Gain The Advantage With A Mobile Website

There are plenty of businesses in specific industries that would greatly benefit from having a mobile version of their website. It may be that these businesses have not yet realised just what a great benefit having a mobile website is to the growing number of people who are browsing the internet on their mobile devices.Housemart mobile website nz shred mobile website aviva mobile website

As Shown Above: Responsive Websites

Housemart.co.nz - this property management company choose to have a responsive website for the ease of their customers, some of whom will be using their mobile device to browse their website while physically visiting properties.

NZShred.co.nz - this skate, surf and street clothing store found that a responsive site best suits their customers who may local and shopping around, or among the bulk of season tourists who can view their range and location via their website on a mobile device.

avivafamilies.org.nz - instead of limiting the support that Aviva Families offer, to those browsing their site on their home computer, this company choose a responsive website so they can offer their expert family support to anyone, anywhere, with a site that is simple to view and navigate at home or on a mobile device.

 

 

BUSINESSES THAT WOULD BENEFIT FROM A MOBILE WEBSITE

I have chosen the following industries that would greatly benefit from having a mobile version of their website, based on the fact that a high percentage of people looking for these particular businesses are likely to be looking for them while browsing on a mobile device - be it a phone, tablet or iPad. People looking for these businesses are likely to be on the move rather than be sitting at a home computer.

  • Hotels
  • Motels
  • Restaurants
  • Schools
  • Takeaway businesses, ie. fish & chips / pizzerias / bakeries
  • Sports facilities – fitness centres / swimming pools
  • Dentists
  • Beauty Salons / Day Spas
  • Hair dressers
  • Auto services

Mobile Browsing for TravellersWHAT LOCAL PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FOR ON THEIR MOBILE DEVICES

Local people who are out and about may decide on the spur of the moment to visit a hairdresser, beauty salon or even a gym or swimming pool, and rather than go home to look on a computer they may want to book an appointment, get in contact, or simply find the opening hours or contact details of a business while out and about and browsing on their mobile device.

After all, deciding in the moment to get your hair done, or visit a gym, is the freedom that we enjoy from not having to always plan ahead, and the internet is the key to finding our location of choice through the flexibility of viewing a mobile website. And then there’s those unexpected times when you’re on the move and a friend urgently calls and says “can you pickup my son/daughter from school?” You want to look for their schools' website on your phone and quickly find the schools location and contact details. Are you making it easy for people to find you?

 

WHAT TRAVELLERS AND TOURISTS ARE LOOKING FOR ON THEIR MOBILE DEVICES

As a tourist in a new town, you may want to find a café or restaurant that serves a particular dish, so you will be browsing on your mobile device for a local takeaway such as fish n’ chips, indian, chinese or even pizza while you explore the town. Alternatively you may be looking for a local bar or restaurant to dine in, and want to find out their opening hours and the meals they have available.

As a traveller you may have a call from a friend; "plane's been delayed, we have a free day! Where can we go snowboarding, hire gear and find transport, and what hours are they available? Can we book online right now?" People want the ability to find this information quickly and efficiently.

Your car breaks down and you're on the road. Is there a mechanic with a mobile website where I can find their information and get help? Is there a motel nearby?

Does your website provide this information to a mobile device in a format specific to this kind of browsing? Trying to browse a normal website on a mobile device is frustrating and time-consuming and requires a lot of scrolling around the page.

Housemart Mobile Websites

 

Shown Above: Responsive site vs Regular website on a Mobile

ABOVE LEFT: The image above shows what the whole Housemart website would view like on a mobile device. It clearly does not fit the format and will require a lot of zooming in and scrolling around the page to find what the information you need.

ABOVE RIGHT: This image show the responsive housemart.co.nz website as it would auto-resize to fit the mobile phone format. This information is much easier to view, and navigating the site to find select information is simple.

 

THE BENEFITS OF A MOBILE WEBSITE

A Mobile Website is a version of your website specifically created to make it easier to find the most important information quickly and clearly. If your competition has a mobile site and you don't, you're at a disadvantage because mobile browsing is becoming the norm, and people are looking for sites on their mobiles that are simple and straightforward.

