Happy International Women’s Day everyone. I am all about equality, which is why I don’t really like to celebrate International Women’s Day. Although I am proud to be a woman in business, I don’t like to be recognised for being a woman. Running a business is tough for anyone, regardless of their gender. Let’s not worry about who we are and just get down to business.
Well, how time flies. Not much action on my blog, but certainly plenty of wonderful action. Here are out latest statistics:
Web Design & Development – 130+ sites
Graphic Design – 30+ logos
Social Media Management – 10 business pages
Award Submission – 1 which resulted in a Victorian Silver Award for RACV Tourism in Food Excellence
We love what we do. Most websites are built using WordPress which is a great platform that offers plenty of flexibility. When building a site, we add a ‘coming soon’ page so that all the excitement happens behind the scenes. The client is given the opportunity to comment along the way and then the site is launched TO THE WORLD!
Our personal service allows us to build a relationship with the client, which is especially important when someone is starting a new venture. On completion we offer custom written instructions for updating their WordPress site, and offer technical assistance where required.
Here are a few of our latest projects:
New year, new you. Or new website at least?!
We have discovered what the trends in web design will be this year. You may have noticed that full screen is being used more often than the older ‘boxed’ format. These wide screen sites have the added bonus of being fully responsive, so automatically realign when viewed on smart phones and tablets. Wonderful!
There are also some trends on the use of photography on websites. And these can be broken into 4 groups:
These types of photographs are putting you into the drivers seat, so you can view the site from your own perspective. With the popularity of GoPro’s everyone wants to be in the action.
2. Colour Trends
Monochrome: paintings, drawings, design, or photographs in one color or shades of one colour. This is not necessarily meaning black and white photos, but choosing photos that are in the same colour spectrum. Some websites for purchasing stock images allow you to choose photos with a specific colour. This is great for ensuring the photos are going to match well with pre-existing branding such as logos.
These images fit well together, and would work nicely in a rotating slideshow.
3. Rectangle v Square
As we move towards wide screen sites, the trend is moving towards more rectangular images. Think of a business envelope size. Here are some examples of the old style versus the new style.
Mix & Match
A photo tells a thousand words, but they can sometimes be misinterpreted. Or some key points need to identified. Overlaying text on images is very powerful and becoming even more popular in 2015.
These trends are all focused on using great images. They can make a stock standard website truly ‘wonderful’.
Q. I accidently deleted the admistrator user from my WordPress Dashboard and now no content is showing on my pages. What do I do now?
A. Okay, so the first thing to do is to see if you can log into your Dashboard using another administrator username and password (if you had one). If not, you will have to access your users through your Control Panel. Log into your Control Panel and head to your PHPMyadmin to find your database of users. You can create a new user here.
Then log into your dashboard using these details or another user that you already had. You now need to go to your Pages > All Pages and find your pages in the Trash. You can reactivate them back and then make sure they are ‘Published’ and not ‘Draft’.
You may also have to upload images again. If you have a backup, you can do this through FTP into the relevant uploads folder. If not, you will have to load them via Media, but then go through and update the links throughout the site.
In summary, please ensure you don’t delete the administrator from the site.
In a world of today, it is almost unimaginable not sharing parts of your business or your life with the internet. The old ‘you’re a nobody until somebody loves you’ turned into ‘you’re nobody unless you have a web page’. Regardless of how annoying it may be at times, this internet addition we’ve all got caught into has many of its perks – such as getting information really quickly, spreading the word about important matters, getting feedback from some great people you’d probably never get to meet otherwise, and so on. So to answer you question – a business should have a personalized blog for so many reasons. For starters, there’s marketing and promotion. Every blog should be considered an additional tool to your business, something like nice accessorize with your favorite outfit. Blogs tend to build a dynamic community which then interacts and exchanges reviews, solutions, ideas and information about a business and its reputation, services and products.
What else a blog can do:
1.) Reaching new customers
Despite popular belief that blogs are just for current users of your product, they can actually attract many new people in a blink. Obviously, both content and design of the blog must be interesting, catchy and smart. Word of mouth and power of share are definitely best advertising options, so once your blog gets out there, it is highly likely that it will reach new readers (and hopefully followers and customers) within minutes! If one of your current followers/customers shares his/hers experience on your blog and then shares it on his/her social network, the opportunity for it to reach many new people is created!
