Phone 0488 406 050
Tropical Coast Web Design
Big Boys Superwash

Your Competitors are online...
Why aren't you?

Without a website, your business could be invisible to the 3.5 billion online searches made by Australians every day!

Without a website, your business could be invisible to the 3.5 billion online searches made every day!

Your Competitors are online...
Why aren't you?

We craft each one of our websites from the ground up, tailoring them to your specific requirements.

Big Boys Superwash

Quality, affordable websites that
build your business & your brand.

We craft each one of our websites from the ground up, tailoring them to your specific requirements.

Quality, affordable websites that
build your business & your brand.

Quality, affordable websites that
build your business & your brand.

Promote and sell products 24/7
with an online store.

Our eCommerce solutions feature all the tools you need to build sales and improve your bottom line.

Big Boys Superwash

Promote and sell products 24/7
with an online store.

Our eCommerce solutions feature all the tools you need to build sales and improve your bottom line including shipping and PayPal integration.

Responsive Web Design
for all kinds of screens...

Over 1.2 billion people access the internet on mobile phones and tablets. What will your site show them?

Big Boys Superwash

Responsive Web Design
for all kinds of screens...

Over 1.2 billion people around the world access the internet on mobile phones and tablets...
What will your site show them?

People are searching for your
products and services online...

... and without an effective online presence for your business, you are invisible to them.

Big Boys Superwash

People are searching for your
products and services online...

... and without an effective online presence for your business, you are invisible to them.

We BOOST your business'
bottom line...

...with websites designed and developed from the ground up to convert prospects into customers!

Innisfail Chemex

We BOOST your business'
bottom line...

...with websites designed and developed from the ground up to convert prospects into customers!

Provide support for your customers,
even when you are asleep!

Your website can be the ultimate "support line", with 24/7 downloads, fact sheets, manuals and videos.

Ingham Motorcycles and Mowers

Provide support for your customers,
even when you are asleep!

Your website can be the ultimate "support line", with 24/7 downloads, fact sheets, manuals and videos.

previous arrow
next arrow
Slider
Big Boys Superwash

Your Competitors are online...
Why aren't you?

Without a website, your business could be invisible to the 3.5 billion online searches made every day!

We craft each one of our websites from the ground up, tailoring them to your specific requirements.

Big Boys Superwash

Quality, affordable websites that
build your business & your brand.

Quality, affordable websites that build your business & your brand.

We craft each one of our websites from the ground up, tailoring them to your specific requirements.

Promote and sell products 24/7
with an online store.

Our eCommerce solutions feature all the tools you need to build sales and improve your bottom line.

Big Boys Superwash

Promote and sell products 24/7 with an online store.

Our eCommerce solutions feature all the tools you need to build sales and improve your bottom line.

Over 1.2 billion people access the internet on mobile phones and tablets. What will your site show them?

Big Boys Superwash

Responsive Web Design
for all kinds of screens...

Responsive Web Design
for all kinds of screens...

Over 1.2 billion people access the internet on mobile phones and tablets...
What will your site show them?

People are searching for your
products and services online...

... and without an effective online presence for your business, you are invisible to them.

Big Boys Superwash

People are searching for your
products and services online...

... and without an effective online presence for your business, you are invisible to them.

We BOOST your business'
bottom line...

...with websites designed and developed from the ground up to convert prospects into customers!

Innisfail Chemex

We BOOST your business'
bottom line...

...with websites designed and developed from the ground up to convert prospects into customers!

Provide support for your customers,
even when you are asleep!

Your website can be the ultimate "support line", with 24/7 downloads, fact sheets, manuals and videos.

Ingham Motorcycles and Mowers

Provide 24/7 support for your customers, all day, every day!

Your website can be the ultimate "support line", with 24/7 downloads, fact sheets, manuals and videos.

previous arrow
next arrow
Slider

My business has a new online store – now what?

Posted by

Although regional small businesses are slowly starting to move online, some still fail to grasp how different an online store is to a conventional ‘bricks and mortar’ site.

With the latter, a physical site is set up that all passers-by can see it; both while it’s under construction and afterwards, when the doors are thrown open for customers for the first time.

With an online store, the construction is sometimes done under a “veil of secrecy” but when it’s finished and ready, most site owners automatically expect a flow of traffic through the virtual front door. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. People need to know that the site exists before they can visit it!

