8 SEO tips from Smarter Media

8 SEO tips from Smarter Media

More companies are working from home and the digital space is becoming ever important. So here’s 8 SEO tips from Smarter Media. Their SEO expert Rob Curtis has some hints for business owners to be more effective online.

“Digital marketing is important for any business now,” Rob said. “But with the onset of Covid19, lockdown and continuing restrictions on our ability to move around mean it’s even more important to get serious about your digital space.

Rob is one of the directors of SEO and lead generation company Smarter Media. The company has access to world class expertise in the digital space. One of their non-exec directors is Lukasz Zelezny. He’s the former SEO Director of ZPG for brands including Zoopla, PrimeLocation and uSwitch.

“Our expertise means that, even as a small business we can punch above our weight in helping companies to achieve visibility and credibility. With the ultimate goal being growth online. Yet nothing comes without effort and commitment and a belief in the world of digital technology,’ Rob said.

8 SEO tips from Smarter Media - rob curtis
Rob Curtis -photo by Barbara Leatham.

8 SEO tips from Smarter Media that any business can use

1. Ensure you’ve used and optimised your Google My Business entry. That will improve your local SEO performance. Then you should pay attention to the reminders you get and update with posts and information.

2. Check out your website security. Visitors will lose trust and click away if your site comes up with an ‘insecure’ label.

3. Cross content usage. Make your articles work harder for you by having a ‘layered’ approach. Add in podcasts and/or videos with the same messages. You can automate that with Lovo.ai

4. Use a resource to check ‘on page’ SEO (using something like SEMRush) to make sure your website is fully optimised according to what search engines expect.

5. Take advantage of the use of video and enhance the optimisation around it with transcripts, subtitles and tagging.

6. Link building still matters
Getting backlinks is desirable when you can but ensure they’re relevant and from authoritative sites.

7. Ensure you have a reliable hosting provider. Your website must be faster than ever. You don’t want to be waiting or chasing around to get things changed or sorted out. It could end up being a very expensive, cheap option.

8. Page speed and user experience. Advances in technology mean that people expect things as soon as possible. Whether that be a delivery from Amazon or a web page on your site. By providing your visitors with a great user experience you show what it’s like to interact and engage with your business.

Smarter Media

Smarter Media is a growing digital agency based in Swindon. The company works with companies large and small throughout the UK including Amaroc, Excalibur and Moovahome. 

Their approach is understanding what a client’s competitors are doing and then reverse engineering their digital strategy. Alongside that they gain a deep understanding of a client’s business. With that information they create a strategy that helps a business grow effectively.

For more information visit www.smarter-media.co.uk

For further Swindon in Business posts go here.

Cabinet approves Cultural Quarter Plans

Cabinet approves Cultural Quarter Plans

21 October 2020

Cabinet approves plans for Cultural Quarter in Swindon town centre

Cabinet approves Cultural Quarter Plans – they met last night (Wed 20th Oct) to discuss the proposals.

They gave the go-ahead to building the cultural quarter on the Kimmerfields regeneration site. The site lies between the railway station and opposite the former Debenhams building on Fleming Way.

The Council has spent the past year working at close quarters with key partners in Swindon’s arts, cultural and business sectors. They’ve laid meticulous plans to create a new cultural quarter. One that will help revitalise the town centre and boost the town’s cultural offer.

A Ten-Year Plan

It’s expected that the plans for the cultural quarter will come to fruition over the next 10 years. They include, among other things:

  • A new theatre
  • Dance centre
  • Digital media and arts hub …
  • … and new facilities to display Swindon’s nationally-significant art collection.

Councillor Dale Heenan, SBC’s Cabinet Member for the Town Centre, Culture and Heritage, said:

“I’m delighted that so many people have agreed that this positive vision is a credible, realistic and deliverable approach for improving Swindon town centre over the next 10 years.

