Welcome to the brand new Upperdog website and blog - isn't it fancy! As you may know, this year's Christmas campaign is all about giving. Every day for 5 days we will be giving away some of our best kept digital marketing secrets, ranging from PPC and local SEO to development and social media. Each tip will be shared on our Facebook page, with further information added to this blog post each day.
Sticking to the theme of giving, and as we're such massive animal lovers (how adorable is our mutt, Milo!) we wanted to do something great for the animal community. This year, our charity of choice is Margaret Green Animal Rescue, an animal charity found in 1965 with two bases in Dorset and Devon. Their mission is to provide animals forever homes, with plenty of love, care and veterinary attention whilst they wait at the rescue centre.
If we reach 300 shares of our Facebook posts, Upperdog will donate £300 to Margaret Green Animal Rescue! Keep an eye out for tomorrow's tip - and start sharing!
Day 1… The Best Time to Post on Social Media
No matter your type of business, it’s likely your customers can be found on social media. Social media can be an effective, low-cost way to engage with potential customers for your business as long as you ‘post’ at the right times. Here is a quick insight into when you should post your content in order for it to be liked, shared and seen by as many people as possible.
For B2C businesses, it’s likely your customer base are on social media during commuting hours. Whether it’s scrolling the realms of Facebook on the tube in the morning or catching up on Twitter after work, we can’t help but stay glued to our devices at these times. Because of this, posting your business’ content in the commuting hours of 8am and 6pm is the perfect way to ensure your posts are seen by a large audience.
For those who love the specifics, it’s likely this two-hour window won't suffice. Instead, go and check out ‘Facebook Insights’ to find the optimum post time to reach your audience. Whether your customer base are rising early or burning the midnight oil, Facebook Insights tailor the analytics to the behaviours of your Facebook following. Unsure how to find ‘Facebook Insights’? It’s easy! Simply load up your company’s Facebook page and click the “Insights” tab at the top to start discovering more about your fan base.
Day 2...Tips for Maintaining Your Google AdWords Campaigns This Festive Period
If you're an e-commerce brand, you've likely planned out your Christmas campaigns to make the most of the festive period – the busiest shopping event of the year. Here are some tips to make sure everything runs smoothly and to get the most out of the post-Christmas shopping rush.
Check your call and location extensions. Is your business able to accept calls and visitors to your location during the Christmas period and beyond? If not, you should temporarily disable these extensions.
Is your ad copy festive? If you're mentioning Christmas sales and gift deliveries in your ad copy, make sure the ads are scheduled to be paused/updated after the 25th December.
Do you have a Boxing Day / New Year campaign? Boxing Day and New Year both are both really important days for e-commerce – YoY growth is only rising with up to a 90% increase in some industries. You should consider a dedicated campaign for each event.
Do you have a backup payment method? If you only have one payment method and it fails for whatever reason, you should always have a backup to keep your ads running!
Are your landing pages relevant? If your ad copy mentions Christmas sales, your landing page should also reflect this. It's important both for converting potential customers and AdWords quality scores.
If you're unsure about the quality of your existing campaign, why not request a free PPC audit?
Day 3...Local SEO Optimisation with Google My Business
If you're a local business and want to increase enquiries, then this tip for local SEO is for you! Follow the steps below to get your business showing in Google:
1. Create a Google My Business page. Google will take you through this step by step. Ensure you fill out all of your business information, include links to your website and social pages, and sit tight for the Google postcard. Without verification, your page won't go live.
2. Once verified, encourage your customers to leave reviews. They can do this by googling your business name and clicking 'Leave a review'. The more reviews you have, the more likely you are to rank higher!
3. Add your business to as many online business directories as you can, such as Yelp. Add a unique business description and as much info as possible.
4. Optimise your website for local SEO. There's tons of info about this on searchengineland - and it's also what Upperdog do!
Day 4...How and Why You Should Optimise Your Images
Any good website these days will have a variety of images and illustrations across its pages, whether that be in huge hero banners or featured images in blog posts.
This looks great but unfortunately images are much larger in size than text, so can have a serious effect on your page loading speed. Not only does a slow loading page annoy a user, it can dramatically reduce your conversion rate, statistics from kissmetrics.com report that 40% of people completely abandon a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.
