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Storytelling – Web Trend 2015

By Design, web design, Website No Comments

A website is a great tool for reaching a wider audience and drawing people in for a product, a place, or a person. There are many ways to keep people interested once they land on your website, but if we have learned anything from books it’s that a good story can keep us hooked for hours.

In 2015 great stories have crept in to the world of websites and now it’s a great way to keep people on your page whether it’s a visual story, a written one, or a combination of the two. Most designers utilize the scroll feature to tell the story; leading you through the site. The story is rarely pointless as usually it gets to the point in the end and tries to sell you something or advertise someone’s abilities or work but what else are websites for?

When appropriate, we really like this style and below are some examples of websites using the style to the best of it’s abilities.

TCmarketing SEO

SEO For Brighton Business – It’s All or Nothing

By Design, SEO, Website No Comments

One of the main problems with online marketing is that it is often an “all or nothing” game. The best Brighton business websites will get the deal and all other competing websites will get nothing, no matter how good they are.

For example, suppose someone wants to buy a new mobile phone. The person searches Google, takes a look at the top 10 results and then decides to buy something on one of the sites. That means that one site gets the sale and the other sites get nothing.

If you make the change from being one of the discarded sites to the site that is chosen by the searcher then obviously your sales will increase dramatically. You’ll make the change from getting nothing to getting everything. How can you do that? Here are a few pointers:

  1. Choose slightly better keywords

Being better than your competitors starts with choosing the right keywords. If you target keywords that are not being used by the people who want to buy then you might get a lot of visitors but no sales.

Your web pages should be optimised for the keywords that attract people who are looking for the products and services that you sell on your website and who are ready to buy.

Thorough keyword research is the key and we can help.

  1. Get slightly better rankings

While it is important to target the right keywords, your website must also be found on the first few entries on page one of the search results page if you are to attract customers.

Most people only take a look at the top 5 or 6 results on the first page of the search results. If your website cannot be found in these first few results for your keywords then potential customers are far less likely to find your website.

We can help you put in pace an organic SEO strategy to achieve a high page one ranking.

  1. Be slightly more convincing

It’s not enough just to be listed on the first search engine result page either. Your Brighton business website must also be fit for purpose. It should offer exactly what the customer is looking for, it should have a professional design and it should make it as easy as possible for the customer to buy from you.

That is why it is so important to improve the conversion rate of your web pages. With a higher conversion rate, you can generate more money with the same number of website visitors.

A trustworthy and professionally designed website for your Brighton business with a good conversion rate also has positive side-effects. Your customers will probably buy time and time again from your company and people are more likely to link to your website which is still great for SEO.

Be slightly better and you get everything

It takes some time to optimise your web pages correctly, but it is worth the effort. Even small changes can have a huge impact on the number of sales that you achieve. Make the change from being one of the discarded sites to the site that gets the sale and your sales will go through the roof.

Remember that your competitors are also working on their websites. Even if you are better than your competitors you have to continue with the optimisation to stay ahead in the game.

For more information about out Professional web design and SEO services for Brighton businesses please leave a comment below or call us on 01273 328877

The Best Colour Generator

The Best Colour Generator on the web

By Design, Logo/Branding, Recommended No Comments

Finding a colour scheme for your brand has never been so easy!

Coolors, the super fast colour generator for cool designers is by far the most efficient way to get yourself a groovy colour palette for your latest project.

So how does it work? A single tap of your keyboard’s space bar will generate a perfectly good colour palette. But it doesn’t stop there! You can click a colour column to lock it and tweak colours via a HSB/RGB/CMYK & PMS slider. This combined with the fact that you can place your own colours into the tool means that you can look only for colours which compliment your current scheme.

A truly complete colour tool but simple enough for anyone to use.

Even on mobiles. Coolors is just as effective and easy to use on mobile devices. Not only is there an app available for iOS and Android (though these require a fee) but the website is responsive and just as addictive as ever.

It’s worth mentioning that while Coolors is a truly powerful app, it’s not completely groundbreaking. In fact colour generators have been around for quite some time, a simple Google search will find you plenty. The difference here is how much more effective Coolors is at actually finding and tweaking those generated palettes.

