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Make LinkedIn work for you

Written by Sarah Gleeson on July 18th, 2013.      0 comments

As a new graduate to the workforce, getting your name out there soon becomes a top priority. When I joined Zeald I had only considered referrals in the sense of recruitment, in that if you know the right people they can suggest your name for a new position. But after only a few days at Zeald, I soon realised how important referrals are for businesses too. How do you get your name to the people you want to reach?  Contacts you already know and have done business with are the hottest ticket.

You may have heard of LinkedIn, the networking site your marketing and HR people know all about. I was recently at a seminar when a man dismissed the idea of using it for his own business seeing it as another Facebook. My own dad has even sworn to never use it. It may seem like another social media contraption, but it has huge potential for anyone who uses it right!

LinkedIn puts you in front of your target audience by enlisting the help of people you already know. New Zealand is a very small country, I often marvel at the mutual friends I have with people who I met along the way. LinkedIn is great in that you can be introduced to desired people that your existing connections already know. Suddenly that supplier or potential client is not so far away.

Unfortunately, “don’t judge a book by its cover” fails here; you want people to look at your profile and want to know you!

What not to do:

LinkedIn-wrong

Unfortunately, no one is going to take me seriously with this photo or profile. I have not filled it in properly, and I seem quite apathetic about work.

What to do:

linkedIn-right2

In this profile, I have filled my title out properly, conveying that I am ready to work hard and am enthusiastic about my job. My photo is actually my work photo which is more friendly and professional. In this, someone who does not know me, would be able to place me in a work environment without much difficulty.

My top ten ways to Jazz up your profile, and get your desired connections.

  1. Get your photo right. It’s important people are able to see you in the workspace, avoid photos of partying or on holiday as you want to make connections, not drinking buddies.

  2. Make the most of your title! Using your professional title here is a wasted opportunity; people want to know what you can do for them.

  3. Make sure your tone is right, if you’re an expert, sell it! If you’re a worker bee, tell them!

  4. Share your good news! If you have a new exciting project underway or have a photo in the local paper, let people know this; create your own buzz.

  5. Write about activities or hobbies you enjoy. Someone who likes fishing is more likely to trust a fellow fisherman.

  6. Avoid the temptation to add just anyone, make sure the people you connect with want to sell you, and vice versa.

  7. Change the default note when connecting with people. Tell them how you know them, why you look forward to their connection, and sign off in a personal manner.

  8. Join groups where you can meet people and discuss similar thoughts e.g. Small Business Network for start-ups and entrepreneurs.

  9. Don’t be scared to ask for a testimonial. Choose people you have made a positive impact on professionally, and be specific in what you would like them to say.

  10.  Lastly, ask people to refer you, either find a connection they already have or someone they think would be good for you. In doing this, make sure you outline what you want from a future connection.

Topics: Social Media
 

Snowride, increases revenue by 161.5% in just 90 days (in the off season!) with the help of Zeald

Written by Sarah Gleeson on June 19th, 2013.      0 comments

www.snowride.co.nz

Online retail is a great way to target all geographic areas of your market, especially if you only have one shop down in Christchurch.  Richard Naylor, owner of Snowride, came to us looking to improve his website sales after having a few months of slow results. Considering snow gear is predominantly a seasonal buy, Richard needed to find a way to keep bringing people back to his website even in those warm summer months.  After talking with Richard, we agreed the best place to start would be to have a look at his existing website to see how it could be improved. Some of the results of this review, and the subsequent changes that we made can be seen in the image below.

What changes we made

The first noticeable difference when comparing the before and after, is the utilisation of space. We made sure to make the most of the valuable space by changing the positioning of the menu, header, and other important information such as a visible phone line. The menu was also simplified to be more customer friendly as the existing one was hard to navigate.

Situated above the fold was a large textbox, which no one read. Switching to a slideshow not only draws customers into the website, but also allows them to see offers, which acts as a conversion pathway. Introducing regular special updates is a good way to capture the customer’s attention and to keep them coming back. Not only that, but it is good for SEO.

Snowride Website Optimised Results by Zeald Snowride was aware that getting the right size was a main worry for their customers. We accommodated this by introducing a sizing chart. Additionally, the ‘Buy Back’ tab was implemented to act as another draw for the customer to return to Snowride. For parents, this is quite a favourable offer, especially for those with more than one child. By making this more visible, customers are more aware of this service.   

