Small and medium enterprises make a few common mistakes when they have their websites designed for the very first time. Although, an experienced web designer would point out those mistakes to you during the development stages, but it is important that you know which web design mistakes to avoid as a business owner. The following common mistakes should be avoided at all costs:
Not Having a Clearly Defined Target Market
The worst thing you can do as a business owner is not define your target market in the early stages of the web design process. The colour scheme, the fonts, images, usability, and all other elements of the design are dictated by who you are targeting. If you do not tell the web designer a clearly defined target market, and tell them to make a design that caters to everyone, you will end up with a design that caters to no one.
Flashy Design and Clutter
Some business owners go for flashy designs and try to put too much information on a single page. You do not have to utilise each and every inch/cm available on the page. If the web design is not pleasing to the eye, if there is a lot of clutter and flashiness, you might lose an average user to your competition.
Continue reading “Web Design Mistakes by Small and Medium Enterprises”
Once you have decided to get your company’s website up and running you will need to choose a digital agency to help you with the many elements that are essential for success. It is important to think carefully about what your business needs so that you can choose the best agency – one that you will be able to work with, that has the skills needed for your particular business.
Find out what they offer
Not all digital agencies offer the same things. One might only design and implement websites and not do any social – or other – marketing. Another may perform SEO but nothing else. You need a digital agency to have the skills required for your business so it is vital to speak with them first and find out exactly what they offer.
Choosing the right professional digital marketing agency is somewhat like choosing the right builder. If you want a high end home built, you would not choose a project builder who prefers to erect cheaper homes, or vice versa. Once you have found several builders, you choose 3 and ask for quotes. So you can do a similar thing when choosing a digital agency.
Continue reading “How to Choose a Digital Agency”
SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is a term for several ways and means of getting your page ranked higher in the SERPs, or Search Engine Results Pages. Why is this desirable? If you have ever searched online for something you will very likely have clicked on one of the websites that the search engines offer from their first page. And of all the choices on that first page, you most likely clicked on one of the first three.
So if you can get the search engines to show your website in that position you will get a great deal more organic or free traffic than a website that is on the second, third or other pages.
But how can you get the search engines to choose your website and put it on their first page? Here are 8 SEO tips to help you.
- Search engines are looking for relevance. If you have great information that is not relevant to your website, it won’t show up. So make sure that the information is something that your potential customers will find relevant and the search engines will take note and act accordingly. But relevant text is not the only thing you need.
Continue reading “8 Essential SEO Tips”
In many case the web design of yesterday are now thought to be inefficient because they clutter up the website and give visitors so many options that they see leaving the website as an easier option. In 2016, the emphasis is on de-cluttering the look and feel of the website and only offering one or two options.
At the same time, websites must be responsive so that users of touch-screen iPhones and tablets can still access them and do all they want to on the website with their device. To achieve this some of the features we have become used to in web design are gradually disappearing or changing to improve the user experience. Here are some tips to help your business succeed with a modern, responsive web design.
Leave out the navigation bar
While many users are used to seeing the navigation bar down the left side of the page, the modern web page omits this. Tests have shown that visitors rarely click on it. They read what is on the first page and if they don’t find what they want, they leave.
Continue reading “Web Design Tips to Help Your Business Succeed”
SEO practices can really help you to success in your website business, whether you want traffic that converts to customers or who will sign up for something you offer for free. As with most things, some people try and trick the search engines into giving them a high ranking, but increasingly these practices not only show them up in a bad light, but may completely ruin what could have been a bone fide, successful business.
Here are 6 SEO practices to avoid if you want the search engine gods to smile on your website.
- Keyword stuffing. This is using keywords much more than is necessary for good grammar and relevant information. Some people even put in keywords to the extent that the sentence simply does not make any sense. Search engines are increasingly aware of this and will certainly not rank your website high if you do it.
Continue reading “6 SEO Practices Google Frowns On”
These days every business should have an online presence. Doing business in the present day is not like it was a decade or more ago. With laptops, tablets and iPhones, your customers or clients spend a lot of their time online so this is where you must be, otherwise your business will not be as successful as it should be.
