Why Small Businesses Can’t Afford Not to Embrace Social Media

Why Small Businesses Can't Afford Not to Embrace Social Media

Today, more than ever, small and medium-sized businesses simply can’t afford to ignore the opportunity to build an audience online because the facts speak for themselves;

      • As of January 2020, 3.81 billion social media users worldwide

      • 80% of all Internet users have social media accounts

      • Internet users on social media have an average of 8 accounts and spend up 2 hours and 29 minutes a day on social media

      • People between the ages of 55 and 64 are more than twice as likely to engage with a brand’s content

      • Engagement rates are always 18% higher on Thursdays and Fridays.

      • Of the top four social media platforms; Facebook has 2.6 billion active users a month, Twitter has 330 million active users per month, Instagram 1 billion active users per month, and LinkedIn has over 690 million users.


So with all this going on, how, do, entrepreneurs, and small business owners leverage social media to get their business massive amounts of attention, well they can start by considering our game-changing tips.

1.    Think like a media company

Thinking like a media company means putting out all types of content such as informational videos, articles, quotes, and audio clips that will inform or entertain your audience across all the major social media platforms.

Far too often small business owners make the mistake of only posting when they think they have something to offer, but by thinking like a media company and creating content that is both creative and relevant it lets you engage with your audience at any time without being overly promotional.

2.    Repurpose Content to increase customer reach.

As a small business owner you are often incredibly busy, so taking the time to create quality content can sometimes be difficult, but, by repurposing material into smaller pieces of social media content or by adding in relevant hyperlinks, to like-minded sites you can not only save both time and effort, you can also easily increase your brand, product or service customer reach.

3.    Deliver added value without asking for anything back

A great way for a small or medium-sized business to engage with their customers, and to build trust on social media is to regularly give away FREE added-value content without asking for anything in return. This doesn’t have to be monetary-based, it could be as simple as posting 5 tips of the day that are relevant to your customers, sharing unique recipes or guides, in fact, anything that can be perceived as adding value to your customers daily life.

4.    Stay true to yourself and your brand

The pressure on small businesses to compete on social media is enormous, hence why there are a million people all screaming look at me, look at what I’ve got, or how much I earned in the last ten minutes, anything to make it look like they have it all. And, while there have been some fabulous social media success stories, there’s been far more failures. So it’s vital that as a small business owner on social media you stay true to yourself and your brand, by doing so this gives you the chance to display what makes you and your business different from the rest.

5.     Don’t be afraid of comments

As a small business, brand, product or service not everyone is going to like what you have to say or offer, and as such, social media gives people the perfect platform to tell you this, but you shouldn’t be afraid of any negative comments. Take the positive out of the situation, if somebody has taken the time to comment on what you have to say it means they have taken the time to visit your page. So instead of shying away from their comments – treat them as a form of high-quality customer service. So reply to as many comments as possible and do it with a smile on your face.

6.     Work harder than your competition

There are so many factors that small business owners simply cannot control, but the one thing that you are completely responsible for is the work that you put in. Many business owners don’t or won’t put in the time and effort necessary to become influential online. We know it takes a significant amount of work to create content, distribute that content across multiple platforms and engage with other social media users every day, but for those of you who are willing to do it you will succeed.


The Last Word

With 81% of all small and medium businesses having social media accounts and 77% of all businesses use social media to promote their business. If you’re not constantly creating and sharing, engaging content that has real-time value to your customers, you can bet your life that your competitor is doing so. But, remember building a brand on social media takes time, patience, and consistency. If you haven’t already, start growing your business with social media today using these game-changing tips


Source; Social Media Benchmark Report 2020 – https://www.omnicoreagency.com/social-media-statistics/

7 Great Tips For Writing Amazing Copy

 7 Great Tips For Writing Amazing Copy

Badly written or disjointed copy can be the death knell for your website, so important is quality written copy that in a recent survey undertaken by Salesforce/Pardot, it was determined that consumers trust in a company’s content is three times more than that of the brand’s actual employees and that 97% of the same people surveyed suggested that bad copy negatively affected their trust in a brand.

