At Perfect Layout Digital Marketing we are always surprised by how many small businesses still don't have a website in this deep-rooted digital world.
Just because you are a small business, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t think and act BIG. The only things stopping you from growing are your own limitations – believing that you don’t need a website until you are bigger or more established is not the right way to look at it.
How many times do you pick up your phone to look something up on the internet? How do you find what you are looking for? After a few searches you find a website that matches your needs. So ask yourself now, by not investing in a website, how many customers could you be missing out on because people who are looking for your services are going to your competitors? Are you mentally kicking yourself? Did you know that a year ago it was found that mobile devices accounted for 51 percent of organic search engine visits?
This is how most businesses communicate news with their customers, most popular to least popular. Which do you do?
Advertising on TV and radio requires a lot more money, so it’s understandable that not all businesses can support that additional spend. However, there is no excuse that the rest aren’t on your marketing radar.
If you are making excuses in your head against doing any of these, you are limiting the potential of expanding your business.
I get all of my business from word-of-mouth.
This is great and well done for building up trust and confidence from your existing client-base. But if you have quiet periods throughout the year, wouldn’t you rather have those down times busy? And if you are flat-out busy and have a small team, imagine what could be possible by getting a new website and having more customers. You could expand your team and concentrate on the tasks you like doing and employ someone to do those other tasks. How nice would that feel?
If nothing else, create a simple website that can act as a business card or CV. This can be an easy way to get started.
It’s OK, I’m on social media
Social media is a wonderful platform to use, but like anything these days, it doesn’t maximise your potential alone. Social media enables people to connect with what they are familiar with and like. But what if your business is a one-off purchase, or something that they are not passionate about? Unless you are spending a lot on social media advertising, you are unlikely to reach those people who are looking for your service, but don’t know that you exist.
I’m a technophobe
Perhaps you don’t know where to start and all this technology is a little bit scary. That’s perfectly OK. No one is capable of doing it all, and frankly there aren’t enough hours of the day to fit everything in. So concentrate on what you do best and find the people who understand this type of thing inside and out (like Perfect Layout Digital Marketing!).
Building a website is something I cannot afford?
Try not to think about what you can or cannot afford. With this mindset you are thinking of it as an expense instead of looking at it in terms of what value it could bring to your business. A website is an investment, so what is that investment worth? What would it take to recoup those costs?
If for example if you were a cake maker and each cake is worth between £60-£100 , if your website costs were £150 per month, then getting two more orders per month would cover this investment. How easy do you think you could generate two more cake leads? What if the website brought you in 10 new orders per month? That would be an extra £600-£1,000 per month of revenue, thanks to the website.
Does that now look attractive?
Also consider that if your cakes are beautiful and tasty, how much repeat business might you get from these clients who found you because of your online presence? Map out these trends now from your current clients and how much repeat business you get from them and then do a quick scaling up of the potential. I’m sure that £150 per month in investing in a website doesn’t seem such an outlay now and maybe you have butterflies in your tummy as you see the potential of what your business might be able to achieve.
If you are going to dip your toe in the water with a website, now is the time to also think about your social media presence, if you don’t have one already. Social media is equally important and can easily help support the website’s rankings. As of 2017, daily social media usage of global internet users amounted to 135 minutes per day, up from 126 daily minutes in the previous year. (Statista)
You don’t have to be on all of them, find out what each one does and how you might engage with customers. You will soon realise that some platforms are perhaps not a great fit for your business. Here is a useful article outlining Ten ways small businesses can use social media to generate leads.
So to answer the question above, regardless of the size of your business, or even if you are just starting a business from scratch. In today’s world, it is vital for your business to have an online presence, and that includes a website, social media and more. Want some advice on how to take the next step, give Perfect Layout a call on 01708 578 015.
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 Dad's 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.
How a trip to Berlin confirmed my ideas about customer service and branding: how's your business doing?
For October half term I was lucky enough to get away for a few days on a city break. This was a trip much needed (without the kids!) so my excitement levels were pretty high. The thought of having the freedom to eat, sleep and wander around of my own accord pushed me into the realms of surreal joy....as I said, this was a break that was long overdue!
Berlin was our chosen destination. It had always been on our list of places to visit and was a quick plane journey by City Airport so the decision was made. So, what’s my trip to Berlin have to do with telling you about websites?
Well, throughout my trip I was struck by two things that made me reflect on what we offer at Perfect Layout.
From the start to the end of our trip I was taken with the high level of customer service. At least 98% of our interactions with employees at our hotel, in restaurants and in supermarkets etc., had excellent customer service skills.
We were greeted with warm smiles, direct eye contact and the ability (by everyone it seemed!) to flit to English as I stumbled over the most basic of German words.
How did this make me feel? Super relaxed, welcomed and embraced by a nation that has a past that will never be forgotten.
By speaking my language and having a basic understanding of where I was from, they were able to fulfill my needs. They took away my nerves and lack of German vocabulary and supplemented my requirements so that my effort and output was minimal with the same end result. I got what I wanted!
As you know Perfect Layout is still in its infancy. We are a company born from a belief that we can fill a gap in the market that provides good quality websites for local businesses that’s affordable. It’s experiences like this, that remind me that we are on the right track.
