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SEO Tips: 5 simple ways you can boost your SEO ranking today

Posted by Tracey Voyce
26
September 2016
SEO Tips: 5 simple ways you can boost your SEO ranking today

 There are many different methods for optimising your website to rank higher on search engines, but a lot of them can be kind of technical. We get it - small and medium sized business owners don't have a lot of time to spend learning the in's and out's of SEO and that's ok. However, it is still important to know how your website is doing in terms of SEO, and simple things you can do to improve your rankings. Whether that is doing it on your own, or getting a hand from us.

The first step should be to see how your website is doing with it's SEO. 

According to Arekestall, "93% of online experiences begin with a search engine". This is why ensuring that your website is performing well from an SEO standpoint is so important. These four simple methods can help boost your organic search rate, increase your conversion rate and generate leads and revenue.
 

Here are my 5 simple ways you can boost your SEO ranking today:


1) Determine your keywords (the words your target market will use when searching for your business, service or product): Include them in your content, links AND photo descriptions (Alt-tags).
Use a free tool such as Google's Keyword Planner to help you understand what keywords will work best for your business. With the Google Keyword Planner "you can search for keyword and ad group ideas, get historical statistics, see how a list of keywords might perform, and even create a new keyword list by multiplying several lists of keywords together."

2) Optimize your website for the user's intent: Help your users find exactly what they are looking for on your website. We want to make it obvious for the user that your site has exactly what they need. You can accomplish this by:
  • Rewriting your meta descriptions on each page (this is the description that appears when someone searches on Google, and sees your website listed in the organic, free listing results). Write a description, that describes the page, but more importantly encourages the people you are wanting to target, to come to your page. You can do so by going into your pages, and click edit. You will then see a box that looks like this: Where to find Meta Descriptions
  • Ensuring that you have relevant page title and headers, write these to reflect what the user is looking for
  • Hiring a professional copywriter to help with your body text to ensure you are hitting all your keywords and providing the information your users need to know.
  • Including CTA's in the copy to facilitate people to take action

An increase in clicks through on these pages may actually help increase your ranking as well.

3) Promote your content through social media: A few case studies have proven that social media shares, pins, likes, and tweets can improve your rankings. If you are struggling to keep your social media content fresh or aren't sure where to start, we can help.

  • Make sure your blog stays up-to-date and has share buttons on each post (Bloomtools clients, these automatically appear for you)
  • Don't be afraid to ask people to share!
  • Try hosting a social media contest, asking people to like and share your post
  • Link or mention other local businesses that you work with or may find your content useful in your posts


4) Build Links: Adding links in your content that will create value for your users, within your own website to take them down a path that will deliver what they are looking for (and for you, higher conversions).  Google also looks at your links, as they see them as being indicators of what your website is about... therefore it is important that you link your key pages, blogs, products or services that highlight this for Google.
Within your blogs, also add links to your products, services and other blogs on that topic, that you talk about in your blogs.  

5) Create keyword pages:  If you want your business to appear for set geographical locations, create a page on these, and write about them (and as covered above, link to them within content on other pages).  If your business has some particular niches you are trying to target, write a page for them - including these keywords in page titles, names, headings, images and more, will increase the likelihood for you to be found by that target market.  Also write blogs on these, so you have multiple pages and words focused on a variety of words they may be looking for in their searches online.

We'd love to hear from you! What do you want to know about SEO? Are you looking for more ways to boost your SEO? We'd love to chat, so give us a call!

Posted in: Internet Marketing Social Media Lead Generation   Comments

How to nail your mobile website design with these 6 design tips

Posted by Tracey Voyce
19
September 2016
How to nail your mobile website design with these 6 design tips

Did you know that in the last year, there have been more mobile Google searches than ever before? Or that Google now boosts the search rankings of mobile friendly websites? These are important insights as to where the world is going in terms of how users interact with businesses online.

Having a great desktop website is just not going to cut it anymore. To stay competitive in today's market, businesses are going to need both a great desktop website and a great mobile website. So how can we make that happen? Well I've compiled a list of the best design tips to ensure your mobile website has ultimate usability and stands out from your competitors.

1) Search front and centre

This example is from an industry association.  LNA website visitors rely on finding the information they are after fast, whether it is to find a landscaper, or as a member to go to their area and more. This mobile design caters to this by enabling the user find exactly what they are looking for - and fast.

