Monday, 1 April 2019

Making the Perfect Landing Page

Whatever business you're in  having key product/service website pages highly ranked on Google is a game changer – both in terms of sales conversions and brand awareness.

These type of pages are commonly described as "landing pages". Particularly useful for Pay Per Click Advertising and by using good SEO practices they will create great natural listing results in Google.


Unlike the home page, landing pages have a specific goal – the design and content is tailor made to attract a specific audience, who then purchase a specific product or trigger another sales action. These web pages provide exactly what the internet user has searched for. The content is focused on a few select key words and key phrases.

In this article we wanted to highlight some of the aspects you should consider when creating landing pages for your website. This is not an exact science as every target audience is different – so apply these general rules and it will give you a great starting point to work from.

Which keywords to choose for each page?
Knowing which key words and key phrases are best for each landing page requires research. You can use an SEO specialist or you can do the groundwork yourself – as some data is available for free. First make a list of what you think people would search for – include spelling errors. Then do some analysis using the Google AdWords Keyword Planner and Google Trends. I found this great blog which explains in more detail - https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/how-to-do-keyword-research-ht

Writing metadata for each page
Metadata is not something that web users can see on a webpage, but they can see them in search results. Search engines use metadata to decide when to show your content in search results depending on the search term input by the web user. 

What does metadata look like? 
In search results, titles tags and meta descriptions look like this: 

You should work through your website to ensure that all pages have a unique title tag and meta description. When working on an existing website you can prioritise this somewhat intimidating task by first working on pages with high search value and high traffic and pages with no metadata at all. When adding new pages, you should make it a habit to add unique metadata before publishing the page. 

How much text should I write?
A really juicy landing page should include about 600 – 700 words minimum. Really focus on quality content  The text should be honest, relevant, keyword rich – but sensibly done.

Avoid duplicate content
Having multiple landing pages with potentially similar keywords means you maybe tempted to copy some paragraphs of text from one to the other. This will be flagged up and marked down by Google – so do take the time to rewrite all your page text – it is worth the effort. 
P.s. Avoid borrowing content from other websites.

A mobile friendly user experience
As a web design team we now design mobile up – which basically means that we consider mobile view above all others. Ensuring best practice for all platforms.

Google will take into consideration how your site performs in mobile view. So designers will consider page loading speed, navigation, usability, content layout and social media sharing opportunity. 

Websites which reflow content to suit different screen sizes are called “Responsive”.

Looking professional 
Once a potential client has found your site – they need to know that the company they have found is not only professional but trustworthy, experienced, reputable and provides the place to purchase the item or find out more (especially if your business is service based).
 

So get professional designers (like us :-) to help make the web page sing – both in terms of product placement, hierarchy of information and user interaction triggers. The use of effective imagery is important as well as button colours and placement.

Slow burn
It can take time to see the results of your labour where SEO is concerned, for some websites it can take six months, even two years to rank high in search results for a specific keyword or phrase. Some improvements in your website’s SEO however can have an immediate positive impact. The result depends on the website, the available improvements to make on it and of course your competition and what they are doing with their SEO. 

There is also the Google factor, Google are an entity of their own and can release new rules and algorithms whenever they see fit. We would point out here that Google’s ethos is to provide the best user experience to users of their search engine, so there is every reason to try to work within Google rules to encourage relevant, convertible traffic to your website instead of users that don’t want to be there and you wouldn’t ever be able to convert. 

The more websites and pages that your website is competing against, the longer it takes to get results.

There are usually some easy wins and quick fixes that you can work on to get results soon whilst you are also working on the long-term strategy. These will vary from one website to another and a good SEO company will suggest a full site and brand assessment to help you to plan your strategy. 

Google analytics and algorithms – review and revise – learn
Website promotion is a constant learning experience which evolves and grows over time. The statistics Google Analytics provides will help you review and revise the content and design to get the best results

To learn a bit more about Google Algorithms this blog quite useful - https://neilpatel.com/blog/the-ultimate-google-algorithm-cheat-sheet/

To speak direct to a designer today call us on 0370 334 1598 or email studio@thenewfat.co.uk.

ADDITIONAL READING: 

Coffee break quick read: Overview of The New Fat's best design projects of 2018

To keep up to date with all the 20 year activities see our dedicated web page or follow us on twitter.

Find out more about our April social media brand up design offer click here.


Have a read of our latest case study all about the website we designed for The Old Diorama Arts Centre.

Friday, 1 February 2019

Celebrating 20 years of The New Fat

Yes, can you believe it - 20 years has passed since the first ever job was placed at The New Fat. With over 12,500 jobs now complete the whole team are very proud to celebrate this fantastic milestone with lots of exciting stuff coming up in 2019.

