Our Website Checklist for 2018

By Joe Hewes

Checklist for 2018

Keeping Up To Date With Your Website

Every year we like to takes stock and make sure that our websites continue to offer brilliant value, as well as staying up to date with the latest trends and technologies that continue to march on. We like to think we’ve always been at the forefront with our team of clued up designers, but what do we think absolutely everyone should have going for their websites in 2018?

Mobile Friendly Design

We’ve spoken before about the benefits of ensuring your website is mobile friendly. Recent stats that we have collected ourselves continue to show that the swarm of smartphones and tablets have made responsive mobile friendly design a complete must. Outdated desktop only websites lose customers even before they have (slowly) loaded. If your website is not mobile friendly in 2018 it’s definitely time to rethink your online strategy.

Up To Date Content

This one is a real no-brainer. You need to ensure your content is up to date. We don’t just mean having a new blog post every now and again (although that definitely helps!) but looking through your website and making sure all the changes that have happened in your business are reflected on your site. Did you forget about your office move? Has the telephone company changed your number? Does your feedback form still work? All of these areas need to be up to date and relevant. Maybe it’s time to update that staff list too…

Easy To Find On Google

Making sure that your “Google Footprint” is still relevant is certainly an area that can easily be forgotten, particularly if you don’t necessarily keep as close an eye on that side of your business as you should. So every now and again it’s worth checking that Google have still got you on their radar. How does your Google My Business profile look? Have you updated your business photos? Have you replied to your reviews? Do you show up in local or national searches? If things are looking stale it’s time to take action.

Android / iOS mobile Apps

Considering whether a mobile app is a good fit for you in 2018 is definitely something a lot of people will be considering this quarter. Mobile apps are great for encouraging repeat business, keeping up to date with customers who might not want to link up with you on social media or more traditional offline platforms (the dreaded breakfast meetings!). If your app is installed on your customers home screen it can act as a direct sales pathway – something that can inform your customers of your latest deals immediately, with a much higher read rate than any email marketing can hope to achieve. We’re not saying everybody needs a mobile app in 2018 – but it’s certainly one to consider.

Webwalrus Can Help

If you’re small business doesn’t have a scope for an in-house web design team then Webwalrus can help out. We’ll gladly help whip your standing website in to shape, can advise on how to improve (or start) your Google My Business profile. We can even help out with cost-effective mobile app development and marketing. To find out how we can help you best me an email: joe@webwalrus.uk or give me a call on 01206 430311

Get your own Webwalrus website for free

By Joe Hewes

Webwalrus free websitesIMPORTANT! Public free sign ups for this service are now closed, but do get in touch if you’d like to discuss signing up on behalf of a charity or community non-profit.

We’ve been designing websites for many years now. Along the way we’ve learned a few things, made a few mistakes. Those lessons we learnt in the early days mean we’ve picked up what we like to think of as a considered and efficient method for creating great websites, which are fast, simple to construct and coded to a high standard.

And now we’d like to give you all this knowledge for free.

That’s right – our method is one that you can take advantage of right now, with no obligation to buy. You can see exactly what software we use to create stunning responsive websites. You can make them yourself. You can even make them for other people. We’ve got a top of the range website builder that means you’ll never have to touch any code. We’ve got the industry standard framework which means you’ll always be up to date. We’ve got an amazing set of pre-made landing pages so that you can easily get going. And if you don’t want any extra bells or whistles you have all this for free.

This is an amazing package which you should definitely try out.

So all you have got to do to take advantage of this is to head on over to our website – www.webwalrus.uk and sign up for your own free site. Of course we’ll want your email address so we can try and sell you those other bells and whistles I mentioned – stuff like e-commerce, extra storage space, and all those good things. But rest assured you can get going for absolutely free, and keep the resulting website as long as you like at no extra charge.

So there you go – head on over there and try it out.

Joe Hewes – Webwalrus Head Honcho.

The Easy Way To Start An Email Mailing List

By Joe Hewes

The Easy Way To Start An Email Marketing ListA cornerstone of online marketing is the email mailing list. Everybody who is building an online or real-world business should be building email marketing lists to let their existing customers know about current events that relate to your business, relevant offers and generally to keep in touch with your customer base. All of this will add up to repeat business if not now then further down the line. Starting your fist mailing list might sound like a daunting task, but we’ve come up with this quick guide to help you through your first steps down the road to a successful email marketing strategy.

Sign up for a Mailchimp Email Marketing account

There are many different roads to choose from when you first start off with your list, from fully blown marketing systems like Infusionsoft, Green Rope, HubSpot and the like, to more focussed mass email managers like Aweber and our own personal recommendation – Mailchimp. Apart from it’s ease of use, brilliant support and wide recognition – the best thing about Mailchimp for the beginner is it’s completely free starter tier. Being able to get started without any cost is a real boon for the small business owner. If you need advanced features later on there are of course multiple paid for accounts available.

You can sign up for your free Mailchimp account by visiting this link: Sign Up Free

I’ve Got A Mailchimp Account. Now what?

So the best way to start off with your new email marketing strategy is to add your loyal customers in from your existing email programs. British email marketing law states that you can send email marketing to previous customers as long as you ask their permission and the products you are promoting are related to their previous purchases. You can find out more about current legislation for email marketing here. Don’t worry too much about your obligations to provide easy exit routes from the list – Mailchimp will sort all of that out for you.

You may have your contact’s email addresses in Apple address book, Microsoft Outlook or even your online mail accounts. Wherever they are currently stored there is generally an export ’email addresses as .csv’ option. Follow the instructions provided by your email supplier and you should end up with your list of email addresses all inside one neat file. You can find more information on exporting email addresses for use in Mailchimp by following theses links – just choose the one for your choice of email provider:

Export Gmail contacts as csv file

Mailchimp Apple Address Book Importer

Mailchimp Import from Microsoft Outlook

Other ways of building an email list

Moving forward adding emails from your email program into your Mailchimp account is a cumbersome way of operating, so you’ll need to come up with a way to let new customers be added to your mailing list. If you have a website with us here at Webwalrus ask us to fix this up for you. We can add a sign up form to your website anywhere you like. If you are using an e-commerce setup it might be best to give people an opt-in method as they buy. If you have your own website it might be worth checking out Mailchimp’s list of supported methods for adding people to your lists. You can find that at this link: Best practise for building a Mailchimp list. If you just need to add people on to your list one at a time you can do that via Mailchimp’s website. This process might be suitable if you are running a small club or similar where you don’t get a large amount of signups.

You’re all set up!

So there you have it – all set up and ready to launch your first marketing campaign. Now is the time to think about what you want to say to your customers, develop new and interesting content for them to enjoy or tell them about your latest products. We’ll show you how simple Mailchimp makes it to write an attractive email in our next post. In the meantime – let me know if you have any questions by dropping me a comment below.

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