WEBSITE DESIGN & ONLINE MARKETING

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A Beginner's Guide to Payment Gateways

Written by Andrew Wassenaar on August 29th, 2016.      0 comments

Payment Gateways

What is a payment gateway?
A payment gateway is the final step of the sales process on an ecommerce website. It’s the form in which a customer will input their credit card information in order to complete a purchase. Technically speaking, a payment gateway is a piece of software that is connected to a server somewhere. This software has to be extremely secure as it transmits payment information back to the server, which then communicates with banks to facilitate transactions.

How does it work?
The payment process usually occurs as follows:
 
  1. A customer places an order by clicking ‘checkout’, ‘submit order’ or something along those lines.
  2. They then proceed to the payment stage where they will have to input credit card information into a form. The payment form can either be embedded on the original website, or the customer will be redirected to an external form hosted by the payment gateway provider. This form will be protected by SSL (secure socket layer) encryption.
  3. Wherever the form is hosted, the payment information (which includes credit card details, amount of transaction etc) will be sent to the payment gateway provider, again, encrypted with SSL.
  4. The payment gateway then forwards the transaction information to whichever payment processor is used by the merchant’s bank.
  5. The payment processor then forwards the transaction information to whichever bank issued the customer’s credit card.
  6. The bank then responds to the payment processor with a transaction approval or rejection.
  7. The payment processor forwards this result to the payment gateway, who in turn, forwards it to the website merchant and cardholder.
  8. This process usually takes only 2-3 seconds and results in the ‘transaction approved’ message being displayed.
  9. The merchant then fulfills the order and the banks handle the actual transfer of funds which can take 2-3 working days.
How to set up a payment gateway

Step 1: Before you can set up a payment gateway, you’ll need to set up a business merchant account with your bank. This is the account that all the payments will be transferred into. If you are already a retailer, you should such an account already.

Step 2: This step can be completed at the same time as Step 1. While you’re talking to your bank, ask them for a ‘merchant facility’. This will allow a payment gateway to connect directly to your bank account and deposit funds into your account from orders processed through your website. 
 
Remember: Ask exactly which credit cards will be able to be processed through this system, as some banks may have certain restrictions.

Step 3: Speak with your payment gateway provider to set up an account and link your bank accounts with their software. You may want to take this opportunity to ask any questions you might have about implementing their software into your website.

Step 4: Now that all the accounts are set up, you can integrate the payment gateway into your ecommerce website. Obviously this can take some technical knowledge, so should be done by an experienced developer to ensure everything is secure and will work properly.
 
Are payment gateways secure?
Major credit card companies (Visa, Mastercard, Amex etc) have set certain requirements for organisations that handle their payments. These requirements are known as the ‘Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, or PCI DSS.

There are 12 requirements in total:
  1. Install and maintain a firewall configuration to protect cardholder data.
  2. Do not use vendor-supplied defaults for system passwords and other security parameters.
  3. Protect stored cardholder data.
  4. Encrypt transmission of cardholder data across open, public networks.
  5. Use and regularly update anti-virus software on all systems commonly affected by malware.
  6. Develop and maintain secure systems and applications.
  7. Restrict access to cardholder data by business need-to-know.
  8. Assign a unique ID to each person with computer access.
  9. Restrict physical access to cardholder data.
  10. Track and monitor all access to network resources and cardholder data.
  11. Regularly test security systems and processes.
  12. Maintain a policy that addresses information security.

Most major payment gateways on popular websites are kept safe and secure. Websites hosting their own payment gateways however, may not have to comply with all the requirements. Laws will vary by country as well. United States federal law does not require organisations to comply with PCI DSS, for example. If you are processing your own payments, the security of the transaction is your responsibility and you may be liable for any breaches. Think about what your customers want/need when deciding how to set up payment processing for your website.

Many payment gateways also provide tools to automatically screen orders for fraud and calculate tax in real time prior to the authorisation request being sent to the processor. They use various methods to achieve this such as geolocation, velocity pattern analysis, blacklist checks, delivery address verification, etc.

Direct Payment Solutions (DPS)
DPS evolved from CSD, the software development company which produced and certified several leading processing solutions including the OCV Server (which was subsequently licensed to Ingenico), ANZ and St George banks in Australia, and PC Eftpos (the first integrated Windows POS / EFT-POS solution). In 2000 the PC EFTPOS technology was spun off in a multimillion-dollar deal to the ANZ bank and DPS replaced the legacy OCV Server with a next generation, zero hardware solution: Payment Express.

Payment Express is a leader in payment technology and offers a range of secure solutions to businesses with their PCI DSS compliant services. They are certified with Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB, Discover and Diners. Payment Express is one of the largest integrated EFTPOS and ecommerce switching providers in the Asia-Pacific region, and are certified in over 10 regions, with multiple banks.

Zeald has a long-standing relationship with Payment Express and is also a Payment Express Premium Partner, enabling us to provide our clients favourable rates, high levels of service, and plans tailored to suit a range of payment gateway needs.

