website speed

Why is website speed important?

Why is website speed important?

Ian Kennedy - Optima Digital
Co-Founder Ian Kennedy
Ian Kennedy - Optima Digital
Co-Founder Ian Kennedy

Your website speed will have a dramatic impact on your overall performance. We live in a world where we expect things to happen immediately and browsing the internet is no different.

In fact, browsing websites is probably where we are the least patient. Studies by Google show that over 53% of people will leave a website if it does not load in under 3 seconds.

Here is a good rule of thumb. If you think your website is too slow, it probably is.

From Amazon same-day delivery to Netflix’s endless content on-demand, we as humans are more impatient than ever. 

Website speed impacts at both the user and technical level. If it is too slow users will get annoyed. Additionally, search engine crawlers will also detect a slow website and push it down their rankings.

Why is Your Website Speed Important?

Site speed is important from both a search engine perspective and a user perspective. However, they are intertwined. User behavior is picked up by search engines like Google and used in the ranking data.

Therefore, they are both directly correlated. Google also stated page speed is an official ranking factor. Below, are some of the factors in more detail:

Bounce Rate

Google Analytics

Conversions

User Experience

Search Engine Crawlers

What affects website speed?

There are various factors that will affect your website speed. However, it is usually a combination of multiple elements. Often the best way to improve your website speed overall is to optimise each element individually.

Image File Compression

Minify CSS,Javascript, HTML

Hosting/service times

Where your website is hosting will have a direct impact  on site speed. We know site speed and conversions directly correlate so it is important.

Hosting is not expensive and you can find some really good packages for €10-15 per  month. We have made a list of some of our favourite hosting providers.

Optimise images

Theme

Every WordPress site is run using a certain theme. These themes allow you to customize the appearance of your website. They also allow you to edit the layout, typography, colour as well as many other design elements.

A theme is a group of files that work in unison to create and design your website using HTML,CSS and JavaScript files.

It is also worth noting that your choice of theme will affect your website speed. There are lightweight and heavyweight themes. 

A lightweight theme like Astra is often quicker than a slightly heavier theme such as Divi.

Ensure you do some research before choosing your theme. As often they can do as much (or as little) as you would like.

How to test your website speed?

There are various tools you can use to test your website speed. We like to use a combination of the following:

GT Metrix

GT Metrix - Website speed

Pingdom

Pingdom - Website speed

Google PageSpeed Insights

How to make your website faster?

We have looked at why your website may be slow and tools to test your site speed. Now it is time to look at ways we can improve it.

Improving by a second could be the difference between a conversion or losing a customer.

CDN Cloudflare

Hosting

WordPress Plugins

WP Rocket

W3 Total Cache

WP Super Cache

Conclusion

There is no one single element or magic formula to improve your website’s speed and performance.

You must look at the whole landscape and analyse different elements. However, there are several tools and free plugins available to help you. Start by running your websites URL through one of the tools.

From here you will gain a better understanding of where and how you can improve. Remember, even 1/10th of a second can make a difference.

If you are in the doldrums or feeling overwhelmed, we are always on hand to help. Feel free to contact us at any stage. We would be glad to help.

We would love to help grow your business.

Increase revenue using digital marketing

5 Ways to Increase Your Revenue Using Digital Marketing

5 Ways to Increase Your Revenue Using Digital Marketing

Ian Kennedy - Optima Digital
Co-Founder Ian Kennedy
Ian Kennedy - Optima Digital
Co-Founder Ian Kennedy

Companies that blog receive 55% more web traffic than those that do not. 78% of consumers state they research a product/service online before purchasing. Therefore, digital marketing is more important than ever before if you are looking to increase your revenue.

As consumers become more comfortable online than ever before, it is important you have a strong online presence.

Whatever industry you are operating in, there will be certain digital marketing tools that can be utilized. Plus, you can almost guarantee your competition is using them to gain an advantage.

If you were offered information on how your ideal customer behaves would you take it? I think most of us would.

Digital marketing has the power to offer these insights if implemented correctly.

Below are 5 ways you can increase your revenue through different digital marketing techniques.

1.Define a Target Audience.

