You may not expect a professional web designer to say this, but DIY web design does have its place. However, when building business websites, the hidden costs of DIY web design are far higher than most people think.
As a small business owner, it can be tempting to ignore these costs. They will still affect you, though — and can easily cost you more than engaging a professional web designer. So consider them carefully before falling for the hype about DIY web design systems.
When To Consider DIY Web Design
If you don’t aim to make money from your website, any money spent on it is pure cost. So then it’s wise to minimise that cost, and doing so has little impact.
However, the situation for any kind of commercial site is completely different.… Read the rest
Avoid website project planning headaches:
Building a website can be a great investment for almost any business — and vital for most. Yet nothing is as simple as it seems. Every website project can be put at risk by common mistakes.
Knowing these basic web design project pitfalls helps you avoid them. Still, they’re common because they aren’t always obvious. So I thought I’d list the main ones here.
1. Delayed Decisions
It’s easy to put off big decisions, telling ourselves we need to think them over. However, we then rarely get around to doing so.
We forget 70% of new information within a day. So the secret to success is getting started before that happens. Successful people make decisions when the information is fresh in their minds.… Read the rest
Social media is a vital marketing tool for small businesses because entry fees are low, and the potential reach is high. Many articles focus on how social media helps small businesses grow by increasing brand awareness.
That’s all very well, but how can social media drive sales?
Well, social ads are an obvious answer — but thankfully, not the only answer.
Popular Social Media Sales Strategies
In fact, a recent review of key social media marketing stats noted seven popular ways that companies use social media to drive sales:
- 48% of firms said being responsive encourages customers to buy
- 46% find that offering promotions helps to drive sales
- 42% drive sales by providing educational content (aka “content marketing”)
- 35% use exclusive content to encourage purchases
- 28% reported using interesting visuals increased sales
- 27% said it helped to provide “behind the scenes” content
- 26% find being funny can improve sales
All of these tactics also improve customer engagement with your brand and long-term loyalty.… Read the rest
Local SEO helps your site to rank for local keywords, like “dentist Cardiff” or “vet Bristol”. Good local SEO can get you featured in both the organic (unpaid) search results and the “map pack” that appears above them. That’s obviously good for sales. So how can you master local SEO?
Well, it differs from non-local (aka “national”) SEO, because for local searches, search engines need to be confident of your firm’s location. Your online reputation matters a lot more, too. So whilst good on-site SEO and backlinks are still as vital as for normal SEO, citations and reviews are the keys to good local search positioning.
Unfortunately, both citations and reviews have common pitfalls that can easily undermine your rankings.
Citation Consistency for Local SEO
Citations are places that mention your company, even if they don’t provide a link.… Read the rest
All businesses today should recognise the importance of having an effective cybersecurity policy in place. Data breaches seem to be constantly in the news. Whilst those tend to be high-profile cases like TalkTalk and British Airways, small businesses frequently suffer data breaches too. In recent years, Virtual Private Networks (“VPNs”) have become quite common for home use — so can a VPN improve small business cybersecurity?
Well, yes — but let’s cover the basics before examining the business benefits of a VPN.
What is a VPN?
A VPN is a private network (within the public internet) that enhances your online privacy by:
- Giving you a temporary IP address when you go online
- Encrypting data transfers between your computer and other online resources
- Wrapping that data inside other data to keep it even more private (called “tunneling” or “encapsulation”)
An IP address is the numeric address of your computer on the internet.… Read the rest
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Video marketing has become very popular in recent years. Yet there’s no denying that it’s a bit more complex than text or image ads. So if you’re wondering whether it’s worth the effort, the infographic below explains why your business needs video marketing in 2019. Click on the image for a full-size version.
…and if you still assume video marketing must be complex and costly, scroll down to see how I can make it easier than you think!
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Video Marketing for Small Businesses
Getting started with video marketing in 2019 doesn’t have to be complex. There are many ways you can benefit from it without even getting a video camera out.
… Read the rest
Customers love video, but do you know what they love even more? Being in control. So today I’m proud to launch another new service — interactive video marketing for small businesses!
Ask your audience what they want to see. Then offer it to them and let them respond — all in one video.
Check out the example on this page. Then read on to see how you can be one of the first to use this amazing new technology in your digital marketing.
N.B. As this is only a demo, it won’t save your email address or send you a coupon — but your video could!
How can Interactive Video Marketing help you?
Videos are incredibly popular and engaging, even without interactive elements. Inviting the user to choose their path through a series of related clips linked together by multiple-choice questions makes them even more compelling.
Marketing moves fast, but marketing myths die hard. It’s common to copy “traditional marketing wisdom” without realising that risks copying traditional marketing mistakes.
The web gives digital marketers masses of immediate audience feedback to learn from — far more than traditional marketers have ever had.
So whatever you’ve learned may well be outdated already. Times change, competitors learn and update their strategies, and marketing evolves. What worked a few years ago may not work now. Or perhaps it never worked, but was based on false, yet popular, assumptions. Yet many people still spread these myths as if they’re in the know.
Many useful lessons in marketing have been twisted by misquotes and false assumptions over the years, too. Here are seven of the top marketing myths that I still see today and why you should think twice before falling for them.… Read the rest
Planning to launch a new website for your business? There’s a lot to consider when designing a small business website. Have you thought about how its design may affect visibility on Google or how people perceive your business?
Gone are the days where a free Geocities or WordPress template could do the job for you.
The competition is tighter now, with 71% of small businesses already operating a website of their own. Your site has to stand out amidst the sea of competitors. Get started the right way with these 5 top tips to create a good small business website:
1 .On-Site SEO is a Must
First and foremost, make Search Engine Optimization a priority for everything you do on your site. Whether it’s designing how the site looks to the content you post on the pages and blog, SEO should be a part of the design philosophy.… Read the rest
Now that it’s 2019, the question on every small business’s mind is “How can I better prepare for the new year?” Taking advantage of the latest trends is an effective way to grow your business and reach a wider audience. So here are a few of the top marketing trends that you need to consider.
1. Content is still king
The growth of ad blockers has made traditional advertising tougher for small businesses. Paid ads simply aren’t as effective any more. It’s also a slow and passive form of marketing that you have little control over.
In any case, customers generally prefer to buy from people they know, like and trust. So even without an ad blocker, most people are pretty good at ignoring anything that looks like a traditional paid ad.… Read the rest