Recent Posts

Why a .AU Domain is the Best Choice for Your Local Business

By Jillian Quijano |
Looking to scale your business? If you meet the criteria set on the auDA policy, then go ahead and secure a .AU domain. A .AU domain i...

Why a .AU Domain is the Best Choice for Your Local Business

By Jillian Quijano |
.au domain

Looking to scale your business?

If you meet the criteria set on the auDA policy, then go ahead and secure a .AU domain.

A .AU domain is a country code top-level domain (ccTLD) specific to Australia — like how .ID is for Indonesia, .SG for Singapore, etc.

While top-level domains like .COM or .NET are globally-recognised, a .AU extension helps you attract local markets.

Sound good? Now let’s take a closer look at the benefits you get with a .AU domain.

4 Awesome Benefits of a .AU Domain


1. Establish customer trust


establish customer trust

Did you know that 7 out of 10 Australians prefer doing business with Australian companies?

Let everyone know you operate in Australia with a .AU extension.

A .AU domain is especially helpful for smaller businesses looking to establish a local presence.

It gives the impression that you are conveniently within reach. At the same time, you get to build recognition and trust within the Australian market.

2. Register the domain name you want




.COM domains are constantly in high demand, making it difficult to secure your domain of choice.

A .AU domain avoids this problem. There are currently around three million .AU domains registered. It may sound like a lot, but that's less than 1% of all registered domain names— giving you a better chance of registering the domain you want.

3. Win over local search


win local search

Get ahead of the competition by winning over local search.

ccTLDs , like .AU, are prioritised by Google. It sends signals that the website and its content targets a country or region —thus improving your search engine rankings.

For example, business.com and business.com.au are equal in terms of ranking factors. It’s still likely for business.com.au to perform better in an Australian user’s SERP (Search Engine Results Page).

4. Create a unique domain name


unique brand

It’s getting more and more challenging to stand out online. So give people a reason to choose — and remember — your business with a .AU domain.

So if you’re running a web design agency in Australia, there’s no need to register as webdesignaustralia.com. Instead, you can go for a shorter and more memorable domain like webdesign.com.au.

The URL is notably shorter and helps users remember it quickly.

“But I’m Going Global!”


Want to expand overseas? Naturally, you’ll earn more traffic with a top-level domain like .COM or .ORG.

But where possible, secure a .COM.AU and a .COM extension. This way, you cater to local and international customers. Make sure you reserve both extensions early to beat your competitors and protect your brand.

10 Steps to Bulletproofing Your Website Security

By Jillian Quijano |


Online security breaches have increased by 67% over the past five years.

The truth is, cyber attacks can be devastating for your business – and they're more common than you think.

Don’t let your business suffer at the hands of cybercriminals. Here, we list down the biggest online security threats and how you can protect your business from them.

The Biggest Security Threats to Your Online Business

Many security threats exist online. And when you don’t bulletproof your business as soon as possible, they could come hurtling towards you when you’re least prepared.

Be aware of the most common online security threats that you’re likely to face in the future.

Phishing Scams




Phishing — one of the most widely encountered security threats online – is the fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information from your business.

This scheme is usually done by sending a seemingly inconspicuous email to the potential victim requesting certain information. Since the email looks like it comes from a credible source, the recipient is tricked into providing the said information — which the attacker will then use for malicious purposes.

DDoS Attacks




A Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack is an attempt to overwhelm your server or network with requests until the system cannot cope with the demand. This results in a denial-of-service to normal traffic — eventually bringing your website to a grinding halt and affecting business operations and revenue.

Software Vulnerabilities




There’s a reason why software companies come up with security updates for their products every now and then. Once cybercriminals discover vulnerabilities in your software, they use these to their advantage. If you don’t keep your software up-to-date, your business may be put at a much greater risk than you think.

Password Attacks




Hackers use several ways to crack your passwords and gain access to your website or internal systems. An example is the ”brute force” method — which involves using a computer program to generate potential passwords. With the help of password generators, hackers will start with the most commonly used passwords (e.g. Password123) until they crack the right ones and finally breach your system.

Malicious Software




Malware is used to weaken security measures in place. It may come in the form of viruses, trojans, worms, and spyware. If you run an ecommerce website, you are, particularly at risk.
Malware is one of the most effective ways for hackers to obtain your customers’ sensitive data.

10 Steps to Improve Your Website Security

Now that you know the most common threats your business may face in the future, it's time to take action. Here are 10 simple website security changes you can do to get started:

1. Backup Your Website




Before going into the nitty-gritty of website security, the most important first step to make is to back up your website.

