This month’s regular bi-monthly blog feature sees Perfect Layout talking to an established business based in Romford. We believe that learning from others and how they run their business is the key to increasing one’s overall knowledge.
Even if the sector of the business isn’t like yours, it’s the management and processes employed by that company that can resonate and lead you to improving the systems that you have.
We are passionate about promoting the fantastic, successful growing companies that exist right here on our Essex doorstep.
Keep reading to find out more about this month's business under the spotlight - Crafty Arts.
What’s the history behind Crafty Arts?
It’s a family business, that was set up by Jays parents. Their first shop was in Ardleigh Green in 1991 and then they closed that one and progressed to having a store in Lakeside a few years later. They then opened a store in Brentwood on the High Street and another one in Bluewater Shopping Centre. At that point they were running 3 stores at the same time. Eventually, they closed the Lakeside store and had the Brentwood and Bluewater stores running alongside each other.
In 2000, Jay set up an information website and seven years later he set up an actual e-commerce website. From that, we saw potential and it was at that point that he left his website job and took the plunge to work for the business fulltime.
Following on from that we started to see a growth in the online business that was earning us more than our Brentwood shop. We then moved to North Street in Romford and rented a warehouse there. After 2yrs we had to rent the warehouse next door too. Bluewater was doing really well too. After 15 years we closed the Brentwood shop.
We moved to our current location in 2015 and we now have 15 members of staff.
What makes you stand out from other shops that supply arts and crafts?
We’ve got the personal touch. Our customer service staff are passionate about what they do and we have long serving members on the team. They are not afraid of hard work. Our manager has a background of arts and she manages our workshops.
The top tiers of the business are still family led and run, but we have two managers that we know that we can rely on. We take care of our own and we’ll step in and offer our help when required.
An element of your business involves running workshops. Tell me a little about what you offer and to whom?
We cater to everyone and run different workshops throughout the year. From beginners to professionals of all ages. The content of our workshops varies and we also provide the setting for home schooling on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Who do you provide your products to? Local or further afield? An
We sell to individual customers and predominately to the UK. 20% of our sales is to Europe.
Is your background arts and crafts based?
No. It’s more strategy and admin. Jay’s background is arty in that he can draw. He’s very creative and very analytical in mind set that’s why we work well together.
What’s your role within the business?
I am the Business Development Director. I focus on the brand and oversee the customer service team and HR. I also source new products and go to shows and test out new products which is really nice.
How is business going?
It’s going really well. This year we’ve put lots into planning and having strategies which has worked really well.
Crafty Arts celebrated 25 years of business in May 2016, with an unveiling by The Mayoress of Havering, Linda Van Den Hende
Have you been on any formal courses to learn how to run this business or have you learnt everything whilst being ‘on the job’?
Mainly on the job and through past experiences of roles. We’ve all had to kind of find our feet. Jay was a web designer but now oversees the day to day running of the business.
I see that you have a very active website for the business. How reliant is your business revenue on your website?
It’s not reliant on the website as the business has grown quickly and we sell on multi-channels. As well as the website, we sell on Amazon and eBay. The website is an added bonus and gives our customers confidence that we are real and that they can pop in and see us when they want to.
Do you have a marketing strategy?
Yes, we focus on the major seasons throughout the year as well as the art seasons. For example, Spring is the start of the watercolour season and you’ll find people out painting watercolours. At this time, you’ll also find students putting their portfolios together. Start of the summer holidays it’s arts and craft kits for kids and Christmas it’s board game season and gift items.
Which social media platforms are you on?
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.
Wow you seem to be on all of them, who manages these platforms for you?
We have a Customer Service and Workshop Manager who manages it.
Which platforms would you consider as your most successful?
At present, Facebook because of the interactions.
What are your top 3 tips for business owners that are not on social media or are ready to get started?
In both instances I would recommend having a plan! Be consistent on your platforms and post often and try and build a community. We use Monday.com that helps us to plan, manage and organise our work.
I would add, that it’s really important to have your processes in place from the beginning. E-Myth Revisited, by Michael Gerber, is a book that can help you to understand the different roles within a business. Know what the why is, of having built the business, as the answer is going to keep you moving forward. It's not easy!
I also see that you have won various business awards over the last few years. Can you describe how, having won these awards, it has impacted your business?
It’s impacted the staff by reflecting their hard work as a very well done. It helps remind us that we’re doing a good job and to keep going. It’s also great for our customers to see, especially new-comers reviewing our products for the first time – it gives us clout. We can also share the news with our suppliers, which shows that we are sourcing good products. It’s a lot of work to enter, but I think it is worth doing.
Crafty Arts - winners of the best E-Commerce business awarded by
Business Excellence, April 2019
Would you recommend entering award competitions to other businesses?
Do you think that it’s something that any type of business could benefit from?
Where do you see Crafty Arts in 5 years’ time?
I think arts and crafts will always have a space in this world. Crafts have a cycle and it’s interesting to see what the next cycle will be. Painting by numbers, knitting, scrap booking, card making have all come and gone and come around again as popular trends. We love being a hobby provider. I see us growing and expanding the workshops and having multiple ones running simultaneously.
If you would like to know more about the services and products provided by Crafty Arts, you can get in touch by contacting them via their website or via:
If you would like your business to feature in this slot, why not give us a call on 01708 578 015 today.
We'd love to hear from you!
We are asked all the time, why do I need a blog on my website? It probably ranks right next to, what is SEO? And believe it or not the two are related. In a nutshell the number one reason for having a blog on your website is that it drives search engine traffic.
