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How much does it cost to hire a web designer in Brisbane?

The cost of hiring a web designer in Brisbane to design a new business website for your company can vary widely, with quotes ranging from $750 to $15k. The problem is knowing which website designer is offering you the best value package, and giving you a website that includes all of the features you need.

For example, it’s fair to say that if a website consultant offers to design a professional business site for $750, it’s going to be very low quality with poor coding and won’t include all of the features you need. Even for a good quality, but ‘bare bones’ professional website you can expect to pay at the very least $1000, and probably closer to $2000.

In general, for a quality website that needs to represent your brand, you are looking at $2000 to $5000, depending on the features. Of course, this is just a general guide. You may have a lot of extra requirements (online stores, payments, bookings, integrations with other software) or you may need custom development work. The price would obviously be much higher in these cases, but for a standard website package you would have to question the price if a web designer in Brisbane quoted $15,000, for example.

Why do prices vary so greatly?

The way website packages are quoted can be vastly different from one developer to the next. Some charge by the hour, some bundle it together. Some work from template designs while others design from scratch. The features in each package will also vary considerably, such as the number of design revisions, security features, training, support, and dozens of other items. Some developers will also only offer corporate website packages, while others may be geared towards smaller businesses and therefore only include the absolute essentials in many of their packages.

If you’re in the market for a professional business website and are faced with a variety of different quotes, here is our biggest tip on sorting out the wheat from the chaff.

Break down the costs of each website designer’s quote

There’s no easy way to do this, other than picking one website consultant and asking them to make these comparisons for you. After all, if you have five different quotes with huge price differentials, it makes sense to ask the website designer with the highest quote to justify their costs.

What you want is a detailed breakdown of all the costs in all of the quotes you have received, so that you can compare them side by side and can tick off which web designer in Brisbane covers everything on your list.

When you ask a website consultant to justify their costs, this is where you will really see what you are getting for your money. They should be able to explain each feature and how it benefits you. This will help you understand the process… but don’t go crazy here. No one likes having to justify their prices, so you should just seek a simple explanation.

At GO Creative, we always give you a detailed quote and we are quite happy to help you compare our packages with those from other website designers.

Ask your website consultant how push notifications can increase your conversions

Your website consultant or agency should know all about push notifications and how valuable they can be to your digital marketing arsenal. Push notifications can help you to quickly target website visitors, so that you can send them marketing materials.

What is a push notification?

A push notification, in relation to websites, is where a website visitor agrees to let you “push” information out to them. This is usually set up so that the information goes directly to the user’s web browser or device. Essentially, it’s a popup or other message which appears on your website and asks visitors if they want to receive the notifications.

What’s the difference between push notifications and emails?

Many business owners already use email marketing, which is another way to re-engage your visitors when they leave your website, and is aimed at encouraging their return. As your WordPress web development team will tell you, retargeting your visitors is much cheaper than trying to bring new traffic for your website.

In Brisbane, website developers often recommend their clients to add push notifications to their marketing portfolio, because these notifications are very simple and grab people’s attention. They tend to fill the gap between email marketing and retargeting techniques, offering a very easy one click option, and effectively driving traffic back to your website.

Tips on using push notifications

First of all, you need to upload the push notification software to your website. This is something you can discuss with your website consultant, because there are a number of software options available.

Once uploaded, you need to decide at what point in their visit people will see your push notification. Most websites have this notification pop up after a visitor has been on their website for a few seconds, but you can also prime it to pop up when they visit a specific page on your site as well.

However, when a visitor clicks on the ‘allow’ option, you need to be ready to send them targeted information that will encourage them to return to your website. Your WordPress web development team can help you with setting up these notifications, but essentially, one of the most popular strategies is to segment your list and use triggered mobile push notifications, tailored to individual visitors’ interests.

Example of using push notifications

As an example, if you’re a landscaper and a group of visitors spend time on your water feature page, you could send them a notification offering 25% off all water features this month. As you can appreciate, when you specifically target your visitor’s interests, you can massively increase your conversions, making this a very cost-effective marketing strategy.

Talking to your website consultant about adding push notifications to your list of marketing strategies is definitely worth consideration.

For help with WordPress web development and marketing your website, call GO Creative on 07 3333 2932 or get an instant quote online.

Why are search engine results different from one person to the next?

Brisbane website developers are well aware that two people can have different search results using the same keywords. This can also happen when you perform the same search on a PC and a smart phone and whilst it can be annoying to some people, if your website is on page 1 on a PC and on page 3 on a smartphone, suddenly it becomes much more than simply annoying.

As a web design company in Brisbane, it’s this incongruity between search results that often concerns our clients, as they don’t understand why their website can show up on different pages of the serps (search result pages), between different devices and searchers.

Understanding how search engines search for information

The problem is that Google wants to deliver the most relevant search results to users, and as fast as possible. So it has developed deep neural networks that are designed to think like a human brain (or at least to try and think like a human brain), and these are used all over the internet to improve the user experience; this approach is called ‘deep learning’.

So when you search for ‘Brisbane web development’, your results are based not only on your keywords, but also on your search history, as well as what other people are searching for online and which sites have content that closely resembles what the search engine ‘thinks’ you want.

Google can also change the order of the results it shows you, depending on the device you are using. So for example, if you are using a smartphone and one of the websites that matches your keyword query for ‘Brisbane web development’ isn’t mobile friendly, it will downgrade that result with a lower ranking and show you more mobile friendly results. On your PC, this won’t be a problem, so this is one reason why you might see different results on different devices.

Another reason that you might see different results in the serps is due to your location and whether or not you are logged into your Google accounts. Google preferentially presents search results based on your location and also uses data from your various Google accounts to refine the results it presents to you.

A trick that website developers often use in Brisbane to overcome these problems is to use a browser’s ‘private’ searching mode, use a different browser, clear the browsing history and cookies from your cache, log out of your Google account and turn off your location data.

If you need help from a web development company in Brisbane, why not get an instant quote online?

Is Search Engine Optimisation suitable for every business?

I had lunch with a colleague a few days ago, and we were talking about the services GO Creative offers to its clients. One of those is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), which is the process of improving the ranking of a website in search engines (e.g. Google) for particular search terms. The goal is to be more visible, which gets more traffic to the website, and ultimately to increase the number of enquiries or sales.

We ended up discussing whether SEO was the right choice for small businesses (and, in particular, micro businesses). There are lots of things to consider, but we basically both reached the same conclusion.

There’s no “one size fits all”

At the end of the day, there are various reasons why a business might engage an SEO provider to help increase enquiries and sales via their website. But many SEO providers will take on every client who comes their way, even if there are better options available.

At GO Creative, our team of Brisbane website developers and marketing specialists asks lots of questions up front so that we can understand your business. It’d be silly to offer a solution when we don’t even know what the problem is. For example, some businesses are looking for a quick spike in sales and are prepared to pay more for that — so we’d be more likely to recommend Google AdWords (pay per click advertising in Google) instead of SEO. If they weren’t so concerned about a quick return on investment, and were more focused on improving the visibility of their brand, social media may be the way to go.

But we need to know all of the variables before we make a recommendation, so we run through a questionnaire with all of our clients to make sure we have the full picture.

Why SEO may not be suitable

An SEO service may not be suitable for some businesses due to:

  • a very limited marketing budget
  • an extremely competitive industry where results may take longer than the business can afford
  • operating in an extreme niche, which means there aren’t enough Google searches for their products or service
  • already engaging heavily in content marketing, and SEO won’t offer enough additional benefits
  • a very low quality website which needs to be redeveloped before commencing any marketing activities.

Calculating your return on investment

The easiest way to work out your “break even” figure is to simple take your average lifetime customer profit, and work backwards from the SEO budget. So if you’re considering spending $1000 per month on an SEO service, and your customers are worth $500 in profits, you’d need to get two new customers per month from the SEO service to break even. It may take a couple of months for the results to emerge (that’s just how the SEO process works), so take that into account as well. Your selected Brisbane website developers or digital marketing agency may be able to help with other variables as well.

