Tel 01522 811688
Freephone 0800 988 8366

DBS client named Franchise of the Month

Oven Wizards Oven Cleaning Services logo

DBS specialises in creating websites for franchises.

One of our franchise clients is the nationwide cleaning operation Oven Wizards.

Established in 2004, Oven Wizards is the UK’s most trusted oven cleaning company, providing an oven cleaning service of the highest standard.

As well as cleaning ovens, they also clean hobs, extractors and microwaves, and provide a specialist service for traditional stoves, AGAs and Rayburns.

Oven Wizards have been awarded Franchise of the Month for December by Daltons Business.com and will be featured in Daltons Franchise Newsletter later in the month.

Founded in 1870 as Daltons Weekly newspaper, the online version was launched in 2002, with the print version closing in 2011. It is the UK’s largest online marketplace for selling, buying and valuing businesses and franchises.

Congratulations to Oven Wizards on this great achievement!

Agree? Disagree? Do let James Hopkins know what you think by commenting below.

Facebook and Twitter target their advertising at small businesses

The two biggest social media platforms – Facebook and Twitter – have recently launched schemes to open up opportunities for small businesses in the UK to advertise on their social networking sites – just in time for Christmas!

‘If you can Tweet, you can advertise on Twitter. All you need is a Twitter account and a credit card.

‘You’re in control of your ads, the audience you want to reach, and of course your budget. Best of all, you will only be charged when people follow your Promoted Account or retweet, reply, favourite or click on your Promoted Tweets.

‘You are never charged for your organic Twitter activity.’

Ravi Narasimhan, a product manager at Twitter


Twitter is allowing small and medium enterprises (SMEs) outside of the USA to advertise on the microblogging site for the first time.

SMEs in the UK, Ireland and Canada will now have access to Twitter’s self-serve advertising platform for the first time, something their counterparts in the USA have had access to since April. This means they can now buy advertising space directly.

Non USA companies have previously had to “develop a working relationship” with Twitter in order to buy adverts – effectively limiting Twitter advertising to large companies only.

The new service is being launched in partnership with O2, which is also offering support and guidance to SMEs.


The move comes just a week after its Initial Public Offering (IPO), and is expected to create a dramatic boost in Twitter’s revenues, thus boosting its share price. It is also expected to be part of a wider package of initiatives that Twitter will be rolling out.

Facebook meanwhile have moved to make it easier for businesses to find and reach customers and prospects. It was announced in October that the “Custom Audiences” ad targeting tool was being rolled out to businesses of all sizes in the USA, and that has now extended to the rest of the world, including the UK.

Custom Audiences allows businesses to use their contact lists to reach customers with targeted ads on Facebook. It was highlighted that “small businesses in particular will now be able to use their current customer list to reach people on Facebook”. Suggestions for ways to use this feature included messaging selected existing customers with specific promotions or offers, or excluding existing customers from campaigns aimed at attracting new customers.

 

‘For a long time people thought Facebook advertising was about “likes" but "likes" don't ring the cash register.

‘With "custom audiences" a business can supply a list of email addresses and Facebook can see if we have someone with that email address and an ad can be sent.

‘All you have to do is write a post and set a budget’.

Facebook's Director for Small Business, Dan Levy 

Facebook and Twitter are among the top 10 most visited websites in the world, and therefore your adverts can potentially reach a huge audience. Please visit our Facebook advertising page to see how DBS can help you to harness the power of Facebook ads, or visit the social media section of our website to see how we can help you with social media in general.

Agree? Disagree? Do let James Hopkins know what you think by commenting below.

Have you looked through the window of your website?

<FileName>

You might have heard the phrase, ‘Your website is a shop window’ (see DBS’ previous blog), but what does that mean in reality?

You’ve spotted the shop amongst a host of other shops (online), you look through the window to see what’s on offer - you need reasons to stick around and explore, correct?

It’s not about “who you are” – it’s about “how you can help”

Websites, like shop windows, need a personality. Your website already covers what you do, however content marketing is about the promise your brand makes; it’s about empathizing with the customer, offering helpful, engaging information that affects the customer, and convincing the customer that you are the right person for the job. Customers want to spend time with content that appeals to them, not swamped with sales talk.

How can you positively impact customers?

Since people want their needs met, they’ll inspect the landing page to see if there’s anything of value or interest to them – as you would in a shop. By only focusing on what you do this won’t ‘speak’ to people or appeal to them. So the trick is to write about the customer and how your service solves problems, or gives prospective customers what they are looking for.

 

“Brian wants to buy a new television, he visits various websites that clearly state what their televisions offer, and that their products are reliable and trustworthy. However one site stands out, this site offers helpful advice on choosing your TV and ensuring that he buys one that meets his specific requirements. As a result, that website has now made an impact on Brian – this company clearly knows what they’re talking about and they’re spending time on helping customers – Brian orders his new TV from them!”

Agree? Disagree? Do let Anonymous know what you think by commenting below.

DBS launch "Time For You" website

Time For You - Matthew

Time For You is the UK’s most successful domestic cleaning franchise.

Over 130 franchisees met in Northampton on Saturday 16 November for their AGM.

Behind the scenes and in total secrecy DBS had worked on a new website at www.timeforyou.co.uk which was launched during the course of the meeting.

“I’m really proud of the DBS web team headed by Matthew Harris” said DBS’s MD – David Clarke. “Launching the website in secrecy meant a Saturday morning 7am start for Matt to ensure everything went smoothly. With an audience of around 160 people there was absolutely no room for error.”

