Nov 03

Never Judge a Website by it’s cover – Website SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

Website SEOGoogle whether we like it or not is the Internet King, most people think Google is a Search Engine, well maybe so but they are really the largest advertising company in the world and this is why website SEO is important..

So when someone makes a website, they have to follow rules, think of it this way.

If you want to put an advertisement in the NZ Herald, they ask you where do you want it? What type of advert? What size, what colour etc, etc.

Google as an advertising company, instead of asking you all of those silly questions, TELLS YOU HOW IT HAS TO BE…….
So if you build a website that does not do it as W3 (World Wide Web rules) and Google want it, IT DOES NOT GET ADVERTISED.

Website SEO has lots of little things that you have to pay attention to and if you don’t you end up at the bottom of the pile.
I have looked at about 75 websites this week (It’s my day job) and 50% are really, really, good. Of the other 50% there are half which are ok but need basic tweaking and the other half are dead in the water. Those dead in the water websites, are not even around according to Alexa , (Alexa is a www rating company) and therefore Uncle Google does not know they exist because the rules were not followed.

So let’s quickly look at the three main things a website must have to have good website SEO.

  1. People look at websites, so you have to make them easy on the eye and easy to find your way around it.
  2. The website has to conform to the rules of W3. Make sure it has all the little bits done, they are time consuming and unfortunately there are Webmasters out there who short cut, as the client does not know if bits and pieces are missed out ,(But Uncle Google does).
  3. To have good website SEO a site has to have links, links are what make the web what it is. How many times have you started searching for something and to find yourself, 30 mins later on a totally different subject. If you have a lot of Internal and External links Uncle Google loves this as it means content and content is King on the web.

If you wish to check your website SEO now just click here

Website SEO is a science in itself and very complex and we are very fortunate to have one of the best I have ever seen as far as website SEO is concerned as the boss of our company. He gets results and that’s why we have a website right? To get results for our company and get sales moving.

I personally have around 30 websites promoting all kinds of things from affiliate marketing to product sales to marketing a hotel. I have been doing this for 5 years now and it took me 3 years to realise all of what I have stated above, I made no money for the first three years because I did not follow the rules exactly as they should be and therefore my website SEO was non existent.

Successful Website SEO is made up of the 3 main points I have outlined above and if you wish to check your own website to see if it needs improvement Just go here and fill in your URL and you will have the numbers come up. Read everything on the page and you will see what needs to be done.

 

The Author  has had 35 years small business experience in sales and marketing with the last five years devoted to Internet Marketing and now is part of the team at Online NZ To subscribe to our Marketing Blog please click here. We will email you once a week with tips and tweeks you can apply to your own business, and it all helps in todays Marketing and Business  Environment.

Oct 28

Why do Businesses in NZ have no Company Website?

NZ businessWe don’t know the answer but alarming statistics have come to light with a survey commissioned by MYOB and undertaken by Colmar Brunton. Why are New Zealand businesses not embracing technology? It is a question we would like to know as well, we already know the benefits of trading online with ourshopping.net and onlinenz.net sites. So to get to the nitty gritty of this phenomenon, let’s look at the stats.

  • A survey of 1000 SME’s (small and medium-sized enterprises) found that only 18% thought they were early adopters of technology and had a company website.
  • Only 35% have a company website.
  • 86% of New Zealanders are online and a staggering 80% have purchased online.
  • 60% of businesses surveyed said they did not see any value in having a company website.

So take the time to read those bulleted points again above and think about it. Some other facts to think about, with this survey about company websites, were, that as a nation we a ninth in the world for internet usage, in front of the UK (15th), Australia (21st) and the USA (23rd). Of those not having a company website, 75% said the main barrier to setting up a company website was simply having too much work on. Company websites should not take much  time for the manager or proprietor, you only need about 10 Photographs and an initial interview for an hour, then a follow up of 30 minutes max and a final follow up and sign off. Any ongoing work can be done by personnel if the site is a CMS type and webmasters will have have full training videos and literature available.  I realise that there are some business types which clearly have no need for a company website, eg a corner dairy, a takeaway bar, can’t think of anymore at the moment. Seriously though, even a window cleaner should have a form of  web presence of some description. I keep saying the Internet is Information and you can’t sell a secret. Company websites are a must for all and they must be done properly, there are many tools available to check if your website is performing, contact us if you’re not sure and we can do a free website audit and tell you what’s wrong. These days company websites are not expensive, even online shops are not expensive, well under $2000 dollars with all the bells and whistles and you will make that back in no time with the extra sales. Another alternative, and totally cost effective way of having your own company website, is to list and sell your products on Our Shopping where you can list up to one thousand articles, secure shopping cart provided and you could also link to your main website should you have one. Don’t be part of those negative statistics, and take action and get  a simple company website up and running and then you will start showing up when someone searches online for products you may sell.

