Mar
14
How to write great blogs

How to write great blogs in WordPress

March 14, 2018 11:00 am Published by Comments Off on How to write great blogs in WordPress

Publishing regular blogs means all-important new web content that Google loves. It also gives you something new to share with your contacts. Here’s our advice on how to write great blogs in WordPress…

Getting started

In the left hand menu on your WordPress dashboard, click on Posts and Add New. This takes you to a page with everything you need to create your new blog post.

Give some thought to the right title

This is crucial, partly to keep Google happy. WordPress generates the URL (otherwise known as permalink) for your blog post based on your title – you can override their suggestion, but the key thing is to make sure your title is relevant to the content and search terms you want Google to pick up.

Also, according to copyblogger, whilst 8 in 10 people will read a blog title, only 2 in 10 will go on to read the actual post. So, as well as including your main keywords in the title (to help Google find it), you should also make sure it’s engaging and intriguing to readers.

Oh, and keep your title short and sweet – 8 words or fewer if possible, so Google search results will display it in full.

Make your blog post easy to read

As a guide, your blog should be at least 300 words long – with enough keywords for Google to pick up on, and plenty of content to engage and inform your readers. 500-600 words is ideal – anything longer, and your readers are likely to lose interest.

Divide up the blog post into easy-to-read chunks – short paragraphs with sub-headlines are a good way to do this, like we’ve done in this blog!

For more information, check out our tried and tested guide to writing successful blogs.

Always include a ‘call-to-action’ – what do you want people to do after reading your blog? This may be to view other content on your website, contact you, or complete an enquiry form, etc. Thanks to the magic of Google, many visitors will come straight to your blog from a search – so remember to include everything they need to know on this page!

Add images

Make your blog more appealing by adding images. It’s easy in WordPress – simply position your cursor where you want the image to go, and click on Add Media. Then choose Media Library to add an image you’ve uploaded before, or Upload Files to add a new one in JPG, PNG or GIF format. When you’ve added the image, click on Edit Image to change the size and positioning.

Categories and tags

Wordpress CategoriesConsider setting up categories and tags for your blog posts to help readers find your other content on the same topic. Categories provide a broader grouping, and tags are more specific – usually keywords.

For example, on a recipe website, categories could include starters, main courses and puddings – and tags could be specific ingredients like fish, chocolate, fruit, nuts, etc.

Use the Categories and Tags module on the right hand side of the text area to add relevant categories and tags to your blog post. You can select existing categories and tags – or add new ones.

Maximise your SEO impact

You’ll want your blog post to work hard at attracting new visitors to your website, and WordPress is very SEO-friendly – especially if you use a WordPress plug-in application like Yoast SEO.

Along with a raft of other great SEO features, this clever piece of software evaluates your blog post as you write it, and gives simple traffic light results to show how well it is optimised for SEO. You can then adjust any elements highlighted in red to make them more SEO-friendly, before publishing your post.

Yoast traffic light analysis

And finally, don’t forget to share your blog post on social media and your LinkedIn page, so your contacts know where to find it!

No time to write your own blogs? At Ketchup Marketing, we can help with planning, writing and marketing your blog posts. Find out more – call us on 0330 088 9277 or contact us here.

Dec
13
Getting your business started online

Getting your business started online

December 13, 2017 8:04 pm Published by Comments Off on Getting your business started online

It’s 2018 and every business has a website, right? Not quite. The most recent ONS data found that only just over half of all UK businesses had one. But if you’re behind the curve don’t worry, Ketchup is here to support you in getting your business started online.

The first step is to accept that for many consumers the internet is now their first port of call. It’s true to say web searches have largely replaced word-of-mouth referrals.

And some 80% of internet users in the UK do online shopping, too (the highest rate in Europe).

In fact, e-commerce now accounts for over a fifth of total business turnover. So if you haven’t got a presence online just think what a 20% uplift in your sales could do for your business? It means a website is no longer simply desirable, it is essential to a modern business.

Find and capture new leads

The good news is that bridging the digital divide and getting your business started online is not as daunting as it might seem at the outset.

And with some professional input you’ll find and capture new leads. Take a look at https://www.ketchup-marketing.co.uk/capabilities/website-design/ for some examples of easy-to-navigate sites with eye-catching designs and compelling content. They are putting businesses like yours ahead of the competition.