Six DBS team members attended the AGM and then ran 3 workshops for Time For You franchisees on:

The Time For You website features an animated movie which drew spontaneous applause from the franchisees when it was launched live.

Agree? Disagree? Do let David Clarke know what you think by commenting below.

DBS Welcomes Joanna Maplethorpe – an experienced Content Marketer

jo-websiteWe are delighted to announce that Joanna Maplethorpe has joined DBS as content marketing editor.

Joanna has spent the last 21 years in the South East working in marketing and website development for corporations such as GE Capital, The Hartford and Towergate based in the City of London and Canary Wharf.

Joanna’s brief is to improve our clients’ websites through news, articles and other online opportunities in an effort to help our clients simply communicate with their customers and prospects about their businesses.

Why is content marketing important?
Companies are recognizing that quality content is the ultimate way to earn natural links and increase trust from the search engines.  Content marketing tends to have a longer-term effect although it is an ongoing process that is best integrated into your overall marketing strategy, and it focuses on owning media, not renting it.

It’s important to make each piece of content truly worthwhile
Basically, content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling - instead of pitching your products or services you are delivering information that is relevant to your customers.   For every piece of content you invest in, you create an opportunity to build natural, organic links in the long term and become recognized as a credible, authoritative site.

The essence of this content strategy is the belief that if we, as businesses, deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers they will ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty.

If you would like to know more information about content marketing, please call DBS Internet Marketing on 01522 811688 for more details.

Agree? Disagree? Do let David Clarke know what you think by commenting below.

DBS employees pass Google Analytics exam

Google Analytics exam photoIn October 2013 Google changed the look of Google Analytics which is free software for businesses to monitor their web traffic and analyse visitor behaviour.

Over the last 8 years Google Analytics has evolved dramatically.  The latest re-design has been accompanied by a course on “Digital Analytics Fundamentals”.

The course is designed to enable participants to understand the core principles of digital analytics and to improve business performance through better digital measurement.

This is done by monitoring and reviewing:

1. Where your website traffic comes from

2. What users do once on your site

3. Looking at which users complete a specified goal whether it is purchasing something from you, signing up to a newsletter or submitting a form on your website.

Julie Priestley, Allan Rayner and James Hopkins have passed the Google Digital Analytics Fundamentals course. The course consisted of six online modules and a mark of 80% was required for a pass.

In this tough economic climate it makes sense for businesses to know how traffic gets to their site and how visitors behave once they are on your site. As the old saying goes – if you can’t measure it you can’t manage it. DBS Internet Marketing can help you maximize traffic and conversions.

Agree? Disagree? Do let David Clarke know what you think by commenting below.

DBS become Google Partners

DBS Internet Marketing is delighted to announce that is has become formally recognised as a Google Partner.


The Google Partner network was set up to help businesses grow with the help of a trusted online expert.

When you visit the Google Partner platform you can search from over 5,000 Google Partners across the globe to find the right one for your business.

Google Partners replaces the Google Certified Partner accreditation.  Companies who do not meet the new Google Partner standard will no longer be listed on the Google Partner Search after the 13th November.  At this time companies will no longer be permitted to use the ‘Adwords Certified Partner’ badge for promotional or other purposes.

DBS director David Clarke stated “DBS Internet Marketing is very proud to have been granted Google Partner status which means we are trusted online experts in Google’s eyes. Our pay per click team are experienced and highly qualified in Google Digital Analytics, Google AdWords and Bing Ads. Pay per click combined with content marketing and other trusted techniques drives traffic and enquiries to our clients.”

Agree? Disagree? Do let David Clarke know what you think by commenting below.

Hummingbird update

Google recently rolled out another update called "Hummingbird".

The update will reward websites that focus on high quality content that provides real value to both customers and prospects.  See DBS's content marketing  information for more guidance.

Google's press department revealed that Hummingbird has been actually running for a few months. The press team also stressed their guidelines to those engaged in SEO...

"Our guidance to webmasters is the same as always - we encourage original, high-quality content, since that’s what’s best for web users."

Agree? Disagree? Do let David Clarke know what you think by commenting below.

15 Reasons to use Professional Web Developers

15 web development

Your company’s website is your shop window to the world.

Consumers of your company’s products and services are more internet savvy than ever before.

Your customers and prospects now carry out almost 100% of their research ONLINE.

If you get your web design wrong in terms of its look, feel and functionality you will drive prospects and customers away. It’s that simple.

Why would anyone take the risk of investing in a cheap website or free web design software? The cost savings sound great on the face of it – especially in a harsh economic environment, but we’ve given fifteen reasons to use a professional web design company rather than buy cheap or free web software (or use your brother in law).

 

Professional web design companies….

1. are there for support at all times - many web based design packages don't come with any support - you can pay your money and simply get stuck

2. can make your site "responsive" so that it automatically adjusts itself to fit to any size screen it's being viewed on, whether that's a mobile, iPhone, tablet, iPad or PC monitor - in 2014 more visitors will use mobile devices than PC's to access the internet

3. are backed up by a full online marketing department that can drive traffic and enquires your way – so that the launch of a website is the start of a business relationship - not the end

4. are a one-stop-shop offering hosting, email set up & hosting, email letterhead and newsletters

5. make websites fully compliant with all legal accessibility requirements

6. build websites with modern, clean coding so you are future-proofed rather than being stuck with out dated technology

7. have experienced copy writers on hand to help you

8. make sites “search engine friendly” and written in a way that they hit the ground running on Google

9. create and brand “search engine friendly” social media accounts for your business and integrate these into your website design

10. can give you a content management system so that you can make your own changes in real time without having any web developments skills

11. train you and key staff members on how to use social media and content management systems

12. integrate Google Maps into your contact us page so that your visitors can type in their postcode and get full driving directions online

13. give websites strong calls to action such as "request a brochure" and "arrange a callback" to drive traffic and enquiries

14. offer robust hosting which means minimal down time - if your website is down you lose business - fact

15. fully back up your website on a daily basis so in the event of a disaster your site can be up and running again quickly and smoothly

 

This article was posted by Matt Harris of DBS Internet Marketing.

