Keyword research is the backbone of any successful SEO strategy. It involves identifying the terms and phrases that potential customers use to search for information, products, or services related to your business. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to carry out keyword research for SEO.

1. Understand Your Niche

Before diving into keyword research, it’s crucial to have a solid understanding of your niche. This involves knowing your target audience, their needs, pain points, and the language they use. Engage with your audience through surveys, social media, and forums to gather insights. The better you understand your niche, the more effective your keyword research will be.

2. Brainstorm Seed Keywords

Seed keywords are the foundation of your keyword research. They are broad terms related to your industry or business. Start by listing down words and phrases that you think people might use to find your products or services. For instance, if you run a gardening blog, seed keywords might include “gardening tips,” “plant care,” and “landscaping ideas.”

3. Use Keyword Research Tools

Leverage keyword research tools to expand your list of seed keywords and uncover new ones. Some popular tools include:

  • Google Keyword Planner: A free tool that helps you discover new keywords and provides data on search volume and competition.
  • Ahrefs: A comprehensive tool that offers keyword ideas, search volume, keyword difficulty, and more.
  • SEMrush: Provides keyword suggestions, search volume, trends, and competitive analysis.
  • Ubersuggest: A user-friendly tool that generates keyword ideas and provides SEO metrics.
  • Moz – our particular favourite.

These tools can help you generate a comprehensive list of keywords related to your seed terms.

4. Analyse Keyword Metrics

Once you have a list of potential keywords, it’s time to analyze their metrics to determine their suitability. Key metrics to consider include:

  • Search Volume: The number of searches a keyword receives per month. Higher search volume indicates more potential traffic, but also more competition.
  • Keyword Difficulty: A score that indicates how difficult it is to rank for a particular keyword. Lower difficulty scores are easier to target, especially for new websites.
  • Cost Per Click (CPC): Useful for understanding the commercial value of a keyword if you plan to run PPC campaigns.
  • Search Intent: The purpose behind the search query. Understanding whether users are looking to buy (transactional), learn (informational), or find a specific site (navigational) helps tailor your content strategy.

5. Competitor Analysis

Analyze the keywords your competitors are targeting. Tools like, Moz, Ahrefs and SEMrush allow you to input a competitor’s URL and see the keywords they rank for. This can provide insights into keyword opportunities you may have missed and help you understand the competitive landscape.

6. Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are longer, more specific phrases with lower search volume but often higher conversion rates. They are less competitive and can be easier to rank for. For example, instead of “gardening tips,” a long-tail keyword might be “organic gardening tips for small spaces.” Include a mix of head terms and long-tail keywords in your strategy for a balanced approach.

7. Organise and Prioritise Keywords

Organize your keywords into groups based on topics or themes. This will help you create targeted content around specific clusters of keywords. Prioritize keywords based on their relevance, search volume, and difficulty. Focus on a mix of high-competition and low-competition keywords to build a robust SEO strategy.

8. Implement and Monitor

Once you have your keywords, incorporate them naturally into your website content, including titles, headers, meta descriptions, and body text. Avoid keyword stuffing, as it can harm your rankings. Use tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to monitor the performance of your keywords and adjust your strategy as needed.

To round up

Keyword research is an ongoing process that requires regular updates and adjustments. By understanding your niche, utilizing research tools, analyzing metrics, and keeping an eye on competitors, you can develop a keyword strategy that enhances your SEO efforts and drives targeted traffic to your website. Remember, the ultimate goal is to meet the needs of your audience while aligning with search engine

We love working with Impact Mental Health who do a magnificent job supporting people who are suffering from a huge range of mental health and well-being issues.

Image of all the new promotional prints for Impact Mental Health

So we were only too happy to work with them to produce an eye-catching collection of A4 and A3 posters, flyers, and brochures to promote Impact Mental Health’s free online mental wellbeing courses. These courses, available to anyone living or working Central Bedfordshire and Bedford Borough, aim to foster mental health awareness and provide essential resources to the community.

Rubber Duck Digital takes great pride in creating compelling visual content, and our latest project for the lovely people at Impact Mental Health is no exception. The promotional materials are designed not only to inform but also to engage the public and medical professionals alike, encouraging them to spread the word about these valuable courses and resources.

Design Excellence

The posters, flyers, and brochures produced by Rubber Duck Digital are a testament to our commitment to quality and creativity. Each piece is meticulously crafted to capture attention and convey important information in a clear and appealing manner. The A4 and A3 posters are designed with vibrant colours and thoughtful imagery that reflect the positive impact of mental wellbeing. They feature engaging visuals and concise messaging that highlight the availability and benefits of the free online courses.

