Modern trends in website design are making things easier than ever for business owners. Whereas once they had to face the nightmare of old-fashioned, self-hosted websites, owners can now enjoy the many benefits of hosted platforms, taking the stress and cost out building a site and giving them the time and space they need to focus on running their operations.
The new year is a time when website business owners set out their goals and challenges for the year. It's a great time to build a new website, but which platform should you use, and why?
Great news! You've chosen WordPress as your CMS platform to build your fist website. It's one of the most widely used systems online today and is capable of building both small websites for start up companies as well as website design for growing SMEs.
Blogging for a small businesses is an essential online marketing tool, similar to email or social media marketing. But because it takes a very different form to most marketing practices, it can be hard for business owners to see benefits immediately.
With that said, there are some big advantages that many companies miss. Let’s take a look at what your business could achieve if it started blogging today.
I started building websites in 1998, the internet was in its infancy and few companies had a website. There were even fewer web designers around. We were all about to start using Google for the first time, and companies were starting to spot the potential of getting found online. SEO was here!
If you’re looking to design a modern user-friendly WordPress website, then you’ve come to the right place. This blog will go through everything you need to know about bringing your new website to life. As the title suggests, we’ll be focussing on WordPress sites only.
Before you can begin with content marketing, you need a content marketing strategy that fits in with the rest of your digital marketing strategy.
If you’re getting a little hung up on what that means and what you need to do, here’s a simple checklist to follow to start your content marketing off right:
Local SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) or local search marketing is a digital marketing tactic used by businesses to promote products and services to local customers. Improving your local SEO will help boost your online visibility and get you seen by more potential customers.
Email marketing remains one of the most effective ways to promote your business. By the end of 2019, the number of email users is projected to grow to 2.9 billion people.
Expanding your network is arguably the most important aspect of marketing yourself on Linkedin. This blog post is designed to help busy business owners understand how to develop their personal Linkedin network.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) practices are constantly evolving to keep pace with the way search engines are improving the way they deliver results. For example, in last week Google rolled out mobile-first indexing.
This year I've made a point of offering my services to guest speak about digital marketing at several events. It’s become apparent that people benefit greatly from my help and knowledge, but more importantly it’s quickly becoming a core part of our inbound marketing mix here at The Blue Cube.
Having a strong online presence is no longer optional. An outdated website will be costing you new business. Not only does an poor website design reflect badly on your company’s brand and reputation but visitors are likely to be getting a poor experience. A poor experience means you are making it difficult for people to find the content they are looking for and even worse making it hard for them to get in touch with you to start that all important first conversation.
There is little doubt that LinkedIn represents a greater opportunity for B2B companies than any other social network currently available.
However, many manufacturing companies that I meet with are still ignoring the power of LinkedIn for generating new contacts and building relationships.
One of the best things about digital marketing is that you can measure everything you can possibly think of with very detailed metrics. Page views, number of clicks, on–page conversions, open rates, emails sent... the list goes on and on. But how do you choose the right KPIs to focus on for your manufacturing business?
Manufacturing in the UK is growing. UK factories grew their output for an eighth month in November 2017 according to data from the Office for National Statistics.
Digital marketing is full of technical jargon. But if you want to grow your business online you need to really understand the terms. It is surprising what you think you know but actually the devil is always in the detail.
Social media is a great platform for direct communication with your customers, prospects, and employees. It is one of the best ways for growing your brand visibility and for distributing your content online.
Every lead is different - so why do so many companies treat them as though they’re the same?
You've probably heard about the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation, which will change the legislation concerning data collection and storage practices. This will replace the Data Protection Act (DPA) and come into action in May 2018. It's going to change the digital marketing landscape, puting the consumer rather than the company firmly in the driver's seat.
Every year carries its own marketing challenges, but 2018 is looking to be a particularly tough one.
The value of content
Most B2B directors have heard by now that their company should be producing more content - but what’s the point?
It has been a challenging, exhilarating, and highly educational year at The Blue Cube, but we have finally done it: we are now a “Silver Tier” HubSpot Partner.
If you’re not sure what that means, it means we’ve taken another exciting step forwards in our inbound marketing journey.
And if you’re still not sure what “inbound marketing” is - you definitely need to read this blog.
In 2017, buyers no longer need salespeople to tell them what to buy. Prospects now use the internet and do their own research into products, and for this reason, the buyer-seller relationship has changed radically.
How does the owner of a business provide his sales team with the ability to connect with buyers who are searching for their products? This blog post provides a basic overview of the inbound sales process and looks at how sales people can develop new business connections in an inbound way.
My journey through the Hubspot Pipeline Generation Bootcamp with Dan Tyre
You would think that after over 10 years in sales, I would be up for any challenge - but in 2017, the thought of making cold calls to a company I have never spoken to gave me an image of my time leaking through a bucket with a massive hole in the bottom!
Few things in business are more frustrating than spending time and money on something that doesn’t offer a decent return.
Without well-written meta tags, your company website may fail to rank, web searchers will not click your description, and you will lose clicks and potential customers.
Metadata is information about a website page that users do not see. It makes up part of the website code and offers external sources such as search engines information about the site.
