New Website Needed for Business Coaching Professional

The website has to portray the client’s professionalism and be a strong institutional platform to establish the brand as worthy of their prospects’ trust.

Of course, it has to be fully mobile friendly and take SEO elements into consideration.

An easy to use CMS like WordPress is suggested, but a custom website can be discussed if the price is not prohibitive.

Most likely, the sitemap will contain those 6 pages:
– Home
– About
– Services
– Blog (not yet decided)
– Resources (downloadable checklists and white papers)
– Contact

Timeframe:

To be ready around February / March 2017

How does Sub-Contracted Services Work?

We send you a brief against which you do a quotation.

We send your quote to the client who makes a selection.

You deal direct with the client – bill direct – brief direct.

Creative Agency Secrets does not take a fee from you for this work, nor do we want you to pad the quote in order to pay us commission.  Transparency is key as it builds trust.

We are frequently retained as project managers for the job and so you will find yourself working alongside us.

Are you an agency needing more work?

If you are an agency or a freelancer looking for the easiest way to get new client work – you’ve found it.

Join our “Sub-Contracted services email alert”.  Enter your details below and you’ll automatically be emailed every time we have new projects available.

Enter Your Email To Receive Our Latest Projects instantly.

 

Why Whitespace Matters in Web Design

Your website is a valuable marketing asset.

So it makes sense to invest in its design to make it better for potential prospects. In fact, many of the largest companies pour a tremendous amount of resources into their websites. Because even a single design can have a dramatic impact on conversions and bounce rates.

But it is also important to remember that a simple design is key to driving conversion goals.

Cluttered designs with poorly contrasting colours only serve to confuse visitors. Your website design should be readable and easy to understand so that visitors have an intuitive sense of what to do next.

One way to create a more enjoyable browsing experience is to implement whitespace. The use of whitespace is perhaps one of the most important elements of web design. Yet there are still a countless number of websites that look like an infomercial with elements that bombard new visitors.

Here we look at whitespace in more detail and how this simple design principle can boost engagement on your pages.

What is Whitespace?

Whitespace refers to negative space, or the empty space between elements on a page such as images and text. In other words, whitespace is the portion on page that is not filled up. Although it is called “whitespace”, the empty space can actually be any colour such as black.

Perhaps the best example of whitespace is Google’s homepage:

Google homepage

Other businesses including Dropbox make ample use of whitespace on their sites:

Dropbox Business Page

Now contrast those two examples with this website:

Gates N Fences page

It is not immediately clear what the business offers or what actions visitors should take.

Just with a simple comparison, the advantages of a clean design is immediately apparent. Whitespace may seem like a waste. But as we have seen, it can be used to great effect and keep visitors on the page longer. And this can ultimately mean the difference between exceeding sales goals or struggling to meet them.

Why Whitespace Matters

Whitespace is advantageous for the following reasons:

  • Improved legibility: Nothing is more frustrating than landing on page with text that is too small or with minimal line spacing. Improved legibility is one obvious benefit of whitespace. Just by adjusting line spacing and adding more space around images can help visitors better understand what they are reading. This is key to boosting engagement and reducing bounce rates.
  • Ability to highlight CTAs: Imagine if Google’s homepage was filled with links to other pages or other elements such as banners. Both would likely have a negative impact on the number of search queries, which is the last thing that Google would want. Making use of whitespace then is a great way to highlight call to actions and get visitors to take a single action.
  • Creates a lasting impression: There is a reason why some of the largest invest heavily in their website design. Because online users are quick to make impressions based on what they see. Whitespace is especially important as it adds a sense of elegance to your site.

Less is more as whitespace can really make a difference in terms of your website design.

A clean interface makes it easier for visitors to immediately grasp what a page is about and what actions to take next. The goal for any website is to keep visitors engaged and generate more sales or leads. Whitespace helps to achieve those objectives.

The use of ample whitespace is a basic web design principle that can dramatically improve your website performance in terms of conversions. So take a closer look at all the aspects of your website to identify how you can make your design simple and uncluttered.

