Google is targeting non mobile optimised websites

Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 9.21.44 am

We are starting to see more and more of these warnings from Google about our older client websites that are not mobile optimised.

If you look at the research anywhere from 30 – 70% of traffic to websites is on a mobile device so this warning should be of particular concern to you if your website is not mobile optimised.

What does a mobile Optimised its look like on a Phone?

Have you ever tried searching for a website on your phone and had to pinch, zoom and squeeze to find the information you were looking for?

In essence that’s what a website that’s not mobile optimised looks like.

IMG_3720

You need to zoom in to the page, scroll sideways and generally move around.

The fact of the matter is that most of your customers will probably not bother to find what they are looking for and will go back to one of your competitors websites.

That’s if they even bothered to go to your website in the first place!

Google Tells users if a website is mobile optimised in search results

Google now actively tells users in mobile search results if a website is mobile optimised so the user can make the decision if they visit the site or not.

IMG_3722

Why should I care that Google knows my site is no mobile optimised?

Google has made it very clear that they rank sites on usability and accessibility of the content and one of the big usability criteria is Mobile Optimisation.

You should be very concerned if your website is not mobile optimised because your Search Engine rankings WILL be affected and in the future your visibility on mobile search will most likely be affected as well.

What can I do to become Mobile Optimised?

The obvious answer here is to have your site redesigned to a responsive framework that is mobile optimised.

Why not contact one of our team today on 1300 730 560 or info@enflexion.com.au and discuss having your site redesigned so it’s mobile optimised.

Your future online success is at stake!

Have you been affected by Google’s Penguin 2.1?

what is penguin 2.1Have you been affected by Google’s Penguin 2.1?

On October 4th 2013 Google released a new search ranking algorithm that has had a particularly hard affect on many websites’ SEO rankings. Below we answer some of the top questions about this update. We are also working on brand new SEO packages for our customers that address the current needs to gain the best possible Search Engine Rankings.

What is Penguin 2.1?

Penguin 2.1 is a change to the way Google ranks sites and is particularly focused on what they term as “unnatural” or “spammy” back links to a website.
What does this mean in simple terms?
Basically if you have a link to your website from a blog, web directory or SEO linking website, Google may think that this is an unnatural link and penalize your site.

How do I know if I have been affected?

If your site has had a noticeable drop in traffic and your search rankings are low or have even lost after the 4th of October then you have been affected.

What can I do to fix this?

The first and most important thing is to undertake a back links analysis of your website. Go through every link listed in Google Webmaster Tools and decide whether it’s a bad or good link.

If it’s a bad link you have two options:

1) Email the webmaster of the website and request the link be removed, OR
2) Use the Google disavow tool and disavow the links.

Will this get back my rankings?

It’s difficult to give an exact yes or no, but if your rankings have only been affected by Penguin 2.1 then most likely yes once Google does a new algorithm change you rankings should improve.

How long will this take?

Depending on the number of back links you have it can take several weeks to go through and clean your back links. Then it’s up to Google to change their rankings of your sites, from past experience this generally happens after a new algorithm update which can take a from a few weeks to a few months. It’s important however that you do as much as possible to quickly address the issues so your site is ready when the next algorithm changes take affect.

The rest of the SEO equation

You should also make sure that you have not been affected by other algorithm changes such as Panda. Which essentially requires your website to have excellent unique content on every page of your site and your site to be well optimized.
You also need to make sure that your social reach is good and your company website is active on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Instagram.

Do you need help?

If you think you have been affected by the Google changes or you need help with your online strategy give enflexion a call on 1300 730 560 and we can discuss ways to assist.

Importance of Social Media

Social Media – Five reasons why you should be using it!

  • Increase exposure

Social media is an an awesome way for your target market to find and connect with you. Twitter directories and LinkedIn groups allow you to find your target market and engage with them. It will allow you to reach a wider and possibly untapped audience. This additional exposure will attract more sales opportunities via the extra traffic that will come to your website.

 

  • Engage with your customers and humanise your company

Having a social media platform allows you to engage with your customers directly. You can respond to complaints and compliments there by bolstering the general publics perceived impression of your business as friendly, reliable and honest.

Doing this also adds a human face to your business, it will give customers the impression they are dealing with people rather than a business, rather than a cold faceless website. Besides, at the end of the day people want to buy from people, not businesses.

