The Website Marketing Group Blog

About The Website Marketing Group Blog

Michael Doyle - Managing Director of The Website Marketing Group

After 14 years of working in this industry, every day is a new learning curve which is why I love the job.

Here are some of our findings on the “best of the web” to keep you up to date with the latest news in the Internet business strategies.

From small businesses to Australia’s leading brands across multiple sectors and disciplines, this means we know what works and what doesn’t, allowing us to deliver tangible results that benefit your business where it really matters.

Whether it is a new brand identity-logo design, a social media marketing,  a complex website, an email marketing campaign or all of the above and more, our team can deliver the solution for your business.
Contact us today on 1300 911 772.

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Congratulations to the TWMG Team ! The Website Marketing Group has been successful in making the Smart50 for the SmartCompany Smart50 Awards 2011.

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Preparing Your Online Retail For Christmas Sales Season: A Complete Guide

Computer keyboard with Christmas keys

Prepare your best effort to face the Christmas sales season.

Every serious business owner needs to build a plan for the holiday sales season to get the best results. Every year, it’s better if you remind all of your potential customers to get ready for Christmas sales, but some has proven to leave it too late. Christmas is the uppermost retail period of the year and you will need to prepare ahead of time.

sales-increases-christmas-2013

The holiday buying season can regard for 20% to 40% of total sales revenue and as much as 80% of profit for some retailers. Specialty retailers that open for the holiday buying season rely on holiday buying for 100% of their business. Still, there are lots of issues to cover if you want to get the best results at Christmas. First, you need to do some business planning. One unique way to do it is by plan it backwards:

  • How long does it take you to pick, pack and ship?  You need to determine the last date for selling online and delivering by Christmas. Remember there may be backlogs in delivery so check with your shipping agent or Australia Post.
  • What is the maximum number of orders that you can handle each day and still get the deliveries out? If you are thinking ahead maybe you need additional staffs or part-time workers to help.
  • The stock you will need on hand
  • Content changes you need for your web store
  • Photos and new stock information from suppliers
  • Christmas promotions and sales
  • Christmas gift cards and gift wrapping materials

Make sure that you have enough hosting capacity and bandwidth to handle your requirements. If you are unsure about this matter, talk to your hosting service provider and they can help you reviewing your usage overall.

mobile-growth-australia-2012-2013

It is a good idea to clean up your store by clearing out old products that are no longer available. Be ready for the holiday business ahead. Expect to see more activity from mobile devices:

  • QR codes
  • Gift buyers
  • Price comparisons
  • Special offers
  • Shipping and delivery
  • Social media

Prepare your plan and strategy

It might be a good time to review your overall eCommerce strategy and to look at how you can develop a more successful online business. You can take some time to consider how you will deal with:

  • Content – fresh and up to date
  • Pricing & inventory – availability and competitive,
  • Logistics – shipping as a differentiation,
  • Service & support – be available longer hours leading up to Christmas
  • Payment & refund/returns – be proactive and offer after Christmas support,
  • Security – got your SSL and payments in order – consider PayPal
  • Marketing – look at your Adwords campaigns and budgets,
  • Social media – get started long before Christmas offer gift advice,Quick Response (QR) codes in printed media – bring people to your website from their smart phone.

Is your online store ready?

It is no use waiting until December to set up the store since you just won’t make it in time. If you have an existing store, then now is time to clean up old content and get rid of out of date product and stock information. Each year there are new fads, styles, colours and collections so be up to date and prepared to take advantage of the demand.

Preparation for mobile and QR codes

Quick Response (QR) codes take shoppers from printed media direct to your website and allow you to promote products and sell online. There are many services that allow you to create QR codes (just do a quick Google search) these codes are simple images that contain information like a URL that a mobile phone with a QR code app can read. You should have your website URL on all printed material and traditional advertisements. However, QR codes can turn static printed promotional materials into dynamic links to your online store and direct to your products and promotions.

Make sure you have adequate stock.

Getting the stock can be tricky the closer you get to Christmas so you need to know what you will need now. Buying stock early can have a negative cash flow effect on your business so look at the possibility of commitment with deliveries later.

Enable a safe payment process.

Do you have a safe checkout process setup like PayPal Express, now the leading Australian payment method, eWAY, SecurePay or Payment Express all safe Australian payment providers? Consumers will be more careful this Christmas and look for security when buying online. Add an SSL certificate to your webstore, as it will increase buyer confidence. Trust and security can help dramatically improve shopping basket conversions and reduce abandonment.