 

 

 

bad linkedin, location obscure, fake profile

Do Consumers Need to Know Where Our Business is Located?

Today’s always-on global world could make your business location seem to be an irrelevancy.  But the opposite is true.  Local marketing is now the fastest-growing part of online marketing specialisms.  And it matters.  Let me explain.

So here are 3 examples for you to use when considering international website domains. 

Feel local but act global

A client asked “We operate in Australia and New Zealand and not sure whether our NZ target market (women 25+) will find our Australian connection appealing or a turn off, given how very passionate and patriotic us Kiwis are! I’m getting mixed messages when I ask around.

We don’t want to hide our Australian connection, as it’s very important and where the business was born, with a fascinating story behind it, just not sure whether to include “Australia” and “New Zealand” optional buttons on the landing page to split off there, or if it should perhaps only appear as an option when you need to click on “events” or “locations” etc. that have information relevant only for each country?” 

What should she do?

My advice is to use a single web domain as the master site for both countries and then to have separate pages for the two locations. Here’s why.

Aussies versus Kiwis – Broadly they are correct, New Zealanders want to think they’re seeing local information (and importantly local currency and phone numbers) and of course small differences in language and rugby club orientation may also come through in brand communications over time.  Do Australians eat afghan biscuits?  Do Kiwis eat chiko rolls?

Your Website Strategy

Ultimately the solution you choose MUST be driven by the strategy for each country.  Is the website a place where people find out about you, get news on specials and what’s new, will they email you, will they phone you?  If yes, then the website must facilitate separate information for each site.

Set the strategy for the website first, then worry about the technical implementation.

Take a look at this case study of some work we did for a client who needed his visitors to quickly split up into pages best aligned with their needs. 

apartment specialists website redesign

Driving visitors to the right landing page focuses traffic

A strategic solution

The home page says what the business brand is all about – the owners, your values and passions.

Then you have a “What’s On NZ”  and a separate “What’s on AU” button that take visitors to what is effectively a home page for that location……

I would treat the NZ page effectively as your local domain and give it a really simple URL and so all links to the New Zealand business go there first.

An alternative to this location split is to have parallel websites which have slightly different domains e.g. nz.yourwebsite.com and au.yourwebsite.com   You often see this device used by international law firms and accountants.  This can be set up by your web hosts.

In practice this means few visitors go to the home page…. but that doesn’t really matter as long as local audiences are being served.

A poorly executed country strategyPerth-or-Thailand

By contrast, we got approached by a Perth business asking to do some content marketing with us.

They sounded like a good prospect and we fixed a phone call.  I rang, answerphone with an English man’s voice…. so I looked him up on LinkedIn and it turns out the business name is BusinessName (Thailand) Co.  Which rang a few alarm bells.

And his stated location was Manchester, UK.  Clearly a disconnect.

When we spoke he said although their phones were VOIP and used Australian numbers; he was actually based in Thailand and he couldn’t make outbound calls to international numbers like mine in New Zealand.  As any Aussie or Kiwi business will tell you, it’s extremely odd not to be able to phone the other country while doing business.

Now let’s look at a third scenario

Nimbus Portal Solutions are a client and they trade in five jurisdictions – Australia, United Kingdom, New Zealand, USA and South Africa plus “Global” to pick up the rest of the world.  

Their chosen solution to the website location question is to locally identify the IP address of the visitor and to quietly re-set the website version to the domain best suited.  So my default goes to NZ.  You can check this top right in their website where a country name displays. 

The main goal for Nimbus is to ensure all the currencies are local and bank account / trading entities switch to match.  Which is important for their business as jurisdiction for secure document storage matters – borders and locations of server hosting are aligned to the local country to stay within data protection laws.

In summary – set the website goal first and the supporting strategy will then drive the solution which works best for your situation.

This article first appeared in Marketing Online Magazine

SEO Case Study

SEO Case Study: From Second Page to Second Place in Two Weeks

Google now processes over 3.5 billion searches per day, every single day. No wonder 10 out of 10 businesses want only one thing: to appear on the first results page for keywords related to their industry. This kind of visibility is the promise of a tonne of organic traffic, new leads and sales.

