blog 40 Ways to sell boring products using social media <p>If your business is selling, and you know your product or service is a yawn-inducer, you probably don't see the point in setting up social media profiles.</p> <h3>I mean, who's going to like a page about <strong>board rubbers</strong>? Well, that depends on how creative you can be!</h3> <p>While this list isn't going to guarantee your business fame and fortune, there's an old saying i'm sure along the lines of 'doing something is better than doing nothing' - maybe it was my dad that said it, but hey - who cares? He's right!</p> <p>Scouring the internet for ideas on creating a new strategy for one of our clients (no, i'm not saying who!) and I came across various lists, strategies and best practices, but when you've worked in digital marketing for a while (or even a short time like me), there are a number of recurring concepts that we just shouldn't ignore. Here's 40 of them to inspire you and get you thinking 'outside the box' a little when it comes to promoting your product or service in a new way. One of the most common new strategies when it comes to marketing businesses, is finding a niche that doesn't directly sell your product, but supports it in a way that's relevant, fun and more interesting than a boring sales pitch.</p> <p>Let's say our fake company sells the most amazing board rubbers, but the monthly searches for board rubbers is, frankly not worth the effort. 20 searches per month.</p> <p><img class="left" title="" src="" alt="Screen Shot 2016 04 07 at 11.57.13" width="100%"/></p> <p>So, with our fake company selling board rubbers, there are a tonne of avenues you could explore - do a mind map and come up with some ideas:</p> <p><img class="leftAlone" title="" src="" alt="Screen Shot 2016 04 07 at 11.50.31" width="562" height="177"/></p> <p> </p> <p>See which of your ideas is most popular - use google keyword tool just to see if the topic has much traffic. While we're not aiming to be #1 for such a loose term, we can further target our niche once we know there's a potential marketplace that our product can fit into.</p> <p><img class="left" title="" src="" alt="Screen Shot 2016 04 07 at 11.53.39" width="100%"/></p> <p> So, Maths has a fairly huge chunk of traffic, <strong>74k monthly searches.</strong> So, how can we tap into that, and start selling our product around something that IS popular?</p> <h2>40 Ways to sell boring products using social media &amp; content marketing</h2> <p>1 <strong>Ask questions</strong> about your product and answer them! - people love facts<br/>2 Respond to questions and <strong>comments</strong> in good time on your social pages and profiles - it's good customer service<br/>3 Show your <strong>personality</strong> - don't feel you've got to post business stuff all the time. - people like people<br/>4 Add <strong>unpredictability</strong> to your posts - don't fall into the trap of using the same format<br/>5 Update your <strong>facebook cover photo</strong> at least once a month - use it as an ad or have fun with it<br/>6 Publicly announce a '<strong>fan of the week</strong>' and use it as a chance to make someone's day - it's all about customer delight<br/>7 Decide which social media platform gets you the best results, and then master just that one - <strong>quality over quantity</strong><br/>8 <strong>Run a competition</strong>, offer a prize, create a buzz. - people love freebies<br/>9 Create <strong>events</strong> and use them to shout about what you're doing well, involve the staff and your customers.</p> <p><img class="left" title="" src="" alt="teach" width="100%"/></p> <p>10 Have a look through <strong>Quora</strong> and find out what your potential customers really want - help them.<br/>11 <strong>Create a podcast</strong>. If your product is boring, don't be afraid to ridicule it, have fun with it, think of an angle.<br/>12 Avoid posting promos and ads all the time - <strong>use the 5/3/2 method</strong>. 5 shares of other peoples links, 3 of your own, 2 personal statements<br/>13 Avoid asking for likes - no-one buys into self pity.<br/>14 Actively <strong>engage your customers</strong>, fans, followers and ask them for reviews or photos of them using your board rubber!<br/>15 Create some <strong>posters</strong> or correx cutouts encouraging check-ins when people visit your premises - there's still a place for traditional marketing too!<br/>16 Write a list of what you're going to do on social every month - planning is the key!<br/>17 Host a webinar or <strong>Q&amp;A</strong> session<br/>18 Take a look at <strong>Pinterest</strong> and see what photos you could create that would be funny/interesting<br/>19 Avoid being super-negative. It's ok to have a laugh about being boring, but you should always put a <strong>positive spin</strong> on it</p> <p><img class="left" title="" src="" alt="boringboardrubbers" width="100%"/></p> <p>20 Post about things happening around you, as they happen<br/>21 Post on <strong>twitter</strong> daily, even if it's just once<br/>22 Talk about things happening in <strong>your community</strong> or niche<br/>23 Create <strong>videos</strong> or even 15s clips of you, your product, your staff, funny stuff, interesting stuff<br/>24 Show your business is real and has real customers - <strong>post pictures</strong> of them!<br/>25 Set up a <strong>referral program</strong> and encourage people to sell for you<br/>26 Use "<strong>Promoted Posts</strong>" to re-engage with lost fans<br/>27 Post on facebook between 1 and 3pm monday to friday for b2b and 1-5 saturday sunday for b2c<br/>28 Shout about the great reviews and <strong>testimonials</strong> you've had<br/>29 Encourage your team members to get involved and have them post things too</p> <p><img class="left" title="" src="" alt="testimonial" width="100%"/></p> <p>30 Engage with experts in the same field as you, respond to their posts, <strong>make 'friends'</strong><br/>31 Creat a <strong>Facebook Group</strong> around your niche product - make your customers feel priveleged<br/>32 Start a <strong>blog</strong>, post weekly and shout about it<br/>33 Add share buttons and <strong>CTAs</strong> to your blog posts, make sure it's easy to share<br/>34 Talk to those same experts in the same field again, ask them to comment on your blog posts<br/>35 Interact with <strong>other businesses</strong> who have fan pages too, comment, ask, engage. Don't spam.<br/>36 Use <strong>Facebook pixel</strong> to remarket people who may have visited before<br/>37 When sharing other people's content, <strong>add a comment</strong> and make sure you add opinion.<br/>38 Write "<strong>How to" posts</strong> related to your product - even if it's as simple as how to get it out of the box!<br/>39 Create <strong>infographics</strong> about the industries that might use your product - inform and intrique<br/>40 Start using <strong>slideshare</strong> and turn your presentations into a marketing tool</p> Tue, 22 Mar 2016 16:01:39 +0000 6 Steps towards a successful social media strategy <h2>1. Choose a channel</h2> <p><img class="left" style="float: left;" title="" src="" alt="graph icon" width="120" height="120"/></p> <p>It may seem necessary being on every social media channel going, but it can also create a lot more work for your SEO guy. The trouble is, you can quite easily schedule posts to go out across facebook, twitter, linkedin using the same snippet with a picture and a link, but they display differently on each platform. A large rectangular image that fits perfectly on your facebook profile could end up cropped in twitter and unreadable. A common problem with LinkedIn is that it doesn't seem to conform to the standard image size that tends to just 'work' on all platforms, so it'll look messy if not done right. The second, more important point here is that different types of people choose different social media channels.</p> <div>The younger generation are geared more towards Instagram and Snapchat, whereas casual socialers would have a quick skim of twitter or facebook on their lunchbreak. Going back to our image problem, the inherent issue with creating a single bit of content and posting it to all your accounts, is that it will undoubtedly display differently on each news feed. So, watch your channels over a few months (and not just at the start and end!) and decide which one gets you more interactions, likes, shares, conversations and choose that one. Better still, ask every customer which social channel they use! Then the guesswork is taken away. A simple poll on your checkout page or an extra sentence at the end of every phone enquiry is all it takes to start collecting the data.</div> <div>Once you've chosen a social channel that works for you, that really connects with your buyer personas, make it your primary focus. Create content specifically for it, content that displays well, is posted at peak times and offers open-ended questions or has a call to action on. Don't giv</div> <div>e up on your other channels, you can still use these too, but focus all your energy on making the most likely lead-generator work. You can build your other channels once you've mastered one.</div> <h2>2. Hire a professional</h2> <h2><img class="left" style="float: left;" title="" src="" alt="professional" width="120" height="120"/></h2> <div>The fabled work experience boy (or girl) is great for making cups of tea on demand and photocopying reports, but not great for being the face of your company. Businesses often overlook the importance of an 'SEO guy' thinking it's just someone who 'updates the twitter and fa</div> <div>cebook'. Yes, we do that, but we do so much more. We make coffee too. Seriously, here's the steps i've taken so far, as I write this article:</div> <div> <ul><li>used <a href="" target="_blank"></a> to research what articles have gained traction on this topic before</li> <li>found a suitable article to influence and support my post</li> <li>searched <a href="" target="_blank"></a> for a relevant photo (sometimes this can take forever!)