Posts Tagged :

Engagement

Sanity, Not Vanity – Reasons Not To ‘Buy’ Fans

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Social mediaOne of our favourite phrases in The Bright Click office is ‘Sanity, Not Vanity’ and in no better case can this be applied than in terms of the number of followers that you have across your social media channels.

Of course it looks great if you’ve got hundreds or thousands of followers, and if you’re a big company or organisation then the chances are that you could well be enjoying that sort of genuine attention.

The main thing you’re aiming for across any social campaign though is to be able to reach a target audience – an audience who are into what you’re doing.

Look at your Facebook news feed – are you following anything that doesn’t interest you? If you were a massive football fan but hated rugby, would you follow rugby teams on Facebook? The likelihood is ‘no’.

So why do your fans follow you? Either because they’re already your customers (and in which case your advocates – incredibly powerful) or because they’re interested in what you have to say.

There’s the ‘sanity’ part – you’ve got an engaged audience who will likely interact / comment / share your content, and as a result, their friends, colleagues and associates become increasingly aware of your brand in an organic way.

So what happens when you have a page full of loads of followers who aren’t into what you do? Well, this is the ‘vanity’ part, and if this is your objective, then you’re probably wasting your time.

Facebook uses algorithms to determine which percentage of your followers see your posts. It’s a complex thing, and it evolves constantly, but only around a maximum of 25% of your audience will see your posts at any given time.

We always recommend adopting a paid strategy alongside your organic strategy too – it’s how Facebook makes its money but it’s also very effective, and probably a topic for another blog post!

However there’s two main things to note here.

The more followers you have, the more diluted your content becomes – if you have 1000 followers then around 250 will see your content.

But if only 100 of these are ‘genuine’ – there’s a good chance that the whole potentially engaged audience following you will miss your post entirely – and how crazy is that..?!

So, you’re not getting the engagement you were expecting and you boost the post. Great idea?

In theory yes, however you’re now paying to reach your 100 ‘interested’ fans, plus 900 who’ve never heard of you, and don’t care about your business, brand, or what you have to say… Not the greatest use of your marketing budget.

And that’s why neither is ‘buying’ fans.

You’ll see loads of sites offering you the chance to ‘buy’ fans and it looks too good to be true – £10 for an extra 1000 fans on your Facebook page seems like an amazing deal, but it’s a false economy and will cost you a whole lot more money, not to mention damage, in the long-term.

Concentrate on growing your audience organically by consistently providing great content, directly aimed at your brand advocates, with a paid boost here and there.

Sanity, not vanity.

Need help with your Social Media Strategy? Call us now on 08433 832732 or contact us here.

What Terms Are Your Customers Using To Search?

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A really quick  blog post about how to make sure your website is set up for search terms that your customers are using to find your business.

Sounds obvious right? That your website should contain the phrases that your customers are searching for?

Well maybe, but it’s important to remember the difference between how you would term the services you provide, in relation to how your potential clients and customers would.

The best example I come across regularly is in the Property Industry. Often, Estate Agents use terms such as ‘letting agent’ throughout their website, and as such they can rank well for the term – for example ‘Letting Agent In Twickenham’. I would argue that from an authority point of view that this a good term to be ranking for in terms of being found for a service that you provide.

But our research tells us that the search engine user is much more likely to type ‘Property To Rent In Twickenham’ into Google – so ideally you really want your site to be found for that search term too.

Google’s latest ‘Hummingbird’ update also takes into account the more colloquial nature of search – much of which is stemming from smartphone use and the questions we ask of apps such as Siri which are now helping to dictate the way we search. So we might even ask something like ‘Where can I find a flat to rent in Twickenham?’.

So remember to ‘Tell Google’ what you do – you can do this primarily by featuring the keywords that your potential clients and customers are searching for in your website page titles, headings and regularly in your content. Make sure you link to relevant pages within your site by hyperlinking those keywords to specific pages. And if you blog about the subject – make sure you link back to relevant content too.

Got more SEO questions? We want to answer them for you! Contact us today… thanks for reading.

