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Webinar Marketing

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Mobile Marketing

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Google (Internet) Marketing

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Why you MUST be at the top of the search Results

I’m asked time and time again why it’s so important to be at the top of the Google search results so I thought I’d let you see for yourself where visitors look on the search results and what they click on. The following is a ‘Heat Map’ of a typical Google search results page (SERP). This heat Map was generated by researchers at Cornell University. They mapped the eye movements of numerous subjects and mapped the time spent looking at each position on the screen. The time was then colour coded with the maximum time showing in ‘hot’ colours’ and the minimum time shown as ‘cold’ colours. Hence the name ‘Heat Map’!

Google SERPs Heat MapAs you can see from the image, there are several clear observations we can make about what people look at:

1. The right hand column (The Adwords PPC) sponsored links get about 10 to 15% of the viewing time.

2. The Banner ads at the top also get around 10 to 15% of the viewing time.

3. Looking at the organic search results (the natural results that haven’t paid to be there), the top 3 positions get the most views.

Click through rates:

SERPs click through rateFrom Google’s statistics, the number 1 website on the organic results gets about 42% of the clicks. (Above the fold means the part of the screen visible on most computers without needing to scroll down)

Number 2 gets around 12% and the third position only around 8%.


If you’re a business, think about the consequences of this. If your website does not show up at the top of the search results, either through paid or organic searches, you are missing out on the majority of business to your online competitors. Considering we know that searching online is the number one method for researching local products and services, this has big implications to your bottom line.

To get your business found online, contact us to discuss your Online Marketing options.

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Google +1 Pages

Google +1 Pages, Does Your Business Need one?

Google has recently announced that their Google Plus social network is now OK for businesses to join, using “Pages for Business”.

Thinking of joining up? Think carefully before you commit to a yet another new social networking platform. If you’re a business owner, please consider the following points and what you want to achieve, before setting up another online profile:

  1. Search results. Google’s equivalent to Facebook’s “Like” button, the “+1”, is about enhancing your visibility on Google search as much as social networking. When someone +1’s one of your site’s pages, I see this in my search results when I search for products or services like yours, and I’m more likely to believe a friends recommendation than an advert. And, pages with more +1’s will start to rank higher in search results.
  2. AdWords. Along with the launch of Pages for Business, Google has launched a new extension to their AdWords service that will let people +1 your page directly from your ad. This will improve your ads conversions AND help your long term organic search visibility. As with Facebook advertising, I predict that as the Google Plus platform grows, you’ll be able to target your AdWords ads to people based on their interests and employment as well as by what they’re searching for and where they’re located. This is gold!
  3. Segmenting and targeting your audience. If you want to talk to the different client types in different ways? Retailers vs wholesalers of your products, for example, then Google Plus is pretty much the only social media platform, other than email, that lets you target specific messages to specific segments of your audience.
  4. No Flexibility, yet. There are currently no ways to grow your Google Plus Page (yet?). You can’t add apps, it’s not interactive and the business branding is limited. If time is short, there are better avenues to follow.
  5. Where are your audience looking? As with all marketing, evaluate first where your target market is looking and interacting, then decide which platform allows you to be there. It’s early days for Google Pages…

Want help deciding whether or not your business needs a Google +1 Page or how to set one up? Contact Find My Business for prices…


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The Pro’s Common Ipad Con

Stop Thief!

Stop Thief!

The fear of theft is a common denominator that can be applied to all suggested business Ipad uses.  For that reason, we’ve decided to round up our Ipad for business series on this negative note.  However, it is positively simple to prevent Ipad theft.

There are two sides to theft – prevention and recovery should it not be prevented.

Prevention:  Make it difficult and bulky.  Try an Ipad stand that securely locks the Ipad edges or corners within the stand’s frame.  The stand can then be bolted to the floor or table as required.  There are a variety of stand options and appearances available to suit all decor choices – flexible, static, from floor, from table top, deceptively delicate or charmingly chunky – the choice is yours.

Recovery:  It is hard to think of smart mobile technology without thinking of apps – and there are anti theft apps that you can download.  Should the Ipad be stolen, you can enable a tracking device from any other computer’s web browser using your tracking pin.  This is great as you don’t have to chase out of the door after it, simply enable the tracking device and call the police.  Anti theft apps allow you to remotely photograph the thief using the Ipad’s built in camera;  Perhaps you would enjoy uploading the photo to Facebook and making the most of their face recognition software for a name and address!  Another great anti-theft app shouts, ‘Stop thief!’ and, ‘You are not my owner, return me now,’ as soon as the ipad breaches a set perimeter.

Do not let the fear of Ipad theft limit the creative uses to which your business could put this innovative example of modern technology.

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Improve Restaurant Profitability with the ipad Waitress!


The Ipad Waitress

An Ipad Waitress?

So, Last but not least, how do you improve Restaurant Profitability with the ipad Waitress? Here, we address the implementation of the ipad as waiting staff.  Imagine being seated at a restaurant and being handed an ipad.  When you are ready, you order from the custom-developed iPad app, tap “send” and your order is routed directly to the kitchen staff.  You can personalise your entertainment for the duration of your meal or switch it off to facilitate conversation – your preference (no more awkward silences.)  Following your meal, you pay directly via the ipad.

Cons: Be sure to sanitise the Ipads between customers – fingers can spread a lot of germs.  Less customer contact equals less up-selling (we can all remember a time when we’ve been stuffed from the main meal but tempted by the waitress into looking at, then ordering from the desert menu.)  Not everyone reacts well to the somewhat sterile approach of the Ipad waitress – make sure customers are expecting it and that there is always at least one human member of waiting staff available to diners.  In order to avoid the need for 1 Ipad per guest, hand out individual paper menus.  Ipad theft – Ensure that the Ipods are secured to the tables that they service or you run the risk of theft.

Pros: The cost of the ipads will be recouped in short order since fewer waiting staff will be required, meaning fewer wages to pay (a 40hr per week waitress accrues over $2000 per month for which you can purchase 2 Ipads.) Guests are able to control their own dining experience, no more waiting for a waitress to notice them or to bring the bill.  This ipad Waitress waiting system is particularly useful for meals with numerous variable ingredients or toppings such as pizza, salads or burgers.  You don’t have to worry about rushing the guests through their meal or leaving them to wait for too long as they are empowered to order at their own convenience.  Stock inventory is easily and automatically managed via the same ordering system. So, used correctly, it really will improve your Restaurant Profitability.

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Ipad Entertainment


The Ipad has entertainment value

The Ipad has entertainment value

Our penultimate point is the Ipad’s entertainment value.   This Ipad application would be most usefully employed in any situation where the customer may be required to wait.  Its a great investment as a differentiator keeping customers returning again and again.

Pros: With an Ipad, your entertainment options are simple and professional and always up-to-date; no more dog-eared piles of magazines dating back to last year; customers could access Facebook and catch up with their own friend’s gossip whilst tweeting everyone to tell them they are about to get a new haircut for example (and in a perfect world, where they are getting it!); hairdressers can run apps illustrating the latest / the classic / the famous haircuts clients can choose from to suit their chosen face shape which is then printed out for the stylist to follow; nail salons can run apps allowing customers to try out, mix and match from the brands and colour nails, polishes and decorative designs the salon has available; any business can make affiliate sales relevant to their own services simply by recommending related products with links to the online sales page.  Not everyone wants to chat during their appointment – some would rather keep up with their Facebook friends instead.

