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Your web presence - are you doing enough?

Do more. Mac on desk workspace

What is web presence?

Web presence in a nutshell is all things digital that represent and showcase your business or organisation and brand online.

This can include your website, targeted email campaigns, regular e-newsletters, digital branding; where areas of your branding is adapted for web use, this should match any physical or offline branding but be optimised for web use such as colours, logo size and quality or fonts. Web presence also includes the following:

·Social media, the use of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram or online networking through LinkedIn to build reach.

·Content; On page, regular blog posts or videos.

·Organic Search on and off site, or PPC campaigns through Google or even Facebook depending upon your audience.

Importance of an online presence

Why is this so important? Well, your web presence is your voice before a prospect gets to talk to you, it is your virtual shop window. It creates a platform for businesses and organisations to strengthen their brand and entice prospects.

A professional looking site has the potential to level the playing field between the smaller and larger businesses.

Your web presence is where you can raise your creditability, show your expertise within your industry and increase the trust and authority you hold over any niche services.

I hear a lot of people say that they gain their new business through referrals. Well that may well be true, but that referral will more than likely check the website to ensure they do in fact offer what the referred person needs. For example, when someone recommends a restaurant or hotel you most likely check it out on TripAdvisor and go through their website too. If they didn't have a website or had no offsite reviews or social media presence at all would you trust that referral? Probably not, you would click else where just as this prospect would.

Your website needs to showcase your brand, who you work with, what you do and how you do it and the other avenues of your web presence should align to this too. This in turn will aid the sustainability and growth of the business.

B2B customers get up to 70% of the way through the buying journey before they're ready to talk to anyone about making a purchase and the average paying customer will have had 7 touch points before converting. These touch points can vary in platform hence why the web presence is so important. They may read a leaflet, see a post on Facebook, follow you on other social media channels, sign up to a newsletter, visit a shop and have numerous visits to the website, all before making a purchase or signing up for a service. For 81% of people looking to make a purchase they will look to the internet, if you aren't there then that potential customer will find someone who is.

To stay ahead of the game with this trend you need to show up in the initial research phase which will most likely include a Google search and looking through the first few organic rankings. You should also have a fast loading, easy to use, responsive website that has https on any data gathering pages at the very least. Having reviews or case studies available to users and relevant, engaging content can also be a real game changer in conversion rates for you.

Working on digital content

Doing enough?

Sometimes it can be hard to tell whether you are doing enough with your web presence. No one expects a business or organisation to necessarily be covering every point that's been mentioned within this post. Generally speaking, to get going you need a good website that is built professionally so that it can achieve what you want it to, is fully responsive and secure (https) that is then filled with engaging, relevant content.

Having a blog as part of your website is a great way to keep people coming back as you can let them know when new content has arrived. You can use a blog to promote certain products and services or tell customers and prospects what the company has been up to! As part of this content (including blogging) there should be potential to cover some on site SEO (search engine optimisation) this can be done by creating on page quality content that covers services, products or information that you want to rank for. The rest of this can be done with the set-up of your site or through most CMS (content management systems) post going live.

It is also best to set up a Google my business profile and ensure all the details match those of your website. Finally having some sort of social media presence is becoming more and more important and relevant. Rather than trying to cover every platform choose one or two that seem good for your audience and master them through regular posting of great content and sharing of other relevant content that you may come across. Remember you can do PPC campaigns on social so when you feel confident and have some budget for extra marketing they can be a great area to expand into.

Talk to us more about your web presence and how you're doing by emailing: or and we'll organise a call.

Responsive Email Design

If you send email based newsletters and other emails as part of your digital marketing activities, it’s more likely that your customers and subscribers are now reading your emails on a mobile device or smartphone – such as an iPad, iPhone or similar. In 2011, Campaign Monitor found that almost 20% of emails were being opened on such a device, and in April 2012, email providers Litmus showed that mobile 'opens' had reached 36% of emails, overtaking both desktop and webmail.

This trend will only continue – hence marketers and designers need to assess the impact this is having on their email marketing. One of the most important points is to ensure your email displays properly on mobile devices - remember with mobile you’re generally working with less screen and a different method of navigation (that being based on ‘touch’ rather than mouse-based pointing). Without taking action your mobile using customers could be set for poor user experience.

Techniques exist for overcoming the challenges that mobile throws at us – and they’re generally the same as those used for responsive web design (that being the creation of a web site who’s design and architecture responds based on the device being used to view it). It is possible to work with the code used to build the email; and to define one layout for say, standard email clients, and another where screen width may be restricted (in fact, you could really go for it and start building device specific emails).

