Web Design Southampton https://www.webdesignsouthampton.co.uk Thu, 23 May 2019 12:06:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.1 Trending colours for summer web design projects https://www.webdesignsouthampton.co.uk/trending-colours-for-summer-web-design-projects/ https://www.webdesignsouthampton.co.uk/trending-colours-for-summer-web-design-projects/#respond Wed, 22 May 2019 08:39:13 +0000 https://www.webdesignsouthampton.co.uk/?p=455 If you’re planning to revamp your website with us this summer – or perhaps are about to commence work on your first ever business website – then why not consider adding a totally on trend new shade to your design? Picking a trending colour can give your new site a contemporary, modern appeal. [...]

The post Trending colours for summer web design projects appeared first on Web Design Southampton.

]]>

If you’re planning to revamp your website with us this summer – or perhaps are about to commence work on your first ever business website – then why not consider adding a totally on trend new shade to your design? Picking a trending colour can give your new site a contemporary, modern appeal. A pop of colour can work wonders to inject new life into a design, even if you’re only making minor cosmetic changes so read on to find out what this summer’s hottest shades are set to be…

Coral pink

The popularity of coral pink isn’t likely to be constrained to summer as it is the official PANTONE colour of the year for 2019. According to the hue heroes at PANTONE, this colour (Living Coral to give it its official title) is said to “energize and enliven”. It’s described as optimistic and joyful, is nurturing, represents modern life and nature, linking closely to the coral reef. Thanks to its many qualities, this is an on-trend selection for a range of industries and can pair well with other shades to create a website design that is fresh, inviting and welcoming.

Blueberry

This deep, purple-hued blue is also very much on trend for summer but unlike its Living Coral counterpart, has more corporate echoes making it a great choice for a whole host of website designs. The deep blue also pairs well with lots of lighter shades, so you can play around to create an eye-catching contrast. A crisp white is a classic choice but, if you want a bold website, you could pair it with pops of lime green, used as an accent for things like buttons, headers or menu items.

Ancient Grain

This colour, as its name suggests, is the colour of golden wheat. It’s more neutral and muted that Coral Pink but not quite as bold as Blueberry either. Because of this, it’s a perfect partner to brighter, zestier shades and can be put to work on a very elegant, classic web design that won’t quickly appear dated.

Violet

This luscious purple shade has been around in trending circles for a while and is a previous PANTONE colour of the year. It’s rich and luxurious and lends itself to a whole host of sectors, from fitness to fashion or food. This colour is also a great choice for any design or branding project as it can be paired with a wide selection of other shades including orange, white, blue or magenta.

Which colour will you incorporate into your new site design?

The post Trending colours for summer web design projects appeared first on Web Design Southampton.

]]>
https://www.webdesignsouthampton.co.uk/trending-colours-for-summer-web-design-projects/feed/ 0
How important is local search? https://www.webdesignsouthampton.co.uk/how-important-is-local-search/ https://www.webdesignsouthampton.co.uk/how-important-is-local-search/#respond Mon, 13 May 2019 21:50:49 +0000 https://www.webdesignsouthampton.co.uk/?p=335 How important is local search? When it comes to SEO, there is a temptation to focus almost exclusively on the main search results. For many businesses, directing resources at a local search campaign may actually make more sense. If you aren’t yet convinced that local SEO is a worthwhile use of your SEO [...]

The post How important is local search? appeared first on Web Design Southampton.

]]>

How important is local search?

When it comes to SEO, there is a temptation to focus almost exclusively on the main search results. For many businesses, directing resources at a local search campaign may actually make more sense.

If you aren’t yet convinced that local SEO is a worthwhile use of your SEO budget, read on to discover exactly how important local search is.

1. Local search leads to local visits

Any businesses with a physical bricks and mortar location can benefit from local search. Why? Because it has been proven time and time again that a local search typically leads to a local store visit. That means if you’re looking to increase footfall to your shop, bar, restaurant, hotel or other business premises, it’s critical to be highly visible when local customers head online.

Two often cited research studies confirm this opinion:

  • 90% of search users will choose a search engine when they need to find local information
  • Local search has a high purchase intent with just 7% of non-local search leading to purchase within 24 hours, compared with 18% for those looking locally
  • Half of those who carry out a local search on a mobile device will visit a physical store within 24 hours

2. Local search visibility is linked to mobile and voice search visability

Mobile search volumes have exceeded desktop search volumes for a couple of years now making it the standard when it comes to search rankings and optimisation. Naturally, given that we turn to our smartphones more when we are out and about and away from our desks, a lot of mobile search is locally focused. The same goes for voice search – 63% of consumers try voice search when driving because they need local information.

