A marketing consultant is an external advisor that can help a business strategise and implement the strategy to help the business grow. With over 70 million blog posts being written every month on the WordPress platform it’s never been a better time to consult with someone who can push your business in the right direction.
Sometimes marketing consultants get a bad rap as your staff can feel demoralised because of the companies choose to hire external help. This shouldn’t be the case though because marketing consultants are usually hired to help with companies expand on what they have rather than replace the existing staff.
In this article, we will take a look at what a marketing consultant does and why you would consider hiring one for your business.
When should you hire a marketing consultant?
You should hire a marketing consultant if you have no marketers on your staff and you’re looking to grow your business. Or you could be a larger company that has a marketing department that either needs a specialised skill or needs another pair of eyes to direct the company in the right direction.
As an SEO consultant we are often hired by clients to improve organic traffic and create a content marketing strategy and then implement it. We then make adjustments to this strategy as the campaign develops.
Having an SEO expert in-house could help your business grow but you would need to hire a technical SEO expert, an On-Page SEO expert, a link builder and a content marketer, all of which can become expensive. On the other hand, you can outsource all of the above to a marketing consultancy (like us) and get the job done without having to hire an entire team.
A marketing consultant is also useful to provide your business with a fresh pair of eyes and unlike your staff members who could be frightened to speak out in fear of losing their jobs, a marketing consultant wouldn’t have any issues telling you where you are going wrong and what you can do to improve your business.
A marketing consultant also allows you to concentrate on everyday tasks of running the business while the consultant works in the background marketing your business.
Most businesses hire us as their SEO agency because they know we have a good track record of increasing other companies organic traffic because of this they don’t have to worry about their website or their marketing which frees up more time for them to run their business.
What skills should a marketing consultant have?
A marketing consultant should have a wide variety of skills ranging from technical skills to people management. A consultant should have an analytical brain so they can break down and reverse engineer your competitor’s marketing campaigns while using this knowledge to build a better campaign.
You will also find that many marketing consultants specialise in different areas or niches. Some consultants may simply work with real estate clients while other consultants such as ourselves only consult and implement organic SEO campaigns for local companies.
You may find some consultants that specialise in a wide range of digital marketing services such as social media, PPC, SEO and PR but in our experience, you would be better off hiring a specialist. All of the above skills are very difficult to master so finding a consultant that has mastered all of them is going to be next to impossible.
What does an internet marketing consultant do?
Typical responsibilities of an internet marketing consultant could be to identify ways of engaging with past and present customers, auditing your existing marketing collateral and implementing any changes as needed.
Internet marketing consultants may also be responsible for running social media campaigns, pay per click advertising campaigns and improving the visibility of a website through organic SEO services.
A marketing consultant can help with tasks that you may not even have thought of, a seasoned consultant can act as a trusty advisor and help you with the right targetting for your business, your story and help you with telling that story.
As mentioned above there are many avenues that a marketing consultant can take so the roles can be very different depending on the skills of the consultant, but generally, they should have a specialised skill set that makes them valuable to your team.
What is a career in marketing consulting like?
A career of a marketing consultant can differ depending on the role of the consultant. From personal experience, I can say that a career as a marketing consultant can be challenging but very rewarding. During my career, I have worked with some amazing companies and have produced amazing results for them which is a great reward in its self.
There have also been times when I’ve wanted to pull my hair out and scream at the top of my voice out of frustration. I suppose this is the same as any other job, but as a marketing consultant, there’s nothing better than changing a person’s business for the better.
One of our marketing clients was making less than £20,000 a year before hiring us to help them with their organic traffic, 2 years later that client is still with us and it’s common for them to hit £50,000 in a month.
Knowing that you have had a massive effect on a business and the people who own that business is an amazing thing and it’s what keeps our team motivated to succeed for our clients.
If you are considering a career as a marketing consultant, I would highly recommend going to work for someone else first so you can learn how your industry works before going out alone. You may also want to go to college/university to get a formal education in the subject as this may help when applying for jobs later on before going out on your own.
The staff here at Weeare all have bachelor degrees in development, marketing and design. Without these degrees, it would have been very difficult to get our foot in the door to work for others before creating this digital marketing agency.
Need to hire a marketing consultant?
If your business needs help with improving its organic website traffic, our organic SEO marketing consultants can help, all you need to do is get in touch with us, tell us who you are and what you do (along with your current website) and we can provide you with a free SEO audit.
If your embarking on an inbound marketing campaign one of the first steps you will have to take is to know who you are marketing to. Otherwise, you end up targeting businesses that have no interests in your product.
For example, if we were to run an inbound marketing campaign for our link building services we would have to come up with a plan to find out who needs this service, how much they typically spend on advertising, their company size and much more.
When you start to build this picture this is known as a buyer persona.
Industry surveys are a great place to start with a buyer persona. For example, in the Self Storage industry, you can find surveys that outline the average age of a customer, their marital status, how far they are willing to travel to go to a storage location and much more. All of this could then be used in a storage companies lead generation process.
Creating buyer personas if you have never made one can be difficult and if you have no idea who you want to market to, we have put together a list of questions you can ask yourself to create a buyer persona for your product/service.
What industry does your ideal client work in?
As we are an SEO agency we primarily offer ecommerce SEO services to companies with 10+ staff and doing £50,000 to £100,000 in sales per month. For you, this could be landscapers, builders, doctors, dentists and so on. You should also take this a step further if they specialise in their area.
Your ideal client could be in the cosmetic industry and specialises in porcelain veneers for 25-40-year-olds.
What is the size of their company?
Knowing the size of a company can help filter the right clients to your offer, for example at our company we know that our services, in general, are going to be too expensive for a 1 person sole trader so therefor we wouldn’t target sole traders with our marketing.
We also know that in our field of SEO things change very quickly so we have to make decisions at the same speed, and working with a company with 500+ employees would be very difficult to work with so we wouldn’t target them either.
What is the person’s job role?
Knowing the person’s job role who you are going to target will allow you to get your messaging right when creating the content for them or for when you reach out with outbound marketing.
If you sell a technical product you may want to target the CTO of a company while if you are selling a product that can help the sales team reduce costs and improve their performance you may want to target the sales manager.
Knowing the person’s job role will also help you when creating your content, if you are targeting lower-level staff you may need to create more in-depth content that handholds them a little while on the other hand if you’re targeting a higher level of staff you may not need to educate them as much on your product.
How is success measured?
For your marketing to be successful you are going to need to know how success is measured in that person’s eyes. The CTO of a company would be interested in your product if it helped them take advantage of new technology to improve their bottom line, they may not be interested in a service that helps retain employees.
At Weeare, success is measured in organic traffic gains for our clients, if a service was pitched towards us that could improve our client’s organic traffic we would be all ears, but if we were pitched on a new app design it wouldn’t make much sense to us and wouldn’t be a good fit.
What does their workday look like?
Knowing how often the person works, the time they work and where they work from can help when crafting a message or looking for places to advertise from.
If you know your product is a good fit for C level executives who like to spend their weekends at golf clubs or health spas maybe you could buy advertising space on the electronic boards within health clubs.
What challenges do they face?
The success of a business depends on the problem it solves and how it goes about solving that problem.
For your product/service to work, you need to go into detail on what problems your potential customers face and what it makes them feel like.
When you understand the personas challenges and how it makes them feel you can then target your marketing and your product around that.
With us, we know that our clients generally have hired SEO agencies in the past who haven’t produced results for them and they had no idea what they had done for them. As a result of this, part of our marketing is to explain our entire process and how the customer is kept in the loop throughout with a project tracker where they can see the work that has been done and is in the process of being complete.
Without knowing this was important to our clients we wouldn’t have built this tracker.
What websites or blogs do they read?
Finding out what websites they visit or blogs they read can help with your marketing because you know where they hang out. A dentist may read other dental blogs and if you wrote a piece on that blog around a subject they cared about such as how to get more Invisalign clients you could have a client in the making.
What social channels do they use?
Social media marketing is a huge part of a business and knowing where your clients hang out could save you months of frustration. If you know your clients hang out on LinkedIn then it makes sense to focus your marketing efforts on building your LinkedIn profile rather than making Tik Tok videos or posting 4 times a day on Instagram.
Problems with Personas
We believe that buyer personas are of value, but they do have their problems too. We interviewed 50 of our clients and found that 84% (42) of them built their buyer personas from assumptions rather than data from speaking to past clients.
We would recommend using data rather than assumptions, but this can be a next to impossible task.
Buyer personas are a useful tool when marketing your business and while they are useful it’s important to realise that they are just a tool and common sense should still be used.
People are different and your ideal buyer persona won’t match them 100%, so if your persona tells you they should act in one way but they don’t this is fine and you shouldn’t panic or cut off the sale.
You can alter your buyer persona as your business grows too and overtime you will have a better understanding of who your ideal customer is.
I’m sure you will agree it can be very difficult to choose someone to create a dental website for your business. Some may even say it’s as excruciating as toothache (I’ll stop the jokes here).
Or is it?
There are a few different options when it comes to having a dental website made for your business.
In this post, I will tell you exactly what you will need to know in order to get the best deal for your budget.
What does a dental website cost?
No one in life likes paying more than they have to for a service, I certainly don’t.
Web design however can be a difficult business to understand. You can get websites that cost nothing at all, and you can get websites that cost £100,000+
Another difficulty you face is that you would assume that the more expensive the web design the better the quality, but in a lot of cases you would be wrong.
But don’t worry, by the end of this blog you will have enough information to know what step to take next to get a new website for your dental business.
What is the average dental website design price?
At the basic level, you can set up a dental website for less than £100. You could hire a freelancer from India and they will gladly put together a website that will look ok, and it will allow your visitors to find the information they need if they know the address of your website.
The problem with the above is that in my experience low paid developers don’t write very good code. Now I’m sure there are plenty of developers out there who would love to prove me wrong, but in my experience, you get what you pay for.
Low paid developers write low-quality code. The code they write is quite sloppy and what that means to you is that the website will load slower than it should.
A slow website is not great for your customers and Google will penalise your website for being slow and can rank your competitors above you for this reason alone.
If you’re a legitimate practice and want to increase your business do not hire a low-paid developer.
Freelance website design for dentists
If your budget is limited but you still want a good website for your dental business then a freelancer can be a good choice. Before starting Weeare I freelanced for many years picking up some vital skills along the way.
I personally know some very good freelance designers and developers.
The cost of a Freelance developer can range vastly. Some prices which I have seen over the years for freelance website designers would be:
– £700 for a small site (Just starting out)
– £1000 – £1500 (2-3 years experience)
– £2500+ (5+ years experience)
If you do think that your budget won’t stretch more than £2500 then a freelancer could be a great choice (but don’t make up your mind just yet) for your dental website, just make sure to check out their past work and customer testimonials so that you shouldn’t get any nasty surprises.
What do dental websites cost if they are made by a small agency?
The next level up from a standalone freelancer is a small agency.
A small agency usually employs a few members of staff that work in many different areas such as design, development and marketing.
A small agency could be a good choice for your dental practice if you want to keep everything under one roof. For example, if you were going to hire a freelancer like above you may need to hire 2 freelancers, one to design and one to develop your website, and additionally, you may want to hire a third to help you market your website.
If the above sounds a bit of a hassle then that is where an agency comes in. A small agency such as Weeare (shameless plug) can help you stay organised by having a dedicated account manager, that person would then be your point of contact all throughout the service. This helps you focus on your business without having the worry of dealing with many different people.
The typical cost of a dental website from a small design agency would be around £3000 – £7000.
Dental website design cost vs. Goals
Dental web design costs ultimately are going to be dependant on the level of service you require, the skills of your marketing consultants, and the goals that you want your new dental website to achieve.
Take two different dental practices for instance and compare their websites.
Dental practice number 1 is a dentist that has been around for 15 years and doesn’t have much room to grow any bigger. For dental practice number, one patient acquisition may not be its number one goal.
Dental practice number 1 may want to simply upsell to their current patients. For this, you would want your website to be designed in such a way which captures their current client’s details and then market to these people via email marketing.
