Online Ads Success: Eight Unobstructive Ways to Get Them Noticed

MACAULAY GIDADO makes it easier for entrepreneurs to do what they love.

The way we do business is rapidly shifting from physical to online presence. So it can be tempting to launch a website with the intention to make money overshadowing the need for quality content or services. Very often than not, we all bump into sites whose idea of making money via online ads borders on ferocity.

Banners in the middle of posts. Several monetized pictures inside a post. Misleading links. They all rank among the top reasons visitors click away as soon as they land on a site. You, of course, want those visitors to stay long enough to see your online ads and click on them.

Here are eight simple, non-technical tips that will ensure your online ads get a firm amount of attention.

Always Put Content First; Not Your Online Ads

There’s nothing more satisfying than great content. When your content is of stellar quality and serves your audience’s need, you gain reliability. And when your visitors find you trustworthy, they want to linger and check out more of what you have to offer. By spending more time on your website, they are bound to notice those unobtrusive strategically-placed online ads on your sidebars and footers, and they will click on them because you have already made them believe that everything on your website serves their needs.

Don’t Start Out Desperate for Income Through Online Ads

This is one of the biggest mistakes new website owners make. They launch a site and a day later, they have plastered every part of it with online ads. This can be very damaging to the reputation of a website, because it doesn’t serve the site’s audience. If you have ever stumbled upon one of those websites whose daily posts are monetized lists of products from Amazon, you begin to understand how frustrating a site riddled with adverts can be.

First build your content. Let your audience flow in. Gain their trust. Then start out with a few online ads placed in the right corners of your website.

The Reputation of Your Hosting Company Matters

Before choosing a web hosting service, it’s essential to make sure the uptime percentage of your favorite hosting company is as close to 100% as possible. A low uptime percentage means a host is likely to develop issues more frequently than ones with higher percentages. And whenever the issues arise, the websites hosted under them will become unavailable to visitors. This can be very detrimental to the reputation of a website, as readers are unlikely to return. This in turn translates to fewer eyes to notice your online ads.

So be wise in choosing a host.

A Good Design Can Go a Long Way

If your website is a product or service, then its design is the packaging. And in today’s world, packaging has become as important as content. Purchase a professional theme, one that suites the concept of your website. Hire a good designer—maybe an illustrator also.

It, however, isn’t all about how beautiful you make your website. It’s rather about whether the beauty complements the purpose. A tech site with lots of flowers and pink in its design can be a huge turn off for visitors, especially male ones—you have to consider that the tech world is dominated by men. If your design turns your visitors off, then be sure those visitors aren’t going to bother noticing your online ads. They, however, will surely turn away.

There’s also the issue of navigation. It’s paramount for visitors to easily find what they are looking for in your website. Any confusion brought by poor structure can most certainly scare them away. Thus your online ads become meaningless.

Update Your Site Regularly

Regular fresh content is what pulls visitors back to your site. No-one wants to read or watch the same thing over and over again. Post new tips every week, or better still twice a week. Make them relevant and interesting. Is your site an online store? Then update the images of your products and services with more creative images. Make your audience salivate with the promise of new, tasty content.

The more people that return to your website, the more likely your online ads are going to get noticed.

Don’t Stick Online Ads Everywhere

This is very simple. Don’t place online ads on every part of your site. Not in the middle of a post—this is very bad when it comes to image ads. Also not on pages like the ‘Contact’ and ‘About’ pages. And certainly not as a pop-up—this one can be especially annoying. Some very successful sites today know to limit their online ads to the sidebars and sometimes to the bottom of posts. You should learn from them.

Focus each content on one topic

By focusing each post on one topic, you help google Adsense easily learn which ads are relevant to your content and which ones are not. That way, you avoid the mistake of letting your readers, who visit your site to, perhaps, get your pig farming tips, see ads about first-class airline tickets.

Don’t Slow Your Pages Down with Ads

Too many ads, especially image ads, on a single page can slow the page down, and reader don’t have the patience to wait for a page to finish loading. If you make them wait, they might turn away to a faster website, and this defeats the purpose of you putting up all those ads in the first place.

