November 18, 2017

What is RWD? – and why you need it!

Responsive Web Design

What is RWD? – And why you need it!

There’s a new phrase you’ll be hearing a lot within the web design world – that phrase is Responsive Web Design (RWD)

So what is it and why is it important?

Wikipedia describes it as “an approach to web design in which a site is crafted to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones)”

The use of mobile devices is increasing in the UK and soon, it is expected that these devices will replace laptops and traditional tower PC’s for the average user. That means business owners have really got to start thinking now about how they can leverage this changing use of technology.

Up until now, if you have a traditional website that’s been built within the last 12 months, it probably hasn’t been design to be “Responsive” to different devices. Often, the way around this is to create a separate “Mobile Version” of a site and to re-direct mobile traffic to this version of your site, to optimise the viewing experience for the user. This is fine in the short-term, if you don’t want to redesign your whole website, but long-term this isn’t the answer.

If you’re a business owner and you’re thinking about developing a new website or to refresh your current site, I would suggest that you check the web-designer/developer you’re intending to use really understands Responsive Web Design and builds your site around this core principle. That way, you can ensure that your online presence really keeps pace with the future needs of your customers.

If you’d like any further advice on responsive web design, please contact us by phone or email.

 

 

Is your business Mobile?

Is Your Business Mobile?

mobile friendly website design

 

Smartphones are growing in popularity, and there are now over 4 billion mobile devices in use worldwide. As the technology behind the phones develops, consumers are no longer limited to simply calling and texting.
People can now use their phones to access websites, transfer money, and buy products online. As this shift in buying patterns continues, more and more businesses are looking at mobile friendly website design.
By providing customers with an easy and accessible way to connect with your business from anywhere and at any time, you can take advantage of the relatively untapped mobile business market.

What Is A Mobile Website?

All standard websites can be accessed via a smartphone, but mobile websites are specifically designed to suit the device’s small screen, slow speed, and limited functions. Mobile sites show users exactly the same vital information, but in a way that it is easier and faster to navigate. By creating a mobile friendly website for your business, you will be able to make the most of the new advertising opportunities that this technology offers.

Since the iPhone was first introduced in 2007, the number of people using smartphones has continued to increase. Studies show that since mid-2011 the average person now spends longer on their phone than they do on their PC. As a result, a more specialized mobile marketplace has emerged. A mobile website differs from a standard website in a number of ways:

• Pages are more compact so that they are easily viewable on a smaller screen

• Websites load faster to suit limited smartphone capability

• All data is simplified to make it easy to negotiate

• Flash and other multimedia elements that are not compatible with all mobile devices are avoided

How To Create A Successful Mobile Friendly Website Design

A typical user spends an average of 77 minutes per day on their smartphone, so creating a well-designed, mobile optimized website can boost your business’s online visibility and yield significant results.
Here are just a few features that a successful mobile website should include:

Simple layout

The most important difference between a mobile site and a standard site is the way that it is laid out. Your website needs to be easy to read on a much smaller screen. The key design aim is to prevent the user getting lost in navigation. Here are just a couple of changes that should be made:

– Cut out all non-vital information
– Limit the number of categories you have
– Reduce the number of links per page
– Prioritize links in order of popularity and importance
– Avoid using forms or tables

Fast download speeds

The larger the data size of a page, the longer it will take to load. This is true of every website, but keeping data size low is particularly important in those designed for smartphones. If your website is slow to load, users can quickly get frustrated and move onto other sites. The more pages they are able to view in a set time, the more likely they are to see something they want to buy.

Integrate with map

A wide range of mapping functions can be included as part of a mobile website. The technology is able to alert a customer when they are close to your premises or navigate them directly to it. This feature is particularly useful for small and local businesses which often go unnoticed when standing next to larger chain stores.

Connect with offline media

Smartphones are carried with people wherever they go, so the devices have an unprecedented ability to connect online and offline forms of advertising. QR codes are scanned by a phone’s camera and will connect the web browser to a specific webpage, such as a landing page or buying page. The code can be added to magazines, posters, brochures, and any other form of print advertisement.

The Results You Can Expect From A Mobile Website

By creating a mobile friendly version of your website, you can increase your sales, boost your visibility, and make a positive difference to your business’s image. Here are just a few of the possible advantages:
Higher Google ranking

The higher up that a website appears in search engine results, the more likely it is to be visited by customers. This is especially true of the mobile internet because scrolling through results on a smartphone can be difficult. Search engines like Google are able to recognize when a person is using a smartphone and will feature mobile optimized websites higher in their search results. Your easy-to-read site will have an automatic advantage over your less up-to-date competitors.

