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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 top three causes of protracted website projects

Having developed hundreds and hundreds of business websites over the past 15+ years, we’ve pretty much seen every possible problem along the way. Sometimes things don’t quite go to plan, sometimes clients’ plans change mid-course, and there’s a myriad of other things that come up which cause the website to take longer to complete than expected.

However, hands down, these are the most common causes of delays in corporate website design… sadly, they’re all things we need from the client!

1. Content

Ahhh, content, our old friend foe. We typically complete small business websites within a couple of weeks, but 99 times out of 100, we then wait for the content to be added.

While we ask for all content to be provided up front, this NEVER happens. Ever. We complete the design and development, provide training, and then wait for the client to let us know once they’ve finalised the content on the site. Sometimes that’s as little as a week or two, but it can range from a couple of months to — in a few cases — YEARS! We once finished a project then waited more than THREE YEARS for the client to add some content to a handful of pages on their website.

Tip: Start writing your content before you even look at web developers. Even if it’s just a few bullet points, tackle at least one page per day. We can even write the content for you if we have the basic information to work with.

2. Images

Similar to content, it’s difficult to get all of the necessary images together from the client. Most businesses — small businesses in particular — don’t have many suitable images to use at all. The best solution here is to get a professional photographer to take photos at the office/workplace. This way there will be royalty-free images of the office, staff, products/services, and so on.

Otherwise, we do supply stock images as part of all of our website packages, but sometimes there are too many gaps to fill so the client can simply buy additional images from us.

Tip: Have at least 2-3 images lined up to use with every page on the site. Most sites would therefore need around 15-20 images. We can provide stock images to cover any gaps.

3. Approval

There are a few stages in our corporate website design process which need approval: Master design (header and footer), the home page design, and the final approval to publish the site. Around half of our projects are approved promptly along the way, but the other half have delays of days, weeks, or months before approval is given.

For the final approval, for example, we’d likely already have added all content to the site, so all it takes is an hour or two, at most, for the client to check over each page, test the contact forms, and so on. We provide a checklist for these steps. But people working in small businesses are always busy, so this does tend to get put on the backburner, when it really shouldn’t.

It’s great to aim for perfection, but it’s important to know where to draw the line. So while you don’t want to compromise on the quality of the website design, for example, think about whether it achieves the objective. If it does, and there’s nothing vital missing or incorrect on the site, why not approve it now and take the pressure off? You can always improve as you go.

Tip: Don’t let trivial things hold up the website. Focus on getting the website out there and improving it over time — which is what should be done with every website anyway.

Don’t let it happen to you

We offer website packages to suit a range of budgets, and we help our clients get their websites online as soon as possible, while avoiding doing things “on the cheap”. Give us a call on (07) 3333 2932 or get an instant online quote if you’d like to find out more about our corporate website design packages.

Save on tax by starting your new website now!

The end of financial year is fast approaching! If you’ve been thinking about developing a new website for your business, why not act now with a professional web design in Brisbane? You’ll be able to deduct the expense in this financial year and reduce your tax bill.

We have a range of website packages available (including through our partner company, Just Websites) to suit a range of budgets. We go the extra mile on EVERY project to make sure you’re 100% satisfied with the result.

All of our websites are:

  • designed to work on PCs, Macs, phones and tablets
  • customised to your design requirements
  • easy to update yourself with a drag-and-drop editor
  • available up front (50% deposit, 50% when completed) or on 12 month payment plans
  • developed by our local Brisbane team with 50+ years of combined experience
  • designed using stock images, if you don’t have suitable photos of your own
  • completed within 2 weeks (if content is provided up front, or we can write it for you).

While we specialise in small business websites, we work with everyone from sole traders right through to News Corp, Coles and other heavyweights, so we understand the needs of all businesses.

Don’t put it off any longer!

Web design in Brisbane has never been so affordable! Let’s get your new website knocked over and start bringing in new business for you.

Give us a call on (07) 3333 2932 or get a free quote online in a few clicks and we’d be happy to help.

Are all corporate web design services the same?

There are so many web developers in Brisbane offering corporate web design services, so how do you figure out which one is best for you?

One of the biggest issues for companies when selecting a web developer is that they don’t know what they don’t know. Comparing apples to apples can be very difficult when you’re wading through a checklist of website inclusions, many of which will be completely foreign to you. Every web developer is different. It’s not like shopping for a car where you can compare some basic facts and figures, or jump in for a test drive.

Making matters worse, how do you even know if the web design company you’re considering using has been around for a long time, or is a relative newcomer with little experience?

As a long standing web development company in Brisbane, many of our clients have come to us in the first place because their website project didn’t go to plan, in one way or another. So how can you make sure that you receive a high quality corporate website design that will establish a positive presence on the internet for your business?