And so, because written content plays such a key role in the success of your website here are our 7 great tips to help you create some amazing copy.

1. Plan your copy

Before put pen to paper and start writing, ask yourself who and I trying to reach – who are my primary audience and who is my secondary audience, once you have that clear, you can then start to plan out what it is you want to say, the points you need to cover off and the tone you want to use, also think about the word count needed to convey everything you want to say – too few words might lead to miscommunication and failure to connect, while too many and you’ll send your audience to sleep – that’s if they even bother to keep reading.

2. The value of SEO keyword research

As we know, having a resilient SEO strategy is by far the best way to appear at the top of the search engine results page – the more search visibility you have, the more qualified traffic you can direct to your website. So again before you start writing, it’s vital that you do your SEO research to understand what words and prompts you need to include that are key to your audience when they are searching for your type of brand, product or service. But, remember it’s a fine line between being relevant and overkill, don’t ‘shoo-in’ words for the sake of it, they should be there on merit and contribute to the flow of your writing, not because you want to get your SEO word count up.  

 3. Write in Plain English

Unless your website is extremely specialised and needs to use very precise words and phrases, create your content in easy to read digestible plain English. Choose your word with care and craft them so they engage and interact with your audience as an equal, it’s okay to use descriptions in your writing to bring the reader closer and add value, but don’t feel the urge to ramble-on or to use terms or phrases just because you think they’re cool – after all a football is still a football – nothing more. 

4. Choose a tone of voice that’s audience relevant

While your copy needs to powerful, clear and direct in a tone that is audience relevant, try using short, simple sentences to get attention, and then longer more complex ones to flesh out ideas. Where ever possible use interesting verbs to highlight important actions, then more conventional ones for variety, and while you should try to be ‘passive voice’ free it does have a place sometimes — for example, when you want to share background information or highlight a particular action. Always look to write as if the person you’re trying to reach is sitting next to you.

5. The correct use of grammar, spelling and local language

Nothing is more off-putting than written content that’s full of spelling mistakes or poor grammar. There are literally loads of FREE online dictionaries and grammar checkers, so don’t be afraid to use them and if you come across a word you’re unsure about check it out. 

Lastly, remember to consider where the majority of visitors to your site are going to be coming from, and write using their way of spelling – if in doubt go with American English.

6. Make your copy scannable

Remember as humans, we have an incredibly short attention span, so make sure your copy is scannable. In addition to putting the most important information at the top of the page, make sure the copy is easy to skim. The majority of web readers will scan the page to search out the specific piece of information they’re looking for—if they can’t find it easily, they’ll move on. 

So instead of using text laden paragraphs, perhaps use strong images, bullet points or numbers to highlight key points or phrases and don’t forget white-space is your friend so use it – white space around text makes it more legible, and more enjoyable to read.

7. Use hyperlinks to give credibility to your copy

One of the great aspects of a website is that it’s easy to direct readers from one page to another. Using hyperlinks from certain words and phrases is a great way to direct readers to find other related content. By hyperlinking both within your website and to other relevant sites not only helps to keep people engaged and moving smoothly through your site it also helps to give your content credibility.

Building in these internal links within your site also helps your SEO, but keep in mind that links should always be relevant and helpful. Visually, if you overload your text with links, people won’t know what to click on, so keeping the number of hyperlinks on a page to a “reasonable number is always recommended.

It’s not all plain sailing

If you’re not an experienced writer, it can be hard work writing copy for your website. But remember, you don’t need to write perfect copy the first time around, once your content is live, you can do weekly and monthly checks to monitor and optimise its performance. 

But hopefully, our list of tips will help you get prepared to create some amazing engaging content that resonates with even the most fickle and time-pressed of internet readers.

Website Design – Creating a Natural Brand Extension

Website Design - Creating a Natural Brand Extension

Your website is so much more than just a URL – it’s your shop window and as such, it should be a reflection of your marketing and business strategy and be a natural extension of your brand’s story. 

And, because there are thousands of websites with more appearing daily that are all fighting to interact with your potential customers, your website must stand out from the crowd in terms of design, structure and functionality.

