How to Use TripAdvisor to Grow Your Tourism or Hospitality Business

As a regular frequenter of the various restaurants and attractions around Ipswich, whenever I make plans to go somewhere I haven’t been in a while or visit a new place, the absolute first thing I do is check the reviews on TripAdvisor. It’s informative, clear and pretty much every place I might want to visit will be on there. Not only that but the reviews left are by customers, not owners or managers. Essentially, what I see on TripAdvisor could mean the difference between me trying out a new restaurant or going somewhere familiar, where I know the service is good.

To make the most out of TripAdvisor could really affect your business. This is why SIMS (Suffolk Internet Marketing Specialists) latest event could be invaluable to you.

Sanj Naha, who has vast experience with TripAdvisor, will be training you on all the best practices. For example, this training session will help you generate more reviews, because let’s face it, even if you have the best restaurant in town, you need people to be talking about it. Sanj will also be instructing you on the best way to respond to your reviews once they start rolling in.

Sanj Naha was born and raised in Ipswich, as well as being the son of a restaurant pioneer who opened the first Indian restaurant in Suffolk. So be confident in the fact that he understands the restaurant business, due to his 25 years experience in hospitality, and perhaps more importantly, understands the dynamics of tourism in Ipswich.

This event is important to attend if you’re a new business because it will help you hit the ground running. But don’t think that just because you’re already an established business there’s nothing you can learn from this training session. It may even highlight some areas for improvement that are going unnoticed. After all, you’re only as good as your last review.

The event is being hosted by Sam Parnell and will be held at the Ipswich Waterfront Innovation Centre (IWIC) on Wednesday 13th September, from 9:30-12:30.

Places are filling up fast, so don’t miss out.

Blog by Tamzyn Jackson.

Sanj's Bio

With over 25 years experience in Hospitality, Sanj Naha is the former Head of Restaurants at TripAdvisor and has the inside knowledge on how restaurants, bars, pubs, hotels and attractions around the world rank highly on TripAdvisor and gain a 'Certificate of Excellence'.

Sanj was born and raised in Ipswich and is the son of a restaurant pioneer who opened the first Indian restaurant in Suffolk. After university Sanj worked in Call Centre Management for global organisations and spent over 10 years as a Business Performance Consultant working with high-tech companies and investment groups.  

In 2009 he led a start-up in Dubai which launched the daily deals concept to restaurants, hotels and attractions in the Middle East.  During the past 6 years he has been at the centre of hospitality sales & marketing and was a judge at the 2016 Global Restaurant Awards. With international clients including Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants, Sanj is now keen to help businesses in Suffolk to better manage their TripAdvisor relationship and online reputation to gain more customers.

About SIMS

Started as Suffolk Internet Marketing Specialists, SIMS is a group for digital experts, small businesses and business people to meet, share and learn from their collective experiences. It's a chance to talk, and listen, to people in all aspects of business who share a common interest of wanting to learn more. SIMS is a learning platform that empowers you with skills to take your digital marketing into your own hands.

Giving advice, tips and tricks, SIMS is a great place to learn the skills you need.

If you have any questions email

It's our fifth birthday today!

On this day, five years ago, Sam Parnell and Max Shelley founded Measured Brilliance.

For five years we’ve been working to help businesses make the most of their time online. We’ve built websites, developed content marketing strategies, analysed data, given SEO clinics and, most importantly, we can’t wait to keep doing all of these things for many years to come. 

fifth-birthday-2017 shareables 1.png

Happy birthday to us!

If you’re a business who needs the digital marketing services
Of a company which now has five years of trust and experience
Drop us an email or give us a call on 01473 631344
We can help.

Do you own your website's domain name? If not, you're at risk.

So many business owners think of their website and their domain name as a single entity, not knowing that they are are two separate elements that are only linked together. When asked who owns their domain name, all too often the answer is,

‘I don’t know’

When the answer should be,

‘I do. I own my website’s domain name’

Your domain name is your address on the internet. It’s the thing that your visitors will use to find you and if you aren’t the owner of your own domain name, you run the risk of being held ransom by a disgruntled web developer and losing your online identity that you may have spent valuable years building up.

