An image of a man pointing a finger at a laptop screen whilst another person uses the touchpad.

Website Maintenance - Why It Matters And What You Can Do

What Is Website Maintenance?

Contrary to popular belief, a website is never “done”. 

Sure, there are very set stages in a website build process, resulting in the delivery of a “final” product, but that’s only the start of the journey.

Once a website has been launched, it requires frequent maintenance in order to get the most out of your investment – without this, you’re likely leaving some significant results on the table and potentially allowing your website to become something that damages your brand instead of benefiting it.

An image of various tools used for DIY

A common metaphor for website maintenance is that of a vehicle’s MOT. 

Pretend you’ve gone and purchased the fanciest, most expensive, top-of-the-range car off the forecourt. It looks, drives, and sounds amazing.

Then, for the next few years, ignore any warning lights, services, oil changes, or tyre changes and never get it cleaned.

Chances are you’re going to have some faulty features and, at worst, something that’s potentially now dangerous.

It’s the same for your website.

Why Does Website Maintenance Matter?

There are a number of reasons why website maintenance matters, but none of them are more important than this: if you invest in a website, you want a return on this investment in some way, shape, or form.

A picture of an engine in a car

If that’s an e-commerce website, then you want sales. If you’re chasing lead generation, it might be phone calls or form submissions. 

To put it simply: your website is there to serve a purpose. 

Regular maintenance ensures that you’re getting the most out of your investment, avoiding potential downtime (which costs you money) and making sure your content is fresh, up-to-date and doing its job.

Let’s take a look at what this means for a few key areas…


I’ve grouped SEO and UX as there are many similarities between the two disciplines, and what matters to search engines is increasingly what matters to people too. 

Regular maintenance ensures that your site is responding to changes in algorithms, which can be pretty vital to the organic reach of your website

By keeping up to date with industry developments, you can ensure that you are not only maintaining previous progress but retrospectively bringing your entire site and content up to speed at regular intervals.

Your website is there to provide value to site visitors. It can’t do this if they’re not visiting, and they won’t visit if you’re not being shown to them on search engine results pages.

When they’re actually on your site, you want to leave a positive impression – that’s why keeping on top of your page speed, fixing broken links and page elements, ensuring your site is fully responsive and making sure content is up to date are all vital to long term success.

A man on a laptop using Google Search


You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but you probably do. People are picky – so picky, in fact, that the average person takes just 0.05 seconds to form an initial impression of your website.

If your content is riddled with spelling mistakes, images that won’t load, slow pages and out-of-date blogs, people will judge your website negatively and by extension consider your business to be amateur.

Regular maintenance ensures that you are giving yourself the best chance of generating a favorable response and engaging your audience to consider your brand authoritative and trustworthy!

Site Security

Finally, we have site security. Keeping your website secure is of paramount importance, and it’s often something that business owners overlook, sometimes to their peril!

Keeping admin permissions up-to-date, changing passwords, updating plugins, SSL certificates, hosting and regularly backing up your website can all contribute to securing your site and protecting your content.

How Do I Maintain A Website?

Good site maintenance is performed regularly, with different tasks requiring attention at different intervals. Whilst this list is not exhaustive, here’s some tasks split into weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly maintenance to get you started!

Weekly Maintenance Checklist

  • Check your web pages for obvious errors in loading or content.
  • Ensure your site is backed up and that previous versions of your site have backed up successfully.
  • Check for broken external and internal links.
  • Check for errors or redirects.
  • Check that your contact/submission forms are functioning properly.
  • Post keyword driven content to your blog.
  • Reply to blog comments and clear spammy entries.
  • Check Social Media feeds work & sharing functions are operating correctly.

Monthly Maintenance Checklist

  • Conduct a site speed test and ensure you follow any recommended actions.
  • Review your website analytics and identify any opportunities for optimisation.
  • Review SEO audits and follow recommended actions.
  • Review security scans & update plugins.
  • Test site across different browsers.

An image of a man pointing a finger at a laptop screen whilst another person uses the touchpad.

Quarterly Maintenance Checklist

  • Conduct a full SEO review and analyse organic traffic compared to last quarter.
  • Conduct a full site performance audit, analysing performance compared to last quarter and tracking your progress towards key objectives.
  • Check all graphics and images are loading, optimised and accurate.
  • Test your site across all devices to ensure responsiveness.
  • Optimise your forms, buttons and calls to action.
  • Review admin accounts, alter/remove permissions and update passwords if necessary.
  • Check for any algorithm updates/industry news that could affect your performance.

Yearly Maintenance Checklist

  • Renew your domain and SSL certificates.
  • Compare hosting packages and renew, update or change hosting provider.
  • Conduct a full website audit and consider major updates or redesign.
  • Update statistics, links, copyright symbols, and anything related to the current year (such as your footer copyright claim).
  • Conduct a full and comprehensive audit of your copy to ensure it is still reflective of your business practice, prices, and update your portfolio, testimonials, etc.
  • Review your blog – identify your top performing content and see if it can be further optimised.
  • Remove outdated content or features that no longer serve your site.

Can We Help You Maintain Your Website?


To continue my metaphor of maintaining a vehicle…

Sometimes you might want to invest time and effort into fixing your car yourself.

Other times, you might think it’s more appropriate to leave it to the experts and book it into the garage.

We can help maintain your website, regardless of whether we built it or not. 

We have a variety of support packages available, as well as SEO packages for content production too.

Get in touch with us today for an obligation-free chat and we’ll see where we can add value and help you get the most out of your website!

A Card Purchase for Coffee Using a Card Reader

Customer Retention - What It Is, How To Track It, And Why It Matters!

Why Does Customer Retention Matter?

If you’re looking to grow your business, improve your profit margin, have greater success with introducing new products and services and, generally, want to build a following of loyal customers, then you need to start paying attention to retention.

Regardless of your industry, repeat custom should be at the forefront of your mind when thinking about the future of your business, its objectives and strategy. 

Of course, for your business to achieve real growth you must balance a steady stream of new buyers with repeat customers, but we’ve found that so many small business owners aren’t aware just how important retention is to their success…

Here’s why…

A Card Purchase for Coffee Using a Card Reader

Repeat Custom Is Great For Your Bottom Line

We’ll start with the most fundamentally important reason: if you ignore your existing customers, your bottom line will suffer.

It costs you 5% more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep an existing one, and a mere 5% increase in retention can boost profitability by anywhere between 25-95%

So, it’s not only cheaper to retain customers (a statement over 80% of companies are in agreement with) but retained customers can, with the right approach, have a tremendous positive impact on your profit margin.

It’s also much, much easier to sell to existing customers than it is to convince new customers to shop with you.

That’s because you’ve already done the hard work – they’re familiar with your product/service offering and know what to expect. 

In fact, whilst the probability of selling to a new customer is around a 5-20% chance, the probability of selling to an existing customer is between 60-70%!

Those are numbers you can’t ignore.

How Can I Help Boost Repeat Customers?

There are many ways that small businesses can build repeat custom. Here are three important ways that you, as a small business owner, can look to retain existing customers and turn them into loyal purchasers of your products/services.

Think Long Term

We’ve found that the first thing a business owner can do is recognise the value of long-lasting customer relationships. 

It’s incredibly easy to get obsessively focused on boosting new sales and focusing on metrics to do with widening your customer base. 

