Latest round of QLD Digital Grants opens soon
Business Queensland will be accepting applications for its Small Business Digital Grants Program again with round 3 of applications set to open mid-2017. The program offers matched funding of up to $10,000 for the purchase of hardware, software and digital services.
If you've been thinking about investing in digital technologies for your business, now is the perfect time to prepare for your application. With the $10,000 grant you could invest in:
- Website and content development (copy on your website's product pages, homepage, blog content…etc),
- specialised digital technology or software,
- training, marketing strategy, digital planning.
Proximity to Searcher is the New #1 Local Search Ranking Factor
I read an interesting article today by Darren Shaw at Moz.... it's all about how the google 'local' results (the ones underneath the google map above the Google organic search results) are now seemingly based on your proximity to the business, rather than their reviews, link building etc.
In the example below, the Local Search results (the ones under the map) are based on my proximity to the business. In this example, I am on a desktop computer so Google has had to approximate my position, and therefore Connected PlumbGas is ranked as 2nd, even though it is actually closer to me than the others. Interestingly, even though the Connected PlumbGas listing has more reviews it is not listed first, the business considered to be closer in proximity is. To read more about this, click on the link at the bottom of this article.
"It is interesting to note that in today’s results, as we can see in the examples later in this post, proximity is now a huge ranking factor on desktop (as well as mobile). Google has been going “mobile-first” for years, and is there really a difference in how they process mobile and desktop local results. You just see different results because Google can get a more precise location on mobile."
What does this mean? Click here to read the full article
The Importance of Keeping Software Up To Date
Source: Google Webmasters Blog https://webmasters.googleblog.com/
State of Website Security in 2016
First off, some unfortunate news. Google has seen an increase in the number of hacked sites by approximately 32% in 2016 compared to 2015. They don’t expect this trend to slow down. As hackers get more aggressive and more sites become outdated, hackers will continue to capitalize by infecting more sites.
Types of Hacks
Gibberish Hack: The gibberish hack automatically creates many pages with non-sensical sentences filled with keywords on the target site. Hackers do this so the hacked pages show up in Google Search. Then, when people try to visit these pages, they’ll be redirected to an unrelated page, like a porn site. Learn more on how to fix this type of hack.
Japanese Keywords Hack: The Japanese keywords hack typically creates new pages with Japanese text on the target site in randomly generated directory names. These pages are monetized using affiliate links to stores selling fake brand merchandise and then shown in Google search. Sometimes the accounts of the hackers get added in Search Console as site owners. Learn more on how to fix this type of hack.
Cloaked Keywords Hack: The cloaked keywords and link hack automatically creates many pages with non-sensical sentence, links, and images. These pages sometimes contain basic template elements from the original site, so at first glance, the pages might look like normal parts of the target site until you read the content. In this type of attack, hackers usually use cloaking techniques to hide the malicious content and make the injected page appear as part of the original site or a 404 error page. Learn more on how to fix this type of hack.
Joomla 3.7 Coming Soon
With over 700 improvements, including fantastic new features like custom fields, a multilingual association manager and an improved workflow, Joomla! 3.7 is clearly something to celebrate and it is easy to see why it has the Joomla! Community very excited.
New QLD digital grant available - dates throughout 2017
Are you a looking to build a new website? The Small Business Digital Grants Program provides small businesses with access to digital technologies and services to enable them to work smarter, engage with the global economy and make the most of online business opportunities arising from digital disruption.
Matching funding of up to $10,000 (excluding GST) may be provided to eligible businesses for the purchase of hardware, software and services (such as digital coaching). The business must show that the digital technology or service purchased and adopted will enhance the digital capabilities of their business and help them to be more competitive and employ more staff.
Payment will be made directly to the business on completion of the project and on presentation of proof of payment for the product or service. The value of the grant payment will be increased to compensate for any GST.
Today, most people are searching on Google using a mobile device. However, Google's ranking systems still typically look at the desktop version of a page’s content to evaluate its relevance to the user. This can cause issues when the mobile page has less content than the desktop page because Google's algorithms are not evaluating the actual page that is seen by a mobile searcher.