Think about promotions.

You can setup special Google AdWords Campaigns just for Christmas and help drive Christmas traffic to your store. Go talk to your SEM partner you will be competing with lots of other businesses for customer attention but we know that most online purchases with start with a search and around 70% of those will be via Google. The use of a well prepared and funded online search engine marketing campaign leading up to Christmas can be a good investment.

Learn from Click Frenzy.

Will your business be effected by the Click Frenzy campaign that starts on November 18th 2014? Click Frenzy drives consumers to search online and look for great deals. If you are part of Click Frenzy then you should be prepared early and ready to track activity. If you are not taking part you can still expect an increase in traffic online so setup some nice offers and promotions to take best advantage of the opportunity.

Use the price comparison portals.

Open an account and add products to price comparison portals to promote your products and special offers, hope it can drive qualified traffic to your webstore. For example, offer free shipping for purchases over a certain value. Offer free Christmas gift cards and gift wrapping. Discounts are less of a value proposition at Christmas for buyers.

Offer Christmas specials.

You can put up special Christmas only products that have special pre-Christmas offers. Gift buyers come in many different types and good quality novelty items sell well at Christmas.

Add Christmas keywords.

Make sure that you add the Christmas keywords to you Meta-keywords with plenty of time to get crawled by the search engines before Christmas. Also make sure that you add Christmas Gift category names and description text to match up with you keywords. But remember timing is important! How often does Google crawl your website homepage? For most online stores it might be every 5 – 10 days so to get your changed messages out there it is not instantly available. Now might be a good time to setup some web analytics and a Google Webmasters account.

Add products by price range.

Products are all important and you might think of price ranges for gifts so that you fit everyone’s budgets.

Enhance your product descriptions.

It is easy to go through some of your products that might great gifts and add “gift advice” information to the descriptions. You can make recommendations and also setup your cross-selling so that combinations can go together. Make it easy from people to see how your product might appeal and what other products might be complementary.

People buying gifts want ideas.

So give them some. Set up special categories like “Gifts for him”, “Gifts for Mum”, “Gifts for the dog”, “Take a chance gifts” and so on. Be inventive as you need to stand out in a crowd. Also consider setting up a product category based on price so that visitors to your store can quickly find products within a price range.

Preparing for your SEO strategy.

Don’t forget that Google might take time to crawl and index your new content so allow plenty of time and don’t wait till the last minute.

Gift wrapping and gift cards.

These can be easily added in the shopping basket so you might want to think about offering free gift wrapping and free gift delivery.

Multiple shipping addresses.

You can have multiple shipping addresses so your buyers can ship directly to an alternative address. Offer this service and make sure you get the gift there on time.

Free shipping at Christmas.

Free shipping can be a great incentive to buy online. If you are selling a product online you can structure an average shipping price into your costs. Then allow free shipping by Australia Post. You can time the shipping and delivery so that as you get closer to Christmas shipping is no longer free but maybe at a premium to ensure delivery. Don’t be greedy.

Delivery cut-off date for Christmas.

It is no use selling to a customer who expects pre-Christmas delivery if you cannot get the product delivered on time. So you need to tell your buyers what they can expect if they buy on the 24th December. Make sure that you provide specific advice regarding returns and refunds as you do not want to get stuck after Christmas. Talk to your shipping company. Make sure that you check with your logistics provider and find out what the shipping cut-off dates are for your location. Christmas Day 2014 is on Thursday so you can expect most deliveries to be done by Monday 22nd December.

Give your store a Christmas theme.

It is easy to setup a new style and change the colours and banners for Christmas. You can even start doing that right now and make that the live style later in the year. Set up a countdown to Christmas – it can be a easy as a little added text to your home page. Don’t go overboard.

Keep selling after Christmas.

After Christmas is a great time for specials and people on vacation like to shop around for bargains. So don’t think everything stops on December 25th. The smart store operators will be ready with the Boxing Day and New Year’s specials campaigns come December 26th.

Christmas is the most important retail selling time in the year and you need to be prepared to get the best results. Your online store needs to be complete and setup for Christmas as soon as possible and you need to start Christmas promotions early, the week before Christmas is too late.

Four Useful Tips To Prepare Your Images For Social Media

content-writing-tips

Do you often post images on social media? Do you want to create an image that attractive enough to share?