In summary

For many small businesses, SEO is extremely cost-effective and really helps them grow. For others, it’s just not the right option. Marketing agencies who push SEO on every business as though it’s some kind of guaranteed path to success is a negligent approach. This is how small businesses get burnt, thinking they’re putting their money into a service which is going to bring them a solid return on investment, but that’s not always the case.

There’s no guarantees when it comes to marketing; you have to weigh up all of the options and see what works best for you. Phone us today on (07) 3333 2932 for a free chat, or get an instant online quote to see how our team of Brisbane website developers and digital marketing experts can help your business grow.

Is your website developer to blame when your website is down?

As a successful website developer in Brisbane, most of our clients have us on speed dial when their website goes down. This is fine, because we can track down the problem and fix it pretty quickly, but are your web developers always to blame when your site goes down?

We get it… websites are complicated

It’s easy for us to see how a client could believe that we, as their WordPress web development team, are the one and only cause of all of their website problems. Being a highly specialised technical field, most people don’t really know how websites work, what other factors may be at play, or even whether they’re supposed to be receiving support (whether free or paid) from their developer. But usually when something does go wrong with a website, it’s not something the web developer did wrong.

What are the most common causes of a website crashing?

Websites can spontaneously have issues for any number of reasons. Unless your web developer is currently engaged to upgrade or maintain the website, there’s very little chance they’re to blame.

Common causes for websites being offline include:

  • Software in the website has automatically updated itself, or someone has updated it manually, causing compatibility issues.
  • The web hosting account (where the website is stored) has had a change in configuration.
  • Hackers defacing the website, or taking the website offline.
  • Corrupt databases — this often happens with very large websites or sites that are not actively being maintained to check for problems.
  • An increase in traffic which causes the website to struggle (usually temporarily).
  • There’s a software update in progress and the website is put into “maintenance mode” during that.

Any of these issues can cripple a website, until the cause it found and fixed, and this can happen with even the very best websites. If you don’t have a WordPress web development team managing your website, you’re running the risk of these problems occurring without even being aware of them.

What should you do when your site crashes?

The first thing you should do is to count to 10 and take a deep breath. Quite often just waiting a few minutes and refreshing your browser will fix the problem. Maybe someone was updating the software and you just happened to check the website at that precise moment. So give it a few minutes and if the issue is not resolved, check your host’s website for any status updates.

If these steps don’t resolve the issue then phone your website consultant (don’t email them) and they will most probably find the cause within a few minutes. Remember however, that website support is usually not free, so if you don’t have a WordPress web development team in place, you will need to pay for their help to fix your website.

To find out more about professional website management with GO Creative, call us on 07 3333 2932 or get an instant quote online.

The 3 biggest problems with web designers (and how to avoid them)

When you engage corporate web design services, you want everything to run smoothly with no slipups and complications. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen and problems can occur between business owners and website developers.

In Brisbane, we occasionally come across the odd problem, but none that can’t be preempted by clear communication and good preparation. So if you are looking for professional corporate web design services, here are 3 tips on making sure that the design process goes off without a hitch.

Know what type of design you want

It is fair to say that not all business owners know what type of design they want for their new website in Brisbane. Website developers however, have lots of experience and can give you plenty of examples from which you can chose your own design. In itself, this isn’t a problem, but if you can’t make your mind up and let your creative website designer go ahead and do what they think is right, this is where problems can occur. So never go ahead with a design if you are not 100% sure it is what you want, because once you sign off on the design – that’s what you get.

Know what type of features you want

You need to know the type of functionality you want in your website, otherwise when it completed, you may be left with a site that doesn’t suit all of your needs. Design is very a subjective subject and the website developers will interpret what you need as best they can, but if you aren’t explicit in stating your needs, you may end up with what your developer thinks you want, which might not be what you had in mind at all.

Have your content ready to be uploaded

Once the web development stage has been completed, you will need all of your copy, images and videos ready, because now is the time to populate your website with your content. In Brisbane, this is quite often the stage when everything comes to a complete halt, because business owners have no content ready for their website. If you don’t have the skills, the time or the enthusiasm to write your own content, ask your web development team to arrange for a copywriter to take over this task for you.

If you are looking for a professional web development team in Brisbane, why not get an instant quote online today?

How do you know if your web design company has everything covered?

When you’re looking for a web design company in Brisbane, it can be difficult to know which company is best for your business. This is usually because most people don’t know enough about web development to make an informed decision.

No one can know everything about all topics, which leaves you in a quandary about picking the right website developers. Brisbane has so many options in this area that it’s easy to feel stuck. One common strategy used by many businesses is to compare prices. A great tip here is to ask the developers themselves to help you compare their services and costs with their competitors, as this will help you to realise that you might be paying for a substandard service.

Know which questions to ask

There’s more involved in selecting a web design company than just money, even though this is of course a serious consideration. If you’re searching for a web development company in Brisbane for your business, here are five questions to ask before making your final decision:

  1. Can they build a responsive website? Since over 50% of all websites are now opened on mobile devices, it is vital that your new website is mobile friendly.
  2. Do they include optimisation features? Your website needs to be optimised for search engines (e.g. Google). So you not only need the ability to add meta titles and descriptions, but you also need fast loading web pages and a page structure that is recognised by search engines.
  3. Who writes the content? The content of your website needs to be optimised for both search engines and for people, so unless you can do this job yourself, ask whether the web design company has a copywriter.
  4. Who provides sources and images? If you engage the web developer’s copywriter, find out who’s responsible for sourcing and paying for any images needed.
  5. Can they explain your costs? Ask for a detailed list of all costs involved in creating your website. Also ask for their refund policy, payment schedule and timeframes for completion.

You can get an instant quote online for your new website or call us on 07 3333 2932 for a chat with our team of website developers in Brisbane.

 

How do websites actually work, anyway?

As a leading web design company in Australia, we are often asked how websites work and about the different types of website management systems that are available. In this post we will shed some light on these topics, giving you a greater appreciation of your website.

What is a website?

A website is one or more pages that are stored on a server (large computer) and connected to the internet by the server. For a website to exist, you need to register a domain name (address of the site), set up web hosting (a place to store your website and related settings), and then create the website, of course. You can purchase domain names and hosting through many web design companies in Australia and if you contact us at GO Creative, we can sort this out for you.

How do you create a website?

Today, most websites consist of hundreds or even thousands of files which contain code known as HTML, along with a database where the website settings and content are stored. HTML code provides the structure of the website, as well as the pages, posts, images, videos, text and other content. The design (colours, fonts and layout) is controlled by a different type of code called CSS, whilst JavaScript is yet another type of code, and is generally used to control menus, animations and other effects.

There are many considerations when creating a website, such as the design, navigational structure, functionality on phones/tablets, search engines (like Google), scalability, and more. This is why website development should be left to professionals in all instances, otherwise it’s simply a waste of time and money.

Software options

There are a variety of software packages available to create websites, some of which allow you to create your website online (though generally this isn’t the ideal way to do it). Others allow you to download the software, installing it on a website hosting account, configuring it, setting up the design, the content and so on.

The latter option gives you much more control over the design and allows an endless number of customisations, which are perfect for businesses. The most popular website software (also known as a CMS or Content Management System) for businesses and bloggers is WordPress, but you can also use Joomla, Drupal, Magneto, OpenCart and CMS Made Simple, among countless others.

How long does it take to create a website?

This varies quite a lot. Some “cut price” website developers use pre-designed templates and have lots of limitations which means they can slap out a website in a matter of days. They’re usually cheap, but like everything in life, you get what you pay for. Any reputable website developer would take at least a couple of weeks to create a website, because there are so many tasks involved in creating a high quality website. For example, we have a standardised development process which includes more than 200 individual tasks, some of which take five minutes, while others can take several hours or even days.

How visitors find your website

Once you’ve created your website, people can access it by typing in the address directly into their browser, clicking on a link to your website from another site or email, or through search engines. Search engines such as Google, Yahoo or Bing, scour the internet for new websites, which is why your website appears in the search engine results pages.

Can we help with your website?

If you’re in the market for a professional web design company in Australia with a proven record for creating successful websites, call GO Creative on 07 3333 2932 or or get a free instant online quote.

