How Web Design Affects Your Online Sales

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Here’s something many business owners are not aware of: their website is more than just their online identity. While also considered by many as a virtual representation of their physical store or office, it is so much more. Apart from being your online business card, your website is also a powerful selling tool.

Here’s another fact many might find surprising: your website’s design has a massive impact on your online sales. For starters, your website’s architecture can impact consumer trust and the length of time they remain on your site. Both factors can translate to revenue (or loss) depending on how they are handled.

While it’s important to know the right website trends to incorporate in your design, knowing how your web design affects your online sales is just as crucial.

Let’s start by looking at some interesting facts that highlight the impact of web design on your online sales:

A staggering 75% of visitors will base the credibility of your website on your design. When visitors don’t find your site trustworthy, they will stay away from your site and look for information elsewhere. Understandably, this can result in a loss of sales for your business.

An enhanced design can improve your site’s credibility. A polished, clean, and modern website can make it very convenient for your visitors to browse or shop on your site. When it’s easy to transact on your site, they are more likely to patronize what you have to offer.

A great web design can increase customer loyalty. A whopping 89% of people turn to a competitor after a bad customer experience. If you want to generate more sales and improve customer loyalty, your web design is one of the things you should look into.

Web Design Elements That Can Help Boost Your Online Sales

Now that you know how your web design affects your online sales, here are some web design elements that can help you generate more revenue:

Integrate responsive design.

Once you know the impact of web design on your online sales, it’s easier for you to understand the impact of having a functional site. One of the first things you need to integrate to increase sales is a responsive design. A responsive design can help ensure your website can be accessed by anyone regardless of the device they use.

Make your call to action (CTA) page stand out.

Creating a superb CTA page is another effective way you can boost your online sales. When visitors want to purchase the products or services you offer, they look to your CTA for guidance. If your CTA page won’t be able to successfully guide your visitors on how to proceed, you can lose substantial revenue in the process.

Use high-quality visuals.

To help increase sales, use only high-quality visuals on your site. Avoid using graphics or stock photos as they can seem impersonal. It is also likely that your visitors will see them on other sites. Also, adding top-quality visuals can make your site stand out and make your products and services more enticing to your target audience.

Ensure you have organized navigation.

Another important web design aspect you should look into is your navigation. Ideally, you need to have organized and easy-to-use navigation. It is easier for you to sell your products and services to your visitors with organized navigation. You need to also ensure your site has all the relevant information your prospects will look for.

Use white space accordingly.

Many brands make the mistake of filling every inch of their website with visuals or information. However, overloading your website can be counterproductive as it can overwhelm and distract your visitors. This might not be common knowledge, but white space is key to good design so use it to your advantage.

Speed up your site.

If your site does not load fast, your visitors can leave without even checking the products or services you are offering. To determine your site’s current load time, you can use Google

PageSpeed Insights. If you don’t have the time to implement changes that can improve your page speed, investing in the help of experts would be a good idea.

Final Thoughts

Various factors can impact your online sales, and web design is one of them. If you are not where you want to be in terms of online sales, it is recommended that you carry out a website audit. If you need any help improving any aspects of your website, don’t hesitate to invest in the help of experts. If anything, it is an investment that will yield lucrative returns in the long run.

About The Author, Shawn Byrne is the founder and CEO of My Biz Niche, Arizona-based digital marketing, and web design company that has achieved superior results for its clients. Before My Biz Niche, Shawn worked for Venture Capitalists where he built a private portfolio of e-commerce and informational websites that generate revenue through various digital marketing strategies.

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How To Choose The Right Photo Editing Tool For Your Needs

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Do you get overloaded with the tools you use to create your content? It seems there are so many and if you’re not careful you can waste a lot of money by not know what you need and sticking to it.

Those monthly subscriptions seem like nothing at first until they start adding up and before you know it you’re paying out more than you’re bringing in.

One thing my clients know about me is I try to find the most economical ways to do business. I’ve been guilty of “shiny object syndrome” a time or two myself and I’ve had to reign myself in.

$4.99 here, $12.99 there, and before you know it you’re paying more to run a side hustle or even full-time business than you could ever bring in.

Think of the tools that you pay for. If you’re a content creator you probably have the following:

  • Website
    • Domain $
    • Web Hosting $$
    • Premium Plugins $$$
  • Social media scheduling tools $$$
  • Asset storage (like Dropbox or Google) $$
  • Graphics tool $

You have to weigh the price vs what you will gain and sometimes you have to make some hard decisions.

EXAMPLE:

I used paid for Photoshop for years. I didn’t like it because it was so hard to use and it was very expensive $30 a month. $30 for three years and I probably used it a total of 25 times.

That’s $1080 I paid to make a couple of logos and fix some errant photos. Crazy!!!!