“My Cabinet colleagues and I are full of determination to see a new Wyvern Theatre built by 2030. It will have a 1,200 capacity – that’s double the number of seats today. With that our town can attract the big national and regional shows and performers. We also support the creation of a wider cultural quarter. Something that includes a new museum, art gallery, dance centre and digital studio.

“It won’t be the Council paying for the estimated £80m cost, so the hard work now begins. Over the next six months the Council will work with partners in the arts sector and funding bodies.

This work will prepare the full financial business case and an investment prospectus to make this vision one step closer to reality.”

A bold commitment

Mark Powell, Artistic Director at Swindon’s Prime Theatre, said:

“Too often Swindon’s young people are disadvantaged by lack of experience or aspiration. Yet every week in Swindon schools, I see how art awakens imagination, education and empowerment.

“The town is making a bold commitment to future generations with this plan. Swindon won’t only be a place to live and work, but a place to dream and achieve as well.”

Cabinet approves Cultural Quarter Plans - artist's impression of the cultural quarter

The cultural quarter plans enjoy cross-party support on the Council. The proposals are in their infancy. Thus residents should not expect to see any building work on site for a while yet. But the Council believes in being bold and brave in its ambitions for Swindon and to spearhead town centre regeneration.

See also: https://swindonian.me/2020/10/14/kimmerfields-for-swindons-new-cultural-quarter/

Why Use Original Photography in Your Business?

Why Use Original Photography in Your Business?

12 October 2020

Why use original photography in your business? It’s a good question and one that professional photographer Neil Moore answers in this blog.

He’s urging business owners to consider the power of using original images in their marketing. 

The 56-year-old ,who has worked in the marketing and website design sector for more than 21 years, calls on business owners to budget for exceptional, original photography. In particular this is so with more businesses having to go online during Covid19.

‘One of the things that business owners will often do is forget the power of good images,’ Neil said. ‘They’ll think “I can do that with my phone”. Or they will buy in stock images for their website without realising what a powerful tool good imagery can be. And now, the importance of being authentc is ever increasing.’

As Neil says: ‘Showing images of people who are not your staff – or not you – doesn’t fool anybody!’

Research around the use of photographic images shows that the brain processes an image around 60,000 times quicker than it processes words. Also research has shown when people read information in text form online they will remember ten per cent of it three days later. Yet, if that information comes with a relevant picture, they will remember up to 65 per cent of that message three days later. 

‘Pictures are very important for products, people or premises,” Neil said. “They allow people to make speedy assessments on how they feel about a business and what it offers. Pictures can also convey moods and emotions in a way that is instant and captivating. Evidence shows too that on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, a series of pictures or an album gets much higher engagement than a single image.’

Ten ways to use imagery in your business

  1. Headshots
    You can get them done in a studio, at a company premises or on location or professionally on a service like Zoom or Teams. 
  2. Team shots
    You can do these with external locations. Works well for teams where social distancing must be in place. 
  3. Action shots
    Show staff working or presenting. This can be on the shop floor, serving customers or creating a product. 
  4. Showcasing premises
    Make the most of the environment with static shots or virtual tours. Also external shots (including aerial) or key location shots in ‘hard to find’ premises.
  5. Product shots
    These can be static in a studio, in premises, 360 virtual product display for a website, for instruction manuals or ‘how to use’ videos. 
  6. Social media photo library
    Shots for a particular campaign online, archive shots direct from the photographer or shots to go with a blog campaign or strategy. 
  7. Company reports or annual charity reports
    Relevant shots showing real people to illustrate an important report to a Board or Board of Trustees who want to see proof of activity and achievements across a year. 
  8. Website
    Strong images for the home page, about us or team pages and for any e-commerce element to a business. The shots should match the real people in the business and the real products site visitors may be purchasing. 
  9. Editorial, PR shots
    High quality, relevant images to use with any business story for use by the media. Whether in a geographical area, in trade press or even for national coverage.,the image must make sense with the story. 
  10. Catalogues
    High quality imagesfor paper catalogues or for third party selling sites online such as Etsy, Not On The High Street or Ebay. The better the shots and the more appealing they are, the more people will click on them and buy.

