Apr
13

Are you thinking FAQ it?

April 13, 2014 6:55 pm Published by Comments Off on Are you thinking FAQ it?

There has been a lot of debate over the years about the pros and cons of FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section on websites. Typically, an FAQ page will list a selection of questions the owner of the website presumes the reader of the website might wish to ask, and provides them with an answer.

This philosophy or approach to the use of FAQ pages has been at the nub of the debate – if you’ve created a website, but you think people may have questions about the content, surely you should find a way of addressing those questions within the content of the website rather than creating a whole separate area for users to check?

We have historically taken a fairly pragmatic approach to this dilemma. In our experience, clients have great success when they incorporate useful FAQ sections to their websites. So what makes an FAQ section useful? Well…

Number one, the questions featured must be real! They need to reflect the genuine queries your customers have. If you spot the same question rearing its head over and over, then this suggests you need to make this snippet of information very clear in the main messaging area of your website.

Secondly, by virtue of the fact that we are talking about typed questions and answers, we need to make sure that the FAQ page isn’t too text heavy, and includes plenty of air to break up all of those words! So clear typography, on a plain background is a must. And don’t forget about visuals – you can often explain a difficult concept far more easily in a picture than in a lengthy piece of copy – no matter how well – crafted it might be.

Lots of questions due to the technical nature of a website should be clearly categorised to help the user navigate the information. No-one likes their brain to feel saturated with information that they weren’t actually looking for, no Siree.

One thing that is a particularly handy by-product of FAQ pages (and strategically this must be considered when you’re deciding whether or not to incorporate one into your website) is that they are really excellent for optimising your website for search engines – so do include key phrases and keywords to take advantage of the improvement in visibility of your website.

The debate over ‘to FAQ’ or ‘not to FAQ’ will undoubtedly continue – if you’re unsure and would like our professional opinion, then give Ketchup a call on 0330 088 9277.

Any questions?

Aug
21

Why not on the High Street?

August 21, 2013 10:14 am Published by Comments Off on Why not on the High Street?

According to a recent Survey conducted by Live & Breathe, 73% of shoppers care that the nations high street are in decline, and a good proportion of them are worried about their local high street.

At Ketchup Marketing we have been working with two local independent retailers in Oakham, in two very different businesses, selling products which are poles apart.  They seem to be rather pleased with the results so far, so we thought we’d share our top ten tips for independent retailers.

  1. Make sure you have a good, clear sign which is perpendicular to the front of your shop so that pedestrians and traffic can see you on their approach.
  2. Make sure any offers or discounts you’re promoting aren’t devaluing your customer’s buying experience. Nothing like screams “naff” more than massive “SALE” signs in your window.
  3. Sell baskets. Before you try and sell anything to anyone, make sure they have a basket in their hand. Studies prove that having a basket increases the average transaction value at the till.
  4. Use music (as long as you have appropriate licences in place) to enhance the experience. Fast music speeds up your shoppers. Slow music slows them down.
  5. Similarly, shoppers are shown to slow down and ponder over goods where the lighting is slightly dimmer than the rest of the store.
  6. Position your most profitable goods at eye level. Eye level is buy level.
  7. Make sure your team in-store are empowered to deal with problems quickly – everyone should know what the process is for handling a complaint, return etc.
  8. Monitor what sells, and what doesn’t. Move your stock around to see if that changes the results.
  9. Position goods strategically – between 4pm and 8pm a certain supermarket chain positions nappies near beer, so that fathers on the way home from work, when requested by their partner to pick up more nappies, will “just happen” to pick up a four pack of tinnies too.
  10. Use your window display like a billboard advertisement – create something that’s going to inspire your customers to buy – change it regularly, use it to showcase your best products, with messages calling customers into the store. If you’d had to pay for an advertising space that big I’m sure you’d think about it really carefully, so do that with each new window display.

 

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to retail marketing and merchandising, and if you want to know more then give us a call on 0330 088 9277 and we’ll be delighted to see how we can help you.

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.

 

 

Don’t let anyone pretend otherwise...
Dec
03

Did you pack the case yourself, sir?

December 3, 2012 3:58 pm Published by Comments Off on Did you pack the case yourself, sir?

Don’t let anyone pretend otherwise. No matter how sophisticated marketing techniques become, no matter how accurately the latest techniques can target potential customers, no matter how many customers are attracted by the most advanced SEO…nothing beats word of mouth for generating sales.

A friend of ours recently ignored millions of pounds worth of iPhone advertising – not to mention Apple’s impeccable brand credentials, superb product design and ultra-cool image – and bought an HTC phone. The reason, apart from the desire to wilfully fly in reason’s face? “Well, my mate Dave has an HTC and he says it works quite well.”

What happens when you have no mouth and no word?

