trends in seo

Most Useful Upcoming SEO Trends to Get Traffic and Leads

Marketing tools and strategies advance at a dizzying pace. What worked last year may not work again this year or may not work as effectively as it did. And take note that last year was less than 30 days ago. Marketers and SEO optimization services experts may still be still recovering from the end of last year’s marketing campaigns. Nevertheless, there is no time to waste. They must always look forward and onward; thinking about the most useful upcoming SEO trends to get traffic and leads so they can work around them.

Most Useful Upcoming SEO Trends to Get Traffic and Leads

  • Don’t just “Google it.”

Google has become the first point of contact for people who need answers. Nevertheless, there is an increased awareness that other search engines exist. While Google has search dominance, search presence must be established in every other platform that has search functionality. Providers of SEO services must also make sure that sites are optimized to show up practically everywhere people are looking. This includes but not limited to other search engines (Yahoo, Bing, Ecosia, Duck Duck Go), app stores (Android and iOS), video streaming sites, shopping sites, social media sites.

  • Speak up.

The future is Alexa, Google Assistant (whatever its name is) and Siri. So far, there are still more text queries than voice queries. Remember, though, that changes happen so fast. Smartphones are getting smarter, sometimes to a surprising degree. Amazon Echo and Google Home now allow users to interact with web content in incredible ways that make people feel like Tony Stark. As a result, a lot of companies have already started working on voice optimization strategies because it is projected to be a total game changer.

recognition of the voice

  • E-A-T up!

Another trend this year is E-A-T: Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness. SEO optimization services providers should understand that creating great content means providing correct, complete, and useful information; and not just publishing content for the sake of publishing content.

  • Snippets? You’ll love it.

What are they? Snippets are text that shows up on top of search results to quickly answer the user’s questions. They have become increasingly present these last few months and as search engines become more advanced and interactive; snippets are projected to become more popular. With their rise comes the fall of websites whose contents are not optimized to appear in the snippets. Because why would anyone scroll down if they already what they need at the top of the page?

  • The machines have risen.

Machine learning will be huge in 2019. Search engine giants have shown people the true capability of machine learning but that’s just a sneak peek. This year, engines are scrambling to push out certain layouts and strive to answer people’s intents before they even ask the questions. To stay in the game, it’s imperative for companies to harness the capabilities of machine learning so they can develop unique SEO content.

Because search engines can do a 360 on their algorithms in a snap. The most useful upcoming SEO trends to get traffic and leads today may not be applicable tomorrow. Anyone not paying attention will get left behind; relegated to the second page of search results and buried in oblivion. Today, keeping pace all day, every day is the name of the game.


trends of web development

Best Frameworks and CMS for Web Development in 2019

Frameworks and CMS (Content Management Systems) have become integral and indispensable partners for web developers. Web applications standards change every day and expectations become higher. As such, the technology needed to keep up becomes more complex. Thankfully, web developers don’t need to reinvent functions to develop apps or develop sites. They simply rely on a framework’s already-created functions and a CMS’s accessibility. This helps them create web apps and sites faster, cheaper, and with more optimized features. Why reinvent the wheel, each time? Here’s a look at the best frameworks and CMS for web development in 2019.

Frameworks and CMS: Defined

A framework is a tool that is designed to make web application development faster and easier. It works by providing a standard way to build web apps. Frameworks help automate the web development process by reusing codes that other developers have already created, instead of reinventing them.

CMS, on the other hand, makes hand-coded HTML websites obsolete (sort of). CMS provides an easy way to manage your website’s content such as texts, фотос, and other media, user accounts, and files. It also allows the user to view stats and analytics and integrate other business processes into the website.

frameworks for web development

Best Frameworks and CMS for Web Development in 2019

Part 1: The Best Frameworks

  • Symfony 4

A favorite of many providers of web development services in Sydney and beyond; Symfony 4 is super flexible and is loaded with components that can be used and reused. It also includes a built-in testing function to make sure that apps behave the way they were designed. Additionally, compared to version 3, Symfony 4 has considerably less code and files which makes it easier to learn, configure, install, and launch.

  • Laravel

Laravel, an MVC framework using PHP, the web’s most used language; has made a name for itself, despite being relatively new. It’s easy to use and flexible with many add-ons. It also allows developers to work quickly because they can skip many of the groundwork and skip ahead to functions like caching, session management, user authentication, among others. On top of all that functionality, Laravel integrates seamlessly with third-party platforms like Amazon Web Services, helping website development companies build apps that are highly scalable. The best part, perhaps, is it’s supportive community sharing help and information to new and experienced developers alike.

