With over 1000+ websites over Australia, we've dealt with 50+ domain registrars in our time as we transition client domains to our server. During this process, our team has seen it all - non responsive support, inability to do simple tasks, charging for "DNS settings" and even "inability to alter DNS". GoDaddy puts them ALL to shame and makes life so easier. In fact, we've just transferred 100 domains to them last week and the process was flawless. Anyway, here's why we LOVE GoDaddy.
Not convinced? If you know of a better registrar, let us know!
AIGA is perhaps best known as the only professional body that covers professionals working in the web design field. As the profession is largely unregulated and "unprofessionalised", the AIGA is perhaps the best body to represent those in the field. In this blog post, we look at the benefits of becoming a member outside of America and whether it's a worthwhile investment.
AIGA is a professional organization for design, founded as the "American Institute of Graphic Arts". Members include professionals working in web design,, graphic design, typography and branding.
For around $70 Australian/year, any designer or agency can join AIGA. As you move up the membership level pecking order, the benefits increase. We are members at the entry level, and have been for two years.
As we're based in Australia, physical benefits for an overseas are limited, with no overseas chapters or communities. AIGA goes as west as Hawaii and as east as Long Island, but there is no restriction in setting up your own Meetup group for AIGA members wherever you may be. However, there are some very positive benefits that are not dependent on your location:
The Bottom Line
While the benefits seem to be more targeted at American based members, and the offering below "Supporter Level" is confined to quasi "freemium" perks, a web design or digital agency may get benefit when it comes to recruitment as the job-posting option is free and effective. Do note that the membership profiles seem to be hidden from Google so be sure to include your profile in all of your portfolio marketing.
Are you an AIGA member living outside of America? Are you in Australia? We welcome your thoughts below.
Behance is perhaps best known for the portfolio tool used by thousands of designers across Australia, and millions worldwide. However, in 2015, Behance announced the launch of"ProSite" which aims to rival DIY website makers such as Weebly, Joomla and WIX in functionality but take an edge with design. Of course, you would expect that coming from Behance (who in turn is owned by Adobe).
Designers will love the site builder as it syncs with a user's Behance portfolio and CV, and further features of include:
As at timing of writing. ProSite was still in beta trials with a select number of users, but Adobe is said to be pushing for its release in 2016. We can expect a design-rich format with friendly integrations, although pricing is still under wraps for the time being.
Are you a Behance user? What do you think about this development? Would you extend your Behance portfolio with a dedicated website.
Follow the latest from Behance ProSite.
Our Sydney web design is looking for a Sydney based Weebly expert to deliver around 5 publications per week. Our clients come from the entire spectrum of SMEs all over Australia.
Who will suit this role?
This is a fantastic role for an experienced Weebly professional designer who can deliver publications with flexibility and variation in client type.
Salary: Basic salary TBC
Location: Sydney CBD
Interested? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Australia's popular domain registrar GoDaddy expanded this month after buying a majority of the domain name minnow Worldwide Media's 70,000 domain name portfolio. For an undisclosed price, the acquisition saw Godaddy take over the domain management, enabling the Worldwide Media clients to have access to Godaddy's attractive pricing and control panel for ongoing renewals.
A statement from Godaddy said: “The aftermarket consists of people that are really holding onto the names and catching the highest value possible. That’s not conducive to a small business who is just getting up and running, We’re getting these names from investors and pricing them and putting them out to the network to make them available for prices not available before.”
The aquiistion of Worldwide Media's portfolio this month comes after the April aquistion of the domain portfolio business of Marchex, the Seattle-based mobile advertising company, for a reported $28.1 million in cash for some 200,000 domains. GoDaddy Senior Vice President and General Manager Mike McLaughlin stated GoDaddy views this acquisition as a "unique opportunity to acquire a large group of high-quality names and make them available to businesses worldwide". Adding to this, McLaughlin continued stating “These names have not been generally available to the public, and this means we’re able to bring more visibility and liquidity into the market for businesses everywhere. This is not a new direction for us, we have no plans to acquire additional domain names or expiring names.”
As with both acquisitions, the goal has been to on GoDaddy’s market maker strategy to combine the primary and secondary domain name markets. Small Business Web Designs' commitment to Godaddy comes at a time where we've transferred some 250+ domains to the platform from other registrars in the past few weeks, citing the superior benefits of the business versus other operators.
Content is hands down the most important factor for ranking your website. The Google algorithm has many important variables it takes into account when it determines how and what to rank your website for and each factor has a different weighting, however the most undisputed fact is the importance of having good quality, naturally written and helpful content on your website.
Today, I’m going to show you 20 EASY and ACTIONABLE tips to show you how to write a killer article that Google will love and boost your SEO ranking.
First, it’s essential to know why content is your most important focus when it comes to focussing your SEO and web design efforts. Knowing this will ensure that you write with the right goals and intentions to truly get on Google’s good side, not just today, but so that your content can stand the test of time with each new algorithm update forever into the future. With each algorithm update, Google is getting far smarter at weeding out the low quality sites from the first page.
Think back to the early 2000s, when you used to do google searches and had results showing websites with crazy keyword stuffing in the meta data, unsavoury and poor quality sites - did you even know what that was about?
I had no idea why these crappy sites were coming up on the first page of Google when I was searching “dog shampoo for sensitive skin”. Fast forward 15 years later and I get it - every Google update has caught on to the latest black hat and unnatural techniques that people try to use to “game the system” for ranking. It’s funny because people spend so much time trying to find new tricks and ways to rank their site without focussing on the core point of it all - Google is about bringing you good quality website results for your searches. Period. Spend that time focussing on what matters - content.
