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Posted by on in Social Media
Up your Insta-game and Increase Followers

Jump on-board one of the fastest growing social media platforms around and learn how you can increase followers.

Instagram has over 800 million monthly users and over 500 million daily users with 80% of accounts following at least one business account, enabling many small businesses to break free from just their local markets to create global success stories for themselves on this social platform.

With the popularity of Instagram stories and the expansion of advertising opportunities, now is a great time to be utilising this social media tool to boost your business profile and with the number of current active users, this platform is one of the best places to reach and engage with your target audience.

Obviously if you don't have a business account then the first step you need to take to get started is to create one, however a business profile is going to be different to your personal one. So let's take a look at a few things you should be aware of when setting up your account.

1. Make sure the name you choose reflects your other branded social media profiles. Your headshot should be your company logo and use your bio to tell people a little bit about your business and what they can expect from you.

2. Your website address should be added to your bio and you can change this to reflect any campaigns you run or any new blogs you may have written online. This is the only area where you can insert a clickable link. You can also convert the URL in bit.ly or goo.gl form, and get real time statistics of the CTR, from these free URL shorteners. In this area you can also add any branded #hashtags you want your followers to use.

3. Now that your profile is set up, your next step is to start following some people. Look for influencers in your industry, customers, and other people relevant to your brand. You can also search industry hashtags and start commenting on photos and following people who participate in discussions to make your presence known. Social media is all about connecting with people and Instagram is no different.

One of the most effective ways to reach higher engagement and follow back rate, is to comment + like + follow the person. This kind of tactic has shown on average an almost 20% higher engagement rate than just following a bunch of Instagrammers.

Another good way to find relevant people is to research your industry #hashtags and use these hashtags within your own posts.

4. Lastly, make sure you also add your Instagram profile to your website and other social media profiles to help with cross-promotion of your brand.

Use these great tips to utilise your bio and captions

Male sure your bio is informative and interesting to hook your followers. Check out some great tips on how you can get more out of your Instagram bio and captions below:

1. Embrace the emoji and save up on some characters. The right emoji can replace words and that means more space for you to write about your business. Using emoji can also set the tone and the atmosphere of your page.

2. In your bio, make sure to highlight what makes your business special and unique. Tell your audience what you can do for them and why they should care.

3. Include line breaks in your bio and captions. Huge blocks of text can be hard to read or skim. To avoid this add line breaks, however this can be a bit tricky to achieve on Instagram. For iOS users, create your bio and captions in your notes or a different app, copy and the paste it. If you are an Android user, tap the return button on the mobile keyboard to create line breaks.

4. Get more out of your bio and captions by including a call to action.

5. If you have a brick and mortar store, add your contact information, location and opening hours.

6. Are you a local business? It is trendy to be a local business, so stick that into your bio and if you produce ethically and sustainably make sure you mention that as well.

7. Last but not least, add your branded hashtags to promote your brand. This will allow Instagrammers to use your hashtags on posts related to your industry. It will also help your organic campaigns gain more visibility and furthermore, you can pick up some of the nice photos and stories from your followers to repost on your feed since it has been proven to be very effective to post or re-post user generated content.

SET YOUR GOALS

All of your marketing efforts should have a set of goals including your social media marketing. Ask yourself what you are hoping to achieve for your business on Instagram?

Some of the most common strategic goals are below:

• Increase sales
• Drive traffic to your website
• Create and build brand awareness
• Demonstrate your company culture
• Showcase your team and attract talent to your business
• Increase customer loyalty and engagement
• Introduce and promote your products and services
• Share news and knowledge
• Connect and network
• Establish relationships with influencers in your industry

Your goals will need to be clear, measurable, attainable, and relevant. And do not forget to include a timeframe for achieving them as well.

If you are not already using Instagram for your business, then we think that you should seriously consider giving it a go. After all your competition is most likely slaying the Insta-game already, which means they already have a head start.

What is your content strategy for Instagram?

To have a successful brand on Instagram it takes more than just publishing attractive images. You need to implement thoughtful and creative content to help develop a well-defined brand identity.

Your content should consist of four key components:

a. How often and when to post?
b. What themes to use?
c. What are your style guidelines?
d. And lastly, what are your engagement guidelines?

1. Posting

Do your research and start posting at different times and different intervals. Then carefully examine all of your results and create a report of the engagement statistics. Now, we know that you can find lots of information from the internet about the best times to post on Instagram but we still suggest you do your own field studies, as there are lots of factors that affect these ratings, such as the geographical locations of your target audiences, time zones, different cultures, career paths of your target audience and the list goes on. After you have tracked the results and drawn up your conclusions it is time for you to create a content calendar.
In a content calendar you will carefully plan your posts, what to post and when to post it to achieve the most desirable responses from your Instagram community. However, there is nothing wrong with a bit of spontaneity and will in fact be some of your best Instagram content, especially if you highlight company culture and events.

2. Themes

You should be rotating different kind of themes in your Instagram to keep things interesting for your customers. You could for instance have themes where you create brand awareness, attract new customers by having contests or sweepstakes, sharing discount codes or exclusive offers to your Instagram followers, tell stories, and share amazing visuals with your product or service to introduce them to life with your products or services.

3. Style guidelines

You want your Instagram feed to reflect your brands personal style, so that your customers can distinguish easily between your brand and your competitors. Brand features like fonts, colours, and logos are important tools for creating brand recognition and recall. You need to use these features consistently, enabling your followers to identify your posts more easily in the feed.

To set up your style guidelines, ask yourself some of the following questions.

a. Are you going to use emojis?
b. What type of language will you use? Grammar guidelines or more informal language (which is recommended when it comes to Instagram).
c. What will be the style of your photos and images (colour pallets, saturation, exposure, composition, filters and so on)?

TIP: In your feed, you should have consistency throughout your photos, as this has shown higher engagement rates.

d. What kind of hashtags are you planning to use to differentiate your brand, or are you going to use branded hashtags?
e. What is your image aspect ratio? After years of only standard square images and videos, Instagram has now finally opened up their platform to allow for portrait and landscape orientations, which allows for greater versatility. Most users don't care to much about their Instagram picture size but for businesses promoting their brand online, this can open up a whole new world where you can create a more diverse stream of visual content.

TIP: The full vertical aspect ratio (4:5) has shown the highest engagement rates.

Engagement guidelines

There are some things you should consider when engaging with your audience.

Content:

It won't matter how well you interact with people if you are not providing high quality content on Instagram. Create edgy captions to match your image and reveal the personality behind your brand. Also keep it simple and avoid anything that looks too busy.

Interaction:

Instagram is a "social network" for a reason, so the way you interact with your audience will help or hinder your engagement. Ask questions and start conversations. By being active and having fun with everything you do, people will respond to your personality and will want to engage with your brand.

TIP: Know your audience. You won't be able to interest someone in conversation if you don't know what they like, so try to understand who you are speaking to.

Optimisation:

How will you optimise your strategy to create more engagement? Track your competitors, followers, fans and customers and adjust your strategy according to their movements. The elements of your strategy need to be as measurable and specific as you would for any other marketing platform to get sustainable results. Instagram is no different from any other marketing channel you are using when it comes to optimisation.

Hashtags and Offers:

Hashtags help your content get discovered by more people, so you need to effectively use them to skyrocket your post engagement and increase your followers. Check out trends, create a unique hashtag for your brand, create contests and deliver offers that are unique to your Instagram audience.

Promotion:

There is not much popint having great content, if not enough people are seeing it. Cross promote on other social networks, look for influencers within your industry and run Instagram ads. With a community of over 400 million users, Instagram is one of the world's largest mobile ads platforms.

Captions

Compelling visuals may be what Instagram is all about, but an effective Instagram caption will push engagement with your audience even further.

When writing Instagram captions you have 2,200 characters to use with an ellipsis after three lines of text and while some users may omit captions, your brand never should. An image alone can be great, but one with a story is even better.

A few of things to keep in mind are to try and include the important part of your message within the first three lines, and use your captions to keep your audience's attention and inspire them to take action.

What are good captions made of?

Good captions, adds context, shows personality, entertains the audience, and prompts your audience to take action.

Check out some great tips below to help you improve your captions:

1. Know your audience. Build audience personas by outlining the basic details about your target customers, and their goals and pain points. If you know your audience, writing captions to your specific target market and building engagement with them becomes much easier. This will eventually lead to more engaged followers and that will lead to more sales.
2. Identify your brand's voice. Make a list of your strongest qualities and values that you want to reflect through your brand and make sure you reflect these values and qualities in your posts.
3. Know when to use short captions. Give context only where needed. If your post is very clear, it will speak for itself.
4. Like with all your marketing messages the most important piece of the information should come first. Instagram is no different, as you only have a few lines to grab their attention.
5. People love stories, so tell your brand story within your posts.
6. Us your captions to ask questions, opinions and get followers to tag friends on your posts.

The Power in Audience Personas

The value of knowing your audience results in a better engagement rate. Higher engagement rates equal stronger relationships, which in turn leads to more sales. Knowing your audience also enables you to provide better customer satisfaction and fulfilment of their wants and needs when you have a clear understanding of them.

Everyone has a persona, including your customers and these personas are generally made up of things we like and don't like, career goals, dreams, the struggles we have and any pain points we may have gone through. This information creates a very valuable snapshot of the people you are trying to reach.

To create these personas you will need to do some research, have a bit of intuition and creativity. Creating these personas may take some work but it will be worth it.

1. Research your customers thoroughly. If you can, find out their gender, age, income, employment, location, and education. Any data you can get your hands on.
2. Then look for similar trends between your customers For instance, you might notice that they have similar careers or occupations, live in the city or rural areas, similar age group and so on.

Most often, once you've done your research you will find 3 to 5 major groups. Let your imagination go wild and create imaginary characters out of these 3 to 5 groups. Give them Names, jobs, marital status, careers, living areas, families etc.

3. Next you want to learn their goals and aspirations. Find out what motivates them and what their ultimate dreams and desires are? Once you have identified what drives them, look at what you can offer them and how you can provide value in their lives and how you can even help them reach their ultimate goals. Then you want to find out what their pain points are and what's holding them back from reaching their goals. Finish off by gaining understanding of how your product or service can solve their problems or ease their struggles.

By now you have come to know your customer well. However, you can dive deeper and find out if they have pets or if they prefer cats or dogs, where they buy their groceries, what car they drive or what car they want to drive? What sports they play and any hobbies they have... you get the picture.

Remember, the better your personas are, the better you will know what they have, what they want to have, who they are, and who they want to be and how your brand can fit into their lives.

Instagram is a great way to promote your brand online and reach new audiences.  It's social nature works to increase the more intangible aspects of marketing, such as building reltionships and buyer loyalty, as well as brand equity, and user value. So if you are not already giving Instagram a go then now is the time to start.

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Posted by on in Marketing
Make your email marketing personal!

Did you know people check their emails on average 4 times per day? I know I check mine a lot more - between my business and personal emails it's definitely much more than 4 times per day.

Personalized emails deliver 47% higher transaction rates than classic emails but 70% of brands fail to use them as an integral part of their digital marketing strategy.

Email marketing is not a new trend and has been around for more than two decades but in 2017 it is still the quickest manner in which to reach customers with critical information about your brand and services.

In this blog we are going to look at a few strategies you should be applying in your email marketing to make it more personalized. According to digital trends, 73% of customers prefer to do business with brands that make their marketing more personalized for their target audience. It makes their experience with you more relevant and contributes to you building a relationship with them.
Check out some tactics below that you can use in personalized email marketing.

1) Email segmentation:

Slice your email marketing for better list segmentation and to better improve the personalization of your email marketing. By segmenting your email lists you are targeting your customers more directly in regards to what they want or need from your business. Each customer is different and has different preferences, interests and tastes. There are a number of creative ways you can segment your email list to help run innovative and effective campaigns to target your customers. However, to do this you need to collect information about your email recipients, such as interests, geographical location, age, gender, industry and so on. The more information you can collect, the more opportunities you have to tailor your emails to resonate with them and in turn get them to take that step to connect with you one-on-one.

You can collect data by encouraging people to fill in forms, surveys and answer questions about what they are looking for from your business. You can also use past purchases to gather information on customer interests, buying frequency, and purchase cycle to enable you to identify upsell opportunities, the best time to promote certain products and reward frequent shoppers with a loyalty program.
Now that your list is segmented make sure you provide develop dynamic content for each segmented list and include a clickable call-to-action to your website to take that email to the next level and help you generate more customers.

Segmented email campaigns have an open rate that is 14% higher than non-segmented campaigns. So what are you waiting – start looking at ways you can segment your email lists today.

2) Individualized email messaging:

Now that your email lists have been segmented according to each criteria you've set out, you can start to personalize individually each email you send out to each customer. This shows that you are paying attention to them, who they are and what they care about the most.
36% of customers will read your email in its entirety if they are called by their first name. That is why it is really important to include their name in the subject line to grab their attention directly in your email campaign. You can also create content like images or videos include their name as well as in your storytelling content.

3) Behavior-triggered emails:

You can set up automated behavioral trigger emails for your customers which are real time reactions to how your customer is using your product or your service. For instance, when Facebook emails you because you haven't logged in for 5 days, or your beauty salon sends you an email because you haven't visited them for three months and provides you with a special offer, this is a behavior-triggered email. I received one of these yesterday and guess what – I booked myself in within seconds to take advantage of the deal being offered.

