Winners Web & Graphic Design Included In Best Top 50 Design Article by Rebateszone

Rebateszone, a provider of discount prices and coupon codes at thousands of top online stores has rated Winners Web & Graphic Design as no.33 on their list of “the best top 50 design blogs”.  Rebateszone help consumers save up to 30% on retail items from Papa Johns, Converse, H&M, Zavvi, Dorothy Perkins, Marisota,  CyberLink and thousands more.  It boasts over 4 million members and over 5 million coupons and deals. Big numbers, big names.

The recognition was unexpected so a big thank you goes out to Rebateszone.  Thank you for recognising what is being achieved by Winners Web & Graphic Design,  other design based companies and the contribution made to its clients and the community.  Its truly feels rewarding to be recognised by you. We still have a whole lot more to do.  The Top 50 Design Blogs article can be found here  Happy reading.

6 Positive Ways to Ease Into Your Day With a Calm Attitude.

How many of us can truly say we are morning people? How many of us can jump out of bed before the alarm sounds feeling fully energised and happy? Not many of us, that’s for sure, especially if it is the morning after you have been out partying with your friends.

Even when you don’t go out for the evening, and you go to bed at a sensible time, you may find yourself tossing and turning with a thousands thoughts racing through your mind, and keeping you from some much needed sleep.

Here are some simple tips to try and  make your mornings more of a positive experience:

1: Let the light in!

If you sleep well, but find it difficult to wake up in the morning, then try to go to sleep at night with your curtains half open. This way, you will be filling your bedroom with natural morning light as the sun rises. This sends a signal to your brain to start producing more adrenaline. By the time your alarm clock sounds off, you will already be half-awake, and getting up will be less of a shock to your system.

2: Make bedtime earlier

If you find yourself filling your evenings with pointless stuff, like surfing the net or endlessly scrolling Facebook, then set your bedtime for up to an hour earlier than normal. As long as you schedule in your recommended 7 hours of sleep per night, you may well find yourself altering your sleeping habits so that your rise with your natural body clock rather than with the alarm clock.

3: Breakfast like a king

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and when you think about the word ‘breakfast’, it is exactly what it is – to break a fast! Your body goes into repair at night while you are sleeping, and it uses a lot of essential nutrients to maintain and repair essential bodily functions. A healthy breakfast would be something with a good balance of protein and carbohydrates, so scrambled or boiled eggs and toast, or a bowl of natural Greek yoghurt with some fresh or frozen berries would be better that something too sugary, such as cereals or toast and jam.  The protein in your breakfast will keep your blood sugar levels on an even keel, and will keep your energy levels up until lunch time.

4: Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier

Give yourself more time to wake up properly in the morning. Avoiding the fluster of having to jump right out of bed as soon as the alarm sounds. By giving yourself a few extra minutes to gently wake up, stretch and ease yourself out of bed will help to keep your stress levels down in the mornings.

5: Recite a motivational quote each morning

Keep a list of motivational quotes by your bedside. Each morning choose a different one to recite before you get out of bed. Think about this quote as you busy yourself with your morning routine and you will find yourself feeling ready and raring to go!

6: Wake up to the smell of fresh brewed coffee

We may be a nation of tea drinkers, but there is nothing like waking up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee! Make your first cup of the day the best it can be – buy the absolutely best coffee you can afford and keep this for your mornings only. Caffeine is a stimulant that works directly on your central nervous system, it will wake you up and increase your blood flow. A good cup of quality coffee will help you to focus on tasks that require special attention, process information, and solve problems with a clear head.

Choosing an Inspiring Design for your Website or Blog

It doesn’t matter if you are planning your first site, or if you are considering a re-design of your existing one, choosing the best design and colour scheme for your site can be very overwhelming!

Before you decide, make up a mood board

Mood boards are commonly used by home decorators and style make-over specialists, so they are a great tool for us to use when deciding on a colour scheme for our new site. They are used to gage the likes and dislikes of clients, and help the designer to create the right mood setting for the website.

To create your own mood board, gather together some photographs, images and colour samples you like and put these samples together on a board or even a table. Rearrange, add and take away elements that you like or dislike. Eventually what you will end up with is a colour scheme that will create an atmosphere for your site, and a colour palate to work with.

Make it relevant

Choosing the right colour scheme and style is essential to your website’s credibility. You should develop your theme – including your choice of font – with clarity in mind. Ultimately your layout and font style and size should be easily readable, and complementary.

For a business website you should try to choose inspiring colours that will fit in with your particular business niche or sector. Keep this in mind while you are forming your mood board. Try to keep your personal tastes out of the equation if they are too far removed from the niche you are involved in. You may like pink flowers and lace personally, but it probably wouldn’t project the right image as a theme for your tax and accountancy website.

Imitate but don’t copy

Sometimes it is helpful to take a close look at the websites of other businesses in your niche market. The most popular sites will usually have some sort of common theme running through them, and it shouldn’t be too difficult to pick out what makes them so good. For example, are the top ranking sites in your field using styles that are simple, uncluttered and easy on the eye? Do they use a lot of visuals images on their home page or blog posts? Are they using no more than three colour combinations?

You can use the same ideas that the top sites are using, but remember to tailor your design to suit your business. Steer clear of building a replica site that at first glance would mirror one of your rivals sites. Using identical design layouts or colour combinations can lead to customer confusion, and may upset your rival enough for them to take action against you.

