It's the end of another busy week for us here at Designer Websites, and it looks like the rest of the tech and marketing world have been up to their eyeballs too! Once again there are a bunch of things on our radar that we'd love to share with you this week; from a double resignation at Google to 2020 website preparations. Intrigued? Just keep reading...

Photo from https://www.theverge.com/

Spotify Wrapped Takes the Internet by Storm

If you've ventured on social media anytime this week you might have seen images like this popping up all over the place. Well, that's because we've come around to the Spotify wrapped time of year, where listeners get an in-depth overview of their musical habits. That's right, those guilty pleasures and Disney-sing-alongs and Karaoke classics are about to be showcased for all to see! This year, Spotify has made their roundups social media-friendly, much to the disappointment of Apple Music users, who haven't been treated to these luxuries!

Google Co-Founders Step Down

It looks like some big changes to the Google management structure are beginning to take shape. Larry Page and Sergey Brin, currently CEO and President of Alphabet, are to step aside leaving Google CEO Sundar Pichai to take the reigns for Alphabet too. They've said they will remain in the company as active shareholders and board members!

Freshen Up Your SEO Strategy

The year is coming to a close and we're starting to see reminders that now is a great time for reflecting and adjusting your SEO strategy. 

If you've been focusing on building engagement on socials, writing engaging blogs or optimising your site content, it might be time to switch things up a bit! Why not dedicate some time to build some valuable backlinks, or pursue adding eye-catching video content to your site?

Start to plan your business goals for 2020 and consider how you can tweak your current strategy to suit them! Our SEO team always recommend at this time of year is a dose of healthy competitor analysis.

Take a look around competitor sites, find out what they've been doing, who's linking to them and make sure you haven't missed an opportunity to reach new audiences. You might notice your competitors holding festive competitions at this time of year, which is something your audience can really share and engage with!

Here are a few pointers to help you refresh your SEO strategy:

  • Check your existing site content and add extra information where you can. This will give returning users a little extra to read!
  • Consider adding videos to your marketing plan, a splash of eye-catching multimedia can really boost engagement
  • Build your social media following. Have you tried a Facebook boosted post this year?
  • Review your internal links and consider adding new ones, this will help Google better understand the layout of your site and potentially boost rankings!

These are just a few ideas to get you started, keep checking back to see our helpful SEO based blogs throughout the year. We'll see you next week for another DW roundup. Have a lovely weekend!

 

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With the calendar now well into December, it’s officially acceptable to fill your car with Christmas tunes and crank up the volume to a chassis-shaking, bell-jingling 11+.

To help you get your yuletide off to a flier, we’ve put together a festive playlist to get you in the Christmas spirit faster than Phil Mitchell at a free bar.

Chosen by the various members of DW team, this varied collection is a mixed bag of Christmas classics, festive favourites and holiday anomalies – and we mean varied…

If variety is the spice of life, consider this playlist to be a melodic lamb madras. Tuck in!

 

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“All I Want for Christmas Is You” – Mariah Carey

Making its debut in 1994, it’s hard to believe that Mariah Carey’s Christmas classic is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year – all the more reason to add it your playlist and play it loud and proud!

A festive favourite for many, Miss Carey’s anthemic December tune is so popular that it even broke Spotify’s global single-day streaming record on Christmas Eve Last year, clocking up almost 11 million streams!

Festive Fact

Since its release, the song has been covered by countless artists, including everyone from Arianna Grande and Shania Twain to My Chemical Romance and Bowling for Soup.

 

“Christmas in Hollis” – Run DMC

An altogether different yet equally awesome addition to the playlist, 1987’s “Christmas in Hollis” proved that the festive airwaves are strictly reserved for radio-friendly pop music.

This tinsel-tastic track by New York rappers, Run DMC, originally appeared on a benefit album in aid of the Special Olympics. Solidifying its status as a Christmas classic, “Christmas in Hollis” even makes a memorable appearance in the opening five minutes of Die Hard – which definitely IS a Christmas film!

Festive Fact

Despite being directed by an NYU film student, the video for "Christmas in Hollis" went on to win Rolling Stone's 1987 “Best Video of the Year” award, incredibly edging out Michael Jackson's music video for “Bad” directed by Martin Scorsese.

 

“Mistletoe” – Justin Beiber

Justin Beiber traded his cap for a Christmas hat back in 2011 with this reggae-inspired holiday tune. By January 1st 2012, the track had reached an impressive 722k downloads, selling more copies in a calendar year than any previous holiday song in digital history.

Included on Beiber’s Christmas album, “Under the Mistletoe”, the song helped the album shoot straight to #1 on the Billboard 200 in the US. As a result, Beibs became the first artist to record three #1 albums before the age of 18.

