Web

Google Speed Update: What you need to know

  Your website shouldn't leave people staring at their watch. 

Your website shouldn't leave people staring at their watch. 

It’s no secret that speed is central to user experience -- and slow load times translate to a higher bounce rate and less traffic. Think about it: How long did you wait around last time a page wasn’t loading? In addition to annoying users, a delayed page speed means users will read less once the page does load.

With all that in mind, it comes as no surprise that in June 2018 page speed will officially become a ranking factor in mobile search results. The algorithm update was announced in January and has been named the ‘Speed Update’.
 


Wait a second, isn’t speed already a factor? 

Why, yes, it’s true that page speed has been a ranking factor since 2009 – but, it’s never been an official factor for mobile ranking speed. According to a blog post by Google on the topic: “Although speed has been used in ranking for some time, that signal was focused on desktop searches...Starting in July 2018, page speed will be a ranking factor for mobile searches.”

 

What Google has said

If you’re already in a panic, take a deep breathe, because Google has said the new algorithm will “only affect pages that deliver the slowest experience to users, and it will only affect a small percentage of queries.” (source)

Google has also repeatedly stated that the intent behind a user’s query will still be the strong ranking factor -- so if a website has a slow page, but the content of that page is relevant and high in quality, it may still rank highly regardless.

But, how fast are we talking? In a Google Webmaster video, Maile Ohye, states that “2 seconds is the threshold for e-commerce website acceptability.At Google, we aim for under a half second.”

It’s no secret that over the last two years Google has been implementing a mobile first strategy that prioritizes mobile-optimized sites. The Speed Update just takes this initiative a step further by prioritizing speed, which is key to mobile responsiveness. 

 

What you need to do

In preparation for the Speed Update, Google has recommended a number of resources to help gauge where your website’s performance is at.

1. Chrome User Experience ReportChrome User Experience will give you intel on how real-world Chrome users experience popular destinations on the web, and the factors that shape and contribute to their final user experience.

2. LighthouseLighthouse is an open-source, automated tool for improving the quality of web pages. You can run it against any web page, public or requiring authentication. It has audits for performance, accessibility, progressive web apps, and more.

With each audit (which only takes between 60 to 90 seconds), you’ll receive a document detailing what’s important to fix, and how you can fix it. Suggestions could range to anything from oversized and unoptimized images, to unused CSS rules and render-blocking scripts.

3. PageSpeed InsightsAnother one of Google’s powerful speed tools, PageSpeed Insights will analyze your page and present you with a page speed rating, optimization score (out of 100), page load distributions, page stats and optimization suggestions. 

The recommendations might range from things like prioritizing visible content and leveraging browser cashing, to eliminating render-blocking Javascript and CSS in the above-the-fold content. 

 

What's next

Once you've made all the updates possible you'll need to monitor your search rankings. Keep in mind that because the update is entirely algorithmic, there’s no tool that will just simply show you which pages have been dinged – after you make all the adjustments you can to increase page speed, you’ll have to keep an eye on your mobile rankings to make sure your site isn’t taking a hit.

Looking for even more resources to get your page up to speed? We’ll leave you with this list to check out: 


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10 ways to make B2B blogs more enjoyable

When it comes to business to business (B2B) marketing, blogging can be a valuable tool. Your blog is a great place to showcase your knowledge and dive in-depth on your products, in a way that you wouldn’t able to in a quick tweet or status update. 

The downside is that B2B marketing has a reputation for being boring – and, unfortunately, in our experience a lot of the content we see lives up to that expectation. There’s a common misconception that blogs targeted towards other businesses need to have a straightforward or corporate feel. While we don’t believe you should compromise your professionalism, we believe it’s possible to share your knowledge without putting everyone to sleep. 

If you’re looking to give your business marketing a more approachable feel, we suggest you check out these tips to keep your marketing focused, but fun, for the reader. We believe that B2B marketing done right might even be what helps set you apart from a competitor! 

 

10 Ways to Make B2B Blogs More Enjoyable  |  Hue & Tone Creative

 

1.  Talk like a human

No matter how interested a potential customer is in your topic, talking like a robot is going to lead to people clicking off your website. Type like you talk, keep it simple, and don’t be afraid to push the conventional boundaries -- i.e. don’t let that red squiggly line stop you from experimenting with your words!

