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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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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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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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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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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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Get mobile responsive by 21.4.15 or miss out on GOOGLE TRAFFIC!

That's right; your business could be at risk! If your website is NOT mobile responsive within the month your website traffic can be in jeopardy!

Google announced on 26th February that "we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices".

The time to ACT is NOW! If your website is not mobile friendly you run the risk of missing out on Google traffic! 81% of Australians own a smartphone and 60% of website traffic comes from these mobile devices, which means more users are jumping on their phone or tablet than their computer to search for products and services, as well as to shop online. 27% of people using mobile devices to search will leave a site if it is not mobile responsive, so don't risk losing website traffic. You need a responsive website that's going to attract and keep visitors on your site.

To test if your website is mobile-friendly click here

If you didn't pass the test talk to us today! Don't loose website traffic just because your site is not responsive. Call (07) 5592 2685 or email info@selectmarketing.net.au or jump onto http://www.selectmarketing.net.au/web-solutions/website-design to talk about your website needs.

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Learn how to make your website's content Social Media friendly!!

Social media is a great low cost avenue to spread your website content. Although is it friendly? You may just need to make some small adjustments to get your content shared. The more friendly you make it, the more likely your readers will be to repost it!

Here's three quick tips to get your content shared:

1. We all know how important images are, creating more results for businesses than ever before, it's fundamental that your images are very appealing and shareable on social networks.
Just because an image looks fantastic on your website doesn't mean it will look good on a social media post. Always check how your images look before actually posting. This can easily be done by creating the post and adding your URL on the page your posting. Here you can see if you have any issues with cropping, sizing or formatting. If your images are cut off or too close, adjust your image size on your website. Usually square images look clean across most social networks.
Look at the two pictures we posted, a clothing company IzzQ Designs and fast food comapny Nandos. Can you see which company clearly has resized there images correctly?

Each social network has a perfect image size for a post and unfortunately it's not all the same. If you're only interested in optimizing your images for a few networks then look at the best image dimensions for just those networks.
http://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-media-image-sizes-guide/ is a great website to use because it's regularly updated to include any changes on major social media channels and has in depth image size information.

2. Once your images are optimized the next step is to review your meta data. For social media posts, the two most important pieces of meta data are the page title and description. On Facebook the four things users see when sharing a website is the image, title, description and comment from the user sharing the link. When users are sharing content from your site, you can't control what they write though you can control everything else. Make sure your meta data makes sense and is clear.

Your titles should be short, punchy and under 100 characters to capture the readers attention. The Description can be longer, ideally around 250 characters. When writing the description include keywords because most social media channels have their own keyword based search engine. Using the correct keywords will help you stay visible in the main feed and to anyone who is searching for the topic on the site.

If you need help finding keywords use Google Keyword Planner or a search engine on a social network site. A great example to find keywords on social networks is Pinterest as shown in the picture.


3. Next, the main goal is to get your content shared. So make sure your site has share buttons! Major blogs and news companies do a fantastic job of this, so take a look at some of their sites.

When choosing social share buttons look at what works best on your website. If you are after all inclusive plugins take a look at: https://www.addthis.com/features or http://www.sharethis.com/get-sharing-tools/#sthash.UeNnIiJr.275WUQvD.dpbs. No matter what type of share buttons you choose, the most important things to keep in mind is placement, customization and tracking.
Twitter is very customizable when it comes to share buttons; an example is Huffington Post which customizes every post directly shared from their site. Another example that does a great job is Forbes, whenever a user jumps on their site they make the buttons very visible and easily sharable.

Whatever type of sharing button you use its important to make sure you're tracking your analytics. It's an easy way to test to see which pages on your website are performing the best on social media.
Also keep in mind fresh content is KEY! It gives your viewers a reason to return to your website and share your content. I hope these quick tips help you get your website content shared! If you need help revamping your website talk to us today. Call 07 55922685 or email info@rent-a-website.com.au or jump onto http://www.rent-a-website.com.au/rental-plans to look at our packages.

