How do you define your target audience?

How do you approach your website design and digital marketing?

While some will simply create a website and hope for the best, there’s a better way. By first defining your target audience – a more specific, targeted group of people that you want to reach – you can increase the chances of a good return on marketing investment.

What is a target audience?

To define your target audience, you need to look at a variety of demographic factors to establish the type of people that are most likely to be interested in your product or service. These factors could include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Marital status/whether they have children
  • Income
  • Profession
  • Education level
  • Location

Once you have established the types of people that are most likely to buy from you, you can start to work on marketing campaigns and methods, and the best style of communications that speaks to your audience. You have to make the target market aware that this product or service exactly what they need or want.

How to define your target audience

Defining your target audience is all about research. There are several different ways to work out who your target audience is, and the methods you choose will vary from company to company. These could include:

  1. Analyse your existing customers. Do you know who they are and whether there are any commonalities? If you don’t currently have demographic information about your existing customer base, consider adding questions to newsletter sign up forms, or use analysis tools to look at your social media following to find out who they are.

  2. Conduct a review of your competitors. Do you know who your biggest business competitors are? The likelihood is that their customer base will be the same target audience as yours. Analyse any information you have about their customers to help you to define your target audience.

  3. Look at customer needs/pain points. Which needs or pain points does your product aim to address? If you’re providing virtual PA services, for example, you’ll be aiming to target the owners of small businesses that don’t have this function in-house.

You may well find that you have multiple target audiences – perhaps, different audiences for different products, or different potential audiences for the same product, depending on how it is used. That’s why it’s so vital that you do your research, ensuring that your audience is clearly defined to give you the best chance of success.

For all web design services that help you get results from your target audience, contact Real Internet today.

 

 

How to Choose a Good Web Design Company

Picking the right web design company isn’t only about looking at their previous work to see if they can create a beautiful website. There’s far more to consider than just aesthetics, and a good web designer knows this. But how do you find one that suits you?

Here are three questions to consider ensuring you get a great looking site, as well as the support and forethought needed to make it valuable, too.

Do they offer the whole package?

Website design is just one piece of the puzzle. There are also things like hosting, security, and maintenance to consider. This work needs people with expertise too, so if you don’t have someone on staff who can take it on, you’ll be stuck if something goes wrong.

If you hire a company that can work with you every step of the way, you’ll be in a much better position. For example, what happens if your site goes down?

If your company is on hand to help, they’ll have all the access they need, and prior knowledge of the site, to identify the problem and fix it quickly.

This dramatically reduces downtime, especially compared to hiring a new person. That would mean getting them up to speed, digging up your domain and hosting details, and getting them access so they can make a fix. By this point, a lot of damage will have already been done.

Are you on the same page?

This is a less technical issue, but just as essential. You need to know you can work with the web design company you aim to hire, and that, while they are the experts, they’ll take your considerations and knowledge of your industry onboard too.

This means having in-depth and structured conversations with the web design team before anything gets started. Be sure to know what you want, what your customers want, and your red lines you don’t want to cross. It will be clear very quickly if the company wants to work with you, rather than drag you along with what they want.

If you’re getting the sense your prospective company falls into the latter camp, it’ll be time to look elsewhere.

Do they know their SEO?

A beautiful website that converts well is only valuable if people actually visit it. For many companies, this means ranking for relevant search terms in Google. The process and actions to achieve this is called ‘search engine optimisation’, or SEO.

How a website is built plays a huge role in this. For example, if it’s slow and doesn’t work on mobile screens, Google is never going to rank it highly no matter how good the content you put on there is.

It is integral your website design company not only consider SEO but have expertise in it. Be sure to ask them about this, and to hear their exact approach for building your site to standards search engines favour.

A good area to ask about (but by no means the only one) is Google’s Core Web Vitals. Going live in May 2021, they will be a major influence on how Google ranks websites. If your company has never heard them, this should sound alarm bells.

Here at Real Internet, we take the time to talk to you about, not only what you want, but what you need as well. Contact us to discuss how we can work with you to create a website that brings in visitors and converts them to paying customers.

Who Hosts this Website? How do I find out?

At Real Internet, we are passionate about creating vibrant websites that show your business at its best. We can also help you with your existing website, and one issue we often encounter is a client asking, “who hosts this website?” closely followed by “how do I find out?”. There are a few ways to discover this, so we’ve put together this blog post to help you.