How long does it take to build a website?

Professional web design in Brisbane is a specialised job, requiring many years to accumulate the necessary experience and skills to create bespoke web designs for a range of different industries. As a company specialising in web design in Brisbane, GO Creative has built a formidable reputation for building quality, high converting websites, but even with all of our experience, this cannot be achieved overnight.

How long does a website usually take to develop?

All things being equal, it usually takes 1 to 2 weeks (depending on our workload) from the initial consultation stage to final completion of your website. This time frame however, is based on a simple website with a handful of pages and not too much in the way of specialised functionality.

The more specialised the design and functionality of your website, the longer it takes for the site to be completed. Obviously this varies between companies who specialise in web design in Brisbane, but in most cases this is a sensible time frame to keep in mind.

The one tripwire in the design process is actually the client’s content, because the longer it takes to receive this from a client, the longer the timeframe to completion. You might be surprised to learn that this is the biggest hold up to going live with your website, and sometimes we wait a few weeks for the client’s content… and in extreme cases we have waited years!

Speeding up the process

You want your website up and running as soon as possible, but it pays to have all your ducks in a row before we start the design process. This means you need the following information available either at the first consultation, or as soon as the project starts:

  • Branding, colours and logo (or ask us for graphic design help).
  • A summary of the purpose of your website.
  • An overview of your ideal customer.
  • Some idea of the functionality required (payment gateway, finance calculators, tables etc).
  • Photos, images, videos, and text already available or in progress.

If you want to finish the website as quickly as possible, you’ll need to make fairly snappy decisions as we work through the design process, so we can make any changes and have your site live ASAP.

For help with web design in Brisbane, contact us on 07 3333 2932 or get a free instant online quote.

What is SSL and can my Australian web hosting company help me?

If you need a a security certificate (“SSL”) for your website or app, most Australian web hosting companies should be able to provide this. However, let’s take a look at SSL first, so you can decide if you need a certificate for your website.

SSL stands for “Secure Sockets Layer” and is the current security technology used to connect your customer’s browser with your web server. They are essential for any website that collects personal data from customers and are vital for websites that use payment gateways (i.e. membership sites, ecommerce sites, and finance application forms).

Essentially, an SSL certificate changes the http:// at the beginning of your URL to https://. Your Australian web hosting company can sell you an SSL certificate and quite often they will activate it for you on your website as well.

Advantages of an SSL certificate for your business

If you don’t collect sensitive information via your website, then you don’t necessarily need an SSL certificate. Although there are rumours that Google will start to use these in their ranking algorithms next year, and some believe that this is already the case. In one way it makes sense to have an SSL certificate, even if you don’t collect sensitive information, because it lends you credibility and proves that your website is legitimate. It proves that you are who you say you are, because you have to go through a process to verify your identity before you can use an SSL certificate on your website.

Disadvantages of an SSL certificate for your business

When your web hosting company has activated your SSL certificate, if this is a brand new website with a new domain name, then you can go ahead and create your website as usual.

The problem is with existing sites, because you now have two websites – one that starts with http:// and one with https://. This is where you need an Australian web hosting company that also offers web development skills, because you have to remap your old website to the new website or else all of the backlinks and rankings belong to your old site. Your https:// website is a brand new website with no rankings in Google at all.

Want to get set up with SSL?

To register an SSL certificate at affordable prices, or for help redesigning and remapping your old website to the new URL, visit our instant quote page.

 

 

 

What information should be included on your website’s home page?

We have been a web development and website management company for nearly twenty years, so we know that using a free or cheap online website builder sounds like a great way to save money, but it’s not the best strategy to help your business grow.

If you don’t know what information to put on your website, the best design/layout, and the other “best practice” methods to convert visitors into customers, you’re actually going to miss out on a lot of potential customers.

As a web development and website management company, we know that there’s much more to a website than a home page, but today we’ll just focus on that page, because it usually has the most traffic and is therefore very important. If you don’t employ a professional copywriter, here’s what you should include on the home page of your website, so that your visitors stay, look around and hopefully convert into customers:

  • What do you do?
    You must be absolutely clear in letting your visitors know what services or products you can offer them. This is not the time to waffle on or overload the page with details about everything you do. Use simple language and guide visitors through to view more information.
  • Where do you do it?
    Many people will be looking for a local provider. If you only service certain suburbs of Brisbane, for example, make sure that your visitors know this up front. Visitors can become quite frustrated if they are not given all of the information they need to make a decision, and your service area is important.
  • Who will benefit?
    If your services are only suitable for home owners, 4WD enthusiasts or people with a disability, for example, let them know. For example, a plumber’s website might include the following sentence: “ABC Plumbing provides residential and commercial plumbing services on the Sunshine Coast”.
  • What are the benefits?
    Why should a visitor buy from your business? Why should they choose you over your competition? What can you offer them that is better than the competition? You must state these reasons very clearly on your home page.
  • How do they contact you?
    Don’t make your visitors click on a dozen pages to find your contact details. Have them available in the header, sidebar or footer as well, making it that much easier for them to contact your business. And, of course, make sure your phone number is “tappable” when your website is viewed on a phone.

In general, you have only a few seconds to grab your visitor’s attention, so you need to avoid fancy language, show them why you are special, tell them your qualifications and experience, give them examples and prove it to them with testimonials.

For the expert help of a web development and website management company in building your new website, call us at GO Creative on 07 3333 2932 or get a free instant online quote.

Quick website jargon busters

As a leading digital marketing agency in Brisbane, we know that the Internet can be a very confusing place, especially if you’re just getting started with marketing your business. That’s why it’s so important for business owners to understand website terminology. This knowledge can be relevant to the numerous decisions about marketing, planning, and design, that lead to the success of your business.

To help you navigate the jargon minefield, we’ve put together a few terms to help get you started.

  • HTML (HyperText Markup Language): HTML is the name of the code used to create websites. It’s used to provide basic information about the structure and function of pages and content, including text, images, hyperlinks, form fields and buttons. Websites can’t function without it.
  • Hyperlink (Link): Basically, anything you click on that takes you somewhere else is a hyperlink. A hyperlink can take you to another part of the page you’re already on, to another page on the same website, to a page on another website, or a popup window (and so on). A hyperlink can take the form of a text link, menu item, button, or image.
  • Keyword (Key phrase, search term): A keyword is a word or phrase that an internet user may use to find related web pages on an internet search engine. For example, if you visit Google.com and search for “website companies Brisbane”, this entire phrase is called a “keyword”. It doesn’t matter how many words there are; it’s always referred to as a keyword.
  • Search engine: This is a website used for finding information on the Internet. Google is by far the most popular search engine, but Yahoo and Bing are also popular.
  • Search engine optimisation (SEO): Search Engine Optimisation is the process of improving a website’s chances of being found by users when they use search engines, such as Google.com.
  • Domain or URL (website address): This is the address of your website, and the end of your email addresses. Every website has a unique domain/address (also sometimes referred to a URL). For example, our URL is https://go-creative.com.au.
  • Hosting: This is where your website and related settings are stored. Web hosting companies offer storage space and various other resources, usually for a fixed monthly or annual fee.

If you need a hand with anything or have anything to add to our list, phone GO Creative, the leading digital marketing agency in Brisbane on (07) 3333 2932 or request a free instant email quote.

Is my website content copyright protected?

Most of us don’t have the time or the enthusiasm to write our own copy or blog articles, so we engage a copywriter, marketing agency or a company that specialises in small business web design in Brisbane to do all of this for us. A question arises however, about who actually owns the copyright, if someone else has written it, even though it is on your website.

Implied copyright

Well, in Australia we have what is termed “implied copyright”, which means that you don’t have to include “Copyright” notices or © on any works of any type. Despite this legal omission, it is important to understand that unless specified otherwise in a contract or agreement, the owner of the website owns all content on the website as well.

It is only an unscrupulous web developer or copywriter who would attempt to retain ownership of the content after it has been paid for by the website owner. This is a key point for you to remember, that once you have paid for the work, as the website owner you should own the content. Make sure you check your contract or agreement before signing anything!

