Free Webinar Brings Holistic Approach To Health & Wellbeing

A free webinar from Empowerment Specialist and Transformational Speaker, Deborah King, this week (Thursday, May 28) aims to help you manage your health and wellbeing in these troubling times.

Deborah’s webinar is entitled Learn How Your Body Speaks To You – The Mind, Body, Emotion Connection.

It covers her personal journey of discovery, and how understanding of the mind, emotions and the physical body helped her maintain her own health and wellbeing including recovering from long term depression.

“This webinar will support you to become more in tune with your body to give you a better insight into how you can be in control of your own health,” she said. “As we all work through the difficulties we face during this pandemic I want to help and assist you to look at your health from a different perspective, address what can be done and how to do it”

Lasting an hour, from 7.30pm on Thursday May 28 the webinar will include a question and answer session as well.

Attendees will also hear from Deborah how to understand the connections between the mind, emotions and body, and why problems in the mind, body or soul can manifest physically.

In addition Deborah will discuss how healing mental and emotional trauma can aid physical recovery, and how to identify problems for some common illnesses and diseases.

“This free webinar is my chance to share what I have learned, what I have used, and the understanding that I believe can make a massive difference to your lives now and in the future.”

Register for Deborah’s free webinar here >>

Free Webinar To Help Businesses Use Blogging To Connect Better With Customers

A free webinar will this week (Thursday, May 28) reveal the secrets of creating good quality blogs for your business with creative content, successful campaigns and brand awareness.

The latest in a series of free webinars by Excalibur Press delivered by Tina Calder, Blogging For Business, lifts the veil on the world of blogging in a 90-minute webinar outlining the benefits of blogs, together with a series of tips and tricks to make your content work for you.

“Too often companies work hard on their web presence and social media channels and forget the power of blogging,” said Tina. “This free webinar outlines how the tricks and tips I have learned to make blogging work in tandem with your other campaigns.

“There are pitfalls that can be avoided by giving enough lead time, planning content, rather than as an afterthought, and how you can use it to drive more people to your brand.”

Beginning at 3pm on Thursday, there are still places available to book now for this unique slide/video based session as Tina shows how to make your blog work for you.

The webinar will see publicist, journalist and commentator, Tina cover why blog for business, what types of blog to use, how to create quick and easy blog posts, the key ingredients for a successful blog, the tools, tips and tricks for content, and how to create quick and easy content from blog posts.

“Many still see blogs as something for hobbyists, but they are a key part of explaining your business and relating to your clients,” said Tina. 

“But to make it work for your business you need the focus and direction to make the content do the right thing for you every time.”

“There are a lot of small tips and tricks and tactics that people can use to ensure they create a long-lasting business rather than just something that will subside when the crisis subsides.

“We’ve set aside an hour and a half for this webinar which will help you start thinking about what you need in order to supercharge your digital content. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions throughout.”

Tina will also showcase how blogging enables you to give potential customers much more information on your offering, displaying your experience and expertise.

In addition, the webinar will outline how blogging about relevant topics helps your website achieve a higher Google ranking, how content can be used in many ways and can be written to specifically target potential customers, investors, or even employees.

“Blogging is a conscious effort to add valuable content to your website. Maximise the time and effort they take to create by always including a call to action at the end, and repurposing them on social media channels” said Tina.

“Ideally, you want your blog to break through the noise. Making sure each blog post has a purpose can help this. Blogs should be written to entertain, educate, inspire, excite, inform, or create an emotional connection, with the ultimate goal being to move the reader to take some form of action.”

Throughout the session Tina aims to simplify the blog creation process and give attendees real and practical tips and advice on how you can begin working on their digital content today.

To book your place for the Blogging For Business webinar on Thursday May 28th go to

Brain Injury Charity Responds To Covid-19 Crisis By Creating Online Portal For Service Users

Brain Injury Matters has maintained its services to those affected by Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) despite the challenges of the current Covid-19 crisis.

Shifting rapidly to a range of technological solutions Brain Injury Matters has adapted how it supports children, young people, adults and families affected by ABI.

From regular phone calls through to a web portal the charity has managed to preserve its vital lifeline to users.

CEO, Joe McVey, explained that the shift to remote services was essential given the concerns of those that they supported.

