Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Mobile Apps

Mobile AppsMobile apps are a bit challenging to produce, but they provide a great way to add value to the business-client relationship. You do not need to build your own app to be successful in mobile marketing. But if you have some extra cash and are feeling a little adventurous, you’ll find that creating an app isn’t that difficult at all - even for non-code speakers.

Here are several app development tools for ordinary humans:
  • AppMakr: This browser-based platform allows you to design your own iPhone app quickly and easily. You can use existing content and social network feeds to create different styles for your app.
  • GENWI: This tablet and smartphone platform allows you to create and manage your online presence on all popular mobile devices including iPad, iPhone, Android and HTML5 apps. Apps can also include revenue-generating capabilities such as ads, coupons and in-app subscriptions.
  • Mippin: It’s one of the easiest platforms for creating an app. It can be used for Android, iOS and Windows and can also provide a lot of flexibility in designing the app.
  • MobiCart: If you have an e-commerce site that you’d like to take to the mobile-sphere, this app builder will link up with PayPal to allow any business or consumer with an email address to securely and conveniently send and receive online payments.
  • MyAppBuilder: For only $29 a month, this platform will create an iPhone or Android app for you. All you have to do is to provide content (e.g., videos, images, etc.). Their experts will also upload your new app to the app store for you.
  • ShoutEm: This platform is ideal for bloggers, students, sports fans, news portals and local publishers. Again, you don’t need to know any code because the experts at ShoutEm will even take care of the iTunes and Android Marketplace submission process.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

SEO: Duplicate content 101

In simple terms, duplicate content refers to any website content that has been copied from an another existing source from the internet.

It's important that you shouldn't just copy content from somewhere else as Google will penalise you for this by lowering your website ranking in search results, or worse, remove you completely.

Below are some reasons why Google penalise websites for duplicate content.

First of all, you're breaking copyright laws by using someone else's content and placing it on your site. You need to ask permission from the author to use that content.

Web spammers are now more advanced and use programs to copy content from legitimate websites to populate their own websites. These websites are then used for malicious activity such as fraud or viruses.

The User
Providing the same content across many websites add no value for the reader and Google wants to provide the most relevant and useful information to the user.

To combat duplicate content, Google has an advanced algorithm that identifies websites that contain duplicate content. The latest change from Google in its bid to combat duplicate content was rolled out in Feb 2011 - called Panda. The Panda update aims to lower the rank of “low-quality sites” on search results and move higher quality websites near the top of the search results.

The best and easiest way to ensure your website does not lose its rankings is to continue to write new, fresh and unique content.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Creating content that your readers will share

Below are some tips on how you can create content that your readers will share with their network on social media.

1. Give helpful information.
Provide useful tips and information that people can pass on to their networks. For example, tips for management stress when on holiday, top tips for packing or best places to visit that no one knows about.

2. Connect with your network.
Post content, links or photos that will get your network connecting with you on a personal level. For example, if you are passionate about a particular charitable cause, let your fans know about it. Post news, photos, links and your supporters who will also promote your cause at the same time.

3. Entertain.
Have you ever read or watched something funny and shared this with your friends and family? No one wants to share boring content.

4. Get people talking.
Ask your fans questions and get them to post a reply. The aim of using social media is to interact and engage with your fans or followers and vice versa.

5. Give an incentive.
If you have any special offers or promotions, don't forget to add it to your social media pages and encourage your fans and followers to forward it to their friends and family.

6. Ask your fans to share.
It's as simple as just simply asking your fans to 'share'. Eg a message, photo or video. Ask them a question and ask them to share or like it if they agree.

If you would like more information on social media marketing or need assistance with TA Fastrack managing your social media pages, please call us on +61 7 3040 3588.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The differences between SEO and SEM

What is Search Engine Marketing (SEM)?

SEM, or Search Engine Marketing is the process of gaining traffic or visibility on, search engines through organic and paid search. A Search Engine Marketing campaign may include the following elements:
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Pay per click marketing, eg Google Adwords
  • Paid inclusion and trusted feed programs
What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimisation, also called SEO, organic or natural search focuses on search positioning and on-page optimisation as well as link building to get your website ranking on search engines. SEO is a long term strategy and will take longer to get results. Where your website appears on search results will take time, and will depend on industry competition and other factors that search crawlers take into consideration when ranking your site, eg keywords, unique content, meta tag descriptions, link building efforts etc.

What is PPC or paid search?
Pay-Per-Click marketing is when an advertiser bids on keywords associated with an advertisement in order to achieve a higher position on Search Engine Results Pages. PPC ads will appear in the sponsored links section for searches for that particular keyword. Your ad will usually appear on search results within a few hours (once you set up your ad and chose your keywords). PPC is flexible and allows you to adjust your spend depending on your budget and how much you want to spend on keywords. PPC campaigns can be activated or deactivated as you wish.

What is paid inclusion?

Paid inclusion is simply the practice of paying a Search Engine or a directory to add your website to its database immediately, rather than setting up that site so that it will be found by the Search Engine spiders on its own.