20 Year events and activities
Throughout the year we will be taking part, donating and offering all sorts of "20" themed activities and giveways. 

January kicked off with giving away 20 hours of free design time to the local YMCA charity - which they are utilising for current fundraising events.

If you need a new or refreshed corporate identity - make sure you make use of our February offer - which is 20% off a new logo design - to read more about this great discount click here.

We are really proud of our Nottingham roots and want to celebrate and help fundraise for local charities/clubs - keep in touch via twitter to stay updated on all the exciting goings on, plus a chance to win some great prizes.





A bit of history
The New Fat is a Nottingham born design agency, originally named Denovo Design the company went through a full rebrand in 2008 with now directors Debbie Mawhinney and Suze Moore. Moving to brand new high spec offices in 2010 near Nottingham City centre has allowed the company to expand and even have capacity to do product photoshoots on-site. More recently in 2015 we successfully trademarked our logo protecting our brand for the future.

The company ethos

High customer service has always been big on the agenda together with creative and professional design. We function as a full in-house design team so clients can utilise print, digital and exhibition services from one place - ensuring brand consistency is upheld throughout all marketing mediums. Clients always speak direct to a designer and we are passionate about good design being accessible to all businesses large and small. Our friendly and experienced can-do attitude has won us many big named clients such as Penguin Books and B&Q as well as hundreds of start up businesses.

Services offered and industries we work in
As well as a strong print and web design team we also have a team of marketing professionals, website developers and photographers on hand to make any project run seamlessly. With very strong links to trade production houses we also offer very competitive rates for printing and mailing services. For larger exhibition stands we have a dedicated build team with decades of experience.

In terms of industries we work with - its a broad range:
• Engineering & Manufacturing
• Business, Consulting & Management
• Insurance
• Utilities
• Sales & Marketing
• Charity Work
• Creative Arts
• Training & Education
• Public Services
• Recruitment & HR
• Law Enforcement & Security
• Retail
• Accountancy
• PR
• Healthcare
• Media & Internet
• IT
• Property & Construction
• Law
• Science & Pharmaceuticals
• Hospitality & Events Management
• Leisure, Sport & Tourism


To speak direct to a designer today call us on 0370 334 1598 or email studio@thenewfat.co.uk.

ADDITIONAL READING: 

Coffee break quick read: Overview of The New Fat's best design projects of 2018

To keep up to date with all the 20 year activities see our dedicated web page or follow us on twitter.

Find out more about our February logo design offer click here.


Have a read of our latest case study all about the new brand design for Forde's Coffee Shop in West Bridgford.


Monday, 1 October 2018

Fabric is the Way Forward


Looking for a cost effective way to stand out from the crowd at your next exhibition? Moving on from the usual pull-ups and pop-ups, there is a new style of stand around and it is perfect for exhibitions, easy to put up and washable! Fabric stands are all the rage!

Ever thought of lightweight fabric stands? 
Made up of just two main components – A strong, lightweight frame and a printed fabric cover. The printed cover fits snugly over the frame and can be printed both sides giving your brand more presence. Secured in place by a zip fastening, the cover is washable and changeable meaning additional covers can be printed so you can swap the design depending on the event.  

Great for large and small events or in the office
Available in a multitude of sizes and shapes including a more traditional pull up banner stand as well as straight or curved backdrops - similar to a pop-up. The printing technology gives vibrant colours making these fabric stands a strong presence. Perfect for small and large events as well as in the office, as backdrops or room dividers. 


More cost effective than traditional pop-up stands
Where as the traditional 3x3 pop-ups are made up of multiple panels that create visible join lines through the middle of the design, these bigger backdrop style stands remove the issue, as the fabric is one continuous piece. Options of adding lights and fabric graphic wrap tables and counters make a dynamic looking stand, which you will be proud to present and they cost less.

Transportation
These new fabric stands pack down into small lightweight bags – making them easy to transport.

Exhibitions are great place to meet potential customers and are perfect for showcasing you business, products and services. Stand out from the crowd with lightweight, portable fabric displays.

Head over to our offer page to find out about our latest design offer or have a look at our portfolio for more examples of large format design. If you would like further information about banner sizes and prices contact us here

Have a read of our latest case study all about our experience design the exhibition stand for Penguin Ventures.


Sunday, 1 July 2018

Prove Your Professionalism and Be Remembered

Show your clients you mean business, whatever your line of work with an impressive sales toolkit, which showcases your products and services.

With 70% of us believing that mail gives a better impression of a company than email, it’s time to trust traditional methods of communication.