One caveat? Just make sure your meaning and professionalism aren’t lost in too much slang. If you wouldn’t say something in the workplace, don’t type it on the blog. 

 

2.  Don’t forget the fun factor

Business owners, directors, and managers still have a sense of humor, so don’t sap all the fun out of your blogs. Adding fun anecdotes or playful pictures into your blogs can help them feel more relatable. 

 

3.  Don’t baffle them with jargon

Getting lost in the jargon of a blog is never productive. Ever. Even though you’re addressing to other experts in your field, you’ll want to talk in simple terms and only use jargon when it’s needed. You never want to assume every reader knows what you do, so be sure to explain terms on the first instance you use them.

 

4.  Don’t publish a wall of text

Stay away from clunky chunks of text -- they’re not enjoyable to look at or read. Use subheadings, pull quotes, and succinct paragraphs to make your text easier to browse. Even if you’re publishing a whitepaper, there’s no reason not to give your readers a pleasant and intuitive experience. 

 

5.  Mix up your mediums

Remember, blogs don’t always have to be written like an article. Try out creating an infographic or recording a video blog. You can also consider publishing presentations or papers – it’s content you’ve already created, and chances are if it was worth presenting about it’s a relevant topic. Don’t reinvent the wheel if you don’t have to, just share the work you’ve already done! 

 

6.  Use images creatively

In need of some fresh photos? We’ve complied a list of FREE stock photo sites

If your blog is long, add a few images in along the way so that it’s not too text heavy. Be creative with your choice of images, and try to refrain from using the same handful of stock photos repeatedly. 

 

7.  Keep it concise

Business owners are busy people, so the last thing they want is to have to read through three paragraphs of mumbo jumbo before actually getting to the relevant information. Get to the point early on and it’ll be a more enjoyable read all round.

 

8.  Use examples

Examples can be a great way to show off how you can help. Using real life scenarios are often more relatable to potential customers and give you a chance to show off your results and solutions. So, instead of explaining, start showing what you can do!

 

9. Sentence structures

Writing is a craft. Not everyone’s good at it -- nor are they expected to be. But when you’ve got a good writer on board, they can make even dullest topics enjoyable. Something as simple as mixing up sentence structures can quickly ramp up the readability-factor.

 

10.  Reader participation

Whether it’s adding a quick poll half way through a post or inviting readers to leave a comment at the end, getting your audience involved with your blog is another way to get them more invested in the content. 


Hue & Tone: Your partner in B2B Content Creation 

Need a helping hand to elevate your blogs to the next level? Here at Hue & Tone Creative, we’ve got you covered from the right words right to the perfect picture. Contact us today to learn more about our design and marketing services.

How to design a user-friendly form (and still get the information you need)

How to design a user-friendly form (and still get the information you need)  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Forms are essential for gathering user’s information in a smart and efficient way. Getting them wrong means a poor user experience and abandoned leads – which translates to missed opportunities and lost revenue. 

Because the formatting and design of your forms has a direct impact on how well they convert, we’ve collated some top tips to make sure your forms are performing as effectively as possible.  

 

1.  Form length: Always question the why

How long should a good form be? The more fields you give a user to fill out, the less likely someone will be to complete it. However, the more information a lead is willing to give, the more likely they are to be a qualified lead. Like most questions of quality versus quantity, the key is to strike a balance. 

For every question you have in your form, take a moment and really ask yourself why do I need this detail at this stage of the user’s journey? If some of the information can wait until later on in the buyer’s journey, consider leaving it out in an effort to streamline your form.

 

2.  Page placement

When adding a form to your website, it’s important to place the form near the top of the page. Visitors shouldn’t have to scroll to get to your form – and if they do, chances are they won’t fill the form out. 

 

3. Tailor the keyboard

In this day and age all forms need to be mobile responsive. But, did you know you can also take user experience a step further by customizing keyboard layouts? 

This one’s only for mobile or tablet forms, but we thought it deserved its own shout out. To make the user’s life eveneasier, you can code your site so that the keyboard changes each time a user clicks on a new field. For example, the keyboard will default to digits when they’re filling out their phone number. 