What do you see on the first page of Google when you search for something? You get excellent articles and quality reading that adds value to your knowledge [specific result]. So now you need to emulate what you see! You must focus on creating information that Google and the wider population deems worthy of outranking all other websites for it’s value. This article is also awesome for people who have writer’s block or procrastinate when it comes to writing because you think it will take too long to write something amazing. It won’t.
So how do you do this?
Lets go through my list of 20 Copywriting Secrets that you can implement to write a genuinely excellent article TODAY with natural SEO advantage for your site ranking.
We’ve grouped them in logical order from choosing your topic to planning your keywords, to enhancing the writing style right through right through to formatting tips for easier and engaging reading. I promise, these are actually easy to action - I’ve written these so that there’s little opportunity to stall and once we get you started, you have the exact blueprint to complete your article.
Remember, we are not trying to rip off any existing content to take shortcuts, we are using all of these strategies to compile the best aspects we can research and find, to bring them together to write a BETTER and KILLER article than everything you are seeing online.
First…… How to Choose a Topic That Your Audience Will Want To Read?
Tip 1 - Find the leaders in your industry and see what they are writing about
Simple. Do a Google search for the most competitive keywords you want to target and stalk the blogs of the people who come up on the first page. Those ranking on the first page should likely have good content on topics that are very related and relevant to what you do so browse their posts. Pay attention to how they write their titles, try to guess the keywords they are targeting in each post, gather as much intelligence about why their content is worthy of outranking everything else - because they are knowledgable and share relevant experience with you. Google wants more of these quality articles in the search engines, so lets be inspired by this to write something better!
Tip 2 - Compile a list of topics that you can passionately write about in your industry
You are clearly in your field because you either love it or have been in it a very long time - hopefully both.
Either of these reasons should be enough to fill you with enough conviction to write an article about a topic you know very well - find the topics that are closest to your heart, scan what you are reading to find what you know inside out, you can challenge what is being written and you can provide even more helpful tips than what you are seeing. Note down the topics that catch your interest in a list. Anything you know very well (even if you are not passionate about it), is enough to ensure that your writing will FLOW very easily from a natural place in your mind, heart or just years of experience. This is truly the essence of overcoming your procrastination, because you’ll find that when you start writing about something you love or know well, the words will not stop (this article is my testament to this!).
Now, lets start with your first article.
Tip 3 - Pick one topic from your list and think of an improved angle to the title
From your knowledge, you should be able to add more valuable information, challenge the existing information or present a new value-adding angle to the existing topic. This is a no-brainer. Remember to focus on what you know from a place in your heart and come up with the title of your article’s angle.
Second…...Choosing the keywords to keep in mind while writing - Conscious Keyword Planning
Tip 4 - Go straight to Google’s keyword planner, to find the most searched keywords for your industry.
Login to your Google account and go straight to Tools > Search for New Keywords using a phrase, website or category. Make sure you select the country you are targeting to focus your search results in the right place and then enter your keyword. You can then open up the keywords by Ad Group that are presented to you or go to the Keyword ideas tab to find all the related keywords that people are searching for on Google. You can disregard any bids or prices per keyword, we are not creating a campaign here, we are using this keyword information to find the most searched for keywords relating to your industry with the highest search volumes. Choose 3-4 of the important main keywords you want to target.
Tip 5 - Identify long tail keywords to combine with your competitive ones in your writing
What does this mean? Go through your list form Google’s keyword planner and identify the keywords with 3-6 words within them that have lower search volumes - people searching for these are also usually extremely relevant for your main keyword targeting and it’s easier to attract people who look up these keywords as they are likely to have less competition online. Given they are more specific in nature, they are easier to incorporate naturally into your writing.
Tip 6 - Find keywords “ Search related to” at the bottom of the page of results
This one is easy. Punch your keywords straight into Google, scroll to the bottom of the results page and find “Searches related to (your keyword)”. This is pretty self-explanatory, obviously we want to capture the variation searches on your keywords, so make a list of these that you can naturally incorporate into your topic.
Tip 7 - Check the most popular products and courses online relating to your industry on Amazon
If you have a product or e-commerce site, go straight to Amazon and find the most popular products being searched for relating to yours. Look at the exact keywords being used in the titles of the products and also the reviews from the people who bought them. Extract these for use.
Tip 8 - Find online study courses and check what students are enrolling in and paying for
Some online courses are FutureLearn, Udemy, edX and Alison - go into these and search for your keywords.
Check the number of enrolled students who have paid to learn this information! Go to the course information and check the curriculum outline for a good structure to use in your own writing - it will logically flow from introductory concepts to sub-section detail.
Tip 9 - Carefully choose and use closely related words to your topic - Latent Semantic Indexing
Lets say you want to write an article on the topic of business networking. How does Google know whether you are writing about business or networking? By looking at the words you use around "business networking". All of the associated keywords need to be logically relevant to your main keyword so Google can build a story or some context for your page and rank it when appropriate. This probably does not need to be overly analysed because if you are writing a natural topic, the surrounding words will naturally incorporate as they need to.
Tip 10 - Stalk forums on your topic of interest
Go to the voices of people speaking there, particularly the question-askers - these are the people who are searching online, have not found suitable answer results and have gone to the extent of asking a question online using their own keywords as they can express them best. This is also a great place to find ideas for more topics to write about where you can bring value to people who need it! Go back to those forums and post your article as a response (without intentions of spamming).
