Are you failing to get leads from your website? Does it feel like a ghoul has hijacked business leads? Are you scared about this ever-changing world of digital marketing? Well, Perfect Layout are here to rescue you from your nightmares as we explain how Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) works. If you put in place these strategies, you will see your ranking improve. Are you ready to handle more leads coming to your business?
If you’re serious about wanting people to find you through a Google search, Search engine Optimisation (SEO) must be at the top of your priority list. You won’t be able to generate leads for your business if nobody can find you.
So, what happens after someone makes a search? Here is the likelihood of someone clicking on a link, depending on their organic positioning.
Breakdown of Google Click-Through Rates in by position
Position 1 – 20.5%
Position 2 – 13.32%
Position 3 – 13.14%
Position 4 – 8.98%
Position 5 – 9.21%
Position 6 – 6.73%
Position 7 – 7.61%
Position 8 – 6.92%
Position 9 – 5.52%
Position 10 – 7.95%
That means if you’re not number one on the page, you just missed out on a fifth of potential traffic. Most people won’t even click on the second page of the search results. If you are wondering why other websites are ranking higher than you on Google. It is because they are making a concerted effort to work on their SEO.
The good news is that it's never too late to start...you just have some catching up to do. There are techniques and strategies that you can apply to get you going.
The following 17 tips will increase your chances of getting ranked higher on Google searches.
1. Optimise your site for mobile devices
Long has the tablet and smartphone been around. They have taken over as preferred devices to search on when compared with a laptop. If your website design is not mobile friendly, you are going to be penalised. Why? Because Google recognises whether your site is mobile-friendly and ranks sites accordingly. Your website must be optimised for mobile users. If this means investing in a new web design, it will be money well spent. Ignore this tip at your peril.
2. Make sure your site is readable
Is the language that you are using on your site, written with your customer in mind? If you want people to visit your site and spend time there, speak in a way that they will understand. Don’t try to sound too professional. Write your content in clear and simple terms. Use short sentences. If you are not sure if your content is readable, use the Hemmingway App. It highlights where your content isn't working as well as it could be.
3. Format your page
When designing your website, take time to think about the layout for each page. Make sure it is neat, logical and uncluttered. Consider things like your font size and typography. Use coloured text, bold font, and italics sparingly. Consider using bullet points and checklists to make it easy to scan through your content. A clean design and format will improve your organic ranking.
4. Encourage people to stay on your site
How much time do people spend on your website per visit? If your site has fresh information, it will keep visitors on your page longer and this can be achieved in various ways, as outlined below.
5. Produce high quality content
There is no substitute for great content. Quality content created for your audience will increase site traffic. How often do you update your website? To encourage visitors to return you need fresh content. The more traffic to your website the more you will increase its popularity. Your content needs to be high quality, recent, and relevant.
6. Start blogging
Blogging is great for your business. It’s an outstanding tool for lead generation and helps you engage with visitors that come to your website. If you can create a group of loyal readers, you can get lots of traffic to your site on a regular basis. Blogs that incorporate good SEO practice, such as links, increased readability, and keywords, all positively impact on your search engine ranking.
7. Use keywords
Keywords play a major role in ranking. Brainstorm your sector. How do you think people will find you? 'Plumber in Romford', vs 'Central Heating Company in Romford' or 'Emergency Plumber in Romford'. There are so many ways people may look for your company. Now you need to include these 'keywords' into the content of your site. But do it sparingly. Keyword stuffing is frowned upon by the search engines and you will be penalised.
Keywords should fit naturally into sentences:
· Include them in your header tags
· Include then in image captions
· Include the use of long-tail keywords, (three or four words that make phrase)
If your keywords match their search, your website will have a greater chance of getting ranked higher.
8. Break up your content with header tags
Headings are another way to help improve the user experience. They break up the content and make it easier to read. If your website is big block of text, people are going to click off your website. If you’re not using headers, try and incorporate them within your content now.
9. More than words
Your website shouldn’t be only written words. Break up the pages with relevant, high-quality pictures. Consider also adding videos, slideshows, or audio to your site. This improves the user experience, as not everyone enjoys just reading.
Also remember what we said about the time people spend on your site. Videos, for example, can extend significantly the amount of time spent on your website. If that happens, it will boost your search ranking.
10. Optimise your images
Pictures and other images are not only visually great for your website. But when they are optimized properly they can improve your SEO ranking. Make sure you do the following:
Resize your images. Huge images can slow your page loading time, which can hurt your ranking. Use your images to sneak in keywords by naming them accordingly. Add keywords in the title of your image as well as the caption or description.
11. Include internal links
Internal links direct visitors to other pages on your website. Not only are you encouraging the reader to find out more about what you do, you are keeping visitors on your site for longer and reducing your bounce rate.
12. Use outbound links
When you are writing a blog or have content that researches a topic, link to sites you have used for information or that go into further detail. Connect your facts to the data source with a hyperlink back to them. When you source something, try to ensure that it is the most recent information.
13. Create anchor text properly
If you ever type 'Click here for more information'. STOP. Start creating relevant links within the text. 'Click here means nothing to the search engine. “Central Heating Installations” is rich with keywords. It will improve your search engine rankings, as well as the ranking of the page you are linking to.
14. Provide appropriate contact information
Have you ever struggled to find the contact information of a business on a website? This should never happen. All your contact information should be easy to find. Make sure you have a footer on every page of your site that includes your Name, Address and Phone number, otherwise known as the NAP.
15. Sharing is caring
Every business and website need to be active on social media. Your SEO ranking will improve when people share links to your website on social media. If you encourage social sharing as a regular part of your SEO campaigns, you will see a difference. Include social sharing icons on all your content and share links on your social media pages.
16. Title Metadata
Title metadata is the page title displayed at the top of a browser window and as the headline within search engine results. It is the most important metadata on your page. Make sure your site has this section filled in.
17. Description Metadata
When you see the results in organic search there will be a title and a description. This description metadata is vital to encouraging visitors to click to your site.
Search engine optimisation isn’t going away. If anything, it is getting more sophisticated and complex and is an ongoing job that needs focus and attention. This blog contains a long list of actions but don’t be put off! Write these actions on your to-do-list and go through them week, by week. Every improvement you make will stand your website in good stead.
Monitor your results monthly. Checking your traffic and search ranking will help validate your SEO strategy. It will also highlight areas on your website that need more attention. Who knows, by working on these elements, you might claim that elusive number one spot! It's all about outsmarting your competition. That’s what we at Perfect Layout Digital Marketing are working on every day with our clients.
These are only a few of the many methods for improving your search engine ranking. If you want to learn more, we recommend that you visit: Improve your performance on Google Search or give us a call and speak to our friendly team. Call 01708 578 015.
In short, yes!
When it comes to branding and awareness of your company, you should try to be as visually consistent as you can. You want your customers to instantly recognise you. First you must start with your logo and then build out your brand from there.
Ensure brand consistency across all your channels
Brand consistency refers to your brand identity, brand voice and brand guidelines. Does everything you create follow these guidelines? Doing so is a major step towards letting consumers get to know you as an organisation.
When they know you, they will identify with you and your purpose. And when consumers feel like they know you and can trust you, they will be more likely to buy from you. They will also be more likely to recommend you to their peers.
The content on your website, social media channels, newsletters and any offline marketing should all have the same 'feel'. Making connections between the content you own is a great way to maximise your presence. This way you can ensure you get the largest number of eyes on your products and services.
When it comes to your website you should ensure that it is consistent with all your other marketing. You should also be mindful of how user-friendly your site is. Can customers navigate around your website easily?
Structure: how well structured is the content on your website? You need to aim for a minimum number of navigation layers. Customers want as few clicks as possible to get to what they want. The website section division must be clear, logical and predictable.
Minimalism: efficient web page navigation is always simple and user-friendly. Add only those elements to your menu design that are essential for the effective communication. The key to success is a menu bar consisting of a minimal number of sections that goes to what they need.
Design: when selecting a design focus on readability, integrity, and harmony. Too many icons, buttons and shortcuts will put visitors off your site. The simpler the web navigation, the likelier customers will stay on your website.
Remember that: navigation can affect traffic and how high you’ll rank and how much traffic you’ll get from search.
Navigation affects conversions: how easy the site is to use effects what percentage of visitors convert into leads and customers.
Social Media Integration
Do you want to grow your market and reach a broader audience? Then the key is to integrate your business into social media. Social media channels and your website should work together to promote your online brand. Opening accounts in these platforms is completely free. They are a very good tool to increase your popularity and online presence.
Add links to your social channels from your website to increase the chance that search engine users will find your website.
Being active on social media channels can help build (or retain) a solid audience. Post regularly and keep your audience updated on your products and services as well as what's new on the market.
Unless you are able to do it yourself, marketing requires a lot of time, effort and money. But when it is done correctly and consistently across the various channels, it can be extremely powerful and rewarding.