I learned a valuable lesson. You could say a $1080 mistake. Now, most of you would probably say, “it’s only $1,000, Rena, get over it“.

Then think about this: IT’S ONLY ONE OF THE TOOLS I USE!

Photoshop pricing

The first thing you need to do is figure out exactly what you need:

What do you need to be able to do and you do and how much is it worth to you?

Do you create

  • social media graphics
  • blog post templates
  • are you a photographer who may need all of those bells and whistles
  • print materials
  • marketing
Different people have different needs.

I am definitely not a photographer so I won’t need to be able to manipulate imagery as others may.

I do need to create graphics to:

  • Website creation
  • Content creation
  • Social Media

Today, I’m going to compare three other options that could be viable for your business.

CANVA

You’ve probably heard of CANVA. Canva is a tool that I have been using weekly since 2016. Once I cut the cord with Photoshop I went with Canva’s paid plan and you can save your branding assets and up to 100 fonts to save you time. I fell in love with the ease of using Canva. They have a robust free version that works for every budget and their paid plans aren’t crazy expensive;

With a paid account you are able to save your branding assets and also up to 100 fonts that you own. That comes in very handy as a designer.

Here is the pricing as of today 8/31

Canva pricing

CARTOONIZE.NET By ColorCinch

This tool is somewhat new to me but I really like what I see. Number one is the pricing. I also love that you’re not charged more for say images etc. CARTOONIZE is a “one price for everything tool: which I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.

I hate working on something and then find that one exact perfect image only to find out it’s not in “my plan” and required to pay extra. Cartoonize doesn’t do this. Below is a list of their pricing and features.

I’ve sent along a couple of questions about whether or not you can upload and save your branding assets and your own fonts. I have learned that “YES” you can save projects, but unfortunately you cannot save fonts although that have hundreds available.

Might that be a future addition? Let’s hope but until then it’s still a great deal.

Cartoonize features and pricing chart

DESYGNER.COM

The third on my list I have mixed feelings about. They do have a free plan but when I was looking around I saw very few images in the free version, but I also understand that they also have to make money.

Their pricing is comparable to the other’s to and I did enjoy using it.

I can see myself using it again at times for certain projects.

With the paid version you do have access to hundreds of thousands of images based on your subscription by Shutterstock which does impress me and when you consider the price of the pro+ plan that’s a great deal in itself. 

Desynger pricing and features

**This post contains affiliate links. If you subscribe to any of these services I will earn a small commission that will in no way affect your pricing.

 

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Why Is Your Brand Forgettable?

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Creating a memorable identity for your business won’t happen overnight. All the best entrepreneurs know it’s a long game — one in which you must consistently connect with your audience over and over again.

 

Does your brand feel forgettable?

If so, here are two possibilities for how you’re unintentionally making your business easy to forget:

1. Not communicating what makes you distinct:

Whether your industry is gluten-free baked goods or corporate accounting services, you must answer the question: Why should someone choose your business over the competition? This is why a unique sales proposition (USP) is so vital.
 
What’s great about your business? What convinces customers to choose you? However you answer these questions, you want to weave it into your entire marketing campaign from your tagline to your social media posts. This ensures your customers understand who you are and what you offer, encouraging them to choose you.
 

2. Having an inconsistent personality and/or message:

 
Let’s face it, it’s hard to remember every brand of car or toothpaste or cereal. It gets even harder if the brand is changing all the time. Was that business the one with the red and white logo or a black and white logo? Did they say they were known for down-home hospitality or sophisticated style?
 
Obviously, in terms of memorability, consistency is king. If you’ve gone through several iterations of messaging already, you can assume it’s been hard on your brand and your customers. For a stronger identity, pick a strategic name, logo, value proposition, etc., and then stick to it.
 
Interested in learning more reasons customers may be forgetting your brand? Take a look at the attached resource. In it, you’ll find not only factors that can harm your messaging, but also eight tips for what to do about it.
 
AUTHOR BIO: Kacie Stoll is a project expeditor at Golden Rule Signs, an LED sign company. Her professional experiences range from marketing and public relations to sales and customer support. Stoll enjoys working with customers and vendors all over the country to execute with speed and accuracy.
 

This infographic was created by Golden Rule Signs, a commercial sign company

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Free Branding and Promotional Tips For Small Business

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Branding, marketing, and promoting your small business can be challenging. 

Mainly because there’s a wealth of information both on and offline telling you what you should and shouldn’t do. 

And while you think this would be a good thing, the variety of information out there can often be confusing and overwhelming for small business owners and managers. 

Fortunately, we’ve put together the following guide on free promotional tricks that you can use to grow your small business, perfect for those with a limited budget!

