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Things To Do Before You Get a Website

Posted: Monday, April 15, 2013 at 2:20:32 PM EST by Richard Norris

Our goal at SiteZero is about getting your business to a point of success through the use of a website.

That’s the journey we want to guide you along.  But where do you start? What do you do before you even sign up for a website?  In order to answer these questions I have asked the various departments within SiteZero, ideally what a client (you) should have ready before we begin the process.

Jonathan, who heads up sales, is very easy to please. The only thing he would like a client to have is a willingness to do some work to achieve a good result.

Stephen who looks after Pay-Per-Click and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is a bit more demanding but that’s because SEO is an art form that needs to be considered and researched vigorously.  “There are few things I like more than meeting with a client who has a clear understanding and vision of how their business interacts with their customers online”, Stephen answered.  “This means they understand what the goals are, and also what some of the key steps are to reach those goals. I often talk with clients about macro and micro conversions. A well-prepared client may not be familiar with these specific terms, but they are well acquainted with the concept”, Stephen continued.

“A macro conversion means the main goal – a sale, appointment, quote opportunity etc.  It is whatever the primary purposes of the website are for their business. Conversely, a micro conversion is a smaller goal that enables the customer to progress towards the primary goal – something like downloading an eBook, subscribing to a newsletter, or commenting on a blog.  These are early forms of information-gathering and engagement that, when handled appropriately, often result in the customer progressing to fulfilment of the primary goals”, he explained. “A clear understanding of their own customers and market, combined with an understanding of this process means working with our clients is usually much more successful for everyone”.

Our Account Manager, Richard, had the same underlying message as Stephen in that he would like a client that has clear defined goals of what they would like the website to achieve.  Richard also stated that “It does not need to be a grandiose goal necessarily, but rather a clear idea of what they would like the website to achieve.  Of course, it’s obviously best if the website goal is in alignment with the larger business goals so that the website is assisting in achieving the overall business goals”.

Our Chief of Support, Rachel, is looking for the more technical aspect of your website.  You may need to consult an IT expert to obtain this information.  “If a client would like SiteZero to host their email they would need to know what mail service they would like, Small Business or Business mail.  Then I would need to know all the required mailboxes.  If a client doesn’t want SiteZero to host their email I would need the IP addresses of their preferred email provider.

“I would need to know the client’s domain details such as the relevant name servers. I would also need to know if they would like to have SiteZero manage their domain for them. If yes, I would need the registry key to initiate the domain transfer”.

In order to prepare yourself before a scheduled design meeting with Scott, our Design Guru, it might be best to get a better picture of what you are wanting by drafting up your own website on paper.  Not only does it help Scott know exactly what kind of template to create for you, but it can also help you out by supplying a view on how a website functions.  However if you feel you’re not a very creative person to draft up a website, simply draw up a Site Map in something like Microsoft Visio.  Jonathan can help direct you in this process. This can assist Scott astronomically through setting up a core plan within your website.

Michelle the wonderful Accounts Secretary would like the client to submit a signed Payway form (you would get this from Jonathan in the sales process) and to keep a copy for their own records so that they are aware of when their payments are going to start.  Bank account or credit card details must be current and have sufficient funds each month for the direct debit to occur.  There must be a functioning email address for clients to receive their invoices & correspondence.  If the client wants to register a domain name when they sign up then they must be able to provide an ABN, registered company name & address and contact details (person, phone, email).

As for me, I look after training so I would like a client to be able to commit to one training session a fortnight at our office (alternative means are available for long distance clients) to learn the best way to use your website.  I also look after CommunicationPac’s.  This service is for those clients that want to have up-to-date blog posts and also an email newsletter.  Ideally a client would have a clear understanding of why they want a blog and the purpose of that blog. Secondary to this is an understanding of the sort of client they would like to attract to their website.

This information will be of great benefit to you regardless of your choice of website provider.  

Please feel free to leave any comments below or alternatively contact SiteZero for any further web design questions.

Richard NorrisAbout the Author : Richard Norris.

Richard  is the CEO of SiteZero , an Australian based Digital Marketing Services organization.
Richard loves technology and is the Ecommerce evangelist at SiteZero.
You can connect with Richard on Google + , Linkedin  or at the SiteZero Facebook Page

Richard Started his first Business in 1985 and entered the online world in 1998.
He’s a bit like “The old man and the sea” of digital Marketing
Richard Norris  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Google Plus

Why First Impressions Are So Important

Posted: Monday, April 15, 2013 at 2:19:36 PM EST by Richard Norris

First impressions reflect your professionalism.

Last week I spent four days at my son’s school mentoring a group of grade 11 boys. The basic premise of the week is to expose the boys to running their own business, in a fun environment. The business faculty divides the entire cohort into 20 groups of about 10 boys each.