It’s important to note that Google doesn’t list sites immediately – it can often take two to three weeks for a site to appear on search results and even then, you may not even make the first page.

My advice – don’t wait for Google. You can promote that brand-new site of yours right now with the following simple tips:

Tip #1 – Add your website marketing into your current “conventional” promotions

This simple tip is often overlooked because some business owners believe that a website is marketed through online methods only.

You can start getting ready for your site’s launch by updating all your promotional materials – business cards, brochures, roadside signs, clothing, pens, company cars, exterior signage, invoices, everything. Anywhere that a current client sees your business name should have the new web address in bold lettering.

If you live a smaller town as I do, get your local newspaper on board for the launch. For a relatively small cost, you can grab some great exposure with an editorial feature. Often these include a half-page “story” on your new site with the other half-page including an advertisement with all your details.

Tip #2 – Utilise your Social Media presence

One of the great advantages that Social Media has over Google is the instant gratification that it gives to every one of our updates, pins, posts or tweets. We don’t have to wait for the search engines to index and archive our information – it is instantly out there. This makes it ideal for promoting a brand-new site.

Most of us already have a Social Media presence so why not use that to your site’s advantage. Announce to all and sundry that you have a new online store and ask your social media “friends” to pass on the news.

Don’t leave it at that though – make sure you create a plan and use your Social Media power to drive everything that your site does. Running a pizza shop with online ordering? Hold instant competitions to boost slow nights. Got a brand-new outfit in your e-commerce boutique? Get one your staff to model it and post it on Instagram and Pinterest. Offering free shipping for today from your e-store? Get the word out instantly with a tweet on Twitter.

Tip #3 – Hold a launch special (with coupons).

Use your newly re-vitalised social media presence to share a coupon from your online store – the software that runs your eCommerce component (i.e. WooCommerce) probably already has one built-in. A coupon is a code that, when applied to the checkout area of a site, generally applies a small discount or bonus such as free shipping. They are designed to only be used once – automatically cancelling after use.

People love coupons – and they’ll also share them like crazy, quickly spreading the word about your new online store.

Conclusion

Try out those three tips and will be giving your e-commerce store a red-hot start in its online life. Don’t procrastinate and wait for people to find you – get out there and “grab the bull by the horns.” A site owner is in absolute control of the future (and potential success) of their online business. It won’t happen by itself – some hard yakka is required.

Five online actions that may help your local business through Covid-19.

Posted by

The coronavirus pandemic is affecting Australian small businesses in a multitude of ways.

From a loss of physical traffic into stores right through to numerous people working from home, the situation is changing daily during the COVID-19 outbreak and businesses are adapting to survive.

Below is an action plan of five things your business can do online to improve your chances of riding out this “once in a lifetime” pandemic.

1. Get on social media.

You should already have a social media account for your business and if you haven’t, you’d better set one up! Your customers are all on social media and you need to get two pieces of important information out to them now.

Firstly, you need to let your customers know that you are still operating and secondly, let them HOW you are operating. Have your hours changed? Are you delivering? Are you switching to online trading only? What measures are being taken in your business to mediate the current situation with COVID-19?

Put simply, you need to keep your customers informed about what your business is doing for the next few months.

2. Develop a Social Media Strategy.

A one-off post on your Facebook page is not going to solve anything. With the government guidelines for handling the COVID-19 crisis changing on an almost daily basis, you need to develop a brief strategy to ensure that you are continually visible online. This doesn’t need to be a long-winded document – it could as simple as a weekly calendar:

Monday: Facebook – This week at our business. Tuesday: Instagram – Pic of the team in action. Wednesday: Facebook – Customer of the Week. Thursday: LinkedIn – “Business to Business” offerings. Friday: Facebook – Throwback Friday or Friday Funny

Posting regularly keeps your local customers in the loop and gives them a regular visual reminder that you are still open for business.

3. Use your existing website to make online sales.

With social distancing being recommended by all levels of government, businesses can swiftly adapt their sites to start taking online orders and it doesn’t need to involve a full-blown eCommerce store. A simple online ordering form with your direct deposit information could be set up very quickly to make sales.