We’d love to hear from you with feedback and to find out whether you agree or disagree with us – just use the comment box below.

If you have found the article useful then please feel free to share it with others using the social media buttons below.

If you have any questions then please contact DBS Internet Marketing on 0800 988 8366 or 01522 811688.

Agree? Disagree? Do let Matthew Rayner know what you think by commenting below.

Send Christmas Cards to Your Customers By Email

xmas-card-2013

Believe it or not, it is less than 3 months until Christmas!

But don’t panic! DBS can help companies with one of the big Christmas tasks – sending out the Christmas cards!

DBS Internet Marketing can design and send Christmas Cards via email to your customers, clients, suppliers, staff, colleagues, friends, and anyone else who you would like us to help spread some Christmas cheer to!

The card above is an example, and will be sent in your company's name, displaying your logo and your choice of message.

Prices to send Christmas cards via email with DBS start at just £95+VAT. There is a one-off transmission charge of £5 per run, and a charge of 1p per recipient.

So, if you send out 500 cards via email, it will cost £105+VAT - or to put it another way, 21p per recipient.

This is a lot cheaper than buying and posting cards, so you can save quite a bit of money by doing this. As it is the seasons of good will, why not donate the difference to your charity of choice – as you can see, our choice is the NSPCC!

If you would like to know more, please contact David Clarke on 01522 811688 for more details.

Agree? Disagree? Do let David Clarke know what you think by commenting below.

How to get your picture in Google’s Search Results

You might have noticed recently that when you make a search on Google you see someone’s picture in the results that looks like this:

image

This feature is called “Google Authorship Markup” and is quite nifty for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, on a page of bland, boring search results a picture can really stand out and draw people’s attention to your listing as you will see in the screenshot below:

clip_image003

Secondly, by the picture there is a link to the writers Google+ profile page – the arrow below is pointing to the link.

clip_image005

So, how do you make this happen?

It’s all through the wonder of the Google Authorship Markup and something called the rel="author" tag.

If that sounds like double dutch to you then let me try to explain.

Firstly you need a Google+ account.

Google+ is just another social media account like Facebook and Twitter. You can read more about it here:
http://www.dbsinternetmarketing.co.uk/social-media/google+/

The clever types at DBS can create a Google+ account for you and link to the news you post on your website (you’ll need a blog to be set up to achieve this) with some special behind the scenes coding.

Google then makes the connection between your Google+ account and the news on your website which then pulls through your picture into search engine results along with a link to your Google+ profile page (and America is saved).

Another good reason for having Google Authorship Markup is that Google will view your site as very much trusted and legit.

The final and perhaps most important reason is that when you are at a dinner party and someone is boring you can mention that you have just added Google Authorship Markup. This will most probably silence them and amaze other diners.

If you are interested in getting your picture in Google’s Search results please contact me, David Clarke at DBS Internet Marketing on 0800 988 8366 or 01522 811688.

Agree? Disagree? Do let David Clarke know what you think by commenting below.

Google trial Images on Pay Per Click ads


Google’s Pay Per Click Adverts used to be a bland four lines of text including a headline, two lines of copy and a link to the advertiser’s website.

Over the past few months Google have rolled a series of what they call “ad extensions” which enhance pay per click adverts by including more information with the standard pay per click adverts.

I covered Google’s ad extensions in a blog post I made in April 2013:
http://blog.dbsinternetmarketing.co.uk/2013/04/get-more-business-with-google-adwords.html

However, the latest news is that Google are now trialling “Image ad” extensions with their pay per click ads.
In the screenshot below you can see that a search for “hi tec” brought up hi-tec’s pay per click advert along with 3 product images.

Obviously this has a massive visual impact.
image
The new Google Image Ad feature is currently only available to a select few at the moment.

As with all Google features there are policies and constraints within this ad extension.

At the moment it appears that Image Ads are only available to advertisers who hold the number 1 pay per click ad spot.  It’s likely that pay per click advertisers will now bid more to grab the #1 spot and therefore get Image Ads. This will add to Google’s revenue.

Image Ads are perfect for advertisers who sell image based products as they certainly makes adverts stand out. Image ads will be particularly effective when the pay per click advert is well set up with other available ad extensions as this will take up more valuable space in Google’s search engine results and attract the eye.

I’m sure we will be noticing these new image ads more and more over the next 12 months.

It’s certainly going to be interesting when this feature is rolled out to everyone as I am sure it will be in good time.
I will keep you informed if and when they are available to UK advertisers.

Agree? Disagree? Do let Julie Priestley know what you think by commenting below.

Make it easy for your visitors to add you to their address book with a vCard

A vCard is a simple file format that stores an electronic version of your business card. You can store all of your personal contact details on it such as your name, email address, phone numbers, business address, the name of your secretary, a photograph of yourself, your business name and virtually any other piece of information you can think of about yourself and your business.

