It wasn’t so long ago that people were pleasantly surprised if they found that your business had a website. It is now the case that people expect your business to have a website. With so many potential customers using the internet as their primary source of information, owning a website is now equally as important as having your own business phone number and can no longer be ignored.
Websites offer the chance to expand your market and open up the entire world as your marketplace. Regardless of whether you wish to target your local area or further afield, the internet offers a proven ability to reach potential customers and therefore make those all important sales.
Below we have identified 4 ways that a website can help your business:
1. Enhancing Your Presence
To be recognised as a serious business, your company must have an on-line presence. More and more people are looking for services and products on-line and therefore customers and suppliers expect businesses to have their own websites.
Establishing an on-line presence not only gives visitors to your website access to your full range of products or services, it also provides the ideal opportunity to provide detailed information designed to give an insight into your company.
2. Maximising Your Accessibility
Accessibility is absolutely key for any business seeking to maximise their potential. Ensuring that people can interact with you in a way that suits them at a time that suits them is now all important. There is little doubt that paying a visit to someone’s website is often far more convenient than paying a visit to their physical location and a website will allow your customers to visit your website in their own privacy and comfort, without the stresses and distractions.
Your customers are online 24/7, and as such they expect to be able to interact with businesses and organisations whenever and wherever they are online. Of course, that doesn’t mean having to have a presence on every single online channel; it means being clever about selecting the ones that are most important to your audience.
3. Cost Effective Marketing
Websites are fantastic marketing tools. As well as establishing brand awareness, a website offers a full-colour advertisement which runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! You have the opportunity to present your company and its services/products in exactly the method that you wish and when compared to many other advertising methods, this offers amazing value for money.
Simply by adding your URL to stationary, business cards and any other form of advertising, ensures that potential customers know exactly where they need to go for answers to their questions and where to send their friends to for great service.
The more people know about you and your company the greater the chances you have for attracting new customers. More is generally a good thing when running a business, unless you’re talking about expenses!
4. Enhancing Relationship with your Customers
The creation of a website will open up lines of communication between your business and your customers. Generally people prefer to do business with people that they “know.” By offering the opportunity for people to get to know your business (and possibly you), comfort levels will increase and the chances of them wanting to do business with you as opposed to other similar companies whom they know little about will increase.
On-line reviews, interactions with your customers and the frequency and quality of the content on your website can all be used to form a positive impression of your company in the potential customer’s mind. This tends to build peoples’ trust, which in turn, makes them more likely to purchase your products and services.
Footprint specialise in creating bespoke websites designed to help take your business to another level. We have been providing web design Surrey since 1998 and if you’d like to speak to us regarding any of our services, give us a call on 01883 372488 or contact us via Facebook and we’ll be happy to talk you through your options.
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There are few questions which we are asked more often than ‘how can I set-up an e-mail account on my computer?’ A cause of great confusion and aggravation in equal measure for many people, it’s really not as complicated or daunting as it may seem.
To help you along the way, we have drawn up a step by step guide which will help you to set up your account and hopefully stop you throwing your computer out of the window in the meantime!
For the purposes of this guide we are going to use Microsoft Outlook as the e-mail client but in future posts we will cover as many different clients as possible.
First of all – Step 1
Before starting the set-up process, you will need to ensure that you have obtained some vital information from your ISP (Internet Service Provider). The highlighted words below are the details which must be identified and an example of what you will need can be found below:
- Username: email@example.com
- Password: hijerkjdf
- Incoming Mail Server: mail.ntlworld.com
- Outgoing Mail Server: mail.ntlworld.com
Once you have done this you can move onto Step 2 -
Simply click on the option to ‘Add a new e-mail account’ and then click next.
Step 3 -
The standard e-mail server for the vast majority of people will be ‘POP3′, (we will discuss the other options in a later blog), therefore all you need to do for step 3 is to click on ‘POP3′ and then click next.
Step 4 – The next step involves filling in the details which you have obtained from your ISP.
You are almost there! Once you have filled in all of the relevant details, the next step – Step 5 – is to click on the ‘Test Account Settings’ button, this will check that all of the details are correct by sending a test e-mail through to your e-mail address.
Step 6 is the final one. After click on the ‘Test Account Settings’ button, simply click of ‘next’, if all is well, you will see the message below. Your e-mail account is all up and running.
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A blog is without doubt, one of the most powerful tools you can have in your on-line marketing arsenal. An effective offers the ability to increase website traffic, engage your customers, promote your brand and hopefully convert site visitors into paying customers.
Hugely search engine friendly (Google absolutely love blogs!), they are now one of the primary factors in a successful SEO campaign.