Cons:  The financial outlay required for an Ipad far outweighs the cost of a new magazine once a week – however this can be recouped through thoughtful affiliate marketing. If your business regularly expects clients to arrive simultaneously (or you allow your clients to entertain themselves during their visit) you will need several Ipads.  Ipad newbies and the elderly can be apprehensive – however, the Ipad is highly intuitive and fun to use which smooths over any residual awkwardness.  The problem is that your clients may like it too much and steal the new toy.

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The Ipad Expeditor

Use the Ipad to expedite your bottom line

Use the Ipad to expedite your bottom line

Over halfway through our 6 part series detailing the pros and cons of creative business implementations of the Ipad, we come to the Expeditor.  Provide your sales staff with Ipads and help them process the sale of your products more efficiently – in turn expediting your bottom line.

Pros: The Ipad can enable them to communicate face to face with the customer; tap through the different ranges and brands you have available for purchase; tap their way through all the variants such as size and colour; create quotes on the spot minus customer specific discounts; close the sale.  As part of the sales process, the stock items sold are automatically re-ordered.  Sales staff can make their way up and down any queues either taking orders (eg fast food) or simply acting as mobile checkouts.

Cons: Best used during peak times to avoid ‘rushing’ customers from your premises.  Ensure that Ipads are distributed to reliable long-term staff members only and / or disable all uses bar the sales app.  Staff will run the risk of snatch and grab attempts on their shiny new Ipads.

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The Ipad As A Customer Database

Customer Database

Could your business usefully employ an Ipad?

The Ipad as a customer database is our third topic in the 6 part series.  Any business that requires a new customer to sign in, fill out waivers and read liability forms can usefully employ the Ipad.

Pros: Customer details are saved directly to the database, saving staff the time and effort involved in deciphering handwriting and typing up information; the Ipad can prompt the client automatically if further information is required from them; no longer will you be left hunting for a pen; an interactive touch screen is far more professional and friendly than the dog-eared clipboard gripping a stack of forms and a dried out pen attached by a string; a ‘thank you for joining us – please return soon’ offer can be instantly and automatically emailed to them as soon as they enter their email address.

Cons:  If you have many clients checking in at once, you will need the same number of Ipads, or to stagger the check-ins.  Ipad newbies and the elderly can be apprehensive – however, the Ipad is highly intuitive and fun to use which smooths over any residual awkwardness.  The problem is that your clients may like it too much and take the new toy home with them.

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The Ipad Presenter

Ditch the nameless, faceless presenter for an interactive Ipad presentation

Ditch the nameless, faceless presenter for an interactive Ipad presentation

The next in our 6 part series outlining the pros and cons business uses for Ipads.  This time, the Ipad as a Presenter.

This is a biggie – the Ipad is being put to considerable use during sales presentations and is the perfect presentation tool.

Simply download the very cheap Keynote presentation app. and then as the designers say, ‘Make a moving presentation and take it anywhere…with more captivating ways to present and smarter ways to share!’


Pros: The Ipad changes the presentation experience: No soporific dimming of the lights is necessary; rather than relying on the presenter for question pauses, the viewers can interact with the presentation themselves, tapping through it on the Ipad screen thus dictating their own pace – no rush/no boredom; the iPad becomes a point of social communication unlike the standard Powerpoint presentation which inhibited interactive communication.

Cons: Best for smaller groups of people; if more than 3 presentation recipients simply connect the Ipad to a larger screen so that everybody can see it.  Ipad theft – Don’t leave it unattended,  or you run the risk of theft.

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Revolutionising Search Results

Google trials new search modifications that could have us all ranking page 1!

Google trials new search modifications that could have us all ranking page 1!

Recent SEO discussion has revolved around Google’s new social network: Google +. However, it is still Google search that drives the majority of web traffic for most site owners and Google is currently testing a variety of further noteworthy search changes.

The most significant of these is a new user interface. The proposed interface change resembles the current interface of Google Image Search: Here, the search bar, navigation bar and search options panel stay in place as you scroll through the search results….and it has infinite scroll.

This means that instead of paginated results pages, the user can keep scrolling down the same page to see more results.

This indicates major implications for site owners and their visibility in Google search results: Users wouldn’t have to click to page 2,3,4 or 5 of the search results to see your site wherever it is currently ranking, they would simply scroll down page 1.

It is well documented that users only look at page 1 of the search results.  However, if Google goes ahead and implements this modification, then site owners will no longer have to scramble for visibility – for all sites will RANK PAGE 1!


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Business Opportunities Rise Alongside Smartphones

The desktop PC is essentially dead...

The desktop PC is essentially dead...

PC sales are decelerating because consumers can now use more convenient, smaller gadgets to do the same things they previously switched on their PCs for. They can surf the Internet, store photos, send e-mails, play games and order consumables.

Goldman Sachs consider consumers’ increasing demand for tablets to be a looming threat to the PC, calling tablets,

“one of the most disruptive forces in computing in nearly three decades.”

However, Apple has just released figures illustrating twice as many iPad sales than Macs in the last quarter…but five times as many iPhone sales.

Intel is under pressure to adapt and is working on chips that are less power-hungry so that they’re more useful in battery-dependent mobile devices.

“This is a time of intense change,” concludes Forrester Research analyst Sarah Rotman Epps, who has studied the evolution of consumer technology. If it’s a time of ‘intense change,’ then businesses are urged to change alongside their consumers and it would appear that the most beneficial change is to expand the ways in which consumers may access your website.

If you are thinking ahead and plan to develop your website so that it is easily accessible via a Smartphone, then due to the far smaller screens and lower resolutions of such devices, it is actually better for optimization and usability to have an altogether separate version of your site.

Before you start…

  • Smartphone users are rarely sitting in a quiet office – Your business opportunities rise alongside smartphones which provide businesses with a new variety of consumer.  The user may well be in a noisy, distracting environment and only devoting partial attention to your website. The content and interface therefore need to be designed for quick and easy reading, without too much detail. You are putting together a website for people on the go, so what information about your business is relevant to them?
  • Smartphones have limited screen areas/resolutions – The web page design therefore needs to be able to adapt to different size and shape screens.
  • Not all Smartphones have a full Qwerty keyboard – Some portable devices have only a few keys and touchscreen, so the important content of the web page needs to be placed first so that the user sees it without needing to scroll down.
  • Smartphone users download apps – The clever business owner will design an app. aimed at the smartphone users among their target market.


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Use it or lose it – With technology comes the end of an era

Is your way of doing business dated?

End of an era - Is your way of doing business dated?

Times really are changing; first Orewa College made the Ipad mandatory pupil equipment and now New Zealand Post plans to send its last ever international economy letter this coming October. Why? Because as NZ Post spokesman Michael Tull said,

‘The way that people communicate is changing and the days of sending letters …… are obsolete in the internet age.’

So true. When was the last time we wrote and posted a letter (that didn’t incorporate advertising or an invoice!)? Most likely though, just today alone we have read an email or sent one and communicated with at least one friend via sms, skype, twitter or facebook.

Businesses, are you ready? Do you have systems in place that allow you to conduct your business communication entirely online? Are you able to automatically order replacements as you sell stock? Can you recall information from your computer using your phone during a site visit? Are you communicating effectively with your target market online? Have you downloaded all relevant business apps? Can your product be manufactured more efficiently using new technology?  Can your website be viewed via a mobile phone? Basically, are you keeping up with the competition?