Whatever you’re selling, sell it well. Whether you’re an SME whipping up gluten-free cakes for local villagers or a multi-national serving financial clients, demonstrate your products and services professionally and you’ll win more clients.

Often, customers aren’t turned off by your products, but the tired, predictable ways you present them. So give it to them straight. Highlight the real value of your offering with a sales toolkit that showcases exactly what you do including all of your USPs and all of your contact details.

Boom. Then it’s right there on your customer’s desk with no excuse not to get in touch. 

Consider every element of your business, and tailor packages towards your target market, focusing on what will be relevant to them. 

Ensure you include:
  • Business Card
  • Covering Letter
  • Brochure with overview of company
  • Product and sales/data sheet
  • Call to action – what do they need to do next



Also think about how is it going to be delivered, personally – great; post – consider size weight costs!

We’re open to requests if you need to WOW with off-the-wall impact chat to us! At The New Fat, we can help create sharp, professional sales toolkits for businesses of all sizes across all industries.  

The benefits of a polished sales toolkit
Ensures your branding is communicated consistently throughout, building your brand and giving your sales team a focus with clear messaging.

You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression but it’s not all about you. Even in the finest suit, if how you’re presenting your business is not up-to-scratch, how you present yourself is meaningless. Equip yourself with a sales toolkit from The New Fat and we’ll ensure your brand is represented in the most authentic, powerful way. 

Print isn’t dead - Embrace RIP (Really Interesting Print).
How many times have you ignored emails, simply because they sound like spam or didn’t suit your workload or even your mood on that day? Print isn’t dead; it just needs to be dynamic enough to stand out in a crowded space. It’s where The New Fat excel.

Leave your mark with something to be remembered by. With a tangible take-away, you can engage and generate response by:
  • Creating brand unity and a unique brand story bespoke to your own business.
  • Establish a connection by leaving your contact details. When someone’s telephone number or email address is right in front of you every day, there’s far more chance of getting in touch.
  • Ensure longevity by giving them something real – in the digital age, a premium set of printed materials mean more than empty cyberspace comms. 
Read this months Case Study and find out about a Sales Toolkit we designed for Tilsatec.

Testimonials.
Don’t just take our word for it – here’s what a few of our impressed clients have to say about our work.

‘I know I can rely on swift service and honest and useful advice - Impact 108

‘Love your CAN DO attitude’ - The Rainforest Foundation UK

Save money on this months stationery offer, find out more here. Read this months Case Study and find out about a Sales Toolkit we designed for Tilsatec.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Affordable Effective Marketing


Short title, right? You may well be reading this item along with the circa-35% of recipients who open e-mail based on the subject line. Also, there’s roughly a 54% chance you’re reading this on a mobile device too. If that’s the case, then bear in mind that an ideal subject line should be around just three words, based on the fact that an average mobile device can fit just 4 to 7 words across the screen. Phew!

So, email marketing: It’s effective and it’s affordable when compared to other forms of marketing. However, there are a number of important considerations to bear in mind if you want to succeed. In fact, you may well be asking yourself “How do I get e-mail marketing right?”

In our short guide to direct e-mail, we clarify the ambiguous and we present e-mail marketing as easy as 1, 2, 3 - 1: Design; 2: Copy; and 3: The Law. 

Let’s go…

1: Design
Your e-shot needs to be visually appealing, but it also needs to actually work i.e. display consistently across all web-based email platforms, from Outlook to Gmail. It needs to be as striking on a Mac as it is on a PC and just as effective on an Android smartphone as it is on an iPhone or iPad. 

Bearing the above in mind and that mobile e-mail is increasingly important, images and design need to be responsive (i.e. resize and reformat accordingly). Outlook and Mac Mail programs feature preview windows, smartphones are small, and Outlook and Gmail have narrow display panels. Therefore, a starting point for e-mail design should be within a 600 pixel-wide space. 

A lot of experienced e-marketers use something known as the “pyramid” when designing their emails. In essence, this is a framework for structuring overall design, starting with the header, imagery, buttons and so forth. Following this hierarchy of messaging ensures that the key elements of the e-mail attract and draw-in the reader, ultimately instilling a desire to click-through to the website.

With the various platforms and recipient device-types, the most important stage of your design is the testing stage! Test your e-mails thoroughly. Do this by sending test e-mails to all platforms and to all devices. You’d be surprised how differently the various platforms all read style information, or as mentioned, simply strip it out and ignore it. Make the necessary changes and then, test again!

