Toby George, our work experience student gets off to a flying start, by arriving with doughnuts and cookies on his first day – a lovely touch, he’ll go far in this world! Toby, who attends The Howard School in Rainham, has been given the task of producing a website, promoting Gravesham as a tourist destination.

This is a project we set all our work experience students. It gives them a real insight into a number of key skills that go into producing a website on a professional level and a good introduction to the world of marketing. Skills Toby will learn during his week are:

  • Research
  • Planning
  • Photography
  • Copywriting
  • Website architecture
  • Website building
  • Marketing.

A big thank you to Toby, the doughnuts went down a treat.

marketing gravesend webdevelopment workexperience

Do you know if your WordPress website is secure?  If not, then it’s quite possible you have little or no security measures in place, leaving your WordPress website open to hackers or host malware. Malware riddled WordPress sites can go months without you noticing, causing issues for anyone visiting your website and could also get your website blacklisted by search engines.

Whether you are building a new WordPress website, or securing an existing one, the basic WordPress security tips below will go a long way to making your website more secure.

WordPress Hosting

Ensuring your WordPress website is running on the latest version of PHP is essential, not only for better security but to keep your site running smoothly and efficiently. Older versions of PHP aren’t actively supported after two years and eventually stop receiving security fixes. Also older versions of PHP will run much slower making your website load slower and use up precious hosting server resources.

SSL Certificate

Installing an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate will securely encrypt the link between the web server and your web browser. This means all data being passed from your website to your browser and back, is secure from being intercepted and exploited. Once an SSL certificate is installed on your web server, you need to make sure all http requests are redirected to https so that every page of your site loads with a secure connection.

Usernames and Passwords

WordPress user logins need to have secure passwords that can’t easily be guessed, your WordPress site will generate these for you when you create a new user or when you update your own password. If choosing your own password, make sure it consists of 8 characters or more with a mixture of uppercase and lowercase with at least one number and a special character e.g. @/-%£. Don’t use obvious usernames such as admin or administrator and don’t use the same password you use for any other sites or email accounts you may have.

Two factor authentication

Two factor authentication adds a second layer of security when logging in to your WordPress website. This can be implemented into your WordPress website login page, so that every time you or another user logs in, they will have to authenticate their login using their mobile phone or email.

Limit login attempts

Hackers will try and guess your user logins by repeatedly accessing the login page of your site with different usernames and passwords. Limit these attempts by adding a ‘limit login attempts’ plugin on your website. This will add further security to your website.

Keep WordPress, plugins and themes up to date

Ensure the the version of WordPress you are using is kept up-to-date. Failing to do this will expose your website to potential security holes in old versions of WordPress making it easier for hackers to gain access to your website and add malware. Ensuring the plugins used on your WordPress site are also up-to-date, as hacks and exploits for old plugins can leave a big security hole in your site.  Make sure any plugin updates are 100% compatible with the version of WordPress you are running, before updating, to avoid any compatibility issues. The themes used on your website need to be kept up-to-date, where possible. If you have updated your WordPress version, plugins and themes and something has broken in the process, we can help.

Trusted sources

When looking for WordPress themes and plugins, make sure you are getting them from a trustworthy site such as wordpress.org or Codecanyon. Beware of WordPress plugin’s that are being offered free. There is a chance that they may be harbouring malicious code. Once you upload the plugin to your website, that code can then cause harm to your website, have an impact on the web server and the visitors to your website.

Regular Site Backups

It is always good practice to keep your website backed up regularly, so that in the event of your site being hacked you will have a clean copy of the site to fall back on. There are backup tools included with many web hosting packages and you can also add a backup plugin to your WordPress site for complete control over backups. We always ensure our client sites are backed up regularly and always create a backup before carrying out any updates or work…just in case.

Web Firewall

Installing a good web firewall plugin will mean you have an active defence within your WordPress website against the many forms of attacks, threats and exploits that occur daily.

 

Once you’ve covered these basic security tips your site will be in a much safer place.

 

 

We have used High Profile to develop our Tool Hire and Training websites along with marketing and sales promotional literature. Their experience provides vital insight to effective marketing and promotion and has to date been key to the success of my business. A good partner to have in your corner.
Steve Booker, Managing Director – Kentec

Ten ways to maximise your exposure in the search engines.

1. Indexing
To maximise your exposure on the internet, make sure all of your web pages are indexed by the three major search engines, Google, Yahoo and Bing. To find out how many pages you have indexed by any search engines simply enter the following in the search bar:
site:www.yourwebsiteaddress

2. Make every page a landing page
Search engines crawl websites, but more importantly index pages. These are the pages that are returned on any given search. Search engines use ‘metatags’ as one of the criteria when deciding the placements on any given search. Therefore, to make the most of your presence, ensure every page on your website has title, and description tags that relate to the content of that particular page.