The web design cost of dental practice number 1 would be around £3000 – £4000.
Dental practice number 2 however maybe a brand new practice. Their focus would be on acquiring new patients. The web design costs of dental practice number 2 would be much different.
Dental practice number 2 would need a website to be designed to acquire new patients and therefore the site would be designed in a different way. For example, they may want to incorporate a blog into their website for additional search engine traffic. The website would also have to be search engine friendly and you would also need to take out additional services such as search engine marketing and social media marketing.
Search engine marketing and social media marketing would be vital in the example above and rough costs of both services can start from £1500 a month and go all the way up to £3000+ depending on your competition.
Are you underpaying for your dental website?
Look at your competitor’s websites and if they come up before yours on the search engines then there is a good chance they have spent time and money getting their websites there.
To beat your competitors in the search results you are going to need to spend more than a few hundred pounds on a website. If you don’t I wouldn’t expect to appear above these people on the search engines and I wouldn’t expect to take customers from them because they will show up before your business every time.
If you can not afford to spend a few thousand pounds on your website for your dental business then I would recommend saving that money until you can. The cost of a dental web design is well worth the investment if spent in the right place. Underpaying for your website design will probably leave you disappointed in the results.
Are you overpaying for your dental web design?
Unless you are a franchised dental business with many different locations and treatments then I wouldn’t justify in spending more than £10,000 initially on the web design.
If you are seeking dental marketing services then I also wouldn’t recommend spending more than a few thousand per month with an agency before you build a relationship with them. Start smaller and then increase your budget when you start getting results.
In my personal experience for a cost of £1500 – £2000 a month you should be the range that you should be looking to invest per month on marketing.
Our final advice on dental website design costs.
Look at your competitor’s websites and decide if they look well made. Then take into account how old the business is and how long their website been live. If the website looks well made, the business has been around for years and so has the website, chances are they will take a bit of work to outrank in the search engine results page.
You should now have a better understanding of “what do dental websites cost”. If anything in this post has you confused or you would like to talk to us then drop us an email and we will help the best we can.
If you have a project in mind and would like to find out how to get a mobile responsive and search engine friendly website for your dental practice please feel free to contact us.
Free website builders are quite popular these days, but they simply don’t work for real businesses.
Bold claim, I know.
In this article I will give you 11 top reasons why you shouldn’t use a free website builder to represent your business.
1. Cost – Free website builders, are they really free?
Free website builders advertise their services as 100% free. But they often have hidden terms and conditions.
Some free website builders start out free but then hit you with monthly charges when your trial period is up.
I think the main draw of a free website is exactly that. It’s for businesses who can’t afford to invest in professional services. But, if you’re eventually going to have to pay to continue using those services you would be better off paying a professional a one-time fee, rather than an ongoing fee for the lifetime of the website.
If you can’t afford a one-time payment, either look for a website design agency that offers to break down the costs or save up for it. If you cant afford to spend a few thousand on one of your most important sales tools then I urge you to save for it.
2. Customisation – Can I change that?
One of the main problems of using a free website builder (and there are many) is that customisation is often non-existent. You get to pick out a selection of themes and then you add your text, your phone number, and images, and that’s it.
If you want a layout that is different from the template you are using, you are limited on what you can achieve.
A free website builder won’t allow you to edit the templates so you are stuck with a site that thousands of other business owners have used. How does that help your business stand out?
Being able to edit different pages of your website is one of the most important things you can do as a web designer. Different pages on your website will have different purposes. If you’re stuck with one theme, you won’t be able to edit it to fit your business purpose.
You may want to create landing pages, contact pages, galleries, and anything else you can think of. A free website building tool won’t give you the flexibility to do this.
3. Professionalism – Don’t look like a “real” business, bye-bye!
A website made by a professional is going to look and perform better than what you could achieve. No doubt about it.
The same way a mechanic is going to be able to fix a car better than an everyday driver.
In my personal opinion, it doesn’t matter how advanced the free website tools get, a professional website developer will always be able to do more for your business than a free tool.
Take into consideration that small details on a website can have a huge difference in profits. For example, a website that I looked after many years ago used to test on a daily basis how different website elements would affect the conversion rates.
Conversions were measured in sales of a piece of software. The company used to test:
Changes in button colours
The text on headings
Different text on buttons
Images of people / images of objects
And much more.
You may not believe it but some of the above changes had a massive impact on sales.
This takes me back to you building your own website. Maybe you have a good eye for detail and the site you build will pass for a professional-looking site, but without having this internet marketing experience how are you going to know if your website is performing as well as it should be.
In the above instance small changes would result in up to 30% more sales.
You should also take into consideration that these free website building tools are a nightmare to use. I know, I have tried them.
I always try to keep up to date by checking these tools out. And as a professional web developer, I can tell you that they are not easy to use and will cause you frustration.
4. Search engine optimisation – Will your customers even find you using a free website builder?
In all of my years of web development I have never seen a free website outrank a site built by professionals.
One of the keywords we have targeted in our search engine strategy has taken us over 8 months to rank for. This keyword therefor is very competitive which means other companies will also be looking to rank for it.
If in the beginning we only tried ranking for that keyword we would have gone bust. There is no way we could have taken 8 months of no customers and lived to tell the tale.
Therefore we targeted much easier keywords which would bring us a lower amount of traffic initially, but these were much easier to rank for and because of this, it brought custom our way very quickly.
Now let’s say you don’t have enough budget to target a keyword with a lot of competition, but you didn’t know because you are not in the SEO field.
With a free website, you may use that term within your website because it sounds like a great keyword to rank for, but because you don’t have the technical knowledge of SEO you are setting your business up for failure.
And that is why even most web development companies fail their clients because they don’t understand SEO.
To make this as simple as possible let me give you a made-up example.
Let’s say you have a business that sells wedding rings. You could target terms such as:
Gold Wedding Rings
Let’s say both of those keywords get searched for at least 10,000 times a month. If your website ranking for those keywords, great. You could have an extra 10,000 website visitors looking to buy wedding rings.
Those keywords are being targeted by massive businesses that have a weekly marketing budget bigger than your yearly budget.
If you were to target those keywords by going up against this competition you would more than likely lose, or it would take you years to compete with them.
On the other hand, you could have targeted keywords such as:
Platinum tiffany wedding bands
Silver Cartier wedding bands for women
Those keywords may only get 1000 searches a month, but they would be much easier to rank for and would likely result in better sales as they are more targeted.
Even better, you can fill your site with hundreds of keywords like these so instead of targeting just wedding rings that gets 10,000 searches you could target 50 keywords that get a minimum of 1000 searches each and get 50,000 visitors a month.
If you want your website to do anything for your business you must hire a web design agency that understands website design as well as Search engine optimisation.
I really can’t stress the importance of hiring an agency that understands both website design and SEO.
5. Mobile-Friendly – Does your website look good on mobiles?
Free website templates are getting better, yet some of them still suck when it comes to being mobile-friendly.
At the last time of checking, I believe that 60% of people now browse the internet on their mobile phones and most of these users will click that dreaded back button if your website doesn’t look good on their device.
If you’re considering using a free website builder (I hope you aren’t) then you should check to see if it works on mobile devices. If it doesn’t, scrap what you are doing and look for a new one.
But the best solution would be to hire a web design agency that specialises in responsive web design.
Responsive website design is a method of creating a website that works on all devices such as:
By being mobile responsive you are providing your potential customers with a better experience, which can lead to more sales.
You are also not getting penalised by the search engines like Google who show non-mobile-friendly websites lower down in the search engines.
6. No analytics or poor analytics
You should always be looking for ways to improve your website.
Doing so will increase your profits.
On our website for example I always look for ways to make the user’s experience better. I always look for ways to improve the website’s navigation, and I sometimes get rid of or replace pages that don’t work well.
The only way I know what pages work or what pages need to be improved upon is by using in-built analytics.
These analytics show:
How long a visitor stays on the website
The number of pages a visitor views before leaving
Total number of visits the website has had that day
Search engine queries used to find the site
Which pages cause users to leave without going to another page
As you can see analytics are very important, but most free website builders don’t include them. That should be enough to stop you from even thinking of designing your own website.
A page you design could look great to you, but it could confuse the hell out of your visitors and could cause you to lose money.
Analytics allow you to constantly test and tweak pages to make them perform better.
7. Fast development, low quality
Design your website in 30 minutes or less.
We have seen the advertisements, but really?
Our own personal site took around a month to design and build. That’s without us constantly testing to improve it.
Honestly, 30 minutes.
Your website is one of your most important sales tools and it is often the first point of contact that a potential customer will make with your business.
With that said, don’t you think you should spend more time on it than the amount of time it takes to order a takeaway and have it delivered?
A quality website that will bring you business for years to come deserves more than a few minutes spent on it. A good website can take weeks, months, or even years.
As a business owner, you are “told” to go to networking and trade events to gain more clients, but personally, that doesn’t suit any of our staff’s personalities. We just like to get on with our work.
Therefore we rely on our own website to bring customers to us, and it does. Like clockwork. If we had built it using a free website building tool I would have no doubt that it wouldn’t rank for any of our keywords and it wouldn’t look as good as it does.
Think of the number of people who are searching for the services you offer right now and then think of what it would do for your business if you were sitting at the top of the search engine and they were clicking on your site and giving you a call.
That is what a website can do for your business. A free website will never do that.
8. Advertisements – Killing your business one ad at a time.
Not many things kill your credibility that ugly adverts on your website advertising the free website building tools.
You may have seen them:
“This site was created by somefreewebsite.com get yours today”
If I’m looking for a service provider and I come across that I’m clicking that back button. This is for many reasons.
This shows me that you don’t take your business seriously, that you can’t be trusted, and that you’re cheap.
Now all of the above is more than likely not true. But I don’t know you. And unless my initial feeling is good nothing more is going to happen, and I’m not going to hire you to carry out a service.
Online there is so much competition that if your potential customers feel like they cant trust you, they will have no problems clicking the back button and buying from your competition.
9. Experience – do you have it?
I have touched on experience in this article, so I’ll keep this brief.
By building a website yourself you are relying on your website design knowledge, which I’m guessing you don’t have a lot to call upon.
That is fine.
I don’t have a lot of experience in building houses, carrying out hip implant surgery, working in recruitment, or cooking food in a restaurant either. But my clients do, and the reason why they hire us is that we have experience in design, development and internet marketing.
A website built by us will outperform a free website any day of the week, it will also outperform a website built for you by our competition. Another big claim I know. But when every one of our clients has seen an increase in search engine rankings since hiring us, I think we have earned the right to be so confident.
10. Support – help me, please.
Website design and marketing can be complicated. We however cut out all the jargon and make each part of the process as simple as possible.
Free website builders however don’t have this support.
If you get stuck, your website breaks or you don’t know how to add or delete something on your website then you are out of luck. The website building tools may have a forum where you can search for answers but you once again are wasting your time.
You don’t want to be building websites, if you did you would be in the web design industry rather than the industry you are in.
By hiring a professional you can be supported every step of the way.
We are only a phone call away if you have a problem or question, and we only have a small team so by working with us you will develop a relationship with us and not be passed around from one call center to another.
11. Performance – Float like a butterfly or slither like a slug
Websites built by free website builders are usually stored on the same servers as thousands of other websites.
This makes them so slooooooooow.
Website speed is a major ranking factor when it comes to your position on Google. This year alone we are seeing more changes with Google introducing something called AMP, which they have introduced to speed up pages on mobile phones.
Website speed can also play a massive part in the number of sales or enquiries your website receives. A website that takes longer to load causes your visitors to leave, if your website is quick they are more likely to stay and buy.
Nobody likes a slow website. So don’t use a free website builder that takes an eternity to load, because no one will stick around for it.
Free website builders conclusion
To wrap this blog post up I’ll keep it brief.
Above I provided you with 11 top reasons why your business should not be represented by a free website and why you shouldn’t make your own website.
But the truth is, that was just scratching the surface.
