Small Business Marketing Package – Vertu Chauffeurs

Small Business Package - Vertu Chauffers website design from The Marketing People

Small Business Marketing PackageSmall Business Marketing Package

A great small business marketing package is all about looking amazing isn’t it? All creative and colourful right? That’s only a small proportion of what real marketing is about. Let me show you how we approached the marketing for this superb private chauffeur service.

Kam @ Vertu Chauffeurs came to us without having the best experience so far from other marketing outlets. Like many others, he came with the notion that SEO would solve everything.

The business had been ‘sold’ some so called ‘SEO keyword’ services from a well-known business directory. Sadly, this was doing nothing for Vertu. Indeed, if it had done anything for him, the marketing in his old website was quite limited, not nearly effective enough to convert any potential website visitors into a lead. Any real SEO development could have been wasted.

We sat down and had a chat about his target audience, his business, his competition and his value proposition, plus effective key messaging for his business. Together, we talked about positioning this properly to attract the right kind of customers, looking for his exact type of service. We wanted to make use of the opportunities he already has to market his business. These opportunities included word of mouth, face to face networking and targeted literature drops.

‘Private, Punctual & Professional – For Business, Transfers & Events’

We wanted to discover the brief with Kam, not just take one from him. We needed to challenge his approach. By adding our experience and industry knowledge, it allows us to take in the information, validate it then translate this to a marketing brief.

This brief would dictate the look, feel, messaging, control and consistency for all of Vertu’s business marketing going forward. With his budget in mind we were able to determine how much time we could spend on each element, we could literally compress our expertise for this small business marketing package. We decided to trigger our essentials marketing package.

Kam uses word of mouth, face to face business networking, direct leaflet drops and traditional business correspondence, so we could see our essentials marketing package would be perfect. It provided, business cards, flyers and a website his potential customers could refer to after receiving his printed media. Find out more about this package here. ESSENTIALSMarketing Collateral

He didn’t need any SEO yet because this could potentially strip his budget and we were in agreement he needed a solid base to work from first. He could develop SEO later, once the business had grown some more. We would ensure however, the new site was optimized for future development. http://vertuchauffeurs.com/

So how would he use the package

Anyone from Vertu can now network with other businesses and hand them a business card or a brochure to introduce the service. Potential clients can also visit his website, which portrays the business’ brand values, service and solutions. Above all these potential clients can see consistent messaging, through these communication touch-points. It now looks professional, credible and his service is provided precisely for them, his very own chosen target audience. It is now an effective marketing base to work from.

Vertu Chauffeurs Website

The dots are now all joined up, they lead directly to his potential customers. These potential customers now have the perfect reason to lead themselves directly back to the Vertu Chauffeurs service.

All of these marketing outputs were designed to fit his business objectives. Designed in a manner that he is able to control, on his budget, efficiently, consistently and effectively.

This is real, effective, joined up marketing, oh yes and it looks great too!

If you are interested in finding out how we can transform your business with our small business marketing package, call our studio now on 01543 495 752 or email contact@themarketingpeople.com now for a chat about your business objectives.

Website Lead Generation

website lead generation

RebrandWebsite Lead Generation for Normans Book Keeping & Payroll

  • Our brand development and subsequent website lead generation has been a massive success! We tied it all in together and provided the web visitor with just what ‘they needed’.

‘Book keeping is boring, isn’t it?’ We beg to differ…

When the managing director from Norman Book Keeping & Payroll came in to see us, he was interested in ‘refreshing’ his website. He wanted to grow the business, targeting particular types of customers and appeal to those looking for the right kind of help. From Owner managed business to larger SME’s, looking for expert bookkeeping and payroll services. A little frustrated, he had tried once before but it didn’t seem to have made any difference. The business still had no inbound inquiries from the website. He realised that the traditional method of just telling a website designer what you want, doesn’t work very well, without the right marketing know how. Let’s see how we applied our knowledge into marketing his business correctly and effectively.

previous website

In a nutshell we needed to do the following.

‘futurise his business in line with his customer’s needs and the book keeping industry’s competitive landscape.’

This now became a little more interesting.

The previous business marketing showed a dowdy, but functional business involved in providing all of the things you would expect in bookkeeping and payroll services. After consulting for a short while, we realised this wasn’t all they did. They actually provided some pretty amazing innovative services, allowing for online cloud-based book keeping services  in partnership with Xero. This allows for easy integration with, spreadsheets, Sage & Quickbooks, plus a plethora of different mobile apps driving information into a modern and exciting book keeping model. Some of these apps include the likes of Go Cardless, Shopify, Paypal and Stripe.

Norman Bookkeeping needed to resemble a contemporary firm, able to link up with your data effortlessly. They wanted to show how they produce quick, easy management reports and information as and when you require it. They didn’t need to change the way they worked, just the way they appeared and the way they communicated this up to date book keeping and payroll service in Aldridge, Walsall and regionally around the Black Country & the West Midlands.