2.) Developing a ‘personality’ for your brand
The personal nature of blogging allows a business to create the idea of closeness to the reader. Plus, online conversations and interactions spurred up by a single topic are amazing for business! Through a blog you get to create the image and a tone of your business, a recognizable trait your customers will love. Also, with their feedback, you’ll know exactly what’s widely accepted by the audience and what not and you’ll work on it. People love it when they feel there is a human behind the blog, so they can relate their own experiences to what’s been written there. Take Sir Richard Branson of Virgin – he (well, probably not personally) is maintaining a blog for years where he shares some amazing advice about business generally, his experiences and the company itself. Just, before creating a blog – have a clear plan of the tone you want to set so you can keep consistency over time.
3.) Organic traffic
Blogs are an amazing way to reach customers’ desires through offering them exactly what they need. When people are looking to buy or just read about a certain product, first they’ll do is type key words in the search engine. If you are running your blog smartly, you’ll know which words exactly to hash tag in your blog. Plus, once they’ve reached your blog, talks of your product being purchased are bound to spark up! Once a reader subscribes, he is about to become a regular customer and you can always keep him posted through newsletter about upcoming sales, new products that are about to be launched, and shops they can get them in!
4.) Gathering feedback, testimonials and reviews
We all treat our vision and our products like our children. And rarely will we accept anyone’s opinion if it doesn’t match ours. Afterall, we know how to run a business, don’t we? Well, maybe not so much. Don’t forget you wouldn’t be anywhere if it weren’t for your customers. So, their opinion and needs should be far ahead of your personal. Blog is a great way to see what it is that people actually need. You can gather this information through careful observation of their comments, through questions they ask and feedbacks they give. Positive feedback will obviously give you confidence as it will to your other potential customers, while negative feedback provides you with the chance to defend your product/services, respond to concerns, and if needed to improve your business processes eventually. Keep in mind that you must not react strongly to negative criticism. The way you manage your readers will have a significant impact on the way you are perceived by your followers and online community.
Damian Wolf has been an entrepreneur and a writer from 2009. He loves to write about business, especially on achieving online goals, small business marketing and general life topics. Currently, Damian is part of creative team at Cubic Promotions Pty Ltd Sydney and loves his work. When he’s not in business, Damian usually enjoys with family and friends.
Social media is not just another marketing channel used by businesses to boost brand awareness and improve their sales figures; it is the most important channel that businesses can leverage to propel strategic business growth. Social media can ensure increased profitability for your business with effective usage.
In order to leverage the immense potential of social media, you must have an active presence on the various social networks you think are important for your business. An ‘active’ presence involves a concerted attempt to share value added content with fans and followers, nurturing personal engagement and micro targeting a target audience with personalized messaging.
This requires effort and that too lots of it. So, the core question is – why is this effort necessary? The answer lies in the nature of benefits of social media. If you aren’t active on social media, you will cede space to your competitors who might have made it a critical component of their business growth strategy.
So, let’s take a closer look at how your business profitability receives a huge boost because of social media.
The Humanization of your Brand
Social media humanizes your brand. This is important to build a personal connection with your customers. On social media, your brand has a personality of its own that your target customers can relate to. When a brand interacts with its target audience on social media, it can adopt a person-to-person approach. This let the customers know that your business care for their needs as a friend and it is not merely for the purpose of selling products or services.
Over the long run, this humanization will pay you rich dividends in the form of increased customer loyalty
Product Recommendations on Social Media to Drive Business Growth
A recent survey conducted by Shoutly, shows that social media plays an important role in driving trusted product recommendations. A mammoth 82% of respondents give more importance to personal recommendations while shopping online. 77% of the respondents said, they will buy an eBook if they receive a positive recommendation on social media; 78% will buy software if it’s been positively recommended on social media.
This survey proves that product recommendations on social media have the capacity to drive sustained business growth.
What you’ll need to do is create a recommendation ecosystem that is powered by sharable product information and useful product centric content. You also need to make it easy for customers to share feedback and post product reviews; offering the right discounts and making sure your target customers come across your product when they need them most is also a great way of driving product recommendations.
What you are essentially doing is increasing the ‘recommendation potential’ of your products. Your job is to create an environment that triggers product recommendation by your customers. Coming from somebody other than the brand, such recommendations deliver the results you are looking for.