The flyers, distributed through medical professionals and public spaces, provide a snapshot of the courses offered by Impact Mental Health. They are designed to be easily readable and visually appealing, making them perfect for quick dissemination of information. The brochures, on the other hand, offer a more in-depth look into the courses, including detailed descriptions and testimonials from past participants. These brochures are intended to provide potential participants with all the information they need to feel confident in signing up for a course.

All resources contain QR codes that link directly to Impact’s course calendar and enrolment forms, making the sign up process as simple and as quick as possible.

Reaching the Community

One of the key goals of this promotional campaign is to ensure that as many people as possible are aware of the free mental wellbeing courses. The strategic distribution plan targets both medical professionals and the general public. By placing posters in clinics, hospitals, community centres, and other high-traffic areas, they aim to reach individuals who may benefit from these courses but are unaware of their availability.

Medical professionals play a crucial role in this campaign. By equipping doctors, nurses, therapists and other well-being professionals with flyers and brochures, we ensure that these trusted figures can recommend the courses to their patients. This personal endorsement from a healthcare provider can be incredibly powerful in encouraging individuals to take advantage of the free resources available to them.

Copies are also available to order through Impact’s website.

The Impact (pardon the pun)

Impact Mental Health’s courses cover a wide range of topics, including stress management, anxiety reduction, and mindfulness techniques. By making these courses free and accessible, they are removing financial barriers and providing much-needed support to the community. The promotional materials designed by Rubber Duck Digital highlight these benefits, emphasising that anyone who lives or works in Central Bedfordshire and Bedford Borough can participate at no cost.

The collaboration between Rubber Duck Digital and Impact Mental Health is a perfect example of how creative design and strategic communication can drive positive change. The visually stunning posters, flyers, and brochures not only raise awareness but also inspire action, encouraging individuals to prioritize their mental wellbeing.

Our work for Impact Mental Health is more than just a promotional campaign; it’s a lifeline for individuals seeking support and resources for their mental health. By spreading the word about these free courses, they are helping to build a healthier, more resilient community in Central Bedfordshire and Bedford Borough.

In today’s digital age, social media has become an indispensable tool for businesses to engage with their audience and market their products or services effectively. Among the plethora of content types available, video stands out as a powerful medium that can significantly impact a potential customer’s decision-making process. From showcasing product features to providing valuable insights, utilizing video content on social media platforms can play a pivotal role in helping customers make informed decisions before making a purchase.

One of the key advantages of using video in social media posts is its ability to convey information in a visually compelling and engaging manner. Unlike text or images, videos have the unique capability to capture attention quickly and deliver messages effectively. Whether it’s a demonstration of how a product works, a testimonial from a satisfied customer, or a behind-the-scenes look at the manufacturing process, videos can provide potential customers with valuable insights that help them better understand the product or service being offered.

Moreover, videos enable businesses to showcase their products or services in action, allowing potential customers to visualize themselves using the product or benefiting from the service. This can be particularly effective in industries where demonstrating functionality or highlighting key features is essential for making a sale. For example, a fitness equipment company could create videos showcasing different workouts using their products, while a software company could produce tutorials demonstrating how to use their software to solve specific problems.

In addition to providing valuable information, videos also have the ability to evoke emotions and create a connection with the audience. By telling stories, eliciting laughter, or tugging at heartstrings, businesses can create memorable experiences that resonate with potential customers on a deeper level. This emotional connection can significantly influence purchasing decisions, as customers are more likely to buy from brands they feel a connection with.

When it comes to leveraging video content on social media, it’s essential to consider the different formats and aspect ratios optimized for various platforms. Each social media platform has its own specifications and best practices for video content, and creating videos tailored to these requirements can maximize reach and engagement.

For instance, platforms like YouTube and Facebook typically favor landscape-oriented videos with a 16:9 aspect ratio. These platforms are ideal for longer-form content such as product demonstrations, tutorials, or in-depth interviews. On the other hand, vertical videos with a 9:16 aspect ratio are more suitable for platforms like Instagram Stories, Snapchat, and TikTok, where users predominantly consume content on mobile devices. Vertical videos are great for capturing attention quickly and are perfect for showcasing bite-sized content such as quick tips, behind-the-scenes footage, or customer testimonials.

Additionally, square videos with a 1:1 aspect ratio are versatile and can be used across multiple platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Square videos take up more screen real estate and tend to perform well in users’ feeds, making them effective for grabbing attention and driving engagement.