For example

There are many advantages to using Normans such as:

  • Access your data on the go!
  • Automatic Bank Feeds mean that we can do the job much quicker and therefore cheaply
  • Holding all your purchase data electronically means that you will be fully compliant with HMRC’s new regulations for Making Tax Digital
  • Get paid faster with online invoicing
  • There are hundreds of apps that will link directly with Xero such as Stripe, GoCardless, PayPal and Shopify to name but a few.

So what did we do?normans com slip

  • Provided a thorough consultation and brief discovery
  • Advised upon current trends, industry requirements and intelligent customer targeting
  • Worked on a real and true representation of the business services against the required target audience and an ideal customer model
  • Applied some competition analysis and helped to create a unique ‘POD’, or point of difference. We also took into account some ‘POP’, or points of parity. In other words, what do we need to do to prove a ‘USP’, without moving too far away from the industry services that others also provide. e.g. ‘we do that too, but with a difference’.
  • Provided a brand positioning report and direction
  • From this positioning came a brand positioning statement and strapline
  • All of the above now went into creating a new brand and its ID/logo
  • We began the graphic design element using some desk research, developing fonts, illustration and visual perspectives. We employed colour coding, image research and other creative elements/marketing collateral to create something really functional and easy to understand.
  • Provided in depth technical site scoping to give the potential visitor the very best of user journey and slick informational navigation
  • Wire framed the site scoping, to visualise the website more effectively against it content requirements
  • Wrote effective and intelligently considered positioning copy and calls to action plus dynamic contact copy relevant to each piece or relevant service, to engage website lead generation
  • Developed the website, provided 301 re-directs, to capture past cached pages and posts for SEO purposes, unveiled and relaunched!
  • In general, we improved the user journey and calls to action through content and a contact dynamic, re-branded the business, improved the brand visibility and developed its website lead generation capacity

Website Lead Generation

Norman is now called Normans

We now know exactly what Normans do and they are most certainly, ‘not boring’.

See for yourself here @ – https://normansbp.co.uk/

Normans are now successfully receiving leads from the website. Not just any old leads, but the right kind of customers discovered against our agreed customer modelling! It’s been a massive success, their target audience can now discover the perfect solution to a book keeping and payroll problem. Contemporary services and time saving applications, information at the touch of a button. It’s right for them, it’s modern and ‘just what they need’, communicated clearly and concisely through a brand the customer can proudly recommend to others.

Before you rush out and spend £1000’s of pounds on SEO, think about this. Make sure your website has got what it takes to engage, convince and convert your visitor first. Theoretically if your lead conversion is 1% and it equates to £1000 worth of business, we can convert this to 2%, 3%, 5% or even a 10% uplift. You do the math, it’s not impossible to double your websites return on investment. You can apply the SEO later, when you know you can convert.

Normans now ‘Convert Numbers, into Knowledge’… because here at The Marketing People, we help to ‘Convert Knowledge, into Numbers’.

For more information on our website lead generation services, contact The Marketing People on 01543 495752 or contact@themarketingpeople.com

12 Days of Christmas … 10 things to blog about this Christmas season

10 things to blog about this Christmas

10 things to blog about this Christmas

Even if you’ve managed to successfully blog all the way through the year, it can be heard to know what to blog about in this seasonal time. We’ve put together 10 things you could blog about with your Christmas content.

 

Your best bits

Christmas and New Year is a time we all naturally reflect on our lives and what has happened in the past year. So looking back on your best bits of the year will not only be quite therapeutic for you. But will remind your customers of the good things you have done. The challenges you have overcome. And why they became a customer with you in the first place.

Some good starting points might be what company successes have you celebrated? Has your company grown, or moved offices, or won any awards? Have you had any personal successes in the team such as promotion, marriage or cute newborns? Or has your team really gone the extra mile this year, and took part in charity events, or volunteering projects?

Once you get started, you will probably have a lot more to talk about than you think.

 

What is coming in the New Year for you

If you are making any changes in the New Year, now is a good time not only to inform your customers. To get them excited about it, and ready to embrace the changes.

Consider if you will be offering new services or products in the New Year. Can customers get money off if they refer to a code given in the blog? This may increase shares of your blog, and visits to the website. Resulting in more organic sales, as well as people taking advantage of the offer in the New Year.

Are you moving premises, or changing your opening hours? Now is a great time to inform your customers to save confusion when it comes to January.

 

Industry relevant Christmas/New Year preparation

If people are regularly visiting your blog, or find your blog within search results, they are most likely interested in your industry. So posting industry relevant festive content is something your readers may be interested in. And helps to keep your 80:20 ratio of informative content, to advertising, in a time where it is easy to slip into heavy sales.

Not sure what you would write? Well if we look at our blog for example. This very post in fact. It is an informative post, relevant to marketing, that is based around the festive period.

If, for example, you run a HR blog, why not look at how to act appropriately at the office Christmas party. If you run an accountancy blog, why not look at how to get your finances in order for 2016. These are simple ideas, but it can be easy to overlook them when panicking about what to write when you are more deadlines than normal looming.

 

Seasonal Industry News

Following on from advice in your industry during the festive period, is there any relevant industry news that affects you during this season?

Retail blogs have a lot to work with here, such as looking at best buys for the season or how Black Friday has affected you.

Marketers, we have new Christmas campaign after new Christmas campaign that we can critique. To look at how these could be improved, or how much profit was gained by running a certain campaign.

