Business Support Organisations in Brighton & East Sussex

Do you need some help to make your business boom? We’ve put together a handy list of business support organisations and co-working spaces in Brighton & East Sussex, that can lift your business to the next level.

Business Support Organisations in Brighton & Sussex:

Green Growth Platform

The Green Growth Platform is the South East Regional Hub of Clean Growth UK; a national business-innovation network that has supported thousands of green businesses across the UK to innovate and grow.

Brighton University’s Green Growth Platform is an award-winning green network, which aims to help create healthy, future-proof businesses that try their best to minimise their impact on the planet. They work to encourage businesses to develop clean and environmentally friendly products and services through coaching, workshops, access to funding and access to University facilities to help green businesses scale.


Brighton Chamber of Commerce

Brighton Chamber is a diverse community, which helps its members build successful businesses and be part of Brightons welcoming community and healthy economy. Anyone running or working for a business, charity or social enterprise; in or around Brighton and Hove, can register to be a member and access all of their services.

Their services include; networking events, Bite-sized learning sessions, business support and mentoring as well as an inclusion in their online business directory.



Wired Sussex

Wired Sussex is a Brighton- based membership organisation for companies and freelancers operating in the digital, media and technology sector in Sussex, UK. They assist their members to create, innovate and grow.

They have a Directory of Members and Projects Board, which allows their members to promote their services and find new clients. They also provide business and funding support through newsletters, 1-2-1 engagement and regular events.


Natwest Accelerator

Natwest offer’s 3 variations of their Accelerator programme, all which have been tailored to empower entrepreneurs from local startups to national businesses. The 6-month programmes are fully funded, and you don’t even have to be a NatWest customer to apply! They have 12 hubs throughout the UK which you'll have access to, including hubs in Scotland and Northern Ireland and one based here in Brighton.

The Pre-Accelerator programme is tailored to early stage start-up entrepreneurs, while the Accelerator programme is targeted at established entrepreneurs. Both of these offer exciting opportunities and support such as online learning and coaching, regular action-focused events and basic legal and tech advice.

Natwest also offer the accelerator programme ‘Fintech’ which delivers specialist support such as 1:1 coaching with their experienced staff and a technology review and sales strategy analysis by Dell Technologies

Sussex Innovation Centre

The Sussex Innovation Centre is a business incubation network, supporting entrepreneurs, start-ups and scale-ups across the South East from their headquarters at the University of Sussex. They offer founders strategic insight to help grow their business, while also providing practical resources which can help businesses grow at a healthy rate.

There are a large range of membership options, where you can tailor your membership to fit your needs. There are superb facilities and resources at the modern office spaces that they offer, or their Network membership is designed to give you all the benefits of their support and mentoring when you already have your own office, or don't need a permanent base.


Co-working Spaces in Brighton:

There are also a range of local co-working spaces in Brighton and East Sussex who offer networking and training events alongside office spaces to their members.

The Projects

The Projects is located in a 19th Century listed building in the heart of Brighton’s Lanes, it’s a great communal space that still manages to place the wide range of co-working needs at its heart. They offer a variety of co-working and serviced office space options to suit your needs, with entire floors dedicated to quiet spaces or spaces where you can collaborate with other members.

From half day passes to 24/7 access, all their co-working memberships are monthly rolling, so if you change your mind, you have the freedom to change your membership.

They also host daily events; such as free coffee mornings and yoga sessions, networking opportunities and free Help Hubs. So whether your company is newly established or long standing, big or small, you can find something here to suit you.



Platform 9

PLATF9RM is a thriving business community in Brighton & Hove, who offer access through single day passes, whole offices bookings, meeting rooms and event spaces.

They design their workspaces to encourage networking opportunities and business connections, whether you’re a freelancer or CEO of a multinational company.

They also curate a program of social and cultural events that ensure their members get to know each other, such as their monthly breakfast and quick-fire talks from PLATF9RM members and PLATF9RM physical; an opportunity to stretch your legs and connect with your fellow co-workers.




Want even more information on how you can kickstart your business and improve your online & offline traffic? Come along to our next SEO workshop.




June 2019 - The Good Business Club

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Celebrating individuals, companies and projects promoting positive change each month!

Ruth Anslow and Sara Osterholzer creating a network of change-makers and expert supporters in Brighton.

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Tell us a bit about you!

Ruth Anslow (co-founder of HISBE, ethical supermarket) and Sara Ruth (business coach), really care about you and your business and support their members by understanding their current challenges and offering tailored support based on their needs – whatever they may be. They keep members informed about opportunities, events and secure exclusive offers to help them move their businesses forward. They connect members up to the right people in the network and give entrepreneurs access to business experts in a range of areas. They are there when you need someone to confined in and there when you need someone to shout out about what you’re doing.

What amazing work you are doing or involved in for positive change?

The team of GBC business coaches Pop Up across the city every week to help entrepreneurs get unstuck so that they can do more good work and grow their impact in our city. Join one of their unique Group Problem Solving Sessions that take place every other week to get a taste of what they can do for you.

The Good Business Club only launched in January 2019 and have over 100 members in the network already. In this time, they have moved at least 80 of their members forward through bespoke coaching, advice or connections to the right people.

If you are starting up or are running a business that is doing good in your community or for the environment, Join The Club to get personalised support from their friendly team of business coaches and expert supporters in the network.

Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?

The GBC team are ambitious and supporting entrepreneurs is the tip of the iceberg. Once they have a network of connected and supported businesses they have plans to campaign to make it easier for the general public to ‘Shop for Good’ and are also looking to create the right infrastructure and bring resources to the city to create an ecosystem where ‘Business for Good’ can flourish.


Social Media Links:

If you’re also interested in what business can do to positively impact out city, follow them on their social channels to hear about the great work they and their members are doing in the city.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheGoodBizClub
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheGoodBizClub/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thegoodbizclub/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/the-good-business-club/

You can also sign up to their monthly bulletin – a snapshot of what’s going on in the sector locally.

How To SEO For International Markets

How To SEO For International Markets

Take care of the simple but important challenges before launching:

The most important challenge for international SEO is that you need to strategically adapt your brand for different cultures, all who have their own unique complexities.

Make sure to conduct market research in order to understand your international customers needs and desires. You can do this through keyword research and using social media like Twitter or Reddit to grasp a better understanding of what these customer’s problems are and what questions they are asking.

Research your local competitors, research what strategies your competitors have been using and analyse the gaps between you. Use these gaps to boost your growth into the international market.

Study the infrastructure of your targeted countries, although Google seems like the go-to norm, the preferred search engine may be different in your target countries. So don’t waste time on Google ads if your new customers aren’t going to see them! For example, in China, the most popular search engine is Baidu.

