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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.

Why do all the best web design firms offer a professional copywriter?

Most business owners think that their most difficult problem is going to be finding the best web design firm for their new website. That’s definitely up there, but in reality their biggest problem is usually putting together the content for their new website.

Why is website content such an issue?

Most people are not wordsmiths, and they don’t really know how to write content that is specifically targeted to their customers. It’s fair to say that an Australian web design company that doesn’t recognise this problem will keep asking you for your website’s content, so they can complete your project on time — without being able to help you actually create that content.

This means that, unless you have your own copywriter, it’s best to find a website design and SEO company in Australia who understands this issue and automatically offers you the services of their copywriter. Handing this job over to a website consultant who specialises in writing online content dramatically reduces your stress levels and helps to push the project swiftly towards completion.

How professional copywriting helps you

If you’re still not convinced that a professional copywriter is the best move for your new website, here are 7 things to consider:

  1. Professionally written copy can help you to beat the competition by having content that engages with your customers, answers all of their questions and makes their buying decision very easy.
  2. Your content is written specifically to sell your products and services.
  3. Google likes to rank web pages that have lots of high quality content, and a copywriter will ensure that all of your pages are professionally written to a high standard.
  4. Each page on your website will be optimised for search engines with keywords, title tags and meta descriptions to help your site rank higher.
  5. Your website will be launched earlier, instead of being held up waiting for you to write the content (in amongst running your business).
  6. You save a lot of time and energy, and reduce your stress levels when you leave the copywriting to a professional.
  7. Ultimately, good copy can be the difference between customers buying your products or services, or leaving and going to the competition.

Generally, it’s only the best web design firms that will be able to offer you the services of a copywriter. So use this as one of your benchmarks when selecting an Australian web design company for your new business website.

GO Creative is one of the leading website design and SEO companies in Australia. If you want a high quality website for your business with professional copywriting, call us on 07 3333 2932 or get an instant quote online.

How your internet marketing company can help you build loyalty on Facebook

Most businesses understand the power of social media, and created social media pages to promote their brand and engage with their customers. As a long established internet marketing company, we’ve worked on hundreds of Facebook pages and have seen first-hand the benefits. The issue however, is in the expectations held by business owners.

Some business owners mistakenly believe that creating a Facebook page will instantly increase the traffic to their websites, bringing them new customers, sales and profits in a blink of an eye. If this is the result you want, then you would be better off with Google AdWords, display ads or even Facebook ads, rather than a Facebook page.

A corporate Facebook page is a long term commitment

It’s important to understand that it’s very unlikely that you’ll see an immediate uptick in sales with a Facebook page. This is a long term investment that generally takes at least 1 to 2 years to see solid results emerge. Even then, measuring the exact return on investment is difficult to do.

What you want is for people to ‘like’ your Facebook page and posts, and to eventually convert into paying customers. At our digital marketing agency in Brisbane, we specialise in setting up this type of sales funnel, but result take time. The final conversion into a customer usually depends on people seeing your brand time and time again, building up trust in your company over that 1 to 2 year period we mentioned.

So the best strategy is to post information on your Facebook page that adds value to your ‘followers’. When you offer free information that is not only useful, but at times both humorous and engaging, people respond by interacting with your page and by sharing your posts.

This spreads your message across their social networks and more people start to see posts from your Facebook page. Over time, the authority of your brand is increased and people start to check out your website and convert into paying customers.

Designing a Facebook page takes a certain amount of skill, particularly when it is a corporate Facebook page, which is where a digital marketing agency can be invaluable. This is because you need to make sure that your Facebook presence reflects your brand and is not just professional, but is also updated regularly.

If your business is ready to start generating new business from its Facebook page, talk to an internet marketing company that can give you a professional design and ongoing support. Call GO Creative on 07 3333 2932 or get an instant quote online.

Seven budget conscious tips for small business marketing

Are you thinking of hiring an internet marketing company, but are worried about your budget? At GO Creative, we know that the state of the Australian economy is making everyone tighten their belts, so it only makes sense to reduce your outgoings. If you are a family, cutting costs can be your best option, however businesses need to do just the opposite, because you need to spend money to make money!

The point to consider here is that all businesses are feeling the pinch, which gives you a big opportunity to move ahead of the competition by doing the opposite of everyone else and investing in online marketing. Even if you have a limited budget, you can still hire an internet marketing company, and get ahead of the competition by including these budget conscious tips in your marketing plan at the same time.

Budget conscious marketing tips for small businesses and bloggers

  1. Facebook: Did you know that you can boost your Facebook posts for as little as $5? You can even choose who sees your post by targeting specific demographics.
  2. Write a blog: This costs you no money at all and increases visitor engagement, builds loyalty and can increase your sales and profits.
  3. Run a competition: A cost effective way to increase your customer mailing list is to ask for email addresses in return for entering a competition to win a great prize.
  4. Create videos: Visitors love videos, so setup a YouTube Channel and create instructional videos for your products or services – save money and shoot them yourself.
  5. Social networks: Start learning how to use social networking to promote your business, as this is the way of the future and is an easy and inexpensive promotional strategy.
  6. Google+ page: Another free option to help promote your business online, Google+ is a great platform to engage the community and market your business.
  7. Infographics: These are an effective marketing tool, so make your own infographics with free online software and submit them to free online directories.

These are just some of the budget conscious strategies you can use to promote your business in the current economic market.

