Bournemouth Pier

Blog

Online Website Marketing Blog

Understanding Why Your Website isn’t Working

Why Your Website isn’t Working

Posted on August 8, 2012 by Amanda Ferris

Do you want the visitors that flock to your website to be converted into profitable customers?

Are you disappointed in the lack of response you received from website visitors? Is trying to understand ‘Internet Marketing’ and the options available confusing to you?

understanding-internet-marketing-300x158There are some common misconceptions held by website owners. Changing these ideas and using proven solutions will help you improve your Internet strategy and bring in customers more effectively.

1. You have a brilliant website, but nobody knows about it:

It’s simple; you need to drive people toward your website. The only way to do that is to market your website as part of your ‘Internet Marketing’ strategy. Try not to fall in the trap of thinking the design of your website has a link with how many people visit your site, this is a mistake commonly made with Internet Marketing. The quality of the content on the site and how it helps visitors has far more to do with driving traffic to your site than how it looks.

2. Your website is all about you:

 This is possibly the biggest mistake made by website owners. Unfortunately this is not the case, visitors are only interested in what you can do for them. If your website is worded to focus on solving their problems rather than how good your service is, then it will dramatically change the performance of your site. Many websites are written by sales people and don’t give away any useful information to visitors.

 

If your site is written this way visitors will more likely move on to the next site to find their answers.

3. Getting visits to convert to Enquires/Sales:

You need to think about what you want people to do when they visit your site. Do you need them to buy something from the site or do you focus on getting their contact details, so that you or your sales team can follow up?

A big move in Internet Marketing is the shift from sites that sell products or a business, to sites that want to build ongoing relationships with their customers. This has become known as ‘Permission Marketing’, acquiring a customer’s permission to communicate with them. If you’re using your site to get customers’ contact details, they will need a compelling reason to offer those details. Possibly the best way to do that is to offer something ‘free’ in exchange e.g. a newsletter or free sample of a product, but it needs to have value. Follow that up with a good email campaign and a proportion of those people will convert into customers.

If you are interested in getting sales when potential customers visit your site, then it’s a combination of the written content, images or video that explains and shows the benefits of the product that will possibly guarantee the purchase.

Things to look into:

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Being listed in what are called organic search results costs nothing other than the time involved to make sure each page on your website is optimised for search engines. Try to identify what words or phrases people use to search for the products or services you sell and make sure those words/phrases are represented in the pages of your site. If you only market to customers that are local to you then make sure you include the name of your local area when you optimise each page. You can find out more about SEO in our post on Search Engine Optimisation.

Pay Per Click (PPC)

Using Google AdWords, you only pay for the visitors that click through to your website making it one of the most cost effective advertising solutions available. Beware though as your ads need to be written clearly and targeted at the correct audience so that costs don’t get out of control.

Video Search

YouTube is now the second most popular search engine in the world and Google also uses video content in its regular search results. Obviously, the only way to be listed in YouTube is by using video, but it is well worth considering as video content is more and more sought after and the cost of producing video has fallen.

Get into the Testing Habit

Don’t forget to test and experiment, find out what works for your website. Always use analytics to measure the results from your different strategies. Google’s own analytics tool is free to use and is being improved all the time. The results may astound you.

Online Marketing Blog Content

Has the “Inspiring a Generation” Games inspired your business?

Has the “Inspiring a Generation” Games inspired your business?

After 17 days during which we have watched 26 sports, over 300 competitions, and over 950 medals awarded the Olympic Games 2012 is over. We have seen some extraordinary drama and witnessed the ecstasy and agony of the world’s sports men and women striving to achieve their dream. It has been truly memorable.

Games Chairman, Lord Sebastian Coe said, “The spirit of these Olympic Games will inspire a generation”. The genuine hope is that it will, but what was it that inspired this generation of Olympians and what can we learn from the stories they have told about their journey to success? For today’s generation of people in business, is there anything the Olympic athletes can teach us so that we can be, as their motto says, faster, higher, stronger?

