The prospect of a new website can seem both exciting and incredibly daunting at the same time. Every company will have different requirements and limitations according to the size of their organisation, resources available, budget, professional know-how and much more.
At LimeGreen, we understand that sometimes it’s useful to have a helping hand and a few pointers to help you make the first step in the right direction. That’s why we’ve put together these seven steps to take the worry out of your new website!
This might seem like a stupid question but it really is the first thing to consider. Is the new website a design-led decision in line with a company rebrand or are your requirements more practical? Often businesses can outgrow their original website but before dreaming up a new one, it’s important to ensure that this time it can grow with your business. This could save money in the future.
In order for any website to work, you’ll need a domain and hosting. Think of your website domain as the address for your website. This is what people will type into their web browser to reach it, e.g. www.limegreenmarketing.co.uk.
Hosting is where on the internet your website physically is or, the plot of land where it lives if you will! It’s important that you choose the right domain and hosting to suit your requirements. For more information, take a look at our article ‘What is Hosting?’.
An all singing, all dancing website sounds like it could be pretty impressive. If you have a concept that you want to use that reflects your brands ethos digitally then go for it! Online branding should always be consistent with offline branding. However, your design should never compromise your product or service or your ability to communicate clearly what it does.
Think about who uses your website and why? Are they looking for information? Are they looking to purchase a product or service? Is your website user-friendly? There is no point in having a website where people can’t find what they’re looking for.
Be sure to think long and hard about menus and site navigation. Equally a straightforward search feature and cataloguing or tag system for organising products could make life much easier for you and your customers. Remember, if someone can’t use your website, they’re more likely to go to a competitor.
So, you’ve got your new website up and running with a domain, hosting and functional, on-brand design. That’s it right? Wrong! It’s important to make sure that your website is Search Engine Optimised. Doing this makes it easier for popular search engines to read your site and determine its content and where it should appear in individual search results. There are lots of handy plugins that you or your web developer can use to help with the process. We work with WordPress sites a lot and recommend Yoast (read more here).
In addition to SEO optimisation tools, updating your websites content regularly can help improve its rankings with popular search engines. Including a blog and regularly posting new articles is one way to do this. Including social media streams from Twitter and Facebook on your website can also help.
Equally it’s important not to neglect your analytics. These will tell you who is viewing your website, how long they are spending on your website and where this traffic is coming from. Valuable information that shouldn’t be wasted!
There’s a lot more to your website than meets the eye. You’ll need a functional program taking care of the backend – a Content Management System – CMS. This is what organises your content and makes sure everything is where it should be. Your website visitor can’t see it but, trust us, they’d soon know about it if it wasn’t doing its job!
Call to Actions – CTAs – also play an integral part in your website. These are prompts on pages strategically placed to encourage the website visitor to complete an action, e.g. call us, book online, get in touch, buy now. These are designed to entice the website user to behave in a way that will benefit your business. Don’t forget to consider them in your design.
It’s a great feeling once you’ve got your brand spanking new website up and running but what happens going forward? It’s likely that you’ll need to make changes to pages over time or update products, company information and events, and it’s important that you can do this quickly and easily so that your clients or customers have the most up to date and relevant information. While some larger organisations may have the luxury of a dedicated in-house web team to do this, smaller organisations may need to outsource this work. So, it’s worth factoring this into your budget.
If you’d like to speak to one of our team about your own website, you can get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, pick up the phone and call us on 01600 891525 – we’d love to hear from you!
By definition, an Infographic is a visual representation of information or data, for example as a chart or diagram. Sounds exciting, right? Well perhaps not and you might wonder what we’re doing talking about them on our website.
What does an infographic have to do with marketing and how is it relevant to your organisation? Don’t be fooled. Infographics can be incredibly useful tools, providing a new way to share information and engage your audience.
Here are just some of the reasons we love infographics…
One – Infographics are a great way to display lots of information clearly in a small space.
Two – Infographics keep your audience engaged as they’re much more interesting to look at than a plain block of text. This one shows some facts and figures from the 2015 Rugby World Cup…
Three – Infographics are easier to produce than you think. Take a look at some of the useful tips and tools we’ve included at the bottom of this post.
Four – They’re easily updatable which means that you can keep your information current and infographics can be a great way of sprucing up your annual report.
Five – If you want to tell a story and/or show off your organisation’s achievements use an infographic. We love this one from Macmillan!
Six – A well branded infographic can explain who you are and what you do, raising brand awareness.
Seven – 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. They say that a picture paints a thousand words so imagine what you can achieve with a striking infographic.