Having a copy of your entire website — including all its contents — will keep your business up and running in no time in case of a cyber attack. When you’re running a business, any downtime can result in a decrease in profit and credibility. You know what they say: It’s better to be safe than sorry.

2. Install Secure Socket Layers (SSL) Certificate



An SSL certificate secures the connection between your website and the end user.

It protects sensitive information exchanged through your website — including logins, credit card numbers, and forms. With an SSL certificate, all of these data are encrypted. This prevents hackers from intercepting these pieces of information and using them to their advantage.

3. Update Your Software



To reduce the likelihood of software vulnerabilities, make sure to install software updates as soon as they are released.

If you haven't already, create a policy to manage every piece of software you're using on your website – and assign someone the task of maintaining them.

4. Make Password Security a Priority




Many businesses attempt to enforce a password policy, but their employees often take them for granted. Invest in educating your staff and making sure that they understand the importance of a strong password.

Although strong passwords are an important step, they're not foolproof. The most technologically advanced cybercriminals can crack even the strongest of passwords. For this reason, it's a good idea to use tools — such as a single sign-on (SSO) and two-factor authentication — to prevent password breach.

5. Protect Your Website Using Firewalls




Installing a firewall will take your website protection up a notch. Since DDoS attacks are becoming a common threat to many businesses online, your website must be able to detect malicious traffic quickly and stop it before it can get to your site.

Firewalls have been around since the beginning of network security. And many people still use them to this day simply because they get the job done.

6. Keep Hold of Unwanted Domain Names




If you plan to rebrand your business — or decide to change your domain name — don't just discard the old one.

The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) says that cybercriminals can access confidential information through abandoned domain names.

One researcher tested this theory by re-registering old domain names for merged businesses. Surprisingly, he was able to receive large amounts of confidential information — such as bank correspondence, legal documents, and invoices — without hacking.

The takeaway is that it’s better to hold on to old domain names. As it turns out, it is the cheapest form of cybersecurity insurance policy for your business.

7. Educate Your Employees




Sometimes, your own employees can lead your business into cybersecurity doom — that is, if they don’t know enough.

Employees who don’t know what a phishing email looks like or how malware works may just fall right into these traps. At the end of the day, your business will be the one suffering from their ignorance.

As a business owner, make sure to educate every employee about the website security risks they may encounter and how to best respond to them.

8. Make Sure You Have Email Protection




Keeping your business secure online isn't just about protecting your website. You should also place measures to keep your emails secure.

Email is a common platform that hackers use to breach your online security — often through malware attachments or phishing attempts.

Prevent this by getting an Email Protection service for your emails.

Email Protection provides anti-spam and anti-virus services — meaning your emails are filtered before the bad ones can get to you.

9. Get Reliable Web Hosting




Maximise your website security by getting a reliable web hosting provider that offers more than just a hosting service.

A good web hosting provider keeps your website in secure servers and protects it from malicious online threats.

10. Work with Security Experts




If you don't have your own online security team yet, it’s high time to get one.

Cybercriminals aren’t going to wait until your website is well protected. Find experts that can help you protect your business from online threats before it’s too late.

With their expertise, these pros can help minimise website vulnerabilities, perform a full security audit, and educate the rest of your staff about cyber attacks.

Conclusion

You may not have encountered a cyber attack yet, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. One of the biggest mistakes that many businesses make is taking website security for granted.

10 Clever Content Marketing Tips to Improve Your Small Business Website

By Jillian Quijano |
content marketing

“Content is king”, “Content is at the heart of your marketing strategy”, “Content is good for SEO” — you’ve likely heard these statements before. So you do your research, decide to make a blog, and publish it.

And then you learn that 183,000 new blog posts go online every hour. When that sinks in, you wonder, is content marketing worth the investment?

Here a simple answer: It still is.

Content marketing is more than writing a blog and hitting that publish button.

Content marketing is the creation, publication, and distribution of materials across online channels. Your content can be anything from infographics and blogs to videos and social media posts. Think emails, tweets, landing pages — anything to promote brand awareness.

It doesn’t stop there. You can use content to engage customers in every stage of their buyer’s journey.

Remember, it all comes down to providing content that’s relevant, valuable and reliable to your readers.
Does my small business really need content marketing?

Yes, yes, and yes.

Content marketing is a long-term strategy that benefits businesses of all sizes.

Smaller, growing brands can leverage content marketing to establish a strong brand identity. It gives you an edge over competitors and shows your expertise on a chosen topic. Content also helps in generating new leads — increasing sales and conversions in the process.

The best part? Content marketing doesn’t need a huge budget.

Keep reading to learn helpful tips for a winning content marketing strategy.

Bring Traffic to Your Website Through Content Marketing


1. Identify your target audience



A well-defined target audience is crucial if you want your content marketing plan to succeed.

