Archive for the 'Web' Category

Ten reasons why you should have a blog on your website

ewell castle responsive17

Adding a Blog (a weblog) to your website is easy, and can help you to build presence, market position and profile for your company. Here are just ten reasons why you should have at least one Blog on your site.

 

1. Blogs are easy to update.

You can allow a number of people to have access (specialists in particular fields maybe?) and they can all contribute to your website shop window. Make sure you put some rules in place though!

2. Blogs contain the most up to date things about your organisation.

The pieces can be long (not too long) or short, or contain photos, or just be a photo caption, or a video. A good blog is the sum of what makes you what you are.

3. Blogs make it easier for your site to be found.

Search engines like sites that are updated regularly, and blogs provide a regular in-depth focus on your core skills and experience.

4. Never think you don’t have something to write about – you do.

You can comment on best practice in your industry, use it to lobby for change, alert people to your specialists and how they add value, focus on your market expertise and much more.

5. With a blog on your site, you have the opportunity to react to news, but you can also make it.

Announce new products and services, key client wins, special assignments, things of particular interest.

6. Blogs are a complement to social media.

Make your brief announcements on social and use them to point to the full story on your blog. Reply to those with an interest in a topic and use the link to your blog to make your full proposition.

7. Blogs attract comment.

Starting a dialogue with potential buyers or opinion leaders helps you position your company and what it does. It is the starting point for sales.

8. Use your blog to be a little bit controversial if you feel you can.

You may need to hire a writer or a PR if you feel uncertain about this, but if you can be interesting and get out of your comfort zone, you’ll start to build traffic as a respected commentator.

9. Maybe you’ll need more than one.

If you have several areas of expertise, set up a blog for each and make your case as a specialist in each area.

10. Use your blog to get feedback from the market.

Use it to research attitudes and play back how you plan to respond. The market loves those who listen to what it thinks.

And of course, if you would like to get some help from us – on content, appearance or how the blog links in with your current site, then please do get in touch with us at info@designwildwest.com

 

Sales development company, INCo-Online, use their blog to highlight trends in IT and consulting sales. Wildwest provide the content

Sales development company, INCo-Online, use their blog to highlight trends in IT and consulting sales. Wildwest provide the content

 

6 Ways to Ensure Your Website Keeps Working for You

 

 

Over the years, we’ve designed and created a lot of sites. For different industries, different audiences and achieving vastly different results too. Some have been very niche (take a look at Tax Efficient Review for example, the bees knees for those interested in Venture Capital Trusts or Enterprise Investment Schemes). Others have helped companies to reach a much wider public.

These days though, it’s not enough just to design and post your site. Making it available is just the start. Any website should be playing an active role in your market development and delivering back on your investment.

Here are some starting points:

1. Think about audiences.

Make it easy for investors to get where they want to, as well as giving sales or service information to potential buyers. Remember that people who have already bought from you could be your best source of new sales. Your staff will also want a website they can feel proud of.

2. Do you want people to come back to your site? Then provide information that changes.

Could be a blog, could be news, market analysis, a cartoon – your website should be more like a magazine than a printed book. If visitors come back and see the same old content, they won’t stay long – they will feel they’ve done it all already.

relevant_info

3. Think about value.

What can you give to your audiences that will have value for them? It could be something they didn’t know about market conditions, an expert view on how to apply your products or services, an evaluation tool. It could be a competition, a CSR programme – Barclays feature their MoneySkills advice, for example, together with sponsorships.

4. When you provide value, make sure people know about it!

You can promote your features through Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media. Your staff and others with an interest (resellers, supply chain) should be encouraged to do the same. Best of all is when your clients start supporting you too.

5. How do people view your site?

Are they deskbound PC users, or iPhone aficionados, keeping in touch on the move? For most, it’s both, so you need to make sure your website responds to many different viewing platforms and is continuously available.

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6. Make sure you know what’s going on.

An analytics package is essential to keep your marketing programme and your website on track. It will help show what is working well and what doesn’t. It will show how long people stay on your site and what they look at most. How they search to find you, or your competitors. Essential stuff.

All of this will have a bearing on how you structure your site, how it looks, how the navigation works and many other factors. It should help you get the absolute best return for your investment too.

