GA4 - what is new

GA4 replaces Google Analytics Universal – what you need to know?

GA4 replaces Google Analytics Universal – what do you need to know?

Google Analytics 4 Google’s next-generation measurement tool.

Google launches the new Google Analytics 4 (GA4) which will replace the current well-known (and user-friendly!) Google Analytics Universal starting from July 1, 2023!

On July 1, 2023, standard Google Analytics Universal properties will stop processing data. Your Analytics Universal data will be kept for at least 6 more months after July 1st. If you need to keep your past Universal data, the best way to do that is by exporting it as soon as we hit July.

Our team of dedicated specialists at Relton Associates strongly encourages you to make the switch to GA4 as soon as possible and will be more than happy to help you with this!

Google Analytics Universal vs Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

Are you wondering what’s new in GA4? Is GA4 actually better than Google Analytics Universal? We will try to find the answers to these questions below.

1. New Reporting Interface

The first main difference is the new reporting interface in GA4. You will find that most of the reports have been renamed or replaced – for example, in GA4 you will see new reports such as Retention, Engagement and Monetisation replacing the good old Audience, Behaviour and Converisons. The reason for this is the new data measurement model.

Interface of Google Analytics Universal

Interface of Google Analytics Universal 

New interface of GA4

New interface of GA4


2. New Data Measurement Model

The greatest difference between Google Analytics Universal and Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the different data models they use. Whilst Google Analytics Universal is based on sessions and pageviews, the GA4 data model is based on events and parameters. In GA4 every tracked activity taken by a user is considered an event.

Google Analytics Universal vs Google Analytics 4

Google Analytics Universal vs Google Analytics 4

At the same time, Google Analytics Universal tracks screenviews in separate mobile-specific properties, whereas GA4 combines both web and app data in the same property. If you are tracking both web and app data in your GA4 property, be sure to take the additional app traffic into consideration when comparing pageview metrics between the two.

3. No Bounce Rate and New Reporting Metrics

With Google Analytics 4 (GA4), you get new metrics along with new reports. Surprisingly, you will notice that there is no Bounce Rate metric in GA 4 (or at least as it’s calculated in Google Analytics Universal). GA 4 replaces ‘Bounce Rate’ with the new ‘Engagement Rate’ metric.

What is considered Bounce Rate in GA4 is the percentage of sessions that were not engaged sessions. In other words, the Engagement Rate is the inverse of Bounce Rate. Google’s explanation for this is that Bounce Rate has become less useful as websites and apps have changed. GA4 is more event and action-oriented than Google Analytics Universal and this new way of tracking doesn’t make much sense to have a metric describing inactivity on the site.

Another important and new metric you will find in Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is called ‘Pages and screens’ and shows the most popular web pages and app screens. It is easier than ever to find what web pages or app screens are getting most of your traffic now (and what do not perform as you expect!).

4. Advanced Analysis

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) gives you the opportunity to perform more advanced analysis compared to Google Analytics Universal where you can create custom reports and use secondary dimensions to uncover insights.

GA4 takes the analysis one step further with its Exploration reports which allow you to gain deeper insights about users and their journeys. You can set up a custom report or use prebuilt templates for different analysis in GA4, whilst being offered to add different segments, dimensions, and metrics to your custom reports. However, Exploration reports might be found more complicated, especially for beginners, and may be suitable for people with advanced Google Analytics knowledge.

Would Google Analytics 4 affect my Google Ads campaigns?

The straight answer here is ‘Yes’ but only in some cases! Please remember that Google Analytics Universal will stop processing data after July 1, 2023 (July 1, 2024 for Analytics 360 properties). If your Google Analytics Universal property is linked to your Google Ads account, Universal Analytics data will stop flowing to Google Ads after July 1 2023 (or 2024 for Analytics 360 properties) and this could affect your Google Ads campaigns if you’re:

  • Bidding on imported Universal Analytics goals or e-commerce transactions.
  • Using a Universal Analytics audience in your campaigns.
  • Importing Universal Analytics site metrics.

GA4 summary

We hope this article helps you find the main differences between the good old Google Analytics Universal and the new monster called Google Analytics 4 (GA4). If you haven’t migrated your Google Analytics Universal to GA4, we would strongly recommend addressing this as soon as possible. And if you need help from specialists, Relton Associates would be more than happy to help you with this!

Brighton SEO Review Campervan image

Brighton SEO Review – What’s all the fuss about?

We’ve always wondered what all the fuss was about when it comes to Brighton SEO, so this year we made a concerted effort to find out for ourselves…and it immediately became clear – Brighton SEO didn’t let us down. Brighton SEO is the UK’s leading annual Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) must attend trade show. Attendees come from around the World to be there and is regularly attended by the likes of Google, Bing and a plethora of SEO personalities.

