The Value Of Competitive SEO Research

Competitive research is an absolutely essential part of the overall SEO process. It entails analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of websites which are ranked highly for your targeted keywords and phrases. It also allows the identification of successful Read more

Don't let your content talk rubbish

So off goes your top sales guy. You know. The favourite son. The one who makes rain when there’s not a cloud in the sky. Off he (yes, of course, or she) goes… only today you’ve given them a very Read more

Google Penguin 3.0 Algorithm Update Released: Is Your Business Protected?

Posted on by Veronika in Google Penalty, Search Engine Optimisation | Leave a comment

Google has released many algorithm updates over the years in an attempt to protect the Internet from companies who are trying to spam the search engines.

One update that had a large effect on online businesses was the Google Penguin update. First released in October 2012, this update had an impact on approximately 3.1% of English queries. This was then followed by refreshes throughout 2012 and 2013.

There has been quite a lot of online coverage about the newest update, and it appears that Google finally rolled out the new Penguin 3.0 on Friday 17th October.


History of Google Penguin update Google Penguin 3.0

  • Penguin – April, 24 2012
  • Penguin 1.1 – May 25, 2012
  • Penguin refresh – October 5, 2012
  • Penguin 2.0 – May 22, 2013
  • Penguin 2.1 – October 4, 2013
  • Penguin 3.0 – October 17, 2014


Recently there has been quite a lot of buzz in the digital world about the Google Penguin 3.0. Lots of questions have been asked, such as; ‘Is your business prepared for the update?’ and ‘What do I need to do to prevent my website from being negatively impacted by Penguin?’

Therefore we at Generate UK wanted to help our clients to fully understand how we can help to protect their business from the update.

In the past, link building was one of the most important SEO tactics, however the majority of webmasters were taking advantage of this tactic by building low quality links, just to boost the rankings and the website’s visibility, therefore most of these websites would contain a low quality link profile.

These days, the SEO tactics are not about QUANTITY but about QUALITY, that is why it’s important to keep an eye on your link profile.


Two Types of Penguin

There are two types of link penalties that you must be aware of as an online business.

Manual Penalty – Google’s definition of a ‘penalty’ is when an actual human being at Google has looked at your website and takes manual action against it. If the site has been manually penalised, you will usually receive a notification message through your Webmaster Tools account, which would look like the example below:

Google Penalty MessageIf your website does receive a manual link penalty, you will need to amend your website to remove the offending links and then file a reconsideration request to present to Google that you have done everything you possibly could to remove all your unnatural links from your profile.

Algorithmic Update - A site that is affected by an algorithm update is not suffering from a manual penalty; no human being reviewed the site but a machine has instead.

Penguin was an algorithm update and a lot of sites have been caught in its net.

When a site has been affected by a Penguin Algorithmic update its typically because they have built many anchor text links, possibly for many different keywords, all of which point to the homepage. This can mean that the homepage will not rank for a number of terms.

In order for a site to recover from an algorithm update, site owners need to remove the spam tactics such as keyword stuffing, low quality and spammy links, cloaking (or hidden content), etc. which are against the Google Webmaster Guidelines.


What do I need to do to protect my website from Penguin 3.0?

One of our first recommendations would be to compile as much link data for your website as possible. Usually, we would recommend for you to use multiple link sources.

At Generate UK we use Majestic SEO Historic & Fresh data, Link Research Tools, Link Detox Report, Webmaster Tools, Searchmetrics link data and also Screaming Frog.

The next step would be to format all of your link data and classify them into categories, which will help you to understand what types of links can be removed straight away.

After a deep analysis and formatting, this is the type of table you should end up with:


Link Footprint Classification


A table like the above table provides you with the information you need to help you identify which types of links will need to be part of the link removal process.

Ensure that you try to remove as many unnatural links as possible before uploading them to a Disavow File.

What is Disavow File & Tool?

The disavow file is a text file you can use for uploading the websites/links which you didn’t have much success in removing.

You can either disavow a whole domain or just a single link. However, we fully recommend for you to disavow a whole domain, as there is a strong chance that the domain contains more links than just the one that is pointing back to your website.

Ensure that you follow a correct guide in creating the file, as if the disavow file is not created correctly, it can also have a negative impact on your website.

