10 Fabulous Traffic Ideas for your Blog

Blogs are an incredibly popular ways to create an online presence for businesses today; they can be free to set up and you can start creating content almost immediately.
But, is there any point to having great content if no one is ever going to read it, so here are ten ideas to bring traffic in to your blog.

Remember that thousands of blogs have failed over the years; they are like running any type of business in that unless you are willing to put the time in and treat it seriously, you won’t be blogging long.

Most new bloggers really aren’t prepared for the work that goes into creating a successful one. Just building the blog doesn’t mean that people will necessary come to you. You pursue the audience and give them a reason to see what you have to say.

1.         Fresh Content – Apart from the fact that the major search engines love sites to have fresh content, no one wants to visit a blog day after day and see the same posts. You really need to update your blog content at least twice a week. This will be easier if you write several posts ahead of time and upload them at the appropriate times – which is what I do.

2.         Article Marketing – whilst traditional article marketing used to help rank your site better in Google isn’t worthwhile anymore, it is still useful to write some of your articles so that they can be posted on article directory site to help bring in more visitors.

3.         Social Networking – these sites are everywhere. Allowing visitors to share your post via social media (look at addthis.com) and promoting your posts via Tweets etc is a great viral way to help promote your posts.

4.         Viral Marketing – this is where you spread the word about your blog. Talk to friends, family and even strangers. Give out business cards that have your blog address on them.  Add it to your email signature, promote it within forums, talk about it and share it at every opportunity.

5.         Use RSS Feeds – RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication.” Readers can subscribe to your feed and get email updates when your new content is posted. It is an incredibly easy way for them to keep up with your blog.

6.         Submit Blog to Search Engines – a lot of people forget to do this, but submitting your blog to search engine directories will allow it to be ranked in search results. Search engines don’t necessary need you to do this anymore, but it is worth doing.  Please note that submitting your blog to search engines doesn’t automatically mean you’ll get a high ranking.

7.         Joining Forums – as a blogger you are a budding entrepreneur. Your main job is to market yourself and your blog. Become a member of related business forums, work at home forums and others to meet new people and share ideas. Remember that you should add a link to your blog in the signature line so others can easily find you.

8.         Visit other blogs – visit other blogs and leave positive comments; add a link back to your blog in your comments or there is also usually a “website” field that will link your name to your blog automatically.

9.         SEO Marketing – whatever you write, use relevant keywords. Ensure that you mention these keywords enough times throughout your blog posts but not too much; aim for about a five percent keyword density to help search engine rankings  Base your keywords on a research you do to find the most popular words used in search engines for your niche.  If you are unsure about keywords and how to get them into your content correctly then talk to a copywriter.

10.       Social Bookmarking – submitting your posts to social bookmarking sites allows others who are members of those sites that don’t know about your blog to visit you.

Using any of these ideas will start the traffic moving in your direction. It takes time but you will build the readership you want.

Killer Social Media Strategies

Social media allows businesses both large and small to have a lot of impact and power, here are just a small number of things that you can do.

1. Q&A's
Social media has been developed to engage with your potential customers and customers alike, but may businesses have no idea how to do this easily.  The best way is to hold scheduled Q&A sessions – let your Followers and Fans alike ask you anything they want about your business, products and services.  You may even quickly discover problem areas or new product ideas; this approach will also do wonders for your brand too.

2. Solve Problems
By doing regular searches for your brand name, product/services or market sector you will quickly discover people who are asking questions on Social Media platforms about things that you should be an expert in. 
Respond to them, answer their questions; don’t answer with your sales hat on unless the question specifically warrant you suggesting your companies services but try to answer with your customer services hat on.

In fact this approach goes beyond traditional customer services and you’ll be seen as active within the wider community; this is huge for your brand.

3. Promotions/Offers and Competitions
You will have lots of loyal Followers/Fans, and it’s nice if you can reward then from time to time for being there for you.  Give special offers, promote events, provide competitions – anything to further your engagement with your market/community.

Give value and you’ll have a Fan for life!

4. Value added links
If you are a business that just provides links to your homepage or your products and services pages then you are missing a huge trick; provide links to useful resources/news items (whether on your site or not); this will continue to add value to your brand and your wider community.

Work SMARTER, not harder!

Sneaky way to improve your Klout score

This is a little sneaky but it does the job!

Ok so you love Klout, you need to improve your score, to do this you know you need to get people to interact with you but you have no idea how to do it … here’s a great tip.

Simply ask questions 

Pick an account with a large following (Consumer brands are the best ones to pick because they know the importance of responding to Twitter users).

Ask a simple question (maybe where they are based, where can you buy their product, what is the link to their website, what is their customer services email or telephone number etc), it doesn’t really matter what it is, it just needs to be a simple question that will make the brand look like they are helping out a consumer of theirs.

Once you get a reply, as them another simple question immediately afterwards – you should get another quick reply, but Klout recognises this as a communication, and ENGAGEMENT and you’ll improve your score.

Note: There is no replacement for real engagement, use this tactic sparingly.

Getting more Twitter followers easily

Some simple tips for you to follow to help get more Twitter followers easily.
  • Post great content that people love and are interested in. 
  • Posting content on trending topics may get you a number of followers that are interested in those trending topics. 
  • Use a real photo of yourself might get you more Followers 
  • Your Profile is really important, so write it to attract the right followers 
  • Follow only the people who you want to follow you 
  • INTERACT with people that you want to Follow you. 
  • #FF #FollowFriday can help you get Followers from the people that you mention 
  • Can you start a Twitter Competition? This will always get you lots of new followers 
  • Try a Twitter Q&A session 
  • Use popular or trending #Hashtags
Good luck

Christmas Retail Branding!

Christmas has always been a time for brands to shine, but it seems that the 2012 festive period is somewhat different!

From last year I remember the Morissons ad with Brucie and Freddie; the John Lewis with the kid excited about giving his gift to his parents; Jamie Oliver cooking Sainburys food; Tescos had happy kids on a school stage; Iceland had Stacey Solomon driving home to her family; Argos had their aliens – and all the brands solidly had their respective promise that as a viewer we understood.

Proposition and brands are clearly identifiable; and this is important if they are going to attract lots of business from us shoppers.

Today is very different; John Lewis again went for the snowmen tearjerker and Argos have stuck with the aliens; but to be honest the rest of them have just merged into one brand/message/proposition!  Not sure what Littlesons, M&Burys and Bootalan are offering this year; I'm a very confused viewer and shopper!

Be really interesting to see who the retail winners and losers are this year!

Improving your Klout score

If you’re fixated by your Klout score then you have no doubt tweeted like crazy and got numerous Retweets, things are looking up as your Klout score slowly increase.
BUT you’ll find that when you hit a Klout of around 40 then this strategy of tweeting and gaining Retweets doesn’t help you anymore!

