Do You Know Who You’re Marketing To?

So you started a business, and you know who your ideal customers are, but are they who your selling your product and service too? And more so, how do you know where to find this information?

Just like on Instagram and Facebook, your website can track business data and information. You may have heard of it? It’s call Google Analytics.

If you haven’t, do not worry, you can go over to Google Analytics and get set up. If your freaked out about trying to do this, talk to a website developer (or a tech-smart friend) they’ll be able to set this up for you – I do for my clients!

Once it’s set up, your website developer can install the code needed to track your website data so both your website and Google Analytics are talking to each other.

 Why is it important to track this data?

Your able to understand your target market, or website visitors, better.

In marketing it’s great to understand how your customers purchase from you. This purchasing or sales process has three stages that describe your customers interactions – acquisition, behaviour and conversion – or put simply how they discover you, what they do on your website, and how + when they purchase your products and service.

The reason I am a big fan of Google Analytics is that it makes tracking your customer data easier than ever, so you can understand your customers sooo much better. And in turn, niche your product and service offering to be something they are SUPER excited to buy your offering.

In contrast, it’s is hard to measure this data for offline marketing because you don’t have a reliable way to track it, other than asking direct questions from your audience.

But online (and thanks to Google Analytics) it’s much easier to track the visitation and sales process. Allowing you to dive deep into who your target market are and what they want. Ahhh, the beauty of data!

What to do next?

Now that you know where to go and why it’s important, what do you do next?

Go back to your marketing goals and ask yourself what you want to achieve by having a website?

Is it you want to make 3 sales a month? Or it could be I want 20 people to read my blog posts and write a comment. You can track this on Google Analytics.

Whatever business goal you have start tracking it using this tool. From here you’ll be able to adjust your marketing efforts on other online platforms (social media, business listings etc.) or offline marketing strategies (networking, traditional media etc.) to ensure you hit your business goals.

You may even find out, your already smashing your visitation goals but not converting sales, so instead of one of the activities mentioned above you could invest in new copy for your website or upgrade your website itself so your customers can easily find the information they were looking for on your website when they clicked on it.

There are a few simple fixes you can do to your website to improve sale conversions, but I’ll cover that in a future post.

If you found this information interesting please leave me a comment or join me on Instagram for more online marketing insights!

 

How To Increase Your SEO With Images

Have you ever wondered if the images on your website help or hinder your business? I will share with you the top 4 tips that make images good for SEO and for your business’s online presence.

1. High quality images

High-quality images are everything. Nothing looks more dodgy than a pixelated image on someone’s website to promote a product or service.

I’m sure you can remember a time you’ve visited a website and left fairly quickly because the images gave you “a bad vibe”, like your computer will probably catch a virus or something? *insert awkward emoji face*

The feeling you had above is how your customers feel too. Poor images instantly create distrust with your customers.

2. Image Size

Image types that are universally supported are jpeg’s. If you’re not familiar with this file type, do not worry all you need to know is it tends to be a small image size.

I’m personally am not a fan of visiting someone’s website and have to wait for the site to load (blame this on my millennial impatience), I would rather exit and find another site that loads faster.

Image sizes can be blamed for a slow load time. Image file sizes can vary from 100KB to 10MB. This is why it’s important to review image sizes before loading them to your website!

Although, if your website is hosted by WordPress you’ll soon realise you won’t be able to load a file larger then 2MB to your website. Even this max. size is HUGEEE, and will effect load speed!
You want to get your image size down to the smallest size without affecting the quality. A good size is to aim for 800KB, but anything less then 1MB is a win!

3. Original Images

Just like your socials, search engines love authenticity. If you are using images you (or a photographer) has taken you will rank higher in search! This is actually a very recent trend on search engines and it’s to cut down on inauthentic blogs that are solely for gaining rankings on search engines, not useful content.

This is great news for businesses, and bad news for scammers!

4. Naming your images

This one is a goodie! When you upload new images online always remember to rename them from IMG_5549.jpg. This description says nothing to search engines, all they see is a jpg image.

But if you rename it to “Natalie Faith Web Designs – New Website Launch” for example, search engines will read this and link your image with your website and increase your websites rankings.
And if it’s an original image that you or a photographer has taken, then search engines will love you even more (as mentioned above).

Just make sure the new name is relevant to the image or website page it will be presented on. If in doubt, use your business name every time.

Did you find this article useful? Please leave me a comment, subscribe to my newsletter, or find me on Instagram or Facebook.

