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Wednesday, 30 November 2011

My Latest Client

We’ve just launched a new website for The White Swan Pub & Restaurant in Bosham , West Sussex.

We’re especially proud to have an association with The White Swan because while pubs are closing all over the UK, Nick and Tina Irish have re-opened what was one of the most popular watering holes in the area after quite a long struggle against a very small number of objectors.

True, The Swan does have a recent chequered history, but long before that; for 300 years; it was a landmark on the East-West Brighton to Portsmouth coast road, and until very recently a popular pub and eating place. I think it’s safe to say that the pub suffered it’s lowest point when it was not run properly and allowed to deteriorate, probably giving rise to the lowering of it’s reputation.

Nick and Tina have completely reversed the pub’s fortunes by successfully re-opening the pub and restaurant with a stylish, very warm and welcoming ambience.

The reason we were involved is that between the period of applying for the licence to the pub, right through purchase and complete refit, The Swan had in place a ‘community’ or ‘newsletter’ type website to keep the local community fully informed of progress and to allay fears of any objectors to the pub re-opening. Excellent PR at the time. You can see the original website here
http://TheWhiteSwanBosham.Food.officelive.com.

When the Swan re-opened, it was clear to Nick and Tina that the community website had done it’s bit; and now they needed a more commercial approach, so as a local company, they approached us.
We took a very short brief from Tina, and set to work. The result can be seen here www.thewhiteswanbosham.com

The website is what we call a ‘brochure site’ in that it’s not trying to ‘sell’ anything, but serves as a 24/7 brochure. A site like this doesn’t need us to design in any specific consumer psychology to get the customer to take action as a lot of our SME sites do.

Tina has full control over what goes on the website, and she is able to update the website herself quickly and easily 24/7 with our Content Management System, or by dropping us an e-mail. We will generally make any requested updates within 48 hours.

A site like this STILL needs to be found in Google because The Swan is situated in a tourist area, and therefore wants to be found by people planning to visit the area. The Search Engine Optimisation for the site reflects this.

All our sites are built and delivered with getting found on google uppermost in our minds, as well as delivering a visual experience that reflects the product and the target clientele.

Should you have a similar enterprise and want an affordable website design (the cost of this website was less than £600) yet also a quality solution to being found on the web, please contact us at 07767 304509. I don’t charge for chatting !

HW Marketing UK are the Affordable Website Design Company of choice for Small or Startup Businesses in the area. Easily understandable pricing 

Monday, 14 November 2011

Are you about to make your first BIG MISTAKE as a new business owner ?

Well, you’ve done it! Congratulations! You’ve decided to set up a business, and whether it’s your first foray into the small business world or you’re a very experienced business person, you are probably smart enough to realise that your new business is going to need a website.

Now how would you know that? Because you are aware;

Your competitors can already be found on the web.
Your prospects will expect instant information.
It shows you respect your prospect’s and customer’s need for information.
That 80% of potential customers will look for you using search engines first and foremost.

Now, in order to get this website, you might be thinking along the lines of

“D’you know what, it’s easy to get a website, I know from the telly adverts I can build them for free, and I know someone who is quite techy about these things, and money is tight because I’m a start-up, I can’t really afford a website professional if I can get it for free”

This, is what could quite possibly, be your first BIG MISTAKE

That’s a BIG statement. Let me explain why I said it. First, here’s some stuff you might not know;

90% of Websites don’t WORK for the business.
A website has up to 8 seconds to create the right image in a visitor’s mind. If it doesn’t, they leave, perhaps for ever.
Websites don’t get found by search engines unless they’ve been optimised correctly.

Now I’m not going to pussy-foot around this subject. I have seen some websites that even the business owner believes are horrendous. That’s because either the business owner has built the site themselves or trusted it to a non-professional. Even with a smashing looking DIY website, it may not perform properly.


