What is Magento?

What is Magento - Online Store Management System

The online world started out pretty inaccessible, unless you were a coding expert well versed in web development. Now though, it’s possible for individuals, small businesses and organisations alike to create stunning digital spaces, regardless of budget and technical experience.

When it comes to buying and selling over the internet, dedicated ecommerce platforms have revolutionised the process. Merchants have a huge number of these tools at their disposal, so it can be difficult to find the best online store management system for your specific business needs.

Magento repeatedly ranks as one of the top ecommerce platforms, but why is it so popular and why exactly can it do for your business?

What is Magento?

When wanting to build a website, those without the technical knowledge rely on a content management system (CMS), the most popular of which is WordPress. Through an interface, users are able to structure, design and publish content. It’s not uncommon for a CMS to offer e-commerce plug-in compatibility as a premium feature.

Whilst WordPress is multi-purpose, Magento is a CMS specifically tailored to ecommerce. Released in 2008, it’s an open source platform for creating an online store, complete with shopping cart system, catalogue tools, themes and search engine optimisation.

Magento only requires basic web development skills, making it a user-friendly web application.
What are the Features of Magento?

What are the Features of Magento?

As Magento serves many enterprise merchants, they have developed an immense amount of built-in features, which encompass the entire shopping experience. Here are the features you’ll surely take advantage of first when using the platform:

  • Site Structure: centralised admin panel, customisable templates, captcha functionality, multiple languages/currencies
  • Catalogue: navigation, filtered results, attributes, customer sorting, inventory management, pricing rules, category landing pages
  • Product: stock availability, related products, add to wish list, multiple images, image zoom capability, comments and reviews
  • Pricing: multi-tier pricing, promotional coupons, bundles, pricing rules
  • SEO: Google site map, optimised URLs, meta information for products and categories, popular terms page, URL rewrite support
  • Account: shopping cart, wish list, transaction history, suggested items, newsletter

There are many other features, including those that cover customer service, external payment support, security and analytics. Check out the full Magento Feature List to learn more.

The Benefits of using Magento

Magento offers scalable ecommerce for accommodating your business at any stage. As an open source technology, users take advantage of brilliant flexibility and support. It’s a fantastic choice for long-term development, and here’s why.

  1. SEO friendly

It’s obvious that Magento is an SEO-friendly CMS, based on the various SEO features they offer and the manner in which they help you build your shop. After all, you could have the most tempting items in stock, but unless people can find it, you can’t make a sale.

The ecommerce platform automatically generates a sitemap, effectively your website’s blueprint, which allows search engines to make sense of your site. Magento will also create convenient URL structures that outperform vague examples. It’s easy to create meta tags and descriptions for each product, and you benefit from excellent keyword suggestions.

Magento also has comprehensive analytics so that you can track your visitors and streamline site visibility and performance.

  1. Customisation

When you’re unable to code a website yourself, you’re at the mercy of the developers who create the CMS. Thankfully, Magento offers a huge amount of customisation, meaning you still have create input and authority over your online store. It’s open source so there’s minimal restrictions to the mods you can make.

Magento web development is compatible with thousands of extensions and plug-ins, including those to do with marketing, subscription services, payment gateways, logistics, accounting and analytics. In this sense, your store is modular thus easily adapted to changing business needs.

Extensive custom functionality, requiring the creation of your own code, requires some programming knowhow, including familiarity with the PHP scripting language that Magento is written in. If you are looking for Magento support in Sydney, professional web development allows you to develop the store that caters perfectly to you.

  1. Superior Speeds

A standard CMS isn’t specifically designed for ecommerce, so you’ll have to install a third-party ecommerce plug-in. The beauty of Magento is that it’s an all-in-one system, so compatibility is no issue and loading times are much shorter.

The Benefits of using Magento

Nobody is happy navigating a slow site. If you aren’t ensuring speed, many of your visitors will give up in favour of a more convenient storefront. Using progressive web application (PWA), Magento is made even faster on both mobile and desktop devices, so you don’t have to worry about losing business from poor optimisation.

Final Thought

Magento is an extremely versatile ecommerce platform, arguably the best option for larger companies. Even at the most basic level, local businesses can quickly expand by investing in superior store technology that optimises customer experience.

The best online stores are those that feel intuitive, look great and run fast, all of which are made possible through the Magento ecommerce platform.


How to Increase Organic Clicks on Your Content

How to Increase Organic Clicks on Your Content

In order to reach your page, people have to actually search for the content, so organic clicks are all about relevancy. Many businesses wrongly believe that paid advertising is the only digital marketing strategy they’ll need to reach a wider audience.

Whether you use an SEO agency or not, the simple truth is that people want authentic, valuable content without any tricks. If your site seems shady, visitors will be quick to bounce. Search engines feel the same way, punishing pages that try and exploit the algorithm, a practice known as black hat SEO.

rankings and increase organic clicks

It’s infinitely more rewarding to focus on honest, high-quality content delivered in a trustworthy manner. So here’s how you top the rankings and increase organic clicks:

  1. Get your Search Snippet Right

The search snippet is the tiny slice of your website that’s presented in the search engine results page (SERP). While they can vary between engines, the most important components are: title, description and URL.

In order to perform more strongly in the rankings, it’s essential to fill out these elements optimally. Your title should flow naturally and concisely communicate the topic of the content. If you aren’t placing <title> elements within the <head>, search engines must create one themselves from the text. Avoid needlessly long titles, as they will be shortened.

The meta description is the sample of text visible in SERPs, the window into the webpage. It’s important to write a description that is both engaging and informative, so think of it like an outline for the content on that page. It’s not a place to put a thousand keywords, or copy-paste the entire content.

Lastly, the URL path itself needs to look genuine:

Even if you’re writing the best content in the world, your organic clicks will still suffer if you aren’t nailing search snippet basics.

  1. Create Link-worthy Content

Obviously we can’t talk about increasing organic clicks without mentioning your actual content. Whatever you’re writing, it has to be high-quality, which applies to the content itself and how it’s formatted. It’s crucial to properly embed elements, appreciate site margins and use a design that feels intuitive thus enjoyable.

Many businesses assume that the mere presence of content will bring more people in. That’s not the case. Content is only valuable when it’s unique and interesting. Longer posts are generally more authoritative, meaning they’ll attract more backlinks, ultimately increasing organic clicks.

Focus on evergreen content, information that isn’t time-sensitive, for long-term traffic improvements and periodically update older posts with fresh insight.

  1. Reduce Page Load Time

When you think of content marketing, page load time isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Nevertheless, a slow site can cost you insane amounts of organic clicks. In 2016, Google discovered that 53% of mobile users were likely to leave a site after 3 seconds of loading.

All website owners should be testing the load times of all pages. If you’re site is underperforming, there’s a few things to check:

  • Minify any HTML, CSS and JavaScript code
  • Reduce number of HTML elements per page
  • Optimise Images by balancing quality with size
  • Use a content delivery network (CDN) to reduce latency

If someone clicks on your site but leaves before it loads, you’ve gained nothing. You could use Google PageSpeed to check your site’s current load times.

Final Thought

Managing a website is heaps of fun, but not without its challenges. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is of course a powerful tool in digital marketing, but high organic traffic is reflective of an excellent site, full of appreciated content. Follow the fundamental principles and there’s no doubt you’ll see an increase to your organic clicks.

Hungry for more proven techniques for increasing organic traffic? Go here!


Why You Shouldn’t Implement Google Ad Optimisation Recommendations

Optimisation is a mysterious term, one which finds its way into all branches of digital marketing. Optimised how? Optimised for whom? Depending on the diagnostic tools you’re using to improve online presence, issues and suggestions will vary as will the results.

Completing items on a checklist feels instinctively good, and 100% scores make us feel all warm and fuzzy. Nevertheless, it’s not always in your best interest to act on all the Google ads advice you’re given. Real-world results matter more than green ticks and blue numbers.

While repair recommendations improve performance, strategic suggestions should be considered more carefully. Nobody knows your business goals better than you, including Google. Here is why you shouldn’t implement all google ad optimisation recommendations.

Google Ad Objectives don’t reflect your Goals

Quite a few optimisation recommendations will steer you towards automated strategies, effectively letting Google Ads takes the reigns. While novices may be happy for the help, the more experienced will recognise that google ad objectives aren’t always reflective of your own.

Google Ad Objectives don’t reflect your Goals

Google Ads will repeatedly suggest making changes to bidding strategy, namely increasing your limited budgets and keyword bid amounts. Be especially careful around the one-click apply features, as you may actually be authorising far greater changes than the suggestion box seems to suggest.

There is an intimidating number of metrics in the Google Ads interface, though you won’t find the most important one for your business: profit. Clicks are how Google makes money, so they will focus on maximising bids. Conversely, your main goal is to maximise profit, thus you should continuously evaluate ROI against the recommendations that Google Ads gives you.

Googles Bidding Strategy & AI

Google’s ad AI is extremely powerful when it has the right data and your product or service is something that Googles AI can accurately predict and extrapolate a method to the madness. There are degrees of automation that can be given to Google to improve or maintain your ads. Giving Google the least control or using manual bidding is not something that google recommends although in the real worlds one sure way to get impressions when everything looks fine but your ad is not being shown is by manually increasing your bid.

The next level of automation is where you allow Google to Optimise for Clicks, this method uses some AI to show the ad to people that are more likely to click, here you can set a limit to the amount your willing to pay for a click. With more control to Google’s AI and less to you we have Conversion optimization. This takes for granted that your using the right action for a conversion, are correctly tagging this action and attributing these results correctly to a conversion. Only then can Google’s AI optimise for conversions with anything resembling accuracy. Often the conversions are not being tracked correctly, so then what is Google really optimizing for when it’s looking for a conversion? Then on an even more automated level we have dynamic and discovery campaigns. Here Google really shows what it wants to whomever it wants, and you don’t even choose what the ad looks like.

Googles Bidding Strategy & AI

Google’s ad AI is not all bad though. Used in a mix of ad campaigns and only on actions and conversion goals that have proven to work and are quantifiable, here Googles automation can really improve your conversions and replicate what’s going right.

Unnecessary Spending

One of the first recommendations you’ll get in Google Ads in to increase your bids. Increasing your bids can help you improve Ad Rank and click-through rate (CTR). However, you’ll also need to have a high quality score, indicative of an ad and landing page that are relevant and valuable to those searching for your keywords.

You can make significant improvements to your ranking without increasing budget, which isn’t something Google recommendations will openly tell you. The ‘limited by budget’ warning is daunting for smaller businesses, which can’t afford huge campaign. Instead of implementing every budgetary optimisation recommendation, it may be more worthwhile to focus on proper keyword research and quality score.

Final Thought

Optimisation scores are improved by implementing the recommendations Google offers, which basically means they are a measurement of how closely you follow their advice. The job of a decent Search Marketing or SEM agency, then, is to determine the actions that relate specifically to your business goals, as opposed to those merely acting as a vehicle to pull in more of your money.

To avoid being too cynical, it should be said that plenty of the google ad optimisation recommendations are genuinely insightful. The score is based on real time statistics, so it is somewhat useful for tracking changes and evaluating the impact of your ads. Ultimately, though, a score a little below 100% is nothing to be concerned with.

Essentially, when Google recommends action, consider how well it serves your actual digital marketing goals, against their own metrics and motivations.


Web Traffic

Why Quality Traffic Matters to SEO Success and How to Test It

Site traffic refers to the volume of people that visit a site. Having high traffic doesn’t instantly mean you are generating income, much like how a shop doesn’t make money when customers are just looking.

In order to improve the quality of your traffic, it’s vital to learn how metrics show us potential issues. When you understand how to interpret traffic quality, you can make changes that actually influence your success, as part of the journey towards a generally superior website.

What is Quality Traffic?

Quality traffic goes hand in hand with higher conversion rates, both made possible through optimized website content that engages your target persona. By creating SEO content that truly connects with people, as part of your overall digital marketing strategy, visitors can find their way more easily to your product.

What is Quality Traffic?

How is Quality Traffic Measured?

Conversion rates aren’t too helpful on their own, as there’s no way to determine the reason why people weren’t interested in your product. By measuring the quality of your traffic, you see the stage of the journey visitors gave up. This allows you to make concentrated changes that improve success.

Various metrics can be used to measure traffic quality.

  1. Engagement Metrics

Time on Site, Pages per Session, Engaged Sessions

Obviously, when visitors are engaged with your site, they are happy to stay where they are. Intuitive navigation, relevant content and pleasant design are some of the staples for a higher time on site reading. When your site looks authentic and professional, you will see that people navigate through more pages per session.

As Google defines, an engaged session is a site visit that longer than 10 seconds, with at least one conversion event, which involves viewing a product, adding to cart, and ideally the actual purchase. If you’re seeing poor engagement metrics, you may want to make improvements to site architecture, content and user experience (UX) design, all of which an SEO agency can help with.

  1. Conversion Metrics

Bounce Rates, Exit Pages, Conversion Rates

If you aren’t using SEO correctly, you may be attracted the wrong crowd. Using excessive keywords, or manipulating content otherwise, may drive a short-term increase to individual pages, but visitors will likely leave without exploring further pages. This leads to a higher bounce rate, which is associated with lower conversion rates.

It’s valuable to pinpoint the precise pages that people commonly leave your site from, i.e. the exit page. Even one poorly-optimized page can cause the quality of your traffic to fall dramatically, where visitors just aren’t interested in the message. These metrics are a good indicator of SEO quality, internal structure and content relevancy.

  1. Audience Metrics

Geo-location, New vs Return

If you’re a local business, geo-location stats are wildly important. When you know the place visitors are inquiring from, you can implement a local SEO strategy, enabling you to specifically target an area.

For larger businesses, it’s probably better to keep track of the New vs Return percentages. Approximately 88% of online customers say they won’t return to websites with poor usability. If you’re seeing a low number of return visits, you may want make various UX enhancements, including navigation, design and newsletter CTAs.

The Effect of Quality Traffic

The mentioned metrics are good indicator of quality traffic, though there are many more stats that can give insight on how your website is performing. It’s quite easy to get lost in the numbers, which is why many businesses choose professional web services.

When you use proper SEO principles and publish posts regularly, you are bound to improve the quality of your traffic. As the gateway into your business, a website with quality traffic directly corresponds with digital marketing success.


what is CMS

What is a Content Management System (CMS) and What is it For?

When visiting a website, it’s easy to take for granted the complexity of what you’re seeing. Behind every header, button, graphic and feature is silent, but not still, code. As web technologies are updated, websites must be adapted in order to avoid bugs, errors and crashes.

Countless pages, containing text, media content and fancy widgets, must be perfectly organised for optimal performance. For those unable or unwilling to get stuck in to the more complicated areas of website maintenance, the ones and zeros, a content management system quickly becomes your best friend.

What is a Content Management System?

Although a Content Management System (CMS) isn’t necessary for the operation of a website, the majority of sites take advantage of them. This is because a CMS is essentially software for posting, modifying and rearranging site content in the easiest way possible. ‘WordPress’ is the most popular example, which is currently used by 37% of all websites online.

Why do I need a CMS for my Website?A CMS is actually a two-part system, featuring a content management application (CMA) and a content delivery application (CDA). Instead of starting on a terrifyingly blank HTML page, the CMS uses a user-friendly interface to allow you to navigate and edit your site effortlessly.

Let’s use an example. You want to bold some text on a page, and also add a call to action (CTA) widget. Rather than revising your coding skills, you can simply use the CMA admin panel to either press a few buttons or drag and drop desired elements – Voila!

As soon as you’re done with those amendments, you just press ‘publish’. Behind the scenes, the CDA is converting your work into the finalized coded content, instantly ready for new visitors.

Why do I need a CMS for my Website?

There are plenty of ways a CMS will enhance your website management experience. Here are some of the biggest benefits:

  1. CMS is Intuitive

Anyone with word-processing skills can get by with the basic elements of a CMS, without any need to learn about scripting languages (HTML, CSS, JavaScript). As a central interface, a CMS is far less confusing than having to manually code, which would mean trawling through hundreds of pages to make an endless series of corresponding changes. Those that would prefer a less active role in their web management can use a professional SEO agency.

  1. Multiple Site Users

A CMS is the safe way to accommodate multiple site users simultaneously accessing the back end of your site. A centralised hub means that content can be written, custom code added and security updates implemented all at the same time. For optimised content marketing, a CMS is just more efficient, whether you’re talking about permissions or productivity.

  1. Stress-free Maintenance

Having a CMS enables owners to make faster changes to their site. From a single dashboard, you are free to redesign the entire homepage or simply add a new images or updated information to blog posts. Another benefit is that your experience of web management will be consistent regardless of the device used – you can make changes anywhere around the world!

Greater Success with CMS

Just as most website owners aren’t professional developers, neither are most customers. A CMS handles the fundamental workings of your site, including code, infrastructure, and database queries, so that you’re able to dedicate time to things more influential on the fun parts like content and design. This makes CMS a must for effective digital marketing.

When you find the optimal way of streamlining effective SEO and the CMS, maintaining a website is shockingly simple. While design is a key component of the user interface (UI), one which you cannot neglect, many visitors prioritise valuable content. Produce interesting, relevant content, let the CMS worry about the details, and see greater success for your business.


Why Is Customer Feedback Important and How to Manage It?

Why Is Customer Feedback Important and How to Manage It?

It may not surprise you that 77% of customers have a more favourable view of brands that ask for customer feedback, according to a 2017 Microsoft report. Despite clear evidence that customers truly value a feedback process, many businesses don’t make enough time for collecting their precious insight.

Companies make use of all manner of professional consultants, so it’s strange that many ignore such a rich source of information. In doing so, they risk becoming out of touch, and going out of business. Just a little digging around in the feedback box and that can all be avoided!

Customer Feedback

Why is Customer Feedback Important?

Aside from resolving grievances, feedbacks are useful for a huge number of things:

  1. Quality Improvements

Whether it’s a product or service, the desire to deliver quality is the same. Your website is a reflection of that pursuit. As good as intentions can be, mistakes are inevitable. Getting feedback from customers helps you to make measurable improvements to both product and presentation.

If customer experience (CX) is king, feedback is the royal decree. Using this powerful tool, you can discover the current limitations of your site, which could be structural (bugs, glitches) or contextual (poor content, suboptimal SEO). Businesses rarely know what their customers are struggling with unless they establish a clear system for feedback.

  1. Value Customers, increase Retention

The decision to choose one business over another can be extremely close, so showing potential customers that you value their input is another way in which you can get the edge. When customer feedback is in place, a company appears more open-minded, caring and approachable. Like it or not, people choose brands they feel most connected to.

Feedback shows that you proactive with the CX, as well as indicating you actually value customer opinion. “68% of customers will spend more money with a brand that understands them and treats them like an individual,” reads Khoros 2021 research.

If you’re having trouble relating to your audience, a specialised SEO agency can help you create a brand voice. This can quickly make a client base loyal, in turn creating more business through recommendation.

  1. Better Understanding of Customers and Market

Asking for feedback, whether through incentivised survey or customer service channels, will help you understand the customer much better. It allows a business to explore the customer ideology, not just raw data and trends.

Market research can help you to create an accurate buyer persona, though the characteristics often rapidly change as new trends emerge. Direct feedback will help you further define your target audience, both their tendencies and preferences. It can also speed up your innovation, informing you on potential future market trends.

How to Manage Customer Feedback

Whether it’s embedded forms on a website, social media comments or a dedicated software, managing customer feedback isn’t always as straightforward as one would hope. There are, however, some things you can do to simplify the matter, and make your feedback work harder.

  1. Segment Customers

Not all buyers are equally familiar with your business, thus their feedback will differ. Segment your customers into cohorts, defined by such things as purchase frequency, spending amount, or subscribers. This way, your feedback is even more powerful, providing you with specific contextual insight.

There are various types of feedback – survey, review, complaint form, focus group – so information will already be segmented in this way. You can find particular information by using certain feedback with a customer segment.

  1. Categorise Customer Feedback

All feedback is valuable, but some proves more important than others. For instance, a complaint needs to be dealt with before a suggestion. Having a system for categorising your feedback aids in the streamlining of your business, by allowing you to forward it to those most relevant.

An added benefit is that it makes your feedback more actionable. You know precisely which items are high-priority, and those that will likely have the largest impact to CX. To make life easier, you could use an integrated tag feature, so customers can label their own feedback, or a feedback menu that saves time for everyone.

  1. Create a Closed Feedback Loop

With feedback, the clue is in the name. Within digital marketing, unresolved feedback is a big no-no. Customers will quickly spot the façade of a disconnected feedback system, whether that’s not getting a response to your issue, or just recognising a business doesn’t actually consider your opinion

To benefit from customer insight, as well as cultivate a meaningful relationship with buyers, you need to create a feedback loop.

  • Presence: reply to all comments and reviews, good or bad, with useful information and professional tone
  • Advocacy: Reward loyalty with discount codes and incentive the recommending of your product/service. Having a mere 12% of customers advocating your business can double profits, according to the London School of Economics
  • Personal Touch: Let customers know if their feedback has had a positive effect on the way things are run, thanking them and maybe even offering some reward

If you don’t close the feedback loop, you’re effectively ignoring customers. A reply may seem insignificant but it provides true resolution.

Final Thought on Customer Feedback

Neglecting customer feedback is a mistake businesses simply cannot afford to make anymore. Practically all business decisions should be made in order to either better the customer experience or the product/service itself. Customer feedback, it just so happens, is the best tool for the job.


Drive Traffic To Your Website With Essential Landing Page Tools

Drive Traffic To Your Website With Essential Landing Page Tools

A landing page is any section of a website accessed through a hyperlink laid elsewhere. In digital marketing, there’s a reason why landing pages also go by ‘lead capture pages’ – they are designed to escort site visitors down a very specific route, the final destination being purchase.

Landing Page Tools

Unless you nail the landing page essentials, you’ll leave customers confused and conversion rates lacking. While a SEO agency helps you get the best results, you can do many of the basics on your own!

  1. Content

Whether graphic designers and coders like it or not, the most important element of a website is what’s actually being said. As with any writing, it should be coherent and engaging. However, landing page copy has to be highly relevant and concise.

  • Empathise with the reader: Set the scene by outlining the challenges that readers may be experiencing, before comparing it to the ideal. What’s the difference? Well, you’re product or service of course!
  • Don’t condescend: More often than not, the hyperlink that led to your landing page was placed within related content, meaning you don’t need to hold the visitor’s hand. They know what they’re looking for, and you need only worry about providing information on precisely that.
  • Call to Action (CTA): A marketing term, the call to action is simply some text that encourages readers to take immediate action. Examples include ‘sign up today’, ‘buy now’ and ‘subscribe’. Use these phrases to present the next logical step for the reader.
  • Cultivate Urgency: Providing a reason why action should be taken now can increase conversions. Having powerful copy and a time-limited deal, or specialised offer, can be the final nudges towards a purchase.
  1. Structure

As landing pages are targeting a smaller audience, it’s integral that you maintain a solid structure. Not only does this enhance the aesthetic of your text, but it paces the copy and makes it vastly easier for readers to follow your story. Say the right stuff, the right way.

  • Organise Text: Large, uninterrupted bodies of writing are just unpleasant. Instead, break the page into sections, each with their respective heading. Within sections, you can further organise information by using bulleted lists and subheadings.
  • Concise Information: A generic homepage provides a wide range of information to accommodate many conversion stages. The downside is that it isn’t nearly as relevant, or concise, as your landing pages. Never forget the purpose of a landing page, or that less is often more.
  • Media Elements: Landing pages should be engaging, so whilst the text is crucial for expressing your message, media can alleviate reading overload. Really try to use original images and videos, as it will be unique and be vastly more convincing than stock.
  1. Design

People aren’t robots. They expect an experience on a website, which means clever design, complementary graphical and design elements, and consistent style.

  • Clear Voice: Having a regular tone, a house font and media presented in a set way bumps up the professionalism. An attractive design creates two things: an authoritative voice and trust. As a side note, remember to use the same branding across all marketing channels.
  • Visual Aspect: You need to make sure that sections are presented well and broken up pleasantly, which involves margin, spacing and sizing. You should also consider how the landing page looks in both desktop and mobile versions.
  • Colour: You can grab attention by manipulating colour. Contrasting the CTA buttons with a neutral background will naturally draw visitor focus, even if just for a moment. To help your chances, have the CTA button reappear throughout the page.

The Perfect Landing Page

The secret weapon to the perfect landing page is anticipation: propose questions that you know they’d ask, then promptly answer them. Make them the star of the show and they feel represented. Be clear, making it simple for them to take action, and they feel respected. Implement these essentials and watch your landing page really take off!

If you need help with landing pages, or SEO in Sydney, just ask!


Start SEO for your Website

4 Tips on How to Start SEO for your Website

While you can financially invest in a website’s search rankings, with pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, there are many SEO strategies one can use to improve how their website performs.

4 Tips on How to Start SEO for your Website

Here are our 4 tips on starting SEO for your website:

1 Keywords, Keywords, Keywords

When looking at SEO optimisation, you’ll quickly notice that everyone is mad about keywords. These words and phrases capture the essence of a page, meaning that they’re highly influential in how a search engine understands and categorizes a website.

Certain keywords – news, health, business, software – are very competitive. They have high search volumes, therefore it’s harder for a site to keep a top search rank. It may be valuable to spend time doing keyword research, identifying less competitive keywords that are still relevant to a target audience.

Within your content, it’s necessary to repeatedly use keywords. This raises the keyword frequency, suggesting to search engines that your page is in fact discussing what the metadata claims it is. However, abusing keywords is a quick way to irritate readers and search engine bots alike.

  • Page Title: Keywords should definitely appear in the page title, as this is what appears in search results and determines relevance. It’s the best opportunity to show exactly what the page is offering, so keywords must find their way in.
  • Headings: In the same way title text factors into relevance, so too do headings, and subheadings. It tells readers that the information is relevant throughout, as well as allowing them to quickly find the sections they’re looking for.
  • Meta Descriptions: this small chunk of text contributes towards the search result snippet, therefore it’s the second thing seen behind the main title. Including keywords here is another way in which you increase site relevance.
  • Alt-Text: search engines can read, but they can’t see. When you include an image or a video, you need to use alt-text that describes these media elements in a way that bots can understand. Keywords here can improve your rankings.

Keywords are the basis of SEO, perhaps the most significant SEO factor for increasing organic traffic, so pay close attention to how you utilize them.

2 Solid Content for Fantastic User Experience

No one appreciates having their time wasted. Obviously, site visitors first worry about whether the content is relevant to them, which involves good application of keywords. However, it’s also important to structure content in a clear, attractive way.

If the content presented is perceived as valuable, enjoyable or otherwise attractive, readers will be more inclined to stay on your site. This desire is measured with a few metrics:

  • Bounce rate is the proportion of site visitors who land on a single page and do not engage further. A high bounce rate would indicate that a page is low-quality and/or unappealing. This measure is considered to be highly influential for search rankings.
  • Dwell time refers to how long a visitor spends on a page before returning to the search engine. The longer the dwell rate the better, largely because it shows the visitor was given relevant and valuable information. A page is more likely to be shown to others if visitors engage well with the content.

While a striking title and header (H1) will draw the attention of a reader, effective subheadings (H2, H3) will hold it for longer. Relentless paragraphs of unbroken text will rapidly fatigue visitors, capping your dwell time and thus site ranking position. Quality subheadings allow users to enjoy content as a whole or scan for the bits they need most.

There are further ways to present information more effectively, the most obvious being bullet points. You can consolidate ideas or summarize larger ideas in ways that readers perceive as efficient, and therefore considerate towards them.

In order to minimize bounce rate and maximize dwell time, you should maintain a high standard for content, both in terms of the ideas themselves and the way they are visually presented.

3 Top-Grade Links that Visitors can Trust

When you’re setting up or maintaining a site, it’s especially important to establish a reliable linking structure early on. There are two kinds of links on your website:

  • Internal: As websites must have some primary focus, it’s predictable that many of the webpages relate to each other. When you connect your own webpages to each other, it’s known as internal linking. For example, our article on bad backlinks.
  • External: crediting your source, or connecting to other sites as part of affiliate marketing, are examples of external linking. For example, this Forbes SEO article.

Internal links keep visitors on your site, creating a sophisticated network of ideas that ultimately improve the visitor experience. However, it’s important to use both within a website.

While external links take visitors away from your site, they are still valuable for building credibility. While the site being linked gets a nice SEO boost, the ranking of your own website is improved by association.

4 Optimise for Mobile

Websites may be designed on laptops and computers, but most people are visiting them through mobile devices. Google has changed over to mobile-first indexing, meaning the ranking is primarily defined by the performance of the mobile site. A website will crash and burn if it’s not been optimised for smaller devices.

The principle is simple. Users should have an enjoyable, convenient experience on your website. If you’ve aced our previous 3 tips, yet fail to make accommodations for mobile users, expect a high bounce rate and minimal return visitors.

Some items from the Google mobile-friendly checklist are:

  • Ensure the mobile and desktop sites have the same content (and metadata)
  • Provide high-quality images, in the correct format
  • Ensure ads integrate well and don’t obstruct view
  • Separately verify the mobile site in the Google Search Console

There’s a lot more you can do to create a brilliant mobile site. If you use an SEO audit tool, you will be able to see mobile-specific information, as well as various other website SEO errors (Link to Article 1).

Final Thought

The premise of SEO is simple – give visitors a pleasant, meaningful experience – though the execution can be a lot harder. There are scenarios where, perhaps, you shouldn't do SEO. However, if it’s something you’re interested in, it’s useful to follow these basic building blocks of a successful webpage.

Of course, if you need some assistance in getting your site off the ground, Shtudio offers web development, graphic design and SEO services in and around Sydney, Australia. We’re happy to chat tags, bots, anchors and domains any day of the week!


TOP-5 SEO Crawler Warnings and Errors you Shouldn't Fix

TOP-5 SEO Crawler Warnings and Errors you Shouldn't Fix

Our fixation with the ideal is a reflection of our passion for perfection. When it comes to a site audit, one can easily get carried away in pursuit of a long list of green ticks and high scores.
There are many possible warnings and error messages that an SEO crawler tool, or web bot, can throw at you. A professional SEO agency is expert at recognising the real problems from the insignificant, but to anyone conducting their own analysis, knowing what to ignore is not always simple.

Knowing whether an error message is relevant to your website is not an exact science, though there are some common warnings that aren’t always worth spending time on. Here are our top 5 SEO crawler warnings that you shouldn’t fix.

1 Noindex Site Pages

Web crawler tools love to bring up noindex issues, displayed as either insights, warnings or full-on errors. If a page URL has a noindex tag, it means it cannot be listed on search engines like Google. That may sound very bad, but some pages don’t actually need indexing. Functional elements of a site, such as a log-in/password reset page or an internal search bar, would wreak havoc if they all appeared within search results.

A local SEO company will be able to tell whether certain pages require noindex tags. All of your main pages and high-content places will absolutely need indexing, so be sure to check which pages the SEO crawler is referring to as noindex.

Note: noindex is not the same as nofollow. The former ensures a page doesn’t show up in search results, whereas the latter tells search engines not to use a URL link for ranking calculations. Links to untrusted sources are typically set as nofollow.

2 Missing Meta Keywords

The meta keyword tag is the chance to summarize the content on a site, or page, a section of the HTML code that lets a search engine know how to categorize the content.

<meta name="keywords" content="SEO crawler warnings, SEO crawler errors, SEO audit report, meta keyword error, missing meta keyword.” />

Quite a number of years ago, meta keywords were commonplace, used to inform the search engine when and where that page/site should appear. Unfortunately, many people abused this element in order to maximize site traffic, exaggerating or otherwise embellishing the relevance of a page.

Meta keyword tags are practically obsolete, so don’t bat an eye if you see it on a site report – chances are, you won’t. A few SEO crawler tools may include it, or provide an option to enable this kind of warning message.

3 Meta Description too Short or Empty

Unlike meta keyword tags, meta descriptions are still considered highly influential for a website. In fact, Google advises that every page on your site has a meta description, and that they are all unique.

If a site does not have a description, or it’s too character length is too short, a web crawler will flag it. However, this meta element is not always as impactful as it’s made out to be. Google currently seems to prioritize actual web content, over meta description, when creating a site snippet.

Not all pages are designed to educate or convert visitors, especially those that have a very specific role or function. Consider the significance or weight of the page to determine whether a meta description is needed.

4 Low Word Count or Poor HTML-Text Ratio

In much the same way meta descriptions aren’t crucial for less important places of your site, low-content page warnings aren’t always worth worrying over. Pages lower than 100 or so words can be marked as sparse, though that number will depend on the specific SEO crawler tool used.

A page’s value is not solely based on word count, largely because not all pages are designed to impart information. A thin-content page may very well be functional, including a log-in or contact page.

At the same time, you may get a HTML-text ratio warning, illustrating that there is too little content for the underlying code. As there is no optimal ratio – advice ranges from 25% all the way up to 70% - these error messages don’t always warrant attention.

There are plenty of factors at play with a HTML-text ratio, so if you have trouble getting to the root of the problem, a local SEO agency can help out.

5 Sitemap not included in Robots.txt File

The robots.txt file tells search engines what pages to crawl or not crawl, as well as whether they even have permission to do so. It’s the first thing a bot will look for when entering your site. The sitemap is an XML file containing every webpage of the site, along with their respective metadata.

Search engines bots don’t usually have difficulty exploring smaller sites, so the sitemap-robots.txt relationship is less significant. Even so, an XML sitemap doesn’t have to appear in the robots text file if it has been correctly submitted to the Google Search Console, or if it is found in the standard location, https://www.domain.com/sitemap.xml.

Final Thought

There are lots of SEO issues that massively impact the search ranking performance of a site, such as page speed and link structures. It’s important to carefully consider which error messages to rectify, schedule for later, or downright ignore. However, for the self-taught web designer, SEO audit tools may seem to be speaking in a different language.

If you don’t know how the elements of a webpage relate to one another, it’s not obvious which issues need to be fixed. This is when professional SEO companies like Shtudio will help you out. Offering an extensive range of web development and graphic design services, they can work out the best SEO strategy to comply with your business requirements.


website loading speed

Using Google PageSpeed for Outstanding SEO Results

Most of the time, people are quite patient. They’ll happily wait in line for a while, providing they’re gradually moving forward. Oppositely, in the digital realm people have become accustomed to instant. In the world of speedy scrolling and rapid reads, having a fast-loading page can be all the difference between high conversion and painful bounce-rate.

In fact, back in 2017 Google found startling data on the influence page load times have on visitor retention. The difference between pages with 1 or 5 second load times was that visitors would be 90% more likely to leave the latter than the former.

people are used to instant website loading

There may be many reasons why your website is a little reluctant to pop up, perhaps poorly written code or bad elements. Don’t worry too much, though, as Google PageSpeed can help you get back in the race towards outstanding SEO results!

What is Google PageSpeed?

Introduced in 2010, Google PageSpeed is a free diagnostic tool that can help you optimize your site’s performance by providing valuable insight and suggesting the relevant solutions to any problems that may arise.

You may not have heard of it because, for a long time, site speed wasn’t considered a factor for Google rankings. With the rise of mobile device, that changed in 2018, with the company now saying speed does affect ranking.

The free tool can help you find and fix issues slowing down your web application. It does this by collecting lab and field data of your website. An open-source program called Lighthouse collects the lab data, which is then combined with real-world, or field, data from actual user experience reports. Both data sets are combined into an overall score that indicates how fast your site loads up. Google PageSpeed and SEO go hand in hand, and it looks like this:

Google Thumbnail for PageSpeed Tools

Google Thumbnail for PageSpeed Tools

How to Use Google PageSpeed for SEO

When you’ve entered a URL, the tool will take a minute or two to formulate the results. The sections will appear as items that passed the diagnostics and the subsequent “opportunities”, or suggestions. All in all, you’ll either have a glowing commendation or a long to-do list.

Once you’ve found out what’s wrong, you can take the relevant steps. If the suggestion is that your image format is suboptimal, try to convert your existing media and change future images to the recommended format. Equally, if the suggestion is to do with unused or poorly-written code, you’re going to need to delve into the depths of the site and re-wire something.

How does Google PageSpeed affect my SEO results?

Not long after conception, Google realised the importance of people for their business Ever since, they’ve been steadily finding ways to improve user experience, attempting to make their technology more relevant and valuable to humans, not just optimized for engines and servers.

