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First Digital Blogs

How Google Chrome Changing Effects My Role – Guest Blog

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This guest blog comes from Digital Marketing Team Leader, Becci. Her role is all things marketing related as well as focusing on Google Analytics.

It was only last week I was at my friends’ house and I actually watched her open her laptop, open internet explorer, use the default browser Bing to search for ‘Google’ and then carry on with her tasks… I was gobsmacked.

I said “Why don’t you just set Google as your default browser”, after all, Google Chrome is the worlds most popular web browser out there with more than 60% of users using their site. This simple moment in time got me thinking about how important Google really is to all of us and how its changes effects my role as a digital marketer every day.

30th Birthday Celebrations

The web celebrates it’s 30th birthday this year and in the last 30 years (some before I was even born) we have all seen how certain updates have changed the way the world works both online and offline.

Although there has been significant developments in the last 30 years, this will not stop and moving forward into the very near future, we will be so shocked with what is to come.

Chromium Blog

This is something I hadn’t heard of myself until I did a bit of digging and research. This blog comes directly from Google and outlines all the upcoming changes that we should look out for. They have listed the following as changes that will effect Google Chrome functions within 2019:

  • Speed changes
  • Increasing the Power
  • Extra transparency
  • Improved Developer experiences
  • Increased security and privacy

Google Core Updates

There are updates all the time that marketers won’t even know have happened and there are some that will shift the way in which websites and SEO work hand in hand.

In March this year we were all made aware of Google changes due to websites dramatically dropping on both visibility and keyword rankings. Google never made anyone aware this was happening and they also didn’t let on what was changed, good work Google, good work.

A common question after any Google algorithm update is “How can I fix my site?” and the real answer is, “there is no set way”. You just have to roll with the punches, update your websites following SEO best practices and hope for the best that Google likes what you are doing.

“For marketers, the full impact of these changes and how users respond to the tools likely won’t be seen for months, but stand to have a significant impact on remarketing, analytics and attribution efforts”, Marketing Land.

My Role with Analytics

Looking at how this will change my role with Google Analytics is really important to me as it is becoming increasingly more difficult year on year to track users on my client’s websites due to their rights to privacy and security.

As the first change Google Chrome is making is all about cookies and privacy online, Google Analytics is surely going to be effected.

“This change will enable users to clear all [cross-site] cookies while leaving single domain cookies unaffected, preserving user logins and settings. It will also enable browsers to provide clear information about which sites are setting these cookies, so users can make informed choices about how their data is used.” Ben Galbraith and Justin Schuh from Chrome Engineering.

This will also affect re-targeting marketing methods that will follow users from website to website and advertise their products. This is something we urgently need to look into to ensure that we can still provide the same level of service to all of our clients.

Staying Optimistic

While there are lots of marketers panicking about the upcoming changes, I am staying positive. By now, we must all realise that Google runs the game and why would they make changes that would push users away? They wouldn’t.

In my opinion, we should all embrace the changes, work with Google and reap the benefits that will come with an improved web presence and space for digital marketing. Check back later in the year if I have had a meltdown about it or have fully embraced it.. who knows!

 

Instagram Makes a Huge Move in the eCommerce Industry

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What Has Happened?

Recently, Instagram has taken a huge step into the field of eCommerce marketing which means the platform could soon become the biggest social media platform in the world. This step is called “Instagram checkout” and it is quite simply, brilliant.

In late 2018, Instagram released shopping tags. This allowed a business to tag their products into their Instagram posts. Users could then click on the tags and be sent to the business’ website page where they could buy the product. However, now these have been heavily updated, the shopping tags are part of a much larger concept called “Instagram checkout”. This is where users can click on the products shown in the posts and purchase them directly from the Instagram app. After, they just return to their Instagram news feed and are given updates on their delivery in the new few days via the app.

Instagram’s tweet announcing “Instagram checkout”.

Haven’t I Seen This Before?

