Imagine that you’re a boutique salesclerk. For every customer that comes into the store, you would like to know the products they’re looking for, the colours they prefer, the styles they are fond of, and the products they typically buy together. Wouldn’t that greatly help you when assisting them?
So, you decide to take note of all the information you can about each customer (maybe even the customer’s name) so you can add a personal touch the next time they visit your store.
That is pretty similar to how cookies are used marketing. But can marketers adjust when third-party cookies get phased out? Keep reading or jump ahead by clicking below:
A cookie is a small file that carries information about the people who visit your website. That file gets saved in their computer or other device so when they go back to that site on another day, the cookie “reminds” the browser of their preferences the previous time they were there.
Cookies thus help websites load faster and make it easier for visitors to use the website. A user does not have to enter their login information or choose website preferences every time.
Cookies are also used to collect anonymous data about website visitors (such as location, browser used, device type), for the purpose of analysing website traffic and optimise website performance.
From a security standpoint, cookies can be used to authenticate the user’s identity and protect their account from being accessed by unauthorised users. This is one way to detect and prevent fraud and security threats.
How are cookies used in marketing?
Cookies are used to track browsing behaviour and show “targeted ads.” This is important in marketing in at least three ways.
Cookies can be used to track users who previously visited your website but did not complete a desired action (i.e., make a purchase). You can use the cookies to display targeted ads to these users even as they browse other websites, to encourage them to complete the desired action on your website.
Cross device targeting
Cookies can be used to track user activity across multiple devices. Advertisers can show targeted ads regardless of the device a user is using, whether a laptop or a smartphone.
Why are third-party cookies getting phased out?
Over time, the power of cookies has been utilised to the max. However, cookies also put users’ privacy at risk and are even used in cyber-attacks.
A 2019 study by Microsoft Advertising revealed that 87% of people in the US believe that data privacy is a right.
Google announced in 2020 plans to phase out support for third-party cookies in Chrome, as “users are demanding greater privacy.” Chrome engineering director Justin Schuh wrote, “We are looking to build a more trustworthy and sustainable web together.”
Infosec Resources cited the risks associated with cookies: “Third-party cookies can represent a severe risk to privacy, but that’s not the only problem. There are several types of frauds and cyberattacks based on exploiting cookies vulnerabilities, and that may lead to severe security incidents.”
According to Kaspersky’s Resource Center, “While most cookies are perfectly safe, some can be used to track you without your consent. Worse, legitimate cookies can sometimes be spied upon if a criminal gets access.”
By the end of 2023, Google will cease to support third-party cookies on Chrome. Firefox has already started blocking third-party cookies. Other browsers are on the same path. This situation is expected to affect targeting, tracking, personalisation, and optimisation.
“Ad targeting, buying and optimisation processes will be disrupted and constrained, especially for performance-oriented campaigns and custom audiences,” according to Gartner Research & Advisory.
How then can marketers cope with a “cookie-less” world?
What can smart marketers do in a cookie-less age?
Digital marketing professionals need not panic. Here are some experts’ recommendations for surviving the “death” of third-party cookies.
1. IBM Watson Advertising: Leverage machine learning.
IBM Watson Advertising suggests using AI-powered predictive messaging and predictive analytics, plus:
Utilising live chat for conversational marketing
Personalising via geo-targeting and time-based messaging
Improving first-party data collection methods
Contextual advertising and cultural marketing
2. Gartner: Invest in market research.
Gartner recommends diverting cookie-related media spending to other areas like:
3. Deloitte: Use first- and second-party data.
William Grobel of Deloitte Digital notes that advertisers can utilise advertiser-owned data (first party cookies) and tech- or publisher-owned data (second-party cookies). He adds that these can also be supplemented by “clean, fully GDPR-compliant, and transparent non-cookie-based third-party data.”
4. Microsoft Advertising: Connect, expand, future-proof.
Whichever strategy you adopt, Liam Mackessy of Microsoft Advertising advises marketers and advertisers to start planning now on how they can:
Adopt a new data strategy
Invest in a first-party data strategy
Tap into publishers with scaled first party data
Utilise technology that does not need third-party cookies
5. Plan your strategy with a digital marketing expert.
A reputable digital marketing services business like B2Me Marketing would be better updated about cookie-less marketing. B2Me’s fresh perspectives, in particular, help them create bespoke marketing roadmaps for businesses. Contact B2Me today to enquire about how your business can do digital marketing in a cookie-less world.
Prepare your cookie-less marketing strategy now
The best time to prepare for the death of the cookie was yesterday – the next best time is today. If you want to stay ahead of your competition, you will recalibrate your marketing strategy right now. Remember, the goal is to keep delivering personalised, relevant marketing experiences to your audience while respecting their privacy and reducing security risks.
Your website is taking forever to load. Maybe it’s just your internet connection, or maybe you need to clear your browser cache, or maybe… you’ve been hacked.
After a bit of forever, a message appears: “This site contains malware.”
Don’t panic. Here’s what you can do…
1. Check if your website has been hacked.
Aside from a lagging or an explicit message on your browser, other signs you may see when your website’s been hacked are:
Your site is suddenly offline for an unknown reason.
Your emails are ending up in the Spam folder.
Your anti-virus detects a malware.
You notice unusual account activity.
You experience unusual device behaviour.
Someone suspiciously asks to access your device.
Your files are inaccessible, and someone is demanding payment from you.
You can quickly verify if your site’s been hacked by doing any of these simple steps:
a) Use Google Search Console.
Log in to Google Search Console.
Go to the “Security & Manual Actions” tab.
Click on “Security Issues,” which will show you if there are any.
b) Do a Google search.
Type in “site: [domainname.com]” and click search.
Look for a “This site may be hacked” statement in the first few results.
c) Call your website developer or IT support to run a health check on the website.
Once you’ve confirmed the hacking, you or your tech team need to quickly do this:
2. Backup your website.
To prevent data loss, you can backup your site before making any changes. You could do a manual backup or download a full backup and use one-click restoration when available.
3. Change all passwords.
To prevent further damage, make sure you immediately replace all your passwords, including for:
WordPress, Joomla, or similar apps
If you’re not sure how to change your passwords or which ones to change, call your tech person and have them do it – but be fast.
When you change your passwords, make sure you use a different one for every account. Use strong passwords and use a password manager if necessary.
4. Inform your web hosting provider.
Unless they are already aware of it, inform your hosting provider that your website has been hacked. Ask them for any help they can provide. They might be able to help you find how your site was hacked and what else you can do about it.
5. Discover and remove the culprit.
Have your website or IT security provider find out what kind of attack was done on your website.
Check your website files for malicious code.
Scan your databases for anything suspicious such as unfamiliar entries and deleted data.
Review the security logs associated with your website hosting provider.
Once you know the technical details, remove the malware used to do the crime. Make sure you create a backup of your website before changing making any changes. Again, if you’re not familiar with doing any of these, seek help from a website developer or IT professional.
6. Restore from backup.
Choose the last clean backup of your website to restore it. Some recommend doing this before fixing infected files, which could take some time to do.
7. Avoid future website hacks.
Once you have everything back to normal, make sure you take steps toward better website security. Below are some things you can do to minimise the probability of your website getting hacked again:
Update all your software to the latest version – and do so regularly.
Remove unused or obsolete plug-ins or extensions from your website.
Set up regular (daily) website backups.
