It's a new year, and most of us are hoping for better things in 2021. Are you seeking to improve the SEO for your online business this year? Whatever your answer, it's wise to update your search engine optimisation (SEO) knowledge because the way SEO works means that it’s a constantly changing entity. Keep reading to see how one or all of these tips could form part of your strategy for improving your SEO.
Wishing all our wonderful customers, past, present and future, a magical Christmas and wonderfully, 'back to normal' 2021!
SEO Stands for Search Engine Optimization and basically refers to the processes that are followed when it comes to optimising (getting the most out of) a website to be ranked by search engines. The most popular search engines on the internet are Google, Yahoo, Bing and Microsoft.
When a website is designed and developed, it should represent more than just a portfolio of your products and services. After all, what’s the point of having a website that looks awesome, but goes unseen by the people that would like to buy your wares? SEO is the technical part of marketing online as it helps your website get promoted to the correct location – right in front of buying customers.
There are various techniques used to get more traffic to your website from search engines, which can be broken down into two categories. Off-page SEO, is the work undertaken externally to a website and on-page SEO are the changes made on the actual website.
If you read our last blog, you would know that it covered some important reasons for being on social media. Whilst it can be a great way to get more traffic to your website, it can also be an overwhelming element of digital marketing to understand and implement.
If you're unsure about how to get to grips with social media, not sure about what you're doing, or simply feel confused about which platform is right for your business - then keep reading. This weeks blog outlines some of the pros and cons of the most popular social media platforms around.
There are several ways that a company can use SEO to improve the rankings of a website. One way that this can be done is through the use of social media. You may think that when you post your comments or blogs that only a few people see what you’ve written. However, it’s the sharing element of your creations that creates the magic - it increases visibility, improves traffic, and generate backlinks. Let’s take a deeper look at how social media can help improve your online visibility…
If you are struggling with your online presence and aren’t quite sure about how to improve things, one positive action you can take is undertaking a review of your Google My Business (GMB) profile. But what’s a GMB, I hear you ask?
They are the short lists that pop up when you search for something generic like “cafes near me” or when you enter a specific business name, the GMB listing can appear. Businesses registered with a GMB can also appear on google maps. This platform can improve your online presence because it allows your business to be seen by the right people searching for you and could ultimately lead to you getting more leads.
Setting up an account is easy. Google will send you a postcard with a verification code which helps them confirm you are located where you claim to be at and not across the sea. Once you have been verified, you can go about optimising your profile.
Has Covid-19 allowed you to pivot your business in a direction that you never thought possible? Or are you yearning for inspiration to give your business a much-needed boost? Whatever your situation, we wish all businesses our best as each day brings forth uncertainty for so many.
October is Black History month, providing us with a great opportunity to recognise positive actions taken within Black communities. It’s a pleasure to undertake an interview with this month’s guests, new authors, Telena Longmore and Chanel Kennedy. Their children’s book, ‘Ava’s Magical Hair Adventure’ positively tackles an issue that many girls, teenagers and women of African and Caribbean descent will be able to relate to.
Keep reading to find out how this one-of-a-kind book hit the shelves recently…
Have you considered starting a blog for your business but you’re not quite sure if it would be of benefit? You're aware that creating a regular blog will take up your precious time and you aren't sure if it is worth the effort? Well today, we’re hoping to dispel your worries and explain to you how a regular blog can help your business in a number of positive ways.
As the internet continues to accelerate into an ever-growing marketplace, it means that your competitor's websites are becoming as frequent as stars in the night sky. They sell the same goods or services as your company does online and the question is, what will set your company apart?
With increased competition, your website must impress customers when they visit. An impressive site can help your brand to stand out from your competition and great web design will seize and keep a customer's attention. So, what are the elements that make a good website? Here are four areas that we recommend you consider.
If you have a business based in the Brentwood area, get in touch so that we discuss the requirements for your new website.
We offer affordable websites that will improve your online presence and have customers knocking on your door. So don't delay in finding out how we can help your Brentwood business target the right people - call 01708 578 015 now.