This is Clive.

He is a business owner who had his website built by a developer a few years ago. It was effective at the time that it was built, but it’s starting to fall behind and be less effective for his business, so he decides that it’s time to have a new website built.

After finding a new developer that meets his needs, he realises that he’d like to keep his current domain name but he doesn’t have access to the registrar account that it’s stored on. His old developer bought the domain when she built Clive’s first website, so he tries to contact her to ask for access to his domain name.

The trouble starts when Clive can’t get into contact with his web developer. His phone calls and emails are going completely unanswered and he can’t find any trace of her online. Without her access, Clive is unable to access his domain name and point it towards his new website.

This shouldn’t happen to any business owner. That’s why we help people like Clive regain control of their web presence.

We make sure that you don’t end up in the same situation when we build your website, ensuring that you are in control of both your website and your domain name. We fully protect you and your business from day one, transferring all ownership over to you once your project is complete.

Interested? Let us know by filling in the form below
And we’ll send you full details of our All-In-One Website

Measured Brilliance is almost five years old!

Almost five years ago, sister-and-brother duo Sam Parnell and Max Shelley set off on a mission to empower businesses, big and small, to work more effectively online. They strived to create a digital marketing agency that was a little bit different to the norm, they wanted to do more. 

Now, we at Measured Brilliance are approaching our fifth birthday as a company, and what a journey it has been.

Measured Brilliance has helped hundreds all over the country improve their SEO, expand their audience and increase their sales. From coaches to carpet fitters and everything in between, we have been delighted to work with such a diverse collection of clients. Being at the heart of the small business community in Suffolk has been a joy for us, we’ve learned so much and met so many valuable friends and clients by surrounding ourselves with the people who are making Suffolk a vibrant hub for business. 

Not content with just providing great digital marketing services, Sam and Max wanted to create a way for small business owners to learn and network together. As the team behind SIMS we held monthly meetups that taught digital skills for over three years. Now, we’ve taken the easy-to-understand digital training of SIMS online with our SEO Conversion Academy.

We have a great range of products that are all geared towards helping you improve your web presence. From our All-In-One Website package to our popular social media and SEO training sessions, we’ve spent five years fine-tuning these products to ensure that they provide extraordinary value. None of this would have been possible without all the great feedback we’ve received from our audience over the years.

From all of us at Measured Brilliance to you, thank you for a fantastic five years. We look forward to working with you all for another five and beyond. 

If you’re interested in working with a company that has become a trusted and reliable name over the last 5 years, working with businesses big and small, then give us a call on 01473 631344.

Why your website needs to be encrypted and secure. If not, it could be costing you customers.

You might be wondering, ‘what is encryption? How can I make sure my website is secure and what does it mean for me as a business owner?’

Whether your website is encrypted or not will be critical for businesses online this year. In September, Google announced that they are going to begin labelling any websites that aren’t encrypted with SSL as ‘not-secure’. 

This is huge for businesses. Being labelled as ‘not-secure’ will result in a decrease in SEO because Google will start showing your website to fewer potential visitors. Those are leads that could be converting into customers on your website.

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It ensures that all data passed between your website and your visitor's web browser is kept secure and private, this includes things such as passwords and payment details. However, it’s important that, even if your website doesn’t handle this kind of information, it is still encrypted and secure. 

Having an SSL certificate means that Google and all visitors to your website will be able to see that your website is secured with HTTPS, indicated by a secure lock icon in the address bar of your browser. 

Luckily, all of our website have this completely taken care of.  Since Google’s new policy was announced every website built for our clients has encryption built in. We’re also able to encrypt websites we’ve worked on in this past without any addition cost or work by our clients. We have had great feedback with many of our clients telling us that not having to worry about encryption on their website has been very valuable for them.

From the word ‘go’ your website is secure, meaning that Google will work to show your website to as many potential visitors as possible. 

Not sure if it would be easy to make your website secure and encrypted?
Let us review your website and provide you with a free report

Take it from us, having a contract with your web developer is incredibly important

What all businesses should look for, when negotiating a contract with a web developer, is what happens when things go wrong. You need to make sure that you are protected. Many contracts that we’ve seen over our years of experience seem to only detail what happens when things go right. 

