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Google Maps: Your Guide To Improving Your Maps Ranking

Map And Magnifier

Your website’s ranking is crucial to the success of your business – the difference between a good ranking and a bad one could be what separates you from record profits or record losses. There are some really simple steps to improving your Google Maps ranking and I’ve explained them in this guide.

Recommended reading: Why Your Best Customers Are Walking Away

Make sure your Google My Business page is correct

Your Maps ranking begins with the details you add to your Google My Business (GMB) page. If it doesn’t have all of the relevant information for your business, Google won’t be able to link your business to all the searches relevant to you. Making sure your GMB page is correct is the first step in improving your ranking.

The information you must add is:

  • Location of your business
  • Business hours for your company
  • Details of your website – including a link to it
  • Contact information

Once all this is done, you need to verify your listing. This is simple to do but crucial to complete. This is because Google won’t include your business in its results until it’s confirmed it to be a real organisation. Another important thing to get right in your GMB page are the subcategories you use for your business. These are particularly useful if your business is based in multiple locations. For more on Google My Business, check out the video below:

Review your NAP for consistency

NAP is the Name, Address, and Phone (number) for your business. Getting it right on your GMB is essential but this doesn’t go far enough. Your NAP can be found in many online directories on the internet and it needs to be consistent. If it’s not Google has less trust in your business and lowers your ranking.

The various places your business could be listed include:

  • Better Business Bureau
  • Bing
  • Google+
  • Merchant Circle
  • Mantra.com
  • Yahoo
  • Yellowbook
  • Yelp
  • YP.com

There are a range of tools available to help you find where your business is listed. After you’ve found every listing, you must ensure all of the information is the same – including spelling and grammar. Doing this will increase Google’s trust in your business and improve your ranking. Watch the Q&A session underneath to learn more about NAP:

Optimise your website to match your GMB page

Once you’ve added your website to your GMB page Google associates the two. This means Google will use your website to help determine your Maps ranking. A quickfire way to improve your Maps ranking is to optimize your website, so that it’s consistent with your GMB page.

In order to optimize your website, you must include your company name, business type, location, and the primary keywords used in your GMB page. This must be added wherever it is relevant to do so on your website, with your focus points being:

  • Title Tags
  • URLs
  • Sub headings
  • Images

This is a great way to improve the ranking for well-established and newly-made websites alike, because it’s such a quick win. For example, optimizing images is one of the best ways to increase traffic, while your title tag is the most important on page ranking factor. For more information about website optimization, watch the detailed video underneath:

Boost your Google Maps reviews

Reviews are extremely important today. Your customers value the opinions of their peers as much as those from their friends and family. Because of this Google puts a lot of stock in customer reviews and uses it as part of your Maps ranking. What does this mean to you? Boost your Google map reviews and your Maps ranking will improve. Simple.

Google’s policy is that you can’t ask your customers to leave reviews. However, there are ways around this:

  • You can offer your them a discount on their next purchase for leaving a review
  • Reply to as many of your existing reviews as you can
  • Include the link to your Google Maps review section in your email marketing

Your reviews need to look natural for them to improve your ranking. This means if you get a bulk batch at the same time Google may get suspicious, particularly if you have a new website. To learn more about the importance of reviews, check out the great video below:

Spending time improving your Google Maps ranking can pay dividends for your business. It’s an important ranking factor in local SEO and could be the difference between your business losing a customer or winning one. Now you know how to improve your Google Maps ranking, all that’s left is for you to put my advice into practice. So go away and put your business on the (Google) Map(s)!

How to get more sales from your phuket website

Do You REALLY own your website?

A large part of my time is spent working on website re-designs. Many businesses are just early adopters noticing that times have changed but their site has not. Others just need a real business focused website with clear Call To Actions and a Fast Loading, Mobile Friendly website.

Then there are the unfortunate ones that find themselves with an out of date content and an outdated looking website they just can’t access. If that’s not bad enough, they are about to discover they don’t even own their own the domain name. The company who sold them the original website set everything up for them and didn’t transfer ownership.  Now the developer is no longer in business or has left the area, country (or worse) and doesn’t respond to emails. Sometimes they claim you were only renting the domain from them.

❝ Sometimes they claim you were only renting the domain from them. ❞

You’d think ICANN would be able to help with ownership disputes, they can and do to a certain extent but it’s not easy or cheap! So it’s best not to put yourself in that situation in the first place.

Domain Name & Hosting

If there’s one issue I see time and time again with redesign projects, it’s that clients don’t control or even have access to their domain registrar or hosting accounts. Which essentially means they don’t actually own their company website.

Rule #1 = Make sure you OWN your domain name.
Rule #2 = Make sure you OWN your hosting account.

❝ As the two most essential elements that control your website/business online, make sure you OWN your domain name & hosting account! ❞

Ownership: Does it really matter?

