The team at Perfect Layout Digital Marketing wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas. We hope your day is filled with love, laughter and happiness.
The day that you have all been waiting for has finally arrived! The prize draw results are in and the winners of the prizes are as follows:
Prize 1 - Terri Nicholl
Prize 2 - Mary Spencer
Prize 3 - Alex Peters
Terri, Mary and Alex, we look forward to hearing from you in the new year! Don't forget to get in touch before 31 March 2018 to redeem your prize.
The live draw of the winners can be seen on our Facebook page.
If you weren't lucky enough to win this time round - don't worry! Keep visiting our blog to find out details of our January sale.
Christmas wouldn’t be the same without making more effort to share smiles, send positive vibes and spread some Christmas cheer…
Enjoy your Friday - whatever you're doing...and wearing!
Whilst having a well-constructed, informative website has the obvious benefits of helping promote your business, you can’t underestimate the need to engage with your customers in other ways and on other online platforms.
Engaging on at least one social media platform like Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest Google+ and Facebook is a must to get your brand known and the services in your business used by new and repeat customers. These platforms allow you to distribute your business ideas and talk about your services and/or products in a way that entertains and informs the customer.
Facebook, is a platform that you may already be engaged in socially. Sharing your personal information, photos of your latest holiday or passing on clips of a silly video is easy to master. On the other hand, if you have or are thinking about creating a business page to promote your wares – you will have to think deeper about how to encourage people to view, like and share what you’ve posted.
I wanted to keep this blog simple and basically offer some ideas of what you can talk about week in week out to promote your business page on Facebook. This list is also good enough to use on other social media sites, so pick your theme appropriate to the platform you're using and get writing.
You have no excuse but to get into the habit of spreading your news.
The following ideas have been taken from another source that proved to be an excellent read….Enjoy creating!
As the saying goes, ‘you shouldn’t mix business with pleasure’…In our business, quite often we are told by clients that their friend or a family member was building/has built their website but:
…they have spent months (even years) working on it and it’s still not finished
...it doesn’t look the way they thought it was going to
...it's not working the way that they want it to
Usually, when they are a friend or family member (and not a web designer), they invariably take an off-the-shelf package thinking 'how hard can it be?’. It’s true that building a website from one of these off-the shelf-packages isn't necessarily hard, but do they really know what they are doing? Do they really understand how to make a website perform well and not just look good?
There are thousands of cook books out there and it's easy to follow a recipe, but that doesn't mean the results will always be the same, or that what you make will even taste nice. There is a knack to good cooking and the same principle applies when building a website.
Often it's the things that look simple that can be complex underneath.
Building a website in itself isn't rocket science, but there is a method to making a website great. A website with all the right elements in place will add value to your business. A nice looking website, may simply be aesthetically pleasing but does nothing for the growth of your business. The fundamental components you need include:
By that it needs to be clear, well-written, grammatically correct and keyword rich. Content IS King. Being found in search results is determined by the search engines algorithms matching the users’ keywords with the content on the site. If your content is sparse, poorly written, not properly thought through (using a range of keywords) it is likely that you will feature low down in the rankings.
Search Engine Optimised headings
Headings carry more weight than body text, so ensure that your headings are relevant to what your audience is searching for. Using keyword-rich content in header tags will improve the search engine visibility for your target keyword. Mashable also recommends not having the same article title as you would for your page title, and advises how to write a good meta description.
Easy to use navigation
If your user experience is cumbersome and clunky, it's likely to put customers off. Make sure that you think carefully about how your users might navigate through your web site. Keep it clean and simple. Before you ‘go live’, test your website out as if you were visiting it for the first time. Can customers navigate your website easily? Is it clear and easy to understand? Could any steps be simplified?
High quality images, but not high resolution
There are so many stock photo agencies these days, that having low quality images is not an excuse any more. Your photos need to be clear and crisp, but they must also be saved as smaller files. Large image files will make loading your page slow, which may put people off staying on your website.
Calls to Action
A Call to Action (CTA) on a website is a prompt to get the user to take some specified action. It could be a button asking you to ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Subscribe’. Visually it can be a button or hyperlink. When designing your website consider how your customer might want to get in touch with your business. Are you making it easy for them to do so? Are you giving them choice; email, online forms, telephone numbers? Find out more about why Calls to Actions are important.
When Perfect Layout Digital Marketing works with customers, these are the core principles which we adhere to as the starting point for building their website. These fundamental steps are the foundations to having the building blocks for great online presence. Though don’t be mistaken with thinking that the work starts and ends with a website alone. Consider the website edging of the puzzle - there are still other pieces to put together before the picture is complete. Perfect Layout Digital Marketing can talk you through what other digital strategies would work best for your business.
