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How Can A Great Website Design Help Grow Your Business?

A great website design will help attract your audience and strengthen your brand. Websites are a great online marketing tool to promote your company, your services or products and your brand.

Your website should tell your audience about your business and how you can help them. With the rise in internet traffic in recent years, it is increasingly important for your business to be visible and easily found online.

The result of the points below ultimately is an increase in leads, sales and therefore revenue for your business.

Get Your Business Noticed Slider Image

Allows Clients To Find You Easily

Having an online presence will enable your clients and audience to find you more easily. Gone are the days when your clients have to visit your physical location to do business with you, so it’s no longer an option not to have a professional website.

However, just having a professional website design won’t mean that suddenly a large percentage of your audience will find you. The web is a fast-growing playing field so to make sure your website stands out; you will need to introduce a carefully planned SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) strategy. The internet never sleeps so having a professional website lets clients find you 24/7, 365 days a year!

Increase Your Online Presence

Using social media in your business is great, but to grow your online presence you need a professional website design. Remember, not all of your audience will be active on social media. A website allows you to rank in search engines which means more of your audience can find you. This is crucial to your business’ success as due to the pandemic more than ever are using the internet to find the products or services they require.

Helps You Stand Out From The Crowd

This is especially relevant for small businesses – great website design can really set you apart from the crowd as many organisations fail to see the need to invest in this area. A website will help you to showcase your company’s culture and values which can help your audience make an emotional connection with your brand. Professional website design allows you to prove you are different from your competition.

Builds A Strong Identity And Brand

Having an online presence enables your content and products or services to easily be shared by social media users. This in turn will further increase your online presence! A website is like an online business card for your company and allows you to communicate with your audience without physically speaking to them. Through your website’s content you can give value and connect with emotions to help build loyalty to your brand.

Helps You Gain Trust And Credibility

When your clients can simply go to your website, be impressed with it’s professional design and find out exactly what they want to know, they are more likely to trust you as being a legitimate entity. An online chat feature like Tawk.to on your website can also help build trust as it allows you to up your customer service and answer your visitors’ enquiries in record time. Having client testimonials on your website is another great way your site can help build credibility.

Enables You To Stay Competitive

Having a professional website design allows you to be and stay competitive even against much larger organisations. With a good website design and marketing strategy, you have the tools to compete effectively. By keeping your website up-to-date and regularly adding new content (e.g. in the form of a blog) allows you to keep in-front of your audience.

 

One of the most critical points to mention here is that once you have a professional website launched, don’t be tempted to sit back and leave it there.

For a website to stay functioning well and reap the benefits of the above points, you will need to regularly maintain and refresh your site. This can be a daunting, time-consuming process, but we are here to help! Just give us a call: 01823 746647 or drop us a line: [email protected] or check out our other blog post for tips and tricks!

Responsive website design – what is it, and why do you need it? The rise in use of mobile devices has seen an increased need for websites to adapt and be fully functional across all types of devices. Having a website design that enables people to effectively browse on any device can drastically improve visitor experience.

Let’s face it, the number of people around the world with a mobile phone or device is only going to increase and so will the need for responsive website design.

What Is A Responsive Website Design?

Responsive website design is there for the many times you look at website on your phone or tablet, it makes your browsing experience smooth and enjoyable.

However, a responsive website design, is different to a mobile friendly website. A truly responsive website design should be viewable on any size screen without distorting or misfunctioning.

Below are the top reasons why a responsive website design is so important:

Responsive design

Increased Search Engine Optimisation Performance

You would already be doing your company a disfavour by not having a responsive website design but even more so when Google’s core algorithm update arrives in May 2021. In this update, Google will be looking at the mobile friendliness/responsiveness and using this as a ranking signal. Meaning if your website doesn’t respond well on devices other than desktop, it is likely you will lose rankings once the update is pushed live.

A responsive website design should reduce bounce rates (increasing the amount of time visitors spend on your site) which will also help boost your place in search engine rankings.

Find out more about the benefits of SEO here: 6 Benefits of SEO For Your Business | Guzzbury Studio

Increase In Traffic

Over 65% of all internet traffic is from mobile devices. A responsive website design means anyone can view your website successfully, from anywhere…. even on a toilet break at work, which we’re all guilty of right?!

A web design that is responsive can easily be shared on social media from a mobile device. This will mean an increase in the number of social media shares of your site’s content and therefore a natural upturn in the number of visitors to your website.

Without a responsive website design, your website will be missing out on the opportunity of attracting a large percentage of your target audience.

Improved User Experience

This is possibly the greatest benefit of having a responsive web design. When users can easily navigate or browse your site on any device and quickly reach information, they will be more likely to return.