There are plenty of other reasons why you should not build your own website, but if I were to list them all we would be here all night.
Hopefully, after reading this post you are now open to having your website built by a professional.
If you don’t want your digital marketing to kill your small business, avoid these 33 mistakes!
1. Does your website have a purpose?
One of the easiest ways to kill your small business is by having a website that serves no purpose.
We have had clients in the past tell us that they want a website, but when asked why and what they want to achieve they have told us that they don’t know.
If you don’t know what you want your website to achieve, how are your website visitors supposed to know what to do?
Our tip is to choose a goal for your website and then build your marketing around that.
If more sales is a goal…
Take your website visitors to your products quickly and make sure you provide enough content for the visitor to be able to buy.
Want more enquires?
Make sure your website has a call to action in the right place. Your contact details should also never be more than a click away.
Your website is one of your business’s most important sales tools.
To give your small business a chance online you must figure out what you want your website to do and then work towards hitting those goals.
2. Do you actually know your audience?
You can’t sell to everyone. If you could, marketing would be easy.
Your product won’t be right for everyone, even major companies like Apple who have sold over 1 billion iPhones only have a 20% market share.
Know your audience and solve their problems. By trying to appeal to everyone you won’t appeal to anyone.
A great way of getting to know your audience is by using “buyer personas”.
A buyer personal according to Hubspot is:
A semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.
When you create a buyer persona you can then use that information to help with all future marketing materials.
If you have never used buyer personas before check out this great article on Hubspot. Alternatively, you can watch the short video below.
3. Is your homepage as good as it could be?
Most of your website visitors will only visit your homepage before going back to the search results.
If you start your content on your homepage with sentences like
“Hi my name is Ricky…” or “I am a web developer… I like chocolate cake, and i ran my first 5k this year at a time of…”
your visitors are going to leave because no one cares.
Your visitors are looking for one thing, be that one thing they are searching for.
Don’t tell them about your cats, your interest in cooking, or that you know a guy who knows a guy who plays for Wales in rugby.
Provide useful information on your homepage, not weak content, otherwise, that visitor and the potential customer is gone forever.
4. Do you provide your potential customers with relevant content?
We touched on it above, get rid of non-relevant content.
Your potential customers don’t care that your manager has bought you a packet of biscuits for a meeting.
Do you really think your customers care if you share it online? They see it every day, and it bores them.
Time and time again I see businesses tweet about how they love their jobs because a team member has brought a cake into the office. Yawn…
5. Does your customer service suck, can you improve it?
If anything kills your business quicker than poor customer service I am yet to see it.
If you’re in business, your customer service should be amazing.
Yet most customer service sucks.
In fact, we are so used to bad customer service that when someone treats us as they should we remember it.
A little story, when I first launched Weeare I was looking for office space to set up my business. 1 full year ago, I sent off various emails and left many voice messages to estate agents for office space.
I was practically begging to hand over my money.
Yet, these estate agents hardly ever got back to me.
Lazy customer service or bad service simply won’t do and will kill your profits quickly.
Aim to respond to your customers as fast as you can. If you use social media for your business then most people expect a reply back within 30 minutes. If you can’t reply that quickly you may want to hire someone to manage your social media marketing for you. Check out perky marketing, if you are looking for someone to run your social media campaigns.
6. Do you check your content 3 times before publishing?
As a marketing agency, we put out a lot of content every week. We have to proofread constantly, but even we sometimes put out content with mistakes.
Proofread as much as you can and get rid of any errors you find.
By doing so you will build more trust with your visitors, helping them to see you as a professional which could eventually lead them to become a customer.
7. Do your marketing materials look high end or cheap?
Marketing materials such as blog posts or tweets have a far higher engagement rate if they include images.
Images in blog posts also keep the users engaged, break up the content, and improve readability. (Look at this post, images everywhere)
Low-quality images make your business look unprofessional and will put off potential customers.
For high-quality images that don’t cost the world check out the following
The stock sites above provide good quality imagery for only a couple of pound a time, Pixabay is free!
8. Are you a wimp?
Now I ask the above with the best intentions, So don’t punch me yet!
Stop being a wimp.
If you have a product or service that does a job, make sure you tell your customers.
Don’t pussyfoot. Don’t tell them “I think I can do this”, “I maybe can do that”.
Tell your visitors what you can do.
“I can improve your business search engine rankings in 4-6 weeks” is better than “I think I can help your business rank higher in the search engines possibly in a few weeks”
9. Stop being lazy, update your website!
Many business owners think you can build a website and forget about it.
I wish you could. It would make our lives so much easier.
Websites can bring in traffic on a consistent basis. But you must keep your high-ranking pages updated and relevant otherwise you will slip down in the search rankings.
To make sure your website traffic doesn’t stagnate you should always be adding new content, improving the existing content, and deleting content that gets no traffic.
By updating your website you are increasing your digital footprint by building a bigger web to catch potential customers in.
To monitor what pages on your site work and don’t install google analytics, I have included a short video tutorial below.
10. Do you promote your content or leave it to sit and rot?
Once you have written content you think your users will love, get it out into their faces. Over 500 hours of video is uploaded to Youtube every minute so you need to promote your content if you want it to be found. The same happens with blog content with over 8 million blog posts being written every day.
Share your content on social media.
Run paid advertising on those posts. Or even reach out to others who may be interested in promoting your content for you.
Brian Dean from Backlinko has a great post on how to reach out to others to get more traffic to your website with something called the skyscraper technique
If you would like help with your marketing campaigns talk to our seo consultants.
11. No one likes being sold to, especially when they’re looking for funny cat videos on Facebook.
Don’t be one of those guys/girls.
Most people don’t use social media to buy, they use it to connect with their friends and family, follow celebrities, and share funny memes.
If a potential customer follows your brand then they don’t constantly want to be sold to.
Constantly selling to your potential customers on social media will result in them unfollowing you. Don’t be that person.
Instead, share content you think your potential customers would enjoy. Talk to them, get involved in industry conversations, and even run polls to see how you can improve your business.
Social media is a valuable tool and if you’re using it only to spam people then you are using it wrong.
12. You have unrealistic expectations
You can’t set and forget your digital marketing.
Whether this is your website, your social media, or your offline marketing methods.
Keep all of your content fresh, update it as much as humanly possible. If you’re finding it hard, look into tools that can automate certain parts of your marketing for you.
Companies such as:
Offer social media tools that you can set up in advance to post your content.
For example, you could spend a few hours on a Sunday morning queuing up your social media posts for that week.
Content management systems like WordPress (which we build or websites on) have in built features that allow you to queue up your blog posts in the same way.
This allows you to plan your marketing months ahead. Letting you to get on with running your business.
13. 1990 called they want their website back.
If your website looks like it was built in 1990, then I won’t buy from you.
Neither will your customers.
An old website doesn’t look trustworthy and neither does your business.
Your website should be redesigned every 2-3 years to keep up with the latest website trends and technologies. In more competitive industries that figure could change to more like 1-2 years.
At Weeare we have redesigned our website twice in the last year, already we have seen an increase in traffic, conversions, and sales. Woot Woo!
14. The money is in the list (it’s true!)
Not using email marketing is a massive mistake.
Spend 10 minutes on a digital marketing blog and you will find “the money is in the list” plastered everywhere.
But what does this mean?
Most tech-savvy businesses will collect potential customers’ details and then market to them in the future.
The above may sound shady but it’s not. We are not talking about spying on your users. Instead, you would be simply collecting a name and an email address for something your customer would find useful, such as:
Access to free training videos
A free white paper
Free Ebook Download
Money off voucher
Studies have shown it takes a person between 5 and 12 interactions with your brand before purchasing.
If your website has no way of getting in contact with your visitors after they leave for the first time then you are throwing away your profits and killing your business.
Collect your visitor’s email addresses and build trust with them and eventually turn these visitors into customers.
To get started with email marketing you could use any of the following companies:
• Constant contact
We have used both Mailchimp and Aweber. We prefer Aweber but, if you are just getting started Mailchimp has a free service that will allow you to have up to 500 users without having to pay a penny.
Have a look at the following short video that explains why email marketing is something you should be doing:
15. Forget about website traffic, concentrate on quality
Don’t concentrate on web traffic alone.
Doing so will kill your business.
A keyword that brings in 20 visitors a month could be worth more commercially than a keyword that brings in 1000’s.
An example of this can be shown with Weeare. One of the keywords that we target brings in only 100 searches a month. 100 searches are around 3 visitors a day. Nothing special.
However, that one keyword alone has brought in £15,000 worth of business.
Compare that to a site that I run when I was younger.
I used to run a movie review website when I was 17 years old. The site would get a few thousand visitors a day. Total ad revenue was anything from £2 to £15 a day.
Not everyone likes using social media. If you are one of them you are going to have to suck it up.
Social media plays a massive part in digital marketing, it’s so big that it is used as a ranking signal by Google to determine where to show your website in their search results.
The bottom line, you must use social media.
17. Your website doesn’t generate leads (it sucks then!)
Your website should generate leads pretty much on autopilot.
If it doesn’t then something is wrong.
The Weeare website is our best tool for generating leads.
So good, that we don’t employ salespeople.
For your website to generate leads you will need to understand your target market. Create content that they want to see and then lead them to an action that you want them to take.
If your website doesn’t generate leads there could be a few problems in your funnel, which we will look at below.
18. Your website isn’t SEO friendly and doesn’t rank (ouch!)
Last year I bought a new watch, a new car and even invisible braces for my younger sister.
All of those purchases started off with me doing research online. Your customers are doing the same for your product.
If your website doesn’t show up when your customers are searching for you then you are losing money. Your profits are going down the drain and even worse your customers are spending that money with your competition.
For your website to generate leads it must be found in the search engines.
Go to Google after you have finished this article and type in a query in which you think your users would use to find your services.
Don’t cheat either.
Your customers are not going to type in your business name. As they probably don’t even know you exist yet.
Does your small business come up in the results? If it doesn’t your SEO is letting your business down.
19. Your visitors don’t know they are in the right place
Once your visitors click on the search results they are transported to your website.
They need to be reassured they are in the right place.
If you don’t reassure them, they will click the back button and you will lose that potential customer forever.
I have seen it many times and pay per click advertisers are the worst for this. They advertise a service and when you click on that advertisement you are sent to a page that doesn’t contain any of the information you were looking for.
Don’t do that!
If you do, you are throwing your money away, and annoying your visitors.
Make each page on your website relevant to what your users are searching for. Only then will they stick around for a little while longer.
20. Poor quality content on your website kills your digital marketing
Finally, you get a visitor to your website but your content is terrible.
Your visitor races to the back button.
You have lost them once again.
If you want your small business digital marketing to work, you need your website to provide quality information that your visitors are looking for.
Quality content is engaging, looks good, and solves a problem.
If you don’t want your digital marketing to kill your small business you must produce good quality content.
21. Please, ask your website visitors to do something.
Maybe you’re lucky.
Maybe your website is SEO friendly, your content is great and you get good traffic.
If that is the case then the problem maybe you don’t have a call to action.
A call to action:
Is an action you want your visitors to take.
It’s pretty simple and it works. By asking your users to do something a certain percentage of them will do it. If you don’t ask them to do anything, they won’t.
By not having a call to action visitors will leave your website.
Want your website visitors to call you? tell them to!
Do you want your visitors to fill out a contact form? tell them to!
If you want your visitors to schedule a demo, tell them to!
I think you get the point.
Visitors need to be told what to do next. Or you need to make it easier for them to find the action you want them to take. Doing so will generate more leads for your small business.
22. Is your small business digital marketing still stuck in 2015?
Your website not responsive?
You’re 2 years out of date.
In 2015 Google rolled out something internet marketers nicknamed “mobilegeddon”
Businesses that had websites that didn’t work on mobile devices were shown lower in the search rankings than those who were.
But don’t panic.
Like Bruce Willis, We will ride into the meteor and save the day.
Our web design services are mobile responsive and search friendly as standard, talk to us if you need to redesign your website.