So why not limit the number of ads on your pages. Make it reasonable. Two ads that get a hundred clicks per day are more profitable than ten ads that slow down everything to the extent that nothing gets clicked.

There are, of course, many other tips that can help you guarantee your ads get noticed. With these ones, however, you are on your way to safely making money with your adverts without annoying your precious audience.

How to Design and Develop a Great Brand Identity

Last time, we talked about what brand identity is and isn’t. You can read the post here.

Talking about brand identity without mentioning ‘design’ is like talking about a building without including its foundation. This doesn’t mean that brand identity ends in design. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t.

The job of a great brand identity is to shape a business or product into a persona consumers agree with. Therefore, a brand identity has to engage all five senses when possible in order to create the perfect impression and incite the right feeling.

  • Sound? Think of the sound that plays you turn on your Windows computer. When you hear that sound coming from another room, it makes you think of Microsoft windows even without you seeing the origin of the sound. That’s branding.
  • Smell? When last did someone pass you by and the person’s scent made you think of a perfume brand or even a friend that wears the same perfume? That’s branding. Another example, one petrol station mini-mart increase coffee sales by 300% by pumping the smell of coffee near its gas pumps. That’s branding.
  • Taste? Pick any three wine brands with the same ingredients and taste them. Why do you think they taste different?
  • Touch? Have you ever bought a coat, a dress, or even a duvet because of house it feels when you touch it?
  • Sight? This is where design comes in. In the case of a wine business, design as a branding tool can range from the wine label and the shape of the bottle to the wine company’s website and logo?

Any of the above mentioned senses can be factored in when developing your brand identity, depending on what your business is about. However, design is the most popularly used branding tool because of its versatility. And we are going to focus on that.

Developing Your Brand Design

To develop your brand design, you need to start with the basics. When you get seamingly tiny aspects of design like fonts and colours right, every other thing falls in place.

Typography

This is the font (or set of fonts) you select for your branding materials. Typically, you can choose from four main typography categories. Check below.

Serif Fonts. These are fonts like Garamond and Time New Roman. They seem a bit old school and traditional, but they are the perfect fonts to use when you are looking to incite trust.

Sans Serif Fonts. These are fonts like Franklin Gothic and Helvetica. Unlike Serif Fonts, the letters have smooth edges and are ideal if you are looking to give your brand a more modern and sleek feel.

Script Typography. This category imitates cursive handwriting and include fonts like Pacifico and Allura. They make for a more feminine or luxurious feel in designs.

Display Fonts. These fonts are perfect when you are looking to make a bold statement–something not easily forgotten. Metallica’s lightning bolt font is a great example of display font.

Now that we have acquainted you with the four main categories of typography, be mindful as you choose one, as whichever typography you go with will go a long way in determining how people perceive your brand.

Colour Palette

Next on the list of design attributes you need to worry about as you develop your brand identity is colour palette.

Believe it or not, colours are just ordinary. Each colour, depending on your culture or side of the world, denotes something. This means that when people see a certain colour, certain image, feeling, thought etc comes to mind. For starters, let’s take a look at the most common colours, what they denote, and how you can use that knowledge to your advantage as you develop your brand identity.

  • Black can be incorporated in your designs to give your brand a modern touch or a tinge of sophistication.
  • Brown: when you are looking to stand out from the crowd, this could be the colour to use, if only because it’s rarely used in branding. Brown may also be used to convey masculinity or ruggedness.
  • Pink. This is the mother of gender stereotypes. In most cultures, it is associated with femininity. If your target audience is women, this can be an ideal colour to incorporate in your branding designs.
  • Purple: This colour is often used to portray royalty. Thus, it might work for you when you are looking to give your brand a luxurious feel.
  • Blue: this is a colour that appeals to most people. It’s easily accepted by both genders. Perfect for when you are looking to appeal to a wide demographic, it can make your brand seem more trustworthy and stable.
  • Green calls to mind ‘money’ and ‘nature’ in most cultures. If your brand has to do with wealth or eco-friendly products, this might be the perfect colour to use.
  • Orange: This is often used to denote friendliness and playfulness. Use it when your brand is looking to exude those feelings.
  • Yellow makes most people think of sunshine. It’s the colour of happiness and cheerfulness. It can be the ideal colour to use when you want to portray your brand as fun, affordable, and accessible.
  • Red. This is the colour of excitement and passion. Do you want a youthful or loud brand identity? Red might be the perfect choice.