Screen colours may vary

You may be tempted to create your mood board or choose your colour palette using Photoshop, but remember that Photoshop will show some colours in a slightly different light to how it would really appear on your website. Certain colours look far more vibrant in Photoshop, so if you were to pick a shade of eye catching red, it may look far more muted on your homepage.

Complementation, contrast, and vibrancy

How we see colours in relationship with others is called complementation. A visually appealing colour combination could consist of two colours that are on the opposite end of the colour spectrum, such as black and white for example. Colours that complement each other gives the eye a happy medium to rest in, rather than straining to make sense of a combination that appears confusing and messy.

Contrast is all about choosing colours that reduce eye strain and helps the reader to focus on your page, so this directly affects the colour of your background behind your text, and how easily readable you make your content. You wouldn’t mix a red background with orange text – that would be too painful for anyone to read, and your visitors wouldn’t stay for long at all.

Vibrancy is like your mood setting. Bright colour choices will energize your web visitor, and can really be stimulating for when you want to produce an emotional response in your reader. Darker themes will put your visitor more at ease, and will encourage them to focus more on details.

So you can see – there is a lot more to coming up with a theme and colour scheme for your blog or website. Take some time out to consider your choices and how they will impact your web visitors before you decide.

Ways to get creative with Freebies and Giveaways

People love to get free stuff, especially if it is impressive, useful or has a high perceived value. You can take advantage of people’s desires by offering creative freebies that will be memorable, and will help to encourage your web visitors to return.

Just as McDonald’s restaurants make great use of giving away free toys in their Happy Meals, which encourages families to come back again and again, you can offer your customers something that will create a buzz, and will leave them impressed.

Source inexpensive business merchandise

There are a whole range of business merchandise manufacturers on the internet, and it has become quite a competitive marketplace, so there are plenty of bargains to be had by savvy companies looking for interesting and creative gifts to give away that can be personalised with your company brand.

When choosing merchandise to give as freebies, then you should offer something that is associated with your business wherever possible, and make it useful too! For example, if you sell ranges of art supplies to schools, artists and creative groups, then offering free pencil sharpeners with every order would certainly encourage more people to buy from you than another supplier who offers nothing.

Pampering treats will always be appreciated

If your business offers services that you cannot easily associate free merchandise with, then why not go down the luxury route and offer your clients some quality chocolate treats to pamper them with. Even if they don’t eat the chocolates themselves, the though is impressive, and they can pass the chocolates on to someone else to enjoy.

Build community spirit

When you are building a business that will focus on your local community, then push that aspect of it. If you are planning to run an open day, or appear at a local organised event such as a town fair or annual celebration, then get other local businesses on side.

Food is always a winner, so organise a local baker  to make you some themed cupcakes to give away, or some free chocolate samples from a local chocolatier. If you are promoting something healthy, and you have a local farmers market or supplier, then why not see if you can get them to donate some free apples for you to hand out.

It may be possible to work with another local business that would compliment your own. You could give out free samples of their pressed juices in exchange for them handing out one of your leaflets with every purchase made.

Go Digital

Your company may operate in a field where you do no not produce or sell any physical products. You may be offering business consulting services, counselling, yoga, or meditation. In this case you could create some free e-books, guides, or mini-courses to offer your clients when they sign up to your business newsletter.

For example if you are running an holistic therapy clinic, then a free guide to mindfulness would be something of great interest to your clients, and would carry a high perception of value for them.

If you are good at writing informative content, then you can easily put this together yourself, or you can hire a freelance writer to create these products for you for a very reasonable price.

Discount codes and coupons

A great way to get your customer to come back to your website is to offer a discount code for money off their next shop, or a percentage discount off a new product or service you are offering. You can discount codes and vouchers as an incentive for new customers to shop with you, or include them with the customer receipt after they have made a purchase.

If you have a physical shop, you can design a printable coupon to display on your website. Your customers can download and print these off to bring into your shop and use as part payment. Likewise, if you are running a cafe or restaurant, your printable voucher can be for a free drink, or a free starter with any main course ordered from the menu.

Try not to be too blatant

With gift giving, it is always best to be subtle. Your customers will appreciate a tote bag or mouse mat where your logo is placed discreetly in one corner of the product rather than front and centre. Always try to think about freebies and giveaways as a gift for your clients rather than a blatant promotional item. Your customers will respect you for it.

We hope you found these tips useful, and you can incorporate some into your promotional campaigns and brand-building exercises.

Networking For Shy People

It can seem like the most difficult thing in the world to have to network with a room full of complete strangers, especially when you understand that it has to be done if you are to achieve your long term career goals. After all, success in any business is something you need help with, and to get that help you need to build mutually generous and sincere relationships.

But for some individuals, schmoozing your way around a people can be an almost impossible task. Being shy, or lacking in confidence, can bring with it a real fear of rejection. There will always be someone at a networking meeting that you don’t see eye-to-eye with, or a person who doesn’t share your vision, and being rejected by them can leave you with a sense of unworthiness.

If you want to get better at networking, then you need to take some common-sense steps to overcoming your fears.

See these sessions for what they are. You may feel uncomfortable about approaching people, or even think that you are being insincere about your intentions towards them. But if you approach people with honesty, you will see it is more about building intimate and sincere relationships with people who can help you, and who you can help in return.