To make Google's results more useful, they’ve begun experiments to make their index mobile-first. Although their search index will continue to be a single index of websites and apps, their algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in their results. Of course, while their index will be built from mobile documents, theyre going to continue to build a great search experience for all users, whether they come from mobile or desktop devices.
Google understands this is an important shift in their indexing and it’s one they are take seriously. They’ll continue to carefully experiment over the coming months on a small scale and they will ramp up this change when they’re confident that they have a great user experience.
Run out of ideas for social media posts?
Are you struggling with creating fresh content for your social media channels? Do you feel like you're just posting the same sort of content over and over? This checklist might help you to mix it up a little, print it out and stick it on your wall as a reminder of some new ideas next time you're writing a post.
Pokémon madness has gripped the world
Pokémon madness has gripped the world! In one month the game has attracted more downloads and activity than Twitter or Tinder. Maybe you can be a part of this by buying lures for your business, a lure is a function within the app that draws Pokémon to a location for 30 minutes and costs $1.49, it could potentially bring in more customers. It won’t last forever so get creative. One real estate in Townsville was claiming, “Just across the road is a huge park with sporting facilities – and we’ve even spotted some rare Pokémon!” this is clever marketing.
Scammers - they are still at it!!
Thanks to our accountants Bentleys for this article which we took from their excellent newsletter .....
Unfortunately, scammers pretending to be from the ATO and demanding money or threatening that they have a warrant for your arrest and are going to send you to jail are still very active. According to a recent report, 40,500 of these ATO scams occurred between January to May in this year alone – netting the scammers $1.2M! Peta Grenfell even had a threatening message from the ‘ATO’ on her answering machine at home the other day. So what should you do if you receive one of these calls or emails?
If you have a tax debt with the ATO, chances are you’d know about it. In most cases, the ATO will call our office to advise us and give the opportunity to set up a payment arrangement on your behalf. While the ATO is increasingly contacting taxpayers directly, if they did happen to contact you about an outstanding debt then they certainly wouldn’t be aggressive, threatening or rude.
Are you struggling to create interesting content for your website?
We've stumbled across this pretty cool tool - Answer The Public. Ask the Seeker, enter your keyword and he'll suggest content ideas in seconds, and best of all it's free! Perhaps you are struggling to think of FAQs for what seems like a ordinary subject, or just need some suggestions that you can base your page content on.
Give it a go! http://answerthepublic.com/
How to Write Viral Headlines: New BuzzSumo Research
Source: Written By Steve Rayson on
Is there a formula to viral headlines? Are there words or phrases in headlines that particularly cause articles to be shared? For the past month I have been researching the headlines of the most shared posts in our BuzzSumo database. In this post I set out my findings, including:
- The common elements of viral headlines
- The top headline trigrams (three word phrases) shared on Facebook and Twitter
- The most powerful words used in headlines and how these vary across networks
- Eight ways to create your own viral headline
Common elements of viral headlines
The first aspect I reviewed was the common structural elements of headlines. In a previous review of the most viral posts of 2015, I identified a number of common elements to viral posts. These are outlined in the table below.
When I started reviewing the headlines of viral posts I found these elements occur frequently in the headline. I found it is common for a viral headline to include three, four and often all five of these elements. These headlines will be familiar to anyone who has browsed the most shared articles on BuzzSumo.
Here is an example headline from BuzzFeed which received over 650,000 shares and 2.6m views.
I could have chosen hundreds of similar headlines but this is typical and instantly recognisable. It may seem like a simple Listicle at first glance and we all know that list posts perform well. However, if we break down this headline in detail we can see that it contains all five elements common to viral posts.
Google to Boost mobile-friendly algorithim this May
Google said the update will happen “beginning in May,” and it “increases the effect of the mobile-friendly ranking signal.” Google said if you are already mobile-friendly, you do not have to worry, because you will not be impacted by this update.
Claiming for personal vehicle usage for tax year 2015 onwards
Claiming car expenses
From 1 July 2015 car expense deductions for individuals were simplified by reducing the options for claiming these expenses. From this financial year, the only options able to be used are the log book or cents per kilometre methods. The 12% of original value and one third of actual expenses options have now been abolished.
