Top Web Design trends of 2019

1) Simplistic Minimalism Minimalism isn’t a recent form of web design although it has become more popular in recent years with some brands adopting the style in a range of different ways. However, it is generally agreed that where minimalism is concerned, you may potentially force a user to perform in a particular way that they either don’t understand or recognise. However, when simplistic works well and users are guided through a simple and easy to understand journey, minimalism can work great for improving click through rates and conversions.   2) Serif fontfaces Most working in the design and creative industry will be aware of the often-unfollowed opinion that serif fonts are for print and sans serif font faces are for screen. However, recent design trends see serif fonts taking up more screens with some big brands breaking the rule in an unconventional, yet trendy move. Sans fonts are great for readability which is why most websites adopting this new trend are still utilising sans for smaller text but using big, bold serif for heading and titles.   3) Natural, smooth shapes Web design typically consists of the use grids and solid lines, however, recently the web design industry has seen the use of softer, more natural shapes and lines across websites.   4) Monochromatic and absence of colour Modern websites typically use a wide range of different colours and styles however, recent web design trends have seen the use of monochromatic themes and limited colour pallets take the forefront. This trend can sometimes be limiting but when it’s done right, it can help to solidify brand identity whilst being very memorable.   5) Overlapping design elements The use of overlapping design elements looks similar to the use of broken grid layouts. It takes a lot of careful consideration to get this trend to work great because of the complexity that comes with it’s style. Both in terms of it visual aesthetic and the design of the style. In order achieve a great result it important to consider important areas of the site and how the journey of the user is incorporated into it.   6) Large experimental menus and navigation Large and experimental website navigations aren’t typically used on corporate and professional websites for a couple of reasons- mainly because they’re experimental and most client’s don’t want to risk users becoming confused or lost on their website. However, the use of experimental and large navigation menus are cropping up around the web nonetheless. 7) Vibrant colour The use of vibrant colour pallets as another great way to grab user attention and solidify brand identity. Use of high contrast gradient backgrounds to bright image overlays and animations have dotted the internet since its earliest conception and most feel as tough the trend will only become more appealing as more and more brands attempt to ‘fit in’ with the latest web design trends. 8) Abstract design The use of abstract design elements is an interesting way to grab user attention and deeply embed branding into the core of your website. Abstract web design also helps you to really stand out amongst your competitors as being unique. This is further amplified by the use of exciting colours, shapes, styles and themes. 9) Single Page Single page web design is a great way to guide your users through a story, not just a marketing journey. Most web design then features the use of single page design needs to be inclusive of important visual elements that are easily recognisable such as anchor menus and buttons. When done correctly single page sites can also encompass brand continuity and style. 10) Gradients The use of gradients has become highly popular within the web design industry and is basically a multipurpose design trend that helps to add modern style to a website. Use of gradients in web design is a fantastic way to incorporate colour and pattern into almost any style, but are most commonly used on projects that are ‘art poor’ or have little artistic design elements.
adults using social media

The Benefits Of Social Media For Your Brand

Build a Reputation One of the main reasons why your brand should turn to using social media is the fact it provides your business with a voice from which to communicate with, and attract, new audiences. People want to work with other people, especially for B2B industries, where building a client relationship is an important step in the pre-sales process. Before social media the only interactions consumers had with brands were impersonal, but now with the help of social media, brands can create interactions with consumers that are a lot more personal. Share Your Knowledge Sharing your knowledge is a great way to get your brand noticed in the wide world of social media. Consumers are always looking for great content they can engage with, and, as experts in your field, there is a lot of opportunity to share original and relevant content to engage and delight potential customers. This can increase your reputation within your field and further position your brand as a thought leader in your industry, which in turn can make people turn to your brand over your competitors. Communicate With Your Audience Every brand has a target audience, and, in most cases, your audience will be using social media, whether that be informally (via Instagram, Facebook or Twitter) or in a professional environment, such as LinkedIn. If your audience is already engaging and interacting within these channels, it should be vitally important for you to join them. With the amount of information consumers can share with social media companies, it makes it a lot easier for companies to use this information to target their products and services directly to their specific target audience, but this information comes at a cost. However, Social Media advertising can typically be more effective than advertising via more traditional channels such as print, display or paid search. Given the breadth of data available for brands, it’s an easy decision to begin targeting customers via social media. Create a Community A brilliant concept for having a social media presence is the fact you can create your own community, if the content you produce can attract the right consumers, they can become advocates of your brand. These advocates can promote your brand without you doing anything, this might include them posting about why they prefer your brand and why others should use it, or even re-sharing your content for their followers to see, which in turn will cause people to purchase your product and service. How We Can Help We’ve worked with a vast range of different target markets and have successfully used social media to increase brand awareness, grow brand communities, generate leads, drive high-quality traffic to our clients’ websites and engage with customers, prospects and other relevant industry influencers. Having managed global social media accounts for leading household names, as well as tailored and localised campaigns for SMEs, we are well versed in helping you get the most out of your social media profile. Speak to one of our expert team today to start building your brand’s online presence.

