Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 9:56:54 AM EST by
Here is some of the latest news travelling around the Search Engine universe.
Google launched earlier this year an update to it's search algorithm, its big math thing to determine search rankings. That update is called Panda. Now the name is cute and cuddly but it can have a serious affect to your website rankings.
This update specifically targets content farms, which are pages crammed with keywords that are most likely irrelevant in order to get higher rankings.
In order to adjust to this update, ensure you are:
Updating your website regularly with relevant content.
Optimising for one relevant keyword per page.
Updating your website regularly with relevant content.
This isn't a typo, rather emphasis on that you really need to update your website with relevant content regularly.
Google have released to beta testing in the USA a new feature we will all likely see soon in our Google Search Results pages.
This is called the +1 Button, and appears to be Google adding a layer of social interactivity to their search engine, and also to directly compete with the Facebook Like button.
This will be an important means for people to search, and rankings in Google will undoubtedly be heavily influenced by this development. So stay tuned, and get ready to encourage your clients to +1 your website in Google.
Google is now taking on EBay. Google Shopping is now available in Australia. You can buy things from laptops to lawnmowers, coats and scarves to bar stools.
You can select your price range, category, brand and even the store you want to buy it from.
So instead of making the trip to Harvey Norman jump online to Google Shopping.
Bing Searching with Facebook
Bing have joined together web searching and Facebook. Your search results will be based around the opinions of your friends. Not too good if you don't like someone you have liked. Bing will have a generic like button for each website that comes up in a search that this update will be based around.
Social media is becoming such a powerful tool that every business should be apart of.
How would you like Google to come to your business?
Now you have the oppourtunity. Google has officially launched a service that has been running since last year, Google Business Photos. This gives businesses a great opportunity to expand their Google Places page.Google sends a local sponsored photographer to come to your place of business and take a series of photos that covers the 360 degrees of your businesses interior. These photos will display on your businesses place page using Street View technology.
You will still be able to add you own photos to your page as normal, however, Google have said that having these photos will enhance your business listing, so I can only guess their photos will have some weight with search rankings.
Because Google are taking the photos they own them, however if you want some removed you contact Google and they will remove them for you.
Currently Google are looking for businesses in:
However Google have said that if you aren't listed contact them as they are always open for suggestions on their services.Google stated, "The types of businesses we're currently interested in include restaurants, hotels, retail shops, gyms, salons, repair shops and a variety of other storefront businesses. We're currently not photographing legal, medical, or big brand chain establishments".
Posted: Monday, April 15, 2013 at 2:07:42 PM EST by Richard Norris
A good hairdresser can be hard to find. You want one that gives you the haircut that you asked for ultimately, but one that you feel comfortable with as well.
Many of my friends have told me their horror visits to the hairdresser. A friend of mine wanted a simple shave all over and ended up with severe razor burn on the back of his neck. Our developer Sean told the hairdresser what style he wanted and specifically said, "I don't want a mullet". But even though the hairdresser heard Sean say this, he ended up looking like an AFL player from the 80's.
For some people (me especially) a haircut defines them as a person. It expresses their character. To maintain that hair style it may require a visit to the hairdressers every 6-8 weeks or, for those who have hair that grows like grass, it's every 4 weeks.
On top of this you have washing your hair and styling it with product. This maintanence can be a daily task. Even those of you who are challenged in this area you still need to take care of that scalp.
If you don't take care of your locks you will end up with damaged hair that looks terrible and you won't be doing your image any favours. This is the same when you neglect your website.
Poorly maintained websites end up looking out of date and your rankings on Google will drop. Especially with the new Panda update Google have launched. This just means that rankings are going depend on how regular you are making changes and updating your site.
Not that it wasn't important before, but regularly updating your website is vital in building and mainting a successful business website.
Take care of your website like you take care of your hair (or scalp) with daily maintenance to keep it healthy.
Posted: Monday, April 15, 2013 at 2:07:02 PM EST by Richard Norris
Break the cycle in doing the same thing and expecting a different result.
It is said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. As humans, based on this thought, would find ourselves insane on a daily basis. We do the same thing day in, day out and wonder why our life hasn't gotten any better. This is the case for our websites as well.
