same experience as a bespoke website. Surely, you want that additional functionality and edge to help your business stand out from the competition?

2. Custom Functionality

As mentioned, with website builders you’re going to be stuck with template websites that are pretty basic. If you want to add additional functions or features, you simply cannot do this in web builders.

3. Customer Service

When you use a website builder, you rarely receive any additional support, besides the occasional newsletter or question posted to a support forum. What if your website goes down? What if something stops working? If you don’t know how to tackle these issues, you could potentially be missing out on customers and losing revenue when these problems arise. When you use professional web developers, you can actually talk to a person, to ensure they understand your issue – allowing them to easier solve it. It’s better having somebody beside you to help you through things, rather than dealing with any issues yourself (especially if you’re not ‘techy’).

4. Personal UX

With a professional web agency, you’re going to get a supportive, professional team that wants to help your business grow. They will create a tailored user experience to fit your product and brand, ensuring users have a smooth, and optimal, experience.

5. No SEO

If you have a website, you’re probably (unless for some reason you don’t want it to have traffic) going to want to optimise it for search engine result pages (SERPs). The main way to do this is by optimising your website for search engines, better known as SEO. When you use a website builder, your website is going to consist of a jumble of code that has no structure, which means you’re going to struggle to increase your SEO. With a bespoke build, the website can be structured in a particular way, or aided with plugins to ensure that you appear in Google rankings.

Overall, it’s probably a bad idea to create your business’ website using a DIY website builder. Instead, you should enlist the help of a professional agency who can design you a website adhering to the latest industry standards, and help grow your presence online.

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Taking Advantage of Voice Search https://www.websitedesign.co.uk/taking-advantage-voice-search/ Fri, 28 Sep 2018 08:00:05 +0000 https://www.websitedesign.co.uk/?p=10558 “OK, Google”. How can I incorporate Voice Search into my marketing strategy? “Hey, Siri” and “OK, Google” have now become a normal, everyday part of our lives. While they may have not functioned as well as some would have expected when they launched back in 2011, they have become more accurate and useful. From the iPhone’s... Read more »

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“OK, Google”. How can I incorporate Voice Search into my marketing strategy?

“Hey, Siri” and “OK, Google” have now become a normal, everyday part of our lives. While they may have not functioned as well as some would have expected when they launched back in 2011, they have become more accurate and useful.

From the iPhone’s voice assistant Siri to the Amazon Echo, they now can easily understand human instructions and deliver relevant information. As a result of this, voice search is on the rise, but what actually is voice search? According to a voice search, voice search can be defined as:

“Voice search, also called voice-enabled, allows the user to use a voice command to search the Internet, or a portable device”.

In other words, by combining natural language processing and text-to-speech technology, certain devices like the Amazon Echo can understand a user’s search request and provide a relevant answer. For example:

Me: “OK, Google, can you help me find X?”

Google: “Hi Andy, is Y what you’re looking for?”

Me: “No.”

Google: “What about X?”

Me: “Yes” (to which Google proceeds to read out the information).

How Popular Is Voice?

As you would expect, voice search is more popular and publicised than ever before. For example, a survey found that in 2017, voice commerce sales generated $0.2bn in the UK and analysts have predicted it will rise to $5bn by 2022.  In addition, according to Alpine Ai, there have been an estimated one billion voice searches per month so far in 2018.

Naturally then, as you would expect, there are a lot of opportunities for brands to make use of voice search. How, then, can you take advantage of all these searches and use them to benefit your marketing campaign?

Optimising for Voice

According to Google, you should follow these guidelines if you’re looking to optimise for voice search:

  • Your content should have concise headlines and summaries that provide people with useful, easy to understand information.
  • You should adjust your copy so it reads more clearly for text to speech (TTS).
  • In order to ensure an optimal user experience, have 20 – 30 seconds of content per section of speakable structure data.

In essence, don’t stuff your content with as many head keywords, just write how you would speak. By doing this, you’ll naturally optimise for keyword phrases popular in voice search that users will likely search for without realising it.

While voice search is starting to change the marketing industry, it has created significant opportunities. If you’re adaptive, you can use it to your advantage and win.

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Optimising Your Landing Pages https://www.websitedesign.co.uk/optimising-your-landing-pages/ Thu, 06 Sep 2018 07:25:13 +0000 https://www.websitedesign.co.uk/?p=10476 Optimising Your Landing Pages   Your PPC campaign is generating web traffic, people are visiting your website, and you’re guiding prospects into the conversion funnel, great! But are your landing pages letting you down? Are you generating awareness and interest but struggling to close the deal? You see, it’s one thing to have people visit... Read more »

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Optimising Your Landing Pages

 

Your PPC campaign is generating web traffic, people are visiting your website, and you’re guiding prospects into the conversion funnel, great! But are your landing pages letting you down? Are you generating awareness and interest but struggling to close the deal?

