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The Importance of Investing in Your Company’s Website

Web-design

With the majority of the population now online, the importance of your company website has never been more critical. Although you may think simply having a website is enough, a tired looking website will turn potential customers away, losing you money in the process. Your website doesn’t need to be anything fancy; minimal can even be better in a lot of cases. Nor do you need to slave over a computer trying to figure out html. There are professionals out there who will do it for you! They are worth the investment and so is your website, here’s why:

  • It reflects the business

This one isn’t as obvious as it may sound. If your website looks professional, you will be treated as such. Our attention span as a species is getting shorter with every cute cat Vine video uploaded to the internet. In light of that, your website has a better chance of competing for attention spans if it’s easy on the eye.

  • Consistency

It is important that your website matches your brand, whether that be the store front or otherwise.  A website is in place to coincide with the brand and increase customers, in turn increasing revenue. In order to achieve this, it needs to be consistent with the rest of the company’s identity.

  • Spend money to make money

An oldie but a goodie. Depending on the type of website suited to your industry, sometimes, spending thousands of dollars to have one professionally designed will actually save you time and money in the long term.  Having to update the website yourself or dealing with an outdated site is frustrating and a waste of time. A well designed website will bring more traffic, save you hassle and eventually pay for itself.

  • Builds trust

A website with a simple navigation instils greater trust in your site visitors. If a website is providing honest information and an easy line of communication, they will be more open towards giving you business. Compare this to an over active website with pop up ads, clashing colours and no visible contact form. The customer should not be confused when visiting your company website, things should be made as effortless as possible. Do not scare them away with common mistakes that can easily be avoided.

  • Usability

Getting information from a company website should be a piece-of-cake. Sections such as ‘About’ and ‘Contact’ should be directly in front of the viewer without them having to search for them. With the increase in the amount of different devices people are using to access information, all bases need to be covered. By paying a professional to ensure your website is mobile responsive (adaptable to all devices) you are expanding your coverage and reducing friction.

The cost of paying for a professional to design your website can seem high upfront, however, when you weigh up the long term benefits, it’s a no-brainer. Do it. It will pay for itself.

 


By: Stephanie Mitchell


 

 

The Pros and Cons of Native Advertising

native_ads

Getting your head around digital marketing lingo can be a little precarious, especially when new trends and terms are constantly arising. Recently however, the spotlight has been on native advertising. Native Advertising is tricky to define and can at times be tricky to spot. The Guardian describes it as “a sub-set of the catch-all content marketing, meaning the practice of using content to build trust and engagement with would-be customers.” However, that right there is the controversy currently surrounding native advertising, is it building trust or betraying it? Let’s look at the pros and cons.

PROS

  • Better and Creative Content

As native ads are all about blending in and not being obvious, advertising brands are forced to think outside the box in order to come up with ways to get their products out there. This can be done through the likes of sponsored posts or subtle product placement. Two examples of brands who have mastered native advertising are Netflix’s show Orange is the New Black and Red Bull.

In recent years, these two brands have executed extremely clever native ads that have gained a lot of buzz. Orange is the New Black and Netflix sponsored a post on The New York Times called ‘Women Inmates: Why the Male Model Doesn’t Work’. At first glance you think you are just reading any other article from The New York Times until you glance a bit closer and see it was sponsored. This was well executed because a) it had great content b) consumers found themselves engaged with the content without realising it was also an advertisement.

OITNB

In 2012 Red Bull pulled off the biggest native ad the world had ever seen. They enlisted Felix Baumgartner, an Austrian base jumper and skydiver to help take native advertising to new heights. Those new heights being space.  On October 12th 2012, Baumgartner became the first person to jump from the stratosphere down into Earth all while wearing head-to-toe Red Bull branded attire. He set all kinds of records including  parachute jump from the highest altitude and greatest free fall speed. Red Bull endorsed the whole thing but the nature and quality of the content far outweighed the advertising.