 

  • Your Target Market is already using it.

People from all demographics use social media. In fact, they spend more than 25% of their online time using it. They use it to play games, get information, share information and shop. This means that this is a fantastic avenue allowing your target market to not only connect with you but to tell their friends about you.

 

  • Gain a competitive advantage

Having a social media platform gives you an avenue to find out what your audience is thinking, feeling and saying. You will gain an understanding of what they want and you will be able to provide it to them. Do it well you will generate a tribe of people telling all of their friends about you.

 

  • Cheaper than traditional advertising

Having and using a social media account is absolutely free meaning that you have the opportunity to use it to advertise at no extra cost. Which is significantly cheaper than traditional methods of advertising such as television and radio.

 

Source: www.craftypixel.co.uk

Social Media: Seven Deadly Sins

So now that you know what social media is lets look at the seven deadly sins of social media:

  • Sloth

Don’t wait for customers to find you. When you create a social media site, don’t expect that customers will magically find you, draw them in by other means. For example on your website link to your social media page (e.g.: “Follow us on Facebook”).

 

  • Gluttony

Don’t over-indulge I likes. This can devalue the like button and can result in a lower ROI.

 

  • Greed

Don’t appear desperate for customers. Constantly running sales, specials, competitions etc. appear desperate and will devalue your brand and your customer relationship.

 

  • Envy

Don’t lose sight of what matters. Whilst learning from other brands can be useful, don’t mimic them. Take what you have learned and make it apply to your brand so you can set yourself apart from other brands.

 

  • Wrath

Don’t block negative feedback. Sure hearing something bad about your brand hurts. By getting upset and removing it from your site will hurt your brand even more. It is better to address the issue and attempt to fix it.

 

  • Lust

Engage with your customers. Don’t make them feel like you are after just this one buy. If you make them feel like a person and not a number, will result in repeat business meaning a greater ROI.

 

  • Pride

Don’t wait to get started. Not allowing yourself to fail is worse than trying and failing. You will have an opportunity to dust yourself and try again. Also, social media is not just a fad Facebook has over 600 million users and that number is rising. Social media is not going anywhere soon.

 

Source: www.60secondmarketer.com

Have you heard of the biggest social media site since Facebook? It’s Pinterest and it’s sort of like a mix between an online scrapbook, pinboard and social network. When you want to save something you add it to Pinterest and the whole world can see what you see.

It’s a two way street, you can have a Share on Pinterest button on your website and you can have your own Pinterest account where you show other people the stuff that you are intereseted (or your business).

Get started right now and sign up for Pinterest!

www.pinterest.com

5 simple sales rules to remember

The number one mistake that many small businesses make is not following leads up in timely manner, and in some cases not following leads up at all!

simple sales rules to remember

The number of times I personally have completed a web form, sent an email request or even phoned and asked for information on a product or service and have never gotten a response is immense!

When a customer makes an enquiry it means that they are already interested in your product or service and half the sales battle is already won!

And here are the 5 simple rules and ideas for making sure you maximize every sales opportunity.

Simple Sales Rules

1) Always respond to an enquiry as soon as you get it.
This can be as simple as an email back saying thank you for your enquiry, we will get back to you within 24 hours etc.

2) Keep to your agreed timeframe
There is nothing worse than being told that someone will get a quote to you by 5pm and not do this. If you can’t meet the deadline, then email the person and tell them.

3) Create Pre-Written Responses
If you get asked for the same information on a regular basis then have it pre-written with spaces to customize the response. It saves you time and means you can get the response back quickly.

4) Follow up if you don’t hear back
If you have followed up to the enquiry and sent the required response, don’t be scared of contacting the customer a couple of days or a day later. And especially don’t be afraid of asking for the sale.

5) Remember to follow up in about six month
I can’t count the number of customers we have won where after their initial enquiry they have asked us to call them back in three, six, twelve or more months later. Sometimes we get the sale just because we do remember to follow up even after a year has passed.

Sales is all about discipline and keeping adequate records and reminders. Why not talk to us here at enflexion about linking your sales management system with your website so you never make the top small business mistake that so many businesses make.