Security blogs can look to the news of the latest crime statistics. In a period of time where many people have high value items sitting on show in their cars and houses. What are people saying about it? And what can people do to stop themselves being part of the story?

Again, this is looking at keeping your blog content informative, and useful for the reader at a time where most content is focused on selling.

 

Acts of Goodwill

We touched upon this in an earlier point, but as this is the season of goodwill and charity, it is definitely a subject to talk about.

If your team has been involved in charity work, fundraising or volunteering, then talk about it. What did they do, why were they doing it and how did it go? Not only are you showing the employees who took part that you are proud of what they have achieved. You are also showing your customers that you care about these causes, and it’s not all about just going to work each day.

Are you planning more fundraising next year? Let people know, or ask what charities they would like to see you support, or what events they would like to see. Engage with people now. So when the time comes, your customers can see that you have followed through on your word.

Or if you have not had time. Or are not in a position to fund-raise yourselves, why not look to other examples of goodwill to talk about?  Social media is full of examples of this. Of individuals, as well as charities, passing out coats, gloves and scarves to the homeless. Of people starting a pay it forward gesture at a coffee shop, where they pay for the next persons coffee. Or of school children putting together shoebox’s of gifts to be sent to other children across the globe. There are plenty of examples out there of people doing good, so to share and celebrate their achievements is a great thing to do.

 

Your most popular posts of the year

If you blog regularly, now may be the time to recap on what have been the most popular posts. This is something you will see on our own blog in the near future, as we post twice a week, readers can miss out on the occasional post!

Use analytics tools to find the top read blogs for the year, and then link them all together in one handy post. This gives readers a chance to refresh themselves on content they may have forgotten about. New readers a chance to catch up on what has been going on. And it’s a great exercise for you to see what has been well received by your potential customers. So then you can use that information to build on next year’s posts.

 

Things you have learned as a business this year

This can be done in two ways, extremely silly or serious reflection. That’s really up to you and your company.

Silly side, you can have learnt that perhaps some of your colleagues shouldn’t be trusted to make a good cuppa. Or that you need to call to check outfits as people have turned up in the same thing. Maybe you have learned that once one person ordered in food, that means the rest of you cave in too and it turns into a full on food session? Just remember to keep it appropriate, and not too personal about your colleagues. This post should definitely be a light hearted one.

If you’re looking for a more reflective post, perhaps you can look at how you managed to conquer your social media fears. Or how it was a great move to get your website updated. Maybe you changed your location, which worked really well. Or you learnt what your customers really love.

Whichever you choose, this is an opportunity to give your readers some insight into you company, what you value, and what sort of people you actually are.

 

Gift Guide

This will only work with some businesses, so think carefully before using this. B2C businesses have it a little easier here, and can use this as a little promotion for your own products. Talk about your products, why they’re great, and why people have bought them already.

If you don’t necessarily have products that can be sold at this time, maybe you could look at a light hearted version of this post. Collate the worst/most random/most ingenious gifts you have seen around. You could run a “the 10 worst things you could buy your loved one” or perhaps “the 8 gifts that have got us excited for Christmas in the office”. Try and keep it still relevant to your business, make sure it still has a clear purpose and always make sure it’s appropriate.

 

Your best customers

As well as looking back at what your company has done, and what you have achieved. Now is a great time to look back at the lovely customers you have had, and have supported your business this year. This may work slightly better for B2B companies, than B2C. As you may have worked with a particular client or customer repeatedly over the year.

Talk a little about the work you did together. How it has benefited that company or person. And why you loved working with them.

This is a great post, not only for promoting and saying thank you to your customers. But it’s also great for getting your post seen by new audiences if your customers share your post. Meaning you may gain a few more customers from the post.

 

Merry Christmas Message

Number 10 in the list is probably the most obvious one. But a really nice one to put up. Wish your readers a Merry Christmas, thank them for their support, and inform them of your business opening hours over the Christmas season.

Work with some lovely graphics to make it this a nice visual post you can share. Then work on some mince pies and hot chocolates because it’s Christmas and you’ve worked hard.

 

It really is a great time of year on a business blog to add in more humour. To be more personal. To provide more insightful information for your readers. So take advantage of the topic ideas above, and let us know if there is a topic you love to post about at this festive time.

Take a look at the rest of our countdown to the 12 days of Christmas, for more advice, how to’s and examples of marketing during this festive season.

How to stop WordPress blog posts missing their schedule

How to stop Wordpress blog posts missing schedule

How to stop WordPress blog posts missing schedule

WordPress has a handy feature that allows you to schedule blog posts. But what do you do when your blog posts start missing their schedule? 

The scheduling feature is something we, and our clients, use regularly because it allows you to make sure posts go out at a time when you may be busy. When blog posts begin missing their schedule it can be frustrating because you may not have time to check and publish it until a few hours later.

Let’s take a look at why WordPress posts may miss their schedule and how you can fix this.

 

Why do blog posts sometimes miss their schedule in WordPress?

To understand this you need to know a little bit about cron jobs. A cron job is something that runs on your website’s server and is a timer to make sure that things happen when they should do.