Websites that do not require zooming out or side scrolling when viewed on mobile are apt to encourage visitors to stay longer and view more of your website. No one wants to land on a site to be met with jumbled text, misaligned images and no simple way of finding the information you require. Improved user experiences will also contribute to the increased search engine optimization performance, as Google takes more notice of websites with a high visitor return rate and low bounce rate.

Higher Conversion Rates

Remember, your website represents your company. A responsive website design will show your potential clients you are a professional organisation and encourage them to do business with you. It can also help increase trust in your brand, which increases the potential for new clients and repeat/returned customers.

The increase of traffic to your website along with the SEO benefits and improved user experiences that a responsive website design brings, will enable your company to hit a higher ROI by increasing the conversion of visitors to clients.

The better experiences visitors have on your site the more traffic and higher conversion rates the website will generate. Hopefully you see by now, that having a responsive website design is no longer an option, it’s a must!

If your current website design is not responsive, it will cost to have it redesigned. However, the cost of a new responsive website design opposed to what it will cost your company not to do it, cannot be compared. Although the cost of not redesigning your website to be responsive, is in a way a hidden cost and can’t exactly be measured, the benefits of a responsive website design make it a ‘no brainer’. Contact us for help!

Do you have a blog on your website? Do you know what a blog is?

If you don’t have a blog as part of your website design, you should seriously consider adding one. Read on to find out why!

What Is A Blog?

The origins of blogs were a personal journal or opinions on different topics, posted on a web page with the most recent post showing first. Blogs are still used in this way but are also more widely used by businesses as a marketing tool.

Some websites are purely blog sites and are personal journals, for example a travel blog; other sites rely on “guest bloggers” to upload their content. Many company websites now incorporate a blog into their main website design as it gives their audience value and enables more engagement.

Blog Writing

Here’s how a blog can help your business and brand:

Become An Authority In Your Niche

Share Key Industry Information & Become An Authority In Your Niche

A blog as part of your website design allows you to share key information with your audience and raise awareness on subjects that you feel are important to your industry or brand.

Blogging is a great way to show-off your expertise and highlight how you can help your audience.

With a small amount of research into the type questions your audience is asking, you can create blog posts to answer these and solve their problems. Before long, you will have some of your audience coming to you directly with their questions.

A Blog Adds A Human Voice To Your Brand

Human connection and engagement is very important when building up your company brand. People often buy from people, so to have personal voice portrayed through your blog will help your audience to connect with your brand.

A brand that people can connect with is more likely to be one that people trust. Building up trust and credibility in your brand is key to its’ success.

Blogs Create A Human Connection With A Brand
SEO

Boost Search Engine Optimization

A blog that is regularly added to will help boost your rankings. Search engines love websites that are regularly updated with fresh content. As a result, you should see an increase in traffic to your website.

Producing quality, informative content will improve your rankings and as traffic to your blog grows, search engines will recognize this and view your website as an authority meaning your site will rank even higher!

Grow Your Audience, Understand Them & Increase Your Leads

As you add more and more blog posts that engage your audience and answer their questions, you will start receiving comments and requests to write on other topics. Listen to your audience and write for them, you’ll find this will help your audience grow.

According to Demand Metric, companies with blogs produce an average of 67% more leads monthly than companies that don’t blog. (Source: Content Marketing Infographic | Demand Metric) This shows how much a blog can do for your business.

 

Increase Your Audience And Leads With Regular Blog Posts

However, it must be noted that these additional leads and insight into your audience will not appear as if by magic overnight. In order to truly reap the benefits of a blog you need to ensure the content is high quality, include images and other graphic elements, use headings to make it easier to read and don’t be afraid to write in your own style!

Blogs Allow Your Content To Be Shared Easily

A Blog Allows Your Content To Be Shared Easily

Any blog page or pages you add to your website design should have social media sharing buttons visible. This will help further increase your reach and therefore your audience.

Word of mouth style marketing is extremely effective. Whilst someone sharing your content with their friends is not traditional “word of mouth” it essentially is the modern-day form of it.

Blogging Is An Excellent Free Content Marketing Tool

Writing a blog shouldn’t cost you much if anything to write a blog although it will take time, especially when you are first starting off.

A blog that has regular, quality content published will mean readers come back for more, increasing your opportunity for repeat customers.

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A blog is just as important for a service-based business as an online shop with physical products but it’s all about being consistent. Take it steady, don’t go at full force, sails up one week and then run out of steam the next week. Remember, in this game, slow and steady wins the race!

Unsure how to add a blog to your website design? At Guzzbury Studio, Taunton; website design is our passion. We know that starting to write a blog can be daunting, let alone how to add it to your website design so we do all that for you. We can even add the written content and images too if required, but we ensure our website designs have a simple to use backend, so it’s easy for you to add new content to your website.

