local directories

Boost Your Business with Local Directories

Don’t let your business get lost in the crowd

Yellow pages directoriesIt’s that time of the year again where we remind you about the benefits of good ol’ directories! Before the internet, we relied on finding services through the big yellow brick of a book we received each year. Thanks to the world wide web, we now find them stuffed under uneven table legs or as a booster seat. Today we find what we’re looking for with a click of a button. Does your business stand out?

In 2016, Google took away the right-hand sidebar where the paid adverts were displayed. Now the paid posts soar straight to the top, making it a tough battle for smaller companies to get noticed. Directories can be a cost-effective way to help get found via search engines. Being active on directories increases the chances of your business getting noticed.

Why updating your information is vital

yelp directoriesIt is important to keep your business updated in directories. If your business has gone through a recent change and you didn’t update your information, you could lose a lot of potential customers!

Never forget to NAP, this means not sleeping on the details. Make sure your Name, Address and Phone data is accurate and up to date. Location and accessibility are two of the most important factors when it comes to customers. If your telephone number is an old one and a customer can’t get through to you, they’re unlikely to try again. Likewise, if you were to put your address as a small town in South America, a New Zealand customer wouldn’t follow up with your business!

Pro tip: Check the directories your company is listed in and confirm your details are correct. Some websites take their information from others; resulting in a cycle of incorrect information.

Updated List of Directories

This year, we bring you an even bigger list of potential directories your business may be found in. Take a look to see where your business is listed and where it isn’t.

It’s the only thing standing in between you and your next big client.

NB: Not all directories will apply to every type of business, some are more specific to particular fields. (eg. Tripadvisor will benefit restaurants and hotels over a telecommunications company.)

 

Localist NZPages Verified Local Yellowpages NZ
Search local areas for shopping, restaurants,
things to do, popular services etc.
Collection of New Zealand websites for any business. Wide directory of businesses from all around New Zealand. One of the most popular directory for businesses in New Zealand.
NZ LOCALIZER NEW ZEALAND SEARCH ENROLL BUSINESS FINDA
A place with many New Zealand companies. Directory of websites, a search engine and New Zealand articles. Browse through local businesses and services of New Zealand. Find anything in New Zealand.
HOTFROG CYLEX EXPRESS BUSINESS DIRECTORY ZIPLEAF
A place for small business owners to tell the world what they do differently. Business directory across 35+ countries. A worldwide directory of businesses where you can update news and information about your products. Find local companies.
WAND YELP ZENBU KOMPASS
Worldwide directory of businesses where you have a wide range of features to promote your business. Easy-to-use global directory of services and businesses. Collaboratively edited directory of businesses and places that help you find anything in New Zealand. A B2B directory site to help you develop your business by generating sales leads.
TLBN 2FL SALES SPIDER BROWNBOOK
Free and paid memberships available to list your business. A worldwide directory of local businesses. An international website where you list products, compare businesses and leave reviews. A smaller global directory.
TRIPADVISOR WHERE2GO MYHUCKLEBERRY CYBO
A review driven site for activities to do on your holidays. A business directory where you can find many unique sites. A directory and an online destination for business information. Business directory to expand your global presence.
YELLO YELLO OPENDI FIND US HERE SPOKE
Helps local businesses and services present themselves. Business directory with big coverage in New Zealand. Global directory of businesses, organizations, clubs, and communities. Information of over 1.4 million businesses.
LACARTES MAPS CONNECT FOURSQUARE TUPALO
Find anything from local activities to exotic destinations worldwide. Add or update your company details on Apple Maps so customers can find you through the app. Find best places to eat, drink, shop or visit during your travels. Browse popular local attractions and see what other users think about it.
PATHLEGAL LAWLINK TOP DESIGN FIRMS RATEBEER
A directory of lawyers around the world. Create a personal profile and connect with and online attorney network. Reviews and rankings of design agencies around the world. Directory of beers, breweries, bars and stores around the world.

Customer Feedback and Reviews template email

I got this question from Quora and here’s the answer I submitted.

