Blogs: When we consider SEO, and all the elements that Google are looking for to show your web page in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), one of the things that isn’t really discussed in detail is the importance of regular blog posts.

This part of the article is a simple maths lesson, so let’s try to explain things in a simple way.

Blogs in Google SERP’s

1) Google has a fixed number of places available for displaying a web page on the first page (page 1 of Google) for a given search term.
2) You have unlimited number of pages (opportunity) available to you on your website.
3) One web page can she shown for a keyword / keyphrase.
4) The more pages you have, simple maths, the more opportunity you have to be shown for a given keyword / key phrase.

Imagine a user searches for “Red Shoes” and your page is found on the first page of Google for “Red Shoes”, would it also appear on the first page of Google for “Shoes in Red”?

Planning your Blogs and Content

If you create a spreadsheet with a list of pages or posts, and also list the focus keyword that is unique to each page, then you are ensuring your content relates to that keyword, and it has more chance of being found.

Additionally, you can then see gaps. Keywords or phrases that you want to be found for.

This forms the start of your content creation plan. Starting with the keywords that are most important for your business, you can see at a glance if you have content that relates to that keyword or phrase, and if not, you can write a blog based around that subject matter.

Writing for Google or your Visitors?

We feel that it stands to reason that you are writing content for the website visitor. Offering them something valuable, useful, and meaningful. Otherwise all the work into getting visitors there in the first place will be a complete waste, they will leave without investigating any further.

Writing a blog article for a human means that your visitor will be happy, but Google’s algorithm will also understand the meaning and intent of the page. If your site is all written in a valuable, useful and meaningful way, then it will understand the whole site context better, and this will go some way to helping you get found on page 1 of Google.

Write from the heart, write about what you know, and write about something relevant to your business.

We know from our data analysis that blogs perform well, and if you need any support or assistance creating a content plan or writing the articles, then please feel free to make contact. We are always happy to help.

The New Google Analytics, what YOU need to do, and by when! As a FREE service, Google Analytics has provided Marketers amazing data telling the story of how a user behaves on your website. It is invaluable in eliminating waste from your marketing budget. But in March 2022, Google announced major changes. In fact, the Universal Google Analytics, as we know it, will stop tracking on 1st July 2023.

Why does this matter?

For a while now, Google has offered the NEW GA4 version of its datas, which makes it easier to find the data that matters. A few companies have already started to embrace it.

However, when you move to GA4, the data on the existing Google Analytics is not pulled through, meaning that there is no comparable history. You cannot determine if you are doing better than the previous year.

This means that you need to ACT FAST to get a years worth of data on the new GA4 before your current version of Google Analytics stops tracking data. 

What Next?

If data is important to you, then you need to SET UP GA4 TODAY in order that you have plenty of time to gather data for Year on Year comparison. 

You will need to do the following:

  • Create a new GA property in Google Analytics
  • Add the tracking code to your website (or use Tag Manager)
  • Test that the data is firing in Real Time
  • Import your current Goals as Conversions
  • Ensure you copy over all active Filters
  • Create new Audiences used for PPC
  • Connect to PPC is applicable
  • Change your Data Studio Reports
  • Connect any other third party connections such as Infinity Call Tracking, Zapier, Raven, Cyfe, SEMrush and more. 

We have found that using a spreadsheet to monitor progress is key to success, and that you will find different things that you have connected Google Analytics to, that you will need to add to the sheet, you will also find that some software is not yet supporting GA4, and others are in Beta mode only.

Furthermore, if you are connecting Adwords and Analytics, then you need to make a decision as to when you import your new GA4 conversions, because you won’t want duplications.

It’s a big job, and we feel that you should aim to get this all done before the end of June, so that you have a good 13 months worth of data, and also giving you time to iron out any issues you find.

GA4 is VERY different to Universal Analytics, and people are struggling to understand where to find things, so we do recommend that you create a data studio report for all the things you need to know and understand on a regular basis.

Of course, we are always here to help. Please do not hesitate to get in touch.

PPC (pay per click) is the utilisation of Google/Bing ads; creating online ads for your webpages using keywords that best describes the page is question. PPC is an amazing way to open up your business to your target audience using adverts to direct potential users via internet marketing.




