Category

Marketing

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 earnt 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!

How to Increase Your Web Conversions by 102% with One Simple Tweak

By | Marketing, web design | No Comments

Are your website conversions stagnating?

Find yourself checking your web traffic only to see that bounce rate still high as ever?

Even those who don’t bounce from your site immediately rarely end up actually getting in contact, let alone become a lead.

You know there must be something you can do make your landing page more enticing, but what?

There’s all kinds of advice out there but ultimately, it’s all pretty vague and often even contradicts itself.

Truth is there is only one sure fire design trend which will completely blow up your conversion rate.

This is a tale about how Highrise (subsidiary of Basecamp) went and turned their conversion rate right around!

Highrise were faltering in their conversions, with very few sign ups to their landing page. But after many A/B tests they discovered one particular technique completely outshone all others when it came to converting visitors. And you can bet that Highrise are not the only company reaping in the rewards of this rather simple technique.

So what exactly is this highly coveted super secret sauce of supreme subscriptions? Well, as mentioned earlier it’s a rather simple one. In fact you might even go to say it was obvious. The best way to increase your sign-up increase is through big quality images.

BIG IMAGES MEANS BIG PRIZES

I’m sure you’ve all seen websites these days which sport huge quality pictures. It’s not exactly a secret that they are capable of an immediate visual impact.

But that’s not why “hero images” are so prominent on big branded websites like Microsoft, Apple & Amazon. These brands will have had incredibly thorough and detailed tests on their websites and the results are all heading towards this trend.

Apple are known for masterful imagery on their website, with their already desirable products it’s no wonder that they are doing so well right now.

However, until relatively recently big images like these were seldom seen. This is because these images will slow down the load time of your website. That said, it seems like the pros have finally outweighed the cons and our internet speeds are able to put up with these weighty file sizes.

 

The beauty of hero images is that they aren’t just beautiful, they are practical too. Giving visitors the ability to examine every detail of your image leads to a much more engaged and confident sign up.

Not only are people more likely to convert they are less likely to regret doing so. Allowing visitors to see exactly what they are signing up to will always improve your results, so it makes sense that powerful images convert.

Why You Should Use Podcasts to Market your Business

By | Marketing, Website

It’s been a well known fact that blogging is a seriously cost-effective way to gain solid exposure on your brand. Blogging is a great way to market your business because when implemented correctly, it’s a natural process where visitors want to spread your content to their friends and followers and the it works great.

Marketers who have prioritised blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI

Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website

So what is it exactly which separates this blogging phenomenon from other marketing methods? Advertising, while generally a more invasive format can still be highly informative, relevant and valuable to a user – particularly online.

We’ve all been in the situation where you have been looking out for a shirt on Amazon only to find on the next few websites you visit a whole load of brands advertising their shirts. Sure, it might feel like they are interrupting your browsing experience but sometimes that ad can be exactly what you’re looking for.

The real secret to the success of Blogging is that content can feel great to share. Sharing content which has valuable statistics or useful information from a credible source puts you in a respectable position. Likewise sharing entertaining or funny content makes you yourself look witty. Sharing great content is cool. People are much less inclined to share an advert, unless it really is truly exceptional.

However, for all the great success stories there are with blogging there are plenty of failures too. Yes, not every Blog is given the time it deserves. Yes, web traffic can fluctuate so you’ll not necessarily gain the consistent numbers you have earned.

But ultimately, some Bloggers are just simply not good enough at writing or do not have the time to devote to good writing. That’s why if you are not having the success you are looking for I think that it’s worth seriously considering Podcasting.

Podcasting has many of the same qualities as Blogging. It is still a shareable, entertaining and potentially resourceful platform. Remember, there’s no shame in being a poor writer or even a podcaster. What’s important is to cater your marketing to what skills you do have and to develop those skills over time. If you’re going to do this properly it won’t feel like a chore that’s when you’ll know you’ve found the best platform for you.