Additionally, the cents per kilometre method has been simplified to use a standard rate of 66 cents per kilometre, rather than a rate based on the engine size of the car.
As a result of this change employers who pay their employees a car allowance need to withhold tax on the amount they pay over 66c per kilometre.
Not sure how this affects you? Your accountant can help you determine how to best calculate your car expenses.
Source: Bentleys www.pwafinancial.com.au
Get on Google 'My Business'
Google My Business connects you directly with customers, whether they're looking for you on Search, Maps or Google+.
Give customers the right info at the right time, whether that be driving directions to your business in Maps, hours of operations in Search or a phone number they can click to call you on mobile phones. Google My Business helps you build a loyal fan base. Your customers can show their appreciation with ratings and reviews, use the +1 button to endorse your content, and re-share your Google+ posts across the web.
If you're a new business and need to show up on Google Maps, or if you're an existing business and still not showing up on Google Maps, then get registered with Google My Business today! It's free, and you will also get a Google+ page which you should update with content on a regular (weekly or fortnightly) basis.
Google Analytics Report - What is "beat with a shovel the weak google spots" keyword?
It may look strange, but there is no need to panic, there is no security issue in your site, and this won't cause any harm to your page, in fact, it never access your site.
For that reason, it is called Ghost Spam and can show up in different parts of your reports. Usually, the purpose of this type spam is to promote some page or drive traffic to a website, to sell SEO services or to redirect you to an affiliate page. In this case is to promote a search shell addon for Firefox.
With thanks to www.ohow.com for this article.
What is NAP Consistency? And why is it good for SEO?
Source: http://www.stlouisdigitalmedia.com/blog/local-seo/what-is-nap-consistency/ by Kyle ODonnell.
“How do I rank higher on the ‘maps’ section of Google or other search engines?”. Well there are many different strategies that can help your business’s presence on a search engine’s ‘maps’ section… such as verified information or the number and quality of reviews… but one of most effective ways is by creating what is called ‘NAP Consistency’ for your business throughout the web.
What is ‘NAP Consistency’?
NAP is an acronym for, ‘Name, Address, Phone’. NAP Consistency means your business’s Name, Address, and Phone Number are consistently listed the same across the web. Taking the NAP a step further, it is equally important to have your website’s address also listed consistently as well.
Why is NAP Consistency Good for SEO?
Search Engines are all about confidence… or is the search engine confident that a business and/or website going to be able to fulfill the needs of the person searching for a specific product or service. In order to build confidence with search engines businesses must ensure a search engine understands exactly who and where they are. Building on that Search Engines are computers… and computers are ridiculously detailed oriented. So when search engines are crawling the web they can – and will – notice even the slightest variations in a business name, address, phone number, and/or website address. These variations can hinder a search engine’s confidence. With that in mind, let’s go over an example… Let’s say your ACTUAL business’s name, address, and phone is: St. Louis Optometry Inc, 123 New Ballas Road, Creve Coeur, MO 63141, 314-555-5555. A few years ago, you signed up for an online yellowpages ad with a tracking number to track the phone calls the ad generated. The sales rep filled out the form to list your business as: St. Louis Optometry, 123Ballas, St. Louis, MO 63141, 314-555-5556. Last year, you verified your Google Places Account listing your business as: St. Louis Optometry, 123 Ballas Rd, Creve Coeur, MO 63141, 314-555-5555. Because search engines are ridiculously detail oriented, all three of the listings maybe considered different businesses and therefore lowering their overall confidence which can lower your ranking.
More .au options for all Australians or not – the pointy end of the naming panel process
The 2015 Names Policy Panel has released its draft recommendations about the use and allocation of .au domain names, the most notable of which is a proposal that Australians should be allowed to register domain names directly under .au (such as abc.au or myname.au). This has not been possible in Australia before.
Under the proposals, the current 2LDs would remain available (com.au, net.au etc.) but Australian entities and individuals would be able to register under .au, too.
“The main reason the Panel has recommended this change is that direct registrations would create more options. They include names that are shorter, more appealing and more memorable. They would make the domain name system simpler and easier to use,” said Derek Whitehead, Adjunct Professor at Swinburne University of Technology and the Panel Chair.