I won’t tell you how many times I have heard the same story. They signed a contract with a bad vendor and ended up with a site that they couldn’t update and/or didn’t get the site they expected.

The day comes when you want to move your site to a new hosting company or change DNS settings on your domain.

Faced with losing business the original provider refuses to raise a finger during the migration process or worse actively sabotaged the process. Unfortunately, this is not simply a one-time case, but a business practice where unscrupulous web providers build and host web sites but the knowing clients don’t actually own the sites.

I’ve also had lots of good experiences too. But until you start the process, you never know which way it’s going to go.

Responsibility:

It’s not just the vendors, often clients seek a hands-off solution for their website – especially when it comes to domains and hosting. It does take more time to have clients register their own accounts or to create them and transfer ownership. Sometimes even though it’s in the clients best interest there’s often resistance.

So I completely understand the temptation to do it the easy way. I just prefer to help people make the right choices because it’s in their companies best interest. Even if they don’t know it yet.

Just as it’s never a good idea to build property on land you don’t own (or have the rights to). Don’t build a website on a domain you don’t own. 

Protect Yourself: ask the right questions.

The final decision to invest in a new website or redesign is often made in a rush. There’s almost always some deadline looming, or the business needs to prepare for a seasonal sales/marketing schedule. That’s just the way of the world. But there’s no reason to skip over important details.

Protecting yourself is as easy as asking the right questions.

  1. Will the Domain name be registered to me? 
  2. Will we have full & direct access to the DNS registration (ie. username + password)?
  3. Will we have complete access to the website backend if requested? (This would include FTP, Control Panel and/or Shell access)
  4. Is the CMS or e-commerce system proprietary or is it a system that is commonly used by other service providers?

If the answer to any of those questions is anything other than YES, you could be in for an expensive shock down the line.

While you’re at it ask if the site will be secured by an SSL Certificate and use the new http2 protocols.

5. Does the hosting include SSL certificate?

Finally, ask if there will be other websites on the same server? If yes, ask how many?

6. How many websites will share the same IP address? 

If you’ve ever run too many apps on your phone at the same time and noticed it slow down slightly,  it’s common for budget shared servers to have thousands of websites running on the same server. There’s a reason these are cheap. Check how many websites are on your shared server.

Website Hosting: Fast, Reliable & Affordable

Controlling your own hosting account isn’t as vital as owning your own domain name, but it’s a really good idea. Having a fast host that’s reliable just makes sense.

As with most things, you get what you pay for. Hosting is no different but selecting the right hosting package can be overwhelming. Plus most hosting companies don’t make it easy to compare apples to apples and often the stats displayed are of little relevance.

Shared Hosting

Most small businesses only need some form of shared server. Shared hosting is where your website shares hosting space with other websites. Just as any phone or computer will start to slow down the more apps and programs you run at the same time, shared hosting shares the server resources across multiple websites.

Not all shared hosting is equal. Modern servers are impressive bits of kit, having a hundred small domains on a server isn’t that much of a problem 99% of the time. But really cheap shared hosting can often have thousands of websites on a single shared server. For hobby sites, it’s not a problem. Your site goes down a few times a week or month and it’s no problem at all.

For a business website. It’s important to be fast and reliable. Your website reflects 100% on your business – not on the hosting company. If your site is out of date, slow and frequently doesn’t work, the message you’re sending isn’t one of professionalism and reliability.

❝ First impressions happen in less than 50 milliseconds, that’s faster than the blink of an eye. ❞

I like to keep it simple. From shared to dedicated servers, there’s only one hosting company I’m confident will maintain the quality of service I work hard to provide my clients.

Siteground Website Hosting

Because of our Website Maintenance service, I still get to work with a wide selection of hosting companies, including most of the largest names in the industry.  It’s also worth mentioning that I practice what I preach. Having moved all my hosting to Siteground a few years ago, I’ve never looked back or regretted it since.

Siteground is still a recommendation I’m very comfortable to make.

Your Domain: How to check it yourself

If you registered your own domain, you shouldn’t have a problem but if it was set up by a third party then check your domain with whois.icann.org and you should see your own details under the Registrant Contact and especially the Administrative Contact sections should display an email address that ONLY you have access to.

If the details are marked as private. In which case can just contact the company who set it up and ask them.

Most times when a business/vendor has registered a domain for you, it’s because you asked them to. So now that you know better, it’s something they should be more than happy to resolve for you. Yes, it’s a little hassle, but it’s worth doing!

Without direct access to the Administrative Contact email account listed, you do not control your domain name.

Administrative Contact Email Address

Remember, if it isn’t your email address displayed as the ADMIN, then you will need the cooperation of the person with access to the email, to help transfer ownership to you.