Benfits of using PPC

There are a ton of advantages that will benefit your business when using PPC, a few examples are:

  • The ability to target a specific audience which opens up brand awareness and exposure
  • Cost effectiveness
  • Your ad will be displayed at the top of the first page when your keyword is searched
  • Helps improve conversions and your click through rate to your website; these will help sales reveneue increase
  • You can run multiple ads in different formats such as display ads or max performance for each keyword

PPC is a great way to boost traffic to your website, but it’s not as easy as just using Google/Bing ads and expecting results. You need great campaigns that are reveleant, informative, chosing the right keywords for your business, placing these keywords in campaigns and ad groups, setting up landing pages or directing users to a product page.

It’s important to understand the audience your targetting, creating campaigns that are as relevant as possible. A good well targetting campaign will gain more traction through google’s search results and have a lower cost per click.

Who would benefit from using PPC?

Google ad‘s is the most commly used PPC platform, It enables you to create campaigns that will span all Google services through their search engine – Bing is also very useful, as its placed through their search engine as well as the utilisation of LinkedIn.

Choosing the right type of ad for your campaign and the keywords used in the campaign is important. Google ranks your ad’s based on a relevance and quality, the higher the score the better! Here’s a few key points to consider:

  • A higher quality score on your campaigns will get more clicks at a lower cost per click
  • Create a high quality landing page for your campaign thats clear and informative to help improve those conversions
  • Make sure those keywords are relevant to your business, popular keywords that user’s are searching for

Overall with a quick glance at PPC, we can identify the importance to internet advertising – Improving targetted traffic to your website to help bost your conversions using online campaigns based on your keywords, keeping in-mind how relevant the keywords are to your landing page.

We are often called upon to improve the speed of a website, and we have a methodology that helps us get some quick wins, making the site speed improvements happen at a pace.

So when we were faced with a website that scored E on GT Metrix, we were excited at the prospect of the challenge.

We also looked at Google Lighthouse to give us a starting point and you can see here that the score for most elements, apart from performance was very low indeed.

In fact, the website owner had used a plugin to reduce the size of his images, CSS and JavaScript, yet this plugin itself was heavy and causing more speed issues than it resolved. This is not unusual, and we strongly recommend avoiding plugins that offer huge improvements in site speed, and simply focus on best practices in the first instance.

Best Practices for Site Speed Improvements

You should always have a reference point to check that what you are doing is working, we we find that using gtmetrix.com and also Google Lighthouse are great ways to get relatively up to date information on what is causing a slow site. Of course, every tool relies on a clear cache, soit is testing the most up to date information, and sometimes you have to play the waiting gain before you can see the results. Testing the next day gives a better picture.

We also very strongly recommend taking a back up of every element you have changed and annotating very clearly what you have done and when. We suggest you check the site at every stage so that you can quickly fix anything that breaks. Unfortunately it can happen, so be prepared to undo what you have done on the odd occasion.

  • Run a Report – run both gtmetrix and Google Lighthouse reports. Both will give you ideas as to what you can do to improve the speed. (Open your site in an incognito window, right click, inspect element, then you will see the Lighthouse option. Simply follow the instructions).
  • Header and Footer – remember that on most sites, making changes on the header and the footer will affect the speed of multiple (sometimes all) pages on your website – so start there!
  • Compress and Convert – Compress your images BEFORE you convert then into webp format. This means you have the best, fastest version of the image that you can.
  • Text versus HTML – Have more words than code, try to avoid using page builders, which include more code which takes longer for a page to load.
  • Compress CSS and JS files – Starting with the things that will give you the most improvement, copy and save your file, compress, upload and test, test test again! Check all pages on your site to make sure nothing is broken BEFORE doing anything else, and please remember that the incognito window is your friend, as is using the Hard Refresh trick. (Right click, inspect element, go to the area on your browser where you see the URL and to the left you will see a refresh circle, right click the circle, hard refresh)

Once you have worked through the recommendations and fixed what you can, test again.

For this particular website, we found that the server itself was slow, and so we moved to a new hosting company that offered a server in their local region, which was fast and not shared (dedicated server).

But now look at it!

Of course, if you need help, or simply do not have the time, please feel free to call us on 01604 328899 or email info@m3sm.co.uk – we look forward to hearing from you.

Google My Business is a fantastic tool to help you and your business to boost your SEO and potential sales leads. With over 46% of search results looking for local information; you can boost your visibility in your area, connecting to local potential customers utilising another aveneue to help your business.

What is Google My Business?