When creating images for social media, the quality of the images makes a difference. In the following we will share four useful tips to create professional and engaging social media images that you can use on multiple platforms.

In this visual-centric world, it’s more important than ever to create high-quality sharable images. You need to share product pics, recipes, team photos, location, checklists and more. Graphics are great for space-saving, convenience, higher engagement and more. Readers are attracted to visuals. Along with posts or hashtags, visual media also help with storytelling.

When you understand that even a single picture will change the way you communicate on social media. Since it can sometimes be a challenge to choose the best picture for your posts, Huffman shares things to consider, such as permissions, impact and relevance. Let’s start our first tips with:

1. Find Photos Online

fotolia

There are many free and paid options to find images online to use with your social media posts. There are three common types of image sharing sites: free photos, pay-per-pic and subscription services. Compares and rates top stock photography websites.

2. Take Better Pictures

If you don’t want to think about costs or permissions, or you’d just rather take your own photos, there are a variety of things you can do to take better photographs for social media.

Here is a good idea on how to take better smartphone pictures with a focus on food (and still-object):

Taking your own photographs have some advantages. You can be as original as possible and that’s one big deal. However, self-made photographs often feel amateur and unprofessional. Thus, you need to make those pictures as good as you can. If you are not too adept taking shots with camera, then you will need to:

3. Improve The Quality of Your Images

Once you’ve chosen or taken your photos, there are many free and paid web and mobile tools you can use to improve the quality of your photos, as well as create graphics or infographics. You can also use traditional software like Photoshop, Illustrator or a general paint program to prep your graphics to post on your social sites.

4. Create Quote Photos

Photos with quotes are very popular in terms of visual appeal, response and engagement. You can use your own quotes or take quotes from podcasts or blogs. Don’t forget to attribute and link. You can also find various quotes on sites like BrainyQuote, Quoteland, The Quote Garden or Wikiquote. There’s a searchable list of quotes from TED and a Forbes article on Top 100 Inspirational Quotes to get you started.

Conclusion

The images for your visual strategy don’t have to be over-the-top professional. You can start simple with powerful delivery. However, there are things you can do to gain better results. An extra boost of professionalism could make all of your pictures attractive.

Apple Free Apps Now Labeled As ‘Get’

apple-get-app-free

If you used the Mac or iOS App Store lately, you might have noticed slight difference.

Apps that are free to download no longer carry the “Free” designation. Instead, they say “Get.” The decision comes after pressure from the European Commission (EC). Over the summer, the EC was able to successfully force Google to relabel its apps that offer in-app purchases. As a result, Google changed the label of its “Top Free Apps” and “Top Free Games” categories to simply, “Top Apps” and “Top Games” in European Union countries.

The EC said labeling games as “free” could mislead customers as the true cost of a game, once in-app purchases were taken into account. Apple has worked over the last year to be more compliant with EU and U.S. regulators, especially when it comes to apps targeting kids. Rather than maintain different branding in different countries’ App Stores, Apple simply replaced “Free” with “Get” on all non-Apple apps. Apple apps that are free still maintain the “Free” designation.

The “Get” designation shows up whether an app has in-app purchase options or not.

The Rule Of Three Rs In Content Marketing (Infographic)

Content marketing is a never-ending process. As long as you need to get your customers’ attention, you always need to refine your content.

Every content marketer knows about the commitment it takes to create awesome content. It’s not about time and money, but the efforts it takes to create an amazing piece of content from abstract idea to completion. They who have experienced this process will understand how hard it is to create a great content that sells.

This is where the rule of three Rs (Reorganize, Rewrite, and Retire) comes in. Displayed as an attractive and easy to understand infographic, it is a set of re-evaluation point that you can follow to get the most out of your content marketing efforts. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the infographic below.

three-important-R-in-content-marketing-infographic

Click to Enlarge

 

Every content marketer knows about the investment it takes to create awesome content. We’re not just talking about time and money, but the blood, sweat and tears it takes to create an amazing piece of content — from ideation to completion. So you know that after you’ve traveled that path, and created great content you don’t really want it to fall flat, like a soda left out on the counter.