Third…… Make Your Writing Style Compelling and Engaging… Reduce Your Bounce Rate
Tip 11 - Start off with a statement or known issue that your reader will agree with
Summarise the challenge they are likely to be facing immediately which is the likely reason they have found their way to your article. This establishes what you will be addressing, without letting it drag too much to the point of losing interest.
Tip 12 - Immediately tell them what you will be providing in this article to solve their problem
Whether you are giving them tips, a list, links or advice, you must highlight the value they will derive from staying on the page and reading on.
Tip 13 - Give them a preview of the answer immediately
Do not let your writing drag on without giving the reader something they can use immediately. People’s attention spans are less than 10 seconds on an initial impression, so you need to keep giving to hold their interest. Spend the remaining article writing out your value-adding information to solve their problem.
Tip 14 - Emphasise the benefits in every sub-headings - boost perceived value of your content
Perhaps the most important point about the substance of your writing. Ensure that you continually offer value with a tip, new information, links or present the information from the angle of the benefits your reader will derive. We are all self-interested beings, so the more you give someone to use, the more they will enjoy reading on. Incorporate these benefits in the sub-headings you use without making them sound too sleazy - they need to be real benefits tailored to your reader’s objective of solving their problem.
Tip 15 - Go for Long Form style
Google prefers long form writing as it indicates quality and time investment into the content, rather than thin, low quality sites. Write a lot (which should not be hard if it’s a natural topic to you), keeping it genuine and consciously incorporating the keywords you’ve identified already from your initial research where appropriate. It’s important however to make sure that you use appropriate formatting tips (coming up below) to keep your readers engaged, otherwise your valuable information will be lost on them because it just looks too much.
Tip 16 - Use Conversational Connectors to keep them reading
You might be wondering:
What’s a Conversational Connector?
They are brief connecting words in your article that sound as if they are being spoken in a casual conversation. It keeps it sounding interactive so that you are not just speaking AT your reader who needs to passively absorb your points. It’s way better for attention span and maintaining interest. It’s also crucial to reduce your bounce rate so people stay on your page for longer. What are some examples you ask? Here’s a few you can keep for reference:
Tip 17 - Follow the clickbait headline style of your favourite/worst news sites
Love them or hate them, they work. Without a headline that makes people want to click, your valuable content is as good as the rotting lettuce in the bottom of my fridge vegetable container. If all the nutritional veggies are stashed away out of sight, they aren’t in my view of attention, I forget about them and I don’t often have enough reason to go searching the fridge compartments for good stuff to eat when I have a jar of nutella that just needs to be opened (spoon optional). It’s just there (it’s also awesome). The point is, your title needs to be in people’s faces to get their attention otherwise they won’t know you’re there, no matter how good your stuff is. Trawl examples from Buzzfeed, Viral Nova, Reddit and pay attention to what you click on. Find the popular articles and emulate their title style. Here’s an awesome list of modifiers and adjectives that will work everytime and will also bring you more search traffic due to their click ability :
Tip 18 - Use regular calls to action
What’s a call to action? It’s an order to act on what they are reading. You need to sprinkle these frequently so that at any point your reader wants to call, email or contact you, there is an easy opportunity to do so.
Like what you are reading? Get in touch with us!.
More importantly…. do not overdo it. If you are too high pressure and frequent, readers get turned off by the desperation. Use calls to action with moderation and relevance.
Finally….. Engage your readers with intuitive and important formatting techniques
Tip 19 - Use sub-headings to break up the text, incorporating your keywords appropriately
Be careful not to overdo it. Overusing your keywords will easily be picked up by Google as over-optimisation so you must keep it natural and don’t over think it.
Tip 20 - Vary your text formatting - use bold, italics, large, small fonts and colours
Anything is better than a big chunk of unstructured text - make it easy to read. Keep variations using colour, font sizes, bold, italics and underline appropriately. Keep it moderate.
Tip 21 - Use excellent high impact images to break up your text
Visual examples are the best thing you can provide to keep interest - use them regularly, when you think a reader may trail off, insert image or any of the tips above to keep them going.
Tip 22 - Included words and phrases from Adwords ads into your title and description tag.
Ensure that your meta descriptions which come up on Google have clean paragraphs and a compelling title. Manually write these yourself, rather than letting Google pick up the beginning sentences on your page - look at other Adwords ads to see the best and most engaging ones that appeal to you and use a similar style.
Tip 23 - Include internal and external links
Link relevantly internally to your own content - Google loves to see this as its an indicator that you are building good content regularly that is all relevant to each other. They are not randomly generated topics to get traffic. Equally important, having links to external sites also provides relevance by association to them to show that you are actively networking and sharing good information, as people will hopefully do with yours.
So you want to build a website…… but you don’t know where to start? Let us help you!
After building over 1000 websites for small businesses across Australia, we have created the ultimate, easy-to-follow guide to help you build your own website. We outline the components you need to organise to create a website that will be visually appealing, have excellent images and engaging content. Not to mention appropriate on-page SEO and mobile optimisation.
Element 1 - Create a page outline for your navigation bar
Here’s the deal: This is the first step to helping you organise your information intuitively for readers to learn about your business. You may have a bunch of ideas and need help laying them out - or you may have none! No matter which of these you are, the good news is that we can TELL YOU what an ideal page outline is based on years of experience and modelling the best websites on the internet. We will split these out into the Core pages and the Optional pages, so I can show you a logical and intuitive progression for how to build your pages.