3. Research your keywords/phrases
Google’s ‘keyword planning tool’ will help you focus on the keywords and phrases that are used when searching for your product or service. Search for ‘keyword planning tool’ for other useful planning tools.

4. Title tag is king
Your title tag is probably the single most important element to get right for optimum search engine result placement. Give each page within your website a unique title tag and include the keyword/phrase within the tag. Make it 6-12 words in length. This title tag can be seen at the very top of the browser window of each page. Alternatively, go to ‘view page source’ in your browser menu and you will see your page title tag within the code similar to the example below:
<title>Graphic design, web design, video production, photography | High Profile</title>

5. Use search engine-friendly URLs
Each page has its own unique page address known as a URL (Uniform Resource Locator). In Google’s search results these show up in green at the bottom of the description. Search engines favour pages with keywords or phrases placed within the URL. Use search engine-friendly page addressing. If the page content is related to ‘video production’ then the URL should appear in the address window similar to this example: www.highpro.co.uk/video_production.html

6. Site map
A site map is not just to help a visitor locate pages, it also helps get page changes indexed faster by search engines. It crawls your pages directly from the site map page which you should link directly to your home page.

7. Linking anchor text
Make links from keywords or phrases within your body page content to pages containing the same phrases within your website. If the content near the linked text is similar, it can add more value to the link.

8. Add fresh content
The more often you update your website and add content (news/information/updates), the more often your website will be crawled and indexed by the search engines. The more pages you have indexed, the more windows of opportunity you are creating.

9. Google maps
Add your website to Google maps business listing. These often appear at the top of search results when towns or counties are used in the search term. You can register your website at: places.google.com/business

10. Web videos
Uploading website videos to YouTube and link to your website with keywords/phrases will increase the quality of links coming into your website and therefore will help to improve your position in related searches.

And a final note – Monitor your website’s traffic
Measuring performance is crucial in developing your website. Google Analytics is an excellent website monitoring tool. It can easily be added to your existing website, delivering information to help you make informed decisions about developing and marketing your website. For more information search ‘Google Analytics’.

 

What is copyright?
Copyright is an intellectual property right that gives creators of literary, dramatic, musical, artistic works, sound recordings, broadcasts, typographical arrangements of published editions and films a right of control over how their material is used. While the concept of copyright has been a concept of common law since the 18th century, it was put into statute through the Copyright Act 1911 and is currently adapted into UK law through the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1988 (“the Act”).

Protection of material under copyright in the UK
A creator of the above listed material is automatically protected when they create an original piece of any of the above listed works. The creator could mark the work with the copyright symbol (©), their name and year of creation, however this is not mandatory and will not influence the level of protection given.

Therefore, unlike Patents and Trademarks, copyright does not need to be registered. This is a common misconception when it comes to copyright, as the mere creation of an original piece of work automatically qualifies for copyright protection.

What protection does this give you?
The protections automatically given to the material created prevents others from:

  • Copying your work.
  • Distributing copies of your work, whether free or charged.
  • Renting or lending copies of your work.
  • Performing, showing or playing your work in public.
  • Making an adaption of your work.
  • Putting the work on the internet.

However, the following actions are seen as “fair dealing” and will not protect the material from copyright:

  • Private and research study purposes.
  • Performance, copies or lending for educational purposes.
  • Criticism and news reporting.
  • Incidental inclusion.
  • Copies and lending by librarians.
  • Format shifting or back up of a work you own for personal use.
  • Caricature, parody or pastiche.
  • Acts for the purpose of royal commissions, statutory enquiries, judicial proceedings and parliamentary purposes.
  • Recording of broadcasts for the purpose of listening to or viewing at a more convenient time, known as “time shifting”.
  • Producing a back up copy for personal use of a computer program.

How long does the protection last?
The Act explains that the copyright protection shall last:

  • For literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works
    70 years from the end of the year in which the last remaining author of the material dies.
  • Sound recording
    50 years from the end of the year in which the work was created, unless the work is released within that time, in which case it is 70 years from the end of the year it was first released.
  • Films
    70 years from the end of the year in which the last principal director, author or composer dies
  • Typographical arrangements of published editions
    25 years from the end of the year in which it was first published.
  • Broadcasts and cable programmes
    50 years from the end of the year in which it was made.

Who owns the copyright?
The owner of the copyright is usually the creator of the material, known as the “author”. The key exemption to this is when the copyright is made by an individual during their course of employment. In this case, the employer becomes the owner of the copyright.

This document is not legal advice and if you have any queries regarding copyright you should contact a solicitor.

This article was kindly produced for High Profile by Whitehead Monckton Solicitors.

 

STOP PRESS – the article below may change things within the next two years:

 

 

Lost time, lost money, ownership issues and even long contract tie-ins costing thousands – we’ve seen it all over the past 15 years of building websites. It can be avoided with some simple guidance, commissioning what is probably the most important marketing tool for your business.

