Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Pinterest Shows Personality Still Rules in Interior Design



Pinterest might not be a favourite website in every home, but for some, it’s become much more that. The 2016/17 Best of Pinterest UK Interior Awards were announced in May, and the designs show an eclectic mix of décor that often has more to do with personal preference than following trends.

However, there were also one or two common themes on show, with home-owners and designers adding their personal flair to them.

“Interior design can be tough to get right, particularly if you’re not sure where to start or what you really like,” said Newington Green estate agent, M&M Property. “The Pinterest awards show that when people put some personality into their décor, the results can have the real wow factor!”


Bold and Simple?

Two broader key trends that were rewarded by the image-based social network, were bold wallpaper prints and minimal backdrops. That both are popular at the same time, shows that the UK’s home-owners and interior designers are making a statement with what they love. They’re not blindly following on trend fashion. Instead, they’re sticking with what they know they want in their home.
It’s refreshing to know that the UK’s homes aren’t all displaying creative uniformity. That’s something that as clear across most of the categories in the Pinterest awards.

The ‘Best Wow Factor’ category featured bird print wallpaper, cactus plants indoors and a ladder displayed as a bold piece of wall art. ‘Best use of Colour’, meanwhile, saw a fitted yellow wardrobe capture the top prize, followed by pastel pink walls as runner up. And other entries were equally diverse – deep greens, multicoloured paint faded doors and much more.

“These awards feature a mix of some professional work and DIY design and they highlight a plethora of diverse but equally impressive styles,” said Knightsbridge estate agent, Plaza Estates. “Of course, few people decorate their homes with awards in mind, but it’s a great way to show how many people enjoy getting creative in their homes.”


Improve, don’t Move

The UK’s housing crisis is no secret and affordability levels remain stretched despite a slowdown – and some falls - in house prices. Against this backdrop, an ‘improve, don’t move’ mantra has been adopted by Pinterest and it appears many users of the social media site agree.

Evidence that home-owners have made bold changes to make their homes appeal to themselves more than others, was all over the short-list and is even more clear to see on the site itself. But, it’s not just the decorative aspect of design that people are considering with the ‘improve’ idea in mind.

Storage can be tricky in many homes and there are signs that households are embracing new ideas to create usable storage. More trunks in bedrooms, more hanging rails instead of bulky wardrobes and many glimpses of engineered shelving that folds away when not in use.

“Moving house is often the right thing for many households, but in some cases, it can be too expensive, unachievable or something a family just doesn’t want to do,” said Best Gapp, Belgravia estate agent. “In those instances, households, home-owners and interior designers can make significant decorative changes that have a positive impact. And that’s something that anyone can do, as highlighted by the Pinterest interior design awards.”

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Why Social Media Is Instrumental To Your Blog's Development





Social media is instrumental in the development of your blog’s readership. Facebook alone boasts a staggering 1.8 million active users, and an 18% market share. It’s clear that nowadays, if you want to entice new readers to visit your blog and encourage your regular readership to blossom, you need cut through the noise and get noticed on social feeds (especially as social algorithms keep changing, slimming organic reach). In this article, I’ll share some important tips on how to use dedicated social media accounts to publicise blog content and build up a brand. Let’s get cracking!
Check out our recent article on how to drive traffic to your blog.

Your Online Social Strategy

Social media can be a really powerful tool in your digital arsenal, but there is a knack to it. It requires a little work to fully understand the best ways to benefit from your business social media networks.  

Here’s how:

1.    Identify your target reader
When developing a social strategy for a brand, you should identify or revisit your ‘buyer personas’ to tailor your content to engage with them. Your social media strategy should be designed to keep existing readers in the loop, whilst broadening your reach so that new visitors discover you.

2.    Create measurable objectives
You need to set yourself goals and constantly strive to achieve more from your social media engagement. If you want an extra 200 followers a month on Twitter, set that as your target. You can learn how to track social interactions, such as Facebook referrals and clicks, through website metrics and getting to grips with Google Tag Manager. Check out this guide for more details. 