I get at least one call a week from small business owners who 6 months on realised they made the same mistake. They realised that the web site visitors they expected just weren’t happening or that the website really doesn’t look good to their market or people are looking at the site, but they don’t DO anything except, well, leave. Yes, even if the website looks good.

What those business owners had not realised, is that when they got a non-web, non-marketing person to do the job, THEY ONLY GOT 10% OF THE JOB DONE

I don’t want you to make the same mistake. Many people think that any sort of web presence or a web site will magically bring instant demand for goods and services, and all you have to do is build it and they will come. Well it WON’T bring instant demand and visitors WON’T just come. Not unless you get the other 90% right.

Even if you DO get visitors, having a website that doesn't engage your visitor immediately is just as bad as having a receptionist or a sales assistant chewing gum, scratching their backsides and ignoring your prospects when they walk in the door; or someone who answers the telephone in your business sounding disinterested and not able to answer the simplest of questions. A shoddy employee or an inadequate web 'presence' will BOTH drive YOUR business to your competitor. The difference is that an inadequate website will do it MUCH faster.

SO, THERE’S THE PROBLEM – WHAT’S THE SOLUTION ?

First, I run a web design company that knows about web marketing. When I design, write and build your site, I know how to get you found on Google. I know what people expect to be able to do when they reach your site. I know I only have 8 seconds to get their attention before they surf on, and I know how to design your site so that visitors stay a little longer and ‘do’ something; whether that's to pick up the phone and call you, or send you an e-mail, or even buy something from you. I even know how to make those customers ‘Customers For Life’. Think of the return on your affordable investment if THAT happens.

Secondly, the price I quote is the price you pay and all of my experience in online marketing will be channelled into making your site get found, and it will then WORK FOR YOU as hard as a good employee would work for you.

Third, I want to increase your visibility, your sales and your success. If I do, that makes you my customer for life too. Partners.

Lastly, I’m only going to ask an affordable £250 to £600 to build you a ‘proper’ website.

Call me. I don’t charge for chatting.

07767 304509 or 01243 573615

www.hwmarketing.co.uk

Friday, 11 November 2011

Responsive Websites - Websites Cross platform, Browser and Device

Today, people are viewing websites in any number of different ways – on smartphones, tablets, netbooks, laptops, widescreen monitors and even game consoles.

The problem is that most websites are designed with 'Fixed Design' which is not ideal as people with different screen sizes or media devices are denied a good browsing experience, or worse, the site is not accessible to them at all.

So what’s the solution?

Responsive Design. Together with our partners, we can now provide adaptive layouts which respond to their environment, totally regardless of the device or browser being used.

So Responsive Design means complete device and browser compatibility

This new development will allow your website to react to the device on which it’s being displayed!

You see, responsive websites don't need to know what device you are using, because they adjust depending on the WIDTH of the browser. We know of one web design company that keeps and continually updates a database of over 20,000 mobile devices and uses it to tell their websites which device is being used so that it can adjust accordingly. This is not TRUE Responsive Design. True responsive design is totally future proof.

You can be sure that a responsive website will display on devices or browsers that have not even been invented yet !

Responsive websites are not just mobile versions .

Responsive websites will also display on the smallest devices such as smartphones, but they are not merely mobile versions. Responsive sites will be displayed, WITHOUT the need for the user to zoom in and scroll left and right to access functionality as is common with most mobile sites.

Take a look at this website on your smartphone, www.apple.com. This is a perfect example of a mobile site into which you have to zoom in order to access the content. Once you have zoomed in, you also have to scroll around to further access the relevant content.

Contrast that with this Responsive Website www.brightonfilmproductions.co.uk

This is NOT a mobile version of the site, it has adjusted automatically to the screen width.  All the relevant functionality and the main details have automatically adjusted. You do not have to zoom in or scroll around (just vertically). Responsive sites do this irrespective of whether your visitor is using an iphone, ipad, tablet, netbook, standard square PC monitor or any device with a browser.

Take a look at the Demo Video here

The great thing is that if you have just spent thousands on your company website and design and it's NOT responsive, our partners can MAKE your existing website responsive. Responsive Design doesn't have to happen from scratch.

