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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.

 

Get a Free Zeald Website Consultation

Topics: Tips and Tricks
 

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.

 

Winners: Best Web Developer for the second year running!

Written by Emily Wilson on September 21st, 2012.      0 comments

Zeald were awarded first place in the 2012 ESET NetGuide Web Awards for the Best Web Developer category sponsored by openhost.

 

Zeald Netguide Web Awards 2012 Winner The awards were presented last night in good spirit, courtesy of MC comedian Steve Wrigley, at the Hilton Hotel in Auckland.

Zeald’s Marketing Manager, Evan Cooper, accepted the award on behalf of the Zeald team. “We are really happy and grateful to win the Best Web Developer award for two years in a row. We strive to help small and medium sized businesses realise their online potential so receiving this kind of public accolade is the best kind of feedback.”

This is the second year that the website design company has received the award, following on from their win in 2011.

Winners from other categories included: google.co.nz, 2degrees, kiwibank.co.nz, mightyape.co.nz, allblacks.com, youtube.co.nz, stuff.co.nz, seek.co.nz and trademe.co.nz.

After weeks of public voting, Netguide presented 27 of their infamous yellow cube trophies to the lucky recipients at last night's ceremony. “With over 225,000 votes cast this year, the awards have been a huge success again” said NetGuide publisher Sean Mitchell.

Zeald wish to thank all their supporters and those who voted for them in the 2012 ESET NetGuide Web Awards.

Zeald Netguide Web Award Winner 2012 Marketing Team

Topics: Zeald News
 

Free, easy to use photo-editing software

Written by Casey Hartigan on August 24th, 2012.      0 comments

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words, so having good-looking images on your website is extremely important.

However, professional photographers and photo editing software can be extremely expensive which means many businesses have to take their own photos for their websites. Luckily, there are loads of online photo-editing software available for free, which, if used effectively, can make your images stand out from the crowd. Our favourite is PicMonkey, which can be used in your web browser – no need for downloads! Just visit www.picmonkey.com and have a play around.

Handy hint: When saving your image from PicMonkey, choose “Mel” as the quality. This will save a smaller file, which will help to lower the loading time of your website.

Free Zeald Website Consultation

Topics: Tips and Tricks
 

Online Business: Competing Against the World

Written by Emily Wilson on August 16th, 2012.      0 comments

Get Ahead of your Competitors with Zeald website OptimisationThe Olympics was not without its fair share of drama. The highs, the lows, those nail biting moments; not to mention an explosion and drug testing scandals. A Hollywood writer couldn’t have scripted it any better! With 6 gold, 2 silver and 5 bronze medals, New Zealand certainly knows what it is like to compete against the world and win.

Running a business online can put you in a similar situation. Not only are we competing against our neighbours for a slice of the consumer pie; we have the rest of the world to contend with. We all wish we could turn silver into gold; an expanding market place can increase the demand on each team member to perform to their full potential. This is certainly positive for most businesses.

The pace of world business has increased. Like an athlete who spends four years preparing for an event that is over in seconds; businesses have to invest more and more in the way of time and resources to be ready for a window of opportunity that can be extremely brief.  As the competition increases, the time it takes to move from a concept to a finished product must decrease.

In business, as in sport, there is no substitute for talent. You have to put the right people in the right jobs at the right time. Success in business is also about identifying your weak points and partnering with someone who has strengths in this area; lest your competition identifies it first!

It has been said that there are two main ways of running an online business. Ask yourself: Am I a sprinter or a marathoner?

A sprinter likes to work in focused bursts. They consistently work through the night for a few months on a project or to create a process that will make money for them while they sleep – or lie on the beach!

Some great tools for sprinters are:

  • Product Launches: The build-up to a launch is intense. Post-launch there is a lull in activity; events are also similar in this nature.
  • Online Advertising: Pay-per-click ads can turn your traffic on and off as needed.
  • Automation: Spending time setting up automated email sequences can work for you while you are away from work or busy on other projects.

