01438 840 040
Is Your Website Working?
You update your business website religiously. You include web links wherever you can. Is it working? How do you know?
Google Analytics is the minimum website analysis tool you should be using. 56% of businesses rely on this tool alone, (Econsultancy). It's good and it's free!
You’ll have to dance around the changes – which fuel arguments about the validity of keywords – but this remains an insightful tool. 
As a minimum, you see straight away:
  • How many visitors you attracted (new and returning)
  • How long people stayed on your site (average)
  • How many pages they viewed (did you successfully encourage them to browse beyond the first page?)
  • Bounce rate (what percentage of people clicked away from your site after viewing just one page, typically within 30 seconds) 

Is your website really making a difference to your business?


It’s difficult to say from the top level information. However drill a little deeper and you’ll find the quality details you need. You can do this without any further registration or Analytics tools. We believe in keeping life simple.
Time is tight. Read our top three Analytics nuggets – quick, easy, valuable:


1. Where is your traffic coming from?

'Acquisition’ is a major menu option. Select ‘All Traffic’. You’ll see the top places which are successfully referring visitors to your website. There should be a mix of ‘organic’ (natural search results), ‘direct’ (your full address – url – was entered) and referral channels.
Do your social media channels, networking groups and directories show here? This is your chance to streamline your efforts and maximise impact. You’ll also see whether people are using mobile or desktop versions of social media… whilst your website should cope with both (responsive), it’s a useful insight as to how people will view your information.

2. Which search terms are relevant to you?

Google no longer provides the details of the top performing key word within Analytics… but there are ways around this. For now, select ‘Acquisition’ and ‘Keywords – Organic’.  You’ll see the search terms that people have used in finding your website online. It’s interesting to note what’s there – and what isn't.
How does this affect you? Target people to a specific landing page (website entry page) – it doesn’t have to be your Home page. Use just two or three very different keywords to integrate into this page’s search engine optimisation. You’ll see from the pages accessed – and when – if these keywords are attracting visitors, even though the ‘keywords report’ may not show them.


3. How are people moving around your website? 

Getting people to your site is clearly vital. But – it’s what they do when they’re there that counts.
This is fascinating! Choose ‘Behaviour’ and then ‘Behaviour Flow’. You’ll see which pages people accessed first when they reached your site. You could argue that the top keywords would tell you that. But – what happened next?
This section of Google Analytics shows what people did next after entering your site. How did they flow through your information. This will tell you if your internal web links and directional wording are working. Have they seen enough details to make them want to access your prices details, or your background. These are positive signs.
You’ll also see how people leave your site: from which page and after how many page views. Are people behaving as you want them to? How can you influence them? Are your special offers or headline events creating interest?
To summarise:
  • Google Analytics is a free tool and you don't need lots of time to benefit from it. 
  • Not using it yet? You can get the code you need to install it from Google.
  • Use the insight it gives to help shape your internet marketing
Make sure that your website works after you’ve done the hard work of driving people to it. 

If you’d like to know more about analysing your website, contact us. From a quick look at your Analytics to a website review, we’re here to help.
Writing for the Web
Today’s marketing requires a mix of online and traditional channels of communication.

It’s right to be consistent in what we say to our target customers; regarding message and style. But can we use the same wording? No.

Why should copywriting adapt for the web?

People read screens and pages differently. What you write needs to respect that online, readers will:
  • Have less time
  • Scan for relevant information before settling into the content
  • Have a different viewing pattern
So, your message may be the same, but online content will need its own version.

If we get our words right, we can create action. In marketing terms, the action we’re aiming for is engagement, via connection, conversation and/or sales.

Six top tips for effective online writing:

  1. Simple, short sentences. No more than 15 words, ideally 12… it’s tough, but it works!
  2. Succinct paragraphs with no more than five lines. Help people to scan as they want to.
  3. Use bulleted lists. Again for the scanners; they’re visually inviting too.
  4. Write directional text, with links. This is your conversation with the reader and your chance to encourage action. ‘Contact us’, ‘download free guide’, ‘sign up for our top tips’ are good examples.
  5. F style. People read online across the top of the screen, left to right, then down in the shape of the letter ‘F’. Respect this with your key content. (It also explains website menu positions.)
  6. Keyword positioning.  Blend what we know about search engine optimisation with online reading habits. Position a select number of keywords within your copy. It’s difficult to know column widths online (far easier with printed media). Position your chosen keywords at the start of each paragraph; early within the first sentence. They’ll be picked up by search engines and human readers alike.
To summarise: be clear, be brief, be relevant.

Getting your words right is tremendously powerful; influencing the action of others. For more tips about copywriting, follow us on Twitter. Or contact us for a chat. 
The Myths and Magic of Social Media
Social media for business is huge! But with every trend comes myth and misunderstanding.  Here are our top six comments about social media, based upon clients’ feedback…

1.    Everyone uses social media

Do they? Many, many people do - but not everyone… especially when they’re in ‘work mode’. Current UK usage figures are:

•    LinkedIn – generates 64% website referrals , with 10+ million users 
•    Twitter – 34% businesses generate leads from the 15+ million users
•    Facebook – 31+ million users, with 40% preferring to read rather than post content
•    Pinterest – 2+ million users and growing fast with 80% pins shared
•    Instagram – 150+ million globally (UK unavailable)
•    Google + - UK usage figures are unavailable (Google’s figures include Gmail  and YouTube accounts) 

Tip: research your target customers... which channels do they use? 