Without speaking to each visitor to your website personally and recommending they talk to the equivalent of your mate Dave, its difficult to harness the power of word of mouth to sell your company, products and services. But not impossible.

Remember the first two words of this paragraph

Skilfully written case studies are a fantastic form of word of mouth, provided you follow some simple rules. The first of which is to employ a professional. Of course, we have a vested interest in saying that; we do, after all, write successful case studies for a number of our clients as part of our comprehensive web design, copywriting and building service. The cost is minimal (compared to having one of your senior execs waste a couple of hours hacking away at the language) and the end result is a study that showcases the company’s abilities whilst containing a near-subliminal but extremely effective recommendation from a respected third party company.

Packed? This case study is stuffed

Of course, if you’re not busy you might as well have a go yourself – what could possibly go wrong? Well, you could follow the client/the problem/our solution/the result formula. That goes wrong because it’s so dated it makes your company look antediluvian. You could pack the piece with so many details that the reader falls asleep halfway throu..zzzz. You could bury the salient selling points in a welter of worthiness. You could sound too stiff, or too flip. Or you could bore the pants of everyone. No-one was ever bored into buying a product remember.

In short, you could waste hours and end up with word of mouth that no-one was listening to. If we’ve made our case, talk to Michelle about your studies on 0330 088 9277 or make contact here.

 

Nov
15

Business Blogs – 10 Top Tips

November 15, 2012 7:22 pm Published by Comments Off on Business Blogs – 10 Top Tips

… from Ketchup Marketing

In 2012 Ketchup Marketing have designed, built and launched 24 websites (another 9 are pending pre Christmas Launch), of these bespoke websites 22 have an integrated WordPress blog, so we are often asked “What makes a good blog post?”, of course the answer will differ depending on your business sector and your marketing strategy, but as a starter for 10, here are our top ten tips for the business blog writer:

1. Talk to your audience

Who is your audience? Who is reading your blog, have you looked at your web stats?

2. Keep to one audience.

You are likely to have more than one target audience, so keep the brand message and tone consistent throughout your blog, whether you are writing about new products / services or recruiting. A good idea is to lead the blog with a question and then answer it within the blog post, for example How do I write copy for a website?

3. Think word count.

A good blog article should be between 250 and 400 words easy and quick to read to keep the reader entertained and to read your full message and any call to action.  If your article needs more words then consider splitting into in to  2 or 3 parts, and then use links to drive the visitors to these other article.

4. Good blog posts are easy to read.

Use lists or sub heading to make for easy reading.

5. Good blog posts actually say something.

Of course it is ok to comment about a recent event or news within your industry, for example commenting on the Christmas advertising of the big brands, but ensure that your blog starts and ends with a story or reason, plus reinforce this with a call to action, for example “hey John Lewis give Ketchup a call next year we will help you spend your marketing budget” 🙂

If you are unsure of the content ask a colleague or a friend to sense check it.

6. Good blog posts don’t have to be works of art.

You are unlikely to win any literary awards for your blog, but as long as you keep to our top ten tips people will come back for more.

7. Good blog posts show your expertise, they don’t yell at you.

Show your readers you are a great company, showcase your expertise, don’t tell them you are great at designing websites or creating email campaigns, build up trust, show expertise, use testimonials.

8. Good blog posts use a headline and sub heading.

Remember your keywords, use interesting language or question to encourage readers. You can look back over past blogs and see what have been the most successful headlines.

9. Good blog posts use keywords and are SEO optimized

See point 8, for further information on SEO can be found here

10. Good blog posts include a call to action.

A blog should avoid a hard sell, but include a CTA, this could be to another related blog post or to leave a comment, or to take the reader to twitter / facebook or linked in.

Well, there are my top 10 hints and tips for a new blog writer, please comment, please add more.

Happy Blogging.

About the Author: Michelle Jones is the owner, founder and steering force of Ketchup Marketing. Established in 2009 and based in Long Clawson, near Melton Mowbray Ketchup delivers full branding and strategy to local SME’s. A selection of recent work can be found here.

 

 

Jun
19

EU Cookie Law threatens 92% of UK companies

June 19, 2012 8:49 am Published by Comments Off on EU Cookie Law threatens 92% of UK companies

Half-baked EU Cookie Law threatens 92% of UK companies

Following straight bananas and standard-sized apples, the EU has passed a law on cookies. Snack-lovers needn’t worry though, these are the cookies that live on websites, not in biscuit tins. British companies, on the other hand, should be worried.

Potential fines of up to £500,000

From the end of May 2012, the UK government been enforcing this European Union law – passed in May 2011 – and the penalties could be quite severe for those companies found not to be complying with it.