If you can realise that the other people who are here to network also have their own goals to achieve, and they too have to network their way to success. There may be some individuals here that are just as nervous and shy as yourself!

Take baby steps

To begin with, try to see if you can recognise a familiar face. There may well be someone at the meeting that you already know or have been introduced to previously. Start off by talking to someone familiar where you already have a connection, no matter how small that may be.

If there is no one in the room that is already familiar to you, then survey the room to find someone who may be a kindred spirit. Someone who may also be standing alone, looking and feeling a little awkward about being there. Take a deep breath, walk over and introduce yourself. That’s all it takes to begin with, and the person you speak with may be just as grateful of your company as you are of theirs.

Practice makes perfect, the saying goes, and each small conversation you have will help you to become more confident about making the next.

Never apologize!

Shy people are always the first to say ‘I am sorry’, when asking for help. It can feel like a bit of an imposition to ask people for help, and apologising for asking will leave you feeling incapable of doing things for yourself. Instead of looking at this way, try to realise that asking for help is simply an exercise in relationship building, and that it needs no apology.  A favour asked will be a favour that you would be happy to return, right? No apology necessary.

The best things in life are free

The above statement is so true, but it is missed by so many people. At networking meetings there is something really simple that you have that you can give out for free, and you can give this to every single person you meet. It will cost you nothing, yet it is incredibly powerful at breaking the ice, and sending out a positive image about yourself. Do you want to know what it is? Of course you do. It is nothing more simple than a smile!

In a room full of strangers, who are you more likely to warm up to – someone walking around looking very serious, or even with a scowl on their face – or someone who smiles at you? An open smile and a friendly ‘hello’ will gain more networking contacts than someone with a sour face.

The tips listed above may seem overly simple at first glance, but it is surprisingly how powerful they can be. For a shy or introverted person attending a networking meeting for the first time, remembering any one of these tips and putting it to good use will be very rewarding.

Motivational Quotes For Work When You Are Feeling Uninspired

Some days at work we are just not ‘feeling it’, but don’t worry- it happens to us all. Even great captains of industry have had their fair share of bad days.

It can be difficult to get yourself motivated to get your work done, especially when you are close to a deadline and everyone is counting on you to deliver. On the grand scale of things, one day of being unproductive may not cause much of a ripple, but if you let your listless feelings overwhelm you, it can easily lead to another wasted day – and then another…..

Sometimes you have to question why one day you can feel driven and motivated, then the very next day you feel so burnt out that you wonder where you left your head! But it is easy to feel in control when you are busy dreaming up the next idea, and planning how to implement it. The difficulty comes with trying to stay motivated while you are putting your plans into action.

Time to roll up your sleeves

We know that the work has to be done, and we know there is no getting around it, so it is up to us to dig deep and find the motivation to get things back on track.

Getting your work done smoothly and efficiently is about setting your goals and creating a positive working environment. You have to push through your workload even when you don’t feel up to it, but motivating yourself to push forward and find that drive to succeed can be helped along by repeating to yourself some uplifting motivational quotes.

Sports quotes can help to inspire you

In the highly stressful world of competitive sports, many top-class sports stars throughout history have used inspirational, motivational and focussed quotes to help squeeze the very last drop of effort from their performance.

Given the driven nature of many sports, it is no surprise that athletes often come up with some inspiring and motivational things to say about hard work, perseverance, leadership, and winning. Some of these may help to rev up your productivity, especially when a deadline is closing in on you.

The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win.

Roger Bannister

I’ve known people with exceptional talent – and some have wasted it. Ambition spurs a man on.

Geoffrey Boycott

I know what it takes to get to the top.

Linford Christie

Advice for anybody – enjoy what you are doing, enjoy the process of learning and don’t be impatient.

Robin Cousins

It’s perseverance that’s the key. It’s persevering for long enough to achieve your potential.

Lynn Davies

It’s about you. If you win, it’s you; if you lose, it’s you. Black and white. Nowhere to hide.

Greg Rusedski

I’m an accumulation of every single thing I’ve done, good and bad.

David Millar

I have a number of alternatives, and each one gives me something different.

Glenn Hoddle

If sports is not your thing, then why not draw some strength from some of the most famous leaders of industry who never gave up at the first hurdle. Without their drive to work through their issues to succeed, then the world as we know it today would be a much poorer place to live.

I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.

Thomas Jefferson

Greatness is sifted through the grind, therefore don’t despise the hard work now for surely it will be worth it in the end.

Sanjo Jendayi

My grandfather once told me that there were two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was much less competition.

Indira Gandhi

No great achiever – even those who made it seem easy – ever succeeded without hard work.

Jonathan Sacks

All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work.

Calvin Coolidge

Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goals: my strength lies solely in my tenacity.

Louis Pasteur

Start by doing what’s necessary, then what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.

Saint Francis

This is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.

Winston Churchill

You are not your resume, you are your work.

Seth Godin

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.

Mahatma Gandhi

You only have to do a very few things right in your life so long as you don’t do too many things wrong.

Warren Buffett

 

7 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Professional Website

Happy New Year all!  After all the hustle, bustle and merriment of the festive period, why not make 2019 the year to get that new website.  Is the computer saying no?

