Choose Woodbridge chosen as finalists for SCBC’s Encouraging Tourism Award

We are delighted with the news that Choose Woodbridge, along with The Tide Mill and The Woodbridge Shuck Festival have been selected as finalists for the Suffolk Coastal Business & Community’s Encouraging Tourism Award.

As we’re currently providing digital marketing for Choose Woodbridge, we’re very happy to see that the town of Woodbridge is getting the attention and appreciation that it really deserves.

The winner of the award will be announced at the invite-only awards dinner on September 15th.

You can find out more about the awards night here

A big congratulations to the other finalists, we can’t wait to hear the final results!

Max's Round-up from July's SIMS

Max is here for his monthly round-up of changes in the digital industry at July'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!

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There have been quite a few AdWords updates including a roll out of expanded text ads. I haven't added any details here, but you can find all the updates you need on the Adwords Blog.

https://buffer.com/instagram
At our last SIMS, a social media panel event, we talked about scheduling tools which allow you to write your social media posts all at once and publish them later. One of those we've used in the past here at Measured Brilliance is Buffer, who now support scheduling your posts to Instagram.

https://about.canva.com/iphone/
We've talked about using Canva at SIMS before, as a great way to produce what we call “shareables” - images to be used on social networks. They now have an iPhone app, so go and try it out.

http://kb.mailchimp.com/integrations/twitter/grow-your-list-with-twitters-lead-generation-card
If you're running Twitter ads, here's a great way to create Mailchimp signup cards directly on Twitter. It's officially supported by both parties, so if you're running ads anyway, why not try and get an email address then and there.

http://searchengineland.com/google-business-now-offering-businesses-email-based-verification-254039
Google My Business is now offering some businesses the opportunity to verify their Google My Business account via email, rather than waiting for the postcard to arrive. As people who have to deal with an internal postal service, this potentially makes life much easier for us!

http://searchengineland.com/whats-new-markup-structured-data-253371
“What's new with structured markup.” This is a technical one, but I know some of you are using and paying attention to this and it's a reminder that structured data, schema.org and all those all other good things exist as options for you and your web developer.

http://searchengineland.com/https-setup-causing-seo-issues-254236
A little technical again, but for those of you using a web developer, this is something that may come up over the next year or two. Encryption is being rewarded by Google, but only if it's set up properly!

http://searchengineland.com/google-search-console-bug-sends-re-verification-notifications-users-253555
Don't panic, says Google -- That verification email from Google Search Console was an accident, but it may be a good time to check to see who is a verified user on your account now.

http://searchengineland.com/heck-going-google-keyword-planner-253062
“What the heck is going on with Google Keyword Planner?” Synonyms sometimes return the same amount of traffic, sometimes they don't. This article has more detail and it's a reminder that these tools are only ever an indicator from Google.

http://qz.com/720239/facebook-just-sent-a-chill-over-every-digital-news-organization/
Facebook change the newsfeed algorithm once again. This is a reminder to everyone that if you're building your audience on someone else's platform, you are dependent on them and at the whims of a large company.

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/07/20/birkenstock-quits-amazon-in-us-after-counterfeit-surge.html
Following on from the above reminder about being beholden to someone else's traffic, this time it's Amazon who has really been struggling with counterfeit and fraudulent listings affecting retailers.

http://marketingland.com/9-new-semi-secret-facebook-targeting-options-184810
This article highlights some lesser-known targeting options in Facebook ads, but I wanted to include it to let people who haven't yet tried Facebook ads know just how targeted they can be.

http://marketingland.com/twitter-verified-application-185241
Twitter are rolling out a ‘get verified’ application process. I know you've all been dying to get a little blue tick next to your twitter handle, and the time may have finally come.

Converting your leads into sales - Sales & Telemarketing at July's SIMS

July’s SIMS featured Sales and Telemarketing by the experts from ActionCoach and Your Telemarketing. Suzanne Macdonald-Carr and Laura Morrison, represented by Cristina and Barry Burns, talked to us all about how to prioritise your marketing plan to increase your sales. 

