We all know small businesses are important. According to the Department of Business Innovation and Skills, in 2013, the growth is the UK business population has been driven by an increase in the number of small businesses. Along with visiting your local butcher and family-owned curtain shop, there are lots of things you can do to help support other small businesses. Most of these tips will only take a few minutes but will make a difference to others. And going the extra mile now can foster relationships and help your business out in the long run.
Category: How To
Providing quality support to your customers can seem like a difficult thing to achieve as a small business, especially when larger firms have entire teams dedicated to this task. However, providing better customer support is easier than you think; anyone can do it. Here are a few tips to help you along the way. Continue reading »
Google My Business (previously Google Places and Google+ for business) is an easy way to get your small business showing on Google. It was launched this year in June as an integrated platform for businesses, combining two previously separate dashboards. This platform now allows you to manage the information for your local Google business listing from a single location.
The My Business listings show when people indicate they are looking for a local service by including location in their search. They appear below the first few ads in conjunction with a map pinpointing the relevant locations (outlined in red in the image below). It’s a fantastic way to get your business and website noticed.
Searchers want to find local businesses quickly so make sure to take advantage of this. When people search “cleaner London,” “maths tutor Birmingham,” or whatever describes your business, you should have a listing up to make potential customers aware of you. Continue reading »
Whether you are just getting started with a new website or are looking to improve the website you have had for years, deciding where to begin can often be a daunting task. Here are eight simple tips to get you started in getting the most out of your small business website. Continue reading »
You’ve poured over each page of your website. You’ve checked and double checked keywords, grammar and punctuation. Online libraries have been scoured for the finest, high resolution images. You’ve obsessed over colours and fonts to the point of distraction. So why aren’t users hanging around long enough to bask in its glory?
Experiencing high bounce rates on a website – that is, having a large numbers of visitors fail to engage with more than one page – can be an immensely frustrating, and for businesses which rely on online trade, an immensely costly problem.
In order to check your own stats, simply visit the designated Google Analytics control panel for the website. Although there will always be some amount of traffic that, for whatever reason, visits your site in error, any bounce rate higher than around 50 per cent is worth looking at and, where possible, tweaks made in an effort to increase engagement and create “stickiness”. Continue reading »
Mention the names, Coca-Cola, Nike, Starbucks or McDonalds and instantly the logos representing those iconic global brands will be thrust into your mind, complete with your own personal associations and emotions around the products they sell. Such is the power of a small snappy image or piece of text that, once established, it can communicate a message and produce an emotional response almost instantaneously. Continue reading »
Last month we let you know how to explain the Internet to your, well, less interested friends. And here’s another way you can help with their computers.
Do you – as someone who takes an interest in computers, the web, building websites and all that stuff – get asked tech questions by your friends and family all the time? Do they always want to know why ‘it won’t print’ or ‘where is that file’ and ‘how do find that website’?
Well here comes Google to the rescue with a website designed to help people (well, kids) teach others (erm, parents) about computer basics.
It’s called TeachParentsTech.org, and it lets you choose from over 50 how-to videos to send to people who don’t know how to do stuff. It’s all the way from basic copy and pasting onto other things like how to share a big file. You can customise an email and thend send the video off to the person who needs help.
Here’s a video with a bit more detail:
So no longer will you spend half your evening and weekend helping others with their computer problems!
It’s now twenty years since a chap called Tim Berners-Lee first published his concept of the World Wide Web.
And where are we now? 47 bn web pages, 350 million different websites 500m domain names; a place where one company alone (Google) adds more than 20,000 servers a month to their data centers. We’ve got websites, blogs, photo sites, video, apps, email, Facebook, browsers, clouds, collaboration, open source, cookies… the list goes on. How can you explain all of that to someone who – up to now – has turned their back to the web?
Google have tried to do just that as easy chapter sized chunks in their new guidebook ’20 things I learned’ about browsers and the web, in collaboration with illustrator Christoph Niemann. It’s not just for beginners, but for anyone who wants to ‘better understand the technologies we use every day’.
Google wanted to give the guide the same feel as reading an actual book – holding the cover, flipping a page – and have used some very smart HTML5 programming to come up with it.
Once downloaded the book can be read offline too.
So next time one of your friends says to you “so, I hear you make those web wotsits” you know where to refer them to!
Take a look and let us know what you think.
This make it so important to grab their attention, and get them to do something, using a ‘call to action’. This ‘action’ could be reading an article, clicking a link, leaving their details or buying a product.
Here’s my top 7 ways to improve your web pages so that visitors respond to your call to action. You can do ‘em all with the WebEden Website Builder!
1. Make sure your buttons are BIG!
Seems a bit Alice in Wonderland, but if you want someone to do something, give them a great big button to press. Make sure the big button is:
*above the fold
*a contrasting, bold colour
*Includes some action text like ‘buy’, ‘order’, ‘sign up’.