For more on how to do that, check out this Treehouse article

 

4.  Time saving tactics

Users are accustomed to a quick and easy sign-up process – nothing should slow them down from filling out the form you provided. To make sure their experience is as streamlined as possible, make sure you’re abiding by these tips: 

  • If the user has already provided you with information, make sure you’re pre-populating any fields you can.  
  • Instead of waiting until users click “submit,” make sure to highlight errors or overlooked fields as soon as users click on to the next field. Boxes with incorrect information should be highlighted in red straight away – that way users won’t be stuck scrolling through a form trying to figure out what needs to be fixed. 
  • If what you’re asking might be unclear, be sure to add descriptive information or a tip call out near what you’re asking. If a user gets stuck, you can be sure they’ll abandon the form. 
  • If there’s no way around using a lengthy form, give users an option to save their information so that they can return and complete it at a later date. And, if this is the case, be sure to automate email reminders that will nudge them to come back and complete the form. 

 

5. Submit button

Once the form is filled out, the last major factor for form success is the “submit” button. While labeling this button “submit” seems like an obvious choice, it may not be the best choice. 

According to Hubspot, landing pages with buttons labeled “Submit” actually have lower conversion rates than those that use other wording. Consider buttons that relate back to your initial offer, or sound less committal than "Submit." Try out things like: "Go," "Download your free e-book," or "Get Started." 

 

Further reading:  

Looking for a more resources on how to create effective forms and successfully convert leads? We’ll leave you with these three suggestions for further reading: 


Hue & Tone Creative: Greensboro Web, Design, and Social

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5 signs you need help with your content

5 signs you need help with your content  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Your content is at the core of everything you do. Every part of your business relies on strongly written content – everything from your website and welcome emails to business cards and online ads. 

But how do you know if your content is connecting with potential and future customers? We’ve put together a list of 5 key signs that you need to revamp your content or bring in some outside help to revive it. 

 

1.  Your traffic isn’t converting

Plenty of people are landing on your website, but your conversion rates are way below what you’d expect them to be. There are a whole load of factors that could be contributing to this, but content tends to be one of them – along with page design, graphics, and mobile compatibility. 

Across industries, the average landing page conversion rate was 2.35%, yet the top 25% are converting at 5.31% or higher. Ideally, you want to break into the top 10% — these are the landing pages with conversion rates of 11.45% or higher. 

Ask yourself -- does your content do your product or service justice? Does it clearly explain what you’re about? Does it speak to your audience in a way they want to be spoken to? Is it accurate and engaging? Does it give people a reason to choose you over your competitors? If you just answered with a stream of no’s, there’s plenty of room for improvement.

If you’re not sure how your content is being received, consider sending out a survey or asking a few key customers for their thoughts. Sometimes an outside perspective is needed!

 

2.  Your website it stale

When’s the last time you added a piece of content to your site? So long ago you can’t remember? Well, therein lies your problem.

Google likes to see fresh content, and places greater value on up-to-date, newsworthy articles. In a nutshell, if you don’t have fresh content, this means you could be impeding your efforts to gain organic traffic. A simple way to overcome this is by adding a blog section (and actually posting on it!) which will help improve your SEO (find out more about that here).

In addition to a blog, consider setting a calendar reminder that goes off every 6 months to prompt you to review and update the content on your static web pages.

 

3.  Social media struggles

If you’re constantly grasping for ideas of what to post on social media, it’s probably because you don’t have anything to shout about, and the reason you don’t have anything to shout about is probably because you haven’t published anything new – or, worse, you’re out of touch with your audience.

Regular, relevant content will bring your social media streams to life, give you something to talk about, get your audience engaging with you, and drive traffic to your website.

 

4.  People aren’t talking about you

If you want people to talk about you, you need to give them something to talk about. Producing great content will get people sharing it on social media, encourage other websites to link to your material, and can help get your audience engaged in new ways. 

The end result? Brand awareness, word of mouth advertising, more inbound links (which will benefit your SEO efforts) and inevitably more leads.

 

5.  No internal linking opportunities

Internal linking aids your website’s navigation, help you define the architecture and hierarchy of your site, and plays a part in building your website authority. 

When it comes down to it, the more relevant content you have, the more opportunities you have to add internal links. For example, we sent you to this article about SEO earlier in our blog post – but because we have so much relevant content we also could have linked you to this article or this article… or even this one! See? Relevant content builds linking opportunities. 


