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.

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?

Top 5 Reasons To Use Google Adwords

Google AdWords is a pay per click PPC service that allows you to create and run adverts for your business. Your advert is linked to relevant keywords for your business and will show as a clickable advert on a Google search results page.

By carefully choosing keywords for your advert that are relevant to your product or service, your advert is shown to your target audience, that is people who already have an interest in your product or service.

Google advert revenue in 2015 amounted to almost 67.39 billion US dollars and has become a vital part of many successful business marketing strategies.
Google Adwords
Here are our top reasons your business should use Google AdWords.

To reach your customers

Think about these statistics,

90% of people conduct their first search for a product or service using Google.

Google now processes over 40,000 search queries every second on average which translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide.

If your adverts are not appearing on a Google search for your business, you are missing most of your potential customers.

It is faster than SEO

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of adapting and updating your website so it ranks highly, organically on a Google search return.

SEO is an intensive process requiring technical and content changes to your website on a very regular basis. It can also take some months for the results of your SEO to take effect and push your website higher up the organic search results on a Google search.

This is not to say you should abandon your SEO strategy, to the contrary, it is a vital part of any online marketing strategy. However, with Google Adwords, once your advert has gone live you will immediately start receiving data and become visible to your target audience.

Google AdWords also gives you the opportunity to refine and check how effect your keywords are before using them as part of your SEO strategy.

Your competitors use Google AdWords

Okay, so it doesn’t always follow that if someone else is doing something, then you should too. However when it comes to Google AdWords you would be advised to follow the crowd. As discussed earlier, 90% of people first search on Google, if they are not seeing your advert, they are seeing your competitors.

It can be difficult to compete on Google AdWords if your competitor has a large advertising budget and can bid more for keywords you would like to use that your budget will allow. With a bit of creativity and thought, it should be possible to identify slightly different or more specific keywords that will allow you to still reach your target audience.

AdWords is flexible and highly measurable

AdWords provides tons of options so you can customize your campaigns and ads to your particular needs, hyper-targeting the audiences you most want to reach. For example, with AdWords you can:

AdWords has a wide variety of options you can change so you can fully customise your adverts. By tailoring your adverts carefully you can reach more of your target audience. A good summary of the options available is laid out below from industry leaders WordStream and the full version can be found here

  • Specify keyword match types — You can, for example, only display your ad to people who search for an exact keyword you specify, like “vegas hotels” — filtering out traffic on general terms related to Las Vegas or hotels.
  • Use ad extensions to display product images, a phone number, a mega-pack of links to your site, your physical location – you can even initiate a chat or get an email address right from the SERP.
  • Narrow your audience by location, time of day, language, browser or device type and more. A good portion of your organic traffic may be worthless to you.
  • Access an enormous network of non-search users on properties like Gmail and YouTube and tons of partner sites.
  • Leverage the display network, which is great for building brand awareness and often converts at a lower cost than Google Search.

One of the most important aspects of online marketing is the ability to measure the success of your marketing strategy with a number of measurements known as metrics. These metrics include things like the number of visitors to your website, your conversions rates from clicks to sales and the effectiveness of your keyword choice.

Google AdWords provides a huge amount of metrics for your advert campaigns allowing you to see at a very detailed level which of your strategies are working and which need to be adjusted. Traditional SEO is harder to quantify and often it is difficult to tell which of your actions is having an effect on your organic SEO rankings.

You only pay for results

Because Google AdWords is run on a pay per click basis, you only pay when your advert is clicked and takes the visitor to your website. Consider this against traditional marketing such as newspapers where even if no-one responded to your advert you would still need to pay a considerable fee.

Google AdWords also has no minimum spend. You can set your budget for as little as £1 a day if you like. Of course, a smaller budget will affect your potential reach but it is a great way for a small company with a limited budget to reach a local audience or take a share of a larger targeted audience.

 

Getting the most out of your Google AdWords campaigns does take a lot of careful analysis and keyword research. We can help. If you would like to talk to us about AdWords consultancy or online marketing you can contact us here or call us on 0800 612 1098

Etiquette For Social Media

It seems strange to think that a little over 10 years ago social media was virtually unknown. Now social media dominates both personal and business interactions and shows no sign of slowing down. In 2015, Facebook reached over 1 billion users. That means 1 in 7 of the world’s population has a Facebook account.

While it is great to be able to connect so easily to family, friends, and potential business contacts, social media also carries some risks. One inappropriate or thoughtless post can cost you friends or put your job at risk.

With this in mind our blog this week looks at the etiquette of social media to help avoid any mishaps and keep your companies brand trusted and respected on social media.

Etiquette

Don’t mix personal and business

Your business social media accounts should reflect your business. Not your social life. Don’t be tempted to share details of your Friday night clubbing or how you feel about politics.