Can you copy and paste from the Internet?

Just about 99.9% of all content on the Internet is copyrighted. That includes text, videos, music, photographs, graphics and images — everything, really! As such, you cannot simply download (or copy and paste) anything and add it to your website as if it were your own.

It is fair to say that if someone is happy for you to copy their content and include a link back to the original work on their website, they will make it known on their website, but if not, you can always ask them. If you are unsure of the copyright issues for content that you want to utilise on your website, then you can find out more information on the Australian Copyright Council Website.

For expert advice on marketing for your business or for small business web design in Brisbane, phone us on (07) 3333 2932 or get an instant email quote now.

12 key tips for writing quality content for your website

As a website maintenance company, we know that writing copy for your website which actually converts visitors into customers is a skill that can be learned, but can also be quite time consuming and to be frank, it’s pretty boring if it is not your ‘thing’. If you are faced with a blank page on your website, here are 12 key tips for writing high quality copy:

  1. Summarise your products or services in one sentence with 12 words or less.
  2. Make sure that the description of your products or services stands out and can’t be missed.
  3. Explain who your products or services are suitable for and give examples.
  4. Keep your copy simple, short and uncomplicated.
  5. Explain three or four unique selling points and say them loud and proud.
  6. Ask for a second opinion on your copy, maybe a friend, colleague or current customer.
  7. Say whatever is relevant to make your customers want to buy your services or products.
  8. Include any awards, testimonials, reviews or news about your business.
  9. Show qualifications and industry credentials.
  10. Make sure your logos are shown prominently on every page.
  11. Include customer testimonials and reviews of work or projects you have completed for them.
  12. If any of your clients are also businesses, find out if you can include their logos on your website.

Don’t forget to include details wherever possible, for example if you are selling products for children, describe the suitable age groups for your products. If you’re selling timber furniture, describe the types of timber you use and where you source it from. Another example is if you are trying to write your opening hours, instead of “open some Sundays”, make it clear that you’re “open first Sunday of every month” or ask your customers to “call to arrange an appointment on Sunday”.

Lastly, review your website for misspellings, repeated words and incorrect grammar. At worst, they can leave potential customers wondering whether you pay attention to more important business details.

For help with putting content together for your website, general copywriting needs or to chat about how a website maintenance company can keep your website up to date and running perfectly, call us on 07 3333 2932 or get a free instant email quote.

Three reasons to keep your website updated

As a web development company, we know that when you run a business, you don’t always have the time to keep on top of everything and website maintenance is quite often at the bottom of your list. Whilst letting this slide for a short while might not be a problem, if left for too long it can be a catastrophe.

Let’s take a look at three of the worst problems you can face, if you don’t actively keep your website updated:

1. Your website can be hacked

There are two easy ways for hackers to gain access to your website: through your Content Management System (CMS) — such as WordPress or Joomla — and via third party components such as plugins. This is why you need to keep your CMS updated at all times, however if you don’t use a CMS but have a coded website then you will need a developer to keep your background code updated and resistant to hackers.

Updates for plugins and other third party components are regularly released, sometimes because of added features, but mainly to counter hacking. As you can see, if you don’t keep your website and your plugins updated, you can seriously jeopardise the security of your website. Your web development company should be able to update your CMS or coding to prevent hackers getting in through the back door of your site.

2. You can lose customers

If you collect customer’s information, such as their names, addresses and emails, then protecting your site against infiltrators is vital to keeping your customer’s data secure. There is no quicker way to lose customers than for their personal information to be hacked via your website. This is usually a result of poor maintenance and not installing a security plugin that adds another layer of security to your website.

As you can imagine, customers won’t be happy if their data is compromised and if you also accept payments on your website, then security is a top priority. Letting your onsite security slide is a guaranteed way to lose customers and revenue.

3. Your search engine rankings can drop

Google regularly quarantines thousands of websites each day because they have been hacked. While fixing a hacked website can be a nightmare in itself, trying to convince Google that your website has been fixed can be even worse. Many business owners have to simply start again with another domain name and website, because they couldn’t rank their existing website after it was compromised.

Losing your rankings in the search engines can completely devastate your business leads, and if it is simply because you didn’t maintain your website, then it will be a lesson well learned. Your local web development company should offer you a service that protects your website and prevents it from being hacked.

Here at GO Creative we provide a monthly service that completely updates your website, keeping it safe and secure from hackers. For more information on our monthly website maintenance services, call us on 07 3333 2932, or receive an instant online quote.

Tips for online marketing – targeting audience attitudes

It is fair to say that most businesses tend to use customer demographics to hone their online marketing campaigns. After all, this is a great way to attract your target audience and present them with advertising or promotions that appeal to their interests.

Recent research however, has found that the traditional demographic groups that we generally target are changing, meaning that business owners need to take another look at how they target their customers. It appears market groups could be better targeted by understanding customer attitudes, rather than straight demographics.

Benefits of targeting customer attitudes rather than demographics

With the continual growth of the internet, it is no longer the domain of the very young. Now everyone from young children to great-grandparents are online, searching for products or services, blogging, making new friends and generally using the internet in their daily lives.

This means that targeting your audience simply by their age is no longer as relevant as it used to be, say five years ago. Using age as a targeting demographic can actually alienate many potential customers, meaning that you lose out on traffic, sales and profits.

Targeting attitudes, rather than age groups or social strata helps you to identify groups of potential customers that were previously hidden to you. For example, research has shown that a large group of people over 65 years of age and those between 25 and 34 years of age are worried about online security.

If you run a business that targets people who are concerned about online security and you ignored consumer attitudes, you would have most probably focused on targeting the younger age group and missed a huge opportunity to market to the over 65s.

This type of traditional targeting using demographics is still used by many businesses today, but sooner or later there will be a big move to including consumer attitudes as foci for marketing campaigns, as well as traditional demographics.

It is fair to say that one size does not fit all and we don’t want to ignore our customer’s demographics. What we need to do is to look further afield, streamlining our marketing efforts and achieving a higher ROI than previously achievable, when we simply focused on standard demographic data.

If you want help with online marketing or social media marketing, call GO Creative on (07) 3333 2932 or request a free quote online.

The easy way to request reviews on Google Business

Updated November 2017

As we all know, customer testimonials and reviews are one of the best ways to increase online sales and profits. The problem is that it is not always easy for customers to leave a review online and because of this, most of them don’t even bother. What we want is an easy and quick way for customers to click on a link and leave a review of your business, products or services online.

You will be happy to know there is a very easy solution, which will take you just a matter of minutes. Simply follow the steps below and in the time it takes to read this blog post, you will have your very own Google Review Link that you can use on your website and other marketing materials.

Find your Google Business link

  1. Open a text editing program such as Notepad or Word.
  2. Copy and paste this into it: https://search.google.com/local/writereview?placeid=
  3. Go to the Google review link generator.
  4. Enter your business name and select it from the list. If you don’t have a Google Business page and need help setting one up, ask us for a quote.
  5. Copy the “PlaceID” shown over the map (the long series of characters). For example, our PlaceID is “ChIJN_7xQqBckWsRBC1VC0YlpE4“.

Save the link for future reference

  1. Paste the PlaceID into your text editor program, directly at the end of the end. For us, we end up with: https://search.google.com/local/writereview?placeid=ChIJN_7xQqBckWsRBC1VC0YlpE4
  2. If you want to use a shorter link format, you can go to https://bitly.com, paste in your full link, then copy the shortened link provided.
  3. Save the file on your computer, so that you always it when needed.

Use the link

  1. Send the link(s) to your best clients and ask them to leave a positive review by simply clicking the link!
  2. Don’t forget to include the link on your website as well.

For more information, read more on Google’s support pages.

If you need help with website design, online marketing or website support for your business, call GO Creative on 07 3333 2932 or complete our instant quote form.

Great plugins for optimising images on WordPress websites

As we all know, images are an integral part of our WordPress websites, allowing us to present our services and products easily to visitors and optimising customer engagement. The problem is that too many of us upload very large images, too large for what we really need on our websites, resulting in longer loading times and eating into our server resources.