So you are keen to improve your Klout further, how do you do it?

There are a couple of things you now need to do, firstly you need get your Followers/Following ratio up; this means that you need to get incrementally more people following you without you following more people.

Secondly, you need to get more people to engage with you, not just Retweeting the stuff you put out but to actually respond to your stuff!

Do these two things are you’ll find your Klout score move up to the 50’s in no time.

What could a business learn from a beggar!

I was recently reading an article on Huffington Post about a beggar in Oklahoma that makes $60,000 (approx £37,000) a year on the streets.

Now, two things shocked me with this news item:
  1. It’s the 21st Century and we still have beggars on the streets in one of the most affluent countries on the planet 
  2. He earns more money (tax free) than some small businesses I know! 
This got me thinking two things really; firstly, this guy won’t be the only person that is begging and making an awful lot of cash from the process and secondly, what is this guy doing that we can learn from?

I always remember one very important tip from my early sales management days; at the time it was the most amazing thing ever heard and I knew that it was something that EVERY salesperson MUST DO to bring in the money. furthermore, I know for a fact that many of the so-called ‘experts’ in today’s sales community don’t do it!

Just ask for the sale. 

In the terms of our beggar in Oklahoma City he has one simple direct message where he asks for money (it's that simple) and people give him some, it's that easy.

How many sales people do you know who beat around the bush playing out some sort of sales ritual with their prospects in a never ending loop of 'will they/won't they buy it' (maybe you do it yourself!). The sales people that constantly contact me never fail to tell me how great their company is, or how fantastic their product is, they might mention how much cheaper or faster or simply better they or their product is than their nearest competitor, they leave the literature, direct me to the online demo, but they rarely ask for my business?

Based on experience I would suggest that far less than 10 percent of sales people actually ask for the sale, imagine the money they are leaving on the table, imagine how much extra revenue could be made if they just asked for that sale!
If our beggar in Oklahoma City can do it, I'm sure the average, educated sales person could do it too. Makes you think doesn't it!

Tweet like a Pro

Take a leaf out of the books of big businesses who know how to keep a news story running and running.
The vast majority of the largest companies in the world have a series of press releases that are so good that every so often they like to send them back out again and for some strange reason they pick up lots of distribution for their brand again.

You can do the very same thing on Twitter.

All you need to do is discover which of your tweets got the best response from your Followers (i.e. were marketed as a favourite tweet by them and Retweeted).

This is a very simple process, all you have to do is point your browser to http://favstar.fm/ and where it says ‘Choose User’, just enter your Twitter ID.

The results page will show you the best tweets that you have EVER sent out; all you now need to do is Retweet the best ones, some of them might need a little bit of Spin (rewording a little), and you’ll end up with more twitter users seeing your tweets easily.

Five Tips to Search Engine Success

Tip 1 – You can’t outsmart Google
It’s a fact that if you try to beat Google by trying the latest way to force your pages into the top of the rankings then you will get found out!  Site owners that were spanked by Google's most recent updates (Penguin or Panda), will testify to the fact that you have to bide your time.

A spammy approach to gaining good ranking will hurt you and your business in the long run.  There is no automated way to the top, no quick win – only and effort will get you there.

Tip 2 – Normal business rules apply

If you owned a ‘bricks and motor’ store then I'm guessing that you wouldn't expect to attract customers for free; the internet is exactly the same, it isn't free nor easy to attract visitors to a website.

Invest time and effort and you’ll do well.

Tip 3 – ensure your site has a good infrastructure
It stands to reason that your site won’t survive for long if it had a poor design.  To get ranked well you need a fast loading site filled with pages with great content and pages that link to all the other pages within your site (needed so that search engines spiders know where all your pages are.)

If you're serious about your website, don't use the cheapest web host or designer. Slow poorly designed pages can influence the rankings of your web pages.

Tip 4 – Take Control
Stop searching for gurus or secret tricks that promise to make your site number one in Google (or any other search engine for that matter), they don’t exist.
Work with a search engine marketing professional, ideally someone who understands business and how search engines work.

With their assistance discover what your unique selling proposition is
Identify your audience and make a plan.
Create a great website with valuable content (if visitors like your site word will get out)
Advertise your site (use SEO, paid advertising, even traditional advertising to promote it)

Step 5 -  Act Now
There is always something is your business that’s more important that promoting your website (or so you think), talk to someone today (talk to me) about improving your search engine rankings.

SEO is not necessarily about getting backlinks. It's also not necessarily about getting high rankings on Google. It is about getting sales. It is about improving your business.

The easiest way to get someones attention on Twitter

Twitter is great when you finally get noticed by an influencer or business that you want to get your brand or service in front of; but how do you get their attention?

The easiest way is to tweet about their favourite things or to retweet popular past tweets, but how do you find out that they are?

Favstar will allow you to do just that, by simply entering http://favstar.fm/users/their username into your browser you will find out what they like to tweet about and what are their most popular tweets; this then gives you a chance to engage with them on top topics or simply retweet their best tweet (which could have been from years ago!).

If you want to find out what tweets that your target have marked as a favourite then enter https://twitter.com/ their username/favorites

These are very simple tactic that I have used successfully many times.

Tips for getting more Twitter followers that stick to you!

If you want to get some additional loyal Followers on Twitter then there are a couple of things that you need to do.

Tweet Often – If you want to maximise the benefit of your Twitter activity then you need to be an active contributor to your Followers streams; I’m not just talking about 1-2 tweets a week, but a constant drip of information, news and views throughout the day. To really make a difference you need to aim for at least 10 tweets a day, some of the most popular and influential people can get 30 tweets out easily.

Be of Value – Tweeting what you had for lunch really isn’t going to help get and keep loyal Followers, you need to be tweeting items of interest, and tweets that are based on your real experiences of those of your customers/clients are the most valuable.

Interact – All too often I see people and businesses tweeting a stream of self promotional garbage and they never interact with anyone.  You are on Twitter to build relationships and hopefully turn your Followers into customers or advocates for you, and you can only do this through interaction.  So get engaging, comment on peoples tweets and Retweet often; you will be rewarded for it.

Share – News is great because often it’s something that we all like to comment on, so as soon as you hear something interesting Tweet about it, it’s possible to get a tweet out about a news item before the major news channels manage to get their act together.

Don’t have much time to check your social media?

Many of us don’t all have lots of hours free to sit in front of a device and check our social media as and when things happen, find new people to engage with and track down those influential people that can make or break your business, so if you can only spare 20 minutes a day what should you do?

There are lots of things you can be getting on with:

Check that Inbox - Ensure that if anyone had contacted you directly through any social media channel ensure that you get back to them within 24 hours at the very least.

