Using Digital to combat Brexit.

brexit website digital

Ok, so it’s tricky to prepare for something when you’re not quite sure what that “something” is. But there’s no doubt that Brexit will mean changes for all businesses.

And the best way to prepare for change… DIGITAL! Here’s 5 simple concepts that we implement for businesses that also can be used to combat changes from Brexit.

  1. Get a CMS website. A CMS or “content management system” will allow you to quickly make changes on your website when Brexit happens. You may need to quickly change pricing or terms.
  2. Start a newsletter. A newsletter allows businesses to quickly communicate with their clients and customers at scale. When Brexit happens you may need to quickly update all your customers about changes to your terms or business service. A newsletter is a super quick and simple way to do this.
  3. Start accepting on line payments – This can be a complex e-commerce system or a simple adhoc payment page. Either way, accepting online payments will allow you to work with various currencies and quickly accept payments, deposits sand recurring payments.
  4. Check your legal requirements – Most sites currently have an EU cookie warning, privacy policy and gdpr requirements. As of Brexit, be ready for this to change.
  5. Get your social media ready – You might need to be able to quickly launch a campaign. There’s no faster or better way to do this than with social media. You should have at least one social media profile ready with a decent following. And you should know how to “boost” content, like an offer, a service update or job post.

Beacon13 will be helping their clients through this uncertain time with professional digital support. Cutting the cost of traditional communications whilst raising their business profile on line.

Fix your business’ digital strategy permanently with one thing.

one thing to improve digital small business

If we told you need to do just 1 thing to drive your business on line would you believe us?

Business owners often fret over social media, their website and their digital strategy. “What should we be doing?”…”What should we avoid?”… “Should we do a newsletter?” “What about GDPR?”… “Is Bing really any good? “…”I think it’s all a fad” (Yes, that’s a real comment from a client.)

Digital (by which we mean, your business website, Google, social media, newsletters, e-commerce, business apps, booking systems, industry websites) can be a mind field for business owners. Business owners are engineers, medical professionals, builders, make up artists, retailers, legal professionals, estate agents, mechanics… They are not Digital Marketeers or Web Developers!

So, if we take 2 businesses. Same industry, same business model, similar client base…

Business A) – Business A is absolutely “killing it” on-line. Their website pops, converts customers and accepts payments. They’ve good a good social media following from their customer base. And they keep them well informed with interesting, informative content about products, services and industry news.

Business A is always top of the list in Google & Bing and they create newsletters and videos. Their brand looks really sharp on line.

Business B) – Business B’s website looks like a school project from 2005. Their brand is messy and inconsistent. They have little or no social media presence. They can’t be found on Google, they’ve never heard of Bing and they have no way of accepting a payment on line from anyone.

What’s the difference?

So what has Business A done that’s allowed them to create this on line presence. What knowledge do they have that Business B does not? How do they keep on top of everything and do it so well? They’ve done the 1 thing we’re about to tell you. The secret to a successful on line strategy that any business owner can implement today…

Wait, are you ready for it? Are you sitting down? The 1 thing to do to fix all of your digital woes and generate some real business on line is…

Are Twitter users more intelligent than Facebook users?

twitter iq vs facebook iq

Working in social media marketing we need to understand the types of people that (commonly) use all of the major social media platforms.

Nasty as it may seem – we need to understand things like age, sex, pay grade, marital status, location, shopping trends, social class and even IQ of the main users on each platform.

Who cares?

A lot of people apparently. IQ and intelligence are important factors in finding which types of content will resonate. For example; An article about Quantum Physics might not resonate that well with a young man that’s more interested in who won the match on Saturday. And that’s fine! Each to their own.

But this has brought us to a piece of research that might be interesting and advantageous for people or businesses to know. And note, we did come to this research with some preconceptions. (Which may or may not be debunked.)

The preconception.

Our preconception is that Twitter users, as a whole, are more intelligent than Facebook users. This preconception comes from posting thousands of articles, images and videos across all platforms and seeing that highly intellectual content preforms better on Twitter than Facebook. It just does! Now, does that mean Twitter users are smarter?

Well, here’s the bullet points…

The findings.