Maybe you thought you couldn’t afford a professional website so you got a freebie website and do it yourself or if you’re a startup or small business owner you may think there’s no benefit in having a website especially when you can do everything on social media.

Perhaps the computer says no because it means another learning curve for you because you think you are not tech savvy.

You might be an established business that has never had to advertise and think you are doing quite well as you are.

Admittedly you can do a lot on social media these days, but even if you’ve been in business for several years unless you are about to retire or do not want to grow your business,  your business needs a website and preferably one that is professionally designed.

These are the 7 reasons why your computer should be saying yes.

 

1. IT’S A SOUND INVESTMENT THAT SAVES YOU MONEY IN THE LONG TERM

The cost of designing a website will vary depending on your needs but once it’s up and running, a professional website is more than worth the initial investment, especially if built using a content management system which enables you to regularly make your own changes and updates.

Designing a professional website in 2019 is cheap when compared with the cost of traditional means of advertising, ie newspaper, and radio adverts.  When you consider the potential market you can reach with a website, it is a very cost-effective way to promote your business long term to a global and local market.

Even if you continually pay your website designer to maintain and update your website for you, the upkeep costs are far likely to be considerably lower than traditional advertising.

 

2. CUSTOMERS CAN EASILY BE KEPT INFORMED

Once your website is built you have your own space to promote your business/service or product to the world. You can update information at any time and it is much easier and quicker to update information on your website than if you have printed brochures, flyers or catalogs.  Any mistakes that are discovered after you publish a page or post, can be amended in minutes.

A website is an effective way of offering value by posting tips, resources, and useful information through a blog on your website. Whenever you like you have a platform to tell a story about your business and effectively let visitors know about new products, special promotions or upcoming events. You can add videos (which in 2019 greatly increase your SEO and website ranking).  Podcasts, Webinars, eBooks can also be available at your website and you can also provide online courses and workshops.

 

3. YOUR BUSINESS WILL GAIN CREDIBILITY

Having a website tells the world that you are here, you mean business, and that you are in it for the long haul. There is a massive and continually growing market searching for things online. They want to compare prices, obtain information about a store or restaurant before they purchase from them. If you don’t have a website, potential customers will go to your competitors who do.  Having a website not only provides visitors with the information they are looking for, but it will give your business credibility.

If you do have a do it yourself, freebie website, ensure that is it providing you with the professional image you desire for your company image? There is nothing less professional than a free website that looks like a free website. Your business will gain much more credibility by having a professional website designer to help you design and build your website.  If you have the skill to design your own website then at least use WordPress with the relevant theme and use a reputable hosting company.

 

4.  YOU OWN AND CONTROL YOUR WEBSITE

If, for example, you sell products on Amazon, the primary benefit is instant brand recognition. Many people know Amazon and have purchased from them. This gives you the chance to have access to a large amount of traffic without having to build your own brand. Having access to a huge customer base is an understatement as there are millions of people actively shopping on Amazon and therefore it’s an easy way to begin building a profitable business venture.

Customer service issues are also handled internally so you don’t have to worry about irate customers calling you if something happens to their orders. There are also a host of other benefits but the drawbacks include:

You could become an Amazon market tester.  Amazon likes to have third-party vendors stocking and shipping low priority items as it is cheaper for them to allow you to provide this service. If, however, your products sell well, then you have proven to Amazon that there is a market for what you’ve got and if you have not patented your product then you’ll find yourself competing with Amazon which often means going out of business.

It is also difficult to build personal relationships as customers are coming to Amazon to purchase from Amazon. They aren’t coming to purchase from you. You do not own your social media channel and you cannot control what happens with it. The information that you’ve uploaded to your social media channel could be taken down without prior warning for whatever reason and you could also lose your content.  The same applies to a freebie website. If you decide to move to a new web host, you can’t always take your website content with you (at least not easily) and you may have to start again from scratch.

Having your own website means that If you want to move to a different web host, you can take everything with you (as long as you have website backups).

 

5. YOUR WEBSITE IS OPEN 24 HOURS

Unlike a bricks-and-mortar location, which is only open a few hours a day, a website is always open for business. With today’s busy lifestyles, this is a great selling point when making a purchase decision.  Customers can browse your website in their own time from the comfort of wherever they choose and buy whatever and whenever they like. There is also flexibility for you which allows you to check on stock or sales, analytics or other information in your own time from the comfort of wherever you choose.

 

6 A WEBSITE ADDS CUSTOMER VALUE

A website is a great way to keep customers coming back to you when they need your products or services. This can be achieved by including an FAQ page or a resources section, regular quality articles or newsletters that answer all your customers’ questions.

If you sell insurance adding a blog could include articles that offer clients valuable advice to help them keep premiums low. You could advise on how to choose the right insurance policy for them or their family’s needs.

You might want to educate new visitors about the importance of life insurance, car insurance, contents insurance and each month could cover a different insurance type.

Offering this information saves customers time which is an important commodity in our ever-increasing fast-paced world. Most people these days don’t have enough time for leisure or pleasure and so having a professionally designed website saves you and your customer time and adds value.

 

7. A WEBSITE GIVES YOU ACCESS TO A GLOBAL MARKET

The internet is the way forward and people are increasingly gaining access to it, even in remote locations, a website offers you a global audience.

