How to Implement AMP on your website

How to Implement AMP on Your Website

In the fast-moving online world many of us inhabit, speed is a top priority. For those without a stellar internet connection, browsing the web can feel like a chore, waiting for pages to load for what feels like minutes. Knowing this, Google recently launched their AMP project to help people everywhere visit the websites they love and find the information far quicker.

AMP (accelerated mobile pages) has been designed to allow web users to access cached, resource-light webpages on mobile pages. It has so far proven to be a huge success, aiding websites in gaining more happy visitors at lightning quick speeds. You’ve probably already visiting an AMP page without realising it.

Although it only extends to websites listed in Google News so far, Google has confirmed that they’re looking at broadening their scope and hope that one day, all web pages will be able to take advantage of AMP. That’s why you want to try and implement it on your website sooner rather than later.

However, this can be quite a burden for smaller websites and businesses that don’t have a team of developers on hand 24/7. Each page will need to be attributed proper markup with HTML, Javascript each and every time. That means every time you publish a blog post, you’re more likely to end up spending more time formatting it than you actually did writing it. It isn’t straightforward for beginners.

That isn’t to say that you should just give up, though, particularly if your website is built on the WordPress CMS. WordPress is famous for having a plugin to do almost everything you can think of, so you better believe that there’s one that helps you with implementing. If you aren’t on WordPress, there might be plugins suitable for your platform, but it might also be worth considering why you aren’t using WordPress to begin with – it’s the most popular CMS out there, used by millions upon millions of website, for good reason.

During our research, we found several plugins to help implement AMP on your website:

 

Accelerated Mobile Pages

The first plugin for AMP to be rushed out to meet demand, it’s also a little rushed overall. There isn’t a great deal of flexibility with this and it can’t really be recommended for non-designers. If you know what you’re doing, give it a try.

Rating:

 

AMP

The official plugin from WordPress is also probably the worst. All it does is enable your website to use AMP and that’s it. All the formatting is left up to you, which is hardly ideal for smaller websites. Automattic, the company behind WP, have said that they will be enhancing the website in the future, but for now, it isn’t good enough.

Rating:

 

Facebook Instant Articles & Google AMP Pages by PageFrog

The perfect compromise for online businesses that can’t afford a development team. Pagefrog have created a fantastic all-round plugin that not only helps set up AMP, but can put you on the right track towards implementing the infinitely more complicated Instant Articles for Facebook. It allows you to make styling changes with ease and comes with all the information even the most technophobic of editors could follow.

Rating: 5/5

How to Install Facebook Instant Articles & Google AMP Pages by PageFrog

The obvious winner, Facebook Instant Articles & Google AMP Pages by PageFrog, is the plugin we have decided to go with for our AMP implementation. Once the plugin is installed, it makes your job so straightforward.

Step 1: Installation

Go to your WordPress site and access the backend. Go to Plugins>Add New and then search for Facebook Instant Articles & Google AMP Pages by PageFrog (or just Pagefrog). Install the plugin and then make sure you activate it. This will also install WordPress’s AMP plugin at the same time.

Step 2: Configuration

Find “Mobile Formats” in your left sidebar and then choose Setup. It’s all really simple from here, just follow the instructions it gives you to enable AMP.

Step 3: Styling

Navigate to Styling in the same left sidebar. Here’s where you can put your own branding on your AMP pages so that it’s more engaging.

There are quite a few customisation options available, but ensure that you use the same colours as found on your website so as to consolidate all branding under one umbrella. It’s worth mentioning that it is a little limited in terms of what fonts you can use, but Serif and its Sans version are both universal and do the job well. As for your logo, a wide and short JPG will work best. Save when you’re happy.

Step 4: Apply to pages

Keeping up the tradition of simplicity, it’s just a quick click to retroactively apply AMP to all pages on your website. Go to Settings and select the following:

Click “Enable AMP” and the save settings once it has been applied.