Our SHOULD KNOW guide will help you avoid some of the worst pitfalls, speed up your build and could even save you money and time  – it’ll only take you 3 minutes to read, now that’s a good investment in time!

  • Know what you are buying: The difference between a £150 website and a £20,000 website
  • Know what is included with our simple website check list
  • Know why your website should be “Responsive”
  • Know the difference between the development platforms
  • Know if you are going to own your new website!

and more…

 

 

We have used Peter to develop our Tool Hire and Training websites along with marketing and sales promotional literature. Peter’s experience provides vital insight to effective marketing and promotion and has to date been key to the success of my business. A good partner to have in your corner.
Steve Booker, Managing Director – Kentec

Yes, you did read this right, you can advertise your business on Google and appear on the first page – even without a website!

97% of consumers search for local businesses online. A search which includes a town, for example “Graphic design in Gravesend”, or “Graphic design near me” (assuming your location services is active), will deliver a listing of local businesses on the first page of search results together with a location map. These listings are free and you can add one for your business – even if you don’t have a website!

For more info and to register your business click on the link below:

 

 

Over the past 16 years, four organisations I’ve been responsible for have benefited from Peter’s marketing expertise, and his input has had a marked impact on their fiscal success. Work he has delivered for me includes websites, creative design, superb advertising & business artwork and stunning photography. Peter is a true expert in his field and I have no hesitation recommending him and his business.
Barry Dibble, Managing Director – Dibble Optical

So, this publication phones you, saying, “We’ve got a last minute deal on a full page”. You book it, then decide on how to fill it – why? Maybe because it’s too good a proposition to miss – or is it? Ad hoc media buying isn’t necessarily wrong, however there are a few basics you need to cover to ensure you maximise the return on your advertising investment.

These are as follows:

What is the purpose of the advertisement?
Announcement; product launch; generate sales enquiries; sell off the page; or even awareness.

Does it reach your target audience?
Do your research, ask for a media pack to identify who are the primary readers or viewers.

What are the key messages?
What are the unique selling points for your product/service. What information do you need to deliver?

Think about..
Including an offer; adding testimonials; adding a killer headline; what makes your product/service stand out; adding product or service benefits; or indeed, using a professional marketing company to get the most out of your investment.

What is the call to action?
What do you want people to do next? There needs to be a next logical step.

Of course there is much more including: Who is going to pick up the leads? Who is going to monitor the results and check the return on your investment? Who is ensuring the whole team know about the advertising campaign, its purpose and how they can play their part to maximise every opportunity?

 

 

Peter has been working on behalf of IQ Fire Solutions over the past three years. He has given guidance and help on all aspects of marketing, including digital advertising campaigns, reporting, website design, and other lead-generation projects. He is professional, friendly and great fun to work with. I would not hesitate to recommend his services.
Jo Nicholl, Business Support Manager – IQ Fire Solutions

 

We have becoming increasingly concerned for the safety of companies who do not have their domain name registered in their own name. This usually comes to light when working on new websites.

Typical scenario of what we discover – be careful!
An employee leaves your company and sets up as a competitor. Nothing new, but when you discover he originally set up your email, looked after your website and your IT, you may just start to feel somewhat vulnerable. Are the leads from your website now being redirected to his new company? Is your email being mirrored? Is your domain name (the thingy that controls where your email and website points to) registered in your name?

If your domain name is not registered in your name or your company name, then you do not have ultimate control over where your emails are directed, nor control as to where your website points to!

We have had a number of these situations presented to us over the years. After some basic investigations we often find the company doesn’t even own their own domain name and even worse the agent that registered it in his own name is no longer in business. This could result in the domain name pointing to another website or not displaying at all. Although these issues can be addressed in time, the disruption to your organisation, loss of business and time could all be saved by having the information below to hand.

YOU MUST:
Know where your domain name is held and have the username and password held in a secure place – this is important marketing equity.

Before GDPR you could do a simple search to find out who the registered owner is. The only way now is to log into your own account and check the details – If you cannot do this or you are in any doubt whatsoever, find out who the registrar is for your domain name and contact them for further assistance.

 

 

 

A small tweak, or extra suggestion has often taken a project to a different level. Pete and the team are great to work with, and to have a versatile range of skills in one place is invaluable. If you want fresh ideas and guaranteed quality delivery, he’s your man.
Dave Newcombe, Employee communications – (Ex) National Grid

 

Eight ways to help increase the amount of visitors to your website:

1. Mobile phone users
A responsive website that adapts to mobile phones, will help rank your website pages higher. Mobiles now account for over half of the visitors on most websites.

2. Email signatures
Create an email signature that includes a promotional message and link it to the relevant page on your website. You’ll be surprised how many additional visits over a monthly period you will get – test different messages and offers. This is a good one, missed by many companies!

