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Why Google isn’t showing your updated website straight away

Have you engaged a Brisbane web design company to create your new business website? Well, one myth that we need to put to bed is that once your website has been launched on the internet, that it will instantly be picked up by Google and all pages found. This process is called “indexing”.

It’s unlikely that you’ll be indexed and appear immediately, regardless of the cost of your website or the experience of your website management company.

As a business owner, it’s good to know how Google operates and why it can take so long for your site to be indexed, particularly if you Google your business name or keywords and your updated site is nowhere to be found!

Can you speed up your site’s indexing?

The short answer is maybe, but there are no guarantees. The Google “bots” have to crawl the entire internet, discovering new websites, new pages, posts, images, files and a whole lot more as well.

However, it’s a not a real-time process for Google; their “bots” only look for new websites periodically. So even though we submit your website address to Google at the time of launch (to speed up the indexing process), it can take anything from a few days to a few weeks before Google indexes your website. Nothing more can be done by anyone.

This lengthy timeframe can apply to both new and revamped websites. So even if your domain name has been live for many years and you’re simply adding new content, images or posts to your site — or even redesigning your website completely — you can’t guarantee that Google will instantly crawl your site and index the changes.

How to see which pages are indexed

You can check which pages of your website have already been indexed by Google by going to “google.com.au” and searching for “site:mydomain.com.au” (replacing “mydomain.com.au” with your own website address) to see a list of the indexed pages.

What about keyword searches?

Another problem business owners often encounter is that following the launch of their new or revamped website, they not only expect their site to be indexed quickly, but they also expect it to be found easily using certain search phrases — known as keywords or keyphrases.

The first misconception here is the same as outlined above: if Google doesn’t know about your website, then it doesn’t matter what you search for, it won’t show up.

The second is that even if your website has been fully indexed already, your website may not rank well enough to appear high in the search results. Ranking on the first page of Google takes time and effort, so it’s unreasonable to think that your newly updated website will jump to the top of page one – that’s simply not how it works.

If you need to increase your rankings in the search engines, it’s a good idea to chat to your web developer or website management company about ongoing optimisation of your website (SEO / search engine optimisation).

Summary

Knowing the above, once your website is published, give it a week and then search for your business name in Google. If you still don’t see it, use the search example above to find out whether you’re indexed. If you are, but you’re not coming up high in the search results when searching for products or services that your business offers, then you’ll definitely need an SEO specialist to help improve your rankings. We offer a free SEO audit as well, if you just want to get an idea of where you currently stand with your online presence.

Options for updating your website software

When your website is developed, it will likely have various software packages (called plugins) installed, to make it look and function how you’d like it to. Your web developer or website management company can guide you on which plugins you have in your website, and what they do.

These plugins are created by web developers all over the globe, and they’re continually being updated. If not managed properly, this can lead to all kinds of issues with the website.

How often is software updated?

Many plugins are updated daily or weekly, and most are updated at least several times per year. There’s also the underlying software — WordPress — and usually one or two “theme” packages which control the design of the website. These are also updated quite frequently.

As you can imagine, it doesn’t take long for your website software to become several versions out of date, and as any website management company will tell you, you need to decide how you’ll manage this.

What are my options?

You essentially have three main options when it comes to managing your website software, which are outlined in the table below for quick comparison:

  1. Do nothing.
  2. Perform the updates yourself.
  3. Get professional support from a website management company.
Not managedSelf managedManaged by GO Creative
Website likely to keep workingYesYesYes
Get new software featuresNoYesYes
Existing bugs get fixedNoYesYes
Existing security holes get fixedNoYesYes
Upgrade issues get fixedNoNoYes
Avoid potential website downtimeNoNoYes
Fixed costs when issues ariseNoNoYes
Restore a backup instantlyNoNoYes
Restore individual files or settingsNoNoYes
Understand technical software changesNoNoYes
Receive a regular website reportNoNoYes

Why hiring a management management company is crucial

You can see why hiring a website management company is a no-brainer, as you can focus on running your business instead of worrying about software issues.

