Lead Generation And Your Website

Lead generation is a vital part of your website. Your leads will only be as good as the website that produces them. With this in mind our blog this week looks at our top tips for improving your website to increase your lead generation.

Lead generation

What are leads?

A lead is a person who has expressed interest in your service or product in some way or form, such as by filling in a form on a website or maybe joining a relevant mailing list.

These leads are essential for any business. Rather than just cold calling people out of the blue, you are able to target those people who already have an interest in your service or product making them much more likely to convert to a sale.

What is lead generation?

This explanation from Hubspot is great,

Lead generation is the process of attracting and converting strangers and prospects into those leads we just talked about.

So what are the best ways for you to generate leads from your website?

Post forms on every page

The more forms that are easily accessible on your website the easier it is to gain leads.

The less information you ask for on a form the more likely people will fill in the personal information required. Likewise, the further through your website someone goes, the more likely they are to fill out more valuable information. This requires a carefully thought out form on each page.

Build trust with photos and testimonials

A good testimonial adds trust and impact to your brand. In 2014, 78% of people said they would trust online reviews of a product or service as much as the recommendation of a friend. Testimonials are essentially your companies online reviews.

When deciding which testimonials to put on your site the following from industry leader VIEO Design is useful,

Authentic testimonials don’t sound overly polished, manipulative, or “sales-y,” so don’t be afraid of testimonials that aren’t glowing, unqualified praise.

Remember, it’s not just about your product or service – testimonials about your customer service are valuable too. If a customer had a problem and you fixed it, don’t be afraid to share that—it helps future customers feel secure in doing business with you.

Adding photos or even videos that aren’t too bandwidth heavy, is a great way to enhance your testimonials, visual content is increasingly popular on every platform so don’t miss this opportunity to add some relevant photos.

Use (credible) trust seals.

Here is a great description of trust seals from Wikipedia,

A trust seal is a seal granted by an entity to website or businesses for display. Often the purpose is demonstrate to customers that this business is concerned with security and their business identity. The requirements for the displaying merchant vary, but typically involve a dedication to good security practices or the use of secure methods for transactions or most importantly verified existence of the company. Trust seals can come in a variety of forms, including data security seals, business verified seals and privacy seals and are available from a variety of companies, for a fee. A Trust seal can be either active or passive. Most seals are validated when they are created and remain so for a specific duration of time, post expiry of which the business/process has to be re-validated.

It can be difficult to measure the conversion rates from having a trust seal on your site, rather than installing a seal for visual benefits, use one that is backed up by a guarantee to the buyer. A good example is Oriental Furniture who used a BuySafe trust seal, meaning among other things, that customers were protected to the value of £10,000 if their details were stolen via the site, it was shown that the trust seal increased conversion rates by 7.6%.

Use call-to-actions and power words.

A call-to-action (CTA) is a button or link that you place on your website to drive prospective customers to become leads by filling out a form on a landing page. A CTA is the link between the regular content that your potential customer is interested in, and a page with a more high-value offer on it (the landing page) that is relevant and interesting enough to persuade your visitor to complete a short form.

The above from industry-leading, digital marketers Hubspot is a great explanation of the value of a call to action.

For the purpose of lead generation, your CTA should be in locations on your website that see a lot of new visitor traffic, like your blog. Your CTA is best placed at the end of the post, in the sidebar or as a banner. Your CTA could be something like,

  • Download my free ebook now
  • Start a free trial
  • Make an appointment
  • Get a free consultation

Power words are great to use in your CTA. Action verbs such as ‘have’, ‘feel’ and ‘get’ are good because of the compelling action of their active tone. Using time sensitive words in your CTA can also help, words such as ‘now’ ‘before’ and ‘today’ can all increase the click-through rate on your CTA button.