</li> </ul></div> <div>and i'm yet to:</div> <div> <ul><li>format the content</li> <li>create images to split each section into manageble chunks, so there's not mountains of text clumped together</li> <li>create social media images in different sizes for each channel we use (twitter, facebook, linkedin, google+.. )</li> <li>view the sharers of the original content and message them with links to our new, updated post</li> <li>schedule social media posts for today, tomorrow, next week and next month with UNIQUE posts with the same link</li> </ul></div> <h2>3.Interact</h2> <p style="text-align: left;"><img class="left" title="" src="" alt="interact" width="120" height="120"/>Create conversations with the people you've contacted. Ask your followers questions, get involved in their lifes, help them solve problems, offer them solutions, avoid the hard sell. Think about how you feel when you know someone is trying to sell you something. It feels cold and intrusive. That cold-call you get at work distracting you from your job just annoys you, makes you angry and disrupts your flow. Don't be that guy! Imagine if someone rang you up, said 'i've noticed you're having trouble with _____ and wondered if I could send you ____ for free?'. Ok, you'd be a bit dubious at first, but c'mon -it's free! And when it arrives, the shock and surprise continues.. 'hey george, this guy sent us x for free have you seen this? Suddenly that guy starts to become a little more important in your business life and the next time you speak you'll make a point of giving him your time. You might even change the tone you use when he calls back. It could be you doing this. So, you're giving stuff away for free. So what? What's it costing you? What are you gaining from it? I'm going off a bit here, but interaction is the key and solving problems is the easiest way of doing that. Make someones day.</p> <h2>4.Involve the team</h2> <h2><img class="left" style="float: left;" title="" src="" alt="teamwork" width="120" height="120"/></h2> <div>If you could multiply your successes by 10 you would right? So work out a formula that's super easy to follow and get the whole team posting. If you have 10 team members all shouting about the article you just wrote or the video you just uploaded, it's acheiveable. Make it part of their routine. Hide alarm clocks in and around their desk with a "please share something on social x" post-it note on. They'll see the funny side.. eventually. Failing that you might lose a few friends at work.</div> <p> </p> <h2>5.Connect</h2> <div><img class="left" title="" src="" alt="connect with peopl" width="120" height="120"/>Who are your competitors? Find them, interact, start a conversation. Find out what they do differently. It will help you develop a niche area. Even if your business does something boring as hell, there will be 1 element that you do much better than anyone else. Do more of that. Who are your customers? Find them, follow them, ask them stuff. "What did you like about your last purchase?", "what could we do better?". Of course if you've got any incentives here such as 10% off deals or freebies, they'll help get those important interactions and they'll be one step closer to being a brand ambassador.</div> <h2>6.Delight Customers<span style="font-size: 10px;"> </span></h2> <p style="text-align: left;"><img class="left" title="" src="" alt="delight customers" width="120" height="120"/>If you've done all of the above, this should be easy. Hubspot often talks about 'customer delight' which is part of their inbound marketing strategy. It's about going above and beyond on social and content level. Being the customer service rep you may not have, being the first point of contact for when things go wrong, and improving the way you react to social media. This is one of the reasons the tea-boy shouldn't be the 'facebook updater person'. They know nothing about your business, your customers or what you have at your disposal to make sure customers stay satisfied. You do. Your team should too. Your SEO guy should be an integral part of the team who knows everything about your business so he/she can respond to people online like you would on a phonecall or customer visit. Automate your email process, make sure they've a reason to come back and make another purchase. There are a tonne of metrics out there that tell you at what point in your sales funnel offers and tasty treats should go out, but that's another article right there..</p> <div>Hopefully you've got a clearer idea of how to run your social media from this. Don't just hope it brings you results. Monitor your stats daily and keep on top of things. Better still, <a href="[sitetree_link,id=3]">hire us</a> and we'll do it for you. Cheeky plug there.</div> Mon, 14 Mar 2016 14:18:55 +0000 6 Ways to boost your lead generation <p>Inbound marketing is one of the things we do best. It's a complex strategy of delivering great content, highly targeted landing pages, a great user experience and the social media presence to go with it.</p> <p>It's all about attracting strangers, converting visitors and delivering a customer delight! But where does it start? How can it be improved? What lets your site down? Let's take a look!</p> <p>Here we've put together 6 ways you can improve your lead generation with some simple tweaks to your user experience.</p> <h2>1. Move Your Calls-to-Action (CTA)</h2> <p>Install a heatmap and see which areas are the 'hottest' on your site. A great tool we found when needing to do a little research was <a href="" target="_blank">Lucky Orange</a>. They give you a 7 day trial of their software which 'records' the mouse movements of every visitor to your site, show you how and where they scroll and lets you 'view' what they were doing as if you were right next to them. This is great for improving UX and not too expensive if you want to continually monitor the user journey and keep tweaking. Of course, there is also google tag manager which can do the same sort of thing, the different being that you'll have to spend ages setting them up. This was by far the easiest way we've seen it done and with measureable results. General rule of thumb says that CTAs should be 'above the fold' and the first and last items of your sidebar, but hey - that might be different for your site. Stick them just before your users click-off. Watch your lucky orange videos and jot down the exit points to create an overview of which areas bore your viewers.</p> <h2>2. Add CTAs to Each Blog Post</h2> <p>What a great idea! Not much to say here on this. One of the things to remember is that the blog is often the most updated part of your site, so it's naturally going to gain a lot of hits much quicker than the rest of your site if you're providing fresh new content every day, week or month. With that in mind, you should be utilising your blog posts to your full advantage. Add share buttons too! Make it super-easy for people to help you.</p> <h2>3. Improve the Positioning of the Form</h2> <p>Forms. Tthe sad truth is that only 2% of website visitors even bother to fill them out. So when we add them to our sites, let's make them sexy. Bring them to the top or that trigger point where people click-off and try and capture theit details before they leave. Having a form right at the bottom of your page means they'll have to scroll all the way down to see it. Having a form in a lightbox or popup could work, but as a frequent web user myself, I tend to close them instantly without even reading what they're for. I know the marketing tricks, I know you want to capture my data, but i'm really not interested in getting your newsletter. I'm here for research and i'll probably never return. It's different for other industries though. Someone looking for fence panels and discovering a garden website with great deals may very well want to stay updated with your offers of patio slabs or furniture, because hey - they've spotted some great offers already on your site. Timing of these popups is also essential too if you ask me. One thing that annoys me and makes me click-off is the instant pop-up. Give me time to decide whether I like you first! </p> <h2>4. Add Images to Demonstrate your offer</h2> <p>If you're selling holidays, show images of people on holiday having a great time with clear seas, cocktail in hand and a big wad of cash that they've saved right next to them. Or maybe something more subtle? Images will help you sell the dream every time. If you're selling ladders you could show a photo of your ladder.. or you could show the ladder being used in the kitchen as someone climbs up it to put a saucepan away in a high cupboard. Take some time to think a little about the mindset of the person visiting the page and what the benefits of your offer are.</p> <h2>5. Emphasise the Benefits of the Offer</h2> <p>Oh, look at that.. it lead us straight into the benefits of the offer. One of the things i've learnt about sales and marketing is that you should never just try and sell the product on it's features, but sell the benefits of the product. What will this product do for me? Let's look at some examples features vs benefits and from this you can tweak your text a bit.