You can find out if your website is responsive, and at the same time see what your visitors see on devices of differing widths (ipad, tablets etc) by opening up your website in any browser and resizing the window by dragging in the right hand side. Look what happens, the browser probably chops off the right hand side of the website and there's probably a scroll bar at the bottom. Also try it out with www.apple.com and you'll see the same effect.

Now do the same with www.brightonfilmproductions.co.uk. No horizontal scroll bar, and the content repositions and adjusts to fit the browser width. That's True Responsive Design.

For more information on how to make your website responsive, call me on 07767 304509 or 01243 573615 or contact me on neilhwilliams@hwmarketing.co.uk

HW Marketing UK are the Affordable Website Design Company of choice for Small or Startup Businesses in the area. Easily understandable pricing packages start at £250. 

Monday, 7 November 2011

What You Can Do About The New Google Update

So Google have released another algorithm update to keep all website owners on their toes. This one is rapidly gaining the monicker 'Fresh'. It alludes to the subtle change that Google will be adding a bit more weight to your timestamp. Effectively they'll be looking for sites that are kept 'fresh'. So if you have a way to update your website, make sure you use it regularly, you're going to have to compete harder with competitors that have full time staffers updating their sites.

So what can you do to keep Google happy ? What are you, the website owner able to do to try and ensure that you have a decent shot at beating your competitors in Google. It’s all about ‘new ‘ content. Up to date quality content was always ‘King’, but this little tweak has made it even more essential.

So if the idea is to create up to date content on your website how do you go about this ?

Here are 3 ways you can make sure Google sees your site being updated regularly. You can apply anyone or a mix of all three to your site if it’s applicable.

·         Add a news page
·         Add a Blog
·         Add a Forum

The benefits of all the above are web traffic, links, mindshare, branding and increased rankings in Google.

When writing News, make sure you have targeted your audience, in your case this would ordinarily be your customers. News articles can be news about the company or about your industry. Keep it interesting, don’t just post something for the sake of it.

Blogs are slightly different in that you can include everything you might include in a News page, but you can also add  ‘How To’ content or ‘Advice’. For example if your site is about your restaurant, you might blog about events, special offers (news) or you may have an article on ‘How to choose the best wine’. If used properly, using Blogs can also establish you as an ‘Expert’ in your field. If you sell Health Products for example, you can post useful blogs on the subject. This applies in ANY industry, just use your imagination.

Forums are a bit more specialised and are used by large companies or those with a large customer base. Use this option with caution. They are a way of having a two way conversation with your customer base. Customers can post questions, concerns or praise ; and the company staff or designated individuals can respond. They can therefore be a useful customer support tool, but they do require quite a bit of human resource overhead

In addition, you should find out, if you don’t already know, which keywords your webmaster is targeting within the site. When you post to the News Pages, Blogs or Forum; you can enhance your chances of beating your competitors by using keyword rich content.


For more information email
neilhwilliams@hwmarketing.co.uk or call 07767 304509 or 01243 573615.






HW Marketing UK are the Affordable Website Design Company of choice for Small or Startup Businesses in the area. Easily understandable pricing 

Monday, 8 August 2011

Build It And They Will Come - WRONG !!

If you have a website the chances are it's not making you much money. Because statistically, some 90% of businesses' websites DON'T make a penny or get people to contact the business. Truth is, making your website pay its way is not quite as simple as your website designer might have led you to believe.


Here's why: in the same way you can't build a profitable and solid business just by printing a glossy brochure and waiting for it to magically pull in the business, you can't simply throw a few "brochure" web-pages onto the Internet and score an immediate success.

And if you’ve been to a typical website design firm for your site, that's what you might have: an online-brochure which has virtually zero marketing effect. Most website designers are basically a new breed of graphic designer and they are NOT marketing experts. That’s why most websites don’t make any money.

