On April 14th, Google announced the launch of a new tool aimed at small businesses that need a simple, low-cost way to create videos, but may not have the creative experience or technical know-how required to do so.

The YouTube Video Builder, as the new tool is simply called, has been in testing with a small group of customers for months but has been rushed to launch more publicly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, where in-person video shoots are no longer an option, and many small businesses are really keeping costs to a minimum.

To gain access, the business will need only a Google Account that can be used to log into Google’s services, like Gmail and YouTube. If they don’t have one, they can link their non-Google email address to a Google account instead. And to save and publish the video, the business will need its own YouTube channel. .

You can signup for the beta access here.

Using the tool is fairly straightforward. The beta version of Video Builder can animate a business’s static assets — including images, text and photos — which can be set to music from YouTube’s free audio library.

Users can also select from a variety of layouts based on their messages, brand style and goals, and then customise their colours and fonts quickly to generate either a 6-second or 15-second video.

When finished, the video can be uploaded as Unlisted to the business’s YouTube Channel — unless the business wants the video ad visible to the public browsing the channel, in which case they can change the setting.

The video can then be used wherever the business sees fit, including embedded on other websites or shared elsewhere on social media. And if the business chooses, they can run the videos as ads through Google Ads.

Video is a versatile and engaging content format that not only gives us a real-life picture of what is going on; it’s also easy to share across multiple platforms. Consumers like it because it’s easy to digest, entertaining and engaging, and marketers like it because it can give a potentially huge return on investment (ROI) through many channels.

Here's one I quickly put together once I was granted access:

So what are you waiting for? Signup for access and give the new tool a try.

If you are in need of more custom designed videos, just get in touch on amanda@itchyfingersdesign.com.

How easy is it to find your business?

What does a potential customer have to do to find your business?

As a marketer or business owner, it’s essential to make finding you as easy as shopping online.

With so many options, customers aren’t going to go out of their way to come to you, so you’ve got to make sure the path to your door is properly signposted. Listing your business on Google will help you do just that.

If your customers use Google to discover new businesses (and who doesn’t), then creating a Google My Business page will, quite literally, put you on the map.

In this post we will cover:

What exactly is Google My Business?

Google My Business is the new version of Google Places for Business and your Google+ Page’s Dashboard. If you used either of these services, your account has been changed over. But what does that actually mean?

Google My Business is a Google business listing. You create a business page that describes who you are and what you do. You include key information about your business like your services, opening hours, location, and specials, and add photos and video for some visual appeal.

Not claimed your Google My Business profile yet? Learn how to get your listing live and optimised.

Once you are listed, you need to keep your page fresh by posting regular updates, correcting out-of-date information, answering reviews, and generally managing your business’ reputation.

Adding video to Google My Business

At the start of 2018, Google allowed business owners to add videos to their Google My Business page. Previously, only Google local guides could upload videos associated with a business, which meant you were at the mercy of reviewers with camera phones.

Videos show up in local listings and search results, and can really help a business stand out. Now you can gain an edge by uploading quality videos that help you raise awareness, drive more sales, and show off a different side of your business.

What do your videos look like in real life? When customers find you in Google and click to see more photos, your uploaded videos will appear in the video section. Users will be able to scroll through and watch each one, so including a varied range could help you appeal to different kinds of consumers.

How to add video to Google My Business

Ready to make your Google business page even more awesome? Let’s do it.

1. Log into your Google My Business account and click on Photos in the left hand side menu.

2. In the top menu, click on Video and select Post videos.

3. Drag and drop the video you’d like to upload or upload one from your computer.

Make sure any video you want to upload falls within Google’s  guidelines (see below), upload your video and you’re good to go. It really is that easy.

Google My Business Video Guidelines

The content of your video is important. Google will take down any videos that include prohibited content such as nudity, hateful, violent, or dangerous content, copyrighted material, misleading information, or information that endangers minors. In addition to this, there are a number of rules regarding the presentation of videos.

1. Be relevant. Pictures or footage must be of the location in question. Stock footage will be seen as irrelevant and may get your video taken down.

2. Use clear images. Minimal effects filters are acceptable, but they should not obscure the images or footage, and avoid borders, blurs, collage images, and anything else that obscures the imagery or makes it unclear. People should be able to see exactly what your place looks like.

3. Only use images or footage. Don’t use drawings, designs, and other non–photos/footage in your videos.

4. Use minimal text (or none at all). Superimposed graphics such as text should not be more than 10% of the frame, and must be relevant.

Google My Business Video Technical Guidelines

What format do you need for your Google My Business page video? Let’s take a look.