A website enables you to sell your products and services to those who cannot physically get to your bricks and mortar store. If you are offering good enough products and the right services customers will still buy from you regardless of whether or not you have a physical, bricks and mortar presence.

If you’re if you have been convinced that you do, indeed, need to have your own website lets build it in 2019.  Get in touch and let’s see how you can be assisted today.

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Can Guest Blogging Improve Your SEO Strategy?

Content marketers throughout the industry use every method available to help their clients get the most out of their marketing budgets and their techniques have been proven effective over and over again. By focusing on SEO as a major factor in their content marketing strategy, they are able to engage better with their clients’ customers and create a much larger target audience which, in turn, helps their clients’ businesses grow as well.

One part of an effective content marketing strategy and something that every business owner should consider is guest blogging. You have already seen the effectiveness of posting relevant content on your own blog, but how can guest blogging net you the same results? Let’s take a look:

The Advantages Of Guest Posts For Your SEO Strategy

Guest Posts Can Increase Your Company’s Brand Exposure- whether you are a new brand, or an established one, chances are, there are some people who have not heard of your brand yet. By guest blogging, you are able to reach a new audience that you might not have targeted before in your marketing strategy and this could mean more traffic to your website and more sales.

Guest Posts Can Help Create Relationships With Industry Influencers- influencers are people who typically have a lot of blog followers and who have created a personal brand of sorts which gives them the unique ability to influence their followers into making purchases, joining causes or reposting web content. Web influencers have the power to make a product or company incredibly popular practically overnight which makes guest blogging with them an effective tool to grow your business.

Guest Posts Can Improve Your Search Rankings- guest blogging can actually improve your search engine rankings, pushing your businesses link to the top of the search engine results. How is this possible? When you post a guest blog onto another blogger’s site, you are able to include a backlink to your own website, even a specific web page within your site. Google sees this as a high-quality backlink and ranks your site higher.

Guest Posts Establish Credibility- you want your business to be seen as a credible source for information within your industry. Customers feel more at ease spending their money on products or services from companies that know what they are talking about and posting a high quality, informative article onto another blog, linking back to your own site, can help you achieve this goal. Ensure that the guest blog is relevant to your niche or industry before posting it.

Guest Blogging The Right Way

While guest blogging might seem like a simple idea, there is really much more to it. In fact, guest blogging only works if it is done properly and according to Google’s guidelines. The best way to ensure this is to have a professional content marketing firm manage your guest blogging and SEO strategy for you.

If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it on your favorite social media sites.

Is your website working for you?

Internet marketing has increased the opportunities businesses have to engage with their markets, offering many ways of communication.   Across the spectrum of platforms out there, internet marketing offers selected means of engaging clients, helping to develop a brand/customer relationship that just gets better.

How will you be certain that your website works for you if you do not measure your website activity? If you have invested blood, sweat, and tears into your business wouldn’t you want to see a return on your investment? if so, it’s critical that you measure and record all your marketing activity in order to understand what works for your business and what does not.  Here are just four of the most important Internet marketing data you should be measuring and putting to good use.

1.  RETURN VISITORS

Its all well and good that new people visit your website but how many of them are actually return visitors? If visitors come back to your website then you have obviously been successful in making some kind of impact. The job is to now continue to maintain that impact by keeping your website up to date with relevant and engaging information.

2.  TRAFFIC SOURCES

If you know where your highest traffic sources come from it will aid you in knowing which campaigns you should focus your efforts on. This also allows you to review the way you work on other platforms or channels and make improvements or even stop working on them if it is not where your target market is. If you think that your Instagram channel sends you the most visitors but you realise its Facebook you need to review how you are working.   Monitoring your traffic sources has you in the know, rather than guessing where the most of your traffic sources come from.

3.  VISITOR’S DEVICE BEHAVIOURS

Another benefit is that it allows you to know your visitor’s desktop, tablet, and mobile traffic when online. This helps you decide whether to factor in whether you need to revamp or redesign your website to be able to benefit your visitor’s online behavior.

4.  USER EXPERIENCE

In 2018 user experience is even more important. Google has made it clear that the focus must be on the user’s experience. People want fast performing websites in 2018 and so does Google.  In fact, Google likes blazing fast sites and is preparing to move to what it calls a ‘mobile first‘ index this year.‘Site Speed’ is now a ranking factor.

If your visitors can navigate your website in a logical structured way to find the information that they require it increases the chances of them engaging with your pages and also sharing them. This helps search engines know which pages are useful to people.

For support and advice on tracking, recording and analysing your digital marketing metrics, Winners Web & Graphic Design today. Your current activity will be reviewed and recommendations made to assist you in making a return on your investment.

9 Reasons to use Google Analytics

Managing an online business includes much more than having a pretty website. Knowledge of marketing and social media as well as having knowledge of how well your website is accomplishing its purpose is vital. You should know the details of what people do when they visit your website, which pages they visit and how long they stay. Google Analytics assists you in doing this. Here are a few reasons to make sure its something you get to grips with as soon as you can.

Free & easy to use

Google Analytics is free and relatively easy to use. There is no one-off or monthly fee for this product.

 

Informs you of the number of visitors to your website

It allows you to see how many visitors visit your website on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. and therefore its important in seeing whether you are growing in popularity online. If you don’t know this basic information then what is the point in having a website?

