Glossary of Terms – Cutting Through the Jargon

Glossary of Terms – Cutting Through the Jargon

If you come across people who like to speak in acronyms or jargon, then you probably won’t find that very helpful when you are just starting out or establishing the digital side of your business.

In this Take Five, we’re having a look at a few small but select digital terms that you may well come across when setting up your business and we hope that you won’t now have to ask what someone’s on about!


Domain Name – this is the address where visitors can access your website eg www.designandbesocial.com. 

Hosting Company – this is where your website lives (on their servers).

SSL -this should be added to your website when it goes live (a padlock will appear next to your domain name).  If it’s not there,  you then see “not secure” next to a domain name in a browser. SSL is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server (at the hosting company) and someone’s browser (eg Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Internet Explorer).

HTML & CSS – HTML is code that a basic website is written in and CCS stands for Cascading Style Sheet which means that if you alter the styling of something in CSS ie colour for your links – it changes everything throughout the site.

UX – User-Experience – so important and sometimes overlooked in preference for an over-designed look and flashy widgets.  A good UX means a site is designed with your customer in mind and ensures they can easily find what they are looking for (important!).

Social Media Marketing

Hashtags (#) – a # is a way of connecting your social media posts to other social media posts on the same subject eg an event or location.  You can also search for a specific hashtag which is relevant to your business by using a # search. This is more useful on Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn rather than Facebook.

@ Tagging –  tagging someone in a social media post or photo notifies that person (or page) that they have been mentioned or included in your update or photo.  It can help them/you join in with the social conversion or alert them/you to something interesting that they/you might like to share.  On your Facebook Busines Page, if you don’t have an @name underneath your Company Name, you can’t be tagged.

Bio – short summary of your business on your Facebook or Instagram page with important information and relevant links. Important – not to be neglected.

Scheduling – by planning and scheduling your posts using something like Buffer or Planoly you can save yourself the panic and rush of trying to post on the go.

KPIs – these are used to measure the success of Social Media and Advertising campaigns. Your KPIs can be any type of analytic you choose eg, engagement,  follower number growth, click-through rate or bounce rate.  This should be agreed on at the beginning of a campaign but regularly reviewed.

Facebook Advertising

Boosting a Post – boosted Facebook posts are less complex than Facebook Ads.  However, a boosted post is simply a regular Facebook post that you put money behind to reach a wider audience. An Ad offers more advanced solutions.

CTR and CPC – Click Through Rate and Cost Per Click – two metrics you should consider when looking at the data for your Facebook Ads.  The CTR (expressed as %) is the number of clicks on your advert divided by the number of impressions (the times it is seen).  The CPC is the price you pay for each click on your Facebook ad. 

Business Manager – this is where all your adverts should be run from.  You should set up your own Business Manager and then let others have access to your BM (not the other way round).  It also means you retain your own data and control of your page, audiences and previous ads, etc.

Audiences – these are created in your Facebook Business Manager and can be interest-based, location-based, visitors to your website, lookalikes of your audiences – the list goes on … This is who you show your ads to.

Facebook Pixel – this piece of code, created in your Business Manager, needs to be added to your website so that you can track and target visitors to your site.  If you’re running ads without a pixel (and there are even a couple of very large corporations who do this!) then you’re just wasting your money as you can’t utilise any data to create an ongoing strategy.


Pixel Size – the actual size of your image.  An original image may be up to 6000 px in width but if it is being used on a website the image should be reduced considerably so as not to cause slow-loading of your site.

Pixellating – this is what happens to an image that is, say 200 px wide, and is increased to 500 px in width. The image becomes blurry.  If this happens you need to find the original image file and resize it correctly.

Cropping – this means removing unwanted areas from an image. This basic process is carried out in order to remove unwanted detail from a photo or to improve the overall composition.

Saturate – this means to increase the intensity of colour in a photograph.

Filters – by using specific software or an app, you can change the appearance of an image by altering its shade and colour.  Filters can be used to increase brightness and contrast as well as adding a  wide variety of tones, textures or special effects.

Digital Acronyms

B2B or B2C – Business to Business or Business to Customer – used in an advertising context.

CTA – This button used to grab your customers’ attention – to make them click, purchase or provide their email address. A CTA can be used on your website, in your email campaigns or in your social media advertisements.  It should be obvious.

ATC – Add to Cart – on an eCommerce store.

PPC – Pay Per Click – in relation to advertising.

ROAS – Return on Ad Spend – a metric used to show how effectively your money is being spent on digital advertising.

Is there anything digital you'd like to talk about?

If you’d like to dicuss anything further, then why not get in touch and we can have a chat.