By doing this your ‘mobile friendly’ email can:

  • display big, clear, readable text with a minimum font size.
  • offer chunky, touchable buttons for links rather than text (in fact you could adhere to Apple’s iOS guidelines to ensure usability).
  • send your customers to a mobile optimised web site.

Of course designing a responsive email involves more than code tweaking; you need to consider the structure and content of the email, the visibility of the ‘call to action’ and the use of images (new iPads come ‘retina display’ enabled so you could include higher resolution images for these emails). Our own newsletters are now responsive, it’ll be interesting to keep an eye on usage and engagement statistics as time rolls on.

Simon Newing

Created on Wednesday September 19 2012 11:12 AM

Tags: userexperience emailmarketing emails

Comments [1]

Digital marketing strategy launched for SSE

Digital marketing strategy launched for SSE

We've recently embarked on a series of new digital marketing campaigns for utilities giant Scottish and Southern Energy.

Currently, consumers that switch to SSE products receive most of their follow-up literature and promotional material through the post - leading to high costs for personalisation, printing and postage. We're helping SSE  move their communications into web and email - so that customers who sign up for online tariffs are emailed information and updates at key stages throughout the transfer process - rather than being sent postcards and letters.

Long term this will save SSE hundreds of thousands of pounds in fulfilment costs and manpower, and it's more environmentally friendly.

And very soon we're going to be talking to SSE about how our technology can help them distribute welcome packs and contracts more efficiently and securely.

Simon Newing

Created on Thursday March 31 2011 11:26 AM

Tags: emailmarketing campaigns

Comments [0]

How to get a bullseye when targeting your email broadcasts!

How to get a bullseye when targeting your email broadcasts!

We've been conducting some in depth research here at Focus HQ. Having studied the success of some of our email broadcast campaigns we have the following top tips to get the most out of your email campaigns:

1) HTML emails as opposed to text only emails are 10 times more likely to have their links clicked. So get creative with some graphic design!

2) Generally emails with subject titles that contain 'Top 10 offers' or 'Top 20 offers' score low views - it just sounds like a lot of information, people can't face reading a long email. Keep it short and sweet!

3) Emails with 'exclusive offers' or discounts in the subject titles tend to be more successful. Everyone likes to think they're getting a bargain!

Now we've armed you with these top tips you're ready to aim and fire your email campaigns! Of course if you want some help with an email campaign, we're always available for a chat!

Opt-in/Opt-out trickery and confusion

Opt-in/Opt-out trickery and confusion

I am becoming far more aware of large brands trying to deliberately mislead their users into opting in to receive future communications.

An "opt-in" generally refers to a tick box which, if filled in by the user, indicates that they would like to be contacted by a particular form of communication. Unless the user ticks the box then the organisation cannot use their details for the form of marketing listed. This is in contrast with an "opt-out", where the default position is that the user will be contacted by that form of marketing, unless they tick the box to indicate that they would prefer not to be. The benefits of opt-out over opt-in are obvious, whereby the assumption is that the user wants to receive future communications, meaning more emails can be sent to more people.

People already receive enough SPAM or unsolicited emails so it should be best practice to make it as easy and clear as possible to the user that if they wish to opt-in to future communications then they can do so.

The All Party Parliamentary Communications Group (ApComms) said the internet advertising industry's self-regulation on behavioural advertising was inadequate, and that a law change was necessary.

"We do not believe that it is at all appropriate to consider the deployment of any type of behavioural advertising system without explicit, informed, 'opt-in' by everyone whose data is to be processed, and whose behaviour is to be monitored and whose interests are to be deduced," said ApComms in a report on its findings.

"We do not believe that 'opt-out', however commercially convenient, is the way that these systems should be run. To that extent, the Good Practice Principles promoted by the Internet Advertising Bureau are insufficient to protect people," it said.

"We recommend that the Government review the existing legislation applying to behavioural advertising, and bring forward new rules as needed, to ensure that these systems are only operated on an explicit, informed, opt-in basis,".

A technique I've also seen used is to include a combination of both opt-in and opt-out, one after the other. For example, when recently applying for a credit card from a leading brand they say:

Using the boxes below, please specify whether you want to hear about these offers, and, if so, how you want contact to be made.

Please DON'T CONTACT ME with offers from:
XXXX and XXXX companies:
by post ❑ by phone ❑

Please DO CONTACT ME with offers from:
XXXX and XXXX companies:
by email ❑ by text message ❑

Let’s hope that the existing legislation is reviewed and the rules will be made clear for businesses and consumers alike.

Created on Monday January 11 2010 12:34 PM

Tags: opt-in opt-out emailmarketing spam emails campaigns

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