  • Relativity

Due to the types of platforms used for native advertising, ads are becoming a lot more relevant. For example, a BuzzFeed post “10 Genius Ways To Approach Your Cleaning” was sponsored by Swiffer. Articles like this are not only an engaging read but a relevant tool for brands like Swiffer. Compare that to say every single perfume ad on TV at the moment that lack context and come across as complete and utter nonsense.

Swiffer

  • Engagement

Native advertising uses content to reach as many people as possible. For a native ad to be successful, the content has to be engaging. If we go back to the Orange is the New Black example, it was successful mainly because people took the time to read the article in its entirety. This was them essentially spending time with the brand whilst learning more about the show. They were able to engage with the content directly from their timeline rather than a 30 second commercial slot.

 

CONS

  • Misleading

There is a lot of controversy surrounding native advertising because it is deemed consumer trickery by some. In August 2014, John Oliver, host of ‘Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’, did a segment pointing out all the ways he saw native advertising as negative, especially in the news. He argued that the news should be an unbiased platform free from marketing and advertising tools. Native advertising can be seen as a betrayal of consumer trust as it is not always obvious to them that they are being targeted.

John Oliver

  • Confusing

Although there may be a small indication on the content letting viewers know it is a native ad, it is not always obvious to viewers. Especially considering that terms used include ‘Paid post’, a term that comes up on a lot of sponsored content but whose true definition is lost to the audience. It is also hard to figure out whether all or just part of the content was sponsored.

What are your thoughts on native advertising? Is it the way forward or should advertising remain the same?

 


 

By: Stephanie Mitchell


 

Social Media: 5 Brands Who Are At The Top Of Their Game

 

Social-Media

In today’s fast paced, technology focused world- everyone and their dog has some form of social media account. Literally. Tuna the Chiweenie, ‘author’ of The Underdog With The Overbite, is a pup who became a worldwide celebrity through Instagram. However, this saturation of social media doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone and their dog are good at it. To be successful in the digital marketing world today you have to be clever, charismatic and creative.  Simply put, you need to bring something different to the table in order to stand out and make the most of any platform. The following brands are who we at Teal Digital believe are doing amazing things on social media:

 Starbucks

Starbucks share their content across all the major social media platforms in order to reach as many people as possible. Not only do they have an account on every platform, they also have an account for each of their global locations, ensuring they offer region-specific incentives for customers. As a pop culture icon and a worldwide safe haven for getting coffee on the go- it would be easy for Starbucks to just embrace such a status and sit back without trying to grow or gain new customers. However, lazy just isn’t their style. Starbucks is a strong brand with attention to detail. They are doing social media right through:

  • Great photography – Their images are amazing. Go on to a Starbucks account from anywhere in the world and you’ll be met with perfectly constructed, high resolution, beautiful images.
  • Promoting a lifestyle – They do Marketing 101 oh so well. Through their posts they promote the lifestyle that you too could be living! (If only you had that Venti Triple Shot Latte in your hand)
  • Branded Community – Starbucks’ followers and customers are well rewarded through the Starbucks app which offers all kinds of sign up incentives, one of which is a free drink on your birthday. They also subtly mention the app on their social media channels and promote the benefits you will receive by joining their community.
From Starbucks UK Twitter Account

From Starbucks UK Twitter Account

 

The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon

Now a little glimpse into our American friends’ social media usage. The Tonight Show has been a huge American enterprise for years but with the rise of social media they have rapidly grown into an influential, worldwide enterprise (even in countries the show isn’t screened in) The Tonight Show are great at:

  • Relevant hashtags – Every Wednesday, the show sends out a hashtag asking people to tweet in stories relating to the hashtag for a chance to be featured on the show. This is a great way to stay relevant and increase audience participation and communication.
  • Personal touch – The show’s Youtube account is a hive of activity. In fact, one of the major reasons they have been able to expand worldwide is due to the viral content they post. On their Youtube account, you’ll find videos from Jimmy Fallon himself urging you to subscribe, try saying no to that face, go on, I dare you.