WordPress Plugins – Essential Ones to Download

WordPress Plugins – Essential Ones to Download

A WordPress website enables you to grow your online presence from a small static site to an online shop or membership site with comparative ease. This is one of the reasons that make it so popular – it is so versatile.

For those not familiar with WordPress you start off with the very basic version (usually provided by your hosting company) and then add “Plugins” to create functionality for your site.  Many plugins are free and these may be all you need to design your site.  Most will also have a paid option for additional features and these are often worth purchasing as they will add the extra oomph you need.  Plugins also need regular updating so I would highly recommend some sort of website housekeeping reminder in your diary. 

Divi Builder

As well as the Gutenberg WordPress builder, there are other website “builder” systems around such as Elementor and Beaver Builder but my favourite, go-to builder is Divi Builder by Elegant Themes (which is paid for).  Technically this is a theme rather than a plugin now (they’ve just had a major update) but it does provide hugely customisable themes and module settings, meaning your limit is only your imagination! I’ve also added a number of extras to my sites to improve the plugin functionality of some of the various modules ie, testimonials or icons – have a look at here to find out more about this.


Hackers, trolls, bots and many others for some reason seem to have nothing better to do than infiltrate other people’s websites to try and inflict damage to them (sometimes financially).  Whilst your hosting company should have decent security on their servers, you should also think about adding an additional plugin yourself to your own website.  Available in a free and Pro version Wordfence is my plugin of choice.


Everyone’s favourite topic!  In order to comply with GDPR regulations, you DO need to ask visitors to your site whether they give you permission use their data if they continue to browse your site (even if it is anonymous) – this information includes data from cookies, the Facebook pixel if you have one and any other data gathering software.  There are a number of well-respected plugins that work really well, all of which can be found via your Dashboard. Check out the individual reviews to see what others have to say.

Yoast SEO

We all know how important SEO is for your site and whilst everyone is fighting for that number one spot on the first page of the search engines, this is your opportunity to increase your chances by using Yoast.  The Yoast plugin helps you fill in various bits and pieces which are important for SEO and ensures that you focus on what your customers may be searching for.  Another option is to also start paying for Google Ads but that’s for another blog!

Google Analytics

I do love data and having a website (or using social media) is so much than just creating an online presence and waiting for the business to roll in.  Yes, you should have a main Google Analytics account and dashboard (and regularly check to how your site is performing) but using a Google Analytics widget on your WordPress dashboard gives you a quick picture on your WordPress dashboard to show what’s happening and this may alert you to an important trend on your site.

Would you like to find out more about what I do?

If you’d like to dicuss anything further, then why not get in touch and we can have a chat.

Why are Social Media metrics so important?

Why are Social Media metrics so important?

You may have been running your social media for a while, or someone else has on your behalf, but how do you know what has worked and what has been successful?  What’s the point in spending all your time posting on social media if you’re not checking regularly to see what’s effective? In this “Take Five”, we’re discussing questions you might like to consider in conjunction with your social media strategy.

Depending on what you’re trying to achieve via your social media eg brand recognition or driving traffic – different metrics will mean different things to you.  In reviewing your insights, why not take the time to review which platforms are effective for you – your business doesn’t need to be on them all.  It’s better to run one platform really well than to try and do too much and spread yourself too thinly.  Be where your target market is.

Follower Numbers

Many people become obsessed with how many followers they have on their platforms.  These are “Vanity Metrics”!  It is far better to grow your followers organically and have an engaged and interested audience than lots of followers but not much audience activity on your account.

Be honest – have you bought followers?  This is a really bad practice (see vanity metrics above).  They won’t be your target market (and may not even be in the same country as you).  What you do need to consider is do your follower demographics match your target audience? 

Optimum Posting Times

Have a look to see when your followers are online and post accordingly. Try out different times during the day and see what happens.  Annoyingly Facebook are now only reporting these results within your Page Insights in Pacific Time Zone so a bit more thought has to go into analysing them now!

Images, Reels, Videos or Graphics?

  • Check to see what’s working on a regular basis.  What’s more popular – single images, reels, multiple images, videos or graphics?
  • Is there a particular subject matter that seems to be going down well?
  • How does your Instagram feed look – are your pictures of a quality that keep followers coming back?
  • Did you try something new?  How did that work?  It’s Ok to keep testing and refining to see what’s resonating with your audience.


Questions to ask yourself … 

  • What’s working – subject matter-wise?
  • Which posts are not working so well? Were they too salesy and less social?  
  • Too much text? Not enough text?
  • Did you engage with the audience and ask them questions or did you just transmit and not seek engagement with your post?  Don’t forget the “social” in social media!


A more important consideration is your engagement rate. As mentioned above it’s not great if you have loads of followers but no engagement.