Of course, this is still incredibly important for solid growth, but not at the expense of existing customers. 

It can be hard to see why this matters so much, but the data doesn’t lie. The average repeat customer spends nearly 70% more with your business 2.5 years into your relationship than they do in the first 6 months.

Rather than focusing on immediate results, you should consider the lifetime value of your customers and see them as long term assets as opposed to short term profit makers. 

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is an incredibly important metric that allows you to identify exactly that. 

Take a look at the below infographic and equation to see how it is measured:

An infographic showing how to measure customer lifetime value

Source: Netsuite

CLV = Average Transaction Size x Number of Transactions x Retention Period

Whilst there may be significant nuances and caveats to this figure, it will hopefully help you think of customers on a more long-term basis.

Comparing your cost of acquisition to your CLV not only enables you to see how profitable a customer is over time, but it’s also a fundamentally important way of seeing if your business is sustainable, viable and geared towards long-term growth.

That’s why a 10% increase in customer retention equates to a 30 percent increase in the value of a company!

So, if you’re not tracking these metrics, it might be time to invest in a Customer Relationship Management system (CRM) or other system that allows you to easily determine the metrics needed.

Provide The Best Customer Experience

So, now you’re aware of just how important retention is, you probably want to know a bit more about how you can achieve it…

Providing a fantastic customer experience is at the heart of any customer retention strategy – a statement nearly 90% of businesses agree with.  That’s because satisfied customers are 87% more likely to purchase upgrades to their current purchase or invest in new services.

So how do you keep them satisfied?

Providing a good buying experience means considering all the touchpoints a customer might have with you during their journey. Everything from that initial phone call or email right through to delivery contributes to their overall satisfaction, and one blip along the way can ruin all of your previous hard work.

According to a recent study, nearly 50% of customers would take their business to a competitor within one day of receiving poor customer service. There’s not a lot of margin for error!

The truth is, it’s hard to impress people. You won’t do it by accident! Nearly 70% of customers agree that their standards are higher than ever – whilst this might seem like bad news, we see it as an opportunity to stand out from the crowd.

To truly master this, you will need to map out every touchpoint and identify what is important to focus on at each stage.

A group of people planning UX for a website

For example, here’s a few points a service based business might make regarding early stages of acquisition:

A lot of customer experience boils down to a few key elements:

  1. Swift, warm and accurate communication.
  2. Keeping to promises.
  3. A product/service that matches expectations.
  4. Being available when they need to speak to you how they want to speak to you.
  5. Be obsessed with the customer – actively enquire about their experience, monitor data and constantly improve your service.

That last point may seem obvious, but 97% of customers say salespeople don’t ask enough about their needs. If you’re not talking to your customers, how on earth are you going to know what they’re after?

Many first impressions stem from your digital presence – whether that’s social media or your business’ website. We designed our website design service specifically with this in mind, so that you can be sure that no matter how your customers are finding you, they’re provided with a seamless, intuitive experience.

Invest In Marketing & Give Rewards

80 percent of businesses rely on some form of email marketing for customer retention & 56 percent of businesses see email marketing as the most effective method of reaching customer retention goals.

Social media is a close second, with frequent touchpoints and a focus on engaging customers through posts, comments and interactions seeing fantastic results; nearly 40% of retail professionals state that organic search drives customer retention too.

And that’s without mentioning mobile messaging, retargeting ads, apps, and PPC

There are countless ways that small businesses can boost their retention, but they all require one thing: investment.

Failure to invest money and resources into retention strategies may be a very costly mistake, and if you’re not currently doing so you may be leaving a lot of money on the table.

There are plenty of ways to cultivate retention with a lower budget, so there’s no excuse! Social media can be invested in with nothing more than time; email marketing has one of the best ROIs of any channel (an average return of $36 for every $1 spent); and SEO content strategies can provide value long after your initial investment!

Another way businesses can foster customer loyalty is, no surprises here…Loyalty plans!

A woman purchasing with contactless card in a shop

58% of customers that use a loyalty program purchase from that brand at least once a month, and 83% of customers say joining a loyalty or reward program will ensure repeat visits/purchases.

This doesn’t have to be some convoluted points system that’s impossible to track or reward, it can be as simple as your local cafe’s card & stamp system! 

Just make sure that you’re rewarding loyalty – let your customers know that you value their repeat custom – nearly 70% of customers enjoy getting surprise gifts, and that’s certain to leave a lasting, positive impression.

How Can We Help You With Customer Retention?

We can help with customer retention across many digital touchpoints – we can help you build or optimise a user-focused website or e-commerce store, partner with you on performance driven SEO campaigns, help you create a visually consistent and impactful social media presence and much, much more.

The best place to start is an obligation-free chat – get in touch today to find out how we can help provide your customers with a fantastic user experience across digital touchpoints.

Mobile purchasing on an E-commerce Store

Is E-commerce Still Worth It In 2023? 5 Facts You Need To Know

The e-commerce industry has been growing at an unprecedented rate in recent years. But with the rise of online shopping giants and a waning pandemic, is selling online still worth it in 2023? 

The answer is yes.

Whether you’re an aspiring dropshipper or experienced e-commerce entrepreneur, there are 5 important facts we think you should know about the state of the e-commerce industry.

E-commerce is still growing - in fact, it never slowed down

At this point, it’s fairly well known that the pandemic played a significant role in the surge of online retail sales in 2020. 

From 2019 to 2020 alone, online leaped from 13.8% to 17.8% (Statista) as a global percentage of sales. Now, compare that to a previous jump of 1.6% YoY growth the year prior.

So, this was clearly an anomaly, right? Yes and no. As a matter of fact, e-commerce continues to show no signs of slowing, and the momentum from 2020 has continued to gather. 

Despite a slowing global market, conflict in Europe, and a struggling supply infrastructure, online retail sales are expected to account for 21% of all global retail sales in 2022. Better yet, future projections are even brighter with online shoppers expected to make up 24.5% of all global retail by 2025.

Did you know e-commerce only accounted for 7.4% of retail commerce in 2015 compared to 21% in 2022?

Whether we like it or not, people just prefer to shop at home

A leading cause of failure for businesses is the inability to react and adapt to the wants and needs of their customers. 

For a large, and growing, portion of the population (particularly younger generations), purchasing goods and services from the comfort of our homes is simply preferred over bustling, busy markets. 

That isn’t to say the high street is dead – not yet, at least; and although the Covid Pandemic triggered a surge in online commerce and accelerated online sales growth, the trajectory was already set in stone.

Mobile is completely taking over e-commerce

Does it surprise you that 72.9% of all online sales in 2021 were made on mobile phones? Compare that to roughly half (52.4%) in 2016.

These figures are astonishing and really do highlight the behavioural changes of consumers globally. If you’re looking to start your own online business and want one thing to take away from this article, let it be this: optimise for mobile, optimise for mobile, optimise for mobile

How often have you visited a website looking to buy something you know you need – credit card at hand – only to be completely dissuaded by slow loading times and an exhausting user interface? 

You should be an easy conversion – a guaranteed customer, only you weren’t, due to a few simple mobile optimisations lacking on the store.Just to put things into perspective, e-commerce sites can gain a 35% increase in conversation rates with an optimised checkout page. Now, imagine the edge you could have over your competitors if you simply ensure your website experience is smooth on mobile phones!

