4 reasons why a professionally built website is better than a DIY platform

4 reasons why a professionally built website is better than a DIY platform

Your website is a window to a whole world of prospects, all over the globe. Regardless of whether you’re an online retailer looking to sell products directly through your website, or a bricks and mortar business using your website simply to attract customers and showcase what you do, the quality of your website is of paramount importance.

With the plethora of low cost, DIY website creation platforms available, you might be asking yourself – what is the benefit of having a website built professionally by an agency like Erud IT Marketing?

Here we discuss four reasons why professional website design is a much better option for you.

1) Your time is best spent on your business

While DIY platforms are created to make your life as a webmaster as easy as possible, if you’re expecting to be able to jump straight in without learning the platform, think again. Building your own website, even with the most simple DIY website builder on the planet, takes time. You’ll be required to create pages, write meta titles and descriptions, upload images, write image tags, create links and much more. Ask yourself, is your time best spent messing around with the website or actually focusing on your business?

2) Your website will lack originality

If you choose to use a DIY platform, you will have access to the same templates, graphic designs or themes as every other user. And while you might be able to change colours or upload your logo – which you’ll need pre-designed and in the right format – there will be little to differentiate your website from the masses.

3) Websites created by DIY platforms are rarely Google friendly

A website is useless without visitors, so it’s going to be imperative for you that you’re able to rank on Google. Most templated websites created by DIY platforms are not optimised for search results. While the website might look OK on the surface, the programming and code can be clunky and the site can have extensive loading times, which is almost certain to destroy your rankings. In some cases, DIY websites aren’t even mobile friendly, in an era when the vast majority of website visitors will visit your website on their phone!

4) You will not really own the website

The vast majority of DIY platforms only let you create ‘your’ website on their web host. This has a multitude of risks. Firstly, if you’re struggling with search engine optimisation (SEO) due to the host being in a country or area different from your target market, you will not have the option to move your files to a host of your choice. Secondly, if the DIY website company goes out of business, so will its hosting and you’ll lose everything.

To summarise, if you’re running a professional business, you need a website design created by professionals. It might sound cliche, but when it comes to the web, you really do get what you pay for.

A quick guide to keeping your website safe and secure

A quick guide to keeping your website safe and secure

In the modern era, every business needs a website.

A website acts as a business’ shop window; it showcases the company’s core products or services, displays costs, and details how it is possible to reach out and get in touch should it be required.

However, what is equally important is ensuring that said website is not vulnerable to hackers. Not only is this essential because it will keep your business operational at all times, but it will also ensure that your customers’ vital data is not vulnerable.

So, how can you go about keeping your website safe, and why is it important?

Why you need to do it

As technology continues to update and evolve, it becomes absolutely essential for businesses to keep on top of their website security. This is important because, quite simply, it keeps information and data secure. Hackers and cybercriminals relish the opportunity to attack vulnerable websites and steal data that they can sell, or can use for other nefarious deeds.

How to do it

1. Keep software continually updated

This seems like an obvious first step to take, and that’s because it really is. By keeping all of your software updated, and by ensuring that all patches are installed as soon as they become available, you’ll be best prepared to deter would-be hackers.

2. Change your passwords routinely

One of the key aspects of keeping a website safe and secure is ensuring that you don’t keep your passwords the same for an extended period of time. Every couple of months or so you need to change your passwords, and ensure that everyone who needs access is aware of the change.

3. Keep file uploads to a minimum

Allowing files to be uploaded to your website by too many different people is a recipe for disaster. It is probably best that only trusted admins are allowed to upload files, and it is also vital that all files come from verified sources.

4. Utilise firewalls

Firewalls sound a bit old hat, but they are still incredibly useful. Once a firewall is installed, it will help to protect your website from any hackers, and will also ensure that no viruses are able to get through an infect your coding.

5. Get some security tools

Once you think that your website is as safe as possible, you should get some tools to test out the levels of security. Such tools are often referred to as ‘penetration tests’, and are designed to see how easy it would be for hackers to bypass your security protocols.

If you would like to know more about how E2TS can assist you then contact us.

The English spoken word and how we use it in marketing

The English spoken word and how we use it in marketing

With almost a billion speakers across the world, English is the second-most spoken language on earth. It makes sense, then, that a large proportion of marketing material is also written in English. But is the written word the only option when it comes to marketing? Sure, it’s everywhere – but could it be that the spoken word may in fact be a better way to deliver a marketing message?

Let’s find out how the English spoken word can be used to best effect in your marketing.

The power of the podcast

According to recent Ofcom data, there are now almost 6 million adults who listen to podcasts at least once a week, which translates to a huge marketing opportunity. Like the radio which preceded it, podcasts represent perhaps the purest form of the English spoken word. With directed attention from the listener to the speaker, if you’re able to leverage podcasts as a marketing tool, you’re likely to see an excellent return on investment. This can take the form of either producing your own podcast or sponsoring an existing one.