What’s your reach like? How many shares, comments or mentions is your account/page receiving? How about setting up an Excel spreadsheet to record your numbers weekly so that you can obtain an overall picture of how things are working.

Referrals – if your goal is driving website traffic – what are your Google Analytics looking like?

One of the things that may have an effect on your engagement is reach (the people who will see your post) and whilst organic reach on Facebook has been declining dramatically over the last few years, it now seems that similar is happening on Instagram.  With the algorithm being regularly being tweaked it can sometimes feel like an uphill struggle.  At some stage, you may consider allocating some of your digital budget to Facebook/Instagram advertising to ensure that you’re keeping in front of your customers (and discovering new ones).

Would you like to find out more about what I do?

If you’d like to dicuss anything further, then why not get in touch and we can have a chat.

What I wish someone had told me when I set up my business

What I wish someone had told me when I set up my business

There’s just so much to think about when you set up your new business and take on board, so I thought I would share a few pearls of wisdom from those who have travelled that path already.  

When starting out, my advice would be to establish a support network and to build your community – whether virtual or actual.  For me, two of these are Andrew & Pete’s Atomic (membership group) as well as the excellent Freelance Heroes Group on Facebook.  To both, I must give huge thanks for everyone’s input and the sharing of their experiences for this blog.

I love having access to both groups (*other groups are available!); not only does Atomic provide amazing, ongoing, inspirational training sessions but it provides an opportunity to listen to everyone’s different views and opinions (incredibly valuable) but the group also provides a sounding board for ideas as well as giving those “encouragement sparks”!  The Freelance Heroes group are there to support and answer those questions when you’re stuck … what do you think, do you know anyone who could, how would you deal with this, etc?  Their breadth of knowledge and experience is immense and there’s always someone happy to help and support.

Thank you, everyone, for sharing your invaluable and varied input – so here goes …


Planning & Developing Your Business

“Be absolutely clear as to what you offer and who you target from Day One,”

“We wish someone had told us how to focus on the right things and make better decisions after knowing where the focus was. There was a lot of advice around why it’s important to focus, but not a lot around HOW to actually do it.”

“To use Toggl from the first moment so you start to learn how long a task takes you.”

  • “Work out the cost of doing business
  • Choose a decent online accounting package
  • Learn how to deal with late payers
  • Understand the Late Payment of Commercial Debts Act
  • Communication techniques
  • Sales techniques and pipelines
  • Consumer rights act 2015″

“Launch in the direction you want to go and don’t try to get everything perfect before starting. Paying clients will help you figure the rest as you go along. I made SO MANY assumptions about what clients actually want, before launching and the business looks totally different now.”

“Get your clients contracts, onboarding processes and other admin organised at the start.”

Marketing Yourself

“Don’t fall for all these cold-calls promising lots of advertising. Get a good website and sort your SEO out. Also, get your Google My Business listing sorted. Lastly, get lots and lots of reviews/testimonials!”

“The Google My Business bit is really important”

“Don’t be embarrassed about promoting and selling yourself. It’s part of it all and you’ll find your preferred way of doing it.”

“For me, it’s the power of having a memorable brand hook: the 5–6-word “stock cube” that summarises what you do and why you’re different.”

“Once you’ve established your name, domain and brand, make sure you have some good content and photos for your digital online presence. A couple of pages will do initially and get someone to check for grammar and spelling errors. Make sure you look at your competition and see what they are doing. You don’t have to be on every digital platform. Focus on one or two at first.”

“You can’t just rely on online connections and friends to make you money … you have to be seen.”

“To be yourself. It took me so long to figure this out and to feel comfortable just being me when it came to my business.”

Clients/New Business

“I wish I’d known to be more patient – to trust that work will come your way! By that I mean if you stick at it, things do happen.”

“I’d say the biggest challenge I had was learning to say ‘no’. However, I’ve enjoyed the process of learning tbh and without all the lessons we’ve had to learn we wouldn’t be the freelancers we are today.”

“Don’t say yes, yes, yes – just because you need work. If you busy yourself with the wrong type of work, you won’t have time/energy to find and honour the type of clients you do want to work with. After all, the choice is yours.”

“Avoid cheap clients, it’s hard when you first start out and are desperate though.”

“My one pearl of wisdom would be to say no to work more often.”

“Set boundaries about when you can be contacted by clients, particularly if you work part-time to facilitate childcare arrangements (like I do). Also, if it’s appropriate to contact you ‘out of hours’ and methods of communication that are/aren’t acceptable. For example, is SMS / WhatsApp ok? I personally use these with clients in a very restrictive way because they are quite difficult to manage and are quite intrusive (if you don’t read and action it straight away it risks getting forgotten about since you can’t flag for later attention).”