Should I target a language or a country with my website?

There are pros and cons to each option:


Targeting a language: this allows you to target people who live in different countries but speak the same language, additionally you don’t need to optimise it for any specific culture. However, you need to be aware that you’ll be using a ‘broad brush’ approach for a language where some countries may use different keywords/language when searching for services.

Targeting a country: alternatively, you can build your brand presence from scratch; not only translating your content but optimising it for that specific culture and customer preferences.

Which website structure should you choose for your domain?

This question follows on from the previous. Choosing your domain depends on whether you are targeting a language or a country.

If you are targeting a language, you don’t necessarily need to launch a completely new website, but rather you choose a subdomain or subdirectory which will host the translation of your original website. This requires less work to set up and less money to host.

On the flip-side, if you are targeting a country you may have to launch a country code top-level domain in order to gain higher authority in search engines and higher trust in potential customers. However, you will need to build your website popularity and authority from scratch.

How should business localise content on new site?

The main challenge of localising content is that simply translating a few of your pages into the target language won’t cut it. You need a well rounded and extensive understanding of your potential clientele in order to make your content effective.

Identify your keywords in a new language: unfortunately, translating your keywords word by word isn’t an efficient or viable use of your time. Additionally, some words have different meanings in different languages and can rely heavily on context, while local dialect can also play an important role in translating, as your customers may be using completely different terms.

So how can you conduct keyword research?

  • Investigate your competitors: research your competitors in the local market, investigate what keywords they are using and compare them to yours in order to find common phrases.

  • Hire help from a professional: hire someone who speaks the target language to look over your keywords, they can help you determine if you are using the right keywords for the language and customers you want to target.

Adapt your content to the new target market: your website is going to be your customers first point of call when they research your services/products and weigh up if they want to purchase from you. Therefore, it is extremely important that your website copy is up to a high standard. It’s not enough to simply translate, you need to optimise and adapt your copy to your target market.


These key elements of your website also require localisation:

  • URLs

  • Title tags

  • Meta descriptions

  • Image titles and alt texts

  • Phone numbers

  • Addresses

  • Time

  • Currency

How can you avoid duplicate content issues?


Google may identify any new version of your website as a duplicate of the original. You can prevent this by using hreflang tags- this tag informs Google that some of your website’s pages have the same content, but they are aimed for different customers and therefore unique.

What is the best international link-building strategy?

In order to build visibility and local authority, you need to ensure you have local links to your website. You can achieve this through:


Writing for the local media. This will allow you to gain exposure by offering advice and sharing your expertise. You could even start doing this before launching your international site. But remember; when writing for foreign websites, ensure you hire a local writer to make sure that your copy meets the standards.


Find and use broken link building. Find broken links and ask permission from the websites’ owners to redirect them to your content, (if it is suitable for the website of course).

What off-site activities can impact your online visibility?

On-site SEO is a vital process of building your brand’s local visibility but there are other techniques to take into consideration as well.

Guest posting: posting on local websites is a relatively inexpensive way to raise brand awareness.


Social media marketing: make sure aside some time to invest in creating social media profiles on the networks that are popular in your targeted countries.

Attend local events: this is one of the best ways to connect with relevant influencers in person, you can introduce your brand and start building a relationship with them straight away.

How does a global brand’s social media presence impact its search results?

The impact of social media on search engines continues to be debated. Google clearly states that social media presence has no impact on how it ranks pages. However, we know that social media presence can affect rankings in certain areas.

Brand awareness: A strong social media presence will help increase the awareness around your brand or product.

Links: Amplifying your content on social media can result in more links and citations back to your website. Which will in turn build your popularity and local authority.

Faster indexing: Social media shares can significantly increase the speed at which your new content gets indexed.

Improved topics targeting: Engaging with your new pool of customers on social media may inform how and what content you create for them.

What are the best tools for optimising international SEO?

Whatever aspect of international SEO you are focusing on, we have put together a handy list of some tools to help you optimise your website and content.

For understanding your new audience:

  • Google’s Consumer Barometer: can help you understand how people use the Internet in your target countries.

  • Connected Life: publishes an annual report which you can use to gain insight into your potential customers’ behavior in a number of locations, e.g. Brazil, China, Germany, Singapore and South Africa.

For general analysis:

  • Google Search Console – can identify your current search status in your new target location. With the Search Console you can monitor international queries, impressions, and CTRs.

  • Yandex Metrica, Baidu Index or another equivalent of Google’s Search Console – use it for a specific search engine you’re targeting.

For international keyword ideas:


Still have questions? Get in touch with the Creative Bloom team.

7 Amazing Sustainability Projects in Brighton You Never Knew About

7 Amazing Sustainability Projects in Brighton You Never Knew About

Brighton. The most hipster city in the world. We’re also pretty environmentally conscious. Following the success of the Climate Strike march in February 2019, slowly but surely ideas are changing about how to keep our planet healthy and happy. Here’s a list of seven eco-projects going on in our town you probably had no idea were happening...

1. Hubbub Foundation | City Centre

Hubbub have teamed up with the B&H council for their project #streetsahead, hitting our seaside city in full force. After finding out 80% of plastic found in oceans comes from land, they took a creative approach to educate citizens about appropriate disposal of litter. Through bold bright colours and catchy tagline’s like “For fishes sake — Don’t drop litter!”, this project has littered the streets of Brighton with positive environmental messages that stick in your head! They also carried out an enlightening social experiment, testing if passers-by would pick up dropped litter and produced a short video which can be viewed here — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcTJsX2lRug — Just goes to show educating others doesn’t have to be boring, and a little creativity goes a long way!

2. The Brighton Waste House | 58-67 Grand Parade

This award-winning project started out in 2012 involving over 700 students, builders, carpenters and ecologists. Now completed, this ‘living laboratory’ for ecological design is Europe’s first permanent public building made up of over 85% discarded materials. It is also an EPC ‘A’ rated low energy building and is a model used for investigating strategies for constructing contemporary and low-energy permanent structures in the future. Situated on Grand Parade, it's a monument that's worth the visit and exemplifies Brighton’s eco-friendly ethos!

3. Fareshare Sussex | 7 Westergate Road

Next on our earth-happy hot-spot list is Fareshare, a charitable project run by city gate community projects. Their work has two main objectives; tackling food poverty and tackling food waste — two aims that encapsulate the phrase ‘two birds one stone’. Fareshare receives surplus food from food companies that would otherwise go to waste, delivers it to local charities in refrigerated vans by a team of dedicated volunteers, and transforms it into thousands of meals or food parcels every week. In the last year, they’ve worked with the food industry to redistribute 468 tonnes of food, which has contributed towards more than 1 million meals and helped to reduce CO2 emissions by 223 tonnes. Simple and ethical ideas like this are an amazing way to help the hungry and save the planet from excess waste!

