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The New Position 1 on Google

By Resources, SEONo Comments

It’s every business’ dream to sit at the very top of the Google search engine and steal the spotlight from their competitors. However, what we know to be position 1, has been replaced.

When you ask Google a question, usually a box will appear in the search results at the top of the listings providing an immediate answer to your query. This informative box is known as a ‘featured snippet.

featured-snippet

Beforehand, websites that were in a featured snippet would also organically rank on page 1 too, however recently Google has listened to complaints and has ‘deduplicated’ these search results. This means if a business is featured in a snippet, they won’t be found on page 1.

How can a featured snippet benefit you?

There are a lot of benefits associated with ranking as a featured snippet. Many of these advantages are what businesses fight for on the daily, but by focusing on appearing in these information boxes you can expect to:

1. Steal traffic from the first organic result.

Although a study shows that 26% of searchers click through to the first organic result, another 8.6% of people click through to the URL in the featured snippet. This means the ‘box’ does steal some clicks from the very first result. So in most cases, ranking for this

It also doesn’t matter if you rank page 2 or 5, you can still rank for the featured snippet, making it a cunning way to get to page one.

2. Optimise your business for voice search.

If you think voice search isn’t important right now, then think again, come the rest of 2020 50% of searches will be made using voice-controlled PA.

More and more people are turning to voice assistants on their phones. It makes sense to try and rank for featured snippets when most Google search queries are genuine questions.

3. Customers consider you a trusted expert.

If you’re at the top of organic search results, people usually immediately trust you. But to be shown in a rich or featured snippet gives you greater credibility. Your advice (Although it should be) is seen as authentic and people usually take the information provided in a featured snippet, sometimes without even navigating to any other site.

How do you rank for a featured snippet?

There are a couple of ways that you can optimise your content to rank for a featured snippet. Since people are asking simple questions, you will need to provide simple answers. This includes keeping the word count minimal, researching common questions asked by the public and ranking your website organically higher. 

1. Do keyword research and aim to cover question-based search queries.

We quite often create content that is engage and formative for the reader, but we don’t tend to offer answers to questions that people may ask. If you want to be discoverable for a featured snippet, an ideal place to start is by optimising your copy for questions above anything else.

2. Browse the ‘People Also Ask’ boxes

When you ask Google a question, a featured snippet quite often gives an initial answer. However, if you scroll down slightly more, you will see ‘People Also Ask’ boxes with similar questions.

Here you can find common questions that searchers ask, and you can choose to create content to accommodate these.

3. Aim to rank on the first page of Google search results.

Being on the first page of the Google search results gives you an increased chance of being featured in a snippet. The majority of featured snippets are found on the very first page of Google SERPs.

Ways that can help rise your SEO performance includes:

  • Diagnosing SEO problems and fixing any penalties
  • Update your website
  • Link-building
  • Improve website speed.
  • Get SSL for your site.
  • Optimise your images
  • Make your pages user-friendly.

4. Add a questions and answers page to your website.

If you are offering products and/or services, a Q&As page is the perfect way to generate trust with your customers. Mostly importantly, these answers have a chance of being transformed into a featured snippet as more people begin to find the answers they need on your site. But remember to keep the answers straight to the point and as a short paragraph.

If a questions and answers page doesn’t suit you though, just follow the other steps mentioned.

5. Use the inverted pyramid format

The ‘inverted pyramid’, also known as the ‘inverse pyramid’ is a style in journalism that tells us how interesting content should be structured. Start off by giving the answer directly, and then continue the article with details that explain the reasons behind the answer.

inverted-pyramid-content

Now to sum featured snippets up.

So if you want to increase your online visibility and get better traffic for your website, it’s a good idea to work towards finding yourself on a featured snippet for a popular search query.

With featured snippets coming above the general organic results, it’s always good to aim high, especially when it comes to the Google search result pages.

What is Google E-A-T and why do you need it?

By featured, Marketing, ResourcesNo Comments

One of the BEST ways to boost your online reputation.

No unfortunately it isn’t a new food delivery application by the Google giant (you’re safe Deliveroo). Instead, Google ‘eat’ is an effective type of organic SEO that we often forget about.

These 3 letters stand for some of the most sought after information by any website visitor.

1.  Expertise

2. Authoritativeness

3. Trustworthiness

It’s basically the same principle of needing to eat to live, and this applies for your website.

Without ‘EAT’ on your site, then you can expect your site to die out amongst the sea of search results and be killed off by your competitors.

So, here’s what you need to know:

1. Expertise

It’s crucial that you’re an expert in your field, but on your website you need to demonstrate this. In your main content, this is where you should show the skills you have and how you can be trusted as a professional in your industry.

If you’re a blog post or a website that aims to gossip, then there’s no need to showcase your expertise. However, if you’re a professional who is expected to be trustworthy and honest then it’s crucial that you do demonstrate this behaviour.

