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Websites – More Than Just An Online Brochure

Website Design Service

Your website can be so much more than just an online brochure. Websites have become the workhorse of inbound marketing, being used to publish information, products, services and online video in a very attractive, engaging and interactive way.

  • Generate
  • Automate
  • Convert

With the addition of Content Management, CRM Systems, customer portals and Cloud services your website becomes a truly potent marketing tool!

Generate – Use your marketing content to create highly targeted landing pages in minutes with integrated CRM and mailing list capture features…

Automate – Alert your mailing list to your landing pages and warm the sales funnel through cloud services such as automated, scalable and measurable email marketing…

Convert – Target leads with educational content, special offers and consultations, follow up with a sales call and maybe a sale…

Buyers research products and services online, and this way you are building a valuable and potentially ongoing relationship before a sale is even made. This process has all taken place through your website and associated cloud services that are available to your team from an internet connection where ever they happen to be, giving you the freedom of flexible working…

Should You Be Thinking Mobile First?

Should You Be Thinking Mobile First?

People are addicted to mobile phonesIt’s a fact that most website visitors are now accessing the web using a small screen device such as a smartphone or tablet, so doesn’t it make sense to design your website for these devices as a priority over laptops and PCs?

My Site Got Flipped Turned Upside Down

There’s a fast growing trend to flip the traditional way websites are designed and built on its head by thinking Mobile First. Mobile First does of course present different challenges when designing a website. So what might some of  these be?

Mobile Internet Is HUGE!

Firstly we need to change the way we think about mobile internet, this not a fad that will fizzle out, this is not the future of the web, this is right now and it’s huge. Vast amounts of data are transferred across mobile networks every minute of everyday, whether people are looking up businesses, web surfing, seeking directions, catching up on Social Media, sharing photos, watching catch up TV, the list goes on and on.

So ask yourself; Is this going to stop any time soon? Are people going to be quick to give up this way of consuming and creating content?

Some People Only See Mobile Sites!

Another staggering fact is this, many people will only ever see the mobile version of your website!

The internet is no longer that thing we use when we get home or to the office, it is in our hands, bags, vehicles and back pockets, and current trends would suggest this is only set to grow. If you are a website owner it makes sense to ensure that you offer a platform that is as inclusive and offers the best user experience as possible no matter how your visitors view your content.

So Why Take The Mobile First Route When Designing A New Website?

A major factor was an announcement by Google way back in 2010 that mobile was going to be the answer to everything, and Google have certainly backed this up with action. Not only are they producing their own smartphone and tablet hardware but more crucially they are now serving up mobile friendly search results to users of their search engine, as well as continuing development of the mobile platform for Youtube, and before you roll your eyes it’s worth remembering Youtube is one of the largest search engines on the web in its own right, and no matter how simple a channel you may have it is a fantastic resource for being found online.

Mobile Goes Beyond Just The Device!

It’s not just Google, big business is putting smartphone technology at the centre of their products. If you look at all the major hardware producers they all put a huge amount of R&D into mobile devices, not only Phones and Tablets but also other whizzy little add ons like TV streaming Dongles, bluetooth speakers and many more. Camera makers produce apps the can control, view and upload pictures from your camera wirelessly, carmakers are adding mobile integration to their vehicles that control specifically designed apps, such as Car Play, Android Auto and Alexa. Mobiles maybe small but their impact is big.

Isn’t Responsive Design Mobile First?

Traditional mobile sites tended to be cut down versions of the desktop website with technologies and graphical items removed as they were either to heavy for the processing power of a mobile device, it was difficult get everything on the small screen or were to big and data hungry for use over a mobile network. Then there is the Touchscreen, different devices deal with website elements, such as menus, in different ways. Responsive website design has gone a long way to alleviate these issues by helping designers to create a simple and easy user experience, however the trend is still to build a desktop site first then cut back on functionality for mobile devices.

Make It Mobile First And Your PC Will Be Happy

By taking the Mobile First approach a lot of these factors are overcome early in the project, it will also have the added bonus of offering the same user experience on all platforms. Browser compatibility is converging all the time, the popular browsers now offer support for the vast array of website technologies in use today, so by designing your website with lightweight yet powerful functionality that runs smoothly on smartphones and tablets you can be more confident of these functions working on larger more powerful laptops and PCs. This is not always the case if you reverse the process.

Will you think Mobile First when it comes time to upgrade your website? You probably should.

Is PPC Still an Effective Form of Marketing?

Is PPC Still an Effective Form of Marketing?