Getting your brand, marketing strategy, website and social media platforms to where you want them to be, takes time and a lot of effort. If you are a small company, it might be worth considering hiring external professionals to help you.
If you want to know more about this important topic read our blog How important is branding for my company?
You might also like: 50 meticulous style guides every startup should see before launching by Canva.
Nowadays it’s plain to see that a massive part of our marketing strategy is undertaken digitally. Consumers and businesses spend more time searching online than anywhere else, so that's exactly where your business needs to be in order to reach them.
Whether you have been in business for a while or your business is in its infancy, the ever-changing picture of digital marketing can quickly grow and feel overwhelming. As a self-employed business owner, you are already faced with a long daily to-do list. How are you supposed to create, and maintain, an effective digital marketing strategy too?
What is a digital marketing strategy?
Your digital marketing strategy encompasses a series of actions (that take place online) with the aim of marketing your business and attracting the right customers.
The term ‘strategy’ might seem frightening but simply means, ‘plan of action’. Creating an effective digital strategy doesn’t need to be scary and should be viewed as a necessary tool that's used for bringing more paying customers to your business.
How to build a comprehensive digital marketing strategy
You will gain a better insight into your sector by studying other business models and reviewing the approach taken by your competitors. The results can form part of your strategy.
The following is a list of other factors to consider when devising your strategy.
1) Identify and build your buyer personas
Buyer persona's shows your ideal customer and can be developed by researching, surveying, and interviewing the target audience of your business. It’s important to note that this information should be based upon real data. Making assumptions about your audience can cause your marketing strategy to fail.
To get a rounded picture of your persona, try and include information that relates to their demographics, motivations, behaviour patterns and goals. Include a mixture of customers and people outside your contacts database who align with your target audience.
2) Identify your goals and the digital marketing tools you’ll need
Your marketing goals should form a significant part of the objectives for your business. For example, if your business’s goal is to increase online revenue by 20 per cent, your goal as a marketer might be to generate 50 per cent more leads via the website than you did last year to contribute towards that success.
Whatever your dominating goal is, you need to know how to measure it. The success of a digital strategy will be measured differently for each business and will vary dependent upon the nature of your goal. Having the ability to measure the impact of a marketing strategy is essential as it will allow you to refine your approach accordingly.
3) Evaluate your existing digital marketing channels and assets. Which ones are you using? Should you be on others?
The digital landscape changes quite often, so it’s a good idea to do your homework and find out what is out there, who is using it, why are they using it and if it’s a method that will fit in with your business. Not all platforms or assets are right for every business.
The key is to build a plan of what you would like to do and how you are going to achieve this. Can it be executed with your current resources or do you need to invest in more staff or external help?
4) Audit and plan your owned media.
Your owned media (original content that you create yourself) is often placed at the heart of digital marketing – your website. Each element of content that your brand creates, such as your website pages, product descriptions, blog posts, e-books, infographics, all helps transform your website viewers into leads and customers. It can also boost your search/organic traffic.
Whatever your goal is, you’ll need owned content to form part of your digital marketing strategy. You can then use other platforms (e.g. social media) to broadcast your messages to other audiences.
5) Create a content strategy and develop your earned media
Earned media is external publicity that you haven’t paid for. This is media exposure that comes to your business via methods such as, customer reviews, or content that has been shared, reposted, or mentioned by other people on their social media channels.
A good content strategy creates earned media. In turn, this exposure gets picked up by search engines and works towards them favourably ranking you above your competitors. Review the digital marketing asset column above and consider which tools will help your business receive more engagements and improve the external publicity for your site.
6) Do you have a budget for paid media?
If you have a marketing budget, you may want to spend some of it on advertising. Branded content, pay per click advertising (PPC) or display ads in print/online newspapers/magazines are all varieties of paid media. Budgets can be spent easily, so choose wisely where you want to spend your money. For online businesses, this is an essential aspect of revenue growth and building brand awareness.
7) Bring it all together.
It’s never too late to start implementing a good digital marketing strategy for your online business. A combination of owned, earned and paid for media can often give you better results.
Remember to plan ahead (as much as is realistically possible) and schedule regular meetings to evaluate the impact and performance of what has gone out. What lessons have you learned? Going forward, does the marketing plan you have in place need to be tweaked?
Digital marketing checklist:
- Profile of your buyer persona
- One or more marketing-specific goals
- An inventory and audit of your existing owned, earned, and paid media
- An owned content strategy plan
- Social media marketing plan
- Ideas of how you can create earned content
- A budget and plan for paid for content (advertising)
Have you got everything covered? We’d love to hear how you plan and action your digital marketing strategy. Leave a comment below to get the discussion started.
I’m keen to have a website for my business, but money is tight. I’m thinking of creating one myself, any tips?
Whatever type of business you have, there is no getting away from the fact that people will expect you to have an online presence. Whilst some business owners are able to make a reasonable income via social media platforms (like Facebook and Instagram) or e-commerce platforms (like Etsy and Shopify) having your own website has many benefits.
If your budget limits you from hiring a website designer, or you are attracted to the idea of creating a website yourself, there are many website providers to choose from. They will advertise low-cost packages with guidance on how to do it yourself, but will the end result generate more customers coming to your site?
Five top tips to having a great website
Top tip 1 – ensure that the content on your site accurately reflects the services/products of your business. Your bounce rate will increase if your writing style includes over long sentences, has grammatical mistakes or has a dull/flat tone. Analyse your competitors and review what does and doesn’t work for them. Let your website reflect your personality and the type of business that you have so that you don’t come across as cold and boring.
Brainstorm the terms that your customers search for you. Googles keyword planner is a tool that can help you pinpoint relevant long and short tail keywords. Having relevant keywords allow search engines, like Bing and Google, to match the right business to the right customer.
We understand that creative writing is not everyone’s cup of tea, so if the thought of doing this doesn’t sit well with you, why not give us a call? We have an excellent copywriting service that can be accessed in isolation or as part of an ongoing package.
Top tip 2 – be sure to encourage your conversion rate by giving those perusing your site every opportunity to get in touch or make a purchase. Using Call to Actions (CTA’s) throughout your website are a great way of nudging customers to act. CTA’s can be contact forms, telephone or current special offers.
Top tip 3 – gone are the days when all websites were difficult to view on a mobile phone. Business owners on platforms that are not mobile friendly will be penalised by search engines, which could negatively affect your rankings.
When creating your site, make sure it has the ability to respond to the device (mobile phone, laptop or iPad) that is being used. Customers do not like websites that have poor navigation. Make it easy and obvious for people to find their way around your site as clumsy navigation that has not been thought through could lose you income.
Top tip 4 – take the time and get your business listed on external directories. This will help boost your online presence as search engines view you as a trustworthy business. Read our blog for more details about why your business needs to be listed on directories.
Top tip 5 – consider the layout of your website. Have a theme that limits the use of colours, fonts and gifs. You will want each page to look its best and engage with customers – not distract them. High engagement leads to a higher conversion rate. Pages that are cluttered will prohibit users from scanning text for key points.
The use of photographs can really bring a website to life. Avoid using stock images, wherever possible, as they can depersonalise your business. Having images of yourself, staff and business premises will assist customers build a picture of who you are and the service/product you offer.
This list will definitely put you on the right track to getting the most from your website. If you find that later down the line your rankings haven’t improved, why not get in touch? Our Perfect Layout web development team are ready to help!
Search Engine Optimisation, also known as SEO, is the techy way of describing how to make the most of a website’s online visibility. Imagine you have purchased a house that was in desperate need of repair. How would you go about getting it to look it’s best?
There are various things that you could do. You could: replace the windows, build an extension, re-plaster the walls inside out and landscape the garden. After completing these jobs, the house would serve better as a home. It would also be more comfortable and functional. That’s what SEO is. It’s a way of making the purpose of a website work better and be found by people looking for it.
If you have a website, blog or online store, SEO can help your business grow and get your business found online. SEO techniques vary. It’s a good idea to make sure that you put in place the basic strategies and check them regularly. The process of optimisation is not a one-time process. It requires regular maintenance and fine tuning alongside continuous testing and monitoring.
SEO can increase the quality of a website by making it user friendly, faster and easier to navigate. In today’s competitive market, undertaking SEO is more important than ever. Search engines serve millions of users per day. They look for answers to questions and solutions to their problems. The job of a search engine is to come up with the best options for its users. When applied correctly, good SEO will bring in online traffic and grow your customer base.
The following is a list of some SEO techniques that you can apply to your site:
- Your competitors are doing it
If your competitors appear above you in organic search, it’s likely that they are applying SEO techniques. If it can work for them, it can work for you too. Invest time doing it yourself or employing someone to do it for you.
Backlinking is a key feature of Search Engine Optimisation. Also known as ‘incoming links’ and ‘inbound links’. This is when a link from an external website is directed towards yours. Websites that link to a variety of authoritative sites will rank higher in search engine results pages compared to those who have links to sites that are not as powerful. Getting it right is key.