If you’re in the financial, medicinal or legal industry then it’s paramount that you incorporate professionalism across your website, whether that’s through organic imagery or descriptive text.

Luckily, any site can demonstrate expertise.

As long as your content is truthful and useful then you’re all set. However, make sure you are being honest, because your customers need to trust you if you want them to stay.

2. Authoritativeness

It’s all-good if you’re PETA or the CIA, but if you’re a somebody like a new accountant looking to be authentic, then this is an important element that must be apparent in your site.

Basically put, you need to help your customers distinguish that you are the authoritative figure for the main content. They want to see that you have written this content personally.

Credentials are always necessary, but so are personal experiences like reviews. Reviews are one of THE best sources of authenticity to this day, you can never go wrong with them.

Unless you see some of the reviews for Ann Summers…yeah I wouldn’t, they’re OTT on details.

Anyway:

Try to turn customers into genuine acquaintances, provide useful information and back it up. If you say you’ve helped many people, show that or if you say you are cost effective, compare yourself.

In an ever-growing digital world, personal connection is scarce, so it can be hard to gain trust. However, by being honest, providing real content and supporting examples you’re already providing you’re genuine and worth the time investment.

3. Trustworthiness

One of the most important things with anything online is generating trust with the consumer or other businesses.

Your content is the key to gaining trust and building a working relationship. Ecommerce websites should definitely take note on this. If people will be providing their billing details and personal information then they need to be able to trust your site.

Everything about an ecommerce website should make the user feel safe. It’s especially important to add an SSL certificate to your site to make it ‘secure’.

A secure website also makes the Google algorithm like you more than your competitors without so it’s a good thing to invest in anyway.

More than 70% of first page results have an SSL too so if you want to be on top, it’s probably best that you build trust and page rank at the same time.

Google E-A-T doesn’t come up in most conversations – but it’s worth being the main topic.

A good way to look at this SEO tactic is the same way that you need to ‘EAT’ to live. If your content doesn’t ‘EAT’ then it won’t perform.

So rather than starving your content, add Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness to boost it’s performance.

E-A-T is important. Much more than you think.

You may find this a silly question, I mean who would question trust and authenticity for being important? But there’s more to it.

Basically put, Google E-A-T determines the value of your website. ‘Quality raters’ keep E-A-T in mind when examine your content and make sure it provides what they came for.

Think of E-A-T as the reason why users would choose you over your competitor, it’s inevitable that anyone would more than likely choose the website that offers authority and trust.

This SEO method has a direct impact on how Google ranks your website too, therefore it’s never a bad idea to implement this tactic.

Google E-A-T vs ‘’Your Money or Your Life’’.

So how does E-A-T affect your site visitors?

E-A-T is closely related to something Google calls ‘YMYL’ pages. YMYL pages are webpages that feature content about medical advice, legal and financial advice and anything that helps you and your lifestyle.

Examples of YMYL:

  • Ecommerce store asking for credit card information.
  • A mum’s chat blog for parenting advice.
  • A blog offering legal advice
  • Health pages, listing symptoms of rare diseases.

High-ranking YMYL pages that you come across display a high level of E-AT. The safer a user feels on the website, and the more content that matches their query, the more it will meet the needs of Google E-A-T regulations.

Speak to a Geek

Have You Got Writer’s Block? Well, The Cure Is Here!

By ResourcesNo Comments

Copywriters, you’ll know where I’m coming from – the awful ‘mind blank’ we get when we’ve been focusing for too long or can’t think of the next step.

However, you’re not alone; the likes of Shakespeare, Dickens, and Roald Dahl have all been victim to the writer’s block. But, in this blog, we’ve decided to talk about how you can get rid of it.

Creativity, enthusiasm and commitment can be lost when such a block interrupts our mind. You could be the best writer in the world, a creative content writer or social media savvy but one day you will or will have had writer’s block.

How do you deal with writer’s block?

Writer’s block is like having one of them annoying itches that you just can’t get to no matter what you do. However, unlike them itches, there are easy ways to get rid of the inconvenience. When you have a job that requires creativity, it’s important to know how to get rid of writer’s block quickly and effectively.

1. Exercise that brain

This is probably the only kind of exercise I actually do, but by working out your brain with cognitive exercises, you will convince your brain muscles to get moving again. If you’re struggling to produce some content, don’t slave over it all day and night, let it go. Finish some cognitive activities and then go back to it!

You’ll feel rejuvenated and then you can tell people that you ‘worked out(elbow nudge).

Some cognitive activities:

  • Reading
  • Playing an instrument
  • Learning a skill or language
  • Exercise (yes, physically, sorry)
  • Cooking or baking
  • Going outside

2. Listen to music

This is my personal favourite. Listening to music releases endorphins (the chemicals that control your happiness). Music has the amazing ability to completely clear your mind. For the moments you’re stuck in painful situations, music resolves everything – even writer’s block.

