For this week’s blog I thought I’d share with you some of the digital tools in my toolbox in order to build our website and run our online presence.
The website itself was built on WordPress and I must say, once familiar with using this platform, it really is so user friendly. Considering this was my first full website build, it didn’t take long to get the hang of the way WordPress works.
I use Elementor Pro as my page builder within WordPress (I can’t recommend this plugin enough). This plug-in simplifies your page build and gives you complete control of how the website looks and functions. You can drag and drop all of your pages and create custom templates to ensure your site remains consistent. You are also able to throw your own custom code in if you don’t want to drag and drop everything. This is not only my favourite page builder but my favourite digital tool in general, the ease of use makes the price tag well worth it.
For our online shop we use the WooCommerce plugin. There are lots of benefits to this tool, one of my favourites is the direct integration to Royal Mail. All of our products are automatically funnelled into Royal Mails online Click & Drop interface so all we have to do each day is press print and them labels start funnelling out. This is a great time saver. It also syncs quite well with our Facebook Pixel which is helpful to us to determine what pages are working or not and picking up any errors in our campaigns.
Another useful plug-in we use on WordPress is called WP Fastest Cache. We realised pretty quickly during the web build that our site wasn’t as fast as we wanted it to be, then we found WP Fastest Cache. The clue is in the name with this one really, quite simply, it speeds up the site by caching the content, minifying the CSS, pre-loading the pages etc.
We also use Yoast as our SEO Analysler. The market leader in terms of WordPress SEO plugins, it does live up to its reputation. This tool reads your pages individually and gives you tips on how to improve your content such as your use of passive voice, transition words, function words, page titles, outbound/internal links etc. For someone like myself that has never thought content writing to be my strongest area, this is a god send.
Adobe Illustrator had always been a bit of a mystery to me until this year. I had always used Photoshop to design any digital graphics for my campaigns and although you can often end up with a similar result, I reach that result far quicker in Illustrator.
Not only have I been utilising it for creating graphics for our digital campaigns, I have also used it to create custom web symbols, custom labels such as the flavour labels and the outer box labels, design van wraps and create the Christmas brochure for Orchardlea Foods in which West Country Olives has a double page spread.
That just goes to show how easy this tool is to pick up, in a relatively short space of time. Now, I am no expert, let me say that. There are so many things within Illustrator that completely confuse me every day. But with that said, it is incredible what can be created, just utilising the bare minimum of the software’s capabilities.
Now, even though I no longer use Photoshop to create graphics, I do still use it for a lot of our images. Primarily to remove the background from our product images and to optimize files for web. It is a fine line when compressing images to use on our website between maintaining quality and enhancing the websites speed. Photoshop is my favourite digital tool to manage that process easily.
Adobe Premier Pro
As I’m sure by now you’ve seen our short daily updates on our social media platforms. The entrance animation was first made in premier pro with the typing sounds ripped from a screen recording I made on my phone of actual typing. Once I created the entrance animation, I sent it to my phone and now it’s just a case of recording a video and combining it with the entrance animation in iMovie before I post. Nice and easy.
Now I’m still not sure how I feel about Facebook Business suite. It’s not bad for scheduling posts in advance but you can’t edit the initial frame on Instagram posts, so I have to post all of them manually. This isn’t the end of the world, but it is an inconvenience. There are lots of social media management platforms available, but they do come at a premium, at least facebook business suite is completely free and I can manage our paid ads from there as well as our regular posts.
I must admit though, I do find their analytics platform exceedingly difficult to get along with, it really has nothing on Google Analytics in my opinion. I guess that is just personal preference though and I have spent a long time utilising the GA platform so moving over to facebook just doesn’t feel right for me.
As afore mentioned, this is my favourite analytics platform and one of my favourite digital tools in general, this platform gives me incredibly helpful insights into everything to do with our website and how it is interacted with.
Without this tool we would be in the dark when running our campaigns and we wouldn’t have any way of knowing what to change to improve our results.
Although not as prevalent today as it once was, Google Ads is still a useful digital tool for expediting your climb to the top of google search and it definitely still has its place in any marketers playbook. We have only used this in a minor way so far during the month that we have been active as we’ve been heavily focusing on our social media platforms but this is going to change relatively soon.
These are the different apps I’ve been using lately to edit our video ads on the go. I’m not always near my laptop when I want to get creative with some videos or photos but these apps make it really easy to throw some videos, images and text together and actually create pretty cool stuff. They all have premium and free versions available but you can do quite a lot without having to pay.
All these digital tools have their benefits and drawbacks but I’ll save that for another blog I think.
That’s all for this weeks blog.
Thank you for taking the time to read it. I hope you have found it useful or at least interesting reading the main digital tools I use day to day to build our website and run our online presence.
Until next week.
West Country Olives