The vCard format has been around since 1995, which in internet terms is ancient. That’s 9 years before Facebook was even a glimmer in Mark Zuckerberg’s eye! It was created by a team of engineers called the Versit Consortium. This is where the v in vCard comes from, it stands for Versit.

The vCard was invented back in a time when most of the standards used today were still in their infancy. The vCard uses a simple text format. This makes the file format easy to understand on all platforms and is decipherable by humans and computers alike. You could open up a vCard file in your favourite text editor and be able to understand what is stored in it but it is normally used by importing the data into your email / contacts management program.

All email and contact management clients support the vCard format. The vCard format has also evolved with time and changing data format preferences. There are also several complimentary technologies called jCard, hCard and xCard. These package up the same vCard standard but just store the data in a different format (for example xCard uses XML markup).

The vCard is most commonly passed around as an attachment to an email but they can also be included as part of website content management systems. DBS have helped many of our clients by building “our people” style content management systems which support downloading these vCards such as in the screenshot below.

image

If you’re interested in learning more about using vCards for your business or you would like to get them integrated into your website then contact DBS today.

Agree? Disagree? Do let Matthew Rayner know what you think by commenting below.

18% of Global Web Traffic Comes Through Mobile

As devices become more affordable, readily available and telecommunication infrastructures improve more and more people are able to access the internet via mobile devices.

“More and more” is pretty un-descript, so let’s put mobile web traffic growth into perspective...

In August 2013 a staggering 18% of global web traffic came from mobile devices in comparison to August 2012 where this figure was 6.2% less at 11.8%. That growth represented as a percentage is a whopping 53%
http://gs.statcounter.com/#mobile_vs_desktop-ww-monthly-201208-201308

So how about the UK?

In August 2013 17.4% of UK web traffic came from mobile devices in comparison to August 2012 where this figure was 2.1% less at 15.3%. That represents a 16% year on year growth!
http://gs.statcounter.com/#mobile_vs_desktop-GB-monthly-201208-201308

What this means for you, the website owner?

If your website isn’t mobile friendly you need to start to consider getting an action plan in place! I don’t know about you, but when I land on a non-mobile friendly site, I valiantly give it a shot. Pinch to zoom in, *whoops, too far*, pinch to zoom out, mash a couple of the wrong buttons then press the back button – maybe I have fat fingers. But seriously if you’re reliant on web traffic as a business and / or you value your visitor’s sanity then let’s talk.


It’s not just the usability and retention factors to bear in mind, Google have gone on record saying if your website isn’t mobile friendly it’s going to adversely affect your visibility on their mobile version of Google.
http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/changes-in-rankings-of-smartphone_11.html

So it’s not really a case of if; it’s a case of when.

Agree? Disagree? Do let Unknown know what you think by commenting below.

DBS launch new website!

DBS Internet Marketing is delighted to announce that we have launched our new website today!

Click here to be one of the first to see what is new on our site – including a new design, new animated movies about internet marketing and pay per click advertising, and new profiles of our team.

The new site also gives a history of DBS, and lists our core values, which are key to how we work.

To discuss with us how we can redesign and improve your existing website, or design and build a great looking, functional new website for you that is highly visible in search engines, please call us on 0800 988 8366.

Agree? Disagree? Do let David Clarke know what you think by commenting below.

How to use Facebook hashtags #

Facebook has introduced hashtags. DBS Internet Marketing recommends that businesses should take advantage of using hashtags when posting on their Facebook page.

A hashtag is the symbol #.

Putting a hashtag in front of a word in your post turns that word into a clickable link which will display a list of other posts that have used the same hashtag. This allows Facebook users to easily find posts by other people that are interested in the same topic as you and therefore allows other people who are interested in what you are posting about to find your posts.

Hashtags are therefore a great way of getting your post (not to mention your brand and business) in front of people who probably wouldn’t find you otherwise. It can also be a great way to get a brand or product introduced, or to promote competitions, events, or offers.

The hashtag is already well established on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and other social media platforms. For those already using these social media platforms it will be entirely natural to start using hashtags on Facebook.

Facebook hashtags must be all one word, eg. #InternetMarketing not #Internet Marketing because the clickable link ends when there is a space. It doesn’t matter if you use capitals or not – it will produce the same results, capitals just make it easier to read the separate words.

It is important to remember that you don’t have to use hashtags in every post you make, and you don’t have to stuff your posts with them as this can become annoying. Make sure you use them carefully and that there is a point in using them.

It is also important to remember that your privacy settings will effect who can see your posts. So, if only your friends are allowed to see a post, the hashtag will still only make it visible to your friends and not to anyone else.

There is no right or wrong hashtag – a hashtag can be whatever you want it to be. However, they should be quite short and easy to understand. To see what hashtags are already being used for different subjects just requires a quick search on Facebook, or on other social media sites. Just enter # followed by the word into the Facebook search box.

clip_image002[10] 

For more information on social media, click here to visit our website, or call us on 01522 811688.

Agree? Disagree? Do let James Hopkins know what you think by commenting below.

David Does Charity Motorbike Ride

DBS director David Clarke completed a gruelling 1200 mile motorbike ride over 4 days in support of The Royal British Legion.

The run visited each of the UK’s Thankful Villages. A Thankful Village is one who saw all its men who went to  World War I return home safely. There are 51 Thankful Villages in England and Wales out of a total of more than 9,000 villages.

The 9 day event began and ended in the village of Llanfihangel y Creuddyn which is 7 miles from Aberystwyth.



David joined the motorbike run in Nottinghamshire and visited 21 out of the 51 villages in a four day period covering Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Yorkshire, Northumberland, Co Durham, Lancashire, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Herefordshire and Ceredigion.