Page speed is a huge factor for visitors, so it does now have a direct affect on your site’s Google ranking. Admittedly, it’s not going to be the biggest determiner of traffic but any enhancements you make to your site leads to a better performance, so get to it!

It really doesn’t take long to check a webpage’s status. Simply go to Google PageSpeed and see what you find. If there’s something that you can’t make sense of, or you’re not entirely sure how to fix it, you can always contact us here at Shtudio. We would be happy to offer some advice or use our expert SEO services to help your site.


Another cheap SEO company in Sydney?

Another cheap SEO company in Sydney? Few reasons why that cheap SEO is not actually what it seems

When you’re just starting out, you might be excused when thinking cheap SEO packages or services are the best option. With an appealing price, they appear to be low-risk and a great way to explore your options. However, they can actually cause more harm than good.

Low budget SEO providers often rely on dodgy techniques, or so called black hat SEO. As these approaches rely on quickly creating high volume, not at all great in the eyes of search engines, they can provide you with short-term gains. Though, you’ll quickly discover that these manipulative SEO methods lead to poor site ranking, leaving you out of pocket and more than a little heartbroken (you may even cry a little).

Why Cheap SEO Will Never Be Cheap

 

What should I expect from cheap SEO?

Should you expect a dedicated team of specialists that are actually interested in providing a quality service in order to maintain healthy long-term relationships with their clients? Nope!

Cheap SEO services, in Sydney or elsewhere, will only care about a huge intake of customers, taking their money and providing awful results before ultimately leaving you in the dust. The money you’ve then wasted could have actually gone to an effective marketing campaign, but instead you’ll now just be back at square one.

The other red flag is the black hat SEO techniques. For a website owner who isn’t overly experienced with this kind of thing, content mills, buying links or making fake directories may just sound like some of the many legitimate strategies to increase site performance.

They aren’t, though. Cheap SEO techniques violate the guidelines of search engines, including Google. Once they discover your site has been benefitting from sneaky tactics, they’ll kick you to ranking rock-bottom, which could destroy years of hard graft and take just as long to rectify.

How is Good SEO different from bad SEO?

Crooked companies can make more money if they pump lots of clients through the same standard pipeline of low-quality, unreliable SEO... and guess what, they do exactly that! Real SEO takes a long time and a lot of effort, but the benefits are always better long-term, with much higher potential, overall.

How is Good SEO different from bad SEO?

Good – and, yes, more expensive – marketing companies understand that SEO success is as much to do with people as it is machine. A great SEO provider will create a content marketing scheme that focuses on creating valuable content to support your website. Doing so, however, takes quite a lot of research on what your target audience is looking for, while also requiring skilful writers to make it engaging and readable. After all, if no one enjoys it, it’s pointless!

Unlike the cookie-cutter approach of the hustlers, genuine SEO services will conduct a thorough evaluation of your site, a full audit from which a truly custom strategy can be forged. Even if your business is in a highly specific industry, no two companies are the same. Without a specialised plan, cheap SEO providers just can’t understand your needs, meaning you’ll be wasting your time.

As well as this, trusted marketing teams will employ white hat SEO, the good techniques that actually emphasise quality and relevance over sheer numbers. Playing the game fairly does take a little longer, though all of the progress you make is safe and secure. On the other hand, black hat cheating provides a quick boost that will eventually run dry, and with it your website.

Why should I Invest in Good SEO?

Think of it like this. You’ve probably spent a massive amount of energy and resource on your business. Your website is your digital presence that lets people get to know you. Why on earth would you hand that over to a troop of SEO tricksters?

There’s no reason to risk success, especially when we’re always eager for grand ideas and new adventures at Shtudio. We offer a whole host of SEO services in Sydney and across Australia. Get in touch if you’d like to enquire about your own site, or fancy a quick chat about anything SEO.


TOP 5 Ideas when Developing a Website for your Project

TOP 5 Ideas When Developing a Website for your Project

Web development may have begun in the computer labs of eccentric, genius coders but today, anyone has the potential to learn and practice it. Modern web developers have access to a vast range of guides, tools and likeminded individuals, meaning there really is no excuse for not having a go! We bet you could create something a little more stimulating that the world’s first website!

Web development Sydney

Although you’ve of course got complete creative freedom, you may still appreciate a gentle nudge into some great ideas when developing a website or project. So here are our top 5 ideas for developing a project or website:

  1. Product Landing Page

Sometimes you have to follow the money, right? Unlike a webpage, which is trying to accomplish lots, a product landing page is wholly committed to selling one item, commonly referred to as a call-to-action (CTA). As a dedicated web development company, we at Shtudio have experienced the growing demand for brilliant product landing pages, so it’s very useful for beginners to have this skill safely stored away.

To develop an effective product landing page, you will need to consider space and layout by doing simple editing tasks like component positioning and sizing. To make things a bit more challenging, you can create pop-ups. To do all of these things, you’re going to need a decent understanding of HTML and CSS.

  1. Login Authentication 

Though ‘login authentication’ sounds very suave and sophisticated, it is a beginner-level project. This project involves form-based methods, where users must enter ID/password to log-in.

Due to the fact that the majority of sites have some form of login authentication, it’s definitely worth trying. It’s a crucial feature for returning visitors to save time and feel valued, and you get to practice your JavaScript skills.

  1. Modal Pop-Ups

Modal pop-ups can be pretty crucial pieces of code, materialising as prompts to show vital information (notifications, promotions), to receive user information (login, form, survey) and to share that ominous warning message: “Are you sure you want to do that?”

In order to get to work on this, you’ll need to warm up your JavaScript skills again. You can even make the project harder by having animation or effects, like pop-up fade in/out.

  1. Exit Plug-in

Ok, an exit plug-in is remarkably similar to a pop-up, but there are some extra things to consider. Considering that an exit plug-in, or widget, is specifically designed to convince people to stay on a page, developers can get creative with these.

As companies rely on these add-ons to make last-effort sales, so if you learn how to make brilliant exit plug-ins, you can expect a lot of professional attention (and compensation!). Much like modal pop-ups, you can use your JavaScript skills.

  1. SEO-Friendly Website

Web development is not just about functionality, though that’s how developers spend a great deal of their time. No, modern and professional web development services understand that SEO-friendly design is vital for a site’s traffic and thus success.

Intuitive, user-friendly platforms are a major factor in creating an SEO-friendly site. In a project like this, you’ll not simply need to optimize mobile sites, URLs and robots.txt components, but also consider how text and content supplements page structure to inform search rankings.

Conclusion

Web development truly is an art, so there are countless other projects out there. Even though it’s fun to study how websites are constructed, how different elements of code and software communicate, it can be rather tricky.

If you’d like the help of dedicated professionals, Shtudio is an Australian web development company, based in Sydney, ready to assist you in making a beautifully effective and streamlined online space.


Content Marketing

Content Marketing For SEO: How It Works Together

Your website is totally unique to you, and in our eyes it is too! Unfortunately, search engines come eyeless and many aspects of a website look quite similar to them. The shared code required for structural components, i.e. navigation menus or columns, doesn’t really distinguish your site from much else. So how can you show a service like Google how special your website is?

The most basic manner through which a search engine can better understand your site is through text. This is why you’ll see web designers constantly talking about stuff like “alt-text”, accompanying captions that describe media content, or “keywords” and “meta tags”. Text is king when it comes to your site.

Content Marketing Strategy

Content marketing, for SEO, is simply the practice of implementing... well, content. This might be considered as an article, guide, review or blog post, but content marketing services are just as concerned with email newsletters, social networking and video content.

Spiders and Unique Webs

If anyone was wondering, Google certainly doesn’t suffer from arachnophobia. In a process known as “crawling”, programs known as crawlers, or spider-bots, intensely scan through all of a new page’s content to better define the site. After this, it’s indexed and placed into actual search rankings.

When you have a content marketing strategy, you can be more active in the defining of your site. As your content is your own, it is unique, meaning it can differentiate your site from similar or competing pages.

Your website’s “bounce-rate” is the measure of how many visitors leave your site after visiting only one page. Investing in a steady-growing collection of unique and interesting content encourages visitors to spend longer on your site, translating to the spiders that your site is valuable.

Professional SEO services help you to find gaps in the market for relevant, enlightening content that just isn’t out there yet, allowing your site to perform more healthily in the search rankings.

The more the merrier (as long as it’s good)

Gone are the days where a large chunk of sites were a sentence or two, or even a simple promise of “coming soon”. Now, modern SEO techniques can rapidly spot an empty, sparse or poorly-managed page and lose no sleep over sending it straight to the bottom of the rankings. Faced with this new technology, there is a real need for effective content marketing strategies.

By contributing regular, well-written content, your website is seen as valuable. As a happy consequence to writing content relevant to your business, you are continuously reaffirming to a search engine that you sell hedge trimmers, offer hairdressing services, run a car dealership, or whatnot. Then, by virtue of investing in that steady stream of helpful or entertaining content, your business is made more accessible to a larger number of customers.

Many digital marketing companies wrongly enforce an apathetic approach of “the more, the merrier”. Just like Goldilocks and her bears, there’s danger in too little and too much. When bad content marketers focus solely on huge quantity, they run a risk of making unnatural content, outlandishly filled with keywords, just to manipulate the search algorithm. That’s not good content.

Although your content is “read” by search engines, they are really experienced by people. Therefore, the trick to consistent high-ranking performance is to simply create content that is quality, informative, useful and authentic. Now this is quite an undertaking, which is why it’s sometimes great to have a little assistance.

At Shtudio, we don’t just offer content marketing services, but also appreciate how valuable a website is to an individual or organisation. Whether you’re desperate to declare full content marketing campaign (Hurrah!) or simply need a little advice on how to better optimise your site, feel free to get in touch.


Reasons Not to Invest In Google Ads For Your Business

Reasons Not to Invest In Google Ads For Your Business

For all the good that Google Ads can do for the larger companies, many smaller businesses often implement Google Ads incorrectly, or simply don’t suit Google’s model. Before you put money down, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do people even follow paid links?

A large number of people are very wary of top search results, as they are savvy to the fact that this spot is reserved exclusively for paid advertising. While there are many individuals who click away unknowingly, the relevance and quality of organic search results still remains important.

Are you following paid links?

A 2015 study found that “new and infrequent users are positively influenced by ads but that more frequent users whose purchasing behavior is not influenced by ads account for most of the advertising expenses, resulting in average returns that are negative.”

Even the best-prepared of ads will fail to make an impression on customers on high alert, resulting in wasted time and financial losses for your business.

  1. Does your product or service suit the Google Ads Model?

If a tree falls in the woods, does it make a sound? Well, if no one searches for your keywords, your paid adverts definitely won’t make any noise. By using analytics, you can discover how often people are searching for your related keywords, indicating whether or not your product or niche is popular. If not, there may be little benefit to running a full ad campaign.

Equally, if your product is more easily sold alongside media, text ads may have a deflated impression on your potential customers. If may be more useful to invest your marketing budget into other medium like display ads. You are better off advertising your makeup store to people under 30 on Instagram than on Google.

Assess if your product is best for the Google Ads model. If not, start looking at alternative providers or ad formats.

  1. Do my keyword volumes merit paid advertising?

Back when clicks cost pennies, it was a lot more viable to run paid adverts, regardless of how much traffic your site or search terms generated. ‘Volume’ is the approximate frequency that a keyword is searched within a set timeframe, usually a month.

seo-strategy

In much the same way your site’s quality and relevance can influence site traffic, so too does people’s general interest affect search-term volumes. If there are only 10 search queries related to your product or service each month, there is little use in investing both energy and money into Google Ads.

If you can’t even find related keywords that are creating significant numbers of searches, your business may just be too specific to benefit from Google’s service. If you do try, you may find your google ads links are just not working.

  1. Can I afford Google Ads?

PPC advertising can be very effective, but even more so expensive. The average cost-per-click (CPC) on Google Ads, depending on your industry and product is $1 to $4, but can easily go to $20+ or fall down to just a few cents.

Making mistakes in Google Ads is costly. Even back in 2014, there was anecdotal evidence that “clients [had been] wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars on ad spend because they forgot to turn ads off.” The other major factor is how our ads are set up and whether the landing page is set up well, or set up at all.

If you don’t keep an eye on your settings, say you forgot to set your daily budget, left mobiles ads enabled with a site that is not mobile-optimised, or you’re unnecessarily running both search and display ads, you’ll find that your costs quickly escalate beyond your budget. Many of these settings need to be manually disabled. Of course, Google won’t remind you about these things, as it’s in their best interest to keep running as many ads as possible.

Conclusion

There is no flat rate for a Google Ad campaign, due to the fact that Google’s platform can be tailor to your business. It’s hard to resist investing when you hear the success stories, but for some businesses, this type of paid advertising is simply suboptimal.

You don’t know what will work best for your business until you try it. Putting it all in one marketing channel isn’t the right strategy, this is why we approach marketing in a holistic way and consider SEO, SEM, SMM and so on. Sounds expensive? It can be but does not need to be.


Why You Shouldn't Do SEO For Website

Why You Shouldn't Do SEO For Your Website

With the explosion of digital marketing, terms like keyword, landing page, meta-tag, alt-text and SEO are becoming second nature, so much so that almost all new businesses assume there is an inherent need for them to invest their efforts into establishing a comprehensive SEO strategy. Whilst this is true for the majority of cases, sometimes you shouldn’t do SEO for your website, and here’s why:

  1. No Fish in the Sea

When no one is actively searching for your product, whether due to a lack of knowledge or limited interest, your site will perform the same regardless of how well you optimise it for search engines.

In this case, your time is better spent in raising awareness of your product with a targeted PR campaign, through pay-per-click social media advertising or targeted content marketing. If successful, people will begin to search for your terms, which is then the time to focus on decent SEO practices.

PR campaign

Running Facebook Ads may be more beneficial than working on your search rankings. Simply put, Facebook focuses more on brand outreach, while Google directs attention to converting leads,” meaning that if you’re looking to generate interest in your product, social media advertising, known as paid social, is great for generating interest. Afterwards, you are free to capitalise on it with SEO strategies or Google Ads, but Facebook ads cost less per click than Google’s service.

  1. Your Business is Local

Local businesses receive less traffic than corporations and conglomerates, easily explained by the fact that rich companies pay large for effective advertising. It’s true, though, that many people explicitly search for results in their local area; 46% of all Google searches are looking for local information, while others record that “near me” or "close by" type searches grew by more than 900% from 2016 to 2018.

Business is Local - SEO campaign

Google’s algorithm separates local searches from generic ones, in efforts to present people with more relevant and useful data. Therefore, business owners are often mainly competing with similar businesses within a certain area. As a result, you should focus on providing a quality service that generates positive reviews or support your website with PPC advertising (on formats like Google Ads) rather than set-up a full-forced SEO campaign.

Oftentimes, you can experience benefits from an integrated approach, using both SEO and PPC. However, for local businesses, it’s usually more practical to prioritise PPC adverts because majority sales are driven by individuals searching in one specific region, meaning a low-click, high-conversion method like PPC suits a tight budget and generates more revenue. Or Google My Business, which is great for local.

  1. You need Fast Results

Whilst there is no definitive answer on exactly how long an SEO strategy needs before it starts working, it’s definitely not a quick solution. Some suggest it takes 2 to 3 months for low-competition keywords, whilst others are adamant it will take at least 6 months. Google themselves advise a timeframe of 4 to 12 months.

Fast Results SEO

One thing is for sure, SEO is a slow accumulation, a gradual building of trust between site and search engine, which naturally takes time. If you need a rapid response, paid advertising offers far faster results, which can be measured instantly.

Users literally need only register with an ad platform, or enlist the services of an agency and they can begin seeing noticeable changes in site traffic and customer conversion.

Final Thought

If you search for some SEO literature, you’ll find the market is heavily saturated with countless guides on why exactly you need it, and how best to do it. There are thousands of establishments reaping the rewards of SEO. Yet, if your business model doesn’t suit it, work towards making the improvements that will better situate you in a position to execute later SEO strategies.

When your business does require an effective SEO solution, building it by yourself can be a daunting, unmanageable task. If you’re unsure of the uses and implications of SEO, what exactly Google Ads are, or simply need some assistance in employing a suitable marketing strategy for a site or business, contact Shtudio (of course), a skilled and trusted marketing agency based in Sydney. Not because we’ll sell you something you don’t need, but because we’ll put things in perspective for you and help you get on the right track.


SEO Company Name

5 Tips for Picking a High-Ranking SEO Company Name

When starting a company choosing a company name is a crucial step in the process as this is how customers will know them, find them, and see them.

choosing a company name

 

What You Need To Know When Choosing A Name For A Company

There are a few things to keep in mind when coming up with a company name - these points below will help to create a company name that allows the company to stand out, be remembered and rank high in SEO optimisation.

  1. Making it a No Brainer Increases SEO Ranking.

When coming up with a company name it is important to keep it simple to read, write and pronounce. Although it may be trendy to use common words and mix up the letters or remove vowels, it is not always the best for customers - as they may struggle to spell or pronounce it when searching, this can also affect the chances of ranking high in SEO.

  1. Get Creative!

Although it is important to keep it simple a company must also get creative with it as well. They want something that stands out from their competitors and sticks in people’s minds. A business owner shouldn’t be afraid to make up a new word or even use acronyms – these ones are always fun!

  1. Get Some Feedback Before it’s Official.

Feedback from family, friends or others who are the ideal customer is a great way to see what others think of the company name. The business owner can test it out on them and gauge their understanding and likeness for it. If there are a few different ideas in mind they can ask a group of people and see what name tends to get the most positive feedback, this can help with the decision making!

  1. Make sure you can get the Matching Domain Name to Help your SEO Optimisation.

This one is super important and has a huge effect on the local SEO. If there is a different domain name to the company name it is going to be a lot harder for the customers to find the company and for Google to rank correctly. If the domain name is unavailable for the company name it is suggested to go back to the drawing board and choose a name with an available domain name. Australian based businesses are recommended to purchase the ‘.com’ and ‘.com.au’ domain names.

  1. Ensure the Company Name is Descriptive

When customers read or hear your company name, they need to have a bit of an idea as to what the company does. For example, when you hear The Coffee Club it is going to have something to do with coffee, or Spendless Shoes is a shoe shop with affordable shoes. If the company is wanting to rank for local SEO in Sydney, then Sydney Super Cleaners could be a great name. It states what the company does as well as mentions Sydney for the local SEO.

The Correct Company Name Will Help You Further Your Business

Hopefully the five points above have given a helpful understanding for creating a creative company name that allows great SEO optimisation.


What’s a Schema?

The Differences between Google and Schema.org

The toolkit for SEO optimisation is huge, but schema markup is a fundamental process. In order to increase not only a site’s visibility, developers use microdata and encoded language to speak to the engine.

If that data and language is easy for a search engine’s schema to analyse, it measures the site highly in clarity and quality.

What’s a Schema?

Generally speaking, a schema is a framework that aids in the interpretation of data and information. Thus it follows that, for search engine optimisation, a schema is a way of helping the engine understand your webpage contents.

schema.org

By integrating metadata into your content (microdata), you are influencing schema markup. By allowing an engine to better categorise your site’s data, you increase the relevance and quality of your site. However, it also creates a more refined, effective browser, hence a need for some kind of tool to analyse a schema markups.

What is the Google Schema for Structured Data?

Consequently, there came Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool, announced in January 2015. In 2017, there was a notable update to allow webmasters to review a greater variety of data on the page, with revised support for RDFa and JSON-LD formats.

Structured Data Testing Tool

The tool is simply a means to analyse a site’s effectiveness in communicating with a search engine. The site is measured against the schema’s standards and expectations. Web designers can then make improvements so the site is SEO optimized.

What is the Google Schema for Rich Results?

Around the same time, Google was doing extensive work on what they now call ‘rich results’, such as snippets, images and the interactive features of a webpage. However, it was not until July 2020 that they announced the Rich Results Testing Tool had officially moved from beta.

Google had stated that the rich results tool was to replace the structured data tool, after 7 years. In that time, the industry had grown exceptionally fond of the older model. So much so that Google’s plan caused uproar in the industry, as many were using the tool as a crucial SEO service.

What happened to the Structured Data Testing Tool?

To appease the users, Google decided to migrate the Structured Data Testing Tool to a separate domain: schema.org. In May, the Schema Markup Validator (SMV) tool was made available. Other than having no apparent affiliation with Google, it is practically the same kit.

What’s the Difference between Google and Schema.org?

Webmasters are now able to utilise both Google’s Rich Results Testing Tool and the SMV, to maximise the extent of data they can analyse. Google’s tool works with solely Google-supported frameworks, whereas the SMV can be used for a broader variety of languages and microdata.

include Schema

Schema.org is like a translation tool for the common language that search engines and webpage speak with one another. As the website states, it’s “a collection of shared vocabularies webmasters can use to mark up their pages.” Conversely, Google’s rich results tester is specialised only for those explicit ‘rich’ features.

Google has instructed that schema.org be used as a means to “check syntax and compliance of markup” with the standards. In essence, both of these tools are methods of ensuring website content expresses the message that the webmasters desire. It does this by analysing your use of microdata, JSON-LD and RDFa and making sure it’s applied in readable ways. This leads to greater search engine optimisation. The fundamental difference between the two testers is the kind of content they’re interested in.

Webmasters can use the Rich Results Testing Tool and the Schema Markup Validator (SMV)

By using both tools, you get the best of both worlds, ending up with a website that is clearer and more identifiable for the search engines. Consequently, it performs better in SERPs

Google’s existing infrastructure is what made the new SMV tool possible, so it can be thought of as an unofficial extension of their service. While it’s obviously great news for many that a much-loved developer tool has been preserved, there are other Schema markup testers available, such as Schema.dev, Yandex and SchemaMarukup.net.

Why do we use these Tools?

When web designers use schema markup tools, they can enhance their sites and work towards a universal framework. This benefits the relationship between search engine and website, which increases stability, consistency and overall user experience.

If you have any difficult in using these tools, or would like guidance on how to refine your website to make it more favourable to search engines, contact Shtudio for effective SEO Services.


benefits backlinks

Five Bad Backlinks That You Don't Need

As any content management strategist will tell you, backlinks play quite an important role in the SEO optimisation of a website. They not only increase your website traffic, but can also help to create networks of pages that enrich visitor experience by linking together relevant and reputable sources.
backlinks in seo

Backlinks are the Backbone

Search engines feel very passionately about backlinks, and they are significantly influential for the ranking of their search results. In fact, they may account for as much as 80 percent of the weight that ranking algorithms employ.

While efficient use of backlinks, as part of a healthy SEO strategy, can heavily increase a website’s traffic, poor usage will likely get flagged by search engines, driving down ratings. As in many aspects of life, it’s quality over quantity.

Here are the backlinks you don’t need pointing your way:

  1. Dubious Sources
    Black-hat SEO services are those which aim to boost traffic through manipulating a search engines algorithms. One example is what Google refers to as ‘link schemes’. Purchasing links, the use of link-mill sites or even paying bloggers to link your site may temporarily boost your ratings, but when search engines catch these inconsistencies, the responsible websites face a dramatic drop in reputation, or even blacklisting.
  2. Unrelated Places
    It may seem counterintuitive to limit your influence, instead of trying to cover as much ground as possible. Yet, there is something to be said for having a niche, a unique, little corner of the internet. Sometimes, through the shared use of certain keywords, a website can unintentionally find itself with backlinks from highly unrelated websites. If, though, an individual actively contacts hundreds of sites asking to exchange links, it may cause damage. Search engines, when faced with this information, struggle to prioritise the keywords. A site may then appear in results for a higher variance of topics, but fall in ranking for its more critical keywords.
  3. Dangerous Spam
    Thanks to our email accounts, the word spam is synonymous with trash. It shouldn’t come as a shock that backlinks from spam sites, such as content farms or links pages, or sites flagged for spam content, will weaken your performance in search results. This isn’t simply limited to poor-quality pages, but also dangerous locations and bad neighbourhoods, such as hacked or illegal sites.
  4. Private Blog Networks (PBNs)
    As the name suggests, a PBN is a network of blogs that all backlink to a single site, with the sole focus on increasing ratings. Users will usually buy many expired domains that still appear in the search engine rankings due to their own historical backlinks. After purchasing these sites, users will post new content on the private blog sites and link back to their main site. Although it doesn’t really sound malicious, PBNs violate Google’s terms of service. They periodically penalise websites appearing in these networks by having them removed from the top rankings.
  5. Press Release
    A legitimate press release will obviously not incur any penalties from search engines. However, there are those who try to control their backlinks by posting pointless press releases (filled with keywords) on numerous, unreliable sites as a means to improve SEO. Google says these backlinks should be ‘nofollow’ links. In fact, their same philosophy applies to fake comments on blogs and forums with similar motives.

Ethical SEO is Reputable

There are countless ways one can optimise their website for search results. Ethical tactics are preferred by search engines and, in the long run, will land your website firmly within a network of trusted, valuable backlinks, providing them each with some highly-coveted reputation and trustworthiness.

seo-backlinks

Meanwhile, black hat SEO systems that don’t adhere to guidelines, or disregard user experience for a quick boost in ranking can expect to see themselves as old and outdated as the sites they abuse to momentarily get to the top.

Those struggling to meet their SEO objectives, or unsure of how best to use backlinks, may benefit to work with one of the many SEO service providers in Sydney, such as Shtudio, for professional advice and guidance.


SEO and PPC: An Integrated Approach to Website Promotion

SEO and PPC: An Integrated Approach to Website Promotion

Digital marketers may very well be the only people in the world who gleefully rejoice when they see heavy traffic. Promoting your website and boosting the flow of visitors to your website is no easy feat, especially without expert SEO services.

However, considering that Google processes over 3.5 billion searches per day and the fact that 71% of clicks are done on the first page of Google, SEO is a necessary step towards online success. First, let’s consider some frequently asked questions.

What are SEO and PPC Marketing Services?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the marketing model in which websites optimize their content to suit search engine algorithms. By doing this, a site appears higher in organic search results, thus becoming more accessible and profitable.

SEO and PPC

Organic searches are not influenced by advertising, so the careful use of keywords and supplementary media in any content, the structure of internal/external links, and utilization of backlinks are directly responsible for your website’s performance.

Pay-per-click (PPC) is the marketing model in which advertisers (website owners or businesses) can pay to make content more visible, appearing above organic results. Advertisers only pay when someone actually uses that specific link, meaning the cost remains manageable and directly correlated to your increase in traffic.

Why do sites need SEO Services?

Becoming SEO savvy is the first strong step in any website’s efforts to grow. SEO focuses on the longevity and authenticity of a website, prioritizing the value of content and structural quality. It’s a long-term investment working to show the website favorably in the eyes of the algorithms.

 

seo services

The internet is far-reaching, yet 46% of all Google searches are local. Although SEO can raise clicks from around the world, local businesses may only need to implement a local SEO strategy: a small restaurant in Sydney wanting to increase local customer base need only search for local SEO in Sydney. The benefits from good application of SEO optimization are extensive, but it may take substantial time to see good results.

What are the advantages and drawbacks of PPC?

Because paid advertising does not alter the organic rankings that SEO services work to influence, PPC should not be thought of a miracle cure. In the right scenarios, however, this strategy is extremely effective as targeted advertising. PPC ads are great at reaching a lower concentration of people for which your site is highly relevant, which may explain why PPC results are approximately 50% more likely to convert visitors than organic clicks. Additionally, by working with the numerous analytical tools available, PPC advertising can be continuously streamlined to further increase the visitor to user/customer conversion rates.

PPC

Another situation in which PPC may prove useful is when there is high competition for certain keywords. Advertisers can immediately benefit from the increased exposure. However, considering that 87% of search engine dollars are spent on PPC, industry leaders and high-authority websites are still likely to dominate the results, so websites may think twice about using vast amounts of money on a PPC-heavy strategy.

Which Approach is best for my business?

In actual fact, the integrated approach is the best tactic for developing a website’s popularity. Both organic and paid results prove to be lucrative avenue, with 68% of all trackable website traffic coming from a combination of the two tactics. SEO will provide your website with higher traffic, but typically lower conversion rates, whereas PPC offers low traffic but higher conversion.

It ultimately depends on the specific requirements, needs and goals of the individual or business, but the current consensus is that the integration of both SEO and PPC methods is most beneficial to website promotion. Skilful, effective execution of such a strategy, however, may prove difficult for the average website owner. They could benefit from the many specialised companies, such as Shtudio, that offer content management solutions and SEO services.


organic traffic for website

Top 5 SEO Ways to Increase Organic Traffic

There are two things we know about search engines. One, their algorithms are getting smarter. Two, they are businesses. Therefore, it only makes sense that they use their algorithms to make money. They can make money by answering users’ queries within the SERPs or by listing ads on the top of the results page.

This could be a problem for those who depend on organic search traffic. How can small businesses compete? Here are the top 5 SEO ways to increase organic traffic.

organic traffic

The Importance of Organic Traffic

Before we talk about the SEO ways to increase organic traffic, let us discuss what organic traffic is and why you need to care about it.

When a user searches something on a search engine, the results page will give them results that include both paid ads and free non-ads. Organic traffic refers to the visits to a site which comes from organic results of a search engine and not paid advertisements.

You want to get organic traffic. But why?

  1. Cost – There is no cost-per-click of organic traffic unlike pay-per-click advertisements.
  2. Trust – Users trust organic searches more than ads.
  3. Position – Improving your organic search traffic gives you better your rankings.

The Importance of SEO Optimisation in Sydney

It is crucial to make decisions which will maximise organic traffic to your site. SEO optimisation is important because:

  • it improves the visibility of your site;
  • it leads to better user experience and customer engagement;
  • it increases the more meaningful organic traffic which are more likely to turn into sales.

How to gain organic traffic on your website SEO

Top 5 SEO Ways to Increase Organic Traffic

  1. User Experience. Improving a user’s experience on your site will make them spend more time in it. Search engines see this engagement and tag the site as useful and will then push it up the search results. Here are some tips:
    • Give your users the best possible result for their query.
    • make sure your website is trustworthy, looks good, easy to navigate, and loads fast.
    • Make your content easy to read and interesting to keep their attention.
  1. Keywords are important for SEO optimisation. They act as signposts to spiders, signal topics, and provide hints about the site’s contents. Here are some tips:
    • Rank better for the keywords that you already rank for.
    • Use long-tail keywords.
    • Rank for net-new keywords.
    • Use more personalised product- or service-specific keywords.
  1. High-quality content and regularly publishing them will give you more opportunities for organic traffic. Here are some tips.
    • Write high-quality, interesting, and informative content with proper formatting, flow, grammar, and spelling.
    • Write longer content because this tends to get more backlinks which can result to better ranking and increased traffic.
    • Refresh old content to stay updated.
  1. Voice and Mobile. Your existing site should be optimised for mobile devices, if it is not already. Any new site being built should absolutely focus on the mobile experience because search engines have gone mobile. In addition, the number of people who own a smart speaker is increasing so optimising for voice search should be a part of your SEO strategy.
  1. Local SEO. Almost half of all Google searches are for local queries. People want to find local businesses and places, their operating hours, contact info, etc. Ergo, improve your local SEO. You can do this by keeping your directory listings up-to-date, etc.

With lots of competing businesses selling the same products and services, the challenge is to stand out from the crowd. Follow these SEO ways to increase organic traffic to help your business retain and improve your organic search presence.


How to Optimise Images on a Website

How to Optimise Images on a Website: Detailed Instructions

High quality, interesting, and relevant content is one of the cornerstones of SEO optimisation. There are ways to make your content more engaging for your audience. You can write quality content that answers users’ queries, break them up in shorter paragraphs, use sub-headers and bullet points, and optimise your white space. However, there is no doubt that images are the most effective tools for making your content more enticing.

This short guide will walk you through the detailed instructions for how to optimize images on a website.

photo editing

A Step by Step Guide on How to Optimise Images on a Website

  1. Choose your images wisely.

The first step is choosing the right image that is related to the content. Each article must include images that illustrates the topic. The image must also be high quality, have good resolution, and large enough to be seen across different devices. Another important thing to make sure that that the image you use is copyright-free so you can avoid problems along the way. You might want to consider creating your own images, graphs, and charts to avoid copyright infringement and to boost your branding. Some SEO optimisation services providers also offer graphic design services.

  1. Edit and compress.

Once you have the image you want, you will want to do a bit of editing to begin your optimisation. First, you have to resize your image so you can reduce its load speed. Huge files take time to load and this affects your users’ experience which affects your rankings.  Second, you should also chose the right format. There are 4 most popular formats for images: JPG, GIF, PNG, SVG. Each has its pros and cons. Experts in SEO in Sydney recommend JPG for coloured images and PNG for simpler ones.

  1. Name it, tag it, and caption it.

To optimise images on a website, you have to make sure you edit the texts that come with it. This includes the following:

  • File Name – You must give your image an approriate title or file name. It will help you search for the image in your site’s back-end in the future.
  • Alt-Text - It is crucial for you to appropriately describe your image in the Alt section. This is because Google and other search engines cannot “see” but can “read”. It determines what is in the image by reading the alt-text. Your alt-text must be clear, concise, and accurately descriptive.
  • Caption – Although these might not help your SEO optimisation, giving your images the proper caption or description can help you organise your images more efficiently.
  1. Automise it.

Optimising images for SEO can be a lot of work but there are ways to streamline this process. If your site allows it, you can install an image optimisation plug in your site so you can automate the process.

If you optimise images on a website, you will not only improve your content’s readability, you will also improve organic traffic through the image results in search engines.

 


Microsoft company

Search Engine Bing in Australia

Australia welcomed this year with some major tech news. Google, which dominates the Australian search engine market, threatened to pull their services from the country. Luckily, search engine Bing in Australia, was ready to take over the reins (probably still drunk with excitement and can't believe their luck).

While the Google boycott of Australia did not happen, it’s important to understand what led to it.

The Backstory

The threat of Google pulling out of Australia was the result of a legislation forcing tech giants Google and Facebook to pay Australian media companies and news publishers for their content.

In 2019, Google earned almost 5 billion Australian dollars. A significant portion of that came from content marketing using content from media companies. Rightfully, media companies have been complaining about not being fairly compensated for a long time.

Australia - google close

Google (and Facebook) has ignored these issues and refused to pay; threatening the worst-case scenario if the legislation passed. Nevertheless, after weeks of negotiation; the tech giant is staying put in Australia, striking deals with the country’s media companies.

The threat of Google pulling out has empowered search engine Bing in Australia.

Bing not only strongly and publicly showed support for the legislation; its parent company, Microsoft has also made significant improvements to the search engine.

Bing It On!

While Bing only has 3.62% of the search engine market share in Australia, it is a formidable competition for Google.

Here are just a few a reasons you should give the search engine Bing a chance in Australia.

Microsoft Bing

For Individual Users:

  1. Images: Bing offers higher quality images in its results page. Additionally, filtering image results and finding licensing information is easier in Bing than in any search engines. It was also the first search engine to use “infinite scroll”, eliminating the need to click the “next page” button.
  1. Videos: Bing presents the results of a video search as a grid of thumbnails that allows you to watch them without ever having to leave the search results page. You can also hover over the thumbnail to watch a preview; saving you time and energy.
  2. Freebies: You are going to search anyway, why not get paid for it? Bing offers Microsoft Rewards which you can redeem for a variety of perks.
  3. Social Media: Bing has mastered the art of social media integration. Social data is integrated into the results page so you can see trending news and stories from different social media platforms upfront.
  4. Aesthetic: Bing just looks better than Google.

For Businesses:

  1. Transparency: Bing prides itself in its transparency of their ranking factors, so you know exactly what to do to get the top spot.
  2. Cheaper Ads: Since the market is less competitive in Bing, it is a cheaper to advertise there.
  3. Fewer Competition: 3.62% might seem like a small number. However, with millions of searches happening every day, 3.62% is still a huge volume of searches! With fewer competition, you get a big chunk of that massive volume of searches. Most experts agree that Bing is still a big part of their SEO strategy and SEO price.
  4. Local SEO: Bing Places for Business helps local businesses gain visibility. It essentially gives you everything Google My Business can provide. In some ways it’s actually better (eg. multiple locations for one business), in many other ways it's worse.

Final Thoughts

Bing still trails behind Google and may have well lost its chance to become Australia’s top search engine. Nevertheless, overlooking it would be detrimental to your SEO strategy.

