Have You Tried Google Apps For Work?

It’s not that well known in the UK, but we love it.

What are we talking about? Google Apps For Work.

It has so many benefits – for businesses of all sizes.

From working better and more efficiently with colleagues, to saving on the cost of licences for MS Office and the ‘obligatory’ server for your emails or documents, to integrating a whole host of other applications to make your working life and business run and perform better, we think it’s the next ‘garlic bread’. Did we mention it makes protecting your data – such as information about your customers – easier too?

Check out all the benefits and features here.

 

17 Reasons To Send A Press Release

Have you ever thought of using press releases to promote your business to your customers and prospects?

 

Using press releases is a form of PR or public relations.

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations says: “Public relations is about reputation – the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you.”


It adds: “Public Relations is the discipline which looks after reputation, with the aim of earning understanding and support and influencing opinion and behaviour.


“It is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics.”

 

So, why should YOU send a press release?

 

Here’s 17 reasons to do so:

 

  1. Media coverage from a press release can drive valuable traffic to your website
  2. It can position your company and its products and services in the minds of your customers and potential new customers more easily than traditional advertising (or online advertising)
  3. It is much cheaper than advertising
  4. It helps to build your brand
  5. You can say things in a press release that you can’t say in an advertisement
  6. Appearing in a local newspaper, business magazine or trade publication (or even on radio or television) gives your business massive credibility amongst your customers and potential new customers
  7. It can help to position you, a member of staff, or your company as ‘the expert’ in your field and give you a competitive advantage. Likewise, it can showcase your products as the ‘best in the market’
  8. It can help generate sales enquiries and new customers
  9. It can help your business get more coverage online
  10. You can use the content of a press release for 1 or more posts on social media
  11. Brainstorming ideas for news stories can highlight successes internally within a business (and even make staff feel better)
  12. A press release can help to create goodwill between your company and your customers, potential new customers, employees, shareholders, and even suppliers
  13. It can help to protect your corporate reputation in case of negative media coverage
  14. It can help to influence buying behaviour of your customers and potential new customers
  15. It can help your company to earn understanding and support from customers, potential new customers, employees, suppliers and even shareholders
  16. It can help tell the world what your business is good at, how your products and services can help your customers and why customers and potential customers should buy from you rather than your competitors (but you have to careful how you do this!)
  17. The content of a press release in a news stories in a newspaper, magazine or online is viewed as far more credible (i.e. true) than anything you can say in an advertisement

 

 

Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year!

We’d like to wish our clients, partners, suppliers and business contacts a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

 

SEO is on the move as search goes mobile

Few people would argue – particularly within the online marketing industry itself – that mobile search is growing in importance at present.

An ever-increasing array of mobile devices, from smartphones (Android, iOS, Windows Phone and BlackBerry among them) to tablets including Apple’s iPad and the Microsoft Surface, are putting search at the fingertips of a new generation.

It’s probably the single fastest shift in search habits since the creation of search engines themselves – and certainly the biggest non-Google impact on search in recent years.

And that means you need to be ready to react – or even to proact, if you want to lead the charge towards truly search-optimised mobile sites.

What does mobile mean?

You might think you know what mobile search means for common metrics like average query length – searching while on the move, on a tiny touchscreen keyboard, probably means shorter search queries on average, right?

If you think that, you’re wrong, according to figures published by Yahoo! and based on usage trends on Yahoo! Search for Mobile.

Between 2007 and 2010, the average mobile search query overall grew in length from 3.05 words to 3.6 words, and from 18.48 characters to 22.16.

There are plenty of reasons why this might be the case, but an obvious one is voice recognition – in many cases, searches are no longer manually typed in, but simply spoken into the handset, making it much easier to search for a longer sequence of words, or even for a full phrase in the form of a question.

How long is the tail?

In the same report, Yahoo! revealed that mobile search is still in its infancy, relatively speaking, and that despite the figures above, short-tail search queries are more common than their longer-tail counterparts.

“There are more head queries – queries with high frequency of repetitions, with small number of words,” reported Yahoo!, “while long queries are also increasing on torso and tail queries.”

Mobile search is still coming up, but is very nearly there, making it important to have a comprehensive SEO agency in place to target these more competitive short-tail key terms, and the more relevant long-tail phrases.

But if 2010 seems like a lifetime ago in this fast-moving market, a separate Yahoo! report puts all of this into a much more contemporary context.

Mobile search in 2013

In a one-sheet update on mobile search – covering both Yahoo! Search for Mobile and Bing Mobile – the company predicts that 2013 will be the year in which mobile searches “eclipse” desktop search.

“Mobile search is no longer ‘coming on’; its time has arrived,” Yahoo! states, adding that Android and iPhone searches account for more than 50% of the mobile queries it receives, and that it and Bing together share over a third of the mobile search market.

This last point is worth remembering, because perhaps more than in the desktop and laptop markets, smartphone users are often tied to the search engine provided by default on their handset.

While this may still be Google for Android users, it’s likely to lead to a sustained and substantial share in the mobile search market for Bing, if Windows Phone sales reach relatively high figures.

As such, any mobile SEO campaign would be wise to span not only the appropriate range of query lengths, but also to take into account non-Google search engine optimisation, ensuring strong performance on Yahoo! and Bing, and tapping into this sizeable but arguably less competitive search market for mobile devices.

Get More Work Done – Go On Holiday!

Christmas is now under a week away, and it’s nearly time for everyone to have a well-earned rest!

However, regardless of when you decide it’s time for a short break, a long weekend, or even a proper holiday abroad, it can actually be a time where your productivity increases.

I’m aware this is going to make me sound either mad or miserable, but bare with me on this…

For me, bizarrely, going holiday actually makes me more productive because I’m in a relaxed mood, which allows me to free my mind, think creatively, and plan ahead.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you should surrender your holiday to your business – it should first and foremost be for relaxing. I never deliberately set out to work more on while I’m on holiday, but out of habit I always take a hardback notepad and tend to find that I scribble lots of information down, which I can implement when I return.

Prior to going on holiday, I’m usually extremely busy trying to finish things off for clients, and I don’t start to relax until I’m on the plane, train, boat etc. But once I do relax, it gives me the opportunity to delve into a more laid back and creative state. Once this change occurs, I find myself filling up with ideas and I use the notepad to make a lot of notes.

Some of this can be prompted by reading good books relevant to marketing, or listening to audio programmes that include experts talking about various aspects of marketing. Personally, I’m currently reading “Email Persuasion” by Ian Brodie, which is an excellent book on email marketing and well worth checking out.

As a result of my holiday, I find that I ironically get more work done than at times when I’m at work, and under the day-to-day pressures of running my own business.

So, my personal suggestion to owners of businesses is to take regular breaks throughout the year (they don’t all have to be full blown trips to Hawaii, maybe just a nice long weekend away in the Lakes), and see if that results in a rise in your productivity and creativity in a similar way.

For now though, I wish you a very Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!