“In the beginning many of our services users found the impact of COVID-19 and lockdown very unsettling, worrying and concerning for their families and themselves,” he said. “There were many questions and queries about how or if BIM will be able to continue to provide services.”

Knowing that they needed to respond a range of options were developed.

“Brain Injury Matters took the decision promptly to move to remote working but ensuring that we maintained the support and engagement of all services users,” Joe explained. “All services moved to telephone and online communication by way of Zoom, Skype, Facebook, WhatsApp and the Family First Portal.

“All programmes are now delivered through these mediums, with staff having become familiar overnight with this way of working. It was also imperative that staff were able to communicate directly with one another and their line managers to ensure support during this time.

“Support was vital to our clients during this time of uncertainty, to help survivors of acquired brain injury to reduce feelings of isolation, anxiety and stress brought on by their brain injury and made worse by the coronavirus.”

Adult service users are now supported by the ‘Positivity Hub’ online (funded by the CFNI) to engage with those who previously attended the Belfast Brain Injury Centre.

Brain Injury Matters children and youth services also continue to provide services.

“While we are unable to visit, we continue to provide support by telephone, online and the Family First Portal,” said Bridget Smyth, head of children and youth services, adding: “The portal has been updated and developed to allow us to communicate better with families so that staff can continue to intervene and support families.

“Our Family First Portal is an Online Tool is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and developed in partnership with the psychology services of BHSCT that allows us to share documents, have conversations, and organise virtual sessions through use of technology such as Zoom & Skype.

“Families are able to communicate with other families through the Portal, and there is now a lovely community of families with children affected by ABI, sharing their experiences of ABI and how they are adapting to life in lockdown. We are also in the process of creating videos to demonstrate skills, strategies and activities that parents can do with their children during this uncertain time.

“While we are developing technology to stay connected, we in the Children and Youth Service do not underestimate the importance of connection through more traditional means such as phone calls, and have been supporting parents and families in this way since lockdown.”

To find out more about Brain Injury Matters please visit

Free Webinars Look At Podcasting & Thought Leadership This Week

Excalibur Press is continuing support to businesses with two free webinars this week (Wednesday and Thursday) on Do You Want To Start Podcasting? Here’s How I Did It! and How To Create An Effective Thought Leadership Strategy

The webinars are the latest in the ongoing series of webinars hosted by Tina Calder, designed to provide easy to follow guides for business owners.

In these unique online training and support sessions Tina will take delegates through the basics of how to create a podcast, creating a thought leadership strategy.

“When we were creating this webinar series we realised that at Excalibur Press there were a lot of things we could share with our current clients and the wider business community that could help them work on their business behind the scenes as things slowed down due to the Covid 19 pandemic.

“From blogging for business and creating LinkedIn content to setting up your own webinar and online course we hope that this series will help to kickstart people’s digital activities during this downtime so that by the time businesses are back up and running they have everything they need to be ahead of the pack.

“What the Corona Virus has done is force many entrepreneurs and businesses to fast forward or accelerate their desires to move their services and products online, we hope these webinars will help them do just that.”

Each of this week’s webinars begins at 3pm, featuring video and slide based learning with places still available to book for you and your team.

Wednesday’s session will provide a quick and easy guide to creating your own podcast, including explaining the popularity of podcasts, a ‘how to’ guide, equipment needed, distribution, the essential tools Tina uses and tips and tricks for success.

On Thursday attendees will learn what thought leadership is, why consider a thought leadership strategy and how it can help their personal brand or business.

Tina will take attendees through types of thought leadership as well as reveal top tips to maximise their thought leadership trajectory.

As founder of Excalibur Press publicity management, content creation and copywriting agency Tina has been in the business working in Northern Ireland for over 20 years and has worked with a number of thought leaders over the years.

She said: “Over the last two years I’ve been intensely studying the world of thought leadership and I’ve realised that one of the most difficult things for people to do is firstly, understand that they have the capacity to be a thought leader and secondly, admit that they want to be one.

“By showing people how a thought leadership strategy can be an essential tool in your personal brand or business marketing I hope to demystify how to start creating one today.”

After running the free webinars for a number of weeks Tina has noticed the hunger for people, especially small and medium sized businesses to adapt to the current lockdown and adopt techniques, delivery and marketing online.