 

Our work: New Website for London and Capital

Home page of the new London and Capital site

Home page of the new London and Capital site

 

 

London and Capital is a large and ambitious Asset and Wealth Management firm based in London. The company is independently-owned and creates investment solutions specifically tailored to clients’ needs

Established in 1986, the company has around US $ 3.7 billion of discretionary assets under management. London & Capital’s specialist divisions are orientated towards creating tailor-made portfolios that meet its clients’ goals.

The company made the decision to develop a new site in mid-2013, and, after a selection process, chose to work with WildWest as contractor to implement a new site that would be more approachable, take advantage of new facilities that browsers like Firefox, Chrome and IE10 were making possible, and finally to use the newer, larger displays that many professional office workers now prefer.

Along the way, WildWest’s challenge would be to contain and manage a very large contingent of information, and to make that information readily available to the many different types of business people who would be acessing the site from many different devices from tablets to office workstations.

You can view the site at www.londonandcapital.com

Mobile everywhere

People on the move are connected too

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s not enough to have a website these days; you have to have one that is appropriate for all those on-the-move people you need to communicate with.

Of course, many will be using laptops, the same technology that has been in use for the last ten years or so. But a lot more will be using tablets, smartphones, iPads, and today, it’s just not good enough to be partially complete or compatible.

Then there’s another question – could an app allow your business-critical partners to do something special? Perhaps (if they are a finance company) they could offer regular updates on a particular fund to those who have invested? Perhaps they are a sport sponsor wanting to deliver or make available edited video to their customers? Perhaps…

And then there are all those other aspects of good web presence, like telling people when you have added information to your site, or bringing a bulletin of headline news to clients via email or social networking.

Building a network of supporters around your company and its products has never offered so many possibilities for high-quality marketing and brand-building. It’s tough to do, and once started, you need to keep your eyes on the ball, keep the information available and keep the relationships alive.

Having an out of date website is like having a dirty showroom. You wouldn’t tolerate it. So maybe its time to give the website a good cleanup?

 

Wealth Manager, PE Firm among new clients

Too soon to reveal full details, but Design WildWest has been appointed to handle two identity and design projects for evolving clients in finance.

One includes a complete review and brand refresh for a London-based wealth management firm that wants to really mark a difference in style between it and its competitors. WildWest has been working with marketing consultants to the company (who are providing strategic input) and new website, corporate literature and associated materials are now in process.

The second project involves a developing a complete new look for a private equity firm that is spinning off from an American parent. New name and logo have now been agreed, and WildWest is now moving on to design and produce stationery, website and associated collateral materials in time for the new company’s launch later this summer.

WildWest already has a prestigious portfolio of clients in finance including Silverfleet, Inflexion, Satya Capital, Hatton Grange, Alcentra and others. These two new important assignments help to demonstrate how Design WildWest helps new and evolving companies establish a complete and distinct image in a crowded marketplace.

Good Web Practice: the Key to Better Search Results

How can we get better search results?

It’s a question not quite so frequently asked these days (when once it was what the  marketing department lived and died by) but it’s still important. What’s changed is that we’ve all got fed up searching for stuff, only to find something irrelevant.

How often have you searched for a particular hotel, only to be given a directory listing?

People – potential clients of yours among them – want to find what they are searching for, not be spoofed into visiting your site.

So Rule One is to know what you’re good at, what it is you (precisely) do, and then to help people looking for those things, to find you.

Our clients at INCo (www.inco-online.com) find and qualify sales leads for IT and Consulting firms. They can also help companies in these fields (and some others) to plan realistically for actual market conditions.

So, their site features a blog which discusses issues around these topics, providing knowledge and also a sidelight on what they do and the professional process behind it.

INCo use social networking (particularly Twitter and LinkedIn) to promote their ideas and encourage those interested in what they do, to visit.

It seems to be working. Searching for key phrases like IT lead generation, or C level telemarketing (an INCo speciality) brings their site quickly to your attention.

What’s important in website building today? Just three things – good design, good content, and good web practice. Try it and see.