 

Records of the number of visitors to each of your web pages

It also provides information on the pages your visitors visit and the number of your new and repeat visitors. On top of this, it records the average time they stay on your website and the pages they exit from. This helps you plan the type of information needed on specific pages.

 

Records where your visitors are from

It’s an amazing application that informs you of who is visiting your website and where your customers come from. For example, if you were receiving a heavy volume of spam from China when your services are geared to people living in the UK you can exclude emails coming from China or anywhere else that is relevant.

 

Shows who is visiting your website in real-time

If you have a very busy website the Google Analytics real-time feature allows you to see the number of active users on your website in real time any time of the day or night. This includes the pages they’re looking at, and what they are doing – how useful is that?

 

Assists with campaign monitoring

It allows you to monitor how your campaigns are working which enables you to cut out the ones that do not work and concentrate on the ones that bring traffic to your website.

 

Provides powerful customizable reports

You can print standard reports and easily customize your own ones so that they contain the specific information you need.

 

Monitors traffic from desktops, tablets, and mobile phones

Another benefit of using Google Analytics is that it allows you to monitor your desktop, tablet and mobile traffic to enable you to see which devices your visitors are using when online.  This helps you decide whether to factor in whether you need to revamp or redesign your website to be able to benefit from your visitor’s online behavior.

 

In-page breakdown

One of the latest features is a choice entitled “In-Page” analytics. This provides information on the buttons and links on each page and how many times each one is clicked. This amazing feature helps you discover how the layout of your website affects decisions and the behavior of your visitors

If you would like a training session on Google Analytics please make contact with me directly.  I’m happy to help.

Another website is launched!

Technology is evolving at lightening speed and so it is crucial for all business owners to be on top and understand the latest trends and behaviour of their users. Always do your research and see what people in your industry are doing with their websites, note the new features they are implementing, note what big players are doing and learn in order to provide the best experience to your users and convert them into customers. It’s important that you build a website for your company that can grow with your business and which you can add additional features and functionality to without having to rebuild the whole website.

I have just completed another website re-design for one of my client’s, Qemamu Mosaics.  They wanted to scrap their old website and build a new one which would enable them to make updates more easily, have improved navigation and visual appearance and make all their products available to buy from one place.

Does your current website portray the correct image of your business? Does it do what you want it to do or do you want it to do more? Are you pages written for SEO?  Are visitors visiting your website?  Maybe you need a re-design.  I am available to build one that will improve your online image, generate inquiries and increase sales.  All of my websites are made with love.  Please contact me directly for more information: info@winnerswebdesign.co.uk

You can take a peek at the new website here.

http://www.qemamumosaics.co.uk

6 Reasons why you should maintain your website

It is a must to create and maintain the habit of looking after your website. This applies both to adding new content and to the way your website is built. Here are 6 great and important reasons why.

 

1. Boost your SEO (Search engine optimization)

Having an up-to-date website benefits your website security and ranking because Google searches for relevant content – and fresh relevant content is the key.  If there are billions of websites on the internet how on earth will you ever be found without feeding your site with the appropriate content.  If you keep your website regularly updated with great content, you could potentially become a ‘go-to’ website for Google and other related search websites.

Why would visitors go to your website if there is nothing new, relevant or interesting there?  Doesn’t make sense.  Another point worth remembering is to remember to write with your search terms or keywords in mind.  Google loves that. Updating your website with fresh relevant content draws attention to it from not just regular return visitors but search engines too. A new look every so often is good.  Even Google is in the habit of changing their logo which draws attention and educates visitors at the same time.

 

2.  Security

It may not seem very interesting or important but it is the most important. Websites get hacked on a daily basis and a website that is not maintained makes it a very easy target for spamming or advertising things you wouldn’t want to advertise on your website. New holes and exploits are constantly found which is why it is important to make sure your website coding is maintained.  It is wrong to build a website and just leave it there.  It’s important to make arrangements for the future of your website maintenance, security, and rebuilds.

 

3.  Responsive web design

With the advancement of technology, the use of desktop computers is falling, whilst mobile apps and tablets are rising.  It is therefore important that your website can be seen clearly on all devices.  Aspects such as screen resolution and navigation differ on each device. If your website is not optimised in the relevant way your website may display great on one device and incorrectly or not at all on others.

 

4.  Networking

A website is an investment and a great networking tool at your service but there is no point going out to network, handing out your business card to a potential new customer only for them to visit and find everything out of date on your website.  How likely are they to visit it a second time around?Your visitors need to know that you are organised and passionate about your website as this reflects on your business as a whole.

 

5. Performance tracking

Using your website to its fullest potential includes tracking performance. If you have just finished running an advertising campaign you can use Google Analytics (which is totally free) to track the activity on your website for the relevant period to determine the interest or response of that campaign.  It will help you shape future campaigning. When used and maintained effectively a website is an invaluable tool.   Learn more about Google Analytics here 

 

6.  Communication

Websites are now seen as ways of connecting with a company. Customers rarely phone businesses to ask about products or services and are more likely to look online for companies they think are worth buying from. This is an extremely important factor in today’s market.  A website alive with activity should be the main goal as well as provide many ways to get in touch or simply developing a community of customers.

Aiming to get online reviews should be part of your strategy as many people like to read them before they buy products and with the continuing growth of social media and websites like Facebook, Twitter and Amazon customers recommend willingly.