Times are changing – fast – and businesses must keep up. It is hard to keep up and simultaneously run your business and do what YOU are good. No one can do everything, so if you need help just ask us at FMB.


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Is Google+ Going To Greatly Impact Search?

Is the social networking crown about to topple?

Is the social networking crown about to topple?

Those of us that believed Facebook had a stranglehold on the social networking scene may need to rethink. Indeed, Google+ really does appear to be sapping Facebook’s influence and value.

Facebook is somewhat blinkered in assuming that social networking is a stand alone solution.  Instead perhaps Facebook is merely an extension of the internet and “social networking” is nothing more than another meaning for normal human behaviour encouraged by software solutions.

Google has never been replaced as the main site that everyone uses to connect to everything else they want to know. Google + will integrate the social networks that we create into all other internet functions. Search will become a social tool and social networking will become a search mechanism.

For example, Larry Page at Google’s helm recently announced that,

‘(Google’s social networking) +1 button is being served 2.3 billion times per day.’

Google’s +1 button contributes directly to search rankings; the more +1 clicks your business website gets, the more the search engine believes that your site is useful and the higher Google will will rank it.

Google + as a whole is currently still in beta mode, but don’t get left behind – sign up for it as soon as you have the opportunity. In fact, sign up and see if you can bring your Facebook followers along with you!


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Seeing Double – Duplicate Content

Seeing Double - Duplicate Content

Seeing Double - Duplicate Content

When should a business worry about duplicate content? Surely, in order to avoid being slapped with a DMCA infringement notice for breaching online copyright, businesses rarely plagiarise other businesses site content…on purpose.

The problem arises when for example the business stocks a branded item. Rather than writing a new description for the brand item, the business will copy and paste the brand supplier’s description instead.

Will such a transparent reproduction of information yield an infringement notice? No. So what is the problem?  Google defines duplicate content as referring to,

‘substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar.’

So, the problem actually lies in the manner with which Goggle handles information that is duplicated across 2 or more websites.

Google loathes jamming up its search results with lots of versions of the same thing, so it looks for the original source article and displays this one only.  So, if you have lots of duplicated content on your website, then it won’t rank well in Google. Since its vital tfor your business to be found before the fold on the first page of search results….it is best not to duplicate your content!

However, in order to appear a genuine retailer of a brand item surely you must have the brand’s own information available on your page?

Yes, but the key word here is ‘available.’ To avoid duplicate content, you can simply make the brand supplier’s information available from your site. Try writing a product review, ‘staff member Adam tried this brand football shoe on muddiest pitch in pouring rain, stayed upright whole game…’ and pop in a link to the product review/specs on the brand supplier’s own site. It is worth asking them first, but the answer will undoubtedly be affirmative since it means a relevant backlink for them too. Speaking of backlinks, while you’re there, don’t forget to ask if you can go on their online list of authorised retailers……!



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Compulsory School Pupil Stationary Indicative of Future Business Customers

Businesses should expect their future customers to be comprehensively computer literate

Image of the future - If its on the compulsory pupil stationary list NOW then businesses had better be ready for these computer savvy customers of the near future!

If it wasn’t already clear to businesses that the customers of the future will entirely computer literate, then the latest addition to Orewa College’s Year 8 (age 12) pupil stationary list says it all.

If businesses are going to be able to sell their products and services to the consumer of the future, then they must be able to speak the same language as these consumers. How can we best learn to speak this language?

Let go of the past: Regardless of our attachment to pens and pieces of paper, we need to purchase and spend time using and exploring the capabilities of modern technology or we and our businesses will be left behind.

Pay the price: Smaller businesses may not have the time to keep up or be able to afford to put an internet marketer on the payroll, but no business can afford not to pay an expert to do the job for them.

Where does it end? It doesn’t. New technology is developing all the time. Rather than lamenting the loss of the world as we knew it, our time would be better spent accepting the world that we live in and evolving our businesses right along with it!


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How do you hang onto your slice of the cake?


How do you hang onto your slice of the cake?

How do you hang onto your slice of the cake?

The recent news that Vodafone NZ has lost 26,000 customers to new entrant 2degrees in the last quarter made us think about niches. Precisely, how to hang onto them.

Until a couple of years ago, the hip young mobile telecommunications brand was Vodafone. Vodafone picked an area of specialization, built trust in the market proving themselves knowledgeable as but more hip and cheaper than Telecom, and grew a loyal following that bought from them, returned to them and recommended them to their friends. They mastered their niche and moved the business from the start-up phase to a much more stable phase.

As with any business, at this point they were open to competition – enter 2degrees and as Vodafone seem to have discovered, the worst danger that can come from mastering your niche is not knowing what to do next.

If this has happened to you and your business, remember that copycats will recognise you as the market leader. Your job now is to remain the market leader while they widen the market for you.

A great approach is not to attempt portraying your business as more knowledgeable than anyone else (in an ever changing market this would be very difficult) but instead to portray your business as one willing to share its expertise and knowledge with others. It’s an approach which enhances trust and keeps a group of customers centred on a single supplier.

Whatever your business niche, getting online and sharing your expertise via social media can only enhance customer trust for your brand. Need help?  Contact us at Find My Business.


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Can Your Emails Run The Spam Gauntlet?

Last week I received an airpoints competition email that claimed to be sent by a popular airline. Crammed with 1234//-12/1’s, the email address did not instil me with confidence so I promptly deleted it. However, in case it really was an official email, I sent the airline some feedback,

Do your business emails run the spam gauntlet or do they crash and burn?

Do your business emails run the spam gauntlet or do they crash and burn?

‘….I deleted the email as it looked suspiciously like spam. If it was official, please tell your marketing people to wise up, internet savvy customers will not click on dubious links and this was a classic….’

Unbelievably, the airline customer service team replied,

‘Can you please scan the email that you are referring to and then send it through to us so we know which one you are talking about.’

Accordingly, I amended my feedback, ‘

“…please tell your marketing people AND CUSTOMER SERVICE TEAM to wise up…”

It is illegal for NZ businesses to send spam, but that doesn’t stop us receiving it. Since it has potentially been sent via a network of virus infested personal computers we should never open an email we believe to be spam. Even though we have spam filters installed, we should always make the following manual checks before opening any email:

  • Look at the Email Address: If the sender is legitimate, the email will have been sent through the company server and will look like, ‘’ However, if you find a long string of numbers or the name of a free email service before the (or any other domain) then you should question the legitimacy of the email.
  • Look at the Content: If an email requires you to do something within a certain number of hours, requests that you follow a contained link, tells you you’ve won money or contains spelling/grammatical errors…get rid of it.
  • If It Asks for Personal Information: If you receive an email asking for any personal information, no matter how legitimate it might seem, delete it right away.
  • Look at the Greeting: When you receive a genuine email, the sender addresses you directly, using either your first or last name.

These tips will keep you, your computer and your network safe. Businesses wishing to email their valued customers take note – make sure that your emails can run the above gauntlet and make it through to being opened!



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Give Your Business A Boost With A Mobile App.

Image from

Business Boosters - Mobile Apps.

Looking for a small thing to boost your small business?  Discover mobile apps!

The growing number of smartphone users appreciating the benefits of mobile apps should give smaller businesses pause for thought.

Apps are increasingly emerging as one of the better ways of making products and services available to potential customers and therefore nurture business growth.