Home - this is your overview page with links to your other pages for more information. This page needs to have a compelling introduction and layout on the top of the fold, with optimal image layout and calls to action. It’s the make-or-break which will determine if a reader will stay on your site long enough to contact you.
About Us - whatever your business, this page should profile your biography and experience to demonstrate your capability. Ensure you mention and link to any industry associations you are a part of as Google loves relevant outbound links. Having a photo of yourself or your team always adds impact to help readers know who they are connecting with - there’s nothing more powerful than genuine smiling eyes to go with your excellent bio.
Services - outline your main offerings under sub-headings. There’s a good chance that you provide a number of services or specialisations, so this where you want to explain what each of them are for the benefit of your readers.
Contact Us - the most important page which contains your contact details, phone, email, address, Google map and a contact form. These should be easy to access, with a single click to email you.
Once you have the core pages organised, you may need various additional pages depending on your business type and industry. Here is a list of pages to consider adding:
There are numerous more pages to help you build a website, however these are the main ones that will apply for most businesses.
Element 2 - Set your logo and header with an effective layout
What kind of logo do you need? A logo can have two forms - you can have a text & symbol combination or a simpler font logo that is just text-based. Either of these is fine and will depend on your own business needs. Often, a professional text-based logo with your business name is more than enough to make your website look professional and nothing else is necessary. If you want to print out business cards, letterheads and other offline marketing, you may like to consider a graphic design logo service to create a distinctive logo for your brand identity and consistency. This involves engaging a graphic designer to generate several logo concepts with symbol and font combinations to represent your new brand. It’s best if you can provide your designer with some guidance on your colour preferences and examples of other logos you like otherwise it can be a lot of guessing in the dark and tastes can be subjective.
Once you have decided which logo you want, this needs to go into your header, either left-aligned or centre-aligned as your template allows. Other important things to include in your website header include a tag line that explains or summarises your business or service (if your business is not obvious), along with your phone number and/or other contact links including your email and social media. This needs to be in immediate view on landing (on top of the fold) so that if your reader’s attention span is not high, there are easy calls to action to reach you. Keep it simple and relevant. Contact us if you are ready for a graphic logo design today. We turnaround 3 logo concepts in 3 days.
Element 3 - Write engaging content on EVERY page - the “Goldilocks” approach
All your content needs to capture your reader! From a compelling home page to friendly tag lines and footer lines, your content should create a warm and inviting vibe to your reader while also conveying your experience in the field. Here is where I recommend the Goldilocks approach: Not too salesy and not too weak….. your content needs to be just right. So: what makes it ‘just right’? Good question. It’s getting the balance of showcasing your best business advantages such as your experience, knowledge, competitive edges, reliability, business differentiation and doing this confidently….. without the sleaze. Your writing needs to demonstrate a genuine confidence from your experience without being too pushy or desperate for a sale. Encourage enquiries regularly through calls to action (email links, phone number in your header and footer) and social media links to connect with you more. The balance must also come from not being too “weak” in your content writing. We have many clients who tell us they do not want to appear to “salesy” or push their service to readers which is a fair point! It’s the easiest way to turn off a reader when your only agenda is to sell something. However writing that is too neutral or factual just won’t appeal to everyone, so there needs to be some level of “showcasing” your best features because ultimately the enquiries will come from showing that you can benefit your reader by solving their problem.
If I had to give a single best tip for content writing to make it effective, what would it be? To regularly highlight the value you can bring to your reader - emphasise the benefits of your service or product with an aim to solving their problem. The more specific your words and the less sensationalist, the more real it reads and is likely to convince your reader to enquire with you.
Check out our Ultimate Blueprint for Writing Killer Copywriting
Element 4 - Source AMAZING high quality images to bring your site to life
How do you choose the right images for your site? This is one of the most important features you can hone in on. Anyone can find images to use, the success and effectiveness of getting impact from your images is from discerning crappy quality from good quality. Here is a
Element 5 - Choose a banner style for the home page - a slideshow, static banner or no banner
Check out the best websites on the internet… you will find that they largely fall into three main layouts on the page:
Which one to choose? It doesn’t matter so much as how you use your layout - whatever feature you incorporate, ensure there is enough text, images and calls to action to balance what the reader sees to give them a full imaginative picture of your business service.
Element 6 - Incorporate calls to action regularly
What is a call to action? It’s a prompt for the lead to call, email or socially connect with you. These needs to be sprinkled regularly between your content, in your header and footer - have your phone number displayed prominently in one of them (doesn’t hurt to have both), have a contact form on your home page and contact page which captures the lead information you need e.g. their phone number and email address.
Make your own email address clickable to open an email window that they can contact you from directly. Have your social media buttons prominent so they can like your Facebook, add you on LinkedIn, pin you on Pinterest and review you on Google.
Repetition is a good thing to the extent that they may lose the information as they keep scrolling. However too many CTAs can be overkill and annoying so ensure the balance is right for your audience.
Element 7 - On-page Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) - Consciously choosing keywords that people are searching on Google
What is on-page SEO you ask? Good question. It’s an essential component to helping your website get found for searches relating to your business and region. This is where you need to do a Google keyword analysis to identify related keywords to your industry. Go to the Google Keyword Planner and use the tools section to find related keywords with high search volumes that you want to target. Now that you have these keywords, how do you use them? Here are 4 important ways to use them:
Important - as always, do not keyword stuff, use them unnaturally or overuse them. These will bring penalties to your site. Use them once as appropriate and don’t overthink it beyond that.