WordPress doesn’t use a normal cron job because it doesn’t always have access to a server. So it uses a virtual cron called WP-Cron. This gets loaded every time a page on your website or blog is loaded. When a page is loaded, the WP-Cron will run and check to see if something needs doing. Such as a blog post needs publishing.

The problem here is that since WP-Cron only runs when a page is loaded. Blog posts can miss their schedules if a page isn’t loaded around the time it’s due to be published.

For example: if you publish a blog post to go live at 9am but no one visits your website until 11am, it won’t be published until 11am.

There are other reasons why a blog post may miss its schedule. Such as bugs in WordPress, conflicts with plugins, issues with the server or database, or the wrong time zone being selected in the settings.

 

What can I do to stop WordPress posts missing their schedule?

There are three things that can be done to prevent blog posts from missing their schedule.

The first thing you should do is check the time is correct in your website’s / blog’s settings.

It may be that your website is set up in the wrong time zone. You’re expecting to see a blog post go live at 9am but WordPress is using a time zone a few hours behind the zone you’re in.

WordPress time zone settingsTo check the time in your WordPress settings, go to ‘Settings’ and click ‘General’. Halfway down the page, you will see ‘Time zone’ which lets you choose which time zone you’re in.

Don’t worry if you live in a country that uses daylight saving. WordPress will automatically update when the clocks go back or forward.

If WordPress is using the right time zone, you then have two options. Both will do the same job, but it really depends on your resources and skills:

  • Install a free plugin
  • Set up a real cron

 

Free plugins

This is the easiest option of the two. There are plenty of free plugins available for preventing blog posts from missing their schedule.

They work by checking your blog every few minutes and when they spot a post which has missed schedule, they’ll publish it.

These plugins are easy enough to install and don’t require any technical know-how. Which means you can install them and have them working in a matter of minutes.

 

Set up a real WordPress cron

As we mentioned at the top of the post, WordPress doesn’t use a real cron job. However, you can set up a real cron job and disable WP-cron, though disabling it isn’t necessary.

Setting up a cron will require access to your server control panel. While it’s not too difficult to do you may not feel comfortable doing it. If that’s the case, get in touch with your web developer who will be able to do it for you.

Church Themes offer a good walkthrough and explanation about what to do. Again, speak to your web developer if you’re unsure. Depending on your hosting company and the level of support you get, they may also be able to do this for you.

How to create the best, most useful, content in search results

How to create the best, most useful content in search rankings

How to create the best, most useful content in search rankings

The phrase “good, unique content” has become a bit of a buzz phrase in recent years. So we can’t help but agree with Moz’s Rand Fishkin when he says that “good, unique content” needs to die.

In an episode of Whiteboard Friday posted on May 22nd 2015, Moz founder Fishkin says we should be aiming to produce content which is better than just good. And he’s got an excellent point.

Instead of producing “good, unique content”. Which frankly anyone can do without a huge amount of effort. Businesses should be aiming to produce the best content in the search results when they create something.

 

Before we go any further, here’s what you’re going to learn in this blog post:

  • The qualities of the best piece of content in the search results
  • The benefits of producing the best, most useful content, for your audience
  • How you can create that kind of content – from the planning stage, to writing your headline, to promotion

You can also download this blog post as a PDF to keep handy, or to read later on.

Download your guide to creating the best, most useful content in search results

 

What exactly is the best piece of content in the search results?

Think about the last time you searched for something. What was your experience like? Did you have to visit a few different websites before you found what you were looking for? Were you left with unanswered questions? That’s kind of annoying isn’t it?

Or did you find a standout piece of content that answered all of your questions? That content right there, is what you should be aiming to create.

The best, and most useful content is:

  • Content that provides the reader with everything they need to know about the question or topic it’s covering
  • So strong that the reader doesn’t need to look at another website
  • So good that they consider bookmarking it, sharing it with their friends, or linking to it

 

How do I produce this amazing, incredible piece of content?

The key is to plan, to be aware of what’s already out there, and identify gaps in the existing coverage.

It might take longer for you to produce this kind of content, but the benefits are worth it:

  • Your website gains more visits, and new visitors, which can lead to an increase in sales and leads
  • Improving your search rankings, which can lead to an increase in sales and leads
  • Expanding your reach as a result of shares, and improved search rankings
  • Become seen as an authority and useful resource in your sector
  • Improving your audience’s perception of your business / products / services
  • Showing that you care about helping your potential and existing customers

 

Planning & research

Who is the target audience? What phrases are you targeting?

Before you begin, you need to identify who is the target audience of this piece. Are they people who are new to the subject and might need lots of basic information? Or are they experienced people, who already know a lot about what you’re writing about?

Knowing this will help you understand exactly what the reader needs to know, and the tone of voice you need to use.

You also need to know what search terms or phrases you want to be ranking well for. There are a few ways you can identify this:

  • Think about what you would search for if you were looking for the piece of content you are going to create
  • View your Google Webmaster Tools to look at the kind of words and phrases your audience are already using to reach your website
  • Carry out a few searches and see what kind of results come up
  • Try using the Google Keyword Planner

 

What’s missing from existing content that is ranking well?