Positive customer experience

Once a customer enters your site it is important that they have an enjoyable experience. If a webpage is difficult to read, then a user looking for specific information will simply move onto a more suitable site. By having a clear and concise layout, you can ensure that each visit creates a positive impression of your business.

More sales

Expanding your website to meet the needs of the mobile market is an ideal way drive up your profits. Making the buying process as simple as possible and reducing the number of steps it takes to get from landing page to purchase is key in maximizing sales.

A better brand image

Having a user-friendly, mobile optimized web page will give your business a contemporary, technology aware image. As mobile websites continue to become a mainstream reality, businesses without them are being left behind.

How To Get Started

Creating a mobile website opens your business up to a huge marketplace that is continuing to grow. However, without extensive online marketing knowledge, developing a successful mobile website design and overall advertising strategy can be almost impossible. Awkward navigation, convoluted design, and unnecessary graphics can all frustrate and put off potential customers.

If you are looking for an easier way to make the most of this emerging technology, hiring the services of a company with experience of developing mobile friendly websites will not only save you time and money in the long run, but it can also give you peace of mind that your website will be a success .

If you’re interested in mobile friendly website design, then give us a call or email us and we’ll give you a free 30 minute consultation.

Are your Online Marketing Strategies working?

Are your Online Marketing Strategies Working?

Have you ever wondered whether your online presence is capable of bringing in the new customers that you need?

Of course the answer should be yes – your online activities should be bringing new leads and customers every day.  If that’s not happening for you, then you need to look at your whole online presence and analyse what’s working and what isn’t and fix the things that aren’t working.

These days, your online presence is more than just your website. There’s social media, your blog, your pay per click campaigns, directory listings – all things that will contribute your online performance.

With all that “noise” out there you’ve probably struggled to step back, take an overview and carry out an accurate analysis.

We’ve just launched a new consultancy service to do just that, helping small to medium sized companies clearly see which parts of their online marketing strategies are working.

We analyse your entire online presence and deliver our findings in what’s called the “OPAS Report”. It stands for Online Presence Analysis and Score.

Here’s what the report covers:

Attraction:

Are you doing enough to bring new customers to your sites?

We’ll tell you, AND we’ll tell you how you can improve!

Conversion:

Are you doing enough to turn visitors into customers?

Most people don’t!  We’ll show you what’s wrong, and the changes you can make to turn your visitors into customers!

Analytics:

Are you able to track visitors, where they came from, what they looked at, and what they did?

Are you able to see if visitors came from your campaigns, or from search engine traffic?

If you aren’t getting this right, you’ll never know if your Attraction and Conversion efforts are bearing fruit and your online marketing strategies are working.

The OPAS report takes a holistic approach and covers everything from your website, blog, social media, search engine ranking and any other online presence your company may have. We provide actionable recommendations you can implement to improve the return on investment of your online presence.

At the end of the report, we’ll give you a score out of 100, so you can measure how your online marketing is performing against other companies in your industry.

This unique OPAS report costs from just £297 and if you take action and implement the report’s recommendations, you will be improving the success of your online marketing strategies and could receive a return on that investment of at least 10 times, in one year alone.To find out more and a for a free 30 minute consultation, call us on 0845 519 8867 or email tim.morgan@theonlineknowledge.com.

 

How Online Marketing Strategies Work 24/7

Online marketing Strategies

What is the purpose of your website? For many it is an online version of your company’s sales brochure, but if you are truly switched on to potential of digital, your website should be a 24 hour lead generation system.

Another name for this is “Inbound Marketing”.  Inbound Marketing is all about getting potential customers finding you, rather than you prospecting for business and it should become one of your most important online marketing strategies.

Here’s how it should work:  A prospective customer discovers your website homepage. On the homepage is a clickable call to action. This clicks through to a landing page, where the potential customer sees a description of your offer, which should provide some value to the customer. Often this can be a free eBook or subscription to your newsletter giving free tips and advice.  Once on the landing page they can get the free offer by completing and submitting a lead capture form, providing you with information such as their name, email address and contact number.  Once the prospect submits the form, they receive your offer and your sales team has a new lead to contact.

This process can be completely automated, using email auto-responders, so essentially, once it’s been set up you can sit back and wait for the leads to come in and then simply follow them up.

Of course, you have to get the customer to go to your website in the first place, and this is a whole other task in itself, but you can see how by implementing a simple system like this you can move your existing brochure website into a 24hour lead generation system.

If you’d like help with implementing online marketing strategies within your business, please contact us for a free initial consultation.