Follow relevant people – the sums are easy, the more people you follow the more likely you are to get followers yourself; the more followers you have the bigger the audience is for your message.  Take a look at Klout and Kred as both of these will show you who is influential in your chosen topics and these are the people you should be following.

Do a few directory searches based on your niche and hit the follow button..

Tweet – and tweet often!  Use HootSuite and set your tweets to schedule automatically; HootSuite will then send your tweets out at the best time.  As and when you think of a tweet to send simple compose it and AutoSchedule it, HootSuite will send it out at the right time for you.  You’ll find that you won’t need too many Tweets to fill each day!

Reply – someone has copied you into a tweet or message for a reason, over time you will learn to quickly understand the value in the connections that you have built up and then quickly be able to understand whether entering into a discussion with them is both productive and useful; but like Inbox messages, don’t ignore them!

Following these small tips should take you no longer than 20 minutes a day BUT will provide you with huge benefits.

The 5 myths of Search Engine Optimisation

SEO and SEM is a extremely competitive industry - and there are lots of people out there and many more agencies who promise you the earth when it comes to web site placement in search engines and deliver nothing if you're not careful. We have seen it, we see what they say and we don't like it, it makes us all look bad!

Here's a list of five most common myths and false promises that might not deliver the results promised.

1. Overnight Results

No-one, and we mean absolutely no-one, can guarantee good organic search results within 24 hours for agreed keywords. It's the staple sales message of so many poor SEO agencies out there.

The reality is that Google is pretty slow when it comes to understanding and showing results for new sites - a new site will struggle to rank properly for weeks. In most cases, to achieve anywhere close to a site's full potential will take months of work building good quality links and/or an extremely loyal customer base.

Most of the time, these guys just pick a random (but related) phrase that isn't currently indexed well on Google and get you indexed on that. To show you how simple it is, check out Google for "fuzzyalarmzip"! 

Yay, look at me, not only are we number 1 on Google, but I do not have any other competition either - OK it's true that no-one will ever search for me by using that term, but a poor SEO agency will claim that they have done what they said they would do and demand to be paid!

If they don't use these techniques then they might send your URL to link farms (even Google's own guidelines suggest you do not do this), or they might just SPAM blogs and other social media sites. These two approaches might get you a spike of visitors, but it will not bring you customers; also the Yahoo! and Google algorithms are so advanced that they can spot this activity and are likely to get you banned or delited quickly.

In short, if you want to get traffic to your site (and who deosn't!) - don't look for the quick and dirty fix, there is no instant gratification. Work with an agency that will play the long game instead; take your time and reap the rewards. 

2. Placement Can Be Guaranteed

The same guys that guarantee you overnight listing can also guarantee particular placements - regardless of the competition out there or indeed the quality of your web site. Oh yes they guarantee that you too can take your place on the front page of results.

Again, this is ridicuous, as I hope we now know, it takes time to improve search engine rankings, there is never any guarantee of placement on the first page. It is what we all strive for, and often we do get first page results for many of our clients, but even we can't guarantee it!

You have already seen with our "fuzzyalarmzip" example, easy number 1 positions in Google can be easy for keywords that aren't competitive, but if they don't bring in traffic, what's the point!

Good organic traffic starts slowly and grows with the site.

3. Meta Tags

Even now, nearly a decade after the likes of Altavista, Lycos etc were all the search engines we needed, some SEO consultants still cling to the myth that <meta> tags to boost site rankings.

It has been demonstrated often that the major search engines (Google, Yahoo and MSN etc) will largely ignore the content placed there, and instead rely on the actual content of the page, and the quality of the sites that link to yours.

Whilst they are still of use for search engines, and it is usually worthwhile adding them to your pages, laboring over them as though your site's existence depended upon it is really misguided.

Keyword Stuffing (stuffing lots of keywords into your <meta> tags) will hurt your rankings badly, our advice is to simply list a few of your main keywords and write a short and well-written description, and use those on the <meta> tags.

One place where care should be taken is the <title> tag - this is used very extensively by all the major search engines, and it will prove critical to SEO success. Increasingly, though, the <meta> tags are being left behind, and will most likely lose all meaning in the near future.

In summary, if a real visitor can't see it, then as a general rule of thumb, search engines aren't interested in it!

4. Submitting to Search Engines

'We will submit your site to over 8,000+ search engines'. Does this type of pitch sound familiar to you? Of course it does - site submissions to search engines and directories is bread and butter for your average SEO.

The trouble is, that the search engine market is very much focused on one principal player - Google - and a few subsidiary search markets (MSN, Yahoo are the foremost). These big 3 will probably account for about 99% of all searches to your site - the other 7,997 will barely get a mention in your referrer logs.

I have tried their services, keen to see if they work. It was £100 wasted, and our server logs showed us that all the traffic just came from Google anyway! The other sites never sent us any other visitors!

A good SEO agency will take the time to understand your web site and the behaviours of your potential customers, and then recommend the very best search engines and directories, and then hand submit them - taking time, effort and care in ensuring that the job is done properly.

5. More Links > Good Links

When I first started in SEO, many moon ago, I knew all I need to do was get lots of links from lots of different web sites and I would rank well!

How things have changed. Major players in the maket (like Google) really understand (as we do) that it's not just about getting links, it's about the quality of those links. We know that the importance of ranking well if to provide the web site visitor with a good journey.

Someone looking to buy a car, wouldn't expect to find a link on a care sales web site for computer memory! Neither would we, and neither would the top search engines, so they pretty much ignore these type of links.

The term 'relevancy' in linking is thrown around often and it is sometimes misunderstood, but it essentially means that it is quality links in the relevant sector that contribute far more to search engine rankings than broad quantities of unrelated links. Having bad links will negatively effect your ranking.


SEO is very rarely quick fix, sometimes it is possible to do exactly the right thing in the right way and it's rewarded with a good listing very early, but most of the time it can take months to see really tangible results.

5 Top Tips for improved search engine ranking

Having a website that gets found in Google, Yahoo! or MSN, etc. isn't hard to do, but it can be difficult to know where to begin. Here are our latest tips to help get you started.

Optimise for your Visitors!

It sounds like common sense, but very few businesses actually do it. Many businesses optimise their site for search engines, putting in keywords and phrases that are commonly used in search engines rather than actually researching what customers actually search on.

Search engines are looking for pages that best fit the keyword phrase someone types into their search box. If this person searching the internet is typing in search words that relate to what your site actually offers, then they are most likely members of your target audience.

You need to optimise your site to meet their needs. If you don't know who your target audience is, then you need to find out one way or another. Look for studies online that might provide the relative information, and visit other sites, communities, or forums where your target audience might hang out and listen to what they discuss. This information will be crucial to your resulting website design, keyword research, and copywriting.