Additionally Fareshare Sussex work supporting people into employment, and they
re-distributed 564 tonnes to 122 charities last financial year! 

4. Freegle | Online

Freegle, Brighton’s very own freecycling platform, is an online community that encourages the three R’s — reduce, reuse, recycle — by giving away unwanted items for free! They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and this is certainly endorsed by Freegle, whose main aims are to reduce demand for the new, and appreciate the used for all it has left to offer. Thinking about that old microwave sitting in your garage? Get online to Freegle to give it another chance at life!

5. Earthship | Stanmer Park

Earthship Brighton was the first ever self-sustainable building to be built in the UK. This off-grid building project started in 2002, and now boasts the capacity to heat, cool, power itself through solar energy, collect its own rainwater and treat waste using plants instead of chemicals. Earthship Brighton is not only a monument of sustainability in our city but has also focused on educating others in reducing their carbon footprint and modifying individual behaviours for the better of our planet... It also looks incredible!

6. Brighton Pride | 2nd-4th August 2019

The UK’s biggest pride festival lands on our stoney shores every year, and plans have been put in place to ensure that us humans won’t be the only ones celebrating. Pride organisers have announced they have created a long-term strategy encouraging all businesses across the city to support their green agenda. They will also be encouraging attendees to make use of the many recycling points available across the festival and working to reduce as much single-use plastic as possible.

7. Butterfly Bank | Brighthelm Gardens

Brighton & Hove city council have teamed up with Brighthelm’s trust gardening group and youth ranger volunteers from Sussex Wildlife Trust to plant over 1,000 downland plants in the heart of Brighton. The chalk bank is 17m long and is made of 60 tonnes of chalk, attracting a huge variety of butterflies, bees, and other pollinating insects. At a time where bee populations are at serious lows and posing serious risks to the future of our planet, projects like this are one way that we humans can help out the little guys.

April 2019 - Mid Sussex Wood Recycling

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Celebrating individuals, companies and projects promoting positive change each month!

I’m David Treadwell Founder of Mid Sussex Wood Recycling

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Tell us a bit about you!

I set up Mid Sussex Wood Recycling in 2007, having left a 'proper job' with IBM in 2006.. I had volunteered with the Brighton Wood Store since arriving in Brighton in 2002 and the lure of setting up another project was irresistible.  My motivation was looking at skips of perfectly good construction timber being sent to landfill and the opportunity to turn this 'waste' into a resource.

What amazing work you are doing or involved in for positive change?

We are a Social Enterprise that looks to employ people that have been marginalised in Society. 12 years on and we are still turning waste into a resource. In 2018 we recycled or reused over 1500 tonnes of timber

We work with all the major house builders in the region, helping them to reduce waste and create a positive social impact. We work with Gatwick Airport and their subcontractors in an educational and practical manner.

We work with Pericles, http://www.pericles.org.uk/  which is a charity that provides training and work experience for adults with learning difficulties. We accommodate 12 of their volunteers on a variety of wood related activities at our barn.

In 2019 we are looking to set up a Community Laundry for the Charity Care and Hospice sector, which will provide a reduced cost laundry service and allow these organisations to have more funds for providing care. We also donate timber for local community and school projects.

Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?

In the next 5 year we would love to see our Community Laundry expanding to take on more customers in the Care sector, providing extra employment for disadvantaged adults.

Our next project will be to create a growing space for fruit and vegetables in an organic environment, providing local employment and supplying local food markets.


Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.midsussexwoodrecycling.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mid_sussex_wood_recycling/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/midsussexwrp

Get yourself featured as our next ‘Bloomer Of The Month’. Tell us about your project or business achieving amazing things in the Brighton/Sussex area.

How To On-Page SEO

How To On-Page SEO

Hopefully, you’ve arrived here because you’re getting ready to do your own on-page SEO which is something we absolutely encourage at Creative Bloom! It’s not as confusing or tricky as you might think and regardless of what your website is built in, in 2019, pretty much all website builders have an SEO functionality - so whether you’ve already had a free digital clinic with Ollie & Stu or if you’re here for the first time, let’s have a re-cap.


Your website should be shouting about what you do and for Google, you need to be putting the right keywords in the right places. Below, we’re going to break down each element of your page that should be optimised. As our example, let’s say you have an Art Gallery in Bristol.

Choose Your Keyword

Firstly and most importantly, you need to choose a keyword for your page and this should be unique to each page you optimise. So, have a search on google for the types of keywords a visitor would be inputting and ask people you know! Sometimes we have a bias view of what we think people are searching for. If you’re a local business putting a location keyword is a key factor in ranking locally.

In this instance, I would assume the search would be ‘Bristol Art Gallery’ or ‘Art Galley In Bristol’. You can use a keyword planner to see how popular these searches are. We’re going to go with ‘Bristol Art Gallery’.

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Page Title

Your page title (in blue below) is the first element Google reads about your page and this is somewhat ‘hidden’ from a visitor in the tab in your browser.

In this instance our gallery isn’t well known yet so there is no reason to put our brand name right at the beginning because no-one will be searching for it but they WILL be searching for our keyword.

As we’ve chosen our keyword as ‘Bristol Art Gallery’ we’re going to make our homepage title as so: ‘Bristol Art Gallery | The Creative Bloom Gallery’.

As you go through other pages on your site, you could choose keyword variants for those pages that users might search for, for example ‘Bristol Art Dealer’, ‘Art Gallery Exhibition Bristol’, ‘Contemporary Art Gallery Bristol’ etc.

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Header (H1)

Your H1 is typically the main heading on your page (see below). This should ideally start with your keyword that you have chosen - ‘Bristol Art Gallery’. We understand this ideally may not sit quite right with the aesthetics of your page, however, without having your keyword in your header, less people will find your page. We’re all about driving more traffic to your pages and getting you more customers!

Note: Your pages should only have ONE H1! If you have any more headings on your page after your main header, make sure you change their heading tag to (H2) sub headings or (H3) sub-sub headings etc.

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Keywords In Your Content

Next Google will be reading your content. You’ve already told it that you’re optimising for ‘Bristol Art Gallery’ so now it’s going to check your content to make sure you are who you say you are. That means, in the first paragraph you need to include your keyword ‘Bristol Art Gallery’ however you can. You can see how we’ve managed to incorporate the keyword into our first paragraph (below).