Sprinting can be a lot of work; you have to have systems that are able to work without you - such as a downloadable product.

Alternatively if you are naturally more of a marathoner, you prefer a slower and steady pace. You probably often fall prey to doing everything yourself, because you can!

Some great tools for marathoners are:

  • Blogs: These require time and quality content consistently. Most successful bloggers post at least once a week.
  • Newsletters: Content rich but no matter how good your efforts, you will still need to start fresh for the next newsletter.
  • Social Media: Fresh content is required usually daily or even on an hourly basis.

Marathoners have the ability to hold a customer’s attention for the long haul. Loyalty is created and the customer often gains much more value for their investment.

Both sprinters and marathoners can learn from each other’s skill sets and win the race together. Smart marathoners will look for a great sprinter as a business partner, and vice versa.

Athletes and businesses alike know only too well the emotional and economic difference between first and second place. Exceptional performance comes, especially as an organisation grows, when a team works towards a common goal; whether that is a gold medal tally or an increased amount of new customers.

Only you will know what works well for you and your business. If you are a sprinter by nature make sure you have the right tools in place to get the breaks you need, as no one can maintain a sprint long term. Conversely if you are a natural marathoner make sure you are building rock solid relationships and are leveraging off them over time.

Are you a sprinter, marathoner or hybrid of the two when it comes to running your online business?

Free Zeald  Website Consultation

Topics: Promotion
 

Get Your Business Seen - Use Video

Written by Casey Hartigan on July 17th, 2012.      0 comments

Video is becoming increasingly important when it comes to ranking in search results. YouTube is owned by Google and is one of the leading search engines in the world, so having video means you're more likely to get noticed. In fact, studies show that a page with video is 53 times more likely to be seen in search results (Forrester, 2010). However, choosing a subject for your videos can be quite daunting and many businesses tend to put it in the too-hard basket.

If you're selling products, consider making a short video of what the product is and how it's used, or give a short tour of your store if you have one. If you're selling a service, you could film some examples of your service or give tips and advice related to your industry. All of these ideas will help to create credibility and make sure your business gets seen.

When making a video, make sure that you keep it short and to the point. It's also important that it's of good quality. Ensure that you film in a well-lit room and that you keep the camera steady. If you're going to speak during the video, make sure the recording is clear and understandable. Then, once you've created your videos, read up on how to embed them on your website.

Free Zeald Website Audit and Consultation
Topics: Tips and Tricks
 

Pinterest: Should You Jump On Board?

Written by Emily Wilson on July 17th, 2012.      0 comments

Social media seems to be part and parcel of business communication these days. You can choose from pinterestFacebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+ and so on; or you can have a finger in every pie. It is up to you what will or won’t work for your business, but today we are going to talk about using Pinterest for your business.

Pinterest has been around since 2010, but has grown steadily this year possibly due to the launch of their iPhone app and integration with Facebook. Today Pinterest is the third most visited website in America and has over 13 million users.

Pinterest is driving more online traffic to retail websites than social networks LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+ combined, according to a January report from Shareaholic.

What exactly is Pinterest and how does it work?

Basically Pinterest is a social network. As pinterest put it, this is a social network meant to “connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting.” It allows users to visually share, curate, and discover new interests by posting, known as ‘pinning,’ images or videos to their own or others’ pinboards (a collection of ‘pins,’ usually with a common theme). Users can upload images from their computer or pin things they find on the web using the pinterest bookmarklet, pin it button, or just a url.

You can see an example of netaporter’s Pinterest boards here.

You might want to add a ‘pin it button’ on your website to facilitate sharing on Pinterest. Pins added using the ‘pin it button’ link back to the site they came from, which will in turn, increase links and traffic to your site.

Why should I consider Pinterest for my business?