2: Copy
We’ve touched on the subject line, so if you will, consider the sheer volume of non-relevant e-mails that we all receive on a day-to-day basis. Bearing in mind the character and space limitations, our titles need to be succinct and they need to connect effectively with target groups in order to leverage opens. In other words, they need to stand-out from the crowd! So that said, consider that, before we buy anything, many marketers believe that the buyer has recognised a ‘problem’ and that they are searching for products and services as a solution to that problem. If we can communicate an understanding of these problems and suggest that we can provide the key to the solution within these short e-mail titles, then we’re half-way there. However, a word of caution: You must avoid what are referred to as ‘spammy’ words in your title and indeed, in your body text to a (slightly) lesser extent.

Something worth exploring is using symbols in your titles. A recent Experian report showed an increase in open rates compared to plain text titles. But please, send those test emails prior to broadcast to ensure consistent reproduction across all platforms.

If your titles, headings and copy contain ‘spammy’ words, especially ‘monetary’, ‘sales’ and ‘offers’ related terms, the chances are that e-mail servers and platforms that subscribe to blacklists will identify your message as spam and block you at best. At worst, they’ll blacklist you. If you end up on a blacklist, something easily achieved, it’s time-consuming and often a confusing process to delist, and until you have done so successfully, your day-to-day business e-mails may well be blocked, thus compromising your business operations.

Of course, like all marketing communications, your e-mail copy needs to be in the register, tone and language of your target group. Keep email copy minimal and to the point, and ask yourself “Is my copy relevant and is it useful?”. If you can answer this with an honest ‘Yes, of course it is”, then try and write your e-mail in excerpts rather than full posts. After all, the primary objective of your e-mail is surely to push people towards your website to find more information, to hopefully buy something, or to click the ‘contact us’ button. 


If your messaging is less formal, how about utilising emojis? A picture speaks a thousand words, they say. However, consider that Google’s emojis are slightly different from say Android’s emojis and may well look a little different when they arrive in the inbox. But then, you’ll be testing your e-mails of course.

A hugely attractive feature of e-mail marketing is how we can personalise our messages. We can include the recipient’s name in the salutation, the body text and even the title by using simple short-codes that link to your data (pulling in first and surnames when required). With personalised emails being 26% more likely to be opened, this is undoubtedly a technique not be be ignored. But, overuse personalisation and it might well work against you and repel readers. Once they’ve opted-out of your emails, you can’t legally e-mail them again!

We all know that e-mails are rather ‘viral’ by nature, meaning that recipients can easily share the content by forwarding them to friends and colleagues who they feel might also find the content of use and interest. We can easily add social media ‘like’ and ‘share’ buttons to our messages, forward-to-a-friend hyperlinks, as well as subscribe buttons for those who may have come across the message indirectly, or were forwarded the e-mail.





3: The Law
Sounds like the stuffy part, right? Wrong! Well, right, but ‘Ahhh GDPR is here!’ - E-mail marketing works very well as a ‘relationship marketing’ tool; It’s ideal for keeping in touch with existing clients and contacts. It’s cheap to produce with no postage costs and advert placement costs. Conversely though, it’s not ideal as a first-point-of-contact medium and unless you bear in mind a few established guidelines and legalities, you may well land yourself in hot water at worst and with annoyed customers at best.

Firstly, your e-mail must state your company name, its legal status and registered address, usually in the footer. It must feature an opt-out feature and you cannot by law send e-mails to contacts again unless they specifically double opt-(back)in to your list. Double opt-in means that targets click to join your list, are sent a confirmation e-mail and are required to respond to this to confirm legitimacy.

With the European-wide GDPR data protection laws coming into force this May, organisations face fines for sending to lists and individuals who have not expressly given their permission to be sent information. This has been consumer law for some time now, but GDPR is going to make it very enforceable and very real!

… and finally
With 92% of online adults utilising e-mail and 61% of these using it on an average day, we hope you don’t need any more convincing that, when executed correctly, e-mail marketing is highly advantageous. 

E-mail is a superb way of communicating regularly with your customers and target groups and unlike other forms of marketing, you can track e-mail marketing through the broadcast software, as well as through your own website analytics. Stay on the right side of data protection law, e-mail servers and e-mail blacklists and you could well see a significant return on a comparatively minimal investment in no time.

So, follow our ‘easy as 1, 2, 3’ steps and as we’ve mentioned, TEST your email! Once you’ve sent it, you’ve sent it. Test it on all e-mail platforms, on all desktop and mobile devices. Ask your colleagues and favourite clients to read it. Test it on your grandma. Test it on your pets. Just…  

OK, to learn more about sending effective e-mails for business, click here to speak to a member of The New Fat team nowhave a look at our portfolio or check out our latest offer!