When it comes down to it, having a bank of relevant content not only makes your marketing more effective – it also makes things easier on you in the long run. Having a deep well of articles and posts to send people to gives you more to promote – as well as the behind-the-scenes SEO benefits of establishing authority. 

If you’re stuck on what to post about, we’ll leave you with this blog series for a little further reading. 


HUE & TONE: TRIAD BASED MARKETING SOLUTIONS

Completely stumped on what kind of content to post? Not even sure who your customers are? Or maybe you're just not sure how to reach them? We can help you answer all these questions -- and help you plan and enact solutions for all your marketing woes. Shoot us an email or give us a call. 

5 things we need to know before designing your website

5 things designers need to know before designing your website  |  Hue & Tone Creative

You want a brilliant website. We want you have to a brilliant website. But, to make that happen, there’s the small matter of distinguishing between what you think you want and what your business really needs.

Before we get going, here are a few quick facts for you. Did you know:

  • 38% of people say they’d leave a website if its content/layout was unattractive?
  • 94% of people gave poor web design as the reason for mistrusting or rejecting a website?
  • 46% of mobile users face difficulties interacting with a web page?

If anyone who’s reading this post doubts the importance of a good website, hopefully we’ll be able to clear up any confusion!

Whether you’re looking for a brand spanking new website or a revamp of your existing site, here are five things we need to know before helping you embark on your web design or redesign.

 

1.  What's the purpose of your site?

There’s a reason we’ve started with this question: it’s probably the most important one. Why? Because your end goal will heavily determine your website’s look, feel, navigation and layout.

Is your aim to sell a product or a service? Or both? Are you B2B or B2C? Are your offerings low or high value? Or do you exist to ply people with knowledge and information? Are you on the web to raise awareness? Or are you after a personal portfolio? There are endless options. All we need know is which goal is applicable to you – and the more specific the goal the better.

 

2. Who's your target audience? 

Your audience and their persona also play a large part in engineering your website, and this is where collecting data comes in handy. Examples of persona information include

 

Need help building your audience personas?

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  • Age bracket
  • Employment status
  • Living arrangements
  • Education
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Salary
  • Online behaviors
  • Pain points
  • Motivators
  • Personality traits
     

All of these elements (and more) will influence how people interact with a website and what makes them tick, which is why it’s essential the behavior of your ideal end user is incorporated into your design.

 

3. What kind of content will you be using?

You can’t have design without words, right? So who’ll be writing those words: you or us? If it’s us, do you have tone of voice guidelines? 

And, do you plan on having a blog? Try and think of the long game for this one. Even if you don’t think you’re in the position to have one in the immediate future, is it in the pipeline? If so, it makes sense to factor it into the design stage from the get go.

 

4.  What kind of branding do you already have established?  

If this isn’t your first stab at a site, it’s likely you’ll already have some form of branding guidelines established – for both your on and offline brand elements. So, the question is, are there elements of that branding you’re adamant on keeping? And if so, why? We need to know the why to help us build a robust picture of how you want your brand to look.

What have you learned about your existing brand since you started using it? How are customers responding – good or bad? Knowing this will help us to make any necessary tweaks to your branding so you can reach your maximum potential. 

Bonus question: If we’re making tweaks to your branding on the website, do you also need help updating things like your emails, social media, brochures, and letterhead?

 

5.  Do you have any no-go's?

Whether it’s from an old website of yours, your competitors’, or the local store you buy your groceries from -- are there any color palettes, page layouts, fonts or image styles you absolutely do not like? If so, let us know! 

This’ll help us to build only the elements you like into our wireframes and reduce unnecessary back and forth. The end result? You get your polished, finished product as soon as possible!


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Why You Need To Be Blogging

When business is booming, it’s easy to put blogging on the back burner. If you blog frequently, it can seem logical to cut back on something that can require a lot of your thought, time, resources, and skill. However, investing all that time and skill has a very real payoff -- 74% of businesses say that engaging blog content increases their quality and quantity of leads. Surely worth the investment, right?

There are umpteen reasons you need to be blogging, but for the purpose of this post we’ll focus our attention solely on some of the top SEO and brand authority benefits.
 