Note: don’t forget to include semantics. Similar words to your keyword that other sites are likely to be talking about. In this instance, with art galleries we should be including semantic keywords such as ‘paintings’ ‘contemporary’ ‘specialist’ ‘exhibition’ ‘collectibles’ ‘collections’ etc.

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Alt Text - Image Keywords

Name your images! When looking to edit your page, you will notice when importing or editing images there will be an option to input ‘Alt text’ or ‘Alternative Text’. This just means a keyword to tell Google what this image is - therefore it’s an opportunity to put your keyword in there.

In our example, if we have two images on our page, I will call the alt-text on one ‘Bristol Art Gallery’ and the other ‘Art Gallery In Bristol’ - easy.

Note: don’t get too worried about going through every single image on your site. It’s simply that the more signposting you do to tell Google what your website it about, the better - Image Alt-text is an easy way to do add another positive signal.


And that’s it really. Do that for all your pages, or (if you have a lot) for your main parent/navigation pages and over time you should slowly start to see your rankings improving. You should still work on creating new content, driving traffic to your pages through different mediums, trying to get links from other websites etc. But this is the solid foundation to start getting you found on Google!

If you have any questions about this article, want to sign up for a free Local SEO workshop with us or anything else please get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

March 2019 - Clare Talks Rubbish

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Celebrating individuals, companies and projects promoting positive change each month!

I’m Clare Osborn, the founder of the platform ClareTalksRubbish.

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Tell us a bit about you!

I founded the platform Clare Talks Rubbish to share stories about the amazing eco heroes I have met and to create a destination to support others who want to live a life that is not rubbish.

I am a qualified mindset coach, NLP practitioner, motivational speaker and marine debris expert. I provide coaching for living a fulfilled life, reducing your impact on the environment and I deliver keynote talks on career change, marine debris solutions and facilitate workshops for groups, businesses and events to help you to rid the physical waste and metaphorical waste out of your business, life or brand.

What amazing work you are doing or involved in for positive change?

I quit a successful legal career two years ago to follow my passion for the ocean and wellbeing. I have since paddled both the width of Britain and the Length of Wales fishing rubbish out of our waterways to raise awareness about plastic pollution.

I have just finished a project with the National Sea Scout Leaders to give them the tools to mobilise young paddlers across the country to paddle cleanup and take the message about sustainable solutions into their communities on and off the water. I am now working on a similar project with British Canoeing, and work with schools, businesses and individuals to reduce plastic.

This year I plan to take on my biggest challenge yet, to paddle the whole Welsh Coast, remote beach cleaning along the way.

In April I am launching my Talk Rubbish Podcast showcasing solutions via adventures and life stories. This will start with a series of interviews of the Oceans 8 Brighton women and their various local projects. I have already recorded a couple of episodes and am super excited about the lineup of inspiring activists, adventurers and doers.

All too often the people who have true passion to help our planet get overlooked, so I want to tell their stories, some of these people have been working on plastics for 20 years! They have struggled and overcome so many hurdles along the way so it is great to finally have attention on their projects, but for me the stories behind the projects are just as fascinating.

Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?

I have changed my life around to live outside the box and I am so much happier for it. I want to help others with the lessons and skills I have learnt and want to encourage people to have a better life balance and get outside into nature more. With that in mind, I am hoping to grow my platform to include toolkits for sustainability, coaching for life balance and adventure.

I am aiming to eventually run wellness retreats with some of the amazing adventurers, yoga teachers and coaches I have met along my journey. I also hope to grow my podcast to get inspiring stories out there about people who are following their bliss and finding doors that open where they didn’t know doors existed.

How can people get involved?

I would love for people to get involved. I am looking for a marketing/ social media intern to help me with the podcast and my platform in general. I am looking for sponsors and partners for the podcast and the kayak expedition and can provide a platform for companies to align their brand with sustainable solutions.

The next event that people can get involved with is the next PaddlePickup Expedition. We will be cleaning remote beaches in the Summer Isles in Scotland and any level of paddler can join us.  I cant wait, it’s going to be the best one yet! Details are here.


Social Media Links:

Website: https://claretalksrubbish.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/claretalksrubbish/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/clareosborn/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/claretalksrubbish/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ClareTalks

Get yourself featured as our next ‘Bloomer Of The Month’. Tell us about your project or business achieving amazing things in the Brighton/Sussex area.

Local SEO in 2019 - Podcast With Social Brighton

Local SEO Tips in 2019 - Podcast

Creative Bloom’s Stu was delighted to be a guest on Social Brightons podcast, hosted by Kerry Watkins to demystify digital and talk through the latest local SEO tips in 2019. We love the team and all the work Social Brighton do! Listen to the podcast below:

Customer behaviour in ‘search land’ is changing & is clearly influenced by Google’s most recent updates. Your Local SEO strategy might need to adapt to keep up the pace.

As far as Google is concerned, in 2019 its looking for quality and not quantity and so are your customers! It is far better to add a page that adds real value to your customers rather than producing pages to gain search rankings or creating thinly populated or duplicated content. Your local rankings won’t benefit from these tactics no matter how you tweak them.

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Stu’s top tip: Have a look at your website, read the content out loud, do the same for your closest competitors & ask yourself the question: do you deserve to rank?

Google’s updates have not only changed its algorithm but improved the way it displays information about businesses. Potential customers are no longer browsing multiple sites to compare and find their desired service; instead, they are using the vast ocean of information that Google gives them via your Google My Business Page (GMB page). So ensure you pay attention to what’s appearing on the SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages) and ensure you are on those platforms.

When customers want to access your phone number, review your track record, opening times and upcoming events, they are no longer looking at your website but are expecting to find that information on your GMB page. As Googles & users behaviour changes, your first chance to make an impression on potential customers is by taking advantage of your Google My Business profile and uploading all the information you can and make it sparkle. Here is where you get to own your space - so make it count.

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SEO’s are in 100% agreement that Google My Business (GMB) ranking signals will play a much more important for SEO in 2019, especially for local SEO. However, many businesses are not yet paying attention to this new important aspect of local search, so making the most out of your Google My Business page can be a quick and easy way to make you shine brighter than your competition.