Here’s the Brighton SEO Review…

Some of the reasons why it’s worth the trip down to Brighton SEO:

1. The number of Market Stalls set out versus the number of talks

As with many trade shows Brighton SEO had its fair share of market stalls for the SEO B2B community to sell their wears. However, the fundamental difference here is the ratio of stalls set out versus the number of talks available. To be exact, the ratio is 1:1 and that’s excluding the Keynote Speaker, Gary Illyes from Google. Whist the stall ratio is similar for October 2022, there’s even more speakers from Google including John Mueller and Lizzi Sassman. This is alongside some of the leading brains, movers and shakers from the World of SEO.

2. The quality of the Brighton SEO talks

Many of the speakers were sponsors for the event so there’s always going to be an element of self-promotion (as is their right!). However, I would definitely say it was significantly less so at here. Some of the talks are as you would expect, but equally there were some talks which were extremely useful, and here’s why:

Brighton SEO On Stage

Brighton SEO On Stage

  • Sharing. Some were completely removed the ‘Mist & Mirrors some agencies like to portray to justify their worth’ and was therefore, in essence, just plain ‘useful & practical’ information which was easy to apply
  • Inspiring & motivational. Guiding the audience through what the future looks like in terms of: technology, what will be the expected standard from Search Engines and how to mould your CV for the best Digital Jobs
  • Vast. The breadth of talks was vast and still appropriate. Although we all had specific talks we wanted to attend we all agreed we would be happy in almost all of them as they were all relevant
  • Favourites. Our favourite talks were: [Search Engine] Ranking factors, [The] Future of Search, Onsite [quick SEO wins], Chatbots, Technical SEO and Gary Illyes Chat with Google

3. The VIBE of Brighton SEO

As soon as you arrive there’s an immediate buzz of energy and everyone is there to learn, engage and enjoy it. Brighton SEO know this and fuel it. Beers are offered early afternoon at the stalls, but that’s just the warm up. With a large number of activities set up at lunchtime and in the evening there’s a great VIBE from start to finish…and the VIBE means the coming together of SEO’s and natural networking. Again something most trade shows really struggle with.

Brighton SEO Entrance

The Entrance of Brighton SEO

4. Confidence Booster

Sometimes you need to sensor check whether you’re up to speed on your SEO, especially if you consider yourself to be an SEO Specialist. When leaving Brighton SEO this certainly felt the case: all our clients websites are HTTPS, Local Search is a key part of many of the strategies we deliver and Mobile friendly is standard (as it should be). Naturally you will always learn something new too.


Next Year?

Will we be going next year? We certainly plan to. It is popular though, and for a very good reasons. Free tickets are like gold dust as they go within the morning they become available. If you do a Brighton SEO course, you will be able to get a ticket, and the courses are good…so why not.

Hopefully see you down on the Brighton coast this time next year, the beers will be on someone, that’s for sure!

The year 2022 and beyond…

With the COVID-19 pandemic seemingly behind us Brighton SEO is back in full force with an impressive array of courses, some are even free to attend. As you would expect from a World leader. Check out Brighton SEO’s latest here... or if you would prefer more personal touch we offer SEO training from £300 so give us a call or use our contact us form or check out our Are You Google Fit For Business? SEO report

Brighton SEO & Relton Associates

Brighton SEO & Relton Associates


Taking a business online? 6 steps you must do before you build a website

Taking a business online? 6 steps you must do before you build a website

Are you taking a business online? Here’s 6 steps you must do before you build a website. Failure to follow these steps could result in your website attracting no traffic, or worse, the wrong type of traffic that eats up your time with time wasters.

1. Audience Analysis

Look at who your current customers are. Whether as an individual client/group or as a business. Look at the clients who are you preferred clients first; preferred in terms of easiest to manage and provide a good margin (not the clients who take 80% of your time for only 20% of your revenue).

Client/customer – Things you look for are: age, sex, ethnic background, their values (i.e. vegan, spiritual, religious), location (Town, City, Country), job title, how did they find you, what media do they read, where do they train (CPD points, professional), what are their pain points/issues, how much do they earn and any other criteria you feel could be relevant.

Business – you can still add the above criteria, but you would also look at: number of employees, turnover, industry vertical, decision makers by job title, company Key Performance Indicator’s (KPIs), industry media, industry training, are they innovators, what’s their brand mission and vision

Where do you find this audience analysis information? Much will be what we consider Marketing Intelligence, you just happen to know but have never considered it before. However, this should be as data driven as possible so here’s some places you can go to find the information:

2. Target Audience Analysis

Very similar to the above Audience Analysis but there is often a disconnect between your ‘current’ clients and you ‘desired’ clients. Your Target Audience are therefore the clients you want to have. For example; you may be attracting clients or business that just can’t afford your services and you need to acknowledge these differences so you can adjust your messaging and media

3. Persona Generation

Once you have completed the Audience and Target Audience Analysis you can then generate personas. Typically, you would have 2-6 personas. A persona is a ‘type’ of person/business.