But getting online is not as simple as throwing up any kind of website and hoping you will be found. Consulting a professional digital marketing agency before you start will enable you to get up and running without making many of the mistakes that can hinder your business and make it look amateurish, not to mention bury it many pages below the top search engine results.
Just as you wouldn’t dream of designing your own logo without any professional help, or writing out and designing an advertising brochure by yourself, so you need to consult a professional digital marketing agency to ensure you get all the components right. After all, your business website is basically a marketing tool, just like a big ad in the newspaper was for businesses long ago – and still is, to some extent.
The difference with a website is that it has the potential to reach people worldwide for many years and allow them to buy no matter what time of day or night it is – or what day of the week it is. No newspaper ad can accomplish that. But your website may not reach its full potential for advertising your business unless it is designed professionally.
Continue reading “Why You Should Consult a Professional Digital Marketing Agency Before Going Online”
Starting up a new business? One of the main things you need are premises from which to run it. You won’t generally want to buy such premises as that would be very costly. Leasing commercial premises is the usual way to find a good home for your enterprise. However, don’t go in and sign a lease unprepared. Unless you know a lot about leases there are too many things that can work against you. Hiring experienced property lawyers to examine the contract and make any necessary changes is the best way to go.
A lease that is drawn up by the landlord will ensure that all his or her needs are met, but may be rather light on what the lessee needs. If you have never leased before, you will most likely be unaware of what these needs are. And often the legal language is confusing, so you may not understand exactly what is meant by some terms or clauses.
Here are some of the things that can happen when you sign a lease without really knowing what it contains.
Continue reading “Why You Need an Experienced Property Lawyer to Lease Commercial Premises”
Twitter is a social media marketing platform that is sometimes overlooked by people with an online store because it is only text based – or was. That has changed now with one image allowed per post. Still, when you have a lot of products it is difficult to know what image to use. And since the text is not very long, you don’t get much chance to describe the product. So how can you use Twitter as a social media marketing platform? Here are a few tips to help you.
- In actual fact, Twitter is stripped to the bare bones of marketing which makes it very easy and quick to use. Once you get used to ‘twittering’ in short, succinct phrases you will find that your marketing efforts don’t take much time and can reward you much more than you would expect. You don’t have to set up a page, or worry about creating an interesting post that gives all the details. A few words and a URL and you’re done.
- It is allowed now to use one image on Twitter per post. This is good if you are selling something like an eBook because you can use the cover image and have the benefit of more text on in the title. That offers you a little more room to put other text in the message.
Continue reading “Social Media Marketing Tips for Twitter”
Once you have decided to dip a toe into the waters of an adwords marketing campaign you will need to do everything possible to ensure success. Unless you have a large budget, you may be concerned about what adwords will cost. If your budget is low, here are some tips to help you.
- Don’t aim for those high ad positions. Most people think the top three ads are the place to be as they will convert best. However, analytics show that this is not true. Often, the lower positions get better conversions. Experts have found that many people who click on the top ads do so on impulse, rather than because they are looking for something specific with the intention of following through.
- Long tail keywords are your friends. For a start, they are much more specific and will attract people who actually want what you offer better than if you used a general, single keyword with a broader meaning. For instance, “Dental Clinic Perth” is a more specific keyword than “Dentist” or even “Dental Clinic”. It is much more likely to attract people who want a dentist in Perth, so your ad is more targeted and hence, more successful.
Continue reading “How to Get the Best Out of Your Adwords Marketing Campaign”
Are you looking for organic ways to get more customers for your online business? You may have decided to try social media marketing. One of the most common ways is to set up a Facebook Business Page to showcase your products and get your friends – and hence, their friends, – to Like it. There are varying opinions on whether it works, how it works and why it should – or shouldn’t – work for specific business models. But if you have never done it before, here are some basic principles of social media marketing you need to know about.