So the big questions for you are….does your website contain cookies and are you contravening the law by not giving visitors the right information and options about computering cookies stored on their computers?

The big answers are ‘yes’ and ‘maybe’

For a technical explanation of exactly what cookies do, please see below or talk to John, our SEO Director. But basically a cookie is a small file that allows the site to remember data about that user.

So ‘yes’ your website almost certainly uses cookies – 92% of UK websites currently do use cookies in some capacity on their website.

But are you in contravention of the new law? ‘Maybe’. It’s really worth making sure you are compliant with the new rules – after all, figures like £500,000 fines are being talked about for deliberate and malicious misuse, so it’s best to be on the safe side. If your company / website is based in the UK/EU then you must comply, even if your website is hosted outside the EU and even if you are not using a “.uk” domain name.

The letter of the law

The law actually relates to the use of ‘non essential’ cookies. All websites in the EU are now required to make visitors aware of the use of cookies and give them the option to opting out of using them. For example, cookies which are deemed not “strictly necessary for a service requested by a user” such as visitor tracking codes, advertising and most Google Analytics tools may well be subjects for consumer opt out.

It’s not enough to simply rely on visitors changing their cookie settings in their browser to block websites from storing cookies on their machines. It’s also worth noting that it’s no longer advisable to merely have a privacy policy; you may choose to provide information on the cookies from within your privacy policy – a practice that is currently gaining ground with many companies.

Be safe – put Ketchup on your cookies!

We  can conduct an initial assessment of your needs, followed by a complete audit of your website and full integration work to ensure your site is fully compliant with the Cookie Law. We’ll help you make sure the information about the use of cookies on your website is transparent and easy to find, and that you give visitors to your website the choice of opting out of your use of cookies. We’ll advise which cookies are necessary for the working of the website (Eg: Cookies used to remember which items visitors have placed in their online basket and are permitted within the legislation. And – most importantly in terms of the law – which are not.

We’ll make sure it’s as fast, non-interruptive, economical and painless as possible. For our full cookie recipe, see below. Or talk to us on   0330 088 9277

 

Ketchup’s cookie service – the ingredients

A full, Ketchup audit of your website will list each cookie and detail how it is used. We can then provide you with a couple of solutions to ensure your website complies with the new legislation. Our service also includes:

  • Assessing how intrusive your use of each cookie is to the user’s privacy.
  • Establishing whether these cookies can be linked with personal data such as a username or email address.
  • Finding out whether they apply to the session or if they’re persistent cookies.
  • Checking that your Privacy Policy includes accurate information on each cookie being used.
  • Giving visitors a way to opt out of the use of cookies.

 

What is a ‘Cookie’?
Cookies are small files that websites put on your computer hard disk drive when you first visit.

Think of a cookie as an identification card that’s uniquely yours. Its job is to notify the site when you’ve returned. While it is possible to misuse a cookie in cases where there is personal data in it, cookies by themselves are not malicious.

Many websites, including Ketchup’s, use cookies. Cookies tell us how often you visit pages, which helps us improve our website for you and future visitors. In this way, we can concentrate more on the content you like and less of the content you don’t. If you’re using analytics software such Google Analytics then your site will be using cookies to track the page visits.

Some cookies are essential to the working of a website and can help you be more efficient. Have you ever put something in a virtual shopping basket on an online store and then returned a few days later to find that the item is still there? That’s an example of cookies at work.

Cookies let you store preferences and user names, register products and services, and personalize pages.

But if you never register or leave personal information at a site, then the server only knows that someone with your cookie has returned to the website. It doesn’t know anything else.

A Cookie is NOT a virus. Many cookies are used to make the experience of using a website better and disabling cookies may prevent a visitor from using certain aspects of a website’s functionality. If your website does any of the following, then you will be using cookies:

  • Uses Google Analytics or similar to track page visits
  • Uses a plug-in such as Twitter feeds, Facebook Like or Google +1 buttons
  • Embeds a YouTube Video
  • Has any kind of “remember me” button
  • Enables the user to “login” to their website 

 

Different Types of Cookies

Session Cookies
Session cookies are stored on your computer until you have finished browsing the website. Once you leave the site the cookie will be deleted. For example if you visit a website and you need to login every time you visit they are using a session cookie. The website will use this cookie to store your login details temporarily whilst you browse the website. Session cookies are less intrusive than persistent cookies.

Persistent Cookies
Persistent cookies are cookies which are downloaded onto your computer to help identify you when you return to a website. For example if you use Facebook and you tick the “Keep me logged in” when you login this will store a persistent cookie on your computer to remember you when you return so you do not need to keep logging in. All persistent cookies have an expiry date, this can normally be 30, 60 or 90 days and once reached the cookie will be deleted.

