Engage - Plug and Play
Welcome to Engage, your portal to better marketing

by Brad Girtz

For most people who own a website, cybersecurity is not something they regularly think about. Hacks and data breaches seem to be the domain of big companies like Facebook and Equifax. However, 43% of cyber attacks actually target small businesses and only recently we were approached by a small business owner to rebuild their website due to a major hacking incident. Every business needs to take security seriously. Naturally, most small businesses do not have cybersecurity experts on hand to answer questions. To help fill that gap, Plug & Play have asked our security pro for some advice on how to keep your site safe.

Discussing eCommerce web design

Understand What Hackers Want

Most small businesses think they are safe from hackers because they do not have anything they think a hacker would want. That could not be further from the truth. Broadly speaking hackers have 1 of 3 goals. They are either trying to gain access to data, gain access to hardware or target SEO.

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by Krystyna Coyle

It’s taken me a long time to get here and I like where I’ve landed. I’ve been at Plug and Play for a little over a year now as a Sales and Marketing Manager. My day involves a lot of juggling and I love the variety that comes with this.

As the first point of human contact that prospects make with us, I speak on a daily basis with a broad spectrum of clients from a huge variety of industries. They could be in any position in the business; Personal Assistant or Marketing Manager, Business Owner or Product Manager. During my time here, I’ve met with everyone from bitcoin traders to Christmas light installers. I’ve always been curious by nature and my mind boggles at the number of businesses out there meeting the needs of clients I never knew existed.

I’m incredibly fortunate that we have a flexible work policy at Plug and Play. Having worked a number of years in retail, moving to a B2B office job made work-life balance feel like a boon. To have flexible working hours on top of that means my job satisfaction is especially high. My daughter started school a couple of weeks ago and being given the opportunity to wave her off at the school gates in the morning makes my heart sing. I’m one of the late ones to roll into work and often when I get to the office the majority of my colleagues who chose to work from 8 am - 4.30 am are deep in concentration.

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by Brad Girtz

Before we get started, let's clear something up. Digital PR is just PR. The skills that work offline work online as well and there is no secret formula so if you were hoping for some tips on easy link building, I guarantee you will be disappointed by this article.

Digital PR

Now that we have that out of the way, (and a significant portion of the audience has left) let's examine how best to drum up some PR online.

The first step, as it should be with everything in marketing is knowing your audience. If you do not know who you are targeting with your PR, go figure that out now.

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by Brad Girtz

As you probably guessed from the title of this blog, YouTube is now allowing users to add hashtags to their videos. The question is, how can you take advantage? Before you go #hashtagcrazy and add every hashtag you can think of to all of your videos, check out our ultimate guide to make sure all that YouTube hashtagging work is not hurting your brand, business or YouTube views.

The Basic Rules Of YouTube Hashtags

by Gabrielle Richardson

We were delighted to launch a new brand and website for an exciting client called Minale + Mann at the end of May. Less than two months after the launch, we’re pleased to report some excellent early results.

M+M new logo

Minale + Mann is an award winning London based design studio who offer a range of architectural and interior design services to both residential and corporate clients. Looking to increase leads from their target audience of high networth individuals in affluent areas of London, we undertook a rebrand project, website design and build and digital marketing overhaul for them.

The new Minale + Mann brand and website needed to ooze luxury. The client have outstanding quality case studies with beautiful imagery, which the old website failed to communicate. The goal of the rebrand project was to improve lead generation; raising Minale + Mann’s digital profile and generating more high quality leads. To ensure that they continue to drive leads after the website launch, Minale + Mann committed to an ongoing digital retainer with us. Click here to see the old Minale + Mann website to better understand how we transformed their brand.

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by Gabrielle Richardson

At Plug and Play we’re a small, close knit team and choosing our next recruit carefully is really important to us. We don’t have a long interview process, usually just a telephone interview and one face to face interview, both of which are fairly informal. However, there are certain things that never fail to impress us and despite sounding obvious, are things that are regularly ignored by candidates.