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Posted by on in Website Design
Fake Domain Name Hosting Emails BEWARE!

You could easily be getting conned into purchasing your unexpired Domain Name from scammers.

Today we received an email that looked completely legit with our company details, an invoice and business logo asking us for immediate payment for our so called 'expired domain name'.
Although what didn't add up was that our domain was not expired, we didn't have an account with the company emailing us and the domain name the email was sent from did not match the fake business logo in the email. These were major indicators that the email was a scam!

Why I'm telling you this, is to help small businesses that might be unfamiliar with these indicators and could be easily scammed. As a web solution company we find many small businesses don't keep track of who they bought their domain name or hosting with. Some good reasons why it's very important to know these details are:

1. So you can't be scammed into buying so called 'expired domain names' you don't have an account with.
2. If your website is ever hacked and your passwords are changed you can easily get straight into it.
3. If you want to update your website or swap hosting companies it's not absolutely impossible! (Trust us we see this a lot).

So there you have it folks! Some quick tips from us for the day. Knowing these simple details can really help your company in the long run!

So spread the word and help other small businesses out.

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Posted by on in Website Design
TIP OF THE DAY: THE GHOST BUTTON

Looking for a cool new feature to spunk up your website this year?

Then look no further..

Let me introduce the 'ghost button'. These are those neat looking transparent empty buttons that have a basic shape like a rectangle or square. They generally have a border with a very thin line and inside have plain text in a light sans serif font.
The 'ghost button' performs a great trick of merging itself seamlessly within a site and if positioned correctly and set on a proper background it can successfully attract the user's attention.

These buttons best suit websites that are using a modern minimal, flat user interface or a large photo for the background.
Talk to us today if you would like to give your website a fresh face! We have a wide range of website plans to suit any budget! , call 07 55922685 or email info@rent-a-website.com.au or jump onto www.rent-a-website.com.au

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What type of website do you have, static and inefficient or dynamic and interactive?

Websites play a HUGE role in educating, entertaining and engaging your consumers. Sites are evolving to accommodate how users want to consume information and one of the most interesting trends is dynamic websites which display updated, relevant and new content.

For businesses, dynamic websites can be a huge challenge but also a great opportunity. You need to constantly update your site rather than giving it some attention every now and again. It's no longer good enough to have a strong message or good design, consumers expect engaging fresh information.

So what can you do to keep your Website current?
One of the easiest answers is keeping your home page up to date! Put new info, images or videos on regularly. This tells your users that your active and gives them the need to come back to your site to see what's new!
Next, look at modern technology you can use for your site! Some things you could look are would be including social media links, blogs, great graphical banners, contact forms, live chat (read our recent blog on making your site more interactive http://www.selectmarketing.net.au/our-blog/entry/make-your-website-more-interactive plus much more. At the end of the day, you need to be more connected and engaging than ever before. Anything you do on your site needs to reflect current needs, wants and interests. Trends move so fast that businesses face the challenge of staying current.

In this day and age, change is a must. If you need help keeping your site current or simply don't have the time leave it to us! We offer a selection of affordable website rental plans for less than a coffee a day! Let us update your site and keep it interactive. Call (07) 5592 2685 or email info@rent-a-website.com.au.

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Posted by on in Website Design
Make your website more interactive!

Connect with your customers faster and on a personalized level with live chat support. It's a relatively new and popular way to instantly communicate with your website visitors. Live chat support can be used for potential customers to help with their buying decision or for current customers who need support with a product or service.

Many large companies have started to offer live chat support on their sites but live chat is not only for the big guys, small to medium sized businesses have also started to see the benefits it can have on their websites too!

Let's take a look at some of the benefits it has:
• You have the ability to chat to multiple users at the same time while also cutting down on support costs.
• Live chat offers instant access online to possible customers or clients which helps with website productivity and in turn can help boost sales.
• There are great tools to monitor website users activities to help you target your visitors more effectively. One tool is seeing what products they are interested in for market research purposes.
• The feature is a brilliant way to communicate with your users on a more personalized level.
• While chatting to your visitors you have the ability to directly navigate them to areas on your site. A great way to directly target them and increase your sales!
• Live chat can help you achieve customer satisfaction by providing a positive and quick service for your users.
• The beauty of live chat is that it's a free feature for all visitors which is sure to please!!