“These are challenging times, and if we can we should work online and still keep our businesses operating,” she said. “I hope that the webinars will help equip people to stay on course, online.

“We’ve set aside an hour and a half for each overview webinar, which will help people start thinking about what you need in order to get your own podcast up and running and develop your thought leadership path. There will be an opportunity to ask questions throughout.”

Register for Do You Want To Start Podcasting? Here’s How I Did It! on Wednesday 20th May at 3pm >>

Register for How To Create An Effective Thought Leadership Strategy on Thursday 21st May at 3pm >>

To find out what other free webinars are coming up go to

6 Top Tips for SEO for Beginners

SEO is the practice of optimising your website, so it organically ranks higher in search engines, especially Google. Over 90% of searches happen on Google, the equivalent of 70,000 searches per second. 

Organic rankings are where your website appears in Google searches without any paid advertising – so investing some time and resource into making your SEO the best it can be can really pay off in the long-term. 

Lea Glover is a Digital Marketing Manager with Belfast-based web solutions provider, Flint Studios. With over 10 years’ experience in digital marketing, specialising in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), she was the perfect speaker to provide SEO tips to small business owners at a Cathedral Quarter BID Lunchtime Learning Workshop.

Lea said: “In 1999, Google announced that over 200 criteria are used to determine a website’s rank. Twenty years on, this is bound to have increased significantly, and the criteria can change annually, so it’s difficult to keep up. However, there are some areas that are consistently important in determining how high your website will rank.”

Here are Lea’s 6 key areas to focus on to boost your SEO and website performance:

  1. Keyword Research

“Before undertaking any SEO work on your website, it’s super important to know what keywords you want to be found for” said Lea, adding: “Think of search terms potential customers may use to find you and use tools like SEMRush and Answer The Public to see how many searches are being carried out on those phrases monthly. You don’t want to focus on ranking for keywords that have thousands upon thousands of monthly searches, because it will be very difficult to do, but equally you don’t want to focus on ranking for keywords that have too few monthly searches (unless they are super relevant and niche). Aim for a sweet spot somewhere in the middle.”

  1. On-Page Optimisation

Assign keywords, and even secondary keywords, to each page on your website. Then optimise the content for those words, including:

  • Meta Title Tags – the blue text that is hyperlinked in a Google search. 
  • Meta Description – the grey text that describes what a search result is about in Google.
  • An SEO-friendly URL – include keywords in your URL, if possible. (However, don’t go back and change URLs on well-established pages as this could cause more harm than good). 
  • Headline (H1) title tags in the site’s HTML (you may need a web developer to help you with this). 
  • Within the content of the page itself, aim for a minimum of 250 words. 
  • Image file names and alt tags. 
  • Internal links (to other relevant pages on your website) and external links (to other relevant pages on other websites). 
  1. Content Creation

“Google loves fresh content and new things on your website, so creating useful and relevant content is a great way to boost your rankings” said Lea.

When writing content for your website, think about how you can create content that:

  • Generates awareness, such as ‘How To’ posts, Q&As, and informational videos. 
  • Increases interest, such as infographics and brochures. 
  • Allows for consideration, such as reviews, testimonials, and case studies. 
  • Maximises conversion, such as contact forms, lead capture pages, calls to action. 
  • Encourages retention, such as newsletters, events, memberships, loyalty points, etc. 
  1. SERP Features

Lea explained: “Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) have developed over time to become much more dynamic and user-friendly, which also means there are more ways to get your website noticed. Google My Business is a free tool for all business owners that can help you optimise your search listing. 

“Longform content on your website that is between 1,500 and 2,000 words, which answers a specific question that people are searching for in relation to your products and services can help get you listed under the ‘People Also Ask’ section.”

  1. Technical SEO

This is where you may need the help of your web developer, though there are some things you can do yourself to give your technical SEO a helping hand. This includes: 

  • Ensuring a quick page load speed. 
  • Ensuring your website is mobile-friendly and optimised for mobile. 
  • Ensuring your scheme markups are in place. 
  • Ensuring your website has an SSL certificate. 
  • Setting up your Google Console and Google Analytics correctly.
  1. Link Building

When adding links to your own website or getting others to add a link to your website on theirs, relevancy, trust, and authority are really important. You don’t want lots of links from one website, you want lots of links from lots of websites. 