Step 5. Troubleshoot your AMP page

Even with the plugin, errors can crop up with your AMP page. To see whether it’s properly configured, go to an article and then add #development=1 to the end of the URL before right clicking and choosing “Inspect”. Once there, go to “Console” – any problems will crop up here in bright red.

Step 6: Check out your AMP page!

If you’re happy with all your settings, the next bit is easy. Using a mobile device, go to your website and then load an article. Add amp to the end of your URL (example: facebook/com/amp/) and you should then see the accelerated mobile page.

If you have any problems with the plugin, the guys at Pagefrog are usually very helpful and friendly and will hunt down the fix you need.

AMP could be the future of search engine browsing, which is why you need to adopt it for your website as soon as you can. If you don’t keep up the pace with your competitors, you might be left behind.

 

Redesign for Nailbase Training

Redesign & a new look for Nailbase Training as they approach another successful year, good luck for 2017 to Amanda and her team x

http://nailbasetraining.co.uk/

Benefits of an E-mail Marketing Newsletter

Engaging with your clients through an email marketing newsletter has several advantages.

  1. You are able to provide personal responses to any enquiries that come back from a promotional newsletter that can be tailored to your customers easily and efficiently
  2. Provide an opportunity to promote your brand in a cost effective way.
  3. You can engage your customers in special offers that are exclusive to members of your mailing list.
  4. Raise customer awareness of other aspects of your services that they may be unaware of.

These are all excellent reasons for you to consider this as an important part of your marketing arsenal.

The Importance of a Mailing List

A Fundamental Part of Your Business

No matter what you read online or hear from an associate in the same field, maintaining and helping your mailing list to grow should still be a fundamental part of your business’s marketing campaigns. If you aren’t at least trying to grow a mailing list, you could be missing out on a huge opportunity to help your company grow as a whole.

Many professional bloggers and digital marketers will say that the biggest mistake they see small businesses make is that they just don’t bother with mailing lists. Cries of “email marketing is dead” are way off the mark – conversion rates are regularly being reported reaching as high as 50% and a quarter of the Fortune 500 use email marketing to great effect.

Help Keep Customers Informed

There are many factors behind why maintaining a mailing list is important. The one that sticks out the most, though, is that it helps your customers and clients keep abreast of what’s currently going on with you. In the modern landscape of social media, simply sharing a Facebook post or tweeting information is going to reach as many of your clients as it should. Email marketing is vital to help you ensure that you reach as many people as possible.

Some of the instances in which you should take advantage of your mailing list can help to boost sales or, in unfortunate cases, help to appease clients when things go wrong. When people sign up to your mailing list, it’s almost an affirmation that they’re interested in your brand and what you have to say, so why wouldn’t you take advantage of that?

Direct to Mobile Contact

It’s also never been easier for you to be able to reach someone with a quick email. The modern world moves very fast, which is why so many people have access to their emails on their phone and other devices – it’s not so much the case anymore that emails sent after the working day won’t be read. People are constantly connected to the digital world and are becoming more interested in promotions and opportunities as the years go by.

You should also consider building your mailing list to help reward some of your most loyal customers and clients. Letting them know they’re eligible for discounts thanks to their years of loyalty is a good way of ensuring they remain on your books for years to come. You can also grow your mailing list after every sale and ensure customer retention with every sale. Once the customer/client leaves the checkout/pays their invoices, you can automate an email to be sent to thank them for their patronage and to potentially offer them reduced rates for their next visit. It’s the little things within a business that go a long way.

Damage control is quite the intimidating phrase for most businesses, but most won’t even need to consider it. In the event that something unfortunate does happen within your business, though, you want to be prepared. Utilising a mailing list to send out emails to affected parties, whether they’ve been overcharged or a shipment has been delayed etc, is one of the most powerful ways of limiting the negative impact on your business. It’s also going to be appreciated by the client/customer that you took the time to contact them and let them know about the situation.