  • CakePHP

CakePHP is an oldie but goodie. Although, it’s 19 years old, it’s still one of the best and most widely used PHP frameworks in the market. Over the years, CakePHP has been improved with a lot of added components along the way. Nevertheless, what made developers love this framework is its set of conventions which, when mastered, allowed them to focus on the development itself.

  • CodeIgniter

CodeIgniter is another PHP framework using a Model View Controller architecture. It has different components to do different tasks; something appreciated by developers because it helps them develop highly-scalable web apps using a smaller footprint. CodeIgniter packs a solid performance that’s easy to learn and master.

  • Rails

Rails uses the programming language Ruby. It’s so popular that it’s a favorite among household sites like Shopify, Airbnb, Hulu, and GitHub. Rails is amateur-proof and, despite debates on its advantages and benefits, it is a very good framework for beginners. Other than the ease of use, Rails also has a friendly community of geeks ready to help developers with tutorials and resources.

  • Django

This Model View Template framework is written in Python and provides excellent security and authentication measures. Django is also capable of protecting a site from weaknesses such as clickjacking, cross-site scripting, and SQL injection. It’s no wonder Django is used by the giants of the industry like Instagram, Youtube, Disqus, Google, and NASA. A firm believer in the ‘Don’t-Reinvent-The-Wheel’ principle, Django ensures the components can be reused.

  • Spring

Java is the most popular programming language ever. Spring is one of the pioneering Java frameworks and its adaptability and continued improvements make it one of the best. Spring is modular which makes it easy to write clean and very accessible code. It also has app development and security feature toolkits for software engineers, amateurs and experienced, alike.

Part 2: The Best CMS Platforms

  • Wordpress

Wordpress does not only dominate the market share, as far as CMSs go; it’s also one of the easiest and most customizable to use. It’s gone beyond its blogging days to provide users, both experienced web developers and amateurs alike, with the best content management experience. With its simplicity, powerful features, and countless plugins and themes, no wonder, it’s one of the best CMS for web development in 2019 and possibly beyond that.

wordpress

 

  • Joomla!

Up there with Wordpress, is Joomla!, another household name in CMS software. Although, it may be a bit more complicated than Wordpress for amateurs, Joomla! boasts of more flexibility on things like custom post types and more options on user management like those used in membership-based websites. Joomla! Also has built-in multilingual support and allows users to use different themes simultaneously.

  • Magento

Magento might be tagged as a professional e-commerce CMS but it can work for all store types and all sizes. In fact, Magento has three editions - namely Enterprise, Cloud Enterprise, and Community - to suit the business’ size or requirements. It also offers power-packed features like a library with countless extensions, built in SEO functions, order management tools, and a thriving community for support.

  • OpenCart

Another e-commerce CMS platform is OpenCart; and it was designed for convenience. Any business can quickly launch stores that are highly-customized with this CMS. From a single dashboard, a business owner has the ability to manage and track multiple stores. It also allows them to track the metrics like sales and other analytics easily. The makers of OpenCart really paid attention to detail giving the owner the ability to accept different payment methods, differentiate the products according to their attributes, among other neat functionalities. It truly does not get much simpler and easier.

There it is, the list of the best frameworks and CMS for web development in 2019. Frameworks and CMS are important partners for web development in Sydney and all over the world. And website development companies rely a lot on them to create websites and applications quicker and more customized to fulfill their client’s needs.


web design services

Pros and Cons of Hiring a Graphic Designer for a Small Business

With the world connected like never before and competition multiplying faster than germs; every brand needs to wow; visually, above all. This is why big corporations spend a lot of money on branding; a considerable part of the budget spent on graphic design. On the other end of the spectrum, a small business owner with a limited budget is asking if getting professional graphic design help is necessary. The short and honest answer: YES. Here are the pros and cons of hiring a graphic designer for a small business.

But first — the cold, hard truth

Here is a fun experiment. Ask any small business owner what their priorities are when starting a business. Chances are, graphic design will appear somewhere on that list. Now, for a simple follow up; ask them to arrange that list based on spending priorities. It won’t be surprising to find that most entrepreneurs would spend very little to no money for graphic design.

Graphic design is often relegated to an afterthought. Small business owners would often say they or someone in their team can do it themselves or they can get an image from a stock photo site or search engines. More often than not, these shortcuts lead to unsatisfactory, and costly, consequences.

Why High-Quality Graphic Design for Small Business is a MUST

A small business owner might not have enough on their capital to pay for professional graphic design services, or they may just be reluctant to pay for it. However, the value of a professionally designed website, logo, and other graphic materials is much more than the costs.

What can a small business owner get out of their graphic design investment?