Perfect Layout can of course create a website that looks great and functions well - but we prefer not to do that. Because we want your business to beat your competitors and bring in a consistent stream of genuine customers, we encourage our customers to take up a support package. Month-by-month we will monitor your website against the competition, check where it is ranking in organic search and, if needed, suggest tweaks.
We also apply other digital strategies to ensure that your visibility online is not just limited to your website. Are you active on the right social media channels? Is your business listed correctly in external directories?
If you are unsure of what your next step should be, give us a call and let’s have a chat today.
Looking back at 2016, I can’t help feeling what a remarkable year it was. The month of September was the most memorable as Perfect Layout Digital Marketing was born. Like many small business owners venturing into the world of self-employment, feelings were mixed; excitement, anticipation, enthusiasm, fear, trepidation, worry…the list goes on. I’m delighted to report that the negative emotions have dissipated somewhat, due to the early success of our business.
We’ve worked hard to understand our sector, the needs of our customers and diligently apply our style of website design and SEO to meet their needs. We have passion for what we do and hope that this comes across when you meet us. Our aim is to understand you, as well as your business, to ensure that our website creations represent your services and products in the best possible light. We also want you to start being found for relevant keyword searches on organic search. Let’s be honest, who goes beyond page 2, when looking for a product or service?
When we meet a client for the first time and talk through their needs, we always make sure to tell them that it will take a while for their websites to begin ranking. Whilst we can’t guarantee that your business will be found on page 1 within 6 months – what we can guarantee is that we’ll try our hardest to make it happen. We are realistic as well as eternally optimistic about the services we provide.One year ago today...On 1 December 2016, our very first website: Carly's Ice Cream Vans went live. We were excited and nervous at serving the needs of our very first customer. Recently, she was kind enough to undertake an interview with us outlining her journey so far…
I know the clue is in the title, but could you explain what services and products Carly’s Ice Cream Vans sell?
We sell soft and hard ice cream locally and attend school fetes, weddings, christenings, birthday parties, corporate events, festivals and football tournaments etc. Our ice creams range from the traditional 99’s, different flavoured hard ice-creams and various lollies. Bubblegum flavour is really popular at the moment.
How long have you been in the ice cream business?
I’ve been in the ice cream business for over 20 years now. My partner, Peri, has been around ice cream for even longer - over 30 years! Together, we know about ice cream, inside and out!
Before you had a website how did you promote your vans/get business?
Purely by word of mouth. We also supply our ice creams to people in local shopping centres.
What made you diversify and invest in having a website?
Whilst getting work via word of mouth is okay, a website is seen by everyone and offers me the chance to get around to different areas and attend different events. It also means that I’m making more money.
Why did you choose Perfect Layout as your website providers?
You were very nice and approachable. During our consultation, things were explained to me really well and I was able to understand exactly how my website would be laid out. I was also impressed with the amount of communication and quick response rate that I had from you whilst the site was being built. I was also pleased that I knew exactly what my website would look like before it went live.
How has the site made a difference to your business?
Local people are hearing about us, which means more jobs. This wouldn’t have happened if we didn’t have the website.
What kind of interest have you received since your website went live?
We’ve had loads of leads via the forms and direct calls.
Are you surprised at the number of leads the site has generated?
Yes, I’ve been surprised at the amount of extra work the website has generated - and very pleased!
What would you say to business owners who have not yet committed to having a website for their business?
Definitely get one! It’s made a real difference to our income and weighed against the cost of the site, it paid for itself quickly.
How do you see the future of the business evolving in the next 5 years?
I hope to be doing more of the same. To continue getting leads from the website and responding to the needs of those that fancy an ice cream!
The proof is in the pudding, or should I say ice cream!
To give the sceptics out there something to munch on, below is a snap shot of statistics showing how well her site did in a very short space of time. The information relates to just a couple of the keyword search terms we track as part of our ongoing SEO. Please note that not all months have been detailed.
Go live date - 1 December 2016
7 December 2016
Ice cream vans Romford – page 2, position 12
Ice cream vans Essex – page 5, position 47
Ice cream vans Romford - page 1, position 2,
Ice cream vans Essex - page 1, position 4
Ice cream vans Romford - page 1, position 3, Google My Business (GMB) listing showed
Ice cream vans Essex - page 1, position 8, position 2 on Map Pack
Ice cream vans Romford – page 1, GMB showed, plus 4 mentions on the organic page
Ice cream vans Essex - page 1, position 3 on Map pack and position 5
Ice cream vans Romford - page 1, position 1 on Map pack and positions 3, 4, 6 and 8
Ice cream vans Essex – page 1, position 2
This demonstrates that the various digital strategies that Perfect Layout Digital Marketing implemented are making a difference. You’ve got to admit that these are pretty impressive results! Carly is happy and so are we.
If you would like your business to have results on page one of organic search, give us a call and let’s see how we can help your business be more visible online.