7 tips for a better website


Is your website working for you, attracting potential customers online is a difficult task, retaining their attention can be even harder.

Your website should be designed and constructed with a user in mind, keeping frustration to a minimum. Here are a handful of tips to help:

  • Navigation – Nothing annoys a visitor to your website more than bad navigation, they want to find what they are looking for and get there quickly, bad navigation is an instant turn off. Make sure menus, links and buttons are clear to find and easy to use.
  • Adverts and popups – Do not overload your visitors with popups and adverts that aren’t relevant, slowing them down while they try to manoeuvre through your website will only deter them and they’ll soon be moving on.
  • Content structure – Your content structure can either win or lose a potential customer, your content should be easy to find, its estimated that around 50% of sales/enquiries are lost across the internet because people cannot easily find what they are looking for.
  • Audio & Video – While video is a big thing, people want to choose what to watch or listen to and anything that auto loads or auto plays is a big deterrent. A paragraph of text can often convey the same message as a video so test to see what works best.
  • Registration Gates – Forcing visitors to register or join your newsletter in order to view certain content or areas of your site can be a massive no no. The best way to get a registration is to subtly place your registration form in a sidebar or in the footer and tell the visitor why they should register.
  • Captivate your users with epic design – Use design to interact, you don’t have to go mad but at least use images and colour schemes that are inviting, combine them with functional layout and nice fonts and you’re on to a winner.
  • Keep it up to date – Even though you get the correct balance with all of the previous points, if your site isn’t kept up to date with fresh content the site can become stale and off putting.

All in all your website needs to make the best first impression possible, remember, your visitors can come from a number of avenues such as links in ads, business cards, van signage and referrals so make sure your website is in great shape to capture the attention of them.

Go smash your week.


How is your Website and Web Presence?

Does your website and web presence stack up?

The internet has fast become a large part of many peoples lives. People are now shopping, socialising and conducting daily activities online but as a small business owner are you using it to its full potential?

As a digital agency, we come across lots of businesses that think a website is enough, in lots of cases we see websites that haven’t been touched for a number of years and as a business you really could be missing out.

Don’t be put off by big buzz words like SEO and Social Media, don’t be scared thinking that you need to throw hundreds, maybe thousands per month at it to get any level of success, this isn’t true.

Your website should be seen as a central tool to all of your online presence and is first and foremost a brochure for your business, your website should hold all of the information about your business, services, and products and be presented in an attractive, friendly and readable way. You really do not need anything too flashy, you should design for all people, OK, take advantage of the latest web technologies where possible but do not fill the site with un-needed and unwanted elements.

Your website should also be kept up to date regularly, not at a set time on a set day but regular, use a blog to inform visitors of your work or what you are up to, have a testimonial section and update it with new projects when they are completed or if you sell products online, tell the world how you are doing!

An ‘about us’ section is a great way of showing your website visitors that you are a genuine business, have a picture of the office or of the staff, if you have vans and vehicles get some photos of them on, maybe even have some staff bios on the website with Twitter or LinkedIn links, if people aren’t on social sites just have a link to a direct email address.

Social Media can be used to push out information to the masses and enable the people you are engaging with on social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to share your information for you, be sure to place links in your posts back to relevant sections of your website and always have a way for the people reading your news or information to get in touch with you.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is a technique used to make your site search engine friendly, by applying certain techniques to your website pages you can enable your site to rank on the search engines for keywords and phrases relevant to your products and services, this means that over time and with ongoing work you will begin to appear higher up when people are searching for things relevant to what you do and offer, but there is a lot of work involved, you have to remember all of your competitors are working to get higher up the rankings as well so SEO really is a marathon and not a sprint.

Looking after your web presence is a time-consuming job but really can be the difference between you and the competition, it is good to have someone look after it for you while you continue to run your business, at Alpha360 Digital we specialise in web presence management which allows you to do just that. Speak to us today about how we can help you succeed online.


Earn your way to the top with great content

To appear high up the search engine rankings takes great content, lots of hard work and masses of effort.

I recently began working with a new client who really couldn’t get to grips with how search engine rankings worked, he was really struggling to understand why we couldn’t just be number one on Google and Bing for his chosen keywords.

More often than not, you will have a number of competitors looking to rank highly in the search engines for the same keywords and phrases as you are, and if your website is a new one you are probably going to be going up against websites and businesses that have had an internet presence for a number of years, often since the internet became widely used. This means that you need to get a strong plan in place and be prepared for a bit of a slog for a good bit of time, this is a project that needs time and commitment. You need to look at it like any other competition, your competitors really are just that, you need to be producing better content for your website and social media pages than they are, this wasn’t always the case but since the birth of social media and the way people now share content this is the way it is, way it should be and the way forward.

Like all new small business websites that are looking to drive traffic and enquiries via the search engines, you should set out a clear plan with goals, you should make sure you have someone (yourself usually) that has the time to spend on the project and is capable of creating good, interesting and relevant content, you should be able to create images and stories around products and services because these are the bits of your internet presence that are going to attract the interest.
Some business owners make the mistake of thinking they can knock a website together, often using one of the free website design platforms available, with no real experience in design or branding and then launch it expecting it shoots to the top of Google but this definitely isn’t the case and if any web designer, developer or internet marketer tries to sell you on this myth then you should walk away there and then.

My 5 basic, top tips to earning your way to the top

1. Before embarking on a website and internet presence project be sure to put a plan together, preferably with someone with a web design and internet marketing background. Be sure to outline clear goals and objectives that you want your website to achieve for you.

2. Research some competitors and find out what is working and what isn’t, look for sites that look good, are easy on the eye and simple to navigate and build ideas from these into your plan.

3. Employ an agency or a professional web designer/developer to build the site for you if web and graphic design are not in your remit, your website needs to be built and structured properly from the outset in order for it to stand the test of time. Personally, I would try and deter anyone from building on one of the strongly advertised, cheap online website building platforms, more often than not there are lots of hidden issues with these sites and you may not come across any of them until you have already invested lots of time into the project. The savings do not always add up.

4. Once launched be sure to add the site to webmaster tools for the search engines, this is where the search engines actually tell you how your site looks and is performing. Be sure to add Google analytics to your website as this is a free measurement tool which allows you to really drill down into the metrics of your website. Again, both of these methods are probably something for an experienced web person, someone who knows a way around as someone without any experience could quite easily mess things up and do more harm than good, although there are lots of tutorials available.

5. Constantly look to create good, relevant content on your site through blogs and news features relative to your business and industry, keep an eye on the competition and use social media to distribute your compelling content to interested audiences. Sign up to Twitter and look for figures of authority within your industry, follow them and possibly interact with them. Most importantly, never ever think your website is finished, it will never be finished! Every 18 – 24 months you should be looking at a redesign to keep up with trends within the industry, your website is your sales tool and should be given the tools to sell.

Alpha360 are experts at providing cheap website design solutions for small businesses, click here to email us today to talk about your requirements.