How to Make Your Business a Success

By | Affordable SEO, Online Marketing, Pay per Click (PPC), Printing, Website Design, Website Marketing

How to make your business a success is an important topic for most small businesses.  There is no one-size-fits-all solution to achieve this. Marketing and having an online presence is a very important part of achieving that success.  Different marketing plans are needed depending on the type of business, product or service on offer. To be successful you need to have a plan that you stick to and put in the time and effort required to make it work.

Here are a few things you can do to get your small business noticed:

  • Get a professional website.  We’re not just saying that because WebDesignGuys are web developers!  These days a website is an absolute must.  Your website needs to stand out and give potential customers exactly what they need when they visit.  An unprofessional homemade site just isn’t going to cut it with most people and can decrease their confidence in your brand or service.
  • Don’t forget Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).  Many people set aside just enough money to get a website built but don’t allow anything in their budget for search engine optimisation or pay-per-click advertising (Google AdWords).  What’s the first thing you do when you need a product or service?  You Google it, no doubt!  And how many pages on Google do you go through before you stop looking……one….two…three tops?  Most people stop looking after page 1 or 2 so if your website is past that, forget it.  No one is going to find you!  SEO and pay-per-click advertising are needed to improve your position in Google searches. You can read more about it here: Why is SEO so important for my business?
  • Customer contact. Understand who your customers are, what they want, and remain in contact with them after the sale or job is complete.  A good way to do this is through email marketing.  It’s a great idea to build a database of current and past customers and communicate regularly with them via newsletters and emails.
  • Research your target market.  Your target market needs to be specific! Targeting your marketing efforts specifically at the people who need and want what you’re offering is the best the way to generate enquiries and close sales.
  • Don’t neglect branding and print media. These are super powerful marketing materials. Your logo, business card, brochures, signage, uniforms and vehicle signwriting are all important in getting your business noticed.  WebDesignGuys can help you create a brand that gets noticed.
  • Use social media. Using Facebook, Twitter , LinkedIn, YouTube and blogging are great ways of getting the message out there about you and your business.

WebDesignGuys are here to help.  We can assist with creating and hosting a fantastic professional website for your company, email marketing, SEO, branding and print media.  Call us now to get started!

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Web Hosting Basics

By | Web Hosting

What is Web Hosting?

Web hosting makes it possible for people to view your website online.  Your web host stores your website files on super computers called web servers which are capable of storing vast amounts of data.  If someone goes to your web address, the internet connects with the web server holding your files and transfers the information back to your visitor’s computer or device.  Now they can view everything on your website.

Web hosting involves everything related to managing these servers and their software.

What is Shared Web Hosting?

The most common form of web hosting is Shared Web Hosting.  This is where one server is shared by many customers.  It’s more affordable because you are not renting the entire server but just a small part of it depending on how many files your website has.  It’s also easier to use because your hosting company carries out any maintenance required and also any security updates.

What is Managed Web Hosting?

Managed Web Hosting is where the technical aspects of hosting, server operation and maintenance are handled for you.  This is a great solution for people who are limited in either IT knowledge, time or both!

Various managed services may include:

  • Trouble shooting and technical support
  • Server configuration and monitoring
  • Email configuration – setting up popular email configurations such as POP3, IMAP and SMTP.
  • Script installations eg WordPress, Joomla, Magento, phpBB3
  • Spam control and email filtering eg email forwarding, SpamAssassin installation
  • Database configuration
  • Backup services
  • Control Panel set up

Web hosting solutions at Webdesignguys

Here at Webdesignguys we offer affordable, reliable web hosting solutions for your business.  Our servers are leased from ultra-secure data centres and ensure your customers enjoy rapid loading speeds.  Our servers also come with a 99.9% uptime guarantee.  Many hosts will charge you extra for managed services but with Webdesignguys it’s all part of the deal and you pay no extra for it!  Call us today to find out more!

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10 Website Design Mistakes to Avoid

By | Affordable SEO, Website Design, Website Marketing

Here at Webdesignguys we know what it takes to design a great website – one that not only looks awesome but actually works! We know what to avoid and the tricks to use to maximise site functionality and traffic to your website. We can help your business get noticed.

Many websites have flaws that can easily be avoided if the designer knows what they are doing. Some problems are irritating and others prevent visitors accessing information they need and may discourage them from ever returning.

Our Top 10 List of Website Design Mistakes to Avoid:

  1. Not using Responsive Design

    More and more people are using mobile phones and/or tablets to surf the web and quickly get frustrated with a website that is not user friendly on such devices. Your website must display and function well on all screen sizes. Search engines now penalise websites that are not responsive. Responsive design is an absolute necessity.

  2. Search Engine Unfriendly

    Having a website built is all very well and good but kind of pointless if no one can find you on a search engine! Your beautifully designed and fantastically functional new website will just hang around in the back blocks of cyber space with no one to appreciate it – potential customers included! Basic on-site SEO should be included in your design.  For example: search engine friendly URLs, optimised meta tags, header tags and images etc.  So make sure you include this critical element when getting your website built.