1. Size and resolution

At the moment, Google supports videos up to 100MB in size and with resolutions of 720p or higher. This gives you plenty of room to make a good impression.

2. Length

Google supports videos up to 30 seconds long (although we have heard of some that are slightly longer, but don’t tell anyone). This is perfect for creating bite-sized shorts and teasers — enough to whet the appetite without boring the viewer.

3. Verification

It takes up to 24 hours for your video to go live. In that time, it may be reviewed, so it’s essential to make sure it meets all the guidelines we mentioned above.

Google My Business video ideas

Now that you know exactly whats involved to add video to Google My Business, another question comes to mind: what type of video should you make? Let’s take a look at some ideas.

Make a few different types of video and track their performance through Google Insights, then focus on the most successful kind.

How to Make a Google My Business Video

Depending on the type of video you are looking to create, you can simply record on your iPhone. You can edit in various video editing apps to add music, overlays or motion effects to image scenes.

Once your video is created, you can host on YouTube or Vimeo or any hosted platform.

YouTube Studio offers further editing capabilities - find out more below.

Conclusion

If you need help creating videos for your brand, just get in touch. We are offering 50% off all video creation services for the next two months to help businesses stay visible during this difficult period.

Drive lead generation on your WordPress website

I've been using WordPress for many years now. As a long time marketer turned designer, you can literally create what you want in WordPress.

Yes, beautifully designed sites are great to look at but do they generate leads for your business?

I specialise in reverse engineering website designs to ensure they deliver leads consistently. This is why having goals for your site is very important. I always explain to clients, when we examine data and results after their new site is live, we see what is working and then concentrate on doing more of that.

Here are 4 ways you can easily start generating leads from your website.

1. ADD MULTIPLE LANDING PAGES

Ok, I hear you ask - What are landing pages?

A landing page is typically a standalone web page that exists for the purpose of collecting leads or supporting an advertising campaign. It has one goal only.

Landing Pages Explained by Hubspot

Below is an example of a lead page with typical elements from Hubspot.

Hubspot published an in-depth guide on landing page best practices which is well worth reading.

Getting your opt-in forms right is a skill in itself. Check out this tweet on an epic article on how to build forms that convert.

Create Opt-ins that convert

2. ADD LEAD SIGNUPS TO YOUR SIDEBARS

I don't know about you, but personally, I cannot stand pop-ups as soon as I land on a website. I have been hit with over three popups on some sites before I can even see any content.

If they are used correctly they can be very useful, but 95% of the time I find they are just abused. Here's an article on what to consider if you want to include pop-ups in your strategy.

Including opt-ins / offers / freebies in your sidebars is another useful way to get upgrades in front of your users. Changes are, if they are on your blog page, they are looking to read your content and that upgrade may be of interest to them.

For example, I recently created a free guide on how to create winning website projects. I have added it to my sidebar and it directs to the landing page where people can sign-up.

Example of a lead signup in a sidebar

3. ADD CONTENT UPGRADES TO EVERY POST

This is one of the most overlooked things businesses do - always add a content upgrade on all your posts.

Just check out the end of this post - this is a content upgrade. It effectively is a related call to action that gives out some useful information in exchange for an email address.

Email marketing is still one of the most effective marketing methods as it is direct communication to your customers and the list is yours alone.

However, you do want to ensure you are GDPR compliant and be mindful not to spam your list. You can target subscribers based on activity, ie who opens email newsletter etc.

4. ADD AN OPT-IN TO YOUR 404 PAGE

A 404 (also known as an error page) page is what site visitors get redirected to if the url they search for on your site doesn't exist or they enter something incorrectly.

Here's an article that goes into detail about how to design an effective 404 page.

Conclusion

No matter what business you are in, consider what your audience / potential customers would find useful or helpful.

If you need someone to develop these things for you, give me a call or schedule in a 20 minute chat here.

how to make your website a winner
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Google My Business can be extremely helpful for your business and like it or not, when potential customers and clients look up our businesses online, as business owners, we need to take care of how our business appears on Google.

A My Business listing on Google allows you control what people see when they search for your business online.

There are many free and easy to use tools you can use to maximise our appearance and grow awareness of our business online, in addition to ensuring you have a responsive website which is optimised for SEO and has an SSL cert.

For any website project I work on, I always ensure my clients have claimed their business on Google. Being a marketer for many years before web design, I find both jobs go hand in hand. One is useless without the other.

Here's a more in-depth overview of Google My Business:

 

 

So what do businesses need to take care of in order to control how they appear on Google?