  1. Professional results - Essentially, you get what you pay for. DIY-ed graphic designs look cheap and unprofessional. No business wants to be associated with those adjectives.

  2. Specialized experience - A graphic design pro isn’t just an expert in making things look pretty. Their knowledge of design trends, elements, colors, structures, and, yes, even psychology will help any brand stand out and make a solid first impression that can convert to sales.

  3. Time Savings - Delegating the crucial job of graphic design to pro will give the business owner more time to focus on the daily operations and growing the business.

great idea

The Pros and Cons of Hiring a Graphic Designer for a Small Business

Still not convinced that graphic design is a great investment for a small business?

Let’s start with the pros.

  • A Great First Impression

A brand’s visual appeal portrays its quality. In a split second, visitors, based on what they see, will either label the brand as cheap and unprofessional or sleek and credible. If the visual appeal is of the latter kind, visitors are more likely to stay long enough to see the company’s offers.

  • Great Design = Great Results

Professional websites compel visitors to buy the offered products or services. From the trustworthiness of the site’s look and feel to the different colors that evoke certain emotions to the structure, a website that is well-designed will direct visitors to the purchase button.

  • Great Distinction

Every business person knows that competition is fierce these days. What can set a business apart could be as simple as their logo. Creativity and uniqueness can make any brand stand out from the sea of competitors.

  • Great Consistency

A graphic design pro will deliver precise and consistent results to make sure the customer’s experience is the same across the board. This consistency is important for a brand’s credibility and recognisability.

  • A Great Investment

Investing in professional graphic design services may cost the business owner upfront but, as discussed, the value outweighs whatever cost is incurred. On top of that, investing now will most likely save the company money in the long run because design changes, which are costly and harmful to the brand, will be unnecessary.

As for the cons, there’s only one: finding the right graphic designer can be difficult. But even that is a small inconvenience compared to the benefits they can provide. To find a good graphic designer, simply look at the company's:

  1. portfolio of past work;

  2. proof of life;

  3. client reviews, and;

  4. communication style.

Graphic Design for Small Business: Final Thoughts

According to Princeton psychologist Alexander Todorov, people see a face for one-tenth of a second and immediately make judgments about that person. These snap judgments, in today’s very visual age, also apply to graphic design.

As with anything in life, there are pros and cons of hiring a graphic designer for a small business. However, it’s safe to say that the pros far outweigh the cons. With a small investment and a little bit of effort, any small business can have professional-looking and high-quality graphic design that can make the brand stand out.


The Most Exciting Trends of 2019 in Web Development

The world today moves at a dizzying pace. Trends in fashion, education, business, and, most of all, web development also move so fast; it is sometimes hard to keep up. Competition on the web is fierce. A brand’s website must get with the times or be left behind. So how does one stay ahead of the pack? Well, it helps to know what’s going on to accurately predict what’s coming up. That said, here are the most exciting trends of 2019 in web development.

Everything happens on the web now. Anyone wishing to stay competitive in 2019 must have a website that’s not just functional; but also attractive, innovative, and convenient. Here are the top 10 web development trends to look out for this new year.

  1. Motion User Interface

As the world becomes increasingly online and the need for instant gratification heightens; people’s attention spans are becoming shorter. People gravitate towards simple but fascinating interactive graphics. Motion User Interface, like animations, interactive transitions, and video backgrounds will take over static and data-heavy flash-based graphics.

  1. Cyber Security

According to a report by the Australian Cyber Security Centre, 90% of organizations experienced cybersecurity threats - big and small - in 2016. This includes malicious cyber threats like phishing emails, data privacy infringement, and confidentiality and data breaches.

Experts in web development in Sydney and across the world experience and warn organizations of the same scenario. Because of this, most companies’ are taking steps to keep cyber attacks at bay. Cybersecurity is projected to stay a top priority in web development for the foreseeable future.

security of the web

  1. Blockchain

Speaking of cybersecurity, Blockchain, made popular by cryptocurrencies, has emerged into the front line of web development trends. Since data in the Blockchain technology is stored in distributed ledgers and not in a single server, it’s safer from cybersecurity compromises.

More companies are predicted to use Blockchain in 2019 as major technology giants, like Amazon, develop their very own Blockchain platforms.

  1. Push Notifications

Push notifications have become crucial elements of an increasing number of websites. Easy to manage than email newsletters; they are fast becoming the norm for new content, announcements, and special offers, among others.

  1. Low-Code Development Platform

Thanks to LCDPs, more people, with or without programming training, can design and develop applications and websites. Since LCDPs are faster and easier, they lower the setup, training, and preparation costs. LCDPs are becoming the preferred platform by web developers so expect a lot of low-code websites in 2019.

