What Does Mobile Search Mean for Website Design?

Website Design for Mobile Searches | Asterisk Creative | Southeast's Premier Website Design AgencyBack in the day (like, 7 years ago or so), websites showed on computers and phones were just…phones. With the advent of internet-enabled phones and then smartphones, all of that started to change. Websites didn’t render properly on these smaller devices, so changes had to be made. So what does the rise in mobile searches mean for website design?

The initial reaction by website designers was to create, in essence, two sites – one that would load when a search came from a laptop or desktop computer, one that would load when the search came from a mobile device. This is still a recognized practice, though it’s fallen a bit out of favor. The search engines tend to see the sites as two separate sites, one with duplicate content of the other, and this tends to hurt your organic rankings.

With mobiles searches increasingly on the rise, the search engines – and Google, in particular – are moving toward mobile-first indexing. This means they’re focusing more on how sites load on mobile devices than on computers. To keep up and maintain organic rankings, website designers and webmasters need to shift their focus as well. Moving to responsive web designs is a great place to start. Responsive website designs adjust automatically to fit the screen on which the searcher/visitor is viewing the site. This eliminates the problem of separate sites/duplicate content while creating a better user experience across the board.

Mobile searches are also more likely to include the phrase “near me” in the queries. Website designers and SEO practitioners alike need to make sure elements like a business’ address and/or neighborhood are clearly listed in multiple places on a website to match these queries appropriately.

Website design for mobile searches is important. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Contact Asterisk Creative for website design help today.

Is Your Site Secure? Google to Require SSL Certificates

Is You Site Secure? Google to Require SSL Certificates | Asterisk CreativeWith all of the security breaches and data breaches in the news lately, it should come as no surprise that Google is making moves to make the internet a safer place. In one such move, Google is going to require SSL certificates for all sites soon.

First things first. What is an SSL certificate? SSL stands for secure sockets layer. The certificate being on the site creates an encrypted link between the server and the browser so that all data remains private. In effect, this technology protects site visitors from cybercriminals.

After Google implements this SSL requirement, sites without an SSL certificate will be flagged as “not secure”, alerting searchers that visiting that site may put their data at risk. Obviously, this will be a deterrent for potential site visitors, and your website’s traffic will invariably suffer. In addition, sites without SSL certificates will be “dinged” in the organic search results, no matter what other SEO (search engine optimization) work has been done on the site.

This move had been slated to take effect in July, but Google has pushed the deadline back to September for now. This may change again – to be pushed back to later than September or moved up to sooner. Get your site set now. Contact Asterisk Creative for your next steps today!

Asterisk Creative – Your Digital Marketing One-Stop Shop

digital marketing agency | asterisk creativeThere are a lot of components to digital marketing. In general, it is comprised of website design and development, SEO, social media marketing, and pay-per-click advertising. Basically, it’s any marketing and advertising that appears online.

Many freelancers and solopreneurs fancy themselves digital marketers, jacks-of-all-trades so to speak. We’re here to tell you that that’s nearly impossible. Keeping up with algorithm changes, privacy laws, best practices, and such across one or two digital marketing platforms can be a full-time job in and of itself. One person may be able to do well across the board, but they cannot really excel.

At Asterisk Creative, we understand this and have a team behind your digital marketing. We have folks that focus solely on social media, solely on website design, solely on SEO – and each knows their specialty inside and out. They work and train to stay on top of the latest and greatest in their field, and they put that knowledge to work for our clients. Additionally, they work together to make sure all of the client’s digital marketing elements are working together favorably and promoting the brand appropriately.

Don’t trust your digital marketing to just anyone. To get your digital marketing going full speed, contact Asterisk Creative today.

2018 Web Design Trends

2018 Web Design Trends | Asterisk Creative | Southeast's Premier Web Design AgencyAs much as business owners want their website designs to be one and done (meaning you get your site designed once, then you’re good to go forever), that’s really not the case. The way folks consume data online changes almost daily. An older website design will look stale and will not convert visitors into leads or, better yet, customers.

How do you combat that? Stay on top of web design trends and make sure your website’s look and feel match what experts say converts visitors into clients. For 2018, here are a few of the trends we have our eyes on:

  • Vibrant colors.
    Muted colors that were popular in the past are just that – popular in the past. Bright, engaging colors are the new way to go.
  • Bespoke visuals.
    Stock photography is also on its way out for 2018. Images created specifically for your brand – whether through photography or through design software – are in.
  • Responsive design.
    This one isn’t just a trend to keep site visitors engaged. This one can have a huge effect on your SEO and whether or not the search engines show your site in the search results! Having a website that renders well on a variety of devices (like phones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers) is essential now, particularly since mobile searches have overtaken desktop searches in nearly every industry
  • Innovative Typography.
    The use of different fonts to create an eye-catching site is catching on! Custom fonts are being designed every day, and when paired with the vibrant color trend, your copy can draw visitors in like no other.

Don’t let your website’s visitors walk away from you because your website doesn’t speak to them. Get ready to get your website redesign underway. Contact Asterisk Creative today.

Graphic Design Best Practices

graphic design best practices | graphic design agency | web design agency | asterisk creativeWhether you’re talking about a website layout or printed marketing pieces, good design is essential. Knowing and following graphic design best practices is a great place to start.

One of the most basic graphic design best practices, and one that’s stood the test of time, is KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid. Simply stated: don’t overcrowd your piece, don’t use a convoluted collection of colors and fonts, and don’t forget that white space is your friend. A simple design communicates your message much more effectively.

Another basic best practice in graphic design is understanding the messages your color choices send. Warm colors bring feelings of passion; cool colors have a calming effect. If you reference a color wheel, colors side-by-side are analogous and communicate unity and balance. Colors across from each other are complementary; using complementary colors brings a bit more higher emotion to your design.

Lastly, humans tend to read designs (both web and print) from top left to bottom right, generally speaking. A good design will make this flow easy for the viewer and not block that flow at any point.

Let your marketing pieces speak volumes for you. Contact Asterisk Creative for amazing design work today.

The Importance of Website Design

Web Design Importance | Web Design Tips | Web Design Agency | Asterisk CreativeThese days, it seems like everyone has a website. And DIY web design sites are a dime a dozen. But if you don’t understand the importance of your website’s design and the effects it can have on other elements of your business, it could mean disaster.

One of the first elements of website design to consider is its user experience/user interface. This encompasses how a visitor interacts with your site. Did you know that certain colors elicit certain responses from people? Did you know that the more clicks it takes a visitor to find their desired information, the more likely they are to abandon a site…and buy from a competitor?

Secondly, web design plays an important role in SEO (search engine optimization). Single-page layouts are a current hot trend in web design. DIY sites are filled with one-page templates for those that want to go that route. But the search engines aren’t fans. With all the information about a company on one page, the algorithms don’t know what queries for which to index and show the page. So those sites end up not showing in the search results for anything.

Another issue with DIY web design options is its integration with your company’s branding. If your branding is done properly, you have a certain specific color pallette – down to Pantone shades and/or HTML and HEX codes – and specific fonts associated with all of your marketing elements. If you try to go with a template, it can be really hard to get your website to match the rest of your branding unless you’re a coding pro in your own right.

For all of these reasons and more, it’s important to have a web design pro like Asterisk Creative on your side. We know how to make all of these elements play well together and in your favor. Our team doesn’t focus solely on websites – we offer branding services, graphic design and marketing materials, photography and videography, public relations and more to make sure your web design is just one card in your deck of business-owning goodness and that your website showcases your awesomeness along with all other public-facing elements of your business.

Get your website launched on the right foot. Contact Asterisk Creative today.