  1. A 2019 study finds that Twitter users make more money overall.
  2. Analytics suggest that news, political and science related content is consumed better on Twitter.
  3. Researcher finds small positive statistical correlation with IQ among Facebook users. And no relationship for Twitter users.
  4. Study suggests Twitter users typically smarter and more creative than Facebook users.
  5. Highly “open” individuals were drawn more frequently to Twitter for “intellectual pursuits”

Conclusion

From our (very coarse) research, we can deem there’s no real hard science to suggest Twitter users are smarter. There is however a lot of science to suggest that typical Twitter user and very different from Facebook users. And they use the platforms for very different reasons.

Broadly speaking; Twitter users are indeed looking for intellectual pursuits, news and informative content. Facebook users are looking for entertainment, photos and family/community content.

For help in using your website, Twitter or Facebook to further your business, get in touch with the Beacon13 team.

Environmental Consulting Engineers launch their new website with a recruitment drive for Senior & Graduate Engineers.

Patrick McCaul Environmental Consulting Engineers Ltd. is a highly respected Building Services Engineering Consultancy with a creative and motivated team of engineers, designers and associated technical personnel.

This Company has developed significant expertise in the sustainable energy sector over several years. It specialises in addressing the needs of the internal environment by providing consultancy on energy conservation, low carbon / energy design strategies and the incorporation of sustainable energy systems for both existing and new builds.

Website Launch

PMC took a massive step digitally in June 2019 to develop both their business & digital strategy. Now successfully in partnership with Beacon13 Ltd, they have recreated a brand unique in its industry, a website that only reflects the true authenticity and true professionalism of the PMC.

With a surge in demand for talented Senior Engineers and Graduate Engineers across the construction industry in both UK & Ireland, PMC are having to adapt their recruitment approach in order to acquire and retain quality talent.

The challenge therefore is how the industry can better align job demands and employee skills, and so beacon13 came up with a digital solution for recruitment across the board.

Recruitment Drive

Orchestrating a recruitment drive for a large organisation such as PMC is more than simply filling roles with applicants who meet the required skill sets.

In preparation for the interviews, PMC took a unique approach which was devised to curate a dream-team effort, in order to attract a large volume of potentially-right candidates in a timely and cost-effective manner.

The drive was the first step in introducing potential candidates to what PMC where about, core values and a very detailed description of the career involved.

In addition to the recruitment drive , Beacon13 also thought it was essential for advertisements on traditional media, outreach on digital channels was necessary to maximising engagement. For instance, LinkedIn targeted a specific audience, helping to spread the word across the construction industry.

LOOKING FOR A NEW CAREER IN ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING?

Check out PMC’s careers, page if you think you have what it takes.

https://www.pmccaul.com/engineering-careers

The 5 coolest business apps of 2019.

business apps northern ireland

We have the pleasure of working alongside the most ELITE businesses in Northern Ireland, so we asked over 100 NI businesses, which business software proves most successful for their business…

1. MailChimp

MailChimp is one of the biggest names in email marketing software, unlike virtually all competitors, MailChimp offers a free plan. As in permanently free.

Newsletters, Campaigns with Built-in analytics

Mailchimp is a email marketing tool, basically it allows you to regularly engage with your audience via the use of email. This usually involves sending out a regular email newsletter with updates, special offers, information and advice. If you have a blog it would also include links to your latest blog posts.

Email marketing is absolutely key in reaching your potential customer base. It is the cornerstone of building a digital business.

Beacon13 recommends MailChimp for email marketing.

2. Quotient

Quotient is super-intuitive online quoting software that lets you create, send and manage your quotes. You’ll save time and make more money with Quotient. Need we say anymore!

Beacon13 recommends Quotient for quoting software for small to medium businesses!

Great looking Quotes with a competitive edge

Your quotes will look great, and receiving them over email makes doing business easy for your customer. The whole process can give you the edge you need over any potential competitors.

Easily add images, files or website links directly on your Quotes, and give your customer everything they need to make a decision.

3. Xero

Xero is beautiful accounting software that helps you do mundane bookkeeping tasks faster, so you can enjoy more time doing the things that matter to you.

Beacon13 recommends Xero for Accounting software, for making tax digital!

Accounting software for “on the go”, simple and effective.

Xero can automatically handle tasks that used to take up all of your time. From importing bank transactions to sending invoice reminders, we’ll do the work for you.

With all your data stored safely and in one place, it’s easy to get a snapshot of how your business is tracking. You can also invite your accountant or bookkeeper into Xero so they’ll ensure you meet all your tax obligations.Make payroll a walk in the park!