Coolors also has a browsing function, letting you see which colour palettes have been downloaded and viewed the most. This is useful if you’re just looking for inspiration rather than something in particular as you can see much more colour palettes at one time.

Personally I prefer the full colour generator as opposed to the browser though. Having the full size columns makes it easy to immediately recognise when you’ve found what you’re looking for. Plus there’s just something about hitting that spacebar repeatedly and watching colours fly by which is great fun.

If you’re looking for any more help with your branding or you’re just looking for some advice give us a call on 01273 328877

How Picture List Posts could boost your Blog Traffic

By Design, Marketing, Social Media No Comments

Reaching your target audience through a viral blog post can sometimes feel like a fantasy. You want to create content that gets shared and builds an audience, but it can often feel like trying to win the lottery.

You know there have got to be a few tips and tricks towards reaching that golden post. Here is one such tip which according to Buzzsumo and Canva’s data should absolutely give you a massive boost to blog traffic.

That tip is picture list posts. Picture list posts are blog posts which essentially list information using frequent images to engage the reader and give overall a more memorable experience. The results are quite staggering…

Why does this boost blog traffic?

It’s long been known that most people find images as opposed to typography much more engaging and memorable. Let’s be honest it’s not hard to see why. We are hard wired to recognise visual cues, reading can capture our imagination briefly but those depictions will never match a truly detailed image.

So exactly how much more effective does this make your blog traffic? Over the last three months Canva & Buzzsumo looked at 100 million Facebook posts. They found that posts without an image on average earned 164 interactions. Posts with images over double that figure with an average of 372 interactions.

Socialbakers found in their research that 93% of the most engaging posts on Facebook were images as opposed to status updates, links and video.

Images have instant gratification, which simply leads to a higher chance of being appreciated and shared. People know subconsciously that their friends are more likely to respond well to a shared image than a shared wall of text.

That’s where Picture List Posts come in. We like to share posts with images in, so it only makes sense to produce content with a series of curated images. Think along the same vein as an infographic where the images are used to deliver clear values and information. Picture list posts have a clear purpose for which their images are being used for example:

Storytelling

The Guardian used a Picture lists post to demonstrate the results of overpopulation and overconsumption. The photos in this article are at times quite frightening. The same impact just could not have been achieved using a standard written post.

How-to posts

This is a simple post in Wikihow on how to make pancakes. This article placed second in Google to the BBC’s Easy Pancakes on the search query “how to make pancakes”. An impressive feat to be sure, not to mention the hundreds of other pancake tutorials it’s topping just amongst other wikihow users. What really sets it apart is the detailed step-by-step instructions accompanied by images.

Comparisons

The Guardian use a series of Picture List posts “Then and Now” to compare locations present with their past. This particular example is of Australia, but the series is particularly potent in areas which have been affected by natural disasters.

Lists

This image is from a post by Awwwards a website dedicated to giving website awards. They also produce content relevant to designers. This is a list of top 100 free fonts, really useful for designers and very shareable.

Getting started

Hopefully these examples can give you some pretty good insight to what types of content will perform best in a pictures list post. However, if you’re still not sure how to translate this into your industry or niche, here are some questions to get you raring to go:

  • What type of stories work in your area? How does one of your successful projects or case studies look as a series of images?
  • What comparisons can you make with images? For example, how have products in your area changed over time.
  • Are there any processes or tips in your area that could be explained better through a series of images?
  • What ‘how to’ picture post might work in your area?

If you want to learn more about this process or you’d like a little bit of design magic in your project give us a call on this number: 01273 328877

We’re always open to giving advice!

TCmarketing Design Icon

The Impact a Great Logo could have on your Business

By Design, Logo/Branding No Comments

A common misconception about logos is that they are used for the purpose of creating a good first impression. It’s true that having a logo which stands out and connotes clear brand values can help distinguish your brand from competitors.

But the truth is that a logos greatest strength isn’t in the first time you lay eyes on them, it’s the umpteenth time. Logos aren’t just important for a first impression their real draw is making your brand memorable.