Source: Food for Business Meetings and More

You can order direct from the Source website

Our website for Source Food continues to develop. Companies in the West London area can now order food for meetings and occasions on-line, pay by credit card, and have their order delivered free next day.

Go to www.sourcefood.co.uk for information on the Source range and what they can offer.

Source can also put a branch of their famous catering service in your office. If you have enough staff, this could be done at no cost to the company, and can offer employees a really good catering option. Other options – a trolley service, or ensuring fridges are stocked – are available. More details are on the Source site.

Our new website for Silverfleet Capital goes live

Silverfleet Capital is a leading European private equity firm specialising in mid-market buyouts.

Silverfleet Capital business sectors page

For 25 years, Silverfleet has been backing exceptional management teams in exciting businesses across Europe. The company has an investment team based in London, Paris, Munich and Chicago to help its portfolio companies make bolt-on acquisitions and to achieve strong organic growth.

WildWest has been working with Silverfleet for over a year, helping the company to dramatise its unique approach to investors and potential investee companies. Now, we’ve achieved our biggest landmark yet, a new website (in three European languages) which builds and develops the Silverfleet identity, as well as providing a private, password-protected area specifically for existing investors in the company’s portfolio.

The introduction for investors at the Silverfleet Capital website

 

WildWest design will be maintaining and updating all three language versions so that European companies can keep up to date with developments at the company. Find out more about Silverfleet Capital (and WildWest web capabilities!) at
www.silverfleetcapital.com

 

Need food for a business meeting? Try Source

The Source site gives you all kinds of office catering options. Order today. Delivered tomorrow.

If you’re in West London, getting food for meetings or social events in your office is really easy. Just go to our website for Source at www.sourcefood.co.uk and you’ll find a huge selection of catering options that can be delivered – straight to your office and with delivery free of charge – the very next day.

For a limited time, there’s also 20% off your first order through the website!

Source provide great catering options – from sandwich platters to sushi, and from curries to quiche – so it’s easy to order whatever your guests and staff require, straight from the website. Source can give advice on all kinds of things too – like how many canapes you’ll need for an evening reception, or what kind of options you could have for a breakfast briefing.

Talk to Source too, about wine, beer and soft drinks to make a meeting or a party go with a swing.

The Source site is just one of the eCommerce sites we’ve completed for our clients over the years, and if that’s the kind of thing that you need for your business, then please get in touch with us.

 

“I want a Content Management System”

We think that our clients should be able to manage their website content. If they want, they should be able to add blog entries, upload news items, keep text (and maybe images too) current and relevant.

But the choice of CMS isn’t always easy. We’ve built entire sites in WordPress for example, which provides a user with a wonderfully easy interface that’s actually quite difficult to get very wrong. Even with my fairly uneasy relationship with technology, I find can get along with it.  For an example, take a look at our site for INCo, an IT sales lead company. You can view it at www.inco-online.com.

The funny thing is that INCo don’t actually want to manage their content. They are busy people and are quite content that we (with their involvement and help) keep their blog up to date and their website fresh. Their priority was to have a site that would be continually refreshed, and we applaud them in that. (As we’ve said before, the key to SEO is good content, not any kind of magic bullet).

Other companies like to be in control of almost everything, and that can get quite involved, particularly when the website is actually the front end to some fairly important applications, as well as that shop window website. In this instance, you probably have two choices – head down the road with Microsoft on the path that leads to Sharepoint, or if you need to stay with an open source approach (the one that we prefer), have something built that is tailored to your applications.

There are many half-way points that in many instances are entirely acceptable and workable options for open source users, but the key thing is to be aware – preferably before any new website implementation is specified – exactly what the long-term plan is.

We don’t ask our clients to be psychic, but we always point out that it will help to extend the life of any site if something that could affect its structure 9and that of any CMS) is even being considered.

If a client makes it known that there are plans to link the site – to a database of shareholders, or a user group, or an application that will allow nominated users to be able to change a page of their own content – then these kind of things can be considered when the question of which CMS to use comes up.

A website, like any other piece of technology, probably won’t last forever. You should plan to make it last as long as possible though, and if you can, separate the shopwindow from the applications that may lie behind. And have reasonable expectations from the CMS you choose as well.