Optimise Online

Author Archives: Calum Maxwell

Online Marketing and the internet isn't just a job for Calum, it's a passion. He is an avid reader and regularly keeps up to date with the latest technology advancements and trends within the Web Design and Online Marketing community. Always open to suggestion and ready to answer any questions you may have, Calum is a helpful and friendly person within a very competitive market.

build your email list and social network following

How to build that Email List and Social Network Following

Starting out your Email and Social Networking List

So you are starting out your email list and social network following, set on building a list of contacts and followers that you can present what you have to offer in a hope that they in turn will engage with your business or further promote it for you.

What we have here for you are good guidelines with fundamental basics, a check list and actions for you to take when building your email list and social network. By following these basics you will be on your way to fast tracking your reach and network growth.

Research and Plan of Attack

  • Invest in key Social Networks
  • Know your Audience and Demographic
  • Mailchimp your route to Email Marketing
  • Connect and Engage by joining Forums
  • Business Cards & your trusty Mobile Phone

Invest in key Social Networks

There are simply too many Social Networks out there to join, at last count I put it well over 250 and according to about tech there are 91 Leading Social Networks worldwide that you could consider joining but where do you start and where does it stop.

So which Social Networks do you invest your time in?

I like to present my clients with the 5 – 6 staples of social networks, being facebook, twitter, google+, linkedin, youtube, instagram and pintrest (for those arty kind of businesses). What you need to do though is research which social networks are best suited for your business.

Once you have setup and established your profiles it’s time to promote, link and share your networks. When leaving your footprint online, ensure you take every opportunity to promote your networks. Signing up to forums, joining groups within social media and your website are a good place to start.

Know your Audience and Demographic

Know and research your target audience and demographic, we’ve all heard it a thousand times before that time is money, by investing time in research you will ensure that when it comes time to spend on social media marketing you’ll get the best return for your investment.

During this research it will open a lot of doors as well, you’ll learn about different forums out there to join, facebook groups, business networking meets and much more.

Mailchimp your route to Email Marketing

Mailchimp is by far my most recommended platform for email marketing, it is easy to use, integrates with most website platforms and it is free to use up to 2,000 contacts and 12,000 emails per month. If you haven’t checked it out, I highly recommend you do!

Now make sure that you do integrate it with your website by having the option to opt in to your email list. Have simple newsletter signup forms or look into popup requests on site that invite your visitor to connect.

Connect and Engage by joining Forums

Forums are a great way to get in front of like minded people in your area of field and provide you with an opportunity to link to your website and social networks on your profile.

By engaging with multiple forums, answering questions and generally involving yourself within key online communities, your following will begin to grow and in turn if you stick to the 3 H’s (helpful, honest and humble), people will start to recommend and promote your business for you.

Business Cards & your trusty Mobile Phone

Surely I am not telling you anything new, you should always have your business cards at arms length, being able to hand off a business card in a moment of opportunity is professional and ensures you the best chance of your new contact getting back in touch with you.

What about that Email List though?

Mobile phones they are with us, in our pocket or purse, everywhere we go. So now that you are setup and across Mailchimp, install the app and have it ready to go. This way when you hand off your business card you can ask at the same time, if they would like to be added to your email list and right there and then you can punch them in and BAM! they are now a part of your following.

Conclusion

You have to setup a plan of action and stick to it, research saves you time and money and you need to bank on every opportunity to connect, either in person or online, it is essential in building your Email list and Social Network following.

Got questions, need some help or got something great to add. Leave us a comment below.

Social Media Marketing for Beginners Perth

Social Media Marketing for Beginners

What is Social Media Marketing?

Social Media offers direct access to an insanely large user base, we only need to look at facebook to acknowledge this fact. Business Insider recently reports on average 1.44 billion monthly users spend an average of 20 minutes on facebook a day.

So the question! Social Media Marketing is the use of social media platforms like instagram, facebook, linkedin, youtube and Google+, where by the creation of a business profile you create opportunity for existing and potential customers to engage and interact with your business.

Why is Social Media Marketing important?

Making use of Social Media in your business, it’s like putting a sign outside your customers bedroom window saying ‘Pick me, I have the product or service you are looking for‘.

Through simply being online, being active and promoting your business, services and products through social media, you’re creating content which gets you in front of your customer base and new clientèle. It simply keeps you fresh and front of mind.

An example to better clarify this is, let’s just say you business is side by side with your number 1 competitor and on the outside of their building they have all this great sign-age welcoming you in, yet you simply have your business name on a small sign hanging from the door. I know which business I would be more inclined to walk into.

