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April 10, 2014
Your website is a marketing tool

Why should I blog on my website?

Online marketing

This is a question we are often asked. Many people think once their website is online, all they need to do is wait for customers to call, email, shop, enrol, etc. This is not the case – once you have a website up and running, this is actually when the fun (and work) begins!

Neglecting your website after set-up is like setting up a Facebook page for your business but then never checking your inbox, notifications, comments, likes, posts or reviews! Except the difference is your website is your asset and you own it, you do not own your Facebook page (and you have invested money in your website, whereas Facebook is a free tool). Yet all too often we see businesses powering on social media but not adding fresh content to their website as a priority.

Blogging on your website is one of the most powerful tools available to business owners to market your business and boost your Google rankings. The best part is, if you do it yourself, it’s free!

You do need to invest in a website with a blog function installed internally in order to be able to do this. What does this mean?

We are not talking about a blog that is separate to your website, we are talking about blogging on your actual website. Because if you set up a blog somewhere else, your website won’t benefit from your marketing and search engine optimisation (SEO) efforts. What you want is to produce high quality content that is relevant to your target market/audience on your website so people are drawn there, not to an external source, which doesn’t showcase all your products, services and contact information. Once they reach your website (generally via a Google search for the relevant product or service in a specific location), they can view all the vital information about your business and be compelled to contact you (your phone number should be highly visible across all pages on your website).

Strategically blogging on your website will help new clients find your business in a Google search. A strategy should help you identify gaps in your search rankings and therefore encourages you to employ a more holistic approach to boost your site’s overall rankings.

When we say “strategically blogging” we mean adding blog posts that are in line with your overall online marketing strategy, not just adding blog posts ad hoc for the sake of adding posts – perhaps because you know you should (but not why you should).

Having a blogging strategy helps you determine what topics you want to cover (i.e. how to sew a cushion cover), when you want to cover them (i.e. in time for Mother’s Day), and what keywords and locations you will add for SEO (i.e. Geelong cushion covers).

We have very simply broken down why you should blog on your website into two main parts:

1. Creating quality content for marketing purposes

First and foremost, your blog is a valuable marketing tool, which allows you to market your business by adding fresh content on a regular basis. You can communicate the value of specific products and services to your target audience. This could include posting projects you have completed and the value they added for the client – i.e. “We installed an environmentally friendly composite deck to replace a faded wood deck, which needed constant staining and maintenance. The composite deck never needs staining and has a 15 year guarantee, saving the client time and money.”
It is important you consider what you think your existing clients want to learn about your business, compared with what potential new clients might want to know about your business. Add value for your existing clients with some helpful tips and information – i.e. how to care for their product, instructions for a DIY project, or a favourite recipe. You don’t have to give away all your intellectual property (IP), but aim to give your clients insight, hints, tips, and instructions they might not otherwise have had access to.

2. Blogging for SEO

This is definitely a main reason why you should blog on your website as SEO content will help drive new traffic to your website (remember that new clients do not know your business name yet – therefore they are searching a product or service in their location). We advise that you work on your marketing strategy and creating quality content first (as mentioned above) followed by implementing proper SEO technique. If you don’t have a strategy and your blog content is too thin or generic, adding keywords will have a lesser impact, and in some cases, can even have a negative impact. Once you have an online marketing strategy to guide your blog topics and content, then you can add your keywords for SEO.

We believe a holistic approach to your online marketing strategy is the best way to get results (which is clients finding you online and then taking the desired action – i.e. picking up the phone, purchasing your products, re-enrolling online or whatever is applicable to your type of business). This means identifying the most appropriate tools to reach your clientele, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more.

However, blogging on your website is one tool every type of business can benefit from in terms of marketing and SEO – and that’s why you should blog on your website.

Need help getting started? Contact us – we can help you design an online marketing strategy for your business, which includes blogging on your website. Don’t have time? We can create a strategy and blog for you.


March 25, 2014
Geelong small business websites

The GOOP team

Geelong small business websites

Each GOOP team member helps build a specific piece of the puzzle that makes up your website

It takes a team of tradespeople to build a house. The process starts with an architect who plans and designs the layout of your house based on your needs. The architect will provide you with a detailed plan so you understand the structure of your house, including how many rooms you will have and their layout.

Once you’ve agreed on the plan your house is built in stages. First, the concreters pour the slab, preparing the foundation your house will be built on. Then the frame goes up, and so on. Each stage requires a different skill-set from different tradespeople – carpenters, electricians, plumbers and more. They all contribute to the final product, which should be a structurally sound and functional building.