Why you need to be blogging  |  Hue & Tone Creative


Blogging is a staple part of your SEO strategy


Linking

First and foremost, blogging gives you significantly more opportunity to link internally. The logic is simple -- the more quality content you have on your site, the more relevant pages you can point visitors to.

The second opportunity comes in the form of external links. If you’re pushing out engaging, authoritative, and useful content, other sites will want to link to it, so that they can add value to their audience, too. Evergreen content (timeless content that attracts both first time and repeat readers) is especially great for this, because it can earn you links until the end of time - for free!
 

Enhance your engagement

Blogging not only helps to get visitors landing on your site, but it helps to retain them too. So, why does this matter? Low bounce rates and longer session durations are signs that you’re providing people with quality content, which is exactly what search engines look for when serving people search results. 

Long-term, this will boost your rankings and help you come up higher in a Google search. 
 

Target your keywords

Blogging is the perfect platform to target all your keywords – as long as you’re incorporating them organically, of course. It allows you to answer the questions your audience is asking, to engineer your content strategy towards what’s being searched for, and to produce intent-based blogs that help to convert.

The end result? Higher rankings, greater organic visibility, more traffic and an increase in sales.

 

Blogging build your brand’s authority


Become an industry leader

By pushing out timely, high-quality, accurate, and interesting content on a regular basis, you’ll prove yourself as a leader in your arena. People will trust you. When they’ve got a question, they’ll come directly to you. They’ll recommend you to others. And they’ll build a rapport with you without a single word being spoken.
 

They’ll keep on coming back

Great quality content wins lasting relationships. Poor quality content turns people away. One less than interesting article can lose you a visitor for life - it sounds extreme, but it’s true. Cast your mind back to a time when you landed on a poorly put together piece of content: what impression did it leave? And, how fast did you click away from that site? 
 

Get your name out there

Having a regular flow of posts helps you get your business out there. Whether it gets traction from external sites, is shared on social media, included in your weekly newsletter or promoted in paid ads, it gives you something to shout about. Without it, you’ll soon run out of things to say.

 

So, that’s it for our handpicked pros of blogging. What else do you need to know? Leave us a comment below! 


GRAPHIC DESIGN FOR GREENSBORO, NC AND BEYOND

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4 methods to measure your web traffic

Having a slick looking website is key. Having quality content is key. Having an SEO strategy is key. Having an enviable UX journey is key. But what use is all of that if you can’t, or aren’t, monitoring your results?

Measuring traffic is a monumental part of running a website - without it, all your efforts are essentially a guessing game. The benefits of meaningfully measuring your traffic are almost endless, but here’s a summary of our top six. It:
 

  • Identifies which pages are and aren’t working for you
  • Shows you where improvements can be made
  • Presents your business’ peaks and troughs
  • Allows you to identify trends and patterns
  • Provides a benchmark to continually evolve
  • Puts tangible data behind future design, journey and content adaptations
     

If you’re new to this data-driven side of things it can be daunting, but it needn’t be. To help you start your web traffic measurement journey, we’ve got four easy-to-use tools to share with you.

4 methods to measure your web traffic  |  Hue & Tone Creative


1. Google Analytics

Given it’s the leader of the pack, it only seemed natural to start with Google Analytics (GA). GA is a completely free tracking and reporting platform provided by Google, and it’s an absolute beast in the world of web traffic measurement.

So, let’s take a look at some key metrics you need to be getting the most out of:

Sources: Whether it’s email, SEO, PPC, social, referrals or otherwise, with GA, you can keep abreast of exactly which campaigns are driving traffic to your site, and how much of it they’re bringing in. This will help you to understand which campaigns are working, and which ones are falling flat.

Bounce rate: this is the number of people who land on your site and then ‘bounce’ straight back out. With this one, the lower the number the better. The bounce rate is a really good indicator as to how visitors interact with your site.

A high bounce rate could mean that people find the corresponding page difficult to navigate around, that they don’t like what’s on the page, or that the page isn’t what they expected it to be. Conversely, a low bounce rate shows that visitors have engaged with the page, so much so that they’ve gone and had a look elsewhere on your website.