Don’t be worried about repeating your call to action elsewhere on the page. Keep it the same size, and in the same vertical line if possible.
2. Give your visitors a reason to act
If you’re selling a product, or want your visitors to do something else, make sure you let them know why they should! A picture of a product won’t sell it alone, you need to list the benefits.
*Sell it with a headline
*Use a supporting image
*Add benefits in bullet points
*consider adding customer testimonials
*Make good use of white space
*Avoid blocks of text – 50 words max
But make sure these benefits don’t compete with the call to action for your visitors’ attention
3. Don’t give your visitors a choice
If you give your visitors a choice between two or more calls to action, many will dither, and some would sooner leave your site than make that choice.
Simplify your pages so that you funnel visitors towards your desired action, and don’t let them consider alternatives.
4. Create a unique page for every product
Not only does this give you a chance of grabbing more traffic from the search engines, it also lets you showcase each product in the best way, and without choice.
5. Have to have more than 1 product per page?
If you can’t get away from offering more than 1 product per page, help your website visitors decide by highlight 1 product with extra benefits. This might be ‘most popular choice’ or ‘best value’ or it might be the product with the biggest discount.
6. Let your users buy from every page
If you list your products on the homepage, a category page and an individual page, make sure visitors have the option of buying them from every one. Make it easy to buy – not hard.
7. Test your theories
If you’re not sure which layout works best, try them all and then:
If you want your website visitors to do something on your site, then make it clear what that is, give them no choice, and make it easy for them to do.
Got an experience of changing design and improving (or ruining!) results? Leave us a comment below.
A few weeks ago we had a guest blog from Alison Cross from AlisonCross4Webs.co.uk about how to set up a blog with blogger.
Now its time for the second part of that blog – how to integrate your WebEden website with your blogger blog. Over to Alison!
In this second and final instalment about setting up a blogger account, I’ll show you how to make your blog look professional by personalising the domain name and setting up your google analytics to run on your blog.
Y’see, when you set up your free blog, it will be called something like myblog.blogspot.com with EVERYONE who has a blogger account sharing that ‘blogspot’ domain name.
How much more professional would it look to have your blog showing as blog.yourdomain.com. Much more top drawer, don’t you think?
Here’s what you do
First of all, you need to tell your domain name to hold out its hand to hook up with the incoming info. To this end, you need to create a CNAME record.
If you have purchased your domain name via webeden, they can set this up for you.
To request these changes, please send an email to email@example.com
All you need to supply them with is the name that you want to call your blog (something short like ‘blog’ will do, but for illustration purposes I’m going to use ‘mymusings’) and from where to expect the incoming info. For Blogger, this is ghs.google.com
The boffins at webeden will do this for you and thereafter the technical bit is down to you. Relax. I’ve done it so YOU can do it too.
Go to your blog and open it up. Under the Settings tab, go to Publishing and there, you’ll see a link that allows you to publish to a custom domain.
Type in the details of the new domain name. Whatever name it is that you submitted to webeden (in the case of the illustration provided above, that was ‘mymusings’) type in here:
Type in the word recognition box and save and you are good to go!
Some of us own domain names via other suppliers, such as 123-reg. In this case, you need to set up your CNAME record yourself. Again, don’t worry, it’s easy!
Go to your domain account with 123 or 1and1 etc and open up your control panel for that domain name. There will be a section that allows you to footer about with the DNS records. Click on that tab. Somewhere on that page – possibly as a drop down menu option – there will be the option to add a CNAME record.
For 123 Reg it looks like this.
Underneath ‘Add new entry’ select the CNAME option and in that first box, type your blog name mymusings and in the end box type ghs.google.com.
Save your changes and then go on to your Blogger account and make the changes there as shown above. Give it a couple of minutes for your domain name and your blogger account to ‘shake hands’ and voila! Your blogger account will have its new name!
If you have google analytics set up on your website, get the SAME code as you used for your website and insert it into the HTML of your blog. To grab the code, just go to your Google Anayltics account and click on Edit (far right) next to your report details. When that page opens up, there is a text link called ‘check status’ in the top right hand corner, click on that and you will see, half way down page, a box with all your coding in it. Copy it.
Then open up your blogger account. Under the Layout tab, you’ll see an Edit HTML option. Don’t panic! First of all you should ‘download the full template’ just in case you make a mess of things! Scroll right to the bottom of all the code until you reach the </body> tag.
Paste your google analytics code above the </body> tag.
Save your changes!
And that’s it! If you HAVE made a mess of fiddling about with the HTML, then just upload the template again :- )
If you have any problems or queries that my burbling hasn’t answered, please give us a shout here on the webeden blog or in the forum.
Alison Cross is a self-confessed Twitter addict who occasionally tears herself away from the world of social-networking to build or revamp websites, to design logos and website banners, to blog shamelessly about the joys of the intertubes and who sometimes even manages to factor in some light housework. She also runs alisoncross4webs.co.uk