By not using Social Media as a Marketing platform you are restricting your business growth.

Tips for beginners starting out on Social Media

Choose your social media platforms wisely. With over 250 social media platforms available, some are going to be better suited to your business. The staples are facebook, google+, twitter, linkedin and instagram.

Keep your profile simple, clean and make it easy for the visitor to get in contact or visit your website. Below are some examples.

  • Use real photos, photos that you have taken and don’t use fake images. Show your face, avoid using animals and connect with your customer base.
  • Complete your profile, don’t leave it half finished and spend some money on a great banner design, which can also be used to promote your products and services.
  • Write a fantastically good company description. We are working on brand trust here and well written content about your business and values will help to do this.
  • Include a link to your website and make sure there is further contact details readily accessible, we want to make it as easy as possible for your visitor to get in touch.

Social Media buttons on your Website is a must have!

Why go to all that effort to write a great piece on why your product or service is sensation, without giving your customer the ability to click a button and share it on one of their favourite social media platforms.

Having social media buttons on your website allows the visitor to share your article, product or page on their personal social media profile. With a simple click and share button you are now in front of all their friends or followers.

Share great and interesting Content

I get it, puppies are cute and yes I love my dog but unless you are a pet store selling puppies, I’d suggest looking into other more relevant content to share with your followers.

In business we are constantly working to stay ahead of the pack, reading and learning about our industry or product and just what is out there readily available to take advantage off or add to our business to improve our service or serviceability.

So write about it, share it, show case it and sell it.

Now not every post shouldn’t be a sales post, you simply need to keep the content fresh, informative, fun and at times yes whack that special up, promote that brilliant new product you just got in or remind people that you offer a sensational service.

People are more likely to spend when they choose to engage with you.

Other important Do’s and Dont’s to Consider

  • You can post many times in one day but don’t over do it, every post you submit doesn’t get to all of your followers, so posting regularly isn’t a bad thing.
  • Find, follow and join groups and niches that are specific to you and your business.
  • Don’t forget to like or follow back but keep a balance of followers vs following.
  • Content you share doesn’t have to always be yours, by sharing other content you are again creating trust and that you are knowledgeable in your field of expertise.
  • Follow the T&C’s, read them and I mean actually read them, it is important to know the rules.
  • Build a marketing strategy and measure your results, if you are constantly working on your strategy to improve it you will only improve your end results.

Conclusion

Social Media offers an invaluable medium to engage and connect with your existing and potential clientèle.

By defining a clear social media marketing strategy and measuring your results as you progress, you are only going to improve your return for time and dollars spent in this area.

Taking your time to build great profiles on each social media platform, relevant to your business and promoting, sharing and creating great content will grow your business online.

Need to discuss your Social Media Marketing Strategy, get in Contact with Optimise Online for a consultation appointment.

 

content writing and copyright perth

Guidelines to Structured Article Writing

Guidelines for Writing a Great Article

I am often asked by clients who are looking to write and add content to their website about how they should structure the article and what guidelines they should follow. So this evening I sat down and put together a quick guideline to work through and help you when you’re writing your next article.

Naturally it is important that your information is relevant, up to date and in line with your business or industry but what about the layout, the design and how do you deliver the article in a way that catches and keeps the reader interested and on site?

Here are some Important Basics:

  • Keep it Simple Stupid
    The KISS rule is old but still relevant. Simple precise information delivers.
  • Original, well written content captivates.
    After writing your article walk away, come back read it again and improve it.
  • Tone of Words, just like a tone of voice your words deliver a tone to the reader.
    Are you writing in a professional, friendly or informative manner?
  • Keyword Density.
    The keyword game has changed, keep it to about 1 – 2% and break your keyword up, eg. business online, business ethics online.
  • Content Purpose.
    What is the purpose of the content or article?
    Who are you writing the article for? (customer, prospects, peers)
    What action are you looking to pull from the article? (clicking a link, contacting you, sharing)
  • Seeing is believing.
    Having images that compliments your content and further educates your reader is important, this will hold your readers attention for longer.
  • Bold Italics.
    Make your point by using bold and italics to present your key points throughout your article. This highlights the important part of your message and can help your reader understand the important information or message you are trying to get across.
  • Subheadings are a must.
    Subheadings break up your content and inform the reader of the key areas of your article, especially if they are skimming the article for information. Break it down, help your reader.
  • Avoid useless information.
    Again Keep it Simple Stupid, don’t detract from the main point of the article or topic. By providing information that is not important you will lose your readers attention and they will move on.
  • Lists are good.
    Everyone loves a good list… Including me! Dot point lists are a great way to further break down a topic. Not only do they draw the readers eye but they can answer a question directly or promise detailed explanations within the body of content. It also looks neat and organised.