Festive Fact

Prior to its official release, Beiber debuted the track live in front of over 45k screaming fans Rio de Janeiro’s Olympic Stadium on October 6th. Despite the fact it was over two and a half months before Christmas, the crowd lapped it up!

 

“Things I Want” – Tenacious D and Sum 41

When it comes to warm and fuzzy Christmas songs, it’s fair to say that Tenacious D and Sum 41 are two bands that aren’t the first that spring to mind. Luckily, this tune from 2001 is neither warm nor fuzzy, instead offering breakneck festive fun in a 3-minute joyride.

Brushing aside the typical paint-by-numbers approach of seasonal song-writing, “Things I Want” is a yule-tirade of demands from Jack Black to St Nick, ranging from a time machine and a robot pelican to Pamela Anderson’s speedo top and a statue of Moby.

Festive Fact

Jack Black would return for another crack at the Christmas collaboration in 2010, teaming up with comedy actor, Jason Segel, to cover David Bowie and Bing Crosby’s “Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy” mash-up.

 

“Stop the Cavalry” – Jona Lewie

Hitting the airwaves in 1980, “Stop the Cavalry” was never intended to be a Christmas song; however, the line “Wish I was at home for Christmas” led management to change course and take the festive approach.

In hindsight, Jona Lewie will be glad they did. The song has become a yuletide mainstay and, according to Lewie himself, the song’s royalties account for 50% of his annual income.

Festive Fact

Upon its release, “Stop the Cavalry” reached #3 in the UK Singles Chart. It was kept off the top spot by two reissued John Lennon tracks following his untimely death that same month.

 

“Proper Crimbo” – Bo’ Selecta

The brainchild of Leigh Francis, “Proper Crimbo” hit the airwaves almost two decades ago in 2003 and, while the cast of characters in the video may show its age, the song itself hasn’t lost any of its catchiness.

A true ear-worm in every sense, the song itself reached #4 in the UK Singles Chart back in December ’03. While it remained in the charts for nine weeks, it’s remained in our hearts ever since!

Festive Fact

Leigh Francis would return to the music charts ten years later in 2013, this time behind the legendary tasche of Keith Lemon with the fittingly titled “I Wanna Go On You”.

 

“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” – Brenda Lee

Despite turning 61-years-old this December 1958’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” isn’t showing any signs of age and is a firm favourite of many during the festive period.

Incredibly, Brenda Lee recorded the song when she was just 13-years-old. While the song was largely unsuccessful upon its release, it’s gone on to snowball into an absolute staple.

The track was also memorably included in 1990s Christmas classic, Home Alone, further cementing its status as a solid-gold Christmas classic.

Festive Fact

Famously covered by Kim Wilde and Mel Smith for Comic Relief in 1987, the cover version actually peaked higher than the original, reaching #3 in the UK Singles Chart to the original’s #6.

 

“Mr Hankey” – South Park

For anyone growing up in the ‘90s, South Park was a true phenomenon, blending outrageous cartoon antics with expletive-riddled adult comedy in one ridiculous package. This song is no different…

Released in 1997, “Mr Hankey, the Christmas Poo” brings a whole new meaning to the term “yule log”. Howdy ho, everybody!

Festive Fact

The following year, South Park would have another crack at the music charts with “Chocolate Salty Balls”, as sung by Chef (aka Isaac Hayes). Incredibly, Chef’s contribution went on to #1 in the UK Singles Chart in December ’98.

 

“Fairytale of New York” – The Pogues

What wintry playlist would be complete without being graced with the unmistakable opening piano notes of Shane MacGowan’s 1987 classic, “Fairytale of New York”?

A true iron-clad staple of the Christmas period, the song has endured year-after-year and has remained timeless since its debut. In fact, following its re-release in 2005, the song has made an appearance in the UK Top 20 every December since!

Festive Fact

MacGowan, himself actually born on Christmas Day, apparently wrote the song as part of a bet with Elvis Costello. It’s fair to say that MacGowan probably won that bet and has been laughing all the way to the bank every Christmas since!

 

“Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End)” – The Darkness

Rounding out the list in style is 2003’s the crotch-hugging, lycra-clad classic from The Darkness. Filled with trademark falsetto singing, outrageous outfits and face-melting guitar solos, it’s everything you could want it to be and more.

Channelling the festive tunes of ‘70s glam-rockers Slade and Wizzard, Justin Hawkins and Co. go all out in their festive foray into snowy song-writing with more cheeky lyrics than your average track from The Cheeky Girls. A true Christmas crowd-pleaser!

Festive Fact

Despite being hotly-tipped to be Christmas #1, “Christmas Time” by The Darkness was pipped at the post by a depressing cover of Tears for Fears’ “Mad World” by Gary Jules. According to Music Week, they were beaten by just 5k copies.