Neil Moore

Neil’s studio is at Cadley, near Marlborough. He’s a specialist in product photography, landscapes, marine and agricultural imagery. He holds a licentiateship with the British Institution of Professional Photography.

To find out more visit https://www.moore-photographics.com

The photographs below helped Neil to get his licentiateship of the BIPP – the British Institute of Professional Photography.

For more Swindon in Business posts do have a look here.

Elim Medi Heel Callous Peel

Elim Medi Heel Callous Peel

10th October 2020

The Elim Medi Heel Callous Peel is Perfection

Well listeners – what a delightful experience I’ve enjoyed today with Pavlina at the Perfection Hair Salon in Moredon. My feet have been the happy recipient of an Elim medi heel callous peel. If you’re wondering what one of those is – wonder no more.

I’m familiar with the concept of peeling as a face treatment though always thought it sounded rather … aggressive and unpleasant. Well, if the feet treatment is anything to judge by I’ve laboured under a misapprehension all these years. Because this was delightful – my feet feel as light as air. Who knew hard skin could make one’s feet feel so heavy?

I so enjoyed having Pavlina do this procedure on my feet and I’m delighted to add this blog to the Swindon in Business section for sure!

About the medi heel callous peel

This process then is a new-ish pedicure treatment. One that melts that hard skin away rather than attacking it with blades. The latter of those actually puts the skin on the foot into trauma and makes it produce more hard skin. Quite the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve – which is an interesting thought is it not? Who knew? Well – not me that’s for sure.

What’s involved?

I’m not going to describe the full process here. Aside from the fact that it would take too long, you can read the whole process in this blog from the beautibank all about the mediheel skin peel.
I WILL though quote their verdict on this pedicure:

‘This pedicure is a winner in every sense of the word. It’s different, it’s innovative and most of all…it works!’

And it does! I’ll post some photographs lower down to show you the difference my treatment made.

I loved the whole thing – but then I do LOVE a treatment. Not that I have very many. This was such a treat.

So do I recommend Pavlina and this magical foot peel? Yes! I do!

Even at the full price of £39 I think it’s good value for money. A great result and you get your nails painted too. What’s not to love? Well – the bus journey for me …. But that niggle aside – this was fab.

So if you’re plagued with nasty hard skin on your feet then speed over there! I’m sure you’ll not regret it.

Elim Medi Heel Callous Peel - getting my nails painted
Getting my nails painted as part of the pedicure session

Other stuff you need to know

Pavlina, who did the pedicure, is a mobile shellac nail technician – I’ll post her number at the end. She’s done appropriate and compulsory training to offer the Elim Medi heel callous peel at the Perfection salon.

NB: She is there on Saturday’s only.

The session takes about an hour in total – that’s including all the usual pedicure elements including gorgeous nail painting – see the picture above.

Pavlina is currently the first in Swindon to offer this service and she’s running an introductory price of £29 until the end of October. After that it goes up to £39.00

Before and after pictures

Below are pictures of my feet taken before and after the chemical peel.

These feet are not neglected feet. I apply industrial quantities of heavy-duty moisturizer and take the foot file to them. They’re not like horses hooves but yet, on my left foot in particular (the foot we’re seeing here), there’s always a build up of hard skin. The ball of the foot being the worst offender.

I trust the ‘before’ and ‘after’ is clear enough? The picture on the right shoes the dead skin removed from my foot. Yuk.

Elim Medi Heel Callous Peel - during the process
During the procedure
Elim Medi Heel Callous Peel

A few photos of the Perfection Salon

I liked the decor in this place – I loved the big green chairs with brass trim in particular. Very swish!

To contact Pavlina

You can get hold of Pavlina on: 07908 071579.

She’s at the Perfection Salon on Saturday’s ONLY. The rest of the time she is mobile but for nails only.

The medi peel treatment is on special offer at the moment for £29. Offer ends end of October 2020.