How does it drive search engine traffic? Well, for one it enriches your content, but secondly and of equal importance it keeps your site updated.
If you think about the way Google and other search engines work, they constantly look for indexed pages. So every time you put up a blog it’s one more indexed page on your website, which means there is a greater opportunity for it to show up in search engines.
Blogging also shows search engines that your site is active and they should be checking back regularly for new content, even better it puts more keywords on your site, all of which help it rise up the page rankings; in the trade it’s known as organic SEO!
But it’s not all about SEO. Blogging is one of your best sales tools that can help increase leads and improve conversion rates.
While its pretty tacky to use your blog for a direct sales message, it is your big chance to really tell your organisation’s stories.
It will also show your credibility and to prove your authority in your market. In many ways blogging is your chance to show off and to really convey that you are an expert in your field.
We always get a real buzz when we read a blog that teaches us something new, written by someone passionate about their subject, it’s such a great opportunity to get inside the personality of a business.
Don’t make it too long though (around 500 words is optimum), but tell compelling stories in your voice which help customers and potential customers understand something about what you do, how you work, your industry or what you’ve learned on the way.
Your blog therefore is the enrichment you put into your site, the thing you do to change it from a showroom into a friendly business.
The big benefit of this rich content is that readers love to share new, fun and interesting material they’ve found online. Which means that not only do you have something to put up on your social media channels every time you blog, but so do your clients and potential clients.
Think about it, if a potential client has read your blog and has even linked to it on social media, how much more likely are they to buy from you than if all they’d seen were the static “services” or “about us” pages on your website?
You know we said its not all about SEO, but actually those social media links are great for creating inbound links to your website, something search engines absolutely love.
As you can see we practice what we preach, believing passionately that blogging is the most creative way for driving search engines to find you and to influence prospects to buy from you. If you need help with making this happen, why not get in touch on 01708 578 015 or take a look at our copywriting services for more information.
Are you feeling renewed and refreshed this Easter? Whatever your plans, this Spring, enjoy the glorious weather and continue taking positive steps towards achieving your goals.
Perfect Layout recently sponsored Havering Museum's Rom Skatepark exhibition. Above is an image of the newspaper article featured in the Romford Recorder.
Christine Huntingford, one of the founders of Perfect Layout says "We are proud to be associated with Havering Museum, and we sponsored this particular event, as it bridges the old and the new, and attracts a mixed age group of visitors."
The exhibition was held in March/April 2019.
To find out future events at the museum visit www.haveringmuseum.org
Whatever type of Brentwood business you may have - get in touch with the Perfect Layout team today to discuss your digital marketing needs.
Our affordable website services offers something for everyone and being local means that we can visit your premises, at your convenience, for a face to face meeting. If you're pushed for time - we can Skype or undertake a conference call.
Get in touch today on 01708 578 015.
Content marketing is a strategy in which content is published about a topic to attract new customers or build a following. Using this practice, content is pushed through different marketing channels. This content helps customers know more about the service or product you are offering.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) plays a vital role in improving content visibility in the search engines. SEO is a strategy that should be applied in all forms of content marketing, since every website needs text, images or videos.
But how? Let’s find out here.
To build brand reputation - help building links
Great content can help you build trust with your leads and customers. When consumers read your content, they start to develop an opinion of your brand. If the content that they find is engaging, educational and valuable, then they will start to think the same things about your business. The more value you can provide with your content, the easier it will be to build trust with your target audience.
Publishing collaborated content or sharing your content with influencers also helps you further build trust within your target market.
To improve conversion - help increase traffic
Content marketing helps to improve conversions because it allows you to connect with and educate your leads and customers. The main goal of content is to build trust, relationships, encourage conversions by giving consumers the information to make a purchasing decision. Text ranks extremely well on Google, which is why content (and the right content) is so important. The higher you rank, the more visitors you get.
Here’s a tip: Include related Call to Action (CTA) buttons and links on the pages. For example: encourage users to subscribe to a newsletter or find more additional content. Interlinking content is good because the google bots use URLs to crawl and finds more content.
Bring in new leads - new users / traffic
Optimised content - increase chances of ranking for more keywords
Writing more meaningful, or optimised, content is always good for SEO. With this practice, you have the chances of ranking in search engines for more keywords. An optimised article can rank for various keywords.
Here’s a tip: It is difficult to rank on popular keywords like ‘insurance’. Try to select long tail keywords. Example ‘workers' accident compensation insurance’ - there aren’t many firms who are trying to rank for these niches. Learn more about long tail keywords for SEO.
“The only way it improves your SEO is by relating one piece of content to another, and more specifically a group of posts to each other.” - YOAST
Build relationships with customers - increase Domain Authority
Content is where you express the service or the product you are offering. Use more than text to provide good content. Can you create an explainer videos or do you have relevant images will create better content overall. Edits and changes also serve as a freshness factor and help you better your rankings.
Here’s a Tip: Don’t write many articles or pages on the same topic. Try to find a way to combine them and create a concise article. Higher ranks in many keywords, increases Domain Authority.
If you need help with your content marketing strategy, give Perfect Layout a call. Our team of digital marketing gurus are waiting to hear about your business.
Today, 21 March 2019 sees the world celebrate hypnobirthing. Mums, hypnobirthing practitioners, midwives and other health care providers come together to connect, support and share their hypnobirthing stories and experiences.
Here is a message from World Hypnobirthing Day's Facebook group:
There are 3 ways in which you can be apart of this special day:
1. Share the details of this day far and wide so that we can create more 'Hypnobirthing Hype' and awareness.
2. Whether your a Hypnobirthing teacher or a Hypnobirthing Mum/Dad host a 'Hypnobirthing Huddle' and celebrate in style ( that means with cake!)