Our Strategy

The utilisation of both a heat and scrollmap helped us to understand customer behaviour after the website went live. The scrollmap showed us how far down the page customers were going, and whereabouts they abandoned the page. The heatmap lets us see what’s “hot” i.e. what links customers were interacting with the most. This allowed us to make any changes to the layout in order to increase conversions.  

Snowride Website Optimisation by Zeald

And the results are ...

Following from the changes on the website Snowride saw dramatic changes in the number of ski & snow gear sales..  Within the 90 days after their website went live, Snowride earned more than the entire 2012, this was a 161.5% increase. These results were particularly impressive as the 90 days were in summer and autumn months. (These results accurate at 24 May 2013.)

These results are already fantastic and we have not even hit the winter months yet!

Free Zeald Website Consultation

 

Take stock

Written by Emily Wilson on June 10th, 2013.      0 comments

Take Stock Blog written by Zeald An image is worth a thousand words, so stock images are a great way to quickly illustrate your point on sales and marketing materials. Not all of us are great photographers or have the equipment to take good images for our website, so it is great you can go to image depositories such as istockphoto.com, depositphotos.com and gettyimages.com (to name a few) and purchase photos and images to use across your promotional resources.

However for every great image there are hundreds of sub-par or just plain bad images. If you ever need some entertainment just look at this page for some amazingly bad examples! There are also some comic themes that pop up on these sites, such as “businessman doing yoga” or “woman laughing alone with salad” that will have you scratching your head in confusion or rolling on the floor laughing wondering what people must be writing about! 

Some tips to consider when selecting your stock images.

Take Stock blog written by Zeald If you can take a picture yourself, don’t use a stock image. 

Use images that support your content. An image should quickly tell a reader what your content is about and reinforce your message, not just decorate the page.
Take Stock Blog written by Zeald Don’t use a stock image for your products or staff. This may surprise you but it does happen. Having an image that isn't the actual product does nothing for the trust and credibility of your business. 
Take Stock blog written by Zeald Use stock images that depict real-life scenarios. Take the businessmen doing yoga example. The likelihood of someone in a park, in a suit and tie, doing downward dog, whilst on a laptop is probably rare. Your point will be illustrated much better with another image.
Take Stock Blog written by Zeald Beware of overused images. Take a look at your competitor’s sites and make sure you aren’t using the same or similar images. You need to find an image that will represent your brand in a unique way.
Take Stock Blog written by Zeald If you plan on using the image in print, don’t buy the low-resolution web version. Your picture will look pixelated and blurry when you try to make it bigger.
Take Stock Blog written by Zeald Refresh your images. Design trends change and so the image you purchased in 2002 will no doubt be outdated. Look at the people in your images and be aware of clothing and hairstyle trends that will date your images (unless you are specifically after a retro look).
Topics: Web Design Tips
 

Optimise your content for long tail keywords

Written by Casey Hartigan on May 14th, 2013.      1 comments

When trying to decide what keywords to optimise your website for, it’s easy to focus on broad terms like “builders” or “website design”. While these terms tend to generate a high number of searches each month, they are also highly competitive and tend to have low conversion rates.

Instead, you should consider turning your focus to the less commonly searched phrases that consist of long tail keywords. Long tail keyword searches are those that are made up of about three to six keywords and are used when the user is looking for a more specific result e.g. someone searching “master builder in Albany” instead of the generic term “builder”.

One of the main benefits of focusing on long tail keywords is that it is easy to see what the user’s intent is and therefore provide information that is relevant to them. For example, if someone searches for the term “weight loss”, it’s impossible to know exactly what they are looking for. Are they looking for the cause of their recent rapid weight loss, or are they looking for a way to lose weight? This ambiguity means that although the information that appears high in the search results may contain extremely informative and well-written content, it is likely that it does not contain the answer the searcher was looking for. This results in a high bounce rate for the generic terms. On the other hand, if someone is searching for “ways to lose weight easily”, it is easy to see that they are looking for weight loss tips. This means that the top-ranking results for this search are more likely to enjoy a higher conversion rate as the visitors will be more qualified.

The use and optimisation of long tail keywords has been around for a long time, but an increase of the number of people using these in their searches is likely. The introduction of software such as Apple’s Siri or Google Now, both of which allow people to voice their questions directly to their phone mean that searches phrased as questions are likely to become more common. This will allow businesses to provide more relevant results to searchers.