If you take only a single piece of information from this blog post, it’s that you should never enter a relationship with a web developer without a contract. 

The ideal outcome is that everything with your project does go right (touch wood), but you need to make sure that you and your business are protected, should things take a turn for the worst. 

Whether you are dealing with a freelance web developer, a small agency like us or a larger agency, it’s important that your contract covers all possible outcomes.

Here’s a few points to think about when reading through a contract with a web developer:


• What happens to your project if unforeseen circumstances halt development (affecting either your business or your developer)? This might cover things such as long-term illness.

• Is there a set period of inactivity that, after which, will result in your project being placed on hold?

• Has a quality standard been established for the completion of your project?

• Does the contract clearly state that you will retain full ownership of your domain name?

• Can you guarantee that the developer or team that starts your project will be the same people that finish it?


When we send project agreements to our clients, we’re always happy for them to come back with any changes they would like to make, or anything they want clarifying. A contract should be for the benefit of both parties, you should never feel pressured to agree to something that you don’t fully understand or agree with.

If you are currently experiencing project-related troubles, 
or have fears about a web development project going wrong, talk to us.

If you wanted to make changes to your website, would it be easy for you? It should be.

As a small businesses owner, you shouldn’t ever have to worry about who controls your website. You should be able to say with certainty that you are the one in control. That’s the value of our websites, they empower you to adapt and improve them as your business grows.

Although it might sound like a great idea to have someone external take care of your website, it can quickly turn into a web horror story. We’ve spoken to so many small businesses over the years where it turns out that they have little or no control over their website, its pages and the content on it. 

This is Sue.

Sue is a business owner who has her own website. It performs well, but it doesn’t quite reflect the products that she offers anymore, so she wants to make a few changes to her content. Unfortunately, her relationship with her web developer has soured over the years.

She calls her web developer to request the changes, but there’s no answer. A few days later she tries again, no luck. Finally, Sue manages to get into contact with her web developer and describes the changes she would like to make to the website. 

Despite only being a matter of changing a few paragraphs of text and some images, her web developer is charging her £500 to make the changes. 

It shouldn’t be this difficult (or expensive) for Sue to make changes to her website. Because she isn’t in control of her own website she’s having to jump through hoops and hand over money that she shouldn’t have to.

We help people just like Sue.

Our websites, built in Squarespace, do what you want them to do. They’re safe, secure, easy to edit and, most importantly, they’re yours. We are not like other web companies. As well as a website, we build (or re-brand) all your social media profiles and create a Mailchimp account, for you, and then we train you how to get all these elements to work together to help your business grow online. 

No hidden extra fees. No headaches. You can make changes in minutes and focus on running your business.

Interested? Let us know by filling in the form below
And we’ll send you full details of our All-In-One Website

We met some of our most valuable clients through SIMS, could you be next?

Running popular networking events for three years allowed us to meet so many local businesses just like yours. 

Our speciality is teaching non-technical people technical things, a motto that we carry through into our work as Measured Brilliance. We believe that you should understand and be in control of your entire online presence, from your website to your data, audience growth and lead generation channels. We don’t just ‘build’ websites for our clients, we make sure you have the tools and resources (and the know-how) to move forward with confidence.

Having those goals led is to start our community, SIMS Digital Skills for Small Businesses, which focusses on teaching business owners digital skills to grow their businesses. We cover a wide range of subjects from our ‘ask the experts’ social media panel to talks on the power of podcasting and how to be natural and authentic in your copywriting. You can find out more on our website

We’ve taken SIMS online with SEO Conversion Academy, where businesses now have even more ways to improve their website and stay ahead of their competitors.

We’ve worked with hundreds of small businesses and SIMS has been a great way to meet some of them. Here’s a look at a few of our great clients who were also SIMS attendees:

Blue Pebble Coaching

Izzy was a regular SIMS member who came to us for help with her plan for a new website. Now she a website that works effectively for her and integrates seamlessly with her social media activity. Having an attractive, functional website is key for Izzy as it allows her potential customers to see that she is trustworthy and effective at what she does.

