This week the team here at Skyline have been getting proactive and involved with the University of Exeter’s Spring Enterprise Week – a week full of activities, such as talks and workshops, offering students the opportunity to meet fellow entrepreneurs and develop enterprise skills.
Rob and Joe, along with local entrepreneur Dan from Webwise Media, have been offering their pearls of wisdom on setting up a website on a budget, on SEO and on other marketing strategies including social media. On Monday they held a workshop, ‘A Beginners Guide to Website Design,’ showing students the basic tools for getting started and demonstrating how to set up WordPress (one of the most popular low-cost frameworks in existence for creating a great website).
This will be followed up on Friday with a slightly more advanced ‘Part 2’, showing students the best free sites and resources available to help boost your online presence, with an Introduction to Photoshop, to coding in HTML and CSS and coding a WordPress Theme.
In addition to these workshops, we’ve had two office visits offering students the chance to get to know us a little bit better and drill us with questions about how Rob and Joe met, how we got to where we are and the problems we encountered along the way. We also discussed their business ideas, and offered advice on how best to get their products off the ground.
Finally, Rob and Joe have held three one-on-one sessions with young entrepreneurs, getting to know people who already have a business plan, idea or website but need help with marketing. During these sessions we discussed the best ways to promote yourself, from an SEO and social media point of view, so as to build a good reputation and customer base.
Both Joe and Rob have hugely enjoyed getting involved with students, and look forward to the rest of the week. It’s been a pleasure to give something back and hear all the innovative and exciting ideas young entrepreneurs are coming up with.
Today, it seems near impossible to imagine a world in which the Internet did not exist. In fact, most people would probably admit that the idea of going even a day without the internet seems inconceivable. Staying away from Facebook or resisting the urge to Tweet for a mere 24 hours has become a feat few can claim to have achieved, with the average time spent on social networking sites today being around 3.8 hours a day.
With this in mind, it is easy to forget that the World Wide Web is actually no more than a quarter of a century old, as today it celebrates its 25th birthday. It was on March 12, 1989 that Sir Tim Berners-Lee presented the blueprint for the web – something which would completely transform the world.
However the internet didn’t always look like it does today. Google, for instance, didn’t enter the scene until the 90’s, and its original cartoon-esque logo seems far removed from todays. The now deleted, rather childish exclamation mark seems to really highlight the youth of the page, which has now matured into the sophisticated, stripped back homepage we know so well.
Google: Then and Now.
This polishing through the years appears common to all big sites. While the earlier webpages can be seen as indicative of a simpler time, since inferior download speeds meant they had to be fairy basic, they simultaneously managed to feel far more cluttered. Rather than the stylish, refined sites we’d recognise today, which often privilege simplicity and favour eye catching graphics over bulky sections of text, these early sites are more comparable to a GCSE student’s IT project. We can see this when comparing Apple’s 1997 homepage with today’s.
Apple then and now.
Moreover, Myspace, the site which attracted millions of users in its early days, has all but faded into the background along with other short-lived fads (one might remember Bebo), all overshadowed by the social networking giants Facebook.
Last years page v relaunch page
It is hard to believe that Facebook itself, founded in 2004 and now one of the most frequently visited websites in the world, was initially exclusive to Harvard University and named the far less catchy “The Facebook”. Despite retaining its original colouring, the site has completely transformed, and continues to develop and update at a rapid rate, with users having to constantly adapt.
One of our director’s at Skyline, Joe, writes about how to select the right keywords or phrases for your SEO campaign.
Selecting the right keywords or phrases for your website to rank for is an extremely important decision you will need to make for your new or existing website.
Targeting a keyword that generates a high volume of searches may be great for search traffic but may not lead to sales or lead generation. Keyword selection is about attracting the right visitors. The more specific a keyword can be, the more likely the visitor to your site is going to be to purchase your products or services. A more generic search term may lead to more “browsers” on your site or people simply looking for information on your chosen subject rather than those willing to part with their money!
So how much exactly is a keyword worth to your site?