A good tool for finding long tail keyword searches relevant to your industry is Google Adwords. Type in a generic phrase related to your business and then sort by “Local Monthly Searches”. This tool shows the different variations of keywords that people have been searching and how many times in the last month that particular phrase has been searched for. The ones with the most searches are generally the shorter, highly competitive keywords. Have a look for the longer tail keywords with a reasonable amount of searches and choose some of these to optimise your content for. The more searches a phrase gets, the higher the competition to rank for it. However, it is important to remember that the keywords you decide to choose do have some people searching for them – it’s easy to rank high of obscure phrases, but if no-one’s searching for them then you’re not going to get any visitors.

 

Landing pages: What are they, why do you need them and how do you use them properly?

Written by Casey Hartigan on April 2nd, 2013.      0 comments

Learn more about Landing Pages with Zeald Website ConsultationGetting customers to either purchase from you or make an enquiry should be the main goal of any website, but actually getting customers to convert can be a tricky process. Landing pages help you with this conversion process by providing relevant information to specific groups of visitors and guiding them towards a main goal.

Essentially a landing page is a web page that is separate from you main website. It is typically linked from a campaign and contains

  • no navigation to other pages on your website
  • call to actions
  • tailored copy to suit particular visitor’s needs.
For example, if you were to send out an email campaign to your existing customers with a special offer for a new product, you would want to target the content on this page to people who are familiar with your offering. The purpose of this page would be completely different to one that was linked to from your Ad Words ad, which would typically be new customers who have only read a few sentences about your company.

So how should you use landing pages effectively?

1. Only have one message/goal per page

Unlike the rest of your website, which is likely to be more generic and aimed towards a wide range of people, a landing page should be extremely focused towards one particular customer group and goal. Don’t confuse your visitors – if they clicked through to find out more about a discounted product, only tell them about this product. Make sure your headline shows customers that they have come to the right page for what they are looking for.

2. Keep the main message the same throughout both the campaign/ad and the landing page.

The main benefit of a landing page is that you can tailor the copy to specifically match a particular campaign. For example, if you are sending out an email offering 25% off a new product to people who have purchased from you before, the email and landing page should both highlight this deal, so that when a customer decides to click through from your email to the website they are easily able to see that they are on the right track to getting their discount.

3. Have a clear call to action

The call to action on your page needs to stand out. Ideally, there should be a call to action near the top (as soon as you’ve finished your initial sell) and then repeated further down the page as you answer any other questions people may have. This allows people to convert easily and quickly.

4. Ensure you landing page has a professional design

Your landing page is likely to be the first page that many potential customers click through to, so it’s extremely important that the design is clean, uncluttered and in line with the rest of your advertising. If you are using long blocks of copy, break it up by using bullet points and headings and include call to actions throughout.

5. Test, test and test some more

The single most effective way of ensuring that your landing pages are working the best that they can is to conduct split tests to test different versions and changes that you make. Split tests involve directing traffic from your campaigns to different variations of your landing page and provide you with actual data that you can use to make decisions on which one to use.

 

Free Zeald Website Consultation

 

Google Changes: Pandas and Penguins

Written by Emily Wilson on March 5th, 2013.      2 comments

Penguin and Panda Algorithm Zeald Website Consultation Google makes, on average, about 500 changes to its search engine algorithms each year.  Google do this to improve the quality of search results. They started making big, noticeable changes back in 2011 with the Panda algorithm and again in 2012 with the Penguin algorithm, in an effort to punish those that were cheating the SEO system to get their results to the top of the page. Read on to find out more about Panda, Penguin and what it means for SEO.

How Google works

Google basically has an automated system that searches the internet looking for new websites and updated content through links from other websites already known to Google. Once it finds a new website or content it sends the information back to its datacentre where it is stored (cached).

Google uses a very complex formula or algorithm to calculate the relevancy and the quality of a web page to a user's search query. Read more about how Google works.

This formula uses many factors to help calculate the relevancy and quality of a web page, including and not limited to:

  • Keywords found in the content of the page
  • The headings
  • Links on the page
  • Hidden meta data found in the code of the page
  • External links that link to the page

Google awards ranking for a page based on how often the keywords appear, how prominent they are on the page and the location of the keywords on the page.

Therefore, the more focused you are on a certain topic, the better you will rank, as Google will believe that you are an expert on the topic.

