Hi All; Mike again,
Recently Yellowbus Solutions Ltd has been talking to local charities and not-for-profit organisations as part of our social responsibility and it has made us look very carefully at some of the challenges that these groups (and many businesses) face. The biggest issue that came out of these discussions that we, as an IT company, felt we could help with on a long term basis was that of keeping an online presence.
Today I want to talk about the key aspects of getting your business/charity seen online. As a company this is a service that we provided as an end-to-end service for many years, so while we were helping charities with hosting cost savings we thought we might also be able to help with some free advice too. Here are our Top 5 Tips To Be Seen Online:Plan your site
An often overlooked part of being seen online is what you’re planning to do when you are seen! If you are going to spend what, to most people, is a fairly large sum of money you really need to go into it with a solid plan. First, ask yourself “What is my online presence trying to achieve?” Then follow this with “What sites like mine make me want to do that?”
Hire a GREAT Design Partner
This is, in my opinion, is the most overlooked aspect of many websites and it is so crucial to getting your brand noticed online! It has been widely reported in web design circles for a while now that most website users have a low attention span. This means your site has to stand out! My personal “go-to” site for this is http://www.designcrowd.com/ as you can get a lot of high quality designs for a great price. This is often quicker than contacting a design agency and is almost certainly cheaper after all, why talk to one agency when you can talk too many via one portal!
Know your Copywriter
A massive part of getting potential customers to “Convert” is the text on your website. We are lucky to have always worked closely with some great copywriters who fit brilliantly within our business. My main tip for this is “You know your business better than anyone, but don’t assume that you’re as capable at getting your message across online as someone who does this professionally”. You will need patience for this as some days it feels like people just don’t understand, but these are made up for when some amazing text comes back that really emphasises how wonderful your business/charity actually is. A good copywriter will be happy to sit with you and really get a feel for your business and there are people about that are affordable and will do this.
Make sure you’re Mobile Friendly!
Way back in July 2014 a report was released detailing that 60% of web traffic now came from mobile! This was the tipping point for Yellowbus and we decided we needed a new “Mobile Friendly” website. I can’t stress enough how important this aspect is, as not only will users punish you for not meeting their mobile needs but Google now kicks you down it’s rankings too! To find a good developer to make this happen can be difficult and quite often expensive but in the long run this will be worth it.
The biggest change we have made as a company over the past two years is to embrace social media. This has been a revelation both for networking purposes (LinkedIn) and for customer interaction (Twitter). We have learned so much about our market and have been able to progress the business thanks to this. But Social from a B2C perspective holds so many more possibilities! Facebook has fantastic conversion rates and re-marketing opportunities for businesses and charities looking to market themselves to consumers and this should be top of your priorities list to research. I am not an expert in this field but, a few resources I have found invaluable are: Melonie Dodaro(http://topdogsocialmedia.com/blog/), Ian Anderson Gray(http://iag.me/) and Whiteboard Friday from Moz.com(https://moz.com/blog/category/whiteboard-friday)
Wait What?! Oh Wow!
Hosting! This is the most expensive ongoing cost you will encounter! Unfortunately it’s required to make sure you’re actually “Online”. Luckily for Charities and not-for-profit organisations this is the bit that we’re giving away for FREE as part of our commitment to social responsibilities so please get in touch and let us see how we can help you help people!