Archive for April, 2015

Have you tested your website’s UXP?

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

More jargon, sorry. User Experience. It’s actually quite important though.

We decide how we’d like to present our businesses through the kind of website we have, the information we display and the interaction and engagement we hope for. What is missing is testing it through the eyes of a potential visitor. We don’t mean the techies snagging it for programming errors. We don’t mean the marketing person checking it for typos. We don’t mean the HR department making sure it’s compliant.

We want you to ask your clients for feedback – get them to go on a thorough and exhausting “user journey” (more jargon but bear with us). Ask someone you trust (or several people) to really test it out. Send messages through the enquiry system (how long is it til they get a reply, if ever?), download information, read a few pages – get them to really test it out and see what they come up with.

It’ll be well worth the extra work and you’ll end up with a far superior UXP.

Is being mobile-friendly a passing fad?

Saturday, April 18th, 2015

Screen shot 2015-04-18 at 19.08.41There is much talk at the moment about the importance of your website performing well on mobile devices. Some of our clients have asked us about this, assuming it is scare-mongering and needing to know how it affects them.

We don’t know the future, of course. What we do know is that the population is increasingly comfortable looking up information via the internet from wherever they are. Just today, I was looking for a unfamiliar place in the middle of nowhere: I managed to get enough signal together to launch Google Maps on my phone and find my way easily. This is something that we’re all able to engage with.

It would seem that desktop devices are your work-horse – this is where you are productive and get things done. Your browsing is much more likely to be done while¬† you have spare moments traveling, relaxing and even waiting for the kettle to boil. The concept that your phone or tablet is part of your leisure time is not new. We’ve been tutting at the kids for years and now here we are with similar habits!

Making sure your business website does the job on a mobile device is vital. The figures conflict. Some say 50% of searches now done on a mobile device whilst others declare it’s as much as 75%. Whatever the number is, it is important to note that it rising at a crazy rate. If your website doesn’t present itself in an accessible way, your visitors will simply go to one that does. So when your next potential client is assessing your business to see if you could suit their needs, why wouldn’t you make it as easy as possible?

Of course, the current chatter is all about Google down-ranking sites that aren’t mobile-ready. It makes sense – Google wants to provide the best information to people searching online so it has decided to place those with good websites higher than older ones that aren’t designed for mobile display. This comes into effect this week – another good reason to get sorted!

We convert websites into mobile-friendly versions really quickly so ask us if you need to know more.

What is your online brand?

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

Screen shot 2015-04-08 at 10.01.05All businesses have a brand. Some carefully craft theirs (from start to finish) so they are as representative of the company’s culture as possible. Some businesses start life with a designer and maybe an agency for initial support. Others are more laissez-faire and attempt it without expert guidance and others, astoundingly, don’t bother with presentation at all. Where does your firm sit across the scale of branding investment and why does it matter?

Your brand is one of the most important parts of your business. It shows who you are and what you stand for. People are in a rush, they don’t have time to work out what you offer, how good your team is and what brand of coffee you serve at meetings. People (your customers) make judgement calls. We do it all the time when selecting any kind of supplier – are they what I need? Is the company professional, reputable, reliable? Do they offer exactly what I’m looking for? Am I comfortable with this organisation? At selection stage, brand is all anyone has to go on. Therefore if you have a bit of a logo, a forgettable name, a confusing message and a standard looking website, you won’t go far.

Your online brand is an extension of this. As the majority of businesses are found and reviewed online (way before the first phone call), it is really important that you get it right. A strong identity, good recall (memorability), clarity of message (what do you do and for whom do you do it) and consistency across all online platforms (website, social media and electronic communications) are just the starting points for an excellent online brand.

Good pointers for effective online branding include:

  • Imagery – keep it the same/consistent across all platforms
  • Tone of voice – ensure you have one person to edit and proof everything before it is published
  • Clarity – keep it brief with valuable content – what do your customers want to hear/learn?
  • Recycle – use your blog for a number of Facebook posts, tweets and article for your next newsletter. It reinforces your message and makes life easier for you!

Its a crowded marketplace, make sure your brand is seen and heard.

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0121 794 0685