Could Ad-Free, Premium Internet Be The Future Of The Web?

A key part of working with the web designers at our Kingston office is to help you achieve a perfect balance of form and function, and one important part of this, especially for a consumer website, is how your site interacts with advertising.

Digital advertising still provides an important revenue stream for websites, however, it is a controversial topic and perhaps not the golden goose that it was considered at the dawn of the digital age.

Now, some critics are even going so far as to say that digital advertising has ‘lost its credibility’, according to the BBC‘s Technology Editor, an in the future, paid for content may be the way forward for brands.

The chief executive of one of the world’s largest ad measuring organisations, Integral Ad Science, says that the problem stems from mistakes made at the beginning of digital advertising, putting focus on both impressions and clicks, as opposed to conversions.

The World Federation of Advertisers also claims that only half of display adverts ever properly seen, based on measures of ‘visibility’ which means 50 per cent of the ad’s surface appearing on the screen for one second, or two seconds for video. This is largely, according to the experts, down to bad website design.

Add ad-fraud into the mix and it’s an industry with a crisis on its hands, and even Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has suggested in the wake of the wave of scandals to hit the site that paying for online content might be the only way to keep private information misuse and advertising at bay.

UEFA Crowns Champions League Winners By Mistake

UEFA Crowns Champions League Winners By Mistake

UEFA has suffered a website fault after announcing the winners of the Champions League before the final has even taken place.

Eagle-eyed football fans who have clicked on the UEFA website this week will have noticed it has revealed Liverpool as the champions of the competition, the Sun reported. However, the final match has yet to occur, with Real Madrid taking on Liverpool on May 26th instead.

It is likely that there is a page already set up for both teams ahead of the game in a few weeks, and one of them was published live by mistake.

However, some supporters are saying it raises their suspicions of match fixing, particularly after fans thought the Reds’ semi-final with Roma was pre-arranged before their names were pulled out of a hat.

Indeed, prior to the semi-final teams being announced, Roma had been advertising tickets to take on the Liverpool side.

UEFA’s website is likely to be scrutinised ahead of the competition, with fans trying to ascertain whether there is conspiracy in the organisation or if it was just a website error that took place.

This shows the importance of making sure website design is accurate at all times, particularly with large businesses or groups, as thousands of people are continuously clicking on the page throughout the day. Website designers in Kingston can help create the right format for your webpage, as well as keep some tabs private until they are ready to be published.

Football fans will have to wait till the end of May to find out who will be crowned winners of the Champions League 2017/18 season, after Real Madrid drew with Bayern Munich 2-2 on May 1st.

Online Sales Rise Amidst Retail Downfall

Online Sales Rise Amidst Retail Downfall

While the retail market has showed signs of decline recently, sales online have gone from strength to strength, proving just how important an e-commerce page is to businesses.

If you are a small enterprise and do not already have facilities for customers to purchase goods online, the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics might encourage you to consider a website redesign.

This is because the recent Retail Sales report found online transactions accounted for 17.4 per cent of all retailing in March 2018. This is an increase from 15.9 per cent 12 months earlier, demonstrating the rising popularity of internet shopping.

Rhian Murphy, senior statistician at the ONS, suggested the inclement weather could have affected the way people shop over the last few months, saying: “The snow actually helped boost online spending, with department stores, in particular, seeing growth in their web sales.”

While online sales for department stores reached 17.1 per cent last month, 16.2 per cent of online sales were for textiles, clothing and footwear stores and 5.4 per cent were for food purchases.

These findings compound the British Retail Consortium’s recent report on footfall traffic at shopping centres.

It revealed footfall declined by six per cent between March 2017 and 2018, which is the sharpest drop since the end of 2010.

Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of BRC, suggested the bad weather we have experienced this year could have dissuaded shoppers from buying in store. Therefore, more and more are turning to websites for their retail needs.

If you need some help with web design in Surrey, contact us to find out how we can be of assistance.

Google Set To Transform Gmail Design

Google Set To Transform Gmail Design

So important is website design to businesses that when certain companies make changes to their pages, we cannot help but notice.

This is the case for Gmail, with Google planning to give a new facelift to the email website in the next few weeks.

The Verge revealed there will be several new features users will be able to make the most of, including a snooze, smart reply and a new sidebar.

Google stated it will be “a fresh, clean look for Gmail on the web”, and provide the public with a lot more functionality from their email accounts.

It has not fully revealed what the changes will be, with the spokesperson telling the news provider: “We’re working on some major updates to Gmail. We need a bit more time to compose ourselves, so can’t share anything yet.”

However, screenshots of the new interface have since been revealed to Verge, with regular users noticing distinct differences in the web design from the current layout.

Its Smart Reply feature enables account holders to quickly respond to emails with standardised replies, while the Snooze function lets them remove email conversations temporarily for a certain amount of time.

