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Author Archives: user

Feb
05

Top Tips on How to Effectively Communicate Online

The online world can sometimes be a complex and confusing place. However, it’s highly important to communicate with readers, customer and prospective clients effectively and efficiently through your website design and your social media.

It goes without saying, but a reminder never hurts, online communication is made up mostly of text, that is known as ‘copy’ which is placed throughout your website design. With this in mind, it can be difficult to convey certain emotions or engage readers fully if the copy isn’t just right. Many business courses talk about the ‘7 C’s’, so today, we’re going to look at these and adapt them for communicating online. To learn how to communicate online to the best of your ability, read on!

  1. Clarity

Clear writing allows the reader to understand the meaning of your message, just as you wanted it to be understood. When thinking about how to be clear, carefully consider not only word choice, but also the formatting and structure of your copy and how it will look within your website design. Simplifying your vocabulary and not over complicating sentences will help the reader understand the message you want to convey.

  1. Completeness

When communicating a message online, it’s very important to provide all of the information that a reader will need in order to fully engage. If you’re trying to tell a story, sell or build your audience, you need to paint the full picture to provide a complete overview of the message.

  1. Conciseness

Yes, at times, we’re all guilty of wanting to sound sophisticated in our writing. However, ‘sophisticated’ writing doesn’t always come across as intended. Therefore, it’s very important, especially when it comes to online communication, to be brief where possible, avoiding rambling on about unrelated or unnecessary information.

  1. Concreteness

When it comes to online copy, visual, factual and numerical communication can really help engage your reader. Many won’t have the patience to sit and read through copious amounts of text, so visual representation can work effectively in replacement of words.

  1. Correctness

If your online copy isn’t correct, it can make you or your business look highly unprofessional. It is absolutely essential to proofread and edit any copy before publishing it online. There are some online tools that can help correct grammar, such as Grammarly, but enlist in a professional copyeditor or proofreader (depending on your requirements) to bring your writing up to scratch.

  1. Courtesy

Sometimes messages can get miscommunicated and be misunderstood, especially in cyberspace. Therefore, it’s important to ensure your writing is engaging, kind, and above all, courteous. Always reread any copy (including web copy, email, instant message etc.) to check that it won’t offend or be misinterpreted.

  1. Consideration

Directly linked to courtesy, consideration is about focusing on the needs and expectations of your audience. Think about whom the message is going out to and how they may take that communication. With that in mind, tailor your copy to keep positive and relevant to your audience.

In addition to the ‘7 C’s’, your copy should be professional, original and creative. Make every online interaction better by following the above steps. But bear in mind that they are not independent of one another; together they will help you communicate in written formats.


Jan
08

Using a Blog to Promote Your Business

Having a blog is a great way for your product or service to gain visibility both easily and inexpensively through your own website. A blog not only keeps your presence on the web fresh but lets you keep current customers or clients updated. By updating frequently, and using keyword-rich copy in your blog, you will have the potential to draw in new visitors, who in time, may become regular visitors to your website. Blogging is such a great way to engage and reach out from your website, and here’s how you can successfully use your blog to promote your business.

Create a content plan

For your blog to be valuable to your website, it must be current and fresh. It’s highly important to ensure you’re posting at least once a week in order to keep readers engaged and coming back for more. Sit down, have a think, and come up with an editorial plan. This plan should include how many blogs you plan to post to your website per week, topics that are relevant, and a rough guide to the content required. Yes, you want to stay current, but things change and trends shift, so you don’t always have to stick to your plan. Simply have a rough guide of what you want to achieve from your blog.

When creating an editorial or content plan, always note it down to avoid forgetting topics you decide to cover. Every aspect of the content on your blog should be optimized with keywords, including the titles and tags. It won’t hurt to spend some time researching popular and common keywords in your industry. Just remember to include them into the content naturally!

Share the right content

A blog is a great platform to share stories, facts and pieces of interest through your website – whether they are about your business or not. The following are some examples of engaging copy that your visitors will want to read about:

  • New products and services
  • Tips, guides and advice relating to the industry you’re in – for us, it’s website design (think about how the copy will benefit the reader)
  • Updates of current or completed projects, launches, etc.
  • Positive stories about your business
  • Q&A sessions where you post the answers to common questions in a blog
  • Any business or personal accomplishments or awards
  • Job openings or opportunities within the business.