Want to hear more tips and ideas from Lea on SEO? Check out the full recording here >>

To see more Lunchtime Learning sessions go to: 

YouTube Star Surprises Parents With A New House

By Jonathan Traynor

DERRY YouTube sensation, Adam Beales, sprung the surprise of a lifetime on his parents this week as he presented them with a new house on Friday, before uploading the big reveal to his YouTube channel yesterday (Saturday).

More than a year in the planning Adam, known as Adam B online, managed to keep it a secret from his mum and dad Edelle and Paul.

However, the whole scheme nearly collapsed with the Covid-19 lockdown. Adam had signed the final papers on the house the day before lockdown was announced but couldn’t press ahead with his surprise.

This week he was finally ready for the big reveal: “Just this week, with the property market opening back up again across the UK, I enquired with the local council and government to see if what I was planning to do, was allowed at this stage. Thankfully, it was.”

The 20-year-old YouTube star has amassed more than 2.7 million subscribers to his channel but is conscious that this purchase shouldn’t be seen as an extravagance in these times.

“I don’t want people to get the wrong ideas that this house was just bought on a whim by some obnoxious vlogger during times like these,” Adam explained.

“This has been in the pipeline for quite some time now and it just so happens that the surprise takes place during these crazy times.

“However, I do hope people can see that it was quite a long, up and down journey to eventually hand over the keys to my parents.”

Earlier this month Adam gave away more than £1,000 to people in need who contacted him on his Twitter feed.

“I love getting involved with good causes and I’m fortunate to be in a position where I can help others. I’ve some charity work in the planning at the minute and I’m just itching to get telling people about these fantastic causes that make such a massive difference in people’s lives.”

Adam’s parents had been considering a move for some time after floating the idea in 2018.

“They then started looking at houses and viewing houses in January of 2019,” he explained, adding: “However, with COVID-19, they haven’t really been on looking for new houses which sort of made me a bit nervous because by the stage the pandemic hit – the house was already bought and I was thinking, ‘what if they’ve changed their mind?’.”

Deciding on the exact house wasn’t an issue said Adam: “They viewed a lot of houses, really, quite a lot. But this was the one that stood out to them.”

For a number of years Adam has been garnering more and more YouTube subscribers, as well as more than 500,000 followers on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok with his witty pranks and sketches

He is thankful to his parents for helping him pursue his dream.

“They understood the passion that I had for YouTube and kept motivating me to strive for more, Adam explained. “I guess what really meant so much to me, is that they believed in me.

“It would have been easy for them to encourage me to stop YouTube and pursue university in fear that YouTube may not work out. However, they believed in me and my decision and welcomed it with open arms. I am so, so thankful. And I’m incredibly grateful that I can help them.”

And, what a help.

“The house I bought for them was actually a brand, new show home in a new development, Adam said. “It has all the mod-cons and everything is in pristine condition.”

“It’s still a 4-bedroom house so they’re not downsizing or upsizing from their last home.

“It was the only house that made my mum and dad’s jaw drop. I knew the second I saw their faces when they were viewing the house that this was the one.

Now that they know, one member of the family is already excited about settling in. 

“I think the biggest feature that my little brother will love is the internet speed,” he said. “This new home has 100x faster broadband than the house my parents were living in so no doubt, there will be no more freezes or lagging when Callum is playing Fortnite.”

It wasn’t easy for Adam to keep the surprise under wraps.

“This has been the hardest secret to keep in my entire life,” he said “I’m so close to my family so I tell them everything that’s going on. This was the only time where I had to keep something so big to myself.

“Usually, my mum and dad know when I’m hiding something, but they had no clue that a house was in the process of being bought behind their backs. I’m so glad the news is out because it is so nerve-racking trying to hold in such a big surprise for so long.”

With the Covid-19 pandemic Adam is keen to express his thanks to all who are working in these daunting times, and that he is undertaking this purchase within the current rules.

“The true heroes out there are the people working in the NHS and the frontlines, helping to save lives, keep the country running, and the least we all can do was to stay home,” he said. 