To create a persona, you will need to group your already defined audience (from your audience analysis) into persona types. Group them by what they have in common. It is not always the statistical data that you would group by (i.e. mothers aged 30-40 years old) but often by the reasons they came to you over others (i.e. you offer 24/7 IT support so they don’t have to ‘worry about it’ not working).

Here’s some basic examples:

Andy Athlete

Andy Athlete

 Andy Athlete (persona 1)

  • Competes in competition
  • Highly focused on a training & nutrition regime
  • Trains 5 times a week
  • Typically aged 25-50
  • Predominantly male
  • Focuses on recovery, endurance & strength products
Blood Pressure Brian

Blood Pressure Brian

Brian Blood Pressure (persona 2)

          • Told by Dr to do some exercise
          • Tries to go exercise x3 a week
          • Suffers from High Blood pressure / Cholesterol / Overweight
          • Typically aged 40+. Male or Female
          • Focuses on fat loss products
          • Buys vitamins & minerals to help their immune system/health

4. Target Keyword Analysis for websites

Now you know who you are targeting you can determine how they will go about finding you online. What words will they type into search engines like Google to find your business? There are various ways you can ascertain strong keywords, here’s a few:

Market Intelligence – again your own industry knowledge will enable you to draft a list of keywords

Ask your clients/businesses – ask them how they would go about finding you and your services

Competitor’s marketing – Run an analysis on your competitors Google Adwords campaign to see what is working for them in driving traffic to their website

Competitors website – Run an analysis on your competitor’s websites to see how they get their organic search traffic

5. Target Keywords Refinement

Now you know your keywords, you can start to determine which are the primary keywords. Which keywords are likely to send you the highest amount of traffic and more importantly the right type/quality of traffic. Creating a list of primary, secondary and tertiary keywords will enable you to prioritise your website content when you create your sitemap.

6. Create a Website Site Map

A sitemap is quite literally that, a map of your website and how your visitor will find things. We do these using an excel sheet, but in the image below you can see an image of a live sitemap.

The Primary Keywords tend to make up the Top navigation bar. The secondary keywords tend to make up the top navigation sub-categories and the tertiary keywords tend to make up the blog content (and will support primary and secondary keywords). It’s not always this way as every business and website is different.

Create a Website Site Map

Create a Website Site Map


Get three quotes for a Website

Now you are in a position to request quotes for building a website. Web developers will base a price on a few things: Number of pages, number of ‘designed’ pages and any other more bespoke requests. Ideally you will create a brief, which encompasses the above information as well as key information such as your company’s core values and vision. We can help you create this to ensure you get the best out of your website build.

Get three quotes and let the other agencies know you’re getting three quotes. This will ensure you get sensible pricing and offers transparency. More importantly, be weary of the agency that doesn’t give you any detail and promises the earth. A good website will attract traffic if you go through the above 6 steps but even then, you will need to do some marketing. You won’t be the only person in your field turning to online.


Also, make sure you choose a good Content Management System/platform (CMS) for your website. If you’re considering an e-commerce website you may also find this article helpful.

If you would like to learn more about the above blog why not get in touch, we would be delighted to hear from you.


PI LIVE & Influencer Marketing Show Review

PI LIVE & Influencer Marketing Show Review

Time is precious and time is money. Attending a trade show needs to be worthwhile. There are plenty that are not worth the effort. So, is the PI LIVE & Influencer Marketing Show worth the time and money?

I attended the shows to keep myself up-to-date on affiliate marketing, in particular to check out what was new, if anything. The other main reason was to gain a greater understanding about influencer marketing.

As soon as you walk in the friendly, yet professional atmosphere’s there, everywhere. Yes, it’s about showcasing, but you immediately feel like you are among like-minded professionals. There’s little ‘selling’, because the tech and services often speak for themselves.

What’s so special about the PI LIVE & Influencer Marketing Show?

The quality of the attendees and the quality of the businesses presenting is definitely confirmation you are in the right place (as it should be). It may sound obvious, but I’ll say it anyway; this is a show whose focus is around performance and measuring that performance.

Marin Dome stage at PI Live & IMS Show

Marin Dome stage at PI LIVE & IMS Show

This is a huge differentiating factor to other shows as they can lose that type of focus…it’s very ROI-driven. As a self-confessed numbers guy, this excites me. This is one of the main reasons I’ve been two years in a row.

Other reasons to attend? It attracts serious digital specialists from all over Europe. You can have engaging conversations with people you wouldn’t normally encounter; digital professionals whose passion equals yours.

Also, it’s enjoyable. This may seem a moot-point to some, but it has a really good vibe. Full of positive energy, full of positive people who are happy to be there. It makes a huge difference when you compare it to other shows. I had to duck out before beer o’clock as I have a young family and wanted to be home for bedtime…but I was enjoying it and wanted to stay, which is rarely the case at shows.


Top tips for planning ahead

It was a busy Tuesday when I arrived at 9am as doors opened, queues are organised and moved swiftly but they may delay you getting to the first talk or session. So get there in good time.