Andrew Diver was also at July’s SIMS where he brought us his latest round of accountancy advice on Tax on Company Vehicles. Andrew Diver is from the Beatons group who are one of the sponsors for SIMS.

Suzanne Macdonald Carr gave many pointers on how the diverse the world of sales and marketing is and what to focus on as part of your business’ marketing plan. She even gave us four points to focus on:

  • Target Audience
  • Strategies
  • Offers
  • Campaign

Laura Morrison was unable to come and speak at SIMS but fortunately Barry and Cristina Burns stepped in to fill her shoes and present on behalf of Laura and the Your Telemarketing Team. Barry went on to tell us about telemarketing and all the processes that happen from one phone line to another along with a few tips and tricks. Laura and Your Telemarketing also shared a special offer for all the SIMS attendees!

More information from July's SIMS: 
Max's round-up for July's SIMS 
Andrew Diver's Accountancy Advice from Beatons

Thank you all for coming to SIMS!

Playable City Award 2016

Entries are now open for the Playable City Award!

They're looking for bright ideas that will change the future and make a difference. Your idea can become the next big thing!

 

What do you win? 

  • £30,000 commission
  • Practical support in designing, testing and communicating the idea
  • Residency at the Pervasive Media Studio in Watershed, Bristol
  • Development of touring and future opportunities
  • Film and photographic documentation of your idea

Who should join? 

They are looking for artists, designers, architects, urbanists, interaction designers, technologists and creative practitioners from anywhere in the world, who can demonstrate a history of delivering high quality, innovative ideas and projects. Individuals or teams can apply.

Deadline: 31 August 2016, 17:00 (GMT).

Find out more details about the Playable City Award.

Sam on Radio Suffolk: Are young women losing confidence as they get older?

Sam joined Etholle George on her BBC Radio Suffolk morning show today to speak a little about the prospect of young women losing confidence at certain ages.

This is following a recent report from Girlguiding which suggests that young women are becoming less confident as they grow older and reach the world of work. As part of her work with the SyncDevelopHER Awards, this is a subject close to Sam's heart.

Listen now. Sam’s interview begins at around 1:39:08

Keeping your cool on social media

In light of the recent events in Felixstowe, where a seafront kiosk owner wrote a post on Facebook advising parents to discipline their children if they are being too noisy, we thought we’d weigh in on keeping your cool on social media.

 Chill out!

Chill out!

It can be all-too-easy to have a negative experience, or see a negative review, and fly off the handle on social media.

However, we would advise that it’s much better to take a step back, look at the situation objectively and decide whether posting about those situations on social media is really a good idea.

The problem with social media and the internet in general is that your tone of voice is lost in the transition from the words in your head, to the words you type and the words that your customers read on the screen.

Each customer will read the post differently, interpreting different meaning.

What one customer might read as good-will, another might read as malicious sarcasm.

Our advice to the kiosk owner in Felixstowe would have been to, at the very least, run the post by someone else first, whether it’s a colleague, friend or even a customer.

It’s best to keep your social media accounts positive, even in the face of unfair criticism or insults. Standing up for yourself and your business can be very valid, but you need to use a writing tone that won’t shine a negative light on your brand or insult your customers.

Max's Round-up from June's SIMS

Max's round-up this June of all things new in the industry. 

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!

static1.squarespace.jpg

 

There were lots of updates within one month but luckily Max has summarised it for the SIMS audience (as he always does!). Which ones do you think will affect your business? Learn more below: 

https://adwords.googleblog.com/2016/06/introducing-youtube-director-suite-of.html

Google have produced an app that helps you make video ads for your business. It tells you what to do and sorts everything out for you. It's currently US & Canada only, but I can only assume it will be coming to the UK soon. Either way, the video explainer is worth a watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufI7su3KXng&feature=youtu.be

https://adwords.googleblog.com/2016/05/ads-and-analytics-innovations-for-a-mobile-first-world.html

This is a link that we couldn't squeeze in for the last SIMS, but AdWords releases a range of updates for their display network and other ad types all heavily based around mobile. If that's something you use, it's worth going through their post with an overview of the updates.

http://searchengineland.com/google-clarifies-keyword-planner-doesnt-require-active-campaign-252767

There is a temporary issue where some people are unable to use the keyword planner tool without an active ad campaign. Google have confirmed this is a bug. More information at the link above, and if you're not aware of, or using the Keyword Planner tool you probably should be.

https://www.google.com/intl/en/local/guides/

You might not know that Google has a local guides scheme. How do you find out about local businesses and places that don't, won't or can't update their own details? You get the public to do it by starting a ‘Local Guides’ scheme.