Use the web application firewall.
Enable security monitoring.
Limit the number of website administrators.
Install SSL to securely transmit data.
Use strong passwords (you’ll hear this advice every time).
Website Protection: Do you want an “unhackable” website?
Ah, who wouldn’t? But as you may have already thought, nothing is 100% un-hackable. What you can do is strengthen your website security and always be on the lookout for new solutions. As we all know, prevention is better than the cure so take the proactive approach and look at our website maintenance and security packages.
But what if it’s too late…
Sometimes the damage is done and without the right security in place, unfortunately it may mean there’s no turning back. And now it’s time to re-build your website (or build a new one). But this time, make sure you have a security-first approach and implement a website security solution to help protect it against cyber threats, hacking, and malware.
Turn to the Website Security Experts
Just when you thought websites were confusing enough, throw in security and it can be a world of it’s own.
As passionate marketers and website developers who care about security, we’re here to help! Drop us a message if you need help securing your website – it’s never too late to start.
It’s time to claim what you’ve been missing. Let’s start with the facts:
Google is used by 85% of search engine users.
46% of Google searches in Australia have local intent.
More than half of “near me” searches result to an on-site visit.
28% of local searches lead to a purchase.
In 2023, “near me” searches increased 136%.
If your Google Business Profile (GBP) (formally known as Google My Business/GMB) is incomplete, outdated, or neglected, then you’re losing out on potential customers. If you think, “Oh, not a problem… we don’t have a Google Business Profile,” then it’s even worse. Here’s why…
What you’ve been missing
Doing the math from the stats above, 4 of every 10 search engine users will not see your business in the results if you do not have a GBP. Say you’re running an accounting firm in Helensvale. When 100 users search for “accounting firm”, 85 will be using Google. Of the 85, 39 will have local intent and search for “accounting firm helensvale”.
Chances are, those 39 users will not find your business in the results, and the remaining 61 will have varying chances of finding you. Just like that, you already lost 39 potential customers in 100 searches – without even trying.
What can you do now?
If you do have a business profile, then you should be getting more business out of it – or else you’ll need to do something about your profile to make it work for you. You must improve your Google Business Profile Strength Score. But how?
We’ll show you how you can improve your GBP and your profile strength. We’ll give answers to these questions:
Feel free to advance to your chosen topic by clicking on any question above.
What is Google Business Profile?
Your GBP is the representation of your business on the Google platform. A business profile on Google is similar to a Facebook business page, a Yelp profile, or a listing in TripAdvisor or Bing Places. (If you’ve heard of GMB or “Google My Business”, it’s the exact same thing, just renamed.)
A GBP can show information such as:
Business name, category, and description
Address and business areas
List of products or services
Health and safety measures
You can also publish photos and videos on your profile. Customers can leave reviews and users can ask questions that you can respond to.
Why is Google Business Profile important to your business?
Your business can benefit from having a profile on Google in the following ways:
1. GBP improves visibility, your local SEO, and website traffic.
When a user does a local “discovery search” (looking for businesses in an area using a category keyword), your business could appear in the search results. Latest statistics show that 56% of actions on a GBP are clicks to visit a website – automatically increasing your website traffic. That’s also a warm lead right there that could easily become a customer.
2. GBP is a ready platform for reviews and ratings.
GBP allows customers to leave real reviews and to give ratings. Of course, higher rating averages and more positive reviews mean there’s a better chance that a user will check your business out.
Because a business does not have the option to delete or edit reviews, and Google’s algorithm can detect fake reviews, most reviews will be a reliable guide for new customers.
3. GBP provides you with key insights.
A business will be able to see search terms used, number of views, engagements, the audience profile, and clicks to your website. Those are precious information that can guide you when updating your GBP and when creating marketing strategies.
4. GBP adds your business to Google maps.
Around 86% of people use Google Maps to find business location and directions. If you’re on there, that’s another way to boost visibility and get leads and visitors.
On the flip side, if you’re a B2B business, you can find leads from categories of businesses when you search in a specific location in Maps.
5. GBP will show your business information.
People will be able to see and act on information about your business:
Overview – your business phone number, your address and directions to your shop or office, a link to your website, a summary of reviews – which can lead a user to explore further
Reviews – can be sorted by recency, by relevance, or by star rating, which also shows your average star rating – that can lead to a purchase decision
Photos and videos – can be filtered by latest, interior, street view, videos, menu, etc. – any of which can attract a user to visit your business or try a product
About – other details about your business, such as updates, events, new arrivals, and offers – which can engage users and grow a relationship with them
6. GBP lets you interact with users.
A user can post a question, that you or another user can answer. There is also a like icon for additional engagement. This Q&A section can be used by potential customers to get extra information or for clarifications. The quicker you reply the better chance you’ll have at making a sale or closing a deal.
You can also use it to direct a user to your website to provide more details or updated information.
7. GBP can contribute to your brand image.
From your profile, users can make inferences about your business. You can use it to build trust, exude your brand personality (e.g., people can tell a lot by the way you answer questions), or express your values.
What is Google Business Profile Strength Score?
GBP Strength Score or “Profile Strength” is a simple guide used by Google to see how complete and informative your business profile is.
The strength score is represented by a circular label at the top right-hand corner of your profile. When your profile is partly complete, the label is orange; when fully complete, it is green.
If your profile is incomplete, Google may prompt you to click the “complete info” button. You may also be asked to sign up for Google Ads or opt into Messages – which could be ways to turn your orange label into green.
Now, the term “Strength Score” may be a misnomer because it is neither a rating nor a ranking. It is simply an indicator and a prompt for you to add to or update your profile, which you can do only to the extent that you want or need. Ultimately, however, GBP can be a useful tool for your business that you can maximise anytime.
What are GBP Performance Insights?
If you’d like to see how GBP is helping your business, rather than using your profile strength, it might be better to look at the Performance Insights, which can show your:
Number of GBP views
Number of unique GBP visitors
Searches (queries used to find your business)
Messages (number of unique conversations and your response rate)
Website clicks (number of clicks on your website link)
Calls (number of clicks on the “call” button)
Booking clicks (for hotels)
Bookings (through a provider)
Food orders (for restaurants/food businesses)
Menu content clicks
What can you do to improve your Profile Strength?
The goal may be to get a green (complete) indicator, but even with an orange (incomplete) profile you can maximise your GBP presence by doing the following:
1. Set up your Google Business Profile.
The very first thing to do is to make sure you have a GBP. Here’s how you can set it up:
Sign in to (or create) your Google Account.
Create a profile.
Enter your business name.
Select your business category.
Input your business address (if applicable).
Select your service areas.
Type in your phone number and website URL.
2. Update your GBP information.
Provide as much information about your business as possible. Make sure they are accurate and compliant with Google’s policies. Never include prohibited content. Add relevant photos and videos on a regular basis.
3. Grow your Google Reviews.
Research shows that almost 90% of consumers trust online reviews just as they do personal recommendations. So how can you get more reviews?
Ask every customer to leave a review and make it easy for them to do it.
Include a link on your website, social media pages, emails, invoices, and everywhere else.
Put a sign in your store or office with a QR Code that leads to where they can leave a review.
Request for reviews from your past customers.
Engage with good reviews and respond properly to bad reviews.
4. Post frequent updates on your profile.
Post an update every day or weekly, no matter how small (use the power of words and images to make it exciting). Post about events, special offers, and updates – anything that’s relevant to your business and/or to your target audience.
