Graphic Design for Printing and Website Challenges

Graphic Design for Printing and Website Challenges.

We’re not a printing company that does websites.                                                                                         We’re not a website company that does print.        

We are a Graphic Design Agency that has been doing both website design and development and graphic design and printing, since our launch in 2003.

We have so much combined experience in both related industries that we can smoothly design for both mediums and fully understand the requirements and difficulties of both.

As an example, we would design a logo primarily for print - and then that logo can be converted for website use. The reason for this is that print requires a very high resolution (usually vector image - which retains it’s quality at any size), whereas web requires a much smaller resolution as it will be viewed on a screen. Print is a hard medium for quality control, and special care must be taken to have correctly sized, excellent quality images because it is very easy to spot a drop in quality and inconsistency on the printed page.

When you start with a small graphic and wish to re-size, especially an graphic that is low resolution, the process of re-sizing is not always the right one. When you re-size an graphic, all you will achieve is a stretching of the graphic. The resolution of an graphic is based on the number of pixels contained in the graphic, so when increasing the graphic size, this process will not create new pixels, it will only increase the size of the pixels in your existing graphic by stretching them. The best way to ensure your graphics for print are of excellent high quality is to ensure you have large graphics to start with. Graphics for print need to be around 300dpi (dots per inch), and compared to images for on-screen viewing these need to be only 72dpi.

How this translates into website design and graphic design for print, is that if you have your marketing material designed simply for the web - and you to translate your marketing medium into print, all your graphics will look blurry or blocky, giving a bad presentation of your business. At Activate Design we have a clear knowledge of these processes, and can work with you to design either for website-only, or for print-only, or with the foresight to design for both mediums, starting with higher-resolution graphics and logos at print specification, then creating smaller, optimised versions of these graphics and logos for use on your website or online newsletter mediums.

To help those in the know, here’s some information on the two main types of graphic images;

Bitmap Graphics These are also known as raster images and are made up of pixels - tiny dots of individual colours that make up the image, like a photograph. It is hard to resize this image type without sacrificing image quality. When you downsize an image of this type you are essentially throwing away pixels. When you enlarge an image the software has to try to create new pixels, by estimating the colour values of the new pixels based on surrounding pixels. This process is known as ‘interpolation’, and is not an ideal process, often resulting in a blurry image. The best way to handle bitmap images is to start with the largest image possible and downside it for each required application.

Main Characteristics of Raster Graphics;

  • Pixels are in a grid format.
  • The quality of a bitmap image depends on the resolution.
  • Resizing for a large graphic reduces the quality.
 

Vector Graphics These graphics are made up lines and curves, shapes with easily editable characteristics like outlines colours and fills. Fonts are the most well known vector graphics. They consist of single, easily scalable objects. A vector graphic can be modified without changing the quality, and is a very flexible format in the way you can use ‘controlling handles’ in design software to stretch out, move and change an object. This format is not suitable for photo-type images as they are made up of solid areas of colour.

Main Characteristics of Vector Graphics;

  • Easily re-sizable.
  • Clean lines.
  • Resoution independent.
  • Can easily be converted to bitmap.
We can design your logo, business image, stationary and convert this into an online medium. Visit the Graphic Design page at www.activatedesign.co.nz for more information on graphic design, and some introductory prices. View our Website Page for information on our cost effective CMS or eCommerce or websites.

Posted in Branding, Graphic Design, Website Design

Website Search Engine Optimisation (S.E.O.) in Christchurch New Zealand

Got A Website But Want To Increase Enquiries And Sales? To do that you need more traffic, and to get more traffic you need Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Here is a brief overview of what SEO is. To find out more visit the SEO page on our website www.activatedesign.co.nz

What Is Search Engine Optimisation, Or S.E.O? The term SEO covers a wide variety of processes to optimise your website, and we do this to allow a search engine to more efficiently index your website, which will increase traffic through your website and in turn, increase your ‘conversion rates’ on your website. Each optimisation is industry-specific and requires a tailored campaign and some very dynamic thinking. It is a process of tweak and measure to achieve results, which is why we strongly recommend it as an on-going process to achieve the best results for you website.