If you need help setting up a payment gateway on your website, or have any other questions about ecommerce websites, please request an audit from our Google Certified experts.
 

What to look for in a website developer

Written by Andrew Wassenaar on August 15th, 2016.      0 comments




There’s a lot to think about when it comes to deciding on who will define your brand online. It’s important therefore to make the right choice of website developer. You want to make sure they understand you, and more importantly your company, in order to convey your message as accurately as possible. Even if you have all your content ready, it’s not as simple as clicking upload and watching text and images come together to form a beautiful website. So what else is there to do? Why do so many businesses enlist the help of digital agencies to help them set up their online presence?

The decision is usually based on the following factors:
  • Price
  • Ease of use
  • Scalability
  • Ongoing support
For a website to be successful, it needs to be done right. That’s why businesses will often turn to the experts. With such an array of options available when it comes to website design, it can often be hard to make the right choice. So let’s take a look at each option, and hopefully, the answer will become clear.
 
DIY
There are numerous options available these days that enable you to have a crack at website development yourself. WordPress, Shopify, and even Zeald’s own product 'Tripledash' all exist to empower the average computer user with the tools needed to create a basic website. While this may seem like the cheapest option, you will still need to select a software package, purchase the software, learn how to use it, and spend the time creating the website yourself. The time and effort spent on this can quickly multiply and end up costing you a lot more than expected. When choosing a website developer, you also have to look at the cost over time, not just the upfront build.

This DIY method is often used as an initial attempt by small businesses or startups, simply due to cost. Unfortunately, the results are often lacklustre, and these businesses often end up enlisting the help of experts in the end regardless. The reason for this is that it takes a huge amount of time to learn not only how to use the software, but also to understand the techniques and methods used to make your website a success. Professional designers and web developers usually have a tertiary education and/or years of experience.

That’s not to say that this option won't work for you. Every business has their own specific requirements, and if you believe a DIY solution can fulfil these requirements then by all means, give it a go.

ACQUAINTANCES
So your aunty heard you’re looking for a website developer and “totally has a friend good at computers, has hundreds of YouTube subscribers and can like, fully build a website for you”. Avoid these situations at all costs! Unless you have seen evidence of what this person can build, and know that they are organised enough to see a project through to completion, then it just isn’t worth the hassle. 

Time and time again business owners are let down by acquaintances or ‘friends’ who “will get on that right away!”. They wait and wait, and rarely see a complete website of any kind, let alone a successful one. 
 
LONE WOLVES
A lone wolf web developer is any one person that offers a complete website build (and sometimes enlists their friends to help out). A lone wolf developer can have certain advantages, however quality can vary wildly. Who knows, you may come across a talented developer just starting out, eager to prove themselves, who puts a lot of effort into building you a quality website for an affordable price. Sadly, this is not commonplace.

A successful website requires a rare combination of artistic, technical, online sales and marketing skills. These skills are not often found in one person, and if they are, they will have been garnered from years of experience. Needless to say, these people probably aren’t working as solo developers; a large agency will be quick to snap them up. A one man band will have a weakness, and it’s not fun for any business to find out what that weakness is by becoming victim to it. 

WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT AGENCIES
A dedicated website development company specialises in the ideation, construction and development of successful websites. They have the combined knowledge and experience of multiple website professionals and the ability to tailor a solution for your specific requirements. Just like a rugby team has specialist players in different positions, a website development agency will have specialist experts in different areas like graphic design, website customisation, and copywriting. This team dynamic ensures the finished product has a certain standard of quality across the entire site. Of course, different agencies will have differing levels of quality, so business owners will definitely have to do their due diligence before deciding who to go with. 

The benefits of going to an agency with your website needs are similar to the benefits of doing business with any large company. Large companies are often large because they’ve produced good work and get a lot of business as a result. Experience plays a huge factor as well, as they may well have worked with similar businesses in the past and know exactly how to bring about online success in your industry. The fact of the matter is, you are most likely going to get the best results from a website developer that knows what they’re doing, and you won’t be able to enlist their help without a significant investment. 

One of the biggest advantages to enlisting the help of an agency, is the level of ongoing support. As your website evolves and develops (as any successful website should), things will break. Having someone there to help you in these situations is invaluable for any business. Look at testimonials on the website of your prospective web developer, or attempt to talk to existing clients to get an accurate idea of the level of ongoing support. This assistance isn’t just required when things go wrong either. If you need help making any sort of change to your website, a team of developers are going to be able to get this done much more efficiently than any other option.


The same advice applies no matter which path you might take. Make sure you do your research, and actually use the websites that your potential developer has built. Don’t just look at pictures of their designs. Create accounts, click all the links, maybe even purchase something from websites they’ve built. Read case studies to learn how these websites have helped businesses get results online. You’ll soon learn who makes the websites that would work for you and your business. Generally speaking in regards to website development, and many other similar industries, you get what you pay for.

At Zeald, we take pride in providing online solutions for businesses and budgets of any size. Discover how we can help your business by chatting to our Google certified experts, or requesting a free, no obligation audit of your current website.
 