3. A special recording will be uploaded to this page on the day for you to listen to so get comfy, dim the lights, put on your favorite smell, close your eyes and enjoy. We look forward to celebrating this very special day with you soon and thanks for sharing with your friends,clients and colleagues. World Hypnobirthing Day 2019.
So if you know someone how is pregnant, share this post on this special day and let them know about hyypnobirthing and how it can help them prepare for labour and birth.
Today more than half the media we consume comes through digital channels. Reaching consumers through digital channels offers various advantages and today we will discuss five of those reasons. In 2019, no business wanting to succeed can be without a digital strategy. It should be a fundamental part of all businesses to produce, publish and distribute content which allows them to expand awareness of products and services through digital channels.
It takes money to make money. If you want to expand your brand, increase sales and grow your business fast, then it is important to invest in marketing for it to happen.
Offering a sale during a festive season in a certain area, can be an example of location-based targeting. Example: A Sandwich Bar can post google ads during rush hours to working class people at 4 PM around 6 KM diameter of the bar.
Reason 2 - Visibility in the Online World
All potential customers have moved online where they are actively searching for products and services. Unlike the traditional form of marketing, Digital Marketing has the capacity to reach the right audience and also engage with them in various forms of communications. The more you penetrate online the more you can motivate the customers to take action, which generally leads to a better Return of Investment (ROI).
Nowadays, there are various platforms in which businesses can be listed. Using social media, directory listing services like Google Maps, Trip Advisor and Yelp can help to increase the brand visibility on the internet. Search Engine Optimisation plays a huge role in the organic side of visibility. Placing Ads on Google or social media are other ways to help increase the visibility of the brand.
Reason 4 - Fast, Effective and Low-Cost
Unlike traditional media, digital marketing is able to penetrate the market quicker. Campaigns can be effective when applied with great marketing vision. When comparing costs, it’s more likely to be much cheaper than traditional medians such as directory, print, radio or TV advertising. Businesses can market their services with better effectiveness and at a lower cost.
Reason 5 - Measurable
Digital marketing campaigns are measurable and can be segmented in metrics to create a meaningful output. The output can be further analysed, in order to optimise further campaigns to create more efficient results. Some of the tools used for Digital Marketing are Google Analytics, Google Ads Platform, Facebook Analytics.
An example of how analytics can have an effective impact on a business is demonstrated by this example…A barbershop decides to put a store ad to Facebook. He creates an ad which ran 24h every day. After a few weeks, he looks at the analytics and finds that the peak hour of the clicks in the ads are during the day from 12pm-4pm. Now, he edits his campaign so that the ads run with more budget during these peak hours, and less or not at all outside of these time frames. This way the barbershop used the power of Digital Marketing to successfully give him an increase on his Return of Investment (ROI).
Get in touch you if require help with your marketing strategy by emailing us, or calling 01708 578 015.
Following the marking of International Women’s day recently, we were looking forward to the Your Business Community event celebrating women in business.
Held in Bishopsgate, Liverpool Street, it was the third year that this free event had been run. Its purpose was to ‘recognise the barriers stopping business growth and, importantly, identify how to overcome them’.
With over 50 female entrepreneurs and panel debates going on throughout the day, we knew that this was a ‘must attend event’ and we were not disappointed!
As always, the YBC attendees were really friendly and the conversation over teas and coffees flowed freely.
Business cards were exchanged and questions about the Perfect Layout services were asked.
We sat through four seminars:
Each topic was important and relevant to running your own business. There were knowledgeable women answering questions and pertinent points being raised by the audience.
We never tire of saying how important it is to network. To mingle with like-minded people, form new business relationships and give (and receive) help from others on your business journey. So take the plunge and do something about promoting your brand and services by attending a networking event today!
YBC runs regular meet-ups across the UK, so you are likely to have one near you. Find out where upcoming events are or maybe you would like to become a member…
Every alternate month, Perfect Layout Digital Marketing goes out to local businesses to talk about how business is. 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.
Perfect Layout believes that sharing knowledge is a great way to help other business owners develop. We are passionate about promoting the awesome, creative and varied companies that exist right here on our Essex doorstep.
Read our interview with registered baker Priya Shah.
Business name - Buttercup Cakes by Priya
Owner – Priya Shah
Location – Gants Hill, Essex
Tell us a bit about you?
I am an accountant by trade and a mum of a two-and-a-half-year-old boy. I have a passion for baking and sugar work and this has been with me since I was five years old. I used to watch my mum go to classes and at home I would then offer to help her out whenever she would let me. She made cakes as a hobby and often made cakes for friends and family helping her with both baking and sugar work.
How long have you been making cakes?
I have been doing it for the last 5 to 6 years as a hobby; making birthday and wedding cakes for family and friends. After a night out with friends and talking about how I would love to do this as a job, I decided why not give it a go. It was in October 2017 that I became a registered baker. In the past year I have been trying to establish the business as a commercial venture, whilst still doing a full-time job.
How is business going?
Really well. It’s picked up much quicker than I expected it to. It started as a side project and now I am fully booked for the next two months. I now need to work out how I am going to scale the business up.
I know you make celebration cakes, cupcakes and other sweet treats. Do you have a preference?
I make novelty celebration cakes and wedding cakes. I prefer making wedding cakes because of the more intricate sugar work, personalised toppers and figurines. At the moment, I am exploring a wide range of cake styles to discover what I enjoy most.
Have you had any formal training?