 

The Author  has had 35 years small business experience in sales and marketing with the last five years devoted to Internet Marketing and now is part of the team at Online NZ To subscribe to our Marketing Blog please click here. We will email you once a week with tips and tweeks you can apply to your own business, and it all helps in todays Marketing and Business  Environment.

Oct 21

What is the Best Website Style for me ?- How much should I be Spending?

What website style ?Oh boy,can of worms here! the choices are endless….No not really.

Like anything a website needs a plan and you can either sit down and rough it out on paper or use a computer mind map,(which take me too long to learn how to use properly) or just use an excell file to map it out.

Your Webmaster can advise you also when you present it to him/her as there are pages which should be present on all sites that are serious in selling their products.

Ok so now we have a plan, how big should my site be?

If you are a Plumbers Supply company I would say that if you intend to sell online (Really Good Idea)   you need a proper shopping cart site able to list over one thousand Items.

If you are a one man band, eg: Tom Sawyer Plumber and you live in Lynfield, you do not need a full blown site, just a simple one page site will give you web presence and that’s what it’s all about, getting good web presence.

So to get back to the first example of a Plumbers Supply Company, the website style is totally different as there will be of course a page all about their opening hours and also a location page but the main thrust will be on setting up a virtual shop where a farmer in an outlying area can order a gate valve without coming to town, or a plumber in a small town may be looking for a particular part to fix a toilet and it’s there the next day for him.

Whereas our friend Tom Sawyer  really just needs to tell anyone searching for a plumber in Lynfield whether he’s available on weekends and/or after normal working hours and what services he provides. (Pipes always burst on sundays).

Then as we dig deeper a Truck Parts Shopping site has a completely different website style than a ladies handbag websitesite.

There are also marketing addons which greatly enhance your chances of people finding you on the internet.

I am going to showcase one in particular here and that’s Google Maps.

There are two scenarios which must be looked at, and the first is. 

  • No one needs to know where I am physically, so why bother.
  • Everyone in town knows where I am, I just want to put my specials up each week.

Apart from the obvious use for Google Maps which is for people to work out where you are, the main answer to both scenarios listed above is that Google gives you precedence in the rankings, if you have their products on your website style.  

So talk to your webmaster and get changes made today, you will be amazed at the difference addons make. 

We also advise a Banner and a Listing on our shopping and free classifieds sites and this helps tremendously with backlinking and drives the clickthrough rate very high, I don’t know how it works, but our chief SEO master does and I just tell everyone the results.

 

The Author  has had 35 years small business experience in sales and marketing with the last five years devoted to Internet Marketing and now is part of the team at Online NZ

To subscribe to our Marketing Blog please click here. We will email you once a week with tips and tweeks you can apply to your own business, and it all helps in todays Marketing and Business  Environment.

Oct 21

Website URL's - You can't sell a secret!

Website Promotion

A really good example

Good heavens another really, really crappy weekend, never mind we are heading toward summer, I only hope we get one this year. The boat trailer rebuild is finished and I want to get fishing!

Ok on with the show….

Today I want to showcase a little about the branding aspect of your company name and Website URL’s choice, as it does make a difference, and that collectively with all your other hard work done in promoting your company works toward success.

 

 

Website URL’s are often not regarded as being too important, well they are and I will continue with that in a minute. Todays blog is a two pronged attack on:

  1. Website URL’s
  2. “You can’t sell a secret”.  I have a friend in real estate and he quotes me that, everytime I see him, because he has people listing properties but don’t want the property advertised because they don’t want the neighbours to know,   huh!.

Firstly Website URL’s

There are many people out there using company names as their URL. That’s fine and I understand that but in the world of branding and getting yourself seen and heard, in some cases it’s not a good thing. Here’s two examples.

  • Christies Furnishings Ltd      Website URL      www.christiesfurnishings.co.nz    REALLY GOOD
  • John Cranson Ltd                                                  www.johncranson.co.nz              NOT GOOD

From an SEO standpoint the top example of Christies Furnishings wins ahead of John Cranson who by the way is a plumber, but nothing told you that he was a plumber in the company name or the Website URL’s  but would be ok if he was an Author for example.