3.    Choose your channels –  take a multi-channel approach
Not all networks are created equal, nor will they all help you toward your goal. Find out where your target audience hangs out and what they do online by doing your research. If your product offering is aimed at a B2B audience of industry professionals, you will have more potential traffic from LinkedIn and Google+. If your target audience is more visual, it might make sense to focus on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. You need to be where they are, while also catching the attention of other people like them. Facebook Audience Insights and YouGovprofiles are two fantastic (free) sources of information on target audiences, along with tips on how to monitor social media conversations. 

4.    Create an organised content calendar
A content calendar is important for maximising engagement and shares. Check if your post links with any trending hashtags or pieces of industry news to maximise engagement. Synchronising your content calendar with global events is another way to get involved in the conversation worldwide. Make sure your content calendar also features old posts, content recycling, and content curation from other reputable niche bloggers.

5.  Share snippets or pieces of your blog without links
You don’t want your social media feeds to consist solely of links to your blog posts. Post some pearls of wisdom, accompanied by hashtags, to get involved in conversations on topical matters. Images with quotes and mottos are perennially popular.

6. Link your social accounts to your blog
Give your readers the chance to seamlessly share your blog content through their social media accounts, complete with your social handles and some shareable quotes. Including social media sharing buttons that automatically post great-looking content on social feeds is a sure-fire way to gain free publicity for your brand — remember, people will share...but only if you make it easy for them.

Profit From Your Blog Audience With Social Selling


credit: pinterest

Social selling is the act of using social media to converse directly with potential customers, providing value by answering questions, encouraging discussion, and providing thoughtful content to persuade them to buy.

62.9% of sales professionals report that social selling has become very important to them when closing deals. Listen and engage with your brand’s readership on social media platforms to find out what kinds of blog posts and product offerings would improve their daily lives.

Know which social platforms will be best for your niche — you will have to invest in plenty of attractive visual content if selling on social is going to be integral to your sales strategy. The key is to have attractive product photography with some really catchy calls-to-action. Pinterest has a ‘buyable pin’ feature that lets you sell your goods and services directly from your social media accounts. This bridges the gap between engagement and conversions — customers can make a purchase without even leaving social media. (We’re likely to see more of this in the future — so start thinking about your social selling strategy today).

It is really easy to seamlessly link your blog, social media, and ecommerce site together. Onlinestorefronts like Shopify integrate really well with social networks if you don’t fancy installing a plugin and selling directlyvia WordPress; content management systems like Drupal and Magento also allow for easy social integration with a little bit of customisation.

Social Media and SEO?


credit: pixabay

Whether or not a brand’s social feed affects its SEO has long been a subject of much debate. Google’s algorithmic changes are subtle and incremental, and there is never 100% clarity on ranking factors.

But we do know that having an active social feed will boost your engagement levels. Breathing life into your brand’s blog with a social media account is a sign to search engines that you are a legitimate business, rather than a spam account or a link building operation. If your brand’s social feeds are inactive, it may signal to Google that you should not rank so highly on SERPs because you are no longer in business.

Consider hiring a social media coach to make sure that you are handling your online engagement in the right way. Art Division offers a social media management service that could assist you with your strategy.

While social media is a very important tool for brands and bloggers alike, it can be difficult to navigate the spiky terrain of the hashtag world. By following this advice, you will be well on your way to broadening your brand’s horizons by publicising the blog posts on social media and developing a readership.

What did you take away from this article? Will you use any of these tips for your blog? Let us know in the comments.

Gareth Simpson – Technical SEO & Startup Founder
You could say I’m a veteran SEO, with over 10 years of experience in the industry. I love sharing my knowledge with others online. You’ll find me working hard on my startup’s development and writing content.

 

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Content Marketing: 55 Proven Ways to Help Your Business





Are you discontent with the number of customers your website or Facebook page refer to you? With just a few tricks, you can boost the visits and enhance your sales. 

Here’s how your business can benefit from the following content marketing techniques:

Firstly, it’s about the content you’re delivering. 90% of the customers are visual, so it’s essential to have more than just wordy articles on your page, no matter how valuable the information.

Infographics are 30 times more likely to be read through by a visitor than any other type of content. Furthermore, they are shared and liked three times more than plain text. They generate 45% more traffic, and 95% more views than posts that lack relevant images.