If for example you owned a online shop with a particular specialism in red jumper’s for men. It may be that you decide the best keyword to be found for on Google is “Clothes.” – Clothes produces on average 49500 searches per month. This will undoubtably bring you plenty of website traffic, however, how many of these searches are for your product?
The next step may be to search for “Jumper” (14800) searches per month or even “Men’s Jumper” (1000.)
Whilst these are slightly more specific they still run the risk of generating poor quality traffic.
However, there are 140 searches per month for the term “men’s red jumper” the exact phrase of the product you are selling. The traffic you generate form this search term is highly likely to be from a person looking to purchase such an item.
The other benefit of choosing a long-tailed search term is the competitiveness of this phrase is generally less than a broader search term. This results in less time and money having to be spent on trying to reach the top of the rankings for an extremely difficult search term.
If you would like to understand more about selecting the right keywords for your website or how to improve your rankings please do contact us.
This week we are celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week, which is the world’s largest campaign promoting entrepreneurship. Initiated in 2008, each year Global Entrepreneurship Week encourages millions of people across the world to start up their own businesses. During the course of the week over 3,000 events are taking place in the UK, involving more than 300,000 participants. From lectures given by the world’s leading entrepreneurs, to start-up competitions and networking events, the week is aimed to support and inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs.
Our team at Skyline knows the importance of events like Global Entrepreneurship Week. As an independent company founded in January 2011, we are passionate about supporting aspiring entrepreneurs and promoting entrepreneurship. Due to our close links with Exeter University, we were delighted to be invited to speak at a workshop held at the University. Our company director Joe Hibberd attended the event, delivering an engaging speech on the benefit and importance of SEO when starting up a business and a company website. Joe commented that “engaging with a group of students and hearing about their ambitions for business was great. It will be great to hear that one day, one of the people in the room is the next Steve Jobs!”
Alongside our involvement with the University, we believe in creating opportunities for Exeter students, and we are proud of the fact that our team at Skyline is made up of many current students and alumni.
Online marketing is the relatively new kid on the marketing block. It includes any form of marketing that uses the Internet and covers search engine optimisations (SEO), e-mail marketing, social media, pay-per-click, blogging, QR codes, video, online advertising to name but a few. Its counterpart, offline marketing, encompasses the more traditional forms of marketing such as advertising (TV, radio, press, outdoor), direct mail, public relations and sponsorship.
Online marketing continues to grow in importance and the following statistics from the Office of National Statistics illustrate why:
- In 2013, 36 million adults (73%) in Great Britain accessed the Internet every day
- Access to the Internet using a mobile phone more than doubled between 2010 and 2013, from 24% to 53%
- In 2013, 72% of all adults bought goods or services online, up from 53% in 2008
- In Great Britain, 21 million households (83%) had Internet access in 2013
Online marketing also brings the following advantages over offline marketing:
Improved effectiveness: an online marketing campaign can be adjusted midway through to improve its effectiveness or capitalise on an opportunity that arises. This is rarely possible in the offline arena. When a leaflet or advert has gone to print it is too late!
Better targeting: online marketing can target specific demographic groups much more effectively than offline marketing.
Real time tracking: the performance of marketing campaigns can easily be tracked, and often in real time, using online analytic tools. Codes and coupons can be used in offline marketing but overall the results are much harder to monitor.
Cost effective: online promotions have unlimited reach and can be relatively inexpensive. Email is very cheap to send in comparison to postal mail. To advertise widely or send a large volume of direct mail can be prohibitively expensive.
Instant conversion: customers can be taken directly to your website where they may make an immediate purchase. Offline marketing techniques often have a longer lead-time to convert a customer into a sale.
Clearly it is extremely important that online marketing techniques form part of your overall marketing mix. However, offline marketing should not be forgotten and often the best marketing campaigns are those that integrate both. As with any marketing planning the key starting point is to determine who your target audience is and what is the most appropriate platform for them.
At Straight Marketing we help businesses to plan their marketing strategy, incorporating a mix of online and offline marketing techniques, and assist them to effectively implement it.