Supporting Ross Helping Hands Foundation


At Evolve Marketing we are delighted to be supporting the Ross Helping Hands Foundation this year. This worthy charity was set up in memory of Ross Jacobs who passed away in 2005 from a brain tumour. It provides practical and financial support to East London cancer patients and their families.

Their main fundraising venture for 2017 is an epic 115km fundraising walk and I am thrilled to be joining 11 other intrepid ladies in June to walk the final 115 kilometers of the Camino de Santiago which will take us to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain where tradition has it that the remains of the Saint James are buried.

The aim of the fundraising walk is to raise much needed funds for the Ross Helping Hands Foundation so it can continue to help East Londoners who face the challenge of cancer.  If you would to support this worthy cause by sponsoring my walk click here.

How quickly does your mobile site load?

If you don’t know how quickly your mobile site loads then use Test My Site, a free Google tool, to see how you score on mobile friendliness and mobile page speed.

Google research in January 2017 reveals that the average time it takes to load a mobile landing page fully is 22 seconds.1 However, over half of mobile site visitors (53%) leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load.

Speed in mobile experience


Speed and Size Matters in Mobile…

In other Google Adwords research last month, they analysed 900,000 mobile ads’ landing pages spanning 126 countries.5

They found that 70% of the pages they analysed, took nearly seven seconds for the visual content above the fold to display on a mobile screen, and it took more than 10 seconds to load all visual content fully above and below the fold. Not good at all.

Speed and size are important when it comes to loading mobile pages. So, review your mobile content. Is it bloated? Can it be leaner? An easy win on this front is image size – simply compressing images size can make a big difference in reducing size – see this BBC explanation of compression or for a more comprehensive explanation of image optimisation from Google.

If you would like to discuss any of the elements raised in this article, please do get in touch via our contact form or call 01327 810003.


1 Google Research,, Global, sample of more than 900,000 mWeb sites across Fortune 1000 and Small Medium Businesses. Testing was performed using Chrome and emulating a Nexus 5 device on a globally representative 3G connection. 1.6Mbps download speed, 300ms Round-Trip Time (RTT). Tested on EC2 on m3.medium instances, similar in performance to high-end smartphones, Jan. 2017.
2 Google Research,, Global, sample of more than 900,000 mWeb sites across Fortune 1000 and Small Medium Businesses. Testing was performed using Chrome and emulating a Nexus 5 device on a globally representative 3G connection. 1.6Mbps download speed, 300ms Round-Trip Time (RTT). Tested on EC2 on m3.medium instances, similar in performance to high-end smartphones, Jan. 2017.

Are the new browser changes marking your website as not secure?

As of last month Google Chrome (version 56 and later) red flags pages that collect passwords or credit card details as ‘not secure’ unless the pages are served over HTTPS. Thus, marking websites that don’t have an SSL certificate as unsecured.

This latest change is part of a broader Google plan to mark all pages served over the non-encrypted HTTP protocol as ‘not secure’ with a view to making the web as safe and secure as possible.

Don’t collect data on your website?

Sites that don’t collect personal or financial information will now also be flagged (in grey) to let users know that the site is not private. This means that we now recommend that you get an SSL certificate even if your site doesn’t collect data. Why? Two main reasons for this are:

  1. Google Chrome’s dominance in the browser marketplace (56% in December 2016) and as we all know what Google wants is worth taking note of from a ranking perspective. Going forward non-secure sites will be penalised with a lower SEO score and a decreased digital footprint.
  2. The importance of creating the right impression when visitors see your listing – a SSL certificate signals to the user via a green lock symbol that your site is secure and ‘safe’ – a small, but useful trust signal for them to see when they are scanning Chrome search results.

Together these two factors will help to drive quality traffic to your site, so act today and get that green flag. Fyi costs vary depending on the service that hosts your site, but roughly speaking expect to pay between £25 – £55 annually for the certificate.

For more information see this article on security from Google or call us today on 01327 810003 for more information.

Data Protection Laws: Times are a Changing…

New data protection regulations come into force on 25th May 2018 affecting every organisation that offers products or services to EU citizens, as well as those handling data of EU citizens.

The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires organisations to adhere to a strict set of data privacy and security measures including:

  • Implicit consent with an onus on organisations to demonstrate that consent has been given – no more small print tucked away or pre-ticked boxes,
  • Data security breaches reported within 24 hours,
  • Appointment of a Data Protection Officer with access to the Board / senior management team,
  • Subject Access Request response period reduced to 30 days and £10 fee abolished,
  • Right to be forgotten.

