4 simple checks for a trusted website

4 simple checks for a trusted website

A recent survey by the Office of National Statistics shows that cybercrime increased by 8% last year, with over 3.6 million cases of fraud and more than 2 million reported cases of computer misuse. This increase of online fraud cases means consumers are having to become more adept at spotting fake or untrustworthy websites.

So displaying trust is one of the most important things your website has to do these days. Research by Nielsen Norman Group shows that a users trust needs must be met before they are willing to go forward with a transaction. Unfortunately, this often means they are discounting trustworthy sites that are not following best practice. So basic steps should your website take to help persuade users that you are a trustworthy business?

Green Padlock (SSL Certificate)
Due to recent government and consumer campaigns, customers have been trained to look for the green padlock icon displayed in the address bar of most browsers. This ensures there is a secure connection between the website server and the user’s browser, helping to protect information during transmission and reducing the risk of hackers intercepting personal information. If you haven’t already done so, you should contact us to implement secure SSL hosting as soon as possible, not least because this can also help improve your SEO.

Full contact information
Too many companies still make the mistake of not showing thorough contact information on their website. A contact number is a must, and it should be a landline if possible, consumers don’t typically trust companies that only show mobile numbers. But don’t stop there, you should also display your full postal address and postcode if possible. This helps to put people’s mind at rest that you are a real physical business and that they can contact you if something goes wrong.

Company registration information
Most people are not aware and even some larger companies make this mistake, but It is a legal requirement for limited companies to display their registered company number, place of registration and registered office address on their website. Typically this information is displayed in the footer, on a terms of business page or on the contact page, but it can go anywhere, so long as it’s there. Aside from being a legal requirement, this information can go a long way to proving that you are a legitimate business. If you operate in the B2B space, you will find this information is one of the first things customers look for.

Clear and concise T&Cs
All companies require terms and conditions to operate but do they really need to be written in legalese and hidden away where they’ll never be seen. Documents such as your privacy policy and returns policy should be written in a clear and concise style, providing the information the user seeks quickly and efficiently. Try to resist the temptation to write two thousand words in long-winded paragraphs without any subheadings. This makes them difficult to read and most customers have become accustomed to viewing such pages with mistrust.

The vast majority of sites we see are making at least one of these basic mistakes which are potentially costing them thousands in lost revenue every single day. Users of all ages are becoming more web savvy all the time, not because they want to, but because they have to. By failing to implement these simple trust forging elements on your website, you risk losing valuable business.

In most cases, the solutions are easy and cost-effective to implement, so if your website fails one or more of the above checks get in touch with one of our specialist team today and we’ll work to get it sorted. You only have one chance of gaining a users trust, so it’s in your interest to get it right first time.

The importance of Google My Business for local businesses

The importance of Google My Business for local businesses

Google’s main aim is to provide all searchers with the most accurate result possible based on what they need. Google My Business was created with this exact purpose in mind, and is now the most important way businesses can promote themselves through Google. Better yet, having a Google My Business account is completely free, and there is no way to pay yourself to the top of the listings. Here are some of the biggest reasons why, as a small business owner, you now need a Google My Business account.

The rise of “near me” searches

“Near me” searches are those carried out by people looking for a local business to purchase from at that exact time. Ever since 2015, the number of searches performed on mobile has now exceeded those on desktop. This, coupled with the fact that 80% of “near me” searches are performed on mobile, means you need a way to get your business in front of people’s eyes exactly when it matters. Google My Business is the exact way to do this as you can be suggested both in map format and in typical search results.

The 3-pack listings

Instead of listing a number of businesses at the top of search results, Google has now adopted a 3-pack method. This method means that only 3, highly relevant, businesses are suggested to a customer. If you are able to develop your account to a point where it is listed in one of those 3 coveted spots, then the results for your business could be dramatic.