I highly recommend you plan your day, especially for the talks. When I arrived the Kindred Theatre was on the 2nd floor and took longer than I would’ve liked to find. The case studies only had a certain number of allocated spaces, arrive at least 10 minutes ahead of schedule to secure your place. Sessions at the Main Stage and Marin Dome are going to be just fine as there’s plenty of overflow space.

What about the quality of the speakers?

There’s a variety of topics and plenty to fill up both days of the show. To that end if it’s possible, attend both days to ensure you soak up as much as you can. You may have to make some tough choices between which sessions to attend though.

As there are so many talks it would be a lengthy article to comment on all of them. The one that stood out for me was the first talk I attended: ‘The coming revolution of immersive internet and dominance of virtual influencers’. This was genuinely impressive innovation I had not seen before and un-questionably the future. Like it or not virtual influencers and artificial intelligence will be a major influence on our children and may already have significant influence on many of us. You could not fail to be impressed with how Dudley Nevill-Spencer presented what this future space is going to look like and what is (surprisingly) already in play.

The icing on the cake

Digital Disruptors Final at PI Live & IMS Show

Digital Disruptors Final at PI LIVE & IMS Show

For me the Digital Disruptors Final was the icing on the cake. This touches on a passion and a frustration of mine:

• The passion is engaging with the youth-of-today who have that digital and entrepreneurial mindset and enhancing it
• The frustration with why large corporates and their out-of-date recruitment processes who seem to struggle recruiting in the digital world. I’ve even written an article about it: 5 reasons why large corporate businesses struggle in the digital world

The aim of digital disruptors is to encourage young people to investigate the online space, empowering them think outside the box and about what is achievable. You don’t need degree to be work within the online ecosphere, and digital disruptors embraces this.

Will I attend the PI LIVE & Influencer Marketing Show again next year?

YES. I found the Influencer Marketing aspect of the shows very strong. I wanted to spend more time being talked through demos. Often you don’t need to attend particular trade shows two/three years in a row, but with the technology moving so swiftly, missing the show means you may well miss the next early stage innovation.

…and some admin points

Lunch at PI Live & IMS Show

Lunch at PI LIVE & IMS Show

Dietary requirements – I have a bit of a snowflake diet these days (Dairy, Gluten, Egg, and Potato intolerances are just a few of the no-go foods), but this is not an issue here and plenty of choice even for me

On tap – Complimentary water, coffee and fruit is provided throughout the day and there’s plenty of it
Cloakroom – Complimentary
WiFi – Complimentary
Places to work while at the show – These are provided in The Nookery

How much does a website cost image?

How much does a Website cost? Brochure Site

How much does a Website cost?

Before we tell you how much a website costs we’re going to start with what a brochure website is first, just to add some clarity. A brochure website (loosely speaking) is a website that acts as a brochure and does not have a checkout. The reason for the definition is just to add some clarity on what we’re going to talk about later in this article.

….and before we get to the actual bit about the what a website should cost, we also need to clarify the standard you should look for. This is not to frustrate you (I know you just want to know the £ and you can just scroll down this page) but to guide you on what you can expect from a decent functioning website. It is important, because you don’t want to be plagued with issues later down the line or tied to an agency for eternity.

With this there’s some criteria you need to bear in mind…

Key Website Criteria you must not forget


  1. Do you need a website?

Obvious question perhaps, but do you actually need a website? There are platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, which mean you do not need to go to the expense if you’re only a small business. For example, We would argue a one-person cleaning business, or a community coffee shop does not need a website. Set up Google business to run along you Facebook or/and Instagram page and your good to go.

Top Tip – For Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) make sure you include the town if you’re a local business. i.e. watford-cleaners. You might be surprised how high you appear in the Google search results


  1. Is the Content Management System (CMS) important?

Oh yes, very important indeed. A Wix or Squarespace website will perform poorly in the search results compared to a WordPress or Magento website. Albeit a super easy CMS to set up. A Wix or Squarespace website is suitable for businesses that are not concerned about Search Engines and just need a very ‘basic presence’ online. If you’re serious about growing your business you will need to make sure you get the right CMS.

Top Tip – You can have the most beautifully designed website, but if no one can find it then what real use is it. Make sure you future proof your business’ web presence.


  1. Which CMS do I go for?

If you’re a brochure website, then WordPress is the default go to CMS and for very good reasons. There’s plenty of support from forums and plenty of web developers. It is free to use the open source platform and easy enough to set up if you have some patience. It is also a reasonably cost-effective solution.