Arrive at the right time

It’s an obvious one, but it’s not uncommon for a candidate to misjudge how long it’ll take to get here, get caught in traffic or get lost en route. Our whole business is built around giving good customer service, so if you are late to an interview, it doesn’t suggest that you’ll be able to get to client meetings promptly.

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by Brad Girtz

If you are advertising on Facebook you already have lots to think about including ad frequency, cost per result and creating custom conversions. However Facebook has added another factor into their advertising. Negative feedback could now cost you impressions and business.

 

Customers that make a purchase which was initiated through a Facebook Ad will have the option to fill out a one tap survey. The survey lets people rank their experience with a happy, neutral or sad face. The user will then be given a questionnaire to provide more feedback. This will be used by Facebook to punish advertisers with bad user experience.

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by Brad Girtz

If you are running a business online you probably have a list of keywords somewhere you are trying to rank for. The problem is that many businesses get their keyword list but struggle to choose the best keywords to target. This is completely understandable. Unless you are a digital marketer, keyword lists will probably look pretty foreign to you. So how do you sort through hundreds of keywords to pick the winners?

 

The key to finding the killer keywords is to understand the searchers intent. Take the below keywords:

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by James Ward

Wordpress is one of the largest and most common website platforms in use today. For many people it is the only experience they have using a website backend or creating online content. That is why the latest Wordpress update is so important. It is called Gutenberg and it is a huge change from the traditional Wordpress updates. To help you understand more about what is coming, we put together this blog.

 

 

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by Brad Girtz

Google Maps are a common feature on websites across the internet. Having one on a contact page is practically universal these days. However, a new decision from Google is about to change all that. As of June 11th The company has started charging for the use of their maps. That means any site with a Google Map may incur fees to Google, depending on the number of times pages with maps are loaded.

Will my site be affected?

Sites that use the Google Maps are all subject to charge. Charges will be based on usage. So the first 28,000 times a Google Map is loaded on a site each month are free. After that Google charges $7 per 1,000 page loads. If that is confusing don’t worry. What it means is that Google counts every time a user visits a page with one of their maps on it. Once the number of pages visited reaches 28,000 per month, Google start charging.

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by Emma Moody

SEO is the cornerstone of online marketing. It determines the amount and the quality of your organic traffic, and can drive the cost of your PPC advertising up or down. However, common misconceptions about SEO practice can often lead to business owners excluding SEO from their digital marketing strategy. Vetoing such a vital tool and overlooking a valuable traffic channel can be extremely detrimental to the bottom line of any business. If you’re guilty of sighing whenever SEO is mentioned by your marketing team, we’ve included 8 common SEO misconceptions to challenge your thinking.

SEO misconceptions

1) Value can’t be tracked

SEO results are a little trickier to pin down than some other forms of online marketing. However, it certainly can be tracked. Plug & Play use acquisition cost modeling to attribute organic conversions and events to marketing spend so you can see your return on investment for each pound spent on SEO.

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by Gabrielle Richardson

Schema holds a special place in the heart of every SEO expert. It is one of only a handful of things that are not direct SEO ranking factors that we all care about. Unfortunately it is also one of the least understood by business owners. Don’t worry though, we are here to fix that now.

What is Schema?

At its core, schema is a way of helping search engines understand structured data. Anyone who has data in a highly organised format, like prices, addresses or product names has structured data. Since most sites have at least some form of structured data, it became important for search engines to find a simple way of recognising and categorising the different types of structured data. With that in mind, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Yandex all got together to create the universal markup called Schema.

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by Brad Girtz

You woke up this morning, only to find that some unscrupulous competitor has started bidding for your brand terms on Adwords. Now what? That is a question that we at Plug and Play Design have answered many times. To help business owners and marketers, we have put together this helpful checklist of ways you can deal with a competitor bidding on your branded keywords.

PPC brand terms

Before we get started it is important to understand a competitor bidding on your brand terms is not against the rules of most major PPC providers like Google and Bing. That means you cannot just contact the advertising provider and get the ads taken down. However you still have options.