The run aimed to raise £51,000.

August 4th 2014 will be exactly 100 years since the outbreak of WWI and the last Tommies have passed away. Besides raising money for charity the event aimed to keep WWI and the sacrifices made in people’s minds. Each village was presented with a plaque which it promised to unveil on the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of war.

“The Thankful Village Run was a great way to give thanks for the men who returned home safely but also to remember those who gave their lives” said David “it was very impressive and quite emotional to meet the direct descendants of those who returned home safely.”

The picture shows David with the grandson of Catwick’s blacksmith holding a curious memento. Catwick is a double thankful village as every soldier who went to World War II also came home safely.

When World War I broke out soldiers took coins to the blacksmith who nailed them to the door as a token of good luck. When World War II came along soldiers called up did exactly the same thing. Every coin represents a life spared.

“The village churches and landscape were varied as was the welcome given by villages” explained David “in one village only a vicar and one parish councillor showed up whereas in Catwick (Yorkshire) Nether Kellet (Lancashire) and Llanfihangel y Creuddyn (Ceredigion) it felt like the entire village had turned out.”

Agree? Disagree? Do let David Clarke know what you think by commenting below.

Don’t forget about Bing

Not only is the Bing search engine colourful but it also offers an excellent opportunity for advertisers to get a good ROI (return on Investment) in terms of pay per click advertising.Bing search page

Whilst Google still hold the lion’s share of UK search traffic Bing are still working hard to bridge the gap between themselves and the market leader.

Bing powers the search feature on the Windows phone 8, Microsoft Surface, Kinect for the Xbox and it’s the default browser on the Kindle and Apple’s Siri assistant. 

Developments to the Bing user interface have made it really simple to import your current Google advertising to Bing. With only a few changes to be made in particular to the bid. The bid usually needs to be altered as the cost per click on Bing is usually lower than the cost per click on Google.  A lower cost per click means a far better ROI.

Agree? Disagree? Do let Julie Priestley know what you think by commenting below.

Adobe Puts Halt To Buying Software Outright

Adobe Creative Cloud Subscription ModelAdobe have released new versions of all of their popular development programs including Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Dreamweaver and Adobe Illustrator. These have traditionally be available as part of a collection of software applications known as Adobe Creative Suite. With the latest release Adobe have decided to drop the Creative Suite brand and rename it to Adobe Creative Cloud.

There is more to it though than just a name change. From here on in you can no longer purchase their software outright – it must now be paid for on a monthly basis as part of a subscription package.

The Creative Cloud option was introduced as a secondary payment option last year and was touted to offer a cheaper setup costs for developers to get hold of their software.

The problem is that now they have switched to the forced subscription model those cheap on-costs never stop coming. You are locked in to perpetual licence fees and if you stop paying then you’re left with nothing. No access to the software and no way to edit the files you have built your business around.

While the old style model did indeed have very steep purchase costs (each piece of software in the suite is priced in the hundreds) you owned that software indefinitely. Traditionally new versions came out that had one or two big improvements but it was possible to invest up front and keep your software without falling too far behind the technology curve.

It isn’t all doom and gloom though; there are some benefits to the new model. You can install your software on any computer you’re working on. Your files are saved to a social network Adobe recently acquired called Behance. You always have the latest updates installed.

These payment model changes will have been introduced in part to curb piracy. If they can tie the service into a centralised always-online model then they can tightly control piracy. At least in theory; there were reports of the protection being broken within 24 hours.

It’s likely also something to do with the fact that many of their programs are de-facto industry standards. Photoshop and Dreamweaver don’t have any meaningful competition so there is nowhere else to turn to. It’s worth noting that Adobe Lightroom – an app that faces stiff competition from Apple’s Aperture app - was spared the Cloud licence and can still be purchased outright.

In a way Adobe are looking to the future and doing us all a favour. Using multiple devices is the norm now and you want everything to be available on any platform without having to worry about synchronising the devices yourself. The technology side of things is a sound idea; it’s just the never-ending payments that have the internet in uproar.

The new payment model seems to be still in flux though as Adobe have reportedly been canvassing current Creative Suite owners and asking about their thoughts on lower subscription fees.

They are also offering steep discounts for the first year, offering up to 60% if you own a recent version.

At the moment all we can do is wait and see what happens. This isn’t a long term solution though as at some point the offers will run out, the prices will go up and there will be no other option but to pay the fees or fall behind in the technology.

Agree? Disagree? Do let Matthew Rayner know what you think by commenting below.

An introduction to Pinterest

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is effectively a collection of online pinboards.

Users create a pinboard for a theme, and then “pin” images and videos that interest them to share them with other users.

It allows users to showcase their own images, and to browse other people’s images and “re-pin” them on their own boards. 

 

The rapid growth of Pinterest

Pinterest is one of the newest and fastest growing social media sites. It was developed in December 2009, and launched in March 2010. 

By the end of 2011 it was ranked as one of the top 10 largest social networking sites. 

In January 2012, it had 11.7million unique visitors and became the fastest site in history to pass the 10 million unique visitors mark.

By February 2013, it had 48.7million global users, and was estimated to have risen to around 70million in July 2013.

Initial users have been mainly from the United States, but it is now growing dramatically outside the USA, with the UK having the 3rd largest number of users. It has many more users than Twitter did at the same stage.

 

How can Pinterest be of benefit to businesses?

You can join Pinterest as a business – it is not just designed for individuals.