Firstly, identify your target audience. Once identified, you can begin to build a strategy.

We all have specific habits and preferences ingrained in us. Even if we are oblivious to them a lot of the time.

You can collect data by conducting focus groups, surveys and perhaps asking friends and family if they fit your demographic.

The first step in implementing your digital marketing strategy is creating a buyer persona. The more in-depth you go while designing your ideal customer persona the better. For example, it could be the following:

–          Name – Brian

–          Age – 44

–          Status – Married with 3 kids

–          Education – Undergraduate

–          Job – General Manager

–          Values – Family, work-life balance, excelling at his job.

–          Frustrations – Career progression, politics.

–          Interests – Anything tech-related. Golf and GAA.

Creating and delving into a buyer persona will give your digital marketing strategy direction. This persona will help you with elements such as:

–          Gaining a better understanding of your ideal customer.

–          Understanding what tone of voice to use.

–          Increasing the effectiveness of your marketing.

–          Targeting customers on the most relevant platforms/channels.

Once the persona is identified you can work on using a combination of the above elements to ensure you maximise your budget. Furthermore, you should increase your chance of sales.

2. Optimise Your Website Based on SEO

1. Mobile Friendly

Is your website fully optimised for mobile devices? We spend 70% of our internet time on mobile. Google knows this and has stated their web crawlers have shifted to ‘mobile-first index’.

This means Google’s crawlers read your mobile site first. If you have not optimised already it is time to make a move.

2. Yoast Plug-In

3. Dead & Re-Direct Links

3.Content, Content, Content...

It can be easy to get caught up in technical SEO jargon. We enjoy it more than most but there is also a time when it is important to cover the basics.

If you want to increase your revenue through digital marketing, content is an excellent way to achieve it. Not only will it make search engines look at your website more favorably, it allows you to connect with customers (or potential customers).

There are billions of pages on the internet, and it is Google’s job to find the most relevant page and display it to the searcher. Therefore, creating informational, unique content will put you ahead of the competition.

We are exposed to thousands of ads every day. Make your content easy to digest and useful for your customers. This will also increase the chances of them sharing with friends and family.

Infographics are a great way of showcasing your brand. 65% of businesses now spend at least 10% of their budget on visual content.

Increase revenue using digital marketing

4.Website Layout

88% of consumers say they would not return to a website following a bad experience.

Therefore, your website can have a huge impact on your business. Why put in the blood, sweat, and tears building your business only for your website to let you down.

Think of your website as a shopfront that should showcase your skills and expertise. Keep your website simple and easy to navigate for users.

An efficient website is one of the best ways digital marketing can increase your revenue.

Do not put any unnecessary roadblocks in their way. Sometimes less is more when it comes to web design.

On the technical side, watch out for the following:

Site speed

Image quality

Security

5.Measure and Analyse

“You can have data without information, but you cannot have information without data”.

We like to use data as much as possible. Measuring consumer behaviours can be one of the most effective way of growing your business can increasing revenue.

Admittedly, it comes with some trial and error. However, once you get dialed in it can produce results.

Whether it be your social channels or website, you should be measuring performance. Three free tools you use to track and analyse performance are:

Google Analytics

Google Search Console

Facebook Pixel

Conclusion

There are several ways you can use digital marketing techniques to grow your revenue. They are more relevant now than ever as we become more tech orientated. Do not get bogged down in technical jargon. Start by implementing the five techniques above.

If you want professional help or would like to chat to see if we are the right fit feel free to contact us. We only work with businesses where we feel we can add value. A phone call costs nothing, and we would be glad to help.

We would love to help grow your business.

How to grow your business

How Can Digital Marketing Help My Business?

How Can Digital Marketing Help My Business?

Ian Kennedy - Optima Digital
Co-Founder Ian Kennedy
Ian Kennedy - Optima Digital
Co-Founder Ian Kennedy

We are all in business to make money, and digital marketing can help you drive sales.

Studies show 70% of internet users want to learn about a company’s products through content versus traditional advertisements. With almost 90% of Ireland’s adult population frequently using the internet that is an audience of close to 3.5 million people.

Add a global pandemic into the mix and having an online presence is more important than ever before.

