Liberace, David Bowie, Kiss just to name a few entertainers that made the “Larger than Life” stage presence part of the reason behind their success. Was Liberace remembered for his Piano Playing or his outfits? When David Bowie first appeared as Ziggy Stardust with all the glitter, glamour and makeup it was hard to tune into was he a good singer as the noise from the outfits was deafening. Kiss? Wow they made us want to rock and roll all night and see if we could get our tongues to touch our chin like Gene Simmonds, and who could forget the showmanship, the fireworks, the 10 inch high boots, the makeup but were they really great musician’s? Who cares as Liberace once said when asked whether he minded being criticized...
"I cried all the way to the bank," and he cried a lot as back in the day because from 1950 to 1970 Liberace was the highest paid entertainer in the world in 1970 he was earning 300,000 a week to perform in Las Vegas that’s the equivalent to f 2.8 Million a week in 2016.
So these few entertainers, and all of them made zillions by the way, and I could mention many more - are really remembered a little for talent but mainly for the awesome shows they put on, the glitz the glamour the excitement. No templates here, no run of the mill get on stage play the piano, guitar and sing. These super famous entertainers were truly custom designs.
So what does all this mean to you? Well the headline of the blog mentions a question we get asked every week and that is Template design or custom, and you most likely are asking the same question, so how does all this glitz and glamour back in the day music history help you with that choice?
It comes back to our favourite quote, “ There is no second chance on a first impression ” and the problem with designers that use a lot of templates is your first impression may also be somebody else’s!
You see some designers use templates that’s Liberace without the candelabra and sequins as its quicker and easier to make your website, and in this day and age in all honesty it also doesn’t take a lot of skill, a template here, a drag and drop there and zippity doo dah you have a website and its saving effective for them and hopefully they pass that saving on to you, but each website they build usually all look pretty similar.
A custom design, one that will make your business as the Kiss song went , “Shout it, Shout it out Loud” well that is a little trickier, it needs coding skill, design skill, Photoshop all sorts of skills to make that “One Off” that will without question make an awesome first impression rather than, “Haven’t I seen that Before” comment.
But, a custom design costs a little more, takes a little more time but makes a sensational first impression. So what’s the answer to the question, ‘Custom or Template” well for me in business these days you need every advantage you can get so a little Pizazz, some glitz, a great opening number is the key and as the famous number from the musical “Gypsy” states a custom site will sing…
Then like a bolt of
lightning, the man I admired (and feared) the most - my boss and my mentor -
stared at me and screamed from his office, “Come Here!”. Like a little boy
ready to meet the principal, I rose from my desk and slithered into his office
ready to take the punishment I knew was coming.
He looked me in the eyes, threw a crumpled up brochure on his desked and simple said, “You know what son? Brochures don’t sell things, People Do” he ended that quote with “Now get out of my office and start selling and stop being a representative of Sam the Printer”
He also banned me
from the cupboard that contained the brochures. It was scary and tough but I
tell you it changed me so fast and I sold more than ever from then on and I
enjoyed a great lifestyle all because I stopped the glossy brochure routine and
started asking buying questions.
So how does this walk back in history, motivational gem of a story get us back on the subject of websites? Well, your site is a salesperson for your Company, so we have to take a look and ask ourselves: Does it ask buying questions, or is it really just a brochure? Pretty to look at but really people just smile say thank you and walk away until they find another that asks them the, “Do you want to buy today?” question.
Yes, sites have to have a sensational first impression and that is why we design Customer Attraction Program, but looking great at a party doesn’t mean you will be popular! You have to do something, talk to people, ask questions and then you will leave an impression.
So what’s the missing link?
Take a good look at your site right now. Does it look great? have Awesome images, videos, super relevant content, uses an easy to read font? Does it show all your products, services in a fashion that you are proud of? If you a restaurant, does your mouth get all mmmmmm when you look at the menu and the images? When your all excited, ready to book or buy is there a button ready and waiting for you to press and instantly like you’re in a trance enter your credit card details?
Is there a Call to Action? As that’s the missing link.
Call me, Buy me, Book me, Find me, Carrier Pidgeon me. Is there one or is there more Call to Actions when you have the buyer or booker ready willing and able to spend cold hard cash?
If the answer is Yes? Well done your website is a Salesman, if the answer is No? Better get rid of the Brochure and call Trilogy Web Solutions . !!!
