How your website's design can prove a formidable storytelling tool

Piranha Designs - Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Are you old enough to recall the early days of the World Wide Web in the early '90s? If so, you probably have lingering memories of the rudimentary appearance of websites of the time, compared to today's much more aesthetically slick and sophisticated online portals.

Reassuringly, web design techniques have advanced leaps and bounds since then, allowing modern webmasters to communicate essential details in many different ways.

If you wish to tell a riveting story through your website, you can even use design components to do it, as the following examples show.

Let your visitor form their own online persona

When you watch a great film or book, it's possible to relate to the lead character so strongly that you can easily imagine yourself in your shoes, effectively making yourself the hero.

Unless you feel emotionally invested in a given character, you probably won’t be greatly eager to follow their journey.

You can take inspiration from this for your website by allowing the visitor to create their own persona – complete with an avatar and detailed profile – that they can use when exploring the site.

Carefully select images to guide the visitor through a story

You might not have known that people are 22 times likelier to remember data when it is presented to them in a narrative form. Furthermore, as we digest visual material at a 60% faster pace than textual content, you shouldn't overlook visual elements like video and animation.

You could incorporate the above media into your site as chunks of a visually-told story. If your company offers package holidays to exotic locations, for example, photographs of the destinations could show prospective holidaymakers where they could take steps for real.

Symbols enable you to use mobile screen space more effectively

Apple recently grabbed headlines when it launched the iPhone XS Max with a supposedly monstrously large screen. However, the device’s display actually measures only 6.5 inches diagonally, which still makes it much smaller than the average laptop screen.

The continued popularity of smartphones means web designers have to keep asking themselves how they can communicate information effectively within limited real estate.

However, easily recognisable symbols can effectively convey all manner of information to visitors within a small amount of space. One obvious example of this is the hamburger menu button, which takes the form of three horizontal bars meant to resemble a collapsed navigational menu.

Would you like your own organisation’s new website to embrace techniques like the above for concisely communicating vital information and telling a story? If so, you may wish to enquire to our skilled and seasoned website design professionals about how they can help.

Some lesser-spotted advice on optimising your site content for search engines

Piranha Designs - Wednesday, October 17, 2018

While the design of your website will always play a central role in ensuring it ranks well in the search engines, it can be easy to forget just how crucial the most relevant content also is. If your site content isn’t relevant to anyone, you can’t expect to generate many visitors and revenue from natural search.

It’s therefore well worth considering the below strategies for tweaking your site content in a manner that is search engine optimisation (SEO) friendly.

Allow keyword research to guide your content strategy

Keyword research is a key component of all of our SEO and marketing packages here at Piranha Designs, and with good reason. The higher the standard of your keyword research, the more you will know about what searchers truly want.

That’s why keyword research is so vital when you come to devise your natural search and content strategies for your site. Good keyword research enables you to spot the gaps in your site that you need to fill with fresh content.

It’s also important to assign intent to keyword themes – whether the user is looking for information, to make a purchase or to merely navigate relevant sites – so that you can craft the content that will stimulate and fulfil the visitor’s desire in each case.

Make sure you aren’t competing with yourself

Once you have established certain keyword themes, you will be able to map them to specific pages of your site to accommodate the broadest range of relevant keywords.

This greatly helps to ensure you don’t end up simply attempting to optimise every page of your site for a similar set of in-demand keywords, thereby forcing your pages to compete with each other for rankings.

Optimise in both scalable and manual ways

You can efficiently enhance your site’s tag-based content through the use of default ‘formulas’ for generating title tags, meta descriptions, headings and image alt attributes.

However, it’s also true that you can only get so far with your SEO when you depend purely on formulas. In any case, your pages based on the highest-value keyword themes will need to be manually optimised as part of the fine-tuning process.

In a lot of cases, you might simply find yourself needing to fix awkward grammar brought about by the aforementioned formulas. One aspect of your pages that should always be manually optimised, however, is the main body of text, as you can’t apply scalable optimisation methods to what is supposed to be creatively written content.

These tips cover just some of the many elements that you will need to think about when you are tweaking and adjusting your site with the search engines in mind. Contact Piranha Designs’ Gibraltar, London or Edinburgh offices today, and we can give you more hands-on assistance with your site’s search engine profile.

Struggling to find good-quality, free stock photos? Try these 5 sites

Piranha Designs - Friday, October 12, 2018

While – in an ideal world – you may aspire to only populate your website with images that your company has created itself, the truth is that there will also likely be times when the use of stock photos on your site is necessary or desirable. In any case, there are many high-quality stock images out there; a lot of the problem for online business owners is the difficulty of finding them.

This is why you may be thankful for our below suggestions of free stock photo sites.

Unsplash

With Unsplash having even been used for the default theme provided with WordPress, it has come to command a great deal of respect in the stock-photo world. Its library now consists of a whopping 600,000 high-resolution images, and more are continually being added by the site’s photographer community.

Pexels

There aren’t too many better sources of high-quality free stock images than Pexels, which draws its photos with user contributions and free-image sites. Visitors can browse hundreds of thousands of photos, while the search feature and use of tagging makes it easy to find the perfect image for almost any conceivable application.

Pixabay

It’s one of the most instantly recognisable names in the stock-photo world, and with good reason. Pixabay is a relatively ancient site by the standards of most stock image portals, having been launched ‘way back’ in November 2010. However, the opportunity that it affords you to sift through more than 1.5 million copyright-free images and videos surely can’t be passed up when you are in need of such commercial-ready material that also doesn’t require you to request permission for use.

New Old Stock

Stock images aren’t a phenomenon solely of the 21st century, and New Old Stock takes advantage of this fact, granting you access to all manner of vintage photos and image collections from the public archives that aren’t subject to any known copyright restrictions. Both colour and black and white images are available, as may be handy for those areas of your site where you’re delving into the past.

Startup Stock Photos

It’s worth keeping an eye out for any stock photo sites that specifically represent your industry or even, in the case of Startup Stock Photos, your company’s size and stage of development. Expect to see images on this site that include laptops, whiteboards, office spaces and all of the other paraphernalia and motifs associated with small companies.

Remember that when you turn to Piranha Designs for CMS website design services, we will provide you with stock photo library access as part of our Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum plans, further strengthening the range of images from which you can pick for your site. Simply call our Gibraltar, London or Edinburgh offices today for more information.


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