The Modern Shop Window: Why It’s So Important To Regularly Update Your Website

An out of date offer for Christmas lunches in July… A red cross in the corner because your logo isn’t loading properly... A contact form that links to a 404 error page… These are NOT things you would want to find on any website. Yet all too often you will land on a homepage to find these exact oversights and you’re put off immediately. Not good, right? That’s why it’s important to remember – in the digital age – your website is your shop window. Landing on your website is often the first time a potential customer or client will find out about you. How they engage with your website at that very moment might be the difference between them doing business with you or not. Of course, first impressions count. It’s why – in this blog – we looked at how to make sure you make a good first impression. We suggested some key questions you can ask of your website to identify if it’s pulling its weight. But here’s the thing…

It’s Not Just The FIRST Impression That’s Important

When it comes to maintaining an effective website for your business… It’s not just about the first impression. To keep your customer engaged… To give them a reason to keep coming back... To persuade them you’re the company to work with... You need to make sure your website is an active resource…that it works properly on a technical level…and that it provides new incentives for customers and clients to visit time and time again. Bottom line is: When it comes to running a successful website, it’s crucial you keep it up to date. We’re regularly asked by our clients to help maintain their websites on a technical level and to provide unique and useful content on an on-going basis. We’re glad to help in this way. Because by helping to maintain their website effectively, our clients enjoy a number of benefits...

Avoid Technical Errors

On one hand there are numerous technical reasons to keep your website up to date. Having a developer regularly check things are all in working order means you can avoid broken links, 404 error pages and slow loading times. The nature of technology – especially when it comes to things online – means software and applications are always being updated to take into account advancements or remedy annoying bugs. If you leave the ‘backend’ of your website for weeks or months at a time, you run the risk of things breaking. Or – even worse – you could find your website is the target of malicious viruses or online hackers. Keeping your website up to date and secure doesn’t need to be difficult and with a developer on the case to check things over, you can avoid any major scares.

Attract more visitors

Aside from the technical benefits of keeping your website up to date, there’s numerous marketing benefits too. By posting regular and unique content that’s relevant to your particular niche, your website is more likely to attract search engines. You’ll hear a lot of people talk about SEO – which stands for ‘search engine optimisation’ – and often people will charge the earth promising to help you improve it. But the fact is, as search engines like Google have evolved, they’ve learned to outsmart most of the SEO tricksters out there. The key to maintaining good SEO is fundamentally about providing your visitors with regular content that is relevant to their needs. If you do that, you’ll see your SEO improve. Indeed, as well as providing relevant new content, you can also help improve the discoverability of your website by keeping other details up to date. If you have specific events and or offers featured on your website, you should make sure you keep these fresh and relevant too. It all helps.

Something To Talk About

Another reason to keep the content of your website up to date and fresh is that it gives you more opportunities to talk to your potential clients and customers. If you’re always banging on about the same thing in the same way… People will soon get bored and they will begin to ignore you. But by posting new, value-driven and interesting content about your niche, your potential clients and customers will instead be glad to hear from you. They’ll see you’re active…you’re sharing useful insight…and, as a result, they’ll begin to make a connection with you and see you as an authority in the space. The pay off here is clear… Next time that person is looking for an expert in your niche, they’ll remember all the times you helped them with your content… And they will call you. Sure beats having to cold call new clients, right?

It Might Sound Like Work, But We Can Help

Of course, keeping your website up to date and posting regular content might sound like a great idea… But you might also be thinking it sounds like a lot of work. Good news is: we can help with that. Here at The Creative Agency, we can help keep your website up to date on both fronts… We can make sure it’s all working technically… And we can help provide interesting and insightful content you can share with your audience. No matter what industry you’re in, we work with you to understand what makes your customers tick…how your business works…and where you can provide them with value... And then we’ll produce the content to fit the bill. So, if you know your website needs a complete make over, or if it just needs a little bit of love to make sure it’s up to date and always fresh… Get in touch. We can catch up, get to know your business and see how we could help.

First Impressions Count, Especially Online: Here’s How To Make A Good One

First impressions do count. Especially online. In fact, when a potential client or customer lands on your website, you’ve got a matter of seconds to make a good impression. Research varies, but it’s good practice to assume you’ve got in the region of 15 seconds. That’s what one major website monitoring company suggests is the average time someone spends when browsing a website. So that’s how long you’ve got to make your first impression. It’s a bit worrying, isn’t it? Worse still – in a lot of cases, that’s probably being generous. It’s why it’s so important your website strikes the right chord as soon as a potential customer or client visits. To help you figure out if your website is doing pulling its weight, we’ve outlined the three most fundamental questions you can ask of it.

How To Make A Good First Impression

Of course, there are many other factors that go into making a good first impression. But, in our experience, these are the three most fundamental questions you can ask of your website when considering the impression it’s making on your customers and clients:

Is The Design Clean And Clear?

Your website needs to look modern, clean and clear. In the Internet age, there is simply no excuse for a shoddy looking website. Remember, your website represents your business to your potential customers and clients. If it’s scruffy, badly designed and difficult to navigate – that’s how people will think about your business too.

Is The Copy Engaging And Customer-Focused?

The words on your website matter. Hugely. After an initial scan of the website from a design point of view, a potential customer or client is going to read the message you’ve chosen to share. If that message is wrong or isn’t made clearly, you’re finished. It’s why your message must be eye-catching, but it also needs to focus on the visitor. It needs to quickly tell them they’re in the right place at just the right time. But be careful…don’t just tell them what you do – tell them how you can help.