Check out our blog post on why it’s so important to keep adding new content to your website: Click Here!

 

What Is Graphic Design?

The term “graphic design” is often used in a very general way. This is due there being many different types of graphic design. The different types have evolved alongside technology and will continue to do so as the world becomes more digital.

The purpose of graphic design is to communicate with a chosen audience using visual medium.
With approximately 65% of the world being visual learners, you can see just how important professional graphic design should be in your business. Not all the 8 types will necessarily apply to your business. If you are a service-based business, you are unlikely to have need of packaging design.

Professional and engaging graphic design helps businesses stand out from the crowd and establish strong brand recognition. Good design will lead to increased sales, great client relations and help build up a memorable brand. Similarly, not so good graphic design can negatively impact your brand and company image. Check out another of our blog posts to find out what mistakes to avoid: 7 Graphic Design Mistakes to Avoid In Your Business

The basics of graphic design is twelve key elements:

  • Line
  • Colour
  • Shape
  • Space
  • Texture
  • Typography
  • Scale
  • Harmony
  • Balance
  • Hierachy
  • Alignment
  • Contrast

Here we set out and explain the most common types of graphic design:

1. Visual Identity Design

This is your corporate identity, the visuals that represent your business and brand. Identity design helps make a brands’ story come to life and build up recognition. Every business, however small or large has some visual designs that allow their audience to easily identify them. The shapes, colours, typography, graphics and logo that are merged to create a corporate identity should all represent the value, culture and mission of that brand.

The key to good visual identity is consistency. All your online and offline designs need to be aligned to avoid confusing your audience. If you are a new business, it is a good idea to have brand guidelines created. Brand guidelines show how the elements of the visual designs can be used and will highlight the ways they shouldn’t be used. This will help keep all your marketing elements consistent.

When choosing or deciding on your business’s visual identity design it’s important to consider your target audience and potential clients to ensure your brand will be perceived as you intend. Every organisation is unique, so your corporate identity design needs to reflect that.

Examples of visual identity design include:

  • Corporate logos and icons
  • Branding
  • Brand guidelines
  • All visual elements that represent your business

2. Marketing Design

Marketing design is the combination of graphic design elements that are created for the purpose of promoting products or services, including all types of advertising. Marketing is just as important as sales in almost every business and can make a huge difference to the success of your company.

Bold and engaging graphics help grab the attention of your audience and create a long-lasting impression. To create effective marketing designs you will need to understand your target audience and ensure it will attract them. Infographics are a great way promote potentially boring information in a fun and eye-catching way.

The best marketing designs influence and persuade people to purchase or form a relation with you and your brand.

3. User Interface (UI) & Website Design

A user interface is a visual front to a software application or website enabling users to navigate and easily use it. Website design uses a mixture of user interface design and user experience design. The user interface design should be the perfect combination of functionality and pleasing visuals.

Here particularly, design is more than just how something looks. The layout and elements of UI and web design need to be tailored to suit the requirements of the target users.

Colours, spacing, alignment and typography in the design play a large part in how any one person perceives a website or piece of software.

4. Packaging Design

Packaging is not only to give information about the product, it also can be a very powerful brand recognition tool. Packaging design is likely to change with trends as products with outdated designs are more likely to be overlooked by consumers. At Guzzbury Studio, graphic design Taunton, we understand that packing design must be modern and innovative as well as aesthetically appealing.

You may have a great product, however, if the packaging design does not equally as good it could stunt the success of that product.

5. Environmental Design

This type of graphic design connects audiences to a place or area. it is your office or event signage, that indirectly will engage people and make them remember your business and brand.

Environmental design is often very strategic. A good example of this is the way retail stores are laid out, with large easy to read signage and even floor signage. With the digital age, environmental design is becoming more interactive, resulting in engaging individuals’ attention even more. For example: in many doctor’s surgeries and hospitals there are interactive screens to enable you to say you have arrived for an appointment.

6. Art & Illustration Design

Strictly speaking the phrase to be used here is graphic art rather than graphic design. Graphic art is the creation of original work and is increasingly used in the commercial setting. Graphic art and illustrations are looking to be a big trend for businesses in 2021 as it enables brands to stand out from their competition with custom graphics. Art and illustration design portrays the tale of a story in a way that no other type of graphic design can.

7. Motion Graphic Design

Animated graphics, gifs and video elements are a growing trend. Motion graphics allow companies to capture the attention of their audience in a greater way, as moving visuals are more memorable.

Motion graphics broaden the horizons of graphic design for smaller companies, as technology has greatly reduced the production time and cost, making this type of design cheaper and more readily available. This was once more for larger businesses in the form of TV adverts and commercials.