Top Tip – whenever you get a quote for a website build ensure you ask what the agency/designer’s hourly rate is. You don’t want to get stung on high fees later


  1. What else is important when building a Website?

    • Content, Content, Content – you need to have great content and plenty of it. This is what Google crawls to see if your website is relevant. Make sure you don’t skimp on content
    • HTTPS – You must be secure, or search engines will punish you. So, ensure you are HTTPS secure. The ‘S’ stands for secure and gives your site a padlock. It also helps with your GDPR compliance as does a Cookie Policy
    • Google Set Ups – Setting up Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google Maps and Google Business are all free and will really boost your online presence
    • What action do you want your visitor to take? – Make sure you are driving your visitors to take an action and make it super easy for them. i.e. to call you, sign up for your newsletter, contact you by email
    • Testimonials – enhances your trust factor and conversion rate
    • Ownership – Make sure you own the website and have complete control over it. WordPress and most CMS make this easy. However, over engineered bespoke coded website’s that are not open source (such as WordPress) make you reliant on the developer. So, you need to think this solution through carefully

    This is obviously not an endless list, but will give you a good sense of areas you should consider.


    How much does a website cost?

    All our website quotes on the button below are based on a Bespoke WordPress Websites. This type of website future proofs you and offers you added security. The main cost to any website build is the number of pages you want, and the number of pages that need ‘designing’.

    CLICK HERE to view the How much does a Brochure website cost? PDF


    We also offer Content, SEO and Blogger training service as well. This is vital for your site to perform well in search engines like Google. Hence why the service is so popular.

e-commerce platforms

The best e-commerce platforms for a web shop

Which are the best e-commerce platforms for a web shop? There’s a large choice of e-commerce platforms available, also known as Content Management Systems (CMS). So the choice can be vast. However, we always recommend to go with those platforms which are best supported by the online community and with plenty of talent available should you need support.

In this article we highlight the main contenders with the above in mind. Ensuring you’re future proofed and not tied in to a developer or agency that only operates on the CMS they’ve chosen for you.


When it comes to which are the best e-commerce platforms for a web shop? Shopify is a great e-commerce platform for ‘start-ups’, and for a number of reasons which include;

  • Cost effective
  • Looks professional and very smart
  • It’s very easy to use, not just in setting up but also for processing orders and the day-to-day running of a website
  • Has a 24 hour support team and equally as important it has thriving community of independent developers

There are more plus sides than noted above, but these are the key for consideration. However, with all the plus sides there’s also the not-so-great aspect to, which are:

  • Shopify is not open source and as a result you don’t have complete freedom to do what you want. Ultimately, the site doesn’t truly belong to you
  • For products and main pages SEO is okay but you will have to deal with added terms being added to some URL’s, which limits some of your SEO
Sknhead London uses Shopify and looks awesome

Sknhead London uses Shopify and looks awesome

I almost always recommend Shopify for ‘start-ups’ because you can build out a really clean looking, easy to navigate online shop with ease. One thing that can make your shopify store look truly awesome – although you could say this of all stores – is beautiful imagery. So, it’s worth the effort and a little more spend to acquire some wonderful images.

It’s easy to use from a back-end point of view too. It will last you for quite a few years and you may never need to change CMS. In the future you may feel you need to move to another platform like WordPress or Magento.

Big Commerce

Now I have a confession, we mostly work with Shopify, which is Big Commerce’s direct competitor. There’s not much between them so I’ll not go in to too much detail here. Big Commerce is a another solid and easy to use platform, similar to Shopify and you can have more Staff Accounts.

Pricing is practically identical as are many other features. Big Commerce does not have a proposition to match Shopify’s cheapest offering ‘Shopify Lite’, but then if you’re serious about your e-commerce offering, you would not use Shopify Lite anyway – it’s actually too basic.

Design options, User Experience and Extensions on both platforms are very good and in equal measure. Shopify’s just been around longer and is used by online retailers, ‘considerably’ more often. These are the main reasons why we lean towards Shopify over Big Commerce, but you won’t go far wrong with Big Commerce. Ultimately, it comes down to a personal preference.

WordPress & Woo-Commerce

Woo-Commerce is WordPress' answer to the World of e-commerce


WordPress, and of course Woo-Commerce, cover almost every scenario, present and future…and this is why we like it. Your practically future proofing your business. Unless you’re going truly Global with franchise stores then WordPress & Woo-Commerce more than have you covered. You could argue WordPress is better suited to businesses that are no longer start-ups, and are in the SME space.

This is because it will be more expensive to set up and a little more complex, but that’s the price you pay for future proofing your business. You should definitely choose a Bespoke solution. It will make your website more secure and less likely to crash or be hacked. Even more importantly you’ll spend less time and money on needing to update templates etc

Here’s some other good reasons to use WordPress:

  • Easy to use and navigate through the CMS
  • Arguably the best Search Engine Optimisable (SEO) CMS out there
  • Bespoke can mean both beautiful and unique designs
  • Has a 24 hour support team and equally as important it has thriving community of independent developers
  • Open Source and you own all the code

Here’s the downsides:

  • It will take more development time and therefore cost then the Shopify or Big Commerce solutions
  • If it’s not a bespoke design, then you will need to keep on top of updates

If you have a little more budget and you’re certain of success, then a bespoke WordPress & Woo-Commerce is an obvious choice.


