Category Archives: Top Tips

Nicola Peaty

Top tips on how to raise your search engine ranking.

By Nicola Peaty

search_engine_rankingWhere would we all be without Google these days?! As such a major force in our digital world, we have to play according to the big search engine ways in order for our online presence to be found by our target markets. Below are our top tips on how to help raise your website’s search engine ranking.


Start with your research: In order to really know how to attract your target visitors to your website, you need to know what search terms they are using when looking online for products or services which match those relevant to yours. You would waste a lot of time guessing or assuming certain terms and then finding you attract the wrong type of audience who immediately bounce back when they realise your site is not what they’re looking for. Wordtracker and Google Adwords are useful tools that will help you discover the exact words and phrases your potential customers are inputting to search engines. This kind of insight gives you real intelligence into how your market is searching and consuming relevant information to your company, so use it wisely and keep checking and updating accordingly.

Specify your search terms: Based on the keyword research, you will have a list of words, terms and phrases to form the basis of your SEO strategy. Make sure you use these keywords to match your company, products/services, but also where possible, specify the terms by using additional words to attract the absolute target audience. By this, we mean adding locality, product details and company information, so that a. your audience can see upfront exactly what they will view on your site and whether it matches their needs and b. you will avoid generic terms used by the big gun sites who will most probably rank higher and have paid for these terms through PPC.

Keyword your metadata: Use the list of keywords found by your research within the metadata on your website. The title metadata shows the page titles you can see in the web browser. The description metadata is your chance to give a succinct marketing push about the content visitors can find on that particular page. The keyword metadata is where you can use the research list of terms. It will also mean these pages appear by matching the terms searched by your prospective visitors and stand out with their relevant details compared to competing generic sites. Just don’t cram the titles full of keywords as this could well have the reverse effect and be completely ignored, so key the words concise but relevant.


Quality not quantity: Content is king as we all know in the online marketing space. Spiders love new and relevant content so keep updating and refreshing the information on your site. Use the keyword research on a regular basis to keep terms applicable and reflect in your content. Blogs are an obvious way of updating content and using social media to push this content out will hopefully then drive traffic back to your site. This increases the relevance and authority of your site. Monitor your content and know which is working and attracting the most views and comments, which can help you plan future content.

Online PR: Another way to get your content viewed and in turn raise your ranking, is to write and push out quality press releases. Again the word quality is used here, as the release has to be topical, insightful, have that grabbing ‘hook’ in order for journalists, other sites and viewers alike, to want to pick it up, link to it and view it. Value in your information will in turn give you value for your website and search engine ranking.

Links: Both inbound and outbound links play an important part on the authority and trust of your website, but again we have the quality not quantity rule to apply. Making sure you have fewer links that are all totally relevant and especially from other authority sites, is far more valuable to your ranking than hundreds of non-related small sites. It’s obviously easier to control outbound links from your site, but you can track inbound links from a range of programs such as SEOmoz and Google Analytics. This will give you an insight into who is coming to your site and where they are coming from. Another useful tip is to use specific and descriptive link tags which explains what content is to be found within the link, instead of generic terms like ‘click here’, which has no search engine value beyond the attached URL. If possible, you could contact these sites and ask them to do the same to help push relevant traffic your way.

Alt tags: Finally, once you’ve managed to drive visitors to your site, you want to keep them on there as long as possible. Therefore, use a variety of multimedia to keep their interest such as images, videos and infographics. Just make sure you don’t miss an opportunity by describing your media with alt tags (alternative text description). These can then be found by search engines and add a unique source of relevance to your audience. Below is a great example of how to post and tag images in an ongoing cycle which helps increase your links, add authority from other sites and keep your visitors engaged.

alt tag example


Nicola Peaty

How to create effective email designs.