Yes. I have been on various courses along the way to practise, learn and enhance my skills. Courses that I have done include flawless cake covering, creating sugar flowers and how to make lifelike figurines for cakes (focussing on moulding and colouring). It’s amazing how quickly you can hone a skill with the right tutoring.
How did you come up with your business name?
Being in a competitive market, it was hard to come up with the right name – I’m still not sure I am there… so many bakers have taken the names that I wanted. I came up with lots of ideas that I tested with friends and family. I wanted something elegant and simple. I also liked the flower theme, because I like the sugar work with flowers. Buttercup is a pretty-sounding flower. It may still change as my company grows...who knows.
Where are your premises?
At the moment, I am doing all of it from home. Hopefully the business will grow soon to the point where I can have my own unit and be able to showcase my work. I would love a bigger kitchen and worktops from which to work from. A domestic kitchen is not quite enough. It would also be nice to separate work from home life.
Tell us about your most challenging cake…what lessons did you learn?
I recently did a scale model of a Routemaster bus, which collapsed twice. These style buses are quite narrow compared to their length. I wanted the bus to stand on its tyres, so it needed a stand that wasn’t visible. It took a while to get it just right. I had to use Dowling rods to secure it. I guess this all comes with practice. One tip I have learned from making cakes is that chocolate ganache is useful to use between sponge and icing. When this cake toppled the cake was one solid piece that simply fell onto the board – a buttercream layer may have been a different story!
What advice would you give to other cake makers and decorators that would like to make money from their creations?
The first cake I ever did for a paying customer didn’t turn up to pick up the cake until 6 hours after she was supposed to.
For those 6 hours I was nervous that I had made a cake for no reason and that the time I had spent and the ingredients that I bought would have been wasted. I quickly learned the lesson to always take a deposit.
I would recommend to learn new skills regularly. Cake trends can change quickly too, so keep your skills up. Stick to what you like doing. Try not be everything to everyone, or you will end up doing work that you don’t enjoy doing as much.
Where do you see Buttercup Cakes by Priya in 5 years’ time?
As a full-time venture. I would love to leave the day job and do this full time.
Do you have a marketing strategy?
No, I guess that is due to the fact that I didn’t expect it to pick up so quickly.
Currently I am posting my cakes onto Facebook and Instagram and a lot of my customers are coming from there, or from referrals. However, as I want to focus more on wedding cakes, I am planning to attend fayres and showcase myself to potential clients in the near future.
How are you using social media?
As mentioned before, I am on Facebook and Instagram and whenever I complete a project I showcase it on there. I am also on local Facebook groups for people looking for this service. It is through these posts, word-of-mouth and repeat business that I get my clients.
Your business is doing well on social media, but have you thought about growing your business with a website?
Only to the extent that ‘yes’ I need to do one at some point. I have spent time looking at other people’s websites and I am working out which style of website I would like to have. It’s my next step.
What programmes do you watch for inspiration?
I love Extreme Cake Makers for inspiration and Bake Off because it is so entertaining.
It’s lovely to see a company form from the very beginning. We would love to catch up with you in a year from now to see how you are doing? Can we?
Yes of course.
If you would like to see more of Priya’s cakes, you can find her on:
Facebook - www.facebook.com/buttercupcakesbypriyas
Instagram - www.instagram.com/buttercupcakesbypriya
You can also contact her to place an order by emailing her at – email@example.com
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!
Sometimes it’s really important to take a step back from the day to day and take in the world around us. To reflect on the journey of successful people in business and be motivated by their achievements and impact on the world today.
Tomorrow will be Alfred Hitchcock day. A true Essex boy, he was born Leytonstone. His first job in the film industry was as a title card designer and he directed his first film (that was silent) in 1925.
To earn the title of Master of Suspense takes true talent and the films that he directed offered something to the public that was never before seen. He directed over 50 films and 39 Steps (1935) and The Lady Vanishes (1938), are considered to be two of the greatest British films of the 20th century.
His approach paved the way for a new cinematic way of telling a story. His impact on Society, can be seen today through various psychological thrillers that use his camera methods. For example – how many thrillers have you watched that use the camera as though they were a pair of eyes involved in the scene taking place? His creative talent, via his film making, has stood the test time and continue to be popular films that are watched again and again.
Are you the master of your business? Struggling to find your unique selling point? Don’t know where to start in trying to rebrand your product in order to appeal to a different audience?
Looking at things with a new perspective can be difficult, particularly if the niche you’re in has been, ‘done to death’, but it’s not impossible. These days digital marketing means that you can research globally how other people are doing things and gain ideas that will help you crack your local market.
Be the true driver of your business and do something great for your business today! Call us on 01708 578 015 to talk through how we can help you.
Last year we made a commitment to put some of our hard-earned profits, back into the local community. Romford and Gidea Park Rugby Club and Havering Museum became our donors.
Regular readers will know that we are firm believers in giving something back and we try to do this through our regular bi-monthly blog, Interview with… and via the sponsorship of worthy causes.
If you’re unfamiliar with the local area, Havering Museum is a local museum that can be found in Romford, Essex. It is entirely volunteer led and came into existence in 2010. Through the passion and determination of local people it came into creation and today celebrates the history of Havering as well as the past and present successes of local people.
So, if you fancy having a nose and being surprised about the rich history of the Havering area, check out what’s on today.
From sponsoring the mind – we go to the body. Romford and Gidea Park Rugby Club is based in Crow Lane, Romford. It has been there since 1983, even though the club was formed in 1929.
Within the club there are four team categories: Seniors, Minis, Juniors and Ladies. Competitions against other clubs across Essex and beyond are held regularly.
