The Blog

Mobile, mobile, mobile!

by rlababin on November 3, 2014 , No comments

I feel like a broken record sometimes but there is a very good reason why I keep banging the drum when it comes to Responsive Web Design.

79% of Australians search for businesses and services using a mobile device. That’s smartphone, phablets and tablets.

Of that whopping 79%, 61% will not return to a website that didn’t display properly on their phone or tablet – even when they are sat at their laptop or desktop.

So it’s pretty simple really – if you don’t want to miss out on those 79% of people looking for businesses and services online, your website must be mobile responsive.

Here are a few things I hear all the time:

“My customers know my website – it doesn’t need to change.”
It does – because your customers are changing. If you want to stay ahead in business, you’ve got to get with digital. More iPhones are sold every day than babies are born! Seriously. Even the most loyal of customers will get frustrated with your business if your website doesn’t work for them.

“My product is very niche – it’s recommended by word of mouth so my website isn’t that important”.
It’s great that your customers are happy to recommend you! And what happens when someone recommends you to a friend? The friends picks up their smartphone and Googles you…

My website is only three years old – it’s not time to update it yet.”
It is. Trust me, it is. If your website is 3 years old it wasn’t coded in html 5 which helps it adapt its display for different devices. If your website is 1 year old it probably wasn’t coded to make it mobile responsive either! I know it’s frustrating but making your website responsive to mobile now will future-proof it.

“I can’t afford to spend $6,000 on a new website.”
No small business should spend that on a new website. If you are on a tight budget we can help – we can build you a responsive, simple and easy to use 3-5 page website for around $1,750.

“I can’t afford to invest even $1,750 on my website!”
Can you afford to lose out on 79% of potential customers?

If your sales are falling and less feet are coming in through the doors – look at your competitor’s website, look at your Google Analytics and look at your digital strategy and then ask why. I bet the answer is “my website isn’t mobile responsive”.

Pittwater Digital specialise in Responsive Web Designs that are sophisticated, powerful and convert hits into enquiries so if your website needs a revamp I’d love to help. So please drop me a line at rachael@pittwaterdigital.com.au or request a quote via our website.

By Rachael Babin, Digital Consultant at Pittwater Digital

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rlababinMobile, mobile, mobile!

So you value your staff – what about your website?

by graknowles on October 7, 2014 , No comments

Pittwater Digital Website Management ServicesSo you value your staff… You take pride in your management style.  You don’t micro manage, but nor do you let them drift.  You are a constant but subtle presence in the day to day work routine of everyone in your business – so why not do the same with your website, it is just as important?

The Importance of Managing Your Website:

Ok, you could be forgiven if your thinking this is all going to be stating the bleedin’ obvious…  However hold your horses!

The obvious thing is that your business needs a website, it needs to be well designed, easy to use and most importantly easy to find.  Fair enough, but then what?

With over 650 million live websites, and another 51 million new sites added each year the internet is a very crowded digital space.  Even managers of the smallest business that markets to a niche or local audience needs to have an up to date digital plan, needs to be on top of what their website is achieving and what message it is conveying and most importantly invest (at least a small amount of) time or money keeping the business website up to date.

“The best way to view your website is as if it were one of your most important members of staff”

Too many businesses have a fantastic new website built for them and launched with fanfare and celebration of being cutting edge, digital and industry leaders with their wonderful new digital way of doing business – then within 3 – 6 months; they are looking tired, out of date, often spreading a different message and company image than the business itself and the new website is often buried beneath pages of google competitors.

TEAMThe best way to view your website is as if it were one of your most important members of staff.  You wouldn’t employ a sparkly new member of staff, dress them in your company uniform, stick a badge on them, have a party to celebrate their arrival and load them up with all your product info – then just abandon them in a sea full of your competitors with no management, instruction, without regularly reviewing their work, skills and achievements, or would you?!?!

