Archive for the ‘search engines’ Category

Aussie small business is missing the mobile, social, cloud revolution

Monday, June 30th, 2014
Photo credit; Pavel Medzyun on Flickr

Photo credit; Pavel Medzyun on Flickr

Many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are missing the opportunity to use online tools to run their core business better by: cutting costs, reaching customers and suppliers, innovating and getting more control over their business, according to a new Grattan Institute discussion paper.

Businesses with less than 200 employees employ two-thirds of private sector workers and contribute more than half of Australia’s private sector GDP and if advanced online technology becomes the norm among SMEs, the productivity gains would spread through the whole economy.

There are four big opportunities for SMEs to use online tools more effectively: mobile, social, data analytics, and the cloud. The paper says:

  • only 18% of Australian SMEs with an internet connection have developed mobile-optimised websites.
  • only a quarter of Australian SMEs with an internet connection say they use social networking for marketing purposes.
  • many SMEs haven’t realised the full potential of data analytics to understand their customer segments.
  • only 8% of Australian SME managers say they use the cloud. But 47% of SMEs with an internet connection use basic cloud computing services such as webmail or cloud data storage.

All four opportunities can help small firms win where before they would have lost to larger firms that could absorb the fixed costs of corporate IT.

To read more on this story, click here.

Huffington Post blogger shares insight into online business and why yours might be failing

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013
Photo credit; Dnikolos on Flickr

Photo credit; Dnikolos on Flickr

Huffington Post blogger Don Dodds shares these six reasons why your online enterprise might be a little underwhelming.

#1) You targeted the wrong niche — or you didn’t target a niche at all.

Prior to starting your business, you need to answer these questions:

  • Is there a demand for my idea?
  • How much competition is there for my product or service?
  • Who are my top competitors?
  • Do I stand a realistic chance of outranking them (particularly in the organic search results)?
  • Where is the industry headed?
  • Is my product or service gaining momentum or is it on a downward trend?

Dodds says after you’ve investigated these questions you might need to reevaluate your business idea.

#2) You don’t have a clear business model for your website.

While it seems like common sense to begin your business with a clear business model in mind, Dodd says many new online business owners start with a vague idea at best when it comes to monetizing their website, but they need to be much more focussed.

Aside from selling advertising through Google’s AdSense program, you could consider offering an informational product such as an e-book if you’re running an information site, or you could also charge a fee for premium subscribers to your content.

#3) You’re trying to do too many things at once.

Focus on one or two important tasks per day.

Next, combat distractions by eliminating information overload like excessive e-mail subscriptions. Dodd says not to fall into the trap of spending many hours of your day consuming blog posts, e-books, and emails about how to improve your online business, but, instead, to get out there and work on your business, one step at a time.

#4) You’re being a control freak.

Dodd says not to be afraid to outsource things like¬†website design, logo creation, and content development if you’re unfamiliar with them to help save you time (to work on other areas of your business) and make sure your website looks professional.

#5) You’re not sure how to market your product or service.

As an online business owner, Dodd says, you have two options when it comes to marketing your business: Learn the tricks of the trade yourself, or hire an expert SEO or social media consultant to do the job for you. Just make sure it gets done properly, and remember time is your most valuable asset.

If you want to learn how to do it yourself, begin with a broad overview of the various advertising and marketing techniques that are specific to the Internet like pay-per-click, social media, press releases, blogging, and search engine optimization (SEO). Educate yourself on each of these and find out which strategies work best for your own business by testing. Get help with some vital factors for SEO planning.

Finally, know that simply having the pillars of a smart marketing strategy in place is not enough. You have to measure your progress and continue to make refinements. You can quickly get started on this task by signing up for an account with Google Analytics.

#6) You bought into the get-rich-quick dream.

The greatest barrier to online success is unrealistic expectations. Unfortunately, this has become an epidemic due to get-rich-quick schemes promoted by a handful of Internet marketing gurus. It’s tempting to get caught up in the hype, but don’t. The best defense against this kind of toxic thinking is to avoid any kind of system that promises easy riches. Instead, focus on the steady growth of your company.

To read more on this story, click here.

The Australia Business Review shows you how to rebuild a damaged brand online

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Brands can be badmouthed, bullied, beaten up and bruised by anyone online but there are ways to fight back and repair the damage.

Photo credit; Joshin Yamada on Flickr

Photo credit; Joshin Yamada on Flickr

The Australia Business Review recommends that you:

Apologize if the problem has been caused by your actions or those of your staff and put it on your social networks, your website and anywhere else your customers can see it. Make it honest and straightforward.

Remove negative remarks if possible, even if that means having to hire a lawyer to help you remove them from other sites. Remove the ones that you have control over.

Drown the negativity with SEO by burying them with SEO campaigns until they don’t show up on Google’s search results until the 10th page (most people don’t dig this far back into search results).

Re-Direct attention away from the negativity by doing something positive and promoting it, like holding a contest or donating to charity.

To read more on this story, click here.

New figures released explore our search engine habits

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

A survey of over 1000 Australians explored some of our search engine habits, and discovered a general lack of understanding around why search engines display the results they do.

It was revealed that,

  • 46 per cent of online shoppers said the order of search results displayed affected their choice in choosing where to shop.
  • Only 15 per cent of respondents look past the 1st page of search results.
  • On average 72 per cent of users select the first website listed, with the second and third websites receiving 13 per cent and 8 per cent of clicks respectively.

About 6 per cent of Australian retail sales are made online, or roughly $12.6 billion a year. This is expected to increase significantly.

You can read more over at theage.com.au