“Some clients really are more trouble than they’re worth. You can’t always tell before you start working for them (though over time you start to see the warning signs earlier – and your gut feeling is also a good indicator if you’re unsure), and it’s hard to walk away especially when you’re just starting out. But you can save your sanity by not taking repeat work from a troublesome client.”

“Go with your gut. If you talk to a potential client and you just get a bad vibe, trust it.”

“You can have all the great branding in the world, an awesome name and be blasting social media but if you don’t have clients coming through the door, you don’t have a business.”


“Payments on account in your first tax year.  I didn’t know that tax payments on account were a thing, so I got a terrible shock after filing my tax this year. You’re expected to pay basically twice as much tax in your first 1.5 years. I really think that’s a thing freelancers ought to be warned about.”

“Pay your pension weekly/monthly like usual.”

“Make sure you have at least six months of finance to cover your business and living expenses. This then allows you to make better decisions when taking on clients rather than just doing jobs for the money – it’s an endless cycle that will get you nowhere.”

“That often it can take a lot of time to actually make money … but not to lose heart.”


“To have a day off when your inner critic shows up.”

“Rest more.  As soon as I open my creative mind, I get a 1000 idea and end up burnt out. I really should rest more so I’m more productive. Plus find good support.”

“I’d also say make sure you allocate time for stuff that’s not paid work (pitching, marketing, developing relationships, your own training and development). You need to do all those things – and shouldn’t feel guilty about taking time for them because you’re not getting paid.”

“Don’t waste time reading every article, watching every webinar and researching your business rather than just getting on with doing your business. I wish I’d had more confidence, in the beginning, to just face the fear and get on with it!”

“Write down your personal goals (pin them up!) and never lose sight of why you started out in the first place. These goals are why you’re in business.”

“Know your worth and be very proud of it.”

Would you like to find out more about what I do?

If you’d like to dicuss anything further, then why not get in touch and we can have a chat.

Do I really need to be on Google My Business?

Do I really need to be on Google My Business?

It’s a noisy world out there on the internet and your fledgeling business may be struggling to be heard.  Whereas once upon a time all you needed was your website, and voilà, now you need to maximise your exposure in an increasingly overcrowded place.  Google My Business (GMB) – or Google Business Profile as it has been renamed – makes your business visible and easier to find

Google My Business can often be overlooked but it could be a good option for your business.  Whilst not everyone wants to publicise their company, for example when they work from home, for those who have an office or premises it is an excellent option.

How to set up Google Business Profile

Set up an account with Google and then head over to www.google.com/business to start filling out the information – what your company does, how to contact you, opening times and then add your logo and a few great photos.  In order to finish your profile, Google will need to verify that your business is where you say it is.  If you choose the postcard option, it will arrive in a couple of days and once verified you will go live.  Your business won’t be top of the search list straight away but at least you are out there now!

Helping your customers find you online

GMB is also very helpful when people are searching for a service “… near me” – as you will come up in the results.  If you’re not on GMB it will be your competitors that show up.

Keeping your business information up to date

GMB comes into its own on a mobile in the way it provides information to help your customers.  It shows your location (and provides directions) on a map, your telephone number (call option), when your busy times are and it provides a link to your website.   As well as providing normal opening and closing times you can also add holiday opening hours when necessary which will save someone a trip if you’re closed on a Bank Holiday.


Often people will view your business on GMB before your website so make sure you have some really good quality photos to showcase … and keep them updated.

Reviews - the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

One of the main features of GMB is that customers can leave reviews for you.  For Good Reviews, engage with your customers and thank them for taking the time to leave a review.

Then there are the Bad Reviews and you really need to think about how you are going to deal with these before they come in.  If it is a genuine complaint, acknowledge it, be polite and then try and take it offline to sort out any issues.  Don’t let it become heated or angry.

However, the other bad reviews occasionally come from trolls who have never been near your business and for one reason or another think they are being clever or smart by leaving a one-star review or some unpleasant comment.  To begin with, you can try and report this to Google but most of these “troll” reviews don’t breach their guidelines so Google won’t take them down.  If you can’t get the review removed, then politely call the troll out and ask for further clarification/facts but don’t get into a heated exchange with them – they’re looking for attention. 

Whilst it is incredibly frustrating and annoying that someone feels they can review your business unfairly or maliciously when you have worked so hard, most people looking at GMB can clearly see through this sort of negative behaviour.  Why not be proactive and ask your customers to leave a review for you.  Soon the negative one will be outnumbered.

Still have questions about Google My Business?

If you’d like to dicuss anything further, then why not get in touch and we can have a chat.