Where To Start With SEO?

On-page SEO This SEO value looks at how your pages are optimised. For example, content, tags and URLS. To begin with on-page SEO you need to look at your websites content, does it include your keywords and provide potential customers with as much detail as possible? If it doesn’t then you will need to have a re-think of the content and potentially introduce appropriate keywords into the content naturally. Another item to investigate is the title tag, this is the section displayed to users in the search results page and also at the top of your browser. It is vital this contains a couple of your main keywords, as this will grant search engines an understanding of what your page offers and if it suits a user’s search – if it does your site should appear.   Optimal Title Tag format: Primary keyword – Secondary keyword | Brand Name   Off-Page SEO This SEO value is regarding actions that are taken outside your website can have an impact on your rank on search engine result pages. For example, a site may link back to a blog post your have posted previously as they enjoyed the content and want their viewers/customers to read – these are called backlinks. A good way to receive a higher number of backlinks is to make sure your content is of a higher quality and is better than your competitors. The more backlinks you receive the more search engines see your content as a higher quality and reward you for this. There are three main types of backlinks your site can receive, these are:   Natural links – these links are granted without any action from the site owner. For example, someone who wants to share your article about a specific product. Manually built links – These links are requested by the site owner, they can include getting customers to link to your site, or influencers sharing your content Self-created links – these are links that the site owner has created themselves. For example, online directory, press releases etc…   Technical SEO This SEO value looks at details ‘behind’ your website like the code and how quick your website loads. This is where you will need to look at your page source, one of the vital parts you will need to look out for is if your site is mobile friendly. Google first look at how friendly your website is towards mobiles before deciding on where to rank your site. There are certain parts of the code which make your site mobile friendly, your web developer should be aware of what these are, but it is just part of the code where developers can alter a page’s content depending on a certain sized browser. Another section of the technical SEO is how quick your website loads, Google’s ideal load time of a page is 1 second, this may seem very short, but if your page is optimised properly this shouldn’t be hard to achieve. A way to make sure your sites code is optimised is by making sure tags are optimised. For example, if multiple tags are required to be a certain colour, it is best practice to make sure all the tags are put into the same CSS Tag, again your web developer should be aware of this:   Poorly optimised: H1 { color:black} P { color:black} Optimised: H1, P { color:black}   Now, with these added tools you should now be able to optimise your website and reach more potential customers through search engines, but as with anything it is all trial and error. So, make sure you note what changes you have made and what impact it has on the website stats. Speak to one of our marketing specialists today to learn more about how to improve your SEO ranking and how it can help your organisation.
Google Ads Grant

Charities & Non-Profits – Are You Using Google Ad Grants?