The most obvious way to profit from the use of mobile apps is by using them to attract new customers by exposing your business’s products and services to a willing (and consistently growing) audience eager to find something new.

Furthermore, apps are an opportunity to promote brand loyalty. A well designed mobile app. will keep your business in sync with your customer’s needs, making it easy for you to efficiently and automatically respond to their requirements.   Such immediacy boosts your customer service abilities whilst enhancing the customer’s experience of doing business with your company.

So if you’re looking for a boost to your business, look no further than mobile apps.

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Own Brand Domain – Delightful Or Dumb?

Branded Domains - Would Your Business Benefit?

Branded Domains - Would Your Business Benefit?

Would you be willing and able to purchase your business its own domain? You still can’t purchase ‘.com,’ ‘.nz,’ or ‘.gov,’ but it is now possible to brand your own domain.  Probably so as to avoid the paperwork resulting from a deluge of silly domain requests, the new ‘brand’ domains will come at a price and so will initially be limited to the pockets (and egos?) of larger brands.  We hear that electronics manufacturer Canon is already considering buying, ‘.canon,’ and they are not alone.

Peter Dengate Thrush (Chairman of the Board of Directors for The Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers) called it providing,

‘A platform for the next generation of creativity and inspiration.’

Whilst http://www.ownbrand.ownbrand may not be the first thing that today’s prospective, ‘.com,’ or, ‘.nz’ fluent customer would look for, it is possible to see future potential in branded domains.  What do you think?  Would it benefit YOUR business?

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Online Offers Produce Easy Sales.. But At What Price?

Image from

Online offers bring in easy sales but at what price?

Online offers may produce easy sales, but they can have some hidden costs.  On the lead up to the 2011 ski season, New Zealand’s largest ski destination, the North Island’s Mt Ruapehu teamed up with Tourism New Zealand and ran an online offer on the daily deal website ‘’ Aimed at skiers and snowboarders from across the ditch, it was intended to entice Australians to spend their ski holidays in North Island.

The deal was irresistible – $95 day passes for just a dollar, and unsurprisingly 19,000 plus passes were snapped up almost immediately. These fantastic sales figures vividly illustrate the business potential in offering your discounted product or service online through any of the popular ‘deal’ sites.

However, the $1 sale had some disappointing results. The problem was that a lot of the passes were NOT purchased across the ditch – instead the sales were a little more local – they were in fact snapped up on their home turf!

This proves the need for businesses to carefully think through all potential ramifications of any online offers they plan to make. Well devised terms and conditions might have blocked the sale of cheap passes to local skiers who, considering the next nearest field is 300km away, would have cheerfully paid full price to visit their only local ski field.

By the way, if you were one of the jammy kiwis to score a cheap pass, don’t worry – the guys at Ruapehu aren’t cheap and they will honour your dollar. Happy skiing!



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How Bing Can Bring Your Business Ker….Ching!

Image from Technology.Inc

Search Engine Changes Wrought By Bing/Facebook Partnership

Microsoft and Facebook issued a joint challenge to Google … in the form of changes to Microsoft’s search engine, ‘Bing.’

Bing’s research concluded that almost all people seek advice from those that they trust before making a decision. As Mehdi mentioned, Bing calls this the ‘Friend Effect’ and believes that it plays a large part in the majority of our decisions – especially when we are considering spending money – because we all feel safer and more confident if we know our friends approve.  As Microsoft search executive Y. Mehdi explained,

Bing is bringing the collective IQ of the web together with the opinions of the people you trust most, to bring the ‘Friend Effect’ to search results.” Until Bing brought this out last month, search tools were driven purely by SEO, facts and links. Now a person searching the web will be able to receive personalised search results.

So now all we have to do is sign into Facebook for the opportunity to receive personalised search results based on the Facebook likes of our friends. Imagine the ramifications for businesses!

Does this mean that SEO has just left the building?


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Three Great Reasons For Mobile Marketing

Mobile Marketing

Mobile Marketing

Whilst wandering the streets lamenting my ability to locate a decent cup of coffee, I was told to get my nose out of my smartphone.  There it was, a cafe situated right across the road.  Hurrah.

‘You won’t believe this,’ I told the owner, ‘But i just looked you up in my phone and couldn’t find you.’‘Looked us up in on what?’  ‘My phone.’  ‘Let me have a look at that,  so you can access the internet on these things now?  Whatever next?’

It transpired that the cafe owner had never heard of mobile marketing despite running the only cafe (with great coffee) in town, with a captive market of locals and weary drivers, yet a nearly empty cafe.  Hence this post…

If anyone reading this is running a local business and depends on either locals or tourists for a living, then please read on.  There are three huge HUGE reasons for you to consider mobile marketing.

1)      You are having a quiet day and if you don’t (for example) sell all your chocolate muffins today then they’ll be out of date and you’ll have to bin them.  However, you are into mobile marketing, so you text all your local customers, ‘Ring a friend – Free chocolate muffin with every two coffees bought today.’

2)      Your website is mobile compatible and/or you have claimed your Google places listing.  People away from home will be able to locate your services!

3)      Google’s latest research indicates that over 70% of smartphone users purchase immediately following their smartphone search – they are looking for what they want right now.

The best thing is, the current number of internet savvy small businesses marketing to smartphone users is laughable.  Yet the number of smartphone users is ever on the increase as consumers upgrade their mobile telephones.  Less and less of the options available are not ‘smart,’ eventually ‘smart’ will be the only choice.   So now really is the time to practice, trial (error) and make the most out of the future of mobile marketing.

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Going Viral With Video Marketing

Video Marketing

Video Marketing

No, going viral does not involve catching a disease, but Video Marketing can certainly be infectious for the viewer. Its also seductively addictive to those businesses whose marketing videos infect a multitude of viewers. Why? Because, a well executed video rakes in the dollars……. And now my ears are ringing with all your indignant cries to the negative. So, assuming that you have produced a business video, am I to presume that this video did not go viral?

Hmmm, why could that be? I’m just guessing here, but you had great video content right? Yet you couldn’t persuade anybody to watch it? Ok, I have some questions for you:

Was it any longer than 60 seconds? Was it an advert? Was the title succinct and fitting? Did your boss feature in it? If you answered yes to any of these, then you have a part of your answer. Your video should be a clip ie not much more than 30 seconds; video content shouldn’t advertise, it should only direct viewers back to your business; using a provocative title will force potential viewers to watch and see what its all about – yes, even if it doesn’t fit the content; and finally, unless your boss is female and stunning, employ someone else who does possess these attributes to star in your movie.

If you did all these things and still got no viewers, then I have one last question,

‘Did you really expect your viewers to come to you?’

Oh, you did? Therein then lies your problem, for it is you who must do the hard work; you must take up your video, wave it vigorously under their noses and then tell them that everyone else has seen it. Seriously, the only way to go viral is to get the video onto YouTube’s ‘Most Viewed’ page. Why is this so important? Because if we think everybody else has seen something, then we say ‘Baaaaa,’ and follow suit.

How to do this….well, for starters you could pay bloggers to post your embedded videos, share it on Facebook and ‘like it’ (and get all your friends and colleagues and friend’s colleagues and, ok you get it, to ‘like’ it too) and send it to an email list or two.

Need some help? Just contact us and we’ll see what we can do.