If you have not already looked at ways you can improve your business with the help of digital marketing techniques, now is the time to do so.

Do not make the mistake of thinking digital marketing can only help big businesses or certain industries, all businesses can use elements to increase sales.

If you are still on the fence about digital marketing, let us take a look at some of the benefits.

Lower Cost

We would all love to have unlimited budgets but unfortunately, that is not the reality. We must be creative and ensure we maximise the budget we do have. If done correctly, digital marketing can be an excellent way of stretching your funds.

Traditional forms of advertising such as TV and radio are costly. For example, creating a blog and providing useful, informational content is a great way to interact with and showcase your brand to potential customers.

Larger Reach

Marketing your business online will give you the ability to cast the net out wide. You could potentially have access to millions of prospective customers. Once you have quality content, in most cases it is a numbers game. The more eyes you get on your product/service, the higher the chance of increasing your sales.

Measurable Results

A huge advantage of any digital campaign is the ability to measure results. It gives us the ability to analyse and compare data. Whereas with traditional media you may have to wait weeks or months to evaluate how a campaign has performed.

Tools like Google Analytics will allow you to analyse the flow of traffic within a certain campaign. Therefore, you can adapt or pivot your strategy on the fly.

Adjustable

Unlike traditional advertising mediums, internet advertising is adjustable. You have the flexibility to change strategy and focus as you monitor performance. If we take Facebook as an example. Perhaps you have an ad that is performing well, you can easily invest more budget with a simple click.

This makes it easier to scale successful ads or methods. Contrasting this to traditional marketing where you may have long-term agreements and contracts in place. Digital advertising is much more fluid and is interchangeable not only in content but across different platforms.

Ability to target specifics.

If we decided to display our new product/service on a billboard it is going to have drawbacks. Firstly, it will probably be quite expensive. Secondly, we have no control over who will see our advertisement.

A billboard ad on the side of a busy street could catch the attention of any demographic. You will have a target audience so why not target that exact audience which is most suited to your brand or product.

Social media platforms possess an algorithm that allows advertisers to target user preferences. This will help increase the likelihood of someone acting and therefore reducing costs.

It is not a guarantee, but it will give you a much higher chance of success.

Consumer segmentation

Digital campaigns also give us the ability to use segmentation as well as focusing on specifics. Segmentation allows us to break down our consumer groups in further detail. The thought process behind this is that will increase the chance of sales whilst simultaneously cutting costs.

For example, perhaps we have launched a new cleansing product aimed at women. We could use email marketing that women of a certain age within a specific region will only receive an email.

However, for this technique to work efficiently, information must be collected from subscribers previously.

24/7 – 365

Unlike your brick-and-mortar stores, your digital marketing campaign does not have to be 9 am-5.30 pm. We can utilize and put it to work while you sleep.

This is drastically different from traditional marketing where you might have an employee hand out leaflets for a couple of hours a day.

Think of the phrase “work smarter, not harder”. We are not saying it is easy, but when done correctly, online advertising can drive sales for your business.

Conclusion

Above we have illustrated several ways in which you can use digital marketing to grow your business. Building your brand online is more important than ever and you can be guaranteed your competitors are doing it.

Not every platform or technique will be relevant to your product or service. Take time to do some research and get a feel for what might work best.

Start by trying to create a persona of your ideal customer. What age or gender are they? What do they like to do and where can you find them?

After some research and brainstorming, you should start to get a better grasp of potential avenues to explore.

If you are hitting a dead end and would like some assistance, we are at the other end of the phone.

We would love to help grow your business.

Digital Marketing Trends - 2021

10 Digital Marketing Trends to Look Out For in 2021

10 Digital Marketing Trends to Look Out For in 2021

Ian Kennedy - Optima Digital
Co-Founder Ian Kennedy
Ian Kennedy - Optima Digital
Co-Founder Ian Kennedy

The world of digital marketing is always evolving so it can be tricky to keep on top of things. It is an industry that moves quicker than most.

Staying up to date with tactics, techniques and new developments can be difficult. Therefore,  we have put a list together of 10 digital marketing trends to look out for in 2021.