Shapes & Lines

Just like colours, shapes can incite various reactions in people. For instance, a person’s reaction to circle will most likely be entirely different from their reaction when they see a triangle. By researching the various reactions surrounding certain shapes, you can integrate a shape in your design to inspire a designed reaction with your brand.

  • Round shapes, for instance, often inspire feelings of love and unity.
  • Straight edged shapes like squares and triangles, on the other hand, can inspire a feeling of trustworthiness and stability, since they generally denote efficiency and strength.
  • Straight Lines too have their own connotations. While horizontal line can convey peace and calm, vertical lines often depict strength and masculinity. So pay attention to them as you develop your brand identity.

Designing Your Brand Identity

Now that you understand the foundation of your design, it’s time to choose your design assets and then work with a designer to bring them and your brand identity to life. Of course, the design assets you select should be dependent on the nature of your business. Below are the most commonly used design assets:

Your Logo

This is a must have design asset for every business. You should aim for a logo that achieve the following:

  • Make a memorable impression on your prospects.
  • Conform with your industry’s standards.
  • Favour a classic feel over a trendy one, as you don’t want a logo that could go out of fashion in a few months.
  • Is simple, uncluttered, and neat. In order words, visually appealing.
  • Clearly conveys your identity and value as a business.
  • Comes in various formats (JPEG, PNG, etc) and multiple sizes
  • Has a black and white version

Learn more about designing a great logo. https://99designs.com/blog/tips/how-to-design-logo/

Your Website

This is another vital design asset worth making part of your brand identity, especially in this digital age. This is where consumers find information about your business online. If you run an online business or sell digital products, not having a website or at least a landing page is like trying to fill a gallon without a funnel. You will end up missing out leads that could propel your business to success.

Learn more about building a website.

Your Product Packaging

Whether you sell products or services online or offline, how you present that product to consumers can make or mar its success in the market. They say don’t judge a book by its cover, but unfortunately that’s exactly worth people do. Therefore, never neglect your product packaging. Ensure that the designer you use gets it right.

Business Cards

This might sound a bit old fashioned, but trust me business cards are still in vogue. The best part is that you can reinforce your branding and the message you want to get across to consumers by having a stock up of business cards to give out. Who knows. A long lost customer could come calling simply because you gave them a way to reach you–a business card.

Remember to keep the design of your business card simple. The card should also have your logo and important contact details.

Your Email Design

If a website or landing page design number in your list of design assets, then so should an email design. Email marketing can become a means of reaching out to your customers once in a while to promote both old and new products or even educate about your company. While you are at it, remember that a simple design is better than a cluttered one. Also, stunning images can go a long way.

Your Branding Style Guide

This is a document that shows your design assets and how to use them. It can serve as a blueprint for your brand identity to ensure that future designs conforms to your original brand identity and inspires the desired perception among your prospects.

Now that You have learnt the most basic aspects of creating design assets for your brand identity, it’s time to reach out to a designer and give your business the best brand identity it can get.

What Brand Identity Is and Isn’t

What brand identity is and isn't - Macaulay Gidado

Before we dive into the topic brand identity, let’s try a more familiar question: what makes up your public image?

A typical answer can entail a host of things, from your sense of fashion to how you behave in public. These all come together to make up your public image or personal identity.

Brand Identity is similar, although it involves more conscious decisions. It’s simply the marketing elements and practices that shape your business’ public image (your brand).