What are Google Ad Grants? Google Ad Grants is an initiative from Google to provide eligible charities and non-profits up to $10,000 a month in Google Ad spend. There are countless ways to use the grant to help your charity; from recruiting volunteers, attracting more donations, or helping those in need, the Google Ad Grant should make up an important part of your digital marketing strategy. Exclusively for Search based advertising, the Google Ad Grant is there to help your non-profit achieve its mission.   How to qualify for Google Ad Grants In order to qualify for a grant, certain criteria must be met to ensure that the ad spend is being used effectively. Here’s how your non-profit can qualify: Be based in an eligible country. Your non-profit must hold valid charity status. Governmental entities, hospitals and medical groups, schools, academic institutions and universities are not eligible for Google Ad Grants. Have a quality website that meets Google’s website policy. Acknowledge and agree to Google’s required certifications regarding non-discrimination and donation receipt and use.   As well meeting the above eligibility criteria, your non-profit will also need to comply with the following policies to ensure that it continues to receive the grant on a monthly basis. Do not target single-word keywords – own brand keywords and some other exceptions can be permitted. Avoid overly generic keywords – helps to ensure that your advertising will be relevant to the searcher’s query. Ensure keywords have a quality score about 1 or 2 – a quality score is Google’s rating of the quality and relevance of both your keywords and PPC ads. Maintain a 5% click-through rate (CTR) each month – a high click-through rate is a strong indicator of the strength of your relevancy to a search term. Must have valid conversion tracking – accurate conversion tracking shows to Google that you are using the grant effectively. This could take the form of a form submission, a donation or someone calling your organisation. Use at least 2 ad groups per campaign – ad groups allow you to organise similar keywords under a common umbrella to allow for greater targeting. Make sure you have at least 2 sitelink ad extensions – sitelinks provide searchers with other links to your website within your advertisement.   Google Ad Grants Success Story PACT is an adoption charity and family support provider which helps hundreds of families every year through outstanding adoption services and award-winning therapeutic support and inspirational community projects across London and the south of England. PACT identified that a Google Ads Grant would help the charity achieve its goals of reaching those looking to grow their families, as well as increase their awareness amongst prospective parents. Since asking Generate UK to mage its Google Advertising, PACT now receive thousands of impressions from a highly relevant audience, increasing the chances of achieving their goals of strengthening families and finding children new homes. “As a charity we have a limited budget for marketing so using the Grant account as effectively as possible is absolutely vital for us. Our work has a direct impact on the lives of children who have had a traumatic start in life and having the Google Ads Grant behind us is helping us make even more of a difference.” PACT   How We Can Help We are Google Ads certified partners and have extensive experience with all paid advertising channels enabling us to advise, build and optimise campaigns to meet your marketing goals. We’ve helped countless charities and non-profit organisations benefit from Google Ad Grants – vastly increasing their marketing performance – helping to achieve their mission. Speak to one of our marketing specialists today to learn more about Google Ad Grants and how they can help your organisation.
customer Authentication - ecommerce websites

PSD2: Customer Authentication & Your E-Commerce Site

What is Strong Customer Authentication (SCA)? Strong Customer Authentication is defined as: “an authentication based on the use of two or more elements categorised as knowledge (something only the user knows), possession (something only the user possesses) and inherence (something the user is) that are independent, in that the breach of one does not compromise the reliability of the others, and is designed in such a way as to protect the confidentiality of the authentication data” In a nutshell, SCA asks that at least 2 elements are used to authenticate transactions, an example of Multi-Factor Authentication. On 14th September, any payments made online should be made in a way that satisfies this condition. How does Multi-Factor Authentication work? If you bank online, you may already have multi factor authentication set up. For example, you may need to enter a password and also provide a code generated on your smartphone. This is an example of 2 factor authentication (2FA)- even if someone guesses your password, they still need to get your device to authenticate. This creates another level of security for users. A range of factors can be used, including: ‘Knowledge factors’ such as passwords or PINs and secret questions ‘Possession factors’ such as code generators, for example a device you can generate a code with ‘Inherent factors’ such as fingerprints or face recognition ‘Location factors’ such as only allowing access to users connected to a company network The prevalence of smart phones means many systems use these in some way, with options for sending users SMS, scanning QR codes or using an app to generate a code. How does this affect your e-commerce site? Just as websites are built on a variety of platforms, there are a range of solutions to take care of merchant’s payment needs in the online world. Most payment gateways we looked at are turning to a technology called 3D Secure v2. You may be familiar with the first version of 3D Secure- a little window opens in the page and you enter a password which is verified by your bank. It’s the online version of entering a PIN number. It has its detractors though, so recently a new version has been released which promises to make the process easier and safer. Benefits of the new version include the use of increased data sharing, meaning many more data points can be checked and shared with the user’s bank, all silently in the background. The bank can then use this data to make a series of checks. This should appeal to online merchants, as it improves the user experience. If the bank does decide that the user does need to authenticate further, the experience should be smoother, with improved messaging and better support for a variety of devices. What can you do to prepare? Firstly, Generate UK would always recommend any payment gateway software installed on your site is kept up to date. This should ensure you are taking advantage of any new features. You should check with your provider to make sure they are implementing 3D Secure v2: SagePay PayPal Stripe Worldpay And if you need some help or a point in the right direction, contact Generate UK.  Ask how we can assist in making sure your site is set up in the best way to keep your transactions safe.
passwords to prevent malware