 

Here are our top tips to get you ahead of the race:

  • Make sure your business name is correct and consistent, don’t play around with variations, make sure your address is correct, and the map pin is placed in the right spot: you don’t want to send potential customers off on a wild goose chase trying to find your physical location! Also pick the best street view image for your business (and not of bins behind the back!) If your business address is your home consider a virtual office or join a co-working as seeing a residential address can cast doubt on the credibility of the business

  • Make sure you’ve got a local phone number listed if possible, it’s easy to get one via VOIP if needed, make sure your correct opening hours are listed & match those on your website: you don't want to confuse Google! You need to be consistent in order to prove your validity as a business

  • Most importantly make sure you choose the right categories, choose the fewest and most specific categories: use these predefined categories to reflect what you actually do, it will determine what keywords you will appear for. Pick three key words to describe your business and see what your competitors are optimising for. Here is a great post on choosing the right GMB category by Bright local

  • Make sure you’ve got great photos & videos, of you, your people, your office & products and videos uploaded: express your brand identity! Show off your style and don't forget to swap them out every now and again to keep it fresh. Videos are one of the best way to boost engagement and catch peoples eyes so make the most out of them and use them to your advantage

  • Make sure you’ve got a great aggregate review score – at least a 4.5: make sure to respond to every review to highlight that you care about what customers have to say! Google isn't sending you those review emails for no reason ;)

  • Make sure to update and add any events, and other posts you are hosting through Google Posts: it’s a great way to promote your events quickly and easily while ensuring that you are targeting the relevant people AND you are adding content where Google wants you to

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  • Make sure that you’re monitoring your questions and answers which is a relatively new feature: answer new questions quickly and if needed ask/answer your own questions so that commonly requested information is easily available so it becomes your FAQ page on GMB

The final point is that you need to take your business wizard hat off and look at your profile as a first time customer. Is all your information readily available? Is it easy to understand and access? Does your business look appealing & compelling? Would you buy from it? 

So keep up to date with how your local SEO strategy needs to change alongside Google’s updates and focus on your Google My Business Page. You’ll show up better in local searches, and gain more conversions!

How to Create a Successful Marketing Strategy

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At Bloom Towers, we often find that some clients & marketing managers struggle to get traction with their marketing campaigns. In the bewildering landscape of digital marketing it can be hard to work out the right way forward for your business marketing - ‘should I invest more in SEO? Or a content strategy? Or focus on social media?’ A bad marketing strategy can tank your business - just ask these bears.

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Fear not! We are here to guide you through the digital labyrinth.

Successful marketing strategies start with thorough diagnosis

For us strategy is all about identifying the key challenges you face in your competitive & business landscape and creating the means of overcoming them. An effective marketing strategy can be fundamental in allowing a business to effectively build value in it’s brand, services or products.

Creative Bloom’s approach to Digital Marketing strategy takes inspiration from a US strategist called Richard Rumelt and his book Good Strategy/Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why it Matters (2011) (we suggest get a copy if you haven’t read it). Rumelt explains that strategy should not be defined by ambition, leadership, vision or planning; but a coherent action backed by an argument, and we agree entirely. For Rumelt, the essence of a successful strategy is thorough diagnosis of a situation, creating an overall guiding policy to overcome challenges and the design of coherent action plan, that is driven to effect.

So, applied to marketing, a good strategy can be broken down into three key ideas.

  1. Diagnosis: getting to grips with what’s really going on. This involves effort and a deep analysis of your current marketing efforts & available resources, the competitive landscape you operate in. You need to gain insights into your market environment, your customers and assess your competition and internal situation. These insights are important as Rumelt says “an especially insightful diagnosis can transform one’s view of the situation, bringing a radically different perspective to bear.” When a digital marketing diagnosis is carried out properly, it will correctly inform how you respond to weaknesses/challenges.

  2. A Guiding Policy; the purpose of this is to direct your actions, it is the context in which your actions are made and helps to ‘guide’ them. “It is like a signpost, marking the direction forward but not defining the details of the trip”, the guiding policy should outline the overall approach for tackling the weaknesses you identified with your deep diagnosis. An example of a successful guiding policy is Barcelona FC who developed a guiding policy of embracing ‘Total Football’ throughout the club in the 1970s to then become a powerhouse in European club football.

  3. Coherent Action; strategy is nothing without action or measurement. Just as a diagnosis informs the guiding policy, the guiding policy informs the coherent action to achieve your goal. These actions should be coherent, consistent and coordinated. “A good strategy doesn’t just draw on existing strength; it creates strength through the coherence of its design” , these actions should support and build upon each other, steadily building towards the goal. Performance measurement is critical for good strategy: Are our actions making an impact? Is the strategy working? Do we need to adjust things?

Only through the process of regular performance monitoring can you develop a successful marketing strategy, be prepared & geared up to adapt.

In summary, when all three areas have been considered and you haven’t rushed or skipped any steps, you can maximise your opportunities of delivering fantastic results!


NEED SOME HELP? WE ARE HERE TO ASSIST

CONTACT US TO HELP YOU CREATE AN IMPACTFUL MARKETING STRATEGY

An Eco-Friendly Guide To Brighton

Brighton is leading the way with its eco-friendly conscience, something that is reflected in its huge range of ethical shops. Our city is filled to the brim with second hand goodies, handmade treasures and multitudes of cafes boasting their eco-friendly morals. At times it can be overwhelming, so where should you start?

Here’s a breakdown starter-kit for eco-friendly shopping in Brighton:

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Small Batch Coffee: Brighton , 17 Jubilee St, BN1 1GE

They started off as a small family run business, and despite their growth they still treat their workers like family! Their coffee comes from 20 countries, that fit into their Farm to Cup philosophy. They aim to develop long term relationships with their coffee producers by buying from them year after year, visiting them to understand the challenges they face and paying sustainable prices significantly higher than the Fair Trade minimum.

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Brighton Repair Cafe: 33 Southover Street, Hanover Centre,BN2 9UD

Giving things a new lease of life; repairing and reusing is the motto of The Brighton Repair Cafe. They are open on the last Saturday of the month (apart from December) and with help from craftsmen and volunteers; they can fix everything from clothing to electronics. Plus you can have a cuppa, while you learn some new skills on how to extend the life of your beloved items!

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Wolf and Gypsy Vintage: 30 Sydney Street, North Laine, Wolf & Gypsy Vintage, , BN1 4EP

Shopping secondhand is one of the best ways to ensure your spending habits are eco-friendly. The crew at Wolf and Gypsy Vintage not only repair worn items and source incredible vintage bits but they also sell beautiful new pieces of clothing.  They love to collaborate with local artists and specialists, so keep your eyes peeled for unique campaigns.

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Dowse Design: 27 Gloucester Rd, BN1 4AQ

At Dowse Design they believe in collaborating with people they know are fairly paid for their work. Their Brighton shop showcases their range of jewellery, homewares and more alongside other pieces of work from great independent small businesses & designers. So you can rest easy, knowing you are supporting the incredible talent that Brighton has to offer.

Need more tips for eco-friendly shopping?

Check out ‘The Pebble Guide to Brighton’ ; a simple way to check what great eco shops and community projects are happening around Brighton.

Have you heard about ‘The Brighton Elephant’?