By Nicola Peaty

Emails are still one of the many tools in the vast array found within the marketing toolbox. However, like all other marketing channels, emails must be carefully planned and thought-through to stand out among the competing messages and images sent to our inboxes. Recipients have a split second to decide whether to delete, view, click or share. So, you have to know your market, know your brand and be clear on your message in order to get the desired response from your email marketing. Here are some useful tips on what to consider when planning your email design and message together with some illustrative examples. Give Blood: We start with a great example of a striking design that you cannot ignore once you’ve opened this email. Perfectly laid out, your eye is drawn to the focal image and immediately to the call to action to make an appointment. Should you require additional information, there are three neat boxes at the bottom to supplement your needs and give you supportive facts and details. give blood email Apple: Due to the well known brand, Apple can afford to tease with simplicity, minimal branding and yet still attain the objective of a new store opening. All the details you need, albeit few, are present and correct. Clean and effective. apple email ASOS: Now that over half of us our opening emails on mobile devices, it would be madness to avoid tailoring email designs to suit mobile compatibility. See ASOS who have streamlined the images accordingly. Asos_Mobile2 New Look: Calls to actions play a major part in generating a response to emails. If you elect for a link or button, ensure they stand out among the background images. New Look have achieved this so well with two clear buttons for their two audiences. The message is also short but to the point, with the images giving examples of their World Cup clothing. It just shows that you don’t have to include reams of copy to communicate your message. new_look_good-blog-full Stitcher: Inviting interaction is always a clever way of drawing in your email recipient. The Stitcher email has plenty to click on to either listen, watch or even share. Plus they’ve been extra clever by tailoring the content for each recipient so that they feel Stitcher has taken time to select and personalise the email especially for them. Personalisation is key to emails so that recipients don’t feel spammed, so make sure if you include their name, the content must be relevant, otherwise you will lose their trust and interest. stitcher-email-example Cooksmart: This email demonstrates how to present a lot of images and information without cluttering and confusing the recipient. The list of daily recipes is complimented by the supporting images below and invites us to click on one of them to see the details. It also includes extra little links which draw us in to watch a video, download a menu or find out more about a particular ingredient. Plus, the additional calls to action ask us to post on facebook or forward to a friend. The overall design works well together and the clever marketing hooks are all there to entice the viewer. cooksmart-email-example Ballard: This design had to be beautiful in order to reflect well on the brand. Your eye is cleverly drawn down to the final and important call to action with a 10% discount. Simple and yet still effective. ballard email H&M: If you simply have a promotion to push, then H&M shows the bold and direct way to go about a less beautiful, but nonetheless effective, type of design. Two colours, minimal branding, clear message and call to action. Tick, tick, tick and tick! h_m_good-blog-full

How to grow your business with social media

Nicola Peaty

Top tips on how to segment your marketing data.

By Nicola Peaty

Through various marketing methods over a period of time you will hopefully have amassed a substantial amount of customer data. However, as we all know, data is only valuable if it is kept up-to-date and provides a form of intelligence. In order to get the most out of our data, we need segment and build profiles so that we can tailor and target our communications effectively and efficiently.

Below are our top tips on how to segment your data:

1. Do you have business objectives? Before you stare into the database abyss, you must consider whether the business got a specific objective connected with a particular target market? Do you have a priority type of customer that your company needs to focus on? For example, are you trying to raise awareness of a product in a certain market segment or do you need to target lapsed customers who previously bought a range of products? This will give you the direction and focus so that you can identify and group the data to form specific lists with a marketing purpose.

market segmentation







2. Analyse the data. Just by looking at your data in different ways, you may be able to discover trends and behaviours characterised by specific groups of customers. This in itself could produce great intelligence which will then allow you to develop and target your marketing accordingly. You may not have realised that your newest and highest spenders all fall within a definitive demographic or are buying a certain group of products. Imagine what you could do with your marketing to develop and grow this segment.

3. Identify gaps. As you start to segment your data, you mind find shortfalls in particular details. This needs to be addressed to ensure you can accurately communicate with your chosen customers. This also means making sure the details are updated with a data refresh on a frequent basis. Customers don’t mind verifying their details if you explain it is in order to ensure they receive relevant messages. Sending pre-populated fields make it even easier for them to check and verify.

4. Build profiles. Once you have chosen a segment of data that you wish to focus your marketing efforts on, you may find it useful to build a fuller profile of this particular audience. By investigating and asking additional questions to your customers, it may highlight significant findings to help your targeted communications. For example, is there a common characteristic which will help personalise your message or do they have the same motivation in purchasing a particular product/service? The aim is to get closer to this segment so that your marketing is as effective as possible.

5. Cover the basics. There is nothing wrong with segmenting according the basic demographics. Most companies start this way until they can build more intelligence. Gender, age groups, geography are the most common but add to this pyschographics such as lifestyle and life stage, and they will really develop your data. You may also be able to sort your data into new, lapsed and loyal customers and even those with the highest spend or just new enquiries. Any way to segment into lists will help your marketing have a more specific message and avoid blanket communications which may not be relevant to some of the targeted customers.







6. Choose wisely. Not every segment will be the most effective for your business. Your chosen target market must suit your company and your company must suit them. Are you the best placed to deliver their needs? Are you going head to head with the competition? Will this segment give you a profitable ROI for your marketing efforts? Is this a transient segment or long-term to build future investment? These are essential questions for your business which will determine the emphasis of your targeted marketing.

How to grow your business with social media

Nicola Peaty

Top tips for how to manage the lead nurturing process for your business.

By Nicola Peaty

Lead nurturing is all about how you build a relationship between your business and your prospect. There will of course be certain business cases where it is applicable to make a quick sale to a new or existing lead. Maybe there is little decision making involved and the reason to purchase is simple and instant.

not ready to buy


However, most of us live in the business world where we need to spend more time in convincing our target market about the features and benefits of our products/services, but moreover, about why they should choose our company over the competition.

This is where lead nurturing plays a crucial role.