How can e-commerce companies encourage customers to submit reviews?

There are ethical methods and less ethical methods of getting client testimonials for ecommerce.

A bribe is not ethical – but people do it. Give us a review and get a coupon / discount / freebie.

Tools for encouraging reviews

There are paid services that encourage customers to submit reviews, or you can set up an automation inside your ecommerce shop (integrating with AgileCRM, MailChimp, TrustPilot or similar).

My preference is this: two weeks after the purchase, set up an automation in your email sending out a message. Sample messages are below.

 

Another thing you can do is buy a reviews service – SellerLabs is a good one for Amazon sellers. Learn more about this on eCommerceFuel | The Private Community for 6 & 7 Figure Stores

The links are very important. The three below are for a client and setting these up correctly is key. Get in touch if you’d like this set up for your shop.

Note that at the time of writing, Facebook’s terms of service expressly forbid asking for comments, reviews or tagging friends in exchange for free product.

Amazon also forbids offering free or discounted product in exchange for reviews.

Bonus:

Customer Feedback Email templates

Thank you for buying XYZ PRODUCT – we hope it’s arrived and everything is in order. Your experience is very important to us and we learn a lot from your feedback. Please tell us how we did by leaving feedback on one of the links below.

Google Review | Facebook Review

Thanks very much

And if you are a services company….

Your experience with XYZ SERVICE is very important to us and we learn how to improve our service from your feedback. Please tell us how we did on your recent job. We would love to hear your feedback.

Can you take a few moments to follow one of the links below and give us a review:

Blowing our Creative Agency Secrets trumpet

I’m inordinately proud of my team.  This is what they’ve achieved for our brand when you search for creative agency Auckland.

website traffic drop

“Why is my website traffic dropping?”

For any business using its website as a lead generation tool, traffic is essential. The more visitors you get, the more chances you have to make your product or service known, gain connections and promote your brand. This is why an unexpected decline in organic traffic is a terrifying idea, as it might result in fewer business opportunities and less income.

Whether it’s a technical problem, a new Google algorithm implementation or lack of content optimisation, there are several possible motives why your company’s website traffic numbers have been sinking lately.

For example, older websites have higher risks of being penalised by Google’s algorithm updates because of potential coding errors and obsolete practices still applied to some of the pages. That ‘keyword stuffed’ article you wrote in 2010 that brought a lot of traffic seemed like a good idea at the time. Now, it is definitely hurting your website on an apocalyptic scale.

Content is (a mad) king

We recently had a meeting with a group of young entrepreneurs who run MI6-HQ.com, a fansite dedicated to Bond, James Bond. (cue the music)

They expressed their concern with the MI6-HQ website traffic dropping like a stone over the past months and wanted our help to:

  1. Assess the possible reasons for the decline in visits;
  2. Come up with a few creative ideas to solve the problem, like a marketing version of Q.

Even though they offer really good articles (many visitors had lots of nice things to say on their Facebook comments), their search engine rankings and organic reach keep decreasing. There are multiple marketers that repeatedly state just writing “epic content” will drive traffic to any website, period. Unfortunately, that’s not the truth.

Don’t get me wrong, I agree that good content is essential. But if you publish it in a flawed website, you’ll have your king residing in a crumbling castle. That inspires no recognition at all and the results are totally unpredictable.

Google has a license to kill your audience

Google holds more than 74% of the search engine market share worldwide. That’s why you either play by their rules or fall into the internet abyss (a.k.a. Not the first page on Google Search).

We believe part of the decline in the MI6-HQ search rankings is that their website has been running for over 20 years (!!!) and most of their ‘ancient’ content might not have been updated regularly. A quick search (on Google, of course) shows that MI6-HQ.com has 15,500 indexed pages. It’s probably really hard to keep tabs on all of them individually.

mi6-hq indexed pages on google

Optimising websites is not a one-size-fits-all process. When it comes to web content that is already published, you have the option to improve or kill pages forever. In this specific case, deleting some of the older articles might be an alternative. Having fewer discoverable pages to increase your website findability can sound very counterintuitive, but I assure you, it works wonders for some people. Learning to let go is necessary sometimes.