So when choosing  Website URL”S  make sure you keep the purpose of the business in sight and remember websites and the Internet is information.

Now we move on to my pet peeve and that’s getting  Website URL’s to be seen. If you have spent money on a great website for heavens sake tell people, You Can’t Sell a Secret…… Ok put your URL absolutely everywhere.

  • On ALL Stationary.
  • On all vehicles, It does not have to be big, but it does have to be there. In fact as soon as I can find a good printer to do them on clear sheet I’m going to discuss with Bruce about including two vehicle banners with each website that we do.
  • If you are a manufacturer make sure they are on your product.
  • All email systems now are HTML friendly so put a banner on the footer of your emails.
  • Signage, how many times do I go past a business on the weekends and it’s closed so I look for the URL on the signage and nothing there. The Internet is Information!

Website URL’s should be visible everywhere and are important to your business, so please get the sign man to come over and put them on all your signage.

The younger set 20 to 30 year olds are now adopting QR codes and using their Smart phones to access the information quickly and easily without having to type in Website URL’s and search. You can find an example of a Hotel using QR codes in there website banner here.

 

 

The Author  has had 35 years small business experience in sales and marketing with the last five years devoted to Internet Marketing and now is part of the team at Online NZ

To subscribe to our Marketing Blog please click here. We will email you once a week with tips and tweeks you can apply to your own business, and it all helps in todays Marketing and Business  Environment.

 

 

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Oct 16

7 Reasons a Website Audit is Important

Website AuditBefore I start on the 7 reasons a website audit is important, I wanted to bring home to the average business website owner, the importance of having your website not only looking good on the outside, but totally functional on the inside and able to function as it should.

Many website owners are perplexed as to why their website does nothing, so I will endeavour to explain why briefly many websites do not work.

I have copied the following from Wikipedia, “The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is the main international standards organization for the World Wide Web (abbreviated WWW or W3).

Founded by Tim Berners-Lee at MIT and currently headed by him,[2] the consortium is made up of member organizations which maintain full-time staff for the purpose of working together in the development of standards for the World Wide Web. As of 29 March 2012, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has 351 members”

So from this we can ascertain that there are guidelines that should be adhered to when constructing and optimising your website and a website audit will show this.

Many business owners have a website which was built by the next door neighbours son, ten years ago because he was an internet whizz!, how many times have I heard that, and maybe they were right. But the neighbours son has moved on and so has the internet which continues to grow at an alarming rate. Get a website audit done and get the problems sorted out.

Many website owners have looked upon their website as being the answer to all their marketing problems. Sorry but it’s just one of the many tools available that must be utilized to survive in this tough business world we live in.

Think of it as just a tool to assist and help you bring in more customers, the Internet is information, and you use your website to give prospective customers information about your business.

A website that is properly setup and optimised and kept up to date can do wonders for your business.

A website that has not been properly set up in the backend, and is not maintained will lie dead in the water but can be rescued with a website audit identifying the problems.

Now onto the 7 main things a website audit will show up and I have emphasised main as there are many things that can be wrong and will be picked up but I’m not writing a book here just getting the ideas across to you.

  1. Site Performance, we look at your site and see how many clicks your getting. Also take note of the age of the site.
  2. Broken Links, if your have links to other pages or other websites that are no longer relevant Google is not happy with this.
  3. Meta Data and Descriptions, If these are not where they should be, Search engines will not find you as you have not told them what your website is about. Also alt tags on any images as google has a huge file on images that can be relevant to subject matter contained in your site.
  4. Sitemaps and robot happy, basically the search engines “crawl” sites frequently and look for changes that they can apply to their databases to help when people search for a particular item, sometimes they have been overlooked.
  5. Keyword relevance, is very important as is page titles, if the search engines find that the title and keywords are not relevant to the subject of that site you will be penalised.
  6. General look and Architecture of a site. Is it easy to navigate?, Do you have all the main pages generally required by most people searching for Information?
  7. Finally one of the most important things often overlooked is Google maps, as this defines a persons search dramatically. eg when you search for a “Plumber North Shore”, you need to be showing up there.

“Call Us” and we can conduct a site audit for you free of charge and offer suggestions to help have your website more easily found, or just have us do the website audit by filling in the form on the right side of this blog and we can email you the result.

So remember a website audit is a quick and easy way to test whether your site is working as it should be and will show up any glaring mistakes, or omissions made originally.