PPC has always been a fast and simple way to get a campaign online, it gave rise to the internet marketer and affilliate marketer who could sell or promote digital products with minimal overheads to anyone who surfed the web, and a good number of these marketers made a good, and on face of it, easy living.

As with so many online systems change is fast and continuous, with rising CPC prices affiliates are now moving away from PPC as the risk of paying for clicks and making a lower return increases.

So is PPC an Effective Marketing Tool?

YES, but don’t be mistaken, just creating a campaign and sitting back waiting for sales is not the answer, and could prove very costly. PPC now offers a fantastic array of demographic targeting that it’s critical to know your market and who your customers are, just as it is with any marketing. Would you display at a motoring exhibition if you supply outdoor cooking equipment to the restaurant trade?

What about Organic SEO Marketing?

Though we are concentrating on PPC, it’s worth remembering that SEO is a critical part of your online marketing, however this is a slower, long term process and much more competitive. It’s worth also pointing out that PPC can provide market data which can be applied to your SEO and help capture even more of the market share organically.

What Type of Analytics are There?

The tools for targeting your audience whilst collecting valuable analytics data are ever increasing, it’s now possible to target potential customers according to more metrics, demographics or behaviors than ever before, and this is set to continue. Taking an organised approach will help to quickly identify which campaigns convert, which need tweaking and which ones need a total rethink.

What About Real World Interactions?

During the development of PPC there has been somewhat of a disconnect when it comes to measuring customer actions in the real world. As improvements in collecting relevant data are made traditional metrics such as ad clicks and impressions are being backed up with offline outcomes, such as shop visits, over the counter sales and other customer interactions. This helps to show more tangible activity and therefore real world effectiveness.

What About Building Better Customer Relationships?

There are a variety of channels available to reach customers, such as face to face networking, inbound marketing, organic SEO and of course PPC, these are not channels that should be used exclusive of each other. PPC is a fast way to reach out to customers whilst the data collected can be invaluable to your other marketing methods, it is also worth remembering that by not using PPC your not using all the marketing options available to you…

No Nonsense Branding

No Nonsense Branding

Crazes and trends are inevitable. There is one around every corner. Marketers unfortunately, for them and audiences tap into pretty much every one. But what would happen if you took the marketing budget and creativity away? Are there benefits to having a raw, authentic, simple brand?

Is branding suppose to look pretty or is it suppose to work?…Not for form over function.


One example of a brand that keeps it simple, is one we all know and love. Google. You’ll have noticed that Google recently updated their branding through changing the font; something that doesn’t happen very much with this particular brand. Other than that, the colours have stayed the same. The search engine is still on a blank white screen. It really is as simple as that. And how successful is Google?

In fact, some people believe that Google’s makeover was a distraction or intention to seem friendlier as people are becoming more aware of the data that Google records of us and provides for other companies. A brand that we know and trust, that is there to help us when in actuality it is much more powerful than that.


Another well-known one is Apple. If you try to find the background behind the Apple branding you’ll find many conspiracy theories thrown out there and deep hidden meanings behind an apple, but ultimately be disappointed to find that the Apple logo was made the way it is because without the bite, the logo looked like a cherry when made small.

The apple in the first place, also had no significant meaning that has been confirmed, but what we do know for sure is that Steve Jobs worked in apple orchards when he was young. Perhaps this is the only reason. Nevertheless, it was a simple, no nonsense brand that has made it massively successfully in the tech world. No fancy branding. No pretentiousness about the logo. Just an apple.


A lot of experts, marketers, branding companies and other business people stress the importance of creativity, complexity and unique brands. There may be pros and cons to this, but at the end of the day, the brand image itself is not enough to be successful. Content and following through with the quality of your product or service is what really counts.

When is the best time to blog?

When is the best time to blog?

Why are you creating content? To build customer trust right! Right. So what do you need to do? You need to establish who your customers are and what they want.

Keep this in mind; nicely balanced with knowledge of consumer behaviour on different social media platforms and you have already got everything you need.

Don’t post all of your content across all of these platforms. Use them differently!

  • Linkedin
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Google+

Think about what time of day your customers are using these platforms. It will make all of the difference when it comes to how much interaction you get on your posts.

Your blog is your story

They say that your blog should tell the story of your company. Like any story, there will be some highs and lows and different chapters in the life that is your business.

The more authentic you are about your successes and failures with your customers, the more likely they will trust that even if you make a mistake, you will resolve it. Lay your blog out in a chronological order. Tell your story.

