The Times They Are A-Changin’ For Web Designers

I have the questionable honour of being able to say I was one of those web designers who got caught up in the frenzy of the dot.com bubble and taken for a ride. In the course of a single year I went from designing and building boutique sites for local restaurants to being paid thousands of dollars a week by international conglomerates to ‘stand by’ in case my services were needed.

With dozens of clients for each competent designer we were the rock stars of the new millennium – complete with first-class, all-expenses-paid trips to visit potential clients – until the rug was pulled out from under my kind in March of 2000. A year later I was competing with 50 other out of work designers to make a couple of banner ads for a local car dealer.

The aura (stain?) of that time has followed me ever since and even though I’m no longer directly involved in the business I still get asked by people if I can recommend a good web designer or design company to build or manage their site.

Elvis Has Left the Building

In a way I’m flattered that people still think of me as some sort of expert. The reality, however, is that  the web design landscape has shifted so dramatically in the past 10 years that I can no more tell you who the truly competent designers are today than I could tell you why Elvis always left the building without doing an encore.

Still, I understand people’s quandary when it comes to finding a web designer. With giants like Google now basically dictating the rules of engagement you need someone who is proficient in all facets of SEO as well as in what constitutes clean, intuitive design or you’re throwing your money away. How do you find such an individual?

Start By Asking the Right Questions

I can’t tell you exactly who the best people are but I can suggest some ways that you can weed out the frauds. Start by posing some direct questions to your prospective designer.

·         How did you become a web designer?

·         What was the last website you designed?

·         Have you ever designed a website for a company in this sector?

·         Do you design from the ground up or use a template?

·         Who owns the website when it’s finished?

Follow By Giving Examples

If your designer made it through the first round of questions show them examples of websites you’d like yours to emulate. You’ll never wind up with the exact same thing but it’s a better way to get the conversation going than saying “I want a website. You know, to do business.”

Be Clear About Your Web Design Objectives

·         This is our budget

·         This is what I want from the website (subscribers, sales, traffic)

·         I want these special functions (use example websites to demonstrate)

·         I want our in-house staff trained to update the site (or not)

If you’re clear about your objectives, can provide examples of what you want and vet your designer or design company thoroughly you are likely to wind up with a website that delivers on your goals.

Effective Marketing Methods New Start-ups Should Try

As a new start-up you’re looking for a way to boost your business, in fact that is pretty much the goal of all businessmen. After all big business means big money. As a business owner myself I had to figure out marketing the hard way. Here are a few tips that I can highly recommend.

Social Media

Social media is a great way to increase your following and interact with potential clients. The benefits of building a relationship with your clients not only means they will place more trust in your business means there is also potential for a referral.

social_media

Website

Every business owner needs a website. It’s a great way for potential customers to access vital information about your business. A well built website represents the quality of your work. Having a website also speeds up the conversion chain in that most website viewers are ready to buy.Website

Leaflet Distribution

If you are targeting a local area a leaflet distribution campaign works magnificently. It’s like your business is being delivered straight to your local target audience. It is a perfect way to not only build up your brand but to also generate conversions. A local distributions company would be better so visit www.essex-distributions.com.blog-image-main-benefitsofleafletdistribution2

SEO

In simple terms this is an organic way to help your business rank in Google.

Through methods such as link building and on site SEO your business’ website authority is increased and so will your Google rankings.googleseo

Paid Advertisement

Through paid adverts, like a pay per click Google advert campaign your website can generate an audience simply through keywords. Unfortunately these campaigns can costly but in the end the return profit is worth it.ppc

 

 

 

 

What is Foil Block Printing?

Foil Block Printing has been around for a long time

Societies throughout the world have been using gold leaf as decoration and design for as long as they have been beautifying their tools, homes, and other items. It originated as an artisan craft, which was accomplished completely by hand. It was a skill that was very finely honed, and was well respected within societies. The ancient Egyptians used to beat down gold into thin gold leaf, and apply it to a variety of goods, including vases, clothing, and manuscripts. In medieval Europe, skilled artisans would spend hours upon hours, days upon days painstakingly detailed illuminated manuscripts, beating the gold to a miniscule flatness, and adding it to the volume. Thankfully for them, literacy was at a low at that time, and the desire for books was minimal. This process of placing gold leaf onto books and other manuscripts was known as free leaf stamping. Every aspect of the creation of these manuscripts was done by hand, from the sizing of the book covers, to the beating and placing of the gold leafing onto the books. Gold leaf was often used, but so were bronze and other pliable materials. The entire process of the creating foil block printing was extremely tedious and time consuming, especially when considering how much faster today’s process is. Rather than beating down each gold leafing into a small, thin layer, we have machines that can help us achieve the same beauty and elegance.Crane-Stationery-Foil-Stamping-Gold-Foil-Die-Cut

Modern Foil Block Printing

Modern foil block printing is also known as hot foiling. It has its basis in traditional hand printing. It is still considered a skilled artisan craft, due to the perfection and skill required to make a beautiful product. The first step is to create the metal plate, or metal stamp, and engrave it with your design. That design can be as simple or as elegant as you like, from emblems to landscapes to names. This metal plate is then warmed up and heated, not too hot so that it burns the paper or card, but warm enough to cement the foil onto the paper. The plate is pressed strongly onto the card or paper with a sheet of your foil sitting between the plate and the sheet. When the plate is removed, the paper is decorated with a gorgeous metallic foil block print.

While many printing companies claim to be able to print foil block printing, they are not all equal. Foil block printing is an artisan craft that requires skill and patience, and not every company is willing to put that time and effort in. One company that is exceptionally qualified is Ashley Print and Design. Whether you need foil block printing for wedding invitation, graduation announcements, party invitations, or any other need you may have, Ashley Print and Design can fulfill and exceed your expectations. Ashley Print and Design can created foil emboss, deep sinking embosses, and foil prints for all of your printing needs. To learn more about Ashley Print and Design, click here.