</p> <table border="0"><tbody><tr><td><strong>Product</strong></td> <td><strong>Features</strong></td> <td><strong>Benefits</strong></td> </tr><tr><td><strong>E-cigarettes*</strong></td> <td> <p>Nicotine inhalation device,<br/>£20 <br/>No Smell</p> </td> <td> <p>Healthier than traditional cigarettes*<br/>Cheaper than smoking,<br/>People will like you again for not smelling like a bonfire</p> </td> </tr><tr><td><strong>Bluetooth Headphones</strong></td> <td>Wireless Connectivity,<br/>Adjustable Volume Control,<br/>Red in colour</td> <td>Enables you to walk around the office or home without tripping over wires,<br/>Protects your hearing,<br/>People will think you're sick. (apparently that means 'cool' these days)</td> </tr><tr><td><strong>A flat cap</strong></td> <td>Hand stitched,<br/>One size fits all,<br/>Black in colour</td> <td> <p>Longer lasting than machine produced (because it's hand stitched),<br/>Your whole family can share the same hat,<br/>Goes with anything. Or doesn't go with anything. Either way it works.</p> </td> </tr></tbody></table><p>I'm not advocating the use of these, even though I use one myself. Make your own mind up.</p> <h2>6. Optimise your Thank You Page</h2> <p>Let's assume people have visited your site, a particular landing page in fact and they've signed up for your newsletter. Great! Now what? Show them a 'thank you for giving us all your details' page and that's it? </p> <p>WHOOOOAAAH there horsey. Why not optimise this page with some offers, CTAs and products? If you sold to them straight after contacting you or signing up, BOOM your boss would instantly love you and probably put your wages up by 20%. Or at very least you'll have got them to the end of your funnel with zero effort. Let's be honest, lead-generation sites are just lazy e-commerce sites. They're still there to sell stuff, just in a more relaxed way. So, if everyone knows that, why not buck the trend and hit them with an offer they can't refuse after they've shown an interest? This isn't just about shoehorning a cliche gangster quote into my article, it's about surprising, delighting and making people love you. If you've every used Vistaprint you'll remember the excitement you experienced the first time you saw their 'time limited offer' at the end of the checkout process. OMG HALF PRICE CARD HOLDER THAT I'LL NEVER USE!! I NEED IT!! So you buy it. Great marketing trick, just at a different point in the sales funnel.</p> <p>Thanks for reading, now sort your site out and get some more leads!</p> Tue, 08 Mar 2016 12:13:39 +0000 The things we still hate on the internet <h2>Clickbait</h2> <p>Why are advertisers still creating this drivel? Because curiosity is our worst enemy online. I've become immune to clickbait. I know that not a single story you're going to try and sensationalise will entertain or inform me, and your miracle cure or get-rich-quick idea will be no different to the millions we've seen elsewhere! Look out for words like 'loophole' and 'diet pills' as your nonsense indicators.</p> <p>Here's the top 3 phrases we're sick of seeing:</p> <ul><li>"Doctors don't want you to know about (insert miracle cure)"</li> <li>"Find out what mums in (insert your region) are doing to make £785 a week"</li> <li>"Knock off 10 years with this one simple trick"</li> </ul><p><img class="left" title="" src="" alt="click bait" width="770" height="447"/></p> <h2>Splash Pages</h2> <p>Come on guys, it's not 1995! Even are still using these ridiculous quotes before letting you onto their site. What's the point? At least utilise them to capture newsletter signups. <a href="" target="_blank">Troy Hunt</a> spotted this one. (in fact, his post was the influence for writing this).</p> <p><img class="left" title="" src="" alt="forbes2" width="770" height="401"/></p> <h2>Multi-page top 10 lists</h2> <p>You've clicked an 'interesting' link on Facebook and you're now reading about the top 10 most shocking photos of Beyonce, but you have to navigate a minefield of adverts to find the 'next' button, which loads another page full of adverts, which you have to navigate for the next image.. Oh forget it. We've clicked off. This one was about how celebrity kids looked like their parents. Notice the click bait too..</p> <p><img class="left" title="" src="" alt="uberhavoc" width="769" height="646"/></p> <h2>Disguised adverts</h2> <p>So you need some freeware app to unzip some files or FTP in to your website, and end up on a software download page. 'Click here to download' it says. Click.</p> <p>Next page.. 'Select mirror' .. ugh.. clicks any..</p> <p>Next page ... 'Download now' , 'download for free' 'download here'</p> <p><img class="left" title="" src="" alt="download" width="769" height="142"/></p> <p>Just give me the damn file! And no i don't want to install your download manager app. I'm quite happy to use the standard protocols for downloading a file off a webpage.</p> <h2>Massive cookie warnings</h2> <p>Hey BBC, we're looking at you. This whole cookie disclaimer business is getting a bit old hat now. We're not sure who really reads all the cookie disclaimers, but i'm sure they've not changed much since the last time we clicked. Why not have an icon that shows you a site uses cookies in your browser instead and do away with these massive page-hoggers? The whole 'secure site' thing has been revolutionised by many modern browsers. Why not do the same for cookies?</p> <p><img class="left" title="" src="" alt="bbc cookies" width="770" height="573"/></p> <h2>Delayed popups</h2> <p>SO annoying. I was pleasantly surprised to get to a page that was well laid out and didn't bug me to sign up as soon as i started reading, then i scroll down a bit and BOOOM. BUY OUR STUFF. I'm reading about films, why would I need a cottage in Chelsea? Someone's wasting far too much budget on useless advertising. I hate you already.</p> <p><img class="left" title="" src="" alt="cinema blend" width="770" height="616"/></p> <h2>Clickable backgrounds</h2> <p>If you're an experienced internet/computer user, you'll know by now that computers don't intuitively know which window you're looking at. You have to click into the window to make it active, then you're free to scroll and buy crap. But, finding a bit of space to click on that isn't linked or smothered in ads these days can be a task in itself. It's CinemaBlend again - the idea is that they use the whole background as one giant clickable ad. Nowhere to click without being whisked away anymore! STOP!</p> <p><img class="left" title="" src="" alt="cinema blend fullscreen" width="770" height="376"/></p> <h2>Infinite Scroll</h2> <p>This was groundbreaking when it came out! What? i just scroll down and more items appear? That's amazing. It's also annoying and it's terrible for bookmarking, add more pages instead.</p> <p>Social media is the worst for this. How far do I want to actually go back in time?! Just show me the most recent and add some pagination. Here's Sony's Google+ page.. i tried to beat the scroll and won.</p> <p><img class="left" title="" src="" alt="infinity" width="770" height="609"/></p> <p> There are still loads more out there, but we thought we'd cover the most popular (unpopular)! Hopefully it will make you think about how you adopt adverts on page, calls to action and where you're spending your budget on display network ads.</p> Tue, 09 Feb 2016 10:05:29 +0000 Adwords app for iOS finally arrives! <p>The long awaited addition to any marketer's toolbox is finally here. Monitor your Adwords campaigns on the go, raise and lower budgets, give your ads a holiday break and monitor Impressions, CTR and Clicks all in one simple yet well designed app for the iPhone.</p> <p>The app lets you contact an Adwords rep directly if you need support, receive notifications when budgets are low and receive suggestions on current campaigns all from your phone (or iPad).</p> <p>With the addition of this app, it now means that there Bing and Google apps that work on both Android and iOS giving you full mobile management of your marketing campaigns. If you're an entrepreneur, small business or just a manager who likes to know what's going on - this is a great way to keep an eye on your online performance.</p> <p><img class="center" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="" src="" alt="adwords app for ios3" width="600" height="404"/></p> <p>One of the great features we like is the ability to choose which columns display on landscape view. We tested it out on one of our iPads and found it much easier to use. </p> <p> </p> <p><img class="center" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="" src="" alt="unspecified" width="600" height="450"/></p> <p>The only features we noted weren't available were some of the setup tools you'd use on the web-based site. The keyword planner for example, would have been great for those times when you suddenly have a eureka moment and want to check traffic for a specific phrase. Still, it's another addition to the marketer's bag and we're glad it's finally here! Means we can take our iPad into meetings and highlight key information without a tonne of tabs and logins to remember!</p> <p>You can download it on the iTunes app store here: <a href="" target="_blank">Google Adwords App for iPhone</a></p> Tue, 02 Feb 2016 11:38:20 +0000 7 Steps towards a successful SEO strategy <p>So, you're ready to start your online marketing campaign, you've got all your data from last year ready and you know your competition. Let's jump in and take a look at your rivals, because hey - if they're your rivals then you must feel like their marketing is a threat to yours right? It is if you're not listed for terms you'd expect to be!</p> <h2>1. Run a keyword analysis</h2> <p><strong><img class="leftAlone" title="" src="" alt="keyworld analysis" width="381" height="285"/><br/></strong></p> <p>Create a list of your top 20 keywords, and don't forget a keyword is more of a key phrase these days - and every minor change to a phrase counts as a new keyword eg: <em>Widgets in Northampton</em> is different to <em>Widget in Northampton</em> so spend some time on this. Look at long-tail search terms too which are even longer phrases that might have traffic.