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SEO and search engine rankings are indispensable resources in effective content marketing. SEO trends saw major changes in 2015. One of the major ones was the Mobilegeddon update released by Google on 21st April. It segregated mobile-adaptable and non-mobile-adaptable sites because of increasing mobile optimization. The year 2016 is again predicted to be fully action-packed for the SEO industry. Listed below are few of the major predicted takeovers likely to happen next year.

• Mobile searches will rank the first: Mobile optimization will be the buzzword for 2016, with the increasing search traffic and significant paid clicks from smartphones and tablets. With the Mobilegeddon update and the downsizing to local 3 pack searches, Google has confirmed the importance of mobile rankings and searches. For all businesses, this is a clear indication that businesses should work towards building effective mobile marketing plans, which includes good mobile design, mobile advertising, and mobile payments, in order to provide maximum mobile experience for users.

• Voice based search to gain more importance: With vocal searches now enabled on Apple Siri, Google Now and Windows Cortana, voice based searches are gliding up the rankings. For users this means quick results when compared to traditional text searches. Definitely, the future is all likely to see apps, search engines and web pages that imitate and translate colloquial language.

• Deep linking on apps will gain higher significance: Google app indexing is a major game changer of apps. Google is predicting the use of apps to outsmart traditional desktop searches because of the increasing number of search requests coming in from mobiles. As such deep linking on apps will garner more importance because of the app optimisation. Earlier, for mobile users, an app link opened only to the home screen but now with embedded deep links on apps, it is possible to connect users to other pages apart from the home page. Deep linking effectively increases customer conversion rates and enhances user engagement.

• Video content to outsmart written content: Until now written content was the ruling king. However, engaging video content is widely gaining popularity. According to Cisco Visual Networking Index, by 2017, there will be a 67% increase in video content. Video content has several advantages with respect to wider reach, more user involvements, higher efficiency and major increase in ROI. You Tube has more than one billion viewers every month and it is said there are more than 20 million weekly video watchers in UK alone. So, now businesses can look into providing regular video contents to increase user reach and for more user involvement. With apps like Twitter’s vine, it’s now possible for small businesses on shoe string budget to record engaging video content.

We at Creative Ideaz can help you to get on top of search engines to make your business stand out and increase your sales. For more information call us at 0845 0942153.
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PHP is one of the most popular website development languages. This server-side scripting language is easy to understand, and over the years, has become the most preferred open source programming languages for developing websites. Starting from PHP version 3.0 when it was released, every new release has added newer features to it, making it a feature-packed powerhouse to create robust and dynamic websites. On Nov 26, 2015 the company came out with the seventh Release Candidate as a precursor to the general release, which they have deferred by 2 weeks to fix a few blocker bugs. Nevertheless, we bring you the dope on what you can expect in the high performance upgrade to PHP 7.0.

Here’s the update on what is new with PHP 7.0.

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1. Powered by a brand-new Zend engine – PHP has been powered by the Zend open source execution engine since it was released way back in 1999. The PHP 7.0 avatar comes with a brand new version of the Zend engine rightly called the PHPNG (PHP Next-Gen) project or .PHP#NG. Source: firebearstudio.com

2. 2X speed and performance – The Zend engine comes with optimised memory usage. The just-in-time compilation (JIT) enables compilation at run time instead of prior to execution, which has led to whopping performance gains of anywhere between 25%-75% on real-world applications. As per this presentation on PHP.Net, PHP 7 has been able to handle twice as many requests on its content management system (CMS), compared to PHP 5.6, its predecessor. Thus, the performance is sometimes even doubled (in req./second). All that is required is a single upgrade.

3. New Operators – One of the most notable features of the PHP 7 is the addition of two new operators – spaceship and Null Coalesce. The spaceship operator is denoted by <=>, returns 0 if both operands are equal, 1 if the left is greater, and -1 if the right is greater. It’s also called a three-way comparison operator. The Null Coalesce operator (??) is used to check if a specific element exists.

4. 64-Bit OS Support – PHP’s native environment has been Linux since inception, though it was possible to run it on Windows system. PHP 7 will remedy this as it introduces consistent 64-bit support for both native 64-bit integers and large files – no more compatibility problems.

5. Return Types – PHP 7 enables developers to enhance the quality of their code with the help of return type declarations. This enables users to specify return types on functions, improving the current parameter type declarations, while providing support for integer, float, string and Boolean declarations.

6. Fatal Error Handling – All actions which resulted in “fatal errors” in PHP 5 will now throw catchable exceptions in PHP 7.  The new Engine Exceptions permits one to substitute these kind of errors with exceptions. There are two different kinds of exceptions in error handling – traditional and engine exceptions.