  3. Elusive Contact Information

    So many websites make it hard to find actual contact information. It is crucial that your contact information is displayed clearly and prominently. This also helps reassure visitors that they are dealing with a genuine business or organisation and not a scammer.

  4. Splash Pages

    Don’t waste your home page with a splash screen which then requires visitors to click somewhere to enter your actual site. Your visitor is already at your website so they want relevant information immediately. Splash pages are not good for your search engine ranking either.

  5. Ineffective or Confusing Navigation

    Navigation through your website should be obvious. You want to use standard techniques and locations for navigation items such as menus and links. You want to make it especially easy for your visitors to find the “home” and “contact us” pages. It’s important to keep in mind the number of clicks it will take to find information – keep this to a minimum.

  6. Pop-ups

    Pop-up windows are highly annoying and are blocked by many browsers. Avoid unless absolutely necessary.

  7. Broken Links

    It looks very unprofessional to have links that don’t work. They will irritate visitors and may cause them to doubt their confidence in your organisation or business. All links on your site must function correctly.

  8. Slow Loading Pages

    Web users today are an impatient fickle bunch! They will leave slow sites rather than wait for them to load. Your site should load in no more than a few seconds.  Avoid using unnecessary or excessive amounts of graphics as these have an impact on loading times.

  9. Lack of Contrast

    Your website needs to be readable. This may seem like an obvious concept but you’d be surprised by how many websites out there are difficult to read. Attention needs to be given to the amount of contrast between text and the website background or any images used behind text. A bad colour scheme and/or lack of contrast will be off-putting for visitors.

  10. Software Installation Required

    Visitors don’t usually want to wait around installing software before they can view your site. Most browsers will block the install anyway. This is a sure fire way to turn potential customers away.

So there you have it – our top 10 things to avoid in website design. Fortunately, Webdesignguys know what we’re doing and can help create an effective website for your business or organisation. To learn more contact us today and we’d be glad to help.

Email Marketing

By | Ecommerce, Online Marketing, Website Marketing

Email marketing is a great cost effective way to promote your website or business – if you use it wisely!  It builds relationships with your existing audience by sending emails that drive more potential customers to your website which means more calls, and more revenue.  With this valuable marketing tool you can increase your exposure, income, and create a database of customers which will be vital to your website marketing plan.

Here are some of our suggestions for achieving a successful email marketing campaign:

  • Most people dislike unsolicited email.  They consider it to be SPAM.  To get around this only use ‘opt in’ email marketing.  This means people have to agree to receive promotional emails from you.  You also need to make sure you provide a way for them to unsubscribe if they no longer want to receive your newsletters or promotions etc.
  • Personalise your emails as much as possible.  Make sure the tone of the email is friendly, familiar and gives that one-on-one conversational feel.  Use an informal greeting (“Hi John”) rather than a formal one (“Dear Sir”). Depending on which email marketing program you are using you can often personalize your email promotions based on what people have previously purchased, their location  etc.
  • Keep your emails concise and short.  These days the average person’s inbox is very busy.  Your customers will open and read your emails if they know you’re going to get to the point quickly.  Show them promptly ‘what’s in it for them’ if they read your email.
  • Graphics.  Go easy on graphics in your email.  If you do use them, make sure they are relevant.  Too many graphics will make your email size larger and slower to load.  Your recipient may get bored waiting and instead just hit delete.
  • ‘Subject’ line.  Careful consideration should be given to what you write in the ‘Subject’ line.  It needs to get their attention and should be short and friendly.  To avoid ending up in your customer’s SPAM folder don’t use capital letters in the subject line and avoid using words that make it sound like you’re trying to sell something.  Perhaps include your customer’s name or suggest a solution to a problem or ask a question.
  • Call to action.  Include this early on, as this can allow your customer to respond straight away without having to wade through your entire email.  Direct them where to go if they wish to find out more about your offer.  Repeat your call to action at the end of your message but with a more urgent feel to motivate a response from the reader.
  • Always endeavour to obtain email addresses from your website visitors so that you can entice them to return in the future.

For more information on creating successful email marketing campaigns talk to WebDesignGuys today. We include a MailChimp newsletter integration service as part of all our website design packages and we can show you how to get the most out of it.

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Get the most from your ecommerce website

By | Ecommerce, Online Marketing, Website Design, Website Marketing

In order to turn visitors into customers on your website you need to pay special attention to your product pages.  Potential customers need to be provided with as much product information as possible to help them make their purchases with confidence.  Try to anticipate the types of questions your customers may have and make sure you have the answers at the ready.  Ensure their shopping experience on your site is a breeze as frustrated customers often will not complete the sale or ever return to your shop again!

Essentials on product pages:

  • High quality images of your product – from all angles, use a zoom in feature and perhaps also consider a staged shot showing your product in use.
  • A review and rating system so customers can see how great everyone thinks your products are.
  • Include suggestions on similar products the customer may be interested in.
  • When selling clothing include an accurate sizing chart to reduce having to deal with returns.
  • Be clear on exactly what the customer is buying – what is included and what is not. Include specifications and ingredients if applicable.
  • Explain shipping costs clearly early in the sale process. Customers may abort the sale if they are faced with unexpected shipping costs.
  • Another trick of the trade is to allow free shipping once a certain value of products is added to the cart. This little incentive can encourage customers to spend just a little bit more on your products.
  • A good sales technique can be offering multi-buy discounts. This is something we all see at our local supermarkets on a regular basis but it can work equally well put to use on your online shop to encourage customers to ‘spend to save’.

