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.eu Domain Names

Buying an .eu domain name can help protect your brand from imitation or fraudulent activity.

Is The Design Of Your Website Letting You Down?

If you’ve seen your ranking results improve over the past year but haven’t seen an equal measure of new business, it is likely that your website needs a refresh. With the Internet now more competitive than it has ever been, it is not enough to be visible to customers, you need to really grab the opportunity to turn their casual browsing into a solid enquiry or sale.

A website refresh needn’t be an expensive affair, but there are a few important points to consider:

  1. 1.       Is your site visible to all browsers?

Does your site display equally well on desktop PCs, mobile phones and tablets? Or are you missing out on a sizeable chunk of the market. The chances are, if your site was built more than three years ago then it won’t be responsive to all viewing platforms and will need to be updated.

 

  1. 2.       Are you sending the right message?

From their entry point on the site, can your customers understand what you do, find what they need and get the resolution they require in a few simple clicks? If your site is cluttered and difficult to navigate it is likely that your customers will lose interest and move onto the next site. After all, it costs them nothing to browse.

 

  1. 3.       Is your information up-to-date?

Keeping your site up to date is paramount. Can you administer any special offers? Make price changes? Update contact or address details? Making sure you have a regular supply of fresh new content on the site not only holds the interest of your customers, but it also satisfies Google too, making an increase in rankings more likely.

 

  1. 4.       How attractive are you to customers?

Browsers online are usually looking for the following three things: a company who can deliver what they are looking for, competitive prices and good reputation. It is so important that you get this information displayed on your website in a clear way. A conversion specialist can help you to understand how to clearly communicate with your customer and maximise your chances of increased business.

eSterling are happy to offer all existing clients a free website health check, which focuses on improving the design of your site. Remember, a good design not only has a positive impact on your potential customers, it will also help to improve your SEO results. We are offering a 10% discount for all design work ordered during December 2013 and would be more than happy to discuss your website with you. Please get in touch today.

Like, Likes and more Likes on Facebook

There are around 400 million potential customers on Facebook, many of whom disclose their interests, share photos, videos and blogs. Marketers advertise where their costumers are and Facebook is definitely home to potential buyers.

 

Setting up a Facebook business page allows your company to directly interact with potential and existing customers. Facebook provides the opportunity to sell indirectly and generate brand awareness. You can also carry out market research by using polls, analysing discussions and asking relevant questions.

 

Simply setting up a Facebook page and hoping the world will see it is simply not enough. You need to make an effort to get people to join your Facebook page. Increasing your fan base enhances your network and visibility of your brand which equals more traffic to your website. So the more likes you have the better.

 

Here are a few tips to triple your likes on Facebook:

 

Customize your Facebook URL

Your Business page will look more professional and stand out from the rest with a customized URL. Type in http://facebook.com/username and follow the instructions.

 

Update your ‘Status’ regularly

When visitors approach your profile the first thing they will notice is your status updates. So it’s important that they stand out. Keep it fresh by adding videos, discussions, competitions, upcoming events and the latest blogs. This needs to be done at least once a day and interact with your fans by asking for their opinion, sharing tips and providing relevant information.

 

Facebook Groups

Thousands of users join groups to interact with people who have the same interests and to share opinions and information. Joining a relevant group increases your networking ability and setting up your own group allows you to be involved in a shared interest and increases awareness of your company.  Being part of a group encourages interaction with your current and potential customers.

 

Building relationships

Keeping your business page social and interesting will help build relationships and interact with your followers. Remember it’s not about selling your service directly to Facebook users. You need to gain their trust by being helpful, sharing useful information, replying to relevant comments and allowing them to interact with you on a daily basis.

 

Offer incentives for your fans

Having content on your page that is exclusive for your Facebook fans will urge more people to click the ‘like’ button in order to access content such as exclusive videos and freebies. You can easily do this by using a static html to create a Facebook landing page with a ‘reveal tab’ that contains content that is only available to your fans of your page.

 

Install a Facebook badge

Having a Facebook badge can link your business page to your Facebook profile. They are better than widgets, as they load faster owing to the fact that they are simply images.

 

Add a Facebook “Like Button’ on your site

Visitors to your website can like your Facebook page without leaving the site. Simply install the ‘like button’ on your website.

 

Promote in Newsletters, articles and emails

If you’re into email marketing, then announce your fan page to your customers urging them to join. You can also include a link to your fan page in future emails, articles and newsletters.

 

Buy Facebook Likes

If you really don’t want to make the effort to increase your likes, you can buy Facebook likes through a few services. As you already know, the first 50 likes are the most difficult to get, so getting a jump start could help increase your fans organically and quickly.

