Good writing and decent web design is invaluable to a business. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of bad stuff floating about on the Internet. We’ve all seen it: badly matched images, copy littered with mistakes and pages that take forever to load. These are all things that give you a negative impression of the business before even using it.

At Air Social however, we’re always on top form! Now web design, whilst certainly important from an aesthetic point of view, encompasses so much more than looking pretty. From SEO to branding and conversion rates, your website and its design affects your complete Internet presence. So, apart from the obvious, what should your website have? We’ve compiled a checklist of what to look for:

1. Navigation

This is essential. Without good navigation, users’ attention is quickly lost, and with it, your brand identity. When considering navigation, simple yet intuitive is best.

2. Copy and Visual Elements

The first rule: users tend to remember your brand message when it is concise and identifiable. However, overdoing these elements is easy to do and will also adversely affect conversion rates – visually cluttered pages are difficult to read, which means that users’ patience will be lost.  To avoid this problem, consider working with a website designer and copywriter, who can streamline your content and add negative or empty spaces that let the readers’ eyes rest in the middle of their reading.

3. Brand Uniformity

Your brand is what sets you apart from your competitors.  Alongside a unique logo, your design style and brand voice must remain consistent throughout your website so that your target market can easily identify your brand in all types of medium. If for instance, there are slight changes in your brand and visual communication, then it can result in confusion for users.

4. Organisation and Search Engine Optimization

Aside from the organisation, utilising the visible areas for the important website details can also improve the search engine optimization or SEO. This happens when you incorporate business-related keywords in the HTML text. When search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing can trawl your website, it results in higher search engine placement, which means your website becomes more visible and searchable.

Get in touch with us today for a chat about any web design queries you may have – we’re always keen to help out!

Designing your website for maximum impact

So your website is up and looking slick but it’s just not generating the leads that you thought it would. What’s gone wrong?

Like many businesses, you might have lost sight of your website’s primary purpose - converting traffic into leads. It’s essential to consider your website within your wider marketing strategy. Take time to plan and implement your website’s marketing goals, keeping lead generation at the forefront of your mind when designing. Without a properly functioning website channelling new customers, your business isn’t going to achieve the growth rate you’re hoping for.

So how do you plan for maximum impact?

Create functional forms

To optimise your site for lead generation it’s important to have user-friendly lead generation forms. User testing has revealed that forms which focus on motor actions (clicking and cursor movement) rather than cognitive actions, (typing and thought) were more successful in generating leads. Simplifying the means by which a user engages with your site encourages them to leave their details as they can see it won’t cost them much time.

Not many people enjoy form-filling, even when they are keen on the product or service on offer. Studies show that sites that have forms which utilise non-standard user interface (UI) designs perform significantly better than traditional form layouts. Using toggle sliders and simple, clickable images can improve the look and feel of a form - making the experience more fun and interactive.

Use an adaptable layout

In a highly effective lead-generation website, every page has a distinct purpose. Making sure that your website provides the user with a clear pathway towards the action that you want them to take is essential. Placing a clear call to action (CTA) on your landing page, and any further pages where new visitors are likely to reach, is vital for generating leads. These CTAs should be clearly visible, enticing and well explained - giving your user a clear reason to click on it.

Keep in mind that the majority of people who view your site will do so on a mobile device. In the last few years, statistics show that more websites are accessed via mobile devices than laptops or desktops. It is therefore important that your website does not follow a ‘one size fits all’ design but that is can work well across a range of different devices.

Build trust

Building trust through the use of customer testimonies, client logos or case studies will go a long way in establishing the credibility of your business or brand. Users are more likely to provide their personal details to a company they feel they can trust and that others have endorsed. Using video testimony is one of the most persuasive methods of moving a prospective customer further along the marketing funnel. Make sure you keep it short though - 90 seconds of high-quality video with clear and concise feedback performs best.

Incentivise

Give users a reason to fill out your lead generation forms and make sure it is an action that will also benefit them. Websites that provide rewards for handing over user details perform significantly better than those that simply have ‘want to find out more?’ CTAs. There are a range of different ways in which you can give something back to those that give you their personal information, these include things like discounts on purchases, access to exclusive content or free trials.