So how can you avoid these dilemmas? Here are 5 top tips:
Use the right format: .jpg is best for photos & .png is best for illustrations or graphics.
Use the right size: Don’t upload the 20 megapixel image straight from your fancy DSLR. Resize it using a tool like photoshop to the maximum dimensions it will appear on your site.
Compress the image: Simply opening your image in Photoshop and using the 'Export for Web' tool can have a big effect on size. Use the quality setting to optimise further - even as low as 60% it is difficult to notice a difference. Plugins such as WP Smush can automatically compress your images losslessly as you upload them.
Take advantage of responsive images: You don’t really want to be loading a 2000px hero banner on a smartphone - so take advantage of the new srcset attributes within the <img> tag. The browser intelligently loads the best size for the device your browsing on. Wordpress even implements this by default.
Use SVGs: SVGs are super efficient as they are vector based, so they can be as small or as large as you like for the same file size. They also have other advantages like supporting animations and changing fill colours with CSS.
Day 5...Tips on Mobile SEO!
You may have heard in the SEO rumour mill about 'mobile first index' - but what does it all mean? Google recently announced that they will "primarily use the mobile version of a site's content to rank pages from that site". Put simply, the mobile version of your website will be used to determine your organic SEO rankings. What does this mean for businesses? You should check the mobile version of your site and ensure all important content, imagery and navigation is on your website. In a nutshell, if your site isn't mobile-friendly your rankings could disappear - across mobile and desktop. Don't have a mobile site? Don't worry; there's nothing you need to do - this only applies to businesses with separate desktop and mobile sites. But don't let your mobile SEO slip!
Day 5...Using Polymer and Not Re-inventing the Wheel!
Upperdog has started to use Polymer, a new powerful development platform built by Google. We offer Polymer aspart of our web design services in Bournemouth to create cutting edge websites that load fast, work anytime and on any device - what's not to love? Discover our favourite websites for pre built elements to use in Polymer:
Fortunately there are a wealth of custom elements out there ready to rock for you to use with a single command and little bit of implementation time! Now where can I find these you may ask, well there are two sites we'd recommend. For a more mature collection use https://customelements.io/. And another site that is looking very promising, is Google's own which can be found at https://beta.webcomponents.org/ - although it's in beta so do bear with it, as its still a bit buggy. That said every week we use the site it is vastly improved!
Christmas Special...Keep Employees Mmotivated with a Funky Office! - Zhara, Founder
As some of you may know, Upperdog moved offices in September. I wanted to give myself and my employees a more productive environment that we'd all love!
It's working well so far, so I thought I'd share my tips with you about what I think makes a happy office:
Pick the right location. We decided to move to Westbourne, as it's within a reasonable distance from everyone's homes and it's so close to many shops. I also chose it based on the general ambience of the town - it's very dog friendly and there's plenty of places close by for after work socials.
Pick an office that suits your working style. We're a creative agency and we love to work in teams, so the office needed enough space to fit my team in one area, with space for a meeting room and private office so there's the option to discuss things without distracting anyone else. My team are all seated on one desk, enabling them to hold open discussions and feel more like a work family!
Don't underestimate the interior design. It's so important! I want my office to reflect the business and our ethos. We care about our clients and our team, so we care about the office. I fitted a feature wall (with the help of our friend, local woodworker Elliott) with a big logo to show we're proud of who we are. I also painted a wall with blackboard paint for the team to keep track of tasks and execute our agile meetings.
We underestimated how beneficial it is to have a private meeting room and office. Now we have it, we can't stop using it! I added different layers and textures to the walls so that each room had a different feel, but it also looked professional for clients.
Finally, don't forget the small stuff. A decent kitchen and a private bathroom goes a long way. Let your team make themselves tea, create a fab lunch with an epic microwave and get into their slippers!
We hope you enjoyed Upperdog's 5 days of Christmas and are taking advantage of our tips. If you're looking for website design or digital marketing in Bournemouth please get in touch by calling 01202 798820 or email email@example.com!
Check back after Christmas to see the results of the Margaret Green Animal Rescue campaign.
T&Cs: Shares will be counted across all 5 days of Christmas posts. At midnight on 25th December, we will close the campaign and release the result in the New Year. Shares that total or exceed 300 will equate to £300 for Margaret Animal Rescue. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any enquiries.