Why you should start investing in local SEO. The power of local SEO in Cyprus.

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO is basically the practice of optimizing a website in such a way that will increase traffic generated to that website, from local searches. For example, if someone is Googling ‘Asian Restaurant’ and the location they are googling it from is Marina Limassol – Google will show Asian Restaurants located near the Marina area.

Therefore, if you have a business with a physical location and wish to see customers visiting you, local SEO should be one of your priorities.

With effective local SEO practices, Google will rank you in the Map Pack!

What’s a map pack?

Every time you google something that has a physical location, Google shows you a map pack. It usually displays 3 results at the top and an option to ‘show more results’ beneath them.

An interesting thing about map packs is that even the smallest change in location of the person making the search will affect the results appearing.

We believe it’s fair to say that most of us check out the map pack suggestions first. And the reason for this is because they are often on point and give us a lot of useful information fast (such as the location of the restaurant, the restaurant’s website, the restaurant’s phone number, etc.).

Therefore, if you are a restaurant owner, or own a retail store, or really, any other business where your physical store’s success is vital for the success of your company, then it’s probably important for you to rank at the top results of map packs.

Optimizing for SEO local results

Since this is a whole different topic and needs to be covered in-depth, we will link some pages where we think can be of value to you. The links below will explain some basic SEO practices to help your business rank in local searches.

If, however, you do not have the time to invest in SEO yourself and learn all of the strategies that come with SEO optimization, we’ve got your back!

At online solutions, we have mastered the art of local SEO, and we are currently helping hundreds of our clients with ranking at the top of search results in Cyprus. If you really want to do SEO the right way, but you don’t have the time to do it yourself, don’t hesitate to give us a call!

We’ll check out your website, we’ll track your current position in search results, and we’ll help you make the top!

How to set social media marketing goals.

Social media marketing seems to be running the business world today. And we know… it can get really overwhelming! However, we’ve seen a lot of our clients thrive in social media and bring great success to their businesses. How? They became aware of what they wanted to achieve!

In this blog, we’ll elaborate on how you can become aware and what steps you should take to set effective goals for your business’s social media strategy.

Let’s say, you’ve realized the importance of having a strong online presence in today’s world, but you really can’t seem to grasp the way every algorithm works, and what you should be doing to get more engagement with your content. Or, even, you might be at the point where you aren’t even sure what you want to achieve! Is it more followers? More brand awareness? Greater engagement on your posts? Do you want to create a community?

So, let’s talk about goals. It’s fair to say that most of us know the importance of goals and how without them we can often just end up circling round and round at the same place.

Goals set a sense of direction. Something to work towards. Setting goals, the right way is important in most aspects of our lives. Especially in the social media world, which is constantly changing and evolving.

And going back to the beginning, the first step to figuring out your goals, and therefore your strategies is identifying what is the most essential component for you at this stage.

Let’s narrow things down!

#1. Deciding what’s essential

How can you do this? Well, there are many approaches, and every person has a different way of operating, so the following points might help every person differently.

Unfortunately, we can’t create a ‘one-fits-all guide’ for this. We can though suggest a few strategies for figuring out what’s a priority.

You can, for example, make a list of all the things you want to achieve with/through your social media accounts. Make sure this list isn’t a ‘I would like to’ list. Don’t just list stuff you think you should want to achieve, or stuff you would just like to achieve.

List the things that are essential for you to achieve for your business (at any point in time). Don’t be scared to look into the future. At this stage of the process, it’s important to ‘dream big’. Don’t limit yourself to the now. Create a vision for what you want to create with your company. Let this process take some time. However, make sure, everything on that list is important for you. Cause if it’s not you’ll have a hard time committing to it.

The next step is prioritizing your list using numbers. Now, we want you to think about time. Think about your priorities at this stage of your career journey. What’s important NOW? Set a numbering system of priority level 1 being the most vital at this stage in your career, and 10 being the least important now.

After this, gather up the 2 most important points from your list. And write them down separately.

You now have what is most important for you at the moment.

Make sure you keep your big list, since you’ll probably be seeing it changing throughout time, and you’ll be proud to see that success in one point, might be leading to success in another. And you can always refer back to your list, once you achieve your first goals.

Now that you know what’s important for you…

#2. Set a SMART goal for what’s essential

You probably heard of the term ‘SMART’ goals before.

SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable/Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound goals!

  • Specific

We often fall into the trap of setting goals that are vague. But this lack of clarity that comes with specific goals makes the goal itself kind of not urgent, or even unimportant in our heads. For example, don’t set a goal of ‘get more followers on Instagram’. Instead set a goal of ‘grow my Instagram followers by 1k, by the end of the year.’