Look after your staff with Xero Payroll and drive profitability on your projects with Xero Projects. It’s fully integrated with Xero so you can keep all your business information in one handy place.

It’s easy to access all your data and Xero tools from anywhere – just connect to the internet. Plus, keep all your essentials like invoicing and payroll at your fingertips with Xero’s mobile app.

4. Twilio

If you have used online banking, Airbnb, or Netflix, you have probably used Twilio. In fact, Twilio powers communications for over 40,000 businesses around the world.

Beacon13 recommends Twilio for text alerts to engage customers.

Text alerts for your customers

Simply put, Twilio is a developer platform for communications. Software teams use Twilio APIs to add capabilities like voice, video, and messaging to their applications. This enables businesses to provide the right communications experience for their customers.

Behind Twilio APIs is a Super Network, a software layer that connects and optimises communications networks around the world. This is what allows your users to reliably call and message anyone anytime.

With Twilio, you can reach customers in the ways they prefer, and engage with them effectively using context related to that interaction. As customer experience can increasingly make or break your brand, programmable communications has become more crucial than ever to the success of businesses today.

5. Sitechecker Pro

Good SEO is vital for any business website

Compliance with search engine guidelines is an important factor for the success of your website. The Sitechecker Pro analyses your website and gives you tips on optimising your site for a long-term success in search engine optimisation.

Beacon 13 - recommends that every business do a SEO checker on their website. Every website in today's world should have GOOD to excellent SEO.

Simply, to implement good SEO practices, its great to have a tool that’s got your back. Did I mention that it’s FREE?…

Beacon13 are digital professionals, we are here to help your business grow digitally. If you’re thinking about a website refresh, or need a partner in digital , give us a call today on: 02879549627. 

Here’s 5 reasons Woo-Commerce can turn your website into a revenue machine.

Woo-Commerce - Business eCommerce store - Beacon13
Woo-Commerce, Let Beacon13 transform your eCommerce website into a online revenue machine.

What is Woo-Commerce?

It’s a plugin for WordPress that will transform any website into a very powerful online store. It has everything you need all under one roof. It’s simple to use, robust & secure. Think of it as your online business revenue machine.

So…What’s the BIG deal?

You could pretty much sell anything and it’s incredible easy to use! If you want to sell something, you can sell it with Woo-Commerce. That includes physical products, digital products, subscriptions, appointments, and much more.

Woo-Commerce is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms worldwide.

It’s Free… Yup Free as a bird.

Woo-Commerce is competitive with leading enterprise eCommerce applications, but because it’s free, any business or entrepreneur can take advantage of it. Now that’s what you call a level playing field.

Unlimited Plugins & Awesome Features.

Just like WordPress, Woo-Commerce includes an extensive range of features that can be extended with the addition of plugins. Businesses who use Woo-Commerce benefit from access to thousands of WordPress plugins & themes as well as hundreds of eCommerce-specific extensions built just for Woo-Commerce. It’s your one stop shop.

Woo-Commerce, you'll find everything you need. - Call Beacon13 today - for some crucial advice on eCommerce.
With over 100+ plugins associated with Woo-Commerce, you’ll find everything you need.
Are you ready for Tax going Digital?

When managing an online store with payments, security is crucial. Woo-Commerce is built on WordPress, the software that runs 26% of the web. Regularly audited by Sucuri, an industry leader in security, so you can rest assure you’re in good hands.

Tax is going digital in Early 2020, every business owner, self employed or sole trader you should be thinking about taking payments online, whether you are a retailer, accountant, estate agent, builder, hairdresser or a charity everyone should take payment’s online!

The simplicity for both you and your customer/client is undeniable, they pay quickly, you get paid fast. Online payments give you the added backup of invoices and statements stored online, perfectly ready for that dreaded tax return!

Payment Gateways - WooCommerce, Beacon13 - Digital Media.
Over 100 payment methods available.
You can design the way YOU want.

Not only does Woo-Commerce have endless themes to suit most, you can totally customise your Woo-Commerce store to stand out from the crowd. Pretty awesome isn’t it? Not only do you have all the Themes to help begin, but you can ideally create your own awesome design, with the help of the experts…

Awesome Analytics & SEO built in.

We all know the importance of SEO and managing the growth of your business website with analytics. It’s hard staying on top of it all, with WordPress – Woo-Commerce, you have it all in the one manageable place.

