THE BLOG

Do you need an SSL certificate?

Do you need an SSL certificate?

You may have seen or heard the acronym SSL floating around in website and hosting circles? Perhaps you have thought it another nerdy tech term that you really don’t need to add to your vocabulary? If you have a website, then you are going to want to pay a bit more attention. What Does SSL Mean? SSL is short for ‘Secure Sockets Layer’. Adding an SSL to your website creates a safety net between yourself and your customers when they browse and either buy from you, or send personal information via an email enquiry form. What does an SSL do? The principal function of an SSL certificate is to encrypt information, so that it cannot be read by anyone except the intended parties. An SSL certificate inserts random characters into the original text, causing it to be unreadable to anyone without the proper encryption key. If someone does somehow access sensitive information from a secure website, with an SSL certificate, they will not be able to read it. Benefits of an SSL Your site is as secure from hacking as it could be. Having an SSL certificate helps you organic ranking in SERP’s. Customer Information will be safe. Customers will be more likely to send enquiries to a site that is secure. You avoid the endless trouble that comes with a site that has been hacked, including customers anti-virus software flagging your site as “unsafe”   Why can’t I leave my site as it is, without an SSL certificate? You may be thinking that your site has been fine thus far, and why would you bother with the effort... read more
Do you advertise in directories?

Do you advertise in directories?

Do you advertise in directories? Tempted to sign up to a 12 month contract? Read this first! Old paper directory companies have expanded their advertising offering and are signing up customers to their various digital platforms or services. They offer online directory listings, Search Engine Optimisation, Adwords Management, Website Services and Local Listings. In order to reduce fixed costs and protect margins, directory companies have moved to a trimmed down staffing model, which has been achieved by outsourcing jobs to third party suppliers – often to overseas companies at the cost of local jobs. Although this means a company can control their own bottom line, because they pay a variable cost, depending on the volume of work required, it does mean that the customer usually suffers. Lack of local knowledge, no intimate understanding of individual customers and automated systems can greatly impact the results you as an advertiser get. Good marketing is about getting the best possible result for your marketing dollars and in order to do that the service provider has to understand you as a customer, your goals and the local market you are in.   The Packaged Sales Approach Be wary of signing a contract that commits you to 12 months on all products. OK a print directory is sold for 12 months, but you don’t have to commit to 12 months for any online product – you can buy online advertising at any time of the year. The standard online contract period is 6 months, with 30 days notice after this period. What do you do then, if you have committed to 12 months, but the... read more
Is your SEO being written offshore?

Is your SEO being written offshore?

How would you know? This is a bit of a head scratcher, because how do you know? If you have signed up with an agency for SEO SERVICES you wouldn’t know where it was being crafted. You could find out by asking a direct question, to which you may or may not receive an honest answer. Or, the results of your SEO strategy will give you a good idea, by which time it may unfortunately be too late to cancel that first cheque. Off-shore contracts can be a huge advantage in some market places, creating beneficial relationships for both parties. In terms of Search Engine Optimisation however, there are a few things that come into play that mean contracting to a team abroad may not be the best approach. Why Should SEO be done by locally? There are a few basic differences between local SEO teams and those abroad. Local Knowledge Understanding Of Local Search Accessibility Care So much online business is focused on servicing local communities and businesses. Love local!  And when it comes to SEO, local can be the key to improving your online presence. through the use of targeted locally focused SEO strategies implemented by people who understand where your business is, your customers and your competitors. That kind of insight is gained from operating locally and understanding the local terrain. If you prefer having a local team crafting your SEO, give us a call. We’ll be happy to discuss how we might be able to help your... read more
How do new customers come to you?

How do new customers come to you?

Do you know where your customers are coming from, and which areas to focus your marketing on to bring you more leads? Understanding your current customer base might give you some information on how you can adjust your marketing strategy and get your business in front of more people.   These are some ways that you might be reaching customers: Through your website If your website has great content that is responsive, has SEO that is working for you and ranking your business well, has clear calls to action that guide your customers to performing the tasks that you want then to, then your website is leading the pack! Through your social media marketing Have your customers responded to a promotion on Twitter, or clicked ‘Like’ on a Facebook ad? Are you targeting a specific niche with a couple of new blogs every month and a newsletter with sales and product information? Perhaps your customers saw your knowledge sharing posts on Instagram and immediately visited your shop to buy. Congratulations, your social media marketing is working for you! Through affiliates and fans of your business Nothing speaks conversion better than a personal recommendation and raving fans. If your customers are coming to you because they already know your product met someone else’s need, a lot of the sales work is already done for you. Through local listings Your 5 star reviews on Google are bringing local customers straight to your door. People searching for your services in the local area regularly mention that they saw you on Google maps and the reviews made you and easy choice.   Are... read more
Is it responsive? Have you seen your website from all angles?

Is it responsive? Have you seen your website from all angles?

You have your favourite devise and browser don’t you? I mean, you prefer to work on your laptop in Google Chrome…or is it, on your ipad in Safari? There are others who prefer a tablet and Firefox. And for every combination that you can think of, your website needs to work, be responsive, and look good, and do the job that it is meant to – bring people to you! Try this responsive experiment and see what results you get. Get your friends and family involved, and get them to select a browser and device combo that they can test and give you feedback on. Browsers: Google Chrome Safari Firefox Internet Explorer Opera Edge Vivaldi Devices (with multiple vintages in each category) iPhone Android phone Tablet Ipad Laptop Mac Desktop Need help making your website look good in all browsers and all devices? SEOFast has a team of designers and developers that can... read more
Don’t let new business directions move the goal posts for your SEO.

Don’t let new business directions move the goal posts for your SEO.