10 Hot Tips for Writing for the Web

1. Put yourself in the reader’s position
What is the most important thing on your web-site for users? (Use your web statistics to form an opinion on this.) In each and every article, try to pinpoint what users will find to be most interesting or useful, and focus on this.

2. Use tight trigger words
When the user comes to your web-site, he has a mental picture of what he seeks, often a so-called “trigger word”. If he comes from a search engine, it is the word that he used in his search query. NB: If the user does not find his/her trigger word on your web-site, he may quickly conclude that this content is not there (even if it is, but under another name). For example, a user searching for “glasses” will not automatically click on the word “visual aids”. It is for this reason that it is counter-productive to use jargon in articles or navigation bars. Jargon fails because the user is looking for his/her trigger word, and does not find it. Therefore: Find out which words your users like to use to describe their search. Article writingUse these words and not your own internal jargon!

3. Write meaningful headlines
In order for a reader to get interested in an article or web-page, he or she has to know what the article or page is about. After that, the reader will determine whether it is relevant and interesting for him or her, and whether it answers his current question. Therefore: A good headline uses relevant trigger words (see above) and is descriptive – telling what the article is about. If you have a web-page about your humanitarian activities in Sudan, “Humanitarian activities in Sudan” would be a good title, and “Good results for school project” would not.

Remember that headlines can end up being the entire story (when the article falls much lower on the page, or when another site cites your content). Then the headline will have to stand alone – with neither picture nor sub-head to clothe it – and still be able to convey the news.

4. Write the article as a teaser
A “teaser”, consisting of a headline, sub-head and picture, should be able to inform the user of an event to such a degree that a user that is in a hurry (or who is only reading superficially) does not need to read the whole story. Those who are interested in reading more about the topic can click in on the entire story, while those who aren’t so interested will still get the basic information.

5. Say it as simple as possible
There is never any point in writing difficult texts. Write simply and directly. To achieve this, think “How would I explain this to a child?” or “What would I have said if this was a classified advertisement?” when you write. The intention is not to underestimate the reader, but to write in an inclusive way. If you need to write an extensive and complex article (a scientific report, a medical analysis or the like), consider breaking it up into parts (see tip #9).

6. Help readers read down the page
Let the reader get a quick grasp of the article by simply glancing at the page. Techniques to help readers look down the page are:

  • sub-heads
  • links
  • bullet points
  • bold-face words (preferably trigger words)

Remember that these elements must give a complete description of the article when the reader simply looks down the page (seeing only headlines, links, points and bold or underlined words). Pay attention to the fact that you can spin or twist a whole article by choosing to make bold one word, so be careful!

7. Create space on the screen
Few things kill a reader’s desire to read than a massive and visually impenetrable block of letters. Only the most dedicated readers will dare to begin upon such an article (basically less than 5 per cent – check your statistics if you don’t believe me). Therefore, create space! Break text up into paragraphs, sub-titles, pictures, lists and bold-face words so that the page doesn’t appear visually like an impregnable fortress.

8. Apicture speaks more than a thousand words…
Text is not the best medium to convey all types of information. Take a weather map for example; you get just about everything at a glance. If you tried to convey the same information in text, the page would become far more cumbersome and confusing. So consider whether your information can be conveyed better via pictures, numbers, models, statistical diagrams or the like.

9. Use a two- or many-layered strategy
If you must convey a demanding text, consider doing it over two different pages: Make one simple tabloid article, which explains that the content can be obtained or which presents the main point of the larger text. Set up a link to the entire report/text/evaluation for those who are particularly interested in it. This full-size version can be both a web-page and a downloadable document, which makes it searchable by search engines and easier to handle for those who want to download it, print it out and read it on paper.

10. Watch ouf tor typos!
It is hard to catch your own mistakes, so set up routines whereby a colleague double-checks your work, if possible. Remember that a misspelled word not only looks stupid, but can also confuse a search engine. A user looking for “Canada” on your web-site will not get a hit for an article that mentions “Caanada”.