What is Search Engine Optimisation or SEO?

What is SEO?

This is probably the most commonly asked question in the tech industry and a subject that can be confusing to understand at first. But actually, it’s quite simple. It just hasn’t been explained properly for everyday humans. So, let me break it down for you…

SEO or “Search Engine Optimisation” is when Google, Bing, or whatever your preferred search engine is, reads your website information to understand what you are sharing online.

When someone inputs a keyword or phrase into a search bar, the search engine will load a list of websites that include those keywords or phrases. This is why it is important that search engines understand the information that is on your website.

You need to clearly present your products or services using words and images on your website and across your other online platforms. If you don’t, search engines won’t know when to show your website to people searching for your products and services.

This isn’t the search engine being biased, it simply doesn’t know what your business offers to customers – you’ve to tell it!

So what’s a business owner to do?
I won’t delve in too deep and overwhelm you, but I’ll share some tips to get you off to a great SEO start.
Also, if your working with a website developer, copywriter, photographer or digital marketing expert we all have a knowledge of how to do this, so your online presence is optimised – because we’ve all got your back! 😉

Use one brand name across your channels!

This first SEO tip is an important one and unfortunately, I see it most often amongst small to medium businesses. They have 3 or 4 different business name variations online.

Please, please, please only use one business name on all of your online platforms. Use one name and use it everywhere! On your website, Facebook, Instagram, Google My Business etc.

Search engines and people alike, need to get familiar with who you are and what your business offers. If you use a different name on different platforms it will confuse your customers and search engines. They won’t be sure if they’ve seen your business before or if it was a totally different company.

When you use one name online it introduces your business to these search engines. The more you use one business name online, the more familiar search engines are with your business name and connect all of your online platforms together. Which is awesome and exactly what you want to happen!

When a search engine connects all your platforms together, they start to gain a better understanding of who you are and what your business does, making it soooo much easier for people to find you online!

Images, Video and/or Media

Next tip, is to name your images before uploading them. Why you might ask? Because search engines ready these image names.

If you keep the generic image name (e.g. IMG03838269268) it’s wasted SEO. You could rename the image to your business name, what the image is about, or where on your website it refers to. This will help drive traffic to the image area of your website.

Now, being a small business owner you may not be uploading images to your website that often, but it’s good to keep in mind for other sites such as Pinterest, Youtube, Or Google My Business to name a few. This is because technically Pinterest and Youtube are classed as search engines… but that’s a story for another time. All you need to do is name your images something relevant.

Words

The last important SEO tip is the words you use on your website. As I said earlier, search engines read your website. Not just the code, pages or images but the content too. This is why it is so important to use a consistent name and particular words in your messaging.

The more a search engine understands what your website offers, the better it can match with a customer searching for your goods and services. Bringing you closer to the top of the search results. Which is ideal!

To recap, SEO is your way of telling search engines what your business is about. And you can do this by using one business name, using images with relevant names and using words that describe your business on your website. If you do all this, you will see an increase in how many customers are finding you online. *high-fives all round*

If you have any questions related to SEO please leave a comment below, and I will respond ASAP. Otherwise please contact me directly – I’d be happy to chat more to you on this topic. See you back here soon!

Why Websites Are Important for Business

Call me biased, but marketing your business online in 2019 is essential for it to grow. If you are a small business owner and do not have a website, you are missing out on a lot of customers finding your business!
…But don’t worry, I’m here to advise you on why a website is important for your business and the different online marketing tools out there. At the end of this blog, you will be able to choose the right strategies for you and your business!

I understand, learning how to market your business can be super confusing. There are so many ways to do it! There are books, blogs, podcasts and influencers who tell you to use a particular platform but not actually tell you why you should use that platform for your business. Don’t get me wrong, all their advice is probably right, but I’m here to tell you why.

This year I have made it my mission to give you easy-to-read marketing advice, so your business can thrive in 2019! This marketing advice will breakdown what each tool does so you can decide which platform or tool is right for you and your business.

Where to start? Well, I’ve put together some key points on what I think is the most important online tool, a website!
Why is it important to have a website? Let me tell you…

1. A website creates trust between your customers and your business. When a customer first comes in contact with your business, via Google search, an advertisement or your physical store, their next step is to research your brand.
Customers will research brands before they decide to make a purchase. The research stage is a crucial stage for your business because this is when customers want to learn more about your business and what it can offer them. This interaction with your business is where customers gain trust and decide whether to purchase your product or service.
If a customer researches your brand and finds no online presence, they will be less likely to purchase a product or service (KPMG, 2019).