The sidebar provides much easier use of Google’s calendar and tasks, which will allow users to quickly see when they are available so they can schedule meetings while replying to emails.

This is not the first time Google has been part of a huge web transformation and it redesigned its Inbox look in 2014. So popular is its email system that it had 1.2 billion active users every month in 2017.

Firms that are tempted to jump on the bandwagon and give their site an overhaul could get in touch with web designers in Kingston today, who can transform their webpages and boost their business.

Tips To Use Data To Build Your Business

Tips To Use Data To Build Your Business

The world of brand building has become increasingly sophisticated with the introduction of ever more technology to our daily lives and workplaces.

It’s no secret that data can be of use to businesses of all sizes, and now an article by Elissa Fink, chief marketing officer at Tableau, for Forbes has picked out a few ways in which you can use your data to help develop your business.

She explained that this data can be incredibly powerful because it “takes the guesswork out of what your customers want and need”. The data you gather as people move through your site should be used to inform your product development, marketing strategy and other promotions.

Ms Fink also stressed the importance of using that customer data in real-time to enable you to continuously improve the experience for your customers.

As well as improving your website for your customers, using data can also ensure you don’t waste money on marketing or promotional campaigns that don’t have any benefits to you. Using visual data analytics can help you “identify top-performing products, predict changes in trends and track ROI for marketing spend”, she asserted.

If you’re just starting to work with web designers in Surrey, explore how you can use analytics within your new site to provide insights that can help you grow your business and improve your customer service.

Using this data to inform your brief for a new web design project is vital, as is putting customer experience at the heart of what you do and knowing what your goals are for your business going forward.

Building Your Own Acropolis – The Five Pillars Of Digital Marketing

Building Your Own Acropolis – The Five Pillars Of Digital Marketing

Entrepreneurs in the digital age now view the Internet, in most cases, as a critical method of B2B and B2C communication. To launch a business, entrepreneurs need to develop very early on a realistic web marketing strategy; to first make the company known and then to expand its notoriety. As with any plan, you will need to put in place different tactics, to fulfil specific goals and thus achieve the purpose of your strategy.

The first essential step is obviously the creation of a website, knudge knudge.., be it an e-commerce site or a professional portfolio. Although the world of digital marketing and communication technologies continues to grow, five major pillars remain timeless. Here’s a quick overview of the five most important tools that will help you achieve your goals.

 

Web Affiliation

Often used by web communication agencies, an affiliation strategy involves the business (affiliate) partnering with an associated site that can host and distribute a list of products to its users. A contract is made between the two sites, thus defining the affiliation program and the remuneration system. There are four types of compensation (CPC, CPL, CPA, CPM), each with its advantages and disadvantages. It is up to you to define, according to your budget and needs, what is best for the sustainability of your business.

 

Search Engine Optimisation

SEO is a long-term method, usually becoming visible after several months of continuous work. It is based on fine-tuning a large number of details on your site that Google’s robots and other search engines will judge. The general idea is based on optimising the website to enhance user experience; which includes:

  • Targeting specific search phrases (known as keywords)
  • Developing original and engaging content which leads to a structured sales-path
  • Spreading the word of the business’ services by posting articles on social & professional networks (known as backlinking) – similar in concept to posting an advertisement in a traditional media format.

Problems can sometimes arise for SEO when Google updates it’s algorithms, causing unfavourable changes. However, if you respect the rules, you should be fine.

 

Email Marketing

Although many people think that the “check this box to receive our newsletter” is often overlooked by website users, it allows businesses to build a solid database of valued and interested customers. Subsequently, you can take advantage of this database to establish effective marketing campaigns; however, be careful to respect the rules of e-commerce, under penalty of quickly becoming a “spammer”.

 

Adwords, Google’s Flagship Tool

Sponsored or paid links are part of what SEO experts call Paid Search Marketing (PPC). Google’s Adwords solution largely dominates this strategy and provides fast visible results, based on a keyword bidding system. You will appear directly in the first position of search results and other media, boosting traffic to your site. As a result, you can carefully control your marketing budget; however, it does not guarantee any ROI. With Google’s comprehensive dashboard, you can fine tune and refine your strategy, with performance monitoring and tweaking of search terms a necessary daily task.

 

Social Marketing

The last aspect of web marketing, and probably the most recent so far, is the use of social networks. At the rate at which new technologies are developing, Facebook is no longer the only known network. Companies must adapt and optimise their visibility by communicating on social networks and professional forums which actively include users searching for their services. Getting occasional likes or shares by a family member or friend is not going to cut it in the fast-paced digital landscape of the future.

As we’re independent website designers based in Kingston, we love working with other small businesses and entrepreneurs in South West London and Surrey. For further information on our services, check out the What We Do section or get in touch today.