Would you hire just one or even two people to build your house from start to finish?

When you pay money for an asset you expect a team of professionals to ensure each component complies with the relevant standards, combining aesthetics with functionality.

Building a website is no exception. A good website is built by a team of people who are experts in their area. A one-person web developer cannot provide all the components that make a website work – research, strategic planning, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), copywriting, design, development, reporting and ongoing support.

The GOOP team is made up of individuals who can perform the specific tasks needed to build a website that works.

Our team includes:

Researcher/strategist

This person is responsible for compiling all the information about a business including their products and services, contact details, competitors, websites and designs they like, and much more. This helps our team understand how you want your website to look, feel, read and function.

They are also responsible for conducting strategic research into the highest searched keywords (using a proven process) relevant to the businesses product and service offerings. The keyword list will be used by our copywriters when they write the SEO content on your site.

Part of the strategy includes building a sitemap for your website. This shows how your site will be structured – main menu pages, sub-menu pages, and in what order. It shows the hierarchy of the essential features to appear on your website.

Our strategist follows up with the client to make sure we have all the information and materials we need including your forms, logo, collateral, photos, and more.

This process is vital in helping to set the foundation your website will be built on!

Copywriters

Our copywriters are trained in how to write copy that is genuine, reflects the feel of your business, promotes the image you want to your targeted audience, and includes keywords and your geographic location for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

All GOOP copywriters use the same process to ensure our sites rank in Google consistently well. Part of the copywriting process is adding meta data to each page on your website to optimise individual pages for SEO.

Designers

GOOP designers understand how to represent the core offerings of your business visually and in a user-friendly way for the online environment.

They keep up with the latest website design trends including responsive web design, which is fast becoming the standard. Our designers work to simple and effective design principles – clear phone numbers and addresses on every page of your website for retail businesses are just some of the simple elements we incorporate.

Developers

Our web developers take the content and design and make them function across various platforms – phone, tablet and desktop devices. Each website is custom built to suit the needs of the client, their business, products and services.

Maintenance

Once your website is live, this is really when the fun begins! Our team provides ongoing maintenance and support for your business to make the most of your asset. We can provide training to teach you how to use the essential features of your website, including how to blog on your website, how to resize images correctly, how to update content on your pages, and more. We have a library of instructional documents we can send clients or talk you through what you need to do. If you get stuck, we are only a phone call away for help.

Part of our team’s commitment in maintaining your website includes running backups, ensuring your Content Management System (CMS) and security is up-to-date, and much more.

Reporting

We base what we do on data, evidence and proven processes. Reporting is an essential part of the process to ensure your website is working for you and your business.

Once your website is live, we submit your sitemap to Google in order for your sites pages to be indexed. Approximately six to eight weeks after your site goes live we will run a report on how your website ranks in Google, you will receive this report with instructions on how you can maintain your ranking and even boost it.

We are based in Geelong, servicing small businesses in Ballarat, Bendigo, Perth, and more across Australia. Please contact us to discuss how our team can build you a website that works!

Posted by the Managing Director of GOOP, Karl Morris. Karl's mission is to provide trusted website design, development and SEO services for small businesses in Geelong and around Australia.

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March 21, 2014
Online marketing Geelong

Guest blogging: spammy or SEO-effective?

Guest blogging used to be an ideal method for building relevant, quality links to your website.

Unfortunately, heavy exploitation of this trend for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has resulted in Google considering linking back to your website as a guest blogger spammy practice.

However, guest blogging is not dead. Writing genuine content on relevant websites still adds value for brand awareness, and builds your reputation as an expert in your field. These two things are good for business and you should continue along these lines if you want to guest blog.

If you do link back to your website as a guest blogger, or if you are promoting clients on your own blog and want to link to their website, you can avoid issues by creating “no follow links” – these are links that work (i.e. take you to the website) but don’t act as spammy links.

We love this article by Matt Cutts for more information about how guest blogging started out as authentic and then became spammy practice: The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO.

Read Google’s Webmaster quality guidelines.

Learn how to use rel="nofollow" for specific links.

Please note: we have used "no follow" links in this post.

Posted by Manging Director of GOOP websites, Karl Morris. GOOP is a website design, SEO and development business based in Geelong, servicing Australia wide including Ballarat, Bendigo, Perth and more.