Forget about headaches, stress, and wasted time. Engaging a website management company is an affordable, fixed price service which ensures everything is handled for you. You can also upgrade the basic package to include security management, updating your website content, copywriting, and more.

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.

Tips on maintaining your brand new WordPress website

You’ve hired a WordPress web development company and your brand new website is now live… but how do you keep it looking awesome and humming along like a brand new luxury car?

Well, the analogy with a new car is quite apt, because just as your car needs regular services to keep it safe on the roads, your new website also needs regular maintenance. This is why we offer professional website and SEO services to our clients, as well as website management, so our customers can leave all of the SEO and the maintenance of their websites to us.

If you don’t have a website design and management company on board yet, and you’ve got a new WordPress website to look after, there are specific tasks you need to complete weekly, monthly and annually to keep your website secure, fast, and functional.

If you ignore these tasks, the security of your WordPress website can be compromised and you could get hacked. The appearance of your site could also be in jeopardy and some of its functionality may no longer work. So these are not tasks that can be ignored – which is why if you don’t have the time to perform all of these tasks yourself, it pays to hire a website design and management team to do it all for you.

Weekly maintenance tasks

You will need to keep your theme and plugins updated. The problem with updating these yourself is that the new updates can clash, causing your site to crash. So unless you have a website design and management team who can assess the new updates, before they go live, you will have to cross your fingers and hope that all goes well.

Also, you should check your security log to make sure that there are no unauthorized entries or malware events, and make sure that your backups are all in order. Google Analytics is also another area to check – unless you have engaged a company that specialises in website and SEO services.

Monthly maintenance tasks

Always test your contact forms each month to make sure that they are working as required, and check the 404 error log and the index logs to make sure that Google is finding all of your pages and posts.

Annual maintenance tasks

Every year, read through your entire website and make sure that all of the copy and images still reflect the goals and messages of your business.

If you don’t have time for all of these maintenance tasks, you can always call us at GO Creative and hire our website design and management team or our SEO services team to take care of it for you. Why not get an instant quote online?

What are the biggest risks of not keeping your website software up to date?

As a small business, one of the reasons you should consider hiring a website management company is to maintain the integrity of your website. If anyone should hack into your website, your business can be in serious trouble, resulting in a loss of credibility, damage to your reputation, and even loss of income.

There are a number of ways that you can increase the security of your website, one of which is to keep all of the software on your website up to date with regular website maintenance. Whether you’re operating a micro business In Brisbane or a large corporate firm in New York, it’s easy for your website maintenance to fall down the pecking order. Small business owners, in particular, are busy performing a myriad of other tasks, leaving them no time to worry about updating software.

The last problem you need is for your website to be hacked, but it doesn’t stop there! Without a website management company on board to ensure the integrity of your site, the results of being hacked can have ongoing repercussions for a very long time.

Six potential outcomes from your website being hacked

Once someone has maliciously accessed the back end of your website, they can do just about anything and you have no way to stop them until you become aware of the problem — and fix it. The issues that may arise, without your knowledge, include:

  • Spam emails: Hackers can send malicious or pornographic emails to your customers from your business or domain name.
  • Customer data stolen: Without a website management company taking care of your website’s security, customer details can be compromised or even stolen. And this can get even worse: many people use the same password everywhere, so if a hacker finds your customers’ email address and password, they can potentially get into that email account as well, and from there they can get into bank accounts and more.
  • Website defaced: Hackers can literally vandalise your website, deleting, changing or adding to its content. They can take your website offline and they can even steal your website, moving it to another location so that you’re permanently locked out.
  • Software not working: Outdated software can stop working correctly or even interfere with other software, causing you no end of glitches and bugs that need to be fixed. And that’s a sudden up-front cost to you.
  • Browser support: Eventually, outdated software will no longer be supported by browsers, leaving you in the position of having to update your software anyway, but coming from a much worse starting point, so the potential for your site to “break” is significantly increased.
  • Lower rankings in Google: Poor performing websites are ranked lower by search engines such as Google. So if outdated software prevents your website from performing properly, your rankings are sure to drop.