Giving great service or value to your customers means a whole lot more when ultimately your customers remember that experience and want to return.

Brands today have achieved such a great depth of recognition that they have arguably impacted what colour means to us.

If I was to ask you what comes into your mind when someone mentions the colour red, sure there will be natural connotations like danger, power and passion. But also you are very likely to think of a large brand which has impacted you maybe Coca-Cola, Virgin or even Manchester United.

Having this level of awareness for a brand is invaluable. Which according to the BBC is why global scale companies are willing to pay tens of millions on their logos, in example UK oil group BP paid £136 million introducing their new logo back in 2000.

Something to keep in mind about logo’s is that they aren’t necessarily aiming to be love at first sight. Remember, the true value is in how memorable a logo is and how easy it will be for people to recognise.

There are three points which your brand needs to cover to attain a memorable logo:

  • Relevant to the business, both in terms of industry and the business’ values.
  • The logo must be simple enough for  even a glance of your logo to be recognised as your brand.
  • Plus a great logo will always be original, blending in with the rest of your industry is not what a logo is about.

Your logo is what people identify your business with, and it should most definitely not be overlooked. The best logos take months of planning and iterating before the final designs are completed.

If you’re looking for a logo which is highly polished, carefully considered and designed by an experienced, proven team why not get in touch? Call 01273 328877 for a free audit.

Adobe Comp CC Formats

Adobe Anywhere

By Design, Recommended, web design No Comments

Adobe Release New Mobile App, Comp CC

On March 30th Adobe released the latest product in their suite of software, Adobe Comp CC. By creating a connection between your mobile and desktop applications with Creative Cloud, Adobe have been able to fill a need which has long been in the undertaking but never quite fulfilled. Capturing those moments of inspiration and ingenuity while away from your desk.

While for some time now we have had access to a multitude of productivity apps, none have been quite like this.  Comp is designed to allow designers to capture their thoughts and concepts into the Adobe’s system wherever you are. Not just as a note, but as a professional standard wireframe or layout – which can then be imported by the appropriate Adobe tool e.g. Illustrator.

A website layout designed in Adobe Comp CC

How does it work?

The beauty of this system is in how easily and naturally the app works. Adobe have recognised that a full suite of features is simply not going to work on a tablet or mobile device.

So creating print, mobile and web design layouts while on the move requires a completely new approach. Adobe have tackled this with appropriate techniques for the device, namely you’ll be using gestures to create and edit your elements. Here are a few examples:

  • To create a circle you’ll only need to attempt drawing one by hand and Comp will automatically correct it into a perfect circle for you.
  • To create a headline you only need to draw a rectangle and tap a dot beside it. Text is even simpler! Just draw lines followed by a dot to find your lorem ipsum perfectly in place.
  • Images can be added by drawing an X shape where you would like the image.

As you can see, while the platform is limited in what you can create, you can build it fast even using the unrefined touch-screen input. Another really handy feature of Comp is being able to connect to various locations for your image or typography files.

Here are a few examples of Adobe Comp in action:

Some Example Images of Adobe Comp

While I imagine these examples have been spruced up by desktop editors in combination with Comp, I still think that the concept is really strong and something I would seriously consider investing in. It’s worth noting that Adobe Comp CC is only available on iPad, so android tablet users unfortunately lose out here.

While in the past few months it’s looked like Adobe might be shaken by some competition mainly with Affinity this is a sure sign that Adobe aren’t going to sit and wait for everyone else to catch up and will continue to innovate.

The Best Stock Photography Websites - Premium Stocks by CanStockPhoto

Only The Best Stock Photography Sites

By Design, Recommended No Comments

Stock Photos are almost always behind a great design. Whether that’s a brochure, website or even a business card. Often choosing between a good stock photo and a bad one can make or break an entire design.

That’s why we thought we’d give a little helping hand with that first step to getting that perfect photo/image. Turns out, picking the right photo has a lot to do with searching on the right websites.