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March 14, 2014
Geelong SEO

Does your website target Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?

Trusted SEO services in Geelong, servicing Australia-wide

SEO Geelong

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is needed – if you have small business website it is an actual need. Remember, new clients don’t necessarily know your business name yet, so if the copy on your website isn’t optimised with keywords about your products and services, new clients won’t be able to find you in a Google search.

However, SEO can be done well and it can be done not-so-well. Not-so-well-done is actually worse than not at all, because just like a customs officer at a major airport, Google has already identified you and doesn’t like what’s in your baggage.

This makes it difficult to return with the same name and the baggage certainly has to go, or at least be repacked.

SEO Geelong

It’s the same principle with your website, if Google has found your domain name to be housing dodgy SEO you can be banished to never-never land (page six and beyond). In some cases, repacking your keywords and blogging on your site will help boost you back up the rankings. However, in more severe cases you may need to rebuild your website on a new domain name and start again.

Bad SEO is dangerous and if Google allows one not-so-well-done site to slip through the ranks, it sets a precedent for bad practice. If bad practice is allowed and even favoured, then why have rules, or algorithms? Why even bother searching for what you want because it will all just become a keyword-stuffed mess. That’s exactly what Google doesn’t want – because their aim is to provide you with the most relevant search results, not the dodgiest.

So, how do you choose an SEO company that produces real results that last by enduring Google’s algorithmic changes (aimed at rewarding the good and genuine)?

It really pays to do your research when you choose a web developer – it will save you a whole lot of heartache, time and money.

Once you’ve got a list of companies providing website design, development and SEO in your area, take a look at their portfolio on their website and if they don’t have a portfolio, don’t go there.

Look at their clients and the websites they have built for them, do you like the look and feel of their websites? Do they give you a good impression of the businesses?

In terms of SEO, check how they rank in Google. To do this, look at the core of what the business does and where they are based – i.e. business coach, based in Geelong. In which case you could search “business coach Geelong”. The first page is ideal, the second and third pages are still acceptable (especially in really competitive industries and large towns.).

Page one GOOP client:

SEO Geelong

Do this for a couple of the businesses and see how they are performing. Then, the ultimate test, how does the web developer itself stack up?

If the company is not practicing what it preaches, that’s a very bad sign.

Search terms such as “website design Geelong” and “web developers Geelong” and the result should be favourable – page one or two at the furthest.

SEO Geelong

SEO Geelong

Things have changed – while laborious SEO used to get results, not so anymore.

Read the copy on the web developer’s site and if it sounds awkward and repetitive, it’s probably SEO stuffed and not genuine. Yes, websites are written so they can be found in Google, but before that they should contain sincere information about the business itself. If you write naturally about the core of what a business does, the keywords should organically flow and fit into the copy anyway.

We aim to promote the essence of your business, strategically adding keywords as a secondary focus.

If you’ve been a target of bad SEO, give us a call. We are based in Geelong providing small businesses with websites that work Australia-wide.

Posted by Karl Morris. Karl is the Managing Director of GOOP - websites that work. GOOP provides website design and development including SEO for small businesses Australia wide.

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March 7, 2014
Small business websites

Does your website target keywords, SEO copy and Meta data?

Not all websites are created equal. If your website isn’t strategically targeted to your audience, then it’s probably not working to its greatest potential for your business.

A website that works (i.e. ranks highly in Google, gets your phone ringing, gets people shopping for your products online etc.) targets keywords, SEO copy and Meta data.

A website without those three things is really just like a fancy document that you’ve put online! It might be well written and it might even look fantastic, but really, you’ve just thrown a needle into the worlds largest a haystack.

There are millions of websites on the Internet (actually it’s more like a billion of them), so how are your potential new clients meant to find your website simply by the fact that it’s there? They won’t.

Here’s why every GOOP website strategically targets keywords, SEO copy and Meta data…

Keywords

Small business websites Geelong

Keywords are highly searched terms and when coupled with a geographic location, helps Internet users pinpoint a product or service closest to them – i.e. “Civil engineers in Geelong”.

We conduct research to compile a list of strategic keywords to be used on your website to help you rank on Google for what you want to be found for. Although many of the keywords for your website will be common sense – reflecting your products and services – we always use a program to nut out the most searched words from the list. This means your final keyword list is backed by data and we know people are searching for your products or services using these specific terms.

Remember that Google indexes your websites pages based on what people are searching for, so in order to be found your website must include these highly searched terms.

