11 Tips To Building A Great Small Business Website

11 tips to building a great small business website

Whether you own a small bakery or are a freelance photographer, a great website is essential for your business’s success and growth.

A website allows potential customers to find you in their searches and creates a central location for your contact information, product list, prices, etc. Additionally, a website increases your credibility and allows you to compete with other small businesses and well-established organisations.

So, how do you create a great website for your small business?

Here are 11 tips to get you started:

1. Obtain a good domain name

Your domain name or website address is the first entry point to your site. Therefore, it must make a good first impression both for usability purposes and search engine optimisation. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a domain name:

• It should be easy to spell/ type
• Keep it as short as possible
• Avoid using numbers, symbols, and hyphens
• Use a proper domain extension. Your country code extension or .com are the best options

2. Purchase a good hosting

A web hosting provider offers the technology and services necessary for your website to be viewed on the internet.

Depending on your budget, you can choose between two routes; shared hosting or dedicated hosting. The former is cheaper, but the latter gets you a private server, so you don’t have to compete with other sites that could potentially drag down your speed.

SiteGround offer secure and scalable web hosting and they have one of the highest-rated customer care teams.

3. Make sure your website loads fast

Page speed is a critical component of your website. Websites with faster loading speed have lower bounce rates, higher rankings, and higher conversion rates.

So, how fast should your site load? Ideally, your site should load in under three seconds.

Many factors influence how long a page on your website takes to load, but luckily there are just as many solutions.

Click here for tips on how to speed up your website.

4. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly

54% of all web traffic comes from mobile devices. Therefore, you’ll be doing your business a disservice by not optimising your website for mobile devices.

Test your site on Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool to see how well it’s fairing. It will help you hone in on specific areas that need work and give you useful recommendations.

5. Keep your design simple and user-friendly

Less is more when it comes to web design.

Not only is a simple design cheaper to make and easier to fix, but it also provides a better user experience for your customers. As a result, your business will enjoy more sales and improved customer loyalty.

6. Keep your pages uncluttered

A cluttered site with too many pages and busy design elements can lead to a negative user experience, causing higher bounce rates.

Standard pages for small business websites include a home page, about us, product/service page, blog, and contact page, so remove any page that doesn’t serve a specific purpose.

Next, avoid too many links and images and use more negative space.

7. Make it easy to navigate

A well-designed website with poor navigation is of no use because users won’t be able to find the information they need. So, design an intuitive navigation system that allows users to get the pages they need with little effort. A navigation bar and search bar can help make your website easy to navigate.

8. Place your contact information above the fold

Providing contact information like your physical address, telephone number, email address, and social media pages goes a long in building credibility. But where should you place your contact information? Well, you should always put your contact information above the fold. Above the fold is the visible section of a web page that viewers see before they scroll down. It is prime real estate in web design and is best utilised by adding valuable information such as your contact details.

9. Choose a good website builder

WordPress is the most popular website builder in the world and for a good reason.

It is free, has numerous plugins to extend the functionality of your site, is easy to install and use, and has a large and active support community.

Click here for a detailed guide on how to build a website using WordPress.

10. Include a clear call to action

A call to action acts as a signpost that lets a visitor know what to do next.

You can use CTAs to persuade visitors to fill out submission forms, share your content, sign up for your newsletter, read more of your content, shop your products, or get in touch with you.

When writing a call to action, state a clear benefit and use actionable text such as “buy now” or “sign up.” Your CTA should also be short and hit the nail on the head.

11. Optimise your website for search engines

Search engine optimisation involves implementing different practices to ensure search engines index and rank your site appropriately so it ranks high on search engine results pages.

Here are a few practices you should follow to optimise your site for SEO.

• Pick a responsive website design so that your content works on all devices
• Use appropriate keywords in your pages and content
• Optimise your site for speed
• Ensure your site is secure by installing an SSL certificate
• Include internal and external links throughout your site

If you need help creating a website for your small business, contact us for a free consultation.

7 Benefits Of Blogging On Your Business Website

7 Benefits of Blogging On Your Business Website

Do you already have a blog on your website? If your answer is no, then we encourage you to create one right away.

Yes, maintaining a blog can be such a chore. With regular uploads of informative content, it is not surprising that many businesses are wondering if it is worth having a blog.