One of the perks of using it is early access to new Google Maps and Google Local features, so if you use those for your business. Why not sign up and see what it's all about?

http://searchengineland.com/official-google-green-ad-label-global-251958

Ads now have green labels. No, it's not major news, but it's something you can say to let everyone know that you're keeping up-to-date with the search engine results page!

http://searchengineland.com/key-takeaways-google-ama-rankbrain-panda-penguin-bots-252506

From the horse's mouth, a round-up of notes from Google's AMA at a recent conference. Some key takeaways are the continued commitment to a ‘mobile-only’ index and a significant change to Search Console:

“It looks like after three years since Google promised more data and longer history of data in the Google Search Console, it may be coming. Gary said that the team is working on it and that the lead of the Google Search Console team was very “direct” with his team about making sure to give webmasters more history with their search analytics and other data in the Google Search Console.”

http://searchengineland.com/google-search-console-new-mobile-usability-report-tested-252313

Another day, another usability tool from Google. This time, it's baked right into Search Console.

http://www.thesempost.com/googles-search-analytics-now-allows-keyword-comparisons/

You can now compare two queries in Google Search Console. Google are slowly and quietly making Search Console a powerful SEO tool (albeit with the caveat that you have to trust the sampled data they give you).

https://www.seroundtable.com/google-ignores-content-in-tlds-22236.html

Google have confirmed they don't look for words in your TLD (which is the last part of your website address, usually .com or .co.uk). There are ads telling you to get ‘.lawyer’ or ‘.yourindustry’ but these won't make an SEO difference, so don't risk a domain-name move unless you really know what you're doing.

http://appleinsider.com/articles/16/06/13/apple-maps-opens-up-to-developers-with-extensions-apple-music-gets-redesign-in-ios-10

Apple opened up Apple Maps to external developers. This means if you're a local business then apps you use in other ways may suddenly be available in a new way, for example, restaurants using OpenTable may be able to take bookings directly from the Maps app on your phone.

http://www.theverge.com/2016/6/8/11880730/apple-app-store-subscription-update-phil-schiller-interview

Apple announced changes in ads in the app store and subscription pricing for (seemingly) all types of apps. If you'd held off looking at apps as you couldn't make the one-off payment model work, this is worth looking at.

Here's a link to the official documentation for it: https://developer.apple.com/app-store/search-ads/

Social Media Questions Answered: June SIMS Social Media Panel Event

June's SIMS featured six social media experts in Kim Morrison, Sam Brook, Caron Peirson, Angel Rubia, Daniel Coughlan and Max Shelley at SIMS' very first panel event. Each speaker was given the opportunity to give out their expert opinion for every question asked by the SIMS audience. There were many raise of hands and interaction between the audience and the speakers which was an engaging sight to see. It was a great turnout despite the weather and another useful and educational night for SIMS attendees!

 The SIMS "Ask the Experts" Panel Event 

The SIMS "Ask the Experts" Panel Event 

Like every month,  Andrew Diver from the Beatons Group gave his "What you need to know in 5 minutes" accountancy advice roundup this time, about "Tax on Business Premises". The Beatons Group are one of the proud sponsors of SIMS.

The winner of SIMS' Search for Success Competition was also announced and she is Donna Reid from Konjo Photography! Donna has won £1000 of SEO Services sponsored by the Ipswich Borough Council. Congratulations from us at Measured Brilliance!


One of the topics the panelists covered was social media scheduling & management platforms. Our panelists recommended the following: 
Buffer - buffer.com
Hootsuite - hootsuite.com
Sprout Social - sproutsocial.com 
Tweetdeck (Twitter manager)- tweetdeck.com

It's best to always remember that social media scheduling may suit others differently. Different businesses have different circumstances such as business owners who may have time to do these things and others who don't.  If you've just started on social media, posting to Facebook yourself can give you a better idea of how people engage with your product and your brand. For those who are short of time, social media scheduling tools can definitely help you manage your social media. 