You need to have a dream

London 2012 saw US swimmer, Michael Phelps, become the most decorated Olympian of all time with 22 medals, 18 of which were gold.

The BBC’s swimming presenter, Sharron Davies, asked Phelps, “When you started out your career all those years ago, did you ever see this? Was this what you were dreaming of?”

Phelps’ replied, “I dreamt of being the greatest, and Bob (Bowman, his coach since 11 years old) and I have worked together to become that. We’ve been able to do everything we have ever wanted.

Double gold-winner at 10,000 and 5,000 meters, Mo Farah, said, “When you have a vision and you have a dream, you dig in more.”

It’s important to have a clear idea of what you do well (which should be what you enjoy doing well) and set your sights to be the best that you can. Having and maintaining a clear vision motivates you and those around you who share that vision. Motivation gives you energy and helps you to reach beyond the ordinary.

You need to plan your course

Whilst it’s very important to know where you are heading, how are you going to get there? What can you do to be better at what you do?

The GB cycling team had an incredibly successful Games, winning an amazing 12 medals, 8 of which were gold. David Brailsford, Performance Director for British Cycling told how they work on a system of what they call marginal gains.

“The whole principle came from the idea that if you broke down everything you could think of that goes into riding a bike, and then improved it by 1%, you will get a significant increase when you put them all together. We really figure out what it takes to win whatever it is we want to win. We then prioritise because you know you cannot win everything.”

Of course it takes talent to be successful, but by improving what you do – even if only marginally on a few things – you improve your chances of being successful.

You need a good team

Whilst it is the athletes that win the prize, no athlete can ever be successful by just their efforts alone. They need people around them to support, guide and encourage them.

Team GB’s, long jump gold medal winner, Greg Rutherford had considered retiring after failing at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and repeated injury problems. After winning gold at London 2012 he said, “I think I am very fortunate to have a fantastic team and fantastic family around me.”

So many of Team GB’s winning athletes testified to the difference the crowd made to their performance. Ed Clancy, who won bronze in the Men’s Cycling Omnium event said, “I felt really rubbish until the crowd started cheering, but then it was like a light switch had been turned on.”

Where do you draw your support from? Who guides and challenges you? Who cheers you on when the going gets tough? In business, especially if you are on your own, it’s hard to stay on track and it’s easy to be discouraged, so you need support and you must avoid becoming isolated. Maybe you can join a local learning and support network or find someone you trust who’s been successful in business to guide and encourage you.

You need to believe, work hard and not give up!

The margin between the medals is often be a very small one. It’s been said that often the most disappointed athletes are those that win silver, just missing out on gold, and fourth, missing a medal by just one place.

At 36 years old, Kath Grainger entered the London 2012 Olympics as the most decorated British woman of rowing. But despite winning six world titles, for more than a decade the prize of Olympic gold had eluded her, instead winning a trilogy of silvers.

It would have been easier to retire and look back on a fantastic career, despite never winning gold. However, Kath Grainger, described by Anna Watkin, her partner in the women’s double sculls, as the ‘life and soul’ of the British women rowers , has a self-belief and determination that rowed her and Anna on to gold.

Anna Watkins said, “You don’t get a medal just for believing”. For champion athletes it is that ability to believe and to act on that belief that sets them apart, a determination to persevere and not give up that carries them over the line ahead of their opponents.

When we fail (as all champions do) or negative thoughts or opinions stand in our way, it is how we respond that can make the difference between winning and losing.

For six races in sailing’s Finn class, Team GB’s Ben Ainslie could not beat Dane Jonas Hogh-Christensen. He was trailing in the standings and in danger of missing gold, but Ben was not ready to accept defeat. Ainslie was angered when Hogh-Christensen and Dutchman Pieter-Jan Postma teamed up against him saying he had hit a mark, forcing him to do a penalty turn. “They’ve made a big mistake,” Ainslie said, “They’ve made me angry and you don’t want to make me angry.”

Ainslie could have been defeated by the negative, but instead he used the energy of his anger to turn it into a positive which then became the spur to him winning his fourth Olympic gold.