Archway Carpets

If you live in East Suffolk, you probably know Darrell from Archway Carpets. A social media guru, we helped Darrell unify the Archway Carpets brand with a brand-new website, empowering him to effectively market the business across his entire online presence. 


Michelle from Zedbox was an avid attendee of SIMS. When interest in Zedbox began to blow up, they needed a comprehensive landing page live so that they could capitalise on the huge wave of interest they received. Shortly after that, we worked with Michelle and the Zedbox team to build their full website, so that they could effectively market Zedbox well before its official launch.

All of these people had problems that they needed solving. Do you? If so, we can help. We’re trusted, reliable and local, that’s why we’re a great choice for you.

Not sure whether we could help you? Let us review your website and provide you with a free report, so that you can start gaining better control over your online presence.

Now that we have taken the digital training of SIMS online, you can get the advice and tips from our experts directly to your inbox with our SEO Conversion Academy.

Working with local business associations to empower small businesses

We are huge advocates of local business communities, which is why we were so thrilled when the opportunity to work with Choose Woodbridge presented itself. Being at the heart of the small business community in Suffolk as the team behind SIMS, we took this chance to further give back to small businesses in Woodbridge and the surrounding area.

Our very own Sam Parnell, who has previous experience with business associations as an ISSBA committee member, said this;


“Working with Choose Woodbridge has allowed us to help so many small businesses in such a small space of time. We helped them extend their reach online and get the most value from their Choose Woodbridge membership. It’s been a valuable experience that has showed us how we can help small businesses do even more online in the future.”


Working with both the staff and all the small businesses that are members of Choose Woodbridge was an incredible experience for us and allowed us to provide even more value on a local level. Using our years of digital marketing experience, we helped the Choose Woodbridge team organise and optimise their internal system to maximise their online audience. We understand how important it is for small, local businesses to remain a prominent part of our high streets, which is why Choose Woodbridge was such a great fit for us. 

We went above and beyond with our work on social media and the Choose Woodbridge website, ensuring that the news, events and offers of the Choose Woodbridge members had as wide a reach as possible. From cafes, to florists and even lingerie shops, we helped the members of Choose Woodbridge by providing high-quality digital marketing and support. We taught them how to best take advantage of Choose Woodbridge’s social media presence to share their information with a wider audience. We also bolstered Choose Woodbridge’s social media offering with the addition of an Instagram account, helping to drive even more engagement for the small business community.

We were elated to be involved with great events such as Woofbridge, the Town 102 Christmas Countdown and the Choose Woodbridge Advent Calendar. It’s events like these that really showcase the passion of Woodbridge small businesses, of which we were proud to sing their praises online. 

As we strive to empower small businesses to succeed online, Sam will be staying involved with Choose Woodbridge as a consultant on the new board, so our passion for this project and for Woodbridge continues.

If you are a business association, or a small business
and you would like to know more about the work that we have done with Choose Woodbridge, 
you can send us an email at or give us a call on 01473 631344

How running SIMS helps us create the perfect website for your business

It can be a hassle to deal with multiple companies when you're building and growing your web presence. One company designs your website, another builds it, another sets up your social media and another might handle your SEO, and so on. You’re juggling different contacts whenever you want to make a change, when you should just be focusing on making more sales. Here at Measured Brilliance, we focus on building you a website to act as a sales funnel and we teach you how to use it effectively. 

As the team behind SIMS, a monthly meetup for businesses to learn how to make more from their web presence, we stood up, tested ourselves and taught digital skills to small businesses every month because we’re passionate about helping them be more effective online. Our methods, our work and our results has been reviewed every month by hundreds of companies just like yours.

How many other digital marketing companies are willing to put their reputation on the line?

We spent more than three years standing up in front of companies asking and being asked about websites, SEO and social media. We've taken all that experience and included it all in our All-In-One Website package, which means you only have to deal with one local and trusted company, us!

We met and spoke to representatives from so many local businesses, big and small, helping us pinpoint exactly what business owners found most important when it comes to digital marketing.