</p> <h2>2. Look at your competitors websites</h2> <p><img class="leftAlone" title="" src="" alt="competitor analysis" width="381" height="285"/></p> <p>See what they do well, and make notes on what works visually. If your target audience is similar to theirs, you can get a feel for the style and language used and compare this to yours. You'll be surprised how much psychology goes into marketing, and making sure you're aiming for the right people is key to any conversions.</p> <h2>3. Optimise your website</h2> <p><img class="leftAlone" title="" src="" alt="analyse your code" width="381" height="285"/></p> <p>Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a term used quite broadly that means digital marketing, however it's self-explanatory meaning refers to the process of making your website 'readable' by the search engines. The search engines are just pieces of software, and quite complex ones at that, but they 'read' your site and look for particular elements. They don't see it how you do, they inspect the code. Making sure you've got the right bits in the right places is part of this process. The algorithm for each search engine changes periodically, favouring different elements and discreting some to keep the results competitive. There are a number of tools and websites out there that will give you an SEO report, however we'd suggest a <a href="[sitetree_link,id=133]">website audit</a> which will include some analysis and suggestions based on experience too.</p> <h2>4. Create great content, regularly</h2> <p><img class="leftAlone" title="" src="" alt="create blog content northampton" width="381" height="285"/></p> <p>Blog posting may not be for you, it takes time to research new ideas or collate your skills and knowledge into concise and helpful articles which is exactly what i'm doing now. Currently, this blog post has taken me 26 minutes to write. I've had to come up with a title, research the areas I want to talk about to ensure correctness and then present it in a way which is engaging and informative. If that's not something your business can afford to spend time on, you should consider hiring a <a href="[sitetree_link,id=116]">content writer.</a></p> <h2>5. Share your passion</h2> <p><img class="leftAlone" title="" src="" alt="social media" width="381" height="285"/></p> <p>Once you've spent time and got into the routine of creating great content, you need to get it noticed. Talk to people on twitter, facebook and linkedIn and don't be too pushy with it. A friendly 'hey i've written this, would you mind taking a look?' can often get you the shares you need to create a buzz around your ideas. If social media is the local pub of marketing, remember people are out there just trying to enjoy their pint. Don't go shouting in their faces! </p> <h2><strong>6. Perform a link audit</strong></h2> <p><img class="leftAlone" title="" src="" alt="google disavow" width="381" height="285"/></p> <p>If you're not using google analytics and google webmasters, you should be. You can also sign up for who have got some pretty good tools. Work out who's linking to you and whether it's negatively affecting your site's rank, disavow (using Google Webmaster tools) any that you'd rather not be associated with.</p> <h2><strong>7. Work out your budget.</strong></h2> <p><img class="leftAlone" title="" src="" alt="marketing budget northampton" width="381" height="285"/></p> <p>Digital marketing packages start from £350 per month and go upto thousands depending on the size and profit margin of the business. The more you spend, the greater your impact but it won't necessary speed the process up. <a href="[sitetree_link,id=3]">Talk to us</a> about how best to utilise the budget you have set aside. Digital marketing budgets can include on-page seo, off-page seo for social networks and links or PPC campaigns and regular content creation. Get a tailored packaged based on what you know works, choosing the mediums your research shows works best.</p> Mon, 25 Jan 2016 14:53:44 +0000 Aren't social networks all looking similar these days? <h2>Yup.</h2> <p>I could just end the article with that one word, but where's the fun in that? In the ever-expansive social media network, there are increasingly different ways you can interact with your followers, friends and business folk, but are they all slowly morphing into similar apps?</p> <p>With the recent update to the LinkedIn app, it's apparent that the user interface looks ever more like Facebook, with the splash screen eminating the old Facebook splash and home screen featuring those ever popular 'write' and 'photo' buttons just underneath your status box. Yes, status box. It seems many social sites are now mimicking one another and following design trends that are proven (by their competitors) and because of it seem more intuitive.</p> <p><img class="left" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="" src="" alt="social apps2" width="100%"/></p> <p>The five buttons at the bottom seem to be a regular occurance across the big 4, and maybe this isn't so much about the social media platform, but more the medium in which we use it - smartphones. Remember when Apple sued Samsung over the swipe lock button idea? Look how far an intuitive design has come- it's practically on every touchscreen smartphone we use these days, and mostly because it seems the most logical way of interacting with a touchscreen device. Ok, there are a some variations like pattern selection or swiping up instead of across, but it just seems to fit, right?</p> <h2>Like &amp; Love</h2> <p>Like buttons and love buttons are a big part of social media, and an approval from friends and colleagues that what you're posting is on the same level, or that they value your thoughts and advice. The LinkedIn thumbs up looks awfully similar to Facebook's though! Surely a universal notion such as giving a thumbs up or using a heart to show approval or affection can't be copyrighted thought? Let's hope not. Things could easily get out of hand as the battle for social media preference continues. However, if you're anything like me, you'll have different sets of users on different sites. Facebook has my close friends, a few colleagues and more importantly family. It's a place we share photos, memories and 'meet' albeit virtually and over a few different countries. LinkedIn for business connections and industry news. Twitter for my weekend activities as a DJ let's me interact with customers and other performers to feel like part of something bigger than just the venue I'm in. I use Instagram for the artist in me. Adding filters and effects and creating short videos of the things that are important to me or the experiences i have on a daily basis. It's also a great inspirational tool when you search the hashtags you've included in your own posts, and see how they've been interpreted across the world.</p> <h2>Direct Messaging</h2> <p>The ability to direct message has been improved across Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram, with twitter increasing their character limit to 10,000 for direct messaging and Facebook jumping on the emoji bandwagon and adding 'feelings', gifs and the hashtag trend that Twitter made famous. </p> <h2>Photos &amp; Videos</h2> <p>Adding photos &amp; videos has come a long way on Twitter, with the ability to add both now effortlessy it's hard to remember the days when using services like twitvid and twitpic were the only way to share multimedia. One thing that instagram has stuck to in it's evolution is the 15 second limit for video clips. Plenty long enough and sometimes too long! If you think that Vine offers just seven second clips and has launched many users into the mainstream through the creativity needed to shine in such a short blip in everyone's timeline - it's quite amazing. LinkedIn is the only one lagging behind a little with video, although I like having a newsfeed that's not jammed with other SEO guys' stuff tips and tutorials!</p> <h2>Marketing &amp; Social Commerce</h2> <p>Sponsored posts are possibly the biggest commercial venture any social network can make, and the four discussed here today all offer sponsored posts. This is a major resource for business in digital marketing and not something to be sniffed at. Facebook advertising is one of the most popular, as there is more space to view the advert and you can included video and promote just a single post instead of a page. Twitter and Instagram offer newsfeed promoted posts that slot in between the updates of the people you follow. LinkedIn now also let you sponsor an update which for people who got onboard with it early, and who have made many connections in the industry they work, this could be a turning point for changing the way you interact and are perceived by other professionals. For b2b, this is a great opportunity.</p> <p> </p> <p>I guess the overall feeling is that while different social networks attract different types of people, the interface and layouts will inevitably follow the same path, much like the development of any product or service - it becomes tailored towards ease of use, familiarity and common sense. Whatever your choice of social, there are certain features that will remain unique to that app for years to come, but the addition of every other site's functions will soon creep in, whether you like it or not! Look at how Facebook has evolved, and from a time when Myspace had way more features!</p> Fri, 22 Jan 2016 10:14:47 +0000 How to be more productive with your email <h2><img class="left" title="" src="" alt="email" width="870" height="225"/></h2> <p>In the ever-daunting task of checking emails, there are a few tools out there to help you be more productive, read less, and better use your time!