Written by Matt Davis | Managing Director | The Bright Click

Enhancing Your Personal Brand Using LinkedIn

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LinkedIn_ExampleOn Tuesday of this week I was fortunate enough to be asked by Nicki Kavanagh at The Juniper Co to take part in a webinar at their head office in Aldershot.

The webinar was aimed at members of their exclusive Alumni Group and was part of a series of events on how to enhance your personal brand, and the part that Social Media can play in doing so.

It was a very enjoyable hour, and in the Q+A session towards the end, I was asked some questions about LinkedIn and Twitter.

As I gave my answers to these questions, it occurred to me that many people aren’t using LinkedIn to its full potential – particularly in terms of their personal brand.

Think about going for a job interview – you’d do your research, you’d update your CV, you’d wear smart clothes, you may even have a haircut (as Dan says to me – which hair did you have cut..?!) – but the point is that all of these things, plus the way you then present yourself in the interview, form part of your personal brand.

So please do bear in mind the importance of presenting yourself in the same way on the Social Networks that you use – particularly on LinkedIn as the perceived  ‘professional’ platform of choice.  A potential client, customer or employer checking you out online may see your failure to keep your online profile up-to-date as a potential shortcoming.

So to help you avoid this scenario,  here are a few tips to help you present yourself in the best way online:

1) Profile Pic – is your LinkedIn profile pic one of you lying on a beach with a sangria and a sombrero? Or having a bit too much of a good time in the pub? Then consider changing it to something a little more sober – a simple head shot or you working in your current role for example. If you’re a teacher, a photo of you teaching is perfect for example. If it is a head shot – try and be smiling 🙂

Oh and the cardinal sin – no profile pic – there’s no excuse not to have one! How will anyone know if it’s THAT John Smith from the networking event…?

2) Your Biography – Make sure it’s filled in and don’t be scared of bigging yourself up, you’ve got a few seconds to make an impression so spend some time thinking about that killer opening line – and also how that works in conjunction with your profile picture, try and make sure the two marry together nicely if you can. First impressions are everything and online you have even less time to make an impact so make it count.

3) You Current Role – Most people create a LinkedIn profile as they are either looking for work or setting one up to network as part of a current role. However when they then move roles, the profile can simply be ‘left behind’. Bear in mind that your LinkedIn profile ultimately reflects YOU and YOUR brand – not that of the company that you work for. So if they’ve asked you to set one up, make sure that when you leave the company that your LinkedIn profile comes with you. Setting up a new profile for a new company is all well and good but someone searching for you and finding five different profiles of you working for five different companies with no end date is going to be confused. Either delete old profiles or make sure that your new profile is as up to date with your current role as it can be.

LinkedIn_Expertise4) Ask for recommendations – you’ve probably seen the ‘endorsements’ section of LinkedIn that has emerged in recent months, where you can simply endorse someone as LinkedIn asks you ‘Does Matt know about Online Marketing?’ However I’ve subsequently kindly been endorsed for random skills by people I’ve never worked for or with!

The real weight comes from recommendations, where previous colleagues and clients can write a recommendation on you as a person – adding huge value to your personal branding online. It’s great ‘Social Proof’ that you know what you’re talking about!

5) Demonstrate Your Knowledge and Authority – Make sure you post regularly about what you do and the results that you’re achieving. Do you write a blog? Make sure you link to it. Did you win an award? Post a photo of you receiving it. Seen something interesting in the news about what you do for a living? Post the link as an update. LinkedIn is the perfect platform for you to demonstrate exactly what you know about your specialist subject and role within the company. Make sure that anyone landing on your profile is impressed immediately!

Need more help with LinkedIn? Or maybe you want us to just check out your profile and let you know how it could be optimised further? Drop us a line here.

Written by Matt Davis

Looking For A New Job? – Good, Because We Are Looking To Recruit

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We are pleased to announce that we are now looking to recruit the next member of our fast-growing online marketing team.

This role is full-time, although a part-time role would also be considered for the right applicant.

Our business is growing quickly and that’s largely thanks to the commitment, hard-work and expertise of our small but dedicated team.

We have recently moved into new offices next to Twickenham station in order to support our continued growth and to create a great working environment for our team.

So who are we looking for?

