Tuesday, 4 October 2016

5 reasons a new web design could be the best business decision you might ever make

A good website has the power to turn a small local business into a global brand. Online sales give businesses access to millions of new customers and can transform your small start-up into a competitive thriving company within months. To get this level of success, you need a responsive, attractive website which is designed to be easy to use, quick to find, and great to look at. Professional web designers are experts in knowing what consumers want, understanding the most logical way to navigate the site and making your website look on brand and on point. By choosing a reputable designer you can make sure your website is future-proof and ready to adapt as your business grows.

A new web design could be the best decision you’ve ever made for your business, here’s why:


website design screens

Secure
Above all e-commerce sites need to be safe and secure for your customers. Web designers can install programmes which make sure any payment or contact information is kept private and prevent your business from facing any breaches of confidentiality.

Functional
Your customers want your website to be easy to navigate with simple menus and an intuitive layout. Clever designers can make sure your website is straightforward to use - helping increase sales and making your customers want to come back to your site again and again.

Looking good
Your customers want to buy into every level of your brand. A beautiful website with aspirational photography and a consistent brand look and feel can transform your customer experience and increase your sales and brand loyalty dramatically.

Mobile ready
With more and more e-commerce coming from mobile phones or tablets, it’s important your website is mobile ready. Your site needs to work across all platforms so customers get a quick professional service no matter how they view or log on to your website.

Sales aware
Above all, your website is a sales platform. It is the place to promote your brand, let your customers know about new products or services, and complete the sales process, leaving customers happy with their experience and ready to come back. A professional website design will ensure you only get happy shoppers.

Find out how your business can be transformed and get in touch : 0191 2802023
email john@bigpurplebox.co.uk

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

So a lot's happened...

Earlier in the summer of 2016 (blink and you missed it!) a project I'm part of won the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service. A big congratulations to all the volunteers who have made the Northumbria World War One Project such a successful enterprise.

I'm looking forward to the official presentation of the award this October.

The site documents the casualties suffered by the region during the course of World War One. I'm not sure of the exact number, but I believe the total number of researched casualties is close to 2000. These are all personal stories and tragedies.

In other news, there's been a whole host of websites launched, business identities designed and marketing leaflets printed.

Here's some of our recent printed work.


Visit Big Purple Box for more examples in our portfolio or get in touch and let us discuss how we can help bring your next website, logo, advert or leaflet project to a successful conclusion.

Monday, 29 February 2016

Google Panda Penalty

The most common penalty, affecting nearly every site is the Panda penalty. Google has stopped called it a penalty and instead prefer to refer to it as a Quality Algorithm which evaluates the quality of your entire website. 

If the algorithm determines that your website is providing low quality content, then Google will assign your entire website a lower quality score which will make it increasingly difficult for you to rank in the search engine. The rank modifier can severely impact rankings and can lead to massive traffic losses.

This is why Google Panda is a site-wide penalty that affects the rankings for all your organic keywords. If you are penalised by Panda, you'll notice that:
  • You are experiencing a sharp, yet gradual traffic decline that eventually stabilizes.
  • Your pages have difficulty ranking no matter how many back links you have.
  • You can still rank for certain keywords, albeit not as well as before. Your site might be found on page 2 or 3 for many terms.
  • Historically, after certain Google updates, your rankings drop further. (Google is constantly increasing it's quality standards which means that if their algorithm dislikes your site, it is likely to become worse over time)
  • Google Panda will NOT show up under manual actions in the webmaster tools.
The latest roll-out of Panda 4.2 happened in July 2015 and affects 3.5% of search queries.

Source: Pierre Far's G+ Account

Panda Examples: 
Panda Traffic Drop Example Panda Related Decline in Traffic

Panda Traffic Drop Example 2 Panda Traffic Decline Stabilizes

The main element to remember for Panda is it is a site-wide quality algorithm which affects all keywords and all of your traffic. This means that if all your keywords have dropped by a certain percentage (verify this by looking at your Google Analytic traffic), then you might be affected by the Panda algorithm.

Currently, the most effective recovery method is Panda Breakthrough which takes the same information and presents it in a different way to both the users and the search engines so that they deem it to be of higher value. When the information is presented in an optimal way, search engines assign higher quality scores to the pages which ultimately leads to recovery. The higher quality score is partly due to the improved user experience which entails better user metrics by the visitors. This can lead to longer dwell times on the site which returns favourable search metrics. 

