More Funding Available For North East Businesses

small business applying for nbsl small business funding

Have you got a digital project in mind for your business and would like to get some funding towards it, then this is for you?

We can announce that the North East Business Support Fund (NBSL) have successfully applied for further funding to offer grants to eligible projects for North-East businesses which are now open for application.

Here at Black and white Boy, we are registered suppliers to the NBSL scheme and have helped many businesses fulfil their digital projects with the help of the funding available through NBSL scheme.

We have delivered websites, eCommerce solutions and digital marketing campaigns to help those businesses grow and thrive despite the many challenges small business face in today’s commercial landscape, including Covid.

The great news is that NEW funding of £1.6m has been secured and applications are now being invited for relevant projects for SME’s in the North East.

What’s on offer

Depending upon where your business is located in the North East the offer differs slightly.

Specifically:

  • Businesses located in County Durham, the offer available is funding up to 40% of the value of a project costing between £2500 – £8000
  • If your business is situated in Tyne and Wear or Northumberland, the deal on offer is funding up to 35% of the cost of the project from £3000 – £8000.

Which companies are eligible for funding?

The grants are open to businesses who are based in County Durham, Tyne and Wear or Northumberland who are classed as Small to medium-sized enterprises. The definition of an SME is as shown below:

  • Employ no more than 250 full-time or equivalent employees
  • Annual revenue is no more than € 50 Million
  • Balance Sheet value below €43 Million.

There should also be evidence that there is a plan to grow or to recover from the impact of Covid (staff or turnover).

Also, If the business is involved in any kind of group structure – either being partially or fully owned by another business or having partial or full ownership of another business – NBSL would need details to establish eligibility.

How Do I make an application

Making an application is simple and shouldn’t take more that15 mins. It’s all online and easy to understand.

As you may expect it will cover the fundementals of your business, aswell as asking you about the trading history of the business.

If you’re a ltd business you will be required to provide audited accounts for the last two years, though if you haven’t got them that far back, you can still apply it’s just that your NBSL manager will want to know a little more information from you, so its likely they will prefer to do that during a phone call.

Even if your business hasn’t been trading that long and you don’t have all the financial documents of a more established business, that doesn’t mean you can’t apply.

All you have to do is show evidence that you have been trading and that you have been able to raise invoices for the goods or services you provide as part of your application. NBSL will use that information to evaluate your application, but will probably also require a phone discussion to discuss it further.

Once your application has been received it doesn’t take that long to process and receive a decision, sometimes within a few days.

What Do I Do Once My Application Has Been Accepted?

OK, so you have great news and you have received word from NBSL that your application is succcessful, now what?

If you have a registered supplier in mind, you can start immediately, once you have received written notification from your NBSL manager.

The project needs to be delivered within a three-month window and should be shown to be complete within that time for you to receive that funding.

So for example, if its a website, this needs to be live on your domain and fully functional within the allotted time.

After this, there are just some small bits of due diligence for NBSL to oversee such as seeing evidence that the project has been paid for.

Once that has been done, the grant will be paid directly into your bank account and is normally pretty swift.

NBSL state that this would be done within 30 days of completion, but in reality can take as little as a few days.

Book A Quick Call

If you have questions or want a quick strategy session without any obligation, book a call with us and get some answers to your problems

10 SEO Writing Tips For Higher Conversions

10 SEO tips for better conversions

Nobody wants to read meaningless passages of keywords, especially since they are not even rewarded by Google anymore. So here are 10 SEO writing tips to help you with your site.

The focus should be to avoid the classic SEO criteria of chasing keywords and instead, you should direct the content towards writing for people and their needs.

This is not only rewarded by Google’s algorithm, but it also ensures that your hard work will not go unappreciated by those who read it. Its been shown time and time again that users who read well written content, read more, and have a greater likelihood to convert into raving fans.

Those SEO articles often associated with poor quality, constant repetition and spun sentences that making no sense don’t have a great reputation.

No wonder, far too much (allegedly) SEO content still reads like an incoherent hodgepodge of keywords without adding any value.

The problem: As the name suggests, some content writers are still creating content for machines instead of people, which is so 2012.🤣

But who benefits from high click rates when readers leave the page immediately due to the user experience being so low?

In addition, Google has long since stopped basing its rating solely on keyword density, taking other metrics, such as CTR and linger time, into account.

That’s why we’ve put together some tips that will help you write strong SEO peices that not only rank well, but also lead to high conversion outcomes.

Google has rewarded helpful content for a long time now, the Google algorithm has not only taken keywords into account, in fact it id estimated to only make up around 15 percent of the ranking. Instead, Google now places much more emphasis on really helpful content, which is expressed in two basic principles:

😎EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness)
This means above all technical competence, credibility and reliability. Google prefers sites that provide added value for their readers through a high level of expertise and knowledge.