Add a Personal Touch to Customer Contact

Cultivating a mailing list is also integral to ensuring you add a personal touch to your marketing. People are far more receptive to the idea of dealing with the face behind the brand rather than the brand itself and, with some charm and a relaxed tone, your newsletters can ensure potential customers still on the fence that yours is an approachable, legitimate business with an emphasis on customer service.

If you haven’t bothered to grow a mailing list, you owe your business the effort required to build one. It isn’t a daunting, overly technical process either – services like Mailchimp can help you to put together quality newsletters at no cost. Looking to supercharge your mailing list and don’t mind spending to catch up on lost time? OptinMonster is a renowned tool for helping companies to maximise their signups from website visitors and can help you to grow your business by developing your marketing campaigns.

Should you find yourself noticing gaps in the way you market your business or maybe you just aren’t seeing as many return customers as you should be, take the time to invest in growing your mailing list. You won’t regret the effort.

Easy SEO Tips for Small Businesses

There’s no denying it: big wins with SEO as a small business is harder than it ever has been. Not only are you competing against self-promotion from the search engines themselves, but the increased competition compared to just a few years ago makes good rankings a difficulty for some.

You shouldn’t simply roll over and accept defeat, though. You should see it as a challenge to make a small business like yours take on the likes of eBay and Amazon at their own game, competing with them for lucrative keywords and coming out on top.

Here are easy SEO tips catered to small businesses to help you do it.

1 Quality over quantity

Long gone are the days when you could just update your blog daily with a simple 300 word article and see results; there are just too many people out there trying to do the same thing. Instead of posting one small article every day, invest your time more wisely by writing a knowledgeable, authoritative article over a series of days. Search engines prefer in-depth content that will be beneficial to its searchers and can provide you plenty of traffic in return for your efforts.

2 Emulate and improve

Noticed that competitor A is ranking better than you for certain keywords? Take a look at what they’re doing that has the search engines so interested. Admittedly, this can be quite the task if you’re a complete newcomer to SEO, but look at tools like Screaming Frog and read up on on-page SEO to see if there’s anywhere you should improve. Once you’ve made improvements, don’t rest on your laurels, keep adding worthwhile content and gain the edge.

3 Target realistic keywords

As much as we all wish it wasn’t the case, you aren’t going to land at the top of Google for a query like “batteries” when you have giants like Amazon to contend with (not to begin with anyway). Huge corporations might have SEO teams to match, but they’re only human – they will miss out on a few things. Here’s where you come in. Find keywords that are searched less but still retain value that larger businesses haven’t properly optimised for and put emphasis on ranking for it.

4 You need to be a PR machine

There’s a lot of talk within the SEO community about the role becoming more PR orientated with each passing year. Although there is some truth to that, it isn’t quite the case as technical SEO is always going to be massively important. However, you should still heed the words of prominent digital marketers by sending emails to people/brands who might be interested in working together. Whether you’ve mentioned a business in a blog and feel like they might to share it with their social media audience or are requesting a link, you should always set aside some time for PR.

5 Avoid “too-good-to-be-true” promises

Even if you don’t actually own and operate a website/business, there’s a good chance that you’ve received a few spammy SEO emails before. These typically offer you the chance to rank at the top of Google for a cheap fee with no work needed from you. Simple fact of the matter is that you can never be guaranteed to reach first position on search engines for your keywords, so if one of these lands in your inbox, kindly direct it to your spam folder instead. Good SEO takes time, effort, and perseverance; these “companies” are most likely going to provide negative results to your rankings instead of positive.

8 Social Media Tips for Small Businesses

If you haven’t adapted social media into your business’s marketing campaigns, you’re quite simply missing out one of the biggest opportunities to  take your brand to the next level. Using social media in savvy ways can open up doors to a whole new audience of potential customers.

However, many small businesses make simple mistakes that hold them back from connecting with their fans, often alienating them in the process. It’s not as easy as it once was, thanks to increased competition and the rise of paid traffic against organic, especially when it comes to Facebook.

To help you get to grips with the big, forever changing landscape of social media, here are ten tips to set you off on the right path.