 

From The Tonight Show Twitter Account

From The Tonight Show Twitter Account

Specsavers

Although Specsavers are relatively new to social media, the way they are leveraging their platforms guarantees they will keep gaining momentum. Their most successful tactic:

  • Engagement with followers – as well as offering a range of competitions via twitter, Specsavers engage with their followers to encourage them to share their Specsavers purchases. For example – this week I casually tweeted about getting new glasses, Specsavers was on the ball and replied to my tweet asking for a ‘spec-selfie’. This is a great way of fueling people’s excitement for their new purchases and building a relationship with their followers.

Specsavers

ASOS

This purely online store has got all social media bases covered with a high focus on customer satisfaction. ASOS was born in the social media age and has continued to thrive thanks to:

  • Follower feedback – ASOS has a separate account purely for customer requests and issues. This makes them constantly available and open to all contact with followers.
  • Promoting celebrity – ASOS is constantly growing and lately it has been getting a lot of attention from the rich and famous. Their platforms are frequently updated with images of various celebs wearing different ASOS products. Once again, a brand that has mastered Marketing 101. If you can manage to get a celebrity to use your brand, promote the hell of it. After all, a product or brand will always have more appeal if the latest ‘it girl’ is seen with it.

 

From ASOS Pinterest Account

From ASOS Pinterest Account

Benefit Cosmetics

Founded in San Francisco, Benefit cosmetics is another brand that has quickly become a worldwide favourite. They have an especially large following in the UK thanks to:

  • Branded Community – similar to Starbucks, Benefit have done a great job of creating a community with their followers the ‘Benebabes’. A range of prizes are offered as incentives (such as make-up, tickets to events and photo-shoots) to those who sign up or use the hashtag. To be a ‘Benebabe’ is to be up to date with the latest make-up trends.
  • Announcing events – Benefit are known for having a range of pop up events such as pop up eyebrow shaping bars and curl and cocktail bars. These fun events are announced and documented across their channels to encourage people to attend.
  • Target audience – Benefit are 100% in touch with their target audience. They know exactly who they are and exactly how to communicate with them. They know what issues their audience are having and can therefore post about products that solve those issues. They even know pick up on the current events most popular with their audience and live-tweet about them (e.g. The Brit Awards). They know just what their Benebabes want.
From Benefit Cosmetics UK Twitter Account

From Benefit Cosmetics UK Twitter Account

Well there you have it, 5 brands that are doing fun, interesting and different things on social media. Hopefully you picked up some tips and some new accounts to follow. Who are your favourite brands on social media?

 


By: Stephanie Mitchell


 

 

How much does web design affect user satisfaction?

user2

 

Web design is a delicate process; the appearance, function and value of a website all play an important part in determining user satisfaction and experience. Getting the balance right between all factors is crucial in order to draw and maintain loyal customers. You may be providing the best services and products for your target audience, but without the ideal website to convey those goods across, you may be turning customers away.

 

In 2014, the emphasis of website appearance lay on simplicity. So far in 2015, flat and minimalist designs continue to be popular, the aim being to make the journey and navigation for the user as easy as possible. Your site’s design should always be based upon business goals. Having a clear aim, whether that is to inform, sell or educate, will make designing an effective website easier. Tailoring the design to the needs of the customers is extremely important. Whilst it is a great idea to draw inspiration from similar websites, making yours original is imperative. Remember to label tabs accurately and place important information such as contact information, in easy-to-find places. An open layout with clear contact information and a social media feed allows users to feel comfortable and safe.

 

Colour and shapes play an important part in conveying mood and messages to customers. A layout that uses too many bold colours, clashing visuals and a busy structure are likely to confuse and frustrate visitors. This is why the use of white space is essential. For a visitor, it conveys space and is easy on the eye. Neutral colours are used as main colours because they convey simple and positive feelings. Colour choices should be based on shades and tints and tailored to your business. Whites, blacks and greys are very popular but a consistent use of one or two bold colours can also be integrated into the design.

 

Clashing colours that are too busy and aggressive may end up upsetting customers. Therefore, a simple basic such as colour choice may determine whether visitors stay on your site. It is also important to consider the psychology behind the choice of colours and the users.