Woo-Commerce - Built in - google Analytics and SEO Yoast
Woo-Commerce – Built in – Google Analytics and SEO.

The more you know about your customers and the way they interact with your store and its products, the better. Woo-Commerce have you covered.


Can any business website use Woo-Commerce?

Unfortunately Woo-Commerce is an eCommerce plugin for WordPress websites. Good News is we can help…check out our article on WordPress for everything you need to know about WordPress websites.

Get a Quick Quote to change your current business website to a WordPress site & join the 2.3 million eCommerce websites around the world.

In short, because Woo-Commerce provides a complete eCommerce solution that is fast, easy to use, and can adapt to the needs of any eCommerce business, it’s bloody amazing and if your not on it already… I would recommend it. I’ve had my fair share of eCommerce platforms… and this one ticked all my boxes.

If you are struggling with your current eCommerce website or even thinking about taking payments online, talk to Beacon13, we can advise whats best for your business.

McKee’s Pies kicks off a new era with home delivery and on line store.

mckees website with beacon13. directors conor o'kane and paul gibson

McKee’s started off as a traditional family butchers in 1898. Over 120 years later they’re bringing their traditional recipes on line with a new website and home delivery service.

The elite butchers (based in Maghera) have seen a steady growth of the company from the mid 80s. The growth came mainly from a timely response to changing times.

order on line mckees pies
start your order now at McKeesPies.com

McKee’s started producing pies and convenience foods just around the time that women (Sorry gents, but that’s who did the shopping in those days) were looking for such products.

McKee’s pies, stuffing and scotch eggs are now household names across Northern Ireland. And the company delivers these products to over 150 stockists as well as selling direct to the customer from their Maghera base.

When opportunity strikes…

It’s in the “direct to the customer” part that McKee’s have noticed an opportunity. McKee’s have a wonderful brand, a loyal local customer base and a fleet of vans on the roads every day. This lends itself naturally to a home delivery service.

McKees new website at mckeespies.com

The missing piece of the pie? (forgive the pun)… A shiny new website that allows customers to order McKee’s products on line. This is where Beacon13 comes in. The Beacon13 team have created a WordPress website with Woo-commerce, Paypal Payments, Email alerts and more.

We’ve added all of McKee’s product lines and worked with the McKee’s team to create packages for family dinners, occasions and parties. We’ve given the website some of McKee’s branding and styling to reflect their shop, the factory and product packaging.

All in all, providing the same wonderful McKee’s experience, but now on your phone or desktop from the comfort of your own home.

No mean feat.

McKee’s understand that a new approach to the sale of their product won’t be easy. Although the company is well versed in selling their products in-store and to their trade customers, the internet sales and home delivery service will be a whole new challenge.

McKee’s will initially trial the service to the (very) local market first. Only addresses within a 20 mile radius can avail of the home delivery service at present. This will allow McKee’s to build up an understanding of their customers expectations when it comes to ordering on line.

Ultimately McKee’s want to offer the same level of quality on line as they do in-store. So they’ve given themselves a little time to make sure this happens.

Beacon13 will be on hand to help them perfect their new digital venture.


Try out McKee’s new home delivery service at www.mckeespies.com

The almighty power of SEO…

Business Owners - Let's Talk about SEO

SEO helps small business owners create fast, robust, and user-friendly websites that rank higher in search engines, which in turn helps bring more qualified potential customers to their sites and eventually increases conversion rates. In many respects it’s simply quality control for websites.

Here’s 3 tips on boosting your website with SEO.

Keyword Research – It all begins with words typed into a search box. Keyword research is one of the most important and valuable in the search marketing field. Ranking for the right keywords can make or break your website. By researching your market’s keyword demand, you can not only learn which terms and phrases to target with SEO.

Keep it simple – Well-structured, clean, and uncluttered websites compels a casual visitor to stay longer, thereby decreasing bounce rate and increasing page views. Build relevant content and solve their problems, they came to your site for a reason, make it happen!

Implement your keyword research – Make sure your keywords are within your meta descriptions and meta-tags, titles, headings. Oh and check your URL slug, make sure it’s simple and relevant.

Besides, one of the main reasons for having a website is to stand out from your competition and increase sales.

More traffic, more engagements, more sales.

For small business owners SEO is the KEY to digital success.

Check your websites SEO ranking  here :

Ready for the next level? Call or email Beacon13 – We’re your SEO experts.

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