Follow the money

Often the simplest way is to find out where your bills for website hosting are headed – your accounts department should be able to tell you. You may find that your website hosting is part of your internet company, so your website host may be your telephone company or internet service provider.

Online tools

You can use online tools to help you find out who’s hosting your website. These will give you lots of information about the IP address, netblock owner and server technology, as well as information about domain name registration and server technology.

Running one of these checks also gives you details of administration teams and tech guys, so you can get in touch to confirm if this is where your website is hosted.

What happens when you find out who the host is?

When you know who to contact, give them a call and tell them who you are and what you need. You will probably have to prove that you are who you say you are and that you are part of the company that the website belongs to. If you are not asked about this, it shows an alarming lack of security.

Need more help?

If you need more help finding the answer to the question “who hosts this website?”, just get in touch with our team. At Real Internet, we’re experts in website hosting, website design and build, and provide monthly maintenance packages so your website is always performing at its best. We can help you every step of the way, so you can look forward to having a website that really works for your business.

 

What is Digital Marketing?

The modern business world is a fast-moving place where companies have to be able to move with it. This is especially true in marketing, where new ways of reaching consumers are always emerging. One very popular method now is digital marketing. Most people have heard of this – but not everyone understands what it actually involves. It really is worth getting to grips with though, as it is a very important part of building your business in the modern age.

What is digital marketing?

In simple terms, digital marketing is any marketing that a company conducts online. This is the main way it differs from offline or print marketing, such as mailing letters, handing out flyers or putting up posters. Digital marketing happens only over the internet and uses online connectivity to work. Online tools like Google Analytics are also available to help track your digital campaigns and get the best return from them.

What are the most common forms of digital marketing?

When asking ‘what is digital marketing?’, it is worth pinning down what particular types of digital marketing there are and the online channels companies mostly use, although this is constantly evolving.

The most common forms of digital marketing you may come into contact with are web page content, blog posts and social media posts. Businesses use platforms like Facebook or Twitter, as well as their own company blog, to engage with consumers, and usually to signpost them back to their website in a carefully constructed way to help convert them into customers or subscribers. Email marketing is also very popular and allows organisations to easily communicate with consumers to generate leads via signposting them back to a targeted web page.

Paid advertising via channels like Google Ads is also commonly used by many companies now. This is where you pay for custom adverts to be shown when people search for selected terms. As a result, it can really help drive more traffic to your site and subsequently, more sales. Understanding SEO (search engine optimisation) is the key to online marketing. This refers to optimising your website with targeted keywords as well as easily navigable and readable layouts and content so that it shows up higher in search engine results.

Why use digital marketing?

This is the big question for all businesses. Digital marketing is a way of connecting with people that comes with a range of benefits which include:

  • low or no cost (social media accounts are free to use for example; the only cost is in time/staff to carry it out)
  • superb ROI (due to there being zero or low costs to run digital campaigns)
  • digital channels are easy to use and keep track of
  • allows you to engage consumers in a way they value and prefer

As you can see, this form of marketing comes with some great reasons to recommend it!

Contact Real Internet for more digital marketing help

Here at Real Internet, we have helped many businesses around the Bristol and Gloucestershire area get up to speed with digital marketing. While things like SEO website design and social media marketing are easy to grasp, you may need some extra assistance to use them effectively. Get in touch today on 01454 806570 for more details.

How to Design a Website

The thought of designing your own website may seem daunting. You may wonder where to start and how to get to the end result but don’t worry, we have put together a guide to help make your website a success!

First things first…

Before designing a website, you need to define what the purpose for it will be. For example, will it be an e-commerce site, a blog, a portfolio…? This is very important as it is the first step to creating your perfect site. You will also need to decide on your company branding, what colours you will use to represent the website, what layout you have in mind, and whether content will be text-heavy or more on the visual side.

It is also important to come up with a domain name; this must be unique to your website and represent what it is you are wanting to promote. Make it simple and easy to remember, to allow more driven traffic.

Different ways of designing and building your website

There are various ways to create a website that meets your desires. You can make it yourself from scratch – this is the most difficult way to build a website as it involves a lot of work and is time-consuming. However, it is very rewarding when you see the finished results!

Or, you could use a website design and developer company/agency. It doesn’t matter if you are building a brand new website or looking at updating one that already exists, they will help with your decision. You can usually find a variety of different packages on the websites catered to various levels of requirement, from standard brochure-style, service-based websites to more in-depth e-commerce sites. You get professional help and advice when choosing to design your website with an agency and the process is a lot more straight forward than designing a website yourself as you make all the decisions with none of the work. This saves you time which will be beneficial in the long run.