  1. Single Page Applications

These days, it’s all about convenience. That is the reason single-page applications have grown in popularity. SPAs have one long web page that is free from complicated navigation keys and confusing menus, are simple and fast. Plus, they work and look excellent on desktops and mobile devices. What’s not to like?

  1. Artificial Intelligence

The list of the most exciting trends of 2019 in web development won’t be complete without artificial intelligence. AI is at the heart of digital transformation strategies. The adorably named Chatbots is just one example.

development of AI

With the advances in artificial intelligence, chatbots are becoming smarter and smarter. Experts estimate that this new year, 4 out of 10 websites will use new and improved AI technology. AI will now be able to do processes like reasoning, sensing, predicting, inferring, assessing, and controlling actions.

  1. Aesthetic Overload

Less is more is a thing of the past. More is more is the web development motto for 2019. Now it’s all about vibrancy - flamboyant images, interactive animations, and creative typography. Prepare for sensory overload this year.

  1. Progressive Web Applications

As more and more people become attached to their smartphones, web developers have started making progressive web apps, websites that function like mobile apps. This gives users a consistent experience across multiple devices. Brands like Virgin America, Forbes, the Washington Post, and even Twitter have made the switch from traditional websites to PWAs. So far, they have seen improved conversion, speed, performance.

  1. Adaptability

Adaptability is the name of the game. Websites that look attractive, are easy to use, and accessible to a wider range of devices get more visitors, have higher conversion rates, and have happier users. Therefore, web pages that have optimized and uniquely developed templates for each device will continue to be at the top of the list of the most exciting trends of 2019 in web development.

Keeping Up with Web Development

The line between real life and online life is now gone; because real life is online life. Websites are the consumers’ first point of contact with organizations like businesses, banks, schools, among others. Establishing and maintaining a working website is merely the first step. Visual appeal, accessibility, and convenience are also necessities.

It goes without saying that hiring a web development team is one of the most important investments a business needs to make. The advantages of hiring a web developer include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Trends and Techniques. Trends come and go but expert web developers are always in style. These pros know what’s hot and what’s not, as well as the latest techniques and strategies when it comes to web development.

  • Professional Results. A professional web developer will produce a professional-looking and high-functioning website that can increase the brand’s credibility.

  • Customized Solutions. An expert web developer can integrate the brand’s vision and the latest trends seamlessly to ensure the website represents the brand and does the work the required perfectly.

 

Final Thoughts

Twenty years ago, the rest of the world was just starting to get connected to the world wide web. In some parts of the world, people have not even heard of the world wide web. Now, according to a survey by Netcraft, there are more than 200 million active websites, with more being created every minute.

That’s a mind-blowing shift in such a short period. Yes, twenty years is not a lot of time. For context, twenty years ago, The Simpsons was on TV, Bon Jovi was on tour, and Jennifer Lopez looks exactly the same. Twenty years ago is pretty much today.

With the speed and enormity of the change taking place; big corporations, small businesses, and everything in between must rise up and never stop innovating to meet the challenges of the 21st Century. After all, the most exciting trends of 2019 in web development may not so exciting in just a few years’ time.


search engine optimization and customer experience

The Interaction Between Customer Experience and SEO: Newest Tips of 2019

Traditional businesses succeed when they can get people through the door and give them the best experience. Websites are no different. After all, websites are the businesses of the 21st Century. Websites use SEO to get people through the virtual door and try to give their users the best experience. The website’s success rests on these 2 intertwined concepts. Thus, it’s just fitting to discuss the interaction between customer experience and SEO: newest tips of 2019 as the one year ends and another begins.

Customer Experience in the 21st Century

Delivering a great customer experience is at the heart of every business since the beginning of time. However, as technology advanced, so did the demands of customer experience. Expectations are insanely high. For instance:

  • The way users search for information used to require only typing a few keywords on a search engine. Now, searches are made by voice, through mobile, etc.

  • Users used to be satisfied with reading text-only results from their searches. Now, they want a sensory overload of some sort - pictures, animations, interactive graphics, videos, etc.

  • Web users also used to be okay with simple web pages as long as they receive the information they ask for. Now they want websites that are vibrant, good-looking, high-functioning, convenient, and accessible on different devices.

  • On top of that, as artificial intelligence dominates the web; consumers expect that recommendations, promotions, and offers are personalized for them.

With these changing demands, SEO optimization services, which used to be the simple process of bringing in traffic organically through keywords, are not enough anymore. Now it’s all about customer experience optimization (CXO).

The interaction between customer experience and SEO is more important than ever before. Here are some tips to boost search performance and give customers a great experience.