One of the great advantages to owning and managing your own business is that you can change it whenever you need to, or when you want to. Perhaps you have a new vision for your business in 2017 that is going to take it on a slightly different path than before? Changes in your business may mean changes to the customers you want to target and attract. Keeping your website SEO aligned with your business goals will help you reach your new ideal clients.   Here are a couple of tips to ensure your SEO is still working for you: Use the right keywords Although Google regularly ads to and amends its algorithms, keywords remain an important driver at the heart of any of your sales conversions. Using the right keywords will help you to create targeted content that will appeal to your ideal customers and bring them to your site. Tweaking and adjusting keywords and content so that your new vision brings in the right customers is an important part of your new path to success. Optimise, optimise, optimise If you add new pages to your website to include more info about your new goals and business direction, make sure that the content it optimised to grow the organic reach of your business. If you have used new imagery on your site, ensure that their file size isn’t slowing your site speed to a halt. And if you are linking to some awesome new content, be sure to check all of your existing links too to make sure none are broken.   Align your SEO with your new business goals. Get in... read more
5 Benefits of SEO for Small Business

5 Benefits of SEO for Small Business

SEO often seems like one of those back-end things of a website that the technical people always tell you you should have, but you have no idea what it really is or what it does and what difference it will really make to your business. Using SEO can give your business more visibility. It has the potential to attract customers to you that you otherwise would not have been able to reach. Good SEO has the potential to increase your customer base and therefore make a positive difference to your annual turnover.   If you aren’t convinced yet, here are 5 other benefits of implementing SEO on your business website. Wins over customers If your business is one of the first to come up when people are doing internet searches for your products and services, you will quickly win over new customers. People want quick answers to what they are searching for. If your details are prevalent and contain what potential customers want, they will be quickly converted into actual sales. Gives you a competitive edge Business is competitive! And your business needs to take advantage of whatever edge it can in order to better compete with similar businesses and to stand out from the crowd. Good SEO on your website can potentially put you above your closest competitors, or at least close the gap between you. Creates a customer explosion Reach customers that have never seen your business before! Implementing an SEO marketing strategy in your small business will put you in front of a whole new group of potential customers and has the potential to quickly grow... read more
Three tips to help you get more customer reviews

Three tips to help you get more customer reviews

Customer reviews are no longer the thank-you cards pinned to the cork board behind your shop counter. Happy customers and the lovely things they said about your business now have the power to influence not only your potential new customers, but also your ranking in Google. So, they’re a pretty handy thing to have! Good reviews can positively effect your bottom line. But how do you get over the cringe factor of asking people to rate your business? Exceed expectations This one is business foundation 101! If you deliver amazing customer service and are confident that you provide quality products, then it’s easy to exceed any expectations that your customers might have about your business. Remember that every person that interacts with your business has the potential to be a repeat customer and to refer others. Delivering great service matters for your bottom line. Invite feedback If you have already taken tip#1 on board, then asking for feedback is much easier to do, because chances are your happy customers will willingly give you lots of gold stars. Make it about the customer and how their review can help other people to make a great buying choice. Make giving a review easy Create obvious feedback opportunities on your website. Give your customers links to social media so that they can select how they feedback. Don’t create complex multi-question forms than need to be filled in. Keep it simple, easy to fill out and quick. You can do things like send out a newsletter and provide links for your customers to give you a rating on Google my Business, to mention... read more
Do you know who your ideal customer is? How are you targeting your sales and media?

Do you know who your ideal customer is? How are you targeting your sales and media?

Who is your ideal customer? And why should it matter? If you are new to business, identifying who you would like your perfect customer to be is easy, because you essentially get to create your vision. If you are already in business, analysing your best customers requires more data. If you are starting a new business or if you have been in business for a while, we know how you can refine the way that you attract and entice your favourite customers.   In a new business If your business is new, you can identify your preferred ideal customer based on who you want to be targeting. Who do you want your customers to be? Where do they hang out, what work do they do, who are their friends, what are their pain points, why do they love your products, what need are you solving for them with your products? You can build up a wonderful ideal picture of your absolutely favourite raving fans, and then target the socks off them!   In an existing business If you have already been in business a few years, your customer base may be a little less defined, and may even have changed over the years. It’s easier to use the data that you already have of your existing customer base to get a better idea of your ideal customers. Analyse your existing customers Identify your best customers, those that have spent the most with you and are return visitors. Then identify customers who have referred new business to you. Only happy customers will refer others your way. This group forms your list... read more
Is your Google My Business listing helping your customers find you?

Is your Google My Business listing helping your customers find you?

Google claims that Google My Business “gets your local listing in front of your customers. You’ll stand out, whether people are looking for you on Google Search or Maps.” People can find a summary of your business info as well as your location in one quick search in Google, Google Maps or Google+. We wrote in our blog earlier this year (1) about how prevalent the ‘love local’ psychology is, especially here in South Australia where Adelaide locals generally love supporting local businesses and want to find the best people in their area. Google My Business is a free Google tool that allows your business to maximise virtual real estate, bringing up a snapshot of all your business information. Local searches now make up 30 to 40 percent of all searches and Google has found that ‘near me’ searches have doubled in the last year (2). This was previously worth its weight in marketing gold whenever searches were made for local business types. Recent changes to Google My Business have however meant that geography isn’t the largest factor in listing your business.   Google My Business results are ranked by: Relevance Your My Business listing needs to match what is being searched for. The best way to do this is add complete and detailed business information so that Google can understand the nature of your business and better match you to searches. Distance Results are brought up depending on how far each potential result is from the location search term used. If searchers don’t specify a location, Google will calculate distance based on what is known about their location.... read more