 

Blog Commenting

Try to comment on as many blogs as possible, this will drive more traffic to your page and you can also include your Facebook fan page within the comments

 

Run a Targeted Ad Campaign

Use Facebook Ad campaign as a powerful means to promote your page. You can target market according to age, interests, location of people in Facebook.

 

Get Link from LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn gives you a great opportunity to place three website links right on your LinkedIn profile. Use this to link to your Facebook page.

 

 

For this month only, we are offering Twitter and Facebook set ups for £195- usually £295 + VAT.

 

This includes: Branded Pages, Friendly Facebook URL, Hootsuite/Tweetdeck integration and a free social media guide.

 

If you would like further information about Facebook or Twitter please call 0121 766 8087

 

 

Should businesses be Pinterested?

 

We’ve all got used to the idea of using social networks such as Facebook and Twitter as a marketing tool. Many marketers have figured out how to spruce up their profiles, participate in discussions and update wall posts effectively.

However- just when we’ve become comfortable with the whole social media phenomenon – out springs Pinterest from nowhere.  Can it be used effectively by businesses for marketing purposes? Or is it just an excuse for slackers to gaze at fancy images all day?

Here is a breakdown of the pros and cons of Pinterest to help you decide if it is going to be beneficial to your business.

Why you should be Pinterested!

Pinterest is a social sharing website that allows users to sign up and pin content they’ve found on the web to share with friends and followers. According to ‘ComScore’ it now has over 11.7 million unique users a month making it the fastest site in history to grow beyond the 10 million a month mark. Virtually all content that is popular is imaged based, therefore Pinterest tends to attract businesses that are able to present its product or services through images – such as restaurants, retail stores and product designers.

One of the reasons Pinterest has taken off (and a major reason why certain business sectors are using the site) is that it offers a value proposition that’s unique from other social networks out there. None of the other social networking sites do exactly what Pinterest does. Of course you can share images on Facebook and Twitter but image sharing is not the primary purpose.

It’s also a great place to connect with female users, one study showed as many as 97% of Pinterest fans are female – making this a good potential marketing opportunity for lots of businesses, particularly if your sector has a higher number of female consumers.

Pinterest also makes it very simple to share content on the web. It encourages users to download a pinmarklet (pinterest toolbar bookmarklet) that allows users to pin any content they find on the web that they want to share, it’s that simple! There’s no need for copying and pasting or switching between windows.

The main advantage of using Pinterest is that it’s an image driven site and let’s be honest, people love images far more than they love words. If you analyse Facebook, images and videos are the most shared content on there. If you’re a product based company, sharing images of your products on Pinterest is a great way to control the tremendous power of visuals on a popular site that is committed to sharing images.

Why you should be unPinterested!

Pinterest focuses mainly on visual content which can make it inaccessible (and irrelevant) to some businesses. Most exchanges on Pinterest are concerned with design, lifestyle and fashion and good quality images are a must. If your business does not lend itself to display through a visual means, then there is probably little benefit of you taking this route. Some B2B companies have taken the risk and experimented on Pinterest but it’s important to note there could be a backlash if you’re perceived as a marketing maniac.

Pinterest also has a lack of dedicated brand pages. Other social networking sites such as Google+, Twitter and Facebook have all developed space designed for companies which has helped rid some of the frustration users feel when being bombarded with advertisement. For Pinterest, businesses will need to figure out how to market without seeming like marketing. In other words create visual content that is valid in its own right – not just as a tool to drive traffic to the site.

The most pressing issue Pinterest faces is the images that are copyrighted. They have received a growing backlash from media owners and users over their somewhat ‘laissez-faire’ attitude to copyright. Pinterest’s ‘Terms of Use’ claims that it’s the user who is responsible for making sure there are no copyright  or licensing violations so it could be you, the user who would be sued!

The image based site in itself has many flaws when you choose to use it for your business, but on the other hand it’s a free website where you can advertise your business in any way that you want and you are almost guaranteed to have an increase in traffic.  So, for product-based businesses with good quality images and stylish products, absolutely – sign yourself up. For service-based  businesses I would tend to avoid this site as it could end up doing more damage than good.

Facebook has begun testing the use of fancy emoticons in status updates on their site. The new development which was originally adopted by the old Myspace allows users to pick symbols to indicate what they’re doing.

 

On this front, Facebook is playing catch-up as Google+ already supports animated emoticons on their mobile app and Path allows users to ‘smile’ at each other’s posts. So has Facebook come a little late to the party?

 

The new options include glasses to show someone is watching films or an event, headphones to indicate that they’re listening to music and a fork a knife to inform people when they are eating. As well as emoticons, users can choose from a list of options- such as Watching: ‘Harry Potter’, Feeling: ‘excited’ or can just enter their own text and thus spice up their status messages.