LNA Website


2) Product photos should be large and in charge


Zacaluzoo is an Australian retailer that specializes in clothing and accessories for women and children. The mobile website displays products for their users quite large, nixing the need for zooming. Having clear and large product photos is especially important on mobile websites as users want the process to be quick and easy.

Zacaluzoo Mobile Website Design



3) Include call-to-action buttons that yell "Look at me!"

The Australian Red Cross Blood Donation's mobile website has kept their design very similar to their desktop version. What's great about the mobile website is that it is very easy for users to click the large call-to-action buttons. Call-to-action's are essential leads for your business, and of course we all want those! You can easily join their groups, learn more about blood donation or find a clinic near you. We want to make it super easy for your users to click them - so make them large and attractive.



4) Less is more

Rodd & Gunn is an international men's wear and accessory retailer. They have narrowed down what brings their customers to their website most often and they have made a navigation menu the focal point. This allows users to quickly choose what they are looking for, while still giving them the option to use the main menu and search function at the top. The design is simple, yet extremely effective as the user is able to navigate through the website seamlessly.

Rodd and Gunn Australian Mobile Website     



6) Large buttons for chubby fingers

This example from Australia's iconic brand, Akubra demonstrates two ways for a site visitor to find what they are looking for. It is designed for tapping with a single finger, making sure the user isn't't struggling to choose the right option. Don't you just hate it when you choose the wrong thing like 6 times in a row because the menu items are too close together? Yeah, me too.

      Akubra

A great mobile website design is what will set you apart from your competitors. Not only will users enjoy their experience more, but your SEO ranking will also improve by bringing more people to your mobile site. It's all about improving the user's experience, making it as easy and staying in their memory. If they've had a good experience with your mobile website, chances are they will come back!

Get in touch with us today about how to improve your mobile website design.

Posted in: Ecommerce Website Design Internet Marketing Lead Generation   Comments

Seven essential Google tools to grow your business

Posted by Tracey Voyce
5
September 2016
Seven essential Google tools to grow your business

Save money, increase efficiencies and deliver better overall results for your website with these handy tools from Google.

Google Chrome

It's risky business getting into the argument about which Internet browser is the best to use. You'll always have die-hard fans of each browser as well as the crew that don't really care so long as they have an Internet connection. I have to admit, though, that in the Bloomtools office, Chrome is one of the kings and that's probably how it'll stay.

Google Chrome supports industry standard for the Internet, which is not the case for all browsers. As a result, people using Chrome will have fewer errors when visiting webpages that have been built to industry standards and the connection will seem a lot faster. Chrome also updates itself regularly which means your browser will not become outdated. In fact, Chrome is actually taking over the dropping popularity of the often buggy Internet Explorer.

When our software developers make changes to thewebconsole (Bloomtools Clients websites backend), we do so with the most recent Google Chrome updates in mind, which means our clients using Chrome will have a much better experience using thewebconsole than those on Explorer or Safari.

Google Chrome is available as a free download for Windows, Mac and Linux.

Google My Business

If you want people to find you online, you have to provide Google with information about your business. Use Google My Business to add your business details to Search and Maps. Signing up to this simple service allows people to find you no matter what device they're using, and offers searchers the right information at the right time whether that's your location, directions to your business and your opening hours.  This is a free tools and so valuable for businesses.  If you have not done this yet, before you do anything else after reading this article - do this immediately!

Google Alerts

Are you aware of what people are saying about your business, you or your brand on the Internet? Are you all over what your competitors are doing? Are you abreast of the changes in your industry? If not, Google Alerts will be a great tool for you.

Essentially, the tool works by having you tell it what search terms you're interested in. For example, you may be a property developer in Brisbane who wants to keep up to date with the local industry. You tell Google Alerts to send you new information regarding "Commercial Property Development Brisbane" and at the schedule you set, Google Alerts will send you an email with links to all the new Internet content relevant to those search terms.  

At the very least, we strongly suggest that you set up a Google Alert for your company name which will include all your brands and key personnel to monitor mentions about you on the Internet.

Start using Google Alerts today.

Google AdWords

Attract traffic to your website by Marketing your business on Google and its advertising networks. With AdWords, you have the freedom to write your own content, including the keywords that are most useful to your business, and only pay for your ad if people click on it.  Considering that a staggering 93% of all internet experiences begin with search engines, this is a great opportunity to be found by the right people at the right time.