Of course, a full online store, with traffic directed from your social media streams, would be the perfect way to do business over the next few months. Your customers could simply select their products, pay for them online and have them shipped directly their door – without any physical contact at all.

4. Update Google my Business.

Check the information displayed by your Google My Business account is current and correct. This information is displayed in search results as people look for you and contains important details such as physical address, phone numbers, website address and opening hours.

Confirming that this information is correct could mean the difference between making a sale or a missed opportunity as more people search online for products and services.

5. Join local Networks and Groups

If you haven’t already, log onto Facebook and seek out your local community online. This might include groups such as local business directories, “buy, swap and sell” groups, your regional council and even the local Chamber of Commerce. Join these groups where relevant and share your business information.

Once you have joined a group – encourage others to start sharing each other’s posts wherever you can. The amount of coverage your business can get through sharing through sharing posts will surprise you.

Conclusion

Despite the gloomy outlook for the next few months in Australia, Covid-19 does not have to be the end of your business. Your business might need to evolve and embrace a different way of doing business, but if we all work together as a local community, we can help one another ride out the storm and emerge intact on the other side.

That’s the true meaning of being a local in a small regional town – we help each other out in times of need.

The Website Development Process – How does it work?

Posted by

One of the first questions I am asked when a new business contacts for a website quote is “What happens next?”

And fair enough – most small business operators have had next to no experience in building a website and the whole process can be a bit daunting.

The process itself is fairly straight forward. In this blog, we’ll discuss the very beginning of the site development and work through each of the steps involved to produce a fully functional website that kicks goals for your business.

Step 1: Set your goals and make clear your intentions.

This step often comes after a client says, “I want you to build me a website”. Wrong – you should have a clear idea of what you want to achieve online BEFORE you contact a web developer. How else will you be able to describe (in detail) what you want?

Step 2: Choose a developer who can best help you achieve #1

Search Google for web designers or developers in your region (don’t forget to “go Local, grow Local” if you can) and have a look at their online portfolios. If you see any work that “connects” with you or is similar to what you want, get in touch with them and request a free quote. They may ask a few basic questions to personalise the quote but nothing too in-depth at this stage.

Step 3: Create a Design Proposal

Once you have found a developer who you believe can fulfill your online goals, they will start to develop ideas for a possible site. Ideally, they will ask you more questions about your proposed site or send you a detailed questionnaire.

It is at this stage (and all consequent stages) that you need to remember that this is YOUR site, not the developers. If you have concerns during the process, you need to voice them immediately at any time. The design proposal may go through several iterations, but each is very important – you (and your developer) must get it right.

Step 4: Build the Framework and fill with content.

After approval of the design proposal, your web developer will start to code/assemble a framework. This is a “live” version of the site, based on the proposal, that you will be able to view and test before it is launched into the world.

At this stage, ensure your site will have the following components upon completion:

Content Management System (CMS) – Built-in tools for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – Site Security (SPAM, SSL Certificate, Security Blocks) – Clear Call-To-Actions (CTA) on every page. – The ability to track statistics on site visitors (i.e. Google Analytics)

You will also use this stage to develop the content that will appear on the site. Make sure each page is clear, concise and purposeful – no “fluff”.

Step 5: Testing Phase

Due to the wide variety of devices that are used to access webpages, it is vitally important that you check your new site on as many devices/screens as you can. Look and test the site on desktop computers, tablets and smart phones to make sure that your developer has covered all the bases.

Further to this, ask your friends and colleagues to road test the site and give you appropriate feedback that you can pass on to your developer for final tweaking before launch.

Step 6: Launch the Website

Release your site into the World Wide Web and monitor it daily, taking note of any feedback that may help adjust the site for your target audience.

Some may think that the launch of a new website is the end of the process – you can now sit back and watch it bring in all that new business. But, the truth is… launching a site is only the beginning!

In next week’s post, we’ll look at what needs to be done to make your newly launch website a success.

Why does your small-town business need a big business website?

Posted by

Putting my obvious bias aside (and many other business owners will back me up here), I firmly believe that if you are operating a business in the 21st century, irrespective of where you are or what your business does, you must have a website.

Smart phones, tablets and computers are everywhere in our modern society and they are all “jacked” into the internet 24/7.