For more information on mobile websites, see our Mobile Website page. Browsing the internet is about speed and efficiency, and if a site looks too complex then people will exit right out again to find a site that more clearly offers what they are looking for.

In the competitive world of online marketing, we need to anticipate what our target market are looking for, and ensure we are providing that information in the easiert format possible.

Contact us to discuss having a Mobile Website created for your business, today.

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Posted in Website Design

Almost Perfect Websites

.... AND THE FRUSTRATION THEY CAUSE WITH THEIR NEAR-AWESOMENESS.

I do a lot of web surfing and if something catches my eye at a show, in a brochure at the fish & chip shop, in a magazine or newspaper, or something mentioned on TV or in conversation, I'll note down the business/product/service in a notebook or on my phone and look it up later, as most of us nowadays do.

What I struggle with, both as a designer and a website surfer, is the almost perfect website.

frustration_cartoon

I'm not going to mention any specific examples, even though in many cases I am dying to flick them a quick email to say "your website would be sooo much more user-friendly if you'd just.....". It is simply my hope that some will read this and think - Yes! It would be better if my website did that! Let's make that happen.

A lot of these things are not large and costly changes, just simple adjustments to the layout, or adding programming to adjust the behaviour of a website feature. Often enough a website just needs to be recognised as the important business asset that it is, and gain the attention that it deserves, to update content, add QUALITY images and keep the site interesting and easy to use.

 

  • CAN YOU add and change your own content on your website?
  • ARE YOU paying your website company to make ALL website changes for you?
  • WOULD YOU like a website in a Content Management System (CMS) that has been created specifically to be Client-Friendly? Allowing you to make your own changes, add pages and update your website at your convenience and at no extra cost?

If the answer is YES - take a look at our own in-house CMS System WEB EDIT PRO. As this is a system we have created, it is different to the publicly available CMS systems used by a lot of website companies today. Web Edit Pro has been created specifically for Client-use, rather than Programmer-use so it is very user friendly as opposed to systems such as Wordpress, Silverstripe and Joomla! A main benefit of our system is that there is less risk of it being hacked, such as what the publicly available systems face. It's a frightening fact that if a system is hacked it effects every website that runs on it, as what happened to OS Commerce in 2011. Do your know what CMS system your website runs on?

The Points of Frustration of Almost Perfect Websites TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR WEBSITE :

  1. CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE - opens the same size image in a pop-up box. Very frustrating. When we click for a larger image, we want to see a larger image. If there isn't one - remove this feature.
  2. IMAGE SCROLLING - often when you click for a larger image you can scroll through the rest of the images at this larger size. Great anti-frustration feature!
  3. LIMITED IMAGES - if you only display x8 images per page, then I have to click 'next', or 'page 2' to see more, it's frustrating. Sites work great when they display all images at once so all that's required is to scroll down. Some sites have a drop-down option to "display x20 images per page" or "display x200 images per page" which is awesome.
  4. NO NAVIGATION ON SOME PAGES - web surfers expect to see the full site navigation on every page, if we can't we can feel 'lost'. You can have the main page buttons on every page, or even simple text links as a header or footer on other pages works great!
  5. ALTERED PAGE NAMES - "home base" or "website HQ" as alternative names for your 'home page' is clever... but we don't want clever on our navigation - we want instantly recognisable and relevant! Keep it simple with standard page names.
  6. NAVIGATION THAT MOVES - it's a small detail but navigation that is in a different place on each page is frustrating. For example viewing a gallery of images but having to shift the mouse slightly to click the next button on each image makes me grind my teeth. It's not hard to ensure that when you are viewing images in a box, that the box and 'next' arrows stay in the same place for each image, even if the image dimensions change slightly.
  7. CONTACT PAGE MISSING INFORMATION - we've spent time finding your website only to find that the standard information we want is not there. Frustrating? Heck yeah. Contact pages should ideally contain the following ;
    • Phone number + cellphone if available
    • Email address
    • Physical address + map
    • A photo of your premises - goes a long way to making visitors feel confident they can find you.
    • Opening hours / hours of availability
    • A Contact Form
    • Link to signup to your newsletter. Click for info on our ActiveMail Newsletter System.
  8. A LINK OR NOT A LINK, THAT IS THE QUESTION - Links need to be obvious. Use a button graphic or box frame, underlining links also helps. Additionally any text links in your content (very helpful to have) should be a different colour and perhaps be underlined. Use a well-known method of making a link look and behave like a link. It's doesn't need to be pretty, but it does need to be pretty obvious.
  9. PHOTOS PHOTOS PHOTOS - I look through lots of galleries and see images that aren't worthy of what I know to be the exceptional quality of what is actually produced! Or not enough images! Never underestimate the importance of photos on your website as surfers are far more likely to judge your website on the power of your images alone, simply because it's the fastest way to view what you represent, and the internet is all about making information easier and faster to access!
  10. WRITTEN CONTENT - A lot of sites I come across don't offer content that does the business justice, and that's nobody's fault - after all we can't all be professional writers. Read through your content to ensure it's relevant and update regularly if possible. We offer a Content Writing Service if you need to enhance your business information with keyword-rich content from our experience content writing expert... me! What I do is basically do a casual interview-type discussion either over the phone or in person, to gain content for the specific pages / topics you wish to feature. It's a hassle-free way to get effective website content to advertise you to both web surfers and internet search engines alike.
  11. HAVING AN "ABOUT US" PAGE - A surprising number of websites don't write about themselves! They're missing out! An 'about us' page is a great way of showcasing your business legitimacy - showing how much experience you have in your industry, perhaps mentioning staff if you don't have a 'team page', and telling the story of how you got to be where you are now.