 

We hope this blog has been of use. If you have any questions or would like to talk to us about your website design or marketing you can call us on 0800 612 1098 or contact us here 

 

Making The Most Of Your Business Facebook Page

Facebook has over a billion active accounts. That is one in seven of the World’s population. If you don’t have a business Facebook Page, you are potentially missing a huge audience for your service or product. Consider these statistics,

  • 71% of adults have a Facebook account.
  • 93% of shoppers’ buying decisions are influenced by social media – because 90% trust peer recommendations. But only 14% trust advertisements.
  • Social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing

With this in mind, here are our top tips for making the most of your business Facebook Page.

Business Facebook Page

Carefully choose your profile picture

Social media is not a selling platform, hard or pushy sales techniques simply won’t work. Rather you should use social media in order to spread brand awareness and gain brand trust.

Pick a profile picture that is easy to recognise and impactive, like your company logo or maybe a good head shot of yourself if you are a sole trader.

Social media marketing is about exposure. The more often your logo or profile picture is seen, and associated with good content, the more trusted your brand becomes. The more trusted your brand, the more likely you are to convert leads to sales.

When choosing a photo, keep in mind that Facebook requires your profile picture dimensions to be 180 pixels by 180 pixels (even though the image will display as 160 pixels by 160 pixels on desktop computers).

Match Your page name and username

You can only change your Page name or username ONCE. (the user name is also called a vanity URL and is the name that appears in the address bar and not the name on the front of the Page)

You need to be an admin to change your Page’s name. If your Page has over 200 likes you will need to request a Page name change from Facebook, follow the steps below which will redirect you to Facebook support.

To change your Page’s name:

  • Click ‘About’ below your Page’s cover photo
  • Click ‘Page Info’ in the left column
  • Hover over the ‘Name’ section and click ‘Edit’
  • Enter a new name and click ‘Save Changes’

When choosing a new URL try and match the Page name as closely as possible, this will make your Page look more professional and make searching for you easier.

business Facebook Page

To change your Page’s vanity URL

Go to facebook.com/username

  • Below ‘Create your Facebook web address’, select a Page from the drop down menu
  • Type a username and click ‘Check Availability’
  • If the username is available, click ‘Confirm’

It should be re-emphasised here that you can only change your Facebook  Page name and vanity URL once. Take your time and get it right.

Quality over quantity

Facebook has billions of complicated algorithms to try and determine which posts are seen in people’s newsfeeds. The aim of Facebook algorithms is to show you only the posts that will be most informative and relevant to your newsfeed and filter out spam, poor quality or pushy sales posts.

It can be tempting to post often from your business Facebook Page but this will actually be detrimental to your brand. People quickly unfollow a page that posts too often and it’s likely Facebook won’t even show your posts in followers newsfeeds.

Aim to post to Facebook no more than once or twice a day unless you are live reporting an event or occasion. The key here is the quality of your content. Posting valuable, informative, and engaging content once a day will get you much higher visibility and interaction than a series of sales posts.

Consider sharing industry-relevant news, local charity events and useful blogs. Carefully crafting one informative and relevant Facebook post can yield better results than a month of sales posts.

Page verification

Last year Facebook released an update to allow certain businesses that have a physical location to become verified. Verification is shown by a small grey ‘tick’ alongside your Page name, similar to the blue ‘tick’ that currently denotes a verified Page from someone in the public eye.

A verified Page will rank higher in a search and adds an element of trust to your Page and your business.

To verify your Page:

  1. Click Settings at the top of your Page
  2. From General, click Page Verification
  3. Click Verify this Page, then click Get Started
  4. Enter a publicly listed phone number for your business, your country, and language
  5. Click Call Me Now to allow Facebook to call you with a verification code
  6. Enter the 4-digit verification code and click Continue

Optimise the ‘About’ section of your page

The ‘About’ section of your business Facebook Page is one of the first places people will look to gain more information on your business, product or service.

The ‘About’ section has a preview that sits under your profile picture on the left-hand side and also as a full section that people can navigate too by clicking the tab at the top of the page just under the cover photo.

Make sure to put as much information as possible in this section. Write a catchy ‘short description’ for your business and link to your website. Opening hours, location and costs, if applicable, should all go here too.

To edit your full ‘About’ tab, click on it, hover over the section you’d like to edit, and click the pencil icon.