Today some of the most successful small businesses know exactly what they are doing with their digital space and management of their website, they realise that the shift in operating a business in the digital world is not a that big, but that it does need attention, it does need some time and some work – but it doesn’t need to break the bank or radically change the way they already manage their business.

The answer is simple – manage your website like you would manage your staff.  A little input regularly, not over managing and not letting your website drift aimlessly – this is the answer.  It’s simple.  Yet many if not most small – medium sized businesses fail to do this consistently.  Many set off in the right direction, full of good intentions, however when the everyday realities of life and business kick back in the first thing to get forgotten is the website…

WHO MANAGES YOUR WEBSITE?

Pittwater Digital Website Management Services 2

This is the big question…  We speak to many companies and the answer to this question is often far from clear.  Is it the marketing manager, the sales manager, the owner, is it Gladys in admin or Sophie in accounts because her boyfriend has built some websites before?

  • Your business needs a single point of contact for your website.
  • Your website needs a pair of responsible eyes checking in on it weekly, if not daily.  Things do go wrong on web servers, sites do get hacked and often sites need to be reviewed many times to iron out any copywriting errors or coding bugs.  However the main reason you need these responsible eyes is because your business is constantly evolving.  Mostly changing through very subtle changes that happen daily over time – but this is the reason so many businesses don’t even notice that their site is out of date, looking shabby or not even working!  These subtle daily changes are something you and your staff adapt to – your website will not adapt or update itself.
  • Your website needs to be updated regularly.  Ideally weekly, at least monthly.  This doesn’t need to be big changes, re writing lots of text or adding lots of new images. A few simple (key) changes every month will keep Google interested, keep your site fresh and will most importantly keep some responsible eyes on your site so that it can stay up to date and fresh!

Some businesses need support to manage this incredibly important element of their business.

 

Pittwater Digital Website Management ServicesWe are well aware that to discuss something and have great intentions is one thing – but putting it into practice, finding the time to manage your site yourself or to add it as an extra task to a staff member is not always simple.

HOW WE CAN HELP?

Easy one stop solution!  Pittwater Digital have developed a set of simple solutions that make managing your website and all the associated elements such as hosting, domain name registration, e-commerce, online security, SSL Certification, etc. as easy as they can be.

Our various Website Management Plans and tailored website management solutions allow you and your staff to carry on running your business whilst safe in the knowledge that experts are keeping an eye on your website, updating it, managing the associated elements and are just a phone call away.  No holding for an Indian call centre, no sending emails and waiting for hours and sometimes days for tech support.  When you need us we are local and just a phone call away!

Just choose a plan, give us a few details and we’ll be back in touch with you to arrange all the necessary information. Contact us here

 

 

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graknowlesSo you value your staff – what about your website?

6 Simple Digital Marketing Strategies to Power Up Your Business

by graknowles on September 25, 2014 , No comments

Digital marketing is essential in today’s world. With both competitors and potential customers constantly online, digital marketing is the only way to stay ahead. When you’re a small business owner the online world can seem intimidating and often like something you just don’t have time for. Here is a list of six simple digital marketing strategies that any business owner can implement to help their business grow.

1. Setting a Goal: You’re looking for ways to help your small business grow. You might want more customers, more recognition or maybe you’re looking to get ahead of the competition. Whatever the case may be, starting with a solid goal in mind greatly increases your chances of success. Digital marketing is a great way for small businesses to prosper, but going into the process blindly can leave you with a jumbled mess. A lot of strategy and precision goes into digital marketing and having a goal helps you know what to focus on.

2. Creating a Marketing Funnel: The most successful businesses have an effective marketing funnel in place. A marketing funnel is when you map out a customer’s journey from when a customer is a complete stranger to when they become a lead, and then put certain strategies in place that will encourage them to move through this funnel. Things like lead magnets, calls to action, opt-ins and offers are all effective pieces of a funnel. You can think of a marketing funnel in four parts: Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action.