Writing for the Web

Writing for the Web is very different from writing for print:

  • 79% of users scan the page instead of reading word-for-word
  • Reading from computer screens is 25% slower than from paper
  • Web content should have 50% of the word count of its paper equivalent

writing-content

Write for Scanning of the content by the user

  • Seventy-nine percent of Web users scan pages; they do not read word-by-word. Design your web document to be scannable:
  • To make keywords stand out, use highlighting liberally: Highlight about three times as many words as you would when writing for print.
  • Colored text or colored backgrounds can also be used for highlighting, but don’t use blue for words. That color is reserved for hyperlinks.
  • The hyperlinks also stand out by virtue of being colored, so they should be written to do double duty as highlighted keywords.
  • Highlight only key information-carrying words. Avoid highlighting entire sentences or long phrases since a scanning eye can only pick up two (or at most three) words at a time.
  • Highlight words that differentiate your page from other pages and words that symbolize what a given paragraph is about (for example, do not highlight the word “enflexion” when writing for the enflexion Web site since all the pages are about enflexion.)
  • Bulleted and numbered lists slow down the scanning eye and can draw attention to important points.
  • Each paragraph should contain one main idea; use a second paragraph for a second idea, since users tend to skip any second point as they scan over the paragraph.
  • Start the page with the conclusion as well as a short summary of the remaining contents (“inverted pyramid” style).

Using twitter as a marketing tool

Use Twitter for SMS Marketing

The web is full of cool and exciting technologies that you can use to enhance your business. By now we all know just how effective email and SMS marketing can be for driving traffic to your website.

SMS marketing can be expensive proposition cost up to 20 cents for each SMS sent. Which means if you have a list of 10000 people to send a message out can cost you a whopping $2000 (although you can get bulk discounts for about $1200).

Instead why not harness the cool power of a social networking site like Twitter.com that’s free?

What is Twitter?

Twitter is a social networking site that allows you to send short messages to anyone who is “following you”.  Twitter offers a way for people to follow us on twitterprovide more detailed status updates to their friends, family and contacts. And, then delivers those updates across a variety of different media through your website, over instant messaging or by SMS to your mobile phone.

It’s not just for individuals.

Loads of companies are now using Twitter as an important marketing tool, BBC News sends out news items, Apple bypasses the normal media and sends out news and product releases by twitter to their thousands of followers.

twitter-marketing

 

How do you Twitter

Getting stared with Twitter is a snap, just create a free account, you don’t need to verify or even enter a mobile phone number. You can use the web interface at Twitter.com to send out your Twitters, or we even have a Twitter Plug-in for Sliced Bread. You can also have multiple Twitter accounts you just need a separate email address for each account.

So how can you use Twitter for your business?

Think of twitter like you would any communication channel, except you have to get your message across in 140 characters. So if you are needing to send a URL to a webpage use Tinyurl.com to turn the long link into a short link!

The sorts of things you may want to send as a Twitter are:

  • News Items;
  • Special offers with Coupon Codes;
  • Business News etc.

How do people follow your Twitter?

First off the people need to be a member of Twitter and have verified their mobile phone. Then they can visit your twitter page on the web though a link just like:

http://www.twitter.com/enflexion

Then they just click on Follow and they will get an SMS each time you Twitter. It’s that easy and it’s free!

What else can you do with Twitter?

You can list your latest twitters on your website automatically if you want or if you want to encourage people to “followâ” your twitters make Twitter only offers to your customers.

Like all good marketing ideas you still need to promote it, both on your website and offline in your marketing collateral. It’s all about finding new and creative ways of promoting and marketing your business through technology.

Why join Twitter today?

What is WEB 2.0?

August 2007

This month’s topic is about the buzz around WEB2.0, what it means, should you be excited by it, how to embrace it and finally whether your website is WEB2.0 ready?

It’s everywhere, you can’t read newspaper without coming across the buzz word of WEB 2.0 and another company being bought or funded in this area. Myspace, Facebook, Plaxo, Twitter just to name a few of the WEB2.0 companies that are setting the world on fire, but what does it all mean?

Well one of the good definitions of WEB2.0 is:

A term often applied to a perceived ongoing transition of the World Wide Web from a collection of websites to a full-fledged computing platform serving Web applications to end users. Ultimately WEB 2.0 services are expected to replace desktop computing applications for many purposes.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WEB_2.0

What does this mean though?

Well think about how you manage your website with Sliced Bread, you don’t have any software downloaded on your actual computer, it all runs on the Web server. So if you are using Sliced Bread to manage your website you are already part of the WEB2.0 explosion.