Even the biggest businesses can't afford to target everyone. Decide on a specific group to create highly-targeted content.

To identify your target audience, consider who your customers are and why they want to buy from you.

For example, you're a business selling skincare products.

Your target audience could be women aged between 18 and 65. If you find that your anti-aging products are bestsellers, narrow down your audience further to women aged between 35 and 65.

Take things to the next level by creating a persona out of each type of customer.

List their demographics — age, gender, profession, behaviour, pain points, aspirations, and the like. This will help you come up with content that resonates with them.

Here’s a sample persona for your skincare business. Add as many details as you want, as long as you paint a clear picture of what your customer is like.


Name: Karen

Age: 21 years old

Gender: Female

Profession: College student

Location: Perth, Australia

Behaviour
Deals
with a lot of deadlines for school every week
Uses
the internet frequently for research, communication with teachers, and
collaboration with colleagues
Browses
social media to take breaks while studying
Travels
a lot with family and friends

Pain Points
Gained
acne due to oily skin and school-related stress
Has
no time to take care of her skin because of prioritising school work
Has
a limited budget because of school fees

Aspirations
An effective way to get rid of her acne
Access to skincare products that are within her budget
A low-maintenance skincare routine that fits her schedule


    2. Create a content mind map




    A mind map helps you lay out an extensive content plan. It’s especially useful when you run out of ideas.

    Come up with umbrella topics you want to tackle, particularly ones related to your business or brand.

    For your skincare business, discuss all things under this umbrella. Next, break the umbrella topic down into topic clusters.

    Topic clusters are then broken down into:

    • Pillar posts: Say for example a prospect submits a Google search query. She wants to know how to care for her oily skin, so an example pillar post for this is “Skin Types”.
    • Subtopics: Subtopics are detailed content derived from your pillar post. Subtopics from the example include “Best Products for Oily Skin Types” or “How to Determine Your Skin Type”.

    Map your ideas with appropriate content formats by considering your marketing goals and the buyer’s journey.


    Awareness

    Consideration

    Decision

    Blogs,
    social media posts
    Educational
    content (video tutorials, tip-sheets, infographics)
    Quizzes

      Case
      studies
      Product
      spec sheets
      Catalogues
      Testimonials

        Free
        Trial
        Live
        Demo
        User
        Guides
        Newsletters


          3. Focus on evergreen content




          Evergreen content stays relevant to audiences all year round.

          It’s good to write about trending topics once in a while. From the name itself, it drives a lot of traffic — but only temporarily.

          In contrast, evergreen posts continue to accumulate traffic. Think of it as being the same as generating passive income — its always working for you in the background.

          To find evergreen topics, think about what your customers always want to know more about.

          Let’s go back to your skincare business.

          Your customers, for instance, may be wondering how to form a skincare routine that works for them. Or they could be figuring out what ingredients to look out for when buying skincare products.

          Here are some evergreen content ideas:
          • How-to posts and tutorials
          • Informational posts and guides
          • Industry FAQs
          • Feature stories

          4. Produce a content calendar




          Finding content ideas, creating and then publishing them on a regular basis is a challenge.

          To make things easier, create a content calendar. Marketers use calendars to get a birds-eye view of their overall content plan. It also helps you maintain a consistent flow of content throughout your website.

          Set aside a part of your week for producing content. Then, schedule the day and time for each of them to be published. Make sure to have a regular schedule and follow it as faithfully as you can.

          In choosing your posting schedule, consider the times when you can earn the greatest amount of audience. A Kissmetrics study reveals that the average blog post receives the most traffic on a Monday and at around 11 am.

          But, don’t hesitate to adjust your posting schedule when you need to. Conduct A/B testing to determine when your posts get a lot of traffic.

          You can also use online tools that help you maintain a content calendar. For blog posts, avail of content management systems like Wordpress. For social media posts, use apps like Hootsuite and Buffer.

          5. Take a smarter approach to your keywords




          If you’re new to keyword research, you may be surprised to learn that the most common, generic keywords don’t always generate the best results.

          Unless you’re a major brand, aiming for killer keywords doesn’t pay dividends. Instead, focus on long tail and localised keywords. Both types have less competition, which means you’ll have an easier time ranking for them.

          For example, for your skincare business, using the word "skincare" is far more challenging than phrases such as "skincare products in Canberra."

          At the same time, don’t aim for long tail keywords that are downright ridiculous. If the keywords you’re focusing on are not even what users type in search engines, they’re not worth your efforts.

          6. Don’t forget social media




          Social media is where most people are at. It’s one of the best avenues for your content to reach your desired audience.

