3 secrets in digital that your competitors aren’t looking at. (Yet!)

3 digital secrets 2019

Anything to get one up your competitors, win new business, learn grow and innovate at the same time… Surely that can’t be bad. Here’s 3 things in the wacky world of the web and digital marketing that your competitors are missing out on…

1. Bing

Yes Bing, Microsoft’s search engine. Everyone wants to be number 1 in Google, but no one really thinks about it’s little sister: Bing. Bing currently accounts for around 12.5% of searches. And Bing is now the main search provider for Amazon’s echo devices.

digital search engines like google and bing - optimise your business for Bing search in belfast and northern ireland

Also, Bing & Yahoo are the same thing! So anything you do on Bing will also work on Yahoo. Putting the same thought into Bing as you would Google could allow you to capture customers and leads that your competitors are overlooking.

What can you do today? – Create a Bing business listing. (similar to the way you would in Google. And carry out some test searches in Bing to see how you fair out. Ask your web team to help you appear more prominently in Bing. )

2. Instagram

Instagram is fast becoming the world’s #1 social media platform. Many experts believe it will surpass Twitter (currently #2) in the near future and replace Facebook (currently #1) in the years to come. As internet users become more and more visual, the ultimate app for photos and video is where you can really get one up on the competition.

digital and social media marketing - how to make Instagram work for your business belfast

“But Instagram’s not really for me or my business” – I hear you say. Well, good luck with that outlook. So your “customers are older” perhaps? Well- the new ones will be on Instagram. “None of my competitors are on Instagram” – Hello! Then you should really be on there! Clean up where they’ve overlooked!

What can you do today? – Create a business account on Instagram. And start posting! Start of with some office or factory pics. Then perhaps a photo op with a new client. Now add some of those photos from your last award ceremony. Now an info graphic of how your business works. Now take a few photos of your new product line. Now you’re getting it!! And tag your location and add some industry relevant hashtags. You’ll be winning new business from Instagram in no time.

Bonus points – Boost your post to your target audience and showcase your work to thousands of potential clients. Also consider adding and Instagram gallery to your website.

3. Video

Yes, yes, everyone suggests video. And everyone agrees it’s great. But very few of you actually do anything about it. There’s 2 parts to using digital video successfully for your business. a) The video itself (the content, the production) and b) The promotion of sed video. (There’s no point in a great video if no-one sees it!)

digital professional video production with drones, dslrs, professional lenses, professional editing software - and awesome promotional tools - this WILL WIN NEW BUSINESS.

The production – You MUST create a video that people actually want to watch. Not just showcasing your business or products or services. The video must have some good music, a voice over perhaps. Some b-roll and cinematic shots. It should be shot with good lighting and sound. And preferably have a script. i.e. A start, a middle and an end!

“Don’t get us wrong, it doesn’t have to be an winning masterpiece. And there’s nothing wrong with shooting on your phone. (The digital camera and sound tech on a good iPhone in 2019 is pretty awesome in-fact.) But please, think about lighting and sound. “

The promotion – This is the fun part. Once you’ve got a decent video, now post it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube. Blow the cobwebs off your wallet and spend a little to showcase your video to everyone that counts. With a cpl pf hundred quid you can showcase your video to 10’s of thousands. Try and get teh same coverage on TV and see what your bill looks like!

What can you do today? – Hire a team to make a corporate video for you. A short 3 minute video about you and your business. Ask them to add it your website and promote on social media to your target audience. Have a good “call o action” at the end of your video.


Want to stick it to your competitors? And really ramp up on digital? Talk to us at Beacon13 about your business. We’ve got great rates on business websites, seo, social media and year round support for our business customers.

Https – What is it? And why is it important.

https-important-beacon13

Google wants it. Firefox complains when it’s not there. So what’s the main advantages of https? Why do i need it? And where do I get it?…

What the hell is it?

HTTPS is a secure version of HyperText Transfer Protocol or HTTP for short. The ‘S’ stands for Secure.

It is a method for ensuring secure communication between a user’s browser and a web server. It is often recognised as showing a green address bar or padlock in the browser window to indicate a secure connection.

In short, it makes your website and transactions on it secure and encrypted.

Why do i need it? 