Ideally you will be interested in marketing, specifically online, and will have a passion for digital and technology.

This role would best suit a school or university leaver but all applications will be seriously considered regardless.

We will provide full training but previous experience or knowledge of online marketing strategies would be a bonus although by no means essential.

Our clients expect us to be pro-active, provide value and deliver excellent account management – we pride ourselves on this and would look for the same levels of service from the successful applicant. If you’re the sort of person who enjoys ‘going the extra mile’ then we want to talk to you…

We’d expect you to enjoy learning and to be pro-active in implementing strategies and techniques in an ever-changing and incredibly fast-moving environment.

Flexibility and adaptability are also key in the areas that we work in – we work in a relaxed environment but every now and again the pressure gets turned up and we need to be ready to react when this happens.

We are a small company so as clichéd as it sounds, teamwork and a willingness to help others plays a huge part in how our business moves forward.

The main day-to-day activities will be centred around Social Media management on behalf of our clients – representing our clients’ respective businesses by promoting them and engaging with their customers and clients online.

There will also be elements of other marketing involved including Google Adwords, SEO, Facebook Ads, e-marketing, blogging, web design and more.

If you think this could be your cup of tea then please get in touch.

Email matt@thebrightclick.co.uk with your CV and a covering letter and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Matt Davis
Managing Director
TheBrightClick Ltd
07723 352 927

Event – So How Does Social Media Work?

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Juniper Event Panel

(l-r) Jane Mancini, Kevin Williams, Matt Davis

Last night I was fortunate to be asked to sit on a panel of industry experts as part of a presentation by Nicki Kavanagh at The Juniper Co to 35 business owners in Aldershot and the surrounding areas.

It was a superbly constructed event, with a great presentation by Nicki, punctuated by questions to the panel (which consisted of myself, web design expert Kevin Williams from Servon Design, and branding expert Jane Mancini of Wag Design, and lots of engagement and interaction from the audience, which created a great atmosphere.

A wide range of topics was covered including branding, which social media platforms you should use for your business, blogging, web design, customer engagement and much, much more.

You can view the original presentation here and you can find out more about Nicki and The Juniper Co here. 

The Zoopla Power 100 – What’s It Really About?

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Social MediaProperty search website Zoopla recently announced the launch of its Property Power 100 – a list of the top 100 Estate Agents in the UK based on their Social Media output. We have several Estate Agents as clients so were very interested to see how the criteria for this was judged. Due to confidentiality agreements we can’t disclose who has come where in the table – however I was intrigued to see the criteria that Zoopla are basing their Power 100 on. 

The main criteria is as follows:

Retweets; Which can increase your influence by exposing your content to extended follower networks.

Mentions; People looking for your attention by mentioning you. We also take into account the differences in types of mentions (e.g: “via”).

List Memberships; Being included on lists curated by other users (demonstrates your areas of influence).

Followers; Follower count is another factor in your Score, however we heavily favor engagement over size of audience.

Replies; Replies show that you are engaging your network.

These are all relevant criteria, but looking through certainly the top ten of those listed, there seemed a real varying degree of how each agent was implementing these. The top agent at the time of writing seemed to be doing a lot of retweeting, rather than having much of its own content retweeted for example. It also seemed to be doing a lot of mentioning, rather than being mentioned. It did however have followers approaching the 20,000 mark.

The reason I find this list so interesting is that Zoopla is taking something as subjective as Social Media and forming a league table from it, and although there are of course a number of measures and reports that can be gained from Social Media marketing, by its very nature it is dynamic, changeable, and based largely on opinion and subsequent engagement.

And different forms of online marketing can mean different things to different businesses.

For example, one of Zoopla’s guidelines suggests not tweeting every property that you are instructed on, as users can find this boring and it can make them subsequently dis-engaged.

However if I was looking  to rent or buy a house, I think I would find it quite useful to have a full list of the very latest properties to be able to look at in real-time on Twitter. A separate account for this purpose could be doubly-effective and a great sales tool don’t you think?

When we have implemented this tactic for clients, we have seen a big uplift in traffic to websites from the respective Twitter accounts. And Google likes it when relevant traffic is coming from Social Media direct to company websites – in fact it’s now a major SEO factor. So from an SEO point of view, it can easily be argued that having a list of your properties on Twitter is a very good thing indeed, as our clients’ page one ranking testifies.