So without further ado, here are the best stock photography websites:

 

Premium Stock Photography

Alamy

The Best Stock Photography Websites by Tyler Consultants - Premium Stock Website Alamy

The world’s largest stock photography website with over 50 million images Alamy’s collection is so broad, that you’ll simply find a lot of everything and anything there. Whether your looking for a creative image, photos submitted by the public (via their subsidiary iOS app stockimo) or you want editorial photos Alamy will have plenty to choose from.

 

Getty Images

Only The Best Stock Photography Websites, Premium Stock Photography Website GettyImages | By Brighton Based Web Agency Tyler Consultants

The leader in stock photography and editorial photos Getty has a partnership with the BBC giving you access to a ton of high quality video from wildlife to breaking news. Pricing can be expensive depending on your planned use. However Thinkstock by Getty images offers several subscription options for those who are going to need regular professional images.

 

National Geographic Creative

National Geographic Stock Photography Website

National Geographic provide some of the highest quality photography and videos out there and they have a huge 125 year backlog making their collection one of the most comprehensive. However, what makes National Geographic even more unique is there option to Hire their Photographers something worth seriously considering for larger companies.

 

CanStockPhoto

CanStockPhoto

A pretty standard stock photography website with some quite impressive shots and range. What really stands out about this stock photography website though is that it’s just a real bargain with photos starting from £1.63 and £6.51 for video. Even subscriptions are reasonable with 10 downloads a day for one week at £25.37.

 

Stocksy

Premium Stock Photography Website Stocksy - High Quality Images by Creative Photographers

Stocksy is a great little website which only adds photographers by invitation. This means that all of their images are unique and premium. Stocksy also features a very in-depth category system which works due to each photo going through a meticulous upload process. They may not have the most vast photographic library, but they are still absolutely one to check out.

 

Free Stock Photography

The Stocks

The Stocks, A Free Stock Photography Website - Large lits of fantastic high-quality stock photography websites all on one page
If you’re looking for free stock photography The Stocks should be for sure, on the top of your list of go-to destinations. Why? Because The Stocks is a website which collects some of the biggest names in free stock photography and puts them all in one place for you to browse from. All of these websites provide highly professional photos, though the majority are of nature.

 

StockSnap

StockSnap
StockSnap is a high quality free stock photography website which has a lot of search functionality. This is what makes it in my opinion a must-check when it comes to looking for the right photos. Search + free, high quality shots is a combination that must have been made in heaven! That said if your digging really deep for specific photos you’re unlikely to find them here.

 

StartUpStocks

Start Up Stock - Free Stock Photography Website for small Businesses and Startups
Another great free stock photography website Start Up Stocks focuses purely on photography which would be relevant to a startup business, Office photos and the like. The photos provided are of a high quality – however there is no search functionality at all so be prepared to do a lot of scrolling to find what your looking for.

 

Flickr

Flickr - Photographer Community where you can find Creative Commons images.
While Flickr’s main purpose is not stock photography, you can use this community of photo lovers to acquire an image you need. However there are some issues with Flickr, quality can really vary and you have to check each image’s copyright to see if it’s creative commons. The bonus of Flickr is that since it’s a popular service you should be able to find the photo you’re after.

 

Inspired to take the time to find a photo worth placing on your design?

I hope that this list will make things easier on your hunt for the perfect photo.

Good luck photo searching!

Magento Go Alternatives

By Design, Marketing, Website, Wordpress

Magento Go is a CMS system with the purpose of allowing users to build their own online stores completely free. Magento Go was aimed at small businesses and as such had a relatively simple builder allowing people to setup shop – fast.

Owned by Google, Magento has been frequently used by successful eBay users. Giving them an impression of a more reputable and established store.

However, now that Magento Go is closing down we thought we’d recommend the best online stores to replace your Magento Go Store with:

Magento Community Edition

NikeMagento

Magento allows a business to scale up quickly if you already have the groundworks in place and know your business will be a success. However the development costs are high and can take some time. We would not recommend Magento on a small budget.