Time on page: this one ties in nicely with what we’ve just been talking about. A high bounce rate and little time spent on page is the worst combo. Why? Because it’s a sign that the visitor is highly disengaged with what they’ve landed on.

On a more optimistic note, long page durations will show you which pages and content types visitors are interested in, which may help steer the direction you take other pages of your site.

Exit pages: quite simply, this’ll show you at what point visitors are abandoning your site. So, why is this so important? Of course, everyone will leave at one point or another, but if there’s a trend emerging that lots of your visitors are leaving on x page before they complete a conversion, it may well be a sign that some form of action needs taking to rectify it.

Such is the size of GA’s traffic tracking capabilities, we could literally go on forever. But hopefully we’ve given you a flavor of how it can steer your overall strategy.

 

2.  A/B testing

A/B testing lets you change what your traffic sees when it lands on your site - this could be anything from the text on the page to the color of a button.

So, why’s this so great? Because it puts real-life data behind which variations work best, which can subsequently steer your marketing efforts - for the better.

With A/B testing under your belt, you’re no longer sticking your finger in the air and implementing changes based on what you think might work. Instead, you can make informed decisions using a reliable and representative source of data.

One thing worth mentioning is that’s important to be patient and wait until you’ve built up a decent pot of data before coming to any conclusions. As with any type of research, the numbers need to be statistically significant to add value. Not sure what this means? Check out this calculator to help you with the maths. 

 

3.  Heatmaps

Another method you can use to measure your web traffic is setting up heatmaps: enter Hotjar (they’re big guns in this arena).

Heatmaps are a really handy way to monitor how your traffic interacts with pages on your site, by tallying up numbers for things like clicks, taps and scrolling behavior.

What does this tell you about your traffic? Well, it tells you where on your page visitors are losing interest. It tells you where people are clicking most, which might steer the placement of your page’s assets. It tells you if certain elements on your page are getting lost. And it tells you which part(s) of the page are drawing the most attention.

All of these learnings can form the basis of navigational, design and content decisions.

As with A/B testing, you should wait until you have a meaningful amount of data before interpreting your numbers and coming to conclusions. Heatmaps work by adding a snippet of code onto chosen pages, so if you’re after quick wins, it might be worth starting with sections of your site that you know receive large volumes of traffic.

 

4.  Visitor videos

Last but not least is the use of visitor recording tools. Admittedly, some of the perks overlap with that of a heatmap, but while heatmaps provide valuable numbers, videos let you actually see your visitors in action.

This helps you monitor and measure your traffic by:

  • Understanding visitors’ movements
  • Seeing how visitors interact on an individual level
  • Getting under the skin of why people get stuck in certain sections
  • Seeing exactly where visitors abandon you and forming a picture of the ‘why’
  • Allowing you to test new designs and journeys and how they impact your user experience.

The end result? Ample learnings to feed into your website strategy. If you’re unsure of where to go for video recording support, tools like UXPin, Inspectlet, Hotjar and Mouseflow do it well.


HUE & TONE: YOUR WEB MARKETING EXPERTS 

Know what you need to improve about your website, but not sure how to do it? Need a fresh perspective on your content and design? Give us a call. We're here to help you with all your web and graphic design needs -- big or small. 

What's the difference between a graphic designer and a developer?

What's the difference between a graphic designer and a developer?   |  Hue & Tone Creative

Although graphic design and web development are two totally different jobs, there’s an increasing level of confusion between the two. 

As online tools make it easier for people to learn new skills there’s been more and more overlap between the two roles. Graphic designers want to dabble in the coding side of things, and developers are paying more attention to the visual elements.

Although they are experiencing more and more of each other’s worlds, there are still several clearcut differences between the skillsets of graphic designers and developers — and you should know what they are before hiring someone to take on your next web project. 

 

Graphic designers

Creativity

Graphic designers do what they do because they are creative (well, the good ones are, anyway!). They can see your vision from the get go, come up with concepts, and then mock-up your dream website. 

They’re able to illustrate or design anything you might need and are explicitly tuned in to the aesthetic side of things.

 

Attuned to detail

Unlike developers, graphic designers have a fine eye for things like fonts, sizes, colors and spacing. Because they don't have to focus on making your site work, they're free to hone in on the small details. They’ll perfect and refine every element of your site to meet brand guidelines and will ensure consistency with the rest of your brand.

