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How are you doing?
If you quite rightly tossed your 2020 calendar in the recycling bin, I can confirm that we are now officially in the final third of the year!
I’m thankful that August brought quite a mix of jobs to PJWD towers to keep me and Bo occupied between walks.
I launched some new updates to the Heaton Hops website (https://pauljardine.co.uk/case-studies/heaton-hops-web-shop/) , including adding a product search bar and filters to help customers find drinks easier. We also did a 1-2-1 SEO training session to help promote products to a UK audience in addition to local customers.
Work continued on the Crafted Shutters website (https://www.craftedshutters.co.uk/) which we’ve been redesigning together page by page throughout the year.
I optimised several older sites for businesses here and in America to make them load faster. We shaved a whole 3 seconds off the North Western Models website (https://northwesternmodels.co.uk/) load time after moving it to a better hosting company (https://www.34sp.com/) .
Katya Willems (https://easyinstamcr.com/) also joined me for some training and consultancy sessions, and I’m excited to be offering these more widely as a new service (see below).
Thank you to everyone who’s continued working with me this year as we all adapt to whatever lies ahead. As ever I’m blown away by your resilience and ability to find positives and new ideas in a pretty bad situation.
Here’s what you can read about in this month’s newsletter:
* The importance of great photography for small businesses (#photos)
* Should you work with a web designer or use a template for your site? (#custom)
* SEO fro Small Businesses: next workshop dates (#workshops)
* Bo shares his blogging tips (#bo’s tips)
* New service: Power hour (and a half) (#power hour)
In the second post in my series of guest blogs by the awesome people on my recommendations (https://pauljardine.co.uk/recommendations/) list, stylist and photographer Jodie Thackray of Styling Sustainably (https://www.stylingsustainably.com/) shares her thoughts around the importance of photography for small businesses.
“With one click of a camera you have the power to capture moments and share stories,” says Jodie. She also explains how good photography is much more than a ‘nice to have’ for your business; it can elevate your brand, improve your SEO, increase your visibility and sales, and form connections with people.
Not bad for something that can be achieved with the click of a button!
Read Jodie’s post (https://pauljardine.co.uk/blog/the-importance-of-great-photography-for-small-businesses/)
I get asked this quite often so I thought I’d share my thoughts to help people planning to set up a new website.
No prizes for correctly guessing which side of the debate I’m on! But you might be surprised to hear that despite my belief that a template can just not compare to the benefits of a custom site, I fully appreciate that not everyone will have the budget or indeed the need to have a custom site right from the start.
That’s why I wanted to give you some of the pros and cons of both template sites and custom sites, so you can weight them up and make an informed decision!
Read the post (https://pauljardine.co.uk/blog/should-i-work-with-a-web-designer-or-use-a-template/)
After a bit of a break over the summer, we are back to learning about SEO! The next two SEO for Small Business workshop sessions (https://pauljardine.co.uk/seo-workshop-for-beginners/) will run online, with small groups, practical tips, and a whole lot of knowledge!
You don’t need any coding experience to come along, and word on the street is that these workshops are easy to understand and jargon free (Sarah from Another AI said: “I can honestly say I’ve never met anyone that’s made this stuff so accessible and easy to understand.”)
The next two workshops will be on:
* Tuesday 15 September: 10am - 12:30pm (3 available)
* Wednesday 14 October: 10am - 12:30pm (1 available)
There are spaces available in each session at £75 each.
Find out more and book (https://pauljardine.co.uk/seo-workshop-for-beginners/)
** Bo’s Top Tips:
Getting the most from your blog
Paw-dcasts are great, but I still love getting my teeth into a good blog.
I bet your audience is the same!
Here’s how you can use blogging to connect with the right people and grow your business.
Demonstrate your expertise. Your blog posts are a great format for getting into more detail than you can on social media, and to really show off that you know what you’re talking about.
Get keywords onto your site. Every blog post is a new opportunity for you to include keywords on your site to show Google what you’re all about.
Provide support materials for your customers. By providing extra value to your customers, you are showing them that you care about them.
Social media fuel. Your blog content is great for sharing on social channels, generating discussion and giving people a new reason to visit your site.
Don’t forget that Paul’s blog is a searchable archive full of website advice and articles (https://pauljardine.co.uk/blog/) for small businesses!
Some business owners want nothing to do with the intricacies of web design, even for their own sites. Others love building, maintaining and updating their sites themselves.
No matter which side of the fence you’re on, I can help. If you want to pass your website to me, I’ll take good care of it with my web design packages (https://pauljardine.co.uk/services/web-design/) . And if you prefer dipping into my expertise as and when you need it, then I have a brand new offering for you!
My new power hour (and a half) service (https://pauljardine.co.uk/services/power-hour/) gives you the chance to pick my brains around a particular challenge, for example your analytics or improving specific pages on your site.
I can also spend half a day with you, coding and designing bits on your site alongside you.
Starting from £90, this is one of my most accessible services and could be the perfect way for you to get access to a website pro at a fraction of the cost of hiring me for a full project.
Get the power (hour)! (https://pauljardine.co.uk/services/power-hour/)
Take care until next time,
PS. If you liked this newsletter, please send it onto someone who might find it useful!
Good Websites for Good People
** Twitter (https://twitter.com/pjwebdesign)
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