Personal appearances and keynote speeches

Another essential form of spoken word delivery is, of course, in-person. It’s here where sales and marketing meet, with sales techniques generally being done on a face-to-face basis. But it’s also possible to leverage the English spoken word without using direct sales techniques. One great example of this is taking part in events with personal appearances, such as keynote speeches. As a thought leader, you can represent your industry but also indirectly promote your business with the power of the spoken word.

The rise of digital video

This list would certainly not be complete without mention of perhaps the #1 medium today which leverages the English spoken word: digital video. With the advent of sites like YouTube, it’s now possible for anyone to broadcast themselves to an audience of millions. This represents a prime marketing opportunity, as it allows businesses to produce informative videos, guided tours, or even video sales pitches. And, of course, at the heart of all of these marketing strategies is the spoken word.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can perfect your marketing strategy using the English spoken word, get in touch with the Erud IT team today.

Keep your website marketing GDPR friendly with these 3 easy tips

Keep your website marketing GDPR friendly with these 3 easy tips

Creating amazing marketing solutions comes with great responsibility. In other words, when creating marketing tools, you must show your participant’s data the respect it deserves. Good companies do this naturally, and since the advent of the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules in 2018, it has also been a legal responsibility.

GDPR is essentially a set of rules and regulations showing anyone responsible for other people’s data how to gather and keep that data secure. This has had a big impact on the marketing world and has given marketers an opportunity to think about how they operate.

The information around GDPR is extensive, however there are three main areas that marketers need to consider.

Marketing is strictly ‘opt in’ only

You’ve probably seen those sneaky attempts to gather your data, the ‘tick this box if you do NOT want to receive email marketing’. Well, those days are behind us. It’s strictly opt-in only now, and you have to offer the prospect a clear way to opt out whenever they want.

What information are you gathering?

Generally, your aim is to capture your website visitor’s details, so that you can then contact them in the future. Perhaps you want to keep your prospective clients warm with an e-newsletter, or targeted messages. With the new legislation you should only capture necessary personal details, usually just an email address.

Keep up with the ‘opt outs’

Take someone’s details off the marketing list as soon as they decide to opt out. You should only be storing data for those people who have given you their express permission.

In short, choose a professional company to deal with your online marketing services to make sure you are carrying out best practice, in addition to being on the right side of the law.
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Getting results: The word of the day is Content!

Getting results: The word of the day is Content!

“I know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word.” Emily Dickinson.

Having a website that performs brilliantly, a dazzling advertising campaign or polished presentation all pivot on the most important element – words.

The words we use in the digital age are just as important as when our ancestors ‘shared and liked’ stories around a campfire!

Content management in the digital arena

Technology offers many ways of communicating with target audiences, especially via websites. However, there are 1.94 billion websites online!

(source: https://www.websitehostingrating.com/internet-statistics-facts/)

Having one that looks great, is not the same as having one that gets noticed and performs well. In a nutshell, your content is crucial to people finding and responding to your website.

This includes improving your SEO by including content on your website that’s fresh, dynamic and includes both short and long tailed keywords.

Your social media posts have huge potential to inform and effect a response; especially when you consider that Facebook alone has 2.27 billion active users every month (that’s around a quarter of the global population).

(source: https://sproutsocial.com/insights/new-social-media-demographics/)

It still hinges on what you actually say though!

You can’t stay wordless

Finding sufficient content for ads, email campaigns, SEO-rich website text and social media posts can be a major headache.

Generating strong content can be a full time job in itself, particularly if you want to be sure of getting tangible result from your marketing activities. Not many organisations have pockets deep enough to recruit high calibre copywriters, who can soak up brand identity and dedicate themselves to creating ‘kick-ass’ content.

Benefits of using professional copywriters

Fortunately, it’s possible to commission professional copywriters to produce the regular content you need. These skilled individuals quickly get up to speed on your business aims, and produce text that’s powerful and effective.

They work with the spoken and written word daily. They study use of language, online trends, news and other forms of content. From this, they extract the words that have the best chance of engaging, educating, informing or influencing your audiences.

The last in that list is probably the most important. Professional copywriters can help you to persuade; to get your target customers buying, enquiring, registering or visiting.

They can also be the difference between high website traffic and no sales; and having robust lead conversion rates.

Contact the team at Erud IT, if you want a ‘word’ about spelling out your corporate messages with fresh and dynamic content.