Speaking your language is something we do with our eyes closed. We may not be fluent German speakers but we are fortunate enough to understand the needs of our local business community in Essex, London and across the UK.
We absorb your language by listening to your website requirements as well as the details of how your business works. The service/s you offer and product/s you have on sale. The more we understand your business, the more we understand you which allows us to create a bespoke website that shows your business off at its best.
To sum up, principles of good customer service are:
Berlin, the Capital of Germany, comes across as a cosmopolitan, chic city area. It boasts great restaurants, museums and a Palace. It is home to many ethnicities and welcomes tourists from all over the world.
Given this current environment, it feels very surreal that part of its tourist attractions contains museums and exhibitions about Nazi activity during World War II and the more recent historical event of the Berlin Wall
Whilst I found both events horrific on scaling levels, it’s the latter that I found more perplexing. A country that was once whole, split itself into two overnight causing mayhem and disruption to the everyday living of thousands of people. Attempts to cross from either side was met with imprisonment or death.
The Berlin Wall came down on 9 November 1989. This month will be its 29th anniversary.
This Capital city is now an area that (to me) feels united in its past and is unashamed to show others mistakes made. Part of its branding as a modern city is how it’s taken accountability of past actions. It’s current success as a city break destination is how it tells its story. What happened in its past has given it the character and personality it emits today that makes it stand out and attract new and returning visitors.
When Perfect Layout was established, we thought long and hard about how we branded ourselves; how we came across in the web design market and how we could attract and retain loyal customers.
To be honest, this has not been a straightforward process. It’s a job that continues to evolve as we improve our systems to reflect the needs of our customers and market our unique selling point (USP).
We want our customers to know that part of our USP is our; expertise, professionalism, down to earth/friendly attitudes, honest compassion and the willingness to go that extra mile to understand you and your business. We really are on the other end of the phone ready to help and answer queries.
Our aim is to serve local companies across Essex, London and the UK with competitively priced websites that will improve the performance of their business. I’m pleased to report that our branding has started to work as our name and service is being recommended to others and new clients keep on coming. Small, steady steps forward - we’re happy with that!
How’s your levels of customer service and company branding working out for you?
Could the marketing on your website be more targeted?
Let us know your views and opinions by leaving a comment below.
Location, location, location - does your business need to be found outside of your registered address?
If you’re a business with offices in Emerson Park, how do you get seen online in other Essex areas like Romford, Hornchurch, Upminster and Chadwell Heath, or further afield like Brentwood, Chelmsford and Loughton? Read on as branching out may not be as difficult as you first thought.
Will I get more business if my website name reflects the area I’m working in?
Yes and no. For businesses that are looking to service one area only, putting the location in the domain name may help get you more customers. For example, Website Designers Essex is okay if Essex is the only location to be serviced. However, if your long-term plan is to seek clients in London, Kent and other home counties, making your business name broader (i.e. Perfect Layout Digital Marketing) would be more beneficial.
If I have more than one website to represent other areas I work in will this bring in more customers?
There are many companies that use this method and whilst some yield results, it isn’t the most productive use of resources. The more sites a business has the more marketing input into each site it will have to make. Duplicating content is hugely frowned upon so each site would again need individual attention to ensure that it’s unique. If your business is cited on business directories it’s important that the name, address and phone number (NAP) being listed appears on only one site. If not, search engines like Google and Yahoo, will become confused and their confusion may negatively affect your rankings.
How can one website be designed to incorporate all the areas where I want my business to be seen?
A website designer that can’t create for you a site that reflects multiple business areas is not doing their job! Along with the usual page headings there should be an areas we cover page that lists the services offered in an original format, including naturally interweaved keywords to get each page found.
What this goes back to is having a plan. Having a strategy helps your business focus and maximise what you already have. Well designed, optimised city pages may be the breakthrough you’ve been looking for to beat your competition.
So how far does your business go geographically? Are you missing out on being visible in these areas?
Are you a local business in Essex? Are you looking to get your business generating new leads from your website?
Start-up businesses; let us build your website
If you are a start-up business looking for a web design company, Perfect Layout Digital Marketing is based in Romford, Essex and can provide consultancy and support to get your new website designed and generating leads to your business.
Does your current website leave you feeling deflated?
Many local businesses have a website built, but then find that the leads that they were expecting simply don’t materialise. This is because a website on its own cannot do it all; there are other techniques that need to be implemented to make everything work harmoniously. Imagine making a cake with only flour, it wouldn’t work; you need butter and eggs as well to make a basic sponge. In digital marketing there are other ingredients that we add into the mix, to get the sweetest results.
Many businesses requiring web services prefer a local-based company for ease of communication and being able to meet up face-to-face, if needed. So if your business is situated in Hornchurch, Ilford, Upminster, Elm Park, Rainham, Rush Green, Chadwell Heath, Dagenham and Barking, or other areas of Essex and London, the Perfect Layout team can easily pop over to have a chat as part of our free consultation.
We provide a friendly and professional service, combined with affordable monthly packages, to help reduce your expenses.
Choose Perfect Layout Digital Marketing! Call us today on 01708 578 015.