If you’re interested in finding out more about website maintenance by our local team in Brisbane, you can get an instant quote online today.

Are your Office 365 emails automatically backed up online?

More and more businesses are upgrading to Office 365, a cloud-based email and software suite powered by Microsoft. We can offer this product directly to our clients as well. Each licence grants a user access to email services and/or the Microsoft Office software suite (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive, OneNote, and so on). This can dramatically simplify your business workflows and ensure consistency of software and technologies in your organisation.

Using Office 365 is a very cost effective strategy, particularly for small businesses or for those whose needs change over time. However, one common misconception is that using Office 365 means that your emails are automatically backed up. This is not the case.

Your data is not backed up

When you use your email service on any device, the data is synchronised with your other devices. For example, if you send an email using your PC, then later use your phone to access your emails, you’ll have that email in your “Sent Items” folder. This ensures that you always have ALL information on every device. The same applies to updating your address book or calendar — it’s all kept in sync across all of your devices.

The downside of this is that if you delete an email/contact/calendar item (etc) on your computer, it will be deleted everywhere. There’s a 30 day recovery window, but after that, the data is gone forever. We’ve have seen this happen time and time again. Thankfully, there’s a solution to this.

An easy solution

A quick, easy, and inexpensive way to ensure your data is secure is to use a cloud-based backup solution. This means that your data is automatically backed up, and stored externally for a period of your choosing. If you’ve already gone past the 30 day recovery period available through Office 365, you can always go to your backups and restore the data that way.

For a very low monthly fee, we can offer this backup service, giving you unlimited storage and retention. While perfect for Office 365, it’s actually suitable for any email platform, such as Gmail and Microsoft Exchange. You can set up a daily backup schedule, and migrate, download and restore your emails at any time. There are many other solutions on the market which do a similar job, and pricing and inclusions vary.

For more information about keeping your critical business data secure, get an instant quote online today.

Is it better to have all your cloud services with one provider?

Cloud computing is becoming extremely popular. As a web development company, we wholeheartedly support cloud based hosting and software applications. One of the problems we have noted however, is that many people don’t quite understand how to manage the various products and services that fall under this umbrella. So let’s start there.

What are cloud services?

Cloud services can include your website hosting, the registration of your domain name, your website itself, your email services, online backup solutions, and more. Many businesses aren’t sure whether to have all of their cloud services managed by one provider or spread across different providers.

There are good reasons that support both sides of the argument, but overall the best strategy is to have just one cloud provider, for the following reasons:

  1. One single point of contact: If you engage just one provider, you can get in touch quickly and easily, and if they’re local you even drop into their office for a chat.
  2. Troubleshooting: Only having one provider means that you know the source of any problems. With multiple service providers, you can spend far too much time trying to track down the culprit and convincing them that it really is their problem. The buck stops there.
  3. A consistent service: As a leading web development company, we know that services or applications hosted by different providers can clash and cause problems that are difficult to identify and to fix. Having only one service provider can minimise or even prevent these problems.
  4. One setup process: When you only deal with one cloud based provider, you only need to go through the signup and setup processes once.
  5. Cost effective: Bundling all of your cloud based services with one provider can save you a substantial amount of money every year.

What about the risks of having all of your eggs in one basket? Well, if you keep all of your login details safe and deal with a reputable company who has been around for many years, you will always be able to recover your data if the worst happens.

To find out more about cloud based services talk to your web development company, call us on (07) 3333 2932, or get an instant quote online.

Website maintenance: DIY vs web developer – which is right for your business?

Ongoing website maintenance in Brisbane is an essential part of owning a website, and if this is neglected you can seriously endanger the reputation of your business. Some of the problems you may encounter if you ignore maintaining your website can range from broken links and outdated content, to aggressive hacks and lost customers. Whether you maintain your website yourself or you decide to outsource this to a web developer depends on your budget, time and skills.

The first major consideration is that when things go wrong with websites, they can quickly escalate out of control. Trying to find a web developer to urgently fix your site can be difficult, costly and time consuming. The investment in a web developer to manage your website will pay itself back time and time again and is definitely a business expense that is worth considering.