 

How to Structure an Article

Listed below is how I like to structure my articles, when writing them. This of course is just a guideline for writing an article, although I must admit I have scoured the internet for the best layout designs and information about article writing.

So let me save you some work and see what you think of the layout below.

 

Title of Article

Introduction to article subject (this should summarize your article)

Subtitle

Break down subject paragraph 1

Subtitle

Break down subject paragraph 2 (if required)

Subtitle

Break down subject paragraph 3 (if required)

Summary (conclusion, extra points)

Summary of the article topic and what each reader may take away from the information provided.

Engage the Reader (call to action)

Ask the reader questions, regarding the topic, article and engage them to leave feedback or share the article.

Article Resources

– Dot point Articles you referred to throughout the article
– Example
– Fundamentals of SEO (embedded link – http://223.130.24.129/~optimise/fundamentals-of-seo-explained/)
– Example

Author Bio

Self explanatory.
Include an image that Google will approve, it needs to clean, professional and focused.

 

Well there you have it, you now know that I am writing my summary, so I won’t bother pointing out that this article is all about Structured Article Writing.

Now tell me the truth, has this helped you in any way. Have you got a better idea on how you can next attack your flavoured piece of magnificent context that promotes you, your business, products and services?

If so maybe you can help me, share, like or write below some feedback or even let us know what and how you find some techniques you use helpful.

I look forward to reading what you have to offer as I am always working on improving my article writing.

online marketing tools to help you with seo

Free Online Marketing Tools for Business Online

Tools to get your Business started Online

Taking your business online isn’t something you can ignore any longer and if you are new to this avenue of business then you’re in for a shock.

Online business continues to grow with NAB reporting that Australia’s online retail spend has increased by $15.25 billion for the year to April 2014.

That’s crazy right!?

One of the important must do’s with anything related to your business online, is to measure your efforts and progress. Now there is a great range of free online marketing tools at your disposal and to make your venture into the online business market easier we have put together a great list of online marketing tools to get you started.

Google Tools

Google Webmaster Tools: This is where you should start, here you can submit your website and pages to Google. It has a range of reporting tools that provide you with information on how people find your site and gives you the necessary information on how you can improve areas and resolve errors on site.

Google Analytics: A collaborative tool that works along side Webmaster Tools is Google Analytics. This wonderful online marketing tool gives key insights regarding the source, time and location of traffic coming to your website. This tool gives you a powerful advantage by allowing you to measure and improve how visitors interact with your site.

Google Keyword Tool: If you are unsure as to what a keyword is then you should definitely get in contact with us. In short, a keyword is the word or phrase, entered into a search engine to find what ever it is you’re looking for. Google Keywords Tool can help you find a range of keywords that are related to your business, products and services and provides you with relevant data about the keyword, such as how often it is searched each month.

Google Trends: While Webmaster Tools and Analytics help you determine how people are finding your site, Google Trends provides the insight you need to find alternative keywords to target that will improve traffic to your online business giving you the opportunity to turn them into customers.

Social Media Tools

In the last 5 years or so, social media marketing has developed into a major asset for online business. Recognising the value of social networks like facebook, twitter, pintrest and more; many businesses have taken full advantage of social media marketing, setting up company pages and investing serious marketing dollars in this area.

Hootsuite: With an easy to use interface, this tool allows you to control multiple social media networks from one junction. The great thing about this application is that you can schedule your posts in a sequence and preview them all in a chart format. This helps you in keeping record of the posts, while also tracking the performance and social reach.

Likealyzer: This Facebook analytics tool helps you in evaluating and gauging the worth of your Facebook page. You can scrutinize, contrast and survey the potential activities that can incite growth and engagement on your posts and page. The tool provides you with complete information on the probable issues and how to tackle them, definitely a handy little tool to use.

Sharedcount: This is a simple tool but useful, you simply enter in your website address and it informs you how many shares on facebook, twitter, google, pintrest, google, linkedin, stumbleupon and delicious you have.

SEO Tools

MOZ – Open Site Explorer: Previously known as SEOmoz, MOZ offers an open site explorer that allows you to figure out the sources of backlinks that have served well for your competitors. This can boost up your link building campaign to enormous reach.