Eight – It’s been proven that infographics get more shares on social media, increasing their potential to go viral.
Nine – Infographics can be exactly what you want them to be. Most templates are customisable and if you’re designing your own, well the possibilities are endless! Here’s one we put together for Monmouth Festival.
We’ve included some useful websites here which can help you get started with creating your own infographics.
We’re always championing Canva with our clients. If you’re no Photoshop whiz this website provides great templates for you to customise and post on your social media channels. And they now do infographics too!
More advanced in its function and dedicated specifically to displaying data, Piktochart offers different paid subscription options depending on how advanced you’d like your artwork to be.
Like Piktochart, Venngage also offers more paid-for subscription options based on user requirements. Templates are easily organised into business, marketing, education, tech. and social media.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for something bespoke and original, get in touch with our team and discuss your requirements. Email email@example.com or pick up the phone and talk to us on 01600 891525.
Symptoms of fatigue and sluggishness warn us when our bodies are out of balance. But are you savvy to key business signs that show your brand could be suffering a similar malaise? Brands, like bodies, deteriorate with unhealthy choices and too little nourishment. How can you tell when your brand needs detoxing?
To get to grips with this, you need to understand the basic physiology of a brand. Brands reside in consumers’ minds. Your brand is built out of all the beliefs and associations that consumers hold about your products and your business. This bundle of perceptions is built up over time, and it will determine how likely consumers are to buy your brand.
Brand perception is fed, for good or ill, by all your marketing communications including: packaging, advertising, website, social media, direct interaction with staff, press coverage, emails, promotions, and printed materials such as brochures etc. Brands living in consumers’ minds will be nourished by clear, relevant and motivating communication or toxified by conflicting or ill-judged messages.
Here are 5 key signs that your brand is ready for a detox.
How easily can you paint a clear mental picture of your typical consumer? To develop an engaging brand, you need to have a good understanding of the people who use your product. You need to understand both the big stuff (what their needs are, what’s important to them) and the little stuff (such as what makes them laugh, what magazines they read). Strong brands are relevant to their audiences; they speak the right language and deliver meaningful benefits. Without consumer insight you are blindfolded. Understanding your consumers better will make your marketing activity fitter, leaner, and more effective.
2. Your consumers aren’t engaged
Be very wary of a one-way relationship with your customer base. If you receive little feedback to social media, have below-par email open and click-through rates, struggle to generate interest in promotions, or rarely receive any spontaneous feedback, these could all be important warning signs and a lead indicator of sales trouble ahead. Potential causes of consumer apathy include: overloading them with irrelevant messages, failing to reach the right people at the right time, or simply poor execution; marketing activity that fails to cut through the noise.
In contrast, an active core of brand loyalists is a good sign of a healthy brand. Engaged consumers with strong emotional ties to your brand, will act as advocates, recommending your products to others. Rejuvenate your marketing plan with a focus on engaging and mobilising your consumer base.
3. You haven’t nailed your brand’s most important benefit
Perhaps your brand has an impressively long list of features and benefits. It is not easy however, to embed many different benefits into busy consumer’s minds with a scattergun approach. For much better results, take aim with your brand’s most powerful, top-level benefit. For example a mobile phone will have 100’s of features and benefits that might include: a faster loading camera, battery that won’t let you down, hands-free use with voice control etc. But focusing the marketing on a single benefit that emerges from all of these – such as ‘living in the moment’ – will be far more successful.
4. Your staff can’t articulate what your brand stands for.
This is a great litmus test for brand health. Your staff are exposed to all your brand marketing. If staff can’t give a coherent answer to ‘what is your brand about?’, consumers will definitely struggle! One of the main pillars of good brand management is clarity. If your brand has become confused through poor communications, then it is time to get back to basics and detox your marketing approach.
5. Your branding is not consistent.
Lay out all your visual representations of your brand i.e. packaging, brochures, website, flyer, brochures, website, everything. Is the branding consistent and harmonious, or viewed altogether does it give you a headache? Over time, it can be easy to get cast adrift with minor logo variations creeping in, colourways and fonts wandering off in various directions. What about the tone of voice? Are all the materials written in the same style or is a bit of split personality showing through? If you want consumers to really believe in your brand, you need to present a reliable face. Detox your branding by capturing some simple brand style rules and then sticking to them fanatically.
In business, as in life, we all need to take stock and invest a little time and effort in regaining good health every so often. Use these 5 warning signs to recognise when a brand detox would be beneficial. Remember that brand perceptions live in consumers’ minds; a diet of good marketing communications will sustain your brand to keep it pure, fit and healthy!