Investing in local SEO and prioritizing local visibility is therefore an investment in mobile and voice search too.

3. It’s more competitive than ever

If you’re guilty of having neglected local search SEO in favour of traditional SEO, then it should be even more of a priority for you today. As smaller businesses have found themselves unable to compete with national firms for traditional search rankings, they have flocked to local search in order to at least win local business and/or capitalise on mobile and voice search trends.

Competition has been made harder still by the fact that the local search pack has shrunk over the last few years, so there are now fewer spots up for grabs on page one than ever before.

All of this means that if you haven’t invested in local search before now, time is of the essence. Fail to use local optimisation tactics going forwards and you might find that you’re missing out not just on mobile traffic, the higher purchase intent that comes with local search and voice traffic – you may be unable to get a footing on Google at all.

Need help getting your local SEO campaign off the ground? Contact us to find out how we can help.

The post How important is local search? appeared first on Web Design Southampton.

]]>
https://www.webdesignsouthampton.co.uk/how-important-is-local-search/feed/ 0
Google rolls out new Google Ads formats for retailers https://www.webdesignsouthampton.co.uk/google-ads-formats-for-retailers/ https://www.webdesignsouthampton.co.uk/google-ads-formats-for-retailers/#respond Mon, 13 May 2019 21:50:36 +0000 https://www.webdesignsouthampton.co.uk/?p=332 With Black Friday just a few short weeks away, it’s fair to say the holiday shopping season is well and truly upon us. With that in mind, Google has launched two brand new Google Ads formats which it says it created specifically for retailers to help them sell more in the seasonal sales period. [...]

The post Google rolls out new Google Ads formats for retailers appeared first on Web Design Southampton.

]]>

With Black Friday just a few short weeks away, it’s fair to say the holiday shopping season is well and truly upon us. With that in mind, Google has launched two brand new Google Ads formats which it says it created specifically for retailers to help them sell more in the seasonal sales period.

The two new Ads formats are Video in Showcase Shopping Ads and Shoppable Image Ads – which is a pilot for now but is expected to roll out fully over the next several months into 2019.

Video in Showcase Shopping Ads

We all know that a picture speaks a thousand words but when it comes to shopping and tempting online consumers, that’s truer than ever. Add video to the mix – which is consistently named as the most shared content format and the one that drives the most engagement – and you have a recipe for success.

Google’s new Video in Showcase Shopping Ads gives retailers another outlet for their video content. Showcase Ads are a multi-image Shopping format which when clicked on, take the user to a landing page with images, products and product descriptions. The new addition sees Videos taking pride of place – the video is displayed in the featured image position and then, once clicked on, will play in full at the top of the landing page.

Advertisers that have Showcase Shopping Ads already running can use this new format option right away.

Shoppable Image Ads

Consumers will often search for pictures online, using Google, before they make an actual real world purchase – this happens in around a third of cases, says the search engine. Shoppable Image Ads give retailers a chance to make a connection with the consumer when they perform that image search, not just on Google but on selected third party publisher sites too.

When used on a third party site, such as a blog, a Shoppable Image Ad will trigger a carousel of products once clicked which are all similar to what is displayed in the image. A food blogger for example could post a picture of a tablescape and a user clicking on the Shoppable Image Ad would then see a list of similar crockery or cutlery available to buy.

When viewed in Google search, the Ad is a large unit with the products contained within the image bearing a price tag. This format is undergoing pilot testing but Google says it will ramp up significantly in the coming years.

The post Google rolls out new Google Ads formats for retailers appeared first on Web Design Southampton.

]]>
https://www.webdesignsouthampton.co.uk/google-ads-formats-for-retailers/feed/ 0
Six ways to ensure the most successful sales season ever – as outlined by Google https://www.webdesignsouthampton.co.uk/six-ways-to-successful-sales-season/ https://www.webdesignsouthampton.co.uk/six-ways-to-successful-sales-season/#respond Tue, 07 May 2019 19:11:36 +0000 https://www.webdesignsouthampton.co.uk/?p=329 Google has launched two brand new Google Ads formats which it says it created specifically for retailers to help them sell more in the seasonal sales period.

The post Six ways to ensure the most successful sales season ever – as outlined by Google appeared first on Web Design Southampton.