“The stay at home message was, and still is, loud and clear so I just had to wait until I got further news from the local council and government for when it was safe to do so. “

Now Adam and his family are set to organise move in.

“With local authorities’ advice, and adhering to the social distancing rules,” he explained. “We are going to rent a van ourselves so no one is helping us and therefore mitigating the risk of spreading the virus.

“However, I think my mum and dad will still be in shock so I have no clue when or what they’re going to move into the new house.”

Adam is leaving the exact date down to his parents, as he said: “It’s their house now so it is up to them. – I think they might need some time for it all to sink in”.

The YouTube star also wanted to express his thanks to everyone who takes the time to follow him online.

“I want to extend my gratitude to everyone who has watched my videos, supported me throughout the years and believed in the hustle,” Adam said. “I hope to continue making good quality family entertainment and I can’t wait to share more news in the coming months.”

On his Facebook page Adam describes what he does that attracts so many subscribers: “a not so funny person trying to be funny”.

“You can catch me doing pranks, challenges, vlogs, Q&A’s, life hacks, gaming, eating food and so much more!”

Check out Adam’s videos on his YouTube channel Adam B.

Free Webinars This Week To Help Businesses Move Training Online

Belfast content and publicity company Excalibur Press is continuing support to businesses with two free webinars this week (Wednesday and Thursday) on Setting Up Your First Webinar and Turning Your Face to Face Training into Online Courses.

The webinars are the latest in the ongoing series of webinars hosted by company founder Tina Calder, designed to provide easy to follow guides for business owners.

In these unique online training and support sessions Tina will take delegates through the basics of how to create a webinar, the structure and content and look at areas such as promotional tactics and the technology used to create them.

“As a result of the Covid-19 crisis more and more of our clients at Excalibur Press are asking us to help them with their digital transformation” said Tina. 

“From creating online courses and mapping out marketing and sales funnels what the Corona Virus has done is force many entrepreneurs and businesses to fast forward or accelerate their desires to move their services and products online.”

Each of this week’s courses begins at 3pm, featuring video and slide based learning. Places are still available to book.

Wednesday’s session will provide all the lessons needed to create your own webinar, including the essential tools and the tips and tricks for success.

On Thursday Tina will guide through the processes to move training online, including how to audit and analyse offline training before switching to online, including marketing it. 

As founder of Excalibur Press publicity management, content creation and copywriting agency Tina has been in the business working in Northern Ireland for the last 20 years and has worked with a number of thought leaders over the years.

She said: “Over the last two years I’ve been intensely studying the world of thought leadership and during that time I’ve been on some pretty decent webinars…and I’ve also caught a turkey or two! 

“I wanted to create this series of webinars to help people avoid some of the mistakes I’ve seen so many times.”

After running the free webinars for a number of weeks Tina has noticed the hunger for people, especially small and medium sized businesses to adapt to the current lockdown and adopt techniques, delivery and marketing online.

“These are challenging times, and if we can we should work online and still keep our businesses working,” she said. “I hope that the webinars will help equip people to stay on course, online.

“We’ve set aside an hour and a half for this overview webinar which will help you start thinking about what you need in order to get your own webinars up and running. There will be an opportunity to ask questions throughout.”

Register for Setting Up Your First Webinar? Here’s How I Did It! at

Register for Turning Your Face To Face Training Into An Online Course at

To find out what other free webinars are coming up go to

Digital Recruitment – Here’s What You Need To Know

Digital transformation has impacted on a wide range of business functions for many years, including the HR function and organisational recruitment strategies and tools. Perhaps ten years ago companies were able to get by with more traditional recruitment methods, but today, some form of digital recruitment integration is usually required.

Michelle Tyson, founder and director of Tyson Wilson Recruitment and Tyson Wilson Temps has been recruiting digitally for a number of years now.

But she is warning companies and recruiters that there’s many things to take into consideration before you can move your operations online.

Michelle said: “When turning some elements, or indeed all, of your recruitment strategy digital, there are a wide range of things to consider, ensuring you build a robust digital recruitment strategy.”

Here are some things Michelle pinpointed:

What is digital recruitment? 

Michelle explained: “Digital recruitment isn’t just about posting job vacancies online, though that is part of it. It includes the use of digital technology to assist in the finding, attracting, analysing, selection, and hiring process of candidates.

