Is Your Business Stuck in the Stone-age? 5 New Technologies You Need to Embrace

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The world moves faster than it ever has before. For businesses to thrive in the 21st century, the only option is to embrace change. Troublingly, precious few organisations are keeping strict a pace with today’s rapidly evolving technology. In order for a business to differentiate itself, it must be able to harness cutting edge technologies and build a strong strategic formula around them. But which will be of most use to you and your business? Here are a few of the top contenders.

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Will Windows 10 suck as well?

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The Surface tablet is a pretty good device, but this device and the fear of tablets and mobile phones led Microsoft to create the truly terrible Windows 8 operating system. The notion that a powerful desktop needed to be reduced to tiles you touched on a screen and dumbed down programs resulted in a pathetic user experience. Solid programs like Skype disappeared, and lame mobile versions with few features showed up instead.

The staggering stupidity of this company under Steve Ballmer has led to countless misteps in the PC and operating system market. Will the ineptitude continue with Windows 10, or will they get this one right like they did with Windows 7?

The Basics of Strong Website Design

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Designing an effective website is more than just making sure a page looks good and ranks high on a Google search. For a website design to work, there needs to be a seamless blend of form, function and an ability to immediately engage visitors from whichever page they land on.

Below are five fundamental design principles that every website should have.

Strong Goals & Objectives

Why does the website exist? What purpose does it serve? These are pivotal questions that should be answered before embarking on a web development project. There is no ‘right’ answer to the questions, as each business is different but the fact that if they want the website to work for them they have to know why they are making it remains the same across any company in any industry.

Consistent Branding

Customers and clients should be able to recognise a business, whether they go into a shop or office or digitally engage with the organisation. This is where hiring a full service agency like simple.com.au can be really effective as the brand identity can be creatively applied across all communication mediums and customer touch points.

Usability

No matter how the site looks aesthetically, it is crucial to ensure that it works on any browser on any device and has user friendly functionality and intuitive navigation. It should be easy for customers to do business with them from the website and find their way around to what they need. Consider how readable it is as well – while dark backgrounds often create impact, text on a black background (even when in a contrasting colour) can be difficult to read

Meet Expectations

There are some things that just are on the internet – for example, underlined or coloured text is generally reserved for hyperlinks; boxes typically mean that someone can free type into the field and if there are photographs of stock, people assume that there will also be relevant information to accompany them like pricing, dimensions etc. Some rules are not meant to be broken, so no matter how unconventional or creative a site design is, sticking to the standard and accepted practices is still important.

It Should Load Quickly and Not Take up Too Much Data

More and more people are shunning the desktop and laptop computers of times gone by and relying only on mobile devices and this is crucial for designers to keep in mind. Mobile users want their information to be rapidly accessible, and they don’t wait around as long as a desktop user does for a page to load. Consider the fact that many of the site’s visitors will be using the mobile phone network or public WiFi to access the page and design accordingly.

Other basic design principles like descriptive page titles, engaging and effective copy written for the user not the search engine, and effective use of white space are also still important when it comes to how the site is going to look and perform – but those elements need to be applied after these five considerations have been addressed.

What do you think are the basics of effective and emphatic web design?

Key Steps to Structuring your Google Adwords Campaigns

Google Adwords can be a trickly concept, with trickly quickly becoming scary when it’s your business’ money at stake. Here at Search Factory we’ve developed a brief guide to help ensure your account is structured in the most appropriate manner.

A solid layout is vital for any SEM initiative to be effective. A logical methodology to the organisation of ads and keywords provides compounding benefits; from the ability to manage, alter and target ads, through to boosting your quality score and reducing CPCs. For the purposes of this explanation, we’ll begin at the upper levels and work our way down.

Campaigns

At the top you have campaigns, and unless you are working on a very small account you’d be remiss to have only one. There are a number of factors to consider when structuring your campaigns, including:

Location – If your business provides products/services nationally or internationally, then it’s sensical to create campaigns targeting different cities, states, regions and countries. This will result in similar keywords throughout different campaigns, but will give you the ability to write copy and incorporate geo-specific terms geared at the various locations your targeting.