For all of those thinking that they have seen eCommerce on social media for years, you are right. A lot of competitors have used some sort of eCommerce platform in the past few years, especially Facebook. Facebook created the very popular “Facebook Marketplace” way back in 2017. Since then it has rivalled with the biggest eCommerce companies such as Amazon, Ebay and Etsy. The reason Facebook Marketplace has done so well since launching is due to the 1.5 billion reach it has.

The reach is so big that the marketplace is split into two sections, ‘Local Marketplace’ and ‘All Marketplace’. ‘Local Marketplace’ is self-explanatory, you buy and sell using cash, within your local area and then go collect or drop off the items and it works very well. Every single location has at least 5 buy and sell groups with at least 100 products being put up for sale every day.

‘All Marketplace’ is also self-explanatory, you search all of the products being put up for sale on the marketplace, and you can search for specific items, prices and locations. This doesn’t work as well as it could. If you are buying an item which you can not collect, then you will have to get it delivered and pay through your bank. Facebook do not provide users with a specific way to get an item delivered or pay without cash. The only way to do it is through a private message where PayPal can be used, but this isn’t very secure and could be done a lot better.

Making Valuable Improvements 

These changes seem to have been done with Facebook’s sister company Instagram. Once you click on the product you want to buy through a post you can choose to checkout with Instagram. This allows you to pay with card and PayPal. As soon as you have added payment once, you can also remember it and not have to type it again for future transactions. It is a simple yet effective tool and could be a game changer!

If Facebook is going to use a developed idea of Facebook Marketplace for “Instagram checkout” then Instagram is going to become huge. It could even take over Facebook itself as the lead social media platform. The reason for this is that Facebook Marketplace is already a proven success. It has many success stories where small business has transformed and boosted its sales massively.

Now, if Instagram can follow in the same steps as Facebook then we will soon be seeing the biggest upcoming eCommerce platform since eBay. The question is will Instagram take over Facebook Marketplace or will it flop?

What Are Other Competitors Doing?

The other two Social Media giants, Twitter and Snapchat, have also used eCommerce on their platforms in the past. It is fair to say Twitter’s success has been non-existent. One of the first social media platforms to try eCommerce was Twitter when they incorporated the “Buy” button into tweets way back in 2014. The idea behind the “Buy” button was that a business could tweet pictures of their products and link to the button to their site. If a user clicked the buy button, then they were taken to the business website. It seemed like it would be pretty effective. However, when the head of commerce left Twitter in 2016, the buy button was quickly taken just 8 months after. Twitter then sent out emails confirming that:

“The Twitter team is pivoting way from their ecommerce focus”.

Since then there has been no concept for any sort of eCommerce for the platform and has left Facebook to dominate. Is Twitter going to release something in eCommerce or are they a finished product themselves?

Snapchat and eCommerce 

On the other hand, Snapchat has been growing its eCommerce since launch. Thanks to a few big brand deals, it has put it self on the map. Snapchat launched ‘Collection Ads’ back in November. This is where advertisers can showcase their products on the Snapchat Discovery section. If users want to find out more, they click the ad it takes them to the businesses website.

Adidas and Amazon then had a short-term partnership with Snapchat, leading to 30 other partnerships for Snapchat! The company said they are looking to increase their eCommerce this year and if they make the right deals, they could overtake Instagram.

Will Snapchat become the king of eCommerce?

What Does This Mean For Marketing?

This “checkout” concept came out today for the whole of the US as a trial for some advertisers and it is going to be massive for marketing. Instagram is great for getting your name out there and increasing your profiles following, visibility, and now marketing. Small businesses will be able to post their products on Instagram with a visual aid of what their product is. Users can then see these through hashtags or their feed and buy the product with ease.

It is also great for the advertisement side of marketing. Think about it – have you ever seen a blogger or celebrity wearing a really nice jacket, but you can’t find it anywhere? We know you have! Well, now it’s simple. All you have to do is tag the product and the jacket you were spending hours trying to find can now be bought within a few clicks. This is great for advertising because businesses can get people to wear their products and tag it, this then gets the products visibility up and sales will increase. One thing is for sure, Instagram revenue is about to become massive. The platform will charge companies for every sale made on their app. If this concept is going to be as big as we think it will be, then Instagram will become the number one social media platform.