The good news is, making your website profitable can be achieved fast, as long as you stick to some simple but very powerful fundamentals. And you can start right now.
And it all starts with your home page, because that’s the first thing people see when they hit your website.

Here are 3 tips to help you maximise the results you get from every visitor to your home page:

1. Ensure your Home Page passes the 8-second test.

Research shows that you have just 8 seconds to grab your website visitors' interest. They don't call it “web-surfing” for nothing: if you don't grab your visitor’s attention and break this pattern of behaviour, then they will hit your site, stay for a few seconds... and then they're gone. Usually forever.
So when they do hit your home-page, you need to present them with a clear and pressing reason to stay. And that means a headline. Don't let your website designer or your graphic designer sell you on the idea of logos, pretty pictures and whitespace ; that's just a "brochure website". Trust me, they don’t work. No one cares about your logo, the picture of the anonymous businessman in a suit at the top of the page, or empty space devoid of any meaning.
A headline is text, usually black, bold, and big which gives your visitor a big, exciting and compelling promise that if he or she continues reading, you're going to give them some significant reward for doing so. In other words, you’re going to have one of the few websites that keeps people for more than 8 seconds.
So think of a great headline for your home page, one which really sums up the "big promise" your business makes and encapsulates the overriding reason why people would want to do business with you and not your competitors.

2. Structure your web page copy according to the AIDA formula.

Follow this classic rule and you can’t go too far wrong. Your home page should follow on from your headline and tell your "story". It's got to be interesting enough to keep them riveted to the page long enough to get them over that 8-second "hump".
AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, Action, and all of your copy, whether it’s a letter, brochure, email, or your home page should follow this simple formula:
  • You get their Attention with a strong, compelling headline offering them a clear benefit for reading further.
     
  • Then you get their Interest with strong opening paragraphs which spell out the problems they face and the benefits your product or service offers.
     
  • You then fan the flames of their Desire by ‘twisting the knife’ and really showing them how you can ease the pain and make their lives better.
     
  • Finally, you get them to take Action on your offer with a strong call to action. On your home page, that will normally involve people giving you their name and email address in exchange for a Free report or video etc. 
    Every single page on your website should have a single purpose to justify its existence, and should therefore follow the AIDA formula.
     
It seems too simple and too good to be true – but it's used by the greatest copywriters and marketers, simply because it plugs into our natural human psychology, and it WORKS.

3. Use the lead generation model.
Too many business owners look at the Internet as nothing more than a virtual shopping mall. But we've already seen how your average visitors to your website are gone again within just 8 seconds.
Do you really think you can persuade your visitors to become a paying customer in 8 seconds? Most of the time, it just doesn’t work.

The trick is to switch from a sales model to a lead generation model. When someone hits your site, your sole intention should be to get them to give you their name and an email address.
Then... once you've got their email address you can start emailing them with a targeted, relationship-building and, ultimately, money-making sequence of personalised, friendly, and informative emails.
So there you have it: 3 very simple changes you can make to your home page right now to boost your website profits.

If you have any questions about how any of this can be put into action, call me on 01243 573615 or email me at neilhwilliams@hwmarketing.co.uk


HW Marketing UK are the Affordable Website Design Company of choice for Small or Startup Businesses in the area. Easily understandable pricing packages start at £250. The Company was established in 2009 by Neil Holley-Williams who worked for 25 years as a Freelance Consultant for IBM, Skandia Life, Invesco Perpetual and Carnival UK.

How To Sell Even In a Recession


As I write this, billions and billions are being wiped off the wealth of this country. It looks likely that the double dip recession predicted 2 years ago , and possibly a depression, is around the corner.

What will that mean for your business ? Well don't PANIC for a start. It's an ideal opportunity to grow YOUR business while everyone else is flapping around.

But, it means that you have to get good at marketing and do what the others aren'tdoing to survive.