Have you ever received those random emails guaranteeing you a page 1 ranking for your website key words and phrases or worse still actually signed up to an SEO company that will state they will get you onto page 1? if you have, then you probably need to know that truth about what it actually means because i am sure it surprises you.
The reality is that being on page 1 means virtually nothing if you are down the bottom of that page, because the lower rankings get very very little click through. Position 9 on page 1 gets only approx. 3% click through and position 10 gets a paltry 2% click through. In some surveys position 1 of page 2 ranks higher than 10 on page 1.
Whilst the various research results vary, they all have a consistent theme and that is they all drop quickly from position 1. Here is the typical percentage click through rates of page 1 positions.
position 1 – 33%
position 2 – 18%
position 3 – 12%
position 4 – 8%
position 5 – 6%
position 6 – 5%
position 7 – 4%
position 8 – 3%
position 9 – 3%
Position 10 – 2%
As you can see a massive 63% come from the first three and 77% from the top five. What this means is if you do appoint an SEO company you need to make sure that not only do the performance benchmarks need to include page 1 rankings but also:
The Number/% of position 1 rankings
The Number/% of TOP 3 rankings
The Number/% of TOP 5 rankings
Hope this helps !!!
That’s French for
three people having fun. You might be thinking “OMG! The Trilogy blog has gone
X rated” or I have moved to the dark side of the force and am writing saucy
450-word romantic blogs. Well, sorry to disappoint you kids. This blog is about
“3somes” but the tame version. I just wanted to get your attention with the
But let’s give the blog title some legitimacy huh. Let’s think of some famous, “3somes”.
I must admit though that as a pimple-faced teenager, my mind did go wandering with the Trio of Charlie’s Angels. Farrah Fawcett with the freshly blow waved hair running along the beach was pretty exciting. And, let’s not forget the sensational Beyoncé heading up, “Destiny’s Child” – ahhh memories.
When you see flared tight pants, big hair, open shirts with a rug of hair, what music comes to your mind? Do you start to hum, “You should be Dancing…Yeh”? Do you then imagine three brothers singing in high pitched voices (Helped by the tight pants)? Yep, the Bee Gees, were an awesome Trio and they got us dancing in the 70’s.
If you think of 3 crazy funny guys, you might think of the 3 Amigos Movie. But if you go back in the day, the original crazy guys were Mo, Larry and Curly. These guys pocked each other’s eyes, hit each other over the head with barbells, got up to all sorts of NO Good as the Three Stooges.
The Three Tenors, Ghostbusters, Alvin and The Chipmunks, The Three Musketeers, Three Blind Mice – wow so many 3somes have been famous over the years. And now? What is the 3some that’s on your mind, the “Ménage a Trois” of your business’ life? Drum Roll Please…
MULTI SCREEN WEB DESIGN. Meaning a purpose built version for Desktop, Tablet and Mobile.
Yep, gone are the days of being loyal to the one and only. That one and only being desktop. Now, it’s a case of getting adventuress with a 50 Shades of Grey attitude and inviting Tablet and Mobile to the party. What happened to the loyalty? Why can’t we have the monogamous relationship we were so
comfortable with? Why do we have to get down and dirty with 3 devices? Well folks, it’s the Sodom and Gomorrah attitude of Wi-Fi and 3g, 4g oh gee has created.
Yes, anywhere access has turned us all into shameless hussies, and no choice you best get with the program. Having the attitude that when all is right with a 26-inch screen is not going to cut it anymore with your customers. Shrinking that big view down to a smaller, then smaller view is no longer acceptable if you don’t supply a multi-screen solution to your customers viewing needs. They will leave you sooner than a bad smell in a bar!
Multi-screen Design, dynamic content, different design styles for all devices, views and actions that want to make the users say, “Yummy! That’s what it’s all about now”. Get to the point buttons and bars. People don’t have the patience to scroll and scroll to find that important information anymore, they want it NOW!
So with Bee Gees screaming “Staying Alive” in the background, I leave you with words from a song of another famous 3some, Peter, Paul and Mary. This song pretty well sums up what’s going on in the web world now and why multi-screen is so important.
“The times they are a changin’
Have a great day and remember there’s NO second chance at a first impression
Your website should make it extremely clear what your business does, and what products or services it offers. It should be able to convey this information speedily – any visitor should be able to ascertain this basic information within five seconds of browsing .
Avoid technical, obscure, corporate or highly industry-specific jargon – keep language plain and simple. Also ensure that your copy is specific. Avoid descriptors that are vague, unqualified, and don’t really mean anything like “innovative”, “high quality”, “first-rate” and “superior”.