If you have inbound links on your site that don't relate to the content on the page, they will be considered irrelevant. Your website could be penalised. The higher the relevancy of inbound links, the greater their quality.
- Internal linking
Linking to related articles, or pages, on your own website helps search engines better understand the importance and topical focus of each page. Creating links this way assists Google in determining the relevancy of your website. The more people like and share your content, the more visibility you’ll receive from these social media channels. As you develop quality backlinks, it will help to boost and sustain your rankings over the long term.
- Back end SEO
Complete the page title, page description and meta keywords for each page of your website. Search engine algorithms select websites with keywords that match the users search terms.
- Page titles
Keyword-based titles help establish page theme and direction for your keywords. Choose a title that reads naturally and effectively. Make sure it communicates the topic of the page’s content.
- Meta tags
Meta description tags can influence click-throughs but aren't used for rankings. Meta tags contain keywords or phrases alerting search engines of a website's content.
- Place strategic search phrases on pages
Integrate selected keywords into your website's content. Make sure the tone sounds natural. Doing this will help the search engines quickly determine what the page is about.
- Sign up your websites to online directories
Find directories where you can list your business for free. This method will get links to your website quickly and naturally. It also helps get your site indexed by the search engines. Start with directories such as yelp, Yellow Pages and Thomson Local.
It’s important to continually review the movement of your website. Where does it sit alongside your competitors? You will achieve good results if you consistently undertake these SEO principles. A common mistake is to focus on the quantity, rather than the quality, of backlinks. If you’ve ranked for a particular keyword, there is no need to build excessive backlinks to that page. Google can detect if a site is gaining links at an unreasonable pace. Building links too fast is like waving a red flag that can potentially get your website closed down. If you want to maintain your keyword ranking, try to expand your inbound links to the various pages on your site. This strategy will diversify your backlinking profile and increase your website authority.
If this sounds confusing, fear not. The team at Perfect Layout Digital Marketing, would love to help fix your website with some SEO TLC. Give us a call on 01708 578 015
The Havering Museum came about eight years ago thanks to a small band of local people. This included librarians and historians, who wanted a home to celebrate the rich history of Havering from pre-history to the present day. It acknowledges the achievements of local people while exploring how the areas that make up the Borough were formed and developed. The Museum, located in the old Romford Brewery building, opened in May 2010 and is completely volunteer led.
other businesses in the area. I encourage you to see what the Museum has to offer. I am personally thrilled and amazed by the current artefacts that are on display from the Titanic Exhibition and the wealth of external activities and support that the Museum provides to schools and various community groups with for regular events and talks.”
For details of forthcoming Events at the Havering Museum go to What’s On.
Perfect Layout is a Romford-based company which aims to help business owners (in Essex, London and beyond) succeed online by creating for them the best website that will attract new customers and generate genuine leads.
The success of your website is determined primarily by its content. Good content is what sets your website apart from the masses and delivers the right message into the minds of your customers or audience.
Having clear, relevant and keyword-rich content that delivers the right message with power and conviction is the key to success. The content of your website should always begin with proper market research.
Taglines and slogans that are customer-centric (focusing on the needs of the customer) are essential to capturing their attention. The content on your website should target your audience, engage them and persuade them to take action.
Content marketing involves the creation and publishing of content and sharing that content in order to acquire customers. This information can be presented in a variety of formats, including blog posts, videos, white papers, infographics, case studies, and so on. Posting relevant, valuable and frequently updated information on your website will help boost your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). It will also help by placing you in the position of an expert and allow you to build relationships with your audience professionally.
Your SEO keywords are the key words and phrases in your web content that make it possible for people to find your site via search engines.
Quality content writing is the most important part of your SEO. Keywords are very important for every business and a website drives targeted web traffic to your business for free.
When a visitor uses a search engine, like Google, to find what they are looking for the content on your website comes under scrutiny. With quality content and SEO-friendly formatting the Google algorithm will look for important words at particular places on your web page or blog post – thus enabling you to get found.
Another important detail to keep in mind are long-tail keywords. These are keyword phrases that contain at least three words, and sometimes more. Long-tail keywords are used to target niche demographics rather than mass audiences. In other words, they're more specific and often less competitive than generic keyword terms. They are very specific to whatever you are selling. So, said more specifically, whenever a customer uses a highly specific search phrase, they tend to be looking for exactly what they are actually going to buy.
Some businesses choose to include keywords relevant to their business in their domain name. This strategy works as long as the name is in line with the brand identity for the website. It is also important not to limit your business by choosing a name that is applicable for your business only in the short term. Let your 5 to 10 year business plan reflect where you want to be long term.
One way in which to create relevant and powerful SEO keyword-content for your website, is through brainstorming. Try and put yourself in the position of your customers and think about the words they might use to search for the services and/or products you are offering. This process can be undertaken on your own or in a group.
Because algorithms are constantly changing, it’s paramount that you keep a fresh eye on the content of your site. If people are changing the way in which they search for you – the keywords on your website will need to reflect this too.
Why not have a look at your site today and think through some of the keywords your customers might be using. Do they appear on the pages of your site?
Simple answer - YES! Whilst there are website design companies like us that optimise websites for a living, undertaking this role is something that you can do yourself. For example, designing a landing page that’s built for leads doesn’t have to be an overwhelming nor time-consuming exercise. By simply looking at examples of some of the best converting lead generation websites, you can learn precisely what works and why. If you want to attract visitors who have a strong intention of ultimately using your services, your landing page will have to have plenty of good content, quality links and authority.
14 Top tips for optimising your website…
The following steps are proven to increase not only conversions, but also your site's trust factor and presence. For good optimisation of your website that will help generate more customers it's worth considering the following...
Top tip 1 - add forms to the pages that get the most traffic
To begin with, conduct an audit of where most of your online traffic and outreach comes from.
Here are some of the most common places that a business might get visitors from:
Email Marketing - traffic might come from users who click through to your website from one of your emails that you have provided.
Social Media - traffic might come from users who engage in a campaign through one of your social media profiles linked with your website.
Live Chat - traffic might come in the form of users who reach out to your customer service team through a live chat window on your website.
Blog Posts - traffic might come from your highest-performing blog posts.
Top tip 2 - start with a basic CTA on your homepage
If your homepage's design is what catches a person's attention, the CTA (Call to Action) is what keeps it. Your homepage sits at the top of the marketing funnel and should therefore offer either a free trial or subscription to a recurring campaign, such as a newsletter. Consider including one of the following CTAs on the front of your website:
Top tip 3 - offer ebooks for download on specific blog posts
Another way to generate interest in your business is to create blog content that promotes an ebook or whitepaper, wherein your website visitors can learn more about the same topic they have just read about on your blog. We are always writing about the importance of blog posts and keeping content on your site fresh and relevant and this strategy is where lead generation meets search engine optimisation (SEO).
To start, conduct keyword research on a topic that's relevant to your industry, and create a group of blog posts around this topic. Then, draft a report that delves much deeper into this topic. Package this report into a PDF that your blog readers can download using their name, company, and email address.
Top tip 4 - develop a live chat service for your website
To generate leads though live chat, audit your website to see which pages your visitors spend most of their time on. With the right development resources, you can install a live chat tool on the pages where customers need the most assistance or information. This allows you to practically collect and log insight on their product needs while answering their questions.
Top tip 5 - personalise your calls-to-action
Personalised calls-to-action convert 42% more visitors than basic calls-to-action. Visitors who see website pages that remember them from an earlier date are more inclined to stick around and start a conversation with you.
Top tip 6 - make your videos speak to the user
Online videos greatly increase conversion rates for a wide range of industries (particularly e-commerce websites). The highest performing videos speak to the user rather than at them. Online users who viewed a product video are much more likely to convert over users who simply viewed an ad.
Top tip 7 - use action oriented words when describing your offers
Using action-oriented words in your offer (such as, ''feel'' and ''get'' etc.), places the customer in a pivotal role as the one receiving the benefits as opposed to simply imagining them.
Top tip 8 - featured image
Every great post has a great image. This makes the post more attractive, both on your site and in the social streams when it gets shared. This is your chance to explain concepts visually with informative charts or diagrams.
Top tip 9 - descriptive header
A descriptive header is good for visitors and good for search rankings.
Top tip 10 - social sharing buttons
Make it easy to spread the word. Share buttons can appear at both the top and bottom of the post, or even as a “sticky” element that follows them as they scroll down the page.
Top tip 11 - try to avoid cookie-cutter site templates
It is best you avoid any cookie cutter “all-the-work-is-done-for-you” website templates. Instead, consider investing in the best possible website that you can afford, and make sure you make the purpose of each page clear, up front, so that the designer can tailor it to generating leads.
Top tip 12 - evidence, data and social proof
Add evidence of your legitimacy and the value of your services. This may include examples, statistics and research.