Your posts should aim to either educate or entertain your followers relevant to the service or product you offer. Followers of your business account are not there to hear about your dining experience or car troubles.

This is not to say you shouldn’t try and have a human and relatable voice on your business social media. In fact, accounts with humour, intelligence and quirky ideas tend to do very well. Rather, you need to make sure the content you post is relevant to your business, even if you use humorous language.

Use caution when tagging pictures and people

If you are sharing someone’s content then courtesy would dictate that you acknowledge them by ‘tagging’ their account name or username in your post. However, randomly tagging people in a picture or comment without their prior engagement or agreement is not okay.

Twitter can often be misused this way, just because a famous person has a Twitter account, it does not make it acceptable to tag them in your tweets as a way to try and generate more interactions or interest for your business. In fact, this can have the opposite effect and end up costing your business trust and credibility on social media.

If you want to share pictures try and ask permission before tagging people in them or ask people to ‘tag themselves’ to avoid a delicate situation.

Use a spell checker

This seems fairly obvious but poor spelling and grammar can cause serious damage to your online reputation. Mistakes are glaringly obvious on social media and can be the cause of unwanted attention. People love to point out errors on social media posts.

If you do make a mistake, own it. Acknowledge a mistake was made, thank the people pointing it out, keep your tone light and apologetic. Don’t get upset or delete the post as this can just escalate the problem.

Stick to the 80-20 rule.

The 80-20 rule is a good one to apply to your social media. Essentially 80% of your posts should aim to entertain or inform, whilst only 20% should be direct sales posts.

Social media is not a free advertising platform. Hard sales posts don’t do well and again can have a directly negative impact on your business.

Using the same 80-20 rule, it is best to share 4 posts from other sources to each 1 post of your own content. Social media accounts that don’t share other content or engage with other accounts tend to do less well. Remember the key is to be social, not to sell.

Don’t be needy

It can be tempting to ask for retweets, shares or likes on your social media posts but in reality, this looks desperate and needy. Your content should gain interactions because it informs or entertains, not because you have asked for help.

Spam is never a good idea

A recent trend with businesses on Twitter is to send a direct message to each account that follows you. Usually saying something like – ‘thanks for the follow, you can find more info here…’ This may seem like a good idea and adding a personal touch, but in reality, this is spam.

If someone has followed your social media account they have access to all the information they should need about your business. Sending direct messages just clogs up people’s personal messages and feels intrusive.

Don’t post too much

It can be difficult to know how often to post to social media. Each social media forum has an ideal amount of times to post each day. Be careful not to post too much as this is a quick way to lose followers. As a rough guide, you should aim to post,

  • Facebook – Once a day, twice if an important event is happening.
  • Twitter – Up to 5 times a day spaced evenly across the day.
  • Google+ – Once a day
  • LinkedIn – Once a day
  • Pinterest – Up to 5 times a day

 

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.

Facebook Adverts – Make Them Work For You

Facebook Adverts are becoming an essential part of any marketing strategy but it can be tricky to understand the many options available.

We take an in-depth look at how Facebook Adverts can work for you and explain the different targeting and campaign options available.

It is useful to understand the structure of Facebook advertising which is explained nicely here by Social media Examiner,

Facebook has three sales channels: Direct, Inside and Online.

Direct sales deals with the largest global brands, for which Facebook has dedicated account teams to manage the relationship directly with the advertiser and their agencies.

Inside sales handles the next tier of clients, who may be spending in the hundreds of thousands of dollars per year on Facebook.

That means the rest of us interact with Facebook sales via the Online, or self-serve, channel.

Audience Targeting

When you create an advert of any kind with Facebook adverts, it will give you a list of options to target your advert to your most relevant audience.

Location

The location option allows you to target your adverts to be shown only to people on Facebook in a certain location. You can choose countries, counties, cities, towns or postcodes to define a location and then you can set a radius

For example, if you have a local service based in Stevenage you could set your audience target location to Stevenage and then set a radius of 10 miles. This means your advert would be shown to people in and around Stevenage up to a ten-mile radius.

Age and Gender

The default age range for Facebook adverts is 18-65 but this can be customised to any age range. If your product or service is used by a certain age range, the ability to target your adverts to that group specifically is a huge advantage. You also have the option to target either sex if your product is gender specific.

Interests

Facebook adverts give you the option to specify interests of your target audience. If your business sells dog food then targeting people who have ‘dogs’ as their interest means your advert is shown to an audience already in your target market. Facebook explains saying,

In the ad targeting section of ad creation or Power Editor, you can choose to target people based on their interests. Interests may include things people share on their Timelines, apps they use, Pages they like and other activities on and off of Facebook. Interests may also factor in demographics such as age, gender and location.