The only thing that we can’t promise, is that we will look as cool as Bruce did while Aerosmith rocks in the background.
23. Blogging is not just for hobbyists, but a necessity for B2B sales.
Blogging used to be for hobby sites.
It’s not anymore.
Blogging is so powerful that:
B2B marketers who do blog generate 67% more leads than those who don’t. (insideview)
Blogging is also useful to get more inbound links to your website which helps with SEO.
If you don’t blog, you should. If you do blog, keep it up!
24. Your website is hard to navigate – Where am I?
Websites that are hard to navigate kill your profits.
Nothing is more frustrating to a potential customer than to land on your website and not be able to find what they need because your website is laid out in a confusing manner.
This also applies to your website’s navigation. We recommend only having 5-6 links to your most important content.
25. You don’t provide enough information
Digital marketing thrives on information.
Search engines love information. Your customers want information, so provide it.
Websites that do this well build entire pages to sell a single product. Take Apple and the iPhone 7 for example.
Everyone knows what an iPhone can do, but Apple still take the time to explain the features and benefits of the product.
Apple take the time to do this for a product that costs less than £1000.
I have seen businesses who are selling products for £10,000+ and they provide 3 lines of content.
Give your users the content they want and your profits will increase.
26. Over promising kills (not literally)
I have seen websites promise something in their search engine title and description tag only to arrive at the site and see something else.
This conflicting information is frustrating and will cause your users to leave.
Or it will make them angry when they do purchase and you let them down.
Be honest and provide the service that you say you will.
The customers who want to work with you will be glad and they will be more than happy to recommend you to someone if you carry out the work that you say you will.
27. You are not consistent with your small business digital marketing.
Being consistent is hard, I know.
But the more consistent you are with your business’s digital marketing the more you are going to benefit.
If you can only blog once a week so be it. Once a month, fine. But keep it consistent.
Being consistent will allow you to build a fan base, even if it’s a small one. It is much better to build a small loyal fan base than one that doesn’t care about you.
By being consistent with your marketing efforts you are letting your fans know when you are going to release content, and they will wait for it eagerly.
Being consistent is key to improving your digital marketing.
28. Give and take, not take, take, take.
Don’t be a social hoover.
You see them all the time on social media. Businesses that just want to sell and have no interest in anyone else.
Yes, I get it. Your time is precious and you’re busy. But how can you expect others to care about your services when you don’t give anything back.
You can’t build any relationships online by being a social hoover and sucking the life out of everyone. You have to give something back.
Interact with others, share content others write. Like some posts, start conversations, and be real!
PEOPLE BUY FROM PEOPLE, not faceless brands. Interact with your customers and build a following.
29. Your website is slower than a snail with broken legs (yes, we know)
A slow website is a killer.
There are a few different things that could cause your website to be slow. This could be anything from your web host, to a badly built website.
To improve your website speed there are a few things that you could do:
Purchase better website hosting
Make sure your website is coded correctly
Don’t install too many plugins
Optimise the images and code on your website
If your website is slow after all of the above, or you don’t know where to start get in touch and we will have a look.
30. Your website bounce rate is too high
In digital marketing, high is usually good.
Not with bounce rate.
Bounce rate measures the number of visitors who land on one page and then leave without clicking through to a new page.
If your bounce rate is too high then not enough of your visitors are getting the chance to see your information before leaving. A high bounce rate could be caused by:
Bad content readability
Nonrelevant popups (visitors hate these)
To see what your current bounce rate is you will have to install Google analytics. (There’s a video at the top of the page showing you how)
When you have installed Google Analytics, Google will tell you the percentage of people who have bounced from your website, along with information such as how long they have spent on your website.
31. Your website uses too many plugins.
Remember the old iPhone adverts. “There’s an app for that”
The same is true with plugins.
And some small businesses go over the top in using them.
Make no mistake, plugins are what makes the WordPress CMS great. But going over the top and installing too many will slow your website down.
Our advice, only add the plugins you really need.
32. Your website is built on a theme
I hate website themes.
They ruin most small businesses’ websites.
Themes usually contain too much code that your website doesn’t need. The result is a slower website that is not as search-friendly as it could have been.
If your website is built on a theme then you are killing your small business.
We believe digital marketing is best built on strong foundations. The strongest being a good website.
One of the major flaws in using a pre-built theme is it can increase the time that it takes for search engines to rank your website. We have done experiments where a custom-built website was indexed in a few days where as a website built on a theme took longer than 6 weeks.
Using cheap themes on your business website will increase the time and money needed to be spent on SEO services, which is not good!
Cheap themes will eat into your business profits.
Avoid them if possible.
33. Your customers are not on Facebook/ Twitter/ Other
You can’t reach your customers on a social channel they don’t use.
If your customers are not on a social media channel then don’t waste time marketing on there.
It doesn’t matter if someone from another Business uses Facebook and it works for them. If your customers are not there, it wont work for your small business.
Buyer personas help when it comes to finding out where your customers hang out online.
Another bonus tip is not to spread yourself too thin. If your customers are on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Blogger, or any of the other social media networks you can either hire someone to do your social media for you or pick 3 networks and build a following before moving on to others.
Spreading yourself thin will create low-quality content and will burn you out.
How can you use this information for your small business?
Go back through all of the points and make sure your small business digital marketing doesn’t violate any of these rules.
Make the changes we suggest and then monitor the results through tools such as Google Analytics.
Small business digital marketing is changing all the time.
The only way to make sure your small business keeps up with the competition is to keep reading posts like this.
Not being found online is most business’s idea of a nightmare, wouldn’t you agree?
La Bodega, unfortunately, found themselves in the same situation as many, They had paid for a website previously, but it was now gathering dust rather than collecting bookings. We were hired to change that, and we did. Through the combination of our website design and seo services we took them to page 1.
La Bodega’s old website was nothing to celebrate about. It was old, it didn’t work on mobile devices and online bookings were low. Search engine rankings for the business were also terrible and La bodega was nowhere to be seen on the first, second, third or fourth page of the search engine results for restaurants in Merthyr Tydfil.
La Bodega like many other businesses are sold websites that do nothing for their business and in our opinion, the main reason for this is not that people intentionally go out of their way to take a businesses money and run, but simply because they don’t really know what they are doing and don’t know what they are doing will cause harm.
Someone could easily build a free website or even build a website for their business for less than £50. These websites may look fine, but no one will ever find them.
For your customers and La Bodega’s to find them they needed to be on the first page of the search engines. To be on the first page a combination of events need to occur such as:
The website must be built to be search engine friendly.
Without going too technical a website needs to be programmed correctly with the correct tags and fields within it to let the search engines know what the website is about. Otherwise, you are making it difficult for the search engines to find your website.
This was true with La Bodega. These simple tags were not included within the website code, because of this Google and the other search engines had no idea that La Bodega was a restaurant in Merthyr Tydfil.
A lot of themes have the correct fields and tags within them, but sometimes the people who tend to buy these cheap themes have no idea on how to input the data correctly.
A lot of our competition still uses website themes and they have no idea on how to correctly optimise a website for the search engines. This is so frustrating for us as these websites over their lifetime will do nothing for their owners. It takes money from you and makes us all look like thieves.
A website that uses a theme may look great, but if no one finds it then it is like opening a brand new shop, having the best possible interior only for the entrance to that shop to be hidden behind 4 brick walls.
Doesn’t work on mobile devices
The original La Bodega restaurant was strange in the fact that sometimes the mobile layout worked and then it didn’t. It was as if the website had a life of its own.
Since 2015 Google has been ranking websites based on their user experience. A website that would not work on a mobile device would cause a negative user experience (frustration) and would therefore be a negative when it comes to search engine rankings.
The new La Bodega restaurant now works on mobile devices and because of this, it has helped with the search engine rankings. If your website doesn’t work on mobile devices then you should really think of getting a new website. Being non-mobile-friendly in 2017 is a massive no-no.
Backlinks are still very important when it comes to search engine optimisation (if you need help with your marketing talk to our search engine optimisation consultants). For those who don’t know what backlinks are, they are links from other websites pointing back to yours.
The reason why backlinks are important is that they tell the search engines:
What your website is about
If your website can be trusted.
Initially, La Bodega only had a small number of backlinks, but we were able to reach out to others in the same industry and get some links to La Bodega which helped increase its search engine positioning.
We managed to get good trustworthy links from websites such as Wales online, just by reaching out to them and telling them about the new website.
If your website doesn’t have any backlinks there are a few ways of getting them. One of the best is to reach out to other businesses that are in a related field to yours.
For example, a painter and decorator may have a website that could link back to yours if you’re in a plumbing and electrical field, the way you can link back to yours is by asking them could you write a blog about something their audience may be interested in. This creates more content for their website which is good for them and the backlink pointing to your original website is good for you.
The more relevant the links and the more trusted the source the better.
By helping La Bodega improve its website by making it mobile-friendly, search engine friendly, building backlinks and developing the website from the ground up we were able to give it a good foundation when it came to marketing the website.
Within a few weeks, the change was drastic. La Bodega was no longer on the 5th+ page of Google, but was sitting on the front page for various search queries. This increased the website bookings and now the restaurant is much fuller than ever before.
If you have a website that is doing nothing for your business then you may want to check on some of the mentioned problems above. By fixing these you are giving your business a better chance of getting more customers online.
If you would like your business to rank higher in the search engines and to improve your online sales/inquiries/website traffic be sure to sign up to our newsletter below.
For most businessmen and women networking is one of the biggest sources of new business. Typically at networking events you will hand out business cards. Business cards are a great way for potential customers to get into contact with you, but they are limited.
Business cards can only hold a limited amount of information. Typically your name, job title, phone number and link to your website. That is it, nothing more will fit. Chances are if you attend a networking event you are going to pick up business cards with pretty much the same content printed on each. John Doe, Marketing Manager. Jayne Doe, head of sales etc.
Websites however offer a lot more information about you, your company, your services and because of this they are way more valuable than a simple piece of card.
A business card is a great way of getting someone to remember your contact details. Usually however business cards just end up in a draw locked away somewhere. Websites on the other hand keep your business open 24 hours a day.
They answer questions 24 hours a day, and they can even make sales 24 hours a day. In short your website is your most powerful sales tool.
A good designed website will allow your brand values to shine through, will provide all types of information about your company including:
A website can do so much more than a business card, but yet less than half of small business owners don’t own one. If your small business doesn’t have a website then you are losing out financially. Talk to us about our website design and search engine optimisation deals that we offer, if you want some advice you can talk to our seo consultants today.
It is estimated that less than half of small businesses don’t have a website. When I heard this stat I thought I was having my leg pulled, but after researching more it is true. I couldn’t get over it.
Savvy business owners know that their website is their best selling sales tool bar none. A website works for their business 24/7, 365 days a year. Their website allows them to branch into locations further than any physical location could. But still in 2016 there are a lot of small businesses without a website.
There are a few reasons for this, some of which I have heard first hand, I have been told over the years that businesses don’t need websites because the owner doesn’t use the internet, and that businesses don’t need websites because they get 100% of their work from word of mouth. Both in my opinion are crazy.
It doesn’t matter how big or small your business is, you should always be looking for a competitive edge, and in our opinion having a great website is a great way of getting ahead. Add to the fact that there are thousands of people searching right now for what you sell, you would have to be crazy not to reach them. If you do want to reach more clients check out our search engine optimisation cardiff post
Let me tell you a short story about something that happened to me recently.
It was a Friday night, we had just closed the office for the weekend and my partner and I wanted to have a night in, order some takeaway and just have a chilled evening. The restaurant that we often go to sells the best onion bhajis I have ever tasted, so it was decided that we would order the takeaway from the restaurant that we had been to before.
I opened up my phone, searched for the restaurant online and couldn’t find it. I was desperate for those bhajis so I even trawled through the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th pages of Google, but I could not find it. The restaurant did not have a website.
Needless to say, we ended up ordering from another Indian who had a website, which displayed their menus and contact details. Their onion bhajis however were terrible, but that’s something for TripAdvisor.