Will Instagram make the most money in 2019?

Join The Conversation!

If you would like to join the discussion and answer the questions within the blog then be sure to follow us on all of our social media platforms. We would love to know what you think!

Join the discussion using our social media accounts below:

Facebook

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If you would like to generate more sales and traffic for your business but don’t know how to do the marketing, then get in touch with us today and let us transform your business.

Women in Tech: Celebrating International Women’s Day

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As a booming industry, there are thousands of people working in marketing and technology. From blogging to backend website development, endless tasks are completed every day.

Here at First Digital Media, we are very proud to have a strong female marketing and tech team. Following on from International Women’s Day, our blog this week looks at women working within technology and how people are trying to change the gender gap.

About Women in Tech

In the UK there are around 47,000 digital technology companies. In 2015, Career Builder estimated that employment in this industry would grow by 5.4% by 2020. Although, despite being a developing field, there still remains a clear divide in gender. Last year Tech Nation’s annual report concluded that only 19% of the workforce were women.

It’s not just the UK that experiences this gap. According to statistics gathered from Evia, in the United States less than 20 per cent of women accounted for the technology workforce in 2018. On top of this, fewer women work in the industry now compared to the 1980s.

The Gender Divide

In 2017, Axonn conducted a survey on the roles of gender in the marketing industry. Even though more women are taking up careers in this field (21% vs 16% of men), more men occupy senior positions. One respondent to the survey, a B2B director in Scotland, said:

“Average men are overpromoted.”

Another interesting discovery was gender representation at industry events. According to 43% of the women asked, there were more men present on panels. In contrast, only 24% of men pointed out this same imbalance.

Research conducted by Axonn shows the average ratio based on several marketing events held in 2015:

Below is another graphic outlining the ratio of men and women on judging panels at British media awards in both 2015 and 2017:

How Does This Compare Across the Population?

According to Catalyst, in 2016 more women had completed post-secondary education compared to men (46.5% vs. 45.5%). This includes universities, colleges, vocational schools and technical training. However, those entering STEM fields are significantly less, with just over a third of women taking up employment.

When it comes to the labour force, there are more women working than ever before. Of those aged between 16 and 64, 70% are employed. This is a huge leap from an estimated 53% in 1971.

Despite this, women in full-time employment are still being paid less than men. As of 2017, women make 80% of a man’s median hourly wage.

However, it’s not all bad news. The number of women in senior leadership has stayed low (22% in 2018), although there are more women on UK Boards.

What is Happening?

There has been a huge decline in women entering the tech industry, showing a major problem within media. According to stats released by The Muse, under 5% of women have their own start-ups. Shockingly, the pay for women under 35 is 29% less than men in this age group. Additionally, the quit rate for women working in tech is twice as high as men at 41%.

The Observer has put all of this into perspective:

“Women in tech face sexism and harassment. Tech is blatantly unfriendly to family planning, from being pregnant to nursing. There’s also a wage gap that no one is doing anything about—even Google, the second most valuable company in the world, recently said that collecting wage data for the company is too expensive and burdensome.”

Source: ‘12 Statistics About Women in Tech That Show How Big the Gender Gap Truly Is’, Sage Lazzaro, 6.5.17.

Yet despite this, a female-led company still performs 3 times better than one led by male CEOs. So, what exactly is happening and what can we do about it?

Showcasing Female Success

Up in Lancashire where we are based there has been a massive move towards celebrating women and their involvement with tech. Both Ladies, Wine & Design Lancaster (led by Louiza Rabouhi) and Digital Lancashire’s ‘Women in Tech’ are doing more to highlight women’s successes.

In the future hopefully this will continue to happen. To keep up to date with events going on across Lancashire, check out the following groups.