67% of podcast listeners don’t mind sponsorship messages and occasionally find them useful, compared to 6% of television or commercial radio listeners.

During an annual survey, 15% of adults listened to a podcast in the month prior to the survey in 2014, up from 9% in 2008.

Podcast consumers index very highly for social networking behaviors.

Only 3% of marketers use podcasting in social media marketing, but 32% have a desire to learn how to use podcasting and 23% have plans to increase podcasting.

While it’s definitely true that more people tend to read blogs than listen to podcasts, it’s still fair to say that podcasting is booming right now. Not to mention that the volume of content created in the podcasting space is significantly less than blogging. Yes there are less listener’s than readers but you have alot less competition in the space to make up for it.

So if you decide podcasting is for you what’s the best way to go about it? SoundCloud seems the obvious choice with over 175 million monthly listeners and over 200 countries listening each hour there is definitely the potential to shift huge volumes of traffic from SoundCloud.

Not to mention the service is free, is easy to set up, has a solid infrastructure due to the large organisation behind it and comes with deep, detailed built-in analytics. When it comes to making some noise in the podcasting space, SoundCloud is the clear choice.

Hopefully this will be useful for those of you out there who understand that digital marketing is a highly effective route to generating leads but just isn’t comfortable with writing a blog.

Of course there are other means of marketing digitally but pod-casting is one of the cheapest in the long term, much like blogging.

The More Contact With Prospects, the Better

By | Marketing

Did you know…

• 2% of sales are made on first contact
• 3% of sales are made on the second contact
• 5% of sales are made on the third contact
• 10% of sales are made on the fourth contact
• 80% of sales are made on the fifth to twelfth contact

Source: National Sales Executive Association

What this means that you shouldn’t do one-off marketing, i.e a single email campaign.  We often hear disappointment when, for example, an advert fails to generate leads but to get higher conversion rates you need to contact your prospects at least five times over a half year period.

Talk to us if you want advice on the best ways to create a communication programme that delivers new customers.

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

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

PushBullet

Our Top 10 Recommended Online Productivity Tools

By | Marketing | No Comments

2015 is on it’s way and with so much technology out there it is difficult to try and find the apps/websites that can really help you become more efficient.

Personally I can really struggle to keep focused on what to prioritise between the vast array of projects which I am juggling. Let alone stick to new year’s resolutions!

So for me, it’s really important that I integrate a lot of online tools into my work ethic.

Unfortunately finding useful tools can be difficult and takes a lot of time, kind of defying the point in saving yourself time… Lucky for you – we’ve done all the work!

Here are our Top 10 Recommended Productivity Tools:

1. Evernote

Evernote is a fantastic organisation tool which allows you to put all of your thoughts and tasks in one place, automatically syncing across your devices. Plus, by upgrading to the premium business model you can collaborate with all of your coworkers – ideal for managing teams from a distance.

Why we Love it: Evernote can be your “everything” inbox. The fact that you can load all of your materials, ideas, tasks and more or less any digital content into one place combined with cross-platform support makes Evernote the ultimate digital filing cabinet. Let’s be honest you couldn’t have a recommended productivity tools list without including ‘The container to store all other container’s’ Evernote.

Evernote UI

2. Pocket

Pocket is a really useful application for anyone who has an interest in consuming any form of content. Once installed via your browser, PC or mobile you can simply “pocket” pages to read or watch later from your phone or computer even without an internet connection! This can save you a lot of time since you can read your blogs while on the move.

Why we Love it: Pocket is THE place to consume all of your content. The fact that you can save news, videos, music all from your computer and immediately have offline access to it on your mobile is literally a godsend.

Pocket, place videos, articles etc. in one place

3. PushBullet

Ever had to email yourself a link? PushBullet is the no hassle method to sharing links and files between your devices or your friends. Not to mention the ability to share phone notifications on your desktop means you’ll never miss a call or text again. However, the real beauty of PushBullet is it’s integration with IFTTT, which funnily enough is up next on our list!