While it is a very straight forward process, taking a few minutes to implement.  Getting a third party to co-operate in a timely manner (in my experience) takes 2-3 weeks and a dozen or more emails, messages, and phone calls. It’s precisely those bad experiences, reclaiming clients websites that prompted me to write this article.

NOTE: Moving a domain to a new registrar will involve your website going down for short time. So the best option would be to make a new account with the registrar and get your third party to process a change of ownership.

Useful Links

If you’re thinking about updating your website or have run into similar problems, we’d love to hear what happened. Feel free to add your comments and or questions below and I will respond ASAP.

Website Redesign

Why Your Best Customers Are Walking Away

Customers Retention New vs Old Customers

When the balance between new and repeat customers changes suddenly it can have a devastating effect on your business. A high influx of new customers can overwhelm your current service capabilities, which can seriously damage your existing customer base.  Before you know it, your regular customers are taking their money somewhere else.

If you’re thinking that your new customers will simply replace your repeat business on a one to one basis you’re in for a big shock.

❝ No matter what you sell or service you provide, you are in the business of making customers happy. If not, you are going out of business. ❞

If your customers keep coming back for more, then you’re doing something right! Keep on doing it. But if your customers never return to your business, you need to identify why and do it FAST!

Often the first and most obvious place to look is your customer satisfaction levels. At the end of the day, when bills have been paid, are they happy? Do they feel they are getting good value for their hard earned money? This can be a big pill to swallow, so let’s take a quick look at the benefits to your business when you get it right.

Why Customer Retention Matters

It’s common knowledge that it costs a lot less to encourage an existing  customer to make a second purchase, than it costs to attract and get a sale from a first-time customer. But just in case you’re not convinced why repeat business is good business, here’s a few things to consider:

    • It cost 6-7 times more to find a new customer than it does to keep a current one.
    • The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%
    • The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%
    • New customers are more price-conscious.
    • Average conversion rate (sales) from promotions sent to new customers is less than 1%
    • On average loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase.
  • 80% of your total revenue comes from 20% of your customers.

That being said, attracting fresh new customers is still a vital part of any marketing strategy. Though one area that does not get emphasised enough, is the importance of balance between your new and experienced customers. Keeping that balance can be difficult, especially since many factors may be outside of your control. Understanding that your business has different types of customers and finding the ones that generate the most income is just the first step.

The Effect Your Customers Can Have On Each Other

Imagine that your business is a simple ATM (cash machine).   Your service does not change from person to person, so ‘customer experience’ will be affected by the customers themselves. Their direct interaction with your business, as well as your other customers waiting in line behind them.

The Effect Customers Can Have On Each Other

Imagine your business was like an ATM machine.

Repeat Customer

Picks the right machine and has the right card ready to go. They know the pin number and more importantly, which buttons to press in order to complete the desired transaction.  The whole process takes less than a minute. The repeat customer satisfaction is high and your business is ready and available for your next customer – perfect!

New Customer

They don’t really know if your ATM is the best one to use but will give it a go, they have a selection of cards to pick from and will need to find a compatible one with the ATM.  Next they have to carefully read the on-screen instructions and locate the correct buttons for the options they are looking for. Naturally it takes considerably longer for a first time customer to achieve the exact same service results as a repeat customer. Although they are happy to have got their money, the experience wasn’t as enjoyable or as simple as they are used to.

If  your first-time customers do return to your business (and it’s not changed too much) they will have a more enjoyable experience and before long they may transition into repeat customers.

The Point

If you have more repeat customers than new, the queue at the ATM machine will move quickly and at a fairly predictable pace. There might be a slight delay from time to time but for the most part all your customers will be happy.  As a result, you will get regular customers visiting your business.

If new customers outnumber your regulars each process will take considerably longer, everyone feels the effect of a drop in service.  It’s unfortunate, but the first people to see the drop in service levels and value are always your most regular customers.  They will also be the first ones to go elsewhere.

Lifetime Value:  If your regular customers visits you machine every week for a year that’s even better than 52 first time visitors that use your ATM only once. Why is it better and not equal? Because your repeat customer needs no assistance and does not cause unexpected delays to your other customers.

Sometimes purchase frequency can be much slower, but even if your customers purchase cycle is once a month or even once a year. Over 10 years the lifetime value of that customer to your business is significantly greater than a single first-time customer. So when considering your customers lifetime value, focus on purchases over an extended period of time.

Advocate PotentialWhen every customer has an on-line voice (social media) all your customers have the potential to be powerful advocates for your business. It’s one thing to read a review or recommendation from a stranger, but when that advice comes from a friend it’s hard to ignore.

Repeat customers make powerful advocates for your business.  For a start, they are more likely to be happy customers (which is good). But they are also more likely to promote your business with friends, family, on social media sites and even blogs. If that wasn’t good enough already, the icing on the cake is the frequency that your regular customers act as advocates on your behalf.  The more they visit your business the more opportunities they have to talk about you.