- No matter what kind of business you have, ‘the customer is always right’ is a good adage to go by, but even more so in social media marketing. Why? Because if you try to argue with a customer it will soon be all over the media, often to the detriment of your business. So take hasty steps to make that customer a happy camper.
- Don’t offer personal triviality. Potential customers don’t want to know what you like for breakfast. They want to know about the quality of your product and whether your company offers returns.
Continue reading “Basic Principles of Social Media Marketing”
To be successful, email marketing needs to achieve three things.
- Get most of your addressees to open the email
- Get them to read it right through
- And get them to click through to your offer
If your email marketing efforts don’t quite manage this, here are some tips to help you become more successful.
- Create an email that people look forward to reading. You can do this by sounding more like a friend who is interested in them than a corporation that only wants them to buy something. Don’t talk about a list or subscribers and don’t sell in every email. Some emails need to contain only information that is valuable to the reader. Be generous and give things away rather than selling, at least sometimes. Use your name so that people feel they know you. Use their name, but not too often.
Continue reading “How to be More Successful in Email Marketing”
There are many different kinds of shareholder disputes and the best way to solve them is to consult with commercial lawyers. A lawyer will be able to see things with an impartial eye and help you negotiate through what is often a painful maze to get the best outcome for you and for the company. So what kinds of disputes can happen if you own or are a director of a company?
Here are just some: –
- Disagreement over the direction the company is taking
- conflict of interest if you or any other director has an interest in another business
- Poor performance from a director or a shareholder
- Disputes can arise if the directors or board members are paying themselves high wages instead of paying shareholders
- Disagreements between partners for various reasons.
Continue reading “Why You Need a Corporate Lawyer for Shareholder Disputes”
Web design is constantly evolving because the way people access the web is changing. These days, so many more people use their iPhones to connect to the Internet and these give a quite different user experience than the desk top computer due to touch technology. Even tablets use responsive technology, but these devices have much smaller screens, so a website that is designed to work well with a larger screen may not perform so well with a small one.
This is where and why many of the latest trends have come into being. Some of these trends are still evolving as web designers work to make the end user’s experience a stress-free one that will encourage them to stay on the website and become a client of the business, no matter what device they use to access the internet.
Some things can’t be changed
That said, certain functions of web design are meant to do the same thing and so cannot be changed too much. Even if they are changed to look at, they must still work in the same way. A log-in form or a checkout must still function as they always have, guiding the user easily into performing the action required of them.
Continue reading “Overview of the Latest Trends in Web Design”
Once you have made a decision to start up an eCommerce store, there are several components that you will find essential. In fact, it is wise to find out all about what you need even before the final decision is made. For a start, some things – e.g. the shopping cart – will cost you, so you need to know whether or not you can afford them. That said, there are many ways of reducing costs; one of them is to use free services or a free trial period for when you first start up. That will allow you to have extra to spend on advertising.
So here are 7 necessary elements that your eCommerce store will need to get started:
- Since so many shoppers these days use their iPhones to shop, your website needs a responsive interface. This means that button and other icons that they need to click on must have lots of space around them – enough for their finger to do the clicking rather than a tiny arrow from the cursor. You also need to choose the shopping cart with mobile functionality in mind.
Continue reading “6 Necessary Components of Your eCommerce Store”
Many people dream of of setting up their own business without really looking into it. While you may have special skills that would make a great business, you also need to know a lot about setting up and running it. In fact, you really need an experienced corporate lawyer to help you set the company up in the first place. Why?
For a start, there are four different business models, so which one is best for your business? What you choose can have a big impact on things like insurance, tax, asset protection and even legal costs. Rather than choose a model that suits you at the moment, you have to include your future vision for the business and ensure the model you choose will still be right for it when you expand.
Your business may even take a different track that you hadn’t thought of, into the future. If the business model is inflexible, you face all the costs and hassle of changing over to one that suits your plans better. It is a wiser course of action to be guided by a property lawyer, who will ask the right questions to get you thinking about the future of your business.