The best music for concentration includes:

  • Classic music
  • Deep house
  • Ambient noises
  • Anything without lyrics (lyrics are distracting)

3. Don’t put pressure on yourself

We all have deadlines, but it’s our expectations that cause us to rush and force content that should have a little more thought. Making yourself stress just to get something done and out of the way is a) unfair and b) unrealistic.

All I am saying is utilise the timeframe to the best of your ability, make sure you allow for planning and research as well as time for grammatical corrections and evaluation. Always double, if not triple check your work and use another pair of eyes for that matter.

4. Take short breaks

Trust me, they help. Studies recommend giving you 20 minutes of work time followed by 5-minute intervals to rest and have a breather. By letting your brain relax even just for 5 minutes, this will allow you to restore your train of thought

There’s a really good app called ‘Headspace’ which I use to ‘take ten’ gets me into a positive state of mind. It’s the perfect application for copywriters, as we know that writer’s block is a consistent epidemic.

If you enjoy challenges, however, try ‘The Most Dangerous Writing App’, this app deletes all content if you stop writing for more than 5 seconds, savage right?

Anyway, most importantly I hope this blog has helped and let’s all stop the block – let it not get the better of us, EVER!

Email Subject Lines That GET Replies

By Marketing, ResourcesNo Comments

Email marketing can land you rewarding conversions, but first, you’ve got to fish for them.

We are all guilty of brushing over marketing tips, picking out keywords and working with what we’ve got.

But that is where you go wrong, you need to understand the concept behind the advice to ensure you carry out the approach in the correct way.

This guidance is most prominent in email marketing. The average person will receive around 90 emails per day, with most ending up in the ‘junk’ or ‘trash’ folder.

We have been taught that first impressions matter, we can judge how nice a person is by their facial expressions, how someone dresses or how someone presents himself or herself verbally – it’s the same with emails.

If you want your email to be seen and opened for that matter, then you need to shine through the others. For you to succeed in email marketing, your subject line needs to almost instantly persuade the user to take a look at what you have to say.

So, if you’re planning on setting up an email marketing campaign, then read this blog to teach yourself what the most successful email subject lines are. Remember, don’t brush through, take everything you can in and this will help you understand further.

Different types of email subject lines

The following tips are so important because they prompt the most engagement. When you’re sending out an email to new customers or existing clients then you will need to consider these pointers:

Relevance:

Before you click send, think to yourself, is this content relevant to your customer’s issues or current situation?

There’s no point offering your services when they’re already using them or provide the same. Consider, has this consumer subscribed to your email list for a particular reason? Are you suggesting something useful or are you going in cold? If you want your email to reach your customer, then you will need to keep it relevant to your audience.

You then need to ensure that your subject line relates to the content. Although clickbait is an effective way to get someone to open your emails, it’s frowned upon and could consequentially put you in the block list. If your subject line has no or little relevance to the contents, then you may as well expect a bounce.

Personalised approach: 

Today there is mass competition to get emails opened and to close a sale, so much so that we forget one key element – emotion. It’s natural for us as people to connect more effectively face to face because we can interpret communication much easier. On emails, we are limited; people often tend to ‘guess’ how an email is coming across.

This reason is exactly why you need to relate to the customer and offer a solution to their potential problems or reassure them of what you’re suggesting. Also, you are more likely for someone to read your emails if you have shown your efforts to research them.

This could mean anything from looking at what the client has recently shared on social media or is looking for – then you can mention this in your email to show that you have taken your time to get to know them individually.

Urgency:

Nobody enjoys being pressured into a sale, that’s why you need to avoid using capitals in your subject lines. There are many clever ways to create a sense of urgency in your email, without coming across as too demanding. Your email attempts will most likely be ignored if it comes across predictable – so try using more persuasive language.

There’s a thin layer of ice when it comes to using urgency for your email marketing, however, step carefully, and you’ll start seeing results. By convincing people that they need to read your emails, you can ultimately expect your client to open your campaign. Remind yourself, be persuasive, not pushy!

Discount and Offers:

Everyone loves to receive an offer of some kind, whether it’s 10% off or buy one get one free, it makes us much more willing to take a look at what we can get for ourselves. If your email offers promotional content, then state what the customer can expect to receive in your email subject line. You want to make sure that they see this before anything else.

It’s quite exhausting cleaning out our inboxes from boring and ‘sales’ emails, but when we receive an offer or discount, then we’re nosey. It’s human nature that we are drawn to offers which is why if you’re looking for your email campaign to prevail, you can expect this approach to be one of the most successful.

Other points that matter a lot:

The length:

Think about it, it’s quite easy for a desktop user to see the length of your subject line, but most of the population use mobile devices.

Subject lines of emails are optimised so that the user can see the whole subject line instantly – instead, they’ll see the first few words. It’s important to keep your subject line short and catchy.

Send at peak times:

Sending your email at 10 pm or 5 am isn’t going to work for you, you need to research and think when your customer will be free and much more likely to see your email.