But that’s a really simplistic view of WEB2.0 and the benefit it can provide.

It’s about users interacting with you, or your business and collaborating with each other through your website or other technology. Giving the user the power and control in that interaction creating what Paul Graham calls a democracy on the WEB.

The web is a medium that can offer much more than simple retrieval of information or content, it can allow your users to build communities, ask questions, share ideas all through a technology that can include your website.

The concept of WEB2.0 is certainly not new, it’s just a buzzword that’s been coined to try and categorise the growth in things like Social Networking and interactivity of the web. With the buzz and promise surrounding technologies such as AJAX Flex, Ruby on Rails etc, websites are fast becoming much more like real fully fledged applications. People are no longer noticing that the websites they use on a daily basis are in fact “WEB 2.0 Applications”.

Should you be interested?

Yes! You should be doing all that you can to embrace these concepts on your website and how it has a two way interaction with your users. Most website have some level of interactivity and for a lot of businesses that’s fine for their own website, but you need to think out of the box on this one too!

Some of the ways you can be more interactive with your customers online are:

  • Contact Forms
  • Online Forums
  • Members Areas
  • Aggregating Content (Sharing Content with other website and technologies)
  • Mashing Up Content (things like including a Google map of your office)

Conclusion

WEB2.0 is not rocket science, it’s not really even particularly new. It is however a reminder that we need to fin innovative ways to interact and give our customers more power in their relationships with our business.

Sources

WEB 2.0 http://www.paulgraham.com/WEB20.html
Wikipedia WEB 2.0 – en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WEB_2.0

Benefits of intranet to business

How can my business benefit from an Intranet?

No matter how small or large your organisation may be, an Intranet is an important business tool that can help save money and time!  The most common benefit of owning an Intranet is saving money by cutting down inefficient work practices.

1)        Manage, store and disseminate “boiler plate” data that is used on a regular basis

By storing “boilerplate” content, data and other resources in a secure easily accessible intranet, employees can have access to a wide variety of resources and can share content with each other.

This can result in a significant reduction of duplication of effort and time wasting.  Employees will be able to get access to standard information and content when they need it and not waste time.

2)         Provide secure easy access to commonly used documents in a structure that would be accessible for other users

A simple document management system allows documents to be stored securely online through the employee intranet / extranet.  The features of the document management system include:

  • Secure storage of documents;
  • Searchable indexes by user, subject and status.
  • Automatic indexing of document metadata allowing better retrieval and storage.
  • A significant improvement in the efficiency of providing data and documents to a wide group of users.

3)         Create a community between employees working in a virtual environment

To create a cohesive community between people who are in physically disparate locations is achieved through:

  • Online Forums – tailored to subject and project areas;
  • Online Now Function;
  • Instant Messaging;

Integrated with NetMeeting for online webcam meetings (if applicable)

This will result in employees feeling less isolated and more part of a team.

Greater collaboration and sharing of data can lead to identification of new business, less duplication of effort and an overall healthier bottom line.

Having created a new website

By enflexion

When you decide to have a new website created you need to be prepared for the experience and take an active role in its design and development. Here at enflexion we can assist you in answering many of these questions, but you should do some initial thought yourself to understand what it is you require.

When you first see an enflexion consultant, they will discuss many of these questions with you and help identify both a strategy and tactics to achieve through your new website!

Designing a website that get results takes time and the best results are gained where you are fully involvedand prepared in the process. The following outlines ten things you should think about and prepare when designing your new website!

1) What objectives does the website need to meet?

Many people consider a website is an expense that must be accepted, and they rarely actually calculate what the return on the investment a website must meet. Whether the website provides online sales, or is a showcase of your services to increase & support sales activities, the website must have clear objectives to be met.

Common website objectives are:

  • To raise awareness of the products and services of your company;
  • To sell XX products per month;
  • To support the sales and marketing campaign

Obviously you need to come up with your own objectives, but remember when setting objectives try to make them achievable.

2) How will you measure the objectives?

On an ongoing basis you should actually measure the success of your website. Some good ideas for measuring the success of the site are:

  • Client Referral Information – Capture where your new client’s heard about you from I.E the website, a referral etc;
  • Web Statistics – View your usage statistics and look for page visits, unique visitors etc
  • Survey – Ask your clients what they liked about your website or didn’t like

A good website should help sell for you and should be updated with new fresh content that adds value to your clients on a regular basis.