Historically, Facebook adverts have been seen as playful, personalised, and maybe even fluffy B2C marketing tools.
Today, though, they are just as important in a B2B company’s marketing arsenal.
Some business owners and marketers assume that writing a blog is an easy task. After all, how hard can it be?
Well, that depends on what you want to achieve. If you want to use a blog to demonstrate your company’s field expertise and generate new leads, mistakes are deceptively easy to make and can effectively ruin what should have been a great piece of content.
Here are 11 common blogging pitfalls, and how to transform them into winning strategies.
If you're like me, your phone is one of the first things you'll reach for in the morning. It’s also the last thing I glance at before going to sleep.
There’s little point in denying that our smartphones have taken over a large chunk of everyday life. They are used to set timers, check the weather, write to-do lists, take photographs, make bank transfers, map out journeys, watch movies, buy clothes, play games, read the news, listen to music and meet potential partners. Sometimes, they are even used to call people (shock, horror). In an era where the population is at risk from “text neck”, we are relying on our handheld devices more than ever before.
Analytics for marketers – Part 1
Welcome back! In this two-part series, we are helping marketers collect the necessary data against their campaigns to make smarter decisions when it comes to digital marketing. If you’ve just landed on this post, you may first want to have a read of Part One, which looks at tips on how to choose the right analytics tool.
Analytics for marketers – Part 2
Analytics. Data insight. Fact finding. Number crunching. Whatever you want to call it, taking a good hard look at statistics is increasingly important for marketers in the ever expanding and oversaturated digital marketing space. However, analytical data analysis isn't for everyone and even if it is, it can be quite a complex process.
Here's a helping hand with a two-part guide on the topic that we hope is useful to any marketers who are trying to understand how to use analytics to inform their digital marketing strategy.
As an IT support company owner you have both limited time and resources to invest into marketing. You also have ambitions to grow your business. This presents a real challenge. How do you handle digital marketing for your company whilst trying to grow it at the same time? The answer is a solid Inbound Marketing strategy that will be sustainable and measurable.
All successful content strategies start with an in-depth understanding of your customer persona. Without doing this groundwork, you could produce pages and pages of content, dozens of infographics, and hundreds of videos, and still fail to connect with your intended audience. With this in mind this blog post examines how to create buyer personas.
Modern online marketing is all about creating useful website content that is valuable to your target audience, but to understand HOW to create useful content, you need to know WHY content is so important. This comes down to a fundamental shift in how people respond to marketing, and a much greater emphasis on encouraging potential customers to choose you by providing them with value.
Marketing managers who are looking for a free website audit are faced with many automated tools.
However there aren't that many that provide anything with meaning or context. To help with this we’ve recently been working on our website audit process with the aim of improving our analysis. Based on our own customer research we know that marketers are seeking specific feedback that help inform marketing desicion making.
What is a Call to Action?
A Call to Action (or CTA) is an instruction to your website visitor to take a specific action. It is often a line of text which is paired with a button that encourages the reader to carry out a certain task, such as ‘Call us now’ or ‘Sign up for our free trial’.
Great news, you’ve got your new website ready for launch. Even more exciting if it’s built using growth-driven-design, either way you on the path to improvement and increased success.
By my count we’ve launched around 250+ websites and over the years we’ve developed our own pre-launch checklist to ensure our customer websites go-live smoothly.
We’ve put together a few notes below to help you make sure nothing gets missed.
"Website redesign” - the dreaded phrase.
I know your company has been putting it off for months, and it hasn't been a priority. However, your sales team is complaining, your competitors are moving forward, and customers are noticing. You're becoming embarrassed to direct people to it.
Creating a website briefing document which will be sent out to a shortlist of digital agencies is your chance to pitch your business and invite serious input and feedback about your project.
A well written brief should encapsulate all of your requirements, including creative, marketing communications and any technical aspects. You’ll need to provide some background and reasoning for your requirements which help provide context.
Remember - don’t try and describe the solution. That’s what you want the agency to provide back to you.
Gone are the old days of publishing blog posts which talk about you. Seriously, your visitors don’t want to read about how great you are, what awards you have won, where your office is moving to or anything else that is ‘you’-orientated.
Nor do users want to use old fashioned websites that are stuffed full of boring content, and over-optimised with keywords in the hope of manipulating Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS). This is the old way of handling SEO and website content. It's old and it's no longer effective.
What users do want is to find useful content that helps them to solve a specific problem.
Over 12 years experience proves to me that the traditional website design process is broken. It's becoming harder to demonstrate value to clients who are trying to achive two things:
- Increase business growth
- Reduce their costs
Fixed client budgets drive down agency cost, and end up with a rush at the end of the project to try and launch a website on time and within budget.
This is one of my frustrations - the client/agency engagement dynamic. What’s best for us, and what is best for our clients needs to be the same thing. Only then can we produce our best work, wow our clients and ultimately contribute to their success.
This is why I am moving The Blue Cube away from fixed cost projects and introducing the benefits of a retainer agreement for companies who are serious about growth. It will enable us to get right alongside our clients and help drive them forward.