]]>

Six ways to ensure the most successful sales season ever – as outlined by Google

Halloween might have only just been and gone but Fionnuala Meehan, VP EMEA, Google Marketing Solutions has taken to the search engine’s blog to outline six ways that retailers can make this their most successful holiday shopping season ever.

With turmoil on the high street, trying a few of these Google-suggested approaches could see your seasonal sales campaigns off to a much needed flying start. Read on to discover how to put Google’s advice to “think laterally, act local and keep on going until the party’s over” mantra into action right now.

1. Think like a shopper

This might sound like an obvious piece of advice but, it might actually be something that is missing from your paid search campaign strategy. Google says that some retailers are guilty of focusing on the very obvious keywords that support the festive season with other products being overlooked – potentially to the detriment of your bottom line. Creating a campaign for batteries for example could well net you a host of extra sales with a spike 24-30 December each year. Tailor your adverts and budget to appear when demand is at its seasonal peak.

2. Start now, finish later

The sooner you switch on your seasonal ads, the sooner you will start to make sales but, avoid the temptation to switch them off too early. It actually pays to leave ads live longer than you may think, with Google revealing that almost a quarter (20%) of shop traffic in December actually happens six days after peak season. Keeping your ads live a little longer than conventional wisdom dictates mean you’ll be perfectly placed to benefit from that unexpected shopping surge.

3. Try remarketing

If you don’t normally run remarketing campaigns, the festive season is a great time to dip your toe in the water. Research shows that 41% of those shopping on a mobile device will bounce from your ecommerce store without making a purchase – but cash conscious consumers could well simply be shopping around and comparing deals so investing in remarketing ads makes sure you stay in the running by staying visible.

4. Show inventory levels

If technical possible, be transparent about how much stock is left – 41% of online shoppers want retailers to do better when it comes to sharing inventory information. In the run up to Christmas this is especially important as this gives the buyer the confidence that the item they want to gift is in stock and will arrive on time.

5. Don’t neglect local ads

Local search is still lucrative at this time of year so don’t forget to have a locally focused campaign up and running too. This is especially important if you have a physical store location or your product is stocked in a local retailer’s store as 85% of those performing a local search visit a physical store within 24 hours.

6. Try new formats

Shoppers have proven themselves to be open to purchasing from new retailers and Google recommends that as an advertiser, you take a leaf out of their book. This means making an effort to try something new, such as one of the new seasonal ad formats just launched.

Need some more help ramping up your sales activity this holiday season? Get in touch with us to find out how we can help you maximise seasonal sales opportunities.

The post Six ways to ensure the most successful sales season ever – as outlined by Google appeared first on Web Design Southampton.

]]>
https://www.webdesignsouthampton.co.uk/six-ways-to-successful-sales-season/feed/ 0
Easy ways to increase your social media engagement https://www.webdesignsouthampton.co.uk/easy-ways-to-increase-your-social-media-engagement/ https://www.webdesignsouthampton.co.uk/easy-ways-to-increase-your-social-media-engagement/#respond Tue, 12 Feb 2019 09:00:30 +0000 https://www.webdesignsouthampton.co.uk/?p=326 Tactic 1: pay for it One of the things you’ll first need to remember is that platforms like Facebook give business Pages very little organic reach – because they want to encourage brands to pay for things like boosted posts and Facebook ads. Without any budget behind your Facebook updates, the majority of [...]

The post Easy ways to increase your social media engagement appeared first on Web Design Southampton.

]]>

Tactic 1: pay for it

One of the things you’ll first need to remember is that platforms like Facebook give business Pages very little organic reach – because they want to encourage brands to pay for things like boosted posts and Facebook ads. Without any budget behind your Facebook updates, the majority of your posts won’t even reach user News Feeds.

Mark Zuckerberg said earlier this year that Facebook would be changing its algorithims so that users saw posts from friends and family rather than businesses – while this means that fewer people will initially see your posts (and could be a cause of your low engagement) creating great content that drives authentic and meaningful interactions will help you into News Feeds where other brands may struggle.

To begin to show that value and get the process started, consider putting budget behind boosted posts and ads, at least in the short term. This will get your best content in front of users, ensuring that you start to earn genuine interactions, likes and shares. In turn, this begins to signal to Facebook that your updates are deserving of a place in News Feed.

Bottom line? The number of likes, shares and comments your posts receive dictate how well placed they are in News Feed. To earn those likes and shares in the first place, you’ll have to pay for at least some exposure.