</p> <h2>i) Unsubscribe, unsubscribe, unsubscribe</h2> <p>Many people ask themselves how they can reduce the number of emails clogging up their inbox, distracting them from potential leads, customer enquiries and sales. The answer is simple - clear out all your subscriptions for a start! There's a really cool site call, which is totally free. It scans your inbox and lets you easily find out who's email lists you're signed up to, and with a few clicks, you can reduce the number of newsletters you receive.</p> <p><img class="leftAlone" title="" src="" alt="Capture" width="600" height="300"/></p> <h2>ii) Keep replies brief</h2> <p>Set up a portion of your email signature to include 'kind regards' and then your name as part of the signature. That's the whole point really of an email signature! Spending ages writing something elaborate just to say 'yes, that's fine' or 'we'll have a look and get back to you' wastes so much time. Just be polite, brief and to the point. People will thank you for it. You can also use pre-written replies or 'canned responses' - set this up in Gmail if you use it too. Go to 'settings', click 'labs' and find 'canned responses' at the top. To do this in outlook, you just create multiple signatures, and choose which one to use when you reply. So that 'kind regards' one we just set up could also have 'yes, thats great, thank you' in it for example.</p> <h2>ii) Use CRM software to automate and schedule your own broadcasts</h2> <p><img class="left" title="" src="" alt="infusionsoft" width="600" height="249"/></p> <p>Another one of our businesses uses a great tool called InfusionSoft. It's a Customer Relationship Management tool that allows you to create email lists for broadcasting newsletters, updates and so much more. Not only can you set up a month's worth of newsletters in a day, and schedule them for every week of the month! using scheduling, but you can track all kinds of metrics and monitor your relationship to better calculate what times of day they respond, what kinds of emails they open and all the KPIs you need to turn them into more valuable customers.</p> Sun, 17 Jan 2016 15:31:36 +0000 Letting your customers do the marketing <p><img class="leftAlone" title="" src="" alt="marketing" width="870" height="225"/></p> <p> </p> <p>In <a href="" target="_blank">an interesting article from Duct Tape Marketing</a>, George Ryan explores the strategy of letting your customers do the selling for you.</p> <p>An important part of marketing your business is focusing on one particular element at a time. If your business offers many services, it can be daunting trying to sell yourself as a multi-faceted service provider, especially when you want to wisely spend your budget and get the most out of pay per click.</p> <p>Ryan outlines 6 steps to enable your customers to do much of the marketing for you, and let's be honest, much of today's SEO successes come from building great relationships - both with influencers and customers alike.</p> <p><strong>1. Focus</strong></p> <p>Focus your efforts into one avenue - this can be one campaign for example, focusing on one service. Getting your website in order and making sure it's easy to navigate, flows well and gives the customer the information they need without 'filler' is essential to creating a good customer experience. Use your current leads and customers as a feedback tool to work out what can be improved and which bits they found distracting. Get into the mindset of your customer.</p> <blockquote> <p>"<span>You should always strive to be a company that you would want to be a customer of."</span></p> </blockquote> <p><strong>2. Have customer service to be proud of</strong></p> <p>Respond to emails quickly, provide FAQs or email response templates for enquiries that ask the same question, further streamlining your response time and allowing you to focus less on admin, and more on your product. Use your customer feedback to make changes and improvements, and let them know when you've implemented them. Feeling like you've influenced a company in any way, lets them know that they're important and you value their opinions and requirements. </p> <blockquote> <p>"Everyone should have an amazing experience"</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>3. Make it easier for customers to provide feedback</strong></p> <p>Give them a tool, a portal, a forum or at very least a survey to complete at various stages of their journey</p> <blockquote> <p>"If you never ask, you'll never know"</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>4. Make sure what you're doing is to the best of your ability</strong></p> <blockquote> <p>"Do what you do, but do it better than anyone else"</p> </blockquote> <p>It sounds like an obvious statement, but no-one wants a mediocre service - or expects it for that matter. Even the cheapest of services comes with expectations and customers won't hesitate to complain, even if they're paying peanuts and your margins are low. At this point in your analysis, it might even be worth changing your price point to reflect a service that has more value. There's a whole other analysis on price-points, and the metrics involved, but we'll leave that for now.</p> <p><strong>5. Offer incentives and rewards</strong></p> <p>Who doesn't love a 20% off deal for being a loyal customer? Or even a freebie? It's an age-old concept, but it could be what maintains that relationship with previous customers that gets them checking your website out again. As an SEO exec, my inbox is bursting with subscription newsletters and updates from companies i've maybe used once in the past, and sadly many of them get ignored. However, as a prime example of great email marketing i recently noticed one from a company who offered me a free 3 month trial of their latest product. One that i could actually make use of. I clicked and took them up on the offer, and although it wasn't what i expected, I noticed another great tool on their website that was perfect for me. Sometimes, just getting people to your site is all it takes for them to regain an interest in what you're doing.</p> <blockquote> <p>"It's ok to reward people"</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>6. Happy customers sell your products for you</strong></p> <p>Once you're happy with the customer journey you offer, and more importantly once they're happy too - you can give them a multitude of tools to let them become an ambassador for your brand. A simple 'click to tweet about us' button or a quirky 'share the love' prompt that gets you a facebook like or review can improve your reach and the easier it is to do this, the more likely they are to shout about you. </p> <blockquote> <p><span>"have your existing customers be the marketers for your website"</span></p> </blockquote> <p> </p> Sun, 10 Jan 2016 17:34:22 +0000 Why do you need landing pages? <p>You might have heard the term 'landing page' bounced around and not really know what one is or how it can help you target customers on a more personal level.</p> <p>Let's take a look!</p> <p>A landing page is pretty much any web page that a visitor or viewer can 'land' or arrive on after searching for x y or z. It's often focused towards a single mission, product or service that provides a concise and funnelled journey towards your main goal. The goal itself can be anything from newsletter signups, to data capture and lead generation. Knowing what the purpose of your landing page is, and having content ready to populate this page is key to it's success. There are a tonne of wireframe templates out there that can help you structure your landing page in a way that sells it directly, without feeling too pushy, without the distraction of other products and services.</p> <h2>The Structure of a landing page</h2> <p>This will vary depending on the type of business you run, the product or service you sell and the demographic you're aiming at, but some of the principles remain the same. Keeping calls to action 'above the fold' is important, along with selling the benefits of your product first. The features come later. Take a look at our mockup for an idea of where to start.</p> <p><strong><img class="left" title="" src="" alt="landing page mockup" width="870" height="870"/><br/></strong></p> <h2>Types of landing pages</h2> <p><strong>Click-Through</strong></p> <p>These types of pages are set up specifically to funnel users into a purchase on the main page, by offering them a detailed description of the benefits of the product and service, it's features, a case study or three and once the user has been sufficiently 'warmed up', they click through to a product page ready to complete their purchase. It's effectively a big pre-sell on a single item. </p> <p><strong>Lead-Gen</strong></p> <p>These are slightly different in that they don't forward through to your businesses main site or a product page. Their purpose is to capture information for future marketing campaigns by offering a 'freebie' or discount in exchange for their email address. The freebie in this instance doesn't have to be something of monetary value, so don't be fooled into thinking this is a giveaway. It can be something as simple as an ebook, free trial, advanced notifcation of a product launch or a consultation. The importance here is to make sure that the page has enough value to warrant the visitor parting with their precious details. A form is usually the capture point here, with anything from name and email to dropdowns that enhance your knowledge of the campaign such as 'where did you hear about us?' or 'what region do you live in?'. Helpful insights that can further improve your campaign or target your products using different styles and methods based on the results. Don't get distracted with this too much though. The key here is to capture their data quickly. If you're building an email list, name and email will do.</p> <p><strong>So, is this just for products?