 

A website’s appearance is also based upon its content. Content is crucial in drawing customers to your site so make sure to prioritise your content strategy. It is easy to confuse a content plan with a content strategy. The latter is an on-going process, typically with many layers.

 

A content strategy begins with an analysis of target audiences and business aims. It takes into account customer and business needs. Quality content that is outdated and does not cater to the customers’ needs will not deliver business progress. Just as with the colour choice and layout of a website, content also needs to have specific aims. Content should be an on-going process that evolves with the needs of the visitors and the development of the business. The entire website process does not necessarily have to be expensive in order to be effective. Actively knowing what your target audiences’ user satisfaction is based upon will make designing the website an easier process.

Out with the old and in with the new: redesigning a website

redesign

 

Website design does not solely apply to the building of a new one. From time to time, an old website may need to be updated and changed for a number of reasons. Without the constant monitoring and managing of a website, it may likely fall behind. Old features and outdated content are just a few things that may deter visitors from staying on your site. That does not necessarily mean that the entire site needs a facelift. Do that and you may end up losing useful features that are working well.  There are several tips that you can follow to ensure your website is revamped for all the right reasons.

 

  • Take the time to do some research and set some goals. It is important to evaluate what needs updating and what can stay the same. Often it is the layout that needs updating because new trends are always popping up. This year has been the year of flat and minimal design. If your website is looking dated with dull colours and blocks of text in small typography, it is probably time for a change. Choosing a simple design with bold colours that augment the logo is a good starting point.

 

  • Base all decisions on some clearly-thought out goals. Ask yourself, why do you want to update your design? To increase search engine optimisation? To boost user engagement and draw new visitors?

 

  • When altering the appearance of a website, try not to make the changes too drastic because you may end up losing the brand and style of your business. Do integrate flat design where possible because it makes it easier for people to use and navigate. If you are providing information with huge chunks of text, it is a good idea to edit it. Assess whether any of the information can be conveyed through video, audio or imagery. Visual information is becoming increasingly popular because it is easier for people to take in. Make sure you do not cut out pieces that are of value. The key is to be concise.

 

  • Social media is constantly growing and now it is an integral part of marketing and web development. Before, simply having your article ‘liked’ was enough. Now the aim is to have your content and services shared as much as possible, so as to reach a larger audience. If you haven’t already, integrate all social media at the end of all articles to allow readers to share and like your services across a number of social media platforms. Moreover, social media conveys authenticity to visitors. Displaying one’s twitter feed is an easy way to build trust.

 

  • The buzzword for web design in 2014 has been RWD – responsive web design. It is essential to design a website so that it is responsive across a number of devices including mobile phones and tablets. This is because an increasing amount of people are accessing the internet via their smart phones and tablets, simply because it is convenient. You may be losing potential customers by not doing so.

 


By: Pareeta Nayee, Blogger


 

 

Is content still king with web design?

content

 

Although web design is always developing, with several new trends emerging each year, the importance of content has been a consistent theme. The term ‘content is king’ has been floating around for years. The success and longevity of a website is based on the quality and worth of the content. It is therefore not unusual for businesses to spend a lot of time and effort creating a content strategy as this is considered a necessity for propelling an excellent user experience. Lately however, there seems to be very little said about the topic as evidenced by the startling lack of emphasis on the importance of content within the emerging trends in 2014. Some have even gone on to claim that content is no longer as important as it once was. Is content no longer king?

 

In the past, churning out content was acceptable but things soon changed when people wanted quality. That quality aspect behind content still remains true because the audience want to find what they are looking for in the shortest amount of time. It is crucial to remember that content should bring value. Without great content, there is a lack of information about a business. Without the relevant information, users are unable to find what they are looking for, which in turn, is likely to put them off.

 

A lot has been said about the appearance of a website with the introduction of flat design and responsive web design. These trends are important today, because users are drawn to clear designs without long blocks of text that can be accurately viewed across a number of platforms. However, these trending designs become futile without the backing of quality and original content. Instead, it is the combination of trends that is more likely to attract people.