February 2019 - Social Brighton

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Celebrating individuals, companies and projects promoting positive change each month!

I’m Kerry Watkins, MD of Social Brighton.

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Tell us a bit about you!

I founded Social Brighton back in 2010 because I wanted to help businesses develop the skills they needed to use social media effectively to grow their business.

I got into social media by accident really, I was an operations manager in the bar and nightclub sector when social media really took off and immediately saw an opportunity for a more impactful and two-way approach to marketing with our target audience.

I developed a marketing strategy that was built on using social to communicate with our customers and wider audience whilst reducing our print costs and environmental impact at the same time. Over that year, we managed to save tens of thousands and massively reduce our print and waste.

Since 2010 I’ve grown the business and we deliver training and consultancy as well as more hands on support, specialising in social media strategy development and Facebook & Instagram advertising.

I love the variety of clients we work with; one moment we’re creating content for high street retailers and then, I’ll be working on a strategy for a social impact project in Africa. There’s a unique way every organisation can leverage social media and I love working with them to identify and develop that unique approach.

What amazing work you are doing or involved in for positive change?

I have a great team at Social Brighton and we are all very passionate about what we do. We’re currently managing a couple of social media projects in developing countries; one is about challenging social norms around gender equality to improve the lives of women, and the other is improving knowledge around health and hygiene for new mums in poor areas.

I’m also working with Safe & The City, a new app. The aim is to create a world in which everyone can feel safe. Through crowdsourcing user & crime data, our mission is to help them shape smarter, safer streets, communities & cities. We started working with Jillian Kowalchuk, the inspirational founder, last year to develop a social media framework and hope to support them growing the app beyond London.

We also recently partnered with a charity called CALM (The Campaign Against Living Miserably) and are donating 10% of our training course profits to them this Jan & Feb. The team and I are also running the Brighton Half Marathon on Feb 24th to raise money for them.

We are really close to our £500 target and if anyone would like to help us support CALM you can donate here or come along to one of our training courses. Or you can turn up to Brighton seafront on the 24th and clap loudly as we run/struggle past!

It was also great to start working with the London Waste & Recycling Board this month - a brilliant team committed to reinvigorating recycling, accelerating the circular economy and helping London become a zero carbon city. I do feel very lucky to be doing what I love for a living and also supporting organisations such as these to create a positive impact.

Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?

In 5 years I would love to be working with more organisations who are committed to creating a positive social impact. Despite the negativity that sometimes surrounds social networking, I believe that there are ways we can use social media to improve knowledge and change attitudes and positively impact people around the world.


Social Media Links:

Website: https://socialbrighton.com/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kerry-watkins/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/socialbrighton/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/social_brighton

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/socialbrightontraining/

Get yourself featured as our next ‘Bloomer Of The Month’. Tell us about your project or business achieving amazing things in the Brighton/Sussex area.

The Brighton Elephant

You know the scene… you get off the bus in Brighton, ready for a great Friday night on the seafront. You get to the bar, order your drink and maybe think about getting something to line your stomach for the impending night ahead...

A great big plastic cup comes flying towards you. It feels flimsy in your hand. It looks and feels cheap. You know you won’t be allowed to use it again, and you can’t see a recycling bin in the surrounding area.

Or you decide to go for a walk along the seafront. It’s a sunny Saturday afternoon in your beloved town, and you feel like being a tourist. You start off with a coffee to walk along the beach with. You receive your plastic lined cup and wonder if the vendor uses biodegradable cups. They don’t. Now what? You go get a selection of lovely local sea food – some lovely prawns, some jellied eel and maybe some pickled whelks! Why not! It’s the weekend! Oh, but that’s in some nasty polystyrene too. And again, you can’t see any recycling bins nearby.

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So you sit on the beach… with your plastic cup full of beer, or your polystyrene container full of seafood. And as you finish up, you pop it next to you, and continue to look out to sea. A gust of wind blows your container towards the sea. You jump up, conscious not to let it go in. You wouldn’t want some poor sea creature to suffer because of your single use plastic, so you chase after it and catch it. As you straighten yourself up, you look around for a recycling bin. You can’t see any, so you resign to carrying it until you find one.

 

You don’t find one, so you prop it on top the overflowing bin you can find, and hope it gets picked up soon, before it gets blown into the sea.

You carry this plastic container with you all night, thinking about it, heavy on your mind. You wonder if the next bar will serve your drink or meal in plastic too.

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“What’s the solution?” you ponder. Bring a container with you? Maybe a reusable coffee cup! Or you could keep cutlery in your handbag! And one of those modern new steel straws you saw at the Open Market the other day!

That’s it, you think. I’m going to change this mess, even if it’s just me.

You feel empowered. You’re making a change.

Because you love your town, and you want to care for it.

One reusable item at a time.

 

We suggest a few of the following as a starter kit to getting you on the way to being plastic free whilst out and about.

Guide To SEO 2019 - Basics To Get You Started

Search engine optimisation may seem a bit scary initially, but trust us, it’s only the jargon that’s a bit overwhelming. When you take away the fancy wording and hone in on what Search Engine Optimisation actually is, you’ll realise you can start cracking on with it yourself! To start with, SEO comes down to knowing your customer and using quite a bit of common sense. In digital marketing, truly knowing your customers is vital and that’s no different when it comes to SEO. We want to give you a basic understanding of the 5 key ingredients to cooking up a website brimming with optimised content!

1 | Research, research, research. Keywords, keywords, keywords.

So, first thing’s first. You need to know your customers. You need to know what they’re searching for and how they’re searching for it. You need to understand the language that they’re using and where they’re looking for you. It’s important to collate all of this information in a clear format and understand when and where your keywords should be used. This will come in very handy!

n.b. Don’t just assume you already know your customers! This is the most common mistake. Take a look at your analytics and see who’s browsing your site, ask around and approach this with an open mind.


2 | Titles and Descriptions

The next step is to use what you’ve learnt previously to ensure all of your page titles are optimised using your keywords and you have incorporated these into your meta descriptions too. All of this will help to ‘label’ your content so that search engines have a better chance of finding you.

3 | Content is key(words)

Similarly to your titles and descriptions, you need to ensure your content includes plenty of keywords, directing it towards search engines. Content should be optimised in few ways:

•Headers

•Body Text

•Images

•URL Slug

Just remember not to keyword stuff! That’s when you’re stuffing so many similar keywords into your content to a point where it is no longer legible or naturally flowing. This can be detrimental to your search ranking and it’s likely any user who reads it will just turn away.


