Design Flawless Instagram Pictures for Your Business

Design Flawless Instagram Pictures for Your Business

Design Flawless Instagram Pictures for Your Business

 

Design Flawless Instagram Pictures for Your Business

Instagram as a social media platform is the standard when it comes to compelling and engaging visual content. We all could scroll through our feeds for hours and hours because of the way Instagram is designed and the stunning images that are posted on it.

If you have a business that utilizes Instagram then you need to be aware of how to properly take pictures and video, and effectively display them.

A well composed shot connects an audience to your brand and product or service in an intentional way. Be calculated and well informed when it comes to knowing what makes a good Instagram picture and how you can best implement them to benefit you.

 

Good Pictures Will Help Generate More Revenue

Shoppable posts on Instagram are an incredible way for consumers to find products they want and makes the purchasing experience that much easier on a customer. A picture of your design could catch the eye of someone new and allow them to quickly engage with what you offer.

This shoppable aspect of Instagram also applies to Instagram stories. These to need to be visually enticing. Creating your own unique style will help consumers associate you with a particular vibe and aesthetic.

Design elements that you use on your website and color schemes that fit who you are . This is the place where you can start. Whether the color palettes you use are bright or calm, make sure people can tell who you are.

Having multiple photos included in a single post can be extremely useful as well. This will allow you to roll out multiple different products simultaneously rather than having to post multiple times.

 

Compose Like A Photographer

In the age of the smartphone more people take pictures then ever before. This however does not mean that the quality of pictures posted on social media platforms like Instagram has improved.

Having a properly planned picture takes a few steps and there are ways you can quickly implement them.

First you need to make sure you have a properly aligned shot that will present the focus of your photo properly. The rule of thirds provides a great framework for any picture that you will take.

You can go into the settings in your phone or a photo app that will put a grid up on your phone’s camera. This way all you need to do is properly set your picture within this grid and you will already be on your way to creating an Instagram masterpiece.

Adjusting exposure for your shots is crucial as well. Exposure is the amount of light or darkness in a photo. An overexposed shot will be too bright. An underexposed shot will be too dark. You can automatically adjust the exposure by tapping the screen of your phone while trying to take a picture.

Make sure you have the proper amount of exposure that you need for your photo before you take it. Usually it is difficult to fix a poorly exposed shot after it has already been taken.    

Is Your Website Secure?

Is Your Website Secure?

Is Your Website Secure?

 

Is Your Website Secure?

Being conscientious of how safe you are in the online world is vital to the success of a business and the peace of mind that can come with it. Online banking and shopping have now been widely secured which has caused many people to use these types of services.

But is there a real reason that your website should be secure? What does that entail and how can having a secure site help an online business?

Having the necessary information to fortify your online presence is not only useful for yourself, it will also allow you to know why and what the true benefits of it are.

 

Google Needs Your Site to be Secure

There are over 1.2 trillion searches on Google each year. This means that if someone is trying to find a product or service, they are more than likely going to find it on Google.

Security is Google’s top priority. This means that they want all the websites that show up in their search engine to be safe. A quick way to recognize if a site is safe or not is the https found at the beginning of a URL. This lets Google know that a site with this in it is encrypted which is what you want.

The security of your site also affects how well you do search results. If you do not have an encrypted website then Google will regard you as unsafe and drive traffic away from you.

Having a SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard security technology that you want. This will create a safe link between a web server and a browser.  

 

Build Your Site with Security as a Priority

If you are hiring someone to create a website you need to make sure that they are including in their design a way to keep you safe.

Simplicity is usually the best bet here. Cut out unnecessary add-ons and plugins that will make your site cluttered and at a higher security risk.     

Most of your website should be text based with images, videos, and other key elements to have a fully finished project.

 

Choose a CMS and Sign up for a Web Host

A CMS is a content management system (like WordPress and many others). Think of your CMS as the material you need to build a house. It is the raw material from which you can build a finished product.

The web host is your domain name or URL. This is similar to a street address so everyone knows where to find you when they are searching online. Make sure a web host service offers services like Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) which makes uploading files secure.

Other good hosting platforms ensure that all of your site information is backed up in case there are any issues. They will also have a public policy that states how often they update the sites they host and if there are any issues with them.

5 Tips to Leverage on Your Web Design for Branding and Marketing

5 Tips to Leverage on Your Web Design for Branding and Marketing

5 Tips to Leverage on Your Web Design for Branding and Marketing

 

5 Tips to Leverage on Your Web Design for Branding and Marketing

The website is the rendezvous for all your marketing efforts. All the potential leads who follow you on social media will eventually land on your site to learn more about you. All the targeted efforts for your email marketing campaign will most likely lead the potential client to your website.  Even the offline marketing campaigns will motivate potential clients to hop on your site to check out your products or services.