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Building your website

Here we go with the first post of 2016, I'm starting with some advice for anyone considering building their own website from scratch, or you can use it as a checklist when your website developer asks, "so just what content do you have?"

The New Website Checklist 

Homepage – What does your business do? Who do you help? What problems do you solve for those people? How do you help them?

About – This is the section where you share your story, along with what motivated you to start helping people with your chosen niche. Although, always link your experiences back to the prospect so they can see how it benefits them. Even when talking about yourself, people still want to know, "what’s in it for me?".

Blog/News – If you want to get the best results possible, your prospects will need to receive new content from you every 1-2 weeks. If you don’t do this, they’ll start to get less responsive to your communication and go "cold". So be sure to have one short blog post about you starting the new blog and what they can expect from it, then a new piece of content (e.g. written blog post, short video, checklist, case study, or similar) every week or two from then on.

Results/Testimonials (optional) – If you’ve had some experience in your niche before now, adding case studies, testimonials and customer results always increases your authority status and your prospects’ confidence in you (that you’re actually going to deliver on your promises) – and therefore increases your sales. But if you haven’t worked with anyone in your niche yet, feel free to skip this page and build it when you DO help your customers to get some incredible results.

Support – Even if you don’t have any of your own products created, you’ll still get the occasional questions from your prospects. And if you DO have your own products, the number of questions is only going to increase. So give them some way of contacting you. This could just be an email address, or a more professional solution like a support desk (HESK is good, and free!). It always reduces refunds and increase sales – now and in the long-term.

Legal Documents – I’m legally not allowed to give any recommendations for these as I’m not an lawyer, but you should always have the relevant pages to protect yourself. Usually this consists of a "privacy policy", "disclaimer", and "terms of use" document. If you’re just getting started, you can find free fill-in-the-blank templates for these documents online with a quick Google search. In the UK if you're using any visitor tracking, such as Google Analytics, you will need a Cookie Policy and a statement giving visitors the option to switch off cookies for their visit to your site.

Call to Action Page – To build an email list of loyal subscribers for long-term, dependable results, you need some kind of bribe to persuade them to opt-in, i.e. "enter your email address to get this amazing content for free". This exchange is usually done on a simple page called a "Call to Action page".

Content Delivery Page – This is a simple page which delivers what they opted in for (i.e. your free content), and recommends they check out the full paid solution to solve their problem(s) for good. A good strategy is to give them what they opted in for first as “step one”, then provide a link to check out the paid offer as “step two”.

Paid Offer Sales Page – To make a profit, you need something to sell to people who need help with a specific problem in your niche. So whether you want to just promote other people’s products as an affiliate OR if you’ll be selling your own products, you need a sales page to explain what the product is all about and how it’s going to help them. As an affiliate, this will already be provided for you as a part of the offer, but with your own products, you’ll need to get this page created and written in a compelling way.

Once you have these basic elements in place, you’re ready to launch.

Before embarking on your website development, did you know I offer a FREE consultation, so why not take advantage of my experience and drop me an email with an outline of your project and we can arrange a time and place to meet up and discuss it - john@bigpurplebox.co.uk

Have a look at a few of the websites developed at Big Purple Box. Or head over to Facebook for updates and offers, while you're there why not give the page a LIKE.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

NBSL Funding update

There's been some significant changes to the business funding on offer. from The North East Business Support Fund. The project now requires a minimum value of £3000.00 Now I admit there are few website developments around at that scale of costs. But don't let that put you off asking for a quote or if you are developing a new business, maybe requiring a new business identity, business stationery set, brochure and or website plus some marketing and Search Engine Optimisation, then please don't hesitate to get in touch.

 

Eligibility criteria


The North East Business Support Fund provides grants of up to 35% towards business development projects costing between £3,000 and £8,000 (maximum grant value of £2800).
  • Please note: We are currently able to support businesses based in Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and County Durham. Unfortunately, at this stage, we are unable to take applications from businesses based in the Tees Valley.
  • The fund is only able to support certain types of project where external expertise is being purchased to develop the business - capital purchases, printing and advertising costs cannot be funded.
  • You should be in a position to start your development activity within 60 days of your application being approved.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Website launches

The last few months have been busy on the website design and development front. Whether it's been redesigning old websites to make them responsive and mobile friendly or completely new developments built from scratch.