Ladies, Wine & Design LancasterInstagram & Twitter

Digital Lancashire Women in TechFacebook Group

video-marketing-first-digital-media

The Visual Marketing Approach: Using Video and Visual Content

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With busy lifestyles, it becomes a challenge to find free time. It is important that all businesses consider this when they approach their marketing strategy. Luckily, visual content is a great way of grabbing the attention of the tired consumer.

Nothing stands out more than a stunning picture or an easy to digest video. Here at First Digital Media we work with our clients to establish a marketing approach that works for them.

The Future is Video

We all want to relax after a busy day. Social media is a large part of our lives and it is important that marketing campaigns target this. Sometimes the easiest way to reach an audience is with something visual.

Most platforms support videos and these have become a common feature on social media. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram have seen rises in the views of these. According to HubSpot, in 2018 around 78% of users watch online videos each week and a staggering 55% do this every day.

video-marketing-stats

Source: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/video-marketing 

On top of that, YouTube is now the second largest site visited after the search engine Google. If that doesn’t show you the importance of video marketing, then nothing will.

Impact of Visual Content

If you need more convincing on the power of videos, then there are plenty of other reasons. A recent survey from TechCrunch determined that over 100 million hours a day are spent watching videos on Facebook. Alongside this, Wordstream reckons that videos on social media generate 1200% more shares than image and text content combined.

Some other fascinating statistics include:

  • Video content is watched by 82% of Twitter Users
  • Around 45% spend more than an hour watching videos on YouTube or Facebook each week
  • On Snapchat, users watch more than 10 billion clips a day

How Videos Can Change Your Marketing

Whether you realise it or not, a short video can make all the difference. Customers claim that they are 4 times more likely to find out about a product if they’ve seen a video about it. Also, companies have found that their CTR is higher as a result of this form of content.

For a return on investment, you need to use the latest techniques. Video marketing is rising at a fast pace and more and more marketing campaigns make use of this feature. These features make information easy to digest.

Start Your Marketing Today

Our digital marketing executives here at First Digital Media are experts in video marketing. To find out more, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us today.

Google Algorithm Changes and Their Effect On Your Web Presence

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Google is constantly updating its core algorithms which are becoming more and more difficult to follow for business owners, marketers and agencies managing clients’ web presences.

In order to ‘keep up’ with these changes and to support your online presence in line with the trends, you need to focus on what these Google alterations are and the effect they have on your website and search rankings every day.

Google updates its search engine ranking algorithm up to 600 times each year”, Markets Insider.

Most Recent Google Algorithm Changes

The top three main changes that Google made in 2018 focused on securing websites, mobile website speeds and SERP changes. These changes are the most influential of the 600 made in the last year and the most damaging to your website rankings overall if not followed.

By following these updates on your own website, you can be seen as ‘following the rules’ and be placed into Google’s good books when it comes to ranking and domain authority.

SSL Security Importance

It was back in 2018 when Google first used SSL as a ranking factor in its core algorithm. If your website is not HTTPS, it can seriously effect its position in Google rankings and it can be instantly penalised as dangerous for any users and therefore not pushed forward in searches for them to visit your site over another.

SSL doesn’t only secure your website but it also builds trust amongst your users and credibility with brands also. As well as “safety for all your subdomains”, SEO advantages and increased security online, there is no reason to not have SSL on your website in 2019.

Mobile Website Speeds

Although marketers and web developers have been discussing mobile websites for years, Google now looks at the speed of them as a ranking factor also. Your mobile website could look great, work easily for all users but if it isn’t fast enough in Google’s eyes, your website will not rank highly amongst its competitors.

The most common factors taken into account with page speeds on mobile devices includes redirects, compressions and minifications. Google now uses “Real User Measurements (RUMs)” to score your website page speeds which is created using data directly from the chrome panel your users are active in.

The Impact of SERPs

A SERP is a ‘search engine results page’ and it is the list of websites you see when you use Google to search for a keyword, location or service. All current SEO gurus are tracking SERP’s and the changes that are happening every day from Google and the following has been found.

It was right at the start of 2019 when the first big changes were noticed, shifting the overall rankings and keyword capabilities. This is one of the biggest signs Google has given recently when it comes to their algorithm changes because until now, there have been times when they haven’t let on at all they were updating their core methods.