Social Media as a Product Research Tool
Did you know 41% of consumers discover new brand/products/services by seeing ads on social networks and 37% of consumers’ research brands on social media? Social media plays an important role in not just making your products more visible in front of your customers, but it also shapes consumer sentiment about your brand and its offerings. If people are saying good things about your brand on social media, that creates an overall positive impact over the brand.
It also makes sense that all information about your products and services is available on social media whether it’s through your company profile on social networks or consistently sharing product driven content.
Using social media as tool of quick and personal customer support is a great way of improving business credibility. This works towards improving the profitability of your business. Some of the best brands in business are using Twitter handles purely to leverage customer service. This gives a personal touch to their service efforts and also ensures people are able to ask for customer service quickly and effectively. The idea is to use social media to quicken the process of getting access to customer feedback vis-à-vis products and services, which ensures their problems can be solved faster than before. This ensures even customers dissatisfied with your products appreciate your attempts to sort out their problems quickly.
This enhances customer retention.
Social media improves word of mouth about your brand and takes it viral. Suppose, you’ve written and published a post on your website blog. If it’s good, readers will share it with their friends and followers who in turn will share it with their network and so on and so forth. It’s not just your content going viral in this case; it’s your brand as well. This is just one of the many ways your brand can go viral on social media. But for this to happen, you need to come up with new content regularly and share it across all your networks.
In order for your brand to have a reliable social media presence that delivers incremental returns you’ll also need a content marketing strategy in place. This will help you create, publish and share the right content that your target audience will love going through and which they won’t mind sharing with their friends and followers. They must find your brand content share worthy and if they do, your business presence on social media will definitely deliver incremental returns.
Avyakta is an MSc graduate by education. She is a professional writer in the domain of learning and education. She has completed her masters in Biochemistry from Bangalore University and is currently working as an author with Simplilearn Solutions Pvt Ltd, which is one of the leading providers of professional certification courses. The courses offered by Simplilearn address the unique needs of working professionals. She has previously worked with a publishing house ande-commerce firm. She is based out of Bangalore and has an experience of 3 years in the field of content writing and blogging. Her work has been published on various sites related to Project Management, IT, Finance, SAP, Quality Management and more.
Is your website in need of an update. As your business grows and changes, it can be tempting to give it a total overhaulThe temptation to update my own site is high, especially as I am always learning new ideas and improved functionality. But there are certain things that you should first consider.
1. Good Analytics May be Affected
This will be the case if you are adding and removing pages on your site. For example, if you had a page called yourdomain.com.au/about and now changed the title of your page so that is yourdomain.com.au/about-us Google will see it as a new page. Even if the actual content remains the same.
2. Ensure Your Permalinks Are Maintained
As above, when you change the titles of your web pages, this affects not only Google Analytics, but also any links within your site. It is possible to change the actual name of your page, but keep the permalink the same. For example, you could have the page named About Us, but have the permalink as yourdomain.com.au/about Contact us for further information.
3. Will It Enhance Usability
Is it just visual changes that you are hoping for. Things such as images/logos/backgrounds can easily be amended. It is amazing what can be achieved in a matter of minutes. These changes shouldn’t have a major impact on your site – other than making it more visually appealling!
4. Be Aware Of Any Links On Other Sites
Your website may be referenced on other websites. Make sure you are aware of any of these links, and notify the web administrator of any changes to your site.
5. Browser Compatibility Needs To Be Checked
Once your site is updated, make sure it is tested across all browsers. Unfortunately they don’t all respond the same and what might look and work well on one Browser may not be supported on another!
6. Ensure Down Time Is Minimised
Finally, when updating your website, try to minimise the time that your site is offline. You can either:
- Build your updated site on a hidden folder and migrate across once it is completed, or
- Add an ‘Under Construction’ page while you make your changes.
Here is a quick video on how to remove the background from an image. The results can be amazing.
In order to beat the competition today, you need to have an eye-catching infographic on your website – or at least on a blog post every now and then. You need something that will stand out and bring the customers in. If you are thinking you don’t have the creativity to design one yourself, check out these online tools that will guide you through the process.
They are listed in order of the best companies first, and no Photoshop or web software required, so you got this….
