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Why every SME needs to utilise social media

Why every SME needs to utilise social media

Gone are the days when an advertisement in printed media or Yellow Pages was sufficient for SMEs to get the word out on what products or services they provide. In today’s highly competitive business landscape, it is essential to take advantage of social media’s popularity to get ahead of the competition.

According to research, it is estimated that by 2020 there will be an astonishing 2.95 billion people using social media worldwide. When you consider that further research suggests that between 81 to 89 percent of customers start their purchasing process online, it is easy to see how establishing a robust social media platform can greatly benefit any small business.

Find future talent

Not only is social media an excellent way of marketing your services, more and more businesses today use social media to find their future talent. The Independent highlights the growing trend in businesses using social media platforms in their recruitment strategy and that around one third of all UK employers now use this avenue as a primary means to finding the best talent for their businesses.

David Lahey – VP International at Jobvite, concurs that social media is a useful tool for businesses to use when searching for candidates:

“At first, many recruiters used these platforms just to check up on people, now full-blown campaigns can be run and candidates sourced. On top of this, recruiters are also starting to realise how much of an impact social media recruiting has on their employer brand. It can enhance and differentiate your business in the eyes of candidates,”

Not surprisingly, the US is ahead of the game when it comes to using social media as a hotbed to find exceptional talent. The article reports that approximately 90 percent of businesses in the US are already taking advantage of this strategy. With this in mind, it is probably only a matter of time before the rest of the world follows suite.

How to make social media work for your SME

Many SMEs can be put off by the prospect of challenging the larger brands through social media. Of course, noticing the massive army of followers the larger companies have compared to the more modest following SMEs collate, can make it seem like an un-scalable mountain to climb. However, there are useful guidelines that can be followed in how to make social media work for your business:

Be personable: If you find that a larger company has already dominated a sector on social media, don’t be put off. Taking the big brands on head-to-head with the latest news is not advisable as they are always likely to be a step or two ahead. However, you can stay relevant to people by making your postings more friendly and personable. People love to laugh, so be humorous in your postings if possible, but be careful not to come across in a manner that may make you appear as smug or offensive.

Engage with your following: Get to know your following and interact with them on a more social basis through social media. As any professional sales person will tell you – ‘People buy people’. Research LinkedIn communities, Twitter hashtags and Facebook pages that have an interest in what your business provides. Get involved in conversations but try not to be too business-like as this can often be off-putting to followers.

Build a following through advertising: It can be challenging for SMEs to grow a following from a standing start. Social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn offer a service for businesses where they can advertise through relevant posts. This is an excellent way to build a following and to engage with your target audience. This is a cost-effective means building your following as usually your business is only charged for each ‘click’ onto your advertisement.

Monitor your social media feedback: Of course, all business communications done via social media should be relevant and engaging. The more entertaining your postings and videos are, the more likely you are to grow your following. But how do you know if your communications are hitting the right note with your audience?

A great way of doing this is by monitoring online conversations, posts and tweets regarding your brand. There are many online tools that are free to use, such as Google Alerts that will notify you when your business is being discussed. Whether the results deliver positive or not so favourable feedback, it will empower you to form a strategy for the future.

If your SME needs to develop its social media – marketing strategy, contact the team at Effective Group. Our expertise has helped businesses throughout the UK create highly professional strategies to maintain business growth.

Principle differences between mobile and desktop SEO

 

Most companies today, respect that search engine optimisation is key to their digital marketing strategy. If the business isn’t visible to prospective clients on the internet, then the company is probably missing out on a wide stream of potential business.

A common mistake for businesses is to assume that the methods used for desktop SEO will be the same for creating mobile SEO. However, this is incorrect. Mobile SEO requires a specialist approach and when you consider an estimated two thirds of people own a smartphone, it is essential to make sure it’s done correctly.

To get the best out of mobile SEO, leading UK SEO specialists – Effective Group, examine the main differences between the two entities.

Top SEO Ranking is crucial: Due to the smaller screens that mobile phones have, it is unlikely that anyone searching the internet from their mobile phone is going to be interested in searching through page after page of search results to find the information they require. They are more likely to be focused purely on the first couple of lines of results. It is also worth noting that because mobile screens are small compared to that of a desktop’s, there will be fewer results on the screen. This is why it is imperative to achieve top ranking. The further down the search results your business is listed, the less likely it is likely to be seen by the mobile searcher.

Research mobile keywords: When you consider searching the internet via your desktop and searching via your mobile, the two methods are different. People who use their mobile to search the internet tend to do so around their busy schedules and are accessing at different times of the day than that of someone who searches via their desktop.

Due to this, the context of the keywords entered can have different meanings. It is advisable to do research on mobile keywords alongside any general keywords research you do to make sure you are not missing out any words that are relevant.

Different SEO ranking algorithm: This is probably where desktop SEO and mobile SEO differ the most, they have separate algorithms. Search engines like Google are determined to give people who search the internet via their mobile the same experience as those searching from their desktop. Google achieved this through making changes to their algorithm.