70% of people are looking for inspiration for things they would like to buy on Pinterest, which is more than 4 times the percentage of those doing the same on Facebook.

Users can add keywords to images and boards so that they can be searched for by other users, increasing their chances of being found and thus attracting the maximum amount of views.

A link to the website that the image came from is included with the image, or if you are uploading the image yourself you can add a link to it. This is a great way to drive traffic to your website.

4 out of 5 pins have been “re-pinned” from someone else, so a huge amount of sharing images takes place on Pinterest.

Users can like your image, re-pin it, share it and email it. Therefore, make sure your pins are good quality and well optimised, that you link your Pinterest account to your Twitter and Facebook accounts, and that you verify your website so that your Pinterest account links back to it. 

Businesses can create pin boards for a range of themes, for example:

  • Behind the scenes at the business
  • Meet the team photos
  • Helpful tips
  • Local area photos
  • Clients using your product
  • Your business at events
  • Charity photos
  • Inspirational photos
  • Related videos
  • Archive photos
  • Pets


You don’t even have to be on Pinterest for users to share your photos. Users can add a “Pin It” button to the bookmark bar in their web browser, so that when they are on a web page and see a photo they like, they can click it and pin it to their Pinterest account. 

Pinterest users spend much longer on the site per visit than on other social media sites – nearly quarter of an hour per visit. It is therefore a great way to engage with your clients and prospective clients, to tell them the story behind your business and to be creative.

Agree? Disagree? Do let James Hopkins know what you think by commenting below.

DBS MD to take part in historic motorbike event

David Clarke - MD of DBS Internet Marketing - will be riding in a unique motorcycling event on August 1st and 2nd.

Starting on 27 July a team of motorbikes will visit every single one of the “Thankful Villages” in the United Kingdom.

These are villages that have no traditional World War I memorial because everyone who left to fight in the Great War of 1914-1918 was fortunate to arrive home alive.

Although the villages were grateful they must have been shocked to see that their sons had been physically and mentally scarred by the horrors of trench warfare.

Fourteen of the villages that will be visited are “double thankful” which means everybody who left for World War II returned safely.

The ride will raise funds for the Royal British Legion.

David’s part of the trip will take him on his Triumph Speedmaster through Thankful Villages in Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire with an overnight camping stop on the beautiful Lincolnshire Wolds.

En route David will meet the world famous Red Arrows team at RAF Scampton which was the home of 617 Squadron aka The Dambusters.

For more info visit http://thankfulvillagesrun.com/

Agree? Disagree? Do let David Clarke know what you think by commenting below.

Internet Marketing is evolving rapidly

It’s been 1 month since Google rolled out the Penguin 2.0 algorithm update.

Google claim the update focused on making its results “more balanced” so that one particular site doesn't dominate the first page for a keyword.

We’ve seen some strange outcomes for clients in the last four weeks. For example, several clients have been overtaken by information based sites like Wikipedia, BBC, Daily Mail and the Guardian.

The update has brought about drops in rankings for some businesses which means that they may have to turn to pay per click advertising ie more revenue for Google.

In the past Google has viewed links to your website as an endorsement or “popularity” vote.

The latest Penguin 2.0 update still very much takes into account the links that point to your site but more relevance has been placed on the “authority” that Google sees your site as having.


The question has traditionally been:

“how do I get to the top of Google?”


…whereas now the question should be:

“how can I build authority for my website?”

 

How can DBS build authority?


Link building

This technique is still vital - the perfect link is 100% relevant and from a website with great authority

Content

Content is King

Create high quality, unique content and refresh frequently

Make sure your pages have at least 200-300 words of unique copy that is continually refreshed

Add relevant, unique content via your blog as frequently as you can

An “about us page” shows your business is alive – develop it to the full

Add video content to your website it is unique to you and relevant

Link out to sites of authority eg if you are a builder link to the Federation of Master Builders

Social media

It’s clear Penguin 2.0 measures your social media signal

If your business has no social media accounts set up it will have a zero social media signal

If your business has social media accounts set up but doesn't share content frequently it will have a weak social media signal

A business that frequently shares unique and relevant content that has been added to its website through social media channels with a few followers will have a medium social media signal

A business that frequently shares unique and relevant content that has been added to its website through social media channels with many followers will have a high social media signal and therefore should rank higher in search engines

Your business and key team members needs social media accounts for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google

Contact David Clarke today on 0800 988 8366 for more information on how to keep up with the changes in internet marketing.

Agree? Disagree? Do let David Clarke know what you think by commenting below.

DBS proud to support skydive for local riding for the disabled charity

DBS Internet Marketing is delighted to be sponsoring a skydive to support a well deserving local charity. 

Sarah Harris, a group instructor for Kesteven Rideability (RDA) is taking part in a skydive from 13,000ft on 30th June at Chatteris Airfield in Cambridgeshire, to raise vital funds for the  charity. Kesteven RDA is a local riding for the disabled charity based at The Paddocks Riding Centre, Hough on the Hill, Grantham.

Founded in 1988, Kesteven RDA offers subsidised horse riding to adults and children with a physical and/or learning disability. This year the charity is celebrating its 25th anniversary, and in the last 25 years has helped many riders to achieve their personal goals, ranging from grass roots riding each week through to regional and national competitions. The charity relies on fundraising and donations from members of the public and businesses. To mark this milestone anniversary, Sarah and a few others have accepted the challenge to take part in the sky dive, despite having a fear of heights, to continue to raise essential funds for the charity so that it can continue its important work.