By adapting video content to fit the unique specifications of each social media platform, businesses can ensure that their message reaches the right audience in the most effective way possible. Whether it’s educating potential customers, showcasing product features, or building emotional connections, video content has the power to inform, inspire, and ultimately drive purchasing decisions in favor of the products or services being offered. As social media continues to evolve, harnessing the potential of video content will be essential for businesses looking to stay ahead in an increasingly competitive landscape.

In the ever-evolving digital landscape of 2024, a business’s online presence is more crucial than ever. As technology continues to advance, consumer expectations and online competition rise simultaneously.

To stay ahead and thrive in this dynamic environment, businesses must prioritise key elements on their websites. Here are the top five areas to focus on for a successful business website or app in 2024.

A cartoon image of a business woman and her partner standing in an office
  1. User Experience (UX) and Accessibility:

User experience remains the cornerstone of any successful website or app, and in 2024, businesses must go beyond aesthetics. Prioritise creating a seamless and intuitive user journey that caters to diverse user needs. Apps and sites should load quickly, feature responsive design for various devices, and offer an intuitive navigation structure.

A young designer working on the UX and design of a web application

Accessibility is also paramount, as inclusivity becomes a central theme in web design.

Ensure that your website is accessible to users with disabilities, complying with accessibility standards such as WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines). Features like alt text for images, keyboard navigation, and readable fonts contribute to a positive user experience for everyone, regardless of their abilities.

Investing in UX and accessibility not only enhances user satisfaction but also positively impacts your search engine rankings, as search engines increasingly prioritise user-friendly websites and mobile apps.

  1. Content Quality and Personalization:

Content continues to reign supreme in 2024, but the emphasis has shifted towards quality and personalisation. Engaging, relevant, and informative content not only attracts visitors but also keeps them on your site longer, potentially converting them into customers.

In the era of data-driven marketing, personalisation is key. Leverage user data to tailor content based on individual preferences, behaviours, and demographics. Implement AI-driven algorithms to recommend products or services, creating a personalised experience for each visitor. Personalisation not only enhances user engagement but also boosts conversion rates and fosters brand loyalty.

Cartoon image of several people smiling and showing their love of a brand

Regularly update and optimise your content to align with industry trends and user expectations. Video content, interactive elements, and immersive storytelling are effective ways to capture and maintain audience attention in 2024.

  1. Cybersecurity and Data Privacy:

With the increasing frequency and sophistication of cyber threats, businesses cannot afford to neglect cybersecurity in 2024. A single security breach can have severe consequences, eroding trust and damaging a company’s reputation. Prioritise the implementation of robust cybersecurity measures to safeguard sensitive customer data and protect your business from potential threats.

Cartoon of a secure data centre

In addition to cybersecurity, a heightened focus on data privacy is crucial. With evolving regulations such as GDPR and CCPA, businesses must ensure compliance with data protection laws. Clearly communicate your privacy policies to users, obtain explicit consent for data collection, and prioritise transparency in how customer data is handled.

Investing in cybersecurity not only protects your business but also instills confidence in your customers, assuring them that their data is handled responsibly.

  1. Mobile Optimization and Progressive Web Apps (PWAs):

As mobile device usage continues to dominate, mobile optimisation is no longer a choice but a necessity. In 2024, prioritise creating a seamless and enjoyable experience for mobile users. Google’s mobile-first indexing means that search engines primarily use the mobile version of a site for indexing and ranking, making mobile optimisation crucial for SEO.

Cartoon of a smiling man using an app on his mobile phone

Consider adopting Progressive Web App (PWA) technology to enhance the mobile experience. PWAs offer faster load times, offline functionality, and a more app-like experience without the need for users to download a separate application. This not only improves user engagement on mobile devices but also contributes to better search engine rankings.

  1. E-commerce Integration and Seamless Transactions:

For businesses involved in online selling, seamless e-commerce integration is a top priority in 2024. Prioritise optimising your online store for a smooth and secure shopping experience. Ensure that product pages load quickly, navigation is intuitive, and the checkout process is streamlined.

Implement the latest payment gateways and security protocols to instil confidence in customers when making online transactions. Provide multiple payment options and prioritise a mobile-friendly checkout process, as mobile commerce continues to gain momentum.

A cartoon image of a high street shop displaying their brand and opening hours

Additionally, leverage technology such as augmented reality (AR) for virtual try-ons or product visualization, enhancing the online shopping experience. The ability to virtually interact with products can significantly influence purchasing decisions and set your business apart in a competitive market.