Oct 07

QR Codes - 11 Creative ways to use them.

QR Code Our Shopping.net

QR Code Our Shopping.net Try it!

Well we are finally starting to see more and more QR codes appearing everywhere and they are the latest thing in information. In Korea and Japan they are in the Subways, Shop windows and Newspaper advertisements.

QR codes can be used in many imaginative ways, and it’s a matter of getting your head around the vast amount of usage there is.

In some countries they are used for purchasing products ‘there and then’ and the product is billed via the phones telcom account.

A QR codes reader can be found here for Android Smart phone users and here for Iphones.

What’s a QR code I hear you say!

A QR code is a 2d Barcode that can be scanned by a Smart phone’s camera and transfer information to the user.

It can do the following:

  • Direct the Viewer to a website.
  • Make a phone call.
  • Send a text message.
  • Or send a Virtual Business Card.
  1. QR codes on Business Cards enable the prospective buyer to access a wealth of information right there and then via a code reader. (There are many apps available for both Android or Iphone).
  2. Labelling, If you are in a Restaurant and enjoy the bottle of wine they are having with their meal, they can scan the code on the label and get all the details of that wine and where to purchase same.
  3. Storefront Displays, window shoppers may need to find out more detail about something displayed and the store is closed.
  4. Promotions and Giveaways, create discounts specific to phone users.
  5. Laptop Stickers making it easier for other geeks to connect with you.
  6. T Shirts, for some shameless self-promotion or business promotion.
  7. Use QR codes to get likes and follows.
  8. Supplement Retail space, linking ‘How To’ videos on products, Information videos on products, or review sites on products.
  9. Creat a QR code that will place an item in an online shop into the cart.
  10. Build your email subscriber list and keep in touch with your customers.
  11. Make a phone call to book a table at a restaurant or hotel booking.

There are many many ways to use them creating a  ”What’s behind the Door mentality”.

Scan this code now and it will take you to…………..

Onlinenz.net for websites in Auckland

Scan to find out!

I use QR codes to direct prospective customers from my brochures to my website where I can showcase all of the products we handle, as let’s face it you can’t get that much information  on a brochure.

Here is an example of a Hotel Using QR codes in their banner so people can scan the QR codes and make a reservation.

I am organising clear stickers that have URL’s printed on them, to go on company cars soon, and I have just realised that  I should also be putting  QR codes  on those banners as well.

We are very excited here at onlinenz as our shopping network as just clicked over the million views and more and more people are now listing with us.

Don’t  forget to start using QR codes  you can get a QR codes generator here.


 

Oct 02

Websites in Auckland.

Information about websites in aucklandTo get any information about websites in Auckland is almost impossible.

Websites are information about your business.

When you’re driving around Auckland , isn’t amazing how many businesses have websites but have no reference to them on signs or on vehicles or on stationary.

There are so many ways you can access information about what a business does or manufactures or the services it provides, yet I can drive around Auckland and not see many small to medium businesses with any reference to a website at all.

Let’s take a hypothetical instance where you are looking for a particular service eg a tyre fitter, and you go down to a road where you have noticed that there are two or three tyre fitting shops along it. You will start to notice that websites in Auckland are hard to find, where are the signs?

It’s saturday afternoon and no traffic and none of these shops are open, you want to check prices before monday as your wifes car needs a warrant and has two bald tyres….. The small guys, 9 times out of ten have no URL on their signage where you could check stock and prices, so you go to the big guys who have the backing of professional Internet Marketers working in the background and sure enough they have a URL for all to see on their signage.

When you go back to the shop on Monday morning, which shop do you go to? the one that gave their  information on their website right!

Small to medium business owners need to get information about  websites in Auckland out to the general public, and they can easily do this by getting their URL’s on everything they can, including signage, cars, printed stationary in fact even on packaging.

Packaging is something that is even overlooked by the large companies out there who generally do a good job with URL placement. Everything you can think of should have a reference to your website.

Websites are information and these days people tend to research purchases in their own time and they purchase in their own time. If they cannot get the information they need you lose out.

Businesses that have  websites in Auckland must endeavour get the word out or all that time and money that went into that website is down the drain.

If by chance you have no presence at all on the Internet it does not cost a lot to start, have a look at out our entry level site for one or two man operations here, and to get FREE Marketing Info go here and sign up for our Weekly Newsletter or email me at  dick@olnz.co.nz  and I can help you get your websites in Auckland established.

 

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