How do you deal with defeat and demotivating negative thoughts or opinions? Do they take the wind out of your sails causing you to give up or do you look at the clouds and find a shift in the wind that gets you moving forward again?

Have a goal and be extraordinary

The final word goes to Samantha Murray, winner of the silver medal in the last event of the Games, the Modern Pentathlon. Four years ago, Samantha was doing her A Levels and although competing at that time in the event, she was well short of international level.

“Honestly, if you have a goal – if there’s anything you want to achieve in life – don’t let anybody get in your way because you can do it. There are so many people and so many things that will feel like they are trying to set you back. But honestly, find the path that you want to take in life and follow it and stick to it because if I can do it, and I’m a normal girl, anyone can do anything they want to do.”

The “Inspiring a Generation” Games has been inspiring and we have been in awe of the great champions like Mo Farah, Jess Ennis, Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps. But most of all, perhaps London 2012 will be remembered as a story of many stories about ordinary people doing extraordinary things – not just the stories of the world’s best athletes but also of the people behind the scenes like their families and coaches, and by people like the Games Makers that helped to make the Games such a success.

Has the “Inspiring a Generation” Games inspired you?

Online Video Marketing Blog Content

Very Simple Video Checklist

Very Simple Video Checklist

plan-for-business-videoMaking a simple promotional video presentation requires much care and attention. Here’s a very simple video checklist for the making of a video for your business that makes up the basis of most of our video projects.

This list is then tailored to suit the individual requirements of different projects.

Preproduction (before the shoot)

  • Write script and have it approved
  • Make sure shoot locations are available and/or reserved
  • Check all batteries are charged
  • Have equipment available and reserved
  • Make a plan for recording sound
  • Notify actors and presenters being used in the video

Production (shooting Video)

  • Bring all necessary gear to the shoot
  • Use a tripod and make sure it is level
  • Make sure camera settings are correct
  • Make shots as stable as possible when not using a tripod
  • Use headphones when recording audio in camera or to audio recorder
  • Shoot establishing/incidental shots and environment
  • Get wide, medium, and close-up shots of actor/presenter saying their lines
  • Minimise zooming in and out when actor/presenter is talking
  • Keep the subject of each shot in sharp focus
  • Put all batteries on charge after shoot
  • Tidy away all equipment so it is ready for the next job

Post-Production (editing)

  • Create graphics, logos, intro and credits for the finished project
  • Keep footage organized and name appropriately for easy search
  • Make sure audio levels are consistent
  • Use only essential footage/audio in the final edit
  • Make sure any titles included are correct and look professional
  • Watch for flash frames (black frames caused by gaps between clips)
  • Make sure you use standard export settings for finished video

————————————————————————

Now all that’s left to do is decide how you want to distribute your spangly new marketing video…

Writing-articles-for-SEO Online Marketing Blog Content

Writing Articles for SEO

Writing-articles-for-SEOWriting Articles for SEO

With the rise in blogging and more recently the growing power of sharing your blog through social media, it’s easy to get focused on putting new articles on your website without considering the SEO value of the content.

As great as Social Media is for sharing your content with contacts and friends, if you want to extend your reach beyond that it’s vital you spend some time and effort making your blog content Search Engine Friendly.

Before you post your blog article, come up with a list of keywords that are relevant only to the subject you are writing about from within your text, then make sure these keywords are used in strong keyword phrases.

Another approach is to make a list of keyword phrases from within your industry, then build your article around these. Next, use best search engine optimization practices to give you a better chance of getting the most out of your keywords.

Try to use words or phrases that will stand out like a headline in your text, did you see one in the previous sentence..?

When doing this consider:

  • Correct placement in the Article 
  • Keyword density
  • Keyword emphasis

Another under used technique when writing blog articles is to do keyword research in advance. Doing this tells you what people in your sector are searching for, giving you the opportunity to target your content to their needs.

Keyword research before writing your blog articles is a great technique that will attract more readers to click through to your website.