Chrome, Safari and Firefox are making it very clear to users if your website is secure or not. Having https setup correctly will display a little padlock symbol against your domain name. This, if nothing else – suggests you care about your users and potential customers enough to make their transactions and information secure.

Why would anyone give information over a non secure website? This is 2019. In fact they may just leave the site.

I don’t have an e-commerce store, do I still need it?

Again, Yes is the short answer. It’s not critical but it not only makes transactions safe and secure. It will…

  • Speed up your website
  • Improve your Google positioning
  • Look better to your customers and potential customers.

Google is still putting pressure on websites to improve their security. The search engine giants issued a ‘final warning’ in October 2018, which shows that strengthening the SEO impact of HTTPS is being taken very seriously,and so you should think about making the security switch sooner rather than later.

How much does it cost?

Costs vary depending on your hosting configuration but generally it will cost around £100 per year. And a web team might charge a small fee for configuring it for you.

How can I get it setup?

Your first port of call should be your web team or designer. If you’ve setup the website yourself, then try your domain host. Often setting up https can be a tricky process and then there’s a little work involved in re-submitting your website to search engines when the job’s done.

If you need any help please don’t hesitate to contact us at: www.beacon13.com

Selling Christmas turkeys on-line.

turkey e-commerce

When you mention e-commerce, the  first products that spring to mind are perhaps laptops and i phones or flights and hotel rooms. If you told us 6 months ago that we’d selling thousands of turkeys on-line we’d probably have laughed. It seems that our customer’s users did not have the same misconceptions.

For the last few months we’ve been working on not 1 but 2 busy websites that have channelled their focus at this time of year to selling Turkeys and Christmas dinner packages to their clients. with all orders and payments taking place on-line. 

Both McKee’s Country Store and Bradleys of Maghera have been very in-tune with the needs of their customers. They’ve identified that a large portion of their customer base are more than happy to order their Christmas dinner packages on-line. Taking (at least a little of) the hassle out of Christmas. 

McKee’s Country Store & Restaurant

McKee’s is a successful Farm Shop in the Holywood Hills just outside Newtownards. With a great history, tradition and loyal customer base they’ve decided to make things as easy for their customers as possible, allowing to choose from a section of Christmas dinner packages and pay online.

Customers can collect their Turkeys, Veg and desserts on Christmas Eve with a fast track service setup to make the process as hassle free as possible.

Bradley’s Outside Catering & Deli

Bradley’s of Maghera offers more of a deli service for their customers. Understanding their customers they’ve opted to create individual Christmas dinner packages and desserts. They’ve made these available on their website and promote the service on social media.

In both cases Beacon13 has designed, configured and supported the websites, e-commerce stores and payment gateways responsible for this surge of Turkey sales. We hope that no vegan extremists will target us for the death of so many birds. 

Considering e-commerce? 

Beacon13 not only designs and develops world class e-commerce solutions, we also support our clients with growing their business on-line and promoting their new stores. So please feel free to get in touch to discuss your project.

A social media strategy with the Loughs Agency.

Loughs agency digital strategy

The Loughs Agency (based in Derry~Londonderry, on the banks of the river Foyle) is a body that supports and governs marine wildlife and leisure activities in and around Lough Foyle and Carlingford Lough.

In 2018 Beacon13 was commissioned to design, deliver and support a new social media strategy for the agency. The agency would be addressing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn & YouTube. 

As with any strategy or plan we had to establish a baseline. (You must know where you’re at before you can plan where you’re going!). We completed a full report on followers, views, subscribers and friends on social media. 

We then set out to establish the state of each profile and roles on the platform. As with many companies & organisations, we often find a number of accounts on each platform. Sometimes used for departments or brands but often unnecessary.  

We went about consolidating various accounts to give the agency one clear voice on social media. All relevant parties were given access and roles as required.

The agency had a re-branding exercise in conjunction with the new social media strategy. So all profiles needed new logos, background images and associated graphics. 

Once we had all of the above in place we worked with the agency to establish how much time and resources they had to commit to social media. We established their short term and long term goals.

Matching up these two things allowed us to create a strategy for posts, comments, replies, video uploads and post content over time. We also created a schedule and plan for sed activities. 

The Loughs Agency is now well underway with their new strategy and meeting real tangible targets as well as reporting effectively to their board on progress.

We’d like to thank the Loughs Agency for their commitment to Beacon13 and we look forward to supporting them in the future.