Google My Business is a platform ran off from Google’s business listings, giving your business the abilitiy to show on local listings for search results in your area. Every local business owner should utilise Google My Business, as your business can be displayed via the local pack, google maps and the knowledge panel.

The above screenshot has been taken from Google’s Knowledge panel. We can see the company name, google reviews, hours open, contact information and crucial links. Using Google My Business allows you to appear on searches that you might not have appeared on without using this platform, and you have nothing to lose as It’s free!

How to setup GMB

It’s very easy to set up a GMB page! First visit googles create page, type in your business name (this will show you if you have created a google my business page before). If you haven’t created a page before; click on the pop-up, fill in your business name, choose the category your business best fits into, add in your location (you have the option to not fill this in), add your address, and continue to fill in your businesses information through the fields google provides.

Once you have verified your business, you will be greeted by your dashboard! You will be able to complete your listing, including adding photos, your bussiness logo, a description, your opening hours and more.

Creating a strong online presence is essential to improving your SEO and potential sales leads, establishing awareness via Google’s business listing is just another pillar in achieving this. Why wouldn’t you want to use this platform!

Improving On-Page SEO is one of multiple key factors to increase targeted traffic to your webpage. WordPress Plugins such as Yoast allows you to enhance your websites ranking on search results; utilising key words, a Meta Description and a Meta Title, all will help grow your page within Google’s ranking system. You should know that Google looks at around 200 different elements to determine where you are placed within the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), and Meta information is a very small part.

Why is On-Page SEO so vital?

On-Page SEO allows Google to understand your webpage, making sure they display the correct page to the relevant search result. Google is always updating and changing their algorithm to better identify the best webpages for the person who is searching, making sure the user is being shown up-to-date relevant information.

Over half of all website traffic comes through Organic search results through search engines like Bing and Google. Making sure you have optimised your pages will always create a positive effect that will help increase traffic.

If You Don’t – Your Competitors Will!

It is vital to make sure that you are updating your website with relevant content that has up-to-date information that your website visitor will find useful. Your visitor is on your website because they are looking for something. Almost all searches are a question, even the searches such as “Massage Northampton” is a question … “Where can I find a Massage Therapist in Northampton?” or “Shutter Blinds Cheshire” … “Where can I buy shutter blinds in Cheshire?”

Adding FAQs within your content often helps with answering some of those searched questions. But make it specific to the page. If your website offers Acoustic Design for example, and you write about walking your dog, as much as that may be interesting, it is not relevant to the page and will result in a lower placement in the Search Engine results Pages (SERPs) and a lower conversion rate once your webpage is found.

You should always remember, that whilst you are optimising your web pages, so are your competitors, which means you have to keep on looking to improve. Writing new content is a great start.

Imagine if you wrote one blog a month. Over the period of a year, that’s an additional 12 blogs, which means 12 more pages that the searches engines can find and potentially show you within the search results. So, if you and also your business colleague both wrote one blog a month, that’s an additional 24 blogs, therefore 24 more additional opportunities to be found. You get the idea. Plus, each team member will have different strengths to talk about when they write, meaning the topics are more varied than if just one person created them.

What to consider

When creating content, you always have to consider the below elements for your On-Page SEO:

  • Keyphrase – Choose wisely!
  • Meta Title
  • Meta Description
  • H1, H2, H3
  • Text Length greater than 300 words (optimum is around 2000)
  • Internal Links
  • Alt Text

Keyphrase – Your Keyphrase needs to be the focus of the blog; placed in the title, the first paragraph, and a few times in the content. This Keyphrase ties into your SEO Title and your Meta Description, you can see how important this is! Your Keyphrase has to be relevant to your content, and fairly unique to that page, otherwise which page will Google choose to show?

Yoast SEO Plugin

Meta Title – this key piece of information is what your searcher sees in the Search Engine Results – this is the title of your Organic listing.

Meta Title and Description

Meta Description – You can see from the image above that the Meta Description appears within Googles search listings immediately underneath the Meta Title. getting the Meta Information is key to attracting visitors to your website, this is your chance to say “hey, I can offer you what you are looking for, come and read more on our website now!”

H1, H2, H3 Tags – these are often used by website developers to ensure that headings on your web page are consistent throughout your website. However, Google uses it to understand and prioritise content. it expects to see a unique H1, H2 and H3 tag on every page. Additionally, there should only be 1 x H1 tag on your page, and this needs to be a precursor to relevant content and above the H2 tag, which is above the H3 tag etc.