Truth is, it is totally worth it. If you know what you stand to gain, you will be happy to maintain your blog or hire someone to do just that.

Tons of marketers are already enjoying these benefits and we want to show you how to join the winning team. Without much ado, join us as we discuss the top 7 Benefits of Blogs On Business Websites. 

The easiest way to build SEO

As a business website, it is safe to assume that your number one priority is to attract traffic. To do so, you undoubtedly need to invest in search engine optimisation (SEO). This is where a blog comes in.

Your blog provides ample opportunity to build a higher SEO ranking. How? Search engines like Google prioritise informative content and search engine optimised content. You can get both by uploading quality and in-depth content on your blog.

Keywords in these blog posts will help Google rank your website better. Your SEO will also benefit from the inbound links. Linking to your website pages and related links from authority websites is a sure way to skyrocket your SEO right from your blog.

Bolsters traffic to your website

Attracting unlimited traffic is one of the top benefits of blogs. While there are tons of digital and offline strategies to attract traffic, seasoned marketers know that blogs are one of the best ways to attract traffic that fit.

It is one thing to attract traffic and it is a different thing to attract traffic that fits. Since your blog posts are tailored to a specific audience, there is a greater chance that the traffic from your blog is good leads interested in your services or products.

Additionally, with good SEO Google will rank your website on the top page, which means you get to enjoy more organic traffic without having to pay for it. Isn’t that the dream of every marketer?!

Please note, before you start writing blogs, you need to do keyword research.

Positions you as a thought leader

Do you know that putting out quality informative content does more than help you rank well on Google and other organic search engines?

Well, it does. One crucial benefit is the authority your business and website gain. With millions of websites on the world wide web, searchers have a hard time deciding who to turn to.

The rule of thumb here is to follow the person with the highest authority on the subject matter. As a thought leader, they trust that you know exactly what they need so you are in the best position to offer solutions.

How do you attain this position? It is simple. Consistently upload relevant and informative content on your website. That’s all!

Helps to build a relationship with customers

In addition to being a thought leader in the field, your customers want to know if you are human or a bot.

We always say sales are emotional. That’s a fact! If a customer can build a certain connection with your brand, they are more likely to remain loyal clients for as long as possible, provided you keep offering good services.

Your blog allows you to build this human connection with your customers and visitors. They get to see you as a human who goes through the same predicament as them. You also get to share relevant information about the business and the team. Gradually, they will come to feel like a part of the community in no time.

Aids social media marketing

Marketers are already leveraging the untapped goldmine on social media. However, one of the benefits of blogs is that they make social media marketing even more effective.

Each post on your blog can be shared easily on social media. You can give a snippet on social media and link it to your website. This enhances your social media marketing and conversion rate.

Additionally, it is smart to add options for your readers to share your blog on social media. This also goes a long way to announce your brand to a wider audience.

You can also repurpose your blog and create different types of posts for social media, a reel, an educational carousel post, an infographic etc.

Improves trust and credibility

Now they know your authority in the niche and that you are a real person, it is easy for visitors to trust you and become willing to make a purchase.

The sales funnel is getting longer by the year. By establishing trust and credibility with your blog, you are already on your way to shortening the sales cycle.

A sure way to convert leads

The ultimate goal of attracting traffic is to convert leads to repeat buyers.

As explained above, you can clearly see that your blog is one of the most effective ways to attract the right leads and easily convert them to repeat buyers.

Basically, a blog is one of your greatest strategies for lead conversion. Not having one is simply losing out to smarter marketers.

From increasing traffic to creating credibility, every smart marketer understands the benefits of blogs on business websites.

If you are too busy to maintain one, be sure to hire an expert to keep your blog relevant and up to date.

Yes, you don’t need to do it alone. Don’t hesitate to contact FOME for expert guidance on creating and maintaining your blog.

11 Popular Web Design Mistakes Businesses Should Avoid

11 Popular Web Design Mistakes Businesses Should Avoid

Want some expert advice? Beware of these web design mistakes!

Websites are invaluable to every business of the 21st century. These mistakes can destroy your marketing effort.

Now that you are ready to create your official business website, you have to choose between hiring a web designer or creating the website on your own. Either option is fine, provided the person handling the task knows the do’s and don’ts.