“Depending on the scale of your organisation’s recruitment needs and the resources available, this could include hosting application forms online, the use of online or digital assessments, holding online interviews using video conferencing software, or even the use of end-to-end recruitment software to manage the whole process.”

Share Relevant Content 

Potential candidates are highly likely to search for information about your organisation online.

“You should ensure you have a page on your website dedicated to posting vacancies. In addition, you should consider producing content that will showcase to prospective employees what kind of company you are and why they should want to work there” said Michelle, adding: This content can be shared to blogs and social media, via an email newsletter, and through other partners such as recruitment agencies you use. 

Use Social Media

“Social media can be an excellent tool to market your business to current and potential customers” said Michelle.

However, she said it is essential this forms a “key element of any recruitment marketing strategy”.

“In addition to sharing your targeted recruitment content on social media, it can be used to post job vacancies and link to downloadable application forms or bespoke online application processes, with many platforms now having specific jobs posts that are visually distinctive” said Michelle.

Advertise Online 

Michelle advised: “Your vacancies should be posted on a range of online platforms such as your company website, social media, and digital job boards. There are a variety of paid and free digital platforms available, so you need to know how to target the type of candidates you’re after and how to keep records of the vacancies you post – remember that all employment legislation still applies, regardless of whether you use traditional or digital recruitment.”

Digital Applications 

The first step in going digital is providing a PDF or digital download of an application form that is submitted via email.

“You should still allow for paper-based applications to be submitted, where possible, so you aren’t discriminating against certain age groups or individual skillsets” said Michelle.

“This is particularly important for industry sectors where ICT skills are not a priority and access could be an issue. However, most candidates will welcome an online as opposed to written application process. 

“As an alternative to a digital download, you could build a digital application process. These can be bespoke, or through a software package that is specifically for this purpose. Make sure the application process is easy to navigate, that users can save their progress and come back later, and that the system generates a notification to let the candidate know that their application has been received.”

Create A Feedback Loop

Michelle explained: “This simply means asking candidates for feedback on your recruitment process so you can improve it. During, or at the end of, the recruitment process, you could use anonymous online survey software to ask candidates a range of questions about their experience. This needs to be offered to every candidate to ensure the feedback process is continuous and that feedback is as broad as possible.” 

Be Consistent 

“If your company declares that it is innovative and forward thinking, but still uses a cumbersome paper-based application process and does not acknowledge receipt of applications, the process conflicts with the image your company is trying to portray” said Michelle.

“Reduce cognitive dissonance and increase trust with your candidates by making sure your processes match your brand values.”

For more information email Michelle at or go to

Jacqui Sharkey Releases New Soulful Single Home

Acclaimed singer songwriter Jacqui Sharkey will release her new single – Home this month.

The reflective and soulful version of Home echoes Jacqui’s memories and emotions, and is her first release since her 2017 version of The Whole of the Moon, made famous by The Waterboys, made a significant impact.

Jacqui sums up why the lyrics of Home resonated so much with her.  “The concept of the song is something that hit me right away, as there is no doubt that I have always been a home bird, despite my extensive travelling over the years.

“No matter how much fun I have travelling or performing, it always lifts my heart to be home” she said.

The Donegal based Singer/ Songwriter, known for her soulful, deep tones, has three albums under her belt, and since Whole of the Moon, she has been taking time to reflect on her journey so far, as well as writing and recording tracks for a forthcoming album.

“I really needed to take some time out and just breathe,” she explained. “Between one thing and another, life was overwhelmingly hectic, and not easy in a lot of ways. 

“I can’t go for long without writing, recording and performing. Music is truly my sanity and my peace, and I can’t imagine life without it. Music creates feelings and feelings create music. I am blessed to be able to do it, and I am looking forward to sharing quite a few new songs in 2020.”

Home will feature on Jacqui’s forthcoming EP with the same title, to be released in July 2020.

Find out more at  or or connect with Jacqui Sharkey on social media.

Thinking About Google Ads: Here’s What You Need To Know

Most small business owners understand how important Google has become in helping customers and potential customers find their website. However, the use of paid Google advertising can do so much more than just direct a user to a website, but it can feel like an absolute minefield, with many small business owners not knowing where to start.