Tactic 2: use video

Facebook’s own research shows that hands down, video drives more interactions and engagements than any other form of content. If you haven’t yet started to incorporate video, doing so should result in happier engagement metrics.

Facebook explains, … live videos often lead to discussion among viewers on Facebook – in fact, live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos. Many creators who post videos on Facebook prompt discussion among their followers…”

Tactic 3: Host a competition or giveaway

Everyone loves the thrill of a competition or potential to get something for free – harness this with a giveaway. You’ll often see influencers teaming up with other influencers to host competitions for fans, with the caveat being that you must like, comment, tag and share to go into the prize draw. Even if you don’t want to team up with other brands or influencers (which can extend your reach by giving you exposure with new audiences), you can still host a giveaway where entrants are required to tag a friend or comment to be in with a chance to win.

Need more help getting your social media marketing on track? Contact us to find out about our affordable, effective social media services.

The post Easy ways to increase your social media engagement appeared first on Web Design Southampton.

]]>
https://www.webdesignsouthampton.co.uk/easy-ways-to-increase-your-social-media-engagement/feed/ 0
A beginner’s guide to online reviews as their importance soars https://www.webdesignsouthampton.co.uk/importance-of-online-reviews/ https://www.webdesignsouthampton.co.uk/importance-of-online-reviews/#respond Thu, 07 Feb 2019 20:02:22 +0000 https://www.webdesignsouthampton.co.uk/?p=337 How important is local search?A beginner's guide to getting-to-grips with online reviews as their importance soars The latest research on online reviews has highlighted just how vital they are to business success, especially as an ecommerce retailer or local business. The updated Local Consumer Review Survey discovered that more than eight in ten [...]

The post A beginner’s guide to online reviews as their importance soars appeared first on Web Design Southampton.

]]>

How important is local search?A beginner’s guide to getting-to-grips with online reviews as their importance soars

The latest research on online reviews has highlighted just how vital they are to business success, especially as an ecommerce retailer or local business. The updated Local Consumer Review Survey discovered that more than eight in ten (85%) of local consumers trust online reviews as much as they do a personal recommendation. Simply put, online reviews are the next generation of word of mouth recommendations with experiences of strangers valued just as much as those of friends and family members.

As well as being so valued by consumers, having a strong review profile can also help to build trust in your brand, with around 7 in 10 shoppers said to feel like they can trust a business more if it has positive reviews.

Beware though, the majority of shoppers read around seven reviews before they feel comfortable trusting a business and around half of consumers want to see at least four-star reviews before parting with their cash.

If you are new to online reviews, you’ll need to start actively embracing them. To help you get started on the path to a strong (and profitable) review profile, follow our tips for beginners:

1. Make it easy for customers to leave a business review

To build a strong review profile, you’ll need to make it as easy as possible for your customers to leave a review. This can feel daunting at first but, the importance of online reviews shows no signs of diminishing so you need to embrace it.

Google and Facebook are the two most trusted sources of online reviews so it makes sense to start there. You’ll need to manually turn on Facebook reviews – go to your business Page, then click on edit Page. Next, find add tab and from there, scroll down to reviews or recommendations.

For Google, you’ll need to claim your Google My Business listing. Go to google.com/business to do this. It’s also worth registering for industry-specific review platforms such as TripAdvisor if appropriate.

Two often cited research studies confirm this opinion:

2. Make a review request part of your sales process

Over half of shoppers will leave a review if asked to do so – the tricky part can be remembering to incorporate this request into your existing sales and after care process. If you have transactional emails set up already, it should be easy to add a review request option to automate the process. Otherwise, you could use a tablet in store, send emails manually, include a request on invoices or receipts or packaging inserts.

3. Be responsive

The volume of reviews you receive is a local SEO ranking factor – but so too is how responsive you are. You’ll need to get into the habit of responding to reviews quickly and practise this for both good and bad reviews. Not only is responding to all reviews a good thing ranking wise, it also shows customers that their feedback is appreciated.

4. Develop a strategy for dealing with negative reviews

It is inevitable that you will receive a negative review at one time or another so formulate a strategy for dealing with them ahead of time. The number one rule is not to respond in kind or attack the reviewer for their views. If the review is grossly unfair or untrue, most review platforms will have a process for requesting reviews be removed. You will need to prove that the review isn’t genuine however so you can’t take this route for every negative review you receive.

While it can be distressing to receive a poor review, it’s worth keeping in mind that consumers expect to see the odd two or three star review as entirely five star ratings can seem false.