 

Quality content is still crucial because it is the basis of communication between a business and its target audience. Although the design and imagery can convey style and tone, the content remains the basis of information. It is certainly true that the amount of content is being cut down. This is because people are busy and want to gain information as quickly as possible. Moreover, video and imagery can add value to the information and is easier to digest than long chunks of text. Too much content, regardless of its quality, can deter visitors. However, that is not to say that it is any less significant.

 

The key lies in taking all aspects of a site and augmenting it through the content. Success lies in the connection between content, design, social media and search engine optimisation. Content defines user experience just as much as the appearance and navigability of a site.

The layout and design of a website are becoming increasingly important because flat design is what is drawing customers. However, SEO and customer participation cannot be enhanced without great, quality content.

When designing your site, keep in mind that great content, arguably of less quantity, along with an attractive design is what is going to draw visitors and persuade them to act.

 


By: Pareeta Nayee, Blogger


 

 

What does Mobile Responsive Web Design mean for a nomadic nation?

 

rd

Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus promises to be powerful, with a bigger screen and new Retina HD display. It is of little surprise as smart phones are updated to offer more features and an enhanced display. In 2014 alone, there are approximately 4.55 billion mobile phone users worldwide. It is safe to say that mobile phones have become indispensable and mobile responsive web design has been a popular term in 2014.

What is Mobile Responsive Web Design?

 

In essence, a website design that is mobile responsive will adapt to the size of the screen of any smart phone or tablet. The quality of any text and imagery will not be compromised due to the automatic adjustment. According to a study by Gartner the number of sales for traditional PCs and laptops has decreased over the years and the sales for mobile devices and tablets has increased. In fact, they predict that by 2017, worldwide PC sales will fall to 271,612 units whereas mobile device sales will rise to 2,128,871 units. It comes as little surprise then, that a mobile responsive web design is considered crucial for the future.

These changes are a result of a growing ‘nomadic nation’ and there are some strong reasons as to why businesses should adopt mobile responsive web design:

 

1. Social media

 

Social media integrated with search engine optimisation has boomed over the last few years. Social media has become incredibly important in optimising content and selling products and a lot of time is therefore spent implementing carefully thought out social media strategies. What does this have to do with mobile responsive web design? According to a 2013 mobile survey conducted by Adobe, 71% of people use their mobile phones to access social media.

Social media is becoming a dominant factor in everyday life. Upon waking up, one may check their Twitter feed, whilst on the tube they may browse Facebook and in the evening, take a photo of their meal and post it on Instagram. The majority of people do not have the time to switch on their laptops and browse their social media. Why would they when they can access the platforms through the apps on their phone? People want businesses to display their services and make themselves known in a way that is quick and convenient – via social media on their phones.

 

2. Find, purchase and use

 

According to the same Adobe Mobile Use survey, 70% of people used mobile devices to search for information such as the weather, reviews and events. Therefore, a great web design that is mobile responsive will encourage consumers to find, purchase and use the services provided by a business. The mobile platform has become easier and more convenient to use. Mobile commerce is rapidly growing and according to BiznessApps, around 32% of all online purchases were made online in the first half of 2014.

Ironically, it would seem that in using mobile and tablet devices for the faster finding and purchasing of services, people are more likely to put up with media and business advertising. Again referring to the Adobe survey, a staggering 85% of people are willing with view ad-supported content on their mobile devices. Encompassing a mobile responsive web design is more likely to keep customers interested.

With the exciting and innovative release of the iPhone 6 and the growing number of consumers who reach for their mobile phones to purchase services, there is an assumption that PC use is of little importance. Whilst the nation does predominantly reach for their mobile devices to gain information, it is important to remember that designs should be responsive across all platforms including PCs and laptops.

There is no doubt that smart phones and tablets have changed the way in which consumers interact with businesses online. As a nomadic nation we rely upon a great user experience on tablets and phones which illustrates how mobile responsive web design is something of a necessity.

