Easy Internet co-owners Mark and Diana Esho shared their digital expertise at a law conference this weekend.
At the conference hosted at St Martin’s house in Leicester city centre, Mark and Diana gave two presentations. Diana’s focused on how to get full utility out of a website without breaking the bank and Mark shared hints and tips on how to optimise social media.
Mark said: “When I set up the business, very few people understood the power of digital marketing. We’ve got eighteen years of experience now and are more aware than ever on the advantage provided by an effective internet presence, so we wanted to share that knowledge.”.
The National Local Law Society Conference (NLLSC) brings together representatives of law societies across the country to share knowledge, raise key issues and note trends impacting the profession. This year it was hosted by Leicestershire Law Society which was founded in 1860 and is one of the oldest law societies in the country.
Diana said: “We really value our partnership with Leicester Law Society and are so proud of them for hosting such a fantastic event. Exhibiting at the conference is just one part of our method to engage with the local community and promote business ties which is something we’re really passionate about.”
Every business is looking into CSR to boost their brand image and reputation. Whether it’s to boost brand image or to entice talent, the benefits are undeniable.
Here at Easy Internet, we look at CSR differently. Rather than a specific activity to tick a box, social responsibility and value are incorporated in every aspect of our business and although we do directly support several charities, that’s only one tiny part of our approach.
It starts with our staff. The team have a diverse range of backgrounds and we pride ourselves on offering flexible work terms as we recognise that everyone has different needs.
Additionally we strive to make our workspace pleasant, having moved to a city centre office in Phoenix Square with large windows and loads of natural light. With public transport links, our employees don’t have to start their day with a tiring commute and can pop out at lunch to get food from any of the nearby shops or cafes.
We treat our clients and our work with respect. We make sure that we keep adding value and that’s why many of our clients have been with us from the start and are still giving us glowing references today.
Community ties are really important to us and we get involved in a variety of ways, from sponsoring Leicestershire Law Society to taking local students for work placements.
Finally, we can’t discuss CSR without mentioning the Your Smalls Appeal which was set up by our director Diana Esho and runs out of our Phoenix Square office. This perfectly demonstrates the way we don’t draw a line between social value and our business. Social value runs through every part of our business.
When it comes down to it, websites really are pretty special assets for businesses. There are few other ways to be constantly represented or open to new business twenty-four hours a day. They can be the ultimate shopfront, allowing you to cleverly and adaptively craft the way your business is going to be perceived by your audience and customers.
That said, there are plenty of ways for websites to go slightly wrong, with the biggest and worst simply being falling behind. Just failing to keep up with trends, technology and aesthetics online can leave you with a website that makes your business look dated and tired, in a marketplace full of speedy, slick competitors.
With that in mind, here’s the ten ways your site could be lacking or falling behind, letting you start planning that much-needed update. We’ve broken down the ten ways into four categories; digital marketing, usability, design and efficiency.
Key to Reaching Out – Digital Marketing
Quantify Your Results
One of the biggest areas businesses fail when it comes to digital marketing is through failing to quantify their results. You want to know when you’re doing something right, or when your marketing money is being wasted, right?
That means tracking data, and making sure that every part of your marketing budget is being spent effectively on something proven with figures and stats.
Sure, you can’t expect results immediately, but you need to keep track. There’s plenty of online tools and suites designed specifically to monitor your site data and help you figure out what’s working.
Content is Still King
Beyond the immediate aesthetics of your site, there’s one other huge factor that plays a role in keeping your audience interested, and keeping a steady flow of new visitors going; content.
Quality content has long been a big part of digital marketing, for good reason. It’s the organic way to build real traffic flow, and increasingly, it’s the best way, with Google prioritising quality, fresh content over black hat SEO tricks more and more.
Updates for SEO
Updating your site can do two handy things as far as search engine optimisation is concerned. First off, you can integrate more SEO features, like tags, rich snippets, etc. into the meat of the site, and secondly, you can signal to search engines that your website is up-to-date, fresh and worth ranking highly. Websites that never get updated slip down the search results.
No One Likes a Challenge – Usability
Navigation is Important
When people come to your site, you want them to be able to find exactly what they’re looking for, and quickly. Leaving people in a retro, labyrinthine website, reminiscent of something from the ‘90s is going to see people moving away from your site in a hurry. You want navigation to be easy, logical and quick.
Website Speed is Key
Both visitors and search engine crawlers take real note of slow websites, with it potentially marring an otherwise great site. If your site is struggling to load up in a reasonable timeframe, chances are you could do with an update.
The Important of Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is all about visitors coming onto your site, and leaving without checking out a second page. This is obviously a big indicator of an outdated or ineffective website, especially to search engines.
Once again, it comes down to keeping an eye on the data and mapping why and where people are clicking off in a hurry. There’s a lot of elements to bounce rate that need to be taken into account, including location, because people from outside the local area might immediately click away simply because of distance, and whether or not they’re new or returning visitors, as they can have very different intentions.