5. Add other attributes to your GBP.
You may have seen them when Googling: tags or phrases like “LGBT-friendly” or “Woman-led”. Utilise similar information pertaining to:
Health and Safety
Take advantage of Google Business Profile today – it’s easy and it’s FREE – and start improving your local SEO, increase your website traffic, and boost your brand image.
A significant player in your SEO strategy is content. Whether it’s your main web pages, ongoing articles or external guest posts, your copywriting needs to be on point to ensure the visibility of your website and its content on search engine results pages (SERPs)—Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, etc.
Here are some common mistakes we see and how you can improve your copywriting:
1. Not Doing Keyword Research
Keywords differentiate SEO copywriting from typical copywriting. 93% of people begin their search for a product or service on Google (or another search engine), you must also know what keywords they use when they do a search query.
Tip: Make keyword research your first step after determining what content you want to write. Whether it’s SEO web copywriting or SEO content in the form of blogs and other online copy, find your keywords and write them naturally into the copy. Check the keywords your competitors are using and invest in a keyword planning tool. It can quickly show you what keywords your readers use when searching on Google so you can use these in your copy.
2. Going Overboard with Keywords
The right keywords will get your copy in front of your target readers. However, stuffing your text with keywords is going to cause Google to slap you with a penalty. Many business owners assume that by using your target keywords in every sentence of your content that it will boost your ranking. While this was true once upon a time, nowadays this strategy could not be more wrong. Going overboard with keyword usage is registered as spam by search engines and hurts your website’s ranking.
Keyword stuffing can also have a negative effect on the quality of your content, which will lead to high bounce rates and low session duration.
Tip: SEO best practice is having a 1-2% keyword density. Hiring a digital marketing agency that has both creative and SEO experts, can help you meet your keyword goals as well as deliver high quality content that will engage readers.
3. Poor Linking Strategy
Millions of blog posts are published every day. But many sites do not utilise external linking for fear of driving people away from their site, but it is an important part of your SEO strategy to support your copy by linking it to credible sources. Some also neglect to add internal links (content within their site), which can lead to readers staying on your site longer.
For external linking, make sure that you back up statements by linking them to sites that Google considers credible online sources. Be sure to have any external links ‘open in a new tab’ in order to not lose the reader to another website.
For internal linking, review your website for previously published content that will support what you have written in your copy.
Don’t miss out on an excellent opportunity to increase your copy’s ranking on Google.
4.Not Making Use of Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
Metadata is a collection of information (meta tags) used to describe the content on your site which can be read by search engines and web crawlers. But since it is not seen on pages directly, some think it’s not important. Many companies just leave the meta tags blank or leave the meta tags that are autogenerated by their website platform, which is just as bad.
Tip: There are some best practices you can use to maximise your effectiveness. Here are some tips for writing effective title tags and meta descriptions that will get more clicks on your links and, in turn, improve your overall results:
Title Tags Tips:
Aim for no more than 66 characters
Make sure your title tag accurately describes your page
Put the keyword first (or within the first 11 characters, if you can)
Don’t forget to mention your brand name
Make unique title tag for every page
Meta Description Tips:
Aim for around 155 characters
Include your primary keyword for the page
Make sure description is relevant to the page content
Make the description unique for each page (no duplicate content) and interesting
5. Not Having an Ongoing SEO Plan
Many organisations think that SEO is a one and done process. Trends change, consumer behaviour changes, company goals change, search engine algorithms change, and SEO needs to be able to keep up with all of that. Regular evaluation and adjustment are crucial. The importance of ongoing SEO activity is very high, no matter what kind of company you have. SEO is all about playing the long game.
Tip: Companies must continually refresh their SEO strategy as their company goals change, new competitors emerge and search engine algorithms update. It is important to do a regular audit of your keywords, google analytics, site speed tests, and external links. You must also continuously add content to your page to keep your site relevant.
We hope this helps!
These are just a few tips to help you get started, but there are countless other things like schema markups, properly tagging images, site speed, cross-device compatibility…just to name a few more.
Implementing a strong ongoing SEO plan that will make an impact on your business can take countless hours in researching, executing and analysing.
So, if you’re strapped for time, lack the internal resources and expertise, you may want to bring on SEO marketing experts to create, implement and execute an SEO plan for your business. o
Let the team at B2Me Marketing take the weight off your shoulders, strengthen your business’ online presence and help attract new customers through your website.
Websites play a vital role in business success in the modern world, which means that after working hard to build a site that encapsulates your brand, keeping it functioning as it should be and live on the web will be vital. One of, if not the most important steps towards protecting your site will be through regular backups. A website backup will allow you to deal with situations quickly and efficiently, keeping your business up and running online.
Everything You Need To Know About A Website Backup
Whether you manually back up important files or have set up automatic backups, ensuring that you can safeguard your data is essential. The web can be an unpredictable place, especially when it comes to online threats, meaning that putting precautions in place will always prove beneficial. Ongoing website backups will always play a crucial role in this process, and our guide will run through everything you need to know to get started!
So, what is a website backup? In simple terms, a website backup is a copy of all of the data on your website, from files to content and media. This is completed via either FTP, the traditional file transfer protocol, or SFTP, which is the same process but with an additional layer of security. All of the data is then stored on the cloud and is accessible whenever you need it.
It is highly recommended to schedule regular website backups, ensuring that the most updated version is always available to restore. In an ideal world, this should be on a weekly or even daily basis, depending on the type of website you have. For example, if you have a content management system and upload blog posts, more frequent backups will be necessary.
Why Do You Need To Backup Your Website?
Now that you are familiarised with the definition of a website backup, it’s time to move onto its importance. Regardless of the size of your site, how often it is updated or whether you have had problems in the past, it will always be vital to backup your website for the following reasons:
Protect Against Hackers
According to statistics posted by TechJury, 64% of companies across the globe have fallen victim to at least one type of cyber attack. Whether it may be phishing or malware attacks, every website is, unfortunately, vulnerable to security threats, which means that any measure that will help to protect against this works to your advantage.
By regularly backing up your website, first and foremost, you will be able to deal with hacks far more strategically, restoring the clean version of your website and allowing you to get back up and running without delay. Not only this, but during backups, you can also run a malware detection tool that will enable you to detect potential vulnerabilities early. For more information on this topic, take a look at ComputerWeekly.com.
Reverse Unexpected Problems
Every website requires regular updates in order to continue functioning smoothly. However, new updates can often come alongside new processes, which can take a little while to get your head around. Should you update your site to find that it has caused an error, you can quickly restore your website to its old version while you spend time researching how to implement the new update. This prevents any website downtime and gives you a little leeway should you make a mistake.
Avoid Losing Data
Particularly if you are a WordPress user, it is likely that your site is constantly being updated with new content from blog posts to galleries, but what if someone was to accidentally delete these? Or suppose that you have made years worth of customisation changes to your website and lose these overnight? This is an issue that no one wants to be dealing with, yet with regular backups, you are always protected in the event of human error. You can quickly retrieve all of your stored data from the cloud and restore the version of your website you need.
Make Web Host Migration Easier
At some point, it is likely that you will switch from one web host to another, which involves moving all of the files on your site to a new server. This can be somewhat tedious but can be made far more straightforward by having an up-to-date website backup ready in advance. It means that you can either transfer your exact website to the new server, or if you are reworking the design, aspects such as blog posts and images will not be lost in the process.
