Unless you have gone ahead and used one of those ready-made templates where you simply add in your own information, then you may be wondering how designers make unique looking websites. Well, aside from the knowledge and experience side of things, there are several other ways in which a good designer can take your brief and turn it into something that is indeed absolutely unique.
First, a designer should be able to look at your website, or ideas, and view it as a unique problem that needs to be solved. In all honesty, this has to be one of the most important points to be made because if a designer starts to view two websites in the same way, then it can lead to an amount of crossover in the design that may not be best for either website.
It can become all too easy for the web designer to fall into the trap of feeling very comfortable in what they are creating because it is the fourth construction company website that they have made in the last 12 months. Ultimately, ideas can be regurgitated, which is also not good, and there can be less of a creative flow that can ultimately hamper the final design of the website.
The best way to get around this is indeed to view each website as being a one-off problem that has to be resolved. If this is the approach that is taken, then solutions will also flow more easily, which is not exactly a bad thing.
Starting from Nothing.
A good designer will listen to your brief and then start from absolutely nothing with the design. That means it is built from the ground up because taking an existing website and then personalizing it is going to lead to that crossover issue that we mentioned earlier.
If a website is constructed from point zero, then the chances of it being unique in every way is only going to be increased. It creates a certain freshness about it all and that can only be a good thing for the client.
Research is Everything.
To get a unique looking website, there has to be an amount of research undertaken to ultimately get the rough outline of the website which can then be added to as the project progresses. A designer going into a project blindly is increasing the chances of making mistakes, and that should clearly be avoided.
The designer should carry out research into the company they are working for, the market they are in, the competition, the color schemes that work well for the branding, and the key mistakes that need to be avoided. Failure to do any of this is only going to result in a relatively botched attempt to produce something that is satisfactory to the client. If you do not prepare, then you will more than likely fall back to previous designs and use them as your inspiration which can, as a result, lead to a number of parts effectively being copied.
But then, there is a point that should also be made in that you are going to find it very difficult to have something that is indeed completely unique. There will always be minor aspects that are effectively borrowed from elsewhere, but it is the overall scheme of things and the way in which they are all put together that is the key.
A designer is going to be aware of this, but they will not allow it to cloud their thinking. Instead, they will accept those aspects and continue working towards the brief in order to ultimately produce something that is unique for that client.
Even though having a template where you just add your own text is tempting, it can affect the way in which people view you as a company. Having something that is functional and delivers on what you need is the most important thing of all. So what if something is not 100% unique. If it provides to you what you need in your website, then that is key and if the designer has been able to achieve your brief and produce something that works and represents your brand, then the overall project should then be viewed as being a success.
Marketing online is something that is going to change on a regular basis and the methods that are employed at this moment in time may not be in vogue even six months later. However, even though this in itself is rather annoying and makes life difficult, there is no doubt that it does mean that you have to be kept on your toes and aware of what is going on.
So, if we can then look into the future even just slightly and see what is likely to be in store for 2017, we may then be able to give you some kind of advantage over those that are indeed left lagging behind.
1. Video is Growing Stronger.
If you have not so far used video when it comes to your Internet marketing, then it is about time that it changes.
People simply love video and you do not even have to go ahead and make it as spectacular as you think. Instead, our advice is to keep things short as attention spans are generally not that good and always make sure that you get your point across as succinctly as possible. Video marketing campaigns get amazing returns so not taking advantage of this is really going to be an absolute sin.
2. Consider Business Storytelling.
If you were of the opinion that business storytelling was just another way of saying that you have an ‘About Us’ page, then think again. Instead, this approach to marketing is all about trying to really connect with your potential customer by telling them the story about your business and what you do.
With this, you need to really put across the human voice of who you are and stop just trying to sell yourself at every single opportunity. That is just not going to hold water any longer so instead you have to be honest about your aims, company, and anything else that inspires you. Giving this other side to you and what you are about makes it easier for customers to then connect and it has been shown that they are more loyal to those kinds of brands and names than those that they just stumble across.
3. Never Forget the Apps.
We all know that apps are popular and they have been playing a role in marketing for some time. However, with more and more focus being put on mobile usage in general, it makes sense that there has to be some focus on apps as well.
Here is the thing. Google has started to index apps and that does also mean that having your own app for the sake of your business is going to become even more important than ever before. People are used to using them and it is going to be worth your while spending the time and money to develop your own app related to your brand or business as part of your marketing strategy.
4. Think About Virtual Reality.
Now, at this moment in time it is impossible to predict what is going to happen with virtual reality headsets and technology in general. It was initially believed that it could be one of those passing trends, but then Pokemon Go did seem to manage to change the impression that people had of the technology.
This is now believed to be an area that could be developed by people interested in Internet marketing. With this, it is going to be absolutely possible for you to market your services or products in an alternative dimension thanks to virtual reality. It does sound a bit out there and as if it is science fiction, but it is actually science fact.