Who knows what the future holds for any search engine, not only in Australia. "Putting it all" on Google might have worked in the past, but this might have been a good lesson to us all - we need to expand our horizons.


google in australia

Google vs Bing vs Yahoo in Australia

There is no denying it. In Australia, and the rest of the world, Google has become synonymous to the Internet. However, there are other players in the search engine market that are worth using, or at the very least, understanding. Let’s take a look at Google vs Bing vs Yahoo in Australia.

Let’s Talk About Sharing

According to the website GlobalStats Statcounter, there are 6 search engines that are currently being used in Australia.

They estimate that:

  • Google dominates the search engine market with 94.45% of the share.
  • Coming in second is Bing with 3.62%.
  • Yahoo, unfortunately, only has 0.7%.
  • The other 3 search engines - DuckDuckGo, Ecosia, and Norton Safe Search – have 1.11%.

Google: No Surprise There

Google is where Australians search for products, get their news, connect with local businesses, and get everything done. 

Web development experts all try to appease the Google overlords in designing and developing websites and its contents. After all, we can call it search engine optimisation all we want but in reality, Google dictates SEO optimisation rules. 

Google has gotten so big that many business leaders and legislators have called to break up this tech giant. Nevertheless, Google has continued to dominate the market, even threatening to pull out of Australia over financial disputes.

While the split did not happen, the move rightfully scared those who work in web development, individual users whose daily lives are tied to Google, many local business who have invested a lot in building their local SEO, and many others.

Alternatives?

While Google dominates the market, there are other search engine that are waiting in the wings and could be just as good. Let’s take a look at Google vs Bing vs Yahoo in Australia.

Bing

Microsoft’s answer to Google, Bing, is the second most popular search engine in the world. It receives approximately 1.3 billion visits per month.

bing in australiaHere’s what’s cool about Bing.

  • New Tools: Bing is packed with cool new tools like the Explorer Pane which allows you to refine your searches; Quick Previews so you can peek into a webpage before you visit it; and Sentiment Extraction to help you with shopping.
  • Facebook Integration: Some experts argue that when it comes to searching for local businesses, Bing might be the better choice. This is because they have achieved Facebook integration, something Google is yet to do.
  • First Impression: Bing’s homepage is filled with stunning images, something Google and Yahoo lack. Navigation is also super easy.

Yahoo

Yahoo predates Google; however it now only occupies the 4th spot in Australia.

yahoo-australiaHere’s what’s cool about Yahoo:

  • Content in the Results: Yahoo has integrated its content into its search results page, allowing you to see it upfront.
  • In Plain Sight: Shopping-wise, Yahoo allows you to see the product and pricing information right there, helping you make an informed decision in as few clicks as possible.
  • Hassle-free Travel Planning: One of Yahoo’s strengths is Yahoo Travel. Not only do you get alerts to “Getaway Sales” and “Good Deals”; it’s also easy to set your preferences such as price range, right on the search results page.

Google vs Bing vs Yahoo in Australia: Final Thoughts

The point is that each search engine has its merits and its disadvantages. While most people instinctively turn to Google, there are other players in the search engine market that are definitely worth working with.

What does this mean for SEO experts and businesses? It means that a robust SEO optimisation strategy for multiple search engines is an absolute necessity.


Nofollow Links

When To Use Nofollow Links

Do Nofollow Links Help In SEO: When Should I Use Nofollow Links?

Website owners spend a lot of effort, and sometimes money, on SEO link building expecting that strategy to greatly pay off. Naturally, you would want to focus on links that will give you a return of your investment and not on ones that have no value. Case in point: Nofollow links. In this article, we argue that they are not as bad as they seem.  Do nofollow links help in SEO? Read on to find out.

backlinks in seo

Link Building for SEO

It is no secret that link popularity is a very important ranking factor on Google and other search engines. In fact, expert in SEO in Sydney estimate the following:

  • More than 9 out of 10 of the top 50 search results have at least one external link that points back to the website.
  • Almost 8 out of 10 of top results have at least one external link that points back to the specific page.

How does this happen? Simply put, when a web page gets an inbound link from another web page, it gets an SEO boost. This is because Google and other search engines think that if a page is linked to by other pages, people must really like that page. That page is then given preference in the search results ranking.

That is why search engine optimisation practitioners pay a lot of attention to link building and why the link building process can sometimes hike up your SEO price. It is an investment that is worth making.

The Stigma Around Nofollow Links

Google has this metric called PageRank. They use PageRank to calculate link points. Follow links count positively toward your web page’s points. This, in turn, boosts your rank and help you go higher on the results page.

Now, do nofollow links help in SEO? Those working in search engine optimisation and digital marketing would say no. After all, they have been primed for years to believe that nofollow links have absolutely no value whatsoever. They do not count as points which means they do nothing to boost your rank on search engines’ results page.

Search engines do not even crawl nofollow links. Nofollow links live a sad existence. The least we can do is understand them and hopefully, in the end, realise that they are not really as bad as they seem.

Nofollow Links for Seo

What are Nofollow Links?

First, let us define a follow link. A follow link is your standard normal backlink. Another website links back to your website or page. It is just like a citation. As already mentioned, they count as points, increases SEO link juice, and boosts your web page’s rank.

Nofollow links are the exact opposite. They have no effect on your ranking. A nofollow link is created to tell Google and other search engines to not count the link. Nofollow links are usually found in:

  • Paid links
  • Blog Comments
  • Discussions on forums
  • “Untrusted Content”

A nofollow link is tagged as such because there are bad people out there trying to dupe search engines into giving them good page rankings by using with unethical black-hat optimization methods. Nofollow links are the answer to the crisis of the spam mentality.

Nofollow Links are NOT as Bad as They Sound

They might not get you some much needed link juice but they have helped us in one way or another. After all, even the crookedest spammer would not bother posting unrelated links to forums or blogs if they knew that website administrators will just assign it as a nofollow link.  They have not completely eliminated comment spam but they have definitely minimized it.

backlinks

Here are the other reasons why nofollow links can be quite beneficial.

  1. Increased traffic potential – Just not in the traditional sense. Nofollow links are only for search engines. They do not stop users from clicking on the link. If it is well placed and in a relevant blog or forum, a nofollow link can still send traffic down your way. Nofollow links do not give you any link but they still have the potential to generate as much traffic as a follow link.
  2. SEO boost – Google’s algorithms are complicated. They say that nofollow links do not give you link juice but no one really knows whether that is 100% true. In fact, there are case studies that show a correlation between nofollow links and page rankings. However small, there is still a chance that nofollow links boost your page’s ranking.
  3. Social media signals – Social media directly impacts your page rankings by telling search engines how popular and active your website is. Nevertheless, links on social media are considered nofollow. But the more mentions, the more links you receive to your website, the more shares, you build a nofollow link that directly benefit your SEO.
  4. Influencer marketing – Influencers are really good at driving traffic and leads and turning it into conversions. Nevertheless, the backlinks of generated by influencer marketing campaigns are nofollow but not useless. You still get access to their audience.
  5. Build it and they will come – Backlinks help people find you, whether they are follow or nofollow links.

Do Nofollow Links Help In SEO: When Should I Use Nofollow Links?

  1. Links in comments – Use a nofollow to prevent scammers and spammers from getting that valuable link juice. There is another benefit to it, you can also facilitate a legit, productive, relevant discussion in your comments section.
  2. Inevitable linking to an undesirable source – Ideally, you would not want to link to an untrusted source or an undesirable website. However, there would come a time when you can’t avoid linking to them. Tag it as nofollow to prevent them from gaining any SEO
  3. Avoid penalties – If you add content in your website that is unrelated to to your niche, your website might be penalized by Google and other search engines. If you add a nofollow meta tag, you can avoid the penalty while keeping the content there.
  4. Paid links – If there are any sponsored or paid content on your blog, all the links must be nofollow links. You are getting paid for referrals and not link juice, after all.
  5. Multiple appearance – If there is a link that appears many times and in the same location, you must mark it as nofollow because this could lead to Google penalizing you.

Final Thoughts

Link building is a crucial factor in search engine optimization. Link building is not all about link juice, though. After all, the goal of search engine optimization is to increase traffic, drive leads, and help your website convert. And nofollow links can help you achieve those goals just as well as follow links do. So do nofollow Links Help In SEO? The answer is yes.

 


Google Search in 2021

Google Search in 2021: Five Essential Knowledge for Marketers (that is if Google ends up staying in Australia).

2020 will go down in history as the year of challenges few people anticipated and even fewer people prepared for. Making predictions for Google Search in 2021 might seem like a pointless activity, given the speed at which changes are happening. However, in order to be better prepared for whatever is coming, marketers must take a step back and really think about that this next year will bring in order to make better decisions and rethink their marketing strategies.

2020: Looking Back on How We Got Here

For many of us, 2020 has been one of the most volatile years in recorded history. Systemic issues, a raging pandemic, lives and livelihoods lost; all these prompted the formation of new needs and behaviour patterns.

2020 marked a shift in every facet of our lives, especially our online lives.

Marketers, both traditional and digital, have had to continually form and reform their understanding of what is important and useful for their customers in order to continually engage with them and provide their needs during this unprecedented period.

seo-optimizer-sydney

As the pandemic dragged on, people started to adjust and adapt to these new circumstances. As a result, SEO themes have started to emerge and trends become more consistent.

The following list summarises the search themes that emerged during the pandemic. This will help SEO experts and marketers understand consumers and understand the trends in Google Search in 2021.

  • People searched for timely, relevant, and accurate information from trusted sources.
  • People searched for new ways on how to make a living and new approaches to finances.
  • People searched for new ideas on wellbeing, making connections, and establishing a sense of community.
  • People searched for information on how to gain new knowledge and learn new skills through formal and non-formal education.
  • People searched for new ways on how to spend time and money.

With these themes in mind, SEO Sydney experts lists down the five essential knowledge for marketers and advertisers to have in order to anticipate the trends this year and continue providing users with the most relevant search experience.

Google Search in 2021: What Every Marketer Needs to Know

  1. Local SEO and Google My Business

Google My Business, a free tool for creating a local listing for your business, used to be just a useful but optional tool for advertising your business. Nowadays, GMB is a necessity in SEO; accounting for at least a third of how Google ranks local businesses.

Local search is especially necessary now that a more people are working and studying from home as a result of COVID restrictions and lockdowns. That is why marketers need to have extensive knowledge of local SEO and Google My Business and keep themselves updated of any and all enhancements as this trend will most likely continue for years to come.

  1. Voice and Mobile Search

In 2018, a milestone in internet traffic was reached. More than half of all internet traffic happened on mobile devices and the number is steadily increasing every year. There is a growing consensus that Google might be, essentially, ignoring desktop sites and focusing mobile sites. SEO experts and marketers need to ensure that the website is optimised for mobile searches. This includes making the website intuitive, easy to navigate, and having valuable content front and center. Basically, improving your users’ experience on their mobile device is something every marketer should know.

google search in 2021

Additionally, optimising voice search is inching its way to becoming a primary means of searching for information on Google.  Marketers must know the inner workings of how to optimise for voice searches.

  1. User Focus

Marketers know that this is not a new concept at all. However, all good marketers also know that user intent and behavior change all the time. Therefore, it is necessary to refocus in order to keep providing relevant information to users. To do this, marketers must gain a better understanding of what the users want. Asking the following questions is a good start:

  • What do people search for?
  • Why do people search for it?
  • What do they need to know?

Providing them with content that not only satisfies their needs but also satisfies the E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) criteria is the next crucial step.

  1. Flexibility

This cannot stressed enough: change is constant and they are happening at warp speed. Marketers must not only be well equipped to see emerging search patterns; they must also be able to determine which of them are passing fads and which ones are trends that will stay. Additionally, the flexibility to adapt to these super quick changes and the ability to come up with out-of-the-box solutions are weapons every marketer should have in their arsenal.

  1. New Marketing Approaches

Marketers must know and new approaches to marketing so they can exploit them. E-Commerce, after all, will be a focus point in Google Search in 2021. New marketing approaches include the following:

  • Manual text ads might finally reach its end so marketers must focus on other ad forms like video, etc.
  • Marketing campaigns focusing on human-centric practicality are more effective. This is because the pandemic has forced people to prioritise and realign their needs. People spend more on essentials and needs.
  • Live-streamed e-commerce has steadily become popular. Live-streamed e-commerce exploits the power of the “limited time offer” to create a billion-dollar industry. Customer engagement is through the roof and sales based on the principles of scarcity and the fear of missing out has increased.
  • Utilizing micro-influencers seem to be picking up steam because the market for mega-influencers has become saturated. Micro-influencers’ following is typically smaller but the appeal is in the sense of community. It will not be surprising to have a bigger impact with a smaller audience than a massive one.

Final Thoughts

These are just 5 of the many essential knowledge that marketers must know in order to get ahead of the Google Search in 2021 game. Having this knowledge will help marketers develop better campaigns and provide users with useful and relevant content.


Google PageSpeed

Top 10 Steps To Speed Up Your WordPress Site

When it comes to web pages, there are a lot of elements to consider and get right. There is the page’s visual appeal, ease of use, images and other media, and many more. However, that is not all. Page speed is just as important. Here are the top 10 steps to speed up your WordPress site.

The Need for Speed

Imagine the rage you felt the last time someone is blocking your path in an escalator. Or the last time you had to stand in line for a long time. People want instant gratification. People want speed.

speed up your wordpress website

There are 2 reasons why you want your web pages to load as fast as possible.

  1. Search engines have made page speed a criteria for SEO In fact, search engine algorithms may actually penalise slower websites.
  1. Users have short attention spans. The loading speed of web pages can make users stay or leave. A web page that load in two seconds or less to keep visitors engaged. Any slower than that, and the visitors lose interest and hit the back button. Websites that take their sweet time loading will lose a significant number of visitors.

Owners of websites understand that faster load times are a requirement for effective search engine optimisation and for great customer experience. That is why they now list page speed as a top priority.

The Thing About WordPress

When you think of speedy websites, WordPress is not exactly the first thing that comes to your mind.

While it comes with countless themes, plugins, and  other important and useful add-ons; these consume server resources. Too many things running at the same time can really slow load times down. And we all know that that is bad for SEO and bad for customers.

WordPress speed up

Luckily, there are several things you can do to speed up your WordPress site. Here are the top 10 steps.

Read on to find out what experts in SEO in Sydney suggest in order to speed up your site.

Top 10 Steps To Speed Up Your WordPress Site

  1. Pick a fast and reliable web host.

Without quality web hosting, your WordPress site is in trouble. Choose a web host that can provide you with your required performance and bandwidth. It is important that your web host can give you the server resources you need to handle your traffic without affective page load speed.

  1. Update your WordPress, PHP, and all the plugins.

Because these software are constantly undergoing development and enhancements; it is extremely important that you update them every day. Always make sure that you have the latest versions of WordPress and all the plugins because outdated versions slow the site down and may cause incompatibility, or even security, issues.

  1. Use a lightweight, clean, flexible theme.

Minimalism is the new black when it comes to web design. Simply put, choose the lightest, simplest, cleanest theme or template and then build it up with additional functions and features. Light templates are not only light in size; they are also easier to make into an SEO-friendly, and mobile-friendly site. They can also be integrated with builders, plugins, and other functionalities.

  1. Optimise all the images on the page.

Fact: Large images slow down WordPress sites. Reduce file sizes as much as possible without compromising the resolution quality. Compress image sizes using tools like Photoshop or a WordPress image optimiser plugins.

  1. Install and enable caching.

Caching is the process of storing data on a user’s hard drive during their first visit on the website. This is done so that if the user visits the site again, the data and content will load so much faster. It can help reduce load time because it saves you some server bandwidth. You can install and enable a caching plugin for your WordPress site.

  1. Optimise the database in your WordPress.

Every WordPress site, especially old ones, has an accumulation of old and unused files in their database. Be it spam – unused themes and plugin data, content that were not published, old media – they take up space and may overload your server. Use plugins that can audit your files and clear up files that do not serve a purpose anymore.

  1. Utilize a CDN.

A Content Delivery Network is a group of servers that are found around the world. If your data and resources are stored on CDN servers in different locations; a visitor from one part of the world can load your website and its contents from a server that is neares them.

  1. Regularly monitor your performance.

One of the top 10 steps to speed up your WordPress site, not to mention most important, is to test your web pages’ load speed and other performance metrics regularly, especially after updates or newly installed add-ons. Test your home page as well as other high-traffic pages. You can also test your site’s performance with tools like Website Grader, Google PageSpeed Insights, etc.

  1. Keep only the plugins you absolutely need.

Each plugin is a software and it depletes your server resources which, in turn, can impact your page’s load speed. Plugins that are not being used should be deactivated. You can also try looking for lightweight alternatives if you don’t want to delete them. Test your page loading speed after each change is completed.

  1. Minify what you can.

CSS and JavaScript are heavy users of your bandwidth, try to make these files as small as possible without compromising the look and functionality of the site. You can also minify stylesheets and scripts.

Bonus Steps

  1. If you have long posts, split them up.
  2. Lazy load content when you can.
  3. Reduce the number of comments in the page.
  4. Decrease social media calls.
  5. Do not embed video or Google Maps directly if you can.

You Better Run and Fast!

Optimising your speed is a task every website owner and web developer must take seriously.

Fortunately, there are many strategies to ensure your web pages load fast. This will ensure effective search engine optimisation. This will also make sure you can deliver the best possible customer experience.

Follow these top 10 steps to speed up your WordPress site and see your SEO rank soar!


The Best Development Tips For Landing Pages - Part 2

Landing pages are an effective marketing tool. It is one of the most proven strategies to give your visitors a great experience and achieve your target conversion rates. However, even the best landing pages are useless unless they are seen by visitors. In this article, we will explore the best development tips for landing pages that will rank as well as effectively gather leads and/or convert for your business.

Visibility is Key

Visibility can mean the difference between a successful and unsuccessful business. That is why it is very important to invest time, money, and effort toward SEO optimisation.

Landing pages are created to generate leads and eventually convert visitors into paying customers. However, it will not do what you need it to do if it is not getting any traffic.

New Client

Search engine optimisation can bring people through your website’s virtual door. If SEO is done well, you have the opportunity to showcase your the value proposition of your business and encourage more and better customer engagement. The same exact thing is true for boosting your landing page’s visibility.

Landing Pages that Do Not Rank

Not all landing pages are created equal.

SEO Landing Pages are landing pages that are optimised for search engines.

Before we talk about the best development tips for landing pages, let us first talk about the reasons why some landing pages don’t get their fair share of traffic.

Website Traffic - ShtudioOther than common issues such as the number of competition; there is also the myth that using targeted keywords in the landing page is a guarantee that it will rank high. That is simply not true. You might rank high for those keywords, but chances are someone else is already at the top spot.

Follow these tips to create your very own SEO-friendly landing page.

The Best Development Tips For Landing Pages

Optimising landing pages can take a lot of work and time; especially because search engines are always updating their algorithm. Keeping your landing pages optimised is timer and effort well spent.

To start SEO-ing your landing pages, focus on the following elements:

  • keywords
  • page speed
  • content
  • backlinks
  • mobile friendliness

Here is a detailed explanation of the best development tips for landing pages according to Sydney SEO experts.

  1. Keywords. Keywords. Keywords.

All strategies for optimisation involve keywords. This is where you pick the best words that you would like search engines, like Google, to rank your page for.

keyword research for seo

Just like optimising a webpage, optimising a landing page also require the following:

  • Keyword research
  • Keyword analysis
  • Keyword placement
  1. Location. Location. Location.

location seo

Once you have picked your target keywords, the next step is to place them in strategic locations in the landing page. Ideally, they should be placed in:

  • Title tag. The title of the page should be attractive and compelling to encourage visitors to click.
  • Meta descriptions. The landing page’s description should be clear, concise, and tell the users exactly what the page is all about.
  • Header tags. Placing the keywords in the headers prioritises the content and tells search engines that they are the most important words on the landing page.
  • Image description. Place keywords in the descriptive file names of images.
  • The copy. Spread out the keywords throughout the copy but be sure to avoid keyword stuffing.
  1. Speed it up.

Algorithms favor good customer experience. It is a well-known fact: page speed is one of the best search engine ranking factors. Users expect pages to load in seconds. Almost half of them will abandon the page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. How do you speed up page load times:

  • Use smaller file images without compromising the quality of the resolution
  • Opt for a web host that is faster
  • Shut off plugins and extensions when they are not in use
  1. Build links.

seo links

Do you want to boost your organic search ranking? Then you will need to get people to link back to your landing page. When someone shares your link, search engines take this someone vouching for your credibility. To do this:

  • You must create original, well-researched, valuable, and relevant content.
  • Look for the “influencers” in your line of business, bloggers, and people who you think will be interested in your content. Look for referrals and reach out to them to see if they can backlink to your landing page.
  1. Focus on content.

Web content SEO

Produce high quality content that is original, relevant, well-researched, and interesting to your target audience. Most importantly, create content that is shareable. Some companies include content writing in their SEO price. Invest on content and see your shares and traffic increase!

  1. Make your landing page mobile-friendly.

mobile friendly web

Making sure that the users’ experience is great is the best way to rank high on search engines. Given that most users are now on smartphones and tablets, your landing page must also be responsive to different kinds of devices. Make sure that your landing page is easily navigable and easy to read. Make sure that the links and other clickable items are clearly marked and can be easily clicked.  You can also test your landing page’s responsiveness by using Google Search Console.

  1. Track your progress.

After employing all these tips, you should monitor and measure the performance of the landing page to see if it is properly optimised. You should track your organic traffic as well as your click through rate using tools like Google Search Console and/or Google Analytics. Once you find the strengths and weaknesses; you can tweak your strategies for a more effective landing page.

track progress

People optimise their landing pages to increase their organic traffic, gain more leads, and turn visitors into paying customers. There is no one set formula to succeed in the SEO game but by implementing the best development tips for landing pages outlined here, you will make a big impact on your organic traffic and improve your visibility over time.


Development Landing Page

The Best Development Tips For Landing Pages

The internet age has completely changed the way we live. What we used to do in person, we now do online. And with the pandemic raging all over the world, businesses have moved everything on the internet. Businesses use landing pages to effectively market and promote their products and services. Here are the basics of and some development tips for landing pages to help your business attract visitors, lead them through the conversion funnel, and turn them into paying customers.

What is a Landing Page?

A landing page, in digital marketing, is a standalone marketing or advertising web page. Essentially, it is where a user “lands” after they click on a link from an email or from ads they see in Google, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or other websites. It is a very important part of the web development and design process.

It is not like other web pages. Other web pages are created for a number of different goals – for instance, to provide information, etc. – and to encourage users to explore the site further. A landing page, on the other hand, is created for the sole purpose of receiving and converting traffic from an online marketing or ad campaign.

Landing Page Development

Here are some examples of actions businesses might want users to do on their landing page:

  • buy something
  • leave their contact information
  • subscribe to an email list, newsletter, etc.
  • register for an event

It is a page that calls users to action and transform them into subcribers or paying customers.

Types

  1.  Lead Generation – A.k.a. Lead Gen or Lead Capture. These pages usually have a form to serve as their call to action. They are designed to collect users’ information like names and email addresses. Businesses then use the information to build a customer list. In return, users get free content including products, services, deals vouchers, and others.
  2. Clickthrough – These are usually used by ECommerce and SaaS marketers to send users straight to the sales or subscription page. Clickthrough pages typically have one simple button to serve as their call to action. This button leads users straight to the checkout page.

Do I Need a Landing Page?

Landing pages are the latest trend in Sydney web development, and for good reason. Here are some of its benefits.

  1. It supports your business’ goals. The page is specifically customised to support your business goals. Do you want to promote products? Gain new customers? Sell more? Whatever your ad campaign’s goals are, the landing page is where you can achieve them.
  2. It increases conversions. When they are well developed, it can provide a clear call to action which can influence users to easily subscribe, purchase, or provide information to you.
  3. It generates data and provides insights. Through these pages, you can determine which channels are providing you with the most leads, which campaigns are performing the best, which offers are the most popular. It provides you with useful data to learn more about your customers and inform your marketing strategies.
  4. It influences paid search campaigns. Paid search campaigns are dependent on clickthrough rates which are, in turn, dependent on landing pages. This results in higher lead generation which increases the likelihood of a conversion.
  5. It helps grow you email distribution list. This page is commonly used for generating more and better leads. Once a user clicks on the link on the page or signs up, that means they are interested. This could turn into potential buyers. In addition, the more people are in your list, the more chances of conversion you have.
  6. It boosts credibility. When users feel like your offers help them achieve their goals and needs, you increase your business’ credibility. Since the page can be customised, one of the most common development tips for landing pages is to include testimonials that show off the success other people have experienced with your business.
  7. It improves brand awareness. You can customise your page to look and feel like the rest of your branding materials. This helps in improving brand awareness.

Development Landing Page

The Best Development Tips For Landing Pages

Now that we have discussed what it is and why you need them; let us discuss the best ways to develop them to maximize its benefits and turn visitors into customers.

  1. Keep it simple. Keep the page as simple as it can be, especially the navigation. The content must be immediately visible without having to scroll down. Only include information that are relevant to your offer.
  2. Use colours to your advantage. Choosing the right colours is extremely important. Colours can evoke emotions and can result in either negative or positive responses from the audience.
  3. Choose the appropriate typography. Font size, type, styles as well as spacing matter. They impact readability and understanding. If developed well, typography can direct your audience’s attention to the content and ease the effort necessary to read it.
  4. Improve readability. In order to convey your value proposition, use clear and concise language that is specific, easy to understand, and compelling. Use power words that calls the user to an action. Break up text chunks by using bullet points and lists and use varied font sizes and colours to make the content more scannable.
  5. Optimise. This is perhaps one of the most important development tips for landing pages. Optimise your landing page for SEO. This will increase the change it will get a good spot on search engine results pages. Just as important, optimise for mobile devices since more than half of online activity is done on mobile devices. Both of these are good tips for web development in general.
  6. Add media. Images and videos will make the page more aesthetically pleasing and more informative. Whenever possible, use photos of real people – your staff, customers, etc. Not only will you build loyalty among your people; research also show that images of real people establish trust and improve conversion rates.
  7. Share success stories. You can build customers’ confidence by sharing the testimonials of customers. These will serve as proof of your business’ competence and promise and are effective ways of nudging undecided users towards becoming paying customers. Additionally, prominently display your business’ accolades and other credentials to boost customer confidence.
  8. Show how you can be reached. Clearly display your business name, contact information, and links to your social media pages on the page.
  9. Allow people to share. “Share” is the new word of mouth. Make it easy for users to share your content by making sure the share buttons are visible and easy to use.
  10. Testing, testing, testing. Use A/B testing to determine which of the two variants is more effective in achieving your marketing goals. Ensure that your page editor will allow you to conduct an A/B test. This will allow you to tweak and optimise each element to make your page the best it can be.

Businesses that want to succeed understand how important an online presence is. A well-developed landing page give you the opportunity to create targeted customer-focused marketing campaigns.

Follow these easy development tips for landing pages to make sure this crucial page is professionally-designed, well-structured, and developed to highlight your business’ unique value proposition.


Page Relevance - SEO

What is Page Relevance?

There are three pillars in search engine optimisation or SEO: authority, trust, and relevance. Get these three right and you will see your website get that coveted spot in search engine results pages. In this guide, we will talk about one of them – page relevance.

Relevance is essentially how much a website’s content corresponds with the user’s request. This very important indicator affects the search results. The more a website’s content matches with the search term used, the more likely it is that the web page will appear higher in the search results.

Suffice it to say, you need to constantly and consistently work to increase your relevance by monitoring your content’s utility.

Page Relevance - SEO

Page Relevance: What It Is

Think about this scenario. A person types in the phrase “how to play Jenga” in a search engine. It seems quite clear that the user is not looking for a Jenga per se. Rather, he or she probably already has one and just wants to learn how to play it.

Therefore, search results directing the user to online stores selling Jenga will not be relevant. Most likely, the relevant pages are pages where the rules and instructions for the game is described.

Now think about this next scenario. A person types in the phrase “DSLR camera”. This one is a little bit vague. What does he or she want? Does the user want to buy a DSLR camera? Or simply check different models, brands, and prices and compare them with one another?

Since the second scenario is a little vague, search engines will have a harder time determining the relevant pages for the query.

The Hiccup
Users usually do not describe what they need correctly or sufficiently.

This means that search engines give them a bunch of pages that do not really match what they need.

This also means that search engines have to use complex algorithms to determine the relevance of a website or a web page to the users’ query.

Another hiccup is that no SEO specialist in Australia, or the world for that matter, would disclose this information to prevent rank manipulation and keep the internet playing field level.

Nevertheless, Sydney SEO experts have identified a list of things you can do to effectively increase the relevance of your content, your web page, and your website in general.

SEO: Page Relevance How to Increase It

Page Relevance: How to Increase It

Here are some ways to increase relevance.

  1. Content must be unique and strategically placed. The content of a web page must be unique, complete, and related to the search query. Queries must be distributed across pages. This means that only one key phrase or a few related ones should be used per page.
  2. Understand your users’ intent. Making a list of keywords might seem like the first thing to do. Rather, a clear strategy of understanding your users’ intent before coming up with a keywords list. To do this, you must know and understand your users. Research and analysis are extremely important.
  3. Keywords must be embedded strategically. Keywords and phrases must be embedded in the title and meta tags.
  4. There must be interlinking withing the site. Anchors and links from a website’s pages must link to other pages in the site.
  5. Texts must be broken down into sections. The use of headings and subheadings to divide paragraphs is ideal. This also helps in readability. Keywords and phrases should also be included in headings.
  6. Search queries must be used logically. Search queries must be used meaningfully. The number of times it is used in the content must be proportional to the volume of the text. Instead of spamming the text with the search query, use synonyms.
  7. Use media. Images, videos, and other media content must also be relevant to the subject and provide answer to the users’ query. The text and media content must also provide direct and relevant answers to any secondary questions.
  8. There must be links form authoritative sources. It is not about the quantity of the links to your site; it is about the quality. The resources linking to your site must be authoritative and the content surrounding the link must lead to a specific and relevant result. Nevertheless, the more reputable resources link to your site, the more your page relevance increases.
  9. Create evergreen content. Relevance is also bound by time. Your content must match current and timely events. One good idea is to create content that is evergreen. Evergreen content.
  10. Solve a problem. Here is an idea: solve a problem. Useful information is considered relevant information. Find out what your users’ problems are and then solve it. If your web page’s content can do it, your content becomes relevant.

How to Check Your Relevance

Relevance really depends on the users’ location, the accuracy of the search queries, and many other factors. This makes relevance an indicator that is difficult to reflect.

Additionally, search algorithms change so fast. It is almost impossible to maintain your relevance. Constant and consistent checking and validation is necessary to keep up. Checking relevance can be done using online tools or through the help of Sydney SEO experts.

Conclusion

Page relevance is one of the three pillars of good SEO. Relevant content that solves users’ problems or answers their questions can help catapult your web pages to the top of the search results list.

Using complex algorithms that change so quickly, search engines try to determine if a website’s content is relevant to a user’s query. These algorithms are not public knowledge. That makes relevance one of the most, if not the most, difficult SEO pillar to get right. To increase the relevance of your content, and in turn, your pages, consistently working on your content’s utility is necessary. This work is on-going and never ending.

Nevertheless, with hard work and dedication, your content will not only put your page on top of search engine results; but also solve your users’ problems, gaining their trust and establishing your place as an authority in your subject area.


Talk of the Town: 2020-21’s 10 Hottest Web Design Topics

Website design trends are ever evolving and constantly changing. What designers are doing now, the web designers of 10 years ago could only dream about, if at all. Staying current and relevant means keeping up with the evolution of web design, and if possible, going one or two steps further. What are web designers talking about? Here are the hottest and most popular web design topics this year.

Web Design Shtudio

The Top 10 in a Nutshell

Website design experts in Sydney and other major cities list the following trends as the most important ones for 2020 and in the coming year.

  1. Ultra Minimalism
  2. Responsive Design
  3. Scrolling Effects
  4. Font Management
  5. Story Focus
  6. Color Psychology
  7. Artificial Intelligence
  8. 3D Technology
  9. Depth
  10. Data Focus

In Detail: Top 10 Web Design Topics of 2020

  1. Ultra Minimalism. Everything is getting smaller; website design is no exception. This means very simple navigation, large photos or videos with bare minimum text, clean and chic design with minimal elements.
  2. Responsive Design. Versatility is the most important topic these last couple of years. Your website’s design must be able to adjust to whatever device your users use, be it a traditional computer, a laptop, a smartphone, or a tablet.
  3. Scrolling Effects. Scrolling is so much more than just page up and down now. Web designers have come up with a clever way to animate various layers in different speeds to provide a sort of visual entertainment for their users. This is called parallax scrolling. Another scrolling effect, one that is becoming super popular for ecommerce sites, is called infinite scrolling where content gets updated every time the user gets to the bottom of the page.
  4. Font Management. The readability of the website’s fonts set the mood of users. These seemingly small details can inspire or irritate the users and can make or break the user’s experience.
  5. Story Focus. Nothing engages users more than a story that flows through the website’s design. Design elements like shapes, colors, composition, perspectives, texture, space, animations, video, audio, emotions, characters and others can tell a visual story. For instance, imperfect and scribbly hand-drawn designs tell add an air of humanity into websites.
  6. Color Psychology. The use of bold colors is in fashion again. Unconventional color pairings, when used strategically can make design elements jump off the screen and evoke emotions. For example, splashes of colors evoke the emotions of playfulness, happiness, energy, and fun.
  7. Artificial Intelligence. AI has been a trend for many years now and has continued to evolve as time went by. Thanks to artificial intelligence, website design experts are now able to create interfaces that are more “human”; responsive, engaging, and smart.
  8. 3D Technology. 3D visuals are now becoming more common as the technology behind it is becoming more accessible. 3D tech is making it possible for designers to make the user’s experience more immersive and hyper realistic. 3D designs engage users and encourage them to stay on the site longer.
  9. This year, depth takes center stage. Floating visual elements, soft shadows, and layers create depth and interest. This is a far cry from the flat design that feel too flat and lifeless.
  10. Data Focus. Users are now starting to trust analytics; prompting designers to focus and highlighting data. Data as part of your web design is a form of communication with your site’s users and encourages them to stay on your page longer. 

This year shattered many expectations as many experts in website design in Australia and all over the world played with new trends, reinvented old styles, and got creative with bold and fresh new ideas. Keep up with these web design topics to ensure your website stays current and relevant.


Startup Register

Business 101: How to Register a Company in Australia

So, you have decided to take on the challenge of becoming your own boss. Congratulations! It is an exiting time. It is also a terrifying time. We are sure that there are so many questions swirling around your head right now. How to start a business Australia, the cost to start a business, do you need a website, should you take out a loan, among other things.

Slow down and take a deep breath. There will be time to figure out the rest later on. The first thing you need to do is to take care of the legalities of starting a business in Australia. Therefore, the most important thing to discuss is how to register a company in Australia.

Start Business

Before You Register a Company in Australia

Before you register a company, there are many different things to consider. Here are some of the considerations prior to starting your application to register a new company.

  1. Find out all the information you need before the application. Here are some of the things you need to decide on.
    • Will the company will be limited or unlimited?
    • What will the governance for the company look like?
    • What is the company name?
    • Nominate the location of registration.
    • Decide on the company’s address/es.
  2. Check if the company name you have chosen is still available.
  3. Make sure your chosen company name does not infringe on existing registered trademarks.
  4. Check the cost to register a company.

The Right Time

There is debate among many business owners regarding the appropriate time to register a company. Some people register when they are just starting out the business. Some people register when they feel they are ready to change their business’ structure.

Here are some of the signs it is the right time to register a company.

  1. The business is generating revenue.

A non-registered business’ tax rates are higher than company tax rates. Registering a business is a great option to keep more of your profits.

  1. You need to mitigate risks.

Registering a company is a good idea if you want to minimise the risks. Examples of risks include new suppliers, loans, employment or contractor agreement, etc. If your company is registered, you would not bear any personal liabilities.

  1. You want to protect your brand.

Your brand is your most valuable asset. You can protect this by registering a trademark for your company’s name, logo, and other branding elements.

Why Register?

Here are some benefits of registering a company.