Top 10 Website Security Tips

If your site is hacked, you could suffer many setbacks: -Your brand credibility is affected -Your customers trust in your website is affected -Malware which affects the functionality of your site could be installed -Your data, and your customer’s data could be stolen -Phishing emails could be sent to your customers The list goes on… So we know it’s bad to get hacked, but what can we do to improve our chances that our websites are safe? 1. Use a strong password Using a strong password ensures you have the best protection against brute force or guessed attempts at hacking. 2. Keep your plugins and themes updated When a vulnerability in a plugin or extension is discovered, you can bet hackers will rush to exploit it on as many sites as they can before it is patched. Keeping sites up to date means less of a window for hackers to exploit these vulnerabilities on your site. 3. Switch to HTTPS Using HTTPS and installing an SSL certificate means data sent between your site and your users is encrypted. This means if the data is intercepted it cannot be understood. It also shows end users that your site is secure and trustworthy by displaying a padlock icon next to the URL. 4. Keep track of your user accounts Nobody likes admin, but making sure unused logins are removed and that current users only have the access necessary to do their job is important. It means fewer chances for a hacker to compromise an account, and less damage done if they do. 5. Use a Firewall like Sucuri There are many security options available on a website but one we at Generate UK swear by is Sucuri. Not only do they provide a firewall which blocks suspicious traffic but they can also be called on to clean up infected sites and automatically scan for malware. 6. Use SFTP or FTPS When you or a developer connect to your server to edit files, it’s important to make sure the data is encrypted. So make sure your hosting supports SFTP or FTPS connections- these encrypt your connection, like HTTPS does when users visit your website. 7. Don’t forget about your smart devices Ever logged on to your website on your smart phone or tablet? Make sure it is secure by enabling a lock screen password. You should also ensure your device and apps are kept up to date, and consider investing in tools to track, remotely lock or erase the data on the device if it goes missing. 8. Use 2FA Two Factor Authentication is a fancy term for a simple process- when you log onto your site you have to provide a code to prove you are who you say you are. This can be sent to your email, phone, or generated by yourself, but it add another layer of security that can foil a potential attacker. 9. Take regular backups So the worst has happened- your site has been compromised, and your homepage is gone. Having a backup available to restore means fewer headaches if the worst does happen. 10. Use uptime monitoring Keeping track of your uptime is important anyway, but in case of a website attack you can respond swiftly if something is watching your site for you in the background. Setting up a third party monitor that emails or texts you if your site goes down can go a long way. How can Generate UK help you? Your website is a significant business investment. It requires commitment to keep it protected, up-to-date and in optimum condition. We are here to be your website’s safe pair of hands, providing expert support and maintenance, leaving you to focus on achieving your business objectives. We are here to advise you on website security, help with updates, install and maintain your website’s security plugins and much more. Speak to our Support & Maintenance team today to learn how we can help protect your website.