So, if the website is such an integral part of your branding marketing, are you leveraging the web design to ensure that it converts the leads to sales?

You need to evaluate your website against the following metrics:

  • Does it communicate your brand?
  • Is it search engine optimized (SEO)?
  • How is its conversion rate optimization (CRO)?
  • Is it user-friendly?

The following five tips will give you an outline of what to do to ensure that your web design is an effective marketing tool for your business

 

Performance and Appearance

A first impression is a lasting impression. You do not want a potential lead to land on an ugly looking website. You need the appearance of the web design to be striking to attract the potential client to stay on the site.  However, making the website visually appealing is just the first part; you need to ensure that the customer has an easy time navigating the website.

The user experience is determined by a few factors such as the loading speed of the pages, how the website appears on various devices and how easy it is to navigate the site.

 

Communicate Your Brand

Does the layout of the web design communicate your brand?  If your brand advocates for ease and simplicity, this should be evident in the structure of the web design. Your brand color should also be apparent.

Your brand should also communicate trustworthiness. One way to make your brand reputable is by incorporating testimonial and client stories. It will help to convert and retain more clients.

 

Effective Content Sharing

Content sharing is possibly one of the best ways to influence your followers to drive more traffic. If one can easily share content from the site to their social media platforms, it increases your exposure and gets more people interested in your brand. Therefore, it would be advisable to replace the follow me button with a share button on your content.

 

Two-Way Communication

A website is designed to communicate with the users. However, most web designs do not encourage two-way communication. They only display their desired information but limit the users from communicating their experiences.

So, do you have a contact us form? Can the client comment on your blog? Can they easily leave a rating on your products or services? Such platforms help in engaging the client.

 

Optimize The Landing Page

A simple tweak on the landing page can significantly reduce the bounce rate and substantially increase the conversion rate. Therefore, take time to understand the needs of your target client. Ensure that the landing page addresses their need so that they will search for their solution on your website.

That said, remember the four metrics: SEO, CRO, UX and Brand Identity. If you can ensure that you nail on these four, you will be surprised by the increase in your conversion and sales.

Complex And Fancy Websites Versus Simple And Sleek

Complex And Fancy Websites Versus Simple And Sleek

Complex And Fancy Websites Versus Simple And Sleek

 

Complex And Fancy Websites Versus Simple And Sleek

The web-design is a significant determinant on the user experience and the conversion rate.  According to a study by Google, the first impression a visitor gets once they land on the site determines how long they are going to stay on the site.

If the first impression is unpleasant, it takes less than a couple of seconds for the user to bounce. Therefore, it is imperative for a web designer to understand the factors that affect the first impression formation.

When visitors land on your site, they observe the following metrics to judge whether it is a simple and sleek or complex and fancy website:

  •    The color contrast
  •    The sharpness of the images
  •    The font used
  •    The web-layout

According to a study done by Harvard University, the University of Colorado and the University of Maryland the more complex a website appears, the less visually appealing it is perceived to be.

According to the image above, there was noted a strong decrease in appeal with an increase in the complexity of a website. It was also important to note that, the sites with the simplest layouts were also rated as less appealing.

Therefore, to appeal to your ideal target market, you have to find the perfect mix between a simple website and the right mix of complexity and sleek.

Here are some of the factors you should consider to get the perfect mix.

 

Prototypical Sites Are More Appealing

The brain works with already established patterns. Patterns help the brain to process information and make decisions. The brain has a pattern of how a car should look like, how an apartment should appear and also how e-commerce sites should appear.

You want your website to have the basics of the prototype web-layout of your niche. It does not mean that you should not be innovative and creative when coming up with the site. Instead, the site should meet the basic expectations.

Familiarity breeds liking. Your users have searched other sites in the same niche as yours; they have already built a pattern in their brain. They will, therefore, like your site if it is in some way similar to the other sites. However, always make sure that you have something that makes yours stand out.

 

Simplicity Gives You an Upper Hand on First Impression

As you adhere to the familiarity principle, you also create a strong impression on the users.

Complex sites present too much information to the users to process.  When the brain is presented with so much information to process it rarely has time to note, record, and internalize certain aspects of the site. Therefore, the user will either leave the website with an unpleasant unconscious or conscious experience.

With a simple layout, high-quality images and readable font, you can make certain aspects of the website stand out. It is easier to persuade the user to click on a CTA.

