Tag Archives: website design

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Website Redesign – things to think about

Category:Websites Tags : 

A business connection recently asked “My website is two years old, do I need a new one?” You can read my answer to that question here, but if you have decided that you do indeed need a new website you’ll want to make sure you have thought of everything so you don’t need a new one again in a few years time! So here are my top 10 things to think about if you are redesigning your website

Check out the competition

Whatever marketing you are undertaking it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the competition. In this case you want to visit their websites (but as a rule make a List of your competitors on Twitter is a great way to keep an eye on them – read more about how to do this in my FAQ). Have a look at what they are doing that you think is good. I’m not saying copy them, but be inspired by great ideas. Also see if there is anything that you think doesn’t work so you can avoid it!

Does your current website have any particular problem areas

Are there any parts of your website that you are particularly concerned about, or that people have mentioned don’t work well. Perhaps your website isn’t mobile friendly (if you are not sure you can check here), maybe it takes too many clicks to get to important content. Whatever the issue keep this at the forefront of your mind as you consider your redesign

What about SEO

How does your current website perform in search engines? If the answer is ‘very well thanks’, then be sure what you do does not negatively effect your results. Perhaps this is one of the reasons for the redesign – you are not coming up in search engines…in which case make sure you do your SEO research right at the start. Or maybe search engines just are not an important part of your marketing strategy – that’s fine, but be sure that is the case before you disregard them.

Take a look at your website statistics

Does your current site have analytics? Google Analytics is a great free tool that can help you find out which are your most popular pages, how long people spend on your site and whether or not they come back. If you have it, then have a look through the statistics to find out what works and what doesn’t. If you don’t have it then make sure that you install it in your new website – you can read more about Google Analytics in this FAQ

Ask your customers

By far the easiest way to find out what is good and bad about your existing website is to ask! If you have many customers you could set up a short survey and allow people visiting your website to fill it out, perhaps offering a reward to participants. If you clientele is more limited you could email a survey to selected clients. Survey Monkey is a great free tool for creating your own online surveys.

What is the goal of your website

It’s really important to have your website goal front and centre throughout the design process. Perhaps your website has more than one goal, in which case you can prioritise several goals. It might be to give information, to create enquiries or to sell products, but whatever it is keep it in mind at all times.

Do you know your target audience

It’s never too late to create your target audience persona…is it Rebecca the Stay at Home Mum? Lawrence the Lawyer? Margaret the Retiree? Perhaps you have more than one target audience persona. If you haven’t already thought this out now is the time! It will make your website redesign and all your marketing so much easier and more effective

Review your content

Have a good look through ALL of your website content. Is anything out of date? Is there anything that is surplus to requirements. Just like the shelves of a shop everything in your website should be useful and beautiful. Don’t keep anything that doesn’t have a purpose.

Make sure you are happy with your brand

If you are redesigning your website is it also time for a rebrand? If your reason for a website redesign is because your business or target audience has changed then it may also be time to think about a rebrand. You certainly don’t want to spend your valuable time and money redesigning your website only to realise in six months time that you need a new logo!

Draft your new structure and content before you get started

Once you have followed all of the above steps, you’ll be in a great position to create a website structure, this will list all of the planned pages for your website. Because you have done your SEO research you’ll know your keywords and be able to write your service content to reflect these. If you are having a blog you should get at least 3 ready for when you go live and also have all the case studies and testimonials prepared. Get all your images ready, resized for web and named sensibly. All this planning and organisation will make your redesign go much more smoothly

As ever if you are thinking about a website redesign and you need some help, drop me a line louise@inspirationagency.co.uk


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What is UX?

Category:Websites Tags : 

UX or User Experience is a term you will often hear bandied about in the website community these days, but what is it and more importantly why is it important for your business’ website.

UX stands for User Experience and when used in relation to websites it means what a person experiences when visiting your website. UX can also be used in other areas of your business, for example when someone calls, visits or interacts in another way with your business. I’m focusing on Website UX.

Why is UX important?

It is likely that your website was a big investment for your business, so it is essential that investment pays off and if your users are not having a good experience on your website the chances are it won’t.

If you have invested in a website I hope you have also invested (either time or money) in getting people to your website, this could be through PPC, SEO, Social Media, Blogging or a variety of other marketing methods, so if once you get your all important prospective customers to your website you really want them to convert – otherwise that was all a big waste of time and money!