New customers are also very likely to share their opinion of your service. But there’s no guarantee it’s going to be good so you can’t count on them being advocates.  New customers by nature are more demanding of services and are far more likely to complain on-line if your service doesn’t meet their personal expectations.

The bottom line is that when you introduce new customers to your business, you’d better give them your A-Game.

Find Your Balance

Maintaining the right balance of repeat and new customers, so that your business can keep its service standards is essential.  It’s not so much about specific numbers, it depends entirely on the service you provide and your ability to provide consistent levels of service to all your customers at all times.

It’s important to be aware if this balance point for your own businesses and if your customer base changes, you need to adapt your business to match.

The ATM example although simplistic, highlights the fact that customer satisfaction and your ability to attract repeat business can be affected even when your service remains exactly the same.

❝ Loyalty goes both ways – If you are not loyal to your customers, why would they be loyal to you? ❞

Keep Them Coming Back For More

For all the above reasons (and more) most companies work extra hard with their new customers to encourage them to become repeat customers. The good ones also make sure to keep their repeat customers happy; the great ones even make their customers feel special.

Like many small businesses, you might feel you have little or no control over which customers visit your business, even if that was true (which it certainly is not), you do have complete control over the service you provide and how you provide it.

If you’re looking to build your repeat clientèle – consider who your ideal customers are and where you could find them.  If you operate a business that doesn’t attract locals in your area, then you need to establish why. It’s not always easy to identify the problems yourself. Your best bet is to ask your customers, or even your staff.

Problems With Service

If customers have had a bad experience with your business it can be hard to get them back. Start by admitting that there were problems with areas of your business (be specific) and fixing them. Once fixed, let people know you’ve made some big changes and ask them to come back and try again.

Just make sure you’ve really fixed the problems first.  Second chances are hard. Third chances are very rare.

Problems With Value

If your customers think your prices are too high it doesn’t matter if they are or not. Your customers won’t buy. You should review your pricing structure to evaluate where you stand in the market. It’s also possible your customers don’t fully understand the value of what you’re offering. This is very common with service related businesses. If this is the case, you will need to educate them accordingly. Using printed flyers and leaflets are a great conversion tool when customers are already considering your company but need a little more convincing to make a sale.

Ideally you should be educating potential customers while they are in the investigation phase of their purchase. Having  the right information on your website helps your customers early on in the buying process. It also builds trust that you are a reliable, informed and have a professional attitude to your business. All good signs that potential customers like to see.

Problems With Awareness

This is always a big one. Are you the best-kept secret in town.  If this is the case, double check you don’t really have a Service or Value problem (ask your customers) and then identify who your customers are.  Then target your advertising directly to them.

Before buying additional advertising or promotions, double check your web content and landing pages. Even if you are handing out flyers in the street, most customers will check you out online before they contact you directly. If you fail to impress, they are just a click or two away from your competition. Check your website is listed locally and that you contact information is easy to find and accurate. If you’re listed in directories make sure your information is up to date and that your company is accurately represented.

If your website is mobile friendly then social media targeted advertising campaigns are relatively inexpensive and simple to create. You need a good idea of your target market if you want to get results and when you’re attracting customers, and as always it’s vital you have a decent online presence for your business or you’ll just be throwing money away.

If you’re a local Phuket business and you’re struggling to find customers or feeling the effects from a drop in repeat customers, feel free to get in touch. We’ll help you identify who your customers are, where to find them, how get their attention and keep them coming back for more.

How to get more sales from your website

Did We Miss The Point Of Mobilegeddon?

Mobile Friendly Website Google Update

I previously wrote about the Mobile Friendly changes being made in an article dramatically titled Is Your Website Mobile Friendly? Countdown to Mobilegeddon!  And yes, in the weeks leading up to the change, there was literally a countdown to the mobile apocalypse.

Given that 21st April came and went without turning the world upside down and inside out, I thought it warranted another look to see if we missed something.

There’s been a lot of speculation about why this mobile friendly update didn’t live up to the hype (or threats). So what happened? Did everyone miss the point or what?

❝ This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results ❞

Source: Google Webmaster Central Blog

Expectations

To be fair, many companies had their fingers burned by Panda and Penguin updates. So when google announced changes for mobile friendly websites and described it by saying “This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results”. It was a warning not to be taken lightly.

Previously the Panda and Penguin updates had been implemented to clean-up search results by getting rid of duplicate content, bad back-linking and a lot of other “black hat” or closing loopholes in various SEO techniques. And they did a great job. As a result, we all enjoy better quality search results to help find answers to our daily questions.

But this is where the ‘mobile friendly update was very different. Instead of focusing on the validity of your content, the mobile friendly update was looking at the usability of your website.