 

Google My Business

Creating a Google My Business profile is a beneficial and free marketing strategy, particularly for local businesses that want to tap into their local markets. 

This free listing will allow your company to appear on Google Maps, displaying a variety of relevant information about who your business is, what areas you serve, and how to get in contact with you. 

It’s also a place where you can cultivate reviews and testimonials from your existing customers, which can serve as a great marketing strategy on its own.

Not to mention the fact that having a Google My Business listing simply makes your business appear more professional to prospective customers! 

 

Social Media Marketing

Increasing social media interaction and creating an online community is a cost-free way to expand your small business while also sharing your brand’s personality, graphics and logo, and gaining confidence from your audience. 

Create company profiles on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, YouTube, etc. and then get active on those platforms to increase your brand awareness. 

Whatever your inspiration, make sure you’re involved and constructive on the social media pages you build. 

Consistency and portraying your true personality are critical to having a successful social media presence.

 

Using Hashtags

Incorporating hashtags into your social media posts is another free and highly effective marketing technique that can help you expand your scope and reach new audiences.

Although broad or trending hashtags can help you strengthen your brand awareness, they shouldn’t be your only option. These hashtags are often highly competitive, which means that they might not help all that much for a small business. 

Therefore, when you’re sharing resources or tips in your posts, descriptive and relevant hashtags are often more helpful than using the most popular hashtags. 

If you’re a local business, you should also use various hashtags specific to your location. 

Just make sure that you’re using various popular, relevant, and location-specific hashtags in your posts to ensure they reach your intended audience.

 

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a fantastic social media platform that is often underutilized, especially for B2B businesses looking to grow their brands.

In fact, for B2B brands, LinkedIn is more important than the other social platforms we’ve mentioned. 

But don’t just make network connections and then disappear; engage in conversation with them, share your blog posts and business deals, join and contribute to existing discussions, and share others’ high-quality material.

You will develop your brand and gain confidence and respect in your industry by educating your potential customers and helping other professionals to grow. 

Furthermore, it would help if you encouraged all of your staff to participate in the platform, leading to more interactions, testimonials, and referrals for your business. 

 

Local SEO

The best thing about Google’s algorithm is that it’s designed to provide the most reliable, high-quality, and appropriate results for any given search query. 

So in terms of SEO, aiming to rank for local search results is often easier than aiming for industry-wide results. 

For instance, if you’re a marketing agency, you’ll often have better luck ranking for terms such as “content marketing Oklahoma” rather than simply trying to rank for the keyword term “content marketing,” which will be a far more competitive keyword. 

Remember that SEO takes time, so get started now and keep working at it; the rewards can be substantial over time. 

To rank locally, the most critical thing to do is to add location-based keywords to your website’s meta descriptions, tags, blog posts, headings, etc.

 

Free Branding And Promotional Tips

Branding and promoting your business doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars! 

In fact, by listing your business on Google, being active on social media, using the right hashtags, and optimizing your website for local search results, you’ll be well on your way to building a popular and successful small business!

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What Do You Have to Consider to Build Your Brand and Promote Your Business Online?

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It’s been a while since businesses could avoid being online; today’s businesses live or die primarily by their online presence. However, there’s a big gap between knowing that and knowing exactly how to build your brand. Even if your business isn’t web-based, building your online presence can help you promote your business and drive new customers through your doors. Here are some considerations when trying to build your brand and promote your services in an online setting.
Graphics Library

If you’re going to be promoting your business online, you’ll need a decent amount of graphics and visual content to support it. This starts with a logo that you own and can use wherever you need; this logo should match anything your business uses physically to avoid confusion. If you don’t have a logo, head over to LogoCreator, where you can design your own professional logo for absolutely free. 

Besides a logo, other content you’ll want to have is pictures from your business, promotional or marketing graphics for use in online marketing or video content you have of your business in action. All of this content helps you engage people with your marketing, rather than relying solely on long text-based content. Building this library and using it often can help promote your business online.

Use Google My Business

If there’s one place online you want to have your business registered, it’s on Google My Business. The most important benefit this free registration provides is people’s ability to see and find your business on Google Maps. People everywhere depend on Google Maps not only to help them get where they’re going but also to explore their local area and see what’s available. Your business is listed on Google Maps gives you a great promotional tool with a minimal cost associated.

 

Social Media Marketing

It’s hard to avoid social media, and as a business owner, you’d be ill-advised to do so. Social media offers an instant and constant way for people to interact with their favorite businesses, post reviews, and find local services. They often filter information by someone’s precise geolocation. People often ask for local suggestions for different services or products they need.  

You can target people in your area with relevant advertisements using the various social media platforms, which makes your marketing dollars stretch farther as well. It’s generally free to create a profile, although you may want to use paid advertising. The point is, social media gives you a chance to get your business in front of a lot of people who are in your local area and are most likely to use your service.