Is Your Website Updated Regularly?

Once you’ve got the design and copy sorted, one of the biggest mistakes people make is to leave the website to look after itself. By doing this you run the risk of your message becoming stale, content looking old and potential customers and clients thinking you’re not active or moving with the times. It’s important to regularly review your website and update it with fresh content and copy, and even refresh the design now and then. Indeed, keep an eye on these three elements and you won’t go too far wrong. Of course, here at The Creative Agency, it’s exactly these fundamental elements we initially analyse when we start working with any new client. So, if you think your website might be letting you down at the first hurdle and you’d like some help to make the kind of first impression that always wins business…get in touch. You can reach us directly on 01469 574947 or email here.

Launching clubhectare to the next level

The Creative Agency is very proud to announce the launch of clubhectare's brand new and first website. clubhectare was formed in 2013 from a group of farmers and industry professionals who wanted to utilise social media to share farming ideas. Wanting to take clubhectare to the next level, it became a members’ organisation dedicated to promoting agriculture and food production, and forging business and social links between members and the wider community. The vision for clubhectare was to have an exclusive online meeting place for the professional exchange of thoughts and ideas, not just on farming, but the wider agricultural and rural way of life. The Creative Agency team worked very closely with the committee to ensure the website hit their brief and we are all very pleased with the result. Clubhectares new website has public pages for non-members to get a feel for what clubhectare is about and see all the latest tweets and news but the most important part of the site for the clubhectare team was a private forum for the members to take part in discussions and keep forging links and friendships that make up such an important part of the group. The forum is easy to use, clear, clean and can be maintained and moderated with minimal effort. Since the big launch at the agricultural machinery show in Newark the forum has hundreds of users and membership just keeps growing. It has been a real pleasure working with the team at clubhectare and would like to thank them for allowing us to accompany them on their journey to the next level of growth. See the new website at www.clubhectare.com

New site for Thomas Bell Country Store

The Thomas Bell Country Store is a long established and much loved shop in Brigg providing animal feed, equestrian equipment and clothing since 1878. They wanted a website that would help them engage with their customers and promote the events they often run in the store.

Thomas bell have an overriding ethos of maintaining a family atmosphere for all their staff where customer service is the absolute priority. We wanted to get that feeling across with the website and we think it does. What do you think? Take a look.

Celebrating a century of experience

Catfoss are a market leader in the manufacturing of bespoke modular construction, supplying sectors including NHS, Public, Construction, Commercial and Education. After an internal restructure and name change, Catfoss approached The Creative Agency for assistance with their branding, marketing and website design. As the existing brand lacked consistency in all areas, The Creative Agency proposed putting together a branding guidelines document to ensure that moving forward, all marketing collateral remained consistent. Following the completion of the style guide, the Catfoss website was next on the agenda and would go on to became one of our biggest projects to date. The website showcases a staggering amount of 40+ modular construction case studies (and counting) with some of the biggest companies in the world and features specification details of each project. The site is fully optimised and responsive ensuring that navigation across all media platforms remains flawless. The Creative Agency continue to work with Catfoss on a daily basis, putting together marketing collateral and also assisting with B2B sales strategy in their Catfoss Hire department. View the site See the case study here.

New Website for The Steel Ball Company

We unleashed another new website today! The Steelball Company needed their site updating with a fresh, modern and responsive design. We’ve talked before about how important it is for your website to be responsive (adapt to any device’s screen). In short, over 50% of visits to most websites are now from mobile phones or tablets. If it doesn’t work correctly and provide a good user experience then the user will soon move on to a competitors site. Additionally google now places more importance than ever on websites being responsive and this has a direct impact on where your site appears on google. Part of the brief for this site was to provide 3 translations for The Steel Ball Company's customers in Germany, France and Spain. The client had their content professionally translated and we setup their CMS (Content Management System) in such a way that they can make any changes easily and quickly across every language in one place. Please feel free to have a look around the site here

Crazy not to use wordfence security plugin on your wordpress site?

Great article from the Mark Maunder (CEO at Wordfence) about their wordpress firewall. Explains how their firewall works and how they set out to become a security plugin for wordpress that you would be crazy not to use. They feel they have now achieved that goal and we use Wordfence for all our sites and really appreciate the extra layer of security they provide. Have a read

New website for London based talent hacking company Fullstack

Technical recruitment consultancy FullStack are talent hackers for developers and creatives, based in London, operating across Europe. They needed a new site that got across their ethos and personality. It needed to be intuitive and easy to use - both for the user and the site administrator. It also needed to look super slick. We're really happy with the result and so are Fullstack. Take a peek!

New website for The Bishop Konstant Catholic Academy Trust Cycle Circuit

The Bishop Konstant Catholic Academy Trust (Bkcat) achieved partnership funding with British Cycling in 2015 to create an open cycle circuit with the aim to deliver a fantastic facility for the people from the local and wider community. After successful brand development of the Trust and a beautifully designed website to compliment, the Trust sought the help of The Creative Agency once again to assist with a web solution for the circuit. The new website has a modern design style and contains elements that are similar to the BKCAT website, ensuring a brand consistency. Going further in to the website, users have the ability to apply for a booking, see all upcoming events and sign up to the circuit newsletter. Take a peek.

Please note that as a team, we are now working remotely and are contactable by phone or email as usual.

If the office phone isn’t answered then please feel free to ring Richard’s mobile on 07792 264238.