Analysing your website performance is a laborious but rewarding task

There’s a lot of work involved in optimising your website. You might even say it’s a never-ending task, depending on your level of perfectionism. Nowadays, the competition online is cutthroat, so any edge you have over your competitors is worth the effort.

According to research by Moz blog, more than 70% of searches result in a page one organic click. The rest is diluted from the second page onwards. This just shows how important it is to aim for the top place of the search engine rankings.

5 Great Content Tools For Improving Your WordPress Blog

Content marketing nowadays rules a business’s marketing strategy, but good content is still hard to come by. Running a blog can help any business owner capitalize on site visitors and build their brand reputation. The advantages are numerous: an effective blog will appear higher in search engine results pages and keep guests engaged. Regardless of the type of business you own — whether it’s a personal brand aimed at attracting new clients or an e-commerce business — you’ll need a blog to support you. Your blog is the centre of all your content marketing efforts, and not only does it provides fuel for SEO, but increases your potential for customers discovering you online. Therefore, choose a catchy and relevant name when you buy a domain name.

In fact, one HubSpot study from 2015 found that businesses who blog are much more likely to get new customers, and marketers who prioritize blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy a positive return on investment. Whether you’ve chosen shared web hosting or a dedicated server for your WordPress blog, your content needs to take centre stage.

We’ve compiled some WordPress tools can help you make the most of your blogging content efforts.

1) ThingLink

With ThingLink, you can turn images into layered content that expands information. There are many use cases for this. In product marketing, users can deconstruct products to demonstrate to consumers how different aspects of its work. This is a great way to show how tech-based products operate; interactive elements allow users to click on different parts for a better understanding of the various parts operate. In e-commerce, you can also use it for creative interactive lookbooks. Take a look at the ThingLink blog to see how other businesses, like Allstate, are using this tool to create interactive media.

2) BuzzSumo

Running a blog is one thing, but ensuring you have the best ideas for every blog post is another. When it comes to your blog, it’s important to stay on topic and maintain a fresh content cycle. BuzzSumo helps you achieve this. Start by entering a topic into the search engine bar, and you’ll receive the most popular posts sorted by social shares. This is a great tool for beginners, who aren’t sure where to start, but it’s equally as good for bloggers who need ideas to add to the editorial calendar. With topics sorted by social shares, you can also glean insight into what’s popular in your industry or niche.

3) Atomic Reach

Atomic Reach offers uses with an AI-based tool that helps users understand what makes their content stick and what’s hurting it. Submit your writing, and the tool grows with you, providing telling information based on your target audience. Based on your topics, it lets you know what the best channels are for social sharing, publishing, and aids the entire content creation process.

The company’s founder, Bradley Silver, summed up the platform in an interview, saying: “Atomic AI enables anyone publishing digital content to pinpoint the readability level of their audience and guides them to write content specifically for that audience. When you match your content readability level with your target audience you see significant increases in overall engagement.”

The content maximization breaks down the reading audience into five different categories based on the subject matter and offers real-time insight into how to better the content and when and where to publish it.

4) Coschedule’s Headline Analyzer

Every blog post needs a perfect headline. But not everyone can create catchy titles that attract the masses. For some additional help, try the free online Headline Analyzer tool, which factors in several variables like length and word balance, and spews out a score. It will also show you what your headline will look like in search engines and email marketing subject lines. After all, the headline is the key to getting visitors to actually read your content and should be given special attention.

5) Infogram

Infogram is a plugin that allows users to add visually stunning interactive charts and graphs to their posts. The interactivity aspect allows readers to sort the data as they see fit. Whether it’s a financial chart or a geographic map, there are plenty of themes and design options to help creators import versatile creations. This also entices the visitor to stay on your page longer, and the longer a visitor stays on a page before leaving, the more valuable it appears to search engines.

Hope that gives you enough to try out on your own blog.