Ability To Create A Test Site
Should you want to make significant changes to your web design but do not want to put these updates live, a test site may be your best option. Using your most recent website backup, you can quickly create a test site that mimics your website. This allows you to experiment with different layouts, designs, colours and more, without making any of them visible to the public until you are happy with the overall appearance.
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How To Make A Backup Of Your WordPress Website
Backing up your WordPress site will be done in two stages; the files and the database. There are two main ways that you can backup the files; these are:
Create Sync: This involves using a programme that will sync with your website and store a mirrored version of its content. It will upload these copies to your server and hard drive, ensuring that both are always updated.
Upload To Desktop: All of your files will be copied onto your computer into a file that can then be compressed to save storage. This is the riskier option, as if any of the files are lost or corrupted, you lose your backup.
Taking a backup of your database will involve making a copy of the core components of your site, such as the posts, pages and comments. This is a little more complex and can be completed via cPanel, phpMyAdmin or MySQL Workbench, which means that you would benefit from taking time to familiarise yourself with these. For a full guide on how to make a backup of your WordPress website, take a look at WordPress’ helpful resources.
How To Backup A Wix Website
If you are looking to backup your Wix website, you’ll be pleased to know that the process is relatively straightforward. However, due to the platforms limited capabilities, you can only backup through Wix itself rather than externally. With this in mind, here is how to backup a Wix website:
Automatic Backup: Wix automatically saves and stores all of the content on your website every 7 days, providing that the platform has spotted an update. The data that is backed up is the version of the website that is live when the automatic backup is completed.
Manual Backup: If you want to backup your Wix site at a specific time, this can be done manually through the Content Manager section on your Dashboard. Simply click ‘More Actions’ then ‘Restore Backups’ and lastly, ‘+ Backup’.
How To Backup A Squarespace Website
As Squarespace is designed to allow fresh content to be regularly uploaded, taking a regular backup will be essential in ensuring that no data is lost. Although Squarespace does not have the same backup options as alternative platforms, you are able to protect your content through the following:
Keep an extra copy of blogs: Once you have written a new post, be sure to save a copy as a Word, Pages or Google Docs document.
Download an XML file: Every 1 to 3 months, it is recommended to download the XML file on your website to protect your content.
Export products as a .CSV file: XML files do not include your products, so if you do sell goods, export these as a .CSV.
Screenshot your pages: For an extra precaution, consider taking a screenshot of the latest version of pages so you have a visual reference.
How To Backup A Shopify Website
There are two main ways that you can backup your Shopify website based on how confident you are using the platform. Find out more about these options below:
You can manually backup your Shopify website by:
Export your data to a .CSV file
Copy and paste the item properties
If any remaining data has not been exported, copy and paste this
Organise all of your backed up data
Secure your backup by using encryption and testing regularly
Build A Backup Tool
If you are more advanced in developing websites, you may be interested in building your own backup tool:
Shopify has APIs available which will allow you to create a backup tool – find out more about how to set these up on the Shopify website
Ensure that this is secured using the same protocols used for your manual backup
Regularly test and maintain the backup tool that you have created
Safeguard Your Site With B2Me Marketing
At B2Me Marketing, we work alongside clients of all industries providing web development services, all of which can be paired with one of our website maintenance and security packages. This allows you to focus on running a successful business with the peace of mind that your website is taken care of by our experienced, knowledgeable team.
We offer three packages based on your requirements; basic, standard and premium. Each of these includes daily backups with a 30-day archive, ensuring that you can always restore the most recent version of your website should a problem occur. Along with backups, your package will also include security features and will cover updates, so you will never have to worry about whether your site is protected.
For more information on our packages and to discuss which option would be best suited to your website, please contact us via the form below:
Submit A Package Enquiry
We’ll be back in touch with you as soon as possible!
It’s Never Been More Important To Backup Your Website
As the digital world continues to evolve, more and more threats are introduced, which means that protecting your website requires more advanced processes. Ensuring that your website is regularly backed up will not only reduce potential vulnerabilities but should the worst-case scenario happen, you will always be able to restore your website quickly to prevent downtime.
With every website, the goal is always to achieve a conversion, embedding subtle hints of encouragement into your design to lead your users to the contact page or checkout. But how can you make this process smooth without being too OTT in your efforts? The secret is killer call to actions, well-thought-out and evenly distributed across your site to get your user exactly where you want them to be.
Your Guide To Creating Effective Call To Actions
Whether you are designing a site for your start-up company or looking to take your existing brand to the next level, every business, regardless of scale, needs to think deeply into how they can drive users to take immediate action. This is all part of what is known as the marketing funnel, which acts as a visual representation of the journey your user takes to eventually convert. Each of the three layers of the funnel that lead to taking action – attention, interest and desire – can all be achieved with the help of effective, persuasive call to actions. So where is the best place to get started? Let’s take a closer look at the following:
A call to action, also known as a CTA, is any piece of content, graphic or ad which has been designed to prompt your user to take action. This action is most commonly to convert, such as to make a sale, enquiry or booking, but can also be used to direct your user to sign up to a newsletter, for example. Ultimately, the goal is to kickstart an immediate response, giving your user an offer that they simply cannot refuse, whether this may be through your key selling points or exclusive discounts, just to name a few!
10 Call To Action Examples
When shortlisting which CTAs you want to include on your website and throughout your marketing campaign, you most definitely won’t be short for ideas. The key is always to determine which actions you want your customer to make and then begin to piece together options. In the meantime, here are some great call to action examples:
“Book An Appointment” – Vogue Nationale
With a monochromatic colour scheme, the Vogue Nationale website encapsulates all things modern luxury. When browsing their site, it couldn’t be clearer that the main area they want to drive traffic towards is their booking system. The call to action “Book An Appointment” is not only placed conveniently on their floating navigation but also after almost every piece of text on their homepage. This is an excellent example of making it as straightforward as possible for clients to schedule their booking.
“Get Started” – Future Computers
As a provider of IT services, Future Computers offers an array of solutions to businesses looking to integrate technology into their operations and streamline processes. Although their services are tailored to each client’s requirements, Future Computers have created packages that they promote via their website. Under each package option, a “Get Started” CTA has been added, which offers a friendlier method of encouraging users to get in touch.
“Sign Up Now” – Disney+
From the moment that you land on the Disney+ homepage, you understand the message they are promoting. In most cases, their website users already know their next action before visiting the site – they are eager to join – and Disney+ recognises this. For this reason, they make the registration process as easy as possible by including a “Sign Up Now” call to action across the website, so the user can begin their subscription in a matter of minutes.
“Request A Call” – LasaDerm
For smaller businesses based in one location, the easiest way to manage conversions is through speaking directly with those interested in your brand, allowing you to offer a more personal approach. LasaDerm, a British cosmetic clinic, is a fantastic example of the type of CTAs you can include. Not only does “Request A Call” feature throughout the site but also call to actions to encourage users to browse their success stories.
“Find Your Nearest Store” – Donut King
With more than 250 stores across Australia, it’s no surprise that one of the primary purposes of the Donut King website is to direct users to their closest spot. With this in mind, not only do they have a store locator page but also plenty of CTAs which allow users to find this page with ease. This is a key call to action for any brand with multiple locations.