 So to sum up, here's some brief key points of how to lessen frustration for website visitors like me ;

  • If a feature doesn't do what it's supposed to - remove it.
  • The less clicks the better. No matter what information a viewer may want to see on your site, make the amount of clicks that they have to click to get there be a maximum of 3. The more clicks, the more likely your viewer will get frustrated and leave your website.
  • Keep the template and navigation standard and the design innovative and original, not the other way around.
  • Lock the navigation into the same place on all your website pages.

As always, feel free to CONTACT US for any more information or to discuss how we can enhance your website.

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Posted in Website Design

Stella Enterprises

Recent website design for www.stellaenterprises.co.nz

Stella

 

 

 

 

 

 

Incorporating the four main specialist areas of their business into one easy-to-navigate website. Stella offers pump hire, fuel services, traffic management services and a range of hire equipment.

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Posted in Website Design

Koru Clinic

New website design & creation for http://www.koruskin.co.nz

Christchurch clinic offering facial peels and body treatments among many other therapeutic beauty treatments done by medical staff and trained professionals.

Koru pic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Website Design

Multi-tasking when it comes to choosing a business, product or service.

In a recently released Google report it was found that 85 percent of New Zealanders regularly multi-task with their purchasing. This means that while we are watching advertising on television, reading a magazine article or talking to a friend about a wonderful product or service, we are also instantaneously looking up that business online via laptop, mobile phone or tablet!

We take from this that it is an excellent idea to expand your business marketing into more than one area while ensuring that your 'home base' is your website. Your website is the place where customers will always refer back to for contact information, prices, and for further information on any products or services that have caught their attention.

Is your website easy to view on a mobile phone? More and more Kiwis are going online via mobile so see us to create a mobile phone-friendly version of your website today.

Doing a quick online search is also the main way that New Zealander's check that your business is legitimate. For example, when looking for a window cleaning service, New Zealanders will most likely google “window cleaning” and their region, and look for a website that shows clear contact details and positive testimonials to assure themselves that your business is legitimate and experienced, rather than just someone’s hobby or quick-cash scheme.

These visits to your website are also judging the quality of your website, which in turn represents the quality of your business; much like the state of the car your drive is commonly viewed as representing your level of professionalism.

An article that comes to mind is one I read long ago, about a plumber who, as a part of maintaining a professional mind-set and appearance, washes his work van every morning before heading to a job, thus ensuring he is doing his best to show his pride in his work through the high maintenance of his vehicle. A simple but shining example of going the extra mile in self-promotion.

 

This attention to detail, and to the importance of creating and maintaining a clean, informative, easy to navigate website are the leading factors that we use to create a website which compliments and enhances your company identity, going that extra mile for you and ensuring your website is the go-to place for anyone who hears about you by word-of-mouth, sees an advert for you in a newspaper or magazine, or hears about you by radio or television advertising.