8. Publication Design

Although we live in a very digital world and digital publishing is big, printed medium is still very much part of our everyday life. The difference between someone turning over the first page of a magazine or not, can be whether the front page incites enough interest for them to want to read on or find out more. The layout and attention to details here are paramount.

Graphic Design, Taunton

These 8 types of graphic design are the most common used by businesses, but are by no means the only variations. Product design and 3D design also play a big part in many companies.

Give your business the graphic design it needs, and constantly review your designs to make sure they still truly represent your brand, your vision and your values. At Guzzbury Studio, graphic design Taunton, our passion is in every design we create. Need help with graphic design for your brand? Contact us today: [email protected]

The Best Websites Are Always Evolving

You might have heard the expression “Good websites are never finished”. This means they need continual work to keep them updated and secure. Without regular updates and fixes your website is likely to be vulnerable. Your website can be a very powerful marketing tool for your company, but it maintaining it is crucial.

Website maintenance isn’t something that should only take place a couple of times. Website maintenance is like oil to keep your website optimised and functioning well. The key to success is continual improvement!

Keeping Your Website Relevant

The world is a fast-changing place in many aspects. Content you created even a year ago could well be obsolete now. Your business can also change over time and focus on a niche or different market area.

The content on your website should keep up with any company changes. If you have a team page, make sure this is updated when you gain new team members and also if you lose any. When you complete new projects, showcase them on your site.

Website Maintenance Update Content

You should be doing a full website content check at least every 6 months. Update any old blog posts with any new statistics or facts. This is a great way of reusing old content by making it more relevant to current readers. There is nothing worse than searching for a solution or facts online, but then realising it’s 5 years out of date.

In our blog “What is Website Maintenance?” we explain what website maintenance consists of and why it’s so important for your website.

Search Engine Optimisation

SEO requires constant work to enable search engines to notice your site and push it higher up the ranks. Search engines love content rich websites that are regularly updated. The quality of your content is more important than ever. Google will now look at how your content is giving value to your visitors.

Keeping your website content updated can be a challenge. Regular blog posts are a perfect way to engage with your visitors but also to put new, valuable content out there. This will also help attract and build backlinks. Quality backlinks are another way to help show you are an authority in your field. Search engines favour websites that are well maintained and updated.

Visitor Feedback

Feedback is critical to ensure your visitors can easily navigate and use your website. Asking for feedback via a short survey is good way to collect such information. Simply ask your clients if they found what they were looking for or how they feel your site could be improved. Getting first-hand feedback from those that are using your website is extremely valuable.

The success of a website depends on users finding the site, having a good look around it and returning at a later date. In order to correctly capture your visitors, you will need to analyse feedback you receive. This will help improve user experiences and give your website the competitive advantage.

Don't Forget About Your Website Maintenance!

Once you have invested time and money into getting your website live, the last thing you should do is take a step back and leave it at that. With continual maintenance the lifespan of your website will be significantly extended. The best websites are those that are always evolving and improving.

Make your website the best in your industry and ensure it is never finished! Contact us today for help with your website maintenance!

How To Choose The Right Hosting

What is the ‘right’ hosting for my website? Why is it so important to choose the ‘right’ hosting? How does hosting really affect my website?

If these are questions that you’re asking yourself, read on to find your answers!

Why is the ‘right’ hosting so important?

The right hosting will enable your website to run smoothly with optimum performance. Good hosting will complement and boost a website, whereas not so great hosting will likely slow a site down and could make some functions unusable.
To find out more why good hosting is important for your website, head over to another of our blog pages: Click Here!

How Can Hosting Affect My Website?

Hosting can affect how well your website performs, the speed, security and also SEO. If your website has been custom designed and developed (i.e., not using pre-built themes or templates) but its not performing well, it is likely to be due to where its hosted.

Good, premium hosting will complement your website and enhance its’ performance. Hosting that is unsuitable for your site will slow it down and may even result in a lot of downtime. When a website is slow to respond, it will have a negative impact on search engine optimisation (SEO). Google and Bing will often penalise sites that don’t have good page loading speeds.

What Does Your Website Require?

To determine this, you will need to look at the size of your website, how many visitors it’s currently attracting but also think about where you would like your website to be in the future. This way, you can not only consider the sites current needs but also allow some room for growth and increase of traffic.

If your website is a blog site, online shop, or a community site where there is likely to be a lot of content added each month, you will need to plan and allow extra resources for this. It’s critical to ensure your hosting server has the necessary power and resources to further optimise the performance of your website.

Will You Get the Support You Need?

Whilst you may not expect issues, you could run into problems with your website hosting. It’s always a good idea to make sure your hosting provider will give you the required support when needed. Not checking this could result in you incurring unnecessary costs and even result in your website being down for a long period of time.

