So, whether you have built your own website or have hired an agency to build one for you, please remember that a website on its own will not bring customers knocking at your door. There are many more digital strategies that you must apply in order to stand a chance of being found in this fiercely competitive digital world.
The good news is, that currently, not everyone is aware of what these digital strategies are and how they can benefit your business when it comes to being found in organic search.
Whilst your consumer-facing website is one cog in the digital wheel there are other cogs that will help keep that wheel spinning smoothly.
The back-end of your website
1. Have all the pages on your site been search engine optimised? Does each page have a title, description and meta keywords added? Without these you are missing out on digital juice.
2. Do all your images have a description (alt text). Search engines are unable to detect an image and what that image means. Ensuring that all your images and photos are properly tagged keeps the algorithms happy and helps them understand what your business offers. Don’t miss out on this simple step that is extremely valuable.
3. Have you created a Google Analytics code and embedded it in the right place? Google wants to know the websites that are doing well. Using their free analytics tools not only provides them with a wealth of data, but that you have access to this too.
Supporting your website
Man cannot conquer the world alone. S/he must always have a team supporting them. The same is true of your website. No matter how fantastic it is, it also needs support. You can get this by creating listings on independent directories.
A good place to start is with the big search engine business directories such as Google My Business and Bing Places. This ensures that you have claimed your business and that you can enhance your listing with contact details, images and text.
Then think of all the relevant trade directories that your sector has. Which of these do you think is worth investing a listing in? This can be a paid-for or free to join directory. Remember to take the time to complete each listing as fully as you can.
Finally, think of the mass directories like Yell, 192.com, Yelp, etc. All of these will have a free version of a listing. It is highly likely that they will call you to upsell to a paid for listing or target a specific area. It’s up to you whether your budget stretches that far…though Perfect Layout doesn’t think it is always necessary.
Backlinks. These are links on other people’s websites that direct traffic back to a page on your site. These are the golden nuggets that can really boost your online presence. Think long and hard about how and where you can make links with other businesses and that these businesses will happily add a link back to your site. Think guest blog posts, cross promotion and other creative ways of talking about your business elsewhere in the digital world.
Perfect Layout Digital Marketing has the skillset within the team to help any business with all or any part of these digital strategies. If you would like us to implement these for your business email us at email@example.com or call us on 01708 578 015.
Every other month, Perfect layout goes out into the community to talk to local businesses. The aim is share with our readers the personal experiences of these companies. What has worked for them and what they could do a little better…
Perfect Layout believe that sharing knowledge and experiences is a great way to help other local businesses. Attracting customers to the Essex area is paramount if independent companies are to thrive.
As a result, we are keen to promote the awesome, creative and varied companies that exist right here on our Essex doorstep.
Read on to find out more about a talented artist that works just around the corner…
How long have you been an artist for?
I would say about 17 years since I graduated, I’ve been doing it from day one.
Did you always want to be an artist?
Absolutely! From the age of 9 I knew. During an art class at school I drew a still life of a pot plant and my teacher said that mine was the best.
Is this your full-time job?
What type of artwork do you produce?
Currently, I am doing large illustrations with pen and ink. Six years ago, I stopped painting and I am enjoying illustrations so much that I might not paint again for a good few years.
What inspires your creativity?
I draw a lot of inspiration from my surroundings. I like drawing communities and people in the communities. I also enjoy drawing landscapes and cityscapes as well as poultry, which sounds a little odd, but I love it!
What type of mediums do you work with?
Currently I am working with pen and ink. Although I’ve previously worked with paints, print making, animation but drawing seems to come up as my favourite.
Who buys your artwork?
People who visit my exhibitions, primarily. I currently have a gallery that help me to sell my work to a third party.
How can your customers find you?
Social media. I have Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter and a personal website.
Do you sell any of your work through your website?
Do you think that your website is a good medium through which to sell your artwork?
Have you thought about growing your business more through your website, i.e. create an e-commerce website that would allow people to peruse your work more as though they were in a shop?
What other digital marketing do you do to sell your artwork?
I’m on a couple of on-line galleries but they’re not really selling anything.
What advice would you give to other artists trying to successfully sell their artwork?
I would say that sometimes you’ve got to wear the business hat, which I lack. You’ve got to get yourself out there and be happy about promoting what you do, which I think I need to work on.
What plans do you have for 2018? Will we be able to visit your new creations anywhere?
I am working towards a show that will be at The Havering Museum in October. During the year more, exhibitions will start to pop up and I’ll see whether or not my work is suitable to submit.
Where do you see your artwork business going in the next five years?
Hopefully, I’ll be more comfortable wearing the business hat and be happier with promoting my work. I want to be climbing that ladder of success and I want to head to the top.
So, if you’re looking for some artwork that will add life to a bare wall, how about you check out some of Shema’s amazing creations via:
Facebook – Shema Ladva
Twitter - Shema Ladva
Instagram - shemaladvaarts
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have a business that you would like to feature in this regular slot, why not get in touch? We’d love to hear from you!