So I had to mentor 10 sixteen year old boys. I don’t know what I was thinking.

Their task for the week was to run a computer simulation for four days, inputting 10 quarters of financial data, develop a TV commercial, present an oral report to shareholders based on the results of their simulation, develop a new product to take to market and on the final day produce a trade display to showcase that newly designed product.

Each segment attracted points and the 20 teams were pitted against each other to see who would win. You could imagine the fierce competition between the boys; it was grand final day meets Wall Street.

They elected a CEO from the group, broke the group up into the various segments based on their tasks and with the guidance of their mentors began their four day journey.

It struck me, as I moved about the school for four days, that these sixteen year old boys were going to great lengths in order to create a good first impression.

In almost every aspect of their presentation, they were trying to impress.

Firstly, almost without exception, each boy turned up on Monday in business attire, some in a full suite; not the normal thing you would expect from a sixteen year old boy.

As we moved through the four days you could see that the majority of boys had really taken to the task. Teams were diligently inputting their financial data into the simulation programme, creatively preparing their TV commercial, writing their oral report to shareholders and preparing their trade show presentations, for their newly created product.

But it was one group’s trade show presentation that really struck me.

These boys really worked well together, it was a great mix of natural leadership, hard work and creativity that culminated in them coming second overall.

Their trade show was a classic case of pure professionalism.

The clincher for me was this particular group of boys managing their trade show with great professionalism. They were handing out well designed brochures with a working QR code that linked to an online version of their brochure. To add to their professionalism, the boys had no hesitation in given that QR codes are a relatively new technology, explaining to judges and guests alike how this new technology worked and what it was all about.

First impressions are so important because they portray your professionalism. Whether you’re at a networking event or giving a seminar, you only have a short amount of time to convey how professional you are. Give your professionalism the best foundation possible. Ensure you give a fantastic first impression.

SiteZero always values feedback. Please, leave a comment below.

Richard NorrisAbout the Author : Richard Norris.

Richard  is the CEO of SiteZero , an Australian based Digital Marketing Services organization.
Richard loves technology and is the Ecommerce evangelist at SiteZero.
You can connect with Richard on Google + , Linkedin  or at the SiteZero Facebook Page

Richard Started his first Business in 1985 and entered the online world in 1998.
He’s a bit like “The old man and the sea” of digital Marketing
Richard Norris  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Google Plus

Our Favourite Websites

Posted: Monday, September 12, 2011 at 9:49:02 AM EST by

Having multiple people in our office means we have differing opinions on what a good website should both look like, and what it should be able to do. So to share those differing opinions with you, here are some of our staff’s favourite websites.

Michelle our Accounts Genius

I don’t have a favourite, I’m not often surfing the net.  I’ll say baldicommercial.com.au!

Rachel our Expert Support Manager

My Favourite website is: http://www.facebook.com/

The reason for this is its user friendly and I get to know what’s happening in the lives of my family and friends overseas in a matter of seconds.

You are probably thinking well you could do that with Google +1 and twitter and so forth. That is true however Facebook has marketed its website so well that most people I want to connect with are already on Facebook. Whilst the others, although they have the same features, have not hit the target market that I belong too as much as Facebook has.

It would be naïve of me to ignore all the things I don’t like about Facebook. It is constantly making changes. Then again, although at first these changes are uncomfortable, in time, I become accustomed to the change and see why it would have been a positive change.

It is also my favourite website because it has found a way of incorporating everything in the one system for example, phonebook, IM, emails, not forgetting the ability for one to upload their pictures and speak their mind.

Scott our Professional Designer

So far just one of my favourite websites out there is:

http://www.floridaflourish.com/

The design of the website can basically speak for itself. This site has a great use of design hierarchy. Although what seems as this site may be rather busy… it makes up for it by the overall design’s ability to direct a visitor around the website. It is a fun, quirky website which uses all elements of design in a very successful way. It’s hard to come across a website these days which takes into appreciation the 5 elements, (Colour, Hierarchy, Balance, Tone and Contrast).

The designer really found a way to just show off their skills, this to me is something to look at in an inspirational sense. Plus, I’m a sucker when it comes to vector illustration.

Stephen our SEO & PPC Guru

I have two I’d like to submit:

  1. www.google.com/analytics - Lots of fantastic business intelligence is available here for commercial websites. If you want to know how many people use your site, how they use your site, and how much they use your site, Google Analytics can help.
  2. http://sethgodin.typepad.com/ - Seth Godin is one of the most respected writers on marketing today. Ever practical, occasionally controversial, always thought-provoking, Seth blog has daily snippets of rich insight that can help how we conduct business.

Josh our Marketing Whizz

Picking a favourite website is like choosing a favourite song or movie; you have no idea where to start. Do you pick rock or a power ballad? Do you pick a comedy or drama? Do I pick a website with a fantastic design or one with great functionality?