Over the years, email marketing has become an art form. There are so many variables that it is almost impossible to scientifically pinpoint what works or does not work. This blog discusses 5 major areas of concern one must be aware of and offers 5 tips on how you can negotiate around them.
If you are considering a pay per click campaign to drive traffic to your site, PPC is a viable method that can be used for this purpose. But like with many ways of doings things, it does have its drawbacks. This weeks blog discusses some of the pros and cons of a using PPC before you embark on launching a campaign.
What is PPC?
PPC has been present in our lives for some time now, even if it’s something that you may not have noticed before. on search engines at the top and bottom of pages. On search engines, such as Google or Bing results page (SERP), the search results for the item searched will be displayed, but at the very top of the page on Google and the top and bottom of Bing, PPC adverts appear. Say you search for "summer sandals" you will probably see ads for shops that sells summer sandals. Those ads were placed in those positions where you would see them through a bidding process. The entire concept is an auction system; the highest bidder wins. With that fact plainly in view, let's take a look at the pros and cons of PPC.
The Pros of PPC
It gives swift results
If your inbound marketing needs a quick lift; using PPC ads are the fastest way to achieve your goal. SEO often takes months to yield any results. By contrast, PPC starts working as soon as the ad is posted.
It informs you of what works and what does not
The analytics you receive with your PPC ads let you gauge your strategy and make adjustments as needed. It allows you to make adjustments to improve your next campaign. It also tells you who your core customers are so that you can re-target them in future ads.
It reaches your customers specifically
Clearly, when a person enters a goods or service your company offers, they are a potential customer. Just by virtue of searching for what your business does the user is in your target demographic.
It brings customers who are ready to make a purchase
It only makes sense that a customer who has clicked on a PPC ad has a greater interest in a product than those brought randomly through an organic search.
You control the budget
PPC lets you set the price per click on your ad and set a total daily cost you don't want to exceed. In this way, it gives you significantly more control than SEO or other marketing sources. You only have to pay for the customer's your reach, which is enough of a benefit in itself.
Cons of PPC
You can drain your budget in an instant
One of the true dangers of using PPC is that you can set a bid price that is too high. If you own a high street shop, you may believe you have to spend £20 a click to compete with a massive company such as Tesco, but you will quickly run out of money if that is your strategy. Many a company has fallen into financial trouble because of overbidding; it remains the chief pitfall of using PPC.
A click may not mean a conversion
Another obvious issue with PPC is that when a user clicks on your ad, they don't always convert to a paying customer. Some may be curious about your product and then decide they don't need it. Some may click on your ad accidentally. Some may even click on your ad with malicious intent such as a competitor hoping to run up your costs. Be aware that every click does not equate with a sale.
If you would like help improving your inbound traffic, contact us today!
This week we are delighted to have a guest post written by the Secretary of Kubatana, an association working towards Charity status. Read on to find out more about their plans to provide primary health care services to communities of Zimbabwe and beyond...
Perfect Layout, are committed to share the experiences of businesses across the country. Are you currently thinking about starting a business? Ready to get your idea up and running or are you at the point where you would like to expand your offerings to other areas? Whatever your stage of entrepreneurship, this regular blog feature will give you something to think about.
We wholeheartedly advocate promoting businesses, to help raise awareness about them and share their highs and lows so that you – our readers - can feel enriched, empowered and encouraged to do better.
This month’s interview is with Natalia Nicholson, multi-preneur, founder and trainer of Straight Talk to Success.
You don’t have to be a website designer or developer to know that when lots of people visit your website, that’s a good thing. It means that you are offering potential customers services and/or products that they want to buy or hire.
But (yes, there’s always a but…) getting people to your site and opening doors for them to peruse is not an easy objective to attain. The online market is saturated with services like yours and finding unique ways to stand out gets increasingly difficult, year on year.
Website maintenance is every bit as essential for your business development as other policy revisions. These days, far more business flows in through the internet, hence, making your up-to-date online presence more essential than any other process. Lack of consistent website updates can gradually cause your online presence to fade away.
Website maintenance services include things like:
· website changes
· content updates
· illustration or photo modifications
· exchanging outdated images
· email maintenance
· PDF file development and a lot more
Let the team at Perfect Layout help you register the name of your business.