Top tip 13 - personality, values and your story
Talk about your values, your origin and why this work is important in order to make this a page that sets you apart.
Top tip 14 - nurture your leads
Place leads into a workflow once they fill out a form on your landing page so they don't forget about you. Deliver them valuable content that matches their interest. Lead nurturing should start with relevant follow up emails that include great content.
Finally, take a look at your website. How do you think it’s doing against the above points? Call us today so that we can discuss how we can help you put in action what you currently have missing.
Last week, 13 July, Christine Huntingford from Perfect Layout Digital Marketing was invited to give a presentation at the Havering Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HCCI) breakfast meeting, where members and visitors attended. She thought long and hard about what to talk to them about and decided to make it an interactive session with the participants and let them know in 10 minutes, after a few simple checks, whether their website was working well for their business and whether their website and digital marketing need some real Tender Loving Care (TLC).
Firstly, to get a sense of their initial thoughts she asked the following questions:
This gave everyone a moment to reflect not only if were they genuinely happy with their current service, but also to validate if this was a way in which they were bringing in customers.
Now we know its all very easy to think that everything is fine with our website, but how do we really know? Well, these next simple tasks can reveal whether your website is working for you. You can do this for your site at any time.
Open your search browser for the internet and look for your business, by type and location. Please don’t type in your company name but instead type in say ‘Accountants in Romford’.
Is your company is listed on page one?
If it is that’s great news. Potential customers have a chance of finding you and calling up your business.
For those of you that didn’t appear on page one, you may need to think about how to improve the content of your website to help you to be found.
Whilst before you were asked not to type in your company name into the browser, this time, do exactly that. For example, for our Company it would be, ‘Perfect Layout Digital Marketing’.
Can you see the Google My Business (GMB) listing for your business? Can you also see photos, posts and full details about your company? Do you have reviews?
If it’s a ‘yes’ for all of that, that is excellent! You are on track with taking full advantage of GMB’s latest updates and features.
If you didn’t, Perfect Layout can help you either set up a Google My Business, or help you enhance what you already have there.
Keeping the page that you had open for task 2, now scroll down the results page, do you have your business listed in external directories? Such as Yell, Thomson, Netmums, or any online directory for your sector?
If you have more than 3 external directory listings, you are doing well, these connections on external sites help give your website relevancy and demonstrate that you are an active business.
If you are not listed on any external directories, it is recommended that this strategy is employed in order to help your business get found.
Does your website have a blog section? If it does, was the last post published within the last month?
If this is you - congratulations! You are doing a good job of sharing news about your company’s activities and products to your community.
If you don’t, get in touch with Perfect Layout about the benefits of a blog, which can help your website rank better.
Being on external directories can improve your online visibility with prospective clients.
Having a blog section is an opportunity to update your community on what you are doing and makes your business more authoritative.
In the second half of the presentation we introduced an alternative strategy for phone-based businesses who don’t have the money to invest in a new website or redesign of their current website - but need to be earning more money and secure new customers.
To clarify, a phone-based business is when people would call you as their primary way of contacting you, rather than via email or walking into your business premises.
Let’s imagine the following:
Our client, a dentist, gets some enquiries from his website, but he would like more. His family is growing and they need a bigger house, but what he is currently earning isn’t quite enough to be able to move, just yet. He doesn’t have the money to rebuild his website and invest in keyword-rich content.
However, as a phone-based business, he has the option of securing potential customers through a customer generating website that’s run by a digital marketing agency. This website will generate new contacts specifically for his business by creating a new website free of charge. It will be found organically on the top pages of search engines and could bring him that extra revenue that he is looking for. From these new clients there’s a high likelihood of them becoming repeat customers, who will visit for check-ups, as well as the need for ad hoc additional treatments. Fabulous recurring revenue for years to come.
It’s a no brainer – so where's the catch? It’s simply a matter of paying a small fee to the digital marketing agency for each enquiry that comes via that website.
If this has struck a chord with you and you would like your business to build up its client base and recurring customers, give us a call today to talk about whether your niche would suit such a website.
For many businesses, social media is an indispensable tool for finding and engaging with customers, improving sales, advertising and promoting products and services as well as gauging trends and offering customer service.
Social media has a significant role in helping businesses as it:
While 76% of direct sellers use social media for promotional purposes, 55% use it for recruiting new distributors and 42% use it for reactive purposes. Consumers are the most popular target for social media, followed by distributors and communities. Social media has evolved into a driver of strategy, and will become even more important in the future as customer relationships are improved and developed by listening and reacting to concerns. The transparency created by social media is enhancing trust and ethical organisational cultures. In addition, consumer brand communities are emerging that are increasing brand value.
1 – Facebook
This is easily the largest social networking site in the world and one of the most widely used.
Facebook was perhaps the first that surpassed the landmark of 1 billion user accounts.
An average Facebook user has 180 friends.
Apart from the ability to network with friends and relatives, different Facebook apps can be accessed to sell online and market or promote a businesses brand and products by using paid Facebook ads.
Facebook has incredible insights about their users and can target very specific demographics with very specific ads. Facebook ads are shown more regularly to advertisers who are willing to pay more than other advertisers targeting the same people.
This creates a bidding war and makes advertising campaigns that focus on a small niche more profitable.
Number of active users per month: approximately 1.7 billion
2 – Instagram
Instagram was launched as a unique social networking platform that was completely based on sharing photos and videos.
This photo sharing social networking app thus enables you to capture the best moments of your life, with your phone’s camera or any other camera, and convert them into works of art.
This is possible because Instagram allows you to apply multiple filters to your photos and you can easily post them to other popular social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. It is now part of the Facebook empire, with 1 billion registered users.
More than 80% of Instagram’s community lives outside of the U.S.
More than 300 million users check Instagram Stories daily.
Number of active users per month: 500 million approximately
3 – Twitter
This social networking site enables you to post short text messages (called tweets), containing a limited number of characters (up to 240), to convey your message to the world. With the growing craze for online shopping, Twitter makes it possible to promote your business and shop directly through tweets.
More political leaders use Twitter than any other social platform. 276 heads of state, government and ministries in 178 countries use Twitter.
68 million monthly active users are located in the U.S.
262 million monthly active users live outside of the U.S. (roughly 80%of all users).
42% of Twitter users use the site daily.
8% of US Companies use Twitter for marketing purposes.
74% of Twitter users follow small businesses to get product updates.
Number of active users per month: 330 million approximately
4 – Google+
Owned by the tech giant Alphabet (Google), this interest-based social networking platform enables you to stay in touch with people by sharing messages, photos, videos, useful links to sites and so on. It is estimated that it has a total of 2 billion registered users.
It also extends support for video conferencing through Hangouts and allows businesses to promote their brands and products through Google+ business pages.
Top 5 countries using G+ are USA, India, Brazil, UK & Canada.
Number of active users: 395 million approximately
LinkedIn is easily one of the most popular professional social networking sites or apps and is available in over 20 languages.
It is used across the globe by all types of professionals and serves as an ideal platform to connect with different businesses, locate and hire ideal candidates and more. It also boasts over 500 million members.
The more precise demographical data about people you are connected with is usually behind a pay-wall (a tool to monetize digital content securely and efficiently) such as on LinkedIn. 171 million users are based in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The U.S. has the largest national user base (146 million members), followed by India, China and Brazil.
49% of college graduates use LinkedIn.
45% of adults making more than US$75,000 per year are on LinkedIn.
More than 46 million students and recent college graduates use LinkedIn. They are the networking site’s fastest-growing demographic.
Number of active users per month: 250 million approximately
Love them or loathe them, social media platforms are a must for all business owners to use. Denying your business a presence on the right social media platforms could lose you leads, revenue and repeat custom.
If you are overwhelmed with where you should start, give Perfect Layout Digital Marketing a call to see how we can help build the right social media strategy for you.
You may have noticed that the world we live in is changing…how we communicate, how we shop and how we do business. Many of these changes have come about as more and more people walk around with mini computers in their pockets. The owners of these Smart Phones range from the very young (many a lot younger than my 12 year daughter!) to the very old - my father wouldn’t thank me for mentioning his age (!). They have a worldwide appeal and their technology becomes more and more sophisticated with each passing year.
According to a recent survey of 170,000 adult internet users in 32 markets conducted by GlobalWebIndex 75% of adults that own a smartphone are using them to access the internet. That’s a lot of people!
If your business has a website that doesn’t convert for mobile users, you will be missing out on a massive market of potential customers and the real chance of increasing your profits. If you’re reading this blog and wondering how it is that you’ve never come across the term, ‘mobile strategy’ before – don’t worry, there is a way for you to catch up if you implement these 5 tips to creating a mobile strategy.
Tip 1 – ask questions
Before you begin creating your strategy, have a think about what you would like to achieve by asking yourself and/or your team some of the following. For example:
Tip 2 – do you want a mobile site or a mobile application?