Today’s SERP rankings now include videos, images, featured snippets and other related products rather than just the usual text snippets. With so many more ways to rank and so many ways to get there, SEO is a never-ending rollercoaster of changes and updates that even the most experienced marketers can struggle with.

The Complex Nature of SEO

There is not one SEO expert on this earth, that can clearly predict the future of SEO or even tell you what needs to be done next week in order to stay on top. SEO is a waiting and watching game in order to keep up with Google core changes.

There are so many tactics involved in SEO that it is one of the most expensive forms of marketing that every business will dedicate budgets too. Although it is so complex, it is so important in the world wide web and without it, you will not rank and will not compete online at all.

Get in Touch

To speak more about SEO for your business and Google Algorithm updates, call First Digital Media today on 0845 094 1830 and find out what we can do for your business online.

Why is Brand Awareness So Important?

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As a business it is crucial that you have an established brand. An effective logo and marketing improves visibility amongst potential customers. After all, we all want to be immediately recognised when we pass a works van or notice an advertisement.

Here at First Digital Media we work with you to ensure that you have the right approach to your digital marketing and brand awareness.

The Right Approach

Following the Christmas period isn’t always easy. According to reports, like-for-like sales at Argos and Sainsbury’s were down 1.1%. Other businesses struggled as well, with Marks & Spencer down 2.2% and Debenhams at a shocking 5.7% loss like-for-like.

A nervous market, impending Brexit and reluctant spenders only adds to the struggles. However, this doesn’t make it impossible to improve sales. Creating strong brand awareness and identity can make all the difference.

Focus on The Local Area

This is especially relevant for small, local based businesses. Your main aim should be to develop awareness across your target locations. This helps to build trust among your customers as they will grow to recognise you as a local and loved company.

A great way of doing this is to use content on your website and social media channels that makes the most of this. Try mentioning local events and post examples of your previous work.

A Strong Design

With a strong logo and coherent website design, you can achieve all your goals. Using the same colour palette, font or name develops a clear identity.

Entrepreneur, author, speaker and business expert Ramon Ray has said: “People immediately recognize a Starbucks logo or a BMW logo because those logos are consistently displayed and used by each Brand.

“Smaller businesses might think that they don’t need to be consistent with their identity, but they are mistaken. People recognize businesses based on their brand identity.”

As a small business, it is still important to create a recognisable design and logo. You should work to develop something which is clear and helps you to stand out above your competition.

Make Use of Social Media

As one of the most powerful marketing tools out there, it is necessary that you make full use of your online profiles. Natural ranking and paid ads on search engines will bring you results. However, when it comes to brand awareness, becoming a familiar face on social media helps.

Using the same branding and posting regularly helps people to find you. Sharing blogs or recent news that relates to your company helps too, as it shows that you are in the loop.

As well as using Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, you should consider using LinkedIn. This platform is useful for those wanting to explore connections and can bring your business to a wider audience.

Contact Us

If you would like to find out more about our digital marketing services, please feel free to get in contact with us.

5 Top Marketing Trends For 2019

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With the right approach to marketing, you can bring your company endless benefits. Experts have been working hard to pull together the top trends for this next year. In 2019 there are a few approaches to look out for and we’ve put them all in one handy blog.

Here at First Digital Media we are experts in digital marketing. For more information, get in contact with us.

Communication is Key

It may seem like an obvious point to make, but communication is important. No matter what you are trying to do, you need to communicate with your customers effectively. It is important to outline a plan and define what you aim to do over the year as a business.

Sit down and think about it all. Consider what your aims are and how you want to achieve them. In most cases, achieving your goals will need successful and carefully produced content of some form. Whether visual, audio or written, using communication should be high on your list for 2019.

Video Marketing

As the largest search engine after Google, YouTube has made a huge impact on how we access information. As a result, it is predicted that video marketing will rocket over this next year. Both live streaming and pre-recorded videos can be useful to any business, whether small or large.