  • Awareness: The potential customer is aware of your product or service. They’re still a stranger, but they’ve come to your website for a reason. They’re looking for something they need. At this stage you want to attract the customer by showing them that you have something they’re looking for. Use a lead magnet or call-to-action to give the customer a valuable resource related to your product or service (i.e: what they need) in exchange for more information about them like their email address, phone number, profession and current needs. Find out who they are and why they came to your website.
  • Interest: They are actively expressing interest in a certain type of your products or services. At this point you’ve given them some information and they’re interested in what you have to say or the services you provide. You’ve used your lead magnet or CTA in stage one to gather more information about them. At this stage it’s a good idea to supply them with further information that is more tailored to their specific needs. Showing them that you not only took the time to get to know them, but also have something that’s specific to their needs will show that you’re attentive to and care about your customer’s wants and needs.
  • Desire: They’ve taken an interest in a specific product or service. Now that you’ve supplied them with information specific to what they’re looking for, they’ve found a product or service you provide that might be a good fit for them. Invite them to schedule a consultation using an email or a call-to-action. At this stage you want to tell them more about the product or service they’re interested in. Show them why they need it and exactly how it will benefit them.
  • Action: Taking the next step towards purchasing. This is when you’re able to turn your potential customer into a lead. You’ve given them valuable information, shown them you pay attention to your customer’s needs, and shown them that you have something they need that will benefit them. All that’s left is discussing things like price, payment and other aspects of your product or service that are relevant to a buyer.

Having an effective marketing funnel won’t just get you more leads, it can also help you turn leads into repeat buyers. If the customer has a good experience they might return to purchase from you again or even tell others they know about your business. The elements of a marketing funnel can seem like a lot to put together, but they’re simple concepts when broken down. You’ll see that numbers 3,4 and 5 help to break down and explain the different aspects of having a marketing funnel in place on your site and how to put together some of the most important pieces of it.

3. Developing a call-to-action: We talked about using a call-to-action in the second step as a part of your marketing funnel, but what is a call-to-action exactly? A call-to-action (CTA) is an image or text that prompts visitors to take action, such as subscribe to a newsletter, view a webinar or request a product demo. CTAs should direct people to landing pages, where you can collect visitors’ contact information in exchange for a valuable marketing offer. In that sense, an effective CTA results in more leads and conversions for your website. This path, from a click on a CTA to a landing page, illustrates the much desired process of lead generation. In order to increase visitor-to-lead conversion opportunities, you need to create a lot of calls-to-action, distribute them across your web presence and optimize them. A good CTA should be attention grabbing and help lead a potential customer further into your marketing funnel.

4. Creating an Effective Lead Magnet: A lead magnet can be used alone or along with a CTA. This will also be used either within your marketing funnel or as a way to drive potential customers into your funnel. Supply them with something relevant to your product or service that they want. Use your offers as a way to gather more information about a potential buyer while driving them further into your funnel at the same time. This brings them closer to becoming an actual quality lead who will spend money on your product or service. The idea behind a lead magnet is to trade information. You supply something like a free download of a white paper, but in order to complete the download the individual has to fill out a form that will provide you with more information about them. You’ll use the information you gather to interact with them more as they progress through your funnel.

5. Driving Traffic: In order for there to be people to drive into your marketing funnel, there first has to be traffic on your website. There a variety of ways you can drive traffic to your website. Here are a few of the ones I recommend:

  • Quality Content: Use content such as blog posts, press releases and articles on authority websites. Insert links to various places on your website within this content to build your brand name through exposure and drive traffic to your website.
  • Keyword Strategy: Inserting related keywords into content will help your content and website show up in more search results, this leads to higher volumes of web traffic.
  • Website Optimization: Ensuring that your website is optimized and functioning at it’s best is essential. People don’t want to visit a website that doesn’t work properly.
  • Social Media: Use engaging social media posts to attract more traffic to your site. Using pictures, video, and other relevant media will help your posts get more engagement.

6. Sign Up!  Sign up to Pittwater Digital’s no brainer “Power UP – Digital Strategy” for just $50 / month and start driving new leads to your business. Simple.