Visual.ly helps you to drive traffic to your website by creating infographics. To begin you will search the infographic library until you find something that is appealing. After that, you can customize it to fit your idea. Visual.ly will help you to choose a topic if you do not already have one. This company also checks to make sure you have the proper facts in your infographic. Once you have created your infographic, you can also have Visual.ly present it to its followers and customers. This is a great step to take in being noticed. This company offers plenty of tools and many extras, which is why I believe it is the best infographic company out there.
Piktochart allows its users to create infographics that are not only eye pleasing to potential customers, but they can also be SEO friendly and interactive. This company allows you the ability to add hyperlinks and tabs into your infographic. Piktochart offers over 100 themes that you can choose from, as well as a wide variety of colored fonts and backgrounds. Everything is hosting in the Cloud, so you don’t’ have to worry about saving all of your data on to your computer.
Infogr.am. This is another company that allows you the opportunity to create your own infographics using an illustrator that is cloud-based. In order to be an Infogr.am user, you do not need to have any type of programming skills. It keeps all of your creations in the Cloud. It also offers a drag-and-drop interface. Once you create an infographic, you can share it by embedding it into a page, sending others a link or you can also send just send the image. Additionally, Infogr.am also allows you to import data from Excel and .CSV files.
Author – Jeremy Page
Photo Credit: kronikmedia.co.uk
Why the Blog Is an Essential Part of E-Commerce Sites
In recent times we’ve seen an increase in the number of ecommerce websites featuring blogs – why is this? To start with, search engines love blogs because they’re a source of original content that contribute to websites that rank highly – but are there any other reasons bar ranking higher on Google to feature blogs on your ecommerce website?
Establish your brand as an authority on a subject (product)
Brands and ecommerce websites seen as sector leaders are taken more seriously and their products more trusted. Everyone wants to come across as an authority in their sector, and using a blog as a means to share knowledge and news on the latest developments is an excellent way of establishing your brand as an authority in your sector.
Maintain the attention of visitors (potential customers) on your ecommerce website – It’s common knowledge that the longer a visitor spends on an ecommerce website the greater the chances of them buying something. Give visitors something that holds their attention in the form of interesting content like a well written blog, and they won’t feel the need to look anywhere else.
Build internal links to further promote your products
This follows on from the last point in that the longer they spend on your website the greater the chances of them buying your products. Include internal links in your blogs that link to your products – this further helps to maintain their attention whilst directing them to the products you’re showcasing.
Reach your targeted audience
The goal of any ecommerce website regarding digital marketing techniques like SEO (discussed below) is to drive traffic to their website. Blogs better enable ecommerce websites to use long-tailed key-phrases that target key audiences because they can write blogs containing these key-phrases and better drive targeted traffic to the website.
Optimising blogs for search engines
As discussed above with the point made about attaining your target audience through the use of long-tailed key-phrases, blogs present some excellent opportunities for those who’d like to reach their target audience, but there’s so much more that can be achieved by optimising your blogs for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
Blogs are already search engine friendly, but ecommerce website owners can further optimise their blogs by implementing frameworks, plug-ins and themes optimised for search engines, or provide search engine optimisation capabilities that weren’t originally available in the core blog platform. With regard to WordPress, easily the most popular blogging platforms currently in use today, Genesis and Thesis are two examples of frameworks that have such capabilities.
If you haven’t taken a look already, check out www.google.com/blogsearch for a better idea of the capabilities of blogs as they relate to ecommerce websites and search engines. This is an excellent additional benefit to blogging, because you not only get added visibility in the Google blog search, but quite often blog search results make their way into Google’s universal search and that’s how traffic is really driven to your ecommerce website.
When you’re having your ecommerce website created or optimised by an ecommerce minded provider of website design, discuss blogging platforms and search engine optimisation with them to gain insights into what they think about blogging and SEO and how they impact upon ecommerce websites. Although WordPress is the most popular blogging platform at the moment, there are some other popular blogging platforms that are also – like WordPress – open source. There’s an excellent benefit to using open source platforms like b2evolution over WordPress, and that’s because as they’re not so frequently targeted by hackers, you won’t have to worry about keeping on top of the latest security fixes and updates.
Emma Weigall writes for Mintleaf, a company that provides services such as website design, web development, website consultancy, and search engine marketing to businesses in Sydney and Melbourne.