House Sign Design

I have just published an article on House Sign Design via Ezine articles. It covers all the basics of good sign design – things which often get overlooked.

Here is the article: House Sign Design Basics

If we ever send a proof to you which looks like it was poorly designed, please do let us know and we will work together with you to get it right.

Black and Silver House Sign Image

Windmill House – Black Sign with Palladium-Leaf Writing.

Analytics Geolocation Test

Here is an interesting experiment on geolocation I did using Google maps and Google Analytics:I made a list of all the postcodes of people who had bought a sign in June. I plotted these onto a map. Here they are:

geolocation map of house sign sales

I then retrieved a map of my conversions for June using Google Analytics. Here it is:

 

Analytics map - house sign conversions

As you can see, Google is doing a pretty good job of catching most people’s locations. You can check to see how accurate your geolocation is by clicking here.

Large House Signs

We have just finished our largest house sign:

Large House Signs Image

It measures 85 x 53cm. We have made some business signs this large for hanging on posts, but to mount this by your front door?

One problem a sign like this poses is getting the painting correct. Every detail has to be just right. This one took 12 hours to paint.

Don’t worry, we do give large discounts for large signs.  If you need something like this, the best thing to do is contact us.

Football Club House Signs

It’s amazing how many people want to support their football club by having a themed house club signs. If you are thinking of doing it, you’d better make sure everyone in the house supports the same team!

Football Club House Signs Image

We can do any team or other logo’s you want – so if you would like to support your team by having a house sign made, let us know!

You’ll Never Walk Alone

When you walk through a storm,
Hold your head up high,
And don’t be afraid of the dark.
At the end of a storm,
There’s a golden sky,
And the sweet silver song of a lark.
Walk on through the wind, Walk on through the rain,
Though your dreams be tossed and blown..

Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart,
And you’ll never walk alone…….
You’ll never walk alone.

More football signs will be posted soon.

All That Glitters is Gold

What is it about gold that captures the human mind and heart in such a powerful way? The theme of gold features powerfully in all areas of our lives. What comes to mind when you think of gold?

Sting – Fields of Gold

Francesco Totti, Golden Shoes winner 2007

Ben Johnson – 100 metres Gold Medal winner

What more, he lost it later!

Gold is an important metal to any sign maker. It never tarnishes in normal conditions and has a reflection that captures the eye like no other substance. We use gold on most of our signs. Gold is far superior to brass, as brass tarnishes and corrodes quickly.

If you have any more examples of golden themes, leave a comment below.

Gold Chip Carving

One effect we like, but don’t advertise much is gilded chip carving. We chip carved an area of the sign using a little gouge and then gild it. Here is the effect you get:

Gold Chip Carving

The reflection of the gold is fantastic because all the chips act like facets which bounce the light back in several directions.

You can have this effect on any sign you want. Hopefully we will offer it as a standard choice soon.

Please Google – Give us more options

A sincere request to Google:

Please let us enter our own Geo-location!

I am based in the UK, but often work on projects in the USA. However, I am being hampered by the fact the Google is adjusting the search results according to where they believe you are based.

When I (in the UK) search www.google.com for the word “house signs”, this is what is returned: (Click image to enlarge).

UK Geolocation Results

However, when the same search is performed in the USA, here are the results:

Us Results House Sign Search

The searches were both carried out at the same time.

The thing with this is that it makes it hard for someone in the UK to work on marketing a US site.

Could Google please provide us with a option to enter your own location data? This would allow us to see how a customer/co-worker is seeing the results.

If you support this, and want to let Google know, please Digg this article and I will email it to someone in Google. Thanks.

House Signs with Celtic Fonts

We often get asked for Celtic fonts on our signs. We have quite a few, but normally choose Kelt, as it is quite easy to read.

House Signs Celtic Fonts Image

One thing we always try when designing a sign is to maximise the readability. There is little point in having a beautiful house sign which people can’t read. However, with some careful design, you can have both.

5 Essential Analytics for your Website

Most people install some sort of analytics on their website for a good reason – but how many people know the basics of what to look at? Here are the big 5 indicators to check.

For the screen shots I will be using Google Analytics. It’s free and powerful, and they have just improved their interface drastically. You can read more about Google Analytics here.

You need to decide how many days you are going to analyse. You can get very accurate statistics by looking at just one day, but you risk jumping to conclusions. I normally look at the last week.

1. Bounce Rates

Bounce rates are a great way to measure how people like your website. A bounce is where someone clicks through a link to one of your pages then leaves without going to any other pages. In most analytic programs, this must happen in a set amount of time, like 10 seconds.

Website Analytics Image

Click image to enlarge

If you are getting free traffic from sites, blog comments or whatever, a 60% bounce rate can be normal. It’s free, so don’t panic. However, if you are paying for traffic and it has a bounce rate of over 30%, you need to take a critical look at the factors which effect bounces. Here are the most common:

  • Unfocused Ads. Are you bidding on the right keywords? You can get lots of traffic from the words “Free videos”, but if that is not what you are offering, people will bounce.
  • Bad page design. What is the first impression for the customer? If your page looks unprofessional, people won’t do business with you. Is your call to action clear and repeated a couple times?

2. Pages per Visitor

How many pages do your visitors look at on average? This can depend on your site structure etc, but if people are only looking at 1 or 2, this is generally a indicator of bad navigation. I like to see visitors looking at over 4 pages.

3. Conversions

Make sure you setup some goals on your site. This may be filling in and submitting a form, or purchasing goods etc. Any action which is important to your business is important to track.

Conversions are the ultimate guide to your advertising profitability. Why would you pay for something which has little effect. Be warned, some verticals may have a very long purchase process, so don’t shut off your ads too fast. However, don’t waste money on traffic streams which have no return.

4. Content Leaks

Have a look at the content report

Analytics Image

Look at the exit rates. An exit is where that page is the last a visitor looked at. Take a critical look at where people are leaving your site from. Is something confusing them? Are they getting lost? Are they looking for something they can’t find? Index or top level pages with little information should have a very low exit rate. A high rate indicates confusing navigation.

5. Time on page

You can use the time on page averages to figure out how much text a visitor reads, and how confusing they find your navigation or order process. Here are 2 very broad rules of thumb:

  • Information pages (like product pages) should have a higher time on page, but not excessive. People need time to read and look at pictures.
  • Index pages (like category lists etc) should have a low time. People should be able to navigate quickly through the indexes down to the product level.

Conclusion:

Analytic programs record a lot of data, and you could spend all day looking at the metrics. However, you most likely have some other work. Check the basics daily and use them to improve your website and advertising. Check the more detailed metrics (such as geo-location, browser versions) when ever you make a big change to catch design and programming errors.

What tips to you have? What do you check? Leave a comment.