We have been advocating the use of Social Media by Estate Agents for a couple of years now, and we see some great results across the board, so for highlighting how important it is for Estate Agents to adopt, I applaud Zoopla wholeheartedly. However in my opinion, I think that the overall placements on the list should probably be taken with a pinch of salt.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Written by Matt Davis. 

Give Your Website A Spring Clean Today!

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I’ve noticed a few things about the change in weather this week. 

Firstly, it seems to make everyone a little bit happier when the sun comes out – all over Facebook and Twitter at the weekend were pictures of people out in the sunshine, kids eating ice creams – yes it was only a little bit of sunshine and a few degrees warmer but it made a big difference.

However I then realised that this change in attitude has a bit of a knock-on effect. Green Lawn - The Bright Click

The sun shining in through my living room window highlighted the dust settling on my blind – honestly I have no idea of the last time I dusted it! Also, the grass in the garden suddenly looked much too long, so I went to grab the lawnmower from the shed but there was loads of other stuff in the way where I hadn’t had to use it for a few months.

Then when I started mowing the lawn, I found loads of little toys under the long grass that I had to keep moving for fear of breaking the lawnmower by running one of them over. So it took twice as long as it should have.

Now it’s not really practical to mow your lawn throughout the winter as the weather doesn’t always permit you to, but it got me thinking that if I had mowed the lawn just once on a dry day in November, and again on a dry day in February, it would not have taken me so long this time.

If I had dusted the blind before the sunlight so embarrassingly illuminated it for me, it wouldn’t have taken me so long to clean (it took FOREVER!).

And then it occurred to me that the same really does apply to the maintenance that you carry out on your website – when was the last time you gave your website a spring clean? 

But more importantly, what do you do weekly to keep your website ticking over as it should? 

Because making these changes daily or weekly not only saves you time and hassle in the long run, it also keeps Google happy and lets the search engines know that your site is relevant, topical and dynamic.

Broken Link Example - The Bright Click

A Broken Link – Google Doesn’t Like These

Here is a brief list of the sort of thing you should be doing daily / weekly on your site:

  • Check for broken links – we’ve all done it – linked from one page to another (which Google loves) and then later on deleted one of the pages, forgetting that it was linked somewhere else (Google’s not so keen on this). Think of the user experience – you don’t want people landing on your site and within a couple of minutes getting the dreaded 404 page – nip this in the bud nice and early by using Google Webmaster Tools to highlight any broken links for you to fix. There’s also a handy WordPress plugin that does this too. 
  • Make sure your meta descriptions are up to date and relevant – that snippet of descriptive  information that you see on Google searches stems from your website’s meta description – there’s not a huge amount of SEO value to these but you’ve got 140 characters to accurately describe your website to the person who’s searching so try and make it worth reading! Email me today for an awesome ninja trick that you can use on your meta descriptions – you won’t believe how simple and effective it is…
  • Check that your images are all alt-tagged – you know that little yellow box that appears above images when you hover the mouse over it? Google takes notice of this and loves it when they are correct – make sure you get a keyword or two in there too…
  • Write a blog and then tell everyone about it. This takes a bit more effort and I’ll go into more detail on this in a future post but blogging is the best way to tell Google how important your website is AND it gives you great content to post on Social Media too…

So – a few things to be getting on with and if you spread these out throughout the year then you won’t have to do them all at once – keeping your website visitors and Google happy at the same time!

I’m off to clean out the barbecue… 🙁

Need advice on keeping your website up to date, dynamic and Google-friendly? Drop us a line or call us on 08433 832 732

Written by Matt Davis

What Google Wants Right Now – In A Nutshell

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Google LogoGoogle is constantly adapting and after the algorithm changes of 2012 it can become more and more complex and difficult for smaller websites and businesses to get noticed, especially when there are much larger companies and more established websites in competition. So how do you get ahead and make sure you still appear near the top in Google web searches? Well, 1st up on the list be, of course, do exactly what Google tells you to:

1/ DO WHAT GOOGLE TELLS YOU TO DO!