  1. Limited liability
  2. Distribution of ownership
  3. Easier exit strategy
  4. Easier dispute management
  5. Easier product launches
  6. Likelihood of attracting investors

Register Business Australia

How to Register a Company in Australia

Here are the 7 steps to register a company and some of the things to keep in mind.

  1. Work out your company’s business structure.

Remember that a company is a legal entity on its own. Therefore, there are a set of policies and privileges that comes with registering a company in Australia. The company, as a business structure, allows you to conduct business all throughout the country. It also has a different corporate tax rate and limited liability. Make sure that you understand these and decide if a company is the right business structure for your needs.

  1. Choose the company name.

If you decide that a company is the right business structure for you; then choose the name. Before you register a company name, remember that:

  • You cannot use the name of an existing company or business name.
  • There are certain restrictions on the use of characters and terms.
  • If you are not dead set on registering, you can reserve the name for 2 months.
  • You should check existing names and trademarks.
  • The name you choose must show its legal status.
  1. Determine how your company will operate.

Decide how the company will be governed. You could have replaceable rules, a constitution, or both.

  1. Know your legal obligations.

The Corporations Act outlines your legal obligations as an officeholder of the company. For instance, you must ensure the company details are up to date, that records are on the register, that you pay fees as required, and many more. When in doubt, consult a legal expert.

  1. Fill in the vacancies.

A company cannot legally be a company without officeholders. Simply put, you need to fill in the roles of director, secretary, and member. Each of these roles has their own requirements. Additionally, if the company does not own the registered office, you need to get a written consent from the owner of that office.

  1. Register.

You can register a company online through the Australian Government Business Registration Service. They also provide services like online application for ABN. You can also register through a private service provider such as but not limited to your accountant, solicitor, or a private entity that provides online registration with ASIC.

Some businesses – companies with unlimited liability, with an address is not accepted by ASIC, or that requires lodgement of Form 207Z, etc. - cannot be registered online. For these companies, registration via paper is necessary. Once your paper application has been processed, you will receive the following:

  • An ACN which you can use to apply for ABN
  • Certificate of registration
  • Corporate key
  1. Do the post-registration tasks.

After your company has been registered, make sure of the following:

  • the company name is displayed whenever the company is open to the public;
  • the ACN/ABN is clearly displayed on all company documents;
  • the company’s details are up to date.

Final Thoughts

There are a number of reasons why registering a company is a good idea and the best way to grow your business. Follow this guide on how to register a company in Australia and enjoy the benefits that come with it including tax advantages, lower liability, legitimacy, and many more.


Seo planner

TOP 15: Best SEO Tools For Auditing and Monitoring Your Website

Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO, is undoubtedly one of the most effective ways to rank high on search engines. A solid SEO strategy is crucial to a website’s success. However, algorithms change so fast, it could be hard to keep up, even with a good strategy. Luckily, there are SEO tools for auditing and monitoring your website that you can use to make sure your website stays ahead of the pack.

SEO Strategy

SEO Services for a Robust SEO Strategy

A website is created in order to sell something - products, services, information, etc. It can’t do this if the website is hidden in the deep dark corners of the internet.

The job of SEO is intended to put your website where it can be seen by users. That is why SEO Sydney experts suggest the following activities to be included in your optimisation strategy.

  • Conduct regular website audits and monitoring
  • Perform keyword analysis
  • Do competitive research analysis

best seo tools

The Top 15 SEO Tools For Auditing and Monitoring Your Website

      1. Google Search Console - Also called Webmaster Tools, this tool is free and also user friendly. It lets you maintain, monitor, and troubleshoot your site. You can get insights regarding the following:
        • page load speeds,
        • Indexed pages,
        • pages that rank well and pages that rank poorly,
        • HTML markups,
        • broken links,
        • security issues,
        • mobile phone usability,
        • keywords that your page ranks for, etc.
      2. Ahrefs - Ahrefs is a bit more advanced auditing and monitoring tool. It is one of the most popular SEO tools for auditing and monitoring your website. It is user friendly and packs a lot of features such as:
        • Content explorer - provides data about pages that are performing well under certain topics, which can be used for content marketing.
        • Site explorer - provides data about the performance of individual pages.
        • Keyword explorer - provides data and insights regarding keywords.
        • Site audit - provides info regarding technical issues of individual pages.
        • Rank tracker - tells you your rank and gives keyword updates.
      3. SEMrush - SEMrush helps you evaluate your website as well as your competitor’s. In fact, it is the most used competitor analysis tool SEO service experts use. Its features include:
        • Organic research - lets you know the competitor’s top keywords.
        • Traffic analysis - gives you accurate information regarding the traffic and performance of your site.
        • Advertising research - gives you information to help you devise better advertising campaigns.
      4. MOZ - MOZ helps you track growth, optimise your site, and build reports. Most importantly, MOZ helps you find the issues, explains each one, including the potential impacts on your SEO, and tells you how each issue can be fixed. Features include:
        • Chat portal - to find answers to queries
        • Mozbar - provides info on site performance metrics
        • Page optimisation - provides steps for improving individual page’s SEO
        • Crawl test tool - a crawler that can manage 3000 links, allowing you to identify duplicates and other issues
        • Site audit - identifies errors on the site
      5. Screaming Frog - Its SEO Spider is built specifically for search engine optimization. It will crawl the websites you want it to, check the URLs for issues, and simplify the process. Additionally, Screaming Frog can:
        • fix issues related to content, redirection, and link building,
        • detect permanent and temporary redirect chains on the site,
        • identify pages that have a 404 error,
        • analyze metadata and page title,
        • list all H1 and title tags, counts words, and consolidate analytical data for easy export.
      6. HubSpot’s Website Grader - This web-based tool that gives you a summary of the health, a grade, of your site’s performance, mobile optimisation, security, and SEO.
      7. Woorank - Woorank helps you identify issues in optimisation and opportunities for improvement. These areas include usability, marketing checklist, social media, current SEO initiatives, etc.
      8. Found’s SEO Audit Tool - It is a free online SEO auditing tool that helps you identify common issues regarding SEO, content, metadata, link building, etc.  They also have a team of of analysts that provide their users more information regarding the issues and the recommendations for improving them.
      9. Varvy’s SEO Overview Tool - Another great auditing tool, Varvy’s gives you information regarding your domain strength, page speed, image SEO, links, social stats, page and technical SEO, etc. The tool also prepares a comprehensive report on your site’s performance.
      10. BuzzStream - BuzzStream makes it possible and easy to research your target audience, create an effective email message, and then track who are receptive to your link request.
      11. Linkody - Linkody - Linkody’s easy to use interface lets you discover, track, analyze, and even disavow backlinks.  It also checks your links regularly and sends you real time information of any changes so you can fix a lost or broken link immediately. In addition, it also checks your competitors’ backlinks to help you discover opportunities to exploit in your link building process.
      12. UpCity’s SEO Report Card - This tool lets you analyze the performance of your site against your competitors’ performance. The metrics on this “report card” include: rank analysis, websites linking back to your site, on-site analysis, accessibility, trust metrics, indexed site pages, etc.
      13. Check My Links - This tools makes sure that the links on your pages are working. Its broken-link checker lets you check and correct linkss before the page goes live.
      14. UberSuggest - This free search engine optimisation tool focuses on helping you find new keyword ideas that will help you in your content strategy. The tool’s features including keyword suggestion, competitive analysis, and content optimisation helps you create more engaging content, which, in turn, increases your website’s ranking chances.
      15. GrowthBar - GrowthBar lets you do several tasks including researching keywords, analyzing your competitors, and tracking SEO rankings. It gives you your (or your competitors’) website’s access data points directly from the search results page so you can track their performance. You can get information regarding top keywords, backlinks, difficulty score for keywords, word count, keyword suggestions, etc.
      16. Even with a good SEO strategy, a website needs constant maintenance. This might seem like a tedious and time-consuming process. However, with the best SEO tools, auditing and monitoring your website can be an easy, and ultimately rewarding activity.

Even with a good SEO strategy, a website needs constant maintenance. This might seem like a tedious and time-consuming process. However, with the best SEO tools, auditing and monitoring your website can be an easy, and ultimately rewarding activity.


Why are Icons Important on a Website?

Discussing Design: Why are Icons Important on a Website?

Icons are everywhere - reading materials, buildings, road signs, billboards, shop windows, and, of course, websites. We understand that in real life, icons are tools of communication. But what about online? Why are icons important on a website?

Icon and Visual Communication

What exactly is an icon? The short answer is that icons are visual cues. They communicate concepts and ideas.

The word itself comes from the Greek eikōn which translates to image. And that is precisely what it is: a way to communicate through widely recognized images.

On websites, they replace text content with images that have the ability to transcend languages and even cultures. It is no wonder they are the most commonly used graphic elements. They are also a key part of web design services and are usually included in web design prices.

Icons for Web

Characteristics of an Icon

An icon serves a purpose. That purpose is to communicate something to the audience; whether to provide information or give instructions.

To fulfill this purpose, an icon must be:

  • Simple - In fact, icons should be very simple to avoid distracting or confusing the viewers. However, it should not be too simple that it cannot express the message it wants to send.
  • Widely recognizable - Some icon models are already widely recognized by the general public. For instance, error messages are usually accompanied by a widely known alert icon. Variations of it exist and are acceptable but changing it completely would likely confuse the users.
  • Aligned - Icons must match the information or concept it will stand in for and represent.
  • Concise - Icons must be as compact as possible so there is enough room for the other functions.
  • Placed correctly - Icons should be placed where they are easy to find. This means that you should understand the worldwide trends and look for patterns. For example, the hamburger menu icon is usually at the top left corner of most other websites. People have been conditioned to look there. It only makes sense that you put yours in the top left corner, as well. Consistency is key, after all.

Fun Fact: The Evolution of Icons

Icon is an important part of web design services since the internet’s conception. Needless to say, icons have evolved over the years.

Let’s go through the major evolutionary changes in web design icons.

  • 1980s - Icons were bleak and monochromatic.
  • 1990s - Icons were finally given colors, and in some instances, shadows and shades. A simple 3D feel was also added.
  • 2000s - Icons became more realistic. They were flashy, shiny, glossy, multi-layered, transparent, bigger, and better.
  • 2010s - The trend is back to basics, with simple shapes and sizes that are more natural and clean.

Throughout its evolution, though, icons have become an integral part of web design because of its effectiveness in communicating messages to the users.

Why icons important

Why are Icons Important on a Website?

Now, let us move on to the main part of our design discussion: why icons are important on a website.

  1. Icons serve as a quick summary.Attention spans are getting shorter. This poses a challenge for Sydney web design experts to communicate the message in a way that it can be quickly absorbed by the users. Icons provide a summary of the information you wish to share quickly and easily. It renders additional text unnecessary. As an example, the web design trend of infographics has replaced stats and other text heavy information, making it easier for users to absorb the information.
  2. Icons make your website pretty.Because they replace texts and other elements in your website and use images to convey and reinforce the message; it streamlines everything, making it neat and more visually appealing.
  3. Icons improves the web page’s readability.Icons help declutter your web pages and make the users’ reading experience a little less stressful. Data has shown that a site’s readability impacts user experience and user experience impacts the site’s performance. Icons are an ideal way to get rid of the clutter without losing or distorting the message you want to convey.
  4. Icons give direction.Icons point the users to where they need to go. Take Facebook as an example. Icons have replaced some of the site’s most important functions like Messages, Notifications, Friend Requests, etc. Icons tell users where and how you can further access different functions and engage more with the site.
  5. Icons help users navigate.Icons conveys messages in a visual way. This makes them ideal for navigating a website. It makes it easier and quicker for your users to locate information and services throughout the website. This enhances your users’ experience.
  6. Icons capture users’ attention.Sites without visual aids are boring. Appealing icons are the fastest and easiest way to catch your users’ attention. They are a way to reach out to existing and potential customers and ask them to give you a chance to elaborate your value proposition.
  7. Icons frame your site’s content.Icons can help you structure your content as well as draw clear separation between different functions, features, and services on the site.
  8. Icons can cross boundaries.Even if you have a niche value proposition, visitors and users of your sites may be more diverse. However, icons, especially widely recognized ones can easily be understood by a wide range of users.

Icons are Iconic

In a high pressure situation, you need to make decisions and act quickly. To do this, you need direction first. Which would you choose? A message that you have to read or a graphic image that conveys the same message? Of course, the graphic image. After all, this visual aid sends the message to your brain 60,000 times quicker.

An icon makes it easy for people to instantly understand a message and know what to do next. On websites, you want your users to quickly comprehend the information you want to convey. You also want your users to quickly and appropriately respond to your call to action. This is exactly why icons are important on a website.

Icons are the hieroglyphics of the 21st Century.  We cannot live without them and that is what makes them iconic.


SEO-Mistakes

SEO Mistakes You Need to Avoid and/or Fix

SEO optimisation is an essential part of your business’ marketing strategy. Search Engine Optimisation is the process of increasing and improving the quantity and quality of website traffic by making sure the website is visible to users of a search engine. You need to optimise your website and pages to ensure you are getting your fair share of appropriate traffic. 

SEO is always changing because search engines are always changing their algorithms based on their users’ intent. However, there are tried and tested ways that are always effective and some that are always harmful. Here is a list of the SEO mistakes you should avoid and/or fix.

SEO mistakes you 
need fix

Common SEO Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Ignoring local search optimisation. If you are a local business, perhaps you have heard about local search. If you are not optimising for local search, you are missing out big time.
  2. Choosing the wrong keywords. SEO is all about the keywords you wish to rank for. Choosing the right ones is crucial. Most people make the mistake of optimising for global keywords, generic keywords, keywords that do not convert, and broad keywords.
  3. Failing to use analytics. The main goal of SEO optimisation is not just to gain traffic, but to convert. Failing to track which keywords convert is not efficient. Sometimes you focus on keywords that bring in traffic and fail to recognise those that actually convert.
  4. Having low quality content. Focusing on the quantity rather than the quality of your content is one of the biggest SEO mistakes you can make. Users know whether or not a website’s content is relevant and unique. If they deem your content to be untrustworthy or poor, you will lose their trust and they will abandon your site.
  5. Overlooking title tags and meta descriptions. It is such a commonsense practice. These title tags have several purposes beyond SEO. They are also used for sharing your page on social media, for when someone bookmarks the page, and more importantly, to tell your users what the page is about. Meta Descriptions are also as important because it’s your sales pitch.
  6. Misusing anchor text for internal links. A call to action must be specific and seamless through an anchor text, an important SEO Linking to a different page in your website must feel seamless to your users. Additionally, using the same anchor text for each of the link in a blog post is also a mistake. Users do not like it; therefore, search engines do not like it, either.
  7. Stuffing your content with links. Focusing on the number of links rather than the quality of links is a big no no. It is better to have one high quality link than several low-quality ones. High quality links come from blogs that have gained popularity or websites by experts of a certain field. They are trusted by search engines and will do wonders for your website ranking.
  8. Not being fast or mobile-friendly. Website quality, especially loading speeds and a mobile ready experience, is crucial. In fact, experts in SEO in Sydney say mobile experience is the number one consideration of users today. If your site is not mobile-ready or does not load fast enough, you may be losing valuable traffic.

How to Fix these SEO Mistakes

  1. Include region-specific keywords in the page titles and meta descriptions. Then, add your complete and accurate business address, contact information on your pages. It also would not hurt to list your business on Yelp, FourSquare, Google Places, etc.
  2. Be specific with your keywords as possible. Choose more competitive long-tail keywords. Use tools like Google Trends, Moz Keyword Explorer, or SEMrush to find out which keywords are adequate or appropriate.
  3. Use an analytics package to compare and contrast keywords and phrases to see which ones are yielding the highest conversion. This information will help you prioritise your optimization efforts.
  4. Invest on content generators - writers, photographers, and others – who can produce original and valuable articles, images, and other content that your users will find interesting and relevant.
  5. Each one of your pages should have unique title tags and meta descriptions.
  6. Instead of generic texts like “click here” or “learn more”; say “click here to learn about our services” or “shop our latest looks.” Use variations on your anchor texts.
  7. Focus on links that are relevant to your brand. Do not link to sites related to adult content, gambling, or pharmaceuticals, etc.
  8. Invest in web development and design. Make sure that your pages load fast and that you give your users a mobile experience that wows.

It’s no secret that investing in search engine optimisation is necessary for any business to succeed in today’s market. Pay attention to these common SEO mistakes so you can avoid and/or fix them; and you can ensure that your SEO strategy yields the best outcome.


smm-in-sydney

Marketing in 2020: How to Leverage Instagram for Your Business

Any business who wants to stay relevant and competitive must keep up with the times. Social media marketing or SMM is the way to do it now. Social media platforms have evolved from merely connecting users from all over the world to becoming a powerful tool for marketing products and services.

Many businesses, big and small, have chosen one platform to engage with their target audience. We are talking, of course, of Instagram. It is the second most popular social media platform and is fast becoming a channel to discover new products and services. You, too, can jump in the bandwagon. Here is how you can leverage Instagram for your business.

Why Use Instagram for SMM?

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Today, this phrase holds true. Visual images – photos and videos – generate interest and engagement like no other medium can. Instagram can do both. In addition, there are literally hundreds of millions of Instagram users all over the world; making it a social media treasure trove for leads.

Social Media Market
Taking advantage of these Instagram features gives business owners an edge in advertising and lead generation.

How to Leverage Instagram for Your Business

  1. As with any marketing campaigns, you first need an Instagram strategy – a well-defined plan to posting and marketing.
    1. Outline your objectives. What do you want to accomplish?
    2. Define your target audience. Which users should ideally see your content?
    3. Determine the content that you will share. Your content must match your objective and be relevant and engaging to your target audience.
  2. Experts in SMM in Sydney say that like any website, your social media business page must be optimised to attract relevant traffic.
    1. Your page must include your business name and what you do. It should also show off the personality of the brand. A memorable catchphrase of hashtag is a good idea.
    2. Link in Bio. A clickable link in your Instagram bio is a good way to generate engagement with your business’ website.
    3. Regularly update your Instagram bio to keep drawing interest from existing followers or attract new ones.
  3. Build your account to attract more users.
    1. Post high quality, relevant, and engaging content on your page to build a strong follower base.
    2. Showcase your products and services, feature customers, hold posting contests and giveaways to engage existing followers and gain new ones.
    3. Post on a regular basis.
    4. Make sure your captions are clever and related to the content you are posting.
    5. Use your brand’s hashtag on every post to build your hashtag content.
    6. Most importantly, always engage with your customers by replying to comments, liking their posts or reposting their posts about you, and answering direct messages in a timely manner.
  4. Allocate funds for paid ads in order to extend the reach of your content. This is an integral part of social media marketing strategy, and one that can boost engagement from unlikely sources.

Instagram has become the perfect platform for all kinds of businesses to advertise and generate leads in. It has all the features you need to market your brand – millions of users, a strong brand culture, and an unbeatable visual component. Leverage Instagram for your business to stay relevant and engage your audiences.


Web-design-Trends

Building Your Brand through Web Design: A How To Guide

All over the world, startups are being launched, small businesses are being started, and investors are happy to dole out cash. This means is that while it is wonderful time to go into business; it can also be a tough time with all the competition. For a business to be successful, it must become a brand. Here is a guide for building your brand through web design.

Services Website Design

What is a Brand?

A brand is an ideal. It is a symbol that represents who the business is; and all the characteristics and experiences consumers associate with it. A brand can get you the customers and keep them, too.

Branding is present in almost all stages of the interaction from ads on TV, print, and other media; design of the physical store, product packaging, logo design and other visual elements, and last but, definitely, not the least, in web design.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Building Your Brand through Web Design

  1. Color in branding is crucial. Colors can influence your audience’s feelings and subconscious. Therefore, you must pick the appropriate color or color palette for your website. This choice should be based on what you want the website to say. Does your website want to convey passion or energy? Then a red color palette might be a good choice. Greens look healthy and fresh. Yellows convey cheerfulness and friendliness. Black is luxury and sophistication.
  2. What is a brand without a logo? Your brand’s logo must not only be pretty; but it must be a good representation of what your brand stands for and should be memorable to your audiences. Your chosen web design company might be able to help you create a logo that is simple, memorable, original, timeless, and will resonate with your target audience. Once you have the logo, it must be located where people can see it on the website.
  3. Experts in web design in Sydney agree that your website needs to project a uniform image for the brand to be successful. Consistency is key. Every page in your site should have the same color palette, fonts, graphics, character, formatting, etc. Consistency helps your customers remember you. This leads to brand recognition and trust.
  4. People like brands with human-like attributes so they can identify with it. One of the most important ways in building your brand through web design is establishing a personal connection with your customer through your website. You can do this by making the site more comforting or engaging. For instance, reviews from past clients, taglines that tell who you are must be displayed prominently.
  5. Make sure that visitors, especially new ones, see your value proposition on the first page. Your value proposition should concisely and clearly answer the question “What’s in it for them?” This statement must be clear and concise.
  6. The language or the “tone” you use in your website should appeal to your audience and support the brand’s character. Use words and expression appropriate to your target audience and talk to them in a human level.

Branding is an incredible way to boost business and ensure the long-term success of your company; and the best part is, it doesn’t have to be a complicated task. Follow these simple steps for building your brand through web design to get noticed and grow your business.


WordPress SEO

How to Set Up SEO on WordPress: A Search Engine Optimisation Strategy Guide

No one spends money and time in designing a website only for it to be buried in Page 7 of search engine results. A website is meant to be seen by as many people as possible. That is why search engine optimisation, or SEO, is crucial for getting relevant traffic for your website.

In this short and simplified guide, we will discuss how to set up SEO on WordPress, why it is important, and other tips to ensure your website draws your target people in.

Wordpress

First Off: Why Use WordPress?

WordPress is one of the most commonly used website builders today. While it started only as a blogging website; it has evolved to become a go-to website builder platform. Here are the reasons for WordPress’ popularity.

  • Affordable
  • Customisable themes
  • Wide range of tools, plugins, widgets & extensions
  • User-friendly tools for website building
  • Good technical support and resources
  • Inherently SEO-friendly plus extra settings that support SEO optimisation

SEO for WordPress can get technical, but don’t worry. Using the following basic tips, you can optimise and boost your WordPress site. No prior tech experience required! Let’s begin.

How to Set Up SEO on WordPress

  1. Use SEO-friendly URL Structures. SEO-friendly URLs include words that explain the page content and therefore easy to read by search engines and users. Use this basic template:  com/main category/subcategory/product-page. To do this, go to Settings > Permalink.
  2. Set up your web address. Decide whether you want to use www or a non-www URL and stick with it. Google will penalize you for having both. To choose your web address, go to Settings > General.
  3. Set up your SSL Certificate. SSL Certificates are now required for the website to appear in search results page. Experts in SEO in Sydney emphasize this step as 9 out 10 results on Page 1 have SSL Certificates. Set up a free Cloudflare account to do this.
  4. Manage your visibility settings. This might seem like a no-brainer, but some people do forget to uncheck their visibility settings. To make sure, go to Settings > Reading > Search Engine Visibility and uncheck it to allow crawlers to do their job.
  5. Install Yoast. Not only will Yoast help with content optimisation; it also does other things to help your site’s SEO.
  6. Verify your ownership. Verify that you own the website by contacting the main search engines, Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. By doing this, you don’t only stake your claim, you also get a lot of valuable data that can help you make SEO decisions along the way.
  7. Optimise your site’s XML sitemap. XML sitemap lists all the pages in the website and makes it easy for search engines to find relevant content quickly. Remember Yoast? This handy plugin also automatically configures XML sitemaps. Isn’t that useful?
  8. Speed things up. Perhaps the most important step in SEO optimisation is optimising for speed. Page loading speeds affect ranking. To optimize speed, install a WordPress plugin like WP Rocket or others.

“The more, the merrier!”, as they say. It might be cliché-y but it is true.  In life and especially in business, the more people there are, the better things will be. If you have a WordPress website or you are planning on setting one up, follow this simple guide on how to set up SEO on WordPress to invite the right kind of traffic to your site and ensure your business’ success.


Google-adWords

The Basics of Keyword Research for SEO

Keywords are an integral part of an SEO strategy. Keywords tell search engines what your website is about, what content you have there, and whether it is relevant to the user’s intent. Picking the right keywords can boost your site’s ranking on search engines. However, how do you know which ones work and which ones don’t?

In this guide, we well talk about keyword research for SEO; what it is, why it is necessary, and what can you do to effectively do it.

The Basics of Keyword Research for SEO

What is Keyword Research?

When we talk of keywords, there are literally hundreds of options. That is why researching which ones have a high search volume and fewer competition is important. This process is called keyword research.

Once you find out which keywords are appropriate, you can optimise your content around these terms. This will result in your webpages to rank in search engines when users search for the terms.

Why is Keyword Research Important for Search Engine Optimisation?

Keyword research affects all other SEO or marketing tasks you perform. They are, after all, like maps. Content topics, content promotion, on-page SEO, email outreach; all these rely on appropriate and effective keywords. They help lead your customer to where you are.

When you use the right ones, your chance of ranking in search engines become much higher. But that’s not all. Keyword research also lets you know if you are making progress or not so you can tweak your optimisation strategy. In addition, researching keywords gives you a better understanding of your target audience. It helps you understand who they are and what exactly are they searching for.

Tips for Keyword Research for SEO

  1. Brainstorm possible keyword ideas. The first step is workshopping topics your target audience might be interested in. Ask, “What topics related to my business do users search for?”

When you have general topic ideas, you can type that into Google and scroll down to the very bottom of the search page. There, you will find a goldmine of keywords related to your search term.

There are other ways to get keyword ideas such as Reddit, Wikipedia, Google and Youtube Suggest, forums, etc.

  1. Use keyword research tools. Tools like Google Keyword Planner, ExplodingTopics.com, Keywords Everywhere, Ubersuggest, SEMrush, Ahrefs, and many more make keyword research for SEO so much easier. These tools provide you with valuable information to help you decide which ones to use and which ones are not worth going after. Companies specialising in SEO in Australia can also help you do your research for you.
  1. Don’t just cram it in. Once your research has determined a list of keywords to use, you must use them strategically. You can’t just stuff as many of them in the content because that does not work. It needs to appear in the content as naturally as possible; seamlessly blending in with the rest of the content.
  1. Place them in strategic places. This includes the beginning of the title tag, the meta description, the first 100 words in the content, the image alt tags, the page’s URL, subheadings, and spread throughout the content. Important note: the number of times a keyword appears depends on the word count.

Researching keywords is the new market research. Optimising your website with the right keywords can bring a significant number of relevant traffic to your site. This makes keyword research for SEO an essential step you simply cannot miss.


web design shtudio

Printing is the Basis of Good Web Design: How to Choose a Font for Your Site

You envision it so clearly: the perfect website for your brand. You imagine every last detail so vividly. You become giddy with excitement. When you get to the process of actually building it, though, it gets a little more complicated. There are a hundred things to consider: the colors, the graphics, the images, the navigations, even the fonts. And believe it or not; fonts matter more than you think. Here’s a quick guide on how to choose a font for your site.
web-development
Fonts have power. Many people creating websites make the mistake of underestimating the power of typography. However, the right one can make the world of difference in website design. The right font will not only enhance the look and feel of the website; it can also influence people’s perception of the brand and, even, call them to action.

Web Development Basics: Categories of Fonts

Very basically, fonts come in these different categories.

  1. Serif – Serif fonts look and feel traditional largely because they have serifs (those tiny strokes or “feet” attached to the end of a larger strokes).
  2. Sans Serif – Sans literally means without. So Sans Serif fonts come without serifs. They look and feel a bit more modern than Serifs.
  3. Slab Serif – Slab serifs have serifs but they are rather thick and square.
  4. Monospaced – Monospaced fonts mimic the fonts of old typewriters. They are not advisable for websites because of its uneven spacing and can influence the site’s usability and readability negatively.
  5. Script – Scripts are decorative fonts and can be used to show personality and flair.
  6. Display – Display fonts are quite detailed, very thick, and large. These fonts are usually used as accents and are perfect for titles, subtitles, or as an attention-catcher.

How to Choose a Font for Your Site

Don’t have a font yet? Here are some things you need to consider.

  1. Your brand’s personality. Your font must convey the brand. Is your brand traditional or contemporary? Minimalist or eclectic? Serious or quirky? Choose the font that most resembles what your brand is.
  2. Web-safe fonts. Websites are for the benefit of the users. Therefore, you must make sure the font you choose (and use) is web-safe; meaning your users should be able to see them properly even if they don’t have the fonts installed in their computers. Sydney website design experts can either use a software converter to ensure fonts are web-safe or look for the closest and most similar web-safe font to use.
  3. Fonts Combinations. You need to choose more than one font for aesthetic purposes. When combining fonts, choose only 2 to 3 complimentary fonts and define a hierarchy among the three. For instance, a prominent and attention-grabbing font is your primary font and used for headings. A secondary font, one that is readable, can be used for the body text.

Picking the right font that shows off your brand’s personality, resonates with the audiences, and looks and feels good does not have to be hard. How to choose a font for your site? It’s easy.

Simply ask yourself what your goals are, what do you want your audience to feel when they see it, and how do you want your brand to be seen by the rest of the world? Answer these questions honestly and you’ll have perfect typography in your website. Choose wisely.


Search Engine Optimisation

Top 10 SEO Mistakes when Creating a New Site

Mistakes are a part of life; and a crucial part at that. In order to succeed, one must make mistakes, learn from them, never repeat them again, and make better choices moving forward. Nevertheless, there are instances, as in the case of SEO, when someone else has made the mistakes for you. Here are the top 10 SEO mistakes when creating a new site. Now, you don’t have to make them yourself to learn from them.
Seo-service

Top 10 SEO Mistakes when Creating a New Site

  1. Putting off search engine optimisation.

Thinking that SEO “can wait” is a classic mistake some people make. You should be developing an optimisation strategy whilst developing your website will save you a lot of time and trouble because it would help prevent having to redo the whole project to make it SEO-friendly.

  1. Not optimising for the Right Keywords.

There are many types of keywords. You must focus on a specific keywords; ones that don’t only bring you the most traffic but ones that bring you as many quality visitors as you can. Try to find and use the right and specific long-tail keywords that would start bringing in users that are actually interested in your offerings.

  1. Using the wrong meta description and title tags.

Every page in your website must have a unique title. It’s not only important for SEO reasons but also for perception management reasons. Say someone tweets the links to your site pages; wouldn’t it look more professional if they have descriptive, unique titles? Meta descriptions also need to be unique and persuasive to encourage users to engage with your site.

  1. Using low-quality content.

Content is everything. Without high-quality, well-written, informative, and interesting content; your site will not make a good impression on visitors. Users will lose trust on your site and your products. This will lead to negative user experience and Google SEO optimisation clearly values user experience in ranking.

  1. Having other content issues.

Besides using poorly written content, other content issues you need to watch out for includes: thin content, duplicate content, article spinning, outdated content, and many others. Remember that content is key. Users visit websites that offer them unique, high-quality content that satisfies their queries.

  1. Linking to broken pages.

Broken pages are a scourge. Broken pages are pages that don’t exist. The link that leads to broken pages must be fixed but they are easy to miss. That’s why you need professional and expert SEO optimisation services to make sure links are fixed.

  1. Ignoring existing organic traffic.

You must know, understand, and monitor the keywords you are ranking for, so you can maximise their impact. You can do this by using Google Analytics or by hiring an Australian SEO company to monitor your rank performance.

  1. Ignoring user search content.

Once your site is up and running and you do your first audit, check the user intent. This will give you an idea of the kind of content users expect when they search for a certain keyword. This will help you optimise your content and improve your ranking.

  1. Ignoring local SEO.

You must optimise your site for local search. Region-specific keywords inserted in page titles as well as meta descriptions will help. Additionally, adding addresses and other contact details will help your site show up on local results. Make sure you appear on Google Business, FourSquare, Yelp, etc.

  1. Being ugly.

Aesthetics are very important in SEO. Many CSS and design galleries will link to your website just because of its high-quality design. Your site can also be featured in design blogs. These will build up your domain’s authority.

SEO optimisation is a crucial component of your online strategy. It is also very delicate. There are a million different things that you could be doing wrong that you’re not even aware of. This list of the top 10 SEO mistakes when creating a new site will help you catch the mistakes and correct them before you do irreparable damage to your site.


Web Design

The Best Web Design and Services on the Internet

It’s no secret; a business needs a website to thrive in today’s economy. On top of that, that website needs to be well designed in order to yield the results you hope to achieve. That makes the web design process more complicated than ever. There are a hundred things to consider; from digital strategy to user experience to interface development to mobile. The list of services you need to build your dream website never ends. But it does not have to be too difficult or costly. To help get you started, here is a guide to the best web design and services on the internet. Without further ado, let us point you in the right direction.
web-design

The Best Web Design and Services on the Internet

  1. Expert360 (For Digital Strategy)

This platform helps companies, from startups to corporations to find talents. Once you’ve set up an account and post details about your project, you will get a list of suitable candidates. With the variety of expertise and pricing, you’re sure to find someone suited to your project.

  1. Upwork (For Freelancers)

Whether it’s UX or UI design, website development or design, Upwork has it all. Their clientele includes financial services providers, healthcare providers, software startups, and marketing agencies.

  1. Squarespace (For Templates and Website Builders)

Squarespace is a popular website builder offering beautiful design templates. Whether you are building an online store, a professional website, or even a blog; you can find sleek and stylish templates and get quick results. You can also add third party apps to give your site added functionality. They also offer services custom design services.

  1. Shopify (For Templates and Website Builders)

A website builder that provides you with point-of-sale and shopping cart technology; Shopify is a great choice for building an online store. Shopify primarily works with ecommerce and are able to provide their clients excellent marketing tools to promote their stores and track conversions.

  1. Wix (For Templates and Web Design)

Wix allows you to build custom & templated responsive websites. It’s practically a website builder with drag & drop functionality for those who are just starting a business or would like to “try before you buy” approach. There are also more advanced options to build a proper website on this platform..

  1. Toptal (For Finding Freelancers)

If you want to find top tier web designers and developers, Toptal is the place to go. Since it is a platform that is tech-focused, you could find the some of the best experts in web, app, and UX design; product management; and software development.

The internet is a wonderful place if you know where to look. You can find a lot of resources pertaining to planning your website’s design, designing your website, and other information to support your completed web design. There are also countless of web design companies offering services from conception to execution to support. We hope our rundown of the best web design and services on the internet help get you one step closer to the website of your dreams.


Google Business

Google My Business 2020: 13 Essentials Optimisation Points

GMB or Google My Business is Google’s instrument to help enable business owners to manage their presence on the internet. Brands seeking local exposure benefit a lot from Google My Business. Naturally, businesses needing targeted and localised visibility on Google needs this very important channel. If you are one of these businesses, then here is your guide to Google My Business 2020: 13 Essentials Optimisation Points.

A Quick Guide to Your Google Business Profile

Businesses who wish to stay ahead of the pack on search engine results usually do two things: optimize their site and optimize their Google Ads. However, there is another thing that needs optimising and that is Google business listing. Also known as your Google Business Profile, this is a free snapshot of your business that customers can quickly search and scan to learn more about you and how to interact with your business. 

Google My Business

What does a good business profile in Google look like?

  1. Photos - Images must be available to give customers an idea what the business looks like.
  2. Signs of Life – It must also have links to a working website, ratings and reviews, and other indications that the business is alive and thriving.
  3. Contact Information – A working phone number, complete address, and driving directions to the business must also be included to help customers reach out to you.
  4. FAQs – Always answer customers’ questions to invite engagement from customers.

Why do you need to optimise your Google Business Profile?

  1. To improve customer engagement
  2. To improve your local marketing
  3. To boost your business’ local ranking
  4. To improve your conversion rates

Therefore, it is imperative for businesses to make sure they have a and optimise their business profiles to make sure their business thrives.

Now, let’s talk about the 13 things you need to pay attention to when optimizing your business profile. 

Google My Business 2020: 13 Essentials Optimisation Points

  1. Google My Business Account – You need to first create a GMB account to be able to create and optimise your business profile. To create an account, all you need is a Google or a Gmail account for your business and sign up on Google.com/business.Google My Bysiness - Start
  2. Fill in everything – Filling in every section in your business profile helps Google give you a better rank in local search results. In other words, the more complete your profile is, the better it is for your local SEO. A complete profile also provides customers with all the information they need to engage with your business. The following are key information about the business that really need to be filled in:
    • Business name
    • Physical and website address
    • Phone number and other ways to contact you
    • Hours of operation

Google Business Growth

Once that’s done, you can start filling in the rest of the information such as business category, products and services, questions and answers, posts, reviews, and others.