Before we go forward, it’s worth noting that ‘brand identity’ isn’t the same thing as ‘brand’, as is obvious above. Neither is it the same thing as ‘branding’. The three terms are very different even though they are often interchangeably misused.

Let me explain.

  • Your brand is your business’ public image. That is, how people perceive your business. Sometimes, perception can be false. Kind of like how some celebrities drive very flashy cars, even though they are dead broke. Thus, a brand is sometimes not how a business looks on the inside. It’s simply how it looks on the outside. It’s simply a public image.
  • Brand Identity, on the other hand, is that selection of elements that make up your brand (your desired public image). For instance, take the James Bond character as a brand. Some of the brand elements that make up that brand would thus be: a dark fitting tuxedo, a pair of shiny Oxfords, a clean-shaven face, a Rolex watch, a fast sophisticated car, and a healthy dose of confidence.
  • And finally Branding is all about actively promoting a business or a particular product through advertising and distinctive design. Branding is simply where your brand identity and marketing meet.

Why do entrepreneurs have to worry about brand identity?

Well, I will tell you why. It’s all about perception. You are either in control of how people perceive your business or you are not. Brand identity helps you be in control.

How to Develop a Brand Identity that Works

The foundation of brand identity resides in design as found in elements like your logo, the packaging of your product, your business website, your paid media, and so on. But before you jump into design assets, you need to first reflect on your business. Otherwise, you could end up creating a brand identity that falls apart once your brand is out there in the world.

Look Within

Lots of brands out there are false public images. You don’t want to be one of them as you would be setting yourself up for failure in the future.

Therefore, in trying to develop your brand identity, look within. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What’s my mission? That is, why did you start your business?
  • What’s my values? What beliefs and values do you as a company identify with?
  • How is your company any different from other companies in your niche?
  • Is your company special? How?
  • In three words, how would you want people to describe your business?
  • If your business had a voice, what would it say and how would it say it?

Answer these questions and the picture of the public image you are trying to build for your business will become much clearer to you. Now, let’s do something else.

You As an Outsider

Remember we defined ‘brand’ as how people perceive a particular business. I want you to think of yourself as one of those people–you know, as a potential consumer.

Now, be honest. As an outsider, what do you think of the business you are trying to build? The image you have in your head, is it a good one? Does it match the public image you desire for your company?

Don’t panic if it doesn’t. It just means you have work to do.

Check back next week to learn how to shape your brand through design.

6 Reasons People Leave Your Website

6-Reasons-People-Leave-Your-Website - Macaulay Gidado

The Internet is swarming with information—some great, some not. With a few keywords and a click of the mouse, a reader can easily compel the search engine to display thousands of results related to their research. Each result, belonging to one website or another, is competing with the others for the reader’s attention.

This means the reader has plenty of options to go through. Should they land on your website, you have around fifteen seconds to convince them to not leave. Even if they linger for more than fifteen seconds, you have to also worry about engaging them and making sure they return next time.

To understand how to make your site visitors to stay, you must first understand why they leave. Below are some of the notorious reasons that make people leave a site.

Misleading domain name

6 Reasons People Leave Your Website

It’s very unlikely that your domain name will make your visitors click away from your site as soon as they land there, unless your domain name or site title are misleading—then it’s very likely. It would be like a tech geek looking for Wi-Fi tips visiting a website with, say, ‘hotspot’ in its domain name, only him to discover it’s a site about sex toys. He will most likely leave the website.

Therefore, it’s important that your domain name depicts the content of your website so that you don’t attract the wrong people who would only leave as soon as they come.

Monotonous Content

6 Reasons People Leave Your Website

When you get visitors and ask them what they want to drink, some may say tea, some others may ask for coffee, another may request for a beer, and others may choose water. Likewise, every one of your website visitors cannot be interested in the same way of digesting information.

Some may prefer sliding through pictures to reading, some others may be into watching videos, while a few others may love reading but only when words are integrated with graphics.

It’s all about preference.

Experiment with new ways of presenting your content. Use slides, infographics, videos, reviews et cetera to capture and keep the attentions of different types of visitors.