Pros:

  • Premier Store Management – Magento is a feature rich online store solution, allowing users to manage multiple store front as well as simple multi-language and currency support.
  • Intuitive back-end – Navigation for store management features. Meaning that site owners have flexibility with their store.
  • Plugins Galore – Magento is a very successful ecommerce CMS and with over 240,000 merchants comes a lot of extensions and plugins. This makes Magento a very versatile theme.
  • Highly Customisable Design – Magento’s template allows a lot of customisable features meaning your store is limited only by the skill of your developers and designers.
  • Scalable – Magento is just as competent for enterprises as it is for startups, meaning your website can grow with you.

Cons:

  • Lack of Developers – As a web developer Magento can be a challenging prospect – If your looking to really make the most of Magento you’re going to need an experienced Magento developer which can be expensive.
  • Hosting – Unless hosted on a dedicated server Magento can create a slow and frustrating experience for users.
  • Time – Magento has a lot more options and flexibility than most other CMS systems however this means that development can be relatively complex. Expect Magento websites to take more time than other CMS solutions.

OpenCart

MultiStoreOpenCart

OpenCart is a free and open source software which allows you to create your own online store you can select from free and premium themes from which to design your store generally premium themes will give you a lot more versatility and features to customise your website with.

Pros:

  • Lightweight – OpenCart is a easy to download and silky smooth for customers to use. Whereas Magento is very demanding for both developers and hosting.
  • Simple customisation – OpenCart in comparison with other eCommerce solutions, is less complicated and does not require technical skills.
  • Short Development Time – OpenCart is perfect for startups as it requires minimal investment and will allow you to open your store in a short amount of time.
  • Support – OpenCart’s support team and community are very helpful with any issues you may have and

Cons:

  • Relative Lack of Extensions and Plugins – OpenCart does not have as large a userbase as some other eCommerce solutions and therefore doesn’t have the same amount of support in terms of addons.
  • Poor SEO – OpenCart does not generate SEO friendly URLs.
  • Weaker Store Management – OpenCart has less features with the purpose of improving the customer experience. Features like order history, recently reviewed products and tagging items are not available in OpenCart.

Shopify

GreatsShopify

Choose one of three monthly packages from 29$ a month to $179.

Whereas Magento provides the opportunity to scale up into a large enterprise sized business, Shopify focuses on the small to medium sized business.

Shopify will effectively handle everything for you; hosting, design, analytics, SSL certificates etc. While this is useful in the sense that you won’t have to worry about setup it also means that Shopify is incredibly limiting in any actual choices you want to make for your store.

Plus, with the rolling monthly costs, it’s not cheap either. That said, Shopify is still a strong solution for creating your online store.

WordPress WooCommerce

NicHarry

The most obvious benefit of WooCommerce is that it’s not only open source and free to attain, but the CMS you’ll be running it on is also open source. This means that when you choose to use WooCommerce you’ll gain access to the wealth of features, themes, plugins etc. Which come with WordPress.

That’s a really strong pro, because WordPress is already a highly tuned and powerful system, while having the bonus of being easy to use. However with that benefit also comes the cons, WooCommerce is only available through WordPress so if for whatever reason you don’t want to go in this direction it won’t be available to you. The other flaw is that while WordPress has an almost unlimited amount of options available some of them are premium, and if you want a highly polished, professional site you’re going to need them.

If you’re looking to replace your Magento Go ecommerce website, hopefully you’ve found some interesting information which you can use to make the change.

If you’re still not sure what kind of CMS you’d like to use for your website, don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01273 328877

5 Smart Logos

By Design No Comments

Your logo is a graphic representation of your company.  In a brief glance at a logo you can sum up who you are, your company culture and what your business does.

We strongly believe that the best logos are simple, typographically based and, above all, clever.

Just to whet your appetite below are some excellent examples of what we think is good logo design.

Motion Logo

Foot Logo

Killed Logo

Martini House Logo

Snap Logo

If you think your logo is in need of a little TLC give us a call on 01273 328877 and we can have a chat about what kind of logo would suit your business.

Our Top 10 Recommended Design Tools - MailChimp Snap

Our Top Recommended Design Tools

By Design, Email Marketing, Marketing, Website No Comments
In this month’s recommended top 10 list we’re looking at design tools.