If your business has a website you will want it to be mobile responsive. This means that users will not have to download anything to view your information properly. The mobile site can detect the user’s device and automatically format the content for optimal viewing on that platform.
Mobile applications require a device-specific download from a marketplace, such as the Apple App Store or the Android Market. Whether you choose to incorporate a mobile site or mobile application as part of your strategy, you will want to ensure that the information is clear and concise – thus easy to understand. Make the user experience as smooth and enjoyable as possible. You want to encourage people to return or recommend your service and/or product.
Tip 3 – combine the use of Social Media into your campaign
We all know the power and influence social media platforms have, so now it’s time to think about how best to turn their strength to your advantage. Each social media platform offers tools that enable you to listen to, engage with and monitor your audience.
Did you know that 40% of Pinterest, Twitter or Facebook users have purchased something after watching and sharing it? This means that your mobile strategy should integrate with your social media platforms. This includes sharing reviews, having social sharing buttons and creating content that is both engaging for your audience and promoted through social media ads.
Tip 4 – create different device campaigns
It’s common that households today have multiple laptops, tablets and smartphones that cater for the uses of all the family. According to KISSMetrics, “over 40% of smartphone users watch TV while browsing a smartphone.” Because people are now adept at multi-tasking on this level, it’s important that marketing campaigns are adjusted to take into account the device, location and time of day of the end user. This way, you will be able to maximise your return on investment by delivering content that is relevant to different members of your audience.
Tip 5 – send out timely alerts
Have you ever found yourself checking your phone even when it’s not made one of those little ‘ping’ noises? Well you’re not alone. If you have done your research and truly know your audience and the time they would like to receive these alerts, take advantage of people wanting to look busy by sending out notifications of your latest discounts, savings or next big event.
Please note that this list is not exhaustive and is offered as a starting point to help businesses create a strategy.
Have you found this article useful? Give us your feedback and let us know how you have implemented your mobile strategy. We’d love to hear from you!
When people think of branding, they often associate it with having a great logo or a memorable name. But branding goes far beyond the visual aspects of your business. So what exactly is a brand?
The short answer is: everything.
Your brand includes things such as the look and feel of your website, your customer service and how you engage on social media. It represents every single aspect of your business. Your company’s branding will influence what people think about your business and whether they perceive your brand as being reliable, fun, modern, attractive, cutting edge etc.
Beyond just having a memorable logo, good branding increases the value of your company. For larger organisations it provides employees with a purpose and direction. When done correctly it can make getting new customers easier. When all of these parts of the business are working well, the overall brand tends to be in a good position.
After formalising a company, anyone serious about their new business will set themselves the tasks of:
Now whilst these are all essential and worthwhile jobs has thought gone into how the branding of the company fits in? Is it being done in the right way?
Let’s take a look at how the brand impacts your business:
It’s not surprising that the first thing people associate with branding is the logo; as it’s the first component that people tend to see. Logo design is critical because that simple graphic or icon will be on everything that you do. A professional logo design should be created so that it is simple enough to be remembered - but it must also convey the desired impression of your company.
A professional appearance builds credibility and trust. People are more likely to purchase from a business that appears professional and polished, rather than something that looks ‘cobbled together’ or done on a very tight budget. Getting this step wrong could seriously impact the success of your business. Once you have established a (bad) reputation, it’s hard to change it.
Positive recognition is essential because it develops a good relationship between your business and your customers.
Trust and Confidence
People are more likely to buy again from a company when their first experience was good, or when someone has recommended them. Through their own experience they too build confidence and trust with you and your products or services. Once you start to be recognised, you begin to distinguish yourself from your competitors. Strong brands can feel like an extension of you. Just think of the products you buy that you just wouldn’t buy from any other brand.
A strong brand, with a professional structure behind it, will begin to build loyalty. Once all the aforementioned factors are working in harmony, you are likely to have a customer base that will keep coming back for more.
Advertising is another component of your brand strategy. It is essential for your business to bring customers to you and communicate to the world what your business offers. If it resonates with your would-be customer, then your brand will draw them to your business.
It is important to have thought through what you want to advertise, how you want to advertise and where and when you want to advertise. Not thinking through your message and tactics properly may not achieve the desired effect that you want. If done badly, it could lose you money and damage your brand.
Branding enables your company to get referral business from those that are now loyal to you. This is where all companies want to be, as it is the most profitable advertising source. Word-of-mouth referrals are only possible where you have built a solid reputation on delivering a great product or service.
Let customers engage with your brand
Being on social media will allow customers the opportunity to engage directly with your brand. You can do this by simply creating a hashtag for your business, which should feature in every post you publish. This will help people remember the brand if they see this in every post.
Branding motivates employees
Many people choose the companies they want to work for because they are aligned with their ethos and practices. People often aren’t simply looking for work, but looking for their ideal employer. When employees understand your mission and reason for being, they are more likely to feel that same pride and passion and will align their attitude with the company’s.
Take the time to invest in your brand
Unfortunately, many businesses don’t prioritise branding and this is a huge mistake. Poor branding impacts your business in many negative ways and can threaten the survival of your company. Your brand is the face of your business. How do you want people to feel about your brand?
Invest the time, energy and resources to develop a brand that you’re proud of. This is not a quick win – good branding takes time and planning. But remember that it’s worth the investment and it will help boost your profits.
If you need advice on branding for your business or are looking for a website design in Essex, then look no further. Call Perfect Layout Digital Marketing on 01708 578 015, email us at email@example.com or complete the contact form below.
The Perfect Layout has a team of copywriters that can create relevant content for your website. Having a team means that we are able to provide a wide ranging bespoke copywriting service that caters for all markets.
You will have seen us write about content in our blogs before. The importance of content on your website relates not only to the visitors to your site, but also when it comes to being found by search engines like Google. We understand the importance and will ensure that the language of the text:
• reflects you – the face behind the business
• your ethos – what your business stands for
• and describes your services and products in a way that will engage your customers and allow them
to quickly grasp what you do
It’s paramount to create content that people will be interested in reading and that’s exactly what we do. Our process is simple. We will meet with you face-to-face or arrange a time to Skype or talk to you on the phone. We are good at asking questions and the more questions we ask, the more we will be able to write in a way that sounds like you. We want to hear how you would speak to prospective clients so that when it comes to writing about what you do, it will be as though you wrote it yourself.
We will ask questions like:
These are questions you could ask yourself now. Does the content on your website answer these enquiries? If not, it may be time to either re-write your content or give us a call.
The fact is, whether you are in the line of work that provides a locksmith service or have just started your own firm of solicitors – the principles behind asking these types of questions remain the same. For every service, we’ll incorporate relevant facts that are appropriate. For example, your new firm of solicitors will need to include an overview of how the law impacts on what you do for your clients. It’s always key to remember who your target audience is to ensure that your services can be understood and accessed by as many people as possible.
The content we produce will also incorporate keywords relevant to your sector. Are you a locksmith that is able to change the locks to only certain doors? If so, describe the type of doors. Do your services cover a certain area? If so, describe the services you provide and where. Does your business offer a 24 hour lock changing service? If yes, then say how and where your out of hours facility works.
Think of pertinent questions that your customer might ask and answer them.
That way you will begin to build a picture of your business that will contain relevant keywords to get you found by your customers as well as the search engines.
Other than listening to what you need, our service also includes offering ideas that will help draw out the best aspects of your business.
For example, ideas that will:
• make you stand out from your competitors
• incorporate current trends within your industry that should be included in your content
• include changes that are occurring in the local area that could have an affect your service
Get in touch if you feel that your content is in need of being re-worked. The bottom line is, great content will get you noticed for all the right reasons!
Give Perfect Layout Digital Marketing a call on 01708 578 015, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or complete the contact form below.
If your business has a website, it is important not to see yourself as a stand-alone island with no links to other shores. If you want your island to be successful it needs to have connections with other islands that are well connected too.
In other words, having your website is just one of the steps of having a good online presence. However, it is imperative to take the time to list your business on other online directories too; so that they not only promote your services, but also add authority that you’re a current and valid business to approach.
When creating your listing on directories, like Thomson; on websites like NetMums, or on social media platforms like Facebook, you should include as much information about your business as possible. This includes giving obvious information such as your name, address and phone number (NAP).
Google My Business has made many changes to their features (read our article: What's new with Google My Business?). All businesses should list their information on it as a starting point in creating citations.
Why is it worth taking the time to cite your business on directories?
It allows you to be found by a greater number of customers through search engines like Google. The more directories your business is cited on, the better chance you will have for your business to rank highly in organic search.
With the majority of users turning to their mobile device to look for products, information and services, online directories help facilitate being found at any time, from anywhere. Do you want to miss out on potential business because you didn’t take the time to invest in this digital strategy?
Each directory company will offer different features, but this is what you may be asked to provide:
Listing a business on a directory is not difficult, but it can be time consuming. If you choose to give it a go yourself, make sure you do the job properly. If you don’t, it could affect your income, online rankings as well as your reputation.