How To Use Analytics Tools To Understand User Behaviour

Part 1: It’s all about context The thing to remember is that analytics tools never explain the why, just the what. They’re great to explore the raw data, but on their own they don’t offer context about what is a good figure or how it helps the bottom line. However, before diving head first into stats, we recommend you start with your personas to add context and benchmark activity prior to using behavioural intelligence. Personas The first question you should ask yourself is what do you expect your customers to do when they land on your site? If you’ve created a comprehensive persona, you’ll know roughly what they want to see. By focusing on solving their challenges and what they’re trying to resolve, you’ll be able to offer solutions that resonate with them. For this reason, we recommend that, when creating your persona, at least 50% of this output should be concentrated on their challenges and issues. Coupled with the creation of personas, you should be taking steps to understand the voice of your customers. Their needs should be translated into different messaging, and communicated through the tone used on your site, as well as other marketing assets.   We strongly advocate conducting interviews with actual customers – you’d be surprised at how willing many customers are to help in this process and yet fewer than half of content marketers talk to their customers.  If you do, you’ll curate a lot of qualitative data you can use in your website copy and visuals. Ideally you need to find out answers to questions such as: What gets your customer excited? How do they define success? What language do they use? What problems are they trying to solve? Answers to the above will allow you to use these nuggets of gold to make your website and marketing more persuasive. Building your customer journey using personas Once you’ve created a persona, you’ll be ready to evaluate the success of your anticipated customer journeys. 95% of purchase decisions are based on the subconscious, and emotion is an extremely powerful driver in decision making and purchasing behaviour in general. So, when directing users to a specific page or action, this should certainly be considered.   But how do you connect on a subconscious level? Firstly, you need to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and ask questions about why they’re performing a particular action before they do it. This exercise brings to the forefront of your mind why you’re completing an action (or not completing it!) and highlights behaviour on your site. What are you subconsciously asking when you look at information to understand, analyse and act on it? Thinking this way helps inform what content you should be putting on your site and what questions you should be answering. To demonstrate this, there is a well known and fascinating study from Alfred Yarbus researching eye movement, where he showed individuals several images but asked different questions to each individual. The results show individuals had completely different experiences when looking at the same image, as they were much more focused on the area of the image that related to the question. It shows us that unless you know the questions your website visitors are asking at each step of the user journey you won’t know if you’re guiding them towards a conversion or not. For all you know, they may be consuming information on your site in a completely different way from what you intended. Part 2: Understanding your data Now you have your personas and customer journey pinned from the offset, behavioural intelligence tools become much more informative – providing data to understand how users interact with the journeys you have established. Using behaviour intelligence software Firstly, there is an array of heatmapping tools (e.g. Hotjar, Crazy Egg, Clicktale, Mouseflow), which you can use in conjunction with Google Analytics’ behaviour flows to understand how users consume your webpages. From scrolling, clicking, confetti (dividing data in to traffic sources) to session recordings, where you can actually watch how your visitors use the page (and sometimes gain access to IP detection software)! Marketing automation tools sometimes have these built in. By running these tools, you’ll be able to see what your customers are viewing and clicking, which can provide valuable insight in where you need to create more visual cues to encourage performance of certain actions, drive people down the page and direct users to specific areas. For example, it could show you how many times users are interacting with your website’s CTAs. You may find, when reviewing the data that a button at the bottom of the page gets more clicks than one higher up; however, receives less views. This would indicate that this CTA would perform better if it was moved higher up the page. You can usually use these tools (or even events tracking)  for form analysis to see activity on a field by field basis and where people are being tripped up. Making small changes can have a big impact to your conversion rates. Other