Dropshipping is definitely not dead

The dropshipping business model is fantastic for entrepreneurs who are looking to start their own business with low up-front investment and fewer risks. You don’t have to worry about manual fulfilment and you don’t need to rent a warehouse or purchase bulk stock.

In fact, dropshipping is how we first started in e-commerce!

Yet, many online have preached ‘dropshipping is dead!’ as e-commerce explodes and advertising is becoming more efficient than ever.

Alibaba, an international Chinese supplier and one of the largest players in dropshipping reported an increase of 29% year-over-year revenue from 2020 to 2021.

If you’re looking to test the waters of e-commerce, there’s no better business model than dropshipping. Later down the line, if you’ve managed to find a successful product and profitable business model, you can always order stock directly and even brand your own packaging. This will not only improve your shipping times, but you could improve your profitability significantly.

With market growth comes further competition

The importance of having a high quality brand and visually appealing website in 2022 can’t be overstated. Consumers on social media are increasingly bombarded with retail advertising, and each year more and more people start their own online businesses.

What does this mean? Advertising costs are increasing. This year alone, Facebook’s average CPC (Cost Per Click) has increased to $0.44 compared to $0.38 in 2021, according to AdEspresso. Acquiring customers is becoming more expensive.

This is why it is essential that your product offering and e-commerce store is conversion optimised, easy to navigate and beautifully designed. If you’re looking for a high quality e-commerce store, there are many qualified and highly professional designers and specialists out there. Wilkes Wood have specialised in web design for over 4+ years – feel free to email or give us a call at any time and we’ll be happy to chat about your project!

A photograph of James Littlewood, Fred Ostrovskis and Tom Palmer stood together.

Company Update: It Was Our Birthday (& Happy New Year!)

Happy Birthday To…Us!

It’s official, Wilkes Wood is now 4 years old, and what a fantastic 4 years it has been. The past twelve months have been really transformative to the business, so I thought I’d quickly break down some of the highlights…

A photograph of James Littlewood, Fred Ostrovskis and Tom Palmer stood together.

To kick things off, we welcomed Tom into the business – he’s had such a massive impact on the value we’ve been able to provide our clients that I’m not sure how we were able to cope without him.

Through Tom, we’ve been able to improve our e-commerce offering, benefiting greatly from his wealth of experience across platforms, strategy, and delivery. Tom has his own successful e-commerce stores, all on Shopify, so knows the space inside and out – who better to have on hand when you’re making the move online?

We’ve also added comprehensive SEO services to our offering, which we absolutely love. It means we’re able to support clients on a long-term basis and really drive results from their website, and the impact it’s had on our client’s organic traffic has been wonderful to see.

Here’s a blog post we’ve written all about SEO and what it can do for your business.

In other news, I’ve managed to complete my MSc degree in Digital Marketing and Data Analytics, graduating with merit. I’ve written a bit more about this experience here if you’re interested in what I learned and how I’m using this knowledge to bring benefit to our clients. 

We’ve also really kicked off our LinkedIn presence, something we’re finding great enjoyment in as we get to follow clients, and industry news and keep in the loop with the local community. You can follow Wilkes Wood here and my personal page here.

It was about time we turned our attention to our own website too, which has now been updated with a new version aiming to provide a much better user experience on our blog, which we have great plans for, as well as sitewide improvements to improve accessibility.

Of course, the real highlight here is another year working with you – our valued clients. We’ve worked on some fantastic projects over the last twelve months – take a look at our portfolio to see a bit more about them.

We couldn’t do any of this without you trusting us as your web and design partner. 

So, from all of us, thank you. We wouldn’t be here without you…

A photograph of a firework in a starry night sky

Whilst we’ve had a fantastic year of growth and development, we know the last year has not been easy for small businesses and that some of you have had a really tough time keeping your heads above the water.

We just wanted to take a moment to wish you the very best for next year, wherever you fit into the picture.

We hope the festive period has given you the time and space you need to reflect on the last 12 months, so you can return energised and determined as ever to make 2023 a productive and successful year for you, your family, and business.

For all of our clients, friends and network, thank you for supporting us – we wouldn’t be here without you, and we hope we’ve done our bit to return the favour.

We wish you a happy new year.

See you in 2023!

Exploring Our Web Design Process

Great websites don’t happen by accident, they require thorough planning and research, as well as a carefully considered structural foundation.

When you partner with a web design agency like Wilkes Wood, your experience depends as much on the journey as a whole as it does on the final delivered product. 

A screenshot of a website wireframe

It’s all very well getting a good website at the end of it, but if you’ve hated your experience along the way, you’re not going to leave satisfied (and neither are we!)

The good news is that a tried and tested web design process not only provides the best experience possible for you throughout the build, but it also enables us to create the very best website for your business or project.

In this blog post, we’ll be breaking down the different stages of our website development process to help you understand what your journey will look like when working with us to develop your new website.

Web Design Process Overview.

Here are the 6 stages in our overall process:

  1. Discovery Phase
  2. Planning Phase
  3. Design Phase
  4. Development Phase
  5. Launch & Handover
  6. Post-Launch

These phases take you from the beginning of a project right through to launch and handover, as well as ongoing support and maintenance. 

Regardless of whether we’re building you a single-page brochure site or a complex multi-page website, this process will guide the entire process and ensure you’re able to be as hands-on as you’d like to be throughout the build.

Phase 1 – Discovery

Discovery is all about fact-finding. We want to understand exactly where you are now, where you’d like to be, and how we can best fit into that picture to help you get there.

Discovery starts as soon as you reach out to us, and usually takes the form of an introductory meeting, either on Zoom or in person.

This is a chance to discuss the budget and deadlines, and to get a preliminary idea of the scale, complexity, and purpose of the project. 

Some clients come to us with these things very much clear in their heads, but that’s not an expectation at this stage. We can help take your ideas and objectives and figure out exactly what we could make with you to achieve them.

Although these discussions may vary from project to project, this phase of the web design process is about discovering the real purpose of your website, who you are targeting, and what the competitive landscape looks like.

That means we can start from a place of unity and understanding, and ensure that we’re best placed to deliver value.

A black and white photograph showing two men in an office on laptops discussing business

Phase 2 – Planning & Project Agreements

The planning phase is where we take all of the information we’ve acquired during discovery and make something more tangible. 

By the end of this stage, you will know exactly what we are going to build, what we’d need from you to build it, and how the process will work throughout.

Typically, this phase starts with us working on a low-fidelity wireframe together. This is a great way to bring clarity to the process and start to turn ideas into reality. 

By working on a wireframe, we can establish the foundation of your website and see how site pages, functionality, and the content will link between and interact with one another.

After this is complete, we’ll know exactly what information will be presented, giving us an efficient way to establish what content will need to be curated or produced for the build to begin.

Once the meeting has ended, we will go away and make sure the wireframe is refined and accurate. We will then send over a meeting follow-up email to go over anything we’ve discussed during the meeting.

A woman planning a website wireframe

Phase 3 – Design & Content

Once your project is live, we can turn our attention toward the look and feel of your website. If you have a pre-existing visual identity, we will ensure we operate within established guidelines to create consistency across your brand.

If you do not have a brand identity, we will work with you to create the assets you need, such as logos or graphic elements, as well as colour palettes, font selection, icons and more.