Videos are the second-best choice of content. Not only did Syndacast forecasted that by the end of 2017, video content will represent 74% of all online traffic, but the users who follow a video are 1,81% more likely to buy the product than those who don’t. It is also a great SEO tool, increasing your search engines’ ranking by 50%.

Blogs are another business booster – there are 2 million articles posted every day, and are seen as 5th the most trusted source of online information. 81% of those who take advantage of using a blog have reported a 67% growth in leads. However, to increase your chances of getting customers via your blog, you need to post constantly (at least once a week).

Apart from blogs, emails are another great channel to send your offers and promotions. In fact, 72% of consumers prefer receiving emails with promotional content rather than searching for it.

Moreover, email is the first choice for 93% of the marketers, and it is used by 81% of the companies. It is 40 times more effective at bringing new customers than Facebook or Twitter, and there are sent over 200 million emails every minute!

Nonetheless, social media remains a reliable channel to deliver your services and products. When it comes to B-2-B marketers, 94% are on LinkedIn, which is considered most trustworthy site for professional domains. If we’re referring to B-2-C, 94% of the marketers are on Facebook.

And that is a strong point of view. Just think about it – no matter what we do, we’re still checking our Facebook newsfeed at least once a day. In the last 2 years, the content consumption has increased by 57%. This means that there are over 500 million people who watch at least one video every day on Facebook. What other way to promote yourself if not where everybody is already?

As a matter of fact, 1/3 of the world uses social media regularly. This means over 2 billion people that can instantly access and order whatever it is you're selling!

For this reason, if you’re thinking about using a website, go for the .com extension. It is easy to recognize, it costs least of all extensions, and it is among 84% of the top-ranking pages in search engines’ results. Sounds like a great deal to us!

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

How to choose the right colours for your website


Colours are a powerful tool in web design and branding your company. They can be used to evoke emotion, which is pretty damn important if you're trying to sell something. With that in mind, let's take a look at which colours would best suit your business' style and website.

Red

Image by valeyoshino
Red is a passionate, lusty and aggressive colour. It's ideal for companies that want to appeal to people who are (or, more importantly, want to be) sexy, feisty and empowered. Businesses that use red include Virgin and Christian Louboutin (famed for the red soles on its shoes), both of which totally have that whole sexy, feisty thing going on.

Orange

Orange isn't a common choice for branding, as it's sometimes seen as unreliable (hello easyJet). But it does have some things going for it: it incorporates the boldness of red and friendliness of yellow, which is no bad thing. Used in conjunction with a safer, more professional colour such as blue, it can be used to represent a fun and professional business.


Yellow

Image by epSos.de
Yellow is the colour of happiness and optimism and is common in brands that want to be seen as fun and friendly. McDonald's and IKEA are standout examples of this, both of which are known for having a playful side.


Green

Green is a peaceful, earthy colour and is ideal for companies that focus on health or want to portray themselves as ethical and environmentally-friendly, such as Starbucks. Organic food companies and holistic health practices are ideal candidates for green branding.

Blue

Blue is the professional colour of the branding world. If you want to be seen as trustworthy, reliable and experienced, blue is the way to go. Not surprisingly, banks use blue liberally in their colour schemes.

Purple


Remember these 1980's cigarette ads? Purple is the colour of sophistication and decadence, perfect for representing companies that sell indulgent items such as chocolate and beauty products. Can you say Cadbury's?

Pink

Pink is widely known as the “girly” colour and so is often used for women-specific brands. Think Victoria's Secret, Race for Life, and anything related to breast cancer.

Black

Black represents power, and is common in sports and fast cars – both of which are things designed to make you feel powerful. Nike is a prime example as is, er, pretty much any sports car brand. Vroom!

White

White is associated with cleanliness and purity, so is ideal for use in the health and childcare industries. Logos aside, white is the best colour to base your website on. In web design, using a lot of white space will make your site easier to navigate and read.

Choose Your Colour

Choosing website colours with a colour wheel

You should think carefully about what you want your website to represent and what you want to make your customers feel before deciding on your colour scheme. You should also steer away from using too many colours – no more than three, ideally. And, when in doubt, use the colour wheel to pick complimentary colours (the ones opposite each other are complimentary).

If you're looking for a cost-effective website to help generate leads click here: https://estateagentswebsitedesign.co.uk/

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