Email Marketing

Even if you aren’t inclined to build a website, you can get customers signed up for email newsletters after their visit. With a list of people who’ve already bought from you, you can send out periodic newsletters to let them know what you’re up to and all about the great deals you’ve been having. Email marketing is a very effective and reliable form of direct-to-consumer marketing, so you should really consider using it. Benchmark is a highly-rated email marketing service that automates many more mundane tasks, giving you the ability to create professional emails that get your customers to respond. 

Even if your business isn’t web-based, you should seriously consider building a robust online presence. People spend so much time on the internet and social media that by relying on more traditional promotion methods, you’re missing out on a lot of potential clients. Harness the reach possible online by keeping these considerations in mind when deciding how you want to promote your company.

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Top Design Tips to Boost Your Sales

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Effective Design Tips to Improve Your Sales in 2020

Running a business can be challenging, and 2020, the year of the COVID-19, has been especially trying.  You find that you are struggling to make sales, and you’re starting to worry that you may have to shut down. With the right design tips, you can boost your sales and keep your doors open, even in these challenging times.

the word create written in pencil

2020 has proved to be a very challenging year for everyone. The Covid-19 pandemic has hit the business landscape leading to the closure of many companies.  Those that have managed to survive have had to implement cutbacks and other cost-saving measures. 

In the same breath, they are looking for ways to increase their sales to remain afloat. Platforms such as Mr.Bet have excellent tools for those operating online casinos and are looking for tips to design a game. But what tips can help boost sales for other businesses?

We will show you the top design tips to boost your sales in 2020 below.

1. Have a professional website built

What are web design tips?  Simply put, it is any techniques you will apply to increase traffic to your website.  One of the best design tips for websites is not to have sliders on your homepage. They can confuse people whatever you want to tell your audiences.

Other things you need to incorporate in your web design include:

  •       A strong call-to-action
  •       Visible contact information that works
  •       Aligning your website to any advertisements 
  •       Developing design tips by understanding exactly who you are talking to and their point of need
  •       Having trust icons such as social proof, security measures, and safe shopping guarantees, among others
  •       Creating a sense of urgency around your promotions or products
  •       Making the checkout process easy
  •       Simplifying the checkout process and removing the navigation bar from the page. You do not want to present customers with the option of abandoning their carts.
  •       Incorporating customers voice in your copy

2. Put the Customer First

With the pandemic being such a painful reality in 2020, business owners must put the health and safety of customers first.  If you’re operating a brick-and-mortar store, ensure you have proper sanitization and social distancing rules.  

Communicate with the customers via your website, email, social media, or even mobile apps.  Information around the pandemic and staying safe is especially welcome at this time.

One of the best design tips in marketing you will get is to go over and beyond customer expectations. When customers see that you care for them, they will remain loyal and even send some referrals your way.

Invest in training staff members to build passion around the brand and give customers the same experience.

woman holding her head in front of her laptop

3. Design and Optimize Your Gaming Website

Online gaming is on the rise. If you are a new developer, here is what you need to know.

  •       When designing, think of the end-user by having an easy-to-use interface
  •       Hook your players with your characters
  •       Provide quality sound to enhance the mood
  •       Provide consistency and balance in gameplay
  •       Unique designs will ensure you stand out

Optimizing your website is so much more than having the right keywords to attract visitors. The use of graphics and video will help reduce bounce rates.  There are some fantastic design tips graphics you will find online to help with the process. 

Design tips in Photoshop will help you customize photos or even create virtual tours for your visitors.

Customize your website to make it accessible on smart devices such as tablets or mobiles. A large percentage of visitors will browse it via such devices. 

4. Offer Money-Back Guarantee

Have you ever wondered why companies offer money-back guarantees? Not only is it a very effective marketing tactic, but it shows that you have faith in your product. 

When customers know they can return a purchase they are not happy with, it’s likely they’ll trust you with their money. Just be sure to offer a guarantee that you can live up to it.

5. Don’t Forget Your Existing Customers

If you have existing customers, repurposing your marketing content to mitigate them is a good move.  By developing messaging that directly talks to them, you increase the likelihood of return purchases.

Think about promotions that target them directly. It could be a way of saying thank you to them for their loyalty.  In return, they will stick by you and continue to be faithful customers.

Conclusion

We have shared what we consider top design tips to boost sales in 2020.  Everything you do should be about the customer. Safety and information during this pandemic period are critical. 

Pay attention to your website design and take advantage of smart devices so that you can reach those who shop via their smart devices. Most importantly, pay attention to your existing customers through promotions and exclusive offers, where possible.

What other tips would you have for a business that wants to stay afloat in 2020?  Head over to the comment section to share your feedback.  