At WebDesignGuys we have the experience and knowledge to get your ecommerce website pumping!  If you would like to discuss further how to improve your website performance call or email us today.

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Redesigning your website

By | Website Design

A dated website can have a huge negative impact on your business. That ‘hip’ look you went for 5 years ago may now appear tired and boring. Perhaps you went with a very low budget option several years ago – it probably shows! Using photos taken on a mobile phone is probably not a good idea either. Stock images purchased in the past will be out-dated – clothing and hairstyle trends can really show this up.

What customers want from your website

Customers expect a lot these days. They’re not interested in a website that is unclear or difficult to navigate. They will quickly exit your site if it takes too long to load or doesn’t get them the information they need quick smart. If you have content and testimonials on your site that are years old, customers may not consider your business to be credible. More and more people are viewing websites on their mobile phones and/or tablets so having a site that is responsive is now an absolute necessity.

Technology and design continues to develop and change at a rapid pace and your website needs to keep up. A good idea is to search other websites in your industry and see how yours compares. It must stand out to attract new customers and to keep existing ones returning again and again. Customers can get a bit jaded scrolling through dozens of websites to find what they are looking for so you want yours to hold their attention and be the one that completes their search.
These days website designs need to be clean and uncluttered with a good balance of copy and high quality images. Careful placement of call to action buttons can help customers make contact with you or purchase products quickly and easily.

Update your website design

A redesign of your website into a fresh and unique new look can give your business the boost it needs and help you reach your target market. WebDesignGuys has a fantastic option for jazzing up a tired website that won’t break the bank.  Our StartUp website package is only $995 + gst.  Call us now to find out more.

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Sell your products online!

By | Ecommerce, Online Marketing, Website Marketing

Would you like to be self employed? Maybe a kind of an online entrepreneur selling your products to your customers locally or globally? Then pay attention  as I’m going to show you the basic details you need in order to get your website turning over sales conversions. Note: This is only a basic overview to getting your site onto the internet and making sales.

How to sell products successfully online:

1) You’ll need a good domain name (eg. WebDesignGuys can help you choose and register the best domain name for your business. Choosing the right domain name can help drive traffic to your website!

2) You can’t get onto the internet without a reliable website host. This is where all of your files and images are stored for your website. Website hosts also handle your emails. For example if you are a plumber and your domain name is then your host can set you up with a professional email account like WebDesignGuys have affordable managed website hosting plans so you don’t need to worry about learning the technical jargon.

3) Next you would want a website developer, cough.. I know of one! WebDesignGuys are very affordable and produce quality websites that produce results. Ecommerce development includes secure credit card gateway setup, configuring taxes, shipping, product uploading. This work must be undertaken by a professional to get great results.

4) Online marketing is one of the most crucial areas to think about if you’re wanting to sell your products online. A lot of people get a website built and don’t set aside any budget for search engine optimisation or pay per click advertising. This is like a nail in the coffin for your business. If you are serious about succeeding and don’t want your business to fail then it is absolutely crucial to set aside enough of your total budget for this. The typical small business will usually spend around $500 month. SEO is a long term strategy.   Allowing 3-6 months, sometimes a year to get solid results is needed. This is dependent on how competitive your market is.

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    Why is SEO important for my business?

    By | Affordable SEO, Online Marketing, Website Marketing

    Every business needs a marketing plan to get exposure and growth. A large portion of your plan should be focused toward Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). First off you may be wondering, what is Search Engine Optimisation? Put simply SEO is the process of making sure that all of the major search engines and most importantly your potential customers can find your site. The online search trend is growing as more and more people hunt for businesses, goods and services online. Did you know that right now there are 3.5 billion searches on Google every single day? That’s a lot of people trying to find stuff! If you have a burst pipe and are wanting to find a plumber in Auckland, or if you have a lot of tax to pay and need an accountant in Wellington then most likely you’ll be typing that straight into your favourite search engine. Google is my preferred choice, but some use Bing or Yahoo etc.

    So in short, if you have a business that you are serious about and you want to make some money then you need SEO!

    So what is all this about 1st page?

    Studies say that Google’s 1st page search results show 90% of people never click beyond the first page! The first 10 positions are most desired as they get 93% of all clicks. This means that if you have a position on the 2nd page you have already lost lost the fight. If your website is positioned further down, 5th, 10th, 20th then your site basically won’t get found by anyone.

    How do I get to the top?

    Contact us at WebDesignGuys! Our process involves making sure your site is set up correctly so that the search engines can easily crawl through your pages and code. We perform a target market business analysis looking at some of your main competitors, then keyword research, content optimization and link building/submissions. Then we measure and tweak. And tweak some more! There’s no point in having a website if no one can find you, right? So call us now and we can start work on marketing your business and getting it growing!

    Contact us today