The saying “There is no second chance at a first impression” is particularly true with websites meaning the home page of you site MUST be very clear and concise what your business does and what products or services you are selling. If it’s not, you will have a high bounce rate and potential customers will remain just that, potential customers.
Oh, you thought you’d use Times New Roman on your website? Well, now your site looks like it was written by a year 10 school student who waited until half an hour before an assignment was due to start it. Not so professional or reassuring, right?
The thing is, fonts are about usability, and should inform your website’s ability to provide a smooth, pleasant user experience. Fonts should be easier to read, visually appealing, and not headache-inducing. Some things to bear in mind:
1) Don’t use too many. The more fonts you have on a page, the more cluttered it looks. My advice is to pick no more than two.
2) Be wary of fancy fonts. What may look beautiful to you and may work on artwork, might be difficult for your prospective customer to read. Ensure that the fonts you’re using are clear and accessible.
3) Also ensure that they’re big enough to be read with ease. You need to cater for everyone !!
4) Avoid using low contrast fonts. This refers to a lighter font on a light background or a darker font on a dark background. Again, this is about usability.
In a similar way to Auto Play Videos, Music that plays automatically on your website is a terrible, terrible idea, and amounts to one of the most egregious cardinal sins in website design. It will irritate your visitors, and they will leave the site immediately, give them a bad experience and they will potentially NEVER return.
It’s okay to include music on your website, if that is, it serves some kind of purpose, and is relevant to your business objectives and digital marketing strategy. But it’s important to let visitors decide whether or not they want to hear it, as you have NO idea what their musical tastes are, you have NO idea where they and who they are with are when they open your web page and you have NO idea how loud they have their computer volume set.
So don’t force them to listen to it by playing it automatically . Simple as that!!!!
One of the most critical components of the functionality of your website is the load time of the pages, in particular the home page. Even if your site is visually spectacular, if the loading time of pages is too slow, this won’t make the slightest difference. We’ve all been there – a site that takes forever to load is infuriating and put simply, visitors will not wait for pages to load. They will grow impatient and they will leave the site, meaning your bounce rate will be very high and they wont even look at the site as they don't know how much longer they have to wait.
There are many things that may affect loading time including:
· Excessive usage of ads
· Redirect codes
· Non-optimised, bloated images
· A mediocre web host
· Dead links
· Bulky code
In addition to the fact that visitors to your site will leave before it opens or at the very best be frustrated and annoyed, Google will now severely penalise you for an excessively slow site. The best way to check the speed of your site is to go to Google page speed insights at this link: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/ type in you URL and check the speed. If your site is under 85/100 you have an issue and need to fix it.
To employ a rather overused phrase, a picture is worth a thousand words. The images on your site should be of considerable quality. If these images are actually of the product you are selling, this speaks for itself – you want them to be as clear and self-explanatory as possible for prospective customers.
Generally speaking, it’s better to use no image at all than to use something that’s over-compressed, poorly resized, pixelated, of a low resolution, or otherwise dubious-looking. Be careful because some images look fine when you are viewing then in a small size on your computer screen however when they are increased in size for a website they can look very blurry. This situation is exacerbated when someone is using a large screen monitor.
The importance of high-quality images is also heavily related to the kind of “feel” or message you want to create with your site. Images have the power to instantly evoke an impression, emotion or idea, and can give depth and context to a description, story or testimonial. This is amazingly important to the way you construct your brand.
Maddeningly, however, this size issue can go both ways. Oversized images are also inadvisable. However spectacular or evocative an image you select may be, if it takes too long to load, it will only turn potential customers off. Loading time counts for a lot, and a slow site will cost you customers (more on that in a moment). Select images judiciously and optimise them.
Nothing frustrates a potential customer more than a site that’s difficult to navigate. Inconsistent, vague or overly complicated navigation can result in frustrated and confused visitors , which means they’re not likely to stick around to actually buy your products or services and can leave with a negative opinion of your brand.
Your website navigation should be intuitive, logical and user-friendly. It should also require very little thought to actually get around. Ensure that your navigation structure enables visitors to easily access information and to quickly meet their objectives.
Easy navigation is even more important when visitors to your website are on their mobile phones so you should look to potentially differentiate the navigation on a mobile version as customers want very simple and clear “click to call” and “click to action” when using a mobile device.