Example of a Disavow File

 (Source: Disavow backlinks – Google Support)


The disavow tool was designed by Google to discount the unnatural links to your site. The use of the ‘Disavow Tool’ is dependant on the type of Google Penguin penalty received.

When the disavow file is created and submitted to Google Webmaster Tools, we need to ensure that we give Google at least three weeks to process the disavow file.

At Generate UK, we understand that this is quite a difficult and time-consuming process; therefore we are here to advise and help you to protect your business from the Penguin 3.0 update.

If you’re unsure if your website has been affected by Penguin, or want us to assist you, feel free to contact us for consultation.

A Designer’s Perspective: Re-design of The Royal Berkshire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust website

Posted on by Mandie Lovelock in Customers, Internet Marketing, Web Design | Leave a comment

The design process is an integral part of our work here at Generate UK, but for many clients, it can seem like a bit of a dark art. In order to demystify how our designers go about coming up with their ideas, Mandie sat down with Leigh Prowse to discuss how he approached the design for one of our clients; the Royal Berkshire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

What do you love about your job?

One of the best things about working for a multi-disciplined design agency is that I get the opportunity work with a wide range of clients, all of whom have completely different requirements and expectations. A great example of that was my work with the Royal Berkshire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in Reading.

What was the challenge?

The Royal Berkshire Hospital is one of the largest NHS Foundation Trusts in England, and they issued a tender to redesign their website to help boost their online presence. By their nature, they had specific requirements that set it apart from the average website and offered some interesting design challenges.

We were asked to design a modern, intuitive and aesthetically welcoming website that provided both value for money and flexibility, and included a CRM integration data capture facility.

Where do you start?

I took the RBH’s corporate guidelines and colour spectrum, and then began to shape them into initial concepts. I also felt it was important for my designs to reflect elements that the RBH stands for, including efficiency, a welcoming environment and excellence.

Royal Berkshire Hospital Concept

What did your concept look like?

We like to provide at least three concepts, going from a ‘safe’ version through to a challenging version. By creating visuals of the home page and a few general pages, it lets the client get a feel for the site.

With the RBH, they knew that the main users of their site were over 50, but as their use of technology is greater than ever before, I designed the site to be optimised on PC, tablet and smartphone.

Royal Berkshire Hospital Concepts Layout

What did the client think?

Once the designs had been shown to the RBH, the ‘safe’ version was dismissed almost instantly because it was felt to be too close to other NHS sites.

With the other two designs, we used an ‘e-fit’ process to let them mix and match the parts that they liked to create a final concept. From there, a consensus of opinions was reached within the many RBH stakeholders, and gratifyingly, my own personal favourite design was chosen.

Royal Berkshire Hospital Visuals

Royal Berkshire Hospital Website Responsive Showcase

The result:

The finished design went before the Board of Trustees for final approval in December 2013, with an estimated ‘go live’ date of February 2014.

I’m very proud of the results that we achieved here. The process was smooth and it was a great experience both personally and professionally.

Royal Berkshire Hospital Final Site

Sovereign Housing Association Invests in Blog Build and Achieves First Coverage in The Guardian

Posted on by Veronika in Content, Customers | Leave a comment

Generate UK designed, project managed and built Sovereign Housing Association’s blog in September 2014.

Sovereign Blog Design

At the beginning of September, we received a request from Sovereign Housing Association for Generate UK to design their blog for them. We wanted to ensure that the blog design followed their brand guidelines and any other additional requests from the client.

We created concepts for the blog homepage and the actual post pages. After a great brainstorm session with Sovereign, we tweaked the elements and ensured that the uniqueness and quality of the blog would stand out.

Blog Project Management

The blog design and build was managed step by step by Generate UK, so that we didn’t miss out any important elements. We mainly wanted to ensure that Sovereign was presented as a thought leader within the ‘public sector,’ therefore it was very important to manage the project wisely.

Sovereign Blog Build

Following approval of the design, we put together a Build Plan to ensure that all web build elements were covered. This included 2.5 days to build the blog, followed by another two days of quality control and testing, to ensure that all of the elements worked within all browsers.

The Sovereign Blog

Sovereign Blog Post in The Guardian

The Sovereign blog contains a post on the ‘Affordable Housing’ topic. This recent topic is considered as an interesting content piece, which was presented by Heather Bowman (Housing and Communities Director at Sovereign) at the recent housing conference.

