Keeping your website up to date

Update your website often. It’s important to keep your website up to date, but you shouldn’t treat your website like a FaceBook page. Just up loading things that interest you is not appropriate to a business website. Everything needs to be relevant to your business and presented in a logical sequence. Get yourself a business FaceBook page and upload interesting or funny items, as a way of engaging with your clients. Don’t forget to add social media links to your website.

Responsive Websites – Mobile devices

Since Google announced back in March 2015 they were changing the ranking of sites they considered not mobile-friendly, there has been a rush to make websites mobile friendly. Globally there are more mobile devices now than desktop or laptop devices, but are they all your consumers? For example, Laos SE Asia a developing country with a population of nearly 7 million has 5 million mobile phone users, but how many of those are likely to be your target market. I believe in the rush to mobile layouts it has been overlooked that while there is a strong trend to searching on mobile devices (phones & tablets) that this is not so true for non-consumer websites.  Many business to business websites are better off staying with a layout that suits desktop screens as that is the more likely way their potential clients will view them. Of course your website still needs to be responsive to mobile devices, but should be designed primarily for desktops. Websites designed for small screens only, usually look bland and sparse on large screens.

Why have a website?

I often wonder why some businesses have websites. They pay thousands of dollars to create and maintain a website, then when a potential customer contacts them via the website they don’t respond. Last week I contacted three businesses (via their contact page), I’m ready to buy, yet a week later none have replied to my request for prices. As I started out – Why have a website?

Having a website is so important today, most consumers will check the web before making a purchase or choosing a professional. But just creating the website then forgetting about it is a total waste of money. Not only do you need to continually update the content but responding to any emails or comments very promptly is vital. Modern consumers are not patient, if you don’t respond quickly they move on.

SEO Expert

A new client had until recently been paying an SEO Expert (Search Engine Optimisation)  a handsome monthly fee and the client’s average number of website visitors was just 10 per month. Six weeks after we revamped their website for a fixed fee they are now averaging over 250 visitors per month. No monthly SEO fees.
250 visitors per month may not be a huge number, but compared their past record it’s a huge improvement that should steadily improve.

Business Card Design

These are the basics of business card design:

1. Use your logo as the basis. Make it the largest element on the business card.
2. Keep it clean and simple. Do not cram too much information on the business card.
3. Include the essentials — your name, title, company name, address, phone/mobile numbers, and email and website addresses.

PO box addresses are generally to be avoided on business cards.
Make sure the typeface is easily readable and not too small for seniors or folk who have ‘forgotten’ their glasses.
Use a minimal amount of colour in the typefaces, and just one typeface apart from the logotype. Use a background photograph to brighten up the design if it’s looking a bit dull. A photograph of the individual can work to identify staff in a large organisation. In small companies it can look egotistical.
Many people have business card holders of one kind or another, make sure your business card fits the normal holders, keep to the standard size, as there is nothing more annoying than a card that won’t fit into a standard holder; next thing you know it’s been discarded because it didn’t fit.
Should a business card be printed one side or two sides? It’s not hard to successfully argue for either version,
a) why waste the other side it won’t cost much more to print, if anything. The back of the card provides a space to list all your services and products and is a selling space not to be wasted.
b) On the other hand, once the card is put into a card holder you can’t read the back. Worst still, if there’s important information on the back, such as contact details, it becomes very annoying to have to remove it from the holder to read. Further all that extra information can be viewed as clutter, distracting from the main message, the KISS principle (keep it simple stupid) applies to business cards too. People sometimes like to write notes, quotes, or appointment times on the back of cards, hard to do if the back is full of type.
My vote goes to business cards that are primarily one sided with a minimal amount on the back. And leave space for handwritten notes/quotes/appointments.

What do you want to achieve with your graphic design?

Have a clear idea of how your target market sees your business. Use your graphic design to reinforce that profile. Consider whether your leaflet design or website is to reinforce your existing image or are you appealing to a new market segment. Consider if your company image should appear feminine or masculine, young, clinical, formal or casual. It’s no good your graphic design looking like a five star hotel if your market is budget minded backpackers and vice versa.