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graknowles6 Simple Digital Marketing Strategies to Power Up Your Business

Free tools to make digital marketing easy

by rlababin on September 25, 2014 , No comments

You know you need to market your business online, drive traffic to your site and use social media to connect with new customers.

But you don’t have a massive budget for digital marketing. So if you’ve a little time to set aside to create your own digital marketing materials instead, these fantastic free tools can help:

Google AnalyticsWoman using computer in corridor_800x500
This one is non-negotiable – you must have it and you must use it. Google Analytics will show you how many hits your website gets and where they come from. This information is immensely powerful – it can help you to learn how effective the activities you are doing online are, what areas you should be prioritising and what things you need to fix.

 

Pixlr
This one is my favourite – I use it about 15 times a day! Its a free photo editing software for desktop and mobile. Its easier to use and the dashboard is less intimating than Photoshop – and its free. It’s great for simple edits to photographs like adding your logo or some text.

Creative Commons
Whilst it is a must-have for creative businesses, not everyone can justify the expense of a stock-imagery account for every day materials. The Creative Commons search tool allows you to search for images online that are free to use – so long as you attribute the original artist. Genius!

Mailchimp
Do you want to send better emails? Mailchimp is one of the best email marketing tools out there and you can send a limited number of emails each month for free. There are plenty of pre-designed templates to choose from too – you just need to add your own text and images. And the drag and drop template builder is great for those with an eye for design. If you want to stand out from the crowd or need help sending regular e-newsletters for your clients get in touch – I love creating powerful html email campaigns!

Youtube
One of the easiest things you can do to improve your search engine results page (SERP) listing is work with Google. They own Youtube so it makes sense to use their tools! Youtube is free, it’s the 2nd most popular search engine in the world (after Google itself) and it helps Google find your website which will help improve your ranking. Youtube is one of the reasons I tell my clients that video is king when it comes to social media.

Pittwater Digital Local Digital Marketing Package
Ok this one isn’t free but it is fantastic value for money. Our Local Digital Marketing Package is only $50 a month – about what you spend on take away coffees. It will enhance your online presence, connect you with new customers and help you promote specials and new products. Sounds good? Drop me a line and I’ll send you some information.

By Rachael Babin, Digital Consultant at Pittwater Digital, specialising in web design, social media marketing and html email campaigns. 

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rlababinFree tools to make digital marketing easy

Five fast facts: why digital marketing needs to work for your business

by rlababin on September 25, 2014 , No comments

Small business owners are time-poor.

digital marketingYou’re so busy working in your business – liaising with customers, solving problems, issuing invoices and chasing payments, organising staff, ordering stock – the to-do list is never ending. So it’s no surprise that building, developing and updating your digital business infrastructure keeps sliding to the bottom of that never ending list.

But times are changing. A powerful digital presence is now vital for every business, not matter how large or small. Why? Here’s five fast facts to convince you to move website, e-commerce and digital marketing strategy up your to-do list.

 

1

Digital Families:
The average Australian household owns 8 internet connected devices (Telsyte technology report).

 

2 pittwater digital

Look Up:
79 per cent of mobile phone internet users used their device to research a product or business in 2013 and nearly 61% didn’t return to a website that wasn’t mobile responsive (Australian Media and communications Authority report).

 

3 pittwater digital

Shopping Cart:
E-Commerce revenue has increased 193% in the last 5 years. (Australian Media and communications Authority report)

 

4 pittwater digitalOnline Opinions:
71% of Australian internet users have read other consumers’ opinions and discussions about brands online and 59% watch online videos to help inform their purchase choices (Nielsen Australian Online Consumer Report 2011‐2012).

 

5 pittwaterdigitalMobile Rules:
In 2014, the penetration of smartphones will exceed computers, with tablets closely behind (Telsyte Australian Digital Consumer Study).

 

Australia is online.

Digital marketing is now more powerful than word of mouth, print advertising or out dated communications. Fearing Facebook? Head aching? Panic rising?

