Investing in a new website when you’ve got one that “works” can be a difficult decision to make, especially if you wonder if your marketing dollars would be better spent elsewhere. But if there’s something nudging you suggesting that your website may not be up to scratch, it’s nearly always right.
While you may have a website that tells visitors everything they need to know, it likely isn’t optimized to offer the best customer experience possible. You need to remember that your website isn’t just a place to share information, it is also your business’s home and sets your visitors’ expectations as to what they can expect from you. If it’s not putting your best foot forward, it’s turning people away.
If you’re not sure if now is the right time to get a new website, read on for 5 signs that it is.
5 Signs Your Company Needs a New Website
Your bounce rate is high or your time on site is short. The speed with which we can like, comment on, and search for information has become so fast that we’ve come to expect this all the time. If your website takes too long to load or is awkward to navigate, users will lose interest rapidly and simply look for what they need elsewhere. Look at your analytics to find out what your bounce rate is (that’s how many people leave your site shortly after arriving) and your time on site. The time on site metric is exactly what it sounds like – how long people stay on your site. The average is 2-3 minutes, so if you’re looking at less than that, it’s a sign there’s a problem. If you haven’t yet set up analytics, ask people who are unfamiliar with your site to carry out a few tasks and then ask them how easy (or not) they found the task to do.
Your site isn’t mobile-friendly.61% of all searches are now made via a mobile device, so if your site only works on desktop, it’s time to give it an overhaul ASAP.
Your site is 5+ years old. How can your customers expect you to keep on top of the latest market trends if your website looks like it was made in 2012? An outdated website makes any brand look uninformed, unprofessional, out-of-touch, and often turns consumers away.
Your website no longer matches your brand. Few things are more confusing as a consumer than seeing a company advertise in a way that doesn’t match the rest of their branding. Has your target market changed since you first put together your website? If so, your current website won’t attract them to you and may even turn them away.
Your site doesn’t offer the functionality your consumer would expect. If your site doesn’t have an easy way to reach out to you, to make a booking, or make a purchase, most visitors will simply go elsewhere. Younger generations don’t want to make a phone call to find out the information they need to work with you or buy from you, and neither do a lot of tech-savvy mature people. Don’t make your customer have to jump through hoops simply to contact you – get a website that makes it clear and easy for them to do so.
Having a modern website is all about making the user experience easier and more pleasurable. If your visitors feel like using your current website is like walking up stairs, a new website can make it feel like slipping down a slide – easy, fun, with one clear route to their goal.
If you’re founding a new business or know it’s time to give your current website a makeover, we’re here to help. We create clean, modern, responsive websites for small businesses that help convert visitors to customers. To find out more about how we can help, click here.
Keeping your brand fresh and modern is important for every business. Sometimes a re-branding can be as simple as changing colors, while other businesses need an entire facelift. Pixel Parfait offers FREE business analysis services for any business interested in a re-branding or adding new marketing services. With a short consultation and branding/marketing analysis we can give you our best recommendation to improve your branding and marketing efforts. We will work with you and your budget to give you the best possible re-branding experience.
What is re-branding?
In simple terms it is a brand re-fresh. A re-branding can be through of as a makeover or facelift of your business. Re-branding projects can range from a simple “haircut” for your business or a total company overhaul. Often times Pixel Parfait can find a few tweaks that will boost your businesses recognizable features and improve your marketing efforts.
Do I need a full re-branding?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions to designers and marketing professionals. The answer is usually no, which is a relief for many business owners. Full re-branding projects can be expensive, but by pin pointing the areas your company needs work we can control the costs and give you a great product for your money. By making slight revisions to your branding you can preserve your brands identity, infuse new energy into the business, reach new customers, create a new “buzz” in the community, and build new business.
How do you know if it’s time to re-brand?
Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help decide if you need a re-branding. Pixel Parfait offers a wide range of services to fit any of these needs and any budget.
Is your look current? Your logo may have been trendy when you started your business but is it loosing appeal in the ever changing modern world? Take an honest look at your logo, colors and branding materials and decide if your business could be more modern in today’s world.
Are your products and services the same as when you started the business? Often times businesses change their focus as the business grows. It can be challenging to keep your branding current with your new focus, especially if you are doing your own design and marking work. Make sure that your business reflects the current work you do and the imagery matches.
Is your branding consistent? Have you made minor changes to your look and branding in the past few years? Sometimes partial re-branding projects leave parts of your business behind. Maybe you re-designed your website last year but haven’t changed your brochures and business cards to match. Or maybe you have a new logo, but your website and printed materials still show your old logo and branding style. If this is the case, you should update the outdated materials and keep your brand consistent.
Are you reaching your target audience? Trends shift over time and your look may not be attracting the demographic that you originally planned. A slight shift in colors and imagery can easily update your business to be more current to today’s consumers.
After reviewing your business, you may have decided that a re-brand would be a good choice, or you may need more help deciding. Either way you should contact Pixel Parfait for a free branding and marketing analysis. We can help you make the best decision for your business. We can work with any budget and come up with an easy to follow plan for your new branding. Email us today!
Graphic design is one of the quickest changing industries in the world. With new technology and techniques coming out almost every day it can be hard to keep up. Pixel Parfait has compiled a short list of new and exciting printing techniques, design trends, and more.