The Results – (so far)

We haven’t really seeing any devastating changes to first-page results, but some SE specialists claim they have tracked significant changes among further down the results lists (a few pages in).

Web sites with separate mobile and desktop websites have also noticed a shift in which of their sites are displayed in mobile search results compared to desktop searches (which makes sense).

Needless to say, it’s not what everyone was expecting. But there’s probably a good reason for this.

If you own or manage a site that provides the best answers or information on a subject that people are searching for, then obviously Google will want to connect those users with the information on your website, regardless of how it’s presented.

To do anything else would have devalued their own service. If you have a mobile-friendly option of your website then you should see a significant difference in which sites are displayed to users.

What happened to mobilegeddon?

It’s been theorized that in the lead up to activation, Google decided that the effects would have been too dramatic and decided to tone things down a little. While this sounds like a nice (warm and fuzzy) idea, it’s unlikely as they have been tracking mobile friendly websites for some time and would be well aware of the impact before even making the announcement. Although they may have expected more reaction from website owners.

I find it more telling that no one from Google jumped in to apply a little perspective to the situation. But then again why would they?  They have already stated that mobile usability will be a factor when calculating results. So I expect we’ll see more emphases in this area further down the line.

It also has to be understood that there will always be an advertising revenue factor to these decisions.  Google have been promoting the use of multiscreen websites through their AdSense feature for some considerable time.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that with the increase of mobile usage, the effectiveness of unoptimized ads within non-mobile-friendly websites needed to be addressed.  Google Adwords would also benefit from increasing numbers of mobile friendly websites. Think about it. If your website fails to convert mobile visitors, would you opt out of any mobile specific ad display options? Yes, you probably would.

❝ As small business owner, does it really matter why they made the changes? Probably not. What matters most is how these changes relate to your business, now and in the future. ❞

Lets Focus On What We Do Know

Instead of trying to speculate what’s going on behind closed doors, let’s take a step back and look at what we do know.

  • Your customers should always be your #1 priority.

    It doesn’t matter if you use your website to find and attract more customers or to provide valuable information to support your customers. All that matters is that you put them first. Ask your customers and they will tell you the same thing!

  • More people are using mobile devices to search online than ever before.

    We still use desktops at work and to a lesser extent at home, but think how about your own internet habits have changed over the last few years. Your customers are searching the web while shopping and even while they watch Tv. When someone visits your website from a social network, it’s more likely to be on a phone or tablet. So being mobile friendly is huge.

  • Google cares about its visitor experience, even if you don’t.

    We use Google because it does an awesome job of locating the information we’re looking for, any time from anywhere. It’s not perfect and if there was a search engine that did it better, we’d all start using them tomorrow. It sounds heartless but its true and Google know it. That’s why they invest so much time, money and effort into providing the best results possible. Because they live and die by visitor experience they are always looking to improve.

The first two points should be all you need to convince you on the importance of a mobile friendly website. But if you’re still on the fence, think about this for a minute. Is it too hard to imagine that Google would eventually attribute even greater value to websites that compliment their own usability standards. And when old (mobile unfriendly) website starts to affect Googles ability to sell advertising, there will be no surprised faces when those sites quickly disappear into obscurity.

So After All That. Do You Really Need a Mobile Friendly Website?

Whether you update your website for your customers benefit or because Google say you should. If your website plays an active part in your business, your site needs to be mobile friendly. It’s as simple as that.

yes to mobile friendly web design

Clearly Yes! So if you have not already made the move to a mobile friendly solution and you have a business related website. You should definitely make the change sooner rather than later.

On the other hand, if you have a hobby site that is not monetised in any way then there’s no immediate rush. You’re site clearly isn’t going to disappear overnight. But then again why wouldn’t you want to make you pages look great when viewed on a mobile device? Who knows, you may even decide to make your hobby into your business on day.

Need Help?

If you’re thinking about making your website mobile friendly there are many more benefits than just keeping up with Google and improving your visitors experience that you get from updating your website.

We develop business websites that put you in control. With minimal training you can add, edit all aspects of your website, from creating new pages to updating contact information and forms.  You don’t need to know how to code or have any technical knowledge at all.  We do all the hard work organising the structure and design to make sure it looks amazing  to ensure you make the right first impression for your visitors.

If you’d like to know more you can request a free website review or call us at +66 872 827 483 and see what we can do for you.

What is your take on Mobilegeddon?

Do you think the mobile friendly update was to improve visitor usability or to protect and improve advertising revenue on mobile devices? And does the reason change the outcome in any way?

How to get more sales from your website

The Biggest Facebook Mistake Made by Small Businesses

Facebook small business mistake

If you already know what inbound marketing is then this article probably won’t be for you. But if you’re one of the many small businesses that use Facebook as your company website, you’ll want to know why you’re making a mistake and the benefits you’ll get from changing your strategy.