What Does S.E.O. Involve? SEO is not specific to one task, but includes many different methods of literally - optimising the information on your website so that search engines, such as Google, can see exactly what it is that you offer, in effect - pointing your target market directly to you. It is also a means of increasing your search engine rankings, and by this I mean whether a search engine places you on the first page of their ‘search results’ or the fortieth.

What Are Conversion Rates? Driving people to your site is only half of the process, once they are there, you want them to do something, buy something or contact you. The number of people that do this called your ‘conversion rate’. A successful website owner will pro-actively market their website and develop an on-going SEO strategy to increase rankings, increase traffic and increase conversion rates. We can help you achieve this.

How Much Bang For Your Buck? It is near impossible to create one website SEO Package that will suit everybody, because first you need a website, up and running, that we can measure your traffic against. We need to track and measure the areas in which your site is not performing as well as it could, and where we can improve your visibility to your potential clients. Here at Activate Design we have created three packages that we believe will offer various levels of website optimisation - Silver, Gold and Platinum. The differences between them are simply the amount of services we offer in each package, because as mentioned, there are many, many ways of optimising a website, some of which I will explain here to give you an insight into the kind of work involved ;

H1 And H2 Tags - these are the headings used on your site. If these heading are graphics, or part of an animation sequence, chances are that the search engines cannot even see them. Headings are an opportunity to utilise keywords as your websites’ unique signposts, that are being overlooked. Image Alt Tags - where an image loads can be underlayed with descriptive text that includes important keywords for both the search engines to read, and incase your image doesn’t load, there is still a chance to show some information. Another benefit of Alt Tags is for where new technology comes in, where website surfers with visual impairments can now use modern software that enables them to hear the description of an image, instead of view it. To view a full list of SEO techniques visit our SEO Prices & Packages page at Activate Design.

How Do Search Engines Work? The way search engines used to work is to only scan the ‘Metatags’ of your website. Metatags are descriptions or keywords in the background workings of your website, not visable on your website, that explain what you do. Because these metatags depended on the honesty of the person writing them, they were not very reliable, and so search engines have had to evolve to scan through ALL the information on your site. The search engines do not see your images, they do not see graphic content, they scan through the code that your site is made up of. A large aspect of optimising your website is optimising the code on your site, and the difference between an older website consisting of pages and pages of code, and a newer site consisting of say, one page of code, written far more efficiently, can mean the ease or difficulty for a search engine to index your site and rank it well, or badly.

Another way of thinking about how and why a search engine indexes or scans through your website, is that it’s about incentivsing websites to clean up the website, to encourage progress and the continued internet evolution. If you think of a search engine as grading each website it indexes - like a points system where a search engine is going to give you say, 2 points for clear headings, 5 points for the ease and efficiency that it could actually view your website’s information, but several demerit points for any mistakes in the coding, and demit points for an excessive amount of code to search through. I can’t say exactly how they work, as each search engine has it’s own way of grading the information that it is scanning, or more correctly - indexing, and these processes are constantly evolving.

What Are Some Examples Of SEO? Genie Clean is a website client of ours who chose the SEO Silver Package for 1 month. The results he gained from one month alone were fantastic, and the client was more than happy with our service and the new business that resulted in the increased traffic through his site. In the four keyword topics that this client choose to optimise, three ended up on the first page of search engine results and the fourth on the second page, which is excellent.

Another website we have recently provided SEO services for is Heavy Diesel Parts & Services (HDPS). They also went with our SEO Silver Package, resulting in their selected key terms all showing up as first page results. To clarify - as a jump in result placements their key search terms jumped 24, 55, and even 76 placements to be included on the first page of results. This means that previously if you searched for terms such as “caltex lubricants”, you would have had to scroll through pages and pages of results before you came across them, now they are on the first page of results, and lets face it, very few people scroll through pages and pages of results, they usually select from the first ten, which is where HDPS are now ranking.