The post A beginner’s guide to online reviews as their importance soars appeared first on Web Design Southampton.

]]>
https://www.webdesignsouthampton.co.uk/importance-of-online-reviews/feed/ 0
How Long Does It Take to Start Getting Traffic from the Search Engines? https://www.webdesignsouthampton.co.uk/how-long-does-it-take-to-start-getting-traffic-from-the-search-engines/ https://www.webdesignsouthampton.co.uk/how-long-does-it-take-to-start-getting-traffic-from-the-search-engines/#respond Thu, 04 May 2017 20:56:53 +0000 https://www.webdesignsouthampton.co.uk/quod-ut-aut-molestias/ It's one of the most common questions that new or would-be webmasters ask, which is understandable given that most Web traffic starts with a search query. Unfortunately, it's also a question that has no easy answer, not least because it depends on a multitude of factors. One thing is for certain is that [...]

The post How Long Does It Take to Start Getting Traffic from the Search Engines? appeared first on Web Design Southampton.

]]>

It’s one of the most common questions that new or would-be webmasters ask, which is understandable given that most Web traffic starts with a search query. Unfortunately, it’s also a question that has no easy answer, not least because it depends on a multitude of factors. One thing is for certain is that it’s not going to happen overnight, and it’s not likely to happen within the first few weeks or even months of your website being live.

Submitting Your Website to Google

You can manually submit your website to Google so that it will be instantly added to the search giant’s index, but it will hardly make much difference. Google’s robots are constantly crawling the Internet for new content, prioritising well-established and popular websites over those with minimal content or those that are on new domains. However, Google’s multitude of complicated and largely unknown ranking factors are beyond the scope of this article. What matters is that it will crawl your website automatically, typically within a day or two of it going live. You can also submit your sitemap to the search engines although, again, this doesn’t make much difference. In fact, you can safely ignore submitting your website or sitemap to the search engines.

Sustainability vs. Black-Hat Marketing

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is an important part of online marketing, since it considers the fact that the search crawlers don’t work in quite the same way to how humans would. In the broadest sense, SEO concerns making your website more visible to the search robots and making sure that its content and design meets Google’s terms of service. All of this takes a lot of time, typically three to six months, so if any SEO firm tells you that they can get you on the first page of the results in just a few weeks, there are two possibilities: they are either lying, or they use a black-hat link network to deliberately manipulate the search robots.

Black-hat SEO is an extremely risky approach, simply because it’s not sustainable and it breaks all the rules. You may well see some initial success, but as soon as anyone finds out that you’re breaking the rules, your website will quickly be pushed to the back of the search results and possibly even removed from the indexes entirely. The result? An utterly destroyed business reputation with absolutely no visibility in the world’s largest search engine. You might as well declare bankruptcy and forget about ever trying to do business online again. Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a quick fix when it comes to increasing search engine traffic.

The Importance of Organic Traffic

The main problem with black-hat SEO is that it doesn’t just try to fool the search engine robots, it also tries to manipulate people into visiting a website that likely serves up unoriginal content offering no real value. It’s the impatient marketer’s way of quickly building up website traffic without giving a moment of thought to the fact that it’s quality that counts, and not quantity. After all, what’s so great about having 10 thousand visitors to your website if there’s not a single conversion among them? By contrast, organic search engine traffic, which is the product of quality content, consists of people who are actually likely to be genuinely interested in your website.

Using Sustainable Marketing to Build a Following

You need to take a long-term approach if you want to adopt a sustainable marketing strategy that will benefit your business in the longer term. There’s a lot more to digital marketing than building backlinks and stuffing your website content with supposedly high-value keywords. There are countless guides on digital marketing out there, but you’ll be using various methods to spread the word about your website, such as choosing suitable long-tail keywords, consistently publishing quality content and getting involved in social media. Paid advertising can also help raise awareness in your blog which can, indirectly, improve your search engine visibility.

Final Words

Every business and online entrepreneur wants to know how to become number one on Google, but it’s important to understand that it never happens quickly. Firstly, and most importantly, you need to have enough quality content to keep your human readers engaged. Secondly, you need to make regular but responsible use out of the wide range of marketing channels available to you. Eventually, and depending on the degree of competition in your industry and, to a lesser extent, how much you invest, you’ll be able to start earning organic referrals from Google. However, don’t expect this to start happening in any less than three months.

The post How Long Does It Take to Start Getting Traffic from the Search Engines? appeared first on Web Design Southampton.