The digital landscape in 2024 demands a holistic approach to web development. Prioritising user experience, content quality, cybersecurity, mobile optimisation, and e-commerce integration will not only ensure the success of your business website but also position your brand for sustained growth in the rapidly evolving online environment. By staying abreast of industry trends and adopting innovative technologies, businesses can navigate the digital landscape with confidence and deliver exceptional value to their online audience.

If you would like us to give you our Digital Health Check for 2024, please feel free to get in touch.

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In the vast and varied world of business, there’s a little something called ‘branding’ that’s like the secret sauce for companies – be they as big as Apple Inc. or as small as your local charity organisation.

Cartoon of a woman wireframing a logo

Crafting a solid brand isn’t just about having a nice looking logo; it’s about creating an identity that shouts, “Oi, we’re here, and we’re brilliant!” Let’s spill the beans on why branding is key for businesses of all sizes.

Earning Brownie Points with Trust and Credibility

Trust is the name of the game in the business world. Big dogs use their fancy brands to say, “We’re the real deal, mate – top-notch quality, rock-solid reliability, and consistency that’ll make your nan proud.” But don’t think the small fry are left out. A well-crafted brand for a small business says, “We’re authentic, we’re passionate, and we’re giving you the personal touch others can’t match.” Trust us, once you’ve got that trust, it’s like winning the lottery – customers keep coming back, and they tell their mates.

Stand Out from the Crowd – Recognize and Differentiate

Picture this: you’re in a crowded pub, and everyone’s wearing the same old drab clothes. Boring, right? That’s what happens in the marketplace without a stand-out brand. Big corporations use their flashy brands to be the kings and queens of recognition. Meanwhile, small businesses use branding to be the cool cats in their niche – it’s like having the best pint in town. A memorable brand is your ticket to being remembered and chosen, no matter the size of your business.

Setting the Scene with Tone and Values

A brand isn’t just a posh suit for a company; it’s a mirror reflecting its values, mission, and culture. Whether you’re a global empire or the corner shop that’s been there since the dinosaurs roamed, your brand sets the vibe. Big shots use it to shout about their commitment to quality, innovation, and being the good guys. Small businesses use it to say, “We’re not just selling stuff; we’re selling a vibe, a lifestyle.” It’s like having your own theme music – customers remember it, and they dance to your tune.

Marketing Magic and Expansion Tricks

Ever tried selling something without a name or a face? It’s like trying to sell ice cream in Antarctica – not happening. Big companies use their brand power to launch new stuff effortlessly; it’s like introducing a new member to the royal family – everyone’s excited because it’s under the trusted name. Small businesses use it to spread their wings and attract new customers. It’s like going from the local pub quiz to competing in the national championships – your brand is your ticket to the big leagues.

Rolling with the Punches – Adapting to Change and Challenges

In the business jungle, it’s survival of the fittest. A strong brand is like a sturdy umbrella in the rain – it keeps you dry when things get stormy. Big corporations bounce back from setbacks using their brand like a superhero cape. Small businesses use it as a lifeline when times are tough – it’s like having a best mate who’s got your back. A resilient brand says, “We’re here to stay, no matter what.”

Cheering Up the Workplace – Enhancing Employee Engagement

Branding isn’t just for customers; it’s like the office cheerleader, rallying the troops. A cracking brand boosts employee morale, making them proud to be part of the gang. It’s like having a team of superheroes – each one knows their role, and they’re ready to conquer the world. Whether you’re a massive corporation or a family-sized business, a strong brand is like a secret handshake that unites everyone – inside and out.

In a nutshell, branding isn’t just for the bigwigs; it’s for everyone playing the business game. So, if you’re still on the fence about branding, it’s time to get your thinking cap on – because in this ever-changing world, a solid brand is the key to unlocking success, from the local restaurant around the corner to the global giants ruling the roost. Branding, the unsung hero of the business world!

In the fast-paced world of the internet, where users demand instant access to information, websites need to be swift and responsive. Slow-loading pages can frustrate visitors and lead to a significant drop in user engagement. This is where Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) come to the rescue, working behind the scenes to enhance the speed and performance of websites. In simple terms, CDNs act like magical helpers that ensure your website loads quickly and efficiently, providing a seamless experience for users around the globe.

The Need for Speed

Imagine your website as a library, and each page on your site is a book. When a user in Australia wants to read one of your books, they might face delays if the books are stored in a library in the United States. The time it takes for the book to travel from the U.S. library to the user’s location can result in a slow loading time.

Now, replace the library scenario with the internet. Websites store their data on servers, and when a user wants to access your site, their request travels to the server where your website is hosted. If the server is located far away from the user, the data has to traverse great distances, causing delays in loading time.