Everytime I ask a client if they do any form of advertising nine times out of ten they respond that they are in the yellow pages. They re-sign every year because everyone else is doing it so they need to do it to. The client then goes on to say that they spend all this money but there are no real results to justify the money the spend. This has the symptoms of insanity.
Another scenario that you might find yourself identifying with is when I ask my clients if they have made any changes on their website. They say that they haven't, but then wonder why their site isn't performing as well as they want. Now whether that be a lack of education as to why they don't realise that you need to do regular updates on your site. Or they have fallen under the category of insane.
Enough of the doom and gloom. Let's break this cycle of insanity.
Those that are going insane with Yellow Pages. SiteZero is proven to have built and maintained successful Google Adwords campaigns. Google Adwords enables you to advertise on Google. We have done the math and it is more beneficial for your businesses bottom line to run an Adwords campaign than subscribe to Yellow Pages for another 12 months. It has a greater return on your investment plus you are now trying something different to get a different result which breaks the cycle of insanity in your business.
As for those who are insane over regular updates to the website. SiteZero have two cures to your insanity.
Content Upgrade Package
Ideally, we want you to be able to do the updates yourself. It saves you money a brings a sense of ownership to your site.
This comes by providing you with training. No additional cost is added for training, proving it is the most cost effective way to break your insanity. Training is done at SiteZero, which takes you away from the distractions in your office so you can focus on making your business susccesfful.
Alternitively, SiteZero has a Content Upgrade Package. If the circumstances are extenuating, we can organise to do the updates on your site for you, at a cost. You supply us with all the content and we put it on your site. This wont save you money. However, it will save you time and you will have fresh content on your site regularly, thus breaking your insanity.
Posted: Friday, May 20, 2011 at 2:12:35 PM EST by Sean Bernard
LaunchPad version 4.5 Release Notes
This is a minor release with a substantial amount of fixes, new features and usability improvements.
The File Manager has been updated to allow easier organisation of different types of files. There are now three sections;
Image Manager – All images, groups and galleries are now managed in this separate section.
Video Manager – This is a new feature that will allow you to manage all videos, groups and galleries.
File Manager – The name File Manager has been attributed to this section which will manage all general files that cannot be used in either the Image Manager or Video Manager.
Using the Video Manager, you will now be able to upload videos to your website in almost any format and it will convert your video into the format that is required and allow you to use this video anywhere on your site, or in a gallery of videos. One very important thing to note about this new feature is that all of the videos that are converted and displayed on your site will be accessible on almost any device! This means iPhones, iPod Touch, iPad, Android phones, all browsers (Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, etc…) will be able to play your videos with ease.
Videos sitemaps are included with this release to allow search engines like Google to index the videos that are on your website.
With the release of our blogging features last year, we received some feedback from our clients with suggestions and requests. As part of the version 4.5 release we have included a number of advancements to the blogging features.
The information column can now be hidden for a blog to allow the content to be displayed using the full width of the site.
Automatic notification of comments made to your blog posts are now fully functional and now allows you to automatically approve comments or leave them to be moderated before being displayed with blog post.
You will notice when viewing your blog now that there is a button that says “Subscribe to RSS Feed” with a small orange icon. This means that now visitors to your blog can subscribe to an RSS feed using their favourite RSS reader.
You can now save drafts of your blog posts without having them display live on your blog.
When inserting or editing an image using to a page, blog post, product or category you can again see a preview of all images that are available. Some of you will remember that this feature had to be disabled for some time due to a stability issue. Since making the major infrastructure upgrades that we have completed over the past 8 months we can now re-enable this feature with some very important performance improvements. The first time you load the insert/edit image window it may appear slow, but the next time will be much faster. (This is because all images currently in the library need a special thumbnail to be automatically generated for faster reference by LaunchPad – All new images that are uploaded will automatically create this thumbnail at the point of upload).
eCommerce Location Restrictions
This new feature allows you to specify a single country that you will be accepting orders from. If disable you will be able to accept orders from ANY country.
The robots.txt file can be edited directly from your website’s administration.
Due to the announcement by JAZReturns that their product will no longer be available, the integration settings within LaunchPad have subsequently been removed.