Don't keep banging your head against a brick wall - we're here to help!
Consult with us to mull over ideas, brainstorm and decide on what names best suit your business ideas. We look forward to working with you!
It’s a new decade and the team at Perfect Layout, are committed more than ever to share the experiences of businesses across the country.
Are you currently thinking about starting a business? Ready to get your idea up and running or are you at the point where you would like to expand your offerings to other areas? Whatever your stage of entrepreneurship, this regular blog feature will give you something to think about.
We wholeheartedly advocate promoting businesses, to help raise awareness about them and share their highs and lows so that you – our readers - can feel enriched, empowered and encouraged to do better.
This month’s interview is with Andy Smith, author and proprietor of Sober in Seven.
Nowadays, it is very common for people looking to purchase a service or product to find out more about it by using the internet and Googling it. Anyone who wants to grow their brand, no matter how small their business is, needs a website.
Having a website for your small business is not just about selling your products or services online. Creating an optimised website provides value to customers and is a form of free advertising. Still need convincing? Then keep reading these 7 reasons of why a website would work wonders for your business…
During this period of lockdown, it’s important to keep busy and let your customers know that you are still open for business. Whilst how you are delivering your services and products may have changed, what should remain intact is your hope for the future and keeping your customers informed about your service/s.
One way of doing this is by writing a blog. We come across many businesses that have started doing this, but that have somehow not kept up with creatively writing about what they do. This comes as no surprise as regular thought is required, along with commitment of time and some level of planning.
Back in 2017, we wrote a blog that outlined actions that would result in your website bringing in more business. Three years on and those principles remain the same…
To ensure that your website delivers more business to you, here are 10 effective steps that you can take.
1 - Mobile Friendly Design
In April 2015, Google announced that it would favour websites that are “mobile-friendly”. Companies that are not investing in new websites, could see a decline in their business leads as their websites fall down the rankings.
A responsive web design ensures that no matter what device someone uses (i.e. tablet, laptop, mobile phone) your website is displayed on the screen in the most effective way. No longer should mobile phone visitors see a website that is used for standard desktops, like a laptop, which can make viewing content, navigating menus and clicking on links difficult and awkward to use.
The UK is in lockdown and has officially been so since the evening of 23 March 2020. What have you been doing this past week? Have you been spending the time reflecting on your present and future situation?
With much of the world working from home, it's important that you maintain as much 'normality' as possible and continue to schedule tasks while committing to your daily schedule. Some of the greatest businesses in the world, were borne out of the most difficult times in history by people who believed in themselves and were committed to their own success. It's time to get resourceful!
You might want to take this opportunity to maintain your efforts and stay engaged with your plans, so that you can look towards a better future. Remember:
This isn't time to spend your days sleeping in and binge-watching TV, or scrolling up and down your social media accounts. It's the time to seek out new opportunities.
Here are some suggestions that you might like to think about:
Please know that the Perfect Layout team are here to support your business and offer any assistance you might need for your website and digital marketing.
We encourage everyone to remain calm and look past the current situation, knowing that we will recover and that prosperity is on the other side.
Stay safe, stay inside, and enjoy this time of reflection that has never before been possible.
There is a lot of information going out to businesses and employees at the moment about financial support. The information isn't static and is evolving daily. Many businesses will be frustrated and concerned.
One of our clients, RBSS Consulting is available to help you find the best way to keep your business afloat during these challenging times. At the time of writing this, 23 March 2020, the operational mechanisms for delivery and implementation are still being worked on. Here is what we know so far:
Money will not come directly from Government to businesses. It's a wholesale process and it's the Government British Business Bank that will be liaising with selected banks.
It is expected that by Tuesday 24 March, it will be clearer on how to get money out to businesses suffering now.