The Panel is clear that direct registrations would have some rules applied to them, to continue to maintain a standard that reflects the trust and security synonymous with the .au domain name space.
Having released an issues paper earlier this year, the Panel is releasing its draft recommendations for a final round of consultation before submission to the auDA Board, who will make the decision about whether it goes ahead.
Comments can be submitted in two ways and the closing date for submissions is Wednesday 30 September 2015.
Ph: +61 3 8341 4111
How to Know When Your Startup or Business is Ready for Facebook Ads
Facebook advertising is a must for just about any consumer centric company. The combination of reach (1.4 Billion+ people. Yes, let that sink in.), plus best in class marketing and advertising tools is unmatched.
The question is when do you introduce Facebook ads to your marketing mix? Facebook has evolved significantly over the past couple years. The strategies employed in years prior aren’t as relevant in today’s market, so it’s important to understand what you can achieve from Facebook today.
First, yes, organic reach is pretty much non-existent. The game has changed, starting from scratch is more complicated, and the strategies for growth are different in 2015.
Why are there spikes visits on my Google Analytics report?
Recently there have been reports of sharp spikes in visits reported by Google Analytics, this is seen as spikes in the sessions/users/visits graph in your monthly analytics report. If you look at the "Visits and Pages/Visit by Source/Medium" section of your report you will probably see a listing for social-buttons.com/referral which attributes for a fair chunk of your visits.
This is spam referrer traffic, they have never actually visited your site at all, they have just found a loophole in the Google Analytics system, and have randomly selected your Google Analytics ID and fed it to Google to create visits which are then counted. The object being that you will wonder who has made all these visits, and go and visit their site. Sometimes the site will be legitimate and be attempting to sell their service, other times their site will contain a trojan or other harmful code - do not visit the site! Because these spam referrals are not actually visiting your site, there is no adverse affect on your Google ranking (high bounce rates, when they only visit your homepage and then leave again will hurt your rankings).
Hopefully Google will find a fix for this issue shortly, and be able to filter out this information rather than including it in your reports. Until then, just ignore those visits in your totals.
Generate more traffic with good quality blog content
"Every article that you write should have a visible impact on your business, otherwise it shouldn’t be written."
Ever wondered what makes a successful blog? What should your articles be written about? Are you supposed to research a topic to write about? What is the point of the blog anyway?
Here is a useful infographic about writing content, the full article with explanations of the steps is definately worth reading, you can read it at http://bloggerjet.com/guide-to-strategic-writing/?utm_source=sendgrid&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=top10
How to provide a direct link to your Google+ review box
Need an easy way for your clients to leave you a review? You can include the link to leave a review directly in your email signature or mailout.
How to provide a direct link to your Google+ review box:
The direct link is a very useful and simple process. Simply add ?hl=en&review=1 at the end of your Google+ page URL. This can be used with any URL that directs to your Google+ page. eg https://plus.google.com/+WebcoastAu/about?hl=en&review=1 you can add an icon to your email signature, and link the icon to your review URL, or use it any other way that you like.
Content Quality Score: Google’s Best Kept Secret For Rankings
Primary Quality Factors
This article extracted from the following post: http://macedynamics.com/research/content-quality-score/
Quality and Quantity of Main Content
The quality of the main content can be determined by how well that content meets the purpose of the page.
For example, the purpose of an ecommerce product page is to sell a product. In order for the page to meet its purpose, the main content would, in a typical case, need to have the following elements:
- Product name
- Product images
- Product description
- Add to cart button
If these main content elements are present and they facilitate the needs of a person looking to buy the product, then the page would receive a good quality rating.
The second part of this quality factor, and is something referenced by both the quality guidelines and the content quality patent, is the quantity of main content.
Marketing your website content across the digital market
Have you just created a new page on your website which gives some great information about a new product or service that you are offering? Or have you just updated an existing page to include extra information? That's great, but wouldn't it be even better if more people knew about it? So how do you achieve that? Aside from posting on your facebook page, which, these days has a limited reach unless you pay to boost your post, what else can you do? Send an enewsletter to your existing customers? Yes, but what about the people who AREN'T your existing customers? How do you go about capturing them?
