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How To Enhance Your Content Marketing Strategy

Published on January 8, 2014
Tags: Web Development London

Content marketing is always changing and evolving, and this year is no exception. No doubt your business has a well-thought-out content marketing strategy in place, but are you taking into account all of the areas of web design? Some strategies end up being focused primarily on content (no surprise there), but other elements need to be considered if you want your strategy to be as successful as possible. Here is a list of just a few points you may want to consider.

Be User-Friendly
The most important part of your website has to be the ease-of-use. Yes, you want your site to be engaging, but if people can’t figure out how to work the menu, or can’t find which product they want, they’ll go straight to one of your competitors. If you have an online shop, always include a search function and test it out to check that it works (on all devices). Make sure that your search results are presented in a clean, easy-to-view way. Don’t be afraid to make use of white space – this is a hugely popular design element this year; not only does it de-clutter your page, but it also makes your website seem more professional. Bombarding the user with endless paragraphs of written content is just going to confuse them or scare them away.

Make Your Site Beautiful
This carries on from the idea of white space: while the design of your site should be minimal and user-friendly, it doesn’t mean you can completely forget about the presentation. With social networking sites such as Pinterest and Instagram on the rise, it’s clear that images are becoming more and more popular as a way of sharing content. This idea of visual content can include stylish special effects applied to page elements such as the menus. HTML5 and CSS3 technologies will help revolutionise this kind of content over the next year or so.

Get Social
The integration of business websites with social networks such as Facebook and Twitter is nothing new, but the way they’re now being integrating is. The normal share buttons still exist, but these days it’s easier than ever to link content to social networking sites and back again. Make sure you encourage discussions on your images and videos, and make the most of sites such as Twitter to engage potential clients with contests and polls.

Don’t Ignore Mobile Platforms
Smartphones and tablets are becoming more popular every year, so make sure you take these users into account when thinking about your content. Use responsive website designs so people can access your site from any device, and look into the possibility of mobile and tablet apps to reach out to more potential customers.

Online web development companies are on the cutting edge of all the latest web designs and so can help you and your business come up with a content marketing strategy to suit your budget, your employees, and your customers. If you take these tips into account, you’ll start to see your strategy bringing in more potential clients – and more possible conversions – in the upcoming year.

 

By Chelsey Evans

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Points To Consider When Going ‘Responsive’

Published on January 8, 2014
Tags: Web Development London

So much has been written about responsive web design recently that it’s almost impossible to take in all of the available information that keeps popping up online; in fact, 2013 is even being hailed as the year of responsive layouts, which explains the current abundance of articles and blog posts on the subject. So, instead of delving into all the ins and outs of responsive web design (something which a web developer will be able to do for you anyway if needed), here are just a few points to consider if you’re thinking about going responsive this year.

What Is Responsive Web Design?
In a nutshell, a responsive layout of a website is one that works across all devices – from desktop computers to laptops to netbooks to tablets to smartphones… you get the idea. The aim is to create a simple yet effective site that is quick to load, easy to use, and that will encourage potential clients to stay on the site long enough to carry out the desired action. Resizing a company’s normal site to fit the dimensions of a smartphone or tablet screen simply won’t cut it – instead, you need to cut out all unnecessary images, videos, and any other items that could slow down the loading time. Menus need to be easy to navigate, and all of the important contact information has to be in a clear, accessible place. All text should also be clear and easy to read. It’s simple, but it’s amazing how many businesses don’t take mobile platforms into account when designing their sites, leaving users trying to pinch and twist their way round a slow, confusing website.

