Blogging has definitely become a more popular way of engaging with customers since it first appeared in the late 1990’s. The purpose behind blogging has also changed. When it first appeared, its purpose was mostly to relay a person’s thoughts or opinions about whatever took their fancy. These days, the concept adds value to the business world and, as a result, many online businesses have taken to writing blogs about their industry, service or product in order to take advantage of the benefits.
So how does it work?
Today, content is a huge factor in what drives the internet. It’s what search engines love to find and use to rank a website as an authoritative and trustworthy site - hence content being at the top of the pecking order when it comes having a great website.
You may have heard the term ‘content is King’? Well, the importance behind that term still stands and writing blogs is a way of creating the content that will boost your rankings. You can read more about the importance of content from one of our earlier blogs.
What are the benefits?
Having a blog for your company can:
· Get more customers/traffic looking at your website via inbound links
· Demonstrate that you're an expert in your industry, whilst reinforcing your brand and credibility
· Improve the performance of your website and SEO (search engine optimisation)
As you can see the benefits of starting a blog and sticking with it can really benefit your business. Why not create social media pages too (like GooglePlus, Facebook and LinkedIn) as other platforms that will help you reach more interested parties. You can post links to your blogs on your social media pages that will help maintain and generate interest.
Three statistics that will make you want to start writing a blog today!
The downside to writing a blog…
…time. Yes, I’m afraid there had to be something! Making the time to invest in planning, preparing and writing great articles is what can put a lot of people off. If you’re currently finding it impossible to put aside the time to do this; or if the thought of getting creative and writing a blog chills you to the bone - then why not let us to do it for you?
We have a team of great copywriters that are experienced at writing about all types of subject matters in a natural and free flowing way. So increase the online traffic to your website and start your blog today!
I like the content of the homepage but feel it is too long. Will people really want to read so much and can it be shortened?
If you’re new to the idea of having a website made for your business, or you’re thinking about having your current site revamped, it’s important that you take a long hard look at your content. Your homepage is particularly important, as it’s the page that represents the ‘shop front’ of your site. You want people to look through the window, open the door and peruse further by looking at other pages, and ultimately engage with you and buy either a service or a product.
Enticing someone to make a purchase takes work and that’s when many businesses overlook the need to write about all that they do on the homepage. Thought should also be given to the words (keywords) that someone might enter into a search engine when looking for your service or business.
These methods go towards optimising a page – basically packing in what you can (in a natural, free flowing way) to hold the attention and inform the visitor, as well as being found by search engines. In order for you to be found in this way you should include an overview of the following:
• Who’s behind the business, the ethos
• What services the business offers
• What products the business offers
It should reflect a bite-sized version of what you have on your about page, services page and products page. Try and make the content throughout your site unique and on the homepage, you should aim to write at least 800 words, preferably more.
But what if you have a business that is based on producing visual goods or services – like a cake shop or a photographer? People just want to see the end result right, not read about how it was made?
Whilst many people do skip to the gallery and review the end result before committing to buy, many users these days want to make an educated decision prior to that happening and who can blame them. Today, more than ever, people have a greater choice about which service provider to use.
With so much choice, this means that businesses have got to be more transparent about what they do and how they do it in order to look unique amongst the competition. It would be hard to appear exclusive in a couple of paragraphs (unless you’ve got some serious marketing money behind you) compared to doing so in 800 or so words. Read more about the importance of writing great content from one of our previous blogs.
If the thought of writing creative, relevant and interesting content overwhelms you, why not let us help?
No two websites are the same and no two clients have the same requirements or work in the same way.
Perfect Layout offers a content creation service for customers who don’t like writing or simple don't have the time. If you require this service on top of us building your website, your product will take longer for us to complete.
In the consultation stage we will decide on a site map for your website – determining the pages and subpages most appropriate for your site. We will also determine how visual your site will be and how many images you may need for each page.
If you have a collection of your own photos we may be able to use those, alternatively, Perfect Layout Digital Marketing can source high-quality stock images for you.
So once the foundation is in place and all content and images have been approved – the turnaround time for showing you the first draft of your website can be as short as two weeks.
Call or email Perfect Layout Digital Marketing to find out how we can help you:
01708 578 015 or firstname.lastname@example.org
As the saying goes, ‘you shouldn’t mix business with pleasure’…In our business, quite often we are told by clients that their friend or a family member was building/has built their website but:
…they have spent months (even years) working on it and it’s still not finished
...it doesn’t look the way they thought it was going to
...it's not working the way that they want it to
Usually, when they are a friend or family member (and not a web designer), they invariably take an off-the-shelf package thinking 'how hard can it be?’. It’s true that building a website from one of these off-the shelf-packages isn't necessarily hard, but do they really know what they are doing? Do they really understand how to make a website perform well and not just look good?