Follow these tips to ensure that search engines, like Google, view you as a business that’s real and trustworthy and ultimately worth ranking:
Remember, citations that are accurate will help your business get noticed. So what are you waiting for?
If you don’t have the time, or the inclination, to do this, the team at Perfect Layout can help you. Fill in your details below and we’ll get in touch to find out more about your business.
By filling out this form, we will only contact you regarding this matter; we respect your data.
If you have accessed your Google My Business (GMB) listing recently you may have noticed some changes. Whilst you may think, ‘here we go again, another thing to add to my to-do list’ it is worth taking the time to update your profile and ensure that everything is relevant and fresh.
If you are a small business you will know that reaching a wide customer base can be tricky. With this free-to-use profile, invest the time to make your business shine. Be one of the leaders in this change making sure that your profile is singing your praises from the rooftops.
If you haven’t created a Google My Business listing, Perfect Layout Digital Marketing recommends that you do. Not only does it show the essence of what your business has to offer, but the new features means that this platform is more attractive than before.
Why is local SEO so important?
If you are a local business, local SEO could have a huge impact on the success or failure of your business. You can use local SEO to outrank the competition. The relevant information is accessible for everyone to take advantage of and whilst many local businesses spend their time running their business, digital marketing is usually at the bottom of their list of things to do.
For companies making use of local SEO and in the case of Google My Business, taking advantage of the new features demonstrates to potential customers that they are: staying up-to-date, that they are knowledgeable and well-informed and that they are taking strides to separate themselves from the competition. The result is that it can help secure potential customers more easily. Would you like this to be you?
So what’s new with the Google My Business Listing?
This is a snapshot of the most important information that a potential customer may be interested in The information section includes opening hours, reviews, address, phone number etc.
Ok, so what’s so great about the description feature? Well it’s back! And that IS exciting. When Google My Business was called Google Places, the description section about your company was available, but then they took it away. Now all businesses have the opportunity to describe the wonder of their business on GMB in 750 words or less. Make sure you spend time writing a description that will attract customers to engage with you.
In 2017, Google released a new messaging feature, which allows you to 'live message' with customers directly from the search results page. So if a customer has a quick question, when you have this function enabled they can send you a message and in an instant you can reply…talk about fabulous customer service before they have even come to you!
If your information changes, like your business location, name, or telephone number, Google will allow you to easily make updates to your dashboard. This is another feature that they once removed but has resurfaced again and it is this tool that will help you make changes more easily.
Yes Google My Business Photos has added video content as a feature. Posting videos on your listing can help encourage customers to stay on your listing for longer and therefore find out more about you. These videos can give you the edge to your competitors. Currently, video clips are limited to 30 seconds in length and they will feature next to the photo section.
If the business you own is a restaurant and your listing is categorised as a restaurant (vs a café or bistro), Google have been thinking hard about you guys. Restaurant owners can now add and edit menus on their Google My Business listing. There is now a facility that will allow you to categorise the food into sections, such as starters, mains and desserts, as well as adding descriptions and prices.
Again, this is a powerful tool that can help you stand out from the crowd. Why is your restaurant different from the others in your area, what makes you special? Do you have something unique? Do you have special offers? Remember to include as much information as you can to help you stand out and get the diners through the door.
‘Posts’ is the most exciting feature that looks to have a big impact on local businesses and their local search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. The feature will allow businesses to quickly connect with customers, both new and old, in a unique and attention grabbing way.
Posts allow you to share content with people who are searching for terms related to your business. It can be seen as a cross between social media marketing and search engine optimisation. It not only allows you to increase the visibility of your business, it also offers a way in which you can give deeper information about your services and products, that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. You can also post links to your website and include call to action buttons like ‘Buy’ or ‘Learn More’. Using Posts also helps you to get more of the organic search impressions and clicks.
When you decide to include Posts on Google as part of your local SEO strategy, remember that this task will never stop. This is another beast that will need constant feeding. However, it is worth giving it a try. What have you got to lose versus how much do you have to gain?
If all of this just seems too much, help is at hand. Give Perfect Layout Digital Marketing a call on 01708 578015, or fill out the quick form below so we can get in touch with you.
If you complete this form, we will only contact you to ask you about GMB listings.
There are good websites and there are bad websites. If you have had a website for a while, but you find that you are not getting much from it, in terms of traffic, leads, calls etc, it could be that people are finding your website tricky to navigate or difficult to find the right information. I know it’s hard, but every six months or so, it is worth doing an audit of your website with, 'a fresh pair of eyes’, to check that everything is relevant and it all still makes sense.
Is it mobile-optimised?
The first thing to check is whether or not your website is on a mobile optimised platform? If not, the search engines will penalise your organic rankings. You will also find that customers, who have to pinch and expand the page to read the text, will more often bounce off to find another website that has a better user experience.
- Check: Is your website built on a mobile optimised platform?
Is your site easy to navigate with clear navigation buttons?
Most websites follow a similar structure which includes, a home page, an about page, pages on the services that you offer and a contact page. It may also be useful to have pages about the areas you serve, a portfolio of what you offer (whether it’s services or products) and even a testimonial page.
- Check: Are your navigation headers clear for a brand new visitor to understand?
Do you explain what you do?
It is all well and good you knowing what you do, but is this clear to your potential customers? If your business is selling products, do they have relevant descriptions that will help minimise the chance of those products being returned? If you offer a service, do you explain, in everyday language, what it is that you offer? When you work in a particular sector, it can become second nature to speak the jargon of that industry. But would everybody be able understand such specific terminology? Also make sure that you have clear headings throughout each page to make it easy to skim read. Often people are time-poor, so make your website a breeze to read through.
- Check: Is your website easy to understand? Ask a friend or family member to read through to see if it is clear to them. Do they have any questions about elements that remain unclear?
Can you add more visual elements to your website?
As they saying goes: ‘A photo tells a thousand words.’ Remember to include high resolution photos (that are saved for web) that convey clearly your products and services. If you offer a service then show before and after photos of projects that you have worked on. Be proud of the transformation that you can achieve.
- Check: What are the photos like on your site? Do you have relevant images that are crystal clear? Blurry photos will convey a slap-dash image of your company.
Do you have ways that customers can reach you?
The majority of users will be viewing your website on a mobile device. No longer is it OK to have your phone number only on the Contact Us page. Think about adding your contact details in your footer, so that it is easy to find you. If you are on a mobile optimised platform your web designer will be able to enable phone number hyperlinks, so that visitors can click on your number and call you straight away. Also think about other Call to Action buttons that you could include on each page.
- Check: How you can optimise better user engagement on every page, so that visitors can contact you immediately. Does your footer have contact details?
What are your customers saying about you?
If you are getting positive feedback from clients, then add this to your website. Why not create a testimonial page to enable new visitors to see what your customers think of you. Lots of lovely reviews will more likely result in a new visitor engaging with you.
- Check: When did you last upload a testimonial? Visitors will look for recent reviews, so keep adding them to your site.
Is your logo on your website?
Add your logo to the top left of your pages. The readers’ eyes will read from left to right and top to bottom. So by adding your logo to the top left will ensure that it is the first thing the reader sees. This implants your branding into their memory; making it easier to remember you when they re-visit your site.
- Check: Is your logo positioned in the top left hand corner?
For more user-friendly tips for your website visit Hubspot’s article.
Is your website in need of redesigning in order to make it a more user-friendly? Or perhaps you want to take this opportunity to start afresh? Either way, give Perfect Layout Digital Marketing a call on 01708 578 015.
Take a look at your website. Does it convey the culture of your business and your personality?
All too often websites are faceless. The tone of the content is formal and photos have been uploaded from stock libraries that don’t truly reflect the nature of the services and/or products.
If you offer a service, where you start and finish a project, nothing will truly convey who you are and what you do better than visual files - whether that be photos or videos. We live in a world where social media is a dominating part of our lives, where reading one post can lead to 30 minutes of unplanned surfing…So why not turn this time and energy observing from the outside, to becoming somebody that is observed? By putting your real presence into your website, your personality will shine through in a positive way that will get you noticed and potentially earn you income creating leads.
Even if what you offer is a generic service, your website can incorporate a portfolio of the work you have undertaken. Excellent ways of capturing this are by having before and after shots or images that detail the progress more in-depth. If you’re not good at taking photos, why not hire a photographer that is willing to follow you around for a day or two, taking photos while you work. These don’t need to be staged, they can be documentary-style photos capturing you in a natural way.
We live in a competitive age, where businesses that do the same as you are peering over your digital shoulder. It’s important that you take the time and think of ways you can stand above the opposition and entice people to choose you over them.
There are other ways to make your website reflect your personality and below is our sum up of some definite, 'must do's'.
