You can have one of the best designed websites on the internet, yet if your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is lacking in comparison to that of your competitors, chances are you won’t be seen.

SEO is a technique carried out to enhance or promote a website in order to increase the number of visitors the site receives from search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo. There are many different aspects to SEO but ultimately it is about ensuring that your websites content is easily understood by humans and Search Engines.

If you run a website for your business, sooner or later you’ll discover the world of SEO. Here are 4 elements you should be considering when looking to improve your websites SEO:

 

Post useful content

Content is key! But not just any content. Regularly updated, quality content is seen as the number one driver for search engine ratings. If you are creating useful and engaging content that is relevant to your target market, the traffic coming to your website will significantly improve. By starting with quality content, you’ll build a strong foundation to support your other SEO efforts.

Ensure that your content is shareable via social media; if people find it interesting, helpful or enjoyable they may wish to share it with others which will essentially help improve your SEO.

 

Use appropriate keywords

SEO keywords are the words or phrases within your websites content that make it possible for people to find you via search engines.

The placement of appropriate keywords throughout your site is potentially one of the most important steps you can take to improve your websites SEO. If you’re not using suitable keywords on your pages, Google may not rank your page accurately. This can increase your website bounce rate as you’ll be attracting the wrong people who are leaving quickly.

By taking into consideration what words your target market is using, you’ll be able to determine what words you should be using on your website pages to rank higher in their search results.

 

Check your links

Your website links should be a way of giving visitors more information on particular topics. You need to be checking your links as there’s nothing worse than someone seeking more information and clicking on a link that doesn’t exist or is broken. Links shouldn’t be taking people to a page that has nothing to do with the text they’re reading, so ensure that your links are quality as they’ll help build your reputation online.

Not sure where to start? It can be beneficial to link to previous blog posts or pages within your website. Use links wisely however, because if you have too many people may lose interest as your site can end up looking spammy.

 

Optimise on-page elements

On-page SEO is the practice of optimising each individual web page of your website, in order to attract more relevant traffic from search engines. Page titles, meta descriptions and URL structures are all good places to start.

Page Titles:

This is the HTML that is used to describe the main topic of your webpage and is what will show up on a search engine result page (SERP) as well as the title of the tab. Make sure you’re including at least one of your target keywords in your title so that people searching can easily identify whether your page is relevant to what they’re seeking out.

Meta Descriptions:

These are shown under your title in search results. These descriptions are more for people than for search engine. You should be using these to tell people why they should click through to your website.

URL Structures:

Keeping your URL’s relevant and accurate are the key to ranking well. The URL for your web pages should be as descriptive and as brief as possible so that visitors know exactly what to expect. Try and keep it to businessname.com/topic-name

 

SEO plays a vital role in your businesses digital marketing strategy. Good SEO takes time and although it can be quiet overwhelming to begin with, when done well it will help drive quality traffic to your website. That sums up some useful hints that’ll help improve your on-page SEO; stay installed for some more tips on how to improve your off-page SEO.

Good design is important in every aspect of a company. Your business website is no exception as your website design is what speaks to your potential customers when you cannot. Your website has only a few short seconds to make a lasting impression on visitors, therefore a well-designed website may mean the difference between gaining an edge over your competitors or turning potential customers/clients away completely.

 

First Impressions

Can you believe first impressions are 94% design related? Your website may be a customer’s first impression of your product or service, so you need to ensure it’s a memorable one. Customers are often inundated with information when searching for products and services, therefore they can be quite selective with what they give their time and attention to. In saying this, it’s important that you capture your audiences attention with a visually pleasing web design that they will remember. By strategically implementing the most suitable images, colours, fonts and various other elements, your website will have a higher chance of engaging users quickly.

A bad first impression, means you’ll lose a potential customer to your competitors.

A good first impression, means you’ll most likely gain a new customer.

A great first impression, means not only will customers want to do business with you, you’ll also build brand loyalty, improving the likeliness that customers will remember your company when referring friends or choosing to use the products or services you provide again.

 

Brand Loyalty

This brings us to brand loyalty. A well-designed website does more than just look good, it has the potential of portraying professionalism and building trust. Acquiring customers in the first instance is hard enough, so keeping them loyal is something you should be aiming to achieve. By having a well-designed website, users will view your business as being more reliable, gaining the impression that not only do you know what you are doing, you also know how to present your information in a clear and concise way.

 

User Experience

User experience can also be affected by good or bad website design. Your website needs to be responsive to ensure that users have a seamless and easy experience. Therefore, if your website is not up to date, missing key information, cluttered or disorganised then chances are, users will leave. Your website needs to be well-designed in order to present the information you’re providing in the best possible way. This will improve the users experience by making the information easy to digest and assisting them in understanding how to navigate various pages.

 

The mere presence of a business website is no longer good enough; people have higher expectations than ever before. With more and more businesses establishing an online presence, consumers are looking for website designs that stand out.

