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So far Ant Parker has created 361 blog entries.

8 Tips To Write The Perfect Blog

Blogs, or ‘Web Logs’, are online journals that are updated frequently, sometimes even daily. An update, (also called an entry or a post) can be anything from just a few lines to pages and pages of text. The most effective blogs, however, typically contain between 400 & 600 words.

Engaging With Your Customers

Blogs are one of these best ways to engage your client base, advertise offers/opportunities and improve the visibility of your business online (SEO), and they are only going to become more important throughout 2019.

Your blog can be used for anything as well, not just information relating to your own business, but anything which you think your clients and customers would be interested – information that will keep them clicking onto your page.

Blogging

Follow These Tips

Even the most seemingly random of topics, with the right voice, can be made over to appear interesting and relevant.

Follow these top tips when starting your blog:

  1. Decide upon and develop a writing style that is appropriate to your business. What would work best for your intended audience? Informal and chatty, or Formal and serious?
  2. Post regularly, even if they’re not all essays! At the very least once a week.
  3. Enable your readers to comment on your blog. This level of interaction is vital to the business-client relationship.
  4. Before you start blogging, spend some time visiting other blogs. You can learn a lot about the do’s and don’ts of blogging by reading others. Your suppliers’, rivals’, clients’ and other successful blogs are all mine of information.
  5. Make a note of everything you think could be turned into a blog. Keep a list of links to interesting news articles or developments, if an idea pops into your head when you’re not at your desk? Make a note of it on your phone!
  6. Use links and images. No one wants to look at a page full of dry text; appropriate and entertaining images break up the flow of the blog. They also provide invaluable keyword search opportunities, if properly labelled and tagged. Links in your blog to relevant pages on your site will keep people on your website! Links to other sites, or supporting articles add credence to your blog that is also crucial to your SEO.
  7. Use tags. Like keywords, tags can be used in blogs to highlight particular text to a search engine – all helping to attract other viewers to your blog and, ultimately, your website.
  8. Link your blog to all your social media channels. This will let all your followers know when new content has gone up – keeping them in the loop and encouraging them to visit your site.

If you keep all these points in mind, you’ll have no problem producing a relevant, interesting and successful blog.

Further Information

If you’d like to speak to us regarding any of our services, including our online marketing services, please 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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By | March 12th, 2019|Blogging|Comments Off on 8 Tips To Write The Perfect Blog

Can Search Engines Find You Without SEO?

A significant proportion of web traffic finds its way onto their destination website via the 2 well known commercial search engines – Google and Bing and to a lesser extent, Yahoo!

Although there are other methods of attracting visitors (such as utilising social media platforms), search engines continue to be the primary method of navigation for most web users.

Guiding Customers To Your Website

Search engines have been designed to help guide people (your potential customers) to the most appropriate websites based on the terms that are being searched for. If your site cannot be located by search engines or your content cannot be put into their databases, there is every chance that you will miss out on a tremendous amount of business.

Experience indicates that search engine traffic has the ability to offer significant benefits to businesses with an online presence. Ensuring that the right (targeted) visitors find your website can increase publicity and generate revenue and exposure like no other channel of marketing.

An image of a computer

Can Search Engines Find Me Without SEO?

Whilst search engines are incredibly intuitive, they still need a (not so little) nudge in the right direction. All of the major engines constantly work towards improving their technology to ensure that they generate the best and most accurate results for each search. However, there is a limit to how search engines can operate and this is where SEO steps in to help guide the search engines to your website.

It is important to note though that the correct practices must be implemented because whilst the right SEO can net you countless visitors, the wrong moves work against your website ensuring that your site becomes buried deep in the search results where visibility is minimal.

How To Choose The Right Terms?

Search terms, keywords or key terms are essentially the words that users type into search engines and carry a huge amount of value. Investing in effective search engine optimisation, whether through time or finances, is proven to offer an exceptional rate of return when compared to other types of marketing and promotion.

Should I Try To Do SEO For Myself?

The internet is becoming increasingly competitive, and those companies who actively embrace SEO will have a distinct advantage in regards to visitors and therefore potential customers.

Depending on the amount of spare time you may have, your willingness to learn, and how complex your website is, you may decide you need an expert to handle things for you and we would always strongly advise leaving this side of your online business to the experts.

Further Information

If you’d like to speak to us regarding any of our services, including our online marketing services, please 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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By | March 5th, 2019|SEO, SEO Results|Comments Off on Can Search Engines Find You Without SEO?

Taking a Closer Look at Your Business

Google Street View technology provides the opportunity to give visitors to your Google Maps listing and your website the chance to take a ‘virtual tour’ through your premises before even setting foot anywhere near you.

When searching for businesses, consumers use mapping products 44% of the time.*

On average, 41% of these place searches result in an on-site visit.*

Choosing the right restaurant, bar or hotel can often be tricky, particularly if you haven’t been there before. With the updates to Google Street View, you now have the option to help build a level of trust by letting potential customers experience your location before they arrive.

By offering an experience which is immersive and fresh, a virtual experience can help to play a key role in drawing inspire greater confidence among prospective customer and visitors.

The Importance of Building Trust

Google quotes a survey** on their own website which highlights the positive impact that can be achieved by incorporating more images and offering a more immersive experience on your listing.