SEO Copy

Small business websites Geelong

SEO copy is the content on your websites pages – i.e. what is written on your services page to describe the services you provide.

Thanks to Google’s Hummingbird algorithm, the most important thing when writing a website is making sure the content is genuine, relevant, unique and reflects the essence of the business.

Yes, keywords must be included in the copy on your site – but they should not be the absolute focus.

Our copywriters are trained in SEO and understand how to write compelling content so that your website also ranks on Google. We focus on content that reflects the topic which is about the keywords and we add them as a secondary focus.

Meta Data

Small business websites Geelong

What is Meta data? The Meta data is the descriptions we use behind the scenes of your website for SEO, they are also the descriptions that show up in search engine results (see example below). We adhere to the strict formulas levied by Google and use your keyword list to strategically optimise each of your pages.

Even though this data is not visible on your website it is imperative to your website ranking well and will show up in Google’s search results. Every GOOP website has purposefully written Meta data on every single page.

Small business websites Geelong

If your website does not target these three essentials, give us a call: (03) 5222 4220.

Posted by Karl Morris. Karl is a passionate small business supporter and the Managing Director of GOOP - the leading provider of small business websites in Australia. A GOOP website is the most powerful, cost-effective and measurable advertising available to small business. 

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February 11, 2014
Small business websites

WEBSITES WITH THE LOT

What are the ingredients of a GOOP small business website?

Small business websites

You know those takeaway ads where the burger looks perfect (fresh bun, crisp lettuce and just the right amount of mayo…)? Tantalised, you go and buy one but it turns out to be a slopped together mess. That’s just not satisfying!

Think of your website like a burger. The best burgers are made using fresh ingredients and are put together with love. A bad burger is stale and doesn’t deliver on its promise of mouth-watering satisfaction.

At GOOP we use only the finest ingredients put together by our locally sourced staff to build a website that looks great and works!

Everything we do is researched, planned and implemented with attention to detail. Here are the layers that make up your GOOP website:

Research

Our process starts with some serious research. We ask who your competitors are and take a look at their websites. Then we look at websites of businesses in the same industry who rank highly on Google.

We look at other websites in your industry (that may not necessarily rank well) with good menus, layouts and overall designs.

We conduct structured research on design, content and keywords for every business, every time, so we can bring together the best design ideas with the highest ranking keywords.

Strategic planning

This is where we determine the structure of your website – the sitemap. Using information about your products and services, we plan the order of the pages, sub-menu pages and news categories for your website. We decide which keywords will be page-specific and which ones will be used overall. This is the basic skeleton of your website which will be fleshed out with the design and content. This is an important step in making sure we optimise individual pages for relevant Google searches.

SEO

We make sure we use the most searched keywords relevant to your products and services and combine these with your main geographic location. This factual data is based on our proven reporting processes.

We optimise individual pages by adding specific keywords to the Meta data and content on every single page. We also use the identified keywords throughout the copy on your site and link them where relevant.

Copywriting

Our copywriters are trained in SEO and understand how to add and write new content so that your website ranks on Google. We keep up with the latest Google algorithm changes that affect how we write our sites. One of the most important things when writing a website is making sure the content is genuine, relevant and unique.

Design

While we always incorporate certain elements for functionality (such as your phone number on every page), every design is unique. Our designers use your business logo as well as any collateral or promotional material to design a website that reflects the look and feel of your brand.

Development

Our web developers take all the ingredients and put them together with love. They take the design concept and bring it to life using technical skill and precision. We keep up with the latest and greatest CMS versions and other technological advancements which allows us to offer responsive web design (and who knows what in the future!).

Each website is custom built so that it is Google-friendly, user-friendly and remains true to the design concept. Our web developers will also submit your site to Google so that it is ready to be indexed, searched and found!

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is added to every GOOP website as standard practice. This tool is essential in monitoring your website. You can track which pages people are landing on, how long they are staying for, what devices people use to view your site and much more.

This kind of data can be used to make improvements to your website. For example, if you have a high percentage of mobile and tablet device users viewing your site, you should consider a responsive design so your users get the most out of your site.

Support

We offer training and support so that you can manage your website and its content. We want you to take ownership of your website and have the knowledge and understanding to keep it up-to-date. With your GOOP website you get support after your site is built and instructional documents for Google Analytics, CMS editing and tips for updating your news.

For confident web users, we can support you to take it to the next level.