  1. Contact information – Optimise your contact information in your business profile. The business name on your business profile must appear exactly as it does in your physical store, other signages, and other listings across other platforms and sites. Your address and contact information must be accurate and your hours of operation must be indicated correctly to inform customers and avoid disappointing them.
  2. Business description – While owners cannot control the description that appears directly below the business name in the profile; there is a “from the business” section. This appears under the “reviews.” Optimise the business description by using all 750 characters provided. Make sure to fill in the first 250 with key information. You can use the information found on your website but try not to repeat information already found in other sections.
  3. Category – You must choose a category to optimise your business profile. Be specific in choosing the right category, and when possible, choose a secondary category,
  4. Shtudio Google My Business

  5. Attributes – After choosing a category, select attributes to describe your business further.
  6. Photos – Photos tell customers that the business is active which helps your ranking. It also helps get your business in the images results. Most importantly, it increases engagement. Upload high-quality photos regularly, every few days, if possible.
  7. Reviews – Reviews influence buying behavior big time which makes them a huge ranking factor. Encourage your customers to leave a review and respond in a personalised and professional manner to each one.
  8. Posts – Create posts about events, offers, and other announcements on your business profile regularly. This increases customer engagement and tells Google your business is active.
  9. Questions – This is a tricky one because anyone can ask a question and answer them. As the owner, you must stay on top of the questions to ensure accurate responses are posted on the question section.
  10. Products and services - Add your product and services to add content to the business profile. Content helps your profile to rank better. To optimise better, add the name, product descriptions, and prices.
  11. Messaging – For added value to your customers, give them the option to send a text to your phone from your business profile. This helps increase customer satisfaction which is a key ranking factor. Enable this feature on your GMB
  12. Google My Business Strategy – The last of the 13 essentials optimisation points for Google My Business in 2020 is a strategy to maintain the business profile. Your business profile must continually evolve so it needs updated information, new posts and content every few days, a steady stream of engagement from your customers, timely responses to questions and reviews, and others. A solid strategy will ensure all these are taken care of.

We hope this guide to the 13 Essentials Optimisation Points for Google My Business 2020 will help you optimise your business profile so you can stay ahead of the pack. If you need help, then company Shtudio is always happy to help you.


Starting a Website: 8 Must-Have Things to Consider

Any business who wishes to survive in the 21st Century must have a website. In this internet age where everyone is connected and online; a website is usually the customer’s first point of contact with a company. That makes a website as essential to businesses as a physical store, if not more. Here is a guide to starting a website: 8 must-have things to consider.

Starting (finally) a website for your business is the best decision you will ever make, but you need to make sure you do it right. There are a lot of things to consider and decisions to make but let us make the process simpler and easier to follow. Here the 8 most important things you need to think about before you embark on this crucial journey.

Starting a Website: 8 Must-Have Things to Consider

 

8 Must-Have Things to Consider for Starting a Website

  1. Find your purpose.

What do you want your website to do? Do you simply want to inform? Do you want to raise awareness of your brand? Do you want people to sign up or subscribe? Do you want to promote events and have people attend them? Do you want to be able to sell products and services?

The point is, just like everything else in life, a clear goal is very important. This helps you make decisions clearly and more logically. Your website’s purpose will determine design and development elements, as well as priorities, and even budgets.

Some might say they want their website to be able to do it all; a one-stop shop, so to speak. The problem with that is users might be overwhelmed and fail to engage with the site. Additionally, without a clear goal, you will be pulled in different directions and that will make the web design and development a nightmare, and an expensive one at that, for both you and the website company you hire for the job.

Thus, it’s necessary to pick 1 or 2 clear goals for your website; and prioritise design decisions around those goals.

  1. Take an inventory.

A lot of businesses already have websites that need to be updated. Some think an update is necessary because the site is old. However, there are other reasons to update a website. And for this, you need to take a long and hard look at your current site and see what works and what does not.

How is the navigation menu? Is it too complicated and heavy? Look at the aesthetics of the site. Do the colors complement each other? Do the fonts match? How about the images and other media content? Are they high-quality and relevant and engaging to your users?

Be very objective about this inventory or ask web design and development experts do an inventory for you so they spot issues without bias. Additionally, check your competitors’ website to see what theirs look like or how theirs work and then compare it with your own.

  1. Decide how you would like to be seen.

Chances are, there are hundreds of businesses just like you. With these many options, it is harder and harder to get customers to do business with you. Since the customer’s first point of contact is your website, they must see what kind of business you are. Are you experts in your field? What are your expertise and specialisations? Are you fun and personable? They must see your values and your propositions, so they can decide whether to engage with you.

  1. Know who you serve.

Communication should always be for the benefit of the listeners. The same applies for websites. Remember that the website is always for the users not the business owner. Therefore, design for your target customers. If you have the budget, you can hire experts in website development in Sydney to do an in-depth analysis; but if not, you must have a very specific idea of the demographic you are trying to reach out to. You must understand their needs, wants, and aspirations. What drives them to buy a product? Why do they go online? What do they search for? Knowing this could inform your website design decisions.

Start New Website - Shtudio

 

  1. Get inspired.

What websites do you love and what about it do you love? What websites do you dislike and what about it do you dislike? If you could provide this information to your web designer, they will have an idea of how to help you set up your own website, from navigation to aesthetics to your values.

  1. Come up with a web traffic plan.

Needless to say, websites are pointless when there is no traffic. Before starting a website, one of the 8 must-have things to consider is a traffic plan. How are you going to get people through the door? Techniques include SEO, marketing campaigns on social media and EDM, TV and radio ads, among others.

  1. Appoint a manager.

Consider who will be managing your website. Ensure they are right fit because managing a website is akin to managing a physical store. You can’t just set up the site and leave it to fend for itself. A website, like a physical store, needs constant refreshing so it can stay relevant to your customers. It also requires a human being to answer any questions your customers might have about your products and services. Therefore, your manager must not only know the company inside out; they must also be knowledgeable in web design and development, content management and others.

  1. Come up with conversion plan.

Websites are easy to make but will do what it’s supposed to do? Can it convert? A conversion plan will help your website achieve your goals and determine the steps to achieve the goals. For this, you might want to employ website development experts in Sydney. They can help you create a customised step by step conversion plan that will help your site convert.

A website is a crucial tool of any trade, A business simply can’t survive and thrive in the 21st Century without a website. If you are considering starting or updating your website, here are the 8 must-have things to consider before starting a website.


May Google Core Algorithm Update: First Data

In keeping up with the unexpectedness and overall unpleasantness of 2020; on May 4th, Google rolled out its second core update on search algorithm of the year. Within two weeks of its release, the volatility in SERPs has increased in ways some in websites have not anticipated. Here is all you need to know about the May Google Core Algorithm Update: First Data.

The Impact in Numbers

The May update is the second core update this year. The first one in January caused an average volatility of 8 points. The May update caused every category to reach volatility rates of at least 9 points. This means that the May update is so much stronger and would likely have bigger implications as the weeks go by.

First Things First: Do an SEO Status Check

The first obvious thing to do after an update is to check your ranking. Check if it has improved or not. Check your website’s traffic to see if there are any changes.

There are a number of ways to do this. You can log into Google Analytics to see what the update has done to your site’s traffic.

As with any major roll outs, there would be noticeable changes in search results across the board. As a result, some will be affected positively; while others will experience negative effects.

Here is a short summary of who won and lost during the May core update.
Google Core Algorithm Update

 

May Google Core Algorithm Update: Big Wins and Big Losses

As with every algorithm update, some industries will gain some and others will lose some. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is not surprising that searches related to the following have gone down:

  • travel and tours,
  • socialising
  • live events
  • other social activities

The biggest impact of the May update has been on desktop and mobile searches of the following industries:

  • Travel
  • Real Estate
  • Health
  • Pets and Animals
  • People and Society

Those Who Won

After the May update rollout, industries that gained search engine results page popularity include the following:

  1. News
  2. Business and Industrial
  3. Online Communities
  4. Arts and Entertainment
  5. Health
  6. People and Society
  7. Shopping
  8. Internet and Telecom
  9. Beauty and Fitness
  10. Pets and Animals

Google Search Update - ShtudioThose That Lost

With COVID-19 in full bloom and everyone on stay at home orders; in-person entertainment industries have seen massive losses. Take Eventbrite, a website for event management and ticketing has lost a lot of ground. Here are the industries that were negatively impacted by the May google core algorithm update:

  1. Arts and Entertainment
  2. Online Communities
  3. Business and Industrial
  4. Games
  5. News
  6. Shopping
  7. Pets and Animals
  8. Computer and Electronics
  9. People and Society
  10. Internet and Telecom

What to Do?

Here are some things you could do to get through this update.

  1. Content is key. Make sure to provide original, fresh, insightful and interesting information, facts, or analysis. Additionally, ensure that your content is extensive, accurate, complete, and comprehensive. Top it off with aa headline or title that is descriptive, interesting, and provides a preview of the content. Do everything you can to make your content something that users will want to bookmark, share or recommend to friends and other people.
  2. Keep your content relevant. Check and update your content every few weeks and every few days, if possible. Add new information, delete outdated information, and rewrite entire articles whenever necessary. Do what you need to keep your content up to date and relevant for the users.
  3. Fatten up thin content. Thin content is content that has no value, for instance pages with very little or no content whatsoever. Websites that have thin content on any of its pages are more likely to be negatively impacted by the update. What should you do? Fatten it up to make sure each page in your site is useful and engaging to your users. Don’t just add a bunch of meaningless words, make the content coherent and interesting.
  4. Fix search engine optimization According to initial analysis, the more SEO optimisation errors as site has, the bigger the impact. The type of error also matters. For instance, duplicate meta descriptions and title tags are detrimental.
  5. Expertise, Authority, Trust; three words that is fast becoming a catchphrase. With the vast amount of information available online, search engines are prioritising sites that offer factual, trustworthy information given by renowned subject matter experts and other persons with authority on the topic.
  6. Beat the competition. Compared to your competition, your site and content must provide substantial value and benefit for the users and visitors. In other words, keep your users happy so your competition does not have to.

Any major update, especially one as big as the May Google core algorithm update: first data, is bound to bring about a lot of changes. Some might benefit from the change; while others will not. The key thing to remember is that to beat the system; different manipulative tactics just won’t work. To win, your core focus must be better than everyone else in catering to the interest and needs of the users. Do that and you will win in any algorithm update.

Shtudio — graphic design & web development, Sydney Australia


Shtudio Web Design

Powerful Web Design Tools for 2020

Websites have come a long way from simple web pages to appealing, feature-packed, navigable labyrinth that is crucial for businesses that wish to succeed in the 21st Century. Web design has evolved into a multistage process that includes iteration, development of prototype, testing, and implementation, among others. With all these stages, web designers must harness the powerful web design tools for 2020.

Why Web Design Matters

The design is one of the most important parts of the entire website. The design affects how your audience sees your brand and everyone knows that first impressions are crucial. If a website is not aesthetically pleasing and hard to navigate; users are going to leave and turn to your competitors. On the other hand, a website that is well designed and user-friendly keeps users on the page.

Now that we understand how important a website’s design is; let us talk about the tools we can use.

Web site design

 

The Most Powerful Web Design Tools for 2020

  1. InVision Studio – Many web design companies and experts swear by InVision Studio; and for good reason. It is packed with features that make it easy for web designers to create interactive interfaces. It also includes additional tools such as boards, freehand, prototyping, and studio that can help with creating prototypes as well as collaborative and responsive designs. It also includes custom transitions and animations with simple gestures to make web pages easy to navigate. Another benefit is its compatibility because InVision is operable on almost all operating systems and browsers.
  1. Adobe XD – Need to do online projects? Adobe XD is the most ideal platform. While they come from the same family, XD’s interface is quite different from other Adobe environments. Nevertheless, it provides you with features and tools that keeps evolving to keep up with new web design It can be operated on any operating system. It allows you to import your designs via Creative Cloud, so you can work on them using Photoshop’s features. XD is a favorite among web design experts in Australia because of its simple, clean, and user-friendly interface and its tools and features.
  2. Figma (our personal favourite) – This interface design tool is great for real-time collaborations between several designers. Figma is also operable on most operating systems, making collaborations easy. It is also packed with helpful tools and add-ons, making it a delight to use.
  3. Sketch - One of the most common of the tools is Sketch. Sketch has a vector tool that helps designers create and develop prototypes and interfaces. This quick and easy tool only has what you need and none of the unnecessary features; making it especially useful for making apps and websites. Making edits and revisions on Sketch is so much easier than in Photoshop. Designers love the minimalist feel of this tool. Although, Sketch is currently only accessible on Mac; there are workarounds such as downloading an app called Lunacy, to access it on Windows.
  4. UXPin – A tool that is quickly gaining fame, UXPin is a prototyping app. It is accessible on most operating systems and browsers. Like other design tools, designers can simulate interactions by making the different elements on the artboard interact. However, what sets UXPin apart is it gets close to the code, allowing designers to work on code components and other interactions.
  5. FlowMapp – The design process is, unfortunately, not a straightforward process. We all like to imagine designers creating to their heart’s delight but there is more to the design process. Thanks to FlowMapp’s simple and intuitive design, you can consolidate the design process. You can create flow charts, graphs, and maps. It helps designers show their clients a visualisation of the flow of the website and its pages. It also helps you organise your web page’s positions and forecast your user’s journey so you can ensure that their needs and expectations are met.
  6. Adobe Dreamweaver – Another tool where you can directly code the design; Adobe Dreamweaver lets you design a website even if you do not have special programming skills or knowledge, although ideally you should. Instead of using templates, you can design and develop the exact website look and feel you are going for by using HTML. This lets you create responsive designs that work great across multiple devices without affecting user experience.
  7. PhotoShop – Photoshop is the mother of all web design tools. Since its creation 30 years ago, Photoshop has inspired other tools’ creation and development. Photoshop is a pillar of the web design industry and its quality cannot be questioned. While it is not a tool for amateurs and new designers; experienced designers will surely appreciate this tool. Photoshop helps designers create beautiful and visually pleasing designs, prints, and patterns.

Designing websites is all fun and games until you realise the amount of work and details that go into it. Luckily, these powerful web design tools for 2020 are available. And in the hands of skilled designers, these tools can be harnessed to create the website of your dreams.

Web Company - Shtudio


Covid and Seo

The Impact of COVID-19 on Digital Marketing and Economics

Most of us have never experienced anything like this before. The Novel Coronavirus (or COVID-19) has turned the whole world upside down; infecting millions of people, killing thousands, shutting down borders, closing down industries and whole economies, and forcing people to stay inside their homes for the foreseeable future. Different sections of the economy have been impacted in different ways. Some industries are winning big time while others have screeched to a halt. Let us discuss the impact of COVID-19 on digital marketing and economics.

Digital Marketing Shtudio

Digital Marketing is Winning

COVID-19 is a human tragedy. However, there is no denying that COVID-19 is a crisis that has also threatened businesses and jobs. However, evidence suggests that digital marketing agencies may be looking at a great forward leap.

Why? Here are just some of the reasons:

  • Online shopping sites are a more convenient and more responsible alternative to going outside, lining up for hours, and buying at supermarkets (which are basically Petri dishes of human germs and dirt).
  • Ecommerce sites are getting a lot of traffic whether they are selling essential or non-essential goods.
  • People use the internet as a source of education, entertainment, and others.
  • Social media and other online platforms are the best tools we have to stay in touch with family and friends while we are under lockdown.
  • News sites are the source of information and updates about the disease and the measures being taken.

No one sees billboards, newspaper ads, or even TV ads anymore because people are staying off the streets, events are being canceled, and fewer people watch TV in lieu of streaming services. Where did all the people go? Online. Ads on social media, blogs, and websites are more visible than they have ever been.

Now, more than ever, strong and coherent digital marketing strategies are necessary to provide users with what they need to survive during the onslaught of this deadly virus.

trends-digital-marketing

How Should Digital Marketing Agencies Respond to the Impact of COVID-19 on Digital Marketing?

  • Sensitivity is key. COVID-19 has and still is affecting millions of people all over the world every day and you need to be sensitive about this, whether you are impacted or not. For instance, words like viral, killer, contagious, and other words that can be associated with the disease are now red flags and should be avoided at all costs.
  • Positivity over humor. Marketing campaigns must be creative, witty, and attention-grabbing in a positive way. However, the use of humor might be dangerous at this time because people might misconstrue your message. Instead of going for funny; try positive and inspiring messaging.
  • Set up a quality control task force. Before any kind of content is published or any outgoing communication is sent; it is extremely important that they are checked by as many people as possible to decrease the chances of anything inappropriate.
  • Evaluate and adjust. Things are changing very fast. New developments in the disease mean that constant evaluation and adjustment of your current marketing strategies are necessary to ensure that you remain current and relevant.
  • Be ethical. Whether you are a digital marketing agency or a small business or a B2B; ethics is an absolute must. Retain your staff, if you can. Pay suppliers and deliver on your promises to your customers. Give back to the community by supporting food banks and other projects. Not only is this the right thing to do; it can also be used as a subject for your content marketing.

The world has become digital and that is why digital marketing strategies are more relevant now. Business owners and digital marketers must be ready to face the impact of COVID-19 on digital marketing and economics by learning to adapt as new and unique challenges and opportunities emerge.


Startup small business

What to Do If a Bad Review Bothers Your Small Business

No matter how good your intentions are and despite your best efforts; you can’t make everyone happy. Every business, big and small, has had to deal with negative reviews. No one wants a bad evaluation; no one especially likes a bad evaluation announced to the public. Nevertheless, a bad review presents a unique opportunity not only to improve your services but also to strengthen public perception about you and your brand. Here’s what you need to do if a bad review bothers your small business.

The Importance of Online Reviews

Reviews are incredibly crucial for businesses. Everything is digital today. Customers rely on other people’s reviews to find out which businesses or brands they want to engage with. Why are online reviews so important?

  • Personal Recommendation - According to survey estimates, more than 80% of online consumers equate reviews to personal recommendations and are significantly influenced by them.
  • Trustworthiness - Consumers see reviews as trustworthy because they are not influenced by the businesses but come from people who have first-hand experience with them.
  • Digital Marketing – Reviews are an important SEO driver. They improve your search engine ranking. In fact, the more high-quality (i.e. long and detailed) reviews you have, the more trustworthy the site would be. This will boost your search engine rankings.
  • Engagement - Reviews give businesses the opportunity to engage with their customers, which helps build loyalty and trust.

Small Business Development

Bad Reviews are Important for Small Business Development

It won’t surprise you that most businesses try their best to get as many positive reviews as they can. It’s also not hard to imagine why a business tries to get a few negative ones as possible. However, bad reviews are just as important as good ones, if not more.

  1. Reality check. It’s easy to be blinded when you don’t see what is going on in the frontlines. Bad reviews tell business owners about the glitches and the loopholes in the whole operation. They also give you insights about how customers see your business.
  2. Room for improvement. In relation to #1, bad reviews tell business owners the areas that can be improved. This can help you build better products or offer better services.
  3. Customer understanding. With bad reviews, you gain an understanding of who your customers are, what they are interested in, where they are, and what they need and want. This could help, for instance, in your strategy for your small business website design in Sydney or other cities.
  4. Worst-case prep. Bad reviews give potential customers a glimpse of the worst thing they can experience in dealing with a business. This gives them a better understanding of their options.
  5. Too good to be true. Positive reviews are well and good but too many of them seem fake.
  6. Manage your rep. Finally, and possibly most importantly, bad reviews help you manage your online reputation. A well-executed, sincere, polite, tactful, helpful, authentic, personal response to a bad review can work wonders for your reputation.

What To Do If a Bad Review Bothers Your Small Business

  1. Never reply angrily. This could damage your reputation beyond repair. See if this has happened before or not and come up with a strategy to respond. But don’t take too long.
  2. Acknowledge and apologize. It doesn’t matter whose fault it is, a customer experienced something negative, so you must acknowledge that and apologize. Show genuinely regret.
  3. Be personal and authentic. Template responses are not a good idea. A personalized response is effective in calming customers down and shows others that you really care. Be sincere.
  4. Take the details offline. Once you have publicly responded in a tact, take action offline.
  5. Deliver on your promises. Solve the customer’s problems, answer questions, and act on the issue in a timely manner.
  6. Provide an update. Go back to the public comment and thank the customer for the feedback and provide an update of what has been done so far.
  7. Chalk it up to learning experiences. Learn from the mistake and use the experience to better your services.

If a bad review bothers your small business, take it as a unique challenge and opportunity to improve your business, and impress your customers.


COVID-19 and Why SEO is More Important

COVID-19 and Why SEO is More Important Than Ever

Across the world, cities are being locked down. The way of life has drastically changed overnight. Markets are crashing, economies are stalled, and people are asked to stay indoors (and guard their toilet paper). That is why being online is going to be extremely crucial over the next few weeks, even months. Let’s talk about COVID-19 and why SEO is more important than ever.

Epidemic coronavirus

COVID-19 not-so-fun facts

COVID-19 is a virus strain, the flu with an excellent brand identity. The first reported outbreak of the new coronavirus started in Wuhan, China late 2019 and is now in at least 140 countries. The symptoms of this include dry cough, tiredness, and fever. Some people, however, who contract the virus don’t develop any symptoms at all; making the virus even scarier as asymptomatic people who are not tested can infect others unknowingly.

While 80% recover from the illness; the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions are disproportionately more likely to become seriously ill or die from the infection. But I’m sure we’ve all heard enough about this on the news already. In fact, this is ALL we are hearing right now.

Quarantine - coronavirus

COVID-19 and Why SEO is More Important Than Ever

Search engines like Google took it upon themselves to organize the world’s information and make it relevant and totally accessible. The process of search engine optimization is their way of helping people find the information they are looking for.

Now more than ever, the importance of SEO, as well as the strategies of an SEO agency, is paramount. Done right, SEO helps people get the correct information to remain healthy and, as more and more people spend more time at home, have some semblance of normalcy amidst worldwide fear and panic.

Work at home - SEO

How SEO Helps People

  1. Helps Locate Relevant Information – With a solid SEO content strategy, you can help people find information regarding the disease, how to prevent it, local resources, best practices, and other need-to-know facts and figures. Keeping the public informed helps in preventing the spread of the virus.
  2. Normalises Day-to-Day Life – As cities go on lockdown, people are required to stay at home to help flatten the curve. People, therefore, turn to online businesses to meet their daily needs like food, supplies, among other things. SEO helps people find relevant businesses that can meet their requirements.
  3. Prevents the Spread of Misinformation – In a crisis like this, the spread of misinformation is just as dangerous, if not more, than the disease itself. SEO helps filter content and direct users to relevant and credible information sources to keep people informed.
  4. Enables Productivity – More and more employees and students are now required to work from home to hold back the spread of the new coronavirus. SEO helps them remain productive by optimizing their searches, directing them to useful websites, applications, and distance learning resource materials where they can still meet with colleagues and friends to continue work as usual, or at least, as close to usual as possible.

These are terrifying times, indeed. No one knows how and when this will end. During the outbreak of COVID-19, SEO is more important than ever because until this is over; people need access to relevant, useful, and correct information to help keep them safe and healthy and help them live their lives as normal as possible in the face of this global pandemic.

In other words, people will stay home and search for stuff, more than ever before. So if your business is nowhere to be found and you heavily relied on people physically walking in – you may have to rethink your strategy moving forward.


top 10 blogs for web development

Best 10 Blogs for Web Development of 2020

Human beings have an incredible capacity for learning. However, there are times when one cannot do it on their own. That is why, according to the age-old, sound advice, when in doubt, seek professional help. In web development, the same goes. It does not matter whether you are an expert web developer or a novice; we can all use a bit of help and advice. Hence, we turn to experts. Here is our list of 2020’s best 10 blogs for web development.

The Value of Web Development Blogs

Obviously, books and magazines are great information sources, but website development blogs provide you with the most up-to-date, freshest, not to mention free, content.

Blogs provide knowledge, links, and other information in different niches. However, like anything in life, the more choices you have, the easier it is to get overwhelmed and the harder it is to actually choose. With that in mind, we have compiled our favorite web development blogs.

Blogs for web

Best 10 Blogs for Web Development

  1. CSS-Tricks – If you are looking for a place to learn about building websites, and all its important aspects such as web performance, how CSS and other technologies (i.e. HTML, JavaScript, etc.) are connected, extensible component development, and many more, CSS-Tricks is where you should go. As a bonus, CSS-Tricks also features a diverse range of staff and guest writers to give readers a plethora of wide-ranging content.
  2. CodePen Blog – Web developers swear by CodePen. It is an indispensable tool for many developers. It is also a good place to find inspiration, test ideas, see examples from other developers, and learn how to code. This blog is especially useful if you frequently use Pens.
  3. Creative Bloq – Don’t be fooled by the artsy and designy vibes of Creative Bloq. Here you can learn a lot of useful information about CSS animation, grid systems, Big Data, 3D modeling, HTML, JavaScript, graphic design, and, literally, a whole lot more.
  4. Smashing Magazine – For those seeking to improve their front-end skills, Smashing Magazine is an excellent resource. Here you can learn coding, user experience, design, mobile development, as well as CMS.
  5. Codrops – A favorite among many a web development agency in Sydney, Codrops provides its audience with the latest relevant articles and tutorials. Beginners and experts alike will benefit from many of its videos which walk them through different processes like UI design, image formatting, page animations and many more. They also have an inspiring web development experiment playground to test out new ideas. Fun!
  6. CSS Author – CSS Author gives you access to free stuff like templates and themes, resource materials, tutorials, CSS articles, tricks and techniques, coding information, PSD design tools, and many more.
  7. io – For those with a bit more development experience, Scotch.io is perfect for you. They have tutorials on PHP, JavaScript, etc.; coding courses; and other resource material to help you up to your coding prowess.
  8. Tuts+ - With thousands of tutorials on coding, design, as well as useful articles on WordPress, Python and other backend languages, among others; Tuts+ is a staple among self-study coders and a trusted source for website design Sydney.
  9. Design Shack – Design Shack is a one-stop-shop for CSS, HTML, PHP, JavaScript, layouts, graphics, navigation, software, UX design, mobile, and many more.
  10. Tutorialzine – Tutorialzine is a tutorial hub for CSS, HTML5, JavaScript, jQuery, PHP, etc. They also have a list of relevant resources and many freebies. Here you can also find the latest programming news and productivity tips.

Both amateur and seasoned web developers need to enhance their skills and knowledge. That is why it is very important to scour resource materials, especially the internet, to see what others are up to. Head over to one of these 10 best blogs for web development to learn and get inspired today!


navigation website

Advantages and Disadvantages of Minimal Navigation in Web Design

Visit any website these days and you will probably come across the Hamburger. The hamburger menu icon is just one of the ways designers are making websites look and feel simpler. The minimalist user interface is one of the biggest web design trends in the last few years. However, what is the advantages and disadvantages of minimal navigation in web design?

What is Minimal Navigation in Design?

First, let us define minimal web design. It means removing everything except the irreducible minimums necessary that ensure usability in web design. For instance, tabs, menus, and content that are unnecessary are removed while the most necessary elements are retained and highlighted. The point is to take as much clutter away as possible: no tabs or pop-ups or dropdown menus.

Minimal navigation on a website means that the navigation is kept to a minimum. Users of the website should not have to do a lot searching, browsing, or even clicking to get to the information they want. Because it results in positive user experience; minimal navigation websites have become a trend in web design in Sydney, and indeed, around the world.

However, just like any trend, there are pros and cons to minimal navigation design.

minimal navigation

Advantages and Disadvantages of Minimal Navigation in Web Design

Let’s start with the advantages.

  1. Small is the New Black.

Because everything is done on mobile devices these days; people have become accustomed to small elements such as the hamburger menu and other streamlined items. Users are then confused or become frustrated when a website assaults them with too many elements.

  1. It’s easy for the users.

People nowadays are seemingly always on the go. Minimal navigation styles help users find out what they want in the least amount of time and with the least amount of effort. Websites that make people do a lot of things lose those people. Experts in UI and UX design in Sydney take ease-of-use very seriously because the fewer users have to do to get what they want, the longer they stay on your site.

  1. No information overload.

Minimal navigation leaves room for expansion (i.e. pop-out menu or extended navigation panels). If and whenever possible, designers can offer additional information and content neatly tucked away. That’s the best part: everything is flexible without overloading the users with information.

  1. Design Your Heart Out

In a minimal navigation design, the canvas is clean; leaving you with room to design to your heart’s content.

  1. Clear Call to Action

Minimal navigation also leaves room for clear calls-to-action or other elements you want to highlight for your users to see and respond to.

Menu Navigation

Now, let’s talk about the disadvantages.

  1. Users Might Need a Map

Users, especially those unfamiliar with icons, might get lost. You might want to study your site’s analytics to remedy this issue and plan your design elements and icons accordingly.

  1. The content might be buried.

Minimal navigation keeps a site’s content hidden somewhere. This might lead to users not finding what they are looking for. The clever design will help keep navigation to a minimum but still show the site’s content.

  1. There is potential for low engagement.

Some users might not recognize icons such as the hamburger. Ergo, they don’t engage (click). For this, consider using buttons because they tend to be more clickable.

  1. SEO might be slightly negatively impacted.

Fewer words or other content on the page make it difficult for robots to understand what’s on the site.

  1. There is potential to overdesign.

With room to design, the icons or buttons users need to click on to move through the pages might get lost in the graphics.

There is a lot of room for creativity and innovation in the minimal navigation website design area. It also offers a lot of opportunities as well as challenges. There are obvious advantages and disadvantages of minimal navigation in web design. Nevertheless, web designers must evolve and continue to get on with the times.


Seo & Web Design Shtudio

SEO Success: Can Website Design Affect the Promotion?

A business in the 21st Century needs a website; and one that looks great. It also needs search engine optimization to bring in traffic. Design and SEO go hand in hand. For SEO success, can website design affect the promotion? It sure can. Your web design has a huge impact on your business’ online presence and, therefore, should be a part of your marketing strategy. Great web design goes far beyond making a positive visual impact; it also makes it easier and better for users and search engines to use the site.

SEO Optimization

Here’s How Website Design Affects the SEO Promotion

  1. Aesthetics

The goal is when users use search engines to find a product or a solution, they should be able to find your business’ website. However, if your site looks outdated and poorly designed; users are discouraged from engaging with it. They will exit and go back to the search page. That’s not just a lost opportunity to convert. What’s worse is this tells search engines that your site was not able to address the user’s questions; pushing your site further down the ranking. Therefore, it’s essential to spend a lot of time and effort in making the website’s appearance and feels beautiful.

  1. Navigation Ease

Besides making the site look pretty, web development must also focus on ease of use. Your website must be designed to be easy to use and navigate. Navigation must be intuitive and easy because it makes users stay longer on the site. If it is easy to find the information they are looking for, users are bound to come back. This tells search engines to push your site to the top of the ranks.

  1. Page Loading Speed

As search engines defer to the users’ experience; page speed is increasingly becoming one of the most important factors used to determine to rank. If your web pages load fast, users will be happy and would probably visit again. This will help boost your search engine ranking. Avoid heavy images, pop-ups, flash plugins, and other unnecessary items that could slow down your loading speed.

  1. Mobile Readiness

Because more people are on mobile devices than traditional computers; Google and other search engine algorithms give priority to websites who are mobile devices ready.  Your website cannot just look good on computers; they must look and feel good on all devices. Your content must be designed for all screen sizes.

Website Development: Design Dos and Don’ts

  • Do use legible text. Fonts must be big enough, clear, and easy to read. Additionally, use colors that are visually appealing. If your content is hard to read, users are going to leave.
  • Don’t use pop-ups. No one likes pop-ups. They are irritating and make the page load slower. If they cannot be avoided, use very few and use them after you have already established some trust with them. Do not use them as soon as the users click on your website.
  • Do mute videos. If your page features videos that automatically play, make sure they are muted.
  • Don’t use big files. Big files make loading a page slower. As already established, slow-loading pages irritate users and discourage any more interaction with the website.
  • Do use good layouts. Make sure the website is uncluttered, the answers are the easily-locatable using heading tags, and enough white space is present.
  • Don’t use poor content. High-quality and relevant content will encourage more user engagement. Content is part of any good search engine optimization

Conclusion

Can Website Design Affect SEO Success? The short and true answer is yes. A website that is well-designed, easily navigable, fast, and mobile-ready has better chances of ranking high on search engines. It also, therefore, has more chances of getting traffic and conversion. Web design is a crucial part of any business’s SEO strategy if they want to succeed in the 21st Century marketplace.


SWOT analysis - SHTUDIO

Conducting a SWOT Analysis for Your Business

Most people see the letters SWOT and break into a cold sweat. It’s one of those business productivity concepts that intimidate most people. Nevertheless, conducting a SWOT analysis for your business is a crucial first step in any marketing strategy. It’s not as difficult and as time-consuming as one might think, and it could also be a lot of fun. Most importantly, doing it helps you see the business in a whole new light.

What is SWOT Analysis?

SWOT analysis is used by companies to evaluate the business’ performance as well as the competitions’ objectively. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats and is an exhaustive list of the four parameters mentioned above. Strengths and weaknesses are internal parameters and are controllable and changeable. Opportunities and threats are external parameters and are not controllable and changeable.

The whole point of conducting a SWOT analysis is to help businesses develop a better, stronger, and more realistic business strategy by ensuring you take a tally of the strengths and weaknesses, as well as opportunities and threats the business faces.  See how straightforward it is?

Digital marketing strategy - SHTUDIO

How to Conduct a SWOT Analysis for Your Business

  1. Assemble the team.

SWOT analyses are best conducted by a group of people who see the company from different angles. Therefore, ensure that every department is represented when conducting the analysis. This is to make sure that different insights are taken into account. A representative team is also a wonderful opportunity for team building, participation, and encouraging buy-in.

  1. Evaluate your strengths.

Strengths are the business’ positive points; things that the company is doing well and are giving it the advantage over the competition. Ask questions like:

  • What does the business do well?
  • What advantages does the business have over the competition?
  • What internal resources do you have that add value to the company (i.e. positive people attributes and tangible assets)?
  1. Evaluate your weaknesses.

Weaknesses are the business’ areas for improvement. It’s important to be completely honest when evaluating weaknesses. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a distorted view and you won’t be able to address the gaps that need to be addressed. Ask questions like:

  • What could businesses do better?
  • Which areas need to be improved to achieve the business goals or compete with the competition?
  • What does the business lack (i.e. employees’ attributes or tangible assets)?
  1. Evaluate opportunities.

Opportunities are everywhere. The key is recognizing them and then acting on the ones that you feel will add value to the business. Ask questions like:

  • What are the current trends that you can take advantage of to sell more or expand?
  • What changes are happening in the market to create an opportunity?
  1. Evaluate the threats.

Threats are things that can affect your business negatively. The key, again, is recognizing them, if possible before they occur, and proactively deal with them before they become larger and harder to deal with. Ask questions like:

  • Who’s your competition (existing or potential ones)?
  • What factors or situations could place the business at risk?
  • Are there shifts in regulation or consumer behavior that could threaten the business?
  1. Develop a plan.

After evaluating your business’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats are, it’s time to develop both short-term and long-term strategies.  Create action plans to keep improving your strengths, address your weaknesses, take advantage of the opportunities, and mitigate the threats.

Today’s businesses might have changed but the concepts remain the same. To develop an effective digital marketing strategy or any business strategy, conducting a SWOT analysis for your business is an absolute must.


Seo text for web site

How to Optimize Blog Content for Search Engines

Search engine optimization, SEO, is a very powerful tool harnessed by web developers, digital marketing specialists, and business owners. When a website is optimized for search engines well; it becomes more visible to users and has a greater chance of converting. Blogs, too, are very useful tools. Regular blog posts help you utilize many long-tail keywords that people are searching for, it keeps prospects on your site longer, among other benefits. Blogs that are optimized for SEO really help websites organically rank on search engines. Here’s how to optimize blog content for search engines.

Seo Content Web site

SEO Content Strategy: What is it?