  1. Get to know your audience. As with any business, knowing who the audience is the first step to ensuring a personalized customer experience. From which demographic do they come from? When a business understands who their target buyers are; they can ensure that content, marketing, and sales are all aligned to the target customers.

  2. Get to know the customer. Once there is an understanding of the target audience, it’s time to get to each individual customer. What does she/he want? What are his/her consumption habits? How does it compare to that of the other customers? By understanding these minute details, the business can then begin the intricacies of truly personalized customer experience.

  3. Start mining. Using AI and other technology to analyze the data gathered from the customers’ interaction with the website, businesses can identify the patterns and habits of their users. With this information, they can understand and adapt to the changes in the audience, the competition, and the market in general.

  4. Move beyond the rank. A business that truly wants to get ahead of the pack must not rely simply on the rank and click data. They must also use other measurement channels to ensure that the website does not only rank well but that it also provides the users a delightful experience.

  5. Always up to the ante on SEO optimization services. Everything these days moves at lightning speeds. Failure to innovate and update the site’s SEO strategy can result in the failure of the organism.

 

Final Thoughts

The 21st Century has witnessed a major shift in the way people do business or conduct their daily activities. And in 2019, the opportunities to improve SEO services and strategies are limitless. Now, businesses must integrate the interaction between customer experience and SEO to ensure the best possible experience for their customers.


SEO audit and analisys

SEO Audit for Small Businesses

Everyone who operates a business online is probably familiar with SEO. SEO is hugely responsible for bringing in people through the (virtual) door. However, those familiar with SEO may not be familiar with an SEO Audit. It is very important to conduct an SEO audit for small businesses to ensure they stay on top of search engine rankings.

ORDER YOUR SEO AUDIT

The Basics

An SEO audit is just that: auditing a website’s SEO.

It is a process of evaluating the website’s search engine friendliness, so to say. An SEO audit is done to identify problem areas and then identify a set of action items to correct them. The goal, of course, is to improve the website’s search engine performance.

There are many tools available to conduct an SEO audit. Some businesses do it themselves by following a guide while others choose to hire an SEO services agency to do the job for them.

Why hire external SEO Optimisation Services?

  • Save time.

SEO audits take a while to conduct, especially for first-timers. With a hired auditor to conduct SEO audit for small businesses, the owners could focus on running their business, instead.

  • Nitty-Gritty.

No tech background? No problem! An SEO services team will take the data, break it down, analyze it, and explain it to the business owner in English. It is then easier to understand the opportunities for improvement and then come up with a fix.

  • Stay up to date.

The SEO industry changes quickly. Google updates its algorithms all the time. What worked a few months ago, may not work anymore. SEO services, have access to the most current and most effective tools, programs, and systems; making the cost of SEO services totally worth it.

  • Insights.

No matter how awesome an SEO auditing tool is; it can never provide some things only a human can provide: powerful insights and advice.

  • Tools.

There are various tools used to analyze and monitor SEO. These tools can be found free of charge, but those would only give you a glimpse of what is actually available. SEO optimization agencies have many tools that are used daily (and for an SEO Audit) and they aren’t cheap. Paying for all of those tools just to audit one website? Not a great return on investment.

Still, Want to DIY?

While it’s advisable to call in the big guns for such an important job; some might still want to strike out on their own.

Simple SEO audits and improvements, albeit time-consuming and tedious, can be done by businesses themselves. How? Follow these steps:

    1. Get an SEO auditing tool.

    2. Using the auditing tool, crawl the website.

    3. Start the audit using a comprehensive checklist:

      • Google Penalties - Find out if the website was penalized by Google and when and why. Then, create an action plan to fix the issues and get the penalty removed.

      • Search Appearance - Do a Google search of the brand name and review the results.

      • Technical SEO - Do a thorough check of the website’s technical SEO. This makes sure search engines can access the pages of the website properly.

      • On-Page SEO - Do a thorough check of the website’s on-site SEO to help search engines comprehend the site’s content.

      • Off-Page SEO - Review all incoming links and remove bad links.

      • Social Media - Check the brand’s presence in social media channels and if it’s easy to find and follow.

SEO optimization and analisys

  1. Check the results.

In Conclusion

As businesses become increasingly competitive online, their owners must do more to help improve their results. While SEO, undoubtedly, is a huge driver for website traffic; users have to remember that it is a sum of many moving parts, changes hyper fast, and is, like any other system, not perfect. That’s where an SEO audit comes in.

Whether the business chooses to do it on its own or hire SEO optimization services; an SEO audit for small businesses is necessary to make sure SEO is doing its job to bring in as many people through those virtual doors.