Speaking about the charity, Sarah said “Horses play an amazing role in supporting both adults and children with disabilities. They allow individuals to have autonomy and independence; to make decisions and build confidence regardless of their disability. It offers a place for friendship, fun and opportunities to learn new skills and to compete in a sport for those individuals who wish to. Watching our riders grow in confidence and ability is so rewarding and the main reason I think why many of our volunteers and instructors love coming each week”.

If you would like to sponsor Sarah and Kesteven Rideability, please visit http://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/sarahskydive to make a donation. 

Agree? Disagree? Do let James Hopkins know what you think by commenting below.

The 5 Latest Web Design Trends

Web Design is an important element of any website.

A website can have large amounts of highly useful information, but a poor web design can make it difficult for a user to access or find that information.

In many cases, your website will also be the first contact a user has with your company, and it is therefore important that the website’s design leaves a good impression on the user.

A modern website design that embraces current trends will help you gain an important edge at an early stage with your potential customer.

Here are five current trends that should be embraced by any modern website.

No.1 – Responsive Design

By 2014, more people will be viewing your website on a handheld device such as a Smartphone or tablet, than using a traditional PC. If your website is difficult to navigate around on a small Smartphone screen, potential customers may be put off and seek a competitor’s website which is easier to work with.

Responsive web design is all about making sure your website adapts itself to the size of the screen it is displayed on. With small, portrait Smartphone screens, it may prefer vertical lists and hide unimportant sections of the page so that the user is instantly presented with the important content.

 image      image                                   

No.2 – Minimalist Design

“Less is more” is a trend common to many modern interfaces. Leaving white space on a page can help reduce the impression of clutter and chaos, and promote a sense of order and professionalism instead. A minimalist design also encourages a focus on content and reduces unintended distractions that may divert the user away from key sections of your page.

image


No.3 – Social Media

Social Media has been a rising trend for a number of years now, but it has only begun to make its impact felt in web design more recently. Modern websites encourage user interaction through deeper integration with social networks, encouraging them to “like” products or services that they use or recommend, and share links and summaries of important content from your website. This will help your website reach new users.

image


No.4 – Video

Embedding video on your website is an easy way to keep a user engaged and on your website. Often, a company may have a corporate YouTube channel, but fail to make use of that content on their website by only having an out-of-the-way link to the channel page. Instead, embedding the videos on the page detailing the product or service showcased in the video can be a powerful way to provide a quick summary with key points that then draws the user in to reading the longer, more detailed text on the page.

 image
 


No.5 – Animations

Animation is a useful tool for a website designer. It can be used to capture a user’s attention and direct it to specific parts of the page. This particularly useful in conjunction with other trends mentioned here – For example, responsive design can use animation to allow a simple design to expand if a user requires further information without having to present all of that information to the user on a tiny screen.

 

image

Agree? Disagree? Do let Thomas Hounsell know what you think by commenting below.

DBS Sail Through Bing Accreditation

clip_image001DBS Internet Marketing is committed to training and personal development so that our team can offer DBS clients the highest level of service.

The search engine Bing was formerly known as MSN and actually powers all searches made on the Yahoo search engine.

Bing is now focusing its efforts on increasing its market share including pay per click advertising.

Recognising this trend Julie Priestley of DBS recently sat the Bing Ads Accredited Professional accreditation exam. This is the official accreditation for Bing Pay Per Click Advertising customers.

After completing a comprehensive online training programme relating Bing Ads and search marketing Julie was required to take an exam to test her knowledge. The pass rate requirement is 80% but Julie outdid herself and achieved a remarkably high score of 94%.

Bing has been working hard in the background to improve its pay per click advertising system and features so that it is no longer considered Google AdWords poor relation. In fact, some of Bing’s new features surpass Google AdWords current offering.

Bing still has a way to go to catch up Google in terms of traffic but this actually works in our clients’ interest as we can them get a much cheaper cost per click for them on Bing than on Google.

It’s likely that Bing’s popularity will greatly increase due to Apple’s intervention.  Apple announced on the 10 June 2013 that from Autumn 2013 Bing be installed as the default search engine to power Apple’s Siri websearch. Siri lets you use your voice to search the internet as well as send messages and schedule meetings. There is also speculation that Apple will switch its default search provider from Google to Bing.

It makes sense that if your prospects looks for your services on Bing that you have a presence there.

For a free, no obligation and discussion of how Bing Pay Per Click advertising can become part of your company’s marketing mix please call Julie on 0800 988 8366.

Agree? Disagree? Do let David Clarke know what you think by commenting below.

Are you being followed?

Have you ever been browsing a website then shortly after notice adverts from that website seem to be following you around? You could have been shopping for new shoes then gone to a totally unrelated website and there on the side of the screen is an advert showing you the shoes you have just been looking at from the website you were browsing.

This kind of advertising is no accident, it’s known as retargeting or remarketing,

The chances are 90% or more of the visitors to your website will disappear without a trace.

dbs maximise your chances of converting visitors into customersBy making a small change to your website you can target adverts to anyone who has been on your website, keeping your company name in the forefront of their mind.

It’s far more effective than a standard display advertising campaign as your adverts will only show to people who have demonstrated an interest in your business by visiting your website and know who you are.

The adverts can be the same adverts site-wide or product / service specific.

It is an extremely powerful branding and conversion optimisation tool which can work extremely well alongside other digital marketing methods such as pay per click advertising.

For more information please see our website or contact Julie Priestley at DBS Internet Marketing on 01522 811688.

Agree? Disagree? Do let Julie Priestley know what you think by commenting below.