 

We hope this blog has been useful. We would love to hear your feedback, you can get in touch via our Facebook or Twitter or if you have any questions about your digital marketing, contact us here, we can help.

Colour Choice Mistakes To Avoid In Web Design

Colour choice in web design is a highly debated topic. Many articles have been written on the subject and new trends emerge yearly. However, there are a few rules about which colour choices to avoid. In our blog this week, we look at which web design colour choices to avoid, and why.

colour choice

Colour Choice

Colours matter in web design. A lot. The right combination of colours can convey professionalism, experience, authority, friendliness, etc. Whilst the wrong combination of colours can lead to a marketing disaster.

Discussing the use of colour in design, Graphic designer, Josh Beadon says,

Colour touches us all of us at a basic, even primal level. To give you an example: In nature we all know that Red is a warning colour. Red berries, Red-capped mushrooms, – they’re poisonous right? We also know that Yellow in certain situations means danger – think wasps, bees and hornets. Over the thousands of years of human evolution, we have learnt to ‘read’ the world around us using colour… this hasn’t just disappeared because we live in modern cities and have state-of-the-art technologies at our fingertips. Understanding the power that colour holds over us, and harnessing this properly is what designers strive for – or should do.

This rough guide to negative and positive responses to colour is from the same article and gives a good starting point for colour choice,

colourassociations

Colour choice mistakes

Don’t use Pure Black

Pure black does not occur naturally, as a colour on a computer screen, #000000 – or pure black, is jarring and overpowers adjacent colours. Whole articles have been devoted to why you should avoid pure black in design with one author noting, 

When you put pure black next to a set of meticulously picked colors, the black overpowers everything else. It stands out because it’s not natural. All of the “black” everyday objects around you have some amount of light bouncing off of them, which means they aren’t black, they’re dark gray. And that light probably has a tint to it, so they’re not even dark gray, they’re colored-dark gray.

In the same way, the majority of black you see on a website is not actually black, rather it is very dark shades of grey. As a good tip, add a little colour such as blue to your greys to make them less dull and more blended.

Red and Green Should Never be Seen

There are a few good reasons to avoid putting the colours red and green next to each other,

  • You will have visitors to your site that have some form of colour blindness. The most common form of colour blindness is deuteranopia which means people are unable to distinguish between green and red.
  • Red and green are very close together on the visible spectrum and as a result side by side, they tend to increase the brightness as each colour competes with the eye for the foreground.
  • People tend to have very strong emotional associations to these colours that are polar opposites for each colour, resulting in conflicting emotional responses to your page.

Avoid green, yellow and purple on a green background

Yellow and purple become too intense to be read properly with a green background, making the reader squint. Here is a great graphic from Site Point that shows exactly the problems a green background can cause.

12-bad-colors

Don’t put light colour text on a white background

Adding a pale colour text to an already white background creates a conflict for the eyes and leads to readability problems for your page. As you can see here. 

Darker shades of grey or black are probably best for a white background. 

Neon and rainbow colours are abrasive

While it may certainly be eye-catching, neon or rainbow colours on a website become abrasive to the eye very quickly. Whilst the image below may be an extreme example it highlights the issue well,

colour choice mistakes neon

Don’t put red, blue or purple text on a black background

Unless you really want to push the goth look, always avoid red text on a black background. Black is not a good background for blue or purple text either, the swallowing effect of the colour combinations render it hard to read. In fact, even white text can be difficult to read against a black background. If you must have a black background try putting the text in boxes instead.

 

We hope this blog has been of use. If you have any questions or would like to talk to us about your website design you can call us on 0800 612 1098 or contact us here 

Google My Business – Be Visible Online

Google My Business is a free online platform provided by Google with the aim of providing an accessible and comprehensive online business directory. It allows a business to register their address, service or product, and contact details across Google’s platforms which Google then inserts into search engine results.

Google My Business does two things, it enables business owners to increase their online presence and visibility and it allows people to find the most relevant local business, and then engage with and even review that business. Google Local is now the most comprehensive, interactive business directory ever created.