 

Author’s Bio 

 

Alex has many irons in many fires, including starting an eCommerce store and his own marketing company. He is very busy, but the work is rewarding, and freedom has allowed him to fish, see friends more regularly.

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How To Use That Stock Image Legally, & Where To Find The Really Good Ones!

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The first thing you have to decide is whether you want images or photography?

These are two totally different things.

Do you need a stock photo of a landscape or a girl on a beach?

Or are you working on branding as a whole or maybe you want a uniformed, polished look.

There’s a big spectrum between free and paid and so many choices. I can get lost for days at some of the sites below. I use both free and paid.

I’ve fallen in love with the photography of Styled Stock Society and now I use them exclusively on this site and most social media posts.

That’s where all of these gorgeous new images came from. It’s a subscription and I paid $45 for six months. That’s like $7 and some change a month.

I don’t mind paying that for this much pretty! It makes me smile every time I look at it.

The new theme is by Divi and I use it and Genesis exclusively depending on the website and client. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Divi by Elegant Themes it’s not a theme it’s more of a working relationship.

I’ve used several of their layouts and they are so customizable! This one, though, is by far my favorite. It’ll be around for a long time.

I’m addicted to photography. I only want to look at other people’s work, though, my photography skills are nada, zilch, nonexistent.

I’m the one who ends up with 16 pictures of the ceiling and only one blurry picture of half a grandkid. (true story!)

 

So let’s get right to it!

 

There are four basic types of photography licensing and you should be aware of which one the image you are using requires. I cannot stress enough Read The License Terms Before You Use The Image!

 

Creative Commons – There are 7 Creative Common licenses.

 

Attribution – means that the owner allows you to distribute, remix, tweak and build upon their work, even commercially as long as you credit them for the original work.

 

Attribution  (Noncommercial) – Same as attribution, but you can’t use them commercially. You can use them in a blog post, but nothing that you could sell.

 

Attribution No Derivatives – same as Attribution, except you can’t make any changes to the original work. You can use the image in a blog post or product, but you won’t be able to crop, rotate or change colors on a photograph with this license.

 

Attribution-ShareAlike licenses – This licenses let you remix, tweak and build upon the original work for commercial or non-commercial purposes as long as you credit it AND license your new creation under the same terms. This means that if you wish to share your new work, like say a free ebook, it must carry the same license.

 

Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs – The most restrictive CC license, meaning you can use the creative work with attribution, but you can’t use it commercially and you can’t alter it in any way.

 

Zero – The least restrictive CC license. It means that the owner of the work has waived all rights and you are free to use the image as often and however you wish, however you like, with no attribution.

 

What this means for you as a blogger: Creative Commons images are great for bloggers because they are monetarily free and you can use most of them in blog posts, ebooks, and products. Just be sure to give attribution each time you use one and be careful about where you use a noncommercial image. You won’t need to attribute images with a CC Zero license.

 

Public domain – Images or works in the Public Domain mean that their intellectual property rights have actually expired, been forfeited or are inapplicable. Images are free to use whenever and wherever you’d like.

 

Rights Managed – You pay for an image based on how many times and how many places it’s being used and/or viewed. Because of these restrictions and the high cost, it is not feasible for a blog or website.

 

Royalty Free – Means that you don’t pay a royalty for each instance that you use the image like you might do with Rights Managed images. Once you’ve purchased a royalty-free license, you can use the image multiple times with no time limit. There are some restrictions, however: you can’t use it in a template and resell it, for example.

What this means for you as a blogger: Royalty Free images can be inexpensive and are great for blog posts, web ads, videos, ebooks and digital products without attribution.

How Do You Know If Images You’ve Already Used Are In Violation?

Tineye to search for it. Tineye allows you to upload an image or enter the image URL (right-click the image and select “Copy Image URL”). A list of websites, including stock image sites using the image, is returned.

 

Sites for images

Free images

 

Pixabay – All images and videos on Pixabay are released free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0. You may download, modify, distribute, and use them royalty free for anything you like, even in commercial applications. Attribution is not required.

Unsplash – Free (do whatever you want) high-resolution photos. Subscribe to their newsletter and get a photo pack delivered right to your inbox.

Picjumbo – Free stock photo site created by designer & photographer Viktor Hanacek in 2013. It all started when any regular stock photo site didn‘t want his photos due to lack of quality. Two years later people downloaded more than two and half millions images from this site.

Gratisography – Free high-resolution pictures you can use on your personal and commercial projects.

Flickr – Not every photo on Flickr is available for you to use, even with attribution, so it’s best to find images using Flickr’s Advanced Search.

Stockphotos.io – A high-quality site for public domain and Creative Commons photos.