Research keywords

Research your keyword phrases extensively, and never give up, the smallest of tweaks in the right direction can make a huge difference to your ranking.

The phrases you think your target market might be searching for may very well be incorrect.
To find the very best phrases to optimise your site for, use research tools such as Keyword Discovery, Wordtracker or any Google or Yahoo Search Marketing data you can lay your hands on.

Compile lists of the most relevant phrases for your site, and choose a few different ones for every page.
Never shoot for general keywords such as "parties" or "cars" as they are rarely indicative of what your site is really about.

You are aiming for a list of just ten good keywords or phrases, then start your optimisation.


It’s great coding too, but remember to label your internal text links and clickable image alt attributes (alt tags) as clearly and descriptively as possible.

Your site visitors and the search engines look at the clickable portion of your links (i.e. the anchor text) to help them understand what they're going to find once they click-through.

Don't make them guess what's at the other end with links that say "click here" or other nondescriptive words. Be as descriptive as possible with every text and graphical link on your site.

The cool thing about writing your anchor text and alt attributes is that you can be as descriptive (and relevant) as you want to be, and try to include some of those keywords too.


Great web site copy is one of the most powerful tools you have at your disposal to get you ranked well on the major search engines.

Write compelling copy for the key pages of your site based on your chosen keyword phrases and your target market's needs, and make sure it's copy that the search engines can "see".

This is a crucial component to having a successful web site. The search engines (i.e. Google and Yahoo!) need to read keyword rich copy on your pages so they can understand how to classify your site.

This copy shouldn't be buried in graphics or hidden in Flash or as coding comments. Write your copy based on your most relevant keyword phrases while also making an emotional connection with your site visitor.

There are no magic number of words per page or number of times to use your phrases in your copy, just do not use too many or too few! Try aiming for between 5 percent and 15 percent keyword density and you should be OK.

The important thing is to use your keyword phrases only when and where it makes sense to do so for the real people reading your pages. Simply sticking keyword phrases at the top of the page for no apparent reason isn't going to cut it, and it just looks silly.


Make sure your site is "link-worthy."

Other sites linking to yours is a critical component of a successful search engine optimisation campaign, as all of the major search engines place a good deal of emphasis on your site's overall link popularity.

You can go out and request hundreds or thousands of links, but if your site is poor, why would anyone want to link to it?

On the other hand, if your site is full of wonderful, useful information, other sites will naturally link to it without you even asking.

The jury is out on where it is fine or not to simply trade links, the approach of black and white marketing is to get as many one way links for our clients as possible because we know that this is the very best linking approach to take; but it does take time.

When you link to lousy sites, keep in mind what this says to your site visitors as well as to the search engines.


There are some things that you can do to your web site to help you get a better search engine ranking, but it takes time (a long time), it's hard work, and lots of people think its boring, I actually enjoy doing it!

Improving website conversion

Most websites fail to convert visitors into buyers most of the time; this is particularly true of B2B sites where the sale might be more complex and include a higher price tag!

Getting plenty of visitors to the site of the first step to success; but more important than that is getting your traffic to make that all important buying decision whilst they are on your site.

Remember that lots more traffic doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll massively increase the rate of conversion; to do that you need to remove a number of barriers to purchase, they are:

1. Make Your Website Easy to Use
It stands to reason that when someone visits your site it needs to present itself correctly and be easy to use.

a) Evaluate the accessibility of your website (does it work with different browsers at different resolutions for example)
b) Is navigation clear and concise
c) Ensure the call-to-action button on your website is clearly visible

Each of these tweaks on their own seems simple enough but you need to ensure that you are making the right changes for your target market.

2. Focus on Getting Quality Traffic
Some sites that I have seen and had the pleasure to work on do not attract the right type of traffic; the sort of visitors that are really keen to buy whatever it is you sell.

The fact is a simple one …. in order to increase the number of online sales, you need to promote your products or services to the right people.

Find out who your target audience is and locate the sources where you can connect with them. In fact this is probably the most important strategy!

3. Enhance the Quality of Landing Pages
Landing page should be clean and simple in order to convert the most amount of visitors; do not think that this means very little content on the page, you need to put enough words on the page so that your proposition and benefits of your product/service is crystal clear.

Remember you can always test a couple of version of your landing pages to see which has the best impact.

3. Talk About Visitor Benefits
NEVER highlight the features of your offerings, already focus on the benefits and how you can help your visitors. What pain do they have and how can you solve it?

Visitors tend not to be too interested in your company, they have been attracted to your site, all you need to do is to convince them to buy, and talking about benefits will do just that.

I remember when I first qualified as a marketer, we were taught ‘Features and Benefits’ (FaB), this is no longer true!

4. Create an Urgent Demand
Anyone trained in copywriting will have been taught to ensure that that to compel your readers to take action and take action quickly you should try to create urgency.

Mentioning a time limit or a stock limit can quickly infuse urgency into visitors, but also getting across the point that the benefit of your offering is that they can ease their pain quicker!

5. Demonstrate Credibility
No matter what you sell you must earn trust, this is the same when selling stuff on line and it is in person; if you are not trustworthy then you will not sell anything!

This is a huge challenge for many businesses as they fail to show credibility. Some of the most useful ways of establishing credibility includes sharing customer success stories, media mentions and security verification, add contact details (including telephone number, email address and postal address) for added credibility.

6. Build Your Brand
Conversion rates will improve as your brand grows. (yet another useful fact).

The more people know about your brand, the more sales you will make. So, make sure your day-to-day activities include an element of brand building, it’s also true that better known brands find it easy to sell things and so become more profitable!

If you’re not using social media then try it today to help your brand; Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are all great for getting yourself known.

7. Keep Your Word
All wrapped up with your brand and building a great brand image is ensuring that you deliver what you promise; in fact I believe that delivering on a promise is exactly what a brand is.

Always ensure your customers get what they were promised in the first place.

If you need help on any of this then just get in touch with me (andrew@andrewscaife.com)

Twitter - Remember CRASH!

I know sometimes we all struggle with how to interact with Twitter ….. what should I say? It is worthy of a tweet? Etc etc

Try this simple reminder of what you can do when you sit down to catch up with your Twitter feed.


Comment – look through your stream of activity (read what the people you are following are saying) and make a comment. It doesn’t need to be profound, sometime a simple “Sounds Great”, “We agree.” or “Tell us more.” type comments can start an interaction and potential help build relationships.

Reply – is anyone asking us something or commenting about us, this is your opportunity to reply to their comments.

Ask – don’t be afraid to ask questions of your followers; ask them what they think about relevant topic events or ask them if they have a particular business problem (problems that you can solve with your expertise, products and services).