How Panda and Penguin have shook things up

Panda was designed to weed out the bad sites from the good to improve search results. “Content Farms” are pages that are overly optimised that offer little value to the searcher. They are merely pages of content with keywords that are designed to attract traffic so they can use those page views to generate advertising revenue.  Duplicate content is also penalised as it is seen to offer little value to the searcher so the pages appear low down in the search rankings.

Top Tip – If you legitimately offer duplicate content – for example have multiple sites for your business – then you can use rel=canonical to point back to the original content.  Ask us about how to do this with your Zeald site.

Penguin was more focused on punishing sites that were abusing links to gain search engine rankings.  Google’s idea behind Penguin is that it wanted people to focus more on creating great web content rather than optimisation. People who paid for links from low quality link directories, exchanges and other sites would more than likely have noticed a drop in their ranking. What this means is you want to have really good links to your site from other quality sites, you can do this by having great quality content that is worth sharing.

You also want to use different anchor text linking to your site (the words that hyperlink).  The anchor text of a back link tells Google what the website is about. So it is/was common practice to make a keyword the hyperlink. However if there are an abnormal number of identical anchor texts pointing to a site then you will be penalised. Penguin wants you to use more natural SEO. For example if you are always using identical keywords to link to your site then try to mix it up by using different words or word clusters that mean similar things and also non-targeted words that would be a natural link such as “click here.”

Based on the data that showed sites with 60% or more of their site with keyword anchor text were penalised; a general rule to avoid the Penguin penalty could be the following:

• 60% of backlinks should be URL based or non-keyword anchor texts like “click here”

• 30% broad match or partial keyword and rephrased anchor texts

• Only 10% exact match keyword anchor texts

Other things to be aware of that affect your ranking.

Keep your bounce rates low. This means when someone searches using a keyword and clicks on your site only to quickly click back to Google sends a signal to Google that you are not relevant for their search.  To reduce bounce rates some of the things you can do is; keep your site load time to less than 3 seconds, make your message immediately clear, consider a responsive designed site and keep distractions to a minimum.

If you would like some help with your SEO or content talk to our Professional Services Team.

 

Why Content Marketing is King

Written by Emily Wilson on March 4th, 2013.      1 comments

Why Content is King. Content Marketing with ZealdBack in 1996 Bill Gates wrote an article titled “Content is King”.  In is article he said: “When it comes to an interactive network such as the Internet, the definition of “content” becomes very wide… One of the exciting things about the Internet is that anyone with a PC and a modem can publish whatever content they can create. In a sense, the Internet is the multimedia equivalent of the photocopier. It allows material to be duplicated at low cost, no matter the size of the audience.”  Gates continues to say that content in the form of "print" cannot just be replicated on the internet, the audience on the internet demands more interactivity. They need audio, video and the ability to share this information with others. 

What Bill Gates was essentially talking about is what we call Content Marketing. This is something you probably already do without even realising it.  With content marketing your goal is to create great content that attracts, engages and converts. You basically want to communicate to your customers by creating and sharing high-quality content, in the hopes of influencing purchasing decisions and building brand loyalty.

This means having a website, blog, newsletter, social media channels, video, text, images. All these things create content, the next step is to make it quality content. TopRank Online Marketing CEO Lee Odden said during his SES London presentation "Great content isn't really great until it is found, consumed, and shared." Quality content is what your prospects and clients want to consume. You need to make it relevant to your target market and make it visible to them. 

Consumers have an insatiable appetite for good content. If you are unsure where to start, here are 10 ideas about what you can do:

  1. Set up a blog. See our article here for more information.
  2. People are time-poor. Write an article that contains a list – like “5 best ways to get your baby to sleep.” Post this article to blog sites, forums, Twitter, Facebook, newsletter etc.
  3. Create how-to guides. People love to search the internet for ways they can help themselves. Get them coming to read your blog with some how-to information.
  4. Share your news. Share what is happening in your industry, city or country. These posts need to be timely – news travels fast!
  5. The saying no news is good news does not apply here. Take the negative angle and you’ll be surprised at how your traffic increases – eg “5 things not to do before you go to sleep.”
  6. Case studies build your brand’s trust and credibility. People love before and after shots.
  7. Evergreen content is fresh and created by you. It can be shared over and over and remains relevant to your target market. This could be a special report or case study, video or seminar for example.
  8. Give out the facts. Provide the latest statistics and research for your industry and if you conduct your own research - share this.
  9. Review a product. Either one of your own via a consumer, or show how to use one of your products. If you are in a service industry review a product that you use to show why it is the best on the market.
  10. Get creative and make a video series on your Youtube channel.