1 Lean on your friends

Do any of your friends owe you favours or are particularly active on social media? Asking them to like/follow your page can help out a lot if you’ve decided to go all in with social media. If they’re the receptive type, ask them (politely) to invite a few of their friends to do the same.

2 Stick with it

Consistency is a big part of any business. If you’re ensuring your brand message always rings true, customers remain happy with their purchases, and your staff have good morale, why should it be any different for your social media? Don’t give up, even if you don’t see instant results.

3 Smart scheduling

Knowing how and when to post something on social media can be the difference between having 1000 people seeing it and 10. There are certain times of the day that are busiest for different platforms; Twitter users won’t be on at the same time as Facebook users, for example. Many employees take their lunch break between 12 and 1pm, so be sure that your “marquee” post for that day goes out then.

4 Make them want to share

When you have a business that is a little “dry”, i.e. cement blocks, it can be difficult to find a genuinely interested audience. Posting self-promotion on a constant basis isn’t going to win you many fans – mix it up with related viral videos and images and watch your reach increase.

5 Find your niche

It’s a well-known fact amongst marketers that businesses with an emphasis on design tend to do better on Pinterest. Equally, entertainment websites will perform better on Facebook and Twitter. Find which social media platform can best accommodate your business and focus on that one the most to see best results.

6 Advertise on a budget

If you’ve ever placed an ad in a newspaper, you have probably felt like you’ve wasted your money. You can’t target readers directly and circulation will always be limited. For a relatively low price, you can “boost” your posts to targeted, interested social media visitors and end up with a few extra fans in the process. Facebook offers some affordable advertising as long as you set your campaigns up properly, but StumbleUpon probably offers greater value for money with a smaller audience.

7 Everybody loves free stuff

Do you have a special event that you need to raise interest for? Perhaps you’re running a promotion for your products? Post about it on social media and incentivise people to like, share, retweet, and the rest – you will see a lot of engagement in return. You will be opening yourself up to potential new customers and fans.

Design Update for Bodnant Joinery

Design Update for Bodnant Joinery to promote their new Spray Booth service. Bodnant Joinery are pleased to advise their customers that they have installed a Spray Booth, continuing the expansion and development of the business, and receiving more and more requests for a complete decoration service on our products made the decision a practical and natural step forward, as we are at the Quality End of Bespoke Joinery we also needed to match the complete decoration finish with a product that would do them justice.

bodnant

http://bodnant-joinery.co.uk

Mobilegeddon

Today marks the roll out of Google’s latest algorithm that changing the way websites are ranked by the search engine and has been nicknamed “Mobilegeddon” by digital marketeers!

How will this impact on your website?

This update will only have an impact on searches carried out on mobile platforms and will provide a ranking boost to websites in Google searches that have been designed to be  mobile-friendly. The effect will be on mobile searches only so should not have an effect on desktop based searches, but when you consider the amount of search traffic that is based on mobiles it is important that you consider having your site updated.

Linking

Cross Linking

  • Also called internal linking, it refers to the linking of your internal pages within your website.
  • Cross linking being a very essential factor for Google ranking algorithm can help you increase the popularity of your page. The best instance of successful cross linking is Wikipedia.
  • You can obtain the content link from sites which are within your niche and then try to get a link from their site content by making use of a targeted keyword. This is exactly what Wikipedia does.

Local Listings

  • Listing in local directories can be very helpful for sites promoting local business.
  • Local businesses should list their site locally instead of going global. This would enable the search engines to fetch your site content easily so that you can reach your target viewers.
  • Therefore you can choose to submit your website to site like Yahoo local, Google local, Yellow Pages, Maps etc.

Social Shopping Network

  • Entrepreneurs running an e commerce site can submit them to the online shopping networks.
  • This could be a sound strategy for branding and advertising.
  • When you submit your products to sites such as Google product search, MSN online shopping, Kaboodle, etc, your likelihood of visibility is broadened considerably.