You see, it’s one thing to have people visit your website and another to actually convert those leads. As you know, if you want to make money online, you need to be converting your web visitors.

This is where landing pages come in. According to unbounce.com, a landing page is a standalone page designed to convert visitors into leads by taking the desired action – a purchase, a click, a contact form submission. If you’re setting a landing page up, we recommend following these tips to ensure they’re completely optimised.

1. Simplicity

Keep things simple. Consider what action you want your visitor to take and plan accordingly. The landing page should be free of clutter that will distract the visitor and your CTA (call-to-action) should be clear. You don’t want the visitor to be navigating the site and searching for what you want them to do.

In addition, make sure your copy is simple, straightforward, and to the point. Microsoft Research found that users will spend a maximum of 10 seconds deciding if they want to stay on the site. Make sure your message relates to your audience and captivates them.

2. Say Why, Don’t Describe

Make sure you stress the benefits of your product or service rather than blankly describing it. This will help your website visitors understand how your product or service helps them and give your message a personalised tone. For instance, you might say that “these tennis shoes will help you achieve XYZ” as opposed to “these shoes are affordable”.

3. A/B Test Everything

If you don’t know what A/B testing is – it’s an experiment between (generally) two pages that are different to see which converts better. By doing this, you can ensure that you’re directing prospects onto a fully optimised landing page that will most likely lead to a conversion.

4. Loading…

Loading time matters. Not only does Google rank websites based on their loading time, but at least 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. It may seem obvious but you can create the world’s most perfect landing page with compelling CTAs and unbeatable offers, but if your landing page takes too long to load, it will be pointless!

5. Give Value

One of the best ways to secure conversions is to give something valuable to your web visitors in exchange. If you want people to become incoming leads, give them valuable content as a reward for signing up or as an incentive to get in touch. On the same note, if you’re selling a product, consider a discount or a free gift in order to get them to complete the purchase.

If you’re interested in finding out how fully optimised landing pages can improve your PPC campaign, get in touch with WDL, we’ll be more than happy to help.

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A New NHS Site https://www.websitedesign.co.uk/a-new-nhs-site/ Tue, 07 Aug 2018 10:45:24 +0000 https://www.websitedesign.co.uk/?p=10459 A New NHS Site! Recently, we were lucky enough to launch the latest website for the East Suffolk & North Essex NHS Foundation Trust. We were really privileged to work for a high-profile client with an internationally recognised brand and ensured a smooth digital transition to support the merging of two NHS trusts. Planning the... Read more »

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A New NHS Site!

Recently, we were lucky enough to launch the latest website for the East Suffolk & North Essex NHS Foundation Trust. We were really privileged to work for a high-profile client with an internationally recognised brand and ensured a smooth digital transition to support the merging of two NHS trusts.

Planning the Project

In terms of planning for the project, it was approached in the same way as any other, with care and attention. We always take the time to fully understand the brief and speak to our clients during focused meetings to ensure we have the necessary information to begin our work and deliver exactly what the client wants. Thanks to this, there were minimal issues with the project as we knew exactly what we needed to deliver and planned for it.

We kept in constant communication with the representatives from the NHS which led to an excellent client relationship. We were all on the same page with the timeline and any issues (even the best of projects have some small ones) that arose were dealt with swiftly.

The project was a success mainly because of these points, but ultimately, when we plan carefully and thoroughly and follow our processes, projects do tend to be a success. We tried and test methods allowed us to see the process across the line and deliver a quality website that the NHS deserve.

Mapping the Site

Prior to building the site, it was daunting for our designers to map a new site that merged tons of content from multiple websites. As each individual hospital website was quote content heavy, the challenge was making this content easy to navigate for all audiences and age groups.

By working closely with the clients, we were able to decide exactly what content was needed. as a lot of pages had dated or duplicate content, we took this as a real opportunity to be ruthless with removing irrelevant information, to ensure only relevant services and patient information was carried over.

 

Delivering

For our developers, it was important to recognise that the site would be an important resource for a huge number of people. Due to this, they had to think deeply about every aspect of the journey and usability of the store to deliver the simplest possible user experience.

The chance to make a difference and something positive for the community was an exciting and rewarding opportunity.  There were many aspects of the site that required a lot of thinking, testing and iterating. We had to work very closely with the client and focus groups to come up with solutions to a number of problems to produce a site that made the most sense to the most people.