We aren’t all experts! Don’t just be related, be relevant

You are the expert. We trust that you know what you are doing. All the way down to the final details. But we don’t need to know all of the final details. If you want me to buy a camera from you, we want to know what the camera’s selling points are and how this can make for better photos and videos.

We don’t want you to tell us about the mechanics of the camera and how it physically works. We just want to know that you know that. Try to talk about what the benefits are for the customer and not just talking about any feature of your product or service (that is related, but not relevant) because it is content you know that you can write.

Keywords are key

Keywords are ‘Key’!

Imagine you wanted to find a good quality printing company that offers next day delivery. How would you find out? Through a search engine like Google most probably, right?

Most people tend to search a question or phrase to get the most relevant information (based on previous searches of other people). You can do the same for your business, and this is probably one of the first steps to take if you want to understand your business and your customers.

One of the ways that you can benefit from the basic method is that you can keep track of trends in that subject area. If there are frequently asked questions about a product or even growing concerns, you can analyse these over time and plan how you will communicate (and adapt) your message to appeal to these trends.

Google actually provide a tool that can help you with this, called ‘Google Trends’. It essentially does the analysis for you. If you are interested in the tool, what it does is it condenses the data into a basic form about how much interest there is in your product over time, where it comes from as well as other categories such as related searches.

An example of a web designer using this in action

Someone may post on a public forum asking if anyone has had any experience with a good web designer. That person through a referral may then find a web designer.

However if the web designer was tracking the questions “where can I find a good web designer?” or the trend of having a responsive design (Albeit they may have to sieve through some irrelevant data) but they then have an opportunity to respond to that individual within a short time of them posting. Then they can introduce themselves as well as ask about what that person has in mind.

This is the good news! The web designer has not only targeted an interested individual but also reached many more by engaging in conversation through an online forum. This content will stay online indefinitely and therefore always accessible for individuals who may find the forum in the future.

Again, Google Trends is a great tool to start you off as you can monitor how interest in the topic fluctuates over time. If interest picks up, then you have that prior knowledge of the trend that you wouldn’t have had before to dive into a discussion with these people, at the perfect time.

Traffic vs Conversion

What is the difference between traffic and conversion?

So you have got more traffic to your website. If your website is not good quality, you will have a low conversion rate, i.e. not many genuine leads. You could get hundreds of people visiting your website, and still only have a handful of people who will actually get in contact with you.

Nevertheless, more traffic means more potential leads. Hopefully though, the content on your website alone could increase the percentage of people who ‘convert’, without having to increase the amount of visitors to the site.

There are a number of factors to consider about your actual website too. More functionality features than style tips, but anything down to the colour of a button can affect how users interact with your website. Yes, you may have a colour theme or a preference in your mind. Try to remember though, that the reason you have the website is for your customers and not for you.

What would you rather, a slightly different appearance to what you had in mind but more leads that follow through with a purchase…or would you prefer the pretty design you pictured, a lot of traffic to the website but not a lot of business heading your way. Of course this is an exaggeration and other things come into play but it may be beneficial to research these things when designing your website. We are after all, simple creatures…


– Any traffic is not good traffic.

– Create content because you know that’s what your customer wants to know, not just what you already know.

– Visitors will ‘convert’ if they trust you; try customer reviews, case studies…a ‘meet the team’ page? Some businesses upload photo albums from behind the scenes in the office to show people that they enjoy doing what they do.

– Call-to-actions. Have opportunities for conversion in more than one place on your website and social media, without saturating the site with popup forums. You don’t want them to feel like they are being hassled.

-Include video on your website.

How Important is the Typography on a Website

How important is the typography on a website

When people visit your website they might look at the images and the colours but you can be sure they will be reading the text.

Text does so much on your website

The main task of your website is to convey information, and no matter how many bells and whistles are built in to a design, supplying relevant information is key to the success of any website.

For this reason typography should be considered as a very important part in the development process. In this article we shall look at some simple ideas designers use to keep text under control.

Ditch the Lorem Ipsum ASAP!

Lorem Ipsum is the latin looking text you sometimes see on the web, designers can generate random passages of Lorem Ipsum to use as a placeholder until the final text content is available.

Though a good short term method, it’s always a better idea to have some text content prepared, at least your “Home Page” and “About Us” page written for the start of the website development process. Supplying text content to your web designer at the start means they can read and understand your requirements better.

What is the responsibility of the web designer

Some designers think it fine to just Copy and Paste text into a design and that is the end of their typography duties, however a designer that has a good understanding of the text will find it much easier to produce a stylish and efficient website.