These sites have all gone live in the last few weeks.

Northumbria World War One Project
A community heritage project based on the wartime experiences of the North Tyneside communities.
VISIT WEBSITE

Photosmith Creative
Photo retouching and image repair.
VISIT WEBSITE

Home Weddings and Portraits
Photography workshops for beginners to advanced photographers.
VISIT WEBSITE

Rowell Removals
Whitley Bay based removal company
VISIT WEBSITE

All four of the above sites were developed in WordPress. WordPress is web software you can use to create websites, blogs, or apps. Whats more it's free to download, this helps Big Purple Box keep pricing low.

Get in touch and lets see how I can help get your new website up and running or redevelop an existing older site to make it mobile friendly. Telephone 0191 280 2023 or email john@bigpurplebox.co.uk






Wednesday, 26 August 2015

10 all to common mistakes in website design


Having a website is a great way to showcase your business and interact with customers. But there are a few pitfalls to watch out for that can negatively affect your web presence. Here are a few common faux pas with top website tips for small business owners on how to avoid them.

1. Minimal visual content

Don’t make your website another dry wordy web page, make it visual and engaging. Visitors often won’t be on your site for very long but if you have videos, images or infographics you can put your message across quickly and clearly.

2. Long sentences / pages

The written word is still vital, but when it comes to your website, less is more. When customers visit your site, they want to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. Having long pages full of content will turn away more customers than it attracts. Most guidelines suggest a web page with around 300 words is the most effective.

3. Not making it mobile first

Mobile now accounts for 31 per cent of all UK web traffic1and it is only going to become more important. This means that to create an optimum experience for the user you need to have mobile in mind when designing your site. That means things like minimising drop down menus, optimising page size and creating a quicker, more fluid experience for the end user.

4. No copyright documents

The website is yours and so is everything you write on it. Make sure you keep it that way. If you don’t want your content stolen then make sure you have copyright statements – and make sure they’re visible and up to date.

5. Not marketing your site

You have a fantastic, well-designed, thoughtful and engaging website. What’s the problem? Nobody knows about it! You need to market your website to drive traffic towards it. You can have all the interesting content in the world, but if nobody can find it then it has as much value as no content at all.

6. Automatically playing videos/sounds

When users land on your website they don’t want to be surprised by unknown sounds blaring out of their speakers. By all means use digital content (see point one), but leave it up to the user whether they want to watch it, otherwise they’ll end up leaving as soon as they arrive.

7. Constant pop ups

Hands up who likes pop-ups? No one? That’s right, nobody likes Internet pop-ups. While the draw of earning extra advertising revenue might seem tempting it will probably lose more customers than it gains and is likely to damage your site’s credibility. Just leave the pop-ups to the East London hipsters.

8. Non-relevant content

Remember when we said ‘less is more’ well it’s that important it’s worth saying it again. This website is your property and it is there to inform customers about your business and your products. It doesn’t need to tell witty anecdotes or show the weather forecast for next week. The more non-relevant content you have, the more diluted your brand message becomes.

9. Using free hosting accounts

As a business owner you are of course always thinking about cost – and rightfully so, but web domains are not a huge investment financially speaking, and when you buy one, it’s yours. If you use a free hosting account, it can go down at any time and you often can’t do anything about it. You can lose your website, as well as your customers.

10. Not finding out who your visitors are

The website is just the beginning of the journey for your customer, even if they do not buy anything from you, but they still have value. Give incentives that will encourage them to sign up for more information, discounts, updates etc. That way you have their details and you can continue the relationship after they have left the site.



Big Purple Box is not just a website design company, we have a wealth of experience, over 30 years, in designing for print and advertising media. Why not have a look at our portfolio at Big Purple Box or check out our Facebook page for the latest information and news and don’t forget to give us a like!

Or give us a call on 0191 2802023  or email me at john@bigpurplebox.co.uk and lets see how I can help you get your site working effectively across mobiles, tablets and the desktop.