At the end of the day my favourite website is one that serves its purpose well.

One of my favourite pages is Nike's company overview page. It serves its purpose well; to tell Nike’s story.

We would love to hear your opinion. Please leave a comment of your favourite website.

 

What Support Means to SiteZero

Posted: Tuesday, September 6, 2011 at 11:15:46 AM EST by Rachel Muzhari

SiteZero Support centres on giving clients the “warm fuzzies”.

A term that’s used in our office to describe that feeling a client gets when their expectations are met.

One of the main benefits of offering support is that it bridges the client relations gap.

As Support Manager, I endeavour to offer excellent support that is communication, efficiency and Integrity, keeping ones word! If you say you will call the client back, call them back. Holding oneself accountable for issues from the start to the end as well as confirming with the client that the result met their expectation.

We aim to give our clients assurance that their issue is as much a priority to us as it is to them.

Every company makes mistakes but what I believe is the difference between the good and the bad companies are those that support well.

Support is all about providing solutions. A simple question as “is there anything else I can help you with?”, or even fixing issues before client has the time to call about them, will set businesses apart because they have gone to the extra lengths to solve problems.

My support goal is to meet client expectations, as well be the first point of call when one is in need of a solution.

How to Qualify Your Clients

Posted: Monday, April 15, 2013 at 2:18:25 PM EST by Richard Norris

Qualifying your clients saves you both time and money.

Qualifying customers is great. There should always be a set of guide lines in the process for weeding out what is not a good fit for your business. More often than not, as business owners and sales people, there is a reasonable, if not articulate idea of what a good customer looks like.

The business is stable, there is an upward spiral of growth, and the owner/contact has a high understanding and appreciation of the value that is provided to them. If your prospects are not reaching your expectations of what a good customer is, then maybe some questions need to be asked.

What standards do you keep? Based on the products and services that you provide what sort of customers are you attracting?

First things first, if you haven't already, as a team document what determines your standards within your organisation. How are your products and services controlled to ensure consistency? If you were your own client what would your expectations be, and do you meet those expectations?

I can only speak from experience that once you have defined what you are good and bad at, it is invariably easier to attract customers that are a good fit. It is also easier to reduce the number of customers that are not.

Many who know me, know that for a very long time my mantra was "the answer is always yes". I still believe in that, only now if there is a bad fit the answer is, "Yes, I will assist in finding you another solution". Time and time again it is proven to me that if we conduct ourselves with honesty and integrity even when the answer is no, there is always a greater result.

Please leave you comments below. We would love to here you views and opinions on this subject.


Richard NorrisAbout the Author : Richard Norris.

Richard  is the CEO of SiteZero , an Australian based Digital Marketing Services organization.
Richard loves technology and is the Ecommerce evangelist at SiteZero.
You can connect with Richard on Google + , Linkedin  or at the SiteZero Facebook Page

Richard Started his first Business in 1985 and entered the online world in 1998.
He’s a bit like “The old man and the sea” of digital Marketing
Richard Norris  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Google Plus

Reward Your Customers With Google Places Coupons

Posted: Monday, April 15, 2013 at 2:18:00 PM EST by Richard Norris

Second to a website, a Google Places listing is the most essential online tool for a small business to have.

google

In a previous post SiteZero discussed how to set up a Google Places listing. However, to deliver you more value, we are going to share with you about the coupon and deals feature within Google Places.

Coupons and deals are a fantastic way to address new clients and depending how you set it up an even greater way to attract returning customers.

Coupons are longer lasting than deals, as deals have a 30 day validity that is set by Google. Coupons have been used to offer a discount to the customers next purchase, or a buy one, get another one free scheme.

On the other hand deals have been used to offer more drastic deals as they only run for 30 days. For instance, free shipping for the next 30 days.

You setup your deal or coupon through Google Places and for your customer to reddem it, they either print out the relevant offer or, have the offer displayed on their mobile phone and bring it in to your store to claim it. Either way, any e-commerce through your website isn't affected.

If you haven't yet setup your Google Places listing check out our post on how to set one up.

If you have setup a Google Places listing try setting up a coupon or a deal.

Please feel free to comment below for any questions you may have about the Google Places listing or coupons and deals.

Richard NorrisAbout the Author : Richard Norris.

Richard  is the CEO of SiteZero , an Australian based Digital Marketing Services organization.
Richard loves technology and is the Ecommerce evangelist at SiteZero.
You can connect with Richard on Google + , Linkedin  or at the SiteZero Facebook Page

Richard Started his first Business in 1985 and entered the online world in 1998.
He’s a bit like “The old man and the sea” of digital Marketing
Richard Norris  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Google Plus
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