In many ways getting your business started online is not dissimilar to starting your venture in the first place and you’ve done that successfully.

You’ll need a plan but drawing this up will break down the process into a number of tasks, making the whole thing easier to get your head around.

Here is our step-by-step guide:-

Write a lean business plan which should include market / SWOT analysis and how you’re going to fund the project

Research, register and purchase your domain name and ask Ketchup to host it for you

Make it legal – there are specific online business regulations relating to how you capture and store customers’ personal information. Make sure you comply

Write copy that sells but think images, audio and video, too. Ketchup’s expert copywriters can work with you on content. For tips see https://www.ketchup-marketing.co.uk/capabilities/copy-communication/

Commission an expert to design and build an easy-to-use website. If all your website needs to do is provide company information, testimonials and contact details then a brochure-style website will suffice. If you need to incorporate a blog or e-commerce functionality to sell good or services you’ll need a more advanced website platform. This will also require a merchant account and shopping cart tool.

Make sure your website is mobile friendly – analytic data shows a clear shift from majority desktop to majority mobile based traffic. And let Ketchup’s experts make sure that your shiny new site hits all the right buttons when it comes to Search Engine Optimisation

Consider having a Content Management System (CMS) so you can update your website regularly (good for Google rankings) without any knowledge of HTML or having to rely on external support

Think how you can keep in touch with visitors to your website. You’ll be able to build up a database and send out regular promotional emails. Online mailing system such as Mailchimp are free to businesses with 2,000 or fewer subscribers

Launch and maintain your website to keep it looking fresh. Use your social media channels to direct existing and potential customers to it. Install Google Analytics to help you track your visitor traffic patterns over time.

That’s a lot to take in all at once but talk to us and we’ll listen and put you in control. Get in touch here https://www.ketchup-marketing.co.uk/contact/

Jun
26
cyber security - protect your website

Why it’s vital to back up and protect your website

June 26, 2017 10:29 am Published by Comments Off on Why it’s vital to back up and protect your website

Everyone’s heard of WordPress – it’s one of the most popular content management systems in the world, used by nearly 75 million websites. Like facts and figures? 409 million people view more than 23.6 billion pages each month while users produce 69.5 million new posts and 46.8 million new comments every month. That’s a lot of words.

This kind of global presence and popularity makes the ubiquitous platform an irresistible target for hackers looking to damage sites for their version of fun – or to gather confidential information for more illicit purposes – as the news story a few weeks ago showed.

The security flaw in WordPress’s blogging software allowed hackers to attack and deface tens of thousands of sites. They were able to edit posts and change titles, but left unrepaired, those devious types would have been able to insert code, text and links… all very damaging indeed. These people are low on principles.

While WordPress caught the world’s attention back in February, a recent government survey revealed that nearly half (46%) of British businesses have discovered at least one cybersecurity breach or attack in the past year. That figure rises to 66% for medium and large companies.

Here at Ketchup, cyber security is a big deal for us.

It’s why we want to help every client protect their website, their business and their integrity: it’s not just an issue that affects major organisations – everyone using the Internet is potentially at risk.

WordPress tend to act swiftly to provide patches and other solutions when such vulnerabilities are discovered – but that is little consolation to those people whose sites have already fallen prey to hackers. That’s why we believe that it is far better to be prepared and protected – prevent the attack, rather than deal with the fall out.

Your WordPress admin area is normally only protected by password. Securing your website with additional features such as two factor authentication helps to secure your log ins, so that more than one link in the chain needs to be broken before an unwelcome visitor can access your site. It’s done by adding a second requirement (usually a code that will be sent via email) giving you an additional layer of protection… and in the light of recent news stories, this extra vigilance makes perfect sense, which is why we’ve made it part of our portfolio of services.