Other helpful tips

Some other things will need to be done to ensure your website runs smoothly and gets the recognition it deserves. Make sure the website is mobile-friendly is a must. 52% of website traffic is generated from mobile phones, so it is vital that your audience can access your website from their mobile devices.

Also, once it’s up and running, don’t forget to promote your website. This can be via social media, word of mouth or business cards etc. Make sure people know about your website and services and, last but not least, ensure you are using the correct tags and keywords in all the right places to drive traffic to your site.

Want to find out more about designing a website? We are an expert web design agency based in Gloucestershire. Get in touch today to talk through your ideas.

What to Look for in a Website Design Company

The modern business world is a fast-moving place and looks a lot different than it did just 5 or 10 years ago. One massive change over that time has been the need for most businesses in almost all sectors to have their own website. It allows you to catch your potential customers’ attention online and gives people a way of finding out about your services or goods over the internet. A decent website also builds trust with consumers. If you do not yet have a website, it really is worth hiring an expert company to design one for you.

But what should you look when choosing a website design firm?

Experience and Testimonials

Any web design company you hire should produce awesome websites. The company you use must be able to create a site which is responsive, well put-together and delivers a great user experience. But how do you check this out properly? The first thing to do is look into how much experience they have and check that they know what they are doing. It is also worth looking on their own website for customer testimonials or examples of previous work they have completed.

Great Customer Support

A web design company might build you the best site ever, but if they offer poor customer support, it will be to no avail. You must find a web designer who is approachable, able to explain things clearly to you and is easy to contact. An easy way to check this out is giving them a ring or dropping them an email before you hire them. If they respond in a suitable timeframe and in a warm yet professional manner, it is a good sign.

Other Services to Help Your Business Grow

While you may initially hire a company purely to design you a website, it often pays to use one that can help with other areas in your business. This saves you the hassle of finding other companies to do them for you. Whether it is assistance with graphic design, branding or hosting, this can save you time and therefore money in the long-term.

Contact Real Internet Today for Outstanding Web Design

If you are looking for a website design company in the South West UK, contact Real Internet today. We offer all of the above and more to help your business thrive. With a variety of services including web design, hosting and graphic design, our sites also come with an optional monthly maintenance package for a truly one-stop solution.

HTML vs WordPress

What’s the difference between an HTML and a WordPress website?

All businesses know how crucial it is to have their own website in the modern world. Whether it is to help with your digital marketing plans or boost sales, a decent website is worth its weight in gold. This is not always an easy area to grasp, though, if web design is not your forte. One thing which confuses many people is the difference between an HTML and a WordPress site. But how do they differ?

HTML vs WordPress – the major difference

The first thing to know is that they are two entirely different things! HTML is a coding language which web developers use to create static web pages. WordPress, however, is a content management system. These systems allow users to create, edit and publish content online. As a result, they can also be used as a platform to develop effective websites.

But in what other key areas do these two differ?

WordPress is easier to use

If you use HTML to build your website, you will need to have learnt and become proficient at coding in this language first. Even if someone else builds the site in HTML for you, you will not be able to update or change it without coding experience. WordPress, on the other hand, requires no previous coding skills and is, therefore, much simpler to use. Even business owners with no specialist IT knowledge can use its intuitive interface to manage their site.

WordPress has multiple templates and plug-ins to use

An HTML website will have to be built from scratch, and the static web pages coded one by one. This is time-consuming and laborious – especially if you have to de-bug pages which do not work as intended! WordPress sites, on the other hand, come with multiple templates you can use. This not only makes the design process quicker and less costly, but it also gives business owners a wide choice of creative themes to use. WordPress also contains plug-ins which HTML does not. To make your HTML site more dynamic and feature-rich, you would have to code it all in manually. With a WordPress site, pre-configured and easy to install plug-ins make this much more straightforward.

WordPress sites can be quicker

All business owners know that responsive sites with fast load times are essential. Another advantage WordPress websites have is they are usually quicker than HTML ones. This means they will give a better user experience and people stick around on your site for longer.

Awesome web design around Gloucestershire and Bristol

If you need expert website design around Gloucestershire and Bristol, contact Real Internet on 01454 806570. We have many years of experience building lightning-fast, responsive websites which look amazing. Get in touch today for more details.

