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  2. Not all business & social networks are the same. UK Business Labs brings people together and makes blogging, networking, discussion and marketing easy and effective. The software is used by tens of millions of people worldwide so it's simple to use too. UK Business Labs integrates with Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, WordPress, Tapatalk and countless other social media tools; which enables you to share your content quickly. You'll need to register before you can post but registration and basic membership is absolutely FREE. Click the image above or the 'Register' link to get networking with thousands of other business owners. We're looking forward to welcoming you!
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  1. In a perfect world successful websites would look after themselves. However, as competition in the online arena continues to grow there is a need to ensure that your website is correctly maintained, focused, is secure and offers a seamless experience for your visitors. Easier said than done! We understand this may be too much for most small businesses so we do offer monthly website maintenance plans. But for those who like the DIY route, there are some things you can keep on top of.

    So, as we approach the end of the year there are a number of relatively simple tasks you can undertake which will make your website more efficient and above all keep you in favour with the search engines.

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    1. Check for broken links
    The key to any successful website is both internal and external links, improve the visitor experience and ensure that your site is easily navigable. Even with the best will in the world, links to other websites break, mainly due to the website closing or moving, and internal restructuring or removal of content can make some internal links invalid. This isn’t good from both a customer and a search engine point of view. It is therefore vital that you regularly check for broken links on your website and where possible update the links or remove them. There are various tools out there to help with broken link detection.

    Read More.......Top Tips to give your website a refresh at New year
  2. READ FULL Tutorial...How to move your wordpress website to a new host

    This could be considered to be shooting one’s self in the foot, as we’ve gained hundreds of clients over the years because there wasn’t clear instructions in a step by step format to move WordPress from one server, to another properly without the usage of backup plugins. Although backup plugins may suit some people to me they are a complete nightmare, businesses rely on these plugins without checking the backups on a regular basis, only to find out that the backups are corrupt or never actually worked in the first place. Following the instructions in this “how to” will teach you how to save your site and database to your computer ( for safe keeping ) and reupload the files and database to your new host.

    So, lets get started. FTP!

    I always recommend using an FTP client over a host provided web based file editor. There are some great FTP programs out there that allow you to upload and download files to your server/host. One of my favourites is Filezilla which can be downloaded here : https://filezilla-project.org/download.php

    Once you have opened your FTP client, entered your server/host details and have found your WordPress install, it should look similar to this :

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    Everything in the above folder ( the main WordPress root folder that contains folders such as wp-admin, wp-content ) you need to download to your computer, often easy to create an empty folder on your computer and put all the files into that folder, you should also have your new server/host setup and the new FTP open ready to use. You may now upload all of the files you just downloaded to your new host.

    Now all the files are download and uploaded, its time to get your database from the old host/server. We like to do this manually again rather than using any plugin.

    Downloading your database from phpmyadmin
    (We use cpanel with the images captured below, but if your host uses something different you may need to locate things slightly differently to the images outlined )

    Login to your hosts cpanel account, normally accessed via browsing to your domain such as ( yourdomain.com/cpanel )

    Continue Reading Complete Tutorial...How to move your wordpress website to a new host
  3. If you are searching for this solution you will know that Google loves fresh content and WordPress by default doesn’t allow modified date preference. Rewriting older content making it more relevant to the current time period is a great way to keep your site fresh, relevant and factually correct. This isn’t only great for your site but also presents a possible SEO boost for date based content, evergreen content which requires regular factual statements to be correct and above all it’s great for user experience.

    Most people believe that simply placing a modified date on the post is enough to let Google know a bit of content has been update, and why shouldn’t it ?. But that unfortunately isn’t the case, although your sitemap will show a modified date to an updated post, the post will still show its “published date” like in the below image. The only way Google will show the “updated” time stamp in SERPs is if its the ONLY date shown on the page. This poses a problem for most WordPress sites because the modified date is very rarely included on any theme or template by default ( unless you have a custom theme by us ).

    Read More for Code Snippet.....Display the Last Modified Date of your Posts in WordPress
  4. Generating content is obviously extremely important. Many businesses have not yet realised the huge amount of positive public exposure a website packed with good content can give them. The question is, though, whether you should go for shorter articles, called short form, or longer pages, called long form, on your site. Here are a few considerations you should make to determine which is right for you. For the purpose of this list, we’ll define “short form” as 300-1100 words and “long form” as 1600 or more words.