]]>
https://www.webdesignsouthampton.co.uk/how-long-does-it-take-to-start-getting-traffic-from-the-search-engines/feed/ 0
1 Pro and 8 Cons of Free Websites https://www.webdesignsouthampton.co.uk/1-pro-and-8-cons-of-free-websites/ https://www.webdesignsouthampton.co.uk/1-pro-and-8-cons-of-free-websites/#respond Mon, 03 Apr 2017 13:13:05 +0000 https://www.webdesignsouthampton.co.uk/ipsa-voluptatem-consequatur-laudantium/ The word “free” is a powerful word. It’s also one of the most beguiling words. That’s understandable, considering money doesn’t fall from trees. So what about free websites? You can have a website up and running without paying a cent. But before succumbing to the seduction of the $0 price tag, be aware that [...]

The post 1 Pro and 8 Cons of Free Websites appeared first on Web Design Southampton.

]]>

The word “free” is a powerful word. It’s also one of the most beguiling words. That’s understandable, considering money doesn’t fall from trees. So what about free websites? You can have a website up and running without paying a cent. But before succumbing to the seduction of the $0 price tag, be aware that free can also mean “free of quality.” So before you make a choice, take a look at the good and the bad that free websites offer.

Cons

1. Lack of Professionalism

To influence visitors, you must gain their trust. And people will trust you if you look professional. But a free website won’t help you with this. For one thing, your site will likely be littered with ads, which free web hosts use to earn money. Ads range in size and appearance, but they have two things in common: they annoy visitors and they make your website look unprofessional.

Then there’s the domain name. With a free website, you won’t get one. Your website’s address will be combined with the host’s address. So instead of something like, “best-antique-gold.com,” you’ll get “web-host-provider.com/best-antique-gold.” Which looks more professional?

2. Substandard Web Design

Ads will clash with the rest of your website. You can pretty things up with vivid images and colors, but the ads will still be there, mocking you. And as for your site’s layout, your options are limited. There aren’t many templates available for free websites.

3. Same Old, Same Old

All free websites look the same. This isn’t 100% true, but to your visitors, it might not matter. Many people share a host and there’s only so much you can do to make your site distinguishing. A free website probably won’t offer things like shopping carts and email boxes. And there won’t be many template options.

4. Insufficient Web Space

Web space costs money, so don’t expect much space. This means your website won’t have much room to grow. This might be fine when you’re first getting everything running, but soon you may find yourself with a big list of website goals and not enough web space to achieve them.

5. Limited Bandwidth

Bandwidth, like web space, isn’t free. And since your site won’t be the only free website sharing a host, bandwidth will be distributed to many. Naturally, your bandwidth will be limited. What this means for your website is slow loading times. And in this age of fast Internet speeds, a visitor may not have the patience to wait for your site to slowly load. He’ll likely press the back button.

6. Bad SEO

Websites depend on search engine rankings to reel in visitors, but a free website has little chance of ranking high. For one thing, search engines punish sites for slow speeds. Also, a website’s domain name is vastly important to the search engines, and if your website doesn’t have one of its own, your site will suffer.

7. Deletion by Web Host

A web host could drop your free website at anytime. Maybe because of spam. Or RAM overuse. And many people who’ve lost their free websites claim the accusations against them simply weren’t true. Some people may never find out why their site was purged.

8. Web Host is Shut Down

Free website hosting isn’t a lucrative occupation and sometimes the money gained from ads is just not enough. A host might be forced to shut the doors. And just like that, the website you’ve poured your heart and soul into goes kaput.

Pro

1. It’s Free

If you’re new to web design, a free website might be right for you. You’ll have an easy way to practice web design skills and it won’t cost you a cent. Free websites are also great for personal use. Maybe a fan page for your favorite band, or a place to host some stories you’ve written.

Free websites are certainly enticing, but before you get one, ask yourself, “How important is this website to me?” Because though a free website gives you a nice money-saving advantage, it also gives you far more disadvantages. So if you’re serious about your website and you value high quality, resist the temptation of free websites and spend some money on something far better.

The post 1 Pro and 8 Cons of Free Websites appeared first on Web Design Southampton.