It’s often a good idea to reach out to readers once a blog is established to find out if there’s anything they think is missing or would like to see.

Take Advantage of Social Media

Every time you publish a blog post, use your social media channels to share the link. You can automate this process if you want to, but some posts may not be relevant to some social media audiences, so think about this first.

Proof, proof, proof!

A final proofread before you publish your post on your website is essential. But even once your post has been published, read through it once more for any errors you didn’t noticed the first time. If you want to be really sure, ask someone else to take a look over it.

 


Dec
04

10 reasons why a website can look unprofessional

Many businesses choose to design, build and develop their own website in an attempt to try to save money in the early days, with a belief that they can use a designer at a later stage when money is more readily available. This may sound like a good idea but many overlook the importance of design. The way a site visitor judges a website will often be influenced by smaller details on a subconscious level.

Catching the attention of your website viewer is crucial. You only have a few seconds in which to do so, which is why these small details make all the difference.

Research shows that people, and more importantly potential customers, won’t believe a site is dependable unless is also looks visually attractive.

The following common errors are seen when amateur designers aim to create their own website without professional help.

  1. Using templates incorrectly

Small businesses can benefit from templates more than larger businesses, but if you do decide to use one then having it professionally customised, so that it works for your branding is the best way to start. A common problem is that many templates that have been pre-designed have a poor weak link between the logo and website. Colours in the logo will not be seen throughout the rest of the site and it is also common for the wrong fonts to be used.

  1. Default bootstrap look

Your brand can be affected if you decide to use the default Bootstrap design because there are so many other websites out there doing it that it can be difficult to differentiate.

An obvious sign that you have used Bootstrap to build your site is Font Awesome. This has become popular because of its large library of icons and the fact that it offers a consistent visual language. Choosing to use another set of detailed icons can help you to focus the attention onto your selling points.

  1. The importance of fonts

Fonts are more important than people realise and many amateur designers fall foul of their use. Fonts can complete a design or they can simply be the end of it. The main problem with this is that there is often not enough contrast between the headline and main body fonts because applying different sized fonts just isn’t enough. Using bolder fonts help it to stand out and help the user to guide their way through the site.

  1. Background

The background makes up a large part of the website so it is important to choose the colour – or lack of colour –  carefully. Black is generally no good and white is very safe but more and more designers are choosing to use grey or lighter tones. A lighter shade of grey is the preferred colour as it makes it easier to read black letters.

  1. Calls to action

Your website should only have one main call to action. Giving users more than one action to carry out can leave them confused which then takes them longer to make a decision. It can even result in them leaving your website if they have to put in too much effort. Make it simple for visitors to make a decision and they are more likely to stick around!

  1. The problem with spacing and alignment

How much spacing in a website design is too much and how much is too little? It can be difficult but ensuring that all of the elements are grouped together correctly is a great way to start and leaving the correct amount of white space around this will also work.

  1. Poor quality copy

Writing is difficult but getting your message across is vital, even more so if you are trying to sell. Therefore, ensuring that your copy is simple to understand is crucial and having it proofread can help to find any errors. Here as WiserWeb we specialise in content provision and that involves writing engaging content.

  1. Readability

If your text cannot be read then it is useless. Your text will contain relevant information that is important, but if this is difficult to read and understand quickly then you will be giving out the wrong message. Small line height and fonts that are unreadable have to be fixed and the correct contrast between the text and background will help. Even though many will still be able to read poorly formatted text, it automatically gives off a level of unprofessionalism.

  1. Lack of consistency

Branding has to have consistency because your brand has to be recognisable regardless of the platform. This means that the logo colours have to match, the same shading has to be used and the same font. Many amateur web designers do not think about this which gives a bad impression on what your brand is all about.

  1. Design that is off-trend

Some design trends are disappearing but there are many still using them which makes them look outdated. One example of this is skeuomorphism – where design cues are taken from the physical world to suggests something that’s real. Slowly this is now disappearing, but look for off-trend designs that make your brand stand out from the crowd.