If you're interested in streamlining your digital presence then we would love to hear from you. Our in-depth digital marketing knowledge combined with our web development experience make us ideally situated to revolutionise your online strategy.[/vc_column_text][vc_cta_button2 h2="Is your website outdated or underperforming?" h4="Let us know what you want your website to achieve!" txt_align="center" title="Contact Air Social" position="bottom" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fairsocial-build-com.stackstaging.com%2Fcontact-us%2F|title:Get%20in%20touch|"][/vc_cta_button2][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=".vc_custom_1513075727286{margin-top: 0px !important;}"][vc_column][/vc_column][/vc_row]

If your business has had a new website, or if you have had some creative design work done, it is likely you will have undergone a discovery session.

But what exactly is this? Well, on a basic level a discovery session is a meeting in which a project manager can get to know you, and your business. They use this to shape their vision of what you want, and direct the creative process. This is incredibly important, and can make or break a project. As well as getting to know you, the session also helps you get to know them, and what creative direction they may want to take for your site.

Here are the 5 main reasons we see a discovery session as one of the most important parts of any new website:

Your website represents your brand

It needs to sell who you are, what you do, and why you are the best. A discovery session gives us the opportunity to build a complete image of your business; it allows us to formulate a design and style direction, and allows us to make user journey decisions based on your type of customer.

Websites are complicated

There is unfamiliar terminology and plenty of rabbit holes to get lost down. A discovery session gives us the opportunity to get everyone onto the same page, providing a sturdy launch-pad for the project. We love questions and this is certainly the time to ask as many as possible.

Web projects take as much time as they need

Feeling comfortable and offering honest and frank feedback when required can save a huge amount of time and will keep a project running in the correct direction. A discovery session is a great opportunity for us to get to know you, and vice versa.

It’s likely that when you begin a web project you won’t have an incredibly clear idea of what you want

The opportunity to explore ideas and inspirations gives us the chance to understand your vision. It allows us to envisage what you want to achieve and also to make sure it is in-line with the original scope for your website.

Detailed scope

The discovery session is integral to making sure that the expectations of the business marry up to the vision of the developer. The discovery session gives us the ability to create a detailed project scope, ensuring that expectations are managed on both sides of the table.

There are of course many more benefits to having a detailed discovery session to start off a new web project, however these are certainly the key ones. The most important thing to take away from this is that a discovery session is about communication; it's about talking through your ideas, talking through our ideas, and looking in detail at what the end result of the project could be.


If you would like to talk with us about a new website or design project you have coming up, why not get in touch here?

A blog is a valuable tool in your digital arsenal; if you haven’t included one in your website, this is a quick and easy way to supercharge your online presence. We recommend posting small concise articles of around 800 words. This gives you all the benefits that come with regular blog posting, without the negatives of having to spend valuable time away from your business.

We are often asked: what are the actual benefits of posting a regular blog on your website? In our eyes, these are the most important.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Essentially, the more blogs you post, the more pages of your website get indexed. The more pages you have indexed, the more potential touch points you have that will appear on search engine results. Further SEO benefits include the building of external links - the number of other websites linking to your site significantly impacts the ranking of your site. Having a wide range of relevant content on your site massively increases the likelihood of external sites linking to your site. Search engine optimisation is complicated, however a blog is a great and easy place to start.

The personal touch

A good website is concise and clear. Having an effective and clear description of the services you offer doesn’t leave much room to let people know about the achievements of your employees and company. A blog solves this. Posting regular content about your industry and your business performance, gives your brand the personal touch. This is an important component that can convert browsing visitors into concrete customers.

Credibility

Posting regularly about your industry gives you credibility. It shows you are knowledgeable and in touch with the wider goings on in your sector, putting you head and shoulders above your competition.

Social media coordination

Blog posts and themes that are tied in with your social media strategy are a fantastic way to drive traffic to your site. Driving traffic to a site is one of the primary methods you can adopt to increase conversions. The more people on your site, the better the chance of people getting in touch

Fresh content

For regular visitors to your site, fresh content does wonders for creating repeat business. When people see regularly changing content, it gives the impression of a modern, responsive and proactive business.