The solution is to optimise and manage these images, so that our WordPress websites load faster, encouraging visitors to remain on our websites for longer and ultimately increasing traffic, sales and conversions.

To this end, here are 4 plugins that will help you to manage your images on your WordPress websites.

  • Imsanity: This is a free plugin that resizes large images that you have already uploaded and reduces each of them to a size that is more manageable by your customer’s browser. It will also resize any images you upload in the future, freeing up disk space otherwise taken up by overly large images.
  • Force Regenerate Thumbnails: When you resize thumbnail images to optimise them, instead of keeping all of the unused sizes you no longer need, this free plugin removes these old images, freeing up essential disk space. It is also great for resizing thumbnails when you change themes.
  • Enhanced Media Library: If you upload a lot of media files, then this free plugin will help you to categorise and manage them all in one go. It saves you a lot of time that you would otherwise spend rummaging through all of your uploaded media files, trying to find an image, amongst thousands, that you previously uploaded two years ago (for example).
  • Jetpack Photon: This is an add-on to Jetpack, which is also a free plugin for WordPress sites. Photon is an image accelerator and editing service. It makes sure that your images fit your theme by resizing them on the fly. This is a CDN just for images, making loading images much faster on your customer’s browsers.

Just adding these 4 plugins will make managing your WordPress multimedia files so much easier with faster loading times and less drain on your server’s resources.

To discuss your WordPress needs to contact a professional website designer, call us at GO Creative on (07) 3333 2932 or request a free quote online.

 

Do you want a hands-off approach to updating your website?

Many of our clients want to take a hands-off approach to their website. They want someone else to keep their website updated, whilst they focus on other aspects of their business.

In today’s fast paced world, it makes sense to leverage outside help, and instead of learning how to use WordPress, write product reviews, services pages and blogs, load videos and graphics, and add products to your website, many people work smarter by bringing in outside professionals who can do all of this for you.

What do our website management packages include?

We find that our website management packages are very popular, because business owners know that they can leverage our knowledge and keep their website running at its best, all of the time. We offer management packages to suit any budget and our monthly rates are very reasonable, leaving you free to go about your business and not worry about what is happening with your website.

While we will customise your website updating package to suit your specific needs, in general we offer the following services:

  • WordPress updates: You always need to have the latest version of WordPress installed, as these updates usually include new security measures to prevent hackers entering your website.
  • Plugin updates: We make sure that all of your plugins are kept updated as new versions are released. Conflicts between plugins is a common occurrence and can actually crash your website. We can mirror your website and update your plugins safely, fixing any problems before they go live.
  • Copywriting: Adding new content to your website, whether these are product updates, new products, reviews, cornerstone articles or blog posts, can be tiresome. We can have all of these updates organised for you, leaving you free to focus on other aspects of your business.
  • Graphics: As graphic designers, we can design any graphics you need for your website and upload them as well.
  • SEO: Optimising your website for the search engines is essential to your traffic, sales and conversions, so we can add SEO to your website management package as well.

Call us on 07 3333 2932 or complete our online quote form and we can arrange to have a chat about freeing up more of your time to focus on your business.

 

 

An easy way to create content for your WordPress website

We all know that writing content for our websites can be difficult and time consuming. Some of us don’t like writing and others just don’t have the time. It is important however, that your website has sufficient, well written content, so that your visitors can make an informative decision. Do they buy, ring you, drop into your store or move on?

It is your content that helps visitors make these final buying decisions. The problem is that most of us write content for our WordPress sites and then forget about it. This is a missed opportunity, because if you go back and audit your existing content, you can easily find lots of ways to add additional content to your website.

When you review your existing content keep the following in mind:

  • Is the information on this particular page still relevant?
  • Is it outdated and needs to be revised?
  • Have there been any new product launches recently?
  • Have there been any interesting industry promotions or news items lately?
  • Are your customers asking for information that doesn’t exist on your WordPress site?

You can use customer queries to highlight gaps in your site’s content or information that could explained more simply, adding new content to your site and increasing your engagement with your customers.

Tips on auditing your WordPress site’s content

When you examine each page or post make sure that the tone of the writing is the same, so it doesn’t look as if completely different people authored different sections. Also, make sure that your brand’s messages are consistent throughout your WordPress site and that all of the pages are well written, free from errors and informative.

Don’t forget to check the following on each page or post as well:

  • Meta descriptions, Title tags and keywords.
  • Headings and sub-headings.
  • Internal and external links.
  • Level of engagement.
  • Social media sharing buttons.
  • Multi-media, such as images, infographics, webinars and videos.

You can also gain additional information from Google Analytics, for example how long customers stay on your website, how many pages they visit and the most visited pages. All of this data will help you optimise your WordPress website for both the search engines and for your customers.

For professional WordPress website design or help with ranking your website in Google, call GO Creative on (07) 3333 2932 or request a free quote online.

Four tips on picking the best domain name for your small business

You might have already guessed that the domain name of your website is vitally important to your success as a business. Domain names can affect your rankings in the search engine results pages and can also have a negative or positive impact on social media engagement.

If you are in the market for a new domain name, here are 4 tips that will you identify the best one for your business.

  1. Avoid spammy keywords: People today are very sensitive to domain names and when they see a domain name that starts with ‘best’, ‘cheap’ or ‘cheapest’ it turns them off. These are words that searchers regularly use in their online searches, so it can appear as if you are trying to trick them into coming to your site, resulting in a loss of trust.
  2. Be careful with industry type keywords: A few years ago, using this type of domain name was good for SEO, because these are keywords used by searchers, but times have changed. The best domain names do not rely exclusively on industry related words, for example, ‘carpenter’, ‘printers’ or ‘hairdresser’.
  3. Use specific keywords: Instead of ‘bestcarpenter.com.au’ go for ‘kitchencarpenter.com.au’ or ‘newbuildcarpenter.com.au’. These are descriptive keywords used by searchers, which are not spammy and can actually increase traffic to your website.
  4. Use your brand name: The easiest and most effective domain names are ones that include the name of your brand. Your brand’s name (hopefully) does not include spammy keywords, which might turn people away. Also a branded domain name is perfect for building recognition of your brand within the community and for creating a consistent brand across all marketing and social media platforms.

A last tip which has only recently been available to us is to take advantage of industry keywords in your domain’s extension. So instead of XYZ.com or XYZ.com.au, you could have XYZ.online, XYZ.photography, XYZ.tech, XYZ.design or XYZ.pizza for example. This is a great way to effectively include both brand names and industry keywords into one domain name.

For professional WordPress website design, call GO Creative on (07) 3333 2932 or request a free quote online.

How professional graphic design benefits your business

Regardless of the size of your business, you have a brand which you need to promote, so all of your graphics need to be high quality. This includes your logo, stationery, document templates, brochures, style guides, signage, print media, PDFs, and email signatures. Everything you do in your business reflects on your brand, so it’s important to be professional at all times.

Your logo is the starting point for laying the foundation of your company’s branding across all of these different mediums. High quality and professional graphics are the backbone of your branding, and can be the difference between a successful business and one that struggles to pay the bills.

Using good quality stock images is far better than using photos taken on a phone or older camera – the difference will surprise you. That said, there’s nothing better than organising a professional photo shoot to ensure you capture the true essence of your business, including showcasing your office and helping customers “meet the team” through imagery.

If your brand could do with an update, here are three solid reasons why you need a professional graphic designer for both your website and your printed materials:

  1. First impressions are everything: You only have a few seconds to make a good first impression, so you need professional graphics to catch your customers’ attention and show them that you mean business.
  2. Build trust and credibility: A poorly designed website or piece of marketing collateral does nothing to build trust and credibility with your customers, so if the graphics are not up to scratch, you have a recipe for disaster.
  3. Increased returns: Professionally designed graphics can help your visitors understand and get to know your business very quickly. This is important, because you only have a few seconds to hold a visitor’s attention before they go elsewhere to find a better website. When customers feel comfortable with your website, they stay longer and are more likely to convert into paying customers.

At GO Creative, we have qualified graphic designers with decades of combined experience, so we fully understand the important role that professional graphics play in your business’s success.