 


Nov
06

The web developer and customer relationship

The success of any website development project is largely based on the strength of the client/developer relationship. Any diligent web design company will do all it can to ensure that these relationships are preserved in order to make working on a client’s projects more enjoyable and satisfying, with the potential for a much more positive outcome.

So how can the relationship be improved?

We get to know our clients from the very start because we appreciate that we will be spending many hours with them throughout the duration of the project, whether that is in person, online or on the telephone. We work hard to understand their requirements and interests because we believe that this is an effective way to strengthen the relationship.

We know that most people do not understand the real workings of web development, so we aim to educate and enthuse our clients as this is the most efficient way of turning the project into a success. We do everything we can to help our clients make the right decisions regarding their web presence because the web changes at an incredible pace. Helping our clients to understand that changes are beneficial helps them and us in the long term.

The best interests of our customers are always a high priority which is why we use our experience to make the right decisions for our customers. Our experience may often lead us to decide that a decision made by our client is wrong, but we will always back this up with a reason whilst providing an alternative solution. We believe this is a healthy way of working.

We are aware that our clients appreciate it when we take on jobs that require us to work hard for them, especially where clients require certain features which work in their favour. This is an opportunity that we love but it helps us to work more closely with our clients. Therefore, we understand that pushing ourselves that little bit further in times of need help us to build a successful relationship. Our difference is that we go above and beyond the norm, always turning things around quickly and communicating effectively, often out-of-hours.

A respectful relationship is what we aim for because we like to keep it professional. We define our role from an early stage and this enables us to build and forge relationships and because we do this we can continue to give clients our valued advice and expertise.

Building an honest and transparent relationship is key to our success and when complications occur that force us to work longer we make it known to our clients. Problems can occur at any time and it is part of the job so keeping our clients informed is important to us.

Web design requires focus and dedication which is why we aim to gain the trust of our client’s by staying focussed. Trust is huge which is why we deliver what we promise in the timescale agreed upon. This helps us to cement relationships with clients whilst building credibility. We believe that trust runs deep and we help clients to understand that we are part of the same team and that we both want to reach the same goals. Therefore, their failures are our failures and their achievements are our achievements because we are all working towards the same aims. Understanding this will help us to further our trustworthiness and improve our relationship.

We fully appreciate that the relationship is the basis on which the job is built. A successful relationship will help to make a success of current projects and future project whilst enabling both parties to enjoy the whole process from start to finish.

We are only happy, when our clients are delighted!

 


Oct
02

An explanation of invisible design and what it means to your website

Design is not always about being big and bold. In many cases design requires a more subtle form and often, high quality design is invisible.

Given that web design is a visual tool, how is invisible design achieved? Good design is about a visual simply ‘feeling right’. Users like to interact and engage with something they see on a website, but need not explain or understand – it makes them feel comfortable.

Experienced website designers make the most of the tools available to them with the final results appealing to a wide audience. That audience may not understand the design process, but it does appreciate that the colour, spacing and typography all work in harmony.

There are different types of invisible design. Each type is extremely important and is likely to have an effect on the visuals produced for your own website. The different types are:

  • Invisible placement of products, such as brands or advertising that may not even be noticed
  • Invisible interactions and notifications that occur effortlessly, where an action is performed without any thought at all.
  • Emotional connections made through invisible aesthetics, which helps to bond with users, resulting in them wanting to engage with your site and its products or services.

Invisible aesthetics is just one element of basic design. It involves using colour, text, images, icons and different techniques to get a message across.

What design basics could work for you?

The language and text that you use interact with the design elements and create a direct, if subconscious response from the user. Words can encourage several emotions and the way they flow also has an effect.

The choice of colour can be a difficult one and may take time to decide upon. Colours produce certain feelings as well as being linked to different cultures. The right choice of colours will help users to interact whilst creating a feeling of coordination. Here at Wiser Web we are careful to choose colours carefully. We know that blue can often feel cold, while red can provoke thoughts of danger, or warning. Both may be useful in certain circumstances, but careful thought needs to be given before their use to ensure they are appropriate.