If you’re knowledgeable about the topic you’re writing about, you can create good content fairly easily without too much research.

To create a piece of content which is the best in search rankings, you need to know what search phrases you will be targeting, and what content is already ranking well for that phrase.

Spend some time reviewing that content critically, and make a list of any questions it left you with, or would lead your target audience with, and any points that were missed out that you would have included.

You might also be able to identify a better way to get the information across to the reader.

For example, you might feel that sharing the information in the form of a video would be more useful, and easier for your audience to understand.

Also, take the time to review any comments left at the end of those pieces of content. Are people unclear about what is being said? Is there something left unanswered? Or has something been missed out?

 

Writing

Plan a little more

The planning isn’t quite done with yet.

Collate all of your research and thoughts into your working document, and remind yourself again what the purpose of this piece of content is for the reader. You can then begin planning your blog post:

  • What images or videos will you need? Who needs to create those, and when?
  • Do you need to create a downloadable PDF or eBook to go with it?
  • What pages / videos do you need to link out to?
  • What will be your call to action at the end of the piece?

You can now start writing

With all of your research in hand, and a detailed idea about the kind of content you’re going to produce, what it’s going to say, and help readers with, you can begin writing.

Some tips to keep in mind:

  • Keep paragraphs short to make it easier for people to read
  • Don’t bombard people with jargon
  • Cut the waffling – make sure every word and sentence is necessary, remove anything that doesn’t add anything
  • Break up sections with sub-headings
  • Use bullet points
  • Add images and videos where necessary
  • Link out to studies, articles, blog posts, videos you reference

 

 

Creating a solid headline

Getting your headline right is incredibly important, as it will be the first thing most people see. It needs to be strong enough to grab their interest in search engines, or on social media, and make them click through.

Things you need to consider when writing a strong headline:

  • Length – if your headline is much longer than 70 characters it will get cut off in search results
  • Where the most important words are – sometimes a headline longer than 70 characters is necessary, so make sure the first part grabs their attention.
  • Does it evoke positive or negative emotions? Is that the emotion you were going for?
  • Does it accurately tell people what they will find out if they click through?
  • Ensure it includes some of your key words / phrases you want to rank for
  • Is it interesting?
  • Does it make you want to click through?

You don’t have to try and figure all of this out on your own though. CoSchedule have a great, free tool called Headline Analyzer, which scores your headlines based on length, sentiment, the headline type, and more.

We also recommend using Upworthy’s method of writing at least 25 headlines for each post, because it forces you to really think hard, and dedicate the time needed to write a solid headline.

If you use that method with the Headline Analyzer, you’re well on your way to understanding what a strong headline should be, and improving your own headline-writing skills. (Every day is a school day!)

 

 

Ask someone to proofread it

Leaving your piece and coming back to it later is a great way to spot any mistakes, or things you’ve missed out, but you can’t beat asking someone else to check it. Especially if you can find someone similar to your target audience, as they may raise points your audience would raise.

 

Provide a good user experience

When people arrive at a website, they have certain expectations, so make sure that both your website, and your blog post meet those expectations.

This means:

  • Your website needs to be mobile-friendly
  • Your website needs to load quickly
  • Your blog post should be formatted well, with images and sub-headings to break up big chunks of copy
  • Your website should be easy to navigate
  • You need a strong call to action if you want the reader to do something after reading your content

 

Promote it

After you’ve poured so much time and effort into your fantastic piece of content, you need to promote it. You need to find your target audience and tell them where they can find this content that is going to help them.

Exactly where and how you promote it will largely depend on your target audience, but here are a few options:

  • Email marketing
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn

If you need help with finding out which social networks your audience use, read How To Create A Social Media Strategy That Works.

A trap many businesses fall into when promoting their own content is not promoting it enough. We’re not saying spam your audience with 50 updates about it a day, but remember that there are a lot of reasons why someone might not see your content the first time you promote it:

  • They didn’t scroll down far enough and never see it
  • It gets lost amongst all of the other updates
  • They fall into the big chunk of your audience who Facebook won’t show your updates do without paying
  • They do see it, tell themselves they’ll read it later, but forget about it

Don’t be shy when it comes to promoting your own content. The 80/20 method is recommended, where 20% of your updates are self-promotion, while 80% is having conversations, and sharing other people’s content.

 

Summary

 

Creating truly high-quality content is not a magic SEO bullet, but it can help you perform well for key words and key phrases you want to target. There are still other SEO things you should be taking seriously, such as your website’s load speed, usability, dodgy backlinks you built six years ago, etc.

The most important thing is to realise and understand that you’re writing content for a specific set of people, rather than a search engine.

Even if you are blogging primarily to improve your search results, you need to put your audience first and consider what questions and concerns they have, and how you can help them. If you put your audience first and create content which is genuinely helpful for them, your success in search rankings will follow.

Download your guide to creating the best, most useful content in search results

Struggling with blogging for your business? Call us on 01543 495 752 to find out how we can help you get the best out of your blog, or manage it for you.

 

Six tips to improve your website copy and help generate leads and sales

six tips to improve your website copy and help generate leads and sales

six tips to improve your website copy and help generate leads and sales

Words can go a long way towards convincing someone to become a customer, or even put them off.