To put it clearly Having a nice website is only half of the process, SEO is the driving force behind getting traffic through your site. It’s about numbers and rankings, and we’re the people to see.

Search engine optimisation is a extraordinary field of expertise. To perform well in google searches it is a total combination of a large variety of factors. If anyone tells you ‘it’s all about meta-tags’ or ‘it’s all about back-links’ then they are kidding you. We know the magic behind SEO and if you are serious about wanting a high-ranking website then you need to talk to us.

Posted in Website Design

Video Production for Websites in Christchurch New Zealand

Video Production for Websites in Christchurch New Zealand

We can give your website a unique hook by creating a cutting-edge custom full HD video for your website. Check out our website for packages that include filming, editing, map animation, titles, logo animation, web upload, web optimisation and graphic construction.

Videos are filmed in full HD and are web optimised. No extra video hosting fees, and our videos are easily embedded to your website. Adding a video to your website not only adds interest to your website, getting your potential customer to stay longer while watching you video, it can also give you increases traffic and online presence.

Our videos are not limited to websites, we can create video for TV commercials and even retail display systems. Our cutting edge videos can isolate and target your market, while presenting your business in crystal clear High-definition. We also create eye-catching, attractive motion graphic videos of your products and load them onto a looping system to display on your instore televisions. The tactical placement of your video screening is ideal for bringing in foot-traffic into your store, all the while presenting your store as a cutting edge, professional outlet.

While you're here on our website, check out our websites-videos page. We're the people to see for your website design and web development, logo design, branding and website hosting. Contact us today.

Posted in Website Design

Get Online: The Problem With Free Websites

Get Online: The Problem With Free Websites

Get Online for Free

Every now and then we see another genius internet business plan - "Lets give away free websites!" The idea is a simple one: Lure people in by offering them free websites so you can quickly grow a large base of hosting customers that are locked into paying you. Often we've been asked what we think about the strategy of 'free websites.' Especially since we are also a hosting company, would it not make business sense for us to offer free websites as well?

From our point of view, giving away something for nothing has never been a good business strategy. We are only interested in businesses who are serious about success and I don't know of a single successful website business that started out as a 'free template.' The old saying 'there are no free lunches' is as relevant online as ever. You need to ask yourself: Why is it free? What are they really wanting in return? If you can't answer those questions then rest assured you are giving them something, you just don't know what it is yet.

If you signup for a free website template you will compromise on a combination of the following:

• Generic template layout. When you are choosing a website template, how many other people are choosing exactly the same site? They might be called 'custom websites' but there is often very little that is custom about them, apart from choosing a background colour and uploading your logo into the banner. That isn't 'custom.' Internet users are increasingly savvy and can smell an el-cheapo website a mile away - not good if you want to be taken seriously.

• Inability to add new functionality; membership areas, image display sliders, product features, video, interactive elements etc.

• Little control over the layout. You'd better really like that template because there is no changing it down the track, unless you want to start over.

• Most search engines ignore them! What is the point in having a website if you have no traffic and can't do a SEO campaign to get any traffic because you are on a free template structure?

• You don't own the site. You can't host it elsewhere. You can't back it up. You can't upgrade it.

• Hidden on going costs. Be very careful how much the on-going hosting costs are going to be. Whenever I look at free website companies it's often very difficult to actually find out how much the hosting costs are! They don't tell you, or they offer you 12 months free and then it will just be a small monthly cost. You need to know what it's going to cost and shop around to see if that price is actually a fair price considering the point above.

This is just the tip of the iceberg with regards to free websites. In the end it is your choice and many people simply do not know enough about websites to make an informed decision. They simply see a working website, not too different from their competitors, and it's free! They saved themselves maybe $1000. Many of these people come to us a year or two later saying: 'The free website idea was a silly thing to do - I just didn't really know.. I thought since it was free that it couldn't hurt.'  If you are serious about the success of your business then forget about $5 logos and free websites. Or give the free thing a go and we'll talk to you in a years time.