Typography plays a large part in useability and typefaces can have meanings of their own, initiating a range of feelings. Generally, it is safest to choose uniform, easy-to-read fonts which also help to remove barriers that prevent interaction with, or access to websites, by people with disabilities. If your business has a website, you have a legal responsibility for it to be accessible to disabled users.

Pictures speak a thousand words and the images you choose are no different. This includes photographs, animations and videos and the colours they radiate, together with their content, can provide user engagement and content.

There are many other techniques that can work in a positive way, but experienced designers are also aware of their negatives if used incorrectly. The knowledge behind using certain features such as drop shadows and text effects is to use them in such a way as to be inconspicuous. The user does not look at an image and notice such features; instead they receive a complete message which is the main goal of using visuals.

The concept of good design is to keep it simple and ensure that it has a purpose. Stylish elements and complicated techniques have their place in graphic design, but for good, clear website design it is best to keep all elements simple, so that they work together to create an effective overall impression, with an easy user journey.


Sep
04

Cyber attacks: what does it mean, what could it affect and how to protect yourself against malicious activity?

The most cyber-attacked country in the Europe is the UK, where about five out of six large corporations were attacked in 2014 which a rise of 40 percent on previous years.

So what are cyber attacks?

They are socially or politically influenced attacks that are carried out primarily through the internet. Cyber criminals use malicious programmes such as viruses to attack the general public or national and corporate organisations. Through unauthorised web access, fake websites and other methods of stealing institutional or personal information they can cause far-reaching damage. There are various types of cyber attacks that are used to gain illegal access to information so that it can be used to their benefit. This includes:

  • Targeted Attack

This involves cyber attacks that are focused towards specific organisations, services and individuals in order to obtain private, institutional and technical information for the purpose of monetary gain or vandalism.

  • Advanced Persistent Threat (APT)

This involves a set of attacks geared to a particular organisation or individual that is carried out persistently using a number of means to gain information illegally. These attacks take place through either public servers or websites on the internet or through sending malicious programs that affect an individual’s computer and compromise it.

  • DoS Attack (Denial of Service)

This attack is meant to disturb services.

  • DDoS Attack (Distributed Denial of Service)

This attack is carried from a distributed network of environments.

When it comes to cyber attacks every stage is becoming increasingly sophisticated which makes it challenging to track these cyber criminals and prosecute them for their crimes. These stages include:

  • Espionage
  • Intrusion
  • Internal Spread
  • Attack
  • Elimination of traces of activity

Who does it Affect?

Cyber attacks can happen to anybody and everybody. An advanced cyber attack goes beyond the capabilities of antivirus detection and email spam filters. APTs are becoming more common as they easily sidestep traditional detection methods and hibernate in your system until they are ready to send information back to the attacker. Therefore, organisations and individuals need to be aware of potential cyber threats and how they can affect them and their organisations.

Most commonly, attacks are performed so that cyber criminals can make money from you through fraud and manipulation. Competitors who want access to private information so that they have a lead on you. Hackers who find it challengingly enjoyable to interfere with computer systems, while hacktivists attack companies or political institutions for ideological motives. Last but not least, employees who might want to settle a grudge against your organisation.

How to Protect Yourself against Malicious Activity

Here are four ways to protect yourself from cyber attacks:

  1. Set a day to monitor your credit card statements

Whenever you receive your credit card statement, take some time out and review it carefully. Instead of reviewing it monthly, set a specific day once a week to review your statement. If you find something suspicious or questionable you can investigate it immediately to determine whether it was one of your authorised purchases.

  1. Sign up for real-time alerts

Some banks and credit card companies provide the option of signing up for real-time alerts which allows you to contact them in the event of a purchase that your might feel unusual. You set an amount on purchases and if it exceeds that amount, an email or text message notification will be sent to you to validate the purchase before it is processed.

  1. Keep your private information private

There is always a constant threat to your personal data and it goes without saying that you need to take necessary precaution when giving out information to unsolicited callers. Try to communicate more in order to learn more. Several criminals trick unwitting consumers into believing that they are an authorised vendor. Remember a simple rule: don’t provide passwords or personal information to unsolicited callers no matter how genuine they sound.