tools, such as Mouseflow, allow you to set up funnels, so you can see where there is leakage, and use this against your original perceptions of user journeys. Another thing to consider is to implement and assess behavioural based CTAs. For example, if a user scrolls 70% down the page on long form content, this might suggest they’re very engaged, so why not allow this to trigger a pop up inviting the reader to join your mailing list? Or perhaps a CTA that only appears after a certain length of time to help qualify their interest in your content? This is likely to be far more effective than immediately triggering a pop up and you can trial different behavioural CTAs to appear to users who show more engaged digital body language. Making the most of Google Analytics It would be remiss of us to not mention Google Analytics, as this is typically the starting point for most marketers. The above assumes you’ve got appropriate tracking set up, but there is a wealth of information here if you know where to look. Some of our favourite features to review user behaviour are: Event Reporting: This is a must for any marketer! You can create so many different categories, actions and labels, meaning you can analyse the success of behaviour from a granular activity such as when users pause a video, if they download a key content piece or if they click on an important button. You’ll then be able to identify where CTAs are working and where they’re not, as well as how engaging your content is. Behaviour Flow Report: This is so useful to visualise common page paths but also to identify common usability issues. Are many customers returning from an identified page onto the previous one? Is the page clear enough? Where should they go next on their journey? Are the paths that users typically go on the ones you want users to go to? Is there an event that always gets triggered first and does it lead to other events? All Pages Report: This one is fairly standard, but it is useful to look which content on your site gets the most engagement based on average time on page, bounce rate, page views etc. and shouldn’t be overlooked! You can determine pages that work well and where they appear on the user journey – should they be more easily accessed? Are your key pages performing well? Cohorts: Using a technique called cohort analysis, you can separate groups of users who share a common characteristic e.g. all users with the same Acquisition Date. This example would be useful to gauge response to short-term marketing efforts such as an email campaign. You can also analyse how behaviour and performance of groups change from day to day, week to week and month to month, relative to when you acquired those users. We recommend also looking at user retention or revenue, as this can help you understand who your most qualified or loyal customers are. If you can understand when users stop engaging, you may be able to identify commonalities that can be easily remedied. Custom Dimension & Metric Reporting: These are available in custom reports and available to use with advanced segments (or used as secondary dimensions in standard reports). Creating custom dimensions can be insightful when creating new groupings. For example, if you created one for users who access a content hub, you may be able to answer questions such as: how many different content pieces are accessed? Was video more popular than other formats? How many content pieces are downloaded each day in a 14 day trial? How many content pieces are downloaded by trial users versus users who have paid for content access? Let’s not forget the importance of filtering by device. Google Analytics will give you data about which devices your customers are viewing your site from, but we also recommend filtering other behavioural tools by device as an important part of the tracking and amend making. If you look at all data without filtering this, you’ll be diluting your information, and your analysis and recommendations won’t be as strong. Pulling all the data together You’ll want to tie all your data into a cohesive framework – using one tool on its own and not cross referencing it with other sources of data will make your findings less powerful. It is also an idea to define and quantify a visitor’s experience and tailor it to your company. What is a good experience? Where do people seem frustrated? Have your changes generated higher engagement or conversions? These should be assessed and improved on an ongoing basis, but setting up a schedule (monthly, quarterly etc.) will help you focus use your efforts on the successes or changes required. How we can help To us, using behaviour analytics tools is a necessity in digital marketing strategies, and as part of the services we offer our clients. It’s not enough to drive traffic to a website – you need to know that it’s performing as it should for your customers. We’d love to have a conversation with you about how we can help you understand your data. Please get in touch to see how we can work together to improve your visitor’s user experience and, ultimately, your conversion rates.