Enter the Content Delivery Network

This is where CDNs step in to save the day. Instead of relying on a single server in one location, CDNs use a network of servers strategically positioned in various locations worldwide. These servers are like copies of your library, each containing the same set of books (or website data). When a user wants to access your website, the CDN automatically directs them to the server that is geographically closest to them.

Let’s go back to our library analogy. With a CDN in place, users in Australia won’t have to wait for the book to travel all the way from the U.S. library. Instead, they can access the same book from a local library, significantly reducing the time it takes to retrieve the information.

How CDNs Work Their Magic

  1. Content Replication: CDNs replicate your website’s static content, such as images, CSS, and JavaScript files, across multiple servers. These servers, often referred to as “edge servers” or “nodes,” are strategically distributed in various locations worldwide.
  2. Geographical Distribution: CDNs strategically place these edge servers in different regions, ensuring that users from diverse locations can access your website from a server that is nearby. This minimizes the physical distance the data has to travel, reducing latency and improving loading times.
  3. Caching: CDNs use caching to store copies of your website’s content on their servers. When a user requests a specific piece of content, the CDN checks if it’s already stored in its cache. If it is, the CDN delivers the cached content directly to the user, bypassing the need to fetch it from the original server. This significantly accelerates the loading process.
  4. Load Balancing: To ensure optimal performance, CDNs employ load balancing techniques. This involves distributing the incoming traffic across multiple servers, preventing any single server from becoming overloaded. This not only enhances speed but also improves the overall reliability and stability of your website.

Benefits for Website Owners and Users

1. Faster Loading Times:

The most obvious benefit of using a CDN is the improvement in loading times. Users experience faster access to your website’s content, resulting in a more enjoyable and seamless browsing experience.

2. Improved User Experience:

A speedy website enhances user satisfaction. Visitors are more likely to stay on your site, explore its content, and return in the future if they have a positive and efficient experience.

3. Global Reach:

CDNs ensure that your website performs well globally. Whether a user is in New York, London, or Sydney, they will enjoy fast loading times, regardless of the physical location of your hosting server.

4. Enhanced Website Reliability:

By distributing traffic across multiple servers, CDNs provide a level of redundancy. If one server experiences issues, the CDN can route traffic to other servers, ensuring that your website remains accessible and reliable.

5. Bandwidth Savings:

CDNs can help reduce the load on your hosting server by handling a significant portion of the content delivery. This can result in cost savings, especially if your hosting provider charges based on bandwidth usage.

A Content Delivery Network acts as a global network of helpers, ensuring that your website’s content is delivered quickly and efficiently to users around the world. By strategically distributing content, employing caching techniques, and optimizing traffic flow, CDNs contribute to a faster, more reliable, and user-friendly online experience. So, if you want your website to be a speedster on the internet highway, consider enlisting the services of a Content Delivery Network and watch the magic unfold.

While the general concept of Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) provides a solid foundation for enhancing website speed and performance, specific CDN providers like Cloudflare (our “go to” CDN) offer additional features that take your online presence to the next level. Let’s delve into some of the unique benefits Cloudflare brings to the table:

1. Security Shield:

Beyond its primary role as a CDN, Cloudflare acts as a powerful security shield for your website. It provides robust protection against various online threats, including DDoS attacks, SQL injection, and malicious bot traffic. By filtering out harmful requests before they reach your server, Cloudflare ensures the integrity and availability of your website.

2. SSL/TLS Encryption:

Cloudflare offers free SSL/TLS encryption for your website, securing the communication between users and your server. This is crucial for protecting sensitive information, such as login credentials and personal data, instilling trust in your visitors and boosting your website’s security posture.

3. Web Application Firewall (WAF):

Cloudflare’s Web Application Firewall is a key feature that adds an extra layer of defense against application-layer attacks. It analyzes and filters HTTP traffic between a user and your web application, identifying and blocking malicious traffic that could exploit vulnerabilities in your website.

4. Load Balancing:

Cloudflare’s Load Balancing feature helps distribute incoming traffic across multiple servers, ensuring optimal performance and preventing any single server from being overwhelmed. This is particularly beneficial for websites experiencing fluctuating levels of traffic or sudden surges in demand.

5. Accelerated Mobile Experience:

Cloudflare is designed to enhance the mobile browsing experience, recognizing the growing trend of users accessing websites via smartphones and tablets. By optimizing content delivery for mobile devices, Cloudflare helps reduce page load times and improves the overall responsiveness of your site on mobile platforms.