  • Measurable

Make sure you can measure whether or not you have achieved your goal! In the case of the previous example, make sure you count how many followers you have before you start working towards your goal. This way, it will be easy for you to evaluate whether or not you achieved your goal.

  • Achievable/attainable

Setting goals that are too ambitious, can excite you for a while and then create a great deal of demotivation, resistance and disappointment. You should aim high yes, and you should be ambitious, but make sure the goals you set are not pushing you to go from 0% to 1000% in a week

Instead aim to stretch yourself one step at a time. Maybe go from 0% to 30% first, and see how much more determined you will be – since you know that the goal you set it something you can make reality, and not just a pipe dream. Break down your bigger goals to smaller milestones, and aim to achieve one by one!

  • Realistic

Make sure you are also realistic. Maybe research about your competitors, check out how other people achieved what you are now aiming to do, and set your goals in an ambitious, but realistic manner.

  • Time-bound

Set a time boundary for yourself. People thrive on deadlines most of the time, even if they don’t admit it. When we give our monkey brains too much time freedom to complete tasks or achieve goals, we are more likely to never start pursuing them in the first place.

In addition, setting time limits helps you re-evaluate your performance and create an even better strategy next time! Make sure you set a date for achieving your goal. And make sure it complies with all other aspects of your goals, it should be realistic, attainable and specific.

Examples of bad goals:
  • Gain more followers
  • Raise brand awareness
  • Increase engagement
Examples of SMART goals:
  • Have a total of 1.5k followers on Instagram by 30/9/2021
  • By 7/9/2021 have a total of 3k page views on the website originating from YouTube
  • I will increase my average engagement rate on Instagram and Facebook by 5% (on my last 2 posts), by 10/11/2021

 

#3. Decide, commit, and be consistent

And now to the practicalities of actually making it happen. Often, we might have the perfect goals, and perfect plan, and fail to accomplish them because we never seem to follow through with our strategies.

Therefore, many successful people suggest that you should create systems that help you stay consistent, even if things get too busy or too complicated to learn.

Some helpful ways to approach your goals might be to set specific times per day that you will work on specific tasks. Or maybe even set specific days for specific tasks.

For example, you can say that from Monday to Friday you will spend 30 minutes on answering to comments and interacting with other people’s content on LinkedIn. Or if you own a blog or a YouTube channel, you can set Mondays as the days you write your scripts/first drafts, Tuesdays as the days you film 3 videos, and Thursdays and Fridays can be editing and optimizing days.

This batch approach can help you finish work more effectively since you will be working on the same task every day – for different projects!

When times get a bit rough and you have a lot to do, make sure you always refer back to your vision, your why behind the goal. If your vision is compelling enough, you will be able to overcome the resistance and act on your commitment of making things happen! It often helps having someone as an accountability buddy. An accountability buddy is someone working on possibly similar or different projects that you share your progress with. It is not their responsibility to make sure you follow through with your actions, but they are next you as someone to share your journey, your progress, and struggles with!

P.S. Studies have shown that if you have an accountability buddy or peer group, you increase your chances of success by 7 times! That’s cool! Right? Talk with your co-workers, find people in Facebook groups that have similar interests or businesses as you – and reach out to them!

What if I don’t have the time to do all of this?

Well, if you are too busy to focus on your social media strategy and goals, you could possibly reach out to a freelancer or a company that knows how to do everything described above. This will save you a lot of time of trial and error.

However, you will definitely have to sit down with your social media manager and set the SMART goals together. But from then on, the work is done by them, and you will be informed about the progress, etc.

One of the areas Online Solutions specializes in is exactly this. Therefore, if you want some guidance from professionals to help you set and achieve your social media goals, call us or email us, and we can have a brief discussion for further details!

Social media can be scary sometimes. It seems like there is too much criticism and too much stuff is constantly changing. It’s as if you are always running to catch up to something.

However, whether we like it or not, it is one of the most effective ways to reach people all around the globe, as well as near you! So, investing in social media can be your way of expressing your vision and creating the positive impact you desire!

Is social media marketing even worth it?

Is social media even worth it? Well, it depends!

Social media can be worth it if you want to reach more people, both globally and locally. However, we do acknowledge that there is a big learning gap when it comes to learning how to utilize some platforms for your company’s success.