Problems live chat faces and ways you can get around them:
• Live chat won't be suitable for all users. Always offer additional support like phone or email for those who are not computer savvy.
• Not all mobile devices are able to support live chat features. Again additional support is necessary and make sure you test how live chat works on multiple devices for your website.
• Chance of prank chats can occur although if this happens a lot you can block the user or make email a mandatory field in your pre chat form.
• You must have the staff available to reply promptly, if your chat support fails users can leave the site annoyed.

Live chat support isn't suitable for every industry; some companies that can benefit from offering the feature include hospitality, tech support, online retailers, software companies, tourism and telecommunications. Industries that shouldn't include live chat on their sites are businesses that simply don't have time, who are not next to the computer in business hours or companies that only deal with users from different time zones.

If you think your company could benefit from live chat support incorporate it! 55% of consumers today expect to find live chat on a website. Satisfaction rates suggest that customers spread the word and return to websites when they are happy with the experience.

If you want to add this feature to your site to communicate with your customers talk to us today. Phone (07) 5592 2685 or email info@rent-a-website.com.au.

Next week we will highlight our best live chat tips and tricks to increase your sales and customer service skills! Keep your eyes peeled.

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Posted by on in Website Design
Get your online store off the ground today!

A Ecommerce site is a major part of your business, just like your mobile phone. Now, you can pay for it in the same manner and at a fraction of the cost of purchasing a website up front.
We offer a fantastic and affordable Ecommerce plan for less than a boost juice a day! Pay only $199.00 per month plus a set-up fee and get a professionally designed website that includes everything you need to run an online store.
Our plan includes:
• 7 content pages
• 5 hours of allocated for CMS maintenance and website updates per month
• 8 email accounts
• 2 installed components
• Unique template design with: branding, contact form, branding Incorporated colours and Images + more
• Rotating header gallery
• Banner advertisements
• Basic organic SEO with: Google analytics code, Google verification code, friendly URL's and keywords within the website
• Registration of domain if required
• Hosting account with cPanel
• Shopping Cart with 50 Products included
• Pay-Pal Integration
Every great business idea takes flight with the launch of a professionally designed website. Talk to us about your individual website needs today. Phone: (07) 5592 2685, Email: info@rent-a-website.com.au or visit our website www.rent-a-website.com.au.

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Four Web Design Trends you need to say goodbye to!

In the fast-paced world of web design, trends come and go regularly. Although too often businesses are holding onto old design elements when they should be moving forward! Let's take a look at 4 design trends you need to say farewell to:

1. Do you have a mobile version of your website? If you said yes, the get rid of it! Today and into the future more and more businesses will be focusing on responsive website design. Mobile users are looking for a fully integrated experience. With over half of the internet usage coming through mobile devices, many companies are focusing on mobile design first and desktop design second. Responsive website design is a design approach which crafts sites to provide the best viewing experience across all devices. Google also loves responsive design because it reduces the need for duplicated content and multiple sub domains and this in turn helps improve your website SEO.

2. The shift to the use of more visual media in web design is growing daily. With this increase, we have seen a decrease in text heavy websites. Instead of writing a story about yourself, company, products and service it is time to put more visual content into your story telling.

We are not just seeing this trend on websites but of course throughout social media as a whole. Through Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter as well as other platforms, images and videos are being used much more than they have been in the past.
For websites that have a lot of information to share, think how you can display it through images and videos to get your messages across. Combining your content with visuals can hold the attention of even the most impatient user.
Stay tuned for more outdated web design trends! Alternatively, head to www.selectmarketing.net.au/our-blog to read our full blog post.

3. Pay per click advertising is changing; new technology is helping us to target consumers more specifically through internet ads. Pay per click advertising has evolved to incorporate new targeting resources that can help businesses find their target market more easily. For example, it's now possible to target consumers that watch certain movies in certain areas or who like a type of clothing brand.