3. Email marketing
Using a good on-line professional email marketing tool to keep in regular contact with your customers and potential customers. Deliver information that will actively help them. Link the email through to the relevant page on your website and analysis the pages that pull the most results.

4. Web videos
Uploading website videos to YouTube and back-link to your website with keywords/phrases will increase the quality of links coming into your website and should improve your position in related searches. Google loves video and rates it highly when delivering search results.

5. Social media
Explore the use of online social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. For some businesses this can be a good way of communicating latest news and events with customers. Send additional visitors to your website via tweets geared to products, services useful information or industry articles. Events and news can easily be populated quickly and ideal for charities, clubs and pubs targeting local people. NB Although the platforms are mostly free, it can be a huge investment in time, so use it wisely.

6. Google My Business
Add your website to Google My Business listings. These appear at the top of search results when towns or counties are used in the search term. You can register your business and website at: www.google.com/business

7. Start a blog
A blog can be additional pages of content on your website displaying news, new product information or simply information such as this to help your customers. You may have come across this page via the search engines and found us! Once a blog/news page is created you can inform your customer database using email marketing to send them directly to the page you wish them to view.

8. Add social media share buttons
Add social media share buttons to the foot of your website pages, this can work well with information designed to help the visitor, e.g. ‘How to’ guides etc.

A final note – Monitor your website’s traffic
Measuring performance is crucial in developing your website. Google Analytics is an excellent website monitoring tool. It can easily be added to your existing website, delivering information to help you make informed decisions about developing and marketing your website. For more information search ‘Google Analytics’.

 

 

Pete helped on a number of levels, including the company name, magazine style and content layouts as well as producing a media pack to help sell our magazine to advertisers. We are now 9 months in and sales are 80% up on our original projections. I have found Peter to be an excellent soundboard to run my thoughts past, he has the knack of knowing what will work and what won’t.
Andy Dunn, Publishing Director – Media Now

1. Decide what you are trying to achieve
When designing a promotional piece make sure you are clear what job you are expecting it to do, and that it is fit for the purpose. Is it to generate interest in a new product, encourage the reader to visit your website, or simply to deliver a corporate message to show what underpins your products? Make sure your designer is clear about what you want to achieve.

2. Follow any existing brand guidelines
Often companies have corporate or brand guidelines. This will usually include use of logos, layout and typography.

3. First impressions count
All too often the paper your leaflet or brochure is printed on is overlooked. The extra amount you may have to pay to look different to your competitors could make a big difference to how your company is perceived by potential customers. Don’t always settle for gloss art paper – ask your designer to advise.

4. Get organised
Get your creative ideas down on paper and plan your message. Quite simply, the better you articulate your requirements, the better the end product.

5. Plan your job through, from concept to print
Include mailing lists, mailing and tracking response. If your budget is limited, then work within the standard paper sizes and finishes so your mailing piece fits off-the-shelf envelopes.

6. Use a professional copywriter
It is money well spent. Produce a draft, or alternatively bullet point out the key points, features or benefits to make it easier for the copywriter to understand the message you are trying to convey. Do a word count on the relevant sections as a guide for the copywriter, this will make the production process that much easier.

7. Consistency
Ensure the message delivered in your promotional piece is consistent with your website and any other promotional literature you use. This could include prices, offers and dates, as well as the message you are delivering to your customers.

8. Draw the reader in
Make sure you identify with your chosen target audience. Brochures are often given no more than a quick glance. Break the text up with sub-headers that help draw the reader in. The more attention you create on first glance, the more chance the reader will take time to read the brochure in detail.

9. Don’t cram it in
Don’t feel you have to use every inch of white space. A good designer will be able to work more freely with a bit of elbow-room and create a promotional piece with more impact.

10. Library images
A bespoke photo speaks volumes. However, if you can’t afford a photo shoot then consider good library photos. There are literally millions of good quality, low cost images available to download online and will add impact to your brochure.

11. Direct Mail – Know your mailing weight
Essential when doing direct mail. If mailing in large numbers then have dummy samples made up of all items to go in the envelope and weigh it first. By reducing the paper weight just a fraction you could drop down into the lower mailing weight band and reduce your mailing cost considerably.

12. Proof read carefully
Use a spelling check in addition to proof reading. Ask someone not involved in the project to read independently. It is far easier to spot a spelling mistake or error in print, than it ever is at proof stage!

 

Peter has been responsible for a number of value added products which have been substantially beneficial to our firm, including:- Creation and roll out of corporate brochures; Redesigning and formatting of proposal and pitch documents for new business; Video production for website purposes; Creation of recruitment brochures; Ad hoc creation of other marketing materials as required on a bespoke basis.
Mario Cientanni, Managing Partner – Barnes Roffe (Top 40 UK accountancy practices)