Evolving consumer trends

Another crucial reason to bear in mind is that, as Google My Business continues to develop, more and more customers become accustomed to using it. This means that, before choosing to purchase from someone, they use your Google Reviews as a means to work out your level of trustworthiness. If you fail to build an account, you are unable to build reviews and improve your online validation. However, if you encourage all customers to leave reviews, not only will Google start to trust you more but, more importantly, so will your paying customers.

Here at Westcountry Media, we understand the importance of Google My Business, and how it is giving local businesses a great fighting chance in increasingly competitive markets. We work with a number of clients to improve all aspects of their digital marketing strategy and know how to get the results needed. To find out more about how we can help your business, and create a tailored solution for you, get in contact today.

The importance of a great website

The importance of a great website

Now, more than ever, your website serves as an integral marketing tool for your company. With an ever-increasing reliance on and availability of digital devices, it is easy to find a company’s website and vet them for yourself. However, the great thing about websites is they also link in well to more traditional marketing websites. So if you are considering whether your website is up to scratch, or considering getting your first one, here are some points to highlight the importance of getting a great website.

Online marketing

Whenever people need a product or service, the first point of call has become a quick search on Google. Perhaps they are looking for a new toothbrush, a car to rent, or even a restaurant in their local area. Google is the fastest way to find a relevant response to their query, as well as compare prices and reviews, and ultimately make a purchase.

This has become an amazing tool for every kind of business as, for free, your customers can find you online and decide to buy from you. Though it isn’t exactly that simple and the whole art of SEO revolves around helping your business rank higher for certain key terms. Either way, with some effort and perseverance, your website can be on the front page of Google for searches relating to what you sell, which opens up amazing opportunities to find new customers.

In turn, a great website is essential as, if people were to find your site, then they need to be impressed by your image and to know they can trust you. The quality of your website will immediately serve as their first impression of you, so you need to make sure it’s a good one. You will also be able to include testimonials and indicators of what makes you secure and trustworthy, such as recognised accreditation’s and secure payment logos etc.

Offline marketing

As already mentioned, your website is not just relevant for people finding you online, but also for finding you via more traditional methods such as:

– Getting a flyer through the door
– Receiving a recommendation from a friend
– Seeing you listed in a newspaper ad
– Spotting you on the side of a bus or billboard
– Noticing that you sponsor an event

Regardless of which one of these methods they use to find you, it’s likely that they will check out your website before calling or emailing. They will want fast access to answers such as how much do you cost? Where are you located? Have people bought from you before? What makes you different?

A great website is integral to helping your potential customers get immediate and practical answers to these questions and starting the process of building a relationship between yourselves and them.

It should be clear that, regardless of how you choose to advertise, be it via more traditional methods or via new avenues such as Google AdWords or Facebook Advertising, your website needs to be great in order to make you stand out from the crowd. Westcountry Media are helping businesses small and large to develop their online identity via fantastic websites.

To find out more on how we can help your business, get in contact today.

Website marketing ideas – exit popups

Website marketing ideas – exit popups

Attracting potential customers to your website and getting them to stay long enough to respond to your call to action is the whole purpose of having an online presence.

But how many people do you lose? How many potential clients click on a page, have a quick browse, then disappear to be lost forever as merely statistics on your website analytics? Worse still are those who start shopping on an e-commerce site, then inexplicably abandon the process.

What if you could capture some of that attention back, collect usable data or generally turn that website visit into a qualified lead? One of the best ways to achieve that is with an exit pop-up.

What are exit pop-ups?

Clearly, by the very fact that they have clicked on your website, visitors have expressed an interest in your brand. An exit popup gives them a digital nudge in the right direction when they click the back arrow.

These exit intent auto response pop-ups serve a number of specific purposes, including:

– Reminding people of your USPs to invite further interest
– Suggesting they subscribe to your newspaper
– Asking them for feedback
– Reminding them (or informing them) of a special offer that requires a simple “yes”
– Inviting them to complete their order.