Posted in Website Design

Graphic Design and Website Design for Successful Business in Christchurch!

Graphic Design and Website Design for Successful Business in Christchurch!

We want to help small to medium sized businesses open their doors to compete with corporate identities. We have both the technology and the design skills, coupled with our positive and friendly team attitude, to work with you in successfully marketing your products and services in the great ocean of opportunity that is - the internet.

We are Graphic Designers, Website Developers, Print Specialists. Some of us are practically technical geniuses! - and can create iPhone Applications and iPad Applications to give you the edge to stay ahead of modern trends. Why limit your business and your potential points of contact to just a business card?

Yes, the business card is still an essential tool which we believe will never be outdated, but it’s still only a prompt, a teaser, a handy little must-have item to encourage your potential clients and current contacts to dig a little deeper. Beyond the business card is your online presence - and if you’re not there, if you’re not instantly accessible, that will be it for some people. They will find someone who is.

We’re impatient people us modern folk, and businesses today must cater to that need and step up to accommodate modern clientele and their modern expectations. You must be instantly accessible, offer clear concise information about what you do, what you offer, when you are open and what hours you are open, and how to contact you - both through email and direct contact if needed.

A website allows your business to be accessible 24/7 - removing the usual limitations of traditional business. Yes, you certainly may not answer your phone in the small hours, but your website will be dutifully working for you - offering information, showing the quality of your products and services and promoting, promoting, promoting.

Give us a call - peruse the rest of our website! Our doors are open and we are here to open your doors to the world - through website design and website development, graphic design, logo design, branding, printing, social media (including creating a facebook or other social media presence), and we even offer secure and fast website hosting.

We are all that you need to promote yourself and all that you could want to make the experience an enjoyable one. Contact us today to discuss your many options and let us help you put out the welcome mat.

Posted in Branding, Graphic Design, Printing, Website Design

Window shopping on websites

Window shopping on websites

For a customer, website shopping is like going to a store. They will browse for a bit, skim the first bit of written information available, and grab whatever catches their eye - perhaps dashing into a changing room for a quick try.

This is much like browsing websites in that your potential customer will skim your page, flick over your text for the highlights of information they find relevant, and perhaps click on any links that catch their eye and perhaps dash through to your linked pages for more information.

This means you need a clear main website page with easily accessible information, clear readily available information - or highlights of your information where a person can glean the more important factors and sale points of how you can benefit them. Next you need graphics to portray the quality of what you provide, with clearly labelled links to show easy access through to more detailed information and perhaps further imagery - keeping all information clear and concise on your website.

At Activate Design we live and breathe the principals of good website design. We have a fantastic mix of experts in our web development team ; with graphic designers, web developers, printing experts and iPad and iPhone App developers, we can create a website for you that you’ll be proud of. We also can handle your printed stationary in the form of business cards, business stationary and any other printing needs. It's what we do. It's what we love. Contact us today!

Posted in Website Design

What do you mean you don't have a website?

What do you mean you don't have a website?

If you own a business in today’s modern, technology-driven world, people expect you to have a website. Simple fact.

A business without a website is the exception and in our techno-conscious society we can be put-out by not having instant access to a companies’ information, quickly and efficiently, from their website. I’ll tell you that it frustrates me when I am stopped in my tracks while internet surfing to compare product prices, by a company that either has no website to speak of, or does not have relevant, up-to-date information on their products and services. Those companies are simply missing out as consumers bypass them on their way to find companies with open and instant information.

It can seem a major challenge to have a website created, for those who are unfamiliar with the process, and that’s where we rise to the challenge of assisting the move into creating an online presence for businesses and individuals alike. We can work with you to create a website; an internet catalog or e-commerce site. An e-commerce site being, by definition, a website developed to allow businesses to sell products over the internet to customers, whereas an internet catalogue could simply be an online portfolio to advertise what you have to offer.