Heather’s speech about ‘What is Truly Affordable Housing?’ received a lot of coverage on Twitter and also got picked up by Inside Housing who covered the story, which in turn helped The Guardian to pick up on this and put their own spin on the interesting topic.

This simply shows that investing into the quality and interesting content can have a positive outcome for any type of website.



Google Analytics Changed Visits to Sessions & Unique Visitors to Users

Posted on by Veronika in Search Engine Optimisation | Leave a comment

Keeping half an eye on the Google Analytics tool is essential as it is constantly changing. Recently there have been a couple of terminology changes spotted by one of the webmasters.

It appears that the section called ‘visits’ has now changed to the terminology ‘sessions’.  Also another spotted change in terminology was with ‘unique visitors’ which are now ‘users’.


From Visits to Sessions

Google Analytics Sessions

GA Sessions


As far as we can currently see there is no difference in the data that is represented. Simply that it has undergone a name change.  So, now your ‘visit’ is thought of as a ‘session’.


From Unique Visitors to Users
Google Analytics Users


GA Users


Likewise, we notice that the previously named ‘Unique Visitors’ has been changed to ‘Users’. This still represents a total number of users who landed on your website within requested time period.


Understanding the reasons behind these changes may come down to semantics, but all will certainly be revealed as the tool evolves further. Google announced the changes as quite big, but we cannot see yet why. We will bring you more news on the technical aspects as it is revealed by Google.


To find out more details about dimensions and metrics names, read the full list of Google Analytics dimensions and metric names on Google Developers website.

What is all the Pinterest about?

Posted on by Mike in Digital Marketing, Keywords, Search Engine Optimisation, Social Media | Leave a comment

Pinterest has now been around in many versions since March 2010, when it first launched a closed Beta Version. Their plan was to trial and test the site, while easing into the technology world a new format they call ‘Social image-bookmarking platform’. It was hoped that by adopting this approach, it would build up a large ‘want’ within the marketplace, similar strategies have been adopted by companies such as Spotify with their trail & Beta versions. Apple adopts this with many of their new product launches, to create a so-called buzz around a new product or service launch.

Pinterest is very similar to other image sharing social channels such as Reddit, Digg, Stumbleupon and Tumblr. Pinterest is currently (or so it says) right up there and prevalent with current trends online. With the ever-increasing usage of rich media content online, over heavy (most boring) text driven content or blogs. Other channels such as Twitter and YouTube have looked to make more of this so-called Rich Media content count in searches in recent months by fundamentally changing their layouts when showing imagery on user’s timelines.

All the pin-fuss…

The launch of the Mobile app in early 2011 opened up the platform to the masses. This was one of the most crucial changes to the platform, creating a position for itself within the market. This then lead onto the site becoming one of the top 10 largest social networks according to data from ‘Hitwise’. They received approximately 12 million visits a year. However online pick-up has been significantly lower in the UK in comparison to the US. With circa 200,000 unique visitors in 2011 compared to 12 Million in the US. Us Brits are yet to really accept Pinterest or so the statistics suggest.

What’s pin-happening now?

The more traditional view of Pinterest was that its users were middle-aged females who were interested in sharing the arts and crafts online.

According to a review by Sprout Social Insights, “Pinterest continues to gain popularity among brands with the recent acquisition of VisualGraph, an image recognition and visual search technology. The aim behind the purchase is to “build technology to better understand what people are pinning”. This ability will now make it easier for Pinterest to target users with specific content, but more importantly for them, with relevant advertisements.

Pinterest is great if you want to primarily share Rich Media such as video’s or image content. Heavy text driven content may be better placed elsewhere if we split usage up into the following:

By Individuals- Pinterest is most commonly used by users as a way of sharing fun images with friends. Others use Pinterest as a hobby, as a way of scrapbooking events or milestones within their lives.

By Companies- Pinterest is used by companies looking to provide rich engagable content with their end users. Sharing pictures of events or new product ranges are most common uses.

Obviously, an image sharing social platform is not applicable to all business. As an example, an accountancy firm in Reading might struggle to share fun and engageble content on this platform. That is always the thing to consider. Are my users or customers there? If so then I should be there. It is purely as simple as that. If you are a business and you are looking for an account to formulate your balance sheet, you would not use Pinterest as your ‘go to’ search engine tool? Would you?