Please contact us for website enquiries. We are based in Geelong, servicing Australia-wide for small business wesbites.

Posted by Karl Morris. Karl is passionate about providing quality digital marketing solutions to small business. It's not about the website. It's truly about client acquisition. It's making your phone ring with potential customers. Simply putting up a website is not good enough for small businesses. You need to do the research and planning. Then not only implement the site but follow it up and track its performance against agreed criteria.

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February 10, 2014
Social media marketing

Social media marketing for small business

Driving Facebook traffic to your website

We love Facebook, but we love websites more. Why? Because a website is your asset and you own it. You do not own your Facebook page.

It makes sense then to try to drive your Facebook traffic to your website, not the other way around.

One really simple way to drive Facebook traffic to your website is to post a link to a blog post you have written or post a link to a product or services page on your website. The topics should all tie in with your overall marketing plan and be relevant to your audience (remember the principles of content marketing)!


February 5, 2014
Google updates

Google Maps changes requires you to update your Google Places information

Action required before February 21, 2014 to keep your Google Places listing

Google is constantly in the evolution stage – adjusting their Google products according to search trends and advancements in technology (i.e. responsive websites).

Google Maps has undergone changes and as a result you will need to update and submit information about your business in your Google Places account. Your Google Places listing is vital to your business being found by clients on Google – it shows your Google map, type of business and more.

Google Places

If you have received an email from Google asking you to update your Google Places information – it is not spam and you must take action before February 21, 2014 or risk losing your Google Places listing (note: this is bad).

You need to login, review and submit your information to keep your business listing live on Google.

The sooner you get onto it the better – some changes to information, such as your business address, requires verification with a new pin which will be sent to you from Google. Once you receive the pin you will need to sign in, verify your information and finally submit your data.

We have compiled an instructional PDF to help you update your information: Google Places instructions

GOOP will be providing more information on Google Places and Google+ accounts in the near future.

Please make sure you read our newsletters and follow us on Facebook for all updates and instructions.

By Karl Morris. Karl is fascinated by the online evolution and the impact this is having on small business marketing dynamics.

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January 10, 2014
Geelong website design

Website design trends for 2014

Website design is a form of visual communication that aims to project a message to a targeted audience. For example, if you are a builder focusing on high-end designer homes, your website should project this image to potential clients with a sophisticated look and crisp images of your work – nothing cartoonish or cluttered.

The process of building a website that works starts with research, strategic planning and ensuring the content (which includes Search Engine Optimisation) communicates the essence of a business and their product and service offerings. Then comes the design – how to best represent the core offerings of the business visually, and in a way that is conducive to user-behaviour online. The development stage takes the content and design and makes them function across various platforms – phone, tablet and desktop devices.

Just like cars, computers and phones – websites are in a constant state of evolution, along with science and technology. As soon as one variation comes out, the next is already being developed. Website design trends have evolved along with the software that helps us build sites and the hardware used to view sites. Responsive web design is the perfect example of this.

Visual communication and website design is not just about “how it looks” – it is about how well it communicates a message to your target audience and how easy it is to navigate. The look, feel and functionality of a website is intertwined.

With this in mind, we take a look at website design trends for 2014:

Responsive design

Website design Geelong

This year will see responsive websites become the standard as more people use the Internet on a wide variety of devices, more often. Responsive websites are the most fluid type of website, growing, shrinking and adjusting depending on the size of screen you are viewing it on. It is the most user-friendly design possible, allowing clients to view your content with absolute ease.

Clean design

Website design Geelong

Responsive and clean design go hand-in-hand. By “clean” we don’t just mean how it looks – which should be simple, uncluttered and sophisticated – we also mean the functionality. A clean website not only looks great, but is extremely user-friendly and easy to navigate, making it easier for clients to find what they want, faster.

Flat design

Website design Geelong

Easy on the eye and easy to use, flat design is minimalist, refined and fits in well with clean and responsive design. With responsive design on the rise, the less clutter the better – websites need to be quick and easy to read, especially on smaller screens. Flat design also allows a page to have a focal point – whether it is a hero image or text – without being overpowered by other elements.

Visual storytelling

A set of great, relevant images on your website is a powerful tool in telling the story of who you are and what you do. You can sing ‘til the cows come home about your incredible custom steel fabrication projects – but if you don’t have images to back up the words then your credibility can get a little lost amongst the text. Bigger, better, clearer and more professional images take your website and credibility to the next level. Another component to visual storytelling is infographics. Done well, these will add value, interest and help to tell a story about a specific product, service or otherwise.