Thank you to all who came to June's SIMS. We hope to see you all in the next one! 

Max's round-up: http://bit.ly/295o55G
Beaton's slides: http://bit.ly/293qiwZ

Give the panelists a visit!

Some photos from last night: 

Win £1000 of SEO Services Search for Success

Looking to make 2016 a pivotal year for improving your business’ online presence?

Want the chance to solve all of your website’s optimisation problems without spending a penny? SIMS has just the opportunity for you.

SIMS and Measured Brilliance have teamed up with Ipswich Borough Council to grant one lucky winner the chance to fully optimise their online presence for free, offering £1000 of SEO services. 

Entering our Search for Success competition is effortless and completely free. All you need to do is sign up with your business name and email address and you’ll be entered into the competition. That’s all, we promise.

Registration closes on 27th June with the winner being drawn at SIMS on 28th June, sign up and RSVP here.

Good luck!

Get Better at Social Media: "Ask the Experts" Panel Event - June's SIMS

 

Hello everyone,

Join SIMS as they host an “Ask the Expert” Panel Event for small businesses. For the month of June, SIMS will focusing on teaching small businesses on how to use social media with the help of local social media experts. This is a free-for-all event for all types of businesses. 28th June, Tuesday 7pm at the UCS Waterfront Building Ipswich. 

What's an "Ask the Experts" Panel event?

The SIMS "Ask the Experts" Panel Event is Q&A session that gives small businesses a chance to ask social media experts for free advice. The SIMS speakers will cover a range social media platforms from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat. Whether you're a beginner in social media or looking for ways to utilise your exiting social media page, come to SIMS and get the best expert advice for free. June's SIMS is the best place to answer your business' questions about social media and SEO. 

Here are SIMS panelists for June:

 
 
 

We also have Andrew Diver from the Beatons Group who'll be giving us a "What you need to know in 5 minutes" roundup to help you get a better grip of finance for your business.

Beatons is one of the sponsors for SIMS

We hope to see you there. 

 

Presentations from May's SIMS by Sally Ormond and Paul Johnstone

Hello everyone,

Last night was another great and educational night for our SIMS businesses. Our speakers, Sally Ormond and Paul Johnstone covered a lot of questions about writing content and expressing yourself through your website. 

If you missed last night's SIMS, we have our speakers' presentations for everyone to access. Simply click on their pictures below.

We hope to see you all next month. 

Click to access Sally's presentation.

Click to access Paul's presentation.

Max's Round-up from May's SIMS

Max's round-up this May of all things new in the industry. 

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!

static1.squarespace-1.jpg

 

It's announcement season for all things new in the digital industry. Luckily for our SIMS audience, we have Max to keep us all up-to-date with the latest news: 

http://analytics.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/deeper-integration-of-search-console-in.html
Search Console and Google Analytics:

Here's a quote from their blog post announcing the feature:

  • Find landing pages that are attracting many users through Google organic search (e.g., high impressions and high click through rate) but where users are not engaging with the website. In this case, you should consider improving your landing pages.
  • Find landing pages that have high site engagement but are not successfully attracting users from Google organic search  (e.g., have low click through rate). In this case, you might benefit from improving titles and descriptions shown in search.
  • Learn which queries are ranking well for each organic landing page.
  • Segment organic performance by device category (desktop, tablet, mobile) in the new Devices report.

http://searchengineland.com/google-search-console-now-lets-group-sites-together-property-sets-250168
For those of you that use Search Console a lot, this has been a long requested feature. Google treats each subdomain as a different website, which means your URL with the 'www' prefix and without are two different sites. They can now be combined, and reported on, as a “set”.

