Benefits of Business Online Reviews

When looking at products on a website, it is always helpful to read online reviews before making a purchase, however big or small. Even if you provide a service and not products, it is still useful to see how were perceived by your customers. It is said that 63% of customers are more likely to make a purchase from a site which has user reviews(iPerceptions, 2011), making it an invaluable resource. Here’s some more reasons why reviews can benefit your business:

  1. New Function on Site: There are new technologies you can employ on your site that can enable users to leave reviews of products, which owners can then reply back too that can help build relationships.
  2. Get Confidence From Your Visitors– When you receive honest feedback from customers, then visitors to your site will feel confident with the service they get when ordering from you.
  3. Creates new Content: Reviews are essentially guest content, which is invaluable to your site. It makes the site useful to customers, and starts to make your site stand out.
  4. Free Advertising– Each review is a form of free advertising, given to you by the customer. By searching for a product, your business will appear with the review, giving potential customers exposure to your business and increasing awareness of who you are.
  5. Increased CTR– IfIf review content is correctly formatted, then this can help increase the CTR from search engine results pages.
  6. Suggestions– on the off chance you don’t receive the feedback you were hoping for, then turn it into a positive. Analyse the criticism and use this to build upon your business, as it may bring more business ideas and custom.
  7. Build a Relationship With Your Customers– By taking the time out of your day to reply to the reviews, then it can help build a good rapport with your customers. By giving a personal response, it can help customers learn about the person behind the business.
  8.  Reviews are More Trusted – A survey of US Internet users saw that reviews are 12 times more trusted than descriptions that come from manufacturers.
  9. Use Reviews via PPC– Show off your ratings that your customers have left you by placing them in your PPC ads to help give you the edge over your competitors.
  10. Repost Reviews on Social Media– By sharing the comments and reviews you receive on social media, it helps to spread awareness of your business and how well you are doing, showcasing your business to the world.

5 Tips to Building an Online Presence

At Findtheneedle, one of our main goals is to help our listings get as much exposure as possible, by building up your online presence. Here are some top tips that are quick and easy to implement yourself in the meantime:

  1. Clearly Outline Your Goals- Ask yourself why you want to grow your online presence and how it will help your business goals, for now and the future.
  2. Make Sure Your Content is Clear– Grab the attention of potential clients by having clear and concise information about your business by adding in keywords to your content to attract your target market.
  3. Create a Social Hub– Social media is your best friend. Connect to new and old clients online and you may see a rise in followers and likes, and maybe a boost in business. Make sure your content is inviting and interactive too.
  4. Start a Blog-With the ability to blog about practically everything these days, why not start writing about the accomplishments of your business as well as key things going on in your industry? By sharing this on social media, it will help attract a lot more attention.
  5. Make your Website Inviting– If your website is confusing and hard to navigate, then potential clients won’t return. By making it user friendly, you will get recommendations and potentially more business.

Top 10 Tips For Effective Social Media Marketing

Social media is an invaluable tool for marketing your business directly to customers. But are you getting the most out of your efforts? Social media marketing should improve your sales and lead generation, boost customer engagement, build your brand reputation and much more. These top 10 tips could make your social media strategy more effective.

1. Use Visual Content – Visual content, especially videos, are far more likely to be shared on social media platforms than written content. Whether you’re creating your own or using curated content it will give your marketing a boost.

2. Create a Plan – Sometimes social media can fall to the wayside when the business is busy, drawing up a social media plan, which could include how often you’ll post, goals, tone of voice, and content type, ensures you can consistently use the platforms and build it into your daily routine.

3. Use Hashtags – Have a look at trending hashtags and if there are any relevant to you make sure you use them to gain exposure. You can create your own hashtags to support certain campaigns but make sure they’re easy to read and remember.

4. Share Quality Content – It’s more important to share quality content rather than post lots of updates. Your content should be relevant to your audience and be helpful or entertaining, posting irrelevant content is a sure fire way to turn your followers off.

5. Join the Conversation – Don’t just post updates but join in conversations too. It’ll help raise awareness of your brand, expose you to potential customers and give you an opportunity to show off your knowledge and expertise.

6. Get the Whole Business Involved – While the marketing strategy might be the preserve of just a few of your team, encourage your whole business to get behind your social media by sharing content you post and adding their own voice to the conversation.

7. Use a Management Tool – Using one of the many available management tools not only allows you to schedule content but means you can track, monitor and measure how each of your posts are doing.

8. Analyse to Improve – Make sure you analyse your past posts to see which ones your audience responded to the most. Through assessing your content, you can improve your strategy going forward.

9. Watch Your Competitors – If one of your competitors has a great social media following you can learn from them and improve on their strategy. Have a look at the type of content they share, when they post and who they are following to get some new ideas to incorporate into your strategy.

10. Consider Social Media Advertising – Advertising on social media platforms does mean paying out but it can boost your sales in return and allow you to catch the attention of those in your target market.


Top 10 SEO Tips to Boost Your Website Rankings


Lifting your search engine rankings can seem like an impossible task but with these ten SEO tips that you can put into practice you can give your efforts a boost.

1. Pick Good Keywords – When picking out your keywords you need to be sure that people are actually searching the term, there are free tools you can use to assess this. Ideally you should keep your keywords list limited as the more you have the less resources you’ll be able to dedicate to each one.

2. Use Your Keywords – While you don’t want to ‘keyword stuff’ and make content unreadable you do need to use your keywords. Be sure to add them to your page title, headers, tags and within the post.

3. Write Great Content – Great content isn’t only shareable and interesting for your clients it helps with SEO too. You need to include your keywords in the content but make sure it’s still readable and be aware that overusing keywords can actually have a negative impact on your SEO.