Businesses have a lot more information on consumers than they did in the past which enables them to tailor make their message for their particular consumer, specifically because of the information consumers are supplying on the internet. So take advantage and leave pay per click advertising behind!

4. Lastly I want to tell you to embrace flat design! It's a 'style of interface design that removes any stylistic choices that give the illusion of three-dimensions and is focused on a minimalist use of simple elements, typography and flat colours'- Wiki.
Web Design is changing and mobile devices are adopting retina displays. So unless you increase the resolution of your design, the quality of your website on these devices are going to be poor. Industry leaders like, Apple and Windows 8 are both using flat design and so are most companies. It's time to embrace a more clean and simple website.

Web design is constantly changing, so say goodbye to these old trends and make room for new design elements. Jump onto our website www.rent-a-website.com.au and check out our website plans! They start from just $49.95 per month + set up fees and include the latest design trends. Talk to us today Call (07) 5592 2685 or email info@rent-a-website.com.au.

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Minimize shopping cart abandonment and increase your online sales today!

Do you have an ecommerce site? Shopping cart abandonment is one of the biggest problems, online stores face. In fact, on average most online stores lose more than half their customers in the last stage of checking out.
So let's take a look at the main reasons why:

• Complicated checkout process
• Not enough product information or the product is not available
• High shipping costs or long shipping duration
• Forced registrations (no guest checkout)
• Lack of payment options
• Concerns about security or privacy
• Casual customers only wanting to look around

Could your website have some of these problems? Today we are going to discuss seven ways to help you reduce cart abandonment and increase your sales:

1. Keep the Checkout Process Simple. When a user is buying something online they are not interested in filling out long forms or wanting to endure a lengthy checkout process. Consumers like the checkout process to be as simple and speedy as possible. Don't give the user any reason to rethink their buying decision. Make sure your page is structured as simple as possible and the pages loading time is fast.

2. Make sure your showing the correct product information and images. To attract users to your website you need great images and presentation. You also need to offer enough details about the products so users aren't second guessing if your website is legit or are unsure about the product itself. Product descriptions go a long way in the purchase decision. Also make sure you clearly mention if your product is in stock or not!!

3. Offer free shipping if you can afford it. A huge factor of online shopping is shipping, It can act as the deal breaker. If your company can't afford it, offer the cheapest possible shipping option. Customers are also very keen to get their product ASAP, if the shipping duration is long, they may just go somewhere else. So make sure your shipping rates are clearly mentioned for users to see and you are giving them the best deal possible.

4. Another way online shops are making mistakes, is forcing users to sign up. Although there is many benefits to having users sign up with your store, most users just want to purchase the product without the hassle of entering ALL their details. Too many online websites try to force registration upon their users forcing them to leave the site. So, ask the buyers to register after they have made the payment and don't make it a requirement.

5. A big part of online shopping is trust. Online shoppers must have trust in you and your website to make a payment online. Clearly show all the information on your payment options, your contact details and returns policy to give your users confidence in your website.

6. Keep users carts alive, even if a user has abandoned a cart, it doesn't mean that they do not want to buy the goods. There is the chance that they could come back to your website and having the goods still readily available can prove to be very effective in making the sale! Try to keep the carts alive for at least 2-4 weeks.

7. Lastly, I want to stress the importance of chasing up your users!! Emails can be very effective at getting customers back to your ecommerce site. An email reminder to people who have left their carts, can get them back on your website. Many times, people abandon carts for reasons that have nothing to do with your website. A reminder can be very helpful to users and can help you make that sale. Also take a look at other ways to generate leads to your website to increase your sales, read one of our blog post 'tools to generate leads from your website' here: http://www.selectmarketing.net.au/our-blog/entry/tools-to-generate-leads-from-your-website

Talk to us today if you need help to increase your online sales! Let us improve your website to make sure it is as efficient as ever! Call 07 5592 2685 or email info@selectmarketing.net.au or visit our website www.selectmarketing.net.au

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Understanding Google Algorithm's

Ever heard about Google Algorithm's?
As a business you should have a reasonable understanding of how it works.
"Algorithms are computer programs that look for clues to give the user back exactly what they have searched for ." – Google.