You may………It is also important to consider that 29% of overall Pinterest users are in the highest income.

Social Media providers such as Pinterest make their money via their B2B offerings. Over the past year, Pinterest has supported brands with features like rich pins and native analytics. It has also won praise for referral traffic and driving sales.


Pinterest has some great numbers in terms of total shares, clicks and order values. See the latest stats from Addshopper:

Why be on Pinterest? In a recent study by social markets Piquora it is stated that each pin generates an average of 78 cents via e-commerce platforms. Sales or referrals from Pinterest actually increased in comparison to 2012. The one major advantage to companies having a presence on Pinterest is the shelf life of ‘pins’ or posts. With posts on other channels such Facebook, they can drop down Timeline feeds quite quickly.

The Pin-Future?

So what is going to happen in the future? Pinterest hope that the term ‘to pin’ or ‘pin’ will be become such a renowned verb, similar to ‘like’ or ‘re-tweet’ on other well-known social channels. Within one of Facebook’s biggest ‘rollouts’ in 2012, the term ‘Pin’ is now being used throughout the site as an engagement term. This can only aid Pinterest moving forward.

The platform started fantastically well with all the pickup rates around the world particularly in the United States. It is at this point now that Pinterest need to develop within the market and continue to be current and fresh. With recent acquisitions, this should help with paid advertisement on the platform and obviously their company bottom line. As other more well-established social channels look to increase the opportunity of sharing rich media, the danger to Pinterest is in watering down their unique position and coverage over time. Pinterest also need to look at incorporating two important factors used by other social media sites; instant messaging and location based services.

Increased importance of keywords

As with all online offerings SEO and keywords used are very important. Pinterest search uses exact match search, therefore it is important that title of the image correct. Although Google can now read and rank Pinterest images accordingly.

Do Pinterest long for a multimillion or billion pound take over from the likes of Facebook to take this to the next level? We shall wait and see….

If you would like us to help, you produce a social media strategy for your business, and then contact our Social Media team today- E-

What is Responsive Web Design?

Posted on by Lisa in Mobile and Apps, Web Design | Leave a comment

Responsive Web Design (RWD) is simply an approach that allows a website to re-size to fit any screen size or orientation. It uses a series of fluid grids and flexible images to achieve a consistent and useable website for any size device.

Graphic demonstration of a responsive wireframe

Figure 1: As found on

A responsive grid allows you to fit content into pre-determined areas that will shrink and re-stack in order to work on any screen size as shown below.

Recently Generate UK worked on a website for our client Future Tech, with a requirement for the website to be useable on all devices.  After considering the options available Generate decided to take a responsive approach.

Future Tech Responsive Website

If you visit the website in a browser and shrink the window and push and pull the size of the browser window, you will see the site change to adapt to the new size. Also if you visit the site on a mobile device you will see that the site has shrunk to fit the screen.

Generate UK also worked with Saracens Solicitors to produce a new responsive site. The final solution is another great example of a responsive website.

Saracens responsive Website

How is a responsive site different to a mobile site?

A mobile site is a smaller version of your current website that has been optimised for use on a mobile. It is a separate version of the main site and can sometimes have less content and a completely different user experience. You can often tell if you are on a mobile site if the URL in the browser window starts with an m such as

What are the benefits of having a Responsive Website?

There are many internet enabled devices currently available including smartphones, tablets, kindles and netbooks. This is likely to increase and vary even more if technology keeps growing and changing as much it has over the past few years. Each device will have differing screen sizes, resolutions and technical capabilities.

Android devices

Figure 2 This is a graphic representation of the android screen sizes available in 2013. 26 in total..

To create a mobile version to work seamlessly on all these devices would be great challenge. By using a responsive setup, all current screen sizes and any new devices will receive the same user experience as those that are already on the market at the time of creating the design because the site will shrink or expand to fit the screen. By creating a responsive site you are future-proofing your website.

You will have one site to keep updated and the content that is served to the different screen sizes will be relevant and will be displayed in a format that makes the content easy to interact with. This helps you to deliver the right content to the right audience.

Why have a responsive site rather than a mobile site?