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The Magic Or Mayhem Of Mobile Marketing

Mobile Marketing

Mobile Marketing

The following really happened to my sports team whilst on tour last week and serves to illustrate the potential magic or mayhem of Mobile Marketing.  A great team game is always followed by great team drinks and in the case of our sports team when on tour, usually a great pizza too. But, we were finishing at 8pm and nobody had thought to book a restaurant table for ten people. ‘No worries!’ I cried, whipping out my trusty mobile phone, entering Google and tapping in ‘great pizza’ ‘Dunedin.’ Google Places handed me pizza on a plate – or at least, gave me the number of a pizza place that would. I checked the red map marker, it was just a couple of blocks away. Our nominated drivers would drive us that far – so I dialled the number. ‘Ring ring, Ring ring, best Italian pizzas, how may I help you?’ I know its short notice, but could you fit in a party of ten in about 15 minutes?’ I asked. Hurray, they could, my team were so impressed! I booked, rang off and revitalised by visions of melted cheese and pepperoni dragged the team off down the road. Coming to a grinding halt in front of a swinging sign that undeniably read ‘closed,’ whichever angle we squinted at it from.

‘Ring ring, Ring ring, best Italian pizzas, how may I help you?’ ‘Hi, I booked a table for ten people for tonight and we are here and you are closed.’ Confused silence….. ‘I assure you madam, that we are not closed.’ ‘I assure you sir that you are!’ ‘I assure YOU madam that we are not. Might I hazard a guess ….you are in the wrong place.’ …….Short huff and pause while I checked my mobile for the Goggle Places local listing, ‘Best Italian Pizzas, 1 Pizza St, Dunedin?’ ‘Why yes Madam!’ ‘Then I assure YOU sir that I am not in the wrong place, but if I may hazard a guess – You ARE!!’

My team were now so unimpressed!

Turns out that while we were dying for pizza outside Best Italian Pizzas, 1 Pizza St, Dunedin, New Zealand, they were serving it up at the OTHER Best Italian Pizzas on the other side of town.  Google had the wrong address for the phone number.

This sadly (mostly) true event anecdotally attests to the fact that whilst Google Places is a great Mobile Marketing tool, it will only work if it is used correctly. If the local business owner does not claim the local business listing that Google freely provides for them, or provides incorrect information, then Google has to make do with whatever information it is able to find. So its reasonable to expect that mistakes might occur. Google is doing its best for you local business owners, offering you all completely free mobile marketing. This completely FREE mobile marketing is used by ‘Ordinary Joes’ like myself, searching for YOUR services, so come on all of you, sign in, sign up and help poor Google get it right!

If you want to know how to do it, just sign up at the box on the right for our free webinar that will show exactly what you need to do ——->>


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Facebook Face Recognition Software

Facebook Face Recognition Software

Image from

Have you heard the latest about the Facebook Face Recognition Software? Facebook isn’t known for protecting your privacy and its latest photo-tagging feature is no different. Using facial recognition software, Facebook will soon group photos together and, wherever possible, when you upload a new photo, the system will match people in your new photos to others you’ve already tagged.

The official blog post on the Facebook blog has this explanation:

“Because photos are such an important part of Facebook, we want to be sure you know exactly how tag suggestions work: When you or a friend upload new photos, we use face recognition software, similar to that found in many photo editing tools—to match your new photos to other photos you’re tagged in. We group similar photos together and, whenever possible, suggest the name of the friend in the photos.”

Many people dislike being tagged in photos without their knowledge or permission and there are many reasons why we should be worried about this feature. Who knows what photos your ‘friends’ may have and how they will be used.

More worrying is that Facebook has made this feature ‘opt out’ rather than ‘opt in’. This means that the feature is automatically added to your account without your permission and you have to manually turn it off.

To change your setting:

  • Go to account/privacy settings
  • Click on customise settings
  • Scroll down to ‘things others share’
  • Look for ‘suggest photos of me to friends’
  • Click ‘edit settings and change to ‘disabled’

In our opinion, all features that compromise privacy MUST be opt-in only. What do you think?


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Mobile Marketing – Mobile Coupons

Mobile coupons are a favorite with both advertisers and consumers for clear reasons:

  1. Consumers don’t mind having their devices touched by commercial interests if they get a deal out of it.
  2. Advertisers know they have the user’s attention.

Mobile Marketing CouponsEver since coupons were proven to work and then mobile technology was good enough to use them, marketers have looked at ways to make the system work effectively. The ideal scenario is that a targeted consumer, someone near a coffee shop on their way to work for example, who might be interested in 10% off a morning coffee, gets sent a mobile coupon or has access to find the nearest retailer offering one. While such offers are around now, usually through Foursquare or Gowalla, they are still in their infancy.

Few campaigns to date have been targeted at a specific customer type. When people were targeted, they were largely done by geography (40%). According to prior Millennial Media analysis, this targeted reach method resonates strongly with advertisers in the travel industry, particularly hotels and activity providers, who are able to reach visitors new to the area with relevant messages.

This all may change when Google and Apple embrace ‘near-field’ communications. While neither company has commented formally on their plans but there have been numerous leaks that both are working on technology that will allow consumers to pay for items at a retail point of sale by waiving their devices at a special reader. The latest anonymous-sourced report comes from the Wall Street Journal.

With Google on track to building and delivering this functionality for their Android platform, advertisers will expect more advertising options for mobile users. The Wall Street Journal posits that Google will not be taking a cut of the transaction. Rather it will share data with retailers about these mobile users, allowing them to deliver targeted mobile ads to their devices, with coupons being the expected top format.

Mobile coupons are a favorite with both advertisers and consumers for clear reasons:

  1. Consumers don’t mind having their devices touched by commercial interests if they get a deal out of it.
  2. Advertisers know they have the user’s attention.

Ever since coupons were proven to work and then mobile technology was good enough to use them, marketers have looked at ways to make the system work effectively. The ideal scenario is that a targeted consumer, someone near a coffee shop on their way to work for example, who might be interested in 10% off a morning coffee, gets sent a mobile coupon or has access to find the nearest retailer offering one. While such offers are around now, usually through Foursquare or Gowalla, they are still in their infancy.
Few campaigns to date have been targeted at a specific customer type. When people were targeted, they were largely done by geography (40%). According to prior Millennial Media analysis, this targeted reach method resonates strongly with advertisers in the travel industry, particularly hotels and activity providers, who are able to reach visitors new to the area with relevant messages.

This all may change when Google and Apple embrace ‘near-field’ communications. While neither company has commented formally on their plans but there have been numerous leaks that both are working on technology that will allow consumers to pay for items at a retail point of sale by waiving their devices at a special reader. The latest anonymous-sourced report comes from the Wall Street Journal.

With Google on track to building and delivering this functionality for their Android platform, advertisers will expect more advertising options for mobile users. The Wall Street Journal posits that Google will not be taking a cut of the transaction. Rather it will share data with retailers about these mobile users, allowing them to deliver targeted mobile ads to their devices, with coupons being the expected top format.

Mobile Marketing at it’s best!

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Search Engine Optimisation – Quality

Search Engine Optimisation – Improving Website Quality

If you want to improve your website rankings and increase the organic traffic from Google, then you must be aware of the recent Google’s Panda / Farmer update designed to weed out low quality websites. So, how do you make your website a high quality site?

Add Original, Useful and Substantial Content and do it Frequently!