Share – readers of your tweets are more likely to interact with you if you share content; simple post links to interesting webpages, articles or guides. Posting links to your own website could improve your search engine rankings.

Help – sometimes people in your feeds might be asking for help or assistance, don’t be afraid to comment and provide the help that they are looking for, it will help to give you Kudos. In Hootsuite you can create additional streams that show you who is posting about particular search terms. Use search terms based around your expertise or the products or service that you provide.

If you remember CRASH then you should never be stuck for something to say!


Love it or hate it Klout is here to stay; whether it still exists years from now as Klout or whether some genius manages to work out how to calculate the power of your social media exploits; a way of monitoring how the hard work that you’re putting into your social media activity is definitely needed.

Klout isn’t perfect, and I’ve set up some very easy tests that show that a Klout account can be manipulated to show fairly impressive growth in the topics that you want to be known as an expert for.
Klout (and services like it) also go to help people like myself who are highly competitive and need to feel that they are constantly improving their online marketing.

I guess the big change (and benefits) will come when search engines (and I’m really talking about Google) merge your Social Media Score in with its own algorithm to help improve ranking, then I’m sure we’ll see more businesses improving the quality of their social interactions.

Klout (www.klout.com)

Easy to Read = More Online Sales

It pretty much stands to reason that when a visitor lands on your website they will be more engaged with it if they can understand it!

By their very nature, website visitors are impatient people. If they have to work to understand your web pages (navigation or content), then they will go away to find an easier site than yours. Your competitors!

Many websites that I get to look at or look after contain some very technical language that is very difficult to understand for the seasoned professionals never-mind the average web surfer. Some webmasters also like long and complicated sentences.

Long and complicated sentences are not a sign of intelligence, it doesn't suggest to your readers that you know about the topic or more educated than them, it just shows that you really don't care about the readers.

Here are some very simple tips to help you.

  • Write short sentences on your pages
  • Use paragraphs
  • Use headings and sub headings to structure the content logically
  • Use bullet points
  • Avoid using complicated words. Don't say "Dulcet" when you mean sweet or sugary!
  • Use relevant  images on your pages

Follow these simple rules and your website visitors will flock to your pages and engage more with your brand/business.

Enhancing Campaign Longevity

I’m rather pleased with one of my latest promotion projects. Irwin Mitchell’s business employment team have launch a report off the back of a survey that they had commissioned based around recession-based employment tactics; the results are actually very interesting, and as the EBusiness Manager it was passed to me to see how we can get as many people as possible to download this document online.

My simple but effective plan was actually devised in just a few moments – the plan is to have two phases of online promotions:

Phase 1 utilises our social media footprint to bring visitors into the report landing page. We have our finger in a number of social media pies, but Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook were chosen as our number 1 options for this phase. We devised an Infographic (the first within the business) to help promote the full report, and also enables it to go viral (although we don’t really expect this thing to go global, we wanted an easy way for others to promote it).

With ReTweets and refreshing in statuses, I reckoned that this probably has a core lifespan of 2-3 weeks, so I needed a Phase 2 to help promote it a little longer.

Phase 2 gives us that longevity. A video from our Head of Employment will be shot and again posted on our website, YouTube and other social media sites. This refresh of our promotional approach will also see us repurpose the video content to provide audiocast.

I’m posting this soon after we launched the report and the campaign activity, but initial analytics are very good. Traffic to the Employment section is higher than usual and of course although this went out in a press release also, traffic from social sites has doubled (Twitter and Linked in performing the best with Facebook in clear third!)

We have tried two approaches for the actual report PDF, it’s a free report anyway, but we are trying the use of both a sign-up form (visitors leave us their name and email address to collect the report) and one where it’s readily available without providing us any details at all. I’ll post back our resulst when we have them.

Recession-based Employment Tactics

UK Law Firm Irwin Mitchell today revealed a telling report showing that there is a huge lack of confidence in the economy and that businesses are three times more likely to encourage voluntary redundancies during the next 12 months compared to two years ago.

Other key findings from this survey of 320 senior business decision-makers are:
  • One-third of businesses had made compulsory redundancies in the last year, with 75% of those also using a range of alternative cost-saving techniques.
  • Seven out of 10 firms said they are "less confident" or expect "no improvement" in the U.K. economy in 2012 and 18% said they are "quite likely" or "very likely" to make compulsory redundancies during the same period.
  • Out of those businesses stating they needed to reduce their employee cost base over the next 12 months, just over half (55%) said that they would introduce a voluntary redundancy program. This compares to just 16% of companies that did the same during the last two years.
In addition, firms are more likely to cut down the use of agency workers, freeze pay, grant unpaid absences, remove other benefits such as bonuses and reduce staff hours in the next 12 months compared to two years ago.

Outside of compulsory redundancies, the most popular method used to reduce the employee cost base during the last two years was freezing pay rises, so UK employees can expect their pay to be frozen during the next 12 months!

The full report can be found here.

Infographic: Guide to advertising on Twitter by Alchemy Social

Earlier this year Alchemy Social unveiled an infographic guide to advertising on Twitter.

The brilliant guide looks at how to target the public, what motivates people to become followers, and what enhanced pages should look like.

The key findings were that a massive 94% of people follow businesses for discounts and promotions, 87% simply for fun and entertainment, 79% for access to exclusive content and 69% to follow company news and updates.

The full story can be found here.

FIVE Winning Tweet Formulas That Work

If you're looking for tweets that work within the B2B environment then you have come to the right place; although these work just as well for B2C!

Writing a really great tweet is like writing a great headline for an email or mailshot; you need to get someone to read and take action in just 140 characters. What a lot of people seem to forget when they come to Twitter is that as humans we haven’t really changed over the years, and what worked in the past, continues to work on Twitter.

So where are some formulas that will work to get readers interest and get them to take action.

1. The Big Promise Approach

[Goal] will be achieved when you follow these [amazing steps]

This ‘Big promise’ way of writing headlines has been around for years, and the early copywriters knew that it worked.

Example: Customers will flock if you use these great Power Words http://tinyurl.com/7p38zlc

2. The Endorsement Approach

How [@Username] and [@Username] are [Doing Great Things]

There is nothing better than endorsing your product or service by using previous clients. Using this approach it isn’t you that is promoting your product or service, but by proxy it’s your previous clients.

Example: How @npowerhq got their biggest response ever to an online campaign.

3. The Hi-5 Approach

We really enjoyed this article from [@username] on [topic]

Virtual high-fives like this not only gets you the attention of the account that you are mentioning but it also enables ReTweets because we all like personal recommendations and we all like to pass them on.

Example: We liked this #Marketing Intuition Contest: Which homepage generated a 331% lift in conversion. bit.ly/Le8VFm @MktgExperiments

4. The Question Approach

Did you know that nn% of [target audience] [something interesting/controversial]?