A dire bounce rate means something is badly out of whack, and your site could probably do with either a thorough update or a new digital marketing approach.
People like Pretty Things – Design
Keep it Sharp and Up-To-Date
A website is like your shopfront. If it looks terrible, people are going to presume the same of your business. You want to project competence and skill, and the best way to do that is through an exhaustively, aesthetically designed webpage.
Responsive Design Continues to be the Future
Responsive website design is all about building websites that work just as well on any device. With the average person now spending more time browsing on their smartphone than their laptop, this has never been more important. You can’t have a website that requires constant, drastic rescaling or worse, not work at all on phones. If you’re in need of an update, there’s a chance you’re currently missing out on mobile and tablet business.
Make it Easier on Yourself – Efficiency
Post and Update Yourself
Every business should be able to update their own site with new content or information. With older sites, this can be troublesome, and a real hassle, but updated, improved modern websites, you can easily expect to perform updates and publishing yourself, with ease.
Security is Always Important
We’ve all heard worrying stories about sites getting hacked and huge embarrassment or legal troubles for the companies involved, and these stories are only getting more and more frequent.
As the web continues to grow, so too does cybercrime, making security more important than ever. Keeping your WordPress site completely up-to-date means keeping your security completely solid, leaving you to get on with running your business.
The problem with older, outdated websites is that they simply don’t have the security of their modern, updated counterparts. You need to know that your site is completely defended, and that you can trust your site’s security completely. An updated site with full, cutting-edge security features is exactly what you need.
If you’re one of a surprisingly large contingency of businesses still not getting on board with the importance of responsive web site design, a time for panic has indeed come. As of right now, it’s not simply a case of shrugging off the warnings of those telling you there’s much you’re missing out on – you’re actually in genuine danger of going out of business.
Well, that’s assuming of course that you are to some extent dependent on your website as if you do not operate an online presence at all, this of course doesn’t apply to you. If on the other hand your website is your livelihood, you’ve been treading very thin ice for a good few years now and the cracks have turned into huge ruptures.
In terms of what all the fuss is about, the fact that 2013 was declared something of a deadline for getting on board with responsive web design should drill the point home nicely. Does this mean that as of 2015 you’re dead in the water? Of course not – but only because most of your competitors are in exactly the same boat as you – late arrivals to the party.
If you’re wondering why it matters, it all comes down to the way in which more consumers than ever before are using mobile devices exclusively to access the web. And it’s no longer a case of the numbers being totally outweighed by desktop web access – things have tipped entirely in the opposite direction and the mobile masses are winning…big time! Sure, they might be able to access your website at least in a technical sense without you bothering with responsive web design, but chances are they won’t. Or at least, they might pay one visit once and never head back having found your site an absolute nightmare to negotiate from a tiny touch screen.
As for the good news, having your site modified to make it responsive and thus compatible with mobile devices across the board probably won’t cost nearly as much as you expect it to. And even if you find yourself having to part with a smaller four-figure sum, this is way less than you’ll end up losing long-term if you continue to ignore the fact that the future is mobile…period.
You still have every chance to give your business a shot in the arm and to gain an advantage over your rivals – it’s a chance that won’t be hanging around much longer though.
Regardless of your personal take on the subject, content marketing is a beast of a marketing tool that isn’t going anywhere. Sure, it takes a long time and yes, it has a habit of costing a fortune, but at the same time it’s one of the few types of marketing that genuinely has a long-term value.
Of course in any and all cases, delivering relevant and personalised content can be tricky. Nevertheless, there are various ways and means by which you can make it happen and reap the benefits of doing so – here is a quick look at just a few tips from the experts:
1 – KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
When it comes to determining who your audience actually is, evidence suggests it’s better to be somewhat more narrow-focused than to cast your net too widely. It’s a case of not just knowing who your user is, but also where they are, what they want and how they interact with online content. It’s basically a process of creating a blueprint of what you need to be doing from their perspective.
2 – ENGAGEMENT MATTERS
The way in which online communities appear from nowhere and suddenly explode into the biggest things in the history of history pretty clearly illustrates the power of engagement. If you’re willing to get involved in communities of those relevant to what it is you do, chances are you’ll find yourself providing personalised and relevant content somewhat instinctively and automatically.
3 – REFERENCE…WHERE RELEVANT
One of the best ways of immediately gaining credibility and authority among any given audience is to reference something that resonates with them. If for example it’s pretty clear that your target demographic is obsessed with one particular type of music, mentioning a relevant band or two from time to time could certainly curry some favour.
4 – DITCH THE JARGON
You might also want to think about investing as much effort as necessary in producing content that looks, feels, sounds and indeed was penned by a real human with something real to say. Save the professional talk and superfluous jargon for other occasions.
5 – MIX IT UP
Last but not least, it can’t have escaped your attention that more brands and businesses than ever before are stepping away from conventional content provision and turn toward a huge mix of mediums. Research suggests not only that videos increase the likelihood of consumers making a purchase by nearly 64%, but that a 12% increase in overall traffic can be generated simply by using infographics.