❝ By only posting your content directly onto Facebook, you are making a huge mistake! ❞

I won’t argue that the benefits of setting up a Company Facebook Page are clear; it’s free, you probably already know how to use Facebook so it’s easy to share or add content whenever you like, as often as you like. Plus you can even interact with your customers in real time and even get page insights and follower demographics. But if you think that this is all you need to get your company on-line, you’re making the biggest Facebook Mistake ever.

A quick internet search for “how to use Facebook to promote your business?“ will reveal pages and pages of guides that all explain how to make interesting posts, how to work out post frequency and target your customers as well as how to gain more followers and even connect your e-commerce store.

Most of this advice is spot on and if you are responsible for your companies FB page you’ll do well to follow their advice. Just make sure you’re using Facebook as a marketing tool and not a replacement for your on-line presence.

So you think you control your Facebook Page?

Yes, you can control what your post onto your PB page, but just how much control do you really have?

  • Facebook Tabs Landing Page
  • At one time you could create a default landing page for your Facebook page. Many used that option until it was removed by Facebook in March of 2012.
  • Facebook will be severely restricting promotional posts (January 2015)
  • In their words, “Pages that post promotional content should expect their organic distribution to fall significantly over time.”  The Guardian
  • Constant changes to complicated and detailed privacy and sharing settings
  • By using our services after January 30, 2015, you agree to our updated terms, data policy, and cookies policy and to seeing improved ads based on apps and sites you use.  Source
  • Facebook Profile & Cover Photo
  • Seems to change at least once a year. Not a huge inconvenience, but it’s not your choice either.

I highlighted these points not to be negative, but in order to illustrate how little control you really have over your content if the only place it exists is on FB which is at the heart of the biggest Facebook mistake.  Facebook have already started demoting your promotional posts because they want companies to use their advertising. What they do with your content is also prone to change new updates. Do you always read the new terms and conditions?

As a small business you can’t afford to have all your eggs in one basket. Especially when that basket belongs to someone else! What would happen to your business if one day Facebook became unfashionable, or was replaced by something even better? Do you have the time and energy to start all over again? Remember MySpace?

Facebook Mistake, keeping all your eggs on one basket

How can posting all your content be a Facebook Mistake?

There is nothing wrong with sharing your content but one thing that most Facebook how-to guides miss out completely is your content should first be on your own website.  It’s probably overlooked because it’s all too obvious to the marketers who write them. But if you’re a small business owner with a million other things to do, you might be unaware that using social media as a marketing platform for you business should be part of an inbound marketing strategy.

Inbound marketing refers to activities that attract visitors to you. This is done by increasing your exposure among people who share a common interest or have friends that do. Therefore your message is received by a higher number of potential prospects compared to outbound marketing (like placing an advert in a newspaper) where everyone sees your ad even if they are not interested in what you provide.

The Facebook mistake being made is posting straight to FB.  As a business you still want to convert those visitors into customers, right? Plus you want the benefits of your hard work to grow over time. To do that you need to own your content and you need to have complete control of how you communicate your message, the most cost effective way to do this is through your own company website.

If all your content is on Facebook why would anyone want to visit your website? If they don’t visit your website, then you don’t have much say in your conversion process or any chance to improve it. You might have thousands of followers but unless those followers are sending money into your business you’re missing out. Big Time!

If you are not comfortable sending visitors to your website, then you need to change whatever you dislike about your site. Avoiding the issue isn’t the answer, website redesigns don’t have to cost an arm and a leg, there’s even Free options you can use (free options generally place adverts on your website but then again so does Facebook).

If you don’t have your own dedicated website that you can easily update and edit yourself (it’s not difficult these days),  you’re sending a very clear message that you’re not a business to be taken seriously. Do you also use hotmail for your business email? If so, you need to catch up, fast!

❝ If you do not take your own business seriously, your customers may think twice about how professionally you will treat them! ❞

Content belongs on your website first & then you can share it!

The seemingly obvious concept of adding content to your website first, before sharing it to potential customers via social media now becomes crystal clear. So why is it that so many small businesses are still making this fundamental and potentially disastrous Facebook mistake?

  1. Firstly, I think that it’s as simple as just not knowing; after all it’s really hard to know what you don’t know.
  2. Secondly, many small businesses may have set up a website or a page in a local directory several years ago. Unfortunately they can’t add new content or even update old content without paying a web developer to do it. (refer back to point 1).

Although today that’s not the case, websites created on the WordPress platform make up around 30% of sites on the internet and use Content Management Systems that allow website owners to log in and add or change content using an interface that looks more like your email client than programmers code. So there are certainly lots of viable options for any small business.