If you are interested in taking advantage of the benefits of blogging we would love to help with this. Air Social offers a range of blogging services, from regular production of articles, to the creation of a blog section on your website. We are here to help you achieve digital success.

What is a Google My Business page?

Google themselves explain it pretty well: “Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses and organisations to manage their online presence across Google, including search and maps.”

What does this actually mean? Well, this means that whenever you need to change business information, such as address, contact information, business hours, etc, all you need do is update your Google My Business information and it will update across all your Google touch points.

Google My Business also gives you the added bonus of a business profile on the search results page. For examples, when you search for a company, such as Air Social Marketing Agency, you will notice a business profile on the right hand side (desktop) of the Google results page. This is your Google My Business profile, looks good doesn't it!

What are the benefits?

Visibility

  • Having a business profile appear on a search results page puts you in a significantly more prominent position than the other results (often your competition). It puts all your more key information front and centre, such as reviews, opening times, and contact details.
  • You will rank higher on search engines. Bear in mind having contrasting contact information on your different Google touch-points can cause Google to penalise your SEO score. A Google My Business page can help fix this.
  • People in the area will get location specific results, especially if you have multiple branches.

Credibility

  • In an increasingly competitive world, brand credibility is everything. A business profile appearing in search results puts you ahead of the competition. Combine this with positive reviews and a well coordinated social media presence, and new business will flock in.

Accessibility

  • Don’t have a great website? Hard to use on smaller devices? Having a Google business profile gives your potential customers a place to find essential contact information and reviews in a clear and accessible way.

How do I create a Google My Business page?

A Google My Business page is free to set up. You can find instructions on how to do this at: https://business.google.com


A Google My Business page is a must-have tool in your digital arsenal. If you need advice or help setting this up, or coordinating this with the rest of your digital strategy, why not give us a call, we’ll be happy to help.

Get in touch

A new website is an investment of both time and money, however you shouldn’t let this put you off. The returns from super-charging your online presence are huge, and can completely transform your brand and your business.

How does the average person use your website?

Let's consider how the average person uses the internet:

  1. You search for the service you need using a search engine.
  2. Presented with thousands of results, you choose a selection from the first page of results.
  3. You look through each of these, making snap judgements about the quality and credibility of the business based on your first-impressions of the site.
  4. If the website reflects quality, you look for a means to get in touch, either calling directly or by filling out a web-form.

At each interaction, the user’s thought process can be boiled-down to: Does this particular interaction give me confidence that this supplier can be trusted, and that the product/service on offer will meet my expectations?


Let's explore some of the benefits of a new website

There are many benefits to revamping your website, below I have touched on just a few. Whilst looking through, keep in mind what your current website is like, and whether you are offering a poor user experience to your visitors.

New business

Your primary touch-point with new and existing customers is your website. Whether reached through social media or search engines, a new customer visiting your site will dedicate a very short amount of time to looking to see if you offer what they need. If you don’t peak their interest straight away, you’ve lost them.

Having clear, well-written and well-presented content is vital. Structuring this in a logical way, with clear navigation and a complementary colour scheme is equally important. Get this wrong and you will fall at the first hurdle. Get this right and you will maximise the number of people that visit your site and the number of people who contact you off the back of this.

Brand credibility

In the competitive world of the internet, credibility is everything. From Google reviews to Facebook likes, having a strong and consistent online presence is vital. We see your website as the main player in your digital portfolio; it plays the decisive role in giving your brand credibility. A poor user experience, confusing navigation, or even something as simple as large bodies of text in an unattractive font can damage your brand credibility.

If you need convincing, think about how many times you have avoided using a company because its website doesn’t work well on mobile, or because you can’t find the information you need. If you aren’t confident your site is as good as it could be, it’s likely people have experienced this on your site.

Search Engines and Social Media

A new website, built with search engines and social media in mind, is a fantastic way to super-charge your online presence. Ranking highly on search engines drives new business, and does wonders for brand credibility. Making your business easy to find should be at the forefront of your digital strategy; if your current website ranks poorly, or offers a poor user experience, then a new website optimised for search engines is a must have.