Google AdWords Update

Written by Maria Lenzy Lala on August 3rd, 2016.      0 comments



ATTENTION ALL ADWORDS ADVERTISERS:
Google search ad content is about to double! 

Just last week Google released Expanded Text Ads, the updated format of Standard Text Ads. This may sound like a generic update, but it could be the change that takes your brand to the next level.
 
What’s changing?
To give you a refresher, let’s review what Text Ads are. 

Text Ads are Google’s simplest ad format which appear at the top, bottom and at the right hand side of search results. With the update however, they will only appear at the top and bottom. These ads are composed of three main parts: the headline, display URL and description.  

Here’s what’s new:
Upgraded components Standard Text Ads (STA) Expanded Text Ads (ETA) Benefit
Headlines 25 characters 2x 30 characters More prominent headlines and room for creativity.
Display URL 35 characters 2 paths x 15 characters Domains are now automatically extracted from your final URL. Two URL paths can now be customised.
Description lines 2x 35 characters per line 80 characters A single, consolidated description line improves the overall ad design.

 
 You can see the visual differences here:

sta-and-eta

Google has implemented these changes for three main reasons:
  • Improved user experience.
  • Mobile focussed design.
  • Consistency across platforms/devices.
Google will cease to approve ads in STA format, and fully implement the ETA format by October 26, 2016.
 

The Dangers of Changing Website Platforms

Written by Andrew Wassenaar on July 21st, 2016.      0 comments

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When a business looks at changing their online strategy, we find that they often turn to look at their website. Subsequently the words ‘redesign’, ‘revamp’ and ‘rebuild’ start flying through the air. They’re not wrong either. A business website is an online hub that all other digital marketing should point towards. Online advertising, videos, social media; these should all push viewers towards the website. From there, it’s up to the website to convert visitors into customers. An effective website therefore, is the most important part of an online business strategy.

A business will look at website redesign for one reason: their current website isn’t achieving the desired result. Depending on your setup, and the options available, you may find yourself wanting/having to switch website platforms. This is where it gets complicated.

Every website is built on a specific platform. You may have heard of a few popular ones like WordPress, Drupal, Magento, Shopify, or even Zeald’s own product: Zest. The main differences between these platforms are behind the scenes in the source code. When moving from one to another, it’s not a simple as copy and paste. Think of it like moving house. From an observer's perspective it may look like it’s as easy as picking up everything you own and putting it in your new home. But anyone who has done this knows that it’s not that simple. You may have to switch your gas stove out for an electric one. Your California King bed might not fit through the new bedroom door. Your double door fridge might not fit in the new kitchen space. The same goes for switching website platforms; certain features or customisations will have to be completely reprogrammed to integrate correctly with the new systems.

There are multiple things that could potentially go wrong when changing website platforms, depending on the complexity of your current website. Not all of these can be predicted either. The purpose of this post therefore, is to ensure that you are aware of certain areas that need special attention when changing website platforms. It’s not an exhaustive list by any means, but hopefully it can point you in the right direction.

Google rankings

This is the main concern when businesses go through a major website redesign or platform change. You’ve probably spent time and money already on optimising your SEO. Businesses don’t want to lose their hard earned spot in search results when switching to what is essentially a brand new website. There are a number of tools available to help you with this, but the thing to remember is to let Google know what you are doing. You can do this through your Google Webmaster account if you have one (which you should). 

AdWords

While we’re talking about Google, we should mention AdWords at the same time. If you are serving links to your current website via AdWords, you’ll have to check if these are working for the new website. If the URL has changed at all, it will break. Things like remarketing tags will also need to be looked at during the transition.

Broken URLs

As you know, your website contains internal links to help visitors navigate your website. You’ll need to make sure they’re all working correctly on the new site as well. An easy way to keep track of this is to build a sitemap of your current website (another thing you should have already) to compare to the new one. There are also web crawlers available that you can use on your own site to build a list of current links. Go through each link on the new website and make sure they work as intended. 

Inbound links

After you’ve made sure all the internal links on your website work correctly, you’ll also need to make sure external websites linking back to your site are also functioning. Perform an inbound link analysis to see a list of other websites linking to your content, and set up redirects if necessary to make sure people aren’t going to get error messages when trying to access your website. Using 301 redirects during this process will ensure visitors are landing on the correct page and may help individual web pages maintain their rankings.

Responsive design

We’ve covered the importance of responsive design in a previous blog post, so all we’ll say here is: make sure your new website is working correctly on all devices!

Analytics

Check your website analytics before switching over to the new website and note down your pages that see the most traffic. If you aren’t planning on copying the old website identically, this will tell you which areas of your website are most important. Analytics will tell you which pages are visited most often, which landing pages are most effective, and which pages are externally linked most often.

Customisations

Remember the analogy about moving house? If you have a piece of furniture custom built for your current house, it may be difficult finding a place for it in your new house. The same applies to websites. Anything custom made for your website most likely won’t work properly on a new platform. It’s important to factor in the time (and cost) this will take to move across.