          Follow these tips in using social media for content marketing:

          Choose the right social media channels

          Managing content for several channels can take a lot of time and effort. Use only the channels that fit your content marketing strategy.

          Determine your content formats

          Social media platforms house different content formats. Go over the content you’ve created, then match them to the right social media channel.

          Here are some platforms with the content formats that suit them best:
          • Facebook: Live videos, 30-45 second videos, curated content, blog posts
          • Instagram: Hi-res images, videos, stories
          • LinkedIn: Quick, informative videos, high-quality blog posts, company news
          • Pinterest: Infographics, photo guides, “Pin-worthy” posts such as images, videos, etc.
          Create a posting schedule

          Schedules are important when posting content on social media. Like in your content calendar, determine the most favourable time for your content to get as much reach as possible.

          Sprout Social reveals that it's best to post on Wednesdays at 11 am and 1 pm on Facebook. Meanwhile, the best posting time on Instagram is on Wednesdays at 11 am and Fridays from 10 to 11 am. On Twitter, it’s best to post on Wednesdays and Fridays at 9 am.

          7. Do something different




          The volume of content distributed online means that the same messages are often parroted. As such, it’s worth trying to stand out from the crowd.

          Don’t be afraid to do something different or edgy. This increases your chances of people sharing your content, resulting in more traffic.

          Behind-the-scenes videos are a good example. It generates palpable excitement for a new product or service and shows a human side to your brand.

          For your skincare business, give your readers a sneak peek into the creation of your newest product. Allow them to get a feel of what inspired you, the ingredients you used, and the benefits of trying it.

          While focusing your content on behind-the-scenes, remember that your potential customers may have questions. Get ready to reply to comments on your site or social media channels. Customers love quick responses.

          8. Position yourself as an industry expert




          Think of an issue that’s important to you. Then, focus on the website or personality you’d turn to for guidance on that issue.

          Chances are, you’re thinking of industry experts.

          People are more likely to buy your products and services when you’re an established expert. Of course, becoming an expert isn’t a process that’ll happen overnight. But consistently producing content that’s fact-filled, useful, and informative will get you there.

          Aside from producing content that’s useful, invite your audience to engage with you. Encourage them to ask questions on social media, answer questions on Quora, and hold live Q and A sessions using social media platforms.

          When you constantly show that you know what you’re talking about, you generate a sense of trust your competitors won’t be able to rival. As a result, you’ll attract more customers and clients.

          9. Connect with influencers



          Whether you’re an established expert or not, getting a hand from an influencer makes your sales rocket. In the last year, 86% of marketers have turned to influencers to boost their marketing efforts.

          Why should you tap into an influencer’s audience?

          Influencers promote an aspirational lifestyle their fans crave. When those fans see your product or services on their feed, they’ll want to try them too.

          The type of influencer you work with will be dictated by your budget. As a cost-friendly starting point, collaborate with micro-influencers.

          Micro-influencers may have a smaller following compared to the big influencers of today. But, this turns out to be their strength, as it's easier for them to engage with their fanbase, making their fans more dedicated.

          That, and they don't cost a lot.

          10. Use the right analytics tools




          Finally, don’t forget to analyse the performance of your content. Measure the results of each of your published content so you’ll know what strengths to leverage and what improvements to apply.

          Most social media platforms — like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter — have integrated analytics tools. Use these to track how your posts in each platform are performing.

          For your website, consider installing Google Analytics to know how much traffic you’re earning and where they’re coming from.

          Conclusion

          Loads of content may be added to the internet every single day. But, with a good content marketing strategy, your content may just be the one to rule them all. Content is king, but let your content be the king.

          Find out more ways to bring traffic to your website now through our Online Marketing packages.

          What is Searchandising ⁠— and how do I apply it to my online store?

          By Jillian Quijano |
          CD_cover_637x424
          If you haven’t heard of the term searchandising, you’re probably not alone. As far as ecommerce goes, it’s a relatively new concept.

          Despite this, it’s one that’s taking the ecommerce world by storm.

          If you have no idea what searchandising is, don't worry.

          We’re here to explain what it means, along with some tips for applying it to your site.

          What is searchandising?

          1
          In the past, customers would navigate to an ecommerce site, search for the product they want, and arrive at results they have to painstakingly search through.

          When you consider that most people are shopping online because they love convenience, this approach seems counter-intuitive.

          Searchandising aims to place super relevant products in front of your customer, which then increases the likelihood that they will buy them.  For example, you may provide a range of filtering choices that allow customers to refine their results down to the smallest detail. Or, you may capture customer data and use it to produce results that are relevant to their shopping needs.

