Thanks to its history, pretty city centre and laid back feel, Norwich has been attracting artists and creatives for generations. Though in the past they focused on making personal work and creating artistic projects, more and more are now turning their considerable talents to more lucrative creative industries.
This has led to a huge increase in the number of graphic designers popping up in the area. A combination of graduates from the renowned art school, local, self-taught artists and professionals relocating to the area, this huge increase in design talent has put Norwich well and truly on the creative map. To help you navigate this wealth of Norwich graphic design talent, here’s a quick guide to selecting the perfect professional for your needs.
Word of mouth
Though the graphic design scene in Norwich is growing fast, it’s still small enough that reputations really matter. Ask friends, colleagues and other businesses to recommend good designers that they’ve worked with in the past and make sure you take the time to go through the testimonials and reviews of any company you’re considering.
Do your research
Though personal recommendations are a great place to start, it’s important you do your own research before hiring a graphic designer. Ask for examples of past projects – especially projects that are relevant to your business, and always take a careful look through your prospective graphic designer’s portfolio.
If you’re looking for a creative and innovative graphic designer Norwich is an excellent place to begin your search. Thanks to the art school, the university and the large number of designers moving to the area, the city boasts a wealth of creative talent.
However, though skill is very important when it comes to graphic design, talent doesn’t mean a lot without compatibility. You need to be sure that you can communicate your ideas easily and effectively to your designer. You also need to be confident your designer will put time and effort into bringing your ideas to life. This collaboration will help to determine the success of your project and the results it achieves.
When searching design agencies, Norwich has one obvious advantage – the cost. Compared to graphic designers based in London and other major cities, Norwich’s creative agencies are incredibly competitive. Though the cost of a project will vary depending on your requirements, in general Norwich offers fantastic returns on investment and the chance to get something truly spectacular at a great price.
When it comes to Search Engine Optimisation techniques, there are few things that are more effective than adding regular, quality blog posts. Blog posts add content to your website, and content is what Google values above all else. In addition to content, blogging regularly shows Google that your website is active which means that it will send crawlers to index your website’s pages more often, this will mean that new pages on your website will be more likely rank in Google, and they are more likely to rank quicker as well. Even blogging just once a month can be extremely helpful.
There are many ways to blog, but the main ways for SEO are;
Blogging for traffic
Blogging as an industry expert
Blogging as an industry expert involves writing interesting pieces that provoke thought and raise your status as a leading thought provider in your industry. These types of blog posts are worth doing if you compliment them with posts that are more traffic oriented.
Traffic oriented posts are posts which serve to attract audiences and rank well in Google. These types of blog posts should be your main focus. When creating these types of posts, it is important to have done plenty of comprehensive keyword research so that you can gain the best results possible. The title of a traffic oriented blog post should contain a keyword or long-tailed key phrase and all of the content should be kept relevant to that word / phrase.
Be sure to link from your blog post to other pages on your website. If you sell products on your website, it would be a good idea to link to these at points in your blog post, in particular adding links to pictures can increase click through rate. Adding links creates better click through which is another aspect of your website that Google will rank you on. Try not to over optimise your anchor text (the text that contains the link) too much as this is something that Google is clamping down on. So, for example, don’t write something like “leather handbags Norfolk Suffolk Ipswich Norwich east Anglia” and then link that through to a product page. Not only does it not read well to humans but Google knows it’s an over-optimisation trick.
Blogging on your own website is a great way to gain more traffic, but you can also guest blog on other people’s websites. If you guest blog on a website with good domain authority, you could gain a great quality backlink which will help to improve your rankings. Backlinks should only be pursued if they are of good quality, so guest blogging on sites with low domain authority won’t do anything for you. Guest blogging is also only worth it if you get that backlink, so don’t waste time guest blogging on sites that won’t let you link your website. Aside from gaining these backlinks, guest blogging is also good as plain promotional material for your business. The more that you circulate information about your business, the more potential customers you can reach so it’s definitely worth doing.
Having trouble coming up with things to write for blog posts? Try Designtec’s blog writing services. We carry out extensive keyword research and identify the best type of blog posts to write for you. Call us today on 01603 952 811 or email email@example.com to start discussing a blog writing package.
Gaining traffic to your website is great. Traffic is the number of potential customers coming to your website, by increasing traffic to your website you are opening up the opportunity to boost your sales and increase your business. But traffic alone isn’t going to do much for you, if your website is uninformative, doesn’t work correctly or is unattractive, you will find that you lose a lot of that traffic very quickly. Using an analytic tool such as Google analytics, you may find that your “Bounce Rate” for your landing pages or home page is high. “Bounce Rate” indicates how many people are arriving on a page and then leaving your website completely without navigating to any other pages. This is usually a good indicator of poor conversion.
So what do you do to improve conversion rate? One of the first things you can do is to make sure your website looks clean and professional. A clean website with clearly presented information is more likely to be read and acted on by a potential customer. Having an unprofessional website will immediately turn customers away. Try experimenting with different layouts to see what works best. Remember to check your analytics to see how different changes affect your Bounce Rate.