Available in both paid and free versions, the latter provides you with a brief detail of page/domain authority along with 200 backlink URL’s of the first five domains you enter. You can also sign up for a 30 day free trial to get an idea of how effective the paid version is. Certainly, not a bad deal at all !

GTmetrix: Site speed has become an important part of optimising a website for better response, and having a tool like GTmetrix to analyze the page speed makes the task easier. As per the percentage grading system, it will give you a perfect idea regarding the scope of any further improvement. Remember, there are impatient people all around on internet, and you may lose your potential clients due to poor site speed.

WordTracker: WordTracker is one of the most efficient keyword tools available online, given the fact it has a huge database of the most popular keywords trending on the web. The keywords offered are the ones that have proved to be profitable for the webmasters and have helped many to increase the visibility of their site. This robust platform allows you to choose the top performing keyword from an assortment of millions of choices. You can either opt for a free trial or go for a paid version, whichever suits your requirements.

LinkLuv: Want to get high authority backlinks to your website without having to put in much effort? LinkLuv allows you to crowdsource your website through social media exchange. All you have to do is to submit your links into LinkLuv and let other users share it with their social media networks, creating a flood of backlinks. The amount of social signals you get in return for a small amount of effort, would take you days to aquire. The free version requires you to share other users links in order to build points (a form of currency), with points to your tally your links are then shared in return. On the other hand, you can buy a monthly subscription to get as many points you want.

Organisation Tools

Evernote: Remember Everything! It’s not possible to keep each and every point in mind, when it comes to setting strategies for online marketing of your business. You need to have a list of ideas lined up in a single note. Evernote is a perfect replacement for those irritating yellow sticky ones. You can formulate a note with text, pictures or voice record and set a reminder in place to follow up.

Hope this all helps

Well we hope that you have a good list now of free online marketing tools to get you started or help improve your online marketing efforts. If you have some feedback and like the what we have found or have a recommendation of an online marketing tool or SEO tool, please tell us below. Also be sure to check back here as we will add more tools to this list as we find them.

Australian Business Directories

Free Australian Business Directory Listings

List your business on these Australian Directories

 
Being found on the first page of Google isn’t just the only way to increase your online profile and get those desired customers coming your way. In fact listing on a lot of the below directories may just put your business on the first page of Google within their directory as many of the high profile directory listing sites generally get a lot of exposure on the first and second page of Google.

Looking to increase your online profile, here are some free business listing directories that will help you get those much needed links back to your site.

 
Stay tuned for a more comprehensive write up on each of the directories, including a review of their product and services.

improve your website page load speed

Improve your Page Speed

Why improving your websites load time is a must.

 
Studies show that users leave a site if it hasn’t loaded in 4 seconds; this is why it is so important that your website loads quickly, performs well and delivers the content in a way that connects with the user. Google has placed high importance on this and as such have developed tools to help webmasters improve their sites to meet Google’s standards. One of these tools is Google’s Page Speed Service a new CDN (content delivery network).

Introducing PageSpeed Service from Google a new CDN

Improve your page speed

As a small to medium business there are two services that offer a no cost solution, one being Google PageSpeed Services and the other being Cloudflare. Being a customer myself of Cloudflare’s CDN, I have had little issue with the load times of my site and appreciate the value of a fast loading website, having seen the results first hand in my Analytics and reduced bounce rate of visits (people leaving my site).

It will be certainly interesting to see just how Google’s PageSpeed Service compares to Cloudflare, having just submitted the signup application for the service, I will be providing an in depth report and comparison of the two services.

Here is an overview of the PageSpeed service by Google

PageSpeed overview

If you have any questions about anything mentioned above or would like to improve your websites load times, be sure to contact us or leave a message below and I will be sure to answer.

fundamentals-of-seo-explained

Fundamentals of SEO Explained

What is Search Engine Optimisation?

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s natural or un-paid organic search results. The most important factors for improving your visibility are;

  • Improving your Site Structure.
  • Optimising Content
  • Dealing with Crawlers
  • Promotions and Analysis

So lets break this down for you.

Improving your Site Structure

URLS

Simple to understand URLs will convey content information easily, creating descriptive categories and file names for the documents on your website. This not only helps to optimise your site but helps you keep your site better organised, it also leads to better crawling by search engines making it easier for them to index your site.

Avoid deep nesting sub-directories

Creating simple directory structure and avoiding deep nesting sub-directories will again help those search engines better navigate your site and make it easier for them to index. What we mean by deep nesting sub-directories.