 

Marketing awareness

In addition to a fine eye for design, a good graphic designer has a better understanding of marketing as a whole. They not only stay up-to-date on design trends, but they also have a solid understanding of what's going on in the industry so they can keep your brand collateral on trend. Whether it’s an online UX experience or offline advert, they’re responsible for ensuring their designs not only look good, but are built to convert.

 

Breadth of input

Last but not least, the role of a graphic designer spans far beyond a business’ website -- they can handle everything from creating a print campaign to simple things like re-sizing images. No matter what you need they'll be able to help you put together the entire package, not just your website. 

 

Developers
 

Make your website work

Where designer's jobs are creative, developer's jobs are technical. Developers can be split into two categories: front end and back end. In their simplest form, front end developers deal with the part of the website you can see. They typically write in languages like HTML, Javascript or CSS. Back end developers deal with servers, applications, and databases.  They work out the details of how and where your data gets stored. 

 

Technically driven

Developers are very analytically driven, they have a technical mindset and work behind the scenes to make graphic designers’ work live on a website. Each coding language has it's own set of rules and regulations, making their job more about memorization and problem solving than aesthetics. 

 

Carry the weight of your website

While developers don’t necessarily need to be creative, it falls on them to make sure the website actually works. Does it load quickly? Can you easily log-in and put things in your shopping cart? Is your billing information stored correctly? 

If pages, apps, or websites falter, it’s on developers to get them back up and running as fast as possible to ensure revenue isn’t lost.

 

So, who should you hire?

In the end, you need both to form a partnership.

Graphic designers and developers come as a package. Although their skills and role vary, they work in harmony to make sure end results are up to scratch.

Think of it like a production line. The graphic designer works on the visual stage, then passes their work onto the developer to encode, and then both work together to quality check the finished product.


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Why having a mobile-friendly site is no longer optional

Why having a mobile-friendly site is no longer optional  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Yes, we know you've heard it before. 

The last web designer you spoke to probably mentioned it 5 times in the last 5 minutes. 

They probably used words like “mobile responsiveness,” “optimizing for mobile,” “responsive design”… maybe they even threw in “MobileGeddon” for good measure. 

But, what is "mobile-friendly," why is there a need for it on your website, and why are web designers so obsessed with it? 

In this post, we'll cover just that. We’ll also give you 7 undeniable reasons why you need to invest in your website being mobile responsive.

But first, the basics.

 

What is a mobile-friendly website?

Let's illustrate the concept using a couple of images:

 
Why having a mobile-friendly site is no longer optional  |  Hue & Tone Creative
 

And, this illustration from Google:

 
Why having a mobile-friendly site is no longer optional  |  Hue & Tone Creative
 

See the difference?

One looks like a typical phone app and the other one will require a magnifying glass just to read the site title.

You'll notice the "mobile-friendly" one on the right has:

  • Large, easy to read text
  • Full screen, viewable images
  • An intuitive page layout
  • Easy to use navigation

When you’re on your phone, this is exactly what you would expect a good website to look like. A website optimized for mobile adjusts and displays properly on all smaller screens – not just phones, but tablets too.

 

Why is mobile-friendly website important?

In addition to elevating your user experience, we’ve got some hard numbers on why mobile compatibility is important. A few highlights:
 

  1. In 2017, 52.64% of all traffic came from mobile devices.
  2. By the end of 2018, it’s expected that traffic on mobile devices will make up 79% of global internet use.
  3. Last year 50% of total eCommerce revenue came from mobile devices
  4. 57% of internet users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed website on mobile.
  5. Nearly 8 in 10 customers would stop engaging with content that doesn’t display well on their device.
  6. 88% of consumers who search for a type of business on a mobile device call or go to that business within 24 hours.
     

It comes down to the fact that almost everyone uses their mobile device to browse, shop, and interact with businesses. Not having a mobile optimized site directly converts to losing potential customers.

If you are a business owner looking to make your mark in the digital ecosystem, we highly recommend that your website be mobile optimized. You don't want site visitors squinting to see what your website is all about.

Still not convinced? 