The most important thing to remember is that when people have less to spend, it might be tempting for a business to become the CHEAPESTaround, enter a pricing war. In actual fact, what people or businesses with less money to spend want is BEST VALUE for that money. They want to see you offering more value. You gotta be better than the next guy, NOT CHEAPER


Of course, if you are offering a product or service that is exactly the same as what your competition is offering, then it is highly likely they will go and do business with who has the lowest price.
    However...
If you concentrate on separating yourself from the competition by establishing yourself as the only viable solution, then... your prospective customers and clients will have but one option... YOU!
So how can you do this?
Well there is an almost infinite number of ways you can make yourself stand out from your crowd and attract an unlimited amount of customers and clients; however, the easiest and most important thing you should do is to position yourself as the expert in your industry and build a solid relationship with your prospects.
And the easiest way to do this is by specialising yourself in a niche within your industry, thus making yourself incomparable with anyone else.
So no matter what business YOU are in, get thinking of ways you can stand out from the crowd to make yourself the only viable solution to your prospects, and remember...
... treat your current customers and clients with the utmost respect and start to over-deliver to them, because not only is it the right thing to do...
... your current customers are your best and cheapest form of advertising!



HW Marketing UK are the Affordable Website Design Company of choice for Small or Startup Businesses in the area. Easily understandable pricing packages start at £250. The Company was established in 2009 by Neil Holley-Williams who worked for 25 years as a Freelance Consultant for IBM, Skandia Life, Invesco Perpetual and Carnival UK.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Another Customer I Badly Let Down

It's happened again. That's at least twice this year and it makes me feel responsible for not convincing a prospect I have a part to play in growing a business.

See, I'm so passionate about what I do, and how what I do can really help businesses, that if I spend time with a prospect and yet at the end of it I've failed to convince that prospect that they really must buy what I have to offer (I offer a Return On Investment); then I feel as though I've let that customer down.

My websites and services are (pretty much) more affordable than many other web agencies, and yet even so, there are prospects who simply go ahead and cut out website investment.

Usually, when this happens, I visit any website that they may have sourced (usually via DIY or by using a non- professional) and I analyse the site.

Generally what I find is something like this..


In case you can't read the image, it says that the web page analysed meets 0% of the requirements for a Page 1 appearance on Google. If someone spends 3 months (on and off) creating a website with that profile; that's a BIG OUCH !! Trouble is, most people who DIY a website would have no idea that their web presence is so ineffective.

Incidentally in the case above, that particular search phrase was searched for 1000 times a day in the UK in the last 12 months (30000 times a month or 360,000 times a year) . That's a big audience these guys are now missing. It will take real investment to claw that potential audience in. Statistics say that, in this instance, there could be the potential to create a mailing list of 1,800 ring fenced prospects to relate to

And we don't just do websites here. We are a website agency that 'knows' about web surfing behaviour, and we work with the biggest marketing experts in the UK and US to ensure that once your site IS found; then those visitors will drop into your sales funnel. That's a rare combination of techy and savvy marketeer.

At least once a month I get enquiries from businesses that didn't realise the value of website investment with a professional,. They phone up asking just how they can make their website 'work' for the business as a lead generation tool, instead of just sitting there watching visitors waft in and out again without making any contact. Sometimes we can work with the website they have, sometimes we can't; then they rue their misunderstanding of the technicalities and the time they have wasted, all for the sake, usually, of a couple of hundred pounds.

If you hear of anyone who is starting a business, and yet thinks they can build a working website, please, please , please let them know it's much more than just building a presence on the web; that's easy. Making the site work is the other 90% and for that they need a professional marketer. Use the analogy of an iceberg, because building a simple web presence yourself really IS only the tip of the iceberg !

You'll be doing them a favour and stop them wasting time on building a site that doesn't give a ROI.

HW Marketing UK are the Affordable Website Design Company of choice for Small or Startup Businesses in the area. Easily understandable pricing packages start at £250. The Company was established in 2009 by Neil Holley-Williams who worked for 25 years as a Freelance Consultant for IBM, Skandia Life, Invesco Perpetual and Carnival UK.