Trigger emails have a 152% higher open rate compared with classic emails. Which means behavioral email marketing is a beneficial tool which allows you to cultivate lifelong customers. Behavioral emails are very effective because they are triggered based on a prospect's behavior or actions that they initiated when interacting with your business. The decision you must then make is which user actions to react to.
This kind of personalized email marketing is also easily automated and can be used for multiple actions such as birthday offers and welcome emails, transactional emails confirming a download, re-engagement campaigns such as the example mentioned above and so on.
In your email start a conversation with your user based on the behavior and when setting up the email make sure you are creating a highly personal experience.

4) Responsive email design:

Just like responsive web design your email should also be responsive and the appearance of your email must be attractive to catch your audience's attention. Just as people form and impression within seconds about your brand from your website, the same happens with your email.
If it does not look good and display optimally on mobile devices, they will quickly click out on your email and it is not the reaction you want. If your customer also can't easily open or read all the content in your email, they will leave.

You need to take into account many factors such as the size of the email, the layout, and the fluidity, etc. Responsive design also plays a part in personalizing your email marketing because you are adapting to different devices and the context of the person who will receive your email. A good example of adaptive content is to mention "click" for a computer, "tap" for a smartphone and a tablet.
54% of emails are now opened and read on a mobile device.

5) Individualized landing pages:

One of the most valuable strategies is to match personalized emails and landing pages on your website to target your customer more effectively. The aim is to have the same personalized call to action for the customer and have a unified experience to convert them more easily.
Your landing page must be directly related to the content of your emails as well as to the interests of your segmented list of customers. It helps readers to see the next step and learn more about what you are promoting.

Using this kind of strategy, your campaign can have an increase of 8% conversion rate from the usual email marketing campaign. Customers respond more to a personalized and targeted email campaign across all areas. So get your email marketing and landing pages working together and get some awesome results.

6) Location-based emails:

With so many consumers on the go today and never far from their mobile devices, geo-targeting location based emails enables incentives to be delivered at the right time and right place to your target audience. Long gone are the days where one-size fits all in email marketing and even making minor adjustments can improve your results dramatically.

Location campaigns can also help you utilize real-time data and even help you to pinpoint a contact's precise geo-location which means you can market to them directly about any offers or promotions you have on at that time. This can increase in-store traffic and help boost sales through impulse purchases.
You might however, be asking yourself why emails compared to push notices or SMS messaging. Yes text messaging can do the same job, but has rarely ever delivered the same results.

Push alerts and text messages are still considered annoying, especially if they arrive at the wrong time, and they demand the consumer's attention in that moment, which is one of the reasons why some industries have an opt-out rate of 60% when using push alerts.
When you send an email it can be read on your target audience's own schedule and even if the message gets there a little later it is overall less annoying to the person receiving it, which is probably why email opt-out rates are significantly lower to push notices, and is usually around 1 to 2% after each email delivery.

Just in the past year alone, location-targeted emails have increased by 38% compared to non-location based emails. So why not give it a go yourself, you've got nothing to lose and possibly a lot to gain.

7) Self-managed preference centre:

Having a customer preference centre is a key tool to helping you manage your email marketing and your subscribers.
It allows your customers to control their personal information and can help boost retention and strengthen their relationship with your brand. The data and information they provide you are in their hands as they choose what they want you to know about themselves and they can adjust this information whenever they want to, as well as how they want to interact with you.

For instance, some customers will be more interested to receive emails on certain topics and at different frequencies and a customer preference centre can allow them to set these options.

Strong engagement, retention, and monetization don't come from you forcing your message on them; it will come from you reaching your customers in ways that appeal to them and having a preference centre will make that much easier.
The customer satisfaction will automatically increase and you will be able to collect new data to help personalize your email marketing as well. It shows you are building a successful customer / brand relationship on give-and-take.

An effective email marketing strategy is all about automation, segmentation and customization. Even if email personalization can seem a little challenging for some marketers, using the right email marketing and automation tools can reduce your pain points and make this process much easier.

If you need help with your email marketing, give us a call on 07 5592 2685 or email info@selectmarketing.net.au.

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Posted by on in Website Design
Visual Storytelling in Web Design

Every brand has a story, but how are you telling your story online? Visual storytelling in web design is a growing trend so we are going to dive a little further into techniques that make for good interaction with your storytelling and design. Like we want to see the moral of the story at the end of a book, we expect to see the purpose or goal behind the storytelling on the website at the end.

There are a number of techniques for a better interaction design in storytelling, which we will look at a bit further on in our blog.

Storytelling is literally to tell a story. Where once, it was more confined to fairy-tales and novels, storytelling has now become a great feature for communicating your needs, especially online with many international brands using it on their websites to attract and create an emotional link with their visitors.
You don't just tell the story of your brand, your products or services; you want to share your experiences and your journey with your audience and even go as far as making them a part of your story. The main point is to capture their attention and provoke their emotions.

AUTHENTICITY is the key word for a perfect storytelling strategy on your website.

It is a powerful approach that when done right, can compel your visitors to convert more effectively on your website than what any amount of SEO, visual callouts, or amazing interactive elements can do. I am an advocate of SEO and a good SEO plan will direct people to your site, but once they are there a great story can begin the journey of turning them into loyal customers of your brand.

Check out some techniques you can use to tell your story on your website:

1. Introduce visitors to your story

When the path of your story is laid out clearly in front of your visitor's eyes, the rest of the work simply lies in convincing them that the purpose of your story is really worth grabbing a hold of, which is great for you as the storyteller, because your visitor's mindset is wanting to learn more about what the story has to offer.
Your storytelling goes hand-in-hand with your visuals and design structure. However, it does not have to be interactive to be effective. But, it must be ENGAGING. If your visitors get bored with your story or barely take any notice of it then what was the point of creating it in the first place.

Your story does not need to be complex. In some cases you can simply tell your story with one image and if this is the case then don't use half a dozen images. If your story needs half a dozen images or more then definitely don't use just one or two to get your story across. It's all about knowing your story well and making it as detailed or as simple as it needs to be in the telling.

Most brands have a story to tell so they can use a feature like storytelling, but if your website is a site where visitors are looking for instant access to information then the use of storytelling may not be for you.  No matter the type of website, it needs to create a connection with the visitor and you do that by providing them with what they are looking for first and foremost, which means you need to have a pretty good idea of what that may be.

2. Interactive storytelling

Some stories benefit from directly involving the user in the story itself. There are interactive features you can use in your storytelling. Once such feature is a guided questionnaire on your site to collect specific information that enables you to make the information you are presenting personal to the user. Effectively, your website becomes more about them, rather than some general, random person. However, the consumer must want to fill the questionnaire in and not be obligated to do so.

The placement of these types of features is important. You want to grab your visitor's attention but at the same time you don't want them to leave because you keep interrupting them online. Use the structure aka design of your website to effectively introduce them to your story through interactive features so they willingly interact and willingly fill out any questionnaires. Sidebar placements up the top to the right or header features are good placement options.

By having a questionnaire on your website you can ensure their interaction with your website is dedicated to them. By engaging visitors in this creative way you encourage your user to be more focused on the kind of message you want to deliver to them and the information they are looking for.

Let's look at an example. Say your business is in the beauty industry and you are selling cosmetics online. In your quick questionnaire you can ask questions like: the colour of their skin, the colour of their eyes, their eye shape, if they have any ski irritations and so on. Then the algorithm on your website will analyze the answers of your user to then provide them with the perfect products to use based on their answers and profile.

Other tools such as, personalised avatars for your user to be a character in your story or the use of chatbots in your design; which we will talk a bit more about later on. These features and animations tell your visitor that your brand cares about their needs and experience online and shouldn't be neglected in today's market.

3. Let your user be a character in your story

There are a number of ways you can enable your user to be a character in your story, by involving them directly and personalizing the way you present your information. One such way could be basing your story on user input. For instance, websites that make the visitor choose which option they are: I'm a developer, I'm a designer, I'm a marketer – and then personalize the information presented based on each type of user.

The use of real time data is also another form of interaction that can be a very effective way to keep users interested and to persuade them to become return visitors. Thanks to Google, Social media platforms like twitter and Facebook and streaming services like Netflix who cater to our every desire, serving us up instant personalized searches, offering us recommendations based on our behavioral data and tapping into the preferences of our peers, our idols and other people with similar tastes, we have become 'lazy users'. Businesses can also use this real time data to create a more personalized experience on their websites just like our favourite browser does when we jump on and search. However, when you consider the implementation of real-time data visualization, think of your type of user first.

Real-time analytics is a must for any business who wants to learn about their visitors. But, observing how your visitors interact with your website in real time is one thing, and acting on your findings is another. There are a number of widgets that you can implement into your site, such as twitter and Facebook and the use of live streaming videos that enable you to communicate quickly with your users and show what other people are saying about your brand, product or service. Some businesses have even used their website to show real-time feeds of their office, which provides the user the experience of being there although they could be sitting on their computer on the other side of the world.

Real-time data is making waves and will continue to evolve in the coming years with the main idea of being about to provide that more personalized experience. Funny, how we live so much of our lives online now especially within our social media accounts but we yearn more each day for that personal touch.

4. Chat bots anyone?

We mentioned Chat bots in tip number 2 and are now going to look into this interactive feature a bit more. One of the earliest interactive chat services would have to be the Microsoft Office assistant, commonly referred to as Clippy the paperclip, who would correct our grammar and highlight misspellings. Since then Chat bots have come a long way. Their ability to simulate conversations makes them a handy customer service and marketing tool for many businesses, especially e-commerce sites, where Chat bots help to facilitate sales 24/7.

Visitors to your website can interact with a web interface like they would with a sales assistant in a brick-and-mortar store, replicating the same experience without having to step out of their comfort zones. Chat bots can function either with artificial intelligence or with human supervision. Another industry that is using Chat bots effectively is the Food industry, where they are used to accept orders.

Using tools like Letsclap, helps online businesses to connect with their customers via messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or WeChat, providing customized customer support and commerce. The use of these conversational interfaces will grow in 2017 and beyond in how web designers think about creating websites to help big and small brands express different sides of their personality and therefore make them more human and approachable to their customers.

More than 900 million people around the world use Facebook Messenger every month, so the introduction of Bots for Messenger last year was a welcome addition to the toolkit of communication channels. Businesses of all sizes can take advantage of this feature without needing any coding knowledge.

5. Have you ever heard of Gamification?

The use of gamification is more popular in mobile apps, however it can still be used on your website. In simple terms it is a system of risk or cost and reward. You are looking for ways to enable your story to reward your visitors by performing certain tasks. These tasks could be filling out a registration form or completing special offers. That is gamification and its main goal is to create visitor loyalty and to keep them engaged.

Rewards when they are worthwhile can be a huge motivator for users to interact with your brand and website. Just make sure that the rewards you are offering are appropriate to the level of risk for your user. Maybe the most challenging part in the use of gamification is to choose the best reward for you and your users. If the reward is too small, users will not bother participating. If it is too big, you could end up losing money, and no business wants that outcome.

The use of gamification is not a direct way of storytelling but it still helps you to include visitors in what you want to share with them about your brand. You can also choose rewards with a direct link to your company story and experiences.

Dropbox is a great example of gamification through voluntary reward. They dangle their users with a reward of 250MB of free space in exchange for a series of small actions, which it cleverly frames as "a series of quests". They then present the quests in a checklist format, which taps into our need to feel a sense of accomplishment when we complete a task.

6. Surprise your visitors with the "Easter egg" effect!

Although more of a tricky interaction in design to pull off, if your website is well-suited to this type of project where the love of discoverability can be incorporated in your story, why not give it a go and give your user a very memorable experience.

What is known as the "Easter egg" effect is when you want to hide something behind a click on your website to surprise your visitors. It can be an animation, a video, a quick game, text and so on. The main objective is to increase your brand awareness and to actually humanize your brand by showing its personality. They can also boost your traffic, and above all provide fun for your user which in turn increases their engagement with your brand.

Giveaway or contest and game sites are great examples where this effect works well. In saying that though, any brand can use an egg on their site and many do, you just don't know about it. Brands and businesses rarely promote their easter eggs, after all that's part of the fun. And, who doesn't like an easter egg hunt?

Some developers might leak information online, but most of the time, users have to "hunt" or stumble upon these little eggs all on their own. They are a great way of generating word-of-mouth for your business online and with the help of digital marketing channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Buzzfeed; they can spread like lice through a primary school.

One of the most known easter eggs, is Google Chrome's: Unable to Connect. This mini game involves a small dinosaur. When your WiFi is down or Google Chrome can't find a connection, it'll take you to a simple grey page with a dinosaur. Click the space bar to help it to jump obstacles.

No matter the complexity of your egg, your project needs to be well-executed to have a positive effect at the end. Make sure your audience understands and enjoys this kind of playful interaction, as not everyone will appreciate it, and for some users, it may be frustrating.
Before you design anything, know who your user is and treat your easter eggs like 'icing on the cake'. You need your website to be fully optimized before you think about adding little extras to the recipe.

7. Create interactivity when doing common actions

Common actions online include scrolling, clicking and tapping. We complete these without a second thought. So why not add some interactive value in your design when users perform these common actions.

With scrolling incorporate parallax scrolling, this has become one of the most popular techniques to tell a linear visual story. As a user scrolls down your website you introduce them to your brand, products or service in a clean effective use of images and text.