How Small Businesses Benefit From Digital Marketing

Running a small business brings worries for the owner from time to time. You want to make sure you are doing what is best for the future of your company but you probably have concerns about which options to prioritise.  Let us help you.

You are not always going to know how to complete your business goals without outside advice. Marketing your company in the right way can do wonders for public perception. Modern businesses use digital marketing and it really is effective at getting your company to new levels of online sales success.

Digital marketing trends are changing fast and it’s important to stay abreast of the latest ones which are relevant to your  business. By taking time to review these simple steps, you are going to give your company the best chance to reach a wider audience and continue to grow

Your website is your central location

Right away, one of the more important aspects of digital marketing for your small business is a modern, mobile friendly website.  Business websites have been around for years but a recent survey found that around 50% of all businesses in New Zealand did not have a web presence.  They didn’t even have a Google My Business listing!  FACT: not having a website works against your business.

If you want to make sure your business has a single, central location where clients, staff and potential customers can visit to learn more about what your company offers, then you absolutely must have a website. There are plenty of straightforward interactive tools you can use to create small business websites. All you need to do to get started is find a system that makes the most sense for your abilities. If you are new to digital marketing, you might find it helpful to work alongside a web designer to get a better idea of how to set everything up.

Social Media Trends

Outside of having a website, there are a number of other important digital marketing tactics. Social media has fast become one of the more powerful aspects of the internet. People use websites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to connect with consumer audiences. Businesses, likewise, take advantage of social media to connect with their customers in authentic ways. This means you definitely want to get on social media.  But beware the enthusiastic young adviser.  There are traps for the ill-informed.  It’s not something you want your 15 year old child to run for you.

Google Trends: Search for Social Media Marketing

Google Trends: Search for Social Media Marketing 2017-8

Social media outlets allow businesses of all sizes the chance to interact with customers in a comfortable environment. Customers can go to your social media page if they are attempting to contact you (using messenger apps) or are looking to learn more information about your products, services, or upcoming special deals you might be offering. Different platforms  offer a different set of advantages and disadvantages so you definitely want to take time to learn about each. Understanding your key audience demographic can make a difference in what social media platforms you end up using for your business.

Connect Now

Digital marketing is popular because it’s very cost-effective and the results can be immediate for connecting small businesses with customers. By creating your own website and using social media, you are giving your company a chance to get noticed and get the attention you deserve from potential customers.

Give yourself a bit of time to research the options and get this process started so that you might see the benefits for yourself.

Delete or Unsubscribe for mail list?

I checked our bounced emails report.  Do you want me to “unsubscribe” or “delete” them?  I’ve just “unsubscribed” a couple and then realised “delete” is also an option.  What’s the difference?

Also if a contact says “this address has been cleaned” there is no delete of unsubscribe option.  Why is that and what does it mean?

Cleaning mail lists 

This is a great question because list hygiene is an important (but frequently ignored) part of being a responsible direct marketer.  List hygiene is all about keeping your list up to date, as far as this is possible.  Now people move jobs all the time and so being 100% up to date is unrealistic – but each time you send out an EDM (electronic direct mail message) there will be people whose emails bounce or they choose to unsubscribe.

  • The unsubscribe option means they stay on the list as a historic record (they were once subscribed and now are not).
  • Delete is only suitable when someone has died
  • When they change jobs and their email address has moved domains, I don’t delete them, if they re-subscribe, I update their email address so you retain a complete record of their subscription (it’s just a new address for the same person)
Basically, if there’s the possibility that they might re-join your list in the future, it’s better to leave them on the list.  Similarly, if they change jobs and get a different email address, it’s best to leave them on the list and at a future date, change their email address.
So by leaving them on the list we have a “more perfect” record of history for that subscriber on your list.

Cleaned email addresses

Now, “Cleaned” means something different (in the language of MailChimp)
Cleaned contacts have addresses that have hard bounced, or repeatedly soft bounced, and are considered invalid.
So they have been permanently deactivated and in order to protect the spam sending record of emails sent through the MailChimp servers, they have chosen to not allow you to send to the ever again.   This is a defensive action on the part of MailChimp.  They have a lot of mail servers who send out the messages you book through their service.  Each time a recipient marks one of your EMDs as ‘spam’ this sends a negative message about that server and MailChimp act to protect their reputation in this way.