When people search for your keywords on Google, your ad might appear next to the results, allowing you to advertise directly to customers who are already looking for your product or services. AdWords also offers the flexibility to pause adverts if you're under financial pressure or increase your spend if you have new services to promote.  Everything is measured, and the ROI can be very profitable to your business.

You can do this yourself, or use our experienced team to do it for you.

Google Apps

Improve your working processes and streamline day-to-day tasks with the help of Google Apps for Business. From professional email to shared calendars and online storage, there are numerous apps that can sort out your business needs. Take advantage of cloud-based apps that allow you to access important information from all your devices and rest assured that high-quality security and controls will keep your data safe.  And even better, it is a lot lower cost to your business than the Microsoft Office options.

Let us know if you would like us to set this up for you.

Google Analytics

Gain invaluable insights into the ways users behave on your website with Google Analytics. Setting up Google Analytics on your website is simple and lets you access a wealth of information about customer behaviour. The analytics package allows you to find out where your visitors are coming from, how long they spend on any one page and where the most conversions are happening. Armed with these stats, you can refine your website to improve your overall results.  If you are already a Bloomtools client, we would have already set this up for you.

Google+

Grow and engage your audience and take advantage of new ways to connect by creating a Brand page on Google+. Create Communities and Hangouts free live video conferences to communicate with customers and reach out to other thought leaders in your industry.  This is Googles own social media, and essential for all businesses to have a presence on.

Google+ business pages often appear in standard search results, as do Google+ reviews, so encourage happy customers to leave positive reviews on your page and you'll have a greater chance of potential buyers seeing them.


Help your website and your business get ahead of the competition with these efficient tools from Google. For more advice about ways to boost your business growth, and how to get started with the above tools, arrange a chat with your Bloomtools consultant.

Posted in: Internet Marketing Lead Generation   Comments

The only blogging checklist you'll ever need

Posted by Tracey Voyce
1
September 2016
The only blogging checklist you'll ever need

If you are already a Bloomtools customer, you probably know that we reallllyyy love blogs. We also really love to spread the word about what blogs can do for your business.

A blog  builds up credibility for perspective clients by demonstrating expertise and your businesses personality, it also creates real value for your customers by providing them with interesting information which keeps them coming back. It also a big factor in improving your SEO placement, because Google (and other popular search engines) love blogs too! Search engines scan your website looking for them, and when you have a great blog, it boosts your search engine ranking.

 

"We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master."
- Ernest Hemingway


Mr. Hemingway said it best - don't worry about being a perfect writer... no one is! You don't have to be an expert writer to get started with your blog, trust me we've all been there. Staring at a blank screen for hours, waiting some something to happen but nothing ever does - sound familiar? Don't let the idea of blogging intimidate you, the only thing you have to be an expert in, is your business!

 

Getting started is the hardest part about blogging, but once you go over our short checklist you'll be able to hit the ground running!
 

1. Get to know your target audience


The most important step to writing a successful blog is to have a solid understanding of who your target audience is. Is it a 30-year-old single mum who is on a budget? Is it a 48-year-old car sales man who enjoys fishing? This information will determine the content you write and how you go about writing it.

2. Set a goal for yourself


Starting off can be a bit overwhelming, but try to set a blogging goal for yourself. Don't set unrealistic goals like posting one blog per week. One or two per month is a good place to start. Once you've set a goal, write down an action plan. 

3. Brainstorm blog topics


What makes what you do interesting? What will your target audience want to read about? Write down some blog ideas, and do a little research on the topics. Have a good idea what it will take for you to write a post about that subject. Bring personal stories into the mix, write about an experience you've had with a lesson you've learned. If you are stuck for ideas, try researching what your competitors are doing for ideas on relevant topics.

4. Start writing!


The best piece of advice I have for this section is simply just start. It doesn't matter if it is good or not - you will have plenty of time to come back and rework it. Get something down, walk away for a bit and then come back to it with fresh eyes. Don't forget to include the following:
  • A catchy title, make the reader want to read on! If you are having trouble coming up with a great title, try using this content idea generator by Portnet. Just put in your keywords and voila!
  • A story - make it a human interest piece by including personal anecdotes
  • A header image
  • Subheadings -  like I have in this post
  • Lists - like this one
  • Short paragraphs that make it easier to read
  • Links, quotes, statistics - these all help support your content and help gain trust with your readers

This is a simple check-list for you to follow to help get you started with your blog. We will be continuing this series where we will talk about ways you can get your blog SEO optimised and use your blog as a powerful marketing tool.