A lot goes into creating a professional website. It is so much more than a random template from the web. In case you don’t know it yet, you are trying to sell to a tech-savvy generation; which can easily tell apart a poorly designed website and a professional website. That means the nature of your website can either invite visitors in and increase your conversion rate or chase visitors away and destroy your bottom line.

Looking back at all the beginner mistakes we have corrected so far, my team and I decided to compile this article to help you know 11 Popular Web Design Mistakes Businesses You Should Avoid.

Clumsy and Cluttered

Anyone can quickly differentiate between a well-built website and one built by an amateur. How? Well, time has shown that most amateur sites are clumsy and clustered. An amateur would struggle to create a website that is user-intuitive and well arranged. A professional, on the other hand, understands the hierarchical trajectory of the information and just the right amount of information to put out there.

As you take on this DIY project, be sure to use the right structure and easy navigation. Create the site with the users in mind.

Poor image and multimedia quality

This sits at the top of modern-day web design mistakes because everyone thinks a smartphone is all you need. While it is common knowledge that image and multimedia are part of SEO best practices today, only a few marketers understand how to tweak this in their favour. Besides the alt text and SEO jargon, smart marketers understand that a photo can be either inviting or discouraging. The essence of having images is to catch attention, but that goal will be ultimately defeated if the image is of poor quality or totally irrelevant.

A photo that looks perfect on your phone will come out blurry when stretched across a wider screen. Therefore, if you are looking to stand out, you should invest in a good camera or get good stock images from the web. Don’t settle for just anything!

Not Mobile Compatible

Is your website designed for mobile phones? Yes, it is not enough to have a perfect desktop version. Part of the modern-day SEO best practices involves optimising your website for mobile phones. This is no surprise, though, because people have moved on from the desktop age. Today, the majority of organic traffic comes from mobile users. Therefore, you will need to make your website compatible with mobile phones so mobile users can enjoy the same experience as desktop users. This is key if you are looking to leverage this gold mine.

Adverts and pop-ups at the wrong time

True, your website is the best place to strengthen your adverts. Notwithstanding, it must be done perfectly or else it could discourage visitors. As part of the information hierarchy, we advise you to let your visitors get a warm welcome to your site before throwing ads at them.

Multiple Pop-ups

The only thing worse than getting pop-ups at the wrong time is battling with multiple pop-ups. Yet, lots of websites fall into such web design mistakes. Imagine being bombarded with multiple pop-ups as you open a web page. That is enough to discourage your visitors. Most visitors will leave immediately and others may not make it to the end of the page or the next page.

Pop-ups are great advertising tricks, however, they must be deployed properly to meet the goal. Otherwise, this advertising trick might ruin your entire marketing effort. More importantly, it is best to stick with a single pop-up per page. This is best scheduled after visitors have spent some time on your page, not immediately after they open your page.

Poor Navigation

One of the woes of a poorly designed website is poor navigation. When visitors come to your website, they expect to see an aesthetically pleasing and user-intuitive site. Nobody has the time for a complex site. If I need a manual to navigate your website, then I want no part in it.

The rule of thumb here is to go after a minimalist touch. As you explore designs, endeavour to keep the navigation as simple as can be. Your menu should be very clear for everyone to see. Additionally, the links to other pages must be clearly named and placed so visitors understand where to go without any hassle.

Slow page load

How would you deal with a slow page? Close it! That’s the answer of 9 in 10 people. A slow page will chase people off your website irrespective of the relevance of the information or the uniqueness of your product.

Long-form fields

Do you have web forms on your website? Marketers use forms for different reasons. It could be to aid communication, collect data, or facilitate booking/registration. This is very important in some industries. But it could also hamper your marketing effort if not done properly. For example, you may not mind filling out a form but that position could quickly change if the form fields are long. This is not an examination. Best keep your web forms short. Go straight to the point and make it as easy as possible.

Confusing fonts

Confusing fonts is one of the most common web design mistakes because people don’t even realise it is a mistake. It is okay to play around with palettes, images, and the likes. However, it is off-putting to use too many fonts on your website. As a professional site, people expect to see some sort of uniformity and professionalism, not a sketchy board. Whatever you do, please keep your fonts to a maximum of three. Also, note that the three fonts ought to be similar in weight. Don’t go from Calibri to Comic Sans MS.