Are There Upgrades Readily Available?

Does the hosting give your website room to grow? It’s always good to think about the medium long-term future of your website and any plans you have to expand. You want your hosting service to give some space for scaling up, but also have the option to easily upgrade your hosting should you need to.

It’s better to have more resource and power than you currently need rather than not enough.

Are the correct Security Measures in Place?

The security of your website should be your priority, so it’s essential to check the hosting provider also has this as a priority. Security is not only important to your business but also to the clients that are visiting and possibly purchasing through your website. Unsecure hosting could mean that your client’s personal information is intercepted and stolen by hackers.

As part of security measures, your website must have regular backups, so that should you ever have issues or your site is compromised in any way, you can simply and quickly restore a precious backup. This allows you to minimise any downtime and disruption to your company and customers.

Your hosting should also include an SSL certificate (Check out this blog for more information on SSL certificates: Click Here! ). This makes sure any data entered on your website is encrypted and secure.

Will the Hosting Be Reliable?

Reliability and uptime are also important considerations when choosing website hosting. Reports with these details can easily be obtained from any hosting provider. If your business is dependent on your website being online and running smoothly then you won’t want to look at any hosting with less than 99% uptime.

Any hosting services with below 99% uptime should be avoided as it could result in lost revenue for your business.

Why Is the Cheapest Not Necessarily the Best Option?

The cheapest options will be what is called “shared hosting”. This means that there will be a large number of other websites sharing the same hosting server, which could result in slow speeds, reduced performance, and downtime issues. With very low-cost hosting there is likely additional costs, for example the price may not include backups or technical support.

In Conclusion...

Work through these questions above and choose your website hosting provider wisely. Go for a company who can give you quality support and honest advice. Changing hosting providers isn’t something you want to be doing too regularly!

At Guzzbury Studio, we only offer premium hosting and will analyse your website to find the best package for you. We take the security of your site very seriously and all our hosting comes with SSL certificates and regular backups as standard. Contact us to discuss your hosting: [email protected]

What Lies In Store For Website Design In 2021?

It seems that 2021 will bring technology and automation to the next level. Already in 2020, we have seen many corporations use AI and AR to help their customers; predictions for 2021 reveal many more companies have plans to use such technologies in a greater way. You might say what has this got to do with website design? Well, as technology has evolved over the years, so have web designs. Experts are forecasting chat bots will become more human and many websites with integrate with other in-house business systems like ERP systems to automate processes and streamline tasks.

The design world has made some very bold moves over the last 5-10 years so it’s always exciting to see what may be next!

Dark Themes

The reasons behind dark themes are more than just “they look and feel modern” (although this is true!). Two of Google’s reasons for rolling out dark themes on Chrome and other apps such as Google Meet are to save phone battery life and also to reduce eye strain, in fact they say: “Give your eyes a rest by turning Google Meet dark mode”.

Even towards the end of 2020 we’ve seen more and more website designs use the dark theme. For example, the iPhone 12 Pro release on the Apple website uses dark mode and creates a very impressive overview of the phone with the metallic colours boldly highlighted against the dark background.

Dark Theme Website iPhone DesignTrend

The design is a minimalist style giving maximum emphasis to the phone’s feature. Dark mode allows other design elements to be highlighted easily, it’s no wonder we are going to be seeing more of this in the coming year.

Minimalism

Easy on the eye, simple shapes, maximum use of white space and striking colours or dark mode. Minimalism design produces websites that are memorable and easy to navigate around making it an almost timeless option for your website design.

Minimalist style has grown significantly in recent years and it doesn’t look like 2021 will be an exception to this. It appears to be one of the few trends that is likely to be around for many years to come.

Minimalist Website Design Trend

"Anti-Design"

The complete contrast to minimalism. This can be very powerful, but the words “Anti-Design” still make me shudder like a fork grating on a china plate! If you are a Gen Z then you’re probably all for the “Anti-Design” movement, which is predicted to be used more in website designs in 2021.

This movement is composed of very raw and ‘in your face’ bold elements that can be slightly horrifying. It often uses asymmetric layouts and has little or no white space. This is also referred to as a maximalist, the more is more approach.

 

Anti Design Website Design Trend

However, this rather brutal type of design is very eye-catching and attention grabbing.

Illustrations

The use of Illustrations is increasing…. with larger companies, even supermarkets and insurance companies incorporating custom illustrations into their website designs and marketing materials.

Custom illustrations allow organisations to really bring their brand and designs to life with quirky but meaningful elements. Ocado the online supermarket recently created a personal ‘thank you’ video for their customers that used a great combination of photographs and hand-drawn style illustrations. Professionals are forecasting this trend will blossom further in 2021.