  1. Traffic. Any business that relies on driving a high-volume of website traffic to increase sales, should consider joining Pinterest.
  2. Links. If you are using the ‘pin it button’ on your pages, every single one of your pins will include a link back to the source. However, these won't directly impact your SEO as they are no-follow links. Yet, they still provide marketing value because they allow pinners to encounter your content and visit your pages in just one click.
  3. Leads. Pinterest will soon start contributing to lead generation, as users will see your product on Pinterest can link back to your site and then purchase or make an enquiry about that product.

Where do I sign up?

Like when Gmail first came out, access to Pinterest still operates under an invitation-only basis. That being said, you can request an invitation, and it shall be granted. Visit www.pinterest.com, click ‘request an invite’ and enter your email address to be notified when you have access to create your account. Or you can ask a friend who already has a Pinterest account to invite you, a much quicker way to gain access than waiting for Pinterest to grant your request.

Top Tip: Sign in with your Twitter account to share pins through Twitter as well!

Please take note…

Pinterest is not just about blatant self-promotion of your products. Like most other social networks, Pinterest is about communicating with others. It’s a conversation through visuals of common interest. You have to think a little more creatively that just posting a picture of all your products. You want to focus on the lifestyle your brand promotes. For example if you sell luggage online you might want to post a picture of your product and then all the great places each piece could go with you. What would go in the luggage in that destination etc.

Pinterest is great for ecommerce and promotion to consumers but can work for B2B too. You might want to use it to showcase your company culture or use great infographics. Link to customers using pictures of them using your product or service and quote their testimonials.

Naturally there are guidelines that you need to adhere to. You should pay special attention when it comes to Intellectual Property Rights and not ‘pin’ something that you are not legally allowed to, this means you should always have a link back to the original source.

If nothing else Pinterest forces you to think outside the square about how to visually market your brand.

Topics: Social Media
 

Don't Build a Mobile Website; Get One Site That Fits All

Written by Emily Wilson on July 17th, 2012.      0 comments

Over the last few years, more and more people and businesses are using mobile devices to browse the internet.Responsive Design Services with Zeald Nearly a third of New Zealand internet users access the internet via a Smartphone; and this trend will continue to grow in the future. This means that with more and more different types and sizes of devices coming online, your website pages will need to look different depending upon what is displaying them. Enter responsive design.

Responsive design is a way of designing web pages for mobile and desktop devices; in fact, the idea behind responsive design is that you design your web pages so that they respond to the device that is viewing it. Rather than forcing a mobile user to see a desktop site, a laptop user with a small screen to scroll horizontally to see a wide-screen monitor site, or a wide-screen monitor to view a site as a mobile customer might like, the design looks at each of these scenarios and adapts to display the content most effectively.

Why Responsive Design is a Good Idea

The best web designs are the ones that make things easy. Responsive web design makes your website user friendly for mobile customers. It is web design that responds to the user as they arrive at the web page.

Think about your typical desktop browser. Even if it is not maximised, it almost certainly has a width of at least 960 pixels. That is a lot of space to place lots of columns of text and images. If you compare that with a smartphone in portrait mode, you are looking at a device with about 480 pixels of width. That is half the screen space. A feature phone has even less space with 320 pixels or less in most cases.

If you create a page with a fixed-width layout 960 pixels wide, it will look great on your desktop monitor. But when you view it on a tablet, it’s going to look small. A smartphone will make it look even more cramped  and on a feature phone, the page might not display correctly at all.

However, with responsive design you create a design that works for any of the devices visitors to your website use. What sets responsive design apart from other methods of mobile websites is that you don't create a separate webpage for every type of mobile browser you want to support. Instead, responsive design simply looks at the features of the device viewing the page, and delivers the styles appropriate for that device.

Creating a Whole Separate Website is a Bad Idea

It can be tempting to create a “mobile” site with a separate sub-domain or site location. Then you just put all the mobile friendly site features like single-columns, limited content, and reduced navigation in that one location and point mobile users there.

In the short term, this can work, as it gets up a mobile site quickly. But eventually it will start to cause problems. The first issue comes when you realise that you have to post every article twice; once to the main site and once to the mobile site! Why create that extra work for yourself?