  1. Change your passwords frequently

Creating and managing strong passwords is the key of keeping your information private and secure. Avoid coming up with obvious passwords and answers to security questions such as your name or birth date. Be creative and create a password that is random combination of numbers, letters and symbols.


Aug
07

Responsive Websites

Are your consumers likely to view your website on a mobile device or a laptop? Or do they favour desktops? Well, there is no definite answer to these questions. With the availability of varying screen sizes it has become difficult for businesses to analyse the patterns of consumer activity. While a particular segment of your consumers might prefer accessing your website through mobile devices another segment might prefer the use of laptops or desktops. So, what are you supposed to do to make sure that your website remains easy to navigate for all your consumers? The answer is quite simple. Have a responsive website!

Internet trends suggest that the use of mobile devices to access the internet is to increase by 16% in 2015, since 2010. This means that most of your consumers are likely to be mobile device users. This calls for the implementation of measures to enhance consumer experience in accordance with changing consumer trends.

In the light of changing consumer trends, it has become essential for businesses to seek professional assistance for web design and build. The best companies offering services for website design in Norfolk will already build responsive sites as standard. By engaging one of these companies you can make certain that all your consumers have a good experience visiting your website, no matter which device they use to access it.

Today’s consumers are looking for mobility and convenience. It is a high possibility that your customers will be accessing your website through a mobile device, on the go. Users want to stay informed at all times, irrespective of the time and location. To add to it they expect to have a good user experience whenever they access a website. If not, it is almost certain that they will move onto one of your competitors’ websites.

As businesses came to realise the potential of mobile friendly-websites, they heavily invested in their development. However, this brought along management issues. Businesses now needed support for the management of two separate websites, one for mobile screens and another one for laptops and desktops. This is where responsive web design and build came in to play.

Professional companies offering website design services in Norfolk, such as WiserWeb now provide assistance for the creation of responsive web designs, which is the ultimate solution that you may be looking for. So, what exactly is responsive web design and build? It refers to a web design that is coded to automatically adjust itself in accordance with the screen size it is being viewed on for enhanced user experience. You have one website for all screens that automatically formats itself to adjust with different screen sizes.

The emergence of responsive web design is an innovative solution to meet consumer requirements and expectations. With more and more businesses increasingly adopting this new solution, it is high time that you too invest in its creation so that you are not left behind.

Mobile Mischief – Google’s Mobilegeddon

In April, Google applied a major mobile algorithm update, which effectively penalised all sites that are not mobile friendly. Specifically, but not exclusively, it looks for video content that does not display properly on a mobile devices; pages that are not optimised for quick loading on mobiles (flash and splash pages need to be culled now!) and sites that have far too many pictures.

If your site does not comply, you will find it on the end of a ranking demotion, sometimes drastically. We have been called by customers who were steadily on page one, who have now dropped below page seven – overnight!

Just remember, because it shows up on a smart phone it doesn’t mean it’s mobile optimised.

Simply test your site’s URL here: http://bit.ly/1EVi9R3. Check our site www.wiserweb.co.uk – we get an awesome rating, because we know about mobile websites and how they ‘should’ work.

You do need to act now, because if you don’t have a mobile friendly website, your rankings will be drastically affect if they haven’t been already.

If you want to read more on Web Fundamentals and Best practices for great multi-device web experiences you can do so here: http://bit.ly/1lAnaIt

If you’ll still unsure of the next steps, or just want a friendly local team to guide you through the process we’d be happy to talk. Call 01953 852939.

 


Jul
03

We Love Logos

A good logo design is essential for the success of your branding strategy. It is the hero of your brand and tells your story to your consumers.

Each company uses a logo differently, depending on various dynamics. For instance, a start-up is likely to use a logo for the creation of brand identity while an established organisation may use a logo to further its marketing objectives. The role of a logo varies with the nature of a business but it remains to be relevant for all, across the board.