Example:

www.yourdomain.com/dir1/dir2/dir3/dir4/dir5

 

Provide one version of a URL

Providing one version of your URL for each page is important, this is controlled through your canonicalization. The domain canonicalization is embedded in your code behind the scenes, within each page and it quite simply tells the search engine that if it found this page via one link it needs to record it as it’s main address.

Example:

Main Address – http://yourdomain.com
One Link – http://www.yourdomain.com/index.htm

 

Make your site easier to navigate

Navigation is very important for search engines and if used correctly it can also highlight what content you want the search engine to recognise as important.

Think out your navigation based on your homepage, all sites have a home (root) page which is usually the most frequently visited page on the site and the starting point of navigation for the majority of visitors to your site. Unless your site has only a handful of pages, you should think about how visitors will go from a general page to a page containing more specific content related to their search.

Prepare a sitemap

A sitemap offers a naturally flowing hierarchy and avoids creating complex webs of navigation and links. Having a sitemap will allow and improve a search engines progress of crawling your site and win major points in improving your rank. Be sure to have both a HTML sitemap for visitors to your site and an XML sitemap file for search engines, a 404 error page with links back to main and general info pages also improves on search engine standings.

Optimising Content

Offer quality content and services

Writing and creating useful content will likely influence your websites rankings more than any other factor. Visitors to your site know good content when they see it and will likely want to direct other users to it. Further to this think about the words that users might use to find the information or services you are providing, use these words throughout your content but be sure not to spam them throughout the page, 3 – 4% word density is usually the desired result. These words used to search are referred to keywords.

Write better anchor text

Anchor text is the clickable text that links to another web page. The clickable text or phrase is referred to as the keyword or keyword phrase. Having clickable keyword phrases throughout your site not only points the user towards the desired information they are looking for but also helps the search engine recognise and understand the importance and topic of the page.

Optimise your use of images

What many web design and developers overlook is the additional information you can give to images. Naming the image to suit what the image about is the first most important step, however there is additional information you can designate to an image, these are; alt text and description. Alt text is used by software for such as screen readers or if the image can not be displayed and search engines put high value on the alt text, description though not as important gives you another opportunity to squeeze in more of those keywords you are focusing on.

Use heading tags appropriately

Heading tags are used to present structure on the page to users. There are six sizes of heading tags, beginning with <h1>, the most important and ending with <h6> the least important. Since heading tags generally make text contained in them larger than the normal text on the page, it is a visual cue to users that the text is more important and could help them understand the content that is listed underneath the heading text. Multiple heading sizes used in order to create a hierarchical structure for your content, makes it easier for users to navigate through your content and website.

Dealing with Crawlers

A robots.txt file tells search engines whether they are aloud to access and therefore crawl parts of your website. This file which must be named robots.txt, is placed in the root directory of your website and is a key file in ensuring search engines work through and index your site. There is also some level of control over the robots.txt file giving you the ability to prevent search engines from indexing particular pages. A reason you may not want it to index a page is the information may not be useful to a user therefore you would not want the page to show in a search engines results.

As mentioned above a sitemap.html and sitemap.xml are both an important factor to improving your sites ranking when dealing with search crawlers.

Promotions and Analysis

Often referred to as SEO, promotion and analysis falls rather under the title of Search Engine Marketing (SEM).  SEM is all about promoting your website through your blog or news feed, social media, newsletters, articles and reviews, the list goes on. Three key factors to a strong Search Engine Marketing strategy include; keyword research and analysis, website saturation and popularity & backlinks to your website embedded within your keywords.

Keyword research and analysis gives you insight into which keywords or keyword phrases are less competitive and therefore easier to gain first page listing on your desired search engines. Once you have established which keywords you are going to focus on, search engine optimisation is then done on the content to focus and promote those keywords within the text body of your website and pages.

Website saturation and popularity is best driven through social media, blog or news feeds, article submission and promotions. This is where you focus on delivering value to the user or reader to promote your product and services for you, a proven method for this is through incentive for the user when they promote or link to your site or content.

Backlinks to your website embedded within your keywords, this is by far the hardest part of the equation that is online marketing. Backlinks are links back to your website from other websites. Over time, through simply working on the above mentioned methods, you will slowly build a network of backlinks and thus imrpove your position within the search engine pages. There are however other proven methods of quickly ascertaining backlinks, though with the recent and upcoming improvements in Google’s algorithms (Google Hummingbird, Panda & Penguin), some methods will now do more harm than good in improving your listing and page rank with the almighty Google.