Let’s break it down into parts. SEO is the optimizing a website for search engines so that it ends up on a spot on the results page where people can see it. Content, on the other hand is any information that can be found on the internet.

SEO content, then, is any content that is created specifically to attract search engine traffic. Some examples of SEO content include:

  • product pages;
  • articles;
  • videos, photos and other media;
  • blog posts, and many more.

You cannot just haphazardly create content and then cross your fingers and pray that it somehow ends up in the top of the search engine ranks. Hint: it doesn’t work that way. You need a foolproof SEO content strategy, a plan for which you produce content, to ensure it attracts the right kind of users. Many SEO agencies offer this service because it is incredibly useful and effective.

How to Optimize Blog Content for Search Engines

  1. Less is more. Optimizing is not about quantity but about quality. Stuffing blog posts with lots of keywords doesn’t work. Instead, keep the keywords to a minimum, say, 1-2 long-tail keywords; just make sure they match your users’ intent. Additionally, place them in strategic places in the blog. Where? Experts say place them in the URL, the title tag, headers & body, and the meta description.
  2. Invest in responsive design. More people now use mobile devices than regular computers. Make sure your blog site is mobile-friendly because search engines display them first.
  3. Make pictures speak. You can’t expect people to read a 1000-word blog post and not get bored. Your blog posts should also have images but to optimize them, make sure you give each one an image alt text. Search engines can’t see the images so they look for the alt text when users search something.
  4. Go for evergreen content. Evergreen content are content that are relevant and have a long shelf life, meaning valuable for a long time, even if it needs some minor updating. Evergreen content helps your blog generate leads over time, rank for a longer period, and keeps traffic coming. It’s also worth noting that you must update existing content and remove any that is already outdated.
  5. Link back to yourself. Whenever possible, link back internally. This tells search engines that your topics are relevant, valid, and not haphazardly created.

A blog is one of your best parts of any website and also a crucial and powerful SEO tool. Each blog post is an chance to improve your website’s search ability and validity. These tips on how to optimize blog content for search engines will help your website rise to the top of the ranks.


Design Web in Sydney - Shtudio

8 Simple Principles of Website Design and Usability

There are billions of websites online right now. If you want to stand out, you must focus on both design and usability. Web design is where function meets design. Other than website usability, users are looking for pleasing aesthetic. Each target demographic has their own expectations regarding design and function. The key is knowing what those expectations are and acting on them. With that in mind, here are the 8 simple principles of website design and usability to keep your visitors engaged, informed, and, most of all, willing to buy.

Web design in sydney

Simple Principles of Website Design

    1. Keep it simple. Sure, the design makes a difference. Slick websites are attractive. However, most people click on site to achieve something, whether it’s to buy something or find some info. Unnecessary visual elements like too many colors, too many different typefaces, and too much graphics will only make it hard for visitors to do what they came there to do. Keep it simple.
    2. Do it top down. Users will probably eventually complete the action you want them to complete. But instead of leaving it up to chance, lead the users to the desired action by placing the most important elements first and lead them down to the action you expect them to perform.
    3. Be consistent. Consistency is the simplest principle; but also the most difficult to sustain. Nevertheless, it’s very important to have a consistent look, feel, and tone across all the pages of the site.
    4. Try the tried and tested. While it’s tempting to go wild and different to stand out, some conventions must be kept if you want to resonate with your users. For instance, logos and navigation bars are usually found on the top of the page, the shopping cart link at the top right, etc. These tried and tested elements will not leave them confused or frustrated.

Simple Principles of Website Usability

  1. Make it a no-brainer. Website usability is all about ease-of-use. Essentially, make it as easy as possible for your users to get from one page or action to another without having to exert too much effort. To do this, ensure that the structure, navigation links, and other elements are clear and easy to find, and simple.
  2. Accessibility. There are more people using smartphones and tablets than actual computers now. Therefore, your website must be accessible on all kinds of devices to ensure a seamless user experience across all kinds of devices and platforms.
  3. Facilitate engagement. Online media is interaction central, or at least, it should be. Encourage your users to engage with you by making it easy and straightforward to click, scroll, login, comment, contact you, etc.
  4. Be user-obsessed. More and more web design agencies in Sydney are transitioning from being user-centric to user-obsessed. How is this done? Think like your customer. Walk in their shoes and if possible, ask them about their experience. And then design all the visual and usability elements around their needs and expectations.

Startup-in-Sydney-Shtudio

7 Global Startup Errors that Can Be Changed Now

Starting any kind of business is a difficult endeavor; a startup, even more so. Building something from ground up, and one that is has a high failure rate for that matter, takes a lot of courage and even more hard work. Even when entrepreneurs have the best ideas and the best plans, problems arise. Startups in Sydney, just like everywhere else, will experience issues regarding management, finances, recruitment, and operations. The key is anticipating these errors and being ready to deal with them. Here are 7 global startup errors that can be changed now.

Startup-Shtudio

#StartupProblems

  1. Hiring too fast
  2. Under- and over-marketing
  3. Misalignment
  4. Spending too much time networking
  5. Undefined roles
  6. Poor goal setting
  7. Over-customization

7 Global Startup Errors

  1. Hiring too fast – Some startups make the mistake of hiring too fast. This happens a lot after the startup’s first big “break” or just so they could look like a proper business with the manpower number to show for it. They hire employees prematurely to cope with the demand or the pressure to look legit. The problem with hiring too fast, though, is sometimes you are going to end up hiring people who do not fit your company’s culture or share your values at all. This could lead to layoffs and other kinds of business unpleasantness. All these could end up damaging the company’s morale, productivity, and performance.
  2. Under- and over-marketing – Whether it’s traditional advertising or online marketing; a business needs to market its services to reach your target audience and find new clients. A clear marketing strategy through the proper channels is something every startup needs to invest on. However, overspending on fancy marketing materials before you can afford them is a bad idea. Instead, channel your marketing funds to where it really matters and where you will see actual returns.
  3. Misalignment – Too often, in the rush to be different and offer unique value, startups go crazy and add new features or products or services. This lack of focus can be overwhelming and can be detrimental to the company. It is necessary to know exactly what the business’ focus is and which people need to work on what. Every startup needs the right goals and metrics and focus and commitment to ensure sustained growth.
  4. Spending too much time networking – Networking feels productive and it is. You need to talk to people to make professional connections. You need to share stories and lessons with other founders to help you on your journey. However, if you spend more time making connections and talking to people; you lose sight of the people you really need to talk to: your customers. You need to speak more to your prospects to learn about their needs.
  5. Undefined roles – One error some startup make mistaking management for leadership and vice versa. Leaders must not ger caught up in the daily managerial tasks like oversight and control. Leaders inspire and guide the team towards the vision. Leave the managers to do the managing.
  6. Poor goal setting – Anything unplanned is doomed to fail. Short-, medium-, and long-term goals are necessary, especially for startups, because they give companies a direction, keep you on track, and help you make decisions quickly.
  7. Over-customization - You see this in a lot of web development startup companies. Some don’t know how to say no to customers. They say yes to everything. The problem with this is threat of over-promising and under-delivering. While the customer is king and it’s important to provide value; it’s much better to set expectations of what you can and cannot do.

Do it right from the start

Establish a startup is no small feat. Make sure your startup doesn’t fall into the failed pile. Recognize 7 global startup errors that can be changed now and avoid them or put a plan in place to address them and you can ensure success that is sustainable.


WebDesignNow

Ways to Determine Website Design Cost

Websites are as essential to businesses as the business’ actual physical store. Without a functional website that’s also visually attractive, easy to use, and offers audiences a great user experience; there is no business. At least, not a sustainable one. Websites are a must in 21st Century commerce. Let us break down the ways to determine website design cost.

The Website Design Company Promise

There are many ways you can get a website built for your business, many of them cheap or even free. Websites like Wordpress, Wix, and many others offer DIY websites that require no website development experience. They also offer  modern website design templates that are appealing.

Ways to Determine Website Design Cost

Nevertheless, the results of a DIY website will never be at par with what a professional and reputable website design company can offer. Here are just some of the many advantages of hiring professionals:

  • They
    deliver high quality results: a website that looks and works great.
  • They
    can customise a strategic design plan for your business.
  • They
    can help with your SEO and digital marketing strategy.
  • They
    take care of the website part of your business while you run it; saving you
    time and money.

Professional web design companies promise you an efficient and well-designed website, which is a necessary investment for every business.

Ways to Determine Website Design Cost

There are several ways to determine website design cost. Let’s break it down.

  • Determine your needs.
    Website design cost increases as the complexity of the company’s needs increases. Basic web design for small businesses that require simplicity and functionality usually cost anywhere between $2,000 to $10,000. Intermediate websites can run anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000. Advanced website design for larger businesses can go a few hundred thousand dollars.
  • Determine the features you want.
    The cost for website design services will vary based on the features you ask for. Simple informational websites will cost less than site-specific features that you might want to add in order to meet your business needs. The number of features and functionality you demand will impact the website design cost. This includes the size and style of the site, copywriting services, responsive design, SEO optimisation, CMS and eCommerce functionality, and more.
  • Determine your provider.
    Because of the demand, the number of companies or freelancers offering website design services has blown up. The number of Sydney website design agencies has more than doubled in the last few years. A professional web design company with a sizeable and reputable portfolio can charge a substantial amount. And while a lot of them are good, there are also some bad ones. Remember, if their price is too good to be true; it probably is.

Final Thoughts on Website Design Cost

There is no way to say exactly how much you will have to spend for website design services but it’s safe to say, when it comes to web design, you get what you pay for.

The best ways to determine website design cost, or at least get an estimate, include: setting expectations regarding what you want the website to look and feel like, being realistic about your needs and wants, and choosing the right people for the job.

While website design cost can seem overwhelming at the
outset; you must remember that a good website pays for itself and is one of the
best investments you can make for your business.


digital-sydney-trends

Digital Marketing Trends for 2020: What to Expect

The world is going through change at an unprecedented speed. People are constantly on the go, goods flow from one side of the world to another quickly, information is exchanged in just a few clicks. Everything moves so quickly; it could sometimes feel like it’s hard to keep up. Digital marketing is not exempted from this breakneck speed at which the world operates. What worked this year may not work again next year. With that in mind, here are the digital marketing trends for 2020 to help you keep up.

The Challenge for Digital Marketing Professionals

If you work in digital marketing or currently managing this for your own business, you know how important it is to stay on top of never-ending updates, new techniques, algorithm shifts, etc.

To do this, your digital marketing plan must constantly take into account the new emerging trends as well as the sustained trends in the business. If you can analyse these trends critically and use them effectively; you would be able to predict where technology is going in the future, therefore, ensuring you are ahead of the pack. 

 

Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing Trends for 2020

  1. Personalisation - With 7.53 billion on the planet, taking time to personalise your marketing efforts will surely wow your customers. Consumers today are discerning and would quickly turn off generic ads that are irrelevant to them. A marketing survey found that 9 out of 10 people found personalised ads more interesting. 8 out of 10 would do business with a company who offered a personalised experience. Amazon knows this, made it a standard in their digital marketing plan, and is killing it in sales and market share!
  2. Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality - AI features like Chatbots, voice assistants, and others have revolutionised the way consumers interact with businesses. In fact, most digital marketing websites now have some sort of chatbot functionality. Chatbots and voice assistants offer a lot of benefits. They save the customer and the company time and money. Plus, they are available 24/7. VR, on the other hand, offer customers the chance to visualise the product to see before making a purchase. It’s a unique experience that also sets the right kind of expectations.
  3. SERP Position Zero - Gone are the days when the number 1 spot was the most coveted spot. One of the top digital marketing trends for 2020 is getting Position Zero. It’s all about getting that featured snippet that comes before the search results. This snippet features answers to the search query and a link to go the source of the information. More often than not, this is the first (and sometimes only) result consumers click on. Sydney digital marketing firms have started focusing their digital marketing efforts on this.
  4. Customer Obsession - Any business that is not obsessed with their customers is doing it wrong. We don’t mean stalk your customers, of course. What we mean is providing both existing and new customers with experiences that they will rave about. Remember that it costs less to keep an existing customer happy than to acquire a new one; so provide current customers with personalised hyper-targeted ads, excellent experience both online and offline, and more incentives. As for acquiring new ones, your digital marketing plan must include gathering data on customer behaviour, so you can reach your target market where they are. Do they consult social media first before buying a product? Do they like video and other interactive content? Once you have the data, deliver.
  5. Local Search Works - Position Zero is one thing, but ranking on Google (Bing, Apple) Maps is the other big factor that should not be ignored. More and more people are using Maps to search, not the usual search bar. Looking for a local graphic designer in the Sydney Eastern Suburbs? Just look it up in Google maps and get local results.

Ten years ago, we could not have imagined the technological advancements we are enjoying right now. And in five-ten years, everything we marvel at today will be rendered obsolete by the technology of the future. The same is true for digital marketing. These digital marketing trends for 2020 will help your business stay ahead of the game. 


Graphic design TOP

Graphic Design Skills That Really Matter

Graphic design is crucial in today’s world and is incredibly powerful. As for graphic designers, they are the silent but key players in this incredibly visual world we now live in.

It’s no wonder, there is a huge demand for good graphic designers across all kinds of organisations all over the country. Graphic design in Australia has blown up exponentially this last few years. Thus, whether you are an aspiring graphic designer, or a novice or seasoned one; it’s important to know the skills and tools you need to have in your arsenal. 

Graphic Design Sydney

Graphic Design Skills That Really Matter


  • Good Ol’ Pen and Paper Skills

  • Even though most of what we do is now digital; knowing how to draw and sketch is vital to graphic design work. After all, it all starts with a drawing, a sketch. This phase allows you to develop and explore design ideas without the distraction of high-tech tools. 


  • Mastery of the Tools of the Trade

  • Every graphic designer must be well-versed in using tools like Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, among others. Not only will these tools make you work more efficiently, proficiency in these tools is necessary to get a job at a graphic design company. In fact, most Sydney graphic design job postings required mastery of one or all of the three tools. 


    Typography, Color, and Layout Skills

    The most fundamental skill a graphic designer should have is a solid understanding and mastery of of typography, color, and layout. 

    Graphic design services usually begin with a plan regarding which fonts, colors, and layouts to use. 

    • To be visually appealing, a graphic designer must know which interesting, clear, and easily-read font is appropriate for the message the brand wants to send. 
    • Colors affect audiences in a lot of ways. Contrasts, blends, and changes will show harmony and bring the design to life. 
    • Designers must arrange layouts so they can lead the audiences to the brand’s final message. 


  • Creative Thinking Skills

  • Graphic design is creative work so it goes without saying that the one of the graphic design skills that really matter is creative thinking. Graphic designers must be able to turn a mundane idea into a memorable visual representation. That requires thinking outside the box, going out of their artistic comfort zone, and using their imagination a lot of the times. 


  • Multimedia Visualisation

  • Really effective graphic designers must be able to visualise their work on different media. They must be able to “see” how their work will look like or behave in a variety of platforms like websites, apps, in print, on mobile, etc. 


  • Communicative Competence

  • Graphic design is communication. A client communicates their vision to the graphic designer. The designer, in turn, creates a visual image of that vision so that he or she can communicate it to the audience. Without effective communication skills, graphic designers will not be able to present a convincing image. 


  • An Intuition for Business

  • A graphic designer must not only be creative. They must also understand businesses in general. What is the client’s business and what images communicate the business? What will be the most powerful brand identifiers that can be associated with a particular line of business? This will help the designer develop the most appropriate visual representation. 

    Graphic design is in everything we do and interact with. It’s in the carton of milk we we drink every morning, the ballots we cast on election day, the businesses we choose to interact with. Graphic designers make these interactions possible. So, whether you are a seasoned pro or a novice transitioning into the world of graphic design; these graphic design skills really matter in order to make images that are truly powerful.


    domain in seo Sydney

    Tips for Choosing the Perfect Domain Name

    When you give out an address that’s unclear and complicated, don’t expect your guests to be able to find you easily. Obviously it’s not really your fault you live on a street that people misspell even if you spell each letter out, but you get the point. It’s the same thing online where your domain name is your address. Ask anyone for tips for choosing the perfect domain name and they’ll all say: keep it short, clear, memorable, and on brand. And in some cases, you may need to keep it local (.com.au for Australian businesses as an example). They are right. 

    It’s crucial for the domain name to be memorable, to clearly reflect your brand, to convey trust, and to tell your audience the brand’s purpose. To help you pick the perfect domain name, use these tips gathered from marketing experts. 

    Choose Domain

    1. Make it easy peasy. It’s a good domain name if it’s easy for your audience to remember and type. Here are some points to remember:

    • Shorter domain names are easier to remember and to type.
    • Slang, complex words, and intentional misspellings are difficult to remember and type; avoid them. 
    • Avoid acronyms, numbers, and hyphens because they are confusing. 

    Choose words or phrases that are easy to pronounce because if they can pronounce it, they can type it.

    2. Make it targeted. It’s wise to include the name of the city in the domain name, especially is the business is local. This makes it easy for your local customers to remember and find. For instance, if you are an SEO optimisation or SEO digital marketing company located in Sydney, try something like SEO Sydney dot com.

    3. Make it clean. Make sure that the name you picked is not taken by another company, trademarked, copyrighted, blacklisted, or penalised. In addition, double or triple check the domain name’s meaning in other languages. You don’t want to be entangled in a legal/cultural battle before you even launch your site. Use reputable domain history check sites and tools for due diligence checks.

    4. Make it appropriate. Use an appropriate extension for your business. .com is undoubtedly the most popular but there are other extensions you can use .net, .co, .biz, etc. 

    5. Make it yours. In relation to #5, it’s also advisable to buy all the domain extensions appropriate for your brand as well as misspelled and AKA versions of your domain name, just to be safe. You could go overboard with that, as there are almost unlimited variations now. So just try and keep that under control.

    6. Make it aligned. Choose a catchy domain name that reflects what you do and that your target audience could immediately associate with your brand. For this, try keywords that describe the business and what it offers. 

    7. And finally, one of the best tips for choosing the perfect domain name: make it brandable. A domain name that builds strong brand value over time is a wise investment, indeed. What makes a brandable domain name? The two main components are:

    • Relevance - something that rings true to the business’ core values
    • Credibility - something that sounds trustworthy, professional, mature

    Just as you would put in considerable time, effort, and money in finding the perfect address for your home; choosing a domain name requires careful planning and thought. Follow these tips for choosing the perfect domain name and you can have one that’s memorable, has a good history, speaks to your target audience, and tell the world exactly who you are as a brand. 


    home-business-startup-Australia

    Be Your Own Boss: Home Business Ideas With Low Startup Costs

    home-business-shtudio

    With the rat race becoming more hectic and stressful; it’s no wonder that many people choose to leave the perils of the daily grind and pursue a career from home. In fact, in Australia, start up businesses are on the rise. Estimates by the Australian Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research, and Tertiary Education suggest that, at any point in time, more than half a million Australians are in engaged in the beginning stages of entrepreneurial activity. 

    With the internet at your fingertips, it’s easier than ever to pursue an inspired entrepreneurial passion. Thinking about being your own boss? Make that start up business a reality with these home business ideas with low startup costs.

    Top 10 Home Business Ideas With Low Startup Costs

    1. Content Creator - It’s a great time to be alive if you’re a writer, graphic designer, or a creative pro. If you can create high-quality content for media outlets, businesses, and websites; you can have a great startup business with little to no start up cost. 
    2. Virtual Assistant - If you’ve got good planning organization skills, being a virtual assistant might be for you. A VA performs an array of secretarial tasks without being onsite. It costs nothing but time to source clients, plus you can work from home and earn a decent income. 
    3. Events Coordinator - Detail-oriented, highly-organized, party-loving people can launch event planning services from the comfort of their homes. All you need for this small business start up is a website, a phone, and a sizable database of contacts. 
    4. Digital Marketing Pro - While this requires some knowledge, online marketing courses are cheap and will give you the skills and knowledge you need to start a marketing career. Maybe you won’t be a pro from the start, but you’ll be surprised on how fast you will learn.
    5. Online Tutor - Competent teachers are scarce and online teachers/tutors are in demand. Online English teachers can make $25+/hour. You can also teach/tutor for other subjects/topics. All you need to start is a laptop, stable internet connection, and other equipment you probably already have at home.
    6. Online Store Owner - If offering services is not your thing, an ecommerce store might be. Selling products online is now just as popular, if not more, as selling from a physical store. It certainly is more convenient for the start up business owners and the buyers. Starting an ecommerce store is incredibly affordable and although there are selling fees, they are minimal. 
    7. Online Course Creator - If you have some knowledge on pretty much anything, package it, tie it up with a red ribbon, and sell it as an online course. All you need is your preexisting knowledge on a topic, PowerPoint skills, and a platform from which to share the course. There are some excellent Wordpress plugins to run the whole course online.
    8. Ebook Author - If you’ve always wanted to be an author, you no longer need to send your work to hundreds of publishers, hoping one of them takes you on. You can self-publish your work and make an income on royalties. All you need is your writing skills, a laptop, and an email list for you to sell your books to. 
    9. Data Entry - It’s not the most glamorous or exciting business/job idea but it does give you the freedom to work literally anywhere and anytime you choose. All that’s required is some willingness on your part. 
    10. Services Provider - Be it pet walker or plumber, photographer or fitness coach; you can make a living by providing services other people need. You can make calls, set up a website, organize events, email prospects, etc. to get started. And then, you can utilize social media, your own business website, and other affordable online tools to build and your brand. 
    ideas-home-business-shtudio

    With these 10 home business ideas with low startup costs; you, too, can leave the stressful 9-to-5 life, start pursuing your passions, and be your own boss. Not that being your own boss isn’t stressful, but it’s a different kind of stress.


    Email Design

    Design Your Emails: A Digital Marketing Plan That Works

    According to management consulting firm, McKinsey, an average full-time worker spends more than a quarter of the workday reading and responding to email. They also estimate that each worker receives around 120 emails daily. Each of those emails is competing for limited attention. Here’s an easy way to make your message stand out: design your emails.

    Other than improving your email message’s readability and digestibility, here are some more simple, yet effective ways to take your email digital marketing game to the next level. 

    Design Email

    How to Design Your Emails

  • Pay attention to first impressions.
  • An average person’s attention span is only 8 seconds. You need to wow within that short window. You can do this by making sure the sender, subject line, and email preheader are appealing and compelling. For instance: 

  • Try the Pyramid Scheme.
  • No, it’s not the illegal pyramid schemes of multilevel marketing companies. It’s structuring your emails like an inverted pyramid; just like the structure of digital marketing websites

    Digital Marketing Work

    Here’s how it works: 

    • Top: A strong, succinct, attention-grabbing headline to highlight the key message
    • Middle: Supporting info and visuals
    • Bottom: A clear call to action button to tell the audience exactly what to do next
  • Don’t just put it all out there.
  • Arrange your content so it makes sense to the reader. Your content must be:

    • Clear - Effective emails have a clear and often, singular message. 
    • Concise - Keep it short and simple. 
    • Coherent - Ideas should flow smoothly with the most important info first.
    • Chunked - Ideas should be divided into headings using bullets so they’re easy to digest. 
    • Clever - Use links if your need to convey more detailed information. Be careful not to go overboard, though, because too many links are distracting.
  • Make it pretty.
  • As a general rule of digital marketing, visually appealing visuals sell. 

    • Color - Choose a clean and complementary color palette to prevent distractions.
    • Font - Keep it legible by using a web-safe font face. Also, make sure the letters are within the 14-16px range on the body. 
    • Images - Make a statement with relevant and attractive photos. I
  • Optimise. 
  • By some estimates, more than 60% of emails are opened on mobile devices. If you fail to design your emails for the preferred device of your readers; you are missing out. Ensure that your emails display responsively on different devices. 

  • Stay on brand.
  • Email is an extension of the brand. Therefore, email campaigns must match the fonts, colors, and other visual branding elements (I.e. logo, etc.) across all customer touch-points.

  • Don’t forget standard email etiquette rules. 
  • Emails, sometimes, are the first, or only, point of contact you have with your prospects or existing clients. Remember and practice the social rules crucial to any medium of communication to make a great impression. These include:

    • Include a signature to let the the recipient know who you are.
    • Use use a professional salutation.
    • Try not to use humor.
    • Proofread your message. Again. And again. And again. 
    • Always reply to emails addressed to you and follow up diligently. 

    Design your emails well and it becomes one of the best form of digital marketing. Follow these 7 simple steps and you’ll take your email campaign, and your conversion rate, to the next level.


    SEO optimisation Sydney

    Top 5 SEO Challenges to Look Out For in 2019 in Sydney

    Online, only 3 things matter: “Location, location, location.” The better the location, the better chance of being seen and gaining customers. That’s why everyone is fighting for the prime spot - the first page of search results. For this, website owners turn to SEO optimisation services.

    SEO company

    Lately, though, it has become harder to rank on Google and other search engines. Their ever-changing algorithms, ads, and snippets have made it more difficult for organic search results to compete for the top spots. But there are other challenges. SEO optimisation experts in Sydney and all across the world has outlined the top 5 SEO challenges to look out for in 2019 as well as some techniques to overcome them.

    Top 5 SEO Challenges to Look Out for in 2019

    1. User Experience

    Being user-oriented doesn’t cut it anymore. Sites have to be user-obsessed. Search engines likes it when a site makes visitors happy. The challenge for web developers is to make everything on the site geared towards making the users’ experience better while ensuring the business’ goals and needs are still met. User experience is one of the most important ranking factor in search engines this year.

     

    1. Artificial Intelligence

    AI has completely changed the way people experience the internet. Smart search results and tailor-fit ads have become important marketing strategies. The challenge for SEO optimisation services is understanding how AI “thinks”. Whoever can crack the way AI thinks holds the key to getting the best search outcomes.

     

    1. New Search Engines

    Google has a monopoly on internet searches but SEO should not only be about Google. SEO is about visibility everywhere on the web. Take Amazon, for instance. People used Google for all their queries but now, some people go to Amazon when searching for a product. The challenge is ranking everywhere people search for things. If the site sells books, then it needs to rank everywhere books can be bought.

     

    1. Snippets

    Snippets are search results that give users the exact answer to their question. Snippets are featured in a box on a prime spot that is referred to as “Position Zero”. Case studies show a significant jump in the click through rate and revenue of sites featured as snippets. The challenge is getting the site’s contents as a featured snippet.

     

    1. Responsive Web Design (RWD)

    It was mobile-first web development in the last few years; but it’s now shifting to RWD. People use different screen sizes and RWD is literally a one-size-fits-all approach. RWD leads to good user experience and user experience leads to higher rankings. The challenge is in integrating RWD in the SEO plan.

    One other big thing are your competitors. What are they doing, why are they ranking better? Competitors needs to be monitored in order to be on top of things, you need to know what they are doing, how they are ranking – and do better.

    SEO optimisation services

    Overcoming SEO Challenges

    1. Improve user experience by:
    • making the site easy to navigate.
    • making the site accessible and built with all kinds of users in mind.
    • concentrating on text readability.
    • organising the elements of the site strategically.
    • improving speed and response time.
    1. Adjust keywords by giving them new semantic values so they meet the AI requirements. For instance, instead of merely mentioning the keywords, explain and/or define them.
    2. For products, keywords, item descriptions, and content need to be more engaging and user-friendly.
    3. Optimise the site’s content for featured snippets by using a keyword research tool and other techniques.
    4. Make sure the site works appropriately on devices of all sizes.

    Take note of the top 5 SEO challenges to look out for in 2019 and get that coveted prime location on the web.


    Logo Design in Sydney, Australia

    Key Steps that Make Logo Design Successful

    When you see the iconic logos of brands like Google, Apple, and other giants; you probably marvel at the design, the details, and how a simple image could command such a reputation. However, do you also think about how the logo design came about? What did they go through to finally arrive at the finished logo people recognise and trust? What are the key steps that make logo design successful?

    Why a Good Logo is a Must

    A logo is the most vital graphic design aspect of any brand for two reasons.

    1. It’s everywhere - on your marketing materials, letterhead, packaging, business cards, brochure, website, and other company literature.
    2. It’s the first point of reference for potential customers because it’s the first thing they see.

    Experts in graphic design in Sydney and their clients agree that a successful logo - one that embodies the brand and what it stands for - has the power to stir the audience’s emotions and call them to take action.

    Create Logo in Sydney, Australia

    Why Hiring a Professional for Logo Design is a Must

    Paying a graphic design professional to make a professionally designed website and more importantly, a high-quality custom logo is one of the best investments any business owner can make. This is because a good logo:

    • attracts attention and wows customers.
    • gives the brand a positive identity and helps the business stand out.
    • tells the story, message, and promise of the brand.
    • increases conversion rates and boosts the company’s reputation.

    Key Steps that Make Logo Design Successful

    People might think that designing a logo that wows is a simple task. But in reality, creating a successful logo design takes days, if not weeks, of work following a tried and tested process.

    1. Briefing - The designer reviews the client’s needs and expectations on the brief.
    2. Researching - The designer conducts research on the industry, the company’s history, culture, competitors, etc.
    3. Brainstorming - The designer brainstorms ideas and possible designs.
    4. Sketching - The designer develops some design concepts.
    5. Designing - The designer creates mockups of the best designs.
    6. Presenting - The designer presents the mockup to the client for feedback.
    7. Revising - The designer makes changes if necessary.
    8. Delivering - The designer delivers the final logo and printing guidelines.

    Graphic design in Sydney, Australia

    Key Factors that Make Logo Design Successful

    Additionally, to create a successful logo design, the designer has to take note of these factors.

    • Colours - Colours evoke emotions so the colour/s of the logo must be relevant to the message the business is trying to send to the audience. For instance, banks usually have a white and blue logo because they want to convey purity and reliability.
    • Relevant Images - Some imagery could also make a logo successful. However, images must remain relevant to the brand.
    • Simplicity and Accessibility - Logos should be simple and straightforward. Accessibility expert, Heydon Pickering, said, “The biggest enemy of accessibility is complexity.” A simple but powerful logo is not only accessible; it’s more recognisable.
    • Consistency - A logo must remain consistent across all media. This includes color, sizes, images, typography, themes, etc. Consistency is the key to brand recognition.
    • Something Extra - To really stand out, a logo must be memorable. This means adding something (a text, image, mark, etc.) that’s quirky and fun but memorable that people will remember.

    A logo speaks a thousand words and a successful one speaks a million. These key steps that make logo design successful will ensure your logo communicates and evoke the audience’s feelings and encourage them to take action.


    Web Development

    Frontend and Backend Development: Web Development Principles and Differences

    The internet, otherwise known as the electronic cat database, is a miraculous thing. Where people used to scour books, magazines, and other printed media for information for hours on end; now, all it takes is a few seconds of searching online. Humans have come a long way.

    Most people gleefully use the internet for sharing information, research, or for entertainment (i.e. watching cat videos). However, most of them don’t really know much about the internet beyond their daily use and dependence on it. Take frontend and backend development; two subjects that non-geeks would probably find excruciatingly complex. They can’t be blamed; even programmers and other website development services experts sometimes don’t know the difference between the two.

    Frontend Development

    How the Internet Works

    Very basically, the internet works by connecting a network of computers (a.k.a. the servers) with each other. These servers host the websites and all their files. Once these servers are connected, the user can then access the websites hosted by the servers.

    Frontend and Backend Development

    Web development can be divided into two: frontend and backend. These two are responsible for making the internet work.

    Frontend development focuses on the "client side" of development which includes the content (text, images, videos), design (colors, typography, etc.), navigation (menus, forms), and other elements of the sites that users interact with directly.

    Backend development, on the other hand, is everything users cannot and does not interact with, at least nothing that they can “see”. This includes all of the website code, the servers, operating systems, databases, APIs, etc.

    Frontend and Backend Interaction

    When a user requests for something on the frontend (i.e. “Googles” something); that request is sent to the backend (i.e. the code that runs on the server). The backend searches for the answer to the query and then sends back the data it found to the frontend. It’s a beautiful, well-coordinated dance.

    Let’s break the dance down.

    Frontend Web Development

    The frontend is what the user experiences so its development is focused on creating a good user experience. Therefore, frontend developers need to understand code, design, applications and, even the basics of psychology. Frontend developers are responsible for the design, look, and feel of the site. They are responsible for ensuring a seamless user experience.

    Frontend developers need to be proficient in the following:

    • HTML
    • CSS
    • JavaScript
    • Responsive Web Design
    • Perceived Performance

    Backend Web Development

    There’s a saying that it’s what on the inside that counts. That couldn’t be more true in web development. A beautiful looking website is useless without kickass backend support. The backend of an app or a site handles the calculations and other invisible interactions to ensure a site runs as expected.

    If the backend is not developed properly, the site can run into problems like slow loading times, crashes, errors, and malfunctions. Backend developers are responsible for the functionality of the site.

    Backend Development

    Backend developers need to be proficient in the following:

    • PHP
    • Ruby
    • Python
    • C#, Java, C++
    • Databases
    • APIs
    • Web Services

    You may not be a programmer. Your job might not even be remotely related to website development services. You may just be a simple internet user who’s just in it for the cat memes. Nevertheless, by understanding the meaning of and differences between frontend and backend development; you may just gain a new understanding of this miracle that has completely changed the world and the way people see it.


    4 Points for the Proper Use of Search Engine Promotion for Keywords

    People don’t need experts to tell them that if a website is not listed on the first or second page of a search engine, to a large portion of people, it practically does not exist. A brand loses business every time it falls to page 2+. Keywords are essential in driving organic traffic and ranking higher. How does one make their keywords for SEO work for them? Here are 4 points for the proper use of search engine promotion for keywords.

    Keywords are Key

    Keywords are phrases used to describe the website’s content. When a user types in a query on a search engine like Google; it uses those keywords to see if the content matches the query.

    Keywords may not be the main ranking factor, but they are an important part of the SEO process and SEO optimization services, mainly because they are used in links and content. And links and content are the main ranking factors. If the keywords don’t work; the business will suffer.

    Correct Use of Search Engine Promotion for Keywords

    1. Research

    As with anything in life, the starting point for using SEO keywords is research; specifically, keyword research. Keyword research is done to find which ones to include on a web page. Doing research helps content writers create a content strategy based on the terms users are looking for.

    research keywords

    2. Search Volume

    Take your keyword strategy to the next level by taking a look at the competitors and figuring out search volumes by season or location, etc.

    seo optimization best

    • By Competitor - Either priorities high-volume keywords that competitors are not ranking for or high-volume keywords that they are.
    • By location - Target a specific location by filtering keyword research to specific areas. For example, SEO optimization for Sydney will make the website’s content more relevant to the Sydney users.
    • By season - Understanding seasonal trends has a lot of advantages when preparing a content strategy. It gives you the opportunity to plan in advance, make tweaks, and the push it around the time it’s most relevant to the audience.
    1. Intent

    Understanding keyword intent is important in planning and executing a keyword strategy. When content creators understand the user’s intention when searching, they can deliver precisely what the users want. There are 4 types of intent:

    1. Navigational - searching for a particular website.
    2. Informational - searching for answers to questions
    3. Investigation - searching for info that could lead to transactions
    4. Transnational - ready to buy

    When you are able to categories the keywords and understand intent; you can use the info to create a content strategy that ensures you meet users’ needs.

    1. Placement

    Where the keywords are placed is just as important as what keywords to use. Poor keyword placement can hurt the search ranking and can hurt the reader’s eyes. Avoid keyword stuffing and spread out the keywords throughout the content. The tip is to write for humans and make the content readable.

    Here are some ideas about where keywords should be placed:

    • page titles
    • meta descriptions
    • subheadings
    • content (body of the text)
    • images
    • links, urls, and social media updates

    Startup Consultants: why they are so important

    Starting a business, no matter the size, is a daunting task for first-timers. Tasks don’t seem to end. Questions keep popping up. The bills keep piling. Doubts creep in. It starts to feel like this is an entirely new field. And it is. How does one deal with the challenges of starting up a new business? A startup consultant. Here’s a brief example on startup consultants, why they are so important, and how to get one.

    easy begin startup

    The Challenge and the Solution

    Startups are challenging: they are constantly in a state of uncertainty; resources are, more often than not, limited; and then there’s the the not-so-easy task of establishing a customer base to grow the business.

    But the good news is that, from management to marketing to web development; there are people - experts - who can help. There are management and marketing experts, as well, as web development services experts to make any idea a reality.