For the business owner, this means, regardless of who your customers are, they will be searching for you on Google. Very few people are reaching for the Yellow Pages these days – it takes far too long (no wonder the Yellow Pages have begun to move online) and can be confusing with the numerous listings. But if your customers can’t find you on Google, I’ll bet that they will certainly find your competitors in the search results and you will lose their business.

This also applies to businesses that traditionally operate out of a small-town community, like Innisfail, where I live and work. It’s important to remember that there are no borders to business anymore and, because of technology, the world is much smaller than it used to be.

Despite these facts, I still find myself, on a regular basis, trying to convince businesses in my hometown that a website is a necessity – even for them!

Here’s three of my counter arguments: –

A website expands your business beyond the borders of your community.

With a website there are no boundaries for your business. Once online, your site can sell products and services around the globe – it can even sell them while you are asleep! And, with the multitude of shipping options available nowadays, you can “move” your products very quickly to any destination on the earth.

So, why would you settle for doing business in a tiny demographic when you could go global?

As Donald Trump often says, “Think Big!”

A website can level the playing field for the “little guys”

Regardless of the size of your small business or its location, your website can compete on the same level as any other business in your industry. You may not have the flashy storefronts of your competitors or the sheer magnitude of their operations, but a website doesn’t have to worry about these things.

Your site can compete on the same level if it offers:

  • An easy to use interface.
  • A clear Call to Action (CTA).
  • Helpful service (through contact forms, online videos, pop-up chats, tricks or tips).
  • High quality products or services.

In short, if your website can deliver the same service as expected from the “big guys”, it has a chance at grabbing customers that would have once dismissed you as “too small”.

You can connect with customers like never before.

Businesses, both large and small, can now build their brands and followers through the use of an effective Social Media strategy. With very little effort, you can start a conversation with your customers and, as a result, grow a better understanding of their needs and wants.

Conversely, customers can carry on these discussions completely separate from your business involved and, as long as those discussions are positive, this will help to build the public image of that your brand.

Examples of this include:

  • Fashion products being spruiked by customers on their Instagram accounts.
  • Special announcements being launched instantly on Twitter.
  • A loyal Facebook following (a great source of testimonials).
  • Hashtags leading directly back to the source – your website.

A properly built and managed website allows a small-town business to build and expand beyond what was traditionally possible. By making your business easy to find, helpful and value for money – you will not only encourage locals to stick with you but may just hook into some lucrative “outside” business and from there – the only way is up!

Why wouldn’t a small business be online?

Posted by

Today, the whole world is online.

From the school kids down at the skate park to grandparents on their “grey nomad” tours of Australia, each and every one of them is hooked up and on the net. Either through wireless, mobile, cable, fibre optics or copper wire, Australians (and the developed world for that matter) are processing and sharing information at a rate never seen before in history. We do our banking online, our research assignments online, our university courses online and, most importantly to business owners, we shop online.

With all this access, it is still mind-blowing that some businesses (52% of SMBs*) are still living in the dark ages and operating without an internet presence. That is, they don’t have a website. Why? Look at any business not using the web and I’m sure if you asked the owners, they’d be one of the categories below:-

Time Poor – When do I have time to learn about websites?

Running a business is always flat-out and hectic. With stock to order, employees to manage, bills to pay, premises to maintain among a million other things, there’s very rarely anytime left to do anything else. Some businesses use this as the main excuse to not create a website. Unless you can outsource the work of maintaining a website to an employee or an outside agency, the creation of a site just seems like too much of an extra burden. And this is on top of learning how to do it in the first place. It’s all too hard…

Technologically Naive – I don’t know anything about websites!

If a business has been operating for a number of years (i.e. from before the advent of websites) and working along fairly comfortably, the owners of the business may not be fully aware of what a website can do to improve the bottom line of any company. The simple phrase “We’ve done alright without one!” could be the main reason behind unwillingness to expand online. The inherit danger with this attitude is that the business may be missing out on a number of potential sales simply through an unawareness of the World Wide Web and its possibilities.

Another reason could be that the business operators may not be aware of the process to get a website designed and built. Technology can be fairly daunting to some people and websites are no different. Just the mere thought of moving online or even creating a site for the business can leave some people in a cold sweat.