As a logo communicates your brand values, story and identity to your consumers it is important that you have a logo that talks to your consumers. Communicative logos can make a big difference on the success of your brand strategy. For this reason it is advised that you always hire professional assistance for logo designing so that you have a logo that accurately conveys who you are and what your consumers are to expect from you. Professional companies offering services for logo and website design in Norfolk can be approached to get a logo designed that is interactive and with which your consumers are able to connect emotionally on a local level. These companies take care to include all the design principles in a logo design in order to make it more impactful. Some of these include:

  • Uniqueness

A logo is an integral element of a branding strategy and is to be designed to complement other visual elements that are a part of the branding strategy. It should go with the overall theme and structure of your branding strategy and represent your brand values and personality. Your logo should be a representation of your individual style to convey your core business value. Professional logo and website design companies in Norfolk design and create logos that complement your brand personality and define your identity.

  • Designs that tell stories

A logo should tell a story. This way you can ensure that you develop long-term relationships with your consumers. Communicative logos that consumers find relevant and emotionally impactful lead to increased consumer loyalty. The right use of typography, colour, texture and other visual elements all work to create a logo that speaks for itself. It is the most important part of branding and your consumers will judge you by your logo. Professionals offering logo and website design services in Norfolk such as Wiser Web create logos that are dynamic, interactive, engaging and accurately convey your brand values and tell your story.

  • Simplicity

Lastly, a simple logo design is likely to be more communicative and impactful than an elaborate one. Your consumers will find it easier to comprehend and understand a simple design. On the other hand, elaborate and decorative designs can lead to confusion. It is always better to keep a logo design flat and simple for enhanced communication.

Being based in Norfolk, we take care of all these design principles to make sure that your logo communicates with your consumers on a local level and is able to create an impact. You too can get an interactive logo design made for your business and increase your growth prospects by approaching a reputable website and logo design company, such as Wiser Web.

 


Jun
05

Ecommerce – How to Get a Website that Works for You and Your Customers?

If you are thinking about starting an online business in Norwich or Norfolk, having an ecommerce website is a must for you. A good ecommerce website is a major factor that contributes towards an online business’ success. However, many individuals and business owners face problems when it comes to having an ecommerce website that is as beneficial for their customers as it is to their business.

It is imperative that you strike the right balance so that you are able to make the most out of your ecommerce website. But what are you actually supposed to do to make sure that your ecommerce website is high-performing?

To begin with, never hesitate from investing sufficient resources in web design and build. There are various professional companies that offer services for website design in Norwich and Norfolk, including us here at Wiser Web. These can be quite useful in helping you create an ecommerce website that is easy to use, functional and engaging. Professional assistance can make a big difference in the effectiveness and performance of your website.

To give you a better idea about how professional companies offering services for website design in Norwich and Norfolk can be of your help, here are two main areas that they take care of during web design and built.

  • User-Friendly

Professional website design companies make sure that your ecommerce website is user-friendly. Having an ecommerce website that your users find easy and convenient to use will make a big difference to your sales. It is one of the most important factors which you need to consider in the area of web design and build, after price.

Ease of use has significant influence on customers’ decisions. A user-friendly ecommerce website makes sure that next time your customer will prefer to buy from you rather than your competitors. Ultimately, it is not only the customers who may save valuable time swiftly navigating through a user-friendly website, but the business too benefits from increased sales.

Approach a professional website design company, locally based in Norwich and the surrounding areas of Norfolk, so that you may have a website with simple and clean design – just what your customers prefer!

  • Make Your Website Appear More Reliable

Developing trust among customers is one of the key factors for deriving sales. You need to make your ecommerce website appear trustworthy to your customers to increase your sales. Professional website design companies such as Wiser Web can help you to do just that.

Your customers will only buy something from you if they find you reliable enough. There are chances that your ecommerce website might be your first- if not the only- point of contact with your customers. Hence you need to clearly state your terms and conditions on the website to build a lasting relationship with your customers. Also, make sure that you offer secure payment methods, respond to customers’ feedback and are clear about your security and privacy policy. Lastly, it is pertinent that you make sure all the established rules are easily understandable and visible to your customers.

To get an ecommerce website made for yourself that is as beneficial for as for your customers, we suggest that you contact a professional website design company based locally in Norwich so that they are only ever a phone call away and can visit you quickly, without it being chore. You may approach a reputable services provider like Wiser Web to make sure that you have an ecommerce website that generates increased sales and engages your customers.

 


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