Why Go Responsive?
Your business website is often the first port of call for potential customers, and therefore, you need to make a good first impression. This is why many companies – of all shapes and sizes – spend a good portion of their marketing budget on their website and blog. This is all very well, but if you’re ignoring the millions of smartphone and tablet users out there (especially users who don’t have any other way of connecting to the internet on a regular basis), then you’re setting yourself up to fail. Before you look at getting a responsive layout, you’ll need to do some research concerning your official business website. How much traffic do you get? How much of that traffic are mobile and smartphone users? Which elements of the site are used the most – e.g. the search function? Doing this kind of analysis will help you to discover which parts of your site are the most important, and which ones can be left out of a responsive design. If your research tells you that a high percentage of your potential customers are using mobile devices to browse your site, then you’ll know that spending the money on going responsive will be a good investment for your business.

To find out more about responsive web layouts, head online and get advice from a professional web development company. They’ll be able to design your site for you, as well as analysing your traffic and supporting you in your website needs in the future.

 

By Chelsey Evans

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How To Gain More Likes When Promoting Your Business On Facebook

Published on January 8, 2014
Tags: Web Development London

Facebook is great for many things such as keeping in touch with friends and families, sharing photos, seeing who’s checked in nearby to you, and so on. It’s also great for business – not just as an extra online presence, but as a way of actually gaining customers (and keeping them). Consumers use social networking sites to follow their favourite brands, as well as recommending particular products and services to their online friends (a digital kind of word-of-mouth that can reach many more people than normal word-of-mouth ever could). It’s been said that every ‘like’ which a company gains is equivalent to just over £100 of business, and while this would clearly be different for each brand, it’s worth putting in a bit of time and effort to make sure you get as many likes as possible. As long as you’ve already got a Facebook profile set up, it doesn’t have to be a huge job to increase the number of likes you receive. Here are just a few tips.

Separate your ‘Facebook’ self from your ‘Business’ self
This may sound odd, as it’s your business you’re trying to promote, but social networks are a place to be… well, social. Users don’t want the generic sales spiel or marketing messages which they get from your official company website, they want something different, something more interesting, something fun. While some businesses may moan and groan at the idea of having to portray their ‘fun’ side, it can actually be a really good opportunity to get creative. Interact with your existing and potential customers not as a business executive or manager, but as an actual person they can relate to. Post interesting videos on any products you sell (without the boring business talk), run contests that people can really get involved in, and ask users their opinions on certain aspects of your business.

Make Use Of Facebook Analytics
Facebook offers brands the opportunity to look at the basic stats for their page. On the ‘Insights’ tab, you’ll be able to look at information regarding who’s looking at your page, how old they are, where they live, and more. The four options under ‘Insights’ are ‘Overview’, ‘Likes’, ‘Reach’, and ‘Talking about this’. By analysing this information and seeing who responded to which posts, you’ll be able to tailor your future posts, including any images or videos you post onto your profile. If something’s not working, stop it.

Promote, Promote, Promote
Like with any aspect of marketing, you’ll need to promote your Facebook page as much as possible if you want the likes to start rolling in. To start with, this doesn’t have to be anything really big; it can just be a case of adding your Facebook link to every piece of outgoing publicity. Add it to your email signatures, your business cards, link it to your website, your blog, and any other social media profiles you have. You can also make use of QR codes that lead not to your website, but to your Facebook page.

Whatever you do on your Facebook profile, make it stand out from the crowd. If your page is clearly run by real people with real personalities, users will start to respond and trust you as a brand.

By Chelsey Evans

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How To Utilise SEO For Small Businesses

Published on January 8, 2014
Tags: SEO

When it comes to getting your website to the top of the search rankings, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is big business. But what if your business is small? Getting to the top of a search engine’s results page (SERP, if you’d like another acronym) can be costly, both in time and money. Large companies usually have the big budgets and numerous staff members in order to do this in-house, but smaller businesses often have neither of these things. So how do you go about it? How do you ensure that your business website stays ahead of your competitors’ pages? Here are a few tips for the small business owner who sees the big picture when it comes to online marketing.