Just Plain Poor – We can’t afford one right now…

With all the responsibilities listed in the section above, money can also be very tight at times and the perceived expense of website development may just be too much for the business to handle at any particular time. Rumours are often perpetuated about sites for small businesses running into the thousands and who has the spare cash to throw around like that?

Let’s debunk these theories one by one.

Firstly, there is no need for a business owner to fret about going online with their business. It merely needs to be seen as another part of your marketing strategy. Take a look at our four steps to getting online here – all you need to do is decide whether you need a website or not (you do!) and get in touch with a web developer to take care of the rest. If you merely want a brochure site that isn’t going to change often, nothing could be easier. But if you do have the time, maybe you could invest in a CMS site that you can update yourself – the learning curve to running your own site is not as steep as you think.

Secondly, if you are swept off your feet and have no time to run a site then get someone else to do it for you. Hire a developer to create the site and a copywriter to create the content – they can do amazing things with just a few dot points about your business, that’s their job. Already have a brochure about your company? A good copywriter can take this brochure and create a whole website of content for you. No photos? No worries. Stock photography is available for your business and only costs a couple of dollars per image.

Finally, although some web developers charge thousands for site development, it doesn’t need to be that expensive. Obviously, you cannot expect a highly polished site for $200 but if you do a little research and ask for a few quotes, you are sure to find a developer that can work within a reasonable budget. Take care though; make sure you check out online portfolios first to ensure that the designer can provide the high quality service you expect.

As you can see, there’s no excuse for not getting your business online these days. If your business wants to grow and continue to be competitive in today’s marketplace – it needs to be online.

Is your Web Designer LEGIT?

Posted by

When it comes to the World Wide Web and the sites that live upon it, some small business owners can be a little naive about how it all works.

There are so many aspects to take into account – domain names, hosting, email accounts, analytics, SEO and social media to name just a few of the items that need to be taken into consideration when getting a business online.

That’s why business owners like to hand over all those aspects to their website developer and say “please take care of this for me!”

There is a lot of trust being placed in that last statement – websites can be a big investment and, as a small business owner, you need to be able to rely upon your website “guys” to do the right thing. But, as in other industries, there are people who will take advantage of this.

If you are about to embark on the process of getting a web designer, or your current designer just doesn’t “feel right”, a little research will guide you to a reputable website design business.

Ask Around

Take a look at the websites of businesses in your immediate network (probably not your competitors). If possible, ask the business owners some key questions about their sites:

  • Who was their designer?
  • Who they would recommend and why?
  • Is the site generating the business that they need?
  • Is the site difficult to update?
  • What was the design process like when working with the web developer?

Positive testimonials work for all industries including web design so find out who would do the best job for your particular business.

Check out the web designer’s current portfolios.

All reputable designers will display their work on their own websites so check them out. Make sure that they can deliver styles that are current (not from the late 90’s) and relevant to your business.

Check for generic design Themes

One very important aspect that needs to be checked to ensure that you don’t get ripped off – make sure that you are not going to be paying for a generic template unless it has been made very clear that is exactly what you are paying for. These templates are not created just for your business and may have been used thousands of times. Working with anyone that uses them can be dangerous as the “designer” may not have the skills to create / modify / reprogram the design to your specific needs.

A quick way to check for generic templates:

  • Go to one of the sites they have “built” and copy the URL from the address bar at the top of your web browser.
  • Go to http://whatwpthemeisthat.com/ and paste the URL into the box provided.

This site quickly looks through the code and will tell you if the site is designed with the WordPress CMS (which is fine) and what theme the site is created with. If that theme is commercially available, this site will also tell you where you can buy it.

Too many times, I have seen so-called “Web Designers” that charge their customers exorbitant amounts of money for “designing” a site which can be purchased elsewhere for a little as $30!  All the “designer” does is change the imagery and add some text.

A website should be seen as exactly the same as any other investment in your business. You would research any new equipment or plant that you are purchasing for your business, so why not research who is going to build your website – the marketing tool that can drive business straight your door.

Without an effective website, built by someone who cares specifically about your business, you may be leaving a lot of money on the table from potential clients and digging a big hole in your marketing budget.

SEO Checklist for Site Owners

Posted by

Website owners often think that SEO factors such as keywords, title tags and descriptions are the key to ranking well in Google.

