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Employer of the Year National Finalists

The DBS Team are very excited to be national finalists for the Federation of Small Business’s Employer of the Year Award.

Three of the DBS team – Director Julie Priestley, Web Project Manager Matt Rayner and Online Marketing Manager James Hopkins - are heading to London on Thursday 23rd May for the UK national final of the FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) Celebrating Business Awards 2019.

Described as a “sparkling” event and an “incredible night of celebration and recognition”, the formal awards dinner and ceremony is taking place at Battersea Evolution, and is considered to be one of the highlights of the small business calendar. It will be attended by over 500 guests from around the UK, including area winners, judges, sponsors, media, MPs and industry business leaders. The event will be hosted by writer and actor Meera Syal CBE.

DBS is in the running for the UK Employer of the Year having previously been named as Employer of the Year for the East Midlands region back in March. We are one of 12 regional/devolved nation winners in the Employer of the Year category. Awards are being announced in 10 different categories.

According to the FSB website, “the annual awards, run by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), celebrate and recognise a sector that makes up 99.9 per cent of all private businesses in the UK and contribute £1.9 trillion to the economy.

“The 5.6 million small businesses and the self-employed in the UK contribute so much to our economy and our communities. In 2017 FSB launched the Celebrating Small Business Awards to recognise the best, most innovative and most determined of these, from every sector, industry and background.

“Recognising the huge value that being a finalist or a winner can bring to their businesses and teams, more than 2,000 businesses entered the 2019 awards.”

DBS is very proud and excited to be in the running for this award. We became an Employee Owned Business in June 2017 when Director David Clarke announced that members of the DBS team would now own a part of the long-established internet marketing and web design company. David’s decision made DBS Lincolnshire’s first 100% employee owned company.

David said at the time: “For me, it makes great business sense to reward the very people that have helped to build DBS. Now that the whole team has equity, we have a vested interest to grow the company even more.”  

DBS has been an Investors in People company since 2004, and has recently won a number of awards in addition to being Employer of the Year for the East Midlands, including the North Kesteven Community Business Award 2017, the FSB Entrepreneur Award for Innovation 2017, and the FSB East Midlands Community Business Award 2018.

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

3 big changes coming soon to Facebook

At the Facebook F8 conference which was held earlier this month, it was revealed that there would be many changes coming to the social media channel which could have a big impact on how we use Facebook going forwards. Here are some of the main changes discussed.

1.    Growing focus on community
The main focus of the keynote speech given by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was community. A lot of people now are communicating via private messages, Instagram stories and small group pages. This shift in behavior is due to the fact that people feel more included and have a sense of belonging when they are part of smaller communities.

People are turning to Facebook groups and closed communities to share their opinions and information about themselves, rather than just posting about it. There is also the opportunity for your Facebook posts to be shared on your public and private groups page, which could mean it will be easier to engage with your followers.

2.    Focus on privacy
Mark Zuckerberg stated that “the future is private” and increased privacy will be a main focus for the company moving forwards.  As users are not wanting their information to be as public anymore, privacy settings have been promised to improve. This includes Facebook private messages which will have stronger end to end encryption, meaning even Facebook will not be able to read them.

It is regularly in the press about how online safety has to improve, and Zuckerberg referred to our online safety in his speech by stating that they are working on reducing the permanence of our posts and messages. This could see more of a shift towards Instagram story style posts which have expiry dates and only appear for a certain amount of time.

3.    A new look
Finally, it was revealed that Facebook would be getting a new look.  This will be their first big redesign in five years and will include an amended logo and more prominence of Group pages. As communities and groups are becoming more visible, it will be easier to post and engage with others in your network.

Plus, it is said that Facebook Messenger will have a stand-alone app for desktop which will allow people to message others between Facebook’s different apps, such as Instagram or Whatsapp.  Having one unified platform to manage all direct messages from your laptop could be a massive time saver for businesses and individuals alike.

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

DBS launch new website for domiciliary care franchise company

DBS are delighted to have launched a new website for elderly companion care company Senior Help, a franchise company providing non-medical carers and companions to elderly people across the UK.

They offer a variety of services that help to keep loneliness and isolation at bay for elderly people, including providing companionship and conversation, preparing meals, taking people on outings, making the beds or even watching a film together, allowing the person being cared for to stay in their own home for as long as possible. Not only is this of benefit to the individual being cared for, but it also gives their families the freedom to relax and feel happy knowing that their loved one is being cared for.  

In order to create the new Senior Help website, our web team had to completely re-write our existing custom franchise management system, which allows the franchisor to administer most of the website whilst allowing franchisees to manage their specific pages. The moderation system allows the administrators (i.e. the franchisor) to review all requested changes made by the franchisees.

Their previous website hadn’t been developed with scalability in mind, but the new website allows for the easy management of hundreds of franchisees. In addition to this, multiple franchise pages can now be associated with one single user, which is ideal when a user (franchisee) has several franchise pages, as it means that they don’t have to log in and log out of each franchise page in order to make changes.