By not having a website, I was unable to find the business and their menu and I’m sure there are many others in the same boat as me who order elsewhere. By not having a website they were losing out on a lot of business in the local area.
Why you should invest in a website
Other than losing money there are a few other reasons why you should invest in a website for your business.
1. Finding You
By having a website that is easy to find and easy to use, you are giving your customers the opportunity to contact you. If you don’t have a website then your potential customers will either go straight to your competitors or if your lucky they will spend time trying to find your website on a directory site like the yellow pages, but that’s if you’re very lucky.
A website shows that you are still in business. With so many businesses failing within the first year if your business ranks online and your customers are finding you then they will know you’re still in business.
If you don’t have a website then your customers will think you have gone bust and once again look elsewhere for the services that you are providing.
3. Reaching a bigger audience
If your lucky people within your local area will come to your business when they want your services, but your overall reach is very small. Your business is limited to the town in which it resides.
A website however can be global, or it can still be local but reach a bit further. A good example of this is our own business. At weeare we offer web design and marketing in Merthyr Tydfil, our physical location is in Merthyr. Our website however allows us to work in Cardiff, Pontypridd, Newport, Barry, Wrexham, and many other places.
If we didn’t have a website then our clients would all be local. Our website has allowed us to work with clients from around the UK, Australia, Canada, and the USA.
Print, TV, and radio are expensive. We know we have priced them for our own business. Online marketing however is inexpensive. It’s also much more targeted. Facebook advertising for example can start off from a few pounds per day and generate good quality leads.
Email marketing is another avenue worth pursuing. Email marketing out of all marketing channels has the highest ROI. A website allows you to build your email marketing list very cheaply.
5. Testing and tweaking
No other marketing method allows you to test and tweak your message as quickly and easily as a website.
When is a good time to redesign your Website? It’s a good question without a real concrete answer because there are a lot of factors to take into consideration, but in this article we will give you some of the biggest reasons why you would want to change your website.
If your website is already breaking any of these rules then there is a good chance that your website needs a redesign.
The first reason to redesign your website is if it doesn’t conform to your businesses branding. Your business website should reflect your identity and your brand, if your business has adopted a new identity or is pursuing a new branding approach then your website will want to reflect these business changes.
We see it all the time, a company will use their business colours on a website and think that it reflects their brand, when the messages and imagery on the website couldn’t be further away from the image that they want to portray.
In a competitive market things are going to move quicker. In the web design and development market that we are in we have to make changes to our website all the time in order to compete. We have redesigned our website twice this year. In a competitive market you should be looking to redesign your website at least once every 12-18 months.
Less competitive markets can get away with 2-3 years per redesign, but having said that you will still need to make sure that your website is up to current standards. For example, the mobilegeddon roll out by Google meant that non-responsive websites would be penalised in the search engines. If your website is getting penalised because it’s not responsive or your search engine optimisation isn’t very good then talk to our seo consultants, we can help.
A good rule of thumb is to check your competitors, if their sites are getting changed on the regular and look better than yours then you are probably going to need a redesign. If your competitors are old on the other hand you could still take this as an incentive to change your site up and become a leader in your industry through your website.
As we mentioned above if your website doesn’t meet current browsing standards then it would be time for a redesign. Websites that don’t work on mobile devices (mobile responsive) are punished in the search engines, which means your visitors will see your competitor’s websites before yours if theirs works on phones.
One of our clients had a website that didn’t work on phones or any other mobile device and they were hovering around the 5th page on Google before we met them.
After developing their website with the current standards and optimising their site through our SEO services they hit the very first page for many competitive keywords.
Why don’t people redesign their websites?
We see it all the time, very successful businesses who leave their websites rot online. They simply don’t keep their website updated because they see no value in having a website. This is understandable, if you have neglected your website then there is a good chance that your visitors don’t even find it online, if they do they probably don’t trust you to do business with you. An old website is off-putting, if your website is old it’s time for a redesign.
We have found that websites are neglected because businesses think of them as a one-time investment, but the truth is websites should be updated constantly, whether this is through new content or a new design.
If you have a business you should be budgeting for a new web design the same as your budget for office equipment, machinery, or transport. Your website is by far your most important sales tool, you wouldn’t let your companies top salesman wear a ripped suit, smell of body odor and have last weeks food stuck between their teeth, so don’t let your website look neglected.
To conclude and to keep it short you should aim to redesign your website:
• 12 – 18 months in a competitive market.
• 24 – 36 months in a noncompetitive market.
• When your competitors do.
• When technology changes.
Starting from scratch or making changes to an old website? There are a few elements that you should take into consideration, many would say these are must-have elements.
1. Mobile Responsive website design
A responsive website isn’t so much an element but the whole site. A mobile website allows your customers to browse your website with ease and hopefully leads them to contact you or buy one of your products.
Your website should be mobile responsive not only for your users but for the search engines. Since Google rolled out their mobilegeddon algorithm change, they have been punishing non-responsive websites in the search engine results. That means websites that are mobile-friendly have been pushed up in the ranks compared to those that are not. A responsive website is a huge part of Search Engine Optimisation
Your website should serve a purpose, if it doesn’t then there is little point in having one at all. A call to action is something that you want your users to do next. This could be anything from adding a product to their shopping cart, subscribing to your newsletter, or using the contact form to send you a message.
Make your calls to action stand out and you will see your conversion rates rise. For more information on making your calls to action stand out you may want to look at the following article – Which colours should I use for my website and why? It discusses how colour has a massive influence on conversions.
3. Email Marketing List
Several studies have shown that email marketing has the highest return on investment than any other marketing strategy. You can build an email marketing list through various methods, such as giving something away for free, providing a discount for signing up to your newsletter for more useful content every month.
If your website doesn’t have email marketing integrated then you are missing out, especially when you can get started for so cheap. I would recommend either Mailchimp or Aweber, both of which can be implemented with our web design service.
4. Social Media Marketing
By including links to your social media accounts on your website you are giving your social accounts the chance to build a following more easily.
Social media marketing allows you to get out in front of your potential clients in an instant. Being active on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can help improve your search engine rankings, build your brand’s identity, and give your company a voice and personality.
Social media can also allow you to keep potential clients in the loop with new or special offers.
5. Contact Information
Yes, providing your contact information is common sense, but some businesses make it either too hard to find or don’t include it at all.
Recently we were looking for a new office for weeare and we came across an agent’s website with a property that looked like it would work for our team. The only problem is that the estate agent’s website was so hard to navigate that finding the contact information was a chore. We eventually found the contact information, sent them an email and the email bounced.
The email that we sent to the estate agent did not reach the agent because the email address provided was wrong. This could have been a deal worth thousands per year, yet the contact information wasn’t clear, was hard to find, and was eventually wrong. Crazy stuff.
All of the above may seem common sense to some, and they should be, but when it comes to the web we often find businesses don’t take their websites as serious as they should, and because of that they often forget small details that would make a huge difference to their business.
For more info on how you can get more traffic and more sales to your business check out our latest page SEO agency Cardiff.
Your website in our opinion is your most valuable sales tool, it works for your business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year. It never takes a week off to go on holidays, doesn’t need time off to sort out the kids and it will never phone in sick. So getting your website right is our main aim and to do so there are a few things we need to know before designing your site.
1. Website Goal
All websites should have a goal; if they don’t, they don’t offer any value for money. Before working with you, we will discuss your new website goals or purpose. If your thinking that you don’t know what your website goal would be, then here is a small list that could apply to you:
All of the above goals would be a good place to start, we would be able to analyse what you are currently doing and then work out a strategy on how to reach your new goals.
2. Your budget
In our opinion, we are the best web design agency in Merthyr Tydfil and we will even challenge those bigger agencies in wales, we provide great value to our customers and have helped every one of them increase their search engine visibility since hiring us. For that reason, we are not cheap. Our custom work is built to solve your business needs and we need to know how much you are willing to invest early on.
By knowing your budget we can tell you what we can and can do for your business. We only work with businesses we know we can help. We wouldn’t take on a project if a budget was too low to hit your goals, because it wouldn’t be fair on you as you would not see any return on marketing investment.
We don’t build websites for your business; we build them for your customers. They are the ones that are going to be using the website. We will discuss in detail with you all about your customers, their needs, and their problems. By understanding who your customers are we can start thinking of designing a website for them.
You’re an expert on your business and your customers, so we would want you to tell us all about them and what they are looking for when they land on your website. This allows us to structure the content of the website to meet your user’s needs.
4. Your competitors
We are experts on design, development, and digital marketing but you’re an expert on your business and your competitors, you will know more about your industry than we ever will and because of this, we will ask you to draw on your experience and tell us what you think your competitors are doing right, what they are doing wrong and if there is anything they are doing right that we could use on your website.
By helping us understand your industry we are able to build a bigger picture that will ultimately allow us to create a website that works for your business and its customers.
5. Your marketing strategy
Are you going to market your new website yourself? Will you use an agency like us to do the marketing for you? Which type of marketing would you like to use? PPC, SEO, Social Media.
Building a new website is not a guarantee that your business will do any better online, you will still need to market your website. All of our websites are built to be search engine friendly, but in some industries that is not enough, and when that is the case we tend to use search engine optimisation (SEO) strategies to help you outrank your competitors.
To find out if we can help you generate more search traffic check out our page SEO cardiff
Here at weeare we develop custom made websites for your business. We find out your goals, your customer needs and we even find out about your competitors, when we know all of the above we then set about designing a website to fit those needs and solve your business problems. We also create search engine friendly websites by optimising your website for the keywords your users would use to find your product or service. For more info check out our Cardiff SEO page
We believe that custom website design and development is the only way to provide your business with an online solution. Other agencies in our area however don’t offer custom work and start their website development fees off from as little as £100. You maybe thinking great, I can save money and get a website for my business, but you would be wrong, a website based on a theme is not good for your business.
What is a theme/template?
A theme/template is a design that has been created for your general industry. If you’re working in the restaurant industry then the theme would be built around restaurants.
Why your business shouldn’t use a theme
Themes are extremely popular, one of the best selling paid themes online has over a 245,000 downloads. The theme is hugely successful and the owners of the theme have made so much money from one product which is great for them, but not for you as a business owner. As the theme gets more successful, more and more businesses are using the same website template. This means 245,000 other businesses would have a similar looking website to your own.
How do you plan to stand out from the competition when there are 245,000 websites with the same look and feel to them? If you sell a product or service that is quite similar to your competitors then you will need to stand out in other ways, a good website is one way of doing so, but if you go down the route of using a website theme then you are diluting your chances of standing out.
Themes are rigid
Website themes are not very flexible and quite often the people selling them to businesses have no background in development, that means if you need a feature added to your website then your probably out of luck. Website design agencies that don’t create their own work quite often use page builders and drag and drop software to create your website. What that means to you is that your website is being built by someone who has no idea of:
All of the above are very important when deciding to have a website built for your business. Without them you are not going to be found online by your customers, you are going to create a user experience that doesn’t help your customer find what they need and in some circumstances you could even be discriminating against disabled users without even knowing about it.
Forget about all the above for a minute though, let’s pretend by some miracle a person with no design/development experience gets all of the above right (they won’t), what happens when you want to add something to the site that doesn’t come with the theme? Let’s say you have heard that email marketing is one of the most effective ways of gaining new business and you want to add a popup to your website to get users to sign up to your email list, the only problem is that your “web developer” doesn’t know how to implement this because the theme doesn’t come with a popup or an email system integration. What do you do? “upgrade to a better template”.
Easy to recognise
A website theme is not built for your business, your content or it’s users, so to make it work for your business you will need to fit the content that you want into the website template rather than designing around the content that you do have. This leads to generic looking websites that makes your customers think you are lazy and have no ambition.
Themes are not unique, your business is
At the beginning of this article we discussed a website theme that was built for restaurants, which on the surface may sound ok. A restaurant would typically want to display information about their business, information about where they are located, a way of contacting the business and a page for a menu. Now you would think a theme should cover that and it will, but think of all the different types of restaurants there are. Would a single theme work for the following restaurants:
Do you think that one template is going to be applicable to all of the above different cuisines? I don’t think so.