If you’re unsure where to start, or want to ensure that your website ticks all the boxes for being well-design, get in touch and well will see what we can do for you.

The Queensland Government are offering their Small Business Digital Grant Program which provides businesses with access to digital technologies and services to enable them to work smarter, engage with the global economy and make the most of online business opportunities arising from digital disruption.

 

What’s Available

Matching funding of up to $10,000 (excluding GST) for the purchasing of digital technology or service which must fall under one of five identified priority areas:

  1. digital marketing and social media
  2. digital content (web pages, mobile apps, media etc.)
  3. receiving payments or selling online
  4. specialised digital technology or software (business specific)
  5. digital planning and advice/training.

 

Eligibility

To be eligible your business must:

  1. have fewer than 20 employees at the time of applying for the grant
  2. have an Australian Business Number (ABN) and be registered for GST
  3. have Queensland headquarters or significant Queensland-based operations
  4. declare if any owners or directors of the business are an undischarged bankrupt or insolvent.

Please Note

Round 1 opens on 8 November 2016 and closes 9 December 2016.

If you would like us to assist you with a proposal for our services, then you will need to contact us by 10am Thursday 8th December at the latest. This will allow us enough time to put a proposal together for your submission.

If you are interested in applying for the grant or are looking for more information please visit: www.business.qld.gov.au/business/support-tools-grants/grants/digital-grants 

Can you believe 91% of people are more likely to turn to the internet to research a business and their offerings before making a purchase decision?

As a small business owner, it’s essential that you have a website ready for potential customers who are searching for your services online. It allows your target market the convenience of easily finding out the basics of your business, products and services without leaving the comfort of their own home.

46% of small businesses reported not having a website; if you’re in that 46% then it’s time to make a change. We’ve put together 5 reasons why your small business needs to have a website:

 

To be found

Most searches begin online. A well designed website makes it easy for people to find your business 24/7/365, acting as a sales tool that’s accessible at any time. With 9 out of 10 consumers using the internet to look for goods or services, people tend to want to find out as much as they can about a business and its competitors before making a decision on who to purchase from. To put it simply, if your business isn’t online, you’re already losing customers.

 

To build credibility

First impressions matter. A well designed and executed website is your first chance at a good impression for potential customers. 84% of consumers believe a business with a website is more credible than one with only a social media page. You need to give yourself the ability to be found otherwise you may lose credibility altogether.

 

To increase customer base

Business success can rest largely on a company’s ability to bring in new customers. Getting online can enable you to reach a wider target audience while at the same time giving you measurable results. You’ll also be paying less for exposure in comparison to traditional marketing methods such as print advertising or direct mail.

 

To gain a competitive advantage

If your competitors are online and you’re not, then you’re already behind! With people taking to the internet to search for products and services, they are going to find your competition and not you. The longer you wait to create a website for your small business, the more customers you could potentially be losing to your competitors who are already online.

 

To keep customers informed

Your website can act as an important information sharing platform. Potential customers will have access to information such as your address, phone number, email address, services, pricing lists or current offers. Websites are designed to make things easier for your target market, by giving them the relevant information they need to ensure they are able to make informed decisions about which product or service they are looking for.

 

If your small business is relying solely on a physical store or traditional marketing efforts, you may be limited in the success or growth of your business. Essentially, if you don’t have a website, you’re losing potential customers.

With this being said, you should never chose to take shortcuts when making your business visible online. It’s vital that your online presence is professional and provides your customers with an engaging experience, encouraging them to want to do business with you.

 

If you fall into the 46% of small businesses who reported not having a website, contact us and let’s see what we can create for you!

Every now and again a great advert is created and as the automotive industry strives to find new ways of appealing to it’s target audience ad agencies push the boundaries of what can be done.

 

Czech car-maker Skoda has unveiled a clever ad for its Fabia model wish clearly pushes the boundaries of how it advertises.

 

The ad was created by AIS London and MindsEye director Luke Bellis. It shows a car parked on a street while a voice-over talks about it’s features. As the video flashes, the surroundings gradually change and shift right in front of your eyes.

How does Facebook advertising work and is it for everyone?

Basically put, Facebook advertising allows you to advertise your business to a specific target market and have it pop up in their newsfeed and on their Facebook page.

 

When you are creating a Facebook advertisement you are given a list of advertising objectives.
These consists of:

  • Clicks to Website
  • Website Conversions
  • Page Post Engagement
  • Page Likes
  • App Installs
  • App Engagement
  • Offer Claims
  • Event Responses
  • Video Views

Most businesses will be interested in the clicks to website, website conversions and page likes. Advertising objectives are the actions that you want your target audience to perform from your Facebook ad. Beyond this, there are a number of steps to creating your Facebook ad. Including selecting the URL users will land on, uploading images, and creating a headline and newsfeed tagline.

 

Once your advertisement is visually together, you then have the option to select your target market. This is where Facebook is extremely effective. In this section you are able to narrow your audience down to age, gender, nationality, location and even their likes and behaviours.