Branded and Non Branded – Always ensure you have separate campaigns for your branded keywords. These terms should be visible 100% of the time, and receiving impressions 24/7. If brand terms are consistently competing with more expensive tactical keywords, they will often be limited by budget.

Website/Business Structure – By creating campaigns around specific products/services you provide, you’ll have keyword lists directly relating to ad copy, with ads correlating the relevant product/service pages on your site. This will facilitate control of budgets, bids etc., allowing tighter control across the various facets of your business.

Ad Groups

After you’ve created and structured your campaigns, Ad Groups are the next step. These can be looked at as containers for the keywords, ad copy and landing pages; and are instrumental in establishing a meaningful hierarchy to the account. Again, there are a number of points to consider when structuring your Ad Groups, including:

Too Many Keywords – Don’t let Ad Groups contain too many keywords! Many Search Engine Marketers allow this to happen, creating groups with hundreds or even thousands of terms. This not only detracts from your ability to collect granular data, but adversely impacts the relevancy of ads being delivered to consumers. Once an Ad Group incorporates too many keywords it loses its coherence and theme, which will only end up hurting your ROI.

Too Few Keywords – The reciprocal of the above is only having one or two keywords in each Ad Group when it’s prudent to have more. Generally this issue is an attempt to avoid the first problem, and whilst it does allow for groups to be tightly themed, it’s effectively shifting the burden from creating relevancy to assigning huge amounts of ad copies and landing pages for each term you’re targeting.

Integration & Consistency – Ultimately, any successful search engine marketer ensures they are striving to create a system grounded on integration and consistency. You need to continuously develop keyword groups, ad copy and landing pages tightly integrated with one another. Successfully doing so will create consistency, allowing you to directly cater for the searches used to reach your site. Often this requires a few months of research and testing, but the outlay is nearly always justified by the return.

The Benefits

By following the points above you’ll have an appropriately structured SEM account in no time. The best part is that a well-structured account provides lower costs (thanks to the quality score system) and more conversions (relevant ads convert better than generalised ones). So get optimising!

Digital Business, The Way Of The Future: Five Steps To Get Your Business Online

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More than 50% of Australians have taken to shopping online and if you want to get ahead of your competitors it’s essential you create an online representation of your brand. At Brus Media we are experts when it comes to websites, apps and everything in-between. As such we have compiled five simple steps to get your business thriving online.

1. Buy the right domain name

Your customers are going to be searching for your particular brand online, this is a fact. It’s important to ensure your domain name reflects your business and is not, no matter what your SEO expert tells you, a jumble of locations and keywords. If your customers are searching for your brand they’re not going to find you under your suburb name. Google is smart and will penalise businesses trying to achieve rankings through misleading domain names.

2. Design your website

Depending on your business, you are going to want your website to achieve different things. If you are a dentist, your main goal will be to convert leads. Alternatively if you are a retail business, your goal will be to drive sales. Whichever business you own, it’s important that your branding is clear and your customers understand how to use your site – all of which should be reflected in the initial design.

3. Develop your online presence

Every business needs a website that genuinely represents their brand. When mapping out your website, it’s imperative to keep in mind the main things that will impact your customer:
• The general site aesthetics (if your website doesn’t look professional, how are your customers supposed to trust it?)
• Navigation (your customers will spend less than eight seconds determining whether or not to use your website, bad navigation means higher risk of losing their patronage)

4. Create compelling content

Loading paragraphs with keywords and locations is no longer acceptable. Google now understands the content you place within your website and analyses it regularly to ensure it is relevant to your business. If not, your website is penalized and becomes almost impossible to find organically. Don’t focus so much on stuffing your content with keywords. Instead, make your content relatable to your audience and make sure it is informative enough to answer their queries fast.

5. Go mobile

Everyone is taking their online shopping with them, whether it’s via mobile or tablet. Extend your business reach with a creative mobile site or app designed to your customers’ needs. At Brus Media we understand how mobile apps work and just how much they can positively influence your business. Put simply, you’re mad if you’re not mobile!

The technological age has shifted the way in which your customers view your business. Take the next step into securing consumer loyalty by building an online presence – something that is pivotal to enhancing brand awareness, growing your company and future-proofing your business.

Imagine an employee that converts sales 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This is the reality of what a high-quality website can achieve.