Based in Geelong, we service small businesses Australia-wide for website design. Please contact us to discuss your business and your needs. The design of your website will depend upon what you do, who you do it for and what you want your website to achieve for your business.

Posted by Karl Morris - Managing Director of GOOP websites. Karl is passionate about helping small businesses be found online with websites that work!

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January 10, 2014
Small business websites

Geelong small business marketing

Preparing for Google’s algorithm updates in 2014

Geelong small business marketing

The web is made up of approximately 60 trillion individual pages, and it is always growing!

Google crawls the Internet, sorting pages based on their content, links and much more. Google then keeps all this information in an index (which is referred to when people type in a search).

At GOOP, when we develop a website we always submit it to Google to be indexed and then run rank reports to make sure you are found by your clients on Google. We employ methods to boost your ranking such as blogging on your website with keywords and phrases so that Google indexes this content and pushes you higher up the list (and effectively closer to potential clients).

While the web is constantly growing, the rules are constantly changing. Google makes changes based on how people are searching and these changes are called algorithms.

Algorithms read and try to decipher what it is you want from your search, and use formulas to find the best answer for you. Algorithms are developed by Google’s engineers to keep up with search trends.

For example, people used to search using simple keywords and locations, i.e. ‘Geelong plumber’. There has been a shift to more conversational searches – whereby people actually type in a full specific question, i.e. ‘What is the best Italian restaurant in Melbourne?’

In 2013 there were four main Google algorithm updates: Panda, Penguin 2.0, Penguin 2.1 and Hummingbird.

So, how to prepare for Google’s 2014 algorithm updates?

Search Engine Watch reports: ‘Content Marketing is Bigger than Ever’.

If one of the main ways Google indexes your website is based on the content on your pages (as well as other things), then it makes sense that your marketing content also has an impact on how Google does – or doesn’t – favour your business.

Google will be favouring businesses executing vigorous content marketing strategies throughout 2014. If you have already been actively and effectively doing this, you will need to look at optimising your content for mobile and tablet devices to further grow your reach.

Your content marketing strategy for 2014 should determine:

  • What your customers want to know/hear/learn about. This is essential in deciding what content you will actually push out. Remember – the focus is on quality content that encourages engagement and shapes your business as a figure of knowledge and authority in your field. Find out what your customers want to learn from you!
  • What topics you will cover and when. Maybe you are selling a product that will be popular around Mother’s Day – in which case you could focus on promoting this product with quality content during this month.
  • How you will package your content. Will you be sending out regular newsletters, blogging on your website or a mixture? Creating fresh content regularly is a must – deciding how you send it out is the next step.

At GOOP, we are in the midst of planning our 2014 content marketing strategy. We are focusing on producing content that is useful for our clients based on what they want to learn from us.

This is a win-win strategy because your clients will love content that helps them specifically which means they will be more likely to engage with or share your material – which benefits your business (remembering that Google also indexes your web pages based on links).

What stage is your business at with your marketing strategy for the New Year? How will people search in 2014, and will your business have quality content ready for them to find?

Statistical information from: Google Inside Search, 'How the Search Works'.

Content marketing information from: Search Engine Watch, 'Content Marketing is Bigger than Ever'.

This one minute clip from Michael Porter will really get you thinking about the difference between goals and a strategy:

Karl Morris, Managing Director at GOOP

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December 9, 2013
Geelong small business websites

Small business websites Geelong

The growth of mobile device usage

Founder, Editor and CEO of Business Insider, Henry Blodget, delivered a gripping presentation about the growth of mobile media in the US over the last five years.

Business Insider is the world’s fastest growing business news website. The presentation was informed by Business Intelligence – the research branch focusing on providing data and analysis of the mobile industry. The work of Business Intelligence is a reflection of the mobile industry’s current growth and impact on how we operate daily in our personal and professional lives.

So, where is the world of online and mobile devices at?

Business Intelligence reports: Mobile is the only media time that is growing, everything else is shrinking.

Small business websites Geelong

Smart phones sales are still booming, but their cost is plummeting, meaning more people are able to purchase smartphones and use the Internet on them.

Approximately 60% of online devices are now smart phones or tablets, clearly eclipsing PCs.

Mobile devices are changing the way we communicate, purchase and socialise.