Why we Love it: Once you start sending and receiving SMS through your computer (via your mobile) you really begin to appreciate the time saved by pairing your devices. Not to mention the original benefit, there really is a lot of unnecessary bother sharing things between your devices.

PushBullet

4. IFTTT

In a world where time is money, being rid of the small tasks can equate to huge cash savings. So it’s with somewhat surprise that this app is still relatively underused. IFTTT or If This Then That will automate your life.

Create a automatic message when somebody follows you on Twitter, or automatically add videos you marked as Watch Later from YouTube to your Pocket and hundreds of other IFTTT recipes.

Why we Love it: Time defying stunts like automatically adding contacts to a Google Drive spreadsheet. Or Setting a reminder a year from now via email when you tag #remember. The possibilities really are endless with hundreds of apps integrated.

IFTTT

5. RainDrop

Raindrop is a bookmark extension for your browser and mobile. Much like Pocket it allows you to read your content in an optimised experience all in one place. However where they differ is that with Raindrop you can subscribe to RSS feeds and other Raindrop users, not to mention the gorgeous design.

Why we Love it: Weekly email digest reminding you what you have bookmarked means that you will actually remember to read what you have been bookmarking! Also being able to share entire collections of bookmarks is really handy.

Raindrop

6. Trello

Below is a Trello board. it’s a group of lists which you can compile alone or with a team all completely free. Inspired by Pinterest and other organisational tools Trello takes a much more visual approach to note-keeping. If your working as part of a creative or design agency this could be just the tool you need to maximise your efforts, without the need for lots of physical space.

Why we Love it: Boards make it easy to track what is being worked on, why by and when it’s due. Trello is a very intuitive tool we can even let clients in boards without investing a lot of time explaining the system!

Trello Board, a recommended producitivity tool which acts as a pinterest board but aimed at teams.

7. LastPass

Everyone at some point has forgotten their password, or has gone to great lengths to come up with a highly secure password.

No longer.

LastPass keeps all of your passwords in one place so that you only need to remember one password. All data is encrypted locally to your device so it’s only accessible to you.

Why we Love it: LastPass is particularly useful for us as web designers since we manage a large amount of personal data for a vast amount of clients.

LastPass mobile app login screen

8. CloudMagic

CloudMagic is an award winning email app. So what’s so special about it?

  • Well, it gives access to all of your email accounts in one place
  • Synced through the cloud which means that the app is lightweight and easy on your battery/data
  • Push notifications for all of your emails on every device
  • Highly customisable, snazzy design
  • Powerful management tools such as quick actions via swipe.
  • Integrates with your other apps like Pocket, Evernote & Trello.

Why we Love it: Fully featured email inbox with a real twist on default options all in a sleek, yet dazzling design.

CloudMagic Email box - one of our recommended productivity tools, it's incredibly minimal but is loaded with features.

9. Buffer

Buffer is a social media management tool which allows you to schedule tweets and shares throughout your day. The app has had a lot of success since launch and has since integrated with many other fantastic tools like followerwonk.

Why we Love it: IFTTT in combination with Buffer makes us feel like the boss of social! Plus all of the goodies which are continuously added truly time saving.

10. Google Keep

Another note-keeping tool, Google Keep has it’s own twist on the solution. Keep it simple. If your looking for vast documentation I’d suggest Evernote with it’s tag settings and categories etc.

But, if you just want a “sticky note” on your phone which you can just apply quickly then Keep is for you. Evernote in comparison is more like a filing cabinet personally I use both depending on the task, though I imagine some of you will stick to one or the other.

Why we Love it: Actually I’m the only one at Tyler Consultants to use Keep (but it’s still too good to not recommend), I love Keep for just the simple reminders which keep me on track with the everyday things.

That’s it!

All 10 of our Recommended Productivity Tools. I hope you’ve found them as useful as I do!

If your looking for more go check out our new eBook Top 5 Ways To Improve your Website. It’s packed with useful goodies and tools which you can use to get your website in the best shape, as soon as possible.