Questions to ask corporate web design agencies

As you can imagine, asking a lot of questions is the only way to be really sure that your corporate web design package will include everything that is important to your company. Here are some important questions to help you filter out the good from the bad:

  1. Can you help us compare your packages to those of another web developer?
  2. Can you offer a full range of services in addition to corporate web design, such as copywriting, search engine optimisation, and graphic design?
  3. Are there any key limitations of the software or packages that we should be aware of?
  4. Do you have clients who we can phone for a reference?
  5. Can you show us examples of websites which you developed at least three years ago, including proof of their age?
  6. Can you show us examples of websites which you have developed in the past month, including proof of their age?
  7. What makes you different to other developers?

Another concern is always the budget and without a doubt, you will want to save as much money as possible on the design of your website. The problem is that there are many web design packages around the $500 mark, but many of these are designed by people with little experience or training and don’t offer any ongoing support. In fact, many of the ‘cheaper’ websites are outsourced overseas, resulting in very poor website designs.

All of this means that if you are searching for a web development company in Brisbane, interstate or even overseas, you need to be very careful and ask a lot of questions, before you make your final decision. Local developers are usually the best choice in any case, because you can see them face to face if any issues arise or you need to have a meeting to discuss the project.

If you want a professional and experienced Brisbane web development team to create your website, call GO Creative on 07 3333 2932 or get an instant quote online.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

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 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.

Have you run out of puff writing your blog?

Many of you will know that blogs increase engagement with customers and bring more visitors to your website, but sometimes keeping up with a blog writing schedule is difficult. So here are three easy ways you can encourage visitor engagement with your blog posts, without really writing a lot more content – and keep both the search engines and your visitors happy.

1. Take another look at your published blogs

If you have run out of ideas for you blog, an easy fix is to take another look at your published posts. So go through your archives and look for “list” type posts. For example:

  • The top 10…
  • The best 5…
  • 7 easy ways to…
  • A guide to…

You can rewrite these for the current year or narrow the topic down. For example, if you have “The Top 10 Holiday Spots in Australia”, write another post for singles, families, or adventure seekers, etc. You can use your published posts as fodder for writing new posts, which will give your brain a rest and most probably give you a lot more ides for new posts as well.

2. Think about using different media

Why not pick out some of your favourite posts and turn them into something else? This means that a “How-To” post could be turned into a video, which you can upload to your YouTube channel and embed into a new blog as well.

If you have a Facebook page, you could write a small post on the same topic with a link to your YouTube channel, create a Tweet or even an infographic based on the best points in your blog post.

3. Encourage visitors to read more posts on your website

Another way to increase visitor engagement on your website and to utilise old posts is to recommend other posts relevant to the post your visitor is currently reading. This is a great way to drive traffic to particular pages on your website without writing more posts about the subject.

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

A short primer on SEO for small business owners

Even if you receive most of your website traffic and sales from paid advertising, there is no rational reason why you should ignore free traffic from search engines. To take advantage of this free traffic however, you need to come up to speed on search engine optimisation (SEO).

Here is a short primer on SEO for business owners, so you can start taking advantage of free traffic on your website.

Why is SEO important to my business?

SEO is a strategy where you optimise your website for search engines. This can be Google, Yahoo or Bing, for example, but since the biggest search engine is Google, this is usually where you’ll want to focus your time and efforts.

When someone types a search term into Google (such as “plumbers in Brisbane”), it goes off to find the websites that are the most relevant. Google ranks these websites on the search engine results pages in order of relevance, along with how recent the information is, how popular the website is, site loading speed, and countless other factors. SEO is the best way to make your website’s pages appear higher in the results.

What exactly is SEO?

SEO is comprised of a number of strategies all meant to optimise your web pages for search engines. This includes “on-page” and “off-page” SEO, both of which Google looks at when it decides whether or not your website is legitimate and relevant to the search terms entered.

On-page SEO refers to the different elements of your web pages that affect your rankings in the serps, such as speed, ease of use, accessibility, standards-compliant coding, and more. Off-page SEO focuses on promoting the content of your website throughout the internet, such as by adding your site to business listings, review sites, forums, blogs, and so on.

SEO is a very detailed and time-consuming process, so it’s not something the average business owner would want to handle directly. An SEO specialist is well and truly the way to go, unless you have abundant amounts of free time.

How do I get started?

The best place to start is with your on-page SEO and making sure that your content is optimised for both search engines and for your visitors. So this includes doing some keyword research, then sprinkling these keywords throughout your website content, adding informative videos, writing a blog, and including interesting images as well.

There is so much more to SEO, so if you want to increase your chance of being found on page 1 of Google, call us for a chat at GO Creative 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.

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.

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.

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.