Non-clickable Phone Numbers

Contact information is an essential part of every website, irrespective of the industry. Besides your physical address and email address, your phone number is the next most important detail in your contact information. These details foster credibility and trust. Your visitors want to know that they can easily reach you should they encounter an issue.

While having your phone number helps your website, it ought to be clickable especially for mobile users. Everyone is looking for the easiest route out. It is more convenient for mobile users to click on your phone number and call right away than write it out and then input it into their phone book.

Broken/Unclear Links

Links are used to join one page of your website to another. Visitors on a particular page can easily navigate to another page of choice by simply clicking on the right link. This enables ease of navigation and promotes a good user experience. To achieve these goals, you must ensure that the links are clearly named and working properly. Your visitors should easily tell where each link leads from the name.

Bonus Tip! Not optimised for SEO

Templates have made it super easy for anyone to create a website. However, a business website is very different from a personal website. It must be SEO-optimised to reach a wider audience. SEO is the fuel that drives content far and wide. Needless to say that poor SEO means little or no distance covered. Consequently, we strongly advise marketers to pay close attention to their website SEO – both front-end and back-end. SEO cuts across everything from the alt characters in the images and multimedia content to the web contents, responsiveness, domain name, and many more.

Expectedly, amateurs jump right into these web design mistakes all the time. Fortunately, you can completely avoid them with the aforementioned tips. Good luck!

7 Killer Ways To Increase The Hype For Your Website Launch

7 Killer Ways to Increase the Hype for Your Website Launch

Finally, done with your website and ready to launch? Not sure how to create the hype for your website launch?

Get in here, let’s have a quick chat!

Hi there and welcome to our blog!

Since you’re here, I will go out on a limb and say you already know the vital role a website plays in 21st-century business. Terrific!

But do you know creating a buzz around your website launch is just as important?

Here is why?

Take Apple for example, before each product drops, they announce several months earlier building up suspense and drawing the attention of people from around the world. When the said product eventually drops, people are already prepared and eager to buy it. Besides being a luxury product, this is the secondary reason Apple’s products sell out as soon as they drop.

Yes, you might not sell out like Apple in the first week. Of course, that’s a much bigger brand. But you get to enjoy more traffic when you create a buzz around the launch. A good marketing strategy smart marketers should consider.

How To Increase the Hype for Your Website Launch

Note: Stay tuned to get a bonus at the end of the article

Paid Ads Work Magic

Gaining massive traffic with paid ads is no news to digital marketers. However, only a few marketers understand the need to run paid ads for the upcoming launch. Truth is, you get the same result.

By running a few ads for your upcoming website launch, you get to reach a much larger audience. This already escalates the hype for your new website.

Launch Your Website During the Week

Which would you favour – week launch or weekend launch? It depends on your target audience though. But experts push for a week launch.

This is because statistics show people use their phones more during the week. This makes it a good time to get the attention of your target audience.

Use a Countdown Timer

Countdown timers are just as effective for creating hype for your website launch as they are during product marketing. This builds anticipation while also serving as a subtle reminder.

As with product marketing, you can do this across all your sites – website and social media pages.

The goal is to get people pumped!

Make Freebies Available

Giveaways are one of the oldest tricks in the book. This is a good avenue to attract traffic to your website and also increases your audience.

You can organize this through a referral program. Be sure to use an item or service from your brand. That way you are furthering your reach.

As more people jump on the giveaway offer, you get a new ‘marketer’ who is happy and willing to bring in new ‘marketers.’ See how the chain grows?!

Use Video-hype 

Video marketing once again shows its superiority through this tip. Typically, experts advise marketers to utilize both videos and images in their digital marketing strategies. This same principle applies to creating a buzz for your launch.

Videos are known to promote engagement. Consequently, creating a hype video for your next website launch will go a long way to boost the buzz better than other channels.

Draw More Attention with Social Media

Social media is a great advertising tool today. If used properly, you can create as much hype for your website launch as you want. With social media, you can share details of the launch. Be sure to give the information in bits to keep them hooked for more. They get to wait for the pieces to come together.

You can leverage different social media platforms to introduce a sneak peek of what you have cooking behind the scene.

Bonus: Leverage Your Existing Customer Base

Love it or loathe it, your customer base is your strongest network. It is easier to turn happy loyal customers into marketers than strangers. Leverage this goldmine by sharing special information with this group. This will make them feel like a part of the community and even bolster their commitment to sharing the info.