1 pm and 8 am are quite often the best times to send emails to your customers, one because they’re most likely on lunch and the other, you’ll hit their inbox first before any other emails.

Now for some examples:

If you came here for some examples to use, then lucky for you, we’re generous enough to help you with that. Take a look at these email subject lines and see the difference in approach.

  • ‘MASSIVE 50% OFF’

 

  • ‘HURRY limited time offer.’

 

  • ‘Hey, ‘Joe Bloggs’ can I have one minute?’

 

  • ‘Please see this.’
  •  ‘Important tips inside.’

 

  • ‘8 tips to get more sales.’

 

  • ‘Is it me you’re looking for? It may just be because…’

 

  • ‘It’s not 50 shades of grey, but it’s worth a read.’

So how’d we do?

 

We do apologise in advance if you were bored by this conversation on email subject lines – but on the other hand, I hope that it has helped you in some way or another. But, enough talking – put these tips to good use and start improving those conversions!

100 years of graphic design – how has it evolved?

By News, ResourcesNo Comments

Graphic design never stops evolving – even as we talk about it right now.

 

Graphic Design is the apex factor for a successful brand and business awareness. The two, compounded words of ‘graphic design’ were first published in 1922, the name created from the skill to combine both images and text. The idea was to develop attractive advertisements and promotional material through two different media.

Although founded in 1922, the actual trade has been around for quite some while. This blog will be discussing how graphics has shaped and evolved over the past 100 years. Thanks to human and technological influences, it sure has dramatically changed since its first ever use.

1906 – Xerox®

To begin with, Xerox® existed to produce photographic paper, to provide to printing and graphics companies across New York. Although their growth wasn’t revolutionary, they did contribute to the evolution of graphic design in the fact they invented many technologies, which soon came to be of great importance.

Xerox brought ‘The Graphical User Interface’, the computer mouse and Ethernet into existence. The GUI was the introduction of visually interacting with a computer using features such as windows, icons and drop-down menus implemented with modern, operating systems.

xerox-906-printer-graphic-design
expressionism-graphic-design

1910 – Expressionism Graphics

Soon after the Arts & Crafts and Glasgow movement of visual design, Expressionism arrived and made way for distorted illustrations for advertisements with faces and landscapes being designed in an ‘odd way’, all in attempt to provoke emotion. After 2 years of developing upon this movement, Vorticism soon briefly made it into the trade of graphic design, this style greatly reflected the impressionistic concept.

1920 - Mass evolution

In the early 1920’s the idea of digital media was progressing rapidly and it came to people’s attention that it was forming from the 500-year old traditions of printing, commercial publishing, advertisement developments and photography – along with some idea implementation from influential designers.

Herbert Bayer founded the ‘printing and advertising’ workshop known as ‘Druck und Reklame’ around 1925, and from there, the Bauhaus design was an influence to his working style.

mass-evolution-graphic-design-timeline
new-typography

1925 – New Typography

Back in 1925, when everyone was introduced to the moment, it brought graphics and written information to the top, becoming recognised throughout Central Europe.

This method of design involved organising the advertisement as a blank page in which blocks of content and imagery were arranged in oddly, positioned compositions. Immediately publishers and printing agencies adapted on this style to make smaller media advertisements including business cards and brochures for magazines, opening the world to a whole new perspective of ‘graphic ‘design’.

1930's - Art Deco

Art Deco was a colourful and playful style of graphic design back in 1930. Featuring abstract designs and print, this was an admirable era for the graphic industry.

1945 – Late Modernism

This style derived mostly from art made after World War II and within the 21st century. This phase was considered to be one of the ultimate methods of modern art yet; artists were predominant that work still had an element of cubism and expressionism in all graphics work, creating emotional designs and following an almost ‘futuristic’ approach towards illustrations and content.

1950 – Pop Art

The popular, vibrant style of pop art really did have heads turning back when this form of graphic design came into play. This form of illustration was designed to reflect the culture and traditional views towards what art should be, influencing a lot of self-innovation and expressive attitudes from designers. A lot of character and unique personas were developed within this period and graphics were brought to life for the first time.

1975 – Postmodern Graphic Design

Around this year many designers began implementing modernism into their designs, especially agencies that focused on architectural and product-based services. Around this stage, designers began to violate the rules of grid patterns and explored the use of historical and ornamental elements to create unique, design concepts.

1990 – The introduction of Photoshop 1.0

After Photoshop 1.0 came into existence, there was a change in graphical design forever. Imaginative and effective images with a polaroid aesthetic came into existence. The posters for Jurassic Park and Mastercard®’s logo were invented through the use of the Photoshop application. The new design software allowed users to implement effective colours into their designs.

Controlled chaos and new simplicity also began around this time, leading to developers beginning to modernise their designs Colours and morphology were used cleverly to portray certain ideas and produce charismatic graphic designs.