But it’s not just small businesses that use WordPress; New York Times, CNN, Forbs, UPS, eBay, Sony, Katy Perry, The Rolling Stones and Samsung are just some of the big names using WordPress to power their websites.

The good news, now you can do something about it!

If you are a small business owner and would like to take control of your online presence and make the most of all your hard work on Facebook, drop us a line and we’ll have a chat.

Hue Marketing can help guide you through the modern marketing minefields and offer practical solutions for your business.

How to get more sales from your website

Digital First Impressions. Does Your Website Need a Redesign?

website design redesign

We’ve all heard the phrase “you only get one chance to make a good first impression” and it’s as true today as it ever was. Except now your customers are making decisions about you and your business before they even get to meet or hear your sales pitch.

We are all hard-wired to make an initial first impression, from the basics of friend or foe, to spotting a potential mate. But for all the complexity of the human brain, our conscious minds can only process around 40 bits of information a second. Now that might sound like a lot, but the subconscious mind can handle 11 million bits per second and for that reason it’s the subconscious that does most of the heavy lifting when it comes to assessing and judging those all-important first impressions.

“Our conscious minds can process around 40 bits of information a second / the subconscious mind can handle 11 million bits per second”

I bet you’re thinking that surely your conscious mind will still have the final say in the matter, after all it is your mind. You’d be surprised!

Visual Cues v Written Information

It’s easier just to show you than explain it (see what I did there) but even telling your conscious mind in advance that the photo below depicts the SAME PERSON and that he is just dressed in two  different outfits won’t be enough. Your subconscious mind will still judge them differently based on visual appearance.  I’m not saying its fair, just that it happens. To everyone!

First Impressions

Visitors judge the quality of your business / service based on the information you provide on your website and how you present that information. These first impressions are made in less than 50 milliseconds, that’s faster than the blink of an eye.

Even though your conscious mind has already been told that these are just photographs of the same person, your subconscious mind will still insist that the one dressed as a medical professional is the more trustworthy of the two. Who would you want to remove your appendix if you had to pick between the two?

The shocking reality is that the same judgement is being made of your business every time a visitor lands on your website. Within 50 milliseconds, they have already started to formulate a basic visual impression of your company. If your website looks too different from what they expect to see (ie ugly or outdated or even too radical), visitors are unlikely to even start reading what you have to say and simply leave.

Your Websites First Impression

You’ll never know exactly how many customers shy away from your business because of your badly designed website. They won’t tell you, they will just go to your competition.

(I’m guessing that if you haven’t kept your website up to date, then its highly unlikely to be connected to Google Analytics)

  • First impressions are 94% design-related. Good quality content does matter, it matters a lot to the overall success of your site. You can have the best content available but if it’s surrounded by poor design you’ll be turning away customers that are ready to buy. Studies of visitor behaviour have found that visual appeal and website navigation have the biggest influence on people’s first impressions of your brand.
  • Positive first impressions lead to higher satisfaction. A visitors first impression of your website can have a priming effect on how future interactions with your business are perceived. In fact research also shows that positive priming can even boost customer satisfaction.  Obviously, when the shoes on the other foot and a negative first impression is generated there’s considerable knock-on effect which drags on through to user satisfaction.
  • First impressions last. First impressions can last for years and they are very difficult to change, so its best to go out of your way to make a good one the first chance you get. So it’s true to say “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

The majority of consumers will view a company’s website online before making a purchase, even more so if your website is service related or is a Business to Business website. You should also keep in mind that most customers when looking for a local service will use a mobile device to search on google.

With so many screen sizes it is impossible to develop a website for each screen. This is why responsive designs are gaining popularity so quickly. Yes, your static website can be viewed on a mobile phone and you can zoom in and out to read content but it’s not as convenient for the end user. And as of 21st April search results on mobile devices will no longer display websites that are not mobile-friendly. Just another reason to redesign your website!

The Good News

The good news is that you can change how your website looks and you don’t have to start from the very beginning.  You can review your existing content and update it, you can identify any backlinks that point to your current website and make sure you factor those pages into your new design.  Web sites have changed a lot over the years and what was once good practice isn’t necessarily the case anymore.

If Your Website Is Dated & Looks Unprofessional Confusing For Visitors To Navigate Not Generating Leads Or Sales Not Exactly Mobile Friendly

Changing the visual appearance of your website is just the tip of the iceberg! If you’re going to do it, you might as well do it right! Stop driving away your customers and Activate Your Potential with a website re-design!  Hue Marketing deliver practical solutions to fit your business and your budget!

Website Redesign For BigMove Phuket

Website Redesign For BigMove Phuket

A Professional Business Needs A Professional Website

The number one reason that visitors indicated why they wouldn’t use a companies service after visiting their website was because it had an unprofessional “look and feel” that lacked credibility and did not “feel” trustworthy.

