5 website tactics to make Google love you

If you have a website, you’ll know how difficult it can be to attract enough traffic to it. Driving traffic to your website should include several tactics such as advertising and email marketing, but there is no doubt that search engine optimisation (SEO) is one of the most important things you’ll need to address.

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Book recommendation: Inbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing: Get found using Google, social media and blogs by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah Forget about traditional marketing techniques involving big wallets and pushy messages that interrupt people’s lives. Inbound Marketing promises to deliver customers to your doorstep (read: website) when they are actually interested in your product or service. Over the last couple of years, this book has become a classic that belongs on the bookshelf of every marketer and small business owner.

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Video: the Happy Secret to Better Work

This is a great video of a talk by Shawn Achor at a TED conference. Shawn is a positive psychology researcher, and in his talk he challenges the idea that we should work harder to eventually achieve happiness – according to him, this is backwards. Happiness should come first, and greater productivity at work will follow.

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Google AdWords Enhanced Campaigns: the most important changes

Google has just released a major change to the way AdWords will work: Enhanced Campaigns. Yesterday I attended a seminar in Melbourne held by Google to explain these changes to agencies managing AdWords campaigns for their clients. Enhanced Campaigns is already available if you do a manual upgrade, and within the next 4-6 months all campaigns will be forced to upgrade.

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How to get more bookings for your accommodation business (Part 3)

Part 3: Search Engine Marketing This is part 3 of a 4 part series on how to increase bookings for your B&B, hotel or other accommodation business. In part 1, we looked at online reviews as a way to get your customers to spread the word for you. Part 2 outlined considerations when listing your business on booking websites. In part 3 of this series we look at using search engine marketing as a business development tool.

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Does your website look like it’s 1999?

5 telltale signs it might be time for a revamp Websites have come a long way in the past decade, and if your website hasn’t had a redesign in the last 3-5 years, it will show. Having an outdated website is like not bothering to fix the broken letters in your neon business sign above your shop. A neglected website tells your customers that your business and products may also be outdated.

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How to prepare images for your website

Most modern websites are built on content management systems (CMS), which allow you to change the text and images yourself, rather than paying your web designer for every minor update. However, there are some pitfalls, particularly when it comes to the images on your website. Photos from your camera are too large for the web The images coming from your camera or even from your phone are likely to be far too large for the web, and you’ll need to prepare them before inserting them into your website. Uploading images directly from your camera will slow your website down as the file size is extremely large (commonly 2-6MB per image). Image resizing tools There are many tools that allow you to resize your images, including Microsoft Picture Manager, Picasa, iPhoto (Mac), and if you have the budget and need the advanced functionality, Photoshop. In addition there are many free image resize tools available on the internet. Pic Resize is a simple to use, free web based tool that allows you to resize and crop your images to prepare them for your website. Define your image size in pixels Image size on the web is measured in pixels. To give you an idea of scale, many websites are around 960 pixels wide. Therefore, images that are used to illustrate a page on your website will often be no wider than 200-300 pixels. If an image spans the entire width of your page or sits in a photo slide show, it may be larger, e.g. around 800px for some slide shows. Depending on your camera, your photos can easily be 4000 pixels wide – far too large for the web, so you may have to reduce the images size by 90% or more. Image resizing tools allow you to define a target size for your image, so you can simply type in the desired width and the rest will happen automatically. Reduce your file size The images I take on my camera are over 5MB in size. On a website, images should ideally be kept under 100kb in size. Sometimes a large image may have a bigger file size, and this can be addressed by reducing the image quality. However, quality comes first, so make sure your images look good, even if they exceed the ideal file size. For a larger image used in a slide show, up to 300kb is ok. Generally, the smaller the file size, the faster your website loads. This is not only good for the users, but also for search engines as they prefer fast websites over slow ones. When you resize your image to a smaller size, the file size will automatically reduce. However, some image editing tools such as Pic Resize allow you to specify your desired file size directly. Choose the right file format Your image resizing tool will give you a few different file format options. Here is a rule of thumb to help you choose: JPG – best for photos PNG – best for any graphics, as well as images that include transparent areas GIF – best for simple graphics without gradients, as well as for animated banners Happy resizing! I hope this post was useful and will help you prepare your images to keep your website running smoothly.

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How to get more bookings for your accommodation business (Part 2)

Part 2: Booking websites This is part 2 of a 4 part series on how to increase bookings for your B&B, hotel or other accommodation business. In part 1, we looked at online reviews as a way to get your customers to spread the word for you. Part 2 of this series looks at using external booking websites to increase your sales.

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5 Tips for Writing Website Content

The design and development of a new website for your business is often an exciting time – until you realise that you will actually have to sit down and write the content for your web pages.  Your web designer or…

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10 Business Wishes for the New Year

With a new year about to begin, it is time to reflect on what we hope to achieve in the next 12 months, and there are some things that we think every business will need. Here are our 10…

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