Key highlights however are:
1. The CBILS is being disbursed through the banks and even this is evolving with time
2. The schemes are taking time to set up and they think it will start to become available from Tuesday the 24th March
3. Some of the information is still changing rapidly
4. No matter how big or small you are, the government is saying that schemes will become available ranging from Universal Credit for Self Employed to Grants and Loans for SME's
5. Look at your insurance policy under the business interruption section to ensure that this is not covered as the Government will not double fund
6. Government will pay up to 80% of salaries of staff who are kept (where it can be proved that these staff are about to be let go due to the crisis) covering wages of up to £2,500 a month. Does that mean the employer still has to pay the balance? Probably, yes
7. Please note that GRANTS only relate to business rates and you will be contacted directly by the local authority and not vice versa if you are entitled to this
8. Relief for Statutory Sick Pay available
9. Mortgage Holidays even for Buy-to-Let properties
10. IR35 tax reforms postponed for a year
Are you facing Cash Flow problems right now?
If yes, then patience and forbearance is what is requested, local authority, trade bodies, banks and brokers are all getting operational mechanisms in place. The key thing to note is Grants are all rate related and Loans will be through banks most likely through the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG)
More detailed information is available from the Government website. Here are the participating banks and partners.
TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR SUPPORT VIA CBILS, THE SMALL BUSINESS MUST:
To apply for an CBILS-backed facility, businesses may wish to consider approaching one or more participating lenders to discuss their borrowing needs.
There is a lot that is changing and information becoming obsolete in a matter of days. So please keep listening and reading, or contact RBSS Consulting directly on 0333 355 1696.
There’s no getting away from the fact that the latest leader of news, Covid-19, is having a massive impact worldwide. The World Health Organisation has declared the Coronavirus, a global pandemic. There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 and existing prevention measures of the infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus.
Easier said than done for so many businesses where contact with people is part of the service they provide. Yesterday, I was in London and a taxi driver told me that he was going to have to talk to his Financial Advisor soon as he couldn’t afford to make the repayments on his cab. He said that business had reduced by 80%.
Many businesses are changing how they work by making remote working the default for employees. In a short space of time, presenteeism culture that was so highly regarded in many industries, has been replaced by home working, staggered hours and redundancies. The knock-on effect of this has been immense.
Airlines have been heavily affected as domestic and international flights have been grounded. Recently, the chairman of Virgin Group was said to be in the process of urging the government to provide up to £7.5bn of emergency state support to rescue the UK aviation industry. The economy is coming to a standstill.
So what can businesses do to adjust their strategy? Communicate to customers in a clear, concise and accurate way current positions, on what changes have been made and how. This can be done via a website, advertising or marketing campaign.
Advice from gov.uk is to:
1 cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough
2 put used tissues in the bin straight away
3 wash your hands with soap and water often – use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water
are not available.
4 try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
5 clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
6 do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
At Perfect Layout Digital Marketing, we are lucky enough to be able to work remotely on all our client’s projects. Whilst we love meeting up face-to-face to get to know more about the work that our client would like us to do, we have always offered (and continue to do so) the option of communicating via Skype, Zoom or regular phone calls. Email discussions are also part of our normal working pattern.
Don’t let the Coronavirus stop your online business from moving forward. We can help you!
At Perfect Layout Digital Marketing we like to talk to business owners to find out about their business. The aim is to learn and share with you the personal experiences of these business owners. What is working for them and what they have learned do differently.
We believe that sharing knowledge is a great way to help other businesses develop. We are passionate about promoting the awesome, creative and varied companies that exist not only in our area, but also beyond.
Read our interview here with Marc Denton a Wealth and Tax Planner at Wow based in Andover in Hampshire.
Tell us a bit about you?
Personally, I am married and have a baby boy which has been an amazing experience. I’m a big sports fan and regular exerciser, which I love as it is a great de-stress.
Professionally, I started my career in the fitness industry and after 10 years in the industry I was looking for a change. I ended up spending the summer at a friend’s house who was working for RBS working on property deals in London. I found it interesting and started chatting with him and then going to commercial property auctions. Meeting with investors and getting to know them enabled me to see what they were purchasing and how their finances were being structured. I then went on to become a mortgage advisor by completing the CeMAP training. This was in 2006 and then the crash came…
I love the name Wow, do you know why the company was named this?