There is no right or wrong mobile approach to take but the main difference between a responsive and mobile site is that duplicate updates will be necessary. If you make any changes to your main site, these will also need to be made to your mobile site thus doubling the time you need to spend on upkeep.

Another consideration is the size of mobile screens. A mobile site may require additional maintenance to ensure that it is optimised in line with current trends and technology within the market.

Overall a responsive site is a fantastic way to future-proof your website and ensures that all visitors to your site receive a consistent and user-friendly experience no matter what device they are on.

Talk to Generate UK about future proofing your website!

With a wealth of experience creating mobile and responsive solutions, Generate UK can help you through every step of the process and create you the mobile solution that you are looking for.

Digital Marketing Trends And Predictions For 2014

Posted on by Mike in Digital Marketing | 1 Comment

digital trends 2014

If you’re involved in online marketing then you’ll be aware that the digital landscape has changed considerably during the course of 2013. The Google Panda and Penguin have both been updated. We have also seen the incorporation of the game-changing Hummingbird update. Congratulations are in order if you have managed to adapt and limit the impact of these changes. However, you are also encouraged to look forward to the challenges of 2014.

SEO Reconceptualised

You may be aware that a number of the traditional SEO methods have proven ineffective in recent times. Google have made it quite clear that they are unwilling to tolerate the purchase of links and the over-optimisation of websites. They have ensured that keyword data is ‘not provided’ and that webmasters are penalised for keyword stuffing. It has become increasingly difficult to manipulate the rankings as the search engine technology has developed.

Some of the leading analysts have said that web site owners should focus on online audience optimisation rather than search engine optimisation in 2014. They have claimed that it will be necessary to find ways of addressing the core desires of digital audiences. Businesses have been urged to target the most relevant social media platforms and communicate in the same language as their customers. However, the Generate UK team have pointed out that there will still be a need for websites to abide by the search engine guidelines. Experienced SEO practitioners will also be required to assist the webmasters who have been hit with Google penalties.

A Continued Focus On Quality Content

Google realise that they have to generate the most relevant results if they are to maintain a position of dominance in the search engine industry. It is for this reason that they reward the producers of high quality content. Of course the major brands have more time and money to spend on content marketing. This means that smaller business have a tough time achieving rankings for competitive search phrases. There is increased competition for Adwords, which results in increased earnings for Google.

It will still be possible for small business owners to enjoy content marketing success in 2014. However, they will have to employ savvy techniques. It is worth pointing out that Google’s new Hummingbird takes account of entire search meanings, rather than individual keywords. Google have even started to boost the rankings of website pages which provide the most accurate and thorough answers to people’s questions. So webmasters who carry out thorough research and write pieces about the hottest topics will stand a good chance of seeing an increase in search engine traffic.

Webmasters who want to succeed in 2014 should strive to produce targeted content on a regular basis. It will be important to tailor pieces in line with business objectives and meet the expectations of specific digital audiences. Particularly successful campaigns may harness the power of social media networks, blogs, and video websites. It would be worth following example of the the John Lewis marketeers who used online videos, television promotions and high street advertisements to market their Christmas range.

Fresh Social Media Strategies

Website owners who use the various social media platforms are expected to reap a variety of benefits next year. The experts at Moz have said that there will be real value in registering with Google + and claiming authorship for articles, blogs and other digital texts. Those of you who do this will stand an improved chance of gaining expert recognition. There will also be a chance of improved rankings, as Google continues to reward those individuals who craft exceptional content.

Facebook and Twitter are likely to be the most popular social networks for the foreseeable future. However, it is worth pointing that great numbers of people are making use of social media sites such as LinkedIn, Pinterest and Tumblr. Business owners are advised to find out which of these social networking sites are used most often by their customers. It will also be worth tapping into the most relevant online discussions and creating targeted campaigns.

Optimising For Mobile Users

Growth in the popularity of internet-enabled mobile devices is expected to continue in 2014 and beyond. It is thought that more people will be using tablets and mobile phones to access websites and interact with social media. Business owners who want to cash in on this trend will create responsive websites and mobile friendly advertisements. They will incorporate click to call functionality and build pages specifically for local audiences.

Google will certainly be taking account of mobile functionality when assigning website rankings. Digital marketeers may even be required to optimise their websites for people wearing Google glasses and watches. There will be a need to adapt strategies in line with the behaviour of different users. It might be worth targeting the owners of smartphones with short advertisements, uploaded to Vine or Instagram. There will also be the possibility of creating branded apps as a means of advertising products and services.