Can’t be bothered doing it yourself?


digital marketing and seo strategies

SEO is Called Integrated Digital Marketing

21st Century businesses don’t have to exist in the brick-and-mortar marketplace anymore. All a business needs now is a powerful online presence. To achieve this, digital marketers have turned to SEO, the first and most effective step in building a solid presence on the web. SEO is called integrated digital marketing for good reason.

Digital Marketing & SEO

Integrated digital marketing is a necessity for any business wanting to succeed in today’s online market. And while this integrated approach does involve many important factors like web development and design, social media presence, and paid advertising; SEO is still the foundation of any digital marketing strategy.

Digital marketing is concerned about getting people’s attention enough to get them through the door and, hopefully, get them to buy. SEO pretty much does the same. SEO helps a website rank higher in SERP (Search Engine Results Pages); therefore, getting people’s attention. Getting them through the “door”, and, hopefully straight through checkout.

Digital Marketing & SEO are so intertwined that they complement each other and one cannot work without the other.

common job of SEO and digital marketing

SEO is called Integrated Digital Marketing, because:

  • Location, Location, Location

Marketing works best if the business is in a prime location. Pre-internet businesses owners fought for the best spot to sell. Now, online businesses are fighting over prime digital real estate. SEO makes this happen; ensuring the highest possible ranking in SERP.

Location is key. After all, potential customers don’t search for something online and go to Page 7 of the results. That would the equivalent of a sane person wandering into a strange, unmarked, and dark alley; and hoping for the best.

  • Street Cred

Appearing on the first page of search results has been shown to increase a brand’s credibility and profile. Users have a tendency to trust websites on the first page of search results and be wary of those appearing in later pages.

  • Increased Conversion

Increased traffic means more chances of sales. Additionally, people love to buy but hate being sold. With SEO, potential customers come to a business’ website because they are interested. The business is not coming to the customer’s home or bothering them with coupons, ads, and offers.

  • Brand Recognition

The higher a website’s position is on the results page, the more views and clicks it gets. Even if the views don’t convert to sales; the brand still gets seen and over time, gets recognized.

  • Valuable Insight

SEO allows business to track their visitor’s browsing habits which can help them with adapt and adjust advertising strategies. SEO is called integrated digital marketing precisely because it informs a business’ marketing strategy from preparation to execution to evaluation; and so on.

Creating a Digital Marketing & SEO Strategy

An effective SEO strategy is crucial to a business’ success. Here are factors that businesses need to look at to come up with a winning SEO Strategy.

  • The Target Market - It’s not just about getting as many people into the business’ virtual doors; it’s about attracting “high-value potential customers who are interested in what the business offers.”

  • Go Mobile - A mobile-optimized website is necessary for a brand to have to rank well in SERP because people use smartphones and mobile devices more than traditional computers.

  • Go Places - Google is not the only search engine available. Ensure the website also ranks well on other search engine platforms like Yahoo, Bing, etc.

  • Shift Focus - Searcher habits, including keywords they search, have changed drastically in recent years. So, instead of focusing on keywords that get viewers, use keywords and phrases that target the right people.

Nowadays, traditional marketing strategies rarely work. The 21st Century marketplace is all about ensuring users get a comprehensive online experience. SEO has proven and continues to be one of the best most cost-effective marketing strategies for businesses that operate online. So much so, that SEO is called integrated digital marketing.


web design for security

Design for Security

So much of life now happens online. Technology has helped humans communicate, collaborate, do business, buy stuff, and build relationships online. That is why it is important, now more than ever, for web designers to design for security. Here is something everyone must know: those who design websites are just one step ahead of the hackers at all times.

They work hard, so important user information doesn’t wind up in the hands of weirdos (no offense guys, please don’t hack us) in basements who can use pictures of people’s food, bank account, another sensitive data for nefarious purposes.

A Culture of “Meh”

Here’s a fun fact: No one really truly cares about security.

Take passwords, for example. No matter how many times a web expert emphasizes the importance of a strong password, the average person would always say. “I get it. I understand how important this is. But I’m still not gonna do it, because it seems hard and I’ll forget it.”

In a website project, web design and usability always trump security. “The website needs to look amazing. It needs to be easy to use. And if you have time and you’re sure it won’t compromise design and usability, thrown in some security, as well.”

Users have become complacent and uninterested when it comes to online security. But that’s okay; it’s the web designers who must bear the burden of coming up with a strong security strategy and put appropriate safeguards in place. They must not only design for aesthetics and usability; they must design for security, as well.

the importance of web design security

Web Design Myth

Can it be done? Can a designer put web design, web design usability, and security in the same priority bucket?