You need to remember your website is a piece of media real estate, and like any piece of traditional media such as  – magazines, newspapers etcetera, you have 8 seconds to grab the visitors attention and to convince them to keep reading or viewing what you have to offer.

So to help you create a website that stands out from the crowd and delivers your brand story clearly and concisely we have created this easy to follow 6 point website design checklist, that will have you designing like a professional in no time.

      1. Plan the journey
      2. Keep your homepage clean and clutter-free
      3. Design with your audience in mind
      4. Create easy to read website content
      5. Ensure your site is easy to navigate
      6. Stay mobile friendly

Plan the journey

Before you commit to the expense of creating your website, take time to plan out what it is you want your website to do and what it might look like, the messages you want to convey and what the call to action should be. Put yourself in the shoes of the visitor and go through the journey, so you can fully understand what the visitor experience would be like and where you may need to make changes or add content or extra images to tell a compelling story.

Keep the home page clean and clutter-free

Remember the home page is the first thing any visitor will see when they come to your site, so it’s incredibly important that it’s clean and clutter-free, that they can see instantly your key messages, products and services along with any call to action and contact details – they have already made the conscious effort to visit your site, so don’t make them search for key information, embrace their visit by making life easy for them. Use white space and stylish images to draw them in and to focus their attention on key sections and points.

Design with your audience in mind

Far too often websites get designed for the designer and not the audience. Take the time to consider the makeup of your audience and what it is they expect to see when then visit your site and make sure that’s what they see – if you’re selling ‘Heavy Metal‘ rock band T-shirts, let them see the T-shirts in a stylish way that they can engage with, not some fluffy selfie pictures that would be more at home on Instagram.

Don’t be afraid to experiment until you get the look and feel of the site right and of course, remember it’s okay to change your mind.

Create easy to read content

As we said earlier you must design your website with the audience in mind, and no more is that true than when it comes to the written content. 

Unless your website is highly specialised and needs to use very specific words and phrases, create your content in plain easy to read and digestible English. 

Choose your word with care and craft them so they engage and interact with your audience as an equal, don’t feel the urge to patronise or talk down to the audience. Select an easy to read clear modern typeface that reflects your brand and use subheadings, bullet points and white space to help guide the reader through the pages.

Think of your website as nothing more than a very ‘sexy’ PowerPoint presentation where the golden rule is; tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them and then tell what you told them – it’s that simple.

Ensure your site is easy to navigate

If your audience has taken the time to visit your site at least show them the courtesy of making the navigation as easy as possible. 

Ensure any call to action buttons are clearly indicated, the ability to move from one section to another is smooth and effortless, your contact details are correct and easy to find. Remember, no action on your site should take more than three clicks of the mouse.

Stay mobile friendly

Nine out of ten searches are carried out on mobile devices, so the contents along with the navigation processes must be designed in such a way that they can be scaled to suit a smaller screen. However, you should also remember that the actual structure of the page will need to be fairly different: the screen should only display one or two elements at a time, rather than the multitude of options you show desktop visitors.

The last word

Modern websites design comes in all manner of styles and can be works of art featuring some of the very latest design technology that is currently available, and while everyone wants their website to be the best, you do need to remember what it’s there for, and what it is you want it to do for your company, service or brand, and that is to communicate with your target audience in such a way that it encourages either a call to action or return visits.

Are you losing out on 80% of your potential local customers?

Are You Losing Out On 80% Of Your Potential Local Customers?

We’ve often talked here about how having a resilient SEO strategy is by far the best way to appear at the top of the search engine results page – the more search visibility you have, the more qualified traffic you can direct to your website.

However, in the past, we’ve tended to look at SEO and the tools that are available more for international markets, but today we’re going to look at the value of what we call Local SEO.

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO helps businesses promote their products and services to potential local prospects and customers. To assemble information for local search, search engines rely on signals such as local content, social profile pages, links, and references to provide the most relevant local results to the user.

