Business having a quiet period? Here’s how to turn things around

 

If you’ve clicked through to read this article, the chances are your business is a little bit stuck at the moment. The phones aren’t ringing, your inbox is empty and your sales team aren’t delivering the goods. You could of course, put it down to Brexit, or the Election result or even the hot weather, but that doesn’t help to get things moving again. What you need is a plan of action, a business turnaround plan to get you back off the blocks and below we’ve listed some key pointers to help you do just that.

Be Brutal

It’s time to cut needless expenses out of the business to give you more money to spend on creating new business. Here’s what to check:

  • Technology – Are you paying for software you’re not using? Are there cheaper alternatives to the software you do use? Are you getting the best value from your IT support contract? Are there any contracts you can renegotiate?
  • Utilities – Don’t pay over the odds for your electricity, water, gas or internet. Shop around and you could save big
  • Rent and business rates – Do you really need that expensive office in that exclusive postcode? Do all of your employees need to come into the office every day or can you hot desk and downsize your office space?
  • Staff – Is every member of staff adding value to your business? If not, why are they on the payroll? What about your sales team? Are there individuals that always have a deal “just round the corner” that never closes? If so, it’s time to give them a deadline to close their deals or find a new job.
  • Your bank statement – Last but not least, go through your business bank statement with a fine toothcomb. You’d be amazed at what you’re probably paying for on a monthly basis that you hadn’t accounted for. Eliminate all unnecessary expenses and question any payments you don’t recognise.

Go back to basics

For many business owners, the idea of writing a business plan when you’re already years into your journey could seem like a waste of time. After all, you know your business, you know your industry and you know your clients, right? But times change and if that were the case, the business wouldn’t be in the position it’s in today. A business plan forces a business owner (or leadership team) to ask itself questions about the business that are often overlooked. It questions the assumptions a business has been built on and can lead to genuine business insight which can help to reshape the company going forward. Putting a business plan in place with strategic objectives and revenue targets for the next 1 – 5 years helps to focus your mind and your business development activities on achieving those goals at all costs. Most importantly perhaps, it can help to justify any expenditure needed to change the business to meet those long-term objectives. The savings you made in point 1 should go some way to help pay for any changes that need to be made.

Look at the market and adjust your message

Following nicely on from point 2 – if you’ve done your business plan correctly, you’ll have taken a deep dive into your customers, your competition and your industry. That means you will hopefully have identified if your customer’s needs have changed. You’ll also have noted if the industry or most importantly your competition are talking about the product or service you offer in a different way. Ask yourself, is your message and your offering still as relevant today as it was when you set up the business? If it’s not, you need to adapt to survive. Failure to do so will almost definitely result in the failure of your business.

Communicate

Having a business that is not hitting its sales targets is not just a worry for business owners and CEOs. It’s a worry for employees too. It’s important to explain the predicament the business is in to employees, particularly if you’re planning on making changes. Make sure they understand the gravity of the situation and their role in helping the business move forward to better times. By keeping your team in the loop, there will be less pushback about any changes that need to be made and it may even work to your advantage by bringing everyone together to work towards a common goal. Remember, communication is not only about delivering bad news. It’s important to celebrate the good news too so be sure to make public any big business wins.

Put a comprehensive sales and marketing strategy in place

A common theme with many companies that find their sales figures heading south is their reliance on just one method to get new business through the door. Enterprise software companies for example, tend to focus heavily on using sales teams to make outbound, new business calls. E-commerce websites rely heavily on Google Ads, whilst restaurants tend to rely on review sites and online guides. Of course, they use these methods because they work, but they need to be backed up with secondary and tertiary business development channels at the very least. This means that when one method is drying up, the other methods can pick up the slack. A good business will use an array of business development tools including Google PPC, social advertising, blogging, email, events and outbound calling.

Don’t get complacent

So you’ve reshaped the business and things are looking good. Now it’s time to sit back and reward yourself for all the hard work you’ve put in… or maybe not. Industry leading companies are always looking for new ways to drive their business forward. They want to be ahead of the competition, trying new ideas, engaging with potential clients in different ways and innovating wherever and whenever possible. It’s a good strategy to have. The best time to try new things, is when you’ve got cash in the bank to absorb anything that doesn’t work out. If it does work out, you’ll be in even better shape should you run into difficult times again in the future.

 

Businesshands

Choosing the best blogging platform for a beginner

 

In this article, we’ll help you choose the best blogging platform by going over the pros and cons of the most popular options.

How to choose the best blogging platform

Some of these you may already know and some perhaps not

WordPress.org
Wix
WordPress.com
Blogger
Tumblr
Medium
Joomla
Ghost

Choosing The Best Blogging Platform – What to Look for?