At Activate Design we specialise in Website Design and Website Development, working alongside you, the client, to create something both visually attention-grabbing and functional. We can turn our skills to logo design or a re-creation of your existing logo, to give your company a spring-board start in 2012 with a fresh look and a tighter focus on how you wish to be perceived by your customers and industry competitors alike. We don't just do websites! Come and see us for your printing needs as we are a versatile company that can arrange both Offset and Digital printing, can assist with finding the right solution for your business stationary needs – from business cards to letterheads, compliments slips, and promotional material. We can take you through the process right from design and creation, to printing and finishing.

Speaking of which, this is a great time of year to get your promotional printing and products out there and start promoting yourself! Think about creating a calendar that will advertise your business for you all year, or greeting cards to say thank you for business in 2011 and to generate new business that will launch you toward more sales and get you known!

The possibilities are endless once the creative minds at Activate Design get a chance to do what we do best – we are the idea factory for promoting your skills, products and services, so contact us today – this week – NOW! And get your business on the right track for 2012.

Posted in Website Design

Graphic Design businesses in New Zealand

Graphic Design businesses in New Zealand

If there was ever a time that we, as Kiwi’s, feel a pride in our country, in our lifestyle and our people, it is now. So right now, use that feeling; that force of pride, to re-orient your business toward success.

There has never been a better time than now.

At Activate Design we have revelled in the sucess that New Zealand has seen, witnessed the struggles and the sheer amount of work that has been put in through so many arenas ; both sporting and marketing, image and organisation, management and creativity - these things that have had to come to a new level of quality to show New Zealand is the beautiful country we know it to be - for those many, many visitors that have come to see where we are lucky enough to live. And it’s been through this marketing of our country that many of us have come to realise how amazing we are, how awesome are the things we have to offer - places to go, people to meet - and that it is simply through time and effort that we can PUT THE POLISH ON WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE CAN DO and present ourselves to the world in the same light.

We want to continue this snowball of enthusiasm. We passionately want to use that feeling that the World Cup has instilled in each of us as we have brought that home into our own business, and through us into your own companies - and we know we need to do this now. So here is the call for action - come to see us now, today, this week, make contact, take those first steps to grabbing some of the abundance of New Zealand pride and let us inject it into your own marketing and business image while the feeling is fresh. While the world is watching.

We are graphic designers, marketing experts, logo designers and website developers. We have the motivation and we have the skill to grab this opportunity that New Zealanders have been given and pass it on to you. We want to make your business shine the way our team has shone. We know that New Zealand has world class service providers and best of the best products and services to offer but we need to shine the light and tell the world, tell those who visit our country - and there will be a lot more coming to see our beautiful country now!

What we have done through hosting the World Cup is effectively market our country to any and all potential visitors, and this is exactly what you need to do with your business. You need to shine the light on what you do - is your website up to scratch? Do you have one? Does it rise to the challenge that we have risen to as a country and show the quality of what you do? Is your brand recognisable? Is it sharp and clean and representitive of your business identity?

We want to see New Zealand businesses grabbing the marketing ball and running with it - right down to the small stuff. NOW is the time to come and see us to re-brand or smarten up that existing brand, to get that website up and running with style and flair, to get that range of print stationary to show your brand and identity in a classy way - not a mis-match of styles and colours. We can both design and arrange the printing of your business needs from business cards to letterheads, printed pens, pads, compliments slips, bookmarks, christmas cards, invitations, promotional posters and flyers, brochures, all these print tools we can use to advertise and reinforce your brand so we can ensure you offer the same level of quality to your customers, and inspire other businesses to rise to the same level. Our skills extend into social media, websites, web hosting, iPhone applications and iPad applications and we welcome your queries and interest in this area to see how these modern marketing tools can be used to your benefit.

hope you can sense the passion that we have, here at Activate Design, to bring some success to our fellow Kiwis. We hope you see the sense of urgency that comes from this unique opportunity, to springboard from this recently gained success and recognition and ensure that YOU are seen, that YOU benefit from standing up with a polished brand and identity in what you do - standing shoulder to shoulder with the successful, proud, business people of New Zealand.