Text Length – Google does not like web pages with less than 300 words, as it cannot understand the meaning and context of the page with a short paragraph. It needs more, and the more the better. However, your reader has to be able to understand the content and so adding images and bullet points is important for skim readers. Also use bold to highlight things that could be of interest and are very useful for the reader. Afterall, at this point you are looking to engage with the reader, not Google!

Internal Links – Prioritise pages and make them easy for Google to find by using Internal Links. By that we mean link from one page to another, using the keyphrase that you are optimising that other page for. As an example, if you look at the image we used that shows we are optimising a page for the keyphrase “Website Security” and we have linked to that page from the keyphrase like this: Website Security.

Website Security– This is the process of labelling images. Simply put, Google is blind and cannot see your images, so goes by the description, which should be short, succinct and an accurate description of the image.

Talking of images

Images need to be as small in weight as possible. One of the things the Search Engines look for is site speed, and images, if they are heavy, can weigh down your site. If possible use WebP format, but AFTER you have compressed them. If you cannot use WebP on your website, then the minimal you should do with an image is to compress it.

Compress Your Image

Using a tool such as https://compresspng.com/ (for .png images) or https://compressjpg.com/ (for .jpg images) may reduce the size of the image with little impact to the quality and these easy to use compression tools are also free to use!

If your site can use WebP format, then hop across to https://convertio.co/ to change your already compressed image to a WebP format. Don’t forget the Alt Tag.

There is so much more you can do to improve the online visibility of your web pages, and if you need any help or advice, please do not hesitate to make contact. We look forward to hearing from you.

Google and Bing are always looking for the best sites to serve on their Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), and a part of that is User Experience (UX).

Most of us would agree, that the most important part of user experience is in fact the load speed. After all, if a web page does not load, then the user experience after that is absolutely pointless.

With this in mind, we should focus our attention to improving a web page load speed as a part of our technical SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).

Website Load Speed Composition

A website is build on blocks, a little like lego, and each element needs to be taken care of to make a site as fast as it can be. If you run your website through the speed test site gtmetrix.com, and point the server to the nearest one (we use London) then you will see results like this:

Well, hopefully you will, often it is the case that your results are not so good, and then you need to consider making a few changes to speed up your website.

Let’s remember these building blocks:

What do they mean?

  • First Contentful Paint – How quickly content like text or images are painted onto your page. A good user experience is 0.9s or less.
  • Speed Index – How quickly the contents of your page are visibly populated. A good user experience is 1.3s or less.
  • Largest Contentful Paint – How long it takes for the largest element of content (e.g. a hero image) to be painted on your page. A good user experience is 1.2s or less.
  • Time to Interactive – How long it takes for your page to become fully interactive. A good user experience is 2.5s or less.
  • Total Blocking Time – How much time is blocked by scripts during your page loading process. A good user experience is 150ms or less.

Each of these blocks are made of different elements that can be enhanced and improved, and in most cases you may need the assistance of a web developer. However, if you are strapped for cash, or have the resource in-house, then there are a few really simple fixes you can do for quick wins and speedy results. Always remember caching may mean results are not seen for a day or two.

Quick Fixes

Do you want a faster website? Then you should care about WebP. It makes websites lighter and makes them faster. WebP combines the feature of PNG and JPEG. It is the new king of the image format.

Within GTMetrix.com, once you have ran a test, you should look at the waterfall chart, and then select images. You will see a list of images and how long they take to load.

The images that are slow will generally be .jpg or .png format.

You should take the following steps to make improvements:

  • Download the offending image
  • Use either compressjpg.com or compresspng.com to compress the image
  • Put the compressed image into convertio.co in order to then change your image from .jpg or .png into .webp format.
  • Re-upload your image and save.

Doing this across your largest images (especially ones in the header or footer, which will affect all pages on your website) should reveal an improvement in speed when you re-test the following day.

Enjoy the benefits of a faster site, and please do not hesitate to contact us if you need any further help or advice.

Just how important is website Security for your business?

The annual Government Survey on Cyber Security was published in March ’21. In it four in ten businesses (39%) reported having cyber security breaches or attacks in the last 12 months. Breaches and attacks included, 82% phishing attacks, 25% were impersonated and 13% had malware (including ransomware). 