Content marketing is great for link building and SEO. If you build in keywords to your writing it will help your article be found through search engines. Content marketing also builds trust and credibility and because of this, will lead to more sales. If there was a winning formula for content marketing then it would go something like this: 1. Be a brand champion for your business; 2. Your customers need to identify and empathise with your brand; 3. Your content needs to tell a story and be creative to spark interest and virality.

 

Most searched words on Google in 2012

Written by Emily Wilson on February 5th, 2013.      0 comments

Most Searched Google Words 2012 with Zeald Want to know what we were searching for on Google in New Zealand last year? Without a doubt current events plays a big role in what were wanted to know. The Olympics topped the list, with Usain Bolt and Valarie Adams the most searched for Olympians. Other popular topics included the overplayed Gangnam Style, ever media present Kim Dotcom and the tragic death of Whitney Houston. 

Us kiwi's also wanted to solve our own problems including; "how to screenshot" and "how to blog". Not wanting to look foolish at the next Christmas party we secretly typed in "what is yolo?" and "what is Instagram?" and now understand what the kids are talking about. 

For the full list of what topped the Google New Zealand search trends in 2012 click here.
Topics: Google
 

Let your customers visit your store without leaving the house

Written by Casey Hartigan on February 5th, 2013.      0 comments

We’ve recently undergone the process of getting the Zeald office photographed for Google Business Photos and we’re stoked with the outcome. Google Business Photos allows customers to get a look inside your business before they decide to visit you. Similar to the street view function on Google maps, Google business photos are made up of real pictures of your business, providing visitors with a 360 view of your location. These virtual tours are visible on Google searches, Google maps and Google+ Local and can also be embedded on your own website, allowing you to easily show customers what to expect when they come to visit you.

If you would like to get your own business photographed, you will need to contact one of the Google trusted photographers in your area. They will work with you to arrange your own personalised photoshoot and will then upload the images for you, so you can sit back and wait for your very own tour to appear online.

 


View Larger Map
Topics: Google
 

Ideas for running a successful business blog

Written by Casey Hartigan on February 5th, 2013.      0 comments

Creating Blog Buzz and Ideas with Zeald You may have found yourself typing into Google 'what is a blog". It is a funny word that actually comes from web-log and is basically an online journal. You can read more about starting out with blogs on a previous post. Blogs can be a great way of generating traffic to your website and creating a buzz around your products and services. They provide an easy way of getting relevant and up to date content out to your potential customers, regular customers and staff and are also effective for search engine optimisation.  However, starting (and regularly updating) a blog can seem like a daunting task, so we’ve put together the following hints to help get you on your way.

Choosing what to write about

Choosing what you want to write about in your blog can be one of the hardest parts of creating one. Blogs can have many different functions; they can provide news or personal opinions on particular subjects or can be used as a kind of online diary. If your company sells products, how about writing a few articles about other products that compliment yours, or hints to help your customers get the best out of their purchases. Show your products in context; engage your customers and ask them to send you images of how they use them.

If your company provides a service instead, case studies can be an interesting way of giving information about what you do without sounding too much like an advertisement. It’s important that you don’t just treat your blog as a place to advertise your own products and services; what you write needs to provide your customers with some value otherwise they will be unlikely to return.

Plan blog posts in advance and develop regular features

Planning what you’re going to write about and when can make regularly updating your blog a much more manageable task. Are there particular events that occur throughout the year in your industry? (product launches, awards, conferences etc). Note the dates of these down and aim to write a feature about them. Developing regular features e.g. reviews on Tuesdays, or your favourite recipes each Friday can also make regularly updating your blog a breeze as you won’t need to rack your brain for topics to write about.

Engage with your readers

Allowing readers to post comments on your posts and encouraging discussion can be a good way of developing rapport with your potential customers. Let your readers share their opinions and views on the topic at hand and reply back to them when appropriate. Don’t be discouraged by negative comments. Instead, try and solve the issue the person has – you never know, you could win over a new customer.

Invite special guests

Know an expert in your field? Ask them to write a post on your blog as a guest blogger. They could provide some advice to your customers and in-turn you get a great endorsement. For example if you sell health related products you could ask a personal trainer to give their top fitness tips. They could then link to their post on your blog from their own blog or social media account.