Some of the maintenance jobs that a web developer will keep on top of for your website include the following:

  • Update all of your plugins, as necessary.
  • Ensure that no clashes occur between your plugins.
  • Monitor your plugins and your theme to ensure that they are all secure.
  • Fix any problems that do occur.
  • Monitor and update your keywords, website content and technical data.
  • Improve the speed of your website, so it loads faster.
  • Enhance the design and functionality of your website.
  • Design new graphics, banners and call to action buttons.
  • Provide recommendations on your content, design and navigation.
  • Add keywords to your headings, links and other content.
  • Set up and install Google Analytics on your website.
  • Set up a sitemap and submit it to the search engines.
  • Add or update your Google Business listing (including Google maps and Google plus).

As you can see, this is a lot of work that will take up a lot of your time and some of it is highly specialised website maintenance. In Brisbane, for example, what are you going to do if you update one of your plugins and your website crashes? A web developer can properly test the compatibility of these updates with your website and other plugins, before updating the plugin on your live website.

If you were to neglect your car and avoid paying for regular services, eventually you’ll be faced with an inoperable car and a hefty repair bill. Owning a website is no different, but if your website is inoperable, your entire business can suffer.

At GO Creative we offer a monthly website management service that keeps your website, plugins and software running at peak performance, generating leads and helping you to rank higher in the search engines. Phone 07 3333 2932 or request an instant quote for more information about our monthly website maintenance in Brisbane.

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.

Six insider tips on making the most out of your AdWords campaigns

As a small business owner, competing with the big multinationals for AdWords can be disheartening and can cost you far more money than you anticipated. In the long run, if your AdWords campaigns pay off, then it has all been worth it, but you can’t guarantee a positive ROI with AdWords.

So here are 6 insider guidelines that will help you to put together a successful AdWords promotion.

  1. Is AdWords for you? Over time, AdWords has shown to be more effective for businesses that sell lucrative products or services, rather than lower priced items. For example, if your price per item or service is generally less than $100, then you might struggle with AdWords.
  2. Competition is good: If there is a lot of competition in your area, then funnily enough, this can be good for your AdWords campaign, rather than a problem. This is because with a properly structured AdWords campaign, you can make your business stand out above the competition, instead of disappearing into the pack.
  3. Are you local? Many customers specifically search for businesses in their locality. This means that having your address on your landing page or demonstrating your links to the area in some way, ticks a box that larger multinationals miss, because they have no real association with the local area.
  4. Focused landing pages: When a searcher clicks on your Ad and they reach your landing page, make sure that it gives them all of the information they need to pick up the phone, make an appointment or buy your products. Your landing page is meant to convert your visitors into paying customers, so make sure it serves this purpose.
  5. Transparency: Many businesses come and go, but the ones that remain build relationships with their clients by being transparent. This means that you are not afraid of attention, so add client testimonials to your website, as well as information about your business’s history, your staff and yourself of course.
  6. Call to actions: Don’t confuse people and give them too many options on your landing page. Simply give them one action to take, whether that is to phone, email, subscribe to your newsletter or to buy your products.

If you need assistance with your AdWords campaigns, call us at GO Creative on 07 3333 2932 and we will have you up and running in no time at all.

Tips on writing website content for small businesses

At GO Creative, we realise that there is no point in having a perfectly designed WordPress website, if the content is below par. The problem is that not everyone likes writing web content and it is also fair to say that writing content for a website is different to writing hardcopy advertisements, brochures and catalogues.

In general, people who land on a website have completely different expectations, when compared to the same expectations if they were reading a newspaper or a book.

People today want information at their fingertips, they are busy and don’t have the time to read pages and of content, not when they are looking for products or services. This means that writing copy for your WordPress website involves a certain skill set.

Write short simple sentences and paragraphs

You don’t want to write long, complicated sentences that go over two or more lines. People lose track of what you are trying to convey when they have to deal with very long sentences. The same principle applies to paragraphs, keep them short and include just 2 or 3 sentences in each paragraph.

