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Making The Most of Your Blog – 3 Top Tips

Your onsite blog can play a key role in drawing customers to your website. However, it is an unfortunate fact that many blogs are not correctly optimised for use and are therefore unlikely to fulfil their potential.

Key Blogging Benefits

Don’t underestimate just how powerful a tool your blog can be. Some of the benefits include:

  • Creating brand awareness
  • Demonstrating industry expertise
  • Engaging your potential customer base
  • Generating leads.
  • + many more

The good news though is that implementing just a few ideas can make all the difference in regards to usability and below we have highlighted 3 tips to help you along the way.

How Engaging Is Your Blog?

No. 1 – Choosing The Right Category

Categories are a key component of any blog. Along with ensuring identifying and accessing archived content becoming much easier, the use of categories for your content also helps to classify and silo your content into topically themed pages.

Please Note – It is important to ensure that you limit the number of categories your blog utilises. It can be all too easy to misuse categories, with a common mistake being the creation of a new category for each post that is added. For any small to medium sized blogs, somewhere from 10 to 15 categories are likely to be all that is needed.

No. 2 – Choosing ‘Catchy’ Titles

The vast majority of bloggers are well versed in the importance of targeting relevant keywords in their efforts to get their blog noticed. Whilst including keywords and keyword variations in your copy is good practice, don’t stop there! Varying the title of the blog post and the title tag element is another crucial step in helping to enhance the effectiveness of your blog.

Failure to do this will not negatively impact SEO but by taking the steps needed to vary your article title and title tag and working in alternative keywords, your content will be able to work even harder for you.

Top Tip – The more keyword variations in your content, the more opportunities your content has to rank in more searches.

There are a number of SEO plugins that allow you to vary post title and title tag, but our personal favourite is the free – WordPress SEO Plugin

No. 3 – Make It Easier To Share

The additional of social sharing buttons is a proven prompt for people to share content resulting in the improved distribution of your content via social channels. This can also help to expose your content to new audiences.

From an effectiveness perspective, the more people that share your content, the greater the chances of getting mentions and all important back links. Also sharing helps your content get discovered faster; and the quicker it’s found, the sooner it shows up in the index.

Shareaholic is our favourite social sharing plugin for WordPress and can be easily installed.

Social Media

Further Information

If you’d like to speak to use regarding how we can help you to use web design to grow your company, give us a call on 01883 372488 or contact us via Facebook and we’ll be happy to talk you through your options.

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By | September 18th, 2018|Blogging|Comments Off on Making The Most of Your Blog – 3 Top Tips

The Top 3 Reasons Why Your Business MUST Have a Website

Do you search online when looking for products or services? With so many people now turning to online searches when looking for assistance, the time to ensure that your business has a presence on the internet is now.

There are still a surprising number of small businesses without a website to showcase their products/services. Whether this is because of concerns regarding expensive set-up costs or time consuming maintenance is a bit of a mystery but the truth is, if your business does not have a website, you are missing out!

Below, we have identified 3 of the main reasons why you small business MUST have a website.

No. 1 – Reaching Your Local Audience

There are a variety of facts and figures which highlight that an increasing number of customers are searching for locally based products and services on at least a monthly basis.

Without the presence of a well optimised website, you are missing out on a huge amount of potential business. Even worse, not only are you not in a position to capitalise on these searches, there is every chance that your competitors will be.

Google Maps SEO

No. 2 – Long Term Marketing Solutions

Websites offer a form of marketing that just keeps on giving. As opposed to alternative forms of advertising such as flyers, newspaper ads, radio ads etc, which need a little too much luck to be effective, websites are designed to be accessible at a time when your customers actually need your services.

Providing 24/7 access to your products and services in a convenient fashion simply could not be more effective.

No. 3 – The Ideal Shop Window For Crucial Information

Even if you do not wish to sell any products online, your website still offers the ideal platform to showcase all of the important pieces of information about your business.

Your website can be tailored to provide your customers with quick and easy access to an array of information including contact details, images, directions, FAQ, terms and conditions along with much more.

Further Information

If you’d like to speak to use regarding how we can help you to use web design to grow your company, give us a call on 01883 372488 or contact us via Facebook and we’ll be happy to talk you through your options.

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By | September 11th, 2018|Web Design|Comments Off on The Top 3 Reasons Why Your Business MUST Have a Website

Facebook Ratings and Reviews Have Changed!