Many of us research something online before buying it and if we don’t read what we want to read, we’ll look elsewhere.

Good website copy which focuses on how you and your products or services can solve a problem for your customer can help your website generate leads and sales.

Here are six tips to help you improve your websites copy.

 

What’s in it for them?

Too many websites make the mistake of making their copy all about them and not about how they can help their clients or customers.

When you’re writing your websites content you should be thinking about the benefits you can provide your customers with and make sure that’s the main focus of your copy, rather than how wonderful your business is.

 

Keep it succinct

Everyone’s busy and we don’t always have time to read pages upon pages of copy, so it’s important to write succinct copy and remove any unnecessary or uninteresting parts.

As well as keeping it succinct you need to keep it jargon free to avoid confusing visitors.

Don’t be surprised if it takes you much longer to write succinct copy, it’s an issue that’s plagued plenty of writers including experienced ones.

“I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” – Mark Twain

 

Formatting

Following the above point, most people skim read copy rather than reading every single word.

While it might frustrate you to know people aren’t reading every single word of the copy you spent hours crafting, there are a few things you can do to make it easier for them to skim.

–         Keep paragraphs short.

–         Break the page up using sub-headers.

–         Use bullet points.

–         Make sure the font, size and colour of the text is easy to read and shows up against your background.

 

Tone of voice

When writing copy make sure it aligns with the tone of voice used on any product packaging, your social media and any marketing materials such as leaflets, brochures and emails.

 

Calls to action

Does your website tell your visitors what you want them to do next? Does it tell them to take a look at your offers, download your brochure or whatever it is you want them to do?

Calls to action are a must and need to be succinct, clear and stand out on the page to help guide visitors through your website and hopefully down the sales funnel.

 

Search engine optimisation

We left this point until last because it’s important to remember that you shouldn’t be writing for search engines. They’re very useful but you should be writing with your audience in mind first.

Search engines are becoming smarter, allowing people to search using natural language and still find high quality relevant results.

If you write your copy with your target audience in mind it’s likely you will naturally include plenty of keywords and keyphrases that they would use when searching.

Once you’ve written your copy, read it through and look at whether any additional keywords can be added in.

Don’t be tempted to ram your copy with keywords and phrases because it won’t read right and search engines may decide to punish your website for ‘keyword stuffing’.

 

Writing great copy, whether it’s for your website or a leaflet, takes time but if it impresses visitors and turns them into leads, sales or even loyal customers it’s worth it.

 

If your website isn’t providing you with leads or sales get in touch with us to find what we can do to help your website benefit your business. Call us on 01543 495 752 or fill in our contact form.

If you want to read more from our website series of blogs, just click here to see what other resources are available.

Why should I be blogging for business?

Why should I be blogging for business

Why should I be blogging for business

There are plenty of articles out there giving you advice about blogging for business but why exactly should your business be blogging? And does it really make a difference anyway?

The short answer is yes blogging does make a difference! There are also a number of reasons why you should be blogging for your business and the benefits it can bring which we’ll cover in this post.

 

Help your target audience

‘How-to’ type posts are very popular and help your customers get the best out of your products and service. It will also encourage your audience to use your blog as a helpful and trusted resource.

Helpful blog posts also show that you care about your customers and are going the extra mile to help them get the most out of your products and services.

 

Engage with customers

Like Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, your blog is another opportunity for you to talk to your existing and potential customers through comments left on your posts.

Before you set up your blog it’s worth talking about what you will do if you receive a negative comment. The general rule is that if it’s a customer complaining about your product or service you should reply to the comment informing them of the best way to get in touch to resolve the issue.

It can be tempting to delete a negative comment but doing so will only further annoy the person who left the comment.

 

Boost search rankings

If you are regularly producing high quality, interesting content containing some of the keywords you want to rank for, you will begin to see your search rankings improve. The changes won’t happen over night and it may take weeks before you see a difference but if you persevere with producing high quality content it will make a difference to your rankings.

Depending on the quality of the content on your website you may find that your blog posts rank above your website, so it’s important to make sure that everything you post is of the highest quality and will make a good impression on anyone seeing your website, brand, products and services for the first time.

It’s important to make sure that your blog is on the same domain as your website. For example your blog should be at www.yourbusiness.com/blog rather than www.yourbusinessblog.com.

Keeping your blog on the same domain as your website improves usability and means that your website and your blog will not be competing with each other in search engines.

 

Share your expertise and knowledge

Your blog is a good place to share your knowledge and expertise in your industry and prove to your readers and customers that you know what you are talking about, which can help you build up trust with potential and existing customers who will view you as knowledged and experienced.

 

News

Your blog can be used to put a more human face on your business by sharing news about your business.

For example, our customers love The Marketing Dogs and often ask us how they are. Last year George had to have an operation and the phone was ringing off the hook for days with customers asking for the latest update, so we began to update our blog with news about how George was getting on.

If you don’t send out a newsletter to your customers to let them know what’s going on, your blog is a great place to keep them up to date on the latest news, promotions, offers and new products.

