The battle to the top of Google

The mobile battle to the top of Google

Google has long been a mystery battle ground for many companies. The mission to reach the top of the Google search rankings has been a long debated journey and Google themselves have kept the key to success very close to their chests. The search results are intended to be an organic process which returns the best results for each user’s needs. However, there has been many tried and tested methods to help boost a website’s place in the list, for example, optimised copy, fresh content and link building.

As technology advances users are accessing the internet from anywhere and everywhere, 24/7.  The breadth of information available is vast and online customers have developed raised expectations when it comes to their online experience. This is particularly evident across the use of smart mobile devices. Users now expect websites to deliver as well, if not better, experiences across their smart phones as their desktop computers.

In response to this, Google has taken the first step towards mobile first indexing. Last week they announced that they would be moving their first sites to be indexed using the mobile versions of their sites rather than the desktop version, which has long been the tradition. Their logic is that searches from smart phones are becoming the norm and many companies have not sufficiently optimised their sites to be mobile friendly. This results in searches being shown mobile sites that are not delivering the level of services that their desktop versions do. By using the mobile site for ranking they are maintaining their aim to deliver the very best experience for searchers.

So, what does this mean for your website?

Whilst the move to mobile first indexing is going to be a slow roll out, now is the time to ensure that when the time comes for your site to be looked at, it is fully mobile optimised. This is important not just for Google, which is a key source of leads for many sites, but also for the users that are landing on your site from a mobile device. If they are being presented with a badly organised, over crowded display which has not adjusted to their screen size they are likely to leave.

Mobile-friendly sites can really improve the customer service delivered by your website. User will have a better user experience when using their mobile devices and this will make them more likely to want to do business with your company. With less space available on your screen, it is important to simplify the user journey, ensure that key tasks are easy to find and calls to action are easy to act on.

Use your website to surprise your customers. The world of smart mobile devices opens up a whole new level of functionality which can make the user’s journey easy, quick and, ideally, enjoyable. By integrating location technology, for example, you are able to deliver a personalised experience based on a user’s closest store. This is the sort of content that Google will want to deliver to their users. There is boundless opportunity to delight your users and that is the first step to increasing the number of happy customers you have.

Mobile optimisation may seem like a huge job if you have always focused on the desktop version of your site. But it doesn’t have to be. More than likely, you use many websites on your own smart mobile devices. What sites deliver a great experience? How do they guide the user through the journey on their phones? What do you want your site to deliver to users? Put yourself in a users shoes and test your site thoroughly and make improvements as you go to deliver the best customer service across all devices.

Keep in mind that in the future the majority of the traffic to your website may well come from smart mobile devices. The user experience is fundamental to the success of your website. Deliver a great experience and users will come back, deliver a bad one and you may have lost them for ever. Focus on what you can change and gradually move towards a mobile first mentality in your design and content. Google is leading the way in this move and businesses who do not take notice will be left behind.

If you would like to know more about designing for mobile contact us now on

Website shining example

Is Your Website Shining Like a Diamond?

There are many trains of thought about how to best judge the quality of a website. With so many types of site from so many different industries it can be hard to define what makes a website a success. Whilst thinking back over a youth in retail, and selling diamonds I could only ever dream of, it struck me that the differentiating features that define a good diamond also apply to websites. In the words of Rhianna does your website ‘ shine bright like a diamond’?

The 4C’s in the world of diamonds refer to Colour, Clarity, Cut, and Carat. So how can these help with thinking about your website?


This relates to the design of your website. What colours have you used? Have you balanced your text with images? Are your images impactful and your text engaging? Much like the colour of a diamond, the design of your website has the biggest initial impression on your visitors. You do not have long to make a great first impression so make sure your website looks great and visitors are going to be drawn in.


This relates to the content on your website. Is it clear to visitors what you offer and why they should choose your product or service? You need to ensure that there is clarity in your content, visitors will be put off if they have to work hard to find what they need. Understanding your target audience is key here. What content will engage and encourage them to come back? What is the key information that a potential customer will want to see? Search engines are also very interested in your content, so making it not only engaging for visitors but optimised for search engines is key to getting your website found in the first place.


In terms of your website this is about the structure. The user experience of your site is vital to delivering a positive experience for your users. Is your site easy to navigate? Do you have a clear path that you want your users to follow? Make sure you walk through your site with the eyes of a user who has not visited your site previously. Can you find the content you want easily? Are you guided through the site they way you intended? Your site structure is also important for your search engine ranking, Google in particular will pay attention to your sitemap and the way that your content is interlinked.


When it comes to diamonds and websites alike size does matter.  Having a well populated site with regular fresh content will appeal to both users and search engines. An informative site will keep your users engaged and having a regular fresh content will keep them coming back. Search engines will also rate your site on how much content you produce. By consistently posting fresh content and therefore growing the size of your site you are showing the search engines that your site is alive.