          Overall, searchandising involves refining product searches for you to boost your sales. 

          How do I apply searchandising to my ecommerce site?

          Around 51% of people discover a new product or service while searching using their smartphone, so there's never been a better time to use searchandising to your advantage. If you’re intrigued and you want to increase your conversion rates, we have some searchandising techniques for you to consider.

          Provide your customers with options

          2%2B%25281%2529
          The first step towards successfully searchandising your site is to provide your customers with options. By now, you may be thinking that you've already done this. But is it enough? To make your customer’s life easier, get inside their head and consider the criteria they may use to narrow down their search results. For example:

          • Colour
          • Price
          • Brand
          • Size
          • Delivery speed
          • Discounts
          • Special offers (e.g. 2-for-1)

          Whatever options your customers may be looking for, consider adding them to your search filters.
          Also, allow them to sort the results to their liking.

          This could include viewing your products according to price range, amount of stock available, date released, relevance, and more.

          Consider what other customers have bought

          CD_3_637x212
          If you’ve bought something on Amazon lately, you may have seen their “Customers who purchased this also bought...” feature. This involves looking at the products your customers decide to purchase after they've bought other items. There are certain sectors where this works well. For example, if you’re selling beauty products, you may notice that customers go on to buy makeup brushes after purchasing an eyeshadow palette. Or, a medical student who's looking for a textbook that focuses on cellular biology may also want a book on anatomy.

          Take this searchandising tactic further than simply enticing customers to buy more items. Use it to generate promotions.

          Let’s use the example of textbooks again. Rather than letting customers pay the full price per book, offer them a 10% discount when they buy all books together. By applying this to textbooks that are frequently purchased, you stand a stronger chance of the customer accepting your offer.

          Make helpful suggestions when you don’t close a sale

          CD_4_637x212 Have you ever felt frustrated every time someone abandons their basket? On average, 73.1% of customers do this.  Maybe they’ve decided that a product doesn’t quite meet their needs anymore. When this is the case, there’s always a chance that another product will do.

          There are two ways to approach this searchandising technique. Encourage customers to purchase an item that similar customers have chosen. Use words such as "Customers who viewed this item also bought..." and then show another product that matches their customer profile.

          Alternatively, if you lack the data required to do this, make suggestions based on products they may like.This approach to searchandising requires you to get inside your customer’s head again. Consider what they may find useful as an alternative and suggest it.

          If you want to take your intuitive suggestions a step further, consider why they don’t go on to buy the item they originally viewed. If you suspect it’s due to the price, direct them to something that costs less. Or, if it’s because of a long postage wait, push them towards something that’ll arrive faster.

          Use what you know about your customers wisely

          CD_5_637x212 When someone becomes a repeat customer, they start leaving a trail of information.

          You get to know more about their spending habits, such as the items they like, how much they’re willing to pay, and whether they’re more likely to buy sale or non-sale items.
          After gathering this information using your analytics, take the data and use algorithms to guide your customers accordingly.

          For example, when they search for one product, suggest their favourite products to buy. Additionally, make suggestions in a widget bar alongside their usual search results.  Consider also showing products that are due to be released, previous purchases that are now on sale, and out-of-stock items that are now back in stock.

          Other ways to use searchandising

          CD_6_637x212 Ultimately, searchandising focuses on convenience as much as it does anything else. As such, you may want to consider eliminating as many inconveniences for your customer as possible. If you sell internationally, simply don't display in the search results the products that won’t ship to their destination.

          Also, it’s a good idea to keep out-of-stock items at the end of the search results. This is especially important during sale periods, as customers may become frustrated by an apparent lack of stock and go elsewhere.

          As an alternative to leaving out of stock items to the end, consider adding a "reminder" button that directs customers to enter their email address so they become part of a waitlist.

          Conclusion

          Many of the concepts behind searchandising are simple, but are also effective. When you routinely apply them to your site, you should see big differences in your sales.

          Prepare your website for Black Friday traffic

          By Nicolo Nasol |

          The killer shopping season starts soon, welcoming the beginning of Christmastime. Shoppers around the world are looking forward to browsing for those items they've waiting the whole year to be finally on sale.

          Online retailers are expected to receive massive loads of traffic and simultaneous requests from splurging shoppers. These can potentially crash your site or make your pages load slowly.

          Nothing displeases a customer more than a website crashing while they are browsing. They'd be happy to go to another website, and are unlikely to revisit you. Their experience with your website may have made an awful impression. They may even think that your website is unsafe.

          Your customers have nothing to lose, but you do. All your preparations will be in vain if your website is down when it's needed the most.

          At this time of year, you must be certain you can deliver your customers your best service. Make sure your website is up for the challenge of handing a great surge of traffic. Consulting with your web hosting provider is necessary.