 

Promotion

Talking of promotions, your blog can be used to promote your latest offer, product or service.

 

Yes! Blogging really does help.

A HubSpot study found that both B2B and B2C businesses who blogged at least 15 times a month received five times more traffic than businesses who didn’t blog at all.

It also found that B2C companies who blog one or two times a month will generate 70% more leads through their website than those who don’t blog at all.

 

It’s hard to find time to blog sometimes and when you’re busy it’s usually the first thing to be pushed aside. Try and make time each week to sit down and write at least one blog post, and if you find you have more time one week write another one so you’ve got a post ready and waiting if you find you’re too busy one week.

Alternatively we can manage your blog for you by writing blog posts and posting them to social media, or if you haven’t got a blog we can design and implement a blog into your website for a seamless experience for the user.

To find out more about our blog management services, call us on 01543 495 752 or fill in our online contact form.

How Blogging Increases Traffic and Generates Leads

How blogging increases traffic and generates leads JPEG

A recent HubSpot report shows that blogging can increase traffic to your website and the number of leads you generate.

HubSpot looked at over 7,000 B2B and B2C businesses to see how the frequency at which they blog. The number of landing pages and pages they have, affects the amount of traffic to their website and the number of leads they generate.

 

What the report showed

The report contained a few really important statistics, that really should be enough to convince any business to take up blogging;

  • B2B and B2C companies who blog 15 times, or more, a month will receive 5 times more traffic than those who don’t blog at all.
  • Companies with between 51 and 100 pages will generate 4.8 times more traffic than those with less than 50 pages.
  • B2B companies who blog just one or two times a month will generate 70% more leads than those who don’t blog at all.
  • Companies with 10 to 15 landing pages see a 55% increase in leads in comparison to those with less than 10 landing pages.

What does it all mean?

While those statistics are very impressive. What do they mean and how do the increase the traffic to your website and help you to generate leads?

If your blog is part of your website, for example www.themarketingpeople.com/blog, each blog post you create will be generating a new page on your website.

First of all, this will be doing wonders for your SEO. As search engines will view this as your website being updated and search engines like websites which are regularly updated. Why? Quite simply, if your website is being updated often, the information should in theory be up to date and relevant.

If you’re producing high quality content which contains the right keywords you’ll start showing up in the search results more often. Which will increase the traffic to your website. Also, the more content you’re producing the more opportunities you have to send people back to your website. Whether that’s via email or social media.

The more useful content you’re putting out, the more likely you are to gain leads. Because you may well be answering someone’s query or showing that you can solve a problem the reader has.

Regularly producing content may help you to gain regular visitors and leads as they will realise that you’re knowledgeable in your area and your content is of use to them.

The advantage of creating more landing pages is simply that you’re creating pages for more of your services or products. This means you’ll be appealing to more people and can send people back to a landing page which is relevant to their needs. Which in turn will help you to generate more leads.

 

Other good reasons to blog

As well as having huge SEO benefits, there are other reasons why blogging for business can be beneficial.

 

Here are another five reasons to blog for your business:

 

Brand development

Your blog is a great place for you to develop your brand. You can get your tone of voice and beliefs across to your customers easily. And will begin to build credibility with your content as they will see you as an expert in your field.

 

Customer loyalty

It’s not easy to gain loyal customers nowadays as more and more people shopping around for the best deals.

If you’re regularly producing interesting and helpful content, people may become regular visitors to your website. The more time they spend on your website, the more opportunities you have to make a sale.

Not only that, but if people like your tone of voice, your brand and the brands beliefs and become loyal customers. Even if it means they have to spend a little more

 

It’s cheap

While blogging isn’t exactly free as you’ll pay in the time spent creating content and for the initial set up of the blog. It’s certainly not the most expensive option in comparison to a PPC campaign or newspaper advert.

 

Great PR opportunity

If you’re about to launch a new product or service, have an upcoming event or offer, what better place to promote than on your blog?

Make sure the blog includes a link back to the product, offer or event page. To encourage people to find out more about the product/service and buy it.

 

Feedback

More and more people now buy based on feedback and reviews from people who have already used the product or service. So encouraging people to comment and leave feedback can help you to increase your sales.

 

Need a blog?

So you’ve realised that blogging about your business could be hugely beneficial to your business, now all you need is a blog.

In order for your website to gain an SEO benefit from blogging the blog needs to be integrated into your website. If your blog is hosted on a platform such as Blogspot or Tumblr, none of the SEO benefit will be attributed to your website.

We regularly create integrated blogs for our clients, which look exactly the same as the rest of their website, and even create content for some of them.

If you need a blog integrating into your existing website, or perhaps you need someone to create the content for you, get in touch with us now to find out how we can help you. Give us a call on 01543 495 752 or drop us an email on contact@themarketingpeople.com and let’s talk about what we can do for you and your business.

Related Blog Posts:

10 Tips To Help You Create High Quality, SEO Friendly Content.

10 tips to help you create high quality content

10 tips to help you create high quality content

Creating high quality content is vital to keep attracting readers and bringing them back, which in turn will help your SEO efforts.

Last week we wrote a blog post about why high quality content is so important to SEO, this week we’re going to help you create that high quality content by sharing 10 must remember tips with you.