The general rule when it comes to major changes to your website is that the more complex your website, the more complicated it becomes to change things. If you’re looking at switching website platforms, or redesigning your website in general, our Google certified experts can give you an idea of what’s involved through a free website audit.

 

Why do you have a website?

Written by Andrew Wassenaar on June 30th, 2016.      0 comments

WHY DO YOU HAVE A WEBSITE-


Ask yourself a few questions: “Why do I have a website?”, “What does my website do?”, “Is my website getting the results I want for my business?”. Most of us know that businesses these days need a website in order to be successful, but you also need to know exactly what you want to achieve in order to maximise results.

Let’s start from the beginning. When people come to see us about building a website, the first three questions are often the same:
 
  • How much will it cost?
  • How long will it take?
  • What will it look like?

In order to answer these questions accurately, we’ll usually respond with some of our own:
 
  • What is your business objective?
  • What do you want your website to achieve?
  • What do your customers want/need from your website?

We use the answers to these questions to help define business goals for your business. By defining your goals at the start of the project, we can give you a clearer picture of cost, time frame and what the end result will look like. Deciding on these goals will also give you a greater chance of achieving them in the long run. So what do you want a website for?

Here are some common goals:
 
  • Attract new customers.
  • Provide customers with vital information (event info, documentation, libraries etc).
  • Gain marketing leads for an email database.
  • Promote products and/or services.
  • An online store where customers can purchase your products.

The second thing we need to do is make sure all parties involved have a clear picture of what the customer wants and needs. Putting ourselves in the mindset of a customer will help us understand this. We need to design the website and specific elements around the customers’ needs, which will ensure we create a more user friendly experience. While we do this, we find synergies between the business goals that were decided on earlier, and the customers’ needs that we’ve predicted. At Zeald we also take into account digital best practice for your specific industry, and learn from what has worked well for similar businesses. In doing this (and a few other tricks we’ve picked up in our many years experience), we have a solid foundation for a successful website.
 
Many of you reading this will already have a website for your business, but can’t say what your online business goal is. If that’s the case, then you need to define this goal, and undergo a website redesign to reflect it. 


For those of you who have a clear business goal that’s reflected in your website design, good on you! If you find that you still aren’t getting the desired results however, then it’s possible you aren’t fully in tune with your customers. Make sure you are split testing design choices to see which work best. Try a different image or advertisement landing page for a month and compare it to the performance from the month before. Look at the analytics and run with what works best. This is a simplified explanation, but you get the idea.

For a more detailed explanation on how to do this, check out our ebook on ‘Digital Marketing for Small Business’.

If you need assistance defining your business goals, or helping reflect those online, feel free to get in touch with our Google certified e-business consultants for a free, no-obligations chat.
 

What does your website look like on a mobile device?

Written by Andrew Wassenaar on June 10th, 2016.      0 comments

Mobile device usage stats

We no longer live in a world in which the desktop computer is the only portal to the internet. 

Laptops, tablets, smartphones and hybrids of all three exist, each with their own screen size and resolution. According to Consumer Barometer with Google 2015, more than 70% of Kiwis and Aussies now use a smartphone, and 56% use their smartphone at least as often as a computer. 

On average, every person uses 3 different devices to browse the internet. This is usually a computer, a smartphone and a tablet. It’s important then, that your website displays properly on each of these. That’s where responsive design comes in. 

Responsive design is a website that can automatically change the way it is displayed, depending on what device is being used to access it. Historically, websites were designed specifically for viewing on a desktop computer and therefore look distorted on other devices. A few years ago, the way around this was to create a completely separate website specifically for mobile users. Now, through the use of complex code, a single website can adapt to any display. It’s a ‘one size fits all’ approach to website design, and is a necessity in this day and age. Google even ranks mobile friendly websites higher in search results.
 
“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot.” - Bruce Lee

If you aren't sure that your website is displaying correctly on mobile devices, contact us for a free website audit.
 

What is Google AdWords and why is it important?

Written by Andrew Wassenaar on May 27th, 2016.      0 comments

welcomeadwords

If you have researched online marketing in any capacity, you would have heard of Google AdWords. Even if you haven’t done the research, you’ve probably seen the ads promising your business a prominent place on the front page of a Google search. While many of these promises cannot be guaranteed, this shouldn’t put you off using the platform for your business. In fact, this post is about convincing those of you who haven’t started with AdWords to do so, and making sure your business doesn’t get left behind.
 
"80% of consumers state that the internet is the first place they look for information."

- Consumer Barometer, 2015


Google AdWords is a godsend for small businesses. It can put your company on the world stage for relatively little investment, compared to many other marketing types. On the flip side, it can be a money sink if not used correctly. So, what is it exactly? Well why don’t we ask Google itself?
adewrds-160

“AdWords is an advertising service by Google for businesses wanting to display ads on Google and its advertising network.”