We had the privilege to attend their Christmas dinner last year and watch the First Team play. It was an exciting match and we were pleased to hear that our contribution to the club had helped them purchase extra kit. The comradery amongst old and new players is thriving in this warm and friendly club.
If you are interested in playing rugby for a local team that is passionate about the sport, then this could be the club for you. You can find out more by going to their website or by calling 01708 700521.
There are websites that get found by people who have never heard of that business before. They stumble across these sites when they are searching for a solution to a problem or a question. These websites attract new visitors. These visitors are potential new clients, if they find information that is useful or engaging. So whether you are looking to build up a distribution list, your want to inform people of your services or have products to sell, a lead generation website is what you need. If these visitors go on to make an enquiry, through a contact form, email or phones call, and they provide their contact details and permission to get in touch, then they become a lead.
Having a website designed to bring in new contacts in various ways can pay itself back many times over. Watch the video or read more about how beneficial a lead generation site can be for your business.
Call Perfect Layout Digital Marketing, if you need ways of generating new leads for your business. Call us on: 01708 578 015.
Organic SEO or search engine optimisation is one of the most powerful online marketing strategies available to webmasters and bloggers. It takes a combination of high-quality content, social media presence and other factors to climb to the top of the search engine rankings for your specific keyword phrases. Without the right ingredients, your SEO strategy can actually backfire.
It all starts with the keyword phrases and the theme of your content. Without unique, high-quality content, you will struggle to find your website or blog listed on Google, Bing, Yahoo or any other search engine. According to Optimonster these are the most important SEO ranking factors:
Below, you will find the top five organic search engine optimisation techniques and a few tips to help you gain a larger web presence. SEO is no longer a world dominated by the website receiving the largest number of backlinks.
Content matters and it must be high-quality content. Low-quality, poorly written content doesn't rank very well because it doesn't provide the user with a great experience.
The goal of Google and all other search engines is to deliver the best possible search results for their users. High-quality, usable content provides the type of experience internet searcher want.
Most searchers seek information, such as a solution to their problem or a how-to type of article about something specific. When your content delivers this type of experience, you gain higher ranking on the search engines because they consider your content to be high in quality.
Use videos or images
Not all content requires a video or an image, but the use of both or at least one can greatly aid in ranking higher in the search engines. Images provide away to break up your content, give the user something to draw them in and give you the opportunity to increase your on-page SEO.
Whenever you provide a relevant image with your written content, you can change the ALT tag and the image title to match your theme. By using your main keyword phrase or a secondary keyword phrase as the ALT tag and title of your image, you score extra SEO points.
Images also provide a second benefit. Google and other search engines will list the images in the "image" search category. This means, when somebody is searching for an image and they find yours, it could potentially lead them back to your website. However, if you don't provide an image title or ALT tag, you may not get listed.
Videos are another very powerful way to deliver content. Providing a video with your written content gives the visitor a better experience, as long as the video fits with the content. This is a very powerful way to build better organic SEO. In addition, videos tend to gain higher ranking on Google than some written content does. We can constantly find out more concerning techniques for organic search through correct searching.
Create a blog
Websites without a blog can still rank high on Google, Yahoo and Bing, but they are missing out on one of the most powerful organic search engine optimisation techniques online today. Blogging provides the ability to target a broader subject area and cover very narrow topics within the broader spectrum.
Every blog post acts as a small traffic engine and provides the opportunity to gain more traffic from the search engines. Think of blogging this way, when you post high quality content to your blog, it's like deploying an army of individuals with a stack of business cards. Each blog post will go to a different corner of the internet and attract a different type of individual to your website.
Not only can the blog posts take over first page ranking on the search engines, but they also help you build a community. If your blog post covers topics somebody is interested in, they will subscribe to your blog. When somebody subscribes to your blog, you gain multiple opportunities to sell your products and services to them.
Use social media
Social Media is not going anywhere and it is important to be present on all relevant platforms.Google and other search engines track the networks that your business is connected to. Social signals factor heavily into organic SEO and if you want to rank high for your target keywords, you must use social media and social bookmarking.
Sites, such as Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest many others offer great leverage if a business is looking to increase their organic search engine optimisation. By sharing blog posts across these social media sites, gives you the ability to increase organic search and gain social traffic.
Meta tag your website
Your META title, description and tags are really important to your overall SEO. Search engines use the meta data to better understand what your page or post is all about. When a search engine creates your listing, the meta data is used for the title and description showing up for your page or post. With the right title and description, you improve your SEO positioning.
Now that you know five of the most important techniques to help you get organic search traffic, it’s time for your to take action. This is not an overnight job, it takes a strategy, a plan and then dedication to keep it up regularly.
If running your business is taking up all your time and you need someone else to manage your organic search traffic for you, contact the team at Perfect Layout on 01708 578 015.
Have you been organised enough to get your loved one a romantic present this Valentines Day? Bought the chocolates, booked the posh restaurant and have the roses on standby? Or are you sick of giving/receiving the bog standard stuff and would like to receive/give something a little bit more special...
Then look no further! Show your other half how much you love them by improving their website. Our packages are affordable and highly competitive and will be sure to bring a smile to the face of the one you love, when you tell them about the benefits it can bring to their business.
Let us be your cupid on this Feast of Saint Valentine, by calling us on 01708 578 015.
According to emarketer approximately $11.5 billion was spent on online video advertising in 2018. There is no getting away from the fact that there is now an expectation from consumers to view the products and services of a business in a different format. Those in the know, have incorporated some of their advertising and marketing budget to attract customers by using this method in different ways.