Why Local SEO is critical to your business

Local SEO is critical if you want your business to stay connected, current research suggests that four out of every five consumers use search to find local information, which means if your business or service isn’t locally optimised you could well be losing out on around 80% of your potential customers. So to help you maximise your opportunities we have created this Local SEO checklist.

Local SEO Checklist

    1. Optimise for Google My Business.
    2. Improve your internal linking structure.
    3. Optimise URL, title tags, headers, Meta description, and content.
    4. Add location pages your website.
    5. Create local content.
    6. Ensure your website is mobile-friendly.
    7. Make sure your name, address, and phone number is consistent online.
    8. Optimise online directories and tributes.
    9. Get inbound links with relevance and authority.
    10. Engage in social media and add posts to Google My Business.

Optimise for Google My Business

Google My Business has become the standard for local search, as understandably Google feels most comfortable sharing content it can support and verify, Google My Business is their tool to help your business meet Google’s needs. To learn more about Google My Business and how it can help you maximise your Local SEO opportunities, visit https://www.google.com/business/.


Improve Your Internal Linking Structure.

Although external links pointing to your site are ideal, adjusting your internal linking structure will also help boost your SEO rankings. But, why does internal linking matter, you ask? Because it does the following:

    •   Supports website navigation
    •   Assists with information architecture and website hierarchy
    •   Distributes page authority and ranking power among pages

If you want to improve your internal linking structure but aren’t sure where to start, take a look at Kissmetrics’ The Seven Commandments of Internal Linking for Top-Notch SEO.

Optimise URL, Title Tags, Headers, Meta Description, and Content.

Every time you add a piece of content to your website, you need to optimize the content for search engines by using high-volume keywords in the URL, title, header, meta description, and body. If you’re having trouble coming up with specific content, consider highlighting any customer success stories and/or case studies.

Add Location Pages To Your Website.

If you’re a single location business, then create a locally-focused About Us Page. However, if you have more than one location, make sure you create location pages for each location. Each page should include your business name, address, phone number, opening hours, unique store descriptions, parking information, promotions, and any testimonials from happy customers. But, remember not to duplicate content across multiple location pages. Also, it helps if you add a Google Map to your website on the respective location page(s).

Create Local Content.

Because Google continues to get smarter, it means content creators are now able to write for users, not search engines. But while writing about general topics might attract a larger crowd, in this instance it’s about focusing on what will attract your local audience. Each piece of content is a great opportunity to connect your business or service by promoting local industry gatherings, news, employees, and other educational content on your blog, think of top-of-the-funnel content that goes beyond what your business sells.

Ensure your website is mobile-friendly.

Make it easy for your customers by making your site mobile-friendly, local search and mobile search go hand in hand (nine out of ten mobile phone users conduct local searches on their devices). So make sure they can find reviews, find directions to your location, and search for your contact information all on their mobile device.

Make sure your name, address, and phone numbers are consistent online.

You need to make it easy for people and search engines to find you, do this by setting up your NAP, which stands for name, address, and phone number (with area code). This should be included as crawlable HTML text on your site. Avoid the mistake of only including the NAP within an image, as images can’t be crawled from search engines like HTML text.

Optimise any online directories and mentions.

When it comes to your local business or service consistency is key, discrepancies like misspellings, abbreviations, lack of room number or wrong phone number in any online directory or third party mention can be problematic. Remember if Google can’t determine which information about your business is correct, it may not show your business at all in search results. Additionally, make sure you remove any duplicate listings you might find.

Get inbound links with relevance and authority.

Inbound links are incredibly powerful opportunities to boost your local SEO, every inbound link tells Google you’re a legitimate company, plus inbound links can also help to raise your domain authority. These are just a few of the ways to get inbound links:

Engage on social media and add posts to your Google My Business page

Google considers content shared on social media more important now than ever before, so make sure you maximise every opportunity to put your business or service in front of the local community on all relevant social media platforms, and of course, don’t forget to add posts to your Google My Business page. 

Going Forward

Hopefully, our Local SEO checklist will give you a firm understanding on how to optimise your business and how to reach those potential consumers who use local search to choose which products or services they’re going to buy.