First you need to know what kind of platform you’re looking for.

If your a beginner, you’ll want a blogging platform that’s easy to set up, and doesn’t require any coding skills.

You’ll also need to think about what kind of blogs you will be creating both now and in the future.

As your blog grows, you may want to change the look of your site and add more features for your growing audience. That means it’s important to choose a blogging platform that’s flexible, with room to grow.

Starting off with the wrong platform can make it very difficult to switch later on.

Lastly, even if you don’t have plans to make money yet, it’s smart to make sure you have the option to do so in the future.

Ok  let’s compare the best blogging platforms for beginners.

1. WordPress.org

WordPress.org

WordPress.org is the world’s most popular blogging software.

(Note: It’s easy to confuse WordPress.org with WordPress.com, which is a blog hosting service next on this list.

WordPress.org is an open source software platform which allows you to build your website or blog on your own. It is a self-hosted solution, which means you will need to sign up with a WordPress hosting provider.

Pros

  •     WordPress.org gives you control over every aspect of your website
  •     You can grow your blog and add extra features like forums, online store, and membership options to it.
  •     There are thousands of free and premium themes available for WordPress.
  •     You also get access to thousands of free plugins. These plugins are like apps for your WordPress blog.
  •      WordPress is search engine friendly.

Cons

  •     Managing your own website comes with a bit of a learning curve.
  •     You will have to manage your own backups and security.

Price:

WordPress.org software is free, but you’ll need to buy a domain name and hosting.

2. Wix

Wix

Wix is a hosted platform to build websites. It offers an easy way for small businesses to build a website using drag and drop tools. You can also add a blog to your website by adding the Wix Blog app.

Pros

  •     You can customize your site using dozens of templates and third party apps.
  •     Build your site with easy drag and drop tools; no coding skills required.
  •      Setup is quick and easy for new beginners,

Cons

  •     The free account is limited and shows Wix branding and ads on your site.
  •     Once you choose a template you cannot change it.

Pricing

The basic Wix website builder is free. You can add a custom domain for a small fee.

3. WordPress.com

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is a blog hosting service offered by Automattic, a company created by WordPress.org cofounder Matt Mullenweg.

WordPress.com offers a basic blog hosting service for free. You can purchase additional options like a custom domain name, additional storage, and other premium services.

Pros:

  •     No setup required an very easy to use and manage.

Cons:

  •     Limited options to extend your site.
  •     You cannot run advertisements on your blog.
  •     You do not own your blog and WordPress.com can suspend your account if they find you are violating their terms of service.

Price:

The basic WordPress.com account is free, but it will have WordPress.com ads and branding. You can upgrade to their Personal plan  to remove WordPress.com logo and advertising from your website, and get a custom domain

4. Blogger

Blogger

Blogger is a free blog hosting service. Acquired by Google in 2003, it offers a quick and easy way to create a blog for non-tech-savvy users.

Pros:

  •     Blogger is free
  •     It’s easy to use and manage without any technical skills
  •     Has the added advantage of Google’s robust secure platform and reliability.

Cons:

  •     You’re limited to basic blogging tools, and can’t add new features as your blog grows in popularity.
  •     Design options are limited, with fewer templates available. Third party templates for Blogger are often low quality.
  •    Google can suspend your blog at any time, or even cancel the Blogger service altogether. (They have a history of abandoning projects without warning, such as Feedburner.)

5. Tumblr

Tumblr

Tumblr is a little different than other blogging platforms. It is a microblogging platform with social networking features including following other blogs, reblogging, built-in sharing tools, and more.

Pros:

  •     Tumblr is free and very easy to use.
  •     It has an integrated social media component
  •     As a microblogging tool, Tumblr makes it easy to quickly blog videos, GIFs, images, and audio formats.

Cons:

  •     Tumblr comes with a limited set of features that you cannot extend as your blog grows
  •     There are many themes available for Tumblr, but they can’t offer additional features.
  •     Backing up your Tumblr blog or importing it to other platforms is difficult

Pricing:

Tumblr is free to use. You can use a custom domain

6. Medium

Medium

Launched in 2012, Medium has grown into a community of writers, bloggers, journalists, and experts. It is an easy-to-use blogging platform with limited social networking features.

Pros:

  •     Medium is easy to use, with no setup required and no coding skills needed.
  •     It allows you to reach an existing online community of people of similar interests.
  •     You can focus solely on writing, instead of designing a website.

Cons:

  •     Features are very limited in terms of design or building a brand.
  •     Medium owns your audience, so losing your blog means losing all your followers.
  •     You cannot run your own ads to make money.

Pricing:

Medium is free to use.