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Why You Should Consider Using Direct Mail in Your Marketing Mix



In this ever-increasing online world - how does printed marketing / mail correspondence fit in with your marketing strategy?
 
We have reviewed some statistics that give us an insight into how the public perceives mailed communications compared to email or other forms of brand marketing.


Positive scores for mail are on the increase, indicating that mail can work alongside traditional broadcast channels and digital media to deliver stronger business outcomes.


Trust is a big issue - in a climate of doubt and distrust, traditional mail is valued and seen as secure. Becoming a trusted source of information or quality products is invaluable when raising your profile.





People seem to feel that mail and other printed communications are intrinsically more trustworthy, perhaps because they are phyisically more tangible. In fact, we seem ‘hard-wired’ to believe in what we see printed, but have a lack of faith when it comes to pixels on a screen.  


So, what is giving mailed communications such a boost?
Possible reasons are the ever improving quality of the mail itself, better use of data or the comparative rarity of posted marketing in relation to email.

Reading an item of mail is an active process that demands the dedicated attention of the viewer. In recent research, 65% of respondents said they gave mail their full attention, compared with only 35% who said the same for email.

72% of people said they often read and review some of their mail at a time when they can give it their full attention.


Although the cost of print mail is higher - the return on investment (ROI) is worthwhile. 

Seemingly print will always be an avenue that should be considered for any marketing strategy. Depending on your industry and client base, mail correspondence could play a vital role in your brand recognition and success.

This month we are offering £100 off the design and print of A5 leaflets. Find out more on The New Fat website or read our latest case study

Read the full report and source of this data at: - The Value of Mail in Uncertain Times

Friday, 1 December 2017

Design Trends of 2018

Graphic design is constantly evolving and as each year comes and goes, so do trends. As the new year fast approaches, now seems a great time to look at the hotly anticipated design trends for 2018.

Modern Day Vintage and Popping Colours

Colour - Modern Day Vintage and Popping Colours
With brands like Instagram utilising strong and vibrant colour transitions to boost bold and simple designs, it comes as no surprise that other brands are taking on similar styles. 2018 is likely to see the continued resurrection of gradients and the era of flat design enhanced.

Duo-tones have also seen an exponential rise since Spotify created a colourful campaign for their playlist images. Combining contrasting colours with the texture of halftone creating a two-toned image full of energy.

Pairing bold colour transitions or duo-tone images with retro colour pallets from the 80s and 90s is on trend. It seems like a contradiction but modern day vintage is in! Combinations of punchy and pastel pinks with electric hues of blue and purple with pattern bursts continue to enhance flat designs.




Subtle Depth and Juxtaposing Elements

Layout - Subtle Depth and Juxtaposing Elements
As we move away from ultra-flat design we see the evolution of asymmetric and split page design. Using neutral space in a creative way and juxtaposing contrasting elements. Long, soft shadows lift ultra-flat towards the 2018 trend of semi-flat designs, adding a subtle depth. 

Retro and geometric pattern backgrounds are back in the mainstream as kids of the 80s and 90s gain more influence, not only in the world of design and marketing but as consumers. 

Authentic images add a personal touch, revealing real-life moments as they happen, exposing a human side to brands. A welcome and refreshing shift away from dry, staged and uninspired stock photography, which will always be prevalent. 




Integrated and Creative Typography

Typography - Integrated and Creative
Leading the way for the developing trends of 2018 is the use of creative typography. Imagination is forging the path of cropped, chaotic and intersecting typography. Removing elements of letterforms and intertwining type with imagery and graphic elements makes for a beautifully modern, but unconventional twist on design. Moving away from the norm, breaking up words and playing with unusual alignments. Bold fonts are at the forefront, adding impact and order to chaotic but eye-pleasing designs. 

This new style of interactive typography may not suit all design projects but creativity, form and function can still prevail. Composition is key. Typography combined with a strong colour palette and great layout is the perfect recipe for engaging design.




Mobile First Design

Web design - Mobile First
As static websites become a thing of the past, the way we design a responsive site is changing. Increasingly, smartphones and tablets are the primary choice for first stage browsing and for websites with a mobile majority we must rethink the key aspects of the user experience. Mobile first design is set to be a new way of thinking in 2018. Stripping back design, bringing in form and function and building up to desktop where creativity can come into play. 

As 2018 beckons, refreshing trends are revitalizing the world of graphic design and shifting focus to originality. Moving away from ultra-flat design and welcoming creative typography, eye popping colours, beautiful patterns and a new way of thinking in website design.

Get in touch and lets make 2018 the year of creativity.