]]>
https://www.webdesignsouthampton.co.uk/1-pro-and-8-cons-of-free-websites/feed/ 0
Why Conversation, Not Content, Is Really King https://www.webdesignsouthampton.co.uk/why-conversation-not-content-is-really-king/ https://www.webdesignsouthampton.co.uk/why-conversation-not-content-is-really-king/#respond Sun, 19 Mar 2017 02:51:05 +0000 https://www.webdesignsouthampton.co.uk/perspiciatis-et-ipsa-et-animi-laboriosam/ Content is king. It's a cliché that any Internet marketer has no doubt heard a hundred times and more to the point it's become downright tedious. Worst of all, it's not even entirely true anyway. In fact, it entirely fails to address the fundamental way people interact on the Internet. Every marketer knows that [...]

The post Why Conversation, Not Content, Is Really King appeared first on Web Design Southampton.

]]>

Content is king. It’s a cliché that any Internet marketer has no doubt heard a hundred times and more to the point it’s become downright tedious. Worst of all, it’s not even entirely true anyway. In fact, it entirely fails to address the fundamental way people interact on the Internet. Every marketer knows that online content has become the lifeblood of modern marketing strategies, but not everyone seems to understand that fact that Web content is very different to that designed for print.

Another common cliché in the world of digital marketing is that social media is the new SEO, but there is at least a lot of truth in this. A few years ago, many forms of content, particularly blog posts and short articles, were written primarily for the purposes of boosting search engine visibility. Consequently, much of this content was over-optimised and written purely in an attempt to manipulate search results while offering virtually nothing of value to a human audience.

More recent years have seen the unprecedented growth of social media while, at the same time, search engines have evolved to make the old ways of SEO largely obsolete, hence the birth of the cliché. The reason why conversation, rather than content alone, is king, is a simple one. Without content, you have nothing to promote on social media but, without conversation, you cannot achieve any of the goals of your digital marketing strategy.

The Need to Inspire Conversation

Before digital marketing evolved, brands had far more direct control over their reputations, whereas now they are largely in the hands of consumers. After all, anyone can leave a review online about a company or a particular product or service. Alternatively, they can speak their mind on social media, online forums, blog comments or a variety of other systems. As a consequence, brands now need to operate transparently by humanising their approach to marketing.

The need to inspire conversation is not just about asking for feedback and hoping that it will be positive. With a company’s reputation now squarely in the hands of its customers, marketers also need to be customer relations gurus who can build meaningful relationships with their target audience. Today, the one-sided sales pitch or the stereotypical pushy salesman are dying breeds. What really builds reputations and ultimately drives sales, however, is conversational content.

With conversation, you have the perfect opportunity to show the human element behind your brand, and it’s this human element that immediately sets you apart from the clickbait spammers and other unscrupulous marketers. Having meaningful conversation with your target audience also gives your company immense opportunity to improve its product based on feedback and suggestions. After all, nobody knows better about what they want than your customers themselves.

Conversation doesn’t just concern collecting useful feedback to determine your reputation. It also empowers customers by offering them a chance to get involved in the development of your company. For example, in the video game industry, early access programs allow players to buy a pre-release version of games and become actively involved in their development. Many software and game developers run open betas for the same reason, since it ultimately helps make a better product.

What Is Conversational Content?

Conversational content talks to people rather than at people. It is meant to build rapport with your target audience and empower them, whereas writing solely for the masses often means losing your voice and becoming more like the stereotypical irritating marketer than a thought leader who people actually look up to. Conversational content involves talking more about your listeners and less about your brand while also posing questions to encourage participation.

Although every brand has its own voice, and different styles suit different industries, there are a few largely universal rules when it comes to crafting conversational content. Some of the most important include minimising the use of passive voice, avoiding lengthy blocks of text, keeping your content scannable and using contractions to maintain a more informal approach. Addressing your reader directly is also important, since it empowers them by getting them involved.

People tend to scan through online content rather than read it word for word from the beginning to the end. For this reason, you should keep your paragraphs short and use plenty of subheadings where appropriate. It’s also important to remember that a decent conversation has lots of questions, and using questions for subheadings is particularly effective, since they draw attention to those scanning through an article on autopilot in the hope of quickly finding answers that address their concerns.

It Doesn’t Stop There

Crafting conversational content doesn’t stop as soon as you’ve hit the publish button and shared it a few times on social media. The job of your content is to start the conversation in the first place, but for it to truly thrive, you need to prove yourself to be present and genuinely involved with your target audience. A successful blogger, for example, often spends a lot of time reading through comments and replying to them to the extent they become the leading voice in their community.

The post Why Conversation, Not Content, Is Really King appeared first on Web Design Southampton.