Responsive Design Treats Mobile and Desktop the Same

A responsive web design uses the exact same content to create a page that works whether you are viewing it at 1800 pixels wide or 320 pixels wide. But the pages that are created may look vastly different, while containing the same content. This means that whether you come to the site on an iPhone or a 27-inch iMac, you will get the same content; in fact you will go to the same URL. But on the iPhone you might see the page with only one column while the iMac gets five. But they are both considered equally important when delivering the content.

Responsive Design Services with Zeald

The website responds the the device and adjusts accordingly, while still retaining the important content.                             

Take a look at an example in action on a few different devices

Is Responsive Design Right for Your Business?

It depends what your customers are using to visit your site. You may find that it is not cost-effective enough if only a very small percentage of your customers are using mobile devices to view your website. You can use Google Analytics to track traffic to your regular website that comes from mobile devices like iPhones and Android devices. All traffic from mobile devices can be viewed by device or carrier under the 'Visitors' section in the 'Mobile' tab of your Analytics account, or in the 'Mobile advanced' section.

Responsive Design at Zeald

Zeald are now offering responsive design on all our websites. 

 

 

Proofreading Blunders

Written by Emily Wilson on June 5th, 2012.      0 comments

We are all guilty of making mistakes; especially when it comes to proofreading our work. Mistakes on your website canProofreading Blunders not only be embarrassing but cost you money too. Shoppers nabbed a real bargain at Comet, an appliance retailer in the UK, when they made a costly mistake on their online store by misprinting the price of an Aiwa hi-fi which regularly retails for £89.00, instead listing it at the amazing price of £8.43. The company lost a huge amount of money before they corrected the error.

A slightly less costly, but still embarrassing example from Air Canada was when the airline accidently used luggage stickers which stated: “This Baggage Has Been X-Rated at Point of Origin”. Oops, I guess they found the adult magazines that were hidden in the bottom of your suitcase?

Mistakes like these often come down to human-error and can happen when you are under pressure to meet a deadline. But they can sometimes just be overlooked or not fact-checked thoroughly. Some people just have a deep love for unnecessary capital letters, or enjoy over-exclaiming – it is best to stop using exclamation marks in bulk, one will suffice.

At a basic level you want to use spell check. That said; don’t rely too heavily on spell check as it won’t pick up every mistake as anyone who has made the public/pubic mistake will know. Read through your finished document thoroughly once you have used spell check to avoid the embarrassment that comes from discussing third panty insurance.

If you have a long document it can help to double-space between lines. It makes reading and proofreading easier because you can write above and below the sentences. Print a hard copy of your document - no matter how many pages. You are bound to catch more mistakes than just reading the onscreen version.

Read your work aloud to catch mistakes the eyes often gloss over and mark off mistakes with a red pen; not just for fun, a contrasting colour actually helps you spot the mistake when you make the correction later. (If you really want to you can grade your work and add a smiley face or gold star at the end!)

Get some rest and get less-familiar with your work. That means take a break; take a day, week, month away from the document. As the author you can become a little self-involved and miss errors that with fresh eyes seem so obvious!

Poor spelling on your website could cost you. Customers may be dissuaded from making a purchase from a site that has poor spelling and grammatical errors, as this reflects badly on your credibility. It pays to write copy using word processor software first to make sure it is perfect, plus you’ll have a file you can save if you make changes to your page.

Make sure your website copy makes sense. All too often people try to cram those important keywords in for SEO. Part of the sales process is to convert visitors who find your page, you will find them leaving all too soon if they can’t make sense of your text.

You should also check and double-check your emails before you hit send (same goes for Facebook and Twitter posts). Email and social media may seem like a less formal ground for communication, but if they are business related then you will want to reflect your branding and professionalism. Emails and posts can easily be forwarded or shared with others; which can land you in hot water.