Google algorithms rely on more than 200 unique signals to find out what the user is looking for. It's important that you take into consideration what signals Google algorithms use to make your website as efficient as ever. The more 'signals' Google picks up on your website, the more your website will be seen! So pay close attention to this post, if you want to improve your SEO!
There are a number of components to the search process and the results page that Google uses.

A search starts with the web, which is made up of over 60 trillion individual pages that are constantly growing. Google navigates by crawling the web with its spiders. A user writes in what they are searching for and Google spiders finds relevant pages in relation to that question. These spiders search through billion of pages and links by asking over 200 questions (algorithms) to come back with the best results. They sort pages by their content and other factors. Keep your eyes out for our next post where we look at some of the questions they ask.

  • • How many times does the page include the keywords
    • Are they in the title, URL or directly adjacent
    • Does the page include synonyms
    • What region is the site
    • How fresh is the content
    • What's the quality of the website?
    • Does it have spam on it
    • What's the pages rank
    • How many outside links are directed to it

When these answers are collected, the spiders rank the web pages on Google based on how well the pages answered the questions.

Please take note, Google is constantly updating their technologies systems to deliver better results. So many of these questions/algorithms are being restructured and added. It's important as a business that you regularly keep up to date on what's new to keep your website on top.

For example, a recent update on August 6th was that Google announced that they would be giving preference to secure sites, and that adding encryption would provide a "lightweight" rankings boost. Knowing this kind of information can prove very useful for your website. So every now and again key in 'Google Algorithm Changes' and keep up to date!

We hope this post helped you understand the way Google search engines worked! If you need help with your SEO talk to us today. Call 07 5592 2685 or email info@selectmarketing.net.au alternatively visit our website http://www.selectmarketing.net.au/2014-01-22-02-58-19/seo-plans

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How multiple domain names can help your SEO

Let's talk about using multiple domain names to build up your Search Engine Optimization and give your business a competitive advantage! Just owning your own company name isn't enough, domain names are very affordable and buying multiple names for the same website can prove to be quite beneficial down the track. Here's how:

1. Look at purchasing descriptive domain names to help with your SEO! You will own your market space and target market space. Every time your customers think of the product or service that you offer and type it into Google, they should see your company not your competitors.
You can buy multiple domain names that include rich keywords of your product or service that are going to direct users to your website. For example, if we have a Gold Coast hair dressers and their domain name is www.sarahshairandbeauty.com.au they could also look at buying domain names like www.goldcoasthair.com.au or www.cheaphairdressers.com.au which when clicked will re-direct users to their domain name www.sarahshairandbeauty.com.au. Think of rich keywords your target market will be searching for in Google and other search engines then go buy some domain names. It's a fantastic way to generate leads to your site and help with SEO! You will rank higher on Google.
Keep an eye out for our next post as we discuss more on multiple domain names!

2. Next buy different versions of the same domain name. For example the hair dressers domain is www.sarahshairandbeauty.com.au although they could also purchase www.sarahshairandbeauty.net.au or www.sarahshairandbeauty.com and re-direct users to www.sarahshairandbeauty.com.au – Why? Because people may have heard of Sarah's Hair and Beauty but not visited their site before. And if a user went to key in the domain name in the address bar it's going to send them straight to their site, as well as further establishing their online presence for that name. Additionally you can buy other countries domains like .nz or.uk if you want to cover all bases. You would only need to do this if your company was offering products or services abroad.

3. Another strategy your business should look out for is spelling. You need to cater for the way words a spelt from country to country. For example if you buy a domain name www.cheapsearchengineoptimization.com you might want to also buy www.cheapsearchengineoptimisation.com. This way you cover all your bases when it comes to what users are searching if they are from another country.