We never want to just ‘build’ a client’s website, we want provide all the extra tools and services they need, and make sure they know how to use each one (our training is clear and easy to understand) and how it fits in with the rest of their online presence. Most importantly, we want to put the business owner in control.

Listening to the SIMS audience allowed us to see how important being empowered to change content on a website, effectively marketing products and services using social media and the ability to track performance using analytics can be to any business. Good working practices can be the difference between a business succeeding or failing. 

We use our experience of teaching non-technical people technical things to ensure that our work is effective and understandable for businesses of all sizes. We don’t use jargon that is going to confuse you, we make sure that you can leave every meeting and conversation knowing exactly where you stand. We’re also happy to record all of our sessions, so that you can revisit them whenever you want.

When you work with us, you work with a team that is trusted, reliable and committed to helping local businesses succeed online, we started in Suffolk, but we’ve worked with all kinds of businesses over the years, from health & safety consultants to carpet-fitters. Our All-In-One Website package isn’t limited to just ecommerce, our websites are right for any industry.

Not sure whether it’s for you? Let us review your website and provide you with a free report, so that you can start gaining better control over your online presence. 

We've taken the digital training of SIMS online! You can get the reporting, training, advice and guidance from our experts directly to your inbox with SEO Conversion Academy. Find out more here.

Sam becomes a dragon for a day at Holbrook's Dragon's Den Day

On the 26th of January Sam Parnell, our intrepid networker, headed over to Holbrook Academy in Ipswich to help out with their Dragon’s Den Day. The day, run in association with Career Ready, was geared towards giving year 9 students the opportunity to learn more about business and entrepreneurship.

Along with Sue Hall from Maid 2 Clean and James Davey from The Sales Master Guild, a fellow ISSBA committee member, Sam was given a class of around 25 students to teach and guide through the different activities.

The students were split up into smaller groups and given the task of creating a drink and conceptualising a business around it. The day included modules such as business planning, design, marketing, branding and a final presentation they had to deliver to the ‘dragons’. 

Sam’s enthusiasm and her experience of working with hundreds of businesses across Suffolk and East Anglia made her a great addition to the day, as she helped out her groups by keeping them engaged and giving them valuable advice. Sam was then a member of the panel of ‘dragons’ as the groups delivered their final presentations. 

At the end of the day, awards like ‘Most Improved’ and ‘Best Presentation’ were voted on and given out to individual groups. Sam was particularly happy with some students from her class picking up awards!

The overall winners really encapsulated the whole brand of their drink with detailed examples and an effectively-planned business strategy.

The day was a huge success and a great taster for the students who will soon be deciding which subjects to take for their GCSE’s. We’d like to extend our thanks to Holbrook Academy and Career Ready for running such a fantastically-organised event.

Facebook Recommendations are coming, and it’s time for you to start earning them

Have you been seeing these recently on Facebook? 

These are going to be important for you if you run a business with a Facebook page. If you run a business and don't have a Facebook page by now, you should talk to us about that.

You already know the importance of having good reviews and ratings on Facebook. They help potential customers see that your business are trusted and reliable.

So what do these new posts on Facebook mean?

Facebook are introducing a new feature where people can ask for recommendations, and their friends can recommend local businesses, just like yours. Facebook will automatically add details, including your review ratings to their post.

A potential customer might write a post that says, ‘can anyone recommend a good caterer in Suffolk?’, for example. Facebook will pick up that the person is asking for business recommendations and generate a map of their area below their post.

All people need to do is tag your business by name in the comments (to add a tag, you precede the business name with an ‘@’ symbol). If your business page is linked to a physical address it will appear on the map. 

Their comment, including their recommendation, will then pull through some information from your own business page, including a link to your page, address and your review rating out of five.

To make the most of features like this, make sure you're encouraging your customers to leave reviews on your Facebook page. Perhaps you can send them a follow-up email after they've purchased, or maybe pop a small card in their bag with their order letting them know how to leave a review.

It’s also important to remember to have a link to your business page on your personal Facebook page. This is because some people may tag you rather than your business page in recommendations, but you want potential customers to be able to find your business as quickly as possible.