http://searchengineland.com/google-bringing-featured-snippets-rich-results-filters-search-analytics-report-250080
Google are adding “rich snippets” in their Search Console, so you can know how many people are seeing your site in those results. If you're technical and you're interested in how this impacts local search, you can find out more at http://searchengineland.com/google-search-console-updated-search-analytics-report-adds-knowledge-graph-local-rich-snippets-249179

http://searchengineland.com/google-launches-new-mobile-friendly-testing-tool-249734
The mobile-friendly test from Google has been updated, if you didn't know this existed, it's important that you use it and make sure your website is mobile-friendly.

https://blog.bufferapp.com/f8-facebook-features?utm_source=moztop10&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=moztop10
Some things we didn't get time to cover in last month's roundup from Facebook's F8 conference.

http://periscope.tv/periscopetv/1ynJOmpngRXKR
Periscope now let you save the videos you create using their real-time video service. This is one of the largest competitors to Facebook Live video, instead owned by Twitter and this makes the service far more useful.

http://www.thesempost.com/new-title-description-lengths-for-google-seo/
Big news (well, in the SEO world). Google have increased the width of some search results, meaning you get more characters to tell everyone about your page. Make the most of it in your page titles and META descriptions.

http://analytics.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/announcing-data-studio-our-free-new.html
Google Announce Data Studio which lets you report on a huge set of data, including your Analytics and Adwords data. It's not fully available in the UK yet, although there's enough to play with if you're interested.

http://analytics.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/ga360suite-product-announcement.html
Google are “unifying” their analytics and AdWords products. If you're in any way interested, then this is the blog post for you.

http://analytics.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/app-first-analytics-with-firebase.html
If you're an app developer, there's an improved version of Firebase, the app from Google for you to use for your app-specific analytics.

http://analytics.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/efficient-campaign-tagging.html
We sometimes mention “tagging” your links, although it can be a little technical. It's a way to help you know where your traffic is coming from, with more details than just “social”. And, better yet, you get to set the labels that get applied. There's an official Chrome extension that will help you manage your tags in Google Sheets, which is something we do.

Thank you and we hope to see you all in the next SIMS.

The Human Face of Copywriting & Telling your Business Narrative

 

Hello everyone,

May’s SIMS featured Sally Ormond from Briar Copywriting as she debunked myths about copywriting and suggested useful tricks when writing content and appealing to business audiences. Our second speaker, Paul Johnstone from Paradigm Shakers talked about best practices of telling the story for businesses along with common bad practices businesses do and don’t realise. We definitely saw lots of note-taking and and a few raise of hands in the Q&A section where our speakers answered burning questions about copywriting and telling your story through your business.

Similar to last month, we got a "What you need to know in 5 minutes" accountancy advice roundup from Beatons Group one of the proud sponsors of SIMS, brought to us by Andrew Diver.

The best thing about this month’s talk was its relevance to any industry, since all businesses have to write content. Fortunately for our SIMS audience, we have got the best experts to speak for us at SIMS. Here are some points they covered throughout their talks.

Main points from Sally’s Talk:

  • Be Simple and keep your writing relevant to you and your business.
  • Show your personality through your website.
  • Let your creativity take over. Keep writing.

Main points from Paul’s Talk:

  • Write for one person.
  • Write with a purpose and an end in mind.
  • Don’t write too much jargon. Just simple enough to convince your customers.
  • Hierarchy of importance: Audience, Message, You.

As Sam mentioned at the end of May’s SIMS, we will be having an “Ask the Experts” Panel Event where you can get free expert advice one-to-one. It’s a SIMS meetup worth looking forward to.

Thank you all for coming.

For more details from May's SIMS see Max’s May Round-up and May’s SIMS Presentations

Some photos from last night:

 

The Guardian Digital Innovation Challenge

Our friends at New Anglia Growth Hubhave asked us to tell you about a competition the Guardian are running to help businesses grow using digital technology.

Prizes to be won:

  • One year’s free use of SAP Anywhere’s software for small business.
  • The cost of implementing the software.
  • An iPad Pro 9.7-inch.
  • A bespoke package of advertising on the Guardian worth £5,000.

Just answer a simple question in under 150 words:

“Increasing the use of digital technology can help small businesses become more efficient and boost their turnover. How are you planning to use digital technology to grow your business this year?”

JOIN THE COMPETITION