Even after your blog post is published, it’s good to remember you can continue to optimise the blog page with the comments you make in reply to others. Continue to attract search engines back by using specific keyword phrases within your comments, remembering to not overuse them.

Good use of Keywords

Online Marketing Blog Content

So What is Demographic Bidding..?

demographic-bidding-adwords-300x167So What is Demographic Bidding..?

Google have announced that demographic bidding is now available for all AdWords advertisers.

Demographic Bidding is a feature that helps you target your ads to specific age groups (such as ages 18-24), by gender, or to combinations of both.

Demographic bidding can be used whether you are using contextual or placement targeting also with both CPC (cost-per-click) and CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions) bidding and reach can be refined based on users’ gender and age on certain sites in the Google content network, for users who provide that information about themselves.

Users of partner sites won’t be identified through Demographic Bidding as AdWords receives the data in anonymous and aggregate form from participating sites.

Why Demographic Bidding gives you more control

Demographic bidding lets you display your ad campaigns on thousands of websites, that’s nothing new, however demographic bidding gives you the option to have your ads only seen by men, women or both in a specific age group of your choice. If you add in the ability to choose to run ads only on specific websites, ones relevant to the types of customers you want to reach – and if you are a business that serves a local community, then just run those ads to people in your area, this becomes a really powerful marketing tool.

Overall, demographic bidding gives you more control over who sees your ads. Combine this with the measuring tools available in your Adwords account and ad performance testing for specific demographics will help you adjust your bid modifiers and restricts to reach the right audiences.

Demographic Bidding will help you to get a better ROI.

Posted in Business, Helping Hand, Online Marketing, SEO, Web Marketing | Leave a comment

Online Video Marketing Blog Content

How Can Video Make Your Business Successful

How Can Video Make Your Business Successful

Ever heard of Old Spice, the T Mobile Flash Mob and the Body Form Advert? If you haven’t then you’re still thinking what has that got to do with business anyway? Well this… do you want to be a business with a personality? Do you want to be a business with a success story? Do you want to reach a target audience in a blink of an eye? If the answer is yes then just ask Body Form, they’ll tell you, video is where it’s at. By responding quickly to a tongue-in-cheek post against them on Facebook they created a marketing wave that reached a global audience, gaining them huge positive public attention and over 4 million views.

Video is Priceless
As the fabulous people at Rafiki Media tell us,

“a picture is worth a thousand words, and a video is worth a thousand pictures”

and, as we all know, a picture may not tell the story we want to tell. Video on the other hand allows you, as a business, to express your personality, your values, your charm and show your consumers the real you! Businesses are often known for their elevator music or their automated messages, however, if you’ve a video with a focus on the human aspect of your company, then you can be sure that you’re reaching out to humanity and not to the computers of the world (they’re not watching but your consumers are).

Are You Bored Yet?
If you are reading this and thinking when can I stop reading then you’re a business in need of a video. Videos that have been successful are videos which tell a story, a story with which people connect and are triggered by emotionally. You can’t do that easily in 250 words, but in 2 minutes 50 seconds (or better still less) of video it is entirely possible, therefore increasing the ability to connect with your customer now or recall your  business in the future. Isn’t that what you want?

Keeping Tabs?
Social Media commentator, Don Power, argues that social media is the new calling card of business and by having a video you’re interacting with the whole social media network. You can post a video on Facebook or tweet it on Twitter and without fail people are more likely to watch a video and retweet/share/repost than a paragraph of text.

Are You Visually Represented? You Should Be…
We’re all visual creatures, if we can’t see something to an extent it doesn’t exist, so if your business isn’t promoting itself through video, then you might have some serious thinking to do. It has been said that though ,YouTube is not officially a search engine it is second only to Google in people using it to search for things, this can only continue to grow as Social Media does!

If you haven’t got to grips with YouTube and video, then our advice would be to start thinking about how you can promote your business through video. After all its free, easy to use and ridiculously accessible! So start thinking about how you’re going to use it… Start video blogging, creating a promotional video, or video real customer testimonials. The opportunities are endless to reach the customers you’re targeting! Whether you’re in the office, out meeting with clients, or even at a networking event, people want to know you and what you are doing as a business, so don’t delay… go ahead and show them.