Your customers wont find you
Unless your customers type in your business name then they wont find you. Customers who type in your business name are also existing customers and are not really the people that you want to be targeting anyway. Website themes and page builders are bad for SEO. They contain bloated code (code that is not needed) that slows down your website. They contain this code because the developer of the theme want’s to make the theme work for as many different businesses as possible, which is good for them and not for you.
Take a look at the following screen shots, one is a template and one is custom code. Both screenshots highlight code that does the same job, the custom code is 10 lines long, where as the bloated code is over 100. In terms of website performance this one example wont make much difference, but that is just for one image. Imagine the difference when an entire site is built up of this bloated code.
Bloated Code Example
Custom Code Example
To further illustrate this point we did an experiment where we set up two websites, one using a theme, one custom built. Within a month the custom theme was ranking for its desired keywords, the theme however couldn’t be found anywhere. Check out the article (is your web development agency killing your business).
Cheap does not equal value
The main selling point for choosing a website design agency that offers web design services from £99 is that they are cheap. A website theme could be set up in an afternoon, and be put live within 2 days. You get a site that looks half decent, but you can tell it is a cookie cutter site. The biggest problem you are going to face however is that your site wont be search engine friendly, so that you wont be found by your potential customers. Earlier in the article we discussed that developers who use website templates and theme builders typically don’t know about SEO best practices and if your website doesn’t get traffic then it’s a complete waste of £99.
If you want value then you are going to need to invest money. A website that is search friendly, user friendly and mobile responsive is going to be one of your most valuable sales tools, working for your business 24/7 365 days a year. We have helped many small businesses get more from their online marketing efforts. We offer web design in wales and all around the globe, with clients in the UK, America and Australia.
Most of the customers that we work with always ask us how much is it going to cost. Which is a logical question, everyone want’s to make sure that the money they have is going to be spent in the best possible way.
The truth is the cost of website design and development ranges quite a lot. If you send off for 5 quotes you will receive 5 different prices back all with completely different price ranges.
Lets look at some of the factors that effect how web designers price their products and services.
Functionality is one of the biggest factors that influence the price of a website design. Some functionality just takes longer to implement than others and because of this you should never assume that something that you are asking for is easy and should cost next to nothing. The same also holds true for the opposite, something that you may think costs a lot could take no time to implement.
You should also not assume that your site should be cheap because you only have a few pages. A single page design could have more functionality than a website that has 10+ pages.
Experience and Knowledge
Dave from down the pub could probably knock you up a website in a day or two, but chances are it wouldn’t be very good, it wouldn’t be found by your customers through the search engines, and if by some miracle that it was found online then it wouldn’t look that great and inspire confidence within your visitors. If you need help with your marketing or design talk to our consultants today.
We have said it thousands of times, anyone can make a website, but not anyone can make a website that can generate more business.
Website designers who charge more usually have more expertise than those who are working at a bargain rate. If you choose a designer who is the cheapest option then chances are you are going to get a website that is built upon a theme that thousands of other companies are using.
How much should a website cost for my business?
To determine how much you should pay for a website for your business you should take into account how much business you could lose by having no website or having an old, ugly, or out-dated website that causes potential customers to perceive your brand as cheap or untrustworthy.
Whatever industry you work in there will be thousands of searches for the product or service that you are offering and depending on the value of the average customer that could mean thousands in potential earnings.
Let’s just work with some numbers here, let’s say a brand new website could earn you an extra 10 customers a month, and each customer spends on average £200 on your services. Over the course of one month, your new website could have earned you £2000, over a year £24,000. If a website cost £10,000 but earned you £24,000 back within a year would you see that as a great ROI.
What does your business actually need?
Your business needs a website that can be found by your customers, a website that doesn’t generate more leads for your business is a problem.
Secondly, your business needs a website that can work on all different devices including mobile phones, tablets, and desktop computers. Having a site that does all of the above stops the search engines from penalising your website and improves your potential customer’s experience online.
You should also take into account a great design, a logical organisation of content, it should be easy to use and update and it should generate more business through great search engine optimisation.
What you should spend.
Website design and development for businesses are difficult to price without knowing your individual needs because there are so many different factors involved. For a good website that works on all devices, is search friendly, and is built from the ground up you should expect to pay at least several thousand pounds.
If you are asking yourself right now why do I need a web designer, it shows that your on the fence, you either want a website for your business and don’t know what’s the best option or you are unconvinced that spending a lot of money on a website design is suitable for your business.
Firstly, I would say don’t worry, you are not the first person to be asking why do I need a web designer, and you won’t be the last. With this article, we will look at exactly why you would need a web designer.
1. Your competition all have websites that look better than yours.
One of the main reasons why some people act on something in life is that someone they know has something and they want it. In terms of website design it could be your competition:
• Has a better-looking site
• Gets more business from online
• Makes more money than you
• Has a website that works on phones
If any of the above are true then you will need a website designer because chances are they have paid a good web development agency to carry out work for them, and if your business doesn’t have a good website you are getting left behind.
Your website is one of your most important sales tools, it works for your business 24/7 and if you have a website that looks old and untrustworthy then you could be losing thousands in revenue.
2. Improved conversions.
A good website designer should know what elements are needed on a website to convert more visitors into customers, if they do not then you are going to end up with a website that once again loses your business revenue.
If making the most out of what you have is very important to you then you should consider getting a website designer to help you design your website so that your customers will love it.
Businesses with lower budgets will often turn to someone they know from down the pub to design their websites and then will wonder why someone would pay £5000+ for a website, but the truth is Dave from the pub maybe a nice guy, but what does he know about SEO, Conversion Optimisation, UX, Responsive design and development and so on.
A cheap website may look like better value for money, but usually, they end up costing the business in the long run. One of our clients had a website that was badly designed and developed. After hiring us we gave them a new website, provided them with our SEO services and within the first year, the website alone had made the business a 4000% return on marketing investment (ROMI).
3. You need a website that works on all devices.
Designing and developing a website that works across all devices such as iPhones, iPads, desktop computers and laptops can be very difficult. In our experience we have never seen a website built by someone with no design or development experience work as it should.
If mobile traffic is important to your business (it should be) then you will need a website designer to help you build a site that works great on all mobile devices and all of the latest browsers.
4. You don’t want a slow website.
Slow websites can lose your business so much money. It is estimated that if a website takes longer than 2 seconds to load then the visitor will leave, possibly costing that business thousands in revenue.
Slow websites are caused by a number of things including:
• Bloated Code
• Non optimised code
• Non optimised imagery
• No browser caching
Without getting too technical and putting you to sleep quicker than a sleeping tablet ever will, the code within a website is very important. It is important to the user, to the search engines, and to the overall quality of the website. Bloated code is code that has too much code within it and is generally caused by bad developers using themes. Bloated code can cause havoc with search engine optimisation, which can mean less traffic and sales.
You will need to hire a web designer who knows what they are doing if you want to avoid bloated code. Some agencies claim to create websites from the ground up but you know that is a lie when you check their code because it is bloated.
At Weeare we create all of our websites from scratch and keep the lines of code we write to a minimum, this allows us to create fast, search, and user friendly websites. If you like the sound of that then you’re going to love what I have to say next.
To generate more sales and traffic check out our SEO Cardiff Page.
Have you ever asked yourself why isn’t anyone coming to my website? I bet you have, because you’re not the only one. Right now there are thousands of people searching for the product or services that you offer, but they are not coming to your website for a wide variety of reasons.
In this blog post, we will look at the most common problems that business owners face when attracting more visitors to their websites, then we will look at how you can fix them. If you’re in too much of a rush, you may just want to check out our search engine optimisation service
1. Your website content sucks.
Your website content is very important when it comes to ranking in the search engines. Search engines love unique content, they love interesting content and they love content that fulfills a need.
The search engines use many different processes to determine if your website content is relevant to the search terms the user has input. If a user clicks back out of your site very quickly then the search engines know that your website is not relevant to that search, and therefore over time, your ranking will go down.
Visitors can leave your website for a variety of reasons, the big ones being:
• Hard to find what they need
• Content not relevant
• Content hard to read
• Website design is out-dated
• Content stuffed with keywords
The last point in the list is something that you should take care in doing when creating your own content. Many years ago you could rank on the search engines by stuffing your articles with keywords that you wanted to rank for and to an extent this method is still used, but some businesses go over the top.
If you stuff your website content with keywords then your visitor is going to get annoyed and then leave your site, never to return. Instead of writing your content for the search engines, write your content for your visitors first. You can still sprinkle keywords here and there but don’t over do it!
2. Your SEO sucks.
Many of our competitors in the website design and development industry are very good and achieve great results for their clients, but some of them absolutely suck, I believe the right term would-be cowboys. Now a cowboy website builder usually buys a theme from a site online, changes a logo, adds your content and charges you anything from £99-£1500, they often talk a good talk, so be careful!
The site built by the cowboy in some cases may even look good and you wouldn’t be able to tell any different, but just like a swan, under the surface tells a different story. Your website could contain junk code and link to all different types of files that you don’t need. This slows your website down, and web page speed is a known factor that influences search engine rankings.
Cowboys usually don’t know anything about coding a website, and have no idea of search engine best practices. We have lost count of the amount of times we have came across a new website build that lacks even the basics of on page optimisation(SEO).
If your on page search engine optimisation hasn’t been done or doesn’t target the right visitors then your website is just going to sit out there in cyberspace collecting dust.
If you want to fix your seo, check out our page SEO Cardiff
3. You are not social.
Social media marketing is a great way of getting more clients and customers to your website. You can share great content with potential clients in an instant. Being social on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram can help people find your website without being at the mercy of the search engines.
4. Your website looks like it was built 15 years ago.
Would you drive around in an old van that was falling apart, was blowing black smoke out of the exhaust and white smoke from the engine all while having your logo plastered on the side of the same van? Hopefully the answer is no.
You wouldn’t want to represent your business as unprofessional and the same should hold true for your website.
Not only is an out-dated website bad for search engine optimisation but an old ugly website doesn’t give your visitors the confidence they will need to make a purchase through you. Your potential customer can get 10 quotes from 10 different companies in the next hour, if your website doesn’t look good then your business is not getting the sale.
5. Dave from the pub made your website
Dave, nice man, saved you a few quid on your old website, but what he more than likely did was put off potential customers, losing your business potentially thousands, but before you go an shout at Dave it wasn’t really his fault.
Everyone knows of a guy who knows of a guy who can make a website. We have heard it many times before, when we talk to potential customers we will often get one or two per year that say “why would I pay that? When … from … can make it for …” Rather than haggle over the price we try to explain that even though you could get a website for £99 would you rather a website that costs £99 and is never found by your customers or a site that costs £5000 that has a 3000% return on marketing investment (ROMI) for your business?
Good websites are not cheap, if that means you have to invest extra to get the website that your business deserves then you should consider it, you won’t regret it.
Restaurant websites are quite often one of the worst designed websites on the internet.
I cant remember how many times I have landed on a restaurant website simply looking for either the opening times, a contact number or the restaurants menu and not being able to find it.
I have also found that restaurant websites for some reason seem to be stuck in the past, auto playing music, website intro screens and PDF menu’s all leave a bad taste in your mouth.
These websites don’t leave a good impression of your business, so in this article I will give you some essential advice for when you are getting a website designed for your restaurant.
In any web design project the focus should be on your visitors needs. In the case of your restaurant visitors they will probably need to know the following:
• The restaurants location.
• The restaurants opening times.
• The restaurants contact information.
• The restaurants menu.
Your website user will also want to access this information on their phone as well as a desktop computer. When you know what your visitor needs then you can start designing a website that works for them.
Contact Information, location and opening times
One of the biggest problems with restaurant websites that I have found is a lot of them don’t have their contact information, location and opening times in an easy to find location. If your visitors cant find any of the information listed above then you will lose that customer.