When clicking, use your images in reinforce where your visitors should click. Tell them what will happen when they do click and why it's beneficial. Capture their attention with the right graphics to get your message across as well as a great headline, which is no more than 5 – 7 words. After all we are all time sensitive these days and are bombarded by so many images you want to ensure that your story makes sense, grab their attention and keeps them engaged.

Another technique in storytelling is to make your visuals respond when your user performs the common actions like scrolling and clicking. In many cases this will be some simple animation incorporated in your design.

In my research I came across the Babel app website, which I absolutely love the design of and is a great example (http://babeltheking.com/eng ). As you scroll down, a cat that is the title character, Babel seems to fall from the sky, and tumbles all the way down to the bottom, unless you stop scrolling. When you stop the cat rights itself, holding onto an umbrella. Check it out as it's sure to make you smile.

Every good story has a beginning, middle and an end. Even a single image with text should follow the same rule, it is just quicker to complete. It becomes more vital for longer, more complex stories to have a plan in place, so research your visitor. Put yourself in the shoes of your user and take the time to map out your story with the beginning being the start of the customer journey, in the middle you'll engage with them and at the end is where they will complete the final goal.

Need help with your web design? Then get in touch for a little chat about your design needs.

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Factors that carry the most weight in SEO when ranking

Google's algorithm incorporates thousands of signals when it comes to determining page ranking for a search. There are however, a number of factors that carry more weight than others, so optimising for these factors can be the difference between success and failure of being found online.

1. How Mobile-Friendly are you?

Mobile for some time now has no longer been "the future" but is the "now" and if your website is not easily accessible to a user searching on mobile then you may not rank as highly as you would like. The Google index is going mobile first and if you don't have a mobile-friendly page, then you will likely take a hit in the SERPs.

If you are not sure how your website meets the criteria for being mobile friendly, then log into your Search Console account and look at the Mobile Usability Report. This report will provide you with a list of mobile issues so you can take the appropriate steps needed to fix them. You can also do a test here https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly

2. What does your local presence look like?

Did you know that less than half of businesses have claimed their business listing? Google is always improving its ability to deliver local results, particularly as mobile search and local search are inextricably intertwined these days. 20% of ALL searches have local intent so it is important that you have complete and accurate data in your Google Business profile. Google states that "businesses with complete and accurate information are easier to match with the right searches".

Make sure that you've entered all of your business information in Google My Business, so customers know more about what you do, where you are, and when they can visit you. Also make sure you verify your location to give your business the best opportunity to appear for searchers across Google products, like Maps and Search.
Google determines local ranking based primarily on relevance, distance, and prominence. These factors are combined to help find the best match for the search.

Of smart phone users:

• 94% search for location information
• 51% visited a store
• 48% called a store
• 29% made a purchase

So you need your business to be local ready in search engines.

3. What does your UX look like?

Google has always encouraged web developers to make their primary focus one of providing a good user experience. The algorithm is only going to get "smarter" so websites that also get "smarter" will be positioned to benefit the most. A good user experience always goes much deeper than just writing clean code. Smart web design starts with effective planning.
The goal of UX (user experience) design in particular for businesses is to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty through the utility, provide ease of use, as well as providing pleasure in the interaction with a product.

For these purposes your website is the PRODUCT. This means our objective is to determine a user's intent, and then develop a methodology for smooth navigation that also evokes a positive emotion and leads to an overall good experience.

Incorporating UX best practices is not hard, as the web is full of templates and advice. What will separate you from the amateurs is A/B testing, and we have talked more about this in previous blogs. Basically, quantify what is working, what isn't, and continue testing until you get it right.

4. Keyword research is still very important!

Although Google is providing less keyword data, a couple of the largest SEO tool providers, Moz and Ahrefs, have developed and improved keyword tools hoping to fill the void Google has created. The big thing to take note of here is that the way we go about performing and using the results from keyword research has changed, thanks to RankBrain. It is also the third most important factor in the ranking algorithm.

If you are unaware of RankBrain, then let me fill you in.

RankBrain is machine learning and it allows Google to put things in context rather than solely relying on strings of metadata. Because of RankBrain Google is becoming more human and now understands language nuances like stemming, synonyms, and answers. It is enabling Google to better understand the meaning behind the words a person uses and types when searching.

This means that the new generation of keyword tools will take this into consideration and create things like Parent Topics and Keyword Groups. With this in mind, you can develop content that incorporates a series of contextually relevant phrases; however be smart about it you do not have to use every variation of a phrase found and add it to your page – stick to what is most relevant.

5. Use your competition to push you to be better, especially with your content

Content is the second most important factor when ranking on Google, so it's pretty important to get it right. I am sure you've heard of creating "great content" or "useful content" but what does this actually mean when it comes to SEO. It is all about finding the right audience, but more importantly reaching them. Empathise with your prospects and customers, be a problem solver, informative and keep in mind "conversational" search queries when writing.

At least 30% of all searches returned rich answers with many of these answers being in response to "who, what, when, where, why, and how" queries.
It might be good to also point out here that voice search is on the rise and most likely conversational search and rich answers technology is being applied to this feature. 55% of teens and 41% of adults already use voice search daily.

A study done in 2015 by The Content Marketing Institute on B2C Content marketing showed us that 77% of companies' use content marketing, but only 37% of respondents believes they are effective at content marketing. This presents us all with a huge opportunity to be better with our content online, but you really have to be willing to invest the time to make it happen. Blogging is a great way to provide fresh, useful content which is why today there are over 60 million blog posted every month, that's at least 1.97 million posts a day on WordPress blogs alone. WordPress blogs only account for 58.2% of the market share.

Kick start your SEO. Google gets over a massive 100 billion searches a month, so just getting found is already a challenge. Check out our plans today or register for a free SEO report on your website.

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Want to Increase your Conversion Rate Online?

Your SEO is doing wonders for your website and getting you great rankings and even better traffic, but this traffic means nothing to your business if it doesn't convert to meaningful revenue. What will matter the most to the bottom line of any online marketing activities will be your conversion rate.  This can also come in a number of forms and really depends on the goals of your website and what you are trying to achieve when people visit, other than the ultimate need for visitors to purchase your products and services. You might want visitors to engage in content download, have meaningful interactions with elements of your site, and fill out any forms to build on your database for future interactions, just to name a few.  Increasing conversation rate seems pretty simple, right. Unfortunately, if you've ever tried it, you know it's not as easy as it sounds. There are any numbers of variables that will factor into whether or not a visitor converts, but on the flip side there are any numbers of strategies you can use. Let's have a look at some of them below.


Call to Action

We all know what this is and you should include a call-to-action on your website, but why stop at just one. Place these throughout your website in button form, signup opportunities, popup offers, and download opportunities, within the body of your content and blog posts, situated in the side-bar and header. By placing these call-to-actions throughout your website you are giving your visitor more opportunity to convert, however don't be obnoxious where your visitor gets fed up with them and simply leaves. Think about the placement of the call-to-action and how they can be relevant within your design structure and provide benefit to your potential customer.

Let's check out a few stats on CTA's

  1. ContentVerve saw a 90% increase in click-through rate by using first-person phrasing.
  2. Personalized CTAs convert 42% more visitors into leads than untargeted CTAs. (HubSpot)
  3. Neil Patel found that users prefer to learn about the offer before clicking a CTA - placing his CTA above the fold decreased conversions by 17%. (QuickSprout)
  4. Grow & Convert estimates conversion rates for certain CTA locations:

A. Sidebar: 0.5 - 1.5%
B. Generic, end-of-post: 0.5 - 1.5%
C. Pop-ups: 1 - 8%
D. Sliders and bars: 1 - 5%
E. Welcome gates: 10 - 25%
F. Featurebox: 3 - 9%
G. Navbar: varies

We can go on with many more statistics about CTA's and what will work for some, may not work for you. Successful Call-to-Actions require experimentation and testing and a willingness to try new things, so dive in.

Trust Seals

Adding one or multiple trust seals can also help with your conversion rate online. Many industries have authority companies that oversea them, such as the travel industry with The Australian Federation of Travel Agents Limited (AFTA). Any travel agency in Australia registered with AFTA is then in turn considered to be a trusted agent and therefore legitimate. If you are shopping online then having certain trust seals is extremely important for the customer to see, as well as having an SSL certificate associated with your site. More than 88% off people feel that trust seals are important when shopping online and over 70% have cancelled their online order because they did not "trust" the transaction.

So check within your industry what authorities can provide an extra level of trust when people land on your website. Find out who are they and what you need to do to get rewarded?

Some other great things to keep in mind to help your conversion rate online are:

You're Headline

It is perhaps the single most important element of your landing page. GRAB THEIR ATTENTION!! with a great headline.

You're in the business of solving problems

It is important to clearly state the benefits of your product and or service. Listing your product and service features is a must, but even more important is to tell your potential customers / visitors exactly how your product and service will be of benefit to them or solve their problem.

Keep it above the fold

Ideally any opt-in boxes and other conversion elements should be above the fold for better results. However we have already mentioned that you can add more than one CTA, strategically placed throughout your site for even more optimal conversion rate results.

Humanize your brand

Adding a simple video on landing pages to show there's a real person behind your brand or having a fun creative video to introduce your business is a must in any website. Including video on a website landing page can increase conversion rates by 80% and 92% of mobile video consumers share videos with others (hubspot).

Kick the 'Hype' to the curb

In today's environment most consumers are to savvy to fall for copywriting based on hype. So ditch it and focus more on clear, easy to follow and compelling copy that will help your potential customer to purchase or pick up the phone to call.

Single column vs. multi-column layout

Many sites have a double-column layout, one experiment done by Marketing Experiments with a test version showed a 681 % increase in conversions when changing from a double column layout to single. You can probably guess that less distractions, more streamlined content, and perhaps better eye tracking were all factors that led to an easier user experience. However, with more testing generic searches had customers requiring more clarity of value from the brand before making a decision to convert, and multi-column layouts with more complex information did better in aiding the conversion rate by providing a wider array of information on the brand to build initial trust.

It comes down to the visitor's relationship with the brand. The more a customer knows about the brand, the simpler and more focused website design tends to win. On the flip side the less known about the brand by the visitor the more complex, multi-faceted and weighted website design won.
Think about your brand and how well-known in the market place it is. We all can't be Apple, but good web design will always have a structure drawn out and created before actually being developed.

There are many more tips to help with conversion rates online and we have touched on a few that I think are pretty important. In saying this, the last tip we are going to look at below is a must.

Test! Test! Test!

One of the best things you can do to improve your conversion rate is to test. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. You never know unless you try and as I previously mentioned what works for some may not work for you. You can try A/B or split testing which involves testing one version of a page or interface element against another version of the same thing. Each element will be measured by its effectiveness in comparison to the other. These elements will all be defined by what the conversion looks like to you and as previously touched on this could be signing up for an email newsletter, creating an account with a login and password, making a purchase, downloading your app, or something else entirely.

There are also some software's that exist to help you set up tests. Some of these are free like Google Content Experiment or you can pay for others such as Optimizely or Website Optimizer.  After testing, it's important to track, collect information and analyze the statistics. There is no point in doing this if you are not analyzing the data. The statistics will tell you what elements need to be kept or improved. You can also ask your audience to give their feedback on what they are looking for and what you can improve. There is also software that can help with this too.

It is really good to have traffic on your website, it's even better when this traffic generate profits! Need help with your website then give us a call on (07) 5592 2685 or email info@selectmarketing.net.au  to get your conversion rates soaring?

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Posted by on in Mobile Responsive
THE RISE OF MOBILE MARKETING

2016 was crowned as “the year of Mobile”, because the amount of mobile users had reached over 2.1 billion. So in 2017 I think you already know that your digital marketing strategy needs to be incorporating mobile marketing. Today, it’s impossible to not see people glued to their smartphones’ screens. These little hand-held devices easily grab our attention, distract us and keep us entertained, so if you are not targeting your audience with by being mobile you could be missing out on an ever growing market.

More and more statistics are being released on mobile trends. It is unanimous that mobile devices have taken centre stage in our daily lives, as the average person spends at least 3 hours a day using the internet on their mobile device (according to Smart Insights). With this in mind, it is important to think about WHEN you should release your content, especially on social media because over 50% of smartphone users grab their mobiles immediately after waking up.

Due to this increased time being spent on mobile devices 68% of companies have integrated mobile marketing into their overall marketing strategy, (according to Salesforce). Companies are focusing on making their website as mobile-friendly as possible because Google says 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing and 40% will visit a competitor’s site instead. 57% of users also said they would not recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site, according to (Mickinsey & Company).

So if you have not figured it out by know it is VERY important that you have an effective mobile marketing strategy. It is really important that you grab your audience’s attention and even more important, is to convert that attention. There are a number of things you can do to help your mobile marketing make an impact.

Firstly, digital marketing and mobile marketing have a lot in common. However, mobile marketing has a number of things you need to be aware of, even if you are an expert at digital marketing campaigns.

Below are some of these “things” you need to keep in mind:

1. Mobile ads

One of the most known digital marketing methods to promote products is ads and this is exactly the same for mobile marketing. However, to be successful you must display small-sized screen ads. This is very important as nobody wants to read an ad that is not adapted to their mobile device. You always need to make your content, within your ads as clear as possible as well with mobile marketing.

2. Diversify your ads spots

It is important to include your ads on social media, websites, and on the search engines. One of the best spots to place a mobile advert is in apps. A lot of people spend their time on their mobile using apps, in fact 80% of the time. If you find it is relevant for your business to have a spot in an app, do it. You need to know which app will be the most appropriate for your business. Each app has its “typical profile”. So does some research on the target market of the app.  For instance many game apps depending on the type of game may be used by younger people.

