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Archive for the ‘Branding’ Category

10 reasons why your website sends people away (or sucks basically)

Monday, June 27th, 2011

websitessuckIf you’ve ever wondered why you’re not getting the level of enquires you wanted, conversions you dreamed of or general business success from your website then here’s 10 hard hitting pointers as to why.

1. It’s ugly and old.
Granted beauty is in the eye of the beholder but has the design of your website fallen out of the ugly tree, hit every branch on the way down and then been beaten with an ugly stick? You have 3 seconds to make a first impression on a visitor and it’s the overall design/colours/style they see first. People are harsh judges and you wont get a second chance.

2. Your site colours cause blindness.
We’ve seen sites where we needed medical attention for temporary blindness caused by the severity of the colours used. For example; bright pink might be your favourite colour but the majority of the word disagrees so use it sparingly. Also light text on dark backgrounds strains the eyes.

3. It’s a mess.
A mess can mean a number of things such as multiple font types and multiple font sizes, things in different places, images all over the place, multiple colours applied to different texts, random patches of bold, italics, underlined all over the place. You might have a wonderful design but if the content is a mess then that’s the weakest link and it will be a ‘Goodbye’ from the visitor.

4. Pointless splash pages.
Do you remember luminous socks? Yeah, they went out of fashion about the same time as splash pages. A splash page is that sort of ‘pre’ page you sometimes get which is sort of a teaser to the main site. It’s often a flash animation that you have to wait to load. Waste of time folks, most people have scampered before it’s even loaded.

5. It’s busy busy busy.
6 Columns of text, 20 choices to make, moving boxes here, flashing boxes there every inch of the landing page is screaming for your visitors attention at the same time…. you get the idea don’t you…it’s a fail!

6. The copy is drivel and way too long.
When entertaining at home would you tell your guests your life story before they’ve even got through the door and gotten comfortable with the surroundings? The same is said for your website. Don’t bore your visitors with paragraphs of information before they can get acquainted. Give them enough to get them interested, and then the option to read more. Some will want to read more and some wont so cater for both types of visitor. Use a copywriter to write text that will engage with your visitors and just the right amount.

7. You’re making your visitors think.
Is the way you channel the visitors to the right information difficult & cumbersome for them? Are the most important things right in front of them (and this is the important things to your potential customers not to you, most don’t care what you think is important)? Can people find their way around easily enough? Do they know where they are at all times? Are you holding their hands or are they fumbling around? Don’t make them have to think.

8. Contact Details.
Your visitors may not know who you are, there’s a lot of scammers out there are people are quick to judge and be cautious. Don’t give them a reason to flee by withholding your contact details, especially your address. Simply having just a contact form or email address is a major fail on a website. There should be a landline number (not just a mobile), your full trading address and if you’re a Ltd company your registered office address as well.

9. Don’t ask – Don’t get.
Are you asking your visitors to buy, to contact you, or do ’something’? This is called a ‘call to action’ if you’re net asking (or telling even) people to do something then they aren’t going to do it and might become ambivalent and go elsewhere.

10. You’re not listening.
You don’t listen to what your customers do and don’t like and you don’t act upon this valuable feedback. Maybe you aren’t listening to the advice given by those around you? We all handle criticism differently but take it all on board, embrace it and do something with it as it could mean the difference between failure or success.

So there you go. Do you think your website is as perfect as it can be? Room for improvement? Does it need a little TLC? Do get in touch with us if you’d like our honest opinion on your website and you’d value what we’d say, be it good or bad.

We love to hear your comments so please do leave them below.

The Language of Liking – Facebook Pages

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

ilikeThere’s been a major change on Facebook this week. Well actually it’s quite minor but the shift it represents is quite major.

If you’re not aware then brands and personalities can set up something called a page on Facebook and then people can become ‘fans’ by simply clicking a button to confirm they are a fan. The action is simple but what is the behaviour behind the action when someone says ‘yes I’m a fan’?