Building hype for your website launch is a great opportunity to promote your website on social media and other channels. One more opportunity to attract massive traffic to your site. Make your launch day special with these 7 tips.

Let us know which of the reasons above piqued your interest. For further information, check our eBooks or simply contact us!

© FOME Agency

Must Have Online Tools For Small Businesses

13 Must have online tools for small businesses

Starting or running a small business can be quite a lot of work, having to deal with processes, advertising, communicating with clients and still running a business. Thankfully there are some online tools that can help make running a business smoother and more productive. Below is a list of tools every small business must have:

Canva

Canva is one of our favourite tools to use. It is a simplified tool for graphic design and can be used to create templates for things such as social media publications, logos, presentations, eBooks, flyers and more. It makes use of a simple UI format, while also providing access to more than a million graphics, vectors, fonts and photographs. It is a perfect tool for print and web media graphics and design.

Canva

Trello

Trello can be described as a collaborative tool which helps to organise a business’s projects to boards. With Trello, you are able to know what part of the project is being worked on, the individual working on it and the location of an integral file of the project. Think of Trello as a digital post-it board, with all the information everyone associated with a project needs to know.

Trello

MailChimp

MailChimp is a web-powered marketing platform which helps you and your business manage and communicate with your customers, clients and other parties. It has been designed to have a clear focus on the best communication practices, wonderfully designed campaigns, as well as commanding data analysis.

MailChimp

WordPress

WordPress is a content management system, which at its centre is the most seamless and widespread method used to create and own a blog or a website. It is so widespread that more than 34% of the websites live on the internet are powered by WordPress.

WordPress

Theme Forest

Speaking of WordPress, ThemeForest is a platform that enables users to seamlessly purchase or sell CMS or WordPress themes. Think of it like the digital superstore of themes. You can purchase themes to design your business’s website, making it attractive to visitors and potential customers. It is also a great platform that enables designers to make money by selling their templates and themes.

Themeforest

Hootsuite

With the way social media is able to provide a greater reach to customers and influence their decision making, it is no surprise that there are numerous tools to take advantage of that. Hootsuite is one of the best social media management tools. It enables you to schedule posts to any social media platform (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, WordPress, Instagram and more) from one application. With this tool, you can effectively manage your resources and time while still being active on social media.

Hootsuite

Outlook

Microsoft’s Outlook is the most favoured email system that businesses use to access their emails. Not only is it able to access email, but it is also able to have your business’s contacts, task management and calendar under one tool. It is a great tool for a business to have as it has all the essential communication functionalities that all businesses need to prosper in one tool.

Outlook

WhatsApp

Install WhatsApp on your desktop – WhatsApp is the most used communication application with a registered 1.5 billion users. With that number of users, it is only right that a business taps into that market by using this medium. Considering that it started as a mobile application, it now has a desktop plugin which is perfect for businesses to use.

Whatsapp

Free Images

Free Images – when it comes to advertising or marketing a business, with so many things grabbing customers attention, it pays for a business to stand out. And what other way to stand out than visuals, pictures can be a great medium to attract customers to your business. However, there are repercussions for simply downloading an image from the internet and using without approval or a license. Thankfully, businesses can make use of free images to advertise their businesses. Sites like unsplash.com, Pexels, Pixabay and Flickr provide license-free images for anyone to use.

Pexels

Google Suite

The G Suite has been designed by Google to help small businesses grow in a cost-effective yet quicker manner. G Suite contains applications like Gmail, Calendar, Hangout, Drive, Vault and Google+. These are basically all the programs that a business would need to operate. The only difference is that Google has been able to update them and bring them under one suite and payment plan.

GSuite

We Transfer

It is a cloud-based service that lets you transfer computer files. There are times when you need to transfer a large file to a staff member in the field WeTransfer comes in. It allows you to send files as large as 2 GB for free. There is also a premium “Plus” option which lets users send around 20GB in one session.

WeTransfer

Camcard

This is one of the most useful apps a business can use. It can be used to exchange and manage business cards, making it the perfect tool for small businesses, entrepreneurs, marketing experts and business developers.

Camcard

Fiverr

This site is the biggest freelance marketplace, where businesses of all types can outsource particular jobs to expert freelances, leaving them to grow a successful business.