Depending on the complexity of the project at hand, we will create full website mock-ups to clarify our design before developing the site itself. 

For simpler projects, the design and development process can be combined, saving time and enabling you to get a hands-on look at your site as it’s being built.

By looking at the wireframe from the previous phase and creating folders that correspond to page titles, we make the content curation stage an intuitive and easy process.

We help gather existing content you might have and also support you in the creation of anything new that may be required.

It’s also an opportunity for us to bring content in line with the best SEO practices, guided by our SEO guru Tom.

By the end of this stage we will have access to all content and copy required to start the build your site with, helping to greatly expedite later phases and ensuring we are building with a clear understanding of site content.

You will also have a complete understanding of the design of your website and have a clear idea of what the final delivered product will look like.

A photograph of a MacBook showing three icons made for DJRFF

Phase 4 – Development

Prior to this stage, everything we work on is related to planning, research or content preparation. This phase is where all of this hard work comes together into something tangible and we can execute on our plan.

You may be under the impression that we go away on our own, disappear, then re-emerge with a website and say “Done!”.

That couldn’t be further from the truth. We’re here to help you and your business, and you’re the person who understands those things the most. That’s why we have developed our process to be as collaborative as you want.

We work on a feedback basis, so there are consistent touchpoints where you have opportunity to guide our work – our job is not only to build the site itself, but ensure you’re kept in the loop and feel that your feedback is listened to, acted upon, and valued.

This is, after all, your website!

From a technical perspective, this is where we will pay close attention to the “invisible” parts of your website, ensuring your site is fully optimised for search engines and users alike. 

This is often where corners are cut, so we pride ourselves on making sure things are done correctly and our quality control throughout the process is obsessively maintained.

Once we have worked through the feedback process and you feel that the website is done, we will then go through and do our final checks. These cover everything from internal links to spelling mistakes, and once they’re done we’re ready for the next phase…

Phase 5 – Launch

Congratulations, you’ve got a new website! Your website is now ready to launch, which we can do immediately or hold for a specific launch date, event or campaign. 

The work doesn’t stop there – we’re on hand to ensure the launch goes smoothly, double-checking the site is working correctly and setting up monitoring systems to ensure we’re notified should it go down for any reason. 

This is also the time for us to show you how to use your website. We do this through a video call, which is recorded so you can refer back to it should you need to in the future. 

During this call, we will introduce you to the back end of the site, ensure you and your team can log in and access what you need to access, and demonstrate how to operate your site – text tweaks, image swapping, blog posting, page creation, and admin controls are all covered!

We will also take the opportunity to schedule in a future call, between 1 and 3 months ahead, for us to go over site performance and see if there are any improvements we can make based on real life data.

Phase 6 – Post-Launch & Aftercare

During the build process, we will have spoken to you about aftercare and discussed what options would be most suitable for your needs.

We offer a selection of ongoing support packages designed for a range of businesses – each of these provides different levels of retained support for maintenance, performance review, and content creation so you can be sure that we’re helping you as you continue to grow.

This ensures that we are keeping track of your site’s performance and providing you with real-world feedback on how visitors are using your site, finding your site, and what potential improvements could be introduced to add value to your site.

You also have access to a range of SEO specific packages should you want to invest in bringing highly qualified organic traffic to your site.

Our ambition with every client, no matter their size or ambition, is to be long-term partners of growth. We want you to see us as an extension of your team, and nothing makes us happier than supporting businesses like yours in achieving their goals.

If you want an obligation-free chat to see if we can help you and your business grow, get in touch today.

A photograph of five people around a desk using laptops and discussing work

Our ambition with every client, no matter their size or ambition, is to be long-term partners of growth. We want you to see us as an extension of your team, and nothing makes us happier than supporting businesses like yours in achieving their goals.

If you want an obligation-free chat to see if we can help you and your business grow, get in touch today.

A black and white photograph of Fred Ostrovskis

Company Update - Fred Has Finished His Master’s Degree!

I’m very happy to report that I’ve now graduated with merit from my degree with an MSc in Digital Marketing and Data Analytics.

I started studying in late 2020, eager to further my industry knowledge and delve into the world of data, which is fast becoming an integral tool for businesses of any size.

Studying whilst maintaining my work responsibilities and growing the company was hard, but with the support of our fantastic team and clients I managed to get through and complete the course without too many tears…

So, What Did I Study?

My course was broken into 4 modules, along with a capstone project. 

The Modules I took were:

• Strategic Thinking in Digital Marketing

• Communicating in the Digital Age

• Driving Insight from Data Analytics

• Digital Change, Innovation and Disruption

My capstone project was on internal marketing implementation.

Each of these modules enabled me to take the theory I was learning and directly apply it to the real world of business, be that through Wilkes Wood or the various clients who were happy to be involved.

This greatly expedited my learning, and I was able to immediately see what the most useful elements of my education were, how to best wield them, and what this would mean for our clients and ourselves.

A black and white photograph of Fred Ostrovskis

So, What Does This Mean For Our Clients?

I now have a much greater understanding of marketing strategy when it comes to the digital world – this has enabled me to think more holistically when talking to clients, and I feel like we are much better placed to help clients get the absolute most out of our services.

All we care about is helping businesses grow and succeed, and furthering my understanding of strategy and being in an environment where phenomenal mentors were advising me on implementation has already shown great returns for ourselves and our clients.

I believe the course has also enabled me to better communicate with clients regarding data, analysis and performance reporting.

I know exactly what metrics/KPIs to set for a variety of channels, goals and contexts, and feel extremely confident in accurately measuring performance and reacting positively and proactively to data reports. 

I also took the opportunity to learn as much as possible about team management, leadership and internal marketing.

I deeply care about the people I work with, whether that’s our team or our clients, and want to ensure I am always furthering my own ability to foster an environment that gets the best out of all of us whilst promoting the values, ethos and culture we are all driven by.

That’s a very long winded way of saying I think undertaking this Master’s has made me much, much better at my job. That’s good news for everyone, I hope!

A photograph of Fred Ostrovskis's Graduation Certificate

What’s Next?

I will continue to push myself to learn as much about the industry as possible, but I think university is a closed book for now.

I am finding great enjoyment in learning from great mentors that I have around me, and have plenty of short courses, industry reports and tutorials at my fingertips to keep pushing me forward.

I also am blessed with a job that enables me to take a deep look inside businesses of all shapes and sizes and across nearly every sector imaginable, so the amount I am able to learn from our clients is absolutely incredible – so thank you for that!

On the topic of thanks, I’d like to extend mine to James for being the best business partner I could ask for, as well as my close friends and family who constantly encourage me to push myself and develop.

I look forward to using this knowledge and experience to bring our clients better results and, as is our mantra, help you grow.

Follow me on LinkedIn if you’d like to be kept in the loop with what I’m learning and reflecting on…

A photograph of a car speedometer

Why Is Site Speed So Important & How Can I Measure Site Speed?

What Is Site Speed?

Page speed refers to the amount of time between a browser requesting a page and actually completing processing/rendering the page content. 

An often overlooked metric, site speed has become an increasingly important factor in ensuring you’re providing the most optimal experience for users and search engines. 

It’s no secret that when it comes to the digital world, attention spans are low and competition is high. That means every second counts when you’re trying to keep site visitors engaged and converting.

