Burning Money!

Does your business post to Facebook?

When you make a post you probably see the notification show saying “Boost this post”. If you click the button Facebook will then tell you how your post could reach another 5000 people or so by paying, say £20.00.

£20.00 doesn’t see like a lot to reach another 5000 (or whatever the figure they tell you) people. Must be worth a go, right?

Unfortunately not. What Facebook doesn’t tell you is that the 5000 people aren’t necessarily your target audience. The vast majority of people who see it will probably have little or no interest in your business or product. You may as well set fire to that £20.00! Choosing the correct target audience is key to successfully advertising on Facebook (or anywhere else for that matter).

Boosting a post is a very simple way of “advertising” on Facebook but if you are serious about wanting to get your business or products in front of the right people don’t do it.

What you should be doing, and what is proven to be very successful when done correctly is advertising on Facebook using the Business Manager portal. It’s not as simple as the Click here to boost your post but using the Ads Manager within Business Manager will allow you to target the right audience for you products.

You can target gender, age groups, location, interests… the list goes on.  You can limit your daily spend to an affordable rate so you won’t get caught into a long contract with high spend for no return. You can stop the ads at any time so you are completely in control.

Facebook ads are proven to work. For every £1.00 you spend on advertising you should get at least £5.00 back. We have clients who have shown returns of £20.00+ for some campaigns. All it takes is careful set up at the beginning and time when the ads are running to look after them, adjust anything that isn’t working and be flexible in your methods.

Not everyone has time to do that of course, which is where we come in. If you need a good quality Facebook Ads specialist, then you should speak to us. We have been advertising on Facebook (and other platforms) for years and know what works and what doesn’t. We can get you a return on your investment!

Get ready for PHP 8

PHP 8.0 is set to be released on November 26, 2020. As the programming language powering WordPress sites, PHP’s latest version offers new features that developers will find useful and improvements that promise to greatly enhance security and performance in the long run. It also fully removes a number of previously deprecated functions. PHP 8 is a massive change from previous versions.

In this article, we hope to provide insights detailing what this means for WordPress site owners, including recommended adoption strategies.

Should I upgrade right away?

No. The upcoming major version of WordPress, 5.6, is intended to be “beta compatible with PHP 8” according to the developer chat for WordPress.  Bugs may still occur for some time, even without the presence of additional plugins or themes. WordPress has called for additional testing with PHP 8 in order to find and fix as many remaining bugs as possible.

Many plugin developers working to ensure that their plugin is compatible with PHP 8 in a variety of environments. Upcoming versions will offer a level of partial support, though most have additional testing planned to reach full compatibility.

A vast number of WordPress plugins and themes will not be immediately compatible with PHP 8. Those that do not run into fatal errors during normal usage may still show unexpected behavior for some time.

What breaking changes does this include?

Some developers have long argued that PHP is insecure by default. While this is up for debate, it’s true that versions of PHP prior to PHP 8 are more fault tolerant and try very hard to ensure that code will run even if minor errors are present.

PHP 8 uses much stricter typing than previous versions. Many built-in functions are now pickier about the input they accept, and PHP 8 itself is more stringent about how input is passed to functions. Issues that previously resulted in notices now result in warnings, and issues that previously resulted in warnings now result in errors.

In other words, PHP 8 is not as lenient as previous versions. It will not try quite as hard to make code work no matter what.

What performance changes are coming?

One potentially exciting feature coming to PHP 8 is JIT, or “Just In Time” compilation. PHP is an interpreted language, meaning that it is translated into machine code as it runs. JIT keeps track of code that’s frequently used and attempts to optimize the machine code translation so that it can be reused. This can result in a massive performance improvement for specific functionality.

The addition of JIT to other languages, such as JavaScript, has historically led to an explosion of new applications. For example, virtual machines running in JavaScript would have been unimaginable in the early days of the web. Certain tasks that would have required a module to be installed on the server in the past will become practical using pure PHP libraries.

For the time being, however, the actual performance improvement for web applications such as WordPress is minimal, and it will take a long time before the average WordPress user or developer reaps the benefits of this new feature.

Summary

The transition to PHP 8 is one of the broadest and most impactful changes the language has ever seen. While it will be worth it in the long run, WordPress site owners and developers may find problems short term. If you’re a website owner, start keeping a watchful eye on which of your plugins and themes are being updated or tested for compatibility and make a plan to replace the ones that aren’t. If you’re a developer, start testing your code and any dependencies on PHP 8, if you’re not already, and start making a plan to fork or replace any libraries that aren’t being updated. The WordPress ecosystem has been through difficult transitions in the past, and our open-source community has always grown and adapted.

12 hidden benefits that make SEO an absolute necessity for every business 

Brands including startups and SMEs understand value of SEO but they limit its advantages to improving searchability and visibility. It’s true that SEO highlights the presence of digital properties but its advantages aren’t limited to boosting visibility.

Here’re 12 reasons for businesses irrespective of their industry or size should implement SEO techniques. These reasons highlight importance of SEO for a business and force businesses to put focus on their SEO strategies.   

  1. Organic traffic is the primary source of website traffic

Organic search determines a website’s performance. An important element of the buyer funnel, it helps visitors in completing conversions. Also, it is well-known that Google controls a large part of web traffic.

It isn’t that other search engines, including Yahoo, which is also a popular search engine don’t have any share in web traffic but that Google captures the lion’s share of around 75% of web traffic.

Another advantage of the Google suite is its email service, which is the most popular email service in the world, and YouTube which has become the second largest search engine for searching information.

High visibility on Google and its products and other search engines will work in favor of your brand. With quality SEO, you can certainly push your website towards success.