The NAB Transact payment gateway has now been integrated with LaunchPad to allow real-time payments to be accepted through the service provided by NAB.
If you have any questions about the releases and how it affects your website please leave a comment below or contact us here.
Posted: Monday, April 15, 2013 at 2:06:08 PM EST by Richard Norris
The value of a good customer is obvious. However, a common occurrence for sales people and the companies they work for in difficult times is to take on customers who are not a good fit. This is a poor choice made under pressure, as it usually costs money, rather than makes money. In order to address this, it’s essential to recognise a bad fit for your business when you see it.
Many business people work out the lifetime value of a customer when they are starting their business; unfortunately, very few of the same people take the time to understand the cost to their business when taking on customers who are not a good fit.
It is important to identify traits or circumstances of potential customers who won’t be profitable, although it is more important to start with examining your business first. By defining certain things about you business you will understand what business isn't profitable.
Define such things as:
What your business does well.
What delivers the bulk of your profit.
Focusing on the profitable parts of your business, and ejecting the low-profit, or no-profit, parts of your business is one of the simplest, yet smartest activities a business can do.
Another key area is identifying what level of service you’re prepared to deliver. Finding customers whose expectations fit the service you deliver is crucial. The repercussions of not meeting your customers expectations are costly. If your business does this, you’ll generally find they cost you more than you make. This can happen because you may find that you’re constantly going outside your own processes to keep them happy. Or the customer will become unhappy, and leave after a short period, making the expensive process of acquiring that customer a financial loss. This can also have a negative effect on the reputation of your business.
With some thought and planning, these principles of taking on customers who are a good fit for your business can improve your profitability, but they can make your life easier while you’re at work.
Posted: Monday, April 15, 2013 at 2:00:07 PM EST by Richard Norris
For Rugby League fans, Jonathan Thurston is exciting to watch when he is attempting a conversion. After his team mates have scored a try he lines up in front of the goal posts to attempt to add two points to their score. A conversion on your website has the same idea. You have had a win by gaining a visitor to your site, but you now have to take the opportunity to drive the advantage home. Examples of conversions on your website include when someone subscribes to your newsletter or your blog, or when someone buys something from your site. These are both conversions. Your visitor is just having a look around, but you’ve been able to persuade them to undertake a desired action.
A conversion rate is the percentage of conversions you have based on your total amount of visitors. For instance, if you have 1000 visitors and 300 conversions your conversion rate would be 30%.
The secret to generating higher conversions is rather simple but not a lot people are using it to benefit their business. So without further ado , the secret to a high conversion rate is:
It's so simple, I know, but few people use this great tool for conversion. Testimonials are important in converting your visitors to customers. Often, people like to think that they make their own decisions in life. People do what they want when they want to do it and people buy what they want when they want to buy it.
However what they don't realise is they are influenced by other people's experiences.
If you hear a bad review on a movie that your friend just saw, chances are you won't go see it. Your work colleague doesn't shut up about how great this new restaurant is that she just visited. So where do you think your going the next time you plan a night out?
Neither of these where your own decisions. You were influenced by the opinions of others. You fell subject to social proof.
Social proof is when you use the opinions of others to add value to a product, service or event. These opinions are often called testimonials.
Testimonials certify value.
When you use this technique on your website, you automatically put the value of your business in front of all your visitors. Your visitors read that other people are happy with the work you have don, so they think if these other customers are happy I'm going to be a happy customer as well.
How do you get this amazing tool?
Over your years of business you would have a number of customers or clients that are so happy with your service that they want to tell other about your business. So just ask them!
Testimonials can be a letter or email from a customer stating that you, or your company, did a great job, and that they are satisfied with the result of doing business with you. Why not stick this testimonial on your website?
Also, video testimonials are great. Most smart phones come with HD video capabilities, so use your iPhone a record your clients saying what a great job you have done. It doesn't have to be studio quality; in fact, if it looks like you have shot it on an iPhone you can still get a great result because it's authentic. People love what's real. You only need to have a look a reality TV show success to see proof of societies love for what's real.
You want more business so go get some testimonials, put them on your website, and watch your conversion rate rise!