Too many adverts on Your Website

6 Reasons People Leave Your Website

There is nothing more annoying than ads appearing everywhere, nagging to be clicked, obstructing visitors from acquiring the information that brought them to your website.

The worst types are popup ads. They are in the same league as mosquitos. Try visiting a site with lots of them and you will understand why anyone would click the ‘back’ button as soon as they start emerging.

As a general rule, avoid using them in places they will obstruct your visitors’ view. Also avoid large picture or banner ads—if you must use them, they shouldn’t be the first thing your visitors see. And be subtle with your monetisation efforts.

Disruptive videos and audios

6 Reasons People Leave Your Website

While videos and audios are viable ways to diversify your content and the ways you present it, they can be disruptive if not used properly. They can make a visitor turn around and leave.

Instead of videos that play automatically, give your visitors a choice to play or not play your videos. Humans love free will. Taking it away from one is like pushing the person away. Also, sometimes a visitor might come across your website while in a library. If your website’s background sound is loud, then the person will definitely leave.

Bad Navigation

6 Reasons People Leave Your Website

A bad navigation is like a washed-out map. And a washed-out map is so useless that we often crumple it up and toss it into the wastebasket. A main navigation scattered all through a web page, hidden, or designed with unclear images will only frustrate your visitors. Or, worse, make them leave.

Also, your main navigation should entail links to the essential pages on your website. Those pages should be easy to find. For instance, if a visitor that wants to use your service can’t find a link to your ‘about’ or ‘contact’, the opportunity they brought will be lost to you when they leaves.

Your main navigation should be well-grouped, well-placed, and should list your major pages. Ideal positions for your main navigation are the top of the page and the sidebars. Those are the places people look first.

Other navigations should also be easy to find. If you are selling a product, then the ‘buy’ button had better be under the image of that product. If you want people to subscribe to your newsletters, the ‘subscribe’ link or button should be very easy to find and should be present on your landing page.

Read more about navigation pitfalls.

Bad content and design

6 Reasons People Leave Your Website

The purpose of designing a website and filling it with content is to engage visitors. But then you can’t engage them if your content and design are neither helpful nor coherent.

Your design is like the packaging. And, much as it has to be appealing, it will be defeating your purpose for it if it obstructs the content—a good example of this is a website design that favours beautiful fonts and colours over readable texts.

Your content, on the other hand, will be defeating its own purpose if it’s chaff and not updated regularly.

Perhaps you have examined your website and believe it has none of the flaws mentioned above. Well done. But to be sure or to discover other reasons (general ones as well as those unique to your site) that push visitors away from your site, check out this list of helpful tools.

Eight Benefits of Professional Web Design

Eight Benefits of Professional Web Design - Macaulay Gidado

Quality web design is the building block of great websites and thus is an invaluable investment for any company looking to establish its online presence. An excellent design will cost between a few thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars—sometimes even millions for hefty websites—depending on the features and the type of website.

The big question is whether or not the investment of using a professional web designer is worth its price tag. How does it positively impact your business?

Professional Web Design Improves Identity and Uniformity

Eight Benefits of Professional Web Design - Macaulay Gidado

Professional web designers are experts in their field, with years of mastered talent and skills. To ensure your web design resonates with your brand, they consider every aspect of your business (your niche, products and services, target customers, company logo, business cards, online profiles, and so on) before tailoring out a uniform visual representation.

A consistent design will not only improve your company’s identity, but also make your site speak to the heart and soul of your brand. Thus, instead of your website looking like that of three different businesses, the design identifies it as a brand.

Professional Web Design Makes for a Great First Impression

Eight Benefits of Professional Web Design - Macaulay Gidado

It’s human nature to worry about first impression. We hate rejection and disapproval, because we understand they leave us isolated. In business, isolation can be a deadly blow, especially because every brand needs customers’ approval to thrive. It’s only when customers approve that they are willing to swap their hard-earned money for whatever you are selling.