Become a fan of

Behaviour of becoming a fan
Are you a fan of something or someone? How long did it take you to become a fan? How much do you have to like something to become a fan of it? On a scale how far up it do you need to be to really really like it so much you’re willing to say ‘yes I’m a fan’?

Becoming a fan requires you to decide how much you like something not the fact you simply like it.

You see becoming a fan of something takes time. It requires you to decide how much you like something not the fact you simply like it. Generally speaking it’s not an overnight thing that happens much like ‘falling in love’. You know when you’re a fan but what are you up till that point? You’re wither a fan or a nothing, you’re in or you’re out!

The problem is it puts up an unseen barrier to people making a connection with the things they feel they have a connection to but are not willing to call themselves a fan. In this world of connections and ownership we all like to belong to something and connect with it and own it so a barrier to doing this is bad.

The barriers are up! So what’s changed?
This week Facebook have changed the word ‘fan‘ to ‘like‘ and this changes everything. No longer does someone have to wait to decide if they are a fan or not they simply need to say ‘hey yeah I like this’. They might of only seen, tried, tasted, visited or whatever once and they can say they like it. This is a very subtle change but a genius one!

It’s so much easier for someone to say they like something than to say they are a fan of it. There’s no real scale any more, you either like it or you don’t, it needs a much lower trip over level for someone to know if they like it or not and be willing to click that button and digitally say ‘I like’.

How is this good for page owners?
People, in a word! You see the name of the game for page owners is to get people to commit and connect to them so that they can interact with them and ultimately build there brand profile much more easily.

Being a fan was a barrier and with people only needing to process whether they like something or not we should see many many more people acknowledging their likes and so brands have a bigger connected audience.

What are your thoughts on this? We love to interact with our readers so please leave a comment.

What am I (or we) passionate about?

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

defaultimgI’m not a fan of self help books and I say that as someone who has read many in the past but as a rarity I picked up a copy of Gary Vaynerchuck’s ‘Crush It’ a while back and started to read it the other night. After only a few pages I realised that passion was at the heart of matter when it came to running and developing a successful business. Without passion the whole thing was dead in the water.

PASSION: a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything: a passion for music.

I thought it would be a good idea to be open with my passions about our business, it’s what has driven me to this point and what will continue to drive me onwards as well as shaping the business (both to this point and onwards). My hope is that those reading can understand more about us as a business and me as a business owner.. Too much transparency some might say, no problem but we’re not a closed door company. Knowing us is as important, if not more so than knowing what we do.

These are in no particular order and my passions are our passions:

I’m passionate about giving callers, prospects and clients the best possible service I can. My whole career, in one respect or another, has been customer service orientated. I hate it when I myself receive bad service and do wonder how some companies keep (perhaps they don’t) long term clients. We’re not superheroes at Creospace, we get it wrong sometimes but we’ll take ownership and put it right and I think that sets us apart from many of our competitors.

I’m passionate about delivering solutions to clients that are beneficial. The reason I started Creospace over 7 years ago is because I saw web design outfits delivering websites for the sake of it, earning a fast buck as they say. They actually do more harm than good. Every line of code we write is with the needs and success of our clients in mind. They are parting with money that they’ve worked hard to raise and they entrust it with us to deliver the solution that they need.

I’m passionate about giving great advice. Not all who I meet become our clients but all are entitled to informed and accurate advice. We spend ages learning the latest techniques, code, practices, standards, trends, fashions, methods (a passion in itself) the list is endless but we have to be on top of it all in order to be able to advise people with accuracy and truth. We get calls where people have been referred to us just for advice, a 5 minute phone call to point someone in the right direction isn’t an interruption, it’s a) the fruit of many years hard work and b) a privilege!

I’m passionate about people. Yes people are what it’s all about. We talk to, email, tweet, interact on-line and of course meet face to face with people. We form relationships and interact with people every day. I love meeting people and listening to them getting to know their stories. Learning how we can help them and knowing when we can’t of course.