3. QR code

You most likely have seen these before. QR codes are getting more and more popular. They are the little white and black squares you can find on a product’s label, on a flyer, or on a poster.  You decode the QR code by taking a picture of it after downloading the software. Once it is decoded, it offers you access to a website, a phone number, or even an email address that enables you to access the promotion. More and more businesses are starting to include these in their mobile marketing strategy.

4. Location-based marketing

Have you ever noticed ads popping up of businesses that were close to you when you were surfing the internet on your mobile. It’s called location-based marketing.  Businesses actually buy “geographic ads’ spot”; which means if you are anywhere near the company, you will be able to see their ads. If you are too far away, then logically the ads will not appear on your screen.   This is a great option to use if you are a small to medium sized business, as it captures the attention of people within your area that may be looking for your product or service.  For instance, if you own a café or restaurant local traffic is what you are after and after all we’ve all got to eat right? Location-based marketing is an amazing tool when it is put to good use, but you need to really research and know which customers you want to target, as each business if different and unique when adopting this type of mobile marketing strategy.

5. SMS marketing

We all know about email marketing, which is an effective marketing strategy to build relationships with your audience.  SMS marketing can be just as effective, surprisingly even more so. It turns out that SMS marketing is more efficient than the classic email campaign. 98% of SMS messages are read compared to 22.5% emails. However, do not send to many SMS messages, otherwise you risk a high rate of opt-outs. The most you should SMS is 4 messages a month. Like with email marketing, you need to work on increasing your database to have a wider reach and like with email marketing you can offer them an incentive to sign up.

6. Email marketing

If you are using this strategy within your marketing, then make sure your campaigns are mobile responsive. Many email marketing software offer templates that are responsive and with more and more people, in fact about 53% of emails being opened on mobile devices, it is important that you make sure you are using tools that enable you to be email responsive on mobile devices.

7. Adapt your site 

As previously stated, 57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site and with Google announcing back in 2015 that mobile search queries had taken over desktop queries within ten countries including USA, Australia and Japan.  This means your website MUST be mobile friendly.  There are tools that exist online to help turn your site into a responsive website and if your site is built using a CMS then there are responsive templates available for you to use.  However regardless of the above information, there are still millions of websites online that are not mobile friendly, and if you are one of those businesses then talk to a web designer today, or better yet give us a call.

The key to mobile marketing is adaptation. Mobile marketing is considered to be a form of digital marketing, so anything that is relevant to digital marketing is also relevant for mobile marketing. Like any marketing channel though you need to design and incorporate your content for that medium to better reach and market to your audience engaging with mobile. 

Remember to make your content clear and responsive. Research your audience and their habits with how they use their mobile first before creating your mobile marketing strategy and where you will spend your marketing dollars to get the desired results you are after.  This will be very helpful in particular with ad placement, as well as with any location based marketing you may do.

Need help with marketing in general, mobile marketing and web design?  Call us on (07) 5592 2685 or email info@selectmarketing.net.au and put our experience to your benefit.

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FREE techniques you can do to increase traffic to your website

People are searching for your business online as you read this article. Just because you have a website does not mean that you will be found online. SEO has become an important tool that needs to be included in any online marketing plan. Both online and off-line techniques are used to drive traffic to your website and it is this traffic that will move you up the search engine ranks and in turn help you increase sales.  It does not happen overnight, so don't get discouraged if at first you don't see much movement. SEO will take at least 3 months to really get you going places; of course if you have big budgets then you can jump up that search list even more quickly.

Below are some tips you may not be familiar with that can help get the traffic flowing:

Let's have a look!

1. We have all heard that 'Content is King'

This technique looks at keeping your content fresh on your website, which is why many people have blogs now. Think of how you can provide great information about your business, product or service in a fresh and interesting way. Ensure you have keywords within the content to help with searching as well. As you should already be aware of this technique, we are going to talk about a method called "digg-like", which can also help you generate traffic. The idea behind websites like Digg is relatively easy to understand. On the Internet, there are a number of websites where you can post your blog article with the intention for users to read and like your information. The more likes your article gets, the higher it will be on the website's main page, which will then introduce their visitors to your brand. So check out Digg, BuzzFeed, Upworthy and Reddit to help spread the word about your business.

2. Get cozy online with 'Influencers'

It is great when people share your content and brand with the people around them, but even better if you can get the people known as 'influencers' to spread your message as well. "Real influencers", are people running blogs, online magazines, and social media pages that have thousands of followers. These people could be celebrities, as well as everyday people who have become Internet sensations. Try and connect with influencers that focus on topics within your particular industry. These people have created loyal followers who are interested in what they have to say, the products they use and the trends they are on top of. They help create wider visibility of your brand and by using influencers who are well known within your target market will help increase the flow of traffic to your site. Most influencers make their money by promoting these brands and products, so unless they are an advocate of your brand and promote you for free then you will most likely need to pay for the 'shout out'.

3. Become the Guest Blogger

By becoming a guest blogger you are creating opportunities to grow your blog readership and platform, increase awareness of your brand and build your personal reputation within the industry you do business in. When guest blogging you must negotiate with the host blogger to include a link to your blog in the post somewhere, usually at the beginning or end. After all, you want to increase your online visibility and over time, these backlinks will raise the value of your blog (aka brand) on search engines, making your content easier to find via Google, Yahoo, and Bing. One of the best things about becoming a guest blogger is that it allows you to enter an already-established community, and share your message with new people. If you are adding value to the blog or discussion, you will see that convert over time to more readers, fans, and followers of your own brand. On the flip side, if all you ever do is sell your brand or product, you may end up well-known, but with a reputation you may not want. No matter the platform you use, whether it is social media or blogs it is always best to post more information that is informative, fun and helpful for your audience than a full on sales pitch. By all means you are there to increase your brand online and to make more sales, but you have to have a balance and by adding value over time you will see the results you are looking for.

When guest blogging make sure you do the following:

1. Link to the post from your blog
2. Promote it on your social media platforms (several times). Tweet it, Share it, Post it
3. Thank the person
4. Stick around and respond to any comments there may be on the blog

Guest blogging also works the other way as well. So think about who could guest blog on your site. Some bloggers will blog about their guest post and link it to their own blog giving you some great link opportunities that will increase your traffic, which is what we are looking for right! Allowing guest bloggers will also help you build a professional blogger network.

4. Using Forums

Forum posts are becoming a more and more popular way for businesses and people to increase their website page ranking. It is a great opportunity for you to express your knowledge, build credibility and connect with people you already know are interested in what your brand, product or service is all about.

However, a huge mistake would be to register on a forum only to promote your website, although this is your end goal – to increase traffic to your site, like posting on social media you need to be providing useful and interesting information that your audience wants to read. People who blatantly promote themselves and their business will usually turn people off their brand, as the people using these forums usually don't like that type of behaviour and in turn would be bad for your online reputation. You could lose these potential customers.
To avoid this type of situation, we advise you first help these forum users who may need to solve a problem or are in need to talk with others who are more knowledgeable than themselves. This doesn't mean that you can't still put your website URL, we just suggest you put it with a short description in your signature (the little text area that appears automatically) if the forum permits you to. Be active and be nice, do not act with only your website's promotion in mind.

If you have proved your expertize several times, and your posts reflect the quality of the work you are offering, people will be interested in visiting your website and be more likely to go one step further and want to purchase what you have to offer. So do a search online for good forums talking about your industry and get on board.

5. Quora

Have you ever heard of Quora? It is actually a website where Q&A (Questions & Answers) are organized on just about every topic known to man. This type of Q&A service is soaring in popularity with a lot of questions being asked online, and you are free to offer your answer to these.
Some things to keep in mind when thinking of using Quora within your marketing mix:

i) You can find new ideas to talk about
ii) Create and build content
iii) You are opening the lines of communication with your target audience
iv) Build on your own communication skills when dealing with your audience
v) Ask good, interesting questions or provide great relevant answers
vi) Work on building your presence within the community of Quora
vii) You must monitor and engage, if you don't do this then there is no point in you being there

By using Quota you are giving yourself the opportunity to gain exposure to Quora's 700,000+ monthly visitors; however in marketing it is always a good idea to break that number down and find out the questions people are asking about your product or industry, and build your expertise and authority on your chosen topic as you will be judged by the quality of your questions and answers. If all goes well, your audience is more likely to trust you and will more often than not take that next step to contact you one-on-one or visit your website to learn more about you, your product or service. So don't forget to put a link to your site, but again, you are not there to be a self-promoter first and foremost, you are there to offer your expertise.
I think it is also important that no matter your industry that you continue to learn and Quora has become a great place for you and me to learn from other users, customers, industry experts and of course from even our competitors. Besides posting questions and answering questions, you can build a Quora page for your business, use the site for market research, and start a Quora blog and publish stories.

6. Social Media

Our social media accounts have become such an integral part of our daily life. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and so on have also become embedded in our business marketing strategy. All accounts are free but because so many businesses use them as well, these days there are also options to create paid advertisements within each account to boost your reach.

Your accounts are an extension of your website and you probably interact with them more than your actual site, unless you are blogging of course. They allow you to get in touch with your clients and vice versa, with many large company's having social media 'call centres' or people within small businesses dedicated to be on the social media accounts to handle any enquires, questions or complainants. You can use them to promote your new products or services, to build your online reputation and to reach possible new clients. The idea of using social media to promote your business is great, but achieving great results is not as easy as it seems.

Like all the other techniques we have mentioned social media as a marketing tool also has a number of rules and a so called code of conduct that you need to follow to have any chance of success. One of the biggest issues is finding time to post and what to post and where to post that many business owners face. It can be very daunting especially if you are a small business and do not have a dedicated social media manager; after all you are dedicating your time to growing your business and servicing clients, not sitting on social media all day.
However fi you are blogging you should be linking your blog to all social media accounts, but each account will have its own rules so you do need to adjust each post to each account you use, but always link it back to your blog, after all we are looking at increase traffic here. Don't just post once – post many times from the one blog piece. Each post should also have its own image to represent each point of view from your blog.

You want to encourage your audience to comment, to like and most importantly to share. Make sure your notifications are set up so that when people are commenting, liking or sharing that you are thanking them or responding to any questions they may have. It is here where you will build customer loyalty and show other members of your audience who have not engaged with you the type of business you are and it will help them to trust you easier by seeing your interaction with others.

One of the most common ways to increase customers from Facebook is to organize events on your page such as discounts, competitions and sales. For example, you can offer discounts on your products to customers that have shared your Facebook page or if you want to increase shares and likes you can run a competition.

7. Yahoo and Bing: are you neglecting these search engines?

When it comes to SEO and search engines most businesses will concentrate on Google, as it seems to rule the roost. If you are ranking well on Google that does not mean you will rank well on Yahoo and Bing. Each search engine needs its own strategy. If you don't optimise for the three you may be missing out on some great business opportunities.

With SEO it is important to have high quality backlinks and these hold weight on both Google and Bing. One of the things SEO experts are always aware of is the search engine algorithms, as these can affect your rankings and the work they do to help your website rank higher. With Google it recognises synonyms and context around a keyword that is being used, however with Bing it is better to be more exact with your keywords. A number of years ago Google announced that it does not care all that much about meta keywords and descriptions as ranking factors, Bing and Yahoo however still consider these factors , so add those meta keywords and descriptions in your website, after all what have you got too loose except increases across the SERPs.

We have talked about Flash content and SEO before in previous blogs and for Google this has not changed. Google does not like Flash and has trouble crawling Flash sites or Flash content within sites. Bing on the other hand understands and crawls Flash sites quite well.  No one really likes to tell you their age, but when it comes to Domain age and page authority in SEO, Bing finds this to be important when assigning rank. Google is more interested in quality backlinks pointing towards a domain and doesn't put as much importance on domain age as Bing. However, the both have the same favourite's .edu, .edu.au and .gov and .gov.au websites.

As we mentioned in the title all of these techniques that you can use are FREE and it doesn't hurt you to play around and be aware of how you can increase traffic to your website. Your site has become one of the major marketing tools you will have online so it is important to spend time working on increasing visitation. If like many other small to medium sized businesses and you simply don't have the time then you can always talk to us about getting a FREE SEO report on your website to see where you actually sit and look at how we can help you.

Click here for your report, otherwise you can email us at info@selectmarketing.net.au.

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Why you should use Youtube as a marketing tool

By now we all know that images and video attract our attention more than words and with over 1 billion unique visitors to YouTube each month and over 6000 million hours of video being watched, this platform has become a tool every small business owner should consider using in their marketing strategy. Most potential customers would much rather watch a well thought out promotional video about your business, service or products than read a long winded sales letter.

Many successful companies such as GoPro, Playstation or Walmart have been using YouTube in their digital marketing strategy for quite some time. GoPro, one of the most popular camera choices in the market today use their channel to upload content that includes informational videos on their products to getting advocates of their products to add footage from their camera being used. But, the use of this platform is not reserved only for big companies, more and more small to medium sized businesses have started making their own videos to promote their products and services. Why not you?

Before you get started

If you are regularly going to produce videos, you should launch your own Youtube channel! Once it has been created, make sure that your Youtube channel's name matches your company's name. Branding across all social media platforms is important and YouTube is no exception to the rule.

What videos should you produce?