A well designed website is a fantastic touch point for new and existing customers, one obvious area to help enhance this is social media. Here at Air Social, we are specialists in social media strategy and therefore know the benefits of targeting audiences through social media and driving them to your website. We equally know that a poor website can substantially reduce the impact of this type of marketing. Fancy getting the most out of vast social media audiences? Start with a website that does your brand justice.

A new website adds value to your business; it gets you noticed in a highly competitive world, and enforces your credibility as suppliers of a high-quality service. Having a scalable online presence is vital - a well-designed and developed website gives you the perfect launch pad to deploy your digital strategy.


From keeping your current clients confident, to reaching out to new areas, make sure your primary touch point doesn’t let you down. To learn more about the different website packages we offer, and how we can help your online presence, contact: team@airsocial-build-com.stackstaging.com

 

When developing with WordPress you are often dealing with other people’s work, other people’s ideas, and other people’s code. Although inevitably this can turn up difficulties, more often than not it will open you up to new ways of working and better practices. I’ve tried to include below a handful of small tips and tricks that I’ve learned over my time in the industry; this is not an exhaustive list, however should give you some grounding in the tools I found useful when starting out in the WordPress world.

Developing Locally

Developing live on the web is a great place to start, however you will soon find its limitations. Before I discovered the wonders of developing locally I, one, had to have an internet connection to work, and two, was reliant on creating subdomains to test out changes to sites. Creating a local environment is quick and easy to do, and completely changes the way you work. Having an independent, offline copy of the sites gives you the freedom to test out changes before uploading them to the web. I recommend WAMP (Windows) and MAMP (Mac), these allow you to create a development environment on your local machine for free. Building on this, there are other tools in the pipeline that will make the world of local development even easier. Top-tip, keep your eyes peeled for ‘Local’ from Flywheel (currently in beta).

Plugins

Plugins are your friend, but use them sparsely. During development there are a few I install straight away, use to get the project running, and uninstall on the live site. Keeping your site clean of unnecessary code should always be in the forefront of your mind. Here are a few plugins I always install.

  1. For working on sites that aren’t your own, or the ones with more complex themes, ‘What The File’ is a must have. This gives you a toolbar showing the file and template-part being used on the page you are viewing; a great time-saver for those more intricate customisations.
  2. There will be times when you need to work on live sites, sometimes even taking them offline for a short period of time. Adding a styled holding page is a useful option here. ‘Coming Soon and Maintenance Mode by SeedProd’ gives you a flexible and easy to use holding page that can be instantly switch on or off.
  3. Another plugin I use with almost all sites is ‘All in One Migration’. You can use this to create a copy of your site that you can install on your local environment. It’s quick, easy to use, and flexible. Just watch out on larger sites for the 512mb upload limit!

With these few plugins you can massively improve your development process and knowledge of WordPress.

Images

Optimise your images, it’s essential. There’s nothing worse than going to a site, only to find you’re being brought back to the dark ages with images loading at snail’s pace, down the page, row by row. While there is no magic number for the maximum size of web images, there are ways to keep your images as small as possible.

For example, one trick is to look at the maximum size an image will be displayed on your site and work from there; if you have a 1200px container on your page, uploading a 3000px wide image is wasteful.

You will find that you can typically reduce jpegs of 2 -3mb down to <200kb, with an almost unnoticeable drop in quality. Similarly, using tools like Optimizilla and tinyPNG you can reduce pretty much all images to a tiny size. With each image that you optimise for web, the quicker your page will load, the better your SEO, and the better your UX.

DNS

DNS is complicated, and granted is on a slightly different skew than the rest of this article, however when understood adds a valuable tool to your arsenal. There is nothing more intimidating than finding out you need to make DNS changes, and not having a clue where to start. I’ll include the standard caveat here that messing around with DNS can have disastrous consequences. The best piece of advice I can offer is to use your hosting provider, they will have the knowledge to help. A five minute call, or an instant chat session, can save hours of trawling through videos and outdated articles. Personally, I’ve found the staff at Vidahost extremely knowledgeable and helpful.