 

Simple Sites Command a Higher Google Ranking

The simpler the website, the easier it is to optimize it for Google ranking. A simple webpage has easier HTML readability, and most of the technical aspects can be optimized for SEO.

A simple website will also load faster as compared to a complicated and flashy site. A simple web-layout contributes to pleasant user experience and will encourage the users to keep visiting.

As you think about the web-design for your business, consult an experienced web designer. Also, ensure to take in-depth research of the most popular sites in your niche. They will inform you and the web-designer of the best practices when coming up with your simple and converting website.

Factors To Consider When Choosing A Web Designer

Factors To Consider When Choosing A Web Designer

Factors To Consider When Choosing A Web Designer

 

Factors To Consider When Choosing A Web Designer

According to a survey by Clutch in 2017, 29% of small businesses do not have a website. Having a site is highly crucial in driving clients to your company. They get to have a clear picture of what you do. Also, it will lure them into seeking your services. However, a website needs to be attractive to the clients; its layout and design should speak professionalism.

Web designers come in handy when you are starting out, and you need your website done especially for branding purposes. Unlike website developers who actively deal with coding, designers’ emphasis is more on the site’s appearance. How do you choose your web designer? What are the factors you consider before settling down on one?

 

Does Their Style Match Your Ideas?

When narrowing down to getting that right person, you need to have ideas of the final look of the website. Does the web designer share the same views as you do? Being on the same page is essential as that helps both of you to move forward in making a satisfactory site.

 

What Professional Tools Do They Use?

Time is changing. You need somebody who understands the latest tools that work perfectly. Do prior research and see what tools are available for web design facilitation. These tools should help ease the web development process. Get to know what the expert uses and see if you are a good fit. There are numerous graphic design software available such as Photoshop, Adobe XD, Figma, Illustrator, etc.  

 

What Design Files Will You Receive?

Have the designer give you a rough idea of what to expect. They should have samples of their past work so that you can judge what they can do and make a sober decision whether they fit your description. The designer should give you an editable version of your company’s logo. Also, you need to know if the fonts and graphics they use are licensed.  

 

What Are The Costs Involved?

Most often, a web designer works hand in hand with a web developer. Have a set budget for the whole web set up. Find out how much the designer is charging you. If need be, negotiate. Ask for a breakdown of the costs. The costs should capture the graphic design work in details. Such a detailed analysis will help you know what you are getting for your money.  

Getting a professional makes your job easier. It also helps you become confident of the results at the end. A good web designer will come up with creative and unique content. If possible, get a web designer who works hand in hand with a web developer so that they can both create a site that is well optimized for the search engines to appear on the first pages during search results.

How And Where To Get Images And Photos For Your Online Platforms

How And Where To Get Images And Photos For Your Online Platforms

How And Where To Get Images And Photos For Your Online Platforms

 

How And Where To Get Images And Photos For Your Online Platforms

There is a lot of noise on the internet and especially in the digital marketing industry. You want to make sure that your digital footprint dominates the noise.

Use of visual content is a proven way to create a better impression on the reader. High-quality stock images get more engagement across all social media platforms.

Therefore, every entrepreneur, social media manager or online business manager ought to take advantage of high-quality pictures on their website and other online platforms to increase the engagement with followers and readers.

There are tons of sites that offer images over the internet. However, not all these images are free. To legally use the pictures on the internet, you have to be aware of which licenses they fall under. Here are the most common licenses:

  •    Public Domain: The intellectual property rights of these images have expired. As such, they are free to be used by anyone without any charge.
  •    Creative Commons:  This license has some variations from one image to the other. Some of the photos can be used across many platforms as long as they are unchanged. Other photos need to have a credit link to acknowledge and appreciate the owner.
  •    Royalty Free:  This doesn’t mean by any chance that the images are free. It means that one can purchase them and use them without having to pay a recurring fee.
  •    Rights Managed: These images have restrictions on the number of times you use them.   You will have to spend a specific cost to use them more than the number of times specified.

These are the most popular sites you can get high quality images:

Flickr

Flickr is arguably the most dominant photo stock on the internet. They boast of over two billion high-definition pictures.  You can get pictures fit for any purpose. However, not all the images are free. Most of the photographs are held under the creative commons license.

 

Pixabay

Pixabay is one of the most popular stock photo site with thousands of free images. You can easily download the images and use them without having  put an attribution link.

 

Creative Commons Search

The creative commons organization has a fantastic search tool to help entrepreneurs like you get access images from sites with pictures listed under the creative commons license. Using this search tool helps to bypass having to go to a particular website and sorting through the site to get to the images under the creative commons license.