UX can help ensure your website visitors become customers, there is a lot to website UX, but here are some things to consider when looking at User Experience on your website

Prioritise information

One of the nice things about websites is that you can include soooo much information. However it is essential that you think about the priority of information. What is the most important piece of information for your users, ensure that information is given the ‘top slot’ on your home page and then drill down from there. I would say one of your most important pieces of information is your contact details – so make sure they are front and centre.

Don’t try and reinvent the wheel

People are used to the way websites work, navigation is at the top of the page, contact link will be on the right, links are highlighted and underlined, buttons are rounded corner rectangles. If it works and people will find it easy to use don’t try and do something different just for the sake of it

Stick to your brand style

Translating your brand into a full website design can be difficult, it’s easy to get carried away with fonts, colours and imagery, but it is essential to stick to your brand style, so that users aren’t confused and distracted. Your website’s priority is to enhance your brand and communicate your message, if in doubt, leave it out

Think about all the pages, not just your home page

It can be very easy to focus on the design of your home page and let the others pages take second place, but bear in mind that a user might not enter your website at your home page. If you are relying on SEO or PPC they are likely to enter at one of your product or service pages. If you are blogging then the blog page will be their first impression of your site. Of course they will hopefully take a look at your other pages, but it is essential that their first impression, whatever page that might be, is good

Make your website scannable

Just like reading a book or magazine, people scan websites. The phrase ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’ has never been more true! So ensure that people can understand your website and business with a quick scan. Once they find something that interests them they will read, but you have to capture their interest.

Get rid of pop ups

They are annoying – get rid…simple

So now you know what website UX is and how to improve yours. I’d love to hear your thoughts…are there any websites which you feel have great UX or that really annoy you?


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Responsiveness and it’s effect on Google Ranking

Category:SEO Tags : 

Many of you may have heard that Google will penalise websites which are not responsive, but you may be wondering why has Google done this.  And possibly, what is a responsive website? And finally, what does it mean for my business’ Google ranking? Let’s start with the first question.

Why have Google done this?

By now I think most of us know that Google ranks websites according to an algorithm which is constantly changing.

Google’s algorithm is just trying to imitate the decision making process that normal people go through when looking for a product or service, in order to bring searchers the best results. The reason it is always changing is that the way people search and indeed use the internet is constantly changing.

A few years ago the majority of people were accessing the internet using computers, either a desktop or a laptop. Now nearly 60% of people are using Google on a mobile device (tablet or phone). So by penalising websites that are not ‘responsive’ Google is attempting to provide a better experience for searchers.

So this brings us on to what is a responsive website?

Being responsive doesn’t just mean that your website is ‘mobile friendly’. According to Google it is not good enough for your website to work on mobile devices. Google believes that the layout of your website should adjust to different devices to provide an optimum viewing experience and this is what being ‘responsive’ means. So if a user is viewing your website on their phone the display should shift to one long column and the navigation should be easy to use on a small screen.

So finally, what does this mean for my business?

Well, it may make very little difference in reality. Responsiveness is just one of many factors that Google uses to rank websites and certainly there are many other factors you need to make sure you are getting right, such as; keywords, user content, meta content. However bearing in mind that Google has brought this into affect because it believes it is what the public wants….you would be advised to ensure your website is responsive sooner rather than later.

Most websites can be converted to responsive with very little work, especially if there were built in the last 5 years. If responsiveness or indeed Search Engine Ranking Position is something you are worried about for your business get in touch for more information.


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What on earth is CMS?

Category:Websites Tags : 

CMS stands for Content Management System. It some ways it does what it says on the tin….it is a system for managing the content of your website.

Content Management Systems are generally accessible via any computer with an internet connection by using your browser. This could be Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

There are many different CMS’s available, but one you have probably heard of is WordPress. We create websites using this system and also using the slightly more advanced Joomla system.

CMS’s are general quite easy to use with a little basic training. The main text editor part will be very much like using Word, you’ll type what you want the website content to be, choose whether you want parts to be bold or perhaps some bullet points and then save your work to make the changes live on the website.

Most content management systems will also allow you to update images on the site, add new pages and delete old content.

Depending of your business needs and your technical ability the CMS can also be used to edit other parts of the site, including home page layout, navigation and fonts and colours. The beauty of having website experts create your CMS website is that you can choose how much control you want to have and still have experts to step in and make other changes for you.

Many businesses are now choosing CMS websites to suit their ever changing market and of course to help with SEO! To find out more about how a CMS can help your search engine ranking, read about it in our blog article ‘How does website content affect SEO’.

If you’d like to find out more about how a CMS website can help your business, or if you want a quote for one, drop us an email hello@inspirationagency.co.uk