Jemma Geary is a Digital Advertising Specialist from Groundswell, a specialist ecommerce and digital advertising agency. Groundswell develop and implement digital advertising strategies, using a funnel approach, for clients from a diverse range of industries to help them sustainably grow.

Jemma delivered a Lunchtime Learning session facilitated by the Cathedral Quarter BID (Business Improvement District) on an introduction to Google Ads, and here are the key takeaways:

Google Ads are paid for advertising that can be shown to a targeted audience across the internet in a range of different formats, including display adverts on websites, video adverts on YouTube, and in-search adverts when someone uses Google to search for something. Which types of adverts you choose to use will depend on your objectives, where your potential customer is in their purchase journey, and how much of a budget you have.

Jemma believes Google Ads are a great tool because of how transparent they are: 

“With Google advertising you can see how many impressions and click-throughs your advert had received, as well as the cost per click. It’s a very effective way to monitor your return on investment. But before any campaigns go live, I would recommend that full conversion tracking is properly set up on your account, as well as any ecommerce tracking if you sell products online. That way the performance data will be most useful.”

In 2020, there are an estimated 2.3 million Google searches carried out per second, and most of those will include paid for ads. For many businesses, Google search ads are the first place to start.

“Optimise your landing page and include a strong call to action. Make sure your search ad does not take your user to your homepage – their landing page needs to be relevant to the search terms they used to take them there. If you are selling a product using a search ad then make sure all of the product information is available on the landing page. You want to make the purchase process as smooth as possible for the customer.”

In addition to search ads, product-based advertising (or shopping advertising) is becoming increasingly popular. It is expected that 18% of all UK retail purchases will be made online in 2020, so if you are selling product online you should consider product ads.

“Product listings or showcase adverts on Google come from shopping feeds on your Merchant Centre Account, all of which you need to set up yourself. This is more complex than other forms of Google advertising and requires some technical thinking. While it isn’t rocket science, it would be a good idea to work with a company experienced in setting up this type of advertising, whether that’s your web developer or a specialist company like Groundswell.”

Video advertising via the YouTube platform has grown exponentially in recent years. This is likely in part due to the vast amount of YouTube that is now consumed daily. In 2020, over 1 billion hours of YouTube are watched daily. That’s more than Netflix and Facebook video combined!

Google serves YouTube ads to viewers based on a range of targeting objectives. This can include audiences that Google define as relevant based on search criteria, custom audiences you can create by using competitor URLs, custom intent targeting based on user searches for the previous seven days, remarketing adverts to individuals who have previously visited your website, and even targeting individuals based on key milestones or life events.

“There are different types of adverts you can show through YouTube. For example, there are adverts that users can skip after 5 seconds, and there are adverts that the user cannot skip. There are pros and cons for each, and which you choose is largely based on your advertising objectives and your budget. It’s worth bearing in mind that for adverts users can skip after 5 seconds that you are charged per view, but the first 10 seconds don’t count. For adverts that users can’t skip you are not charged per view but instead per 1,000 impressions. However, these are restricted to a maximum of either 6- or 15-seconds duration, depending on which type you go for.”

If you do decide to try Google Ads yourself and don’t enlist the help of an experienced professional, here are some of Jemma’s top tips to maximise the opportunity and avoid some of the potential pitfalls:

  1. “Always consider your budget first. Decide what you are happy to spend monthly and divide it by 30.4. Remember, Google budgets work on a daily spend.”
  2. “Figure out your keywords that you want to be found for when using Google search ads. This can be refined over time and it is a bit of an artform. Lower search frequency terms that are more specific are better than more popular terms that are more generic. Relevancy to your product or service is key.”
  3. “Monitor your return. Whatever you decide to do, review your ad performance regularly – even daily. Are your keywords relevant? Are you getting a good return? Should you try a split test to see if certain keywords perform better for you? Are irrelevant keywords directing users to your website and should you exclude these going forward to ensure you aren’t paying for irrelevant clicks? Don’t just set up Google Ads and leave it running without monitoring it – it can be a costly mistake.”

Want to hear even more top tips about Google Ads? Check out the full recording of Jemma’s workshop on the Cathedral Quarter website ––learning–intro-to-google-ads

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