Here's what I will be covering:

1. Claim and verify your business listing on Google

2. Post Images and Videos

3. Post Regularly To Google

4. Update your Holiday Opening Hours

5. Respond To Reviews

 

1. Claim and verify your business listing on Google

To claim your business listing on Google, simply search for your business with Google. If your business has not yet been verified, you will see a link - 'Own this business'.

Clicking this will start the verification process.

To verify that you’re an authorised representative for the business, follow the steps below:

  1. Ensure that you have a Google account. If you don't, then create a Google account.
  2. Go to Google Search.
  3. Search for yourself or the business you represent and find its knowledge panel.
  4. Scroll to the bottom and click Own this business?.
  5. Proceed through the screens asking for business information, ensuring all is correct.
  6. Select request verification and a postcard will be sent out to the business address. Occasionally you will have the option to verify the business by phone or email.

Here's a video of the verification process.

Once the business has been verified, you can add posts to your business  and they will appear in search.

These posts expire after 1 week so its good practice to post one a week.

Google my business post

Engage your audience by sharing updates and announcements by posting images, events, offers, products and videos. Choose the type of call to action you want to appear. Learn more about Google Posts.

 

4. Update your Holiday Opening Hours

Keeping your opening dates and hours up to date is an important task for all businesses.

Add the hours your business is open (i.e. the  regular customer-facing hours of operation for a typical week). For days when you have unusual hours, like holidays or special events, set special hours. Learn more about hours guidelines.

To set hours, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to Google My Business. If you have multiple locations, open the location you'd like to manage.
  2. Click Info from the menu.
  3. Click the hours section.
  4. Choose a day of the week, then use the toggle to indicate your business is open on that day.
  5. Click  Down arrow icon, then click Opens at and select the opening time.
  6. Click  Down arrow icon , then click Closes at and select the closing time.
  7. After you’re done setting your hours, click Apply.

 

Set business hour breaks

To indicate your business hours include a break, create 2 time entries for the same day with different times.

For example, if your business is open from 9 AM–2 PM on Saturdays, closed from 2 PM–5 PM, then open again from 5 PM–10 PM:

  1. Enter the first open time by choosing Saturday, then set Opens at to 9:00 am, and Closes at to 2:00 pm.
  2. Click Add hours, then click Down arrow icon or enter 5:00 pm in the Opens at field and 10:00 pm in the Closes at field.

 

Set 24-hour business hours

If your business is open 24 hours a day, next to the day click Opens at, then click  Down arrow icon  and choose 24 hours.

 

Set special hours

To change your hours for holidays or other special event times, follow these steps.

 

5. Respond To Reviews

This goes for reviews on Facebook and Trip Advisor, if it's applicable for your business.

People take the time to review your business so its good manners and the right thing to respond.

You can only respond to your reviews on Google once you have been verified.

Reviews from your customers can provide valuable feedback for your business, and replying to reviews can help build your customers' trust.

When you reply to a review, your response will appear below your customer's review on Google Search and Maps under the label "Response from the owner".

People on Google will see both the customer review and your response when they look at your Google reviews.

include requests for reviews in emails. Make it part of your daily workflow in your business.

Create a link that customers can click to leave a review of your business.

You can easily share the link with customers to encourage them to write reviews and rate your business.

There are two ways you can get your review url:

1. Create a link from Google Search

To create a link from Google Search:

  1. On your computer, search for your business on Google.
  2. Find your business listing and click Write a review.
  3. Copy and paste the URL you see in your address bar.

If these steps don't work for you, you'll need to use the PlaceID Lookup Tool instead.

 

2. Create a link using the PlaceID Lookup Tool

To create a link using the PlaceID Lookup Tool:

  1. Use the PlaceID Lookup Tool.
  2. Enter your business name in the “Enter a location” field at the top of the map.
  3. Click your business name in the list that appears.
  4. Copy your Place ID, which you'll see beneath your business name.
  5. Add your Place ID to the following URL to create your link:  https://search.google.com/local/writereview?placeid=<place_id>

When customers click your link, they'll be able to rate your business and leave a review. Further reading from Google on how to read and reply to customer reviews.

Displaying your current reviews on your website allows you to gain trust with your sites visitors by providing social proof.

 

Is Google My Business claiming and optimisation a challenge for you?

Keeping things up to date and looking good takes a bit of effort and consistency.

If you would like some help, just get in touch and let me do the work for you.

Find out how to start driving more traffic through the door today by getting your business more discoverable on Google.

Call me at 086-8710018 or drop me an email to hello@itchyfingersdesign.com.

You’ve finished your post, and you breathe a sigh of relief. After a quick edit you publish it to your blog, and wait for the comments, tweets, shares, or any sort of feedback.