So, let’s have a look at the pros and cons of social media:

Pros:
  • More reach
  • Marketing
  • Can communicate with customers and answer questions better/customer service
  • Can inform your customers for future products/services
  • The hype before a launch
  • Adding value (this doesn’t apply to all types of businesses – as there are some that cannot add great value through social media because of the nature of their industry)
  • Can create a community
  • Raising brand awareness
  • More traffic to websites
  • Higher conversions
  • Cost-effective
  • Improving loyalty to your brand
  • Build authority in market
  • Building trust
Cons
  • A lot of time is required
  • A lot of research is required
  • Constant evaluation and analysis of data to improve more
  • Qualifications/qualified personnel
  • You might need to invest some money on ad, etc.
  • Negative/hate comments might lead to bad publicity
  • You are subject to criticism, and misinterpretation
  • Repetitive and boring content might lead to negative results of less reach and even losing customers
  • Must be very selective in what you post and how you promote yourself (time-consuming and possibly stressful)
  • You competitors will be able to study your business and strategies

So, in other words, just like everything in life, social media marketing for businesses have both pros and cons. However, it is up to you to outline and evaluate these in order to decide if it is worth it.

One of the most important parts of deciding whether or not social media is worth it for you is by outlining and thinking about you vision and your goals.

If at the end of the day you are consciously willing to encounter some of the negative parts of social media, since the positive effects are far more important to you, then be it! This means you are willing to take the punches and you’ve decided that it’s worth it!

So, get to work!

We are here to tackle some of the cons.

At Online Solutions, we make sure that we can provide you with experienced managers to manage, consult you and deal with your social media accounts. We create content for you, and monthly calendars and we evaluate our results at the end of each month. This way, you save a lot of time on researching, creating content, and evaluating your results. We do that for you!

If this is something that interests you, give us a call!

How do you build a brand?

Nike, Adidas, IKEA, McDonalds, Fridays, H&M.

You can probably visualize all of their logos right when you see these ‘words’. And you are also probably familiar with what each of these companies provide.

And so it’s safe to say that they have managed to create some powerful brands.

But people knowing your name/your company’s name isn’t all that matters. What most businesses and entrepreneurs care about, when it comes to building a brand, is not only the awareness of their company’s name, but also the acknowledgement of the vision behind the name.

Therefore, people knowing you is just one of the components of building a brand. From a holistic outlook, building a brand is also creating a relationship with your clients/customers, and it is also providing a vision and mission that people can either resonate with, care about, or simply align with.

And just to clarify, you can build a brand without being globally known. You can also build a brand within your country or within a community. Not everyone has to know you to be considered that you’ve built a brand. You need to be one of the authorities in the market. Someone people trust. Someone people remember when they hear your industry.

With the world growing so rapidly both in population, technological advancements, and development, people buy lots of stuff. Sometimes they buy stuff they don’t even need. Why? Well, truth be told, we are sometimes fooled by our heads that we should get this, or get that, to feel happy. And therefore today, consumerism is hitting the roof.

Building a brand isn’t a one strategy fits all. However, there are some basic steps that you can use to make sure you are heading in the right direction.

#1. Building trust

For the exact reasons I explained above, people are buying more stuff, but most people have started to become very selective on where they buy this stuff from.

Trust is important in cultures all around the world. And the boldest example of this, is relationships. We all navigate the world by building relationships with people. And to build real relationships you have to trust people.

Therefore, if you want to build a relationship with your customers, or your prospects you must show them that they can trust you.

How? No, you won’t go out on your social media platforms posting that people can trust you. You’ll show them that they can. Remember the cliché quote?

“Actions speak louder than words.” Well, it fits perfectly, and it is so true when it comes to building long-lasting trust.

Build trust by showing your audience/potential customers/existing customers how you can help them! Do this by adding value upfront. Don’t tell them, show them!

#2. Add value

Adding value to your customers can happen in various ways. It can happen by providing free perks for them to experience your services or products before they commit Or it can happen through creating valuable deals and affordable pricing.

It basically happens through putting your client first!

This of course translates into something different for each type of company, but truth be told, the best way to accomplish this and get creative and innovative, is by taking yourself out of the equation. Evaluate how you can help your ideal customer. Get into their shoes. What do they care about?

#3. Show authority!

How do you build authority? Well, you basically show people that you know what you’re doing. You know your craft inside and out. If you own a retail business, inform people about quality, fashion, effects of your products.

Authority goes hand in hand with trust, you build trust and authority together! By giving value, and providing information, education, and showing expertise!

#4. Be human, connect

Okay, this third point sounds a bit weird, but it is so, so real and its importance is growing day by day.