Illustration Website Design Trend

Mixed Media/ Collages

Overlaying elements and mixing images or photographs with graphics and illustrations has brought out the creative side of many brands this year.

Advances in technology enable designers to simply create and draw on a device such as an iPad and from that same device easily upload to your website or social media. This also means brands need to ‘step outside the box’ more to be differentiated from their competition.

Mixing medias is a great way to stand out from the crowd and create lasting memories with your website users and clients.

Collage Website Design Trend

Should You Keep Up With The Website Design Trends?

It isn’t necessarily the best concept, to keep up with the trends as it will mean your website design becomes outdated very quickly and will constantly need design tweaks to keep up with the trends. It’s a good idea to discuss this with your website designer as they should be able to advise on what trends may be short lived. Or do some simple research, take a step back and look at the trends over a 5- or 10-year period to help you easily identify those which are likely to fade out in the short-term future.

At Guzzbury Studio – website design services, Southwest, we believe that keeping up with some design changes and trends is necessary, but you can’t possibly incorporate them all!

Professional Email Signatures

Professional email signatures help promote your business and positively influence the way your company is viewed.

A poorly designed and badly structured email signature can damage your brand and have a negative impact on your company’s legacy.

Unsure of what to include on your email signature design?

The following points cover the main dos and don’ts.

Emails

The Dos

1. Key Contact information – keep to your basic professional contact details. Your professional name, phone number, website address and office address (if applicable). Adding too many different ways to contact you will overload your design, stick to the basics!

2. Social Links – adding in links to your company’s’ social pages can help to increase followers and engagement without spending a penny. 3 or 4 different social links is plenty but, make sure they click through to the correct profiles.

3. Your Branding – ensure your design is inline with your company branding. Consistency is key here to ensure you continue building trust around your brand.

4. Keep It Simple – often less is more. Overcrowding leads to confusion and can look unprofessional.

5. Tables – use tables to help make sure that all elements of your email signature are correctly aligned and spaced. This also helps to keep your signature looking the same when it arrives with any recipient.

6. Size – the average recommended signature width is between 600-650 pixels. Any bigger than that and you may find it renders oddly, and elements are chopped off in certain views.

7. Images – do use images, even if its just your logo icon. Images help to spice up a boring signature!

8. Checks – do check how your signature looks on different devices. Remember a large percentage of recipients will view your email on a mobile device.

9. Consistency – ensure everyone in your organisation is using the company email signature design and not something they have created themselves.

10. Exclaimer – use Exclaimer Cloud Signature Solution. It will make your life so much easier when it comes to designing or pushing out a new email signature to all your staff.

The Don'ts

1. Fonts – don’t use too many fonts. Lots of different fonts can result in your email signature looking like a 5-year old’s efforts at creating their own party invitations. Not the impression you want to give with a corporate email signature.

2. Overcrowded – don’t overdo the design or the amount of information. Create your signature with KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid!) in mind.

3. Legal – the legal jargon isn’t interesting or pretty, but it is required in most countries. Don’t forget to add the disclaimer.

4. Colours – please don’t use too many different colours (unless your logo icon is a rainbow!)

5. Quotes – inspirational quotes are great, but what you think is a motivator can easily be interpreted differently by someone else. It’s best to leave such quotes off your email signature, unless you are a motivational speaker!

6. Bullet Points – professional signatures won’t use bullet points. This is due to the various email clients interpreting and displaying them differently.

7. Image – never make your whole signature an image. It will be more likely to end up caught in your recipient’s spam filter. Or not show in your recipients’ mailbox as majority of email clients don’t automatically download images. Image email signatures are generally very poor quality.

8. Links – don’t use too many hyperlinks. Using too many links causes confusion and makes the signature appear messy.

9. Custom fonts – using custom fonts might look good on your screen, but your receiver is not likely to have the same fonts installed. Custom fonts are often automatically converted to a common font like Arial or Times New Roman.

10. Promotions – Email signature banners are a great way of promoting a product or special offer. However, remember to take the banner off your signature once the promotion has finished. Outdated offers can give the impression of archaic business practices.

Hopefully, this helps clarify what should be included on your email signature and what really needs to be avoided.

You may also like to consider a slightly different signature design for internal emails and external replies.

Contact us for further help and to claim your 14-day free trial of Exclaimer Cloud Signature Solution!

Related blog post: Why Do You Need A Professional Email Signature?

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How often should you update your website design?

There isn’t exactly any right or wrong answer to when or how often you should look at redesigning your site. It really depends on what type of business you are. In some sectors it is necessary to update your site more often than others. The typical timeframe between website redesigns is roughly 3-5 years.