Choose Your Topics Carefully
Blogging offers a highly effective method of communicating with your customers. When utilised correctly, blogs are a great source of unique content on topical issues. An often made mistake though is using your blog to write endless posts telling the world how great you company and its services/products are. Generally (and not surprisingly!) people have no interest in reading this type of content. People strive for something specific, something relevant, so taking the time to identify the burning current issues can pay huge dividends.
User comments, whether they or good or bad, are an excellent way of opening up lines of communication with your customers. It’s always recommended to incorporate a ‘Blog Policy’, which will allow you to outline the rules regarding comments to ensure that nothing abusive or personal will be tolerated.
This is not to say that everything needs to be positive and as such it is very important that the blogger responds to any negative comments which may be left. Other readers of your blog will read any comments which are left and will always be interested to see what sort of response negative comments receive. By taking the time to address the issue and highlighting how the problem can be resolved, you are likely to create a much better impression that be ignoring it.
When you receive comments, always try to respond. Should a reader put their name on the comment, thank the reader with that name. This builds up your engagement and shows you are interested in customer feedback no matter how good or bad it is. It is small things like this that will draw the reader back to your blog.
There is no holy grail which will transform your blog into a tool that is guaranteed to drive traffic to your website but by making it useful, writing it regularly, and writing about topics that your audience will want to read about, you will be well on your way to taking your website and your business to another level.
If you’d like to speak to us regarding any of our services, give us a call on 01883 372488 or contact us via Facebook and we’ll be happy to talk you through your options.
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According to a recently written Global Web Index report, Google Plus has now overtaken Twitter to become number 2 on the most used social media platform league table. The report didn’t stop there though, it concluded that not only is Google Plus now the second most used social platform in the world, Google’s social networking channel has now also passed Twitter in terms of social share.
Why Should I Join Up?
Very similar to Facebook’s “like”, Google has “+1” votes. The greater the number of ’1’s’ your posts and web pages get the better. Those social signal votes, provide a direct line to Google to let them know what is being shared and read.
With added benefits of increasing the authority and influence of your company, the chances of increasing your brand awareness whilst boosting your search rankings are significant.
Content is Always King
Whilst it is well known that you can never have enough high quality and relevant content for your website, increasing the circles in which it can be seen is absolutely crucial. No matter which services you are offering or how good your writing skills, if it is just the same small number of people who know about you, your business is highly unlikely to grow. Not only is Google Plus another platform to connect with your customers it also offers a great medium to provide interactive content. Pictures and videos both take great prominence on Google Plus pages and this allows your creative side to come to the fore.
Find People & Share Content
Finding relevant people to add to your Google Plus circle is a fairly simple process with Google’s search feature. Just as with using Twitter, the chances are that if you add them to your Google Plus circle, they will follow your account back. Doing so can increase your odds of exposure when you start sharing your content with the world!
Share your content along with others’ content that you find of value and as each article is shared, you will be creating another link back to your website. The further the links go, the more powerful they become and of course, with it being Google, by sharing on their very own social network, your content will be indexed almost immediately.
If you’d like to speak to us regarding any of our services, give us a call on 01883 372488 or contact us via Facebook and we’ll be happy to talk you through your options.
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If we said that we may be able to help to get your customers to help spread the word about you and your company, would that be something that you’d be interested in? We all understand how important customer referrals can be, due to the fact that referred customers are often far easier (at least initially) to do business with than customers with whom you have had no previous interaction. Few avenues offer a better opportunity to get these wheels in motion than Social Media avenues.
Without wishing to put too fine a point on this, if you’re not connected properly with different social media outlets, the chances are your competitors will be and this will help to give them an edge. Did you know figures indicate that there are in excess of 500 million users on Facebook alone? With upwards of 50% of these users checking in on a daily basis to see what their friends, family and acquaintances are up to and what they are talking about, it’s very important to ensure that your customers have the opportunity to tell their friends what a great job you have done for them!
Why is Social Media marketing important?
When used correctly, social media marketing can play a pivotal role in the marketing plan for your business. With so many people (and therefore potential customers) using social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and blogs, it’s so important to ensure that you are in a position to make your presence felt.
How else can social media be used to help?
Engage Your Audience: Regardless of your particular line of business, the ability to engage your audience can be key. Of course people will always have the ability to pick up the phone or send you an e-mail but in a world where patience is thin, social media outlets offer the quickest and easiest way for people to contact you.
By making sure that you post regularly, along with posting the right content and questions, you will open up the possibility to draw new and existing customers into a discussion, or at least interacting with your business.
Boost Sales: There’s no escaping the fact that ultimately you would like to turn these new connections into actual sales. With the correct use of social media tools, you will gain the ability to attract new customers and boost your sales.