7. Addition of Anonymous Classes – PHP 7 now allows use of anonymous classes, which is offered by most object-oriented languages like C# and Java. Use of anonymous classes can speed up coding as well execution time.

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Ghost buttons, which were undeniably a major design trend in 2014, are still a huge favourite with many web designers. The buttons are widely used for their minimalism and the elegance that they clearly effuse on the web page.

Ghost Buttons in Simple Terms

Ghost buttons are basically transparent buttons framed inside a skeletal outline to give a ghostly feel. Ghost buttons promptly catch the attention of users in spite of being simplistic. Although bigger than normal buttons, they blend effortlessly and elegantly within the web page. Done in black or white, ghost buttons contain a simple text, inviting users for a call-to-action. Ghost buttons are often used with minimalist or flat web designs, and are mostly placed in important locations of a web page.

Where it All Began

Ghost buttons are spill outs from the old flat designs. They have their origins in Head-Up-Displays or HUDs – a striking feature seen in movies, car dashboards and video games, where data needs to be displayed in a largely translucent style to avoid blocking the viewport. However, it was the seamless use of the ‘Ghosts’ in iOS7, Nexes7 website and Bootstrap3 that ignited their widespread popularity and ease of use.

Advantages of Having Ghost Buttons on Your Web Page

Ghost buttons allow the main page to stand out, giving an unexpected visual treat to users. Audrey Azoura, an interior design website, beautifully blends ghost buttons on their image centric design. The buttons are perfectly colour matched with the main theme and define a visual sophistication that is sure to get user attention.

Ghost buttons are best suited for image centric web pages. These simple buttons do not disarray the main layout and also maintain the visual elegance an image depicts. Vantage Points, an educational website, is a good example of how well a ghost button is fitted with an image-focused design, without diluting the main theme.

Ghost buttons lend an unmistakable ghostly aura that will surely garner call to action. Implementing ghost buttons on business websites can help leverage more sales. Check out Prince Ink, a business site, which uses a ghost button to request a quote from users on their landing page – a quick way to attract users to call-to-action in as unobtrusive a way as possible.

The current web design trend focuses on simplistic design without any undue embellishments that gives the web page a fresh look and looks inviting. Ghost buttons are best suited for this present drift in web designing.

For more information on ghost buttons or any other web design solution, get in touch with at 08450942153.
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Social media is a very important tool used by brands in engaging with their target audience. How deftly you use it will make a big impact on your marketing strategy and efforts. Here are 10 pointers on what you should focus on to avoid making mistakes –

1. No strategy, no go – Social media marketing is not merely being present on FB or Twitter. Don’t start without a plan, which details content, the tone, style, posting schedule, frequency, platforms. It also helps to have a review mechanism in place.

2. Don’t crowd all the platforms – Research shows that the top 3 most focussed social media networks by marketers are LinkedIn (91%), Twitter (85%), and Facebook (81%). It is tempting to be create accounts across every social media platform like FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Digg, Pinterest and more. But it is advisable to shortlist a few on the basis of your customer demographic profile and the kind of product/service you are offering.

3. Buying followers is not cool – In a game of numbers, it is great to show ‘x’ number of followers. ‘Likes’ may be a good validation of your brand, but when other metrics like engagement do not match up, then the amount of money spent in buying paid followers is not justified. It may actually hurt your brand.

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4. Isolating your social media activities – Social media activities should be well tied up with the rest of the marketing elements, like the company website, blog, product collateral, e-newsletters, mail campaigns, etc. This aids in engagement as well as developing positive associations with the brand.

5. Too much of “me-me” – Beware of overselling or talking only about yourself and focus on sharing relevant content. The 5-3-2 Model for Social Sharing is a good one to follow. This states that if you are posting 10 times in a week:

•  5 posts should be related content from others   3 posts could be content by you but not an overtly selling pitch   2 posts of personal content that humanises your brand

6. Skipping the hashtags – Hashtags help in creating visibility on what your brand has to offer. Monitor trending hashtags or create your own. Always use a hashtag that has a specific message and which is interesting, engaging and relevant to your target audience.

7. Spamming – Beware of oversharing, or publishing multiple posts within minutes or hours. You are in danger of being muted or unfollowed. Businesses should consider using scheduling tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, etc. to space out tweets and posts for optimal sharing.

8. Not engaging with the audience – Actively manage your social media accounts by being responsive in replying to comments, thanking followers for retweets and engaging with influencers. Also equally important is dealing positively with negative comments and feedback. Ignoring this can impact your credibility with your followers.

9. Not focussing on content quality – The content that you send out should be consistent with your mission statement and branding. Always check content for grammar and spelling. Great content in form and style helps create a positive impression.