But once again, you get nothing. There may as well be no-one reading it.

So what’s the problem?

It could be that your writing isn’t as strong as it needs to be. But there’s also a very good chance the problem isn’t your writing.

It’s your formatting.

Over the years I’ve read hundreds of different blog posts, and most of them were fairly well written. But some were really let down by poor post formatting: the post just didn’t look good.

If you’re not convinced that formatting matters, compare this screenshot…

… to this one.

These both have exactly the same text. But I know which one I’d rather read.

Your readers are busy. They’re distracted. They want an easy, engaging read – not a daunting wall of text.

So what’s stopping you from getting the formatting right?

Maybe one of these sounds like you:

I’m going to take you through six key formatting features you can use straight away to make your posts more readable.

I’ll also be showing you how easy it is to format text using the WordPress editor. Even if you’re not using WordPress, most blogging platforms have similar features.

(As you read this, you might want to have a draft post or old post ready for editing in a different tab so you can try out the different features.)

 

1. Short Paragraphs

Plenty of white space helps make your post readable. White space is all the stuff around the words. If you have short paragraphs (or lists, which we’ll come to later), you’ll already have extra space where your words can breathe.

Adding extra paragraphs is super easy. Just position the cursor wherever you want a new paragraph and hit Enter:

There’s no absolute rule on how long is too long for a paragraph. But if it goes over four or five lines, you may want to consider splitting it.

Tip: If you’re used to more formal writing (perhaps academic or business writing), having short paragraphs may seem odd. If that’s the case, you might want to read and article from Smartblogger How to Write a Paragraph in 2017 (Yes, the Rules Have Changed)

 

2. Subheadings

I like to think of subheadings as signposts that help orient readers within my post. Almost any post can be broken up into subsections, and each one should have a clear (and hopefully enticing) subheading.

While it helps readers who are skimming for information, it’s also useful for readers who are reading your entire post. Subheadings prevent them from feeling lost or confused along the way.

I like to use Title Case (capitalizing all major words) for my subheadings, but you might prefer to capitalize only the first word of the subheading. Just make sure you’re consistent.

To create a subheading in WordPress:

  1. Type your subheading on its own line wherever you want it in your post.
  2. Click on the subheading and select “Header 2” from the “Paragraph” dropdown.

Before:

After:

Tip: When you’re planning your post, think about the subsections and potential subheadings you want to use. This will help you create a good structure right from the start.

 

3. Bold Text

Bold text is a great way to call attention to a key point or important sentence. But it’s easy to overuse, and I suggest bolding only one or two sentences per subsection (depending how long your subsections are).

Some bloggers use coloured text instead of bold text. This can work if it fits with your branding, but it can also look a bit amateurish and distracting.

To create bold text in WordPress:

  1. Highlight the sentence you want to bold.
  2. Click on the “B” in the WordPress editor.

Tip: Try to avoid bolding only one or two words – it can make your text look choppy. I also tend to bold only the first sentence of a paragraph. Having a bold sentence in the middle or at the end of a paragraph can also look a bit odd.

 

4. Lists, and Using Bullet Points

Sometimes it’s easiest to write a list as a regular sentence. For instance, I might write:

In this post, we’ll take a look at paragraphs, subheadings, bold text, and lists.

But if each item on your list is more than a word or two, it will be easier for readers to take in if you lay them out using bullet points.

In this point, we’ll take a look at:

To create a list in WordPress:

  1. Set out your text as a list, with each item on a different line:

2. Highlight the entire list and click the “Unordered List” icon, which looks like this:

Tip: This method creates an unordered list with bullet points. If you want to number each item on your list, use the “Ordered List” icon (next to the “Unordered List” icon). A numbered list will automatically renumber your items as you add new ones – even if you add them to the middle of your list.

5. Keep it easily readable

Did you ever read a post and it felt comfortable and easy to read. Ensure you format your posts to make it as readable as possible:

6. Use the correct heading hierarchy

Using the correct hierarchy will help Google read your article and form the opinion that it's a well structured relevant post for the reader. For this to happen, headings should be nested correctly.

So if you have three key points in your post and three subheadings, you'd have them all as H2 headings.

If you have three key points and each one has two subsections, your subheadings would be structured like this:

H2 heading -- key point 1
H3 heading -- subsection
H3 heading -- subsection

H2 heading -- key point 2
H3 heading -- subsection
H3 heading -- subsection

H1 should only ever be used for your blog title.

Conclusion

I’m sure you’ve already seen these formatting features in use and have tried using some of them yourself. Hopefully you’ll feel a lot more confident about using them now to make your posts more readable.