Online Video Marketing Blog Content

Your Business in 60 Seconds

Your Business in 60 Seconds Video

This could be a perfect way to get you started in the world online video.

You get the chance to have one of your staff present to camera or provide a voiceover, which is then combined with shots of your business in action. We can also provide a professional presenter and have a voiceover produced based on your script if required.

The final video will be edited to include a combination of high quality stills, HD video, company branding and contact details, in combination with background music.

Your Business in 60 Seconds is a fast effective way to enter the online video world. Youtube is now used as a search engine in it’s own right, which makes it more important then ever before to have an online video that is relevant to your business sector.

 

Online Website Marketing Blog

Websites for Start-up Businesses

Websites for Start-up Businesses

Are you starting up a new business?

Are you unfamiliar with the technicalities of digital marketing?

If so, there are a few things to consider before cracking on with building a website, then displaying your products and services on the internet for the whole world to see.

Yes, DIY website development using templates and online builder tools are an option, at first glance they appear easy, however there is always a learning curve and they lack the flexibility needed to truly match your branding. Some systems restrict you to a number of pages or functionalities then charge small amounts for extras that all add up, so your free or cheap website deosn’t look so cheap anymore.

Another consideration is a personal one, you already have many other responsibilities to your business, so do you have the extra time needed to develop a successful website that will work at it’s full potential..?

Even if you do have the time (so to speak), these free sites often hide your content anyway in the code! It is in the interests of the website template or builder to promote their own business above yours, so you may end up with their banners on your site. This is especially true of free and low cost systems.

Here at Cracking Media, we recognise that your business and website is unique to you, we therefore provide you with our highest quality website service whilst integrating your needs and requirements. We also offer our expert advice to help maximise your potential online exposure.

New business website build advice

Here are some things to consider when building your new website:

  • Web Design that emphasises your brand
  • Search Engine-friendly
  • Mobile Friendly (more important than ever before)
  • Simple, fast contact form for visitor ease
  • Online photo gallery
  • Optimised Social Media Integration
  • Embedded Video Player
  • Consider cloud-based, pro email

Feel free to contact us and tell us how many pages you would like on your new website or ask about flexible payment terms (monthly/ annual payments). We can help you build a professional online profile, so you can confidently display your website address on invoices, business cards and vehicles, knowing that when people find you online they will discover a truly professional looking business, your business…

Just call 01202 532 522 or email hello@crackingmedia.com.

 

Online Video Marketing Blog Content

Why use video for marketing

Why use video for marketing?

By taking advantage of high quality video formats and advanced shooting techniques you are able to use online video efficiently as a promotional tool. With the growing capabilities of handheld devices online video has become one of the most cost effective ways of marketing your business.

By diverting a portion of your marketing budget to online video, your message will be available 24/7 on the web and potentially in the pockets of millions via smartphones and tablets.

You now have capability to reach customers where ever they are.

Mobile device makers are producing devices with ever increasing processing and graphics power which is then connected to improving screen technology. When this is coupled with new faster connection speeds it means video has become truly mobile.

Using relevant Online Promotional Video for your marketing is an extremely cost effective method of giving your website rankings an immediate boost by driving targeted traffic to your site.

Online video is a proven method to build buyer confidence and increased conversion rates.

Online Marketing Blog Content

Start with the Basics to Look Professional

Get the basics right to Look Professional

These are the things that all businesses should have, they are relatively inexpensive, quick to develop and give you a professional image that becomes a great base to work from.

Start with a well planned and easy to navigate web site. This web site should be well-optimised during the development phase which will save money on future SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and help you start to climb the search rankings quickly.

Consider your logo, does it need to be refreshed, modernised or replaced with a new one? Are the images on your site bright and clear or were they snapped on a phone. A combination of all these elements that fits your requirements will help you stand out from the crowd.