Tineye – A simple shortcut to finding photos in a specific color palette. When you choose the color(s) you’d like to have in your image, TinEye will gather images straight from the Creative Commons images on Flickr. Choose up to 5 colors and even adjust the percentage of each color.

Stockpholio – It doesn’t take you to Flickr to download the images, you can download them directly from the site AND get the HTML code with the credits. It makes downloading images much faster.

30 Stunning HDR Photos w/ Creative common license. There are only 30 images, but there are some stunning cityscapes and other landscape types of images.

Photopin – Free photos for bloggers & creatives. You can download the images in several sizes without having to go to Flickr and there is HTML code available to cut and paste for attribution.

Wikimedia – Media file repository that makes media content (images, sound and video clips) in both the public domain and Creative Commons freely available. Because it’s a Wiki site, anyone can copy, use and modify any files as long as the terms of each is followed.

Libreshot – A project that contains free stock photos for private and commercial use. All photos and the whole website are created by Martin Vorel.

Europeana – An online collection of digitized items from European museums, libraries, archives and multi-media collections. There are many items here that are also in the Public Domain.

Photogen – Photos for commercial and non-commercial use. Categories range from business, agriculture, technology and arts to nature, travel and food and drink (plus more).

Freephotobank – FreePhotoBank is a free stock photo site. Feel free to download pictures (up to 2048 pixels, Creative Commons licence) but don’t forget to link back to FreePhotoBank !

Freefoto – Images in many different categories can be used for non-commercial purposes under the Creative Commons license for non-commercial, no derivatives, attribution license. For a fee, images can be made available for commercial use and in high resolution.

Freestockphotos – Owned and copyrighted by Daniel Speck. Mostly nature and travel images.

Photoseverywhere – A free stock photo site specializing in travel-related stock photos.

Burst.Shopify – A new free stock photo site that covers just about anything.

Pixwizard – There are nearly 100,000 images on the site that are completely free to use (without attribution), about 20,000 of which are exclusive to us and can’t be found anywhere else.

Free Templates – Looking for free templates for your next project? Find everything from brochures to tickets are available on this site.

 

Crowdsourced Stock –

 

Fotopedia – Many photos here are available under the Creative Commons license, but you have to read the caption on each photo very carefully. If the caption says “Photo: ” and then shows the little CC in a circle icon, then click on that to read the license for that one photo.

Photober – Photos are all available for both commercial and personal use.

Patternpictures – A free photo site that provides mostly photographic backgrounds and textures, but also a lot of travel-style photographs.

The Open Photo Project – The Open Photo Project is a photo sharing platform created in 1998 by Michael Jastremski. Contributors have offered their images free of charge under terms of Creative Commons licensing.

Dotspin – A social sharing website for where you can upload and either sell or share your Instagram and Twitter photos under a Creative Commons license.

Morguefile – Photographs that have been freely contributed by many photographers for use in creative projects. You may use them for personal or commercial use.

Stockvault – This site has free images just be sure to read the terms of use before using any of them.

 

Photographer Owned Stock

 

Lime Lane Photography – Kellie is the photographer/blogger behind Lime Lane and although she sells many photographs, she also shares a few for free. All photos are meant for blog posts.

Picjumbo – Viktor Hanácek adds free photos to PicJumbo every day.

Splitshire – Free stock photos for personal & commercial use.” Daniel Nanescu is an Italian Web & Graphic Designer and Photographer that shares his own photographs to use free for both personal and commercial use.

Superfamous – Dutch interaction designer Folkert Gorter shares his incredible biological, aerial and geological photography on this site.

Imagebase – Imagebase.net is a collection of vectors and photos of people, objects, urban, nature and travel, mostly taken by David Niblack. Images can be freely used for personal, commercial, non-profit, artistic, or creative purposes.

Function Design Blog – Liam McKay has offered to share 4 volumes of his hi-res photos. You have full permission to use them however you see fit.

 

Subscription-Based Services

 

Stockunlimited – I paid $49 for lifetime access through SumoApp. I use it constantly and it has a wide range of photos available to use.

Styled Stock Society – This subscription runs about $10 a month or you can save more by paying for several months upfront. Amazing feminine styled photography that you can use anywhere. Receive free images for signing up for her newsletter.

Haute Chocolate – Another subscription-based photography site that has stunning feminine styled photography. Runs about $75 for three months. Receive free images by signing up for her newsletter.

Shay Cochrane – Beautiful photography bought in bundles or individually. Great for branding. Sign up for her newsletter and get your first image free.

Canva – Canva provides tons of free images. Some require purchase, but they are always $1.

Adobe Stock Photos – Tons of images. Subscription costs $29.99 a month with your first month free.

Stocksy – A pay-as-you-go subscription site.

Stock Free Images – The largest web collection of free images. 1,607,385 images royalty-free stock photos and illustrations.  