In this case study, you’re going to see how we used SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) to push a client’s website from the second page of Google to the second position on the first page, for the desired keyword in the whole of New Zealand.

Come to our breakfast event on the 6th of April and learn the steps on how to do the same for your own business.

What's the real benefit of being on the first page of a Google search?

Well, I'm glad you asked. According to data from the Moz blog, "71.33% of searches result in a page one organic click. Page two and three get only 5.59% of the clicks.". That means if your website is not ranking on the first page, you lose almost 3/4 of the audience. Imagine you have the opportunity to pitch your business to 10 new clients and, as soon you enter the meeting room, 7 of them just stand up and leave, without you saying even a single word.

Very frustrating.

Have a clear goal in mind

Our client, Baucher Consulting, a specialist tax advisor office in Auckland, wanted to increase the amount of relevant traffic on their website, consequently resulting in more queries for their services. We discussed this necessity and defined the solution to be, primarily, an improved effort on on-page SEO. After researching on the Google Keyword Tool for specific keywords pertinent to the client's industry and services, we targeted the keyword "nz tax advisor".

Google Keyword Planner

When you buy a desired product, sometimes going local is not a major concern, and ordering from overseas is commonly the case. But services, on the other hand, tend to be a lot more "geographically sensitive" for most of us. If I offered to buy you dinner tonight and asked you to choose a good restaurant, you would Google "best restaurants in [city you live in]", right? You don't go just "best restaurants", because a suggestion in another country, let's say, is not really helpful. I offered you a meal, not a plane ticket!

Mixing the prominent keyword tax advisor with some localisation as nz just covers the user's natural behaviour when researching for professional services nearby. Besides, it also gave us a nice long tail keyword to work with.

What we did to improve the client's website SEO, step by step

After a brief Google search, we discovered the client's website was ranking in the 12th position for the targeted keyword. It's not a bad position if you think about raw numbers. However, apart from all sponsored results, a standard Google search shows you only 10 organic results (unless you change this in the options panel). This result was leaving our client on the second page, the internet equivalent of a wasteland.  Luckily we've been working with this client for quite a while now, so just some fine tuning was needed on the website.

First, we included the long tail keyword as the "title tag" on the homepage, where we could previously see only "Baucher Consulting Limited".

Baucher Consulting title tag on Google search

In other words, "title tag" is what shows on that big blue link beside the name of your website on  a search result. It is, in fact, bluntly obvious as a major part of the decision-making process for a person to click on your result or not. Also, we included the keywords in the meta description (the text below the website address on the image), while explaining the services more deeply.

However, working with a single keyword all over your website is not recommended as it can be interpreted as keyword stuffing. In Google's own words, keyword stuffing can be defined as "repeating the same words or phrases so often that it sounds unnatural". In the past, this practice was all the rage and several websites used this brute force technique to break through to the top positions. Google's algorithm learned from it and is heavily penalising websites that still do that owing to the fact that it "results in a negative user experience".

Having that in mind, we diversify the content all around the website using similar expressions to the "nz tax advisor" search query with the help of Google itself. And how do we know other keywords that are related to our search in the great oracle's brain? Easy. Google spills the beans right in front of our eyes, just at the bottom of every search:

LSI keywords for NZ Tax Advisor

Noticed how we used the word "specialist" in that meta description I showed before? It came from these insightful suggestions. Also, "personal tax advice" is an amazing keyword to target in our current website copy.

The result of our changes

After only two weeks, we performed the same search on Google for "nz tax advisor" and got this result:

Baucher showing in 2nd position on Google search

Yeah, baby! Yeah!

 

A lot more SEO optimising to come

SEO can never be seen as an isolated project but a perpetual work in progress. The competition for the first places in search results is fierce. That's why we still have more cards up our sleeve and a few optimisations aligned to Baucher's website are still coming. Now that our client's website made the jump from the 12th to the 2nd position on the Google search, there's only one way we can go: straight to the top.