If you want to learn how to get more recommendations from Facebook, we can offer training. Establishing yourself with a reputable Facebook page will help you capitalise on fresh new features like this and will give you an edge over your competitors.

Want to make sure that your business is ready for this change and many others on social media? Call Sam on 01473 631344 to hear how we can help your business.

Find out more about this upcoming change by reading Facebook’s own brief overview.

Fall Back In Love With Your Website

If people are from Mars, websites are from Venus. Understanding one another is the key to a successful relationship between you and your website. If you want to use your website as a lead generator for your business, you need to understand how well it’s working for you. 

All too often we meet small business owners who don’t fully understand their website, causing their love for it to fade. Some of them don’t know how many visitors their website is bringing them, or where that traffic is coming from and some of them aren’t able to post their own blog posts on their website. 


These are all things that you should be in control of. If you’re reading the above thinking, ‘maybe I don’t understand my website as well as I should…’ then you’re in luck, we can help. 

To spread a little bit of Cupid’s love we’re offering free website reports, up until Valentine's Day, that can help you see your website through fresh eyes. We provide you with the lens that you need in order to start falling in love with your website again and understanding it to the fullest, so that you can work to increase your leads.

Knowing your website and falling back in love with it will help your visitors do the same, giving you the traffic and sales that you and your website deserve. Together. 

Interested in a free website report? Simply fill in the form below to start understanding your website better

(Only available until 00:01 on February 15th 2017)

The Measured Brilliance Content Marketing Cheat Sheet

A good content marketing strategy is what can make a good business great.

Here are some of the things you should be thinking about when forming your content marketing strategy:

  • Who are you writing your content for? Who is your ideal customer?
  • What do you want them to do after reading your content?
  • What are you doing to grow your audience?
  • Are you planning your content ahead? What’s coming up for you in the next three months?
  • What types of content are you writing? How are they performing?
  • Are you creating the best types of content for your social media platforms?
  • What are you doing to drive engagement on your content?

If you want to know more about developing an effective content marketing strategy help, we can help.
We've helped hundreds of businesses from a wide variety of industries.
With our help they've developed the skills and knowledge they needed to earn more sales.

Max's Round-up From December's SIMS

Every month at SIMS, Max provides a brief run-down of just some of the tech-related news that may affect small businesses, and agencies that work with small businesses and we post the links here. If any of these catch your interest, but you're not sure how they would affect you, feel free to get in touch and ask!

Here are all the new stuff happening in the industry in case you missed last night's SIMS.


Max's Round-up

See our "Spotting blackhats" blog following SIMS last night.

You can now also access Daniel Somer's SEO Blackhats presentation. 

We spoke at the last SIMS about email subscribe buttons appearing directly in search results, but we also keep talking about Google's prioritising of mobile, the inevitable conclusion is that you can now subscribe to text messages from advertisers in Google ads on the search engine results page (SERP).


I normally don't link to articles that include the words “The Ultimate Guide” in my round-up, but this round-up includes a lot of what we've talked about this year at SIMS, including Instagram and Pinterest, blogs, vlogs, email marketing. It's just wrapped up in a long list to give you some ideas.
50+ Places To Repurpose Your Content:


This is really technical, but it's for you to work through with your developer and make sure they're getting these things right, especially if you're not using an off-the-shelf solution that will take care of a lot of this for you.


Hot on the heels (well, lukewarm on the heels) of Periscope, Facebook are rolling out their “Live Streaming” feature to all users, after being available for certain accounts (famous people) only until now.


A host of companies and groups are on a quest to make encrypted traffic the default for the web. Google have even explicitly stated they are using encryption as an indicator and rewarding it. One thing holding back smaller companies has been the cost of paying for SSL certificates. “Let's Encrypt” is a free certificate authority (CA), supported by some very large companies, Facebook, Mozilla, Cisco, Shopify, Automattic (the company behind WordPress), and it's now available in a public beta.