The average cost to businesses that have suffered loss due to lack of website security is estimated at over £8,000. But of course the direct financial costs can be insignificant beside consequential impacts:

  • to your customers if their data is threatened
  • the credibility and reputation of your business
  • your online positioning – Google penalise low security websites. They may add “This site may harm your computer” messages to your listings, and can even blacklist your website altogether
  • and the cost of rectifying a breach can be far higher than the costs of prevention.

So How Can M3SM Help?

At M3SM we work with customers to help secure their websites and online accounts. We create bespoke plans appropriate to their business.  And there are several simple steps that we always recommend:

  • keep your website platform and plugins updated. Outdated and insecure software is a major vulnerability that hackers exploit.
  • ensure your login details are secure – passwords should be long, random and unique (not re-used on multiple sites).
  • install an SSL Certificate to encrypt your data (this will give your website a ‘padlock’ symbol in your browser).
  • apply a Website Firewall – a higher level of security preventing unwanted web traffic from accessing your site.
  • install a Scanning & Monitoring tool to immediately warn attempted or successful security breaches.
  • maintain backups so that if the worst happens, your website can be quickly restored.

M3SM partner with Sucuri, one of the world’s leading website security service providers to provide scanning, monitoring and firewall services.

Based in Northampton and Warrington, M3SM work with our clients to design and implement an online security strategy appropriate for their needs. 

If you think we can improve the website security of your business, why not call us now for an initial discussion?

Most businesses are looking to not only grow, but also wish to improve their profitability, and with that in mind, a lot turn to the web, as they feel it is the most cost effective way of marketing their business to the masses.

We would agree, but would also add that with digital marketing you can track everything you do. In other words, if you create a campaign and share that content on Social Media, you can see at a glance which Social media platform turned into the most website visitors, and which generated the most leads.

If you go a step further and integrate into your CRM system, you can also then determine which lead turned into a paying client, and therefore which marketing worked best for your business.

Analysing website visitor data

One of the key things to implement before you do any online marketing is Google Analytics. Creating KPIs and Metrics is key in any marketing plan, and implementing a strong Google Analytics measurement system is vital in measuring some of those metrics. Of course, the first step would be to create a marketing plan that sets out your goals, timeline, areas of the business you want to grow, what marketing you are going to use, how you are going to measure what you have done etc.

Additionally, you can import all the data you need for reports for different people in different departments through tools such as Google Data Studio and Cyfe. This would enable you to give your stakeholders the information they need, but it also enables you to determine what is working, what is not and therefore eliminate waste from your online marketing.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Most companies will work towards being found organically on Google, Bing etc. This means they can focus their paid marketing budget on the things they want to drive additional visitors for, and leave the SEO for the long term general site visitors.

But even with SEO, you can be more granular.

Imagine this scenario: You are looking for a new Television for your lounge. You know you want a larger screen but not sure what other features would be useful for you. So your first search would be “large screen tv” or “large screen television”.

To be found on search for these key phrases, a website would need to have content that relates to this. It would need to be generalised but giving information to guide and help the visitor to taking the next steps in their decision process.

Remember that at this stage, you are researching, not buying, so the type of content a website provides is not sales lead, but helpful and informative.

Also remember that the website visitors may now be added to an audience segment on Google Analytics (if this is set up), in readiness for paid remarketing (more on this later).

Now you know a little more about the TV you are looking for. You may know the screen size and also the brand you prefer, based on your research. Your search changes to “75” Samsung HDR TV”

The websites you find will have details of the different types of Samsung 75″ HDR TVs, and you will now be looking at the exact one you want, based on reviews perhaps.

As you can see, this is a very different kind of content that you are researching, and so the website must offer a few options along with some credibility on those products – assured, real reviews is always good to see.

Now you have made up your mind, you are searching for the best value on the exact product you want. You may search “75” QN700A Neo QLED 8K HDR Smart TV” and you are looking for price, delivery time and delivery charges, company reviews (can they be trusted) and online security too. You are looking for the best value for you.

At this point, you should be taken to a product specific page where there are no distractions, and nothing to take you away from the product itself. This will lead you down the pathway of buying.

As you can see, organic is all about the content, and content planning is key to the success of any business online strategy. But what else is in the Google Algorithm that will help you get found further up the search engine results pages (SERPs)?

The Google Algorithm

This mysterious beast changes on a daily basis, and we have to understand why to help us achieve the very best results for SEO.