NFC Activated Business Cards
NFC technology has been integrated into cell phones for the past few years. With a simple tap you can share your contact info or a link with your friends. Simple touch your phone to your friend’s and the information magically transfers. Now, with new printing technology you can get business cards that have a specially designed chip embedded into the paper that will allow you to tap the card on your phone and be taken to a link, share contact information and much more. These cards are currently being distributed by Moo.com watch the video and learn how these cards could be used in your business. Pixel Parfait is now offering design and set-up/maintenance of these cards and the online platform. Contact us today for more info.
Font choice is an extremely important part of any design. The font trends are always changing. According to the Creative blog serif fonts will be making a comeback in 2016. Pixel Parfait also expects watercolor, hand drawn, and script fonts will be popular in 2016. The “hand-made” trend has been rising for about 10 years now and we don’t see this trend slowing down in 2016. Check out this diet coke ad using beautiful hand drawn text.
This is a trend that has been sneaking up on us for a while. The simple colors and striking photography makes this a strong trend to look out for. The great news is that this can be incorporated into many design and marketing projects. Check out this partial color overly we did for one of our recent clients.
As a design company, Pixel Parfait makes it our priority to keep up on all of the latest trends and technology. Call us today to see what’s new and how we can blast your business into 2016!
Before you continue, please know that what you read below is just a humorous guide to talking with your designer; or rather, how NOT to talk with your designer. As a designer for many years, trust me, I have heard all of these things from good, kind hearted clients. We know, it can be hard to communicate your needs to a designer. Plus, we complicate things with our special jargon and computer programs you have never heard of. Here are just a few things that will help your designer out on your next project.
#1: Don’t ever say “Ill know what I want when I see it”
Could you possibly give me any less information? As a designer, I have been working on my mind reading skills. BUT, that doesn’t always result in my best work. Instead of being vague, try giving the designer an example of something you like, OR write out your goals for the finished product. This will help your design know what you are looking for.
#2: Don’t say: “We haven’t finished writing the text yet, but we need a proof now!”
Text, or “copy” as us designers would say, is EVERYTHING! A design should be built around the most important content. In-other words, it’s hard to design around nothing. This also tells the designer that you aren’t organized yet… Not a good sign. Next time, get the copy as close to perfect as possible before calling in the designer. Every designer expects changes and edits, but having a close-to-final-draft of the copy will help them get a solid design started.
#3: Don’t say: “Can you put that into Word so I can edit it?”
There is a reason designers don’t use Word. Designers use special computer programs that allow us to have more control over the design elements and create printer friendly files. If you want a DIY option there are many free design programs that will give you more control, Just don’t expect a designer to be able to fix your files once you are finished.
#4: NEVER EVER, EVER say: “Can you use this image I found online?”
Why can’t we use web images? There are a few reasons that this won’t work. 1. For images to be found in a google search they must be owned by someone. without the proper permission to use those images you are essentially stealing from the original owner. 2. Web images are low quality (for faster loading online) and will not print well in your final design. 3. It’s so easy to have quality images! At Pixel Parfait all stock images are included in your design fee. We will even let you browse through our stock image library if you wish. You can also get great stock images from any of these sites….visit https://designschool.canva.com/blog/free-stock-photos/
#5: Don’t be vague and say: “Can you make it POP?”
Again, see #1. Statements like this are so vague and unfortunately most designer haven’t mastered mind reading yet. Other descriptions like, “edgy”, “modern”, “pretty”, or “fancy” are equally as hard to understand what you are looking for. Instead, find examples of designs that you like and show your designer examples of what you are looking for.
#6: Avoid saying: ”Can you just use our logo and photos from our website?”
#7: If you want your designer to remain sane, don’t say: “ Can we go back to your original design (17 proofs ago)?”
After you explain what you need, let your design do their thing! This is what we are good at! Asking for 20 proof options, or changing your mind half way through only adds time (read: MONEY) to your project, and limits the designer’s creative abilities. Don’t waste your designer’s time with countless experiments when the original design is what you were looking for. JUST DON’T DO IT!
#8: Seriously, don’t ever say: “I started this in Paint, can you finish it for me?”
Paint, text editor, and other programs that come on your standard PC or MAC can be great for some things. Graphic design is not one of those things. We have expensive programs for a reason! Its best to let your designer use their professional tools from the beginning – I promise you will be much happier with the final product.
#9: Just don’t do it! Never say: “ I can’t pay for your work, but you will get TONS on exposure!”
Imagine this: You are a home builder. A potential client comes to your office and asks you to build a beautiful new home for him. After you talk about the details and come up with the initial plans, the client turns to you and says “I can’t pay you, but I’ll tell everyone that YOU build my house”. What do you do? If you are thinking, “I would punch the guy in the face”, I would understand. Asking for free work is insulting to any professional. We have pride in our work and value our time. Now, there may be an exception to this rule for Non-Profits and Charity Events…. But don’t assume that a design will work for free. Exposure doesn’t put food on the table….and most designers like to eat.
#10: And finally, avoid saying: “ Just make it beautiful!”
Well DUH! BE SPECIFIC PEOPLE!!!!
Well there you have it! The Moral of the story is: Be specific, value your designer and their work, and don’t expect us to read your mind! As a designer I know that most people have said at least one of these things to a designer, and its OK, we’re used to it! =D
Hello, I’m Sarah Haynes and I create beautiful pixels! I currently work from my Prescott home doing all types of design, online marketing and photography. I can't imagine a better job!!
I have lived in Prescott, Arizona for over 20 years and I absolutely love it here. My favorite activities (outside of work) are hiking, swimming and spending time with my wonderful husband and daughters!
Please feel free to contact me anytime with your design jobs! I would be happy to discuss the right plan for your business.