Mothercare ecommerce store on Magento content management system

Mothercare ecommerce store on Magento

There’s nothing you can’t achieve with the Magento e-commerce platform. Especially from a customer perspective.

You can tailor product pages, even create service pages (offering a paid service). With the new (not-so-new) community version 2.0 it’s much improved on the older version. Magento is far more heavy weight then perhaps you need though, which is important to bear in mind. Global

franchise company’s like Mothercare use Magento providing their franchises with the correct CMS to use and all its plugins. Samsung, Nike, Harpers Bazar and Olympus are just a few other big hitters using Magento.

Magento was built for e-commerce and e-commerce is its raison d’etre. Fully equipped with a plethora of features where other CMS lack.

Here’s just some of the reasons to use Magento

  • Very customer focused
  • Fast load speeds and high performance, especially compared to the competition
  • Loads of plug-ins for almost every scenario you can imagine
  • If there’s not a plug-in you’ll be able to create customised extensions and work flows
  • Excellent for SEO
  • Multiple stores from one login/back-end making it easier to manage your content
  • It’s Open Source meaning you can modify it to your hearts content

And of course, the downsides:

  • You’ll need a developer, either in-house or via an agency. Naturally there’s costs involved in this
  • It can be clunky to use, not as simple as the other CMS mentioned earlier, but this is to be expected when it can achieve so much more than other CMS

Magento is good, very good. The main questions you need to ask yourself is do you ‘need’ all the bells and whistles a Magento e-commerce platform has to offer?

Other e-commerce platforms you may consider

…and a note on which e-commerce platforms to avoid.

Many people will say Wix or Squarespace are amazing platforms, and in their own way they are. However, when considering which are the best e-commerce platforms for a web shop you want: your website to have the capability of an e-commerce store and the SEO potential for search engines, then they’re just aren’t going to cut it. By all means use them for a ‘brochure website’, but when it comes to e-commerce platforms you need a CMS with more guts.


Main social networks

The Death of Facebook and the new players in Social Media

‘The Death of Facebook’… Sounds a little harsh, but as a social media channel Facebook is dying. There I feel better now I’ve said it out loud. There’s plenty to replace it mind you, so if you’re a social media junky you’ll be just fine.

Why is Facebook dying?

You might think the horrendous data breaches, the court cases in the USA (as well as other parts of the World) and scandalous disinformation would be the top three reasons for the goliath social media platforms downfall. But it’s far simpler than that. Facebook is such a large part of people’s lives it will actually take far more than that to kill off a brand completely. So, what is it…?

The main reason is simply the Facebook generation are using it less. Facebook to a 15-year-old is almost uncool. Unless it’s your local bike or gymnastics club then why would the youth of today use it when their parents use it? It is naturally dying a death.

Having visited two separate school career fairs (October 2018), we conducted some market research with the students. The questions were; “which social media platforms do you use” (aged 14-18). There were no other prompts. Below are the results:

Student Employer Evening

Market research with students from two separate schools

We also asked the students why they don’t use platforms such as Facebook and the top of the reasons were:

  • My mum & dad use it – this makes it very ‘uncool’. The current up and coming social media platforms would do well to address this challenge ASAP
  • Too many adverts – this was also specifically relevant to YouTube

Other reasons Facebook has fallen by the wayside is:

  • start-ups and innovators would utilise Facebook for its ability to project great new innovations/stories for free. This no longer exists and has been brutally restricted to enhance Facebooks advertising offering. This viral ability for great innovative ideas to spread is now contained, you now have to pay! A little bit of its raison d’etre has been lost.
  • the Facebook user has gotten wise to how much time Facebook can take from their day. It is easy to get sucked in to the Facebook feed…and what was meant to be a quick message check turns into ½ hour of your life you will never get back! Facebook users are more disciplined on how much time they allow themselves on the platform.

Social Media is such a large topic, never-ending and constantly changing. To write an article on Social Media requires discipline as to become side tracked is easily done. However, here’s a little more information you should enjoy reading….

A little bit of Social Media history

Each era has its giants that sooner or later are replaced by new ‘heroes’.  The Skype and MySpace era began in 2003 and were soon followed by Facebook (2004) and Twitter (2006), which gradually became leaders in the world of social media. Since first launched in 2003, Skype became a very popular instant messaging and video/voice calling service, whilst Myspace became one of the most popular social network sites in history.


MySpace was regarded as ‘the most visited social networking site in the World from 2005 until early 2008. Myspace was still more recognisable in USA than in Europe. However, in April 2008 it was overtaken by Facebook in the number of unique worldwide visitors. Myspace has never come back to its previous level.


Skype another founding revolutionary social media member, still holds significant influence. This is due to the improvements continually implemented and despite the appearing of some strong competitors; such as Google Hangouts, FaceTime and WhatsApp, Skype has stood the test of time.