Good graphic design always pays for itself in the end, while going the other way can cause you endless pain. So if you want help with graphic design for your business, call us on 07 3333 2932 or complete our online enquiry form and we can start to build your brand the right way.

The massive potential in using videos to increase traffic and conversions

Online marketers fully realise the potential of online video marketing to their bottom line and frequently use YouTube to promote their videos. This is a massively underrated marketing strategy that is too often ignored by business owners, but can seriously increase your lead generation, as well as online and offline sales.

So let’s take a look at 4 reasons why establishing a video marketing strategy is good for business:

  1. Videos are great for SEO: Did you know that Google owns YouTube? Because of this link between these two massive search engines, you can see why Google really likes to rank YouTube videos in the search engines results pages.
  2. Videos increase time spent on your website: Google uses the average time visitors spend on your web pages as one of its ranking factors.  Embedding videos on your website therefore has the potential to increase your rankings – if they increase viewer engagement of course.
  3. Videos are easily shared: People love sharing interesting, informative, engaging or funny content across their social media networks. Videos fit the bill nicely and research has shown that nearly 70% of people who watch a video will share it with their friends and family.
  4. You don’t have to stick with YouTube: Of course, since YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world with over 1 billion visitors per month, you will want to promote your videos through YouTube. There are however, other avenues for you to promote and distribute your marketing videos, for example Vimeo, Instagram, Vine, Facebook and Twitter.

Did you know that more than 90% of mobile video viewers share videos they have watched with their social media networks? Some marketers are saying that video is the future of online marketing, so if you want to be at the front of the queue and ride the wave to increased sales and profits, you need to investigate online video marketing for your business.

For more information on online marketing, call us for a chat at GO Creative on (07) 3333 2932 or request a free quote online.

How much time and money can a website save you?

I’ve lost count of the number of businesses who have told me that they don’t need a website, or already have enough work. But a website isn’t only about increasing sales — it can also save you lots of time and money.

Let’s say your website is a fairly simple, brochure-style site which says a little about what you do and how to get in touch. Are customers frequently asking you for your business details or contact information? Are they asking you exactly what you do? Well, you can point them towards the appropriate pages of your website.

What about if your business has fixed appointment times. Instead of spending time on the phone and going back and forth with customers to book an appointment, would it save you time if they could simply book online?

And what about collecting customer information for your database or mailing list? If you could get the customer to type out all of their information for you, I bet that’d save you a lot of time as well.

It all adds up

Let’s look at some rough numbers. Say you save just 15 minutes per day by being able to refer customers to your website instead of going through it on the phone or face to face. And now let’s say you have five staff doing the same thing. That’s 15 minutes X 5 staff X 5 days per week x 45 weeks a year. That’s a whopping 280 hours a year that could be spent on improving your business!

Not only is that saving a huge amount of time, but if your staff are averaging $35 per hour, you’ve also saved yourself nearly $10,000! And if they’re averaging $100 per hour, that’s $28,000!

If you’re happy to toss away that time and money, good luck to you. Otherwise, an investment in a website, even in its most basic form, can really present a lot of major benefits to your business.

If you have a website, is it up to date, mobile-friendly, and easy to manage? And if you don’t have a website, what are you waiting for?

We’d be more than happy to take a look at your website or marketing strategy and recommend a course of action for your business. You’d be surprised just how easily the website pays for itself and increases the profitability of your business. Phone us on (07) 3333 2932 or request a free quote for more information.

Grant O’Neill
Director, GO Creative

The 4 advantages of customised website features for business owners

WordPress is the undisputed king of content management systems, and it comes with a lot of great features out of the box. But what about when you want something tailored to your own needs, so that it looks and functions exactly as you want it to?

Many business owners start out with a theme based website, which is perfectly fine and we provide this for the vast majority of our projects as it reduces costs for our clients.

But in many projects, at some point the features provided by WordPress or the theme simply don’t cut it anymore, and this is where custom development is required. If you don’t have the right developer working on your site, they may not even know how to write code (many so-called “developers” are really just slapping together sites in a couple of hours without knowing much more than the layperson).

Here are the main reasons business owners look for custom features with their sites:

  1. They don’t want a cookie cutter website: When you are in business, you want a website that reflects your brand, and doesn’t look exactly like thousands of other websites in existence. This can be quite difficult to achieve when you’re searching for the right theme to fit your brand. You need to alter the theme, and if you don’t understand coding you end up stuck with a website that you are not completely happy with for your business. There’s nothing wrong with using a theme (in fact, it has many benefits) but it’s important that it’s customised to fit your brand and vision.
  2. Some themes are not easy to customise: With some of the WordPress themes available, you can’t even change the colour of the fonts, and your other design options are quite limited as well. These themes are not always easy to customise and if you keep paying a developer to make custom changes, you might as well have a custom designed website (or paid for a better theme) in the first place.
  3. They’re missing a key feature: While lots of themes have a great set of features, there’s no “one size fits all”. At certain times, the client will want to be able to do something that simply isn’t supported, and here’s where your developer can step in to write the custom code.
  4. Performance is lacking: While themes are often packed with features, where they can be let down is speed and reliability. Not only that, but when you’re trying to add new features or install extra plugins, this can cause a significant lag on website loading times. Often it’s better to write one custom plugin that provides a range of features rather than install half a dozen “off the shelf” plugins and try to get them to work together.

For more information on custom website development, call us for a chat on (07) 3333 2932 or request a free quote online.

4 steps to naming your new business

If you are starting a new business or completely rebranding your existing business, one of the first actions you need to take is to think of a business name. There is no right or wrong choice here, with some people preferring descriptive names and others more abstract names.

For example, “Cadbury’s Chocolate” is clearly descriptive, while “Apple” has no meaning, and if you didn’t recognise this as a brand name you would have no idea about Apple or their products.

So which type of name do you chose for your brand or business? Well, here are 4 steps that should help you make the best decision for your company.

  1. Ask the experts: Once you have selected your brand name, there is no easy way to go backwards. So if you find that your brand name isn’t working for you, it can be a costly and lengthy process to change it. This means that having experts on board, who can help you pick the best name for your business, is worth every dollar.
  2. What do you want your name to represent? This is where you need to think about what your company represents, your mission statement, your products or services and your target audience.
  3. Be careful to not limit your business: If you use a location in your business name then you close yourself off to expanding to other locations, if you use a product type then you can’t expand your range. So “Stoves Atlanta” causes problems for expanding your range to other appliances and to other cities.
  4. Think about creating a new word: Sometimes abstract brand names are difficult for people to relate to; they simply don’t understand your business offerings from the name. So another tack is to spell a commonly used word differently or add two words together. Examples include Pinterest, Compaq, Netflix, FedEx and Walkman.

The experts you engage will help you through this process and test a few of your favourite creations, before you make the final decision on your new company name.

If you want more information on internet marketing or website design, call us for a chat on (07) 3333 2932 or request a free quote online.

5 reasons why your business needs a website

If your business is running on just a physical store, you could be leaving a lot of money on the table by not having a website. In this day and age, the first place consumers look for a product or service is online with a search in Google. So if your business website doesn’t show in Google, then you have just lost another customer.

If you are still not convinced that your business needs a website, here are 5 more reasons that should make you put the pedal to the metal:

  1. Your business is selling 24/7: With a website, you are selling or promoting your products or services every hour of every day, every day of the week and 365 days a year. This increased availability can make a huge difference to your bottom line and dramatically increase your monthly profits.
  2. Increase your customer base: With a website you can quite easily sell your products or services all over the world. Of course this depends on your line of business, but you can massively expand your reach to an entirely different community with a website, something that might be impossible or very costly with a regular marketing campaign.
  3. Increase sales and lower costs: If you want to target customers in another suburb or part of the country, instead of spending an excruciatingly large amount of money building or leasing another physical store, with a website you are there already! All you need to do is setup an online marketing campaign targeting that new area and you can increase your sales quite easily. This is also a great benefit to small stores with a limited budget or even new business startups, who can sell their products or services online, before they even think of opening a physical store.
  4. Leverage social media marketing: No-one can deny the popularity of social media, so if you are not leveraging these platforms for your business, you are seriously leaving money on the table. A website gives a clear shot at increasing your customer base using the power of social media, so it only makes sense to get onboard and talk to your web developer ASAP.
  5. People like to shop online: More and more we see the percentage of consumers who shop online increasing. So without a website, you are losing an increasing number of potential customers and even some of your existing customers, because they find that shopping online is simply more convenient.