Element 8 - Footer layout
Finally, you want to have a clever footer as this will be seen on every page, along with your header. It’s crucial to have quicklinks to every page on your site, to make navigation easy and allow your audience to jump to what they need without delay. Re-iterating your contact details is always helpful as well as a Google map if relevant. Create links to external reviews and have a single catchy line that summarises your business advantage as the final enticement to get them to enquire.
In the field of web design, keeping a handle of 100+ live projects at any one time is no easy task. Before our business migrated to Salesforce, our day to day ops involved spreadsheets and Dropbox. While we've moved on and rolled out a Salesforce implementation, our proven app of the business has been Bracket Lab's TaskRay, which in six months since installation has proven itself to be a perfect friend and ensuring what we get done gets done with efficiency.
TaskRay - in summary
TaskRay is best described by itself, which explains it "enables you to manage, track and support your work in any area of your business.....with drag and drop ease, complete visibility across multiple projects and teams, and robust reporting and dashboards, TaskRay provides a simple, visual way to get things done" (source TaskRay).
In essence, if you have a lot of projects on the go, lots of staff and need to share knowledge while also responsibilities, TaskRay MAY be for you. In our line of work, web design, the process has about 20 tasks - yes this sounds a lot, but they are all segmented in TaskRay to ensure we work with clients and publish and finalize each contract with pace and efficiency. Because one Project Manager may work on 30 clients (or more) at a time, TaskRay ensures everyone can see their work and to-dos and notify the respective team member when it's complete.
We've expanded TaskRay to cover not just Project Management, but also Support, Accounts and even BD work. Once you have a handle on it, it's awesome.
An example of our TaskRay - it means nothing until you start a free trial
5 Reasons Why We Like This Tool
(Possible) Suggestions For Improvement
Do you use TaskRay? Let us know your thoughts below?
WIX, the popular web design CMS, is a quiet achiever, although from recently released annual results, spending an excess of 68% of revenues on marketing certainly makes the NASDAQ-listed business a cash burner.
WIX, which completes with the likes of Joomla and Weebly in the "do it yourself" web design market, first listed on the NASDAQ in 2013, the first in its niche to go public. Since then, it's been a rollercoaster of more ups than downs, and the stock that first listed for $17 now sits around $23 (at November 2015), with highs and lows of $31 and $31 along the way.
WIX's financials show us that it's also very committed to something else - R&D. In 2013 and 2014, an average of 90% of total gross margin went into improving the web development product. With R&D so high and marketing eating up cash, WIX investors can take comfort in a 50%+ growth in revenue.
WIX has a simple fee structure - and the business is built on the idea of recurring revenue, given the high cost of a sale when engaging a single client looking to build a website. Despite the margins and invariable losses ($50m+ in 2014), WIX is committed to reasonable fees and has avoided price increases since listing.
One thing is for sure, WIX is a product that has surged in popularity and remains strong in many countries.
Do you use WIX? Let us know your thoughts!
Source: NASDAQ WIX 20F
On Tuesday October 27, Weebly invited us and about 40 others to a launch party in Soho. It was an excellent evening, with incredibly delicious Peruvian Ceviche and our second favoruite drink of all time, Whiskey Sour, flowing all night with a great atmosphere. Weebly's CEO David Rusenko and a few other key staff had flown over from San Francisco earlier in the week and were talking to everyone. The evening provided a great opportunity to talk to others about their business, watch a couple of videos/showcases on UK-based eCommerce startups using the Weebly platform (one selling London postcode bangles seemed to make an impression on everyone).
Whatever the future, Weebly instilled confidence and support for everyone using their platform - a throwback to the early days of AirBnB drink evenings in 2010. While AirBnB went corporate, the revelation that the Weebly team stick to Coach when travelling (it's 11+ hours from SFO to LHR) made us realise this company is where we want it to be.
Yesterday Joomla 3.4.5 was released, securing a vulnerability in the 3 series of Joomla - the 3.4.5. release does not enhance any other features, with security being the sole tweak applied via the security hardening of the UploadShield system.
Users on various Joomla and web developer forums had raised issues with some security features and backup issues, with Joomla releasing this upgraded version less than two months after the 3.4.4 went live.
Source: Joomla and Bitnami
Often our clients need image and logos that are beyond the standard service our web design competitors offer, and for this reason we've revealed Transparent Logo Maker and Transparent Image tools in our video below. With our simple guidance, transparent backgrounds are seamlessly integrated into images.
At Small Business Web Designs, we get a lot of questions about what the best Cloud Tools are to help your business grow. We can take care of your website, but what about your other needs? Accounting - it goes without saying that if you need an accounting package, and you live in Australia or New Zealand, someone has already told you to look at Xero. And if you haven't heard that yet, we're honored to be the first! Xero provides a clean and simple web interface, a nifty iPhone / Android app, and has all the features you need but none of the dead weight.
Your accountant will provide the best advice on this, but we think they already know and like Xero.CRMSelecting a CRM is much harder than an accounting package, and there are a lot of excellent cloud CRM's out there. Zoho is highly regarded, and we've heard good things about it. But we use and love Salesforce.