Twitter have launched "moments" in the UK. This is either an amazing new feature to help them surface content, or Twitter trying desperately to work out what Twitter actually is.
“Out of hundreds of millions of Tweets a day, Moments surface the best of what’s happening on Twitter. Through Moments, millions of people can enjoy the power of Twitter – at the center of a protest, the front row at the Oscars, on the field at the World Cup, or from outer space. What you see on Twitter is what’s happening in the world.”


Here's one I missed from earlier this year, but Twitter have a tool for helping agencies understand how to leverage Twitter for their clients. They have a video explaining it too.


The move of business listings to Google My Business means that links from your website to “Review My Business” may be broken. These lovely people have built a tool to help you recreate them, depending on where you want to send your customers.


This is going to be really cool, especially as it's open to everyone via structured markup (, microdata etc). You will be able to accept bookings and orders directly from the search page. Is this giving too much control over your customer experience? Probably. Will you want to do it to beat your competitors? Probably.



We, at SIMS, hope you all have happy holidays in the run up to Christmas and we're excited to see you all in 2016! 

10 social media tips for small businesses

Social media can be a daunting world to jump into, with so many different social networks and etiquette rules it can be tough to know where to start. That’s why we want to give 10 top social media tips that can help you get the edge over your competitors:

1. Decide which audience you need to target

Think about who you audience are and what social media platforms they are likely to use. For example, younger people tend to skew towards platforms such as Twitter and Snapchat whereas older audiences are likely to stick to Facebook.

2. Choose your social media platforms wisely

This links nicely with our first point, you want to target the social media platforms that your target audience uses.

3. Choose a consistent username

You want people to be able to find you, wherever you are. We know that sometimes it isn’t possible to have the same username on all social media platforms, but it’s important for you to get as close as possible so that your brand can remain consistent.

4. Create a strategy and a pipeline of content

Planning your content ahead of time is key for creating great social media campaigns. Sharing you expertise and finding outlets for best industry knowledge can be valuable for your followers and will keep them coming back. 

5. Share the correct mix of content

It simply isn’t effective to use all of your social posts to advertise your products and services, so make sure you include some variety in your posting.

6. Take note of when your posts receive the most engagement

Try to figure out when your audience is most active and capitalise on that activity. We want to drive as much engagement on your posts as possible.

7. Start networking

Expanding your reach offline will help you connect more online. Get out there and connect with people just like yourself at local networking meetings.

8. Share the links to your social presences repeatedly

You need to remind your audience that your social media presence exists and that it's the best way to stay in-the-know with your latest offerings. You can place links on your newsletter, landing pages and even your physical business cards.

9. Be unique and memorable

Remember that you aren’t the only business in your industry using social media, so it’s important to devise ways to stand out above your competitors. 

10. Keep at it

Just like all forms of online content, consistency is key. This is long-term work for long-term reward.

If you’re interested in doing more with social media, let us know. We can give you the training that will help you work smarter online.

10 things you should be able to say 'yes!' to as a small business

1: Do you own your website’s domain name?

2: Do you know where your website is hosted?

3: Can you freely add, remove and change content on your website?

4: Can your access your website’s analytics data?

5: Do you know who your domain name is registered with?

6: If you found a mistake on your website, could you fix it yourself?

7: Do you know how many domain names you have for your website?

8: Do you know how much you are paying for your domain name and website hosting?

9: Would you feel comfortable approaching someone to redesign your website?

10: Do you control all of the passwords for the ownership of your website?

If the answer to any of these questions is, ‘no’, that’s not good. Even if you can answer, ‘yes, my web designer has all of these things’ you still deserve to be the one that’s in control. If you think you have any problems or queries, let us know by giving us a call on 01473 631344

Top 10 mistakes to avoid on social media

Getting on social media is easy, but there are a few little things you’ll want to avoid to get the most out of your online engagement with your audience. Although by no means the end of the world, here are 10 social media problems you definitely want to avoid when posting online.

10: Not having a consistent username on social media

You want people to be able to find you, wherever you are. We know that sometimes it isn’t possible to have the same username on all social media platforms, but it’s important for you to get as close as possible so that your brand can remain consistent.

9: Liking your own posts

What we really want is to drive engagement with your audience.