There are different types of videos you can make and put on YouTube:

  1. The explanation video: In this type of video, you explain how to use your product, or why the service you are offering is what your potential customer needs. You must be really clear with your explanation and to the point. You are there to promote the quality of your product or service. So it's time to show your expertise!
  2. The testimony video: Here in this video you are collecting testimonies from your clients that are satisfied with your product and service. You want them to preach the benefits of your product or service. This will help your future customers to have confidence in the quality of your work, because these words are coming from another mouth, other than yours. These types of people are your advocates and have no personal benefit is supporting your brand, other than that they love using it. Do not use paid actors - find real advocates of your business.
  3. The presentation of the company: This type of video gives your audience a sneak peak into the unknown of your company. It should be a really simple video where you show the inside of your company and introduce your employees to the viewer. You can go a step further and make the video fun. This type of video is not used to boost sales, but it will allow you and your customers to build a relationship. People can be more sensitive to these types of videos and if you are doing them right, they will build trust in your brand more easily.
  4. New product video: when a new product is on its way, make sure that your subscribers are informed. Tell them the launch date and other important information. If your product or service is already on the market, make a video about it and show them what your product or service can do for them.
  5. Q&A: known as Question and Answer, this is a type of video is getting more and more popular. The principle is simple: your audience asks you a question via the comments section about whatever they want to know in regards to your company, product or service and in turn you respond via video. Look at ways you can make your reponses entertaining to your audience.
 
Getting traffic to your video

Making your video is just the first step. Now you need to think about how you are going to get your potential customers to watch it.

 

Below are some things you can do to get this much needed traffic:

  1. Use your other social media platforms to get your videos out there. Everyone that is already following you is a good start in letting them know there is a video out, but you also want to get them to share the video so your reach can go further.
  2. Choose the right title. Take some time thinking about a great title as you want to grab your audience's attention. Relevant keywords in your title will also help within the search results of their Youtube search. The more popular the keyword is, the more chances you have of your video being found.
  3. Write the right description. The same logic applies here as it does with your title, but with your description you can include more keywords to help create more opportunities for your video be found.
  4. Transcribe your videos and post the transcript into your video description. You can use services like speechpad.com to instantly get an SEO boost to help with the video's rank.
  5. Direct lots of links to your video. Many people just think of using external SEO techniques for boosting website page rankings but it can also play a huge role in page rankings for your YouTube videos. Links both ways from website to YouTube and YouTube to website.
  6. At the end of your video, don't hesitate to ask viewers to subscribe to your YouTube channel, this is a common practice that actually does work.
 
All the traffic in the world is useless if it isn't being converted

Unless you are only using YouTube ads to get extra money, then the traffic is useless if it is not being converted into sales for your business. It is better to have less viewers that are ready to buy your product or service than having hundreds, thousands or even millions of views per video if your audience is not going that one step further to connect or be willing to buy from your business.

So, make sure you encourage your audience to connect with you with a call-to-action. Tell them how to contact you to purchase the product or service. Also put your website's link at the end of the video and in the description as well, as you want the viewer to be able to connect with you instantly.

A couple of other things to keep in mind is not to make your video too long. Otherwise people will lose interest and move onto something else. Make sure your sound is also good on your video, you don't need to use professional audio equipment, but is is important to make sure it is easy to hear what is being said.

With hundreds of millions of videos on YouTube, there is a lot of competition so you need to stand out from the crowd and get the exposure your video deserves.

If you need help with your social media platforms, including YouTube then give us a call today on (07) 5592 2685 or email info@selectmarketing.net.au.

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Posted by on in Social Media
Social Media:  A double-edged sword!

Did you know that around 84% of B2B marketers use social media in some shape or form, no matter what they are selling or who they are selling it too? Social media is a major marketing tool used to increase brand awareness and your bottom line.

Just like a website, as a business you need a social media plan when looking at marketing your brand, service or product online.
As I am writing this, there are 7.2 billion people on earth, with this number growing every second of the day. Approximately 3 billion of this number of people has Internet access; and 2.1 billion of them are active on social media; with around 1.7 billion using their social networks from their mobile device, which means your brand also needs to be responsive.

It is expected that by 2018, the amount of people using social media will grow to 2.5 billion worldwide, so it is fair to say that social media has become very important in today's market, yet will be even more important tomorrow and the week after, and the years to come.

When I was at university, social media wasn't even a blip on my radar, let alone there now being an entire career choice in social media for students today. Many organisations have their own social media managers with the main purpose to drive their business brand online on multiple social platforms. Without doubt it has become an essential avenue to reach your current and potential customer, gain valuable insights into your business and industry, as well as growing your brand online and with the platforms themselves being free to use, you don't need to set aside huge marketing budgets to get benefits back from using them.

The greatest expense of using social media is the time needed to post and tweet, unless you choose to use paid advertising options to boost your brand and connect with even more new audiences.

Recent statistics tell us that the average social media user has around 5 accounts, with the "most important" social networks to teens and young adults aged between 12 to 24 now being Instagram with 32%, Twitter at 24%, Facebook at 14%, Snapchat at 13% and Tumblr at 4%. So what about the older generation! Well around 35% of over 65's use social media and of that social media a majority use Facebook.

Another little interesting fact for you is that mothers with children under the age of five are the most active users on social media. Breaking it down as a marketer – these stats are telling me and you about potential target markets, where and how I can reach them.

So, no matter your business target group, you will find them on social media today, which is why it has become such a relevant marketing channel to promote your business and to reach your audience. You do need to keep in mind though, that each social medium has its own rules and structure to follow. No one size fits all, so it is important that you adapt your message to each individual medium you use. Done right, your message can spread like wildfire and in turn boost your presence online, visits to your website and increase your sales.

Now I did mention in my title social media as a double-edged sword, so let us look at some things when using social media that you need to be aware off.

As easily as you can build your business profile up on social media, just as easily it can fall apart. As I previously mentioned, social media moves faster than anything else out there and nothing ever really dies on social media, and in fact on the internet for that matter. Once anything is online it leaves a footprint. When a negative thread or conversation starts, you may end up battling it forever. Even if you manage to put a particular topic or event behind you, it can rear its ugly head at any time.

Another down side of social media for businesses is the "grammar freaks". Everyone and I mean everyone will make mistakes. After all we are only human, but there seems to be a disproportionate number of armchair quarterbacks or backseat drivers (you choose) on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook than anywhere else within the social media universe.

As an individual you can use abbreviations, butcher spellings and throw out as much slang as you like for the sake of the ever present word count, but if you try this as a business, then you immediately lose credibility online and your social media reputation is important.

Now, with your social media reputation being important, let's look at reviews and these can be the greatest thing since sliced bread or a total nightmare for your business. You know yourself within the purchasing process; you will search about the product or company online looking for reviews, as you want to know what other people have to say. These reviews are also a big contributor to how high a site can rate in search engine rankings. In many cases when you search for a business, the online reviews generally pop up in the 3rd or 4th position of the very sought after area within organic search results of the top 1 to 5 rank positions. One of the problems is that there is no true verification whether or not the information posted by a reviewer is actually true and may be a complete fabrication or the reviewer could even have you confused with another company that has a similar name.

I recently had someone send me a disgruntled email about receiving telemarketing calls and threatened to report us to the appropriate body, problem was that as a business we have never and never will use telemarketing to promote our services. He had to search online to try and find the company who he was looking for and came across us, and in assuming he had the right company he sent this not so nice email, so I very politely responded to his message telling him that he had mixed us up with another business. Mistaken identity can happen to any business, so just be aware.

I will point out here that username confusion can also impact negatively on your presence online as well. So research any names similar or the same as a product you are promoting before you create your @... or #... and start spreading the word, as you don't want to get mixed up with another username or tag when promoting your business, service or product.

With these points in mind, it is a great idea to have a reputation management program in place for all your online social activities. You want to focus on increasing the volume of high-quality, positive information about your business presence on the internet. You cannot stop a competitor, or disgruntled employee, and an irate customer from posting negative things about your business, but you can reduce its impact by balancing these negative messages with positive ones. Also, don't be scared to respond to negative comments online. When I have been searching myself for reviews on products and companies, I have seen so many negative reviews with no actual response from the business themselves. When I do come across I negative review with an actual response I am more impressed by the company for actually dealing with the issue. All you need to do is consider about how best effectively to respond to these comments before you reply. Never respond from an over emotional view point or God forbid a high moral ground.

Also don't wait for the problem to surface before starting with a reputation management program. It takes time to build a good, trustworthy online reputation. In public relation circles many big and small businesses have risk management plans in place to deal with issues before they have even happened, so that if they do have to face them, they have a plan in place ready to be implemented to counteract and deal with the situation.

You may have heard that social media can also be great for your SEO, as your posts can be used to drive targeted traffic to your website. Search engine crawlers also know which pages are consistently earning traffic and which pages are just floating out there in internet space, often forgotten and ignored. It is important to have an effective SEO strategy in place and within this strategy you must remember your 'content is king'. Social media is all about content, as well as visual images and video. And if you aren't aware, search engines also now crawl images and the titles you give them are important in helping with your SEO.

It is generally considered that users on social media would be more receptive to your messages because a majority of people look at Twitter and Facebook as social networks and not marketing machines. So if you post with this view in mind, then they're less likely to see what you post as an advertisement and will be more likely to hear what you have to say to them. Put yourself in their shoes as this will help you to develop the right kind of message.

I am going to point out here the other side of the coin though in regards to this general perception on how social media networks are viewed, as I think this perception will change as our pages fill up more and more with advertisements (paid and non-paid) more frequently over time. This I think would be a whole other blog though on how companies are researching our movements online to target us with their product advertisements.

With your posts and tweets, make sure you are giving your audience more FREE information then paid or a sales pitch. If you bombard your audience with too many sale pitches and too much self-promotion, then they are more likely to leave you. You want to create a relationship and loyalty to you and your brand.

Ssocial media it is here to stay. I was walking past a retail store earlier today and noticed a #... sign in the window, so it is everywhere you go, but as a business how you choose to utilise it will be what is important to effectively growing your brand online.

There is plenty of information on the do's and don'ts in many blogs such as this one to help you, otherwise if you do feel overwhelmed with it all and want to talk to someone about your social media strategy then give us a call on (07) 5592 2685 or send us an email: info@selectmarketing.net.au

Your competition is getting social, which means so should you.
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5 KINDS OF VISUALS THAT WILL HELP YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA AUDIENCE ENGAGE WITH YOU

We all know the saying; one image can speak 1,000 words; so it is with this in mind that we are going to talk a little about what kind of images and pictures are important to use on social media. Both on Facebook, Instagram or any other social network, a supporting visual will get the hardest part of the job done for you, and that is to catch people's attention. Then, the rest is about keeping them there and to come back for more, by retaining their interest.

A great post will only be enhanced by an effective supporting image and make no mistake, the images you use will make a difference. Internet users react and engage more to an impacting image or video. However, do you know what image you should be sharing on social media? No, then check out 5 different kinds of visuals below that will help your audience engage with you on your social networks.

1. The BTS (behind the scenes) photographBTS-image

Sharing this kind of content on your social networks will help you be more approachable and build relationship. Who doesn't want to know what happens behind the scenes of their favorite brand? That's right, there's nothing wrong with getting a little personal with your audience. A good quality office picture or a staff update will make users confident that they share something special with you, and that they know you. These types of images are all about your audience relating to you.

 
 
 
 
 
2. Inspirational quotesinspirational-quote-image

Inspirational quotes are the "must share". They are highly appreciated on social media and ridiculously easy to create. So go for it! Of course you will need to share quotes that are related to what you offer, what you believe in and value. Keep in mind that because you are sharing content, your audience will associate it with you, so make sure you choose your quotes wisely as they will be considered a reflection of your brand's philosophy.

 
 
 
 
 
3. Call-to-action picturescall-to-action-image

They don't seem like it but if designed properly and efficiently, call to action pictures will catch your audience's attention in ways you can't even imagine. This kind of picture paired with a good message will work wonders to promote your product or brand. They will help convince your audience to take action to connect with you and can be as simple as getting them to follow, like or share a page or more complex actions like purchasing your product or services. These images can also be used in a humorous way, after all - anything to catch people's attention!  Please note that although the text you use can help, a majority of people though would of already decided whether to click or not based on the image you use within the call-to-action before they have actually read it.

4. Colorful info-graphicsinfographic-image

This kind of content is usually liked and shared about 3 times more than other content on social media! The ultimate goal of these images is to educate people without boring them to death with complicated information. Info-graphics compress loads of information in one single picture and make it all easy to understand for everybody!

 
 
 
 
5. Tips, tricks and blooperstip-image

What better way to keep people interested than to make them laugh? As a business your job is to provide your customers with professional products or services, but it does not mean you should forget about the human aspect of what you are doing. Sharing a funny picture, bloopers or tricks and tips will bring you and your audience closer together and have them looking forward to seeing what you come up with next.

There are many types of pictures you can share on social media and these images should mostly be related to what you believe in, what your products or services are about and what your customers have come to expect from you. When posting an image it is important to put yourself in your audience's shoes and keep in mind that you shouldn't post like a business or a marketer, but as if you are a follower or fan.

If you need help with your social media then give us a call today on (07) 5592 2685 or email info@selectmarketing.net.au 

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THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW WHEN GETTING YOUR WEBSITE DEVELOPED

So you are in the market for a web designer to develop a website for your business or redesign your current site. Let's face it, you wont be short of options as there are a lot of companies and indivudals to choose from. With online marketing growing more and more each year, your website is going to be one of the most important tools you have to promote your business and increase sales.