Secure Cookies
Secure cookies are only transmitted via a secure HTTPS connection. These types of cookies are generally used during the checkout process of an online ecommerce website. This cookie will ensure any data stored is encrypted as it passes information between the website and the browser.

Third Party Cookies
Third party cookies are ones which are downloaded onto your computer via external websites such as Google Analytics, AdSense, AdWords, Facebook likes, Statcounter etc. These cookies are set by a domain other than the one being visited by the user, but they are placed through the website being visited.

 

Oct
14

Mostly it’s the stuff you don’t put in that makes a web design great

October 14, 2011 3:09 pm Published by Comments Off on Mostly it’s the stuff you don’t put in that makes a web design great

Let’s face it, the internet can be really irritating. When it gives you the football results before you’ve had time to watch Match of the Day, for example.

Then there are the websites that just won’t let you do what you want.

Like enter the site and get on with it, without going through an artificially clever intro – usually comprising some meaningless widdly boo and bong with the company’s logo.

Then there are websites that won’t let you have the info you want without sifting through a maze of drop-down menus.

And our pet hate. We call it commercial suicide. Web sites that don’t set out their stall in a way that lets you see the goods, understand the goods, desire the goods then buy ‘em!  Sites that don’t lead you in logically designed pathways through the product aisles – or the site-owner’s company ethos – to the check out.

Their designers ought to get out more. Drop the fascination with programming pyrotechnics and walk round a supermarket with their eyes open.

And the language! A recent blog – actually about blogging – included the sentences; ‘There is blogs that aren’t written in proper sentences.  There is advice sites with no advice on them”. How we hooted.

At Ketchup Marketing, we don’t believe in being technically clever for the sake of it. We believe in using technology, and creativity, to produce end results for our clients. Usually accompanied by the sound of ringing tills. Good old Return On  Investment.

We are experts in website design in Leicester – and have years of experience in creating websites that work, that regularly receive high traffic levels and easy to use. Created by disciplined designers who understand that less can be more, and written by professional copywriters.

It’s important, because your success – especially if you’re a young business – depends on attracting visitors in volume, them impressing them with a highly functional, attractive web page (see SEO for more on increasing visitors).  When people visit your site they must receive a brand-enhancing experience. Your site should help them make decisions and, ultimately, ensure they get what they want.

Contact us now, and talk to us about creating the perfect, and perfectly functional, website for your business. First consultations are FREE.

Words like ‘ship’ and ‘tar’ float past
Jul
05

Copywriting. What could possibly go wrong?

July 5, 2011 7:18 pm Published by Comments Off on Copywriting. What could possibly go wrong?

There are, after all, only 26 letters in the alphabet. So mind your Ps and Qs and you’ll be O and K. Headlines aren’t usually more than a dozen or so words long, so they’re easy. The tip here is to write out what you want to say in long form, then whittle it down. If you can’t get it below 15 words max, you need professional help.

Once you have your snappy, compelling, irresistible headline you just need to write the copy. Again; easy. Say, 100 words if you’re penning a press ad. Less if poss. Use short sentences. Be dynamic. Counts the words. If you’re up to 150 your audience is likely to wander off long before you ramble round to your point. So cut the self indulgence. Never forget; you’re not here to entertain, you’re here to sell a product. But remember, sometimes the best way to sell a product is to be entertaining.

Words like ‘ship’ and ‘tar’ float past

While you’re laying down the words, be aware or beware. If they’re not the right words you could waste your entire spend. Your brochure, for example. It may be professionally designed, beautifully photographed, lavishly printed. But if it sounds like it was written by a Sun reader using a bread knife, your audience will be turned off in their droves. Amateurish copy will make your company sound, well, amateurish. Talk about spoiling the ship….

Don’t let us put you off with all this. We’re just pushing for business. Next time we’ll talk about thinking, and leaping the headline hurdle.

Coming soon… A penny for your thoughts.

 

 

Comic sans ...
Jun
24

The website design features that everybody hates

June 24, 2011 12:44 pm Published by Comments Off on The website design features that everybody hates

We love website design at Ketchup.  Creating a stylish new site that can help a firm reach a whole new audience is one of the most rewarding things that you can achieve in working life.  Do you know what’s not rewarding or successful, though?  A website that uses any of these features:
(more…)

.. mind-bogglingly huge ..
Mar
16

Website Design: user behaviours you might not expect

March 16, 2011 3:48 pm Published by Comments Off on Website Design: user behaviours you might not expect

When first investigating the world of website design, you’ll find out about the more established rules fairly quickly (never use comic sans, all pages only two clicks from the home page, etc).  However, there are also several very useful tips that are less well known that stem from common viewer behaviours that might seem unusual in any other environment.  Ketchup Marketing – website design Lincolnshire experts – are here to share them with you:
(more…)

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