Every millisecond counts too, as a recent study showed that a decrease in page speed by just 500 milliseconds had an adverse affect on user experience!

A photograph showing light using slow shutter speed to indicate speed

Who Does Site Speed Matter To?

The simple answer is: Site Visitors & Google.

Google measures your site and content across over 200 factors when determining your page ranking, and it’s safe to say that it cares about speed, and pays careful attention to mobile performance too.

Google tests your site by simulating its performance on 4G, with poor results potentially kicking your website from any significant rankings – that means if you’re not optimising your site speed at all, you can say goodbye to the first page of results with potentially disastrous consequences for your website, objectives, and conversions.

But, Google wouldn’t care about site speed if people didn’t.

When it comes to user experience, speed/efficiency matters. This isn’t just a rule for websites – if you went to meet your friend at a cafe and ordered a couple of sandwiches, you wouldn’t want to wait for a couple of hours for your food to arrive.

In fact, if that happened, there’s a good chance you’d leave, tell people about your poor experience, and refrain from ever going back. That’s what a site visitor is likely to do if your page keeps them waiting…

A photograph of a car speedometer

Why Does Site Speed Matter?

So, now we’ve established that users and search engines care about your site performance just as much as one another, we can dig a little deeper into what this means…

1 – Site Speed Affects Conversion Rates

Whether you sell your products/services online or not, your website will be trying to encourage some form of conversion – be that a purchase, newsletter sign up, or a lead gen form, and site speed has a direct impact on this.

There have been countless studies that demonstrate this – with one survey finding that close to 70% of site visitors believe page speed directly affects their willingness to purchase online.

Studies have shown that anything below 4 seconds is optimal for conversions, with 0-2 seconds being the sweet spot – every additional second of load time drops your conversions rates by nearly 5%!

Users stay on sites that load faster and convert at a higher rate, and even small improvements can have dramatic effects. For example, Walmart are reported to have increased their conversion rate by 2% by decreasing load time by only 1 second.

If you needed any more proof, Portent studied the difference in conversion rates between websites fully optimised for page speed and “slow” sites, finding conversions for sites loading in 1 second are 5x higher than one that loads in 10 seconds. 

They also showed that the website loading in 1 second achieved 3x the conversion rate of one loading in 5 seconds.

Evidently there’s a lot of money being left on the table if your site is lagging behind your competition!

A photograph of a laptop on a table and a user on her phone

2 – Site Speed Dramatically Affects Bounce Rate

Your website’s bounce rate reveals the percentage of site visitors who abandon your site after viewing only one single page. A high bounce rate is usually indicative of poor user experience (although there are definitely exceptions to this rule) and it can be a good metric to keep an eye on as you try and measure the impact any improvements you’re making.

Site speed has dramatic impact on the bounce rate of your website – slow to load sites have a much higher bounce rate than their swifter counterparts. A great example of this can be seen in how the BBC, arguably the most popular website in the world, reported they were losing 10% of their users for every second it took their pages to load.

They are by no means alone in this – as Google have reported similar results, showing that the probability of bounce increases 32% if your page load time goes from 1 to 3 seconds.

A photograph of a neon green exit sign on a wall

3 – Slow Sites Make Unhappy Visitors

User Experience (or UX) is an important focus of any website looking to promote any sort of conversion and works in tandem with Search Engine Optimisation. We’ve explored this relationship further in a dedicated blog post if you want to dive into the detail. 

It’s all very well having a website that’s designed with UX in mind, but if your site isn’t loading quick enough to encourage visitors to stick around, all that work has gone to waste.

On average, you will see a 16% drop in customer satisfaction for just a single second delay in page load times. 

4 – Speed Is Important for SEO

Google’s algorithm has evolved massively over the past decade to better perform its primary function: provide the best user experience possible.

This means that all Google cares about is delivering the best possible result to a search engine user’s query – what makes a website the best possible result? A combination of hundreds of factors, with page speed/site performance being among them. To read more about SEO, head over to our introduction to SEO article.

A faster loading site means a better experience for the site visitor, and that’s what Google wants to provide – users visit 8.9 pages on average when your site loads in two seconds as opposed to only 3 pages if your website takes 8 seconds to load!

That means optimising your site speed can positively impact your search rankings, giving you the opportunity to drive more organic traffic to your site or store.

A photograph showing light using slow shutter speed to indicate speed

How Can I Measure & Improve Website Speed?

Luckily, there are plenty of free tools and resources out there to help you measure your site speed and performance and identify actionable steps you can take to improve your score.

Google offers plenty of resources to help with this process. Tools such as PageSpeed Insight provide you with insight on an individual webpage, providing a score for both desktop and mobile performance (it simulates a mid range mobile device using a standard mobile network to load your site), as well as some handy suggestions for improving your score.

PageSpeed Insight utilises a mixture of lab and real world data to produce its reporting, measuring your site against Google’s “core web vitals” – this gives you the ability to understand how each of the page loading process is performing.

They also have Lighthouse, which is a more holistic tool that measures your entire site, rather than one single page, using lab data under consistent conditions to create a report. This report also audits other important site elements such as SEO and accessibility.

For more information on the difference between Lighthouse and PageSpeed Insights, click here.

If you’re concerned with mobile performance, check out Google’s dedicated resources which can help you create a seamless user experience across all devices.

Google isn’t the only provider of site speed testing tools by any stretch of the imagination, and there are plenty to choose from.

Pingdom is thought of as a more friendly starting point for those of you who are new to performance analysis, and provides a speed score between 0-100 for you to measure against – another popular alternative is GTMetrix.

Both of these tools can deliver key insight and help you record benchmarks as you continue to try and optimise your site performance.

A screenshot of a Site Speed Tool in use

What Factors Affect Site Speed?

Site speed can be influenced by a variety of factors, but there are some common culprits: Page Weight, Network Conditions, and Hosting.

What Is Page Weight & How Does It Affect Site Speed?

Page weight refers to the overall size of your web page. The heavier the page, the more resources it takes to load.

This means that you’re likely going to have to balance providing a rich user experience with ensuring your website isn’t becoming too unwieldy to load in a reasonable amount of time.

You might think that this problem is getting better as the years go by, but that’s not the case. As websites become more interactive, rich and complex, the average weight of web pages is actually increasing due to JavaScript files, video and image content, heavy CSS, bloated plugins, pop-ups and other banners, animations, backgrounds and more.

It’s tempting to try and make your website as visually interesting as possible with animations, videos and interactive sections, but did you know that 50% of site visitors say they’d be willing to give up animation and video if it led to faster loading times?

Content is arguably the place you can make the largest impact on load time – there’s often some low hanging fruit that can be addressed very swiftly to great results. Here are three easy fixes that you could look into:

  • Image Optimisation & Compression – Cutting down unnecessarily large image files can be a swift and effective way to improve page load times – with Google finding 25% of pages could easily save more than 250KB, and 10% of pages can save more than 1MB!


  • Clean Up Your Code – Unused code can bog down page speed; rid yourself of any useless code and you may see improvements to your performance.


  • Be Lazy – Lazy loading refers to a technique that defers “non-critical resources” at the initial load of your page – this allows the browser to initially load just what’s needed for the page to be visible  and then subsequently load additional content in the background.