Find Pavlina’s own Facebook page for her Nail’d It mobile nail business here.

CityFibre Chooses Swindon

CityFibre Chooses Swindon

9th October 2020

Now the news that CityFibre chooses Swindon isn’t what you’d call new news. Indeed, I doubt very much it’s news to anyone but me. But I’ve recently joined Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce as part of my earning-a-crust-activities. And at one of the recent online meetings I met Neil Madle, a city manager with CityFibre. So I’ve heard about them now!

Who and what are CityFibre?

CityFibre chooses swindon
CityFibre Chooses Swindon

From their website:

CityFibre is the UK’s largest alternative provider of wholesale fibre network infrastructure and the builder of Gigabit Cities.

With network projects in over 60 cities and construction underway to reach up to 8 million homes, CityFibre is future-proofing the UK.

CityFibre Making Swindon a Gigabit City

As befits an historic hub for new technology and a centre of excellence for mobile telecommunications research and development, Swindon will soon have a full fibre network to rival anywhere in the world.

A £40 million investment upgrading Swindon’s broadband infrastructure over the next three years will see CityFibre offer gigabit broadband speeds to businesses, homes and public assets throughout the town. They’ll also provide the necessary physical infrastructure to support introduction of 5G mobile services to Swindon. 

It’s CityFibre’s avowed intention is to meet the bandwidth needs of Swindon’s business community and residents both now and for decades to come. 

It sounds good to me. With so many people working from home at the moment thanks to Covid and for the foreseeable future.

CityFibre Chooses Swindon

CityFibre Chooses Swindon - woman working from laptop at home.

Said David Renard – Leader of SBC:

It’s fantastic that CityFibre is now ready to start delivering on its construction programme. It will help Swindon provide a future-proofed, full fibre digital infrastructure. One that will bring many benefits to residents and businesses alike. And thus allow our economy to grow and prosper well into the next generation and beyond.

To see more Swindon in Business posts go here: https://swindonian.me/category/swindon-in-business/

New website sounds the business for recording studio

New website sounds the business for recording studio

5th October 2020

New website sounds the business for recording studio!

A Wiltshire recording studio has turned up the volume on its business by launching a new website.

Royal Wootton Bassett-based Studio 6, operating since 2002, commissioned the new website from DMJ Computer Services.

Studio 6 – Impressive Set-up

The site showcases Studio 6’s impressive setup. The studio has the latest equipment for producing quality musi recordings from pop to metal and jazz funk to blues. And even rap.

Stu McKay is one of the UK’s top alternative producers and engineers. Supported by a select group of specialist engineers he provides high-quality services and amenities for independent musicians and signed artists.

Martin Jarvis, MD of Swindon-based DMJ Computer Services said designing Studio 6’s new site was an enjoyable project to work on.

Note: DMJ specialises in WordPress website design, hosting and aftercare.

“It was great to work with such an accomplished and well established music producer to build the company’s first website,” said Martin. “Launching the web presence of a business in the music industry is, I hope, the first of many for DMJ.”

Stu, who has bands coming from as far afield at Belfast, Scotland and even Russia to use his services, is hopeful his new website will raise the studio’s profile.

‘Though we’re based in a small market town, bands from all over the word want to record with us here, said Stu.’

“We’re delighted with the new website Martin has created. We’re sure it will help spread the word still further.”

Poor website contact details hamper businesses -Martin Jarvis of DMJ computers

For more information about DMJ, now in its 36th year of business, visit https://dmjcomputerservices.com/

Or email martinj@dmjcomputerservices.com, or call 01793 740964.

New website sounds the business for recording studio - Stu McKay Studio 6
Stu McKay – Studio 6 – with his new website sounds the business for recording studio

To view the new Studio 6 website visit https://studio6productions.co.uk/.
Or to contact Stu email info@studio6productions.co.uk.

See also about Martin Jarvis and DMJ Computer Services: https://swindonian.me/2020/05/05/dmj-computer-services-is-35/