3) Who are the users that will come to visit your site?

One of the single most important things you need to know is who are your users and what types of content they actually require. It is not just about what the companies the user’s will come from but what the demographics of the users are. Things like:

  • Age Group;
  • Gender;
  • Education level;
  • Technical Level of expertise with the Internet and your products or services.

Then the question we at enflexion ask is:

What are the questions that user’s will have when they visit your site and how will you answer the questions?

By understanding who your user’s are means that we can design a site that actually meets their needs. It’s important to recognize that sometimes you may actually be too close to your own company and you may need to think like a customer and use language and answer questions that seem very obvious.

4) How will the user’s find your website?

There are a couple of ways that users will find your website and this will very much depend on what types of promotion you do of your website and services.

The three most common ways that people will find you are:

  • Search Engine Listings;
  • Referrals by current or past clients; and
  • Through you telling them about the site.

5) How will you promote and market your website?

Carrying on from how the users will find your website is how you will promote your website. You might think of your website as a twenty four hour, seven day a week electronic extension of your office. There are a couple of easy ways to promote your website and these include:

  • Search Engine Optimisation;
  • Putting your website address on all of your marketing material;
  • Direct Marketing via post or email; and
  • Advertising.

Another great way of promoting your website is to share content with other websites, articles, case studies and other value added content is a great way of driving traffic to your site.

6) Who will be creating the content for your website in the first instance?

Probably the most time consuming part of developing a new website is the creation of the content. This stage can take weeks to complete and can be quite difficult.

If you are part of a larger organisation you may have many people writing content for the site, which can be both a time saving and time consuming exercise.

If you are a sole trader then you can either write the content yourself or enflexion can assist in finding a copy writer to prepare the content.

The trick with website content is:

Less is more

Most users on the web do not read word for word, instead they tend to scan the page for headings, dot points and images that interest them or answer their questions. You don�t need to be totally exhaustive in what your website says, just give the user the gist of the message and a way for them to find out more information.

7) How often will you be able to update the content and will you have other people providing and managing content?

A good website should be updated with new fresh content on a regular basis. For many organisations this can be difficult to achieve, especially since you are in business to make money and not to manage a website.

As a general rule you should try and update at least a couple of things on your website every couple of weeks. But this does not have to be a huge process. You could update information in a news section of your site such as:

  • new client has signed up with you;
  • You have completed a major project;
  • project milestone has been completed; etc.

Even small amounts of new content make the site appear vibrant, but don�t forget to include the date of the update so people can actually see that the site has been updated!

Set a plan for updating the site

The best way to get the most out of your site is to make yourself a plan of content changes, and if you have staff to assign them tasks. Things like:

  • Monthly : New News Items
  • Quarterly : New article on XYZ
  • Half Yearly : Update the main marketing image (if your have one of your website)
  • As required : Press releases, awards won, new clients etc.

8) What other websites do you like and why?

When we start the design process of a new website we often ask you what websites you like, and then why you like them.

This is a good way for us to get an understanding of the sort of site you want, whether the site is graphic intensive, or minimal and understated.

We don�t copy another site’s design, but it is a great way for us to focus on your visual requirements.

So at the very least identify five website you like the look of and write down some of the reasons why you like the site!

9) Who are your competitors and what do they provide on their websites?

Another very important aspect of setting up a new website is to review on a high level what your competitors websites look like and do. When undertaking some competitive analysis ask yourself:

  • What does this site do well?
  • What does this site do badly;
  • Are their any things that all your competitors do on their websites that you will need to do on your website?

The objective of this is to ensure initially your site matches the offerings of your competitors, but also so your site can exceed what they do.

10) What sort of functionality do you need on your website?

The last and most important question that you need to ask is what sort of functionality you need to have on your website. Or put another way what does your website need to do?

The functionality can include but is in no way limited to:

  • Shopping Cart for online product sales;
  • User Forums for customer discussions;
  • Contact Forms;
  • Mailing List managers;
  • Capturing of user data.

This is no way a full list of what functionality your website should have, and often you will have your own unique functional needs.

Conclusion

Designing a website that get results can take time to complete and the best results are gained where you are fully involved and prepared in the process.