When M3SM delivered a course at Google, with Google in attendance, the Google Adwords team had no idea what the Google organic algorithm team were working on, and our explanation to them made perfect sense. This is what we said:

Google is looking at retaining the greatest number of visitors to its search engine, which means there is more opportunity for its paid Ads clients. So, to retain the greatest number of visitors it is important to deliver the very best and most accurate results for every term that is searched.

For SEO that means a website owner must deliver accurate, informative and helpful content for all aspects if their business. They need to keep this content fresh and up to date. Writing for your prospects and clients/customers is better than writing for the search engines. It is more relevant, and also therefore more likely to convert into a buying client/customer.

Tracy Spence – M3SM

The Google Algorithm is made up of so many different elements, but one of the things that business owners hear about is backlinks.

Backlinks and why they matter

Backlinks are essentially a vote from another website back to yours. Google (at the time of writing) does not distinguish the context of those links, so if someone is pointing out your site as being a company who is great to deal with, or a company who is not so great to deal with, Google will not care, they just see it as a vote, and therefore thats a good thing. We say currently, at the time of writing, because we know they understand context in other things, so this has to come.

Of course, if the person voting has no credibility, this could be damaging. so that vote must come from trusted, popular sources.

Having a less than discerning website say that your site is great wont work – it is all about the company you keep. And, you only keep company that is relevant too, so that vote (backlink) needs to relate to your content on the page it is linking to (note, we said page – not site).

Also, paying for votes (backlinks) will not work, because we have to state if this was a paid for link when we link to another website, and these ones do not count.

How to get a backlink

So you need to look for backlinking opportunities from reputable, relevant sites who are willing to vote for your website totally free and with no caveats.

As you can imagine, this is a hard and thankless task, but you can start with your associations, asking them to help. The next step is to look for where people have already mentioned you, and ask them to link back. After that, it is all about content and sharing. If you create amazing and useful content, then hopefully someone will be happy to share or cite that content – that is the very best kind of backlink you can get. An honest vote for what you wrote. Social Media sharing counts as an earned backlink and if you are very lucky, and that content is shared extensively, this will boost the ranking of that piece of content on the search engines.

We hope you have benefitted from the content in this article, and if you like it, don’t forget to share it (we like votes / backlinks too!). And of course, feel free to contact us to ask any questions.

As we are in the middle of a pandemic and the world has not seen anything like this in decades, we have all had to adapt and change.

People have had to change the way they live and the way they work, that is if they are lucky enough to still have work.

Businesses have had to go through massive changes to survive, some only just and others with the benefit of loans to keep them afloat. Yet some businesses have done very well, such as food retail, online video conferencing companies, internet providers and Amazon!

So why are some businesses doing well and others are not? Why are some people gaining momentum, and other businesses are slowing diminishing?

Lockdown Marketing

Those who have a product or service that everyone needs or wants will thrive in this environment if they have already invested time and money into their Digital Marketing. Others are working hard to catch up and are investing heavily now, but also having to look for opportunities to stand out in a very crowded marketplace.
Those whose business relies on face to face contact, such as restaurants, pubs, gymnasiums, events, holiday companies and more are having to diversify, and at a rapid pace.

In fact, the list of businesses that are affected is larger than you can imagine, with companies who supply into the above being affected, as well as the manufacturing chain too.

We have heard of manufacturing companies stopping making parts for hospitality, and making ventilators instead. This kind of diversification may seem extreme, but it has helped in many ways and saved jobs where they are much needed. This diversification prevented the UK from going into a Double Dip recession, and we should be very proud of the ingenuity that companies across the globe have presented.

But if you cannot diversify how do you keep a hold of the customers you have, and attract potential customers too to keep your business afloat in an online way?

The answer is Digital Marketing.

Digital Marketing

When everyone was forced to stay at home, B2C businesses realised that they needed to go from retail to E-tail. Because the larger B2C businesses are usually quick to adapt to change, used with adapting to stock situations, supplier issues and more, they thrived online, and their only issue was in fact supply of stock (remember, everyone was staying at home, nothing was being manufactured or delivered).

The smaller companies, and the B2B businesses however found they struggled. With no experience in online marketing and reduced budgets (especially where footfall was their main source of “marketing” and income), some businesses paid the price.

However, those businesses who realised that the only way to survive was to improve their presence online, well, their efforts paid off.

Our clients are all fighters, and very few of them saved their marketing budgets for later, in fact many increased their online marketing budgets, moving it from their spend on exhibitions and printed materials.