I’m passionate about ridding the profession of bad work. I know it’s an ideal but it drives me mad when I see bad design, shoddy code, terrible and ineffective workmanship. Some in this profession are without doubt preying on the uneducated, paying lip service to those who know no different. We surround ourselves with peers who are passionate about the same subject and we have healthy mutual respect for each other and they share the same values as us.

I’m passionate about working with great people. I know we can’t be great at everything but for the most effective results you need a combination of services to work together. I can’t have our brand damaged by hiring bad people or recomending our clients take advice from other companies that wont deliver the same high standards that we do ourself ( I’m 110% confident we work with such people).

I’m passionate about our brand and all it stands for. The Creospace brand is built on the passions we have for service, quality and people. We’ve been privileged to work with (note not ‘for’ but with) some wonderful clients over the years. Over 90% of our work comes from word of mouth referrals, if Google search fell apart tomorrow it wouldn’t affect us in the slightest. However if our brand fell apart, our standards slip and our clients become unhappy we’ve lost the lot!

What are your passions? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

New FunSongs website using fun illustrative design!

Monday, February 15th, 2010

funsongsWe launched our latest website today for our client FunSongs. Charles Goodger who runs FunSongs hired us to give the site a complete makeover and fun was on the menu!

By using illustrative design techniques we were able to get over the message that learning English is fun, something not always possible with educational based projects. The site selling action songs packages is primarily aimed at international schools teaching English as a second language.

Before & After               

FunSongs before makeover AFTER

The client is extremely pleased with the outcome and we’ve received much praise surrounding the design. We wish Charles and his team every success with the new site and FunSongs in the future. can be visited here

Social Networking and Your Business Image

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

socialmediasIn traditional terms business networking is about walking around a room full of business men and women, swapping business cards and other wares and talking about what one another’s business works. More recently a wider view of today’s business networking has become focussed more now on social networking (a part of social media) which helps us all to create a good range of business contacts throughout our local, regional, national or even international community. Your business image whilst participating in social networking is of course crucial though don’t discount the traditional methods of networking just yet, they are important too and give your business a face no matter how few people may be attending.

Networking Successfully Online
Social networking in a successful manner is now vital to any small business for many reasons. Conducting yourself properly at an official business event or on a social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, business forums etc can be easy with a little guidance if you are currently unsure of how to present your business in these situations. Essentially these three we’ve mentioned are only the few to be found in the 100’s of the social media phenomenon, being the current major sites we are basing our experience on those but our advice is applicable to most online media of their kind.

We have put together this article and one that follows to help you conduct social networking and promote your business image in a positive way, we hope you can use our advice for your business be it blogs, social media, websites or other resources.

Using Social Networking for Business Relationships
Social networking has given us many trusted business relationships, products and services and with the whole thing exploding at the moment it’s a great time to get involved, your business will thank you in time. So how many active users do you think Facebook has at any one time? Millions, in fact recent figures from tells us that there are over 300 million users. Relationships do matter and becoming involved has been proven to give businesses additional exposure, in turn of course bringing new leads and potential customers.

If you have a good social networking manner and compose yourself well on these networking sites, you also give yourself chance to play around with extra marketing projects using some of your contacts as leads. Eventually you may build up such a list of friends and followers that you can select a small section of these to experiment your marketing skills with, promote a new product or simply stay in touch with latest industry news. Should this fail then you can move on to another section of your contacts or try a different marketing approach.

The aim on these websites is to promote your business in a less polished and less formal way. In fact it’s not even promotion at all. Not everyone wants to learn about how you increased profit by selling frog legs or anything else (!) now people expect to see a more laid back approach and want to know more about you or the people that work for you, so bearing this in mind go and introduce yourself, what your office is up to right now, who kissed the boss at the Christmas disco – or maybe not THAT personal but I hope by now you get the point, mixing more relaxed messages with others about your news or interesting info about the industry can give you the perfect balance – and the perfect amount of followers.

We cover a few more ideas on the next article ‘Social Networking and Business Success’