6. Image Optimization:

Large image files can significantly slow down website loading times. Cloudflare tackles this issue with image optimization features that automatically compress and deliver images in a format that maximizes speed without compromising quality. This is especially crucial for visually-rich websites or e-commerce platforms.

7. Automatic Platform Optimization (APO):

Cloudflare’s APO takes caching to the next level by intelligently caching both static and dynamic content at the edge, ensuring that personalized content is delivered quickly to users. This is particularly beneficial for dynamic websites, content management systems (CMS), and e-commerce platforms.

A cartoon of a friendly robot with a smile, holding a stop sign and standing in front of server racks

8. Bot Management:

Unwanted bot traffic can consume valuable server resources and affect the overall performance of your website. Cloudflare’s Bot Management feature helps identify and filter out malicious bots, ensuring that your server resources are dedicated to serving genuine users.

A laptop showing an analytics dashboard

9. Analytics and Insights:

Cloudflare provides comprehensive analytics and insights into your website’s performance. You can gain valuable data on traffic patterns, visitor demographics, and security threats. This information empowers you to make informed decisions, optimize your content, and enhance the overall user experience.

Choosing a CDN like Cloudflare goes beyond simple content delivery. It integrates advanced security features, optimization tools, and analytics, offering a holistic solution to elevate your website’s performance and resilience in the dynamic online landscape. By harnessing the power of Cloudflare, you not only speed up content delivery but also fortify your digital presence against a myriad of online threats, ensuring a secure and seamless experience for your visitors.

In today’s digital age, a company’s online presence is a vital part of its success. Businesses invest significant time and money into creating and maintaining impressive websites, often viewing them as the primary means of engaging with their target audience. However, what many businesses fail to realize is that while a visually appealing website is essential, it’s equally important to regularly check and respond to the emails generated by the contact form on that website. This is a missed opportunity that can have a profound impact on customer satisfaction, conversion rates, and ultimately, the bottom line.

What prompted me to write this article (and not for the first time), was my own recent experience trying to source a spare part for a shower – a new thermostat, if you’re interested.

I Googled the brand and the model and looked for spares. I found four retailers, all here in the UK and contacted them all with a couple of questions to make sure I was ordering the right thing.

Three I contacted via their websites using their contact forms, and one via their Facebook page.

That was 10 days ago, and I’ve heard nothing from any of them! I’m a potential customer, with a genuine need for their product with money to spend. I’m genuinely shocked.

It’s truly amazing how many businesses overlook the goldmine that lies within their website’s contact form. Countless hours and dollars are poured into optimizing websites for user experience, search engine rankings, and aesthetics. Yet, when it comes to engaging with potential customers or clients through the simple act of checking and responding to contact form emails, many companies fall short. Here are some compelling reasons why regularly checking these emails is crucial:

  1. Customer Expectations

In an age of instant communication, customers and clients expect timely responses to their inquiries. Neglecting your contact form emails sends the message that you’re not attentive to their needs. This can tarnish your brand’s image and lead to a loss of trust, potentially driving prospects into the arms of your competitors who are more responsive.

  1. Missed Opportunities

Contact form emails often represent valuable business opportunities. People who take the time to reach out to your company are typically interested in your products or services. By not responding promptly, you risk losing these potential customers. Regularly checking these emails allows you to seize these opportunities and convert leads into loyal customers.

  1. Customer Retention

Responding to contact form inquiries is not only about acquiring new customers but also about retaining existing ones. Customers who feel heard and valued are more likely to remain loyal. Ignoring their emails can lead to frustration and may result in churn.

  1. Positive Online Reputation

In today’s interconnected world, customers often share their experiences with a brand online. Regularly checking and responding to contact form emails can result in positive reviews and testimonials, enhancing your online reputation. On the flip side, ignoring inquiries can lead to negative reviews and damage your image.

  1. Improved Conversion Rates

Properly managed contact form inquiries can be a powerful tool for improving conversion rates. By engaging with potential customers in a timely and helpful manner, you can guide them through the decision-making process, increasing the likelihood of conversion.

  1. Competitive Advantage

Amazingly, the competition often neglects this aspect of online interaction as well. By consistently checking and responding to contact form emails, you can set your business apart from competitors who are missing out on these opportunities. This can be a significant advantage in your industry.

  1. Valuable Feedback

Contact form emails often contain valuable feedback that can help you improve your products or services. Listening to what your audience has to say can lead to innovation and ultimately, increased customer satisfaction.

  1. Legal Compliance

In some industries, there are legal requirements for timely responses to customer inquiries, especially those related to service or product complaints. Failing to meet these obligations can result in legal troubles and fines.