You may notice that the definition we were after is not the first thing we are presented with in the results here. Directly underneath the search bar, is an advertisement. This is a paid ad (shown by the small yellow box stating ‘ad’), ironically promoting another advertising service from search engine competitor ‘Bing’. How did Microsoft convince Google to promote their own Bing ads? Well, they paid for it using AdWords.

After creating an account, users can set their location target allowing them to specify which geographical location will be served their ads. You can then specify a daily budget, and how much you are willing to spend on each ad. Setting a budget of $20 per day however, doesn’t mean it will cost you $20 every day. Google AdWords uses a ‘pay per click’ (PPC) method of advertising, which means you are only charged when a user clicks on your ad. The amount you pay when a user clicks is completely up to you, however the higher your proposed cost per click, the more likely your ad will be served.

AdWords works using a keyword bidding system. First, you’ll need to think about what users are typing into Google in an attempt to find your business offering. If you sell footwear for example, your selection of keywords may include: shoes, boots, sandals, jandals etc. Now depending on the popularity of these keywords, the more expensive it will become to use them in your advertisement. ‘Shoes’ in particular will likely have a number of competing businesses all wanting their ad to show up when a user types ‘buy cheap shoes in Auckland’ into Google.  The result is that you may have to tell Google that you’ll pay 50c for every person who clicks on your ad, to out-bid the others who are only willing to pay 25c. This still doesn’t guarantee your ad will show up when somebody searches for ‘shoes’, but it gives you a higher chance, and potentially a higher placement on the page.

There isn’t any sure fire way to ensure that every ad campaign you run on AdWords will get the best placement in Google searches for the best price, but there are various things you can do to come as close as possible. Ad serving and placement is not solely determined by your keyword bid, but by AdWords quality score. This is determined by relevance, landing page (where your ad links to) and expected clickthrough rate. Each of these factors can be dissected even further but to put it simply, Google can determine if your customers are going to be interested in clicking the link, before it’s even shown to them. Obviously it’s in their best interests to display the most effective advertising, and so they do.
 
You can find out how to set up a Google Adwords campaign in this blog post.

Now that you have a basic understanding of Google AdWords and how it works, it should start to become clear how important this tool can be for small businesses. You can pay what you want, tap into a very large user base, and only reach those who will be most interested in what you have to offer. It gets even better though. Not only does AdWords allow advertising through Google Search, but through all of Google's networks. This means you can show your ads through YouTube, Google+, TV, mobile and the Google Display Network. The latter being a collection of over two million websites that give Google space on their sites to show advertisements. 

Google AdWords is absolutely a valuable investment for small business. Whether you just run a couple of ads every now and then, or analyse all the results and tailor the perfect digital marketing campaign, AdWords is a great way to get results online. 

You can check out this blog post to see if you should tackle AdWords yourself, or feel free to contact the Google Certified experts at Zeald.
 

Understanding Calls to Action

Written by Andrew Wassenaar on May 12th, 2016.      0 comments

CTA2

A call to action (CTA) is a phrase that is intended to motivate the reader to take action. On a website, a call to action would be something like ‘sign up’, ‘buy now’ or ‘click here’.

As you can see in the example above, an effective CTA will speak to the correct audience and urge them to click. Remember to keep the message short and use attention grabbing action verbs like ‘watch’, ‘discover’, ‘learn’, and ‘find’. You can also use words like ‘now’ to insert a sense of urgency, and encourage users to take action quickly. Another important thing to remember when deciding on the messaging, is to make sure it matches the page that the user will actually be led to. If you refer to your offering as a ‘white paper’ in your call to action, you don’t want it referred to as an ‘e-book’ on your landing page.

Once you’ve figured out exactly what you want your CTA to say, you’ll need to surround it with supporting messaging that communicates what is on offer. What makes clicking this so valuable? What is the user going to get out of it? Will they make money? Will they be happier? Again, be as brief as possible, while still getting an effective message across. This should be possible in one or two sentences max. You don’t want the user to be spending all their time reading this page, you want them to click the button to find out more!

Speaking of buttons, the CTA itself should be a big clickable button. You don’t want a little underlined piece of text, you want a massive button. It needs to be big and bright, and the most obvious thing to click on the page. You want users to be gravitating towards the CTA and hovering their cursor over the button before they’ve even decided to click on it. Just make sure it looks professional, and not like someone trying to steal credit card information.

Design is obviously a huge part of any CTA, so once you’re happy with your copy, it’s time to think about what sort of design will complement it best. Note that you don’t always want the CTA to match your website design. It’s often a good idea to have it contrast with your existing page design in order to stand out. Think about what colours and fonts ‘pop’ when superimposed over your website background. 

So once you’ve followed these steps and chosen what you think is the perfect CTA, it’s time for the real work to begin. 

What?

But we just made our CTA! It’s all done!

Not quite! Like all things web-related, your shiny new CTA needs to be tested. Oh, that bright orange button you thought was a great idea? Well it’s only getting 10 clicks a day, try a red one and see what happens. Every part of a CTA can be tested: font, colour, size, location etc. At Zeald for example, we use tools such as heat mapping for testing. This determines the placement of the CTA on a page. Creating a successful CTA is the exact same process as creating a successful website or digital marketing campaign. You need to test what happens when it's presented to a real audience, make changes, and learn from what works best. It’s all about testing, measuring and tuning your product so that you can get the best results possible.