A short yet effective video about your services or an update on an important topic can drive traffic and improve engagement.

Social Media

There are so many different platforms available that it is impossible to avoid social media. With Instagram and LinkedIn growing along with old favourites Facebook and Twitter, you can be on to a winner. Regular posting along with visually impacting graphics can draw people in. Whether you use influencers to boost posts or share videos, it all counts.

Voice Search Optimisation

Chances are that you’ve used some form of voice search, either out of curiosity or convenience. However, the Global Web Index estimates that at least 1 in 5 adults use mobile searches once a month.  As people start to use more Siri and Alexa, we need to adapt our businesses to survive.

An aim for all in 2019 should be to update their websites and content to be more inclusive of this search approach. Using specific and well researched keywords can dramatically improve the amount of people accessing your website. Furthermore, making use of Google snippets where possible is also another way of improving SERP appearances.

Informative Content

To this day content remains an essential part of marketing. Whether it’s long tale informative blogs or short and snappy social media posts, you need to get it right. Google is starting to rank pages more based on the quality of content and whether users can benefit from it.

Generic content and keyword stuffing have been bad practice for a long time. In 2019 it is important for tailored writing along with customer-focus to become the main aim.

Get In Touch

If you would like assistance with your marketing in 2019, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our specialist team today for more.

GDPR

What Is GDPR & How Will It Impact Me?

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With just over a month to go, preparing for the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is important for every business. Full compliance with new data protection is required from the 25th May 2018. Knowing what GDPR is and how it will impact your business is important. This week our blog focuses on the regulation and how it impacts you.

 

At First Digital Media data protection has always been top of our list. With our help, you can make your business more compliant with new EU law.

What is GDPR?

GDPR is a result of EU discussions into data protection. Aiming to standardise legislation across the EU, the regulation is giving the consumer more control over their data. There are 3 key areas of the legislation that you should be aware of. These include data permission, data access, and data focus.

Data Permission refers to the consent that must be gained from a customer to store their personal data, as well as the right to be forgotten. This means that customers must ‘opt-in’ to external marketing such as newsletters and agree to how their data will be used. Customers also have a right to have their data removed if they are no longer a client.

Data Access requires companies to provide easy access to the personal data they hold about individuals. If a client contacts you about what personal data you store, you must be able to tell them what there is and explain why you hold it.

Data Focus means that you should always be transparent about the reasons behind the data you gather. If you are processing personal data, then there must be a legal justification behind it.

The regulation refers to a wide variety of data including:

Names

Addresses

ID

IP addresses

Cookie data

RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) Tags

Health and genetic

Biometric

Racial and ethnic

Political opinions

Sexual orientation

 

Despite the UK leaving the European Union as of March 2019, the GDPR regulation will still be in place. For more information on GDPR, you can visit the European Union’s website here.

How You Can Prepare

Ensuring that your business is fully GDPR compliant does not have to be stressful. It can be difficult to understand the jargon and legal elements of the regulation, but there are a few steps you can take to prepare yourselves.

Conducting an audit of all data you hold lets you know what you have and what you need to do about it. Launching an email marketing campaign to re-establish consent from your clients is a great way of achieving written confirmation. This creates an easy paper trail and makes sure customers are receiving the content they want.

Updating any disclaimers and your terms and conditions is another must. This provides clients with the vital information they need.

If you need further information, then the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) are an ideal company to contact. They can guide you through the process and provide specific advice for your business.

How SSL Certification Impacts Your Website

Keeping your client’s data safe as a business is incredibly important. There are steps we can take to help prevent data from being accessed by unwanted sources. SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a form of updated security which encrypts data between a web server and browser.

Every website should have SSL as it is the best form of protection out there against data thieves. The system uses HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) to protect the confidentiality and integrity of data between a customer and website. HTTPS can be easily spotted by a green padlock at the start of your website address in the search bar.

Having the certification can also improve your website’s rankings on Google. The search engine has let its public support for SSL be known. It has said that websites without SSL will be marked as insecure, enabling the visitor to see how secure their data is.