It’s astonishing how many businesses invest heavily in their websites but neglect one of the most crucial aspects of online interaction: checking and responding to contact form emails. These emails are a valuable resource for engaging with potential customers, retaining existing ones, and enhancing your online reputation.

In an age where customer expectations are high, neglecting contact form emails can result in missed opportunities and customer dissatisfaction. Additionally, a failure to respond can lead to negative reviews and damage your brand’s image.

Taking the time to regularly check and respond to these emails not only increases customer satisfaction but also improves conversion rates, gives you a competitive advantage, and provides valuable feedback for improvement.

So, while you continue to invest in your website’s aesthetics and functionality, remember that the goldmine of opportunity is not in the design, but in the simple act of checking and responding to the emails generated by your contact form. Don’t miss out on this amazing potential to connect with your audience and boost your business’s success.

And have I found my replacement thermostat? Yes, but not through any of those four companies.

Social marketing is an essential tool for small businesses looking to grow their customer base and increase their brand awareness. In today’s digital age, social media platforms have become an integral part of the marketing mix, and small businesses that don’t take advantage of them are missing out on a huge opportunity.

First and foremost, social marketing allows small businesses to reach a wider audience than traditional marketing methods. With billions of users on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, small businesses can connect with potential customers from all over the world. This is especially important for businesses with limited budgets, as social media advertising can be a cost-effective way to reach a large audience.

Another benefit of social marketing is that it allows businesses to build relationships with their customers. Social media platforms are designed for interaction and engagement, and small businesses can use them to create a sense of community around their brand. By responding to customer comments and messages, sharing interesting content, and running contests and promotions, small businesses can create a loyal following of customers who are more likely to recommend their products or services to others.

Social marketing also provides small businesses with valuable insights into their customers’ preferences and behaviour. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter allow businesses to track metrics like engagement rates, click-through rates, and audience demographics, which can help them fine-tune their marketing strategies and better target their audience.

Finally, social marketing is a great way for any sized businesses or organisations to establish their brand’s personality and voice. By sharing engaging and relatable content, small businesses can create a unique and memorable brand identity that sets them apart from their competitors.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “But social media is for kids, isn’t it? And I am running a business, not a hobby” But that’s where you are wrong, my friend. Social media is not just for kids, it’s for everyone. And as a small business owner, you should be using it to your advantage.

Think of it this way, when you’re out at a pub with your mates, you chat and laugh and share stories, right? Well, social media is just the digital version of that. It’s a place where you can connect with your customers, share your brand’s story, and make people laugh. And who doesn’t love a good laugh?

In conclusion, social marketing is a powerful tool that can help small businesses grow their customer base, increase brand awareness, and establish a unique brand identity. So, don’t be a stick-in-the-mud, get on social media and show your customers the fun and friendly side of your business.

If you need more information and would like to find out how Rubber Duck Digital can kick-start your social media activity and marketing, feel free to get in touch.


eCommerce web and mobile apps have become a big part of the way we buy and sell things, and even more so over the last two years of the pandemic.

However, it’s not easy to create an eCommerce website that is effective, successful and profitable.

It takes a lot of hard work and plenty of planning.

At Rubber Duck Digital, we know our clients don’t often have time to trawl through the pros and cons of 10 or 15 online shopping carts and a dozen different eCommerce platforms looking for the best solution. So, with that in mind, we like to work closely with our clients to get a deep understanding of what they want to achieve, what products or services they offer and who and where their markets are, before making any suggestions for software and/or platforms and budgets.

Here are just a few of the things to consider before breaking out the spanners and starting to build eCommerce apps.