 

 

Attention grabbing title.

Convince people to read your blog post with an intriguing or interesting title which they can’t say no to, such as “How to create a great email marketing campaign”.
Help your blog post rank higher by including keywords in the title

 

Keywords;

Use keywords throughout your blog post and title, the most important ones should be used in your title and opening paragraph.

Don’t over use keywords as it won’t read right and search engines may pick up on it and punish you for ‘keyword stuffing’, which is the art of ramming so many keywords into a sentence it doesn’t make sense.

 

Interesting and relevant;

People are reading your blog post to gain some knowledge or information, something useful that they can take away and apply, so make sure you provide them with that.

Writing content for the sake of putting a blog post out is no good; ensure that you have a great topic which people will want to read about.

 

Call to action;

If you’re trying to encourage people to download your latest ebook or take advantage of your hat sale, just say it! Include a strong call to action and a link to where you want them to go and tell them what you want them to do.

 

Personality and engagement;

No one wants to read a boring blog post, so allow your personality to shine through; make it interesting and engage readers by relating to everyday situations, make a joke or two and get readers thinking.

This will make your post much more interesting to read and might make your information easier to remember.

 

Don’t beat around the bush;

You’re readers are just as busy as you are so be concise; straight to the point and fill your blog post full of helpful and interesting content.

 

Break it up;

If your blog post is going to be lengthy, bullet points and sub headers are your best friends. Break the post up into easy to manage chunks for your readers so they aren’t too overwhelmed by a huge wall of text.

 

Links;

If you’ve written about the same or a similar topic before, include a link back to it. This will benefit your reader and you as search engines will look more favourably upon on a blog post which has links that are relevant.

 

Tags;

Most blogging platforms will allow you to apply tags to your post, which enable it to get found easier. Your tags can be keywords or key phrases you’ve used in your article.

 

Get it checked;

Before your post goes live ask a friend or a co-worker to check it over first to ensure it makes sense and there are no spelling or grammatical errors.

After your blog post has gone live, remember to share it with friends and followers on social media or via email.

 

You can find more useful advice on how to maintain the best SEO in our blogs. Or if you need a helping hand to get you started, or run it for you, we can help. Call us today on 01543 495752 to see what we could do for your SEO.

Why High Quality Content is King of SEO

why high quality content is king of seo

why high quality content is king of seo

There is no magic formula when it comes to SEO but one of the best ways to improve your rankings and attract readers and inbound links is creating high quality content.

It’s important to keep in mind that you are writing for people and not the search engines. Search engines are just the way people will discover your content.

Thankfully for anyone who wants to find anything useful on the internet, search engines are incredibly intelligent. And are aware of what is natural content and what is spam content rammed with keywords and sentences that barely make sense.

 

Why people love great content.

Its common sense really. People love reading helpful and interesting content. So if your content answers a question for them or provides them with useful and usable information, they’ll be willing to share it with their friends or like minded people.

This in turn sends more visitors to your website and could create inbound links.

 

Why search engines love great content.

Search engines love content that’s written for people and not for search engines. They’ll know if you’re writing content solely for them.

For example, if you own a pet grooming salon and write a blog post about the importance of regularly grooming pets. But you try to fit the keyword ‘pet grooming’ into each sentence five times it won’t make sense to a person. Search engines will pick up on this and see that you are ‘keyword stuffing’ and will punish your website’s ranking in search results.

If you sit down and write your blog post without thinking too much about keywords, the chances are you will add all the keywords you wanted to anyway. Then it won’t look unnatural. Any keywords you missed out can then be added in after your original draft.

If your content attracts inbound links search engines will pick up on this and see your blog post as useful. As worth reading and worth sharing which will have a positive effect on SEO.

On a side note, search engines like website’s which are updated regularly. So if your blog is part of your website each time you post a new blog post, search engines will think the website is being updated.

 

Why content is better than link building.

It’s helpful to have your website or blog listed in big directories. Such as Dmoz and Yell as they will help you get found. Getting an inbound link from a guest blog post you wrote or from someone praising your work will also help you out.

If you’re spending hours creating listings on barely used directories on the tenth page of Google’s search results. It’s going to have very little affect, if any at all.

A great piece of content which gets shared a handful of times is better than a link on an unknown directory. Which may never send anyone back to your website.

 

How often should I blog?

HubSpot carried out some research where they found that businesses which blogged 16-20 times a month received over two times more traffic that those who blogged four times or less during the same time period.

While it would be nice to have the time to blog five times a week, it’s not always possible.

Here at The Marketing People we recommend blogging once or twice a week. Then if you have the time and the stories, then blog more.

Having the stories is vital. There’s no point in putting out one really high quality blog post and then four rubbish ones just because you were trying to blog five times during the week.

 

 

Writing copy can be hard at the best of times, so feel free to browse the rest of our blogging category for inspiration on what to write about, and how to write about it.

If you’re struggling for the time or resources to blog but know it’s something you and your business should be doing, get in touch with us to find out how we could manage your blog for you. Call us on 01543 495 752 and have a chat with us about what we can do or email us at contact@themarketingpeople.com.