Include headings and sub-headings in your content

When online, people tend to skin down a page, reading the headings and sub-headings to garner a quick overview of the content. If they are still interested, they will then read more of the content. So if you they are faced with a long page of uninterrupted text, visitors are likely to click out and go to another site that is easier to skim.

Avoid complicated jargon

Keep your writing simple and don’t use industry jargon that your target audience are unlikely to understand. Make sure that you don’t waffle on endlessly, do come to point quickly and only include information that is important to your viewer. You can always add a link to another page if they want more information.

Here are a few more quick tips for writing on the web:

  • Include images on your page to add interest and engage your audience.
  • Use active not passive voice.
  • Write concisely and simply.
  • Avoid small or elaborate fonts.
  • Ensure the placement of text and images is optimised for engagement.

For more information on WordPress website design, call us for a chat 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.

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.

Mythbuster Monday: Once our website is built, we can forget about it

Building an online business is not like baking a cake – you can’t just build it and leave it, because like a cake it will go mouldy and no-one will want it.

We have seen so many business owners go out of business because they ignore their website. Why go to all the trouble of creating a great looking website for your brand, if you intent to do nothing with it?

If you have created a website and plan to ignore it, then don’t be surprised when in six months or a years’ time, your sales have tanked.

A website has to be nurtured to grow your business

When you build a website you need to maintain it and grow it. If you don’t do this and you ignore your website, then Google will ignore it as well. This means that over time you will lose rankings, organic traffic, leads, conversions and sales.

If this doesn’t sound like a plan to you, then you need to keep your website up-to-date and user friendly at all times. Maintaining a website and building online relationships takes time, but in the end, it can be well worth the effort.

The internet changes quickly and so do consumers expectations, so if your website is not offering consumers what they are looking for, then they will vote with their feet. Unfortunately for you, Google usually agrees with the consumers. So it is like a catch 22 situation. Which comes first: Google drops your website, or more and more consumers are turned away?

What’s the solution?

The solution is to keep your website up to date. If you haven’t redesigned your website in the past two years, then take a serious look at your competitors and decide whether you need a new website or not. Consumers want a fast loading site that is user-friendly, informative, engaging and addresses all of their needs.

If this describes your competitor’s website, but not yours, then you are already behind the eight-ball and need to get on top of your website ASAP.

For more information on website design in Brisbane, call us at 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: If it’s not broken, don’t fix it

When it comes to the subject of marketing, a lot of people believe that if it’s still working, then leave it alone. I am not quite sure why they believe this myth, unless it is because it leaves them free to focus on other areas of their business.

Marketing however, is the lifeblood of a business and if you don’t optimise your marketing campaigns, you could be leaving easy money on the table. By optimising, I mean that you are sticking with what seems to be working and not exploring other options which might work even better.

Optimising your marketing campaigns means exploring your options

Take for example, a business that invests heavily in hard copy ads in the Yellow Pages. For a long time we have jammed doors open with these behemoths, but no longer are they as popular with consumers as they once were.

Have you seen how small the Yellow Pages are now? The sad part about it is that they usually go straight into the recycle bin, because who turns to the Yellow Pages when they want to search for a local business?

Just about everyone searches online nowadays, so if you are still investing in hard copy print ads in the yellow pages, it might be time to take some of your allocated marketing budget and explore other options.

Even if you are still receiving leads and sales form the Yellow pages, you might get more bang for your buck through online advertising. You don’t have to change everything overnight, just take a small part of your marketing budget and move it to online advertising, such as Google ads or Facebook ads, for example.

We’ve seen the results first hand

Recently we met with a client who was spending about $5000 per month with Yellow Pages, across a variety of printed ads, online listings and a website service. Cutting their budget in half, we were able to develop a new website and more than double their enquiries within three months.

Marketing is now, more than ever, about being flexible, exploring new avenues of promoting your business and in testing what works and what doesn’t work. The myth – if it’s not broken, don’t fix it -will hold your business back from exploring more lucrative marketing options and give your competitors all the help they need in overtaking your brand.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.