The reason for the rise in video advertising becoming more popular is its effectiveness. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth much more. Forrester estimates that one minute of video equates to 1.8 million words of text in the message communicated. That’s an amazing statistic!
Research shows that four times as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product rather than read about it. Video content already represents 76% of all Internet traffic and projections estimate 80% of all Internet traffic by 2019 will be videos. The same study states that using the word ‘video’ in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19% and clickthrough rates by 65%.
Video on a Landing Page
When a visitor lands on your site, you’ve literally got seconds to impress them and get them engaged with what you have to offer. This is the whole point of a landing page. But these days, people are so used to seeing rich media content on the internet that, quite frankly, text content often doesn’t keep them engaged.
Embedding a video on your website will not only increase the length of time that visitors stick around, but also, the number of conversions to paying customers, which, ultimately, is what SEO is all about.
Cons of using videos on a landing page
1. A low-quality video or poor video execution could possible cheapen your brand and offering
2. A video can be an overkill or a distraction when it's too long
3. An autoplay video might be annoying for users if the website is visited frequently by your prospects and customers.
4. In some instances, an image (meme, infographic, etc.) can be more interesting than a video, especially if your target demographic is less inclined to pay attention to videos.
5. Producing top-quality marketing videos will require hours of learning a new skill set.
There are many different types of video content you can use. To give you a flavour of the different types on offer – here is a short list explaining some of them:
Demo videos should teach prospects or customers how to accomplish something with your product. It’s not a 1 hour demo caught on camera, but a quick overview of one or more of your features. Keep your demo videos to the point, walk viewers through one action, and do it succinctly.
Brands need to create extraordinary video to earn attention, likes, and shares. The video should reflect the business ideology and style in a short and effective way.
Most event organisers have recognized how important video content is in making people aware of an event. Event videos communicate impressions of the event and transport emotions.
Effective educational videos are driven by emotion and backed by facts. Our brains process visual information 60,000 times faster and the use of sound and visual cues increases enjoyment and retention.Video puts us in the room where it happens, which makes it particularly effective in education as it creates context and puts learners at the centre of the action.
Obviously, not every business with a website has a product to sell, as some businesses are service oriented. For these, you can increase conversions with the use of explainer/introductory videos. There are varying styles for these videos, and truthfully, there’s no exact science as to what styles work best. It’s more about producing a video that explains/introduces a client’s business effectively and in an engaging way.
Animated video brings concepts to life that text or live videos can’t. Think about it the world really is your oyster where you can make your characters talk all you want, fly, or travel in time. With the help of animation, you can show how mechanisms and processes work in an interesting way.
Case study Videos
Rather than focusing directly on your product or service itself, a good case study tells the story of your customer from their point of view and how your business helped to solve their problems. All of this builds the credibility of your brand. Social proof is another reason why case studies work so well. It’s a psychological phenomenon that means people are more likely to take certain action if they see others taking that action also.
If you’re hosting or participating at an event, that means your customers are likely to be there too. Take advantage of the opportunity and get them on camera to create customer testimonials full of passion for your brand. Attendees can also be interviewed on what they are enjoying and learning to get more people to attend your corporate events in the future.
This list is just a snapshot of what can be done to help sell your product or service via video. If you need help with incorporating this marketing idea into your digital strategy – give us a call today on 01708 578 015.
If you're finding it hard to get your business off the ground and would like some help getting noticed online, why not give the digital marketing team at Perfect Layout a call? There are many ways to market your business online and finding the path that's right for your company can be difficult to decipher. We can help, our website designers and digital marketer are waiting to accelerate your business.
get noticed for the right reasons by getting in touch today!
call us on: 01708 578 015.
email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
...or why not find out more by watching our video that explains our digital marketing services.
Online Marketing is the method to deliver promotional content through the internet to the
people’s browser or email. Online Marketing can be done by text ads, image ads, video ads,
native content or from Apps like Facebook or Twitter and many more. Online Marketing allows
you to reach people you may not reach with offline marketing campaigns.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic
using various strategies, techniques and tactics to obtain high ranking in organic [Unpaid]
search results. In other words, SEO is a process of making web pages attractive to the search
engine such as Google, Bing or Yahoo.
SEO can be done by editing on-site and off-site elements of the website to improve the chances
of showing up higher in Search Engines Results Page (SERP) for important keywords.
According to Hootsuite, Google holds 76% of the total Search Engine market share while 93%
of people click on the search results in the first page of Google.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
SEM refers to paid search marketing in the search results. We can define SEM as serving an advertisement to a user using a search engine based in their query. For example, for a user who searches for a query, we can bid on certain keywords which match algorithmically to the user query and serve a text ad to them.
Search engine marketing has grown exponentially over the past decade. Google AdWords is the most popular paid search platform used by search marketers followed by Bing.
Social Media Marketing (SMM)
Social Media Marketing is a method to increase traffic and promote your content, product or
service using social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter or other
social media apps. We can term Social Media Marketing as the process of using the potential
of social media to leverage the value of your business.
Out of 4 billion internet users, 3 billion people use social media. So, the power to networking
and publishing through social media is high.
Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)
PPC stands for pay-per-click. It is a model of online marketing in which advertisers pay a fee
each time one of their ads is clicked.
Essentially, it’s a way of buying visits to your site, rather than attempting to 'earn' those visits
organically. The advertiser pays publishers every time a visitor clicks their ad, hence the model
is known as pay-per-click, as advertisers only pay when the visitor clicks their ad. If a visitor
sees an ad but doesn’t click it, the advertiser is made aware of the impression but doesn’t have
to pay as no click took place.