Understandably this affects businesses that use their website to sell products and services directly but it also affect businesses that use their website to highlight service options and their location, a great example of the latter would be restaurants or dentists. First Impressions Really Do Matter!

It’s an all too common problem especially for small and medium sized business, they started a website because everyone had one and just left it to stagnate. Old design, Poor Usability and even Outdated Content (text). You’d be amazed at how many websites promote specials from 3 years ago or even have the wrong contact information on them.

You’d be even more amazed to know just how many companies with outdated websites still regularly spend money on advertising. It’s just crazy.

The Solution – Start To Rethink Your Website Today

Understanding that your website must be functional part of your business and not a separate entity is your first step. Your second step is to contact us!

Get in touch with Hue Marketing for a free review your current website. We’ll ask all the right questions to ensure we fully understand your business and the role your website will play as part of your business growth. We’ll find practical solutions that will work for your business that you can build on. We don’t just deliver websites, we see the bigger picture and then make sure you’re business is part of it.

Your website can be a powerful marketing tool when its used within a modern business strategy. Pound for pound you won’t find any medium that will offer better value or reach when its done right.

Click on the free website review button above or call us at +66 872 827 483 and talk with Stephen.

How to get more sales from your website

Is Your Website Mobile Friendly? Countdown to Mobilegeddon!

Your Website Must Be Mobile Friendly by 21st April

The Countdown Is Over! Make sure your website is Mobile Friendly.

For a long time already Google’s algorithms have factored in mobile compatibility into their search results, but on the 21st April there’s a big change coming. So big, some are calling it Mobilegeddon!

Beginning on April 21st, Google will no longer list non-mobile websites in mobile search results

Source: Google Webmaster Central

Currently around 60% of all searches are made on a Mobile Device of some sort, so it only makes sense that Google want to make sure that the results they display on these devices are mobile friendly.

How Does This Affect Your Business?

If you currently get most of your traffic from mobile devices, it’s going to have a dramatic effect. If your website is mobile friendly and your main competition is not, that’s going to be very good for you. However, if the shoes on the other foot and it’s your website that is not mobile friendly then you’re going to experience a significant drop in traffic.

Check to see how much mobile traffic you are getting on your Google or other Analytics Tracking Dashboard. For GA go to Reporting > Audience > Mobile > Overview, the combined number from mobile and tablet is what you could be losing if you don’t have a mobile responsive website.

Zineb Ait Bahajji, a member of Google’s Webmaster Trends team, was quoted at SMX Munich as saying that the new mobile-friendly algorithm change will have a greater impact on search rankings than Panda or Penguin did in the past.

Google have kindly provided a quick tool to let you know if your website is mobile friendly or not:

Mobile-friendly

A Special Note For Phuket Businesses

The 60% average quoted above will be considerably higher if your customers are tourists. Desktop PC’s in hotel lobbies have limited appeal when you have access to the internet on your phone or iPad. Anyway, when was the last time you saw a tourist without a mobile device in their hands?

Most of your customers will not be familiar with the area, so naturally their first source of information will be the internet (via their mobile device). For quite some time now Google have localised their search results for mobiles using the devices location to show only the most relevant results.  There are still many local businesses in Phuket that don’t take advantage of this so that’s also something to address when checking on your websites mobile friendliness.

Do Not Panic! – Not Yet Anyway

Before you start to panic it’s worth seeing where you stand. Google’s Free mobile-friendly test

  • Ensure the mobile version of your site is active and functional. Responsive designs are the most popular, but you can also have a separate hosted mobile version of your site. Google doesn’t have a preference, as long as mobile users’ experience isn’t interrupted.
  • Ensure Google’s mobile bots can crawl your site. If Google can’t see it, it may as well not even be there.
  • Check each individual page of your site on a mobile device to ensure navigability. Just because your home page is mobile friendly doesn’t mean the rest of your site is.

Google have also provided some great information and options for mobile friendly websites. If you manage your own website have a read through and take your options from there.

Time To Take Action!

If your website isn’t Mobile-Friendly then you probably haven’t updated your site in quite some time, which likely means old and outdated content too. So if the tools above have raised a few red flags, then it is time to hit the panic button. This will be a big shift for a lot of websites and if yours is more than a couple of years old, now is the time to upgrade your site.

But there’s a silver lining! Instead of feeling like your hand is being forced to update your website. Take the opportunity to re-activate your online presence and embrace the chance to really make a difference to your business. Your website is the most cost-effective communication tool you have if it’s done right.

Modern websites are mobile friendly and have the benefits of being easy to update yourself, plus they look amazing  and will easily outperform your old website in usability and create the right first impression for your visitors. Well, ours do!

Click on the free website review button above or call us at +66 872 827 483 and talk with Stephen.

Before & After Website Redesign

How to get more sales from your website