5. Remember the Internet of Things.
Finally, you will notice that there is a real shift in targeting the Internet of things in the next year. The main focus will be on smartwatches as they have certainly had quite a good impact since they were released. This will allow you as marketers to consider different campaigns aimed at those smartwatches as it is another possible way of accessing your customers even when they are on the move.
It is believed that by accessing this entire Internet of Things that companies will be able to effectively tailor marketing messages to their direct market and potential customers. This is encouraging to say the least although it still has to be determined as to how this entire process is going to actually work.
Basically, what we are saying here is that 2017 is going to see Internet Marketing spreading into various new areas or at least those areas where there is a substantial possibility for growth. However, as we said at the outset, there is no way of guaranteeing that the things we have mentioned are going to really take hold in the way that they are expected to. It may be annoying for some, but it is just a prime example of how you need to be alert to all possibilities with your marketing online.
Considering the sheer number of people that use their smartphones in order to surf the Internet, it is no surprise to discover that mobile marketing should really form an integral part of your approach to building your e-commerce brand. Remember, failure to market yourself to this considerable proportion of Internet users can only hamper your attempts to really establish yourself online.
However, in order to do this you do need to spend some time thinking about how to market to them because clearly you want to get the best ROI possible. So, here are five methods that can make life that little bit easier.
1. Make sure your design is responsive.
This is the absolute key, your e-commerce website needs to have a responsive design or else you are going to ruin the experience that the individual is going to have when they check out your website on their smartphone. A responsive design means that the website is going to work beautifully for them and if they are able to navigate, then they are going to be able to buy from you and that is what you want is it not?
2. Use mobile advertising.
There are various avenues to explore when it comes to using mobile advertising and that is obviously going to then have an impact on how smartphone users come across your website. It is always best to consider trying to set aside a reasonable sum of money for this part of your marketing simply because of the returns that you are able to generate in response to this specific form of advertising. Spend time getting to know companies that specialize in this type of marketing as they can help you to build an effective campaign from the ground up that will generate results.
3. Use social media.
Social media is perhaps the main reason why people go onto the Internet via their smartphones, so you want to take advantage of this and make sure that you have built your social media presence right from the very beginning. You should already have all of this set up since it needs to be a central part of your entire marketing, but keeping that point to one side just now, there is a very real need for you to be able to link your social media profiles to your website so that smartphone users can move between the two without any problems. The social media websites are already optimized for mobile users so it is just a case of making sure that they can go from point A to point B.
4. Email marketing.
When we talk about email marketing we are actually being rather specific as we mean marketing that deals purely with it being mobile friendly. Now, you need to capture their addresses by getting them to sign up to your newsletter as you cannot just go ahead and spam people since that is only going to annoy them and really get their back up and that is hardly going to lead to you generating a number of conversions.
However, making sure that the marketing emails that you send out are able to be seen on smartphones and that they can then take the appropriate action is going to make a huge difference to your conversion rates. The people that have signed up for your emails are already showing an interest in what you are doing so they are going to be primed to buy.
5. Remember your content.
Finally, you have to remember your content and there is a very real need for it to convert and this applies even if you are not focusing on mobile marketing. However, people on smartphones are not willing to spend hours trawling through your content so you have to get it right to the point and make sure that they understand what you are saying instantly. It looks horrible when they have to go through line after line of content as they are going to lose interest so even if you do love to write makes sure that you do not go on and on as that is going to be counter-productive for you.
So, there you have it, five ways in which you can help with your mobile marketing and making sure that you boost your e-commerce website. Now, we are not saying that this is going to be a fool proof way of increasing your sales as you still need to make sure that the items you are selling is up to scratch. However, that is all on your own back but do not be afraid to use the services of a company that specializes in Internet marketing and especially mobile marketing because this part of the market is just getting bigger and bigger and there is every chance that you could be losing out on a considerable amount of money if you do not take the correct course of action.
If you have never thought about blogging for your business, then you are probably not aware of the fact that you are doing yourself a huge injustice and making life harder than it has to be. Instead, by just producing a blog on a semi-regular basis it does mean that you are going to be able to benefit from a number of different things that will boost your business in the long term.
For example, people are unaware that business blogging is actually an extremely useful tool for boosting credibility of your business and that is something that can push you ahead of some of your competitors. Furthermore, it allows you to actually engage to a certain extent with the people that visit your website and this engagement can encourage them to then get in touch with you and decide that they do indeed wish to interact.
However, there is a potential problem that we need to address for those individuals that are considering blogging because do it wrong and you will only make life harder.
Here are some mistakes to avoid:
1. Writing to nobody in particular.
The first thing that you must do is to make sure that you are actually writing to an audience and that you have an idea who is going to be reading it before you go ahead with the writing. What are going to be your demographics? What kind of points are you needing to put across with your posts? What do your readers expect to see? Understanding all of this is going to be key to you creating a post that actually has value to it or else there is no point in writing anything at all.
