Automated Chat Bot for your Website and Facebook Page

drive by chat bot

In 2018 we heavily promoted the benefits of Live Chat facilities on website. At the time, research had found that customers respond very positively to the idea of a live chat over a contact form on a website. As well as this, employees using live chat features can productively engage with far more people at one time. But how can we top this in 2020?

Talking to multiple customers over the phone is clearly more time consuming than holding multiple live chats with your website visitors. However, the next productivity feature is here and it could make live chat boxes redundant in time.

 

Automated Chat Bot

Predefined questions and automated responses on your Website and Facebook Page.

 

We’ve written out a summary of what this interesting new trend actually offers to your business.

An automated chat bot can converse fluidly with website and Facebook users. Google’s Natural Language Processing allows the chat bot to provide realistic small talk and natural interaction that mimics the real world. Not only can they be programmed to manage your enquiries but It can also search your website, send contact details and provide user feedback.

These facilities are being improved all the time and already offer a significant competitive edge. Ultimately, it does a better job at converting visitors than your website does alone. It will still not replace manned live chat facilities for many companies but the limited time required makes the chat bot feature a serious consideration for overnight/weekend enquiries. With a chat bot you can sit back and collect more leads, conversions and satisfied customers without any effort.

Even predefined questions and answers alone will still generate more conversions than the ‘No one is Available to Chat’ message that can often be seen on a live chat box. So if you are considering an upgrade, give us a call on 01775 761512 or email [email protected]

Ecommerce – Moving Lincolnshire Magento 1 Sites to Magento 2

magento2 update lincolnshire

Switching to Magento 2

If you’re running an ecommerce website in Lincolnshire, it might be time to check with your hosts that you are future proof. We regularly have new clients in Spalding approach us with older ecommerce systems, unaware that their business and their customers are at risk. If they stay on an old system without receiving security patches, hackers will be more capable of gaining access to the hosting and website. The most prominent example we are seeing now is businesses running on Magento 1 systems. Now is the time to abandon Magento 1. The Magento 1 platform will reach ‘End of Life’ in June 2020. This means that all updates will cease, and your system will be considered expired. We advise you to invest effort in the migration to a newer platform, sooner rather than later.

Whether you’re working from a market town like Spalding or a city like Peterborough, Magento 2 is a costly build for lots of companies and this may be a big barrier to taking the next step. It’s not the only option. Magento is a very good platform but it’s often overkill. There are alternative platforms that offer security and stability long term. If you’re unsure where to look next then give us a call.

We use a variety of systems depending on their intended purpose. This includes using Magento on larger ecommerce sites or scalable sites with larger intentions. The countdown to 2020 can be an opportunity to explore the features, performance and security enhancements provided by the range of future proof platforms, including Magento 2.

For more information on how to get moving, contact us on 01775 761512 or email [email protected]

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Making Progress with Website Content – Refreshing a Site

Google Trends

SEO is about asking the right questions

It’s tough to stay inspired when it comes to updating your website but a few basic questions might help get you started. Maybe rethinking the content you want on the site is enough to inspire whole pages of valuable new content to be ranked in Google. This is search engine gold. 

Our clients (primarily in Spalding, Peterborough, Boston, Bourne and Holbeach) often forget that they have assumed their main keywords are taking priority in their content. Unless deliberately added, this is often the case. You can avoid this by asking, ‘What keywords are used the most?’. If you then follow this up by adding or reinforcing the true priority keywords in your content, this will dramatically improve your google ranking. 

Another area that clients assume is certain service based information that they provide on a daily basis, but new customers won’t be familiar with. Issues like this can be highlighted by asking, ‘What information is missing/assumed?’. I have seen some clients miss hundreds and hundreds of valuable words on their first draft by assuming their customer will fill in the blanks. 

Finally, the toughest question to tackle is, ‘What keywords are actually ranking in google?’. You can find this by using google search results and analysing your ranking. A more accurate overview could be acquired on Google Analytics. You can rate the quality of those keywords against each other (or other potential keyword additions) by using the Google Trends analysis. I’ve created a demonstration by comparing ‘Keyword’ and ‘Search Term’ (two keywords for this post). Visit Google Trends Demo

Mastering tools like this will allow you to prioritise the right keywords for your audience. For any of the above e are obviously happy to help. We regularly advise our clients on how they can improve their content in ways like this. Ultimately, your customers don’t need to think you’re and up and coming author, but you should be able to make some regular improvements with your website content by asking questions like this. 

 Here are some other website content questions:

Is the content localised adequately? (so search engines can place you at those locations)

Could you criticise this content on a competitor website?

Have you highlighted your strengths in comparison to your competitors?