Add images and video

Keep your readers interested and they will keep coming back to your blog. Here is a great guide to blogs. 

Read, read, read

Read other blogs in your industry or those that compliment it and connect with other bloggers and businesses. Help eachother with links and posts - you might just find your customer base increases. 

 

How to: Rank well locally to improve your SEO

Written by Casey Hartigan on November 12th, 2012.      0 comments

Learn how Google Places improve SEO with Zeald Whether you’re a small, home-based business or a large international company, you’re probably aware that ranking highly on search queries is something that you want to be doing. However, you’re also probably aware that this is much easier said than done.

Think about that last time you used Google to search for a product or service. Whether you were looking for a plumber, electrician or clothing, chances are that you wanted to find something located in, or at least able to be delivered to, your city.

Studies have shown that 53% of searches on mobiles and 20% of searches on a desktop had local intent; and that only counts the people specifically searching for something using a local modifier such as “Auckland”, something people commonly leave out yet still expect local results.

This is a crucial point in understanding SEO. Search engines want to provide the most relevant results to their searchers, which typically means showing them local content. What’s the use in showing a pet shop in New York when the person is using a computer located in Auckland?

This means that making sure your website is optimised to rank locally is extremely important. So what should you be doing to increase your chances of being one of the top results in someone’s search query?

  1. Google Local (Google Places)

Having a Google Local listing is one of the most important factors for making sure you’re ranking high for searches with local intent. Therefore it’s vital that you claim your business listing. Google Local is the new version of Google places and is integrated with Google+, Google’s own social network. To claim your Google Local listing, complete the following steps:

  1. Go to plus.google.com and log in. You login details are the same as your Google account (which you use for things like Gmail and Google docs). If you don’t already have an account, sign up for one by clicking the red box in the upper right hand corner

  2. Once you’ve logged in to your Google plus account, you need to create a business page. To do this, click on ‘more’ on the left sidebar and then select ‘pages’. Click on the ‘Create new page’ box in the upper right hand corner

  3. Select ‘local business or place’ and enter your phone number. Make sure that the phone number you enter is the main one you want your customers to phone

  4. Google will bring up a list of any businesses it knows of that have that phone number. If you see your business on the list, select it and confirm your info. If you don’t see it, select ‘Add your business to Google’ and enter your details.

  5. Finish creating your page by following the steps provided by Google

IMPORTANT NOTE: You need to ensure that the details you use on this page and any other places around that internet that list your company name, address and phone number (NAP) are exactly the same (e.g. 0508 932 748 instead of 0508932748 or 09 415 7575 and 42 Tawa Dr, Albany, Auckland 0632 instead of 42 Tawa Drive, Auckland). Google will rank you higher in local searches if they see that your information is uniform across the web. Even small differences such as Dr instead of Drive make a difference, so pick one and stick with it.

  1. Get Citations

Citations are anywhere online that shows your NAP (name, address, phone number). This includes your own website, online directories and your social media profiles. These citations are important as they show Google that your information is correct and that you are a real business. As stated above, make sure that your NAP is exactly the same across all your listings. Getting everything in the same format may take a while, especially if you’ve already created many listings, but this step is very important and will pay off when you get it right.

  1. Get Customer Reviews

Customer reviews and interactions are becoming more and more important when it comes to SEO. Try and get your customers to review your products and services on your Google+ page. Ways you could do this include emailing them to thank them for their purchase and encourage them to leave a quick review. However, don’t fall in to the trap of paying people to write positive reviews or creating fake ones. These reviews can do more damage than good if discovered. Genuine reviews are always best. It’s also important to realise that not all of these reviews will be positive – which can actually be a good thing. A mix of positive and negative reviews can help to show that the reviews are genuine.

