Think You Don’t Need a Website? Here’s Why You Do

Heads in sandI recently had a conversation about a website with a local business owner here in Tenbury Wells.  When I pointed out that he hadn’t got a website his response was that he didn’t think he needed one because it wouldn’t bring in any additional business, most of which came from local referrals.

You know what, he was right on that! But he had missed the point. I think he was sticking his head in the sand!

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What’s the Purpose of Your Website?

So you’ve decided that you want a website? What’s the first thing you’re going to do? Look at the websites of similar companies to yours and get an idea of the design you’d like? Approach a number of web designers and get a bunch of quotes? Start designing it yourself? Sign up for one of the self-build services such as 1&1 My Website?Website Planning

 

Pick any one of these and you’d be on the fast track to throwing away your money and effort.

The first thing you need to do is to decide what you want the website to do for you; decide what the purpose of it is in other words. What do I mean by this?

There are a number of different types of website and the results you should expect from each vary. For the purpose of simplicity, here are three of the most popular types.

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Is Technology Affecting Your Productivity at Work?

Wasting time at workA recent article in the Daily Telegraph “Internet ‘fuels procrastination and lowers productivity‘” started me thinking about my own experiences (I’ve been developing and using internet technology in business for over 30 years), so I thought I would post my guidelines for using email.

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Spending a Fortune on Marketing? Try Inbound Marketing

You may have heard the term “inbound marketing” bandied around recently. But what does it mean?

Inbound Marketing

Traditional, or “outbound marketing”, involves sending out messages about your products or services to potential customers. Outbound marketing uses methods such as advertisements in newspapers, periodicals, radio, television, telemarketing and cold calling. The key characteristics of outbound marketing are an advert and an audience. You effectively push that advert in from of the audience.

But people are now becoming immune to this kind of marketing. Do you watch TV adverts and get a message about the product or company? Or, like me, switch off and ignore it? What do you do when you get a cold call about mobile phones or anything else? You probably find them irritating or down right annoying. I do.

Outbound marketing is becoming increasingly ineffective. So what can you do? Enter inbound marketing.

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How Not to Lose Money in Your Business

“Britain’s small businesses could be losing more than £800m of sales a year by not taking credit and debit card payments”.

So says a news story that is currently doing the rounds. Whether or not you believe the figure of £800m, the fact does remain that many small businesses such as, corner shops, local tradesmen, market traders, and numerous mobile businesses, can’t take card payments.

PayPal card reader

These businesses an only accept payment in cash or cheque. I don’t know about you but I rarely carry much cash around and I never carry a cheque book so, no card payment, no sale.

On the other side of the fence, I hate it when customers give me a cheque. They put a cheque in the post, which can take who know how long to arrive, given the vagaries of the Royal Mail, and then it takes another 5 days to arrive in my account after I’ve paid it into the bank.

The excuse for not accepting cards has been that card payments are expensive. But that’s not true any more.

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Hummingbird – Google Search Has Changed

Recently Google announced, what it described, as a “complete overhaul of its search algorithm”. Codeworded “Hummingbird”, the update is aimed at making search results much more relevant to users. Hummingbird seems to have created quite a stir so I though I would give you my take on it together with some practical advice.

Google Hummingbird

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16-Year Old Uses Internet to Devise a Test for Cancer

I recently came across this amazing story about a 16-year old , Jack Andraka, who recently devised a revolutionary medical test for detecting the almost always fatal disease, pancreatic cancer. I urge you to watch the 10 minute video below. It will blow you away.

The reason I want to share this with you is because Jack, having no previous medical training and not even knowing what a pancreas  is, managed to produce the test by extensive research on the Internet.

I’ve previously expounded, in this blog, about the power of the Internet but Jack’s story illustrates this to a tee. A mere thirty years ago it would have been almost impossible for a layman such as Jack to achieve such a feat.

If the internet can do this and enable Jack to produce such a result, just think what it can do for your business.

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Six Dos and Don’ts on Writing Blog Posts

Clients often ask me what they should write about in their blogs.

Small Business BloggingIt’s easier to answer this question by turning it around to say what they shouldn’t write about. I’ve also included some general points about what you should do in the list below.

  1. Don’t write sales pitches. A blog should be informative not a platform for sales pitches. So stay away from blog posts that try to pitch your products. The purpose of your blog is to attract interest and, whilst you might be interested in the latest variant of your xyz widget, most of you blog readers won’t. The only exception is if you’ve just brought out something so different, or even revolutionary, that it will immediately attract interest.
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Understanding Computer Jargon – Part 1

Computer Terminology

Are you bewildered by some of  the terminology that computer geeks like me use? If so, read on.

As someone who has been in the IT industry for many years I tend to use words that, to me, are commonplace. However, for many people who have only got to grips with technology recently, or who are still trying, many of these terms are baffling.

So I thought I would start a series of posts to try and explain some of this terminology in layman’s terms. This first post in the series is really just an introduction. Future posts will go into more detail.

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What To Use Instead Of Google Reader

Google ReaderAs I posted on this blog back in March this year, Google reader is being withdrawn by Google after 1/7/13. Google’s announcement claimed that the number of people using the product has declined and Google wants to focus its efforts on fewer product offerings. Despite protests from users of the product, it seems that Google is still going ahead with the closure. So what’s the alternative?

I looked around and finally settled on InoReader (https://www.inoreader.com/).

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