The recent Google report also mentioned that as we now have such a variety of internet-capable devices at our fingertips, we’re looking at other forms of advertising then going online to search for more information, almost instantaneously. We’re not waiting to look up something later, and we don’t take the time to look in a phone book or catalogue, we’re going online to find what we want, right then and there.

If you have a website that isn’t working for you, if people aren’t finding you online, contacting you through your site or purchasing your products/services online, talk to us about how we can help enhance your website and rankings and really make your online presence work for you. See our SEO Page for more information, or simply browse our website for the service that meets your needs. We are always creating new websites and have a great Portfolio of recent work.

Rather than use the variety of publicly available Content Management Systems (CMS), we use our own system that we have developed with the focused intention of creating a system that is client-friendly, as opposed to the hard to use, programmer-tailored systems that are available today. Contact us for a demo on just how easy it is to use our unique WEP Edit Pro Content Management System, so you can make your own updates and changes to your website at your own convenience.

We also offer additional services such as our ActiveMail Email Marketing System, also nice and easy to use. With your own Newsletter template design you can send out beautiful looking newsletters with confidence, and at your convenience.

As always, feel free to Contact Us for any further information and to discuss your needs.

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Posted in Website Design

I.T. Support

- When do you need it?

- Who provides it?

- What is the purpose of having it?

There have been a lot of companies pop up in recent years, specialising in I.T. Support. These companies provide excellent technological support for your home or business needs, and developing a good relationship with a local I.T. support company that are ready to assist you at a moments notice is a great way to start the new year with peace-of-mind in all things technical, especially ensuring that your business can run smoothly, and get any repairs, reconfigurations and support that you may need - fast, and whenever you may need it.

At Activate Design we can design, build and host your website and add and host any email accounts you require. We are not, however, equipped to offer full I.T. support for your company. So though we can ensure everything is running smoothly at our end, that your website and emails are securely hosted on our trusted New Zealand based server and backed up by the support and know-how of our team's ingenuity, we also encourage you to develop a good relationship with an I.T. Support company for the on-going needs of your business technology.

I.T. support companies are expert at offering prompt and focused call-out support people for all those home or business I.T. issues such as the setup and maintenance of email accounts on your personal computer/s, ensuring you are using the latest website browser and updating when necessary, offering support for wireless network setups, computer configuration and related I.T. infrastructure, and ensuring your computer and network/internet settings are secure and protected from outside influence.

At Activate Design we do all we can to ensure the services we provide are seamless and reliable, that we offer clear communication between you and our team of experts, and we encourage you to take those extra steps in ensuring the security and on-going support of your technology needs with an I.T. Support Company near you.

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Posted in Website Design

Christchurch Website Design Process

The Process of Having a Website Created

Having a website created can be a daunting concept for some people, so I have tried here to simplify the process for those who have not had a website or online presence before; a beginners guide to websites, website design and web hosting. We create Christchurch websites and websites for the Canterbury region, as we are a website company based in Christchurch. We can also work with you to create a website for companies New Zealand wide, utilising the many forms of communication available to keep in touch and arrange online meetings.

STAGE 1 - INITIAL MEETING. What to expect when discussing the initial concept ;

Website Basic Concept : By all means if you have an idea of the design concept for your website make some notes to bring to the first meeting. It’s a great idea to have a look at other websites to see what you like and don’t like about whats around. Note down any features that catch your eye, even colours that stand out. Having an idea of what you want gives us a head start at meeting your requirements, and can speed up the planning process.

Website Content : At a first meeting we are finding out the products and services you have to offer and how to advertise them online in the best possible light. We are working out the aspects of what you do and perhaps sketching out some major topics which would later become separate pages on a website. Splitting information up into chapters or tabs is a good way to clarify what you do, and is much less confusing for your clients as they can jump to a particular topic rather than have to scan through all your information to find what they need.

Your Online Target Audience : We need to find out who your target audience are, and the best way to showcase your products and services in a way that best advertises your ability to meet their needs. Your online target market will directly influence the design and the language of your website, and the look and feel of the design and content management is how we achieve this.