          Your web host should be able to keep your site up and running, with 99.9% uptime and 24/7 expert support guaranteed! Should your website suffer any downtime, then your web host should be able to fix it right away before any damage has been done.

          Now, with the holiday season drawing near, you may consider upgrading your web plan so that your website can handle the customer traffic. Cloud hosting is your best choice for this.

          Crazy Domains Cloud Hosting

          With cloud hosting, you give your website a blazingly fast loading speed. With solid state drives across a multiple-server cloud network working together to host a group of websites, your website can handle higher levels of traffic and complex web processes. Also, this cloud hosting comes with a huge 500GB webspace that allows you to upload large files – videos, audio, etc. This also speeds up content delivery to your customer.

          Crazy Domains SSL Certificates

          You must also ensure that your customers, their transactions, and their browsing is 100% secure. A site's verified SSL security certificate is indicated with a green padlock in the address bar beside HTTPS. SSL encrypts information that two computers exchange, especially protecting your costumers' sensitive data, such as their credit card numbers and passwords. Without SSL, any data transmitted over an unsecured network is viewable by a third party.

          Almost as bad, Google's Chrome browser is marking websites without SSL as unsafe – which could make you lose your business as customers choose to shop elsewhere.

          With the shopping season nearing its peak, your website should also be in its peak performance. With reliable web hosting and SSL you make your online transactions faster and safer; definitely a big win for you and your customers. Don't hesitate to make the best out of this holiday season.



          10 last-minute preparations for Black Friday!

          By Nicolo Nasol |

          With only days before it's Black Friday once again, we present a list of last-minute preparations to help you prepare your online store for the holiday sales.

          • 1

            Proofread your website content and promotional emails. Check not only their grammar but also their embedded links. You don't want to lose a buyer just because of a typo or a link that is not working.

          • 2

            Review your website's landing pages. Make sure that your displays are updated and all set for Black Friday. Also, run through your website's navigation and check your links direct to the right pages, especially your CTA banners.

          • 3

            Prepare your website for increased traffic and simultaneous requests. Test your website's load capacity through LoadImpact if it can handle spikes in traffic. A great surge of traffic could possibly crash your website.

          • 4

            Add a countdown timer plugin to your website to create suspense and urgency in your sales. It is proven to drive more sales by putting your customers into a buying state of mind.

          • 5

            Schedule your promos and sale announcements using social media. Interesting pictures and videos can help you get better engagement. You can even broadcast live – but make sure you're available and ready to respond to your customer's queries during that time. They'll be expecting your response.

          • 6

            Put your best foot forward. Present your best customer service, and offer what you can to assist your costumers. Black Friday is not only a great avenue for sales, but also a chance to get long-term customers and a great opportunity to market your brand. It's a good time to leave great impressions.

          • 7

            If you deal with physical inventory, take one last good look at your stock levels. Make sure your item count is accurate and all your items are organised and ready for both sales and shipping.

          • 8

            Don't be afraid of upselling. There's always the chance that some customers may opt for a more expensive alternative if they understand it's worth its price. Genuinely help them to find a better alternative.

          • 9

            Remember to meet with your team to finalise everything, especially contingency plans. It's a joint effort, and everyone in your team must be on the same page. All your colleagues, partners, or employees must know what to do should any error occur, so that any incident can be addressed quickly.

          • 10

            Don't forget to prepare special thank-notes for your top customers, and send them a message. They're likely to become long-term customers. If you can personalise the message, all the better. Still, thank all of your customers for showing an interest in your products, and they will return – especially if they liked the experience.

          Above anything else, here's something you should not forget: always take note of what went right and what could you have done better. Know that all the things you've learned from this holiday sales experience can be applied in your future endeavors.



          Your small business marketing guide for the holidays

          By Jorisse G |

          Now that it's November, everything seems to be rushing headlong into the holiday season. If you don't have a marketing plan in place yet for the holidays, then you better establish one fast.

          For small businesses, no reminder is needed that the holiday season is full of shopping, especially online. Moreover, mobile shopping is expected to boom this season.

          To give you more of an idea on how to approach the season of giving, we have some tips here for you. The idea is simple: take your marketing to the next level!

          Appreciate your customers

          Personalised cards

          Your customers need to be reminded, now more than ever, that their continued loyalty is much appreciated. Personalised cards or emails are the perfect way to show them this. You can also include cards on their orders or give them out with each purchase at your physical store.

          Contests and freebies

          To get more hype around your business, think about launching a contest or hosting an event to spread the holiday cheer. Giveaways are also good little reminders of your service. Company gifts such as calendars, mugs and more are a good option, as are useful items such as gift wrapping materials and other small items.