Posted in Branding, Graphic Design, Printing, Website Design

Why do you need a website for your business?

Why do you need a website for your business?

This is a good question that opens up a multitude of reasons why a business without a website, in these times, is at a distinct disadvantage. Don’t be left behind in today’s thriving online business and social media applications - contact us at Activate Design where we make website development for your company, group or just yourself, an enjoyable and smoothly efficient process. You may even find some new enthusiasm for what you do simply by opening your world to us so we can show your talent to the world.

Traditionally, products and services have only been accessible between normal business hours, usually 9 -5. As you now know, business has expanded it’s hours to being accessible anytime, all the time. This is simply what we, as consumers, expect! Instant accessibility, clear readily available information and where possible, products and services that can either be purchased in the instant we desire them, or arranged to be utilised at a time that suits us. Anything less than that and we know we can find what we want elsewhere. This is the new standard that businesses need to rise too to be competitive, and it takes a lot of combined skill, efficiency and passion for what we do, to be the people that lift businesses to this level. And we can. It is why we have been here for so long, and why we will continue to be here.

As well as instant accessibility, your website will give potential clients an opportunity to find you that they otherwise might not. Personal visits to your company location require time and effort that only those who know where you are, or happen to be in the area you are in, are likely to visit you. For everyone else - and this may include those throughout the world - finding the product and services that you offer will be something they find online. So then, there is a whole pool of potential customers that those who do not have a website, are missing out on. And the quantity of those who will come across your website will be far, far greater than those who stroll past your shop.

Other advertising means will never amount to the same accessibility as having your own site. An advert in a magazine will only appear for so long, as with a newspaper advert or a TV commercial. These things are finite. A website will be there as long as you want it to be, which should be as long as you are in business. It is of great benefit to keep your website updated, but as long as you have an online presence - you have as good as a sales team working for you 24/7.

A final advantage I will mention here would be on-going sales. A customer visits your store, they like what they see but they leave without making a purchase. At any point in the future should they then wish to make a purchase, find out more information, or contact you for any queries - they have instant access through your website. If they had to come all the way back to your store to do so - would they? Or would they find a similar company online and take their business elsewhere. Can you take that chance? We don’t think you should have to. We offer a professional website design and hosting service to ensure you cover all your bases, presenting your business as a wider scope through which customers can view you.

Give our friendly team a call today to make a start.

Posted in Branding, Graphic Design, Website Design

Writing Effective Website Content

Writing Effective Website Content

A website works in three simple steps. Visual, context, and contact. That’s generally the order it goes in as well, so you need to ensure your website has these three things, and that these things are loud and clear.

Visual. This is the look of your website, the feel you want to convey about who you are and what you do. At Activate Design, this is what we do best. We develop the look and feel of your website to best portray what you have to offer.  Through both visual images and the graphic design and layout of the site, we aim to show your potential or existing clients the products and services they can benefit from by choosing to do business with you.

Context. Once you’ve got their attention through the look of the site, the ease-of-use and the images portrayed, you need to give them the information – right then, quick and clear so they will stay on your website to find out more.

Contact. People have seen your site, liked it enough to read your context, and now they will contact you. Three easy steps, but not easy to get right. The way in which you portray your website will mean the difference between having a website working for you, or being a drain on your time and energy.

What is important for you when having a website created, is passing on the information that will become context on your website. This is the challenge because, though our designers here at Activate can create a graphically stunning site, we don’t know your business the way you do, and we never could. Your knowledge of your own business and the industry you work in is the way to sell yourself, and you are the best person for the job. So as follows we have given some notes for you on how to get that information onto paper so we can put it out there for the world to see how valuable your knowledge, time and effort truly is.

Context – the trick of it.