The three founders of the company were college friends. They knew that accounting, tax and wealth management was always presented in a dull and confusing way. Most people switch off when you talk to them about these matters. They had a vision that it could be done differently and that it really was an amazing industry to be in. They started with a small office in Andover looking over a train line, presenting information to clients in a language that was easy to understand and this started gaining momentum in their business. Today it has a team of 30 staff, all with an ethics and principles that really help clients.
What else makes you stand out from other Financial Planners / Accountants?
Our passion for helping people become financially free. For me it’s about bringing money to life and creating passive income for my clients, they shouldn’t need to engage with a professional and end up having to do more work themselves. Anyone can read and recite technical details but having a grasp on what clients benefit from is a whole different ball game, and that’s what we pride ourselves on.
Across the company the level of service and the duty of care we give is above and beyond and we monitor this closely. We look at clients for the long term, it doesn’t work if you just continue to provide ad hoc work. Life and business is fluid and at a moment’s notice the landscape can change, we adapt the services and advice we offer in a timely fashion to suit the situation at hand.
Importantly on the financial planning side of the business we look at how to set up and monitor passive income, I like to design wealth so that it does not involve my clients having to complete extra work, more paper work or deal with additional stress, so as to add any additional time needed to make decisions as all that dramatically reduces the chance of achieving the goals because you simply become too “busy”.
I’ve worked, studied and been mentored by a number of millionaires over the last 13 years and developed a system that is really powerful for creating financial freedom, for some people that is money in the bank, and for others it's about having more time to spend with family and not worry about money.
What type of companies do you help? Give us some examples
We look for companies and business owners that are open to engaging and working together not just on the business but on their personal situation also, receiving the advice that we offer. We typically work with businesses with up to a turnover of £5 million. Any client with more than that, we would recommend to another trusted contact.
We have a large section of digital agencies which grew organically. These businesses are creative and have a lot of energy, and over time, we gained market leading expertise that helped their particular needs.
We also complete lots of self-assessment and tax work for the company directors and some sole traders. Whilst directors are able to grasp their business financially, the challenge for them is how to grow their personal wealth at the same time.
We get a lot of referrals from estate agents, solicitors, and other accountants and we have great working relationships with these other professionals.
I also personally have a passion for helping couples who are separating. I financial mediate alongside solicitors and help them sort out their finances. The process helps them understand mortgage needs (what can they borrow individually moving forward) and cash flow forecasting for the future, along with complex pension issues. This service provides them with fantastic clarity around what their finances will look like after they split.
Why is financial planning so important?
It’s one of those things where transparency and trust is so important, being in control of your finances is a must these days more than ever. Everyone should be looking at ways of becoming financially free, this can mean different things to different people for instance some people want money in the bank, for others they are looking to spend more time with their family. Once you have a hold on your finances you can manage the rest of your life so much easier. We help our clients look ahead to the next 5, 10 and 20 years. What is their earning potential and where will they be? Our cashflow forecaster provides is an excellent tool.
Sadly, our education system doesn’t teach us how to handle money and financial decisions. It’s life circumstances that teaches you these lessons, and sometimes these can be very painful lessons.
When you hire a financial and tax planner, how does it work? Is it a one-off assessment or do you continue working with people on their journey?
It can be a combination. For some clients they will want a clear picture on their current financial situation. People see money coming in/out and think they are OK. In that instance we provide snapshots of where they are and where they are going, for some people that is all they want to start with.
For others they may engage with us to help them plan for the future, either looking at their pensions or investments, setting up strategies or problem solving, and it is these long term clients that benefit most from our advice.
You wouldn’t not check your insurances each year and look for the best deal on the market, yet people happily leave their investments untouched for years without checking on their performance. This mindset needs to change.
It is expensive to hire a Financial Advisor?
The benefits of having a good financial planner should always outweigh any costs associated with it, the client should always be in a better position or be making more from the service than the adviser, so it will never become expensive as it pays for itself.
Our work is carried in a number of ways, we can work on an hourly basis and work within the budget of the individual/company. For some people they may want some advice around tax decisions such as paying into pension vs paying a chunk off the mortgage.