This is where the 3 R’s of content marketing come in – they put the pop and fizzle back into your content and make sure each piece has a good, long shelf life.  So, in order to get the most out of your content marketing efforts, keep the 3R’s in mind:

Reorganize: Pumping out solo pieces of content can be exhausting. Take a look at the content assets you already have, and those that you plan to create and ask yourself, “How can I reorganize this information?” Reorganization can mean creating an infographic from an ebook, a cheat sheet from a guide, you get the idea. But the essence of reorganize is to give your audience different ways to consume your content and to work smarter, not harder.

Rewrite: Inevitably you will create content that goes a bit stale – it could be the design, or some of the predictions, statistics, or technology moved on. One way to fix this is to rewrite your content. Before you begin, look at a piece of content with a critical eye to make sure it is worth investing more time to rewrite – was it high performing to start with? Once you have decided to rewrite, identify the aspects of the piece that make it stale and fix them; take out language that dates your piece, update old statistics, and get fresh quotes and contributions for Subject Matter Experts. Also, don’t underestimate the power of a simple design refresh.

Retire: Even with an eye towards extending the life of your content, even good content does not last forever. Content that is past its “expiration date” can be brand damaging, and effectively undo the good work your content did in the first place. In order to avoid keeping content around too long, ask yourself these questions: Is the content asset performing well? Does the content cite reports or ideas that are no longer accurate? Was the content created to support a particular moment in time that has now passed? And, most importantly, does my audience still care about this topic?

Yahoo Will Be The New Default Search Engine For Mozilla Firefox

mozilla-office

Soon, Yahoo will be the default search engine for Mozilla Firefox.

Chris Beard the CEO of Mozilla has announced the new five-year partnership with Yahoo.

“Our new search strategy doubles down on our commitment to make Firefox a browser for everyone. We believe it will empower more people, in more places with more choice and opportunity to innovate and ultimately put even more people in control over their lives online” said Beard.

The browser will make the switch to the new “enhanced Yahoo search” for users in December. However, users will still be able to change the default search engine option to Google, Bing, eBay, Amazon, Wikipedia or Twitter.

yahoo-is-mozilla-search-engine-default

Google has been the default search on Firefox since 2004, which was up for renewal this year.

“In evaluating our search partnerships, our primary consideration was to ensure our strategy aligned with our values of choice and independence, and positions us to innovate and advance our mission in ways that best serve our users and the Web” said Beard, regarding that “one strategy stood out from the rest.”

Searching feature has became a big area of focus for Yahoo since Marissa Mayer took over as CEO where she has aggressively pursued Yahoo’s investment in contextual search. The former Google executive has been particularly focused on mobile with the goal of decreasing Google’s dominance on mobile browsers. Yahoo’s desktop search is currently powered by Microsoft’s Bing search engine, a deal that has Mayer has reportedly tried to get out of.

17 Important Things That Should Be Available In Your LinkedIn Profile (Infographic)

How to get the best LinkedIn profile in the world?

The answer is impossible. Creating a great LinkedIn profile is a never-ending process, just like SEO and content marketing. You don’t need to be a perfectionist who spend a whole day updating your LinkedIn profile. An hour fix will suffice. However, just as updating our websites on a regular basis is a best practice for most businesses, updating our own personal/professional website that is LinkedIn on a regular basis might be equally important, especially as LinkedIn continues to evolve.

Here is the infographic of 17 must have items for your LinkedIn profile. Have your LinkedIn profile contained all the items highlighted below?

linkedin-perfect-profile-tips-infographic

 

Most Australian Content Marketers Are Just Improvising When It Comes To Content Marketing

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“Most brands that went into content marketing are just improvising it. If they want a real result from the effort, they need to focus on setting out a defined strategy from a reliable and well experienced agency”, said Joe Pulizzi, the founder of the Content Marketing Institute.

While it seems obvious, most Australian marketers aren’t strategically focused on their content marketing. 74% of Australian marketers are doing more content marketing than they were a year ago. The average marketer surveyed invests more than a quarter of their total budget in content, and 63% plan to increase spending.

Pulizzi stated that Australian marketers are not very different to the US and UK marketers in that when it comes to improvised content marketing. Only 37% of them have a formal, written strategy for their content marketing. These agencies that have a solid structure are seeing the best results.

9 of 10 brands are implementing content marketing within their business, yet only 20% of marketers claimed their organisation was successful at tracking the ROI of content marketing. Less than a third (29%) think they are effective at content marketing, a drop from 33% last year. Those figures rise to 33% and 44% respectively for marketers that have a written strategy in place.

