2 reasons why your website must work on mobiles

There’s a good chance that you’re reading this on a smartphone, because a massive share of our use of websites and other online content is on our phones.

And yet, there are still many businesses whose websites fail to give a great customer experience on mobiles; and who risk losing out in Google search results.

So, let’s take a look at the 2 reasons why your website must work on mobiles.

1. Your customers want it on their phones!

Around half of all internet traffic, and time spent online, is on smartphones and other mobile devices.

That’s a lot of people who want to see your website and consume your content on their phones – so is your site serving them well?

A few factors to consider when answering that…

  • Does your site display correctly on a smartphone?
  • Do images/video/text look good on a mobile?
  • Does your site load within seconds?
  • Does the written content get to the point?

The best experience for a smartphone user, is clear, concise, quick, and easy!

2. Google is prioritising mobile sites in ALL search results

SEO is all about getting as high in search results as you can – especially in Google because it’s the search engine most of us use.

Last year Google started prioritising mobile-friendly websites when people searched on a mobile device. But now, it’s making a significant shift.

But now, it’s starting to index mobile sites first for all searches – even those made on a desktop or laptop.

Now, the ‘desktop version’ of your website will still be ‘crawled’ by Google’s magic little pixies BUT a site that doesn’t give mobile users a good experience will be penalised.

What should you do now?

Firstly, check to see how your website performs on a mobile device.

An easy way to do this is to visit Google’s mobile test site which will check for factors such as design and speed and let you know how you’re doing.

If the results aren’t good, or you already know that your site doesn’t work well on mobile, then you need to make changes.

A ‘responsive’ site, which adapts to display correctly on smartphones –  but still looks great on a desktop – is the way to go. That’s why all sites created by GRANDESCO are responsive.

Got one of those ‘slimmed-down’ mobile sites?

When mobile web browsing started to take off, many web designers created mobile versions of clients’ sites; they often have web addresses that look like: m.yourwebsite.co.uk – note the m at the start.   

While these sites provided a quick-fix mobile experience, they are usually slimmed-down versions of the desktop site…with less content.

When Google indexes these sites based on this ‘low calorie’ version, many of your pages will be missed.

Again, the solution is a single, responsive website, that will look great however it’s viewed.

Need more help?

Ask us we’re friendly – and extremely responsive 😊

Contact us for a chat.

GDPR explained in less than 5 minutes

Don't Ignore It Or You May Get Caught Out

It’s one of the biggest changes to data protection and privacy law the world has ever seen.

It’s GDPR – the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, which comes into force on 25th May 2018.

Many businesses are aware of it – and the potential pitfalls and penalties – but others are either unaware of it, or choosing to ignore it.

Part of the reason is that it just seems too complicated.

The three key questions are:

  1. What is it?
  2. What are your rights (and those of your customers!) ?
  3. What are you obligations?

International law firm Mishcon de Reya has produced three short videos to help businesses understand GDPR.

Further information about GDPR is available from the Information Commissioner’s Office.

GRANDESCO is not responsible for content produced by third parties. This information is provided in good faith but you should always seek your own independent advice on legal matters.

What a chance encounter with Stevie Wonder taught me about marketing

Stevie Wonder is a legend, there’s no disputing that. But the one time I saw him live taught me something that is so important in marketing.

It was the late 90s and I was in Florida producing a radio show at Walt Disney World Resort… nice work if you can get it!

The special media event came with some surprises including a live performance from Pat Benetar on a descending platform outside the Virgin Megastore; and a free concert from Stevie Wonder.

I’d grown up with his superb tracks like Superstition and Master Blaster; and being a lover of all things 80s, I even regard the eternally cheesy I Just Called to Say I Love You as a classic.

So, as you can imagine, hearing that Stevie was performing while we were at Disney was amazing news.

Here comes the lesson

The evening of the concert arrived and running late I rushed to the auditorium having missed a chunk of Stevie’s set.

To my disappointment, what I heard was not one of his greatest hits, but some weird jazz stuff that (to me) didn’t sound good at all.