Contact Us

If you have any further questions about how GDPR will impact on you or your business, do not hesitate to get in contact with us. Our team are more than happy to help you prepare. Call us on 0845 094 1830 today or fill in our online contact form.

SSL and the Importance of Internet Security

SSL and the Importance of Internet Security

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The safety of personal data is the most important topic in society right now. With new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) coming into force next month, there is an increasing need to keep websites secure. With SSL Certification you can ensure the safety of your customer’s personal data.

At First Digital Media, it means a lot to us that all our client’s websites are safe. That is why we are providing SSL certification for websites with us. For more information, call us on 0845 094 1830.

What is SSL?

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates authenticate the identity of a website and encrypt information sent to the server. This makes it incredibly difficult for potential thieves to steal data. The new security feature impacts on companies that are business to consumer (B2C).

SSL uses an internet communication protocol known as HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) to protect the confidentiality and integrity of data between a customer and website. We’re all used to seeing a HTTP at the start of an address bar, but SSL changes this.

HTTPS is widely used by websites and can be easily spotted by a green padlock at the start of your website address in the search bar.

The Importance of SSL Certification

Having SSL Certification in place is important because it helps to keep customer’s data safe. Customers are savvier when it comes to their internet security, making sure that websites are safe before entering their data. Google have publicly supported the use of SSL, bringing in changes to search engines.

Chrome Security Product Manager Emily Schechter has said:

“For the past several years, we’ve moved toward a more secure web by strongly advocating that sites adopt HTTPS encryption. And within the last year, we’ve also helped users understand that HTTP sites are not secure by gradually marking a larger subset of HTTP pages as “not secure”. Beginning in July 2018 with the release of Chrome 68, Chrome will mark all HTTP sites as “not secure”.

Future rankings of websites will be affected if they do not have SSL.  The search engine plan to mark websites without the certification as insecure by July 2018. This will be easy to see in the top corner of a search bar on any website. If there is no green padlock, then the safety of a website cannot be guaranteed.

SSL certification keeps your website up-to-date with security protocols.

SSL and the New GDPR Guidelines

Many businesses, large and small, have been bringing new browser security in to protect their client’s personal data. The new GDPR guidelines require businesses in the European Union to report any data breaches to their country’s regulatory body with 72 hours. It is important that appropriate security measures are put into place by a business to protect personal data. The ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) are the main regulatory body for the UK and any breach should be reported to them.

SSL Certification is a step you can take towards protecting personal data. The security system encrypts any data that is inputted into your website by a customer. This includes contact forms and requests for information. Protecting this data is important as thieves can use it to target individuals. It is important that steps are taken to protect the following types of personal data:

  • Names
  • Addresses
  • ID
  • IP addresses
  • Cookie data
  • RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) Tags
  • Health and genetic
  • Biometric
  • Racial and ethnic
  • Political opinions
  • Sexual orientation

Access to any of these can give scammers enough to personally target people. SSL helps to prevent data such as this getting into the wrong hands.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about SSL Certification and the importance of website security, then do not hesitate to contact our team. You can call us today on 0845 094 1830 or fill in our online contact form.

10 Steps to Writing Outstanding Content

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With content gurus stating that content is king, it can really pay to know how to write your own content in the world of digital marketing.

When it comes to writing epic content for your online presence, you really need to plan exactly what it is you are wanting to write before you start. Great planning leads to great content and without great content, your brand awareness online will fall short to those who put effort into their writing skills.

Don’t Struggle

There is no need to struggle when it comes to writing any form of content. Whether you are blogging, creating a job advert or writing to your social media followers, whatever you choose to write should flow easily enough as it is your business after all!

Without content writing skills and years of practice the easiest way that you will be able to write content is by following a simple and straight forward plan, like these ten steps First Digital Media will provide you with.

1.      Find what your customers want to read

There is no use writing content just for the sake of writing it anymore. It needs to have depth, it has to support your readers and it needs to hold relevance to your business. For example, we discovered that our readers were wanting to know more about content writing, so therefore we wrote this piece of content to support that.