Their budgets were well spent, maximising the opportunity where their competitors did not. In fact, when we look at the data, we can see most of our clients improved their conversion rates when companies started buying again.

We saw a pattern for B2B companies, whereby the website visitors spent a lot of time researching in the early stages of lockdown, and as things started to look like life could get a little more normal, this research meant they were in the position to make a quick decision on purchases.

Lockdown Digital Marketing

Impactful Marketing

Over the last year we’ve all seen significant changes to our home lives. In many cases this has been to our working practices and our businesses. Some business sectors, such as travel and entertainment have been very badly impacted by Covid. While others such as healthcare and food retail have never been busier. On an individual level, many have been directly affected by the devastating health and economic impacts of the pandemic. Fortunately others have seen financial benefits. These benefits include saving more, and positive changes to their lifestyles, such as the ability to work from home.

Trends in Behaviour

Underneath these variations though there are some behavioural trends that are universal and almost certainly here to stay. Perhaps the most significant of these is the acceleration of the pre-existing trend to digitalisation:

  •  The large increase in working from home has driven rapid increases in the use of video meeting Apps.   Zoom, Teams, Google Meet etc. as well as e-learning, remote working and many other ‘e’ applications have become very popular.  Zoom alone has seen a 2,900% increase in meeting participants over the last 12 months!
  • Online shopping has become a daily norm for millions of UK consumers.  Shoppers are now familiar with receiving (and returning) merchandise bought online. Internet sales soared c.35% during lockdown and now represents c.30% of all sales.
  • A recent survey of Marketing Directors found that 72% of companies saw the role of marketing increase in importance over the last year. Overall marketing spend has reduced by 3.9% in this time but digital marketing spending has increased by 11.5%,
  • Social Media usage and user generated content sharing continue to grow with c.74% usage in the UK population. Facebook and YouTube remain the most popular platforms, but the likes of Instagram and Snapchat are increasing more quickly amongst younger users.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

A recent survey for The Independent found that, one way or another, adults in the UK spend an average of over 8 hours a day online. This presents businesses with a great opportunity to influence, communicate with, and ultimately sell to customers and prospects. Promoting and advertising your website, using email marketing and developing your social media channels can help your business to exploit these trends and thrive in the new normal.

Here at M3SM we offer a free and no-obligation analysis of your current positioning on the internet. We will recommend a digital marketing strategy that could help to drive your success.

If you think we can help you why not contact us today for an initial chat.

Page Experience Blog updated 2nd June, 2021:

Today (2nd June 2021) Google announced the latest in it’s Algorithm changes. This is a oCore Update, but it’s a whopper, so only half was rolled out. Mid June we are expecting the new Page Experience algorithm to be rolled out (keep reading) and towards the end of the month, we are expecting the second half of the Core algorithm change too. June 2021 is a big month – all change – but is your site and SEO up to speed? Keep reading to see how you can make sure you stay top of google for the relevant terms for your products and services.

Page Experience: When Google announced the latest round of larger algorithm changes back in the middle of a pandemic lockdown, it meant business owners had a chance to get their websites in order.

The new algorithm changes came into effect in January, and our clients saw an immediaite increase in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) results, meaning they were more easily found.

In April, Google announced more changes would be happening mid June, again giving us time, but throwing in a few acronyms we needed to learn and understand.

Details on what will be included in the update

The page experience update will consider several page experience signals, including the three Core Web Vitals metrics: LCP, FID, and CLS

FIDAim for a First Input Delay of 1.2 seconds or less.
LCPAim for a Largest Contentful Paint of 1.2 seconds or less.
CLSAim for a Cumulative Layout Shift of 0.1 seconds or less.

This means that we need to check EVERY page on your website to see if we can make any improvements, in order that we can continue to improve organic and paid results, and also improve the User Experience (UX).

At M3, we use a tool to investigate the technical elements of a website and are continually working with developers to help our clients achieve a better online user experience. But this step of checking every page is time consuming, so we have developed an API that integrates the Google Page Speed tests, checking for the three elements that form a part of the latest algorithm, and this will check a website in a matter of hours, running in the background, exploring all pages.

It doesn’t stop at just the algorithm checks but looks for lots of different elements that could be improved, helping you to refine your website in every way. This of course gives you an advantage over your competitors who are not doing this.

If you would like to explore this with us a little further, then please do not hesitate to contact us.