Are you aiming at families with children? Industry professionals? Companies in the Canterbury region or the rest of New Zealand? Are you aiming your web content to those who already know about your area of industry, or introducing your profession or product as a new concept that needs a higher level of introduction and explanation? Corporate or industrial, professional or casual, these factors will play a part in making sure your website appeals to the right kind of target market.

Time Frame And Budget : At this first meeting we would be asking about your time frame and your budget. Do you have any events coming up for which you need your site to be ready for? Are you involved in any convention or event where you would want to be handing out your website address to gain new business? This could extend into our printing service whereby you may need business cards or flyers printed for a specific event. Having a time frame and a budget is a good thing to think about when extending your business into an online platform.

Domains, Website Hosting and Email : Firstly, a domain name. Do you have one? If not we would need to discuss an appropriate name for your site to get the process started. A domain name is an essential part of having a website as it is the signpost that directs people to your site. Having a domain name involves an annual registration fee of around $30.00, which we can arrange for you. Planning forward for when your website is ready to go online, we will offer you secure website hosting service, on our own New Zealand based server, with the ability to offer you secure email accounts to match your website at our website design christchurch company.

STAGE 2 - QUOTE After running through these initial concepts and working out the best way to meet your business needs, we would provide you with a quote, which will be emailed to you with a break-down of the costs involved. On approval of the quote and a 50% deposit we would proceed with your project.

STAGE 3 - DESIGN With great enthusiasm for a new web project we dive into your website preparation. We put the new site up on a temporary domain for viewing only, without all the working parts such as roll-over button changes or click-through links just yet. Typically we place ‘placeholder’ text and images, to indicate the layout and style of the design, and we can temporarily add an ‘under construction’ page to your real domain, so you won’t miss out on clients finding you in the meantime. When the initial stages of layout come together we welcome you to view the concept creation in its temporary domain location.

Be Involved In The Process : At your own pace you can be involved in the website design process, let us know of any changes of layout and design as the site evolves, and providing us with your context text and any images you wish to include, and we're convenient to contact for website design in Christchurch. We can source images for you, and also offer a copy writing service if you want us to apply our skills in this area. Writing copy for web is a service we offer if you are unsure how to promote yourself in writing. We can chat with you over the phone or arrange a meeting to gain the knowledge of what you do, and turn that into clever, detailed information for your customers to gain insight into your business. Usually splitting this offer into chapters or ‘tabs’ on your website, to give customers easy access to the information they require. The design phase of your site usually takes several weeks, dependent on the size and requirements of your site.

STAGE 4 - DEVELOPMENT Once we have a layout and style that best communicates to your potential and existing clients your unique business identity, then our website developer integrates your design into a content management system (C.M.S.). We get graphic aspects of your site working so all the navigation buttons work and any moving banners or video content and links are active, and it’s all put together into a polished working website. At this stage we add any email accounts that you have requested.

STAGE 5 - CONTENT LOADING Once the site is on a working platform, we load the graphic aspects of your site - text and images, into the C.M.S. and schedule a ‘switch over’ date to smoothly transition your site to our live hosting service, or your chosen provider.

COMPLETION At this final stage we invoice you for the remainder of the agreed quote for your website. We recommend a scheduled meeting for some training on how to log-in and edit your unique content (which some our sites can be built to allow), and get your familiar with the content management system. Alternatively we can manage your content and any future updates for you, if you prefer just to phone or email us with future alterations. This service will incur small fees charged on a time basis only.

SUMMARY These days if you don’t have an online presence you are missing out a lot of potential business. At Activate we want to give you the chance to connect to those who are looking for you online, because people will go online first to find a business or service they require. It is faster, easier, and all around more convenient to find what you are looking for online by web surfing, than it is to look on a map or in a phone book. So here’s a quick summary of main points to think about, before contacting us to assist with your website creation :

  • What are your unique products and services that you wish to market online?
  • Who are your target market?
  • Do you have an idea of time frame?
  • Do you have a budget?
  • What domain name would best signpost your website?
  • Would you like us to manage the registration of your domain name?
  • Would you like us to host your website?
  • Would you like an email account or accounts to accompany your website?
  • When would it suit you to arrange an initial meeting?
From there on we will provide a quote, create a design concept, manage any changes required, develop the site foundation, then add the content and the email or hosting services as requested, and you are up and running!