“Start Shopping Now” – Regal Envy
If, like us, you are a keen online shopper, you will understand how incentives can really make a difference to your overall experience. Hair and beauty retailer, Regal Envy have cleverly broken down their homepage content with a large CTA banner accompanied by an excellent incentive, which is a fantastic way to boost sales. This is also a great option if you want to add a break in your feed of products.
“Download Now” – ONGC Systems
As mentioned above, not all call to actions need to push users towards generating a sale or submitting an enquiry. In some cases, you may place particular trigger words on pages with specific purposes. This example from ONGC Systems is fantastic as they know users have landed on their page for resources, so they have made gaining these as straightforward as possible. Asking for email addresses in order to access additional information is also a superb method of expanding your mailing list ready for email marketing.
“Request A Quote” – 1st Choice Fix
In some industries, converting a user to a customer requires one-to-one communication. In this instance, the goal will be to collect as much information as possible to ensure that you are prepared when speaking with the customer. Repair and restoration specialists, 1st Choice Fix, encourage their users to show their interest by making their quotation process as quick and easy as possible, explaining what to expect when enlisting their services.
“Get In Touch Today” – Estate First Lawyers
You can never go wrong with a simple “Get In Touch Today” call to action, regardless of the industry you are in. This can not only be used as a single button but also accompanied by text that showcases your key selling points. Estate First Lawyers has integrated this across their site and accompanied it with additional CTAs for users looking to find out more information on the company before contacting them.
“Let’s Keep In Touch” – Bunnings
As an online store, another fantastic way of keeping your customers engaged is by inviting them to join your mailing list. Here, you can send mailshots including your latest products, exclusive discounts and loyalty schemes. This is exactly what Bunnings does, and to continually grow their mailing list, includes a newsletter sign up banner along their footer. Using the “Let’s Keep In Touch” call to action is an excellent way to take a more relaxed, chatty approach to encouraging sign-ups.
Best Font For Call To Actions
In order for a call to action to be effective, they need to be easily noticeable and cannot become lost in the remaining content. For this reason, the best font for call to actions would be those that are clean, concise and larger in size.
With our web design services, serif fonts tend to be the most popular for CTAs; however, it is important to keep in mind your brand guidelines to ensure that your chosen font fits your aesthetics. Colour will also be a significant contributing factor as the font colour and background need to contrast yet compliment. For most clients, we opt for placing call to actions in shapes, allowing them to stand out from any imagery or artwork on the page while also integrating brand colours.
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Best Call To Action Words
Although CTAs are always short, being limited in terms of how many words you can use can sometimes make the job trickier. Why? Because you only have two to three words to make an impact. The key is to choose words and phrases that trigger either emotion or enthusiasm, giving your user a reason to take the next step.
If you have space for a longer CTA, then a proven technique is to state the action that you want the user to take, along with why. For example, “contact us today to book your free consultation” shows the user that you have an offer that is too good to turn down, so curiosity will become the primary emotion – if it’s free, what have they got to lose?
With this in mind, we have put together some examples of the best call to action words:
Generate Sale – Add To Basket, Start Shopping, Place An Order, Free Delivery, Save 50%
Email Sign-Up – Join Today, Subscribe, Connect With Us, Stay Updated, Sign-Up Now
Non-Profit Organisation – Get Involved, Donate Now, Support Us, How You Can Help
Website Navigation – Find Out More, Check It Out, Learn More, Click Here, What’s Next?
Call Or Email – Get In Touch, Get Started, Speak To Our Team, Contact Us
User Incentive – Exclusive Discounts Available, Save Money Today, Join Our Loyalty Scheme, Free Trial
Including Call To Actions In Persuasive Writing
While, in most cases, CTAs are included in the form of easy-to-find buttons, there is no reason why you cannot integrate call to actions in your persuasive writing. In fact, as a content marketing agency, we often include simple-to-follow instructions at the end of paragraphs of text, clearly communicating how the user can invest in the brand in question.
When including call to actions in your website content, whether this may be on landing pages, blog posts or case studies, you have the freedom to explain your offerings in more depth. Content can take a more personal approach, explaining the circumstances whereby a customer may need to get in touch, how you can help them and what they can expect. Don’t forget to always add hyperlinks anywhere that you mention another service, product or trigger words such as “contact us”, again to make it easy for users to navigate your site – have you noticed that we’ve even done this throughout this article?
However, as one last tip on persuasive writing – if you are planning to include CTAs in your content, make sure you know how many is too many. Avoid adding “for more information, contact us” at the end of every section but instead include only where necessary. Look at the content from the user’s point of view and determine at which areas they would feel ready to move onto the next stage of their customer journey.
Call To Action Marketing Ideas
Now that you are well-versed on how to construct an effective call to action, we have put together some ideas on how you can successfully market your CTAs across your website:
If you have a more informal, chatty tone of voice on your website, why not get creative with your CTAs? Instead of saying “take a look at our deals”, you could swap the content for “amazing deals at your fingertips!” To ensure that your CTAs are effective, you could complete A/B testing to determine whether straight-to-the-point or more creative wording works best for you.
Numbers always make your CTAs stand out on a page, whether it may be how many years of experience you have or the percentage of savings your customer can enjoy. You could also number numbers to direct users to your pricing page with CTAs such as “prices starting from just £7.99”.
Make CTAs Easy To Find:
The aim of CTAs is to make it as easy as possible for users to take action, which means that they need to the placed in clear locations across pages. On banners, under paragraphs of content and at the end of the page are key spots for your call to actions.
Keep It Relevant:
Always ensure that the wording on your CTAs relates to the page and the content. The user is reading through a specific page because they are interested in the product or service, which means that this is where they will convert. For example, on a charity website, you wouldn’t want to place a CTA to donate on the page where people can request support.
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Maximise Conversions Through Call To Actions!
Understanding which call to actions encourage your user to convert will take time and testing, and if you find that they are not effective, it will only take a matter of minutes to change. Always keep your key selling points in mind, as these will be the factors that encourage your customer to choose your brand over competitors. Whether it may be exclusive discounts or streamlined booking systems, there are a wealth of different CTA ideas – now it’s time to get started on yours!
Everything You Need To Know About Customer Reviews
Even if you have been in your industry for years, the power of the internet means that regardless of how reputable you may be, customers will always be seeking reassurance before investing their money into your brand. And, there is no better way to do this than through the opinions of those who have experienced your business first-hand.
Customer reviews are ever so important in aiding buying decisions, and what many businesses do not consider is that it is possible to control the feedback you receive – it just a little extra planning and proactiveness. So to begin your journey to building a high reputation naturally online, we have put together a guide on everything you need to know about customer reviews.
Regardless of your industry or the scale of your business, reviews can have an immense impact on how your clients view your brand. But it is really worth spending that extra time focusing on encouraging feedback? The answer is always yes, and here are just some of the excellent benefits of customer reviews.
Ideal For Building Trust
The most obvious benefit of customer reviews is the credibility they give your brand. Much like you would ask your friends, family members or colleagues for recommendations, buyers want to understand what they can expect from a company through honest opinions. If you have a host of fantastic reviews, this is guaranteed to build trust and, therefore, drive more sales and conversions.