I stayed for a while, hoping to hear the first unmistakable notes of Sir Duke or even – a long shot I know – a guest appearance from Sir Paul McCartney for an emotional rendition of Ebony and Ivory.

It wasn’t to be. Stevie carried on with his jazz indulgence for what seemed an eternity.

OK, so I can still say I saw Stevie Wonder live. And he is a big enough artist to do what the hell he wants. But for me, he failed to meet my expectations.

What are your ‘greatest hits’

The point is, when it comes to delivering on your marketing, give the people what they want.

If you won’t budge from your sales messages and give your customers (and potential customers) things that benefit them, they will be disappointed.

They might not give up using your business – as I have not stopped loving Stevie Wonder’s well-deserved hits – but they may ‘walk out’ of your marketing, meaning you waste your time and money.

Think about the things your business does well – your ‘greatest hits’ – and use your marketing to show how they are relevant to your target audience.

This parent trick is a marketing powerhouse

One of the biggest mistakes that businesses make when they start blogging or using social media is only ever promoting – but there’s a clever trick that parents use that will help you promote in a subtle way.

We live in an increasingly cynical world and although advertising still works, social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are designed for sharing interesting media and creating engagement.

Yes, we might share or comment on those amazing Christmas ads every year, but generally advertising doesn’t achieve that.

But generations of parents have used a simple trick, that can help you with your online marketing – hiding the vegetables!

Let’s make this simple:

  • Kids are not keen on vegetables, but we want them to consume them;
  • Customers are not keen on promotional messages, but we want them to consume them!

Just as a parent will chop up vegetables and hide them in a child’s favourite ingredient, you can hide your marketing message in your blog post or social media.

How to hide the veg

This simple concept may be tough at first, especially if you are used to writing content for brochures or other materials with a direct promotional message.

Ironically, the key is more ‘carrot than stick’.

For this type of ‘non-promotional’ content to work, you need to be willing to give something away.

A parent may not want to make a pizza; it would be easier to give their child a tomato and some peppers; but if that isn’t working then hiding the veg is the way forward.

In the same way, you need to give your customers and potential customers – ‘your audience’ – things that they want in order to get them to consume your messages.

And those messages are there, just hidden within the treats!

Think it doesn’t work?

Oh, you sceptic! I can tell you that it does work… and I’ve just proved it.

You’ve read this blog post in which I’ve shared some valuable insights about what we call ‘content marketing’.

I haven’t sold you anything but I’ve ‘hidden the veg’ by showing you that I know what I’m doing.

Yes, you may go off and do it yourself, but if so then you’d probably have done that anyway.

But if you lack the time, the skills or the will to do that, then maybe you’ll give me a call 😉

Reading Pancake Race – Flippin’ Great

GRANDESCO is officially flippin’ great

The GRANDESCO team were determined to ‘batter’ ourselves on Pancake Day by supporting one of Reading’s longest-running events.

The Pancake Race on Broad Street has been an annual favourite for around 20 years and is now run by homeless support charity Launchpad Reading.

This year there were 34 teams taking part, from law firms (Blandy & Blandy went on to win), retailers (including John Lewis), the finance industry (including Metro Bank), and even Thames Valley Police.

We were asked to get involved as an official sponsor (they knew we’d be rubbish at the actual race bit!) and we wanted to prove how flippin’ great we are.

What we did

We started building the excitement and awareness of the event with social media activity, especially on Twitter and Facebook.

True to our commitment to both digital and ‘traditional’ marketing, we also arranged for some outdoor advertising on the large screen outside Broad Street Mall.

On the day, GRANDESCO’s Steve Randall was the MC for the event for the third year in a row; adding some drama and fun to the proceedings and introducing X-Factor finalist Danyl Johnson who started the races.

GRANDESCO’s Sue Reynolds and Gavin Harris were kept busy ensuring social media coverage was up-to-the-minute, giving a visual flavour of the event while it was taking place.

Photos ©️ Mike Swift, Newsquest Berkshire

Why we did it

The GRANDESCO team believes in supporting our community by using our marketing and media skills to help whenever we can.

Throughout the year, we aim to partner with more charities and organisations to help them shout about the great work they do.

Plus, it was flippin’ great fun 😊