Like a diamond, websites have many facets and it is impossible to have one single formula that fits all. This is just another way of looking at your website, there are many other methods that can be used. The importance of analytics should never be underestimated, and you should monitor and update on a regular basis to find what works best for your website. If you would like to discuss any aspect of your website content or design then get in touch with us today.

digital giant

Keeping up with the digital giant

As digital media slowly takes over our lives, both socially and in business, so does marketing evolve to meet the changing world around us. Whilst traditional marketing platforms such as radio, TV and print still have their place they are being quickly dwarfed by the digital giant. And things in the digital world are quite different and forever changing. It has changed the way that marketing works and we have to change with it or be left behind.

Gone are the days when companies could simply push a message out to the world through a TV ad and that would be enough. Customers expect much more now. Not least they expect to have control. They know what they are looking for, when they want to look for it and where they will go to find it. It is for this reason that companies need to be digitally savvy. Customers now have access to an online world bursting with information sources. Companies now face the difficult task of being in the right place at the right time. Content marketing and social media have become core to a companies marketing mix, using these platforms to target prospective customers with a defined need. In fact, it is the customer who is proactively self-selecting this content to provide a solution to their own problem.

Further to this, it is not just about putting the content out there and forgetting about it. Customers expect a dialogue, they want to interact with your company. This provides a great opportunity to develop long term relationships between company and customer. However, you should be aware that this new wonderful digital age has taken it one step further, customers are now interacting with other customers as never before. Social media, forums and reviews all open up a whole new way for people to research and connect with a brand. This can be a daunting thought, a whole other potential marketing platform that is completely out of your control. However, the benefits of this new arena are huge if you can manage it right. Happy customers spread good reviews and positive sentiment about your brand.

The traditional marketing platforms that we are all used to allow communication from one company to many customers. This is easy to achieve, however the same message goes to every customer segment and is poorly targeted. It results in a high level of wasted opportunity. Digital media has brought about the option of more one-to-one communications. Emails, landing pages and even adverts can now be customised and personalised to a specific audience and even a specific customer. Messages can be highly targeted and focussed. Amazon is a prime example of personalisation done well. If you have an amazon account, it appears to knows your preferences, your needs and the way you like to shop. More and more customers are expecting the personal touch from brands. Making your customer feel special is no long a luxury it is a requirement.

One of the biggest differences that can be seen with the move towards more digital presence is the need to always be on. It is not enough to have one TV advert or a page in a magazine. Life has picked up pace and customers now expect a 24/7 presence from brands. Continuous communications are now the norm and it is not uncommon to see the same brand on several touch points throughout your day. In a world where we have all become time poor, being there when someone has the time, whenever that time may be, is now vital to success. Companies need to have online profiles and promotions throughout the web, and these need to deliver key messages on a regular basis in order to keep your customer base engaged and potential customers interested.

The digital market place is constantly evolving and it can seem like a challenge to keep up with the latest trend. What is more confusing is that there is no one right formula for a brand, each and every company has a different offer and a different message to get across. The keys is finding the right balance for you and one that you are able to maintain. If that all seems like too much that’s what companies like us are here for so if you need help or just want to know more get in touch with us now!

Are you winning at customer service?

When you think of marketing what comes to mind? Digital, TV, Radio, PR? How about customer service? With the rise of social media and so many opportunities online for people to speak about your brand, your customers are actually a vital marketing source. Building a base of loyal customers and especially those who become brand advocates can really propel your brand forward, especially online.

Having loyal customers is more than having a great brand, it is about making sure that the customers experience at every touch point is high quality. Many companies excel at the sell, they have a well thought out and successful route to purchase which engages the customer and connects them to the brand. However, they miss out on possibly the most crucial part of the customer journey, and that is post sale. Having worked so hard to draw the customer in, they fail to retain them due to poor customer service and aftersales.

A dissatisfied customer can be costly, not only in the loss of their future purchases but with availability to some many online channels it is easier than ever to publicise a bad customer experience. Even a simple search on google will not only bring up your company details but also your online reviews. Being the pessimistic beings we are, most of us head for the bad reviews first to establish our view on the company.

So how do you avoid this dissatisfied marketing? It is all in the planning. No company can maintain a perfect operation at all times, things will go wrong, it is how you deal with an error that establishes your level of customer satisfaction. There are generally five stages someone will go through when they are unhappy with a product or service and it is having a plan to deal with each stage that will boost your service and quality.

Stage 1: Customer in distress

Whether it is an issue with their product or service, or a query they need answered, your client is in need. Don’t make it difficult for them to tell you. It is amazing how difficult it can be to find contact details on some sites and especially support details. Use standard wording such as ‘contact us’ or ‘support’ to make it clear how to get in touch with you. Web forms are a great solution for customers and can allow you to gather basic information about the query before engaging in a dialogue. It is also important to let your customer know what expectations they should have in terms of response times and ensure that you are able to meet them.

Stage 2: The Acknowledgement

Nothing is more frustrating that completing a form or sending an email and not getting confirmation that it has been received and is being looked at. Make sure your customer knows you have received their query and tell them how and when you will respond. An automated email is a good idea at this point, you can include an acknowledgement and also reassure the customer regarding response times and perhaps give some additional help sources in the meantime.