The challenge of CRM's is that they are a bit like a puppy. When you first get it, your eyes are wide with excitement and possibilities. What they don't tell you at the pet store is that the first six months involve chewed furniture, a few sleepless nights, and a soiled rug. Like a puppy, getting your CRM setup and working properly takes a while, but is well worth the time and investment. IntegrationSadly, Salesforce and Xero don't talk to each other on their own, so you'll need another nifty little tool for that. We use and love Breadwinner, which let's us see our finances in Salesforce. Breadwinner also helps Salesforce and Quickbooks talk with each other.
We hope your email isn't being hosted on a dusty server in the back of your office with last year's backup tape still stuck in the tape drive. Or warming your office admin's coffee mug. (We've seen both of these). You have two great options, and the choice is really down to what email program you work best in. If you love Outlook, consider Office 365. If you like Gmail's interface, look at Google Apps.BackupWant to see an adult cry? Tell them that three years of their child's baby photos are on the crashed hard drive and there's no backup. Like fire insurance, you can think about backup now, or think about it a day too late. We obviously recommend worrying about this earlier rather than later! iDrive offers both personal and business versions, though Mozy has a good paid version as well, and Google Drive and DropBox offer freemium services with some backup-like features.
When the time is right, it's easy to create a page. Whatever your business may be, there is always a reason to add a page to attract new customers, advertise a new service or simply build to your existing website's SEO position. Our guide below makes the process to create a page very very easy.
We’ve all experienced it. Clicking on a page only to get a “404 Page Error” after doing so. There really is no worse feeling. Especially if what you were looking for was important to you. If you are in the site ownership business, then you need to be even more aware of 404 Page Errors and the affect they can have on your visitors.
For example, not every web surfer is savvy on what the error page means. Perhaps they assumed they did something wrong, or maybe they are even concerned that something is wrong with their computer. The last thing you want is to scare off potential visitors with an unsightly error page. It’s important to note that most of the time these errors stem from a webpage being taken down or even a blog post being eliminated. However, there are a few ways you can remedy the situation.
Instead of simply taking down web pages, do what you can to redirect incomplete links that might be bouncing around on the internet. If you can’t do that, simply make your error page friendlier. Take a que from sites like Underarmour who make their error page easy to read and less intimidating than sites who leave the standard error page up.
Experimenting with various pages will make it easier on your audience to get back to what they are looking for, and will also give you a better chance to showcase your customer service.
Your site’s bounce rate directly affects your search results and the impact you have on visitors. In order to improve your bounce rate, consider our 5 tips down below.
Tip 1. Increase the speed of your site.
For every second it takes your site to load you lose 7% of your visitors. That number is astronomical! Pay attention to how much content you have on your site, update your server, and eliminate unnecessary widgets where possible.
Tip 2. Enhance your On Site Search Bar
If your search bar doesn’t produce the results your visitors are looking for they will simply go elsewhere to find it. Test your relevant search tool and see for yourself how useful it is.
Tip 3. Create a Powerful Web Design
Your layout and functionality are essential in retaining your target audience. Make sure that your web design is user-friendly and doesn’t distract from your core message. Keep your text short and to the point, and reduce unnecessary images where possible.
Tip 4. Make Your Site Responsive
Nearly everyone uses their smartphone or tablet to search the web and look at various sites. If your site is not responsive for mobile devices, you’ll be left out in the dark. Users will find your layout harsh and will leave as quickly as they click on. This will cut down your bounce rate and harm your ranking.
Tip 5. Keep them Hooked with a Call To Action
If you don’t give people a reason to stick around on your site, they simply aren’t going to. Your web design needs to include a clear CTA so people know what to do once they are done browsing through your site.
Improve your bounce rate by following the aforementioned tips.
Nowadays, it isn’t that uncommon to hear a web designer talking about responsive site design. Everyone from bloggers to web masters are familiar with the term. But even if you know that a responsive web site is quite simply, a site that responds to mobile devices, you may be unaware of the benefits that come along with having one.
They Are Much More Affordable than Traditional Designs
That’s right, you may be thinking that responsive design is actually more expensive than non-responsive design, the opposite is true in the long run. Instead of building two or three sites to be responsive for each device, you can launch one responsive site that adheres to every device available.
They Are SEO Friendly
Instead of focusing too much on SEO content, if you have a responsive design you’ll naturally show up higher in the search results. If Google knows that people can read your site regardless of the device they are on, you will rank higher.
Responsive Sites Can Improve Conversion Rates
A superior user experience results in a greater number of sales and a propensity for users to stick around on your site. This increases your conversion rates and reduces your bounce rate at the same time.
They Think About Mobile Devices First
This is a huge deal! More people use their devices to access web pages than ever before, and if you take the necessary steps to ensure your design is fully responsive, you’ll experience happier visitors and more conversions.
Microsoft isn't the first name you think of when it comes to the internet, but there presence is ubiquitous.
Take these five examples:
Humble Origins in the Web
However, it hasn't always been so entrenched in the world wide web. When the internet first came to prominence in households, Netscape Navigator, an American startup run out of a garage, released the first mainstream website browser. Microsoft promptly developed their version, Internet Explorer, and proceeded to bundle it in to the Windows operating system. This led to a a near-decade of anti-trust litigation after Microsoft acquired complete dominance in the web browser market. Eventually the cases were settled in and out of court, with the arrival of Mozilla's Firefox, Google's Chrome and Apple's Safari gaining traction.
Microsoft continues to work on Bing, offer tie-ins with other search engines and media companies. In 2015, the company still dominated operating systems, word publishing, spreadsheet inventory and was looking to
make further advances in its virtual reality research.
