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Setting up a business involves complying with a range of legal requirements. Find out which ones apply to you and your new enterprise.

What particular regulations do specific types of business (such as a hotel, or a printer, or a taxi firm) need to follow? We explain some of the key legal issues to consider for 200 types of business.

While poor governance can bring serious legal consequences, the law can also protect business owners and managers and help to prevent conflict.

Whether you want to raise finance, join forces with someone else, buy or sell a business, it pays to be aware of the legal implications.

From pay, hours and time off to discipline, grievance and hiring and firing employees, find out about your legal responsibilities as an employer.

Marketing matters. Marketing drives sales for businesses of all sizes by ensuring that customers think of their brand when they want to buy.

Commercial disputes can prove time-consuming, stressful and expensive, but having robust legal agreements can help to prevent them from occurring.

Whether your business owns or rents premises, your legal liabilities can be substantial. Commercial property law is complex, but you can avoid common pitfalls.

With information and sound advice, living up to your legal responsibilities to safeguard your employees, customers and visitors need not be difficult or costly.

As information technology continues to evolve, legislation must also change. It affects everything from data protection and online selling to internet policies for employees.

Intellectual property (IP) isn't solely relevant to larger businesses or those involved in developing innovative new products: all products have IP.

Knowing how and when you plan to sell or relinquish control of your business can help you to make better decisions and achieve the best possible outcome.

From bereavement, wills, inheritance, separation and divorce to selling a house, personal injury and traffic offences, learn more about your personal legal rights.

Google search volumes show massive digital shift

13 April 2021

Analysis of Google search volumes has highlighted the extent to which businesses have embraced digital marketing and ecommerce as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

There has been a massive increase in Google searches for terms related to online marketing and ecommerce in the past year, according to analysis by Aura Ads. The findings demonstrate how businesses are shifting to online marketing and searching for experts to help them.

Terms with the biggest uplift (comparing March 2020 with February 2021) include:

  • Video marketing services (up 242%);
  • Online advertising agencies (up 188%);
  • Ecommerce video marketing (up 120%).

There have also been more searches for agencies that specialise in specific social media platforms. Popular terms include:

  • Instagram marketing services (up 2700%);
  • Tiktok marketing agency (up 500%);
  • Facebook marketing services (up 250%);
  • YouTube marketing services (up 120%).

At the same time, there have been decreases for some non-digital forms of advertising. The number of searches for "magazine advertising space" has decreased by 63%, while searches for "billboard adverts" have gone down by 37%.

"Those that were nervous about purchasing online previously have now had to make it part of their everyday life, so we expect online shopping to continue to rise, even when the lockdowns are over," said Ryan Walton, founder of Aura Ads. "This trend was always going to come, but the pandemic has just made the shift from in-person shopping and advertising to online shopping and advertising happen at a faster pace."

Meanwhile, another new study reveals that nearly half (45%) of all online content goes unseen. Contentsquare examined 20 billion web sessions across 900 websites from the world's biggest brands for its 2021 Digital Experience Benchmark report.

The research shows that the rates of unseen content are highest for the beauty (60%) and clothing (59%) industries, which tend to have a lot of product display pages. The travel (33%), business-to-business (35%), and financial services (36%) sectors had the lowest content unseen rates.

"Sometimes more isn't better," said Niki Hall, cmo at Contentsquare. "With 45% of your site content going unseen, maybe it's time to take a step back from creating new materials and re-evaluate how your brand is promoting top performing content. Our advice is to focus your energy on identifying the key pieces of content that give value to your customers, then optimise and increase the visibility of this content to drive the maximum engagement from your investments. This could include revisiting and promoting existing pieces of content, or even just fixing the navigation on your website to ensure it isn't being buried."

Written by Rachel Miller.

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