Once the text is in the design you will have the opportunity to see how it looks and reads in place. This can really help to show up any long, difficult to read lines or awkward line-breaks. Typography can itself add shape and form to the design so re-writing text and reshaping images can make a powerful difference to the overall look of a page.

Text and responsive design

Your website is being viewed on many different devices with many different screen shapes and sizes. The main function of responsive design is to give your users a great experience on these smaller screens, so a good deal of attention should be paid to responsive typography.

The designer will need to consider font size, paragraphs and margins to make best use of the space available, special attention should be paid to headings and other larger text elements.

Margins between content blocks will need more emphasis at these smaller screen sizes. Designers will usually like to make these adjustments live across all the popular web browsers, which gives them the best testing environment.


There is no doubt, typography and the font-faces designers choose have a huge impact on multiple aspects of your website. It’s essential designers properly understand the principles of using typography to create a pleasing design, only then can your website properly communicate the key messages of your business.

The Rise of Content Marketing Techniques

The Rise of Content Marketing Techniques

Blogging as part of your inbound marketing

The Internet has had a truly profound impact on today’s content marketing with a huge move towards inbound marketing. The sharing of original content, such as on a blog, is rapidly growing to become a more effective method than embedding ads in other peoples content. Creating our own content also helps build a relationship, giving readers the chance to understand the ethos of your business.

With shifts like this set to continue we can predict with some certainty that content marketing will remain one of the preferred routes for building trust with consumers. The content is typically industry related information that provides insight to readers who already have an interest in the sector and therefore gives a higher chance of producing targeted leads.

Other benefits of custom content

Creating custom content also has a knock on effect in search results, as regularly updated websites attract the attention of search engine spiders, so not only are we building a rapport with consumers but also attracting new organically generated leads at the same time.

Social Media gives your content an outlet

Another Internet innovation that has really grown in recent years is Social Media. That may not sound like a ground breaking statement, however we are no longer restricted to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. There are now a wide range of Social Media channels all attracting their own type of following and it seems like new social media sites are appearing all the time. Most notable amongst these are Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest, Bloglovin and Instagram which have all shown a real growth in popularity.

There’s a Social Media for everyone

We can use the ones that best fit our customer demographic to build a trusted reputation. There appears to be a real shift in the way we communicate with customers as we move away from advertising through traditional channels. Whether traditional methods are actually less effective is an interesting question, it may just be that we are moving to inbound marketing because it’s new and exciting or maybe the power of traditional marketing techniques is getting old and it truly is time for a change. One thing is for sure, the move to Internet powered Inbound Marketing is growing fast and is set to continue.

Are you producing custom content..?

If you’re not using a blog or fresh content as part of your inbound marketing, then you should probably start sooner rather than later…

5 Reasons your business should have a blog

5 Reasons why your business should have a Blog

Blogs started out as a online Journal but in more recent years they have developed and become not only a way to share personal experiences but also to share interesting information. This change is enticing more readers to the subjects they are interested in and also to keep returning for updated information. For this reason they are also becoming more popular for businesses..

Why is that?

I wasn’t too sure either as I have never written a blog before, so I had to do my research and I learnt a lot! I had to narrow it down to 5 points of why blogs are good for a business, and this is what I found..

Blogging can improve SEO

Blogging keeps your website fresh and up to date with content…Google loves this! they treat blogs as another web page so by having more ‘web pages’ with the key words you have used, the more likely your website will be shown on the first page of a search engines results. This then means…

An increase in traffic to your website

If you are struggling to get website views then this is a cheap easy way of advertising your site.

If potential customers are trying to find a service a lot like your business provides, key words are vital in your blog. When they search for a services and the words they have used are in your blog, well lucky you, because this will show on the results page, increasing views on your blog and then leading them to your website.

You can speak directly to your customers

A blog is a great to speak to customers on a personal level. Blogs are also another way to get across information that you couldn’t fit onto your website. This way you aren’t overloading your customers with information on the regular pages of your website, they then have the choice to choose what information they want.

Support for customers

any additional questions or issues your customers may have can be answered through a blog, a lot like a help page, this can include solutions for common asking questions.

and last but not least….


Blogs can be a great cheap way of promoting your business. You can send out new posts that feature information about upcoming events or new products that are being released. By having blogs that releases new and exciting information you may find you create a group of followers.

So I hope you have learnt a little bit more about blogging, because I sure have! Business Blogging is becoming more popular and if your business hasn’t tried it then give it a go because by the looks of it, it can really help improve overall results when gaining more customers.

Becky Vale-Bayliss – Cracking Media