    Think of startup consultants like an OB/GYNs. They help the baby (idea) to be born into the world.

    Startup Consultants: Why They are So Important

    Startup Consultants Sydnei

    1. Management - First time business owners, especially younger ones, are a repository of bright ideas, fresh outlook, and tech know-how. However, those are not substitutes for managerial experience. Management consultants can provide management advice and practices to companies that don’t have much of it.
    2. Expertise - Choosing consultant from the same industry will guarantee that they have previous experience in the same niche. Not only will they have experience with assisting startups in general; they will also have experience in handling the same issues and challenges you will be facing. The experience these consultants bring to the table will help them develop strategies to overcome these industry-specific challenges.
    3. Assistance - Once the business is off the ground and starting to gain traction; the owner is going to need some extra help. This is why startup consultants are so important. Instead of hiring new employees - who would have to be trained and on boarded - for short projects or projects that are just starting; the consultants can serve as an extra set of hands and help lighten the load; no training necessary.
    4. Honest Feedback - Business owners, like proud parents, are so passionate about their babies that they don’t often see things clearly and objectively. A consultant will be able to provide honest, objective, and professional feedback that can steer the company back in the right direction.
    5. Thorough Market Research - Market research data is crucial in order to understand industry trends, predict customer behavior, and make sound business decisions. Not only will a startup consultant conduct research and interpret data for the company; their wealth of knowledge can provide valuable and bespoke suggestions and solutions based on the data.

    How to Pick the Right Consultant

    1. Find external proof of expertise. Read reviews, check out other startups they worked with, and ask for references.
    2. Ask them about their startup. If a consultant has not put up a startup themselves; what qualifies them to inform others? Ask them what happened to their own startups and how challenges were handled.
    3. Tell them about yours. A good consultant will be able to give you insight about your business on the first meeting. This will give you a glimpse of their expertise.

    Choosing a Web Design Company: What to Expect and how to Avoid Problems

    Hiring an expert web design team is a huge undertaking. There are thousands of agencies specializing in graphic design. Sydney alone has hundreds of companies to choose from. That makes choosing one that suits a brand’s vision is harder than ever. So, here’s a simple guide on choosing a web design company: what to expect and avoid problems to make the selection process easy easy.

    The key, really, is understanding the needs of the brand. Instead of filtering and eliminating options based on factors like referrals, recommendations, etc.; write down the exact needs, goals, and visions of the brand. The right one for the brand will reveal itself.

    Web Design Company

    Choosing a Web Design Company: What to Expect and How to Avoid Problems

    1. Function

    Creating a professionally designed website starts with one crucial question: “How does the website need to function?” Will it be a website with basic information about the company and its contact details only? Or does it have to function a certain special way?

    Asking this question is important because it can significantly narrow down your options. The answer to this will determine which type of web designer you need.

    Consider the following:

    • functionality to be included now
    • functionality to possibly be included in the future as the business grows
    • content creation and management
    • users’ experience
    • call to action – what do you actually want your customers to do once they get to your website? 
    1. Design Needs

    The next question is “How should your website look?”

    Translating an idea into, say, a website design, is no easy task. A vague idea isn’t just going to manifest out of thin air, so to speak. The more specific the design request is, the easier it will be for the graphic design specialists to bring it to life.

    Graphic Design Sydney

    Draw it, collect inspiration designs, take note of other websites’ design and features; speak up and let them know exactly what your brand needs.

    Consider the following:

    • features and design elements
    • how involved do you want to be in the design process
    • what are the design/function priorities
    • listen and learn. Trust your designer, they really do know best (one would hope so)
    1. Business Needs

    Determine the role of the website in the business. Is the website an integral part in marketing and in driving leads and sales? Will it be used only as a source of information? Will it be integrated with other business processes?

    Knowing whether the website is central to the business will help determine the budget and the kind of web and graphic design team you will need to execute the idea.

    Consider the following:

    • domain names and email services
    • how valuable is the website to the brand
    1. Budget

    A website is as good investment as any other for your business, so don’t overlook it. Cheap now, might mean more expense later. The value of a professionally designed website more than makes up for the investment you put in.

    Budget a websiteConsider the following:

    • ongoing costs
    • scope and value of the website
    • how much is a customer worth to you

    Again, the key is in understanding the needs of the brand. Follow these simple tips in choosing a web design company to know what to expect and how to avoid problems.


    sturtups

    What You Need to Know for Starting a Small Business

    Not all small businesses are created equal. Nevertheless, whatever the offer is; new entrepreneurs need the same information and tools to get the business up and running. Here’s what you need to know for starting a small business.

    Business Startup: The Struggle is Real

    The startup phase is exciting yet very challenging. Like proud parents or mad scientists; startups & small business owners get that giddy feeling of being able to bring something to life.

    However, this happy, exhilarating feeling can be accompanied by frustrations and roadblocks. Here are just some examples:

    • cash flow issues
    • time management
    • task delegation
    • marketing strategy
    • poor management
    • self-doubt

    Here are some things every business startup owner must know in order to keep the business in a steady and consistent growth path.

    business startups

    What You Need to Know for Starting a Small Business

    1. Give customers a voice.

    Startups & small businessenterprises need regular content. Customer-created content is free and publishing it is an effective marketing strategy, turning users into loyal customers.

    1. Have a solid growth path.

    To succeed in the long term, business startupowners should have a SMART growth path. This is to ensure stakeholders know how to overcome roadblocks and understand the direction the business will take as it grows.

    1. Relationships are gold.

    All relationships must be treasured. Remember, it’s not who you are; it’s who you know.

    1. Give stuff away for free.

    Giving free samples of products or services or discounts will do wonders for your business. Just look at Zappos! and Warby Parker; they understand the lifetime value of customers and they’re better for it.

    1. Use robots.

    Automate your business to save time and money. Email, content marketing, bulk SMS, etc.; all these can be placed on automated; mode, freeing up valuable time and energy.

    1. Don’t be a martyr.

    For small business startups, time is money so delegate tasks to the pros. For example: tax stuff should be delegated to an accountant; graphic design and web development should be done by designers, etc.

    1. Know what’s going on.

    What you need to know for starting a small business is simple: keep track everything. Monitor everything from employee activities, productivity, and what and where traffic and revenue are coming from. Tools like Google Analytics is great for this task.

    1. Use social media regularly.

    People visit social media more than company websites. Ergo, social media posts are crucial to engage with the customer base regularly. It also helps with building brand identity and recognition and proving the business is alive.

    1. Use tools.

    There are many tools to help manage day-to-day business activities. This includes  Trello, Slack, etc. for workflow automation; email marketing tools, Hootsuite and Buffer for social media automation; and other cost-effective platforms for different tasks.

    1. Encourage feedback.

    start business

    Proactively asking for feedback helps improve a business’ product and services and tells customers the company actually cares. Feedback and improvement are the keys to a sustainable growth.

    There will be obstacles as one starts a small business. Additionally, as days turn into weeks and months, operating small business startups will become harder and more challenging. Understanding what you need to know for starting a small businesswill help business owners anticipate problems and prepare solutions as they go through this exciting journey.


    Graphic Design Trends 2019

    Trends come and go and they often do so very quickly. In the world of design, trends are born and die even faster. You can either keep up or give up. Here is a comprehensive roundup of graphic design trends 2019.

    Graphic Design; Keep Up or Give Up

    Competition is tough these days. Whatever product or service a business is offering, chances are, another company is offering the same. Both graphic designers and business owners know that a company's visual branding should not be an afterthought but a very important priority.

    This is why branding including logo design and a professionally designed website among others have become necessary to start and operate a business. Therefore, graphic designers must move fast and stay on top of trends if they want their work to stay fresh and relevant.

    graphic design services

    What's going on in graphic design this year? Spoiler alert: It's all about life, movement, and vibrancy.

    Look Out: Graphic Design Trends 2019

    1. Art Deco - Eclectic meets opulent, Art Deco bings a powerful visual pop. This year, expect rich colors, metallics, geometric patterns, bold curves, complex lines, intense symmetry, and movement. Think The Great Gatsby and the Roaring 20s!
    2. Asymmetrical Layouts - Say goodbye to rigid grids and say hello to thinking outside the box. People want to feel alive and asymmetrical layouts give off that kinetic vibe. Additionally, asymmetrical layouts spark curiosity, making users stay on the site longer.graphic trends
    3. Complex Gradients and Duotones.
    4. Glitch Style - Nothing says "I'm alive" better than making a mistake and then making something beautiful out of it. That is what the Glitch Style is, a mistake that turned into something great. Different colored layers, deformed and distorted images, and a lack of regularity suggest depth and movement.
    5. Isometric Design - Unlike flat design, isometric designs have depth and detail. In addition, isometric designs and icons come across as warm and tactile.
    6. Open Compositions - For years, structured grid, frames, and boxes were the standard. Gone are the days when design elements were placed in a strict and organized order, with every element visible. Nowadays, and in the foreseeable future, graphic design professionals in Sydney and beyond have started using open compositions hinting at mystery; like there is a secret part of the picture beyond what viewers can see.
    7. Vivid Colors - It's a well-known fact that colors have psychological powers over those who see it. Colors can send subtle messages, catch the attention of the audience, and convey a message. And nothing can catch the attention and convey a powerful message than vivid colors.
    8. 3D Objects - Life, movements and depth are key graphic design trends in 2019. Designers are now creating compositions with so much depth; they quite literally jump out of the page making users feel like they can almost touch them.

    In the world of technology, there is a common saying, "Move fast and break things." That saying is also true for the graphic design trends of 2019. One must move fast to stay ahead of the pack and one must break the current standard to make their design alive, moving, and vibrant.


    SEO Tools for Startups

    Most startups start small and can't blow thousands of dollars for marketing and to grow their customer base. Therefore, business owners must boost their online presence to get the business noticed gradually. Enter SEO. SEO is necessary to grab people's attention and get a chance to tell the world who the brand is. To take the business out of the shadow and into the limelight; check out this starter pack of the best SEO tools for startups.

    SEO optimisation services

    Go High and Fly

    Getting SEO services is a vital element of every startup venture. Anyone wanting to rank higher on search engines like Google must have a solid SEO plan. After all, the higher you rank, the better chances of being seen and the better chances for the business to take off.

    Top 5 SEO Tools for Startups

    1. Ahrefs - Many professional SEO optimisation services providers used Ahrefs because it is one of the best SEO tools for doing backlink analysis. But, wait, there's more; it can also:
    • effectively analyze the competition's SEO and website strategy;
    • help build authority links to a business' site;
    • evaluate the site's Google ranking for the each keywords used, and;
    • do keyword research and give keyword ideas for new content.
    1. Buffer - Operating a startup can be time-consuming. Using Buffer can significantly free up time. With Buffer, you can:
    • schedule social media posts practically hands-free, and;
    • set up and publish content on time regularly to meet SEO requirements.
    1. Moz - Aptly called Moz; this tool is one of the MOZ useful, MOZ widely-used, and MOZ feature-packed one out there. This tool is all you need to make any website rank well in search engines. But it's not all it can do. It also has the following features:SEO and STARTUPS
    • keyword research
    • backlink research
    • crawl
    • Rank tracking
    • SEO audit
    • SEO toolbar
    1. Rocket Ranking - Small business and startup owners love Rocket Ranking because it helps them increase web traffic. This on-page optimizer:
    • has a keyword profit calculator to help find out which keywords drives more traffic;
    • has a backlink builder for the link counts;
    • has a follow tool for different social media channels which helps with ranking, and;
    • is free. (Who doesn't love free stuff?)
    1. Screaming Frog - Since we're on the subject of SEO tools for startups, Screaming Frog is one of the best. It can:
    • "spider crawl" through websites, links, apps, and codes and gather useful data to optimize the startup's website;
    • fix any errors that affect the website's ranking using the data it gathers;
    • provide inbound and outbound links report, and;
    • provide info on what competitor's are doing to make their sites rank higher.

    P.S. No frogs were harmed in the making of this tool.

    Startups and seo optimisation services go hand-in-hand. SEO is a Startup' BFF. Without SEO, startup companies and small businesses don't stand a chance. This list of SEO tools for strartups will help small businesses and startup ventures rank higher in search engine pages, increase traffic, maximize marketing strategy, expand the site's reach, and apply the best SEO strategy; all of which help the business get out the oblivion and into the spotlight and become profitable.


    good graphic design

    The Influence of Good Graphic Design on the Customers

    Graphic design for small business owners is like the artwork for homeowners. They know they need it, but it’s not at the top of the priorities list. Instead, they only invest on infrastructure, people, products, and service delivery; completely ignoring the fact that without good graphic design - a logo, for example - people won’t even come through the door to experience the business’ people, products, and service delivery. Graphic design matters. In fact, it can send a powerful message to clients. What’s the influence of good graphic design to the customers?

    What’s the Big Deal About Graphic Design?

    Most small business owners start their entrepreneurial journey thinking they’re unique. That’s an inherent mistake because according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, as of 2017, there are already 2.24 million actively trading businesses.
    One can only survive this surplus of competition by catching the audience's attention, creating intrigue, and engaging them. That’s what graphic design is for. It’s a major part of a company’s branding strategy. High-quality graphic design, especially professionally done by graphic design businesses, does more than differentiate one business from another.

    Good graphic design also:

    • creates a good public perception;
    • promotes brand familiarity;
    • encourages the customers to buy.

    graphic design influence

    The Influence of Good Graphic Design on the Customers

    • Brand Familiarity.

    The market is overcrowded. A small business can offer high-quality products and exceptional service for less and be completely overlooked. People have a tendency to buy from the most familiar brands.

    How can a small startup compete? They have to do branding right. The right aesthetic - one that says, “We offer high-quality products. We have exceptional service. You can trust us.” - can catch people’s attention, raise their awareness of the brand’s offerings, develop customer trust, and improve conversions.

    • Visual Psychology.

    The most pronounced influence of good graphic design to the customers is perhaps “in the mind”. A child’s storybook has more images than words and has colors only bees and art students can see. It’s because the human brain process images faster than text.

    Every color, shape, and symbol triggers distinct emotions. Blue, for instance, evokes tranquility and reliability. Yellow is fun and exuberant. Green is nurturing and earthy. Black indicates power and precision. Red makes people feel dangerous and hungry, making people upsize their fast food meals unwittingly. Circular shapes tell people the brand is sensitive; while angular shapes give off a tough and durable message.

    Long story short: a brand can subtly influence people and send them a message before ever meeting them face to face.

    • “Feel Good” Feels.

    There is a growing number of brands going retro these days. With the many horrible things happening in the world today; it’s no wonder people are drawn to products that make them feel sentimental and nostalgic. Graphic design businesses call this nostalgia marketing.

    But it’s not just nostalgia. People gravitate towards an aesthetic that makes them feel happy, excited, hopeful, etc. Brands can influence customers through good graphic design that gives them the “feels”.

    Graphic Design Tips for Small Business Owners

    1. Simplicity. Use clear images and typography.
    2. Versatility. The design should easily translate to all forms of media.
    3. Relativity. Ensure the graphic design is related to the product and services offered.
    4. Memorability. Need we say more?
    5. Durability. The design must endure because brand familiarity relies on consistency and longevity.

    Owen Gingerich once said, “Our brain the most complex physical object known to us in the entire cosmos.” The mind is mysterious, elusive and, often, too complex to understand. However, it doesn’t mean it can’t be nudged in the right direction with subtle hints. With the right graphic design, any business can influence their customers to make them a part of their lives.


    trends in seo

    Most Useful Upcoming SEO Trends to Get Traffic and Leads

    Marketing tools and strategies advance at a dizzying pace. What worked last year may not work again this year or may not work as effectively as it did. And take note that last year was less than 30 days ago. Marketers and SEO optimization services experts may still be still recovering from the end of last year’s marketing campaigns. Nevertheless, there is no time to waste. They must always look forward and onward; thinking about the most useful upcoming SEO trends to get traffic and leads so they can work around them.

    Most Useful Upcoming SEO Trends to Get Traffic and Leads

    • Don’t just “Google it.”

    Google has become the first point of contact for people who need answers. Nevertheless, there is an increased awareness that other search engines exist. While Google has search dominance, search presence must be established in every other platform that has search functionality. Providers of SEO services must also make sure that sites are optimized to show up practically everywhere people are looking. This includes but not limited to other search engines (Yahoo, Bing, Ecosia, Duck Duck Go), app stores (Android and iOS), video streaming sites, shopping sites, social media sites.

    • Speak up.

    The future is Alexa, Google Assistant (whatever its name is) and Siri. So far, there are still more text queries than voice queries. Remember, though, that changes happen so fast. Smartphones are getting smarter, sometimes to a surprising degree. Amazon Echo and Google Home now allow users to interact with web content in incredible ways that make people feel like Tony Stark. As a result, a lot of companies have already started working on voice optimization strategies because it is projected to be a total game changer.

    recognition of the voice

    • E-A-T up!

    Another trend this year is E-A-T: Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness. SEO optimization services providers should understand that creating great content means providing correct, complete, and useful information; and not just publishing content for the sake of publishing content.

    • Snippets? You’ll love it.

    What are they? Snippets are text that shows up on top of search results to quickly answer the user’s questions. They have become increasingly present these last few months and as search engines become more advanced and interactive; snippets are projected to become more popular. With their rise comes the fall of websites whose contents are not optimized to appear in the snippets. Because why would anyone scroll down if they already what they need at the top of the page?

    • The machines have risen.

    Machine learning will be huge in 2019. Search engine giants have shown people the true capability of machine learning but that’s just a sneak peek. This year, engines are scrambling to push out certain layouts and strive to answer people’s intents before they even ask the questions. To stay in the game, it’s imperative for companies to harness the capabilities of machine learning so they can develop unique SEO content.

    Because search engines can do a 360 on their algorithms in a snap. The most useful upcoming SEO trends to get traffic and leads today may not be applicable tomorrow. Anyone not paying attention will get left behind; relegated to the second page of search results and buried in oblivion. Today, keeping pace all day, every day is the name of the game.


    trends of web development

    Best Frameworks and CMS for Web Development in 2019

    Frameworks and CMS (Content Management Systems) have become integral and indispensable partners for web developers. Web applications standards change every day and expectations become higher. As such, the technology needed to keep up becomes more complex. Thankfully, web developers don’t need to reinvent functions to develop apps or develop sites. They simply rely on a framework’s already-created functions and a CMS’s accessibility. This helps them create web apps and sites faster, cheaper, and with more optimized features. Why reinvent the wheel, each time? Here’s a look at the best frameworks and CMS for web development in 2019.

    Frameworks and CMS: Defined

    A framework is a tool that is designed to make web application development faster and easier. It works by providing a standard way to build web apps. Frameworks help automate the web development process by reusing codes that other developers have already created, instead of reinventing them.

    CMS, on the other hand, makes hand-coded HTML websites obsolete (sort of). CMS provides an easy way to manage your website’s content such as texts, фотос, and other media, user accounts, and files. It also allows the user to view stats and analytics and integrate other business processes into the website.

    frameworks for web development

    Best Frameworks and CMS for Web Development in 2019

    Part 1: The Best Frameworks

    • Symfony 4

    A favorite of many providers of web development services in Sydney and beyond; Symfony 4 is super flexible and is loaded with components that can be used and reused. It also includes a built-in testing function to make sure that apps behave the way they were designed. Additionally, compared to version 3, Symfony 4 has considerably less code and files which makes it easier to learn, configure, install, and launch.

    • Laravel

    Laravel, an MVC framework using PHP, the web’s most used language; has made a name for itself, despite being relatively new. It’s easy to use and flexible with many add-ons. It also allows developers to work quickly because they can skip many of the groundwork and skip ahead to functions like caching, session management, user authentication, among others. On top of all that functionality, Laravel integrates seamlessly with third-party platforms like Amazon Web Services, helping website development companies build apps that are highly scalable. The best part, perhaps, is it’s supportive community sharing help and information to new and experienced developers alike.

    • CakePHP

    CakePHP is an oldie but goodie. Although, it’s 19 years old, it’s still one of the best and most widely used PHP frameworks in the market. Over the years, CakePHP has been improved with a lot of added components along the way. Nevertheless, what made developers love this framework is its set of conventions which, when mastered, allowed them to focus on the development itself.

    • CodeIgniter

    CodeIgniter is another PHP framework using a Model View Controller architecture. It has different components to do different tasks; something appreciated by developers because it helps them develop highly-scalable web apps using a smaller footprint. CodeIgniter packs a solid performance that’s easy to learn and master.

    • Rails

    Rails uses the programming language Ruby. It’s so popular that it’s a favorite among household sites like Shopify, Airbnb, Hulu, and GitHub. Rails is amateur-proof and, despite debates on its advantages and benefits, it is a very good framework for beginners. Other than the ease of use, Rails also has a friendly community of geeks ready to help developers with tutorials and resources.

    • Django

    This Model View Template framework is written in Python and provides excellent security and authentication measures. Django is also capable of protecting a site from weaknesses such as clickjacking, cross-site scripting, and SQL injection. It’s no wonder Django is used by the giants of the industry like Instagram, Youtube, Disqus, Google, and NASA. A firm believer in the ‘Don’t-Reinvent-The-Wheel’ principle, Django ensures the components can be reused.

    • Spring

    Java is the most popular programming language ever. Spring is one of the pioneering Java frameworks and its adaptability and continued improvements make it one of the best. Spring is modular which makes it easy to write clean and very accessible code. It also has app development and security feature toolkits for software engineers, amateurs and experienced, alike.

    Part 2: The Best CMS Platforms

    • Wordpress

    Wordpress does not only dominate the market share, as far as CMSs go; it’s also one of the easiest and most customizable to use. It’s gone beyond its blogging days to provide users, both experienced web developers and amateurs alike, with the best content management experience. With its simplicity, powerful features, and countless plugins and themes, no wonder, it’s one of the best CMS for web development in 2019 and possibly beyond that.

    wordpress

     

    • Joomla!

    Up there with Wordpress, is Joomla!, another household name in CMS software. Although, it may be a bit more complicated than Wordpress for amateurs, Joomla! boasts of more flexibility on things like custom post types and more options on user management like those used in membership-based websites. Joomla! Also has built-in multilingual support and allows users to use different themes simultaneously.

    • Magento

    Magento might be tagged as a professional e-commerce CMS but it can work for all store types and all sizes. In fact, Magento has three editions - namely Enterprise, Cloud Enterprise, and Community - to suit the business’ size or requirements. It also offers power-packed features like a library with countless extensions, built in SEO functions, order management tools, and a thriving community for support.

    • OpenCart

    Another e-commerce CMS platform is OpenCart; and it was designed for convenience. Any business can quickly launch stores that are highly-customized with this CMS. From a single dashboard, a business owner has the ability to manage and track multiple stores. It also allows them to track the metrics like sales and other analytics easily. The makers of OpenCart really paid attention to detail giving the owner the ability to accept different payment methods, differentiate the products according to their attributes, among other neat functionalities. It truly does not get much simpler and easier.

    There it is, the list of the best frameworks and CMS for web development in 2019. Frameworks and CMS are important partners for web development in Sydney and all over the world. And website development companies rely a lot on them to create websites and applications quicker and more customized to fulfill their client’s needs.


    web design services

    Pros and Cons of Hiring a Graphic Designer for a Small Business

    With the world connected like never before and competition multiplying faster than germs; every brand needs to wow; visually, above all. This is why big corporations spend a lot of money on branding; a considerable part of the budget spent on graphic design. On the other end of the spectrum, a small business owner with a limited budget is asking if getting professional graphic design help is necessary. The short and honest answer: YES. Here are the pros and cons of hiring a graphic designer for a small business.

    But first — the cold, hard truth

    Here is a fun experiment. Ask any small business owner what their priorities are when starting a business. Chances are, graphic design will appear somewhere on that list. Now, for a simple follow up; ask them to arrange that list based on spending priorities. It won’t be surprising to find that most entrepreneurs would spend very little to no money for graphic design.

    Graphic design is often relegated to an afterthought. Small business owners would often say they or someone in their team can do it themselves or they can get an image from a stock photo site or search engines. More often than not, these shortcuts lead to unsatisfactory, and costly, consequences.

    Why High-Quality Graphic Design for Small Business is a MUST

    A small business owner might not have enough on their capital to pay for professional graphic design services, or they may just be reluctant to pay for it. However, the value of a professionally designed website, logo, and other graphic materials is much more than the costs.

    What can a small business owner get out of their graphic design investment?

    1. Professional results - Essentially, you get what you pay for. DIY-ed graphic designs look cheap and unprofessional. No business wants to be associated with those adjectives.

    2. Specialized experience - A graphic design pro isn’t just an expert in making things look pretty. Their knowledge of design trends, elements, colors, structures, and, yes, even psychology will help any brand stand out and make a solid first impression that can convert to sales.

    3. Time Savings - Delegating the crucial job of graphic design to pro will give the business owner more time to focus on the daily operations and growing the business.

    great idea

    The Pros and Cons of Hiring a Graphic Designer for a Small Business

    Still not convinced that graphic design is a great investment for a small business?

    Let’s start with the pros.

    • A Great First Impression

    A brand’s visual appeal portrays its quality. In a split second, visitors, based on what they see, will either label the brand as cheap and unprofessional or sleek and credible. If the visual appeal is of the latter kind, visitors are more likely to stay long enough to see the company’s offers.

    • Great Design = Great Results

    Professional websites compel visitors to buy the offered products or services. From the trustworthiness of the site’s look and feel to the different colors that evoke certain emotions to the structure, a website that is well-designed will direct visitors to the purchase button.

    • Great Distinction

    Every business person knows that competition is fierce these days. What can set a business apart could be as simple as their logo. Creativity and uniqueness can make any brand stand out from the sea of competitors.

    • Great Consistency

    A graphic design pro will deliver precise and consistent results to make sure the customer’s experience is the same across the board. This consistency is important for a brand’s credibility and recognisability.

    • A Great Investment

    Investing in professional graphic design services may cost the business owner upfront but, as discussed, the value outweighs whatever cost is incurred. On top of that, investing now will most likely save the company money in the long run because design changes, which are costly and harmful to the brand, will be unnecessary.

    As for the cons, there’s only one: finding the right graphic designer can be difficult. But even that is a small inconvenience compared to the benefits they can provide. To find a good graphic designer, simply look at the company's:

    1. portfolio of past work;

    2. proof of life;

    3. client reviews, and;

    4. communication style.

    Graphic Design for Small Business: Final Thoughts

    According to Princeton psychologist Alexander Todorov, people see a face for one-tenth of a second and immediately make judgments about that person. These snap judgments, in today’s very visual age, also apply to graphic design.

    As with anything in life, there are pros and cons of hiring a graphic designer for a small business. However, it’s safe to say that the pros far outweigh the cons. With a small investment and a little bit of effort, any small business can have professional-looking and high-quality graphic design that can make the brand stand out.


    The Most Exciting Trends of 2019 in Web Development

    The world today moves at a dizzying pace. Trends in fashion, education, business, and, most of all, web development also move so fast; it is sometimes hard to keep up. Competition on the web is fierce. A brand’s website must get with the times or be left behind. So how does one stay ahead of the pack? Well, it helps to know what’s going on to accurately predict what’s coming up. That said, here are the most exciting trends of 2019 in web development.

    Everything happens on the web now. Anyone wishing to stay competitive in 2019 must have a website that’s not just functional; but also attractive, innovative, and convenient. Here are the top 10 web development trends to look out for this new year.

    1. Motion User Interface

    As the world becomes increasingly online and the need for instant gratification heightens; people’s attention spans are becoming shorter. People gravitate towards simple but fascinating interactive graphics. Motion User Interface, like animations, interactive transitions, and video backgrounds will take over static and data-heavy flash-based graphics.

    1. Cyber Security

    According to a report by the Australian Cyber Security Centre, 90% of organizations experienced cybersecurity threats - big and small - in 2016. This includes malicious cyber threats like phishing emails, data privacy infringement, and confidentiality and data breaches.

    Experts in web development in Sydney and across the world experience and warn organizations of the same scenario. Because of this, most companies’ are taking steps to keep cyber attacks at bay. Cybersecurity is projected to stay a top priority in web development for the foreseeable future.

    security of the web

    1. Blockchain

    Speaking of cybersecurity, Blockchain, made popular by cryptocurrencies, has emerged into the front line of web development trends. Since data in the Blockchain technology is stored in distributed ledgers and not in a single server, it’s safer from cybersecurity compromises.

    More companies are predicted to use Blockchain in 2019 as major technology giants, like Amazon, develop their very own Blockchain platforms.

    1. Push Notifications

    Push notifications have become crucial elements of an increasing number of websites. Easy to manage than email newsletters; they are fast becoming the norm for new content, announcements, and special offers, among others.

    1. Low-Code Development Platform

    Thanks to LCDPs, more people, with or without programming training, can design and develop applications and websites. Since LCDPs are faster and easier, they lower the setup, training, and preparation costs. LCDPs are becoming the preferred platform by web developers so expect a lot of low-code websites in 2019.

    1. Single Page Applications

    These days, it’s all about convenience. That is the reason single-page applications have grown in popularity. SPAs have one long web page that is free from complicated navigation keys and confusing menus, are simple and fast. Plus, they work and look excellent on desktops and mobile devices. What’s not to like?

    1. Artificial Intelligence

    The list of the most exciting trends of 2019 in web development won’t be complete without artificial intelligence. AI is at the heart of digital transformation strategies. The adorably named Chatbots is just one example.

    development of AI

    With the advances in artificial intelligence, chatbots are becoming smarter and smarter. Experts estimate that this new year, 4 out of 10 websites will use new and improved AI technology. AI will now be able to do processes like reasoning, sensing, predicting, inferring, assessing, and controlling actions.

    1. Aesthetic Overload

    Less is more is a thing of the past. More is more is the web development motto for 2019. Now it’s all about vibrancy - flamboyant images, interactive animations, and creative typography. Prepare for sensory overload this year.

    1. Progressive Web Applications

    As more and more people become attached to their smartphones, web developers have started making progressive web apps, websites that function like mobile apps. This gives users a consistent experience across multiple devices. Brands like Virgin America, Forbes, the Washington Post, and even Twitter have made the switch from traditional websites to PWAs. So far, they have seen improved conversion, speed, performance.

    1. Adaptability

    Adaptability is the name of the game. Websites that look attractive, are easy to use, and accessible to a wider range of devices get more visitors, have higher conversion rates, and have happier users. Therefore, web pages that have optimized and uniquely developed templates for each device will continue to be at the top of the list of the most exciting trends of 2019 in web development.

    Keeping Up with Web Development

    The line between real life and online life is now gone; because real life is online life. Websites are the consumers’ first point of contact with organizations like businesses, banks, schools, among others. Establishing and maintaining a working website is merely the first step. Visual appeal, accessibility, and convenience are also necessities.

    It goes without saying that hiring a web development team is one of the most important investments a business needs to make. The advantages of hiring a web developer include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • Trends and Techniques. Trends come and go but expert web developers are always in style. These pros know what’s hot and what’s not, as well as the latest techniques and strategies when it comes to web development.

    • Professional Results. A professional web developer will produce a professional-looking and high-functioning website that can increase the brand’s credibility.

    • Customized Solutions. An expert web developer can integrate the brand’s vision and the latest trends seamlessly to ensure the website represents the brand and does the work the required perfectly.

     

    Final Thoughts

    Twenty years ago, the rest of the world was just starting to get connected to the world wide web. In some parts of the world, people have not even heard of the world wide web. Now, according to a survey by Netcraft, there are more than 200 million active websites, with more being created every minute.

    That’s a mind-blowing shift in such a short period. Yes, twenty years is not a lot of time. For context, twenty years ago, The Simpsons was on TV, Bon Jovi was on tour, and Jennifer Lopez looks exactly the same. Twenty years ago is pretty much today.

    With the speed and enormity of the change taking place; big corporations, small businesses, and everything in between must rise up and never stop innovating to meet the challenges of the 21st Century. After all, the most exciting trends of 2019 in web development may not so exciting in just a few years’ time.


    search engine optimization and customer experience

    The Interaction Between Customer Experience and SEO: Newest Tips of 2019

    Traditional businesses succeed when they can get people through the door and give them the best experience. Websites are no different. After all, websites are the businesses of the 21st Century. Websites use SEO to get people through the virtual door and try to give their users the best experience. The website’s success rests on these 2 intertwined concepts. Thus, it’s just fitting to discuss the interaction between customer experience and SEO: newest tips of 2019 as the one year ends and another begins.

    Customer Experience in the 21st Century

    Delivering a great customer experience is at the heart of every business since the beginning of time. However, as technology advanced, so did the demands of customer experience. Expectations are insanely high. For instance:

    • The way users search for information used to require only typing a few keywords on a search engine. Now, searches are made by voice, through mobile, etc.

    • Users used to be satisfied with reading text-only results from their searches. Now, they want a sensory overload of some sort - pictures, animations, interactive graphics, videos, etc.

    • Web users also used to be okay with simple web pages as long as they receive the information they ask for. Now they want websites that are vibrant, good-looking, high-functioning, convenient, and accessible on different devices.

    • On top of that, as artificial intelligence dominates the web; consumers expect that recommendations, promotions, and offers are personalized for them.

    With these changing demands, SEO optimization services, which used to be the simple process of bringing in traffic organically through keywords, are not enough anymore. Now it’s all about customer experience optimization (CXO).

    The interaction between customer experience and SEO is more important than ever before. Here are some tips to boost search performance and give customers a great experience.

    1. Get to know your audience. As with any business, knowing who the audience is the first step to ensuring a personalized customer experience. From which demographic do they come from? When a business understands who their target buyers are; they can ensure that content, marketing, and sales are all aligned to the target customers.

    2. Get to know the customer. Once there is an understanding of the target audience, it’s time to get to each individual customer. What does she/he want? What are his/her consumption habits? How does it compare to that of the other customers? By understanding these minute details, the business can then begin the intricacies of truly personalized customer experience.

    3. Start mining. Using AI and other technology to analyze the data gathered from the customers’ interaction with the website, businesses can identify the patterns and habits of their users. With this information, they can understand and adapt to the changes in the audience, the competition, and the market in general.

    4. Move beyond the rank. A business that truly wants to get ahead of the pack must not rely simply on the rank and click data. They must also use other measurement channels to ensure that the website does not only rank well but that it also provides the users a delightful experience.

    5. Always up to the ante on SEO optimization services. Everything these days moves at lightning speeds. Failure to innovate and update the site’s SEO strategy can result in the failure of the organism.

     

    Final Thoughts

    The 21st Century has witnessed a major shift in the way people do business or conduct their daily activities. And in 2019, the opportunities to improve SEO services and strategies are limitless. Now, businesses must integrate the interaction between customer experience and SEO to ensure the best possible experience for their customers.


    SEO audit and analisys

    SEO Audit for Small Businesses

    Everyone who operates a business online is probably familiar with SEO. SEO is hugely responsible for bringing in people through the (virtual) door. However, those familiar with SEO may not be familiar with an SEO Audit. It is very important to conduct an SEO audit for small businesses to ensure they stay on top of search engine rankings.

    ORDER YOUR SEO AUDIT

    The Basics

    An SEO audit is just that: auditing a website’s SEO.

    It is a process of evaluating the website’s search engine friendliness, so to say. An SEO audit is done to identify problem areas and then identify a set of action items to correct them. The goal, of course, is to improve the website’s search engine performance.

    There are many tools available to conduct an SEO audit. Some businesses do it themselves by following a guide while others choose to hire an SEO services agency to do the job for them.

    Why hire external SEO Optimisation Services?

    • Save time.

    SEO audits take a while to conduct, especially for first-timers. With a hired auditor to conduct SEO audit for small businesses, the owners could focus on running their business, instead.

    • Nitty-Gritty.

    No tech background? No problem! An SEO services team will take the data, break it down, analyze it, and explain it to the business owner in English. It is then easier to understand the opportunities for improvement and then come up with a fix.

    • Stay up to date.

    The SEO industry changes quickly. Google updates its algorithms all the time. What worked a few months ago, may not work anymore. SEO services, have access to the most current and most effective tools, programs, and systems; making the cost of SEO services totally worth it.

    • Insights.

    No matter how awesome an SEO auditing tool is; it can never provide some things only a human can provide: powerful insights and advice.

    • Tools.