5 reasons we love WordPress

wordpress website developers northern ireland

WordPress runs 32% of the internet. More and more of our client’s are asking about WordPress websites and updates. Here’s 5 reasons why…

5. WordPress Plugins allow you to create functionality to suit your business. There’s simple plugins for maps and social feeds but there’s also more complex plugins for property sales, job listings, e-commerce and more. The majority of which are free to install. (Often some functionality is kept for a premium version though.) One of the best plugins is Woo-commerce which essentially turns your website into an e-commerce platform.

4. Yoast makes search optimisation(SEO) super easy. Yoast is a plugin for WP that allows you to change meta data, titles, keywords and descriptions that appear in Google and search engines. Yoast will give you tips to improve your page to better appear in searches. (All you need to to do is get green lights!)

wordpress seo yoast

3. Blogging is still awesome for content marketing. Regular blogging allows you to create and share original content about your business. The added bonus of blogging on your WP site is that your creating loads of relevant content for Google. In short, Google loves blogs!

2. It’s free! Well technically. It’s free to download and install WordPress. And around 90% of the plugins are also free. The cost comes when you’re considering hosting. Hosting a WordPress website requires a little more resources than a static website. (Mostly because there’s a database attached so effectively you’re hosting a website and a database.)

1.  It’s super easy to use! Yep, the number 1 reason our client’s use WordPress and the number 1 reason we’d recommend it is that it’s it sooooo easy to use. Every blogging dashboard in the world has been loosely based on the WP dashboard. It’s simple, clean and work’s nicely on all devices.

Continue reading “5 reasons we love WordPress”

Property website experts? It seems so…

Our property related portfolio is growing exponentially. To a point where we’ve developed a very unique skill set … that’s become very attractive for building developers, estate agents and mortgage companies. 

 At Beacon13 we don’t set out to create a niche in any particular industry. We believe the fundamentals of good #webdesign and #digitalmarketing should apply to all businesses from all industries. Over time, however, like any company, we find ourselves developing skills, experience and popularity in certain industries… like property development.

Property experts

Organically our demography of clients has become very heavy with one particular industry…property. We’ve now developed dozens of websites for building developers, estate agents, mortgage companies and property professionals.

When completing any new project, we’re forced to dissect our client’s business. We look in depth at their customers, their products and services and their business model. To design and build an effective strategy we must have a complete understanding of how the business works and their goals for the foreseeable future.  This allows us to reverse engineer the perfect solution.

Spending 1000s of hours dissecting the property industry, particularly in Ireland, has allowed us to gain unprecedented knowledge of what works and what doesn’t.

Social Media Strategy

Not only are we designing and developing intelligent property solutions for the web; we’re also supporting our property clients with effective social media strategy.

Years of promotional work within property and finance has giving us the experience to help our clients; sell properties fast, signup new customers for finance products, raise brand awareness for their business and fundamentally help them grow in the property industry.

“We support well established companies helping them grow. And we help new businesses to establish a foothold in the industry.”

We look forward to continued growth within the property industry.

To see how Beacon13 can help your company, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

American medical company continues their relationship with Beacon13 for web design and development

beacon13 medical websites

Rennova Health Inc. revisit their relationship with Beacon13 commissioning a new CMS website for their subsidiary; Health Technology Solutions Inc.

Beacon13 has been developing and hosting websites for Rennova Inc since 2017. Among the projects where a series of hospital websites for acquisitions by the US medical firm.

Health Technology Solutions

In 2018 Rennova will be restructuring their company in which the technology arm of their company will fall under the umbrella of Health Technology Solutions Inc.

Rennova have commissioned Beacon13 ltd to provide digital identify, web design, CMS functionality and hosting for the new company. The new project will be hosting in Beacon13’s US dedicated hosting environment.

“We look forward to working with Rennova again and in particular the new HTS team on an exciting health technology web project. We’re well positioned to support HTS with anything they might need to support their digital business journey.”

Hosting

As a US based company to provide speed, security, authenticity and integrity, it’s important to have a dedicated hosting solution based in the US. Beacon13 has created a hosting environment with Microsoft Azure, located in the US to facilitate Rennova and HTS projects.

Beacon13’s relationship with Rennova has been mutually beneficial and we look forward to supporting the Rennova and HTS team in the coming months and years.