With so many branding and design agencies around, how do you choose the right partner to work with?
Establish your search criteria
The way you look for a partner will determine the kind of organisation you will find. Most of the larger branding agencies don't advertise, and rely on word of mouth and recommendations. If this is your preferred route, then ask around, speak to your peers and find out who they have worked with.
Putting your branding contract out for tender will bring some of the biggest and best agencies directly to you. A concise, well written tender will yield the best results, so be as specific as possible about your needs and desires.
Set the brief
A detailed brief will pay dividends to the outcome of your search for the right agency. Be as specific as possible, and don't be afraid be put over your requirements, you may exclude some agencies, but perk the interest of the right ones. You don't need to know exactly how you want your branding to look, but you do need to be specific about the amount of work that you are willing to commit to.
Understand your audience
It's importance to understand your target demographic, and being able to identify an agency who is experienced in your market will make your decision much easier to make. If you understand your audience, you can ensure that a branding agency can do so too. A good branding agency will be able to create an image that will communicate effectively with your audience.
Once you have a shortlist of agencies that you'd like to work with, it's a great idea to compare them with each other. This way you'll find that some have certain strengths in certain areas, some weaknesses in others, and unique skill sets that will help you reach your branding goal. If pricing is your main criteria, this is a good point to identify who is the most cost effective, and who are out of your price range.
It's now down to the agencies to impress you with their proposals. A good proposal should be detailed, with information about the project, the agency, their staff and their clients. A schedule of work including research, initial draft artworking, brain storming and ideas gathering, as well as the actual technical aspect of the branding exercise should all be detailed.
A full costing break down will also be included at this stage, allowing you to see exactly what you're paying for, from the research stage to the final artwork and file handover.
Search engine optimisation or ‘SEO’ is vital to any online business. Ranking well on Google can mean the difference between the success or the failure of your business. Our SEO experts have compiled their top tips for helping your website reach the top search results of Google:
1. Find the best keywords
The fist thing to do before performing any SEO work is to carry out your research, and ascertain the keyword terms that you need to be found for. As a Google Certified Partner, we have access to tools such as Key Word Planner - this allows us to work out the most effective keywords for your business. We also conduct a full competitor analysis which shows what your rivals are doing, and how we can achieve better results.
2. On-site SEO
This is the practice of optimising the back-end of your website. There is a whole host of steps to take including meta tag creation, page titles and pages descriptions to name just a few. You must ensure that there is a cohesion to each page's keywords, and that there is no repetition throughout the site. Keyword density within your content must be carefully considered, and a structured strategy throughout the site is vital.
3. Off-site SEO
Off-site SEO refers to any practices that are performed outside of your website, specifically backlinks and external work like article writing and blog submissions. Having a link to your domain from another site that holds good credibility gives your site a huge advantage over your competitors. We hold a database of thousands of high authority websites that provide us and our clients with exclusive backlinks.
4. Quality content
One of the most important aspects of your website when it comes to effective SEO is to have quality content. Thorough and concise descriptions of your products and services is essential, as well as lots if information about who you are and what you do. We have a team of highly skilled copywriters who can populate your site with quality content with high relevancy and balanced keyword density.
5. Mobile responsiveness
With the latest update of Google’s search algorithms, mobile responsiveness is now prioritised above all other aspects of your website. If your website isn’t optimised for mobile devices, it simply will not rank well. Over 70% of Google searches are now conducted on smartphones and tablets, meaning the vast majority of people looking at your website will be doing so on a smaller screen. All websites that we build for our clients are fully mobile responsive and retina display optimised.
When it comes to your company, visually effective branding can make a huge difference to your profile. A strong, evocative logo is just the start. Branding includes your corporate colours, image styles, and fonts. These will all be put together as part of your company's visual guidelines - a hand book for your brand, and the journey to reach that stage can be an exciting one of discovery and creativity.
To create an effective brand, we must fully understand your company. This is achieved through in-depth research and a full immersion into your business. We can do this with site visits, brain storming sessions with CEOs, creative meetings with marketing teams, and even interviews with your employees to give our team the very best insight into your organisation. Reaching this level of insight will give us a more rounded understanding of your core values, your market and your target audience.
To gain maximum appeal in your sector, we must also understand your customer base, their aspirations, their wants and needs. We can look at your client profile, the intended demographic reach and find the best way to appeal to them.
This unique approach has allowed us to create a host of successful and visually impacting brands. Our creative design work has helped our clients to grow and thrive in their sectors, gaining a wider reach amongst their sector, and giving their existing customers confidence in their products and services.
If you would like a branding consultation, get in touch with the team today. Our Manchester based offices are perfectly located to host branding meetings and visual exercises. We can re-brand your existing company profile, or create something completely new for start up organisations.
The dream for many people is to generate a passive income - basically earn money every day without doing anything. Obviously there is a set up period in which you need to establish your cash generating idea, but once all the hard work is done, you can just sit back and watch the money roll in. But this doesn't have to be just a dream, many people earn a living this way, but just how do they do it?