    There are various tools used to analyze and monitor SEO. These tools can be found free of charge, but those would only give you a glimpse of what is actually available. SEO optimization agencies have many tools that are used daily (and for an SEO Audit) and they aren’t cheap. Paying for all of those tools just to audit one website? Not a great return on investment.

    Still, Want to DIY?

    While it’s advisable to call in the big guns for such an important job; some might still want to strike out on their own.

    Simple SEO audits and improvements, albeit time-consuming and tedious, can be done by businesses themselves. How? Follow these steps:

      1. Get an SEO auditing tool.

      2. Using the auditing tool, crawl the website.

      3. Start the audit using a comprehensive checklist:

        • Google Penalties - Find out if the website was penalized by Google and when and why. Then, create an action plan to fix the issues and get the penalty removed.

        • Search Appearance - Do a Google search of the brand name and review the results.

        • Technical SEO - Do a thorough check of the website’s technical SEO. This makes sure search engines can access the pages of the website properly.

        • On-Page SEO - Do a thorough check of the website’s on-site SEO to help search engines comprehend the site’s content.

        • Off-Page SEO - Review all incoming links and remove bad links.

        • Social Media - Check the brand’s presence in social media channels and if it’s easy to find and follow.

    SEO optimization and analisys

    1. Check the results.

    In Conclusion

    As businesses become increasingly competitive online, their owners must do more to help improve their results. While SEO, undoubtedly, is a huge driver for website traffic; users have to remember that it is a sum of many moving parts, changes hyper fast, and is, like any other system, not perfect. That’s where an SEO audit comes in.

    Whether the business chooses to do it on its own or hire SEO optimization services; an SEO audit for small businesses is necessary to make sure SEO is doing its job to bring in as many people through those virtual doors.

    Can’t be bothered doing it yourself?


    digital marketing and seo strategies

    SEO is Called Integrated Digital Marketing

    21st Century businesses don’t have to exist in the brick-and-mortar marketplace anymore. All a business needs now is a powerful online presence. To achieve this, digital marketers have turned to SEO, the first and most effective step in building a solid presence on the web. SEO is called integrated digital marketing for good reason.

    Digital Marketing & SEO

    Integrated digital marketing is a necessity for any business wanting to succeed in today’s online market. And while this integrated approach does involve many important factors like web development and design, social media presence, and paid advertising; SEO is still the foundation of any digital marketing strategy.

    Digital marketing is concerned about getting people’s attention enough to get them through the door and, hopefully, get them to buy. SEO pretty much does the same. SEO helps a website rank higher in SERP (Search Engine Results Pages); therefore, getting people’s attention. Getting them through the “door”, and, hopefully straight through checkout.

    Digital Marketing & SEO are so intertwined that they complement each other and one cannot work without the other.

    common job of SEO and digital marketing

    SEO is called Integrated Digital Marketing, because:

    • Location, Location, Location

    Marketing works best if the business is in a prime location. Pre-internet businesses owners fought for the best spot to sell. Now, online businesses are fighting over prime digital real estate. SEO makes this happen; ensuring the highest possible ranking in SERP.

    Location is key. After all, potential customers don’t search for something online and go to Page 7 of the results. That would the equivalent of a sane person wandering into a strange, unmarked, and dark alley; and hoping for the best.

    • Street Cred

    Appearing on the first page of search results has been shown to increase a brand’s credibility and profile. Users have a tendency to trust websites on the first page of search results and be wary of those appearing in later pages.

    • Increased Conversion

    Increased traffic means more chances of sales. Additionally, people love to buy but hate being sold. With SEO, potential customers come to a business’ website because they are interested. The business is not coming to the customer’s home or bothering them with coupons, ads, and offers.

    • Brand Recognition

    The higher a website’s position is on the results page, the more views and clicks it gets. Even if the views don’t convert to sales; the brand still gets seen and over time, gets recognized.

    • Valuable Insight

    SEO allows business to track their visitor’s browsing habits which can help them with adapt and adjust advertising strategies. SEO is called integrated digital marketing precisely because it informs a business’ marketing strategy from preparation to execution to evaluation; and so on.

    Creating a Digital Marketing & SEO Strategy

    An effective SEO strategy is crucial to a business’ success. Here are factors that businesses need to look at to come up with a winning SEO Strategy.

    • The Target Market - It’s not just about getting as many people into the business’ virtual doors; it’s about attracting “high-value potential customers who are interested in what the business offers.”

    • Go Mobile - A mobile-optimized website is necessary for a brand to have to rank well in SERP because people use smartphones and mobile devices more than traditional computers.

    • Go Places - Google is not the only search engine available. Ensure the website also ranks well on other search engine platforms like Yahoo, Bing, etc.

    • Shift Focus - Searcher habits, including keywords they search, have changed drastically in recent years. So, instead of focusing on keywords that get viewers, use keywords and phrases that target the right people.

    Nowadays, traditional marketing strategies rarely work. The 21st Century marketplace is all about ensuring users get a comprehensive online experience. SEO has proven and continues to be one of the best most cost-effective marketing strategies for businesses that operate online. So much so, that SEO is called integrated digital marketing.


    web design for security

    Design for Security

    So much of life now happens online. Technology has helped humans communicate, collaborate, do business, buy stuff, and build relationships online. That is why it is important, now more than ever, for web designers to design for security. Here is something everyone must know: those who design websites are just one step ahead of the hackers at all times.

    They work hard, so important user information doesn’t wind up in the hands of weirdos (no offense guys, please don’t hack us) in basements who can use pictures of people’s food, bank account, another sensitive data for nefarious purposes.

    A Culture of “Meh”

    Here’s a fun fact: No one really truly cares about security.

    Take passwords, for example. No matter how many times a web expert emphasizes the importance of a strong password, the average person would always say. “I get it. I understand how important this is. But I’m still not gonna do it, because it seems hard and I’ll forget it.”

    In a website project, web design and usability always trump security. “The website needs to look amazing. It needs to be easy to use. And if you have time and you’re sure it won’t compromise design and usability, thrown in some security, as well.”

    Users have become complacent and uninterested when it comes to online security. But that’s okay; it’s the web designers who must bear the burden of coming up with a strong security strategy and put appropriate safeguards in place. They must not only design for aesthetics and usability; they must design for security, as well.

    the importance of web design security

    Web Design Myth

    Can it be done? Can a designer put web design, web design usability, and security in the same priority bucket?

    Sure. They don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

    A secure website does not have to be ugly and difficult to use and a good-looking and easy-to-use website does not have to be less secure. Most of it happens behind the scenes in any case. In fact, nowadays, it’s all about giving users an excellent online experience AND making sure their data is secure.

    Okay, But How?

    Users don’t think about security much but it is pretty fundamental to their lives. It can protect the things most important to people like financial and credit card information, medical records, classified information, passwords to social media accounts, and, to some, pictures of their salads.

    So how can web design experts design for security and do it from the perspective of the end users? Here are some suggestions.  

    1. Make security easy. 
    2. Set objectives upfront.  
    3. Test. Test. Test.
    4. Empathize with users.

    Make Security Easy

    Today, because everything is within reach in just a few clicks, people tend to move away from anything difficult. Web designers who design for security (and do so successfully) don’t build barriers. Instead, they build better pathways. Here are some suggestions: 

    • Secure by default. Put in the appropriate safeguards in place without making the users do anything. Something as simple as an HTTPS (get an SSL certificate) 
    • Make security a part of the process. For instance, ask the users to perform security actions such as setting up multi-factor authentication during the sign-up process. Don’t bank on them doing it a later time because they won’t.  
    • Don’t obstruct; enable. If a user sees 10 consecutive security warnings, chances are, they will become desensitized to them to the point of completely ignoring them. These obstructions don’t make the users more adept at security; they make the users find ways around security measures.

    Enable users to complete security actions with the least amount of work and effort and they will follow through.

    security sertificate

    Set Objectives Upfront

    The strain between security and web design usability happen when goals are not set on the outset. Different websites have different users; and therefore, different level and type of security needs.

    There is no one magical security solution that fits everyone’s needs. Coming up with a customized solution based on the website’s users’ needs is necessary. And more so, the CMS used often require different approaches.

    To do this, the business or website owner must know: 

    • who their users are, and; 
    • what their users’ goals and intentions are for interacting with the website.

    Are the users here to: 

    • buy products? 
    • set up an account?  
    • sign up to receive information?
    • simply get information?

    Understanding who the users are and their intentions will help the web design expert to prepare a security strategy that responds strongly to their needs and objectives.

    Test. Test. Test.

    There is no better group to test the website on than the target audience themselves. Presenting the target user with the prototype and observing how they react and interact with it is the best way to see how well or poorly the website does. It’s also the best time to identify gaps, opportunities for improvement, and potential security vulnerabilities.

    Testing with the actual users can help the business owner or web developer prevent full-pledge security breaches before launching the site.

    Empathize with users

    Sometimes, in the search for the perfect, most aesthetically-pleasing, most easy-to-use, most secure website, business owners and web developers forget that it’s all about the user.

    The user’s expectations and experience will determine if a system is secure or not. Besides understanding the user’s intent, developers must also find out how users expect the system to work.

    They can do this by: 

    • Observing the user’s experience. Sit in during interviews and tests with customers 
    • Make security easy. Instead of building barriers, create better pathways. 

    Always look at the design, the usability, and security from the customer’s perspective.

    Design for Security: In Conclusion

    Security is one of the most fundamental needs of human beings. People invest in many security measures like guards and security systems for their homes; and other safeguards for other day-to-day transactions.

    As more and more of life’s processes and transactions are performed online; web developers also need to establish clear and easy security processes to ensure that users and their information don’t wind up in the hands of those who would do them harm.


    graphic design for business

    Good Graphic Design Can Help Your Business

    Milton Glaser, one of the US’s most celebrated graphic designers, said, “There are three responses to a piece of design – yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.” Roughly translated, bad design will do more damage to a business while good graphic design can help your business soar to the hall of fame of iconic images.

    Take brands like Apple, Disney, and Mercedes Benz. Their graphic design has, over time, become synonymous with quality, innovation, and credibility. This ultimately leads to trust which will, in turn, lead to profit.

    The Importance of Graphic Design

    Graphic design, nowadays, has become a basic requirement for any business who wishes to build a brand identity. This can be seen in logos, websites, brochures, packaging, signage, branding, and many others.

    Graphic design, done right, plays a big role in the brand’s ability to succeed.

    1. EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION. A brand’s graphic design - for instance, it’s logo - communicates the company’s message to their audience effectively. It does this by using specific design elements to evoke an intended emotion. It’s something that transcends languages and cultures.

    2. BRAND RECOGNITION. When people see an image that “wows”; they will be reminded of the brand behind that logo; thereby establishing that brand’s name in the market.

    3. FAITH. Good aesthetic value makes consumers confident about the brand. Good graphic design appeal to senses and makes people subconsciously trust that brand. They will have faith in the services and products that brand offers.

    graphic design for branding business

    How Good Graphic Design Can Help Your Business

    1. THE WOW FACTOR. You have about 3 seconds to make a killer first impression. A design that wows will make customers say, “This firm is sleek, innovative, creative, and dependable. I want to do business with them.”

    2. A WISE INVESTMENT. Studies show that companies that invested heavily in design did significantly better than those who didn’t. In fact, a study by The Design Council showed that for every $100 spent investing in design; a business gained $225.

    3. GAIN ACCEPTANCE. Poorly designed websites with busy layouts, boring design, pop up ads, and slow-loading media are often rejected rapidly. More than 90% of people rejected sites because of design-related issues.

    4. REMAIN CONSISTENT. A good and professionally-made graphic design will help keep the branding consistent. Consistency matters. In a study by Malcolm Gladwell, any slight inconsistency will change how people perceive the brand. If Apple suddenly changes its logo’s color to yellow; ugh, suddenly, it doesn’t seem so sleek anymore.

    5. BE REMARKABLE. Anyone serious about building a brand would rather be caught dead than be caught using clip art and stock photos. A good graphic design will set a business apart from others. No matter how similar one company is from a hundred others; when it comes down to the wire, people will always go for the most aesthetically pleasing option.

    Ready to Start Branding?

    Investing in graphic design is one of the best decisions a business can make. Here are some of the things to consider before hiring a design agency.

    1. BODY OF WORK. Review their portfolios and previous work to see if they can match the vision of the brand.

    2. PRESENCE. Social media activity and presence are very promising signs that the agency is confident and communicative.

    3. UNDERSTANDING. A graphic design agency should understand the business well enough to know who the target audience is and how to communicate the brand’s story, mission, and promise to them.

    4. COST. Sydney graphic design services range anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars depending on the scope of work. Nevertheless, it is a necessary investment so don’t skimp out.

    It’s more than a just good investment that pays for itself many times over. Good graphic design can help your business in truly amazing ways.


    positive customer reviews

    Best Working Strategies to Promote Your Brand by Using Positive Customer Reviews

    Pay attention, business owners! Studies show that 7 out of 10 customers rely on previous customers’ experiences before doing business with a company. Can positive testimonials from previous customers really drive businesses? If so, how does it work? What are the best working strategies to promote your brand by using positive customer reviews?

    The Importance of Raving Fans

    A raving fan is a company’s best friend, advocate, cheerleader; someone who will narrate a company’s story in its most positive light. And they are as effective a marketer as any ads out there. In fact:

    • 70% of people say that reading a positive review of a local business’ website makes them trust that business. (Source: Moresocialsuccesspartners.com)

    • 90% of people read customer reviews to determine a business’ quality. (Source: Brightlocal.com)

    • 88% of people trust customer reviews as much as recommendations made by personal connections. (Source: Mdgadvertising.com)

    • People spend more on companies that have excellent reviews on their websites.

    Best Working Strategies to Promote Your Brand by Using Positive Customer Reviews

    tolls for positive customer reviews

    1. Make it easy for customers to leave a review.

    It should be quick and easy for customers to leave a review so it doesn’t feel like a burden to them. Positive reviews are great for attracting new customers and negative ones are great to show current and potential customers that the business may not be perfect but, by golly, they can solve problems. Whether the review is positive or negative - they should be able to do it quickly and with just a few clicks.

    1. Use customer reviews to build a reputation.

    By displaying the best, glowing, and unaltered customer reviews prominently on your website; businesses can lure potential customers to buy from them. Another effective strategy is, with the customer’s approval, leaving the customer’s name and photo alongside the comment. It adds authenticity and credibility.

    1. Make raving fans brand ambassadors.

    Creating new content will be easy with brand ambassadors. Inviting prominent customers to add content to your blog as guest writers or take over the brand’s social media account for a day is a great idea. They will bring in their own viewers on top, boosting site traffic and show potential customers how innovative and totally awesome the business is.

    1. Stay current.

    Check review sites daily or several times a day to make sure no review is left unread and/or unanswered. Respond to reviews, positive or negative, within 24 hours to show customers that the company and its employees care about them.

    1. Use SEO optimization services.

    A high rank in search engines is a review in itself. Why? SEO brings a website to the top of search results organically based on many factors including psychology, culture, social media landscape, web design, and development, content, products, etc. This means websites with a higher search ranking usually are the customer-centric businesses and those that provide value.

    Getting SEO services can help improve the website’s rankings and attract more traffic and potential customers to a company. SEO optimization services can be added costs but it’s worth it. Think of the cost of SEO services as an important investment.

    Obviously, positive reviews can do wonders for a brand and businesses must use this golden opportunity to encourage satisfied customers to share their good experiences online. These best working strategies to promote your brand by using positive customer reviews will help any company gain new customers and inspire loyalty among existing ones.


    trends of web design

    The Hottest Trends of Web Design in 2019

    While explaining designing and developing websites to a group of uninterested high school students, a friend joked, “Web design is nothing but fashion for nerds.” It didn’t seem like the best metaphor to use but she’s right. In fashion, as in web design, styles come and go; and they do so fast. A website that looks on fleek today may seem garish and old in just a few months. So, as 2018 draws to a close, it’s high time to talk about the hottest trends of web design in 2019

    Why Bother with Web Design Trends?

    Well, for starters, everything happens on the web today. Doing things physically and in real life is not the consumers’ first option anymore; probably not even the second. Nowadays, everyone does everything - learning, communicating, sharing, shopping, etc. - online. 

    Companies know that their website is their existing and potential customers’ first point of contact with them. They understand that they must establish and maintain their presence via a working website. However, it’s not just about functionality. Just like businesses dress up their physical stores; they should dress up their website to make it attractive enough to lure people in, and innovative and convenient enough to keep them in. 

    The Hottest Trends of Web Design in 2019

    Web design trends have shifted faster and more frequently, compared to its print forefathers and any other kinds of media.

    hottest trends of web design 

    Here are the top web design trends:

    1. Video Backgrounds. Videos are attention-getting, informative, convenient, sleek, modern, and compelling. Videos help brands convey information quickly, explain complex messages simply, and catch and keep the audience's attention. Short, muted, and high-quality videos can make a brand. 
    2. Shapes. Shapes are great at catching babies’, and apparently everyone else’s, attention. Geometric, brightly-colored shapes are interesting and engaging. They also load quicker, helps establish structure, and evoke certain emotions. 
    3. Minimalist Design, Special Fonts. The combination of clean, simple, minimalist design with unique and beautifully-arranged fonts has been proven to be more appealing to users. They also work great on mobile devices, making it easy for people to use. We’ll also be seeing more Serif fonts on the web, something that was mainly used in print previously.  
    4. Speed. No matter how beautiful the website is; if it doesn’t load in 3 seconds, people are going to walk away. People have short attention spans so get rid of data-heavy large photos, long videos, and Javascript. Smart web designers design with speed in mind. This includes going from one page to the next, conducting transactions, etc.  
    5. Mobile First Access. More people access websites through the smart-phones and other hand-held devices instead of desktops. That means designers are now taking a mobile-first design approach, designing the site for mobile use before creating a desktop-friendly version. Not exactly a new trend, but an ongoing trend nonetheless.

    Benefits of Hiring a Web Design Services Team

    Experts predict that in 2019, websites will be more user experience-centered; from the moment their attention is caught with vibrant colors to the ease and speed of the transactions they perform.

    Paying for web design services will not only deliver a professional-looking and high-quality website; they also provide the following benefits.

    • The 2 Ts. Professionals live and breathe web design which makes them the master of web trends and techniques. They know their stuff.
    • Bespoke Solutions. Professional designers can customize the site to incorporate the brand’s mission and values with the latest trends and styles seamlessly.
    • The 3rd T. Expert web designers can not only make the site look good; they can make it function really well, making the user’s experience exceptional.

    The business wishing to stay competitive in today’s a fast-changing market must have a professional website. Without fresh and current style and function; a brand risks losing potential customers (who are bored at the mere sight of the website) and existing customers who feel the company cannot innovate.

    In fashion, you need to stay fresh and updated if you have any chance of making a good impression. In web design, you also need to stay current and on trend. Using this hottest trends of web design in 2019 list will help you make crucial improvements that can affect the reputation and success of a brand’s website.


    CMS website development for everyone

    CMS Website Development

    Times are changing. Gone are the days when the first option for consumers is going out of the house and doing stuff physically. Now, people shop, connect, share, learn, and do many other things online. Most people establish and maintain their presence online. In the same way, organizations must establish and maintain their presence via a working website. Every company must have one. But alas, most people have no coding experience and would bleed to death at the mere mention of HTML, CSS, YAML, and other scary-sounding acronyms. That's what CMS Website Development is for. No technical skills; no problem.

    Behold! A New Technology in Website Development

    Hand-coded HTML websites, like wishing friends a happy birthday in out-loud words, are a thing of the past. Now, all anyone needs is a CMS or Content Management System.

    A CMS provides a hassle-free way to manage your website. With a CMS, you should be able to:

    • add and edit texts and content
    • upload photos and other media
    • manage and share content, user accounts, files, etc.
    • view statistics and analytics
    • integrate other required business processes
    • provide a gateway to the organization's other pages (i.e. social media)

    With a CMS, creating a website or a webpage, or uploading and sharing files shouldn't take more than just a few minutes. CMS makes the job easy, simplifies processes, and increases efficiency across teams and organizations.

    Choosing a CMS for Website Development

    CMSs have changed the face of website creation and development. The website development process used to be reserved for a chosen few. Today, however, websites are popping up by the millions because of CMS's convenience, accessibility, and functionality.

     

    simple cms web development to use

    How does one choose the right CMS from the myriad of Open Source ones on the web? Here are some of the most important things to look for in a website development CMS.

    1. Installation - Can it be installed and set up quickly and easily, even without the IT Guy's help?
    2. Interface - "Bigger is better" does not apply to CMS, especially to those without the necessary skills or experience to use the fancy features, extensions, and plug-ins. Novices should pick a CMS that is easy to use with a simple admin interface. Otherwise, all that paid-for fanciness will go to waste. 
    3. Functionality - Choosing a CMS is like choosing a house or apartment. The selection should be purely based on needs. Additionally, a CMS must offer the extensions and plugins that the company needs to conduct business transactions.
    4. Style - Ease of use doesn't mean bland. A CMS with an easy-to-modify template will give the user the ability to insert their personal style into the website with ease.
    5. Community - As in life, a community is very important in CMS. A CMS's users are the best source of information on its functionality, hacks, and hiccups. Support from the community is invaluable when it comes to resolving issues and learning the ins and outs quickly. 
    6. Recommendations – What do you know, really? Ask the experts, do some research. If your developer works with Wordpress, but you’ve read somewhere that Magento or Drupal is the way to go, you should probably make sure your developer is proficient at whatever CMS you end up choosing.

    CMS Website Development: Other Things to Remember

    • A user-friendly CMS is always better than a geek-friendly one.
    • Just because CMS is established with a huge following does not mean it's right for a particular organization. Research is essential.
    • Switching between CMSs don't cost much. If a CMS doesn't fit the company's evolving needs; there's no shame in redesigning with a better system.
    • While CMS is a great tool for creating a powerful website; it still comes down to personal preferences and working with a reputable development team that can be trusted to deliver what the organization needs.

    So much of life today is conducted over the internet. Important transactions and even non-important ones are now done online. That's why for businesses, building and maintaining an excellent online presence is of utmost importance. CMS Website Development helps companies achieve these and more by allowing companies and individuals drive and conduct business online hassle-free; easing them into the 21st Century.


    what is seo services for a website promotion

    What is SEO Services?

    SEO or Search Engine Optimisation may sound intimidating to the untrained ear. It's complicated, complex, and its nitty-gritty can bring even the bravest non-geek to tears. However, SEO is as important as building as a beautiful website. What is SEO, what is SEO services, what are its benefits, and how does an organization get SEOed? Keep reading and find out.

    SEO 101

    Every organization needs SEO. In a nutshell, SEO optimises a website to ensure the following:

    1. Better Search Engine Ranking - SEO can help place the website on the highest-ranking organic placement in search results page. This leads to increased website traffic.
    2. Increased Website Traffic - People never go beyond the first page of search results, definitely never (ever!) past the second. Sites on the first page get more exposure, more views, and more leads which has a huge potential for sales.

    website promotion or what is seo services

    What is SEO Services?

    This cannot be stressed enough. Every business needs SEO. The job is usually outsourced to a service provider; unless they want to DIY it and spend a few years learning everything one needs to know to optimise a website for search engines. For those who want to get back to business, literally and figuratively, there are many cost-effective SEO services out there to take care of the company's needs, SEO-wise, that is.

    Most providers offer a wide variety of SEO-related services such as the following:

    • Website Needs Analysis - Evaluating the website's current SEO is usually the first task. Once the strengths and weaknesses are identified; they can then come up with a better SEO strategy.
    • Strategic Planning - After the site audit, the provider will take the data gathered to develop a bespoke plan for the website. This includes keyword and keyphrase optimisation and other actions that will help the website rank higher.
    • Tools Set Up - The provider will identify the tools, programs, and systems to achieve the goals set in the strategic planning phase.
    • Optimisation - Once the tools are in place, the provider can then execute the optimisation plan and monitor the results.
    • Tracking - SEO is not a one-off process. It requires constant tracking and analysis, as well as keeping up-to-date with any changes in the world of SEO.
    • Other Services - SEO companies offer other services like technical SEO audits, optimisation of certain pages, robots, sitemaps, and many others.

    Advantages of Using Corporate SEO Services

    The cost of SEO services is justified by the numerous benefits they offer. Here are some of the benefits of utilizing corporate SEO services.

    1. Specialised Experience - SEO Service providers know what they're doing. They have insider info to get the website to rank well and improve website traffic. It is also the home of experts on different aspects of optimisation. When in doubt; call the pros. They know what to do.
    2. Tools of the Trade - SEO service providers have access to all the latest and best SEO tools, programs, and systems. They also provide tracking an analysis every step of the campaign. All of those tools are quite pricey if you were to use them yourself to monitor just one website.

    Get SEOed!

    How does an organisation get search engine-optimised? Finding an SEO service provider is key. Here are some of the things to consider when selecting an SEO service provider:

    • Portfolio - Look at the company's past projects, case studies, and client feedback. Also, look at the professionals working for the company. What is their expertise? Qualifications?
    • All-in-One - Look for a provider who does all their SEO work in-house and not outsources their jobs to some geek in a basement somewhere. Businesses need to know who's working on their website to ensure work quality, accountability, and security.
    • Offers - Do they offer strategies that are customised to their clients' unique needs?
    • Black or White - As a general (and common sense) rule, choose ethical SEO services over dodgy ones. No legitimate business would want to be associated with shady hackers.
    • What is SEO Services? It's a nifty and totally-worth-it investment every organisation needs to make. The benefits of SEO and making sure it is done right by professionals can be seen in many ways. It will be the best use of a company's marketing money. Get SEOed today!

    ecommerce-web-development

    How to Develop an E-commerce Website

    If given a choice between buying stuff online and shopping the old-fashioned way, the modern customer will say they prefer — both. Shoppers today want some digital with their physical, and vice versa. Because the customer is always right, businesses can do little but comply. So consumers can have their cake, and they can eat it. And they can do all of that without ever having to think about how to develop an ecommerce website that lets them shop online.

    But that’s what business owners and managers are for. Even small businesses and the people who own them need to take their online presence seriously and provide their customers with a decent online shopping experience. Lucky for them, it’s never been easier to develop an e-commerce website than it is now.

    Do Not Go Blindly into Ecommerce Website Development

    A good business owner will have plenty of things figured out before the actual development of the website starts. An online business is still a business, after all, and it needs to do all the things other businesses do:

    • Register as a business entity;
    • Decide on the line of products it will sell;
    • Figure out a catchy name;
    • Think about branding at least a little bit.

    These things will matter a lot for the success of the ecommerce website. Businesses that don’t register as real businesses and sell stuff online are running the risk of potential legal troubles. Businesses that don’t focus on a certain type of product waste their energy trying to sell everything to everyone. So the work on the website needs to start before the actual development.

    Ecommerce Website Development Key Choices

    Two of the most basic decisions future ecommerce website owners need to make is the domain name they’ll use, and who is going to host the website.

    The domain name doesn’t have to be the same as the name of the business. It doesn’t have to be the same as the name of the website. But it helps a business if it doesn’t make it too hard for the customers to remember it. So all the names should at the very least be easy to remember together.

    The hosting is a serious decision. Good hosting providers can make it incredibly easy for small business owners to develop an e-commerce website. They can have dedicated WordPress hosting, for example, which makes WordPress website development easier. And the only thing that’s separating a WordPress website from an online store is a WooCommerce website plugin. For DIY store developers, this is probably the way to go.

    DIY vs Hiring a Website Development Company

    This is a good point for a small business owner to ask themselves a simple question: do I want to figure out how to develop an ecommerce website on my own? Or do I want someone else to take care of everything for me?

    The truth of the matter is that it’s incredibly easy to find a professional ecommerce website development company. It might not be too hard to find a good one, even, regardless of the location. It’s as easy to find a great website development company in Sydney as it is to find one in Perth, or Brisbane.

    And it’s also possible to find good service at a reasonable price. DIY like Wix or Squarespace can be cheaper, though, unless the resulting website ends up destroying the business. And that happens. Either way, this is the time to make the choice.

    Website Development Basics

    Business owners who decide to build their own WooCommerce website will probably want to stick with easy-to-use website builders. Still, they will need to sort out the product images, as well as the website copy. That work is neither easy nor irrelevant, and it can be time-consuming. Especially when compared to using ecommerce website development services for WordPress WooCommerce development.

    Website builders make it easier by letting users choose things like themes and by making it easy to rearrange things on the visual side. The business owner will still need to set up a payment getaway if they expect to earn some money. But then again, the website builder can take care of that for them, too.

    Choosing a shipping partner and beefing up security are the two final concerns. The shipping partners might wary from one region to another, and they might have different prices. Finding a reliable one might require some researching online, but it’s effort well spent.

    For the security, the very basic thing business owners can do is install an SSL certificate. Not only will it make the website more secure, it will also keep the business in Google’s good grace. And that’s what all websites (and humans) should be striving to.

    And that’s about it. Once they’ve done with these steps, business owners will have a functional ecommerce website they can use to sell their wares to people all across the globe. Of course, the real work starts when they have to figure out how to get those people from all across the globe to visit their store. But hey, they managed to build their own website. They’ll figure the rest out.


    website development

    How to Excel at Your Website Design

    When it comes to website design, there are lots of issues that have to be considered to make it a success and avoid getting stuck with a half finished website (that generally never gets finished). Sounds familiar? Then read on.

    Just think about the amount of websites that keep emerging nowadays. It’s close to impossible to calculate their approximate number, which is explained by the serious niche competition and the desire of business owners to establish reliable web presence for their companies.

    A professionally-designed website has already become a must-have tool for any business, irrespective of its size, specialisation or goals. Thus, if you have just set up your own business or plan to promote an existing one, you won’t go without hiring an experienced and skilled website developer to complete the task in the best way possible. If you plan to stay ahead of the curve, you are bound to be aware of the latest industry innovations and website design trends that will help you reach your short and long-term business objectives. Here are the top three website development Sydney trends that will help you gain success in contemporary website building:

    Usability Goes First

    What is the first idea that comes to your mind, when you think about website design? In most cases, the answer to this question will be: usability, also known as User Experience or UX in short. Don’t know what that word means? Well, it’s all about how easy it is to use the website, navigate through it, find or buy what you need. Websites have to be created with the browsing convenience and ease-of-use in mind. Otherwise, there is no sense in launching a website at all. Whatever niche you specialise in and whatever goals you plan to achieve by using a website, the first and the foremost task is to enhance its usability.

    Mobile Optimisation

    We live in the era of advanced mobile technologies and innovations. It’s close to impossible to imagine a modern user without a variety of mobile devices, which are frequently used on the go. This is especially true, when it comes to business owners, who spend much time outside their offices and need to have their gadgets at hand. This is where mobile-optimised website designs become not a whim, but a reality. If you overlook this nuance, you run a risk of losing traffic and eventual profit as the number of people, who use smartphones and tablets to access websites, keeps increasing with every passing year. It’s only up to you to ensure convenient, mobile friendly and easy web browsing experience for your target audience.

    Mind Your Website Style

    Whether you work on your wordpress website design or use other web building tools, you have to make sure your project looks stylish and up-to-date. With so many businesses offering similar services, you have to make up something unique and extraordinary to make your website stand out from the crowd. Take your time to explore popular standards and elements used by professional website developers to find out how to implement them properly in order to get maximum web exposure. Here is where you make that decision, do you go for a custom designed website or settle for a premade theme?

    Keeping up with contemporary trends will contribute to the popularity and professional look of your project. Listed above are the top three tips on how to enhance your website design, boost its popularity, drive traffic and get the desired result.


    design for small business

    How a Sydney based graphic design studio consultants support small businesses

    Customers judge a business within a few seconds and the initial judgment is exclusively based on visual appeal. Look for a graphic design studio in Sydney that provides graphic design services which will make your business credible and visually appealing in the eyes of clients and potential customers. Bear in mind that if your graphic design is poor, no one will spare even a second to look at your website. It does not matter that you are offering high-quality products and services. As it is said, don’t judge a book by its cover, but isn't that what the covers are made for? You only get one opportunity to ensure your business branding conveys the right first impression to your client base. One of the easy ways out to please your customers is by using a local studio based in Sydney for your graphic design.

    design for small business

    Some of the design services you are expected to receive:

    1. Brand logo design services

    Your startup or small business has to satisfy all your stakeholders. Your stakeholders include customers, investors, suppliers, and media. The impact a professionally designed logo has on the visibility of your brand is priceless. In short, great logo design Australia is great for your business. The opposite can be said about a badly designed logo, something that is very outdated or is visually unappealing. Collaborate with an Australian graphic design studio to ensure your logo design conveys the right message to all your stakeholders, especially your customers.

    2. Brand identity design

    Your brand should feature three qualities: recall, acknowledgement and impact on customers. The right graphic design nurtures branding uniformity. Local Australian graphic design consultants will design a website, a brochure or letterhead for your business using precise typefaces, colors and imagery that leads to brand identity and corporate identity in equal measure. They see to it that your customers derive the exact experience looking at your brochure as they do visit your website. It’s that visual connection between printed and digital media that holds your brand in the customer’s memory.

    3. Web design

    A key parameter that influences progress and success in any business is web design. Whether your business succeeds or not in the online space is largely determined by your website design and UX. It’s one thing to have a website, but it’s another thing to have an attractive and professional website that works well and loads fast.

    In an online environment where competition is very high, the first visual impression of your website to prospective customers is something to really think about. Graphic designers in Sydney can create an attractive website design for your business that will easily give visitors the information they seek. If you are looking to develop a customised and mobile-ready website, one that emphasises branding and engagement with your customers, consider web design services from a local Sydney graphic design studio. The service and ongoing support is something you will appreciate during and after the website is live.

    In business, there is no room for complacency. You have to be on the lookout for creative ways to design or redesign your website and logo, but also to consistently enhance it. This is because brand success is determined by many variables. One variable that leads to business success is your brand logo design. Having a logo design that is in tune with your business is irreplaceable. Think of hiring Sydney logo design consultants to open up new possibilities for improving graphic design in your business and in the long term brand success.


    SEO Sydney

    How to Choose a Trusted SEO Services Company in Sydney

    Search Engine Optimisation can make or break your website promotion success as it has notable impact upon the efficacy of this process and your business advancement in general. In most cases, this depends upon the SEO strategy you choose, the techniques and tools you use and the SEO services company you deal with. The more experienced, professional and trusted it is, the higher are the chances that your business will eventually stand out from the crowd and show up on top Google search results. However, if you hire a company, the reputation of which will leave much to be desired, the result will sooner or later disappoint you. Not only that, it can do more harm then good and get your website into some serious, long-term trouble with Google, Bing and others alike.

    What you should understand is that search engine optimisation is not a matter of several days or even weeks. It generally involves hard work, investment of time and effort to achieve the desired result. This is a 2-way street, where an SEO company will work closely with you and expect your involvement in the whole process for best results. With so many companies offering SEO services out there, the choice of the best one often becomes a challenge. Anyway, how can you be sure that you deal with a credible service? Mind the following tips that will help you select a professional Sydney SEO services company that will come up to your requirements and needs.

    1. Take Your Time and Do Your Homework

    The number of companies offering SEO services is really impressive and you cannot know, which of them is worth the investment, right from the start. Thus, it doesn’t make any sense to hire the very first team you come across online or offline, even if it seems to be a decent solution. Instead, do some research to find out as much as you can about them. Try to get recommendations from the partners you trust, look through customer reviews, check out their websites or even visit their offices in person to have a face-to-face discussion with their top managers. Feel free to ask for their portfolios to check the results of their work with previous websites. Finally, select 2-3 companies that seem to be trustworthy.

    2. Discuss The Strategy

    When it comes to choosing SEO services in Australia, website promotion strategy matters a lot. Companies may practice different approaches and may have their own vision of successful promotion of your project. As soon as you define the companies you would like to cooperate with, take your time to discuss their strategies and plans on how to boost your website search engine ranking. If you are aware of SEO basics, inquire about the packages they offer and the programs they use. It also makes sense to ask them to make up a search engine optimisation plan for you business. If you have time and desire, you can outsource SEO services to look for the best deals offered.

    3. Analyse the Results and Make Your Choice

    As soon as you have all the required information at hand, it is now time to analyse the results and make the final choice. Compare the offers, characteristics, strategies, pros and cons of companies that appeal to you to select the best Sydney SEO services studio, which will work best for your business promotion. May your choice be a successful one!