Google release Penguin 2.0 update

Like it or not the internet has fundamentally changed the way we do business.
Being visible in search engine results has become a critical factor for most UK firms. It's estimated that there are hundreds of factors that Google take into account in their ranking formula or algorithm.
To a large extent we are all in the hands of Google as they can update their algorithm at any time without any prior notice. The initial Panda update in 2011 targeted sites with what Google deemed to have “thin or poor copy” and also attacked sites that had duplicate copy taken from other websites. This is a clear message that “content is King” in Google’s eyes.
In 2012 Google released a new breed of update called Penguin which concentrates more on inbound links to websites rather than on page copy. It’s apparent that over-optimisation may also be a factor included in this update which punishes spammy SEO (search engine optimisation) techniques. The Penguin update attempts to devalue rankings for certain phrases / web pages / sites where Google believes the backlink profile to these looks unnatural.
Both the Panda and Penguin updates have affected the rankings of thousands of businesses online.
On Wednesday 22nd of May Google released an update to Penguin dubbed Penguin 2.0 which promises to be much harsher than version 1.0.
Obviously Google doesn’t publish a document outlining what Penguin 2.0 is targeting so it’s the job of the SEO community to learn more about the update collectively.
The weeks and months ahead will involve savvy businesses adapting their online marketing strategy. It’s probable that the latest update will take into account the dominance of mobile search and the importance of social media signals.
Long term online marketing strategies should involve:
Publishing high quality content
make sure your site is one that people would want to bookmark
Gain authoritative, relevant links
the days of building thousands of spammy links are gone
Use of social media
social media signals are becoming more and more important
Follow best SEO practices
use an SEO expert to aim for perfection
The bottom line is that SEO is changing and businesses will have to follow suit or fall behind.
Disregarding social media for business because “it’s something that just kids do” is no longer an option.
Businesses in the UK need to commit to rewriting and continually adding new, compelling copy to their websites or risk falling behind in search engine results.

Agree? Disagree? Do let David Clarke know what you think by commenting below.

Is your website mobile friendly?

blogpost-responsive_web_design

Unless your site is cutting edge then chances are the answer is no.

Over the last year browsing the internet on-the-go has exploded in popularity. More and more people are using their smartphones such as Androids and iPhones, or tablets like the iPad, to browse websites.

It’s predicted that 2014 will be the tipping point when more people will be browsing the web on their handheld devices than on traditional desktop computers.

Despite this massive increase in popularity, most of the web has not yet caught up with the mobile revolution. This means that when you visit a website on a handheld device you see the entire website. A design that would normally have a full sized desktop monitor to display itself in is crammed into a small screen.

If you have found yourself having to pinch and zoom to be able to see the words, click buttons and fill out forms on the website then you will know how frustrating and slow this can be.

Is there a better way? Yes! Instead of showing the full desktop design your website should be tailored to fit on a small screen device. Text should be larger, buttons should have lots of space around them so you can press them with your fingers and navigation menus should be tucked away until you need them.

There are currently two main types of mobile website. The first technique that came out was to set up two sites. The main website and a separate website specifically designed for mobile visitors. This was effective but meant that web site owners had to remember to update both sites whenever they made changes. Out of date and reduced content is frustrating to mobile visitors.

As mobile technology moved on a better technique was developed which is known as responsive design. Responsive design takes a single website and enhances it with technology that can detect the size of the screen a visitor is using when they look at your website. If they visit on a desktop computer with a large monitor then the full site is displayed. If they visit on a small handheld device then the website detects this and changes its layout to fit snuggly into the screen space available, adjusting font sizes and padding along the way.

The good news is that your website can most likely be enhanced to support a mobile friendly, responsive design. DBS Internet Marketing are experts at converting websites to use responsive design techniques. Our website has more to read and an introductory video which will help you understand mobile friendly websites in more detail.

Agree? Disagree? Do let Matthew Rayner know what you think by commenting below.

The Role of Social Media in Search Engine Rankings

Firstly, a “social signal” is a measure of activity or recommendation through social media platforms such as a like on Facebook, a re-tweet on Twitter or a +1 on Google+.

So what kind of impact do these social signals have on rankings? Good question and one which is not hard to answer but relatively hard to quantify. In short, social signals do and will have an increasing impact on rankings in search engines in the future.

Google is pushing personalisation more and more in the search engine results. If Google has a good idea that you’re based in Leeds and you’re looking for a “domestic cleaner” Google will display “Leeds” related results for this term. Another method of personalisation used is past browsing behaviour. If you visit a particular website on a regular basis, wouldn’t it make sense that results from this website to appear above others in the search engines? Google thinks so and the more Google know about you, the more they believe they can deliver a better experience; better search results, more targeted ads etc.

Now back onto the social media aspect, taking the above personalisation points into consideration, it makes perfect sense that search engines use available data (likes, shares, re-tweets, interaction etc) to provide the most relevant, useful results to users i.e. the idea of if your friend has liked a piece of content, maybe you’d like that piece of content. The fact is consumers want the opinions and experiences of their peers.


When somebody has liked, shared or re-tweeted, that’s a real person and a real ‘recommendation’ which is extremely powerful data for search engines and why social signals will most likely have an increasing impact in the future.

While this post has covered the importance of social media and search engine rankings, there’s no denying the fact that if social media platforms are managed correctly they have the potential of driving huge amounts of traffic directly to your website and improving brand awareness.
If you would like to find out more and the social media packages that DBS offer, please call DBS on 01522 811688

Agree? Disagree? Do let Unknown know what you think by commenting below.