If you are in any doubt about whether your website does need a design refresh, hopefully the following reasons will help you decide!

1. Client Feedback

Your clients may say your website is bad without you even realising!

If you are getting comments like “I couldn’t see that on your website” or “Do you have a website?” this could be a big hint that you really need a redesign.

Some clients will let you know if your website is not user friendly. It pays to take notice of these clients as there will be others that are too nice to tell you they think your website is, well, just not great!

If visitors can’t simply find what they want on your site, they are likely to click off and look elsewhere.

Client Feedback

2. Your Brand

The most successful businesses have consistent professional branding that is reflected through all their offline and online marketing materials.

You may have recently updated some of your branding but not yet refreshed your website.

It’s very important to make sure your branding is consistent to save creating confusion in the minds of your audience.

A consistent brand builds greater trust and will result in more loyal clients.

Branding Update

3. Competition

Have all your competitors recently had new website designs?

This could mean your competition is taking over your place in the market.

The appearance of your website can reflect on how prospects view your company.

First impressions count and users can quickly compare you to your competition online.

Keep your website design refreshed and stay ahead of your competitors.

Competition

4. Responsive

Is your website mobile friendly?

Approximately 60% off all web traffic comes from mobile users. (This will obviously be slightly different if for example your target audience is elderly people, however this still doesn’t mean your site shouldn’t be fully responsive)

If your website isn’t responsive, you may be missing out on a lot of traffic and leads.

It’s not only users that like responsive sites, search engines like Google also favour sites that function correctly when viewed on any device.

Repellamask Website 1

5. SEO

How is your website ranking?

Is it moving up the ranks or has it started to drop down?

Although a decrease in rankings can be the result of many different factors, one of them might be that your design is not properly optimised for search engines. Often it is easier to completely redesign a site that isn’t currently optimised, rather than try to patch up and make good. Ensure all your images are optimised, you have necessary headings, and all metadata is adjusted.

SEO Reports

6. Structure

Does your marketing team utter a unanimous groan when you mention adding a new product or newsletter to your website?

This may point to the fact your website is built with outdated technologies and isn’t well structured.

A new website design could give your team greater control and make achieving your marketing goals a much easier task.

Web Design Taunton

7. Lead Generation

You’ve heard how websites can do wonderful things for your lead generation strategy, but yours just doesn’t seem to be cutting it.

This may well be due to your website design. If your site doesn’t inspire visitors to contact you or purchase your products, it’s highly likely your website urgently needs redesigning.

It could also be that you have changed your marketing strategy and your website is no longer in line with your plan.

Website Structure

Your website is the online face of your company. Take a look at your website…. does it still truly represent your business, your values, and your culture? It sometimes helps to get some honest feedback from someone outside your organisation, that can take a look at your website with no emotional attachments to it. When looking at your own website, it can sometimes be difficult to see it in the eyes of your clients.

At Guzzbury Studio, we don’t believe there is any generic timeframe whereby you must update your website design. Based in Taunton, website design is our passion…we’re here to make your website redesign simple and stress-free!

What is a logo and why is the design so important?

Your logo is the visual representation of your business.

A logo is generally made up of an icon and a typography (text) element, these two aspects are pulled together to create a logo.

That logo then becomes part of your organisations’ branding and corporate identity.

Graphic Design

Logos should symbolize what an organisation does, (i.e. its’ products or services), what it stands for (i.e. its’ values, ethics, and culture), the company name and be relevant to its target market.

A professional graphic design company will take account of all these points as they are key to producing a professional logo design and essential to building up a strong brand.

One Size Doesn’t Fit All

Pre-made logos are created with many different businesses and industries in mind. However, when it comes to branding and graphic design for your business the “one size fits all” approach can lead to confusion and long-term damage to your company image.

With a pre-made logo, it is likely that there will be many other businesses using the same design, these businesses could be across many industries. It will not be unique to you or your market which can be confusing to your clients and target audience.

We often, even subconsciously, identify companies or products by their logos but only due to the fact they are unique to those organisations. It would, for example, be much more difficult to distinguish between Pepsi and Coca-Cola if their logos were nearly identical.

Unique branding, logo and graphic design is crucial for your business to establish a strong base in today’s competitive marketplace.

Legal Implications

The fact that pre-made logos are widely available for the thousands of other businesses out there to use, can result in a very messy legal battle with another corporation.

Should you at some point wish to trademark your logo, it’s highly probable that your application would be refused. This will be due to the many other businesses using that ready-made logo.

Even if the logo you purchased was granted a licence by the vendor, in a court of law, it is absolutely meaningless as your company has no direct rights over that logo.

Legal

An off the shelf logo may be cheap in the short-term, but by using it you run the risk of having to pay large sums of money to try and settle a legal case against you.