  1. Become trustworthy and credible 

The objective of SEO is to prepare a strong foundation for a web business and make it visible for the target audience. Visibility builds trusts and credibility in the long run. But you need to work on different metrics like accumulating backlink profiles, developing positive user behavior and optimizing on-page elements and content.

Building authority requires patience and commitment in addition to providing a product/service that scores high on quality and that targeted customers find acceptable.

  1. Better user experience 

Visibility will increase traffic, but for conversion, you need to provide a better user experience. This is where Google can help. Google understands how to interpret the experience of a user. Quality SEO revolves around improving user experience of visitors and in this way, optimization works in the favor of brands.

  1. Increase user engagement and conversion with local SEO 

Mobile traffic is dominating  digital media because it focuses on local search that plays a crucial role in the success of a business. Especially small and medium-sized businesses.

Local SEO optimizes digital properties for visibility in a targeted area such as towns, cities and even regions. Customers using mobile search find businesses they can access. In this way, businesses can connect to their customers and increase conversions.

  1. Strengthen the buying cycle 

People want brands to be present where they need them. Local SEO increases accessibility by connecting customers with businesses but customers do their research before clicking on websites. Here it would be right to say that everyone has a preference and SEO is the only way to offer groundbreaking deals and proofs of dependability such as client testimonials.

  1. Stay updated 

Optimizing sites is a good idea but is should be a continuous effort instead of a once-in-a-month effort. Google re-evaluates sites again and again; it releases hundreds of algorithmic updates every year and it rewards sites that keep  updated. If you carry out regular SEO on your site (or get an SEO agency to do it for you) your stand a much better chance of gaining a high listing and more traffic.

  1. Understand environment of the web 

The biggest challenge with web business is to stay relevant to the environment that is ever changing. To get business from the web, you need to stay on the top or at least on Page 1 of Google results. Without a quality SEO campaign to help you your chances of success are diminished.

Also, studying SEO would help in understanding the strategies of your counterparts who could be in a better position than you are. SEO would simplify their tactics for your convenience.

  1. SEO is a cheaper marketing exercise 

Optimizing sites requires monetary investment in the form of fees to pros. But it pays rich dividends that will become even better in the years to come iff you take care of the SEO framework  now and work continuously to strengthen the framework.

When compared to other marketing activities, SEO comes out as a cheaper alternative and its great advantage is that it is more reliable than others. It is  a smart investment that gives excellent results in the long run. For example, it would boost acceptance of your brand by adding value to the brand.

  1. A long-term strategy 

SEO has a long-term impact on your site. The action taken in the first year would keep your site active for the years to come. Of course, there would be changes in Google algorithm but you can include those changes in your site and follow the guidelines framed by Google. Also, you don’t need a load of SEO actions to push your site up on SERPs as a simple basic SEO practices coupled with a great site design and improve user experience could work for you.

  1. SEO results are quantifiable 

SEO becomes quantifiable with proper tracking and analytics. The problem in connecting the dots to make a bigger picture is solved to a greater context with the help of Google Analytics tool. You can connect actions with results and in this way have a better idea on how SEO is working for your site.

SEO pros know how to connect the dots to link actions to results for a clear understanding of performance of brands. In your case, you could see where you started; where you were; where you are and where you are heading. You can take it as an opportunity to steer your business towards success.

  1. Find new opportunities 

SEO opens new avenues of growth. The insight you get about your business; about competition; about competitors and the digital environment gives you the power to unearth the opportunities you can take advantage of. But you need dedicated a team of professionals to take care of your SEO work to achieve this.

  1. Be on Page 1 

A recent study on digital marketing revealed that the first three organic search rankings get about 40% of total click-throughs but 30% of results in Page 1 and 2 receive no clicks.

It highlights two situations

  • If you aren’t getting clicks, you  probably aren’t on Page 1 or 2
  • Search results differ from the search query

It is only with SEO that you can achieve first page ranking and visibility on targeted keywords.

Conclusion 

SEO is needed for making a strong foundation for growth of a brand and its digital properties. SEO show the way to improve web presence and leave digital footprints for the customers to follow. With SEO, you can take advantage of the available data that has been generated by rivalling sites.

SEO takes some time in giving results but if you look at the added advantages, you will find that websites keep achieving results from time to time. But you need to be consistent on your efforts and employ a professional for the job. It is better to let an expert SEO team lead your SEO strategy to success.     

 

 

Copyright Infringement

One of our clients was recently landed with an invoice for over £1000 for infringement of copyright!

Read this article to ensure you don’t fall into the same trap.

The client in question took over a small business several years ago and continued using the old business website with just some cosmetic changes to the front end.

The website is a content managed site so all of the images and content are held in a database at the back end of the site. Each time a new image is uploaded to the database, a url is applied to it so that it can be retrieved quickly and displayed on the page with minimal loading time.

What the client wasn’t aware of is that an employee of the original company had downloaded some images from other websites with a view to using them on the company site. As it turned out one of the images belonged to a major stock image company and as such required permission to be used on any web sites. (Permission granted by paying a fee).

Although the image was not used on the front end of the site; because it was stored in the database and had a url applied to it, the company’s automatic bots that scrape the Internet looking for images used without permission discovered this image by following the url. The stock image company then demanded over £1000 for use of the image. The fact that the image was not used was immaterial, the image had been downloaded without permission and had a url attached to it so the fee was payable.

If you have images on your website – and let’s face it almost everyone does, it makes sense to check out whether they are being used without permission.

There is a free tool on Google to check your images and is very simple:

Just right click your image and in the pop up box, select Search Google for image. The results will display where the image can be found. If any of the results show that the image belongs to a stock image company and you haven’t bought it, now is the time to do so! Spending £10 or less now will potentially save you £1000 or more in the future!

Too busy to do it yourself? Contact us for a quote to ask us to do it for you.