Fiverr
Photo Credit: https://www.netted.net

Skype

Skype is a useful chat platform, which even comes with business features. It supports HD video-conferencing for 250 people, in addition to persistent chat and even topic-based discussions that persist even after all of the active have left. Consumer Skype is free, but lacks these functionalities, whereas if you like to use Skype for Business is paid and comes with enterprise support.

SkypeZoom

With its cloud platform for audio and video conferencing, Zoom is definitely a tool to watch out for in enterprise video communication. It can be used across room systems, mobile devices and desktops, offering easy and effective communication in offices, classrooms, you name it.

Zoom

How To Tell That You Need A New Website

How to tell that you need a new website

Have you ever looked at your website and wondered – “Is this website good enough for what I need? Will it help me achieve my business goals?”

In our day and age, every business owner is fully aware that running a successful business without the back-up of a solid online presence is nigh impossible. And, sooner or later, everyone invests in a website of their own. But just how effective is the website that you’re working on right now? How well does it convey your company’s mission and vision to your potential clients, landing on your homepage? Does it properly communicate the value that they’d get out of doing business with you?

Sadly, a lot of websites fail to tick a lot of necessary checkboxes, turning from an asset into a resource sink. But how can you tell that your business needs a new website? Here are the four main marks that each and every business-related website needs to hit:

  • Conversion Rates
  • Bounce Rates
  • Mobile Optimisation
  • Pride

Conversion rates

Ultimately, this is what every business website is about. No matter how well-optimised or professionally designed your website is, if it’s not converting then it isn’t doing its job.

Your conversion rate is mostly dependent on the following factors:

  • Traffic sources
  • Niche
  • Call to action

Getting traffic is great but traffic alone doesn’t cut it.

If you are getting a lot of traffic, be it by virtue of search engine optimisation, social media marketing, or paid advertisements, you can generally tell that your website is doing well. But this won’t translate to business success unless those visitors turn into leads.

If your website isn’t generating enough leads for the amount of traffic that it’s getting, this means that something is wrong – it’s either unappealing and unclear or difficult to navigate. Remember – just because your website looks good in your eyes, doesn’t necessarily mean that it appeals to your potential customers! Just as everything else in the business field, your site must be built with what your customer wants, needs and likes.

Worse yet, some websites have no tracking implementations whatsoever. This simple rookie mistake prevents business owners from being able to evaluate the performance of their online asset, invalidating almost all digital marketing efforts.

Bounce Rates

Once visitors find your website and land on your homepage, you want them to stick around for as long as possible, explore your website, and ideally – get in touch with you. The longer they stay on your site the better, as this gives your digital assets more time to do their job. If your visitors are leaving quickly, however, it means that you’ve got a problem on your hands.

If visitors are leaving your website without bothering to check at least one additional page on their way out, this can mean that something is really wrong. The most common reasons for a high bounce rate are:

  • Slow page loading times – nobody is going to want to wait for your page to load for longer than a second or two, no matter how pretty it is!
  • Inadequate internal linking – you want the pages that rank the best in Google to point your visitors towards the most exciting parts of your website!
  • Bad layouts & design – as noted above, it is crucial that your website is appealing to the eyes of your potential customer!
  • Lack of clarity – in business, everything needs to be crystal clear and easy to understand!
  • Lack of mobile optimisation – a huge percentage of people browse the internet from their phones and tablets. If your website does not work well with mobile devices, you’re missing out on a significant portion of potential clients!

Mobile Optimisation

The mobile optimisation “craze” has long since passed, but that doesn’t mean you can afford to ignore mobile browsing! Digital marketers have simply stopped talking about it as much because it’s now one of the baseline trends in website development. If you’ve got a website in 2019, it simply has to be completely mobile-friendly, there’s no way around it. As a matter of fact, if you were to do a bit of mobile browsing yourself, you’d be hard-pressed to find a website that doesn’t tick this checkbox!

Not only is mobile friendliness crucial for user experience, but it is also of vital importance for ranking well on Google search results! That’s because Google wants users to be as comfortable as possible during their online journeys and if your website isn’t capable of providing them with an adequate experience, it will get penalised by the algorithms!

So if your website isn’t optimised for mobile devices, you’re not just losing out on conversions, but on traffic as well!