Some guidelines include:

a.) At least 500 words per page or article. If your content does not explain the details of what you’re writing about, then your content is probably not good enough and this will reflect in the overall quality of your website.

b.) Content should be original and not copied. Content duplicated on other sites looks like you’re a spammer.

c.) Articles should be well written, clear, concise, and direct to the point. The English should be good. There is software that writes content for you but, as yet, it produces poorly written results. Make your content readable.

d.) Content should contain images or videos. Content with images or videos (make sure you’re allowed to use them!) reinforces learning, helps the reading process and keeps people on a page.

e.) If you are referencing someone else’s material, link to it (providing it’s a quality external resource) and provide editorial merit.

f.) Internal links to other content within your website. For example if your content is talking about “widgets” and you talk about building widgets in one paragraph, then link to your other page about “building widgets”. This helps improve the user experience and increases the retention time of your visitors on your site.

g.) Allow user-generated comments, where applicable. When you publish content make sure you allow comments to it. User comments are helpful to validate the accuracy and trust of the content.

h.) Allow users to share your content on Facebook, Twitter and other social networking websites through the like button or bookmarking widgets.

i.) Write regular content. You are more likely to get higher organic traffic due to the long tail keyword effect because of your content. Google also loves to rank big websites.

So, to repeat our message. How do you make your website a high quality site? Add Original, Useful and Substantial Content and do it Frequently!

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Search Engine Optimisation for Retailers

Search Engine Optimisation  for Retailers following Google’s Panda Update

As many of you know, in February 2011 Google released it’s Panda algorithm update to try and reduce the impact of link farms and improve the quality of it’s search results. To a large extent this has worked but an unfortunate side effect is many small businesses who run e-commerce stores selling mainstream products lost rankings. This article is paraphrased from an article by Rob Snell who outlines some of the Panda pitfalls and what to do about them:

10 Common Mistakes Many Online Retailers Make

These are the main problems I’ve seen across many online retailers, and to protect themselves from major algorithm changes like Panda, they need to address these issues now.

1. Little Or No Original Product Text Content

Some larger retailers have tens of thousands of products with little or no detail on product pages. And when there is content, the text is verbatim from the data feed provided by the manufacturer or other vendors.

It’s only a problem when dozens if not hundreds of other stores sell the exact same product with the exact same content. Then hundreds if not thousands of shopping portals, affiliates, coupon sites, etc. promote the same products linking to the above retailers. If 75%+ of your products are word for word from a data feed, you now have a problem.

2. Little Or No Original Category / Section Page Content

It’s not just product pages. Many category pages on online stores are only a list of product links with thumbnails. Sometimes there will be a sentence or two of unique content on category pages, but that’s not enough.

On one retailers’ top 100 category pages, only 4% of the text was unique text. The rest was template boilerplate or lists of product links. Bad retailer, no back link for you!

3. Same Template. Page After Page After Page

Lots of stores use the same template on every page. Same header. Same footer. Same 100 text links in drop-downs on tens of thousands of pages. One of these stores had the exact same template on over 50,000 pages.

I prefer stores with multiple templates, and not just for SEO. Think in terms of departments within a bigger store. If a product category would have its own department in a real store, consider giving that category its own template.

4. Really, Really, Really Big Boilerplate Text

Sometimes I call this the “Ain’t No Meat On That Sandwich” problem. All template. No content.

An ecommerce site looks a lot more like lower-quality shopping engine sites or content farms when a page has a big template (lots of words), especially on pages that are light on content or have no unique content. If most of the pages on your site are like this, you’re toast.

Even when you write unique content, the value is diminished when the content is such a small percentage of the page’s total word count. Put that big boilerplate on a diet.

And write original content for your store on category pages. If a page is a top entry page, the unique content (by count of words) needs to be equal to the the template/boilerplate text. For example, if you have 400 words of boilerplate on every page, you owe yourself one hundred 400-word category descriptions.

5. Same Run Of Site Links On Every Single Page

When you have the same template with the same 100 text links to your top categories on every single page, there’s a point of diminishing returns. It’s not 2001 anymore when all you had to do was put you keyword in link text in your run of site navigation, and top rankings would be yours.

For example, say I’ve got 20,000 links with the anchor “hunting dog supplies,” I think at a certain point Googlebot says, “OK, Rob, I got it. That page is about hunting dog supplies.” And don’t have same exact same anchor text in links to a specific page. Have multiple anchor text for text links on your own store for internal link anchor diversity.

6. Writing Unique Content But Giving It Away

When retailers share all of their original content via feeds for shopping and/or affiliate folks, there’s the serious danger of Google seeing that content as “low quality,” probably because it’s on so many different sites.

Don’t share your best quality content with affiliates or shopping stores because the worst are just going to whore out your content, stick it on multiple doorway pages based around popular / valuable keyword phrases, and hurt your SEO efforts.

When you do write compelling content, keep it for yourself!

7. Great Unique Content Buried On Pages Not In The Index

Sometimes there are pages buried so deep in your site, Google will never find them. These pages just don’t have enough PageRank to get indexed regularly, much less to rank for more competitive phrases, so any unique content on these pages is wasted.

Put your unique content on pages that matter — the top 100-1000 entry pages from Google organic traffic. These pages are in the Google index, rank for somewhat competitive keywords, get clicks from real visitors, and drive revenue to your online store.

8. Unique Content Hidden From Spiders

One client had a lot of user-generated product reviews, but it was hidden from spiders because it was delivered via javascript. Google can’t give you points for content it can’t see.

Another had reviews stuck in an iframe from one of their subdomains. The result was that search engines can get to it, but don’t credit the main domain for the content. Since this subdomain had no authority, the reviews didn’t rank on their own, and the links back to the product pages didn’t even pass anchor text.

Display customer reviews on product pages using simple HTML that can be spidered and indexed by the search engines so you get credit for all your customers’ love.

9. Multiple Pages On The Same Domain With The Same Content

Maybe this is the old duplicate content problem. This retailer had the same unique content, but he placed it on multiple pages selling different products, resulting in multiple pages on the same site competing against one another for the same keywords. This couldn’t be solved with a simple 301 or canonical URL.

Another retailer had section pages that displayed full product descriptions on the category level, and these competed directly with the product pages.

I prefer to show snippets on category pages, just like a Google SERPS snippet. Give me a 90-character snippet of the text under thumbnails. For example, Yahoo! Stores have the ‘ABSTRACT’ field which works great for this.

Have one page with one URL for each piece of content.

10. Competing against yourself with multiple subdomains

Another store had their own static search engine results pages displaying the full product description but on their subdomain. Several companies selling custom store search products sell these pages as way to generate “search engine friendly pages,” but the reality is that you’re competing against yourself and devaluing your content.

If this seems overwhelming, don’t panic. Start by prioritizing your pages based upon revenue. Your Top 100 Google Entry Pages probably drive the most traffic and revenue your a site. Identify your top 100 best-selling products and apply the above techniques. You’ll see your rankings and your revenue improving.


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Video Marketing – Business Tips

Video Marketing

Just as Facebook has become an incredibly popular place for brands to interact socially with their customers, YouTube offers a similar opportunity through video conversations. Video is an underused medium for marketing and yet is a considerably cheaper and more user friendly option that television advertising.  As a business, it seems incredibly easy to make a video and just post it to Youtube. The reality though is that few people will find it and you’ve probably just wasted your time.

To be successful, you’ll need to consider the following points.

1. Content is king

You’re looking to produce content that engages the viewer and prompts discussion and social sharing.