A lot of business Twitter users don’t use the questioning approach, but it is a great way to get readers interest and click on your link.

Example: Did you know that 62% of businesses in the UK think that they are funny! http://tinyurl.com/cq39wzq

5. The Except Approach

Another Twitter formula that works well is to take an excerpt directly from an article or website; after all, this has already been written to be punchy and get a positive response!

Example: HOW TO WRITE GREAT HEADLINES THAT GET ATTENTION! http://tinyurl.com/bl73srt

One of the great cost effective opportunities that social media provides is that content can be fairly easily repurposed for different media, and this approach is a perfect example, and in the example above then a great headline is a great headline, no matter where you use it.

If you need any help with your social media work; strategy or delivery then get in touch to see how I can help your business win.

Getting Your Business Online

All businesses can benefit from having a web site, they can enhance your business image, allow you to communicate with customers and prospects and even bring in new customers.

If you do not have a web site, then chances are you have considered it and for some reason dismissed the idea. Many of my clients believe that getting a small web site created that brings in new business will be expensive.

The truth is that it needn't be. A web site can be created and set up, with email accounts for upfront costs as little as £500
Now, if over the life of the web site, it only brings in say 10, 20 or 30 new customers, don't you think that it will pay for itself!

I can define your personalised plan for moving online, create and set up a simple web site that will be your virtual shop front, then help you to promote it.

Maybe you already have a web site, but it's not generating the sales leads that you expect it to, then I can help you to determine how the site and it's promotion can be managed.

I have worked with some of the biggest businesses in the UK in helping them to define their online presence and help them to make money, I can do the same for you.

Using Twitter for Business

Twitter is the latest web-centric communications service to explode onto the scene, and businesses have moved in rapidly.

Businesses seem to be cautious about using tools like Twitter, and rightly so; if used badly then (in an over commercial way), then customers and potential customer might be put off your brand.

But your company can most definitely benefit from using Twitter. The primary use for it in business should be to listen, because, as every top-performing salesman in the world knows, listening is more important than talking most of the time.

You want to hear from every customer, supplier, client, industry leader, journalist, colleague and competitor who has anything to say (good or bad) about your product, service or business. Twitter has much in common with old-style networking, like early morning meetings at diners and water-cooler chats, except it's been "virtualised" for 21st century knowledge sharing.

With that brief introduction, let's look at 10 great ways to use Twitter to your business's advantage.

#1. Listen more, talk less: If you just think of Twitter as another way to "post" your messages and advertisements on the internet, then you're sadly missing the whole point about Twitter, and your following will probably be nonexistent. Spend a lot more time listening to what others are "tweeting" (posting) about you and you will gather valuable information. When you do post a message, make it something people want to know, not something you want them to know.

#2. Find your niche: Twitter's uses are limited only by your imagination. Don't think of what you can get, but what you can offer and what you can learn. You may want to share knowledge, you may want to obtain it, or you may just want to assure customers, colleagues and others that you are available to them. You will benefit to the extent that you listen and stay engaged, which means referring back to #1 a lot. Twitter is a great forum for asking questions and getting replies back from the people that matter.

#3. Develop a personality: Because you might tend to use Twitter a lot to talk to your followers, they will start to understand your 'personality', that is how humorous (or not) you are; how direct or straightforward you are; your tone. Twitter is therefore a good way to project your business brand. A fresh and interesting personality attracts followers, and some successful firms even allow numerous voices to reach out from within the company's offices and departments, each with their unique 'personality' but adding more value to the larger voice..

#4. Eavesdrop: There are several good tools for monitoring what is being said, starting with Twitter's own search field. If you look to the right, you will also get a list of the current most-popular searches so you always know what's hot at the moment. The site monitter.com, as the name implies, was developed specifically for use with Twitter, to allow simultaneous multiple searches.

#5. Build your audience: The first thing to do is post a few tweets to get a handle on how it all works, of course. Then dedicate some study time to see what your competitors and companies in the same industry are doing (if anything). Make use of the "Find People" function on the top of the Twitter page to find people in your own company, your current clients and colleagues, old classmates and friends, etc. Use the "@" reply to connect directly with people, to make sure they see your tweet, and discuss matters of interest to them. When they respond with the @ reply, other folks following them may notice you and choose to follow you, too.

It's also interesting to see who else your followers are following, as that can give you fresh insight into the types of people to seek. Use the various search methods (see #4 above) to find subjects that relate to your industry, and pay attention to who's talking about these matters. Don't be a broadcaster, be a conversationalist, and if you do Twitter right, you will build a following daily.

#6. More information!: As Tweets are limited to 140 characters, having a big discussion is out of the question, but remember you can post links to new, events or others Tweets that might be of interest to your followers.

#7. Be human: Too many people, from firms both large and small, represent their firms poorly by appearing to be robots on a fixed schedule. They crank out PR verbiage and automated data and don't offer anything for followers to grab hold of. You have to "throw them a line" or you will sail right by everyone.

#8. Be polite and respectful: Whilst you can be pretty much nameless and faceless on Twitter, it helps if you are respectful on anyone that could read your Tweets! Imagine your having the conversation with a roomful of guests face to face. Avoid sensitive topics like politics and religion etc (unless these are directly related to your business dealings!). These subjects have no place in a business conversation, so please leave them out.

#9: Play nice: Don't get emotionally involved or rant about a person, place, product or business. Picture Twitter as one big community, be nice or face the consequences!

#10: Stay positive: Don't be pessimistic, and don't whine or complain about what's wrong with this or that industry or the world in general. People will follow people they like, who offer something of value, who are upbeat and who stay on an even keel. Of course, some situations require a serious, even solemn approach, but those are the exceptions and should be handled delicately. Anyone can gripe, moan and groan. A business leader, on the other hand, offers solutions.

Bottom line? Twitter is a tool, and a good one, for keeping conversations going with stakeholders, potential customers, colleagues and even competitors. It takes real-time management because it's a real-time tool, but when it's done right Twitter can be an important addition to your sales, marketing and business communications arsenal.

If you need help with your social media, then get in touch with me andrew@andrewscaife.com

Customer Retention

It is absolutely true that it costs more to find a new customer than it does to retain an existing one, anyone in business knows that, but the big questions is … how can you retain your customers?

I found the following statistics recently and they make for interesting reading:

  • 4 percent of customers leave a business because they have moved location.
  • 5 percent simply change their purchasing habits.
  • 9 percent decide that they like the competition better.
  • 14 percent leave because they become disenchanted with a company's overall service.
  • 68 percent stop doing business with a company because they feel unappreciated.
Customer retention is all about customer satisfaction, if you can satisfy your customers (or even delight them!), then you stand a great chance of retaining them, so how do you provide this customer satisfaction?