In the past, many bloggers and site owners opted for “paid for” subscriptions for their site in order to earn income from their content. Visitors would have to subscribe to their services by paying a small fee prior to gaining access to the site. Today, however, fewer sites use this strategy. In fact, the majority of site owners have changed their strategy to focus on surveys, and have had positive experiences.
The Google Survey
If you are looking for residual income from your site, blog, or content, then your best bet might just be trying out the Google Survey service. By requiring your visitors to fill out a brief survey, you engage them while at the same time earn a bit of income. However, you must be careful using this strategy as it could potentially turnoff visitors who might assume your site is full of spam.
Fortunately, in Australia in particular, the Google survey is still going strong. With protection from the largest search engine of them all, site owners can use these surveys for financial gain while creating an inviting environment for their audience.
Should you use them?
The answer to that question is largely dependent on what you hope to do with the survey. If you have set up your site with the intention of earning an income, then yes, we would suggest implementing a Google survey into your platform. If you are afraid that you might scare off potential customers, then avoid them. Either way, it’s important to realize this could be just another tool in your toolbox for earning an income via your site.
Using Google Analytics is pretty much a must for anyone who owns a site. It points to the outline of what you need to do in order to gain more visitors to your site without pushing over the edge and hurting your rankings in the process. Of course, if you really want to be successful then you might want to invest in a few additional tools to make the process easier. Check out our top recommendations for amping up your rankings by reading on.
Google’s Analytics Academy
If you are hungry for more information about Google Analytics, then why not sign up for Google’s Analytics Academy. The site hosts video and text courses where you can learn all you could ever want to know about Google Analytics, and then take a quiz at the end of the course to test your knowledge. Google will also send you to a host of worthy sites where you can find more information about their analytic system.
Udemy also offers a plethora of amazing online resources where you can read up on the latest information about Google Analytics. With over 22,000 online resources to choose from, Udemy is by far the best option for anyone looking for information about Google Analytics and how to use it properly. There are a few “paid-for” resources and courses, but for the most part Udemy is free to use.
Of course, you can also choose to go back to school and learn up on all the latest information available regarding Google Analytics. Whatever outlet you choose, educating yourself about this powerful tool is the only way to expand your ability to gain the attention of your audience.
WordPress has come a long way in 2015 to make the Plugin developer process transparent and efficient. Using their Wordpress plugin developer guidance is now clear and we've decided to outline the process below having gone through it with our own Plugins.
Quite simply, the process is as followed:
With 42,000+ Plugins currently live, your contribution to the Wordpress is warmly anticipated :)
As smartphones and tablet computers become ever more popular, it is important that Australian businesses use better marketing techniques, which utilize these gadgets to increase sales and interest in their products and services. With so much more emphasis on the use of smartphones, it is becoming much more important for designers to design mobile sites that deliver a clear message and good usability. However, designing a really great mobile website is not as easy as it may first appear, so here are some practical tips to help you get it right first time. In this blog, our team outlines a few suggestions on how to wow the web!
Tip 1 - Getting your Message Across
Due to their small screen size, getting your message across in a succinct way is vital if your site is going to be a success. Sites do not have this problem as they are able to display much more information, however, mobile sites do not have this luxury. With a mobile site, you will have to concentrate on specific part of your message, which will help to direct your customers to the information they require, whilst cutting down on clutter. This will help boost the user experience. If you are unsure what to focus on, then try to look at your site from a user’s point of view, and ask yourself ‘why are they here?’ Be objective, and the solution will be clear.
Tip 2 - Branding
Even though a mobile site is going to be more basic than the company site, it will still need to be recognizable. The logos and colours that you use will need to match the ones used on your site and advertising literature.
Tip 3 - Design Usability around Touch Screens
Although some smartphone manufacturers persist with shying away from having touch screens, most smart phones are now built around this technology. Therefore, it is important that you design your site to be easy to use on a touch screen device. Stick to using one column to display information, and make sure that links are separated from each other and clearly defined.
Tip 4 - Functionality
Users of mobile sites are going to be using your site on the go, and they will want the information fast. In order to improve their user experience, it is important that you make their experience a speedy one. Remove the need to navigate through countless pages, and make contact details easy to reach.
Tip 5 - Be Innovative
Do not be afraid to incorporate new technology and new ideas into your mobile site, as it is important to be up-to-date to keep up with your competitors.
SBWD has the expertise when it comes to mobile sites, having brought them as standard to all of our site designs since we formed the business in 2012.
Are you an Australian business-owner looking for new ways to improve your customer service, ensuring cost effectively and time efficiency? Customer service is a very important part of managing a business, in addition to selling great products or delivering a respected service. Beyond having a great business web design for your site, customers like to feel like they are purchasing from a human instead of a machine or faceless company, so ensuring personalisation is key. Customer service is also an important platform for addressing grievances or fixing different problems that arise in the course of a business.
With all of that in mind, it’s easy to see how providing the best customer service is a nuanced and complicated field. Not every method will work for every customer or for every company. Therefore, it is important to employ a variety of strategies in order to ensure that everyone’s voice is heard. One effective way to engage with lots of different people is social media. Read on to learn more about how to use social media for customer service.
Use Social Media for Public Complaints
One great thing about social media is that it makes communication so much more public. Sites like Facebook and Twitter take conversations out of email and into the open through wall posts and tweets. You can use this to your advantage by allowing your clients to post complaints, comments or questions on your public page. Then, show how much you care by responding to those comments so that everyone can see the answers. The public nature of this communication is that it holds all parties accountable to the judge and jury of the internet.