YMYL (“Your Money or Your Life”)

This acronym means that Google has high standards for content that could directly affect the health, finances or general quality of life of its users.

Here, poor quality is severely punished and instead, relevance and responsibility need to shown instead.

This shows that high-quality, helpful content actually helps with ranking webpages itself: authority and popularity of a site make up around 26 percent of the ranking.

But high quality content also fulfills another function. It not only guarantees visibility and thus entices users to read, but ultimately nurtures them to covert into valuable leads.

The following ten tips will tell you what makes content of this kind stand out.

Follow these 10 SEO Writing Tips For Higher Conversions

  1. Headline and introduction:
    The headline is the first connection between reader and text and thus decides whether it will be clicked at all. It must therefore arouse curiosity, convey an initial idea of the article and its structure, and express ease of readability and added value.

“XX Reasons why. or “How to” headlines are particularly successful because they directly address the benefit to the reader.

However, not only is the headline important, but also the introduction is to, this ensures that readers do not jump off after a few sentences. It should emphasise the added value in more detail, get to the point precisely without filler words if possible, and be formulated clearly and concisely.

  1. useful, precisely tailored content:
    This is the core feature of content that drives conversions: It must be informative and at the same time answer the questions of the respective readers. After a user has read such a passage, she should be convinced of the company’s or users expertise.

To do this, the copywriter must understand the precise needs of the readers. They need to make the core benefits clear right from the start and ultimately solve the readers problem.

  1. meaningful text structure:

Not only formally, but also in terms of content, every article should be clearly structured.

This includes first introducing the topic in general terms and then listing individual points that are coherent and put into context. In the end, a logical conclusion must be deduced, which becomes obvious after reading a stringent argumentative text.

In order to make and to clarify connexions in this way, connectors or connectives are essential, especially conjunctions (if, although, so that etc.). Particularly important connections should be emphasized explicitly in separate sentences.

  1. consider the level of information of the users:

In order for an article to be of maximum help to the reader, it must be taken into account at what point in the buying process they are at. Do they first have to be informed about the problem itself or have they already obtained a lot of information and are looking for a very concrete solution?

If this question is not considered, there is a risk that readers will either get bored or become overwhelmed – in either case, they will probably neither read the text to the end nor convert through it.

So in order to serve potential leads with different levels of information, different content is required for the different phases.

  1. No Continuous “Wall of Text”:

Long, uniform text blocks discourage, overwhelm and do not make you want to read. Instead, the shortest possible, self-contained sections with subheadings should be chosen, interrupted and loosened up by illustrations, enumerations, tables, etc.

  1. Call to action:

The aim of a text is always to make readers take action and turn to the solution offered by the company in question. This should not only be made clear in the Call-to-Action (CTA), but rather by means of the general language of the text. This requires active language with clear imperatives. In addition, the present tense should be chosen as a tempus, as this allows topicality and urgency to be expressed.

7 Direct Address:

This aspect is closely related to point six. After all, imperatives in particular only work in the second person. But the direct approach also serves a purpose of its own: users do not want to obtain general information, but are looking for a solution to their personal problems. Accordingly, the wording should make it clear that the text helps them very specifically.

In addition, the “you” or “them” creates proximity and immediacy.

  1. Precise, strong formulations:

Precise language is used to convey information in a few clear words. This works above all by using the appropriate adjectives: instead of “unhelpful”, “useless” can be used; instead of “very pretty”, “beautiful” can be used.

Such an expression stands for energy, clarity and a certain authority of the copywriter: If you know what you are talking about, you don’t have to hide behind vague formulations. At the same time, precise language helps to prevent the text from becoming unnecessarily long.

  1. Formulating appealing calls-to-action:

CTA is the decisive sentence that finally decides on every conversion. Accordingly, it must express the call to action in a direct and clear manner, be formulated in a convincing and appealing manner and, if necessary, also convey a certain inspiration.

  1. Finding a round conclusion:

The final sentences of a text remain particularly in the mind and are the final thing users read before deciding whether to click on a CTA. Therefore, you should always round off your content with a strong message. For example, a metaphor or a generally pictorial language can be used here to illustrate the core message once again. You can also end with a look into the future or a question that makes the reader think. Making SEO human again.

Hopefully you have picked up a few things you can apply in your own content which will help your content get better conversions and in so doing grow sales and engagement.

  • Quick and easy… only takes 4 mins 01 secs on average to complete
  • Get the personalised insights you need to grow your business online
  • Make your digital marketing into a predicable & reliable sales machine.
  • Discover what is preventing you from ranking higher on Google
  • Find out how to survive and thrive online in 2021 and beyond