September 22, 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.

 

 

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.

What’s your reputation worth?

What’s your Reputation worth?

Image of £50 note

Whether you are aware of them or not, conversations are taking place about your business in internet chat rooms, through review sites and on social media sites.

To understand what the general “Sentiment” about your business is, you have to “listen” to these conversations. There are a number of ways you can do this, like using social and news aggregating websites and through online research looking at the top review sites. By reviewing the pattern and topics of conversation over a period of time you can see how the sentiment is affected by any publicity and marketing activities you enter into. As a small business, you may not be able to react to all the comments in the online space but by understanding what people are saying about you, you can see both the positives and negatives about your business’ reputation.

That’s why being visible on social networks is vital, you can help put your side of the story and occupy the same spaces as those who are both being positive about your business as well as being negative.

There was news recently about TripAdvisor.com and how some hotels were allegedly creating “fake” and extremely negative reviews on their competitors. However there is a way for hotels and similar businesses can manage their reviews in a totally ethical way and still ensure the positive ones get more visibility than the negatives ones.  If that’s something of interest to you, contact us and we can tell you more.

The Joy of Text

The Joy Of Text!

Text messaging, or SMS, has experienced huge growth in the number of people who use it regularly. And it’s not only younger people who are using it – it’s becoming more and more common with older users as well.

Local businesses can use text messaging to engage their customers on a much more personal basis than even email marketing can provide.There are two huge advantages to text messaging that really can’t be matched by any other method of communication.

Most people have their phones with them virtually all the time, so those messages will reach them no matter where they are.
The vast majority of text messages get read almost instantly when they’re received. Compare that to email that may go unopened for several days.

How can this work in your favour? Let’s say you’re a restaurant and its a Monday evening with very few bookings. You could instantly send a message to your list of opted in customers about a special promotion only available to them that evening. There’s just no other advertising medium that can reach your customers as immediately that is virtually guaranteed to be seen.

So does that mean you need to be feverishly tapping out text messages to all your customers every time you want to send something?

Not at all. There are services that will broadcast a text message to everyone who has requested to receive them from you. These services let you choose a number, called a Short Code, to use as your point of contact. Your customers just have to send a text to that number to sign up to receive text messages from you whenever you broadcast something out.

You can even set up an automatic response from these short codes, giving you the ability to offer an incentive to get people to opt into receiving those messages. After that you can contact these customers anytime you want and promote your offers and drum up business instantly.

We can help set up and manage this service for you at a very affordable rate. If you’d like to know more about how your business could benefit from text messaging, please contact us.

Mums get businesses online

Mums get businesses Online

We’ve all heard of the “Glass ceiling” within the corporate world – where Women find it incredi bly  hard to rise to the top. We’ve also heard about how Women wrestle with themselves between being a Mum a Wife and an employee. As as Married man with 2 young kids I know only too well the juggling my Wife has to do with kids off school with illness and holidays and how that impacts on the work role. (Just to put the record straight, I do my bit too!)

More and more, Mums are turning to the internet as a solution, setiing up a small home business that can give them the income they need, the satisfaction of doing something that they enjoy and uses their talents and most importantly, the felxibiliy of still being able to look after their kids when needed.

Just flicking through my Wife’s selection of Women’s magazines, I see an increasing number of Mums setting a business up online and being highly successful and this isn’t just happening in the UK and Europe, like most things it really started in the US and the number of “Moms with online businesses” has just exploded.

This is the future and I predict this will be a massive growth area over the coming years.

10 search marketing tips

 

SEO Image

10 Search marketing tips

One of the more common questions I get asked is,”can you give me just 10 search marketing tips?”

So, here goes…

 

1. Make sure your design your website for humans, not Google’s robots

2. Content is the most important thing to get ranked highly

3. SEO works best when integrated with social and other advertising and marketing campaigns

4. Look at targeting niche keywords or very specific keywords that will be relevant to your business

5.Use the power of Google analytics to help you optimise your site on an ongoing basis.

6. Don’t just concentrate on Google -there are other search engines out there that could be sending you traffic.

7. Don’t spend too much time on keywords,  most search engines ignore them.

8. Make sure your website has an xml site map – this will help search engines index your whole site.

9. Don’t use Flash animations on your website, its not great for users or search ensgines.

10. Monitor, refresh and refine your site and its content – Google likes this!

How to get more Facebook fans

Here’s how you can harness the power of Facebook’s 80 million active users!

Click on the link below

 

How to get more Facebook Fans