A photograph of vintage scales in use

How Hosting & Network Conditions Affect Your Site Speed

Network conditions may mean that your website, regardless of whether it is lightweight or not, loads slower than you’d like it to. This is dictated by the equipment used and the quality of the ISP (internet service provider).

It’s also worth noting that mobile devices are likely to be slower than those using WiFi or ethernet – with 5G not yet rolled out nationwide, mobile access is most likely going to be on 4G (82% coverage in the UK) and 3G (98.7% coverage in the UK).

Obviously, you can’t dictate what device or network someone is using to reach your site, but there are some things you can do to try and minimise the impact this will have on your performance such as compression and using Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) to host content.

Hosting can also have a massive impact on your site speed, with variables such as location and type of hosting you’ve used affecting the end result. 

Ranging from shared web hosting, where you’re competing for bandwidth and server resources with other websites on the same server, to dedicated hosting options that give you complete control, hosting packages vary extensively on price, ease of use and performance.

So, when you’re picking a web hosting provider – be sure you take into consideration much more than just price – look at the size of the hard drive, the power of their RAM, what bandwidth is available to you and also consider how much traffic you’re likely to receive.

Selecting a suitable package early on will save you lots of hassle further down the line and enable you to get the most out of your website right from the start.

Can You Help Make My Site Faster?

Yes! We’d be more than happy to take a look at your website and identify areas for improvement – whether that’s discussing a site rebuild or optimising your existing site or content.

For a free audit of your site, drop us a message!

Looking For Wordpress Managed Hosting? Here's 5 Reasons to Consider WPX Hosting.

Disclaimer: Some of the below links are affiliate links, so we may receive compensation at no additional cost to you. Despite this, we will only ever recommend services we have used extensively, continue to use, and trust ourselves!

An Introduction to WPX Hosting

We’ve experimented with a fair amount of hosting providers over the last 5 years of business, and have come to the conclusion that there’s only one option if you’re a smaller website looking for managed hosting: WPX.

We started using WPX in 2020, and have been incredibly impressed with their service – so much so that we’ve used WPX for a variety of client projects to great success. 

We’re not alone in our admiration – their Trustpilot reviews are almost impossibly good, with 96% positive feedback at the time of writing. This seemed, to us, too good to be true, so we went digging and unearthed an incredibly extensive study that set out to determine the reliability of these reviews…

Spoiler alert, they found that the reviews are good because WPX knows exactly who they’re catering to and provides exactly what their customers need.

We love WPX and would recommend them for a variety of clients and smaller projects, but there are certainly instances where we would opt for another hosting solution – we think WPX works best for smaller websites that don’t have extensive databases and for those that want a simple, easy to use managed hosting solution.

If you’re unsure if WPX is right for you, get in touch and we’d be more than happy to chat about your web and hosting needs.

How much is WPX Hosting?

WPX offers three separately priced packages – Business, Professional and Elite.

You can pay annually or monthly, with 2 months free hosting offered for annual payment options as well as a reduced monthly fee. Here are the two options:

WPX Pricing

As you can see, WPX is one of the more affordable hosting providers when compared to their competitors in the managed hosting space, especially when you take into consideration the factors that make WPX such a great company to work with.

Regardless of what package you choose, WPX offers a whole load of free features including DDoS protection, unlimited SSL certificates, automatic backups and more.

WPX Hosting Free Hosting Benefits

What Makes WPX Hosting So Good?

Whilst there are plenty of reasons we choose to use WPX, we thought we’d break down 5 points that set it apart from the rest for its price point – but first, let’s look at their pricing.

#1 – WPX Offers A “Fixed For You Guarantee”.

One of the most appealing features that WPX offers is their “Fixed For You Guarantee” (FFY Guarantee). This is a fantastic example of great customer service and is something we feel they absolutely excel at.

The FFY Guarantee is WPX’s promise to help get an offline website back to being live as fast as possible with as little disruption as possible. 

So, if something breaks on your site or your site experiences downtime for any reason, all you have to do is message their live-chat support and they’ll immediately get to work figuring out a solution and implementing this for you.

Our experience with other managed hosting companies is that they may help figure out the cause of the problem, but then expect you to trawl through annoying articles and then try and sort the fix out yourself.

WPX responds within 30-40 seconds, on average, and has resolved every single problem we’ve had on our packages within a few minutes of investigation. 

Oh, and all of this is free!

Obviously, there are some limitations here. WPX can’t recode or fix problems on 3rd party apps or plugins and can’t help you if you’ve got internet issues at your end, nor can they help with fixes to visual elements on your site.

Their priority is getting your site back up and running, not making your actual website better (however, that’s something we can help with!).

WPX Hosting Fixed For You Guarantee

#2 – WPX Is Fast.

Speed matters when it comes to hosting, and a slow hosting provider can have a tremendously negative impact on your website’s performance. This can then lead to issues with SEO and UX and waste a lot of the hard work you’ve put into your website.

It’s safe to say that when we were looking for a managed hosting provider for our clients, speed was at the top of our list of requirements.

It’s a good job then that there are plenty of independent, and we mean actually independent, reviewers have come to the conclusion that WPX is fast

These include industry leading reviewers such as Kevin Ohashi (of ReviewSignal and WpHostingBenchmarks) and Matthew Woodward – two of the most respected industry names.

These tests pitted WPX against competitive big hitters, with the results speaking for themselves. 

When Matthew Woodward conducted his tests, WPX was fastest to load image heavy sites & plugin heavy sites and performed fantastically when undergoing stress tests. 

WPX also came out on top with Kevin Ohasi’s test results – achieving “Top Tier” rewards across all price categories, from >$25 all the way through to $51-100 per month tiers.

What more could you want? For our clients that have migrated from slower rivals, the difference in their site performance is undeniable. 

#3 – WPX’s Customer Support Is Phenomenal

As we’ve mentioned, hosting providers need to offer good enough speed and technical performance to enable you to get the most out of your website, but for us these technical elements are just the start of the story.

We would rather go with a hosting provider that is slightly slower than a competitor if the hosting provider in question offered faultless customer service.

Luckily for us, we’ve found WPX – so we don’t need to choose between performance & support.

We think WPX’s 24/7 dedicated live chat and support functions are the best we’ve ever experienced, and our clients have absolutely loved how responsive and professional the service is every step of the way.

We’ve already mentioned the “Fixed for You Guarantee”, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg – their live chat support is immediately available on the site whether you’re a customer or not, so you can chat to a real operator about any technical requirements, questions or concerns prior to signing up for a package.

They’ll then help you with any migrations (more on this later) or issues that need resolving. 

But, the thing that really makes them stand out for us is the fact they’re proactive. 

They’re actually looking for ways to give you a better user experience all of the time. Just yesterday, we logged onto WPX and saw that they had automatically given ALL customers 50% more disk space and 100% more bandwidth across every hosting plan.

#4 – WPX Removes Malware & Provides Automatic BackUps for Free

Much of what makes WPX a great managed hosting provider is their ability to give you peace of mind through their offering – and these two points do just that.

Knowing that WPX will clean your site for free if you somehow get infected with malicious code/malware is a massive bonus, and as long as you abide by their terms of service (which essentially say you shouldn’t give your password out like candy, avoid cracked plugins and themes and keep all plugins etc up to date) you can rest assured that you’re covered in case of malware attacks.

In addition, WPX’s servers are fully secured so even if you were to be infected with malware, the functionality of the main server is maintained!