As a business asset, your website is going to need to achieve your business goals, so not only do you need to be aware of the process but also ask questions to your designer about responsiveness, their previous work, the cost involved -including revisions-, the scope of the website development and so on. It is also important that you ask your developer about other issues like hosting, administrator access and control of your website, especially if you choose to go on a plan.
We have lost count how many times we have had issues with new clients who have had bad experiences with previous designers because of their lack of knowledge around the following areas:


1. Hosting is NOT FREE. You have a website developed but you have to sit it somewhere so people can see you on the internet!

Ask your developer if you are not sure about what the best hosting options are. Most CMS websites will sit on a cpanel or in the cloud these days. I personally prefer a cpanel because it gives complete control. If they set up the hosting for you, then make sure you have all the login details! If you are on a plan where hosting is included but you are coming to the end of the plan and want to take over the site yourself, make sure you ask how the website can be moved to a new hosting account and what options are available for you. It is good to know these things before you make any decisions on the best options for you and your business when it comes to web development.


2. Your domain name information is important.

Make sure you have all the login details and certificates for your website domain. In fact, it is not hard to set this up yourself online when purchasing it.

Your website will be connected to your domain name. You cannot have one without the other to sit online. If you do choose a website plan and the company is setting up the domain name for your website, make sure they are setting it up in your name with your business ABN and not theirs. Otherwise, they are the ones who will own your domain name and you do not want this, as this domain is what all your online marketing will revolve around when directing people to your business!

3. Administrator access of your website.

Know your login details, even if you are sitting on a plan. Any website will have an administrator area where changes can be made. Make sure you keep a copy of these login details. It is also important that you back up your website regularly in case you ever get hacked.

In addition to this, you need to know exactly what you want your website to do. Your website will be more or less expensive based on what your goals and what your business is offering. If you are selling services through a simple website, it might cost you less than if you are selling products, which requires a shopping cart. Don't be shy, be specific and voice everything you need so you are fully aware of what the costs will be to develop the website and ensure an open relationship between you and your developer!

 

Keep in mind that building a website is only the beginning; your website will be completely useless without a proper search engine optimization strategy (SEO). SEO will get your website good rankings on search engines and bring you natural traffic - which is what you aim for. No matter how good a website looks, it will never get traffic if sitting in page 3 of Google.

Our team of web designers is more than happy to answer any questions you may have. We have a couple of options for our clients including plans, at Rent-a-Website. Talk to us today about your website development needs on (07) 5592 2685 or by email at info@selectmarketing.net.au.

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DO YOU KNOW WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA YOU SHOULD BE USING FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

It is estimated that about 2.72 million people will be using social media by 2019. That is almost three times more than in 2010!  In April alone there were more than 1,590 million people using Facebook and up to 1 million of those users are Australians. This represents as many opportunities for you to increase your client base.

There are a lot of social networks to choose from and it can be hard to decide which one to use and which will be of benefit to your business. Should you go for LinkedIn? How about Pinterest? What's Google+? Is Tumblr a good idea for your business? The list can go on and on and in many cases you will have multiple accounts.

Companies usually tend to choose the most popular networks such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. This would work for you too if you don't target a particular niche. However, keep in mind that the social network you are choosing should be consistent with your audience's habits. So if everyone is using Pinterest, but your target market is on Tumblr, then you should use Tumblr. In other words, you should go where your audience is!

Most people think that creating their account is enough. The bad news is that it's NOT! Social media requires a lot of time and maintenance and it does not necessarily come easily to all of us. The social network you will choose will need to be relevant and should be consistent with your business – a restaurant for instance, would get more traction with an Instagram account than a LinkedIn account.

Here are three simple tips to help you figure out which social network would work best for YOU:

TIP #1: Choose your social media according to the time and available resources you have.

Social media is interactive, live, simple to use and comes in handy when you need to share exciting news or information with your audience. However and as mentioned before, they require maintenance and forethought, which can represent a great deal of time out of your working day.

Spending too much time on social media will hurt your business as it might lead to a loss in productivity particularly if you don't have someone hired especially for that job. On another hand, spending too little time would result in a failure to keep up with your audience. Tricky!  The truth is if you decide to adopt social media, it will then represent a real aspect of your marketing strategy.
To make it work, you can't post too much, too little or irrelevant content: it is all about balance. A post a day at about the same time should be the minimum to keep your audience interested.

TIP #2: Know what your ultimate goal is.

Social media is an awesome way to communicate with your customers, and posting is actually a lot of fun! But before anything else, you should know what your goal is and what you expect from your social media. Having a goal is important and will help you determine whether or not your marketing strategy is viable and for how long. This will also allow you to know what to post, when to post and who you are targeting. All in one!

TIP #3: Don't give up!

Social media at times can fail and stagnate for a while, but the one beautiful thing about it, is that overnight you can create instant buzz! Why? Trends. So stick with the networks you have chosen and make them work for you! Businesses usually struggle with social media because they don't know how to adapt and don't know how they work. However, when used properly, they are a great tool to measure how your business is doing and also figure out who your clients are as much as what they are after!
Post after post, you will be able to figure out what users expect from you, what triggers their engagement, what they liked and disliked. There are many ways to get your audience's attention: hashtags (#), mentions and tags are some of them. However, you hardly have control over how popular a hashtag will be. In other words, there is nothing more fickle than social media, so hang in there!

We know it; all social media was not born equal. In fact in Australia the most popular one remains Facebook, followed by YouTube with about 14,000,000 users, then Word Press Blog with 5,650,000 users. Instagram is now entering the arena with no less than 5,000,000 monthly active users! However, no matter how popular a network is, you should always choose yours according to how consistent it is with your company's strategy and philosophy. Three empty and inactive accounts are far worse than no account at all...
Social media is an art, that's why you need to know how it works before taking the plunge! If you need help with your social media, then give us a call today on (07) 5592 2685 or email info@selectmarketing.net.au and talk to us about building your presence on social media.

So give us a call and get social today!

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DIY Website Builder vs. the Web Developer

Did you know that there are now more than one billion websites online ... impressive isn't it!

So if you are planning on adding to this ever growing number, then you will first have to decide how you want to go about building your website. If you are already a skilled web developer than your decision will be easy, however if you are like many other people in business, and have little to no experience with web development technologies, then you are left with two options. You either hire a web developer to do the job for you or you jump on the DIY merry-go-round and use a website builder.

There are a number of website builders out there, including Site builder, Wix, Shopify, SquareSpace and Weebly. These types of programs rely on drop and drag with pre-designed template options for you to use. Some are free, but most have a per month cost, and in many cases these costs seem quite low, so it makes this simple do-it-yourself platform very appealing. They will promise you professional results, after all it's their marketing mantra, but there are no professionals involved. Over time these "low costs" will add up, after all that is the revenue model behind these website builders, but we will go into this a little bit further down in this post.

Another thing you may need to be aware of with these DIY website builders is that you may have to put on many hats in building your website yourself and these hats may include brand strategist, graphic designer, web designer, UX expert, copywriter, and marketing professional.
These DIY solutions may sound like the perfect fit, especially if your business is just starting out, but it can also be a very risky choice to make.
I'm going to talk a little bit to you about Site builder. You may be offered this product when you purchase your domain and host account; two things you need to have a website sit online. This free website builder may come with a couple of pages to start you off, anything more you would have to increase your monthly plan. With these pre-built templates you don't really have to think too much about the design. Creating your website using the Site builder is simply a matter of choosing the appearance you want to have, by following the step by step wizard and by selecting a design and entering your site information. This wizard gives the user the impression that the whole process is very easy and doable.
Also with Site builder there is no need to upload any files (aka your website) when it is finished. The Site builder will create the files directly in your web hosting account. Uploading a website can seem like a daunting process, so for many people this option has tremendous allure for businesses looking to save money on web development, however for your web designer it's as easy as 1, 2, 3 and really should be included in your cost of development.
With website builders such as Wix, SquareSpace and Weebly, you only need a web browser to operate them, and they allow users to build their website without any manual coding. Since they first began these website builders have advanced over the years and do offer more user-friendly features such as drop and drag, social media integration, as well as eCommerce solutions.

While these website builder options can accommodate most basic needs in web design, anything more advanced and in need of customization will require a developer. If all you are promoting online with your business is information about you and your services, then these static website builder options could answer most of your needs in promoting your business online but take note, these DIY website builders are very limited in their capabilities and professional developers are not, so you really need to have a good idea of how you want your brand to be represented online and what the goals are that you have for your website in promoting your business in this ever growing market place.

Below we are going to look at some issues that you may face with Site builder (the free option provided by your host) and other website builder options that we have mentioned in this post. It is good for you to be aware of these issues when making your decision.

1. Flexibility of the program, you being in control of and the transferability of your website. Despite what many people think, there is a lot more to developing a website then just the visual appeal. A couple more important aspects to web design that you need to think about should include its usability and search engine friendliness. As you become more educated about these things, you will probably want to modify your website so that it is more user friendly as well as more search engine friendly, because let's face it, just because you have a website online does not mean your target market will find you. When you limit yourself to a DIY website, you are surrendering this flexibility, as well as loosing total control of your website in exchange for the initial ease-of-use in building it. There may be some DIY website programs that provide you with some facilities that enable you to modify each aspect of your website pages, but you will have to spend time learning the interface so you know how to work with it or have to work around it, so that you can accomplish your goals in building your website. However, all the skills you learn when working with these builders will never be transferable, which basically means the moment you leave your web host company, you will have to re-learn everything again because you will need a brand new website.

2. Many businesses using the Site builder provided by their host means that their website is locked to that particular web host provider because they used their host's website builder. Now this is very important so take note, the template and graphics used by the builder are copyrighted, and licensed to them for use on their website only if the site remains with that host. So if you were to move to another web host provider, you could no longer use that template. Your website is one of your most important promotional tools online, so basically if you move you have to start all over again from scratch.

NOTE: Never allow your site to be locked into any web host. What if the hosting company service deteriorates or they decide to unreasonably increase their prices, or even worse they go out of business altogether. Your website and your business will be held hostage and there isn't anything you can do about it and this scenario actually happens more often than not.

3. Content is one of the most important aspects of your website. When you use Site builder you still have to invest time and effort in creating good content and the only person who can do this is you, unless you hire a professional of course to do all your content writing. Google also loves content, and even more fresh content, so the more content in particular keyword rich content the better off you will be. With a free website if you are limited to only 1 or even three pages, then this can affect the overall presence of your business online when it comes to how much content you can have within your website.

4. Domain holdup issues. If you are a website builder user and you decide to move away from them you may find that your domain registration is tied up with the company the website builder is with. Now if you've been marketing and branding your business online and offline with this domain name, imagine the ramifications if your domain name is forever lost, at worst or tied up in red tape, at the very least.

5. Another issue is not having much differentiation between you and your competitors and non-competitors. Any professional marketer will tell you that your BRAND is important. How you choose to market yourself will cross many tunnels both online and offline. Presently, host companies offering Site builder and other website builder options, have hundreds, thousands and maybe even millions of users. Actually, one company boasts over 42,000,000 users. That's a HUGE number, and we suspect very over-inflated, but if this is the case then guess how many other people have a website that looks like everyone else's.

6. Customer support, after all you are not a professional web developer right! If you have questions, no one can hear you scream in frustration if you are not sure how to do something, like change the font on the template, re-size images, how you can set up a blog and so on. They will have support staff there for you to use, but in many cases you will probably have to pay for this service.

7. Years ago Flash was very popular in website development, and if you are not up-to-date with development trends then you may not know many developers will not use Flash anymore. In the case of many website builders, websites are usually created with Flash. No matter what anyone tells you, Flash is not SEO friendly. Google actually recommends against using it and is going to war with Flash. Last year, Google's Chrome browser automatically paused web ads that use Flash and this year plans to start blocking most Flash content with Chrome will come into effect. Under its current plans, nearly every website that has Flash content will be blocked by default on Google. Visitors will still be able to enable Flash content only on a site-by-site basis, but they would have to specifically choose to do so. You can imagine that this will get very annoying if you have to accept Flash every time you go onto a website. Other search engines like Mozilla are also making the move away from Flash content showing up. Only the top 10 sites will have Flash enabled by default and these include YouTube, Facebook, Yahoo, and Amazon. But they'll only have a one year exemption. After that, they will also have Flash blocked by default, just like everyone else. Security is also a major concern for any site using Flash, as well as its thirst for using system resources.

8. If you want to be found in search engines, then this issue is pretty important. Google can't verify your site in Webmaster Tools. You are probably wondering for non SEO people, what does this mean? For web developers it means that tools like Analytics Codes and Webmaster Tools allow us to monitor site downtime, crawl rates, broken links, and search traffic. Poor site analytics, caused by older scripting technologies, don't allow many DIY website builder users to get an accurate picture of their site's traffic and performance. Many developers, if they have your best interest at heart when building your site, use Google's highly recommended analytics service and install a code which tracks everything that is happening on your website. We set this up in all of our clients Google accounts, install the code and Webmaster Tools and verify their site with Google. If you are on one of our SEO plans then each month you receive a detailed report. I should point out here that as a marketer, this research is very useful when it comes to promoting your business and where to spend your marketing dollars.

9. Today with more and more users searching on their smartphones for websites it is extremely important your website is mobile friendly. Slow-loading self-built sites, that are data and graphics laden, turn off all mobile users and churn through their data plans faster. Only desktop users can see your site and usually they won't wait longer than 5 to 10 seconds for a site to load. After all would you wait?