Ratings and reviews have changed. Not our words, the words of Facebook and these changes have now made it easier for people to recommend your page than ever before.

The ‘Old’ Rating System Has Been Retired

Facebook have retired the old start rating system. This now means that when your customers would like to leave a review, they now have the option of either choosing to recommend or not recommend your page.

The addition of the recommendation tool to the platform is helping to make it easier than ever before to discover new events, places, services and things to do in the area, simply by calling upon the advice of family and friends. The process has been designed to be efficient and easy to use and should your customer wish to interact with you, the addition of the new call-to-action buttons will allow them to contact you within just a few seconds.

A Great Opportunity

This update provides a huge opportunity for businesses (particularly those with a focus on local areas) as when someone recommends your business, your FB page will be tagged, which in turn will pull in a rich snippet showing your total reviews.

With reviews playing an increasingly important role in SEO, they are also essential to help potential customers realise that they are dealing with a trusted business.

A Few Keys To Help Generate Recommendations

As with generating reviews, it can be a little tricky to actually get people to take the time to leave a recommendation. However, we have outlined a few tips below which can help along the way.

  • Provide regular updates. People are very unlikely to recommend a page that hasn’t been updated for weeks
  • Ensure your business details are all up to date and correct. Include your bio, website, phone, address
  • Add a ‘call to action’ button to your page. Either a ‘Contact Us’ or ‘Message’ button can be really useful for customers.
  • Choose a great profile image (Don’t forget that this will be used in the snippet when your page is tagged)

Even More Good News!

We understand that no-one likes receiving a bad review! Whilst FB did offer the chance to respond to any poor (and positive) review which was very helpful, one of the major problems with the previous system was it was all too easy for someone to create a fake account and leave a malicious 1* review with no content. It was not possible to report or remove these reviews and this caused problems with the average rating.

Thanks to the implementation of the new system, it is now possible to report reviews which are clearly inaccurate or malicious to FB to allow them to take a closer look.

Contact Us

We’d love to talk to you about your FB page and how it can be used to benefit your business and it’ll cost you nothing to have a chat. Why not give us a call on 01883 372488 or contact us via Facebook to see how we can help your business to create an online presence with our web design services that will help you leave your competition behind.

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By | September 4th, 2018|Social Media|Comments Off on Facebook Ratings and Reviews Have Changed!

The Top 10 Elements For Any Successful Website

With so many elements all pulling together to create a website it can be all too easy to get lost in the small details and forget the basics which are crucial to help a website be a success.

By sticking to the basics and creating a great design around these basics, you will quickly find that your website can become an invaluable tool in your marketing arsenal.

From simple navigation and ensuring that you project an obvious call-to-action to other crucial elements, we have compiled our list of the top 10 elements your website must include to help maximise the chances of success.

  1. Navigation – Keep The Navigation Simple

Simple to use and easily accessible navigation is absolutely essential if you want to ensure that visitors to your website do not get confused.

Establish a hierarchy of pages so that the most of important information is highlighted.

  1. Colours – Choosing The Perfect Colour Scheme

The majority of businesses need continuity and therefore basing the colour scheme of your website on any existing colour scheme is without doubt the way to go.

Based upon your logo, your stationary, your uniform, if you already have an identity, your shiny new website should be an extension of this.

Again, keep it simple, it is very easy to fall into the common trap of forcing too many colours into a website. Your pages should be easy on the eye and not hard to look at.

  1. Images – Use Striking Images To Stand Out From The Crowd

As the saying goes, ‘a picture can tell a thousand words’. Keep the written content on your website to a minimum and use striking and attractive images wherever possible to paint a picture illustrating your products and services.

Stunning visuals on your web page can play a pivotal role in helping to draw visitors to your website.

  1. Call To Action – Make It Clear!

What do you want your customer to do? Do you want them to make a purchase? Do you want them to contact you? Do you want them to call you? Do you want them to sign up for your newsletter?

Each and every page on your website should offer an easy to follow gateway to an action.

To ensure that any visitor knows exactly what they need to do, make sure that all on-site ‘call-to actions’ are obvious and highly visible on the page.

  1. Important Information – Who Are You? What Do You Do?

Not everyone who visits your website will know exactly what you do. They may visit your website looking for one thing but you may offer a product or service which is even more perfect!