Allows You To Gain Visibility
If you are using SEO services to your advantage, you will be pleased to know that online reviews can help towards improving your search rankings. Online reviews and SEO have been closely linked for quite some time and are a factor that search engines consider when determining your position. Why? Because search engines look into your backlinks, including review sites, and should they find that these are positive, it reassures them that your services or products are successfully meeting the needs of their users. Ultimately, search engines want to push only the best of the best, so with a number of excellent reviews, you are likely to find that your ranking is boosted by a few positions.
Encourages Quicker Buying Decisions
We are all guilty of being influenced by others, particularly when it comes to online shopping. Take Amazon, for example; each time you search for an item, you will be given hundreds of products to choose from, so how do you choose which one to order? The answer is almost always to track down those with the highest star rating and most positive reviews. The same concept applies to your business online – the more feedback you have, the quicker your potential clients will make their decision, and the less time they will spend considering alternative companies.
Helps To Improve Customer Service
Reviews allow you to gauge an overall idea of your customer satisfaction rate, offering insightful information on any changes that would prove beneficial. Particularly for new businesses, feedback can also help you to overcome any initial hurdles. Many start-up companies opt for sending an online questionnaire to past clients, asking them a set of questions about their experience. As these will be sent directly back to you and not public, any constructive criticism can be taken on board, and changes can be made without impacting your reputation.
How To Respond To Google Reviews & Other Channels
Reviews offer customers the power to tell the world their side of the story, and while we would always like this to be positive, it may not always be the case. Regardless of whether your customer has left a positive or negative review, it is essential to hold the same level of respect, even if you are frustrated at their comments (and you have every right to be!).
Good reviews are easy to respond to, and this will often come naturally, but bad reviews can be slightly trickier. The goal is to encourage your customer to trust your brand one more time, giving you the opportunity to change their opinion of your business. You should also try to avoid further communication with the customer on a publicly visible platform and instead ask them to contact you directly to discuss further.
In some instances, you may be faced with a fake review, which will need to be dealt with slightly differently. On all review platforms, even those on social media, you are able to attempt to get the feedback removed by reporting the issue. This can be a long process as it is challenging to prove your case, so in the meantime, we would also recommend responding to the review, again, in a calm and friendly manner.
With the above in mind, here are some examples of how to respond to Google reviews and those left on other platforms, depending on the nature of the feedback:
How To Respond To A Positive Review
Thank you so much for your excellent review! Customer satisfaction is always our main priority, and we really appreciate you taking the time to share your experience with us. We look forward to seeing you again soon!
How To Respond To A Negative Review
Thank you for your review and for bringing this issue to our attention. We are sorry that you are unhappy with your experience with us, and we would greatly appreciate the opportunity to make this right.
If you are open to discussing this further, please contact [name] at [email address] or call us on [phone number], and we can resolve the issue promptly. We look forward to speaking with you.
How To Respond To A Fake Review
Thank you for your review, we take the feedback of our customers very seriously. Unfortunately, we do not have any record of your name or customer experience on our system, and we believe that you may have the wrong company.
We would like to investigate this issue further. Please contact [name] at [email address] or call us on [phone number] as soon as possible so we can resolve the issue immediately.
How To Get Customer Testimonials
Knowing how to get customer testimonials without feeling as if you are bothering your client can be tricky, but there are a number of ways that you can encourage customers to share their experience with your brand. In most cases, if a customer has felt happy with the product or service that they have received, they would be more than happy to share their feedback online – they must just need a little push. It’s in our human nature to be more likely to make our voice heard if we are unhappy but not so much if we are pleased with our experience with a company. So, to get your reviews rolling in, here are some handy strategies:
Follow-Up Emails – Whether you already have an email marketing strategy or not, sending your client’s follow-up emails is a great way to ask them to leave a review. Don’t forget to include direct links to your review platforms.
Prompts After Transactions – If you have an online store, consider including a short questionnaire on your confirmation page. Be sure to include a tick box asking the client if they give permission for this feedback to be used.
Offer Incentives – From exclusive discount codes to vouchers, there is a number of great incentives that you can offer clients who leave a review on one of your platforms.
Testimonials Page – It is always beneficial to have a testimonial page on your website, but we also recommend including a section for clients who want to leave a review through your website.
Where Should Testimonials Go On A Website?
As mentioned above, a testimonials page will always work towards your advantage but aside from this, where should testimonials go on a website? The answer will slightly differ based on the nature of your business; however, one place to begin should always be the homepage.
Your homepage is what creates the first impression of your brand, so along with including your key selling points, an introduction and high-quality imagery, testimonials will also be key. By handpicking your best reviews and placing these clearly on your homepage, you will give potential customers the opportunity to understand your brand on a more personal level, even if this is the only page they look through. If you are a B2B company that works with well-known brands, consider accompanying reviews with the company logo to grab the users attention.
Along with the homepage, it is also hugely beneficial to place reviews on each of your service or product pages. Not only will this play a vital role in your customers buying decision, but if you have optimised these with on-page SEO, it will also help your keyword ranking. On landing pages, placing your testimonial section nearby by a call-to-action is a handy hack to prompt your users to make a conversion.
Do Video Testimonials Work?
Showcasing the positive experience of clients through a video has become an increasingly popular marketing technique, but do video testimonials actually work? The short answer is yes, and there is plenty of research to prove their benefits.
According to a study, on social media alone, 39% of users are more likely to comment on a video as opposed to a text, along with 56% of users who said they would be more likely to like a video post. Not only this, but 59% of users also commented that they are more likely to watch a video if it has been interacted with by someone they know. This shows that even if you were only to share video testimonials through your social media advertising channels, you would begin to increase your brand exposure and, therefore, encourage leads.
Along with spreading the word about your brand, video testimonials are also able to create a deeper, more emotional connection with your customers, making the same impression as a personal recommendation would. It shows that you have successfully transformed your customers into brand advocates, and what better way to showcase a positive customer experience!
Generate Leads, Build Trust & Maximise Brand Exposure Through Reviews!
Regardless of the digital marketing services you choose, encouraging reviews on all of your channels should always be a priority, as this will help to boost your online exposure across the board. Along with aiding buying decision and encouraging leads, online reviews will also help towards maximising your SEO efforts, helping you to secure a higher position on search engines. By implementing the ideas mentioned above and taking a proactive approach to encouraging reviews, you will most definitely begin to see them appear!
A Full Guide To Creating The Perfect Social Media Marketing Strategy
Regardless of the scale of your company, your industry or how long you have been established, every organisation can most definitely benefit from increased online exposure. On average, Australians spend around 1 hour and 46 minutes on social media each day, offering you, as a brand, a wealth of possibilities to catch their attention and, therefore, boost awareness of your products or services. It’s all about leaving a lasting impression, whether that may be through eye-catching visuals or informative posts, helping you to begin building personal relationships with your audience. Eventually, these will naturally transform from customers to brand advocates, further maximising your online presence.
So, where should you start when piecing together your strategy? There are many factors to consider, and nailing your campaigns is likely to take a little trial and error. However, there are a number of helpful hacks which will speed up your journey to success. Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the following:
Nowadays, social media plays a pivotal role in all of your marketing efforts, whether this may be your SEO strategy or PPC campaigns. Each will work hand-in-hand, creating a consistent brand image throughout your online platforms, which means it’ll also be beneficial to spend time refining your website. But before moving onto how to create your campaigns, it’s important to start from the beginning – what is social media marketing?