2.    You need to be seen using all the options

No! Save your sanity! 

Tip: focus your energy on the platforms that your target – and existing - customers are using.

3.    You can measure return

Yes!  Make sure that the time you put into social media is reaping rewards. Set yourself reasonable yet challenging targets regarding connections, engagement and website visits.

Review which type of content is most successful and how your new website visitors behave. Getting them to your site isn’t quite enough… ensure that you meet the expectations set by your social media content. If your bounce rate (fast exits) increases with your visits, something isn't working.

Tip: use Google Analytics to see how may referrals your social media activity is generating

4.    It needs hours a day for it to work

Don’t worry – there are many free tools to help with planning and posting content.
Tip: try and allocate and hour each week for this, supported by dipping in daily to respond to connections and interaction.

5.    It’s a sales channel

Yes… and no! Generating sales is often the ultimate reason for using social media for business – but contacts should never feel this intention. Overtly promotional information is the fastest way of disengaging people. Stick to relevant interesting information. Sell your enthusiasm, knowledge and experience to gain credibility and enquiries.

Tip: be informative, interesting and approachable

6.    It’s addictive!

Be warned! Many business owners are reticent about using social media within their internet marketing arsenal… initially. Finding your way around your chosen social media can be rewarding in itself. Generating responses is like a pat on the back for your hard work. It feels great… make sure it rewards your business too. 

Tip: record the time you spend on social media for business for one week. It’s a sobering exercise!

Now’s the time to review your social media activity. Make sure that the time your business is investing is as effective as possible. If in doubt, contact us – we’re here to help.
Social Media for Business Success
Social media: most businesses use it as a platform to generate contact, engagement and ultimately sales. But how can we make the most of a tool which simply doesn’t tolerate overt selling? How can we make our conversations count in business terms?

Is Social Media Right for Business?

In short, yes. However – choose the platform which best suits your audience. Think about your content and where your target (and existing) customers will see you. Facebook is still by far the strongest option for volume of users and sharing; but it simply isn’t right for most business-to-business marketing. Pinterest is growing fast and already has the second highest volume of referral traffic. LinkedIn has comparatively small levels of users and activity but is the obvious choice for most business-to-business marketing activity.

Credibility Counts 

That’s how social media can definitely help us all. Regular, relevant conversations help generate awareness and credibility. Responsiveness is a key requirement of your social media too. The pace is fast – and unforgiving. A lean month of Twitter content can look like you’ve shut up shop. Often, social media for businesses is about credibility. It’s a powerful back-up for the rest of your internet marketing arsenal. It’s where people will find you to seek reassurance. They’re looking for confirmation of their impressions about you and your business. That’s where it can always help the sales process.


Selling via Social Media

Have you ever stopped following someone because of their non-stop promotional content? Or left a group because of the plethora of sales messages? Many groups monitor this but once connected, you’re vulnerable to direct messaging. People use social media to be social; not to be sold to. Relevant conversations can gain valuable feedback as well as demonstrate your own expertise in a helpful way. So, what you’re selling is your knowledge, your experience; not your product or service in a direct way. 

Tips for Social Media Success:

1.    Be relevant – in your choice of social media, content and style 
2.    Monitor conversations; respond quickly and wisely
3.    Define success. Do you want website visits, newsletter signups, direct contact? Successful social media will lead to engagement first, then sales opportunities
4.    Be patient. Social media for business isn’t a quick fix. But – stick at it… it’s likely to reap rewards. 

No time to research, write and respond? 62% businesses save time by outsourcing their copywriting

Need a better return from your social media activity? Contact us at Decisions Marketing for a free discussion. We’re here to help.
Enticing Email Marketing
Despite the increase of social media as a communication tool, emailing remains a personable, flexible and successful marketing activity.

It’s ten times cheaper to gain an order or a piece of work from someone who you already know; yet many business owners concentrate on chasing their next new client, forgetting those who have already invested in their product or skills.

Why send marketing emails?

Staying in touch is vital for referrals, repeat business, cross selling and simply out of courtesy. Emails are the perfect opportunity (not forgetting to blend in personal contact too – underutilised by businesses and appreciated by clients).

The title – then the content – of your email will be essential in determining the success of your activity. Here are some top tips to help your email get noticed..  and opened:   

1.    Plan the email title carefully – the words like ‘save’, ‘offer’, ‘win’ and ‘discount’ will be seen as spam by many filters, (as are capital letters). This will stop your email reaching many inboxes.

2.    Varying the title increases the open rate significantly. Entice people to open your email by tempting them with content clues within the title. ‘Latest News’, ‘Summer Update’ or ‘Newsletter no.21’ simply don’t scream ‘open me’!  