“It’s very experimental, which is fine. It’s a new discipline for most Australian businesses, but the only ones that are going to see any results are the ones writing it down – and those that are reviewing and measuring it. Those two things together are the critical differentiators”, said Pulizzi.

Engagement tops the list of goals marketers have for content marketing. However, the most used measure of success is web traffic.

Most brands, particularly small and medium-sized businesses, dive into social media when they think about attempting content marketing without having a clear reason or a goal. This is so wrong, since if you’re not trying to build an audience over the long-term, what are your true goal?

“The first thing is to just decide why you’re doing it. Lots of businesses just think that they need to be doing [content marketing] and I say: ‘Why?’. The only things I care about for content marketing are driving sales, cutting costs or leading to loyal customers” said Pulizzi.

More than a third of Australian marketers have no plan to set up a content marketing team or group within their organisation, whether that team sits in marketing, PR, or production teams. The important thing to get content marketing right is having a structure and committing to it rather than floating around. That’s why you need a reliable content marketing agency which can cater all of your problems and offer real results. Contact us today to discuss the best solution for your content marketing strategy or just give us a call on 1700 911 772.

Google Knowledge Graph Finally Displays Social Media Results Other Than Google+

social-media-content-marketing

Finally, after years of controversy over a decision to promote Google+ in search results, Google has displayed other social networks in its Knowledge Graph search result.

The multinational search engine corporation is now showing results from various social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and others. The Knowledge Graph panel on a search for “U2″ has shown links to the band’s profiles on Facebook, Twitter and Myspace, along with Google properties like YouTube and Google+.

social-media-result-on-google-search

The social links don’t appear in all Knowledge Graph panels, and different social sites will show up for different Knowledge Graph results. Searching for “Starbucks”, for instance, will only see the company’s recent Google+ posts. The inclusion of other social sites in Knowledge Graph may not seem like a big deal, yet it brings back memories of a huge controversy from a couple years ago.

social-media-result-on-google-search-2

In the past, Google was accused of favouring its own content ahead of potentially better results. One famous example was that Google would show a link to Mark Zuckerberg’s dormant Google+ account rather than his active Facebook profile. This move seemingly helped Google at least in the short term when stars like Lady Gaga — who already had millions of fans and followers on Facebook and Twitter — suddenly joined Google+.

The mentioned controversy has long since died down, still Google continues to face accusations that it favors its own content in search results. Adding links to Facebook, Twitter and other social sites in the Knowledge Graph might help Google deflect some of those charges in the future.

Old SEO Versus New SEO: An Overview (Infographic)

With recent Google algorithm updates, the rule of SEO has changed over time. What used to work doesn’t anymore.

The question is, how do you know what you should be avoiding and what you should be doing now? The following infographic breaks down the old and the new rules in SEO and explains how you need to adjust your SEO strategy today.

seo-now-and-then-infographic

Click to Enlarge

The biggest thing that has changed over the years is content marketing. If you look at the graph above, you’ll notice that 88% of the companies that use SEO integrate content marketing into their strategy. What are you waiting for? Contact us today or give us a call on 1300 911 772 to discuss the best solution for your online business.

Facebook Groups Now Available As An Independent App

facebook-group-app

Facebook is turning another feature into a standalone app.

The social media has just released Facebook Groups, an independent app to help users stay in touch with all of their Facebook groups and find others. Moreover, the app functions as a centre for everything related to groups on Facebook. Upon launching the app, users see a list of the groups they belong to, with the most frequently viewed appearing first.

Though groups already existed within the main Facebook app, they are not featured prominently within the app, unless you get a notification from a group you’re a part of. By breaking out the feature into a separate iOS and Android app, the company is hoping to make it easier for users to engage with their groups.

Plus, similar with Facebook Messenger, the company says a standalone app will make the service faster on mobile. However, unlike Messenger, Facebook Groups is optional. At least for now.

The app also offers recommendations with the “discovery” tab, which displays suggestions on new groups to join. The suggestions are based on groups your friends are in, where you live and your interests. For example, if you’ve liked pages related to tennis, the app may recommend new groups about the corresponding sport.

Shirley Sun, a product manager at Facebook, says the app was designed for those already actively engaged in multiple groups, a rapidly growing demographic for Facebook. During the company’s earnings call in October, the company announced it had 700 million users in groups, up from 500 million in January.

“We intentionally want to make the app really simple. We want it to be very familiar to the current Facebook experience.”