The pros and cons of SEO and SEM

Below are some of the key differences between SEO and SEM:

  • Organic search - it costs nothing to index your website on a search engine, but if you engage the services of an SEO company to assist with your rankings, you will need to pay a monthly fee
  • Paid search - you are paying on a cost per click basis. Click prices will vary depending on the keywords chosen and how many people click on your ad each day
  • SEO - You can't control where your website will rank and it will fluctuate day to day
  • SEM - you have control over where your paid ad appears on search engine results as this depends on how much you are willing to pay per click per keyword
  • SEO campaigns take months to get your rankings up on search engines - it is a long term strategy to get your website ranking on search engines
  • PPC campaigns are effective immediately
  • SEO - your website will show to all markets in the geographic area
  • PPC - you can target your ads to appear to a particular geographic area
We believe that using a combination of organic and paid search strategies will help your website perform better. Speak to our marketing consultants on 07 3040 3588 about our SEO and SEM services and how we can help your website rank on search engines.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Using the new Facebook timeline for your business

As you will now be aware, on 31st March, Facebook changed all business pages to the new timeline layout. But if you're still a bit confused on how it all works, below are some key points you need to know about the new timeline layout.

Timeline banner image
You can now include a large banner image at the top of your Facebook page to showcase your brand. However, please note that there are some strict guidelines about what you can put in the banner image. Your cover image is 851 pixels wide x 315 pixels high and can your logo, but it can't contain any call to action, 'like' instructions and it can't promote or sell a product. Eg 'like' us now to win, 50% discount etc. The banner can't be used to market your Facebook page, increase likes or market/sell a product or service.

Profile picture
The profile picture is 125 pixels wide by 125 pixels high. You can use your logo or an image as your profile picture.

The new Timeline layout means new visitors will automatically land on your timeline. They won't first arrive at your welcome or specific landing page, as was the case previously. The new timeline gives you the option to add more tabs or apps to appear under your cover photo. The photo tab is fixed and cannot be moved, but your other tabs/apps can show up here in this panel after the photo tab and the order can also be changed.

The width of the Timeline app page has also increased to 810 pixels. If you don't change the width of your design, the design will just appear centered on the page.

You can now highlight a post and it will display over the whole Timeline (2 columns) rather than just on one side of the Timeline. This is great for photos.

Pinning a post
The new timeline allows you to pin a post to the top of your timeline. A pinned post will stay at the top of the timeline for 7 days before it goes back to its chronological place in the Timeline. A pinned post is great if you want to promote a particular promotion/offer.

The Milestone feature allows you to paint the story of your business throughout the years. You can use the milestones feature to celebrate major achievements, changes to your brand, products or services or functions or events.

If you would like more information on Facebook marketing or would like a facebook app design, please speak with TA Fastrack on 1300 659 289 or visit www.tafastrack.com.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Using Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free tool that helps you understand how visitors interact with your website. Below are some of the key metrics you need to look at on Google Analytics in relation to your website

Bounce rate
The bounce rate refers to the percentage of website visitors who only looked at a single page on your website before leaving. The bounce rate is a great tool to analyse your visitor's experience on your website and whether they found the page and its content relevant and useful.

When a person enters a certain search criteria and links on your page, do they read the content and continue on to view other webpages, or do they simply leave straight away? Visitors will only stay on your website and continue to browse through other pages if they find what they are looking for and enjoy the experience. If they don't get the information they want straight away, they will leave.

A high bounce rate means that the content on your site is not relevant to the visitor. You need to make sure that your website is relevant to the search term that the visitor is using to find your site and your website has enough information to make the visitor want to stay and continue browsing through the site.

Time on page
The average time on page metric provides you with information on how long a visitor stays on the site and each page. This will help determine whether your site provides value to your visitor in terms of design, user friendliness and relevant content. The longer someone stays on your website the better. The aim is to attract the visitors and keep them there.

Pages per visit
The number of pages visited will give you an indication of whether your visitors are having a positive experience on your site. If they find the content relevant and interesting, they will continue to browse through other webpages.

If you find that visitors are not staying on a page as long as other pages, you may need to refine the content on that particular page.

For more tips on how to improve your website experience for your visitors, contact TA Fastrack on 07 3040 3588. If you need a new website design or need professional copywriting services, speak to TA Fastrack today for a quote.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Developing a social media strategy that works

Social media is a long term strategy that is used to build brand awareness over time.

Below are some tips on what you need to know if you want to get started with social media marketing:

Where are your customers?
There are so many social networks out there, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Digg etc. If you want to get on social media, make sure you only use the networks that your target audience are using. Do some research. If your customers are using Facebook, but not LinkedIn, there is no point in setting up a LinkedIn account.

Be Active
Social media works if you dedicate some time to it. Merely setting up an account and having an “if I build it, they will come” mentality won’t get you far. Once you set up your account, make sure you go on the site every morning, or every couple of days to post comments and photos, answer customer questions etc.

Have a Conversation with your customers
Social media is about interacting and engaging with your customers. Your customers want to know you're listening to them.

Share relevant content
Include links in your posts to drive traffic to your website, add links to videos or photos or news articles that your fans will find interesting. Include call to actions and links to your special offers.

Encourage your fans to share
The more people that see your content, the better and if they find the content interesting, they will share it with their network of friends. This will help increase your visibility and reach far beyond your fan base.

For assistance with social media marketing, speak to one of our marketing consultants at TA Fastrack today on 1300 659 289 or visit www.tafastrack.com.