If you are still not convinced that your business needs a website, call us for a chat at GO Creative on (07) 3333 2932 or request a free quote online.

Does your business really need a blog?

With all the advantages of social media networking, some of our clients have questioned whether they still need a blog. After all, a blog takes time and effort to maintain, and isn’t that better spent building their social media networks?

So I thought I would take this opportunity to list 7 benefits of maintaining an active business blog, while also growing your social media channels.

  1. Branding awareness: A blog helps you to showcase your brand in your own way, without the design and layout restrictions inherent in other social media platforms.
  2. Customer engagement: You can share product updates, answer customer queries and share stories about your brand on your blog. This interaction is an easy way to increase cunsumer awareness and engagement with your brand.
  3. Blogs are great for time-poor people: It doesn’t take long to write one or two blog posts each week and respond to customer comments. Your blog is a great platform from which to promote your business and an hour or two each week is not that time consuming.
  4. Free advertising: If you write and maintain your own business blog then you have free advertising for your brand. As you build your email list, you will have more and more targeted customers who will read your blog and share your content with their friends.
  5. Increased customer insight: If you use your web analytics, it’s easy to track visitors and identify which posts visitors find most engaging, their gender, age and their geographic location.
  6. Increased exposure on social media: Blog posts, images and infographics are all very sharable across social networks, leading to increased exposure on multiple social media platforms.
  7. Improve rankings on the serps: As you successfully engage your visitors and they share your content across their social media networks, you will find that your rankings, traffic and conversions all increase.

As you can see, an active blog that contains interesting and educational information, provides your business with the opportunity to fully engage with your customers, resulting in happy customers and higher rankings.

For more information about marketing your business or website design in Brisbane, call GO Creative on (07) 3333 2932 or request a free quote online.

Are PPC campaigns right for your business?

We all realise that Google is the behemoth of the internet and if your business doesn’t rank well, then you don’t have much hope of increasing organic traffic to your website. PPC (pay-per-click) however, is an entirely different beast that many of our clients have found to be very successful in targeting new customers for their business.

So just what is PPC and is it an option for your business?

PPC advertising means that you pay a fee each time a visitor clicks on your ad. There are three different ways you can use PPC through Google’s services, and if you use the right keywords, you can seriously increase your traffic, conversions and sales with this strategy.

PPC ads on Google’s search engine results pages (serps)

You see these ads either at the top or down the right hand side of the serps. This is a text ad which Google presents to searchers, based on a match between the search criteria of the user and the keywords in your PPC ad. If you have a limited budget, then PPC ads in the serps are a great way to drive traffic and conversions to your website.

PPC ads on Google’s display network

Google has a display network consisting of hundreds of thousands of websites, videos and apps where PPC ads are presented to users. This means that your ads are placed on sites that are relevant to your products or services and where viewers are the most likely to be interested in your business.

Display ads are often cheaper than ads in the serps, plus you can use video, image or rich text ads, and this type of placement lends itself well to increasing brand awareness, while also helping to increase conversions.

PPC ads on mobile devices

This option presents your PPC ads in both the serps and in the display networks, but only for users on their mobile devices. These are great for businesses with a physical store or with information that can be downloaded on the go.

So if you have already optimised your website for organic searches, it might be worthwhile investigating PPC ads as an adjunct to your next marketing campaign.

For more information on search engine marketing, PPC or website design in Brisbane, call GO Creative on (07) 3333 2932 or request a free quote online.

Startups and the changing face of technology

Many of our clients are startups and need a website to promote their products or services online. Apart from the usual problems facing any new venture, our new clients also have to deal with the rapidly changing face of technology as well.

Smart technology

Most small businesses are not in a position to take advantage of smart technology just yet. A good example is the technological leap from smart phones and tablets to smart wristwatches, allowing employees to receive emails on their watch.

If you want to be in the frontline of technology then it might be worth your while keeping up with smart technology. Alternately, you might just decide to save your money and wait a little longer to decide whether the latest gizmo is here to stay or is just another fly by night.

Cloud computing, big data and security

Without a doubt, the startup costs of a business heavily invested in cloud computing will be much lower than for traditional startups. However, with so many cloud based service providers jumping on the band wagon, the challenge is not only with understanding the technology and keeping up to date, but in selecting the best provider, as well as customising your cloud apps and services on an ongoing basis.

Even more of a problem is the issue of security and the protection of company data and resources from hackers. So with cloud technology, educating employees about online security will be essential to protecting the integrity of both company and customer information.

Then there is the issue of big data, which can be handled quite easily with the massive resources of the cloud. Accessing personnel who can handle this type of data however, may become a challenge all of its own.

Customised user experiences

Lastly, as technology continues to advance, customers’ expectations also increase and businesses face the challenge of creating consistent user experiences, across multiple platforms and channels. This means businesses need to be focused on social media networking and on creating unique interactions for customers, who want to access information at the touch of a button.

For more information on website promotion, online marketing or website design in Brisbane, call GO Creative on (07) 3333 2932 or request a free quote online.

Mythbuster Monday: We don’t need a mobile website

As far as myths go, this one is currently the most deadly to your bottom line. This is because more than 50% of all online traffic now originates from mobile devices. If you add in the fact that this percentage is continually growing, as more and more consumers use their mobile devices to search online, then it is obvious that mobile consumers are crucial for your business.

A mobile friendly website is just common sense

Another little gem is that ecommerce sites are really starting to lose out on conversions, because the checkout process is too far too unfriendly and cumbersome on mobile phones. The situation isn’t too bad when you look at the figures for tablets (because the screens are larger), but when you look at the conversion rates for mobile phones, they are half of those for tablets.

This clearly suggests that ecommerce sites that are not optimised for mobile phones will lose out on 50% of their conversions. However, just because you don’t have an ecommerce site does not mean that you don’t need to optimise it for mobile users.

Currently, around 20% of all online sales take place using a mobile device and this will undoubtedly continue to increase. So if your website is turning mobile users away – you stand to lose a large chunk of change, both now and in the future.

Don’t forget that Google is now giving preferential treatment to mobile friendly websites in the search engine results pages – another nail in the coffin for mobile-unfriendly websites.

What are your options?

To be honest, you don’t have any options, except to decide whether you want a dedicated mobile website or a responsive design. That’s it – the facts are out and the chips are down. If you want to retain your rankings in the search engines and you want to, at the least, retain your conversions, then you need a mobile optimised website.

If your competitors already have a mobile optimised website, they are already ahead of the game and if they don’t have one, then you need to stay ahead of the pack yourself.

For more information on making your website mobile friendly or with website design in Brisbane, call us at GO Creative on (07) 3333 2932 or request a free quote online.

Back to Basics: What is web hosting?

If you have not owned a website before, web hosting can be one of those areas which is very difficult to understand. Let’s try to simplify that a little right now.

The simplest analogy relating to domain names, hosting and websites is to think of your house.

The domain name is the street address, and the house is the website. You need the address to get to the house… but to build your house in the first place, you need some land, and that’s where hosting comes into it.

In a nutshell, hosting is where your website’s files and databases are stored, as well as some technical settings relating to what happens when your domain name is used.

For example, if you have a website at www.mywebsite.com, then there are settings (called DNS records) which ensure that when the website address is typed, the website appears. This happens because the website’s files are stored in the hosting account.

There are similar DNS records in place for email services, so that when someone sends an email to your email address (e.g. [email protected]), the email is routed to wherever it needs to go.

There are many other uses for DNS records, but these are the main two.

How does hosting relate to domain names?

If you have a domain name, it must “point” to your hosting account (remember the street address analogy). Typing in your domain name, or an email address for your domain, sends the user on to your hosting package, and the DNS records handle everything from there.