Social media marketing involves the use of social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, to promote your brand, services and/or products. As each platform attracts a slightly different audience, it is vital that the content shared by your brand is tailored to the platform in question. In return, this will drive engagement (likes, comments and shares) and build a more accurate image of your company.
The content shared on your social channels can be everything from photos and videos to blogs and case studies, but the key will always be: 1. quality – is your content worth sharing? and 2. consistency – consistency with posting, advertising and analysing. But don’t worry, we’ll delve deeper into how to achieve this later in our guide.
Benefits Of Social Media Marketing
Whether you are for or against the use of social media, there is no denying that is it a powerful resource when promoting any brand. With this in mind, here are just some of the excellent benefits of social media marketing:
Define Your Brand’s Personality
Whether you are a start-up company or an established organisation, clients and customers hugely appreciate a human touch. Trust plays an enormous role in whether an individual decides to convert, and social media is a fantastic way to begin developing your personality and, in return, brand loyalty. On your social platform, you will have far more freedom to conversational, connecting with your audience on a personal level.
As mentioned previously, social media and SEO work together to improve your online presence. Social media offers the perfect opportunity to create links back to your website, encouraging traffic and spreading the word on your brand. Not only this, but should you update the content on your website then share it on social media, you send a signal to Google that your site needs to be crawled and re-indexed. As a result, you are likely to see your ranking improve. For more information on SEO marketing, take a look at our previous article.
Track Progress In Real-Time
Other popular marketing methods, such as SEO, take time to work their magic, but with social media advertising, you can continue to track its progress using real-time data. Platforms have built-in resources such as Facebook’s Business Manager and Instagram’s Insights, which allow you to determine whether your campaign is going in the right direction and make amendments where necessary. This is particularly beneficial when running paid ads as you can begin to refine your future campaigns to prevent wasted budget.
Achieve High Conversion Rates
There are multiple ways that social media campaigns can lead to a higher conversion rate, and once again, it all begins with trust. From positive reviews across channels to customers sharing stories or publishing posts about your brand, you quickly start to attract a broader yet more targeted audience. They are likely to follow your page, engage with your posts and then when they are in need of your product or service, you will be the first port of call as customers would have already built up that level of trust.
Impact Of Social Media On Business Communications
Effective communication is a vital aspect of any business and is used to reach your goals while retaining customers. The process involves sharing information about your brand both internally and with the outside world. And although not always considered, many are surprised to uncover the vast impact of social media on business communications.
As social media allows your business to reach out to the world, you are able to attract a significant percentage of your target audience in just one place. You can then start to interact directly with your audience on a regular basis, engaging with their needs and communicating your key selling points. As a result, your following will feel connected with your brand and will feel confident that should they ask a question or have a problem, it will be resolved with minimal fuss. Together, this creates a positive image of your brand, helping you to meet your goals.
Tips For An Effective Social Media Campaign
As a social media management agency working with clients in all manner of industries, we have picked up a host of tips on how to achieve campaign success. And although it is important to alter your strategy to meet your customer’s needs, as well as your objectives and goals, all of these helpful tips can easily be integrated into your campaign.
Tailor Your Strategy To The Platform
Depending on the nature of your brand and industry, you are likely to find that specific social media channels are more beneficial to others. B2B businesses are more suited to LinkedIn as users will be more focused on the textual content, whereas B2C organisations can take advantage of Facebook and Instagram as they can be more informal. However, there are some instances where this approach may not necessarily work. Suppose you are a commercial construction company; in this instance, you may also opt for sharing high-quality imagery on Instagram to showcase your expertise. If you are unsure what channels would prove beneficial, we recommend researching into what platforms your competitors are using to attract customers and which of these generate the most engagement.
Once you have determined the most effective channels, it will be time to tailor your approach to suit the platform itself. For example, Instagram is all about visual content, but on Facebook, users enjoy seeing a story behind the post. On channels such as Instagram, Tik Tok and LinkedIn, you must also factor in hashtags. For more advice on tailoring your message to the various social media platforms, take a look at ROI Online.
Use Industry Trends To Your Advantage
Your social media content does not always have to revolve around your products and/or services, and using industry trends is a fantastic way to boost engagement. From seasonal posts to the latest news, being proactive with the latest trends will always be a success.
With many other daily tasks to tick off the list, we understand it can be tricky to stay on top of trends, which is why we recommend setting up notifications for industry-related sites. There are also platforms such as Feedly, which allow you to keep in the loop with particular topics by creating a dashboard that will be updated with the most recently published articles.
Keep In The Loop With New Algorithms
Social media platforms regularly update or add new algorithms, which can be incredibly frustrating. However, it is important not to try and find quick hacks to overcome the algorithm but instead understand how you can work with them. If you have noticed a sudden drop in engagement or that your posts are no longer as visible as they once were to your followers, spend time determining how your strategy can be altered to meet the latest demands. As mentioned above, social media campaigns will involve a lot of trial and error, but it will most definitely be worth the extra effort!
Consider Partnering With Influencers
Living in the digital era means that we are continually being introduced to new ways to promote a brand, and the most popular in recent years has been influencer marketing. Although influencer marketing can be profitable across all social channels, we recommend using this method for Instagram as it will promote the most return.
Fashion, beauty, travel, food and beverage are just some examples of the industries that can hugely benefit from partnering with influencers. This marketing method allows you to attract audiences that may not have been aware of your brand. Your chosen influencers would have already built a group of loyal followers who, when recommended by them to your brand, will instantly create a positive mindset towards your products or services.
Interact With Your Followers
Some days you may receive a host of excellent feedback, and other days you may be faced with complaints, but either way, interacting with your followers will be imperative. Engaging in conversations with your following is yet another way to connect with them on a more personal level, and even if the feedback is negative, taking the time to rectify the issue with a friendly message may be enough to change their mood. Not only this, but don’t forget to keep an eye out on any conversions that mention your brand, then get involved!
Always Measure & Analyse Your Results
Much like any other marketing strategy, tracking and analysing your social campaigns is vital in ensuring that your efforts are optimised well, and you receive a return on investment. It is always recommended to track factors such as reach, engagement, clicks and impressions. This is even more important when running paid ads as you will need to determine whether to increase, reduce or reallocate your budget, preventing money from being wasted.
Social Media Marketing For Small Business
For those who have been established for many years, running a successful social media campaign will be far more straightforward as they would have already built up a reputation in the industry. However, as a start-up business or smaller organisation, it can be tricky to know where to start. For this reason, we have put together a few extra tips specifically for those interested in social media marketing for a small business.
Begin with research: From looking into how your competitors use social media to determining your goals and objectives, a significant amount of research will go into your campaign. We recommend using the SMART framework for creating your goals.
Create a social calendar: Keeping on track of social media while running a small business can be challenging, so by creating a strategic, clear calendar, you’ll know exactly what you are going to be posting and when.
Focus on quality over quantity: To follow on from the above tip, ensure that every post offers value to your followers, showing them why they made the decision to connect with your brand. Opting for quality over quantity will always be the most effective route, plus it will be incredibly more manageable for your small business.
Make it personal: As a small business, it will be far easier to take a personal approach to your marketing. Whether it may be uploading stories of your team at work, posting internal updates or responding directly to every comment, taking the time to show your customers that you care will always be beneficial.
Consider using scheduling tools: To ensure that you stay on track with your social calendar and remain consistent, you may want to begin using scheduling tools such as Hootsuite. This allows you to schedule a week’s worth of content at once, for example, then you do not have to worry about it throughout the working day.