Writing new original content

If you’re looking for information on how to write brand new original content for your site we also have some information to help. For more information and content writing tips, visit our recent blog: Check out our content writing tips

Writing Content For Your Website – Blogging Tips

blogging Spalding content tips

It’s not easy coming up with content for your website. While we cannot help make that much easier, we can tell you how to make the most of what you do write. Here are some ways you can improve your content quality:

Localised Content

Over the course of a year your can ready spread your reach far and wide if every website page or blog post is specific to a different location. In some areas you may not have the ability to crush the competition in one website page or blog post but in others there may not even be any competition and you’ll effortlessly make it to the top. Worst case scenario, even in the toughest areas to crack you can still be a few pages back in the search results for those more scrupulous searchers. The point is, unless you localise your pages and posts Google doesn’t see you as being everywhere, it sees you as being nowhere. For our business we usually specify clients work as being in towns and cities such as Spalding, Holbeach, Bourne, Boston, Grantham, Long Sutton, Lincoln, Peterborough.

Content is King

Don’t be one of the many people that uses too few words in their website pages or blog posts. You can maximise your SEO potential by exceeding the recommended minimum of 300 words. Although time is a big factor, I would still suggest putting aside at least an hour to write each new update instead of trying to cram in into a spare 5 minutes. It’s vital that content updates are done properly because there’s a very high chance that one of those updates will become somebody’s first impression of your business.

Blog early and Blog often

Did you know that companies that published 16+ blog posts per month had roughly 3.5 times more traffic than companies publishing from 0 to 4 posts monthly? It’s important to note that it’s the content that takes priority, but there is a balance to be struck. Why not pad out two quality, lengthy blog posts into four over the same period of time. Provided you aren’t cutting to close to the recommended minimum of 300 words, you’re probably substantially improving your visitor numbers. Some of the websites we host update their content on a daily basis.

Cookies – GDPR Compliance On Your Website

GDPR

“Persons may be associated with online identifiers such as internet protocol addresses, cookie identifiers or other identifiers. This may leave traces which, in particular when combined with unique identifiers and other information received by the servers, may be used to create profiles of the natural persons and identify them.”

This is the statement of most significance for most people in relation to their compliance with GDPR. Cookies can theoretically be used to identify a person, therefore they should be treated as personal data. Given this, it’s best to be on the safe side. For anyone that has not yet established GDPR compliance in their business or on their website, we’re able to help get you covered in relation to cookies.

If you’re an existing client, we’ll set up a cookies acceptance option and include generic acceptance information on your website for the small price of £15+VAT.

We appreciate that this is not a choice any of us have made and are therefore keen to keep the financial burden for you to a minimum.

I’m afriad we have to be very cautious in offering advice in relation to wider GDPR guidlines as we’re not qualified to do so but we’d be happy to recommend a local company to speak to.

How does a Page Builder stack up to a Web Developer?

Free Website Builder

Almost all our clients come to us knowing exactly what they are looking for. Generally, it’s something like this:

  • They want someone to build a website
  • They want someone they know and can trust to build a website
  • They want to be able to drop in and see their chosen web developers when it suits them
  • They want something bespoke for their business, and not a generic template
  • They want to be able to discuss web development options and choose what’s right for them
  • They want the development to continue for years to come and not stop once the website is live

All our clients fit into this list somewhere, but there continues to be new customers that need to be convinced of these benefits first. We don’t push our services on anyone and often I’ll just direct people to where to research the benefits of real web development over a cheap page builder. In some cases, I’ll even recommend that they use a page builder at first and come back to Drive By Websites once they have outgrown it. These cheap page builders on Wix, Godaddy or 123-Reg have their benefits. They’re easy to work on and they aren’t much on the pocket either. But that’s as much as you can expect, the benefits end there.

Website Builder (cheap/free) vs Drive By Websites In Spalding

Our services include optimising websites. From as early as the initial design stage we’re implementing ideas and trying to focus on SEO strategies to enhance the potential reach of the site. Further still, we implement the tools to allow our clients to take SEO into their own hands. Now, there is some training and a learning curve involved but we aren’t working by the hour and we’ll take as much time as it takes to get our clients geared up to make continuous improvements to their websites.

We also put all our website design costs up front. This is where the page builders have gained a very bad reputation. Suppose you’ve got a nice simple website to get you going, you then want to go live. Already you’ll incur costs as they want to throw in a domain cost and a connection cost. Then you’ll find it’s not high enough in Google, so they offer you an SSL certificate for even more cost. Over time these issues will arise and leave you wondering why you had started with the page builder in the first place. It is likely still cheaper in the end, but you’ll certainly not be trusting your host like you should.