If you want us to invest your money, typically the fees come from the investments themselves therefore making it performance related.
If investments are doing well everyone earns more, but if they don’t perform then we work very hard to turn things around. It is in our interest to make sure our clients’ portfolio performs. We will have a written agreement beforehand explaining our fees and the value proposition of the work that we are doing.
Since 2006, I have advised a number of people who gone on to become financially free. This has been achieved in the financial clarity that we gave them. This provided them with the space to get on with their businesses.
What advice would you give someone unsure about their finances?
To face the initial fear and book a meeting with someone. Most financial advisors will do a fact-finding meeting free of charge and offer you a detailed explanation of their services, just be really clear on how they could help you and what you need from working together.
Also, don’t feel that you need to hire the first company you meet with. Go and meet with 3-4 companies/individuals and ask to speak with some of their clients. Get a real feel about who they are and who you feel most comfortable with. This is an important decision to get right and you are going to need to really trust them with your hard-earned money.
How does Wow find new clients?
Most of our clients come organically from the accountancy side of the business. We also get referrals from law firms, estate agents, other accountancy practices and existing clients.
I have also written for investment publications such as What Investment, Financial Advisor, and City Wire magazines, and undertaken radio interviews which helps bring clients our way.
Is there anything else that Wow offers?
Yes, I also provide mental health talks for companies in the South of England. There are a lot of financial triggers that lead to doubts and stress in people’s mind. A good friend of mine has been through the mill and started speaking about his illness.
More and more his audience was asking about financials so we got together and now have both of us speak. We go into companies and present then discuss further with individuals, the highlight was a talk we presented to Microsoft UK a few weeks ago.
Every year at Wow we undertake a BenchPress Survey that goes out to all agency owners. It is the largest survey of UK agencies. Here they can compare their own business and track against what others are doing.
They can see how companies are growing; how people promote the culture in their business; how cash flow is working and what their worries are.
Off the back of this, we produce additional webinars on the findings and push this across our social media channels. Our marketing department takes care all this and our dynamic website with lots of helpful articles and videos too.
What are the ambitions for Wow in the next 5 years?
To continue to grow, it’s an ever-evolving discussion and we are engaging all employees so it’s not just a top down approach.
You mentioned to me that you have some other projects too, tell me more about them?
I have two new opportunities in the pipeline.
In 2009 I started a property fund. In the last two years, I found more people are looking for more secure returns on their investments. With the recent changes in tax legislation, mortgage interest relief being pulled and the stamp duty on buy-to-lets this option is not as attractive as it once was.
I have a fund where Ltd companies and those with over £100k can invest. It is a secured fund that produces solid returns for investors.
I am also working on Liberty Investments; this is socially responsible investment platform for conscious investors. We are working with a fund manager who is one of the leading ethical managers in the country.
The platform helps investors to avoid companies that are investing in fracking, tobacco and other industries that they may not want to be affiliated with and will be open to all investors, its designed for those already making conscious choices in their life such as reducing plastic, organic foods etc.
Who inspires you?
On a daily basis, my son. I want to build a better future for him and surroundings that he can be proud of.
Around money management - Warren Buffet and Earl Nightingale. For mindset and energy - Tony Robbins, T Harv Ecker, Zig Ziglar and Alex Mandossian to name a few that your mind have heard of.
Can you recommend any good books you have been reading?
Yes, I really enjoyed these books:
Legacy by James Kerr
Socratic Selling by Kevin Daily
Grinding it Out by Ray Kroc
Sales Mind by Helen Kensett
Thank you for a really insightful interview. It was great to get to know more about you, Wow and the projects that you are working on. Do you have any closing thoughts that you would like to share?
Here is a thought I like to remind myself of daily.
I won’t get where I need to be unless I help others get where they need to be.
With this mindset everyone wins. This is dispelling the old myths on Financial Advisors who may have been perceived to take people’s money and do what they want with it, whether it benefits the clients or not. Independent Financial Advisors can help run and manage your finances, whilst you get the education that you need to be confident to do it yourself.
If you would like to contact Marc about for finances and tax planning email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Connect with Marc on LinkedIn
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!