The parameters of the study are as follows:

  • An online survey was conducted with consumers who had searched online for a restaurant or hotel within the previous 30 days (using any device).
  • A total sample of 1201 respondents was collected between July 21st and August 2nd, 2015.
  • Different versions of a local business listing (one for a hotel, the other for a restaurant) were created to include basic info, photos and/or a virtual tour (the same media were used to create each version).
  • Respondents were asked to view one of the different versions for each business (in a randomised order). Each respondent viewed:
    • 1 hotel listing + 1 restaurant listing; and
    • 1 listing with a virtual tour + 1 listing without a virtual tour.

    Note: Presentation of alternate listings were randomized evenly and consistently throughout the field.

  • After viewing each listing, respondents were instructed to rate their interest in booking a reservation.
  • Ratings for alternate listings (with a tour versus without) were aggregated to understand the impact of virtual tours on interest in the featured business.

With 44% of consumers using map related products all of the time, this is an area which must be tapped into if you would like to take a step ahead of your competition.

Further Information

If you’d like to speak to us regarding any of our services, including our the creation of 360-degree images for your website and Google Maps listing, please 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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*Ipsos study [pdf in English]

**Download overview [pdf]

By | February 25th, 2019|Google Maps|Comments Off on Taking a Closer Look at Your Business

The Basics of Google My Business

If increasing the visibility of your business in the local area is crucial to ongoing success, creating a Google My Business listing is absolutely essential.

Google My Business (GMB) – is a rarity in today’s world because it is a FREE tool to use. Absolutely perfect for any business owner looking to manage their online profile and showcase their products and services, GMB offers a very effective method of increasing your local exposure.

If you have any questions about the importance of Google Maps listings for small businesses and how they can be used to help you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on Tel. No. 01883 372488.

Features like ‘Google’s Local Search’ results (highlighted in the screenshot below) have been created to help provide a list of nearby business offering the products/services relating to your search. This in turn helps to highlight further information relating to each specific business in the listing including addresses, business hours, categories, contact details, reviews, images + more.

Once a new listing has been created and verified (a process of confirming that your business details are correct), a Google Maps location will be generated which filters seamlessly into the traditional Google Search results for easy access and increased searchability.

Introducing The Basics of Google My Business

A few tips include:

  1. Choosing The Correct Categories: Google provides an extensive list of categories from which you can choose. Simply choose the most relevant option from the available choices as your primary category and then choose as many as you can that relate to your products/services.
  2. Use GMB As A Social Media Channel: You can make your listing more attractive by adding posts, videos, images etc which can be posted through the GMB dashboard. Turning GMB into a Social Media channel, the most recent posts will be added to the bottom of your GMB listing during search results and images may also appear in Google Image search results.
  3. Encourage As Many Reviews As Possible: It is not possible to overemphasise the importance of reviews. Simply ask your customers to review and rate on your listing. Online reviews play a crucial role in helping to separate competing businesses and the chances are, the more positive reviews on your account, the higher your listing may rank and the greater confidence new customers will have that your services are reputable.

Further Information

If you’d like to speak to us regarding any of our services, including our online marketing services, please 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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By | February 18th, 2019|Google Maps|Comments Off on The Basics of Google My Business

Saying Goodbye to Google Plus

With the news of another data leak, the borrowed time that beleaguered platform Google+ faced has been reduced even further and will now close for consumers in April, rather than 4 months later in August as originally planned.

The New Vulnerability

According to Google, the new vulnerability impacted 52.5 million users, who could have had profile information like their name, email address, occupation, and age exposed to developers, even if their account was set to private. Apps could also access profile data that had been shared with a specific user but was not shared publicly.

“We’ve recently determined that some users were impacted by a software update introduced in November that contained a bug affecting a Google+ API. We discovered this bug as part of our standard and ongoing testing procedures and fixed it within a week of it being introduced. No third party compromised our systems, and we have no evidence that the app developers that inadvertently had this access for six days were aware of it or misused it in any way.

With the discovery of this new bug, we have decided to expedite the shut-down of all Google+ APIs; this will occur within the next 90 days. In addition, we have also decided to accelerate the sunsetting of consumer Google+ from August 2019 to April 2019. While we recognize there are implications for developers, we want to ensure the protection of our users.”

Next Steps for Consumer Google+

All Google+ APIs will be wound down over the coming days as Google decided to give users ample opportunity to transition off of consumer Google+. Over the next few months, they will issue regular statements with additional information, including ways that data can be safely and securely downloaded to be migrated to other platforms.

A Note for Enterprise Customers

G Suite administrators are always in control of their users’ apps. This ensures that G Suite users can give access only to apps that have been vetted and are trusted by their organization. In addition, we want to reiterate that we will continue to invest in Google+ for enterprise. More details were announced in October.”

What Comes Next?

With the recent updates to the GMB (Google My Business) dashboard, the ability to make posts, share images and provide general information has already ensured that many of the options which were available with G+ are now available elsewhere.

To see how GMB can be used to benefit businesses, especially those with a focus on local custom, please click here.

Further Information

If you’d like to speak to us regarding any of our services, including our online marketing services, please 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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By | February 11th, 2019|Google, Google Maps|Comments Off on Saying Goodbye to Google Plus
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