65 Sleeps to Christmas!
The rumours of my death were wildly exaggerated 😉
The merger with the new parent company is almost ready for the November launch and I thought as I take a break on this marvellous Friday that I’d take a look at the top trends affecting small businesses on the web for the financial year that ended before the calendar year rushes towards us!
Firstly let me say THANK YOU to everyone in our extended business family – we love solving your problems and we love all the great responses. You have no idea how much your words of thanks put smiles on the team’s faces. You are why we are here.
Scams, SPAM and SEO
sometimes they are combined in one email all wrapped up in a bow of pretty statistics baiting you with sales spiel. I got the chance to catch up with all things spammy by reviewing the support tickets we’ve received over the last year and those SEO SPAMMERS are going strong so I thought I’d go over some tips to help you spot when they are yanking your chain.
Before you reply to them, google the part that says “this is what we found wrong with your website” by copying a line of text or two and pasting into Google. OMG – thousands prf websites are getting reports of the exact same problems…. suuuuuure… 10,000 websites have the exact errors yours is reported to have… or you’re being sent a copy of a copy of a copy of a SCAM letter.
I’ll let you be the judge 😉
So is there GOOD SEO?
Well yes, but for a price. We aren’t SEO experts. We’ve never claimed to be, in fact until 3 years ago we were paying SEO experts to help us rank our websites ourselves. Then we tested the advice of a new employee, Sasha, who said she had worked for a Google Approved SEO company and that we should try exchanging half of our SEO budget and put it into SEM and SMM (paid ads in search engines and social media) The results were dazzling! All those years we’d been spending between $700 – 1200/month on SEO between out main money-earning websites and in one month, spending half the amount, we increased our traffic by 700 times! We hired Sasha and the rest is history. So while basic SEO is important we keep putting our money back where it works – paid targeted advertising.
Where you invest is your choice, but as I always say – test, test, test and ALWAYS get at least three quotes from people who have helped people you know!
It amazes me how many people get one quote, buy it because of a sales speil and then complain about their decision in a year. Seriously? When I had my fence installed in our second house, I had 5 companies quote not just for price but so I could ask them if I could call one of their clients or look them up online.
BUT above all and this is in every business course I have either taken or since becoming a trainer myself, have taught… The best way to get traffic to your website or business generally is to make sure you are testing what works yourself.
Yes YOU reading this right now.
If you own a business you don’t leave everything to others, you test it. Or you review the tests your staff are doing.
Owning a business is not a passive endeavour. That quote is from my first business trainer and it’s been ingrained in me every day I’m at the helm of a project.
I sometimes forget that not everyone reading this has completed an up-to-date business course, such as Business Management or Micro-Business Management (Certificate courses) or degrees… and if you’re unsure of basic strategies in a digital world – the Aussie Government gives great subsidies on attending one of these courses – talk to your accountant about the money you can save and tax incentives for training staff.
The key point that tells me when a business leader has not got this basic understanding under their belt is when they point fingers for every problem assailing them. It’s always someone else’s fault.
Don’t be one of these people.
It’s your business – own it
Own the responsibility of knowing the basics. At least knowing how to test results and how to track where your website and social media customers are coming from.
3 Golden Rules
1 – Learn from OTHER people’s mistakes.
Wow, this one is so simple but why do people think that they are invincible to making the same mistakes as someone else if they do the same thing?
Remember what Einstein said about repeating the same actions expecting a different result? Yep – insanity
2 – Don’t wait until it’s perfect!
Google, Skype, Windows, Apple all release things when they are good enough because they know they need to suck before they are told what sucks the most by their customers! That’s what patches are for! This is 2017 not 1987, dont wait until it’s perfect before you release an App or website.
Yes, test everything you do release, and please, please please have regular feedback loops in place… but you don’t need to release it with all the features you imagined when you thought up your brilliant app idea or How-To book on photography or catching bugs or making coffee.
3 – If you think you are the only one who knows what your business needs to be doing – KNOW that you are wrong!
This is linked to rule 2; you need your clients’ input or you’re not putting out the right services or products…
But you know what? I’ll go one step further.
You only need to have the input of your best clients. The 20% of your clients who give you 80% of your profits but not just profits, the 20% that value your advice and work.
Wish the others all the luck in the world as they leave; they aren’t the customers for you and no amount of wishing will make your business everything to everybody.
I’ll include a 3.1 rule here.
If your best clients want you to change in a way that’s different to what you imagined, listen. If the clients that are holing you back suggest a change… listen but wave goodbye as they do.
And yes, I’m even eating my own advice on this one. This was the last year we are doing more than 3 website rescues/year. The reason is because a staggering 95% or more of our complaints come from unrealistic expectations from people getting something for almost nothing.
I would love to help more people, but as I saw when I was away sorting things out for the merger in the USA – the people I left behind to hold the fort were the ones who had to cop criticisms from people given subsidised help (such as when a website costs $7,000-8,000 to fix and we charge between $1,000-$3,000 under the Website Rescue umbrella) and they feel they should get something not even covered by the Rescue’s invoices or scope of work… Me personally? I have thick skin, writing books means every time you get an edit back, your work has to be changed – if I cried every time an editor hated my draft of a book, there’d rivers instead of published books…So complaints are water of my “drake’s back” but when I come back and find staff who donate their time to make Website Rescues work have been in tears from rude emails… well my giving nature kinda dries up for them and I realised they are just not my clients. They aren’t really part of the family. Probably nice people, but they will be more comfortable somewhere else.
But let’s get back to the good news! FREEBIES for all you wonderful people who ARE part of the family!
Now the FREEBIES!
We now have over $6200 worth of premium WordPress themes, add-ons and plugins that you can use for free. Yep, free! They were purchased with server or development licences that allow you to use them as long as your site lives with us – pretty simple and it works!
So if you want to add some bells and whistles to your wordpress website, let us know first as you might be able to do it for free or at least save a lot of money!
Give us a call or email, we’re happy to help.
We have over 134,000 stock photos and vectors available, again they are licensed to our hosting so if you have a website with us, you can make use of them, just drop Kimberly or Alina an email about the type you are looking for BEFORE you pay for a stock photo.
Have a special you want to go out to the world?
A service you can deliver anywhere or just some news to boost your brand?
To coincide with the Aussie Marketplace project, we’re working on a news syndication service that will help you promote your press releases for anything you can imagine. For the moment, this is for those involved in the Marketplace launch but it will be available from November to everyone – Stay tuned!
– Cheers, Trent
As always, let us know if you need help with any of the suggestions above and all the best until next time!
Thanks for your support this year, I hope we’ve made your business life a little simpler.