With the initial creation of just a Facebook business page and a Twitter account, you can start attracting potential customers, and hopefully begin turning those new connections into customers through a combination of regular posts and incentive deals ensuring that not following you is just too good an opportunity to miss.
How important is Social Media to SEO?
The lines between social media and SEO have never been thinner and this is a trend that is set to continue.
Perhaps the most important aspect of a successful campaign is the ability to create unique engaging content. If you want to crack Google’s first page, your website simply must have excellent content.
The amount of engaging content which you can add to your social networking channels will help Google to endorse your brand with a certain amount of “authority”, just as it views you as an authority in your specific area due to the amount of people commenting, liking, sharing, re-tweeting, etc. The higher the authority that your website receives, the higher up the rankings that you will go.
Sounds simple doesn’t it!
If you’d like to speak to use regarding how we can help you to use social media channels to grow your company, give us a call on 01883 372488 or contact us via Facebook and we’ll be happy to talk you through your options.
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A lot of people have heard the term Google PageRank before but do you actually know what the term means? We will try and break this down by stripping away all of the jargon to offer an easy to understand explanation.
In short, PageRank is one of Google’s methods of ranking web pages. Ranging between 0 & 10 (with 10 being the best), a web page which has been designated with a higher PageRank will be deemed to be more important than a page with a lower PageRank. This is crucial when it comes to where your website will be displayed during a Google search.
Will My Website Have One PageRank?
A common misconception is that a website will have just one PageRank. This is not the case, as every page on your website will be allocated with a different PR. The home page of a website is more than likely going to have the highest PageRank as it will have the most sites linking to it.
How Does Google Determine a Website’s PageRank?
The number of variables involved in this process is simply too high for an easy explanation but what we can say with a high level of certainty is that quality unique content, excellent site structure and high quality back links all play a critical role.
By ensuring that your website offers quality content along with receiving links from high quality websites, you will have taken very important steps in establishing some crucial aspects that will be factored in when the time comes for Google to determine your PageRank.
Google will make the assumption that if more people link back to your website and/or talk about a specific page, it is very likely to offer helpful content. This will therefore help you to achieve a higher PageRank.
Should I Just Pay For 1000s of Back Links From a Link Farm?
The answer to this question is an emphatic no!! Whilst in the past, Google may have rewarded quantity over quality, the emphasis has shifted very strongly to less is now more. A small number of links back to your website from respected, reputable and relevant websites will prove to be far more beneficial to your PageRank than 1000s of links back from poor quality websites.
Do New Back Links Show Up Straight Away?
As with all aspects of SEO, patience is a virtue! There are no quick fixes when it comes to improving a website’s PageRank and it can often take two full monthly updates by Google for all of your incoming links to be discovered and counted as back links.
Is PageRank as Important as it Sounds?
Your website’s PageRank is certainly an important factor in regards to how successful an SEO campaign will prove to be but it is very important that all other SEO techniques are not forgotten. No single aspect will make the difference between success and failure but by adopting good practices and trying to cover all bases, your SEO battle can be won!
How Can I Find My Website’s Google PageRank?
There are a number of different ways to ascertain your website’s PageRank but one of the most popular is by downloading the Google toolbar onto your browser.
It is important to note that Google maintains the true PageRank internally, and therefore any PageRank that you see given should be taken as an estimate rather than a guaranteed result.
Without doubt, one of the questions that we most commonly asked is how to access an e-mail account using an iPhone. There’s no doubt that the ability to keep track of your e-mails whilst on the move is one of the best reasons to own an iPhone but if you don’t know how to set the account up, you’re never going to get the benefits!
To help guide you through the process we have set up a quick and easy to follow step by step guide to help you set you e-mail account up.
The good news with this process is that it’s exactly the same whether you are setting up your e-mail on an iPhone, iPad, or even an iPod touch and there is no need to be nervous about trying this.
First things first though, there is a little bit of information that you must have been you can get started.
- What kind of email account you have. Is it GMail? Hotmail? Yahoo? Or perhaps something else?
- Your full email address (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org) and your password.
- If your email account isn’t through GMail, Hotmail or Yahoo you it is crucial that you identify your username and password. Generally speaking, your username will be your full email address, but if you find that does not work, it will more than likely just be the portion of your e-mail address found on the left hand side of the ‘@’ symbol. If you are still unsure of these details, contact you e-mail address provider to find out further information before proceeding.
- If your email account isn’t through Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo, you must find out the details regarding your incoming mail server (either IMAP or POP) and outgoing mail server (SMTP). If you don’t know what these are again, contact the company that provides your email address (or use their online support centre) to find out. Generally, these servers will just be mail.domain.com (domain.com being the part of your email address to the right of the ‘@’ sign, such as gmail.com or hotmail.co.uk). It’s always best to ask and make sure though.