2. Be part of the conversation

It’s not enough to post a video and sit back and wait. Interact with the viewers, add to their comments and post video responses, where appropriate, to continue conversations.

3. Have a clear focus.

What do you want your video to do? Entertain, build brand awareness, generate leads, aid sales conversions, build loyalty? The more specific your focus, the more likely the video creation and follow up process will achieve its purpose.

4. Measure results.

You can’t manage what you don’t measure. Google and Youtube have some great measuring systems to count the number of views, likes or location of users. Use them.

5. Promote through all the main Social Media platforms.

As with all marketing, it’s more effective if you have several things going at once. Promote your video through your Facebook page, Tweet. about it and post a link on your company website. In each case, be part of the conversations to encourage your customers and prospective customers to do the same.

5. Label the video effectively

In order to get your video found by more people than just your own network, you need to make sure it’s optimised for the search engines as well. Don’t forget, Youtube itself is one of the largest search engines in the world. What words will searchers use to find your video? Use these keywords in your title, description and links.

Obviously there’s a technique to video marketing but don’t forget there’s also an element of luck. Who knows what the next viral sensation will be…


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Social Media – Google’s +1 Button

Google’s +1, the Alternative to the Facebook ‘Like’?

Nearly a year after Facebook’s ‘Like’ buttons became popular, Google has announced its own rival, the +1 button. (pronounced Plus One). Part of Google’s search engine, it allows you to “+1″ the search results and adverts that you like. And in a few months, it’ll be arriving at a web site near you.

Beginning April 2011, a small percentage of Google search users on in the United States, searching in English, will now see a +1 button next to search listings, when they are logged in. If they click on the button, it will light up all colorfully.

When you’re clicked, you’ve “+1′d” it, to your social network, just as you currently ‘like’ it to your Facebook network. But which social network does Google mean? Your +1 social network, which is different to your Google Social Search network, and definitely different again from your Facebook network, your Twitter network and so on. Remember, this is Google’s attempt at Facebook competition.

When you do a search when logged into Google, any results that you (or your network) have +1′d, will be enhanced with their name by it. In addition, if a search result has gained a lot of +1s but not from people in your network, you’ll still be told the total without anyone being named so you still feel how popular the page might be generally with +1 users.

The whole concept makes sense as the Facebook ‘like’ button has proved we enjoy the social proof aspect of sharing recommendations.

The +1 social layer is now reality, but website owners can’t put +1 voting buttons on their websites or blogs yet. You have to put in a request to get notified when the +1 button(s) is available.

Signup for +1 on your website




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Mobile Websites

Mobile Websites, How fast is your website on a mobile device?

It’s been clear for some time now that Google counts a website’s speed as a factor in its search engine ranking algorithm. Now however, it’s also  considering how fast webpages render on a mobile device. For websites, Google has recently launched a new web-based tool in Google Labs called Page Speed Online. Available for any browser, Page Speed Online analyzes the performance of web pages and gives specific suggestions for making them faster.

For Mobile Websites, this Page Speed tool also comes with the ability to get Page Speed suggestions customized for the mobile version of a page. Optimizing for mobile website performance is often harder than standard websites for a number of factors, including the relatively limited CPU capabilities of mobile devices and the high round-trip times of many mobile networks, not to mention the growth of mobile usage.
Recommendations for optimizing for mobile devices include eliminating un-cacheable landing page redirects and reducing the amount of JavaScript parsed during the page load.

Lesser known is that the speed of your wireless provider has a massive effect on the speed of your website yet this is completely out of a web site developers’ control. Some providers are up to twice as fast as others.

For Mobile Marketing, a good mobile landing page is essential. There are many tools available to DIY or we are able to create a Mobile Website for you. So, do your homework, it may make the difference to your website rankings.


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Facebook Deals New Zealand

Facebook Deals New Zealand and Australia

Facebook Deals New Zealand and Australia

If you’ve read recently about Facebook Places, the next launch for small business was Facebook deals. As a business owner, Facebook is giving you the opportunity to offer special incentive deals, offers and coupons for you target market.

These deals can be offered to new and existing customers and even make the offer specific to ‘friends’ to ensure people ‘check in’ to Facebook Pages and ‘like’ your business page. To further encourage people to visit you, there’s the potential for group deals for up to 8 people.

Sound complicated? Not really. The most important aspect is to understand the implications for your business. Imagine 2 customers are walking down the street and wants a coffee. They check in with Facebook and scan the area for deals. There’s a coffee shop next to them or 1 only 2 minutes walk away with a 50% off deal. Where do you think they’ll go…

As with Facebook Places, this system has been launched but only in the US so far. Initial feedback is exciting so it’ll be over here in New Zealand and Australia soon. Keep watching…

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Facebook Places in New Zealand

Facebook Places New Zealand

Facebook Places New Zealand

Once again, Facebook proves it is out to crush Google. With the continual growth in user generated content (AKA Social Media), Facebook has responded to the needs of businesses and consumers alike by taking Google Maps ad socialising it. With Google Places, you ‘check in’ to your location on Facebook via a Places profile.

The marketing opportunities are endless but with, as always, pros and cons. This is the physical equivalent of ‘liking’ a page on your new feed and allows your friends to see where you are.

The good? You get to advertise your business, products or services immediately to hundreds, if not thousands of people.

The Bad? Provide poor service at your peril as it will immediately be spread amongst many hundreds, if not thousands or people!

Like Google Maps, you have control in what you say about your business. But, you have almost no control with what other people say about your business. As a consequence, like with Google Places, claim your listing as soon as you can and control and monitor it carefully.

Facebook Places has been launched in the US but will be in Australia and New Zealand soon. Watch this space…

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What’s the most important page of your website?

What’s the most important page of your website? I’ve proven this time and time again. Look at your Google Analytics results and how often visitors look at your ‘About Us’ page. For most small businesses, even though one of the first pages a visitor goes to is usually the “About” page, unfortunately, this is one part of their website that is most likely to be neglected.

Updating it, or better still, humanizing it, is actually pretty easy. Just remember to tell a story. People don’t always go to the About page for information about the company, it’s often because they want a story and some reassurance about who you are. So, tell a story, (a true one!), one that resonates with your target market. They’ll be visiting the page for many reasons and to ask various questions, but your objective will be the same for all groups, to inform them why they are on the site or why they should be on the site.

DO NOT let your lawyers, PR or marketing specialists write it for you! Keep the About Us page free of jargon or anything that resembles a Sales and Marketing spiel.

Include some personal information so your audience can relate to you but keep the information to the point, don’t waffle and always answer the five customer ‘Ws’:

  1. Who are you?
  2. Where are you?
  3. What do you do?
  4. When did you start doing what you’re doing?
  5. HoW do you accomplish what you claim to do/sell?

Remember, we want to buy from people, not computers, so make your website as human as possible…

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Online Advertising, Does it work?

You need to promote your products and services to increase sales. What’s the best way to do this? Does Online Advertising actually work? Current statistics show that people tend to conduct online searches for products after spotting an ad about it elsewhere. Recent studies on marketing and advertising-related topics show the following trend:

After Spotting an Advert for a Product or service, more than three-quarters of respondents (to Performics’ 2010 Search Engine Results Page Insights Study) reported conducting a search to learn more about that product or service. These searchers are also tenacious, the study found, if at first they don’t succeed, they did the following:

  • they will modify their search and try again (89%),
  • they will try a different search engine (89%),
  • and, they will go through multiple search results pages if necessary (79%).