Social Media Marketing Made Easy!
Every day, we see top brands smash their social media campaign, and while they may have a dedicated department working day and night to boost engagement, this most definitely doesn’t mean that campaign success is impossible without these resources. Through selecting the most effective channels to reach your target audience, remaining consistent and posting content that will offer value to your customer, you will begin to notice your analytics improving, taking you one step closer to your goals.
Whether you are a new start-up business or are switching to digital marketing for the first time, there will be many factors to consider when creating a strategy. With so many channels, techniques and campaign types to choose from, how can you determine which would be the most beneficial for your brand?
Having spent many years supporting clients in their growth, we have worked with many brands who are unsure which route to take. SEO and SEM are two fantastic strategy types, but due to their slight differences, they are better suited to some businesses more than others. In our guide, we not only answer the question “what is SEO?”, but we’ll also introduce you to SEM and how the two methods differ from one another.
What Is SEO, How Does It Work & What Makes It Different From SEM?
It is thought that there are over three billion online searches every day, so in a world that has become obsessed with surfing the internet, how can you ensure that your business is seen? The process can be time-consuming but is relatively straightforward and offers a wealth of benefits, making digital marketing a key component in business growth.
If you are new to the terms SEO and SEM, it can all appear a little daunting, but this needn’t be a worry. Through familiarising yourself with the factors that contribute towards successful campaigns, you will quickly begin to reap the benefits. With this in mind, we are going to answer the following questions:
So, let’s start from the beginning, what is SEO and how it works. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and is the process of increasing your organic ranking on search engines, most commonly Google. Each search engine uses clever bots to collect all of the information on your website before it is added to an index; this is otherwise known as crawling. From here, search engine specific algorithms begin to analyse each webpage, checking each component against a number of factors to determine your organic ranking. The websites that prove the most beneficial to the search engine users and comply best with the algorithms will land a place at the top of the first results page. In technical terms, these pages are called Search Engine Results Pages, which you may know as SERPs.
Although effective SEO does take time and patience, the benefits make this strategy a highly effective way to increase traffic and conversions. Just some of these excellent benefits include the following:
Begins to build trust with your target audience and credibility in your industry as it shows you have put work in to prove your position in the market.
The techniques used in SEO are designed to enhance user experience, so through implementing these, you will find that your website performs far better and outshines your competitors.
As your organic ranking is based solely on the marketing efforts you put in, SEO does not involve paying for ads like other campaigns such as Pay Per Click (PPC).
Once you have secured your position on page one, SEO offers a long-term strategy, so all you need to do is focus on maintaining your high ranking.
High performing SEO involves several different components, including both a tailored marketing campaign and a fully optimised website. Here is all of the information you need to know about each.
What Is SEO Marketing?
SEO marketing features several different elements which are fused to create a campaign. Typically, SEO campaigns run on a month-to-month basis, meaning that regularly tracking your process is essential in determining which areas you should focus on for the upcoming month.
One key aspect of SEO marketing, otherwise known as off-page SEO, is backlinks. To generate backlinks, you must complete a process called link building, which can involve adding your site to directories, guest blogging on other sites and getting featured on publications. The key to successful link building is to focus on quality over quantity. It will be far more effective to build a few high-authority, high-quality backlinks to your website than lots of smaller ones that may not offer the traffic you need.
Along with backlinks, another key factor that many do not consider is your social media activity. In recent years, social media advertising has become more important than ever, helping you to create easy backlinks back to your website, boost engagements and encourage more traffic. Why? Because social channels allow your target audience to discuss your products or services, get to know your brand on a personal level and interact with your business.
What Is An SEO Website?
In order to begin an SEO campaign, you must ensure that your website is optimised, which is also known as on-page SEO. The two come hand-in-hand, so through spending time during the initial stages to perfect your on-page SEO, your marketing efforts will naturally become more successful.
You may be thinking, what is an SEO website? An SEO website relates to a site that has been internally optimised to meet the latest algorithms, making it more search engine friendly. These factors are all elements that have been proven to enhance user experience, so when they are used, the bots mentioned previously will recognise that your site is of importance and, in return, reward you with a higher ranking.
Many different components go into making a website optimised for search engines, and the first to tackle should always be keywords. Sites such as Google Keyword Planner and SEMrush allow companies to track down what their ideal customer is searching for in order to find their services and/or products. Simply search the various names that can be used for your products or services, and you will be provided with a wealth of opportunities. These will then need to be incorporated into your website through a content marketing strategy.
Along with keywords, other aspects that you will need to consider for successful on-page SEO include title tags, meta descriptions and heading tags. For more information on the must-haves when it comes to on-page SEO, take a look at Search Engine Journal.
What Is SEM?
As opposed to focusing on optimisation only, SEM relates to marketing strategies that combine SEO with paid campaigns; the most common platform for this is Google AdWords. Not only this, but many businesses also include other paid advertising methods such as online listings, depending on how far their budget can stretch.
Due to the nature of SEM, this strategy offers immediate results, but as you will be paying for your campaigns, ensuring that you keep an eye out on their progress is essential. For example, if you were to create a PPC marketing strategy on Google AdWords, it will cost each time that a user clicks your ads. This means that you will need to analyse which terms your ads are showing for to ensure that you are capturing relevant searches and not wasting money. For those paying for a listing, on the other hand, you are likely to be charged a monthly fee for your advertisement to remain visible on the chosen listing site. Most listing sites offer different packages, with the most expensive offering the most visibility. This makes it ideal for smaller businesses who want to start with more affordable options and then scale up as they grow.
One of the most significant benefits of SEM strategies is that they offer more flexibility if you want to test different methods. Ads can be turned off if they do not appear to be working and altered whenever you wish to meet demand. You will also be able to change what audiences you target, which pages on your site the ads direct to and how much money you want to spend pushing each area.
What Is The Main Difference Between SEO and SEM?
Now that you are familiarised with the different marketing methods available to your business, you may be wondering what is the main difference between SEO and SEM? This answer is straightforward, and you may have guessed from the explanations above – SEO is an organic strategy, whereas SEM is a paid strategy. Although both are designed to help your website appear in search results, drive traffic, and target your keywords, choosing which one you use will depend on many factors, such as the size of your business and your budget.
It is important to keep in mind that successful SEO is a process, which means that SEM will offer you faster results. For a new start-up business, it may be beneficial to trial paid ads to promote your brand while you work on boosting your SEO. When you begin to attract customers, you can then lower the amount spent on ads and focus more time on organic ranking. Depending on the geographical location, how long your SEO will take to begin generating a return will slightly differ. If you opt for local SEO targeting only your local areas, this will inevitably be quicker than national SEO, which is ideal for those who do not want to be tied down to a specific location.
Once established, many businesses opt for a combination of both strategies, opting for ongoing SEO services but then running paid ads during quieter periods or to push a new product or service.
Maximise Your Brand Exposure Through Digital Marketing!
Regardless of the marketing strategy you opt for, whether this is SEO only or a combination of campaigns through SEM, consistency will be key. It is far more effective to spread your marketing efforts over a period of time than attempting to complete everything in one day, for example. Search engines favour consistency as it allows them to recognise you as a business that continues to provide helpful information to its users. Although it may seem tedious in the initial stages, we promise it will be worth the extra time spent!