Don’t be silly. You cannot ‘outsmart’ Google. It’s waaay too powerful and important to your business. Do what it tells you to do, don’t do anything that you might think maybe it doesn’t want you to do, and everything else should be plain sailing. If you think you might need it, there are plenty of reputable internet marketing agencies out there that can help with optimization techniques.

2/ NO COPYING!

Whether you’re copying text from another website or have a range of websites with selling similar products, it’s all the same to Google. It’ll identify the repeat patterns and the sites will not be listed. Customers want choice and Google knows this. So it’s trying to prevent one company dominating a particular search by having lots of websites advertising the same product. Keep it original, keep it fresh.

4/ DON’T BUY DODGY BACKLINKS!

Google used to keep an eye on how many other websites had a link to yours and make an assumption that the more links you had, the more popular your business. Makes sense, right? Well, no actually. Because this could obviously be exploited as a good business opportunity by sharp entrepreneurs looking to sell lots of backlinks to companies in a bid to up their perceived popularity. And it was. A lot. Which was why when Google cracked down on this kind of behaviour lots of business shot down the rankings virtually overnight.  Don’t fall for it, don’t buy them. Organic (ie legitimate) backlinking does carry some weight still but is certainly no-where near the way forward as it might have been a couple of years ago.

5/ MAKE YOUR CUSTOMER YOUR FOCUS

A lot of businesses will reason that because Google are all powerful, it should be their primary concern with regards to marketing, forgetting all at once the key player in your business. The customer. Google after all, is constantly tinkering with its product to meet the demands of its customers, so this is what you should be doing. Create great, original, fresh new content regularly. Update your website with new ideas, new blogs, share interesting information and people will naturally be drawn to it. Get them reading, sharing and commenting on your content, and search engine traffic will increase as a result.

6/ CREATE A GOOGLE+ ACCOUNT

If you haven’t already, do this now. Then make sure that everything you produce has your name (and/or photo) and is linked to your Google+ account. Then, make sure that your Google+ account lists whatever it is within the contributor section of links. You are doing this because Google has recognized that social signals are a great indicator for search engine rankings. The more ‘shares’, ‘likes’, and ‘+1’s’ your content the higher up the rankings you are going to be. Plus if you regularly blog or post on a particular subject, and you get lots of comments, likes and +1’s, then you’re more likely to be ranked as an author in that particular field. You are using Google, you want Google to like you, so sign up to Google+ and show them you like them too. And make sure you engage on other Social Media platforms too – Google likes this. Social is BIG in 2013.

7/ KEYWORDS

Time was when a website, in order to be recognized in a search ranking, would insert ridiculous amounts of keywords relating to their business in order to fly up said rankings (or worse, from a customer perspective, be taken to their website when they actually wanted to be somewhere else). But Google, again, thinking of their customers, have tried to stop this. Customers don’t want to read reams of pointless keywords (in fact, they don’t, they just click the X and move on), so in order to change this up, Google will now recognize repeated keywords and penalize the offending website accordingly. Whatever you put up, read it back, aloud. Does it sound natural? Are you repeating keywords or phrases over and over again? Mix it up. Make it interesting. Using different words will not only make it far less boring for your customer to read (if they read it at all), but will also serve to increase your rankings in the other words.

The Google Network

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The Google network is a great way to engage with audiences across the internet. It consists of both
the Search Network and the Display Network.

Search Network: Includes other search engines such as AOL as well as Google.

Display Network: Made up of a number of different websites which are owned by Google i.e.
YouTube and sites which specifically relate to Google such as Gmail.

The Google network makes up thousands of sites which display targeted AdWords. AdWord
campaigns are placed in the Google network by default. However it is possible to opt out of either
network by changing the settings.

Key things to know:

– If you are displaying a keyword – targeted ad, it can be placed across both the search and display network pages. Google uses search- engine- targeting to match keywords that users search for on search engines.

– Google display network pages use contextual targeting to match keywords to web page content, otherwise known as ‘automatic placements’.