4 | Your website isn’t the be all and end all

Although your website plays a huge part in your overall SEO, it’s important not to forget about the rest of your online presence. Social media and citations on listings are also important and search engines regard these websites highly. Remember to keep everything up to date, consistent and as optimised as possible.

5 | Linkbuilding Gives you power

A good way to think about links is like votes. Links act as pointers to your website, leading search engines to believe you are trustworthy and indicating legitimacy. Links from higher ranking websites should in turn increase your visibility, but make sure that the links are relevant and trustworthy themselves!


If you have any questions or want to learn more, get in touch with us!

Four Brighton Charities We Love And Think You Will Too!

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We want to share some amazing charities we work with and a few that we think are doing great things in Brighton and the surrounding areas. We get so much pleasure in partnering with charities that are doing good and we really want you to see what they are up to!

  • ONCA Gallery supports the wellbeing of people and places by increasing awareness of, and engagement with, environmental and social challenges. They partner with local and international artists to embrace a diverse perspective and try to foster more inclusive creative practices. They are a space for meeting, thinking, learning and celebrating art!

    Contact the ONCA Gallery: 01273 607101

  • Sussex Prisoners’ Families is a community interest company which supports local families to cope emotionally and practically with the imprisonment of a loved-one. They offer support and advice to families as well as training and awareness-raising for professionals so that they can better meet families’ needs.

    Contact Sussex Prisoners’ Families: 01273 499843

  • The Railway Land Wildlife Trust consists of a beautiful nature reserve and The Linklater Pavilion. They inspire environmental sustainability by bringing nature to the heart of Lewes. They aim to achieve this goal by running the Linklater building as a community- based hub for the understanding of a sustainable environment, providing inclusive outdoor learning using innovative approaches and supporting the local authority in managing the Railway Land nature reserve for the whole community.

    Contact the Railway Land Wildlife Trust: 01273 477101

  • Sussex Oakleaf provides a range of support services to people with mental health needs, those with a personality disorder and individuals at risk of homelessness. They empower people and promote independence by providing recovery focused community wellbeing services, residential care, peer mentoring, housing support and volunteering opportunities.

    If you need to speak to someone about your mental health out of hours then please use the following numbers.

    • Sussex Mental Health Line – 0300 5000 101

    • Samaritans – 116 123 or jo@samaritans.org

    • NHS, non emergency number – 111

    • SANEline – 0300 304 7400

Tips For A Sustainable Halloween In 2018

Tips On How To Have A Sustainable Halloween In 2018!

Create A Reuse-able Costume!

Why not tailor your halloween costume to your everyday outfit tastes? A Halloween costume can be for life, not just Halloween. Or better yet, why not use second hand clothes to bring your spooky idea to life?

Use Eco-Friendly Halloween Treats

Cheap Halloween sweets are usually covered in plastic and won’t biodegrade any time soon. Consider throwing your own ingredients into a cauldron and making toffee apples instead! 

Say Boo To The Plastic Candy Bucket

Those plastic candy buckets will end up hanging around long after Halloween. Try going trick-or-treating with a different kind of container, get imaginative with a pillow case, laundry basket or even just use a normal handbag. 

Local Pumpkin Pie

Consider researching your local pumpkin patch this year or your nearest farmers market that sell pumpkins! Not only will you be cutting carbon emissions from transportation significantly, but often you’ll find all different shapes and sizes of pumpkins which will only add to the creepy factor once it’s been carved!

Check out a few places in Sussex that you could pick your own pumpkin! Here.

Meaning Conference Fringe Event: Lunchtime Brighton Beach Clean

Tuesday, 13 November 2018 from 12:00-14:30

From the Palace Pier, Brighton (in front of the Sea Life Centre)

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Plastic is a man made invention and it won’t simply deteriorate while we’re not looking - plastic items can take up to 1000 years to decompose in landfills. While everyday plastic bags can take 10-1000 years to decompose, the vast majority of plastic used on packaging ends up floating in our oceans and polluting our land, instead of being reused or recycled. Single use plastic is without question, killing our planet and our oceans.

Right now an estimated 12.7 million tonnes of plastic, everything from plastic bottles and bags to micro-beads, end up in our oceans each year. That’s approximately a truck load of rubbish a minute. Not only does this amount of plastic waste hurt our planet, but it hurts other living creatures; many marine organisms can’t distinguish common plastic items from food. Animals who eat plastic, often starve as they can’t digest it and it fills their stomachs, preventing them from eating real food.

Want to make a difference? Join Creative Bloom and Brighton’s Surfers Against Sewage in cleaning up Brighton Beach on the 13th November from 12-2:30 - an event which is part of the Meaning Fringe. We are taking direct action against plastic pollution and will prove that anyone can make a difference when they work together. There will also be a short talk at 2pm which will further discuss marine plastic pollution and what you personally can do to stop it.


And if you needed any more reason to fight for the end of plastic pollution- a recent study by Sarah-Jeanne Royer et al, has discovered that plastic wastage, when exposed to sunlight, will emit greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change.  

So come help us fight against plastic waste and do your bit to make a difference.



Give Your Business A Head Start & Navigate The Cobbled Streets

Running your business can sometimes feel like trying to tackle an incredibly uneven road surface in incredibly inappropriate footwear. No matter where you go, or which part of the road looks smooth there are inevitable hiccups, trips, bumps and set-backs. This is why, truly understanding your business and how other people perceive your business is vital. Do you have everything you need? Have you taken advantage of the free stuff out there?


Know Your Customer - Data Doesn’t Lie

Important foundations to a business are paramount to success. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, start-up or already established, there will undoubtedly be areas you could improve, refine or introduce (if you haven’t already). Knowing your customer for example, do you truly know your audience? This is not necessarily who you ‘want’ to be your customer, or asking others who they ‘think’ your customers are. Use the data available to you! Remember that Google Analytics account you’ve never looked at? As well as Google Search Console & Social Channel Analytics - they can all tell you exactly who is on your site, where they’re coming from and what they’re doing when they get there. Take some time and dive into your traffic analytics, you will likely be pleasantly surprised what you can find out.


Understand The Basics & Better Equip Yourself

The murky world of Digital Marketing, SEO, PPC etc. can all be quite overwhelming if you’re exploring it for the first time. However, if you take some time to understand the basics in these areas, you will be able to better understand what your business needs, be better equipped to explain to others what you need and you’ll also end up saving yourself money! So eventually, what, 6 months ago you would’ve paid an agency to do for your SEO, you can now jump on and fix yourself.

Have a look at how fast your website is running with Pingdom. If your results say you’re below 2.5 seconds, give yourself a high five. If not, then you are provided with the information you could give to your developer to help improve this. You just became better equipped!