3.    Consider using some keywords within your title and content… researched, of course. If these terms work for your website traffic, they should engage your contacts enough to open and read your email too. (Hopefully gaining valuable website traffic and contact engagement.)

4.    Content – position your best stories and deals/most seasonal/most popular items at the top of the list so that people will see them within their inbox – no need to scroll down. These items will draw people into opening the email.

5.    Timing – the day of the week and time of day are crucial to opening rates. Popular days vary between markets. How about looking at your website statistics and social media engagement to see which days and times seem most popular with your contacts?

One other point: one you’ve started, you need to keep going! Frequency will depend upon your market, content and workload. Whether you follow up monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly or occasionally… do follow up.

If you would like to discuss your emailing plans or want a helping hand with putting the words together, please contact us. We can save you time and give you a guide-line for future emails. Let’s start sending!  

Emailing Etiquette: Staying Legal
Emailing works.

Yes – many of us have moved to social networks to make contact, (excellent if you don’t have email addresses). Most of us are protective of our email addresses – particularly when faced with growing inboxes. Despite these trends, emailing works.

It’s ten times cheaper to gain work from an existing contact compared with generating, nurturing and converting a new one. The secret to success? Relevant, interesting content and the right frequency. These only work, of course, if they’re going out to the right people.
So – if emailing an offer, newsletter or update is right for your business, (and it probably is), there are some key, legal considerations to bear in mind before you press ‘send’:

1.    Everyone must have the option to unsubscribe. Angst may soon turn to negative word of mouth if someone wants to stop receiving your emails only to find themselves trapped without an escape route. 
2.    It is illegal to ‘cold email’ someone’s personal email address, even with an ‘opt out’ clause. Plus - business email addresses should only be targeted when the email content is relevant to the business rather than for personal use.

3.    Business email address can be contacted ‘out of the blue’, however explaining why you have written to them will help with how your message is received.

4.    It is extremely bad practice and against data protection laws if recipients can see the addresses of others who have received the email. Yes, we know that. Yes, it still happens – often.

5.    Identify yourself! Who you are and why you’re writing should be made clear. Transparency will keep you legal and open the way to credibility. 

Ignore these pointers at your peril! Worst case scenario? Blacklisting and/or a fine.

Popular online emailing software is good at giving tips and keeping your emails legal. They’ll also spot unusually high ‘opt out’ requests or spam notifications. For anyone with under 2,000 people to send to monthly, we recommend Mailchimp for its templates, support service…. and its nil cost!

If you would like to discuss emailing campaigns or other online marketing, please do contact us for an initial chat, without any obligation at all. Emailing is great; sometimes, it’s good to talk!   

For more information about the legal requirements, look at the Privacy and Electronic Communications Act, or contact us.
Advertising on Twitter
Advertising on Twitter has recently been extended to include those of us in the UK. There are two key choices involved: promoted tweets and promoted accounts.

1. Promoted Tweets
Why use Promoted Tweets?
  • Increased coverage for your strongest messages or special offers
  • For driving visitors to your website
  • More engagement within Twitter
Promoted tweets appear within timelines and at the top of the relevant search results shown within Twitter. (In this way, it’s a similar format to Pay Per Click.) Twitter assesses the interests and content within a timeline when deciding where to include your promoted tweet.

With internet searches, users often disregard ‘sponsored’ positions. This is less apparent within Twitter – so far. Promoted tweets will only appear within Twitter timelines if content is deemed relevant to the account. So… how you target your campaign is vital.

People can engage with a promoted tweet exactly as they would with a regular tweet, (retweet, reply, favourite etc.).

2. Promoted Accounts
Why become a Promoted Account?
  • Collect extra followers, fast
  • Creating longer term engagement and reach for activity
Promoted accounts are the suggestions of ‘who to follow’ which appear on the left side of the home screen. You’ll now see promoted accounts as well as suggestions naturally found by Twitter.

You can target new followers by keywords, interests and usernames. Twitter will prompt you for via a series of choices. If you choose a user name (@username), Twitter will analyse this username’s followers looking at who they are and what interests those people have in common. This route can be handy if you know the @username of an influential person within your market or maybe that of a key competitor.
Both routes include options on expenditure, location and gender. Good news for well- targeted campaigns. Excellent news for capping your budget! Plus – you only pay if someone engages with your promoted tweet, or follows you as a promoted account.

Whichever route you choose, ensure that the interests/accounts involved are aligned to your Twitter content. In other words, attract potential followers who will be genuinely interested in your tweets – and in you.  

Users cannot stop promoted tweets and accounts from appearing within their Twitter session. By promoting tweets and accounts based upon relevance, Twitter is hoping that this will not cause an adverse reaction amongst users.

The rules may change based upon user experience, feedback... and shareholder pressure. Rumours are rife that Twitter will lose its 140 character limit in order to entice advertisers now that it has shareholders to please and answer to. Watch this space!

If you would like to explore Twitter advertising, start using Twitter or help with content for social media, please contact us. Plus - you could always follow us on Twitter!