 

http://success.adobe.com/en/na/programs/products/digitalmarketing/offers/june/1306-35508-mobile-consumer-survey-results.html?s_osc=701a0000000mynJAAQ&s_iid=

 


By: Pareeta Nayee, Blogger


 

 

Revealing the myths: the simple side of web design

webdesignmyths

Web design is becoming an increasingly important component in the field of marketing and SEO and it would seem that 2014 has been the year to focus on the necessity of getting it right. There are a multitude of articles discussing essential web design and development trends for this year. With so many choices and the pressure to get it right, web design can be very daunting for businesses. Just how does one go about it? How much will it cost? Where do you begin? Which features are really necessary?

 

Within these discussions on the vital web design trends for marketing and SEO, there seems to buried, a firm assumption that there is no room for mistake or experimentation. There are certain designs that are solid winners in drawing visitors and boosting sales, but within them are certain myths that can be dispelled.

 

Responsive web design is likely the most popular term associated with web development to have been gracing the internet this year. A growing number of people are depending more on their smart phones for a multitude of things, including social media and the internet. Websites that are not designed to be responsive will not be displayed correctly across different screen types, including mobile devices and tablets. In order to reach a wider audience, websites need to be responsive. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the creation of such a website is pricey and difficult.

The main thing to remember is that responsive web design should cater to multiple platforms and screens including a desktop and laptop. It is not solely for mobile devices. Take the time to figure out what font and what size works best and dedicate some time to experimenting with layout and imagery. In the end, you want to create the best user experience for your target audience.

Investing in a well-designed website doesn’t have to cost an insane amount of money. Understanding your target audience and tailoring the services and products to them is a good starting point. Investment should be focused on the basics. Getting a professional web design company to help you out may be a good idea, particularly if you are new to the game. A website is effectively, the ‘front-of-house’ for a business, and getting it designed to accurately promote a business and attract customers should be the main priority.

 

Basics such as accurate business information, clear but simple descriptions of services and products, a tidy layout with tangible typography and easy-to-find contact information are fundamental.

 

There are some additional features that you may want to add to your website in efforts to attract more visitors and create credibility. Including social media information is a great way to convey trustworthiness and twitter feeds are easy to implement. Video and image content is becoming increasingly attractive and popular. According to webmarketinggroup 40% of people will respond better to visual data rather than chunks of plain text.  So therefore lastly, if your services and products can benefit from video demonstrations, try and include them in your web design plan.

 


By: Pareeta Nayee, Blogger


 

 

The basic virtues of web design

desktopdesign

 

 

Creating and maintaining a website is easier said than done. It is important to get it right because it is one of the key ways of delivering brand messages, products and services to the audience. It is also important as a means to keep them coming back. A great web design with all the right features can reach millions of people all around the globe. In order to draw users to your website and convince them to try out your services you need to provide them with an accurate conveyance of what you business is all about. In trying to make a website the best that it can be, sometimes the basics are forgotten.

 

Knowing the target audience

The basis of a website and web design should be focused on its target audience. Not knowing who your target audience is can result in creating a website that is too broad and is most likely to end up in visitors leaving the site. Thorough target audience research is crucial for a successful web design. The website will have to be designed around the audience so that they are drawn into visiting it. Time should be taken to generate the results, after which the look and functions of the website can be decided.

 

Contact information and internal linking

A common web design mistake is burying contact information deep within the site and making it difficult for users to find. People who visit the site and take interest in products want to be able to find the contact information easily. Having a clear contact button or displaying the information in the corner or bottom of every web page is an easy way to achieve this. If the information is tucked away and difficult to find, it is highly likely that users will become irritated and leave the site. Giving readers clear calls to action alongside content is an easy way to prompt them to take the next step and get in contact. Using internal linking to achieve this is a great idea as they can be transported to the contact page with one easy click.

 

Quality content

Content does remain key and the focus should be on the quality because it can be a huge factor in drawing customers. In an environment where time is money and where a lot has to be produced in a small space of time, it can be tempting to take short cuts. Stuffing content with keywords can be tempting especially in an effort to boost SEO. However, compromising the quality of content can result in penalties. A simple way to generate content that will also help build trust is to include testimonials from previous customers.