Have a call to action! A call to action will improve your conversion rate exponentially. Pitching your sale in the website’s text is only worth doing if you then provide the customer with contact information or a form to fill out. How else will a customer know to contact you? The results of calls to action are easy to monitor by simply noting an increase in leads or enquiries. Play around with the wording of your call to action to see which phrases resonate with potential customers.
A simple but key tip: make sure that all of your text is correct, relevant, reads well and answers the question or problem that the potential customer had when they found your website. When pitching a sale, it’s generally accepted that there is a formula that leads thought and motivates people to purchase your product or service. This formula is:
Acknowledge the problem (e.g. Do you need a website?)
Address the problem (e.g. Designtec build websites!)
Boast your unique selling point (e.g. Our websites are inexpensive and easy to edit)
Call to action (e.g. Call us now on 01603 952 811 to find out more)
There should obviously be more text than the examples given, but the core of the sales pitch should look like this. Most people will find your website by searching for a phrase or key word. This phrase or key word can be the answer to a problem they have, for example, people tend to search for “plumbers in Norwich” rather than “my boiler is broken, who can help me?”. By providing the answers to these questions on your website, you are providing your customers with the solutions that they were looking for, meaning that they are more likely to use your service.
Keyword research is something that should be heavily considered during your website’s creation and during any subsequent search engine optimisation work. Keyword research is the process of finding the optimal keywords that you should be targeting to gain the most quality traffic. Quality traffic can be defined as “an audience that needs little to no work to convert”. Converting quality traffic to sales is a lot easier if you have an audience who are looking for a specific service or product. By targeting more specific keywords and long-tailed key phrases, you can boost your business with the help of this quality traffic.
How do you find out which keywords will suit your business?
One tool that you can use is Google AdWords Keyword Planner. Using this tool, you can see how often keywords are searched on average and how high the competition is for that keyword. You can also set the location you would like to target to further refine your searches. Using this tool, you can come across some interesting finds. For example, a company that sells shoes may initially think that they should be heavily targeting the keyword “shoes” or “shoe shops”, however, they may find that they competition is too high. Therefore, it would be better to target more specific types of shoes and maybe a location if they are aiming for a local audience.
The company may find that “sports shoes in Norwich” is a better keyword for them. While the search volume will be much lower than simply “shoes”, you can guarantee that most of these searches will be the aforementioned “quality traffic”. The competition will also be much lower, making it easier for the company to rank highly with blog posts and relative Meta tags. By building pages and writing text based on these more specific keyword phrases, the shoe shop will find that it’s not only gaining more traffic to the website, but also gaining more sales from the quality of the traffic.
A lot of businesses make the mistake of thinking along the lines of “we want to be at the top of Google for ‘doors’”. With the amount of content on the internet, ranking so highly for such a vague term is basically impossible, this can also lead to lower quality traffic. For example, our door company sells high quality wooden doors, someone who searches for “doors” in a search engine could be looking for plastic doors, they could be looking for spare car doors, and so the keyword “doors” is too vague.
Keyword research will help you to find the keywords that you actually need to be targeting, but keyword research involves more than just finding these keywords. It’s also up to you to think to yourself “what do I want from my website? What type of customer does my business need?” By identifying your ideal customer, you can start doing your keyword research with an end goal in mind.
Social media is a great tool that businesses can utilise to achieve online success. There are various channels of social media that can be used to achieve different goals and target audiences. It makes sense to put time and effort into social media marketing as it is the most personal way to reach out to clients, of course it is important to have an appearance on social media like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Only run as many as you can handle
However, if you cannot handle running accounts on multiple social media sites it can do more harm to your business than it can do good. Not keeping your pages up to date can make you look uninteresting or lazy. Therefore the best thing to do is to focus on one or two social media platforms your company has found success with and that your target audience can be found on and use them to promote yourself and to talk directly to your customers and potential clients.
Link back to your website
When posting content, always remember to try to include a picture and a link to your company’s website, generally an audience will react better to a visual post than a text based one. The main purpose of (most of) your posts should be to drive traffic to your website and generate interest in your company. Social media encourages interaction with your customers so make sure to ask people to share your posts around. By sharing and retweeting you can reach an even larger audience than you may have expected. Don’t be afraid to ask! A lot of people will share your posts if you ask them to, there’s no shame in branching out to your customers.
Interact with your audience
Interacting with your audience is a key benefit of social media. Always reply to comments, even if it’s just to say “thanks for commenting”. This shows that you value your customers / potential customers input and will gain you a reputation as a more caring company with an established personality. A few final points: make sure that all of your social media page’s information is correct and relevant. By having your social media graphics match your existing branding you create better synergy between your marketing and make your brand more recognisable. Using social media you can grow your customer base and expand your business in ways that you never thought possible.