2000 – Modern Graphic Design

From the year 2000 and to present, graphics has introduced advanced and complex applications. It also introduced ideas for creating mesmerising and cleverly thought of designs to promote businesses and events. This design approach presently has introduced the concepts of modern-day PhotoShop. The style compounds separate images to create unique masterpieces unique to a set business.

Overall, graphic design has come a long way, and it’s been the help of independent entrepreneurs and excellent art styles that have helped shape the individualities produced by graphic designers. Although the name of this trade wasn’t invented until 1922, its progression has been around since BC times, and it continues to adept furthermore every day.

Looking for printing work? Well, welcome to the modern and innovative approach. Speak with Geek Designs today.

8 Simple Steps For Writing An Effective Design Brief

By Design, ResourcesNo Comments

So you need to create a design brief, how do you make it the best it can be?

 

A design brief is an important starting point to make when initiating a design, whether you’re the designer or client. You should consider aesthetics, content and deadlines specifically when summarising what you aim to create. If you have a good design brief, you are more likely to generate the best design results.

Set Goals and Targets with your client

 

With anything, it’s always necessary to consider what goal you’re trying to reach. Doing this will inspire you to influence your design ideas around your ambitions. You should research the best steps toward achieving your specific goal. After research, try to work your design ideas towards this. You need to think about what you aim to communicate across to the audience you’re looking to draw in.

Are you trying to promote a product or service? Maybe you want brand awareness? Whatever goal you’re aiming for, you need to ensure the design is clear and concise. Another factor to consider is how you are different from your competitors? What benefits do you offer which the opposing companies do not?

Who is the target audience?

 

It’s always important to determine a specific audience to aim your design towards. Everyone needs to have a primary consumer; this is so you know who the products or services must be aimed at. Whether a small company or a large business, you need to consider the exact person you’re looking to attract. Knowing your customer is additionally useful for future cases where you may want to invest in social media campaigns.

A persona is easy to create and helps you with the closure of your design. For instance, you may be looking to promote to adults who are unemployed; therefore use keywords that associate with this status. The customer is the most important factor to include when creating a design brief, or with furthering your business in any way, they drive a business’ income. You will need to make sure you can cater for their needs to guarantee engagement.

Asses the overall budget

 

When it comes to transforming a brief into something practical and active you need to consider the budget you’re willing to invest. Careful expenditure is vital for the business to develop effectively, whether that’s financially or concerning awareness. Spending too much when the design proposal doesn’t work out as planned or isn’t what the client was looking for, could result in a significant loss for your company. This result will leave you out of pocket with no increase in sales or success.

However, ironically if you spend too little, you may not promote your design idea far enough to see any change resulting in wasted time efforts and money. Either way, you have to consider your design brief regarding expenditure as carefully as possible, this should always be kept as one of your top priorities when coming up with a new design.

Insight further into the project you’re undergoing.

 

Some projects will not be as in depth as others; many clients do not know how to construct an effective brief so will leave this up to you to insight further. You will need to carry out extensive research into your clients to find out what kind of business they are and to if an e-commerce site would be more beneficial for them. Clients won’t always understand the full extent of a detailed, design brief. Therefore, you can effectively construct ideas from the goals and objectives of the project itself.

Blog integration and widgets for social media integration should also be considered if you have not been given details of them be sure to ask your client to see if it is a feature that they would like implemented into the website – as sometimes it’s easy to miss such features like this out. Make sure you get every small aspect of the project criteria right and you this will benefit both you and your customer considerably leading to improved result and reputation for your company.

Request material from your client

 

Organic material from your client is essential towards helping you construct an effective design brief. Original information is useful because it will give you an idea of how the business wants to portray itself. If your client has any logos, media or imagery that you would consider helpful for your design brief, always make sure you request them.

The more relatable your materials, the more effective your design brief will be in the eyes of your clients after all the aim is to please them as much as possible and produce a practical design that they’ll confirm. If however, your client does not have any useful photos or logo ideas in place, you can ask for them to design or come up with something similar to what they’re after so you can construct the design brief more effectively.

Check the style that the business uses.

 

Every company has a set method, and the design will need to be able to tailor around this. Whether it’s aesthetics, function or persona, you need to be able to cater this within your design brief. You need to keep the client’s sense of brand awareness in place, reflecting this aim within the design. Asking for designs your client likes and dislikes from competitors will help to construct a valuable design brief that situates itself around your client’s preferences.

Consider the don’ts mentioned by your client.

 

If your client has asked you to specifically not include something, you don’t. Whether it was strict or briefly mentioned, there is no room for error. Therefore you must construct a design brief, which eliminates what your client didn’t want. Considering such element will save you time and money. Always go with a new design proposal which implements factors that the client will not turn down in hindsight.