10. Failing to measure impact – Companies should analyse and measure their social media marketing efforts, using metrics relevant for them. Reach, engagement stats, follower count, lead generation results – let numbers speak for themselves. This can help you fine tune your strategy.

It is important to focus on each of these points and avoid making mistakes in executing your social media strategy. Have you made any social media marketing mistakes which you learnt from? You could even share you success story with us.
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Why Should You Choose Laravel Framework First conceptualised in 2011, Laravel has come a long way from being a basic PHP development framework and is now state-of-the-art, feature rich and elegant, having gained the respect and popularity all over the world. The new improved Laravel 5 was launched recently and has all that is needed to simplify the sometimes over complicated world of website development. What is really noteworthy is that Laravel 5 is totally in tune with the times of today – which means it focuses on bringing out features that are of more importance in the modern era. Here is a quick roundup on the most significant benefits of the Laravel 5 framework.
  • You now have a framework that has been built specifically for those who view web development as a creative artistic activity, rather than a structured, procedural, tedious one.
  • You can be confident of following the best practices of web design and development – thanks to the MVC and IOC based architecture.
  • Unorganized and mismanaged data can often be the source of many a nightmare for administrators, developers, managers and customers alike. With Laravel, everything to do with data becomes easy and simple.
    • Data Seeding: Create live data for testing multiple scenarios using the easy to use data seeding feature.
    • Data Migration: Use the powerful versioning facility that allows you to seamlessly migrate from one upgrade to the next and also rollback in case of erroneous conditions.
  • Ease your programming efforts by using in-built widgets and functions for commonly used tasks.
    • Automated Contact Form Creation Most websites will have a simple lead generation form that takes in the Name, E-Mail Address and Message from the customer with a call to action – Contact Us button. You can now pre-create this form along with the required validations so that you can save significant development and testing time and effort, and yet provide what gives value to your end customers.
    • Artisan Scheduler With the scheduler feature, system jobs can be triggered at regular pre-determined intervals. This leads to reduction in manual errors and the system still functions in the optimal manner. A great example of this is to schedule a routine function that clears the cache every hour, so that website performance is guaranteed at a consistent level, irrespective of ups and downs in traffic.
Additionally, there are functions that take care of important tasks such as routing, session management, authentication and authorisation, and queueing, so that the core team’s focus remains on the aesthetics and functional aspects of the website. For more details on this intelligent and simple framework, do get in touch with the PHP experts at Creative Ideaz today.
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E-mail Direct Marketing or EDM has proved to be one of the most effective methods for product marketing and lead generation. It results in an exponential growth in click and open rates on a year to year basis—the reason why you should try them. Here are some great EDM campaigns along with the reasons why they have what it takes to reach out and trigger responses from the target audience.

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The Product: An online greeting card portal.

The Theme: Built around the popular theme of holidays, this is one of the best examples of Holiday E-mail Marketing. What stands out is the choice of holiday, in this case—the creators have avoided the clichéd Christmas Marketing and instead used the more emotionally appealing Mother’s Day Holiday.

The Catch Title: Wait, when is Mother’s Day again? Did I buy Mom a card?

Why we love it: There are some significant elements that make this campaign effective. One is the sense of urgency it creates. The second is a clear call to action (CTA). Each picture in the e-mailer is a call to action, which will directly initiate the card posting process from the email itself. In addition—there is another CTA at the end of the e-mail that states—Browse More Mother’s Day Cards.

Charity: Water

The Product: An organisation that works on charity water projects.

The Theme: A visual to show donors how their contributions are impacting real world projects over a period of time.

The Catch Title: Dollars to Projects – Progress Update

Why we love it: A great visual that tells the exact position of where and how the money is spent, along with a timeline that gives a clear idea on when the project is expected to be completed.

T2 Tea Company

The Product: Australia’s largest sellers of tea and tea ware.

The Theme: A call for excitement—along with a message to change perceptions and bending rules. The mailer is colourfully designed with a map visual that goes in sync with the theme of motivating tea lovers to use T2 tea as a stimulant to navigate through the day.

The Catch Title: Wake Up and Smell the Tea

Why we love it: In addition to the tea, there are elements of add-on products like the T2 Total Tool; a great way of cross-selling that is also sure to delight enthusiastic tea lovers.