There are 758 million picture messages sent via mobile devices per day, 350 million Snapchat pictures sent per day, one-fifth of all Internet traffic is now from mobile, mobile video is booming, social and music are now mostly mobile and mobile is driving all of Facebook’s revenue growth…

What does this mean for business owners? With mobile device usage growing exponentially, if your website is not optimised for mobile devices, you are getting left behind!
It’s important to remember that despite the massive growth of mobile media – the world is now ‘multi-screened’ – mobile devices, tablets, PCs and who can imagine what else the future holds…

GOOP have been promoting the responsive web design for some time – being the most fluid of all websites that transforms to fit any screen, anywhere, anytime.

Please contact us for more information about responsive web design.

By Karl Morris. Karl started GOOP with his wife Amanda Ferry in 2007. In that time they have seen the evolution of websites go from not just being Search Engine Friendly but now being friendly for multiple devices. They have been amazed at how quickly mobile devices have come to dominate mobile usage particularly in certain categories.

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Info: Business Insider Australia


November 8, 2013
Geelong small business websites

Getting your website ready for Christmas

Update your contact page with changes to business trading

Christmas is less than two short months away, which means upcoming changes to regular trading for many businesses.

Some businesses are open for extended hours to accommodate the busy Christmas period, while others shut down. Then there are all those public holidays – are you open or closed on those, and if you’re open are your trading hours different?

Now is the time to update your website with all relevant information regarding the Christmas trading period. It’s important to keep your clients up-to-date with any changes to your regular business hours.

People and other businesses rely on your business for the goods and/or services you provide; therefore giving them notice about any restricted hours/shut downs will help them to plan for this.

If you’re open for extended hours and/or on public holidays, you also need to let people know – because if they don’t know you’re open when others might be closed, then they can’t take advantage of your extended trading and you may lose valuable business.

Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day are all national public holidays. Don’t assume customers know that you will be open or closed. Different industries and different businesses honour different holidays. Whereas a web developer (us!) will be closed on Boxing Day, many retail stores will be open to take advantage of the popular Boxing Day sales which often generate great business.

Get your website ready for Christmas and update your “Contact” page with all changes to your business hours now.

Here is a basic general checklist of things you need to let your clients know about:

• Extended trading hours (dates from – to, times);

• Restricted trading hours (dates from – to, times);

• Shut downs (dates of closure, date and time re-opening);

• Public holidays – closed, open, changes to hours?

If in doubt about any public holidays in your state for 2013/2014, check the Australian Government website.

Please contact us with all relevant information and we can make these changes to your contact page for you.

By Karl Morris. Having started GOOP back in 2007 when website usage almost disappeared for a week or two from the 24 December, this has changed dramataically in 2013/14. With massive mobile usage (particularly) in holiday zones on the coast you now need to ensure your website is up to date for all users over the festive season.

Google+


October 17, 2013
Responsive Web Design

Responsive Web Design for Small Business

Small Business Responsive Web Design

Responsive web Design for Small business

One of the core elements of Google Analytics is mobile device usage. Certain industry types typically have a much higher mobile device usage to access their websites.

When you have a high percentage of visitors coming to your website from mobile devices you need to consider providing your visitors (potential customers) with a user friendly mobile website. If you have more than 30% of your visitors on mobile devices then you really need to consider getting a mobile website.

When a visitor can easily navigate your website on their mobile device your chance of conversion increases dramatically. They are much more likely to take the action you desire, which is typically to call you, walk into your shop, research your products, check your opening hours etc.

Mobile websites can come in two formats:

1. A static icon based website;

2. A Responsive Website for your small business.

A Responsive Website is a website that adjusts to suit the size of the screen on which the visitor (potential customer) is visiting your website. A responsive design needs to be designed based on the fact that it will need to readjust for the various screen sizes. For example looking at a responsive design on an iPad will look differently depending on how you are holding the iPad – IE: portrait or landscape?

Due to the complexities of responsive design this does place some limitations on the graphical layout of the site and requires a lot more work when it comes to the web development side of things and as a result can cost more.

The benefits are that your clients will stay on your site and are more likely to convert to a paying customer.

Karl Morris is the Managing Director of GOOP. GOOP has developed hundreds of websites for clients Australia-wide. Karl is passionate about teaching his clients about how to get their small business website working for them. Anyone can build a website but building one that works (in all sizes) is a very different story.