</strong></p> <p>Landing pages are primarily for the purpose of lead gen or soft selling, however you can often create them for a/b testing or directing your services towards a particular demographic, area or need which would then allow you to focus on one key phrase or or keyword for that one page. </p> <p>There are some great examples of click-through pages at</p> <p>And some lead generation ones at</p> Tue, 22 Dec 2015 11:30:01 +0000 5 Things to think about before spending your marketing budget <p> <img class="leftAlone" title="" src="" alt="how to allocate your marketing budget seo" width="870" height="225"/></p> <p>If you’ve got budget to spend on marketing, we’re here to tell you that it’s not just about ‘SEO’. We’ve worked in many sectors and our Director Pete Halsey has been involved in Marketing for a number of years, and not just digital. This is why we’re good at what we do. We know that good digital marketing is not all about social media posts and h1 tags. Let’s take a look at some of the things you should be considering when allocating your budget to Digital Marketing.</p> <h2>Website Structure</h2> <p>Analyse your website. Make sure it’s structured well BEFORE you start your campaigns. After all, the campaigns are driving traffic to your site, so when people get there it needs to be relevant and informative. A great user experience is all part of ‘SEO’ and will engage your visitor and improve the time they spend on your site (*reducing bounce rate too). A responsive design is also critical these days, as around 40% of web traffic is on mobile or tablet. Responsive design ensures that when your site is viewed on a smaller screen, it fits the width correctly and often shows an uncluttered view, removing any unnecessary elements that might hinder that purchase process. An SEO health check could help you identify which areas need attention.</p> <h2>Digital Marketing</h2> <p>Once you’ve got your site looking good, optimised and with calls-to-action in prominent places, you can start planning for search programs that not only bring traffic, but visitors that are actually searching for what you’re selling. Identify your key phrases and compare them to your competitors. Engage in pay per click advertising to help your site gain some momentum and create shareable content. Pay per click is great for immediate exposure and offers a range of keyword combinations through different styles of advertisements. From here on, you can use social media to shout about what you’re doing and encourage shares from customers and readers who value your information.</p> <h2>Testing</h2> <p>All this is nothing without some testing, and let’s be honest much of marketing is about testing. Seeing what works, what’s most effective, what targets the demographic of your customer best, and what style of content engages them and encourages shares? After setting up your website structure, checking for on-page issues and creating campaigns, it’s important to start monitoring the responses you’re getting and look at improving lead generation. Use A/B testing on similar campaigns with different landing pages and see what works best. It’s all about fine-tuning and being bold enough to create landing pages that use a different style of language or imagery to better understand your results.</p> <h2>Remarketing</h2> <p>What’s the best way to keep people on your page? You might’ve done all the above and still visitors hit your site and leave without filling in a contact form or even delving into your products area.A great way to remind visitors about your company and get them to come back to your site is through remarketing.  If you’re using PPC, there’s often an option to leave cookies with visitors to your site. These are great tools for remarketing as they let you server up ads to them next time they’re online and searching for something. It’s like a ‘friendly reminder’ that you’re there and they should check you out again. For this reason, it’s good to keep your site fresh and updated regularly so that when they return, there’s something else for them to learn about.</p> <h2>Email Marketing Newsletter</h2> <p>Not only do these still have a big impact on sales, they let your previous customers know that you’re still alive! You’re still doing business without them, which shows you’re successful and passionate about what you do. If you just send them an occasional update with new products, ideas and the odd discount or promotion, it’s much more likely they’ll stay subscribed if they don’t feel like they’re being bombarded with marketing tactics. Creating a good customer relationship isn’t easy over email, but there are some great tools out there to help.</p> Tue, 01 Dec 2015 09:48:08 +0000 SEO is all about the Marketing <h2>SEO is part of your Digital Marketing which is part of your Integrated Marketing Strategy</h2> <p>Today I found myself reading an article posted from a so-called SEO agency. I was very disappointed to read the negativity towards other SEO agencies and also the clear lack of knowledge and understanding about Marketing.</p> <p>The whole article focused on what other agencies are apparantely doing wrong.....20 Lies.....SEO mention whatsoever of Marketing, Digital Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Customers, Sales, Profit......Sadly it is the agencies like the one 'claiming' to be honest that are giving Digital Marketing (SEO if you like) a bad name.</p> <p>We are seeing more and more agencies like this pop up.  The premise has nothing whatsoever to do with Marketing and the people running the agency (owners) have no knowledge or experience of what marketing actually is.  Unfortunately it is these guys that are the shady operators and these guys that are failing the market, their customers and their customers customers.</p> <h3>SEO &amp; Digital Marketing - The Truth</h3> <p><img class="left" title="" src="" alt="lies seo marketers tell" width="100%"/></p> <p>Digital Marketing / SEO and all that it embraces is a tool or tactic if you like.  These new agencies that claim to have your best interest at heart have no understanding or thought as to why you actually may have contacted them in the first instance.  You have a business.  Your business has a online presence.  You want to increase the presence of your business on line.  Be that more sales, more leads, more conversions, more customers, more profit, more brand awareness or maybe all of these.  You have chosen to speak with a 'digtial marketing (seo) expert' as you are unclear on the best way to achieve your goals.  You may already be experienced in marketing offline but confused how to market online.  Whatever your reasons, it frustrates the hell out of me when I read bullshit from non marketeers.  Your online marketing should be totally integrated with your offline marketing.  Be that outdoor, TV, radio, print, other media or just plain face to face selling.  </p> <p>Enough of my rant.  We at NeSEO are here to share our marketing knowledge and expertise.  We are here to understand your business, your market, your customers, your goals, your aspirations and then together see how best we can help.  We may not be the right fit for you and you may not be the right fit for us but we will always provide you with a open and honest assessement of what we believe is the right approach for you to take to deliver your objectives, be that online or offline.</p> <p>To close, if you've read an article or heard an advert or listened to an employee from a potential supplier that used the word 'lie' more than 20 times do you think you would, or indeed should buy?</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 10:12:38 +0000 The importance of posting fresh content on your website <p>One of the biggest problems with business websites, is that once they've been built, they often get forgotten.</p> <p>Updating your site not only shows your customers that you're a great source of knowledge about your industry, but it shows that you're operational!<br/>Websites that get the most traffic are the sites that offer tips, advice, industry news and product highlights to their visitors, which are great ways to encourage return visits and bookmarking too.</p> <h2>We've compiled a list of the top 3 reasons to keep your site updated.</h2> <p><img class="left" title="" src="" alt="shout about your business" width="100%"/></p> <p><strong>3. Customer Profiling</strong></p> <p>You can easily build a customer profile based on your most popular news posts. Using google analytics you can monitor which news pages are the most successful and even try some A/B testing to see which images and presentations have the best impact. This allows you to build a clearer picture of the types of people finding your site which is useful in future promotions. Think about what competitions, offers and lead magnets would appeal to your audience and improve your lead generation from the data you've collected.</p> <p><strong>2. Creating reasons to return</strong></p> <p><strong><br/></strong>Return visits can often convert to leads if you're offering content that visitors find a valuable asset. A cost calculator for a specialist service or an infographic on the decision process of finding the right product could be bookmarked and become the decision factor between a visitor just being a reader, and becoming a customer.