So… we come to the gladiator of all social media so far – Facebook. The era of story-telling, strange, innovative, different… images and posts that a whole generation grew up with. Even if you are not the kind of a Facebook maniac who checks the profile every second, you definitely have all those Facebook friends that post; their daily food or ‘easy solutions’ for global political problems or crises that the smartest people (are they the smartest?) cannot (or do not want to?) solve for months or years.

The era of Facebook is remarkable, as this social media led to; arrests, convictions, noble initiatives, propaganda, military use and being utilised to influence ‘real life’ at all levels. Like it or not, Facebook has played a part in almost all of a whole generation.

Gradually (as mentioned earlier in this article) Facebook steps aside and is replaced by the likes of Instagram, WhatsApp and Snapchat. Whilst the first 2 are already owned by Facebook, the latter turned down Facebook’s offer for ownership on November 15, 2013, and Google’s offer the next day. The owners of Snapchat are more than happy now as their company is evaluated few times more expensive today!

What’s new and more attractive in Instagram, WhatsApp, Viber and Snapchat over Facebook?

Viber versus WhatsApp

As WhatsApp and Viber (another platform not owned by Facebook) are considered more an instant message platform, their ‘Social Media’ status is arguable. Anyway, the influence of both of them is strongly high as WhatsApp is used more in USA, Europe and the Middle East. while Viber is used more often Asia and some parts of Eastern Europe. They both offer sending of instant text, image, video messages, as well as voice and video calls. They are arguably both as good as the other, and many use both. Whilst in the UK WhatsApp is definitely used more, in some area of Europe like the Balkan area you might find impossible finding somebody’s number on WhatsApp, just because Viber has many more users.

Instagram vs Snapchat

This is definitely the social media battle nowadays. Snapchat’s more famous amongst the young people. Please see recent research of Statista below:

Social Media preferences

Snapchat & Instagram are the favorite social media platform amongst US teens

Instagram is preferred by a wider age group. The main reason is that Instagram allows you to monetize your presence. You can find thousands of fitness models, life coaches, yoga teachers, etc. that use this platform for profit. It is also the preferred choice for the rich and famous models, actors or sport stars. As this post would probably be missed by Cristiano Ronaldo, David or Victoria Beckham or even Cara Delevingne (shame on them!), we will focus on how ordinary users utilise Instagram.

The Instagram Stalkers/Followers – yes, there’s an actual name for them!

These Stalkers & Followers are users who signed in to follow other people. Yes, there are plenty of people there that show zero activity but follow many celebrities and/or fitness models. Their presence might seem not that important, however it is these that help project and amplify the ‘Instagram Stars’ status!

The Typical Instagram Social Media user

The second type is The Typical Instagram Social Media user that are using the platform to communicate and mainly ‘be informed’. Informed about news and what’s going on in the life of close and not so close friends. You will definitely recognise them for the Private Accounts or low and usually equal number of Followers and Followings.

The Instagram Stars

It is not hard to recognise the Instagram stars. You will find their accounts public (meaning that anyone can see their posts), with very high activity (especially Instagram stories) and lots of photos to garner interest of their followers. The reason of this type of Instagram users is to reach the highest level of an Instagram user – Instagram Celebrity.

The Instagram Celebrities

Step in The Instagram Celebrities, who are divided into two groups.

Group One are people who somehow have reached this prestigious level and usually come from being an Instagram Star. Their aim is to monetize their presence online whilst doing something they love, being social. It is not necessary to be famous for this group as it’s largely Instagram that makes you famous. You’ll need to find a way how to show your talent or a great product in appropriate way. Often, some of these users are being sponsored directly by Instagram for high number of followers and post engagements.

Group Two are people who were successful in business before the Instagram revolution and/or through other channels. They use Instagram as another touch point to reach their current followers and gain new followers.

Now…we did mention earlier how easy it is to get side tracked when it comes to Social Media. The social media space is huge, always changing. So back to where we started, Facebook.

What will FB become?

Facebook still has some life in it yet. Those who use Facebook correctly from a business perspective utilize the platform as a replacement for a website. Encapsulating the ‘community feel’. Particularly pertinent for local small businesses from coffee shops to cleaning services and clubs to neighbourly groups. Facebook provides excellent Search Engine (Google & Bing) potential if you’re one of these local Facebook groups. Facebook paid ads also continue to be effective.

Our prediction is that people will continue to use Facebook but far less as the years go by and it will eventually become another MySpace unless they address the current trends.

Branding - benefits of it

What is Happening with Own Brands

What is happening with own Brands?

What is happening with own Brands? If you have your own brand you’d be smart to understand what everyone else is up to. With supermarkets and alike reducing the number of brands on their shelves in favour of their own brands, consumer choice is becoming limited. This is most likely an experience we all share, but are you aware just how far own branding is going? It’s not just the likes of Tesco’s own brands such as; Tesco Value, Tesco’s Own and Tesco Signature. There’s so much more happening behind the scenes when it comes to branding.