Once you are certain that you have obtained the correct information, you simply need to follow the 10 steps detailed below to add your e-mail account to the phone:
Step 1 – Tap the ‘Settings’ app on your iPhone.
Step 2 – Tap the “Mail, Contacts, Calendars” tab, then tap “Add Account…”
Step 3 – Choose the type of account you want to add. If you add Microsoft Exchange, GMail, Yahoo, AOL or Hotmail, you will only be asked to enter the very basic details:
- Account Description (this can be pretty much anything you want to use but is optional)
If you are setting up one of these accounts, simply tap next after entering the details and you will be done!
If however you need to tap the “Other” option, please continue on to step 4.
Step 4 – After tapping “Other” you will be presented with a variety of options. You will need to focus on the top one, tap “Add Mail Account.”
Step 5 – Start off by entering your name, email address, password and account description (optional). When you have completed this, tap “Next.”
Step 6 – This step will require you to pay close attention. Firstly, you’ll need to choose from either the IMAP or POP options. With a POP3 account your email software connects to the mail server and downloads e-mail messages to your computer. Most of the time the e-mails will be deleted from the mail server after being downloaded. With an IMAP account your email software leaves email messages on the mail server. IMAP allows you to view emails from the email software in multiple locations (such as home computers and office computers) without the need of transferring messages or files between them. Once you have made your choice, tap on the relevant button.
Step 7 – Once you see the next screen, you will notice that your name and email address have automatically been filled using the information you typed in on the previous screen. In the incoming mail section you’ll see your host name (your IMAP or POP server) and username are left blank, however. Fill those in with the information you received from your email provider. There is a very strong chance that it will be mail.domain.com for the host name and your email address for the username.
Step 8 – In the Outgoing Mail Server section, do exactly the same thing. The information should be the same, but the host name might be different because this host name refers to your SMTP server. Your email provider will be able to tell you what the host name is, so be sure to ask if you don’t know. When you’re done, tap “Next.”
Step 9 – You’ll now be asked to choose what types of information you want to use with this account. Generally you’ll only have the option to get Mail and Notes. Mail will be turned on by default and notes will be turned off. If you want to store notes in this email account, change the slider to the on position.
Step 10 – Finally, just tap the “Save” button and you’re all done.
You’ve cracked it! Your e-mail account should now be set up on your iPhone.
Pavex Limited are a Surrey based company specialising in the design and construction of attractive and functional paving, driveways and patios, beautiful landscaped gardens, and fulfil varied creative and commercial needs for homes, businesses and schools.
After an initial consultation, we mutually agreed a project which was designed to:
- Create an online information service showcasing the full range of Pavex’s services
- Build an easy to use content management system for the whole site
- Migrate all required information across from the existing Pavex website
- Integrate with relevant Social Media – Twitter and Facebook etc
- Ensure the website was fully search engine optimised
- Incorporate a downloads section for partnering business brochures
- Add a gallery highlighting previous work
- Establish a dedication section regarding the necessary planning permission required to complete some of our work
Strategic Plan: The key element and main driving point for the development of this website was to ensure that the website was as user friendly as possible. Therefore the strategy behind the site design was to place a strong emphasis on how to display the services available in a logical and well-presented fashion which would encourage further investigation by prospective customers.
Web Design & Development: The focus was placed on designing a website that would shine a spotlight on the full range of services that Pavex provide, along with ensuring that a number of visual examples of each service were easily accessible in a gallery section.
Special attention was paid to the design of services pages, as it was of utmost importance that we found a way to display the service information correctly and in a way which best utilised the available space to creatively include text and images which would fully illustrate the full details each service offered.
Content Management System (CMS): A customised Content Management System was created using WordPress to allow website administrators easy access to the website to make any additions or alterations whenever necessary.
The CMS has been designed to automatically update the websites sitemap ensuring that any new pages which have been created are submitted to Google to allow for the maximum optimisation opportunities.
Search Engine Optimisation: By clearly establishing Pavex’s geographical target areas along with the particular services available in each area, we utilised a combination of on-page and off-page techniques to significantly increase the search engine visibility of the website.
By integrating the existing information provided by Pavex from their previous website into the detailed plan of action, we have established an on-line solution has been individually tailored to suit the needs of Pavex.
The details provided on the website are accurate, easy to read and form a comprehensive overview of the services available.
Initial results have been hugely positive with the number of visitors coming to the website increasing on a monthly basis along with some excellent feedback from customers.
What the Client Had to Say?
“Thank you very much for all of your efforts and input for the design and creation of the site. I know I may have been a tricky customer being such a perfectionist but I am now completely satisfied and will be spreading the word on my experience with you guys.” - Paul Stannard, – Company Director – Pavex