 

The social networking giant has kept tight-lipped about the feature but has said:

 

“The new development is an opportunity for people to visually represent what they’re doing and how they’re feeling through their Facebook posts.”

 

Before Facebook users get too excited, the new feature is only available to a handful of people during this initial testing phase. If these users report that they enjoy sharing their actions in a more visual way, the rest of us could be free to pepper our statuses with a variety of fancy emoticons.

 

Some critics claim that if the new development does become permanent the information could potentially be used to target people with adverts and therefore turning Facebook into a goldmine.

 

Advertisers would be able to know users’ likes and dislikes at a much deeper level. For example, if a user put a status about a particular album they’re listening to, it will become easier for advertisers to target them for ads regarding that type of music, particular concerts and promotions.

 

Facebook could potentially integrate this new status sharing method with Graph Search to load the new search method with additional information. The new status emoticons are being tested on both the web and mobile applications.

Even though it doesn’t quite carry the same weight this side of the pond, the Superbowl is still by far the biggest (and most expensive) event in the marketing calendar. Huge companies fight for the prime position advert spots in the hopes of pushing their products to the 110 million people watching. View full article »

Social Media Strategy uncovered: LinkedIn

 

 

As part of our series on Social Media for businesses, Sentho Pembleton looks at LinkedIn and its benefits for small, medium and large businesses in the UK.

 

LinkedIn as a Marketing Tool

 

Unlike other social media sites, LinkedIn is viewed as an online network of influential people all over the globe. Most of us know, it can be difficult to get an audience with those in a position of leadership – Managing Directors and CEOs are well-protected through normal channels of contact.  The advantage of LinkedIn is that it brings business people together in a new and unique way.  If utilized properly, even an office junior would be able to engage in discussion and build relationships with company CEOs.

 

Find Business Partners, Clients and Service Providers

 

LinkedIn can help most businesses build a network of useful contacts. Just a simple search in your field will reveal thousands of experts, service providers and potential clients.  Even if you don’t personally know an individual, you can request to be introduced through a mutual contact or you can send an introductory email.

 

Recruitment 

 

For recruiters out there, LinkedIn can offer easy access to potential candidates. Businesses can locate a particular candidate that fits their required level of expertise and contact them directly. Companies can also post a job ad for a monthly fee dependant on the location.

 

Expert Advice

 

This business networking site offers a unique tool called LinkedIn Answer.  It aims to facilitate information and idea sharing online.  The service allows you to post business questions to both your network and the rest of the LinkedIn community.  LinkedIn has always been used for knowledge sharing. Users have always been able to communicate through their mailbox to pose questions to connections.

 

Promote your blog

 

LinkedIn is a great way to share and promote a business blog. Users have the opportunity to add a blog or website to their individual profile in order to give it more exposure.

 

Recommendations

 

The recommendation feature can also be used as a business tool. Once you’ve added a product or service to your business profile, you can request recommendations from your customers. In doing this it will boost your company’s credibility and help you gain new clients.

 

 

LinkedIn and SEO

 

LinkedIn enables you to make your profile information available for search engines to index.  LinkedIn profiles do receive a high page rank in Google and this is great way to influence what people see when they search for your business. In addition it now gives users the ability to share content. This activity will influence your search engine ranking positions.

 

 

LinkedIn Groups

 

More companies are now taking advantage of this feature for their businesses to network and grow. You can even add your website link in the group profile for great visibility.  Sending weekly messages to your group can maintain interest and enthusiasm too.  To make the most of your group, you need to find a niche/area business that is under- represented and aim to be the authority of the subject.  The more quality content you produce to back this up and the more effectively you run your group, the greater the support you will get from your community and the more likely you are to appear as an authority in your niche fields.

 

Advertising

 

LinkedIn has over 120 million users worldwide and has extensive targeting capabilities to entice advertisers. The business network has followed Facebook’s example and introduced a ‘self service’ system ‘LinkedIn Ads’. This provides an opportunity for all LinkedIn users to advertise on a cost per click or impression basis. Advertisement can be tailored by job title and function, industry and company size, seniority, age, gender or certain LinkedIn groups.

 

For advice on setting up a LinkedIn profile or any other aspect of Social Media strategy, please contact eSterling on 0121 766 8087 or email to enquiries@esterling.co.uk

 

We all know that making a good first impression is crucial when it comes to converting a potential customer into a buyer. This is even more important when it comes to online marketing, as a visitor to your website has so much choice. If your home page does not meet a visitors needs immediately, they will go elsewhere in a matter of clicks.