Feel like a challenge?
Take a look back at your three most recent posts, or perhaps your three most popular ones. Try using at least two of the suggestions to improve the formatting, and let us know how you got on.

I'm sure you have heard the term "Responsive" been bandied around for some time now. Basically, a responsive website is a site that layout adjusts to best suit the device on which it is being viewed.

The use of mobile devices to view websites has exploded over the past few years and has now almost exceeded desktop. Because of this, it's important your website looks good on mobile for your customers.

A responsive website makes browsing through mobile simpler and automatically adapts to the size of the screen of the device that it is viewed on. This takes care of the optimisation issues and there is no need for building and maintaining several websites for different devices - that is extremely inefficient and impractical.

Reasons why your website needs to be responsive:

 

1. EVERYONE IS ON MOBILE

taking iphone photo

Nowadays smartphones are not considered to be exceptions. We live in a society where excessive usage of smartphones is something that is considered normal. Today over one billion of people are accessing the web from their mobile devices and over 80% of internet users are smartphone users; simply put, if someone is online, it is likely that they are on their smartphones. This statistic is only the beginning of the story, I believe that these numbers will be bigger in the future. So, you need to think mobile, simply because everyone is on mobile.

This might not be a surprise for most of you, yet despite the impressive statistics below, many businesses do not yet have a mobile website. Hopefully, reading through these stats from Smart Insights will certainly convince you for the need for a responsive website.

 

2. WHEN ON MOBILE, USERS BEHAVE DIFFERENTLY

In theory, the same people are behind both desktop and mobile traffic, but they behave differently across their devices. Even though they have a limited bandwidth, they consume a really high amount of all visual media, where their major focus is on images and short videos. Platforms like Instagram and Vine have achieved massive success just because they offered solely images and videos. For capturing this kind of traffic you are going to need an optimised design to harness the power of these types of media in order to engage your users.

 

3. ALMOST 50% OF WEB TRAFFIC IS MOBILE

There is no such thing as a business owner who is not interested in increasing traffic. Mobile media consumption is over 20% higher than desktop, meaning that almost 50% of all digital media consumption and web traffic is via mobile. So, if you are interested, as a business owner, in attracting mobile traffic, you need to think mobile and engage your visitors with visual types of media.

 

4. MOBILE USERS ARE MORE LIKELY TO BUY

Mobile users are actually spending more than desktop users, because smartphone users are the ones who account for the lowest Euro amount per every transaction. They make small and frequent purchases, so, if your business is selling something that is below €10, people who are mobile users are an ideal target audience for your business. The users of tablets have the highest average transaction compared to other devices and that includes desktop. Even these users won’t shop from your website if your mobile UX is poor.

 

5. THEY TEND TO SWITCH SCREENS

responsive web design

Almost 90% of people tend to switch between devices in order to accomplish their goals, meaning that even if you receive the bulk of your conversions via desktop, users will also engage with your website via mobile devices at one point of the sales process. In many cases when users are bored, they are searching for things that interest them, after that they move on to a desktop to finalise the purchase after they have previously found something they would like to buy.

So, if your website cannot handle screens of different sizes, you will be missing out on sales.

 

6. GOOGLE FAVOURS RESPONSIVE DESIGN

For some time now, Google has been favouring mobile friendliness in its rankings, but recently the stakes have been raised; having a responsive website is more important for Google than gathering organic traffic. In some of the latest Google’s algorithm updates there are significant penalties for those websites that are not meeting the standards for mobile optimisation. So, if you want to seriously improve the traffic of your website, or just keep the current one, your website needs to be optimised for mobile users.

 

7. HAVING A GREAT MOBILE WEBSITE WILL DIFFERENTIATE YOUR BRAND

If you have reached the point that your brand still needs website optimisation, you might feel that you need to catch up. This is true to some extent, but the reality is that many websites are still not optimised for mobile. A little over 50% of websites run by small businesses are responsive. You may wonder what this will mean for your business, well, you can have a fantastic opportunity to differentiate your brand from the competition.

According to statistics, almost half of your competitors have websites that are not optimised, and the ones who have already implemented responsive design are probably not doing it in the right way.

Conclusion

So, to put it into perspective, if your website does not load fast enough or give visitors what they are looking for, visitors will most likely abandon it and not return. Having a responsive design load times are better and faster, greatly reducing abandonment. The first step in optimising your website is implementing a responsive website design.

To achieve the best result consider hiring a web designer who specialises in this field. After that, you need to optimise your marketing efforts within your mobile responsive design, where you will take into consideration how customers are engaged and adjust your website accordingly. You want to make the experience for them as easy and as pleasant as possible.