Here's a link to a very good article about digital marketing. It may seem a bit overwhelming, as there are so many good ideas. So why not tackle a few that sound familiar. If you already have a Google+ page, then try the posting to Google communities first, then work your way through the rest of the list.
Good luck, and remember, we love to hear your success stories!
Are you resisting Google+ ?
After what was an admittedly slow start, Google+ has been gathering pace and establishing itself as a major player in the social media field. So is it time for your business to take the plunge or is Google+ just one more unnecessary endeavour?
Getting into Google+ With Google+, you’re not just looking at a social network – you’re looking at a way to integrate seamlessly with a huge number of other Google products. From Hangouts and Talk to YouTube, you can link your business’s Google+ page to a wide variety of other channels – allowing you to build brand presence and give potential customers more ways to get to know you.
Why consider signing up? Google is being smart when it comes to social integration – it offers incentives so you will sign up to as many of its products as possible. For example, the Places function on Google Maps is being replaced with a location feature that’s connected to a Google+ profile. This means that if you want to make sure your business is highlighted on all-important maps, a profile may be a necessity. Google+ is also known to be a factor when it comes to local carousel results – something that can have a huge impact on your traffic.
How Google Search Works
Here's an interesting video for people just starting out with having a website built. Helps you to understand how Google indexing works, and why it is so important to have good content on your website.
Facebook site ownership when buying a business
Question: You recently bought a business but the vendor refuses to handover control of the Facebook page used by the business. It has a good following so it is an important way for you to get work. What can you do about it?
Answer: The Standard Contrract for the sale of a business promoted by the REIQ and the Queensland Law Society does not cover this. Your lawyer should have included a Special Condition requiring the vendors to make you an administrator of the Facebook page so you could then remove them and take control yourself.
For further information regarding special conditions in business contracts please contact: Geoff Matheson (07) 32235901 email@example.com or Harold Littler (07) 32235912 firstname.lastname@example.org .
Source: Master Plumbers magazine, February 2013, page 20.
Using Pinterest for your Business
Here is an interesting video on how Target uses Pinterest to promote their brand, there are some useful tips to be gained for all businesses.
Key highlights are:
- Pinterest - a creative way to show how products and style fit into the lifestyles and personas of guests.
- A never ending mood board of the things - places, design, food, quotes, style, patterns that your business loves.
- Platform to engage with guests by repinning and liking your images.
- Heavy on editorial images, light on product-only images.
Can I rely on my Registered Business Name alone to register a com.au or net.au domain name?
As of 28 May 2012, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) set up a new national register, which replaced the existing eight state and territory registers, simplifying business names registration in Australia by offering a single national service.
This means that new business names registered after the 28 May 2012 will no longer have a state-based business number (i.e. VIC BN12345678).
auDA’s position is that it is acceptable for the registrant of a com.au or net.au domain name to rely on their Registered Business Name alone, without having to provide any other identifier such as an ABN or ACN. In this case, the Registrant and Eligibility Type and ID fields in the registry database can be left blank. The registrant name must be the legal entity (individual or company) holding that Registered Business Name, as shown on the ASIC Business Name Register.
How to create a business listing on Google Maps
Here is a great 10 minute video on how to create a business listing on Google Maps.
What format of logo should you use in Word?
We have found that the best clarity of images and logos is obtained when you use a .png image. Jpegs and Gifs tend to become blurry when inserted into word documents.
What is Google Pagerank?
Here is a really good article all about Google page rank, what it is and why it is important. In essence, inward links are like votes, and votes are a GREAT thing for your website and it's ranking.
Do your business a favour and read all about it at.....
Google Analytics keywords report says "not provided"
The following is a very good report on why Google analytics reports for keywords are increasing showing a large percentage as "not provided". This article is a direct copy of the article written by Mike Allton at http://socialmediatoday.com/mike-allton/1209631/why-google-hiding-your-keywords .
More and more business owners have started to recognize that Google is no longer providing all of the keyword data that it used to within Google Analytics. If you monitor your website analytics regularly, you may have noticed that your Keyword report is showing more (not provided) than other keywords. This has search engine marketers and business owners more than a little concerned! Why aren't these words being provided, and what can we do about it?