OK Google: What Is Voice Search?

How does voice search work? Voice search is a function that allows users to search online through spoken commands rather than typing. Available on a variety of devices; including smart phone, tablet, desktop and smart home assistants, voice search is becoming an increasingly popular form of search, with 50% of all searches across the internet predicted to be voice-based by 2020.   Are people using Voice Search? Yes. Adoption of voice search is rapidly growing. With every smartphone device now supplied with some kind of voice-activated search functionality, it’s showing no signs of slowing down any time soon. 76% of smart home speaker users conduct local searches at least once a week—with 53% performing daily searches. (Source: BrightLocal Study) 1 in 5 adult’s uses mobile voice search at least one time a month. (Source: Global Web Index) 22% of smart home speaker owners have made a purchase using their device. (Source: Edison Research) 2 of 5 adults perform a voice search at least once a day. (Source: Location World) Shopping through voice activated devices is expected to increase by 48% by 2022, delivering £3.5bn worth of spend. (Source: OC&C Strategy Consultants) 85% of smart home speaker owners accept the recommendation given by their device. (Source: Edison Research) Individuals aged 26-35 represent the highest percentage of smart home device owners. (Source: Walker Sands)   How to rank for voice search When a user initiates a voice search, only one answer will be provided, unlike when searching via traditional means. With that in mind, context is key. Ranking first in search engines is no longer a pre-requisite to appearing in voice searches – instead, context is key. Artificial Intelligence has increasingly become, well, more intelligent; increasingly capable of greater understanding, all powered by Google Hummingbird. The results shown for a given search term now take a number of factors in to account, including: Location Time of Day Content Lengths Mobile-Friendliness Security All important factors in determining when your website will, and will not rank, for a search term. To ensure your website is capable of competing for voice search rankings, we recommend the following activities at a minimum: Focus less on keywords, and more on conversations – human do not speak in keywords, rather than “best restaurants Newbury”, look at search terms such as “what are the best restaurants in Newbury”. Take an informal tone. Optimise your website with structured mark-up – to make it easier for search engines to find the answer to the searcher’s query. Build detailed answers for your content – search engines value quality. Ensure your website is mobile friendly and HTTPS secure. Optimise for local search – update Your Local Listings and develop your Google My Business information. Focus on local content – local queries are three times more likely on mobile devices than standard desktops. Encourage reviews – these are a fantastic indicator of quality and reliability.   How we can help As an experienced SEO agency, and certified Google Partner, we can help your business rank for voice search, ensuring your website is best optimised from a content and technical perspective. Over the past 10 years, Google has continued to change the goal posts, but our philosophy and approach to search engine optimisation has remained the same; we always focus on the fundamentals and getting the basics right, before building upon our successes. Get in touch with an expert SEO consultant today, or give us a call on 01635 887 730.
Piggy Bank

2019 Marketing Trends For Smaller Marketing Budgets

E-commerce Not actually a new trend (Amazon, the world’s largest e-commerce website was launched in 1994!). 2019 will see the continued rise of e-commerce within our day to day lives. With more companies, such as the aforementioned Amazon and ASOS launching same day delivery in 2018, the ease and convenience of shopping online cannot be ignored. Businesses that failed to pivot to digital in time have begun to pay the price, with large brands such as House of Fraser, Toys R Us, and HMV, for the second time, going to administration into 2018. To ensure that your business is not losing out to competitors, it’s vital that your brand creates an online presence, and beginning, or growing, your e-commerce capabilities should be high on your to do list for 2019. Furthermore, it’s never been easier to set up an e-commerce store. 2018 saw the launch of Instagram Shopping, a new feature on the popular social media platform which allows your business to tag products in content claiming to create a seamless experience from post to purchase. Voice Search According to Comscore, by 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice searches. A few years ago, this prediction would have been laughable. However, with the increased usability and intelligence of tools such as Siri and Cortana, coupled with the increased ownership of Smart Home tools such as Google Assistant and Amazon Echo – it’s looking ever more likely that this prediction will come to pass. But, how do you prepare for this? Here are our top tips for ranking for voice searches in 2019: Focus on long tail keywords that are similar to how you would naturally ask someone a question. Mark up your website content to make it easier for search engines to find the answer to the searcher’s question – find out more here. Build detailed answers for your content, search engines value quality. Ensure your website is mobile friendly and HTTPS secure. Brexit It’s difficult to ignore the elephant in the room. Whilst it’s almost impossible to discern what effect Article 50 will have in 2019, it is likely that Brexit is coming, and marketers need to be prepared for it. Brexit has the potential to have overarching consequences throughout your entire business, small or large. From manufacturing and logistics, to promotion and price, every department will likely be affected. It will be your duty as a marketer to ensure that your business continues to identify, anticipate and satisfy customer requirements post-29th March. Personalisation A common trend in recent years, and becoming increasingly important. The improved capacity for collecting and understanding will allow for greater personalisation and customisation of the customer experience in 2019. Personalisation has changed from simply adding your customer’s first name on to an email. Users expect to receive content and communication that relates to their needs, with a business that understands their buying requirements, despite expecting increased privacy and greater care of how their data is handled post-GDPR. To achieve this, we’d recommend looking in to marketing automation. To find out more about why your business should invest in marketing automation – read our blog. Whatever 2019 brings, rest assured that Generate UK will be on hand to support you. Evolving with your business, we can help you achieve your 2019 marketing goals. To find out more, speak to one of our friendly marketing consultants today.
Generate UK Instagram