For more information or to arrange a meeting and begin the process or having a website designed in Christchurch, please feel free to give us a call, or send us an email. Your may wish to view our online website portfolio, to gain an idea of the our unique design quality and creativity. Call us today to make an appointment to meet with the team at our Christchurch Website Design Company.

Posted in Branding, Graphic Design, Printing, Website Design

ActiveMail - our simple email marketing system.

ActiveMail - our simple email marketing system

Send beautifully designed email newsletters to your customers by utilising our clear and simple email marketing software system.

In choosing this service we can create a unique template or templates for your company, including your logo and brand, company colours, and any features to ensure your newsletter is recognized as your own. Then with the click of a few buttons you can create your own unique newsletter, easily add links to your website or links to your email contact, and add images to suit.

Another unique feature of ActiveMail is that your newsletters can be saved as drafts. This means you can have newsletters on the go until you are ready to send them, perhaps building them up slowly with products of interest or events as they happen.

Once you have chosen to send your newsletter you can utilize the powerful analytic tools of this program. These tools allow you to see many statistics of each email campaign, for example, how many people have opened your email, how many have followed links and which links were most popular, as well as being able to see how many unsubscribed, and how many forwarded your email to a friend. This statistical information can be very handy in knowing which areas of your business are generating the most interest, which products or services are the most popular and what people are recommending or would like more information about.

This feedback our newsletter system can offer you will help focus your company, your website content, and your business structure to meet the needs and interests of your client base, all the while encouraging their input and welcoming their responses to what is offered, and perhaps most importantly - keeping the lines of communication open. An accessible company is a very desirable one to work with. A company you never hear from usually leads to loss of sales and clients looking elsewhere. Email marketing will encourage brand loyalty to you and your company through better communication.

Keep in contact with your client base today by giving us a call to discuss creating a beautiful email template for you through out ActiveMail system. You will be pleasantly surprised just how easy it is to create informative, stylish and beautifully presented newsletters offering your services to the world.

ActiveMail was originally created as a solution to the many and varied email campaign systems available today, some of which can be very difficult and frustrating to use, with ugly templates and hard-to-decipher navigation. Yes there are many email systems on the market but none as easy to manage or clearly accessible as ActiveMail, our unique email marketing software system.

ActiveMail make the process of sending targeted email campaigns to your clients, one that is easy and enjoyable. Contact us about ActiveMail today.

Posted in Branding, Graphic Design, Printing, Website Design

Website Landing Pages

Website Landing Pages

The main goal in having a website is good communication. Good communication through website design is what we do here at Activate Design, based in Christchurch. We understand that communication is the main reason for having a website at all. Your customers need to connect to you, and you to them, and in today’s society websites are the first place a client will look for a business or service they require. Our job is to ensure your online presence remains in perfect working order, to offer upgrades, S.E.O., and a variety of website support services to ensure you get the most from your website.

We have a great team of Canterbury web designers, graphic designers and web developers who specialise in their own areas of website design and creation, and we combine our knowledge of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Content Management, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) Graphic Design and Content Writing, to create informative and professional websites for customers in the Canterbury region, and a variety of business from North Island to South Island wide.

The elements of great website design go beyond the pages that make up the basic layout of a website. A lot more web traffic directed to your site can come through “Landing Pages”.

Landing pages are pages of content consisting of keyword-rich text, that provide additional entry points to your site. What makes these pages different from the rest of your existing website is that they can stretch out and grow like branches on a tree, without cluttering up your website layout. Most “landing pages” are not accessible through a site, or if they are they would usually be linked via a text link in your content, rather than tabs on your site navigation. This is simply because they are written in such a way as to be aimed at the search engines, rather than educating your clients - which is a secondary function.