The conclusion? If you are going to advertise online, make sure you use a Marketing Hook (memorable word or phrase) that relates to your produce or service and comes up highly in the search results. To do this, make sure you have positive reviews and customer testimonials are all optimized for the search engines using your ‘Hook’. Otherwise, you’ve wasted your advertising $$$s and you’re actually just as likely to be promoting your competitors products and services than your own.

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How to Market Your Business on Facebook

New research suggests companies must rethink how they use Facebook marketing, or at least reconsider why their customers are on Facebook in the first place. Usually, when a marketing campaign on Facebook fails it’s because a company ignored one or more of the following:

The reason your customers are following you on Facebook. Most consumers that have “liked” a brand are not interested in receiving marketing communications from them. In fact, ExactTarget points out in its report, a previous study found that 70% of consumers who “liked” a brand on Facebook didn’t feel they’d given this company permission to market to them. Instead, they did it to express their personal endorsements and approvals of companies with other Facebook friends. Only 31% of consumers become fans to get freebies or giveaways and 25% to receive sale notification.

The fact it wasn’t fun. Consumers use Facebook because it’s fun. In fact, 30% of consumers think of it as a guilty pleasure much like the secret pint of ice cream in the freezer.

Facebook is not a search channel, it’s a social networking channel. Consumers don’t go to Facebook looking for something specific. The greatest strength of Facebook as a marketing channel results when consumers discover things they didn’t set out to find in the first place. Friends’ recommendations, for that reason, are particularly valuable and this can be a powerful way for marketers to increase their brand awareness, even when consumers aren’t consciously looking for brand messages.”

It wasn’t useful. Consumers are less tolerant of brand messages on Facebook than most other channels. If your marketing conversation isn’t perceived as valuable, consumers tend to ‘unlike’ you to save precious space on their Facebook walls.

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Local Internet Marketing – Unusual Google Search Results

When considering Local Internet Marketing, high Google search results are your goal. So, when they start showing unusual characteristics, you’re right to worry. There have been recent reports that some users of Google are seeing Google search results center or middle aligned. For some reason, Google may be testing padding white space on the right and left of the search results. There are many reasons for this, not least because the revenue from the adverts in the right column are declining as businesses become frustrated with the low return on investment for the money they’re spending.

What this does highlight for you, a Business Owner, is that if you rely on organic searches alone for your business marketing, you are playing a high-risk strategy by having all your eggs in the Google basket.

Reduce your exposure to risk and use a varied marketing mix that appeals to your target market.

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Local SEO, What Do Your Keywords Actually Mean?

For Local SEO, what do your keywords actually mean to the search engines and your customers? When optimizing your website, social media presence or simply your Google Maps listing, keywords are the basis for everything. The keywords you use tell the search engines what your information is about and consequently (hopefully, then send customers searching for that keyword your way.

Unfortunately, get this wrong and you’ll never get the right people to visit your site. The Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) industry uses words and phrases ‘the intent of the searcher’, ‘about-ness’ and even ‘semantic content’ to determine what are you really looking for. For this article, we’ll use the word ‘intent’.

For example, if I type in ‘pizza’, am I searching for information on how to make one, buy one or visit the place?

The algorithms used are complicated but basically, Google guesses what you really want by the millions of people who’ve used this keyword in the past and their behaviour on the various sites they’ve been sent to. In a business context, what you think your customers are looking for is often completely wrong.

So, when wanting to be found for a specific keyword, do your research and see what other sites come up in the search results. Are they covering the same products and services as you or is it the wrong keyword for your business?

Consider this example of a past client. They were printers who print business cards and leaflets for small businesses. They had designed their entire online campaign around the keyword ‘printer’. Unfortunately, the intent of most searchers when using the term ‘printer’ is to look for a computer printer. As a consequence, the client had to redo much of their content to ensure their prospective customers were finding their site.

So, do the research on your business. What is the main keyword that represents your business? When you search for it, what do you find and is it right for you?

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Local Internet Marketing, What’s Your Page About?

When it comes to Local internet Marketing, how do search engines know what your website page is all about? Search engines determine this by the keyword selection and placement in each page. A keyword is a word OR phrase that is likely to be used by a searcher looking for your products or services. Keywords should be used in a variety of places, including but not limited to:

  • (X)HTML title tag
  • Meta-tag description
  • Meta-tag keywords (if used)
  • Headings
  • Page content
  • URL (or web address)
  • File name

The way you describe and label your website content should ultimately communicate to both search engines and web searchers what the content is about.

Many web companies feel that a web page’s Intent is communicated simply by keyword repetition. If you use keywords many times on a web page, then clearly the page is about those keyword phrases, right? Unfortunately, not any more.

Search engines haven’t measured keyword density as a ranking factor for a very long time. However, keywords should be placed correctly so that the intent of the page is clear to both search engines and web searchers. This means to use a variety of synonyms (different words with identical or very similar meanings) and not just overuse the main keyword.

To test the usability of your page, there’s a simple test you can use. Pick someone who hasn’t read he page before and let them scan it for 5 seconds. Then ask them what they believe the page is about. If they don’t use the most important keyword phrases when describing the content, then the page probably isn’t communicating the right intent.

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Mobile Marketing – How Big are Smartphones?

Look at this recent headline discussing Smartphones:

Mobile app downloads top 3.8 billion in first half of 2010

As a Mobile Marketing opportunity, this is huge. Smartphone owners worldwide downloaded more than 3.8 billion mobile applications in the first six months of 2010, compared to 3.1 billion in all of 2009, according to new data issued by market analysis firm research2guidance. Global Smartphone revenues for the first half of 2010 exceed $2.2 billion, surpassing full-year 2009 revenues of $1.7 billion. The study also adds that the average premium application price in now $3.60.

“Apple’s competitors like Nokia and BlackBerry started to leverage their global reach and increased the traffic on their app stores,” said research2guidance analyst Egle Mikalajunaite in a prepared statement. “We see this trend continuing in the next several months and years. The next wave of new app stores will be niche stores specializing on e.g. business or mobile health apps.”

There are currently few New Zealand specific business apps and those that are available, are not that impressive. Businesses here are slow to catch on and consequently, run the risk of falling behind the rest of the business world. Don’t let your business be one of those at risk.

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Find My Business Launch

So, what is Find My Business? The brand was created by a Business Advisor following years of working with hundreds of small and medium sized businesses across Australia and New Zealand. Almost without exception, when it came to marketing their products and services, the Business Owners were lost. Traditional forms of advertising were getting more and more expensive and providing lower and lower returns so Business Owners quite rightly turned to the internet. Web companies promised the best looking website that would make the business owner rich and charged accordingly. Unfortunate, most web companies are not marketing companies and therein lay the problem.

The Business Owner had paid for an attractive website. That was it. Website usability, sales conversion pathway and online marketing to get the website found were never part of the deal and so few websites actually produced a Return On Investment (ROI). The Business Owner assumed that the web company would do it all. The web company had no intention of doing anything other than what they were being paid for, to design and build a website. After all, they’re not marketers or sales specialists!

And that is where Find My Business comes in. The company has been specifically created and designed to plug the gap between the web company and the business owner. Our expertise is in business sales and marketing and we employ the technical skills needed to put together simple yet functional websites.

Find My Business launched on the 1st September 2010. Don’t get left behind in the marketing race, call us now on 03 669 0326 for ideas about improving the marketing of your business.

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