If you need help with your calls to action, or digital marketing in general, don’t hesitate to...                        ctabutton
 

Zeald carries out strategic management restructure

Written by Andrew Wassenaar on April 5th, 2016.      1 comments

2016-04-04

Zeald, New Zealand’s largest website development and digital marketing company has undergone a tactical executive management restructure. After 15 years as CEO, company co-founder David Kelly will be moving into the role of Zeald Chairman.

 

This strategic decision has not been implemented lightly, and will see Zeald aligning with a tested ‘visionary and integrator’ business model. This approach will put Zeald in the best position for future growth in an ever changing industry.

 

With the organisation having reached its current size, the board and executive management felt that the often disparate roles of ‘visionary’ and ‘integrator’ should no longer be handled by one person alone. With this in mind, it was decided that leveraging David’s natural strategic and planning capabilities would be the best way to ensure that the company's vision is a key priority, and is interwoven into the very fabric of the organisation. This direction will see David focused on executing the company’s strategic plan, and moving away from the day-to-day management that an ever growing company requires.

 

David Kelly, incumbent CEO of Zeald says: “This move marks the next chapter in what has been a very exciting history for Zeald. Stepping into the role of company chairman is by no means an attempt to distance myself from the company. The truth is quite the opposite. I have always seen myself as more of a visionary, so completely support the decision, and am looking forward to investing myself in each individual facet of the company, developing it from the inside-out.”

 

While David moves into a more strategic role, Zeald’s CFO, Andrew Forsyth will be moving into the role of company general manager. Andrew will take the part of ‘integrator’ and fulfil the operational requirements of the company. Andrew has many years experience managing companies at an executive level, having been CEO of Premier Books and GM of Monarch, before joining Zeald in 2014.

 

“I have the utmost confidence in Andrew’s experience and ability; he is a tried and tested leader and I wish him all the best in his new role”, adds David.

 

This new structure will go a long way to bolstering Zeald’s existing position as a market leader and help them to stay ahead in a continually evolving digital landscape.

 

Customer Match with Google AdWords

Written by Andrew Wassenaar on March 16th, 2016.      0 comments

Untitled design (2)

At the end of 2015, Google announced something called ‘customer match’. Customer match is a facet of Google AdWords that allows you to target your advertising more effectively. It works by uploading a database of customer email addresses (minimum 1000) to the AdWords interface. When these email addresses are used to log in to a Google service (Google Search, YouTube or Gmail) they will be served targeted ads through the websites they are visiting. 

Customer match is an interesting form of marketing as it targets high value existing customers, as opposed to new opportunities. This can be very useful for things like reward programs. If you are marketing an airline for example, and your existing customers start searching for flights via Google search, you can use customer match to target them with advertising around air miles or the latest travel deals you’re offering. Using customer match can be tailored very specifically to customers that are most likely to click your link, because they’re already looking for something similar. If you think of traditional broad advertising as throwing a net out, customer search is more like spear-fishing. 

You may recall a similar product from early 2015 called RLSA (Remarketing lists for search ads), or ‘remarketing' . Remarketing targeted existing customers in a similar way, but got the database through different means. Instead of having a list of email addresses, it needed a tag on your website that would track visitors and install a cookie in their browser. Then Google could track the customer while they visited other websites and serve relevant ads as they browsed. Again, the minimum database size to use remarketing is 1000.

Both of these approaches have their benefits. Customer match is useful for split-testing, as it is easy to submit certain groups of email addresses to the target database, remove them to add a different group, and then compare the results. Remarketing doesn’t depend on obtaining an email address, so customers can be added to the database just by visiting your homepage, without filling out any forms. 

The question therefore is not ‘Which one should I use?’, but ‘How do I use both effectively?’. Obviously there is going to be an overlap when using both products. New email addresses that are obtained will most likely be from visitors to your website, in which case their information will be captured by both customer match and remarketing. If you are wanting to have only unique users to target, you would have to write exclusions for these lists. 

The point to take away here is that in order to maximise the potential of AdWords, you need to be constantly maintaining and tweaking the targeting. Much like a successful website, successful marketing is not something that can be left alone for months at a time. It must be dynamic, evolving with technology and with your business as a whole.

If you want to set up Customer Match, AdWords, or need help with digital marketing in general, get in touch for a free consult.

Topics: Google , Promotion
 

Mobile inspires local visits

Written by Emily Hall on December 14th, 2015.      0 comments

GET YOUR SITE RESPONSIVE
Having a mobile website isn't just to boost your website sales and enquiries. Research from Google suggesting that the relationship between digital and in-store shopping is far more connected than you might think.  In fact, having a good mobile website could lead to a better in-store shopping experience. 