Get a Separate Account
Of course, using social media for customer service may work better with some businesses than with others. A public Facebook page for grievances may work well for the neighborhood pizzeria, but maybe not so well for a medical practice or a high-end boutique, so you need to know which market you fall in before you engage with any customers.
Sometimes it can be helpful to get a second account that can be used just for customer comments and enquiries. This can be a separate Facebook page, Twitter account or Tumblr page where customers can voice their concerns more privately, without fear of the wider online population attacking them. Alternatively, these accounts also have privacy features, such as Facebook’s inbox, where customers can contact you directly.
Harness the power of the internet with internet marketing. Go beyond killer website design and create fan accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest to further connect with potential customers and get your name out there! Share your business news, staff profiles, new products and services to your advantage.
Whatever your business, our will serve you to bring your business online, advise on social media and/or re-design and refresh what you already have. With our fixed price service and money back guarantee, we help businesses around Australia, from Perth to Brisbane, get online effectively!
The team here will often be asked how Google works. While there is no one answer, knowing what Google likes and looks for is the best bet to launch a site that your customers can find. Wherever you be an Australian sole trader, such as a builder needing a site, or an Australian mulit national, when it comes to Google, all design starts from a level playing field. In this blog post, we explain Google in plain form.
Any business, regardless of the industry it is in, its size or nature of operations, should have a site. However, having a site is only the beginning of internet marketing. A decade back, a company would want an impressive site, host the site and share the site address on its corporate profile, brochures, business cards and spread the word at appropriate correspondences.
Google - in 2015
Today, a site needs to be optimized by way of meta data, keywords and . A site should engage link building, content marketing, video seeding and numerous others strategies to emerge as one of the topmost search results on sites like Google.
To emerge as one of the topmost search results, the site needs to be optimized according to the protocols which Google uses to index sites and to rank business sites. There are several factors that Google takes into account while awarding a page rank to a business site or to a webpage.
Factor 1 - Domain name
The first obvious factor that Google looks at is the domain name. Second, Google considers the targeted keywords. Every business site should have a domain name that has relevance to the type of business it is.
Factor 2 - Keywords
There should be targeted keywords which may be names of products, services or the industry and category of products that are being offered. Content needs to be concise, and not a dump of relevant words, to ensure Google ranking.
Factor 3 - Content and Web Design
The optimization of the site and that of all the content on the site would be taken into account. Following these checks, Google tries to ascertain how unique, original and relevant the information provided on the site is. Subsequently, Google looks at geographic relevance.
Factor 4 - Geographic Location
The geographic relevance is important because people these days search for businesses, products or services that are relevant to the area one is based in. A resident of Sydney wouldn’t look for a roofing company in Perth. Thus, a roofing company in Sydney needs to have optimized content to be aimed at residents of Sydney and its suburbs so their searches have the company’s site as one of the topmost search results.
Factor 5 - Google Places
Google also takes into account listings on Google Maps and Places, a company’s presence and dominance on social networks and social media, particularly the profiles that have the business details, classified details and contents or posts on major article directories.
The aforementioned factors are what determine if Google would accord the due significance to a business site and if eventually that site would get a first page ranking on search results pertaining to the keywords used as the search criteria.
Whatever your ideas, the team at SBWD can get your business site to where you need it to be. With our 1000+ client portfolio across Sydney, Melbourne and beyond, we are the experts that small business loves.
Your First Impression Could Be Your Last
No matter your business, everyone knows that the first impression someone has of your business is the lasting impression it can make or break a deal, or entice an enquiry in the first instance. It is no different when it comes to online presence; your site is the first thing people notice about your business online. The team at Small Business Web Designs Australia is continuously creating sites that are simple yet effective, and in this blog post we present what's important for your site.
In essence, when your site is great the impression you leave with people is that your business is great. If your site is not functional and looking shabby guess what? You will never have the opportunity to make that first impression again. Getting your website right in the first instance is essential.
The first impression is the most important impression if you are trying to attract leads. There are certain expectations that consumers have when they are looking for a product or service online if those expectations are not met than you have just lost a potential client. Make sure your site makes it easy to contact you as well as presenting your products or services in an appropriate manner.
The first thing a potential client sees when they get to your site is the landing page. If your landing page is not professional looking there is a very strong possibility that they will leave. Consumers are very internet savvy and they can tell immediately if you have a professional page or it is something that was thrown together. Spending the time to sell yourself, engage readers and stand out is critical; look is important in making that first impression but functionality is also very important.
When Your Site Fails
Technical difficulties are a fact of life but frankly if your site is down often the first impression that you are leaving is that your business is not too concerned with what people think of it. Some people may even form a first impression that your business is broken because your site is.
If your site goes down get it back up as soon as possible. Make sure all the buttons and links are working. No one will stick around and find out more about your business if your site is a hassle to navigate.
Keep It Simple
If you want to make a good first impression and want people to find out more about your company keep your site simple. People do not like to weed through information,they just want to know what your business is and how it is ran. You want your first impression to be one of perceived honesty and reliability burying information under page after page is frustrating and can lead the consumer to form a negative first impression believing that you are trying to hide something with all the fluff!
Whatever your business, Small Business Web Designs has put more businesses online in Australia than anyone else, from Perth to Brisbane and everywhere in between. Contact us today to create a site that won't let your business down.