Death By Stock Photos – Subscriptions start at $15 and go all the way up to $180 per year. Get free images by signing up for their newsletter.

Graphicstock – Enjoy unlimited downloads of royalty-free photos, vectors, and illustrations. $49 a month or $99 for a whole year.

 

There is no way that I could include every single photo website, but these are the main ones. If you have more please feel free to add them in the comments below.

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5 Psychological Factors Of Brand Awareness And Trust

Brand awareness efforts are critical in achieving business success and overall marketing goals. It gives your brand a personality, an outlet to be sincere and transparent, and the ability to establish a trusting relationship with your consumers. Solid, positive brand recognition has the power to help your business thrive. If you’re an emerging entrepreneur wondering how to make a lasting impression on your audience, here are a few psychological factors that influence brand awareness and trust.

Create an engaging visual identity for your brand. The three main influences you should think about are: colors, logo, and font. Colors are important psychological factors since they convey feelings, emotions, and experiences. The colors you choose for branding and marketing your products can have a significant impact on customer perception and purchasing behavior, so be sure to use them to your advantage. For example, the color blue is associated with being dependable and trustworthy, while green can make one think of health and nature. 

In today’s digital world, having a presence on social media can help increase your brand visibility. Consider developing a social media posting strategy and creating a friendly personality for your brand. By engaging with your audience on a personal level, you can build a better experience for consumers. 

Moreover, if your content is compelling, customers are likely to share it beyond your following. This can help assure prospects that your brand is trustworthy. You can also run social media contests to further expose your brand by having your followers tag their friends in the comments section. For more factors that influence brand awareness and trust, see the accompanying infographic.

 

 

Author bio: Rebecca Purrington is a Promotional Products Expert with Crestline Custom Promotional Products. She has more than five years of consultative sales experience in the industry and holds degrees in both Social/Behavioral Sciences and Business Management.

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The Seven Deadly Sins Of Web Design

flatlay desktop with title

Designing a well-built website is more than just pretty colors & fonts. There are do’s and don’ts that you need to be aware of. If you spot these don’ts on your own website I’m hoping you will recognize and fix them immediately. It will benefit you, your readers, your page views, and your followers.

If you are looking for a Web design Oakville the sages marketing can be your one of the best choice to get creative and dynamic design. A team of expert web designers works with thousands of customers to support satisfactory design. Very reliable and trustworthy design that you really love for your business first website. Also grafting a unique petter for your web design, experts are ready to get started. Look up sages marketing.

#1 FONTS

Fonts that are too small or too light are a pain. I wear glasses and there are times that I can’t even read a piece of content because I literally can not see the font. Compose great headlines, write interesting content and use headline fonts that can grab attention. Also, line-height is an important factor. Give your text room! Big sections on content can overwhelm. Keep sentences & paragraphs short,

Think about it as an elevator. What do you do when the elevator door opens and it’s packed

#2 MOVING SLIDERS

A year or two moving sliders were all the rage, but as with everything else we began to see the drawbacks immediately. Slower sites, annoying movement or site bloat. Today moving sliders are so 2018 and if you’re still using them stop it!

#3 TOO MANY ADS

Listen, you’re never going to get rich running ads on your website BUT they can cost you big time. Site speed is so important these days and ads slow your site WAY DOWN! Not only that they’re annoying when there are so many you can hardly find the content. I assure you, your readers won’t. They will click off faster than you can say WAIT What?

#4 CONTENT OVERLOAD

I know it’s hard to create compelling content consistently (that’s a lot of c’s), but when you use long sentences and even longer paragraphs I can guarantee nobody is going to be reading it. People skim, they no longer read.

The best way to get more eyes on your content and lower that bounce rate is to write short complete sentences. Small paragraphs (no more than five sentences but even better three). Use your headlines correctly and space out your content so that it is easy to read quickly.

#5 BAD IMAGERY

As a designer, I think that imagery is so underrated. In my opinion, it’s the most important part of your content. Finding the right images isn’t easy but with loads of free stock photo sites, it’s a lot easier than before.

Think about your piece of content and find images that say what you mean. By that I mean if you write a post about blogging don’t use an image of a national park or if you’re a food blogger don’t use images that are money-related. I wrote the Essential Stock Image Guide that will show you what to use and where to find them.

#6 CONFUSING CONTENT

This is a little harder to explain, but what I mean is stay within your niche. If you’re a food blogger don’t suddenly throw in a travel piece. Or if you’re a travel blogger don’t suddenly start writing about crafting. It confuses your readers and a confused reader won’t be engaged.

I get it writing about the same things day after day gets boring and there are ways to incorporate different aspects. Maybe as a food blogger, you could write about the food in a city you just visited. Recreate the recipes or even build on it. If you’re a travel blogger write about the culture and display items of local color.