The main issue, above all else, is these page builders are missing all the fundamentals named at the top of the page. All the priorities for almost all our clients are missing from the page builder offering. I would still go as far as to say it’s just scratching the surface because the technical advantages of our systems over these page builders are endless. Nonetheless, that isn’t often what matters most for our clients.

For more information on what we offer or the technical benefits of our systems, give us a call on 01775 761512.

Developing the Website of the Future – Web Development

future web development

There are some emerging technologies that are set to change Web Development in much the same way as mobile browsing has in recent years. We have named a few that we predict will be become more and more common in the coming years.

Domain Extensions

We can already see the rise of unconventional domain name extensions beginning. As traditional domains (.com and .co.uk) have been so widely used, people will need to adopt new domain extensions such as .limited, .shop or .events. There are a vast number of extensions now available but we still aren’t coming across them daily. As more people are forced to adopt them, the search engines will respond by putting them on an even playing field with more common extensions. A lot of industry experts are arguing that it’s important to start using them now to ride that wave when it comes. There are currently over 600 new extensions that you could potentially invest in over the next few years.

Cryptocurrency

It seems logical that before ‘cryptocurrency’ (such as Bitcoin) truly finds its place in the real world, it will first become as standard for future ecommerce websites as PayPal is today. With virtual currency growing in popularity there are already signs of this reality. Major websites such as Microsoft, Expedia and Shopify.com have already adopted this payment option. Benefits include anonymity, very low transaction fees and irreversible transactions (a third party such as a bank or PayPal can’t reverse the payment). We’re a long way off a cryptocurrency revolution but if it continues to grow as it has then there will undoubtedly be a market call for this in Ecommerce Web Development.

Online Security

With online security concerns still inhibiting a smooth browsing experience it seems logical that the market will lean towards account security being less troublesome and more secure. Three symbols, two numbers, one capital letter and ten minimum characters leaves users with a problem on their hands. Most of us will have experienced the difficulty of creating a password that has to be written down. This defeats the object of the security measures and ultimately makes the account less secure. The future will offer Web Development options beyond that. Examples of this can be seen with online banking and the technology available to enter your pin securely. Many smart phones are now capable of reading thumbprints therefore thumbprint entry is potentially already an option. Regardless of how this manifests itself, there is currently a need for a solution. With website apps being commonplace for social media, online banking and even ecommerce (such as Ebay and Amazon) it won’t be long before we are able to use the full potential of facial recognition, voice recognition and thumb recognition to solve this problem.

To discuss your own futuristic web development objectives, give us a call on 01775 761512 or contact us online.

What Are the Benefits of a Blog?

blogging

Continuous fresh content will mean Google needs to regularly index your site and is also a consideration when Google decides how to rank your website in search results. If your website doesn’t contain a lot of content, or any fresh content, a blog would be the perfect way to achieve this while also target specific keywords.

While it isn’t easy to commit to a blog, keep in mind that it may only be a weekly or biweekly update that is all you need to start increasing visitors. If don’t know where to start, try creating a list of different content opportunities. We regularly suggest using testimonials as blog posts, as they usually contain excellent keywords but also don’t require any writing time for the blogger. You can also use events, industry news and business changes.

How does this bring a return in visitors? As well as ranking new pages into Google, a good blog psot can also receive social media shares and links from other websites. All of this will also increases your ‘Domain Authority’, where Google considers your site a higher authority than your competition.

If you would like more information or a quote to get set up with a blog, or for us to blog for you, give us a call on 01775 761512.

Google’s been busy. Has your hosting provider?

Google Hosting

Google has been busy in the last year with:

  • 1,653 new search changes
  • 9,800 live traffic experiments
  • 18,015 side-by-side experiments
  • 130,336 search quality tests

What we don’t know is how many of those 1,653 new search changes are algorithmic or ranking changes. Those would be the changes that impact you and your business. There is believed to be over 200 ranking factors working to compare your site with your competitors. When changes are made to these many factors, webmasters are rarely quick to act. In fact, nearly all of the clients that move their website to our hosting servers are out of date in some form.

While you are keeping your content fresh and relevant, we are working all the time on making the most of that content. Upgrades to our systems take place on a weekly basis and allow your site to remain as relevant in two years as it was the day it went live.

Contact us regarding website transfers for a free quote and helpful advice.

If you read nothing else, please read this advice ……

We are delighted to have attracted your attention because the following advice will be invaluable to improving your online presence during 2016 and beyond.

During the early days of the Internet, copying articles from other sources was enough to drive traffic to your website. Nowadays, you have to come up with something that’s completely original wording. Google has even set its bots on the hunt for ‘updated content’. This means that it’s not even enough to be completely original or feature rich, the content has to be consistently fresh to make it to the top.

Read moreIf you read nothing else, please read this advice ……

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