Yate Outdoor Sports Complex Cafe Ordering System

As the COVID-19 crisis subsides, we’re all adjusting to life in the post-lockdown world, which means we have to find new ways of doing business. This is especially true in the hospitality industry. When a customer walks into your premises and orders a coffee and a sandwich, extra measures must be put in place to comply with social distancing and to keep you and them safe.

The Clubhouse at the Yate Outdoor Sports Complex needed a solution to be able to provide such extra safety measures. They wanted to automate their entire ordering system, from the customer choosing their food and drink through to the bar and kitchen staff preparing and delivering the items.

We implemented a WooCommerce solution for them, with some adjustments for their individual requirements.

YOSC Online Food and Beverage System

For a detailed walk-through how this process works, please take a moment to watch our instruction video here. But in summary, it looks like this:

• The customer accesses the menu from a QR code on the table or in the bar
• The customer then places their order by navigating the menu and choosing their food and drinks
• They are then taken to the checkout where they pay for their order
• In the bar or kitchen, staff are notified of a new order
• Staff fulfil the order.

No cash has changed hands. Social distancing has been observed. Business can continue, providing YOSC with an additional steady income stream. As a side-benefit, the Clubhouse can also keep a much tighter control on stock, reducing waste and cutting costs.

It’s taking time for all of us to get used to new ways of doing things. Whether you’re shopping in the high street or meeting friends for lunch, your world has changed. At Real Internet, we are doing our bit to help businesses find their way through this transition to a different way of living and working.

With our help, the YOSC Clubhouse is now keeping its staff and customers safe whilst still providing a great service.

YOSC are planning to extend the system to include all the bookings for their sports facilities.

The system we implemented could be used for a number of businesses where money changes hands for goods or services. For example, it would work in exactly the same way as we set up in YOSC for pubs, hotels or B&Bs. Hairdressers could add it to their online booking systems and could take full payment or a deposit before the customer’s appointment. It has the potential to be used in so many different ways, if you can think it we can do it!

We have also implemented online shopping systems for other websites where purchases are completed online.

If you would like us to do the same for you, please get in touch.

Speedway Flooring – How to Build a Great Website from the Ground Up

It’s one of those businesses and brands that succeeds by being invisible.

Speedway Flooring is the leading installer of liquid screed floors in the South West. Like us, your first question is probably – what exactly IS a screed floor? It’s the concrete foundation underlying all tiling, carpets and floor coverings in your home, your office, your doctor’s surgery or an indoor ice rink.  If the Speedway team do their job right, you shouldn’t even notice the result. If not, you will certainly notice if, after six months, your tiles crack or your linoleum lifts.

Up until July 2020, Speedway Flooring’s web presence had been as invisible as its perfectly smooth floors. Managing Director and founder, Antony Jones, has built up the business over 14 years by personal referral and word of mouth. Which – like his floors – is a very solid foundation for good business.

Antony realised that a website is now business-critical to share information, stand out from the competition and find new customers. He wants to expand into new markets – how would new customers find him except through web searches? It’s not uncommon for smaller businesses or sole traders to have no web presence – last year a survey revealed that 75% of Britain’s small businesses don’t have a website.

But if you are scaling up, or looking to attract new business, it’s time to bite the bullet.

This is the story of how Real Internet helped Speedway Flooring launch their new website – using the start-up package which is tailored for single services or businesses just starting up.

No smooth talking. Just smooth floors.”  A very good place to start

When starting work on a brand-new website – take your time.  Time to talk with your designer, and copywriter if you’re using one, about your brand. They need to understand your company and your goals as though they were a partner. What makes you stand out from your competitors? Do those competitors have a web presence? If so, what do you like or dislike about it? What do you offer that they don’t?

In the case of Speedway Flooring, it was very clear that this is a company that doesn’t believe in sales spiels and genuinely believes in delivering a perfect service every time. Antony was clear he didn’t want to over-complicate the new website by using too many technical terms or contractor industry jargon.

“People can call me at any time, or quiz me at the site visit, to get the technical requirements and information they need. But going into enormous detail about drying times, or how many millimetres deep the floor needs to be, can be off-putting on a website, especially to homeowners rather than people in the building industry.”

This led directly to the mission statement line on the website home page:

No smooth talking. Just smooth floors.’