The study, by Google, Ipsos MediaCT and Sterling Brands, reveals that consumers want more information and customized experiences during their shopping journey: Two in three shoppers who tried to find information within a store say they didn't find what they needed, and 43% of them left frustrated. And 71% of in-store shoppers who use smartphones for online research say their device has become more important to their in-store experience.

Retailers need not worry that customers may just use their mobile to shop on their ecommerce store. However, 3 in 4 survey respondents who find local information in search results helpful are more likely to visit stores. 

Shoppers would find this information very useful in search results:

75%

74%

66%

PRICE OF ITEM AT A NEARBY STORE

ITEM IS IN STOCK AT A NEARBY STORE

LOCATION OF CLOSEST STORE WITH ITEM IN STOCK

63%

59%

56%

DETAILS ABOUT LOCAL STORES (HOURS, PHONE NUMBER)

MAP SHOWING WHICH STORES CARRY THE ITEM SEARCHED FOR

WHAT ELSE IS AVAILABLE AT THE STORE

The reality is shoppers are using their smartphones to search for items nearby so they can visit your store. Often, they will know what they are looking for and be browsing online before walking through your doors. You should use this opportunity to make your website your best sales assistant by answering the above needs. Since Google now rank those with responsive design higher in mobile search, you should seriously consider getting responsive design for your website if you don't have this already. 
 


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Topics: Ecommerce, Google, Mobile
 

Is Facebook working for your business?

Written by Maria Lenzy on November 12th, 2015.      1 comments

According to Nielsen, 80% of NZ’s internet users are visiting Facebook. Making it the third most visited website in New Zealand. (Data from Alexa.) Given the popularity of the social network, it is no doubt why NZ businesses would be interested in Facebook Marketing. However, before you decide to spend money with Facebook, take a moment to read the following points.
 

1. Your audience is not your customer.

The platform is not under your control, so you need to realise that the list of fans and followers you are building are actually Facebook’s customers. Sure, they follow your business, but, Facebook has the complete control of the content visible to them. Relying on this platform for promotion alone might lead to a sudden downfall in sales.
 
Instead of trying to build your Facebook following, you want to use the platform to drive people to your website and perhaps sign up for your email list. Once you get those leads to your website, you will have the opportunity to offer them your services and create a life-long business relationship with them. 
 

2. Frustrating decrease on organic reach. 

As Facebook urges businesses to spend on advertising, organic reach has declined to 6% according to a study conducted last December. So your followers will see less and less of your page's posts on their timeline.

What does it mean to businesses?

Gone are the "glory days" of free engagement with your followers. Organic reach is the content you post to your page. However, with the recent change on FB’s algorithm the post you worked so hard on will only be visible to about 6% or less of your followers. If you want to reach more audience, then you will need to pay Facebook for ads.
 

3. Do fake fans really exist?

In July, BBC News released a negative report about Facebook. According to their investigation, businesses have wasted so much money on advertisements to gain “likes” from Facebook users who are not interested in their products. The same report also stated that early in 2012, Facebook admitted that up to 54 million profiles are fake. 
 

4. Be prepared for change! 

Facebook are aware of the power they have to show followers posts. Like Google, another big player in the online world, Facebook continuously change their algorithms, so certain types of posts get displayed more or less. For example, sometimes a post with photos is more engaging, and then the algorithm changes and posts with text and links are shown more. However, you still only will get about 6% reach through these organic methods. 
 

5. You can be more successful with diverse strategy

Facebook is the social media king, considering that it has a billion users around the globe. However, it’s not wise to put all of your eggs in one basket.

Using diverse strategy will provide your business with more success. you should think about website optimisation, SEO,  Google AdWords, email marketing, and other social media channels. So people who are genuinely interested in your business, see you everywhere as an expert in your industry.

If you are interested in including Facebook advertising in your overall marketing strategy, we can help you, click here to talk to us>>

 

2014 retail trends that could help you this Christmas period

Written by Maria Lenzy on November 12th, 2015.      0 comments

The Christmas holidays are just around the corner, but, for retailers, this holiday period is by no means a time of relaxation with the annual shopping rush providing more business challenges and opportunities. 

To try and gain a boost in sales before the pre-Christmas rush, many notable New Zealand retailers are following trends in the US, by holding sales on "Cyber Monday" or "Click Monday" on 23 November. You can get involved with the official site, or promote your own sale.


But what does December hold for retailers this year? We can look at the December 2014 Online Retail Sales Report released by BNZ, which shows how Kiwi’s love to shop online. See the infographic below. 

local-trends-in-online-retail-in-NZ

Topics: Ecommerce
 

Website Marketing 101

Written by Emily Hall on October 6th, 2015.      1 comments

webmarketing 101

"So what does marketing actually do?" As a marketer, this is a question I have been asked on more than one occasion. So for those of you who are too timid to ask; marketing is communication. Marketing connects your product or service to a potential customer. You are a problem solver, and you need to communicate that you are the one with the solution. Often in marketing you need to explain the benefits of your product. 