Businesses who fail to harness the mobile technology will face the risk of being left behind by their competitors. The online audience will see these companies as being outdated. They may tell their friends about poor mobile experiences. There will be a real risk of diminished digital earnings.

Digital Assistance From Generate UK

As a forward thinking business owner you’ll undoubtedly realise the importance of preparing for the types of digital changes mentioned in this article. However, you may not have the time to research different forms of social media or create outstanding content. Thankfully you can rely upon the assistance of Generate UK. Our expert team will develop the right kinds of strategies to ensure that you meet your digital objectives in 2014.

The Christmas Wishlist: 10 Fantastic Gifts For Your Customers

Posted on by Mike in Internet Marketing | Leave a comment

Christmas is a time for giving and appreciating the close bonds that we have with friends and family. It is also the perfect time of year for rewarding those customers who have played a key role in the continued success of your business. Of course you’ll want to spend time over the selection of items which symobolise your appreciation. However, the kind hearted team at Generate UK have come up with some wonderful gift recommendations.

guk blog xmas

Free Trials

It is quite likely that you are preparing brand new products and services for launch in the New Year. However, you’d be well advised to generate a buzz by giving free trials to existing customers. They will tell friends and family if they particularly enjoy the free trial. You may also receive feedback regarding possible improvements and alterations. The people who are selected to take part in the trial will feel valued by your company and less inclined to buy your competitor’s products.

Badges & Trophies

badges trophiesYou could reward the customers who spend large amounts or make valuable online contributions with special badges and trophies. As it’s christmas you could use an image of santa’s hat or a shining star. Alternatively you could create a leaderboard for those customers who are in line for a suprise christmas gift. This could act as an incentive to buy more and make repeat visits to your website. The competition could end in mid-December and the winners could receive anything from complementary cups of coffee to family holiday tickets.

Retweets & Facebook Likes

retweets fb likesThose of you who take digital marketing seriously will engage with different forms of social media throughout the year. However, you may be particularly tempted to send out retweets and Facebook likes in the run up to Christmas. You may even draw attention to the valuable comments and business pages which have been created by your customers. There is a fair chance that the social media love will be reciprocated.

Blog Posts

If you’ve been taking the time to update your blog throughout the year then you will undoubtedly have built a substantial following. You may even be tempted to create some Christmas themed posts for your loyal readers. You could write about the successful year and plans for the future. Or perhaps you’d prefer to feature a story about a customer who has made full use of your services. You could prove that your company has embraced the festive spirit by including images of team members decked out in Christmas outfits.

Newsletters & Brochures

If you are relaint upon an increase in sales during the winter period then you should release a Christmas brochure. This should feature images of specially disounted products and happy customers. You may increase the wintertime appeal through the release of a themed newsletter, including stories about employees who have had enjoyed great success during the business year. You could also incorporate the Christmas stories and anecdotes for the entertainment of your customers.

Ideas For Improvement

If you really want to show that you care then it would be advisable to ask your customers for business suggestions. You may receive requests regarding the types of blogs that people would like to read. Your customers might even have ideas about the improvement of your products. You should implement the most sensible requests as a means of building customer engagement in the months before Christmas.


videos imageYou could ask your entire team to participate in the creation of a Christmas video. They are bound to generate some absolutely wonderful ideas. Perhaps you’ll opt to produce a stop motion nativity movie. Or maybe you’d prefer to follow the Hubspot example and sing a christmas carol about the benefits of your services. If you come up with a really cracking idea then there’ll be a chance of viral distribution via video networks such as Youtube and Vimeo.

Gift Cards

If you own a high street shop then it would be worth handing out gift cards in the run up to Christmas. You’ll notice that customers react very positively to such personal gifts. They might even tell friends and family about your genorisity. Of course you can also give your customers a pleasant surprise by including print-out vouchers in your newsletters and brochures.

Charitable Donations

You may ask your customers for suggestions regarding a suitable charitable donation this Christmas. You could then ask individual team members whether they’d contribute just a small amount to the chosen cause. It may even be worth organising a fund raising event or acquiring sponsorship for participation in a local sporting challenge. You’ll then be able to enjoy christmas in the knowledge that you have made a valuable contribution. You might even reap the rewards of positive PR.