Keeping you safe

We’ve developed an advanced WordPress Protection Package exclusively for our clients, designed to maintain the security of your site and ultimately to give you peace of mind. KetchupProtect incorporates a whole raft of security and protection features that aren’t usually part of the WordPress platform, including:

  • 2 Factor Authentication – Users are required to enter both a password AND a secondary code sent to your email. Both the password and the code are required to successfully log in to a user account. Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of WordPress security to verify it’s actually you logging in and not someone who gained access (or even guessed) your password.
  • Google ReCAPTCHA – this adds an extra layer of protection to your most vulnerable pages such as the WP login, user registration and comments.
  • Protection against bad users – this feature limits the number of failed login attempts and locks out bad users.
  • Enhanced admin security – this makes the administrative area inaccessible at certain times and alternates the URL for that area so that attackers won’t know where to look.
  • 404 detection – this identifies the high number of 404 errors that are generated when a bot scans your site and locks out the IP addresses which produce these.
  • File change detection and comparison – the security plugin will detect file changes that can be tell-tale signs of hacking and assess whether the change is malicious.
  • Malware scanning – scheduled scans check for malware and allow it to be combatted and removed.
  • User action logging – tracking when users log in, edit content and log out to help identify suspicious behaviour.

Choose KetchupProtect, and you’ll benefit from all the above safeguards as well as plenty of other features. You’ll also have peace of mind that we will check your website every week to ensure all plugins and software are current and make regular backups.

Protect your website, and you protect your business.

For more information about how we can make it much harder for the hackers, please get in touch on 0330 088 9277. We’re here to help you stay safe.

Jun
06
Top Tips for marketing your eCommerce website

Top tips for marketing your e-commerce website

June 6, 2017 6:32 am Published by Comments Off on Top tips for marketing your e-commerce website

Whatever the nature of your business, you’ll need to tell the world about it to make sales, boost awareness and build your presence online.

In order to market to the right people, spend some time researching and trying to understand your audience. Think about their age, their interests, their motivations. What matters to them? What solutions can you offer to problems they may not know they have? How can you stand out from the competition?

There’s a lot to think about so we’ve put together our top 5 tips for planning an effective marketing strategy and making a success of your e-commerce business.

Make sure your website is search engine friendly

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the art of designing and creating a website which is search engine friendly and ranks as highly as possible. It’s about making sure your website has the right structure and the right words in both copy and code, with lots of relevant content and getting other websites to link to yours. Search engines are continually getting smarter about understanding the tactics some people use to try to manipulate them. Track how your website is performing using a tool like Google Analytics.

Focus on building your mailing list

If customers visit your website without buying, you’ll want to know why. So it makes sense to capture their email address so you can follow this up. One of the easiest ways is to add a sign up box which tends to work better with an incentive, eg, “Sign up today and get 15% off your next order.”

Why not offer customers the chance to join your mailing list as part of the checkout process?

Start building this list, and use it to promote new products, offer discounts and alert people to your blog. Send regular e-snippets to current and prospective customers with some human interest – staff news, charity events you’ve supported, new office pet… it’s not so much about selling as raising awareness, making some noise in the marketplace and building relationships.

Maximise social media

Online shops often prefer to use platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, which are visual but Facebook and Twitter are also relevant and effective… while you’re promoting your business and ultimately pitching for sales, be aware that your audience wants to be informed and entertained so don’t be afraid to use humour or comment on trends/developments relevant to your sector that might pique their interest.

Everyone loves a freebie so why not give something away in a competition or in return for sharing posts? Let your followers spread the word and promote your brand for you! User-generated content (UGC) gives you a bit of variety with no effort on your part.

Invest in Pay Per Click advertising

This is a wise choice. Pay per click (PPC) advertising is essentially a form of online advertising designed to drive traffic to your website through marketing aimed specifically at search engines.

So when people enter certain keywords into Google or any other search engine, your advert appears in the results.

With PPC advertising, your business lands directly in front of the consumer so it’ll show up when people are looking specifically for the product or service that you are offering. You only pay when someone clicks and you can set a budget giving you more control over costs.

It works faster than organic searches, so you should see results pretty quickly. It’s a great way for small businesses to be up there with national and global organisations.

Everything is trackable so you’ll be able to see the exact ROI – clicks, impressions, rate and cost per click, the average position of your ads. Beware, it can be a little addictive…

Live chat

This is the era of instant gratification and personalised experiences. Live chat gives your customers the ability to ask questions and check details before they buy. You’ll get an insight into the most frequent issues that they’re experiencing on your site and you’ll also benefit from the opportunity to get to know your customers, build a relationship pre purchase and promote loyalty.