Find what your customer’s issues are and solve them with the content you write. You can do this by following their path on your website using analytics, reading blog comments, check out reviews and also conduct interviews if you want to go really far.

2.      Choose a good topic

Finding the right topic for your blog post can often be the hardest part as you want to stay on topic throughout. An example of a poorly chosen topic is one that you can’t write more than 50 words about. If you are stuck after the first paragraph, maybe your topic isn’t really that interesting after all.

It is often easier to stick to one topic and don’t try to solve too many issues in one article. If your ideas are about helping readers find a job, scope that down to how to build a CV with following content posts meeting the final point of finding the job.

Neil Patel from Hubspot came up with 4 ingenious ideas on how to choose the best topic for your blogpost. With knowing your target audience, being relevant, research and leverage being the tips to follow, you are sure to find a great topic to write about in no time.

3.      Check out the competition

Always do this. This step cannot be missed at all as you need to know what your competitors are doing. Your competitors are either your competition or you are their followers, whichever they are you need to be doing what they’re doing in your own patterns in order to keep up or take over.

You will not be the first to cover a certain content post so make sure that what you write will top the last or even better take over them on search rankings. Using relevant keywords, search on social media and check out other blog sites to collect relevant links you can use throughout your own content.

4.      Make yours stand out

If you do have a lot of competition out there you may need to take extra steps to make sure you stand out from the crowd. There is no use in writing another piece of content that will go in line with everyone else.

Whether you change design, layout, add drama or choose a different take on the situation, you need to make your content take first place. Writing amazing content is all well and good but if no one ever gets the chance to read it, you might as well have not even started.

The Content Marketing Institute recently published 4 ways to make your content stand out and these include a solid story angle, amazing photographs, leverage with expertise and being trendy. Following these 4 steps should make your content stand out sure enough.

5.      Create a thought shower

Now you need to think of the headline, the anchor text and the main body of your content post. Without a catchy headline and amazing text to follow, your content can get lost in the big world wide web and your time will be wasted.

The main job of your headline is to grab attention, so have a session looking at direct keywords, attraction techniques and craft your headline around your content to ensure that your readers will be encouraged to read further.

6.      Research, Research and Research

Research will be one of the biggest elements of writing your content. You will need to check out your competitors but also check out any surrounding topics that can contribute to yours. With credible news articles linked to your content and leaning on other gurus in the industry for guidance, your readers are more likely to trust your content and hopefully come back for more.

7.      Get planning

To start writing once you have gone through steps 1-6, you will need to make sure you have a solid plan to follow. There is no benefit in just starting writing without a plan as you are more than likely going to get lost and muddled with your words. In order to structure your content effectively, you need to organise you content before you start.

Start with a basic outline of where you want your content to start, transition and end to give you a somewhat timeline of how your writing will take place.

8.      Write your content

Now you can finally write your content following your research, competitor analysis and headline drafting. Write with emphasis on your point, keep your readers in mind and incorporate certain keywords into your text to get your readers attention instantly.

Throughout your text you will need to use catchy sub-headings and links to powerful articles that will help your content rather than hinder.

9.      Finish up and thoroughly check

You should always read through your own content before publishing it anywhere. Simple spelling mistakes need to be monitored and removed and you might even find yourself adding more where needs be. Without checking your content and reading it from a reader’s point of view, you can be promoting poor practices which leaves your business not in a great light.

10. Shout it from the roof tops

Now you can promote and tell everyone about your new amazing piece of content. Once you have followed steps 1-9 your content should be ready to be shared on every platform possible so that you can really promote your hard work and efforts with those that should see it.

Repurposing your content is easy enough and can be shared on social media, amongst your own customers and to other influencers that can get you further promotion. Don’t eve be afraid to share your own work, you worked hard on it, so why not?!

Get in Touch

If you are struggling with your own content and need some assistance, call First Digital Media today on 0845 094 1830. We have a specialist team on hand to help you promote your brand and to give you guidance on the best places to share your content.