Content Marketing is promoting free or additional value to your targeted audience or users
that you already have. Good content either should provide information [that the user is
looking for to solve the problem], inspiration [So people can get inspired to buy or use the
product service to solve the problem.] or entertaining so that user will stick to the content for
better click through rates.
Writing a blog, making video contents, creating a podcast can be few examples of Content
Affiliate marketing is monetisation of word-of-mouth marketing. It is a way of getting a
commission in exchange for referring a product or service to another customer. Affiliate
marketing has evolved over the past decade as the internet has evolved and a number of
channels such as social or email etc. Basically, it is influencers that are recommending products
and services that are not their own, but people go to them to get the information.
Email marketing is a workhorse of digital marketing as you can deliver a highly personalised
experience, multiple times on a scale through email. The main advantage of an email marketing
is that you precisely know how many emails have been delivered, opened or clicked upon.
Tying up these numbers with revenue metrics, the numbers will have a big meaning to your
email marketing campaigns.
Example of email marketing can be sending promotional emails, email with offers or discount or
thanking customers or users for using the product or can be used to provide inspirations to try
your product or services. Some of the popular automated email marketing tools are MailChimp,
Constant Contact, drip and convert Kit.
Social media should be part of your digital media strategy, if you want your business to grow this year. As with all aspects of life, you can choose two paths:
1) to wing it and hope that the path that you follow will work out OK.
2) Set yourself goals and have a plan in place ,which enables you to carry out those steps that lead you to your goal.
For business marketing, goal setting is a must, and within that social media should be included. Sometimes it can be difficult to define what your objectives should be. To help you out, here are some of the most usual social media goals to think about:
Raise brand awareness
Do people know about the products and service that you offer. In order to create authentic brand awareness, avoid a barrage of promotional messages. Instead, focus on meaningful content. What questions do your customers often ask? Provide them with those answers in good quality content. If you are the right fit for them, they will remember you and will potentially use your services. You can build a strong brand personality through your social channels and regular content that explains who you are and what makes you interesting to them.
Drive traffic to your website
Whilst you can build your followers within each platform, you may also have a need to drive traffic to your website for them to find out more information, learn about your services, and drive product sales. Using the right tools, you can measure how much traffic your website is getting from your social media posts.
Build your fan base
The destination in this social media journey is to have a large and regular following, where your fan base interacts with your page in a natural and engaging way. Spending time and effort to create a positive brand persona on social will get you to this point.
Higher quality of sales
On social media, use the hashtags and make sure that you are using specific keywords and phrases. Through structured and thought-through social media targeting, you can reach your core audience much faster.
Increase in-person sales
Do you have a store/office or other in-person location? These businesses use social media marketing to drive in-store sales. Do you have new products to offer? Consider offering a promotion to those who see your posts and come in-person to see you. This way you can monitor what is working within your marketing efforts.
Better pulse on the industry
What are your competitors doing that seems to be working? What strategies are they using to drive engagement or sales? Having a pulse on the industry could simply help you improve your efforts and take some tips from those doing well.
To summarise, you can be as involved in social media as you want it to be. However, if you want to get the most out of your efforts, by wanting people to see your social media posts, you have to produce engaging content and respond to your community. By thinking about what you want, will help you decide how to get there.
It’s our first 2019 Interview with… and reading about this foundling business is sure to get your mouth watering!
If you’re new to this blog, it’s a regular bi-monthly feature that showcases local businesses in the Essex area. The team at Perfect layout believe that sharing knowledge and experiences is a great way to help other local businesses.
By offering insights into how we do things, helps us improve our business acumen, which means that we’ll be able to offer more efficient and relevant services to the local community. Attracting customers to the Essex area is paramount if independent companies are to thrive.
So read on to find out more about a mum that found her ability to create gravity cakes whilst making one for her daughters’ birthday and has since turned it into a money-making business…
How long have you been making gravity cakes for?
For about 2 years now.
What did you do before you started Jakes Sweet Bakes?
I was a preschool assistant.
Have you had any formal training?
No, everything I know is self-taught. YouTube and Google have been my trainer.
Where do you come up with your cake ideas?
Well my son really started it all off. He had an idea of what he wanted as a cake for his birthday and I went off and made it. For other clients, an idea just comes into my head and I then research the theme online.
Which type of cakes do you enjoy making the most?
Cupcakes! Because I love making different designs and making different buttercreams.
How do you promote and sell your services and products?
On social media. Facebook and Instagram. I also look out for companies like Maltesers and Flake that have promotions. Last year, for example, I shared my cake pictures on Maltesers UK and they donated £5 to Comic Relief and my pictures appeared on their website. On Instagram, because it’s public, my son had a paintball party and I shared a paintball themed cake on this platform. This was then seen and liked by a paintball company that now follow me Instagram. For Father’s Day, I created some cupcakes for a church that wanted to hand them out to all Fathers that didn’t have children or had lost a child. Because this was for a good cause I donated half my proceeds to the church.
Do you have a website?
Have you thought about growing your business through having a website, i.e. having a more comprehensive gallery that would allow people to peruse your work easier?
Promoting my work through these social media platforms works well and I’ll continue to do that. I don’t think having a website at this point is necessary yet as I’m not quite ready to grow.
What other digital marketing do you do to sell your cakes?
Nothing, that’s it.
How’s business going since you first started out?
For other people out there with creative cooking abilities that remain unseen and unused, what advice would you give to get them to get started?
Just try it and give it a go. Everything I’ve done has been self-taught.
What plans do you have for 2019?
I’d like to learn how to work with fondant cakes and tier cakes for weddings, birthdays etc.