Headings need to be clear and meaningful. Most people browsing your website will only read the headings. Make headings the highlight of the products/services you offer.

Paragraphs must be clear and informative. Web information is less about concentrated reading and more about scanning for the kind of information that is required. Don’t worry about not giving enough information; it’s more about giving the right information in short bursts. With the right style, your future client will contact you personally for extended information and you will then have a chance to show your full knowledge and capability in your industry. Short to medium length sentences work best. Lists work well and are a good way to start noting down your information. List the benefits of choosing your products and/or services. Use highlighted or bold text to pinpoint your important features.

Keywords are essential. These are the words people will type into a search engine to find your type of business. Note down these important words and include them in your context.

Be The Client. When writing, think of the client and what they may need to know. They are looking for proof that you know the industry you work in, that they can trust in your knowledge and capability enough to do business with you. They are looking for the variety you offer, the level of quality and service, and in most cases the time frames you can work within. Any of this information you are not prepared to layout online you can simply mention, so they client knows you have the foresight to work it out with them if a business relationship commences.

Website Layout – building the labyrinth

Homepage is your first and best chance of catching attention. Shout out what you do – scream it! But clearly and informatively please. The homepage of your site should be straightforward and punchy, with links to other pages easily located, and written information consisting of cleverly chosen headings and clear ‘skimmable’ text.

The website visitor wants to know in about 3 seconds whether they should be on your site or not. A few glimpses at your images and headings should tease them to read more, or will send them on their way.

Products. These may need to be broken up into categories or pages for easy understanding.

Any pictures included will benefit from having captions for brief explanations - the visitor doesn’t want to be left to guess what it is you’re trying to convey.

Services. Your first goal  is to state the benefit of your service to your visitor. Your potential client wants brief information, then more detail, information and options. If they only want the basics they will skim your headings and that will be the decider. The best way to show your services is to list them clearly, rather than have longer sentences. Bullet points or lists for the keyword points are a good idea, with more detailed information underneath or through a link to a more in-depth page.

Company Information. This is a trust-gaining page. You are proving your own credibility. The visitor may wish to know when the business started, what achievements or awards your company has gained, and how many staff your team consists of. They may wish to know your business goals such as a “mission statement”. It may be of benefit to briefly state any evolution your business has undertaken to show growth in your industry. Any photos you choose to include in this section may assist the client in feeling they know you, such as images of friendly staff, or a photo of your location from the road so they can find you better. A map is a great idea.  Your contact information must be easy to spot, as this is of greatest importance on the page.

Testimonials - again about credibility. Prove you’ve done it before and can do it again. But more than that – prove you’ve outdone yourself so well that previous clients have wanted to tell the world how wonderful you are. Websites with testimonials will facilitate trust far more than those without.

Gallery. This is an essential attention-grabbing tool for websites in any industry. Even if it’s a photo of your staff at work or your tools of the trade, go to the effort of having some images available to assist in portraying what you offer. If you can have a lot of photos even better, your website visitors may wish to skim through your images rather than read your context so ensure you display a range of quality photos highlighting what you have to offer. Again, having a caption under photos will add emphasis and clarity to what you are portraying.

Summary

Have a home page that is inviting and clear, with links and pages which are simple to traverse.

Establish credibility for yourself by portraying your knowledge, backed up by testimonials and photographs.

Put yourself in the shoes of your potential client and try to fulfill their immediate knowledge requirements about your company, products and services. Include clear contact information.

Include a call to action such as “contact us now!” - something that pushes them to act immediately rather than continue searching online. You are selling yourself as the best in the biz.

Have headings that are main points of your products/services, and context that is informative, ‘skimmable’ and simple enough to convey what is special about what you offer.

Make your information valuable and keep it up to date.

Let the visitor gain familiarity with your company and/or brand.

Most of all, allow your enthusiasm for what you do come through in your website, which is your most accessible and versatile medium. State why you should be the first choice, and your unique angle in the products and services that you offer.

Posted in Website Design