Creating the new Senior Help website also meant that our web team could also focus on speed improvements and overhauling the admin panel to improve the interface for the users.

If you would like to see the new Senior Help website for yourself, then you can check it out by visiting

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

The importance of Bing for Voice Search

Voice Search is an area which is rapidly growing and doesn’t look like it’s going to be slowing down anytime soon. A 2019 Microsoft study has estimated that 75% of households will have some form of smart speaker by 2020, whether this be a smart phone or smart home devices such as Alexa or Google Home.

Being fast, hands free and conveniently quicker than typing makes voice search popular, and with the advancing technology becoming more accurate, the use of voice search will probably only continue to grow.

Along with searching for quick facts and playing music, most voice searches are people looking for a product or service. This is where businesses can be proactive and benefit from voice search. For example, if a customer is looking for a solicitor or coffee shop near them, the device will search for those businesses whose business listings show they are near the customer’s location.

Although Google is the most visited website in the UK and on the planet, and is the main player for searches on mobile phones and desktop computers, when it comes to voice search it is not only Google that the results are pulled from. Google Home obviously uses Google search results, but other devices do not. In fact, Bing powers more voice technology than Google does.

So, what can your business do? The first thing is to ensure that both your Google and Bing business listings are up to date and easy to find. Searchers should be able to easily access your location, phone number, website and opening hours. If you haven’t done so yet, make sure you claim both your Places for Business listing on Bing and your My Business listing on Google. Voice search uses the person’s location to discover nearby businesses, so having your location visible is vital.

For help with setting up your Google or Bing Business listings so your company is more visible on search engines, please contact the team at DBS Internet Marketing who will be happy to help.

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

DBS launch new website for local waste management firm

DBS are pleased to have launched a new website for Mid-UK Recycling, a longstanding client of ours who have premises and processing sites in various locations across Lincolnshire and the East Midlands.

Mid-UK Recycling was established in 1997 and is an independent waste management and recycling company. They offer a wide range of services to their clients which includes skip hire, bulk waste collections, commercial and industrial waste removal, carpet recycling, plasterboard recycling, wood recycling, agricultural waste recycling, paper and cardboard recycling and glass recycling. They work with businesses and local authorities to achieve a genuine 100% landfill diversion by investing in the latest infrastructure, and specialise in sustainable resource extraction, processing and recycling.

This was a completely bespoke website that was designed and built from scratch specifically to match Mid-UK Recycling’s needs. It included creating a custom content management system which allows them to edit information on the website quickly and easily themselves, in-house, without having to involve a third party, meaning that they can add, edit or remove pages, add, change or remove page content and images, and quickly and easily update the careers section as and when vacancies arise or are filled. 

If you would like to see their new website for yourself, then you can check it out by visiting

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

Becky celebrates first birthday at DBS

Many Happy Returns to the newest member of the DBS team, our Internet Marketing Specialist Becky Gilpin, who only joined the DBS team last month.

Becky celebrated her birthday by going for a meal with her partner at the Butcher & Beast pub in Heighington, followed by a trip at the weekend to the beautiful and ancient city of York.

The team gathered at DBS to sing Happy Birthday to Becky and to celebrate with cake and candles, with Becky enduring the team’s singing for the first time!

Becky’s new role covers a wide range of digital marketing strategies, including content marketing and social media.

Before joining DBS, Becky spent five years working at John Greed Jewellery in Lincoln, where she mainly worked as a Marketing Campaign Coordinator. To find out more about Becky, click here to visit her profile, or here to read the announcement that she was joining DBS.

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

Google fixes bug after websites removed from search results

If you thought that your website had disappeared from Google’s search engine results this week, you didn’t imagine it and you certainly were not alone.

Google accidentally removed a large number of websites and web pages from search results (known as “de-indexing”) last week, but thankfully the problem now seems to have been fixed.

Google, unsurprisingly, hasn’t revealed exactly what went wrong or gone into detail about the extent of the issues, but the SEO software supplier Moz has estimated that 4% of indexed pages were likely to have been affected, based on their samples.

When the issue initially occurred on April 4th, it took 3 days for Google to announce that they had solved the issue, only to then go on to say a day later that there were still issues. It was not until a week later they announced the issue was completely fixed and tweeted:

“The indexing issue has now been fully resolved. We apologize for the inconvenience. We appreciate your patience as we restored normal operation”

What were the effects? 
The impact of pages being de-indexed could have led to:
  • Loss in sales 
  • Lower conversion rates 
  • Loss of website traffic
  • An overall loss of metrics, making measuring website performance difficult 
What can be done about it? 
Unfortunately, there is not a lot that can be done about it. Google have fixed the bug which mainly happened over the weekend when Google searches are typically lower than average.

On Google Analytics you could always make note of when the issue occurred, so that you can take this blip into account when comparing performance in the future.

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