5 tips to making your website look unique:
Tip 1 Use great photos - make them personal and relevant to your services and products. Your personality will come across if customers can see you at work; see your work in progress; or have the opportunity to view your end results.
Tip 2 Videos that show your services/products are an excellent way of showing what you do in a different way. If you're confident in front of the camera, allow your personality to shine in front of your customers.
Tip 3 The content on your website can also convey the person behind the business. Whilst you want to avoid grammatical mistakes and spelling errors at all costs, your voice should also come through to relay what your business does in a way that attracts the right customers.
Tip 4 Pay attention to the layout of your imagery and content. Each page should be thoughtfully considered to ensure that your user has the best visitor experience possible.
Tip 5 Does your business have a unique name and image? Branding your business will help establish your foothold in your market. Deciding on a logo, colours and font all help to differentiate you from competitors and attract online visitors.
If your website could do with a makeover, give Perfect Layout Digital Marketing a call. We can help you decide in which direction to redesign your website as well as recommending logo and branding designers, and documentary photographers to make your website shine!
The thought of networking can fill some people with dread. They can’t think of anything worse than being in a room full of strangers. I have been there myself too.
I used to run and manage events when I was in the magazine media industry. Because it was ‘my’ event, many of the delegates that were there, I had spoken to before via emails and/or phone calls so striking up a conversation face-to-face was much easier. However, there were occasions when I attended other events and found myself in a room full of complete strangers. It was so daunting! Especially when I saw clusters of people already chatting – I assumed they already knew each other…or did they?
Over the years, I learned two top tips that I would like to share with you now:
I remember once being at an awards night and there, during the welcome drinks reception, was a well-known comedian looking a little bit lonely and awkward. He was watching people milling about below from where he was standing on a balcony. I went over and said ‘hi’. As it turned out, a magazine that he was writing a column for was up for an award. We had a chat for a short while and before we parted company he thanked me for coming over and introducing myself. So remember, even those in the public eye that appear confident can turn up to an event and feel anxious and alone. As humans, we all appreciate someone extending a welcoming hand of friendship, however fleeting that may be.
Networking events…why should you bother?
It’s simple; people buy from people. If you find that you are not getting enough new business in and you could do with new opportunities, it’s time to get out and network.
As a business owner, I believe that it is extremely important to participate in this activity and network as much as your diary will allow. The bottom line is that you just don’t know who you are going to meet and what opportunities may arise - and that’s the exciting part of it! Perhaps you will find someone who requires your service, or meet a company that can provide you with a must have product. If nothing else you can find out what is going on in your community and begin building important links and form long lasting relationships.
Last week, the YBC – Your Business Community launched a new meet up in our local area. That morning we chatted to 20 other business owners who were looking to make connections with other businesses. As digital marketing specialists, we are in a sector where people will want to talk to us about their website or aspects of digital marketing that they may have questions about.
Investing your time in building and developing long-term relationships won’t necessarily translate into immediate profits, but it is the start of building strong businesses in the medium to long term and provide other additional benefits.
Here are nine reasons how networking can be beneficial for your business:
1. Fine-tuning your elevator pitch
Getting out there and introducing yourself regularly soon teaches you the best way to get your message across. At first it can be hard (maybe even nerve-wracking), but practice and familiarity soon makes it feel like second nature. If you’re just starting out, it is worth spending time writing out a couple of paragraphs about your business and repeating it in different ways, to different people. This will help you sound natural and confident when it comes to speaking for real in front of a new group of networking potentials.
2. Fostering word-of-mouth recommendations
This is the crux of why people network. The more people you are able to pass your business message onto, the more recommendations you will get. Successful businesses are built on referrals.
3. Finding Suppliers
As a business owner you will need a wealth of suppliers to run the various aspects of your business: from accountants, IT support, insurance brokers etc. At networking events you will come across these types of professionals, and many others. Finding suppliers that network often provides opportunities for two-way business. And even if you don’t directly get business from them, you don’t know who they know...
4. Finding a connection to someone you’re trying to get an introduction with
Six degrees of separation - anything is possible. Everyone wants to meet someone. As a general rule, there are never more than six people between you and the person you want to talk to. Networking is a way to access otherwise inaccessible people.
5. Learning from other peoples experiences
Networking groups are full of people with lots of business experiences who are often very willing to share their knowledge. Successful business people are usually generous with offering advice to people that are eager to learn and open to listening. So don't be shy, ask that question that's been bothering you and get an answer that's based on real life experience.
6. Welcoming new opportunities
Networking events will often have presentations. These specialists will offer you their expertise and help you perhaps think differently. Maybe you will find new ideas to reach potential clients or realise that there are different target markets that were not on your radar. People you meet at networking events may identify new market opportunities you hadn't thought of before and open the door to new partnerships being forged.
7. Inspiration from other sectors
Talking to others and asking questions about how they run their business – even if it’s a different business to yours – may inspire you to adapt those ideas, processes and innovations into your own business.
8. Sharing experiences
Business owners share a common energy and drive to want to succeed. Business people, who have the same challenges as you do, are often willing to share their experiences and offer solutions – this is when two heads are better than one.
9. Making new friends
Although your primary focus is building business contacts, networking can also create new friendships. When you share your ideas and your enthusiasm for your business with like-minded people, they are going to connect with you. Strong friendships combined with strong business connections can be a powerful way to build your overall network.
What networking events are out there?
As a digital marketing company based in Havering, Essex, here are some regular networking events that we have come across:
Networking can deliver more return on investment than any other tool in business. Those who believe in networking agree that in both financial and non-financial terms their network has delivered a lot of value.
Getting results from networking can take a while. People who buy from people, will usually invest time before committing, so networking is not a quick-fix to finding new business. Time is needed to build trust and you need to show up regularly to ensure that you are recognised and remembered for what you do.
Every time you network, remind yourself of the following:
The last top tip of networking is to always exchange contact details before you part company. Don’t just give them yours, always ask for theirs so that you have the opportunity to follow up.
A good network is nothing more than an extended circle of friends. It’s a two-way street of helpful relationships. Good luck!
For our regular readers, you’ll not be a stranger to seeing our weekly blog spot, ‘Question of the week’. We started this approach as we really wanted to answer – in a more bite-sized format – the many questions that we get asked in conversations with clients.
We are not one to write blogs, for writing’s sake and constantly review how we do things. After all, talking about websites may not be considered topics that are pretty or sexy – but we can only try!
Hence us always wanting to make our content interesting and relevant for you.
So, with that in mind, we are appealing to our wonderful readers to get involved and start sending us in questions...Is there something you’ve always wondered about but never had the time, or nerve, to ask? Well, this is your opportunity! Feed your curiosity and let us know what you’re thinking.
You can get in touch via email, by completing the form on our contact page or by giving us a call on 01708 578 015. Once we’ve taken your question we’ll ask if you would like a personal reply or you can wait until it goes live on our blog and read it alongside the rest of the online world.
Below, is a list of the questions we’ve been asked (and answered) so far:
So what are you waiting for? We look forward to answering your questions.
Blogging has definitely become a more popular way of engaging with customers since it first appeared in the late 1990’s. The purpose behind blogging has also changed. When it first appeared, its purpose was mostly to relay a person’s thoughts or opinions about whatever took their fancy. These days, the concept adds value to the business world and, as a result, many online businesses have taken to writing blogs about their industry, service or product in order to take advantage of the benefits.
So how does it work?
Today, content is a huge factor in what drives the internet. It’s what search engines love to find and use to rank a website as an authoritative and trustworthy site - hence content being at the top of the pecking order when it comes having a great website.
You may have heard the term ‘content is King’? Well, the importance behind that term still stands and writing blogs is a way of creating the content that will boost your rankings. You can read more about the importance of content from one of our earlier blogs.
What are the benefits?
Having a blog for your company can:
· Get more customers/traffic looking at your website via inbound links
· Demonstrate that you're an expert in your industry, whilst reinforcing your brand and credibility
· Improve the performance of your website and SEO (search engine optimisation)
As you can see the benefits of starting a blog and sticking with it can really benefit your business. Why not create social media pages too (like GooglePlus, Facebook and LinkedIn) as other platforms that will help you reach more interested parties. You can post links to your blogs on your social media pages that will help maintain and generate interest.
Three statistics that will make you want to start writing a blog today!
The downside to writing a blog…
…time. Yes, I’m afraid there had to be something! Making the time to invest in planning, preparing and writing great articles is what can put a lot of people off. If you’re currently finding it impossible to put aside the time to do this; or if the thought of getting creative and writing a blog chills you to the bone - then why not let us to do it for you?
We have a team of great copywriters that are experienced at writing about all types of subject matters in a natural and free flowing way. So increase the online traffic to your website and start your blog today!
Google My Business (GMB) is a directory listing platform connected to the search engine Google. Because Google is one of the most popular search engines used by internet users, it’s worthwhile entering your details onto this directory so that your business can be found.