This list is aimed at designers and developers. We’ve included new apps to improve your marketing efforts, design resources, cloud storage, tools for building professional infographics & slideshows with ease – plus much more. We’re sure you’ll find something useful so check it out!

Almost everything in this list is free or is available for a small fee, we’re trying to provide useful tools for both professional experts and beginners.

If you have any suggestions feel free to leave a comment below! Or if you just want to share your thoughts on this list, that’s fine too!

10 Design Tools That’ll Take You from Stuck to Unstoppable

1. Infogr.am

Let’s be honest, reading can be fun, but in general visual content will always be more compelling and done well, more interesting. According to Market Domination Media people remember 80% of what they see and do, 20% of what they read and only 10% of what they hear. Plus “an infographic are 40 times more likely to be shared on social networks” – Kissmetrics.

The only real issue with infographics is, they take up an awful lot of time to create. Infogr.am makes designing visual data incredibly simple via a drag & drop editor.

Infogram

2. Slides

Much like infographics Slideshows can be seriously effective content, why? Implemented correctly slides are a very visual medium which get straight to the point – and emphasise that point clearly. There is a reason why presentations are generally backed up with slideshows, they are an effective form of communication.

However, much like infographics, slideshows can take a really long time to design.

Slides is a slideshow presentation editor built with simplicity and functionality in mind. You can access them from anywhere online on any device, but you can also download your presentations for offline presentations.

SlidesEditor

3. GoMoodBoard

I’m a big believer in planning ahead. You’re never going to capture a perfect logo or web design on your first attempt – no matter how experienced you are. However being able to fall back on a clear design objective and inspiration can really push you in the right direction.

GoMoodBoard is a website which allows you to quickly build and share a selection of images to capture a brand “mood”.

Top Recommended 10 Design Tools - GoMoodBoard

4. The Stocks

Imagery is incredibly powerful for conveying your message and branding. However good photography can be pricey. Lately free Stock websites have been becoming more diverse and closer to the complete packages paid websites can provide.

The Stocks is the must go location for Royalty Free Photography as it gives easy access to all the top quality Stock websites.

TheStocksSample

5. Canva

Canva is an online design tool which is aimed at beginners. The tool is incredibly simple and easy to use, filled with tutorials and resources which you have very easy access to. The one drawback is that since it is so simple, it just doesn’t hold a candle to the all encompassing amount of options available from paid services provided by companies like Adobe.

Our Top 10 Recommended Design Tools - Canva

6. Adobe Creative Suite

Adobe provides the definitive design tools for editing and building images, whether that’s for the web, print or more or less anything. Having a recommended design tools list without Adobe would honestly just not feel right. However Creative Suite is very expensive and is not beginner friendly.

Our Top 10 Recommended Design Tools - Adobe Creative Suite

7. DropBox

DropBox is a very useful tool for designers. Allowing you to share work between colleagues from one central system without having to worry about space! DropBox for Business allows additional storage at no extra cost. DropBox can also recover any accidentally deleted files and allow easy sharing through links or private folders.

Our Top 10 Recommended Design Tools - DropBox

8. FileZilla

The File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is the standard network used to transfer large files between computers. Allowing you to transfer files from one host to another.

FileZilla is a free FTP solution for both clients and servers.  This is a must for web designers in particular, as you will be frequently required to update a website rather than build from scratch.

FileZillaSample

9. Pixeden

The perfect way to show off your design work in style! Mockup templates allow you to create an image with your design on it’s appropriate platform. Whether that’s a business card, books, brochures, mobile devices etc.

Pixeden provides a large selection of professional looking free graphics and mockups. Plus a fantastic range of premium resources. If you ever find yourself needing a lot of image resources Pixeden can provide them for you.

PixedenSample

10. MailChimp Snap

Email Marketing is still very effective, with the rise of mobile people are accessing their emails from anywhere increasing your chances of a successful campaign.

The new MailChimp Snap harnesses the mobile email marketing ethos. Allowing you to send simple, photo-based email campaigns straight from your mobile device, and they look fantastic. Marketing has never been so easy!

Our Top 10 Recommended Design Tools - MailChimp Snap