There is a simple formula that I always use, and I have found that it works incredibly well in all situations:

Customer Satisfaction = Good Reputation + Good Customer Relationship +Good Service

You build a great relationship with them (above and beyond simply being their supplier), then you never give them a reason to leave you (you surpass their service expectations).

Once you realise and accept this Customer Retention formula is everything starts to fall into place.

Lets look at these factors in a little more detail:


Public Relations
  • It’s predominately the responsibility of Public Relations to improve a businesses reputation in the market
  • Customers ask themselves ... do they feel happy buying from a business like yours
  • Is the corporate identity and key corporate messages sending the right signals to the market?



  • Ensuring a great relationship with customers is all about the communications
  • After a major purchase, customers often feel that they have made the wrong choice, that why reassurance messages need to presented often (these can be via face to face meetings, telephone calls, or electronic messages (email, ezines etc))
  • All the customers’ touchpoints inside the organisation need to be well managed to ensure that customers get a consistent message and level of service.
  • Use marketing budgets wisely, and treat your very best customers, never underestimate the power of hospitality

Service is a huge part of customer retention The key service elements are pre-sales, sales and post-sales:
  • The reputation and friendliness of the pre-sales team/process
  • Their ability to provide first-class advice and solve customers problems
  • Win/Win negotiations (ensure the customer gets something from the negotiations)
  • Delivery/Supply (on time)
  • Installation (clean, tidy and working first time)
  • Invoicing (correct)
  • Payment (effective systems)
  • Good after sales support
  • Plenty of reassurance
  • You listen to new development requests
It’s worth checking your business to see that you have the ability to influence these areas, as they are critical to customer retention.

It’s also worth investing in a Customer Satisfaction Survey. If any of these core retention standards start to slip, the chances are that the first time you know about it is when a customer leaves you.

You need an annual survey so that trends can be captured, and any weakness in a particular area investigated and corrected.

Social Media platforms!

Businesses need to move away from the thought that Social Media means just Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

There are probably hundreds of different platforms that could be used by businesses, some are general social media networks (i.e. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn etc.) and some are very niche indeed! Interested in the Argentinian market then try Taringa! If you sell into the hospitality market then try the Hospitality Club! Or CafeMum to reach mothers!

For a fairly complete list of social media networks, check out this Wikipedia list.

Benefits of Social Media for B2Bs

I was recently talking to an old client of mine about social media, they were looking at creating a Twitter account for their business, they knew that it was something that they should do, but didn’t really know why!

I know that there are loads of businesses that are perplexed by social media and what benefits it can be to them, these networks have traditionally been used by teenagers talking about the latest bands or gossiping about each other, surely they don’t have any real value for businesses - do they!

Make no mistake – B2B Social Media is a valid channel to market, if they are not already then your competition will soon be using it – do you really want to give them an unfair advantage over you?

Stark Facts!

Social Media users are highly engaged with the people, groups, companies and brands that they follow and/or like.

Within businesses it’s not just the marketers that have access to and use social media sites, finance managers, IT managers, CEO etc all use them.

Social Media is the most cost effective method for getting your message across to an audience this is willing to engage with you.

In the report “Inside the Mind of the New B2B Buyer” in 2011, revealed the following:

  • 59% of buyers engaged with peers online who addressed their business challengers. 
  • 59% of buyers shared their learnings from research on social networks. 
  • 48% of buyers followed industry conversations on topics that directly affected them. 
  • 41% of buyers followed online discussions to find out more about specific topics that were interesting top them. 
  • 37% of buyers posted questions on social networking sites looking for feedback or suggestions. 
  • 20% of buyers connected directly to potential solution providers via social network channels. 

Still not convinced about this game changing opportunity?

Ten key benefits of Social Media for Business

#1 – B2B Social Media can extend your brand and relationship building efforts
Social Media is somewhat personal in that that individuals decide whether or not they want to connect with you, and it’s a two way relationship

#2 – B2B Social Media can expand the reach of your companies brand
Literately thousands of new buyers can find you and engage with you online, each of these has the opportunity of purchasing from you.

#3 – B2B Social Media allows you to tap professional communities
B2B Professionals actively network online to solve problems, share knowledge and build their professional networks. If a professional connects to you and they share your details with their network then you suddenly reach many more contacts that you could at an event for example.

#4 – Increased third party influences
If someone in your network does mention you or praise your business then this is an instant referral to their network. This favourable WOM (word of mouth) is worth it’s weight in gold.

#5 – Be seen as a thought leader
B2B Social networks allow businesses of all sizes to become thought leaders as they can demonstrate their expertise through text, audio and video,; these in turn can feed rich , in-depth conversations across a professional network.

#6 – Reduce Marketing Spend
Social media is the most cost effective media. Apart from a little of your time, start up costs are virtually zero; and even if your network takes off quickly the costs associated with fuelling social networks is no-where near as high as it is with other channels.

#7 – Decrease the sales cycle
The B2B sales cycle can be lengthy; much of this purchase delay is around the buyer wanting to research the market and potential vendors. Social media aids this research like never before. Buyers can become educated very quickly as B2B social networks act to provide vast amounts of knowledge to the market.

In providing two-way communications, B2Bs not only inform and teach prospects, but they also build trust and credibility in such a way as to increase sales in shorter periods.

#8 – Gain competitive advantage
It’s always been the case that B2Bs must continually work to identify ways to strengthen and improve their competitive advantage. This is true of their offerings as well as their marketing strategies.

Since many B2Bs tend to be slower to adopt social media techniques, many companies can leverage first-mover advantages within their industries.

As great insights can be gleaned through monitoring online conversations, companies can identify new offerings and needed improvements around which to strengthen their competitive advantage.

#9 – Reduce the complexity of solutions
When I first started out in telecoms it was pretty obvious that our solutions were complex, and you almost needed to be a telecoms engineer to understand most of them, this increases the buying cycle!

The information that is exchanged between parties, and relationships built, through these conversational media help to decrease confusion and, in turn, increase the purchasing rates of B2B products, services and offerings.

Educating and helping prospective buyers through social media channels can help to position B2Bs as trusted and knowledgeable advisors and decrease the concerns associated with high learning curves.

#10 – Strengthen CRM efforts
I’ve talked a lot through this post about engaging with prospects and customers, and this engagement is at the core of what a traditional CRM program aims to do.

When you have a direct link into your customers you can improve your communications to them; extend customer service and provide knowledge sharing opportunities.


If you want to start to build your own social media footprint but really haven’t got a clue how to start, then get in touch with me (andrew@andrewscaife.com) and I’ll help you.

Simple Social Media Strategy

Looking to start off your social media and need a push in the right direction? This is a simple social media strategy that is a good start for any business.