          More perks

          Don't forget to stay competitive this season! Offer more holiday perks such as free gift wrapping or shipping, or discounts, rewards and redeemable points.

          Get into the holiday sale spirit

          Customers expect many sale events across online retailers and brick and mortar shops. Take note of the big sale days and get into the spirit.

          Black Friday

          As one of the biggest sale days of the year, Black Friday is an unmissable opportunity for small businesses. Start the hype early on and get your customers excited about your exclusive deals. Make sure to limit the supply or availability to create an environment of urgency. Choose the products that are in high demand and give your customers a deal they can't refuse.

          Small Business Saturday

          This particular Saturday is dedicated to small businesses, especially promoting local retailers. This takes place between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and encourages people to support independent businesses by shopping small. Special deals and offers are a must for this day.

          Cyber Monday

          Cyber Monday is for online shoppers who can't get enough of holiday deals. Be sure to take advantage of the hype by offering more deals or tying up the shopping weekend with rewards or coupons from the Black Friday shopping spree.

          Get more word out

          Publicity

          Get more exposure for your brand by getting bloggers, online magazines or articles to feature you on their gift guides. Local publications or influencers would be a good place to start. Getting on all your local listings has never been more relevant!

          Décor

          Your website should be ready and amped up for the holiday season. Make sure that you will be offering the best experience across desktop and mobile and that your site can handle the traffic. Scatter holiday wishes all throughout.

          If you have a physical store, it's time to bring out the decorations and help make your customers feel the season to the full.

          Give back

          Giving gifts during Christmas shouldn't be limited to loved ones and customers. A great way to show you care is by giving back to a good cause. Look for a community or charity in your local scene that you care about and donate some of your proceeds there. You could also encourage customers to support your chosen cause or hold drives to raise more funds.

          Nothing compares to the holiday season when it comes to deals and stuff you can't get for the rest of the year. Make sure you make it count for your customers and offer them the real deals of the year.



          7 more things you can do to improve your online presence

          By Jorisse G |

          Some businesses think that launching a website and creating social media profiles are enough for a good online presence. While these things are essential in getting online, it has to be more than that.

          Here we'll explore more of the things you can do to improve your online presence and get stronger results.

          1

          Constantly work on your website

          Your website is an important aspect of your online presence. It's your business card in the online world. Keep it simple and professional-looking, with all the information your customers need, such as your 'About' page, your contact information, reviews, and products or services offered.

          Constant work means you need to keep your content fresh and updated. This is especially relevant as fresh, quality content gives your search ranking a boost. Make sure it's optimised for mobile use, has quick loading times, and has easy click-to-call buttons.

          2

          Get buzzing on the right social channels

          While being on social media is essential for business, it doesn't mean you have to be on all the big platforms. The best way to build a social presence that matters is to focus on just one or two channels. This is how you can make sure you can effectively grow and manage your social profiles.

          The top platforms are Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Facebook is best for sharing stories, while LinkedIn offers networking opportunities, and Twitter is excellent at starting conversations.

          Spend time curating content that customers will be interested in, and reserve only 20% to push your own content. Use a social media management tool to schedule your posts ahead of time. Don't forget to get your business listed so that customers can find you when they search locally.

          3

          Go beyond blog posting

          A blog helps you build the voice of your brand in one place, using useful content that people can share. But don't be limited to blog posts. Explore more forms of content to entertain and inform your customers. Good examples include infographics, case studies, eBooks, videos, and podcasts.

          4

          Think about guest posting

          Just as you shouldn't limit yourself to blog posts, you can also go way beyond your blog and take your content elsewhere through guest posting. Big authority websites can offer a lot for you in the way of traffic. Make sure your guest blogging is done for your brand building and not for pure promotion and linking.

          5

          Elevate your email marketing

          Email marketing isn't just about sending a message blast to promote sales and offers. To make sure that you're getting your customers' attention, keep your messages focused, and send your emails at the right time.

          Test for the best time to send your emails to make sure you get the most click-through rates. Sending outside the usual morning hours has been found to produce more results.

          To keep your emails interesting, craft 'thank you' messages and reward your customers with more perks to remind them of what you have to offer.

          6

          Offer premium products

          When customers are given too many product options, they can get indecisive. To help them with their decision-making, offer them your selection of the best options. Include what they'll get with each offer, and how it will suit their needs. This way, they can reach a decision more easily.

          7

          Be patient with SEO

          In the business world, you are compelled to move fast at all times to keep up. However, to create an SEO strategy that works, you need to be patient. Building a strategy that produces the best results can take some time. It would involve testing and changing your approach, and constantly monitoring your results.