A Step by Step Guide to:
Instagram Advertising

Instagram was launched in 2010 as a simple image sharing app and quickly grew 1 million users within the first 2 months. To start, Instagram advertising was only made available to large brands that had big marketing budgets, however in 2015 Instagram announced that all businesses now had access to create Instagram ads on a self-service basis, a change that would result in a big shift in the world of online advertising! Fast forward just 8 years and Instagram is now used globally by over 1 billion users with 6 in 10 online adults having an Instagram account. What is Instagram Advertising? Instagram ads appear on an Instagram users feed                                   or story as a linear visual post, seamlessly blending in with the user’s follower’s organic posts for optimum engagement. The ad can contain either a video, an image or a carousel of numerous images.                         How to create Instagram ads? Before getting started with the creation and set up of your ad, you will first need to set up a Facebook business page, this is because Instagram ads are created using Facebook’s Ad Manager tool. Note: this does not mean you then have to use your Facebook account if this platform is not relevant to your business. You can simply just set up an account in order to utilise Instagram advertising. Step One: Set your objective Your ad set up starts with you setting the objective of your advertising campaign, allowing you to decide what you want people to do when they see your ad. The Facebook Ad manager tool offers numerous advertising objectives to help you reach your business goals. The three primary objectives being: Awareness – If you want your ad to generate interest in your brand and product / services. Brand Awareness Reach Consideration – If you want your ad to result in people thinking about your business and interacting with your website / app in order to gain more information. Traffic Engagement App Installs Video Views Lead Generation Messages Conversions – If you want your ad to increase conversions, whether that be a purchase of your product/services, a visit to your shop, or signing up to a feature of your business. Conversions Catalogue Sales Store Visits Step Two: Target your Audience. Instagram Ads allow you to target your ad using a range of demographic factors including; age, gender, location, language, work, financial status ect. As well as psychographic factors including; behaviours, interests and connections. So it’s even possible to target users that are following your competitors! When inputting your targeting data, the tool will automatically calculate the reach and potential return from your ad, allowing you to get the most out of your targeting! Step Three: Determine your Budget. Instagram budgeting works similarly to Facebook and Google advertising, so if you’re familiar with those platforms this should not be overly challenging for you! Instagram allows you to choose between setting either a daily or lifetime budget. Setting a daily budget will give you the reassurance that you are in control of how your budget is being spent each day, however a lifetime budget allows you to spend more of your budget on optimal days, ensuring optimum reach. Whichever budgeting option you choose, Instagram gives you the control to pause or stop your campaign at any time, so go ahead and experiment with your budgeting! Step Four: Get Creative with your ad! Now you can select where you want your ad to appear, on either Facebook, Instagram or even both! When creating new ad content, you can choose between Instagram’s different formats: Photo Ads: Photos can be in square or landscape format and will appear as a sponsored post when a user is scrolling through their image feed. Video Ads: Videos can be up to 60 seconds long and can be in square or landscape format, the video ad will appear as a sponsored post when a user is scrolling through their image feed. Carousel Ads: Similarly to photo ads, but this feature allows you to choose multiple photos to add a layer of depth to your campaign. Stories ads: Ads appear seamlessly a sponsored story when a user is viewing their follower’s story. You then simply upload your ad content, whether it be an image, video or slideshow and choose your Call-to-Action button: Apply Now Book Now Contact Us Call Now Download Step Five: Publish! Once your ad is ready, you can review your formation, preview the ad, and publish it! And don’t forget, Instagram provide you with performance data, within your Facebook Ads manager tool, so you can measure the success of your campaign. This allows you to continuously optimise your ads based on your previous performance, enabling you to continue to get the best engagement from your Ads. Instagram Advertising provides a unique opportunity for your business to extend its footprint in the marketing environment and to test things which you previously may not have been able to experiment with before. If you would like advice or guidance on setting up and managing your Instagram ads, get in touch today!