Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Use Web Stats to Grow Your Business

Advertising your website is crucial if you want to increase your customers. Although some people will find your web site through links, emails or offline marketing (eg leaflets) most serious customers will come through advertising.

When most people start a new website design they immediately think they must work on optimisation to get to the top of the search engines, however this can be a costly and unreliable process. Instead you can pay a small amount per click to attract targeted leads to your website. This is a much faster and easier path to generating new business.

Google Adwords (Pay-Per-Click or PPC)

As website designers, we recommend and personally use Google Adwords to advertise our business. We have found the system to be very easy to use and to deliver excellent results. You simply set a budget starting from £10 per month and setup your keywords for example “Physiotherapy in Brighton” and then tell Google to send visitors to your website. Within 24 hours you will be receiving new visitors to your business website.

You only pay when visitors click on your ad (and therefore sees your website) so you know that your money is being well spent. Your first campaign can be setup in about 30 minutes and will give you guaranteed results.

Statistics

A good idea is to ensure that your companty website comes with a statistics package for monitoring your website visitors. Using the statistics, you will be able to see which pages visitors look at most, where visitors are going and what they are downloading. You will then be able to modify your business website appropriately.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

An important reason to update the content of your business website regularly is that regularly updated content improves your visibility on the world’s search engines, including Google. How search engines view your website has a major impact on visitor numbers and new leads.

Google uses ‘Spiders’ to search the web. A Spider is an automated program that methodically clicks on every link in the entire web, cataloguing every page founds. This catalogue is then used to determine where your website is listed in the search results.

SEO is a means of improving the number and position of your website’s listing when keywords are typed into a search engine, thereby improving the number of visitors to your site from search engine results. If we were talking about the high street, SEO would equate to the provision of large numbers of prominently placed adverts for your shop in places where your core audience would be most likely to see them. The goal here is to attract high numbers of the right customers.

Getting listed with the Search Engines

When you create a new website it is invisible to the world because the site is not listed in any search engines. As soon as you start to advertise your website, or other websites link to yours then Google will find and index your site.

Regular Updates

Once you are listed in Search Engines they will revisit your website on a regular basis to see if anything has changed. How often the search engines visit your website depends on how often they think you update your site – if Google visits your website once a month but nothing has changed then Google will only come back in the future once every two months for example.

“The more you update your site, the higher your ranking with Google.”

The site needs to be active if it is to produce the optimum results for your business. That means that your site should be a constant work in progress, incorporating regular updates, whether about products or services, company news or industry developments.

If you keep adding new content to your website, this will also increase the number of phrases in your content that search engines will use to display results.

Links.

An important factor that determines how popular your website is with Google are inbound links. The more websites that link to yours the higher rating you will get.

Be careful though because the search engines are clever at spotting websites that are built solely to link to other websites so we do not recommend using these services. Simply ensure that other companies in your industry are linking to your website where possible. Also ensure that any online PR you can attract has links to your site.

Toolkit Websites: New Site online !

We thought it was time here at Toolkit websites to give our web site design a new look. We think it makes finding out information about our website company much easier. Why not take a look?

http://www.toolkitwebsites.co.uk


We've also added a whole new Portfolio section to show off some of the sites we've created for our recent web site design clients. Each client has given us a testimonal about how good they found our website design service. You can see there comments here:

http://www.toolkitwebsites.co.uk/portfolio

And if you've ever wondered about the people behind Toolkit Websites, you can see our mugshots on the Team page!

What do you think? Leave us a comment with some feedback.



Monday, 15 September 2008

Email Marketing

If you’re not emailing your customers right now, ask yourself who is? Email Marketing is a simple yet very effective means of bringing business to your company.

Sending out newsletters/updates to your existing/prospective customers is a great way of driving fresh interest to your service.

It’s important to use a service that can manage your email marketing effectively, many internet service providers don’t allow emails to be sent to more than 250 contacts at any one time. Your personal/business email is simply not designed to handle bulk mail-outs.

So what can I do?

There’s plenty of email marketing providers out there who offer specially designed systems to manage your newsletters.

Here’s a checklist of things you should look for in your email marketing provider:

Reliability – Check and make sure your provider can handle the amount of contacts you wish to send your newsletters to.

Tracking Tools – See how many people open your newsletter.

Compliance Checkers – Sending bulk email has legal Implications, Using a professional service ensures your on the right side of the law!

Subscriber Lists – Setup different contact lists for different newsletters.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Why Use a Content Management System? (CMS)

A Content Management System (known as a CMS) is an online control panel that will allow you to update your company website from any computer in the world. Using a username and password you can login and update your website at any time of day or night.

A business website with a CMS will make it easy and affordable for you to add new pages, images, products, or downloads to your website. A CMS will also give you cost savings because you are able to make changes without employing your web designer at their expensive hourly rate.

The system will give you control over the web site content whilst still ensuring that you cannot damage the website. The web site design and layout will still need to be created by your web designers at the start of the project.


Choosing a Content Management System
You will want to test-drive the CMS provided by each web designer. You should ask them for a demonstration of their CMS. It should be straightforward to provide you with a username and password to test the CMS online.

Once you have access to the CMS you should think about:

1.Is the CMS easy to use?
2.Could you use this CMS every day to update your business website?
3.Can you easily add new pages, images and files to your website?
4.Can you upload word files, pdf files, audio and movies?
5.Does the system offer all the features you need?
6.Can you edit all the elements of your company website? You will need to be able to edit each page and also the Menu, Sidebars, Footer, Search Engine Meta Tags and Search Engine Descriptions.

It's Toolkit Tea Time!

Designing websites is thirsty work and being websites designers, we certainly make sure we are never parched! Given the simply staggering caffeine intake our office consumes, I think its safe to say that we are a team of tea connoisseurs.

In fact we love tea so much we've put together a guide for the perfect Toolkit Cuppa'

Step 1.

Gather your Toolkit Mugs (make sure they are clean!) and pre-load the tea bags on a per mug basis. You can read dot net magazine (an office favourite for the web design team) whilst the kettle is boiling.


Step 2.

Boil kettle and add hot water to mug, leave for 1-2 minutes.




Step 3.

Use a teaspoon to squeeze the tea bag against the side of the mug to ensure tea is of a good strength (our technical manager Tristen is very keen on this step). Then remove the teabag.


Step 4.

Pour milk into mug for approximately 3 seconds, any longer than this and your staring down the barrel of a "milky cup" (a cardinal sin!). Once complete give a quick stir with the teaspoon and check the tea colour against the swatch list (see bottom of post) to make sure your on the right track.

Step 5.

Bring mugs to the rest of the website design team and utilise your new found popularity.





Toolkit tea is easily our most popular cuppa' in the office (all fairtrade too might I add) however under certain circumstances we do have other options such as green tea, earl grey, clipper, coffee, de-caff coffee and more recently raspberry tea (you should see our tea cupboard!).

If you found our tea process in depth you should check out the BBC version.

Toolkit Tea Swatch List









Add to: | blinklist | del.cio.us | digg | yahoo! | furl | technorati | google | stumbleUpon