 

 

Help Shape A New Service

I hope you’re enjoying the Summer and looking forward to getting down to some serious business after the holiday season has ended. Your thoughts maybe turning to how you can get more customers and more business during the next quarter, going forward. If that’s the case maybe we can help each other out.

 

The Online Knowledge is developing a new service to help Businesses, Charities and NGO’s to analyse how well they are doing across 3 critical areas of their Online Marketing.

 

1. Attraction

Are they doing enough to bring visitors to their website and fill the top of their sales and marketing funnel? How are their content creation, optimisation and website promotion skills?

2. Conversion
How good are they at converting traffic into leads and leads into customers? Do they have landing pages & conversion forms? Do they use email marketing and social media? How do their efforts compare with the best in the business?

3. Analytics
Do they know what aspects of their marketing are working and those that aren’t? Do they measure their successes and failures?

As an experienced online consultant, I’ll carry out this analysis and the results will be presented in a full written report alongside actionable recommendations, with the sole aim of helping to improve the ROI of their online marketing.

At the end of the report, we’ll give the client a score out of 100, so they can measure how their online marketing is performing against other organisations.

We want to get an idea as to how useful this service would be, the type of companies that would use the service and the fee they are willing to pay. I would really appreciate it if you could spend just 2 minutes answering the questions posed by my survey.

You’ll find the survey here

Thanks in advance for your help

Social Media Marketing Tips

Social Media Marketing TipsSocial media icons image

Over the last few weeks we’ve been developing social media strategies for both a national charity and a large Soho-based Voice-over agency which represents well known TV and Film actors. But it is not just the big boys who should be using social media. We have also recently been helping small local businesses learn more about using social media to raise awareness of their products and services.

Social media can be used by any type of business you care to name, you just have to adapt it to suit your individual business characteristics. What is more, because Social media networks are free to join they have an  immediate advantage over other marketing and advertising methods that usually cost thousands of pounds while generating minimal results.

If you are planning to use social media to market your business, there are a few steps you should take before jumping in.

  • The first thing you need to do is conduct a research that will show you where your target audience is spending most of their time.  This will help you decide which social networks you should use to start building your social media marketing campaigns.
  • After deciding which networks to use, you should take some time to learn about each network and identify the features you will use introduce your business to the community.

Statistics show that many people will see something on social media networks and visit the related business if it is in their local area.

Although the ultimate goal of Social Media Marketing is to generate more sales, the approach should be to create awareness about your business. It involves building a relationship with your contacts and reminding them that your business exists. Eventually, many of those contacts will convert into sales.

If you would like some assistance getting your Social Media Marketing campaigns up and running, contact us for a free consultation.

 

Modern Website Design Wisdom

Modern Website Design Wisdom

I’ve been talking to a couple of new clients during the last week or so about developing new websites for their businesses. What’s struck me is that many SME’s are falling into the trap of being totally beholden to their web designer.

Most web designers offer the service of registering the domain name and hosting the web site, as this takes away a lot of technical and time-consuming admin that business can ill afford.  The problem comes when that business wants to move away from using that web designer but continue to use the domain name and create a new site. All the vital pieces of information you need, like the user name and passwords to get access to Domain name to point it to a new website, are held by the old web designer. Now some are very good about this and would pass on the details to the client, some are not so good and make it very difficult for a business to wrestle back control of its vital online assets and move forward with modern website design.

One of my clients had a free website created and asked someone he knew to do this for them about 5 years ago. The domain name was part of the package and  I am now involved in frantically trying to do some forensic work to ensure we can still use the domain name and get access to its control panel to point it to a new site I’m developing.  

Wouldn’t make sense if all web designers supplied a document outlining all the digital assets they have set up and the relevant user names and passwords, alongside their invoice – to ensure the client never has to go through this tortuous process? 

Actually, that’s what we do!

The online world used to be the great wild west and over the years modern website design  has improved and changed, but there are still simple things like this we think should be mandatory.

If you’re looking for a modern website design, we can help at very affordable prices – an you’ll get all the vital information so that you still have total control over your web assets.

How Social Can Help Boost Your SEO Ranking

How Social Can Help Boost Your SEO Ranking

SEO Image

While talking to a client about their social media strategy, they asked the question “how exactly does social help my business”. Well, aside from raising awareness within your following community, social can really help boost your SEO ranking.

 

 

There’s been a lot of research recently that shows that keywords and back-linking are no longer as effective as they once were.Studies show that 5 of the top  6 ranking factors are all social.

When BING and GOOGLE were asked how Facebook and Twitter may impact search engine rankings BING replied:-

“We do look at the social authority of a user. We look at how many people you follow, how many follow you, and this can add a little weight to a listing in regular search results. 