Advice on how to get the most from your mobile SEO

Make sure your website is mobile responsive: Google penalises websites that are not responsive, therefore it is imperative to make sure your site is fully mobile responsive. As previously mentioned, Google is focused on giving mobile users the same quality experience that desktop internet searchers receive.

It is also relevant from a customer perspective. People don’t like to be kept waiting and if customers are experiencing slow responsiveness from your website they are likely to ditch the site and seek the services of competitors, where the search experience is much faster and smoother.

It’s worth remembering that mobile users are using their devices on-the-go and are unlikely to have much patience for an un-responsive website. To help businesses test the responsiveness of their site, Google provides a tool to test that your website is mobile friendly.

Mobile friendly keywords: Customer’s using their mobile to search the web tend to use shorter keywords. When considering the keywords to use for your mobile SEO, it is good practice to keep them short, specific and relevant and include a location. Mobile users want ease-of-use and are unlikely to type out long sentences to find what they are looking for.

Site Speed: As previously mentioned, it is imperative that you regularly test your website’s speed. Website speed is part of Google’s algorithm and the faster the site functions, the higher up the Google search rankings it will list. Research illustrates that most visitors to your website are only willing to wait approximately 2 seconds for the site to load. If your site speed is operating outside of this benchmark, it probably requires attention.

Location, location, location: It is essential to include the location of your business for mobile SEO purposes. For mobile searches, local businesses will be given priority in the results and listed higher up the rankings. This is due to the fact idea that customers searching for businesses from their mobile are most likely to be out and about will be looking for a business that is within their vicinity.

For expert advice on getting the most from your mobile SEO, contact the team at Effective Group and let them show you how top quality mobile SEO can benefit your business.

The highest-quality SEO advice and service

Advice for creating effective SEO landing pages

For modern day businesses, search engine optimisation (SEO) is an essential part of the digital marketing strategy. Therefore, to maximise their digital marketing potential, more and more UK businesses are optimising their SEO landing pages.

Landing pages are pages that are designed to direct online traffic to your website via other channels, such as; social media, internet search engines, affiliate links and pay per click advertising. Obviously, these are very powerful marketing tools and it is essential to tailor your landing pages to your target audience. In doing so, you will be increasing traffic to your website which will potentially lead to increased customer engagement and conversion.

How to create an effective landing page

Customised URL: The first step in creating an effective landing page is to get a customised URL. This can be achieved by hosting a landing page on your existing customised domain. For instance, if the landing page you are looking to create is for a special offer, the URL could look something like (www.websitename.com/special-offer).

Multiple campaigns will require multiple URL’s, each one identifiable to the campaign it is attached to. This is recommended as it will allow you to use an analytics tool to monitor which campaigns are having the greatest success.

Keyword selection: Keywords are an essential tool that will give your business/campaign a higher search engine ranking. It is advisable to make a list of the words that you believe will be most relevant to your page.

For instance, if you’re running an interior design business in Bristol, you need to consider what potential customers might type into the search engine to find the services you provide.

This could be phrases such as ‘Bristol interior design company’ or Interior designers based in Bristol’. Remember, keywords should be used sparsely and they should flow naturally as part of article. Over-use can be off-putting to readers and can potentially turn them away.

Provide engaging and shareable content: Search engines love great content for SEO ranking purposes. Having superior content will always get you to the head search results because, ultimately, this is what will bring visitors to your website and landing pages.

Search engines tend to prefer pages that have a high word count. It is also imperative to make the content engaging and pleasing to the eye. The more relevant you make your content the higher the SEO ranking is likely to be. Visual media is also helpful to engage visitors to your page and proven to reduce bounce rates.

Allowing your content to be shared and linked to authority sites is also an excellent way of improving SEO raking. Linking to creditable sources will make your page primary source of information for the industry you belong to.

 

Speed up your website: Google has stated that page-loading efficiency is an integral part of SEO ranking. Research has shown that website pages that take too long to load are counter-productive to SEO success. The research states that 75% percent of users wouldn’t re-visit a site that takes longer than 4 seconds to load and 40% of visitors would abandon any website that takes over 3 seconds to load. Therefore, it is imperative to assure that your landing pages are in full working order and loading in a suitable time frame.

If you are having issues with the speed your landing pages are opening in, then a useful tool to use for analytic purposes is Google PageSpeed insights.

Keep form filling simplistic: The ultimate goal of your landing page is to engage your visitor which will hopefully lead to a sales conversion or a subscription to your newsletter. It is therefore recommended that this part of the landing page is kept as minimalistic and concise as possible.

Promoting your company should be consigned to other channels, such as the mainstream of your website or social media channels. Keeping potential distractions such as links, logo’s and other images to a minimum is also advised. Remember, you want to take the shortest possible route to gaining the commitment of your visitor, therefore less distraction is likely to keep them focused on the matter-at-hand.

It is also widely recommended to keep any form data that you require to a minimum. Customers are unlikely to be engaged with having to fill out line after line of personal information. Many businesses consider ‘First Name, Last Name and email address to be sufficient.

Optimising SEO can often be a lengthy and frustrating process. So, contact the experts at

Effective Group today and let them provide you with the highest-quality SEO advice and service.