When you own more domains your company will get more exposure to your target market! Search engines will rank your site based on how many times certain keywords appear. Buying multiple domain names increases the likelihood of your site being found. In our next post we show you how you can redirect domain names using your trusty cPanel.

Never withhold on domain names. They don't cost much and hold so much value to your online presence. Once someone else gets a domain name you want it can be very hard to get it off them unless you're willing to pay a lot for it!! Start searching for keywords and phrases that describe your product or service and buy them as domain names today. You'll see more traffic and more business to your website!
For help with your website or domain names talk to us today! Email info@selectmarketing.net.au or call 07 5592 2685

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Posted by on in Website Design
Getting Started With Web Analytics

Now that you have an understanding of where to look on your cPanel for your analytics, let's talk about some important features you need to be familiar with.

When you're looking at your AWstats, you want to know the difference between your unique visitors, number of visits, pages, hits and bandwidth. Delve deep into your stats and absorb every bit of information so you can get the most out of it to maximise the efficiency of your site!

Let's discuss unique visitors. This is the amount of traffic you are receiving on your website. Each visitor to your site is only counted once during the reporting period. For example if the same IP address accesses your site 10 times, it still only counts as one visitor. Specific measures are taken by analytical programs to filter out visits that are not human, such as visits from crawlers, spiders or other bots. This is a great way to measure the popularity of your site. The more unique visits you have the better.
Next, let's look at visits. This is the number of visits made by ALL visitors. It does not account for visitor types or frequencies of individual visitors. For Example, if a user came to your site 10 times in 30 days, for those 30 days it would count all 10 of those visits.

After this comes page views, which is the number of pages viewed on your site. This information can be very useful to businesses to see if any change in a page, e.g. the information or the way it was presents results in an increase of visits.
Next comes hits, which is any files requested from the server. Hits are useful when evaluating the requirements of your server, depending on the number and size of files which need to be transferred for one request.
And lastly I want to discuss bandwidth, that is the total number of bytes for pages, images and files downloaded by web browsing.

A successful site will have a large amount of unique visitors, visitors, page views and hits that should be increasing over time. As you scroll down you can see your monthly history where you can measure these important terms. If your website has a low amount of visitors or your visitors are decreasing you know you need to be looking into new measures to attract users to your site. Look into the information and think how you can use it to improve your site.
Lead generations are a great place to start to get users to your site; we recently wrote a blog post based on this, read below!! Alternatively talk to us today about improving your websites SEO.

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Posted by on in Website Design
Get to know your cPanel

In our most recent post we discussed how to create a domain orientated email address. Today, we are going to cover analytics.
Using web analytics, you can track where your traffic is coming from, what blog topics and pages posts attract the most views, what time and day of the week is busiest on your site and the keywords your users are typing into search engines to find you (the list goes on)! Having this kind of information is so valuable, giving your business the opportunity to maximise its online marketing, generate more leads and improve the user experience.

So where can you easily view these statistics?

Your trusty cPanel! It offers several built in statistic reports, AWstats being one of the more popular programs which we are going to talk about today! Updating every day, the statistic report give details about the amount of people coming to your website and other information such as:

• Monthly history
• Days of month
• Days of week
• Hours
• Countries (top 25)
• Hosts (top 25)
• Authenticated users (top 10)
• Robots/ Spiders visitors (top 25)
• Visits duration
• Files types
• Downloads (top 10)
• Pages-URL (top 25)
• Operating systems (top 10)
• Browsers (top 10)
• Connect to site from
• Search key phrases (top 10)
• Search keywords (top 25)
• Miscellaneous
• HTTP error codes

To access AWStats for your website:
1. Log into your cPanel.
2. In the [logs] section click the [AWStats] icon.
3. Click the [view] icon next to the domain name for which you wish to view stats.
Here you will find the full list of statistics which provides a much greater understanding of the users on a website. This understanding of users is crucial to businesses! In next weeks post we list some key features you need to look out for to help you understand statistics and how you can use it to your advantage. 

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How to set up a domain orientated email address on your cPanel

If you have a website you most likely have a cPanel, but have you ever used it?