If you’re thinking about having a website built from scratch it may be wise to shop around. Prices can vary as well as the details of the packages that some companies offer.
Here at Perfect Layout we are upfront about the cost of all our services to ensure that you are kept clearly in the picture, right from the word go. The relationship that we develop with you is important to us as our aim is to always to give you an honest and professional service.
Building a website from scratch can be paid for under two package systems. The first we call a website build only with hosting. The cost? £500 for a 10-page site. This is based upon you providing us with all content and images. The cost for hosting in year one is included in this price and there is a separate cost for hosting thereafter.
Regardless of which package you opt for, our consultation process remains the same, which is us trying to understand you and your business inside and out. Your success means our success and we are in this profession to help grow your client base as well as your profits!
Our second package is for those who understand the impact of having a fully optimised website and the revenue it could bring to the company. For £150 per month (for 12 months) we will build you a: 10-page website; identify and monitor keywords for your sector; provide monthly analytics of these keywords and where they rank when searched for as well as other important techy stuff that will help your website rank well.
Our ongoing support package also includes undertaking changes to ensure that keywords consistently rank when searched for. We also include listing you on up to ten online directories. The website build and hosting cost is included as part of this cost.
Because digital marketing is a constantly evolving entity, our package provides the reassurance that your website will be tweaked to reflect any emerging changes. New online businesses are being formed daily and to keep ahead of the competition, a website should be regularly reviewed so that it doesn’t look dated and keeps in touch with the tastes and needs of its clientele.
Need another service in addition to a website build? Take a look at our other services.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Having a website is just one stepping stone on the path towards mastering digital marketing and achieving online success for your business.
Another vital component is not looking like a lone wolf, meaning that it is vital to connect with other online features, such as online directories. Why? Because being connected and building a network helps your business expand.
There are many online directories where you can list your business for free. If you choose to go down this road you may find that many of these companies will be in touch with you soon after offering you the opportunity to enhance your listing, i.e. pay for an upgrade. Dependent upon your budget, paying for an upgrade is not needed at this point unless you’re happy to do so.
Being listed across the internet on different online directories adds weight and authority to your business. It also indicates that your business is live and active.
Here are some points to remember:
NAP (Name, Address and Phone number)
You must be consistent across all listings with exactly the same layout. Any discrepancies can confuse the search engine algorithms and make it think that your one business is in fact, two, three or even four separate businesses. You can see how this can be perplexing and it may affect your organic search positioning.
Description within the listings
While it’s extremely tempting to create an introduction to your business and copy and paste this across your all of your other listings - this could penalise you. Search algorithms can detect text that is exactly written the same way elsewhere. When this happens, you compromise your organic search positioning.
Add personality through images and photos
Let your potential customers get a feel for what your business offers. If you have photos that are of your business’ services, use them to give your customers a sense of who you are.
Build out as much as you can
Each directory will enable you to add a varying degree of content. While this can be a time-consuming task initially - getting it right and enhancing your listing to the max will pay off over time. So do it well and do it once.
If you are busy with your business and would like help, Perfect Layout can do this for you for a small fee. Email us at email@example.com to schedule this work in with our team.
I’m not good with technology and don’t know where to start with buying a website address, is this easy?
Yes, buying a website name otherwise known as a domain name is fairly simple. You can go to any of the domain providers, such as 123-reg, GoDaddy and see if the domain is available. Simply type in your business name and they will tell you which extensions are available. The most popular ones are .com and .co.uk, so they may already be taken.
How to choose a name for your business?
The hard part is finding the right name for your business. Think about what your company offers and what might be appropriate. Do you want something unrelated to your business service, like Amazon and Apple did? As a start-up company, are you planning on building a brand?
If you have a local business that provides a service in a particular location, you might want to think about a domain using ‘city + service type’, such as www.romfordplumbers.com
Does the length of my company name matter?
Yes it might do. We recommend that you try not to make the business name too long, otherwise your domains and email extensions will be long too. It not only becomes a pain to let your customers know your web address or email, but it could limit you on social media handles too.
If the domain is already taken, what do I do now?
If your preferred domain name www.businessname.com is taken, is there another extension that you are happy with, such as .co.uk or .org. If they are all taken, it is not a case of throwing the towel in, but thinking perhaps of variations to your name. However, we don’t recommend spelling the name your own way, such as www.bykeshop.com instead of www.bikeshop.com, as this will not be easy for people to remember.
Once you have your name, and it is available, you then need to decide how long you want to purchase is for (in multiples of years) – you can renew year-on-year or you can buy in for say 2 years or more. Do what you think is best for your company. At this point you can also purchase mailboxes, also recommended, so that your domain and email addresses are consistent.
Having the same email and website address makes your business look professional.
If you are reading this, still feeling lost, Perfect Layout can help you with purchasing your domain. Look at the full range of services we offer.