Come to our breakfast event on the 6th of April and learn the steps on how to do the same for your own business.

Image and Tone: The Essentials of Marketing

These are two of the most important aspects of marketing a brand. If you fall down in these two connected areas, then you will fail as a business. I’m going to explain why they need to be done well and the individual benefits of both of them.

Brand Loyalty

This is the big picture that you need to be aiming towards and image and tone are the main players in making this happen. If you can foster brand loyalty in your customers then you will stay on top of the world for as long as you can maintain that loyalty. The best example I can think off is Apple. The loyalty that the Apple customers feel is bordering on the psychopathic as you just have to look at the detestation they outwardly feel whenever they see an Android phone – even though many Androids are better than Apple phones. They look upon a Sony user like you would if a rabid dog came and urinated on your kid. This is all to do with brand loyalty. Whenever they need a new phone, they will go straight to Apple and the thought that other people have something different both baffles and sickens them.

Image

Your brand image needs to be consistent. This is how you present yourself to the world and your customer base. You need to find an image that works and stick to it. The image needs to sum up your business succinctly and make it recognisable. If your brand image stays consistent across your entire business, then people will respond to it well, because they will recognise it, which will give them positive feelings, because if there’s one thing people hate, it’s newness. People want to know and trust their brands and so by keeping up a strong image, brand loyalty will start to grow like bacteria.

Tone of Voice

This is directly tied to your image, but is separate enough that it gets its own section. There is an interesting article here about the tone of voice used for fashion chains. It’s an interesting concept, but it’s all about how you present what you want to say as a brand (which is why it’s related to image). The article uses J Crew as one of its examples and how it presents itself as knowledgeable, but treats its customers like normal people and not fashion experts. Having this tone of voice means that people know where they fit in with a shop like that; perhaps if you spend your life at fashion shows, it’s not for you, but if you like fashion and want a bit of shopping but aren’t an expert, then the place is for you.

Most forms of marketing require skilled professionals to help you, however when it comes to brand loyalty, only you can know what is best for your business. Yes, an agency can offer advice, but at the end of the day only you know how you want to be seen in the world.

New business development year planning

New Year Marketing Planning – resolve to do this!

Ready for next year?  No, of course you’re not.  This is normal.

But you intend to get ready and to plan your marketing, don’t you?

Make those resolutions happen by booking in to our January 2017 Marketing Year Planning Workshop.

Join us for a Marketing and  Business Development Workshop to help you get your year plan sorted!

What Will I Get Out Of It?

We’ll walk you through our 8 Step Business Development Methodology, which will create a detailed plan of activities for the year that will drive new leads into your business and position you to achieve your goals for 2017.

You’ll also learn tips, techniques and marketing tools for your business which are vital to your modern marketing success.  These are tried and tested as we do them ourselves and for our clients.

Join our Group Workshop Session on 26th January 2017 in Auckland for $500.00 + GST.  This fee is per business and so you can bring 1 colleague with you.

Build your business development plan for the next year and guide your business towards success.

This workshop is for business owners and managers who are responsible for finding new clients and growing revenues.  It will show you the practical, tried and tested techniques that the Creative Agency Secrets team uses for its clients.

You will learn:

  1. How to create a unique company profile.
  2. A check list of marketing activities .
  3. New business pipeline analysis and tracking template.
  4. What you need to do to get better known in your industry.
  5. Learn relationship building for getting and keeping long term clients.
  6. How to spot opportunities for new business sales.
  7. The business process that delivers leads.
  8. What to measure to track progress.

Each attendee will take home a high level plan for their business – planned through the year with month by month activities.