For even further reassurance, your website is automatically backed up every single day onto a separate server, which is then stored for 28 days. This means if you manage to break your site or need to restore a previous version of your site for whatever reason, WPX have you covered!

#5 – Free Website Migrations

This service is an absolute belter, and our clients love how easy it is to move from their previous hosting provider to WPX.

If you’re using an existing hosting provider and find that you’d like to make the move over to WPX we’ve got some good news to share with you – they’ll handle it!

If you’d like WPX to manage the migration for you, all you need to do is hop onto their website and open a live chat with their support team. They’ll ask you to give some details about your current website hosting, purchase the right package on WPX itself, and then you’re good to go – they’ll handle the rest of the process for free.

WPX migrations typically take up to 24 hours – so after a day, give or take a few hours, they’ll have your site ready to go on the platform!

What Next?

If you’re looking to move hosting provider to WPX or you’re in need of a great managed Wordpress hosting provider for a new web project, click here to be taken to their website.

Alternatively, get in touch with us to discuss how we can help you with your website and hosting needs!

A black and white image of a chess victory

I Don't Sell Online, So Why Do I Need To Have A Website?

Websites Aren’t Just For Selling Online

A common misconception in the small business world is that websites are only really for e-commerce/selling products online.

Whilst e-commerce is a truly gigantic industry (one that’s continuously growing as time goes on), websites are relevant to every single business in 2022, regardless of size, sector, product or service.

The events of the past few years have only served to further evidence this claim, with the pandemic increasing web use by up to 70% and leaving businesses without any online presence at risk of being forgotten entirely by once loyal customers.

Here are five reasons why we think you should have a website if you’re not selling directly online:

A black and white photograph showing two men in an office on laptops discussing business

Without A Website, You Don’t Exist.

It might sound a bit absolute, but it’s the truth. The modern consumer expects to find you online – websites are no longer a shiny impressive marketing tool, they’re the bare minimum.

Your customers are online, so you should be too.

Think about the last time you were looking to find out more information about a service, product or business – what did you do? There’s a pretty good chance that you, along with billions of other people every single day, headed over to Google and were one of 99,000 searches performed every single second.

How many of those searches are from potential customers?

A black and white image of a man with a box on his head

By having a professionally designed website built with search engine optimisation (SEO) in mind, you can ensure you’re giving yourself a chance to appear where potential customers are expecting you.

Do this well, and you’ll be driving organic traffic to your site. As we’ll discuss in more detail later on, this gives you an opportunity to turn this traffic into conversions and intrigue into revenue.

Being found on Google also enables you to build up brand authority and be seen as more trustworthy by those that come across your site. In fact, 75% of consumers admit they judge the credibility of a company based directly on their website.

It’s also imperative if you’re a business aiming to serve clients or customers locally. 76% of people end up visiting a business they’ve searched for online on the same day, and the search terms “where to buy” and “near me” have surged 200% in popularity in the past two years alone.

To conclude, your customers are expecting to find you online, are much more likely to shop with you if they do, and will mentally match the quality of your website with the quality of your business!

A man uses his mobile phone to look at a website

If You’re Not Online, Your Competitors Will Be!

In 2018, around half of all small businesses reported they were online. That figure is now closer to 80%

If you’re a small business without a website, you’re handing over all of those potential clicks, conversions and customers to your competitors without even putting up a fight.

Take a look now – head over to Google and search for an industry term, a relevant product or service and you’ll likely see plenty of results from your competitors.

Not only are you giving away sales and leads, but you’re also allowing your competition to establish themselves as authoritative brands which lead above you in your industry. They’re beating you just by showing up.

The stats really do speak for themselves on this one – with recent studies showing that brands that have a website and a regularly updated blog enjoy nearly 70% more leads than those with a website alone, whilst those that have no website whatsoever are losing an average of 75% of their potential customers.

A black and white image of a chess victory

Websites Help You Learn More About Your Audience

Having a website, and knowing how to use it, gives you the opportunity to turn the tables on your audience.

They can use your website to find out more information about you, your business and services, and you can use analytics reporting to discover information about site visitors that can help drive decisions and optimise your offering.

Powerful analytics software, such as Google Analytics, allows you to uncover a treasure trove of data on your website visitors. 

This includes behavioural data (looking at how visitors use your website and interact with its content) as well as powerful demographic insight which can reveal exactly who you’re reaching with your online presence. 

Combined with Google Search Console, a free tool that helps you monitor your performance in search results, you have the ability to determine how you are being found, who is finding you, and what they’re looking for.

If you’ve built your website through a site builder like Squarespace or Wix, then you’ll have some in-house analytics on those platforms too. Whilst nowhere near as powerful as what you can achieve with Google Analytics, they’re a good place to start familiarising yourself with what metrics matter. 

Utilising data is one of the most important things you can do as a business in the digital age; it can remove the guesswork from some vital decision making and ensure your website content and design is continually being optimised to improve performance across the board.

You no longer have to rely on assumptions or outdated and expensive 3rd party data.

An infographic showing various reporting pages for website analytics

Websites Support All Other Marketing Efforts

Think about what marketing methods you currently implement or promote for your business. Word of mouth? Social Media? Print ads? 

Good news…

A website enables you to direct all traffic from all marketing channels to a space that is entirely yours, fully optimised for your target audience, and easily discoverable through search.

In a recent report by Nielson, word-of-mouth was shown to be the most effective form of marketing, followed incredibly closely by a website. The relationship between the two has become inextricably linked. Here’s why:

When someone is recommended a product, service or business, they might make a mental note, save it on their phone or write it somewhere like a notepad. When they’re ready to contact, purchase from or discover more about the business in question, what are they most likely to do?

Yep, you guessed it… search Google, or go directly to their website!

All roads lead to Rome!

A photograph of London bilboards

You Still Need Conversions If You’re Not An E-Commerce Store!

So, you don’t sell online – that doesn’t mean you’re not interested in “conversions”!

Whilst the term is more commonly associated with an e-commerce purchase, a conversion can refer to a tremendous variety of actions that businesses want to promote, direct traffic toward, monitor and optimise.

Tracking conversions is an important activity that gives you the ability to analyse the performance of your marketing strategies – this means you have to decide what a “conversion” means to you, as well as where and when you should monitor for conversions taking place.

There are two types of conversions: Micro and Macro.

Think of macro-conversions as the ultimate end goal you’d like your site visitor to achieve – this could be something like a lead generating form response/contact form, a phone call, or a paid subscription.

A micro-conversion occurs when your site visitor completes an action that indicates they have taken a step forward in their journey toward your macro-conversion (or end goal). Common examples of these include signing up to your newsletter, downloading something like a whitepaper, PDF, or ebook or even watching a video or interacting with other site media.

Utilising Google Analytics, you can track multiple conversions on your website for free. You can then work out something called your “conversion rate”, which is:


Divided By…




This metric is incredibly important as you can look to continually improve/optimise your conversion strategy once a baseline has been established.

For example, did you know that reducing the number of form fields from 11 to 4 in your contact form can generate 120% more conversions?

Every single website should be created with a macro-conversion in mind, and yours is no different.

What would you want your site visitors to do?

A picture of a retro telephone handset and wire

So, What’s Next?

Now you’ve read just important a website is, you might want to consider developing one of your own. That’s where we can help. 