As a brand owner, here’s a few snippets you may find interesting:

The Retailers & Branding

Supermarkets also have their own unique set of brands. These are no doubt based on top selling products from their sales analysis. For example, take a look at Boots own No 7 range and its own branding

Amazon’s at it too and on a much larger scale. All that hard work resellers have put in to finding unique products to sell through Amazon’s platform may well result in Amazon creating their own brand and acquiring a chunk of those resellers sales. Brands you may already be familiar with are: Amazon Basics and Amazon Essentials. However, they’ve cast their net much wider with other brands including: Presto (health & household), Kid Nation (Kids clothing), Mama Bear (Baby range). If you want to see the whole list ‘recode’ have done a great summary, check it out here.

holland & barret

Holland & Barrett

Holland & Barrett have been reducing Brands on shelf in favour of their own brand for years. A significant number of products on shelf are now branded Holland & Barrett. Sadly, this limits ‘quality’ available in store as it does with supermarkets.

The Distributors

Distributors are on it too and are beginning to sell a portfolio of own brands. For a plethora of reasons. Here’s our top three:

  1. Through frustration of dealing with a brand who continuously has issues with supply, otherwise they probably wouldn’t have even considered it!
  2. Able to sell their own product and make greater margin…which is always very incentivising.
  3. Brands streamlining their supply process too much resulting in lack of staff and therefore only concentrating on large accounts, which not every distributer has access to.

Brand owners

So, what’s next for brands? Brands have started setting up their own websites and selling other brands as well. This means there’s no ‘ceiling’ on the amount of products a brand can sell, or revenue a brand can make by restricting itself to its own lines. We are seeing this happen much more often.

The Power of Branding

The Power of Branding – What is happening with own Brands?

Have your own brand, thinking of selling on or directly to Amazon? Here’s some food for thought:

Should I sell my brand direct to Amazon?

No is the quick answer. You can often loose complete control over your brand. If Amazon buys your brand and they don’t sell it, they may slash prices (even at a loss) to sell it through. This can rapidly ‘mature’ your brand and extremely quickly, resulting in you needing to start brand building all over again.

Should I sell on Amazon under my actual brand name or a ‘ghost brand’ name?
Logo of Amazon

Is selling direct to amazon a good idea?

This is a great question and one we get asked often. It really depends on your brand positioning. High end brands can use Amazon to gain access to their millions of active customers and it often drives traffic to their own brand website where they reap the rewards of greater margins then on Amazon. However, just as many high end brands do not want their products appearing on Amazon at all and this needs to be managed. Lower to mid end brands often sell on Amazon and usually under a ‘ghost brand’, so they don’t dilute their own brand’s identity, which they will have spent some considerable time and money building.

Mostly we’ve found, brands prefer not to be involved when it comes to their brands being sold on Amazon. This is a mistake, although you can’t leverage complete control in many cases (depending on how your distribution is set up), it is better to know what is happening with your branding than stick your head in the sand.

Need to talk to someone about Branding Strategy? Give us a call or drop us an email.

HTTPS Warning Site Not Secure

HTTPS This Connection is Untrusted – Get me out of here!

HTTP websites are considered untrusted

HTTP websites are considered untrusted

HTTPS This Connection is Untrusted – Get me out of here! Have you seen this message before, worst still is your website displaying this message when visitors try to visit it? From a Brand reputation point of view this is extremely damaging. Not only that, your bounce rate will be through-the-roof, and it needs addressing as soon as possible. The good news is it’s easy to fix.


The difference between HTTP and HTTPS

This issue arises because the website you’re visiting (or your own website) is HTTP and not secure. The additional ‘S’ on HTTP stands for ‘secure’. You need to buy an SSL certificate and have your webmaster install it correctly. It shouldn’t take long for them to install it and an SSL is approximately £50 – £90.


Example for a HTTPS secured website is a good example for a HTTPS secured website


How HTTPS effects your Search Engine Ranking Position (SERP)

Currently other websites will be deemed more secure and this is therefore reflected positively in SERPs over websites that are not deemed secure. Better SERP means greater organic visits and almost always a higher goal conversion rate.

But there’s more…from July 2018 Google and other search engines will punish you in the search results if you’re website is not secure. Until this time we can only speculate how harsh any punishment will be, but I would expect it would mean you may drop off the search results completely.


The World Wide Web is vast and often unsecure. Sadly, data breaches are becoming far too regular. With the likes of even Yahoo!, Facebook and Twitter falling foul. The European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) embraces ‘Security by Design’ and having the HTTPS padlock is one more step towards being GDPR compliant.

HTTPS Summary

Ultimately your website needs to be HTTPS. If you are visiting someone else’s website and it is showing as not secure, then you really should ‘get out of there’! Whatever you do, you shouldn’t click on ‘understand the risks’ and never don’t hand over any data on an unsecure website.