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    Observe Your Audience
    These days, just about everyone under the age of 65 is on social media. Assuming your demographic is not specifically the elderly. If you are serious about creating content for your site, you can spy on some of the people who would be in your target demographic to see what kind of content they are sharing. If they are sharing long form most of the time, go with that, and if they’re sharing short form, that’s a better choice. If your demographic does not seem to share much text at all, that would also call for short form or, better yet, clip videos that deliver your message using spoken word.

    Consider How People Find Your Organisation
    Whether your content will be discussing a new technology in a blog post or advertising a product, you should think about where on the web you want to be found before you begin creating content.

    Some organisations, like service industries or manufacturers, would probably rather be found on Google than social media because their customers search online for them when they need them rather than browsing their services because they are trendy. Those organisations should probably go with long form content, because, as Brian Dean notes, pages that make the front page of Google contain an average of 1,890 words.

    Other organisations, often including restaurants and fashion items, would probably rather be shared a lot on social media than appear high on Google. This is because, in those industries, customers are more likely to gravitate toward the “product” simply as a result of their friend’s recommendation, even if there is not technically any need for it. In other words, these organisations’ pages are more likely to go viral; content marketing pro Jeff Bullas points out that the most viral content on the web is usually short form.

    Continue Reading....
    Short Form vs Long Form Content
  5. In the digital landscape, where getting and keeping your customers‘ attention grows more challenging every day, email marketing provides you with a direct line of communication to your customers. In recent years, many email marketing management options have cropped up to provide business owners with the necessary tools to reach customers in their inboxes with well-designed, effective content.

    How do you decide which platform is right for your business? Consider two of the major platforms, Campaign Monitor and MailChimp, to help you make a decision.

    The Similarities
    Campaign Monitor and MailChimp offer many of the same services and functionalities and even have similar ratings and reviews from users. Here are features that the two platforms have in common:

    • Affordable pricing that scales up as your database grows.
    • Automated campaigns.
    • Integration with eCommerce platforms Shopify, Magenta, and WooCommerce.
    • Basic A/B testing.
    • Signup forms that you can embed in your website.
    • Integration with Facebook Campaign result reports.
    • List limit of 50,000.
    • 15% non-profit discount.
    • Hundreds of app integrations.
    Since both platforms offer the same basic services, understanding how they differ will help you decide if one of them can meet your email marketing needs.

    Read More...
  6. This article is 7000 words long, so why not grab a coffee, put your feet up and get comfortable before diving in Please like, Tweet and share if you find it informative.

    Selling their profitable business is often the goal of most entrepreneurs.

    Unfortunately, it can be an extremely long process that can have many obstacles and is akin to riding an emotional rollercoaster. Selling a profitable business is definitely a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

    Most of what’s written below will apply to selling well-established businesses outside of the eCommerce realm, as well.

    While we’ve tried our hardest, it can be nearly impossible to cover every different area of getting the deal and closing it quickly and effectively. However, this guide was created to help you understand exactly what goes into the process of selling a successful online business.

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    Understanding How to Value Your Business
    Most times, businesses that are generating less than $1,000,000 in yearly earnings are going to sell using a valuation method referred to as Seller’s Discretionary Earnings — or SDE.

    To calculate your SDE, combine your pre-tax profits and your own compensation.

    To give you an example, if your business generated $200,000 in profits last year and you are paying yourself a $75,000 salary, the SDE of your company would be $200,000 plus $75,000, or a total of $275,000.

    SDE is a way for you to calculate how much the business is worth to you as the owner.

    When buyers are trying to figure out how much your business is worth to them, they are typically going to use a multiple of your SDE. In most cases, the multiple will range from a 1.5x to 3x multiple of your SDE value.

    Finding the multiple is reliant on a few key factors:

    • The growth and performance of your business over time.
    • The size of your market and future growth potential.
    • The ability to defend your business model.
    • How you’ve organized and structured the business.
    Read More......Ultimate Guide to selling your business
  7. Many businesses have found social media to be a rewarding form of marketing that provides an additional sales method to conventional marketing practices. Social media enables your business to communicate with an audience that spans the entire world. It can help to expand your customer base, increasing your sales and bring more exposure to your brand and products.

    Using social media can be excellent for your brand
    Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram and Pinterest allows you to connect with your target audience, some of which you may not be able to reach via other means of marketing. If you use these platforms correctly, you can interact with your audience in a friendly manner just like you would if they walked into your store, with the growth of all ages being social online it’s becoming a natural and easy process to communicate with highly targetted users without pressuring them to purchase anything. If people connect with you on a personal level and are made aware of your brand, they’re more likely to be interested in your business and what you have to offer.