]]>
https://www.webdesignsouthampton.co.uk/why-conversation-not-content-is-really-king/feed/ 0
5 Benefits of Developing a Mobile App for Your Business https://www.webdesignsouthampton.co.uk/5-benefits-of-developing-a-mobile-app-for-your-business/ https://www.webdesignsouthampton.co.uk/5-benefits-of-developing-a-mobile-app-for-your-business/#respond Wed, 08 Feb 2017 19:33:39 +0000 https://www.webdesignsouthampton.co.uk/necessitatibus-similique-ducimus-qui/ As consumers spend more and more time on their smartphones, it is no longer enough for most businesses to simply rely on responsive Web design alone. Although the cost of app development is steadily increasing, having a simple app developed is well within the financial reach of most small- to medium-sized businesses. Contrary to [...]

The post 5 Benefits of Developing a Mobile App for Your Business appeared first on Web Design Southampton.

]]>

As consumers spend more and more time on their smartphones, it is no longer enough for most businesses to simply rely on responsive Web design alone. Although the cost of app development is steadily increasing, having a simple app developed is well within the financial reach of most small- to medium-sized businesses. Contrary to what many small business owners think, mobile apps are not exclusively for the big global brands. After all, the mobile trend concerns every business from small local venues to massive global corporations. Mobile is now, after all, the platform where people are most likely to find you in the first place.

#1. Be More Visible to Customers

Since mobile is where most of your customers are, increasing your visibility on mobile devices is essential. While a mobile-friendly website will greatly help to boost your standing in mobile search results, an app will help to boost your visibility in the app store itself. Standing out among the 1.6 million apps in the Google Play Store might sound like an impossible task, but with some clever app-store optimization, you’ll be able to establish a presence there in a similar way to how search engine optimization boosts your website’s standing in the search results. Most importantly, however, an app allows you to be visible to your customers at all times.

#2. Leverage Push Notifications

Push notifications allow you to engage with your customers even when they are not actively using your app, although it’s also possible to create browser-based push notifications even if you don’t have an app of your own. Businesses use push notifications to provide their users with new information related to the app, such as check-in reminders and other alerts. While it’s important to use it sparingly for direct advertising, it can be useful for communicating with people, providing improved customer service, gaining insights into your target audience and delivering important messages of any other kind.

#3. Improve User Experience

With their tiny displays and on-screen virtual keyboards, smartphones will never provide the best browsing experience, but most people are happy to sacrifice functionality for mobility. Nonetheless, it’s essential to make the user experience as smooth as possible, and starting with a responsively designed website is only the first step. An app further improves user experience by offering more responsive interaction with your online resources, such as your website itself. As such, it also greatly reduces data usage, which is crucial for people using Internet on the move. Additionally, an app can provide extensive offline functionality as well.

#4. Increase Brand Recognition

When you publish an app, it provides you the opportunity to create the perfect mobile platform for showcasing your products and services, thus increasing your brand’s visibility and recognition. A branded app should follow the same conventions that your website and other online and offline media uses, including the same fonts, colours, style of writing and anything else that defines your brand image. Effectively, a mobile app starts off as a blank slate which you can turn into something branded and unique, something that people will come to remember your company by. Once you get a few reviews in the app store, you’ll start getting noticed much more.

#5. Provide Customer Service

As any marketer should know, the power is squarely in the hands of consumers more than ever before. Providing prompt customer service is essential if you want to maintain positive ratings and reviews and build up a recognizable and trustworthy brand. Since an app allows you to get in contact with your customers quicker and more often, it’s ideal for providing prompt customer service with as little hassle as possible. In doing so, you’ll be able to cultivate customer loyalty. Apps are great for providing everything from quick and concise instructions and how-to guides to live support through an in-app messenger.

Final Words

According to a survey by Pew Research in October, 2015, over two thirds of adults in the US owned a smartphone. Throughout Europe and other developed regions of the world, smartphone ownership is comparable to that in the US. Since today’s consumers are more connected than ever before thanks to the mobile devices they typically carry with them throughout the day, it should be clear to marketers why they need to prioritize mobile at every stage of the digital marketing mix. Having an app simplifies the process while also ensuring ease of use for consumers, making it very much worth the initial investment for the vast majority of businesses.

The post 5 Benefits of Developing a Mobile App for Your Business appeared first on Web Design Southampton.

]]>
https://www.webdesignsouthampton.co.uk/5-benefits-of-developing-a-mobile-app-for-your-business/feed/ 0