Obtain information

 

Whether you’re looking to achieve precise results or a rough, design brief guide you need to consider this carefully. Depending on the client and your approach, a formal questionnaire is usually your safest option and typically the best when it comes to wanting to achieve as much information as possible. However, if you’re going to simplify methods for your client and yourself for that matter, you can email over rough guidelines and receive brief notes on the desired design brief.

Overall to write an effective design brief, you need to have fundamentals in place from the client. The material should provide enough information for you to work with it. Without valid data, a design brief can be difficult to compose, and you will be left guessing what is right and wrong. There are so many factors and research that need to be carried out to produce a design brief that suits your client. However, it’s all down to the extent of your innovation that determines the outcome of its success.

GDPR – It’s not as scary as you think!

By News, ResourcesNo Comments

Who knew that 4 letters could temporarily turn the world upside down? 

 

No doubt you’ve noticed the countless posts and opinions on the new GDPR regulations. You may have even seen people panicking on social media, asking for help, writing their wills and bombarding their advisors with phone calls.

But is GDPR as bad as people make it seem? Allow us to tell you how it really is.

 

Understanding the rules of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) can be puzzling, there are so many big words flying around, and people are saying one thing and meaning another, and it really is exhausting. But, that’s why we have put together a blog which describes the new GDPR in a much simpler way. Gone are the days of worrying, instead allow us to help you understand how to abide by this new rule in less than 1,000 words.

You are a curator of personal data, not the owner.

Hellen BeveridgePrivacy Lead, Data Oversight

What is the General Data Protection Regulation? 

Let us dispell the rumours. 

The EU is soon implementing a new Data Protection Act, which will impose hefty fines and penalties on companies that don’t follow the rules. This update will provide customers with the ability to have a say in what businesses do with their data; including their emails, phone numbers and postcodes.

The introduction of the GDPR law aims to be able to provide the public with more freedom, allowing them to control how companies manage and protect their data. Social media apps use personal data for their services and analytics to help them improve further or make their app more user-friendly – however, with this new law, these businesses will need to be extra careful with how they share that information.

The EU is hoping that this toughened enforcement will help grow and improve on the emerging digital economy.

The region wants to prevent incorrect exploitation of data online and instead insist that businesses look after their client’s information otherwise the fines could reach millions dependent on your yearly turnover.

When do you need to prepare by?

You should ensure your company is compliant with GDPR by May 2018 where it will come into full effect. If you’re worried, you can request help from legal professionals to make sure you meet all the correct standards. However, you can quite easily manage the regulations yourself.

However, despite the uproar of worry, nearly a third of companies are not preparing for this new law. Around 28% of companies are ignoring GDPR preparations.

Who is affected by the new GDPR rules?

Companies which control or process data on a constant basis are viable for the approaching, GDPR law. Businesses like this would include companies of a charitable nature, to government facilities.

However, IT professionals who are managing the information will be eligible to follow this new ruling. Whether the controllers and processors are outside of the EU or not, they still need to play to rules of the EU’s new GDPR law to remain free from penalties.

What counts as personal data under the eyes of GDPR?

The EU has recently expanded on the list of personal data factors. With the new regulation, you will need to make sure that you safely store contact details. You must always gain the consent for you to use data, and let the customer know how you plan to use it.

What is the right

to be forgotten?

People have the right to demand their data to be removed at any time. This request may be that they no longer wish to receive information or need your service. You should always suggest an ‘unsubscribe’ or ‘opt-out’ CTA.

Your customer can also ask for you to erase their information permanently. In this case, you must terminate any info you have on the other party.

What do you do

if you suffer a data breach?

If this event occurs, your company must inform the Data Protection Authority. Let the DPA know if you believe client information is at risk of breaching rights and freedoms. You must make sure you do this within 72 hours of becoming aware of the circumstances. Failure to do so could, unfortunately, result in the pending fine.

However, within this time frame, you must ensure you tell the owner of the details that their information is at risk. Failure to comply with this could result in an impressive £20 million fine. or the authorities may request your worldwide revenue ROI; whichever turns out to be higher.

10 Steps For Writing The Perfect Sales Page

By Marketing, ResourcesNo Comments

Haven’t any clue on where to start with your sales pages?

Let us help.

Sales pages, also known as your ‘money pages’.

These moneymakers will be the web pages that will turn your audiences into active customers. They need to be engaging, concise and relevant to the person who will land on them.

To help you out, we have decided to give you 10 Top Tips on creating an ideal sales page. Follow these rules exactly and you should begin to see an increase in revenue in the long run.

Well then, let’s get straight to it:

1. Set targets

To start with you ideally, need to put a goal in place that you aim to achieve. The goal can be big or small but whatever the case it’s critically important to have, as it will help guide your sales page to success.

Every sales page needs to entail set achievements whether that’s gaining higher conversions, more sales or brand awareness. You need to be clear on what you want your sales page to achieve as this will help you begin your planning.

2. Create a Customer Persona

Next, you need to begin deciding what type of audience you aim to promote your product or service too. Although your sales page will reach a large audience you preferably need to create an ideal customer that you aim to draw in.