Overall, the relationship was incredibly positive, collaborative and effective. We took their guidance on board and followed their instructions and they listened to our solutions, trusted our judgement and we were able to collectively deliver a good site.

As mentioned, the project was a success from start to finish due to client engagement, our proactive attitude to solving problems and a collaborative effort between the client and our team to produce something the community deserves.

Ultimately, we were able to deliver:

  • A website design and development that delivers the simplest possible user experience
  • A keen focus on accessibility, ensuring information is available to everyone
  • Staying true to the established NHS brand image
  • Instilling confidence in the new trust through simplicity and quality

If you want to check it out for yourselves, head on over to www.esneft.co.uk.

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The Perks of SEO https://www.websitedesign.co.uk/the-perks-of-seo/ Tue, 07 Aug 2018 10:20:20 +0000 https://www.websitedesign.co.uk/?p=10447   Even though the digital world continues to grow and evolve, SEO remains an important marketing strategy. There are a ton of useful benefits to using a carefully calculated SEO strategy, so we’ve highlighted some of our favourite ones! Increased Traffic If you have a high-ranking position on a search engine, you’re virtually guaranteed to... Read more »

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Even though the digital world continues to grow and evolve, SEO remains an important marketing strategy. There are a ton of useful benefits to using a carefully calculated SEO strategy, so we’ve highlighted some of our favourite ones!

  • Increased Traffic

If you have a high-ranking position on a search engine, you’re virtually guaranteed to receive a substantial amount of impressions and likely to receive a lot of clicks. The result? More traffic to your website (assuming you have an easy to navigate, well-designed website) and more conversions. The key to nailing this part of SEO is informative and relevant content, title tags and well thought out meta descriptions. Who wouldn’t want a higher click-through rate and more qualified web traffic?

  • Cost Effective

Unlike outbound forms of digital marketing like PPC, the inbound nature of SEO allows you to save money rather than spending money on costly ad campaigns. While it may take longer than PPC to organically rank high on search engines, once you’re there, you can enjoy more traffic. If you are time rich but cash poor, SEO can be a really beneficial way to spend some time. Although, if you are already stretched for time, you may want to look at alternative methods like PPC, or getting help from a professional SEO company.

  • Qualified Traffic

We touched on this a little already, but since you’re targeting (well, more ‘appearing to’) customers who actually have an interest in your product or service, you immediately have leverage. You don’t have to waste money or time getting their attention. You have it. Now they just need a little ‘push’ from you in order to convert – think well-designed website, good branding, easy navigation, clear relevant content. That’s why the well-qualified web traffic from SEO is so useful.

  • You Make Your Site More Navigable

By making your website easier for search engines to navigate, whether you realise you’re doing it or not, you naturally make it easier for customers to navigate, too. Win, win, right? Remember that 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience, so it’s important you get this right.

  • Brand Awareness

Since your website will have a high-ranking position on search engines, your website and your brand will naturally get more exposure. Being on the first page will not only help your brand appear more trustworthy but you’re going to appear more professional, too. Best of all, you’ll build a substantial amount of brand awareness and whatever searches you’re ranking for, people are going to naturally associate your brand with it. Think about a customer who has no knowledge of brands searching for ‘sports shoes’ and Nike results appear. They’re naturally going to associate Nike with them.

  • ROI

SEO provides trackable and quantifiable results. With SEO, you can track nearly every aspect of the strategy, like increases in rankings, traffic and conversions. SEO analytics also allow you to dig down deep and analyse the demographic information and other engagement metrics for your website. You can see what works and what doesn’t and what you need to improve on.

Interested in what you’ve read? For more information on how SEO could be beneficial to your website, please contact us, we’ll be happy to help.

 

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Alkimi Products Goes Live! https://www.websitedesign.co.uk/alkimi-products-goes-live/ Thu, 19 Jul 2018 16:25:46 +0000 https://www.websitedesign.co.uk//?p=10159 The post Alkimi Products Goes Live! appeared first on Website Design Ltd.

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5 Tips for Finding a Web Developer Job https://www.websitedesign.co.uk/5-tips-for-finding-a-web-developer-job/ Tue, 12 Jun 2018 11:27:06 +0000 https://www.websitedesign.co.uk//?p=9890 The post 5 Tips for Finding a Web Developer Job appeared first on Website Design Ltd.

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Website Analysis: Marvel https://www.websitedesign.co.uk/website-analysis-marvel/ Wed, 06 Jun 2018 11:12:59 +0000 https://www.websitedesign.co.uk//?p=9878 The post Website Analysis: Marvel appeared first on Website Design Ltd.

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