There are thousands of cook books out there and it's easy to follow a recipe, but that doesn't mean the results will always be the same, or that what you make will even taste nice. There is a knack to good cooking and the same principle applies when building a website.
Often it's the things that look simple that can be complex underneath.
Building a website in itself isn't rocket science, but there is a method to making a website great. A website with all the right elements in place will add value to your business. A nice looking website, may simply be aesthetically pleasing but does nothing for the growth of your business. The fundamental components you need include:
By that it needs to be clear, well-written, grammatically correct and keyword rich. Content IS King. Being found in search results is determined by the search engines algorithms matching the users’ keywords with the content on the site. If your content is sparse, poorly written, not properly thought through (using a range of keywords) it is likely that you will feature low down in the rankings.
Search Engine Optimised headings
Headings carry more weight than body text, so ensure that your headings are relevant to what your audience is searching for. Using keyword-rich content in header tags will improve the search engine visibility for your target keyword. Mashable also recommends not having the same article title as you would for your page title, and advises how to write a good meta description.
Easy to use navigation
If your user experience is cumbersome and clunky, it's likely to put customers off. Make sure that you think carefully about how your users might navigate through your web site. Keep it clean and simple. Before you ‘go live’, test your website out as if you were visiting it for the first time. Can customers navigate your website easily? Is it clear and easy to understand? Could any steps be simplified?
High quality images, but not high resolution
There are so many stock photo agencies these days, that having low quality images is not an excuse any more. Your photos need to be clear and crisp, but they must also be saved as smaller files. Large image files will make loading your page slow, which may put people off staying on your website.
Calls to Action
A Call to Action (CTA) on a website is a prompt to get the user to take some specified action. It could be a button asking you to ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Subscribe’. Visually it can be a button or hyperlink. When designing your website consider how your customer might want to get in touch with your business. Are you making it easy for them to do so? Are you giving them choice; email, online forms, telephone numbers? Find out more about why Calls to Actions are important.
When Perfect Layout Digital Marketing works with customers, these are the core principles which we adhere to as the starting point for building their website. These fundamental steps are the foundations to having the building blocks for great online presence. Though don’t be mistaken with thinking that the work starts and ends with a website alone. Consider the website edging of the puzzle - there are still other pieces to put together before the picture is complete. Perfect Layout Digital Marketing can talk you through what other digital strategies would work best for your business.
Before starting a new web project you might want to read website trends for 2017. This article was published by Forbes magazine at the beginning of the year, and it might be useful for you to think about how you would like your website to look and any features that you might like to see.
Perfect Layout can, of course, simply do a website build. However, we prefer not to do that. Instead, we encourage our customers to take up a support package, where month-by-month we will monitor your website against the competition, check where it is ranking in organic search, and if needed, suggest tweaks.
We also apply other digital strategies to ensure that your visibility online is not just limited to your website. Are you active on the right social media channels? Is your business listed correctly in external directories?
If you are unsure of what your next step should be, give us a call and let’s have a chat today.
The term ‘Content is King’ has been bandied about for many years. It’s something that you may have heard mentioned on one of the blogs at Perfect Layout or whilst perusing the internet for news and top tips on how to make your website attract customers.
So, what does the term Content is King mean and from where did it originate?
The term ‘Content is King’ came from an essay that Bill Gates wrote in January 1996 entitled, ’Content is King’. It was published on the Microsoft website and stated…
“Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.”
Imagine, Bill Gates, the creator of Microsoft computers made this statement over 20 years ago! Did he have a crystal ball? We’ll never know, but his intuition was certainly firing on all cylinders as his prediction has become a reality. Today, content is a huge factor in what drives the internet. It’s what search engines love to find and use to rank a website as an authoritative and trustworthy site - hence content being at the top of the pecking order when it comes having a great website.
Is content on a site that important?
There’s really no getting away from the fact that having interesting, informative, content on your website is great news for your business. Think of it this way, you wouldn’t buy a book entitled: ‘How to create a great blog’ if the ideas contained within it was not about blogs and full of grammatical mistakes.
It’s the same with a website. Nowadays consumers aren’t solely surfing to buy a product or service. They want to be clued-up, educated or tickled with something that will draw them in to press the buy, subscribe, like or recommend button, and ultimately come back for more. The right content on a website can help a business achieve these things – but it can’t do it on its own. That’s where the rest of the royal family come into play…next up, ‘The Queen’.
So, what is the role of the Queen?
My thoughts are that having great content is not a stand-alone facet of getting customers to a site. There has to be a strategy behind the content to ensure that it’s relevant and directed at the right customers at the right time.
The content that’s being offered should have the right ‘context’ which means offering information that is relevant and helpful to the customer in their current situation. The more relevant a post is to that person’s need, at that point, the more that person is likely to buy that product or service. To fully merge the right context into your content means thinking about what context would be helpful for your customers and then identifying the kind of factual data you need to identify that context.