 

 

So, there you have it – 10 festive favourites from the DW team to help you get in the Christmas mood and kickstart your own Christmas playlist. Merry Christmas from everyone here at Designer Websites!

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If you are in charge of a Facebook page, at the helm of an Instagram account or managing a Twitter profile for your business, you are probably already acquainted with the ins and outs of social media.

Likewise, sitting behind the wheel of a company’s social media will mean you are also probably well-acquainted with the cocktail of frustrations that come with it, accompanied by a seemingly endless “happy hour” of headaches.

From fluctuating engagement figures and inexplicable unfollows to negative comments and spam, the various vexations of social media management can be a common complaint for anyone looking to bolster their brand’s social standing.

In order to help lighten the load and improve your social standing, picking your spots is a key factor. Read on, as we explore the best time to post on social media to ensure your posts and pages gain traction and don’t fall behind.

 

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Timing is Everything

Social media can be a harsh mistress that’s also high maintenance. Constantly changing and ever-evolving, the online realm of digital networking can be a tough beast to tame.

However, with that being said, there are certain behaviours and user patterns that have helped identify the best times to post on social media (at least in theory).

To help you get a handle on your social media struggles, here are a few tips on when to post to get the highest engagement and garner the most eyeballs.

 

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Time is Money

If you’re posting on social media for business purposes, it’s logical to engage with your following when most people are going to be available to see your posts and interact with them.

Naturally, posting at 03:00 a.m. will probably not see too good of a return, so don’t be surprised if such a post falls short like Homer Simpson at Springfield Gorge.

So, when are most people free to interact? Let’s find out…

 

Let’s Do Lunch

During office hours, a post nestled neatly in the middle of the working day to coincide with lunchtimes is a smart choice.

Many of us turn to our phones as a means of distraction during our lunch hours, whether its to catch up with the world, interact with friends or simply distance ourselves from the morning workload.

As such, a well-timed post that arrives during the hours of 11:00 and 14:00 to cover the varied lunchtime window can increase your likelihood of success dramatically.

This interval covers a wide margin of lunchtime windows, including those who take an early lunch and those who leave it late; however, it’s better to post earlier and cover the whole spectrum than leave it late and risk missing part of your demo.

 

Evening All

Outside of lunchtime, the next logical part of the day where people are free to relax, unwind and scroll aimlessly through reams and reams of social media posts is, of course, the evening.

With work in the rear-view mirror, the brief reprieve of the post-work downtime provides the working Brit with a few hours respite and the social media manager with a prime posting window.

For the clocking-off commuters, anywhere after 17:00 is a good place to start catching those idle thumbs during a home-bound public transport journey.

Meanwhile, catching your audience at home later in the evening when they are likely to be actively seeking entertainment is another great way to reach your audience.

Engagement figures tend to taper off as the night wears on so try to keep your evening post between the hours of 17:00 and 20:00.

 

All in a Day's Work

As for the best days to post, the midweek frequently records the highest engagement figures and Wednesday in particular commonly emerges as a standout day.

Additionally, Sunday is also a prime candidate for pinnacle posting performance. The so-called day of rest, sees many of us reach for our phones in search of boredom avoidance.

Meanwhile, those that have made the most of their Saturdays will be looking to recover on the Sunday with a schedule to suit

For a lot of Brits, the road to recovery means lazing around scrolling through social media. Make the most of this social media upswing by scheduling your post to coincide.

  

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Trial and Error

While the above info is a great base to build upon in terms of social media engagement, it’s important to remember that this info is merely a guide and not an exact science.

The truth is, there is no hard and fast rule to social media posting and engagement figures can be dependent on a whole host of factors, from the quality of the post to the content of the media you attach.

Even a quick Google search on optimal social media times will spit back a mixed bag of results, at times featuring completely contradictory advice from what you read elsewhere.

As such, the best way to approach social media posting is with a trial and error mindset. Keep track of your posts, interpret the results and find out what works for you and your business.

 

Know Your Audience

When you’re scheduling your social media posts, try to bear in mind your target audience and think about their work patterns and living habits. This can have a big effect on engagement figures.

For example, a brand that targets stay-at-home mums is likely to have a drastically different posting schedule than a page that’s aimed at an audience that works 9-5.

While it may seem obvious, you should time your posts to coincide with periods when your audience is likely to be online in order to ensure your posts reach the most people, get the most exposure and achieve the most engagement.

The better you know your audience, the better you can cater to their needs and adjust your content and posting times accordingly. Do your homework and get inside the mind of your target demo and you won’t go far wrong.

 

For more social media tips or to enquire about the social media marketing services on offer here at Designer Websites, why not drop us a line today? Call now on 01446 339050 or get in touch online by clicking the button below.

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