With landing pages, you can have as many as you like - we would recommend each page be kept to a single topic and elaborated on from there. To understand how this works it is helpful to know how search engines work; Search Engines are constantly evolving - and by that I mean, being upgraded. The people behind the code are learning from experience and applying smarter techniques to the functionality of their search engine programs. Many of the techniques to alert search engines to your website content that have worked in the past do not work today, such as alternative spelling of words. Search Engines have evolved to more complex strategies - and we are constantly evolving our own processes to ensure we use techniques that ensure a search engine recognises what it is you provide, and can connect you to the people who are searching for you online. This constant evolution of how we streamline your content means we are ahead of the market in website development. Someone who was good at S.E.O. years ago may not be up with the play in today’s evolution of processes.

By adding multiple landing pages to your website, you are increasing the chances that a search engine will find you and recognise that you are what a web surfer is looking for, to make the connection. The effectiveness of landing pages will depend on the content, and here at Activate Design we have experienced copy writers who recognise that just being a good writer is not enough, but being a good writer combined with a knowledge of S.E.O. (Search Engine Optimisation), means we write effective, keyword-rich, targeted content that will greatly enhance your ratings with search engines and visibility to web surfers. To do this we can speak with you over the phone to gain some insight into your company, meet with you at your convenience, or simply research what it is that you do to write some unique, clever content for your site.

To further explain landing pages, I will use the example of a store that makes and sells leather boots. If we created a website for them it may have a home page, then linked to this would be the main pages for say, product information, contact information, and company information. That may be all that is needed for the site to effectively communicate what they do, and to showcase the products and services they provide, keeping the menus clear and not cluttered, and the site clean and tidy. However, there may not be a lot of combined content on these pages, so to attract more traffic to the site we could offer the addition of landing pages.

Using this example we could do a landing page on the leather used to make the boots - including lots of keywords related to leather, caring for leather, the process of creating leather, and adding anything that people may be searching for that would link them to that site. We could do another page on shoe laces, and another on shoe soles, adding the keywords related to that topic and extending the net that will draw in potential online clients.

Writing keyword content is not just about adding keywords.

Search engines have evolved to such an extent that we could not write repetitive keyword-rich text, or repetitive text at all, in fact your site would be penalised for this.

For example ;

“We use a variety of leather to produce leather boots. Our leather is a rich leather worked by hand using leather tools and leather products, and we use many kinds of leather and leather solvents to achieve this.”

In browsing this text, search engines would recognise the keyword ‘leather’ is in there, but also that the content is less informative and more repetitive. If you write keyword rich context it has to make sense. Search engines cannot read and understand the text, they do not know what the words mean, but among other methods they work on statistics such as “bounce rates”. A bounce rate is how many people click on your site and then click (or bounce) right back out again, which gives an indication as to whether your content or article has any worth. Using the example of the text above, browsers would recognise this as repitive jargon and click right out again, so the bounce rate would become very high, and reflect negatively on your site. If your keyword rich content was more informative, balanced with keywords and commonly searched-for terms, the bounce rate would be far less. The amount of time a browser spends on your page reading your text, and whether or not they click through to your main website, all matter and are recorded. These are the statistics that search engines will include in their evaluation of your website and the rating it gives you, directly affecting the online traffic that finds, peruses and uses your website.

As mentioned earlier, landing pages can be hidden from all access, other than being the initial site that internet users will click through to after being directed by a search engine. From that page they can click through to your website, and will not be able access that landing page again, except via Google or another search engine - unless you specifically want to give them access to these pages from your site, which may be best achieved using text links rather than adding pages to your menu and complicating your site. Landing pages allow your site to remain simple and clear, then like the branches of a tree, landing pages can be added indefinately, and work best when targeted to a specific topic, as in the example for leather.

Landing pages can be added over an extended period and don’t have to be done all at once. We could do a new landing page for your site every week or month, we are happy to work within your time frame and budget.

Contact us to add landing pages to your site and to write clever content for website and any advertising material you need. Give us the opportunity to ensure you make the most of your online presence, we are here to assist in keeping your site up-to-date and interesting, and encourage you to give us a call for any quotes, queries or website-enhancing advice.

Posted in Graphic Design, Website Design

Website and Server Security for Christchurch, New Zealand Businesses Online

Website and Server Security for Christchurch, New Zealand Businesses Online

The amount of websites being hacked is rising dramatically. Website hackers are able to install software onto websites that can get your site banned from Google and expose your information to cyber criminals. Choosing an appropriate website hosting provider should be a top priority for anyone looking to get a website up and running or moved to a more secure hosting facility.