8: Not knowing hashtag etiquette 

It’s important to use hashtags for words and phrases that you know people are going to search for, we want them to be as effective as possible. 

7: Not interacting with your audience

Engagement is important, people like to know that there’s a human being operating your social media accounts. Social media is all about being social, so it’s always nice when businesses reach out to their audience.

6: Not knowing how ‘likes’ operate on different social networks

We know it’s confusing, but a like on Facebook doesn’t work in the same way as a like on Twitter. 

5: Only sharing content, rather than making your own

Sharing is good, but original content is what will draw people to your brand.


4: Designing your social media profiles to look completely different

Your brand style should be consistent. You want your audience and potential customers to look at any of your social media profiles and instantly be able to see the connection to your brand.

3: Posting the same content on all of your social platforms

You need to give your audience reasons to follow you on more than one social media platform, don’t just copy and paste all of your content across the board.

2: Paying for likes or followers

They’re meaningless numbers if there’s no engagement with a real person. There’s no point padding your stats if they don’t represent anything for your business.

1: Getting personal on a business social media account

Injecting personality is important for friendly and effective branding, but it’s important to remember to keep a cool head. Even if people are responding to you with negativity, it’s your responsibility to remain calm and professional.

If you’re interested in doing more online, we have the training that can help you work smarter on social media.

The Importance of SEO

Having an SEO-ready website is incredibly important for drawing in potential customers. With great content and SEO, you’ll be able to draw in potential customers from non brand-aware searches (searches where they aren’t specifically looking for your business).

Great SEO will give Google a much better idea of what you do, meaning that you will be appearing higher in relevant search results. With so many other companies taking advantage of SEO techniques, you don't want to miss out.

Here are some amazing statistics showing the importance of SEO:

Google gets over 100 billion searches a month worldwide (Source: Mashable)

Polling by Econsultancy showed that 73% of in-house marketers and 76% of US agencies said SEO provided excellent or good return on investment (Source: eMarketer)

Research by Ascend2 showed 89% worldwide rated SEO successful at achieving objectives of improved search rankings, website traffic and lead generation (Source: eMarketer)

71% of B2B researchers start their research with a generic search (Source: Google)

More than 7 in 10 respondents feel that their SEO effectiveness is improving either significantly (15%) or modestly (56%) (Source: Marketing Charts)

eConsultancy & Adestra found that among digital marketers 76% ranked return of investment from SEO “good” or “excellent” (Source: Movable Ink)

SEO is a must in the digital world, but it’s never too late to optimise your website.
More traffic means more opportunities to convert visitors into customers.
If you’re interested in further optimising your website, give us a call.

Using your phone to run your business

Smartphones are getting more and more technically impressive, with more power, apps and functionality than ever before. Because of this, running your business from your phone is becoming much more of a possibility.

Whether you’re on a long commute on the train, or stuck on a weekend retreat away from your computer, here are 5 ways you can use your smartphone to manage your business.

1: Manage Your Website’s Content

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Squarespace has a number of official apps which make it possible to easily manage your new website. Whether you want to quickly check your site’s analytics, add a new blog post or manage your squarespace commerce, these apps are perfect for managing your website on the go.


2: Engage On Social Media

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It’s no surprise that one of the largest uses of smartphones is social media apps. Tweet, Instagram and Snapchat on the go to connect with your audience and expand your brand. Couple this with a social media scheduling app such as Buffer or Hootsuite and you can run an entire social media campaign from your phone.


3: Email

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Email is a standard function of smartphones, making it effortless to communicate with clients and collaborators. Whatever email provider you use, be it Google, Outlook or others, syncing your email to your phone is incredibly easy.


4: Financing

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Easy-to-use, secure banking apps make it easy to check and balance your business finances. Send payments, manage direct debits and view your transactions, even if you’re a hundred miles away from the nearest bank.


5: Scheduling meetings and managing your time

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With extensive calendar functionality, you can use your phone to manage and schedule your time effectively. Schedule meetings, set reminders and reply to invitations.

Interested in doing more on the go? Let us know, we can provide you with training that will help you work smarter online.