Here are our top tips in the lead nurturing process:

1. Build and analyse your leads. This goes beyond the basic demographics. Data collection from leads who have expressed an initial interest will be critical in deciding how you target and nurture them. Some leads may have arrived at your website with little or no knowledge about your business, while others may know a lot more but still need advice. Some leads may have several enquiries but are much ‘warmer’ as a lead in order to convert to a sale. Your job is to capture as much detail as possible, through progressive information gathering. Using these data you can then build different profiles and personas, and segment them accordingly, so that you can optimise your various nurture communications.

2. Be information ready. This means that as your lead generation campaign starts building new prospects, as well as including your existing leads, you need to have the answers in place to deal with any enquiries. Leads will go on a fact finding mission until they are satisfied they are ready to purchase. So ensure all touch points are equipped to deal with their requirements and respond as soon as possible. That means online, in print, via text, by email, on the phone and in person. An audit check across all information points is great way to ensure that no prospects are lost because they could not find your product details they were looking for.

3. Build the relationship. The word nurture means to promote, develop, encourage and support. All these are totally in line with how you should be treating your prospects so that they feel a sense of trust and confidence with your brand. What you tell them is important. How you tell them is just as important. Whether interaction occurs on the phone or online, be mindful that you are representing the brand and consider this as an opportunity to progress the prospect towards the sales ready status. Ask yourself following any interaction, whether your customer is totally satisfied with the response you have provided.

4. Multimedia content. Leads will go in search of what they need via all types of media so you have to have all the possibilities covered. Content is king as we all know, so make sure yours stands out among all the other ‘noise’ fighting for attention. Think of original ways to promote and convey your message. Use social media as appropriate for your brand, be creative with video if applicable and be authoritative with blogs and articles. Content should deliver unique, valuable information as well as reflect on the brand position of your company. Make your prospects believe that you are the right choice for them because you have communicated in the right way to them.

5. Monitor and target. To be totally effective and use your resources efficiently, stay close to how your prospects are responding to the nurture process. You will then be able to identify those who are reacting well and spend time focusing efforts on encouraging those who seem most likely to become ‘sales ready’. This will mean keeping your prospect database or CRM system up-to-date at all times and knowing when to make contact, with the appropriate message to the selected type of prospect. Marketing automation is a great way of sending a series of messages which can trigger different responses and help you funnel and filter your leads. However, you choose to ‘progress’ your leads, make sure your sales team are primed and ready when the final time comes to convert to a sale.

lead nurture


Nicola Peaty

Top tips for successful networking

By Nicola Peaty

Networking groups have become increasingly popular and readily available in recent years. If used effectively, they can be a great way to meet contacts that can either help your business or become potential clients.





Here are some top tips in how to make the most of networking groups:
1. Decide which groups are best suited to your needs. Before you turn up at each and every group going in your area, make sure you know the type of people attending the groups. There are some specific to just business women, some just for a local town, some for selected industries, and some for start-up businesses. So it’s important to chose the ones which closely match you and your company.
2. Know why you are going. This possibly sounds a bit strange but you must know why you are attending so that you come across as focussed and with clear business intentions. Is your goal to generate a specific business link to help a particular part of your company? Or, are you purely marketing yourself and raising brand awareness? Whatever your goal, be prepared and stay with your intended purpose.
3. Have a clear message. Once engaged in conversation, it’s so much more professional to convey your purpose if it is thought through. Waffling will get you nowhere and it doesn’t reflect well on you or your company.
4. Listen as well as you speak. All attendees will be there to communicate their intentions. It’s important to listen to others in order to properly engage and ascertain whether they are of any interest. Do not go round like a walking advert announcing the wonders of your company without giving others a chance to talk.
5. Ask relevant questions. A clever line of questioning will allow you to dig a bit and find out potential useful connections. Avoid closed answers questions which give you a yes or no and ask open-ended questions which stimulates more conversation.
6. Give some free advice. If the opportunity arises in your discussions where you are able to impart snippets of useful business information that could help your contact, then that will show your expertise and how your company could be of use to their company, without any overt selling.
7. Be genuine. People buy people and first impressions matter. So make sure your manner is friendly, calm and professional. This will immediately put the other person at ease and allow the conversation to begin much more easily.
8. Move on politely. Let’s face it everyone at the networking group wants to get the most out of it, so if it becomes quite clear in any discussions with new contacts that there is little potential or relevance between you, then it is perfectly acceptable to politely end the conversation and move on.
9. Follow up with contacts. If you manage to make some useful connections at the groups, then don’t wait too long before you follow up and make the next contact with them. This is especially true if you at any point, mentioned you would send them details or call them for a specific purpose.
10. Convert contacts into database and LinkedIn. Post event, make sure you make use of the business cards you collected by entering details into your contact database with relevant notes attached. Plus, if applicable, link in on social media such as LinkedIn and invite contacts to like your social media pages.



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