1. Be Aware Of The Rules
Gone are the days when website owners try and get the most amount of links as possible to their site – poor links (especially lots of them) now actually lead to the website getting penalised by Google and other search engines. If you’re going to look into SEO yourself, be aware of what counts as good SEO practise and what are referred to as ‘black hat’ SEO techniques. Along with link farming, this includes using hidden content and stuffing keywords and phrases into both content and meta tags and descriptions. The best way to avoid these and stay on Google’s ‘good website’ list is to go for top quality, original content. This means no duplications, as well as offering the user something unique that they won’t get on other sites. Doing your research into popular keywords related to your business will also save you from being penalised – don’t stuff your page with words, use them sparingly and naturally within your text.

2. Get Social
Social SEO is where you make use of your social media profiles (and the content on them) in order to boost your website. Comments made on Facebook and Twitter will be original (a tick in the ‘good SEO’ box), and as long as you keep your profiles updated, they can help to optimise your site to an impressive degree. Make sure you fill out the ‘About’ sections of your profiles as thoroughly as possible (including the popular keywords from your research), and make sure your contact info is up to date (for local searches).

3. Consider Hiring An Expert
Optimising your site for the search engines is an ongoing process; the rules are constantly changing (especially with search giants Google updating their algorithms and redefining what good SEO practise is every few months) and there’s always something new to learn about getting your page to the top of the results. If you don’t have the staff capacity or the time to figure out SEO for yourself (as is often the case with small businesses), there is the option to hire an external agent to do the work for you. Digital marketing specialists or a online web development company will be able to give you advice on the best course of action for your business, and you may well find that with the results that SEO will give you, it could be the best investment you could make with your marketing budget.

By Chelsey Evans

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Should Your Business Be Investing In International SEO?

Published on January 8, 2014
Tags: SEO

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is at the heart of many online marketing campaigns for businesses of all shapes and sizes, but when is basic SEO enough? When should you think about expanding your SEO efforts to include other countries? When should you start to seriously consider putting time and money into an international SEO campaign? Here are a few tips to help you decide what the best approach is for you and your company.
 
Why should anyone look into International SEO?
Putting it extremely simply, a lot of businesses these days are international, so why shouldn’t your online marketing strategy be? Optimising your site for search engines all around the world is a big step – one that shouldn’t be taken lightly – but most business owners think that in the years to come, it is going to become a necessity for large businesses who want to go (or who already are) global. If, for instance, you’re focusing all your SEO efforts on Google, you’re missing out on a huge number of people on the other side of the world. For example, Chinese search engine Baidu is the most popular search site in the country, and considering the amount of internet users in China (540 million internet users and 388 million mobile internet users), it would be foolish to leave it out of any international campaign.
 
By looking at the bigger world picture, businesses will inevitably generate more traffic, experience more conversions, and therefore receive a greater ROI. Businesses will also be able to build their brand for a global audience, reaching foreign clients who otherwise might not have even heard of them.
 
Why shouldn’t your company start an International SEO campaign?
Of course, international SEO isn’t for everyone. If you own a small company with only a small number of staff and a small marketing budget, it may not be in your power to invest money in a global campaign. It’s also worth noting that without a viable PPC (Pay Per Click) campaign in place, any international SEO efforts could be a waste of money. Investing in PPC ads, relevant landing pages, and SEO can be pricey, and it’s a big risk if you haven’t worked our your online marketing strategy right down to the very finest details.
 
Not all businesses should dive head-first into the world of international SEO. If you have successful SEO and PPC campaigns working in your own country, it can be a good idea to expand, but you have to make sure that the timing is right and that you have all of the resources to cover it. By spreading your marketing efforts too thin, you could risk jeopardising the successful SEO campaign you already have. By trying to reach everyone in the world, you could end up reaching no one.
 
If you don’t have the resources to employ a full-time SEO staff member, there are several online companies who can help you out on an ad-hoc basis. Web development firms will be able to give you advice on all kinds of online marketing, as well as running SEO and PPC campaigns for you.

By Chelsey Evans

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