It’s a web based control panel that helps you quickly and easily manage your website and hosting account through a web interface. It’s a central spot where you can control a wide range of functions some include:

• Creating and manage new domains or sub domains

• Manage FTP

• Set up redirects

• Managing and editing website files

• Setting up email accounts and auto responses

• View website statistics

It’s easy to use and can be very beneficial to a business owner! Today we want to teach you how to set up email accounts in your cPanel. 

In last weeks post we discussed outdated website functions and highlighted the fact that there is no reason a business should not have a domain orientated email address. If your company is still using businessname@hotmail.com or businessname@gmail.com you are tarnishing your brand and its professionalism. Email addresses are simple to set up in your cPanel, let’s take a look how:

By default, you will have no email set up.  The main username can appear like it is set up as an email, but if you would like to use it, you need to add it as an email account.  To create an email account:

  1. Login to your cPanel
  2. In the [mail] section, click [email accounts]
  3. In the [email] field type the name you want
  4. In the [password] field type your password or use the password generator
  5. Make a selection for the [mailbox quota]
  6. Click [create account]

Setting up emails is not hard and is a must for all businesses! No matter how small your company is, you need to represent yourself as professional as you can and having a domain orientated email address is vital. Once you have set up your email address, its time to connect it with an account. 

You have the option to set your address up on your computer or forward your emails to your regular email account. Eg. your hotmail or gmail account. Here’s how:

1.Login to your cPanel
2.Under the mail option click [forwarders]
3.Click [add forwarders]
4.Under [address] enter your domain address name
5.Under [destination] enter the email address you want your mail sent to
6.Click [add forwarder]

And now you have finished setting up your email account!!

Let’s take a look what other features you can use in your cPannel mail section:

-> Create and manage email accounts
-> Access webmail
-> Set-up auto responders
-> Set up mailing lists
-> Implement custom mail filtering
-> Manage spam filtering
-> Modify an MX entry

If you need help with your website talk to us today! Call (07) 5592 2685 or email info@selectmarketing.net.au

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7 out-dated website features you need to reconsider having on your site!

Does your site have completely out-dated and pointless features that is costing you customers?

Let's take a look at 7 unnecessary website features that you need to reconsider having on your site!

1. Instead of using stock photos for your website, look at getting some professionally done or take some yourself! In today's environment personality and being real is so important when it comes to a business. Customers want to interact with brands, look at appealing visuals and learn about the people behind the scenes. You don't want a customer to see the same stock photo on your site and your competitor's site.

2. Flash intros can be very annoying for your visitors, take way too long to load, don't work on iPhones and are not recognized by Google! Need I say any more? They are not a good idea, remove them from your site!

3. No one likes videos or music that plays automatically and sites that push their visitors to watch or listen them, can run the risk of stopping their users from interacting with the rest of their site or even worse make users leave due to frustration. It's fine to have those features, in fact video is great for SEO, just place them in a area where users can play them at their own leisure.

4. Over 40% of website traffic comes from mobiles and tablets. Make sure your website is responsive!! Don't jeopardise losing customers because your site isn't mobile.

5. So many sites are full of irrelevant elements that bring no real value to the audience. Be careful of having too many crowded designs and too much text on one page. For example. Does your site really need a search bar or a side bar? Think what features you need before you add all the bells and whistles. A site should be simple, user friendly and efficient.

6. Outdated information is a killer to your business! If your last blog post was 3 years ago or your copyright says 2005, you will look like you are no longer trading. Update your information and make sure all your information is current.

7. Lastly I would like to highlight that there is no excuse to not have a domain orientated email address! If your using businessname@hotmail.com you will look like an amateur. They are simple to set up in your cpanel and you can even look at having them directed to your regular account if you would still like to check them through there. No matter how small your business, it doesn't mean you can't look professional. Having a professional email address is a must!

In our next post we talk more about setting up and email address and getting to know your cpanel. Stay tuned!

If you need help with website design talk to us! We offer a broad range of website plans for all sized business. Call (07) 5592 2685 or Email: info@rent-a-website.com.au

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