A Big Thank You

It would be a really great idea to thank each of your customers for their support throughout the year. Those of you working on a local basis may be able to make individual visits and say thank you in person. If your business is international then you’ll have the options of of sending out emails or making complementary calls. You should make it clear that you are looking forward to maintaining the business relationship in the New Year. However, you should ensure that the right impression is made by communicating in a personal and informal way.

Generate UK Can Help

we can helpThe team at Generate UK have the skills required to develop a targeted Christmas campaign just for you. We can create outstanding videos, entertaining blog posts and promotional emails in the aim of engaging your customers and increasing sales during the festive period. If you’d like to find out more then give us a call on 01635 887711 today.

A Comprehensive Guide To Twitter For Businesses

Posted on by Mike in Internet Marketing, Social Media | Leave a comment

twitter logo suitTwitter was launched in 2006 as a social networking tool for sending and receiving messages in real time. It has become increasingly popular in different parts of the world. There are currently more than 100 million people using Twitter on a daily basis. It’s little wonder that businesses have sought to increase the levels of customer engagement on this social networking website. However, you can gain a competitive advantage by adopting the strategies outlined in this article.

Create A Twitter Profile

It will be necessary to set up or optimise your profile if you want to harness the true power of Twitter. You should think about your prime motivations for using this social networking channel. If you’re primarily interested in building relationships with key business leaders then you should create a formal profile. However, those of you wanting to entertain the online audience should consider the incorporation of witty profile text and background images. Include a website or blog link for those people who want to learn more about your business.

Learn From The Competition

There may be a temptation to charge straight into the Twitter sphere after setting up your business profile. However, it would be far more sensible to conduct some competitive research. Find out who your nearest rivals are following. Consider the effectiveness of their tweets. You might discover that some companies have launched successful competitions or issued timely updates regarding relevant business news. Others may have chosen to retweet comments made by particularly valuable customers. You should think about adopting the same methods of engagement.

Communicate Effectively

It is worth pointing out that Twitter users have definite ideas about the ways in which companies should interact. A report released by Lithium has revealed that over 70% of people expect some form of return communication from businesses. 59% claimed that there would be negative repercussions for companies that didn’t bother to reply to tweets. These findings prove the importance of closely monitoring Twitter accounts and respecting the social networking community.

Companies such as Jet Blue and Victoria’s Secret have set the example by using Twitter as a customer service channel. They send out important information about new services and ensure that customer questions are answered quickly. These companies hire specialist social media experts who have the ability to build and maintain positive online relationships. You may not have the budget to employ such dedicated social networking teams. However, it would still be worth responding to customers who pose questions and mention your brand on Twitter.

Build A Distinctive Personality

If you want to increase the amount of trust in your company then it will be important to maintain transparency and authenticity on Twitter. You should let your customers know about upcoming events and product releases. It would also be a good idea to ask for customer feedback. Your Twitter followers will feel valued if they are allowed a say in the development of your business. They might even tell their friends about positive experiences with your brand.

If you’re really keen to build the levels of engagement on Twitter then it would be worth finding ways of making your messages stand out. You might opt to engage in light hearted banter. If you have valid opinions about key happenings in your industry then you should tell your Twitter followers. You could even incorporate images of products and members of staff.

Generate Leads

Companies who use Twitter exclusively as a means of promoting articles and selling products run the risk of alienating their customers. After all, the majority of people view Twitter as a medium for entertainment. However, it is still possible to generate leads via this social network. If you offer plumbing services then conduct searches for keyword phrases such as ‘plumber needed’. If you’re a specialist copywriter then employ search terms such as ‘freelance copywriters’ and ‘copywriting jobs’. Just remember that it’s best to use the softly softly approach when dealing with potential clients.

Use Other Forms Of Social Media

If you use Twitter on a daily basis then you can expect to attract great numbers of followers and improve the chances of winning lucrative contracts. However, you should remember that Twitter is one part of the overall social media mix. It is important to spend time on alternative networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Youtube. Make sure that you send out a diverse range of marketing messages, specific to different target audiences. And build links from your website to the different social media profiles.