One question that is being asked more than any other; Is is safe to host my website overseas? Overseas website hosting can sometimes offer low prices, and this is usually their website targeted marketing strategy, but often these lower prices are a reflection of lower standards of quality and more importantly, website security.

If you are looking to host your website overseas then one of the challenges you are sure to face is the difficulty of website support. If the hosting is provided in another country there may arise challenges in communication, language-barriers, misunderstandings, and the challenge of changing your website hosting to another hosting provider - which has been problematic for many website owners in the past. The speed of your website will also be a factor, the closer to the server your clients are, then the faster access they will have to their site.

If you are now thinking of changing your website hosting from an overseas company back to a New Zealand company, we have a few tips for you to keep in mind ;

  • Keep your existing website hosting account open until you have completed the changeover. This will ensure that your website and any email accounts will still be active during the changeover.
  • Have a back-up of your website information and files. This could be a problem if all the website files are located with a website hosting company overseas.
  • Once you have changed to a new website hosting provider, you can make the necessary domain name changes, or if you have switched to a company like us, we would do this for you.
Here’s a couple things to be aware of that can become traps for website owners ;
  • Don’t fall for gimmics like the promise of free Domain names - domain names are not free. When you register for a domain name a registration fee is required by the domain registry, which gives you the right to use the domain name for the duration of the term you have registered for. Choose a company that can provide website hosting and also take responsibility for your domain name renewal - without which your site would go down.
  • Don’t believe a company who promises unlimited storage space. No web hosting company can provide this, there is always a limit to the space available but customers don’t, in actuality, need a huge amount of disk space.
  • Don’t compromise your site getting cheaper hosting by putting up with ads plastered throughout your site. Sites with click-through adverts are the most targeted by hackers, and the adverts are a distraction and aversion for potential clients, unless they have some relevancy to the context.
At Activate Design our websites are hosted on our own secure server in a secure data centre and we employ industry-standard security measures to protect customer information from misuse, damage, disaster and/or the alteration of content. This includes 128-bit security encryption and the our use of a secure server. Our hosting server is located in a 24-hour alarmed and monitored secure area, and we have recently launched ActiveHost - as subsidiary of Activate Design Ltd., offering hosting and domain registration services as a dedicated business unit.

We would like to instil confidence in our secure, New Zealand based hosting servers, and uniquely secure CMS platform which we have developed and evolved over the past five years. There are a lot of CMS platforms out there, ours is unique because it has been created by us, exclusively for our client base, and as it is not publicly available there are no viruses for it.

Benefits of using Activate Design for your website hosting service ;

  • Maintain fast loading speeds for New Zealand and Australian based audiences.
  • Keep your website content and customer data safe.
  • Get alerted to suspicious activity.
  • Be able to back up your website and be able to easily restore it.
  • Avoid getting blacklisted by search engines.
  • Avoid your customers inadvertently downloading and running malicious files from your website if it gets infected.
  • Avoid malicious files such as viruses, trojans, spyware etc. from completely compromising your website, requiring a complete rebuild.
  • Avoid viruses out there that are programmed to disrupt the service and operation of websites, and to collect information, such as customers sensitive data that can lead to loss of privacy, enable unauthorised access, and cause major disruption.
  • Be easily able to update your website using our C.M.S. (Content Management System).
  • Have control to be able to edit content / add products yourself.
  • Establish a high rank on search engines using our S.E.O. Services.
We offer our services both nationwide and overseas, so please feel free to contact us regarding the secure hosting of your website, at our trusted and experienced website design & development, hosting, graphic design and print management company. Take a look at our web design portfolio here.

If you have a website that has been hacked then you know the consequences of not ensuring your site is safely located on a secure server. If your website is hacked it can be non-operational for a long periods of time while it is either shifted to a new server or requires a complete re-build on a safer CMS (Content Management System) platform. Prevent this from happening by choosing a reputable, experienced company for your secure, trusted web hosting, design and development.

The unfortunate truth of online crime, is that websites are the most common place hackers will target. Contact us to discuss how we can create and maintain the highest level of security for your website, today.

For more information on securely hosting your website, visit our ActiveHost page.

Posted in Website Design