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    Highlight your service or product
    When using social media to market your service or product, make sure that your title is attractive and draws attention. A boring title could result in people overlooking your advert making your marketing efforts costly and ineffective.

    If you are using social media as part of your marketing strategy, be sure to answer and interact with people when they make a comment or ask you a question, people are more likely to feel comfortable with your brand if they can see active and supportive customer relations.

    Read More...
  8. According to Content Marketing Institute (2016), 38% of marketers claim that blogging is the most important type of content. Notably, almost 37% of them expressed that visual elements are the best content for marketing, while live video and podcasting were ranked last.

    Finding your audience and creating valuable content for them, are, undoubtedly, the most crucial steps towards successful content marketing.

    So, before creating valuable content, it is important to review all the facts, and figure out the answers to the following questions:

    • What type of content is the most beneficial for your audience?
    • What type of content do people want to share?
    • What are the latest statistics and trends that could benefit your content?
    Content & Promotion Still Matters
    It’s a well-known fact that blogging brings a definite increase in traffic generated to your website. Hence, it comes as no surprise that blogging is a vital element for 49% of B2B marketers compared to 33% of B2C marketers.

    The more frequently you blog, the more productive you become, some “SEO Consultants” would say. Therefore, the time you invest should pay off, right? As an example, data from Traffic Generation Cafe (2015) reveals that 21–54 new blog posts in a year can lead to a traffic increase of up to 30%.

    However, this was not the case for the well-known Backlinko founder, Brian Dean. Brian Attracts 119k unique visitors per month to his site and writes no more than 8-10 articles per year, proving there is no single recipe for success.

    In fact, Brian’s new lessons reveal is that promotion is the second most important element. Hence, publishing valuable content is not enough if people are not able to find it. So, you need to find people that will love to share your content with their readers and network with them to become influential.

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    Content Strategies That Actually Work
    What type of content the most popular for grabbing the attention of your readers these days?
    There are various content marketing strategies to choose from. Though, visual elements are scientifically proved to be more efficient to convey a message...

    Read More..
  9. We've long been a fan of sending physical cards, merchandise like branded pens, business cards, coffee mats and various other customisable products to not only thank long term clients but also to let them know we appreciate the repeat custom over the years. But for a more cost effective and sometimes more efficient to get a promotional offer across to your current client base, e-cards could be a great way of conveying your Christmas greetings. If you’ve been too busy to organise printed cards this year, e-cards will allow you to stay in your clients’ good books this festive season. If you want to make the most of your festive mail out, you need to get your e-card design just right. To help you hit the digital nail on the head, here are our dos and don't;s of Christmas e-card design.

    Don’t be generic
    If you use a pre-made card from an online provider, the chances are the design is going to be pretty generic and boring. As soon as a client clicks on the link or sees the image, they’ll be able to tell you’ve skimped on design and gone for a cheaper, less professional option. Not only will this make it look like your business cuts corners, but it will also make your e-card look a bit spammy and could damage your business’ reputation.

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    Read More...
  10. Zero to Hero – The DIY guide for the SEO novice
    Written by Rivmedia, November 22nd, 2016
    • SEO starting points for Small businesses to understand the fundamentals
    • Touching base with Mobile friendliness , Page speed, content and keyword research.
    If you’re trying to drive traffic to your site, boost your online presence and increase the effectiveness of your web page, good SEO is essential. Without SEO, your site may well languish deep within the search engines listings, limiting the number of people who find your URL naturally and reducing your chances of online success.

    Though some SEO aspects that are tricky to understand, there are others that even internet novices can implement quickly and easily. To help give your site the best chance of search engine supremacy, we’ve put together a selection of the easiest and most effective DIY SEO techniques for you to try.

    1. Keyword and Competitor Research
      The keywords you use on your site tell the search engines what your pages are all about. They also help users to find your site when they’re searching the web. Keyword research is essential if you want to ensure your site comes up when users search for relevant terms. Use tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console and Adwords Keyword Planner to help you judge what terms would be beneficial to you. If possible take advantage of keyword URL structures and be sure to write for your visitors and not to get to carried away with the keywords you are targeting. If you have a local target market Include geographic terms (e.g., property development East Anglia) and industry specific local phrases which you know people search.

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      An old school but still valuable offline tool, can be as simple as asking some not so tech savvy friends and family or a good old fashioned survey in your local village what they would type into Google if they were searching for something specific? Armed with that information and using the tools mentioned on this post to analyse those terms to the best of your ability and see if they are worth the small effort. Only too often this method will come up with little gems that our research and the more internet savvy among us simply overlook.