#7 COLOR & FONT HOARDING

This one is a constant fight. I get bored easily and changing things up keeps your site fresh and interesting BUT you can overdo it. Believe me, I can be the Queen of overdoing it. Using the wrong fonts in the wrong places or using too many different font types. Never use cursive in your main content. I seldom use serifs either just because it’s harder to read. A good crisp sans-serif is a great idea for your main font.

Limit yourself to no more than two different ones. You can always use different weights to help your content stand out. The more fonts the slower your site and the more confusing it can be to your reader. #thestruggleisreal

The same thing with color. Limits people! I never use more than three colors and seldom use that many. A good accent color and another to stand out against the rest. Any more can be confusing and choosing your color combinations is important.

It should be based on research for your niche and of course something that you AND your readers will relate to. Color psychology is real and it’s a very important step in the design process. For more information check out this post.

 

BONUS TIP

You should treat your website like the piece of prime real estate that it is. What I mean about is this;

When Google reads a website it goes from left to right just as you would read a book. So it stands to reason that the top left part of your website will be the most important space on the whole site. I’ve made a little illustration to show you exactly what I mean.

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Best Tips & Tricks for Taking and Editing Photos on Your Smartphone

Our smartphones are so powerful these days that we can work almost as productive as on our regular desktop computers in some areas. As a matter of fact, many photographers have ditched their computers and completely become reliable on powerful tablets and smartphones, especially while traveling. They use them to capture perfect shots or create astonishing visuals.

 

Basically, anyone can pick a smartphone and take a photo, but most people would agree that it takes someone with more skills and talent to create amazing images. Believe it or not, taking incredible images is actually really easy as long as you stick to some basic ideas and use some incredibly innovative mobile apps in the process.

 

In this article, we will show you a few editing tips & tricks and ideas on how to bring your photography game to the next level.

 

Extract photos from complex PDF files

 

Imagine this, you are browsing the internet searching for some great photo ideas and you finally came across a PDF document with a bunch of examples that you like. Logically, you would like to have the ones you like safely stored in your phone, but then you realized that it’s impossible since images are locked in a PDF file.

 

You could either download the whole file or take screenshots of photos you would like to keep. By taking screenshots you will definitely lose quality which is not good if you want to reuse those images. The best thing you could actually do is use PDF to JPG Converter app to open PDF you like and extract images from it in the best possible quality. We bet you didn’t know this was even possible.

 

Calibrate your touchscreen

 

Before thinking about editing pictures on your smartphone, consider calibrating your screen. By doing that, you would be able to more precisely adjust the settings when retouching your work. Most smartphone displays represent accurate colors. However, the majority of modern smartphones comes with a built-in feature that automatically adjusts the brightness and color temperature of your screen which can ultimately affect your editing process.

 

Our recommendation is to disable that features while you are editing your photos to ensure your colors are consistent. That should be done in two steps, first you would need to disable auto brightness feature and then the one that automatically adjusts the color temperature of your display.

 

Don’t overdo your photos

 

Whether you are editing photos in a built-in photo editor that came with your phone or you are using a third-party app, it is always a good idea not to overdo your edits. This is important because our smartphone camera lenses are considerably smaller than compact digital cameras which means that they can capture less light and visual information.

 

With that said,  you can only alter so much of a smartphone image before the quality starts to dissolve. If your photo is too dark or too bright, you can lose much detail when you try to alter it. So the idea is to do subtle adjustments to your images, whenever you start seeing pixelation or noise that meant you should tone it down a bit.

 

Clean your lens

 

This one is so obvious and simple, but yet a lot of people make this crucial mistake. Most of the time your phone spends in your pocket, your hand or on a table facing up, and as a result of all of that, it will get dirty. Fingerprints, dirt or grease will eventually end up on your camera lens and will have a big effect on the photos you take.

 

There’s no point to expect that you will take astonishing photos while your camera lens is dirty. It will block the light and leave smudges or dust spots on your images. So next time don’t forget to clean your lens before you take a photo with your smartphone.

 

Manually adjust exposure

 

Exposure refers to how bright or dark your image becomes. When you tap on the subject to focus on it, your camera will also automatically set the exposure for the shot. Sometimes it is not ideal to let your phone set the exposure for you since it could lead to overexposing or underexposing certain parts of your image.

 

Most modern smartphones allow you to manually set the exposure. Simply set the focus by tapping the screen and use a small toggle slider to swipe up, down, left or right (depending on the smartphone) to manually set the exposure. When you are happy with the result, just release your finger from the screen and take a photo.

 

You can create some truly astonishing images by incorporating photography editing and capturing tips we shared with you in this article. Once you become familiar with them, you will see how much your photography game will improve.

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