Internship experience at Creative Agency Secrets – John White

Hi, my name is John White and I am currently a university student majoring in Marketing and International Business. This summer, I had the privilege to be the latest intern for Creative Agency Secrets and I am grateful that I chose to do it. The motivation behind working as an intern here was to gain some real-life experience that I had lacked so far in my degree. Even though it was a short amount of time, I can truly say I have fulfilled my goals here with the help of Rebecca, Tabhitha and Conrado.

Different learning experiences

It is quite incredible to think that within a space of a month, I gained more experience and knowledge at Creative Agency Secrets than I have had at university so far. The team set me a lot of tasks for clients right from the start, which meant I was gaining the real-life experiences I craved. I was using email campaign tools such as Campaign Monitor and MailChimp to design campaigns for clients. I created blog posts for various websites, where I learned a lot about writing that I wouldn’t have even thought about. I even got to work on the back end of websites using platforms such as Squarespace, WordPress and Shopify. Other great marketing facets I got to experience included SEO, copywriting and market research.

Besides marketing, I learned a lot of about what is required to have a functional and a well-performing team. I quickly realised how important constant communication was to be efficient as a whole. Using tools such as ‘Teamwork’ and having stand-up meetings every morning, I always knew what my task was and more importantly, what everyone else was doing to make sure we were all on the same page. No matter what I do in the future, these sorts of experiences are invaluable and can be applied to whatever I do.

A big thank you!

All in all, I owe massive thanks once again to Rebecca and the Creative Agency Secrets team for giving me this opportunity. I now feel more confident in pursuing marketing jobs once I have graduated since I have experience working in a team and with various tools. Also, a massive thank you to Tabhitha who walked me through a lot of the different jobs I had to do. With everything being new to me, she showed a lot of patience, expertise and I always felt comfortable asking different questions!

I wish everyone all the best and hopefully, we will cross paths again sometime in the future!

Cheers,

John White

Kickstart business website user skills

Rebecca is running two webinars with CCH Learning designed for Business to Business organisations who need to ramp up their website as a marketing tool.

  • Setting a Website Strategy for Marketing Success: Understand the functionality your website needs & how to avoid common mistakes

Tue 27 Feb 2:30 PM NZDT
Setting a Website Strategy for Marketing Success 2018

  • Get your Business Website Working for you: Learn how to “drive” a website to get enquiries and visitors.

Tuesday 20th March, 2:30 PM NZDT

Get Your Business Website Working for you 2018

The first webinar will help you gain a deep understanding of how to write a website strategy, what to improve on your current website and marketing communications, how to test your website is working well.

The second webinar  teaches you the tools you need to assess the effectiveness of your existing website, and helps you to draw up a list of actions to improve its alignment with your business website strategy.

 

How to stop visitors from ‘bouncing’ away from your website

Most cases, you’d want visitors to stay on your site. Hopefully, they’ll explore other pages and, ideally, fulfill your desired conversion – whether it’s signing up for a newsletter or buying a product online.

If a lot of your visitors are ‘bouncing’ away from your website without performing any desired actions, you know it’s time to do something to reduce that percentage.

But where do you start? By signing up for our upcoming seminar, of course!

Event information here

 

What you’ll learn

  • Why visitors are leaving your website without any interaction
  • The top three things you can do to encourage visitors to engage with your website content
  • What tools you can use to optimise your landing pages
  • How to boost conversions and generate more leads for your business

Join us via video if you can’t make it in person

This event is based in Ponsonby, Auckland, but if you can’t make it, simply sign up for a video ticket instead.

Simply click here to book a video ticket!

 

Event details:

Thursday 1st March, 2018

7:30am – 9am

Breakfast, tea and coffee is included!

 

Ponsonby Community Centre, Glue Pot Room

20 Ponsonby Terrace

Auckland

 

Free on-street parking is available!