1.Digitalisation Becoming the Norm

Covid-19 has changed everything. From going to a supermarket to interacting with friends and family. It has affected every area of our life and there is no such thing as “business as normal” anymore.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams have become an all too familiar concept and the novelty is beginning to wear off for many. However, this pandemic has caused a shift in attitudes towards using technology. It is now the norm and acceptable to host an important meeting over Zoom or meet a client for the first time through it. The days of a coffee and a chat feel like an eternity away.

Whether this continues post-pandemic we cannot say for sure but there will be some elements that will continue in the future.

Consumers are also more tech-savvy than ever before. With surveys showing 68% of those between the ages of 50-64 are regularly using social media, companies are scrambling to ensure they have an online presence.

Digitalisation will continue to evolve over the coming years and both consumers and companies alike will be along for the ride.

2. Voice Search

Okay, we will admit before getting into this one that we have been hearing for the past number of years that voice search is the next big thing.

Introduced by Google back in 2011 almost as a bit of a novelty factor, it has grown in popularity since. Current statistics show 41% of adults use voice search at least once per day.

It is estimated by the end of 2021, over 50% of smartphone users will engage with voice technology on their devices.

Voice search will also be critical for companies looking to improve their SEO. Everyone wants to be at the top of Google as regular organic traffic can be extremely. lucrative.

Therefore, it is vital websites are optimised for how people ask questions when speaking into a device. Your customer will use what we call long-tail keywords when using voice compared to regular search.

This means you will have to adjust your content to suit this. Otherwise, you risk being left behind your competition.

Whether it is yourself, friends, or family, keep an eye out through 2021 as Siri and the likes make more of an appearance.

3. Artificial Intelligence

This one can be a bit scary. We have all watched those movies where the robots get a little too smart and take over.

On a serious note, artificial intelligence (AI) has played a huge part in everyday life over the past number of years. Although, probably more than most of us realise.

Maybe those science fiction movies were not so farfetched after all. Studies show that only 33% of consumers think they are already using AI platforms. However, the reality is that this number is closer to 78%.

We see AI in our everyday lives whether it be replacing the good old-fashioned hoover with a robot that whisks around your house while you are at work.

Or how about when we sit down to relax after a tough day and flick on Netflix. The company uses AI combined with past viewing history for suggestions as to what you might like. The tool uses specifics like what time of day you were watching. It is estimated close to 80% of what we watch is driven by Netflix’s recommendations.

4. Chatbots

You have probably noticed those chatbot icons in the bottom right-hand corner of most websites you visit these days. Some of them might have even popped up and gave you a fright depending on your computer volume.

However, the data shows engagement with these chatbots is rising. Studies show 40% of millennials engage with chatbots daily.

Although some of us are more old-fashioned and prefer an actual person, many of these chatbots are more than capable of getting people the information they need.

Furthermore, there is the added advantage of 24/7 support being available. Consumers’ questions can be answered day or night. The company itself will also save on staffing costs.

It will also allow their staff to work on solving more difficult issues for customers.

Yet, chatbots are not there just for answering simple questions. They can also be optimised to act as mini sales reps closing dealing no matter the hour. This is backed up by 33% of consumers wanting to be able to make a hotel or restaurant reservation through a chatbot.

There are many different chatbots to choose from. Some are more limited than others and capabilities will directly correlate with price.

Furthermore, the more advanced ones can be quite expensive. At the higher end you are looking at approximately €400-500 per month.

Pricey, we know. However, four chatbots we recommend if your budget is a little tighter are:

    • Tideo – This is what we use. It is simple but effective. We recommend starting with their basic plan for €18 per month and you can add features if need be.
    • Intercom –  Another company offering chatbot services. Slightly more expensive with their plans starting at about €60 per month.
    • Zendesk – A popular chatbot software allowing you to interact with customers. You can sign up to the ‘Suite Team’ plan for €49 a month.
    • Tars – This is a chatbot with a bit of a twist. We said we are recommending for those on a budget but we had to sneak this one in. This software allows you to create conversational landing pages. Cool technology and kicks off at about €400 per month.