While they are still important, the Google algorithm has evolved and the practice of optimising just these parts of a web page are long gone – the “GoogleBot” now delves deeper into the context of a page and how your site interlinks with other sites on the World Wide Web. 

This checklist has been created to help site owners improve their page content in the eyes of the search engines. It also includes tips to improve vital external SEO factors as well.

#1 Keywords & Topics

Before any work starts on improving the SEO of your page content, spend a few minutes and write down the words and phrases your prospective customers might use to find your website. You may need to conduct research with your target audience to determine what they are looking for in your business.

#2 Content

Check that your written content has been created specifically for the target audience of the chosen topic or information. It needs to be relevant and consistent throughout the page – Google will pick up on your keywords and titles, checking these closely against the content you have written.  

#3 Page Title

The main title of each page on your site needs be relevant to the content and act as a unique tag for search engines. It should be a maximum of 60 characters and, if possible, contain the keywords that are most pertinent to the page topic.

The same rules apply for any sub-headings you may have throughout your content.

#4 Body Copy

Without over-obsessing on the usage of key words, check through the content on each of your pages to ensure that there is a scattering of the words that you anticipate your target audience will be using in their searches. With that in mind, ensure that your content still reads fluidly and makes sense without too much “jargon”.

#5 Tag every Image

Search engines can’t “see” images on your website. As a result, they can’t be used for search algorithm purposes unless they have been tagged with an Alt Attribute. These attributes are the small text boxes that you often see when you float your cursor over an image on a web page.

The Alt text helps the search engines understand what an image is about. These tags are a perfect way to add more keywords into a “hidden” part of your web page content.

#6 Inbound Links

Inbound links, also known as backlinks, are a great way for your website to gain attention and credibility with Google and other search engines. When established and authoritative websites link to your small business site, you automatically “inherit” some of their importance in the eyes of Google.

How do you get these other sites to link to your site? Create great content that people naturally want to link to and let them know about it. You can also look to foster quality links through natural business connections and networking opportunities.

Reciprocal links are also a great way to help each other out – “You link to me and I’ll link back to you.”

#7 Social Media and Online Directories

For this step, head to Google and type in your business name. If your business has been around for a while, you’ll see several search results from directories such as Yellow Pages and TripAdvisor, etc. Click on each and register your website address – in some cases, you may need to create a login. Each one that you add your address to could potentially become a backlink to your site.

Check that your business’ social media platforms have the site address listed as well. This ensures    that, if your target customer finds your social media first, they’ll still end up on your website.

Conclusion

While the list above is by no means comprehensive, by carrying out each of the steps shown, you will be placing your website in a good position to be found by Google and ranked accordingly. Tweaks to SEO are inevitable to improve your ranking over time and it is suggested that you check your search position every week to determine what SEO changes need to be made.

Social Media for your Small Business in 2019

Posted by

On any given day, it has been estimated that 3.2 billion people in the world access social media of some kind. From Facebook to Twitter through to Instagram and LinkedIn, social media seems to permeate every aspect of our lives.

Most small businesses have come to the realisation that they need to be present on at last one or two platforms – but which are the best for your business in 2019?

To determine this, let’s take a brief look at five key players in the social media world that could help you grow your business online.

Facebook

The granddaddy of social medias, Facebook has long been the benchmark that other platforms aspire to. Unsurprisingly, with over 2 billion active users every month**, it is still the most widely used social media in the world.

For small business, Facebook is perfect for growing a community around your products and services in addition to creating brand awareness. When used effectively, a Facebook presence will make a notable difference in reaching your online marketing goals.

In addition, Facebook’s advertising portal (through which they make most of their profits) is easily the best established of any social media platform.

Instagram

Now part of the Facebook family, Instagram started life in 2010 as an online community where users could share images with their followers. Boosted by the rapid rise of smart phone usage throughout this decade, Instagram is used today by models, actors and numerous “influencers” across the world.

A perfect place for visual marketing, small business can utilise the high levels of engagement on Instagram to connect with a target audience. Its users follow accounts that they are genuinely interested which results in a high visibility of your posts.

As of 2019, it is estimated that one in three Australians use Instagram on a regular basis ***.

LinkedIn

Not quite as popular as the big two, the “Facebook for Business” still has an impressive audience of nearly eight million Australians however only around four million log in to their account regularly****.