Your visitors should be able to find all of the information listed above on every page that they land on. That way there can be no confusion on how to contact your business, where you are located or what times you are open.
Your menu that you have put careful consideration and planning into can also cause problems online. Most restaurant websites display their menu online in PDF form. You maybe thinking there is nothing wrong with this, but you would be wrong. Think back to your visitor, he or she just wants to see the items on the menu, how much your food costs and then they will make a decision whether:
• They like your food choices.
• The food is within their price range.
Your visitors want to browse, they don’t want to have to download a PDF to their computer or phone to then browse. Many visitors can also be cautious of PDF files because downloading them from an unknown source can lead to viruses being stored on their machine so you can see why some users may opt not to download your menu and skip your restaurant all together.
PDF files are easier for the web developer to attach to your site, it requires less development but overall it has a negative impact on your business. Don’t hire a lazy web developer, hire one that understands your business and its customers.
A better solution is to make the ‘Food Menu’ page on your website contain the actual items on your food menu and style the page appropriately to match. This allows the user to browse your menu, see your prices and make a decision without having to download a single file.
Mobile friendly website
All websites should be mobile friendly, but restaurant websites in particular are big offenders when it comes to not being mobile friendly.
If your website doesn’t work well on a mobile phone or a tablet then you are getting punished by the search engines. Your business listing will be further down the search list and your users will hate you!
A website that doesn’t work on a mobile phone will cause your users too much bother that they will abandon the reservation process completely.
In 2016 your website needs to work on a mobile phone, if it doesn’t you could be making up to 60% of your customers angry and frustrated, losing you and your business money.
If your website isn’t getting enough bookings you may have the above problems, another problem you may have is your SEO sucks. If that is the case check out our SEO Cardiff post.
Recently we created a new website for La Bodega a Spanish restaurant in Merthyr Tydfil that was celebrating its 25th year anniversary of being in business. As La Bodega was our very first restaurant web design we did a lot of research into what a restaurant website should and shouldn’t have.
Here are the top 5 web design mistakes for restaurants that we found in our research.
1. Auto playing music.
Thankfully not many sites had this but I was still shocked to see that some businesses think it’s a good idea to auto play music on a website in 2016. If listening to the A-team in a 1999 style ringtone wasn’t bad enough then imagine the horror when we couldn’t find an off switch.
Playing music on your website slows down your page speed and results in your potential customer having to wait around longer for your webpage to load. But by far the biggest problem that I believe music on a website is that it makes your business look unprofessional.
All websites need to make their respective businesses look professional, but a restaurant even more so. Foodies or potential restaurant customers will take a look at your website and make a decision based on your sites appearance and associate that with your food. Having a poor user experience will mean than your visitors will think that your restaurant serves low quality food.
2. loading / welcome screens
There is nothing wrong with welcoming your visitors to your website but having a separate page that your user needs to click through will cause more bother than the worth of it.
A rule of usability is that your user shouldn’t have to click more than they need to, to get somewhere. So imagine your hungry, your partner is shouting at you because you forgot to make a reservation at your favourite restaurant and you need to make a quick booking somewhere, but the website your trying to use doesn’t want to help you. The website loads, you see a welcome screen, you need to click through to another page, you click through, the page is loading, your partner is shouting, you give up. Beans on toast it is, and you and your partner wont be speaking for the next few hours. You don’t want that, and you don’t want your customers to experience it either.
Your website should be quick, easy to use and easy to find information, which brings us on to our next point.
3. Hard to find information
Quite recently I visited Venice in Italy and one thing that surprised me was the poor quality on every restaurants website. Trying to make a reservation when you don’t speak the language is one thing but trying to make a reservation when the restaurant doesn’t show a telephone number or email address is a whole new challenge.
If you own a restaurant then your website should be one of your most effective sales tools. Your contact information should be easily accessible on every page on the site, if it is not, your visitors may have problems contacting you making you lose out on customers.
4. PDF Menus
Most websites that we surveyed made you download a menu before being able to view it. Now there are a few problems with this, firstly users hate it.
Remember where we said above that you shouldn’t make your users click more than they need to? Well here is another case of it. If I click on a menu link I expect to see the menu, not have to click on another button on the page to download the menu.
Secondly some users are cautious about downloading PDF’s from unknown sources as they have been known to carry viruses.
If you want to get around this then you should have your menu page designed to allow your users to browse your menu without having to download anything.
5. Non Responsive
A website that doesn’t work on a mobile device in 2016 is behind the times. For a restaurant however it is like disobeying one of the 10 commandments.
A restaurant website that doesn’t work on your phone will make you want to pull your hair out.
Trying to navigate around a website that wasn’t built to work on a phone is a nightmare. Opening times, reservation forms, food menus are all hard and sometimes impossible to use. If your website for your restaurant is not mobile friendly then you are losing business. Non responsive websites are also bad for search engine optimisation.
Researching restaurant web design best practices was an interesting process that not only left us hungry but often frustrated. If you want to stop your potential customers from being frustrated then get in contact with us and we may be able to help your business become more profitable.
Being a small business owner is hard, I know I am one. Getting customers is even harder especially when starting out, but don’t fear the tips in this article should give you enough to think about to get going. So here are 5 ways to attract more customers to your small business.
1. Relationship building.
Everyone hates to be sold to, especially when the product being sold may not even help them. We have all had sales people contact us trying to sell us something that probably wont help our business in the slightest. As a web design agency I am constantly contacted by other developers over seas asking if I want a new website and of course the answer is no. These sales people are too lazy to even find out if I need the service so don’t be one of those people. Build a relationship and if your product or service can help then you can start selling, but until then don’t!
2. Understanding what makes you different.
Your USP or unique selling proposition is what makes you stand out from the crowd and shows your customers what you can do for them. Here at Weeare we make:
Now, are we the only web development agency to offer such a service in the whole world? Of course not, but locally can any other web development agency match our service? We don’t think so, and that is what makes us unique. Our service rivals that of huge agencies in the UK while being way more affordable.
3. Develop a customer profile.
You can’t service everyone. If you think you can then you won’t serve anyone. Think of who your ideal customer is. Are they:
• Male or female
• Young or old
• Single, married or divorced
By creating a customer profile you can then make a decision on how your marketing materials should be made so that it speaks specifically to them.
4. Reach out to your ideal customer.
Now that you have a customer profile think about where your ideal customer may hang out and try to reach them specifically.
5. Determine your marketing approach.
Some methods of marketing will work better than others depending on the business that you are in, but generally, the following are good ways to reach your potential customers:
• Create a search-friendly website
• Blog on your new website
• Email Marketing
• Pay Per Click Ads
• Direct Mail
• Search engine optimisation
Some of the above tips may be common sense to many but sometimes we get so busy running a business that we don’t step back and look where the business is heading. The tips above when used correctly will help your business get more customers. If you need help attracting more business then check out our other blog articles, or if you would like to talk to us to see if there is something that we can help you with then contact us.
Blogging is a great tool that your business should be using to engage with your potential and existing customers, but so many businesses don’t blog.
I must admit I also find it tough to blog because running a business leaves you with hardly any free time but I do I try to blog at least a few times per month.
If you’re curious about why you should be blogging for your business then keep on reading.
Here are 15 reasons why your business needs a blog.
1. Your blog allows you to share timely and relevant information with your customers and potential customers. Your blog is your direct communication channel. You maybe using social media to communicate with your customers, but not everyone uses Twitter or Facebook, but anyone can visit a blog.
2. Google loves businesses that blog, Google is in the content business and by blogging you are providing Google and the other search engines with valuable content and by doing so they will reward you with relevant visitors/customers.
3. If your current website doesn’t have a blog then you don’t need a new website, you could use an existing blog platform like WordPress or blogger. I would recommend your website and blog being on the same domain for you to get the best results out of SEO, but having a blog on a separate domain is better than not having one at all.
4. According to a survey carried out by HubSpot, 60% of businesses acquire more business by blogging than those who don’t.
5. Your blog gives your business a personality and helps you stand out from the crowd. Your blog will allow your potential customers to learn more about you.
6. If you want to position yourself as a market leader then you need to get your voice and your opinions out there, otherwise, no one will know about your expertise.
7. A blog allows your customers to interact with you and your business. Blogs are meant to encourage interaction, so if you do blog make sure to reply to all comments, this also applies to social media by the way.
8. Blogging can be fun, it takes you away from some parts of your business that you may not enjoy and can give you something to look forward to.
9. Blogging keeps you on your toes. Anyone who has blogged knows that it can be easy for a few weeks, but after a while, you will need to produce fresh content that your customers will enjoy and find useful, this can be hard!
10. With a good content strategy blogging can keep you focused. By sticking to a schedule you are giving your business the care it deserves online.
11. A blog builds confidence. A site without a blog may look empty and uncared for, a business that blogs however is seen as a reliable source for information in your industry.
12. Blogging makes you think more about your business than anything else. By blogging, you need to constantly think about who you are writing for and what are you trying to achieve. A blog without focus will attract no customers. The personal trainer in Cardiff for example writes about personal training, fitness, diet, and health. He knows that his clients like to read about these subjects. He doesn’t write about what he got up to on the weekend, his favorite movies or anything nonrelated as his customers wouldn’t be interested in these subjects.
13. Blogging helps create a brand. A blog allows you to tell your companies story, why you are in business, and allows you to tell your customers how you can help them.
14. Blogs are cost-effective. Every post that you publish may not have an immediate effect on your business but you should think of a blog as a long-term strategy. Building a blog will allow your business to create content that could be shared all around the internet, allowing your business to reach places you thought were not possible. Our blog for example has allowed us not only to work with businesses in Penarth, Merthyr, and Bristol but also places around the globe like New York City.
15. Blogging creates free PR. Become a well-known blogger in your industry and you will be giving interviews before you know it.
Hopefully from the list above you can see that blogging is a great tool for your business. I completely understand why some businesses don’t blog because being a small business owner myself my time is eaten up by everything else. But the benefits your business could receive from blogging are worth the time and effort to do so.
Another advantage of blogging is that it helps create content that can be found in the search engines, if you want to know more about SEO check out our Cardiff SEO agency page.
Most people think that more traffic equals more sales, and often they are correct. But getting more traffic often means that you have to invest in SEO services. In this article, we will show you how to earn more money by increasing your conversion rate.
Everyone owns a website, but most websites do not perform as well as they should. In this article, we will look at ways that you can increase website conversion rate. So let’s start.
Full-Screen Images to increase website conversion rate
Full-screen images act as an interruption, they stop the visitor and force them to take notice. You may have already seen a full-screen image on this website.
Full-screen images make visitors take notice of your message and because of this, they increase website conversion rate. Full-screen video can also be used to achieve the same effect.
Split Screen Layouts
Split-screen layouts allow the visitor to get where they want to quickly. A split-screen layout is good for a business that has more than one main service. At WeeAre we mainly sell web design and SEO services, we did consider using a split-screen layout on our index page, however, we felt that in this instance a split-screen did not fit into our design.
A split-screen element on a website funnels your visitors to exactly where you want them, this can increase website conversion rate.
Make your call to action stand out
If you want your user to do something, then make that something stand out.
If your website is mostly black and white and you want your visitor to sign up for your email list then make your email list button a bright colour. The brighter colour on the button is going to make your offer stand out because of this the button is going to receive more clicks and more email sign-ups.
As well as making your call to action stand out you can always have it pinned to the screen. You could have your call to action always stuck to the screen via the header, sidebar, or even the footer.
On our website you can see that the header is always stuck to the top of the screen, this is more to do with us wanting the user to be able to navigate around the website as easily as possible, but we could replace the navigation button with a call to action if we wanted.
Having your call to action (CTA) always-on screen is going to make it easier for your visitors to be able to take the action you want at all times.
Single Column CTA
Another great way to increase conversions on your website is to have a single column CTA. We use a single column CTA on this website as we want our visitors to contact us if they want us to work on their projects.
A single column CTA will make people stop and take notice, this helps to convert your visitors into customers by making it easy for them to contact you or take the next step in the process.