Where do you see your cake business going in the next five years?
I’d like to continue having a steady stream of customers as this is something I do part-time and currently I would like for it to continue like this.
So, if you fancy a cake that looks great and fulfils all your chocolate/sweet desires look no further than Jakes Sweet Bakes. Melissa’s creations can be found via her Facebook page.
Get in touch if you have a business that you would like to feature in this regular slot. We'd love to hear from you!
This week we are delighted to have a guest post written by Chartered Accountants Clemence Hoar Cummings. Read on to find out why businesses should be thinking about getting rid of their paper accounting systems and putting everything online...
Clemence Hoar Cummings will not accept liability for any actions or failure to act based on the information provided below. We consider that the advice contained below is generic and that there is no substitute for advice tailored to the needs and circumstances of the individuals or organisations to which the Making Tax Digital rules apply.
Making Tax Digital – The Essentials
- Includes Companies, LLPs, Partnerships, Sole Traders, Trusts, Non UK businesses
who are registered for UK VAT and charities
However, for Trusts, Not for Profit organisations that are not companies, VAT Divisions and Groups, Local Authorities, Traders based overseas, Annual Accounting Scheme users, the proposed start date is 1 October 2019
What is my Taxable Turnover?
Points to Consider on Requirement to Register
What do we need to do to comply?
Estate becomes vested in any other person as that person’s trustee under a trust deed
Can Spreadsheets be Used?
What is a Digital Link?
What is Functional Compatability?
Can I Adopt early?
- a partnership
- part of a VAT group
- based overseas
- Trust of NfP that is a company
- Submit monthly or annual returns
- Use flat rate scheme
- A new business
Digital Record Keeping Requirements
Data to be kept – Supplies Made
Data to be kept – Supplies Received
The VAT Accounts – Outputs
- amount owed on acquisitions from other EU member states
- Tax required to pay on behalf of suppliers under reverse charge procedure
- tax to be paid following a correction
The VAT Accounts – Inputs
Scale charge adjustments, partial exemption calculations, are not included in the list of
Reverse Charge transactions need care
Is that it for MTD?
The principles will be the same – requirement to maintain digital accounting records.
Who will that affect?
David Belbin is Managing Director of Clemence Hoar Cummings Chartered Accountants who have been providing accountancy advice and services to organisations and individuals in Havering since 1925. He can be contacted on 01708 333 300 or by email email@example.com
In online marketing, the conversion rate is the ratio of total visitors to visitors who perform desired actions. Companies will measure successful conversions based on the nature of their business and their goals. An online publisher might consider submitting a form on a subscription page a successful conversion; whereas an online retailer might measure their conversion rate by number of clicks to the "Add to Cart" button.
Higher conversion rates typically translates to a greater return on investment. Internet businesses in every industry will use many methods to improve conversion rates. Some of the strategies are listed below:
Testimonials reduce risk and provide social proof. Having satisfied customers express their positive experience will increase trust in your business. Every claim you make should be supported by evidence. It is thought that using customer testimonials can result in more than 60 per cent increase in revenue per customer. It’s the recommendation that helps encourage people to buy your product or invest in your service. Customer testimonials show that other people have tried it.
Use them on homepages, product landing pages as well as on your email opt-in landing page. You can ask for testimonials or spot them on social media and grateful email messages you get. It is appropriate to ask the sender if they wouldn’t mind letting you use some of those words on your website.
A call-to-action (CTA) is a button or link that you add to your website in order to guide your visitor and tell them what to do next. In inbound marketing, they usually lead to a landing page where the visitor can fill out a form and become a lead.
You want your CTA to grab the attention of your visitors and entice them to click.
Show your visitors an offer that is visually appealing and contains persuasive content as well.
In order to ensure your calls-to-action generate leads, you also need to remember the buyer’s journey.
If the call-to-action you’re adding to your site doesn’t fulfil the need of your visitor, they’re not likely to move forward.
Here are some tips to have in mind when creating calls-to-action that will generate leads:
Call to action examples:
Contact form: The contact form is typically the gateway to allow people to submit their information to a company. This is the gateway for the consumer to initiate a conversion with your company. You need to keep your contact form simple. Keeping it simple will allow for minimal perceived risk to the end user. If it takes a long time to fill out a form it could be a potential risk. Visitors could also be questioning whether they are going to get a phone call or email as well as wondering when they’ll get a response.
A good contact form will allow a user to feel that there is no risk in submitting their information. Have only the absolutely needed fields that are required. You can add a few more fields into your contact form to help quality or send certain requests to the correct person. But your contact form should never exceed the length of your browser. In other words, keep it above the fold.
Tell people when, how and what to expect once they fill out the contact form. Will they get a call, an email, a package in the mail? That also reduces the risk that a user may feel if they know how they’re going to be contacted and by when.
In conclusion, when you pair a simple contact form with a great call to action that is clear and defined, you’re well on your way to a higher converting landing page. Don’t forget to test your call to actions. Since some people react differently to certain phrases, always test to see which one works best for your users.
Another approach you can take to increase the conversion rate is to create a sense of urgency. For product-based businesses show how the number of stock items is reducing each time a purchase is made. For service-based businesses include time sensitive offers. This will motivate the visitors to grab the offer before it’s expired.
Website design should reflect the vision and purpose of the company. Everything used from colours to layout and images should represent your brand. Keep things simple and aesthetically pleasing. Avoid using complicated navigation menus. Make sure your message is clearly written and has an impact in the first few seconds.
If you would like help to make this happen for your business, get in touch with the Perfect Layout team today on 01708 578 015.