But mobile friendliness goes much deeper than the mere basic functionality tests, presented by Google. As we mentioned above, user experience is the cornerstone of every successful business website. So if your Google Analytics is showing worse conversions for mobile than for desktop, you might want to focus on the experience of your users a tad more. Mobile experience encompasses everything from the design and position of your menus, buttons, and other interactive elements, all the way to functionality implementations like user accounts, logins and shopping options.

Your website should fill you with pride!

If at any point in time you feel like your website isn’t a worthy representation of your business, if you feel uncomfortable with the idea that important clients will have to go through your website, that’s a huge red flag.

Remember – your website is your representative in the online world, the digital face of your business. It should be your pride and joy, a testament to your confidence and credibility. So, if you’re embarrassed by it, you should consider making changes.

If you think that you might need a new website, don’t hesitate to send a link our way, for a complimentary no-strings-attached consultation!

Gdpr

What your small business needs to know about getting ready for GDPR

The introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on Friday May 25th 2018 is set to be one of the most important events affecting businesses this year.

GDPR will change data security and storage rules, giving consumers more rights than ever before over how organisations use their personal information, including their contact details, as well as things like their website URLs.

Businesses need to spend the next few months making sure they know exactly what personal data they have on file, where it is stored and who has access to it, letting their clients and customers know this information and giving them the choice to opt out of having their data stored by the company.

If someone wants to know more about what data you have on them or wants it deleted, your business will be legally required to respond accordingly, or face a significant financial penalty – not to mention potential reputational damage as well.

Basically, GDPR is all about improving data transparency and security and giving more power to the consumer over how their personal information is used.

What if I’ve not started preparing for GDPR yet?

If your business hasn’t started its GDPR preparations yet, don’t worry, you’re not alone.

According to recent research from Mailjet, two-thirds of small firms aren’t yet compliant with GDPR, and will need to spend the next few months preparing. Among new businesses, this figure rose to 91 per cent.

Depending on the nature of your business, the volume of work you’ll need to do in order to get ready for the legislation will vary. Everything from old CVs you’ve got on file to your marketing database and past client information will need to be audited ahead of GDPR’s arrival – even those boxes full of paperwork in the store cupboard that have been lying there for years untouched.

A report from Cleardata found that as many as 66 per cent of small businesses in the UK have no proper document management strategy at present, and could be putting themselves at risk of GDPR-related fines as a result. A total of 17 per cent of survey respondents even admitted to storing old paperwork in a staff member’s garage or shed – a serious data security risk.

As David Bryce, managing director of Cleardata, explained: “This can leave vital and sensitive information open to theft and damage and also make it difficult to find quickly if needed for legal or data compliance purposes.”

Regardless of what your approach to data storage has been in the past, the upcoming arrival of GDPR presents an opportunity to sort through everything and make sure you have the correct permissions for the data you do have on file.

How long will preparing for GDPR take?

Getting ready for GDPR will require investment of time and resources, but it’s important to spend that time now, rather than risk a fine for non-compliance further down the line and to prevent any more time from being wasted.

Research from Senzing predicts that unprepared businesses could end up spending up to 172 hours a month carrying out data searches once the legislation comes in if they aren’t investing time now in bringing their data in line with GDPR.

However, some companies will be required to appoint a data protection officer under the legislation, so they will be the main contact responsible for ensuring compliance, which should help to ease some of the burden on the rest of the organisation and its staff.

Source:

https://smallbusiness.co.uk/security-risk-smes-hoard-paperwork-2542377/

https://smallbusiness.co.uk/start-ups-data-compliant-gdpr-2542417/

https://www.theaccountancy.co.uk/articles/66-businesses-risk-due-paperwork-storage-13062.html

https://smallbusiness.co.uk/companies-spend-hours-gdpr-data-searches-2542481/

https://www.itproportal.com/news/businesses-underestimating-the-scope-of-change-gdpr-brings/

Online Reputation Management

Why online reputation management is crucial for your business

The internet can enhance or damage your reputation, which means it crucial to have a management plan in place.

You can spend years working hard to build your business from the ground up and put in thousands of hours cultivating a strong brand, only to have your reputation tarnished online by one or two customers that have had bad experiences.

In this modern day, it isn’t only competitors that you need to worry about, as any person with access to the internet can throw mud that sticks. This is where the importance of online reputation management comes in.