Think about what kind of people will be looking at your brand in terms of age and authority, form your content and imagery around the set audience and research how well your ideas work with the chosen age range.

3. Make Your Offers Stand Out

Your main headline needs to be bold and aesthetically considered, a customer will assume their first impressions of your page based on how they see it upon immediate sighting.

The main purpose of your page is making a sale; therefore, you need to ensure that your content and the images really provoke interest from your audience. Don’t stick with just one example of offer promotion instead write and design a number of the same idea, this will help you choose the perfect title for your sales page.

4. Decide What Will Get Your Customer’s Attention

With the product or service, you offer you need to question potential problems that the customers may have which will prompt them to take up your sale.

For instance, you need to come up with a rhetorical question which connects with the consumer personally such as; Do you have X problem? Looking to solve X problem?

By querying your customer, you will convince them to think about the issues they may be undergoing and therefore help you gain a potential buyer.

5. List Benefits That Your Product Offers

Customers always look for quality of a product or service and how beneficial it is for them.

To ensure a perfect sales page, you need to sell your product/service effectively; this means outweighing the benefits of your products or service against competitors.

If you explain the benefits, the customer will engage more with the idea of your product.

6. Testimonials and Reviews

People are dependent on trust nowadays; they will expect a company to provide them with a product or service, which reflects the price they pay.

Customers will always pay attention to the negatives even if there are a numerous amount of positives – this is why you need to ensure you can reassure your audience with a selection of happy feedback.

By supplying testimonials and reviews, you will also appear more reliable and authentic in comparison to a sales page, which has no customer reviews.

7. Offer guarantees or returns

People like to feel like they’re in good hands, which is why if you offer some guarantee after a purchase is made you are ensured to be more favoured by customers.

Your customers would be looking for such offers before they buy, providing they can make a refund or exchange if the product/service didn’t meet full expectations.

Whether you offer a 1-year warranty or 3 working day return, your guarantee will need promoting next to the products you provide and remain noticeable. 

9. Include An Action Button

 

After your visitors have acknowledged your site and what it has to offer the next best thing to do is to create an action button, which leads your customer to a specific page or guides them on what to do next.

For instance, you could have a ‘download’, ‘sign up’ or even a ’get a quote’ action link.

By including such an action your customers will be able to navigate your page easier, you can also introduce to a page linking to a finalised sale, which increases your potential chance for a deal.

10. Be Clear And Straightforward

 

One of the key things to remember is to keep your content relevant and straightforward; your audience needs to be able to understand what you’re saying so therefore you will need to keep your terminology distinguishable for everyone.

You should only be using professional jargon when necessary; this is to stop your customers from getting bored or losing track, instead be concise on the information you want to get across.

Overall your sales page needs to be visually appealing and promote your service/product effectively with minimal words. However, you plan your sales page to look, make sure that you tailor your page around your designated customer audience.

Schema – What is it and how does it help your website?

By News, ResourcesNo Comments

Wouldn’t it be great if everything in life was easy? Well, Google wants it that way too.

Schema markup has a purpose to describe web pages to Google in much more detail. This helpful resource provides many advantages, which ultimately improve a website’s conversions and relevancy. Overall Schema does more than describe a page; it helps Google understand what it means. 

Why would my website need Schema?

The Schema tool is primarily an HTML markup, which helps to explain your website pages in more detail to Google. It also betters the metadata when it appears on a search result page.

One example includes Schema adding a thumbnail image next to your meta-description.

An icon makes your link more engaging and entices users to visit your website before others. There are many other options available including; star ratings, calorie counters and additional visual information to make your site stand out against others.

Snippets, such as Schema, help search engines understand what your company does, who you are and information about your services/products.

The schema tool helps Google determine what your content is describing. For instance, if you use the word ‘grease’, it will let the SE know you’re on about the condiment instead of the movie.

Schema proves hugely beneficial for your business and improves the chance of website conversions.

What examples are there of Schema?

  • News – If your business focuses on promoting news stories, this markup tool could be ideal for you. The markup will identify the headline, dateline, date of publication and author.

 

  • Articles and Blogs – This is the blogger’s dream schema markup. Google will be able to identify your headline, genre, word count and page numbers.

 

  • Movies – Talking about an upcoming film? Movie Schema Data will allow you to show up with a title, name of the producer, buy or rent option and more.
  • Recipes – Do you want to rank for recipe searches? This Schema markup tool distinguishes a thumbnail image, steps, cook time and calories.

How could Schema help your business?

If you want to stand out above your competitors, then it’s essential to introduce Schema into your digital marketing.

The markup will highlight your webpage against all other search results, especially as the topic is immediately evident. The Schema tool dramatically helps with your SEO and enables you to rank for specific genres and keywords.

With Schema, you can add more information to your meta description, providing a compelling display of your web page.