Google+


October 9, 2013
Google Analytics for Small Business Websites

Navigating Google Analytics - Tips for Small Businesses

In our blog last week we provided tips for Google analytics and we gave some key insights that small business really need to be aware of when looking at their Google analytics. We also provided our own client base with a simple cheat sheet to assist with logging into and navigating Google Analytics.

To our suprise today the 09 October 2013 Google Analytics has changed their menu navigation and actually made it much simpler to find some of these key elements within analytics. Clearly they have been monitoring their own analytics and have opted to change their own structure based on their own analytical data.

'Traffic Sources' and 'Content' have been replaced with 'Acquisition' and 'Behaviour' as main structural navigation elements and 'Overview' and 'Channels' being new core sections under the 'Acquisition' tab.

GOOP will be working on cheat sheets for our clients to dive into Google Analytics and get some great value out of this resource. Please contact GOOP if you would like a Google Analytics Cheat Sheet.

Google Analytics

Karl Morris is the Managing Director of GOOP, an Australia company dedicated to providing complete digital marketing services to small businesses Australia wide. With over 600 small business clients GOOP believes that building websites is easy but building websites that work is a completely different "kettle of fish".

Google+


October 3, 2013
Google Analytics

Google Analytics

Why use Google Analytics?

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a service offered by Google that generates detailed statistics about a website's traffic and traffic sources and measures visitor activity. It is the most widely used website statistics service.

Google Analytics can track visitors from all referrers, including search engines and social networks, direct visits and referring sites.

GOOP adds Google Analytics (GA) to websites as standard practice. It is essential in measuring the success or otherwise of your website.

Features

Google Analytics includes, but is not limited to, the following features. We highly recommend you login and familiarise yourself with this tool.

Login into Google Analytics here.

Audience Characteristics and Behavior

Google Analytics Audience Reports

 

Your audience is the reason you have a website – you want to reach your audience, connect with them and appeal to them to purchase your product or service.

Therefore, finding out who your audience is, what they’re like, where they come from, how they found your website, what computers and browsers they use to get there, how often they return to your website and how they engage with your content, is vital.

The best way to maximise business from your existing or returning audience and to reach a bigger audience is to understand who, what, why, where, how…?

Geographical – location and language

Where does your audience live? What language do they speak? Again – vital information to help you target advertising to specific groups of people. You may find a niche market in another geographical location that has a natural interest in your product or service, perhaps it’s not available where they live or not of the quality consumers expect today (with the option to search online for companies that do it better).

Mobile Device Usage

Google Analytics Mobile Usage 

Track how many users view your website and purchase via mobile devices. This information should help you decide if you need to invest in a mobile-friendly website. Smart phone usage has boomed in recent years and it’s important your business meets the needs of the modern mobile user.

Traffic Sources

How does your audience find your website? What keywords are they searching in Google that directs them to you? There may be other referrers that link to your site – such as other websites, blogs, social media accounts and more. It’s valuable to find out where your audience is being directed from so you can invest more time optimising your site to that group. If you’re getting a lot of referrers from another website or blog, they might present an advertising opportunity.

When people reach your site which pages are most popular? Latest news, latest arrivals, the contact us page? The most popular pages should be updated with all new information to keep your audience coming back for more. It will also show you which other pages need work and why.

Keywords

When people search a product or service, what are they typing into search engines such as Google to find you? What are the keywords that search engines are picking up on driving people to your site? Having a list of keywords that people commonly type into search engines can help you optimise the content on your site for search engine referrals. Use these keywords in the updated content in your website (such as your blog or latest news page) for more referrals from search engines. More referrals mean more people enquiring about your service and/or purchasing your products.

Content

How does your audience interact with the content on your site? Do most users go straight to your ‘contact us’ page, is your ‘latest arrivals’ page the most popular? Finding out which content is most popular and generates the most business can help you improve the overall content on your site to meet the needs of your audience.

Access

If you would like access to Google Analytics you must provide us with a Google Account email address. (Usually a Gmail address) so we can add you as an administrator. This allows you to access your sites analytics within your own Google account at any time.

If you do not have a Google Account email address it is free and easy to set one up.

• Open up www.google.com.au

• Click on the ‘Sign In’ button on the top right hand corner of your screen.

• Click on the ‘Sign Up’ button on the top right hand corner (not the sign in box).

• Follow the instructions.

• Once created, forward us the email account (not the password) used to create the Google Account and we will grant you administrative access.

If you would like to discuss Google Analytics or have any other Website enquiries please email GOOP.

The team from GOOP




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