Why they are effective

The whole subject of popups is somewhat controversial, but one of the benefits of an exit intent message is that it is viewed as less intrusive than an entry or time-related pop-up.

The perception is that there is a certain logic and common sense to the question “Is there anything else we can do to help you?” or “Before you leave, can we ask your name?”. There is also something more personal about a message saying “Wait, your visit mattered”. All of this helps to ensure the take up of exit pop-ups is more likely.

This is a hard thing to measure unequivocally, though. If they don’t leave, then their next step may be swallowed up by your statistics on other actions, such as subscriptions. However, the industry believes that exit intent pop-ups can increase selling opportunities on your site by up to 80%.

To find out more on the topic of pop-ups in general and how effective they can be in meeting your business aims, talk to the team at Westcountry Media.

Patching up after Wannacry

Patching up after Wannacry

This week saw dozens of NHS Trusts experiencing computer problems, after their un-patched PCs were infected with the Wannacry virus. Known as Ransomware, Wannacry encrypts all the data on a computer’s hard drive, and asks the user to pay around £230 in bitcoins (a digital currency). The attacks have been widely covered by the news, and didn’t just affect the NHS – thousands of computers worldwide were effected at the same time.

How did the computers get infected?

Although some people blamed phishing emails (emails that include a link to an external site, clicking it downloads the virus), it now appears that the virus was actually spread through un-patched computers. Wannacry targets a vulnerability in the Windows operating system. Microsoft created a patch for it back in March, but unless the latest updates have been installed on a computer they will still be open to attack. The NHS Trusts involved have been criticised for not installing the patch, despite advice from NHS Digital.

Is it just big organisations that get hit?

No. The virus isn’t just targeting big companies, if it gets into your network, whether you’re a small company or an individual, then it will spread to any un-patched computers.

Am I vulnerable to ransomware?

If you’re running Windows 10, then you are not vulnerable to this current version of ransomware. If you run Windows XP, Windows Server 3 or Windows 8, then you will be vulnerable if you haven’t installed the latest security patches. Although formerly Microsoft did not offer updates for older versions of Windows, to help stop the spread of this virus they have made security patches available for previous versions which are available for download from Microsoft’s website.

Virus and Ransomware attacks can cause havoc to any business. If you’re concerned about the security of your computer or network then you should seek the advice of an IT professional.

This whole issue has also highlighted the importance of keeping all software up to date which of course includes your business website. If you don’t currently have a maintenance package in place on your website, get in touch with us today to discuss the options.

The power of video content on your website

The power of video content on your website

The power of video on your website should not be ignored. Video is easily the most engaging form of content that is available and is set to become even more popular.

Video is memorable

According to Comscore Statistics, over 80% of visitors to websites remember video adverts. Furthermore, visitors who watch a video are more likely to stay on your site for an extra few minutes and 64% are more likely to invest in one or your services or products.

Did you know that video marketing can actually boost your website’s Google ranking in a search by up to 53 times? The higher the ranking, the more likely you are to be found by potential customers.

Tips for making a great video

For a video advert to produce the results you want, it must be a good one.

Overly long videos are not a good idea as viewers’ attention spans can be short; a good video is typically only a minute or so in length. The quality of the video is also important so that it is impressive and easily shareable.

Your video must either inform or entertain or both. An entertaining video will keep viewers hooked and will inspire them to take action once the video is over. You must also provide a clear call to action and options for sharing, encouraging feedback and comment.

In conclusion

Video marketing is certainly worth the time and expense. A great video will guarantee better site visitor engagement, greater organic reach, more click-throughs and higher conversion rates.

Westcountry Media offer professional video presenter videos for much less outlay than you would pay for a far less effective newspaper advert. For more information about how Westcountry Media could create the perfect video advert for your website, why not contact us and have a chat with one of our helpful experts?

You can see an example video on our home page at www.westcountrymedia.co.uk and another on jewellery wholesale site www.vickijane.co.uk