10. I mentioned before how important branding is. Another point to make here is that without a real domain name, having a URL of suchnsuch.com.au/username would be a bit of a pain to put on your business cards, or say over the phone and for many people an unprofessional representation of your business. I should point out here that many website builders, such as Wix are enabling you to connect a domain name to your site, but you have to be on their premium plans to do this. According to Wix, you can upgrade to a yearly Combo, Unlimited or ecommerce Premium Plan to receive a free domain for a year. It is great that they are offering this, but I think you should take note of my next point.

11. YOU WILL NEVER OWN YOUR WEBSITE. You will indefinitely pay a monthly fee to have your website online, and you can never leave and take it with you.

It is important for me to point out of course that I am bias in my views, as the owner of a marketing and web development business, but you can't argue with some of the issues above when it comes to using a DIY website builder. It might be a good idea to start with, but there are also many limitations that can and will stunt the growth of your business online in the future.
Your web developer should care and have an investment in the successful building of your website; after all, if you grow then they grow. Once you have your website there is no ongoing costs other than the domain and hosting renewal costs.

So the choice is yours, you can ditch the Forever Costs and have a developer build you a website that will put your best foot forward both visually and SEO friendly or DIY your website yourself.

I hope the information above has been of some help and will give you more freedom in your choice. No matter which way you go we want all businesses to succeed, after all it's what you are passionate about.

If you want to look at having a website developed with us then we would love to hear from you. We have two options available, to purchase upfront with a deposit to start then final payment on completion or to jump on a monthly plan (for a min. 12 months) to help you pay it off over time. These plans start from $49.95 per month, depending on your website development goals.

Call us on (07) 5592 2685 or email info@selectmarketing.net.au . If you want to check out the plans then visit www.rent-a-website.com.au 

 

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YOUR WEBSITE CONTENT IS IMPORTANT TO YOUR BUSINESS!

Did you know that there are 571 websites developed every minute around the world?

In this fast paced and the continually growing online environment, your website is your number 1 promotional tool. A well-developed website can help your company flourish in this arena, where competition is fierce.

Having a good website compared to a great site will rely on a few important factors, including content being KING, because after all, the Internet was created in the first place as an information source.

Rudyard Kipling said "Words are of course the most powerful drug used by mankind".

Through your website content you should be able to:

1. Allow you to build a unique relationship with your current customers and to turn your visitors into clients.

2. Communicate whatever message you want to get across.

3. Your message needs to answer visitor's questions and satisfy their need for knowledge in relation to your industry, service or product.

4. Tell your potential client, what they need to do next. Have a Call to Action!!!

However, 72% of websites fail to attract new customers and to maintain traffic. These websites are ignored by both search engines and users because of one main reason: out-dated website content!

Great content is great for your website, that fact will never be disputed, but even better is having updated content regularly on your website.

Below are some of the main reasons why content update should be a top priority:

1. Better rankings

By adding fresh entries to your website, you remain interesting to search engines, which get you more traffic and improve your ranking among other websites. Fresh content can also grant you better indexing as you add new keywords and keep your website relevant.

2. Fresh content is attractive to Google

Search engines such as Google are usually more attracted by active and updated websites as new keywords and phrases are added frequently. Updating your content is more likely to win you points with Google. Of course too many changes aren't advised either: a good website should be updated once a day or at least twice a week.

3. Frequent updates = keywords = better SEO

It is obvious that by adding content to your website, you will get you more attention from Google because of keywords. These keywords are an important aspect of SEO and will grant you more traffic. Also, posting different types of content will allow you to add new keywords that Google might consider interesting to visitors. However it is important to keep in mind that the number of keywords isn't what matters, their relevance is.

4. Customer retention

Your website should be customer friendly: easy-to-use, easy-to-read, no broken links, frequently updated content, etc. A well built and frequently updated website will retain the interest of your existing clients as it will keep them informed, and also attract new ones as it will provide them with valuable content.

SEO should be important to everyone who has a website, as it is the tool used in which your potential customers will find you. Let's face it – you know yourself when you are searching you click on what you are looking for within the first top 3 – 5 within the organic search options. Is your website sitting in this space?
Some facts to consider are that 92% of marketers will tell you that fresh content is very effective or somewhat effective for SEO and that 76% of those same marketers will have a strategic SEO campaign in place that considers content creation important.

61% of consumers will more likely take action on your website if it offers original content and a well ranked website with brand authority will get at least 50% of consumers to actually take action when on your website.
Your website's success is our priority. If you need help with SEO, then talk to us about receiving your FREE SEO report to look at where your site is sitting or click here to register. Our SEO plans start from $50 per week, which is a great cost effective way for you to start. If you have issues with your website and need to look a more effective promotional tool for your business then we have you covered there too.

Get in touch with us today on (07) 5592 2685 or email info@selectmarketing.net.au 

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Posted by on in Search Engine Optimization
SEO Building Blocks

There are a number of techniques involved in Search Engine Optimisation.  Below we are going to look at a few of the main strategies used.

1. Keywords

Short tail keywords are 1 to 3 words long and long tail Keywords or keyword phrases are more than 3 words long. It is a good idea to have a mixture of both in SEO.  Keyword phrases are becoming more popular in SEO because they do provide a better targeted description when using these keywords for searching.  These keywords being used are the connection between you an your customers and are established and indexed by the search engines. Your potential customers will use these keywords and phrases to search, and if your website is successfully optimised then your article pages will show up in the search results.  The starting point when looking at keywords for your business is looking at the words and phrases which are relevant and will perform for your site.  Within an SEO plan targeted campaigns can also be organised to direct traffic to particular products and services, these campaigns are good when looking at wanting to increase the visitation to certain areas on your site.

A few mistakes people make when looking at keywords is to not think broadly enough about which keywords could be effective for their site, as well as selecting keywords that people don’t actually use to search. Another mistake is being unaware of which search terms are most popular among customers when searching for particular services and products. To avoid making the last mistake there are a number of research tools that can be used.

It is also good to keep in mind about search engines is that they are working on behalf of the end user, not for the website owners. Search engines will do everything they can to recognise when their end user is being sold to, so it is very important to ensure your content is engaging and relevant to the person searching in order to guarantee returning relevant traffic to your site.

It is good to keep in mind the following:

  1. Put yourself in the place of your potential customer and think how they might search for you, rather than what you want to be found for. You can also ask your current customers.
  2. New content on your site is also an effective way to improve ranking and visibility in search engines.
  3. The spelling of words is another thing to think about. Use both options - for instance 'optimization' and 'optimisation'.

 

2. Link Building

The basic idea behind link building is to acquire hyperlinks from other websites to your own.  Search engines use links to crawl the web; they will crawl the links between the individual pages on your website, and they will crawl the links between entire websites.  This SEO technique is one of the hardest to do well, and with the ever changing landscape of SEO and link building due to the search algorithms, the importance of building high-quality links has never been higher. The last thing you want is for your website to be penalised.  

Through links, engines can not only analyze the popularity of websites and the pages based on the number and popularity of pages linking to them, but also metrics like trust, spam, and authority.  Sites that are trustworthy will tend to link to other trusted websites, while sites that have a lot of spam will receive very few links from trusted sources.

So when asking the ever imporatnat question: How do search engines assign value to links? You would need to explore the individual elements of a link, and look at how the search engines assess each of the elements.

Some link signal below:

Global Popularity
Basically it pays to be popular. The more important a website is, then the more links from that website will matter to you when ranking.

Local and Topic-Specific Popularity
First pioneered by the Teoma search engine is the concept of "local" popularity. The suggestion is that links from sites within a topic-specific community will be more valuable than links from general or off-topic websites.

TrustRank
There are some people who estimate that 60% of web's pages are spam, so in order to take out this irrelevant spam content, search engines will use systems for measuring the trust of a site. Many of these systems are based on the link graph. Obtaining links from highly-trusted domains, such as non-for profit organisations, universities and government sites can result in a significant boost to the scoring metric.

Anchor Text
This is one of the strongest signals the engines use in ranking websites.If a lot of links point to a page with the right keywords, that page has a great probability of ranking really well for the targeted keyword phrase in that anchor text.

Social Sharing
The past number of years has seen an explosion in the amount of content, images and videos shared through social services such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+. Search engines treat these links differently from other types of links and there is some debate among SEO professionals as to exactly how search engines factor social link signals within their algorithms. However, regardless of all of this there is no denying that the importance of social media channels is rising when it comes to help your site rankings.

 

3. Web Design

With a few of the following design practices you can improve a website’s SEO and ultimately their visibility.

Keywords and keyword phrases are one of the first things you should know and learn about when starting to optimise your website. When looking at keywords to use when searching for your business it is very important to first establish what your business objectives are. Do you want to target your local area, national or go global?  With a good SEO plan in place you can then build or redesign pages that will target these specific keywords and keyword phrases, which in turn are going to help build your organic search rankings and target your specific market when they come searching for you.

If you are not sure what keywords to use, there are a number of great tools out there to help you, such as Google Adwords Keyword Tool, Wordtracker and Wordstream to name a few.  When you do finalise your keyword list make sure it's based on research done around your keywords and keyword phrases.  Also put yourself in your client's shoes, or even ask your client what words and phrases they used to search for your type of business.

SEO-optimised URL's within your website will enable search engines to quickly identify what a page on your site is about. It is also a very good idea to include keywords in the URL as this will help increase your organic Search Engine visibility, and let's face it SEO is all about being found.

At this point I am also going to mention that Google's algorithm is getting even more smarter, it is a good habit to name your images with descriptive keywords.

4. Citations

In reading about SEO you may of come across citations and NAP.  A citation is a mention of your business across the internet on local directories, associations or other websites.

It may be seen as some of the following:

Company's name
Company’s phone number
Company’s address
Company’s name and phone number
Company’s name and address
Company’s name, address and phone number

A complete citation will involve a complete NAP of your business. NAP stands for the name of your business, the full address of your business and the phone number of your business.

A complete citation, besides the NAP should also have a category, a link to your website, email, hours of operation and photos.  Depending on your type of business you could also include price and or coupons and discounts.

There is so much information out there on SEO techniques and the do's and dont's and we will explore each one and more further in future blogs.  The most important thing to take away is that just because you have an amazing website online, you are not necessarily being found.  The web is a vast metropolis with unimaginable amounts of streets between pages.  If you are not doing any SEO then you need to start to even begin to have a chance of reaching that all important goal of being #1 in organic search rankings.

Need help then register for our FREE SEO report to get started on your SEO journey.

 

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Local SEO!  Are You being FOUND in Your Local Market?

Ed Parson, Geospatial Technologist of Google, said that 1 in 3 of the search queries has local intent and almost 50% of those searches are made using our Smartphones.

With this in mind it is very important that you optimise your business online advertisement with your name, address, telephone number; as well as your website URL, and any social media pages such as Google+, Facebook and Twitter. It is also a good idea to follow any reviews you may have online.

Some industries such as restaurants, hotels and resorts, tourist activities and pharmacies can gain a lot of benefits from utilising Local Search options. Customers looking for these types of businesses will use the geo-localisation on their mobile devices and it's a good idea for you to make sure you have a good SEO strategy in place for local search.

We are located in Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast and recently we had a client from China ring us to see if they can pop into the office to talk about an e-commerce website. They found us searching online for marketing and web design businesses within our area. You never know who is out there looking for what you have to offer. Their website is now up and running.

So let's look at some useful tips you can use on your website to help with Local SEO:
  1. Keywords are always important no matter your SEO reach so make sure some of your keywords include your local area.
  2. Create a domain name that reflects your business type and its location and have it redirected to your main domain name where your website sits or have your website built using this domain.
  3. You can add keywords on page titles that identify with your business, its services and its location.
  4. You can also incorporate your business' name, address and phone number information in each individual page of your website and not just on your home page and contact us page.
  5. In addition to telling customers about what you have to offer, also make sure your website copy includes as much information about your local area as possible to further associate your business with the nearby vicinity you want to be found in. For instance, note what area of town you're in, if there are any well-known attractions near your place of business, what sports team plays across the street from you, or what park or beach is around the corner or block from you. This added information will not only help improve your website content for your customers but it will also help boost your search rankings as a local business.
  6. Your website is your most important and valuable asset online, so making sure that it is properly optimised to appear towards the top within search results is a key component within your SEO strategy.
Now we are going to point out some useful tips for off-page Local SEO:
  1. One of the most effective strategies used to boost local SEO is to ensure the availability and consistency of your business' listing information across a number of third-party sources. Google and other search engines constantly scan these sites to develop a stronger understanding of the local web and your business within that local area. When creating your listing make sure you build it, if possible with photos, videos, website URL and other key information to make your listings more informative and attractive to your potential customers. Also make sure you list your business in the appropriate categories so it can be properly optimised.
  2. Make sure you have an appropriate Link Strategy in place. Links from your website to other related websites, and vice versa, will always play a role in your business' SEO visibility, and is an important tool within the SEO strategy. These links help establish the authenticity and credibility of your business. However, unrelated links will damage your business visibility over time. A couple of things you can do is consistently share links to your website via your Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels, and encourage others to pass along the information as well. Also make sure you include links to your website in your email newsletters and any other updates to customers that you send out. You probably also email customers a lot within your work day, so it's a good idea to look at how you can utilise your signature more as well.
  3. Engage with your social media visitors. Social media pages can play a role in local business' visibility in search results. The more proactive you are with your social media pages, the more likely your pages will attract followers and then in turn, appear within search results.