But here's the thing; everything that you do is marketing. From your brand, the way you answer the phone, to the images and language you use on your website. How you communicate is important, and can often be your first, and only, impression

In the past, consumers sought information through brochures and advertising. While this is still available and in some industries works quite well, there are problems using these marketing avenues. In terms of communication, this is shouting at your potential customer. There is little to no interaction between your company and the person viewing your ad. 

Using a knowledgeable salesperson is great to help you seal-the-deal, but getting the person in front of the salesperson can be challenging. 

The internet has changed the way we look for information. Consumers are now able to go to one place to find out about a business. That place? Google! As a search engine, Google has a global desktop search engine market share of 62.74%. It's possible to compare businesses and products in just a few clicks. To appear in a favourable position on Google, your business needs to have a good online marketing/promotion plan in place using AdWords and other paid search advertising. You also need to have a long-term SEO plan in place, and a good persuasive website. 

94% of internet users in New Zealand look for information about products online, World Internet Project NZ 2013. People aren't just looking to buy right then and there. They are looking for a comparison. They are looking and comparing products and services. Your website's job is to convince them to make a decision. 

Because, shopping is decision making. Your job, or your website's job, is to change someone from undecided to decided. Essentially you want to make them say yes, add to cart, fill in a form, call you for a quote. You don't want to spend time and money promoting your business using a service like Google AdWords to then have your website fail to convince your website visitor to take action. You should invest in a copywriter for your homepage and consider a dedicated landing page for your AdWords ad. 

If you are unsure where to start, we can help you. Zeald has teams of people who can assist with all the services mentioned in this article. Contact us for a free consultation. 

 

When a good web design is not good enough

Written by Maria Lenzy on October 6th, 2015.      1 comments

The look and feel of your web design are integral to your website's street credibility.  In fact, according to Stanford Web Credibility Research, 75% of users judge the trustworthiness of the company based on the website design, while a whopping 94% of first impressions are design related. Based on these statistics, there should be no question about how important good web design is!

However, people won't just judge your website by aesthetics alone. No matter how superb your design is, it will never be enough to achieve your desired results when you are missing the valuable features of what every web design should have.

Here are some of the factors you need to consider when creating your website’s design:

Your web design is appealing, but you aren't relevant to your audience.


The details are not the details. They make the design. - Charles Eames

It can be challenging to move beyond what just looks good. The most important details are the ones that lead your website visitor to your desired outcome. Your end-goal should be the whole focus of the design. Even if your website has the best graphics, images, colours and typography, it won't matter unless you get a result.

Your web design looks good, but you are too pushy.


The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources - Albert Einstein

When you decided to build your website, you had the goal in mind to expand your business. Whether you admit it or not, your goal is to encourage people buy your products or services. But, there is a fine line between having a good persuasive website and driving away potential customers.

The secret to being persuasive without being pushy is to think about what your customer needs and how your product or service can solve their problem.

Your web design is fresh, but you lack functionality!


Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works. - Steve Jobs

Web functionality is one of the crucial aspects of a good and efficient web design. But why is it so important? The answer is simple.

We determine web functionality by the way your audience interacts with your site. In other words, it would be difficult for you to build a strong relationship with your potential customers when they find it awkward to use your website. It would be easier just to leave your site when it does not work. That may sound harsh, but it’s the reality. Think about the missed sales opportunities if your add to cart button doesn't work!

Your web design is awesome, but you need valuable content!


Content is king - Bill Gates

According to Emerald Insight, 75% of web queries are expressing informational intent. So most of your visitors are visiting your website to find content that would help them solve a problem.

You can offer your customers multiple resources to answer their questions, and hopefully solve their problem through your product or service. Content can be in the following format: blog articles, videos, infographics, images, pdf reports, and other media that balances information and entertainment.

Aside from SEO purposes, providing valuable content will brand you as an expert in your industry and will mark a real and lasting relationship between you and your audience.

Your web design feels trendy, but you are not mobile-friendly!


Intuitive design is how we give the user new superpowers. - Jared Spool

Your web design should be flexible to adapt changes and to cope with the needs and lifestyle of your audience.

According to Nature World News, Smartphone use means “more brain power at your fingertips”. New technology empowers users by allowing them to stay connected to the internet and have access to online tools they need to remain active online even when they are not in front of a computer. This is made possible through the continuous development and growing usage of smartphones and tablets.

This trend challenges all website owners to extend their reach to mobile users and improve their web designs to be mobile friendly. Both Zeald, and Google, recommend using responsive design for making your website mobile friendly.

These are just some of the factors you need to consider in creating a good web design. If you want to provide a great user experience for your audience, you need to look at your website holistically.  

Hopefully, you find this article helpful in building a better and result-driven web design for your business! If you have any trouble with crafting the best design for your website, Zeald is here to help you.
 
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Topics: Design, Persuasion
 
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About Zeald

Zeald was formed in 2001 by three young guys from the small New Zealand town of Mangawhai Heads. Now, Zeald is the largest website design and digital marketing agency in New Zealand and has recently made moves into Australia. This is the Zeald story …

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