Category Archives: Creative

How’s your website performing for you?

Now that we’re into 2017, a lot of businesses will be thinking about how to refresh their marketing efforts and one thing that often gets overlooked is web design. It might have only been a couple of years since you refreshed it – however it’s not always about appearance…as with many things in life!

This is about more than just how your website looks. You also need to think about the kind of user experience (UX) that people will get when they visit your website and how it reflects on your business and your ROI that you’re looking to measure.

If your web design is making it harder than it needs to be for people to use your site, improving your UX should be a big focus for the year ahead.

There are various aspects to good UX and some of the key trends you’ll want to think about include:

Effortless Navigation

When it comes to web design, less is definitely more these days. A simple website that is easy to navigate goes a long way towards improving UX. From a functionality viewpoint, this is great for users as it means faster loading times and less hassle for finding the information they need.

One aspect that differentiates a good website from a great website is multi-platform functionality. This is the ability to display your website and its contents on any device. This could be your PC, tablet or mobile phone. Not only does it benefit your customer as a user, it is also benefits you as a business as google are now ranking websites on if they are mobile friendly or not.

High Quality Images

Obvious looking stock photos are a big no no and can come across as generic and dated. Not the look you want your website to have! By all means use stock images if they look nice and subtle but be careful of using those including people’s faces as fashions.

Investing in more unique images and hiring a photographer to come in for the day will give your website an authentic and professional feel and there’s a lot more opportunity to create images that fit your branding.

This is also an effective way to show off your brand’s personality and set yourself apart from the competition. You really want to stand out and not look like you’ve created an ‘off the shelf looking’ site.

Being Human

Your website is a portal to your customers and it’s easy to get carried away in the jargon. Try not to sound like a robot and remember who your target audience are, set and agree a copy writing tone and keep it consistent.

Being too corporate in your web design can mean you’re missing out on a way to build trust and loyalty with customers. So, don’t be afraid to mix personal and professional so that your website visitors can get a better feel of who is behind your brand. Images and videos are good ways to do this. B2B is blending more with B2B style marketing nowadays – don’t be afraid to blur those lines.

Flat Colours Versus Semi Flat Colours

The use of flat colours really took off in 2016 and this looks set to carry on into this year too.

This web design trend makes for a simple but effective look and the lack of shadow or similar details means you can draw the eye to exactly where you want with no distractions.

On the other hand, using purely flat colour isn’t always best for helping website visitors to take the steps you want. They can sometimes make links hard to see. This is one reason why there has also been a trend towards using semi flat colours with light and shade involved. You still get the main benefits of using flat colour but the usability issues are ironed out and your site’s look has some depth to it.

Your website design is much more than just the visuals of how your site looks; don’t forget about making sure that it ticks the right boxes for functionality too. These are going to be even more important in 2017 and also something that keeps the Google Gods happy too.  It’s all one big virtuous circle you see!

We could go on and talk about CRO and how to use Call To Actions effectively but we’ll save that for another time. If you’re looking to update your website this year, we can project the whole thing for you by working with our trusted team of associates including brand experts and excellent developers. Get in touch.

When preparing a new marketing strategy, it’s common for companies to think about really going for it and getting a total rebrand of their business too – but is it always the best move?

 

Last Thursday evening I was lucky enough to attend one of the region’s Northern Stars event, run by Tech North.

The idea behind Northern Stars is that digital start-ups were invited to enter a competition – taking place in Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and Sunderland.

My favourite time of year is nearly upon us. Why Autumn? Well it stems from literally ‘growing up’ and carving out my career in the marketing events business…I have enjoyed plenty of years marketing events all spring and summer ready for the last push to get bums on seats in the Autumn.

I’ll no doubt cover hints and tips on event and conference marketing on my future blogs, but for now I’ll focus on one of the region’s largest events – mostly aimed at SMEs – the North East Expo. This November, it’s in conjunction with Manufex.

When I decided to do a rebrand and launch of McDonough Marketing Communications, I needed to not only find the right design agency to create it for me, but I also needed to figure out what my core brand values were and how I wanted them to come to life.