What's the big deal?
A large part of Internet marketing has to do with keywords. A keyword is a word or phrase that an individual types into a search to retrieve a set of results. As businesses, we want to identify what keywords our potential clients are using to find businesses like ours, and then perform actions to increase our chances of being ranked higher for each specific keyword. This is the cornerstone of search engine optimization.
For example, one of the keyword phrases that I target is "St Louis Internet Marketing Company" as I have determined that my target customers may use that phrase to find a business like mine.
That's fine that I think that's a good keyword phrase, but is it really? Will customers actually be looking for that and visit my site? This is where the Google Analytics Keyword report is so valuable because it will show you the keywords that actually drove someone to your site. If I find a lot of visits from my target keyword then I know I chose well. If not, it may be because either my site is not ranking well enough for that phrase, or there simply aren't enough people actually searching on that phrase - either way, I have some more work to do.
5 Tricks to Improve Your Google Maps Listing & Ranking
SEO backlinks for your website
Search Engine Optimisation: 17 ways to build great back links for your website
Back-links are the currency of the web. In the same way that dollars are the measure of financial wealth, back-links are the measure of web wealth. Not only do back-links increase the number of direct visitors to your website, they also help propel you up Google’s ranks.
Unlike traditional marketing where information is published one day and gone the next, information tends to stay on the web forever. A popular article will continue to attract back-links long after it is published!
Internet keyword scam
We have received several queries from our clients regarding a scam which is doing the rounds again. This one is relating to internet keywords, and the company that is sending you the email is trying to protect your internet branding/trademark by contacting you first to see if you want the china/asia based domains. The email goes something like this:
Increasing the exposure of your business
As your website provider our aim is to keep your site performing as well as it should… this means that the sites should remain up to date with their content, and rank well so that your business can be found on the internet.
With this in mind, there are several things that you can do. Start with listing your business in some online directories. Be aware that when you create a listing with some of them (especially the free ones) you will get a phone call from them trying to up-sell you to a paid listing, offering you their google ranking service etc etc. At this stage you don’t need any of that, you are just wanting the free listing!
SEO basics for your website
Time and time again we are asked by prospective clients "How do I get my website to rank well?". The answer to that is long and complex, but here it is in a nutshell.
SEO. Little word with a lot of power!
Latest News / Blog
- Latest round of QLD Digital Grants opens soon
- Proximity to Searcher is the New #1 Local Search Ranking Factor
- The Importance of Keeping Software Up To Date
- Joomla 3.7 Coming Soon
- New QLD digital grant available - dates throughout 2017
- Mobile-first Indexing
- Run out of ideas for social media posts?
- Pokémon madness has gripped the world
- Scammers - they are still at it!!
- Are you struggling to create interesting content for your website?
- How to Write Viral Headlines: New BuzzSumo Research
- Google to Boost mobile-friendly algorithim this May
- Claiming for personal vehicle usage for tax year 2015 onwards
- Get on Google 'My Business'
- Google Analytics Report - What is "beat with a shovel the weak google spots" keyword?
- What is NAP Consistency? And why is it good for SEO?
- More .au options for all Australians or not – the pointy end of the naming panel process
- How to Know When Your Startup or Business is Ready for Facebook Ads
- Why are there spikes visits on my Google Analytics report?
- Generate more traffic with good quality blog content
- How to provide a direct link to your Google+ review box
- Content Quality Score: Google’s Best Kept Secret For Rankings
- Marketing your website content across the digital market
- Are you resisting Google+ ?
- How Google Search Works
- Facebook site ownership when buying a business
- Using Pinterest for your Business
- Can I rely on my Registered Business Name alone to register a com.au or net.au domain name?
- How to create a business listing on Google Maps
- What format of logo should you use in Word?
- What is Google Pagerank?
- Google Analytics keywords report says "not provided"
- 5 Tricks to Improve Your Google Maps Listing & Ranking
- SEO backlinks for your website
- Internet keyword scam
- Google Maps
- Increasing the exposure of your business
- SEO basics for your website