Track Your Campaigns

Those of you who want to measure the success of social media campaigns are advised to use tools such as Google Analytics and Sprout Social. You should pay attention to the amount of people who are using the different networks to access your website. You are also advised to consider the actions that people are taking when they visit your website. You might find that individuals who connect with your brand on Twitter more likely to buy products than those who watch your Youtube videos. You will also have the opportunity to conduct split tests in order to ascertain the effectiveness of different marketing messages.

Enlist Professional Support

It is likely that you are excited about the great range of social media opportunities. However, you may not have the time or expertise to devise and execute effective campaigns. Thankfully you can rely upon the assistance of Generate UK. Our experts will be able to identify the social media channels that are most relevant to your business. We’ll use high impact strategies to ensure increased brand exposure. And we’ll provide detailed social media reports on a regular basis.

If you’d like to find out more then give us a call on 01635 887711 today!

What is the future for SEO?

Posted on by Kelly Perkins in Brighton SEO, Search Engine Optimisation | 3 Comments

Google’s algorithm has changed more significantly in the last one and a half years than the previous three years combined. That’s quite a statement. Sure, as SEOers we are aware of the changing World Wide Web, particularly Google’s SERPs and the ever growing need to deliver relevant content through these channels, whilst keeping up with the way users are now using the platform to finding the content they’re looking for.

At the latest Brighton SEO conference in September, where fellow like-minded SEOers meet to keep up-to-date with the up and coming trends from the industry experts, there were three key take-aways from the event that stood out to have continued and growing in importance for the future of SEO:

  1. Content
  2. Social Media
  3. Mobile

Content + Social

The saying ‘content is king’ has been used for a long time by digital marketers, but it has never been more crucial to create great quality content that is not only relevant to the user but now, with social media being ever more prevalent, the content we create also needs to be something worth sharing.

Twitter is a prime social media platform that demonstrates just how great content can be formed, shared and absorbed by the user.

People who use social media are often doing something else at the same time; watching TV, on a desktop, talking.  What does this say about the virtual world? Attention is steered by the visible crowd, in this instance the Twitter timeline and social proof can encourage users to do powerful things. Social media can be used to not only market in real-time but to plan for the moment. This can be done by creating content based on activity that appears live with the use of predictions and anticipations:

Twitter can also be used as a back screen to other things going on in the world – like Tweeting during TV shows. This can be particularly effective when optimising TV ads with the use of hash tags to promote products and pulling live tweets into live broadcast – #danceponydance

Another example is the Wimbledon win earlier this year which saw 3.2 million tweets and most of these tweets were posted the moment it happened. The online reach to users demonstrates TV can be more effective with Twitter.

Social + Mobile

Twitter has 15 million UK users and 80% contribute to the social channel from a mobile device.

Mobile is quickly becoming the device of choice for more and more internet users. 77% of smartphone users look up services and products through mobile and half of these then go on to purchase.

Quick mobile facts:

  • Mobile Internet usage doubled between 2009 and 2012
  • Mobile search with local intent 40%. E.g. Users looking for local restaurants
  • 50% of online sales for Mother’s Day 2013 from mobile
  • £13 billion mobile sales in 2013 – that’s just eBay
  • Mobile is fastest growing platform ever


It has never been more important for websites to be mobile optimised to with such a large amount of users (and potential buyers) viewing a website’s content through a mobile device.

The need-to-know about mobile users:

  • They browse with intent
  • They’re less tolerant and speed is a big thing
  • If they can’t find what they’re looking for – they’re gone
  • They don’t care about technology – they’re only concern is finding what they are looking for


So how best to cater for these users and their growing needs?

Tips –

  • Design from the users’ perspective: what do they want, what will make them stay and convert. Think of the circumstances the user will want this site
  • Target your most popular devices: use analytics, mobile, devices. Pick top 5 or top 10.
  • Enhance user experience with mobile specific HTML. E.g. click to call, location services
  • Put usability first and put consumers’ requirements first. Then think about SEO; adaptive, responsive
  • Think like a consumer, not like the client. Don’t sell to the client, sell to the client’s consumer


More can be found on Optimising Your Website For Mobile Use in our recent blog.

References via Brighton SEO:

Justin Taylor – @Justin Graphitas

Bridget Randolf – @BridgetRandolph

Jennifer Sable Lopez – @jennita

Oliver Snoddy – @olisnoddy

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