      Don’t forget to pay attention to your competitors, make notes of what they are ranking for and what quality backlinks they have. Take advantage of the best resources in the business such as SEM Rush, Moz, ahrefs, and Majestic.

    2. Create unique content
      The search engines love unique content; there have been some studies showing the length of the material matters, indicating that longer more informative posts go much further in establishing you as an industry expert.
    READ MORE...
  11. One of the most important parts of any website, the Contact Us page is all too often overlooked. Though it may not be the most exciting part of your site, it’s the page that many of your most valuable leads and contacts will get in touch with you through. Getting your Contact Us page just right will not only help to make your site complete, but it could also contribute to encouraging, even more, users to get in touch with your business.

    Do: Make it quick
    Even if a visitor to your site is hugely interested in the products or services you offer, they’ll soon get bored if you ask them to fill out too many forms. Instead of stuffing your Contact Us page with row after row of mandatory fields, keep it short and snappy. As long as you get their name and email address, any other snippets of information you need to qualify them can be retained at a later date.

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    Don’t: Make it annoying
    If you use a contact page that’s come straight from a mass produced....

    READ MORE
  12. There are entrepreneurs around the world who have spent many years building up their businesses who refuse to give up any degree of control over their operations. When you bear in mind the competitive nature of the online business arena today perhaps there is a justifiable reason why many entrepreneurs have difficulty trusting or finding someone who has the same level of passion for what they do. However, have you ever thought what might happen if for some reason you were unable to work?

    Not being able to work maybe the doomsday scenario but if you have others such as a family depending on you, then you need to consider this issue at some point.

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    Business backup plan
    How many entrepreneurs know in the back of their minds that they should have a written backup plan if they are unable to work for a considerable time in the future? Now the big question, how many have put in place a detailed and easy to follow instruction guide if somebody else needs to take over at short notice? The likelihood is this is one of the tasks that entrepreneurs like to

    Read More..
  13. It is only natural to want to set your marketing strategy for your business to as wide an audience as possible, especially in the early days. The idea that just a small percentage of enquiries from a large audience could change your business sounds good in principle but how does that work out in practice?

    The idea of marketing to niche markets or general markets will depend entirely upon your type of business but sometimes it is more worthwhile to dominate a niche market as opposed to being a small player in a large market.

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    1. Marketing strategy: Targeted marketing
    It has been proven time and time again that the scattergun approach to online/off-line marketing does not necessarily bring the rewards you might expect. In many cases you will end up marketing your products/services to individuals and companies who have limited if any interest in what you have to offer. They may visit your site out of curiosity but from the outset there is likely little chance they will actually buy anything from you. Your traffic figures look good, it looks as though your site has been “noticed” but what is the bottom line? You need to convert as much of your traffic as possible to actual sales to be successful.

    Read More...
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  14. It may sound bizarre to suggest that you need to make your online business feel “human” but there are a number of reasons for this. It is all good and well trawling the Internet late at night for the best deals and the best offers, but without help pages, contact details and reviews, how do you know who you are dealing with?

    Some people may be happy dealing with an automated online website but what happens if something goes wrong? What happens if you need assistance? Do you really know who you are dealing with?

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    Make your business stand out
    There are many potential customers who prefer an automated service with no human contact which is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week. These are generally customers who know what they want, have experience with purchasing online and know their way around the Internet. However, there is also an array of other potential customers who are not as confident online and may need you to “hold their hand”.

    There are many online businesses which boast significant automated purchase numbers but also offer that human touch for those perhaps less confident in the online arena. This approach is not applicable to all businesses due to cost constraints but if you are looking to stand out from the crowd, offer a more personal service and have the time, skills and motivation, this could prove to be extremely beneficial.

    Read More...
  15. If you are afraid to fail the stark truth is maybe you should not be in business? There are many ways to “make a living” but if you are looking to make a business then you need to be creative, you need to think outside of the box but above all never be afraid to fail. Those who have never failed in their business world have never pushed the envelope, they have never gone the extra mile and while their track record may be impeccable, have they really been successful?

    Try, try and try again

    As you look to build your business, whether offering a product or service, you will get a feel for the marketplace, you will get a feel for your customers and at some point you will begin to think outside of the box. It is these thoughts which will determine how successful you are in the future because while you need to recognise your weaknesses you also need to have confidence in yourself. Let’s face it, if you do not have confidence in yourself then why should your customers have confidence in you?

    Read More...