We look at links shared that are marked as “Everyone,” and links shared from Facebook fan pages”

GOOGLE replied

“Yes, we do use [tweeted links and Re-tweets] as a signal. It is used as a signal in our organic and news rankings. We also use it to enhance our news universal by marking how many people shared an article”.

“We treat links shared on Facebook fan pages the same as we treat tweeted links. We have no personal wall data from Facebook”.

Based on these answers, you can assume that social media plays a role in influencing the search engine results by giving preference based on the authority of the author and the number of times a piece of content is shared on social networking sites.

As both social media and SEO professionals, we can help bring both sides of the equation together to help you promote your business using the latest online techniques.

Call us on 0845 519 8867 for more information or Contact us by email.

Why you need a mobile friendly website

Why you need a mobile friendly website

Mobile Website Design

Here’s a few facts to consider…

  • There are 6.8 billion people on the planet. 5.1 billion of them own a cell phone, but only 4.2 billion own a toothbrush. (Source: Mobile Marketing Association Asia
  •  91% of people keep their phone within 3 feet of themselves, 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. (Source: Morgan Stanley)
  • 3 out of 5 searches are done using a mobile phone
  • 70% of all mobile searches result in action within 1 hour. (Source: Mobile Marketer)
  • Searching for local businesses is the #1 way people use smart phones  (source: Google)

 

So, based on these facts, the question should be, why do you NOT need a mobile website!

Is your website fully optimised for mobile browsing? By fully optimised, I don’t mean  that  your website is squeezed to fit into the size restrictions of a mobile browser – I mean that it has been designed specifically as a mobile version of your standard website. This means the coding is clean and images are sparse to ensure the site loads quickly on 3G networks. The navigation of the site should be clear and easy to interact with from the home page. That there’s a “Tap to call” feature – again on the home page so that you don’t  have to go looking for the phone number.

This is how a professionally optimised mobile site should  be designed and if you want your business to be at the forefront of the mobile revolution, a small investment in this area of your online presence is absolutely essential.

“If you do nothing else, get a mobile-enabled site” – Peter Fitzgerald  (Google’s retail, technology & business markets director).

Until the end of May, The Online Knowledge is offering a special price for developing  a Mobile version of your website, starting from just £297 – so call or email us –and join the mobile revolution.

Social Marketing – 5 Time Saving Tips

Social Marketing – 5 Time Saving Tips

You know you need to be using social marketing, but finding the time in your busy working day can be a challenge.

Here’s 5 tips to help you:-

Set a schedule

 

Don’t feel under pressure to post every day. The most important thing is that when you do post it should be quality content that will get a response. Your messages should be purely promotional. The occasional promotional message is fine, but it should be part of an overall mix of content which includes, images, information about your industry and your personal thoughts.

Build a back catalogue of material.

It’s hard to sit down and think of fresh content every time you want to make a post. Instead, why not schedule some time each week to come up with ideas you could talk about. This will enable you to come up with material for several posts at a time, which you can then post a few days apart.

Link Your Accounts

These days, most businesses have several social media accounts. You don’t have to find unique content for each account. Just focus on one account, then link the other ones so that anything you post is distributed to all of them. For example anything you posted on Facebook could be sent out on Twitter and likewise anything that you post on Twitter could be posted on your Facebook page.

Use social marketing to provide customer service

Are there frequently asked questions or queries about your business? You can use social marketing to provide the answers. So when you receive a common question, you can point them towards your Facebook page and also ask them to like your page.

Don’t worry about negative comments; use them as an opportunity to showcase your customer service excellence by working with the customer to resolve the situation in an open way. Other clients, potential clients will be impressed with the way that you helped the client.

Automate (but with care)

Once you have enough variety of content you should be able to schedule some of it to be posted at specific times of the day. (There are some tools for this such as Timely for Twitter or Socialoomph). However, Social media means being social and you still need to have conversations with people and be human.

Centralise your engagement

There are a number of social media platform tools out there that allow you to centralise  your social marketing accounts in one place, Hootsuite, and Tweetdeck are just two examples. These social media tools let you update, monitor, manage and maintain several social media platforms at once saving you precious time.

Have content come to you.

You can set up Google alerts for specific topics related to your industry or niche. If you are an accountancy firm set up an alert for “accountancy advice”. You can then take a look at some of the results and it should inspire you to generate some content which you can share in your posts.

There are so many things you have to do as a business owner today, but building your brand online and being talked about is one of things you absolutely have to do. Social marketing for small business is hugely important and can really help business growth!