The answer is affiliate marketing. The best way to describe affiliate marketing is making money by way of referrals to other organisations. The most popular example of this business model is the Amazon Affiliates scheme. For example, you set up a review site, reporting on the latest tech products, each with a link to purchase the item. This link takes the user through to Amazon's site, and you unique referral code means you earn a percentage. The problem with this affiliate programme is that it's been done to death, you'll be hard pushed to find a niche that hasn't been exposed.
Another market to explore is the online gambling industry. Almost all online bookmakers and casinos offer a cash incentive for referrals, many of which offer the biggest fee's you can find. But it's no easy task. The first thing you need to do is build your own website. It could be a review site of the different casinos, it could be a betting tips site for horse racing, whichever angle you decide to take, the functionality of the website is the key to it's effectiveness.
Our in-house web design and development team based in our Manchester office have created a huge range of affiliate marketing sites, all of which the owners enjoy a passive income. If you would like some more information on how our team can help you build your business, contact us today here, we'd be delighted to hear from you.
You can buy literally anything online these days, and we see new eCommerce store popping up all the time. Advances in web technology has made it accessible for anyone to build an online shop and list their products. But what does it take to make that shop a success?
All too often we see people attempting to build their own fashion empire or digital goods emporium using free online store builders like Wix or Squarespace, and are left baffled when their business fails due to lack of sales. Here are our top tips to avoid the usual pitfalls of new online businesses.
Get the experts in
Although you might think you’re saving money by building a store yourself, you have to ask yourself the following questions: ‘Have I ever built a website before?’ and ‘Do I know how to make it a success?’ if the answers to both of those questions are a resounding NO then you need to re-evaluate your plan. Here at Premier Web Consultancy we have built thousands of websites, so we know how to do it, and how to make it a success.
Choose your niche
If you don’t already have a product or range of products in mind, you need to find a previously untapped niche. There’s no point entering a saturated market like the fashion industry unless your have a very exciting USP, or trying to build the next AO.com if you don’t have a unique offering, you’ll just get chewed up by the big boys.
Take great pictures
So you’ve got a fabulous website, and have lined up the perfect products, the most important step is to professionally photograph them. Ideally on a white background in a well lit studio. If you have a creative streak you can give it a try yourself, Fred Aldous in Manchester city centre provides full studio and equipment hire for just £20 per hour. Images sell the products, and can make or break your online business.
Find your customers
With the best will in the world, customers won’t come to you if they don’t know about you, your products or your website, so you have to find your audience. Luckily the world of internet marketing is here to help. You can reach out on various social media platforms, approach the press if you have something particularly impressive, and even try our SEO services in Manchester.
Reward loyalty and retain customers
Once you have your audience and you’re making sales, it’s important to recognise your customers. Keep them up to date with special offers via mail shots, send them discount codes, offer them free postage, whatever it takes to encourage them to come back and spend again.
Cross sell your products
A well built eCommerce store will allow you to link relevant products together, presenting the customer with more buying opportunities.
Rinse and repeat
Once you have a winning formula, there’s nothing stopping you from replicating your success. Learn the lessons that your first venture has taught you, and do it all over again, perhaps in a different sector, a little diversification never hurt anyone!
There are literally hundreds of website design agencies in Manchester alone, and even more freelancers, so how do you choose the right partner?
For some people it's all about cost - the cheapest deal they can find will win the contract, for others its about finding an agency that understands their business or has experience in their sector. Here's our top tips for finding the right web designer in Manchester.
Write a brief
This is the most important stage when it comes to finding a web designer, it means you have a clear understanding of what you want your website to achieve, and it gives everyone else a set of deliverables which they must work towards. Armed with a clear, concise brief means you'll find it much easier communicating with prospective designers and developers.
Understand your requirements
Having an in-depth understanding of your requirements is vital, especially for a larger web build. Set these requirements out and stick with them. You might want your website to help people locate your business, promote your latest offers, or even sell your products online.
Establish your search criteria
How you look for a web design agency will determine the kind of results you can expect. If you post a status on Facebook saying that you're looking for a web site designer, then you'll get bombarded with freelancers and amateurs. If you search Google then you'll find the top results are usually the larger and more expensive agencies. If you ask your friends and business associates for recommendations you'll get much more reliable prospects.
Set a budget
It makes life so much easier if you decide how much you can spend on your new website, and be honest with people. A clearly defined budget means an agency can work out what they can offer you for that price, it doesn't mean they're going to take the money and run.
There's no harm in shopping around, you wouldn't buy the first car you come across, so why should it be the same with your website. There are many agencies offering different types of services at different prices, so have a discussion with a good handful of developers to get an idea of cost, their abilities and how they can help you and your business.