It will be enforced in the UK by the ICO with fines for infringement of up to €20M or 4% of the offending company’s global annual revenue, whichever is higher. To put this in context, TalkTalk’s recent data breaches could, under the new regime, result in fines of up to £72 million.

Research by Compuware Corporation shows that the majority of businesses surveyed were not yet ready with a plan to respond to GDPR.

Is Email Marketing Dead?

No, email marketing isn’t dead, or even dying. It may not be the cool, new kid on the block but it continues to be a leading channel for delivering ROI. Recent research in the US (June 2016)  conducted by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and Demand Metric found that email had a median ROI of 122% – more than four times higher than other marketing formats examined (social media, direct mail and paid search).

Agency professionals and in-house marketers worldwide are in agreement about email’s effectiveness, according to March 2016 polling from Econsultancy. Both groups named email marketing most frequently as a tactic able to provide a strong ROI, at 80% and 73%, respectively.


What else makes email marketing so great?

Email allows you to engage with your audience in a creative, personalised way that blog posts or tweets simply can’t. People consume ‘opt in’ email differently than they do other media. Emails wait in an inbox until they’re read or deleted. They can be referred to more than once and forwarded on.

Importantly your email contacts are yours… you ‘own’ them. They are an asset on your balance sheet rather than ‘renting’ space from a platform like Facebook or Google + and then being beholden to their algorithm tweaks or policy changes. Also if the platform fades so does all your hard earned followers or likes – anyone remember ‘Friends United’?


Marketing automation and personalisation…

Excitingly email marketing continues to evolve – it has embraced mobile technology and is the lynchpin of automation and personalisation which is being steadily being improved and being adopted by an increasingly diverse range of organisations. Gratifyingly the advances in automation and personalisation are accessible to even entry level users with providers like Mailchimp and Sharpspring.

When done correctly it is a quick, cost effective, measurable way to stay in touch with your existing and prospective customers through their mobile devices.


So to conclude…

No email marketing is not dead. Yes it is evolving and should be a cornerstone of any business wanting an efficient way to stay front-of-mind with their prospects and customers, especially those with a long buying cycle looking for repeat business.

Marketing ideas for restaurants

Regular communication is key to remind patrons of your offering and entice them to choose your restaurant for their next dining experience. Here are some marketing ideas to help boost trade…

Email updates provide a cost effective way to keep in touch and drive bookings to your restaurant. Ideally you should build you own email list through opportunities to sign up in your restaurant or on your website. Regular email updates with interesting, relevant content can boost business. Share news, views, events and offers in a pithy, soft touch way.

Email Automation is a series of personalised automated emails that can be sent to customers at specific times or in response to specific triggers. It can also be a great way to reward loyal customers, for example a discount voucher or free drink on their birthday. Just make sure you ask for their birthday when they sign up.

Social Media is a great way to keep in touch with existing customers and raise awareness of your offering to prospective patrons. However, different customers prefer different social networks. Focus on the platform(s) most relevant to your existing customers and then measure your effectiveness in terms of elements like conversations (replies and comments), applause (likes) and amplification (shares and retweets) rather than metrics like followers.

Your Website is a great place for new customers to find out about you. For new customers, your website will set the tone and determine whether they will choose your venue. In particular, you should provide contact details, directions to your restaurant and a booking form. Regularly update your website with news, events and current menus. Your website also needs to be mobile responsive so that it works as well on a smart-phone as it does on a traditional PC or laptop.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Spending time optimising your website so that it ranks higher in google search results will enable new customers to find you and raise awareness of your restaurant. Free SEO checking tools like Woorank are useful for providing a to do list to improve your SEO whilst the Yoast plugin for WordPress can help optimise your website.

Google Adwords and Remarketing Paying for Google Adwords can promote your business to new customers whilst remarketing, or stalker adverts as they are commonly known, are a cheap, effective way to keep your restaurant front of mind for potential patrons after they have left your website.

Google Maps Ensure your free listing on google maps is up-to-date and reflects your offering. It will ensure that new customers can find you using Google Search and the Google Maps smart-phone app.

TripAdvisor and Google Reviews Love it or loathe it, online reviews are an important tool for new customers to find out about your restaurant. Embrace it and manage it. Set up robust processes to deal with dissatisfied customers, and make improvements from the feedback provided.

If you do not have the expertise or time to spend on these activities please give us a call on 01327 810003 or fill out our contact form and we will be in touch.