We can help you prioritise your digital goals and enhance your online presence. So what are you waiting for – add Call Pittwater Digital to that to-do list!

By Rachael Babin, Digital Consultant at Pittwater Digital, specialising in web design, social media marketing and html email campaigns. 

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rlababinFive fast facts: why digital marketing needs to work for your business

Our favourite video of the day – Sydney Harbour Bridge

by graknowles on May 8, 2014 , Comments Off

If you live in Sydney or have ever visited you know how imposing the Sydney Harbour Bridge is.

This wonderful Screen Australia historical film documents the construction of one of the world’s great landmarks in its various stages, and provides a fascinating glimpse of life around Sydney Harbour and Circular Quay in the twenties and thirties.

 

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graknowlesOur favourite video of the day – Sydney Harbour Bridge

20 of the Best Guerilla Marketing Chalk Board Signs…

by graknowles on May 8, 2014 , Comments Off

20 of the Best Guerilla Marketing Chalk Board Signs…well 19 and 1 Bart Simpson chalkboard we like!

[gdl_gallery title=”20 of the Best Guerilla Marketing Chalk Board Signs” width=”IMAGE_SRC” height=”IMAGE_HEIGHT” ]

 

 

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graknowles20 of the Best Guerilla Marketing Chalk Board Signs…

Are you vulnerable to Heartbleed?

by graknowles on April 11, 2014 , Comments Off

heartbleedNew security vulnerabilities are an ongoing concern across all applications and services. The latest one, the so-called “Heartbleed” Bug in the OpenSSL cryptographic library, is especially concerning for anyone interacting with the internet ie. everyone.

The OpenSSL cryptographic library is widely deployed to power Secure-Socket Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS), which are at the heart of Internet security. In other words, this security hole is very serious.

The flaw can potentially be used to reveal not just the contents of a secured-message, such as a credit-card transaction over HTTPS, but the primary and secondary SSL keys themselves. This data could then, in theory, be used as a skeleton keys to bypass secure servers without leaving a trace that a site had been hacked.

This bug is not a problem with OpenSSL’s design specifically, it is a problem with the implementation.

What does this mean for Digital Guerilla  and Revolution Press  clients?

Our servers are managed by Netregistry and their core Cloud environment is NOT and was never vulnerable to this exploit in any way. Our Security Team have also reviewed our cPanel environment and have taken immediate steps to secure the vulnerability, is no longer susceptible to exploit. There is no evidence of the exploit on our cPanel platform, we are confident that your data housed on our infrastructure is safe.

We recommend

We always recommend regular changes of all your passwords, particularly following a global vulnerability similar to this one. While we and Netregistry have acted immediately to mitigate the risk of this exploit if you are using the same passwords for services with other vulnerable providers, there is always the potential that the exploiter could use these exploited passwords to access your accounts with non vulnerable providers like Netregistry.

If you have any questions regarding this OpenSSL vulnerability, please don’t hesitate to contact our Technical Support team.

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graknowlesAre you vulnerable to Heartbleed?

Going Social: The State of Video in 2013

by graknowles on December 6, 2013 , No comments

In this videographic, Uberflip explores the state of video as a cross-platform marketing tool. How popular is online video? How much are marketers spending on this format? With apps like Vine and Instagram, is video finally making the jump to mobile? Watch and learn!

Sources:
– 40 billion videos streamed every month in the US (Comscore)
– 75 million people in the US watch online videos (Comscore)
– 87% of marketers use video for content marketing (eMarketer)
– By 2015, $6.3 billion will be spent on video ads (Forrester)
– 2 Billion videos streamed every day on Youtube (Youtube)
– Youtube is the second largest search engine (Youtube)
– Instagram has 130 million active users (Instagram)
– Vine was downloaded 13 million times in its first week (Vine)

http://www.uberflip.com
http://www.twitter.com/uberflip

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graknowlesGoing Social: The State of Video in 2013