 

Your homepage will be the point of entry for many visitors to your website. As such it must be a positive reflection of what your company is about and, most importantly, how you can help your visitor. Think of your homepage as your online shop window – it must be tidy, eye catching and show off your company to its very best. Getting your homepage right will encourage your visitors to stay on your website and take the next step to becoming a paying customer.

 

Exactly what is needed for your homepage will depend on the type of business you have. For example, an e-commerce website will be very different to an online portfolio. However, there are some general guidelines that you can follow in order to achieve a well-organised home page that sends the right message to your visitors. A successful home page will have the correct balance of the following:

 

  • Colour

The use of colour on a home page can be a powerful tool to catch the eye. It doesn’t have to be bright – subtle use of contrasting or complimentary colours can be a great way to reflect the personality of your brand, whilst directing visitors to the correct place by using brighter tones for buttons. Your company logo will be a great starting point for your colour scheme.

 

  • Images

Photographs and illustrations are easier for visitors to interpret than lots of text, as images can instantly convey what your business is about. Pixelated and blurry images will create a bad impression, so make sure your homepage images are professionally shot or buy images from a stock website. A popular website layout is to have images above ‘the fold’ and text underneath, as once visitors have digested the images they can read more about what you do.

 

  • Text

Having text content somewhere on your homepage is essential for SEO purposes, but as lots of text can overwhelm a visitor, you must get the balance right. Make a bullet point list of your unique selling points and expand these into a punchy introduction for your new visitors. Keep things simple and short – you can expand your points further on other pages.

 

  • Calls to action

These prompts can be used on your homepage to direct your visitors to the right place to make an enquiry or purchase. Your call to action could be a button directing visitors to ‘contact us now’, or ‘get in touch’ that will take them to your contact form. You should also place your telephone number and email address on your home page to make it simple and easy for visitors to contact you.

Honesty is the best policy in social marketing

Every year thousands more companies are jumping on the social networking band wagon to attract potential clients, yet some of them are missing the key weapon – honesty. Anyone could bombard their Facebook profile with successful stories of their services or blow their trumpet about their discounts and promotions.

What they need to be doing is understanding exactly what their clients want, helping them and sharing photos or videos. Whether it’s offering useful information, asking them for feedback or posting where the team went on their Friday social, this will help build a relationship between you and your potential customer.

The internet is sometimes brutal and competitive so if you happen to post something which is false or is outright dishonest someone will catch you out and you will lose credibility. You might start to see your number of likes decrease on Facebook or receive a back lash from your loyal customers.

Either way there’s nothing worse than devoting time, posting content on your pages and then becoming an internet laughing stock. Being honest, truthful and upfront will help you avoid embarrassing mistakes and allow you to build strong relationships with your followers.

Social networking users perceive social marketing as a means of social interaction rather than direct advertising because there are no limitations. People aren’t able to find out who made the dazzling new John Lewis advert let alone the characters within the company itself but when reading Facebook posts on a regular basis or following someone on Twitter, a true personal relationship will develop.

Your social networking posts should be more of a conversation rather than a collage of adverts. That’s why those who ask relevant questions and participate in Facebook or Twitter comments get more attention and plenty more likes! Sharing photos of your colleagues (professional ones of course!) or even company work does will add colour to your profile and prove to your fans that you’re not just another faceless business page.

Overall honesty and openness makes the social marketing world go round and helps companies to forge long lasting relationships with their clients. The more open you are about your company, the more trusting your supporters will be. When it comes to placing the right content on your page, it’s better to give than receive! Clients would prefer to receive free information or help with something they’re struggling with rather than a constant barrage of ‘look how fantastic we are.’

When running a PPC campaign Google provides a whole range of data that allows you to get the most out of the money you are spending on the campaign. Using all of the available tools will allow you to manage the data and allow the Account/Campaign to perform to its best.

ROI – Return on Investment

ROI

ROI is the revenue generated for every pound that is spent or the amount of profit generated from the ads within the campaign. This is one of the most important pieces of data that should be monitored as this is the overall figure that tells you how successful the campaign is performing.

Conversion Tracking

Conversion Tracking is another tool that is provided by Google and allows the user to see what happens after a customer has clicked on the Ad. Using this data will allow you to see which Ads are bringing in the most business and help invest in the best ones, which will ultimately boost your ROI.

So when running a PPC campaign make sure that all the tracking tools available are set up correctly as these will ultimately help you achieve the goals that you have identified will bring success from your campaign.

If you would like to enquire about Pay Per Click account management, please contact eSterling.

Contact eSterling
48-52 Floodgate Street
Birmingham
West Midlands
B5 5SL
UK
E. enquiries@esterling.co.uk
T. 0121 766 8087