Competitors - Online & Offline

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Stella and Jimmela have a flower shop where they take lots of online orders. Just because Olivia has a flower shop across the street does not necessarily make Olivia their competitor - Especially as she doesn’t even have an online website. So understanding your online competitors is extremely important as they are likely not who you think they are.

Jump on Google, type a few variations of your service or product into the search box and see what the results say! Do maps appear? Do some competitors appear for multiple searches? Now you can try and work out why they may be ranking higher than you (or lower) and employ some tactics that they’re using to better compete!


Still itching to learn more about how you can supercharge your own business? Check out our two day digital marketing course that will give you all the tools you need to propel yourself past your competitors.

Three Essentials Of Getting Local SEO To Work

You can't have Batman without Robin. You can't have Wallace without Gromit. And you cannot have a local business without local SEO! If you aren't on the local digital map then there's a very high likelihood that you'll be missing out on lots of potential opportunities that would otherwise be heading your way.

We understand that digital marketing can seem overwhelming, with lots of technical jargon being thrown at you left, right and centre. However we have a fantastic Local SEO training workshop that will provide you with a no-nonsense, no-jargon approach to digital marketing, in particular local SEO. To give you a taste of what you'll learn about, here are some very simple yet effective ways that you can begin the journey of growing your business locally.

 

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Your 'Google My Business' Account
Google My Business is the best place to start. This gives you your very own little chunk of Google real-estate, helping your customers to find out information about you, including opening hours, address and images of your products and services. Google also lets you post information about deals and helps promote what's happening on your social media pages. It encourages your customers to leave reviews by making as easy as possible for them to just log on and express their upmost admiration and appreciation for your business. Google also keeps an eye on the other big review sites such as Facebook, Yelp and Trip Advisor, so encouraging reviews across the board is important.

Make It Easy To Be Found
A citation is a reference of your business on a directory or local business listing (Name, Address, Postcode etc.). You should add and maintain citations of your business using some of the many software platforms available, such as Moz Local, Brightlocal or Whitespark. Your local citations should stay consistent across the board, so when you're uploading them to any website or listing, always ensure that they match. If you change address, or phone number, make it a priority to go through all of your online platforms and update all of your citations. You can tell google what your website is about by ensuring you use local schema markup. This code applied to your website alongside citations will all count towards your Google ranking.

Creating Content
Although you must ensure that you are using the correct keywords for your business, it's important to remain user friendly as much as possible - Google has an eye on that too. Local keywords can be effectively used within written content, however, it's important to spread them out amongst title tags, alt tags and headers to avoid keyword stuffing. Internal linking within content also helps to boost that local ranking. Look for way to include links on local directories and other businesses, perhaps even approach a local blogger to help get people linking back onto your site. 

We've only hit the tip of the iceberg here but sign up to our next Local SEO workshop if you want to get stuck in.

 

Train for the Gain | Why Ordinary Business Training Just Doesn't Cut It

 

Train for the Gain | The Best Way to Learn Business

 

What comes to mind when you think of the last professional development training session you attended? A positively prosaic afternoon filled with monotonous corporate speak and lukewarm coffee? We thought so.

Was there any practical information or any tailored examples? Any action list for you to implement? You probably filled a notebook full of buzzwords and strategic jargon but it's been collecting dust ever since. We've all been there.

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We find that most training that we have experienced take a 'one size fits all' approach. It's rare to find a workshop that really delves deep into one specified area of marketing and instead takes a broad brush approach with attendees no matter what their business needs.

Well we like to shake things up a bit.

At Creative Bloom, we've had enough of textbook training and have spent time developing a different approach. Our new workshops are designed to enable you to tailor your training to find what suits you. We supply you with the knowledge, but also help you to ensure that it is relevant to your specific business and send you away with an action plan for what you need to tackle next. PLUS, we pester you after, to check up on how you're getting on beyond the classroom.

Each of our coaches or 'Bloomers' as we like to call them have experience in their specific field, knowing what it takes to deliver what they preach, and continuing to practice with our current clients, keeping up to date with new tech and trends. 

Don't like tech speak? Neither do we, so all our workshops are delivered minus the jargon and instead with simple to follow steps, tips and examples. You never know, you might find a Star Wars slide in there somewhere. And hey, it's not all for you, we enjoy delivering them - so all that comes with a load of enthusiasm, helping you to have that lightbulb moment!
 

How to Reduce Plastic Waste at Festivals and Events

The hot British Summer is in full swing and we're well into the festival season now. If you're anything like me, you'll love soaking up the summer whilst enjoying a bit of music and culture outdoors. I recently joined a 40,000 strong crowd for a music festival in London. By the end of the evening and a couple of beers down, I was so swept up in the excitement of the headliner's encore, that I thought I would be going home with a lingering sense of contentment (and perhaps some ringing in my ears). As the crowds descended into the evening, the feeling quickly disappeared as I was followed by an overwhelming sound of crunching. As I looked back, I was shocked to see a dense carpet of plastic pint glasses strewn on the ground, and being crushed underfoot. Sadly, this scene is all too familiar during the festival season.

At Creative Bloom, we wanted to challenge the issue that has become a norm amongst festival-goers and organisers. There are many actions that we can take to have some fun in the sun in a more environmentally responsible way. We partnered up with 'Surfers Against Sewage' and the 'Paddle Round the Pier' event and some other fabulous local activists to try to tackle the issue.

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Our project began last year, when members of Creative Bloom along with SAS volunteers, conducted a waste audit at the 2017 Paddle Round the Pier event. This included a review of food and drinks packaging and promotional material that was being supplied by stallholders, availability of segregated recycling bins and guidelines of how and where waste should be deposited. After conducting this audit, guidelines were created to help to inform stallholders of ways to help reduce the production of plastic waste at the 2018 Paddle Round the Pier event.

Although some stallholders found this task a little too tall, many were up for the challenge. Alongside Surfers Against Sewage we helped to arrange two beach cleans after the event and our very own Stuart Davies and local designer Claire Potter held talks throughout the weekend about how to reduce plastic waste as the Hove Local SAS Representatives. During this year's event, Jimmy from Bloom also held a second waste audit to see ways in which the festival had improved since last year, chatting to some attendees & stall holders and discussing their thoughts on the issue.

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These are only small steps that have been taken, but already we have seen a great reduction in the amount of plastic waste created at the Paddle Round the Pier Event. The festival's organisers, stallholders and attendees have shown that with the right attitude, events both large and small are are able to achieve this reduction in plastic waste. We are aware that this is part of a process to try to tackle the issue, but small actions and conversations are a great starting point to help resolve the current plastic problem within Brighton and Hove.

It’s very simple to do - start your own conversation and watch change start to happen.