Be sure to get your copy of our Free Website Content Planner to get started.

If you have a project in mind and would like to explore possibilities, get in touch by email or on 086-8710018

What is Google Analytics?
Why does your business need Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a widely used and highly versatile tool to measure the performance of your website. Firstly let’s look at how we measure our websites, and why it is important.

Google Analytics lets us look at how we acquire visitors to our website, track their behaviour and monitor their path to purchase. Easy. But what if your visitors aren’t converting, or you’re not getting visitors to your website?

It is almost impossible to create a website and expect visitors and conversions to happen overnight. Every website is different, which means how you market your website is different to how your favourite website may do so, or how your competitors are marketing theirs.

Do you fully understand who your target audience is, or who your customers are?

Google Analytics lets us see how we acquire visitors, to which pages, how long they stay on each page, where they go next – or where they leave…

So why do we use Analytics?


10 Google Analytics Tips

1. Discover how your visitors are finding you

Through Acquisition & Referrals, we can see the top ways in which visitors are being directed to your website.

You may see that the majority of traffic is coming to your website through Google, this is great, but it’s important to have a wide range of sources finding your website. This feature in Analytics helps us capitalise on what is working well for us, and helps us make amendments on what isn’t working so well.

2. Visitor Location

If you’re selling Plumbing services in Galway, your website shouldn’t be targeting visitors in Central America. Google Analytics lets your clearly identify your visitor demographic and make important changes to ensure your website is functioning correctly.

This is especially useful when running PPC Campaigns, it is a great tool that could save you a lot of money over time.

3. Visitor Engagement

What’s being viewed on your website, and what isn’t? Google Analytics lets us see which pages users are engaging with the most, and which pages they are not. If you have a page that is important to your website, but it is not being acknowledged, then this is a big problem that needs to be fixed.

Analytics helps us to optimise the pages that are most important to us, this could be the products and services page of your website, it maybe the most important goal is to get customers to contact you?

4. Goals

Goals are a way to track the actions that are important to your business’s objectives. Goals can be set up for almost anything, including for users making a purchase on your site, or when a visitor signs up to your mailing list. Goals are tailored to your business and your business’s objectives.

Typically conversions are the most vital goals for your business, and Google has several templates to help you trace conversions effectively. You’ll be able to monitor your conversion progress as a tool for sales and ROI.

5. Real-Time Audience

Viewing your real-time viewers may seem a bit of a novelty at first, however this is a great tool for monitoring your visitors behaviour first-hand.

As you release a new page or a blog post or interact with a customer over twitter, real-time allows you be in the present and engage with your audience.

6. Custom Dashboards

Dashboards allow you to create multiple displays to show only the data that you want to see on the front page of Google Analytics. Be it raw data, graphs, bar charts, pie charts or line graphs.

Perhaps you are using a Google Analytics dashboard to present to colleagues or someone in your business. Dashboards are as easy as drag and drop and are a great accompanying tool for presenting data.

7. Webmaster Tools

If you haven’t already come across Google Webmaster Tools don’t worry, but you should sign up straight away. Google Webmaster Tools let’s us monitor our website’s health, keywords, broken URL’s and site errors. Using Webmaster Tools is fundamental in ensuring Google likes your website.

Integrate Webmaster Tools through your Google Analytics for extra queries, geographical outlines and landing pages.

8. Browser and Mobile Compatibility

Google Analytics shows us what devices our visitors are using, which operating system they are using, Windows, OSX, Android etc. and even which internet browser, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer or Google Chrome and even whether they are a mobile user.

This may not seem important right away, but this information can help in ensuring that our website is compatible and optimised for all platforms. If 90% of your visitors are Apple phone users then we need to ensure that they have the best user experience possible.

9. E-mail Campaigns

With Google Analytics it is possible to track incoming visitors through e-mail campaigns sent to your customers. It is also possible to view how many people have opened your e-mail and clicked on your link to your website.

E-mail marketing is still a very effective marketing technique and is a great way to interact with current and prospective customers.

10. Keywords

Analytics shows us a variety of ways in which users find our website through the keywords that they use on Search Engines.

Keyword Research is a very important part in obtaining the right visitors and potential customers for our website.

Conclusion

Contrary to popular belief, Google Analytics doesn’t just happen. In order to use Google Analytics you must first:

  1. Create an account http://www.google.com/analytics/
  2. Implement the tracking code on your website
  3. Click verify to check the code is working correctly
  4. You should now have access to Google Analytics

Aside from using Google Analytics online, you have the power to create custom dashboards for visual representation as well as generating high-end reporting tailored for your business needs. At first glance Google Analytics can seem a little daunting, but the success of your business depends on being able to manage your website’s performance, monitor consumer behaviour and make the fundamental changes necessary to increase conversions and ROI.