5. Video Marketing

I think it is fair to say many of us love watching a video. We watch over 1 billion hours of YouTube every day alone. That is without our Netflix and Game of Thrones binges.

With our brains being stimulated online more than ever, video is a perfect way for brands to try and increase engagement. We are 95% more likely to retain a message while watching a video compared to through reading text.

We can all be guilty of sometimes mindlessly scrolling through our social media feed until we come across an interesting video that makes us stop. Video shows no signs of slowing down as brands pour more budget into this medium.

6. Social Media ‘Stories’

As humans, we are hardwired to tell stories. It dates to thousands of years ago where our ancestors gathered around the fire with tales of hunting and near-death experiences.

However, they are not the stories we are talking about. These days we love to share all details of our lives whether it be through Snapchat, Instagram, or another social media platform.

“Take a look at my story”.

 “Did you see their story”?

These are all too familiar phrases. With 500 million people using Instagram every day it is a key marketplace for a lot of brands.

These stories are having a huge impact on digital marketing as more and more companies try to utilize these platforms. A combination of images, video, and text can help brands tell their story or work with influencers who can push a message to their audience.

7. Content Marketing is key

“Content is king” A phrase coined in the mid 90’s that is still as relevant as ever. There are many variables and platforms available today for marketers to choose from but having good content still trumps everything.

From increasing engagement to having better SEO and a higher ranking on Google, content is the common denominator. The fact Google loves good quality content alone is enough for most to put a huge emphasis on it.

In addition, good content marketing also boosts sales. There is no point putting the effort in to drive traffic to your website only for them to be disappointed on arrival. Often customers do not purchase the first time they hear about your business.

Build a relationship and illustrate the benefits of your product/service through content marketing.

Content marketing also performs better than traditional marketing. Spending budgets on TV or radio ads can be a bit of a money pit. You will get a lot more bang for your buck with some unique and clever content marketing.

8. Podcasts

Seems like nowadays everyone is on the podcast bandwagon. With the video element removed, podcasts are easy to consume. You also have the added benefit of being able to multitask while listening to one.

Getting those 10,000 steps in while learning some new information sounds like a win-win. 33% of Irish adults listen to at least one podcast a week which equates to just under one and a half million listeners.

Entrepreneurs and marketers have had huge success with podcasts over the past couple of years. What started with Joe Rogan discussing elk hunting turned into Neil Patel discussing SEO strategies.

Perhaps it is what makes podcasts so popular. The combination of being easy to consume, informational, and the fact you have such a wide array of subjects at your fingertips (or ears).

9. Google Ads

Cost-per-click advertising is becoming more popular. Everyone wants to get eyes on their brand and an easy way of doing this is paying for it. Google is the most popular search engine with over 90% of users choosing it.

However, if you are not sure what you are doing costs can rise quickly. You need to do prior research of that industry and the costs surrounding certain keywords. You will also need to know what long-tail as well as negative keywords you want to target.

Running Google Ads is a simple way of getting your landing page to the top of Google but just make sure you have a strategy and a budget. Otherwise, it may become an expensive guessing game.

Set a maximum budget and start by running some test campaigns. From here you can optimise and analyse the data. Depending on your industry cost-per-clicks may vary. For example, if you are a personal injury attorney in New York City, you better get ready to open the wallet.

Other industries such as insurance and finance can have high cost-per-click rates. Therefore, it is important to do the correct research and optimise your ads as you go.

10. Importance of local SEO

Local SEO focuses on optimising a website so that it can be found in local search results. We have all researched “restaurants near me” when we run out of ideas or are looking for something new.

Local SEO can have huge benefits for brick-and-mortar businesses. Studies show that 50% of people who did a local search on their phone went to a physical store within one day.

Many professions benefit greatly from optimising their local SEO. If you are any of the below and are not working on your local SEO, well, take this as your warning.

Who benefits most from local SEO?

  1. Lawyers
  2. Doctors
  3. Plumbers
  4. Locksmiths
  5. Restaurants

The above businesses benefit from local SEO as customers often leave reviews and their local address will push them up the rankings when someone in the vicinity is searching.

In restaurants, for example, we can see real-life pictures of meals and it helps us decide.

Conclusion

We would love to help grow your business.