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Digital privacy is more important than ever. I’m always thinking about how to reduce how much of my own information I put online and how much info I save about the people I connect with (including you dear reader!).

You might notice this month’s newsletter looks a little different and that’s because I’ve changed from using Mailchimp to ButtonDown.

ButtonDown is an independently run (literally by one man named Justin!) newsletter software that importantly DOES NOT TRACK CLICKS.

Even though I turned off my Mailchimp tracking last year, I recently found that MC itself still records every time someone opened an email or if they clicked a link (I just couldn’t see this).

Which is creepy and sadly commonplace among many free-to-use services.

So going forward, rest assured that you can open up these letters as often as you like, ignore them or even unsubscribe safe in the knowledge that no one is watching you!

I’ve also deleted everyone’s names from the mailing list so the only piece of data I save for newsletter readers is your email address, hurray!

My Social Dilemma

When I wrote to you last month, I was still reeling from watching The Social Dilemma. The unsettled feeling wasn’t going anywhere, so I shared my thoughts on the blog.

Read the post to dig a little deeper into:

  • How “free” apps use techniques to fuel addictive patterns so they can serve more advertising content to us.
  • The power of algorithms.
  • How digital fingerprinting works.

But it’s not all doom and gloom – I also share my top tips for using social media more mindfully (it’s possible!).

Read My Social Dilemma

How ethical branding can help your business and the world

The next instalment in my series of guest blogs is by my friend Charlotte Holroyd of Creative Wilderness.

In the post, Charlotte explains how branding contributes to the overall perception and experience people have of your brand. She also reminds us of the impact of our business choices on the environment, and that while the ethical choice isn’t necessarily the cheapest or easiest, it is worth considering!

Read Charlotte’s blog on ethical branding

Redesigning my own site to make it more eco-friendly

In the summer, I wrote about ways in which you can make your site more eco-friendly, and I’ve since redesigned my site to reduce it’s carbon footprint.

Here are a few of the changes I’ve made.

  • Banner images are half the size they were and there are fewer images per page, making the site quicker to load – using less energy.
  • The Services pages makes the distinction between my consulting and web design offers clearer, meaning less clicking around for visitors (good for them, but also good for the environment as it means fewer pages need to be loaded).
  • The blog layout has been changed to make the articles easier to read reducing the amount of time needed on the page.

Big thanks to Karen at Goodness Marketing for revising the copy, Greg Whitehead for tightening up the graphics and Jodie Thackray of Styling Sustainably for the ace new photos!

Bo’s top tips for updating your own website

Paul’s dead chuffed with the improvements he’s made to his site. I’ve been keeping a close eye on how he’s managed to get his best month ever for traffic, and I’ll happily report some top tips for you to apply yourself.

  1. Consider the current goals of your business and how your site can help you achieve them. In Paul’s case, he wanted to reduce the impact of his site on the environment, as part of his wider commitment to green and ethical business
  2. Get an outside opinion, because it can be hard to spot opportunities when you are so close to a project. Paul hired Karen from Goodness Marketing to review his site
  3. Check your website analytics. You don’t need to improve every single page. Prioritise updating those with the highest traffic.
  4. Progress over perfection. Rather than trying to do everything at once, little updates every now and then all add up to a positive change!

If you want to make your site better but don’t know where to start, reply to this email and talk to Paul. He’s friendly and will give you good advice without the hard sell!

Love,
Bo

Looking ahead to 2021

Have you started thinking about your 2021 business plan yet? If it involves improving your web presence and selling more online, now is a good time to get planning – and I can help.

  • Website review – Let me cast my expert eyes over your site and identify how you can make it better (improved visibility in search, more conversion, a better user experience).
  • Power hour and a half – A 1:1 with a web pro (me!) tailored to your needs can help you overcome sticking points and unlock the potential of your site!
  • Page speed optimisation – You know I have a need for speed, and so do Google and the people who use your site. I’ll test your site speed and make the necessary changes to get it loading faster.

You’ve got exactly 7 weeks until January 1st, so get in touch if you want to hit the 2021 ground running (or if you fancy a redesign in the new year!).

SEO for Beginners video course

I’ve started working on a new version of my popular SEO for Beginners course, and this time it is going to be all online and self-paced!

What would you like to learn about search engine optimisation for your small business website? Let me know so I can try to include it!

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The monthly PJWD newsletter is full of tips and advice on web design, digital privacy and sustainability (plus dog photos).

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