7. Joomla

Joomla

Joomla is an open source software content management system, just like WordPress.org. It’s also a self-hosted solution, which means you will need a domain name and web hosting to use it.

Pros

  •     Joomla is extremely powerful and flexible, and can be used to build any kind of website or blog.
  •     You can choose from hundreds of templates to customize your site’s design.

Cons

  •     The Joomla community is much smaller than WordPress community, so there are fewer themes and addons than for WordPress.

Pricing

Joomla is free but you will need domain.

8. Ghost

Ghost

Ghost is a minimalist blogging platform with limited features focused on writing blog posts. It’s available as a hosted platform, and also as a software that you can install and host yourself. We’ll take a look at both options.

Pros

  •     Focused on blogging and writing.
  •     Clean, clutter-free, and intuitive user interface
  •     Written in JavaScript, so it’s super fast
  •     No setup required for the hosted version.

Cons

  •     Not easy to customize with apps
  •     Not enough themes to change appearance of your site
  •     Complicated setup if you install it yourself.

Businesshands blogs are only £125 for a professional blog find out more

Whitepaper On Going Paperless

Information Organisation 

 

Organising your business information is the first and most important thing to overcome in any business. Modern computer-based information systems have changed the world forever. Data is stored, modified and removed within the system with ease and total control.

 

Data Availability

 

The availability of data makes it possible to interact with information at any time without restrictions. With backup systems on standby, it brings peace of mind to your organisation knowing that data is always at your disposal.

 

Data Integrity

 

Storing data within an information system that is paper-based or computer-based is critical, making sure that the correct data is stored is extremely important. Our information systems are fortified with stringent data validation checks to make sure during data entry, only the correct datatypes will be stored.

For Example, in the email column, phone numbers can’t be stored and will make sure that it’s the correct standard email format, etc. And no numbers can be stored under the name and title columns. Also, all values that can be determined or fixed are all in the drop-down list to promote correctness of the data in the system.

 

Data Accessibility

 

The multi-platform access to your organisation’s data is paramount because if an unforeseen system failure occurs with one system (for example) the desktop, then it’s a matter of firing up a spare laptop, tablet or even mobile phone and continue until the desktop is fixed. But also, information can be accessed on the move and in real time because having flexibility in the system design can make or break your business.

 

 

Automatic Data Analysis

 

Data analytics is a tedious and complex business and can be very expensive to hire a data analyst to go through your business data to advice your business on key business strategies. That’s why we add an automated data analyst with all our system. But we also add new queries within the system should they ever arise in the future and no extra cost. Accessing the business knowledge at the push of a button is a priceless feature that any organisation must have to always be one step ahead of the trend and consumer behaviour.

  

Access Control

 

Access control comes in two forms namely, intrusion avoidance and level of information access. Our systems are all designed and implement on the platform of Microsoft’s SharePoint and Azure. Because they are hosted under Microsoft, our systems are almost impenetrable as they are secured from external hackers to the highest industry level. Furthermore, information access level within any organisation is critical that’s why any multi-user system we design is referenced with a strict access level throughout the analysis, design and implementation phases. Information access is divided into three levels namely (low, mid and high levels) and all these access levels are controlled via the amount of data they can access during the login of every member of the organisation.

 

    

Paperless Transaction

 

Going paperless means that your business is contributing in the green revolution in real time while saving you money. Handling invoices and receipts digitally is much easier in this day and age for both your business and your stakeholders or clients. It’s also much faster and cheaper to communicate internally and externally. Your confidential business information is more secure when a paperless approach is fully implemented.

       

Data Backup

 

Data backup is the single most important feature in any information system even if it’s a standalone single user system. All your business data must be backed up in real time. Businesshands systems are backed up in real time with Microsoft to avoid any type of data lost real time back-up is always in action during insertion, deletion and updating information in our system.

 

       

Financial Benefits

 

Using our systems will benefit your organisation from the very beginning because our systems are built with the aim to maximising profit and encouraging employees to economise the use of your company resources.

 

   

Ease of Interaction

 

During the interaction between your organisation and your employees, clients and stakeholders it’s a critical moment because time is important but also security too. Because during the call or live web handling, the clients will go through security clearance and then all relevant data about them must be verified in front of the customer service agent. Our systems are well designed to address all types of scenarios when dealing with customers and other types of stakeholders too.

 Interested in a Businesshands database contact us here

 

Work for others or work for yourself

 

 

For most business owners, running their own company makes them feel excited and free . Running their own company gives them a profound sense of achievement. However, working for someone else’s company also has its perks, like job security, less financial concerns and stability.

If you’re considering going solo but are unsure if its the right lifestyle for you, then we’ve listed up some pros and cons of owning your own business vs working for someone else’s, to offer you a helping hand in making that choice.