Which set the tone for the entire website. A few well-written pages are more effective than dozens of over complicated ones.

The art of web design

“The best websites require users to think less. They do this by ensuring they understand and meet their users’ needs in a clear, easy and efficient way.” Tom Fogden, web designer.

A good website is usually more than a simple static home page with contact details. For smaller companies who offer a single service, up to 4 pages is usually plenty to explain the product and introduce the team.

Increasingly, potential customers want to know who they are buying from as well as what they’re buying. It gives the same reassurance as a personal referral so including some background about Antony was going to be a key component. Speedway also needed to explain in layman’s terms what liquid screed flooring is and what the benefits are.

The home page solved this neatly by creating two click-throughs: About Us – the people – and Liquid Screed – showcasing the product and its key benefits. We were even able to add a more light-hearted comment on what NOT to expect from a liquid screed floor: “cracked tiles, uneven floors, higher energy bills and headaches!” into the list of benefits. Keeping the tone friendlier and more conversational. No smooth talking, just smooth floors.

To create the About Us page, the team decided to use a direct quote from Antony talking about his career and why he’s passionate about doing a good job, every time. It was important for everyone that the personality of the company, as well as the product, was clear on every page of the site.

…and the science

As a user, what’s the one thing that is guaranteed to drive you crazy, or drive you to other sites? Links that go nowhere, confusing website structures which take 10 clicks to find the contact details, laborious load times?

The science of web design is about making the online experience as easy as possible for a potential customer. In reality, this is all about building a site that is easy to navigate. Of course, you can buy website building templates ‘off the shelf’ now, and DIY your website design. In reality, what you won’t have access to is experts who understand the mysteries of “Google optimisation” and compliance. And particularly, how to create clear, simple structures that allow customers to find what they need fast.

You know yourself how frustrating it is when certain sites simply don’t look right on your different devices. Real Internet will ensure that your site appears the same whether it’s accessed on a laptop, mobile phone or a tablet. It’s called responsive design – since the website automatically adapts or responds to the device or platform it is loading onto. If you don’t build this into your design, words can be cut off at the edges or images could be cut in half. And you wouldn’t want to lose any zeroes off the price list and mislead potential customers!

Pictures can speak louder than words

If your images aren’t good, your site won’t look good, either. You can make anything look attractive – even cement!

In many instances, we suggest steering clear of using stock photography which can look over-staged and commercial, even cheesy. But, for Speedway, using a mix of well-shot, well-lit images, and powerful close-ups, plus real-life images of the Speedway team installing floors, gave the new site visual standout.

Dividing the web pages in two, and devoting 50% of the screen to an image, demonstrates confidence in your product or service, and catches attention.

For Speedway’s home page, we chose an aspirational image of the ‘finished product’ and on other pages such as Liquid Screed, we embedded images of the team at work, laying the liquid floors. Research confirms that in most cases, ‘people buy from people,’ especially with smaller businesses. So, putting a face to a product creates a stronger emotional connection, and builds trust in your brand.

If you are a smaller business or sole trader thinking of creating a website, please get in touch with us here at Real Internet – we’d love to help you get online!

What does a web developer do?

If you want the very best website you can get, you need to contact a web developer to help you. At Real Internet, we have a specialist team of web development experts ready to help you – but what is a web developer, and what do they do?

What is a web developer?

A web developer is someone who “builds” your website. They will be responsible for the way your website looks, works, and operates. Every element of your website from the website design itself through to how quickly it loads will be down to the web developer. This is why you should always choose a web design specialist with a good amount of experience.

What does a web developer do?

Simply put, a web developer will create your website for you.

The process will begin with a consultation where the web developer can get an understanding of who you are and what you want to achieve with your website. They’ll make a note of your preferences in terms of the way the website is designed and what kind of things you want it to feature.

They will then set about building the website. Just like building anything, a website is put together piece by piece from the base coding upwards. At every stage, the current build will be tested and checked to ensure it’s meeting expectations, before moving on to the next portion of the build.

When a website is completed, that’s not the end of a web developer’s job, however. If you choose, you can have them maintain and update your website on an ongoing basis. This is an intelligent investment, as who better to keep something operating than the individual or team who built it?

A crucial asset

A web developer, then, is a crucial asset to your business, organisation, or operation – it will be through a web developer that your website will be built and maintained going forward. With such an invaluable task, make sure you trust it to the right people. Contact the web design specialists at Real Internet for more information.