Competition on the internet is high so it's very important that you look at the strategies you can use to ensure you are found. If they are not clicking on your page then they are clicking somewhere else. Just because you don't have a great understanding about SEO does not mean you don't do anything about it. Talk to us today and we can help you put together an effective SEO plan to help your website climb up the search rankings. Email info@selectmarketing.net.au  or call (07) 5592 2685 for your FREE SEO report.

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HOW TO CREATE SOCIAL MEDIA IMAGES TO ENGAGE YOUR AUDIENCE

With a never ending stream of content on social media, businesses need to work harder to stand out from the crowd. Visuals have a better chance of grabbing users' attention than any other type of content. They can tell your brand's story in a much more energetic way than a block of text ever could. Visual posts result in 180% greater engagement. Today I want to share with you six ways to connect with your followers using social media images:

1. Mix it up with videos. If a picture is worth a 1000 words, imagine the worth of a video! Take your businesses visuals to the next level by sharing videos with your audience. On Facebook, videos can get 12 times more shares than any other type of content. Videos on social media platforms are experiencing astounding growth, so jump on board!

Mercedes Benz is a great example of a company that use videos on social media to tell captivating stories about its products and company culture. Most of their videos get a lot of likes, shares and comments. In this simple but effective clip, instead of just using a still image, the company created a effective 15 second video to take a look at its AMG C63.
https://instagram.com/p/1nZGrAS3sH/?taken-by=mbusa

2. Inspire your audience with quote graphics, they are perfect to encourage your followers to stop, think and engage with your content. These are some of the most shared images on social media because they are so relatable. Create visually appealing quote graphics that suits your business. They can be used for any purpose: to motivate, entertain, advocate, intrigue, amuse.. anything!
Take online magazine More Than A Pretty Face, who interview women of substance, they post a lot of inspiring quotes which really relate to their brand values. A recent quote 'I stopped looking for the light. I decided to become it instead' is a great example how they successfully connect with their followers. They chose an inspiring relatable quote and the graphics are visually appealing to match the tone of their message.

mtapf quote

Style your quote so your followers want to become a part of the conversation and hopefully share. Keep in mind, you want to always post with purpose. Think about what the particular quote says about your business and decide if that message is relatable to your target audience. If it is relatable, then turn it into a stylish graphic that brings the words to life!

I've said it before and I'll say it again.. GET PERSONAL! It gets engagement levels up and adds a whole new dimension to your social media pages.

3. Use customer submitted images. It's easy to forget the storytelling power of images submitted by your followers when you're looking for new ways to increase engagement. Using customer submitted images tells a story of their experience with your business and the positive way it's impacted them. Also, it's a great way to thank consumers and show you are dedicated to them by featuring them on your page.

blackboard

4. Acknowledge company milestones. Share your success with your audience, it's a fantastic way to boost engagement. Your followers are the most important part of your journey as a business, so keep them updated with what's happening. Posts marking milestones shouldn't be as common as your other visual content, so treat them as something special when creating the image.

blackboard-milestone

5. Bring your page to life and share behind the scenes shots. Let your followers into your business and make them fall in love. How is your product made? Who are the people behind the logo? Add some humour to the mix and these posts can really be successful.
Locals business Blackboard coffee does a great job of getting personal on their social media sites. By connecting with their followers on a personal level, they humanize the Blackboard brand. They encourage audiences to connect as a friend, rather than a business, which majorly boosts engagement. The business mixes up their social media pages by reposting customers images, behind the scenes snaps of the staff, new recipes and share important milestones like features in newspapers etc. Check out their page if you want a great example of getting personal: https://instagram.com/blackboardcoffee/

blackboard-behind the scenes

6. Be different!
Don't be identical to other brands, this is a huge mistake social media accounts make. Some images are popular or funny for a reason, but most of the time your audience has already seen this content a number of times before! Share original visual content that's tailored to your audience. Post images that highlight your brand personality and the people behind it. Try to take it that step further, go out and take new photos and design your own graphics.

Another important factor businesses must take into consideration are the types of content they are sharing, share text graphics, videos, flat-lay images, landscape and portrait images, up-close and far away images. Consumers want to see a mix of visual content, not the same boring stuff! Check out local brand The Beach People who have been incredibly successful through social media https://instagram.com/thebeachpeople/. They use a great variety of images and have really gained some traction because of it.

the beach people

Develop a theme of colours that look good together. Use emotive colour palettes to improve your images. Play with unique photo filters, colour schemes and palettes.
Just as colours invoke up emotions, so can fonts. You wouldn't use an elegant script typeface to advertise a festival advert. Take into consideration what your posting, your brand and audience to pick a font to suit. Remember the most visually appealing your page looks the more people it will attract.

There are a lot more elements to sharing visual content than meets the eye. If you need help with managing your social media accounts leave it to us! There are 1.39 billion monthly active on Facebook alone. Your business needs to put its best foot forward to target those users before your competitors! Call us today on (07) 5592 2685 or email info@selectmarketing.net.au alternately jump onto http://www.selectmarketing.net.au/web-solutions/social-networking to read more.

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Posted by on in Website Design
2015 Top Web Fonts

There are a number of design elements we look at when it comes to building websites. One major one is responsive design, however there are also a number of simple elements people tend to forget about. One such element is the use of font. Over the past few years, when it comes to font, the opportunities have expanded enormously on the web. Once web designers were restricted to a few web safe fonts, which made everything look very similar or designers used images to replace text which caused problems for the reader and sometimes technical problems on the browser. Today we are lucky enough to have access to a huge variety of professional fonts for websites bringing the aesthetics of print to the web.
Typography plays a significant role in the user experience and to make this happen you need to access modern and attractive fonts. Although variety is great, with so many options out there.. What font should you use on your website? Lucky for you, we have researched 2015's most popular fonts! Let's take a look at our top picks and where you can download them:
1. Raleway is one my favourite fonts, it is an elegant Google font initially designed in one weight but has now been expanded to nine weight families. I love using this font because it has so much character. The font features both an old style and lining numerals. This can be downloaded for free here: https://www.google.com/fonts#UsePlace:use/Collection:Raleway.
2. Museo Sans is another great geometric sans serif font. It's used in a lot of websites these days. Museo Sans is a strong, low contrast and very legible font suited for almost anything. It can also be used with a serif font to create a good reading experience for users. Downloaded it here: http://www.exljbris.com/museosans.html.

In our last post we highlighted some trending fonts in 2015, here's a few more of our favourites:
3. Brandon Grotesque is an attractive warm font, inspired by geometric sans serif style faces that were popular in 1920s and 30s. It is clean, modern and legible. The font is used on many modern sites these days and comes in six weights, which helps create visual order. Download Brandon Grotesque here: https://www.myfonts.com/fonts/hvdfonts/brandon-grotesque/.
4. Playfair Display as the name states, is a font that is great for titles and headlines. Although it's trendy to use sans serif fonts on the web, serif and sans serif fonts create a fantastic visual experience when used together. Playfair is a modern Google font that can be downloaded here: https://www.google.com/fonts#UsePlace:use/Collection:Playfair+Display.
5. Roboto is a font that has a double nature, it has a mechanical frame and is geometric but at the same time the font features open friendly curves. The font has six weight families and can be downloaded here: https://www.google.com/fonts/specimen/Roboto
Some other trending fonts which can be used on your website are; Proxima Nova, Choplin, Campton, Didot, Gotham, Montserrat or Ubuntu.

When we develop a website we don't just look at the major design elements such as how responsive your site needs to be, we also look at the simple design elements including font. You can get online with a professionally designed website from just $49.95 per month. Isn't it time you put your best foot forward when it comes to your businesses presence online. Jump onto www.rent-a-website.com.au and have a look at our wide range of affordable plans. Alternatively call (07) 55 922 685 or email info@rent-a-website.com.au.

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Posted by on in Social Media
The Power of Influence Marketing

A big challenge new businesses face is getting their product or services in front of consumers. How can you grow your online presence and expose your brand if nobody knows you exist? A quick and easy way to increase exposure is to collaborate with people who already have loads of engaged followers.

There are so many things a business can do to market its products or services, most take time and money and even then they have no guarantee of success. Though getting a product into the hands of the right social media influencer could mean it's exposed to hundreds of thousands of consumers overnight.

So how can you identify these influencers? Influencers have a massive following and their followers are extremely engaged in everything they do. Their followers are loyal, have a lot of trust in what they say and highly regard their recommendations.
Usually influencers are on:
- Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or other social media channels
- Blogs
- Vlogs e.g. YouTube
These offer countless opportunities for exposure through social sharing. Once an influencer shares your product, it will be seen by thousands even millions and then shared by their followers.
Stay tuned we share how you can find influencers that are right for your business. Or jump onto www.selectmarketing.net.au/our-blog to read the post now.

So how can you find these influencers?
Influencers are easy to identify. You need to research and be on the platforms you want to grow. Search on Google and through social media channels to find the influencer that best fits your brand.
Influencers usually have:
- A large social media following
- Lots of engagement with comments, likes and shares
- High amount of traffic numbers to their websites

Now it's all about the PITCH! You need to really sell yourself to get the attention of the influencer. Here are six keys to a successful pitch:

1. Tailor your pitch and use the influencer's first name in the email.
2. Introduce yourself and your brand in a few sentences.
3. Explain why you like them and how your brand relates to them.
4. Offer your product or service as a free gift.
5. Include a call to action to make them respond.
6. Be short and sweet, influencers get a very high amount of emails a day, don't bore them.
Next follow up with the Influencer. Influencers are very busy people, if you don't hear back from them, send a follow up message. We have found from experience sometimes a free gift is not enough. These days being an influencer is a full time job and depending on how big their audience is, they expect to be paid if you want your product promoted. Consider asking them to do a paid post, depending on the cost, this can be beneficial. The amount you pay for a post compared to how much you might sell could be worth it in the end.


If you still haven't heard from them be persistent, there are other ways to attract the attention of influencers:
- Follow them on social media and comment, like or share their content.
- Add comments to their blog to generate discussion and be noticed.
Please note that if you're trying this, DON'T promote your product. You need to build a relationship with the influencer, then you can try to pitch again later.

Once the influencer is willing to work with your brand, what happens next just depends on the type of posts they do because each person interacts with their audience differently.

Here's a few examples of how your product or service might be featured by the influencer:
- Sharing a photo from your social media account with the influencer's followers.
- Mentioning your brand in a positive light.
- Reviewing your product or service and sharing information about where to buy it.
- Holding a contest to give away one of your products or sharing a personalized discount code.
After the influencer has shared their post make sure you show your gratitude! Send an email to thank them and also make sure you share their post to your followers. Doing this will help you build a relationship with the influencer as well as gain your business status online.

Working with influencers is fantastic to build your brand. It's a quick way to be seen reaching a lot of people that you couldn't reach alone. Although be careful, you need to make sure you are picking influencers that are specific to your industry. Too often we see brands using influences that aren't quite right and they don't get the benefits out of it, making it a waste of time and money.

Talk to us today about using influence marketing for your business. We can pick the right influencers, help you pitch to them and monitor the success. Call us on (07) 5592 2685 or email info@selectmarketing.net.au.

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3 Web Design mistakes that could be costing your business money!

When it comes to websites, speed is vital! Users start abandoning a page after 3 seconds, which means that page load time is a major factor for online businesses. Around 1 second delay in page load time can result in a 11% fewer page views, 7% decrease in conversions and a 16% loss in customer satisfaction. You have spent hundreds even thousands of dollars making your website the best marketing tool it can be. Let's take a look at 3 common mistakes your business might be making that could be undermining your efforts:

1. Your website pages appear blank then loads all at once. If your website does this or it loads only the navigation then your content, your users most likely aren't noticing your brilliant content. The reason behind this could be your images are too large (e.g. those big hero images), poorly done style sheets (e.g. your banner slides) or third party scripts (e.g. social sharing). A great site to jump onto to check what's slowing your site down is Google Page Speed https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/ It's designed to help you optimize the performance of your website.

If you find your website has major speed problems contact us. We create fully optimized and responsive websites, it's not as expensive as you think from just $49.95 per month get online!

2. Another common mistake we see too often is call to actions being the last thing to load on a website. Calls to action at the bottom of large images are a common practice in web design, but if your images are slow to load from top to bottom, your call to actions call be easily missed by impatient users. Either move your calls to action to the top of your page so users can see them straight away or make sure they are optimized to load quicker.

Give users a clear path to follow when they arrive on your website, make it look clickable (resembling an actual button) so users know exactly what to do.

3. Does your website have a pop up that blocks the rest of the page? Pop ups are a great tool for marketers, but smart implementation and optimization are a must. If pop ups load too early, they can prevent the page from rendering correctly and disturb the user experience. Delay pop ups for at least 10 seconds, optimizing the script and test it out. Pop ups can be a minor annoyance or helpful for users, so make sure your pop ups are worth it, due to the disturbance they can cause. Another KEY factor of pop ups I want you to note, is make sure they are easy to close, users tend to get very frustrated and will leave your site very quickly if they can't find where to close the pop up.

I hope these tips were useful for your business! If you simply don't have time to manage your site or need a website designed leave it to us! For less than a coffee a day you can get online! Jump onto www.rent-a-website.com.au and have a look at our wide range of affordable plans. Alternatively call (07) 55 922 685 or email info@rent-a-website.com.au.

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