Get a Free Website Consultation with Zeald

 

Christmas Promotion Ideas

Written by Emily Wilson on November 7th, 2012.      0 comments

Learn about Corporate Christmas Promotion and Gifts with Zeald BlogChristmas is just over a month away. You should already have some plans in place for your promotions, but if you need a few more ideas to increase your sales during December, and indeed throughout the year, here are some you could try:
 
  • Treat your clients by sending them a gift voucher or small gift as a thank you with their invoices. It will encourage return business and ensure your customer’s feel appreciated.
  • Offer a free gift-wrapping service - you can subtly brand the paper with your logo.
  • Give away a Christmas hamper for purchases during December.
  • Encourage customers to add $1 to their purchase for a charity you support and match it.
  • Think about how your customers might be shopping over this period - is your website friendly for their mobile browsing?
  • Keep your customers thinking about your brand. Sponsor an event that they are likely to attend over the festive season; or invite them to one you are holding.
  • Use the season as an opportunity to find out more about your customers. Engage with them on social media to find out what they enjoy doing during their time off or what is on their wishlist. Perhaps you stock that item?
  • Encourage spending with a free gift with purchases over a certain amount.
  • Encourage purchases with free delivery during December.
  • Don’t forget about post-Christmas shopping too. Run a 12 days of Christmas special from 25 December - 6 January. Integrate the promotion with your social media tools.
  • Have a longer returns policy over the Christmas season.
  • Take advantage of taking a break yourself and consider outsourcing your warehousing and distribution to a company like Brightstar; this easily integrates with your Zeald website.
Topics: Promotion
 

Million for a million

Written by Emily Wilson on October 11th, 2012.      0 comments

Website heavyweight Zeald gets behind a weighty cause.

Million for a Million Annah Stretton Charity blog with Zeald Being overweight often has a big impact on your general well-being and heart health. With one New Zealander dying from coronary heart disease every 90 minutes, and with the obesity epidemic hitting all ages of society, it is important to create awareness around the need to take a positive step in the right direction and encourage people to lose a kilo.

The "Million for a Million" campaign aims to shed one million kilograms off the total weight of our nation. Zeald was approached by fashion designer and entrepreneur Annah Stretton, who is heading the campaign, to lend a hand to lighten the nation and promote a healthy lifestyle. The inspiration for the charitable project surfaced after Annah's recent Dry July 30-day hiatus from alcohol - a stellar effort that saw her contribute to the $500,000 raised for Northern Regional Cancer and Blood Service at Auckland City Hospital.

Heart Foundation Medical Director, Norman Sharpe commends Annah on her enthusiasm to get right to the heart of the nation’s increasing ill-health and galvanise New Zealanders into action.

“Despite medical advances, heart disease continues to be the single biggest killer of our men and women because of complex changes in the way New Zealanders live, work, eat and exercise,” says Professor Sharpe. “The journey towards heart health is about making small but achievable lifestyle changes – something that I’m certain this campaign can help inspire. We’re a charity and need public support more than ever. We’re very grateful for Annah for leading this initiative and being such a positive champion for change.”

Zeald designed and developed the Million for a Million website to include social media integration where participants share their stories of their health journey. These stories appear in the ‘Winners Gallery’ to encourage others to make a difference to their own health and the health of the nation.

Million for a Million is supported by Zeald, Annah Stretton, Westpac, Mediaworks, Pak N’ Save, New World, The Warehouse and the Heart Foundation who are excited to be encouraging New Zealanders and their own staff to think about their health and lose a kilo for the cause.

If you would like to join in the fight against fat, simply register and donate a dollar here. All proceeds will go towards the New Zealand Heart Foundation.

Annah Stretton Zeald Client and Sponsor of Million for a Million

 

 

Topics: Zeald News
 

How to write an effective unique selling proposition

Written by Casey Hartigan on October 1st, 2012.      0 comments

Your unique selling proposition (USP) is one of the most important parts of your homepage. Visitors to your website need to be able to tell almost instantaneously whether or not you will be able to fulfil their needs. An effective USP achieves this by telling the customer what you have to offer, and more importantly, what sets you apart from your competitors. It should be placed right at the top of your website so that it is one of the first things your visitors see. Follow the steps below to write an effective USP for your business.

1. Identify and define your target market

It is important to realise that you are not going to be able to serve every man and his dog. Before you can begin to sell your product or service to your visitor, you must define who it is you want to target. For example, if you are a caterer who solely caters for weddings, instead of targeting anyone who is looking for a caterer, you may choose to target people who are planning their wedding on a budget.

2. Identify the problem that your customers have and how you can solve it

If your website visitors didn’t have a problem, they probably wouldn’t be on your website! To make it clear that you are the correct place to be you need to spell out what problems you are able to solve. Let’s go back to the catering example. There are many people who will be looking for someone to cater for them, whether it be for a birthday party, funeral, work function or wedding. If you’re a caterer solely focused on catering weddings on a budget, then it is important to place emphasis on this. It’s important to remember that you can’t solve everyone’s problems! Be the best that you can at what you do rather than average at doing everything.