Itchy Fingers Design can set up your Google Analytic’s account for you and fully manage your campaigns and performance. Get in touch to see how we can work together.

Understanding the type of people who visit your site is very important because you can use that information to enhance your online presence to suit them.

As a result, you will gain more loyal, returning visitors who will come back.

The Internet reaches a worldwide audience and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

For this reason, more and more potential customers are turning to the web for a variety of reasons, including researching products and services and making purchases.

As more and more consumers go online for these reasons, it is extremely important for businesses to establish an online presence. This is so important because failure to do so may result in their competitors gaining an edge over them when it comes to online visibility and ultimately sales.

While it is important for businesses to begin digital marketing campaigns, it is also important for those same businesses to realise that basic advertising principles still exist and they cannot neglect these principles.

Most importantly, those who advertise online have to be aware of who their target audience is and how to reach that audience.

How do you decide who to market to?

Narrowing your focus to one primary group of people is often difficult for small business owners.

They want to help everyone — and very often, their product or service can help a variety of people. It also goes against human nature to narrow your focus in order to grow a business.

Common sense seems to tell us that if we want to grow our business a great deal, we need to appeal to more people.

In reality, the opposite is true. When we narrow our focus to a particular group of people, we become experts in solving their particular problems.

We get to know them very well and we can develop additional products and services to satisfy their needs.

So how do you decide who to market to? The following are some tips:

Research your target market

As with any marketing campaign, business owners should do some market research before they launch their Internet marketing campaign. Ideally, this will involve hiring a research consultant with a great deal of experience in conducting and evaluating this type of market research. The results of this research should determine the basic demographic information for the target audience. The results should also include information on how to reach this target audience.

A business that cannot afford to hire a consultant to conduct this market research should still make an effort to obtain this information on their own.

This can be done through informal polls of current clients. This information may not be as comprehensive as the information obtained in a more formal study but it can still provide a great deal of insight into the best way to reach the target audience.

Designing your online presence for your target audience

Once this information is obtained, it is important to tailor the Internet marketing campaign to appeal to the target audience.

There are a number of different variables that can be modified to ensure that the right message is reaching the right people in a manner that they can understand and to which they can relate.

Some of the ways in which your digital campaigns can be tailored in this way include the aesthetics of your website or advertisements, the wording of your content, and the use of more advanced design features such as audio and visual or interactive tools.

Here are few things to be taken into consideration when designing for your target audience:

Goals

First you need a goal when you are developing a website for your audience.

If you do not know what you are looking to achieve, it will be very difficult to succeed.

Also, it takes a goal to drive your website to where it needs to be.

A goal is what allows you to develop an initial plan for your website and helps to guide you in developing your website as well.

Layout and Aesthetic Appeal

When you design the layout for your website, you have to take into account the characteristics of your audience.

Are they old or young people?

Are they looking for trends or are they just looking for information served without any icing on the cake?

The aesthetic appeal of a website can greatly contribute to how the website is viewed by the members of the target audience.

A website that is designed to attract the attention of an older generation with more conservative tastes should include muted colours, clean design, and conservative graphics.

This will help to ensure that the target audience enjoys the website.

Conversely, if you are looking to appeal to a younger audience with more liberal viewpoints, you might choose to design the website with bold colours, eye-catching graphics, and creative design features.

Demographic

What is the age level and what kind of knowledge does your audience have?

A layperson might spend time on a website about literature but a professional editor or writer might have very little interest in that particular site.

Content

The copy you include on your website should also take your target audience into consideration.

Consider the examples of a conservative and a liberal audience listed above to create a better understanding of how the copy on your website can appeal to the target audience.

When marketing to a more conservative audience, the copy should be tailored to use formal language and use facts to back up viewpoints.

However, when you are marketing to a more liberal audience or a younger audience, you may wish to consider using less formal language, which is likely to appeal to the target audience. You can also focus more on emotion to express viewpoints.

Audience’s Emotional State

Take your audience’s emotional state into consideration when building your website.

If a very irritated visitor searches for a solution and comes across your site, you will want to make sure that you offer the solution right up front and sell or promote your product to him as the second priority.

In this way, the visitor will put his trust in you for offering the solution to his problems first and is more likely to buy your product or service when you offer it to him after that.

Language

Try to sprinkle colloquial language on your website sparingly, where you see fit, and you will create a sense that your audience is on equal ground with you.