Pros of owning your own business

1. Freedom at work- Who doesn’t want this !

We carried out survey recently with 450 small business owners, we discovered that 78% are happier owning their own business than they were in their previous job roles.

A  huge reason for this is the freedom and independence which comes with running your own company. You call all the shots, you decide when you work, how long you work for, what work you take on and you can choose to decline work. This sense of control over everything you do is a huge reason why so many people are choosing to have an entrepreneurial lifestyle over working for someone else.

2. Finances

Although finances may be a struggle at first for most small businesses, if you are successful then you need to remember that you will be in control of that money. If you worked for someone else’s company, although you may gain bonuses and commission, you won’t be the one deciding where the money goes.

3. You can follow your passion and enjoy your work

Even if you land the job role of your dreams, if it’s for someone else’s company then there will be a set job description in place which may not be filled with everything that you’re passionate about.  If you own your own business, then you have the option to hire people to do the jobs which you don’t want to do.

From the business survey which we carried out with 450 small business owners, 72% said they would never go back to working for someone else and prefer owning their own company. Which more than likely has a lot to do with them being able to work on what they’re passionate about and what they love.

Pros for working for someone else.

1. Job security.

Many people fantasise about running their own company, but when it comes down to it they’re often scared by the idea of not having a secure job and fixed monthly wage. It’s true, that when you run your own business you will have much less job security than when you work for someone else’s company, or at least until your business becomes a success and starts to generate a good income. For a lot of people who have families and mortgages, job security is incredibly important and is a huge reason why many people don’t take the plunge and set up their own business.

2. A clear work/life balance.

In a job role within somebody else’s company you will more than likely have much more fixed working times, such as you start at 9 and finish at 5. This will make it a lot easier for you to keep a good work/life balance and to not let your work take over your personal life. It also means your weekends are free from work and you can easily plan your holidays. When running your own business, especially in the first year or so, you may  find that you don’t have as much free time as you did when working for someone else.

3. Social Interaction.

If you were to decide to go freelance or run your own business, then you may find that at first before you start to employ people, you are working  predominantly alone which can feel isolating for some people. Whereas, when you work for an established company generally you will have a team, organised social events and be part of a community, which for many people is a huge bonus about going into work. .

 

Cons for owning your own business.

1. Financial Worries.

For a lot of people, one of the main concerns of launching and running your own business is the costs behind it. For many people, launching their own company will be their main source of income. So, you need to make sure you plan your finances carefully and set a realistic budget plan. There is a lot of financial help available to you which you may not be aware of, such as loans and grants, so make sure you do your research so you are aware of help that you can access.

Many of your financial concerns can be quashed by doing some simple research on what help is out there, what you need to do as a business financially and how to pull together a realistic budget plan.

2. Pressure and Stress.

It goes without saying, running your company will at times be highly pressurising and stressful, but this also means it will be incredibly satisfying when you gain those wins. If you’re the type of person who thrives from overcoming challenges then you will more than likely flourish as a business owner and, on some level, enjoy the stresses that comes with it.

Plus, it’s worth remembering that you will probably feel stress and pressure when working for somebody else’s company too – all jobs will naturally come with different forms of stresses, especially if they’re high paying roles.

3. Difficulty with work/life Balance.

When starting your own business, you may find that there are less boundaries between your home and work life , but that’s not necessarily a negative thing, and it’s something which can easily be managed.

Cons for working for someone else.

1. Long commute.

For many people, some of the best work opportunities are in the city  which can often mean a long and exhausting commute to and from work. If you work for yourself, you can choose where you work and when.

2. Little control over your job role.
A con for many business owners when it comes to working for someone else’s business is that you have little control over the finances. For example, if you secure a huge deal for someone else’s company you may not reap the reward as you would if you ran your own business. Additionally, if you work for someone else’s company then you would rely on the overhead to give you promotions and pay rises, whereas, when you work for yourself you are the boss and decide what you should be taking home.
Although generally, if you work hard and bring in the results, you will gain pay rises when you work for someone’s company, if you run your own business you may find that you take a cut in your income especially for the first couple of years no matter how hard you work.

3. Working with clients or people you don’t want to work with.

If you run your own company, then you decide the clients you work for and who you employ. If you work for someone else’s company, then you more than likely won’t be calling the shots on everyone who’s employed or all the clients which you take on. However, if you gain a higher position in a company then it’s more likely that you will have an input over what clients you work with and what staff you hire.