Live chat boosts customer confidence survey revealed 92% customers feel satisfied when they use the live chat feature, compared to other communication options like voice (88%), email (85), web form (85%), and social media (Facebook 84%, Twitter 77%).

Finally, if you’re short on time to put any (or all!) of these tips into action, give our friendly team a call on 0330 088 9277 or contact us.

We’re here to help you do more, sell more and make more money!

Getting bogged down in data
Jun
18

Getting bogged down in data

June 18, 2013 10:00 am Published by Comments Off on Getting bogged down in data

blog-ogilvy

It’s not sexy, management information… data…stats… stuff that needs interrogating to tell you that what you’re doing in your business is either working or not.

We always wished Ogilvy hadn’t uttered the immortal words about only half his advertising working but he didn’t know which half.  We can’t be so blasé these days, we need to make every penny count, give us a return on our investment.

That’s why we build tracking into every single website project we take on. Basically what it does is monitor how visitors find, use and share the information that’s been published online. So, how many people visit your website each day? Are they unique visitors or do they come back regularly? What page do they land on – and what page do they leave from? And what about the emails you send? Do you actually know who reads them?

Don’t get the wrong idea, all of this information can get overwhelming, but without it you’re really only partly guessing about which of your marketing efforts are making a difference to your business performance.

Equally, make sure that you are interpreting the data with some context.

For example if your data report tells you that someone opened your email really soon after you sent it, maybe that just means they were taking a quick look to make sure it wasn’t important before hitting delete to clear their inbox.

And if someone is looking at every page on your website, is it because they love it so much they need to investigate every conceivable corner of your web presence? Or just that they can’t find what they’re looking for?

It’s fair to say there is always a risk that you can misinterpret your web stats. But it can also be harnessed to powerful effect; our tracking software will give the IP address of the visitor – just think, how could you use this information?

Also, we make a point of testing various homepage designs for larger projects – which means that when your site launches. You’re going to be safe in the knowledge that the user will find it easy on the eye as well as easy to buy into (or from, in the case of e-commerce sites).

The moral of this story?  If your website and email marketing constitutes half of your marketing budget (other marketing methods are available!)  make sure you know it’s working for you. That’s not to say that you should apply the same principle to the other half. Want to know how Ketchup can help you?  Call Michelle Ogilvy Jones on 0330 088 9277

May
20

Oh Blogger It!

May 20, 2013 11:17 am Published by Comments Off on Oh Blogger It!

Ever look at your own website and think it’s not quite up to scratch? Fed up of the familiar colourways, images and calls to action?  Don’t worry. That’s perfectly normal.  Many of the most successful entrepreneurs are those who are most self-critical – they’re always trying to improve and innovate, and there’s nothing bad about that.

All of your online and offline marketing presence whether it’s your tweets, press adverts or glossy brochures have been created by you and your agency to pitch you differently to those of your competitors. And bench-marking them against what your competition pumps out is a good exercise to do now and then – but don’t compare them like-for-like – yours are meant to be different – that’s half the point.

It’s easy to get bored with the way your business presents itself when you are in the thick of it, day in-day out.  And that’s often the case with your blog articles too.  You scrutinise them, pick holes in them, spell-check them, read them over and over again for some grammatical flaw that you think everyone will notice (but chances are they probably won’t) so it’s no wonder that you pause just before you hit ‘publish’ … of course you’re going to be bored of them if you’ve just spent hours writing/rewriting and generally faffing around with them to achieve some kind of impossible perfection.

This is where you need to go and do something totally different, grab a cuppa with a business associate or maybe a mentor who you can trust to give you a bit of reassurance.  This is the better response than running off to a new agency crying “ Please change everything I have spent the last X number of years developing!!”

Don’t get me wrong, we’re always happy to do a brand refresh for a client or give strategic marketing input – that’s where we excel – but just because you’ve got a bit bored with the way you market your business it doesn’t mean your customers have.