For more great tips and tricks on how to improve your online presence sign up to our newsletter below and get online marketing tips sent straight to your inbox before anyone else gets to see them.
If that still went over your head then let me break that down even further.
Everytime a search is made in one of the search engines such as Google, Bing or any of the smaller search engines you will be presented with a page full of results. This page is known as the search engine results page or SERPS for short. This means the results you see on the first page will have been optimised for the search query. So for example.
“Dog walkers merthyr tydfil” will show the website pages that have been optimised for the search query “Dog walkers merthyr tydfil”.
This technique is known as search engine optimisation or SEO for short. SEO is optimising your website for potential customers when they are searching for your product or information.
For a small business owner SEO can mean the difference between a constant flow of customers to having a website that does nothing for your business.
If you have a small business website that doesn’t bring in any customers then your SEO is not working, or maybe your site is not optimised at all and sadly if you don’t rank in the search engines then your website may as well not exist.
If the above is the case you may want to check out our SEO Cardiff service.
How will SEO benefit your small business?
Right now there are potential customers looking for what you are selling. There is someone, somewhere with their bank card in their hand waiting to hand over their money, but if your not at the top of the search engines then those customers are spending their money with your competitors.
When explaining what Search engine optimisation can do for our clients websites I first like to ask them; “how much is a single customer worth per month to your small business?” then I provide them with some data. So if you’re a dentist in Cardiff and your looking for extra customers then let me run some search numbers by you.
There are over 3020 searches a month for “Dentist Cardiff”
1990 searches for “Cardiff Dental”
150 searches a month for “Penarth Dentist”
The list could go on and on, from a quick 5 minute search you can see that there are thousands of searches each month for dental services in Cardiff, now if you’re a dentist with a website that isn’t optimised for any of those terms then you are throwing away money.
For smaller businesses in smaller areas of Wales there are still a lot of people searching for what you have to offer. For example there are over 80 people a month searching for legal advice online in Pontypridd.
60 people from Pontypridd a month are looking for a law firm.
There are 610 people a month looking for “Swansea builders”
Or 860 possible customers looking for “Builders in Cardiff”
I could search all day but there is honestly no point. Whatever industry you are in, big or small there will be someone online searching for your service. The job of SEO is to get you in front of those people so that they can choose to purchase from you and not your competitors.
To make this example easier, lets just say there are 200 customers a month searching for the product you sell, and lets say 1 customer is worth between £2000 – £5000. If your website were to get just one of those 200 searches a month then that could mean that your small business could be earning an extra £60,000 a year. That is the power of SEO.
Is small business SEO expensive?
Like everything, small business SEO costs money and the cost of small business SEO will be determined on the competition of the keywords you want to go after. Small business SEO can also take a few months to see a return on investment but the rewards can last for years and the ROI can be amazing.
At WeeAre we research what keywords we believe are achievable to rank for and depending on your budget we will choose words or phrases that you will want to rank for in the future. We tend to choose a wide variety of keywords so that you can rank for lower competition phrases which have lower amounts of traffic as well as phrases with higher competition and higher search volume. This results in getting traffic as soon as possible.
We bill for our SEO services on a monthly cycle. We feel this gives you the maximum flexibility so that you are not tied into any lengthy contracts. We want you to be happy with the service that we provide and not pressured into anything you don’t want. If you would like to discuss starting an SEO service today then contact us.
If your still not decided on if SEO is for your small business then keep on reading.
Why Small Business SEO is important
There are many ways to get customers to your business. Yellow Pages, Radio and Newspaper ads, flyers, online ads etc. But the problem with all of the above is that they cost money every time you want to use them. Yes SEO costs money, but when you get to that first page, every click that gets sent to your website doesn’t cost you a penny. Compare that to online ads which could cost £0.50 to £20+ a click depending on your niche/industry. Online ads or PPC are effective, but depending on your industry it could cost you a lot of money to compete with your competitors.
SEO on the other hand is like free traffic. Once you are on the first page then each and every lead sent to your website doesn’t cost you.
SEO without a doubt is the most cost effective way of bringing new customers to your business. SEO is also very targeted, people searching for the service you are offering want to spend their money, compare that to putting an ad in the local newspaper, how many of these people are interested in buying what you are selling?
If you run a search in your industry right now, for example “dog trainers in wales” and you see your competitors on the first page then you know that they are spending money on SEO each month and that is why they are outranking you and taking money right out of your pocket. SEO can’t be achieved by luck, it takes good quality research and planning to be executed correctly. So how exactly does SEO work, and what can you do to compete with your competitors?
How does SEO Work?
Search Engine Optimisation is broken down into two separate areas, both equally as important as the other. The first being on page optimisation.
On page optimisation is everything that is on your website, this could be the text, imagery and even the code that makes up your site. This is why it is very important that your website is built to be search engine friendly. If the search engines cant read the code on your website then it is going to struggle to know what your website is about, and because of this your website is going to find it hard to rank.
If you hire us to build your website then you will be thankful to know that all of our sites are built to be search engine friendly, they are also built to be mobile responsive as standard. Your website should be mobile responsive as this is also a ranking factor that the search engines take into consideration when deciding where to place your small business website.
Getting your on page optimisation is essential if you want to rank your small business website for any keywords or search terms. On page SEO tells the search engines what your site is about, the importance of certain keywords on the site and how to understand the keywords that you have chosen. If you help the search engines to understand your site then you are already in a good position to move forward to the second part of SEO.
The second part of SEO is off page optimisation. This is primarily made of links pointing to your website. This could be from other relevant blogs or social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest and many more.
Off page optimisation done wrong can ruin your online presence. Get your off page optimisation wrong and not only will you not rank but you could face a penalty and have your website black listed from the search engines. Poor link building practices have ruined businesses time and time again, Don’t fall victim to a cheap SEO service which may do your business more harm than good.
We have been practising different SEO techniques for years and we follow good link building practises and because of this our clients rank and our sites don’t get penalised. We can create quality links to your website through a few different techniques, one of which is creating quality content that others want to link to.
If you would like to hire us to improve your rankings in the search engine then you can contact us here.
Other things to consider for your small business SEO.
This section can become a little technical at times so if you are reading it and you start to think I have no idea what I have just read then don’t worry. You don’t have to understand the next few paragraphs, I have included them so you can get a better understanding on what we do, but this section is optional.
The software that your website is built on can affect your SEO quite a bit. For example, we build all of our websites on top of a content management system called wordpress. You probably have heard of wordpress as it powers over 23% of the websites on the internet. Companies like NASA, CNN and Forbes all use wordpress and there is a good reason for this.
Out of the box wordpress is easy to use, and makes managing your on page optimisation easy. You can change the permalinks which is the link of a post after your domain. For example a site could be
Or with wordpress
Which of the above do you think tells the search engines what your web page is about better?
WordPress Plugins for SEO
If your not a techie then you may also want to skip this section, but if your interested in learning a little about what plugins are and how they can assist you with your SEO for your business then keep on reading.
A plugin is an additional piece of software which can be added to your website. WordPress offers some great plugins that can assist your small business SEO attempts, one of which we use is a plugin called Yoast SEO. Yoast SEO allows you to create sitemaps which the search engines loves. Yoast also helps with on page optimisation as it tells you the keyword density of your articles, where your keywords should be and much more.
SEO and your business credibility
Think back to a time where there were no search engines, just a big yellow book that ruled the business world. Yep, The Yellow Pages. If you were looking for a plumber in Wales would you go for the guy on the first plumber page or the 7th? Most people went for the first guy as that guy seemed more credible. The same applies to the search engine result pages. If your on the 2nd page then your customers don’t even know you exist. Get on the first page and your business suddenly becomes more trustworthy.
A good SEO campaign can build trust with your clients, your business is seen as more credible and if you sell a service or product this can only help the sales process.
SEO is good for business branding
SEO first and foremost is about getting traffic to your website and then converting those visitors into customers, but SEO can also help with branding.
Most searchers don’t search just once for a product or service they will search many times. Quite often the terms in which the user will type will change so one search could be “dog groomers wales”, the second time they search they could look for “dog grooming services in wales” and the third time “dog grooming in wales”. All three searches are slightly different, but if your website is showing for all three terms then you will instantly gain more credibility with that searcher and chances are they are going to click through to your business.
SEO and ROI
SEO doesn’t interrupt users when they are listening to their favourite song in the car in the mornings, it doesn’t interrupt users from finding out who killed who on their favourite TV show. Instead SEO allows you to market only to people who are looking for your product or service. These people want what you are selling, they just need to find you first. With SEO you don’t have to convince a potential customer that they need your product, you just have to convince them that you’re the right company to purchase from.
Small business SEO Summary
Phew, if you got this far then you should now have a better understanding of what small business SEO is and hopefully you now know what SEO can do for your business. If your still confused on small business SEO don’t worry you don’t need to know the difference between on page and off page optimisation. SEO can be a complicated subject, but even by getting the basics right you could get ahead of your competitors.
If you think you need your help with seo, check out our Cardiff SEO service that we offer.
In this article we take a look at why you should use social media for your small business. We look at 5 reasons why you should be using social media to boost your business online.
1. RETURN ON INVESTMENT
You constantly have an online presence with social media, you don’t pay for slots or domains. Your page makes you accessible to your customers at no cost to using social media. Many smart marketers utilise the traffic flowing through social media and many networks offer direct, targeted marketing which is nothing like we have seen from traditional marketing techniques.
This is a much more personal method of segmenting potential customers and enables an organisation to implement remarketing strategies with higher ROI’s as it’s easier to understand their respective markets with the vast information at their disposal through social media.
While social media offers your customers an additional channel to connect with you, social media can help influence how high your website ranks in search engines such as Google.
If you have interesting and compelling content to share, you can post this to social media and, if people are interested they can interact with these posts through ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ etc. This reaction causes what is known as social signals which allows search engines to take this into account when establishing what website ranks higher than the rest, having a sprawled foundation with traffic flowing from various places across the internet this would hold an organisation in higher stead than another organisation with an excellent website but no social presence.
Traditional market research consisted of questionnaires, or ‘tell us how we did’ on the bottom of receipts, but, NO MORE! When a business establishes a decent social media following with interactive followers, a business can see the daily changes in consumer attitudes to products, trends and behaviors. This will allow planning for the future and longevity of the organisation as changes in the market are much easier to spot at the early stages of, lets say production; imagine spending your entire winter attire budget on woolly hats when your social media feed is filled with people wanting the newest wigs which protect your hair (sounds crazy but it may happen!).
4. YOU CAN BE UNIQUE
How difficult is it to communicate your USP? (unique selling point), the answer is extremely if you don’t know how or if you don’t possess the tools required to accomplish such a feat.
If you view PaddyPower’s Twitter. They are a gambling website who has established relationships through speaking to their target market as if they were friends at the pub. They do this by posting content that relates directly to current affairs that their consumers are interested in and also put it across in their own personality where people feel as if it’s just one person behind PaddyPower’s Twitter account – this is the goal. PaddyPower’s competitors do not come close to this level of personal marketing and is the reason why many gambling companies are now starting to copy this method, if they are, then YOU should be also.
5. PROVIDING VALUE
If you can provide a truly valuable service to your target market then you will be able to position yourself as an expert in your industry. Whether that’s educational and entertaining blogs, posts, or tweets, if you are solving a problem or providing information, you’re adding value that customers will appreciate. This is often confused with monetary value through discount codes, BOGOF offers etc. Monetary value is the easiest method for businesses but begs the question – if your doing it, then so is your competition, so how valued will your customer feel and will your customer even remember you to spend that voucher? I doubt it.
If you think of social media marketing as a tool for your business and not what teenage boys and girls use to keep up with the Kardashians then you will be giving your business the opportunity to thrive in the online world, which has a population many times more than the town/city you currently reside – more people = more business.
There are plenty of businesses and articles online that can help you get started but the most important thing to take away is that, you and your business should be yourselves and reflect your goals and values, this will attract the right customers to you and will be much more beneficial in the long run in terms of return on investment which you can then utilise for future marketing strategies.
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