Sure. They don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

A secure website does not have to be ugly and difficult to use and a good-looking and easy-to-use website does not have to be less secure. Most of it happens behind the scenes in any case. In fact, nowadays, it’s all about giving users an excellent online experience AND making sure their data is secure.

Okay, But How?

Users don’t think about security much but it is pretty fundamental to their lives. It can protect the things most important to people like financial and credit card information, medical records, classified information, passwords to social media accounts, and, to some, pictures of their salads.

So how can web design experts design for security and do it from the perspective of the end users? Here are some suggestions.  

  1. Make security easy. 
  2. Set objectives upfront.  
  3. Test. Test. Test.
  4. Empathize with users.

Make Security Easy

Today, because everything is within reach in just a few clicks, people tend to move away from anything difficult. Web designers who design for security (and do so successfully) don’t build barriers. Instead, they build better pathways. Here are some suggestions: 

  • Secure by default. Put in the appropriate safeguards in place without making the users do anything. Something as simple as an HTTPS (get an SSL certificate) 
  • Make security a part of the process. For instance, ask the users to perform security actions such as setting up multi-factor authentication during the sign-up process. Don’t bank on them doing it a later time because they won’t.  
  • Don’t obstruct; enable. If a user sees 10 consecutive security warnings, chances are, they will become desensitized to them to the point of completely ignoring them. These obstructions don’t make the users more adept at security; they make the users find ways around security measures.

Enable users to complete security actions with the least amount of work and effort and they will follow through.

security sertificate

Set Objectives Upfront

The strain between security and web design usability happen when goals are not set on the outset. Different websites have different users; and therefore, different level and type of security needs.

There is no one magical security solution that fits everyone’s needs. Coming up with a customized solution based on the website’s users’ needs is necessary. And more so, the CMS used often require different approaches.

To do this, the business or website owner must know: 

  • who their users are, and; 
  • what their users’ goals and intentions are for interacting with the website.

Are the users here to: 

  • buy products? 
  • set up an account?  
  • sign up to receive information?
  • simply get information?

Understanding who the users are and their intentions will help the web design expert to prepare a security strategy that responds strongly to their needs and objectives.

Test. Test. Test.

There is no better group to test the website on than the target audience themselves. Presenting the target user with the prototype and observing how they react and interact with it is the best way to see how well or poorly the website does. It’s also the best time to identify gaps, opportunities for improvement, and potential security vulnerabilities.

Testing with the actual users can help the business owner or web developer prevent full-pledge security breaches before launching the site.

Empathize with users

Sometimes, in the search for the perfect, most aesthetically-pleasing, most easy-to-use, most secure website, business owners and web developers forget that it’s all about the user.

The user’s expectations and experience will determine if a system is secure or not. Besides understanding the user’s intent, developers must also find out how users expect the system to work.

They can do this by: 

  • Observing the user’s experience. Sit in during interviews and tests with customers 
  • Make security easy. Instead of building barriers, create better pathways. 

Always look at the design, the usability, and security from the customer’s perspective.

Design for Security: In Conclusion

Security is one of the most fundamental needs of human beings. People invest in many security measures like guards and security systems for their homes; and other safeguards for other day-to-day transactions.

As more and more of life’s processes and transactions are performed online; web developers also need to establish clear and easy security processes to ensure that users and their information don’t wind up in the hands of those who would do them harm.


graphic design for business

Good Graphic Design Can Help Your Business

Milton Glaser, one of the US’s most celebrated graphic designers, said, “There are three responses to a piece of design – yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.” Roughly translated, bad design will do more damage to a business while good graphic design can help your business soar to the hall of fame of iconic images.

Take brands like Apple, Disney, and Mercedes Benz. Their graphic design has, over time, become synonymous with quality, innovation, and credibility. This ultimately leads to trust which will, in turn, lead to profit.

The Importance of Graphic Design

Graphic design, nowadays, has become a basic requirement for any business who wishes to build a brand identity. This can be seen in logos, websites, brochures, packaging, signage, branding, and many others.

Graphic design, done right, plays a big role in the brand’s ability to succeed.

  1. EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION. A brand’s graphic design - for instance, it’s logo - communicates the company’s message to their audience effectively. It does this by using specific design elements to evoke an intended emotion. It’s something that transcends languages and cultures.

  2. BRAND RECOGNITION. When people see an image that “wows”; they will be reminded of the brand behind that logo; thereby establishing that brand’s name in the market.

  3. FAITH. Good aesthetic value makes consumers confident about the brand. Good graphic design appeal to senses and makes people subconsciously trust that brand. They will have faith in the services and products that brand offers.

graphic design for branding business

How Good Graphic Design Can Help Your Business

  1. THE WOW FACTOR. You have about 3 seconds to make a killer first impression. A design that wows will make customers say, “This firm is sleek, innovative, creative, and dependable. I want to do business with them.”