Your Story

Every business has a story behind it, how it was incorporated or born or maybe it’s part of your family’s legacy. Everyone loves a good story and sharing yours creates an emotional link that encourages people to purchase from you.

A professionally designed logo can assist in telling your story and help your audience remember your company.

A well-designed logo will create a lasting impression with your clients and help them to remember your company.

Business Story

A pre-made logo, however, is not unique to you so it won’t represent your story like a professional logo design would.

You might have an amazing story to your business but if your logo doesn’t give a good first impression of professionalism, its probable that the impact of your story will weaken. Such logos are also often poor quality and difficult to use in all scenarios, so it may work on your website and email signatures but not when printed.

This all implies even more if you have a personal brand. Personal brands are all about you and your individual story and means your connection with your clients is also that much more personal. Having a generic, ready-made logo will damage your brands’ uniqueness; the quality and trust factor of your brand will be undermined.

Your Business, Your Brand, Your Logo

Small businesses often start out with a pre-made logo as it seems the cheapest and easiest route to take. However, it can stunt the growth of a business if the logo and branding is not helping to build up credibility and good reputation. If your logo looks unprofessional, it may result in turning away the audience you are wanting to attract.

At Guzzbury Studio, we believe that every business is unique, so your brand and logo design should be unique too. To create and build up brand loyalty from your clients, it is essential your corporate identity portrays quality.
This doesn’t just apply to new businesses starting out, its also very important to take note of all the above points when carrying out a re-brand in your organisation.

SEO Audits, Why Do You Need Them?

Think of your website like a machine, it needs regular check-ups to ensure it is functioning correctly and it’s up to date. Without regular checks or audits, errors can go undiscovered for a long time and have caused damage to your SEO without you realising. SEO audits conducted on your website are key to the success of its long-term performance.

Keywords & Content

Outdated content will not only harm your long-term rankings but could mean visitors spend less time on your website.

First impressions count, so if your website content isnt up to date, visitors may view this a reflection of your business practices and therefore be less inclined to become your client.

An SEO audit will show you if your site’s content needs updating to make it more relevant for your users.

Digital Marketing

Similarly, content that has too many keywords illogically placed within it, creates a bad user experience and can also harm rankings. As per the Google Webmaster guidelines: “”Keyword stuffing” refers to the practice of loading a webpage with keywords or numbers in an attempt to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results. Often these keywords appear in a list or group, or out of context (not as natural prose).”

An audit of your website will highlight if any of your content has keywords randomly stuffed or repeated unnaturally. It will also show if you are targeting the right keywords for your organisation. If you are, then you should see a steady growth in rank, if not it may be that you need to review and carry out further research to find the best suited keywords. It could also be that, even though your keywords are suitable, your content does not back them up sufficiently.

Are you attracting the audience you think you are? An audit should give you a break-down on the demographics of your visitors and other similar informative details to help you determine whether your website is working in attracting your target clients.

Algorithm Changes

Search engines are constantly evolving and making changes to their algorithms to provide better search results for their users. It is important to keep up with these changes and to adjust your SEO campaign accordingly.

By regularly carrying out an SEO audit, you should pick up when any aspect of your SEO strategy is no longer working.

Errors

To achieve the best rankings possible, it’s crucial to ensure your website is free of errors and broken links. By performing an audit, you can see if your site has an error or any broken internal links producing ‘404’ content not found errors.

Discovering errors, enables you to fix them and better your visitor experience which will in turn encourage users to return and revisit your site in the future.

Error 404

Performance

Improve your site’s overall performance. Search engines and visitors love healthy websites that perform well. An audit on your website will show any technical issues that may be present, such as slow page loading speed, missing meta descriptions or security flaws like an expired SSL Certificate.

By addressing these issues, you will be continually improving the performance of your website and ensuring it is always running smoothly. External factors such as plugin updates can also sometimes affect the performance of your site, so it is vital to regularly check such things by running an SEO audit.

Competition

SEO audits enable you to gain competitor insights like you may never have done before. Most audit tools (even free ones) will show you metrics on your competition allowing you to take advantage of opportunities that your competitors may not have seen.

View your competitors backlinks and get understanding of their strategy by analysing the keywords they are ranking for. Reinforce your own SEO strategy by zoning in on those valuable keywords your competition is missing.

Competition

SEO Audits Are Essential For Every Website

After an SEO audit is run on your website and you have made any necessary changes, it is essential that you don’t just leave it there. SEO audits should be carried out on a regular basis to ensure you are constantly evaluating your site and diagnosing issues and weaknesses.

For the ultimate competitive advantage and best user experience a regular SEO audit is key. Do not forget, act on anything negative the audit finds!

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