Stage 3: Finding the Expert

Ensuring you have a clear idea of the what the customer needs means that you can route the query to the appropriate person or department. Being able to connect the customer to an ‘expert’ on their issue will give them reassurance about your brand and a sense of satisfaction that their query has been taken seriously.

Stage 4: The Response

Most companies will find that queries have a few common themes, and whilst the company should then try to solve these issues, in the meantime, a library of pre-template responses can be useful. The relevant expert can then tailor the response to take account of the details of the customer query and of course personalise the email. Where there is a new issue, or a one off issue with a particular product or service, there should be a service protocol put in place as to how these are dealt with.

Stage 5: The Follow Up

Don’t assume that the clients issue has been resolved by your single response to their query. Always provide a follow-up option should a client need more help or still has a problem. An option to reply to an email is okay but this can get into a situation of email ping-pong which is not efficient for the customer or the company. Offering a phone call or a live chat facility can help bring about a swift resolution. A phone conversation has the most personalised touch and can help the customer feel that the company actually wants to help. From a company perspective it can also open up opportunities for relationship building and potential upselling and cross selling.


However you decide to deal with these stages, ensure that you have a plan in place to keep your customers happy. A customer who has a problem that is solved by a company in a timely and personalised manner is likely to sing the praises of that company to friends and family. A happy customer is a key part of your marketing mix and a customer-centric approach is becoming essential in the digital era.

Are you asking the right questions?

With so many social media channels, constantly evolving their feeds, how do you put together a social media strategy? Your social media channels are the best place to achieve online engagement, above your website and other online touch points. In order to create this engagement you need to focus on the type of content and how you publish it.  This will vary for each platform but there is some common ground held by all the social networks and it is here that you can build your overall content and engagement strategy.

There are 12 questions that you should consider when forming your social media strategy and we will cover them all inn brief below:

Question 1: Who are your target audience?

Possibly the most important question when defining your strategy is who are you trying to speak to. Who are your customers and personal customers that you want to engage? The key here is to build personas relevant to you business and build your strategy around them.

Question 2 : What are the content preferences of your audience?

Once you have defined your personas you should be able to identify their preferences in terms of content and how they consume it. Do they prefer video, infographics, articles, short statuses. With so many options it is wise to utilise them all but with a bias towards the preferences of your key personas. This may well vary between social platforms.

Question 3 : What are your strategic business goals for your social media presence?

Do you want to sell? To engage? To build brand identity? Having a key strategic goal for your social platforms will define how you use them and the content you choose to publish on them. It is important to bear in mind the purpose of the social network you are using. If you are too sales heavy on twitter or facebook you are likely to lose followers very quickly.

Question 4 : Which content types should have priority?

Use of your key personas, content types and an analysis of what competitors are doing you should be able to define which topics and formats should take priority. Your social channels should have a key focus that followers are able to easily identify.

Question 5 : How do you differentiate your social channels from your other communication channels?

Your social channels main job should be to engage with your followers and convert them into customers and eventually brand advocates. It is therefore import to build up a loyal social following. To do this you need to show what additional value your social platforms offer that is not offered elsewhere. Early access to deals or special offers for social followers are some ways to offer value.

Question 6 : How do you integrate your social channels?

Your social channels can produce some really great content. Encouraging your followers to generate their own content can not only help populate your feed but can create great content to share across your website and e-marketing.

Question 7 : What should be the content frequency and editorial calendar?

This may vary depending on the platform you are using. Twitter for example has a very fast moving feed whilst LinkedIn is much slower, therefore several posts a day on Twitter would be fine whereas this would be seen as excessive on LinkedIn. The most important thing is to be regular. This should be defined by what you can maintain. Some content will be very quick to create others will take some time so establish an editorial calendar and plan in advance to ensure you have the content available when you need it.

Question 8: Where should you source content?

As stated in the last question, you need regular engaging content and this can be time consuming. You will need to decide whether this can be created in house or whether you would be better positioned to out source. There can also be a balance struck between creation and curation, and having suitable sources of content is important.

Question 9 : How do you manage publication and interaction?

Who will be in charge of your social networks and building brand engagement? Regular posting across your social networks is important but you also need to be timely in responding to interactions and engaging with followers. Will this be done by an internal resource or by an out of house team?

Question 10: Do you use software for managing the publishing process?

Depending on the number of social channels that you use, regular updating across them all can be very time consuming. Whilst this has the advantage of being able to tailor the content to the platform it can also prove a challenge. The use of tools such as hootsuite of buffer can save significant amounts of time, allowing the construction of just one post that is then automatically added to each of your social profiles.

Question 11: How do you track the business impact of social network activity?

Each of the platforms have built in analytics which are useful in reviewing their effectiveness. By tagging your posts you can have increased insight into each piece of content and how engaged your audience has been. If you are using a tool such a hootsuite, there are further analytics available to show which platform and content were most popular.

Question 12 : How do you optimise your social presence?

The use of analytics is only useful if it is then reviewed and acted upon. You should use the results from the insights to test, adapt and refine your content strategy.


These 12 questions are a really helpful way to optimise your use of social media. Building an effective strategy is time consuming and requires on going attention. If you would like more information on building an effective social media strategy contact us now.