Continue reading “Company Structure – Why You Need an Experienced Corporate Lawyer”
Once you start looking into ways and means to advertise your small business, you will soon come across the option of Adwords marketing. This usually refers to Google Adwords. Google makes it really easy for almost anyone to set up an adwords, or pay per click campaign, with options for much of the work to be automated, but that is not to say it is the best way to create such ads. It can be an option for those who find the process difficult and tedious.
Part of the automation process is that the ads are placed onto websites without any input from you. The keywords you use are what determines where the ads are placed. It is important then to use the right keywords. Some words sound the same but have different meanings so you need to use the negative keywords function to weed these out. Otherwise you will be paying for clicks from people who are not in the least interested in your product.
You have to set a daily budget for adwords. That will ensure you are not paying too much until you see what the ROI is. The trouble is, the less you pay the less your ad will be displayed. So is pay per click a good way to advertise? It can be, but generally speaking is best for those businesses that are a bit on the larger side. For instance, if you have one cheap product to sell, adwords might cost too much to make it worthwhile, but if you have 50-100 products, or even one product with a large price tag, carefully targeted adwords could be really helpful.
Continue reading “Is Adwords Marketing Right for You?”
Have you been injured at work or hurt in a car accident that was not your fault? If so, a litigation lawyer can help you. Most likely the last thing you want to do is appear in a court of law and be questioned by lawyers who will do everything in their power to make you look bad, or as if your injury is not as bad as you say it is.
That would be bad enough if you were well, but recovery from bad injury can take many months and make you feel unable to face up to emotional struggles. The trouble is that you only have a few months to start such proceedings, after which you cannot claim any compensation. But with a litigation lawyer you can get compensation without even having to appear in court yourself.
They do everything that is necessary, from telling you which doctors to go to for assessment and examination to appearing in court on your behalf to negotiate with the insurance company the amount they believe is the right compensation. Continue reading “How a Litigation Lawyer can Help You”
To get the best logo design for your business it is important to know the differences between branding and logo. Some people think of them as being the same thing, when in fact, they are not. The terms cannot and should not be used to mean the same as each other. This is confusing because if you think of branding as the same as logo design you will be leaving many important elements out of the equation.
So what’s the difference?
- Branding is about the identity of the business. It is the corporate image as perceived by the public that includes information about the vision, aims and goals of the company. As such, emotion plays a big part in branding.
- Identity forms a part of this but consists mainly of the visual aspects from the overall brand.
- A logo is a way of identifying that business by the use of an icon, thus logo design will have elements that reflect the important parts of the business. These elements may be text, colour, shape and even animation, but the design does not necessarily need to have every element.
Continue reading “Differentiating Between Branding and Logo Design”
Many people put off making a Will until it is too late, while others don’t think they need one. However, if you have property – and this includes superannuation – you need a Will to ensure it is distributed properly after your death. Dying without a Will only makes thing more difficult for your family and it costs a lot to have the court decide who should benefit from your assets. This cost will be taken out of your assets, so your family will get much less than otherwise.
The trouble with an old Will
You may have made a Will years ago and think that is the end of the matter, but just like many things in this life, a Will may need to be upgraded or rewritten. If you divorce and/or remarry, your current Will is no longer of any use as it is not considered valid. At least, that’s how it is in Western Australia. So a new Will must be made to take into consideration your new circumstances. Then again, if your Will was made when you were younger and you now have more children or grandchildren that have not been mentioned, you may want to rewrite your will to include them.
Continue reading “Why You Need a Will”
Always a favorite marketing guru around here, Seth Godin has a quick quiz with a surprisingly telling answer. Instead of trying to win over the whole world, you should aim for a select niche of customers.
True, you might have a smaller customer base as a result – but you will have greater loyalty amongst those few. Let’s take a glance at some fields where this works:
- The “Twilight” fiction franchise – The majority of people just don’t get excited about vampire stories. So what? This series appealed to tween / teen girls with a vivid and somewhat macabre imagination. And now they’re rolling in the dough.