  • Do your homework, both on your potential (or existing) customers AND the competition.
    • What does a typical customer look like? Who are they, where do they live, what do they like, where do they hang out in the digital world. Or are they more “old skool”? If so, how do we get them to our virtual front door.
    • What are your competitors doing? What platforms or software are they using? What do they do well? What do they do poorly?
  • Before committing to software or platforms, how do they perform on a technical level? What are the reviews like from other businesses using those platforms? No one likes a slow site or one that’s difficult to navigate and find what you’re looking for.
  • Make sure your apps have a cohesive brand, not just a collection of disparate images, links, sliders etc. Spend time on developing your online brand and presence and tailor it to your market.
  • Shipping and handling or fullfilment: pick a respected and reliable service. Make sure whoever you chose can fit in to your workflows. Can they offer tracking and customer updates? Keeping customers informed all along the chain from the moment they buy, to the moment their products are delivered, and beyond helps build brand loyalty.
  • Set out a customer service charter, and live by it. Make it your bible. Poor customer service can be terminal, so set the standard “early doors”, as the football pundits like to say.
  • Payment Service Providers. Take a look at the entire landscape and pick the ones that will be best suited to your markets. Can you get away with just one provider for ease of management, or will you need more than one to better serve customers in different territories. Talk to your bank. Can they offer you a better deal than some of the better known providers but with the same level of service. Don’t just jump into bed with PayPal just because it’s …. well … PayPal. Explore other options that will work best for your customers and you.
  • Encourage customers to leave reviews. There’s nothing more useful to an online business than a cart-load of positive reviews. If you get average or poor ones, deal with them; respond to the review and put things right.
  • It should go without saying that your budgets for advertising, promotion and marketing should be highly targeted and scheduled to get the best possible ROI. Work with your agency to put together a detailed and realistic plan before you launch, as that may well influence the design and build of your application, site or landing pages.
  • Test, test test. Don’t leave it to chance, test everything in your app or talk to your agency about what testing needs to be done, how they will do it and how they will report.

    And then test again. Seriously though, put in place automated testing to check your cart flow on a regular basis. Automate performance and availability testing and set up alerts so you know if or when something fails.

This is just a few of the things that need to be considered when building an online or eCommerce business.

So, if I haven’t put you off by now :-) and you’d like a chat about how we can work with you to deliver your vision, whether you’re just kicking a few ideas around and need a sounding board, or on the verge of kicking off the entire design, develop, test, launch, tweak, market process, feel free to get in touch.


It’s been a while since I’ve written an update as we’ve all be super busy helping clients with business continuation through the pandemic and lock down, so here’s a quick insight on just a couple of projects we’ve been involved in.

Impact Mental Health is a social enterprise who provide amazing courses and programmes to help people suffering from mental health issues. They also provide support and courses for other organisations and companies who are keen to provide their staff with the tools to better manage their mental wellbeing.

We’ve worked with Impact for several years and have built up an intimate knowledge of their organisation and the courses they offer including attending their courses. Like my father always used to say, “know your product!”.

Up until the start of the pandemic, the majority of their courses were run in groups, face to face in the community and Rubber Duck Digital built their web application and course booking systems using WordPress as the core CMS. We also built their very own social media platform called BaseCamp to allow staff and members to keep in touch and provide peer support online. This has become even more important through lockdown and the pandemic.

Then everything changed. Lockdown came along and Impact were faced with a major problem. How to change everything so that courses could be run online, remotely so as to safeguard their staff, volunteers and of course, their learners.

Sessions Held Live

After discussing the requirements in depth with the Impact team, we built a fully interactive Learning Management System and Booking System, incorporated live video using Zoom and Google Meets and built a small “studio” with broadcast quality cameras, lighting and video kit, including the amazing Blackmagic ATEM Mini (an awesome bit of kit for the money). All socially distanced and fully hygienic, of course.

The ATEM Mini - Part Of Impact's Live Studio Set Up
The ATEM Mini – Part Of Impact’s Live Studio Set Up

In addition, we assisted their team in optimising local, in home networks so that video and audio would be uninterrupted and the best possible quality.

We turned everything around in few weeks so there was no down time in providing services. Something I’m exceptionally proud of.

Without the hard work and knowledge that Phil brought to this enormous challenge, we would have struggled to keep our courses going throughout lockdown.

Déanne Clark – CEO Impact Mental Health
BaySixty6 Skate Park

They are another client who entrusted us with their digital presence several years ago. We built their current website and e-commerce application in 2017 and we’ve worked with them since to scale the app and server infrastructure over the last few years, including migration from shared a shared server to Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Cloudflare with Google Workspaces in the mix as well.

When lockdown came in to force we used the time wisely and worked with the B66 team to to spec and build a new registration and booking system which would prove to be vital in complying with Track and Trace guidelines and capacity limits once lockdown restrictions were eased.

The next batch of features and requirements for the application are now being worked on for release later in the year. Some cosmetic and some functional, so watch this space.

Within just a few weeks of launching the new features, and with lockdown being eased, the system had registered several thousand local user accounts with hundred of transactions a day.

Fast and efficient, Phil Evans and his team at Rubber Duck Digital have done an excellent job for BAYSIXTY6 Skate Park and we are very proud of our new website! Our traffic is steadily increasing and so too are our online sales. We thoroughly recommend Rubber Duck Digital.

David Morton

As with all our projects, I’m immensely proud of the work we do with all of our clients, but even more so with Impact and BaySixty6 and I’m pleased we were able to help them continue to provide the local communities they serve with outstanding services,