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.
If you can’t remember the last time you reviewed the website for your business, now may be the time to undertake this task. Not having a new website could be the reason for your business lacking traffic and your competitors getting further and further ahead of you in the game.
It is now more important than ever to have a website that your customers will look forward to visiting. Consumers have a high expectation that a website will be visually attractive, easy to navigate, simple and informative. It should also be a website that works on whatever device the consumer feels like using at the time, wherever they might be.
But my website looks okay…
Recently, we were contacted by a client that had a very nice website. It had some great photos and was clean and easy to read. It was a business that worked mostly on referrals and chance passers-by.
There was no strategy behind their actions and they simply undertook tasks to keep their business afloat as opposed to thinking smart about what would work to promote what they offered and ultimately get more customers walking through the door.
They were working in the business, not on the business.
Their website lacked:
We also advised our client that if he wanted to attract customers to his business he had to get his website working in a way that would get his company appearing when searched for. Specifically creating pages on his website that targeted his local areas would help raise his profile.
Even though he had competitors in the local area, he had a unique selling point that he had never seen before. Perfect Layout was able to open his eyes as to how he could exploit these assets and show potential customers the benefits of going with him as opposed to his opposition.
We also discussed the websites of his larger sized competitors. What they had to offer as well as the pros and cons of their websites. Once the comparisons had been made he was very quickly able to see that his site was outdated.
Even though making the changes we recommended looked scary and trying to take on his competitors looked intimidating, we reassured him that with the right digital marketing approach (some of which are mentioned above) we would be able to increase his visibility and potentially turn those online visits into sales.
Be inspired to revamp your website:
Usain Bolt, Mo Farah and Perfect Layout Digital Marketing
...what do they all have in common?
Two legends of the track hung up their running shoes this year at the World Championship Athletics meet in London. Usain Bolt, Jamaican born and currently the fastest human in the world is considered to be the greatest sprinter of all time. He is an 8-time Olympic world medallist and has many other amazing track achievements.
Or how about admiring Mo Farah? He is the most successful British track athlete in modern Olympic Games history. He won gold in both the 5000m and 10,000m in 2012 and defended his status in 2016. He is the first person in history to defend both distance titles in the Olympics and World Championships Athletics. Very impressive!
So, what do they both have in common with our company Perfect Layout? Change. They knew that their bodies had had enough. It was time to be brave and take a new direction in their life, out of their routine, out of their comfort zone and out of the limelight.
Sound familiar? Are you a company that was once:
Have your sales now dropped?
Do you feel out of your depth when thinking about how to increase your revenue?
Are you at a loss as to how you can get new customers in through the door?
Then you need go no further. Bite the bullet and give us a call now to find out how we can help be your catalyst of change. Creating a new website or improving what you have is just one important facet to building your business up to where you want it to be.
Take action and be like Usain and Mo. There’s a time for thinking and a time for doing - let your time of doing be now!
How could your business benefit from having a new or revamped website with SEO? Why not make a list of the pros and cons to taking immediate action.
If you started building your website, but it hasn't worked out how you want it to, let us give you a helping hand.
With many do-it-yourself website building packages out there, with drag and drop functionality, many small business owners look to build their own website. But as with most things in life, what looks easy on the surface, may not be so in practice.
Often Perfect Layout Digital Marketing gets a call from a business owner asking us to help them with their website. Not a problem. By giving us the log in details to your provider, we can make the necessary changes to help make your website look and perform exactly as you would like.
We can look at your content, to make sure that it is keyword-rich, which will attract customers to your site. We will ensure that the layout and functionality is user-friendly and we will look at Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to ensure that you have greater chances of being found in organic search.
Perfect Layout Digital Marketing recently helped an entrepreneur based in Romford, Essex with his website. This is what he had to say about our work.
My website now looks outstanding, it's exactly what I was looking for. I can't thank you enough. You gave it the wow factor. Ian, Romford, Essex.
If you are struggling to make your web design look good and need a helping hand, give the Perfect Layout team a call on 01708 578 015.
Having a good website seems easy to do these days. There are many website builders on the market offering web packages at reasonable prices, but there’s a lot you need to know when it comes to ensuring that your website design has everything in place to make it work for you - especially if you want to generate more leads.
1 Content is King. Make sure that you explain what your business is about, ensuring that you use keywords that customers will use when searching for you. Google can then marry up your website with their search terms. If you don’t have the copywriting skills yourself, we can help you get keyword-rich content onto your web pages.
2 Use Call to Actions. If you want your customers to strike while the iron is hot make sure that you have Call to Actions on your page. This could be your phone number, contact forms or special offers to make them act at that moment.
3 Make sure your website is user-friendly. Make it easy for people to find their way around your site. Bad navigation could lose you a lot of business.
4 Use external directories to help boost your online presence. Is the platform that you are building on mobile friendly?
5 If your website isn’t responsive Google will penalise you and your website could suffer in organic rankings*.
These are 5 essential tips to keep in mind when you are looking to build your website. If you feel out-of-your-depth and would like some help, Perfect Layout Digital Marketing can offer you a free consultation and put together a digital strategy to get your business to where you want it to be. We can either look at hosting you on one of our monthly packages, or you can arrange ad-hoc work, such as re-writing your current website copy, based on our hourly fee.
If your website has already been built, but you feel like you are not getting enough new leads, it could be because you are missing out on other digital strategies that help boost your online presence; this is known as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). If you don’t know how to do this, Perfect Layout can help you with elements such as keyword-rich content, setting up and activating Google My Business and Bing Places accounts, as well as listing you on other directories.
Perfect Layout Digital Marketing is a web design company in Romford, Essex. While most of our customers are local to us we do have clients in London and across Essex. Whether you need ad-hoc work to help improve your website design and online presence or you would like ongoing website support, we can help you.
Give the Perfect Layout web development team in Romford, Essex a call today on
01708 578 015.
*if you are unsure of any terms or jargon that has been used, go to our Glossary Page.
When a local hypnobirthing instructor set up her business, she was not aware of the importance of search engine optimisation and the use of keywords; in not only her site and but her url.
Whilst having a successful website under the business name Magical Baby Moments, she felt that having a second website, specifically called Romford Hypnobirthing would help her with local search.
Both sites are on page 1 of organic search, for key terms such as ‘Romford Hypnobirthing’ and ‘Hynobirthing in Romford’. This success on the search engines isn’t by luck, but instead because of tools and techniques implemented to deliver these results.
If your business is struggling to be found online call Perfect Layout Digital Marketing today on: 01708 578 015.
Carly runs an established ice cream van business that has been in the family for almost 20 years. Her desire to promote her customer base and hire out her services to the Essex public led her to us. We immediately knew that with our help she would be able to have an online presence that would bring in new and repeat customers to use her services.
We started from scratch. During the consultation, we gained valuable insight into who she was and what her business had to offer. Her busy schedule and lack of website design experience meant that she was happy for us to write her content, source her images and effectively design, build and maintain for her a fabulous website.
Whilst this is a niche sector, there is significant competition. Through implementing a number of tools and techniques we were able to get this website up on page 1, organic search for the following keyword searches: ‘ice cream vans Romford’, ‘ice cream van hire Romford’, ‘wedding ice cream vans Romford’, just to name a few.
Carly’s Ice Cream Vans is a website that is hosted by Perfect Layout Digital Marketing and has been search engine optimised and is mobile responsive. Call us now so that we can help you get more leads and grow your business.