I felt moved to write something about a fantastic client of ours – we have just launched a website for the Winchester BID – a largely unsung hero of Winchester Business, whose principle aim is to make Winchester a great place to come for the benefit of local business.
Winchester Bid is comprised, principally, of a hardworking team of 4, Keith, Amy, Ges and Emma who are quietly responsible for a wide variety of high profile activities around Winchester.
Perhaps the most obvious of these are the Winchester christmas lights. Now at first glance, this may appear like a simple task but there are a legion of logistical and administrative nightmares that accompanies the process, all of which we, the Winchester general public fail to appreciate. Other schemes run by Winchester BID include
- Chewing gum removal – you may have seen them all around Winchester city recently, apparrantly there have been TENS OF THOUSANDS of chewing gum pieces removed from around city centre alone.
- Diverted Giving – there are lots of boxes around Winchester where you can give to the homeless without encouraging street begging.
- Police Community Support Officers – Winchester BID are sponsoring a number of PCSO’s and providing equipment such as head camera’s to protect Winchester retailers.
Quite honestly, the list just goes on and on, yet most Winchester people that I know have no idea of the work that’s carried out on their behalf.
So, if you have a minute take a look at the Winchester BID website, and if you have any way to offer support, moral or practical – just get in touch!
This is the fourth article in the Supercharge Your Website series. Most of us have written something about what we do at some point in our careers. This may have been in the form of a brochure, fact sheet or even in an email or letter to a client. It shouldn’t be a great deal of work to put this into an article format of around 400 to 1000 words.
The reason behind this is that there are numerous sites on the internet that offer free articles for people post on their site. The only stipulations are that they are not allowed to remove the credit, remove the link to your website or change the article in any way. By submitting an article you will generate a significant volume of links to your site (remember a link from another site is considered by Google to be a recommendation) as well as immediately becoming a ‘published author’ which could help potential clients view you a leader in your industry.
There are 2 ways to get your site published, you can use automated software to submit your site, there are many of these available. One of these is Article Submitter which can be found here:- http://articlesubmitter.imwishlist.com/. If you want the ‘Platinum’ edition, feel free otherwise just bypass all the heavy american marketing and get the free one (which is absolutely sufficient for most peoples needs).
The other way to get your article published is to type the words “free articles” in to Google. This will produce the main article sites. Just go into these and follow the on-screen instructions.
NB Don’t think for a minute that your industry or specialism is too boring to be published – if you’re in doubt just take a look at some of the stuff on the free article sites!
Once your article has been submitted you will find that the internet will soon be awash with your article! Well maybe that’s a bit optimistic, but you should certainly have some more links back to your site than you had before.
This is the third post in the Supercharge Your Website series which is focussed on increasing traffic to your website. I’m still a little surprised at how many people still aren’t putting their contact details at the foot of their emails. For those that do, many of us have our web addresses subtly placed at the foot of our address – why not use this as an advertising opportunity and turn it into a ‘call to action’? Here’s one from one of my favorite clients:-
We have just launched a wonderful new website – www.icon-interiors.co.uk – do take a look at the Emporium section for our new range of bespoke furniture.
Far more compelling than a simple link.
This is the second post in the Supercharge Your Website series. There are numerous directories on line and many of them are free. To start with, understand that if someone links to your web site, a search engine will consider it a recommendation and will award your web site points accordingly. These points will help you rise up through the ranks so fire up Google and type in Free Directories. You will be rewarded with pages and pages of free directories.
This method is great, you’ll get loads of links to your site, but what we’re really after (if we can get it) is people who are actually in the market for our product or service, so let’s get a bit clever about it.
The word Vertical Portal is a bit of jargon that basically means a doorway (or in this instance a web site) that is dedicated to your market (in our case web design) or even to your area. The most powerful links will come from vertical portals so let’s start here. Type your industry into google followed by the word directory – so for us it would be “web design directory” – this should produce a plethora of vertical portals in which you can list.
Next let’s look at your area, for many products and services potential clients prefer to use local companies so by listing in local directories you not only improve your standing in the search engine rankings but you’ll also stand a good chance of generating a stream of genuine enquiries. The method is the same, type in your region followed by the word Directory e.g. Hampshire directory.
There are 2 parts to supercharging any web site.
First, your web site needs to be found by your target market. Whether this is via the search engines, through email shots or via other marketing activities is going to be a strategic decision based on your individual circumstances, but even the best looking web site is rendered impotent if it’s never been visited. This may sound obvious but it’s surprising how many people I’ve met who have spent large sums of money on a web site that has never been advertised in any way.
The second element to supercharging your web site is all about conversion. Your web site could be right at the top of Google, you may have a pay per click campaign and send regular e-marketing emails but if your website looks tired and dated, if it looks unprofessional because when you started you got your neighbours son to knock it up for £5 and a packet of smarties or if it no longer accurately represents what you do, then much of your marketing effort has been wasted.
We’ve written a series of posts that focus on the first issue, how to get found – if you feel that you’re struggling with conversion via your website then we really need to speak, call us on 0845 6121199 and we’ll discuss what we can do for you.
So…down to business. There are a variety of ways to get your web site found, some are easy some require a bit of time investment. In this post, I’m simply going to point you in the direction of one of our articles.
Search Engine Optimisation
If you have a system that allows you edit the various elements of your website then you are in a happy a place indeed. With the help of our article on understanding how search engines work, you can set your website up to be found and recognised for important key words.
Trawling the internet, as one does, for industry related stuff I came across this little nugget from the FSB – and I have to say…it’s true!
Nearly half of small businesses that use the internet to advertise their firm increase turnover by one fifth, according to new figures released by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
The FSB”s biennial survey of 8,700 members found that 43 per cent of respondents improved their sales after linking to suppliers and using their website to advertise their firm, showing the ever-increasing value of the internet to business transactions, particularly during an economic downturn.
The survey also revealed that the number of small businesses who have their own website has leapt by a quarter to around 70 per cent since the last survey.
Dr Gary Packham, Head of Enterprise at the University of Glamorgan, where the report was compiled, said:
“These figures show the very clear link between new technologies and business growth. If the country”s 4.7million small businesses are to take advantage of the internet to grow their businesses and the economy, they will need good quality services to be in place, as well as good information and education about how to use them.”
John Walker, FSB National Policy Chairman, said:
“The number of small businesses who have their own website has grown over the past two years, which indicates that small firms are becoming increasingly internet-savvy. Despite the onset of an economic downturn, all small firms should look to the internet to maximise their sales and increase efficiency.”