First Impressions Matter

Graphic design is an important tool that enhances how you communicate your company or brand to your customers. It serves to convey your ideas in a way that is not only effective, but also eye-catching. You want your company image to promote a strong and memorable brand for the business its attached to. It takes only a few seconds to portray and feel a sense of connection to a brand, logo, or design. This makes the creative elements highly crucial to your business and its objectives. The first impression that a design makes on other people is of crucial importance in drawing their attention towards a business.

Consistency is also vital in ensuring that your customers recognize and remember your brand, and make sure it stands out from the hundreds of other companies offering the same products or services. Graphic design communicates more than just words to your audience. Even simple design elements like font choice and color scheme can help to portray an emotion or feeling that supports your message.
Design is more than just aesthetics, it is a form of communication between your business and your audience. Businesses use graphics in every stage of the marketing process to inform, impress, and eventually persuade to your potential customers to take an interest in what your business has to offer.
Professionally created logo designs help make a good impression on potential clients. Clear, imaginative, legible designs are important for any business wanting to make a positive, lasting impression. The first time a customer interacts with your brand will set the tone for the rest of your business relationship.
The first business graphic a prospect encounters may be a business card, a sales page on your website, an online ad, a flyer, the branding on your vehicle, your latest social media post, or even your product packaging. When a customer hears about your brand for the first time, they are most likely going to do some preliminary research on your website before making a purchase. Does your website give your audience the impression of your business being professional, genuine and unique?

When designing content for a brochure, website, or advert, infographics are a great way to summarize information that your audience would otherwise skim over (or skip reading completely). Generally, people are influenced by visuals; adding relevant graphics to text can deepen our understanding and recollection of information. Try incorporating infographics instead of blocks of text to explain information. Turn it into an easy-to-follow infographic. To stay ahead of competitors in the marketplace, you’ve got to get creative.
Above all, graphic design is important for any business to tell their story. Whether you’re a small solo business or part of multi-million Rand e-commerce operation, your business has a story to tell.

Website and Email Hosting – What You Need to Know

Web hosting is the most vital foundation of any business that wants to succeed online. If you currently have a website, or are thinking about it – a good web hosting provider can make or break your business. 

Cheap, slow hosting will do more harm than good to your brand, and no matter how slick your website is, if its slow it will cause visitors to become frustrated and leave. So how do you know if your hosting package is doing your website justice? 

It all starts with a domain name. Your domain name is your address on the web which, once registered, is gone for good. Registering the right domain name is very important and can also be extremely valuable. For example, the domain name sold for almost $50 million! It should be the first thing you secure after your company documents are finalized. Domain names are initially registered and then renewed annually. 

Okay, so you have secured your dream domain name, what’s next? Hosting! 

A domain name without hosting is merely just a reserved name on the internet. Hosting is what gives your domain name email account functionality and a platform on which to build your website. People are more likely to trust businesses that use their unique domain names for their email addresses – so it’s definitely time to ditch those “business” GMail accounts!

In a very basic sense, when you pay for hosting you are renting space on a computer (server) that is always linked to the internet. Using a host as close to your visitors geographical location as possible – this reduces website loading time and increases your organic search engine ranking. 

The more storage space and traffic allowance (based on the amount of visitors you expect to land on your website each month) you require, the higher your hosting monthly cost will be. Email and web files are generally combined in a hosting package and emails generally contribute towards that storage more than your website files. A great 5 page business website with high quality images only uses around 200MB at a maximum, so go easy on those big email attachments to save on having to upgrade your hosting plan at a later date – rather share large files via a website like WeTransfer or Dropbox. 

At Wordsmiths Marketing we have partnered with experts to bring you premium hosting packages at a reduced rate. If you sign up to one of our hosting packages before 31 December 2018 and you don’t already have a website, we’ll throw in a “coming soon” landing page for you at no additional cost.

What do you get? 

  • domain name registration
  • 1 Year hosting which includes:
    • 5GB disk space on the latest SSD Drives. 
    • 5GB Bandwidth  / month
    • Business email accounts with spam filter 
    • Website-Ready (we won’t get technical here) 
    • Local Servers for faster access within South Africa
    • Free SSL (website security) for when you build a website. 

Speeding or slacking?

digital marketing

When it comes to the World Wide Web, a few things matter, like how easy it is to hop on to your favourite search engine and look for a plumber, new place to eat at or even your dream job. Have you ever thought about how frustrating all this would be if it took minutes or hours to get your desired search result? 

With only so many minutes in a day to get things done, we’ve all become accustomed to instant gratification. Take a look at your social media, how many competing ads do you notice fighting for your attention? Ultimately one wins over the other because they successfully cut through the noise and captivated your interest efficiently and effectively. 

Similarly, when it comes to websites – the idea is to have your brand represented beautifully with ease and smooth functionality. What’s a user’s experience when they visit your website? Is your Unique Selling Pointshining through on your website?  Do they have to wait minutes for a page to load? Is your website mobile friendly? Does half of your website load before the other does? Is the text and layout inconsistent and screaming for help? These are all very important things to consider when creating or revamping a website as it is the first point of reference when a customer is searching for your business after all. One of the most important factors to consider is the speed of your website and its domino effect. 

In 2018, Google made it official when they announced that website speed is a ranking factor on both desktops and mobiles. When a site responds slowly, visitors spend less time there and faster sites don’t just improve user experience but recent data shows that improving site speed also reduces operating costs. On an even more important note, web page speed affects conversion rates – 40% of users will abandon a web page if it takes longer than three seconds to load. Shocking isn’t it? This relates to most but specifically alarming for e-commerce websites. Imagine losing a potential customer just before they checkoutbecause of terrible website speed? 

As page load time goes from 1-3 seconds, the probability of bounce increases by 32% whereas load time from 3-10 seconds increases the probability of bounces by 123%.  An industry benchmark report conducted recently found that an average website takes 15.3 seconds to load, making website speed still a very significant concern.

Quite interesting to know – 80% of a page’s load time is spent rendering all the different coded elements on a page. This includes images, style sheets, scripts, plugins and anything else that makes your website what it is. If you want to speed up your page load time, consider looking for and fixing the number of redirects, slow server response time and number of plugins as a start. 

A website design could be damaging if it isn’t completely optimized for website speed. Give your website the boost it needs to be seen and enjoyed.