We’ve written about the importance of entering your business onto local directories before, but to recap, here are some of the benefits you can reap if you take the time to list your business:
• You don’t have to pay - many directories (including GMB) offer free listings
• Your business will begin to be more visible and as a result found more easily by search engines
• Once search engines see your various listings, they will view you as being trustworthy and more credible than someone who isn’t listed
• Your rankings when searched for will improve over those who aren’t listed
Listing your business on GMB is relatively quick and easy to do. It’s free and can be completed even if your business doesn’t have an address. You have the option of adding a brief description of your services/products (750 characters) as well uploading images relating to your business.
Unlike some directory facilities, GMB now allows you to let people have more up to the minute details of what your business is doing by posting your latest news. If your current website doesn’t have a blog – why not use this facility to offer insights into your business instead?
Reviews are also a prominent feature and this aspect is presented when your GMB shows. Don’t overlook the importance of following up with customers that have used your services and/or products and asking them for a testimonial. Nowadays it’s the norm for people to research companies they are thinking about using and reading reviews forms a big part of this decision making process. Satisfied customers and high star ratings will bring new customers your way and GMB offers you the opportunity to respond to comments that are great as well as those that could be better.
Other information that can be uploaded onto GMB includes:
Once live, a link to your business is automatically created on Google Maps and Google Search which provides two other platforms where your business can be searched for.
GMB also logs the traffic visiting your listing and provides data on:
If you like the sound of what you’ve read, but haven’t got the time to list your business, give Perfect Layout Digital Marketing a call. Our services include listing businesses onto all different types of directories.
I like the content of the homepage but feel it is too long. Will people really want to read so much and can it be shortened?
If you’re new to the idea of having a website made for your business, or you’re thinking about having your current site revamped, it’s important that you take a long hard look at your content. Your homepage is particularly important, as it’s the page that represents the ‘shop front’ of your site. You want people to look through the window, open the door and peruse further by looking at other pages, and ultimately engage with you and buy either a service or a product.
Enticing someone to make a purchase takes work and that’s when many businesses overlook the need to write about all that they do on the homepage. Thought should also be given to the words (keywords) that someone might enter into a search engine when looking for your service or business.
These methods go towards optimising a page – basically packing in what you can (in a natural, free flowing way) to hold the attention and inform the visitor, as well as being found by search engines. In order for you to be found in this way you should include an overview of the following:
• Who’s behind the business, the ethos
• What services the business offers
• What products the business offers
It should reflect a bite-sized version of what you have on your about page, services page and products page. Try and make the content throughout your site unique and on the homepage, you should aim to write at least 800 words, preferably more.
But what if you have a business that is based on producing visual goods or services – like a cake shop or a photographer? People just want to see the end result right, not read about how it was made?
Whilst many people do skip to the gallery and review the end result before committing to buy, many users these days want to make an educated decision prior to that happening and who can blame them. Today, more than ever, people have a greater choice about which service provider to use.
With so much choice, this means that businesses have got to be more transparent about what they do and how they do it in order to look unique amongst the competition. It would be hard to appear exclusive in a couple of paragraphs (unless you’ve got some serious marketing money behind you) compared to doing so in 800 or so words. Read more about the importance of writing great content from one of our previous blogs.
If the thought of writing creative, relevant and interesting content overwhelms you, why not let us help?
My business is currently listed on independent directories does it matter if the details are slightly inconsistent?
Part of ensuring that your website gets good organic search results is ensuring that you also list your business on independent directories, such as, Yell, 192.com, netmums and other sector relevant directories where your customers might look for your services.
However, it is vital that all your contact information is exactly the same on each listing. If your contact details (name, address and phone number) are inconsistent this could penalise your results in organic search.
Whilst search engine algorithms are sophisticated, they can invariably get confused as to whether two similar listings are the same or not. Given that businesses can have comparable names or that businesses may share an address, it is essential that you do not put your rankings at risk by being sloppy.
So, if your address contains the word ‘Road’, decide whether you will choose to spell it as ‘Road’ or ‘Rd’, and stick to the way you will always write your address. If you have a limited company, do you want to have Ltd at the end of the company name? Decide and be consistent.
A personal bug bear of one of the founders of Perfect Layout Digital Marketing is the way in which telephone numbers are listed. For example, in London, telephone numbers should be listed as 020 8XXX XXXX or 020 7XXX XXXX and not 0208 XXX XXXX or 0207 XXX XXXX. Make sure that your telephone number is listed in the same way each and every time.
What happens if my details change?
This is not a problem. But make sure that you keep a record of all your listings with usernames and passwords, so that should you need to alter any information, you can dedicate a period of time to update these in one go. This means that by the time the spiders trawl the internet for updated information, all your details across all the directories that you are listed on are updated at more or less the same time.
The only thing that must be different on each and every directory listing is your description. Search engines penalise plagiarism, so even if they are your own words, copying and pasting the same content numerous times is seriously frowned upon and could hurt your rankings too.
To sum up – Contact details (name, address and phone number) must always be in the same format; description of services and products should be unique to each directory listing.
If you need any help with creating or editing your directory listings, Perfect Layout can do this for you. Drop us an email at email@example.com or call us on 01708 578 015.
So, whether you have built your own website or have hired an agency to build one for you, please remember that a website on its own will not bring customers knocking at your door. There are many more digital strategies that you must apply in order to stand a chance of being found in this fiercely competitive digital world.
The good news is, that currently, not everyone is aware of what these digital strategies are and how they can benefit your business when it comes to being found in organic search.
Whilst your consumer-facing website is one cog in the digital wheel there are other cogs that will help keep that wheel spinning smoothly.
The back-end of your website
1. Have all the pages on your site been search engine optimised? Does each page have a title, description and meta keywords added? Without these you are missing out on digital juice.
2. Do all your images have a description (alt text). Search engines are unable to detect an image and what that image means. Ensuring that all your images and photos are properly tagged keeps the algorithms happy and helps them understand what your business offers. Don’t miss out on this simple step that is extremely valuable.
3. Have you created a Google Analytics code and embedded it in the right place? Google wants to know the websites that are doing well. Using their free analytics tools not only provides them with a wealth of data, but that you have access to this too.
Supporting your website
Man cannot conquer the world alone. S/he must always have a team supporting them. The same is true of your website. No matter how fantastic it is, it also needs support. You can get this by creating listings on independent directories.
A good place to start is with the big search engine business directories such as Google My Business and Bing Places. This ensures that you have claimed your business and that you can enhance your listing with contact details, images and text.
Then think of all the relevant trade directories that your sector has. Which of these do you think is worth investing a listing in? This can be a paid-for or free to join directory. Remember to take the time to complete each listing as fully as you can.
Finally, think of the mass directories like Yell, 192.com, Yelp, etc. All of these will have a free version of a listing. It is highly likely that they will call you to upsell to a paid for listing or target a specific area. It’s up to you whether your budget stretches that far…though Perfect Layout doesn’t think it is always necessary.
Backlinks. These are links on other people’s websites that direct traffic back to a page on your site. These are the golden nuggets that can really boost your online presence. Think long and hard about how and where you can make links with other businesses and that these businesses will happily add a link back to your site. Think guest blog posts, cross promotion and other creative ways of talking about your business elsewhere in the digital world.
Perfect Layout Digital Marketing has the skillset within the team to help any business with all or any part of these digital strategies. If you would like us to implement these for your business email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01708 578 015.
If you’re thinking about having a website built from scratch it may be wise to shop around. Prices can vary as well as the details of the packages that some companies offer.
Here at Perfect Layout we are upfront about the cost of all our services to ensure that you are kept clearly in the picture, right from the word go. The relationship that we develop with you is important to us as our aim is to always to give you an honest and professional service.
Building a website from scratch can be paid for under two package systems. The first we call a website build only with hosting. The cost? £500 for a 10-page site. This is based upon you providing us with all content and images. The cost for hosting in year one is included in this price and there is a separate cost for hosting thereafter.
Regardless of which package you opt for, our consultation process remains the same, which is us trying to understand you and your business inside and out. Your success means our success and we are in this profession to help grow your client base as well as your profits!
Our second package is for those who understand the impact of having a fully optimised website and the revenue it could bring to the company. For £150 per month (for 12 months) we will build you a: 10-page website; identify and monitor keywords for your sector; provide monthly analytics of these keywords and where they rank when searched for as well as other important techy stuff that will help your website rank well.
Our ongoing support package also includes undertaking changes to ensure that keywords consistently rank when searched for. We also include listing you on up to ten online directories. The website build and hosting cost is included as part of this cost.
Because digital marketing is a constantly evolving entity, our package provides the reassurance that your website will be tweaked to reflect any emerging changes. New online businesses are being formed daily and to keep ahead of the competition, a website should be regularly reviewed so that it doesn’t look dated and keeps in touch with the tastes and needs of its clientele.
Need another service in addition to a website build? Take a look at our other services.
We look forward to hearing from you!