- Ethnic restaurants – Sure, not everybody likes (or even understands) Mediterranean food. So what? When you want falafel, hummus, and babaganouch, you just aren’t going to get that appetite satisfied at McDonald’s.
- Hot Topic – The mall-based clothing and gift franchise focuses on the “Goth” and “punk rock” demographic. The rest of the teens head for more traditional fare, but the headbangers and rivitheads all flock here.
Web designers, why, oh why, do you hate poor little Internet Explorer so much? It seems almost like it did something to you. Did a web browser bully you as a kid? Oh well, whatever the founding incident was, it’s good to see you all working your aggression out with these hilarious images…
- IE fails on Jeopardy – We don’t even know how it qualified for the show
- Microsoft tries to make it up to us – And fails, because it fails everything.
- Microsoft’s error report process – Apparently they get a lot of duplicates?
- Four web browsers at a drive-thru – And I want to go to this restaurant!
- Browser-tans line-up – Apparently IE is a “butterface”.
- The only reasons to use IE. – …and it’s a short list.
- A Spanish example – Because IE is so hated, it gets insulted in every language!
- Bonus buck! – A whole website dedicated to beating the death drum for IE.
If you have any major assets then estate planning should play a major part in your life, especially as you get older. If you die intestate – without a will – your assets will not go to your loved ones in the way you want. In fact, there might be very little left of your estate by the time it is released by the government.
Have your say
There are many reasons why estate planning is important, and why using a professional estate planner will benefit you and your heirs. No one knows what the future holds for them. We may hope to will live to a ripe old age, but even so, the end will eventually come. And it is increasingly likely that accident or disease will have a hand in an earlier release from this life. While few people like to think about it, wiser ones work to get everything in hand so that their loved ones are less traumatised by their passing and their assets are safely distributed the way they have chosen.
You can give someone power of attorney
Continue reading “Why Estate Planning is so Important”
Many businesses both large and small are making use of the Internet to enlarge their business and increase their bottom line. Even sole traders can start up an ecommerce store from which to sell their product or advertise their services. In fact, a great many people have found success in doing this. If you are thinking about starting up such a project, here are some tips on what you need to do.
- Create a plan. This will include several components such as deciding what to sell, finding out where to access it, working out how you will differ from the competition, locating your target market and getting the legalities and store policies into place.
- Setting it up. There are many things to decide in this step. Will your store have phone support? What domain and plan will you use? What will be the name of your store? Will you use drop-shipping or have stored inventory and if the latter, where will you store it? Selling digital goods saves a lot of problems with storing and packaging. You need to create a special bank account and decide on your merchant account so that people can pay you. PayPal makes it easy, but they do take a percentage of each transaction.
Continue reading “What You Need to Do to Start an Ecommerce Store”
O’Reilly is putting on a webcast titled “10 things every web developer, designer (and manager) should know about HTML5 “. If you didn’t catch it in person, there’s always the YouTube archive.
But this is without a doubt one not to miss. HTML5 is sweeping the Internet. Both the desktop and mobile platforms are looking at the day when they need to upgrade their website code base to be up to date with the current web technologies. While it’s of course true that old websites will still function in HTML 4.1 and XHTML, web owners will want to stay competitive. And adoption is happening with surprising speed.
Why HTML5 O’Reilly Breakdowns?
OpenGL and 3D in HTML5: an O’Reilly Breakdown
Assuming there *is* a 2012, that is, what with all the hugger-mugger about the Mayan calendar and the usual end-of-the-world predictions. Matt Cutts, Google blogger, asks for our 2012 wishlist. Oh, we could think of a few – but we’re going to think really off-the-wall:
- A way to invert search results. So the lowest-ranking pages show first. Hey, sometimes we want to find out what the Z-list has to say!
- A way to turn off second-guessing and mutations. Dangit, there was a time when you could type in anything and Google would only show pages that contained every single one of the words you’d typed in exactly as you’d spelled them. Oh, how we miss those times.
- Bring back cache-view. In fact, make it automatic for every page – when a website is down, we want to just read what we came to find out and move on.