Why digital marketing is so important

Why digital marketing is so important

With more and more companies wising up to the benefits of digital marketing, outsourcing to agencies and bringing experts in-house, we explain why paying extra attention to your website and social media channels is the best thing you can do for your business so you don’t get left behind.

Here’s what you need to do to get ahead of the game in the digital age:

1. Social media marketing

It goes without saying that social media management should be a priority for any business. With thousands of us using platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter over twenty times a day, it is important your voice is being heard and that customers are engaging with it on a regular basis. Hire yourself a good social media marketing specialist and display social media buttons clearly on your website in order to help effectively market your product online.

2. Content marketing

If you are embarking on a new website or design, ensure you build a blog feature into your plans. Content marketing is one of the most useful tools when it comes to successful SEO and a blog is the best way to execute it properly – and at a low cost, too. Post expert articles with relevant keywords, as well as both internal and external links in order to help your website rank higher than your competitors’.

3. Web design

You will need a well-designed website in order to facilitate all the hard work you have put into your business’ digital marketing strategy. Give your social media marketing manager something great to refer customers back to and design somewhere beautiful to place your engaging content to. You basically need the goods to back it up.

If you would like help with your digital marketing strategy, contact Profectus. Small in size but big in ideas, we are experts in online marketing, so get in touch with us for a consultation or to find out more today.

Why you need an SSL certificate on your landing pages

Why you need an SSL certificate on your landing pages

Creating an effective landing page that links to your website is essential if you are to improve your Google rankings. But in order to maximise your page’s success, there are certain criteria you have to bear in mind. In the current age of hackers and identity fraud, trust and security are paramount – which is where an SSL certificate comes in.

How can customers trust your landing page?

Your success on the internet depends on a level of trust between you and your customers. Therefore, your landing page must have a clearly defined purpose and should encourage trust in your visitors. One good way of promoting trust is by ensuring that your home website and therefore your landing page displays the SSL certificate in the URL. This will be verified by the padlock symbol in the address bar – a sure sign of trust to consumers. The SSL certificate allows a secure connection between a server and browser and is an essential act of compliance with the Payment Card Industry standards if you take online payments.

Make it clear in your content

Having a secure connection is a great selling point and more and more businesses are relying on SSL certificate. Part of building trust is informing your customers and site visitors of the levels of protection. Many consumers might not know what an SSL certificate is, so if your call to action is for visitors to part with data or cash, explain to them how you are protecting their privacy by explaining that their data will be encrypted so that only you can read it. You should also back this up with a recognised SSL certificate icon or logo in your header or footer to reinforce the message.

Data security and Google rankings

As already stated, visitors to your landing page will not readily provide you with detailed personal information if they are not confident that it will be safe, and Google are very aware of this.

If you can put people’s minds at rest by including an SSL certificate when you set up your website, you are more likely to enjoy decent page rankings on Google. Although there is an extra annual charge for this, the increase in conversions that you will enjoy as a result will more than cover the cost.

In summary

If you are intending to collect visitors’ personal information when they visit your landing pages, it’s essential to purchase an SSL certificate for your site when you set it up. This not only reassures your visitors that your site is secure and their data is safe, it can also improve your Google rankings.

The importance of having a professionally designed website in today’s economy

The importance of having a professionally designed website in today’s economy

Attracting visitors to your site should be a key goal in your online marketing strategy. Your website is your opportunity to give the people who visit more information about your company, products and services and if designed effectively, work as a place where potential customers are converted into buyers. When you’re designing your website, whether it’s a brand new site or an update to an existing one, a key element of the design should consider how user friendly your site is.

If you fail to design a site in which your visitors can quickly reach the information you want them to, you will miss out on potentially lucrative online opportunities. It is so important to have a professionally designed website in today’s economy, so that you beat your competition by attracting and engaging potential customers on your site. Below we’ve listed out some key reasons it’s so important to have your website professional designed.

Navigation

Visitors to your website should be able to find what they’re looking for quickly, with little effort on their part. If they don’t, they are likely to click off your site and onto another website which is easier to navigate. You need to work with a professional who has expertise in designing websites and can build you an easy-to-navigate website, so that your site visitors reach the pages you want them to and don’t go to your competitor instead. Adding a search box to your site offers your visitors an extremely quick and easy way to find exactly what they’re looking for, so be sure to work with your designer to add this tool.

Load time

A webpage that is slow to load will result in a high bounce rate of visitors exiting your site on the same page they entered it. It is imperative you design your website to be highly efficient, in order to retain traffic on your site. Adding masses of video and photography can really slow down your site performance, so a professional will help you be selective about the content you want on your site, so as not to impact your site load time negatively.

At Profectus, we are experts in effective web design, but we understand that you are experts in your customers. We believe in partnering with you to gain your insight into your clients, so that we can provide the most effective online solutions for your business needs.