</p> <p><strong>1. Improved search engine rankings</strong></p> <p><strong><br/></strong>Search engines are most likely the first port of call for searching for product and service information for most web users, but it's important that users are able to find the most relevant information to them fast. A metric often used by search engines to determine which sites have more value to the search is 'frequency'. If you're reading the news from your favourite Sunday newspaper, you wouldn't want to read the same news the next sunday, so a great deal of emphasis is put on how often the site is updated as to whether it's relevant to the user. We've seen plenty of websites that have adopted the 'there it is' approach where it's created and left, and until a digital marketing plan is in place, their blogs and articles are quickly out of date. </p> <p>Of course, it's not just blogs and news articles that are important to update, products, offers and layout changes can also make a big impact. Keeping the site fresh shows your visitors that you're thinking about them and their experience. It's like changing the display in your shop window, it needs to attract the passers-by and show them how your services are relevant to the events and issues ocurring locally, nationally and how they can benefit them.</p> Fri, 20 Nov 2015 14:13:15 +0000 The Importance of Natural SEO and the Longevity that it brings <p>There have been numerous Google updates over the past few years, and with them many websites have dropped, fluctuated or been lost in Google all together. The Penguin, Panda and most recently Hummingbird updates mean that sites have either been penalised for spammy back link profiles, or poor duplicated content.</p> <p>However although many would argue that these updates have significantly changed the SEO landscape, the key principals of SEO have barely changed. It is only now that the algorithms have become more advanced that Google is able to identify websites that have used poor tactics.</p> <p>As with the day it was released, Google’s primary objective remains the same:  to provide searchers with the most relevant and informative results to their query.</p> <p>Now that Google has become more advanced it is only recently that websites who had previously ranked highly through building thousands of poor backlinks and offering very little in terms of content or usability have seen their websites decline in the rankings.</p> <p><strong>The Importance of Ethical SEO</strong>               </p> <p> As a business owner it is hard to find a good SEO company that you are happy to manage your businesses online presence. No doubt you receive several emails per day from SEO companies offering their services allowing you to choose hundreds of key words, all for less than the cost of a cup of coffee.  </p> <p>However more often than not such companies will do more harm than good to your website. Out dated techniques that will result in penalties and Google warnings may produce a sudden temporary increase in rankings but ultimately sink your site to the bottom of Google.</p> <p>Through natural and effective link building and content distribution to industry relevant websites the team at Neseo will build up your online presence naturally and ethically, abiding by all the latest Google algorithm updates and principals, ensuring that your website ranks well both now and in the future. Neseo strive to work with you to ensure that your website has engaging <a href="[sitetree_link,id=116]#content%20marketing">quality content</a>, a strong <a href="[sitetree_link,id=132]#Social%20Media">social media</a> presence and a natural backlink profile that will help protect and future proof your websites rankings within Google.<br/>To manage a successful SEO and online marketing campaign, your SEO consultant should essentially become an extended member of your team. </p> <p> </p> <p>If you are looking to increase your websites rankings within Google, then call us today on <a href="[sitetree_link,id=3]#contact%20us">0844 245 9160</a> to discuss how we can help you and your business.</p> <p>Alternatively if you wish to pop in for a free coffee and find out a liitle more about SEO and how it can help your business, <a href="[sitetree_link,id=129]#SEO%20seminar">click here</a> to book your place on our next free SEO seminar.</p> Wed, 18 Dec 2013 11:45:53 +0000 Brand building through Social Media <p>Viewing the traffic sources in our clients Google analytics it is clear that more and more visitors are coming through to the sites through Facebook, Google+ and a variety of other social sites. The traffic is of high quality and can be credited for a large number of enquiries and conversions. This highlights that social media is not only a necessity for all business but a valuable source of referral traffic that could arguably be seen as being as valuable as organic, direct or PPC.</p> <p>The quality content that you have already promoted through your business’s social pages goes a long way to engaging the potential customer, and the fact that they have clicked through to your site would suggest they are interested in your services or products.</p> <p>With this in mind here are some guide lines for promoting your business through social media.</p> <ol><li>The key social site: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and LinkedIn.</li> <li>Link your respective pages to your website.</li> <li>Post engaging industry related content.</li> <li>Build relationships and reply directly to people's comments or questions.</li> <li>Like industry relevant pages.</li> <li>Post promotions and positive reviews of your services of products.</li> <li>Link back to relevant pages on your website.</li> <li>Ensure that your updates are throughout the week rather than multiples every Friday afternoon.</li> <li>Every so often post a joke (keep it friendly and engaging).</li> <li>Run competitions.</li> <li>Give your social followers exclusive offers.</li> <li>Ask questions to encourage debates.</li> <li>Like local businesses and places (if appropriate).</li> <li>Offer industry advice.</li> </ol><p>Social media is most successful when updated on a regular basis, and provides a great source of traffic to your site. The relationship that you build with your audience will help them become more likely to convert, and goes a long way in building your brand awareness.</p> <p>Neseo know that keeping onto top of your social media activity can be a time consuming task, with this in mind we have created a number of <a href="[sitetree_link,id=135]#social%20media packages">social media packages</a> ideal for a wide range of businesses.</p> Thu, 12 Dec 2013 14:32:55 +0000 Does off-site blogging still have a place in your SEO campaign? <p>We have all spent ages writing and sourcing content to post off-site to the tried and trusted blogging forums but since Google’s latest Algorithm update, Penguin, we are being advised that we should avoid blogging. So what is the truth? Does off-site blogging still have a place in the organic SEO world?</p> <p>First things first…..the recent Penguin update did indeed hit many generic blogging sites, many bloggers sites and indeed many blogs. Many of which, as we will have all heard many times now, were immediately treated as spam. Hence the nick name of the spamming update. Let’s be fair here this is a good thing as there were far to people out their dumping shoddy content stuffed with keywords on to dodgy sites. For those of us that took an ethical approach to SEO (or what was termed White Hat) it was riling that in some instance a really poor site would rank for a valuable and competitive keyword that had no logical justification to do so. At the end of the day it is the customer (googles that is) that suffers. Hence the need for Google to find a way to deal with this….so along comes Penguin.</p> <p>So where does this leave the blog?</p> <p>It does still have a place and it can still help as part of a <a href="">SEO campaign</a>. However, the rules have changed. There are still some useful and valuable sites out there for posting your content. The key now is to make sure that the content pass’s the Penguin test!</p> <p>Our top 5 on how to pass the Penguin test.</p> <p>1. Avoid keyword stuffing</p> <p>2. Make the content look and feel natural and relevant</p> <p>3. Avoid direct match keyword links back to your site.</p> <p>a. Ie If your target keyword is ‘cooking apples’ do not link back from this keyword. Instead find an alternative non target term to link back to the site such as ‘when you cook your apples’</p> <p>4. Use your keyword within one of the Heading Titles. H1 is better than 2 and 2 is better than 3 but…….this needs to look and feel natural. If your topic is about ‘Where to source Cooking Apples’, then perfect. Keyword secured in H1. However if the topic is ‘How to make apple crumble’, then there is no place for your keyword. Look to incorporate it in one of the other Heading Titles. Remember this must look natural.</p> <p>5. We are still advocates of offering links to other non-compete sites such as Wikipedia. Not for our keyword but for some content relevant term, so in this instance it might be ‘maggots’ or even ‘apple crumble’</p> <p>There are more but the key really is about making all your content, even your blogs, rich, relevant, informative, interesting and most of all not spammy.</p> Tue, 17 Jul 2012 10:48:17 +0100 Google Penguin <p>We have all heard about Google's most recent Algo update....Penguin or the spamming update.  So what is all the fuss about and how will this effect you? </p> <p>This latest update from Google is designed to filter out some of the 'trash' from the rankings.  To those of us that continue to adopt robust, consistent and quality white hat techniques, then we have nothing to fear.  However, for those that have been adopting less scrupulous methods to climb the rankings, now is the time to start to worry. </p> <p>Our top tips on what to do and what not to do.......</p> <table border="0"><tbody><tr><td>1.</td> <td>Avoid duplicate content</td> </tr><tr><td>2.</td> <td>Avoid keyword stuffing</td> </tr><tr><td>3.</td> <td>Don't load pages with irrelevant content and/or irrelevant keywords</td> </tr><tr><td>4.</td> <td>Avoid cloaking or disguised redirects</td> </tr><tr><td>5.</td> <td>Ensure links from articles off site are authorised, relevant, unique and of good quality</td> </tr><tr><td>6.