- Better image search? We know, this is a developing field. We can’t wait for the day when we can find the bloke who stole our image even when he ran two filters on it and scaled it down.
- How about using regular expressions? Yes, we know, most users would scream in terror, but those of us techies would love to be able to narrow searches down by clicking a regexp switch.
Told you these’d be out there!
We were scanning this fascinating write-up over at SEOMoz about “author/agent rank” when this thought occurred to us. See, the idea is that as social media gets more sophisticated and more data is tracked, search engines could learn how much weight to give an individual’s opinion based on their past web activity.
Don’t miss the “Google Person Theory” on that link. Your hair will be blown back.
Now imagine Google’s search database plugged into a Rogerian psychoanalysis script, similar to “Eliza”.
Continue reading “Will Search Engines One Day Know Us Better Than We Know Ourselves”
The big story lately is how tech investment and business is fixing to blow up another bubble, right up to where we were at the turn-of-the-century. Can somebody find that Pets.com dog puppet again? He’s the web-bubble mascot now.
Our latest hand-wringer is Techi.com, saying the tech 2.0 bubble is here. And you know what? Bring it on! Now, why do we say that?
Continue reading “Yay! We Want Another Bubble Bath!”
We love a good Internet investigation, so we got a real kick out of Gawker’s look inside a smear campaign. Things we learned this time around:
- 4channers don’t all like electro-pop. Apparently they’re 50/50 split heavy metal and indie.
- 4chan got their site’s founder voted Time magazine’s most influential person.
- On a related note, Time thinks 4chan invented LOLCats. There’s published books of cat pictures with funny captions from the 1960s, at least.
- There’s a website called ‘refreshthing’ that automates Google-bombing. Or at least (if you’re reading this a few days from now), there was.
- 4channers can’t hack for a damn.
Continue reading “The 4Chan | Reddit Dogs of War”
Our favorite blogger who specializes in the human side of technology, Jeff Atwood, has brought to light the distressing story of how many candidates who show up for programming job interviews can’t program. He, and many of the comments appended, marvel at this phenomena.
But it’s not so surprising, when you stop and think about it. They’re wannabe “hackers”.
Nobody wanted to be a hacker at first. Then trashy movies like “War Games” and “Hackers” came out, and people got the idea that hackers get to have sex with Angelina Jolie and start their own nuclear wars, so hence must be “cool.”
Continue reading “Wannabes Are The Cancer That Kills Everything”
In case you didn’t catch the buzz going around, the story of how an ancient Microsoft Windows flaw was found after 17 years is pretty-well explained at the Inquirer. The news was particularly shocking because it was a simple hole that has been in existence since Windows 3.1 all the way up to the latest Windows 7! That’s a serious bug.
Quite a few commenters on that site and others have down-played the vulnerability, saying things like “Meh, who uses 16-bit anyway?” Which goes to show that the home user doesn’t think like a hacker. Guess what? Most of the programs to exploit Windows security holes are 17 years old, too! In fact, if you were a hacker (we know, the correct word is “cracker,” but English is changing) downloading security-cracking software, you’d have more of a real problem getting updated software than you would getting legacy software.
Old software never dies in the hacker/cracker community. In fact, it goes back to the pre-Windows era, from BBS and IRC systems and Usenet archives. Back then it was covered under the blanket term ‘warez,’ and you could find vulnerability scanners, packet sniffers, rootkits, viruses, worms, and key loggers free for the download – complete with instructions! This stuff gets passed from generation to generation. There’s no doubt that a lot of it exploited DOS.
If you’re a corporate IT admin with Windows boxes under your charge, you should be taking this with top-priority seriousness.
Any website developer knows the drill: you put up anything requiring a login, and people are usually going to pick the laziest possible weak password. As documented in Ars Technica’s lament on the failure of the password model, this problem has existed unabated for 30 years. Users are still just as sloppy about password security as ever.
Continue reading “Will We Ever Fix the Weak Password Problem?”