Ensure that you offer a snippet of information at the bottom of each page (possibly in the footer of your website) which gives a small breakdown of who you are, what you do and where you do it.

  1. Business Contact Details – Easy To Access Contact Information

Your NAP (Name, Address and Phone Number) should be clearly visible on all pages to ensure that visitors do not have to go hunting for the correct details should they want to contact you.

People have little time nowadays and even less patience. If the required details aren’t readily available, they won’t go looking for them!

  1. Social Media – Add Links To Your Social Media Channels

Social Media is perhaps the best possible way of opening up lines of communication with your customers. Free and easy to use, if you have any plans of utilising this fast moving method of online advertising, ensure that links to all of the main channels are linked to your website.

The main channels to target are:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  1. Mobile Friendliness – Take The Steps To Ensure Your Website Is Mobile Friendly

The balance has officially tipped. More people are now conducting their online searches via mobile devices (phones and tablets) than via desktops and laptops. Therefore it is now absolutely essential that your website displays in a user-friendly method on all devices.

Please Note – The development of a dedicated application could also help to enhance the usability of your website still further.

  1. Loading Speed – How Quickly Does Your Website Load?

How quickly do you move on to another site if the site you wish to browse doesn’t load straight away? If you are the same as us, it won’t take long!

If you feel that way, you should certainly expect your visitors to the feel the same. You should ensure that your website is optimised to load quickly and choose a host offering a fast service.

  1. Optimisation – Ensure Your Website Is Fully Optimised

An effective, well functioning website doesn’t just look good, it actually works! Broken links can damage the user experience. A poorly worded page can damage the user experience. Too many steps to make a purchase can damage the user experience.

Creating a website which delivers the ideal experience for any visitor will not only help to increase the chances of them turning into a paying customer, it also increases the chances of them passing your details to family and friends in the form of recommendation.

In Summary

There are many different elements of web design which pull together to help create the perfect website. We believe that by following the list of 10 elements outlined above, you will be well on the way. However, it’s much easier to leave it to the professionals and the wealth of experience offered by the Footprint Web Design team can help to ensure that your website ticks all of the right boxes.

Contact Us

We’d love to talk to you about your project and it’ll cost you nothing to have a chat. Why not give us a call on 01883 372488 or contact us via Facebook to see how we can help your business to create an online presence with our web design services that will help you leave your competition behind.

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By | August 26th, 2018|Web Design|Comments Off on The Top 10 Elements For Any Successful Website

How To Create The Perfect User Experience

By creating a positive user experience for visitors, you have a far greater chance of your visitor either becoming a customer or at least being prepared to visit your website again in the future when the time is right.

The creation of a website which looks great and is easy to navigate plays a critical role in offering a top user experience and below we have identified 3 of our top tips to help take the experience to a higher level.

1.    Usability & User Experience Are Not Always The Same Thing

A common mistake for many web designers involves confusing user experience with usability. Whilst they can influence each other, they are not the same thing.

To help break this down a little further, the fundamental difference is as follows:

User experience means that visitors to your website want to user it whereas usability means that a person can easily use it.

Although offering a good user experience is very important because it means your visitors will enjoy browsing your website, there are no guarantees that the site would be usable.

How To Create The Perfect User Experience

2.    Less Can be More

Cluttered websites can be a nail in the coffin in regards to usability. Too confusing, too difficult to navigate, contains too much information, are all common complaints. Any of these will result in a very strong chance that users will find their experience to be a poor one.

Minimalist designs often make websites easier to take in and use, increasing their chances of being effective.

Top Tip – Find the right balance by ensuring that your website does not make users search too hard to find information whilst not overloading them at the same time.

3.    Offer a Safe Browsing Experience

People are more switched on to the risks posed by ineffective online security than ever before. If your visitors have concerns about the security of your website, they will not make either online or in-app purchases.

Customers are quite rightly vary wary of having their data stolen when shopping online. For this reason amongst others, they are far more likely to use websites they know and trust to make purchases.

Take all steps possible to ensure that your website is as secure as possible.

Further Information

Footprint specialise in creating bespoke websites designed to help take your business to another level. We have been providing web design Surrey since 1998 and if you’d like to speak to us regarding any of our services, give us a call on 01883 372488. Alternatively, contact us via Facebook and we’ll be happy to talk you through your options.

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By | August 19th, 2018|Web Design|Comments Off on How To Create The Perfect User Experience
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