Statistically, LinkedIn is the second most popular social media site, after Facebook, for medium to large businesses. It’s less popular with small businesses, who are more likely to utilise the crowd power of Facebook and Instagram.

For businesses that offer Business to Business (B2B) services, LinkedIn is perfect for creating online networks of professionals across industries.

Twitter

Once the darling of the #hashtag world, Twitter’s reach into the online world has dwindled over the past five years. It currently ranks in 9th place and is most popular with users in their 30’s.

In professional circles, Twitter is still a great source for real-time commentary on current affairs. With an increase in tweet length (140 characters to 240) and a recent move to allow imagery, the Twitter platform may be one to watch as it evolves to compete with other social media.

YouTube

Thanks to an overabundance of funny cat videos, YouTube is often forgotten as a serious social media contender. With strong content, the online video platform is perfect for engaging an audience with entertaining and interesting information about small business goods and services.

With a staggering one in every two Australians using YouTube every day ***, it is a great place to visually demonstrate the goods and services your small business has to offer.

Conclusion

It’s important to remember that despite all the hard work you do on social media to grow your audience, you are “building your house on borrowed land” – it could be all gone tomorrow – just like Google+.

To avoid placing all your eggs in the one basket, use social media as part of your marketing funnel with your business website as the central hub. Depending on your host (users of Wix or Squarespace beware), your website is the one place on the internet that you can truly control. Use Facebook, Instagram and other social media to develop awareness of your business and nurture a following that you can direct towards sales and services on your small business website.

* https://wearesocial.com/blog/2019/01/digital-2019-global-internet-use-accelerates

** https://zephoria.com/top-15-valuable-facebook-statistics/

*** https://www.socialmedianews.com.au/social-media-statistics/

**** https://mediaaccess.org.au/web/social-media/linkedin

Five things you need to know about Google and your new website.

Posted by

You’ve got a brand-new website for your small business. The imagery is uploaded, social media links are sorted, text content written and formatted – all on display through your custom site design from your awesome web developer.

But no-one can find it. Typing the business name into Google shows nothing in the search results – even on page 10. Why isn’t your site showing up on Google?

The simple answer is that Google is entirely separate from your website and will not find it until you take action and make them pay attention.

Here’s five things you need know about Google and your new website:

1. Your site will not automatically appear on Google.

Google needs to be notified that your site exists so that they can send the “Googlebot” to check it out. Until this happens, your site lives in a bubble and any visitors will need to physically type in the domain name to get to the right address.

Solution: See #2 below…

2. “Google My Business” is the best way to gain fast attention.

Ever wondered how some businesses get their information to show in the righthand box in Google search results? It’s done via the “Google My Business” website and its free for all businesses. It’s also a great way of registering your new website address and nudging the “Googlebot” into action.

Solution: Visit https://www.google.com/intl/en_au/business/ and register your business and website.

3. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is not optional.

Google loves organisation and the best thing you can do on your site is to ensure that you have the basics of SEO ready for Google to crawl through. Fortunately, if you are using the WordPress framework, there are plugins that will walk you through the process of SEO setup to ensure that the “Googlebot” finds what it needs to.

Solution: Install either the Yoast SEO or All-in-One SEO plugins on your website. The basic versions are free with premium options available.

https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-seo/
https://en-au.wordpress.org/plugins/all-in-one-seo-pack/

4. Sharing Links is the secret ingredient to search ranking success.

To get noticed even faster, share your website link around with other businesses already established online. By setting up reciprocal links* with other businesses in related industries, you will make both sites stronger in the eyes of Google. Added bonus: the “Googlebot” already visits these sites on a regular basis and as they crawl through them, they may even pick up your linked site address and add it automatically to their list of sites to visit.

Solution: Link up with your suppliers, stockists and anyone related to your industries (though maybe not your competitors). * You link with me and I’ll link back to you…

5. Google is in control – not you.

The final thing to know about Google and your website – they are in control. Google determines how long it takes before the “Googlebot” initially visits your website and how often it comes back. Their software technicians are always tweaking the search algorithm so what may have worked last week for SEO, may not work this week.