 

‘‘I was very worried but I was in a horrible situation at work with a new boss and I hated going in every day and one day I realised I don’t have to do this . I want to enjoy what I do, who I am around and look forward to my work each day.  I believe that a lot of the fear regarding the what ifs, the fear and questioning myself, kept me from starting my business even sooner than I did. When I finally decided to buckle down and jump in, what surprised me was that a lot of it was actually so much easier than I expected and I realised that much of my fear, stress and worry was completely unnecessary. “

Small Business Owner

 

 

Happy reading

www.businesshands.co.uk

 

 

How does your social media measure up?

 

I was told once a long time ago “to understand how to do something well – you need to understand what good looks like” and she was right. Only when you know “what good looks like” can you put a structured plan in place to help you achieve it. So in this week’s article, we’re going to introduce you to what good looks like in the world of social media and give you the opportunity to understand where your business sits on the social media scale.

Goals and Channel Integration
One of the first things to note about social media, is that it’s not just about posting messages and following people. If you’re going to do social media well, you first need to understand why you’re doing it and what you want to achieve from it.
Social media is part of the customer journey. A person finds and follows your company on social media, then they see an interesting post from you and click on it to get to your website. Next (hopefully) you’ve got some kind of call to action or sign-up form and from there (if you’re really good) not only will you receive an enquiry or sale, but your visitor will also be fed into your e-newsletter list or a set of automated mailers. By putting this structure in place, it helps you to understand what posts are good for social media and what posts aren’t so good. Having an endless stream of links to articles on other websites for example (as many organisations do) is not going to add any value to your business.

Community Management
The next key point in this article is that social media is a 2-way communication platform. That means you need to be encouraging conversations and watching for and responding to your followers if they decide to communicate with you. If you’re really good – you’ll be actively searching the social media world for mentions of your organisation and proactively involving yourself in those conversations.
Content planning
Put your hands up if you have a 1-year content plan in place… anyone? What about 6 months… or even 3 months? Ok –   1 month?
The chances are, when you think of social media, you think of short posts and images – but the reality is that the majority (and most successful) of posts contain links to articles. If you’re not writing your own blog / regular article – then your only option is to post links to articles on other websites and that immediately throws your highly effective customer journey out of the window.
Devising and creating regular content is critical to the success of your social media. The further you plan your content in advance, the more strategic it can become and the more valuable it will be to your organisation.

Paid Social Media Advertising
If we think back to the customer journey – perhaps the most critical part of it is to make sure you get found in the first place and that’s where paid social media advertising comes in. Social media advertising is hugely powerful, allowing you to target specific age groups, interests, geographical locations and even times of the day. Not only that, but you can set goals tied into your advertising. Do you want to acquire more followers, increase web traffic, get app downloads or increase newsletter sign-ups? Anything is possible. Here at Business Hands, we put a strong emphasis on social media paid advertising because we believe it offers better targeting options, better results and better value than traditional PPC (pay per click) methods through platforms like Google AdWords.

Evaluation
Lastly and probably the least practiced – evaluation is the most value-add part of the social media journey. Let’s equate being a social media manager to a farmer. To get a high yield from your social media you need to invest in the right tools, you’ll need to try different strategies, you’ll need to nurture your crop (your community) and you’ll need to measure and evaluate everything you do. With the right technology in place, it very quickly becomes clear what is working and what is not and as time goes on you can fine tune your social media feeds to maximise audience engagement, drive website traffic and most importantly – increase sales.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this high level introduction into what good social media looks like. You’ll find a helpful graphic below to help you plan to take your social media to the next level and obviously we’d love to help you achieve that.

Business Hands offers fully tailored content, social media and email marketing packages for every size of business at very competitive prices. To find out how we can help your business, contact us today on 0207 458 4788.
Thanks for reading

Will Blogging Help With SEO?

Blogging does helps boost SEO quality by positioning your website as a relevant answer to your customers’ questions. Blog posts that specifically use a variety of on-page SEO tactics can give you more opportunities to rank in search engines and get customers to visit your site.
Search engine optimization is incredibly important for marketers. Optimizing your web pages — including your blog posts –makes your website more visible to people who are entering keywords associated with your product or service via search engines like Google.
But Google’s copious algorithm updates make this tricky. And today’s SEO best practices are all about relevancy and intent. Keep reading to learn more….
How do you know what matters and what doesn’t?
Confusion is a common issue facing digital content marketers — In this post, we’ll cover how to optimize your blog posts for the keywords you care about, along with a few other optimization tactics you should keep in mind.