 

Features

Offering a good range of features on your website is crucial in delivering value. Make sure not to offer too many features because you may end up losing what your brand is about and confusing users with a cluttered layout. Do include links to your social media. Integrating a Twitter feed in the layout it a great way to show credibility. Advertisements can be extremely off-putting and look unprofessional so it is a good idea to limit them.

 

Layout

The overall look of a website remains important because it may be the deciding factor as to whether a visitor stays on your site. You may have an abundance of information you want to put forward to your audience but try not to have a layout that is untidy or confusing to navigate. A minimal design with a clear presentation of a company’s logo is a firm favourite. Don’t be afraid to experiment with colour but use them in blocks and keep them simple.

 


 

By: Pareeta Nayee, Blogger

 


 

Flat design is here to stay but does it aid SEO?

flatdesign

Image source: graphicdesignjunction

 

The recent introduction of the iOS 8 update has been somewhat controversial, but a lot can be said on the design front. Flat design was first introduced by Apple with iOS 7 and it proved to be popular. The design was aesthetically pleasing and lines were sharp and clear. iOS 8 continues the theme but with an added, clear glass effect.

There has been much talk that flat design is a crucial element in drawing visitors to a site and boosting search engine optimisation. However, the trend isn’t by any means new. It has been around for quite some time (take Windows 8 for example) which begs the question; does it actually aid SEO? One thing does remain true; it is becoming increasingly popular with web designers.

Flat design, also known as minimalist design, can be seen everywhere. Websites are adopting the theme and even mobile interfaces and icon designs on the majority of smart phones are flat. Natwest recently updated their website and opted for a minimalist design and there is a reason for this. The pages seem easier to navigate and less confusing to look at. Flat design can be comprised of a number of themes:

 

  • A clean and simple layout often with a clear background
  • Modern and simple typography
  • The use of bold or block colours
  • Geometric shapes
  • A sense of space between features

 

There is no denying that the trend is appealing. For any business to do well, it must have a high percentage of sales and a higher return on investment (ROI). There are many marketing strategies that can be applied but a website generally has to rank highly in order to draw more traffic.

As of late, more and more emphasis has been put on the importance of website design because it is often considered to be a forgotten link. There is some truth in this observation. A website that displays huge chunks of text, in a small font against a busy background is quite truthfully, going to turn visitors away.

The internet is society’s way of gaining information quickly and with less effort. Traditional print materials tend to be read word for word. Newspapers are read to get a full and thorough understanding of worldwide events. Similarly, textbooks are referred to in order to find information in depth. Web pages on the other hand, are skimmed.

According to a couple of articles written by Jakob Nielsen, web users tend to leave a page within 10-20 seconds of visiting it. Moreover, visitors on average, have enough time to read about 28% of the words displayed. In this case, flat design would help to boost SEO because clearer typography with content that is of high quality is more likely to draw visitors.

It is common knowledge that a cluttered layout with too many features will most likely frustrate users who once again, are looking to find what they need in the shortest amount of time. You can expect higher bounce rates with a busy design but does that necessarily mean that the use of shadows and curves is completely dead? It is granted that too much use of overly artistic designs can lead to a busy layout but some use of shadow is unlikely to turn customers away. Flat design can boost SEO but it has to be teamed with a number of other techniques to be fruitful.

 

  1. On-page techniques have to be worked on with the design. The typography may be simple and appealing but if the content isn’t great and the right keywords are not integrated, the layout goes to waste. The display may be easy to take in but without the correct method of internal linking, visitors may end up signing off.
  2. Off-page techniques are equally important. A minimalist layout can draw visitors but bad links are likely to put them off. Removing the bad links and link building are crucial to draw more users to your aesthetically pleasing website.

 

An integrated approach will work most effectively. Flat design most definitely creates a sense of trust that a complicated layout cannot provide. That sense of trust can be turned into real confidence through the implementation of on and off-page techniques. An integrated approach shows users that they can trust an organisation. Check out some examples of websites using flat design below:

 

http://primeandfire.com/

 

https://www.educreations.com/

 

http://www.echocapital.com/

 

http://cafecimo.com/en/1/Home

 


 

By: Pareeta Nayee, Blogger

 


 

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