The work of The Queen doesn’t stop there. Her role also holds the title of ‘creative development’. Making your content stand out and really shine amongst the competition isn’t easy. Depending on your niche you will have a particular demographic and age-range that you need to appeal to. Do your research and tailor your content to appeal to them.
I believe that the final role of The Queen (such a busy lady!) is that of ‘distribution’. What platforms are the best to get your content seen by those that need to see it? Nowadays, there’s a plethora of social media platforms that can be used to get your content seen by the right people. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+ are just some of the ways in which you can distribute your content directly to the people that want to see it.
So, during the planning stages you will need to think about:
And last but not least…The Prince and Princess
Whilst there’s little written about the off-spring of this royal family, I’ve taken the liberty of identifying who they are and the role they play in keeping the King on his throne.
The key to ensuring that your website, and the content contained within it, are working optimally, are Web Designers – surprise! They may also go under different Marketing titles, but I’m writing this blog so have the freedom to be biased!
If you are unable to write content like a King with the right context and undertake all the other tasks included within the role of the Queen, the Princesses within this company can assist you to:
Be inspired to… think and write creatively
My husband has a beard. Not a moustache, goatie or bit of stubble – he has a full-grown cave man beard. It suits him. It draws him attention and makes him stand out from the crowd for his unique style.
These days, having a business online can be difficult to master. Depending on your niche, getting a foothold amongst your competitors can be a daunting task. You have to think outside the box, be unique and have the equivalent of a really big beard (!) to draw customers in.
We are accustomed to writing content and thinking outside the box when it comes to promoting local online businesses. We write content that’s relevant, interesting and full of keywords that will get you seen by the right audience. The key is to making the text sound natural, interweaving an outline of your services and products into the content all the while helping you to stand out from the crowd.
What role do you think The Prince and Princess play in this royal family?
It was earlier this year, when we were away for my son's rugby tour, when the stars seemed to align and offer me another opening for a client for newly formed Perfect Layout. As you do (when staying in a holiday camp as part of a rugby tour) I headed to the club house to socialise with other parents from the team and partake in a little beverage - mine was a white wine!
As I arrived at the table, I heard one of the dads moan about his website and how it was doing 'nothing' for his business. In the seven years that he had been with this reputable household-name web design company, he said that the only calls he was getting were cold calls. All of his work came from word of mouth. He was thinking of ending the contract, as he was paying a considerable amount of money each month with no real results and couldn’t see the point in continuing.
I decided to join in the conversation and let him know about Perfect Layout Digital Marketing and the work that we do. I didn't lay it on thick; that's not how we work. But I asked him what the domain was and that when I had a moment I would take a look, do a quick website analysis and let him know my observations. Over that weekend, when I found a connection to Wi-Fi (not so great in the middle of the country) and had a look. I was shocked!
This reputable company was taking a fair amount of money each month, for nothing. Their web account manager appeared to be always on the upsell telling him if he did x, y and z, their organic search would improve. What a joke!!!
The only credit I can give - and don't get too excited - is that their website was on a mobile friendly platform, but the content was next to nothing! Across the entire site was a total of approximately 500 words. How would his company ever be recognised for the services he offered when there was no content talking about what he did on his website? How were search engines expected to return his company in organic search when there was so little to go on?
Through a few sketchy headings, you got a sense of what they did, but it didn't even come close to what the recommendations are today regarding the amount of content there should be on a website. It also failed to explain the services they provided and there was no geographic explanation of which areas they served. No wonder he was miffed in spending money each month on this.
To cut a long story short, we recently launched his new website (Oct 2017). We created a comprehensive home page giving a full overview of the company and developed unique pages for each of the services offered. Each page is rich in keywords, making it easier for the algorithms to decipher the business that this company is in. We are confident that in the next few weeks, we are going to see his site climbing up in organic search and that in the near future he is going to be receiving calls and winning new business.
This is the point where most companies would hand the website to the client, say thank you very much and leave you to it. Not with Perfect Layout. With all of our customers who are on a monthly package, we will invest our time on other digital marketing strategies. In our opinion, having a great website is like making a cake with all the right ingredients.
If you want a fantastic cake you will need to enrich it with flavours and toppings. In today’s world, being basic just won’t make you stand out.
So the moral of the story is: listen, because you never know what you might hear...and more importantly, speak. Don't ever be afraid to tell people what you can do, especially if you can offer your services. Whilst it was a 'win' for Perfect Layout to sign another client, our mission is always to strive for a 'win-win' all round.
We will monitor the site month-on-month and continue to apply digital marketing strategies to ensure that this website gets noticed. If you're not sure why your website isn't delivering leads to you, give us a call. Let's have a chat and we will schedule a free website consultation.