Think about the Kelloggs Corn Flakes Chicken (Or is it a Cockerel? See, it’s OK to admit you don’t have all the answers…) but back to the point, which is, that poultry personality has been on the front of the Corn Flakes box since the very beginning. It has a bit of an image update every few years, but it’s never been replaced by a Turkey.  Or a Pig. Or a Duck.  See, our knowledge of farm animals isn’t perhaps the best either but that’s fine, because we’re not in the business of farming.

If your blogging and tweeting and literature and press ads and the service you give to your treasured customers is working, don’t go messing with it.  And don’t worry if you feel it’s not quite as cool as your competitor’s – chances are that they are having those same painful moments of self-doubt as you are.

If however you simply can’t escape the thought that your marketing just isn’t working, by all means give Michelle a call on 0330 088 9277. Michelle will tell you straight, based on proper research and insight if you can improve what you’re doing.  And if she doesn’t think you can, then she’s not going to try and convince you otherwise and sell you anything unnecessary.  This is the Ketchup commitment that you can trust.

 

 

Mar
26

Ketchup’s top tips for your website – part 2

March 26, 2013 10:25 am Published by Comments Off on Ketchup’s top tips for your website – part 2

We have so much good advice for you but we know that if we squeezed too much into one article, you’d have been saturated with information and might miss something important. So here’s part two of our top tips for your website article (part one can be found here)

  1. Good navigation that’s clear and easy to follow is key.  No-one enjoys getting lost in the real world, so they won’t enjoy getting lost in a virtual one either.
  2. Keep any links current.  Broken links are a sign of a website that is neglected. Google won’t like it either.
  3. Be careful what colours you use.  You need your site to be on-brand but be aware of the messages colours send. And Fonts for that matter.  Avoid Comic Sans at all costs!
  4. Want your website to look good when you’re browsing on your mobile phone? Tell your web agency in advance so that can be taken into account when designing it.
  5. Don’t bury your key message several clicks away – it needs to be communicated on the home page.
  6. Make sure the images you’re using aren’t huge files that will take ages to load. We’re all in a rush these days and a couple of seconds delay will mean people navigate away from your site.
  7. No pop-up adverts please! How irritating. And they make your site look spammy.
  8. Relevant, in-bound links will improve your search engine rankings, so encourage appropriate businesses in your network to link to your website from theirs.
  9. Write using your customers’ language. Use keyword research to find out how people describe your product / service.
  10. Make sure your site is accessible to as many people and systems as possible.  Even colour-blindness can affect someone’s ability to use your website.

Food for thought?  Feel free to get in touch with us to see how we can help you market your business more effectively.

 

"Saucy" top tips ..
Mar
20

Ketchup’s top tips for your website – part 1

March 20, 2013 9:22 am Published by Comments Off on Ketchup’s top tips for your website – part 1

If you’re paying for a website for your business, you need to be sure it’s working for you and that you’ll get a return on your investment.  Here’s a selection of things we think you should seriously consider when you’re planning your webpages.

  1. Make sure your contact details are easy to find.  You might have a beautiful looking website but if no-one knows how to get in touch with you, you may as well have not bothered. And you can use Google Maps too.
  2. The ‘About Us’ page… Do you really need a page that talks about Uncle Bob starting the company in 1876?
  3. Address the reader – use ‘You’ & ‘Your’.
  4. Use testimonials – endorsements from your customers (real, not made up!) speak volumes.
  5. Sell the sizzle, not the sausage.  Don’t just talk about features of what you sell, emphasise the benefits.
  6. Don’t use huge blocks of text – it’ll put the reader off. Use headlines and break up lengthy paragraphs with subheadings. Check for typos!
  7. Demonstrate your expertise in your field.  Oh look. We’re doing that now.
  8. Use real photos. Give them a proper name.  A picture speaks a thousand words.
  9. Inject a bit of urgency with a call to action. “Call us now to find out how you can benefit!”  (You can if you like!)
  10. Make sure you’re updating your site regularly. Blogging is a good way of keeping content fresh.

More tips coming soon… in the meantime you can get in touch with us to find out more michelle@ketchup-marketing.co.uk

Signup to our Newsletter

Your privacy matters to us. We promise to keep your information safe and we’ll only get in touch with you according to your preferences.
You can read more about how we store and use data in our privacy notice.

It’s all about the results