Custom audience

This option allows you to create a custom audience from marketing lists like emails and telephone numbers. If you have the relevant plug-ins on your website you can collect Facebook user IDs from people who have visited and target your adverts specifically to these people. This is a slightly more advanced targeting option but great for large marketing departments or businesses with a large email subscription. Facebook for Business has an extensive help section for customising audiences.

You can create a Custom Audience using email addresses, phone numbers, Facebook user IDs (from mobile apps only) or mobile advertiser IDs. Keep in mind that your Custom Audiences must have at least 20 people in them.

You can create a Custom Audience with any of the following tools:

Connections

The option for audience targeting based on connections, allowing you to target people you have already connected with on Facebook or allowing you to exclude those people. You can also target friends of people who have a connection with you. Connections can include people who have liked your page or responded to an event.

Facebook adverts campaign objectives

Campaign objectives allow you to choose the action you would like your advert to provoke. Essentially providing different call-to-actions with each objective. The campaign you choose will impact the design of your advert and which audience you target. When you first set up an advert on Facebook you will see this list of options.

Facebook Adverts

  • Boost your posts

This allows you to boost a specific post on your Page. When you make a post on your Page, a boost option will show in the bottom left corner of that post.

FacebookBoostPost

If you have a post that you think will create a lot of engagement when promoted to a wider audience then a boost is a good choice. The more shares, likes and interactions a post gets, the more it will appear in people’s newsfeeds.

Don’t forget that if someone likes your post, Facebook will show that to a large percentage of people who are Facebook friends with the person who liked your post. This means a lot of people who don’t follow your page or who aren’t in your ‘paid for’ audience, will also see your post.

  • Promote your Page

Promoting your page will create an advert that will appear in the right-hand column of your targeted audience’s newsfeed. It will appear as a ‘sponsored’ advert and gives people an option to like your page without the need to click onto your page.

Promoting your page can be a great way to gain page likes and increase your visibility to the audience most likely to require your product or service.

  • Send people to your website

You can set up an advert to promote your website that will appear directly in people’s newsfeeds. This is a great way to increase traffic to your website.

To promote your website from your Facebook page, make sure you have added your website in the ‘about’ section of your Page

FacebookAbout

  • Increase conversions on your website

The option to increase conversions on your website allows you to ask people to perform a specific function on your website such as buying a product or signing up for a newsletter.

  • Get installs of your app

This option is fairly self-explanatory but a really good way of promoting your app and getting people to install it. Your Facebook advert will appear in your audience’s main newsfeed and if clicked will open automatically in the relevant download store.

  • Increase engagement of your app

This advert will also appear in the main newsfeed of your targeted audience and links to a specific area of your app, such as a product page or registration page.

This option allows you to reach people who have already downloaded your app and gives the option to download your app to those in your audience who haven’t already downloaded it.

  • Reach people near your business

If your business has premises, such as a shop front, then location targeting for your audience can be a great way to raise your local brand awareness.

  • Raise attendance at your event

Most people are familiar with Facebook events where you can schedule an event, such as a sale, and invite people to join. People can confirm or decline attendence. – You can find full information on how to create an event for your page here.

With a Facebook advert aimed at raising attendence of your event, you can target you ideal audience for your event and monitor the responses.

  • Get video views

Videos have long been a valuable way to gain interaction on Facebook. Creating customer videos, behind the scenes footage or product review videos can boost your brand awareness and trust.

Facebook Advert Guidelines

Facebook offers the following guidelines to ensure your advert looks good on Desktop and mobile devices, note that your images cannot include more than 20% text. Facebook approves each advert before it is sent live and too much text will get your advert rejected.

Recommended image size: 1,200 x 628 pixels

Image ratio: 1.9:1

Text: 90 characters

Headline: 25 characters

Link description: 30 characters

Your image may not include more than 20% text.

And for creating videos suitable for Facebook you should use the following guide

Text: 90 characters

Thumbnail image size: Should match the aspect ratio of your video. Your thumbnail image may not include more than 20% text.
Video: H.264 video compression, high-profile preferred, square pixels, fixed frame rate, progressive scan
Frames: 30 fps max.
Format: .mp4 container ideally with leading mov atom, no edit lists
Recommended aspect ratio: 1.33:1 / 4:3 / SDTV, 1.375:1 / film, 1.77 / 16.9 / HDTV, 1.85:1 / Film, 2:39:1 or 2:40:1 / Wide-screen, no pillar boxing or letter boxing
Audio: Stereo AAC audio compression, 128 kbps+ preferred
File size: Up to 1.75 GB max.
Bit rate: No limit to bit rate file if you’re using two-pass encoding, as long as your file doesn’t exceed 1 GB. Otherwise, 8 megabits per second for 1080p and 4 megabits per second for 720p.
Length: 45 minutes max
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.

 

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