People want to feel connected, and they want to feel part of something. So, always, again depending on what type of business you have, you should be aiming to connect with your customers/audience.

This might come in the form of creating an innovative and great customer experience, or through having a support team to assist your customers during any problems they might face. You can connect with your customers through your vision! Give the opportunity to people to become part of a community and meet others with similar beliefs and interests! Create a place where people connect with each other.

P.S. We know many brands that have been already established years ago, and which do not include this aspect much in their strategy. However, we believe that as times change, our strategies change alongside them. Therefore, these already existing brands, had to thrive in a time where competition was obviously lower, and buying in bulk, to lower your prices was the rule of thumb. And many others who built a brand based on ‘expensive means quality means brand’. What we see now though, is these big companies trying to also connect more with their customers or bring a more meaningful purpose to their brands.

People started paying attention to companies that do more than just sell cheap stuff or expensive clothes just for the sake of it. And they care more about the environment and animals. And what is also worth mentioning is that a lot of people have started supporting local businesses which create a more personal experience for them.

In other words, if you wanna stand out today, you’ll need more than just pricing. You need to be different. And you’ll need to invest in real relationships, with real people.

Cyprus Restaurants: Why you should create your own online ordering system!

As a restaurant owner, deciding on whether or not you should create your own website (in the form of an ordering system) can sometimes be a bit confusing. You might be thinking “Wolt and Foody are perfectly suitable for me at the moment”. And we are not saying otherwise.

However, before making the decision to ditch creating your own ordering system altogether, we suggest you look a bit more into the benefits of it and evaluate your current situation!

The process of researching this stuff can be overwhelming sometimes since the internet is filled with more information than we can possibly process all at once.

That’s why we created this post, using our experience and expertise to help you make an informed decision.

First things first, what’s an online ordering system?

Quite simply – an online ordering system is a platform that allows your clients to order your food online. The customer places an order and you get notified of their order, as well as all the specifics you’ll need (address, name, etc.), on your machine.

What’s in it for you?

1. 0% commission – all the revenue from the order is yours!

Given that you will create your own online ordering system, you will basically need to pay nothing to no one every time a customer orders from your website. No commissions per order, nothing. The only extra cost you will have per month is a €60 fee – for running the website, and your delivery costs.

Needless to say, that if you have a respectable number of orders per day, your revenue will exceed your costs by a very very significant amount.

2. Loyal customers

When people order food from your restaurant, through a third-party provider such as Wolt and Foody, it’s safe to say that most people will associate a great customer experience with Wolt and Foody, instead of your restaurant. This means that even if customers are happy with your food and everything, you are sharing customer satisfaction with the ordering system of the third party.

If you look at this from the customer’s point of view:

“Foody and Wolt and other ordering system companies, are so cool!! They connect us with so many restaurants!”

And that’s why they’ll be back to order from Foody again and again! But guess what? Foody and Wolt have a thousand more options for customers to choose from. And this is where the risk comes in for you. They might be browsing through Foody and skip your restaurant just because they have a thousand more distractions.

On the other hand, once you create your own ordering system, and use effective marketing (i.e. giveaways, coupons, etc.) to market it to your clients, you’ve got control. The way we make sure you’ll have returning customers is by creating ordering systems that are easy and fast to use. We want to make the process as effortless as possible for your client. This, combined with great execution of the food and delivery, will make your customer happy. But this time, you get full credit for their satisfaction. There is no Foody or Wolt in the picture. Therefore, the customer creates an association of a great experience, with your brand. This means you are far more likely to see that customer in your ordering lists again and again!

And this is loyalty. And as you probably know, it is invaluable for a business!

3. Creating a contact list

Contact lists might be one of the most attractive aspects of creating your own ordering system. When people order something from your website, all the information they choose to share is for your company.

You have client’s names and email addresses and phone numbers if they choose to. This means you have the ability to actually message them and market your special deals, or monthly giveaways, etc.

We cannot stress how important this is for a business. Imagine having a contact list of 200 people, which will be informed and REMINDED of your services every couple of days, or every week.

How many times did you see an ad, or got a message from one of your favourite restaurants, and it just sparked your appetite for that specific restaurant? And you ended up a few hours or days later ordering their food?

Well, that’s the power of a contact list!

You remind people that they have you as an option!

4. Cyprus is tiny!

The reason we are listing this as an advantage is that being a very small island, we can target more people easier. If you own a restaurant in Limassol, and just offer delivery in Limassol, we can create your website and optimize it to target and rank for people looking to eat in restaurants in Limassol!