This, in turn, builds a trusting relationship between you and your audience, which will become useful if you want to market a product to your audience.

Updates

Another important tip for developing a website for your audience is to plan when you will provide updates.

This might seem like something you could consider down the road when your website needs updating, but it is really not the case.

You need to know when your audience will most likely be viewing your website and when they won’t so you know when to provide updates. A little bit of planning will go a long way.

 

CONCLUSION

Your audience is very important and should be taken into consideration as much as your goal when developing a web presence. Basically, you are developing your web presence for a certain audience and these are the people who will help meet your goal so this is very important to consider. Just make sure that you determine who your audience is before you begin developing your web presence.

If you need help defining your target audience, get in touch on hello@itchyfingersdesign.com

In today's digital age, the best way to find new businesses, products, and services is by searching the web for options.

It’s really of no great surprise that most businesses today have gone down the online route to connect with consumers in a way practically unheard of 30 years ago.


Now, only you can decide whether or not a website is right for you, but here are eight reasons to consider before making a change.

1. Your main competition is already online

While “everyone else is doing it” is not a valid argument that fits most decision making, choosing to get your business online with other businesses that have gone online is a no-brainer at this point in the digital age.

In 2019 not having a website for a business is rather like saying that you do not need the revenue and online presence for your business.

The simple fact is that if you are a business today most, if not all, of your competition is already online, and they’re getting customers that you’re not as a result.

Not having a website is a huge disadvantage to your own business.

2. It will increase your audience

Having a website opens up your business and your products to a global audience, which is especially important if you utilise your website as an e-commerce store.

Selling your products online is a great way to supplement your offline business, and even if you’re not selling a product even the simplest of websites offers exposure to a free market otherwise left untapped.

Plus, we live in a culture where “Google It” is a phrase uttered by almost everyone across the globe on a daily basis, and I think not having a website is a bit of an oversight for any business in existence.

3. 24/7 Customer Service

Having a well-functioning website is a great move for customer service, allowing your customers to find basic information online that they would otherwise have to call in about taking up the time of you or your employees that could be better spent doing other work.

Information requests by customers, or prospective customers, can be handled instantly.

A website can work for you while your business is closed, allowing customers to figure out vital information they would otherwise have to wait to have answered.

Your business can run online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. With some attention to detail and a solid SEO strategy, your website could become your most valued asset.

4. Allows you to create an impactful first-impression

First impressions count right? We are living in the genesis of the digital age where your customers can pull a tiny computer out of their pocket and access your website within 15 seconds.

You can likely see how this kind of instant gratification also results in a viewer making a judgment about your website and any service it offers. Unless your website is well designed, instantly informative, and user-friendly you’re likely to lose a customer.

Just like your business front, it is your job to create the first impression that passersby have of your shop.

Creating a new website puts you in pole position. A good web designer knows how to implement a style that evokes the impression you intend users to have leaving your business.

5. Great for recruitment

Your own website is a great tool for recruitment when you’re looking to fill positions within your business.

The classified ads have all but disappeared from traditional print, making the move to digital (like everything else).

Your website can be a direct hub for processing online applications, alleviating the hassle of collecting and sorting through endless piles of cover letters and resumes.

6. Having a website makes you more discoverable

Getting discovered online goes beyond search engine results, and having a website with well thought out keywords, proper coding, and appropriate classification aids in having your business information indexed on GPS devices, social media, and other websites that index your business’s information for users to access.

7. People are already talking about your business online

This comes as a surprise to many small business owners, but there’s a significant chance that your business already has a web presence. With websites like Yelp, Google, Facebook, Twitter and other websites that allow user feedback, you can bet that someone has already reviewed you.

It’s an unfortunate truth, but a customer who has had a bad experience with your business is considerably more likely to take to the internet to write a review than someone who had a pleasant experience.

Bearing this in mind, having a website and utilising search engine optimisation techniques allows you to push this kind of website further down the page of results.

Even with positive reviews, if the first thing that pops up when users search for your business name is a user review site like Yelp your credibility takes a steep slide into non-existence, even if you have more good reviews than bad.

Having a website gives you the opportunity to guide the conversation. While simply having a web presence won’t stop people from writing negative reviews about you, it does give you a voice in the game that would otherwise be lost.

8. It is your shopfront to the digital world

The web is a tool without geographic boundaries, it allows your business reach anywhere in the world so if you have a business that is focused on growing internationally, a properly designed and optimised website can provide really good results.

CONCLUSION

If you would like to discuss your project or just need some advice, comment below, get in touch via email us or call on 086-8710018.
 

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