1. Focus on 1–2 long-tail keywords that match the intent of your ideal reader.
Optimizing your blog posts for keywords is not about incorporating as many keywords into your posts as possible. Nowadays, this actually hurts your SEO because search engines consider this keyword stuffing (i.e., including keywords as much as possible with the sole purpose of ranking highly in organic search).
It also doesn’t make for a good reader experience — a ranking factor that search engines now prioritize to ensure you’re answering the intent of your visitors. Therefore, you should use keywords in your content in a way that doesn’t feel unnatural .
A good rule of thumb is to focus on one or two long-tail keywords per blog post. While you can use more than one keyword in a single post, keep the focus of the post narrow enough to allow you to spend time actually optimizing for just one or two keywords.
Why long-tail keywords? These longer, often question-based keywords keep your post focused on the specific goals of your audience. Website visitors searching long-tail terms are more likely to read the whole post and then seek more information from you. In other words, you’ll generate right type of traffic: visitors who convert.

2. Include these 1–2 keywords in specific parts of your post.
Now that you’ve decided on your one or two keywords, it’s time to incorporate them into your blog post. Where are the best parts of your posts to include these terms so you rank high in search results?
There are four essential places where you should try to include your keywords: title tag, headers & body, URL, and meta description.
by subscribing to Google’s official blog.

3. Optimize the meta description, and use all the space.
To review, a meta description is the additional text that appears in SERPs that lets readers know what the link is about. The meta description gives searchers information they need to determine whether or not your content is what they’re looking for, and ultimately helps them decide if they’ll click or not.
The maximum length of this meta description is greater than it once was — now around 300 characters — suggesting it wants to give readers more insight into what each result will give them.
So, in addition to being reader-friendly (compelling and relevant), your meta description should include the long-tail keyword for which you are trying to rank.

4. Optimize your images’ alt text.
Blog posts shouldn’t only contain text — you should also include images that help explain your content. But search engines don’t just look for images. Rather, they look for images with alt text.
Because search engines can’t “see” images the same way humans can, an image’s alt text tells them what an image is about — which ultimately helps those images rank in Google Images results. Alt text also makes for a better user experience, as it’ll display inside the image container when an image can’t be found or displayed, and can improve accessibility for people with poor vision who are using screen readers.
Technically, alt text is an attribute that can be added to an image tag in HTML. Here’s what a complete image tag might look like (bolding added for emphasis):
<img class=”wt-blog__normal-image” src=”image.jpg” alt=”image-description” title=”image tooltip”>
Adding keywords to your alt text may seem minor — and it isn’t going to impact your search rankings as much as other things on this list. But it is worth the extra minute it takes to change the name from “IMG23940” to something accurate and descriptive, like “kittens-playing-at-home:”

5. Link internally when possible.
Inbound links to your content help show search engines the validity or relevancy of your content. The same goes for linking internally to other pages on your website. If you’ve written about a topic that’s mentioned in your blog post on another blog post or web page then you should link to that page.
Not only will internal linking help keep visitors on your website, but it also surfaces your other relevant and authoritative pages to search engines.

6. It increases the number of pages on your website.
This is the real secret to SEO. The more content you have, the more the search engines will have to crawl and index. This helps give the crawlers a better understanding of just what your website is about, and which types of searches it should rank highly for.
It also gives you the opportunity to branch out on your keyword use. There are two main complications with SEO:

7.Use Google’s Search Console.
Google’s free Search Console contains a section called the Search Analytics Report. This report helps you analyze clicks from Google Search, and it’s useful to determine which keywords people are using to find your blog content

When you publish blog posts frequently and consistently optimize them for search while maintaining an intent-based reader experience, you’ll reap the rewards in the form of traffic and leads long-term..
We don’t expect you to incorporate each of these SEO best practices into your content strategy.. But as your website grows, so should your goals on search engines. Then you’ll be able to do some link building to get other websites to link back to your blog!

Businesshands

Why your business should use Twitter

If you run a small business and you aren’t using Twitter, you’re missing out on a great opportunity.

Almost 50 percent of people who follow a brand on Twitter are more likely to visit that company’s website.
But don’t just think you can sign up with an email account and sales leads will start rolling in. Like any other marketing tool, Twitter should be used properly by people trained in it. Your brand can suffer irreparable damage from a misguided or badly-timed tweet.
If you use Twitter correctly it can expose your company to brand-new audiences around the world.
Here are a few reasons your brand may want to consider Twitter in its social media portfolio.

  • Twitter Followers Can Help Your Brand
  • Just being on Twitter shows you’re part of the conversation among savvy consumers Decide what kind of Twitter account you want to have: will you respond to customer complaints 24/7? Will you create a “voice” that engages with followers in a humorous or fun way? Or will your Twitter feed be more of a broadcasting platform, where you push out company messages and promote products?
    Your feed can even be a combination of these three versions. But once you decide on a style, try to stick with it if possible.
  • Assuming your potential and existing customers are on Twitter, you can instantly let them know your news, whether it’s an announcement or a new product, a special deal, or an upcoming event they may be interested in. But be advised that you’ll get out of Twitter what you put into it. It’s not very engaging (or social) to just blast out one-way messages. If that’s your goal, you may want to explore Twitter’s advertising tools.