Therefore, this great specificity that comes with effective SEO and a specific target market, can help you reach the right people easier.

Let’s talk!

Does having your own ordering system sound appealing to you? Are you tired of paying high commissions to 3rd parties? Do you want to explore your options?

We’ve had a lot of experience in creating online ordering systems for many of our clients. And we know how to do it the right way!

If you think this is something that would suit you, don’t hesitate to give us a call or email us!

Top Proven Ways of Digital Design That Will Boost Your Business 1
The top 3 web design platforms in Cyprus

Designing your website can seem a little daunting at first. There are so many web design platforms to choose from, and so many things to consider prior to choosing the platform you will decide to proceed with.

After years of experience in the area of web design, we have put together some of our personal favorite web design platforms. In this blog, we will give you an outline of these platforms, and why they have been of great value to us.

half laptop screen and keyboard visible on the left writing 'work hard anywhere', on a white table with a plant on the write on top of a notebook, next to a phone and a white mouse

Webssly

Webssly is a free website builder which allows you to easily edit and create professional websites. It provides you with a variety of templates that can be used for websites, online stores, landing pages, and funnels.

One of the greatest advantages of Webssly is how fast you can get started and understand how the platform works. You basically need no coding knowledge, or experience in web design. Editing any template should not create trouble at all, because of the drag and drop builder.

Another reason why Webssly is such a great investment is because of it’s zero commitment. You can start off with the builder just by providing your name, and creating a Webssly account (with an email address and password). No need to add a credit card.

Here is a step to step guide on how to get started!

The value if this builder lies in it’s efficient and effective use. In addition, the team at Webssly provides support and help with any issues or questions you might encounter!

You can also have a look at the FAQ page on Webssly! And if you still have any unanswered questions do not hesitate to fill out the question form – here. The team will get back to you as soon as possible.

WordPress

WordPress is possibly one of the most widely used website builders worldwide.

Sometimes people confuse WordPress.org with WordPress.com.

Therefore, let’s clarify their difference first.

WordPress.org is a website platform (software) on which you build your website. WordPress is free to use, and all you need is a domain name and a hosting provider. Since you are the one that will find a hosting provider, WordPress.org is considered to be self-hosted. If you are not familiar with what self-hosted means, you can take a look at our detailed blog on web hosting.

Now, WordPress.com is a hosting service. In other words, your website’s domain would look something like this: www.yourname.wordpress.com. WordPress.com can be a good plate to start as a hobby blogger, etc. but it has lots of limitations if you are aiming to create a professional-looking website to build your business on.

In this blog, we will be discussing WordPress.org.

As described above, wordpress.org is a software that allows you to build websites, blogs or apps. With wordpress.org you can create awesome web designs using the default (WordPress) builder as well as installed, but the software also allows you to install theme builder plugins. Theme builder plugins are basically website builders such as Divi, that come with themes and features allowing you to design your website.

Just like with Webssly, we use WordPress to build many of our client’s websites. One of WordPress’s greatest perks is that it gives you a lot of freedom and space for growth.

One of the few drawbacks to wordpress.org is the learning curve that comes with building a website. However, once you get to understand how it works, you will have gained valuable skills.

Shopify

Shopify is possibly one of the most popular and widely used e-commerce platforms.

People use Shopify to create online stores for their business. One of the greatest perks of Shopify is the infrastructure behind the platform. It allows you to manage orders, update inventory, create professional-looking websites, and it is actually really easy to use.

Shopify provides themes and features and apps that help you create a pretty website that is functional – creating the best user experience possible.

In addition, it gives you the opportunity to sell products via other platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. The support team is always willing to help with any questions.

We use Shopify to build most commerce websites for our clients and we have learned how to utilize all the awesome features this platform comes with.

We have also written two blogs summing up what is Shopify and why would you use it, and why Shopify is the best E-commerce platform in Cyprus.

Online Solutions provides web design solutions for you!

Our experienced team has lots of experience in web design. We have created hundreds of websites for our clients as well as for companies we own.

This experience has helped us gain expertise in the field of web design and the ability to guide more clients in taking the right decisions based on their needs and goals.

Google always has awesome answers to your questions. But if you really need guidance with starting a new website, an E-commerce business, or even simple ‘help me solve this’ questions, we are more than happy to help you achieve your objectives.

If your goal is to build a website, but you are too busy or don’t want to do it alone – drop us an email and we’ll give you advice on how to proceed – with or without us.

WordPress? Webssly? Shopify?

We are here with years of experience to help!