</td> <td>Avoid pages just for search engines</td> </tr><tr><td>7.</td> <td>Avoid hidden text and/or hidden links</td> </tr><tr><td>8.</td> <td>Design and complete the content for your pages for the primary user....not the search engine</td> </tr><tr><td>9.</td> <td>Avoid ALL black hat (spamming) techniques</td> </tr><tr><td>10.</td> <td>Ensure all content is not only unique and relevant, but also well written.</td> </tr></tbody></table><p>Much of the above should be obvious.  Google is just looking to ensure, where possible, that the right sites appear for the right keywords at the right time.  As much as this is about the web site owner it is also about Google's customer journey.  Google wants to improve the quality and relevance of search returns for their customers.  If your site is active, relevant, informative, authoritative, well thoughtout, well designed, well maintained and well hosted, then this should all be good........</p> Thu, 17 May 2012 10:47:34 +0100 Happy New Year <p>To start off 2012 we're wishing you all a very happy new year and we'd like to tell you a bit more about our<a href=""> SEO services</a>. What better way to start the new year with a fresh SEO campaign for your website? At NeSEO, we are specialists in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and over the last 7 years we have delivered bespoke SEO campaigns to our clients and successfully achieved countless number 1 spots on search engines. Our clients operate in diverse market places, including travel, leisure, retail and aviation and as a result of our hard work, they outrank companies like Kuoni, Virgin Holidays, and Halfords.</p> <p>If you want higher rankings and more sales leads but don’t have the time or in house resource to handle your search engine optimisation, our fully managed SEO service is the ideal digital marketing package for your business. We'll help you:</p> <p>o Attract more sales leads / online sales</p> <p>o Compete with major brands and competitors</p> <p>o Create an online marketing strategy that’s deliverable</p> <p>o Maximise your website for high conversion rates</p> <p>The first step to an effective SEO strategy is research. Research is key in understanding the market, the current website standings and analysing the competition. This research will judge how the site needs to be improved in order to begin to rank on search engines. The research will then highlight the important things that need to be changed in order to kick off with your SEO:</p> <p>o Keyword strategy - Keywords are at the heart of all SEO. In the analysis, we combine company services, products, strategy and the data from search trends and look to marry up potentially high converting keywords from the company side to search engine stats about what potential customers are searching for. After all there is no point ranking top of Google for something that people are not actually searching for!</p> <p>o Content strategy - Content is king. We will look to produce quality content that Google and other search engines can get their teeth stuck into. Content is all about relevancy, each site needs to demonstrate the subject matter that it is looking to rank for, this then needs to be rolled out site wide across every single page.</p> <p>o Onsite SEO changes - Onsite SEO is effectively everything that a visitor or a search engine robot will see on any particular page of a website. This includes everything from headings, meta data, alt tags and much more that we will manipulate within the code of the website in order to make the website more friendly and relevant to both search engines and the visitors to the website. </p> <p>o Offsite SEO changes - Offsite SEO is largely about links and brand management. Google uses a voting system to determine how popular any particular website is and then determines how that stacks up against the competing websites for any particular keyword. This voting system is essentially built on one-way links pointing to your website from relevant and good quality external websites. So in essence, the more quality backlinks you have the better you will rank but this has to be done in a calculated and strategic way in order to look natural and organic. </p> <p>o Analyse - Using our very own custom tools we analyse everything that is going on with each website at any given time and report on trends, changes and strategy adjustments.</p> <p>o Refine - Using the analysis, we stay proactive and make on-going changes to our strategy to continually improve a websites rankings constantly. We do not stop when we hit target, nor do we aim low!</p> <p>To start planning your SEO campaign for 2012, <a href="">contact us </a>on 0844 245 9160 or send us an email at</p> Tue, 03 Jan 2012 10:46:31 +0000 Keeping Website Content Fresh in 2012 <h2>Keeping Website Content Fresh in 2012</h2> <p>With Google <a href="">announcing last month</a> that they have made significant improvements in the ranking of fresh content, it’s now more important than ever to keep your website up to date with fresh and engaging content. The search engine giant announced in November that this would now have an impact on roughly 35% of searches. Updating your website on a regular basis, whether it’s through a blog or adding new pages, is important not only for SEO purposes, but it gives the customer a reason to continue visiting your site. Of course, it will also give you the edge over your competitors; if they only offer stale and static information, your target audience will go to you for something new and different. All in all – Google loves it, visitors want it and you need to provide it!</p> <h5>Keeping your Blog Fresh</h5> <p>Content freshness doesn't mean that you suddenly need to overload your site and blog with content, but it is something that you should stongly take into consideration if you are serious about SEO. How can I keep my site up to date you ask? What on earth can I find to talk about? It can be a struggle sometimes to continuously come up with new and interesting topics but it’s worth remembering that it doesn’t have to be anything too extravagant, sometimes short and sweet is better. First thing's first though, if you don't have a blog, you need one! If you do have one, when was the last time you updated it? </p> <p>Here are some things you may want to consider for topics:</p> <p>o New product releases</p> <p>o New technology</p> <p>o Relevant news in your industry</p> <p>o Career opportunities</p> <p>o Testimonials and comments</p> <p>o Competitions and offers</p> <p>o Interviews</p> <p>o Top 10’s and lists</p> <p>o Images and videos</p> <p>You don’t need to publish every day, but a well maintained schedule will be your best bet for fresh content. If you're a large company you'll more than likely have enough resource and information to publish daily. If you're a smaller business, you can start by publishing a couple of times a week. A website that offers fresh and enaging content and often will also be very likely to get bookmarked and shared on Facebook and Twitter. Social media will play a big part in your sites freshness success as you can incoporate a Twitter feed and integrate Facebook to your home page. Your existence on various social media platforms will also result in a high level of traffic to your site, if you have a social media strategy in place that is.</p> <p>Find out more about our <a href="">blogging</a> and <a href="">social media</a> services at NeSEO.</p> Tue, 13 Dec 2011 10:45:42 +0000 How Google+ is Changing Search <h2>How Google + is Changing Search </h2> <p><img class="left" title="" src="" alt="" width="191" height="93"/>When Google announced that its algorithm now takes social media into account, it made perfect sense that Google themselves would try their hand at social networking. And so they introduced Google +.</p> <p>Since establishing itself in the social world, Google has slowly rolled out updates to how Google+ and +1 has an impact on search results. Here are 3 ways in which Google + has most recently had an effect on search:</p> <p><span>1. Google+ Content Appearing as Site Links in Search Queries</span></p> <p>Content that has been published on Google+ is now starting to appear in the Google SERPS. Along with the 'Add to Circle' buttons, these Google+ posts have started to appear in Google’s organic search results for some Google+ business accounts that have been approved for Direct Connect. These appear for both Google+ users and non-users. In other words, even if searchers do not have a Google+ account they will be able to see Google+ results. You can apply for Direct Connect <a href=";p=direct_connect&amp;answer=1711199">here</a> and this will make sure you are prepared when this functionality reaches all brands.</p> <p><span>2. Google+ Profile Appears in Search Results</span></p> <p>Google+ profile photos and bylines are also beginning to appear in search results. Searchers who click through via the photo or content will be sent to the profile in question which will deliver only the content authored by the owner of that Google+ account. This can be an effective tool for employees to help extend the reach of the company’s online presence. </p> <p> </p> <p><span>3. Google News is Spotlighting +1 Content</span></p> <p> </p> <p>If content has received a +1 by a Gmail or Google+ user, that piece is eligible to appear within Google News. Staying up-to-date in your industry and then +1’ing interesting content will result in your Google+ profile picture and name showing up next to the content you publicise. This will bring more traffic to your Google+ profile and in turn, your website.</p> <p>If your business isn’t on Google+ yet, what are you waiting for? If you are, <a href="">add us</a> to your circles!</p> Wed, 30 Nov 2011 10:44:53 +0000