Using Twitter to Monitor Competitors
Twitter lets you hear what other people are saying. Using Twitter Search, you can find out what people are saying about a particular topic, enabling you to keep your ear to the ground about your company and the competition.
If you’re on Twitter, chances are your competitors are too, and are keeping tabs on you. That’s just one more reason to have a solid strategy behind your tweets.
Twitter is a great networking tool. Being on Twitter will give you opportunities to interact with people you would never get the chance to talk to otherwise. And some of those people might be the very business contacts you’ve been seeking, people you want to start projects with, source product from or even hire.

Engaging with Customers on Twitter
Posting information about your products and/or services is the obvious use. But Twitter also gives you another channel for listening to and finding out about your customers – what they like or dislike about your company, how they feel about your brand and what suggestions they have for improvement.

Twitter can provide your small business with another channel to inform and engage your current and potential customers .

Businesshands

What is a website?

What is a website? In its bare form, a website is a single domain that consists of different web pages. We should all know that by now, but surprisingly what we don’t all know, is the benefits a website can provide for your business and its shocking to see how many business don’t actually have a website and no online presence!
If you have a business and don’t have a website, you are losing out on great opportunities for your business.
Do you want to know the benefits of having a business website?
Here you go…..

Easily accessible
Your website and social media accounts are accessible around the clock.. Imagine that you want to buy from a store. You put in all the effort required to go to the store, but when you get there, it’s closed. You’ll think twice about going back or you may just find another store that is more easily accessible.
Since your website is operational 24/7 your customers and clients can easily access your website and services.

Cost Effective
You know exactly how much your website is going to cost you but a shop or store on the other hand, is susceptible to many out of the ordinary occurrences which could blow out the costs such as theft and damage.
A strategically and well developed website and online presence provides tremendous benefits.

Convenient
What is more convenient: driving outside to look for different stores that are available to shop in, or sitting in the comfort of your own home and shopping for the products you’re looking for? Smart businesses realise this and thus have their own website showcasing their products and services so that potential customers can browse online for the products they want to purchase.

Credibility
By building a website you are giving your business the opportunity to tell consumers why they should trust you and the testimonials and facts to back up those opportunities. When you provide good service or product, positive word-of-mouth about your business is likely to spread. Which in turn, delivers more repeat and new business.
Using your website, you can continuously serve consumers online and increase your credibility as a business owner.

Sales
Without sales, or selling more than you spend, your business is likely doomed. By having an online presence you allow for the sale of your products or services around the clock to whoever and whenever.
In short, being visible worldwide means you are very likely to gain more customers. The more customers and visitors you have, the more sales you will generate.

Marketing
Having a website and online presence strategy allows you to market your business online. There are lots of marketing strategies you can use to advertise and market your business.
You might also want to check out our website design

Thank you for reading

Businesshands

Tips for launching a social media marketing campaign

The number of Social media users is growing at a fast pace.
Social media users spend a lot of time on various social media platforms, which forces both small and big businesses to spend a lot of money on marketing campaigns.
If you are using social media for your business you should have a strategy for your marketing campaigns. You need to have an effective strategy to get the return you expect.

Here are some tips and advice to note for when you are creating a strategy:

1. Post engaging content
If you post interesting content then your followers will be more likely to click and share the content you post with their friends. You should always be posting engaging content and include a compelling call-to-action. If you want your followers to share a post, then ask them.If you want them to click on a link, then tell them to “click here.”
The more customers you have, the more money you are able to make. If you post dull and tedious content on your social profiles, then your followers will not engage with your content and they will not be likely to click. You may even lose followers

2. Pay attention to data
You need to know what actions to take or what types of strategy may work out and to be able to do this you need to analyse the data.
You can get required information easily and quickly. There are plenty of studies and tools that can provide you with real-time data on your performance. For example, Facebook offers an “Insights” section on pages that offers a variety of statistics on the performance of particular pages.

3. Be careful with content
Always remember that what you share on your social media accounts contributes to your brand image. Whether you share your story on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media accounts, you need to make sure you make a good impression and post something of value.
Do not only promote your products and your company. Instead you could write a blog post about an interesting topic related to your niche and then post a link with a creative call-to-action on your Facebook page. You could also post interesting “behind the scenes” moments to help your customers connect with your business on a more personal level.

4. Stay on topic
Point number 3 already mentioned that you need to cover interesting topics that relate to your product and brand. While you do that, it is important to stay on topic and try to keep the information you post on your social profiles relevant to your niche.