One common mistake is to get recipient’s name wrong. Check their email signature for how their name is spelt, and whether they use a variation of it. I’ve been called, on more than one occasion, Emma Watson. Close, but not actually my name. It can help to keep a list of names that you have fact-checked to save time rechecking.

Take a break.

If you are using numbers, equations or calculations, best make sure they work. Same goes for graphs and other images including their caption. Often decisions about spending (or not spending) are made by graphs, calculations and prices, so they can make or break your sale.

Even if you know the difference between it’s (the contraction) and its (possessive), your fingers may not. Using the “find” function of your word processor and run a search just for apostrophe marks to help locate and catch errors.

If your work is ever changed by someone else into another format, it pays to check it before it goes live. This is especially true when booking advertising.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It is better to have someone at the office spot your bad spelling than a potential client! Plus if there is a mistake you can pass on the blame! Remember if you are no word-smith then it may be beneficial to hire a professional to write and/or edit your copy. Valuable advice for tattoo artists also! Google “misspelled tattoos” and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

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Integration is Easy with Zeald

Written by Emily Wilson on June 5th, 2012.      1 comments

Get your website talking to your software.Learn about Integrate Third Party Business Software with Zeald

Is your website having problems integrating with your accounting software? Are you always manually keeping track of sales from auction websites? There is a better way.

Here at Zeald we think that doing business online should make things easier, but if your website isn't communicating with your sales, marketing and accounting software then things may seem a lot harder than they should be.

Zeald websites have always been able to connect to most third-party business applications, but it was a time consuming process that was a little complicated and a therefore a little on the expensive side. But now integration is much simpler through your Zeald website, making it easier for you to manage your business.

How do we do it? Through our integration partners Zeald websites can seamlessly integrate with the most popular platforms from CRM, eCommerce, Invoicing, Email Marketing, Event Management, Project and Team Management and Accounting simplifying and optimising business processes.

This means that all your integrations, data migrations, synchronisations and data de-duplication between different software platforms are taken care of by one of our integration partners through your Zeald website.

For example, if you use accounting software, such as Xero or MYOB, a Zeald website can integrate seamlessly with the software to manage all aspects of your business from your Zeald eCommerce website transactions to auction websites like eBay and TradeMe to CRM systems like HighRise or BatchBook and many more.

Some of the information that will integrate with your accounting software:

  • Contacts - Full contact management including merging and synchronisation is supported.
  • Invoices (Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payables) - Can be created automatically from eCommerce orders, CRM deals or invoicing systems.
  • Invoice Payments - Can be automatically mapped to different bank/clearing accounts.
  • Tax Rates - All the tax rates are imported from your accounting software to allow easy application of taxes on incoming invoices.
  • Chart of Accounts - Are retrieved and can be used for generating invoices and map line items to the correct accounts.
  • Bank Accounts - Are used to match cleared payments for simplified bank reconciliation.
  • Inventory Items - Are retrieved and can be used to map and generate sales by matching them to your sold products on eCommerce platforms. New inventory items can also be created on the fly if new products are detected in other systems.

Save yourself time and money by integrating your Zeald website with your software. The applications we can connect to are updated all the time. Give Zeald a call on 0508 932 530 to see how we can help you integrate with your third-party software.

Topics: Zeald News
 

Link to more than just your home

Written by Casey Hartigan on June 5th, 2012.      0 comments

It is important for Search Engine Optimisation that you have incoming links to your website from other webpages on the internet. Links give the search engine important information about your website, so the placement of the link matters.

As we have discussed before, links are like recommendations from other websites. If these inbound links arrive at many different pages on your website you will tell the search engine that many different sites believe that your entire website is full of worthwhile content.

If, however, all your inbound links always arrive at your homepage, the search engine will be under the impression that your website is shallow, with little to offer, or that your links were generated by automation rather than the value of your site.

Read more about how Google works

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About Zeald

Zeald was formed in late 2000 by three young guys from the small New Zealand town of Mangawhai Heads. 12 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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