4. Provide Long Pieces of Content – Not all of your pieces of content need to be long but copy that is more than 1,000 words suggests that the post is in-depth and offers insight to readers, which search engines like Google rank highly.

5. Research Your Competitors – Understanding what your competitors are doing can give you an edge. Analyse what keywords they’re using, the quality and quantity of links and their content to see how you can improve on their offering.

6. Refresh Your Meta Data – Optimise you meta description and tags to improve SEO. You need to use your keywords but at the same time make it clear what your business does in a way that is readable.

7. Optimise For Mobile – The mobile market is growing and ensuring your website is optimised for mobile users can help push you up the search engine rankings, plus more customers will be able to access your site.

8. Add Internal Links – Be sure to add internal links between the different pages on your website as this helps to signal important content. If you haven’t linked internally it’s simple to go back through your content and create some between relevant pages.

9. Link to Authority Sites – Providing links to authoritative sites indicates that your information is more reliable. For instance, you can cite some research or statistics in a blog post link to where the information comes from to provide more information.

10. Get External Links – External links to your website are important for SEO as search engines consider this in their algorithms to determine how good a post is. It can be difficult to link build but it’s well worth the effort.


New Google Certified Staff

We are pleased to announce two more members of Alpha Publishing – have been working exceptionally hard to achieve Google certification. Two members of the team have now passed and you can see their certified status using their partner links below:

Bradley Sparkes:;idtf=101845164219267783062;

Tim Lunnun:;idtf=109725889341290987625;

(Apologies for the shirt worn in picture, Arsenal fans may want to look away)

Also huge changes and improvements have been made to FTN (which you will have hopefully noticed!) to bring it up to date with Google’s many content guidelines for online marketing. The site is now simpler to use and reactive meaning it will work on any device in the world.

The site has also had new customisation features added to it so you can improve brand identity with custom colour schemes and custom tabs on your advert which reflect your own site and marketing strategies, we have coupled this with changes to the way your profile is presented so that people see more of you the advertiser.

As partners our company is known to Google and the links and therefore content we hold for you as an advertiser carries even more weight.

As the next year progresses more of our dedicated team will be working towards personal certification, you will also continue to see updates and improvements to make sure were providing the best online service, following the best online practices.

If you would like to know more about the new features or changes to the site and how you can best utilize them then please feel free to call a member of the team on 01279 461900. If you’re new to the site and would like to discuss membership options them please email

Why use Find the Needle?

A question we are often asked by prospective new members of the Find the Needle Trade website is “Why should we become members?” The answer is in fact multi-layered.

The obvious and most tempting answer is simply ‘exposure’ – Here is a trade directory, which according to the worlds largest and most respected web ranking tool ‘Alexa’, is comfortably in the top 2,000 websites visited in the UK. We are also proud of our Majestic SEO rankings.

It is, again according to the owned Alexa, the highest ranked of all the UK trade directories. So Naturally displaying all your products and/or services on such an engine would be smart and, from a marketing standpoint, wise.

You need to imagine your website as having an audience. If your SEO is healthy and your marketing plan smart then your audience should be large and targeted for your industry sector. Find the Needle opens your company up to an audience you would otherwise have no access to. It has taken over nine years to build a database that appeals to the entire B2B market in the UK.

The highest number of new and unique visitors per day use Find the Needle to source Products and Services in your sector. The question should really be “How can we afford not to be listed on Find the Needle?”.

Secondary benefits are many, but the main two are ‘SEO’ and ‘Google exposure’.

SEO (search engine optimisation) is a very broad term, meaning how well your own website is geared towards performing in the search engines (Google etc.) and opinions vary greatly from SEO specialist to SEO specialist.

Where Find the Needle truly, and unequivocally, helps is with Backlinks. As much as Backlinks perhaps don’t hold the same level of importance as in the Pre Penguin and Panda Google update world, they are still an extremely important part of how Google will judge your own websites power on the web and performance within it’s own algorithms and results.

We build backlinks of high value with every page we build within your listing. Within 12 months you will find that Find the Needle is highly likely to be comfortably within the top 3 backlink providers that your website has globally. And as a result this will improve your SEO rank within Googles. All our content has a high trust-flow rank and is unique in nature.

Google Exposure is really an obvious benefit. A trade directory with the power of Find the Needle will often be an extremely effective method of gaining page one results in Google for keywords important to your business that were proving elusive for your own website. We allow the client to add up to 400 products and/or services to each section of their listing.

Whilst we are at the mercy of Google algorithms as much as anybody else, we have years of experience in building listings that are effective within Google and provide stunning exposure for relative search results for our clients.

So to conclude. “Why use Find the Needle?” I would suggest you become a member for 12 months and let the results answer that question for you. We are confident in becoming not just an extremely beneficial media partner for you, but indeed your number one external marketing lead source in the UK.

Welcome to the new look FTN !

Welcome to the new look findtheneedle website we hope you like it! We have made lots of changes and the site has been heavily optimized in the back end with new Google guide lines in mind.

Please do login to your account and have a look around as there are new features that can be added. You can now have direct links through to your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube accounts. The ability to have your YouTube,Facebook and Twitter accounts feeding through information to us is still available too.

Having listened to our clients a lot have requested that the News, Documents, Jobs and Videos tabs be able to link directly through to those sections on their websites, this is now available. Of course we can still post your News, Documents, Jobs vacancies and Videos on findtheneedle.

Another new feature is the ability to change the background theme of your findtheneedle listing. This could be one of the standard pictures/colours available or one of your own, an example of which is shown in this post. The text colour can be changed to dark or light to suit the colour you have chosen.

The company logo now has a larger area and pixel size as again from client requests this makes the logo look as it should, crisp and clear.

If you would like any of these new features explained in more detail or how to use them please contact your account manager or speak to Simon Harris on 01279 461900, or email