Base your strategy around these three basic themes:
  • corporate reputation/credibility 
  • managing expectations 
  • internal communications/cultural change. 

Corporate reputation/credibility
You want to develop a reputation for trust and integrity, and to be seen as getting results - getting results for your customers and getting the best for your industry.

You will need to:

Raise your profile to support the reputation you are seeking

  • Position yourselves as an influencer within the market 
  • Demonstrate with robust evidence that your work leads to change 
  • Generate supporters across media contacts and other relevant stakeholders 
  • Improve the reach of your business to all business sectors 
  • Develop a positive image/brand that supports the desired corporate reputation 

Managing expectations
You want to be perceived as a professional organisation that has the breadth of expertise in either what you sell or supply.

You will need to:
  • Clarify your range of services 
  • Define your uniqueness and strengths 
  • Promote your wins 
  • Promote your market achievements 

Internal communications/cultural change
You want a culture that is open and allow your staff to contribute to your social media success. Let your staff feel involved and engaged.

You will need to:
  • Have an open social media policy within your business 
  • Allow staff to talk about your business and its products and services 
  • Reply to prospects and customers questions/concerns 

If you need more help in developing your social media strategy, then simply get in touch with me.

What should you show on your website?

There are a number of basic things that you should show on your website in order to attract and convert the best number of visitors.

Show your qualifications and achievements, achievements

  • Always show evidence of what you have done
  • Demonstrate your understanding of your target market and the problems they have.
  • Speak to your audience through stories – we respond much better to them.
  • Prove that you care about your audience – ask questions.
  • Be proud, but also be humble 
  • Always put you customers first

Is Your Website Suffering from a Personality Disorder?

The old adage is true … People buy from People!

Injecting personality into your website is one of the most effective ways to convey a human touch, to convey the fact that your website and therefore business is backed by real people!

Visitors are interested in accessible, unintimidating websites just as we’re drawn to friendly, easy-going and downright nice people.

But not all of us are blessed with this effortless charm. Likewise, many websites exhibit a lot of traits that simply put visitors off them.

Is your website suffering from any of these common “personality disorders”?
  • Does it talk about itself more than the visitor? 
  • Does it forget to say how good it can be for your potential client? 
  • Does it provide simply outrageous claims that it can’t back up! 
  • Does it talk the talk? Keeps rabbiting on about things that just aren’t important! 
  • Does it talk with forked-tongues? Talk gibberish? Talk in jargon so that no-one will understand it! 
  • Does it talk negatively about itself? 
  • Does it show too pics like a boring uncle who shows you their endless and dull holiday snapshots? 
  • Is it anti-social or does it allow you to follow it on one of the many social networks? 
  • Does it lack goals, drive or enthusiasm? 

If it exhibits any of these personality disorders then I need to take a look at it as soon as possible for you, if it shows any of these disorders then no-one will give it any attention!

How's that website of yours looking?

Isn't about time that you took a seriously long look at your website!

I know the site was probably designed by you or you approved it, it’s a very personal thing to your business, it might even seem like part of the family; but sometimes you need to ask some very tough question of your website, and business owners do not always like what answers they get back.

Sit back and answer this question with complete HONESTLY; is your website REALLY working for you?  Are you getting enough business or enquiries from it?  Does it really have that WOW factor when the homepage first loads?

You can answer the first part yourself, you know very well (or you should know) whether your website is selling for you and bringing in the enquiries that you need.

Whether your site provides the WOW factor can be a little more difficult for you to judge!  Try this very simple test …… load your homepage or main landing page and study it closely for 6 seconds (I know this doesn’t seem like a long time but seriously, this is all a real visitor will give you).

Now answer the following questions honestly.

  1. Can you tell instantly what service or product you provide?
  2. I'm sure you have a couple of key messages that you want visitors to know about you – can you find evidence of these?
If you think you can’t answer these without being bias then pass get some feedback from other people whose judgement you trust.

If you think you have a problem here it could be down to a number of factors, including:
  • Navigation
  • Layout
  • Design
  • Content
  • Images
This is where I can help you, I can work with your development team or website designer to help you create a website that it fit for purpose and will provide a WOW factor that will help you convert more visitors into customers.

Improving Your Business in an Economic Slow Down

Now is the very best time to take a look at your business to help you move it forward.

Here are some tips on how to make that happen.

1. Find out what your competition is doing

This is a really fantastic opportunity to let your sales and customer service staff get reacquainted with past customers and communicate with current ones and through their discussions find out what your competition is doing.

Old customers are one of the best sources for competitor intelligence information, they left you for some reason, now is the time to find out why and what it would take to gain back their business. Was it price? Was it service? Was it quality? Were there performance issues? Maybe the competition just had a better product. Get as many details as possible to help bring improvements to your product and/or service.

Keep in mind that your old customers might also be in a "slow" period due to the slow down, so they may welcome talking or meeting with you find out how you can help them!

2. Training

Like most businesses you'll go through periods of time when you really couldn't afford the time people would need to be away from the business to learn new skills? Well right now could be the right time to allow them out to hone their skills or develop new ones by sending them to seminars and workshops (these can be really useful and cost effective). Or bring in a trainer to help teach team building, teach teams how to be more creative, or develop sales and customer service skills.

If you are concerned about the cost of outside training, why not cross-train your employees internally so your team is more flexible to deal with business issues going forward.

3. Don't cut your marketing budget

Chances are this is what your competitors are doing, and cutting yours too will simply mean that you could miss out on good market opportunities.

That said, a careful review of your marketing spend is sensible, look at what you are doing and why.

4. Check your Sales Literature

Now is a good opportunity for you to check your sales literature and web site to see if the sales messages are still working for you or whether you might need a refresh.

5. Revise your business plan

This is one of the most critical activities that you will need to perform if you are feeling a slow down in business.

Chances are your sales forecast will need to be revised, which means your overall budget will need to change. Get your business plan up to date so you and your employees have a solid strategy to work towards.

6. Ask your employees for suggestions

It's not just said for fun, your employees are you best asset, they know your business well and either know your customers or your internal processes and systems extremely well.

Find out what ideas they have for a new product or service, or how to make improvements to save money or increase performance.

7. Network

This is one of the best source of leads for any size business. Join a peer group, find a breakfast club, get back involved with a trade association, speak to existing customers. Nurture these sources and they will bring you business.

8. Remain positive

Listen to the news, read the newspapers or specialist press, and business gloom and doom is everywhere. You can't ignore it, it's always there reminding us how bad it is!

But is isn't always bad, chances are that you have a good core business, with great employees, focus on that. Get back to basics. What motivated you when you got into business? Revive the positive attitude and enthusiasm that made you successful in the first place.

Keep away from all those negative influences.