How is hosting set up?

A hosting server is managed by a web hosting company (such as ourselves), and you can change servers within the same hosting company or you can change from one hosting company to another. However, not all servers or hosting companies are equal. Some servers are faster than others and better for certain types of websites, and the inclusions such as storage space or advanced features varies.

What types of hosting are available?

In general, there are three types of web hosting packages available to your business:

  • Shared web hosting: These servers have limited resources, which are shared amongst many websites. This can slow your website’s loading times, cause problems with security and result in penalties if you use too many of their resources (peaks in traffic can do this).
  • Dedicated hosting: These are great for large businesses or those with lots of traffic, as your website is hosted on its own server. You can add as many websites as you want to your own server as well – but it costs more than shared hosting and is often prohibitively expensive for small businesses.
  • Cloud VPS hosting: A new technology that gives you more flexibility and resources. You only pay for the space and resources you use, without many of the shortcomings of shared hosting.

For more information on your web hosting options or you want help with website design in Brisbane, call us at GO Creative on (07) 3333 2932 or request a free quote online.

Mythbuster Monday: We only need to register one domain name

Without a doubt, this is one myth that most of our clients believe is just plain common sense – that you only need to register one domain name for your business website.

It’s understandable why many business owners think this is true, because after all, when you register a business name you only register one name. The problem is that with domain names it is a whole different ball game and you do need to register more than one domain name.

Why do you need to register more than one domain name for your business?

The single, most important problem with having just one domain name is competition.

Just imagine that your domain name is mywidgets.com.au and you build your brand into a healthy business. Suddenly you notice that traffic and sales are dropping off, so you increase your promotions and run some specials to bring in more customers. Over time however, you realise that this isn’t working and your traffic and sales are continuing to fall.

Then you realise that another website with the domain name mywidgets.com has appeared and after some research, you realise that they have ‘stolen’ your traffic. This is a serious problem that happens to many businesses, not just the large multi-corporations, but small businesses as well. We’ve seen it first hand, and there’s not much you can do about it unless you have a trademark, and even then it doesn’t guarantee anything.

This is why it is vital to register more than one domain name for your business, so you can put a stop to this sort of underhanded competition, before the rot sets in.

So if your business name is mywidget.com.au, then it serves your business well to also buy the .com, .net and .net.au versions of your domain name as well. Some businesses purchase another 10 or 20 versions of their domain name, so that there is no possibility that customers will confuse their domain name with a copycat.

Purchasing multiple domain names makes good sense, because it helps to protect your brand at an extremely minimal cost. An average annual expense a couple of hundred dollars, to ensure that your competitors can’t underhandedly jeopardise your market share, is definitely a sound financial investment.

For more information on domain names or help with website design in Brisbane, call us at GO Creative on (07) 3333 2932 or request a free quote online.

How we secure and backup our client’s websites

The number one concern of our clients is keeping their websites safely secure and backed up. That’s why we have a long list of actions that we take to ensure that every website we develop or host for our clients, is rock solid and protected against hackers.

Of course, there is always one hacker who can get around any security protocol and that’s why we provide a first rate backup service. When your site is backed up properly, we can have your site up and running again in no time.

The problem is that so many business owners don’t backup their websites and have no recourse when their site is hacked. Many will lose their entire site and have to start over again from scratch, losing money and clients in the process.

So how do we secure your website?

  1. Daily and weekly server backups: With regular backups at the server level your website can be up and running again very quickly.
  2. Security plugins installed in websites: These stop hackers at the front gate of your website and prevent hackers gaining forced entry into your website.
  3. Server antivirus, antispam and other security features: Stopping these problems at the server level gives your site added protection from both spammers and viruses and prevents damage to the integrity of your website.
  4. Unique and secure passwords on hosting accounts: We create passwords that are very difficult to hack even with the malicious software that is so prevalent today.
  5. Real-time monitoring that notify us when errors occur: If anything potentially damaging does happen on your site, we are aware the instant it occurs and can immediately prevent or minimise potential problems.
  6. Regular software and security updates: We provide a regular maintenance service and on-the-spot fixes of newly discovered potential security breaches.
  7. Automatic website software upgrades: Not all websites require this service, as many do not use software applications on their website.
  8. Installation of SSL security certificates: These are required by online stores and any site that processes sensitive information, to ensure that customer’s details are kept secure.
  9. Office 365 password updates: If you use this software, we make sure that email passwords are periodically changed and updated for additional security.
  10. Training for clients: We provide user training and advice on security protocols and best practices.
  11. Capital IT Solutions: We work with our IT partner, Capital IT Solutions to install on-site hardware and software security solutions to keep your website safe and secure.

For more information on secure website design in Brisbane, as well as our hosting and backup services, call GO Creative on (07) 3333 2932 or request a free quote online.

How to reduce risk in online sales

When clients ask us how they can increase their online sales, we tell them the number one priority is to make customers feel safe when entering their details online. Not feeling that their contact details or banking information is kept secure by a website and can be stolen by hackers, is the main reason many people do not shop online.

So here are a few strategies that will reassure your customers and help them feel more confident about ordering online.

Display your contact details prominently on your website

Customers feel safe when they can see your contacts details on your web pages. So to reassure your customers that you are a real business, at the very least, include your business address and phone number in the sidebar or footer.

Invest in SSL and SET protocols

It is vital that you invest in an SSL certificate and display this prominently on your web pages. This certificate encrypts data and protects the integrity of data in emails, web browsers, internet faxes and instant messaging. SET on the other hand, is vital if you accept online payments, because it secures online financial transactions, not just private information.

Displaying your SSL and SET logos and letting customers know that their banking details and private information is safe and secure will reduce their apprehension about shopping on your website.

Make it easy at checkout

Display all of the different payment methods you accept (including PayPal is a sensible move) and have a streamlined and user-friendly checkout process. This means that users can check their purchases before finalising the sale and that there are no hidden costs that pop up when they checkout. Also, free shipping is a big winner if you want to increase your online sales.

With these simple changes, you will reduce the customer’s perceived risk in online shopping and increase the return on your investment.

For information on SSL certificates for your website request a free quote online.

Let’s get realistic about social media

Just last week, one of our clients asked me what the return on investment (ROI) on social media marketing was. My answer was not straightforward but in the end, I think I got my point across.

The problem is that with social media there is no clear-cut ROI on your investment. For example, if you have 500,000 Facebook Likes, what does that mean? How does that convert into dollars and cents?

I thought it timely to take a look at what you can expect from your social media campaigns over a 12 month period and hopefully help you gain some insight into how social media can work for your business.

3 months

After three months of actively blogging, tweeting and posting you can expect an increased brand awareness with people starting to Like your posts or tweets. Also, customer queries will be asked over your social media channels and by responding promptly, you begin to build a positive reputation for your brand.

6 months

At six months, you should notice a further increase in your Likes and more comments and sharing of your content. You might also start coming to the attention of online marketers or bloggers at this time.

12 months

This is when you should see a good result in brand awareness. You may even have found a completely new market for your services or products, and brand advocates appear and start to share their stories as well as promote your brand. With 12 months of feedback and customer contact under your belt, you are now able to make more refined and targeted marketing decisions, to further increase the market share of your business.

3 months 6 months 12 months
Brand awareness Expect that brand awareness will slowly increase and include current customers and people who already know you or your brand (family, friends, colleagues etc.) You have attracted a new audience who hadn’t previously heard about your brand
Customer engagement People will start Liking your posts Likes, comments and shares will increase Supporters emerge and help spread testimonials
Customer service Customer service issues will be shared, so respond quickly and deal with problems promptly A better understanding of customer concerns helps focus your marketing
Reputation Listen to the market and share positive brand stories with your audience Use brand feedback to hone your marketing campaigns
PR potential Current audience will offer the most PR potential Online media outlets and marketers start showing interest Mainstream media and authority sites become interested

The take home message is that social media marketing works, but whilst its ROI is not easily measured, you will see a real benefit in around 12 months.

For more information on social media, search engine marketing or website design in Brisbane, call GO Creative on (07) 3333 2932 or request a free quote online.