However, despite its success rating only 1% of websites have Schema consolidated into their HTML. Not many companies have taken advantage of the full benefits Schema offers; however, it could advance the rating of your business significantly.

Websites, which have integrated Schema into their domains, rank four positions higher than sites who have refrained from using Schema.

The Schema technique is slowly beginning to portray the benefits it offers and if you think about it, will you more likely to click on a link with a picture example? Of course, you would. When we search for something on Google, we are usually engaged by the information-heavy search results. Usually, we pay attention to the page with a Schema markup at the top of the page in Google.

So, where do you start with a Schema markup?

Schema.org is the website which hosts these markups. You will need a shared understanding of HTML to know how the tool works; Schema has a principle in place to help users understand.

Your web pages have an underlying meaning that people understand when they read the web pages. But, search engines however, have a limited understanding of what you are discussing on your website pages

By adding additional tags to the HTML of your web pages you can help search engines understand your content better.

For example – tags that say “hey search engine, this information describes this specific movie, place, person or video” -and the application will display it in a useful, relevant way.’’

If you include Schema.org into your HTML, then this will significantly help the search engine to uncover what your website describes.

You can then add information into your snippet including images, pricing information and customer rating – all to promote your business purpose even further.

To conclude Schema, this integration is proven to be the best form of assistive snippet for search engines.

By increasing the ranking of your website and promoting your products/services in more detail, you are guaranteed to achieve better results regarding audience and reputation if you incorporate Schema into your site.

The Schema markup is an attractive and eye-catching way for your website link to stand out on a SERP.

5 Email Marketing Design Techniques For Higher Conversions

By Business, Marketing, ResourcesNo Comments

Essential design techniques for an email campaign to get your customer’s attention.

Email marketing can be a complicated marketing method. If you are new to the game, there are so many different factors to consider. These factors contribute to the perfect email marketing design.

Whether you’re reaching out to existing clients or new consumers, the emails you send must be attentive. It’s important to create a detailed, visually effective email.

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Today’s people have managed to acquire a shorter attention span due to the influence of technology. Everything nowadays is quick and easy to find, and that’s what your email campaign should be. All of your recipients will be different, that’s why it’s critical to create an email that suits all.

1. Make your email eye catching

Simply put, we are all attracted to pretty things. It’s no mystery that we will be more attracted to something colourful in comparison to something dull. The same aspect goes for email marketing campaigns, the better looking, the more like they are to succeed.

You should carefully think of what colours to use. For example, the design must reflect the theme of your business.

Colour psychology has always been a useful tool with emotionally connecting with your customers. If your email campaign is urgent include red. Festive? Consider whites and blues or maybe its Halloween? Use orange and black.

However, you aim to create your campaign – make sure you keep the email attractive. The more interesting your campaign is, the more likely you will achieve brand awareness and drive revenue.

2. Consider your layouts carefully

The initial layout of your email campaign is significant.

You need to carefully consider where you’ll place your main image, headlines and text, making sure you put the most attractive and essential elements first. A presentable email marketing campaign is an effective one.

Clear and concise advertisements receive the most attention. It’s the same with anything if it isn’t easy to understand we won’t pay much attention to the advert. Any email marketer should carefully consider what they’d put at the top, as this will be the first thing the receiver sees.

3. Get creative with your content

You should keep your text short, easy to read and entertaining. We all have a short attention span; if there’s too much content in your campaign, nobody will read it. The information should provide an immediate answer or be of interest to your customers. There’s no need to waffle on, be straight to the point.

Don’t throw in professional’s words either; keep your content eligible to be the average 12-year-old reader. Include statistics and facts where possible; real-time evidence appeals to your readers. You can build trust on a foundation of knowledge, so make sure you include some. Putting fewer words will improve your chance of a conversion.

4. Capturing promotions

Sometimes it may be better to deter away from the actual product/service you want to promote. Sounds crazy right? It’s actually very effective! Creating an interactive email campaign will entice engagement and make you more memorable. Static email campaigns aren’t as appealing as interactive ones.

A simple rhetorical question, a declarative or personal address will give your business a personality. People like personalisation, if they see themselves as a number on an email list, they won’t be interested. Email campaigns offering a competition or discount will gain the most engagement.

5. Look for influence

Although it can be good coming up with an original design, sometimes your competitors can be influential. It’s always a good idea to research existing email campaigns to help create yours. We would never recommend completely copying someone else’s, however you can take bits of the design.

It’s also good to study trends in the email marketing industry, including checking statistics. Effective email campaigns have a lot of time and research behind the initial design.

Did our tips help?

There is still a vast amount of tips for helping you design a successful email marketing campaign. However, it would be near enough impossible to teach you everything in one blog.

A suggestion would be that you seek a digital marketer to handle your email campaigns, to save your time, hassle and unsuccessful adverts. But, if you are daring enough to learn the ins and outs of email marketing then these are important points to consider.

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