 

Finally, place a budget on the advertisement per day or for the life of the campaign. Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the interface, there is a lot of other aspects to Facebook advertising such as tracking pixels, so be sure to do your homework if you are thinking about implementing it yourself.

 

Facebook advertisements, dependent on your selection, will then be optimised to be displayed in your selected target markets Facebook and to those who are most likely to carry out your chosen advertising objective.

 

It works effectively depending on your business, target market and objective. Often people get carried away with the Facebook phenomenon believing that this is the most efficient way to reach your audience. Which is true in some cases. However, if you are trying to target business professionals Facebook Advertising may not be the best avenue for you. Like all marketing activities, ask yourself who your target market is and do they spend time trawling through Facebook?

 

If you are thinking about Facebook advertising it is definitely something that would be beneficial to talk to an expert about. We have conducted a large amount of Facebook advertising for our clients and all we can really say is that there are a number of variables based on the business, target market and objective as listed above. Overall the safest bet with Facebook advertising and return on investment has been with website clicks and page likes. If you require some help, talk to us and we can work with you to decide whether Facebook advertising is best or if another digital advertising option would be more beneficial.

Looking at running a Facebook competition? Here is what you need to know, think about and consider.

When creating a Facebook competition it is important to look at your Facebook insights, to see if it is a plausible option. It is important that you not only have a number of followers but also have loyal and engaged followers. If you are posting content and only get the same few followers commenting or liking your status then there is a possibility they will be the only ones to enter your competition.

 

A Facebook competition is effective for building awareness, positive word of mouth, encouraging engagement with your brand, and building hype.

If you believe that you have an audience that will support your campaign then the next step is to decide on the what you are asking followers to do and what you will give them in return. It is also very important at this stage to visit Facebook rules and regulations. They change constantly and are extremely strict with promotions. There will be some restrictions and rules that you will have to comply with.

 

When you are ready to launch your competition, consider how people will find out about it. Emailing your database to ask them to enter your Facebook competition with steps and guidelines is an effective approach. If you have a physical store, a flyer may be helpful for customers to take home with them. Just because it is a Facebook competition does not mean it is solely restricted to Facebook. Write a blog, post it to your website and integrate it across your social networks. Depending on your time, effort, budget and competition this may be a good time to conduct Facebook advertising as your page is full of content.

 

Finally be responsive! When you are running a competition it is important to put someone in charge of monitoring the campaign. Customers may have questions or you can thank them for their entry. Don’t leave the competition to run with your audience, stay in control and keep posting, sending emails and promoting your competition.

 

Our Clients Facebook Competition

Recently we conducted a Facebook competition for one of our clients, Smart Calendars 4 U. Customers were to post their calendars they had purchased hanging on their walls with a short quote about their life and the hashtag #familycalendars. We sent out emails to inform people of the competition and reminder emails throughout the duration.

 

This campaign was successful in brand awareness and positive word of mouth as photos were posted with comments about their love for the calendar. As photos came in we shared them to the page so they weren’t lost in the left hand side menu. The photos gave real life scenarios for future marketing and gave something back to the clients customers.

There are some things to remember about your business cards that often get forgotten over time. Once you have had your business cards designed and printed they are often kept out of mind, until you hand them out to the next prospective customer.
So what are some useful hints to keep in mind about your business cards.

  • Your business cards represent your brand and are the first thing a customer receives from you
  • Keep them simple and easy to read for you customers
  • Make sure your business card suits your business and industry including colours and design
  • Use another language on you business card if you work with foreign markets
  • Have relevant information without overcrowding you card
  • Go for quality, your customer will notice the difference
  • Only have images that are necessary and relate to your business
  • As your business changes so should your business card, keep them up to date
  • Never use an old business card when you run out
  • Go the extra mile and get them designed professionally

 

If reading these items have sparked something inside you then the best bet is you have become a culprit of one or two of these hints. Contact us at Italic and we can review your business card for you.

Are you nodding your head unknowingly when you hear people saying, your site needs to be responsive? It is a very simple concept and doesn’t require you to be kept in the dark.

Responsive websites are designed to give the best user experience to your website visitors. This approach is designed to allow for easy navigating, scrolling and resizing across a number of devices. Simply put, it enables your website to be viewed on mobiles and tablets without users having to zoom into a website that is much too large for their screens.

Continue reading “What is a responsive site?” »

As a part of our monthly marketing, we research public relation opportunities that come up that would suit and benefit our clients. Smart Calendars 4 U is one of our monthly marketing clients that we look after by conducting a number of marketing activities each month.

PR for a client can be beneficial as it is soft advertising that usually occurs behind the scenes to create media opportunities that do not require purchase. Something like a media release is a perfect example because when a media release is picked up by a publication it is published free of charge. Although PR is less controllable than traditional marketing and advertising it has higher credibility in the eyes of the customer.

Continue reading “PR Opportunities” »