What is online reputation management?

This term doesn’t refer to public relations or just monitoring how your brand is discussed on social media. It means controlling what appears when you or a customer enters your company name into a search engine. If your management plan proves to be effective, then the top results will be positive, while the not-so-good content is pushed down to the bottom.

No matter what size your business is or what customer demographic you are trying to attract, there will be people talking about you online. Whether this is tweeting about your latest product, posting a review on Facebook about their experience or leaving a comment on your blog – the internet will be awash with opinions about your brand.

While negative content can be damaging, a positive digital reputation can lead to significant opportunities for your business. This means you should be doing everything possible to make your online image shine.

Where do you start?

The first step is quite simple: put your company’s name into Google and see what pops up. This will help you get a feeling for how well your brand is doing and what action you need to take, if any.

Once you the website has populated the search results, you need to figure out what category your Google rank and online reputation fits under.

What’s your rank?

Concentrating on the first page of results only – as it’s estimated that 93 per cent of users don’t click past this – figure out whether the results negative, positive, completely irrelevant or not about you at all.

Obviously, mostly negative content is the worst-case scenario, as this is how you are represented online. The rise of social media means that just one or two bad reviews, a false accusation or angry comments from former employees can push you into this category. Irrelevant results neither help or hinder your business, as they are either outdated or completely inconsequential. You don’t really want to be in this category, as it does nothing for you.

If your results are about someone or something else, another company or individual’s bad reputation could be tarnishing yours. Positive and relevant results is the best case scenario and means that whenever an existing or potential customer searches for you they find favourable and well-branded content.

Bringing in the professionals

As with most things in life, there is someone out there that can do a professional job for you. Wading through search results can be time-consuming and, sometimes, disheartening if you keep coming across negative content. A firm that specialises in this field will have an army of engineers working for them to fix or enhance your online reputation. An expert will be able to make sure that what you want customer’s to see dominates your online profile, rather than it being list among negative or irrelevant content.

If you need help with online reputation management, please get in touch with our team today for further informationa and advise.

© Fast Online Marketing Experts

10 Reasons why social media is important for your business

10 Reasons why social media is important for your business

When you want to be sure that you are able to take your business to the next level, it is extremely important that you embrace social media. We live in a time in which people are finding ways to harness the magic of the internet and hard work to make six figures or even millions from their garages and home offices, in their pyjamas! Believe it or not, the internet is still very much in its infancy. One thing is for sure — the next evolution of the internet rests with social media. If you want to be part of the future and harness the power of the internet for your business, consider these ten reasons why social media is important to your business efforts.

#1: This is where your audience lives

Everyone is on their phone, tablet or other device for many hours every day. It is rare for a person today to not be locked into social media any given day, through much of the way. Since this is quite literally where your audience lives, you need to be able to reach out to them by also taking part in social media.

#2: In most cases, it provides free advertising

Since this is where the eyeballs are, hash tags, pictures, videos and social media posts provide free advertising. Virtually all social media platforms are completely free, so you can’t beat this level of free advertising.

#3: This provides you valuable information about the marketplace

You can think of social media as a laboratory that lets you study the subjects. You can study how people use it, how they communicate and what they care about and talk about on social media, without having to pay for this research.

#4: Social Media is SEO friendly

Since search engine optimization is king, you will need to link to your page and use social media to increase your web presence.

#5: Thisis an easy and practical way to increase viewership

By making posts that contain share tabs, it is easy for people to spread the word about your business.

#6: You have the potential to go viral

Going viral is considered the gold mine of social media. If anything about your business spreads like wildfire, you can count on great attention that you can capitalize on.

#7: The networking potential is immense

Since everyone is on social media, this also means business owners. You can use it as a platform to network with other people in your field.

#8: It provides free value to future paying customers

By putting the word out about your business, you will provide yourself the opportunity to give people “Free samples” of what you do. These social media followers can eventually become long-time customers.

#9: It is excellent for product launches

By sending the word out about your information on social media, you have the potential for intricate product launch campaigns that are known to be wildly successful.

#10: You can buy efficient ads

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are now selling ad space that gets you plenty of viewership with little effort.

Consider these ten points and use them in order to make the most of your business presence.

© Fast Online Marketing Experts