Another trick I found useful when learning about DNS is having two domains independent of any live projects. You can play around with the DNS settings on these to get an idea of what does what. This is a great way of simulating the live DNS changes you might need to make on a production site, without the risk of breaking anything.

Some final thoughts

You can be sure that every WordPress developer has a unique way of working, and looking for the perfect method for yourself and your clients does take time. I’ve found that when I step back and get out of my bubble, when I start looking into how other people work and what’s coming up in the future, that it’s then that great little time-savers emerge.

News

What’s new and relevant in the world of Air Social and beyond - check out our most recent posts.

April 27, 2022
Air Social takes a starring role at the Surrey Business Expo 2022

On April 27 2022, Alex Vinall and Lucy Blackmore from Air Social joined hundreds of other local businesses at the Surrey Business Expo, which took place over two days at Surrey Sports Park in Guildford. Surrey Business Expo was started in 2005 and is today run by the super-well-connected Paul Bridgland and Steve Page. The […]

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January 6, 2022
Apply now to become our new Paid Social/PPC Manager

As an experienced Paid Social and PPC Manager, you will be responsible for managing the strategies and performance for a portfolio of clients. You will be passionate and excited about achieving success for B2B and B2C clients, understanding audiences, coming up with new and innovative ideas and using data and insights to drive your campaigns. […]

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January 6, 2022
Apply now to become our new Social Media Manager

Air Social Digital Marketing is looking for a Social Media Manager (full-time) to join its award-winning team of digital marketing, social media and PR experts, based in Guildford, Surrey. The ideal candidate will be educated to degree level and have at least two years’ experience working for a social media marketing/advertising agency with exceptional copywriting […]

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January 5, 2022
Apply now to become our new PR Account Executive

Air Social Digital Marketing is looking for a PR account executive (full-time) to join its award-winning team of PR, digital marketing and social media experts, based in Guildford, Surrey. The ideal candidate will be educated to degree level and ideally have work experience in PR or journalism, exceptional copywriting skills and plenty of creative flair, […]

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January 5, 2022
Apply now to become our new Account Executive (Digital/Social/PR marketing)

Air Social Digital Marketing is looking for an Account Executive (full-time) to join its award-winning team of digital marketing, social media and PR experts, based in Guildford, Surrey. The ideal candidate will be a degree graduate or have some experience in digital marketing or multi-media PR. They will have good copywriting skills and plenty of […]

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January 5, 2022
Apply now to be our new PR Manager

Air Social Digital Marketing is looking for a PR Manager (full-time) to join its award-winning team of PR, digital marketing and social media experts, based in Guildford, Surrey. The ideal candidate will be educated to degree level and have at least two to three years’ experience with a background in PR or journalism, exceptional copywriting […]

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January 5, 2022
Apply now to be our new Account Manager/Senior Account Manager

Air Social Digital Marketing is looking for an Account Manager/Senior Account Manager (full-time) to join its award-winning team of digital marketing, social media and PR experts, based in Guildford, Surrey. The ideal candidate will be educated to degree level and have at least two years’ experience working for a social media marketing/advertising agency with exceptional […]

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September 9, 2021
What is Google’s 3-strike policy and what does it mean for small business advertisers?

This month, on September 21st, Google plans to roll out a new strike-based system, which it will enforce against advertisers who repeatedly violate Google Ad policies. The three policies are:   Enabling dishonest behaviour  This includes businesses or individuals that provide fake documents (such as fake IDs or passports), hacking services, products used to track a person without […]

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August 16, 2021
Snapchat is growing faster than Twitter and Facebook – should you be taking advantage?

The video messaging app popular with Millennials and Gen Z now has over 293 million daily users  Snapchat is growing faster than it has since 2017, the year it went public.   Last month, the messaging app said it added 13 million daily users during the second quarter of 2021, which is a 23 per cent increase from the same period last year.  That means that 293 million people across the […]

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Air Social have provided guidance, support and valuable industry knowledge, which has been pivotal in the success in revenue generation we have seen.

RACHEL MITCHELL, CLUB MARKETING MANAGER, BGL GOLF

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