5. Posting engaging content only
If you post interesting content your followers will be more likely to click and share the content you post with their friends. You should always be posting engaging content and include a compelling call-to-action. If you want your followers to share a post, then ask them to do so. If you want them to click on a link, then tell them to “click here.”
The more customers you have, the more money you are able to make. If you post dull and tedious content on your social profiles, then your followers will not engage with your content .

6. Do not avoiding negative feedback
There will always be people who provide negative feedback no matter what you do. Don’t ignore it! accept the criticism and carefully reply back. For example, you should thank the individual who posted the feedback for pointing out the particular issue or problem they are having and address the problem in a professional manner.

Do not expect to get instant success of your campaign as you may need to experiment before you manage to get a good return from your social media marketing efforts.

 

www.businesshands.co.uk

 

Whcih social media platform for your business

Its generally known that to increase your brand presence, you need to be active on social media .
While that may be true, unless your company has a dedicated social media coordinator, finding the time to maintain every platform out there can be extremely time consuming.

So which Social media platform is better for your business??

The best social media platforms for business
If your company is just starting out on the Web and need to pick a few social media networks to rule over, here is our guide to choosing the best platform(s) for your business, and how to make the most out of them.

1. Twitter
Who should use it: Everyone – from individuals to the largest multinational corporations
What to share: Start, join, and lead conversations; interact directly with brands and customers
Post frequency: minimum of one time a day to multiple times a days
Twitter is the dominant democracy of the social-sharing economy. Relevancy, personality and brevity are the keys to making your voice heard.
Useful tools: Buffer lets you stockpile and schedule content in advance. Tools like this allow for posting around-the-clock, increasing the likelihood of snagging followers beyond your country or time zone without being working 24/7.

2. Instagram
Who should use it: Lifestyle, food, fashion, personalities and luxury brands
What to share: Share visual content- photos and short videos
Post frequency: Once a day
Instagram invites brands with visual content into their customers’ zone-out time. Create and post content accordingly.
You’ll want to experiment with your own userbase and followers, but it’s likely that the best time to target your posts will be to get to your audience’s eyes during their commutes, nights, and weekends.
Useful tools: Use the integrated sharing functions for Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter to repurpose your Instagram posts for more shareable media. Include a relevant hashtag to become more discoverable on Instagram and to track engagement across sites where you share the content.

3. LinkedIn
Who should use it: Businesses (especially B2B service providers), Recruiters and Job-Seekers
What to share: Job-postings, company descriptions, employer/employee research
Post frequency: Two to four times a week
Keep a company description and profile page mindful of keyword SEO, but your network of employees and contacts is your most valuable (and potentially damaging) content on LinkedIn. Make sure people in your organization are appropriate, professional and on-brand. There’s nowhere online where employers and employees are more intimately linked.

4. Facebook
Who should use it: Everyone and their cats (literally)
What to share: All types of online content, events, ads
Post frequency: Once or twice a day
Consider advertising or paying to promote your page on Facebook, but don’t make your brand’s Facebook page itself look like an advertisement. Inspire conversations and shares – and be sure to ask questions.
Of all social networks, Facebook is best equipped to share responses to a post asking a question or sparking conversation.
There’s no shortage of options for analyzing Facebook data so you can track the success of your content .
Useful tools: URL shortener Bitly does more than just shrink down links. Each time you convert a link, Bitly offers stats on clicks generated from that specific link, making it helpful to see how much traffic is brought directly from sharing to Facebook.

5. YouTube
Who should use it: Brands with video content and ads, anyone giving explanations or sharing expertise
What to share: Short (less than 1.5 minutes) video content
Post frequency: Once or twice a week
Google treats its own well, and YouTube is the prime example of this fact. YouTube videos feature prominently in Google search results.
Keep this in mind when naming and describing videos.
Useful tools: A subscription widget or link to your website can help convert single views into long-term influence.

6. Google+
Who should use it: Brands already on the other major social networks, B2B networking, bloggers
What to share: More formal and professional than Facebook; Hashtags have major search value
Post frequency: Once or twice a day
As Google’s proposed alternative to Facebook, keywords and search engine optimization are central to the appeal of Google+. Link often to content on your own website to direct this search boost where you want it most.

7. Pinterest
Who should use it: Fashion, food, design, travel and anything DIY;
What to share: Creative, visual content
Post frequency: Minimum of twice a day
Users pin and re-pin posts to Pinterest Boards, which naturally push the content on Pinterest into categories. This makes easily-categorized content most apt for sharing, and wisely-chosen keywords essential to successful post captions.
Pinning and re-pinning frequently is necessary to appear within current results for a given search term, regardless of how popular your content is.

 

Businessshands