Google My Business

Local Business

Google My Business pages are primarily for businesses that offer a service or product in a local area including but not limited too, hairdressers, gyms, recruitment, bars, electricians, etc. Here is how it looks on a simple search for ‘web design Stevenage’

Google+LocalPages

 

If someone performs a search on a google platform for a local service or product, Goggle will display up to 3 relevant local business listings that it believes match the searcher’s requirements. These local business listings in Google are valuable for a few reasons, laid out here by industry leaders SEOMarks

  • They’re normally located above the standard search results.
  • Your business’s address and phone number is displayed alongside them.
  • A direct link to your business’s location on a map is provided.
  • A direct link to reviews left by your customers is provided.

When clicking through to a business’s Google My Business page, people can see the following:

  • The business’s name, address and phone number.
  • A description of the business.
  • The business’s location on a map.
  • The business’s opening hours.
  • A link to the business’s website.
  • Photos and videos related to the business.
  • Reviews of the business left by previous customers.
  • A rating out of 5 for the business (based on scores given by previous customers).

Google My Business was previously Google Places but the new format allows for more information and interactive content, across more platforms.

Powerful Marketing Tool

Google is now the starting point for the majority of people when searching for a product or service, approximately 3.5 billion searches are made on Google search engine, every single day. 43% of all Google searches carry a local query, that is, are searching for a local listing. If your business is not listed on Google you are potentially missing a lot of your customers.

To set up your business on Google My Business, Click On This Link and then click on the large ‘Get On Google’ Button, you will be given a short tutorial by Google on how to set up your business listing.

Hubspot, a marketing industry leader, also have a good, free, guide to setting up your Google My Business listing and can be downloaded Here. Hubspot say,

Google My Business allows marketers to provide existing and prospective customers with the information they need in the first place the majority of people look: Google Search. Good luck!

Best of all it is completely free, and who doesn’t like free advertising?

Proud Sponsors Of Rhythms Of The World

Several years ago Tim Neale our CEO attended a local festival and was struck by the community spirit and ethos – as well as the fantastic music. After discovering the festival was entirely run by volunteers as a charity, he decided to get involved. The festival was Rhythms of the World (ROTW) and we have been proud sponsors now for several years.

ROTW is a charity based in Hitchin, celebrating its 25th anniversary year this year. The aims of ROTW are,

Led by volunteers, ROTW is a registered charity that aims to unite diverse communities through music and the arts. We achieve this by organising a range of cultural events, culminating in an annual festival of world music, dance, arts and cuisine in Hitchin, Hertfordshire.

Sadly due to financial constraints ROTW was unable to stage the traditional large festival this year. Instead, ROTW is holding 25 exciting fundraising events, in and around Hitchin, to try to secure the future of the festival and the year-round community outreach projects.

Rhythms Of The WorldFor their next fundraising event, ROTW has teamed up with BX Dance and Choir On Fire, two local innovative youth groups, for two amazing performances of dance and music at The Queen Mother Theatre on Friday, June 3rd. First performance starts at 2:30 PM and tickets available from The Queen Mother Theatre.

On Saturday the 4th of June ROTW has organised an amazing day of live music at the family, fun day, Back2Schoolival, being held at Knights Templar Sports Centre, Baldock. Check out the huge range of activities and fun available throughout the day here.

In huge news for Rhythms of the World, they have just announced a special guest performance from Kim Wilde and Rick Wilde during an incredible evening of World Music set in the beautiful surroundings of St Mary’s Church, Hitchin, on Friday 9th of June. You can find full details here

ROTW’s fundraising events continue throughout the summer and they are sure there will be something for everyone to enjoy. If you would like further details, please check out their website events page here.

We are delighted to be involved with ROTW and hope you will be able to join us in supporting ROTW at some of these events.

We wish Rhythms of the World all the best this year. With enough community support, ROTW will be able to hold their traditional large festival of world music next year, and continue their year-round work in the community, bringing music and festival vibes to groups who, for various reasons, may be unable to attend the festival. #GetInvolved.

 

The Team at Seal Island Media.

 

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