3. Point out what makes you different from your competitors

Pointing out what makes your business unique is one of the most important parts of your USP. Write down what separates you from your competitors. Are you the cheapest? Fastest? Most knowledgeable? Tell your visitors what sets you apart from other businesses who could fulfil their needs.

4. Write it out and refine it

Once you’ve figured out who your target market are, what problem you can solve for your customers and what sets you apart from the competition, it’s time to put it altogether in a short and sharp sentence or two. This process can take a while to get the final product, so give yourself plenty of time. Spread it out over a couple of weeks as fresh eyes are always best!

5. Put it on your website

Once you’ve finalised your USP, put it near the top of your website. If you have images on your homepage, try and link them in with your USP to give it more strength. You may find that after a while your USP will need refining again to keep it in line with the ever-changing ways of your business – if you find this is the case, just start again at step one and identify what changes need to be made.

 

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Boost online consumer trust

Written by Emily Wilson on October 1st, 2012.      1 comments

Boost ecommerce Trust with your Customers with Zeald While e-commerce has demonstrated rapid growth and innovation, many consumers are still either afraid to shop online or do so with great caution due to concerns about their safety.  Last week top ecommerce site Trade Me warned users to be vigilant as international cyber scammers target their site.

Criminals are emailing users requesting personal information posing as the online auction site. The hackers are sending “Phishing” emails using embedded links to retrieve information, allowing them to take control of a user’s account and with it private details such as banking data and addresses.

As is normal procedure on Trade Me, any buyer showing interest in a “sale” is requested to contact the seller by phone or email for further information, at which point the fraudsters strike.

While Trade Me says no New Zealander’s have yet to fall victim to scam. It is stories like these that further fuel consumer apprehension.

Countless studies reflect online shopper anxiety. Research shows that identity theft and site information security concerns are leading drivers of online shopping cart abandonment.

Trust is imperative to the success of any business and even more so for your online business. Trust is a very fragile asset; once broken you often have to begin rebuilding from the ground up. It can take time to nurture a relationship with your customers and prove that your business is trustworthy.

However, it is still possible to improve customer trust and drive increased conversions online despite challenging dynamics.

A safe and secure website is the most crucial element to building online trust. Using the latest encryption technology is common practice for a reputable online merchant - ensuring that customer data is secure is just good business sense. More importantly, what will set you apart from your competition is effectively communicating and reinforcing your commitment to the safety and security of all your customers.

To begin with you must publish a policy guaranteeing your customer’s privacy. If you want your customer to fill in their details you must reassure them what you are going to do with their personal information; who has access to that information, including product purchases and who owns the website. 

But you have to go beyond this. You must be proactive in order to gain trust. To create a “worry-free” shopping process you should include clear policies on shipping, returns and privacy as well as security and product guarantees. Don’t burry these on a customer service page; link to them throughout the checkout process to reassure your customers.

Product descriptions should be as accurate as possible, consider including detailed images as well as in-depth descriptions. Customer service contact information should be easily accessible during the entire shopping process – consider a live chat for instant answers.

You may even go as far as redesigning your shopping cart. It is best practice to only ask for the information you require. Nothing causes more concern about privacy than merchants attempting to collect seemingly irrelevant information; customers are likely to wonder whether you’re going to use it for purposes other than completing their order. If you do require any non-standard order information, explain why you need it; if you’re asking additional questions for demographic purposes without requiring customers to supply the information, clearly label them as optional, and include an explanation – as well a link to your privacy policy.

Your reputation is effected by those you associate with. Use trusted, reputable vendors and display security certification logos. These should feature throughout the checkout process and it can help if they are clearly visible on the page rather than hidden in the footer.

A professional website is more likely to give your visitors the confidence to purchase online. Design, load time, content, typos and broken links all impact your credibility.

For more information about how you can convert your visitors into customers why not attend a free educational Zeald seminar or webinar.

 

About Zeald

Zeald was formed in late 2000 by three young guys from the small New Zealand town of Mangawhai Heads. 14 years later, Zeald is one of the largest and fastest growing website design and e-business consultancy companies in New Zealand. This is the Zeald story …

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0508 932 748

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Zeald, 42 Tawa Dr, Albany, Auckland 0632

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