10 reasons why customers will leave your website in seconds

What makes people run away shortly after visiting your website and what can be done about it?

It’s not easy to create a fantastically good looking website with the best user experience and because of this most websites have some problem or another. You can do yourself a favour though and avoid some things.  Here are a few that cause visitors to run.

Slow page load times

Don’t make your customers wait! They don’t like waiting and most already pay for a good home broadband connection and will be damned if your slow loading website is causing trouble for them. If they really want or need to visit your website then they might wait, but if they just clicked a link on impulse then they are more likely to leave.

Senseless navigation

The user experience has to be kept at the forefront of your mind when it comes to your website and bad navigation is like shooting yourself in both feet. Navigation needs to be as seamless and straightforward as possible. Flash-based websites tend to be among the very worst of sinners. Heaven help us if you are still using a flash based website. Visitors might hang around, much in the same way that people slow down on motorways to stare at car crashes but they will be off again once recovered from the shock

Key information has gone walkies

I visited an online bookshop recently to find out how much a certain book would cost me. After a few seconds of hunting around, I realised that there were no details regarding the cost of the particular book that I wanted. Well, there was no way I was going to click the ‘buy now’ button just to see how much the book costs. I just purchased the book from Amazon instead. Make sure your key information isn’t missing.

Old Website Updates

Your visitors like to see an up to date ‘news’ or ‘blog’ section on your website and active social media accounts This indicates some signs of life and that you haven’t gone out of business. If the last ‘news’ or blog was from ‘January 2005’ then I doubt they will be hanging around long.

Excessive scrolling and flashing

People are browsing your website, they are not in a nightclub which is the only place where they will tolerate lots of flashing lights. Grabbing the attention of your visitors is important but there are ways and means. Don’t be desperate?   The same applies to music. Music is suitable for some websites but ensure that it complements the tone of your website and actually stops playing at some point.

Narrow sites

Why on earth would a website be designed for 800px monitors? We are no longer in the year 2002. A full-screen modern look is more appealing, fresh and with built-in responsiveness creates a market for you of purchasers buying using their mobile phones. Mobile phone purchases have now overtaken desktop purchases, something to bear in mind.

Left-aligned sites

Again – we have long past the year 2002 so there is no need for this. It just does not look right.   Very scary to be an ongoing thing in the year 2017.

Poor grammar

Poor grammar and typos are a no, no and do not send the right message to your visitors. You should be paying attention to detail. If you’re not bothered about that kind of thing then what kind of message does it give out? That is not the way to go.

Colour clashes

Incorrect colour combination makes it difficult to read text. And if you cannot read anything why stick around when you can scoot.   A qualified web designer will be versed in the knowledge in colour harmony and colour theory. Putting this skill to task can save you losing visitors, sales, and unnecessary headaches.

Services unclear

Visitors need to be able to tell what a company does within seconds. If you prefer to keep what you do top secret then that is fine but what’s the point? If visitors can’t find things easily and quickly then they will look elsewhere.

If you feel its time for a re-design of your current website or you are thinking about building your first one give me a call. Maybe you just want some key elements changed or a regular blog written and posted. Either way Winners Web & Graphic Design is at your service. 07956 836 679

5 Reasons You Should Outsource Your Website Content Writing

1  Blogging is a must

It’s not optional — It’s just that simple. if you have a business and you also have a website it’s not optional. If you do nothing to your website after it has been built it will most certainly generate little or no traffic. therefore you need lots of useful and relevant content. Having a highly ranked blog that’s also popular, and trustworthy is important to gaining business and staying ahead of your competition.

2  Fresh eyes are better than tired ones

Most Business Managers just do not have the time to produce their own website content, but even if they do, a fresh pair of eyes is a godsend. When you are too close to your own website, services or products you can be prone to overlook serious flaws which ultimately lead to bigger problems further down the line. Writing website content is a specialized service and should be left to those who have the expertise. Great content should grab the reader from the title and keep them engaged to the very end and then include a call to action. This is good for you, good for your brand and also your customers.

3  Not everyone is cut out to be a writer

If you are finding it hard to keep your website updated with regular content or you find writing un-enjoyable, tedious or boring you should outsource to someone who can help you. Winners Web & Graphic Design use a simple process of research, write, edit and proofread so that articles are ready to be published immediately. This is emailed to the client for checking/authorisation before publishing. Free plagiarism checks are included with each article that is produced.

4  Right message at the right time

It’s important to put out web content at the right time. When something happens that affects your service, target market or your community, airing your voice at the right time gives you authority and a better connection to your customers. Your content can easily go viral if you get this right.

5  More opportunities for exposure

Content writers strive to give their audience concise, appealing and valuable information. This requires research and great writing skill using a mix of media. Therefore using a content writer can get a social media strategy working and maintained for you.   A presence on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn is important if you want to drive more traffic to your content by stimulating likes and shares. Winners Web & Graphic Design can post regularly across all your profiles and target those most likely to engage with and share your content. This will help to develop you or your business as an authority.

Gain and maintain visibility by Google by outsourcing to Winners Web & Graphic Design.   Let’s take the stress out of the situation for you, by bringing experience, professionalism, and passion to your website content. I work with you to interpret the nature of your business in appropriate words and messages for the internet.

Make contact today and let’s get started?