If you are struggling to keep your blog up-to-date, we can help! We offer a great blog writing service that we can tailor to fit your business needs. If you are interested in learning more, your friendly Bloomtools Consultant is just a phone call away!
Posted in: Internet Marketing Lead Generation   Comments

Calling all website owners: Vital action is needed on your website.

Posted by Tracey Voyce
18
August 2016
Calling all website owners: Vital action is needed on your website.

A CTA is a what? Why should I have it on my website?

You have your website for your business for a reason, whether it is to attract new prospects, sell a product or services, demonstrate to prospects why they should do business with you vs your competition, and so much more...  Whatever the reasons, you need people who come to your website to take a next step. You need people to take action, and you need to help them where possible to take this action to increase the results you get.  So you can see why CTA's are SO important!

A call-to-action is a button, text or a link that drives users to complete an action such as filling out a form, picking up the phone and more. Having multiple CTA's on your website are extremely beneficial as they can generate a lot of leads in a very simple way.

In this post we will go through the key elements for an effective call-to-action, and give you some great ideas on how you could improve the results your website achieves for your business. 

Location, location, location

Where should the CTA be located?

Visibility is key! If you are looking at your screen, one of the most valuable places to put a call-to-action is in the upper right corner of the website. It is what I like to call "valuable real-estate". It is a highly visible area that the eye is naturally drawn to. We like to use this space for your primary CTA.  And for a lot of businesses it is their phone number, for example:



Or to prompt users to make a purchase, or download free book. For example:



Another great area to put a call-to-action is in the main header of your website. This will be directly in the center of the page when a user visits your homepage. Again, this is a highly visible area and the eye is naturally drawn to this location. Take a look at this example:



The upper half of your website is the primary place to put your CTA's as it is the first area the user sees without having to scroll down through the website.


Size IS everything!

What size should a CTA be?

The size of the font for your call-to-action must be just right. There is a bit of finesse involved in getting it right.  It should be large enough to see from a distance, but not too large that it distracts from main content.

The main content area of your website is usually between 12-14 point font. We suggest making the font size for your call-to-action around 18-25. I will show you an example in the contrast of sizes here:

This is written in 12 point font. This is written in 18 point font.

As you can see there is a major contrast in font size, making sure that the call-to-action will stand out. You don't necessarily need to make it larger though, you can always bold your call-to-action as well, for example: This is written in 12 point font, and bolded.


Be bright, and stand out...

What colour should CTA's be?

Your call-to-action should be a bright, contrasting colour from the website while still fitting within the branding and design. Try to use the same main colour for all your CTA's so that the user can easily recognise what it is. For example:

The main colour of this website is a light tan, we have contrasted that with a bright orange to make the call-to-action stand out.



On this website, we have done a navy blue background, with a bright red for the call-to-action:



In this example, we have contrasted the brown with a bright white button:


Further tips and examples on how to make your next CTA stand out:

  • Make it simple and easy to understand
  • Try using inclusive language like "Let's work together"
  • Make your CTA urgent for example: "Only 20 spots left for our Free Online Webinar"
  • Use language that gives the user a sense of ownership "Claim your free trial" vs "Start your free trial"
  • Make it unique, think outside of the box and make it humorous. For example try something like "Do not click here" vs "Click here"
  • Use language suited to your target market, for example a rock climbing company may use language like "Rock Climbers this way!"

And most important tip of all, make sure you also include all your CTA's within your content.

You don't always need to have a big, bright shiny button for people to click for a CTA. You can simply write a call-to-action within the copy of your website.

For example, when explaining your products or services in your content, you can ask potential clients to a) drop into your shop to discuss the products or services, b) call you to further discuss your products or services or c) request a quote online. See example below:

"You are welcome to visit our graphic designers at Avoca on the Central Coast (10 minute drive from Erina, or 20 minutes from Gosford) to discuss your graphic design and print project or call us on 4382 2566 for a chat. You can also request a quote online."


To discuss how you could improve your CTA's on your website, contact your Bloomtools consultant today!

Posted in: Website Design Lead Generation   Comments
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