Solution: Sign up for Google Analytics and monitor your search results regularly. If your search ranking starts to decline, you will need to take action. Luckily the SEO plugins in #3 should keep abreast of any changes and let you know what needs to be done to reach the top. https://analytics.google.com/analytics/web/

Conclusion

Don’t expect that your new site will appear immediately on page one of the Google search results, even after applying the solutions above. You will need to carefully monitor and constantly tweak your site in order to reach the top. Even as your site gets older and grows a larger audience, SEO is an ongoing practice that will be necessary for the lifetime of your site.

Your business needs a Website – why not do it yourself?

Posted by

I love YouTube and its intuitive advertisement system – I believe it is a very clever way to target a certain demographic with the correct type of ad. Only problem is that I am always targeted with DIY website builder advertisements and one in particular is driving me crazy atm. It starts with the simple statement (I won’t give away the business name) – “You need a Website – Why not do it yourself?”

Where do I start to answer that question?

These days, there are literally hundreds of online website builders that offer free or supposedly cheap site design for business owners who want to create their online presence. Sign up, choose a template, chuck in some content and imagery and away you go. But as I have said previously, there is no such thing as a free lunch.

There are numerous pitfalls and traps related with using these websites that the casual user may not see. If you have bigger plans than just creating a quick site, such as generating traffic, expanding your business and generating profits – you must stay well away from these quickie sites.

Here’s the top five reasons why:

1. Building a website is not easy! 

There’s to a site than meets the eye. Not only does a website have to look good, it has to “act” in a certain way in order to drive customers into making a purchase or acquiring your services. That’s after they find you in the first place!

A good website has search engine optimisation, backup facilities, content management system, call to actions and many other components planned individually to suit your particular business and integrated into the design from day one. There is absolutely no way that an online builder knows (or even cares) what your business needs. This is what a real web designer comes in handy!

2. You don’t want the same site as everyone else – you want your own!

Using an online site builder involves using a template design – a pre-designed layout which you customise with your logo and content. If you are lucky, you may even be able to alter the theme colours – to a pre-set range of options, of course.

What this invariably means is there is potential for your site to look exactly the same as dozens of others. Chances are, if you liked a particular template, so did hundreds of small business owners around the globe. You will definitely not have that individual look that should define your site from all the others.

C’mon – your business should be as individual as you are – and so should your website.

3. Your site can disappear at any time!

“Never build your house on someone else’s land.” If you are ever tempted to go with an online site builder (paid subscriber or free), be very aware of the small print in the “Terms and Conditions.” The service provider, whoever that may be, reserves the right to remove any site at their own discretion, even if there is no legal reason for doing so.

That right!

The online site builder can go belly up overnight or just decide they don’t like you and your precious site is history. Add to that, the headquarters may be in Israel and your legal rights don’t have any weight at all there.

4. We actually care about your site and how it works for you.

There is absolutely no connection between your business and the online site builders during any stage of the process. You never speak to anyone and email is the only way to communicate. Even then, you will probably “converse” with a different service centre controller each time.

When you choose an actual web designer, we talk to you throughout the design of your website. We check that our decisions are on the mark and ensure that you are entirely happy with the results. This is essential to create a site that works specifically for your business.

On top of this, we need to ensure that your site is the best it can be because the success of our own business relies on “happy” customers. If you aren’t happy with the end results, you probably won’t refer us onto anyone and you definitely won’t give us a shining testimonial. That’s not good for business.

5. Your site should be your own – not covered with advertisements for other businesses.

If you opt for the free version of most online site builders, you will end up with a big banner ad somewhere on your site stating that “THIS SITE WAS CREATED WITH …. – BUILD YOUR OWN FOR FREE!”

Not exactly that professional look you are aiming for.

As web designers, Rusty Mango puts its name at the bottom of websites that we build because we are proud of what we do. It also tends to help a little built with your site’s SEO. But we don’t put something there to scream out “GET US TO BUILD YOUR WEBSITE!” – That’s just rude.

Taking all of the above into account, the reality is that if you want your website done right, don’t do it yourself. With the precious time that you spend learning the system, creating the site and populating it with content, the end result is still a site that just doesn’t work. That’s time you could be spending more effectively working on your business, making sales and providing service to your customers.

Instead spend a little time finding a web designer that produces the type of work that you want (check their portfolio) and you feel comfortable working with to build and maintain your website. This will prove to be a much better investment in the long run.