We can partner with you to create a website designed with conversions in mind – with on-page content optimised for search engines as well as users at every stage of the buying journey.

We can also help you digest data and turn it into real analytical insight.

Sound good?

Get in touch!

Start your project today.

Get In Touch

An Icon Showing SEO in the style of the Google Logo

SEO VS PPC - What’s The Difference & Which One Is Right For My Business?

When looking to invest in marketing strategies for your business, it’s inevitable that you will end up comparing two or more channels together to decide what is best for your business, audience and objectives.

More often than not, this conversation features two of the most popular marketing activities in 2022: Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)

Optimising your website for search engines can help improve your rankings on organic searches, whilst PPC efforts (like Google Ads) are paid for methods of advertisement allowing marketers to compete for coveted paid placements on the search engine results page.

A close up of Google Ads Click Through Rate analytics screen

What’s The Difference?

Put simply, the main difference between the two lies in SEO efforts being “Organic” and PPC being “Paid”. 

An infographic showing various reporting pages for website analytics

So, What is SEO & Organic Traffic?

Think back to the last time you purchased something online or wanted to find out more about a product, service or company. There’s a pretty good chance that your journey started with one thing: a Google search.

There’s also a pretty good chance that you clicked on a website shown on the first page of your results – in fact, over 95% of clicks come from the first page of search results, with the first 3 results alone getting a combined click through rate of over 60%.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is all about directing the right web searchers to your website from search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo, all without the use of paid advertising (PPC ads).

SEO still requires investment. If you’re doing SEO work yourself, that could be an investment of time, or if you’re using an SEO agency like Wilkes Wood, it could be a financial investment. But, you can’t pay directly for performance – i.e you cannot pay Google to guarantee you a certain organic ranking for a keyword.

We’ve written a whole introductory guide to SEO if you want to learn more about SEO works and the benefits it can bring to your business.

The truth of the matter is that SEO is a slower burning long term strategy. 

An Icon Showing SEO in the style of the Google Logo

Let’s look at some of the phases that an SEO professional may go through when working on your website:

  1. Research into your business, audience, keywords, competitors.
  2. A full audit of your website from a technical point of view.
  3. Website optimisation and development.
  4. Content planning, research and creation.
  5. Internal linking & Backlink strategies.

This isn’t a swift process in itself, and then you have to be patient to reap the results of your hard work. There’s no set time frame for SEO work to pay off, but most industry experts agree that even with a healthy SEO budget, you’re looking at a 3 month period before your ranking starts to see serious improvements.

But, those improvements are worth it. Your rankings will improve, your organic traffic will grow, your authority will improve and, whilst you’re waiting for more results, you can continue to optimise your website and put out keyword driven content.

With PPC, your ads disappear when your budget ends. SEO lasts way, way “beyond the spend” and this is why so many marketers see SEO as such a great investment – in fact  49% of marketers report that organic search has the best ROI of any other channel.

It’s also worth noting that organic search drives 53% of website traffic, whilst paid search only accounts for 15%!

You can read more information from Google on organic search or head to our blog on SEO to uncover more of the basics.

To summarise: SEO is powerful, but slow. It wins over the long-term.

A man on a laptop using Google Search

What Is PPC & Paid Advertising?

Pay-per-click advertising (or PPC) is a form of paid advertising on search engines, such as Google Ads. The aim of PPC on Google Ads is to bring immediate traffic to your website by strategically “bidding” on search terms against competitors, with winning bids ensuring your advert is placed somewhere on screen.

PPC is also used across all social media platforms, but we’re not going to cover those here.

One of the most appealing elements of PPC is that it gives marketers the opportunity to target specific audiences that they want their deal, product, event or content to appeal to. 

You can target audiences on Google Ads using demographic data such as location, age, profession, annual income and even interests – this is incredibly powerful, as you can imagine, and is why Google Ads is so popular (accounting for over 80% of Google’s entire revenue).

It is called pay-per-click because you pay a fee every time someone clicks on your advertisement. If you’ve used Google, you’ll have seen ads before at the top and bottom of the search engine results page. The average cost of a “click” is, at the time of writing, around $2.69 (£2.35). 

Average click through rates (CTR) differ wildly between industries, with an average of only 1.9%. To uncover the average CTR for your industry, head over to this article by Search Engine Land.

PPC is popular because it offers immediate results, unlike the long term strategy that SEO aligns itself with. However, as soon as your spend stops, so do the benefits, and depending on the budget you have, your ad might be limited in how long it could run or what size audience it could reach.

There are some downsides to PPC, such as spam clicks/traffic, and over 40% of internet users now use some form of ad blocker.

Just like with SEO, Google will be ranking your efforts, and optimising Google Ads is no easy task. It’s a discipline all of its own and successful campaigns require constant monitoring, testing and tweaking to avoid precious ad spend being wasted.

To summarise: PPC costs per click, and is immediate. It wins in the short term.

A screenshot of a Google search showing how PPC ads appear

So, Which One Is Right For My Business?

As with most things in marketing, the answer is: it depends.

Do you need immediate results? Are you happy to wait for long-term rewards? Do you have a set budget? How much work would your website need? What are your competitors doing?

These are just some of the questions that could help narrow down your options and leave you with the right choice.

A lot of small businesses and start-ups lean more towards SEO as they lack the sort of budget required to fully set-up, test, optimise and implement a PPC campaign. If you’re prepared to think and plan for the long-term, SEO is budget friendly and, once results start showing, you should see steady improvements to your organic traffic.

If you have established your business within a niche market, you may even be able to find keywords that have the “Big 3” – high relevancy, low competition and decent monthly search volume. This would be a golden opportunity for SEO.

If you’re in a highly competitive market, such as an e-commerce store selling products that are in competition with industry behemoths like Amazon, it’s unlikely that you are going to find massive success in ranking for organic positions, especially early on in your efforts. PPC could be great here to help boost your brand awareness.

The truth is, both SEO and PPC are great ways to grow your business, whether they’re used on their own or in conjunction with one another. 

There are, however, a few instances where one would be much more appropriate than another.

There are, however, a few instances where one would be much more appropriate than another – for example, if you’re looking to sell out an event in a short period of time, PPC is your best friend!

a screenshot of Squarespace website analytics

In Conclusion…

If you wanted to maximise the potential of your business, and had the budget to accommodate, we’d always recommend that you invest in both SEO and PPC. With a combined effort, you’re likely to be able to achieve results that would not be possible if each were implemented in isolation.

However, we’re aware that not everyone lives in this “ideal world” and you may have to prioritise one over the other, at least for an initial stretch of time, so let’s break it down:

PPC will require initial and ongoing investment, and will not leave you with any lasting or enduring results when your spending stops. You should look into PPC if you need immediate results, you have a higher budget, or if your product, offer or event is time sensitive.

SEO will require an investment of time or money, but will still be cheaper than PPC over the long term. You should look into SEO if you have a smaller budget, want to prioritise a long term ROI and want to create impactful, powerful content that’s relevant to your audience at all stages of the buying journey.

A black and white photograph showing two men in an office on laptops discussing business

What Can We Do To Help?

We’ve been helping our clients with their SEO needs for over 4 years, and have a dedicated, in-house team to do just that.

Head over to our dedicated SEO page to see our packages across content and maintenance.

For a free SEO audit of your website, get in touch!