          The payoff will be worth it, given the click-through rates offered by the top positions on search results. To get a good start, use a tool that lets you improve your visibility online without needing any technical knowledge.

          Now that you know what more you can do to improve your online presence, it's time to get moving.



          Here’s what the Google SSL update means for you

          By Jorisse G |

          In the address bar of your Chrome browser is the URL of the site you have visited, beginning with https://. This handily designates that the website is secure, and is using SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer.

          SSL is a standard protocol for security that ensures that links between web servers and browsers are encrypted.

          Guaranteeing safe transactions involving credit card numbers, SSL also protects passwords and other personal information on e-commerce websites and beyond. The security offered by it has made it an indispensable tool for the online world in an age when more security breaches are happening.

          For this reason, search giant Google has this month upped the stakes on websites when it comes to SSL.

          Google updates SSL policy

          On 1 October, Google released an SSL update that enforces stricter measures against websites that don't provide SSL security. Starting this month, websites without SSL certification are now conspicuously marked as unsafe when visitors click on them.

          Since Google's Chrome browser claims 44.5% of web browser use this could spell disaster for websites without SSL.

          Google has been marking websites without SSL for some time using a red X in the browser bar. But this time, the warning has been made more visible, and could lead to visitors feeling unsafe and choosing to visit somewhere else.

          The update was made by Google to make sure customer data is protected. Users will also be made more aware of the risks related to sharing information over an unsecured website.

          Even though the warning will only appear on Chrome, for now, the sizeable traffic chunk should be enough for websites to start securing their websites. It's unlikely to take long for other browsers to follow Google's lead.

          Fortunately, it's not too late to acquire a strong SSL web security solution.

          Don't lose customers over SSL

          To make sure that your website is SSL-aligned, check how your web address looks in the Chrome browser bar. If it begins with HTTPS with a green “Secure” label, then you should be up to date. Websites without SSL will now be marked with a “Not Secure” designation in the browser bar.

          The update will be implemented on all HTTP websites, regardless if they have passwords, credit card data, or form fields or not.

          To avoid getting your users diverted to competitors due to an unsecure website, invest in an SSL certification. A variety of SSL solutions offered online meet the requirements needed for a “Secure” label. The prices and features vary from each provider, and there are different packages for everyone, from small businesses to e-commerce sites and bigger websites.

          Once you've purchased the SSL solution that fits your needs, make sure that your website is updated and the feature is properly installed.

          Find the best SSL solution for your website online. Start today and avoid getting pinged by Google. Remember that site visitors can be fickle and easily put off. Don't let them visit your site and see a visible security warning, or they might not stick around. Get protected.



          Announcing: Do It For You!

          By Jorisse G |

          Websites are basically virtual business cards, through which customers find information about your business and what it can do for them. Online is where many opportunities for businesses both big and small lie. This is why every business needs a website.

          Are you looking to launch your website but lack the technical knowledge to do it yourself? Do the time and money needed make it hard for you to decide how you can afford a good website?

          Then sit back and relax, because Do It For You is here!

          Why you need a website

          Most people these days go online to get local information, they use smartphones and computers to make decisions on what to buy and where. Businesses without a website can't take advantage of this opportunity.

          Having a website also gives your business legitimacy. You have the opportunity to show your customers how reliable and credible you are and why your offers will be of value to them.

          Websites have much potential when it comes to marketing, helping you build an online presence that will draw more people to your business. Through your website, you can gather information for lead generation and build your contact list of potential customers. More importantly, if your already have a physical store, people will likely wonder what your reason is for not being online.

          The small businesses struggle

          At Crazy Domains, getting you online is our thing.

          In the online world, your website is your number one business card, the key to getting more customers and building a reputation that can be seen in just a few clicks.

          A study by Clutch revealed that 25% of small businesses didn't have a website because of lack of technical skills, while 22% say they have a lack of resources to invest in a site.

          The same survey outlined the key benefits of having a website, including upgrading marketing opportunities from a local audience to a global one. Furthermore, a website is more cost effective than brick and mortar as more customers turn to the convenience of online shopping.

          If you are a small business struggling with the same issues, then the time has come for you to lay your concerns to rest.

          The game changer: Do It For You

          Do It For You makes things simple and takes the stress out of building your website. The solution helps you do your thing, while your website is created in quick time.

          Book your appointment with our team, get on the phone, and have your business website created in 20 minutes. The affordable solution gives you a web address, email, hosting and design and build in one go.

          Remember that your customers can't find you if you're not online. Learn more about Do It For You and how it can help you get started here.

          Book your appointment now! Our friendly web specialists are waiting to Do It For You.