-‘Placement-targeted’ ads can only appear on pages in the display network. It works by
choosing a specific audience and site to direct your ad at, otherwise known as ‘managed
placements’. The keywords and placements will combine efforts and work together to
determine the best position for the ad.

-Ads are displayed on Google based on their relevancy.

-Ads that are fully text based can appear on both search pages and on display network pages.

-Ads that feature images or videos can only appear on Display network pages.

Display Network Placements – Where do they go?

Search network ads are shown on pages related to the keywords related to the ad. These ads
appear alongside, above or below the search results and are specific to that particular search query.
Display network placements work differently.

‘Managed placements’ are ads which are placed separately for increased control. There is also the
added option of excluding certain placements for which you don’t want to run ads.

For more information on The Google Network contact us today on 08433 832 732

The Benefits of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

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Online Marketing

There are two types of marketing approaches for search engine listings. The first is; ORGANIC; search
engine results are natural or ‘free’ listings. The second is PAID; search engine results have are paid
advertisements AKA ‘sponsored links’.

Search engines will rank the most relevant at the top of the page. This is determined by the
searchers query. Depending on the search engine, the relevancy of the search is calculated in
different ways. On Google, both organic and paid results will appear for the same query, however
the results are separate from each other. This means that the ranking of an organic search result will
not interfere with the ranking of an ad. The advertiser can perform well and have a strong online
presence, even if their site doesn’t rank top in the organic search results.

SEO

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) = Creating new websites or altering existing in order for them to
rank highly in a search engine’s organic listings when users search on terms that are related to the
site’s content.

Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) = the process of marketing and promoting a site through paid listings
on a search engine.

Using keywords associated with your website improves the ranking results of your website a great
deal. It is vital to generate engaging content and appropriate keywords in order to achieve the best
results possible for your site.

The majority of search engines work by using a pay-per-click (PPC) service, meaning that your only
charged when a user clicks on your ad and not for an ad impression (the amount of times in which
your ad appears on the page).

It is becoming increasingly popular to advertise websites rather than opting for the organic search.
There are several benefits of the PPC service; advertising allows you to become more proactive
about when and where a listing for your site to appear. Targeting and engaging with an audience
becomes a great deal easier, you can specify the user’s location, demographic, language. You can
also determine how to reach your audience through the device they use i.e computer or mobile
phone.

One of the most attractive aspects of online marketing is that it can be tailored to fit any budget.
There are a number of formats you can use to target different users such as text ads, graphical
images, audio streams or interactive and video ads. Also, if you find that the ad is not as influential
as you first hoped and believe that a different approach is needed, the formatting of your ad can
easily be changed.

Direct response vs. Branding

Direct response

Direct response determines what action you want your audience to take after they have clicked
through to your website, it could be; making a purchase, sign up to a newsletter or request a quote.
The action of your desired user is called a conversation.

By setting up a cost per acquisition (CPA), the impact of your ad can be measured. This is a great
way of monitoring the performance of your ad and ensuring that your CPA targets are met.

If your advertising goal is to promote your brand then your main purpose for advertising online is to
raise awareness of your brand and engage with potential audiences. This is achieved by being ahead
of as many competitors as possible within your target audience.

Examples of how online marketing can help you:

  • If you are an online retailer without a shop of location. Driving traffic to your website through displaying ads with keywords that will target your audience.
  • If you own a small business that cannot afford traditional marketing materials/ methods: Narrowly target your ads to target niche audiences and closely control your costs and track your return on investment (ROI).
  • If you own a large company but want to build on your brand awareness. Place images on sites you think your audiences will spend most of their time.

How can Google Ad Words benefit you and your company?

It is argued that the most beneficial aspect of Google ad words is how thoroughly measureable
it is. This makes it easier to understand what works and what doesn’t; every user’s click is linked
to a particular ad, keyword and search query. You can track each aspect and make improvements
and adjustments whenever you feel is necessary. This will enable you to engage more with your
audience and improve your return on investment.

Ad words will also be beneficial to you in terms of targeting audiences more directly. The ads will
target a user according to their query; the result being only highly relevant ads will be advertised to
the user. They are more likely to click on an ad if it is advertising what the user is searching for.

Want help with your SEO? Find out more by calling us on 020 3131 2230

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