2. A website is a professional platform where customers are able to gain a detailed understanding of your products or services. You can also show your customers what your business brand is all about. Show some character, give them your best marketing pitch and tell them why your products or services differentiate from other businesses. Allow your customers to connect with your business brand and establish a relationship with it. Again, you are creating trust with your customer.

3. Where there’s a website, there can be Google Analytics. This will be your business’s secret weapon! It can give you demographics on who your customer is, how they found your business, what words they searched and what device they used to find your business.
This will strengthen your marketing strategy because you will begin to understand who your customers are an how to attract them to your business. Once you have gained this knowledge you can fuse the customers’ likes and interests into your marketing campaigns. Warning: You may fall in love with Google Analytics! – I did.

4. Websites are also a great place to sell your products or services. If you are a small business owner selling handmade jewellery, beauty products or an ebook, your business website is the best place to sell these items. Customers can easily purchase these items without leaving the comfort of their homes. Convenience is every!

If after reading this you’re thinking “I can’t afford a website right now!”, that’s okay. You can easily create a business social media page and gather a following until you have the money to invest in a website. Websites are important, but having your business online is better!

I hope you have gained some understanding of why all businesses, big and small, should have a website. My next few blog posts will focus on how to get customers to visit your website. If you have any requests for a particular subject, please send me an email or submit a comment below. See you back here soon!

Why I’m Starting My Own Business

Hello and welcome to my very first blog post!

I thought I would begin by explaining what prompted me to start my own business and why web design and digital marketing?

I’m a nerd. I love to learn, and code always seemed to be that one subject that was intriguing but also super intimidating to learn. You have to be super smart to write code and build websites, right?

Well, maybe when it comes to the super complex websites, but learning to code is no harder than learning a language – you don’t even have to know it fluently, you just have to know the basics and build from there.

This is how I started, I learned HTML first, then CSS, next was Javascript, and now I code in PHP too.

Where did this all start? I would have to admit it was MySpace, *cringe*. I remember being 16 and building my profile using lines of code I had learned or copy code from a design I liked. I would customise my page (sometimes weekly) changing the background, my profile picture, adding my new favourite song, adding marquees and even changing the cursor icon.

Six years later, I joined an online product team. I was the go-to person for the tourism community, I upload their business information, give them search engine optimisation tips and tricks, content marketing advice and provide analytics reports. I’m not going to lie, this job piqued my interest in web design …but the thought of me being a coder seemed impossible, and laughed that thought right out of the room.

A year later I became unemployed and decided the best thing to do was to go traveling. I already had friends traveling the world who encouraged me to meet them in Argentina to start a tour of South America. During my time backpacking I become poor, I mean very poor! So I did what all broke backpackers do, worked in my hostel for a free nights accommodation.

My job was to clean the hostel, you know, sweep floors, clean rooms, make beds, that kind of thing. While another backpacker, experienced in web development, earned his money by updating the hostels website. Here I was, breaking my back cleaning this hostel and he did a couple of hours ‘tinkering’ with a website?! This was my motivation. I needed to learn code.

Once arriving back in Australia it took me two years to complete my study of Front-end Web Development and WordPress Development. Once they were completed, I left my job and I decided to start my own business (because who wants to work in an office, when you can work from home? Am I right?).

Now you’re probably thinking I am crazy. Who leaves full-time employment to start their own business, shouldn’t it already be thriving before taking the leap? Yes is the answer to all of those questions! But honestly, I had a now or never moment. Either I would leave my job a start my career in tech, or I would never start and the last two years studying would be for nothing.

Noticing a gap in the market to help small business owners, I wanted to start there. I live in Richmond which is start-up city! I see so my tech companies moving into this suburb and all have a focus on the big brands that are already doing great things, and taking those successful brands further. Now, don’t get me wrong, good on those agencies for working with these amazing brands. They have the flexibility to pick and choose who they want to work with, and some of these brands are names you would be crazy to say no to anyway!

While on the flip side of the coin, no one was paying any attention to the little guys. The small business owners or entrepreneurs, who have big ideas, were being ignored. I want to solve this problem.

By creating a great presence online, it creates that “all important” first impression between a brand and its customers. I want to be able to help the growing community of small business owners and entrepreneurs make an impact on their industry that is meaningful, unforgettable and ever-lasting.

Last month I took that leap to start my business, and I want to encourage others to do the same.