Monthly Archives: October 2013

SEO vs Adwords: What is better for your business?

SEO versus AdwordsEver since search engine optimisation became a catchcry for successful online businesses, debate has raged over whether SEO or pay per click adversiting (such as Google’s Adwords) work better.

And the answer is, it depends.

The benefits of good SEO differ from the benefits of a good Adwords campaign, but they each have their place in your online marketing strategy.

First, let’s look at SEO, which is all about your website being ranked high in Google (or other search engines) when people type in certain words in the search bar – words you have “optimised” your site for.

Good SEO – that places your site in the top five or so positions on Google – will bring a high level of traffic to your site, and thus more business. If you do not rank well, then you are missing out on new business opportunities.

The benefits of SEO

  • Seventy percent of internet users look to the left of a website page first – and that’s where your listing will be.
  • You don’t pay a cent when someone clicks on your listing.
  • Good SEO means pre-qualified traffic to your site.
  • SEO improves your online brand reputation, which again leads to more sales (and profit)
  • SEO is lasting, while PPC only runs for the time of your campaign, which means SEO can be more cost-effective.
  • If you have a well-built and designed site, search engines can easily categorize and index the pages on your site. You do not pay to be indexed.
  • You can monitor your SEO campaigns through a tool such as Google Analytics and tweak if necessary.

Now, let’s look at Adwords (and other PPC tools).

AdWords results are those you see down the right side of the page (and sometimes on top) when your search result is returned.  And when someone clicks on them, you pay Google a pre-detemined cost (depending on variables such as how competitive the keywords are.

Benefits of AdWords

  • AdWords can offer an immediate return on investment, while SEO can take longer.
  • There is no minimum spend, and once your budget is allocated, your ad simply won’t appear. And you can tell Google how much you will pay for each click.
  • You can target your ads specifically to people looking for your  product or service.
  • It is more cost-effective than such things as traditional printed material such as direct mail or press advertisements.
  • You can easily edit your existing ad and the changes will appear immediately.
  • You get brand exposure with each click
  • You can track any campaign through your analytics software (and detailed performance reports are available on demand.

So there you have it, a brief overview of the benefits of SEO and PPC (Adwords). Both will provide you with great online exposure and both have their pros and cons.

For best results, you can choose to both optimise your website, and ran Adwords campaigns to supplement your SEO.

For advice and information on SEO and PPC campaigns, you can’t go past Direct Sites Online. Call us today on 02 9557 7623 or email info@directsitesonline.com.au

 

11 common website mistakes you need to avoid

Common website mistakesWith around 300 million websites on the internet, it’s important that yours stands out – and is one of the “good” ones, that attracts visitors and makes them want to know more about you and your business.

So what makes a “good” website? Well, for starters, they have likely avoided these 11 common mistakes we often see in “bad” sites

  1. It’s not about you: the copy on your site needs to concentrate on what’s in it for the customer – not how fantastic you are or how many awards you have won. Visitors need to know exactly how you will solve the problem that is keeping them awake at night.
  2. Lack of a planning: Every website needs a strategy behind it, and needs to be consider the next five years at least. So before you even start, ask yourself why you have a website, and make sure you are clear on its purpose.
  3. Not capturing details: Once you have a visitor on your site, you should at least try to get them to give you their email address with a sexy opt-in offer.
  4. Flash: Apart from being so last decade, Flash leads to slow load times. Not to mention that neither search engines, nor smart phones, like it. So use Flash sparingly, if at all.
  5. Non-intuitive layout: If you need to tell people to drag and drop items to a certain place to read the content, then you have failed. No matter how fancy your site is, a new visitor should immediately know what to do when they arrive. So use simple, standard navigation – and keep it consistent throughout.
  6. Old news: If you decide to have a blog and the last update was three years ago, people will assume you have gone out of business. Also, promoting an event that has already been and gone looks unprofessional. And, remember, search engines also love new content, so try and keep it updated and fresh.
  7. No social media profiles: We’ve said it before, but we just want to repeat how important it is these days to have a social media presence. You don’t need to be everywhere, just pick a few key platforms that work for your biz and be active on them. Make sure people can like or follow your profiles from your website – and include icons which allow them to share your content across their profiles.
  8. Readability: It’s not just important to have content that people want to read, it’s also vital to have content they CAN read. So avoid low contrasts between text and background and please, please steer clear of white text on black background. It may look hip, but it is really hard to read.
  9. Stock photos: While it’s OK to use stock photos here and there, visitors generally want to know who they are dealing with when they arrive at a site. So get some professional photos take of yourself and your staff and upload them on to an “about” page at least.
  10. No analytics: In order to track progress against strategy, you need to monitor where your traffic is coming from and how visitors move through your site. The easiest way to do this is through Google’s free Analytics tool, which allows you to cut and paste code into your site so you can monitor visitor numbers and movement.
  11. Music or video on autoplay: People don’t want unexpected sounds to blare from their computer speakers – especially if they are surfing the net at work. It’s fine (in fact it’s great) to use video on your site, but please no autoplay.

If you need a new website, or your current website needs refreshing to eliminate the above mistakes, please give Direct Sites Online a call on 02 9557 7623 or email info@directsitesonline.com.au