Step 1: Ask Them Nicely To Stop

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by Brad Girtz

Paid search, social advertising and SEO are familiar to most online businesses. Companies everywhere use some combination of these three tactics to drive more customers to their site and sell more goods or services. Unfortunately the effort to win customers often stops once someone lands on a website. That means many sites have a poor user experience which can drive potential customers away and cost a business money. It can even hurt SEO and make paid advertising more expensive.

How do you use conversion rate optimisation (CRO) to improve your business?

Step one is matching a customer’s initial experience to the landing page.

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by Brad Girtz

With the recent scandal involving Cambridge Analytica and Facebook, many people are asking what online companies know about individuals and how are they able to collect data. With that in mind we decided to help users understand what companies actually know and what data they have access to.

How Do Companies Collect User Data?

There are a number of common ways most companies are able to collect data on users. The first is search queries/interest. So if you are using Google to search for something or spending time on a company's Facebook page that activity is noted as potential interest and tied to your online identity.

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by Brad Girtz

Anyone who has used the internet has seen Google My Business (GMB). Unfortunately, most people who have seen it don’t fully realise what it is. So just to make sure we are all on the same page, Here is a quick explanation.

Google My BusinessGoogle My Business is the box of information Google displays in the SERPS when you search for a company name or brand. It includes links to the companies website, images, directions, contact details and lots of other great stuff.

If you are still reading this, congratulations, you are in the small minority of people who want to do more than add their address to Google My Business. This is such a powerful tool and yet most people use it once and then never look at it again. That is a bigger mistake than giving a toddler a shot of bourbon and handing them a nail gun. GMB is crucial for local SEO and reputation management. Never looking at it means you are abandoning your reviews, ignoring free advertising opportunities and letting strangers edit your business information.

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by Brad Girtz

Search engines and businesses have long been in love with reviews. They help new customers trust you and provide a valuable piece of data on how well you deliver goods or services. Google even uses online reviews as part of their rankings algorithm. With star ratings or other ranking systems, reviews also provide a shorthand to help consumers choose where to spend their money.

With this in mind, which review service should you use? Since there are currently no sites that review review sites, (million pound idea?) it can be very hard to understand which reviews you should be aiming to get. Before you slam your laptop closed in despair and move on to something else, let us help you find the best review site for you.

Paid or Free?

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by Emma Moody

Online business is booming. In 2017, Ofcom reported that 76% of adults owned a smartphone, making smartphones the most widely owned internet accessible device. Consequently, it is not surprising that the number of mobile searches now exceeds those made on desktop. We’re in a changing world. Our smartphones have become a part of everyday life and the online world is having to adjust… and fast.

I’m sure that nobody will be shocked to hear that Google’s influence on the online world is vast and far reaching. With Google leading the mobile first initiative, encouraging secure and responsive browsing, as well as providing local search with results geared towards mobile users. In the new year, Google revealed their next step towards fulfilling their mobile first goal. In July this year we will see mobile site speed become its own official influencer in the Google algorithm.

So how will this affect you?

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by Brad Girtz

Finding the right place to maximise your advertising dollar used to be easy. You either bought space in a publication your customers liked or you advertised on a billboard near a busy street. Now your advertising budget could go to any one of hundreds of online advertising platforms. Choosing which of those platforms is right for you can be a daunting prospect if you are not a seasoned online advertiser. Thankfully you are currently reading the Plug & Play blog and we are seasoned online advertisers. So let’s break this down for you so you can go back to running your successful business rather than worrying about online advertising.

Your Customers Know What They Want

The biggest player in the market is Google. Have you heard of the 800 pound Gorilla in the Room? Well they are more like King Kong on the Empire State Building. Google are great at a number of different things so they will most likely be your first port of call. If you are a traditional service business or you have a well defined product, Google Search advertising is your best bet (Bing also offer a similar service). You can very effectively target people when they are out there looking for exactly what you sell.

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