 

6 (more) reasons why you need a mobile responsive website

  • Google prioritizes mobile-friendly websites in mobile search results. Back in 2015, Google made a change to the algorithm that allows websites optimized for mobile to rank better than those that aren’t optimized.
  • Having a mobile friendly site is considered best practices today and it increases your credibility to comply with industry standards.
  • 91% of mobile internet activity is spent on social media. You don’t want to waste your social media marketing dollars by sending people to a subpar or slow loading site.
  • Good site design makes customers happy and saves them time. You always want to give your customers a good experience – and this means having an easy to navigate site. You can be guaranteed people won’t come back to your site if they can’t navigate it easily.
  • A site that operates smoothly leads to people spending more time on your site. 
  • Mobile optimized sites are programmed to load more quickly – you no longer run the risk of people clicking away because your site loads slowly!
     

In 2018, making your site mobile friendly is no longer optional. It’s worth investing in revising or redesigning your website to make sure your site conforms to the industry standard of being mobile ready. If you don't, you risk losing potential customers, lowering the impact of your social and PPC ad campaigns, and alienating people who aren’t willing to put up with an inferior user experience.  


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The Importance of Strong Content... according to Yoda

Millions tune in to watch shows like Grey’s Anatomy, events like Super Bowl LII, and cult favorites such as Star Wars. Why? Because the content is so darn good.

Content, as stated by the Oxford English Dictionary, is information made available by a website or other electronic medium. People know good when they see it and recognize good content when they read it. Which is why crafting strong content is so important on the information-overloaded web.

The Importance of Strong Content according to Yoda  |  Hue & Tone Creative

“The force is strong with this one.” –Darth Vader, Star Wars: Episode IV

“What makes for strong content?” you may be asking. It starts with knowing your audience. The subjects you discuss as well as how you choose to tackle them are dictated by those seeking your infinite wisdom and wares. Exploring topics that are helpful to your customers, followers and clients make for good content because it’s relevant. Ask yourself, “what can I do to serve the needs of my unique base”? And create from there.
 

“Always pass on what you have learned.” –Yoda, Star Wars: Episode VI

You can’t teach what you don’t know. Integrate your company’s core competencies (those things you do exceptionally and distinguishes you from competitors) into your content. Kim K posts tons of information regarding make-up and fashion help. Oprah’s website is packed with inspirational tidbits and plenty on healthy eating. Your content could detail how to start a non-profit, demonstrate yoga techniques, or show the masses How to Curate Their Instagram Feeds. Basically, write what you know.
 

"There is NO substitute for WORK." –Vince Lombardi, Green Bay Packers Coach (1959-1967)

Content is often copied from one site and reposted on another. This should only occur when express permission has been provided by the content’s owner. It should also be an option rarely elected. For one, originality is rewarded by Google search rankings and secondly, you can’t contribute much to the virtual conversation if you’re only saying what has already been said. Don’t have the time to create original content? Partner with a professional content provider. Unlike reposting published pieces, working with a content generating service is a savvy alternative that provides you with unique postings for your site.
 

"Pretty good is not enough, I wanna be great." –Christina Yang, Grey’s Anatomy

Your content choices and execution should be in alignment with your brand image. If you’re known for being reliable, posting consistently and on time is a way to demonstrate that trait. Presenting thought-provoking and engaging topics showcases you as the thought-leader that you are. Great at design? Be sure that your content is presented in the showiest of packages that displays your exceptional stylistic talents. If you’re great, your content should be great. Post that which you are.
 

"Knowing is better than wondering." –Meredith Grey, Grey’s Anatomy

What content have you produced that garnered the most engagement and views? There’s an analytic for that.  Refer to your site’s pageview data and determine what your readers prefer. This helps to cultivate similar content that speaks to the needs and wants of your followers. Do your research and give the people what they want.

Keep in mind, your web content may not make a colossal mark or be permanently enshrined in greatness like Star Wars. Instead, it might convert a visitor into a lead or even a client. She may be persuaded to subscribe to your newsletter. He could be moved to try your service. And that is much better and even, dare I say, compelling.


WEB DESIGN, CONTENT CREATION, and SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT 

No matter what you're looking for help with, Hue & Tone Creative can help take your website -- and the content on it -- to the next level. If you'd like to see what we can do, be sure to take a look at our design portfolio, scope out more of our blog posts, and take a look at the services we offer.