2. Avoiding stale topics.
Another key problem is when you write about a topic that is actually stale in nature. This is a major problem because you are going to find it difficult to then engage with the audience as you have to capture their attention early on or they will simply navigate away and will have the completely wrong impression of your entire business just because of the topics that you have been blogging on.
3. Not giving them something of value.
Each blog post has to have some kind of value to people that are reading it as you have to make sure that by the end of it they feel that it was worth them spending their time checking out your post. In addition, that is going to make them feel as if they have to come back to see what else you have been blogging on and from that you are going to then be more likely to see them making some kind of contact with you in the future.
4. Writing too much.
For this, we have to look at the structure of your blog post because even that is going to play an important role in how your blog posts are perceived by the public. The last thing that you want is for your post to just be a block of text without it being structured correctly. It is also worth considering using lists, bullet points, or even images and video clips to spice things up and to make the entire thing that bit more interesting. Writing too much will mean that your post comes across as being difficult to read and, at times, even boring and that is one thing that you should avoid at all costs.
5. Giving nothing to share.
This ties in yet again with the idea of there having to be a point in your post because it is essential that you give people something that they would then like to share, or discuss in some way, with other people. This does not have to mean that they directly talk about your post, but rather it brings about an interest in something that you have written about that then opens up a discussion. The best part of this is that it does then often mean that the people they are talking to will ask about what was said and where they read it leading to you being able to increase the number of readers you have and do so virally.
Now, we are being honest here in saying that not everybody is going to become an absolute whiz at being a blogger on their business website, but do you want to know something that is extremely important? It is important that you have at least tried with a blog as that is better than nothing existing at all. Also, you should never just start a blog and then have large gaps between posts as that shows that you are not that concerned about it and this can reflect poorly on your entire business.
A business blog is going to reflect well on your company and that has to be the main aim of every company owner as blogging can be a key part of your marketing. Spend time getting it correct and see how it will benefit you in the long term.
We are all used to hearing that the correct web design is going to really make or break your website and that is something that cannot be disputed. However, right now we are going to look at another point that should be taken into consideration, can your design actually prevent you from making sales?
This in itself is an interesting question as it is a point that is often overlooked and that in itself is wrong. To be fair, we are talking more about modern designs rather than things that were the norm a number of years ago and it is all linked to the ever increasing number of tools that are available to the average designer.
Perhaps the main issue is that design can, at times, get in the way of functionality and that is where the problem can develop. It is all fair and well having a nice looking website, but if people are unable to get to where they want to go, or do what they want to do, then is there any point to it in all honesty?
There is also this constant belief that you must have a website that is ‘cool’ and this is one thing that can often get in the way of producing a website that is actually capable of converting and leading to sales. Now, is that not a bit crazy for the focus to be on having something that looks nice rather than having something that actually makes you money?
So the question now is, what designs actually cause an issue?
Too Much Animation.
Using animation on a website is something that has become more popular, but our advice is certainly that less is more. The problem with animation is that it can slow down a page and also act as a distraction. You want people to be able to browse without having them sitting there wondering what is going to happen next and that is a major issue with using animation. We are not saying to avoid it completely, but just think carefully about what it actually does add to your website.
Trying To Be Too Clean.
Another issue is when the designer is trying to be too clean with the website. Now, the last thing that we want is to have a website that is all over the place and messy, but the problem with trying to be too clean is that it can often lead to things being hidden such as the navigation. People really do not mind seeing a menu bar on a website. In actual fact, it is expected to be there so hiding it away just to make something look more minimalist should not be high on your list of priorities.
Having No Actual Call To Action.
One part of the design that can often be missing, and this is the crazy part, is that there is no actual call to action on the website. This really is just madness because you want to have something up there that will tell people that they need to take some kind of action whether it be to contact you, make an appointment online, or to complete that sale. If this is missing, then your website becomes just an information portal and that is one major reason why it will not then convert.
Having A Website That Loads Too Slowly.
The final point we are going to make is that if your website loads too slowly, then you have a major problem. It has been shown that a one second delay in your website loading can result in a drop in conversions of 7%. The difficulty here is that you never know which browser or device the person is going to be using and you also have no idea how powerful their computer is. What this means is that you could be making life so much harder for yourself by trying to be too clever with your site making it very heavy and slow to load. Just look at it this way, if it is slow to load, then people will simply click off and go elsewhere and you then have absolutely no chance of converting them.
Basically, what we are saying is that there are several important factors that must be taken into account when you are designing a website and do not allow yourself to be drawn into some kind of competition where your visitors are always going to be the losers. Do yourself a favor and spend some time studying what others are doing and model yourself on their website as there is a fine line between being too boring and too over the top.
Finally, do not be afraid to voice your disapproval of something that your web designer has come up with as it is better doing that than being left with a website that you hate. Remember, if you hate it, then there is a good chance that your visitors will as well and that alone will have a major impact on your conversion rates.