ImagesMagUK_Digital-Edition_Dec17 DECEMBER 2017 images 17 BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Five ways to make your webpages work for your business 4 Place your contact information ‘above the fold’ , ie in the top section of your website so it’s immediately visible to users without having to scroll down. Your business’s contact information is the most important few lines on the website so place the information in a clear and obvious position for your customers so as to save them the hassle of scrambling around Google for your details. 5 Carefully consider which fonts you’ll use and at what size. It sounds like a simple one, but it is quite often overlooked. Readability on mobile devices is increasingly important, and therefore so is using a larger font. Use larger fonts to capture the reader’s attention, experiment with larger typefaces above the fold and medium-to-large below the fold, and draw your users to your content. Pick a font that is web-friendly and scales appropriately but also remember the font and font colour need to be visually appealing to your target audience. Andrew Langridge is from ETrader, one of the industry’s leading suppliers of websites to garment decorators across the UK. M y son is applying for graduate recruitment programmes at present and I’ve been staggered at how many applicants there are for each scheme: one recently attracted more than 8,000, he told me. A lot of SMEs I speak to say recruitment is their number one challenge. Some of these companies bring their families into the business, but that doesn’t always mean new skills are being introduced. I have been pondering for a while how we, as a collective industry, can inspire the next generation of young people to get involved in our sector. There are, after all, many exciting opportunities that exist in the industry. One of the things we can do is to promote the industry at graduate career fairs. The BPMA is in the process of putting together a graduate framework for its members so that companies can use this as an induction template. This will be a major hook for talented young people. Another important step in attracting and retaining quality staff is continuous professional training. For many years now the BPMA has been running its education programme, an online training pool for businesses in the promotional merchandise and clothing sectors. If you have any questions or topics for Gordon to address, please email with ‘BPMA’ in the subject line. BPMA: GOOD STAFF –ARE GRADUATES THE ANSWER? By encouraging young people into our industry, they will not only bring new skills and challenge the status quo, but they will understand the intricacies of social media, video and online communication in a different way to us older folk, which is vital for effective marketing. One of our largest distributor members now has three people in its marketing department alone, yet the company is in a minority – undercutting on price is in many instances the ‘marketing’ norm. The next five years are going to be very tough for our industry, in my opinion, and it’s those who innovate, think creatively and have a real grasp on sales and marketing that will thrive. Here are five simple yet effective tips for creating a compelling webpage for your garment decoration business. 1 Create quality calls to action (CTA). A good, clear CTA encourages users to click and navigate to certain parts of your website, sign up using your data capture form, buy products and benefit from your business. A good CTA helps your website’s visitors quickly decide what they want to do next and provide them with a simple navigation. 2 Use fairly small images . This is more about the site loading speed than the visual appearance; resizing and optimising the images ensures that your page performs well. A web page with many images can take a long time to load and generates multiple server requests. CSS sprites are an effortless way of improving site speed. An image sprite is a collection of images put into a single image. Using image sprites will reduce the number of server requests, save bandwidth and make loading much quicker. If you use the same image across multiple pages, use sprites to cache the image so they don’t have to be re-downloaded. 3 Ensure all on-page links/back links are maintained. Broken links have a negative impact on search engine optimisation, and are also a sign that the page itself is not very well maintained. There are a whole host of link- checking tools available that monitor them, allowing you to fix them quickly.