The Importance of Infographics

A new wave of marketing has struck. Although let’s face it there is not much difference to the good old poster advertising infographics are now central to a buissnesses marketing scheme. But what exactly is an infographic? For those who don’t already know an infographic is a combination of information with graphic design. The content is central to the design of an infographic with the sole purpose of informing the audience. Modernmarketer

The reason why infographics are so important is purely that it is a more digestable form of information. What normally would be a large block of jargon that tends to drive an audience away is replaced with graphics and important key text. Or to simply put it, bitesize information. Although the complexity of producing an infographic may be threatening the benefits by far out weigh the production process.

Infographics’ existence however has not just magically appeared but merely the number of infographics has increased. A simple explanation for this is due to numerous companies now recognising how important infographics are. If you aren’t one of those companies then you should definitely consider hiring a company like http://www.bulldoginfographics.com before it’s too late.

One of the main ways in which the benefits of infographics can be determined by the profit increase. In addition the increased conversions means more sales and customers. If you need more information just look at local marketing websites that can offer you advice on how an infographic could best help your company.

Lastly if you believe that in hiring a consultant you will be restricted the reality is that you are completely free to delegate your ideas and will have free reign on the information and content.

 

Hiring an SEO Company in Wales

Although there are a lot of SEO companies today, it is important to choose the right one. Hiring an SEO company in Wales is not an easy feat. You have to ensure that you hire the right one.

SEO or search engine optimisation is a must if you want to improve your online presence. Here are the services that you should look for when hiring an SEO company in Wales:

  1. Extensive Search Engine Optimisation – Of course, you should hire an SEO company that has extensive experience in SEO. You should look at the reviews and ensure that you are picking the right one. Not all SEO companies are the same. Different SEO companies have different techniques. You have to make sure to pick the SEO company that employs white hat SEO techniques. This way, your site will not be penalized by Google and other search engines.
  1. Web design and development – Some SEO techniques may impact the look of your website and the content. So, it is important to pick an SEO company who has a team of highly skilled web developers.
  1. Mobile advertisers – It is also important to pick a company that offers application development. This is important in case you want to venture in mobile advertising.
  1. Email marketing – It is important to pick an SEO and web advertising agency who also engages in email marketing. Email marketing is an effective way to communicate with your clients and it is also an effective way to market your products.
  1. Social media marketing – Everyone has a social media account nowadays, so it is important to reach out to your clients using social networking sites.Hire an SEO company that helps you build your social media presence.
  1. Online reputation management – Online reputation is important so you should hire a company that helps you strengthen your online reputation.

It is also important to hire a company that has good customer service. When hiring an SEO Services Cardiff company, it is important to pick the one that has friendly staff that will cater to your unique needs.It is also important to hire an SEO company that provides advanced and detailed SEO marketing strategies. Above all, pick the one that offers a lot of value for your money. You need to pick the one who has a good pricing cap and the one that provides more services at a lesser cost. Remember that hiring the right SEO company is an investment that will yield great results.

Tips to Get the Most Out of Web Design: Trends for 2015

 Get the most out of the web design trends for 2015. Web design is dynamic that keeping yourself aware of the trends and making them work for you will surely bring you much benefit.

Go for Responsive Web Design

Responsive web design or RWD continues to be the trend for 2015. It’s the trend that has become a necessity for every site that wishes to grow their market share.

This type of design enables your site to look good on any device that your visitors use to view your content. Statistics show that most of the recommendations come from consumers accessing the web through their mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, or phablets.

Always choose a local Web Designer similar to Web Design Surrey, try and avoid overseas designers due to different timezones.

Thus, you are better off to design your web pages that respond to different screen sizes well. Shifting to RWD will also enable you to save on cost that you would otherwise spend in building different versions of your website.

Here are the typical characteristics of a responsive design:

  • Site displays properly regardless of the size of the screen
  • Your images resize automatically to fit the environment
  • Web pages appear proportional with fluid grids
  • Easy to navigate whether users use the mouse or touchscreen

Keep Your Design Simple

Simple designs are still one of the top web design trends for 2015. In fact, users consider websites with simple designs as more visually pleasurable than those sites with sophisticated designs.

Users tend to favour websites that have:

  • Fewer pages
  • Easy to scroll and navigate
  • Sufficient white space
  • Bigger images with high resolution

Results from a joint study by the Harvard University with the Universities of Colorado and Maryland reveal that the majority of the subjects (with different demographic profile) consider websites with simple designs as more visually appealing than websites with complex designs.

The scientific explanation is that simple designs make it easy for the brain and the eyes to process site content. Complex designs are not only heavy on the eyes, but they also make the brain work harder.

Focus on the functionality of your website more than its visuals. Finding the good balance is best. This empowers you to benefit the most from web design trends for 2015.

 

 

Building Town Landing Pages To Help Your Local SEO

Today, I’m going to show you can rank for areas your service covers but doesn’t physically have an office there.

Build local landing pages, take your domain, create a new page and call it /{keyword}-{town}. Example: SEO Essex. Next, pack the page with content (around 300-400 words). Make sure this is unique, any duplicate content can run you into Panda problems (some content algorithm Google have!).

Then, create a sitemap within your footer to pass your juice around and job done. Create as many as you physically can local to you! You’ll gradually pickup more and more traffic.

A good example of a local businesses dominating their industry locally (within Essex) are The Lock Father & Kings Cuts Romford.

Try it, if you struggle to pull in more traffic I will close this blog down. It will work, trust me :D.