  2. A WISE INVESTMENT. Studies show that companies that invested heavily in design did significantly better than those who didn’t. In fact, a study by The Design Council showed that for every $100 spent investing in design; a business gained $225.

  3. GAIN ACCEPTANCE. Poorly designed websites with busy layouts, boring design, pop up ads, and slow-loading media are often rejected rapidly. More than 90% of people rejected sites because of design-related issues.

  4. REMAIN CONSISTENT. A good and professionally-made graphic design will help keep the branding consistent. Consistency matters. In a study by Malcolm Gladwell, any slight inconsistency will change how people perceive the brand. If Apple suddenly changes its logo’s color to yellow; ugh, suddenly, it doesn’t seem so sleek anymore.

  5. BE REMARKABLE. Anyone serious about building a brand would rather be caught dead than be caught using clip art and stock photos. A good graphic design will set a business apart from others. No matter how similar one company is from a hundred others; when it comes down to the wire, people will always go for the most aesthetically pleasing option.

Ready to Start Branding?

Investing in graphic design is one of the best decisions a business can make. Here are some of the things to consider before hiring a design agency.

  1. BODY OF WORK. Review their portfolios and previous work to see if they can match the vision of the brand.

  2. PRESENCE. Social media activity and presence are very promising signs that the agency is confident and communicative.

  3. UNDERSTANDING. A graphic design agency should understand the business well enough to know who the target audience is and how to communicate the brand’s story, mission, and promise to them.

  4. COST. Sydney graphic design services range anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars depending on the scope of work. Nevertheless, it is a necessary investment so don’t skimp out.

It’s more than a just good investment that pays for itself many times over. Good graphic design can help your business in truly amazing ways.


positive customer reviews

Best Working Strategies to Promote Your Brand by Using Positive Customer Reviews

Pay attention, business owners! Studies show that 7 out of 10 customers rely on previous customers’ experiences before doing business with a company. Can positive testimonials from previous customers really drive businesses? If so, how does it work? What are the best working strategies to promote your brand by using positive customer reviews?

The Importance of Raving Fans

A raving fan is a company’s best friend, advocate, cheerleader; someone who will narrate a company’s story in its most positive light. And they are as effective a marketer as any ads out there. In fact:

  • 70% of people say that reading a positive review of a local business’ website makes them trust that business. (Source: Moresocialsuccesspartners.com)

  • 90% of people read customer reviews to determine a business’ quality. (Source: Brightlocal.com)

  • 88% of people trust customer reviews as much as recommendations made by personal connections. (Source: Mdgadvertising.com)

  • People spend more on companies that have excellent reviews on their websites.

Best Working Strategies to Promote Your Brand by Using Positive Customer Reviews

tolls for positive customer reviews

  1. Make it easy for customers to leave a review.

It should be quick and easy for customers to leave a review so it doesn’t feel like a burden to them. Positive reviews are great for attracting new customers and negative ones are great to show current and potential customers that the business may not be perfect but, by golly, they can solve problems. Whether the review is positive or negative - they should be able to do it quickly and with just a few clicks.

  1. Use customer reviews to build a reputation.

By displaying the best, glowing, and unaltered customer reviews prominently on your website; businesses can lure potential customers to buy from them. Another effective strategy is, with the customer’s approval, leaving the customer’s name and photo alongside the comment. It adds authenticity and credibility.

  1. Make raving fans brand ambassadors.

Creating new content will be easy with brand ambassadors. Inviting prominent customers to add content to your blog as guest writers or take over the brand’s social media account for a day is a great idea. They will bring in their own viewers on top, boosting site traffic and show potential customers how innovative and totally awesome the business is.

  1. Stay current.

Check review sites daily or several times a day to make sure no review is left unread and/or unanswered. Respond to reviews, positive or negative, within 24 hours to show customers that the company and its employees care about them.

  1. Use SEO optimization services.

A high rank in search engines is a review in itself. Why? SEO brings a website to the top of search results organically based on many factors including psychology, culture, social media landscape, web design, and development, content, products, etc. This means websites with a higher search ranking usually are the customer-centric businesses and those that provide value.

Getting SEO services can help improve the website’s rankings and attract more traffic and potential customers to a company. SEO optimization services can be added costs but it’s worth it. Think of the cost of SEO services as an important investment.

Obviously, positive reviews can do wonders for a brand and businesses must use this golden opportunity to encourage satisfied customers to share their good experiences online. These best working strategies to promote your brand by using positive customer reviews will help any company gain new customers and inspire loyalty among existing ones.