Testimonials from Nov 2016 attendees

“It was good to be in the group and to feed off Rebecca’s comment and experience. I don’t record leads and whether they were successful and that will definitely be useful in future.” Nicola Manning, Nicola Manning Design

“I enjoyed it.  It was definitely worthwhile.  I thought it was a good bunch of people and it was very interesting.” Dave Sauvage, Sauvage Design

It was really good and I will do a strategy accountability partner each month.  I am going to leave my paid mentor group and do this instead. I have to get into the headspace to actually go back and review everything and set goals for each month. The wide range of people was very good especially the male female diversity. Jo-Anne Hitchcock, H Architecture

“I thought it was useful and when people are at different stages that’s interesting.  I could do a few things differently which is partly a time thing. Beneficial – I got out of it as much as I could.”  Jeremy Sutton, Jeremy Sutton Lawyers

What’s a typical response rate for personalised B2B direct mail?

What’s a typical response rate for highly personalised B2B direct mail? What provider would you work with? I’ve heard of Enthusem and Pebblepost.
It’s a well designed card with their logo, name or website on it.

Logo for Enthusem

Logo for Enthusem

Your response rate for B2B direct mail depends on a couple of things

  1. What you’re selling and whether the recipient has heard of you or has the need right now for your product/service.
  2. If you are already known, you can get response rates over 10%, particularly if you are trusted.
  3. One way to improve your “response rate” is to do a follow up by telephone to check they got the message and to elicit a reply verbally.
  4. You will get the best results by working with someone experienced in Direct Response Mailings. This is a skilled position – do not expect high % returns without expertise in creating the mailing asset. If you’re inexperienced buying direct mail services, I suggest meeting a few agencies for a “Chemistry” meeting where they will show you their work and ask you about your business needs. This will educate you about the process and likely outcomes.

Lastly, both the services you suggest seem good, I’ve not used them. But a competent Direct Marketing Agency (like Creative Agency Secrets) will do a similar job of customised direct mail pieces as these businesses. Which may be much cheaper. It depends on how big your database is as to which is a good / cheap option.

We use our 8 Step New Business Development process and each has a category – this blog post is related to Step 2 – Marketing Communications and Step 3 – New Business Pipeline

Click on the icons to see more posts in each category.

Symbol for marketing communications symbol for new business pipeline

 

 

This answer was first submitted on Clarity.fm

Testimonial & Case Study from Apartment Specialists realtors

We worked with Creative Agency Secrets to streamline our website and the customer experience.  We have two major client types – buyers and sellers.  The team helped us to filter website visitors so we could present different messages to each audience and drive engagement with the right team member from Apartment Specialists.

Andrew Murray, Apartment Specialists after a website assessment, CRM implementation and re-write of marketing communications (ebooks) to capture email addresses from website visitors and drive traffic to key landing pages.

Case study of realtor website improvements

What was neat about the solution we found for Andrew is a quick way to filter the website’s visitors using prominent buttons on the home page.  The image below shows the percentage of website traffic going to each of the three destination pages.  46% of visitors want to buy an apartment – these folks don’t need to discuss how to sell or value an apartment.

apartment specialists website redesign

Driving visitors to the right landing page focuses traffic

And now look at the previous attempt to segment the traffic – it’s still on the site but the most valuable customers (those wanting a valuation prior to selling) are not clicking on the links at all.

Ebooks drive fewer clicks for Apartment Specialists

Ebooks drive fewer clicks and nobody clicks the online valuation box.

So why is the offer of an ebook not compelling?

We analysed the website traffic and sought to understand the “buyer personas” of visitors.  When an apartment owner is thinking of selling the first thing they do is to get their property valued. Hence the need to put valuation front and centre of the offer.

But an ebook explaining the process and showcasing the skill of the team is not enough in itself to get visitors to click.  Many don’t want an ebook – but they do want other things.  There were no clicks on the left box which offered valuations.  This was a problem for the firm.

Creating a landing page with ALL the information a buyer, a seller or a seller wanting a valuation needs was the solution – the ebook is also offered there but so is a tonne of other useful data including podcast episodes, contact details and other resources appropriate for their needs.

Interestingly, the top menu includes a link to “buy” but this gets only around 3% of all clicks whereas the big button has 300% more.

Result?  More clicks, more valuation enquiries.