You can set your brand up for a powerful and lasting first online impression by investing in your web design and ensuring that it identifies with your current and prospective customers. An unprofessional company website will destroy whatever credibility and reputation you hope to build and can manifest through poor loading speed, template, colour integration, and so on.

Professional Web Design Plus Great Webhosting Boost Loading Speed

Eight Benefits of Professional Web Design - Macaulay Gidado

Research shows that a single second delay in the load time of a webpage can result in 11% decrease in page views, 16% in customer satisfaction, and 7% in conversion. This makes the loading speed of a website very vital to the survival of the brand that owns it.

A great load time can be achieved by choosing a reputable webhosting company, one with an exceptional uptime, one that allocates the ideal amount of RAM and bandwidth at a good price. There’s also the issue of whether the RAM and bandwidth can be scaled as traffic to your site grows.

But then you would be defeating the purpose of taking out a quality hosting service if your website design is poor and hindering the performance of your hosting package. This is why you should always go for a professional design service.

A professional web designer will know to simplify your web design to reduce HTTP requests for various parts of your webpages like images, scripts, flash, and stylesheet, compress your website’s resources, enable browser caching, optimise images, minify your resources, optimise CSS delivery, reduce number of plugins, reduce redirects, and perform a host of other design tasks that can tremendously speed up your site.

Professional Web Design Helps You Stand Out from Competition

Eight Benefits of Professional Web Design - Macaulay Gidado

The last thing you want is for your company website to drown in the crowd of similar website designs that populate your niche. These overused designs, no doubt, deliver some good results.

But then a company that aspires to stand apart from competition doesn’t need good results: it needs great results. Don’t imitate; imitations are never as good as their originals. Instead hire a professional designer that will build your site’s design from scratch and imbue your company’s unique selling points in the design.

Professional Web Design Generates Revenue

Eight Benefits of Professional Web Design - Macaulay Gidado

It’s naturally a human thing to be drawn to attractive, useful and important things. That trait remains the same even on the Internet. In the case of your company’s website design, the look of your pages, what they say, and the features they highlight will go a long way in converting traffic to your site into sales.

The designs of your calls to action and their locations on the pages are all part of your web design. They should be able to compel site visitors to do exactly what you need them to do.

Professional Web Design Integrates Content with Structure

Eight Benefits of Professional Web Design - Macaulay Gidado

When people visit your company website, their interest is in the content. The design is merely a means of making that content easier to digest. This implies that while design is important, it’s not the purpose of your site.

To deliver the message you are trying to pass across with your site, you need a professional web design. One that leverages useful and well-positioned navigation. Readable fonts and font sizes. A great blend of page colour and text colour. Good content organization. Well-structured catalogues. And many other design aspects.

Always remember: a great design is like an architecturally sound structure. Without the beams, columns and a strong foundation (which make up the framework of the structure), everything else crumbles.

Professional Web Design Offers Your Website an Objective Point of View

Eight Benefits of Professional Web Design - Macaulay Gidado

There is no doubt that you are the expert in your business. Or that your imagination may have cooked up a fantastical design. Putting such a design, if it can be created, to use may result in issues. Like poor loading time. A website too colourful or too dull for your niche. A design that hinders the digestion of the content, and so on.

A professional web designer understands what’s feasible and what’s not. He or she can serve as the objective perspective that can trim your raw idea to deliver an effective blend between your concept and what’s practical.

Room for Cost-effective Development

Eight Benefits of Professional Web Design - Macaulay Gidado

By using professional web design, you avoid having to pay for web design in the future when you realize the disadvantages of a poor design.

Also, a quality design is a solid foundation on which you can add extra features and tweaks in the future. You can do this without needing to give your website a complete redesign. Even when many tweaks are needed, you benefit from having developed a relationship with a professional designer. One that is familiar with your design and can make the adjustments without ruining your website.

Your website is the online equivalent of your business premises. This implies that it requires as much attention as your physical the business premises? Just the way you hired a professional to set up your physical office, hire a professional to design your website.

Get in touch with Macaulay Gidado for a professional website design.