6 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR WORDPRESS WEBSITE SECURITY

Keep your software up to date

Ensure you are using the most up to date version of WordPress, currently 4.6.1. If using an older version, you should upgrade immediately.You may use a free tool like Sucuri’s Site Check to check whether your site is secure. If action is needed thereafter an expert can check your website and advise on what is needed to resolve the issue. It is vitally important to keep any other themes, plugins etc up-to-date too. Attackers continually target popular website software, and therefore programs need to be updated to patch security holes. Its advisable to stay up to date with hacking threats and use the information you find to put fresh precautions in place when and where necessary. By default, WordPress will apply security updates, but plugins and themes need to be updated regularly by you or your website administrator.

Use strong passwords

Strong passwords are a must. Attackers can use software that use brute force to crack passwords. To protect against this passwords should be complex and not obvious to guess. Use information that contains uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and other special characters. It is best for passwords to be at least 10 or more characters long. Restricting IP access and limiting login attempts is also advised. You may also double the number of credentials needed to log in to reduce the number of password guesses which in turn, makes the attacker’s work harder. 

Use a reputable and secure host

It cannot be stressed enough but a reputable web hosting company is extremely important. Choose a host that offers ongoing technical support whenever necessary. It should also be a security-focused company focused on keeping your website secure and also offer a backup service to make it easy to restore your website if your site is hacked. Do not just rely on their back up but back up your own site regularly too. You should maintain backups of all of your website files and database in case your site becomes inaccessible or your data is lost and your host is not able to produce the version copy you need.

Encrypt your login pages

If you use SSL encryption on your login pages it allows sensitive information such as credit card numbers and login credentials to be transmitted securely. All information added to a page is encrypted, making it’s meaningless to any third party who might see it.

Keep your website clean

Every database, theme or plugin on your website is another possible point of entry for attackers. You should, therefore, remove any files, databases, etc from your website that are not in use. If you keep your file structure organized it will help you keep track of changes and make it easier to remove old files. 

Secure your server

Ensure that all WordPress files and folders have proper permissions and ownership; this basic step is often not performed. Applying these controls can stop the attacker’s ability to upload malicious files and execute code that can compromise not only your website but your server too.

 

5 reasons to keep your website up to date

If a visitor finds your website and finds outdated content, will they stay or leave? Do you think they will buy anything? Customers want to know your business is trustworthy and active. Regularly updating your website with useful fresh content will not only be met with appreciation and loyalty from your audience but will put you in good light with Google and the other search engines. Here is why:

Content is like food for your website

Search engines are constantly gathering search requests and the more you update your website with high-quality content, the more the search engines will visit your website and index your website higher. It will certainly be ranked higher than one that is not being updated.  Once your website has gone live on the internet it becomes a powerful tool with which you can interact with your audience.  Your website’s food is fresh, regular, quality content.  This keeps your website alive.  The search engines will love your website if you feed it with the right food. This includes adding new relevant pages, posts, and downloads. Do not add low-quality articles stuffed with keywords or you may end up penalized and defeating your prime objective.

Google loves fresh content

Romance the search engines by adding content once a day or at least twice a week.  One of the best ways to stay fresh is to add a blog to your site and continue to add articles that will get noticed by your audience. Any comments you receive also counts as an update on your site.

Fresh content increases your potential authority

If you research your competitors’ websites, you find that the authority sites in your industry have tens of thousands of pages indexed by Google and therefore the more valuable content you publish, the better your chance of becoming an authority website.

A good strategy is to publish industry news as this will put you in good stead to becoming an authority site.  All new news articles and pages are indexed by Google. If you continue to write great content about a particular topic you will begin to create trust and more sales. You also become a stronger authority.  Social media platforms and specialist forums are a great place to begin building authority on a topic.  See article for more information? https://www.winnerswebdesign.co.uk/winners-web-graphic-design-included-in-best-top-50-design-article-by-rebateszone/

You keep your audience informed and up to date with your business

There is heavy competition out there and so you need to convince your visitors that your product is the best choice for them compared to the thousands (or millions!) of other results presented in their search.  Keeping your audience updated on your services, keeping them engaged develops long-term loyalty, which creates returning traffic that adds more value to your website.

It also provides new visitors with valuable information about your business, products or services.

More content means more keywords

When you publish new content, ensure your articles contain your keywords.  Keywords are high on the algorithm chart for search engine indexing and ranking.  Frequently added content that contains the right keywords help to attract the right audience to your site.

For example, if you run a beauty salon you can run articles 2 -3 times a week and focus them on hair beauty or skin beauty, Each time you add a new article, you incorporate valuable keywords that help a search engine recognize your website as a place visitors can visit for their specific needs.  Google is not looking for articles crammed with keywords so do not do this.  Do not write content around a keyword but write it around what the reader wants and always use meta tags, title tags and descriptions for your keywords.  Use H1, H2 and H3 titles correctly, embolden relevant keywords and ensure your images are titled with relevance to your article or keywords and add internal and external links to your articles too.

Check out these article for further reading?

General tips for keeping your website up to date: https://blog.crazyegg.com/2014/04/15/5-tips-fresh-website/

Advice/support from Google https://support.google.com/webmasters/#topic=3309469

Content writing tips: http://www.contentfac.com/even-more-web-content-writing-tips/

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