For larger projects it's vital that you get written proposals or statement of works from your prospective agencies, this demonstrates that they understand your requirements, and you can judge their abilities.
Our client Type 1 Clothing has gained a huge amount interest in the press around the world since the launch of their fabulous eCommerce website that we built for them.
T1 design and manufacture specialised clothing aimed at helping the lives of type one diabetics. The website www.t1clothing.com has been featured on the BBC News platform with over 3million views on Facebook (video below), various radio stations across the country, and even caught the attention of Chelsea Clinton. Ashton Kutcher's news platform featured an article on Type 1 Clothing, and the attention has been growing on a global scale. Orders have come in from around the world, and the support for the cause has been phenomenal.
Type 1 Clothing's founder Natalie Balmain has been inundated with media appearance and interview requests through the website, which is an advanced eCommerce platform, built in-house by our design and development team. The site serves as both a showcase to Natalie's clothing line and as a way to help combat the stigmatists based on the condition by informing, educating and inspiring.
We were delighted to be named as the web design and online marketing agency of choice for Manchester’s most exciting fashion brand to emerge in the last few years. Type 1 Clothing is a specialist fashion label that designs and manufactures clothing which is primarily aimed at type 1 diabetics - but it’s so stylish that everyone want’s a piece of the brand.
Type 1 Clothing’s head designer and managing director, Natalie Balmain, saw a gap in the market for functional yet fashionable clothing which made the life of diabetics much easier. The main problem that girls with the condition face is that fashionable clothing doesn’t allow for easy access to skin for administering injections or for those wearing medical attachments like insulin pumps or catheters.
Girls can feel isolated and self conscious about their condition, especially in a public environment like a restaurant or bar. The range of jumpsuits, dresses, skirts and tops all have strategically placed zips, panels and pouches, which are all completely hidden, or built into the design of the garment. It allows the wearer to administer their injections or adjust their pumps discreetly and easily. This allows the wearer to inject without having to go to the toilet, pulling their pants down or getting half undressed - whilst looking fabulous in modern but timeless pieces.
With such an innovative product range that’s making a real change to the lives of girls suffering with the condition, it was only right that a state the art eCommerce website was built to reflect the extraordinary company. Our design and development team came up with a very minimalist yet stylish concept, with the unique clothing range being the stars of the show. It was really important to give the imagery prominence, and not distract the viewer away from the range with fussy design or complicated navigation.
A mainly monotone colour palette was used, with subtle hints of pastel blue for buttons and links. The navigation bar is placed at the top of the screen, with the clothing range easily accessible at multiple points. It was important to display as much information about each item of clothing on their own dedicated pages, with multiple images, a zoom function and also size selections.
The shopping cart functionality is seamless, and the stock management system is intuitive and easy to use. It allows any items that have been ordered to be marked as 'dispatched', with automated emails sent to the customer informing them of their order status. For more information on our eCommerce solutions contact us on 0161 40 85 123 or contact us here.
Because they’d have nothing to do in the afternoon!
The world of graphic design and creativity can be a strange one to the outsider. With lots of pondering and crazy workspaces with weird and wonderful furniture used for inspiration, a good designer is strange creature…
Often wrapped up in their own creative world, the typical graphic designer has a boutique style office in a trendy city, wears black-rimmed glasses and turtle necks. He has a Macbook Pro slung over his shoulder, a bald head and a great pair of shoes.
What makes him special is his ability to think differently to other people. He seeks inspiration from the strangest of places, and can see potential in things that would be often overlooked by mere mortals. But it is this that often brings out his best work.
A lot of creative’s get a block, weather it be writers, designers, musicians or anything, this is why we here at Premier Web Consultancy encourage our web designers to take to the city, meet people, go places, do things, express themselves. Only when a designer is most at ease and contempt will their creative juices flow.
The PWC designers have achieved the perfect balance of Yin and Yang, and create incredible and beautiful websites every single day.
To find out how talented our designs really are, get in touch, and we’ll show you…
Many web design and development companies in Manchester and indeed throughout the UK often charge extortionate amounts for their services. But why is that? Do they build the sites on 24 carat Macs or something??
For professional websites, design consultancies usually generate a brief for the client based on initial meetings and specifications, present a proposal, develop initial ideas and generate a number of revisions before even beginning the construction of a website. Once completed, the sites are often platform tested, bugged and beta'd as well as being adapted for their client's required platforms and hardware.
So how can Premier Web Consultancy charge so little?
PWC have turned the web design industry on it's head with a unique way of operating. With low upfront fees and no extra costs, we provide professional standard business grade websites for a fraction of what it would usually cost the end user. For a competitive price, our client’s receive a website that rival those costing 10 times the price.
This is achieved by the unique way in which we operate. Having a purpose built platform and in-house design team, as well as extremely low overheads and running costs, these savings are passed directly on to our clients.
Not only that, but we use our own hosting service, with a server dedicated to our customers. This ensures minimal down time, and maximum online presence.