For more information on marketing your business online, call GO Creative on 07 3333 2932 or get a free instant online quote – we are a leading internet marketing company with a proven reputation in online marketing.

How can emotional connections increase your social media following?

Building a social media network for your business is an important part of marketing today, however this is not always as simple as it might sound at first. As an SEO company in Australia, we have a lot of experience in managing social media accounts, and we know that the easiest way to build a successful network is to connect emotionally with your target audience.

When you connect on an emotional level with someone, that connection becomes more meaningful and can last for many years into the future. This means that you have a better chance of building a loyal following, if you move away from dry posts filled with facts and figures, and instead focus on bringing emotions into your posts. It doesn’t matter whether you use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or any other network, emotions will trump boring, any day of the week.

In fact, many clients who hire our SEO company in Australia are often amazed at how easy it is to build a social media following, just by engaging with their target audience in a more meaningful way.

Choosing the right emotions for your posts

When you understand your target audience, you already know the type of emotions that will speak to them, but you need to choose the context and the emotions wisely. For example, a company that sells home security systems can hook into fear as an emotion, emphasising the increase in home burglaries in the local area. A better idea might be to focus on the sense of security that people will feel when they know that their family is kept safe at home with the installation of a professional security system.

As you can see, positive connections can be built using positive emotions and you don’t have to stick with one single emotion, you can add in a variety depending on the situation. Humour is a very workable emotion, but even here, there is a time and a place. In the end, all you need to do is to focus on posting interesting content that appeals to your audience, mix in a little humour or other emotional hook and you will start to build a loyal following in no time at all.

For help with social media marketing for your business, call GO Creative, a leading SEO company in Australia, on 07 3333 2932 or get a free instant online quote.

Back to basics: How to organise your mailing list system

Many businesses use Outlook for their email campaigns, but there are inherent problems with using Outlook for bulk emails. The main issues are that you can overload your server, your IP can be blacklisted for sending spam, and there are no metrics in Outlook to track the success of your campaign.

It is a much better idea to use an email platform that has been designed specifically to handle mass mailouts, and has the inbuilt metrics you need to measure your performance and return on investment.

The benefits of using third party email service providers

Some of the most popular bulk email providers include MailChimp, Aweber, iContact and Campaign Monitor. Most include reasonably generous free plans and then scale up in price based on mailing list size, but the benefits of using them, as opposed to Outlook and other desktop programs, far outweigh any costs involved.

  1. These email service providers are whitelisted: Since their bread and butter business is sending out millions of emails every day, they have the capacity and the servers to support this type of activity. So their servers never become overloaded and your messages are much more likely to arrive in the recipient’s inbox, rather than going into Junk or not arriving at all.
  2. They adhere to standard protocols: This means that your emails will not be treated as spam and you will not be blacklisted for sending out masses of emails to customers and potential customers on your email lists. One of the protocols (in fact, it’s a law in Australia) which they adhere to is to include an “unsubscribe” link on every email, so the recipients have the option to unsubscribe from receiving any more emails from your company.
  3. They provide lots of design templates: Whenever you set up a new email campaign, you can design a complete set of emails for your business, all at the same time with just a few clicks. This keeps all of your emails looking professional, reflecting your brand and speeding up the entire campaign process.
  4. You can easily setup automatic scheduling: Create your emails, schedule the mailing dates and then just let the email service provider do all of the work. You don’t have to keep remembering mailing dates anymore; it’s all completely automated for you.
  5. Find out who has subscribed to your mailing lists: Email providers create lists of all of your subscribers, so you can easily see how many new people have subscribed to your mailing list and also if anyone has unsubscribed.
  6. Easily measure the success of your campaigns: If you don’t have any hard data on the success of your email campaigns, then you could be repeating the same mistakes with every mail out. These third party email providers include reports and metrics, which help you to access your ROI and plan your next campaign.

So if you want to set up a cost effective marketing campaign or you need advice or help with improving your current mailing list system, 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.

Mythbuster Monday: Good marketing requires following some basic rules

Sometimes we have difficulty breaking our clients out of a mould or a set way of marketing in their business. That’s because of the myth that good results will come to those who follow some basic marketing rules.

This is quite a destructive myth, because it lulls people into a state of complacency about their marketing needs and can end up with a blown out marketing budget, with little positive results to show for their efforts.

There are no magic formulas in marketing

It is true to say that every organisation is different – they have different goals and budgets and their brands and markets are different. Obviously, their employee profiles are not the same and they have different skill mixes.

Cleary, all businesses are not equal, so why do some people persist in believing that the same golden rules apply to marketing, regardless of their business?

One of the stubborn myths is that you should spend a certain percentage of your budget on marketing and not a dollar less or a dollar more. In this day of changing values and shifting markets, as well as the dramatic changes in the way consumers shop, any hard and fast rules concerning marketing budgets is fraught with danger.

What’s the solution?

Well, the solution is very easy – be flexible. As far as marketing is concerned, you should test everything over a long period of time. Test different promotions, campaigns and platforms, re-evaluate, make changes and then test again. Start small and scale up when you know what works for you.

No-one wants to spend their profits on marking strategies that don’t work well for their business, just because it is always been done that way. You need to find out what works and what doesn’t work for your business and don’t jump in blindfolded.

Once you have a better idea of what works for your business, then you can customise your marketing budget to suit those particular strategies.

If you really want a golden rule of marketing – it is to test and retest and then keep on testing.

For more information on online marketing for your brand or with website design in Brisbane, call us at 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.

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.