Would you like to find out what kind of EDM techniques will help your marketing campaign reach thousands of your customers? Get in touch with the right folks at Creative Ideaz, today.
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User Experience or UX based web designs are gaining a strong foothold in web and app designing. Unlike User Interface or UI – which was the mainstay of web designs at one time, and mainly dealt with the appearance of websites, UX web designs go further to provide thrilling user experience. The term ‘User Experience Design’ was coined by Dr. Donald Norman, a researcher in Cognitive Science, who felt that every user oriented web design should fully encompass user needs. With online businesses surging ahead like never before, web designers and business owners have realised the importance of enhancing user experience in their web designs, apps and of course products, to increase brand visibility and have an edge over their competitors. The next year is sure to see a rise in the popularity of UX designs. Here are some UX design trends to look out for in 2016:

1.  Standalone testing apps and sites: Having realized the importance of creating good, experience oriented websites, companies are testing their sites to negate every possible error. Testing enhances the quality of websites, making UX true to its name. Come 2016, and in the years to follow, there will be a guaranteed rise in standalone user testing websites and apps to improve the credibility and durability of UX and UI websites.

2.  User experience will be the ruling norm in web designing: Just like how responsive web designs became imperative in web development, UX designs will unquestionably be the ruling norm in the years to come. UX will penetrate every level of designing to perfect web designs in every possible way—right from the moment a user clicks on the site, to when they complete a purchase order. It’s just a matter of time when Google Algorithms will lower search engine ranks of websites offering bad user experience.

3.  Interweaving physical and digital experience: With the gap between physical and digital closing in, the entire focus of designers and business owners would be to provide maximum physical experience through the digital space. Every micro detail of the web design will be analysed and perfected. It will no longer be the number of screens or clicks, but would be the refining of every screen and every click to give the maximum realistic experience to the customers. Customers are most likely to choose an app or a website for its ease of use and the pleasant experience they derive from it.

4.  Foreseeing user needs: Future UX designs will be wholly based on user needs. Companies will work towards giving a wholesome experience to customers, and enable them to make informed decisions and shop better. Artificial intelligence will be the next technology at play, to create the choicest designs based on web content, and to choose the best layout, colour, typography and the required imagery to enhance customer experience in every possible way.

Creating an engaging and user friendly website is the first step in building your online presence. If you need help with this, get in touch with our team at Creative Ideaz. You can call us 0845 0942153 to get the best solution there is.
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Online marketers are required to create engaging web content and gear up brand visibility to target nearly 1228.5 million online shoppers across the world. PHP is the most extensively used server sided scripting language for creating and developing winning websites. There are nearly 240 million websites developed on PHP programming – this includes Facebook and WordPress. PHP is widely used by programmers as it is loaded with wide band of easy to use frameworks, comprehensive documentation and effective ready to use scripts. Moreover, PHP finely incorporates MYSQL, which facilitates easy, improved and faster database coupling- an effective speed booster for online transactions. Thus PHP enormously improves the quality of the web pages. There are scores of PHP tools which are lifesavers for programmers as it further refines the level of PHP programming and thereby ensures top quality in web design. Here are the few essential must-have PHP tools to build excellent web designs and thereby increase web traffic.

1. Debugging Tools: PHP debugging tools effectively stop code executions, dissect and identify problem areas any time. On time debugging ensures smooth functioning of the webpage at all times. A few popular debugging tools are:

    PHP MD: retrieves the source code and detects errors in it. Errors are resolved with the help of its predefined set of rules.     KINT: another popular debugger and very easy to use and extremely powerful enough to tackle major coding errors.     PINBA: is an open source MYSQL storage engine that enables programmers to scrutinize the performance of their PHP script, locate blocks in real time and rectify the code that need correction.

2. Security Tools: these PHP tools enable system analysts to track and detect weak points in programs which if not rectified can lead to spam and abuse later when run on real time. Some powerful security tools are:

    PHP-ID: is easy to use, detailed and quick and over the edge security scanner for PHP developed web apps and pages. PHP-ID ensures high speed vulnerability detection and helps to clear outdated libraries, layout issues and accessibility.     Pixy: a Java program that detects vulnerabilities in XSS and SQL injections into the web page. Pixy accepts PHP web program as an input and makes a detailed report on possible weak spots within the program.

3. Image Manipulation and Graphs: these powerful PHP tools enables web developers to create eye-catching web graphs and charts based on comprehensive data. Major Image Manipulation and Graphic tools are:

    Magic Wand: this tool enables PHP access to Image Magic API, to create, edit and compose bitmap images. Developers can incorporate different kinds of special effects to images like flip, mirror, rotate, scale, and draw text and so on.     pChart- this tool is available free online and provides multiple ways of building charts and graphs from single or multiple data.     WideImage: is an object oriented PHP library used for regular image operations. This PHP tool provides developers with easy and quick method of loading and saving images from/to files, databases, uploads and URL addresses.

At Creative Ideaz, we create striking, user friendly and effective web designs to bring in the required brand visibility for your business needs.
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